Creation : Dance of the Dew People

Spider web with dew drops

Web touched by the Dew People

“Sometimes the people saw, over Thunder-mountain, thick mists floating and lowering. At such times, near the Cave of the Rainbow, a beautiful halo would spring forth, amidst which the many-coloured garments of the rainbow himself could be seen, and soft, sweet music, stranger than that of the whistling winds in a mountain of pines, floated fitfully down the valley.

“At last, the priests and elders gathered in council and determined to send their two chief warriors to the cavern of the rainbow, that it might be determined what strange people made the sights and sounds. “Mayhap it will prove some new dancers, who will throw the light of their favour on our weary hearts and come to cheers us and delight our children.”

“No sooner had the warriors reached the cave entrance than the mists enshrouded them and the music ceased. They entered and were received by a splendid group of beings, bearing long, brightly painted flutes, amongst whom the leader was  Pai’-a-tu-ma, the father of the Ne’-we band, and God of the Dew.

“Enter, my children, ” said he, “and sit. We have commanded our dancers to cease and our players to draw breath from their flutes, that we might listen to your messages; for ‘not for nothing does one stranger visit the house of another.'”

“True,” replied the warriors. “Our fathers have sent us that we might greet you, and the light of your favour ask for our children. Day after day, the maidens of the corn people dance one dance which, for oft repeating, has grown undelightful, and our fathers thought you might come to vary this dance with your own, for that you knew one we were taught by your music, which we sometimes heard.”

“Aha!” replied Pai’-a-tu-ma, “it is well! We will follow; but not in the daytime – in the night-time we will follow. My children, “said he, turning to the flute players, “show to the strangers our custom.”

“The drum sounded till it shook the cavern; the music shrieked and pealed in softly surging unison, as the wind does in the wooded canyon after the storm is distant, and the mists played over the medicine bowl around which the musicians were gathered, until the rainbow fluttered his bright garments among the painted flutes. Maidens filed out brandishing wands whence issued tiny clouds, white as the down of eagles, and as the sounds died away between the songs, the two warriors, in silent wonder and amazement, departed for their home.

About Running Elk

My given native name, Running Elk, was bestowed in 2008 as I took my first steps as a fully fledged Medicine Man of the Zuni tradition. A most unlikely candidate for the role, my journey as a healer began some four years prior. The detour onto the shamanic way was most unexpected, yet has been one of the most rewarding challenges to date.
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2 Responses to Creation : Dance of the Dew People

    • Running Elk says:

      Thanks Ellen. Can’t take any credit – Cushing may not be completely PC these days, but he did a wonderful job of getting many of the oral stories down in a wonderfully, readable manner. 🙂

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