The Traditions of the Hopi by H. R. Voth
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20. PÖOKÓNGHOYA AND HIS BROTHER AS THIEVES. 1
Alíksai! At Shongópavi they were living; at the place where Shongópavi used to be and where there are still the ruins of the old village, they were living. North of the village, but close by, lived Pö'okong 1 and his brother. They lived there with their grandmother. Often they would play with their ball, and one time they were also playing with their ball, striking it, and playing with it towards Toríva. When they arrived here they were thirsty, and went into the spring to drink water. When they had satisfied their thirst they were going to continue their playing, when they saw a lot of báhos at the place where the water comes out. "Let us take these along," the younger brother said, and taking one of the báhos, he swallowed it. "You swallow one too," he then said to his elder brother; but by this time the latter discovered in the recess in the rocks somewhat high up, some potsherds, or bowls, with different kinds of paints which the Flute priests had deposited there. "Let us take some of this," he said to his younger brother, whereupon he put into his ball, through little holes and openings that had been made in the buckskin covering through long usage, some of each kind of paint. After having put the paints into the ball he sewed up the holes. Hereupon he replaced the ball again and then said to his brother: "Now let us go, and before we will get home it will rain if we continue to beat our ball now in this way."
So they started, beating the ball towards the Corn-Ear Bluffs that are still standing at the place where the old village of Mishóngnovi used to be. One of the brothers was beating the ball forward and the other one backward, and in this way they proceeded to the village. Before they had reached the village, the people of Mishóngnovi had discovered them. They were beating their ball around north of the village for a little While, the children of the village looking on and shouting at them. Hereupon they entered the village and kept beating their ball through the village. All at once they entered one of the kivas and found that the Flute priests were assembled in this kiva for their ceremony. In one of the trays that were standing on the floor was lying a lightning frame, thunder board, netted water jug, etc. This tray they grabbed and went out. None of the priests said anything.
Hereupon they went into another kiva where the Snake priests
were assembled for their ceremony. They were just washing the snakes in a bowl. The Pöokónghoyas grabbed a bull-snake (lölö'okong), put it into a snake-sack and left the kiva, the younger brother holding this bag under one arm, the elder brother carrying the tray with the objects. In this manner they proceeded towards the Corn-Ear bluffs,, constantly beating their ball. When they arrived at the Corn-Ear Bluffs they found a great many báhos, little artificial melons, watermelons, and peaches which the Hopi had made and deposited in the different niches, cracks, etc. They had been deposited here by the different societies in their different ceremonies as prayer-offerings, that they might have an abundance of these things. On top of the rocks they saw the Watcher (Tû'walahka), who owns this rock. It was Cótukvnangwuu, who was sitting there in the form of an old man. "Oh my!" the younger brother said, "How many prayer-offerings there are here! Let us steal some of them and take them home;" but the elder brother refused to do so, so the younger brother ascended the rock along a crack and took from one of the places where the prayer-offerings had been deposited a corn báho, a watermelon, and a melon, and brought them down.
Hereupon they started homeward again, beating their ball. They again went by the spring Toríva where they drank, this time, however, not stealing anything. They then started towards Shongópavi along the trail. After they had gone a little distance they shot the lightning frame, and twirled the bullroarer several times. By the time they had reached the canyon, or gulch, right east of Shongópavi, and as they were beginning to ascend to the village, clouds had gathered in the sky and it began to thunder and rays of lightning began shooting through the sky. Soon it began to rain.
They began to run towards their house, and just as they arrived there they once more shot the lightning frame and twirled the thunder board. By this time it thundered very hard and loud, and lightning was flashing. One of the Hopi houses in the village was struck and shattered. By this time they had arrived at their house. "Who are those little mischief makers that are coming there?" their grand Mother said. "You are bad." But the two brothers rushed into the house and put the lightning frame, thunder board, the snake, the little artificial melons, báhos and the paint, which they had brought with them, quickly but secretly into two pots which they covered up. And because the Pöokónghoyas afterwards had these things they were the cause that it always rained and the Hopi had good crops.
84:1 Told by Kúhkuima (Shupaúlavi).
2 Pö'okong and the diminutive form Pöokónghoya are used promiscuously by the Hopi, as may be seen in several of these tales.
Next: 21. How the Pö'okongs Destroyed Cóoyoko And His Wife