The Traditions of the Hopi by H. R. Voth
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14. HOW THE CIRCLE (PÓNGO) KATCINA AND HIS WIFE BECAME STARS. 1
Halíksai! In Oraíbi the people were living. In the north-western part of the village was at that time a kiva called Hâmís-kiva. Somewhat south of this kiva close to the present site of the, Hanó-kiva
lived a maiden. She persistently refused to marry any young man in the village. At Red Sand (Palánvisa), a place north-east of the village, some maidens were playing the game "jumping over the trays." The maiden mentioned above never played with the other maidens, but one time she went out intending to play with the maidens. When she came to the edge of the mesa she sat down and watched the other maidens play. A young man dressed in a blue Hopi blanket came by and asked her why she did not play with the other maidens. "Yes," she said, "I never play with them." Hereupon he sat down beside her and they talked together a little while, then the maiden returned to her home.
In the evening she was grinding corn. While she was grinding a Katcina came to the village, danced first near the Coyote (Ish) kiva, then at the Singer (Táo) kiva, then at the Public plaza (Kíconvee), then at the Wrinkle (Wíkolapi) kiva, and finally at the Hâmís-kiva. Hereupon he left the village. The next morning the mána again proceeded to the place at the edge of the mesa where she had been sitting the previous day, and again the youth joined her. This time he asked her if she would marry him if her father and mother were willing. She consented. He told her that if they were willing he would come and get her the next day. He then told her that he was the Katcina who was dancing in the village, saying that he would again dance at the same places as usual, and then after he would be through she should come and meet him at "The Place-Where-Scalps-are-Dressed" (Yóvutzrhrokwanpi). Hereupon they parted.
In the evening she was again grinding corn and the Katcina again went through the village dancing at the places mentioned, and singing the following song while he was dancing, singing the same song at each place:
Palainaiya ---------------- --aya.
The mána had in the meanwhile obtained the permission of her parents to marry the youth. The mother filled a tray with meal for her, with which the mana proceeded to the place named by the Katcina. Here she was met by the Katcina after he had made his round through the village. From here they proceeded to the place called Kocántûika, a bluff named after a certain plant, kocána. 1
When they arrived here they saw a kiva and a light in it. A voice called out from the kiva inviting them to come in. They entered
and found here a great many different Katcinas. The youth was the Circle (Póngo) Katcina. Hereupon the youth handed the mána some píki made of fresh roasting ears, and also some watermelon slices, which she ate. They then remained in this kiva, the mána preparing the food for the Katcinas, and the latter preparing the bridal costume for the mána. Every night the Póngo Katcina would go to the village and dance, as already explained. When the bridal costume was finished the mána went home in the same manner in which brides go home to-day. Her husband followed her, so they lived in the house of her parents after that. Her parents now found out that the husband of their daughter was a Katcina.
By and by she bore two children, which were also Circle Katcinas. One time the young mother was drying corn-meal, stirring it in a pot over the fire. When she was done with this she left her house and went to the edge of the mesa outside of the village. Her husband had gone to visit the Katcinas at the Katcina kiva mentioned before. While the woman was outside of the village some one approached her. It was the Hotóto Katcina. He told her that she should go with him, to which she consented. They descended the mesa south of the village and went southward to Shongópavi. When the Circle Katcina returned to the house he found his wife gone. Following her tracks, he found that she had gone away with some one, and soon heard who it was that had taken her away. He returned to the house, took his two children and went with them to the Katcina house already mentioned. Here they remained. The two little Katcinas learned the Katcina songs and dances.
After a while the father and his two children concluded to try to find the mother of the two youths. So the people cooked some roasting ears and other food for them, whereupon they proceeded to the village, taking the food with them. Here they danced at Pisávi, a place a short distance east of the Pongóvi kiva. While they danced they sang the following song:
When they were through singing, the father asked the women among the spectators whether some one would not nurse the children for these roasting ears that they had brought with them, but no one was willing. They went to the plaza, repeated their dancing and
singing, whereupon the father again asked the women that some one nurse his children for the roasting ears, but no one was willing. They then proceeded to the Coyote kiva, where the same thing was repeated. No one being willing to nurse the two children, they left the village and when they came to the last row of houses, where the Katcinas often rest when they have dances now, a woman approached them declaring that she was willing to nurse the children. After she had nursed them and they had given her the roasting ears, they left the village along the trail leading south-eastward. Here they traced the mother to Sik'ákvu, a bluff on top of the mesa about three miles southeast of Oraíbi.
Here they found a kiva where they heard some one singing the following song:
Ha, ha, ha!
It was the Haháii Wuhti, who was opening comíviki as she was singing. When they heard the song they looked into the kiva and were noticed by the Haháii Wuhti. "Oh!" she said, "here I am meeting you with this song. Recently somebody was fetching your mother by here." The three went into the kiva and were invited to remain over night. They were fed by the Haháii Wuhti the comíviki. When they had eaten they danced, singing the following song:
In the morning they proceeded eastward. In the evening of the next day they arrived at a place called Owl Spring (Móngkba). Here they found another Haháii Wuhti in a kiva, who was also engaged in opening comíviki. She was singing the same song that the other Haháii Wuhti had been singing. When the three arrived they looked into the kiva. When the woman noticed them she said, "Utí! here you some one is going about and I am meeting you with this song. Recently some one fetched your mother by here." They went in and were fed by the Haháii Wuhti, whereupon they again danced and sang the same song which they sang at the place of the other Haháii Wuhti. They stayed over night at this kiva., and during the night the Haháii Wuhti went to Kí'shiwuu, where many different kinds of Katcinas had a dance. When one party had danced and gone away, another party would come and perform their dance and leave. p. 69 Then another party, and so on. When all had danced, Haháii Wuhti returned to her home and told the three Circle Katcinas about the dance. She told them about it; then they also went and performed a dance at Kí'shiwuu, which, it seems, was not far away. When they were through they again returned to Móngkba. Here they remained until it became morning.
In the morning Haháii Wuhti again went to Kí'shiwuu to be present at another dance, the three Circle Katcinas remaining behind. When they had all danced Haháii Wuhti again Invited the three Katcinas. The people who had seen them in the last dance during the night and had not observed them during the day were waiting for them, thinking that they probably would come. They went over and also performed their dance. Before they went over Haháii Wuhti told them that their mother was at Kí'shiwuu and that she would see them dance and she would certainly be anxious to return with them. They performed their dance on the public plaza, singing the same song that they had sung at the places of the two Haháii Wuhtis, When they were through they again returned and soon met their mother, who had recognized them and had gone before them. So they took their mother back with them.
Before they reached Móngkba night befell them, so they stopped. The father said to the two children they should go ahead to their grandmother, the Haháii Wuhti, which they did. He then took a pointed stick and killed his wife with it by thrusting it into her throat. Leaving the body at the place, he followed his two sons, but before he reached the place where they were the skeleton of his wife followed him. The two boys had safely gotten into the house of their grandmother, but their father ran away, being followed by the skeleton. He finally arrived at the First Mesa, rushed into the village of Háno and there into a kiva where a number of women were making jugs. He begged them to hide him as something was pursuing him. Hereupon one of the women hid him under a pile of clay which they were using for making their pottery. The skeleton then arrived, saving, "Havá! Did my husband not come here?" she asked. "No," they replied. "Yes," the skeleton said, "because his tracks end here," and hereupon she entered the kiva. She threw aside all the piles of clay and material that was lying there, and finally came to the pile under which the man was hidden.
When he noticed that she was close by he jumped up, ran up the ladder and westward towards Wálpi, being pursued by the skeleton of his wife. In Wálpi he again entered a kiva. Here they were practicing a war dance. "Hide me quickly," he said, "some one is
following me." "Come here," they said, and handed him a drum. So he beat the drum. The skeleton soon arrived and entered the kiva after having spoken the same words as in Háno. She shoved the dancers aside, but when she came to the one who was beating the drum, he threw aside the drum and rushed out, running to Mishóngnovi. Here he again rushed into a kiva where they were assembled for the Lagón ceremony. The women were making trays. He again asked to be hidden as he was being pursued by some one. One of the women told him to be seated in her lap, which he did. She covered him with a tray that she was working on and continued her work. Soon the skeleton arrived, asked the same questions, and was again answered in the negative. She came in, looked around, driving the women from one place of the kiva into another, until she arrived at the one who had her husband. When he saw that he could not remain hidden he rushed out and ran towards Shongópavi. Here they also were assembled for the Lagón ceremony and the same thing was repeated that took place in Mishóngnovi.
From here he ran towards Matö'vi (about fifteen miles south of Shongópavi). At this place the Flute society had a ceremony. They were assembled at the spring when he arrived, He again repeated the same request to be hidden, as he was being pursued. They told him to go into the spring to a certain sunflower stalk that was growing in the spring. This he should mount and hide in its top. He did so. When the skeleton arrived and asked whether her husband was not there the Flute priest told her, "Yes, he has entered the spring." So she went to the edge of that spring and entered it. Looking into the water she saw the sunflower stalk reflected in the water and on top of it her husband. Thinking that he was in the water she dived in and disappeared.
The pursued man came down and joined the Flute players. On the fourth day they heard somebody pound yucca roots in the water. When the sun rose the woman came out of the water, dressed in a bridal costume, and carrying in her arms a reed receptacle which contained another bridal robe and the white belt. She appeared in exactly the same manner as the newly married bride appears on the morning when she returns from the home of her husband to that of her own mother. When she came out the two priests called the two together, placed them back to back, made a road with sacred meal for each one; the one road southward, and the other northward. The priests told them to proceed four steps, each one in the direction they were facing. Then they should turn and meet again. But the man returned when he had taken three steps instead of four. The Flute
priests were very angry and called at the woman to run. She started, and her husband started after her. "You shall always follow each other this way," the Flute priests said. They both ran westward, and are still running in that way. The two stars, Nangö'sohu pursue each other because one constantly follows the other, sometimes overtaking it and then again remaining behind, are these two personages.
65:1 Told by Lománömtiwa (Oraíbi).
66:1 Phellopterus multinerva.
Next: 15. The Kokóshori Katcina and the Shongópavi Maiden