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p. 130


At Cochiti the acting cacique died and two messengers were sent from our Mother to bring him to Shipap. He was a member of the Flint Society but the seeds had not been planted in him so that he had not yet been installed in the cacique's office.

The two messengers brought him along the road. In the other world they were waiting for the cacique. The messengers called out, "A man is coming." From inside the house they answered, "Welcome, you are needed here. It is not yet time for you to die, for the seeds are not yet in you for the cacique's office." They showed him an open place where he was to sit. While he was there, our Mother told him those things he ought to know, and how to take care of his people. One of the two messengers was impatient, and interrupted, "Are you not yet through telling him all you have to say?" Toward evening the two who went after his soul looked back to the place where his body was lying, and they saw that the people were preparing to bury him. He was lying ready for the burial. Everything he needed to know he was told in this place (in Shipap), and they sent him back hurriedly to the place where his body lay.

As they went along the road they came to a high steep bank. They told the cacique, "Look up, you will see a person standing on the top of the cliff. That person, when he was alive in this world was a bad man, so the war chief placed him in this place to dry up forever at his post." On each side were others, the threads of whose lives were cut off short before their time. They were always taken good care of till it was time for them to go on to live with the rest (in the other world, i.e., Shipap). The two said to the cacique, "Look to the south, do you see a woman coming with a skeleton in her arms? She is punished because she did not like her husband in this world. 32 Beyond her do you see people walking in pairs? These are the ones who lived a happy married life and had no trouble in this world. They have been reunited and are going arm in arm to the other world to be happy." So they showed him everything that comes to pass in the other world, that he might tell his people when he returned. When they had gone farther, they saw different people--men and women sitting in their seats of punishment. There were lions and wild animals chained so near them they could only take one step to turn around. All their food was a spider or a lizard that by good fortune came within their reach.

p. 131

They hurried along the road, for already the people had rolled him in his robes for burial. They got back to the place were his body was lying. The two took him up the ladder. They took him into the room. The soul of the cacique saw his body lying on the floor with all the people gathered about mourning for him. The two who brought him told his soul to go back into the body. But the soul was afraid of his body lying on the floor and the two tried to persuade him. At last they pushed him violently and the soul fell back into the body. He opened his mouth and spoke. The people were startled. They welcomed him. The two disappeared and the cacique did not know where they had gone. The people took off the body everything that had been put on him for his burial. He told the people all that he had seen on his journey and where he had gone during these few hours that his body had been dead. So the cacique who came back to life gave the people all that he had been told and he cared for them, and in this way he was installed as the cacique of the pueblo. He lived a long time and became very old. Death would not come to him (i. e., easily) a second time.


130:17 Informant 1. Notes, p. 205. For another visit to the underworld see p. 255.

130:32 "Because she had taken another lover?" "It doesn't say."

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