Coyote in the Underworld;
The Origin of the Monsters;
The First Emergence

This coyote was just like a real person in the old times. He was two-faced; he was evil, but he was also good. He had power in both ways, in the evil way and in the good way. The people often use him in the evil way; and in the good way, too, they use him, for he has power to help as well as to harm.

Coyote was down below with the people. The chief down there, before they started to come up, had a wife who seemed to be very sick with rheumatism. This chief tried in every way to cure her. He had all the men with power perform their ceremonies for her, but it did no good. This woman was not really sick; she was only acting sick and making her husband believe it.

She said, “Take me down to the river. It is the coolest place and there I feel well.”

A river was divided at a certain place and flowed from there in two branches. This place was called Divided Water, and it was here that she wished to be taken. The otter had spoken to this woman through his power; that was why she wanted to get to that place. He used his power as love medicine. Otter was a young man. The chief didn’t know about this.

The chief carried his wife down there every morning and took a lunch for her too. Each evening when the sun was going down he called for her.

After a while he got tired of this and wondered why she always insisted on going to this one place.

The next morning he took her there as usual. Then he turned and went back as though he was going straight for his camp. But as soon as he got out of sight, he ran around a hill and approached from another side and lay there in hiding, watching. Within an hour he saw someone come swimming to that place.

She, too, saw that someone was coming. She took off her clothes and jumped in the water. She and Otter met right in the water. So the otter is our brother-in-law.

Now the chief had found out what that woman was doing. He went back to his home. He was not going after her any more. He had seen that she was not sick, for she had jumped up and taken off her clothes and plunged in as though she were very active and entirely well.

When the sun went down he did not go there as usual. He stayed in his camp.

At nightfall, after waiting for him, the woman came crawling in on her hands and knees. She acted as though she was very sick.

She said, “The old man doesn’t feel sorry for this sick person. You see that I’m coming and having a painful time. See, here you are! You do not even come to get me any more.”

The husband had a grindstone at his side. He said, “Yes, I feel sorry for you!” and he picked up the stone and hurled it at her. The woman leaped up and escaped it. She ran to the home of her mother.

The mother-in-law of the chief was very angry with him. She thought the girl was really sick and thought, “Why does that mean man treat her like that?” [Another version relates that the girl’s mother was cognizant of her misbehavior but connived at it.] She called him all sorts of names, though she did not come into his presence. [I.e., despite her anger she did not violate the mother-in-law—son-in-law avoidance relation.]

She said, “The men are worthless! Look how this man has treated my daughter. I had a hard time to raise this girl and now he abuses her. The men think they do everything; they think they supply all the food and clothes and all the necessities. But the women work harder and do more than the men. The women know how to do things. They can do all the men’s work too if necessary.”

The chief came out when he heard her talking like this. He was very angry. He said, “All right! If you think you can do all the men’s work, we shall see. We shall see who has more power.”

He called all the men to him, even the boys, even the baby boys, and he told them that they were to separate from the women. Even the male dogs and male horses were taken on the men’s side. The men and all male things crossed to the other side of the river.

This chief had great power. He spoke to Kogultsude. He dropped four beads in a whirlpool in the water. [Four beads of different colors constitute a common offering to sacred rivers or springs for the Jicarilla.]

He said to Kogultsude [Kogultsude, whose name probably can be translated ‘he holds in the water,’ is a powerful supernatural, the personification of the power of the water], “I want the water wide, so that the women cannot cross over.”

It was made so.

In the springtime the women and men both planted corn. They both hunted too. The women knew how to hunt too. That year the women as well as the men had plenty, all they wanted to eat. The second year the women had less. They were getting tired. They were afraid to go out and hunt as boldly as the men. They didn’t sow enough seeds. The third year they had still less. The fourth year very few of the women had anything to eat. None of them planted crops that year. The men had plenty every year. The women were beginning to starve and suffer.

The women were standing on the bank calling to the men, saying, “Come back and take care of us.”

But the chief would not let the men go. “Let them learn a lesson,” he said. “Let them be punished.”

All the older girls began to cry for the men now. They began to abuse themselves sexually. They masturbated with elk horn; and that is how the elk became an enemy of man. They used rocks also. That’s how it happened that the rock became the enemy of man. And they used eagle feathers too. That is how the eagle became a giant and killed many of the people. The girls also used the feathers of the owl. All the things that afterward killed men, all the monsters, came into being because of what these girls did. For these objects impregnated the girls, and the monsters were later born from these unions. These were the monsters which Killer-of-Enemies was to destroy later on, after the people came to this earth.

The men were affected in the same way as the women by the separation of the sexes. They became sexually aroused and unsatisfied. They tried to make vaginas out of mud and use them but they were unsuccessful.

This went on for a long time. Both sides were having a hard time of it and were punishing themselves because of what that old lady had said. The women couldn’t cross that river; it was too deep and strong.

About that time Coyote came along. Codi is always funny. He went into the river. He found a baby in the whirlpool. He swam in and got it.

He said, “Oh, this is a nice baby! I’ll take it and raise it myself.”

So he went back with it among the men. The child looked just like the babies of men, but it was the child of Kogultsude.

Kogultsude missed his child. He made the water rise so that his child would be brought back. He sent the water out to wash it back, to draw back his lost baby.

The chief was worried now. He said to the men, “We must go across the river and find out what has happened. Something has been done against this river that it acts this way.”

So the men swam over and were now reunited with the women. They all went to the mountains to escape the water which was still rising. Some of the men and women were drowned. The rest got on the top of a big mountain.

They said to Coyote, “You must help us. Save us from the water.”

So Coyote used his power to make the mountain grow. It grew and grew, but the water rose ever faster. All the time Coyote had the child under his cloak. At that time he had the same kind of fur that he wears now, only then he wore it as a man does a robe. No one knew that he had this baby under the robe.

The mountain rose and came right up to the present earth, this world. All the shamans were praying. But the water was still rising. All the people fell on this coyote. The water came right up to the edge of this world. It ran all over the country.

Now they were all getting after Coyote and scolding him. They said, “He is always the funny one! He must have done something.”

So at last he said, “I have this baby. I thought he was not going to get this baby again.”

The baby was almost dead; it was drying up. He took it out and showed it to the people, and then threw it into the water again. At once the water began to recede.

Before that there was no water on this earth, nor were there any mountains. The people didn’t like this place. They wanted to go down below again. So Coyote made the mountain go down again, and it shrank. But the water which had spread over the earth stayed, and this was the water that was present at the time of the real emergence. Before that there was none on this earth.

The people went down below again and stayed there for about nine or ten months. Then they started making the sun and moon down below after this. These people were supernaturals.

By the time the emergnce occurred, the girls who had abused themselves were already big with children. They had been impregnated from intercourse with the things they had used. These children they were carrying were therefore born here on earth, and they became the monsters that preyed on man, the monsters which Killer-of-Enemies had to destroy before men could multiply.

It was after the people went down below again that Hactcin’s dog asked that people be made for him as companions. So people of a different kind were made and these were the real Jicarilla. They intermarried with these first supernaturals who dwelt there, and so they were half human and half supernatural.

The supernaturals who were drowned when Kogultsude made the waters rise did not die. They turned to frogs and fishes. There was no death in those days.

That is why Raven and Buzzard had to decide whether man would die. It was half and half. In those days the dead were coming to life every four days. Then Buzzard threw a scraping pole in the water and said, “If this sinks man will die.” It came to the surface. Then Raven threw in a mano and said, “If this sinks man will die.” It sank; therefore man dies.


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