Manataka American Indian Council







February 2011



Yuma Creation Story


When Tu-chai-pai made the world, the earth was the woman, the sky was the man. The sky came down upon the earth. The world in the beginning was pure lake covered with bulrushes. Tu-chai-pai and Yo-ko-mat-is, his brother, sat together, stooping far over, bowed down under the weight of the sky.


The Maker said to the brother, "What am I going to do?"


"I do not know," said Yo-ko-mat-is.


"Let us go a little farther," said the Maker.


Then they went a little farther and sat down again. "Now, what am I going to do?" said Tu-chai-pai.


"I don't know,"  said Yo-ko-mat-is.


All this time Tu-chai-pai knew what he was going to do, but he was asking the brother.


Then he said, "We-hicht, we-hicht, we-hicht," three times; and he took tobacco in his hand, and rubbed it fine, and blew upon it three times, and every time he blew, the heavens rose higher above their heads. Then the Maker told his brother to do the same thing, and he did. The heavens went high, and there was the sky. Then they did it both together, "We-hicht, we-hicht, we-hicht"; and both took the tobacco, and rubbed it, and puffed on it, and sent the sky up. Then they placed the north, south, east, and west. Tu-chai-pai made a line upon the ground.


"Why do you make that line?" Yo-ko-mat-is asked.


"I am making a line from east to west, and I name them thus, Y-nak, east; A-uk, west. Now you may make it from north to south."


Then Yo-ko-mat-is was thinking. "Why are you thinking?"


"Oh, I must think; but now I have arranged it. I draw a line thus (a cross-line), and I name it Ya-wak, south; Ka-tulk, north."


"Why have we done this?" "I don't know."


"Then I will tell you. Three or four men are coming from the east, and from the west three or four Indians are coming."


Then, Tu-chai-pai said, "Now I am going to make hills and valleys, and little hollows of water."


"Why are you making all these things ?"


The Maker said, "After a while, when men come and are walking back and forth in the world, they will need to drink water, or they will die."


He had already put the ocean down in its bed, but he made these little waters for the people.


Then he made forests, and said, "After a while men will die of cold unless I make wood for them to use. What are we going to do now?" "I don't know." "We're going to make the Indians first.


"And he formed the men and did it well, but he didn't do such a good job on the women because they were hard to make, and it took a long time. He gave beards to the men and boys, but not to the women.  After the Indians he made the Mexicans, and he finished all his creating.


Then he called out very loud, "You can never die, and you can never be tired, but you shall walk all the time. "After that he made them so that they could sleep at night, and need not walk around all the time in the darkness.


At last he told them that they must travel toward the east, toward the light. The people walked in darkness till he made the light. Then they came out and searched for the light, and when they found it they were glad.


Then, he called out to Yo-ko-mat-is, "You may make the moon, as I have made the sun. Sometime it is going to die, and at that time all men, young and old, must run races."


All the people talked about the matter, and they understood that they must run these races, and that Tu-chai-pai was looking at them to see that they did this. After the Maker did all this, he did nothing more, but he was thinking many days.



Almost all living creatures have them. Some like Spiders have several. I have been told that they are, ‘The Windows to Our Hearts; were these designed by a divine creator or did they just happen to be. Yes you gust it! I am referring to the eyes. Just how would our lives be without this wonderful gift? Each day we rise from our sleep and wash our face and clean our eyes of any sleepers that might have attached themselves over night.


Our loving Elders work hard to obtain the wisdom and guidance given to us so please prays for them. Read the ‘Smoke Signal’ and send us your thoughts from time to time, we always look forward to your kind words. Have a great year ahead and many blessings for all of you.


~Grandfather Daniel Seven Hawk Eyes Hawk Hoffman




Email     Home     Index     Trading Post