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


A long time ago a beautiful maiden lived in the northern part of the village of Oraíbi. The young men of the village vied with one another to gain her favor, but she treated with contempt all attempts in that direction. The young men would gather flowers, some of them even going long distances to find rare flowers, and offer them to her, but she would persistently refuse to accept any of them. So they finally gave up the attempts in disgust.

The Yellow Cloud chief of the north heard about it and also decided to try to win her. He prepared a beautiful bridal outfit, consisting of two robes, a pair of moccasins, a knotted belt, and a reed mat, the latter to be used as a receptacle for a part of the outfit. In fact, it was the same outfit that is made for brides at the present time, but yellow being the color of the north with the Hopi, this whole outfit was of that color. The chief brought it to the village and presented it to the maiden, but she refused to accept it, so he, too, returned to his home in disgust. The Blue Cloud chief of the west hearing about this, made up his mind that he would try to win the favor of that maiden, so he prepared a blue bridal outfit and offered it to the maiden, but it was promptly refused. Hereupon the Red Cloud

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chief of the south prepared the same outfit in red color, but also without success. The White Cloud chief of the east tried his luck with a white bridal costume, but with no better results. The Black Cloud chief from above failed in the same manner, and finally the Gray Cloud chief from below tried his luck, only to meet with complete failure, as his five companions had. 1

After all these attempts and failures, Paváyoyk'ashi, a rain deity in the far south, heard about this story. He painted and dressed up beautifully like the Flute players, Powámuy dancers, and certain Katcinas at the present day, painted a black line over his cheeks and nose, took a bow and arrows, placed the latter in a panther skin quiver and proceeded to Oraíbi. He found the maiden already mentioned, in the valley south of Oraíbi watching her father's field, He addressed her, saving, that she should speak to her parents and ask them whether they would give her to him and, in case they should give their consent, he would come and get her in four days. She was favorably impressed with him and promised to do so. In the evening, when she arrived in her home, she told her parents about it, saying that somebody had come there, had asked her in marriage provided they, the parents, would give their consent. The parents offered no objections.

The Coyote Old Man at that time lived west of the village at a place called Coyote Gap. He had been thinking of that maiden, but knowing that she had refused all offers, had never had the courage to ask for her. Hearing now that she had accepted Paváyoyk'ashi, he at once determined to win her. So he traveled south to a country where it is warm and where there are parrots and macaws. He captured one of the macaws, returned, and at once proceeded to the house of the maiden, saving: ''I have brought something pretty for you." She asked, "What is it?" He produced the parrot and asked her whether she wanted it. She was at once struck with the beauty of the bird, and, not thinking of any evil intentions that the Coyote might have, accepted the present. The parrot was alive. The Coyote, well pleased with his success, returned to his house. During the night he proceeded to the house of Paváyoyk'ashi, stole his costume and ornaments and all that he usually took with him, and returned. The next morning he dressed and painted up just like Paváyoyk'ashi and proceeded to the house of the maiden. this being the day on which Paváyoyk'ashi had said that he would come

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for her, she mistook Coyote Old Man for her lover and went with him. They proceeded to the house of the Coyote Old Man where she remained. She soon discovered her mistake and was very unhappy over it.

When Paváyoyk'ashi awoke in the morning, he missed his costume. After hunting for it and being unable to find anything, he discovered tracks leading to and from his house. He followed these and tracked them to the house of the maiden, from there back to the house of the Coyote, where to his great sorrow he found her. He did not say anything, however, but returned to his home, being, of course, very angry. In the meanwhile the young men of the village heard that the beautiful maiden, whom to win they had made so many unsuccessful attempts, had been ensnared by the Coyote Old Man. They were very much exasperated over it, went down the mesa, surrounded the Coyote's house and determined to kill the Coyote. When they arrived there he was still sleeping. The maiden, sitting by his side, was very much dejected. When the Coyote heard the noise he awoke, jumped up, ran up the ladder and succeeded in escaping between and through the pursuers without being hurt by the sticks that were hurled at him. Ascending a ridge or mesa some distance west of the village, he turned around and in a defiant way expressed his satisfaction at the victory he had gained over them, by successfully getting their most beautiful maiden away from them, and the village. While he spoke he grasped his genitalia and showed them to his pursuers, Hereupon he descended the mesa upon the other side and disappeared.

Paváyoyk'ashi bided his time and one time brought a strong wind, some very heavy rain and thunder clouds, in which he was hidden, to the village. He took revenge on his enemy, the Coyote, by striking him dead with a ray of lightning. The maiden returned to her home, but realizing that she had cast herself away, she continued to lead a life of lewdness.


157:1 Told by Qöyáwaima (Oraíbi).

158:1 With the Hopi yellow is the ceremonial color of the north; green or blue, of the west red, of the south; white, of the east; black, of the above; gray, meaning in this case a mixture of all kinds of colors, of the below.

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