Adapted from "The
Book of Hopi" By Frank Waters, Ballantine Books,
First World - The Spider Woman and the Twins
Sótuknang went to
that which was to contain Tokpela, the First World, and
out of it he created her who was to remain on the earth
as his helper. Her name was Kótyangwúti, the Spider
When she awoke to life
and received her name, she asked, "Why am I
you," answered Sótuknang. "Here is the earth
that we have created. It has shape and substance,
direction and time, a beginning and an end. But there is
no life upon it. We see no joyful movement. We hear no
joyful sound. What is life without sound and movement_ So
you have been given the power to help us create this
life. You have been given the knowledge, the wisdom, and
the love to bless all the beings you create. That is why
you are here."
instructions, Kótyangwúti took some earth and mixed it
with some túchvala (liquid from the mouth or saliva) and
molded it into two beings. Then she covered them with a
cape made of a white substance which was the creative
wisdom itself, and she sang the creation song over them.
When she uncovered
them, the two beings, twins, sat up and asked, "Who
are we_ Why are we here_"
To the one on the
right, Spider Woman said, "You are Pöqánghoya. You
are here to help keep this world in order when when life
is put upon it. Go now around all the world and put your
hands upon the earth so that it will become solidified.
This is you duty."
To the one on the
left, Spider Woman said, "You are Palöngawhoya. You
are here to help keep this world in order when life is
put upon it. This is your duty now: go about all the
world and send out sound so that it may be heard
throughout all of the land. When this is heard you will
also be known as 'Echo,' for all sound echoes the
traveling throughout the earth, solidified the higher
reaches into great mountains. The lower reaches he made
firm, but still pliable enough to be used by those beings
to be placed upon it and who would call it their mother.
traveling throughout all of the earth, sounded out his
call as he was told to do. All of the vibration
centers along the earth's axis from pole to pole
resounded his call; the whole earth trembled, and the
universe quivered in tune. Thus he made the whole world
an instrument of sound, and sound is an instrument for
carrying messages, resounding praise to the Creator of
"This is your
voice, Uncle," Sótuknang said to Taiowa.
"Everything is tuned to your sound.
"It is very
good," said Taiowa.
Once they had finished
their duties, Pöqánghoya was sent to the north pole of
the world's axis, and Palöngawhoya to the south pole,
where they were jointly commanded to keep the world
properly rotating. Pöqánghoya was also given the power
to keep the earth in a stable form of solidness.
Palöngawhoya was given the power to keep the air in
gentle ordered movement, and told to send out his call
for good or for warning through the vibratory centers of
"These will be
your duties in time to come," said Spider Woman.
She then created from
the earth the trees, bushes, flowers, and other plants.
She created all kinds of seed-bearers and nut-bearers to
clothe the earth, giving to each a life and a name. In
the same manner, she created all kinds of birds and
animals, molding them out of earth and covering each with
her white-substance cape of wisdom, and singing over
Some she placed to the
right, some to the left, and others she placed before her
and in back of her, indicating how they should spread to
all four corners of the world to live.
Sótuknang was happy,
seeing how beautiful it all was: the land, the plants,
the birds and the animals, and the power working through
them all. Joyfully he said to Taiowa, "Come see what
our world looks like now!"
"It is very
good," said Taiowa. "It is now ready for human
life, the final touch to complete my plan."
Click here to continue with
"The Creation of Mankind"