The Traditions of the Hopi by H. R. Voth
Index Previous Next
24. HOW PÖ'OKONG WON A BRIDE. 1
Halíksai! In Oraíbi they were living. There were a great many people. At Pik'áchvi lived a family who had a pretty maiden who persistently refused all offers of marriage. Pöokónghoya and his brother Balö'onghoya, who lived at Pöokongwawarzhpi with their grandmother, Spider Woman, heard about this. They were thinking about it, and one time said to their grandmother: "Our grandmother!" "What is it?" she replied. "There is a maiden in the village," they said, "who refuses to marry any one of the young men of the village. We are going to try, too." "You poor ones," she said, "you are too small and you are unsightly, she certainly will not want you." But they would not listen and said, "But we are going to try it, anyway." "Very well," she said, "you go and try it, but she will not want you because you are not handsome."
So in the evening they took some squash seed and gathered some little sticks and went to the village. West of the house where the maiden lived a great many mice were living among the rocks. Here the Pö'okongs set a number of stone traps, putting the squash seed into them. While they were engaged in setting the traps towards evening, the maiden happened to go by there and- saw them at work. "What are you doing here?" she asked. "Yes," they said," we are setting traps here for the mice." "You come to my house and set traps there, too," she said to them; "there are a great many mice there.
So she took them over to her house where they set traps in different parts of the house, also close to the mealing bin. They finally asked whether they did not have a píki tray. The mother fetched one from another room and they set that near the mealing tray, instead of a small stone like in the other traps. "Now, to-morrow you must look after these traps," they said to the maiden, and left. They at once went hunting and killed an antelope. This they took to the house of the maiden during the night and placed it under the píki tray, making it appear as if it had been caught in that trap. When the maiden examined the traps the next morning she found something large under the piki tray, and looking at it she saw that it was an antelope. She at once called her father. "My father," she said, "you go in there. Something large has been caught there, and do not be slow about it." He was still sleeping, but got up at once, went into the room, and saw that something large had been caught there. "Thanks," he said. "Why this is an antelope; why, an antelope has been caught here." Hereupon he took it out of the trap and carried it into his kiva.
Here he skinned the antelope and cut it up into pieces. A part of the meat his wife cooked as nö'ekwiwi, the rest he dried, and they were very happy over it. In the evening the Pö'okongs took some more squash seed and again repaired to the village, where they set traps as they had done on the previous evening. While they were doing so the maiden was eating of the antelope meat and then again went to the place where the Pö'okongs were setting the traps. Here she met them. "Have you come again?" she asked them." Yes, "they replied." When you are done here," she continued, "you come to our house again and set traps there, because something large was trapped there this morning and we are very happy over it."
They went with her to the house and there set traps everywhere again. When they came to the tray the maiden said to them: "Here something large was caught last night and of that we are eating now. We are very happy over it. So you must set that again, too." While they were setting this the father came in and asked them: "Are you setting traps here again?" "Yes," they replied. "Very well," he said, "last night an antelope was caught in this trap and of that we have been eating and we are very happy over it. You have by that terminated something here (referring to the persistent refusals of the maiden to enter into marriage), so if to-morrow morning something is caught in this trap again, you come here to-morrow evening and get our daughter."
In the night the Pö'okongs killed a deer, of which they owned
many, and carried it to the house of the maiden, where they placed it under the píki tray trap. In the morning when the maiden arose she saw something under the trap with big antlers. Running to her father she called him, saying: "My father, come quickly. There is something large in the trap." So he came and found a deer there. "Thanks," he said, "this is a deer," and taking it out they carried it to the kiva where he skinned it and cut up the meat. His wife again cooked a part of it, while he hung all the rest up to dry. There was a great deal of meat hanging outside of his house and they were very happy over it.
"To-night you wait for somebody here," he said to his daughter, Towards evening they were eating of the meat that the mother had cooked, and in the evening the maiden was grinding corn. In the house of the two Pö'okongs the two brothers were getting ready to go to the house of the maiden, but they began to quarrel about it. "I am going," Pö'okong said. "No, indeed," his brother replied, "I'm going," and thus they were contending with each other. "Now, why do you quarrel about this?" their grandmother asked them. "Certainly Pö'okong must go because he is the older one." Thus she spoke to them.
So in the evening Pö'okong proceeded to the house of the maiden, whom he found grinding corn in an upper room. He entered and said: "I have come because your father wished it that way." "Very well," she said, and went to call her father. Her father went to Pö'okong and told him; "Yes, you know I told you that you could come and fetch our daughter because you have trapped this game for us, which we are eating and for which we are glad." Hereupon the mother filled a tray with meal for her daughter, and Pö'okong then led her away to his house in order to marry her. When they arrived there the grandmother told them to come in, but she doubted whether her grandchild had brought the maiden until she saw her enter. She was then very happy and told them to sit down. She took the tray of meal from the maiden and put it away into an inner room towards the north. Coming out she placed before the maiden a small tray with a very small quantity of hurúshuki, and invited the maiden to eat. The latter took the entire quantity and placed it into her mouth. Spider Woman was watching her and when she saw that she put all the hurúshuki into her mouth, she said: "You must not do that, why that is 'very something,' and you must just, take a very little of it." So the maiden replaced the hurúshuki into the tray and then put a very small quantity into her mouth. When she began to eat this it increased in her mouth so that her mouth was
filled. She repeated this until she was satisfied and then there was some of the hurúshuki left.
When the maiden had eater they soon retired for the night, the maiden sleeping with the grandmother. Early the next morning the grandmother and the maiden went out to throw an offering of sacred meal to the sun, which they did close by the entrance of the kiva. Returning to the kiva the grandmother, or Spider Woman, got some corn-ears, shelled them, and then the maiden ground this corn for three days. Early on the fourth day when the yellow dawn was rising, the grandmother went out and called out to her neighbors that they should come in and assist in washing the heads of the two. She then went in and brought out the maiden and told her to be sitting close to the kiva entrance and then wait. Soon a great many clouds came and rained upon the maiden, thus washing and bathing her. "Thanks," the grandmother said, "that you have thus washed the bride." Hereupon she took her into the kiva.
The maiden then again ground corn all day, and in the evening prepared some chukúviki. Spider Woman got some meat from one of the inner rooms, of which they then all ate. The next day this was repeated, and the maiden then made some comíviki, and in this way she prepared food for all of them day after day. But she felt unhappy because no one was carding and spinning cotton and preparing a bridal costume for her, as is always done for a bride. That way they were living there for some time. The two Pö'okongs were constantly playing with their ball and stick, also with feathered arrows, but no one was preparing a bridal costume for the bride, about which she was very unhappy. But Spider Woman would often go into an inner room and they would frequently hear her say, "Thanks, thanks," to some one, but the maiden did not know to whom she was talking, but there in that room the spiders were preparing a bridal costume, first carding the cotton, then spinning it, placing it onto a loom and then weaving it.
Finally Spider Woman said one day to the bride: "you prepare some píkami now. Your parents are homesick after you and we shall then send you home." The maiden prepared some píkami, and Spider Woman some nö'okwiwi, and in the evening the maiden took Out the píkami from the oven, Spider woman dipped out the nö'okwiwi, and all ate and then retired for the night. In the morning Spider Woman prepared some yucca suds and with it washed the heads of Pö'okong and his bride. She then entered an inner room and brought forth a complete bridal costume, which she handed to the maiden. She then again went into an inner room and brought
out a large quantity of meat which she handed to Pö'okong. He tied it into a bundle. Hereupon Spider Woman dressed up the bride in the bridal costume, the way it is done to-day, and then sent her on to her mother's house. Pö'okong followed her, carrying on his back a large quantity of meat.
Before they started Spider Woman instructed Pö'okong that when his wife shall have taken him home now to her house and he should stay there, he should not talk much, but in the evening he should sit on the floor with his arms folded over his knees and he should be looking at his wrist bands (by which she meant that he should simply be, sitting there silently, as the Hopi are usually sitting on their floors and observe silence). While they were going to the village the men who had gotten up early were sitting on their housetops and saw them come. "Here somebody is coming," they said. The two went to the house of the maiden's parents where they were welcomed by the mother, who said, "Thanks that you have come," and received from them what they were carrying.
The mother cooked all the meat which Pö'okong had brought, in a vessel, and prepared a feast. After they had eaten they sat and conversed. Pö'okong sat on the floor with his arms folded over his knees, but instead of looking at his wrist band, he took it off, and holding it before his eyes he looked through it. The people kept looking at him and said among themselves: "So that is his custom, that is the way he does." After they had all conversed a while they retired for the night. Early in the morning Pö'okong went to his house to visit Spider Woman. When he arrived there she asked him whether he had done as she had told him to do about the wrist band. He replied: "When we were through eating and they had taken away and all the things, and the men were conversing, I took off my arm band and held it before my eyes and looked through it." "You are naughty," his grandmother said, "I did not tell you to do that way. If any one becomes a son-in-law he has to sit there quietly with his hands folded over his knees close before his face so that his eyes appear to be, looking at his arm band. You are ka hópi."
Hereupon he returned to the house of his wife again. After s(we time it was planting time and the men began to plant. Pö'okong went to Spider Woman and said: ''It is planting time and we are going to plant." "Very well," she said, and gave him a small parcel of different kinds of corn to plant. This he took over to the house where he saw his father-in-law ready to go and plant. He had prepared a small sack full of corn, but Pö'okong said to him: "Do not take that along, I have brought some planting-corn with me." p. 97 Hereupon he produced a very small parcel. "That is not enough," his father-in-law said. "Yes, let us take this," Pö'okong said, ''this is a great deal." "Very well," his father-in-law replied, "we shall take that," whereupon he put away the sack of corn which he had gotten ready.
Hereupon they proceeded to the field of his father-in-law and commenced to plant. Pö'okong always put one grain into the hole which he had made with his planting stick, but when the man planted the first hill he put in a great deal, the way the Hopi do to-day. When Pö'okong saw it he said: "You must not do that way, but just put in one grain, that is enough." The man immediately replaced the corn into the sack and put in one grain of corn only, after that, and when they were done planting they had not planted all the corn. It had kept increasing. The corn, which they had planted, soon grew up and when it rained it became larger and larger. One time it rained heavily and then much grass also came up.
Pö'okong went to visit Spider Woman again. "Have you planted?" she asked him. "Yes," he said. "And when it rained a little," she kept on inquiring, "did the grass come up?" "Yes," he said, "much grass and weeds came up." She then told him that a son-in-law ought to help his father-in-law to hoe his field, so he should return and go and do that. He should take his hoe and form ant hills throughout the field (referring to the small piles of sand and earth that are formed as one is drawing a hoe through the ground; in other words, she meant that he should diligently hoe the field). "Very well," he replied, and returned to the house, where he asked for a hoe. They gave him one and he went to the field. Here, however, he laid it down and at once began to hunt ants. Finding a very large ant hill at the edge of the field he put the ants together with the earth into his blanket and formed small ant hills throughout the field, scattering ants in that way all through the corn-field.
The next morning he again proceeded to his grandmother who asked him: "I told you yesterday to go and hoe the field, what have you done about it? How much did you hoe?" "Yes," he said, "you told me yesterday, so I went to the field, laid down my hoe, and then hunted ant hills along the edge of the field, and when I found a large one I placed it into my little blanket and made little ant hills throughout the field, all day." "Now, that is the way you have done again," she said. "You certainly are a fool. I did not tell you that, I meant that when a man is hoeing and he draws his hoe through the weeds from different sides, the earth and sand is drawn together ill little piles, or hills. These are called ant hills. That is what I
told you to do. You are a fool, a fool you are. You go back again, take your hoe, and expose the moist ground by removing the dry surface in cutting off the weeds (wíklolantanangwu)."
He returned to the house, and the next morning when they had their morning meal he asked for a little grease of fat. They hunted some, tied it up, and handed it to him. He took his hoe and fat, and went to the field. Here he laid down his hoe and taking a little of the tallow which he had brought with him, he scattered it all through the corn-field, an act which in the Hopi language is expressed by the same word, wíklolantanangwu. Hereupon he returned to the house without having hoed any at all. Early the next morning he again visited Spider Woman. "Have you come again?" she asked. "Yes," he replied. ''Now," she said, "you remember what I told you to do yesterday. Have you done that way this time at least?" "Yes," he said, "when we had eaten yesterday's morning meal I asked my wife's mother for some tallow, which she gave me. I wrapped it up and took it along to the field where I scattered it throughout the field." "You are a fool, you are a fool, you are a great fool. I never told you to do that. I told you to go and hoe the corn, and you know if any man hoes and cuts off the weeds he stirs the dry surface and the moist ground appears a little, and this is what I meant, this is what I told you to do. But you go now, take your hoe and you go and hoe the field."
When he returned to the house he found his father-in-law sitting and meditating, evidently being very sad. He had been to the field several times, and although his son-in-law had always gone to the field he did not find any work done there. The grass was growing, the corn was becoming tired (dry) and wilted, and he was thinking whether his daughter should not send his son-in-law away. While he was thus thinking, Pö'okong came to the house. When the latter saw his father-in-law sitting there and evidently being very disappointed, he asked him why he was so sad. "Yes," the man said, "I have been thinking about our field. The grass and weeds are growing and the corn is getting tired. There ought to be some corn ears forming by this time, but it is getting dry." "So that is what you are thinking about," his son -in-law said. "Now, you must not think about that any more. I shall go there to-day and we shall finish hoeing that field to-day." Hereupon the two went to the field.
Spider Woman had in the meanwhile asked the clouds to hoe the field of her grandchild, and when the two commenced to hoe, a cloud was forming over the San Francisco mountain. Soon many clouds
began to move towards the village. When they had hoed a little it commenced to rain. They ran to a shelter where they sat and waited while it was raining. The water soon began to run through the com-field in little streamlets and covered up with sand and earth, the grass in the field. When it stopped raining the two went through the field and saw that the weed's had all been covered up by the floods. "Thanks," the old man said, "that these have cleaned the field for us. We shall go home now." So they went home, and that way were quickly through ridding their field of the weeds.
They were now living happily in their home. By and by Pö'okong's wife bore a little son who grew up and played with the children. His father soon made him a bow and arrows with which he learned to shoot. He sometimes shot the Oraíbi children and killed them. At this the Oraíbi became very angry and said that Pö'okong should not live in the village, but they should move away to their own house. So one time Pö'okong said, "I am going to go back. I shall take my little son with me, on whose account they are driving us away. But you shall stay here at your father's and mother's," he said to his wife. So he took his little boy on his back and returned to his home where he remained.
92:1 Told by Tangákhoyoma (Oraíbi).
Next: 25. How the Antelope Maiden Was Reconciled