The Wanderings of the Spider Clan
A Hopi Legend
In the under-world many people became very bad. They had many contentions, and began to kill the people and also killed the chief's son; so the chief concluded that they would move away from there.
But the question was, how to get out?' So he sent the Mótsni to find a place where they could get out. He flew up and found an opening, and came back and reported the same to the chief. So the Village Chief (Kík-mongwi) and the Crier Chief (Chaák-mongwi) planted a pine (calávi), which grew up very fast, but did not quite reach the opening. They then planted a reed (bákavi) which also grew up fast and reached through the opening. On this reed they climbed till, first the Horn people (Áaltu), who then stood outside and held the protruding part of the reed or ladder. Many people then followed.
The Mocking-bird (Yáhpa) was sitting outside and distributed the languages to the People. As they were climbing up one of them dropped one of his moccasins. Below the Hopi had pretty moccasins, but as this moccasin was dropped and the man had to make another one, and could not make it as nicely as the other one had been, the Hopi now have not very nice moccasins. The people had not yet all come out when the chief stopped them and closed up the opening, but one of the sorcerers (Pópwaktu) had also come out.
From here the people now started on different routes, the White Man taking the most southern route. All the other people took different routes further north. The 'Hopi brought with them Mû'yingwu, whose body consisted entirely of corn, his feet being ears of corn, so that he could not move very fast. The Hopi were to have the horse, but as they tried to ride him they could not do so, as they did not put any bridle on him; so the Navaho, wearing a band around their head, tried it and they could ride him. The two matched together better for that reason because they also bridled the pony, probably with yucca leaves.
They had not gone very far when the chief's son took sick and died. They thought that the sorcerer who was with them had killed him, but the latter said: "Nobody has died, he is not dead; just go and look down into the opening through which we came. He is down there." So the chief went and looked down there, and beheld his child walking about in the other world. So they took the Powáku with them. He said that hereafter no one would be really dead, but the people who would die would simply go back to the lower world. After they had traveled for some time, just how long tradition does not say, the Coyote who had carried the stars in his hand, and was traveling with the Hopi people, threw the stars into the sky so that from that time it was somewhat light during the night.
The White People had taken with them the Spider which was very skillful, so that when they had traveled some distance the Spider rubbed some scales from her skin, and from these created burros. These the White Men afterwards used for carrying their burdens. So they got along faster and reached the place where the sun rises first. When they arrived there a star arose in the south, which told the other migrating people that some one had arrived at the sunrise. This was a signal that they had agreed upon before starting. This star is said to have influence over the animals, and the old people say that whoever wants to own a horse, cattle, sheep, etc., should pray to this star, which the Hopi are doing to this day.
So the people traveled on. All at once one party came upon a bear that had died there. They were called the Bear (Hónawu) clan. Right after them came another party, who cut straps from the skin of the bear and were called Piqósha clan, the name given by the Hopi to this peculiar strap. Another party followed and found the cadaver covered with spider web, from which they were called Spider (Kóhk'ang) clan. A fourth party found blue-birds sitting on the cadaver and they were called the Blue-bird (Chóro) clan. A fifth party found that maggots had eaten out the eyes, leaving the cavities bare with a little fat still attached to the bone. From this they were called Fat Cavity clan (Wíkorzh-ñamu). A sixth migrating party came upon the scene and found that a mole had dug his way up under the place where the cadaver had been lying, and hence they were called Mole (Mû'yi) clan. Here the parties who had thus received their clan names soon separated, and the Spider clan after this wandered about and stopped at various places for a long time. The other clans did the same, living shorter or longer periods at one place, which accounts for the many smaller and larger ruins with which the country is covered.
Finally the Spider clan arrived at a spring (about four miles north of the present village sites of Mishóngnovi and Shupaúlavi) called Homìqöpu. Here they remained for some time, there still being ruins at that place. From here this clan moved to a place about a mile northeast of Shupaúlavi, called Chûkúvi. At the foot of the mesa on which this village was situated was a very large spring. The Squash (Batánga) clan then ruled in this village, the chief belonging to that clan. The Sand (Tûwá) clan was also one of the clans being numerous in the village at that time. The inhabitants of the different villages were often harassed by enemies, among them the Utes and Apache. It seems that even the inhabitants of the different villages often made raids on each other. For this reason the inhabitants of Chûkúvi and those of old Mishóngnovi, which was situated, however, west of its present location, way down the mesa, moved on the mesa and built the present village of Mishóngnovi.
In Mishóngnovi the Blue-bird clan was then in charge of the village, the chief belonging to that clan, but it seems that this clan, shared the chieftainship with the following clans, which furnished the Kík-mongwi, the Village Chief, in the order named, for four year, a new chief being elected every four years: After the Blue-bird clan followed the Bear clan, then the Bátki clan, and lastly, the Squash clan, The Sand clan, having lived in the village of Chukúvi, is said to have moved to Oraíbi, east of which village they had had fields while they were still living at Chukúvi. At the time when the people lived at Chukúvi, Shúpaúlavi was also inhabited, but it seems that the people then, too, lived farther down, probably at the so-called First Ledge, but when Mishóngnovi was built the people of Shupaúlavi also moved on to the top of the mesa.
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