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Article: OTOÚAHEÚAÐAÖI (First Beginnings)

Wamaíaßkañ Úaðaöi
(The Creation of Animals)

While the Creation Spirits were seated in a circle, during their feast, Maía did as Gnaß had advised her. She stood and said to Skañ, "I thank you for the beautiful ornaments you have given my domain. I also want to thank Tate, Waúiñyañ, Wohóe and Ksa for creating them for my pleasure. But to care for these is a hardship to me, and Ksa has said that we as the first Creation Spirits, should not have to serve others. "

Upon hearing this, Wohóe said to her father Skañ, "Father, when we had our first feast, for the Creation Spirits, it was very hard for me to serve everyone and I became very tired. It was then that Ksa did say that the Creation Spirits should not have to serve others. Then Ksa created the Pte Oyaþe as our servants. You could create servants to assist Maía. "

Skañ knew that Maía had been urged to make the request in order to cause conflict, and he knew that his daughter's suggestion was in line with his plans. He also listened to Ksa, who said, "The lands within Maía's domain were very dry and barren but now they are beautiful because of the plants that grow from the ground, bearing green leaves and flowers of many colors, seeds and fruits of many kinds. Many of the roots, stems, leaves, seeds and fruits are good for food. But no sound has been heard within Maía's domain, except when Skañ speaks or when Waúiñyañ brings rain. If creatures, that could make sounds, were put there, the great silence would be broken and they could consume the food and help Maía look after her domain. "

After they had all discussed Maía's request, Skañ announced in agreement to Ksa's suggestion, "Tate shall impart a spiritual power to all that Waúiñyañ creates. "

Then Ksa and Wohóe designed creatures that had no blood. They designed four kinds and many variations of each kind. One kind that did not have wings or legs; one kind had legs but no wings; one kind had both legs and wings, and could fold their wings; and one kind had both legs and wings, but could not fold their wings.

Waúiñyañ took the soft parts of the plants, and from these, created many different kinds of small eggs. Two of each kind, were created to produce the creatures designed by Ksa and Wohóe. Tate then breathed on them, imparting the spiritual power to them, and then Tate, Ksa, Gnaß and Waúiñyañ scattered them all over the lands within Maía's domain. Wi, the sun, warmed the eggs and from them came all kinds of insects. Two of each kind, a male and female, from the eggs that Gnaß had scattered, insects that bit or stung were produced. The insects were hungry and ate the plants. They laid eggs and their eggs hatched, so that their numbers increased and soon there were many insects.

Maía observed them and was distressed, because she was afraid that the insects would eat, all the ornaments that adorned her. The insects that hatched from the eggs, that Gnaß had scattered, stung her so often, that she suffered from great pain.

Uñk and Gnaß teased and laughed at her. Maía became angry with the ones who had created the insects. "Instead of creating servants for me, you have made creatures that torture me. I want creatures of flesh and blood to be my helpers", she stated.

Then, Wohóe and Ksa designed three kinds of reptiles. One kind with tails and legs, one kind with legs but no tails and one kind that had tails, legs and shells. They had many varieties of each kind.

Waúiñyañ then took two eggs from each of the many kinds of insects and wrapped each egg with fruits. These eggs contained nourishment which would warm the flesh and blood. Then Tate breathed on them, imparting to them the spiritual power. Tate, Waúiñyañ and Ksa placed the eggs on the ground and covered them with soil. While they were doing this, Gnaß came along and asked to help. So Tate gave him some eggs which he scattered here and there, and Wi warmed all the eggs until they hatched, producing all kinds of reptiles. Those that hatched from the eggs that Gnaß had scattered were poisonous.

Maía observed all, and when she saw the bare and ugly reptiles, she said, "I am afraid of them" . Uñk, however, was pleased with the reptiles. "I also have a domain," Uñk said. "Why should everything be created for Maía?"

"Then take them to live with you. I want creatures of flesh and blood that are clothed, so they will be beautiful. I want creatures that walk on the ground, like the reptiles and creatures that can fly like the insects but, I want both to have voices," Maía told Uñk. Uñk happily accepted Maía's offer and assumed responsibility for the reptiles.

Then Ksa and Wohóe designed creatures to be clothed with feathers and to have wings. They designed four kinds. Ones with short beaks that are not hooked, ones with short hooked beaks, ones with long slim beaks and ones with flat beaks, making many variations of each kind.

Waúiñyañ took eggs of insects and of reptiles and mixed them. From the ground he took a substance from which he created hard shells for eggs. Then he shaped two eggs for every variety that had been designed, one male and the other female.

So that each egg would be beautifully clothed, Wohóe colored the eggs giving each variety it's own color.

Then the four Creation Spirits made nests of twigs and soft grasses, some large, some small, no two nests were made alike. A nest was made for each variety. They placed some nests in trees, some in shrubs, some in grasses and some on the ground.

Once again, Gnaß had come along and asked to help. So Waúiñyañ told Gnaß to make nests in high places that were difficult to get at. Gnaß did so but placed thorns in the nests that he made. Then the four placed the eggs in the nests and gave Gnaß some of the eggs to place in the nests that he made.

Again, Wi warmed all the eggs and hatched them. When the creatures had been hatched, they were clothed in down and were helpless and hungry, crying for food.

When Maía came to see the new creatures, Uñk, Iya and Gnaß also came. They laughed long and loud at Maía and at the four who had created these creatures.

Gnaß taunted them saying, "If we would have helped you design these creatures, they would have been strong and provided with food. As it is, they are fit for nothing but to serve as food. "

Iya said, "They are just the thing to satisfy my hunger," and he tried to put some in his mouth. But his arm became stiff and he could not lift his hand to his mouth.

Wohóe prayed to her father, and Skañ came to them. Skañ knew about what Gnaß and Iya had done and he punished them.

"Because you, Gnaß, have schemed to make Maía look ridiculous, you must feed these creatures so that they will grow and become strong. Iya, because you would have tried to eat these helpless creatures, you must gather good for Gnaß to feed them. You, Uñk, because you encouraged your sons to do evil, must prepare all the food for these new creatures. "

Uñk and her sons obeyed Skañ. While Gnaß gathered the food, the thorns that he caused to grow, tore at him; the poisoned plants, poisoned him; the insects stung him; and the poisonous reptiles bit him. Thus, he was punished for creating his evils.

The arm of Iya was made long and his hand webbed like a net, so that with each sweep, he would grasp many insects. He attempted to devour the insects that he caught. But each time he would attempt to eat them, his arm would. stiffen like a pole and could not raise his hand to his mouth. So he had no choice but to feed the insects to the creatures in the nests.

In time, these creatures grew. Their down became feathers and quills grew on their wings and tails. Wohóe watched over them to see that none were neglected. When their feathers and quills were fully grown, she colored them so that no two varieties were alike. She made the male and female of each variety different. To some she gave brilliant colors and to some somber colors.

Ksa taught them how to build their nest and sit on their eggs. Wohóe taught them how to care for their young until they could care for themselves. Ksa then taught them to make sounds, just like he had with the insects. Their voices were strong and many were lovely but some were harsh and their languages
were songs. Each kind of bird sang a song that no other sang.

Maía observed it all, she was very happy with the new creatures, they were beautiful. They greeted her, each in their own language. Some spoke in a pleasing manner, while others spoke quite harshly. Those who spoke harshest were those that hatched in the nests made by Gnaß. They had beaks that could cut and tear and each had talons on their toes, which looked like crooked thorns.

Maía said, "I will name these lovely creatures, `birds' . " She invited the Creation Spirits and Uñk and her sons to come and see the birds. All came and were very pleased with the creation. Then Maía said, "Wohóe, since you have cared for the birds and made them beautiful, I give you these beautiful creatures to care for. "

Spitefully, Uñk spoke, "You have cast me away from you, although I was created as your associate. You always give favours in such a way that they benefit you. I feel I should share in the beauty of this creation. "

Then Wohóe said to Uñk, "The birds are mine to do with as I please. If it pleases you, you may choose those you like and I will let you have them for your domain. "Uñk chose the cranes, the swans, the geese, the ducks and the snipes. They went to live in her domain but forever retained their reverence for Wohóe.

In this way, the birds came to populate the earth, each reproducing in their own manner.

Maía talked with the birds and asked each what they could do to assist her. When she raised the question of helping her, they flew away from her and into the air. This made Maía very angry and she complained to those who created them, saying, "You have not made creatures to assist me, you have only made creatures who depend upon me."

Gnaß laughed gleefully and teased Tate, Ksa, Wohóe and Waúiñyañ saying that they could not create anything that was pleasing. Cunningly, he flattered Maía saying, "Because of my advice, you have been given many beautiful creatures. If you appeal to Skañ again, he may give you creatures which will actually serve you and not be dependant upon you. "

At the next feast, Maía again complained to Skañ, "Wohóe, Ksa, Waúiñyañ and Tate have made me into a joke. They have made the birds which do not serve me, but only fly in the domain of Wi the Sun, and Uñk the moon, who are claiming them as their own. Ask the Four to create, for me, creatures that are made of flesh and blood that are clothed and able to walk on my lands." Skañ smiled, because Maía's request was in line with his plans.

Iñyañ, the Rock, then stood and spoke to the Creation Spirits, saying, "I was before there was any other. Alone in the darkness, my soft shapeless mass was powerful.I thought only to gratify myself by creating another being. I gave of my substance and all my blood and powers, so that there could be another. In doing so, Maía was created, I shriveled and became hard, so I shall endure forever, and Maía was the cause of my impotence. She was young and had many ideas, whose benefits I did not foresee. She taunted me until I agreed to create others, which is good. She is your ancestress and it is because of her, that all other creatures exist, but none are subject to her. I am content because I am the ancestor of all, but I am disturbed by the strife of my grandchildren. Skañ, you were pleased to create the Pte Oyate to serve the Creation Spirits. Now, Skañ, I ask you to make creatures, which will be slightly inferior to the Pte Oyate, to assist Maía and be of benefit and pleasure to all."

All the Spirits said, "Nuñwe" and Skañ said "Ho" .

Skañ and all the Creation Spirits and the creatures that breath, then gathered on the earth. Skañ took clay from the ground and some substance from the insects, reptiles and birds. He mixed these and gave a portion of the mixture to each of the Creation Spirits, instructing them to mold shapes that have four legs, but not having legs or wings.

Skañ then instructed Tate to breath on each shape. He did, breathing ni, the vitality, into their flesh, bones and blood. Skañ then told Waúiñyañ to clothe each shape and he did so, some with course hair, some with fine hair, some with fur and some with a mixture of these. When he came to the forms molded by Uñk, she glared at him. So he clothed some of those shapes with slime and some with scales.

When all were clothed, Skañ asked Wi to warm them. But when he came to those that were covered with slime and scales, Uñk glared at him as well, so he turned away from them and they remained cold.
When Waúiñyañ and Wi told Skañ about the forms shaped by Uñk, Skañ said, "Uñk, because you have disobeyed me, the creatures you have shaped shall be cold while they live." Skañ then gave each shape a naðila or Spirit. He then asked Ksa to instruct the creatures.

Ksa told the creatures, "You are the animals, who will live in the domain of Maía and serve her. " He then taught each kind it's own language, and to understand the languages spoken by all other creatures. He taught them to live together as relatives and that none were to be afraid of the others. He taught them games and other amusements, so that they could gather often, and enjoy themselves by singing, dancing and playing games. In this way there would be harmony within Maía's domain.

When Ksa came to the shapes molded by Uñk, he was puzzled because they had no legs and could not walk. After some consideration, he said to them, "Because of your shapes, you must live in Uñk's domain, which is the waters and you will be known as fish. There, you will not hear, or make any sounds, so you will not need a language. "

In this way, the animals were created for the land and the fish for the water.

Skañ then said to Maía, "Because you have listened to Gnaß and are always insisting on something and never being pleased, you shall forever care for all that exists on the lands and protect their welfare. The animals and things created, shall know you Maía, as their mother, but they shall be for the benefit and pleasure of all. "

Maía then bowed before Skañ saying, "I am unworthy of a seat in the circle of the Creation Spirits. I have worked only for my own pleasure. On all my domain are symbols, reminding me of my folly. The Creation Spirits have justly humiliated me. My punishment is just. "

Wohóe stood beside Maía and said to her, "My father has worked to free you from your vanity and envy by letting things take place as they have. The things that have been placed within your domain, will annoy you. They shall be a constant reminder that the greatest pleasure comes from pleasing others. Be comforted, for none sit more securely in the circle of the Creation Spirits then those who are humble. None remember an error that is repented. I love and respect you now more than ever. "

Maía again bowed down before Skañ and said, "If your daughter, Wohóe, were my associate and counselor, I know that I could redeem myself and carry out my duties. "

"My daughter shall not be subordinate to no one, except myself," Skañ replied.

"Father, you have made me the patron of compassion. Allow me and my companion Ksa, to live with Maía and assist her while she needs us, " Wohóe injected.

"All the Creation Spirits cried, "Nuñwe"

"Nuñwe" said Skañ.

Thus, the daughter of Skañ became the associate of Maía.

Uñk then complained to Skañ, saying that she did not have enough creatures in her extensive domain. Skañ then granted her the powers to create any creatures she desired for her domain.

Uñk consulted with her sons. Iya asked his mother to create monsters that would live in the waters but would be able to go on land. Uñk created the monsters and they were ravenous and destroyed all living things in their path. Iya, gleefully followed them, taking everything they left for dead as food.

Waúiñyañ declared himself an enemy of these monsters that Uñk named Uñkteüila and attacked them whenever he came upon them. There was continuous warfare between Waúiñyañ and the Uñkteüi until finally the Uñkteüi were all destroyed and nothing remained of them except their huge bones that were stone and would never perish.

Gnaß asked his mother to make very small creatures that would exist in the waters so that when the creatures from the lands drank, they would swallow the small creatures and become ill. Uñk created such creatures to live in still waters and named them Mni Waþu. Such creatures exist in stagnant water and torment all who swallow them.

Waúiñyañ also, declared himself an enemy of the Mni Waþu. Waúiñyañ destroyed the Mni Waþu whenever he came upon them, but he was forbidden to enter the waters, therefore, most of them were safe from him.

Uñk looked over her domain and was quite pleased, but Gnaß laughed at her saying, "You have all these creatures, but you do not have one to be your servant. Why not create a creature, to be your messenger and servant`?"

Uñk then created a creature, with it's body inside a shell of bone that protected it from wounds. It's head was like that of a bird and it had a beak without teeth. It's legs were long and strong, so that it could go swiftly on land; or swim swiftly in the waters. It's tail was like that of reptiles and it's voice was like the roaring of a great animal. It could breath either air or in water. It could attack others fiercely, but could enclose itself in it's shell when under attack. Uñk named this creature Íeya or the turtle. Íeya became Uñk's servant and messenger.

Gnaß, to make trouble, told Iya, "Íeya is your enemy and seeks to destroy you. "

Iya then attacked Keya and they fought furiously. Gnaß gleefully watched them. Neither could beat the other. Gnaß took each one aside and said, "You will win if you keep on fighting. "

So Iya and Íeya fought whenever and wherever they met.

Waúiñyañ, seeing the two fighting, held back on his usual fights with Iya and watched them.

Slyly, Gnaß told Waúiñyañ, "I have set these two evil ones against each other so they can destroy one another. In doing this, I am helping you rid the world of evil. "

Waúiñyañ, not trusting Gnaß, asked Íeya, "What are your duties'?" Íeya replied, "I do all that I am asked to do."

"Since you can live and breathe in the waters, which I am forbidden from entering, you can help me in my work of ridding the world of evil. You can destroy the Mni Waþu for me. If you do this for me, I will not consider you an enemy. "

Íeya agreed to help Waúiñyañ. As a reward for his help, Waúiñyañ promised Íeya that he could reproduce, so that there could be many of his kind. Waúiñyañ then adopted Íeya and all his off spring.

All the Creation Spirits saw it and said, "Nuñwe" and it was so.