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A Story of the Laguna & Acoma People of New Mexico's Pueblos

Kokopelli's Place is a page intended for our younger readers and is named for a friend of mine, nicknamed Kokopelli - who must be 19 by now.

Miochin2When Co-chin, the daughter of a chief, married Shakok, the Winter Spirit, the days grew cold and frosty, and the corn stopped growing. Co-chin and her people had nothing to eat but cactus and wild plants.

One day, when Co-chin was out gathering cactus leaves, she met a tall yung man wearing leggings made of green moss and a shirt woven from corn silk. In his hand was an ear of ripe corn.

"Why are you gathering cactus leaves?" the man asked Co-chin. When she told him, he gave her the corn. "I will come back tomorrow," he said," and bring enough to feed all your people."

"Where will you get it?" she asked him.

"From my home in the south," replied the man. "I am Miochin, the Summer Spirit, and in my home corn grows and flowers bloom all year long."

"I wish I could go there with you," said Co-chin.

Wouldn't your husband, Shakok, be angry?" asked Miochin.

Shakok is always angry and cold and bitter," said Co-chin. "Please come with me and convince him to let me go."

Of course, Shakok was furious when he came home and found Miochin there. He challenged him to a fight, to decide whom Co-chin would live with.

Shakok unleashed snow and hail and sleet, but Miochin's blazing heat melted the ice and turned Shakok's cold blasts to warm breezes. At last the two called a truce and decided that Co-chin would live with both of them - for half a year each. When she is with Shakok, the world is cold and icy. But then she goes to live with Miochin, and there is sunshine and tall corn grows in the warm earth.


For children interested in Greek Mythology, compare this Pueblo story with that of Hades, Demeter, and Persephone.


This story came from The Children's Book of Myths and Legends: Extraordinary Stories from Around the World. The stories are retold by Ronne Randall with wonderful color illustrations by Graham Howell. The stories have been "sanitized" a bit with the violence kept to a minimum. We do not carry this book.