Slike strani
PDF
ePub

barter with the Hopi, with which people they seem always to have had closer affiliation than with their Yuman kindred. Their weapons in war and the chase were rude clubs and pikes of hard wood, bows and arrows, and, formerly, slings; but firearms have practically replaced these more primitive appliances.

Mr. F. H. Cushing, who can be classed as the premier archaeologist of Arizona and New Mexico, having spent a number of years among the Zunis, and being the first to explore the ruins of the Salt River Valley, has given us in an article printed in the Atlantic Monthly, in 1882, the following description of the habits, history and legends of the Havasupais:

“A most curious fact, and a very significant one in the consideration of the origin of the Havasupai, is the absence of the Gentile system of descent or organization among them, their society consanguineally being patriarchal; but they claim to be the people of the Coyote, which indicates that one gens has absorbed all the others, or else that they are, as seems more probable, a single gens, which has separated from its original body, and never again developed the separate gentes, as has been the case with other segregated clans among Indians. I incline to this belief from the fact that the Hualapai, to whom their relationship is indisputable, have, as subsequent investigations have shown, the Gentile and Phratral systems, certainly to some extent. And as far as I can ascertain this is also the case with the Apache-Yumas and Apache-Mohaves, who are only other divisions of the same stock. Descent is therefore not through the mother, but through the father, and marriage, to use the words of my informant, can take place wherever the one loves the other and the other loves the one, and their wants are the same. Why not?' 'We know nothing else,' he added, "for our father is the Coyote, and he never told us anything else. How should a Coyote teach his children what he neither knows nor practices himself ?'

"They are polygamists, the number of wives a man shall have being limited, apparently, only by the number he can procure, or by his means for supporting them. These marriages are constant, the only ground for divorce being unfaithfulness, which, with the women of rare occurrence, scarcely exists with the men, as a cause. Betrothals by purchase or stipulation are common, a girl of seven or eight summers being frequently promised to a man as old as, or even older than, her father. Marriages are therefore, with the girls, usually very early in life; with the men, late. In consequence of this polygamy, a large number of the men are unmarried, the women being monopolized, with or without their will, by the wealthier and more influential men of the tribe. The male population is in excess of the female; hence it sometimes happens that Hualapai squaws are married, and in one instance a Moqui woman, a probable outcast from her own nation, was observed by us.

“The children do not seem to have regular property, as with the Pueblos, until after puberty, although, on the death of the father, his portable property is inherited by the son, for sacrifice at the rites to be described further on.

“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 Žuni 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

VII—7

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

« PrejšnjaNaprej »