These Spaniards, or Castillians, this version of the origin myth calls them, being the first whites that Hopi encountered, were initially mistakenly considered "the true Bahana," a term re- - 4 - 8 ferring to a white, god-like deity, whom the Hopi, like their distant linguistic relatives the Aztecs of Mexico, once awaited as a savior; but the Indians soon learned better. Spider Woman taught her couple the Spanish language and imparted knowledge to them just as the Hard Shell Woman of the East had done with the first white couple. For within historic times, horses in their present form were unknown to this continent until the Spaniards brought the first animals to the Americas.
I say "present form" here, because, of course, the prehistoric horse was known to the Americas, but this predecessor of the modem horse died out in the Western Hemisphere before it evolved into the horse of today, and thus, it had to be brought to this part of the world from Europe where it had flourished from early times.
But although the sedentary Hopi had none of their prized burros before the Spaniards brought these helpful animals to them, their myths, like those of the great nomadic Navajo and Apache horsemen, usually attribute the gift of their mounts to their deities; seldom, if ever, to the Span- iards. In fact, these domesticated animals, acquired from European soil, stand as firmly ensconced in Hopi mythology as though they had always been there; for in- stance, in much the same way that the most prized of the game animals do.
On oc- casion, though, Hopi mythology does take up the issue of why some of the other peoples were riding around on earth in the days when the Pueblo people had no mounts and had to carry their burdens around themselves. In such instances, the usual theme of the tales is that though Spider Woman really created the burro, or less frequently the horse, for the HopisjH nevertheless a conniving people--in some instances, they are Spaniards, in others, Mexicans, and in still others, Nava j os --either stole all the burros or horses soon after their creation, or else got possession of them in some especially cunning way.
Who- ever the particular enemy selected may be, he will get to ride it first simply because he has the ability to learn to do so swiftly, an ability the short, squat Hopi of the old days somehow lacked. I stress "Hopi of thf old days' 1 here, be- cause now the Polacca cowboys show the world, and especially the Navajo and Apache, that they can hold their own with the best of the riders at many Southwestern events.
But back to the origin myth. After creating the Spaniards, Spider Woman con- tinued creating other people in exactly the same way she had created these first human beings. To each new human creation, she gave a separate language. Absent- mindedly, for as I showed you earlier, she is often more human than godlike, the good Spider Woman created a man and forgot a woman for himj The Hopis vow that this is why we have bachelors and single women.
Spider Woman tried to remedy her mistake, though. She told this woman, who appears to be the first model for an old maid, to find herself a bachelor and marry him. The woman obeyed and found herself such a partner, but their marriage never was a happy one; the couple would quarrel and separate, make up and then break up again.
In fact, their union seems to have set the very prededent for so many contentions and divorces between man and woman, and husband and wife. After Spider Woman had completed forming her creations, the Huruing Wuhti of the West, who up to this point, had only cre- ated birds and animals, grew concerned and decided she wanted "some good people 11 of her own to live near her and keep her from being lonely. She called a counsel with her sister goddess in the east, and after telling her what her plans were, also be- gan to work at creating, in the same way her sister had created the first people, many other pairs of humans.
She made husbands and wives to go live in her western world and lead the nomadic lives living on game, which all groups of Indians knew in prehistoric days. However, contentions arose when these people of hers met the Spaniards of Spider Woman.
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Eventually the Huruing Wuhti of the West grew tired of this bickering and decided to go live "in the midst of the ocean," where her sister of the east joined her, neither of them ever returning to earth again. The Spaniards became very angry when they heard about what had transpired, and being a very skillful people, they decided to find a way to get to Huruing Wuhti T s abiding place, for after the goddesses come togeth- er in the ocean, the myth speaks of them as one, rather than as two beings.
Though they come after her with guns, Huruing Wuhti manages to triumph by succeeding in getting them to lay down their weapons aud attempt an endurance test, which invol- ves the lifting of a white stone. Butt they fail in this challenge, for when they touch the white rock, their hands adhere to it.
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Thus, they are forced to stand there helpless as the deity rubs their weapons into powder. Before disappearing througn an opening in the floor of her kiva-like home, she lectures the Spaniards on exchanging their knowledge with that possessed by her people, rather than wast- ing all their time quarreling with them. That way each people could learn from the other. Only when the Spaniards agree to try this plan of hers does Huruing Wuhti use her great supernatural powers and release the hands of the men from their stone weights.
The myth ends with this note about the Spaniards: "They departed, but Huruing Wuhti,did not fully trust them, thinking that they would return. While each of the Hopi clans preserves a separate version of the legend, most agree on the prin- cipal motifs of the story. For instance, all claim a common origin in the interior of the earth, and while the places of emergence to the surface of this world are identified as being in widely separate localities generally located in the South- west a common one is the Grand Canyon , all versions concur in maintaining the earth as the fourth plane on which mankind has existed.
The majority mention social problems, caused either by evil persons or wicked high priests, which even- tually brought about dissension and actual skirmishes in the first three planes of existence.
Most of the people, animals and other beings die when Sotukeu-nangwi destroys each of the underworlds; however a few always survive to populate the next place and to repeat again the same bad cycle of events. The first two underworlds are abolished in various ways, but the third, fran which the living beings escape to the present world, is nearly always ruined by a torrential flood.
Accounts vary in describing these underworlds and the way of life in them. For instance, one story will follow along the pattern of an emergence myth collected by the Hopi folklorist Edward Nequatewa, informing us that in those places "in the beginning" meaning before the dissension began , "all life and everything was good, in peace, and happy. Stephen some eighty years ago: "In the beginning all men lived to- gether in the lowest depth, in a region of darkness and moisture; their bodies were misshapen and horrible, and they suffered great misery, "1?
To find a means of escape from the third world, the chief calls a counsel of wise men together. After praying and meeting with him for four successive days, they advise him to call on the aid of two birds --Mocking Bird and Canary — to sing some ceremonial songs. Consequently, the singing -ceremony of these birds brings the aid of four others — Eagle, Hawk, Swallow and Shrike, who each, in the preceding order, exhaust themselves in efforts to reach the top of the underworld f s sky until the fourth bird--the Shrike--succeeds in doing so.
After peering up at the earth through a hole--he finds in the center of the underworld sky, Shrike returns to report to the chief and his concerned followers that up above them there is an uninhabited land of light and sunshine, A familiar house- hold god Poker Boy, who is a culture hero of sorts, suggests they call upon Chip- munk to build them a tall tree, so they can climb up it to reach safety through the hole in the sky, or sipapu the place of emergence, still symbolized by the hole in the center of the floor of each kiva, Thus, Chipmunk is summoned, and with much ceremony — mostly made up of singing and blowing saliva over nuts and seeds, builds four trees — a spruce, fir-pine, long needle pine and finally a bamboo.
It is this last, fourth tree — the bamboo--that , of course, finally shoots up majesti- cally to touch and enter the opening in the sky I Another elaborate ceremony then takes place with the mocking bird singing the "calling songs" of the Hopi, as the Chief leads the people into the opening at the bottom of the bamboo tree.
Chipmunk has thoughtfully gnawed out the hole there to serve as an entrance. While the whole population sings "awfully long songs four times," the people make the long journey up the tree to earth, 19 The One Homed Society priests, who even today belong to the most powerful of all Hopi sacred societies, and whose duty it is to look after the dead, remained below to cut the tree down after the last songs were sung. In this way, they hoped to prevent bad spirits and evil people from getting up to earth.
It was a great sacrifice on their part, but unfortunately some of the undesirable slipped through anyway. Since the bamboo still had people in it when it was cut down, it became a tree with joints. As in the case of the emergence legend, each clan has its own individual migration story, but here the likeness of the two types of tales ends, for unlike the situa- tion surrounding the emergence myth, there is actually no generalized Hopi migration legend which will serve as a model for all the various clans. However a pattern outline of what transpired after the emergence to bring about these wanderings can be made by piecing together various bits of information furnished by the migration stories themselves.
It seems that those same familiar vices, which brought about the destruction of the underworld in the emergence stories --wickedness or sexual misbehavior of the people, their disobedience to chiefs, and their neglect of ceremonials--also promoted the wanderings of their clans. Both Stephen and Elsie Clews Parsons, the renowned mother ethnologist of the Pueblo peoples, believe that localization of the clans came about through their finding of certain signs or omens at the place where they finally stopped. Either this happened, or else the clans stopped at a given spot through a chance encounter with a stray hunter from other Hopi-speaking groups already settled in an area.
I went to the Tusayan ruins of the Grand Canyor, a place the Hopis generally agree the Snake people were the first to occupy. I even journeyed to remote Navajo Mountain in Utah along the Arizona border, and also camped along the Wipho Wash near the pueblo of Walpi, a village I never fail to look upon without feeling a thorough sensation of awe. Therefore, even though the happenings in the section I am now going to read you may sound as bizarre to you as once they did to me , I can assure you that the trail these people wandered over is now a very familiar one to me: At the general dispersal, my people lived in snake skins, each family occupying a separate snake -skin bag, and all were hung on the end of a rain- bow, which swung around until the end touched Navajo Mountain, where the bags dropped from it; and wherever their bag dropped, there was their home.
After they arranged their bags medicine puches , they came out from them as men and women, and they built a stone house which had five sides possibly at Tuysayan. A brilliant star arose in the southwest, which would shine for a while and then disappear. The old men said, 'Beneath that star there must be people, 1 so they determined sic to travel toward it. They cut a staff and set it in the ground and watched till the star reached its top; then they started and traveled as long as the star shone; when it disappeared they halted.
But the star did not shine every night, for sometimes many years elapsed before it appeared again. At best I can hope only to acquaint you with some of the major personalities in this category, which is prob ably the largest grouping of any I have given you. As you may have expected, it contains a veritable array of individualized gods, culture heroes and spirits. I might add further that the majority of the Hopi myths usually include at one place or another, at least one, if not a dozen of the personalities which could be placed in this category.
In fact, one might safely call this type the main artery of Hopi folklore.
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Among its personalities, we find the two, who, next to our now familiar friend--the goodly Spider Woman, figure as the major household gods. They are the Twin War Gods, or, as the Hopi -. Some times they also appear with their traditional names. Echo and Little Smitter. Grand sons of the beloved Spider Woman, these boys are in charge of acquiring the things mankind can not acquire for himself i. Continuously they are at work fighting and destroying the monsters and awful situations that are always threatening the well-being of their people.
Still, like Spider Woman, they are frequently more human than godlike. Thus they are frequently full of mischief, or have to learn things like humans do through trial and error. Possessing such traits in their personalities, they often receive.
In order to more easily understand the association the Ropi have -in mythology for such collective spirits as the dead, the clouds and the kachinas, we should look into one of the most important beliefs in Hopi religion. This is the cult of the dead concept. The Hopi of today realize in man a double nature, correspond- int to a body and soul. The soul they call "breath -body.
branustgegpa.tk A dead person is not considered a loss to his society; he is simply a person who has made rg one an impor- tant change of status. Once admitted to the realm of the underworld, the spirits engage in the same pursuits they followed on the earth. However, the "breath-body , 11 which has been freed from the material trouble of Ixfe by death does have a super- natural influence.
It is the acquisition of thi ' supernatural power by the dead man which provided for the basis of the Hopi identification of the spirits of the dead with the clouds and the kachinas- Since clouds bring rain, it also follows that the deceased Hopi are considered as rain bringers. Therefore the Hopi have a traditional prayer they say when one of their tribesmen dies and is being buried: "You have become a Rain god; grant us our wishes meaning send us the desired rains.
People often equate them more or less to the roles the saints play among Christians. While this is a fairly good analogy, kachinas, unlike saints, may also personify the spirits of animals, birds, plants, even places; not merely deceased humans or ancestors.