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“The head chieftaincy is hereditary. In the absence of a son, the chief's nephew on the father's side is, I believe, chosen as successor. All the subchiefs are named by the head chief, on account of personal preference, wealth, or influence. There seems to be no distinct order of warriors; when a scalp is taken, it is brought to the village, and a dance, celebrating the death of the enemy, is given in honor of the victor, and the body is then cremated; no record or mark of dress being preserved to represent the rank or prowess of the warrior. In case of hostility, obligations to war are simply coextensive with the adult population. There is, however, a certain importance attached to one of the warriors, who is supposed to have in his keeping a medicine of war, and who, by virtue of his valor and possession, is a sort of war chief, although the civil and martial affairs of the nation are more closely allied than is the case with most Indian tribes.
“Nor is the ecclesiastical much distinguished from the civil, with them; for the head chief combines with his political office the caciqueship, or that which in Zuni is distinctively religious, being termed Kiakwemosone, or ‘Mastership of the House, –a kind of high-priesthood. He not only presides at the more important councils, makes treaties with other tribes, etc., directs war parties, and condemns criminals, but also prays, offering sacrifices toward securing rain, propitious seasons, and success in the chase for his children, as he terms his nation. He receives, contrary to the Pueblo practice, tithes for his
offices, and is usually as wealthy as any member of the tribe, although by no means exempted from labor in the field or the hunt. Neither he nor his subchiefs wear insignia of rank about their persons, so far as I could discover.
“The present head chief, Ko-hot, is nicknamed Navajo. He is a man of the most wonderful character. His portrait in profile, as I look upon it, and to the sketching of which he submitted with ease and pleasure, bears a remarkable likeness to Washington. I cannot forbear giving two instances of his judgment, which exemplify his fine sense of justice, but at the same time his unrelenting will, in any measure, however severe, for the good of his own people. When the Apache-Mohaves were moved by the government to San Carlos, one of them, discontented, returned through his former country, and after great suffering reached the home of the Havasupai. He expressed his wish to live with the latter people to the end of his days. Ko-hot convened a council, and after long and fair deliberation concluded that it would be offensive to the Americans should he be harbored, and endanger his own people, leading ultimately, to their removal as well. He therefore informed the Apache that, notwithstanding he was a member of a nation of enemies, he felt for him, but could give him the choice of but two alternatives,-return to San Carlos, or death. The Apache, hoping Ko-hot would relent, replied that die he might, but return to San Carlos he never would. Ko-hot arose, then and there, without one more word, and struck him dead.
“When the officers of the cavalry expedition called a council, and told Ko-hot that their mission was to determine the borders of his country for all time, and that it remained with him to decide how large it should be, he replied to the following effect: ‘My people live by their country and their river. They are small. Let your lines but include the river and the little plain we live on; for why should a small nation wish for a great country? There are many other nations in the world. Some one of them—the Americans, perhaps, for they are a great people, and talk of making boundaries where we have lived very well for all time without them—might try, some time, if it were large and indivisible, to take our country from us. Where would the Havasupai go?' And he would not permit the boundaries to be placed a step above the springs where it leaps down into the pool under the limestone barrier.
“Aside from the head chief, perhaps the only representatives of an ecclesiastical order are the well-paid medicine men, some of whom, by virtue of their practices, are a sort of chiefs, and keepers of old traditions and songs, if my informant told the truth. They are believed to possess certain influences over the spirits, and exorcisms which cause disease, as well as over the benevolent spiritistic agencies which assist in its amelioration or cure. Incantation and jugglery are practiced by them, and as the disease or influence is supposed to have an objective spiritual existence, the whole company around a sick person, over whom the doctor is practicing his insane manipulations, rise up at certain in
tervals of the song, and pound hard bodies, yell, shoot arrows into the air, and fire off guns, in order to assist the medicine man in its extraction, or in frightening it away. No penalty for failure to cure seems to exist, save personal abuse, unless the doctor be accused of sorcery, in which case he suffers, as is the case with other Indians, the universal punishment of death. Like most other Indians, they have a good understanding of the practice of surgery, and a remarkable knowledge of anatomy.
“Labor is not regularly divided, except between the sexes; save that among the men, arrow making and some such special arts are more practiced by those who excel in them than by others, and basket-making among the women. The men do all the hunting, bringing the game to camp, and skinning the larger kinds, the women cutting it up and preparing it for drying or cooking. Both men and women gather the agave plant, in its season, with many festivities, vying in the preparation of it for mescal, although the burden of the labor in burning it falls to the women. The men break up the soil, lay out and dig the acequias, etc., performing the heavier agricultural work, as well as the planting, while the women weed the crop and assist in hoeing. When the corn ripens, the women gather it and bring it in, make it ready, and store it in the little stone and adobe granaries under the cliffs, and in little obscure rock shelters. They also cook all the foods, make baskets and most other implements of household use, while the men cut out and sew the clothing both for themselves and for the women. Much
of the heavier part of the work and drudgery falls on the women, who seem, however, perfectly contented with their really hard lot.
“Sedentary agriculturists in summer, the Havasupai produce immense quantities of datila, mescal, watertight basketwork, and arrows. Nomadic hunters in winter, throughout the choicest ranges of the Southwest, they have become justly famous for the quantity, fineness and quality of their buckskins, which are smooth, soft, white as snow yet thick and durable. These buckskins, manufactured into bags, pouches, coats, and leggings, or as raw material, are valued by other Indian tribes, even as far east as the Rio Grande, as are the silks of China or the shawls of Persia by ourselves. All this material is bartered with the Pueblos for blankets and various products of civilization, the former being again traded to the Hualapai for red and black paints, undressed buckskins, and mountain lion robes. Their red paint, ochre of the finest quality, has such celebrity among the Indian tribes that, reaching the Utes on the north, and the Comanches in Texas, it sometimes travels, by barter from hand to hand, as far east as to the tribes of the Mississippi Valley.
“The engineering skill and enterprise of this little nation are marvellous. Although their appliances are rude, they are able to construct large dams, and dig or build deep irrigating canals, or durable aqueducts, which often pass through hills, or follow considerable heights along shelves of rock or talus, at the bases of the rugged and crooked walls of the canyon.