THIS story is the result of eight years spent in ethnological and archæological study among the Pueblo Indians of New Mexico. The first chapters were written more than six years ago at the Pueblo of Cochiti. The greater part was composed in 1885, at Santa Fé, after I had bestowed upon the Tehuas the same interest and attention I had previously paid to their neighbours the Queres. I was Prompted to perform the work by a conviction that however scientific works may tell the truth about the Indian, they exercise always a limited influence upon the general public; and to that public, in our country as well as abroad, the Indian has remained as good as unknown. By clothing sober facts in the garb of romance I have hoped to make the "Truth about the Pueblo Indians" more accessible and perhaps more acceptable to the public in general.
The sober facts which I desire to convey may be divided into three classes,--geographical, ethnological, and archæological. The descriptions of the country and of its nature are real. The descriptions of manners and customs, of creed and rites. are from actual observations by myself and other ethnologists, from the statements of trustworthy Indians,
and from a great number of Spanish sources of old date, in which the Pueblo Indian is represented as he lived when still unchanged by contact with European civilization.
The descriptions of architecture are based upon investigations of ruins still in existence on the sites where they are placed in the story.
The plot is my own. But most of the scenes described I have witnessed; and there is a basis for it in a dim tradition preserved by the Queres of Cochiti that their ancestors dwelt on the Rito de los Frijoles a number of centuries ago, and in a similar tradition among the Tehuas of the Pueblo of Santa Clara in regard to the cave-dwellings of the Puye.
A word to the linguist. The dialect spoken by the actors is that of Cochiti for the Queres, that of San Juan for the Tehuas. In order to avoid the complicated orthography latterly adopted by scientists for Indian dialects, I have written Indian words and phrases as they would be pronounced in continental languages. The letter ā is used to denote the sound of a in "hare."
To those who have so kindly assisted me,--in particular to Rev. E. W. Meany of Santa Fé, and to Dr. Norton B. Strong, of the United States Army,--I herewith tender my heartfelt thanks.
AD. F. BANDELIER
SANTA FÉ, NEW MEXICO