Unknown Mexico, Volume 1 (of 2) eBook

Carl Sofus Lumholtz
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 450 pages of information about Unknown Mexico, Volume 1 (of 2).

The Sun and the Moon in the Beginning of the World

In the beginning the Sun and the Moon were alone, and they were children.  They wore dresses made of palm-leaves, and they lived in a house thatched with palm-leaves.  They had neither cattle nor sheep.  Both the Sun and the Moon were dark, and the Morning Star was the only one that shed any light on the earth.  The Moon Was eating lice from the hair of the Sun, and the Morning Star was watching at night.  There were 600 Tarahumares at that time, and they were much hampered by the darkness.  They could not do their work, and they had to hold each other’s hands, and they were stumbling all the time.  Then they cured the Sun and the Moon by dipping small crosses into tesvino, and touching the Sun and the Moon on the chest, on the head, and on the back.  Then the Sun and the Moon began to shine and to shed light.

Star Legend

A man lived with three women.  He was making arrows while they went to look for squirrels and woodchucks, and when they could find none they killed their father.  Then they said:  “It is of no use to stop here any longer.  Let us go away.”  When the man saw them running away he shot arrows after them.  The women were ascending to heaven, holding each other’s hands, and he transfixed them to the sky, where they can still be seen just as they rose, as three bright stars in the belt of Orion.  The three women remained in heaven, but the man remained in the world and was changed into a coyote.

Deluge Legends

When the world became full of water, a little girl and a little boy climbed up on a mountain, called Lavachi (gourd), which is south of Panalachic, and when the waters subsided they came down again.  They brought three grains of corn and three beans with them.  The rocks were soft after the flood, and the footprints of the little boy and the little girl may still be seen.  They planted the corn and went to sleep and had a dream that night; then they harvested, and all the Tarahumares are descended from them.

The Tarahumares were fighting among themselves and Tata Dios sent much rain, and all the people perished.  After the flood he sent three men and three women to people the earth.  They planted corn at once, bringing three kinds, the same varieties still found here—­soft corn, hard corn, and yellow corn.


On the heights once lived giants.  They were as big as pine-trees and had heads as big as bowlders.  They taught the Tarahumares how to plant corn, by cutting down trees and burning them, but they ate children.

A woman bore a giant in a cave, which was situated very high up on the side of a valley.  She died, because the child was so large, and he was taken care of by his grandmother.  Once when she was asleep, she turned over and crushed him.

Project Gutenberg
Unknown Mexico, Volume 1 (of 2) from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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