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The Traditions of the Hopi, by H.R. Voth, [1905], at


Alíksai! In Mishóngnovi where now are the ruins, the people lived, and there lived a family consisting of a father, mother, a youth, and a maiden. One day at noon the latter went after water to Toríva. There was a great deal of water in the spring at that time. As she was dipping out the water it began to move and a Bálölöokong came out. He at once began to draw the maiden with strong inhalations towards him, embraced her, and disappeared with her into the water. Her mother was waiting for her to return, but she did not come. When she did not return the mother began to worry and said she would go and look for her. Following her tracks and not meeting her on the way, she went down to the spring. There she hunted for her tracks but only found them descending to the water. The jug was standing there, but the daughter could not be found, so she

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finally picked up the jug and the old blanket in which the jug had been carried and went home. "I have found the tracks," she said to her husband, "but they simply lead to the edge of the water, and cannot find our child anywhere." "Oh!" the father replied; so the father bestirred himself and made a ball and an arrow: to the latter he tied some blue-bird feathers. These he took to the house of Pöokónghoya and his younger brother Balö'ongahoya, who lived somewhat higher up, north of the village.

When he arrived at their house the two youths were romping about. "Be quiet," their grandmother, Spider Woman, said, "be quiet, somebody has come here." So they were quiet. "Sit down, sit down," she said to the man, and then set some hurúshiki 1 before him, of which he ate. It was just a small ball, but as he ate from it it kept increasing again. When he was done she said to him, "Now why do you come? What is the matter?" "Yes," he said, "yes, yesterday our daughter went after water and she did not return. Her foot tracks only lead to the edge of the stream, and now I came here, as you have a strong heart, and thought that may be you could do something for us." Hereupon he handed two bows to the youths and an eagle nakwákwosi, which he had also prepared, to Spider Woman. They were all happy over these things. "Askwalí," she said, "yes, these, my youths, know about it, for they have seen it. Bálölöokong dragged your daughter into the water, and to-morrow we will bestir ourselves and we shall go there. Now, you go back and invite your friends and you must also go to work making nakwákwosis." Spider Woman also instructed him that they should then dress up the brother of the maiden.

So he went home, invited his friends, and they made many nakwákwosis which they placed into a handsome tray. Early the next morning Spider Woman and the two youths repaired to the village. When they had arrived there they dressed up the brother of the lost maiden, putting a kilt, sash, bunch of breath feathers, numerous strands of beads, and ear pendants on him. He took a ball in his right hand, and the taláwayi (a stick with two eagle feathers and a string of horse hair attached to it) in his left hand. The father took the tray with prayer-offerings, and the chief of the village also went along. Spider Woman told the young man not to be afraid. While the Pö'okong and his younger brother would sing at the spring he should dance, and if the Bálölöokong pitied them and would come out With his sister, he should not be afraid and he should not cry, but should grab his sister and then strike the Bálölöokong with the tonípi

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(a club with a stone attached to it), which the Pö'okongs had handed to him.

When they had arrived at the spring they stood there. "Now we are ready," the young man said. Hereupon the Pö'okongs sing the following song:


Aha'naha vuyuna ha
Aha'naha yuyuna ha
Aha'naha yuyuna ha hahahaia



Ahainahai vuyuna ha
Ahainahai vuyuna ha
Ahainahai vuyuna ha hahahaina.

Words are all archaic.


While they were singing the young man was shaking his ball and holding the taláwayi in his left arm, dancing at the edge of the spring to the time of the singing. All at once the water began to move and the Bálölöokong came out holding the maiden in his left arm. She was still nicely dressed, having her turquoise ear-pendants still in her ears. "My elder brother," she said, to her brother, "take me. ''Yes, you go nearer now, and have a big heart, but do not cry," Spider Woman urged him. So he approached the edge of the spring and reached for his sister. But as he did so he began to cry and immediately the Bálölöokong disappeared in the water with the maiden. "Oh!" they all said. "Now let us try it again," Spider Woman suggested. "Let us try, it once more, but you must not be afraid; you must have a big heart; you must not cry. I did not tell you you must do this way, but have a big heart this time." And now they were ready again.

As they were singing the same song that they had sung before, the young man again shaking his ball and dancing at the edge of the water, the water again began to move and the Bálölöokong once more came out, again holding the mána in his left arm. ''Now go nearer, close to the edge," Spider Woman urged him, "do not be afraid now" So he danced slowly to the edge of the water and again his sister reached out her hands towards him and said: "My elder brother, take me." So when he was still dancing he held out his hand, grasped the maiden and struck the Bálölöokong on the head with the club. Immediately the serpent released the maiden and only his skin was floating on the water like a sack. "Thanks the maiden said, "thanks! You were slow in taking me, you cried." Hereupon he drew her out of the water. "Thanks!" Spider Woman said, "thanks that you were not too late." Hereupon they put other clothes on the

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maiden and laid a pûhu of red feathers for her on the path. 1 The tray with all the nakwákwosis they threw into the spring for the maiden, because with this price they had purchased the mána back from the water serpent. And they threw the prayer-offerings into the spring that nothing further should befall the mána.

They then returned to the village, but it seems that Bálölöokong just left his skin and slipped back into the water when he was struck, because he is still there and is occasionally seen by women, and whoever sees him becomes sick. Only lately, the narrator continued, he was seen by a woman, Corn-Ear (Káö), but the women that have seen him say that he now is just small. One time he was also seen by a man. Sometimes those who see him get sick, because he is dangerous.

After they had returned to the village Spider Woman and the two Pö'okongs returned to their house. And so that way they were in time to save the mána.


102:1 Told by Sik'áhpiki (Shupaúlavi).

103:1 Prepared of corn-meal and water and sometimes formed into balls.

Next: 27. How the Yellow Corn-Ear Maiden Became A Bull Snake and Revenged Herself