4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Creation of First Man and First Woman

Washington Matthews
Washington Matthews

Using signs but without speaking, the gods tried to instruct the people, but they were not understood…. The gods appeared on four days in succession and attempted to communicate through signs.… On the fourth day when the other gods departed, Black Body [the god of fire] remained behind and spoke to the people in their own language: “…We want to make people who look more like us”…. When the gods appeared, Blue Body [the sprinkler] and Black Body each carried a sacred buckskin. White Body carried two ears of corn, one yellow, one white, each covered completely with grains. … The white ear of corn had become the man, the yellow ear the woman, First Man and First Woman. It was the wind that gave them life, and it is the wind that comes out of our mouths now that gives us life. When this ceases to blow, we die. The gods had the people build an enclosure of brushwood, and when it was finished, First Man and First Woman went in. The gods told them, “Live together now as husband and wife.”

— From “Creation of First Man and First Woman,” in American Indian Myths and Legends (Pantheon 1984), Richard Erdoes and Alfonso Ortiz

First Man and First Woman are characters in the creation myth of the Navajo people of the Southwest. This version, in which four gods come to bestow new life on humans (up until this point in the story they are deformed and share attributes with the other animals), was reported by Washington Matthews (1843–1905), a surgeon with the U.S. Army, ethnographer, and linguist known for his work with the Navajo.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

What happened to Swami's IPA snake charmer?

Tax & spend Toni
Next Article

Partly inspired by Pee-Wee’s Playhouse

The Rightovers, Temporex, Jessica Sanchez, Dave Keuning, Brown Mamba
Washington Matthews
Washington Matthews

Using signs but without speaking, the gods tried to instruct the people, but they were not understood…. The gods appeared on four days in succession and attempted to communicate through signs.… On the fourth day when the other gods departed, Black Body [the god of fire] remained behind and spoke to the people in their own language: “…We want to make people who look more like us”…. When the gods appeared, Blue Body [the sprinkler] and Black Body each carried a sacred buckskin. White Body carried two ears of corn, one yellow, one white, each covered completely with grains. … The white ear of corn had become the man, the yellow ear the woman, First Man and First Woman. It was the wind that gave them life, and it is the wind that comes out of our mouths now that gives us life. When this ceases to blow, we die. The gods had the people build an enclosure of brushwood, and when it was finished, First Man and First Woman went in. The gods told them, “Live together now as husband and wife.”

— From “Creation of First Man and First Woman,” in American Indian Myths and Legends (Pantheon 1984), Richard Erdoes and Alfonso Ortiz

First Man and First Woman are characters in the creation myth of the Navajo people of the Southwest. This version, in which four gods come to bestow new life on humans (up until this point in the story they are deformed and share attributes with the other animals), was reported by Washington Matthews (1843–1905), a surgeon with the U.S. Army, ethnographer, and linguist known for his work with the Navajo.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Beat Farmers, Norteno, Psychotic Waltz, Altamont with Lester Bangs

My son – one of the Tubes, acting DJ at KGB, in search of true country
Next Article

MCRD gets bad Covid review

Todd Gloria staffer's family ties to Oklahoma casinos
Comments
1

Beautiful and the hardest thing a woman can ever do is love a man.

June 2, 2016

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close