The Wichita four cycles prophecy

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The Atakapans or Wichitas believe that they came out of the sea, that a prophet or man inspired by God laid down the rules of conduct to their first ancestors which consisted of not doing evil.

They believe in an author of all things: that those who do well will go above, and that those who do evil descend under the earth into the shadows.

They speak of a deluge which swallowed up men, animals , and the land, and it was only those who resided along a high land or mountain who escaped this calamity.

The legend is divided into four parts…

 

The first prophecy concerned the origin of the world; the second, its transformation; the third, its present existence;and last, the tales which foretold the end of the present world.

The myths of the first two eras were thought of as the “old” or “true” tales, while the present existence was spoken of as the “new” era.

The tales of the first era told of creation of the world

In the first era, the land appeared floating on the water. The first man and women were created and they were given an ear of corn and bows and arrows. But the earth was still dark and it remained so until three deer had been slain by the man. As daylight flooded the world, populated villages and animals appeared.

The first man and women then went from village to village teaching the people how to conduct themselves, and when they had completed this task the first man became Morning Star, the first women, Bright Shining Star (Moon).

In the second era the people scattered over the earth and they learned again of their powers.

Various groups gave themselves names, and turned into animals and celestial beings. In culmination, a woman gave birth to four monsters whose heads reached the sky.

In the third era, a great delunge was sent to destroy the world.

To destroy the evil, and the wrong and willful world, a deluge was sent. Two persons survived the flood, and they were once again given an ear of corn and bows and arrows. They were taught various skills, including the proper method of constructing the grass lodge.

These two people taught their children about the ancient world, and their children carried out their instructions and were given power by the animals, and were taught the secrets of the animals. They were also told that they would die, but one person who had died returned from Spirit Land, so they learned about the other world, and thus obtained their belief in a life after death.

The Wichita believed that the fourth period was rapidly approaching, and would again destroy thier world.

In a sense it was an accurate prediction of the decline of their culture. They believed that in this period the things needed for life would no longer be available, that people would no longer be able to get anything done.

As the end approached, weeds would grow in place of corn, and the animals, trees, and even running water would talk to men. Incest would occur, no more children would be born, and in a sure indication of degeneracy, they would lose their judgment.

The animals would also fail to reproduce, and ultimately the world would become uninhabitable. But when the end arrived it was believed that some great star would select an eminent man to explain to the people what was happening.

All the stars and the sun would become human again as in the earliest days, and then another cycle of four eras would begin.