According to the Zuni, the first humans came from four caves in the underworld. At this time the surface of the Earth was a bit of a nasty place; covered with water, constantly shaking, and filled with big evil beasts. The Children of the Sun, moved by the dire situation the humans were in, dried the Earth with lightning and to shrink the animals and turn them into stone. The only animals that escaped are the ones we have today. Thus, the Earth and the animals were made what they are today.

This myth also sheds a bit of light on the subject of Zuni fetishes, which are considered to be petrified supernatural beings from the creation myth (Maybe they read Slashdot?). These talismans are small stone carvings that are animal-shaped. The most powerful of these being ones that are naturally shaped stones which represent the original animals.

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