The Traditions of the Hopi by H. R. Voth
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37. THE YOUTH AND MAIDEN WHO PLAYED HIDE AND SEEK FOR THEIR LIFE. 1
Ishyaoí! In Oraíbi the people were living. At the west end of the south row of houses lived a youth. A short distance north-east of the present Honáni kiva lived a maiden. One day the youth went down to the west side of the mesa to watch his father's fields. As he passed the house of the maiden she asked where he was going. "I am going to watch my father's fields," he said: "May I not go along?" she asked. "Yes," he said, thinking that she was only joking, and passed on. The mána wrapped up some fresh píki rolls (múhpi) and followed the youth. "So you have come," he said to her by way of greeting when she had arrived. "Yes," she said, and opening her blanket showed him her píki, which they ate together. "Let us play hide and seek now," she said, "and the one who is found four times shall be killed." "All right," he replied, "you hide first because you wanted it." "No, you hide first," she said, and so finally they agreed that the mána would go and hide first. "But you must not look after me," she warned the youth, and spread her blanket (ushímni) over him.
She then ran through the growing corn and finally hid under some û'yi (Corrispermum hyssopi folium Linn). As soon as she had hidden she called out "tow." The young man then commenced to hunt her but could not find her. Finally he said: "I cannot find you, come out." So she came out and they went back to the place where they had eaten, and the youth then went to hide himself, covering up the mána with her blanket. He hid under a bush of pawíhchoki. Having hidden, he called out, "tow," whereupon the mána hunted for him and found him. Hereupon they again returned, the youth was covered up and the mána again went among the growing corn to hide. Finding a large corn-stalk, she pulled out the tassel, crawled into the opening and put the tassel in again. She then signaled to the youth, and he came and looked for her. Following her tracks he found. that she had been running through the corn-field. So he hunted throughout the corn-field and then at the edge among the herbs and grasses, but could not find her. Finally he noticed that her tracks seemed to come to an end near a large corn-stalk, but he could not find her anywhere. Finally he called out, "I cannot find you, where are you?" "Here I am," she replied, and throwing out the corn-tassel she jumped out. So for the second time he had failed to find her.
They again returned to the edge of the field, the mána now covering
herself up. The youth now, as, he went through the field, was thinking, "Where shall I hide? It is time that she does not find me again." As he passed along the edge of the field he heard a voice. "Listen to me," someone said. "Come up here. I have pity on you. One time she has already found you, and she will certainly find you again." This was the Sun. Hereupon the latter threw down a rainbow upon which the youth climbed to the Sun, who hid him behind his back saying, "Here she will not find you." So the mána followed his tracks all through the field, and went to the edge of the field to a small knoll, but could not find him. She followed them again throughout the field and returned to the same place. By this time she was puzzled where he could be. Her hair whorls were hanging down out of shape. She was thinking and thinking where he might be. Finally she pressed a few drops of milk out of her breast, examined the drops in her hand, and seeing the sun reflected in them, she discovered the boy behind him. She at once said: "Ma, there you are; I have found you. Come down."
The youth now again covered himself up and the mána went to hide away the third time. But this time the youth lifted up a corner of the covering and watched her, in which direction she went. When he followed her tracks throughout the corn-field he could not find her. Her tracks led to a patch of watermelons and squashes, but as the runners covered the ground he could not find her there. He returned to the corn-field and hunted, but not finding her anywhere he again followed her tracks to the watermelon patch. Finally he gave up in despair and called out: "I cannot find you, come out." She then burst open a watermelon, saying: "Here I am, and you did not find me," and came out.
The youth by this time became unhappy. They again returned and the maiden covering herself up, the youth went to hide away, but was very unhappy. Running through the corn-field and along its edge, he all at once heard a voice. "Where are you going? I have pity on you. You come in here," and looking down he saw a small hole by the side of a small corn-stalk. It was the house of Spider Woman. This he entered and she quickly spun some web across the opening. The mána again went to hunt for the youth. Running through the corn-field repeatedly, she finally traced his tracks to the edge of the corn-field, but could not find him anywhere. She then drew-forth from her bosom a mirror, which was probably a quartz crystal. Through this she hunted first upward, hoping to find him somewhere above again, but failed to find him. She then turned it downward and all at once saw the opening of the Spider's hole reflected
in it. "Come out," she at once called out, "I have found you. You are in there." Spider Woman said: "Well, you will have to go out, she has found you." He was very dejected by this time because there was only one chance for him left; but he came out.
For the fourth time the mána went to hide away. The youth again lifted up a corner of the covering and looked after her and saw that she was again running towards the watermelon patch. On one side of the corn-field was a ditch and as it had rained shortly before, there was some water in this ditch and a number of tadpoles were in this water. The mána crossed the watermelon patch, went into the ditch, entered the water and turned into a tadpole. The boy again went in search of the mána, following her tracks through the cornfield and through the watermelon patch down to the ditch, but failed to find her. He returned and hunted throughout the field, and being very tired, he returned to the water, stooped down and drank some. He was very sad by this time, but he hunted once more. Finally he again followed her tracks to the edge of the water, and knowing that she must be there somewhere, he called out: "I cannot find you, just come out," and immediately she emerged from the water and said: "I was here when you were drinking water and I looked right at you." He then remembered that a tadpole had looked up out of the water when he was drinking, but he, of course, never thought that that could be the maiden.
So they returned again to the same place, and as they went back the youth was very much discouraged. "Only one chance left for me," he thought, "where shall I hide that she will not find me?" After the mána had covered herself he again went away. Passing the house of Spider Woman, the latter said to him: "Alas! (Okiwa!) where are you going? You go there a little to the east to your uncle, the Aha (a species of worm that lives in rotten wood); he lives in the takáchki (a temporary shade or shelter) and maybe he will hide you." So the youth went there and when he arrived there called out, "My uncle, put me in there." So the Áhû pulled out a loose knot from one of the corner poles, which was that of a piñon-tree. This post was hollow, and into this the Áhû put the youth, closing up the opening after he had entered. So the mána went and hunted for the youth, following his tracks through the corn-field, and found that he had been going up and down and back and forth, and finally she tracked them to the aforesaid shelter. Arriving at this place she hunted, but at first could not find him. She then put the tips of her right hand fingers, one after another, into her mouth, wet them slightly, then pressed the point of her forefinger into her right ear, and
immediately she heard the youth in his hiding place and told him to come out, as she had found him.
They then returned to their place again, but the mána said: "Let us now return again to the shelter where I found you." So they returned and sat down close to the shelter on the north side. The mána hereupon dug a hole close to one of the corner posts and then said to the youth: "I have beaten you, I have beaten you. You take off your shirt." he did so. It was a blue shirt such as the Hopi used to wear. "Now take off your beads," she said, and, not knowing what she intended to do, he did so. She hereupon grabbed him by the hair, jerked out a knife from behind her belt, bent him over the hole that she had made, and cut his throat, letting the blood run into the hole. 1 She then closed up this hole, dug another one somewhat to the north and dragged the body to it, burying it in this grave.
Hereupon she took the shirt and the beads with her and went home. When the young man did not return to his home his parents became worried and inquired at the maiden's house. "We thought you both had gone to our field to watch," they said. "Do you not know where Kwavû'hú is?" "Yes," she said, "we were there together, but he drove me away, and I do not know where he is." So the parents were very sad. They had killed a sheep shortly before, but as they were so sorry they ate very little of the meat, and so the flies came in and ate of the meat. One time the woman was driving the flies off with a broom and one of them said: "Why do you drive me away when I eat your meat? I suck some of this meat and then I shall go and hunt your child." Hereupon the woman desisted and the flies then sucked of the meat. "Yes," the woman then said to the fly, "our boy went to watch the fields and he never came back. If you can, you go and hunt him and find him for me." So the Fly flew away to the corn-field and found very many tracks. Following them all over the field, she finally tracked them to the shelter where the young man had been killed. Flying around here she soon discovered traces of the blood, and opening the hole she found blood in it. She sucked some of this blood and went a little farther north and there found the grave. She then sucked up all the blood from the first opening and injected it into the body and then waited. Soon the heart of the youth began to beat and after a little while he raised up, shaking his head slightly. "Have you woke up?" the Fly said. "Yes," he answered, "but I am very thirsty." "There is some water over there in the ditch," the Fly said, "go there and drink and then
we shall return to your house." So he went there and quenched his thirst and then they returned to the house of his parents. These were now very happy when they saw the child. The Fly then said to the parents: "The shirt and beads of your boy are at the maiden's house. Let him go over there and then see what she says, whether she will be glad or not, and then let him ask for his shirt and beads, and when she gives him the shirt let him shake it at her, and then when he gets the beads he must shake them, too."
The mother then said to her son: "All right, you go over to the mána's house. But the Fly continued: "She will probably spread food before you, she will offer you piki rolls, but do not eat them." So he went over there. When the mána saw him she exclaimed: "Ih (with a rising inflection), Have you come?" "Yes," he said, "I have come." "Sit down," she said to him, and at once went into another room and got some food, which she placed before him. "I am not hungry; I have come for my shirt and my beads. I think you brought them with you when you came." "Yes, I have them here, and of course I shall give them to you." She hereupon went into a room and when she opened the door the young man looked in and saw that she was very wealthy. She had a great many things there that she had taken from the youths whom she had killed. When she brought out his things he took them and shook them at her and said: "Yes, these are mine, these are the ones." Hereupon he left the house, but the Fly had in the meanwhile told his parents that they should go over to the mána's house also and meet their son there, so they met in front of the house and waited there. While they were standing there they heard a noise in the house, some clapping and shaking. When the young man had shaken his shirt and the beads at the mána, an evil charm had entered her and she was changed into "Tíhkuy Wuhti" 1 (child protruding woman). She entered an inner room and came out dressed in a white ówa. Her hair was now tied up like that of a married woman, but her face and clothes were all bloody. While she had put on this costume the noise and rattle in the room where the costumes of the slain youths were had continued, and these costumes, which it seems consisted mostly of buckskins, rabbit skins, etc., had assumed the shape of deer, antelope and rabbits, and these now dashed out of the room and left the house. The mána tried to keep them and was angry, but could not stop them. She grabbed the last one, however, and wiping her hand over her genitalia
she rubbed this hand over the face of the antelope, twisted his nose, rubbed his horns, etc., and then let him run. She then turned to the people who had assembled outside of the house and said: "After this you shall have great difficulty in hunting these animals. If you had let them alone here they would have remained close by, and you would have had no difficulty in slaying them." She thereupon also left the house and disappeared with the game. Ever after she lived along the Little Colorado River, where also for a long time the deer and antelope abounded. And this is the reason why it is so difficult to approach and kill this game. The Tíhkuy Wuhti having rubbed her own odor over the nose and face of that antelope, these antelopes now smell the odor of people from a far distance, and so it is very difficult to approach them. The Tíhkuy Wuhti is said to still live at the Little Colorado River, and the Hopi claim to have seen her, still wrapped up in the white robe, and all covered with blood. She controls the game, and hunters make prayer-offerings to her of turquoise and nakwákwosis stained in red ochre like that used in the Snake ceremony. These prayer-offerings, however, are always deposited in the night.
136:1 Told by Wikvaya (Oraíbi).
139:1 I have found other evidences in the Hopi tradition that point to the probability that human sacrifices existed among the ancestors of the Hopi.
140:1 This personage occurs in various Hopi tales. Some say that in a migrating party a woman was about to be confined. But as she was in labor a long time, she asked to be left behind. Her request was granted, the child being only partly born, from which fact she received her name. Comp. "The Oraíbi Snake Ceremony," by H, R Voth, page 353.
Next: 38. The Maiden Who Stole the Youth's Costume