The Traditions of the Hopi by H. R. Voth

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A long time ago the Little Gray Mice (Pövö'yamu) lived at Tumble Down Bluff (Tûkwíshahpukpu), south-east of the village, and the Little Brown Mice (Pavávumshamu) lived at Chiróve, west of the village, far down the mesa. The two kinds of mice were on friendly terms at that time. During the night they would come to the village and whenever one would find hidden away in jars or packed away in the rooms, corn, etc., it would invite the others and then they would come and carry away the food to their holes. This they did a long time. The two kinds of mice would often visit each other and dance together. They would usually sing the following song, both parties it seems generally using the same words:

Talawyayna talawyaynaaa
It begins to dawn, it begins to dawn.
Ahaha, ihihi. Talawyayna, talawyaynana,
Yaoohoo, oohia, ahaha ihihi.

One time one of the Gray Mice had found something very good to eat, perhaps peaches, and ran over to the Brown Mice, saving: ''I have found some good food and I have already made a hole in the cover so that we can get at it." Hereupon they all came from both

p. 224

places, but when they were carrying their food away to their houses they commenced to quarrel over it and had a great fight. Many were bitten, although none were killed. After a few days the Gray Mice went over to the Brown Mice again, entered their kiva and danced. They changed their song somewhat, however, singing as follows:

Talawyayna, talawyayna.
It begins to dawn, it begins to dawn.
Ahaha ihihi,
Talawyayna, talawyayna, ahaha, ihihi,
Yaoohoo oohio,
Pas nu pawupshat wupashurut
Very I (of) big mice, long tails
Mamkashi, (afraid), Pi nuu, pi nuu! O! I! O! I!
Yaoohoo oohia
Pas nu yan töonumkat mamkashi
Very I thus whistlers afraid (of)
Pi! nuu! pi, nuu! Pu yââmi! Pu yââmi.
O! I! O! I! Now off! now off!

When they were through singing they rushed out of the kiva back to their home. The Brown Mice laughed at them, saying: "Aha, they are afraid of us." The two kinds of mice have never been on good terms since, and from that time they began to scatter out through the fields and through the houses, and that is the reason why they now may be found everywhere.


223:1 The words in both of the songs are obsolete and no longer understood.

223:2 Told by Qöyáwaima (Oraíbi).

Next: 88. The Badger and the Small Gray Mice


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