The Traditions of the Hopi, by H.R. Voth, , at sacred-texts.com
A long time ago there lived a family right north of where now the Náshabe kiva is situated. The family consisted of a father, mother, two daughters, and a son. The latter would always go and hunt eagles as soon as warm weather set ill in spring, and later on take care of them, so that he would never find any time to assist his father in his field work. The two maidens would get angry at their brother
because he would not assist their father to make a living, and they would tell him that he should go and work in the field. He would say, however, that he had to take care of his eagles, of which he usually caught and kept a great many.
One spring he only captured two young eagles. He was very much depressed, saying: "Why has this happened to me; I usually capture a good many eagles, and now I only found two." Yet he took them home and cared for them. One morning after he had gone out to hunt food for his eagles, the mother and two maidens concluded to go to the field also. The girls got angry at the eagles and beat them. Thereupon they locked up the house, hiding the wooden key of the wooden lock somewhere near the fireplace. The mother had gone to the field early in the morning with her husband. When the girls arrived in the field the father said to them: "So you have come." "Yes," they said, "we have come." "Very well," the father said, whereupon the maidens assisted their parents in weeding and hoeing their field.
When the young man came home some time during the day, he was very thirsty and tried to get into the house. "Well, now," he said, "some one locked this door." "Yes," the Eagles said, "your sisters locked it, and the key is buried near the fireplace under some ashes;" whereupon the young man found the key and opened the door. The Eagles told him that his sisters had beaten them, and told him that he should dress up and that they wanted to go to where the family was. So the young man painted his legs yellow, with sik'áhpiki, tied some bells or rattles round his legs, and some eagle's feathers in his hair, put on a kilt, sash, and belt, and decorated his body in different colors. Over his cheeks and nose he made a black line. He placed a number of strands of beads around his neck and ear pendants around his ears. One of the Eagles said, "I am going to carry you on my back." So he mounted the Eagle, holding himself with both hands to the wings of the Eagle, and the other Eagle taking the lead, they began to ascend. The people in the village observed them and recognized the young man, and said, "Oh! Why is that Eagle carrying Chórzhvûk'íqölö!" 1
As they started , the Eagle that carried him said to him, he should sing the following Song:
Haoo Inguu! Haoo Inaa!
Hao, my mother! Hao, my father!
(Are) figured, (are) figured. 1
While he was singing this they kept soaring upwards above the village, and after flying around in a circle four times they proceeded southward towards the field in which his people were. When they had come near the field the young man sang the same song again. The sisters heard him, and said, "Listen, our brother is coming from somewhere, because we hear him sing." They looked along the path but could see nothing. When the Eagles were close by the sisters discovered them and recognized their brother. "Oh!" they said, "why are you carrying our brother?" but they received no answer. Hereupon the Eagles descended somewhat, and the parents, whom the maidens had told about it, asked them to come down and leave their son with them, but instead of doing that, the Eagles began to rise, again circling around four times, the young man singing the song four times. By this time they had soared up very high, and finally were out of sight. The parents and sisters cried very much, especially the latter. The family immediately went home, mourning as they went along.
The Eagles kept flying higher and higher to their home. Arriving at an opening away up in the sky, they passed through into the world where the Eagles dwell, and from where they come down in response to the prayers of the Hopi and hatch their young for the Hopi here in this world. The two Eagles proceeded somewhat eastward from the opening, onto a very high bluff around which, in the. valley, were many houses that were all perfectly white and in which the Eagles lived. The two Eagles deposited the young man on the top of that bluff, and told him, ''Here you will have to stay, because your sisters were bad to us and beat us," whereupon they left him. He was very despondent over the matter and thought that he would jump down from the bluff. He said, "If I remain here I will die with hunger anyway, so I may just as well jump down and die quickly.'' But soon a little Wren appeared on the bluff, jumping up and down the edge. He spoke to the little Wren, asking whether there was no possibility of him getting down, but he received no answer. Soon the little bird flew away, but came back
again, acting in the same manner. All at once a black Spider, that had been informed about the matter by the Wren came up the bluff The Spider came close to the man, saying to him: ''Well, now, you poor one, here you are all alone." After thus having pitied him, the Spider continued: "Well, just stay here," and left him. But soon she returned, bringing with her two small, fine, downy turkey feathers, and handed them to the young man, saying: "You sleep or, one of them and cover yourself with the other, so that you do not get cold during the night." She then began pitying him, saying that it was too bad that his animals (meaning the Eagles) had treated him so badly after he had taken such good care of them. Hereupon she again left him and he spent the night on the bluff. Early in the morning the Wren came again. "So you have come again, the young man said, but the Wren did not answer. It went, however, along the edge of the bluff again to the place where the Spider had come up and when the young man looked there, too, he saw a narrow crack in the bluff, reaching away down to the ground. The Wren at once began to pull out one feather after another from its wings, putting them at short intervals into the wall of the crack, while it was holding itself also on the sides of the crack. When the feathers from the wings were all gone it pulled out the feathers from its tail, thrusting them also into the side of the crack. When the tail feathers were all gone it had not yet reached the bottom by far. So it began to pull out the small feathers from all over the body and continued to build its little ladder with these feathers, but the bottom was still not reached, so that finally it had to pull out even the small down all over its body, with which it finished the ladder. It now ascended the bluff again on its improvised ladder, and when it came to the top the young man hardly recognized it. It was entirely naked, having kept only its bill. It now invited the young man to follow it, and climbed down this ladder, assuring him that he would get down safely, and there was no reason for him to be afraid. So they descended and when they had safely reached the ground the Wren told him to wait there for it, whereupon it commenced to ascend again, holding itself to the sides of the crack. As it slowly mounted it pulled off with its bill the feathers from the wall of the crack and replaced them where they had been taken out from its body. When it had reached thc top it had all its feathers again and then flew down. Here it told the young man to go towards the place from where it had come. showing him the direction, and then left him.
The man proceeded as directed, and when he finally stopped at a place he heard a voice saying: "Step back a little, you almost are
on my house." It was Spider Woman. She invited him into her house, but he said: "The opening is so small, how shall I get in?" She removed the small sticks and pieces of grass that were built up around the opening, thus enlarging the opening so that he could enter. "Now," she said to him, "you must be very hungry. It is too bad that those Eagles which you treated so well should have been so bad to you. You had better stay here and live with me now." Hereupon she gave him a tiny piece of meat, a very small quantity of hurúshuki (a kind of doughy mush), and half a nut, and invited him to eat. "Oh!" he thought, "how shall I get satisfied with this small quantity. I shall surely remain hungry," but when he took the hurúshuki, and placed it in his mouth, she said to him: "Oh, you must not take it all, you must just take a small quantity, and you must only suck the meat." He did so and when he began to eat it, it increased in his mouth, filling his mouth entirely. The same was true of the nut, and the meat, the latter being white meat of some kind of a fowl, as the old woman explained to him upon his request. After he had eaten, Spider Woman made a ball for him of pitch and hair, the same as the Hopi use to-day in their races in early spring. In the morning he took that ball, left the house and ran southward, kicking the ball before him as the Hopi do at the present day. Arriving at a small lake he saw at its banks some little birds, and having learned that Spider Woman relished that kind of meat very much, he killed one of the birds and took it along. On his way back he again kicked the ball before him, and at the last kick it dropped down into the Spider Woman's house, by which she knew that he had returned. "Thanks, that you have come back." She expressed her satisfaction at him having brought some more meat, and said: "Now, you must put this away and we must not eat very much of it at a time, so that it may last us several months." The young man laughed at her, saying, "Yes, I will be nibbling at it for a long time." She told him that the meat which she had had before, she had found, the bird evidently having been killed by some other bird, and she had lived upon that bird for a long time.
The next day he went out again, bringing home this time two birds that he had killed. She thanked him very much again, saying, that now they could eat all they wanted. She then warned him that he should never go towards the west, as there were some bad people living there that would hurt him. The third day he again went to the lake, taking with him this time a throwing stick. When he arrived there he killed a large number of birds and brought them back with him. On this trip he again kept kicking the ball before
him. When he brought all these birds into Spider Woman's house and placed them on the floor, she was very happy, and thanked him for it many times. "Now," she said, "we can eat meat and need no longer simply suck it," as they did before. "I am going to live well now, on account of you, (by your help)," she added. On the fourth day he again made the trip in the same manner, to the aforesaid lake, but this time he thought he would turn around to the right, westward, and see at least who it was that was living there and that was reported to be bad. He thought if any danger threatened him he could easily run away. So he traveled westward, kicking before him his ball. All at once the ball disappeared and he found that it had dropped into a kiva. He approached the kiva and waited outside. All at once some one called from within, saying, that he had been seen and that he should come in, as nobody would hurt him, So he went in and found that his ball was lying north of the fireplace. He was again, with the utmost kindness, invited to sit down, with which he complied. He thought that those who lived here could by no means be called dangerous or bad. The man living in the kiva had long eyelids that were hanging down on his breast and that had to be laid back over his head when he wanted to see. His name was Hásohkata, and soon he said: ''Now, let us play totólospi." The young man consented, but Hásohkata beat him twice. "What will you pay me now?" he asked the young man. "I do not know," the latter said, "I have nothing. You may take my ball, however. I do not want that," Hásohkata said, ''but you may lie down outside at the entrance of my kiva and it will not be so cold then," for it had by this time become fall and the weather was getting cold. The young man consented, but Hásohkata said to him: ''I am afraid you will run away then, so I am going to tie your hands and feet," which he did. In a little while the young man began to feel very cold while he was lying outside of the kiva. Spider Woman, in the meanwhile, became uneasy about her young friend, saving, "It is now about half noon and he is not yet here, he undoubtedly did not follow my advice and went westward and fell into the hands of the bad people. She at once went to look him up and found him lying at the kiva's opening, his hands tied on his back and his feet also tied together. "Aha!" she said, "here you are lying just as I thought. You must be hungry; now, that is the reason why I came. Now, you stay here until I return and get something for you." So she returned to her house and got two fuzzy, short turkey feathers. With these she returned and placed one beneath him and with the other one she covered him up. p. 165 Hereupon she returned to her house and commenced to meditate on the matter. "Why did he take away my friend," she thought, "and how shall I get him back again. That man there in the kiva is a bad man and he will not want to give back to me my grandchild. I am going out to call somebody in here." So she went out and called out to her people, saving: ''All assemble here, but do not tarry, be quick about it," Those that responded at once were specially animals of prey, such as the bear, wildcat, panther, mole, etc. Her house was completely filled. ''Why do you want us in such a hurry?" they asked. "Yes," she said, "that there Hásohkata has hung my grandchild up to smoke (referring to the fact that objects that are smoked are sometimes suspended in the hatch-way over the fireplace). So now, I want you to go and take my grandchild away from Hásohkata." "All right," they said, ''but how shall we do it?" "You must also gamble with him," she said. They then agreed upon certain games that they were going to play, and sticks that they should make, etc., and then left, being led by the old woman. Hásohkata in the meanwhile kept laughing at the young man lying outside of his kiva entrance. "Now, you are cold by this time, are you?" he kept saying to him, and while he was still talking in that manner the rescuers arrived at the kiva. Before they started, however, from Spider Woman's house, she had prepared. a set of báckshivu (a cup game). This she had brought with her. While they had proceeded to Hásohkata's house the Mole had proceeded to the same place underground and was waiting under the house of Hásohkata. When the others arrived at the kiva they were invited to come in by Hásohkata. He spoke very kindly to them. North of the fireplace was still the drawing of the totólospi game that he had played with the young man. In reply to his urgent request to come in, Spider Woman said: ''We have come to gamble with you. You are smoking my grandchild here and we have come to beat you at playing, and are going to take him away." "All right," he said, "come right in," whereupon they entered, entirely filling the kiva. "All right," they said, "who will commence?" "You play first," Hásohkata said," because you proposed it." Spider Woman was happy over it, and put up her four gaming cups on the north side of the fireplace. The Mole, still being under the floor, saw it and placed the little ball under one of the cups, pushing it up very bard, however, that it could not drop out in case that cup was chosen and thrown down by the player. Now, they said to Hásohkata, "Guess under which it is, and we will see whether you will win." He pondered a long time, then threw down
one of the cups, but the ball was not under it. Hereupon he threw down another one, but the ball was not under that one. "Now, that is enough," Spider Woman said, "you have not found it." So she put up her four cups again, the Mole again fastened the ball in one of the cups quickly, closing up the opening in the floor, and then Hásohkata was again challenged to guess. He again threw down two cups without winning one game. "My!" he said, ''Who are you? Why are you trying to keep away your things from me? You have beaten me, so take the young man along." Spider Woman then herself threw down one of her cups and said, "Here under this one is the ball." This made the old man somewhat angry and he refused to let his captive go, but he challenged them to another trial, Outside of his kiva grew very strong kwíngwi, which is a brush, the sticks of which are very hard. He told them that if they would break down or pull out a certain amount of that stuff he would consider himself beaten. The Mole hearing this, quickly made its way underground to the brush and soon gnawed off all the biggest roots of a great deal of brush. The others did not know anything about this and so when they came out of the kiva the old woman said to the others: "Now, let us try to pull this out and see whether we can do it." They commenced, and in a short time had pulled out so much, even with parts of the roots, that Hásohkata considered himself beaten even before they had pulled out all that the Mole had loosened. "All right," he said, "you take with you all that I have and you will be rich, you have beaten me." They returned to the kiva, untied the young man and all again entered the kiva of Hásohkata. "Now," Hásohkata said to them, "take with you all of my things here, because you have beaten me twice." There were a great many objects throughout his kiva, such as clothing, bows. quivers, arrows, and other things that he had taken away from visitors with whom he had gambled and whom he had killed, throwing their corpses into a big hole that was full of bones.
After they had taken everything, they said to him: "But what shall we do to you?" He replied: "You have taken all my things, let me alone." To this they did not agree. "We are going to kill you," they said. "So the Bear grabbed him, tore open his breast, and tore out the heart of Hásohkata, which he took with him. The Wolves, Coyotes, Wildcats, etc., hereupon fell upon the corpse, tearing it to pieces and devoured it. These animals still do the same to-day, killing people whenever they have an opportunity to do so, whether these people are good or bad, and that is the reason why the Hopi hunt and kill those animals if they can do so.
After they had left the kiva, Spider Woman told them all that they could now go to their respective homes. She took her grandchild with her and also returned to her home with him. Here she told him that he should fear nothing after this because nobody would now hurt him, that having been the only one that was bad and dangerous. The Wren had in the meanwhile been down to this earth and had seen the parents of the young man and found out that they were longing for their lost son, and when it returned it told Spider Woman about it. So about four or five days after they had returned from Hásohkata's kiva, she told him that he might go home now, as his father and mother were homesick after him. She did not, however, tell him how she had found it out, and she promised him that the next day she would go with him. So the next day they went to the opening through which the Eagles had brought the young man. They looked down and could see nothing. Everything looked as if we are now looking upward. So Spider Woman placed around the opening sticks and brush of all kinds just the same as around a spider hole. Over this she then spun a great deal of web and before cutting the thread she told the young man to mount her back. Hereupon they began to descend, the thread of spider web unraveling at the opening as they descended farther and farther downward. She advised the young man to keep his eyes closed, which he did. They struck the earth somewhere close to the field of the young man's parents. Here he left Spider Woman and started to his parents' home himself. When he arrived at his home one of the neighbors said to his parents: "Some one has come; your child has come," but they would not believe it. "He will never come, he is gone," the mother said. When he entered the house he said: "I have come." "Who are you?" the father said. "I am Chórzhvûk'íqölö." "No, you are not the one." "Yes, I am," he said; but at last the father recognized him and said, "Yes, you have come." The mother then, too, recognized him and she was very happy. The sisters who had been waiting and longing for their brother, were also very happy that he had returned. So they were all united again and maybe they are still living there.
159:1 Told by Qöyáwaima (Oraíbi).
160:1 The name signifies: Bunch of blue-bird wing feathers.
161:1 This refers to the fact that the Hopi, especially the children, often fold up a strip of corn husk and with their teeth mark different figures in it, which are then shown in different places of the husk when the latter is opened and held against the light. This was probably a song which the boy had been singing with his sisters and by which he wanted to make himself known, in which he was successful.