The Traditions of the Hopi by H. R. Voth

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Halíksai! A long time ago the Oraíbi were living in Oraíbi. North of the present peach orchards (about three-fourths of a mile north of Oraíbi), lived the Yáyaponchatu. These are not Hopi, but they are beings something like the skeletons. They have white faces and white bodies, disheveled hair, and wear kilts of black and white striped cloth. They understand the fire and more than once caused villages to be destroyed by fire. They were the cause of the destruction

p. 124

by fire of Pivánhonk'ape, and also one time of Oraíbi, when a great many people perished.

The Oraíbi at that time did the same as they are doing now when they want to barter. They would put the things they wanted to sell together on a pile in a kiva, and then send some one around to the different kivas to trade the things off for what they were in need of. One time the Yáyaponchatu heard that the Oraíbi were again trading. They were out of native tobacco (píva), so they sent two of their number to the village to trade for some tobacco. West of the place where now Nakwáyeshtiwa lives was then a kiva called Blue-bird Height (Chórzhovi). 1

To this kiva the two Yáyaponchatus came first. They laid down on the roof of the kiva and let down the bunches of broom grass (wúhci), which they had brought with them to trade. "I came to trade" (Nu buy!) they said. "Have you come to trade something?'' answered those in the kiva, "whee!" (with a rising inflection). "Very well," they said from the kiva, "what is it that you want?" "Tobacco we want" (Tangúnache wiwinche), they answered. The men in the kiva looked up and said, "What is it? We do not understand you." Hereupon one of the Yáyaponchatu whispered, "píva, píva, hut-hut-hut" (the latter words, however, were spoken with an inhalation). "O," they said, "tobacco he wants." So one of them, who had a supply, went and got some and gave it to one of the barterers. They were happy over it.

The two now proceeded to the Móts kiva, which was located a few yards west of the present Wíkolapi kiva, where the same exchange of words was repeated that had taken place at the previous kiva. Here the second one traded his broom grass for a sack of tobacco, whereupon the two returned to their village, being happy over their purchase. Here in the village they smoked the tobacco that they had obtained from the Oraíbi.


123:1 Told by Lomávântiwa (Shupaúlavi).

123:2 Told by Tangákhoyoma (Oraíbi).

Next: 34. The Kóhonino Hunter


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