Sacred Texts  Native American  Southeast  Index  Previous  Next 


People dwelt for a long time on one side of a body of water. They saw that across from them was some good land and wanted to go there but did not know how to reach it. Then Above-sitter hung two forks of a grapevine (from the sky). They got into these and swung until they got to the other side. When all were hanging in these and swung and were about halfway one fork broke off and

p. 122

fell into the water. The other fork reached the land on the other side. Those who fell into the water turned into fish. And when the ones in the water sang and danced those outside danced. When the fishes danced in the water human beings loved to watch them. Coming there continually, they listened to them sing and learned the song. They learned the fish dance and the fish songs in that way.

Then the people who had lived there moved and established a village on a hill where they tried to farm. When it was night they went off to dance. Two orphan boys living there went to hunt deer by means of fire. They started out and, while they were traveling around, saw something which looked like a bear sitting near the water, and they shot at it repeatedly. When they saw its feet, they found it had flippers with which to swim, and they were afraid and went back. When they came to the people who had been dancing and told them they did not believe them.

Next day they went to work, and while they were there sent a girl for some water. She set out with a gourd but jumped into the ocean. Then her mother ran out. She kept on running, jumped into the water, seized her daughter and pulled her back a little, but something seemed to hold her on both sides and she disappeared under the surface. When they fastened canes end to end and extended them down into the water to the girl she grasped them and they pulled her out.

Next: 5. Fire