They were living at White House, and all the people (of the world) called each other by relationship terms; they were brothers and sisters. Uretsiti, the mother of the pueblos, and Naotsiti, the mother of the Navahos, were sisters.
It was when they left White House that they began to have trouble. Naotsiti challenged Uretsiti to a contest. She said, "Whoever the sun shines on first shall be the greater," for she was taller than her elder sister. Uretsiti and Naotsiti stood up before dawn and waited for the first rays of the sun. Naotsiti said, "Whoever the sun strikes first, her children shall be valuable; whoever the sun strikes last, her children shall be worthless." She was boasting. Then the sun rose. Its first rays fell on the hair of Uretsiti. They spread to her eyebrows, and when they had rested there, the first light of the sun fell on the top of the hair of Naotsiti. They spread down to her cheeks, and when they rested there they touched the eyebrows of Naotsiti. They spread to her chin, and when they rested there they touched the cheeks of Naotsiti. They spread to her chest, and when they rested there they touched the chin of Naotsiti. The light of the sun completely covered Uretsiti, and still the shadow had not gone, from Naotsiti. When Naotsiti saw her sister already standing in the full sunlight, she was angry and said, "Why is it that you are standing covered with sun and I am still in shadow?" Uretsiti answered, "It is not I who have done this. It is our great mother. 2 This was your challenge, but she has given me power to overcome." Then Naotsiti said, "Do with me as you please. If you kill me, do not put it off." 3 Uretsiti
took up her rabbit stick and threw it at Naotsiti. She turned into a large woodrat and ran in among the rocks. Uretsiti could not follow her in the crevices. So she was saved. Just as the mother of the pueblos was safe and won in, this contest, so whenever there is fighting between the Navahos and the pueblos, the people of the pueblos are safe and win. Only once in a very long time one man is lost from the pueblos in fighting with the Navahos. And as the Mother of the Navahos saved herself by running in among the rocks, so the Navahos still save themselves in war by hiding among the rocks. 4
Naotsiti (mother of the Navahos) challenged Uretsiti (mother of the Cochiti 6) to a contest. She was taller than her elder sister and she chose what the contest should be. She said, "Whoever the sun sees first shall be the winner." They called together all their people, and before sunrise they stood together on a line, facing toward the east. But when the sun rose, it saw Uretsiti first. Then Naotsiti said, "You have won. In four days we shall contest again." In four days they rose early and scattered cornmeal to the Kopishtaya. All the people came together, and Masewi and Oyoyewi were in charge of the contest. When all the people were ready they brought the Mothers into the center of all the people. Uretsiti had her hair cut in old Cochiti fashion, 7 and Naotsiti in Navaho fashion. They each of them carried a grinding muller. The first turn was Naotsiti's. She struck Uretsiti so that she fell to the ground. It was the turn of our Mother. She rose and struck Naotsiti so that she fell to the ground. They laid down their mullers and wrestled. Then Uretsiti overcame Naotsiti and killed her. She turned into a woodrat and ran off. That is why the Navahos avoid woodrats. They do not kill them because their mother is a woodrat. And this is why the men of Cochiti are strongest in war, and the Navahos call them "full of power." From all the pueblos, even from Zuñi and Hopi, they come to our pueblo bringing belts and turquoises and mantas to offer to our Mother at her shrine at Koaske. 8
1:1 Informant 1. See Dumarest, Father Noël, Notes on Cochiti, New Mexico, Mem. Amer. Anthrop. Assoc., vol. VI, p. 212. For discussion and abstract see Notes, p. 203.
1:2 The narrator suggested that this referred to Thought Woman.
1:3 Usually in this Keres story the life of the loser is staked upon the contest.
2:4 Note also Dumarest, 215, n. 2.
2:5 Informant 2.
2:6 "Not even the mother of Santo Domingo."
2:7 So that the line of the bangs and hair forms an uninterrupted half circle from ear to ear.
2:8 A cave on the Rio Grande. Where the Bloody Hand katcina went in also.