Slike strani
PDF
ePub

“The bear causes swellings upon the body, headache, and fever. The remedy is to sing the bear songs, of which there are several; the singing is sometimes continued throughout the entire day. No part of the animal is used in the treatment. The bear is friendly to the Pimas. If a man meets one he must say, 'I'm red,' and then the bear will not touch him, though he is free to kill the animal.

“The black-tailed deer causes diseases of the throat and lungs. The remedy is to sing the deer song and to press the tail of the deer on the affected part.

“The coyote causes sickness in children; some believing that he brings on dysentery when the mother eats melons before the birth of the child, others thinking that he causes rash and blisters on the baby's tongue. The remedy is to sing the coyote song and swing the tail of the coyote over the child.

“The dog, a very near relative of the coyote in Pimeria, also causes trouble for the children. When a child a month or two old is fretful and sleepless the medicine-man is pretty certain to diagnose the case as 'dog disease. He does not treat it in any manner, but some one who knows the dog song is called in to sing, and as he sings he sways a stick that has some of a dog's vibrissae tied to it, to and fro over the child.

The gopher causes stomach trouble, particularly in children. The remedy is to sing the gopher song and to press moistened earth from a gopher hill upon the affected part. At Gila Crossing were obtained two small deerskin bags containing tufts of eagle's down and two or three twigs that had been cut by a gopher. These were to be pressed upon the stomach of the child. “The jack rabbit causes open sores.

The remedy is to sing the rabbit song, and during the singing to swing over the patient the tail of the hare to which the animal's vibrissae have been tied.

“The mouse causes constipation in children. This is cured by singing the mouse song, and pressing the tail of the mouse on the abdomen. If no prepared tail is available, a dead mouse is used.

“The ground squirrel of the mesas causes nose bleed.

"There are but four birds that cause disease. There appears to have been no conscious classification in the minds of the Pimas in attributing certain afflictions to the birds. These diseases are all of a different nature, and are similar to those assigned to mammals and reptiles.

“The eagle causes hemorrhage. The remedy is to sing the eagle song and to pass the down of the eagle over the part.

“The eagle is also blamed for the lice that find refuge in the hair of the Pimas. The remedy is to blow cigarette smoke over the head.

“The hawk causes hemorrhage in grown persons only. The disease is cured by singing the hawk song and passing the wing feathers of the bird over the patient. If one touches a hawk he must be secluded for four days.

“The owl throws people into trances and fits. They are restored by having the owl song sung while six owl feathers mounted on a stick are

VII–19

swung over them. The cry of the small owl in the night is a bad sign. When the large owl utters a sound resembling human speech, sickness may be expected.

"The vulture or turkey buzzard causes sores, especially syphillis, and sore eyes on the baby if the parent eats a dead animal just before the child is born. The remedy is to sing the buzzard song and pass the wing feathers of the buzzard over the child.

“A Gila monster, if killed by the father just before the birth of a child, causes the baby's body to become red and feverish. The remedy is to sing the Gila monster song. Such a disease must be of rare occurrence as no other treatment is prescribed.

"The horned toad causes rheumatism and hunchback. The remedy is to sing the horned toad song, and press an image of the creature upon the patient. If one accidentally steps on a horned toad he must tie a red string around its neck and let it go, saying, 'my blood eat.' This is to cause the subtle toad to eat the bad blood that may cause disease in the person.

“The large lizard is responsible for a fever in children, the most prominent symptom of which is the whitening of the skin. If any one who knows the lizard song is available he comes and presses an image of a lizard on the child as he sings. If not, a lizard is killed and fat from its body is rubbed upon the child.

"The rattlesnake causes kidney and stomach troubles in children. These are cured by singing the rattlesnake song and pressing the parts

affected with an image in wood or stone of the rattlesnake.

“The bite of the rattlesnake is cured by sucking the wound every morning for four days. Others suck it one or two days, and also ligature the limb with horsehair, or draw a circle around it with charcoal to define the limit of the swelling. The Papagos and Mexicans use the plant Euphorbia marginata to poultice snake bites, and it is possible that some Pimas use it also, though the writer was unable to find anyone who knew of its being so used.

While the rattlesnake is dreaded and, under circumstances previously mentioned, is regarded as possessing magic power, he occupies a far less important place in Pima thought than in that of the Hopis. It is said to be unlucky to come upon two rattlesnakes, one soon after the other, when engaged in searching for anything. If a child puts its foot through an olla head ring that is commonly left lying about the premises, the mother warns him that the rattlesnake will bite him. The same fate is threatened if he puts his foot into the mortar in which the mesquite beans and other articles of food are ground. The rattlesnake is accredited with wisdom that directs it to the place where the best mesquite beans are to be had, though why such a locality has any attractions for it was not explained.

“The turtle causes large sores on the body or cripples the legs. The treatment is to sing the turtle song and shake a rattle over the patient. The rattle is made by killing a river turtle and placing the body in an ant-hill until the ants have thoroughly cleaned out the shell, which is then mounted on a handle, and some gravel put into it.

“A butterfly with striped wings causes internal pains. The treatment consists in singing the butterfly song and pressing the body of the patient with four or five images of the butterfly cut from deerskin.

“The worm, when found dead and dried, is ground up in the mortar, and the powder used to cure sores around the baby's mouth.

"One's teeth will fall out if he eats food over which some caterpillars have crawled.

“The nausea of pregnancy is caused by unfaithfulness on the part of the woman. It is cured by singing the proper songs and striking two sticks a foot long over the patient afterwards.

“The remolinos, or whirlwinds, that are so common in Pimeria, cause pain in the legs, but not swellings. The remedy is to sing the wind song and rub the limbs with the black gum of the Ocatilla.

"The sun may cause disease for which there would seem to be no special song. However, a small colored image of the sun with feather rays attached is used by the medicine-man.

A captured Apache child might cause lameness in some member of the family by whom he was kept. It was cured by some one who had killed an Apache singing over the patient. Then the child must be sold to the Mexicans or Americans. It was also supposed that the touch of an Apache woman might cause paralysis.

« PrejšnjaNaprej »