Slike strani
PDF
ePub

cludes their religion, Pueblo referring to the Pueblos of New Mexico.

“It would seem from the authorities that the Moqui religion consists of 'mythology' and a number of ceremonies of a devotional charac

in fact, a highly developed materialism with ceremonial aids.

“It will be recalled in this connection that there is no Christian church in any of the seven Moqui pueblos, and but little evidence of the remains of even a memory of the Catholic faith, whose clergymen were once with them, save, perhaps, in the rough shrines and altars now

ter;

seen.

SACRED FIRES NOT PERPETUAL IN

THE ESTUFAS. “With a view to placing the life and actual condition of this curious people (the Moquis) on record in the Eleventh Census, the special agents who visited the Moquis were instructed to observe closely as to their alleged mysteries. It is stated by several modern writers that the Moquis kept alive the sacred fires. Mr. Scott wrote in 1890, both as to this and the venerable pipes as follows:

" 'I have heard of the sacred fires that are ever kept burning in the kevas (or kivas) of the Moqui Pueblos, and naturally looked for them. But alas! like many other things I read about and was told of, they proved a myth. During ceremonies they always keep a little fire going, which may be properly called their altar. These fires are prepared by the priests who preside over the ceremonies, and who sit directly in front of them and go through their invocations addressed to the smoke, which, rising upward and through the hatch, disperses itself in the air and carries their entreaties to the deities; besides, the priests are usually naked and the fire protects them. They smoke tobacco during the ceremonies, which seems to form a part of the rites, and which is never omitted. It is the cigarette as a rule, and is there omnipresent. While they use to some extent the different kinds of modern pipes, I have never seen one about in the kevas; the cigarette is universally used. Now and then an ancient pipe is seen, but all my efforts failed to get one. Pipes are only used in their ceremonies, and the Moquis attach superior attributes to them, believing that they are charmed by the spirits of the dead who, in life, smoked them. The story of the sacred fire seems to have no truth in it. There has been a misunderstanding. It is true that in some of the kevas or estufas of the seven pueblos there are always ceremonies going on, conducted by the priests. These ceremonies are also the schools of instruction for their young men when admitted into the different orders. It is in the estufa that the traditions and folklore of their race are told over and over again. They are the natural resorts of the old men who are unfit for labor, and it is from them that the Moqui youth obtain the traditional part of their education and all data as to the history of their people. This history is all oral, as they have no written language. The fire that is kindled in the keva is upon the flat stone floors and about in the center. About it are a few blocks of stone, which are used by the priests for seats. These stones are utilized, for practical use, as seats by being covered with blankets, rolled up, to make cushions of. The priests are perfectly naked while going through their religious performances, excepting, of course, the gee string (always worn around the waist of the male), which is not used at all as a covering, but as a suspensory.'

"Mr. J. Walter Fewkes (1891) says that 'in none of the kibvas (kivas, or estufas) in the Moqui pueblos, is there a fire burning all the time.'

MOQUI GODS. “The number and variety of idols or images belonging to the Moquis is startling. In every household can be seen from one to a dozen wooden or clay idols or gods of the oddest and quaintest shapes, roughly made, and while resembling one another, they are different from any other Indian images. They are of all sizes, from two inches to over four feet high, painted in various colors; sometimes they are invested with beautiful ceremonial robes, woven expressly for them. These gods are not, properly speaking, gods at all, but represent different Cachinas (or Katcheenas), who are but semi-gods and intermediaries between the Moquis and their principal deity. The Cachinas are said to have once existed: 'It was in the long morning twilight of the earth's age'; however this may be, they certainly have an existence now in the grotesque figures found suspended to the beams that support the roofs of Moqui dwellings or tucked away in little niches or standing up in rows on stone shelves. They are male and female, some vigorously pronounced; the females have extraordinary headdresses only, but the males are most modestly decorated. The male is called O-mow and the female A-tose-ka; but they are still Cachinas. These gods are used during the ceremonies in the estufas; all possess great antiquity, and when not in use are hidden away by their custodians where they cannot be found except by those who have them in charge. There were two found by a gentleman in a cave under the mesa on which stand the ruins of Awatubi. The male was four feet one inch and the female three feet nine inches in height. He carried them to his house, some twelve miles distant, but they were soon missed by the Indians who venerated them, and a delegation was sent to the gentleman to tell him of the loss of the gods and implore his help in their recovery. They spoke so earnestly, and believed so firmly that ill fortune would follow them if these Cachinas were not found, that he finally said that he had brought them from Awatubi, not realizing that they were so much esteemed; he then led them to a room where they had been placed. The gentleman said the Moquis were beside themselves with joy at the restoration of their gods. This happened some years ago, and since that time no white man has seen them.

“Of this circumstance Mr. J. Walter Fewkes writes in 1891: 'The worship of the horned A-losa-ka is more strictly characteristic of the pueblo of Mi-con-in-o-vi (Mishongnavi), where this fraternity is probably more numerous than at Walpi. The images of A-lo-sa-ka were once in the possession of Mr. Keam (T. V.) for a few days, but at the earnest solicitation of almost the whole population of Mi-con-in-o-vi they were returned to the priests. At that time they were carried from Keams Canyon back to the pueblo with great ceremony, when a pathway of sacred meal was made for many miles along the trail over which they were borne.' Some Moqui idols or gods are not, perhaps, so sacred as those above referred to. Dr. Oscar Loew, chemist of the Wheeler expedition in 1874, refers to some gods which were for sale, and his experience is that of visitors to the Moquis to-day. The Moquis like money, silver especially. If the wooden gods or figures which Dr. Loew saw in the house of a chief were designed as objects of worship, no profound veneration was manifested for them, since they were readily parted with for a trifling quantity of tobacco.

“The gods made from trunks or limbs of small trees, which by chance have grown to resemble in part a man, are regarded with great favor, especially for gods for the estufa, it being believed that the spirit of a Cachina is in such wood. The material employed in making the Cachinas is usually cottonwood. Such as have ceremonial vestments on are of wood, the clothes being of white cotton cloth, richly embroidered in colors; the cloth used is from the Moqui looms and is of a peculiar fabric; the clothes, including headdress, are also made of feathers. The colors employed in making these gods are not

« PrejšnjaNaprej »