The Traditions of the Hopi by H. R. Voth
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110. THE EARLY SPANISH MISSIONS AT ORAÍBI. 1
A long time ago the Oraíbi were living in their village. The Spaniards often made inroads upon them and warred against them. Finally they made peace with each other and the Spaniards requested that they be permitted to live in Oraíbi. The Hopi consented, so they hunted a place where the Spaniards could build their house, and selected a place north of the village of Oraíbi, where the ruins of the old Spanish buildings may still be seen. Here the Hopi assisted them in building their house. They got the stone for them and helped them to build their house, which the old people say was built in a spiral or snail-house shaped form, there being four spirals. In the center of the spiral-shaped construction was the house, or rather kiva, as the Hopi call it in their tales. Here, tradition says, the Spaniards withdrew, especially in winter when it was cold. Coming out of this kiva they had to go around four times through the long winding hallway which ended in the square house with four rooms. From this house the egress or ingress was made through doors, while from the place in the center the Hopi say they came out through the roof.
Soon another house, which tradition calls an "assembly house," was built north-east of this structure. This large house had a tower in which bells were suspended. When this assembly house was finished, the Spaniards called all the people from the village, and when they had assembled at their house, they told them that they should ,all go to the new, large assembly house, and when they had done so the Tûtáachi told them that he was going to wash their heads (baptize them). They asked him what that was, what that meant. He told them that that was something very good. So they consented and he poured a little water on the heads of those present'. After this the Tûtáachi called another Tûtáachi from Basoi, 2 who came with a number of others and brought clothing and shoes for the Hopi. The shoes
were made of leather, the clothing of some gray woolen stuff. The things were brought on carts with heavy wooden wheels, but there was no iron on them,
It seemed that this Tûtáachi was to be the assistant of the one living in Oraíbi, at least the new arrival remained in Oraíbi. The Hopi then had to assemble in the assembly house on Sundays, where the Tûtáachis, or priests, spoke to them. Soon they asked the Hopi to work for them. The water in the springs around Oraíbi not being good, they requested them to get drinking water for them from Mû'enkape, which is far away. The Oraíbi soon got tired of this and sometimes, instead of going to Mû'enkape, they went to Tûhciva, a spring south of the mesa on which the sun shrine is situated, about three miles south-east of Oraíbi. But the priests soon found out the deception, and were angry. They soon set the inhabitants of Oraíbi to work at making cisterns, and the Hopi themselves were pleased with this, as they were now not requested to got water so often from the distance.
The Spaniards also soon brought cattle, and the Oraíbi would occasionally buy calves from them for corn. Some of the cattle were very gentle and were used to drag logs to the village, which the Hopi had to get for the Spaniards from Kí'shiwuu, fifty or sixty miles north-east. The deep cuts and ruts in the rocks north-east of Oraíbi where many logs were dragged up may still be seen to-day. Some also had to get logs from the San Francisco Mountains (near Flagstaff), but as parts of the road from there were very sandy, not so many were gotten from that place as from Kí'shiwuu.
Thus the Spaniards kept the Hopi at work in various ways, and they were not bad to them at first. For four years everything went along well, and it rained often too, so that there was water in the cisterns; but at the end of four years things began to change. The priests commenced to forbid the Hopi to have Katcina dances and to make báhos. They demanded of them to attend the meetings in the assembly house, and they did not let them concern themselves about the clouds and the rain, and that year (the fifth) it was very warm and very dry. The Hopi began to be very tired and did not plant much that year, so the chiefs called a council and they talked the matter over. "We are not getting along well," they said to each other, "we are not happy. It does not rain. Let us try it with báhos again. The Hopi have always had it that way, and known it that way, to make báhos for the clouds." So they again began to have ceremonies, each fraternity with its own altar, and they made báhos, but did not tell the priests about it. They deposited the prayer-offerings
in the different directions, but it did not rain. So the chiefs and leaders were very much discouraged. Their "fathers," as they had to call the Spanish priests, demanded food from them, and yet they had very little to eat themselves, only some votáka (corn-meal mush).
So they decided to try the Katcinas again, and they arranged a Katcina dance, but one of the Hopi went and informed the padres that they were going to have a Katcina dance again; then they had the dance, and it rained some, but very little. The padres in the meanwhile continued to oppress the Hopi and made them work very hard, and demanded contributions of food, etc., from them. They would also disregard all the feelings of the Hopi as to their own (the Hopi's) religion. They would trample under foot the chastity of the Hopi women and maidens. So finally the Hopi became angry and began to discuss the advisability of getting rid of their oppressors. One time a number of the latter went away, east somewhere, to get some supplies, clothing, etc., it is said, so that the padre remained at the Mission alone. When the Hopi saw that the priest's assistants had left, they met in council in the Nashebe, the chief's kiva, and talked the matter over. Some were in favor of going and killing the padre, others objected, saying that certainly the Spaniards would then come and punish them. But finally the party that was in favor of getting rid of the oppressors prevailed, and they concluded that they would stand the oppression no longer, but get rid of the priest. The question then came up, Who should go and kill him? Nobody wanted to do it. Finally the Badger clan volunteered to go. "You are not brave," they said, "we shall go."
So they proceeded to the Mission and knocked at the door. The padre was asleep and after they had roused him up he refused to open the door at first, but when they continued to knock he opened the door, whereupon they rushed into the room, grabbed him, dragged him out of the house, threw him on the ground and then cut his throat, one holding his head. Hereupon they carried the corpse eastward down the mesa, where they threw it into a gulch and piled stones upon it. Hereupon they waited for some time to see whether anybody would come, or what would happen.
The killing of the padre in Oraíbi the signal for the other villages to get rid of the padres that lived at those mesas also. The Hopi then waited, expecting that Spaniards would come and avenge their brethren, but no one came, so they destroyed the houses of the Spaniards, divided their logs and timbers, and used them for their kivas. Some of the smaller bells are still owned by the Agave Fraternity.
No one has ever come to punish the Hopi for killing the padres. The places where the latter had their large sheep corrals call still be seen, especially near the spring Nawáivöcö, and at a place about four miles south of Oraíbi. From that time on the Hopi again had their dances and their sacred altar performances in their kivas.
268:1 Told by Wíkvaya (Oraíbi).
268:2 This place could not be identified and I doubt whether the name was given correctly.
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