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According to some legends this chief was the first man who taught the Pima irrigation and he showed them also how to plant corn. Through his guidance his people became prosperous and all the Pima congregated at his settlement to trade.
“The people of a settlement near Mesa could not build a canal because the ground in the vicinity was so hard, so they asked Tcuhu to aid them. He sang magic songs for four days, and at the fourth song the ground softened and the people easily excavated the ditch, but the water would not run in it. Tcuhu found he was powerless to make it do so and advised them to invite Towa Quaatam Ochse, an old woman who lived in the west by the great water, to aid them. She was summoned and sent word to the Mesa people to assemble in their council-house, and await her coming. They gathered and awaited her coming but she did not appear. At night a man passing that way saw her standing at the highest point of the canal blowing ‘medicine along the ditch. Later there came a great wind that dug out a wide channel and water ran in the canal. The Casa Grande people, it is said, learned the art of irrigating from those living on the site of Tempe, who were taught by Tcuhu.
“Feather-plaited Doctor was an evil-minded youth who lived at Wukkakotk, north of Casa Grande. Tonto visited Feather-plaited Doctor, but the latter would not notice him, although he made the customary offering of four cigarettes. Three times Tonto repeated his visit to Featherplaited Doctor, and on the third visit the latter accused him of being a gossip and on that ac
count refused to have anything to do with him. On the last visit he told Tonto that although he did not like him he did not object to his visits, but he warned him, if he wished to see him, not to gamble at night and not to have anything to do with women without his permission. At that time there was a man who wished to gamble with Tonto but, forewarned, the latter refused. When Tonto was asked the reason, he revealed his promise to Feather-plaited Doctor and said he must get permission. Tonto was allowed by Feather-plaited Doctor to gamble with this man, but was warned not to play again if he was beaten; but should he win twice he must desist by all means from further playing.
“The game at which Tonto gambled was that known as the “cane game,' and on this occasion Feather-plaited Civan marked the canes. Tonto played and won twice from his opponent; he would not play a third time, but carried all he had won to the house of Feather-plaited Civan. Whenever he played with the marked canes, he won, so that one of his opponents consulted Tcuhu to learn the reason. Tcuhu informed him that the sticks were endowed with magic derived from the sun, which gave them supernatural power over all others.
“Tcuhu then told a maid to search under trees and gather in the early morning the feathers of eagles, crows, buzzards, and hawks, bind them together, and bring them to him. After these feathers had been brought Tcuhu instructed her to strip every feather to its midrib and cut each into short sections. Having roasted the feathers with meal of popcorn, the girl placed them on a basket tray. She was then instructed to fill two small bowls with 'medicine and to carry them to a spring near the place where Tonto was going to play the next game. Before Tonto began this game he declared he was thirsty and started for the spring, kicking before him the stone ball. When he reached the spring he perceived the girl and fell in love with her. She promised to marry him if her parents were willing. The maid handed Tonto a drink of the medicine' instead of water; at the first draught he began to tremble; a second caused him to shake violently, and at the third feathers began to form all over his body, and shortly afterwards he took the form of a bird resembling the eagle. When the maid had witnessed this metamorphosis, she sought the man with whom Tonto had agreed to gamble and told him Tonto had become a bird, at the same time pointing to an eagle perched on a rock near the spring. The man tried to shoot Eagle, but he flew away and alighted on the top of a peak of the Superstition Mountains, which shook violently as Eagle landed thereon. In his flight Eagle carried off the maid, now called Baat, with whom he lived. He killed many people dwelling near his home and heaped their bodies in a great pile near the cave in which he made his home. He became so dangerous, in fact, that the survivors asked Tcubu's aid; he promised to come in four days, but did not do so. A new messenger was sent with the same request and he again promised to come in four days, but again failed to fulfill his promise. Tcuhu told the messenger to bring
him ashes, and the man brought mesquite charcoal, which he did not wish. Tcuhu procured charcoal from cactus fruit and, having ground the seeds into fine meal, he fashioned it into the form of a big knife. He then procured a flexible stick, such as grows in the White Mountains, and other pointed sticks resembling bone awls. Having made four of these sticks, he sharpened them and started forth to overcome Eagle, leaving word that if he was killed a smoke would be seen for four days, but that if he killed Eagle, a cloud would hang over the place of the combat. Tcuhu traveled eastward a long distance and came to the mountain where Eagle lived, in between perpendicular precipices, surrounded by deep fissures. Îcuhu metamorphosed himself into a fly and hid himself in this fissure where he slept that night. On the following day he changed himself back into a man, stuck the sticks into the crevices of the cliff, and by their help climbed up to the crag in which Eagle had his home.
“This story of Eagle seems to be a variant of that previously recorded in which the avian being killed was the monster Hok. Here Tcuhu found only a captive woman, who said the monster had gone to procure victims. Tcuhu having revealed his mission, they agreed on a signal, and he changed into a fly. When Eagle returned, although suspicious, he went to sleep and the woman whistled three times. At the last whistle Tcuhu returned to human form and decapitated Eagle, throwing his head, limbs and body to the four world quarters. Then the woman sprinkled 'medicine' on a pile of bones,
the remains of former victims, and brought them to life. Thereupon all descended from the mountain over which hovered dense clouds, the signal that the monster was dead."
The 26th Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology, of the Smithsonian Institution, for 1904–05, gives the following abstracts of myths of the Pimas:
THE CREATION MYTH. “Out of primeval darkness spirit of Earth Doctor developed. He first created creosote bush from dust. Next created black ants and termites; these caused the world to develop and Earth Doctor created the sky. Then made gray spider and commanded it to spin web connecting edges of earth and sky. Threw blocks of ice into the sky for sun and moon and spray of water for stars, large stars made from magic crystal, and milky way by walking stick dipped in ashes. All living things then created and human beings from images of clay. Earth becomes overpopulated, as there was no death yet, so Earth Doctor pulled the sky down on the earth and crushed everything to death. But he came through a hole to the other side and made a new creation. After a time Elder Brother, a rival to Earth Doctor, arose and threatened to destroy the people again. This accomplished, through the child of Elder Brother's agent and South Doctor's daughter, who was the last of the youth's many wives. Child was abandoned and its tears caused a flood that overwhelmed the earth. Elder Brother was saved in his olla, Coyote on a log, father and child by turning into