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The tribe of Nunyunnini, also called "the first people", are the first humans who arrived in America. A tribe of Siberians who crossed over to America through the Beringia bridge, they worshipped Nunyunnini as their god.

Significance in narrative[]

Chapter Thirteen[]

14,000 B.C.

Atsula is a Siberian priestess with a withered left arm. She has a vision from Nunyunnini, their god housed in the skull and furs of a woolly mammoth. She calls into the holy tent Gugwei, the tribal elder, Yanu, the war leader, and Kalanu, the scout. They hold a ritual with sacred mushrooms and Atsula's frozen urine. Kalanu first takes on their god, Nunyunnini's, mantle to reveal to them his purpose. Nunyunnini tells them there is evil in the land of their ancestors and they must leave. Gugwei puts on the skull and mantle next, warning them of a grave threat that will come from the sky. Yanu takes his turn with the skull and cloak and tells the others they must travel east, where the sun rises. Atsula refuses, saying their god is a bad god who will kill them all. She next puts on the mammoth skull and cloak and Nunyunnini speaks through her, saying that because of her lack of faith, she will die before they reach their new home but the rest will live. The new land would have been theirs forever but now will last "seven generations, and seven sevens."

They begin their long journey, crossing the land bridge between Asia and North America. Kalanu scouts ahead and returns to tell Atsula of the large ice cliffs ahead. Atsula tells her that she will die at the foot of them in sacrifice to Nunyunnini so their people can reach the new lands. A flash of light from behind has them covering their eyes as Gugwei says that is the danger Nunyunnini had warned them of. Atsula declares that "gods are great...but the heart is greater" since that is where gods are created. A percussion wave interrupts her blasphemy, deafening the tribe.

Atsula dies at the cliffs as foretold and the rest of them climb the cliffs and make their way southwest to fertile lands. Dalani, Kalanu's wife, gives birth to three boys starting a big and prosperous tribe of warriors. The new land does not have their sacred mushrooms and over the generations, the tribe spreads out and forgets their origins and forgets Nunyunnini, their mammoth god. They form new tribes with new gods, until one day, Nunyunnini is replaced by their new gods and is entirely forgotten.


Graphic novel


  • Nunyunnini appears in the Hall of Forgotten Gods, alongside a representation of Atsula.
  • Sam Black Crow believes that a "thousands of years ago", in a previous life she was a one-armed Siberian shaman. This implies that Sam might be a reincarnation of Atsula, Nunyunnini's priestess.