SPIDER ROCK


Spider Rock stands with awesome dignity and beauty over 800 feet high in Arizona's colourful Canyon de Chelly National Park (pronounced da Shay). Geologists of the National Park Service say that "the formation began 230 million years ago.
Windblown sand swirled and compressed with time created the spectacular red sandstone monolith. Long ago, the Dine (Navajo) Indian tribe named it Spider Rock.
Stratified, multicolored cliff walls surround the canyon. For many, many centuries the Dine (Navajo) built caves and lived in these cliffs. Most of the caves were located high above the canyon floor, protecting them from enemies and flash floods.
Spider Woman possessed supernatural power at the time of creation, when Dine (Navajo) emerged from the third world into this fourth world.
At that time, monsters roamed the land and killed many people. Since Spider Woman loved the people, she gave power for Monster- Slayer and Child-Born-of-Water to search for the Sun-God who was their father. When they found him, Sun-God showed them how to destroy all the monsters on land and in the water.
Because she preserved their people, Dine (Navajo) established Spider Woman among their most important and honoured Deities.
She chose the top of Spider Rock for her home. It was Spider Woman who taught Dine (Navajo) ancestors of long ago the art of weaving upon a loom. She told them, "My husband, Spider Man, constructed the weaving loom making the cross poles of sky and earth cords to support the structure; the warp sticks of sun rays, lengthwise to cross the woof; the healds of rock crystal and sheet lightning, to maintain original condition of fibres. For the batten, he chose a sun halo to seal joints, and for the comb he chose a white shell to clean strands in a combing manner." Through many generations, the Dine (Navajo) have always been accomplished weavers.
From their elders, Dine (Navajo) children heard warnings that if they did not behave themselves, Spider Woman would let down her web- ladder and carry them up to her home and devour them!
The children also heard that the top of Spider Rock was white from the sun-bleached bones of Dine (Navajo) children who did not behave themselves!
One day, a peaceful cave-dwelling Dine (Navajo) youth was hunting in Dead Man's Canyon, a branch of Canyon de Chelly. Suddenly, he saw an enemy tribesman who chased him deeper into the canyon. As the peaceful Dine (Navajo) ran, he looked quickly from side to side, searching for a place to hide or to escape.
Directly in front of him stood the giant obelisk-like Spider Rock. What could he do? He knew it was too difficult for him to climb. He was near exhaustion. Suddenly, before his eyes he saw a silken cord hanging down from the top of the rock tower.
The Dine (Navajo) youth grasped the magic cord. which seemed strong enough, and quickly tied it around his waist. With its help he climbed the tall tower, escaping from his enemy who then gave up the chase.
When the peaceful Dine (Navajo) reached the top, he stretched out to rest. There he discovered a most pleasant place with eagle's eggs to eat and the night's dew to drink.
Imagine his surprise when he learned that his rescuer was Spider Woman! She told him how she had seen him and his predicament. She showed him how she made her strong web-cord and anchored one end of it to a point of rock. She showed him how she let down the rest of her web-cord to help him to climb the rugged Spider Rock.
Later, when the peaceful Dine (Navajo) youth felt assured his enemy was gone, he thanked Spider Woman warmly and he safely descended to the canyon floor by using her magic cord. He ran home as fast as he could run, reporting to his tribe how his life was saved by Spider Woman!

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AT THE RAINBOW'S END

Long, long ago when First Woman the Goddess was created, she became fully grown in four days. It seemed that every Dine (Navajo) Indian tribesman wanted her for his wife.
She did not love any of them, but she did like the handsome ones. Of all the men, however, she thought the most attractive was the Sun-God. Of course, she thought he could never be her husband.

To her surprise, one day Sun-God came up behind her and gently tickled her neck with a feathery plume. She was engulfed with warm sunshine, and in a magical way the Goddess became the wife of Sun-God. He fathered her firstborn, a son.

Not long thereafter, the Goddess was resting beneath an overhanging cliff when some drops of water fell upon her. Soon the Goddess gave birth to a second son, fathered by Water-God. Because the two boys were so close in age, they became known as the Twins of the Goddess.

They lived in a beautiful canyon that later became a part of Dine (Navajo) land. About that time, a Great Giant roamed over the country and ate every human he could catch. He discovered the Goddess but did not want to kill her, because at first sight he fell in love with her beauty.

The Goddess knew of the Great Giant's evil ways and would have nothing to do with him. He became very jealous of her when he saw footprints of the Twins outside her Hogan.

She saw Great Giant approaching, so she quickly dug a hole in the centre of her floor and there hid her two children, whom she dearly loved. She covered the opening with a flat sandstone rock, spreading dirt over it to prevent the Great Giant from finding her Twins.

Another day, Great Giant saw the children's tracks.

"Where did these children come from?" he asked the Goddess.

"I have no children." she replied, because she knew that he would try to kill them if he found the Twins.

"You are not telling me the truth," he said. "I see children's footprints in the dirt, right here."

The Goddess laughed heartily and said "Those are only my hand prints. I am very lonesome for children, so I only pretend by making tracks with the heels of my hand and the tips of my fingers, like this. These are the tracks of my children."

"Now I believe you," he replied.

As the Twins grew larger, their mother could not hide them any longer. She was alarmed for their safety because of the Great Giant, who saw them one day and tried to catch them. But the Twins were too quick and got away.

The Spirit who made the Goddess appeared with a bow made of cedar wood for Sun-Child.

"It is time for you to learn to hunt," she said to him.

"We must now make some arrows and another bow for your brother," said the Goddess to Sun-Child.

"Mostly, we want to hunt for our father," said Sun-Child. "Mother, who is our father and where does he live?"

"Your father is the Sun-God, but he lives far away in the East," replied the Goddess.

Another bow was made for Water-Child and many arrows for both Twins. They began their journey to the East and travelled as far as they could, but without success in finding Sun-God. When they returned they asked, "Mother, have you lied to us? In the East, we looked everywhere and we could not find our father, the Sun- God."

"He must have gone to the South," she said. Again the Twins set out on another journey, this time to the South, returning without success.

"Please try the West and then the North, if at first you do not find your father in the West," said the Goddess.

She sent the Twins again on their hunting journey, anxious to keep them away and out of sight of the Great Giant. Many moons later, the Twins came back and said, "Mother, have you lied to us four times? Our father was neither in the North nor the West."

"Now I will tell you the truth, my sons," said the Goddess. "Your fathers, the Sun-God and Water-God, live far away in the middle of the great Western Water. Between here and there are great canyons where the walls of the cliffs clap together and would crush you.

"Even if you should succeed in getting through the canyons, there are the terrible reeds that you must cross. Their long knife-like sharp leaves will cut you into pieces.

"If you should escape the reeds, you can never cross the Grand Canyon, which comes first before you can reach the Great Water. You can never, never cross the water where your father's house is in the middle of the Great Water, the Western Ocean."

"But, Mother, we want to go and try to find our fathers," said the Twins.

The Goddess taught the Twins a song of protection for their next journey:

"We are traveling in an Invisible Way to seek our fathers, the Sun-God and the Water-God."

This song she taught them to sing four times, the magic number. Day after day as they traveled along, they sang their song for protection.

One day, as they passed a little spider hole in the ground, they heard a voice say, "Ssh!" four times. The Twins looked into the hole and saw Spider Woman.

"Do not be afraid of me, I am your Grandmother. Come down into my lodge," she said four times.

"We cannot enter your lodge, because your doorway is too small," said the Twins.

"Please blow toward the Eastwind, Southwind, Westwind, and Northwind," Spider Woman called out.

The Twins blew in the four directions and the entrance enlarged enough for them to go through. Inside and to their amazement, they saw the lodge walls covered with bundles of bones wrapped in spider webs, exactly the way spiders wrap flies in a web.

"Do not be afraid, my grandsons," said Spider Woman. "These are the bones of bad men whom I killed."

Spider Woman talked with the Twins about encounters they might have on their trip. She taught them songs for their protection and explained what they could do to overcome obstacles they might meet on their way. "I will give each of you a magic Feather- Plume. Hold it before you as you travel, straight up or sideways to carry you safely forward," she said to the Twins.

"Be on the look out for a little man with a red head and a striped back. He will resemble a sand-scorpion, only a little larger--about the size of a Jerusalem cricket," she explained.

"Thank you, Grandmother, we'll be on our way," said the Twins.

Many days later, the Twins heard a voice from the ground. It was from the little man with the red head.

"Do not scorn me because I am so small," he said. "I can and want to help you. Put your hands down on the ground and spit into them four times. Now close your fists, saving the spit until you come to the Big Water. There you can wash off the spit."

The Twins did exactly as they were told, and after thanking the little man with the red head, they again began their travel. Soon the canyon walls that smashed together loomed ahead of them.

They repeated Spider Woman's prayers, holding the Feather-Plumes sideways. As they moved forward the clapping walls stopped long enough to allow the Twins to walk through safely.

When they came to the jungle of sharp reeds, again they sang the song Spider Woman taught them, touching the tops of the reeds with their magical Feather-Plumes. Behold! The reeds turned into cattails, which pleased the reeds so much that they quickly opened a wide path for the Twins to pass through. A puzzling encounter for the Twins was the giant cliff. They walked around and around its rim, making a complete circle and finally returning to their starting place.

They were making no forward progress, so they sang songs taught them by their mother and Spider Woman. They prayed over and over again. When they opened their eyes, a beautiful Rainbow appeared, creating a large bridge for them to cross over the Grand Canyon of the Colorado River.

After this spectacular adventure, the Twins continued West for a long time, until they saw the Great Water before them. The Water spread so far, they wondered, "How can we ever reach the Turquoise House of Sun-God, which we know is in the middle of the Great Water?"

The Twins walked down to the beach to the edge of the water and washed the spit off their hands, singing and praying at the same time.

Behold! The Rainbow appeared again! A long Rainbow Bridge stretched before them from the beach to the Turquoise House.

Onto the Rainbow Bridge the Twins raced happily, find their two fathers, the Sun-God and the Water-God, who welcomed them in the Turquoise House at the end of the Rainbow Bridge.
COYOTE KILLS A GIANT

Coyote was walking one day when he met Old Woman. She greeted him and asked where he was headed.

"Just roaming around," said Coyote.

"You better stop going that way, or you'll meet a giant who kills everybody."

"Oh, giants don't frighten me," said Coyote (who had never met one). "I always kill them. I'll fight this one too, and make an end of him."

"He's bigger and closer than you think," said Old Woman.

"I don't care," said Coyote, deciding that a giant would be about as big as a bull moose and calculating that he could kill one easily.

So Coyote said good-bye to Old Woman and went ahead, whistling a tune. On his way he saw a large fallen branch that looked like a club. Picking it up, he said to himself, "I'll hit the giant over the head with this. It's big enough and heavy enough to kill him." He walked on and came to a huge cave right in the middle of the path. Whistling merrily, he went in.

Suddenly Coyote met a woman who was crawling along on the ground.

"What's the matter?" he asked.

"I'm starving," she said, "and too weak to walk. What are you doing with that stick?"

"I'm going to kill the giant with it," said Coyote, and he asked if she knew where he was hiding.

Feeble as she was, the woman laughed. "You're already in the giant's belly."

"How can I be in his belly?" asked Coyote. "I haven't even met him."

"You probably thought it was a cave when you walked into his mouth," the woman said, and sighed. "It's easy to walk in, but nobody ever walks out. This giant is so big you can't take him in with your eyes. His belly fills a whole valley."

Coyote threw his stick away and kept on walking. What else could he do?

Soon he came across some more people lying around half dead. "Are you sick?" he asked.

"No," they said, "just starving to death. We're trapped inside the giant."

"You're foolish," said Coyote. "If we're really inside this giant, then the cave walls must be the inside of his stomach. We can just cut some meat and fat from him."

"We never thought of that," they said.

"You're not as smart as I am," said Coyote.

Coyote took his hunting knife and started cutting chunks out of the cave walls. As he had guessed, they were indeed the giant's fat and meat, and he used it to feed the starving people. He even went back and gave some meat to the woman he had met first. Then all the people imprisoned in the giant's belly started to feel stronger and happier, but not completely happy. "You've fed us," they said, "and thanks. But how are we going to get out of here?"

"Don't worry," said Coyote. "I'll kill the giant by stabbing him in the heart. Where is his heart? It must be around here someplace."

"Look at the volcano puffing and beating over there," someone said.

"Maybe it's the heart."

"So it is, friend," said Coyote, and began to cut at this mountain.

Then the giant spoke up. "Is that you, Coyote? I've heard of you. Stop this stabbing and cutting and let me alone. You can leave through my mouth; I'll open it for you."

"I'll leave, but not quite yet," said Coyote, hacking at the heart. He told the others to get ready. "As soon as I have him in his death throes, there will be an earthquake. He'll open his jaw to take a last breath, and then his mouth will close forever. So be ready to run out fast!"

Coyote cut a deep hole in the giant's heart, and lava started to flow out. It was the giant's blood. The giant groaned, and the ground under the people's feet trembled.

"Quick, now!" shouted Coyote. The giant's mouth opened and they all ran out. The last one was the wood tick. The giant's teeth were closing on him, but Coyote managed to pull him through at the last moment.

"Look at me," cried the wood tick, "I'm all flat!"

"It happened when I pulled you through," said Coyote. "You'll always be flat from now on. Be glad you're alive."

"I guess I'll get used to it," said the wood tick, and he did.

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Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries had its humble beginnings as an idea of a few artisans and craftsmen who enjoy performing with live steel fighting. As well as a patchwork quilt tent canvas. Most had prior military experience hence the name.

 

Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries.

 

Vendertainers that brought many things to a show and are know for helping out where ever they can.

As well as being a place where the older hand made items could be found made by them and enjoyed by all.

We expanded over the years to become well known at what we do. Now we represent over 100 artisans and craftsman that are well known in their venues and some just starting out. Some of their works have been premiered in TV, stage and movies on a regular basis.

Specializing in Medieval, Goth , Stage Film, BDFSM and Practitioner.

Patchwork Merchant Mercenaries a Dept of, Ask For IT was started by artists and former military veterans, and sword fighters, representing over 100 artisans, one who made his living traveling from fair to festival vending medieval wares. The majority of his customers are re-enactors, SCAdians and the like, looking to build their kit with period clothing, feast gear, adornments, etc.

Likewise, it is typical for these history-lovers to peruse the tent (aka mobile store front) and, upon finding something that pleases the eye, ask "Is this period?"

A deceitful query!! This is not a yes or no question. One must have a damn good understanding of European history (at least) from the fall of Rome to the mid-1600's to properly answer. Taking into account, also, the culture in which the querent is dressed is vitally important. You see, though it may be well within medieval period, it would be strange to see a Viking wearing a Caftan...or is it?

After a festival's time of answering weighty questions such as these, I'd sleep like a log! Only a mad man could possibly remember the place and time for each piece of kitchen ware, weaponry, cloth, and chain within a span of 1,000 years!! Surely there must be an easier way, a place where he could post all this knowledge...

Traveling Within The World is meant to be such a place. A place for all of these artists to keep in touch and directly interact with their fellow geeks and re-enactment hobbyists, their clientele.

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