The Mountain Chant: A Navajo Ceremony Washington Matthews
ADDENDUM: THE SUPPRESSED SECTIONS FROM THE 1884 EDITION OF THE MOUNTAIN CHANT
Matthews printed the following censored portions of the preceding document privately in 1892, in a five page pamphlet "The Suppressed Part of 'The Mountain Chant: A Navajo Ceremony,'" Fort Wingate, New Mexico, Feb. 26. 1892.
The present pamphlet contains the information suppressed in the original. The author begs the pardon of his correspondents for having so long delayed the fulfillment of his promise.
After paragraph 130 of "The Mountain Chant," read the following:
While the dancers are circling around the fire in the dance of Nahikai, if one is found in a stooping or kneeling attitude before the fire, trying to burn the down on his want, another may come up from behind him, mount him and imitate, without actual pederasty, the pederastic motions of an erotic dog. While thus engaged a third dancer may mount the second and a fourth may mount the third and enact a like play--just as a number of dogs are often seen engaged.
Sometimes one or more of the actors wear large imitation penes, made of rags or inflated sheep-gut; such may enact the part of dogs, feign to masturbate or to manipulate the part to produce erection.
Sometimes, when the down has been burned from the wand and before it has been restored, they treat the wand as if it were a penis; hold it erect or semi-erect between the thighs, rub it and manipulate it. This is done mostly by the last remaining dancers, who effect to have difficulty in restoring the down to the ends of their wands.
Their motions are of such a nature that many white spectators of this play have conjectured that the dance of Nahikai is symbolic of the sexual act; that the down on the wand represents the desire which is destroyed in the flame of gratification, and, with trouble, restored; and this seems not an unreasonable conjecture.
After paragraph 145 of "The Mountain Chant, read the following:
That portion of the drama which succeeds the finding of the hoshkawn or yucca, I have seen enacted with varying detail and dialogue, but with the essential parts always similar. To preserve the unity, I will describe it as seen on the night of November VI, 1882. (See "Mountain Chant," par. 127.)
DRAMATIS PERSONAE--The old hunter and the man dressed as a woman, who will be referred to as He and She.
He.--Come, my wife, I have found something good. This is what I have looked for. Are you not glad I have found it?
She.--Yes, I am very glad, my sweet.
He.--It tastes like you. (He gives her a piece to eat.)
She.--It is sweet, but not as sweet as you.
(After this compliment he draws close to her and begins to dally, not over decently. One act is to put his hand under her clothes, withdraw it and smell it, At length he puts his hand in at the neck of her dress as if to feel her bosom and draws forth a handkerchief hidden there. He become furious.)
He (Squealing in feeble wrath).--Where did you get this?
She.--My aunt lost it at the spring and, when I went for water, I found it there.
He.--I don't believe you! You have been cohabiting with someone else. This is your pay.
She.--No, truly, my aunt lost it.
He (Still in a jealous fury, lights a cigarette and tries to smoke, presently throws cigarette peevishly away).--I will go away and never see you again.
She.--Don't leave! Don't Leave! You are a fool!
He.--Yes, I know it; but I will be one no longer. Now I go away. (He moves off.)
She. (Pouts a moment, then takes a pinch of dust in her fingers, blows it toward him and says:)--Thus do I blow away my regard for you. I will follow you no more.
(With head averted, and sitting, she watches him furtively till he shuffles off out of sight, among the crowd of spectators; then she runs after him and soon reappears dragging him back.)
He.--You were not strong enough to blow me away, I am so sweet. (Again they sit side by side and indulge in dalliance and loud kisses).
He.--I don't like you to cohabit with others while I am away hunting. I find you food and sweet things to eat, but you are bad.
She.--Do not leave me. I will never touch another man again. (They eat together of the yucca fruit.)
He.--How sweet this fruit is! Let us see which is the sweeter, this or coition. (Each puts a piece in the mouth and they proceed with the most complete realism of action, but without exposure, to imitate the sexual act. When through, he tumbles off with a groan as if completely exhausted.)
She (Spitting the fruit form her mouth).--The hoshkawn is sweet, but not half so sweet as what we have been doing. (She rises, takes a handful of dust from the ground, and acts as if scattering it on the vulva. They put the fruit into a basket and depart.)
The spectators of this scene are persons of both sexes--married and unmarried--and of all ages; a most promiscuous audience.
The act of dusting the vulva I have heard of as done by Indian women of other tribes in the and region after the act of coition at fresco.
The dialogue given above was obtained for me by Mr. A. M. Stephen of Keam's Canyon, Arizona, who witnessed with me the night ceremonies, of November 5, 1882, and next day, learned the words of the play from the man who enacted the part of the woman. I have since heard other versions of the dialogue, but none superior to this.
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