Yeitso

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The story of the Hero Twins and Yeitso


Yeitso, the Giant, lived at Tqo'sedo, Hot Springs, and the Twins went there and waited for him to come for water. They saw him coming over the hill from the south. The Elder Brother sang two sections of a chant then and other chants as the Giant came nearer.
The Giant went down to the spring and drank four times. He drank all the water, and then he spat it back four times and the spring was as before. He walked back and forth and said: "What are the two beautiful things that I see ? And how shall I kill them?" The Twins called back: "What beautiful Big Thing is walking about? And how shall we kill it?" They called to each other four times. Then the Little Breeze, who was with the youths, said: "Ako, look out! Up you go. Jump high in the air." The black knife, the Giants powerful weapon, passed under the Twins. The Little Breeze said:
"Keep low now." And over them passed the blue knife. The youths now got hold of the Giant's two weapons. Now came the time for them to use the sacred feathers that their grandmother, the mother of the Sun, had given them, and when the Little Breeze said: "Jump to this side. Look out!" they were able to do so. This time the Giant had thrown the yellow knife, and it passed them and they recovered it. The fourth time the Little Breeze warned the Twins. "Leap high up now,"it said. "Here comes the last weapon." And this time the white knife with the many points passed under them. Then the Breeze said: "He has no more weapons."
The Sun had told the Twins that the Giant should be allowed to act first, for he was their elder brother. When their turn came there was a great, blinding flash of lightning and it struck the giant, but he stood there. The Twins aimed the first knife, the black knife, at the Giant. They threw it, but he stood there as before. They aimed and threw the Giant's own blue knife at him. It struck him, but still he stood up. The third knife was yellow, and they hit the Giant with it, but it did not harm him. But when they hit him with the last weapon, the great white knife, he commenced to fall with a terrible noise.
Then the blood began to flow from the Giant's mouth and the Little Breeze said: "Stop the blood before it runs into the water." So the Twins placed a stone knife and an arrow point between the blood and the water. Today you can see a strange formation where the Giant's blood flowed, and also, where the Twins placed the stone knife there is a big, black rock standing. This all happened at Tqo'sedo, beyond Gallup and this (Mesa Verde) side of Tso dzil, Mt. Taylor.
The Twins went to the Giant and cut off his scalp. They saw that he was covered with flint armor or clothing made of stone knives. This covered him from his neck to his feet. They gathered some of the stone knives and threw them towards the East, saying: "From now on the people of the earth shall use you. The Giant's spirit has departed from you." They threw the rest of the knives to the South, West and North, and they covered the whole country.
The Twins, carrying the Giant's scalp, started for their home. When they reached there they hung the Giant's scalp on a pole to the east of the hogan. And when they entered the home they found the three sitting there. First Man, First Woman and the White Bead Woman were very frightened. They had squeezed themselves against the wall for they thought that some monsters had arrived to kill them. They did not recognize the Twins for they had been reformed in the house of the Sun. They were now tall, handsome young men with long hair and beautiful beads and clothing. The Twins called out:
"Mother do not be frightened, we, your sons, are here." They called out to their grandfather and grandmother adding: "We have been to our father's home."
The three came forward and looked about them. They were still frightened for the Twins shone with beauty. The Twins said: "We have killed the Giant, Yeitso." First Man said: "No one can kill the Giant." They said: "But we have the Giant's scalp hanging on the pole outside." First Woman went outside and, taking down the Giant's scalp, chanted and danced and then hung the scalp on the pole again. She said: "It was by this that I was made to live alone on earth." For long ago her maidens and her people were destroyed by their sins in the Yellow World. Pgs. 83-84

The Dine': Origin Myths of the Navajo Indians; 1956, Aileen O'Bryan.

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