By Maurice Winternitz

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Extra resources for A History of Indian Literature. Vol. I.

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If the Indians send in a flag and desire to treat for peace, say to the bearer; [they have broken] their treaty of peace, and murdered innocent people and run off livestock: that we are going to punish them for their crimes, and that you are to kill them wherever they can be found. We have no faith in their broken promises and we intend to kill enough of their men to teach them a lesson. I trust that this severity in the long run will be the most humane course that could be pursued toward these Indians.

Sisnaajiní was set to the east; it was fastened to the earth with a bolt of lightning and decorated with white shell, white lightning, white corn, dark clouds, and male rain. A cover of sheet lightning was placed over the mountain to protect and adorn it, and Rock Crystal Boy and Rock Crystal Girl were made to dwell there. Tsoodzil was set to the south; it was fastened Page 13 to the earth with a great stone knife, adorned with turquoise, dark mist, and female rain, and over it all was placed a covering of evening sky.

Depending on the position of the sun, the bluffs are blue-gray, tan, yellow-white, or reddish orange over the course of a day. Groves of salt cedar embroider the riverbanks, and dark green deltas mark the mouths of arroyos feeding runoff from the mountains into the river. In spring and fall, strange birdsstorks, cranes, herons, and pelicansvisit the ephemeral wetlands and scattered stock ponds. Their plumage is carefully gathered and used in ceremonies. The badlands are sculpted layers of shales and clays containing fossils, which Page 44 some say are the bones, teeth and claws of Naayéé'.

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A History of Indian Literature. Vol. I. by Maurice Winternitz


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