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p. 88


Long ago here in Cochiti they were making baskets. Here in the kiva was one woman who was also making baskets. She had two children, one small and one big. The sister took care of the baby and carried her on her back. Then the little one cried. Then she took her to her mother to nurse her. Her mother said, "Take her away for a while. I shall nurse her soon." Then she took her away. Then the baby cried again and therefore four times she took her there. Her mother said to her again, "Take her away for a while. After a while I will take her." Then she took her away again. The girl became angry and the two went away from there. They went northward. From there they went north. A woman said to her, "Where are you going?" "We are going," said the girl. She was crying. Then she asked her, "Where are you going?" "We are going where (the dead) go. Mother did not nurse my sister. She is tired of crying." "No," said she to her, "Don't go!" "Yes," said the girl. "When you reach home do not tell mother that we are going this way." Then the woman went straight back to the kiva. When she arrived on top she shouted downward. Then the woman came out. She told her, "Your children have gone away. You made them angry because you would not nurse her." Then the woman followed them northward. She nearly caught up with them. She shouted to them, but they did not turn back. Then they arrived somewhere where a spruce tree was standing. They sat down on top. Then the spruce slowly went down into the water, but the woman who was about to arrive cried. Then she arrived, but the tree on which they were sitting was about to go down. No more could she take them back. It went down entirely. She arrived there and a flint was given to the woman with which to cut (the water). She hit with it downward. Then the water opened and she saw her children sitting on the spruce tree. The water closed around them and she could never get back her children. They were gone forever.


A woman was making baskets in the kiva. The men were making dance sashes. Every morning when she had had her breakfast she went to the kiva. All the forenoon she worked. In her house her baby cried; it wanted to be nursed. Its sister took the baby to the kiva and called down to her mother, "Mother, baby brother is crying. Come and nurse him." "Wait a little longer. Take care of him as best you can." The girl and the baby. went off again. The baby

p. 89

cried again. Again the sister took him to the kiva and called down to their mother, "Mother, baby brother is crying. Come and nurse him." "Wait a little longer. Take care of him as best you can." The girl and the baby went off again. The third time she came to the kiva and called down to her mother, "Mother, baby brother is crying. Come and nurse him." "Wait a little longer. Take care of him as best you can." "We will go away far." The girl went away and started to the north. She sang to the baby--

Little Hair on Forehead, 20
My dear, my dear,
My mother doesn't want to nurse my little brother,
Little Hair on Forehead.

The baby quieted. They met a woman, and she. said, "Best take the baby back." "No." She came to the lake and carried the baby on her back right into the lake. The woman they had met went back to the mother and told her the children were running away to the lake. The mother dropped everything and ran after them. She got there just as they were entering the lake. She cried, "My child, my child, bring the baby back! I will nurse the baby for you!" But the girl went right on, and the mother was too late. She went back to the kiva and told them that she wasn't going to work at basket making any more. It was the reason she had lost her children. She left her basket making forever and though her husband tried to coax her she never went back to it.


A woman had a little, baby, but she went every day to make baskets in the kiva and left the baby with his older sister. In the kiva all the men and women were busy. Some were weaving black mantas, and some ball-fringed white sashes, and some were embroidering the large white mantas. The men and the women took each other's places at the work. Others were combing the cotton and spinning it, and others prepared their meals in their homes and brought them to the kiva. The mother coiled a large, basket (plaque).

The girl took the baby down to the east to Whirlpool Place. She walked right into the water. A cedar tree was growing in the center of the pool. She took hold of it, and sang, and it went slowly down into the other world. The mother came after them. She saw her children going, and wept. She heard some one saying, "You shall have four trials to reach your children. Take this rod (meaning not known) and strike the water four times. If you can reach them,

p. 90

they shall return to you." She struck the pool and the water parted and there she saw the cedar tree still standing with her children upon it. She rushed down the path between the walls of water, but before she reached them the water rushed together again and she had to run back. Four times she struck the water, but each time the water came together, and she had to fall back. At last her four trials were gone, and she stood there weeping. She wept for her children. She died right there.


The cedar disappeared and took the children down to Shipap into a great room where there were many katcinas dancing. They welcomed them and they became katcinas and lived in Shipap. The mother saw the tree disappear with her children upon it and she never recovered her children again.


88:7 Recorded in text by Franz Boas. Informant 8. Notes, p. 228.

88:19 Informant 4.

89:20 Name of baby.

89:17 Informant 1.

90:21 Informant 6.

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