in the canon of
stands a building evidently of about the same age as those of the cliff dwellers,
that is still in good preservation and is called the Broad House. When Noqoilpi, the gambling god, came on earth he strayed into this canon,
and, finding the Moquis a prosperous people, he envied them and
resolved to win their property. To do that he laid off a race-track at
the bottom of the ravine and challenged them to meet him there in
games of chance and strength and skill. They accepted his challenge,
and, as he could turn luck to his own side, he soon won not their
property alone, but their women and children, and, finally, some of
the men themselves.
contest in tree-pulling took place the wind god pulled up a large tree
while Noqoilpi was unable to stir a smaller one. That was because the
beavers had cut the roots of the larger.
In the ball contest Noqoilpi drove the ball nearly to
the bounds, but the wind god sent his far beyond, for wrapped loosely
in it was a bird that freed itself before touching the ground and flew
away. In brief, Noqoilpi was beaten at every point and the remaining
captives left him, with jeers, and returned to their people.
The gambler cursed and raged until the wind god seized
him, fitted him to a bow, like an arrow, and shot him into the sky. He
flew far out of sight, and presently came to the long row of stone
houses where the man lives who carries the moon. He pitied the gambler
and made new animals and people for him and let him down to the earth
in old Mexico, the moon people becoming Mexicans. He returned to his
old haunts and came northward, building towns alon g the Rio Grande
until he had passed the site of Santa Fe, when his people urged him to
go back, and after his return they made him their god--Nakai Cigini.
of America, updated February, 2017.
Culture National Historical Park - Home of Ancestral Puebloans
About the Author: Charles M. Skinner (1852-1907) authored the
complete nine volume set of Myths and Legends of Our Own Land in
1896. This tale is excerpted from these excellent works, which are
now in the public domain.