John Steele
The Indians
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1054
First People
(Apache)

This is a legend about the First People and how corn was introduced to them. There was a young man who had been searching for food. He was very lonely and became discouraged when he could not find anything to eat. He went to sleep. When he awoke, he saw a beautiful woman with the hair of golden silk watching him.

As he spoke to her she floated away from him. Finally the lonely young man begged her not to leave and she spoke. She promised to stay with him forever if he would do as she said. First she took him to a field of dry grass and taught him how make fire by rubbing two sticks together and then he was to burn the grasses.

That night he was instructed to take her by her silken hair and pull her over the charred earth, an act which she insisted would help his people. He did so and the next morning the two were gone, but where she had been pulled over the charred earth there were new green plants emerging from the black earth.

The golden silk in the ears of the corn are reminders that the pale haired woman did not forget them.

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