Native American Indians. First People of America. First People of Canada. First People of Turtle Island. Native American Art. Native American Legends. Free Native American Clipart.
First People :: American Indian Legends : D-H

Native American Legends

The destruction of Palatkwapi

A Hopi Legend

After all the people, except the Zunis, had come out from the underworld through the sípahpuni, they remained for some time with Skeleton (Másauwuu).

When they were traveling eastward from here on different routes, and in different sections and parties, a large party came to a place called Palátkwapi, somewhere south-east of Flagstaff, in southern Arizona. Among these were the Divided Water clan (Bátki-ñamu).

So these people had their clan name before they arrived at the above -mentioned place, but with them a great many other people stopped at Palátkwapi. Here they remained for a long time, for the truth of which statement the extensive ruins at that place are proof. The name seems to be derived from a high bluff of red stone. The people, especially the young men, here became very bad. They ill-treated the people sometimes in a disgraceful manner.

One time a young man again shamefully mistreated an old man, who then became very angry. This old man belonged to the Bátki clan. He went and reported the same to the village chief (Kík-mongwi), crier chief (Chaák- mongwi) and the warrior chief (Kaléhtak-mongwi), so they assembled in the old man's house and asked him what was the matter, why he had called them. "Yes," the old man answered, "these young men here are very bad, they treat one very mean when one goes to the rear, and I am angry at them, so I called you here to tell you about it, what you think about it."

So they talked the matter over and the village chief said: "We shall move away from here." So he called his son and told him: "You run to a distant place, Pine Ridge (Löqö'nmuru). So the young man ran and when he came back his father asked him: "How is it now, are you strong?" "Yes," the son replied, "my legs are strong now." "All right," the father said. Both of them were sorcerers (Powáka), bad men.

Hereupon the father dressed four masks for him: the mask of the Yáhponcha, the Lâ'nang Katcina, Áha Katcina (Oraíbi: Kuruwá), and the Katcín-mana. The first resembles that of Skeleton (Másauwuu), only it had small bunches of hair on each side and in front. All these masks the young man put on his head, first that of the Mána, secondly the Lâ'nang Katcina mask, thirdly the Áha mask, and lastly that of the Yáhponcha. The father had dressed them during the night. He then strung a number of fingers which he had cut off of old dry corpses, and tied them to both of his son's wrists as rattles.

He furthermore prepared a long cedar-bark fuse which he handed to the young man. After he had thus dressed his son, the chief said: "Now you run back to Pine Ridge and set the pine timber there on fire, then you come back here." The son did as he had been told and coming back he climbed up to the house of his father. He now acted as a Ghost (duálangwu). The people had not noticed his going or coming. After he had arrived in the house he ground corn on his sister's small milling stone. While he was grinding he sang: "Tû'tawunaha! tû'tawunaha!" Hereupon he left the house and again ran away and set other timbers on fire.

The next night he returned, again ground a little corn, and departed, This time the people became suspicious, and when they assembled in their kivas in the morning they inquired who had been about. They said: "Some one had gone into the house of the chief and ran away again," and they requested some young men to hide away the next night and watch. By this time several fires could be seen in the distant timbers.

The next night a number of young men watched, hiding away at the different corners of the village, and one also in the recess of the plaza. During the night the Powáka again lighted several fires in the timbers and came rushing into the village. When he arrived there his fuse had gone out, but they saw him enter into the village and ascend into the house of the village chief, where they heard him grinding and singing again. He again immediately left the house and passed one of the watchers, the latter jumping up, but the ghost dashed by, springing across the plaza, where the watcher became so scared that he did not make himself known, but remained in a crouching position, So he dashed away and lighted other fires.

In the morning they talked the matter over in. the kivas, saying to the watchers: "You are of no account. Next night we shall watch again, many of us." They agreed that they would watch at different places, one also taking a position on the path that led down from the village through a river or creek that passed by. So during the night many watchers were distributed and hid away in the corners and recesses of the streets, a weakly young man, an orphan, taking a position near the aforesaid path at the river.

They again noticed the fires in the woods and all at once saw the ghost running towards the village again, crossing the plaza, and running up the ladder of the village chief's house. Again they heard him grind and sing for a few minutes, then he left the house. The watchers jumped up and wanted to grab him, but he jumped over them and tore away from them.

The small plaza was filled with people, but he jumped over them and escaped, as he was very strong. But descending the trail to the water he came upon the lonely watcher there, who jumped up, grabbed him, and held him, crying out to the people on the plaza: "I have the duálangwu." So the people rushed down to the water and saw that the young man had caught the ghost. The people then led him back to the village and put him into a kiva, made a light, and there they saw a Yáhponcha sitting. The father had told him that in the fourth night they would capture him, and so this became true.

Hereupon the crier cried out in the village: "You that are living here, all of you come and assemble here." So the people all assembled there and filled the kiva. The old men were crying and said: "There is some reason for this, certainly it is not without some purpose that he goes around this way and acts so. He certainly wants to do something bad." The village chief now requested that some one go and take off the masks from the ghost. Then some one approached him, but the masks were fastened securely around his neck, so the man cut the strings with his knife and took off the first mask and laid it on the floor, and behold! there was another mask.

So he took that off and laid it on the floor, but found that there was another mask, and he took that one off and laid it on the floor. But he saw that there was a fourth mask and that was a Katcín-mana mask, so he took that off and they all looked at the personage, and behold! it was the chief's son. "Puyáami!" they all said (an expression of regret and sorrow). "That is the chief's son!" They found that he had some báhos tied to each wrist and to each ankle. These they untied, also placing them on the floor.

He was a nice, clean, handsome youth; had turquoise ear pendants, and many nice beads; his head was nicely washed, and on his face he had two black lines painted with yaláhai, two lines running from the upper part of the nose to the cheeks. The young man who had now been exposed then said: "Take these báhos and thrust them into the ground, one at the plaza, and the others in the different corners of a house," which he designated. He furthermore told them that for four days they should have a feast, and having said this he left the kiva and went to his home. The people thought about it a great deal and were unhappy.

They did not know what it meant, and whether or not some evil was planned for them, but they killed their sheep and prepared a feast and ate and feasted for four days. During the third day, they especially prepared much food, and were feasting all day and all night; still many of them were looking for and expecting some evil to befall them the next day, but the sun rose higher and higher and nothing happened to them, and when evening came they felt very much relieved, saying: "Nothing has happened to us," and they became happy again. Thus three years passed without any especial evil happenings, but in the fourth year something happened. The young man when telling the people that they should feast for four days, had not told them right.

The people had been right in their suspicions that something evil might befall them after their four days of feasting, but instead of it happening after the four days, the plan of the ghost had been that it should happen at the end of four years, which, however, he had not told them. In the fourth year the expected evil came upon them. The old man, who had four years before complained to the village chief of the bad conduct of the young men of the village, was still living. He was still angry, and in the fourth year he prepared many báhos of hard wood: tûvávi, mópuovi, tâve, kwíngvi.

He made the points of the báhos very sharp and made very many of them. In the fall of the fourth year when they had gathered in their crop, the village chief said to the crier chief, who was also bad and in league with the village chief: "Our time has now come. You cry out that the people again should feast four days." So the Crier Chief announced saying: "You that live here, thus I am informing you, all that have something living, kill the same and eat it for four days. All that have something good, eat it and have a feast." But the people were full of mistrust. They were afraid that at the expiration of the four days some evil would befall them, and they did not comply with the requests of the chiefs; they did not prepare a feast.

During the night following the announcement the chiefs met with the aforesaid old man, who told them that they should dress him up and put him into the tiwónyapavi (Katcina shrine on the plaza in which there was a stone image of a Katcina and which was supposed to belong to the Katcinas). So they dressed him up, painting his back black, his chest and abdomen red, and both sides of the front part of his body green.

On the arms, chest, and legs they made the typical marks of Pö'okong (two short lines). To the back of his head they fastened a póhtakni, of the tail of a sparrow-hawk, extending upwards with the points of the feathers. To the top of his head they fastened a horn. His face was also painted black. He was to represent the Bálölöokong. He wore no costume.

When they were done they went to the plaza during the night when all the people were asleep. They dug a hole in the shrine already mentioned above, so that it would admit the man entirely. Hereupon they placed in his arms all the báhos that he had made, and with them they placed a Bálölöokong whistle. They also gave him a little bowl with some water, into which he could blow the whistle, as is still done in some ceremonies.

They then covered up the opening with a large flagstone, covering earth and dust over it to destroy all appearances of the opening that had been made, and finally placed a piece of native cloth over it. They then commenced to sing some sorcerer's songs. When they sang the third song, the old man in the ground began to eject rumbling, roaring sounds, and told the chiefs: "I have been successful, I have reached my object." "All right," they said, and left the old man remaining in the ground. None of the inhabitants of the village had noticed anything. The buried man then thrust about half of his hand through an opening that he had made, and when the people arose in the morning, they noticed the hand and said: "Something is protruding here." The old man then sang:

Ala kwikwi, ala kwikwi, Ala kwikwi, ala kwikwi, kwi--(with a rising inflection).

As he sang the last word he lowered his little finger. The sun was now rising. The next morning he sang the same words, lowering the next finger, and on the third morning he again sang the same song and lowered the third finger. By this time the people, who had seen and heard it, felt very unhappy and were afraid that some evil would befall them. They now noticed, that at the places where four years previously the báhos had been planted by the direction of the ghost, water began to come out of the ground. These báhos had really been Bálölöokongs, who, it seems, had finally entered the ground and were now bringing out the water from the ground.

The people now became alarmed and began to suspect that probably a flood was about to destroy their village. That night they killed their sheep and prepared food and had a great feast, thinking that probably the next day they would all be destroyed anyway. On the fourth day just before sunrise, the old man in his grave sang the same words again and lowered the fourth finger as he finished his little song. Immediately he emerged from the opening in the form of a large Bálölöokong, and now Bálölöokongs were shooting forth from the ground with streams of water in all parts of the village, from the fireplaces in the kivas, in the houses from the water vessels, and in fact everywhere. Water began to fill the houses in the village.

Soon the houses began to fall, burying many of the inhabitants under the falling walls. A number of them fled to the higher places on the east side of the village, where there was a large, strong house. In one of the houses a few old men climbed up on the shelves on which are usually placed the trays with corn meal in Hopi houses. Here they sat in a crouched position and turned into turkeys. The water rose so high that their tails began to hang into the water. It did not reach the houses in the eastern part of the village where the people had assembled. None of the chiefs were destroyed. So when they had assembled in the house mentioned the chiefs met in council and asked what they were going to do now. So they began to make báhos, took beads and turquoise, first crushed them and then ground them into powder.

Of this powder they made two balls which they placed onto a tray on which they also had placed the báhos that they had made. There were a great many of these báhos. They then called the Village Chief's son, who had caused the destruction, and his sister, a very pretty maiden. They dressed up the latter in the same manner in which the Flute-manas are costumed, putting a white robe on her, over which they tied a white kilt, and an eagle-breath feather in her hair above her forehead, beads around her neck, etc. Her chin was painted black, white lines running from ear to ear over her upper lip.

The young man was clothed in a plain white kilt and black zigzag lines were painted on his legs, arms, and the back and front part of his body. These two were to drive back the Bálölöokongs. The water was still coming out of the ground and the Bálölöokongs still shooting swiftly through the water. The one that had been the old man, who was buried on the plaza, was the largest and most powerful of the Bálölöokongs and was still standing at the place where he had emerged from the ground.

The rumbling of the falling houses could still be heard. When the two were dressed, the young man took some báhos in his left hand, the mána took the tray containing the two balls and the rest of the báhos, and thus they began to wade into the waters. They made straight for the large Bálölöokong, which was considered the chief of the water serpents. Arriving at the place where he stood, the young man grasped and encircled the serpent with both arms and pressed him down into the water, whereupon the serpents as well as the young man and his sister disappeared under the water and never returned.

Immediately the water began to fall and disappear in a comparatively short time, the powder of the beads and of the turquoise, which the mána had brought to the water serpent as an offering, causing the ground to dry and to become hard quickly because the powder was made of very hard substances. The water-serpents had all disappeared, but so had the young man and his sister. The place where the village had stood was full of mud and the people could not get there for some time yet. Everything was destroyed there. Only the old men who had been turned into turkeys survived. They had been very old and bald-headed, which is the reason that the turkeys today have no hair or feathers on their head. In one house, however, which stood somewhat high, two children, two little brothers, had been sleeping during the flood and had not been drowned, but they had very little to eat now. The younger one had found a little píki in a tray, which they ate.

The people in the eastern part of the village soon set to work to prepare to emigrate. They baked píki and made other food of the provisions that they still had left. Early in the morning the day after the water serpents had disappeared they took some of the food which they had prepared, and made a food altar (tonö'sh-pongya), eastward from the village. Packing up the things, and especially the food which they had prepared, they all passed by this food altar, the village chief at the head of the line. Each one took a little quantity of each kind of food that they had placed there and ate it. They then passed on.

The ground was still soft and muddy from the flood The two children that had survived in the village had not been found and were left. They soon became hungry and hunted something to eat. Occasionally they would find a little corn hanging on some of the walls that were still standing, or some other food The older brother would carry his little brother on his back. In the evening they would cry because they were lonely. The turkeys that had been Hopi saw the children and pitied them, but, although they cried over them so that the tears would roll from their eyes, they could not say anything to them.

Finally one of the turkeys took such a pity on the children that he commenced to talk to them. "You poor ones," he said to them, "how will you take care of yourselves here? There is some corn hanging on the walls yet, but you cannot reach it. You go to the east there to those other houses. There the people made food when they left. There is a food altar standing there yet, of which you may eat!" So the children went there and found many trays full of píki standing on the ground. Of that they satisfied their hunger. They also found a few rabbit-skin blankets in a house and so they lived there.

The people that had left the village traveled on. One day the big Bálölöokong came out of the ground again and looked after the people. The place where he came out was now a large opening like a kóici (a cistern-like oven in which sweet corn is steamed). He was a very large serpent and (the Hopis say), as no one was there to put him back again, he remained standing there. The two children by and by consumed all the food that they had found there and they began to suffer. They wanted to go back to their house but saw that water serpent standing there, and so they were afraid and did not know how to get back to their house, but their food was nearly all gone. Bálölöokong saw the children and had sympathy with them. They were the children of his daughter so he was their grandfather.

He cried over their fate, the tears rolling down his cheeks. Stretching up high, he looked whether the mother of the children had gone very far, and saw the people, as they had not moved away very far, but the children were still afraid to go back to their house. Finally the serpent began to speak to them in Hopi: "Come here. Come here. Be not afraid of me, I am your grandfather." The children looked up and listened when they heard somebody speak to them. So they went to the serpent, who said to them: "I am your grandfather. I pity you, but what will you eat here? There is some corn yet, but you cannot reach it, it is hanging so high on the walls. You find a place where there is some sweet corn strung on a string hanging on the wall; then pile up some stones, and climbing on the stones, throw some of the ears down with a stick. These you take with you as food and then follow your parents.

They are not very far yet and you will overtake them. But whenever you get ready to go you come here to me first. Now you go and hunt a knife, and if you find one bring it to me, maybe I shall want to follow them sometime, too." So the children went through the houses and sure enough found a sharp knife of flint. They also found in one of the houses some corn hanging on strings on the wall not very high up. They piled up some stones and loosened some of the corn-ears with a stick so that a good deal of it fell down. This they ate and satisfied their hunger. They intended to leave the next morning. "Tomorrow we will follow our parents," they said. So the next morning early they went to their grandfather and said to him that they would now go. He asked them whether they had any food to take with them.

They said: "Yes, we have wrapped up some of the corn that we have found strung up and hanging on some of the walls and that we have thrown down." He said: "You follow your parents, and I shall stand here and keep looking after you so that nothing will happen to you. But you take your knife and be not afraid, but cut a piece out of my back. This you take with you and give it to the chiefs and tell them: "This is a piece of meat from the Bálölöokong, and when at any time it does not rain you make báhos and rub a little of this meat among the paint with which you paint the báhos, and it will certainly rain."

The children refused to cut out the piece of flesh, saying: ''That will hurt you very much." "No, no," he said, "be not afraid." Finally they were willing, took the knife and cut out quite a large piece of flesh. They found that the meat was very tender and when they had cut out the piece the wound closed up immediately.

So they started after their people. In the evening they were very tired and slept all night. The next evening they were again very tired and slept on a ridge that was covered with pine-trees. The older brother carried his younger brother and also the food and he was nearly exhausted. They were also very thirsty and hungry, but they were so weak that they could hardly eat the hard corn. On the third day at about noon they were nearly exhausted and were very thirsty. They sat down under a pine-tree. Their food was also all consumed. As soon as they had sat down they fell over and fell asleep.

Cótukvnangi, the God of Thunder, lived in the sky and saw the children and took pity on them. He concluded to descend and help them. He took a gourd vessel full of water and some rolls of nuvá-muhpi (píki made of meal of fresh roasting ears) and then descended to where the children were. They were sleeping, their mouths where dry and parched. Soon the younger brother awoke and there somebody was sitting by their side, somebody very terrible. The personage had three very long horns or projections on the head, two standing sideways, and one standing upward on top of the head. They were of ice. His costume also consisted of ice and was full of little fringes or icicles that rattled all over his body. On the head he also had two large ice ridges representing clouds.

The little boy was very much frightened and grasped his brother and cried: "Get up, there is somebody here." So the elder brother jumped up and beheld the Cótukvnangi. He also was very much frightened and the two children embraced each other and cried. While the children looked downward, Cótukvnangi removed his mask and when they again looked up they saw a very handsome man. "Do not cry, do not cry," he said to the children, "here, drink; I have brought some water for you," and handed them the gourd vessel, from which they drank and quenched their thirst. He then handed them the food, and they ate it and satisfied their hunger.

You remain here, "he said," you remain here at least two or three days and eat and drink this, and when you have recovered and become strong then follow your people. They are not far away. They are right east of here." After he had said this and the children were not just looking towards him he rose again and disappeared in the sky. When the children looked for him he was gone.

So they slept there that night, staved the next day and remained another night, and the following day at about noon Cótukvnangi again appeared to them bringing them some more of the same kind of food, also some water melons and drinking water. Cótukvnangi remained with them that afternoon and after the sun had gone down he began to talk to them, talking to them all that night. Cótukvnangi is the great warrior chief, and he now gave to these two youths the lightning and the thunder, and he told them how to kill enemies and that when they had killed their enemies they should take their scalps; and he taught them the songs that they were to sing when they returned from their war expeditions and after they had killed some one, and told them that. when they came to their home they should throw the scalps into the kiva, on the cloud symbol made with corn-meal by the warrior chief.

They should then cut out a round piece of bear skin which they should place on the floor in the kiva and encircle it by a line of corn-meal. The warrior who had brought home the scalp should sit on this bear skin for three days and three nights, and on the morning of the fourth day the warrior should wash his head in the kiva (tókasnaya). Then he should go to his home where his k'áamu, should also wash his head. Then he should put the scalp which he had brought on a stick and perform a dance on the plaza in which his káamu should accompany him.

After having thus explained to them many things about wars, and taught them many war and battle songs all night, it had become morning and he told them that now they should follow their people, He told them that their parents would probably not know them, but they would ask who they were, and they should then take hold of their mother and tell her who they were and she would then probably know them. Then Cótukvnangi returned to the sky. The lightning arrow (hóhu) and the thunder he had promised them, but had not yet delivered to them. He told them that whenever they needed them, wanting to go and kill some one, they should pray to him and he would give them those things. So the two brothers started off after they had refreshed themselves with the morning meal once more. Arriving at Homólovi they came upon their people. They lived in two little villages, and in the one farthest north only a few people lived, and here they found their mother.

The older brother was still carrying his younger brother as the latter was very tired. "Somebody has come," the people said. "Who has come? Whose children have come? Where are you from?" they asked. "We are from way over therefrom the village," they said. "We have followed you. You have gone this way and our mother and our father are here and we have come after them." So they called the people together and said: "Come here and see if there is anybody here who did not bring their children with them," and then the people gathered around the children. The people commenced to ask now the different women whether there was any one who had failed to bring their children with them, but no one was found.

They also asked the mother of the two children but she also denied. When no one could be found that would claim the two boys, they recognized their mother and went to her, taking hold of her hands, and said: "Our mother, we have come," then the mother remembered and acknowledged that her two children had remained in the house sleeping when they had fled, but she, of course, had thought that they had perished. And when she now saw her children before her, she embraced them and cried. So the children remained with their mother.

The people living in the smaller village were the Bátki-ñamu. Those living in the larger village were the people most of whom later constituted the Forehead clan (Kál-ñamu). The two youths the told the people about the piece of flesh that they had cut from the back of Bálölöokong, and had brought with them. So when the Bátki people made báhos they rubbed a little of this meat into the paint with which they painted the báhos, and then it thundered and rained. Before that it had rained only a very little, and hardly ever was there any lightning and thunder. After this there came heavy rains and weather, which made the Bátki people "Great Bátki" people'

The two youths grew up to be young men, but they became bad, warring and fighting the Hopi children and the other youths, and when they had grown up they remembered what their father, the Thunder, had told them. They said to each other: "We have now grown up, let us go out and ask our father for what he has promised us, and then let us go and kill some one." To their mother and the people they said that they were going to kill some deer, and so she prepared some food for them and they started off. In the evening they gathered some wood and built a fire. Cótukvnangi saw them and came down to them again. "You have now reached your object," he said to them. "Yes," they replied.

"It is well that you have come," he said. "Close by here are some Apache, and whoever becomes a warrior for having killed them, he is a great warrior, because they are fierce. These Navaho do not amount to much, and it is well that you have come in this direction." So during the night he instructed them bow to go out and kill the Apache, also teaching them some war songs. Hereupon he went home again. He first told them, however, that he would watch them, and that he would kill their enemies for them. They would do it, he said, but it would be he that would do it through them. Then when they were through they should come back again and he would come down again, then they would talk together and from here they should go back again to their home.

So in the morning they proceeded and soon came upon some Apache (Útsaamu). There were a great many of them, who at once became-excited and ran towards them and began to surround them. The two brothers at once began to shoot arrows into the crowd for some time, but did not hit any one, neither did the Apache hit them. The brothers had put the lightning (tálwipiki) and the thunder (umû'kpi) under their clothing. After they had been shooting for some time, they became tired, and the older brother all at once said: "Now then it seems they are upon us. How long yet will this last? Hereupon he drew forth the lightning and the thunder and aimed at the Apache and shot the lightning into the crowd. All their enemies were slain, their camps burned up, and the two brothers laughed at their slain enemies. The Apache had previously made many raids on the Hopi at Homólovi, and for this reason the two brothers had finally gotten very angry and taken revenge upon their enemies.

Among the Apache warriors had been one very large and fierce one. This one they hunted up among the slain, scalped him and cut out his heart. Then taking the moccasins and costumes from all the slain, they returned, While they had killed all the warriors they had destroyed only one tent in which there had been women and children. This had been blown to pieces by the thunder. The objects in the other camps, in which the women and children were, they had left untouched. When they again arrived at the place where they had previously camped, Cótukvnangi again descended and talked with them during the night.

He gave them further instructions with regard to warfare, but among other things he told them that they should not be the war chiefs among their people, but when they now came to their village, whomever they should select, on him they should throw the scalp which they had now brought, and he should be the war chief.

In the morning Cótukvnangi again ascended and the two returned to their home, singing war songs as they went along. They went, however, to the larger village, as in the village where their mother lived there were so very few people, and here the rejoicing's and rites, to be mentioned presently, occurred. When they arrived at the village they were received by the shouts of their people, who surrounded them, and snatching away the trophies that they had brought with them, swung them around, by which it is said they were dis-charmed from any bad influence, and then they threw them among the people--a custom which was always observed when Hopi warriors eturned from their expeditions.

While the rejoicing and wrangling's were going on, the older brother took the scalp which he had been carrying on a stick while they were dancing, and forcibly threw it at one of the inhabitants from the larger village, saying: "It is you, you shall be our war chief. We give this to you. You shall lead us after this." Hereupon they followed him, going around the village four times. They then entered the kiva where the two brothers instructed them as to the rites to be observed in connection with their warfare.

They drew the cloud symbol already referred to on the floor, whereupon the newly appointed war chief threw the scalp upon the symbol. They then cut out a piece of bear skin, sprinkled a ring of corn meat around it, and placed the war chief upon it, where he had to remain for three days. Hereupon followed the public war dance on the plaza on the fourth day.

The people lived here in Homólovi a number of years, but how many cannot be ascertained. Finally they concluded to move on north-eastward because, it is claimed, there were so many mosquitos there which would sting their children and their people and caused great suffering. The Hopi say the reason why the people held out so long, although they always suffered from the mosquitos, was that they had such good fields there from which they raised good crops. The mosquitos are called by most of the Hopi salt flies (ö'ong-totoptu), but they are also called shípaúlavitu by some, from which it seems the present inhabitants of the village of Shupaúlavi have derived their name.

Then the migrating party had reached a certain bluff, called Coyote Spring Bluff (probably about twenty-five or thirty miles northeast of Winslow), they remained there, but not very long it seems. Here they separated, the Bátki clan proceeding northeastward to Aoátovi , the others going northward towards a place a few miles west of Matö'ví. Here they again remained for a number of years as they had good fields there. They finally proceeded farther north to a place called Náshiwamu (about a mile south of Shongópavi), where they probably remained about three years. Just as they arrived at this place, the sun arose, the upper part of the sun (his forehead, the Hopis say), just looming up above the horizon.

For this reason they were ever afterwards the Forehead clan (Kál-ñamu). They made repeated efforts to get permission from the village chiefs of Shongópavi to move on the mesa into the village, but their efforts were unsuccessful. It seems that the chief had heard something of their doings in Palátkwapi, because he claimed that they were dangerous, bad people (Nû'nukpantu). In the third year they concluded that they would return to their previous home at Homólovi.

The chief of Shupaúlavi, which village, however, was not called by that name at that time, but was called Wáki (refuge house), heard that these people were going to return and so he went to them and invited them to move up to and settle down in his village, which invitation they accepted, They are still by far the most numerous clan in the village of Shupaúlavi. The village was from that time called Shupaúlavi, after the name of the new arrivals, who were called by that name because they had fled from Homólovi on account of the mosquitos which they called by that name. At that time Shupaúlavi was considerably larger than Shongópavi, the latter having lost a great many inhabitants a long time before, when the people of that village killed a number of Spanish and destroyed their missions, on which occasion a number of Shongópavi fled to Shupaúlavi.

The chief of Shongópavi seems to have borne a grudge against Shupaúlavi, because later on he informed the Spaniards in New Mexico, probably at Sante Fe, that they should come and take away the inhabitants of Shupaúlavi, and said that this was the latter's own wish. So one time the news reached the villages that many Spaniards had arrived at Keams Canyon where they were camping. The next day they came to Wálpi where they inquired who it was that wanted to be taken away.

The chief of Wálpi and the chief of Shupaúlavi were good friends with each other, and as soon as the Wálpi chief heard about the matter he quickly proceeded to Shupaúlavi and informed his friends about it, saying: ''The Spaniards have come because they have heard that you wanted them to come and take you east. They have come for you and for no one else," ''That is false," the Shupaúlavi chief said. "It is not I that want that, it must be some one else. It is probably the chief of Shongópavi." "All right," the chief of Wálpi said, "you had then better go and meet the Spanish chief and tell him about it. You take some presents with you, perhaps a tû'ihi and a blue shirt. Give these to this Spanish chief, shake hands with him, embrace him, and tell him how the matter is." So the chief of Shupaúlavi wrapped up a tû'ihi and a blue shirt and went with his friend. When they arrived in the kiva where the leader of the Spaniards was, the latter, who was a powerful man, stood and looked at the new arrivals with his arms akimbo, The two men eyed each other for some time.

Finally the Spaniard gave the Shupaúlavi chief his hand and shook it. The Shupaúlavi chief embraced him, the Spanish officer doing the same. All people present were crying. The chief at once drew forth the presents which he had brought, and handed them to the Spanish officer. "This is yours," he said. "I have heard that you came to get my children and my people. It is not I that wished it, it must be some one else. It certainly is not I." The Wálpi chief then asked the officer: "Is this the man that carne to you and said that he wanted you to come and get his people?" "No," the officer said, "this is not the man." "Thanks, thanks, thanks," the Hopi said on all sides, and came and shook hands with the officer. "Thanks that this is not the man."

"No," he repeated, "I never wanted that, it must be the chief of Shongópavi." The officer then said that the next day he would bring his soldiers to a place west of Wálpi where there was a large pool of water at that time. He said that they were tired and would rest there awhile. He also explained that they had brought with them a good deal of clothing which they had wanted to give to the people which they had expected to take along.

"Now," he said, "What shall we do with these clothes? You tell your people that they should come tomorrow when we are camping there at that water and visit us, and if any of them have anything that they would like to sell we would like to trade with them, giving them clothing which we have brought along, and taking back some of your things."

The Shupaúlavi chief consented to this and went home and told his people about it. All were very happy now that the impending danger had been averted. The next morning after they had eaten their breakfast the people from all the villages proceeded to the camp of the Spaniards where they were trading all day. In the evening the Hopi all returned to their villages, the Spaniards camping there for the night. In the morning after breakfast the latter returned.

After that the Spaniards never encroached on the Hopi any more, but the Shongópavi chief, whose village at that time was very small, spread the news that the Spaniards would come back again some time to Shupaúlavi and got them. This so scared the people at Shupaúlavi that a majority of them left the village and moved over to Shongópavi, which it is said accounts partly for the small number of inhabitants in the village of Shupaúlavi.

Native American Legends
Back to Top

Other Native American Legends

American Indian Jewelry | Seed Bead Earrings