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The First Deer Hunter

THIS is the story of the first Yaqui deer hunter. He is called Yebu'uku Yoeme. This man, since he was very young, lived alone with his mother in a place called Poobetame'aka'apo.

Yebu'uku Yoeme was a very good hunter. He had great power over the deer. He dominated them so that they became as tame as burros. The deer were very wild and dangerous, but Yebu'uku Yoeme could catch up with them and tame them. Sometimes he would tie two together and drive them like a team.

Throughout his youth, he didn't know another person except his mother, only animals and the monte. He didn't do anything except to bring his mother water from the lagoon near their house, and then go out into the monte among the animals.

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After many years, a beautiful young girl appeared to Yebu'uku Yoeme. The story does not say where she came from or whose daughter she was--only that she came from the seashore to the north. Her name was Seahamut.

Before dawn, she arrived at the water hole where Yebu'uku Yoeme was accustomed to draw water for his mother. Seahamut had begun to wash her hair when Yebu'uku arrived. He said to her, "Good morning, woman."

"Good morning, man," answered Seahamut.

"Why do you wash in the water that I drink?" he asked.

"I don't know," answered the girl.

"Where do you come from?" asked Yebu'uku Yoeme.

And she replied, "I don't know that either. I am lost. I don't know who I am, or where I came from. I am only walking about lost. But I came here," said Seahamut, with a happy smile on her lips. "Where do you live, man?"

"Not far," answered Yebu'uku Yoeme.

"Have you no mother?" she asked.

"Yes, I have."

"Then why do you have to carry water?"

"I don't know," said Yebu'uku Yoeme.

"Take me to your house and I will live with you," said the girl.

"Come with me," said Yebu'uku Yoeme, and he took her to the patio of his house. "Wait here a moment. I am going to ask permission of my mother," he said, and he put her behind some green branches.

Seahamut said, "Tell your mother that you want very much to get married. Then she will

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ask you where you are going to find a woman. Tell her that you just found one, and then both of you come here for me."

The mother of Yebu'uku Yoeme was sweeping her house. It was early in the morning.

Yebu'uku Yoeme said to his mother, "Mother I have a great desire to get married."

"My dear son, where will I find a girl for you here? There are none, and I don't know where I can find you one!"

"I know where there is one," said Yebu'uku Yoeme.

"Take me to her," said the mother.

They both went to the place where Seahamut was hiding. When the girl saw them coming, she came out to meet them.

The mother said to her, "Come to our house. From now on it is yours. From today on, you must clean it daily." She led her to the kitchen. "Here is the olla. You will bring fresh water every day. From now on the house is in your charge. This is your husband. He was carrying water because he had no woman, but today that task falls to you. He will go into the monte and hunt the deer and bring you food. That will now be his only work to hunt the deer."

Well they were very happily married until they both died of old age.

Tepecano mythology records an incident of a boy finding a girl at a lake, bringing her to the patio and requesting his mother to come out and greet his wife.

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