The Traditions of the Hopi by H. R. Voth
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102. THE DESTRUCTION OF SIKYÁTKI. 1
Halíksai! A long time ago the people were living in Wálpi, but not on top of the mesa. The village was then west of the mesa where there are now the ruins. The people at Sikyátki were also living. One time the Racer Katcinas from Sikyátki came over to Wálpi to have a race. During the race one of the Wálpi men cut off the hair knot of the Hö'msontaka Katcina, instead of cutting off just a small portion of the side lock, as is usually done. This made the Katcina very angry. He returned to Sikyátki and then for some time he practiced running. When he had become very strong he made up his mind that he was going to take revenge on the one who had cut
his hair. One time the Wálpi came over also to have a race at Sikyátki. The young man whose hair had been cut was still angry. He took a knife and then went up on the bluff opposite Sikyátki, where he waited.
When the dance was in progress he went down and entered the plaza. He wore the mask of the Hö'msontaka Katcina. Four clowns performed in connection with the Katcina dance. These saw him first and said; "Here a Katcina is coming." "Yes," he said, "I want to race." "Very well," they said. So he raced with them and caught every one of them, cutting a small portion of their side locks off. When they were through with the racing he kept looking through the crowd of people. Soon he detected on top of a house a maiden who had her hair whorls done up nicely. He recognized her as a sister of the one who had cut his hair, and he was determined to take revenge on her. When the clowns noticed it they said: "There he has found a friend."
Hereupon he dashed away and ran up the ladder to the top of the house where the maiden was standing with another maiden. The people dispersed as he came upon the roof. He rushed to the place where the two maidens were standing. They rushed down the ladder and entered a house. He followed them and grabbed the sister of his enemy, taking hold of her hair whorls and, jerking a knife from his belt, he cut off her head. He took hold of one of her hair whorls and rushed out, swinging the head where all the people could see it. Hereupon he ran away. The people followed him but could not overtake him. They rushed up the mesa and the dance broke up immediately.
When the Katcina had reached the top of the mesa he turned back and again waved the head to his pursuers. They were very angry. He turned and went to the village again by another trail, still carrying the head in his hand. The people of the two villages quarreled severely, but the Wálpi people withdrew to their village. There was, however, constant wrangling and fighting going on between the two villages after that. The people of Sikyátki, it seems, were very wicked. They were especially wicked towards the women and maidens, and as they did not even spare the chief's wife, he got very angry and was determined to take revenge upon his own people. He agreed with the chief of Wálpi that when his people would be planting for the chief in the valley, the Wálpi should come to the village and destroy it. So when the Wálpi heard the announcement that the Sikyátki people were going to plant the fields of their chief they made ready.
They went on top of the mesa and watched. Many of them had halls; of pitch with them that they had procured from the woods. When the Sikyátki people were out in the fields they rushed upon the village where they found only some women and children. These they killed, They then rubbed the pitch on the walls of the houses and set the houses on fire, thus destroying the village. When the people who were planting saw the smoke rise from the village, they at once realized what had happened. They rushed to their village but had only their planting sticks with them. The Wálpi, before setting fire to the houses, had secured the bows, arrows, and tomahawks so that they were well armed when they met the people of Sikyátki, and in a short time had killed then) all, including the chief who had been the instigator of the revenge. Thus Sikyátki was destroyed and has ever since been in ruins. It came so suddenly that even now charred corn is constantly found in the ruins.
244:1 Told by Sik'áhpiki (Shupaúlavi).
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