Native American Legends
How Pö'okong killed the Bear
A Hopi Legend
Mishóngnovi they were living, and a bear used to kill the
people. At the Skeleton Katcina house lived the Pö'okong with
his grandmother, and the bear was killing the people. If some one
went to his field he was killed. The chief was unhappy over it and
was thinking about it. He was thinking about sending Pö'okong
after it, and for this now the time had arrived. And now he made
a bow for the Pö'okong of hard wood, and he made arrows and
put parrot feathers on the arrows, and on one of the arrows he put
blue-bird feathers. He also made a ball that he cut from a buckskin.
He sewed it and put cotton into it and then tied it up tightly.
He made one of them and rubbed red ochre (cûta) on it, and
for the grandmother he made one báho.
When he was done he brought this to the house of the Pö'okong.
The grandmother asked: "What are you doing?" "Yes,"
he said, "when these, my children, are killed by a bear I am
"Haó," she said to him, and now the chief said:
"Yes, hence I have brought this for you," and then he
handed it to the grandmother. She was happy. "Thanks,"
she said, "thanks." Then he said to the Pö'okong:
"With this you kill the bear, because I have made this for
you;" whereupon he gave the ball, the bow and arrows, and the
ball stick to the Pö'okong. "Thanks, thanks," the
Pö'okong said, and was happy. Now he went to hunt the bear.
The bear was just going around to hunt for some one, and the Pö'okong
was also going about in that way, and sure enough, something came
to him, running. Now it stood up, holding up the paws. Now the Pö'okong
being seated, aimed. "Haha (very well)," the bear had
now about arrived, but when he had not yet quite arrived, the Pö'okong
shot and hit him in the throat. When he had shot the bear fell,
and now he hit him with the ball stick, and the bear died.
He then skinned him, the legs first, but he did not cut the abdomen.
He left the skin in the form of a bag, pulling it over his head
like a shirt, but from the feet he cut off the claws. Now he filled
it up tightly with dry grass. When he was done he had made something
like a bear. Oh! it was like an ugly bear. Now he tied a woollen
rope around his neck. Then he tied it to himself and dragging it
ran very fast, screaming: "Uhú, a bear is following
me," as he ran. Now the people saw it. Sure enough, a bear
came following somebody, and he had almost caught him. "Why,
he is following the Pö'okong," the people said, and then
they ran. Now they told the grandmother, "A bear is following
your grandchild." Now alas! the grandmother ran away crying,
and went into her kiva.
The Pö'okong ascended to the house and threw the bear to the
grandmother. The grandmother now, because she was so seared, died
at once. The Pö'okong laughed at the grandmother and kicked
her. "Get up," he said to her, and the grandmother woke
up. When she sat up she whipped her grandchild hard. "You are
naughty, you have scared me," she said to him; but he had been
dragging something dead. The chief was very happy because he heard
that he had killed him. From that time the bear stopped. After that
he killed no more people. So after that it was better.
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