This section of A Voyage Long and Strange, in which author Horwitz traces the path of Coronado and his small Spanish army through the American Southwest, is truly fascinating. In a section about the first encounter between Spanish and Zuni, Horwitz writes:
According to the tribe’s creation story, the world’s first people climbed ladders from deep underground before emerging through a great crevasse, sometimes identified as today’s Grand Canyon. They then wandered in search of a promised land called the middle place guided by a giant water bug that stretched its legs to the far corners of the world. Just beneath the bug’s heart was a spot equidistant from all these points. Zuni called this Halona Idiwan’a, the Middle Anthill of the World, and they had lived there ever since.
Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.