Native American Legends
How the Antelope Maiden was reconciled
A Hopi Legend
Alíksai! At Zuni the people were living, and the two sons
of the village chief were racing with each other. At a place called
Aámusha some one dangerous (núkpana), lived. A path
led by this place, and as the two brothers were racing they came
to this bluff and when they were close by they heard some one call,
"Come here. There is something beautiful here, come and see
it. Oh, no, there is nothing there," the boys said. "Yes,
come and see, there is something beautiful here," the voice
replied. So they approached closer, and they saw on the top of the
bluff a beautiful maiden. It was an Antelope Maiden. She at once
drew up the elder brother by a long, deep inhalation. She then said
to the younger brother: "Even if you bring your beads here,
the most valuable possession of the Zunis, I shall not give you
back your brother, as I do not want your beads."
Hereupon the younger brother ran home. "Why do you come alone?"
his father said. "Yes," he said, "when we were racing
there a beautiful maiden called us and then drew my brother up with
her breath, on top of the bluff. "Oh!" the father said,
"Yes, some one dangerous lives there." The father then
told his son to go and hunt up the Pöokónghoyas and
ask their assistance. He cut a round piece from the middle of a
buckskin and made a ball which he tied to a stick; also an arrow,
to which he fastened blue-bird and parrot feathers, and finally
gave his boy some tobacco and then sent him (on his errand. Going
south, he all at once heard some one calling, and saw Pöokónghoya
and his brother, both being very small, wandering and playing around
there. He went first to the house where Spider Woman (Só
Wuhti), the grandmother of the two brothers lived. She called to
the latter and said, "Stop, and come here, some one has come,"
but they at first did not listen; so she called again. They then
came into the kiva and the messenger, handing them the presents,
said to them, "This I have brought for you. Way over there
lives a pretty maiden who drew my brother up to her, and now my
father has made these things and told me to bring them to you in
order to see what you thought about it and could do for us."
They told him to go westward to the Mole, his uncle. They said he
would come to a hollow place where a ladder was protruding, there
the Mole lived, and he should see what the Mole thought about it.
So the young man went to the house of the Mole, who told him to
go northward to his uncle. So he proceeded northward and came to
a little opening in the ground from which there came a breeze. "This
must be the place," the young man said, and thereupon a great
strong wind came out of the opening. It was the Storm (Hû'k'angwuu),
who then invited him to come in, so he went in and found a Hopi
sitting in the house. He was a handsome man, nicely dressed up,
wearing a bandoleer over each shoulder, also two buckskins tied
crosswise over his chest. He wore a hurúnkwa on his head,
a kilt about his loins, and had black lines on each cheek, while
his body was painted up like the bodies of warriors. When they were
seated, Hû'k'angwuu asked him why he had come, then he related
his story. Hû'k'angwuu then said: "Let us smoke, then
we will see what we think about it." So he got out a large
pipe and the young man smoked, swallowing all the smoke without
again exhaling it. He then said to his host. "Itáha!"
"Itíwaya," the uncle replied; and then added: "You
are surely my nephew. Now, what is it that you want? what has happened?"
He then said: "My older brother and I were racing there and
came to a place where a beautiful maiden called us and she drew
my brother up, and now my father sent me out to see whether we could
do anything to get him back. Our beads, she said, she does not want.
His uncle then said, ''You go to Wálpi (a Hopi village distantly
located), and see the Snake people there, who used to have snake
dances here and were driven away from here to Wálpi when
the snakes bit somebody, and see what they have to say about it.
So the young man proceeded to Wálpi, although it was far
away. So he came to Wálpi and there found the Snake people.
They were handsome and dressed up like warriors and like Snake people
When he had entered they asked him: "Why have you come here?"
"Yes," he said, "we were racing there where we live,
and coming to the bluff, Aámusha, somebody spoke to us and
said: "You come here, come in here. There is something handsome
in here," and then she drew up my elder brother, and now my
uncle, Storm, told me to come here and see you. Now, are you the
ones, and what now? What do you think about it?" "We shall
see," they said, and then began to smoke. The young man again
swallowed all the smoke, which pleased the Snakes and they said,
"You are truly our nephew. What is it that you want?"
''Yes," he said, "we were racing there and that maiden
drew up my elder brother and said that she did not want our stone
beads even if we would bring them.'' "Yes," the Snakes
said, "she does not want them." The Tcutcúcona
then showed him a báho, saying, ''This the maiden wants,
she does not want beads, but she wants such báhos. You look
at this báho well and then make one like it; or," they
continued, "we shall make one for you. You take that along
and then you look at it well and make báhos like it and give
them to the maiden. These she wants." So he took one with him
and returned home.
When he arrived at his home he showed the báho; they looked
at it and then made a good many of them. With these they proceeded
to the place where the maiden had enticed the young man. The young
man, his father, the two Pö'okongs, their grandmother (Spider
Woman) and Storm were in the party. Spider Woman had taken a seat
behind the ear of Pöokónghoya. When they arrived at
the bluff the father said, ''We have come to get my child."
"What have you brought with you?" the maiden replied.
"We have brought these báhos," the father said,
and hereupon Storm raised them all up and lifted them on the bluff.
The mána at once fled into her house, and Storm pushed the
whole party into the house also. "What have you brought?"
the mána again asked. "This we have brought, this here."
Whereupon they showed her the báhos. "Thanks,"
she said, "these I want. Of course I shall give him to you,
but let us first play a game," whereupon she spread sand upon
the floor." Now, you play first," she said.
So the Hopi planted different kinds of seed in the sand and thrust
the báhos into the sand around the border, whereupon the
things planted grew up quickly. "Thanks," she said, "you
certainly know something. These I want and you shall certainly take
him along. But we shall race first, we shall follow the sun."
So she and the young man that had procured the báho arranged
for a race. The young man mounted an eagle breath feather, the mána
turning into a Tókchii (a swift snake, similar to the racer).
They started together, but by and by the mána got ahead of
the young man. They circled around the sun, started back, the maiden
still being in the lead. Spider Woman then took a reed, pointed
it towards the racers, and by a strong inhalation drew the young
man forward, increasing his speed so that he arrived at the house
first, thus having beaten the mána in the race. The mána
then said, "You take him along, you have beaten me." Whereupon
she drew him forth from another room. He was nearly dead. In the
inner room were many bones of young men who had perished there.
The Antelope Maiden had been angry because no bahos had been made
for her for a long time, and hence she had killed so many young
men. But since these people now revived her bahos, she was reconciled,
and after that killed no more people, and the Zunis were freed from
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