chapter  1
26 Pages

Before the Wig and the Dress Coat

Despite the passage of time, native peoples did remember when they were merely dust, and they handed down from generation to generation thousands of stories about their origins and emergence. Their sacred narratives explained how an orderly and balanced world developed out of chaos, confusion, and disharmony. In the beginning the world was undifferentiated and intact; later the sky and earth separated so that humans could emerge. These events oc­ curred in primordial time, the fabled time of the beginning. They describe

nothing less than something momentous and miraculous-the breakthrough of the sacred into the world.