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Indigenous Stories

A Zuni Legend Of Spider Tower

Categories : Zuni , Zuni Stories

In Dead Man's Canyon, a deep gorge that is lateral to the once populated valley of the Rio De Chelly, Az., stands a stark spire of weathered sandstone, its top rising 800 ft. above its base in a sheer uplift. Centuries ago a hunter of one of the cave villages was surprised by hostiles while hunting in this region. He was chased by them into this canyon. As he ran he looked vainly from side to side in the hope of finding a hiding place but help came from a source that was least expected. upon approaching this enormous spire, with his strength well nigh exhausted, he saw a silken cord hanging from a notch at the top. Quickly knotting the end about his waist, so that it would not fall within the reach of his pursuers, he climbed up, setting his feet into roughness of the stone and advancing hand over hand. When he reached the summit, he stayed drinking dew and feeding on birds eggs until his enemies went away. After his foes had gone, he descended by the cord and was able to reach his home.

The help came from a friendly spider who saw his plight from her perch at the top of the spire. She weaved a web of extra thickness, attached one end fast to a rock while the other fell within the hunter's grasp. The spider liked the gentle cave dwellers who lived near by and caused her no trouble where as the pursuers were without remorse and could not be trusted.

Ever since this time and even today this spire is known as Spider Tower.

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