Archived: Creation Myth of the Kaquich by Kalen Rieman

In the beginning, the earth was barren and blistering hot. There was no life, for Ra’kek the sun god’s unblinking stare was harsh and unforgiving. Eventually, they grew tired of watching only sand and determined to create some company. They cut off a small portion of their luminance and gathered sand from the desert below, and fashioned Dism, the moon god. Dism was filled with curiosity and creativity and quickly grew bored with viewing the sands each day. He yearned for more company than his inflexible parent, and he hatched a plan. Ra’kek had banned Dism from ever making his own creations, but Dism was clever.

He pretended he had seen movement among the sands, luring Ra’kek’s attention down to the earth. He then infused individual grains of sand with his own light, scattering them among the now-dark sky. These new creations were small and weak, but numerous. They lit up the heavens, creating a swirling symphony of light and song. Ra’kek looked upon their child’s creation from the earth and was overcome with emotion. They proclaimed the beauty of the stars far and wide, even though there was no one to hear it. When Ra’kek returned to the sky, Dism was hesitant to meet them. But Ra’kek laughed and rejoiced, and Dism was put at ease. So pleased was Ra’kek with Dism’s creations that they promised half of each day solely dedicated to showing them off, and thus the night came to be.

Without Ra’kek constantly watching the sands, the desert became cool. Dism looked down from the heavens and considered the earth, and how lifeless it was. Just as the sky had been lonely and dull, so was the earth. He, now with the endorsement of his parent, began experimenting with creating something to inhabit the sands. He tried to make beings of light, sand, and air as he had before, but the divine light of the heavens was not meant to be tied to earth. He failed.

Comforted by his children, the stars, Dism wept. These tears, the first in the universe, fell to earth and formed a great river, the very one that sustains Kaquich today. With the presence of water and respite from Ra’kek’s eye, the desert began to bloom. The sun and moon gods looked down as Dism’s divine tears mixed with the earth and created the first earthly being- the goddess Amae. She toiled day and night, working just as her forefathers had to create life. Her earthly nature enabled her to make other terrestrial beings. She made plants first, which were sustained by Ra’kek’s light. She made crawling creatures, who hid in the darkness of Dism’s night. But she still worked, hoping to create true, intelligent company for herself as her father and grandparent had.

Finally, after untold generations, the river goddess Amae stepped back and beheld her greatest creations- the first humans. They marveled at the plants and animals created by the goddess around them and began creating, as was their nature. They built houses of the trees Amae had made, cultivated crops of the grains, and tamed her animals. Every day they pay respect to their grandparent Ra’kek, but take shelter from their gaze in Dism’s cooling night. Amae, their patron goddess, is with them still, providing water in the desert and allowing humanity to flourish.