The Mojave Indian creation myth tells that Matavilya, the Great Spirit and Creator, had been born out of the chaotic union of Earth and Sky. Matavilya had two sons, Kaatar and Mastamho and a daughter, Frog.

One day, Matavilya did something which angered Frog, and before he and Kaatar could impart their knowledge to the humans he had just created, they were murdered by Frog, leaving  younger brother Mastamho in charge of everything. Mastamho had to teach the humans about life, their senses, and their needs.  At that point the animals, birds, and fish had not yet been created, so Mastamho created them.

He drove a willow stick into the ground, drawing out the water which formed the Colorado river, and out of the water came the fish and water fowl.  Using mud from the riverbanks, Mastamho created the mountains; he planted seeds so that the people would have corn, beans, and pumpkins to eat.

He gave them fingers, showed them how to build a fire, how to build shelter from the sun, how to tell day from night, the four cardinal points, how to count, farm, and make pottery. 

He then created the animals, birds and insects and gave the people the names for all things.  The people were given the river, and everything along its banks, including everything they could hunt, fish, and grow, and that they were to be known as the Pipa Aha Macav,  - the people by the water, the Mojaves.  After he had finsihed, Mastamho transformed into a fish-eagle and flew off into oblivion.

Last modified: May 02, 2003