the plumed or horned water snake –
The story goes that the people were experiencing a drought. They begged and incanted to the creator for rain but none came. They were getting ready to leave, when in desperation they appealed to Avanyu. They danced from the kiva in costumes with his emblem on them and danced until a serpent shaped cloud was seen coming toward the village. When it hovered low over the village,they danced back into the kiva. And the cloud went back the way it came.
The story also says that Avanyu’s scales have mystical properties.
Avanyu was bathing in the stream near the village when he heard the chanting of the elders. He cocked an ear when he heard his name. What?? How dare they?? Oh but wait, it was with respect and they were pleading for his help. He listened and decided to go a bit closer. He finished his ablutions and rose to fly over the village. The herbs in the haze over the village smelled so good, he flew closer to smell more deeply. An elder saw him and asked if he had come to help them. Avanyu went closer to the elder and asked what they wanted so much they were willing to invoke his name. The elder said they were desperate or they would have left him alone. So Avanyu asked what they needed from him. The elder said if they didn’t get rain soon, they would have to leave or die.
Avanyu hung his head and thought deeply. Then he said he would help them. The elder went and told the villagers. A whoop went up among them.
The villagers came out to the serpent and gave him gifts of small animals in case he was hungry and promised to put his symbol on their clothes and pottery from now on, in honour of his aid. He smiled and said it wasn’t necessary. But he was pleased and the people knew this. To this day, the people have kept their promise to Avanyu.