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


Halíksai! At Kutúkwûhschomo (so called after a certain kind of grass, Kutúkwûhci, that grew on that hill), used to live a Kalátötö. In' the village of Oraíbi lived many people. Kalátötö would often visit the village and try to find something to eat among the refuse near the village. The children of the village, finding the Kalátötö would tease and worry him, snapping their finger nails against his head, so that sometimes he would almost die. He would then retire to his house again. This happened very often and the Kalátötö was thinking how he could get some hair at least on the head, like the Hopi children had, who otherwise were just as nude as the Kalátötö. He had no hair nor any protection of any kind over his entire body. He finally concluded that he would go to the timber and get some pitch, which he did. Taking some of this pitch to his house he went to the village to hunt some hair that had been thrown on the piles of refuse by the Hopi, and finding some, he took it to his house and was very happy.

The next morning he put some of the pitch on his head and pasted some hair on it, so that he now had hair like the Hopi children. He was now. very happy and made a visit to the village again. The children soon discovered him again and said: "Here is somebody," and one of the children soon recognized the Kalátötö, saying, "It seems to be the Kalátötö, but he has now hair." "It smells very much like pitch here," some of the children said, "he has put pitch on his head," and they at once took little sticks and putting one end of them on his head the pitch adhered to the sticks. As the Hopi children are very fond of pitch they began to chew the pitch, scraping all off of his head.

p. 173

He was very sorry and returned to his home, gathering up, however, the hairs which the children had pulled out of the pitch and thrown away, and he took them along. He meditated about the matter all night, and in the morning went into the timber north of the village again. Finding some cactus, he took with him some of the juice to his house. In the morning he put some of this on his head and again pasted the hair to the juice, which adhered firmly after the juice had nearly dried.

So he went again to the village. The children seeing him said: "Here he has come again," and once more tried with little sticks to remove his head covering, but they soon found that this time it was not pitch. So he remained there a while, the children again worrying him. Towards evening he went home, and by that time the juice had dried so thoroughly that it began to crack and fall off with the hair. He was now again very unhappy.

At that time it was píki providing day (píktotok'a) in the village, preparatory for a Katcina dance. The Kalátötö was very unhappy, as he had hoped to attend the dance with the hair on his head. The next morning he again repaired to the woods to get some more pitch, which he found quickly. Bringing it to the house, he again felt happy, thinking that now he would have hair to attend the dance the next day. He was very happy and in the evening put some of the pitch on his head again, pasting new hair to it. He then retired and slept well that night. In the morning he heard the Katcinas dance and wanted to go to the village, but the pitch had gotten warm during the night and the hair and pitch adhered closely to the floor on which he had been sleeping. He made repeated efforts to rise, but could not. So he heard the Katcinas dance and sing all day, but could not get up. As he finally became very hungry and no one brought him anything to eat, he perished there.


172:1 Not fully identified. The Hopi say it looks somewhat like a locust but has short wings and is of a light brown color with darker stripes across its back. It is larger than a cricket, to which also it bears a resemblance in certain respects.

172:2 Told by Kwáyeshva (Oraíbi).

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