was a deluge, nothing but water. A man was walking
around on the water for four day and four nights,
carrying a Flat Pipe. He wondered what he
could do to protect it. For a total of six days
he walked around with the Pipe, weeping and fasting.
the morning of the seventh day, he decided that there
needed to be earth for the Pipe to rest on. So
he called to the four directions (northwest, northeast,
southeast, and southwest) for people to come and help
find land. Then he called forth seven cottonwood
trees (though there was still no dry land), and then
called forth creatures of the air and of the sea.
He asked if
anyone knew where land was. The Turtle said that
it was at the bottom of the ocean. So the Man asked
the animals if they could dive down and find it. A
series of creatures dives for the land. First:
The Grebe; Second: two waterfowls; Third: three waterfowls,
including the Kingfisher; Fourth: Otter, Beaver, Packed
Bird (coot), and Garter snake; Fifth: black snake, two
kinds of ducks, goose, and crane; Sixth: all the creatures
dive. But each time, they fail.
the seventh dive is made by Turtle in the company of the
Man. Before the Man dives, he ritually moves the
Flat Pipe four times, then touches it to his body a fifth
time. It turns into a Red-headed Duck and it accompanies
him on the dive along with the Turtle. Both the Duck
and the Turtle succeed in bringing up a sod of earth for
the Man (Arapaho).
Man then dried the earth, then cast it in four directions
(southeast, southwest, northwest, and northeast) and created
Abstracted by Andrew Cowell, University of Colorado,
based on a version recorded and published in 1903 by George Dorsey
Quillwork design from an Arapaho cradle.
Univ. of Colorado Museum #10734