Slike strani
PDF
ePub

the other, and were finally led out into the light of the sun, through a hole in the mountain. No sooner had the leader come out than he was overwhelmed by the bright light and the angry waters, and died; and while the people were weeping and wondering what they should do, the Coyote came, and said to them, ‘Burn the body of your father, and scatter the ashes thereof upon the face of the water; then they will begin to dry away and the earth will grow hard.' ‘Alas! we have no fire,' said the people. So the Coyote volunteered to fetch it, and forthwith ran far away in search of it. When he had gone, and the people, wondering if he would return, were still mourning, the bluebottle fly, who was sunning himself on a dry branch, comforted them by saying that he would make fire for them. So, raising his wings, he rubbed them against each other, until the sparks flew out from them and ignited the branch he was perched on. The people collected great quantities of wood, laid the body of the cacique thereon, and set fire to it with the branch the bluebottle fly had lighted.

“ 'The Coyote, who saw from afar the smoke of the fire they had kindled, was angry, and, runring back as fast as he could, came to the place just as the body was consumed. But the heart still remained, and, rushing into the fire, he grabbed it in his mouth, and ran away with it. The fire was so hot that it singed his face and forepaws; hence, to this day, the face and forepaws of the coyote are black. He ate only a part of the heart, burying the rest; hence, also,

grew,

it is the nature of the coyote to bury his food away in the ground.

"Where the Coyote buried the heart a corn corn,-yellow, white, variegated, black, blue, and red; hence, corn springing from the heart of man, is his life to this day. As the nations of men came out one after another, each was given an ear of corn; yellow to the Zuni, white to the Moqui, variegated to the Northern nations, a very little black to the Apache, and blue to the Hualapai; but the Havasupai, coming last, had only a little red ear given them by the fathers (gods).

Now they did not know how they could live on the small portion that had been given them. So the Coyote, when he heard them bemoaning their lot, came and told them to follow his example; therefore, our fathers became a nation of hunters. As the waters of the world dried and flowed away, the face of the earth cracked, and was worn full of deep canyons. One of these canyons was very narrow and filled with rattlesnakes. This was the canyon of the Havasupai; and down in a grotto, under the falls, lived a great goddess, Ka-mu-iu-dr-ma-gui-iu-eba, or ‘Mother of the Waters.' She was wooed by the rattlesnakes, and bore two sons, Hama-u-giu-iu-e-ba, or Children of the Waters.' Upon the head of each was a great flint knife. Now the earth became so dry that our forefathers had but little water to drink, and, wandering about in search of it, came to the brink of the canyon; but they could not enter because

of the rattlesnakes. So the two boys slew the rattlesnakes with their magic flint knives, and widened the rocks above the home of their mother. Then they guided them down the canyon, and built little houses high up among the cliffs; for the Apache-Mohaves came in, too, and disputed possession with them. As the two children led the people down the canyon, they made their handprints on the walls, and painted the animals which should serve as food for their people; and these marks still remain on the rocks, and thither we go when we wish to secure the deer, or to ask for rain. When, at last, they reached the home of their mother, she told them that this should be their home forever; that it was not good to live on meat alone, but that they should build houses there, and plant the ear of corn they had, and it would be a means of life. So they did as she told them, and the ApacheMohaves lived among them, where the canyon was narrower. For a long time all was well, until a young Havasupai man stole an ApacheMohave girl, which caused strife, and wars ensued, so that the Apache-Mohaves were driven away. For this reason we live alone in the canyon.

‘But, alas ! the Coyote ate a part of the heart of the great cacique; hence, only during summer do we live in the home of the Mother of the Waters, and plant as she told us; but in winter we have to follow the deer with our father, the Coyote, and live only as he does, in houses of grass and bark; for the Mother of the Waters grew sad when her people became so foolish, and, leaving only one of her sons to take care of them,

66

she went away to her home among the white shells, in the great world of waters.'

'Do you Americans,' said the old man, as he ceased, with a sigh of longing, 'never see the Mother of the Waters, when you wander along the shores of the great ocean?'

""Oh, yes,' I said, and then I told him the story of the mermaid; and, happy almost to tears, he added, “Alas! I cannot tell you more, for the only books our fathers gave us were our hearts and our mouths.'

A fairy story is this, of the Nation of the Willows; and while science teaches us another tale, may we not poetically believe, with these simple natives, that they have always lived here, apart from the world of nations; that ever since they wandered forth from the four fertile wombs of mother earth, this little strip of land and river and willow, and the great rock-walls, so near together, yet so sublime and impassable, have bounded their generations of life, have had shadows cast on them by the smoke-clouds of the numberless funeral pyres of all their unnamed dead q'

CHAPTER VI.

THE HAVASUPAI (Continued). LEGENDS-ORIGIN—How WALLAPAIS BECAME A

SEPARATE PEOPLE — RELATION OF ORIGIN OF

HOPIS. Mr. George Wharton James, in his most excellent work, “The Indians of the Painted Desert Region,” gives the following legends of the Havasupais:

“In almost every case one finds a variety of differing legends related by the Indians of any tribe upon the same subject. As the Wallapais and Havasupais are cousins, one would naturally expect their legends to have some things in common. How much this is so will be seen by a comparison of the following story with that of the Wallapai Origin legend.

" "The two gods of the universe,' said 0-dig-ini-ni-a, the relator of the mythic lore of the Havasupais, ‘are Tochopa and Hokomata. Tochopa, he heap good. Hokomata, he han-atoop-o-gi—heap bad-all same white man's devil. Him Hokomata make big row with Tochopa, and he say he drown the world.

“Tochopa was full of sadness at the news. He had one daughter whom he devotedly loved, and from her he had hoped would descend the whole human race for whom the world had been made. If Hokomata persisted in his wicked determination she must be saved at all hazard. So, working day and night, he speedily prepared the trunk of a pinion tree by hollowing it out

« PrejšnjaNaprej »