Saturday, September 24, 2005

Additional Notes on the First Fire

The first fire: This myth was obtained from Swimmer and John Ax. It is noted also in Foster's "Sequoyah" and in the Wahnenauhi manuscripts. The uksu.hi and the are, respectively, the Coluber obsoletus and Bascanion constrictor. The water-spider is the large hairy species Argyroneta.

In the version given in the Wahnenauhi manuscript the Possum and the Buzzard first make the trial, but come back unsuccessful, one losing the hair from his tail, while the other has the feathers scorched from his head and neck. In another version the Dragon-fly assists the Water-spider by pushing the tusti from behind. In the corresponding Creek myth, as given in the Tuggle manuscript, the Rabbit obtains fire by the stratagem of touching to the blaze a cap trimmed with sticks of rosin, while pretending to bend low in the dance. In the Jicarilla myth the Fox steals fire by wrapping cedar bark around his tail and thrusting it into the blaze while dancing around the circle.

Tusti for, a small bowl; larger jars are called and unti.ya.

source: James Mooney's History, Myths, and Sacred Fomulas of theCherokees