Page:Myth, Ritual, and Religion (Volume 1).djvu/220

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nothing but water and the feathered serpent, one of their chief divine beings; but there also existed, somehow, "they that gave life," whoever they may have been, a kind of Elohim probably. Their names mean "shooter of blow-pipe at coyote," "at opposum," and so forth. They said "Earth," and there was earth, and plants growing thereon. Animals followed, and the Givers of life said, "Speak our names," but the animals could only cluck and croak. Then said the Givers, "Inasmuch as ye cannot praise us, ye shall be killed and eaten." They then made men out of clay; these men were weak and watery, and by water they were destroyed. Next they made men of wood and women of the pith of trees. These puppets married and gave in marriage, and peopled earth with wooden mannikins. This unsatisfactory race was destroyed by a rain of resin and by the wild beasts. The survivors developed into apes. Next came a period occupied by the wildest feats of the magnified non-natural race and of animals. The record is like the description of a supernatural pantomime—the nightmare of a god. The Titans upset hills, are turned into stone, and behave like Heitsi-Eibib in the Namaqua myths.

Last of all, men were made of yellow and white maize, and these gave more satisfaction, but their sight was contracted. These, however, survived, and became the parents of the present stock of humanity.

Here we have the conceptions of creation and of evolution combined, Men are made, but only the fittest survive; the rest are either destroyed or per-