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THE ORIGINS OF THE JICARILLA APACHE

This document adapted from http://www.jicarilla.net/Origins.htm - Jicarilla Apache Cultural Affairs Office website 10/19/2006

There are several versions of the creation story of the Jicarilla Apache. Here is one:

"In the beginning, everything that was to be had a hactcin (a spirit). They dwelt in the darkness of the underworld, and their existence was like a dream. Black Hactcin, the most powerful, created the animals, the birds, the Ancestral Man. To make light, the Hactcins created a mountain with feathers of different colors placed on each side that sent light into the underworld.

Holy Boy, and Apache spirit, was dissatisfied with the light and convinced Black and White Hactcin to release the Sun and the Moon into the sky. The sky grew bright but shamans angered the Hactcins and the Sun and Moon were allowed to escape through a hole onto this earth. The shamans and animals could not bring them back and they decided to follow them. They created four mounds of colored earth that grew into a mountain, but it was not tall enough. So, Fly and Spider were sent up into the world. They bought back four rays of the sun and pulled them onto the mountaintop. The Hactcins made the sunbeams into ladders and Holy Boy led the people and the animals onto the earth. Finding they were free, the people circled around the emergence hole and groups broke off to play and settled.

Only a few reached the holy land at the center of the earth. They called themselves "The people who emerged from the underworld."

 


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