The Traditions of the Hopi by H. R. Voth
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103. THE DESTRUCTION OF AOÁTOVI. 1
Halíksai! A long time ago the people were living in Aoátovi. In Shongópavi, Mishóngnovi, and Wálpi they were then not yet living on top of the mesa, but at the places where there are now the ruins of those villages. In Oraíbi they were living where the village now stands. The villages of Sichómovi and Háno were then not existing. They were erected when the Wálpi moved on the mesa. The people at Aoátovi had a great many ponies so that the men hunted on ponies. They had strong hearts. When they were hunting they were full of hilarity.
Thus they were living there. They had not any cattle yet, but they lived on game and on sheep, of which they had some at that time at Aoátovi. One time they were going on a hunting expedition again, but this time the maidens of the village participated in the hunt. They were, however, not on horseback as the young men were. At about noon they had gone as far as they wanted to go, and returned. When they had found a rabbit it was placed on the ground and the maidens raced for it, and whoever won the race received the rabbit, which she handed to either her father or her brother who was present, who then tied it up and carried it home in the evening.
The daughter of the village chief, a very pretty maiden, who had big hair whorls, was also among the hunters, and as the hunting party was returning in the afternoon one of the young men in chasing a rabbit on his pony, dashed over this maiden and killed her.
p. 247 Her father, the village chief, became very angry. His heart became very bad about that, and he was thinking about it very deeply, The men at the village had been bad for some time and the chief determined that he would take revenge. He made up his mind that the village should be rased to the ground so that grass should grow there. This he was thinking in his heart while he was angry.
The chase was broken up and the people went home mourning. The chief said that he was not angry, but he said that with his lips only, and in his heart he was angry and planned a punishment. One night when all were fast asleep he proceeded to Shongópavi and entered the village chief's house, because at that time the people did not lock their doors. The village chief was fast asleep, but the visitor touched his head and waked him up. The village chief of Shongópavi arose and built a fire. They each took a seat opposite the fireplace. The chief of Aoátovi filled his pipe, which he had brought with him, with tobacco that he had also brought, lit the pipe, smoked, and handed it to his friend, the Shongópavi chief, who also smoked. When the pipe was empty, the latter handed it back to the Aoátovi chief who cleaned it out and laid it down. "Now then, why have you come?" the Shongópavi chief asked. "You certainly go about in this way for some reason." "Yes," the visitor replied, "there in my village my children (people) are bad. They have bad hearts. They will not listen to my talk, they will not do what I tell them to do, and when some time ago we had a hunt they rode over my daughter and killed her. I have put her away but I am angry at that. Now then, my village shall be rased to the ground. It shall be turned to sand and grass shall grow there." "So that is why you are going about here," said the Shongópavi chief. "Yes, that is why I have come here. I am very angry and that is why I have come to you here. So you must instruct your strong men to practice their strength in running and racing so that they become strong. In four days I shall return again." Having said this he returned home.
The people in the village had no suspicion of what was going on. The chief kept the matter strictly to himself. In the night of the fourth day he went again to Shongópavi. The chief of Shongópavi, expecting his friend, had retired for the night, but had not gone to sleep, so when he heard his friend come he got up and built a fire. They sat down again, smoked, and he again asked his visitor why he had come. "Yes," he said, ''you remember what I told you and that I requested you to prepare your strong men. Are they willing?" "Yes," the Shongópavi chief replied, "they are willing and are practicing." "Very well," the other one said, "now on the third day
from now you must dress up and get ready. They must get ready to have a Katcina race with my young men. Four of your men shall dress up as Katcinas." Hereupon he returned to his village.
The young men again practiced for three days and then they prepared for the Katcina race. Their mothers cooked tû'hpâvu (steamed sweet corn-ears), and the next morning four of the young men proceeded to Aoátovi, taking the presents with them. One was dressed as Hö'msona, 1 the second as a Chilítoshmoktaka 2 the third as an Angwúshngöntaka, 3 and the fourth as a Sik'ápku. 4 When the Katcinas carne to Aoátovi they entered the plaza, which was very much like the one in Shongópavi at the present day. In the center was a shrine. They laid down their sweet corn on the ground and waited. The Katcina chief of the village cried out: "Now then, you young men come here. These Katcinas have come here to have a race with you. They have come to you." The men of the village now crowded into the plaza and the race commenced. The presents which the Katcinas had brought were decreasing. Sometimes the Katcinas won the race, at other times the others won. When there was only one bunch of corn ears left, one of the Aoátovi young men placed it aside, saving, that he was going to win it. The Hö'msona Katcina challenged him to a race, so the two raced, but the Katcina remained way behind. When the young man who had outrun the Katcina by far, returned, the Hö'msona grabbed him by the hair, threw him down on his back, sat on his body, jerked out his knife, of which every Hö'msona Katcina carried one to cut the loser's hair, thrust the knife into his throat and cut it. Having done this the Hö'msona ran towards the other Katcinas where also the Katcina chief of the village was standing with his corn meal and nakwákwosis, which he was to hang to the Katcinas prior to their departure. But the Hö'msona, as soon as he had arrived, motioned to the other Katcinas to run, whereupon they left the village without waiting for the prayer-offerings.
When the people saw that the Young man who had raced with the Katcina did not return they were suspicious that something had happened. "Oh!" they said, "that young man is not returning and here these Katcinas are running away. He probably has hurt that young man." Hereupon they rushed to the end of the village where the murder had occurred. Here they found that the young
man had been killed. "Why, he has been killed," they called back, "let us follow them and let us kill them." Hereupon the men and the youths of the village ran after their bows and arrows, thrust them behind their belts and rushed after the Katcinas. Those who could get some ponies got them and followed the Katcinas on their ponies.
The Katcinas had in the meanwhile descended the mesa and were running westward, one after the other, along the trail. When they were about south of Wálpi they were beginning to become tired and ran somewhat slower. At a bluff called Hûk'átwi, the Hö'msona fell somewhat behind. By this time those men of Aoátovi who were on horseback had overtaken them and at once surrounded the Hö'msona. They killed the Katcina, shooting him with their bows and arrows. Hereupon they followed the others, and at the foot of the incline they overtook the Chilítoshmoktaka, whom they also surrounded and killed. There were now two left. In the valley south-east of Mishóngnovi they overtook the Angwúshngöntaka, surrounded and killed him. There was only the Sik'ápku left now. When he had arrived at the wash he jerked off his mask, looked back and saw that his pursuers were not very far away. He discharmed himself by swinging the mask in front of himself four times. He then placed the mask on top of a brush, jumped into the wash and ran out of it on the other side. The two chiefs had arranged that those of the Katcinas who would go through the wash before the pursuers should overtake them should not be killed, but the Shongópavi chief had agreed, that if they overtook any of his four Katcinas before they had crossed the wash, they might kill them, and the Aoátovi chief had instructed his people to that effect before they left the village to pursue the Katcinas. Hence, when the pursuers came upon the mask that was hanging on the brush, they said: "He has crossed the wash, we shall not follow him, but we shall return." Hereupon they returned.
When the Katcina arrived at Shongópavi the chief said: "Thanks, that you have come back, that you have been left. I shall see you living here. Be it then that way, that the others have been killed." Hereupon the chief of Aoátovi was thinking over this matter, and during the night he again went to Shongópavi, just as the sorcerers (Pópwaktu) always go about in the night. The Shongópavi chief was expecting him and, while he had retired, he had not gone to sleep. He at once got up, built a fire, and again asked: "What have you come for?" "Yes," the Aoátovi chief replied, "I have forfeited my people. We have killed your Katcinas so I give you my people, I give you all my people. In four days you come and get my people. The
women and the maidens you take, but the men and the old women you may kill." The Shongópavi chief hung his head and meditated very seriously. Finally he raised his head and said: "No, I do not want that, I shall not do that. My Katcinas went over there to race .and they killed one of your handsome young men. You followed them and you killed three of my Katcinas. We are even now. I shall not go and kill others, I shall not go and bring any one here to my village. No, I do not want that." The Aoátovi chief then also hung his head and reflected. He finally said: "Very well, Oh! so you do not want to make me glad. You do not want my people. I want my village to be rased to the ground, but you will not. Very well, then, be it that way." Hereupon he got up and left, returning to his village.
When he arrived there he again thought over the matter. In the night he went to Oraíbi, entered the chief's house, shook him, and awoke him. The chief got up, and built a fire. They smoked together, and then he related the same story to the Oraíbi chief that he had told to the Shongópavi chief. He added that he had requested the Shongópavi chief to destroy his people but he had refused to do so, and hence he had now come to him. "Now, what do you think about it?" he asked. "So that is why you are going about," the Oraíbi chief said, "so that is what you have planned. It is with you. If your children (people) are not dear to you, and if you really want your village destroyed, I shall be willing to assist you, and nothing shall then be done to my people. But if your children are dear to you, if you value them, and if your village is dear to you, I shall not want to do that because my people might then be destroyed also. So it remains with you to say about it." "No, my people are not dear to me," the other chief replied, "I want my village to be destroyed and leveled to the ground so that grass shall grow there, and nothing shall happen to your people. That is the reason why I have come here and have told you this."
"Very well," the Oraíbi chief said, "then I am willing to do it." "All right," the Aoátovi chief replied, "thanks, thanks, now I am happy that you are willing. Thank you! Here I have brought you these, my people," whereupon he produced two small clay figures, which he held in his hand, one representing the males, the other the females of his village." You select one of these," he said, "whichever you select you shall have, and the others shall be left for the other villages." "Very well," the Oraíbi chief said, and selected the figure representing the females. "Thank you, that you have brought these to me and that they are not dear to you. Thank you." "Very
well," the Aoátovi chief said, "these you shall have, and the others the other villages shall have." When that was decided the Aoátovi chief said, "Now, for four days you must make bows and arrows and get ready, and you invite the people at the other villages, and then on the fifth day you must come and kill us." Hereupon he returned home to his village.
The next day the Oraíbi chief called his warrior chiefs and told them what the Aoátovi chief wanted of them, instructing them that he should tell his other people of the village to prepare their bows and arrows. This he did, and so the people made bows and arrows and shields during the four days. Three of his nephews he sent to Wálpi, Mishóngnovi, and Shongópavi to tell those people about the request of the Aoátovi chief, and that they should get ready to participate in the destruction of that village. Shupaúlavi did not at that time exist. The chiefs of the different villages declared themselves willing to take part in the expedition, only the chief of Shongópavi said to his people: "Now, this is the request that has been made upon us. Now, if any of you that are wicked and bad, want to take part in that, be it so, but I do not want that. I do not want to get their people to live with us here. They may spoil us. We want to live here alone. I do not want to take part in it."
So on the fourth day the Oraíbi chief said that some of them should go to Wálpi, invite them, and then proceed with them towards Aoátovi; some of them would o by way of Shongópavi and Mishóngnovi, and then meet the others near Aoátovi. Thus they parted in two parties. The party from Oraíbi that went to Shongópavi entered the village and separated, the different clans looking up their clan relatives with whom they ate a meal. They then asked them to join them, saving that they should take part, and they wanted to go to Aoátovi because the chief there wanted them to destroy the village, and no one should remain behind. They all declared themselves willing to take part asking them where they were going first, and when the Oraíbi told them that they were going to Mishóngnovi yet, they said that they should just go on ahead, and in the meanwhile they would dress up and get ready and follow them.
Hereupon the Oraíbi proceeded to Mishóngnovi where they again scattered into the different houses, inviting their clan relatives to join them. They were at once willing to do so, and taking their bows and arrows, and wrapping a blanket around them they were ready to start. The Oraíbi kept looking towards Shongópavi, but nobody came and they suspected that the Shongópavi had deceived
them. The party that had gone to Wálpi direct had in the meanwhile arrived there and found the Wálpi willing to join them. The two parties then met towards evening, south of Hûk'átwi, where they conversed together about the matter until the sun went down. They then moved towards Aoátovi where they arrived at the foot of the mesa when it had become quite dark. Here they again rested.
While they were smoking here, the chief of Aoátovi and his wife came down to them, each one carrying a large bundle of píki, which they gave to the people, and which the latter ate. After they had eaten, the Aoátovi chief said to them: ''Thank you that so many of you have come. Thank you that you have done as I want it, and have come to destroy us here. You stay here during the night, and then when it begins to dawn you go up and hide under a bluff," which he pointed out to them, "and when the sun rises my son will sit on top of my house and then you must watch him. When he rises and goes down from my house the men will all have gone into their kivas and then you must rush upon the mesa and separate at the different kivas and kill the men there. The Oraíbi chief shall then select those women and maidens that he wants to take along and then the rest of the villages shall take those that they want." Hereupon the chief and his wife left and returned to the village.
The raiders did as they had been told do to. The village chief, who was a powáka, had bewitched his son and probably others, so that while they knew about the plan of the chief they were in harmony with it and willing that the chief's wish should be carried out. For that reason also, almost all the men assembled in the kivas. Those who suspected something were so much under the wicked influence and charm of the chief that they were drawn into the impending danger. When the chief's son had given the raiders the signal agreed upon, the latter rushed into the village, surrounded the kivas, pulled up the ladders, and threw the many bundles of fire-wood that were lying at the different kivas, into the kivas. When the men in the kivas looked up they saw arrows pointed and shot at them, but as they had no weapons with them they were helpless. Some of the men rushed into the houses where they found much Spanish pepper, of which the Aoátovi people, who had plenty of water, raised a great deal. The men then threw firebrands into the kivas, and when the wood and the roofs of the kivas were set on fire they threw the pepper into the fire, the smoke of which caused the men to cough vehemently and many of them smothered to death.
While this was going on the people of Mishóngnovi and Wálpi rushed into the houses and took all the younger women and maidens.
and the children that they wanted to take, and moved off with them, not waiting for the Oraíbi who were to have the first opportunity to select their prisoners. So the Oraíbi only got a very few. The older women were killed. The chief of Aoatovi and his son were both destroyed with the others in the kivas. The village was not destroyed, but as soon as the raiders had taken such prisoners as they wanted to take and had killed the others and probably took some of the spoils of the houses, they returned. At a place between Wálpi and Mishóngnovi called Skeleton Mound (Máschomo), they halted. The Oraíbi now showed their dissatisfaction and said to the others: "This is not the way the chief told us that it should be. We should select our prisoners first. You have taken what belonged to us. This here was to be ours; that there was to be ours; and this was to be ours; and you have taken them. Now you give to us what belongs to us, as the chief of Aoátovi told us." Thus they spoke to them,
But the Mishóngnovi and Wálpi refused to give up the women and maidens. "We have captured them, we have taken them," they said, "and by that they became ours. We shall not give them to you.'' Hereupon the Oraíbi chief said: "Very well, then these are mine. They were given to me," and hereupon he called upon his people to take them." "Let us kill them," he said, "and then they will belong to nobody, and there will be no wrangle about them." Hereupon the Oraíbi grabbed a great many of them, whereupon the women and maidens who were thus taken cried and begged to be allowed to go along. "Do not kill us," they implored them, "we shall go with you." Many of the younger and prettier ones about whom the quarrel had taken place were killed. Some, however, pitied their victims and these as well as others about whom there was no contention were taken to the different villages. That is the reason why in Oraíbi, Mishóngnovi, and Wálpi so many of the Aoátovi people may be found to the present day.
In Oraíbi the following clans are represented from those people: the Sand clan, the Rabbit clan, the Coyote clan, and the Butterfly clan. Of the latter, however, only one woman is left. There are in Oraíbi two different kinds of all of these clans except the Sand clan, all of which are probably the Aoátovi people, while those of the other clans have come from different directions. The Aoátovi people introduced in Oraíbi the Oáqöl cult, which is the latest cult introduced in Oraíbi. The same cult was also introduced by them in Mishóngnovi and Wálpi. At every Soyál ceremony these clans place their báhos at a separate place at the edge of the mesa for their dead ancestors.
246:1 Told by Tangakhoyoma (Oraíbi).
Next: 104. The Destruction of Aoatovi