Myths

There are many myths in the Kumeyaay culture. The following is part of a Kumeyaay creation story. It explains how life came into being on Earth.

Long ago, salt water covered Earth. Two brothers lived beneath the water. One day, the older brother came to the surface. He saw nothing but salt water. So, he wanted to create beings.

First, he made little red ants. The ants filled the water until their bodies merged together and became land. Then, he created black birds with flat bills. But, he noticed the birds could not see because it was too dark.

He needed to create light. So, he formed a circle of red, yellow, and black clay. He threw it into the sky, and it became the moon. Next, he threw another clay circle into the sky to create the sun.

Then, the older brother wanted to create human beings. So, he formed a man from a light-colored piece of clay. He made a woman from the rib of the man. The children of this man and woman were called ipai, or people. They lived in a great mountain called Wikami.

Kumeyaay material provided courtesy of ABDO Publishing Company.  Author Barbara A. Gray-Kanatiiosh, JD.  Illustrations by David Kanietakeron Fadden