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Battle on Turquoise Mountain
    According to one version, twin boys were born to Changing Woman. They all lived in the vicinity of Huerfano Butte in New Mexico, not far from Chaco Canyon. One boy was named Monster Slayer and the other was called Born From Water. When they were twelve years old, they asked their mother who their father was. She told them they were children of the Sun, and of course the boys wanted to journey to the house of the Sun and meet the Old Man.

    After a series of harrowing adventures, they arrived at their Father's gates where they are tested and subsequently embraced. The Sun recognizes his own and grants them his wisdom blessing. To fulfill his destiny, Monster Slayer requests Dad's help in slaying the awful demons roaming the earth in those days. They terrorized everyone. Especially fearsome was Big Monster who made his home on the Southern Mountain. The Sun listened to his children express their concerns, then reminded the boys that Big Monster, also known as Monster Who Sucks In People, was also a scion of the Sun and therefore one of their half-brothers. Having explained this, Father Sun then gave the twins permission to destroy That Which Sucks In People and offered some vital clues as to how to go about their mission. He provided them with lightning arrows, flint arrows and armor. The Twins were grateful and returned to earth with the special weapons.

    It was during the month of May that they climbed Mt. Taylor to slay Big Monster, the demon of ego-clinging. They knew that Big Monster would have to be annihilated, one could never trust him to keep any terms of surrender. Fortunately, the lightning arrows met their mark and to this day, Mt. Taylor displays two prominent peaks due to their explosive power. Big Monster's blood flowed to the south where it has hardened into the black expanse of volcanic fields known as El Malpais. A little mountain on the plains to the north, El Cabezon, is said to be the remains of the monster's head. Many of these strange shaped rocks, mesas and mountains you see in this part of Turtle Island are the remains of the early monsters. One by one, the twins slayed them, transforming their demonic retinues into many of the animals and plants we know today such as eagles, owls, whippoorwill, yucca, and mescal as well as various springs in Dinehtah.

    Finally, just when the boys believed that all the alien gods had been slain, Wind tells them in a whisper that there are four demons who still live:

Old Age, Cold, Poverty and Hunger

    The Heroes track down each of these four, but in the ensuing conversations with their prey, they are forced to pause and think. Wisely, they decide that it is for the best to spare these monsters as they inevitably provide a positive contribution to the overall balance of life.

In the distance, the remains of Big Giant's head

Originally an igneous plug in the throat of a crater that has since worn away, El Cabezon rises on the volcanic plains north of Mt. Taylor.
In the 1980's Taylor was heavily mined for uranium which polluted ground water sources of nearby pueblos
and led to a high incidence of cancer among natives employed here.
Cleared slopes in the foreground are reclaimed and currently serve as cow pasture.



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