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Gudatrigakwitl and the Creation

This version of the legend comes from A.L. Kroeber's 1905 collection Wishosk Myths.

At first there were no trees and no people on the earth. Nothing except ground was visible. There was no ocean. Then Gudatrigakwitl was sorry that it was so. He thought, "How is it that there are no animals?" He looked, but he saw nothing. Then he deliberated. He thought, "I will try. Somebody will live on the earth. But what will he use?" Then he decided to make a boat for him. He made things by joining his hands and spreading them. He used no tools. In this way he made people.

The first people were not right. They all died. Gudatrigakwitl thought that they were bad. He wanted good people who would have children. At first he wanted every man to have ten lives. When he was an old man he was to become a boy again. Afterwards The Ancient of Days found that he could not do this. He gave the people all the game, the fish, and the trees. He said: "As long as people live, if an old man will tell his boy about me it will be as if I were there, for he will tell him, `Do not do so and so.'"

In other places there were different people, but they were all made by Gudatrigakwitl at one time, all over the world. That is why there are different tribes with different languages. So the old men used to say. When Gudatrigakwitl wanted to make people, he said, "I want fog." Then it became foggy. Gudatrigakwitl thought: "Now I wish people to be all over, broadcast. I want it to be full of people and full of game." Then the fog went away. No one had seen them before, but now they were there. Gudatrigakwitl used no sand or earth or sticks to make the people; he merely thought and they existed... Gudatrigakwitl left the people all kinds of dances. He said: "When there is a festivity, call me. If some do not like what I say, let them be. But those to whom I leave my instructions, who will teach them to their children, all will be well. Whenever you are badly off, call me. I can save you in some way, no matter how great the difficulty. If a man does not call me I will let him go." So he left dances and good times. That is why the people dance. They used never to miss making a dance.

Gudatrigakwitl went all over the world looking. Then he made everything. When he had finished everything he made people....Gudatrigakwitl is alive today. He does not die. He does not become sick. He is the same as formerly. As long as the world exists he will live. The reason why some people are still alive is because some of them still follow his word a little. Therefore they tell their children: "Do not do so and so." Gudatrigakwitl has a good place to live in, where it is shining and light. There is no darkness there. It is white there, but never black. He does not like the dark. There are flowers there. He is alone. Whatever he thinks exists. Gudatrigakwitl said: "This sort of cloud will make rain; this kind will make snow; when there is this kind it will be very warm." That is how the people know the weather. Gudatrigakwitl made everything by wanting it. He did not work with his hands. When a man wants to go on the ocean and it is rough, he takes a stick and strikes the water several times and says: "Gudatrigakwitl, you made people to be born long ago. You made it that they go on the water. I want it to be calm now." Then he launches his boat. When he is going to land again, he says: "Stop the waves for a little while."...

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 American Indian creation stories
 Stories about the first people

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 Wiyot language
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