Sacred Texts  Native American  Southwest  Index  Previous  Next 


They were living in Pecos. They fought and many were killed. Half the people left Pecos and came down in this direction. The other half stayed behind. Those who stayed had a meeting. They planned to become snakes. Those who had already started in this direction wondered why the rest did not come to join them. They sent a messenger, a goatcini, 20a to see what was the matter. He found they had all become snakes. He returned and told them, "They have all turned themselves into snakes. I do not know what has happened." The women cried and cried. One of the chief men said, "How can we let this happen without doing anything? We have a medicine society. We will call the puyatc." They called together all the puyatc and they set up their altar and prayed and sang. They held their ceremony trying to restore the snakes. The women brought in pollen to feed to them. The medicine men tied feathers and hung them around the necks of the snakes praying that they should take the form of men and women again. For four days they prayed and sang, but they could not restore the snakes. They let them go and the rest of the Pecos Indians came down to Santo Domingo. All the Pecos Indians who are left live in Santo Domingo and they still have the Puyatc Society.


16:5 Informant 2. Notes, p. 209.

16:20a A war-captain assistant.

Next: The Deer Dance