The Traditions of the Hopi by H. R. Voth
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57. THE LOCUST THAT CAME TO LIFE WHILE BEING ROASTED. 1
Halíksai! In Oraíbi they were living. In the summer there were many locusts in the valleys around the village, and the boys and girls used to hunt them. When they would hear one singing somewhere they would approach him and if he did not fly away they would capture him and put him in a sack. In that way they often brought home to the village-a great many locusts. These the women roasted in pots, pouring salt water on them and thus preparing them as a food, which was relished very much by the Hopi. When they were roasted in the salt water they became very white, and the Hopi ate them with píki and hurúshuki, etc.
The young men often used to hunt Jack-rabbits and cotton-tail rabbits, which were also relished by the Hopi very much; but as there were so many locusts and the Hopi liked them very much also, they preferred to hunt them. There were especially many locusts at a place called Porcupine Height (Muñáovi), and here the young people hunted them, bringing back with them a great many.
One time an old woman, whose little niece had been among the hunters and had brought back a great many locusts, was also roasting them in a pot after having broken them in two. While she was stirring them one of the locusts became alive, and in a moaning manner sang the following little song, slowly crawling up along the stirring stick as he was singing:
Chi, ri, ri, ri, ri, chi, ri, ri, ri, ri,
Pai, as ima cowihtuhuhuhu,
Why it used to be these here Jack-rabbits,
Pai, as ima, tavohtuhuhu,
Why, it used to be these here cotton-tail rabbits,
Pai kurzh pas itam nuhtungwup nöqkakwangwtuhuhu
Why now certainly we also are relished much as meat.
Chi, ri, ri, ri, ri, C-- -- -- -- -- --
When he had reached the top of the stirring stick, the woman said "Yes, we used to like these jack-rabbits and cotton-tail rabbits very much as meat, but your meat tastes so well too that now we like your meat very much too, and hunt you.'' When she said this the locust flew away with a hissing sound.
181:1 Told by, Tangákhoyoma (Oraíbi).
Next: 58. The Coyote and the Turtles