The Traditions of the Hopi by H. R. Voth
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97. THE GRASSHOPPERS AND THE ORAÍBI MAIDEN. 1
At our village the people were living. At the place where now Shókhungioma and his wife, Síngösi, are living somebody lived and had a daughter whose name was Awát Mcána. The father had a field west of the village in the valley and often watched that field. He became tired of watching the field alone, and so one time he said to his daughter she should relieve him once; he would go down early and then after breakfast she should come down and take his place. So after breakfast she went down and took her father's place and the latter returned to the village. She was sitting in the kísi (a temporary booth or bower to give shade); all at once she heard some singing at a distance in the hollow, but she did not go there. In the evening she went home. The father thanked her that she had assisted him. "Yes," she said, "to-morrow I am going down again when it is very early." The father asked her whether their corn had already roasting ears. She said yes, she had gone through the corn and had found that the roasting ears were beginning to come out already.
Her father had seen what the girl had believed to be singing children. They were Grasshoppers. So in the morning she went to
the field early and stayed there during the day. When the sun was well up it became warm and then she heard the singing again. She thought she would see what it was, and going in a southerly direction she cam; upon a little wash, and away down in the wash in the shadow of the bank she saw many little beings engaged in a dance and in singing. When she saw them she stopped short, but the Grasshoppers also noticed her and said: "Somebody is standing there"; so they stopped their dancing. The maiden said, "Go on, dance some more," but they hesitated for a little while. She urged them to perform another dance, but they refused to do it. She finally said, "If you dance for me once more you can have one division of our corn-field and eat the corn." They then were willing to dance, bending. their front legs like arms, and swinging them lively back and forth, to which they sang the following song: 1
Ruk, ruk, ruk, ruk.
When they were through they said: "Now, let us go," and, then they began to emerge from the wash and it was found that they had wings, so they flew to the corn-field and began to devour the corn. The maiden ran after them, and when she saw that they were eating away the corn beyond the limit she had allowed them, she told them they should stop as her father would be angry. When she saw that they would not stop she began to cry and took her blanket and began to beat them. When she found that that would not do any good she left them and ran to the village, arriving there nearly at noon, all in perspiration and nearly out of breath. Her father was just spinning cotton for a ceremonial robe (atö'ö), for her. "Why did you come home?" her father asked. "Yes," she said, "something is eating our corn," and then she told him all about it. "Ishohí!" he exclaimed, "they are certainly going to eat all of the corn." He at once laid
down his spindle and hurried to the field and found that the Grasshoppers had eaten up all the corn. He then grabbed a stick and, knowing where he had seen the Grasshoppers before, and also seeing their tracks in the sand, he followed them.
It seems that on returning they had not been flying, but walking. When he came upon them he found that they were resting and sleeping, as they had filled themselves so full with the corn. He jumped into the wash saying: "Ishohí, you have eaten my corn," and began pounding them with his stick. He killed a great many, but others escaped. He destroyed their houses there entirely, and that is the reason why now the grasshoppers do not all live at one place, but may he found almost anywhere. Hereupon he went home, being sad at heart. When he came home he chided his daughter saying: "Why did you tell them about our corn-field? They are bad." But he added: "I have only you alone, and I shall not be angry at you. That corn will sprout and grow again."
236:1 Told by Qöyáwaima (Oraíbi).
237:1 The meaning of some of the words only is known. The first word is probably derived from "yáyalawa" (damage), referring to the damage done by the Grasshoppers in the corn-field, "yamóshkiki" expresses such ideas as swarming, crowding each other. "ruk" is said to refer to the rubbing of the legs against the wings by the Grasshoppers.
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