Native American Legends
Arrow Boy triumphs over his mockers
A Cochiti Legend
In Cochiti the cacique had an only boy ("grandson probably").
He never went out. He didn't know the country, nor how to hunt.
He only knew bow to sing. The other young men were jealous because
he had so many lovers, because he always stayed in the pueblo and
wore good clothes and sang to the girls. At last the young men who
were hunters decided to put it before Masewa. They said, "Let
us hunt deer and put the cacique's boy in charge and see where he
will lead us." Masewa listened to them and agreed to their
plan. They were to put the boy in command of the party to find out
how he would manage, and where he would take them. They sent for
Arrow Boy to go to Masewa, and when he came, Masewa told him that
he had chosen him to, take charge of the deer hunt and he must choose
the direction in which they should go; he was the one to decide.
Arrow Boy accepted gladly; he did not know they were mocking him.
He said, "All right, Masewa. Tell the boys to make all their
preparations and have bows and arrows ready. In four days I will
decide which direction we shall take. I will ask our Mother to choose
the place and arrange the hunt."
For four days he asked our Mother that the hunt should be successful;
that there should be no trouble with the men and no trouble with
the game; that he should manage his party well. For four nights
the other young men met together and laughed about how Arrow Boy
would manage his hunting party. They said, "He will get over
singing to the girls around the village; he'll see he has to be
The day came when they were to go. Arrow Boy dressed himself for
the hunt. He came out and made proclamation (in three places) to
notify the hunters that it was time to start for the hunt. He told
them to go to the north. He would be waiting for them there. He
went to Masewa to ask for his guard. Masewa gave him his guard and
they went ahead of the others, to the north. When they got to the
meeting place he had appointed, they waited for the hunters. In
a little while the others arrived and he led them farther to the
north. He selected the mouth of a canyon in which to pitch their
camp for the night. Early in the morning Arrow Boy rose and told
the rest to pack up their loads and go farther into the canyon.
There he would assign their stations for the hunt.
When they came to the place he had appointed he stood before them
all and said, "Masewa has given authority into my hands for
these days. Everybody shall carry out every direction. If we work
together, our Mother will help us for I have asked her that she
should give much game during these days to feed her people."
When he had finished he separated the hunters into two parties.
He put leaders in charge of each party and assigned to the men their
positions. The two parties followed opposite sides of the canyon
and when they came together, they drove game directly toward Arrow
Boy and his guard who stood waiting at the starting place. When
everything was ready Arrow Boy said to his guard, "Deer are
coming and whether they want to or not, they must come through this
pass. Shoot as many as you can; some will fall right here, others
you will wound and will have to follow until they fall." Those
of his guard who were against him said, "He thinks he knows,
and he has never hunted before!" Those who were for him said,
"He has supernatural power."
When the two parties came together, they started toward the boy
and his guard. At first they started mountain goats, but farther
on, herds of deer. At every trail out of the canyon they had stationed
men so that no game could escape. The animals tried to get out but
these men who were guarding the trails turned them back, killing
a few. All kinds of game were running together now and they drew
close to where Arrow Boy and his guard were. Near an opening of
the canyon they started wild turkeys and quails (in olden times
quails flew only once). The game went straight to where Arrow Boy
and the old hunters (his guard) were standing. Ahead came the turkeys;
the deer and the mountain goats hugged the sides of the canyon.
They had a good day and they got much game; very few escaped. The
hunters from up the canyon pressed close upon the game and made
them go through the narrow pass of the canyon. The mountain goats
went first. The guard killed them. All the deer followed and they
killed those. Where there were trails out of the canyon there the
hunters had killed, too. They had plenty of game.
The hunters who had mocked the boy got nothing, the old hunters who had had faith
in him killed many, and Arrow Boy killed most of all. When they
had gathered together all the game those who had mocked him hid
away and went home by another direction. The rest of the hunters
came into the pueblo with their game and divided it according to
The people of the pueblo talked about the hunt. They mocked those
who had mocked Arrow Boy. People said it was not right to make fun
of him. They praised him and he was set aside by his grandfather
to be initiated into the Flint Society. From that time on he always
brought good counsels to his people and he grew continually in power.
When his grandfather died, he became cacique. This is what the mockers
planned against Arrow Boy.
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