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p. 33

Iatiku had three more things in her basket. She knew that there were two eggs, parrot, and crow, but the third thing she did not know, so she decided to bring it to life, and see what it was. So she said, "Come alive! Let us see what you are like." And at her words it came alive. It said, "Why have I come alive? Am I wanted?" Iatiku said, "Do not ask. You will be useful." It came to life in the form of a human (male). Koshari was kind of crazy; he was active, picking around, talking nonsense, talking backward, etc. Iatiku did not think much of him, so she sent him to the Oak Man to see if he would be of any use there. So Koshari went, saying, "I know everything. Sure I'll go and I'll do everything for him, I'll be a big help." (This he said though he was just born and had no experience.)

Koshari rushed to the pueblo, climbing the wall to get in, asking every one where the altar of the Oak Man was. He spoke very loudly around the altar, even though it was supposed to be very quiet there. After he had finally bumped into Country Chief, who was guarding the altar, Koshari asked, "Where is this mauharo kai’ye (kiva of the medicine man)?" He tried to go in directly, so Country Chief caught him. "But," he protested, "I have been sent here. I am allowed everywhere by Iatiku." So Country Chief let him go, saying, "Well, he may be of some use." So Koshari yelled into the kiva, "I'm coming down," and without awaiting response or permission, he went down. As soon as he reached the bottom he said, "I came here as your partner. I have been sent to help you. I can do anything." The Oak Man was glad to have someone help him. But Koshari waited for nothing but went right to work and placed the different objects in front of the altar, saying, "Let me do it! I can do it." So Oak Man did not keep him from doing anything. He caused Oak Man a lot of amusement, in his heretofore solitary life, with his garbled speech and wisecracking and his self-confidence. (Before Iatiku told him [Koshari] to go to the altar, she told him, "I am going to initiate you. I am going to be there myself.")

All this happened on the fourth day of Oak Man's fast. Iatiku had instructed Oak Man to have a fire built in front of the altar and some yellow corn prepared. Iatiku also instructed Country Chief to tell the people to be quiet and wait during these 4 days as Iatiku was going to bring the honani to life. Country Chief told the people that the chaianyi was going to fast these 4 days and that the people should cook food for him on the fourth day. So as soon as it grew dark, Koshari spoke up, saying, "It is time now, let me go after Iatiku." So he went after her and brought her. So Iatiku, when she came to the kiva roof, called, "Chima!" Koshari, who had rushed in ahead, said, "Come on in, it is all right with us." So Iatiku, when she had come in, Said, "koa’tsi kanai skauchani daimi, 85 (Greetings, mother, my officers

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[paragraph continues] [chiefs].) Now you are passing this far in the day. From now on it will be by you that the pueblo will be run." So Koshari and the Oak Man said, "All right, but it is from you." So Koshari took Iatiku by the hand and set her down behind the altar. Iatiku asked the Oak Man if Koshari was of any use. Oak Man replied, "Yes, he has been very useful." Koshari agreed, "Yes, I know it, I am an expert at all this." So Oak Man asked Iatiku if all was all right, if the altar and everything suitably represented her. Iatiku said, "Yes, I am going to give myself to represent this altar and honani. It will also represent long life, luck, harvest, and game. The altar will have power over all of these." So Iatiku asked Oak Man to pass her "my sister," the honani.

They started to sing the song that was to establish the altar and give it life, in fact to represent her. Koshari sang the loudest and kept a line or so ahead of the rest. After this song was finished, Iatiku told Oak Man to tell the people that wished to come in to bring food for the altar and the medicine man. So Koshari got up saying, "Let me go up and tell Country Chief." So Koshari told Country Chief that he was all ready for them. "I'm all ready to eat, bring the food!" So the people (i. e., certain families who had been selected by Country Chief) brought the food.

It was dark now, so Iatiku told Oak Man to offer the food to the "ones that are ahead of you," i. e., to the now living altar. So the medicine man placed the food in front of the altar and started to pray, gesturing the food toward the spirits or the altar. In the song-prayer, Oak Man asks help, saying, "I am just a common man. I am not superhuman. My hands have no skill" 86 Koshari was doing the same thing. Iatiku told Oak Man to have some of the food. "When you finish, you are to offer it to the earth the next day, thus giving it back." After a few minutes, Iatiku spoke to Oak Man, saying, "Now that you have set this offering aside, you may break your fast on what is left over." At this Koshari immediately began to eat.

(Thus in the ceremonial Koshari always grab the food the katsina bring to the people and then demand some themselves, for example biting a piece out of a melon before giving it over. They make imaginary houses to live, lines of ashes with a space left for the door. They enter formally, slamming the door.)

After they had broken fast, Koshari was sent out with a message that the people were to come in. All of the people entered. Everyone, it will be remembered was sick, and they came to wish the Oak Man luck. Iatiku was going to initiate the Oak Man, also Koshari. They sang a song. Iatiku instructed Oak Man to take the corn during the song and stir it with his bare hands into the hot coals. So

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[paragraph continues] Koshari did it too. After the corn was parched, Oak Man was to jump into the hot coals, throwing hot coals over his chest and body. (They still initiate in this way. 87 Before this is done they mix some medicine, a plant ground up fresh, with which they paint their bodies. It is called hakanyi, fire.) After this was done it meant he was a member of the altar--the altar belonged to him. Many other songs followed this first song.

"The next thing you are to do is to make wawa (medicine)." First they go after water, getting yellow water (north), blue water (west), red (south), white (east). (The water is not actually colored; this is in the song. The names of the mountains are called for each direction.) 88 Then the song to get herbs for the medicine is sung. Some of the medicine is taken and there is a song-prayer for the power to come to the medicine from the north, east, south, and west. After they finish the water song, they pour the water, a shell full at a time as each direction is named. At one time during the medicine making they have to smoke. Iatiku told Oak Man to roll a cigarette and put honey on the end that goes into the mouth, because this renders the tobacco more powerful, gives it more power to reach out and to be appreciated. Thus, when the medicine man smokes this sacred tobacco mixed with honey representing all food, the smoke goes into the air and is carried by the air to all the people, entering them and healing and nourishing them. Before this for a long time they had known tobacco but they had not known about adding honey to it.

After the medicine is mixed, another song is sung to give medicine to the altar. Eagle feathers are dipped in the medicine and it is sprinkled over the altar. After Oak Man did this he sprinkled medicine in the same way over the audience. Then Koshari brought some ashes and placed them in front of the altar and did the same with the ashes, dipping the tips of the feathers under them and sprinkling them over the people. This lasted all night.

Iatiku then instructed Oak Man to put on the bear paw like a glove and to take the arrowhead and the honani. He did this, holding the honani in his right hand and the arrowhead with the bear paw in his left. All the people moved up to the front, sitting on the ground. He went to each one in turn touching them first on the head, then on the shoulders, the knees, and the feet while the song and prayer went on. Each time a person was touched he would inhale deeply and the Medicine man would blow the spirit of Iatiku toward him. After this he went among the people and sucked the sickness from each in

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turn, from the chest (over the heart), with his lips. 89 Before he started to do this, Iatiku told him to take some of the medicine and put it over his eyes. This opened his eyes so he could see into them  90 [i. e., the people]. They were all naked. He would then spit up this sickness from his mouth, catch it in the palm of his hand, and cast it off. 91 When he had finished sucking 92 he gave every one a drink from a shell containing medicine, just a mouthful: Koshari did this 93 [i. e., administered the medicine]. It is still done so. 94

This was not finished till daybreak (4 a. m.). Then the people were told that they might go. A dismissal song is sung for them to go out. Before they were dismissed, Oak Man got up and spoke, saying that Iatiku had said that the altar was to represent her. "We will call it nitranaish 95 shuksts (it will be our mother [Iatiku]). Thus she gives it to us forever, and the chaianyi will have for their purpose the healing of sickness." So the people were told to go and rest.

Iatiku. was still there, so she said to Oak Man, "You know everything now, but I have seen that you need helpers, so you are going, to make other groups (mi'ik) of medicine men." She told him they were to be named: Flint (histian) Chaianyi; Spider (kăpi'nă) 96, Chaianyi; Giant (shkui) Chaianyi. These four, Fire, Flint, Spider, and Giant are the only ones in the tradition. Fire Chaianyi, the Oak Man, was instructed to make altars for them similar to his.

Iatiku told Oak Man the way to select these three men. "If any should be sick and wish for long life and come to you and say they wish to become chaianyi, the first man or woman to say it you are to initiate and give the first altar; the second, the second altar; and the third, the third altar."

Iatiku went on, "There is one other way to take people into your order. During the 4 days of fasting, if anyone enters [your place] you are to take him as your child and initiate him. There is still another way to initiate people into your order. It is through tobacco. If

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anyone should roll a cigarette in the corner and give it to you without lighting it, you are to take this person and initiate him." 97

The people learned all about this and they found that this ceremony had cured them. Iatiku told Oak Man to take down all of the altar and to be very careful with it and to pack it away. "You are to leave all this in a room other than the kaach. The honani you are to take to your home where you may watch it and love it and never forget to feed it before you eat a meal."

Then Iatiku said, "Now you will rest, but any time Country Chief wants you to cure his people he will tell you and you must obey him. And if anyone comes to you wanting to be a member of your order, you will tell Country Chief and he will help you arrange it."

Iatiku turned to Koshari and said, "You have done your work faithfully but you are not acting normally enough to be here with the people." He was different from the other people because he knew something about himself, so Iatiku told him to go and live at hakuai'ch 98 (the house of the Sun). "You are to be a help to the Sun. You will be called at times to help here. You are not going to be afraid of anything or to regard anything as sacred. You are to be allowed everywhere." So Iatiku painted him white with black stripes around his body 99 and said, "This is your costume" (pl. 5, fig. 3). She took some of the things from the altar and gave them to Koshari saying, "You will use these." He thanked her but said, "I can make more to it and get what I want." So he went and lives today with the Sun, whom he helps.


33:85 Cf. White, 1932, p. 47.

34:86 Paraphrases?

35:87 Cf. White, 1932, pp. 114-115.

35:88 Colors, spirits, and mountains are associated with the cardinal points. In almost all rituals one begins with the north, then passes to west, south, and east. Songs are sung for each direction, this is to get power "from the whole world" and to concentrate it at the point where the medicine man wants to use it.

36:89 Witches "shoot" thorns, rags, or broken glass into people's bodies, causing illness.

36:90 Medicine men use a quartz crystal called ma·'caiyoyo to obtain second sight. (See White, 1942.)

36:91 See White, 1932, pp. 111, 120, for disposal of "disease objects."

36:92 Informant's note: During the ceremony, when one doctor tires of curing he sits down while another takes his place. When he sits down be is given a cigarette by the official cigarette roller (who is selected when the 4-day fast begins). When the doctor takes the cigarette, he says, "kaumu" (join, this word is used only during ceremonies, for everyday use the word shattsi is used). The cigarette roller repeats the same word. When the doctor accepts the cigarette, the roller says, "Shanaishtyu, my father."

36:93 I know of no case in which a Koshari as a koshari assists medicine men in a curing ceremony.

36:94 Cp. White, 1932, pp. 116-120.

36:95 Sutanaiyic means our mother.

36:96 In Sia mythology, the Kapina society is referred to as Spider society; it was composed of Spider people. Sûs'sĭstinnako, a spider, was its first head (Stevenson, 18914, pp. 26, 39-40, 69).

The Acoma Kapina society was a very important society. Among other things they initiated the war chiefs. They had war functions (White, 1932, pp. 42, 48-49, 107, 117 ftn. 15; 1942). (See also Boas, 1928, pt. 1, pp. 64-67, 139, 291.) Parsons (1936, pp. 556) sees close relationship between the Acoma-Sia Kapina societies and the Hopi Snake-Antelope societies.

Next: Wanderings, Part IV