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The People of the Sha, a creation myth.


In the begin­ning there was noth­ing. The noth­ing was as far as far, as wide as wide and as deep as deep. It was dark­ness, void … nothing.

Out of the noth­ing, there arose a motion. A swirling in the cen­ter of the void. It grew in tempo and inten­sity; mov­ing out­ward, it undu­lated in the wind­less empti­ness; it became chaos. The noth­ing was emerg­ing into being.

From the cen­ter there was a whis­per; a mur­mur of sound. It spread in all direc­tions — call­ing, beseech­ing. “Tu-tu-tu-pah-sha. Tu-tu-tu-pah-sha.” It became louder as it filled the void with its long­ing. “Tu-tu-tu-pah-sha!”

A speck appeared … tiny, yet glow­ing bright … it grew from the cen­ter until it filled the void with its light. Sear­ing, hot, it grew and grew … the speck became huge as it glowed in the black­ness of the noth­ing. The chaos was still … waiting.

The light began to pulse: boom-boom, boom-boom, boom-boom. The whis­per returned, became a chant, and the pulse and the chant repeated its call … loud and strong.

Explode (woosh/clap)! The light burst into a mil­lion frag­ments, spread­ing into the dark­ness, fill­ing it with sparkling light that reached deeper than deep, wider than wide, and as far as far — and the largest of all remained in the cen­ter. The Sha was born.

The heav­ens were formed, the plan­ets, the stars and the Milky Way, swirling with the dust from the Sha … the great cen­ter of light.

The dust from the great Sha began to form into order and fell down­ward through the heav­ens, to the place that was still with­out form. It began to turn to droplets of water and became the first rain. The water filled the lower void and swirled and churned in great waves that became salty and pow­er­ful and the waters were as deep as deep.

The dust rained down from Sha once more and fell through the water, and kept falling until a great moun­tain emerged from the depths, and the first dry land was formed. As the First Moun­tain grew, the land spread far and wide and became hills and val­leys. Water ran through the moun­tains and tum­bled over rocks … and the land water was sweet.

The earth was formed of water and land, and the heav­ens were formed of stars and plan­ets. The great Sha looked down at cre­ation. All was good.

After many, many times had passed, the heav­ens and the land became lonely. The whis­per returned from the deep­est of the deep, the widest of the wide and as far as far. It called, “Tu-tu-tu-pah-sha. Tu-tu-tu-pah-sha.” Louder and louder it called … faster and faster the voice echoed through the heav­ens and the earth.

The dust began to rain down again, this time it scat­tered over the land and the sea. From the dust, the first plants and ani­mals appeared. They began to mul­ti­ply and grow until the earth was filled with life. All was good.

After many, many times had passed, the heav­ens, the waters and the land were still lonely. They wanted more. “Tu-tu-tu-pah-sha,” the chant began again. “Tu-tu-tu-pah-sha.” The rhythm returned, fill­ing the heav­ens with sound and fright­en­ing the crea­tures of the land. Boom-boom, boom– boom, boom boom.

The dust rained down from Sha once more … this time swirling, glow­ing in many col­ors. The winds raced as deep as deep and as wide as wide. Through it all could be heard, the boom-boom and the chant, “Tu-tu-tu-pah-sha.” The dust landed on the First Moun­tain, and there it swirled round and round. Out of dust appeared the first man, Tu-pah-sha and the first woman, Tu-tu-pah-sha. All was good.

The first man and woman took care of the land and sea and all of its crea­tures and plants. They learned to hunt and fish, to build shel­ter and to plant and har­vest grains and fruits.They learned to speak and the Sha was proud of them. They cared for each other, but they were alone. They prayed to the Sha … “Please give us more peo­ple to love!”

The Sha shone brightly upon them and began to pulse with rhythm. The light had never been so bright. Tu-pah-sha and Tu-tu-pah-sha began to dance. As they danced the rhythm grew; boom-boom, boom-boom, boom-boom. They whirled round and round until their forms were with­out shape, but the swirling of dust and col­ors sur­rounded them. The winds raced as far as far and as wide as wide. The crea­tures of the land were fright­ened and the crea­tures of the sea hid in the depths. As the dust began to set­tle, out of the chaos emerged two boys and two girls. The first man and first woman were happy. All was good.

The earth became pop­u­lated with the peo­ple of the Sha. The first chil­dren were given respon­si­bil­i­ties: to be stew­ards of the moun­tains, the low­lands, the forests and the seas. They ruled their peo­ple well and all was good. After many, many times had passed, the chil­dren began to quar­rel. The ruler of the for­est was angry with the ruler of the sea. The ruler of the moun­tains was angry with the ruler of the low­lands. The argu­ments became louder and louder until the ani­mals cow­ered and the first man and woman did not know how to stop them. Their wrath was so great that the broth­ers killed each other in their pas­sion. The first man and woman wept piteous tears and were incon­solable. The Sha became very angry and the dust began to rain down upon the earth until the peo­ple could not see, and the heav­ens were dark­ened. The First Moun­tain began to smoke and burst with fire and hot lava spilled out and spoiled the forests and killed the crea­tures and plants. The peo­ple were not able to escape the fast flow­ing lava and most per­ished. It was not good.

The broth­ers were car­ried up the moun­tain by their anguished par­ents and dropped into the flames of the vol­cano. As they descended through the fire, the Sha brought them back to life and gave them the task of com­mand­ing the under­world for all time. The under­world was cre­ated for the pun­ished dead and to bal­ance anger and unrest on the sur­face by releas­ing the pent up ener­gies of the First Moun­tain. The remain­ing peo­ple of the Sha were fright­ened of the under­world and vowed to live their lives well, so that the wrath of the Sha could be avoided. The Sha took pity on the few remain­ing peo­ple and caused a great rain to fall. It rained for many days and nights, wash­ing away the anger and destruc­tion. When the rains finally stopped, new life began. All was good.

The peo­ple of the Sha lived on the land, they were fruit­ful and mul­ti­plied, enjoy­ing the many gifts that were given to them. The first sis­ters began to care for the peo­ple. They became great heal­ers and were filled with wis­dom, which they shared with the peo­ple. When the first man and first woman died, they rose into the heav­ens and became stars, to watch and guide over the peo­ple. Those who failed in their earthly lives were sent to the under­world to take care of the deep­est parts of the earth and to heal the hurts that the peo­ple caused through their dis­obe­di­ence and bad deeds. When they had spent many years in the ser­vice of the under­world, they were born again to redeem their earthly lives. The peo­ple of the Sha lived as far as far, and as wide as wide, and as deep as deep. All was good.


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