Slike strani
PDF
ePub

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 ?"

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 from one end. In this hollow tree he placed food and other necessaries, and also made a lookout window. Then he brought his daughter, and telling her she must go into this tree and there be sealed up, he took a sad farewell of her, closed up the end of the tree, and then sat down to await the destruction of the world. It was not long before the floods began to descend. Not rain, but cataracts, rivers, deluges came, making more noise than a thousand Hack-a-tai-as (Colorado River) and covering all the earth with water. The pinion log floated, and in safety lay Pu-keh-eh, while the water surged higher and higher and covered the tops of Hue-han-apatch-a (the San Francisco), Hue-ga-wool-a (Williams Mountain), and all the other mountains of the world.

'But the waters of heaven could not always be pouring down, and soon after they ceased, the flood upon the earth found a way to rush into the sea. And as it dashed down it cut through the rocks of the plateaus and made the deep Chi-a-mi-mi (canyon) of the Colorado river (Hack-a-tai-a). Soon all the water was gone.

66 Then Pu-keh-eh found her log no longer floating, and she peeped out of the window Tochopa had placed in her boat, and, though it was misty and almost dark, she could see in the dim distance the great mountains of the San Francisco range. And near by was the canyon of the Little Colorado, and to the north was Hack-a-tai-a, and to the west was the canyon of the Havasu.

666

“ 'The flood had lasted so long that she had grown to be a woman, and, seeing the water gone, she came out and began to make pottery and baskets as her father long ago had taught her. But she was a woman. And what is a a woman without a child in her arms or nursing at her breasts? How she longed to be a mother! But where was a father for her child ? Alas! there was no man in the whole universe.'

'Day after day longings for maternity filled her heart, until, one morning, -glorious happy morning for Pu-keh-eh and the Havasu race,the darkness began to disappear, and in the far away east soft and new brightness appeared. It was the triumphant Sun coming to conquer the long night and bring light into the world. Nearer and nearer he came, and at last, as he peeped over the far away mesa summits, Pu-keh-eh arose and thanked Tochopa, for here, at last, was a father for her child.

She conceived, and in the fullness of time bore a son, whom she delighted in and called In-ya-a—the son of the Sun.

“ 'But as the days rolled on she again felt the longings for maternity. By this time she had wandered far to the west and had entered the beautiful canyon of the Havasu, where deep down between the rocks were several grand and glorious waterfalls, and one of these, Wa-hahath-peek-ha-ha, she determined should be the father of her second child.

“ 'When it was born it was a girl, and to this day all the girls of the Havasupai are ‘daughters of the water.'

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

"As these two children grew up they married, and thus became the progenitors of the human race. First the Havasupais were born, then the Apaches, then the Wallapais, then the Hopis, then the Paiutis, then the Navahos.

And Tochopa told them all where they should live. The Havasupais and the Apaches were to dwell in Havasu Canyon, the former on one side of the Havasu (blue water), and the latter on the other side, and occupy the territory as far east as the Little Colorado and south to the San Francisco Mountains. The Wallapais were to roam in the country west of Havasu Canyon, and the Hopis and Navahos east of the Little Colorado, and the Paiutis north of the big Colorado

"And there in Havasu Canyon, above their dancing place, he carved on the summit of the walls, figures of Pu-keh-eh and A-pa-a to remind them from whom they were descended. Here for a long time Havasupais and Apaches lived together in peace, but one day an Apache man saw a most beautiful Havasu woman, and he fell in love with her, and he went to his home and prayed and longed and ate his heart out for this woman who was the wife of another. He called upon Hokomata, the bad god, to help him, and Hokomata, always glad to foment trouble, told him to pay no attention to the restrictions placed upon him by Tochopa, but to cross the Havasu, kill the woman's husband, and steal her for his own wife.

“ "The Apache heeded this evil counsel, and

did so.

« PrejšnjaNaprej »