Hummingbird Legends: The Hummingbird And Mother Earth
There are many legends about hummingbirds. There his the hummingbird and the first woman. Another legend is a love story, the hummingbird Hoya. It was once believed that if God were to take form in this world, it would be as a hummingbird.
This story reminds me that it is not just in the earlier days of earth legends where beliefs and fate were taught. It was once said that the earth was flat, but now we know otherwise.
What of legends? It is of value to understand how life really works (what we call reality). Isn’t it of as much value having faith and exploring the spiritual meaning of subtle signs?
Hummingbird legend: the hummingbird and Mother Earth
Long ago the people began to disbelieve in our Mother. They followed their own ways. They said, “It is not our Mother who sends the rain.” She was angry that they no longer knew her and for four years she sent no rain for the people.
Our Mother took in the clouds and put them away. For four long years, the people saw no clouds. They began to wonder where our Mother had gone. They tried to find out, but they could not discover why she had left them.
Our Mother had told Hummingbird, “Child, never tell where I have gone. For four years there will be no rain, not even a cloud. Whenever you are thirsty for honey go to Shipap, the Pueblo land of the dead, and there you shall suck from the flowers.”
Many times the people asked her where our Mother had gone, but every time she said she did not know. All the people were anxious to find where our Mother had gone, and many died from thirst. They tried with prayers and sacred songs to bring our Mother back, but they had no answer.
All the people were weak and there was nothing left to eat, but the Hummingbird was still strong and fat. Finally, the people gave up all hope of finding our Mother. So, at last, the people learned that it was our Mother who brought them rain and gave them food and that they had lost her because they had doubted her existence.
This story was first published in Tales of the Cochiti Indians by Ruth Benedict, Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin No. 98, in 1932.