The Pima Indians of Arizona have a plethora of stories and legends that have been passed down for countless generations. These oral traditions are the founding pieces of Pima culture, educating tribe members on various aspects of life.
One legend the Pima tribe has continually passed down is the story about the ark on the Superstition Mountains. This simple yet informative legend warns humanity about the risks of greed, hoarding wealth, and war.
The Pima Story Of Creation
The Pima tribe believes all men and animals were created by a butterfly called Cherwit Make, or Earth-maker. The community shares that Cherwit Make came down from the clouds to the Blue Cliffs and made mankind from his own sweat.
As humanity progressed and humans began to multiply, they became more selfish and burdened by unnecessary strife and war. The overwhelming dispute ultimately caused Cherwit Make to become disgusted by his handiwork.
Eventually, the creator resolved that drowning all of mankind was the only solution to handle the issue properly. However, before wiping out humankind, Cherwit Make told the people, in the voice of the North wind, to live in peace and be honest with one another.
The Prophet Of The Pima Indians: Suha
In the Pima tribe, a prophet Suha was the one to interpret Cherwit Make’s voice. And although the rest of the tribe called him a fool for listening to the wind, Suha continued to listen to his creator.
The night following Cherwit Make’s initial message, the creator repeated his command, this time via the East wind. In Cherwit Make’s second message, he threatened that he would destroy everyone if humanity did not live in peace.
Evil Amongst A Community
After Cherwit Make’s warning, most of the Pima tribe followed his instructions and lived peacefully. However, not all evil was gone. A devil living in the mountains, Hauk, continually raided the Pima tribe, stealing women and slaying men.
One day, Hauk stole one of Suha’s daughters, which enraged the prophet. Suha vowed to slay the devil and traveled to the Superstition Mountains to do so. After drugging the devil’s cactus wine, Suha killed the beast, scattering his brains on the ground.
The scattered brains of the devil became the seed for other evil to take root and grow. Still, there was less evilness in the world now that Hauk was gone.
Suha’s Prophecy To The Pima Indians
For the remainder of his life, Suha taught his people how to survive, educating them on how to build houses properly, irrigate their land, weave cloth, and avoid wars.
On his deathbed, Suha warned the Pima tribe that they would grow arrogant with wealth and eventually covet the land of others and wage war for personal gain.
Suha described that there would be a great flood when this time came. Evil would varnish, and the good would leave the Earth and live in the sun.
The Ark On The Superstition Mountains
Pima Indians rely on Suha’s prophecy so much so that they refuse to cross the Superstition Mountains. The community believes Cherwit Make waits in the mountains, ready to release a mighty sea that will destroy all of humanity.