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How Ball Head wedded an Oraibi Maiden

A Hopi Legend

Halíksai! In Oraíbi the people were living. At the place where Tuwá-mana now lives, right east of the public plaza, lived a maiden who persistently refused to marry any of the young men of the village.

Many of these young men were wooing her.

North of the village at Achámali, lived an old woman with her grandson. "My grandmother," he said to her one time. "What is it?" she answered. "Yes," he said, "I am going to visit that maiden there in the village, and see whether she will not marry me."

"Alas!" she replied, "she will not want you,"

"I am going to try it anyhow," he answered. So one evening, after they had eaten, he put his wildcat robe on, of which at that time nearly every young man had one, and proceeded to the village. It was moonlight.

When he came to the house he stood outside at the corner of the house. The maiden was grinding corn opposite an open window. He went up to the place where she was grinding corn, looked through the opening, and saw that she was very busy grinding corn. "Stop a little," he said.

She stopped and asked: "Why do you want me to stop?"

"Yes," he said, "I came to you."

"Who are you?" she asked., "Yes," he said, "it is I."

And hereupon she began to guess, mentioning many names of young men in the village, and asked whether he was that one or that one. Finally she said: "Are you not living north of the village there?"

"Yes," he answered.

"So you are that one," she said. "All right, I am willing that we should live together."

"That is what I came for," the young man said.

"Very well," the maiden replied, "I shall ask my mother, and if she is willing, we shall live together. So you go home now and sleep."

After he had left she went down and spoke to her parents, telling them that the young man living north of the village at Achámali had asked her to marry him. They said that they would be glad if he would live with them and he was welcome, "If he has not spoken a falsehood he will certainly come back again," they said. Whereupon they retired for the night.

When the young man arrived at his home, he was asked by his grandmother what he had found out. "Yes," he said, ''I have good news; she is willing." Hereupon they too retired for the night. In the morning the grandmother said to her grandson: "You have a big field here. Some of your corn has certainly matured, so you prepare some steamed sweet corn."

"Very well," he said. So he gathered some sweet corn-ears, heated his oven, and threw into it a good many corn-ears. In the evening they were done. He took them out, took off the husks, and strung the corn-ears on strings of yucca leaves, preparing about ten bunches of corn ears, By this time the sun had gone down. After a little while he wrapped up the corn-ears that he had strung up, and proceeded to the village.

The maiden was still grinding corn. He left the presents on the ground in front of the house, on the plaza, and went up. "Have you come?" the maiden said. "Yes," he replied. "Very well," she said, come in." Hereupon he went down, got his bundle. and brought it in. A fire was burning at the fireplace. He took a seat by the side of the fireplace. The maiden stopped her grinding and took a seat on the opposite side.

The young man had a mask on with three nodules on top, from which small turkey feathers were suspended. It was the Ball-Head (Tatciqtö). He handed the maiden the sweet corn-ears that he had brought, saying to her, "You take this and eat it." She was happy and thanked him for it. "Thanks," she said, "on your account I shall eat it." Hereupon she took part of the corn down to her parents who were also glad, and ate of it because they were new corn ears.

Returning to the room where the young man was sitting, they conversed together for a while. ''Very well," the maiden said, "I shall now save the corn- meal that I am grinding, then sometime I shall come over to your house." Whereupon they separated, the young man going back to his house, and the mána also retiring for the night. Hereupon the maiden ground blue corn for four days. On the fifth day she ground white corn. Every evening the young man brought over some fresh sweet corn-ears, which the people of the house ate. In the evening of the fifth day he did not bring any, but he came to fetch his bride.

She and her mother filled a large tray full of the white meal, tied it up in an atö'ö, which she then took in her hands, and followed the young man to his house. When they arrived there he went in first. His grandmother welcomed the maiden to her house and invited her repeatedly to come in. The young man also told her to come in.

So she entered. She first handed the tray with meal to the grandmother,, who thanked her for it, and put the meal away. They then ate the evening meal, which consisted of corn, melons, and watermelons. After having conversed for some little time they retired for the night, the mána sleeping with the grandmother.

Early in the morning when the yellow dawn was appearing the grandmother and the maiden went out to kúivato (to make prayer-offerings, consisting of sacred meal, to the dawn and rising sun). Returning to the kiva, the grandmother got out four Kohoníno trays (chukávotas) and a lot of corn, which the mána was shelling, filling the four trays. When they were filled, the grandmother told her grandson to go and call his animals.

He went out and called them by saying "pi-pi-pi-pi!" whereupon a great many chickens came running to the kiva. When they had come in, the young man first took one tray, scattering the corn to the chickens. When they had eaten that he scattered the corn from another tray, and so on until they were all emptied. He then told them to sit down on the banquette that was running along the wall all around the kiva, which they did. The four empty trays he placed in a row north of the fireplace, Hereupon he said to the chickens: "I am going to sing for you now, so you listen to me attentively, and then afterward s sing the same way."

Hereupon he hung a little drum over his shoulder, gave a signal on the drum, when all the chickens looked at him and listened attentively, while the young man sang the following song, accompanying it by beating the drum:

Aha ihi aha
Kowakoho ngumanta (The chicken was grinding meal),
Angwushihi ngumanta (The crow was grinding meal).
Takahayakwi, tanaymahka.
Ahaha! ihihihihii!

The mána was sitting near the fireplace. While the young man was singing the song, the chickens all swayed their bodies from side to side to the time of the singing, and by doing so ground the corn which they had taken into their bodies. When he had sung the song five times he said to the chickens: "Now then, come and vomit your meal into these trays." So one after the other came and vomited the meal which it had ground in its body into the tray. It was very fine white meal. When they were all through they left the kiva.

In this way the chickens assisted the maiden in getting all that corn ground quickly, so that she did not have to grind it herself as is usually the case. This meal they then used afterwards. But the young man had no cotton, and so no bridal costume was prepared for the bride, for which she was sorry. The young man, however, was a hunter and often brought home rabbits and other game. After the maiden had lived there awhile the grandmother said to her: "Now then, you have been here a long time, you prepare some good food."

This the mána did in the morning, preparing some pík'ami and other food. The young man again went hunting and returned with rabbits. The grandmother prepared a great deal of nö'qkwiwi. In the evening they spread the food on the floor, filling a great many bowls and trays. When they had spread out the food the grandmother went out and called out: "You my neighbors here, come in and eat, and be not slow about it, but come in and eat."

Hereupon the three sat down and commenced to eat. While they were eating the people began to come in. The first one that came in carried under his arm a large white bridal robe; the second one a small bridal robe; the third one a white knotted belt; the fourth one a pair of bridal moccasins; and the fifth one a reed receptacle.

Having placed the same on the floor, they sat down and ate. Hereupon they exhorted the young man, saying to him that when he would now take his bride home and live there in the village he should be good to the people and he should not be angry at them, but should benefit them, whereupon they left the kiva.

Early in the morning the grandmother made some yucca suds and washed the mána's head. When her hair was dry she took her out and sprinkled meal to the rising sun. When they returned she dressed her up in the bridal costume. The young man put four watermelons in a blanket, and just as the sun was rising they all went out, the grandmother sprinkling a road of meal for her children, and then told them to go on now, whereupon they proceeded to the village, to the house of the bride.

Arriving at the house they were welcomed by the mother of the bride who took the bridal costume and also the watermelons, which the young man had brought and put everything away. Hereupon the young people lived in the village, and as the young man was a Katcina the village prospered, it always rained and they had much to eat. But by and by his wife went astray, at which her husband became angry and left the village, returning to his house again. After that it did not rain so much, the people became poor, and it is still that way.

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