KEYWORDS: creation legend coyote legend eagle legend fox legend american Indian legends indian oral story oral traditions oral history native american creation story creation stories coyote eagle fox Achomawi Pit River, California eagle art prints coyote poster fox art print
SOURCE: Achomawi Oral History
Coyote began the creation of the earth, but Eagle completed it.
scratched it up with his paws out of nothingness, but Eagle complained
there were no mountains for him to perch on. So Coyote made hills, but
they were not high enough.
Therefore, Eagle scratched up great ridges.
When Eagle flew over them, his feathers dropped down, took root, and
became trees. The pin feathers became bushes and plants.
Coyote and Fox together created man. They quarrelled as to whether they
should let men live always or not.
Coyote said, “If they want to die,
let them die.” Fox said, “If they want to come back, let them come
back.” But Coyote’s medicine was stronger, and nobody ever came back.
Coyote also brought fire into the world, for the Indians were freezing.
Coyote journeyed far to the west, to a place where there was fire, stole
some of it, and brought it home in his ears.
Coyote kindled a fire in the
mountains, and the Indians saw the smoke of it, and went up and got fire.