When I was at the
Pan-American Fair, at Buffalo, in July, 1901, I one day strolled into
the Bazaar and drifted naturally to the section where Indian curios
were displayed for sale by J. W. Benham. Behind the counter, as
salesman, stood a young Indian, whose frank, intelligent, good-natured
face at once attracted me. Finding me interested in Indian art, he
courteously invited me behind the counter and spent an hour or more in
explaining the mysteries of baskets and blankets.
How small seeds are! From that interview came everything that is in
Several times I repeated my visits to my Indian friend, and when I
had left Buffalo I had learned that his name was Edward Hubert Wood,
and that he was a full-blooded Pima, educated at Albuquerque, New
Afterward we came into a pleasant correspondence, and so I came to
know that one of my Indian friend’s dreams was that he should be
the means of the preservation of the ancient tales of his people. He
had a grand-uncle, Comalk-Hawk-Kih, or Thin Buckskin, who was a
see-nee-yaw-kum, or professional traditionalist, who knew all
the ancient stories, but who had no successor, and with whose death the
stories would disappear. He did not feel himself
equal to putting these traditions into good English, and so did not
quite know what to do.
We discussed this matter in letters; and finally it was decided that
I should visit the Gila River Reservation, in Arizona, where the Pimas
were, and get the myths from the old seeneeyawkum in person, and
that Mr. Wood should return home from Pyramid Lake, Nevada, where he
was teaching carpentry to the Pai-utes, and be my host and
So, on the morning of July 31st, 1903, I stepped from a train at
Casa Grande, Arizona, and found myself in the desert land of which I
had so long dreamed. I had expected Mr. Wood to meet me there, but he
was not at the station and therefore I took passage with the Irish
mail-carrier whose stage was in daily transit between Casa Grande and
Sacaton, the Agency village of the Pima Reservation.
We had driven perhaps half the distance, and my Irish friend was
beguiling the tedium by an interminable series of highly spiced yarns,
calculated to flabbergast the tenderfoot, when my anxious eyes
discerned in the distance the oncoming of a neat little open buggy,
drawn by two pretty ponies, one of which was a pinto, and in
which sat Mr. Wood. Just imagine: It was the last day of July, a
blazing morning in the open desert, with the temperature soaring
somewhere between 100 and 120 degrees, yet here was my Indian
friend, doubtless to do me honor, arrayed in a
“pepper-and-salt” suit, complete with underclothes; vest
buttoned up; collar and necktie, goggles and buckskin driving gloves.
And this in an open buggy, while the Irishman and I, under our tilt,
were stripped to our shirts, with sleeves rolled above elbows, and
swigging water, ever and anon, from an enormous canteen swathed in wet
flannel to keep it cool. Truly Mr. Wood had not intended that I should
take him for an uncivilized Indian, if clothes could give the lie; but
the face was the same kindly one of my “Brother Ed,” and it
did not take me long to greet him and transfer myself to his care.
We came to Sacaton (which Ed said was a Mexican name meaning
“much tall grass”—reminding me that Emory, of the
“Army of the West,” who found the Pimas in 1846, reported
finding fine meadows there—but which the Pimas call Tawt-sit-ka,
“the Place of Fear and Flight,” because of some
Apache-caused panic) but we did not stop there, but passed around it,
to the Northwest, and on and over the Gila, Akee-mull, The River, as
the Pimas affectionately call it, for to them it is as the Nile to
Egypt. The famous Gila is not a very imposing stream at any time, and
now was no stream at all, but a shallow dry channel, choked with desert
dust, or paved with curling flakes of baked mud which cracked like bits
of broken pottery under our ponies’ feet. But I afterwards many
times saw it a turbid torrent of yellow mud, rushing and foaming from
the mountain rains; perilous with quicksand and snag, the roaring of
its voice heard over the chaparral for miles to windward.
The Pimas live in villages, each with its sub-chief, and we were
bound for the village of Lower San-tan. But in these villages the
houses are now seldom aggregated, as in old days of Apache and Yuma
war, but scatter out for miles in farm homesteads.
Brother Ed had lately sold his neat farmstead, near Sacaton, and
when I came to his home I found he was temporarily living under a
vachtoe (pronounce first syllable as if German), or arbor-shed,
made of mezquite forks, supporting a flat roof of weeds and brush for
shade. Near by he was laying the foundations of a neat little adobe
cottage, which was finally completed during my stay.
Ed introduced me to his mother, a matronly Indian woman of perhaps
fifty-five, who must have been quite a belle in her day, and whose
features were still regular and strong, and his step-father, “Mr.
Wells,” who deserves more than a passing word from me, for his
kindness was unremitting (bless his good-natured, smiling face!) and
his solicitude for my comfort constant. These were all the family, for
Ed himself was a widower. Fifty yards or so to the northwest were the
huts of two old and wretchedly poor Pimas (the man was blind) who had
been allowed to settle there temporarily by Mr. Wood, owing to
some difficulty about their own location on their adjoining land. One
or two hundred yards in the other direction were two old
caw-seens, or storehouses, square structures of a sort of
wattlework of poles, weeds and brush, plastered over with adobe and
roofed with earth. In one of these I placed my trunk, and on its flat
roof I slept, rolled in my blankets, most of the nights of the two
months of my stay. I came to know it as “my Arizona
Bedstead,” and I shall never forget it and its quaint, crooked
My Indian brother was not slow in shedding his dress-parade
garments, and in getting down to the comfort of outing shirt and
overalls, neck handkerchief and sombrero. Then I had my first meal with
Indians in Arizona. Mrs. Wells, or as I prefer to call her,
Sparkling-Soft-Feather (her Indian name) was a good cook of her kind,
and gave us a meal of tortillas, frijole beans, peppers
(kaw-awl-kull), coffee, and choo-oo-kook or jerked beef.
Ed and I were given the dignity of chairs and a table, but the older
Indians squatted on the ground in the good old Pima way, with their
dishes on a mat. There were knives and spoons, but no forks, and the
usefulness of fingers was not obsolete. A waggish, pale-eyed pup,
flabbily deprecative and good-natured, and a big-footed Mexican
choo-chool, or chicken, were obtrusively familiar. Neither of
the older Indians could speak a word of English, but chatted
and laughed away together in Pima. The hot, soft wind of the desert
kissed our faces as we ate, and off in the back ground rose the stately
volcanic pile of Cheoff-skaw-mack, the nearest mountain, and all around
the horizon other bare volcanic peaks burned into the blue. Sometimes a
whirlwind of dust travelled rapidly over the plain, making one ponder
what would happen should it gyrate into the vachtoe.
After dinner we got our guns and started out to go to the farm of
old Thin Buckskin (“William Higgins,” if you please!) the
seeneeyawkum I had come so far to see. Incidentally we were to
shoot some kah-kai-cheu, or plumed quails, and
taw-up-pee, or rabbits, for supper.
We found the old man plowing for corn in his field. The strong,
friendly grasp he gave my hand was all that could be desired.
Tall, lean, dignified, with a harsh, yet musical voice; keen,
intelligent black eyes, and an impressive manner, he was plainly a
gentleman and a scholar, even if he could neither read nor write, nor
speak a sentence of English.
Sometimes the old man came at night, instead of afternoon, and I
find this entry in my journal: “Sept. 6.—We sat up till
midnight in the old cawseen getting the traditions. It was a
wild, strange scene—the old cawseen interior, the mezquite
forks that supported the roof, the poles overhead,
and weeds above that, the mud-plastered walls with loop-hole windows;
bags, boxes, trunks, ollas, and vahs-hrom granary baskets
about. Ed sitting on the ground, against the wall, nodding when I wrote
and waking up to interpret; the old man bent forward, both hands out,
palms upward, or waving in strange eloquent gestures; his lean,
wrinkled features drawn and black eyes gleaming; telling the strange
tales in a strange tongue. On an old olla another Indian, Miguel, who
came in to listen, and in his hand a gorgeously decorated
quee-a-kote, or flute, with which, while I wrote, he would
sometimes give us a few wild, plaintive, thrilling bars, weird as an
incantation. And finally myself, sitting on a mattress on my trunk,
writing, fast as pencil could travel, by the dim light of a lantern
hung against a great post at my right. Outside a cold, strong wind, for
the first time since I came to Arizona, bright moonlight, and some
drifting white clouds telling the last of the storm.”
Again, on Sept. 12th: “Traditions, afternoon and until
midnight. I shall never forget how the half-moon looked, rising over
Vahf-kee-woldt-kih, or the
Notched Cliffs, toward midnight, while the coyotes laughed a chorus
somewhere off toward the Gila, and we sat around, outdoors, in the
wind, and heard the old seeneeyawkum tell his weird, incoherent tales
of the long ago.”
Occasionally I have added a word or sentence to make the meaning
stand out clearer, but otherwise I have taken no liberties with the
As a rule the seeneeyawkum told these tales in his own words, but
the parts called speeches were learned by heart and repeated literally.
These parts gave us much trouble. They were highly poetic, and
manifestly mystic, and therefore very difficult to translate with
truthfulness to the involved meanings and startling and obscure
metaphors. Besides they contained many archaic words, the
meaning of which neither seeneeyawkum nor interpreter now knew, and
which they could only translate by guess, or leave out altogether. But
we did the best we could.
The stories were also embellished with songs, some of which I had
translated. They were chants of from one to four lines each, seldom
more than two, many times repeated in varying cadence; weird, somber,
thrillingly passionate in places, and by no means unmusical, but, of
course, monotonous. I obtained phonograph records of a number, and the
translations given are as literal as possible.
As to the meaning of the tales I got small satisfaction. The Indians
seemed to have no explanations to offer. They seemed to regard them as
fairy tales, but admitted they had once been believed as
My own theory came to be that they had been invented, from time to
time, by various and successive mah-kais to answer the questions
concerning history, phenomena, and the origin of things, which they, as
the reputed wisest of the tribe, were continually asked. My chief
reason for supposing this is because in almost every tale the hero is a
mahkai of some sort. The word mah-kai (now translated doctor, or
medicine-man) seems to have been applied in old time to every being
capable of exerting magical or supernatural and mysterious power, from
the Creator down; and it is easy to see how such use of the
word would apparently establish the divine relationship and bolster the
authority of the medicine men, while the charm of the tale would focus
attention upon them. The temptation was great and, I think, yielded
I doubt if much real history is worked in, or that it is at all
All over the desert, where irrigation was at all practicable, in the
Gila and Salt River valleys, and up to the edge of the mountains, among
the beautiful giant cactus and flatbean trees, you will ride your
bronco over evidences of a prehistoric race;—old irrigating
ditches, lines of stone wall; or low mounds of adobe rising above the
greasewood and cacti, and littered over
profusely with bits of broken and painted pottery, broken corn-mills
and grinders, perhaps showing here and there a stone ax, arrowhead, or
other old stone implement. These mounds (vah-ahk-kee is the Pima
word for such a ruin) are the heaps caused by the fallen walls of what
were once pueblos of stone and clay. In some places there must have
been populous cities, and at the famous site of Casa Grande one finds
one of the buildings still standing—a really imposing citadel,
with walls four or five feet thick, several stories high, and habitable
since the historic period.
Now according to these traditions it was the tribes now known as
Pimas, Papagoes, Yumas and Maricopas, that invaded the land, from some
mythic underworld, and overthrew the vahahkkees
& killed all their inhabitants, and this is the most interesting
part of the tales from a historic point of view. Fewkes, and other
ethnologists, think the ancestors of the Pimas built the Casa Grande
& other vahahkkees, but I doubt this. Is it reasonable to suppose
that if a people as intelligent & settled as the Pimas had once
evoluted far enough in architecture & fortification to erect such
noble citadels and extensive cities as those of Casa Grande & Casa
Blanca, that they, while still surrounded by the harassing Apaches,
would have descended to contentment with such miserable &
indefensible hovels as their present kees and cawseens? To me it is
not. They are as industrious as any of the pueblo-building Indians, not
otherwise degenerate, and had they once ever builded pueblos I do not
think would have abandoned the art. But it is easy to understand that a
horde of desert campers, overthrowing a more civilized nation, might
never rebuild or copy after its edifices. So far, then, I am inclined
to agree with the traditions and disagree with the ethnologists.
But these traditions are evidently very ancient. They appear to me
to have originated from the aborigines of this country; people who knew
no other land. Every story is saturated with local color. From the top
of Cheoffskawmack, I believe I could have seen almost every place
mentioned in the traditions, except the Rio Colorado &
the ocean, and the ocean was to them, I believe, little more than a
name. They never speak of it with their usual sketchy & graphic
detail, and the fact that in the ceremony of purification it is spoken
of as a source of drinking water shows they really knew nothing of it.
The Indian is too exact in his natural science to speak of salt water
as potable. And these stories certainly say that the dwellers in the
vahahkkees were the children of Ee-ee-toy, created right here. And that
the army that carried out Ee-ee-toy’s revenge upon his rebellious
people were the children of Juhwerta Mahkai, who had been somewhere
else since the flood, but who were also originally created here.
Now, for what it is worth, I will give a theory to reconcile these
differences. I assume that their flood was a real event, but a local
one, and the greater part of the people destroyed by it. A minority
escaped by flight into the desert, and neither they nor their
descendants, for many generations, returned to the place where the
catastrophe occurred. Another remnant escaped by floating on various
objects & climbing mountains. The first were those of whom it is
fabled that Juhwerta Mahkai let them escape thru a hole in the earth.
These became nomadic, desert dwellers. The second remained in the Gila
country, became agricultural & settled in habit, irrigating their
land & building pueblos, growing rich, effeminate & inapt at
war. At length the desert fugitives, also grown numerous, and
war-like & fierce with the wild, wolf-like existence they had led,
and moved by we know not what motives of revenge or greed, returned
& swept over the land, in a sudden invasion, like a swarm of
locusts; ruthlessly destroying the vahahkkees and
all who dwelt therein; breaking even the ma-ta-tes & every
utensil in their vandal fury; dividing the region thus taken among
themselves. According to these traditions the Apaches were already
dwellers in the outlying deserts & mountains, and were not affected
especially by this invasion.
Is it now unreasonable to suppose that some of the invaders kept up,
to a great extent, their old habits of desert wandering (Papagoes for
instance), and that others adopted to some extent the agricultural
habits of those they had conquered, and yet retained, with slight
change, the little brush & mud houses & arbors they had grown
accustomed to in their wanderings? These last would be our present
If it is considered strange that these adopted the habits, to any
extent, of those they supplanted it may be urged that they almost
certainly, in conquering the vahahkkee people, spared and married many
of the women, and adopted many of the children; this being in
accordance with their custom in historic times. And this infusion of
the gentler blood may have been very large. And these women would
naturally go on, and would be required by their new husbands to go
on, with the agricultural methods to which they were accustomed &
would teach them to their new masters. And their children, being wholly
or partly of the old stock, would have a natural tendency to the same
work, to some extent.
This theory not only explains & agrees with the main parts of
the old traditions, but seems confirmed by other things. Thus the
Pimas, Papagoes, Quojatas, and the “Rabbit-Eaters” of
Mexico, speak about the same language, which would seem to prove them
originally the same people. But some have kept the old ways, some have
become agricultural, and some are in manners between, and thus have
become classed as different tribes. And, judging from the remains, the
life of the old vahahkkee dwellers was in many ways like that of the
modern Pima, only less primitive.
But the real value of these stories is as folklore, and in their
literary merit. They throw a wonderful side-light on the old customs,
beliefs and feelings. I consider them ancient, in the main, but do not
doubt that in coming down thru many seeneeyawkums they have been much
modified by the addition of embellishment, the subtraction of
forgetfulness. As proof I adduce the accounting for the origin of the
white people, who use pens & ink, in the story of Van-daih. The
ancient Pimas knew neither white men, nor pens, nor ink, therefore
this passage is clearly an interpolation by some later narrator, if the
story is really ancient, as I suppose it is. In the story of
Noo-ee’s meeting the sun, the word used by old Comalk, for the
sun’s weapon, was vai-no-ma-gaht (literally iron-bow)
which is the modern Pima’s name for the white man’s gun,
and it was translated as gun by my interpreter. But iron and guns were
both unknown to ancient Pimas, therefore this term must have been first
used by some seeneeyawkum after the white man came, who thought a gun
more appropriate than a bow for the sun’s shooting.
How much has been lost by forgetfulness we can never know; but at
least I found that the meaning of many ancient words had disappeared,
that the mystic meaning of the highly symbolic speeches seemed all
gone, and I felt certain that the last part of the Story of the
Gambler’s War had been lost by forgetting; for it stops short
with the preliminary speeches, instead of going on with a detailed
account of the battles as does the Story of Paht-ahn-kum’s
Another proof that these tales were changed by different narrators
is afforded by the variants of some of them published by Emory,
Grossman, Cook, and other writers about the Pimas.
As to the mystic meaning I can only guess. The mystic number four,
so constantly used, probably refers to the four cardinal points, but my
Indians seemed not aware of this. In the stories, West is black,
East is white or light, South is blue, North is yellow, and Above is
green. Of course the west is black because there night swallows up the
sun, and the east is light because it gives the sun, but why south is
blue and north is yellow I do not know. But south is the nearest way to
the ocean, and as in one story the word ocean seems used in place of
south, I infer the blue color was derived from that. And the desert
lying north of the ocean may suggest the desert tint, yellow, as the
color of the north. As to the sky being green, I find this in my
journal: “August 29—Last evening, after sunset, there were
the most wonderful sky effects—there was a line of light clouds
across the sky, in the west, about half way up to the zenith, and
suddenly the white part of these was washed over, as tho by a paint
brush, with a strong but delicate pea-green, while under this spread a
mist or haze of dainty pink, changing to a rich, delicate mauve. Lasted
quarter of an hour or more. Never saw anything like it in nature
before.” Again, on September 6, I saw nearly the same phenomenon.
The green was very strong and vivid, and could not fail to attract an
Indian’s eye, and something of the sort, I fancy, made him make
the strange choice of green for the sky color.
Those who like to compare myths and folktales and ancient scriptures
will find a rich field here. And the interesting thing is that these
tales come straight from a line of Indians who
could neither read nor write nor speak English, therefore adulteration
by white man’s literature seems improbable.
As to the literary merit of these tales, after all that is lost by a
double interpretation, I consider it still very high. You must come to
them as a little child, for they are intensely child-like, and to
expect them to be like a white man’s narrative is absurd. But
they are sketched in such clear, bold lines, with such a sure touch and
delicate expressiveness of salient points; there are such
close-fitting, shrewd bits of human nature; such real yet startling
touches of poetry in metaphor; such fertile and altogether Indian
imagination in plot and incident, that the interest never fails. No two
stories are alike, and if surprise is a literary charm of high value,
and I think it is, then these tales are certainly charming, for they
constantly bring surprise.
And the poetry, in Eeeetoy’s speech for example, is so rich
and strong; and in such parts as the story of the Nah-vah-choo
the mysticism seems to challenge one like a riddle.
When these old tales were told with all proper ceremony and respect,
they were told on four successive nights. This could not be in the
giving of them to me, for many practical reasons, but I have endeavored
to give them that form for my reader and hence the title of my book.
But I did not discover how many or what ones were told on
any one night, so my division is arbitrary, and only aims at reasonable
equality. The naming, too, of the different stories is my own, for the
old man did not appear to have any set names for them. I fancy the old
man was rusty and out of practice, and forgot some of the tales in
their proper sequence, and brought them in afterward as they recurred
to him. For instance, the story of Tcheu-nas-sat Seeven’s
singing away another chief’s wives evidently belongs among the
early stories of the vahahkkee people, and before the account of his
death, when the vahahkkees were destroyed. But I have given the stories
in the order in which they were told to me, leaving all responsibility
on the old seeneeyawkum’s shoulders.
I lived a little more than two months with these Indians, collecting
these stories, enjoying their kindly hospitality, living as they lived,
eating their food, riding their ponies, sleeping on their roofs under
the splendid Arizona stars.
I shall never forget that day, before I left, when Ed and I saddled
our ponies in the early morning and rode twenty miles to the Casa
Grande ruins. On the way we crossed the dry bed of the Gila; and passed
thru the Agency village of Sacaton and the village of Blackwater;
skirting the Maricopa Slaughter mountains, where once some unfortunate
Maricopas were waylaid and massacred by a
band of Apaches, almost in sight of Sacaton. The Casa Grande ruins are
imposing enough, but sadly belittled in effect by the
well-meant roof which the government has erected over them to preserve
them. This kills all the poetry and gives them the ludicrous aspect of
a museum specimen. Had the old walls been skillfully capped with a
waterproof cement and the walls coated with some weatherproof and
transparent wash, all necessary security could have been effected with
perhaps less expense than this absurd roof, and all the romance of
impression preserved. Let us hope the genial and manly young custodian,
Mr. Frank Pinckly, to whose warm-hearted hospitality and that of his
parents I owe grateful thanks, will consider this suggestion favorably
and earn the blessing of future travellers. A storm broke on us while
we were at the ruins, and riding home that evening we found the Gila
flooded. I shall always remember how its muddy torrent looked to me,
plunging along at my feet, where that morning I had crossed dry shod;
its yellow waves shot with blood-red reflections from the last colors
“You better see that Pinto’s cinch is tight, or she may
try to get you off in the river,” warned Ed, in my ear, as he
jumped off to cinch up “Georgie.”
It was always exciting to me to ford the treacherous Gila, the tawny
waters were so sweeping, and the ponies plunged so when their feet felt
the quicksands, but we got across all right, and galloped home on the
slippery, muddy roads. 
When I left these people it was with a genuine regard for their
virtues. I found them in the main kind, honest, simple-minded,
industrious, surprisingly clean, considering their obstacles of scant
water and ever-present dust, and the calmest tempered people I have
I remember the second day of my stay we were going to ride to the
Casa Blanca ruins. In watering the ponies at the well,
“Georgie’s” loosened saddle turned and swung under
his belly. Such bucking and frantic kicking as that half-broken colt
indulged in for a few moments would have made a congress of cow-boys
applaud, and when it was over the beautiful colt stood exhausted on the
far side of a twenty acre field, with the saddle fragments somewhere
between. Now to poor Indians the loss of a saddle is not small, and I
fancy most frontiersmen, under the provocation, would have made the air
blue with oaths, but Ed only sadly said: “I’m afraid that
spoils Georgie,” and the stepfather laughed and started patiently
out on the trail of the colt “to save the pieces,” while
the mother took one of her bowl-shaped Pima baskets, with beans in it,
and coaxed the colt till she caught him. Then he was patted and soothed
and fed with sugar, the saddle patched up and replaced, and we rode
eighteen miles that day and never another mishap. And from first to
last never a harsh or complaining word.
I must say that they appeared to me to excel any average white
neighborhood in good behavior.
It is a strange land, that in which the Pimas dwell; a desert
overgrown with strange soft-tinted weeds, “salt weeds,”
pink, red, green, gray, blue, purple; the rich-green yellow-flowering
greasewood; odd cacti, and all manner of thornbearing bushes. The soil
is inexhaustibly rich, were there water enough, but the white people,
settling above the Indians, on the Gila, have so withdrawn the water
that crop failures from lack of sufficient irrigation are the rule,
now, instead of the exception, and the once ever-flowing Gila is more
often a dry channel, as sun-baked as the desert around it.
All around their valley, and rising here and there from the plain,
are low volcanic peaks, mere dead masses of rock except where in places
a giant cactus stands candelabra-like among the slopes of stone. About
the feet of these mountains, and along the channels where the torrents
rush down in times of rain, are weird forests of desert
growths, mezquite, cat-claw, flat-beans, screw-beans,
greasewood, giant-cactus, cane-cactus, white-cactus, cholla-cactus, and
a host of others, almost everything bristling with innumerable thorns.
On this strange pasture of weed and thorn the Indian’s ponies
& his few cattle graze.
Here in summer the sun beats down till the mercury registers 118 to
120 degrees in the shade, and dust storms & dust whirlwinds travel
over the burning plain. 
Stories of the First Night
The Traditions of the Pimas
The old man,
Comalk Hawk-Kih, (Thin Buckskin) began by saying that these were
stories which he used to hear his father tell, they being handed down
from father to son, and that when he was little he did not pay much
attention, but when he grew older he determined to learn them, and
asked his father to teach him, which his father did, and now he knew
The Story of the Creation
In the beginning there was no earth, no
water—nothing. There was only a Person, uh-wert-a-Mah-kai
(The Doctor of the Earth).
He just floated, for there was no place for him to stand upon. There
was no sun, no light, and he just floated about in the darkness, which
was Darkness itself.
He wandered around in the nowhere till he thought he had wandered
enough. Then he rubbed on his breast and rubbed out
moah-haht-tack, that is perspiration, or greasy earth. This he
rubbed out on the palm of his hand and held out. It tipped over three
times, but the fourth time it staid straight in the middle of the air
and there it remains now as the world. 
The first bush he created was the greasewood bush.
And he made ants, little tiny ants, to live on that bush, on its gum
which comes out of its stem.
But these little ants did not do any good, so he created white ants,
and these worked and enlarged the earth; and they kept on increasing
it, larger and larger, until at last it was big enough for himself to
Then he created a Person. He made him out of his eye, out of the
shadow of his eyes, to assist him, to be like him, and to help him in
creating trees and human beings and everything that was to be on the
The name of this being was Noo-ee (the Buzzard).
Nooee was given all power, but he did not do the work he was created
for. He did not care to help Juhwertamahkai, but let him go by
And so the Doctor of the Earth himself created the mountains and
everything that has seed and is good to eat. For if he had created
human beings first they would have had nothing to live on.
But after making Nooee and before making the mountains and seed for
food, Juhwertamahkai made the sun.
In order to make the sun he first made water, and this he placed in
a hollow vessel, like an earthen dish (hwas-hah-ah) to harden
into something like ice. And this hardened ball he placed in the
sky. First he placed it in the North, but it did not work; then he
placed it in the West, but it did not work; then he placed it in the
South, but it did not work; then he placed it in the East and there it
worked as he wanted it to.
And the moon he made in the same way and tried in the same places,
with the same results.
But when he made the stars he took the water in his mouth and
spurted it up into the sky. But the first night his stars did not give
light enough. So he took the Doctor-stone (diamond), the
tone-dum-haw-teh, and smashed it up, and took the pieces and
threw them into the sky to mix with the water in the stars, and then
there was light enough.1
And now Juhwertamahkai, rubbed again on his breast, and from the
substance he obtained there made two little dolls, and these he laid on
the earth. And they were human beings, man and woman.
And now for a time the people increased till they filled the earth.
For the first parents were perfect, and there was no sickness and no
death. But when the earth was full, then there was nothing to eat, so
they killed and ate each other.
But Juhwertamahkai did not like the way his people
acted, to kill and eat each other, and so he let the sky fall to kill
them. But when the sky dropped he, himself, took a staff and broke a
hole thru, thru which he and Nooee emerged and escaped, leaving behind
them all the people dead.
And Juhwertamahkai, being now on the top of this fallen sky, again
made a man and a woman, in the same way as before. But this man and
woman became grey when old, and their children became grey still
younger, and their children became grey younger still, and so on till
the babies were gray in their cradles.
And Juhwertamahkai, who had made a new earth and sky, just as there
had been before, did not like his people becoming grey in their
cradles, so he let the sky fall on them again, and again made a hole
and escaped, with Nooee, as before.
And Juhwertamahkai, on top of this second sky, again made a new
heaven and a new earth, just as he had done before, and new people.
But these new people made a vice of smoking. Before human beings had
never smoked till they were old, but now they smoked younger, and each
generation still younger, till the infants wanted to smoke in their
And Juhwertamahkai did not like this, and let the sky fall again,
and created everything new again in the same way, and this time he
created the earth as it is now.
But at first the whole slope of the world was westward, and tho there were peaks rising from
this slope there were no true valleys, and all the water that fell ran
away and there was no water for the people to drink. So Juhwertamahkai
sent Nooee to fly around among the mountains, and over the earth, to
cut valleys with his wings, so that the water could be caught and
distributed and there might be enough for the people to drink.
Now the sun was male and the moon was female and they met once a
month. And the moon became a mother and went to a mountain called
Tahs-my-et-tahn Toe-ahk (sun striking mountain) and there was
born her baby. But she had duties to attend to, to turn around and give
light, so she made a place for the child by tramping down the weedy
bushes and there left it. And the child, having no milk, was nourished
on the earth.
And this child was the coyote, and as he grew he went out to walk
and in his walk came to the house of Juhwertamahkai and Nooee, where
And when he came there Juhwertamahkai knew him and called him
Toe-hahvs, because he was laid on the weedy bushes of that
But now out of the North came another powerful personage, who has
two names, See-ur-huh and Ee-ee-toy.
Now Seeurhuh means older brother, and when this personage came to
Juhwertamahkai, Nooee and Toehahvs he called them his younger brothers.
But they claimed to have been here first, and to
be older than he, and there was a dispute between them. But finally,
because he insisted so strongly, and just to please him, they let him
be called older brother. 
Juhwerta Mahkai’s Song of
Juhwerta mahkai made the world—
Come and see it and make it useful!
He made it round—
Come and see it and make it useful!
Notes on Story of Creation
The idea of creating the earth from the perspiration
and waste cuticle of the Creator is, I believe, original.
The local touch in making the greasewood bush the first vegetation
is very strong.
In the tipping over of the earth three times, and its standing right
the fourth time, we are introduced to the first of the mystic fours in
which the whole scheme of the stories is cast. Almost everything is
done four times before finished.
The peculiar Indian idea of type-animals, the immortal and
supernatural representatives of their respective animal tribes, appears
in Nooee and Toehahvs, and here again the local color is rich and
strong in making the buzzard and the coyote, the most common and
striking animals of the desert, the particular aides on the staff of
Might not the creation of Nooee out of the shadow of the eyes
of the Doctor of the Earth be a poetical allusion to the flying shadow
of the buzzard on the sun-bright desert?
In the creation of sun and moon we find the mystic four referred to
the four corners of the universe, North, South, East and West, and
this, I am persuaded, is really the origin of its sacred significance,
for most religions find root and source in astronomy.
In the dropping of the sky appears the old idea of its solid
In the “slope of the world to the Westward” there is
something curiously significant when we remember that both the Gila and
Salt Rivers flow generally westward.
Nooee cuts the valleys with his wings. It would almost appear that
Nooee was Juhwertamahkai’s agent in the air and sky, Toehahvs on
The night-prowling coyote is appropriately and poetically mothered
by the moon. 
And here appears Eeeetoy, the most active and mysterious personality
in Piman mythology. Out of the North, apparently self-existent, but
little inferior in power to Juhwertamahkai, and claiming greater age,
he appears, by pure “bluff” and persistent push and
wheedling, to have induced the really more powerful, but good-natured
and rather lazy Juhwertamahkai to give over most of the real work and
government of the world to him. In conversing with Harry Azul, the head
chief’s son, at Sacaton, I found he regarded Eeeetoy and
Juhwertamahkai as but two names for the
same. And indeed it is hard to fix Eeeetoy’s place or power.
The Story of the Flood
Now Seeurhuh was
very powerful, like Juhwerta Mahkai, and as he took up his residence
with them, as one of them, he did many wonderful things which pleased
Juhwerta Mahkai, who liked to watch him.
And after doing many marvelous things he, too, made a man.
And to this man whom he had made, Seeurhuh (whose other name was
Ee-ee-toy) gave a bow & arrows, and guarded his arm against the bow
string by a piece of wild-cat skin, and pierced his ears & made
ear-rings for him, like turquoises to look at, from the leaves of the
weed called quah-wool. And this man was the most beautiful man
And Ee-ee-toy told this young man, who was just of marriageable age,
to look around and see if he could find any young girl in the villages
that would suit him and, if he found her, to see her relatives and see
if they were willing he should marry her.
And the beautiful young man did this, and found a girl that pleased
him, and told her family of his wish, and they accepted him, and he
married her. 
And the names of both these are now forgotten and unknown.
And when they were married Ee-ee-toy, foreseeing what would happen,
went & gathered the gum of the greasewood tree.
Here the narrative states, with far too much plainness of
circumstantial detail for popular reading, that this young man married
a great many wives in rapid succession, abandoning the last one with
each new one wedded, and had children with abnormal, even uncanny
swiftness, for which the wives were blamed and for which suspicion they
were thus heartlessly divorced. Because of this, Juhwerta Mahkai and
Ee-ee-toy foresaw that nature would be convulsed and a great flood
would come to cover the world.
And then the narrative goes on to say:
Now there was a doctor who lived down toward the sunset whose name
was Vahk-lohv Mahkai, or South Doctor, who had a beautiful daughter.
And when his daughter heard of this young man and what had happened to
his wives she was afraid and cried every day. And when her father saw
her crying he asked her what was the matter? was she sick? And when she
had told him what she was afraid of, for every one knew and was talking
of this thing, he said yes, he knew it was true, but she ought not to
be afraid, for there was happiness for a woman in marriage and the
mothering of children. 
And it took many years for the young man to marry all these wives,
and have all these children, and all this time Ee-ee-toy was busy
making a great vessel of the gum he had gathered from the grease
bushes, a sort of olla which could be closed up, which would keep back
water. And while he was making this he talked over the reasons for it
with Juhwerta Mahkai, Nooee, and Toehahvs, that it was because there
was a great flood coming.
And several birds heard them talking thus—the woodpecker,
Hick-o-vick; the humming-bird, Vee-pis-mahl; a little
bird named Gee-ee-sop, and another called
Eeeetoy said he would escape the flood by getting into the vessel he
was making from the gum of the grease bushes or ser-quoy.
And Juhwerta Mahkai said he would get into his staff, or walking
stick, and float about.
And Toehahvs said he would get into a cane-tube.
And the little birds said the water would not reach the sky, so they
would fly up there and hang on by their bills till it was over.
And Nooee, the buzzard, the powerful, said he did not care if the
flood did reach the sky, for he could find a way to break thru.
Now Ee-ee-toy was envious, and anxious to get ahead of Juhwerta
Mahkai and get more fame for his wonderful deeds, but Juhwerta Mahkai,
though really the strongest, was generous and from kindness
and for relationship sake let Ee-ee-toy have the best of it.
And the young girl, the doctor’s daughter, kept on crying,
fearing the young man, feeling him ever coming nearer, and her father
kept on reassuring her, telling her it would be all right, but at last,
out of pity for her fears & tears, he told her to go and get him
the little tuft of the finest thorns on the top of the white cactus,
the haht-sahn-kahm,1 and bring to him.
And her father took the cactus-tuft which she had brought him, and
took hair from her head and wound about one end of it, and told her if
she would wear this it would protect her. And she consented and wore
And he told her to treat the young man right, when he came, &
make him broth of corn. And if the young man should eat all the broth,
then their plan would fail, but if he left any broth she was to eat
that up and then their plan would succeed.
And he told her to be sure and have a bow and arrows above the door
of the kee, so that he could take care of the young man.
And after her father had told her this, on that very
evening the young man came, and the girl received him kindly, and took
his bows & arrows, and put them over the door of the kee, as her
father had told her, and made the young man broth of corn and gave it
to him to eat.
And he ate only part of it and what was left she ate herself.
And before this her father had told her: “If the young man is
wounded by the thorns you wear, in that moment he will become a woman
and a mother and you will become a young man.”
And in the night all this came to be, even so, and by day-break the
child was crying.
And the old woman ran in and said: “Mos-say!”
which means an old woman’s grandchild from a daughter.
And the daughter, that had been, said: “It is not your
moss, it is your cah-um-maht,” that is an old
woman’s grandchild from a son.
And then the old man ran in and said:
“Bah-ahm-ah-dah!” that is an old man’s
grandchild from a daughter, but his daughter said: “It is not
your bah-ahm-maht, but it is your voss-ahm-maht,”
which is an old man’s grandchild from a son.
And early in the morning this young man (that had been, but who was
now a woman & a mother) made a wawl-kote, a carrier, or
cradle, for the baby and took the trail back home.
And Juhwerta Mahkai told his neighbors of what was coming, this
young man who had changed into a woman and a mother and was
bringing a baby born from himself, and that when he arrived wonderful
things would happen & springs would gush forth from under every
tree and on every mountain.
And the young man-woman came back and by the time of his return
Ee-ee-toy had finished his vessel and had placed therein seeds &
everything that is in the world.
And the young man-woman, when he came to his old home, placed his
baby in the bushes and left it, going in without it, but Ee-ee-toy
turned around and looked at him and knew him, for he did not wear a
woman’s dress, and said to him: “Where is my Bahahmmaht?
Bring it to me. I want to see it. It is a joy for an old man to see his
“I have sat here in my house and watched
your going, and all that has happened you, and foreseen some one would
send you back in shame, although I did not like to think there was
anyone more powerful than I. But never mind, he who has beaten us will
see what will happen.”
And when the young man-woman went to get his baby, Ee-ee-toy got
into his vessel, and built a fire on the hearth he had placed therein,
and sealed it up.
And the young man-woman found his baby crying, and the tears from it
were all over the ground, around. And when he stooped over to pick up
his child he turned into a sand-snipe, and the baby turned into
a little teeter-snipe.
And then that came true which Juhwerta Mahkai had said, that water
would gush out from under every tree & on every mountain; and the
people when they saw it, and knew that a flood was coming, ran to
Juhwerta Mahkai; and he took his staff and made a hole in the earth and
let all those thru who had come to him, but the rest were drowned.
Then Juhwerta Mahkai got into his walking stick & floated, and
Toehahvs got into his tube of cane and floated, but Ee-ee-toy’s
vessel was heavy & big and remained until the flood was much deeper
before it could float.
And the people who were left out fled to the mountains; to the
mountains called Gah-kote-kih (Superstition Mts.) for they were
living in the plains between Gahkotekih and Cheoffskawmack (Tall Gray
And there was a powerful man among these people, a doctor (mahkai),
who set a mark on the mountain side and said the water would not rise
And the people believed him and camped just beyond the mark; but the
water came on and they had to go higher. And this happened four
And the mahkai did this to help his people, and also used power to
raise the mountain, but at last he saw all was to be a failure. And he
called the people and asked them all to come close
together, and he took his doctor-stone (mah-kai-haw-teh) which
is called Tonedumhawteh or Stone-of-Light, and held it in the palm of
his hand and struck it hard with his other hand, and it thundered so
loud that all the people were frightened and they were all turned into
And the little birds, the woodpecker, Hickovick; the humming-bird,
Veepismahl; the little bird named Gee-ee-sop, and the other called
Quotaveech, all flew up to the sky and hung on by their bills, but
Nooee still floated in the air and intended to keep on the wing unless
the floods reached the heavens.
But Juhwerta Mahkai, Ee-ee-toy and Toehahvs floated around on the
water and drifted to the west and did not know where they were.
And the flood rose higher until it reached the woodpecker’s
tail, and you can see the marks to this day.
And Quotaveech was cold and cried so loud that the other birds
pulled off their feathers and built him a nest up there so he could
keep warm. And when Quotaveech was warm he quit crying.
And then the little birds sang, for they had power to make the water
go down by singing, and as they sang the waters gradually receded.
But the others still floated around.
When the land began to appear Juhwerta Mahkai and Toehahvs got out,
but Ee-ee-toy had to wait for his house to warm up, for he had built a
fire to warm his vessel enough for him to unseal it. 
When it was warm enough he unsealed it, but when he looked out he
saw the water still running & he got back and sealed himself in
And after waiting a while he unsealed his vessel again, and seeing
dry land enough he got out.
And Juhwerta Mahkai went south and Toehahvs went west, and Ee-ee-toy
went northward. And as they did not know where they were they missed
each other, and passed each other unseen, but afterward saw each
other’s tracks, and then turned back and shouted, but wandered
from the track, and again passed unseen. And this happened four
And the fourth time Juhwerta Mahkai and Ee-ee-toy met, but Toehahvs
had passed already.
And when they met, Ee-ee-toy said to Juhwerta Mahkai “My
younger brother!” but Juhwerta Mahkai greeted him as younger
brother & claimed to have come out first. Then Ee-ee-toy said
again: “I came out first and you can see the water marks on my
body.” But Juhwerta Mahkai replied: “I came out first and
also have the water marks on my person to prove it.”
But Ee-ee-toy so insisted that he was the eldest that Juhwerta
Mahkai, just to please him, gave him his way and let him be considered
And then they turned westward and yelled to find Toehahvs, for they
remembered to have seen his tracks, and they kept on yelling till he
heard them. And when Toehahvs saw them he called them his younger
brothers, and they called him younger brother. And this dispute
continued till Ee-ee-toy again got the best of it, and although really
the younger brother was admitted by the the others to be Seeurhuh, or
And the birds came down from the sky and again there was a dispute
about the relationship, but Ee-ee-toy again got the best of them
But Quotaveech staid up in the sky because he had a comfortable nest
there, and they called him Vee-ick-koss-kum Mahkai, the
And they wanted to find the middle, the navel of the earth, and they
sent Veepismahl, the humming-bird, to the
west, and Hickovick, the woodpecker, to the east, and all the others
stood and waited for them at the starting place. And Veepismahl &
Hickovick were to go as far as they could, to the edge of the world,
and then return to find the middle of the earth by their meeting. But
Hickovick flew a little faster and got there first, and so when they
met they found it was not the middle, and they parted & started
again, but this time they changed places and Hickovick went westward
and Veepismahl went east.
And this time Veepismahl was the faster, and Hickovick was late, and
the judges thought their place of meeting was a little east of the
center so they all went a little way west. Ee-ee-toy, Juhwerta Mahkai
and Toehahvs stood there and sent the birds out once more, and this
time Hickovick went eastward again, and Veepismahl went west.
And Hickovick flew faster and arrived there first.
And they said: “This is not the middle. It is a little way west
And so they moved a little way, and again the birds were sent forth,
and this time Hickovick went west and Veepismahl went east. And when
the birds returned they met where the others stood and all cried
“This is the Hick, the Navel of the World!”
And they stood there because there was no dry place yet for them to
sit down upon; and Ee-ee-toy rubbed upon his breast and took from his
bosom the smallest ants, the O-auf-taw-ton, and threw them upon
the ground, and they worked there and threw up little hills; and this
earth was dry. And so they sat down.
But the water was still running in the valleys, and Ee-ee-toy took a
hair from his head & made it into a
snake—Vuck-vahmuht. And with this snake he pushed the
waters south, but the head of the snake was left lying to the west and
his tail to the east.
But there was more water, and Ee-ee-toy took another hair from his
head and made another snake, and with this snake pushed the rest of the
water north. And the head of this snake was left to the east and his
tail to the west. So the head of each snake was left lying with the
tail of the other.
And the snake that has his tail to the east, in the morning will
shake up his tail to start the morning wind to wake the people
and tell them to think of their dreams.
And the snake that has his tail to the west, in the evening will
shake up his tail to start the cool wind to tell the people it is time
to go in and make the fires & be comfortable.
And they said: “We will make dolls, but we will not let each
other see them until they are finished.”
And Ee-ee-toy sat facing the west, and Toehahvs facing the south,
and Juhwerta Mahkai facing the east.
And the earth was still damp and they took clay and began to make
dolls. And Ee-ee-toy made the best. But Juhwerta Mahkai did not make
good ones, because he remembered some of his people had escaped the
flood thru a hole in the earth, and he intended to visit them and he
did not want to make anything better than they were to take the place
of them. And Toehahvs made the poorest of all.
Then Ee-ee-toy asked them if they were ready, and they all said yes,
and then they turned about and showed each other the dolls they had
And Ee-ee-toy asked Juhwerta Mahkai why he had made such queer
dolls. “This one,” he said, “is not right, for you
have made him without any sitting-down parts, and how can he get rid of
the waste of what he eats?”
But Juhwerta Mahkai said: “He will not need to eat, he can
just smell the smell of what is cooked.” 
Then Ee-ee-toy asked again: “Why did you make this doll with
only one leg—how can he run?” But Juhwerta Mahkai replied:
“He will not need to run; he can just hop around.”
Then Ee-ee-toy asked Toehahvs why he had made a doll with webs
between his fingers and toes—“How can he point
directions?” But Toehahvs said he had made these dolls so for
good purpose, for if anybody gave them small seeds they would not slip
between their fingers, and they could use the webs for dippers to drink
And Ee-ee-toy held up his dolls and said: “These are the best
of all, and I want you to make more like them.” And he took
Toehahv’s dolls and threw them into the water and they became
ducks & beavers. And he took Juhwerta Mahkai’s dolls and
threw them away and they all broke to pieces and were nothing.
And Juhwerta Mahkai was angry at this and began to sink into the
ground; and took his stick and hooked it into the sky and pulled the
sky down while he was sinking. But Ee-ee-toy spread his hand over his
dolls, and held up the sky, and seeing that Juhwerta Mahkai was sinking
into the earth he sprang and tried to hold him & cried, “Man,
what are you doing! Are you going to leave me and my people here
But Juhwerta Mahkai slipped through his hands, leaving in them only
the waste & excretion of his skin. And that is how there is
sickness & death among us. 
And Ee-ee-toy, when Juhwerta Mahkai escaped him, went around
swinging his hands & saying: “I never thought all this
impurity would come upon my people!” and the swinging of his
hands scattered disease over all the earth. And he washed himself in a
pool or pond and the impurities remaining in the water are the source
of the malarias and all the diseases of dampness.
And Ee-ee-toy and Toehahvs built a house for their dolls a little
way off, and Ee-ee-toy sent Toehahvs to listen if they were yet
talking. And the Aw-up, (the Apaches) were the first ones that
talked. And Ee-ee-toy said: “I never meant to have those Apaches
talk first, I would rather have had the Aw-aw-tam, the Good
People, speak first.”
But he said: “It is all right. I will give them strength, that
they stand the cold & all hardships.”
And all the different people that they had made talked, one after
the other, but the Awawtam talked last.
And they all took to playing together, and in their play they kicked
each other as the Maricopas do in sport to this day; but the Apaches
got angry and said: “We will leave you and go into the mountains
and eat what we can get, but we will dream good dreams and be just as
happy as you with all your good things to eat.”
And some of the people took up their residence on the Gila, and some
went west to the Rio Colorado. And those who builded vahahkkees,
or houses out of adobe and stones, lived in the
valley of the Gila, between the mountains which are there now.
Juhwerta Mahkai’s Song before the
My poor people,
Who will see,
Who will see
This water which will moisten the earth!
The Song of Superstition Mountains
We are destroyed!
By my stone we are destroyed!
We are rightly turned into stone.
Ee-ee-toy’s Song when He made the
I know what to do;
I am going to move the water
Notes on the Story of the Flood
In the Story of the Flood we are introduced to Indian
marriage. Among the Pimas it was a very simple affair. There was no
ceremony whatever. The lover usually selected a relative, who went with
him to the parents of the girl and asked the father to permit the lover
to marry her. Presents were seldom given unless a very old man desired
a young bride. The girl was consulted and her consent was essential,
her refusal final. If, however, all parties were satisfied, she went at
once with her husband as his wife. If either party became dissatisfied,
separation at once constituted divorce and either could leave the
other. A widow or divorced woman, if courted by another suitor, was
approached directly, with no intervention of relatives. Of course, on
these terms there were many separations, yet all accounts agree that
there was a good deal of fidelity and many life-long unions and cases
of strong affection.
Polygamy was not unknown.
Grossman says that the wife was the slave of the husband, but it is
difficult to see how a woman, free at any moment to divorce herself
without disgrace or coercion, could be properly regarded as a slave.
Certainly the men appear always to have done a large part of the hard
work, and as far as I could see the women were remarkably equal and
independent and respectfully treated, as such a system would naturally
bring about. A man would be a fool to ill-treat a woman, whose love or
services were valuable to him, if at any moment of discontent she could
leave him, perhaps for a rival. The chances are that he would
constantly endeavor to hold her allegiance by special kindness and
But today legal marriage is replacing the old system.
So far as I saw the Pimas were very harmonious and kindly in family
The birds, gee-ee-sop and quotaveech, were pointed out to me by the
Pimas, and as near as I could tell quotaveech was Bendire’s
thrasher, or perhaps the curve-bill thrasher. It has a very sweet
but timid song. I did not succeed in identifying gee-ee-sop, but find
these entries about him in my journal: “Aug. 5—I saw a
little bird which I suppose to be a gee-ee-sop in a mezquite today,
smaller and more slender than a vireo, but like one in action, but the
tail longer and carried more like a brown thrasher, nearly white below,
dark, leaden gray above, top of head and tail black.” Again on
Sept. 1: “What a dear little bird the gee-ee-sop is! Two of them
in the oas-juh-wert-pot tree were looking at me a few minutes
back. Dark slate-blue above and nearly white below, with beady black
eyes and black, lively tails, tipped with white, they are very pretty,
tame and confiding.”
The faith of the Aw-aw-tam in witchcraft appears first in this story
and afterwards is conspicuous in nearly all. Almost all diseases they
supposed were caused by bewitching, and it was the chief business of
the medicine-men to find out who or what had caused the bewitching.
Sometimes people were accused and murders followed. This was the
darkest spot in Piman life. Generally, however, some animal or
inanimate object was identified. Grossman’s account in the
Smithsonian Report for 1871 is interesting. In the stories, however,
witchcraft appears usually as the ability of the mahkai to work
transformations in himself or others, in true old fairy-tale style.
Superstition Mountain derives its name from this story. It is a very beautiful
and impressive mountain, with terraces of cliffs, marking perhaps the
successive pausing places of the fugitives, and the huddled rocks on
the top represent their petrified forms. Some of the older Indians
still fear to go up into this mountain, lest a like fate befall
What beautiful poetic touches are the wetting of the
woodpecker’s tail, and the singing of the little birds to subdue
the angry waters.
The resemblances to Genesis will of course be noted by all in these
two first stories. Yet after all they are few and slight in any matter
of detail. 
In Ee-ee-toy’s serpents, that pushed back the waters, there is
a strong reminder of the Norse Midgard Serpent.
The making of the dolls in this story is one of the prettiest and
most amusing spots in the traditions.
The waste and perspiration of Juhwerta Mahkai’s skin again
comes into play, but this time as a malign force instead of a
beneficent one. It would also appear from this that the more
intelligent Pimas had a glimmering of the fact that there were other
causes than witchcraft for disease.
I have generally used the word Aw-aw-tam (Good People, or People of
Peace) as synonymous with Pima, but it is sometimes used to embrace all
Indians of the Piman stock and may be so understood in this story.
And perhaps this is as good a place as any to say a few descriptive
words about these Pimas of Arizona, and their allies, who have from
prehistoric times inhabited what the old Spanish historian, Clavigero,
called “Pimeria,” that is, the valleys of the Gila and Salt
Their faces seemed to me to be of almost Caucasian regularity and
rather of an English or Dutch cast, that is rather heavily moulded. The
forehead is vertical and inclined to be square; and the chin, broad,
heavy and full, comes out well to its line. The nose is straight, or a
little irregular, or rounded, at the end, but not often very aquiline,
never flat or wide-nostriled. The mouth is large but well shaped, with
short, white, remarkably even teeth, seldom showing any canine
projection. The whole face is a little heavy and square, but the cheek
bones are not especially prominent. The eyes are level, frank and
direct in glance, with long lashes and strong black brows. In the
babies a slight uptilt to the eye is sometimes seen, like a Japanese,
which indeed the babies suggest. The head of almost all adults is
well-balanced and finely poised on a good neck.
Another type possesses more of what we call the Indian feature. The
forehead retreats somewhat, so does the chin, while the upper lip is
larger, longer, more convex and the nose, above is more aquiline,
with wider nostrils. Consequently this face in profile is more convex
thruout. The cheek-bones are much more prominent, too, and the head not
generally so well-balanced and proportional.
While I have seen no striking beauty I believe the average good
looks is greater than among white men, taken as they come.
The women as a rule, however, do not carry themselves gracefully,
are apt to be too broad, fat and dumpy in figure, with too large
waists, and often loose, ungracefully-moving hips. This deformity of
the hips, for it almost amounts to that, I observe among Italian
peasant women, too, and some negresses, and, I take it, is caused by
carrying too heavy loads on the head at too early an age. There seems
to be a settling down of the body into the pelvis, with a loose
alternate motion of the hips. There are exceptions, of course, and I
have seen those of stately figure and fine carriage. Sometimes the loose-hip
motion appears in a man.
A slight tattooing appears on almost all Pima faces not of the last
generation. In the women this consists of two blue lines running down
from each corner of the mouth, under the chin, crossing, at the start,
the lower lip, and a single blue line running back from the outer angle
of each eye to the hair.
In the men it is usually a single zigzag blue line across the
The pigment used is charcoal.
The men are generally erect and of good figure, with good chests and
rather heavy shoulders, the legs often a little bowed. Strange to say I
never saw one who walked “pigeon-toed.” All turned the toes
out like white men. The hands are often small and almost always
well-shaped; and the feet of good shape, too, not over large, with a
Emory and his comrades found the Pimas wearing a kind of
breech-cloth and a cotton serape only for garments; the
women wearing only a serape tied around the waist and falling to the
knee, being otherwise nude. Today the average male Pima dresses like a
white workman, in hat, shirt, trousers and perhaps shoes, and his wife
or daughter wears a single print gown, rather loose at the waist and
ruffled at the bottom, which reaches only to the ankles. Both sexes are
commonly barefooted, but the old sandals, once universal, are still
often seen. These gah-kai-gey-aht-kum-soosk, or string-shoes, as
the word means, were made in several different ways, and often
projected somewhat around the foot as a protection against the frequent
and formidable thorns of the country.
Sometimes a wilder or older Indian will be seen, even now, with only
a breech-cloth on, and some apology for a garment on his shoulders.
The skin is often of a very beautiful rich red-bronze tint, or
perhaps more like old mahogany.
Except the tattooing both sexes are remarkable for their almost
entire absense of any marked adornment or ornament of person. Even a
finger-ring, or a ribbon on the hair, is not common, and the profuse
bead-work and embroidery of the other tribes is never seen.
The exceedingly thick and intensely black hair was formerly worn
very long, even to the waist, being banged off just over the eyes of
the women and over the eyes and ears of the men and allowed to hang
perfectly loose. But the women seldom wore as long hair as the men.
This long hair is still sometimes seen and is exceedingly picturesque,
especially on horseback, and it is a great pity so sightly a fashion
should ever die out. I have seen Maricopas roll theirs in ringlets.
Sometimes the men braided the hair into a cue, or looped up the ends
with a fillet. But the Government discourages long and loose hair, and
now most men cut it short, and women part theirs and braid it. Like all
Indians, the men have scant beards, and the few whiskers that grow are
shaved clean or resolutely pinched off with an old knife or pulled out
by tweezers. 
Their hair appears to turn gray as early as ours, tho I saw no
baldness except on one individual. In old times (and even now to some
extent) the hair was dressed with a mixture of mud and mezquite gum, at
times, which was left on long enough for the desired effect and then
thoroly washed off. This cleansed it and made it glossy and the gum
dyed the gray hair quite a lasting, jet black, tho several applications
might be needed.
Women still carry their ollas and other burdens on their heads and
are exceedingly strong and expert in the art, balancing great and
awkward weights with admirable dexterity.
The convenient and even beautiful gyih-haw (a word very
difficult to pronounce correctly), or burden basket, of the old time
Pima woman, seems to have entirely disappeared. It was not only
picturesque, but an exceedingly useful utensil.
The wawl-kote, or carrying-cradle for the baby, is obsolete,
too, now. Strange to say, tho in shape like most pappoose-cradles, it
was carried poised on the head, instead of slung on the back in the
The Pimas are fond of conversation and often come together in the
evening and have long talks. Their voices are low, rapid, soft and very
pleasant and they laugh, smile and joke a great deal. They are
remarkable for calmness and evenness of temper and the expression of
the face is nearly always intelligent, frank, and good-natured.
They are noticeably devoid of hurry, worry, irritability or
Unlike most Indians these have not been removed from the soil of
their fathers and, indeed, such an act would have been cruelly unjust,
for, true to their name, the Pimas have maintained an unbroken peace
with the whites.
Lieutenant Colonel W. H. Emory, of “The Army of the
West,” who visited them in 1846, was perhaps the first American
to observe and describe these people. He says: “Both nations
(Pimas and Maricopas) cherished an aversion to war and a profound
attachment to all the peaceful pursuits of life. This
predilection arose from no incapacity for war, for they were at all
times able and willing to keep the Apaches, whose hands are raised
against all other people, at a respectful distance, and prevent
depredations by those mountain robbers who held Chihuahua, Sonora and a
part of Durango in a condition approaching almost to tributary
As observed by Emory and the other officers of the “Army of
the West” they were an agricultural people raising at that time
“cotton, wheat, maize, beans, pumpkins and water melons.” I
found them raising all these in 1903, except cotton, and I think he
might have added to his list, peppers, gourds, tobacco and the pea
Emory says: “We were at once impressed with the beauty, order,
and disposition of the arrangements made for irrigating the land ...
the fields are subdivided by ridges of earth into rectangles of about
200×100 feet, for the convenience of irrigating. The fences are
of sticks, matted with willow and mezquite.” I found this still
comparatively correct. The fields are still irrigated by
acequias or ditches from the Gila, and still fenced by forks of
trees set closely in the ground and reinforced with branches of thorn
or barbed wire. Some of these fences with their antler-like effect of
tops are very picturesque.
From the description given by Emory, and Captain A. R. Johnson of
the same army, of their kees or winter lodges, they were
essentially the same as I found some of them still inhabiting. There is
the following entry in my journal: “I have been examining the old
kee next door, since the old couple left it. It is quite neatly and
systematically made. Four large forks are set in the ground, and these
support a square of large poles, covered with other poles, arrow-weeds,
chaff and earth, for the roof. The walls are a neat arrangement of
small saplings, about 10 inches apart curving up from the ground on a
bending slant to the roof, so that the whole structure comes to
resemble a turtle-shell or rather an inverted bowl.
These side sticks are connected by three lines of smaller sticks tied
across them with withes, all the way around the kee. Against these
arrow-weeds are stood, closely and neatly, tops down (perhaps thatched
on) and kept in place by three more lines of small sticks, bound on and
corresponding to those within. Then the whole structure is plastered
over with adobe mud till rain-proof. No window, and only one small
door, about 2½ feet square, closed by a slat-work.”
This kee of the Pima was not to his credit. The most friendly must
admit it dirty, uncomfortable and unpicturesque. It was too low to
stand erect in, the little fire was made in the center, the smoke
escaping at last from the low doorway after trying everywhere else and
festooning the ceiling with soot.
The establishment of the Pima was most simple. He sat, ate and slept
on the earth, consequently a few mats and blankets, baskets, bowls and
pots included his furniture. A large earthen olla, called by the Pimas
hah-ah, stood in a triple fork under the shade of the vachtoe
and being porous enough to permit a slight evaporation kept the
drinking water cool.
The arbor-shed or vachtoe pertains to almost every Piman home and
consists of a flat roof of poles and arrow-weeds supported by stout
forks. Sometimes earth is added to the roof to keep off rain. Sometimes
the sides are enclosed with a rude wattle work of weeds and bushes,
making a grateful shade, admitting air freely; screening those within
from view, while permitting vision from within outward in any
direction. Sometimes this screen of weeds and bushes, in a circular
form, was made without any roof and was then called an o-num.
Sometimes after the vachtoe had been inclosed with wattle work the
whole structure was plastered over with adobe mud and then became a
caws-seen, or storehouse. All these structures were used at
times as habitations, but now the Pima is coming more and more to the
white man’s adobe cottage as a house and home. But the vachtoe,
attached or detached, is still a feature of almost
Under the vachtoe usually stood the metate, or mill (called by
the Pimas mah-choot) which was a large flat or concave stone,
below, across which was rubbed an oblong, narrow stone
(vee-it-kote), above, to grind the corn or wheat. Other
important utensils were a vatchee-ho, or wooden trough, for
mixing, and a chee-o-pah, or mortar, of wood or stone, for crushing
things with a pestle. The nah-dah-kote, or fire-place, was an
affair of stones and adobe mud to support the earthern pots for cooking
or to support the earthern plates on which the thin cakes of corn or
wheat meal were baked. These were what the Mexicans call tortillas.
Perhaps the staple food of the Pima even more than corn (hohn)
or wheat (payl-koon) is frijole beans—these of two kinds,
the white (bah-fih), the brown (mohn). A sort of meal made
of parched corn or wheat; ground on the mahchoot and eaten, or perhaps
one might say drank, with water and brown sugar (pano-che) was
the famous pinole, the food carried on war trips when nutrition,
lightness of weight and smallness of bulk were all desired. It has a
remarkable power to cool and quench thirst. Taw-mahls, or
corn-cakes of ground green corn, wrapped in husks and roasted in the
ashes, or boiled, were also favorites. Peppers (kaw-aw-kull)
were a good deal used for seasoning and relishes.
Today the country of the Pima is very destitute of large game but he
adds to the above bill of fare all the small game, especially rabbits,
quail and doves, that he can kill. In the old days when the Gila always
had water it held fine fish and the Indians caught them with their
hands or swept them up on the banks by long chains of willow hurdles or
faggots, carried around the fish by waders. I could not learn that they
ever had any true fish-nets or fish-hooks; nor any rafts, canoes or
other boats. But owing to the frequent necessity of crossing the
treacherous Gila the men, and many of the women, were good swimmers.
The Toe-hawn-awh Aw-aw-tam, or Papagoes, whose reservation is in
Pima County, near Tucson (and called St. Xavier) are counted
“blood brothers” of the Pimas, speak essentially the same
language, are on the most cordial terms with them, and are under the
The Maricopas are a refugee tribe, related to the Yumas, who once
threatened them with extermination because of an inter-tribal feud.
They were adopted by the Pimas and protected by them, and have ever
since lived with them as one people, having however a different
language, identical with that of the Yumas.
The Quojatas are a small tribe, of the Piman stock, living south of
the Casa Grande.
The total number of Pimas, Papagoes and Maricopas in the U. S. is
now estimated at about 8000, the Pimas alone as 4000.
I am not a linguist, or a philologist, and my time was short with
these people, and I did not go to any extent into their language, or
study its grammar. Their voices were soft and pleasant, and I was
continually surprised at the low tones in which they generally
conversed and the quickness with which they heard. But their words were
most awkward to my tongue. There were German sounds, and French sounds,
too, I would say, in their language, and there were letters that seemed
to disappear as they uttered them, or never to come really forth, and
syllables that were swallowed like spoonfuls of hot soup.
But I trust that I am substantially correct in the words that I have
retained in the stories and that I have written them so that the
English reader can pronounce them in a way to be understood.
The accent is generally on the first syllable. 
The Story of Ah-ahn-he-eat-toe-pahk
And there was
an orphan named Ah-ahn-he-eat-toe-pahk Mahkai (which means
Braided-Feather Doctor) who lived at a place called Two Reservoirs
(Go-awk-Vahp-itchee-kee) north of Cheoff-Skaw-mack, or Tall Gray
And his only relative was an old grandmother. And she used to go and
get water in earthern vessels, a number of them in her carrying basket.
And when she neared home she would call to her grandson, saying:
“Come, help me wrestle with it!” meaning to help her down
with her load. And he would jump and run, and wrestle so roughly he
would break all the vessels in her basket.
And thus was he mean and mischievous, a bad boy in many ways. And
one day his grandmother sent him to get some of the vegetable called
“owl’s-feathers,” which the Awawtam cook by making it
into a sort of tortilla, baked on the hot ground where a fire has just
been. And he went and found an owl and pulled its feathers out &
brought them to the old woman, and she said: “This is not what I
want! It is a vegetable that I mean!”
And so he went off again and got the vegetable owl’s-feathers
for her. 
After that she sent him for the vegetables named
“blackbird’s-eyes,” saying to him that they were very
good cooked together. And the mischievous orphan went & got the
feet of some real crows and the eyes of real blackbirds and brought
them to her. And she said: “This is not what I mean! I want the
vegetables named after these things!”
And the boy, who was then about twelve years old, went and got what
she wanted and she cooked them.
And this orphan boy had a dream which he liked and wished to have
come true, and went to a dance that was being danced in the
neighborhood, a ceremonial dance such as is celebrated when a young
girl arrives at womanhood, and he went to see it, hoping it would in
some way be like his dream, but when he saw it he was disgusted.
And he went to hear the song of a singing doctor, a mahkai or
medicine-man, but when he heard his singing he was disgusted with that
And he left his home and on his way found a little house, or kee,
made of rough bushes. And the one who lived therein invited him to stay
awhile and see all the different people who would arrive there.
And he did so, and in the early evening they came—all the
fiercest animals, cougars, bears, eagles, and they were bewitching each
other, but nobody bewitched him, and in the morning he went on.
And he went along until he came to another kee, and the owner
invited him to stay over night and see all the people who came there.
And he did so, and in the early evening came the same creatures and did
the same as before, but he was not bewitched.
And he went on again till he came to a desert place, utterly barren,
without trees or bushes and there a wind came to meet him, a whirlwind,
Seev-a-lick, and it caught him up and carried him to the East
& then back again; and to the North and back again; and to the West
& back again; and then South & back again. And so it got
possession of his soul and carried it off to its own place.
And Seevalick, the whirlwind, said to him: “You shall be like
And there his dream came true and he said: “This is what I was
looking for; this it is for which I was travelling.”
And he wished to go back, and the wind took his soul back again into
his body, and so he returned to his home.
And after his return he was the best young man in the country, kind
to everybody, and everybody liked him. But he did not care to be with
boys of his own age, but liked better to be with the wise old men, and
went where they came together at nights. And he would sit and listen to
them, but did not attempt to make any speeches himself. His reasons
were that the young were often vicious, thieves, beggars, murderers,
and he would rather be with the old who followed what was
And in the evening he would often hear the old people say:
“We will go rabbit-hunting in such a place,” but he stayed
at home and did not go with them.
But one night, after a while, when they said: “Tomorrow we
will go jack-rabbit hunting,” he went home as they did, but the
next morning, when they went hunting, he went and made himself a bow
& arrows, as Seevalick had told him and placed them where he could
And the next evening they were talking again of hunting, and
appointed a place to meet, and the following morning, when they were
getting ready, he got his bows & arrows, but he did not come quite
up to the meeting place, but sat a little way off.
And as he sat there the people came up to him and made fun of him
and asked him if he expected to kill anything with his weapons, for he
had made a big bow & arrows as the Whirlwind had done. And the
people handed these about among themselves, laughing, and when they
were thru ridiculing them they brought back the bow and arrows and laid
them down before him. But he said nothing, and when the people were
thru he left the bow & arrows there, and went home and went again
to look for a suitable stick to make a bow from.
And he made a new bow & arrows and left them where he could find
them, and went home. 
And again he went in the evening to the old people’s gathering
and heard them appoint a place for the hunting, and went home when they
did. And in the morning, when he heard the signal cry for hunting, he
went and got his bow & arrows and followed after them again, but
again stayed some distance off. And again the people came about him and
handled his bow & arrows and laughed at them. And again he left
them lying there on the ground and went home to make a new bow &
And the fourth time this happened he was late at the place of
meeting, and before he came the one at whose house the meeting was said
to the others: “There is a young man who has been several times
with us to the place where we come together for the hunting, and I
suppose he has made a new bow & arrows today, for he has to do that
whenever you handle his weapons. Now I want you not to handle his
weapons any more, but to let him be till we see what he will do, for it
appears to me that he is some kind of a powerful personage
And Toehahvs, who was listening, said: “You yourself, were the
very first to handle his weapons.”
And the next morning when Ahahnheeattoepahk Mahkai heard the signal
yells for the hunting, he went to the meeting place, with his bow and
arrows, and sat away off, as before, but this time nobody came to him.
And then the hunting began, and in it some one called to him:
“There is a jack-rabbit (choo-uff) coming your way!”
and he shot the rabbit with his arrow; but when he came to it he did
not pick it up, but grasped the arrow and with a swinging motion threw
the rabbit from it to the man nearest him.
And thus he went on all day, killing rabbits and giving them to
others, keeping none for himself.
And again he was late at the place of meeting, and the man who had
spoken the night before said: “Now you see what he has done! This
is the fourth bow that he has made. If you people had left him alone
before, he would, before this, have been killing game for you. And now
if you do not disturb him I am sure he will go on, and you will have
jack-rabbits to eat all the time.”
And so he killed rabbits at every hunt, and gave them away,
especially to the old. Whenever he killed one he would pick it up and
give it to an old man, and keep on that way.
And one night at the place of meeting the spokesman said:
“Tomorrow we will surround the mountain and hunt deer, and we
will put him at the place where the deer will run, and we will see how
many he will kill!”
And in the morning, at the mountain, they placed him at the
deer-run, and told him to “shut the valley,” meaning for
him to head-off and kill any deer which might run toward him. But the
young man began to get big rocks and try to make a wall
to close the valley up, and paid no attention to the deer running past
him, and when the people came and asked him about his shooting he said:
“You did not tell me to kill the deer, you told me to ‘shut
(Not but what he understood them, but he was acting again as he had
once done with his grandmother.)
And the next day they tried another mountain and said: “We
will see if the young man will kill us any deer there.” So when
they came to this mountain they told him to go to a certain valley, on
the other side, and hang himself there. This is a form of speech which
means to hang around or remain at a place; but the young hunter went
there and left his bow & arrows on the ground, and hung himself up
by his two hands clasped around the limb of a tree.
And after they had chased many deer in his direction they said:
“Let us go now & butcher-up the deer the young man has
killed, for he must have killed a good many by this time.”
But when they came to where the young man was, there he hung by his
hands, and when they asked him how many he had killed, he said:
“I have not killed any. You did not tell me to kill any, only to
hang myself here, which I did, and I have hung here and watched the
deer running past.”
And they tried him again, on another morning, at another valley, and
this time they told him if he saw a doe big with fawn,
“snon-ham,” which is also the word used for a woman
soon to become a mother, he should kill her. And he went to his place,
and there came by such a woman and he shot her down and killed her.
And the next day they took him to another mountain and told him to
kill the “kurly,” which means the old, but they
meant him to understand old deer. And when they came to him later to
butcher-up the deer he had killed, and asked him where they were, he
replied: “I have not killed any deer, you did not tell me to kill
deer, but to kill the kurly, and there is the kurly I have
And it was the old man who goes ahead whom he had shot with his
And after they had buried the old man they returned to the village,
and that night the man who owned the meeting place said:
“Tomorrow we must give him another trial, and this time I want
you to tell him straight just what you want. Tell him to kill the deer,
either young or old, and he will do it. If you had done this before he
would have killed us many deer. You should have understood him better
by this time, but you did not tell him straight, and now he has killed
two of us.”
And the next morning they took him to another mountain, and placed
him in a low place, and told him to kill all the deer which came his
way. And when they went after a while, after chasing many deer toward
him, they asked him where the deer were which he had killed, and he
replied: “Down in the low place you will find plenty deer.”
And they went there and found many dead deer of all kinds, and
butchered them up. 
Notes on the Story of
In the story of Ah-ahn-he-eat-toe-pahk Mahkai we are
introduced to the Indian faith in dreams and to more witchcraft. We
come, too, to the national sport of rabbit-hunting, with its
picturesqueness and excitement.
In the transaction between Seevalick and the boy we have a
reappearance of the world-wide belief that there is a connection
between the wind and the human soul.
The strange quality of savage humor, labored, sometimes gruesome,
and often tragic, appears in the latter part of the tale.
It is noticeable that they buried the old man, but no mention is
made of burying the woman who was shot. The Pimas of old time buried
their dead in a sitting posture, neck and knees tied together with
ropes, four to six feet under ground, and covered the grave with logs
and thorn-brush to keep away wolves. The interment was usually at
night, with chants, but without other ceremony. Then, immediately
after, the house of the deceased was burned, and all personal effects
destroyed, even food; the horses and cattle being killed and eaten by
the mourners, excepting such as the deceased might have given to his
heirs. After the prescribed time of mourning (one month for a child or
distant relative, six months or a year for husband or wife) the name of
the dead was never more mentioned and everything about him treated as
The Maricopas burn their dead.
It is noticeable, too, that no one appears to have punished the
slayer for his murderous practical jokes. Indeed, while the Awawtam
appear to have been people of exceptionally good character, it also
appears that they seldom punished any crimes except by a sort of
boycott or pressure of public disapproval. 
The Story of Vandaih, The
And thus Ahahnheeattoepahk Mahkai became
famous for the killing of game; and there was another young man, named
Van-daih, who wanted to be his friend. So one day Vandaih made him four
tube-pipes of cane, such as the Indians use for ceremonious smoking,
and went to see the young hunter. But when he entered the young man was
lying down, and he just looked at Vandaih and then turned his face
away, saying nothing.
And Vandaih sat there and when the young man became tired of lying
one way and turned over he lit up one of his pipes. But the young man
took no notice of him. And this went on all night. Every time there was
a chance Vandaih tried his pipe, but Ahahnheeattoepahk Mahkai never
spoke, and in the morning Vandaih went away without the friend he
desired having responded to him.
The next evening Vandaih came again and sat there all night, but the
friend he courted never said a word, and in the morning he went away
And he slept in the daytime, and when evening came he went again,
and sat all night long, but the young man spoke to him not at all.
And the third morning that this happened the wife of
Ahahnheeattoepahk Mahkai said to him: “Why are you so
mean to Vandaih as never to speak to him? Perhaps he has something
important to say. He comes here every night, and sits the whole night
thru before you, and you do not speak to him. And maybe he will come
tonight again, and I feel very sorry for him that you never say a word
to him when he comes.”
And the young man said: “I know it is true, what you have
said, but I know, too, very well, that Vandaih is not a good man. He
gambles with the gains-skoot, he is a liar, a thief, licentious,
and is everything that is bad. I wish some other boys would come to see
me instead of him, and better than he, for I know very well that he
will repeat things that I say in a way that I did not mean and raise a
scandal about it.”
And the next night Vandaih came again and sat in the same place; and
when Ahahnheeattoepahk Mahkai saw him he just looked at him and then
turned over and went to sleep. But along in the night he awoke, and
when Vandaih saw he was awake he lit one of his pipes. Then
Ahahnheeattoepahk Mahkai got up. And when he got up Vandaih buried his
pipe, but the other said: “What do you bury your pipe for? I want
Vandaih said: “I have another pipe,” and he lit one and
gave it to Ahahnheeattoepahk Mahkai, and then he dug up his own pipe, and
relighted it, and they both began to smoke.
And Ahahnheeattoepahk Mahkai said: “When did you
come?” And Vandaih replied: “O just a little while
And Ahahnheeattoepahk Mahkai said: “I have seen you here for
four nights, now, but I know you too well not to know you have a way to
follow,” [“a way to follow” means to have some
purpose behind] “but if you will quit all the bad habits you have
I will be glad to have you come; but there are many others, better than
you, whom I would rather have come to see me.
And now I am going to tell you something, but I am afraid that when
you go away from here you will tell what I have said and make more of
it, and then people will talk, and I shall be sorry.
I will tell you the habits you have—you are a liar, a gambler
with the dice-game and the wah-pah-tee, a beggar, you follow
after women and are a thief.
Now I want you to stop these bad habits. You may not know all that
the people say about you: They say that when any hunter brings in game
you are always the first to be there, and you will be very apt to
swallow charcoal1 if you are so greedy.
Wherever you go, when the people see you coming, they say:
‘There comes a man who is a thief,’ and they hide their
precious things. When you arrive they are kind to you, of course, but
they do not care much about you. 
I don’t know whether you know that people talk thus about you,
but it is a great shame to me to know, when I have done some bad thing,
that people talk about it.
Now if you quit these things you will be happy, and I want you to
stop them. I am not angry with you, but I want you to know how the
people are talking about you.
Now I want you to go home, but not say anything about what I have
told you. Just take a rest, and tomorrow night come again.”
And the next night Vandaih came again, and Ahahnheeattoepahk Mahkai
was in bed when he came, but he got right up and received him, and
said: “Now after this I mean to tell you what is for your good,
but I want you to keep quiet about it. There are many people that
gamble with you. If they ask you again to gamble with them, do not do
it. Tell them you do not gamble any more. And if they do not stop when
you tell them this, but keep on asking you, come to me, and tell me,
first, that you are going to play. And if I tell you, then, that I do
not want you to gamble, I want you not to do it, but if I tell you you
may gamble & you win once, then you may bet again, but I do not
want you to keep on after winning twice. Twice is enough. But if the
other man beats you at first, then I do not want you to play any more,
but to quit gambling forever.”
And after this a man did want to gamble with Vandaih,
but Vandaih said: “I have nothing to wager, and so cannot play
And still another man wanted to gamble with him, and he made him the
same answer, but this man kept on asking, and at last Vandaih said:
“Perhaps I will play with you, I will see about it. But I must
have a little time first.” And he came to Ahahnheeattoepahk
Mahkai and said: “There is a man who keeps on asking me to
with him, and I have come to tell you about it as you told me to
And Ahahnheeattoepahk Mahkai told him to
gamble, and gave him things to wager on the game, but said: “If
he beats you I do not want you to gamble any more.”
And Vandaih took the things which had been given him, and went &
played a game with this man who was so persistent, and won a game. And
he played another game and won that, and then he said, “That is
enough, I do not want to play any more;” but the other man kept
on asking him to play.
But Vandaih refused & took the things which he had won to
Ahahnheeattoepahk Mahkai and gave them all to him.
And the next morning he gambled again, and won twice, and he stopped
after the second winning, as before.
And thus the young man kept on winning and Ahahnheeattoepahk Mahkai
made gainskoot (dice-sticks) for him, and this was one reason why he
won, for Ahahnheeattoepahk Mahkai was a powerful
doctor & the dice were charmed.
And he beat every one who played against him till he had beat all
the gamblers of his neighborhood, and then distant gamblers came &
he beat them also. And so he won all the precious things that were in
the country and gave all to Ahahnheeattoepahk Mahkai & kept nothing
back. But one man went to Ee-ee-toy, who was living at the Salt River
Mountain (Mo-hah-dheck) and asked him to let him have some
things to wager against Vandaih. And Ee-ee-toy said: “You can
have whatever you want, and I will go along to see the game.”
But when Ee-ee-toy got there he found the dice were not like common
dice, and it would be difficult for any one to win against them, they
were made by so powerful a man.
And Ee-eetoy went westward and found a powerful doctor who had a
daughter, and said to the father: “I want your daughter to go
around to all the big trees and find me all the feathers she can of
large birds, not of small birds, and bring them here. And I will come
again & see what she may have found.”
And her father told her, and the very next morning she began to hunt
the feathers, and when Ee-eetoy came again she had a bundle, and
Ee-eetoy took them and took the pith out of their shafts and cleansed
every feather which she had brought him. 
And Ee-ee-toy threw away the pith and cut the shafts into small
pieces and told the girl to roast them in a broken pot over a fire; and
she got the broken pot & roasted them, and they curled up as they
roasted till they looked like grains of corn. And then he told her to
roast some real corn & mix both together and grind them all up very
Ee-ee-toy told her to take some ollas of this pinole in her
syih-haw to the reservoirs.
And she did so, and passed by where Vandaih was going to play, and
Vandaih said: “Before I can play I must drink.” But the man
who was playing with him said: “Get some water of some one
near,” but Vandaih said, “I would rather go to the
And Ee-ee-toy had prepared the girl before this, telling her that
when she passed the players Vandaih would follow her to the reservoir
and want to marry her. “Be polite to him,” he said
“and ask him to drink some of the pinole, and to see your parents
And the man who was going to gamble with Vandaih asked him not to go
so far, for he wanted to gamble right away, but Vandaih replied:
“I would rather go there. I will come right back. You be making
holes till I get back.”
So the girl went to the reservoir, and Vandaih followed her and
asked her to be his wife, and she said: “I want you to drink some
of this pinole, and in the evening you may go and see my folks and
ask them about it.”
So Vandaih mixed some pinole and drank it, and it made him feel
feverish, like one with a cold; and the second time he drank the
goose-flesh came out on his skin; and the third time he drank feathers
came out all over him; and the fourth time long feathers grew out on
his arms; and the fifth time he became an eagle and went and perched on
the high place, or bank of the reservoir.
Then the girl went to the place where the other man was waiting to
play the game and told all the people to come and see the terrible
thing which had happened to Vandaih.
And the people, when they saw him, got their bows and arrows and
surrounded him and were going to shoot him.
And they fired arrows at him, and some of them struck him, but could
not pierce him, and then all were afraid of him. And first he began to
hop around, and then to fly a little higher, until he perched on a
tree, but he broke the tree down; and he tried another tree and broke
that down; and then he flew to a mountain and tumbled its rocks down
its side, and finally he settled on a strong cliff. And even the cliff
swayed at first as if it would fall,—but finally it settled and
And this was foretold when the earth was being made, that one of the
race of men should be turned into an eagle. Vandaih was a handsome
man, but he had a bad character, and ever since the beginning parents
had warned their children to practice virtue lest they be turned into
eagles; because it had been foretold that some good-looking bad person
should be thus transformed, and it was to be seen that good-looking
people were often bad and homely ones good characters.
And Vandaih took that cliff for his residence and hunted over all
the country round about, killing jack-rabbits, deer and all kinds of
game for his food. And when the game became scarce he turned to men and
one day he killed a man and took the body to his cliff to eat. And
after this manner he went on. Early in the morning he would bring home
a human being, and sometimes he would bring home two.
Then the people sent a messenger to Ee-eetoy, to his home on
Mohahdheck, asking him to kill for them this man-eagle. And Ee-ee-toy
said to the man: “You can go back, and in about four days I will
be there.” But when the fourth day came Ee-eetoy had not arrived,
as he had promised, but Vandaih was among the people, killing them,
carrying them away to the cliff.
And the people again sent the messenger, saying to him: “You
must tell Ee-ee-toy he must come and help his people or we shall
all be lost.”
And the man delivered his message and Ee-ee-toy said, as before,
that he would be there in four days. 
And this went on, the people sending to Ee-ee-toy, and Ee-ee-toy
promising to come in four days, until a whole year had passed. And not
only for one year, but for four years, for the people had misunderstood
him, and when he said four days he meant four years, and so for four
years it went on as we have said.
(Now Ee-ee-toy and Vandaih were relatives, and that was one reason
why Ee-ee-toy kept the people waiting so long for his help and worked
to gain time. He did not want to hurt Vandaih.)
But when the fourth year came Ee-ee-toy did go, and told the people
to get him the “seed-roaster.”
And the people ran around, guessing what he meant, and they brought
him the charcoal, but Ee-ee-toy said: “I did not mean this, I
meant the ‘seed-roaster’!”
So they ran around again, and they brought him the long open earthen
vessel with handles at each end, used for roasting, and with it they
brought the charcoal which is made from ironwood. But he said: “I
did not mean these. I mean the ‘seed-roaster.’”
And they kept on guessing, and nobody could guess it right. They
brought him the black stones of the nahdahcote, or fire place, and he
said: “I do not want these. I want the
And the people kept on guessing, and could not guess it right, and
so, at last, he told them that what he wanted was obsidian, that black
volcanic stone, like glass, from which arrow heads are
made. And this was what he called the “seed-roaster.”
So the people got it for him.
Then he told them to bring him four springy sticks. And they ran and
brought all the kinds of springy sticks they could find, but he told
them he did not mean any of these.
And for many days they kept on trying to get him the sticks which he
wanted. And after they had completely failed Ee-ee-toy told them what
he wanted. It was a kind of stick called vahs-iff, which did not
grow there, therefore they had not been able to find it. And beside
vahsiff sticks were not springy sticks at all, but the strongest kind
of sticks, very stiff.
So they sent a person to get these, who brought them, and Ee-ee-toy
whittled them so that they had sharp points. And there were four of
And Ee-ee-toy said: “Now I am going, and I want you to watch
the top of the highest mountain, and if you see a big cloud over it,
you will know I have done something wonderful. But if there is a fog
over the world for four days you will know I am killed.”
When he started he allowed one of the dust storms of the desert to
arise, and went in that, so that the man-eagle should not see him.
For many days he journeyed toward the cliff, and when sunset of the
last day came he was still a good way off; but he went on and arrived
at the foot of the cliff after it was dark, and hid
himself there under a rock.
About daybreak the man-eagle got up and flew around the cliff four
times and then flew off. And after he was gone Ee-ee-toy took one of
his sticks and stuck it into a crack in the cliff, and climbed on it,
and stuck another above it and so he went on to the top, pulling out
the sticks behind him and putting them in above.
And when he got to the home of the man-eagle, Vandaih, on the top of
the cliff, he found a woman there. And she was the same woman who had
given Vandaih the pinole with eagles’ feathers in it. He had
found her, and carried her up there, and made her his wife.
When Ee-ee-toy came to the woman he found she had a little boy, and
he asked her if the child could speak yet, and she replied that he was
just beginning to talk; and he enquired further when the man-eagle
would return, and she said that formerly when game was plenty he had
not stayed away long, but now that game was scarce it usually took him
about half a day, so he likely would not be there till noon.
And Ee-ee-toy enquired: “What does he do when he comes back?
Does he sleep or not? Does he lie right down, or does he go looking
And the wife said: “He looks all around first, everywhere. And
even the little flies he will kill, he is so afraid that some one will
come to kill him. And after he has looked around, and finished
eating, he comes to lay his head in my lap and have me look for the
lice in his head. And it is then that he goes to sleep.”
So Ee-ee-toy turned into a big fly and hid in a crack in the rock,
and asked the woman if she could see him, and she said:
“Yes, I can see you very plainly.”
And he hid himself three times, and each time she could see him, but
the fourth time he got into one of the dead bodies, into its lungs, and
had her pile the other dead bodies over him, and then when he asked her
she said: “No, I cannot see you now.”
And Ee-ee-toy told her: “As soon as he goes to sleep, whistle,
so that I may know that he is surely asleep.”
At noon Ee-ee-toy heard the man-eagle coming. He was bringing two
bodies, still living & moaning, and dropped them over the place
where Ee-ee-toy lay. And the first thing the man-eagle did was to look
all around, and he said to his wife: “What smell is this that I
smell?” And she said: “What kind of a smell?” And he
replied: “Why, it smells like an uncooked person!”
“These you have just brought in are uncooked persons, perhaps it
is these you smell.”
Then Vandaih went to the pile of dead bodies and turned them over
& over, but the oldest body at the bottom he did not examine, for
he did not think there could be anyone there. 
So his wife cooked his dinner, and he ate it and then asked her to
look for the lice in his head. And as he lay down he saw a fly pass
before his face, and he jumped up to catch it, but the fly got into a
crack in the rock where he could not get it.
And when he lay down again the child said: “Father!
come!” And Vandaih said: “Why does he say that? He never
said that before. He must be trying to tell me that some one is coming
to injure me!” But the wife said: “You know he is only
learning to talk, and what he means is that he is glad that his father
has come. That is very plain.” But Vandaih said: “No, I
think he is trying to tell me some one has come.”
But at last Vandaih lay down and the woman searched his head and
sang to put him to sleep. And when he seemed sound asleep she whistled.
And her whistle waked him up and he said: “Why did you whistle!
you never did that before?” And she said: “I whistled
because I am so glad about the game you have brought. I used to feel
bad about the people you killed, but now I know I must be contented
& rejoice when you have a good hunt. And after this I will whistle
every time when you bring game home.”
And she sang him to sleep again, and whistled when he slept; and
waked him up again, and said the same thing again in reply to his
And the third time, while she was singing, she turned
Vandaih’s head from side to side. And when he
seemed fast asleep she whistled. And after she had whistled she turned
the head again, but Vandaih did not get up, and so she knew that this
time he was fast asleep.
So Ee-ee-toy came out of the dead body he had hidden in, and came to
where Vandaih was, and the woman laid his head down & left him. And
Ee-ee-toy took the knife which he had made from the volcanic glass,
obsidian, and cut Vandaih’s throat, and beheaded him, and threw
his head eastward & his body westward. And he beheaded the child,
too, and threw its head westward and its body eastward.
And because of the killing of so powerful a personage the cliff
swayed as if it would fall down, but Ee-ee-toy took one of his
sharpened stakes and drove it into the cliff and told the woman to hold
onto that; and he took another and drove that in and took hold of that
And after the cliff had steadied enuf, Ee-ee-toy told the woman to
heat some water, and when she had done so he sprinkled the dead
The first ones he sprinkled came to life and he asked them where
home was & when they told him he sent them there by his power.
And he had more water heated and sprinkled more bodies, and when he
learned where their home was he sent them home, also, by his power.
And this was done a third time, with a third set of bodies.
And the fourth time the hot water was sprinkled
on the oldest bodies of all, the mere skeletons,
and it took them a long time to come to life, and when they were
revived they could not remember where their homes were or where they
had come from. So Ee-ee-toy cut off eagles’ feathers
slanting-wise (pens) and gave them, and gave them dried blood mixed
with water (ink) and told them their home should be in the East, and by
the sign of the slanting-cut feather they should know each other. And
they are the white people of this day. And he sent them eastward by his
And in the evening he & the woman went down the cliff by the aid
of the sharpened stakes, even as he had come up, and when they reached
the foot of the mountain they stayed there over night. They took some
of the long eagle feathers and made a kee from them, & some of the
soft eagle feathers and made a bed with them. And they stayed there
four nights, at the foot of the cliff.
And after a day’s journey they made another kee of shorter
eagle feathers, and a bed of tail feathers. And they staid at this
second camp four nights.
And then they journeyed on again another day and build another kee,
like the first one, & stayed there also four nights.
And they journeyed on yet another day and built again a kee, like
the second one, and stayed there four nights.
And on the morning of each fourth day Ee-ee-toy took the bath of
purification, as the Pimas have since done when they have slain
Apaches, and when he arrived home he did not go right among the people
but stayed out in the bushes for a while.
And the people knew he had killed Vandaih, the man-eagle, for they
had watched and had seen the cloud over the high mountain.
And after the killing of Vandaih, for a long time, the people had
nothing to be afraid of, and they were all happy. 
Notes on the Story of Vandaih
In the story of Vandaih we are given a curious glimpse
into Indian friendship. The reference to smoking, too, is interesting.
The Pimas had no true pipes. They used only cigarettes of tobacco and
corn-husk, or else short tubes of cane stuffed with tobacco. These I
have called tube-pipes. They smoked on all ceremonial occasions, but
appear to have had no distinctive pipe of peace. The ceremonial pipes
of cane had bunches of little birds’ feathers tied to them, and
in my photo of the old seeneeyawkum he holds such a ceremonial pipe in
“He gambles with the gain-skoot:” The gain-skoot were
the Pima dice—two sticks so marked and painted as to represent
the numerals kee-ick (four) and choat-puh (six), and two called
respectively see-ick-ko, the value of which was fourteen, and gains,
the value of which was fifteen. These were to be held in the hand and
knocked in the air with a flat round stone. At the same time there was
to be on the ground a parallelogram of holes with a sort of
goal, or “home,” at two corners. If the sticks all fell
with face sides up they counted five. If all fell with blank sides up it was ten.
If only one face side turned up it counted its full value, but if two
or three turned up then they counted only as one each. If a gain was
scored the count was kept by placing little sticks or stones
(soy-yee-kuh) in the holes as counters. If the second player overtook
the first in a hole the first man was “killed” and had to
begin over. Among all Indians gambling was a besetting vice, and there
was nothing they would not wager.
Sometimes instead of the gain-skoot they used waw-pah-tee, which was
simply a guessing game. They guessed in which hand a certain painted
stick was held, or in which of four decorated cane-tubes, filled with
sand, a certain little ball was hidden and wagered on their guess.
These tubes were differently marked, and one was named “Old
Man,” one “Old Woman,” one “Black Head,”
and one “Black in the Middle.” Sticks were
given to keep count of winnings.
The moral advice which Ahahnheeattoepahk Mahkai gives Vandaih, is
very quaint, and the shrewd cunning with which he loads the dice,
pockets the proceeds, and yet finally unloads all the blame on poor
Vandaih, is quite of a piece with the confused morals of most folk-lore
in all lands. On these points it is really very hard to understand the
workings of the primitive mind. Here is certain proof that the
conscience has evoluted from something very chaotic.
It will be noticed that Vandaih drinks the pinole, which bewitches
him, five times instead of the usual four. Whether this is a
mistake of the seeneeyawkum, or significant I do not know. Perhaps four
is a lucky and five an unlucky number.
Another variation in the numerical order is in the woman whistling
only three times, in putting Vandaih to sleep.
As I have before pointed out the reference to white men, and pens
and ink, is evidently a modern interpolation, not altogether lacking in
flavor of sarcasm.
There are suggestions in this story of Jack the Giant Killer, of the
Roc of the Arabian Nights, of the harpies, and of the frightful
creatures, part human, part animal, so familiar in all ancient
The latter part of this tale is particularly interesting, as perhaps
throwing light on the origin of that mysterious process of purification
for slaying enemies, so peculiar to the Pimas.
It seems to have been held by the Awawtam that to kill an Apache
rendered the slayer unclean, even tho the act itself was most valiant
and praiseworthy, and must be expiated by an elaborate process of
purification. From old Comalk Hawk Kih I got a careful description of
According to his account, as soon as an Apache had been killed, if
possible, the fact was at once telegraphed to the watchers at home by
the smoke signal from some mountain. This custom is evidently
referred to in Ee-ee-toy’s cloud over a high
mountain as a signal of success. The Indians apparently regarded smoke
and clouds as closely related, if not the same, as is shown in their
faith in the power of tobacco to make rain.
As soon as the Apache has been killed the slayer begins to fast and
to look for a “father.” His “father” is one who
is to perform all his usual duties for him, for he is now unclean and
cannot do these himself. The “father,” too, must know how
to perform all the ceremonial duties necessary to his office, as will
be explained. If a “father” can be found among the
war-party the slayer need only fast two days, but if not he must wait
till he gets home again, even if it takes four or more days. It appears
that this friend, who has charge of the slayer, is humorously called a
“father” because his “child” is usually so
restless under his long fast, and keeps asking him to do things for him
and divert him.
If there is no “father” for him in the war-party, as
soon as possible a messenger is sent on ahead to get some one at home
to take the office for him, and to make the fires in the kee, that
being a man’s special duty. And the wife of the slayer is also
now unclean by his act, and must purify herself as long as he, tho she
must keep apart from him. And she also must have a substitute to do her
usual work. She must keep close at home, and her husband, the slayer,
remain out in the bushes till the purification is accomplished.
For two days the fast is complete, but on the morning of the third
day the slayer is allowed one drink of pinole, very thin, and no more
than he can drink at one breath. The moment he pauses he can have no
more at that time.
When presenting this pinole, the “father” makes this speech:
“Your fame has come, and I was overjoyed, and have run all the
way to the ocean, and back again, bringing you this water.
On my return I strengthened myself four times, and in the dish
in which I carried the water stood See-vick-a Way-hohm, The Red
Thunder Person, the Lightning, and because of his force I fell
And when I got up I smelled the water in the dish, and it smelled as
if something had been burned in it.
And when I got up I strengthened myself four times, and there came
from the sky, and stood in the dish, Tone-dum
Bah-ahk, The Eagle of Light. And he turned the water in
the dish in a circle, and because of his force I fell down, and when I
rose up again and smelled the water in the dish it was stinking.
And when I had started again I strengthened myself four times, and
Vee-sick the Chicken Hawk, came down from the sky and stood in
the dish. And by his force I was thrown down. And when I stood again
and smelled the water in the dish, it smelled like fresh blood.
And I started again, strengthening myself four times, and there came
from the East our gray cousin, Skaw-mack Tee-worm-gall, The
Coyote, who threw me down again, and stood in the dish, and turned the
water around, and left it smelling as the coyote smells.
And when I rose up I started again, and in coming to you I have
rested four times; and now I have brought you the water, and so
powerful beings have done wonderful things to it that I want you to
drink it all at one time.”
After the third day the “father” brings his charge a
little to eat every morning and evening, but a very little.
On the morning of the fourth day, at daybreak the slayer takes a
bath of purification, even if it is winter and he has to break the ice
and dive under to do it. And this is repeated on the morning of each
fourth day, till four baths have been taken in sixteen days.
The slayer finds an owl and without killing him pulls long feathers
out of his wings and takes them home. The slayer had cut a little lock
of hair from the head of the Apache he had killed (for in old times, at
least, the Pimas often took no scalps) and now a little bag of buckskin
is made, and a ball of greasewood gum is stuck
on the end of this lock of hair which is placed in the bag, and on the
bag are tied a feather of the owl and one from a chicken hawk, and some
of the soft feathers of an eagle, and around the neck of the bag a
string of blue beads.
(And during this time the women are carrying wood in their giyh-haws
to the dancing place.)
Now the Apaches are contemptuously called children, and this bag
represents a child, being supposed to contain the ghost of the dead
Apache, and the slayer sits on the ground with it, and takes it in his
hands as if it were a baby, and inhales from it four times as if he
were kissing it. And when it is time for the dance the slayers who are
a good ways off from the dancing place start before sunset, but those
who are close wait till the sun is down. And the “father”
goes with the slayer, through woods and bushes, avoiding roads. And
before this the “father” has dug a hole at the dancing
place about ten inches deep and two feet wide, just big enough for a
man to squat in with legs folded, and behind the hole planted a
mezquite fork, about five feet high, on which are hung the weapons of
the slayer, his shield, club, bow, quiver of arrows, perhaps his gun or
(The shield was made of rawhide, very thick, able to turn an arrow
and was painted jet black by a mixture of mezquite gum and charcoal,
with water, which made it glossy and shiny. The design on it was in
white, or red and white. The handle was of wood, curved, placed in the
centre of the inside, bound down at the ends by rawhide, and the hand
fended from the rough shield by a piece of sheepskin.)
In this hole the slayer sits down and behind him and the fork lies
down his dancer, for the slayer himself does not dance but some
stranger who represents him perhaps a Papago or a Maricopa, drawn from
a distance by the fame of the exploit. Nor do the slayers sing, but old
men who in their day have slain Apaches. These singers are each
allowed to sing two songs of their own choice, the rest of the veterans
joining in. And as soon as the first old man begins to sing, the
dancers get up, take the weapons of the men they represent, and dance
around the fire, which the “fathers” keep burning, keeping
time with the song.
And the women cook all kinds of good things, and set them before the
singers, but the bystanders jump in and snatch them away. But sometimes
the wife of an old singer will get something and save it for him.
And the relatives of the slayers will bring presents for the
dancers, buckskin, baskets, and anything that an Indian values. And as
soon as presented some relative of the dancer runs in and takes the
present and keeps it for him.
And while this big war-dance is going on the rest of the people are
having dances in little separate groups, all around. And as soon as the
dance is over the weapons are returned to the forks they were taken
By this time it is nearly morning, and the slayers get up and take
their bath in the river, and return and dry themselves by the expiring
fire. Then returning to the bushes they remain there again four days,
and that is the last of their purification.
As this dance is on the eve of the sixteenth day, there were twenty
days in all.
Grossman’s account differs
considerably from this, and is worth reading.
During the time of purifying, the slayers wear their hair in a
strange way, like the top-knot of a white woman, somewhat, and in it
stick a stick, called a kuess-kote to scratch themselves with,
as they are not allowed to use the fingers. This is alluded to in the
Story of Paht-ahn-kum’s War. A picture of a Maricopa interpreter,
with his hair thus arranged, is in the report of Col. W. H. Emory,
before alluded to. This picture is interesting, because it shows that
the Maricopas, when with the Pimas, adopted the same custom. When I showed
this picture to the old see-nee-yaw-kum he
was much interested, saying he himself had known this man, who was a
relative of his, there being a dash of Maricopa blood in his family,
and that he had been born in Mexico and had there learned Spanish
enough to be an interpreter. His Mexican name, he said, was Francisco
Lucas, but the Pimas called him How-app-ahl Tone-um-kum, or Thirsty
Hawk, a name which has an amusing significance when we recall what
Emory says about his taste for aguardiente, and that Captain Johnston
says of the same man, “the dog had a liquorish tooth.”
Stories of the Second Night
The Story of the Turquoises and the Red
And at the
vahahkkee which the white men now call the Casa Grande ruins was the
home of Seeollstchewadack Seeven, or the Morning green
And one morning the young women at that place were playing and
having a good time with the game of the knotted rope or balls, which is
And in this game the young girls are placed at each end, near the
goals, and at this time, at the west end, one of the young girls
gradually sank into the earth; and as she sank the earth around her
became very green with grass.
And Seeollstchewadack Seeven told the people not to disturb the
green spot until the next morning; and the next morning the green spot
was a green rock, and he told the people to dig around it, and as they
dug they chipped off small pieces, and the people came and got what
they wanted of these pieces of green stone. And they made ear-rings and
ornaments from these green stones, which were
tchew-dack-na-ha-gay-awh or turquoises.
And after the turquoises were distributed, and the fame of this had
spread, the chief of another people, who lived to the east, whose name
was Dthas Seeven (Sun-Chief) thought he would do something
wonderful, too, being envious, and he opened one of his veins and from
the blood made a large, beautiful bird, colored red.
And Dthas Seeven told his bird to go to the city of
Seeollstchewadack Seeven and hang around there till that chief saw him
and took him in. And when they offered him corn he was not to eat that
nor anything else they gave him, but when he saw his chance he was to
pick up a bit of the green stone and swallow it, for when it should be
seen that he would swallow the green stones then he would be fed on
So the bird was sent, and when it arrived at the city of the
turquoises, the daughter of Seeollstchewadack Seeven, whose name was
Nawitch, saw it and went and told her father. And he asked,
“What is the color of the bird?” and she answered,
“Red;” and he said, “I know that bird. It is a very
rare bird, and its being here is a sign something good is going to
happen. I want you to get the bird and bring it here, but do not take
hold of it. Offer it a stick, and it will take hold of it, with its
bill, and you can lead it here.”
And Nawitch offered the bird a stick, and it caught hold of the end
by its bill, which was like a parrot’s bill, and she led it to
And Seeollstchewadack Seeven said: “Feed him on pumpkin seed,
for that is what this kind of bird eats.”
And Nawitch gave the bird pumpkin seed, but it would not eat. And
then she tried melon seed, but it would not eat. And then she tried
devil-claw seed, but it would not eat. And her father said,
then: “Make him broth of corn, for this kind of bird eats only
new dishes!” And she did so, but it would not eat the broth of
And the old man told her to try pumpkin seed again; and she tried
the pumpkin seed again, and the melon seed again, and the devil-claw
seed, and the broth of corn, but the bird would not touch any of
But just then the bird saw a little piece of turquoise lying on the
ground and it sprang and swallowed it. And the daughter saw this and
told her father that the bird would eat turquoises. And her father
said: “This kind of bird will not eat turquoises, but you may try
him.” And she gave it some turquoises and it ate them greedily.
And then her father said: “Go and get some nice, clean ones, a
basket full.” And she did so, and the bird ate them all, and she
kept on feeding it until it had swallowed four basketful.
And then the bird began to run around, and the girl said: “I
fear our pet will leave us and fly away” but the old man said:
“He will not fly away. He likes us too well for that,” but
after a short time the bird got to a little distance and took to its
wings, and flew back to the city of Dthas Seeven.
And Dthas Seeven gave it water twice, and each time it vomited, and
thus it threw up all the turquoises.
And so Dthas Seeven also had turquoises. 
Notes on the Story of the
Turquoises seem to have been regarded by all Arizona
Indians as magical and lucky stones, and the Story of the Turquoises
professes to give their origin.
Of the game, toe-coll, here spoken of, Whittemore gives this account
in Cook’s “Among the Pimas:” “One of the
amusements of the women was that of tossing balls. They had two small
ones, covered with buckskin, and tied about six inches apart. Young
women and married, from thirty to seventy-five in a group, assembled as
dressed for a ball, their hair carefully manipulated so as to be black
and glossy. Each had a stick of willow six feet long. With these they
dextrously tossed the balls high in the air, running after them until
one party was so weary that they gave up the game from mere
“In order to make the excitement a success
they had certain active women, keen of wit and quick of action,
practice weeks in advance.”
Sometimes the balls were formed by two large knots in a short piece
of rope. 
The Story of Wayhohm, Toehahvs and
And Seeollstchewadack Seeven wondered what this action of the bird meant,
and he studied about it till he found out who it was that had sent the
bird and for what purpose.
And he sent a cold rain upon the home of Dthas Seeven. And it rained
a heavy rain for three days and three nights, so hard that it put out
all the fires in the city of Dthas Seeven, and Dthas Seeven was dying
And the people came about him to witness his dying, and they said:
“Let us send some one to get the fire!” And they sent
And Toehahvs went, and at last came to a house where he heard the
fire roaring within. And he looked in, and there was a big fire. And he
sat in the doorway holding out his paws toward the heat.
And the owner of the house, whose name was Way-hohm, or the
Lightning, sat working within with his face to the fire and his back to
Toehahvs. And Toehahvs wanted to dash in and steal some fire, but he
did not dare, and he went back and told the people he had seen the fire
but he could not get it.
On the fourth day it was still raining, and they sent another
person. And this time they sent Tot-tai, or the Road Runner, for
they said he could run almost as fast as Toehahvs. 
And Tottai came to the same house, and heard the fire, and peeped in
the door to warm himself. And there sat the owner of the fire, Wayhohm,
working with his face to the fire and his back to Tottai. And Tottai
dashed in and caught hold of a stick with fire at one end and ran out
And Wayhohm caught up his bow, the Bow-of-the-Lightning,
Way-hohm-a-Gaht, and fired at Road Runner, and struck him on the
side of his head, and that is why the side of Tottai’s head is
still bare; and Tottai ran on, and Wayhohm shot at him again and struck
the other side of his head.
And Tottai whirled around then so that the sparks flew every way,
and got into all kinds of wood, and that is why there is fire in all
kinds of sticks even now, and the Indian can get it out by rubbing them
together to this day.
But Tottai kept on, and got to the house of Dthas Seeven all right,
and they made a fire, and Dthas Seeven got better again. 
Notes on the Story of Wayhohm
There is a suggestion of Thor in the Story of Wayhohm,
and also of Prometheus. Wayhohm’s house must have been the hall
of the clouds.
How true to nature, here, is the touch describing the Coyote-person,
Toehahvs. The excessive caution of the coyote, making it
impossible for him, however eager, to force himself into any position
he suspects, here stands out before us, contrasted in the most dramatic
way with the dashing boldness of the road-runner.
When we reached the end of this story Comalk Hawk-Kih took two
pieces of wood to rub them together to make fire. But he was old and
breathless, and “Sparkling-Soft-Feather,” the mother of my
interpreter, took them and made the fire for me. I have the implements
There were two parts to the apparatus. Gee-uh-toe-dah, the socket
stick was of a soft dry piece of giant cactus rib, and a notch was
whittled in one side of this with a small socket at the apex, that is
on the upper side.
This was placed flat on the ground, with a bit of corn husk under
the notch, and held firmly in position by the bare feet. The twirling
stick, eev-a-dah-kote, was a hard arrow weed, very dry and scraped
smooth. The end of this was engaged in the little socket, at the top of
the cactus rib, and then, held perpendicularly, was twirled between the
two hands till the friction rubbed off a powder which crowded out of
the socket, and fell down the notch at its side to the corn-husk. This
little increasing pile of powder was the tinder, and, as the twirling
continued, grew black, smelled like burned wood, smoked and finally
glowed like punk. It was now picked up on the corn husk and placed in
dry horse dung, a bunch of dry grass, or some such inflammable
material, and blown into flame.
It looked very simple, and took little time, but I never could do
The Story of Hawawk
And when Dthas
Seeven had gotten better he meditated on what had happened to him, and studied
out that Seeollstchewadack-Seeven was the cause of his trouble, and
planned how to get the better of him.
Now the Indians have a game of football in which the ball is not
kicked but lifted and thrown a good ways by the foot, and Dthas Seeven
made such a ball, and sent a young man to play it in the direction of
the city of Seeollstchewadack-Seeven. And the young man did so, and as
he kept the ball going on it came to the feet of a young girl, who,
when she saw the ball, picked it up and hid it under the square of
cloth which Indian girls wear.
And the young man came up and asked her if she had seen the ball,
and she answered no, she had not seen it, and she kept on denying it,
so at last he turned back and said he might as well go home as he no
longer had a ball to play with. But he had not gone far before the girl
called to him: “Are you not coming back to get your ball?”
And he went back to her, and she tried to find the ball, but could
But the ball was not lost, but it had bewitched her.
And after a time this girl had a baby, a tall baby, with claws on
its hands and feet like a wild animal.
And the people did not know what this meant, and
they asked Toehahvs, and Toehahvs knew because this had been prophesied
of old time. And Toehahvs said: “She is
And Hawawk grew and became able to crawl, but people were afraid of
handling her because of the scratching of her claws. Only her relatives
could safely handle her. And as she grew older, still, she would
sometimes see other children and wish to play with them, but in a short
time they would get scratched by her in her gambols and would run home
crying and leave her alone. And it got so that when the children saw
her coming they would tell each other and run home and she could get
none of them to play with her.
She claimed Ee-ee-toy as her uncle, and when he had been
rabbit-hunting and came in with game she would run and call him
“uncle!” and try and get the rabbits away from him; and
when he cleaned the rabbits and threw away the entrails she would run
and devour them, and the bones of the rabbits the people threw away
after the feasts she would eat, too.
And when Hawawk grew older she would sometimes complain to Ee-ee-toy
if he came in without game. “Why is it you sometimes come in
without rabbits?” she would say, “And why do you not kill a
great many?” And he would reply: “It is not possible to
kill a great many, for they run very fast and are very hard to shoot
with a bow and arrow.” “Let me go with you,” she
would say, “and I will kill a great many.” But
he would tell her: “You are a girl, and it is not your place to
go hunting. If you were a boy it would be, but as it is you cannot
And she kept on begging in this way, and he kept on refusing, she
saying that she could kill a great many, and he saying that only a man
or a boy could shoot many rabbits, because they ran so fast.
But as she grew older still she began to follow the hunters, and
when the hunting began she would be in the crowd, but she tried to keep
out of her uncle’s way so that he would not see her. And
sometimes when she would thus be following the hunt a rabbit would run
in her direction, and she would run fast and jump on it and kill it,
and eat it right there; and after a while she could do this oftener and
caught a good many; and she would eat all she wanted as she caught
them, and the others she gave to her uncle, Ee-ee-toy, to carry home.
And Ee-ee-toy came to like to have her with him because of the game she
could get. But after a time she did not come home anymore, but staid
out in the bushes, living on the game she could get. But when the
hunters came out, she would still join them and after killing and
eating all she wanted she would give the rest of her kill to her uncle,
And so she contrived to live in the wild places, like a wild-cat,
and in time became able to kill deer, antelopes, and all big game, and
yet being part human she would tan buckskin like a woman and
do all that a woman needs to do.
And she found a cave in the mountain which is called
Taht-kum, where she lived, and that cave can be seen now and is
still called Hawawk’s Cave.
But she had been born near where the ruins of Casa Grande now are
and claimed that vahahkkee for her own. And when she knew a baby had
been born there she would go to the mother and say, “I want to
see my grandchild.” But if the mother let her take the baby she
would put it over her shoulder, into her gyih-haw, and run to her cave,
and put the baby into a mortar, and pound it up and eat it. And she got
all the babies she could in this way; and later on she grew bolder and
would find the larger children, where they were at play, and would carry them off
to eat them. And now she let all the rabbits and such game go, and
lived only on the children she caught, for a long time.
And Ee-ee-toy told the people what to do in this great trouble. He
told them to roast a big lot of pumpkin seeds and to go into their
houses and keep still. And when the people had roasted the pumpkin
seeds and gone into their houses, Ee-ee-toy came around and stopped up
the door of every house with bushes, and plastered clay over the bushes
as the Awawtam still do when they go away from home.
After a time Hawawk came around, and stood near the houses, and
listened, and heard the people cracking the pumpkin seeds inside.
And she said: “Where are all my grandchildren? They must have
been gone for a long time, for I do not see any tracks, nor hear any
voices, and I hear only the rats eating the seeds in the empty
And she came several times and saw no one, and really believed the
people had gone entirely away. And for a while she did not come any
more, but after a time she was one day running by the village and she
saw some children playing. And she caught two and ran with them to her
cave. And from that day she went on stealing children as before.
And Ee-ee-toy made him a rattle, out of a wild gourd, and went and
lay on the trail on which Hawawk usually came, and changed himself into
the little animal called “Kaw-awts.” And when Hawawk
came along she poked him with a stick of her gyih-haw and
“Here is a little kaw-awts. He must be my pet.” And then
Ee-ee-toy jumped up and shook his rattle at her, and frightened her so
that she ran home. And then Ee-ee-toy made rattles for all the children
in that place and when they saw Hawawk coming they would shake their
rattles at her and scare her back again.
But after a while Hawawk became used to the rattles and ceased to
fear them, and even while they were shaking she would run and carry
some of the children off.
And one day two little boys were hunting doves after the manner of the country. They had a
little kee of willows, and a hole inside in the sand where they sat,
and outside a stick stuck up for the doves to light on. And when the
doves came they would shoot them with their bows and arrows. And while
they were doing this they saw Hawawk coming. And they said: “What shall
we do! Hawawk is coming and will eat us up.”
And they lay down in the hole in the sand and covered themselves
with the dove’s feathers. And Hawawk came and said: “Where
are my grandchildren! Some of them have been here very lately.”
And she went all around and looked for their tracks, but could find
none leading away from the place. And she came back again to the kee,
and while she was looking in a wind came and swept away all the
dove-feathers, and she sprang in and caught up the two boys and put
them in her gyih-haw and started off.
And as she went along the boys said: “Grandmother, we like
flat stones to play with. Won’t you give us all the flat stones you
can find?” And Hawawk picked up all the flat stones she came to
and put them one by one over her shoulder into the basket.
And the boys said, again, after the basket began to get heavy,
“Grandmother, we like to go under limbs of trees. Go under all
the low limbs of trees you can to please us.” And Hawawk went
under a low tree, and one of the boys caught hold of the limb and hung
there till she had gone on. And Hawawk went under another
tree, and the other boy caught hold of a limb and staid there. But
because of the flat stones she kept putting into her gyih-haw Hawawk
did not notice this. And when she got to her cave and emptied her
basket there were no boys there.
And when Hawawk saw this she turned back and found the tracks of the
boys, and ran, following after them, and caught up with them just
before they got to their village. And she would have caught them there,
and carried them off again, but the boys had gathered some of the fine
thorns of a cactus, and when Hawawk came near they held them up and let
them blow with the wind into her face.
And they stuck in her eyes, and hurt them, and she began to rub her
eyes, which made them hurt worse so that she could not see them, and
then the boys ran home and thus saved their lives.
After that she went to another place called
Vahf-kee-wohlt-kih, or the Notched Cliffs, and staid around
there and ate the children, and then she moved to another place, the
old name of which is now forgotten, but it is called, now,
Stchew-a-dack Vah-veeuh, or the Green Well. And there, too, she
killed the children.
And the people called on Ee-ee-toy to help them, and Ee-ee-toy said,
“I will kill her at once!”
And Ee-ee-toy, being her relative, went to her home and said:
“Your grandchildren want some amusement and are
going to have dances now every night and would like you to
And she replied: “You know very well I do not care for such
things. I do not care to come.”
And Ee-ee-toy returned and told the people she did not care to come
to their dances, tho he had invited her, but he would think of some
other way to get her to come where they were, that they might kill
And he went a second time, and told her the people were going to
sing the Hwah-guff-san-nuh-kotch Nyuee, or Basket Drumming Song,
and wanted her to come. But she said: “I have heard of that song,
but I do not care to hear it. I care nothing for such things, and I
will not come.”
So Ee-ee-toy returned and told of his second failure, but promised
he would try again. And in the morning he went to her and said:
“Your grandchildren are going to sing the
song Haw-hawf-kuh Nyuee or Dance of the Bone-trimmed Dresses
Song and they want you to come.” But she said: “I do not
care for this song, either, and I will not come.”
And Ee-ee-toy told of his third failure, but promised the people he
would try once more, and when the morning came he went to Hawawk and
said: “Your grandchildren are going to dance tonight to the song
which is called See-coll-cod-dha-kotch Nyuee,” (which is a
sort of ring dance with the dancers in a circle with joined
hands) “and they want you to
And she said: “That is what I like. I will come to that. When
is it going to be?”
And he said: “It will be this very night.”
And he went and told the people she was coming and they must be
ready for her.
Hawawk got ready in the early evening and dressed herself in a skirt
of soft buckskin. And over this she placed an overskirt of deerskin,
fringed with long cut fringes with deer-hoofs at the ends to rattle.
And then she ran to the dancing place; and the people could hear her a
long way off, rattling, as she came. And they were already dancing when
she arrived there, and she went and joined hands with Ee-ee-toy.
And Hawawk was a great smoker, and Ee-ee-toy made cigarettes for her
that had something in them that would make folks sleep. And he smoked
these himself, a little, to assure her, but cautiously and moderately,
not inhaling the smoke, but she inhaled the smoke, and before the four
nights were up she was so sleepy that the people were dragging her
around as they danced, and then she got so fast asleep that Ee-ee-toy
carried her on his shoulder.
And all the time they were dancing they were moving across country,
and getting nearer the cave where she lived, and other people at the
same time were ahead of them carrying lots of wood to her cave. And
when they arrived at her cave in the mountain of Tahtkum they laid her
sleeping body down inside, and placed the wood
in the cave between her and the door, filling it all to the entrance,
which they closed with four hurdles, such as the people fasten their
doors with, so that she could not run out.
And then they set the wood on fire, and it burned fiercely, and when
the fire reached Hawawk she waked and cried out. “My
grandchildren, what have I done that you should treat me this
And the fire hurt her so that she jumped up and down with pain, and
her head struck the ceiling of the cave and split the rock. And when
the people saw it they called to Ee-ee-toy, and he went and put his
foot over the crack, and sealed it up, and you may see the track of his
foot there to this day.
But Ee-ee-toy was not quick enough, and her soul escaped through the
And then for a while the people had peace, but in time her soul
turned into a green hawk, and this hawk killed the people, but did not
And this made the people great trouble, but one day a woman was
making pottery and she had just taken one pot out of the fire and left
another one in the furnace, on its side, when this hawk saw her and
came swooping down from high in the air to kill her, but missed her,
and went into the hot pot in the fire, and so was burned up and
And one day they boiled greens in that pot, the
greens called choo-hook-yuh, and the greens boiled so hard that
they boiled over, and splashed around and killed people. And they
boiled all day and stopped at night, and at daybreak began again to
boil, and this they did for a long time; boiling by day and stopping at
And the people sent for Toehahvs who lived in the east, and
Gee-ah-duk Seeven, or Strong Bow Chief, who lived where is now
the ruin of Aw-awt-kum Vah-ahk-kee, to kill the pot for
And when they arrived Geeahduk Seeven enquired if the pot slept. And
the people said: “Yes, it sleeps all night.” Then said
Geeahduk Seeven, “We will get up very early, before the pot
wakes, and then we will kill it.”
But Toehahvs said; “That is not right, to go and kill it at
night. I am not like a jealous woman who goes and fights her rival in
the darkness. I am not a woman, I am a man!”
And Toehahvs said to Geeahduk Seeven: “I will go in the
morning to attack the pot and I want you to go on the other side, and
if the pot throws its fluid at me, so that I cannot conquer it, then do
you run up on the other side and smash it.”
Then Toehahvs took his shield and his club, in the morning, and went
to attack the pot. But the pot saw him, and, altho he held up his
shield, it boiled over, and threw the boiling choohookyuh so high and
far that some of it fell on Toehahvs’ back and scalded it. And
Toehahvs had to give back a little. But at that moment Geeahduk Seeven ran in on the other side and
smashed the pot.
And there was an old man with an orphan grandson, living near there,
and when the pot was smashed these came to the spot and ate up the
choohookyuh. And at once they were turned into bears, the old man into
a black bear, the boy into a brown bear.
And these bears also killed people, and tho the people tried to kill
them, for a long time they could not do so. When they shot arrows at
the bears, the bears would catch them and break them up. And so the
people had to study out other ways to get the better of them. There is
a kind of palm-tree, called o-nook, which has balls where the
branches come out, and the people burned the trees to get these balls,
and threw them at the bears. And the bears caught the balls, and fought
and wrestled with them, and while their attention was taken by these
balls the people shot arrows at them and killed them.
And thus ended forever the evil power of Hawawk. 
Notes on the Story of Hawawk
The Story of Hawawk opens with an interesting
reference to the favorite Pima game of football. The ball was about two
and one half inches in diameter, merely a heavy pebble coated thick
with black greasewood gum. Sometimes it was decorated with little
inlays of shell. It was thrown by the lifting of the naked or sandaled
foot, rather than kicked. Astonishing tales are told of the running
power and endurance of the older Indians. White and red men agree in
Emory says of the Maricopa interpreter, Thirsty Hawk, before alluded
to, that he came running into their camp on foot and
“appeared to keep pace with the fleetest
horse.” Whittemore, the missionary, says: “Some young women
could travel from forty to fifty miles in sixteen hours, and there were
warriors who ran twenty miles, keeping a horse on a canter following
them.” G. W. Mardis, the trader at Phoenix, told me he had known
Indians to run all day, and my interpreter told me of Pimas running
forty to seventy miles in a day, hunting horses on the mountains.
Others ran races with horses and with a little handicap and for
moderate distance often beat them. On these long runs after horses the
men took their footballs and kept them going, saying it
made the journey amusing and less tiresome. And undoubtedly it was, in
the practice of this sport, that their powers were developed. Beside
the usual foot-races, in which all Indians delight, it often happened
that two champions would, on a set day, start in different directions
and chase their footballs far out on the desert, perhaps ten miles and
then return. The one who came in first was winner. The whole tribe, in
two parties, on horseback as far as they could get mounts, followed the
champions, as judges, assistants, critics and friends and there was
profuse betting and picturesque excitement and display.
But the fine old athletic games seem to have all died out now.
Stories of miraculous conception are not uncommon in Indian
tradition, and this story of the bewitching of the young girl into
motherhood thru the agency of the football is an instance.
This gruesome and graphic tale is full of insight into Indian
thought and fancy. In reading it we are reminded of many familiar old
nursery tales of kidnapped child, pig or fowl (“the little red
hin” of Irish legend for instance) and of Were-Wolf and
And here reappears the old myth of some god’s or hero’s
footstep printed in solid rock.
Here is a hint, too, of transmigration in the various adventures of
the soul of Hawawk.
My Indian hosts cooked me a pot of choohookyuh greens, and I found
them very palatable.
The reference to the pottery making reminds me of Pima arts. Today
the Maricopas have almost a monopoly of pottery making, tho the
Quohatas make some good pottery too. It is shaped by the hands (no
potters wheel being known) and smoothed and polished by stones, painted
red with a mineral and black with mezquite gum and baked in a common
fire. It is often very artistic in a rude way, in form and
The Papagoes do most of the horse-hair work, chiefly bridles,
halters and lariat ropes, and make mats and fans from rushes.
The Pimas make the famous black and white, watertight baskets, which
are too well known to need description. The black in these is shreds of
the dead-black seed pod of the devil-claw and not some fibre dyed
black, as some suppose.
There seems to have been no original bead work among Pima Indians.
The Story of Tawquahdahmawks and her
And after this
the people had long peace, increased in numbers, and were scattered all
around. Some lived where the old vahahkkees now are in the Gila
country, and some lived in the Papago country, and some in the Salt
River country. And those who lived where the mound now is between
Phoenix and Tempe were the first to use a canal to irrigate their land.
And these raised all kinds of vegetables and had fine crops. And the
people of the Gila country and the people of the Salt River country at
first did not raise many vegetables, because they did not irrigate, and
they used to visit the people who did irrigate and eat with them; but
after a while the people who lived on the south side of the Salt River
also made a canal, and you can see it to this day.
But when these people tried their canal it did not work. When they
dammed the river the water did not run, because the canal was uphill.
And they could not seem to make it deeper, because it was all in a lime
And they sent for Ee-ee-toy to help them. And Ee-ee-toy had them get
stakes of ironwood, and sharpen them, and all stand in a row with their
stakes in their hands at the bottom of the canal. 
And then Ee-ee-toy sang a song, and at the end of the song the
people were all to strike their stakes into the bottom of the canal to
make it deeper. But it would not work, it was too hard, and Ee-ee-toy
gave it up.
And Ee-ee-toy said: “I can do no more, but there is an old
woman named Taw-quah-dahm-awks (which means The Wampum Eater)
and she, tho only a woman, is very wise, and likely can help you better
than I. I advise you to send for her.”
And the people sent for her, and she said: “I will come at
And she came, as she had promised, but she did not go to where the
people were assembled, but went right to the canal. And she had brought
a fog with her, and she left the fog at the river, near the mouth of
the canal. And she went up the course of the canal, looking this way
and that, to see how much up-hill it ran.
And when she reached where the canal ran up-hill she blew thru it
the breath which is called seev-hur-whirl, which means a bitter
wind. And this wind tore up the bed of the canal, as deep as was
necessary, throwing the dirt and rocks out on each side.
And then the fog dammed up the river and the water ran thru the
Then the old woman did not go near the people, but went home, and in
the morning, when one of the people went to see why the old woman did
not come, he saw the canal full of water and he
yelled to everybody to come and see it.
And in this way these people got water for their crops and were as
prosperous as the others below them. 
Notes on the Story of
In this story we find proof that the oldest digging
utensil was a sharpened stake.
Before these people became agricultural they must have subsisted
mainly on the game and wild fruits of the desert. They showed me
several seed-bearing bushes and weeds which in old time had helped to
eke out for them an existence.
Starvation must have often stared them in the face, and the
references to hunger, and the prophecies of plenty, and of visits to
relatives whose crops were good, are scattered pathetically all thru
And indeed, until very recently, mezquite beans and the fruit of
various cactus plants were staple articles of food.
Mezquite beans grow in a pod on the thorny mezquite trees. The
gathering of them was quite a tribal event, large parties going out.
The beans when brought home were pounded in the chee-o-pah, or
mortar, which was made by burning a hollow in the end of a short
mezquite log, set in the ground like a low post. A long round stone
pestle, or vee-it-kote, was used to beat with, and sometimes the
cheeopah itself was of stone. But stone mortars were usually ancient
and dug from out the vahahkkee ruins.
The beans, crushed very fine and separated from the indigestible
seeds, packed into a sweet cake that would keep a year.
Various cactus fruits were eaten. They warned me that for a novice
to eat freely of prickly pears produced a lame, sore feeling, as if one
had taken cold or a fever. I noticed no symptoms however. The fruit of
the giant cactus is gathered from the top, around which it grows like a
crown, by a long light pole, made from the rib
of the same cactus, with a little hook at its end made by tying another
short piece, slant-wise, across. They called the constellation of Ursa
Major, Quee-ay-put, or The Cactus-Puller, from a fancied
resemblance to this familiar implement.
The giant cactus, or har-san, was eaten ripe, or dried in the
sun, or boiled to a jam and sealed away in earthern jars. They also
fermented it by mixing with water, and made their famous tis-win
or whiskey from it. They had “big drunks” at this time, in
which all the tribe joined in a general spree.
A sort of large worm (larva) was also gathered in large quantities,
boiled and eaten with salt.
The confusion in the Pima thought on religious matters is well revealed
in this tale, in which Ee-ee-toy, who may be regarded as a god, frankly
admits that in some matters an old woman may be wiser and more powerful
than he. Nothing appears to have been very clearly defined in their
faith except that a mahkai might be or do almost anything. 
How Nooee Killed Ee-ee-toy
in the Salt River Mountain, which is called by the Awawtam Moehahdheck,
or the Brown Mountain, and whenever the girls had ceremonial dances
because of their arrival at womanhood he would come and sing the
appropriate songs. And it often happened that he would tempt these
young girls away to his mountain, to be his wives, but after keeping
them awhile he would grow tired of them and send them back.
And the people disliked Ee-ee-toy because of this. And when they had
crops, too, Ee-ee-toy would often shoot his hot arrows thru the fields,
and wither up the growing things; and tho the people did not see him do
this, they knew he was guilty, and they wanted to kill him, but they
did not know how to do it.
And the people talked together about how they could kill Ee-ee-toy.
And two young boys, there were, who were always together. And as they lay at the
door of their kee they heard the people talking of sending bunches of
people here and there to kill Ee-ee-toy, and one said: “He is
only one, we could kill him ourselves.” And the other one said:
“Let us go and kill him, then.”
So the two boys went to Moehahdheck, and found Ee-ee-toy lying
asleep, and beat him with their clubs, and killed him, and then came
back and told the people of what they had done. But none
of the people went to see the truth of this and in the morning
Ee-ee-toy came again, just as he used to do, and walked around among
the people, who said among themselves: “I thought the boys said
they had killed him.”
And that same night all the people went to Moehahdheck, and found
Ee-ee-toy asleep, and fell upon him and killed him. And there was a
pile of wood outside, and they laid him on this and set fire to the
wood and burned his flesh. And feeling sure that he was now dead, they
went home, but in the morning there he was, walking around, alive
And so the people assembled again, and that night, once more, they
killed him, and they cut his flesh up into little bits, and put it into
a pot, and boiled it, and when it was cooked they threw it all away in
different directions. But in the morning he was alive again and the
people gave it up for that time.
But after awhile they were planning again how to kill him; and one
of them proposed that they all go and tie him with ropes and take him
to a high cliff, and push him off, and let him fall. And so they went
and did this, but Ee-ee-toy was not hurt at all. He just walked off,
when he reached the bottom, and looked up at the people above him.
The next scheme was to drown him. They caught him and led him to a
whirlpool, and tied his hands and feet and threw him in. But he
came up in a few minutes, without any ropes on,
and looked at the people, and then dived, and so kept on coming up and
diving down. And the people, seeing they could not drown him, went home
Then Nooee called the people together and said: “It is of no
use for you to try to kill Ee-ee-toy, for you cannot kill him. He is
too powerful for men to kill. He has power over the winds, and all the
animals, and he knows all that is going on in the mountains, and in the
sky. And I have power something like him.”
So Nooee told the people to come in, that evening, to his house. He
said: “I will show you part of my power, and I want everyone to
And Nooee lived not far from where Ee-ee-toy did, south of the
Moehahdheck mountain, at a place called Nooee Vahahkkee, and
that was where he invited the people to come.
And so, when the people assembled at Nooee Vahahkkee, Nooee made
earth in his habitation, and mountains on it, and all things on it, in
little as we say, so that the people could see his power; for Juhwerta
had made him to have power, tho he had not cared to use it. And he made
a little world in his house for them to look at, with sun, moon and
stars working just as our sun and stars work; and everything exactly
like our world.
And when night came, Nooee pushed the darkness back with his hands,
and spread it on the walls, so that the people could see his little
world and how it worked. And he was there four days
and four nights, showing this wonder to the people.
And after this Nooee flew up thru the openings in the roof of his
house, and sat there, and saw the sun rise. And as soon as the sun rose
Nooee flew towards it, and flew up and up, higher and higher, until he
could see Ee-ee-toy’s heart. And he wore a nose ring, as all the
brave people did, a nose ring of turquoise. But from his high view he
saw that everything looked green and so he knew he could not kill
Ee-ee-toy that day.
And the next day he did the same thing, only he wore a new
nose-ring, made of a sparkling shell. And when he got up high
enuf to see Ee-ee-toy’s heart he saw
that the ground looked dry, and he was very much pleased, for he knew
that now he would, someday, kill Ee-ee-toy. And he went home.
And the third morning Nooee again put on his nose ring of glittering
shell, and flew up to meet the Sun, and he flew up and up until he came
to the sun himself. And Nooee said to the Sun: “You know there is
a Person, on earth, called Ee-ee-toy, who is very bad, and I want to
kill him, and I want your help, and this is the reason I come to
And Nooee said to the Sun: “Now you go back, and let me shine
in your place, and I will give just as much light as you do, but let me
have your vi-no-me-gaht, your gun, to
shoot with, when I get around to your home.” And the Sun said:
“Moe-vah Sop-hwah, that is all right. But I always go down
over yonder mountain, and when you get to that mountain just stop and
look back, and see how the world looks.”
And Nooee took the Sun’s place, and went down, that evening,
over the mountain, stopping, as he was told, to see how wonderful the
world looked; and when he came to the Sun’s home, the sun gave
him the weapon he shot with.
And the next morning Nooee rose in place of the Sun, and after
rising a little he shot at the earth, and it became very hot. And
before noon he shot again, and it was still hotter. And Ee-ee-toy knew,
now that he was going to be killed, but he tried to use all his power
to save himself. He ran around, and came to a pond where there had
always been ice, and he jumped in to cool himself, but it was all
And when it was nearly noon Nooee shot again, and it became terribly
hot, and Ee-ee-toy ran for a rock which had always been cold, but just
before he got there the heat made the rock burst.
And he ran to a tree, whose cool shade he often enjoyed, but as he
came near it the tree began to burst into flame, and he had to turn
back. And now it was noon, and Nooee shot again.
And Ee-ee-toy ran to a great post, all striped around with black and white, which had been made
by his power, and which had a hollow that was always cool inside, and
was about to put his arms around it when he fell down and died.
So Ee-ee-toy was dead, and Nooee went down to his setting, and
returned the weapon to the Sun, and then went home to his vahahkkee.
The Song of Nooee when he went to the
The Rising (Sun) I am going to meet.
(Repeated many times)
When Nooee Killed Ee-ee-toy1
The gun, he gave it to me as a cane;
With it I killed the Brother’s heart.
Notes on how Nooee Killed
The hot arrows of Ee-ee-toy, that withered the crops,
remind us of Apollo.
The idea often comes up in these stories that a person possessing
the powers of a mahkai was hard to kill, having as many lives as a cat.
It would also appear that there was a confusion as to what constituted
killing, anyway. They perhaps regarded mere unconsciousness as
Ee-ee-toy and Nooee are “killed,” but after an interval are
alive again. And Whittemore relates: “An Apache, seeing Louis,
the Pima interpreter, came to him in high glee. Taking his hand, he
said: ‘You are the Pima who killed me years ago.’ Louis
then recognized him as the man to whom he had dealt a heavy blow with a
warclub, and then left him for dead on the battle-field.”
Is there any connection between the the fact that when Nooee wore a
nose-ring of turquoise the earth looked green, and that when he wore a
nose-ring of glittering shell the earth looked dry to him?
Could this whole story have been a myth of some great drouth?
Ee-ee-toy’s Resurrection and
Speech to Juhwerta Mahkai
Ee-ee-toy was dead he lay there, as some say for four months, and some
say for four years. He was killed, but his winds were not killed, nor his
clouds and they were sorry for him, and his clouds rained on him.
And he lay there so long that the little children played on him,
jumping from him.
But at last he began to come to life again, holding down the
ground—as a wounded man does, moaning, and there was thunder, and
And Ahahnheeattoepahk Mahkai’s daughter was grinding corn when
this happened, and the corn rolled in the basket, and she said:
“How is it that it thunders when there are no clouds, none to be
seen, and that the corn rolls in the basket?”
And her father said: “You may think this is only thunder, but
I tell you wonderful things are going to happen.”
Ee-ee-toy, when he got a little stronger, picked up some stones and
examined them, and threw them away. He did this four times, throwing
away the stones each time, not liking any of them. And the children
went there to play, and found him alive, and asked each other:
“Why is that old man doing that, picking up stones, and throwing
them away, and picking up more?” 
And he began then to cut up all kinds of sticks, four at a time, and
to lay them down and look at them, but he liked none of them. Then he
cut arrow weeds, four of them, and he liked their look. And he lit his
pipe and blew the smoke over them, and spread his hand above them, and
he liked the light of them which came thru his fingers.
And he put those sticks away in his pouch. And then he rose and took
a few steps, and began to walk. And all his springs of water had been
dried up while he was dead, but when he walked the earth again they
gushed forth, and he dipped his fingers in them and stroked his wet
fingers over his breast and he did the same to the trees.
And he went on and came to the cliff, where Vandaih once was, and he
did the same to it, putting his hand to it and rubbing it. And he went
to see the Sun.
He came to where the Sun starts, but the Sun was not there, but he
could see the road the Sun takes, and he followed it. And that road was
fringed with beautiful feathers and flowers and turquoises.
And he came to the tree which is called The Talking Tree. And the
Tree took of its bark thin strips, which curled as owl feathers do when
split, and tied them on a little stick, and put them in
Ee-ee-toy’s hair. And it gave him four sticks, made from that one
of its branches which dipped to the south. And from its middle
branch it made him a war club, and from a gall, or excrescence, which
grew on its limb, it made him a vah-quah, or canteen.
After that he went along the beautiful fringed road which the Sun
travels, and came to the place where the Sun drinks. And he took a
drink there himself, putting his knee in the spot where the Sun’s
knee-print is, and his hand where the Sun rests his hand. And in the
clear water he saw a stone like the Doctors’ Stone, somewhat, but
of the color of slate, with a zigzag pattern around it. And he took his
four arrow-weeds and placed them under this stone and left them
And he went on, and went down where the Sun goes down. And he went
to see Juhwerta Mahkai, to the place where he lived with his people,
those who sank thru the earth before the flood.
And when Ee-ee-toy came to where Juhwerta Mahkai was, he said to
“There was an Older Brother, and his people were
And he had made an earth that was like your earth;
And he had made mountains that were like your
And he had made springs of water, like yours, that were
And he made trees like yours, and everything that he
made worked well.
And they shot him till he bounced, four times on the
And threw him with his face to the earth.
And he lay there, dead, but when he came to life he
used the strength of his right arm and rose up.
But things were changed, and looked different from the
He examined the sticks, but none suited him;
He eyed along the river, that green snake, which he had
made, and found the sticks that pleased him.
And he cut those arrow-weeds, he found there, into four
pieces, and blew the smoke over them.
And out of them came sparks of light, that almost
reached the Opposite World, the World of the Enemy, where things are
And when he saw the light from the sticks he smiled
He was so pleased he had found the sticks that suited
And he brought the Black Fog from the West, and stroked
the sticks with it, and so finished them,
And from the Ocean he brought the Blue Fog, and stroked
the sticks with it, and finished them;
And from the East he brought the Fog of Light, and
stroked the sticks with it and finished them;
And from Above brought the Green Fog, and put it in
hiding, and there secretly stroked the sticks with it, and finished
From the West he brought the Black Snake, which he had
made, and bound the sticks together, and finished them.
And from the Ocean he brought the Blue Snake, and bound
the sticks together, and finished them;
From the East he brought the Snake of Light, and bound
the sticks together, and finished them;
And from Above he brought the Green Snake, and bound
them together and finished them.
And then he rose up, and with the first step he stepped
on the great doctors of the earth and sank them down;
The next step he stepped on the Speaker, and sank him
The next step he stepped on the Slayer, and sank him
And the next step he stepped on the rushing young maid
who gathers the fruit to feed the family, and sank her down.
And then he sank down himself, and walked under the
earth’s crust a little way, and then came out and found the
Light’s Road, his own proper way, and walked in it.
Where he found his springs of water, which he had made,
with their green moss growing, and dipped his hand in them and
moistened his heart;
And every mountain he came to, which he had made, he
entered and there he cooled his heart;
And rested his hand on every tree he had made, and so
freshened his heart;
And came like a ghost to the place, the cliff, where he
had killed the man-eagle, and sat there.
And there was Someone there, whom he did not know, who
asked him what he wanted, coming there like a ghost;
Who said: ‘I told you that you would be against
my people and the earth!’
And from there he went to the East and strengthened
himself four times;
When he arrived at where the Sun arises;
Where he came to the four notches which the Sun uses
when he is rising.
And where the Sun steps it is full of wind;
And where the Sun puts his hands it is full of
In spite of that he climbed the way, the way in which
the Sun rises.
And he went Westward, stopping and taking his breath
Even at the fourth time, still going, still breathing
It was the west-bound road he followed, the road
adorned with all beautiful fringes;
Fringes of soft feathers, and large feathers; and
flowers made from beautiful trees, and turquoises.
And he went along this road, pulling all the fringes,
and whenever he came to the doctors, tossing them up in the
And there he came to Nee-yaw-kee-tom Oas, The
And he came to it like a ghost, and fell down on his
knees toward it;
And the Tree asked him why he came like a ghost, and
what he wanted:—
‘I have told you that some day you would be the
enemy to my people and to the earth.’
There the Tree pulled off its bark and stuck it in his
head, like split owl feathers;
And it was its middle branch which it cut down in fine
shape for a club and slipped under his belt;
And it was a nut-gall from its limbs which it made into
a canteen for him.
And these two together it slipped under his belt.
And it was the branch toward the ocean which it broke
into four pieces, equally, and handed to him.
And from thence he travelled on, on the Middle Road,
and where there were beautiful fringes he examined them as he went
And from the Middle Road he could see the road on
either side, the Road of the Enemy.
And it was among the fringes, where he was pulling the
flowers made from sticks, that he reached the Speaker and tossed him,
And there he reached the place where the Sun
And tho the print of the Sun’s knee was full of
wind, and the print of his hand full of wind, there he knelt and drank as the Sun drinks.
And there, in the clear water, he found the
Doctor’s stone, the Dab-nam-hawteh, which is square, and
there, under it, left the arrow-weeds.
And he started on from thence and went to the Sunset
Going down as the Sun goes down, and slid down from
there four times, to the home of Juhwerta Mahkai.
When he sat down there a strong wind came from the West
and carried him to the East and brought him back and sat him down
And from Above a strong wind came and tossed him up
toward the sky, and returned him back and sat him down again.
And the Black Gopher, his pet from the West, was
And the Blue Gopher, his pet from the South, was
And the Gopher of Light, his pet from the East, was
And the Yellow Gopher, his pet from the North, was
Because of their trouble about him.”
And Juwerta Mahkai picked up Ee-ee-toy like a baby, and
held him in his arms, and swept the ground, and set him down upon
And blew smoke over him, till he felt refreshed like a
One kind of smoke was the ghost-smoke, which he blew
And the other kind was the smoke of the root called
And there they built the O-num of Light:
Which means the circle of those great ones around the
And thence they sent the Gray Owl, to go around the
enemy and breathe over them.
Who, when they heard him, were shaking with fear;
A fear that pulled out their thoughts so that they knew
nothing and were weak in arms and legs,
And they could not remember their dreams, and their
skins became like the skins of sick people;
And their lice became many, and their hair became
coarse, and their eyes became sore.
And they chose the little Blue Owl and sent him to the
enemy, and he breathed over them.
And he was invisible because of his blue darkness, and
he breathed over them quietly.
And they selected a Green Road Runner, and sent him to
breathe over them.
And the people could not see him because of his green
darkness, and he breathed over them quietly.
And they selected the small Gray Night Hawk;
And he blew a gray dust all thru the enemy’s
houses and swept their ground.
And their springs of water were left dry, choked with
driftwood and covered with cobwebs.
And their kees, their houses, were full of soot,
and their trails like old trails;
And after that the fresh foot-tracks could be
And they went out and found the enemy by his fresh
tracks and captured him, for he had no weapons.
And from the sending out of the birds, even to the end,
all this is a prophecy.
Notes on Ee-ee-toy’s
The Story of Ee-ee-toy’s Resurrection is perhaps
the most poetic in the series, and the opening picture of him lying on
the ground, lifeless, with the elements lamenting over him and the
little children playing on him, might challenge the genius of a great
It is particularly rich in the mystical element also.
I confess that I am not very confident of my rendering of those of
the opening sentences of Ee-ee-toy’s speech between “And he
had made an earth” and the statement “And they shot
him,” etc. My Indians seemed to get hopelessly tangled over
archaic words and other impediments here and not at all sure of what
they told me. The rest I think is correct.
Here we came to the mystic colors of the four quarters, North,
South, East and West and of the zenith, the Above, which the Pimas
reckoned evidently as a cardinal point. If their mystic power was
derived from the cardinal points, might not their inclusion of the
zenith make five also sometimes a mystic number? I think that it
Brinton says that among the Mayas of Yucatan, East is Red, West is
Black, North is White and South is Yellow.
The Speaker: It was customary in the villages of the Awawtam for
some individual, perhaps a chief, or a mahkai, or some representative
of these, to mount on a kee, or other high place, and in a loud voice
shout news, orders, advice, or other important matters to the people.
This was the Speaker, a sort of town crier.
To step on the rushing young maid who gathered the cactus fruit was
a blow at the enemy’s subsistence.
It seems to have been a custom among the mahkais to have pet animals
to assist them in their magic.
A circle of bushes, stood up in the earth, forming a screen for
shelter or privacy, was called an onum. One or more may be found near
almost any Pima hut. 
To work witchcraft on a foe, so that he be left weaponless and
helpless, and off his guard against attack, seems to have been the
favorite dream of whoso went to war. Treachery was idolized. There was
no notion of a fair fight.
Stories of mythical beings who, tho repeatedly killed, persist in
coming to life again, are common among many Indian tribes.
Stories of the Third Night
The Story of Ee-ee-toy’s
Ee-ee-toy was thru speaking Juhwerta Mahkai addressed him, and promised
him his help, and that he would lead out to earth again his people, who
had sunk down before the flood, that these might fight against the
people whom Ee-ee-toy had made and who now had turned against him.
So when his people heard this they gathered together all their
property that they could carry, to take to earth with them.
And Juhwerta Mahkai said to Ee-ee-toy: “You go ahead of the
people and I will follow.”
And they went out in bands.
The first band was called the Mah-mahk-Gum. These were led by
Ee-ee-toy, and their color was red.
The second band was called Ah-pah-pah Gum. And their colors
were white and yellow.
The third band was called Vah-vah Gum. And their color was
The fourth band was called Ah-pah-kee Gum. And their colors
were white and yellow.
The fifth band was called Aw-glee Gum. And their color was
And the sixth band was called Ah-pel-ee Gum. And their colors
were white and yellow.
And these bands were so called because it was by these names they
called their fathers. 
As they were going to start they sent the Yellow Gopher ahead to
open a way for them to this earth.
And the gyih-haws were loaded with their belongings, and stood up
beside the ranks. And the bands went thru, one by one.
And when the fifth band was partly thru Toe-hahvs looked back and
saw the gyih-haws walking beside the ranks, and he was amused and said:
“I don’t think there will be enemies enuf for us to kill,
we are so many, and there are these other things, beside us, that look
so funny.” And he began to laugh.
And as soon as he laughed the gyih-haws stopped walking, and ever
since they have never walked, and the women have been obliged to carry
And after these words, too, the earth closed up, so that the sixth
band and part of the fifth band were left behind. And Juhwerta
was left behind, also, and only Ee-ee-toy and Toe-hahvs, and some other
powerful men, went thru to lead the people.
And after they had come out a little way they came to a place called
the White Earth. And Ee-ee-toy stopped then and the others camped with
And there the powerful men all sang, and the people joined in, and
all dressed themselves in their war-bonnets, and attired themselves for
war, and had a great war dance together. 
And they went on again, another journey, and camped at the place
called Black Mountain, and again sang and danced a war dance.
So they went on, slowly, camping at one place, sometimes, for many
days or several weeks, making their living by hunting game.
And whenever they stopped they sent scouts and spies ahead to look
out for the next stopping-place, so that they might go ahead safely.
And this went on for many years.
And there were no deer in those days, and Ee-ee-toy said to the
wood-rat: “Let me make a deer of you.” And the wood-rat
said: “Moevah Sophwah” (all right). But when Ee-ee-toy took
out his knife and began to cut at his skin to change him into a deer,
he cried out so hard that Ee-ee-toy let him go. And you may see the
knife mark on his chest and neck to this day.
And Ee-ee-toy asked another rat, the little one with coarse hair,
called Geo-wauk-kuh-wah-paw-kum, if he might make him into a
deer, and the little rat said “Moevah Sophwah!” And this
little rat was brave, and let Ee-ee-toy cut and change him, and he
became a deer. And Ee-ee-toy said: “You shall not be like some
animals, that love to roam all over, you shall love only one spot and
wish to stay there.” And that is why, to this day, the deer do
not care to leave their own places and wander as coyotes do.
So there were now plenty of deer, and the people had something new
to live upon. 
And there were two brothers who were especially good at hunting the
deer. Their names were Hay-mohl and Soo-a-dack
Cee-a-vawt. And they hunted as the people marched, and kept them
well supplied with deer-meat.
And there was a doctor among them who took the ears and tail of the
deer and worked such witchcraft on them that the deer could hide away
so well that the hunters could not see them. They hunted, as the people
journeyed along, but all in vain.
And the hunters in their trouble sought to get help from a doctor,
and they happened to go to the very one who had helped the deer, and
they told him they wanted help to find the deer, for the children were
crying and hungry and they wanted meat to feed them. And the doctor
said: “I guess the trouble is that you look for the deer in the
old places, where you have already killed them. If you will hunt for them in the
‘cheeks’ (the outlying flanks) of our line of march, you
will find them.” And the hunters hunted for the deer in the
cheeks but could not find them.
And they went that evening to the same doctor and told him of their
bad luck, and the doctor said: “If you will look for them next
time in the little valleys between the hills, I think, you will find
them, for they like to go there.”
And the hunters went the next day and looked in the little valleys,
but could not find the deer, and they came that evening and told the
doctor of their bad luck. And he said: “If you hear
of anyone who chances to kill a deer, even if it is only a fawn, bring
me the tips of its ears, and of its tail, and of its nose.”
And the doctor said: “I want you to bring me these because a
deer feels first with his tail that some one is after him, and, second,
hears with his ears that some one is near, and, third, smells danger
with his nose. And that is why I want you to bring me these.”
The next day these brothers were in a crowd and heard that a fawn
had been killed, and went to it and cut off the tips of its tail and of
its ears and of its nose and brought these to the doctor. And the
doctor took these, and then he took those which he had used at first to
hide the deer with, and with these in his hand he began to sing.
And in his song he asked one of the brothers, Haymohl, for the
turquoise earrings which he wore; and then he asked Sooadack Ceeavawt
for the beads which were around his neck. But the brothers kept on
listening to his song and did not understand what he meant.
And he told them to hunt the next day near the crowd of people, and
they did so and killed a fawn, and took it home and had meat with their
family. And then they went again to the doctor; who again sang his
song, asking for the same gifts. And this time the brothers understood
him and Haymohl said: “O, I never thought of these,” and
took off his ear rings and gave them to him. And Sooadack Ceeavawt took
off his necklace of beads and gave them to him. And the
doctor told them that the next day they were to hunt near the crowd,
and they would find plenty of deer anywhere they might hunt for them.
And he went to where the fawn skin was, and took pieces of its skin and
made medicine-bags for the brothers, out of the cheek pieces of the
fawn stretched out and made into soft buckskin, and filled these with
the scrapings of the buckskin and the tips of the fawn’s ears and
of his tail and nose and gave one to each of the brothers.
And the brothers took these bags, and wore them at their belts, and
the next day they went out hunting and in a little while killed a deer,
and went on a little further and killed another, and after that found
plenty of deer; and from that time on the people had plenty of venison
And the people marched on in the order of their villages; and a
member of one village, a woman, was taken sick, and her
fellow-villagers stayed with her to take care of her, and the rest of
the army marched on, leaving this village behind. And these remained
with her till she died, and buried her, and then journeyed on till they
overtook the others.
And as they traveled a pestilence broke out, a sickness which spread
thru all the villages and delayed them. But a doctor told them to kill
a doe and have a big dance, the dance that is called “Tramping
Down the Sickness,” that the sick might get well. And they did
this and all their sick ones recovered. 
The First Song of Ee-ee-toy’s
The White Earth I come to and sing;
Where many war-bonnets are shaking with the wind;
There we come together to dance and to sing.
The Doctor’s Song to the
Haymohl give me the necklace!
Sooadack Ceeavawt give me the turquoise ear-rings!
The Destruction of the Vahahkkees
(The Pima plural of vah-ahk-kee is
vahp-ahk-kee, but I have made all plurals English, as more
And after this
they were not sick any more, and they came to the Gila Country, to
Ee-ee-toy’s land, the Land of the Vahahkkees, and here they
divided themselves into four parties, of which one went south; but the
doctors united them all by “The Light,” so that they would
know about each other in case there was a battle in which any needed
And as they came into this country the people there were stirred up
with alarm, and the great doctor who lived at Casa Blanca, whose name
was Tcheu-tchick-a-dah-tai Seeven, sent his son to Stcheuadack
Seeven, at Casa Grande, to enquire if there were any prophecies that he
knew of about the coming of this great invading army.
So the boy went, but just before he got there he heard a frog, a big
one, which Stcheuadack Seeven kept for a pet and to assist him in his
work as a doctor, and when the boy heard the frog he was frightened,
and ran back, and when his father asked what he had learned, he said:
“Nothing, I heard a noise there that frightened me, so I ran home
And his father said: “That is nothing to be afraid of, that is only the voice of his pet,
his frog,” and he sent the boy once more.
So the boy went again, and came to Stcheuadack Seeven who asked him
what his father had sent him for, and the boy replied that his father
wanted to know if there were any prophecies about the coming of this
enemy, and how he felt about it every evening.
When the boy returned his father asked him what Stcheuadack Seeven
knew, and how he felt, and the boy said: “He does not know
anything. He says he sits out every night, and hears the different
animals, and enjoys their pleasant voices, and in the morning he enjoys
hearing the sweet songs of the birds, and he always feels good, and
does not fear anything.”
So his father said: “I am well satisfied that I will not be
the first to see this thing happen. It will be Stcheuadack Seeven who
will first see it, and it will not be ten days before it will
And in a few days Ee-ee-toy’s army came to the village of
Stcheuadack Seeven and killed all the people there.
And Geeaduck Seeven, who lived at Awawtkum Vahahkkee, told his
people to flee: and many did so and ran to the mountains and other
places, but the others who did not run away came to Geeaduck
Seeven’s house, and he told them to come in there.
And the enemy came, and they fought, but it was not easy for
Ee-ee-toy’s warriors to fight the men of Geeaduck
Seeven, because they were nearly all inside, but his men managed to set
fire to the house, and so destroyed it, and killed all who were
Then Ee-ee-toy’s men marched on, north, to where
Cheof-hahvo Seeven, or Long Dipper Chief, lived, and as they
marched along they sang about the places they were conquering, and they
sang of the beads that they expected to get at this village, the beads
called sah-vaht-kih, and there was an old woman among them who
said: “When you get those beads, I want them.” And so when
they had conquered that vahahkkee they gave the beads to her.
And they went from there to the home of Dthas Seeven, who had a
cane-cactus fence about his place, and Ee-ee-toy’s men heard of
this, and sang about it as they went along. And they took this place
and killed Dthas Seeven.
And then they went on to where the Casa Blanca vahahkkees now are in
ruins; and the great doctor who lived there, the same who had sent his
boy to inquire of the prophecies, drew a magic line before his place,
so that the enemy could not cross. And when Ee-ee-toy’s men came
to the line the earth opened, and they could not go further till one of
their great doctors, by his power, had closed it, and then they could
And they had a great battle there, for the place was very strong,
and hard to get into. And there was a doctor among them called
Nee-hum Mah-kai, or Thunder Doctor, and they asked
him to use his magic power to tear the place down, and he tried, but
could not succeed. And they asked another, called Tchu-dun
Mahkai, or Earthquake Doctor, and he tried and failed also. And
then they asked another, a little man, not supposed to have much power,
and he took a hair from his head, and held it up by the two ends, and
sang a song, and turned it into a snake. And he sent the snake, and it
struck the house, and shook it so that it broke and fell down from
above. And then Ee-ee-toy’s men took the place, and killed
everybody there except Tcheutchickadahtai Seeven, who escaped and ran
And one of Ee-ee-toy’s warriors pursued him, and was going to
strike him with a club when he sank down, and the place where he sank
was filled with a fog, so that they could not see him, and he got out
on the other side and ran on. But they had a doctor called
Ku-mi-wahk Mahkai, or Fog Doctor, and they had him clear away
the fog and then they could see him and chased him again.
And again, when about to be struck, he sank down, and a mirage
filled the place so that they could not see him, for things did not
look the same. And he got out beyond, and ran on. And they had a
Sas-katch Mahkai, or Mirage Doctor, who cleared away the false
appearance, and again they chased him, and were about to kill him, when
again he sank. 
And this time a rainbow filled the place and made him invisible, and
again he ran on till their Kee-hawt Mahkai, or Rainbow Doctor,
removed the rainbow.
And once more they were about to strike him when he sank, and the
quivers which heat makes, called coad-jook, filled the hole, and
again he got away. But they had a Coadjook Doctor, and he removed it,
and then they chased him and killed him.
And they went northward again from there.
And there was a rattlesnake who had never killed an enemy, and he
asked a doctor to help him do this, and the doctor told him he would.
And the doctor told his pet gopher to dig a hole to the village of the
doctor who lived beyond Od-chee, where is the place called
Scaw-coy-enk, or Rattlesnake Village. And this doctor was the
speaker of his village, and every morning stood on a big stone and in a
loud voice told the people what they were to do. And the gopher dug a
hole to this stone, through which the rattlesnake crawled and lay in
wait under the stone. And when the doctor came out to speak to his
people in the morning, the rattlesnake bit him and then slid back into
his hole again. And the doctor came down from the stone, and went into
his kee, and fell down there and died.
And after taking this place they marched to the place called
Ko-awt-kee Oy-yee-duck, or Shell Field, where a doctor-chief
lived, named Tcheunassat Seeven, and this
place they took, and Ee-ee-toy himself killed this doctor, this being
the first foe he had killed.
And they went on again to the place where Nooee lived, called
Wuh-a-kutch. And Ee-ee-toy said: “When you come there you
will know the man who killed me by his white leggings, and when you
find him, do not kill him, but capture him, and bring him to me, and I
will do what I please with him.”
And Ee-ee-toy had the Eagle and the Chicken-Hawk go up in the sky to
look for Noo-ee, for he said he might go up there. And the Eagle and
the Chicken-Hawk found Nooee there, and caught him, and brought him to
Ee-ee-toy, who took him and scalped him alive. And Nooee, after he was
scalped, fell down and died, and the women came around him, rejoicing
and dancing, and singing; “O why is Seeven dead!” And after
awhile be began to come to life again, and lay there rolling and
And Ee-ee-toy’s men went on again to a village beyond Salt
River, where lived a chief who had a brother, and they were both
left-handed, but famous shots with the bow. And these brothers put up
the hardest fight yet encountered. But when the brothers were too hard
pressed they fled to Cheof See-vick, or Tall Red Mountain, and
there they kept shooting and killed a great many of Ee-ee-toy’s
men, who were short of arrows, after so long fighting and many of their
bows broken. 
Because of this, Ee-ee-toy’s men had to fall back and surround
And when this happened the band that had gone to the south knew by
the “Light” that it was so, and came to help them. And
these had many bows and arrows, and beside brought wood to mend the
broken bows, and wood to make new arrows; and when they came into the
place they gave their bows and arrows to Ee-ee-toy’s men and made
themselves new bows from the wood they had brought. And these men were
the ancestors of the Toe-hawn-awh Aw-aw-tam, the present
Papagoes, and that is why to this day the Papagoes are most expert in
making bows and arrows. And then the fight began again and the two
brave brothers were killed.
And from there they went on to another awawtkumvahahkkee, where is
now Fort McDowell, where lived another seeven whom they fought and
And from there they went on westward thru the mountains. But when
they came to Kah-woet-kee, near where is now Phoenix, one of the
chiefs in Ee-ee-toy’s army said: “I have seen enuf of this
country, and I will take this for my part and remain here.” And
he did so.
And the bands went on and came to the Colorado River, and there one
of the great doctors, called Gaht Mahkai, or Bow Doctor, struck
the river with his bow and laid it down in the water. And the water
separated then so that the people were able to go over to the
other side. And beyond the Colorado they came to a people who lived in
holes in the ground, whom they found it hard to fight, and they asked
help of their Thunder Doctor, and when the people came out of their
holes to fight he struck right in the midst of them, but killed only
one. Then they asked help of the Earthquake Doctor, and he was able to
kill only one. And these two were all they killed. And these people
were called Choo-chawf Aw-aw-tam, or the Foxes, because they
lived in holes.
And after the army failed to conquer the Foxes they returned across
the Colorado River, near where is now Yuma. And here again the Bow
Doctor divided the water for them. But before all the bands were across
the waters closed, and some were left behind. And these called to those
who were across to have the Bow Doctor hit the waters again, that they
also might get there. But those who were across would not do this, but
told them that there was plenty of land where they were that would make
them a comfortable home. And those left there were the ancestors of the
present Yumas and Maricopas. 
Song before the Fight with Cheof-Hahvo
In the land where there are a great many
I will get the doctor out,
It will lighten his heart.
A Song of the Doctor whose Snake Threw
down the Vahahkkee
I made the black snake;
And he went across and wounded the vahahkkee.
Notes on the Story of Ee-ee-toy’s
Army and that of the Destruction of the Vahahkkees
In the Story of Ee-ee-toy’s Army we come to an
amusing superstition of the Pimas. There is a funny little creature in
Arizona, related to the tarantula, perhaps, which the Pimas say is very
poisonous, and which is certainly very quick in motion and the hardest
thing to kill I ever saw. It is covered with a sort of fuzzy hair,
which blows in the wind, and is sometimes red and sometimes yellow or
white. Now there seems to be a connection in the Indian mind between
this way-heem-mahl, as they name him, and this story of
Ee-ee-toy’s Army. The bands, it is related, were distinguished by
certain colors—some took red, and some yellow and white, for
their badge-color. And the Pimas of today suppose themselves descended
from these bands, and some clans claim that the bands of the red were
their forbears, and some trace back to the bands of yellow and white.
And not many years back there was a rivalry between these, and the
wayheemmahls, having the same colors, were identified with the bands,
and the Pimas descended from a band of a certain color would not kill a
wayheemmahl of that color, or willingly permit others to do so, but
would eagerly kill wayheemmahls of the opposite color. If, then, a Pima
of the red faction saw a yellow wayheemmahl, running over the ground,
he was quick to jump on it; but if a Pima of the yellow stood near he
would resent this attack on his relation, and a hair-pulling fight
would result. This custom is probably altogether obsolete now.
It will be noticed that the fantastic explanations of why gyihhaws
are now carried by the women, is contradicted by the carrying of
gyihhaws by various women in previous stories.
The closing of the earth cuts down the six bands to four and a
Wardances, and extravagant and boastful speeches prophesying
success, seem to have preceded all the military movements of the
The creation of deer in this story, by Ee-ee-toy, is contrary to
their presence in earlier tales, as in that of Ahahnheeattoepahk
The careful mention of the sickness and death of an apparently
unimportant woman is curious, and hard to explain. Perhaps this was the
inauguration of the pestilence.
The Story of the Destruction of the Vahahkkees has the most historic
interest of any.
The uniting of the bands by the “Light” is very curious.
My Indians could not tell me what this was, only something occult and
mysterious by which they had clairvoyant ken of each other’s
needs. Its use appears in the fight at Cheof Seevick.
The resemblance to the Israelites crossing the Red Sea is remarkable
in the exploit of the Bow Doctor, and the crossing of the Rio
The Choochawf Awawtam appear to have been cave-dwellers, and my
Indians were confused in memory as to whether they were encountered on
the hither or far side of the Colorado.
The statement that the closing of the waters left the Yumas and
Maricopas on the far bank of the Colorado is likely only a
mahkai’s fanciful attempt to explain their presence there. As the
Indians of the Yuman stock speak an entirely different language from
the Indians of the Piman stock, it is unlikely they were united in the
original invading army. There is no other evidence that there ever was
any alliance between them till the Maricopas, fearing extermination
from the Yumas, joined the Pimas sometime in the first half of the
Comalk Hawkkih gave me this account of the coming in of the
Maricopas: The Yumas and the Maricopas were once all one people, but
there was a jealousy between two sons of a chief, one of whom
was a favorite of his father, and one killed the other, and this grew
to a civil war. The defeated party, the Maricopas, went first to Hot
Springs, where they staid awhile, and then to Gila Bend, but each time
the Yumas followed and attacked them and drove them on. Fearing
extermination they came to the Pimas for protection. The Pimas adopted
them. Now began war between Yumas and Mohaves on one side, and Pimas,
Papagoes and Maricopas on the other. There were only two battles after
the Maricopas came in, but in the second battle all the Yuma warriors
engaged were killed, and the Mohaves had to flee over the mountain, and
only a part of these escaped. This battle was fought at what is now
called Maricopa Mountain.
So terrible was the defeat, that to this day the Yumas hold an
annual “Cry,” or lamentation, in memory of it. Their old
foes are invited, and if any Pima or Maricopa attends he is given a
horse. This war reduced both Yumas and Maricopas to a mere remnant.
Since then the Maricopas have lived with the Pimas, and in customs
are almost exactly similar, except that they burn their dead, and still
speak their distinctive language.
They are a taller, larger race than the Pimas, more restless, said
to be quicker witted, but more inclined to vice, and to be rapidly
dying out; while the Pimas yet hold their own in numbers, despite
recent inroads of tuberculosis. 
The Story of Sohahnee Mahkai and
Now when the
bands were going thru this country they had selected the places for
their homes, expecting to return, and each band, as it selected its
place, drove down short sticks so as to know it again.
And after returning across the Rio Colorado the bands went again to
these places which they had selected and settled there.
Only the Toehawnawh Awawtam (the Papagoes) did not at first go to
their selected place, but went on beyond Awn-kee Ack-kee-mull,
the Salt River, to where is now Lehi.
And there was one doctor among them named So-hah-nee Mahkai,
and he had no child, but he had found one of the children belonging to
the country, which had been left alive, and he had adopted it for his
own. And he went on and lived by himself at the place then called
Vah-kah-kum, but now named Stcheu-a-dack-a-Vahf, or Green
And the Aw-up, or Apaches, were a part of the original people
of this country, and this child which Sohahnee Mahkai had adopted was an
And when he had grown up to be quite a large boy the Apaches planned
to capture Sohahnee Mahkai; but Sohahnee Mahkai knew of this and told
the boy to go to a place where he had been clearing up a farm and to
find the stick there with which he had been cutting down
bushes, and to dig a hole there under the bushes, and then to come back
home and eat his supper. And after he had eaten his supper he was to
return to the place where the stick was, and hide in the hole under the
bushes which were there.
And the boy’s name was Kaw-koin-puh, and he dug the
hole under the bushes, as he was directed, and returned for his
And then Sohahnee Mahkai said to him: “Now to-night the
Apaches will come to kill me, but here is a basket-box which I want you
to have after I am dead. And when you are safe in your hole you will
hear when they come to kill me. But don’t you come out till they
are far enuf away. Then come and find my body, no matter whether h is
here or dragged away. And when you find it, do not mind how stained and
bloody it is, but fall upon it, and put your mouth to mine, and inhale,
and thus you will inherit my power. And when you leave my body, do not
attempt to follow after the Apaches, for they would surely kill you, for tho
you are one of them they would not know that, because you do not speak
their language. But I want you to return to where we left some people
at the place called Vik-kuh-svan-kee.”
So the boy took the little basket-box, and went to his hole, and
early in the evening the Apaches came and surrounded the house, and
staid there till near morning, and then began the attack. And
the boy could hear the fighting, and could hear
Sohahnee Mahkai yell every time his arrow killed anyone; and he could
hear the old woman, his wife, shout out in her exultation, too. And it
was after the sun was up that the old woman was killed; and then
Sohahnee Mahkai ran out and the Apaches chased him and
killed him, and said: “Now let us cut him open and find what it
is that made him so brave, and enabled him to kill so many of
us.” And they cut him open and found under his heart a feather of
the chicken hawk.
And the Apaches took that feather, and that is how they are so brave
and even if there are only two of them will often attack their enemies
and kill some of them.
And after the Apaches were far away the boy came out of his hole and
found the old woman, and from there tracked till he found the old man;
and he fell over him, as he had been told, and inhaled four times; and
then he went to Vikkuhsvankee, but he got there at night, and did not
attempt to go into any house, but staid outside all night in the bushes.
And in the morning a girl came and found the boy, and went back and
told the people there was some one outside who was a stranger there,
some one with short hair. And they came and stood around him, and teased
him, and threw dirt at him, until finally he cried out:
“Don’t you remember me, who I am? My name is Kawkoinpuh and
I was here once, but went away with the doctor,
Sohahnee Mahkai. And now the Apaches have killed him and
the old woman, his wife, and I am left alone.”
And when he said this the people remembered him, and took him by the
hand, and led him to a doctor named Gawk-siss Seev-a-lick, who
adopted him, and he was treated nicely because he was a good hunter and
used to keep the doctor in plenty of game.
And the doctor had a daughter, and when she was old enuf he gave her
to Kawkoinpuh for his wife. And Kawkoinpuh staid with his wife’s
people; and his wife expected a child, and wanted different things to
eat. So Kawkoinpuh left home and went to the mountain called Vahpkee,
and there got her a lot of the greens called choohookyuh. And after a
while he wanted to go again, but she said: “Do not
go now, for the weather is bad. Wait till it is more pleasant.”
But he said, “I am going now,” and he went.
And this time he was hunting wood rats instead of greens, and he had
killed three and was trying to scare out the fourth one, where he could
shoot it, when the Apaches came and surrounded him a good ways off.
He saw them and ran for home, but there were many Apaches in front
of him, and they headed him off.
But he jumped up and down and sideways, as Sohahnee Mahkai had done,
shooting and killing so many that finally he broke thru their
ring, and started for home. But he kept turning back and shooting at
them as he ran. And one of them came near and was about to kill him,
but he shot first and killed the Apache. And then another came near and
this time the Apache shot first, and so Kawkoinpuh was killed.
And when evening came, Gawksiss Seevalick came out, and called
aloud, and invited the people to his house, and asked them if any had
seen his son, Kawkoinpuh; who had seen him last; for he knew something
had happened to him, as he always came home after his hunt,
because he loved his home. But nobody had seen anything of Kawkoinpuh,
because no one had been out, the weather being bad.
But Gawksiss Seevalick knew the boy was killed,
because he was a doctor, and there is a being above, called
Vee-ips-chool, who is always sad and who makes people sad when
anything bad has happened.
So they went out the next morning, and tracked the boy, and came to
where he had killed the wood-rats, and then they found the tracks of
the Apaches, and then found a great many Apaches whom he had killed,
and finally they found his body.
The Apaches had cut him open, and taken out his bowels and wound
them around bushes, and cut off his arms and legs and hung them on
trees. And one of the men, there, told them to get wood and
to gather up these parts of Kawkoinpuh’s body and burn them. And
some of the people remained behind and did this, and then all went
And in the evening Gawksiss Seevalick again called the people
together and sang them a song to express his grief.
And the next morning he went with his daughter to where Kawkoinpuh
had been burned, and there they found some blood still remaining and
buried it. And that evening again he called the people together, and
said: “You see what has happened; we have lost one of our number.
We ought not to stay here, but to return to the place we first
selected.” And the people took his advice and got their things
ready and started.
And they went slow because they were on foot, and it took them four
nights to get to the place where they wanted to go. And the first night
there was no singing, but the second night there was a doctor named
Geo-goot-a-nom-kum who sang a song for them; and the third night
there was a doctor named Geo-deck-why-nom-kum who sang a song
for them; and on the fourth night there was a doctor named
Mahn-a-vanch-kih who sang for them a song. 
Notes on the Story of Sohahnee
In this we are given a most graphic and pathetic
glimpse of Indian warfare.
Notice the bushes are “cut down” (broken off more
likely) by a stick. A glimpse of the rude old tools.
Very poetic is the conception of Veeipschool, “the being above
who is always sad, and makes people sad when anything bad has
happened.” A personification of premonition. 
The Story of Pahtahnkum
And when they
came to their journey’s end the wife of Kaw-koin-puh had a baby,
which grew up to be a fine boy, but the mother cried all the time,
where-ever she went, on account of her husband’s death.
And the people, after they had settled down, used to go
rabbit-hunting, and the children too, and this boy,
Paht-ahn-kum, used to watch them wistfully, and his mother said:
“I know what you are thinking of, but there is nothing for you to
kill rabbits with. But I will send you to your uncle, my brother, whom
I am expecting will make a bow and arrows for you.”
And the next morning, early, the boy went to his uncle, who said:
“Why do you come so early? It is an unusual thing for you to come
to see me so early instead of playing with boys and girls of your own
And the boy replied: “My mother said she was expecting you to
make me a bow and arrows.”
And his uncle said: “That is an easy thing to do. Let us go
out and get one.” And they went out and found an o-a-pot,
or cat-claw tree, and cut a piece of its wood to make a bow, and they
made a fire and roasted the stick over this, turning it, and they made
a string from its bark to try it with; and then they found arrow-weeds,
and made arrows, four of them, roasting these, too, and
strengthening them; and then they went home and made a good string for
the bow from sinew.
And then the boy went home and showed his mother his bow and
And the next morning the children went hunting and little Pahtahnkum
went with them to the place of meeting.
And they found a quotaveech’s nest near them, with young ones
in it, and one of the men shot into it and killed one of the young
ones, and then the children ran up to join in the killing. And when
Pahtahnkum came up, one of the men threw him one of the young birds,
and said: “Here, take it, even if your mother does not wish to
And the little boy ran home and gave his game to his mother, and
when she saw it she turned her back on it and cried. And he wondered
why she cried when he had brought her game and was wishing she would
cook it for his dinner.
And his mother said: “I never thought my relatives would treat
you this way. There is an animal, the caw-sawn, the wood rat,
and a bird, the kah-kai-cheu, the quail, and these are good to
eat, and these are what they ought to give you, and when they give you
those, bring them home and I will cook them for you.” She said,
further; “This bird is not fit to eat; and I was thinking, while
I was crying, that if your father were living now you would have plenty
of game, and he would make you a fine bow, and teach you
to be as good a hunter as there is. And I will tell you now how your
father died. We did not use to live here. But beyond this mountain
there is a river, and beyond that another river still, and that is
where we lived and where your father was killed by the people called
Apaches, and that is why we are here, and why we are so poor now.
I am only telling you this so you may know how you came to be
fatherless, for I know very well you can never pay it back, for the
Apaches are very fierce, and very brave, and those who go to their
country have to be very careful; for even at night the Apaches may be
near them, and even the sunshine in their country feels different from
what it does here.”
And the little boy, that night, went to his uncle, who asked:
“Why do you come to me in the night?”
And the little boy said: “I come to you because today I was
hunting with the bow and arrows you made me, and someone gave me a
little bird, and I was bashful, and brought it right home for my mother
to cook for me, and she cried, and then told me about my father and how
he died. And I do not see why you kept this a secret from me. And I
wish you would tell me what these Apaches look like, that they are so
fierce and brave.”
And his uncle said: “That is so. I have not told
you of these things because you are just a baby yet, and I did not
intend to tell you until you were a man, but now I know you have sense
enuf to wish to learn. There is nothing so very different or dangerous
about these Apaches; only their bows, and their arrows of cane are
And the little boy went on to another doctor, who said: “Why
do you come to me? Are you lost? If so, we will take you home.”
But the little boy said to him: “No, I am not lost, but I want
you to tell me one thing—why the Apaches are so
dangerous—are they like the har-sen, the giant cactus,
with so many thorns?” And the doctor answered: “No, they
are men like we are, and have thoughts as we have, and eat as we do,
and there is only one thing that makes them dangerous and that is their
bows and their arrows of cane.”
So the little boy went to the next doctor, and this doctor also
asked him if he were lost, and he said: “No, but I want you to
tell me just one thing—why the Apaches are so dangerous. Are they
like the mirl-hawk, the cane-cactus, with so many branches all
covered with thorns?” And the doctor replied: “No, they are
human beings just as we are, and think just as we do, and eat as we do,
and the only things that make them dangerous are their bows and their
arrows of cane.” And the little boy said: “I am
But he went yet to another doctor and asked him
also why the Apaches were so dangerous, were they like the
hah-nem, the cholla cactus? But the doctor said no, and gave
the same answer as the others had done, and the little boy said:
“I am satisfied, then,” and went back to his uncle again
and began to question him about what people did when they got ready for war,
and what they did to purify themselves afterward, and his uncle said:
“It is now late at night, and I want you to go home, and tomorrow
come to me, and I will tell you about these things.”
So the little boy went home, but very early in the morning, before
sunrise, he was again at his uncle’s house, and came in to him
before he was yet up. And his uncle said: “I will now tell you,
but we must go outside and not talk in here before other
And he took the little boy outside, and they stood there facing the east,
waiting for the sun to rise, with the little boy on the right of his
uncle. And when the sun began to rise the doctor stretched out his left
hand and caught a sunbeam, and closed his hand on it, but when he
opened his hand there was nothing there; and then he used his right
hand and caught a sunbeam but when he opened his hand there was nothing
there; and he tried again with his left hand, and there was nothing,
but when he tried the second time with his right hand, when he opened
it, there was a lock of Apache’s hair in his hand. 
And he took this and put it in the little boy’s breast, and
rubbed it in there till it all disappeared, having entered into the
little boy’s body.
And then he told the little boy to get him a small piece of oapot or
cat-claw tree, but no, he said, I will go myself; and he went and got a
little piece of the oapot, and tied a strip of cloth around the
boy’s head, and stuck the little piece of wood in it, and then
told him to go home to his mother and tell her to give him a new dish
to eat from.
And this stick which the doctor had put into the boy’s hair
represented the kuess-kote or scratching stick which the Pimas
and Papagoes used after killing Apaches, during the purification time;
and the doctor had made it from cat-claw wood because the cat-claw
catches everybody that comes near, and he wanted the boy to have great
power to capture his enemies.
And his uncle told the boy to stay at home in the day time, lying
still and not going anywhere, but at night to come to him again.
“And before you come again,” he said, “I will make
you something and have it ready for you.”
And the little boy kept still all that day, but at night he went to
his uncle again, and his uncle had four pipes ready for him, made from
pieces of cane, and he said, “Now tonight when the people gather
here (for it was the custom for many people to come to the
doctor’s house in the evening) they will talk and have a good
time, but after they are thru I will roll a coal from the
fire toward you, and then you light one of the pipes and smoke four
whiffs, and after that slide the watch-kee, the pipe, along the
ground toward me, as is the custom, and I will smoke it four times and
pass it to my next neighbor, and he will do the same, and so the pipe
will go all around and come back to you. And even when it is out, when
it comes back to you, you are to take it and stick the end that was
lighted in the ground.
So that evening the people all assembled as usual, and told all the
news of the day, and about the hunting as was their custom. And when
they were thru, and had quieted down, the uncle moved to the fire and
rolled a coal toward Pahtahnkum, who took it and lit one of the pipes,
and smoked it four times, and then slid it slowly (the pipe must be
slid slowly because if it were slid rapidly the enemy would be too
quick and escape, but if it is done slowly the enemy will be slow and
can be captured) along the ground to his uncle. And his uncle took the
watchkee, the pipe-tube, and smoked it also four whiffs, and passed it
on, but saying: “Of course you are all aware that if any man
among you has a wife expecting to have a baby soon, he should not smoke
it, but pass it on without smoking to his neighbor, for if you smoke in
such case the child will not be likely to live very long.”
And so the pipe passed around, and the boy, when the pipe came to
him again, buried it as he had been told, and then he
began to make this speech:—
“I am nothing but a child, and I go around where the people
are cooking and when they give me something to eat I generally suffer
because it is so hot. And there was a hunt, and you gave me nothing but
a little quotaveech, and stuck it under my belt as if it were something
good to eat: and when I took it home to my mother, and dropped it down
by her, she turned her back upon it and began to cry. And when she had
done crying she told me of all that had happened before, about my
father’s death, and the story entered my heart; and I went for
help to a respectable person, a doctor, one to whom a child would not
be likely to go, and he kindly assisted me, and told me what I asked of
And I wanted to be revenged on the slayers of my father, and in
imagination a day was appointed for the war, and I went; and the first
night I feared nothing and felt good, and the second night, too, I
feared nothing and felt good, but the third night I knew I was in the
land of the Apaches, an enemy with shield and club, and I did not feel
good, and it seemed to me the world was shaking, and I thought of what
my mother had said, that the land of the Apaches was different from
And the fourth day I went on and came to the mountain of the
Apaches, and I found there the broken arrows of my father’s
fight; and I sat down, for it seemed to me the mountains and
the earth were shaking, and shook my knees, and I thought of what my
mother had said that the land of the Apaches felt entirely
And the next day I went on and came to the water of the Apaches. And
my hair lay over the water like moss. And I looked and found my skull,
and I used it for a dipper, and parted the hair with it, and dipped up
the water and drank it. And when I drank from the skull I felt as if I
were crazy, and clutched around with my hands at things that were not
And from there I went on to another water, and that was covered with
the white war-paint of my hair, which lay like ashes on the water, and
I looked around and found my skull, and drank from that water, and it
smelled strong to me like the smell of human flesh and of black
And all this was caused in my imagination by the thought of my dead
father, and of how the Apaches had gone along rejoicing because they
had killed him.
And the next place was a great rock, and I sat down under it, and it
was wet with my tears; and the winds of the power of my sadness blew
around the rock four times, and shook me.
In the far east there is a gray cousin, the Coyote, and he knows
where to find the Apaches, and he was the first I selected to help me
and be my comrade, and he took my word, and joined me; and stood up and
looked, and saw the Apaches for me and told me; and I had my
band ready, and my boys captured the Apaches, who had no weapons ready
to injure them.
And after killing them I took their property, and I seemed to get
all their strength, all their power. And I came home, bringing all the
things I had captured, and enriched my home, strengthening myself four
times, and the fame of my deed was all over the country.
And I went to the home of the doctor, taking the child I had
captured, and when we were there the blue tears fell from the eyes of
the child onto my boys and girls.
And all of you, my relatives, should think of this, and be in favor
of the war, remembering the things we have captured, and the enemies we
have killed, and should make your singing all joy because of our past
And after the speech was done, feeling it the speech of a child, the
people were silent, but at length Toehahvs said: “I like the way
of the child, because I am sure he is to be a powerful person, perhaps
stronger than any of us, and I respect him, and that is why I am kind
to him, and I want that we should all take a smoke, and after that you
will get over your feeling of his insignificance.”
And then they all smoked again, and began to talk about the war, and
of the things they lacked, but the boy wanted them to get ready in four
days, telling them that was plenty of time. And so
they all began to get ready for the war, making and getting ready
shields, clubs, bows, arrows, shoes, and whatever was needed.
And so the people departed for the war, and the very day they left,
the mother of Pahtahnkum went and got clay to make the new dishes for
the men who should kill Apaches, for she foreknew that many would be
killed, and so she sang at her work. And a few of the people were left
at home, and one of these was an old man, and he passed near where the
mother (whose name was Koel-hah-ah) was making her pottery, and
heard her singing her song, and he said to the people: “It is
very strange that this woman who used to cry all the time is singing now her
boy has gone to the war. Perhaps she is like some wives, who when their
time of mourning is over are looking out for another man.”
And the war-party went by near where Tawtsitka (Sacaton) now
is, around the mountain Chirt-kih, and west of the
mountains, and there they found tracks of the Apaches, and paused, and
the boy, Pahtahnkum, told them to wait there while he went forward and
found where the Apaches were.
And Toehahvs said: “I will go with you, so we can help each
other and be company, and you will feel that you have some strength,
and I will feel the same.”
So Pahtahnkum and Toehahvs went out on their scout, and went up an
arroyo, or washout valley, In the mountains, and in
making a turn came suddenly upon some Apache children playing in the
sand, and the children saw them and ran up the valley to where the
Apache houses were. And the two scouts stood and looked at each other
and said: “What shall we do now! for if we go back the people
will blame us for letting the Apaches see us first.”
And Pahtahnkum said: “You go back and step in my tracks, and I
will turn into a crow and fly up on this rock.” And this was
done, and when the Apaches came they could see only the coyote tracks,
and they said: “There are no human tracks here. It must have been
a coyote the children saw,” and they went back home. And then
Pahtahnkum flew to where Toehahvs was, and came down and took his human
And the band had been anxious about them, because they were gone so
long, and had followed their tracks, and now came near, and when Pahtahnkum saw
them, instead of going back to them, he and Toehahvs turned and ran
toward the Apaches, and all the band rushed after them, and they took
the Apache village by surprise, and conquered and killed all the men,
and then killed all the women, and scalped them all.
And because Pahtahnkum had been so brave, and had killed many, the
people brought all the scalps to him, and all the baskets, and bows and
arrows, and other things they had taken, and laid them around him; and
then they all stood around him in circles, the oldest in the
middle next to the boy, and the others, in the order of
their age, in circles outside.1 And then Pahtahnkum began
to yell, he was so rejoiced, and he threw the scalps of the Apaches up
into the air, and then, after them, the other things, the bows and
arrows, and all things captured, because he wanted to make a cloud; for
when an Apache is killed it will rain.
And while this was happening, his mother was rejoicing at home,
knowing all that was happening to her boy.
So the people took everything the Apaches had, and a good many
children as captives, and they returned by the same road, and before
they got home they sent a messenger ahead.
And when they got home they presented all the property taken, and
all the weapons and all the captives to the mother of Pahtahnkum.
Now when the neighbors of those Apaches heard of this they formed a
big war-party, and followed Pahtahnkum’s trail, but when they
came to the place called Taht-a-mumee-lay-kote they stopped,
because they did not know where to find water, and so they turned back,
tho from there they could see the mountains where Pahtahnkum lived.
And after Pahtahnkum had gone thru the prescribed purifications, and
the war-dances and rejoicing proper to the occasion, he again
formed a war-party, and again took the trail after the Apaches, only
this time he went to the other end of the Superstition Mts. And there
they saw the lights at night on a peak, where the Apaches lived, and
went up there and killed them, except the children, whom they took for
And then they went down into an open place in the desert, and there
placing Pahtahnkum and Toehahvs in the center, they again formed the
circles, with the older ones nearest the middle, and again brought all
their trophies to Pahtahnkum and Toehahvs, who threw them up with
rejoicing, as before.
And again the Apaches formed a war-party, and pursued them; and
again they, when they came to the low mountains south west of where
Tawtsitka now is, were frightened, as they looked over the desert, and
said: “This country is unknown to us, and we do not want to die
of thirst,” and again they abandoned the pursuit, and returned
home. And because the place where they made fires was found, these
mountains are called Aw-up Chert-taw to this day.
And again everything was given to Koelhahah, as before.
And once more, after the purification, Pahtahnkum formed a
war-party; and this time they went to the east, and there again found
Apaches at the place called Oy-yee-duck, or The Field, because
there the Apaches had cultivated fields, and here they fought
the Apaches, and defeated them; but they had hard work to kill one
Apache, who was very brave, and who kept his wife before him and his
child behind him, and as the Papagoes did not want to kill these they
could not get at the man. But finally Pahtahnkum killed a man near him,
and some one else killed the woman, and then Pahtahnkum killed this man
and took the little boy captive.
And again they went out to an open place, and formed the circles,
and rejoiced as before.
And a party of Apaches pursued them again and again were
discouraged, and turned back at the red bluff to the eastward, where
they dug a well, which place is still called Taw-toe-sum
Vah-vee-uh, or the Apache’s Well.
And again, in due time, a war-party was formed, and this time it
went far east, and there was found a single hunter of the Apaches, and
this man they killed and cut up and mutilated as had been done with
Pahtahnkum’s father, putting his flesh out as if to jerk it. And
they went south-east from there and again found a single hunter; and
him they scalped and placed his scalp like a hat on a giant-cactus, for
which reason the place is still called Waw-num, which means a
And Pahtahnkum walked behind, for he was very sad, thinking of his
And then Pahtahnkum returned home, having revenged his father, and
this was the last of his wars. 
And once more the Apaches followed him, but stopped at a place near
the Superstition Mts. where, as there had been rain and the ground was
wet, they stopped to clean a field, See-qua-usk, or the
Clearing, but they gave it up and returned, not even planting the
And his mother made a large olla, and a small flat piece of
pottery, like the plates tortillas are baked on. And she put all
the Apache hair in the olla, and placed the flat plate on top to cover
it with greasewood gum to seal it up tight.
And then she went and found a cave, and by her power called a wind and
a cloud that circled it round.
And then she returned to her people, and, placing the olla on her
head, led them to the cave, and said. “I will leave this olla
here, and then when I have need of wind, or of rain, I can form them by
throwing these up, and so I shall be independent.”
And after this Pahtahnkum was taken ill, and the people said it was
because he had not properly purified himself.
And he went to the tall mountain east of Tucson, and from there to
other mountains, seeking the cool air, but he got no better, and at
last he came to the Maricopa Mts., and died there, and his grave is
And his mother died at her home. 
The Song of Koelhahah about her
My poor child, there will be great things happen
And there will be great news all over the world because
of my boy.
The news will go in all directions.
Notes on the Story of Pahtahnkum
In this, in the smoking at the war-council, appears a
curious superstition concerning the effect of a man’s smoking
upon his unborn child.
Another superstition appears in the idea that the killing of an
Apache and throwing up of his accoutrements or scalp would cause
I have a boy’s bow and arrows just like those described in
this story, bought of a Pima child.
War arrows were a yard long, with three feathers instead of two, and
tipped with flint or, later, with iron. But even a wooden arrow would
kill a deer.
Bows were made from Osage orange, cat-claw, or o-a-pot; or,
better still, from a tree called gaw-hee. Arrows from
arrow-weeds. The Apache arrows were made of cane.
The Pimas were formerly famous for archery, and the shooting of bird
on the wing, and of jack rabbits at full run while the archer was
pursuing on horseback, were favorite feats.
The Apache well: I am told the old Arizona Indian wells were not
walled up, and the sides were at such a slant that the women could walk
down to the water and back with their ollas on their heads.
Wells are now obtained without great difficulty, but the water is
salty and often alkaline and none too cool.
Stories of the Fourth Night
The Story of the Gambler’s
And after this,
for a long time, there was peace toward the Apaches, but it happened,
once, that two brothers of the country went to gamble with the Awup,
playing the game called waw-pah-tee in which the gamblers guess
in which piece of cane a little ball is hidden.
And one of the brothers, after losing all his goods, bet his brother
and lost him, and then bet the different parts of his own body, leaving
his heart to the last, and finally wagered his heart against all his
previous bets, saying it was worth more than they, and hoping so to
recover all, but he lost that also.
And when the game was ended the Apaches killed his brother, but
allowed him to walk away, and he returned to his own land.
But all the way he would see his brother’s tracks, and
whenever he stopped to camp he would see his brother’s body,
where it lay, and how he looked, lying there dead; and when he got home
he felt so sad he cried aloud, but no one paid any attention to
And when he got home his folks gave him food to eat, and water to
drink, but he would neither eat nor drink, feeling so sad about his
brother, and he took nothing for four days.
But on the fifth day he went out and sought the
cool shade of trees to forget his brother, and went upon the hills and
stood there, but he could not forget; and then, in coming down, he fell
down and went to sleep.
And in his sleep his brother came to him, and he seemed to know him,
but when he tried to put his arms around his brother he woke up and
found he was not there.
And he went home and ate, and then made this speech:—
“My pitiful relatives, I will pity you and you will pity
This spread-out-thing, the world, is covered with feathers, because
of my sadness, and the mountains are covered with soft feathers.
Over these the sun comes, but gives me no light, I am so sad.
And the night comes, and has no darkness to rest me, because my eyes
are open all night.
(This has happened to me, O all my relatives.)
And it was my own bones that I raked up, and with them made a fire
that showed me the opposite land, the Land of the Enemy.
(This was done, my relatives.)
The sticks I cut for the number of days were my own sinews, cut and
It was my own rib that I used as an eev-a-dah-kote, or fire
It was my own bowels that I used for a belt.
And it was my scalp, and my own hair, that I used for sandals.
It was my own skull that I filled with my own blood, and drank from,
and talked like a drunkard.
And I wandered where the ashes are dumped, and I wandered over the
hills, and I found it could be done, and went to the shadows of the
trees and found the same thing.
On the level ground I fell, and the Sun, the Traveller, was
overhead, and from above my brother came down, and I tried to hug him,
but only hugged myself.
And I thought I was holding all sadness, but there was a yet
stronger sadness, for my brother came down and stood on my breast, and
the tears fell down and watered the ground.
And I tried to hug him, but only hugged myself.
And this was my desire, that I should go to the powerful woman, and
I reached her quietly where she lived.
And I spoke to her this way:
‘You were living over there.
You are the person who makes a hoop for her gyihhaw from the
Apaches’ bow, and with their arrows makes the back-stop, the
oam-muck, and with their blood you color the gyihhaw prettily;
and you split the arrow-heads and make from them the ov-a-nuck,
and tie it in with the Apaches’ hair, weaving the hair to the
left and then binding it on.’
And this way I spoke to her.
And then she gave me good news of the weakness of the Apaches and I
ran out full of joy. 
And from there I rose up and reached the Feather-Nested Doctor,
Quotaveech, and I spoke to him this way:
‘And you belong here.
And you make the ribs of your kee from the Apache bows, and you tie
the arrows across with the bow strings, and with the sinews of their
bows you tie them.
And with the robes of the Apaches, and with their head-wear, and
with their moccasins, you cover the kee instead of with arrow
And inside, at the four corners, there are hung locks of
Apaches’ hair, and at the corners are the stumps of the cane-tube
pipes, smoking themselves, and forming the smoke into all colors of
flowers—white and glittering and gray and yellow.’
And this way I spoke to him, and he gave me the good news of the
weakness of the Apaches.
And I came down and went Southward to the other doctor, called
Vahk-lohn Mahkai and there I reached him.
And this way I spoke to him:
‘And here is where you belong.
The Apache bow you make into the likeness of the pretty rainbow, and
the arrows you make into the likeness of the white-headed grass.
And the fore shaft of the arrows you turn into water moss, and the
arrows into resemblance of flat clay.
And the hair of the Apaches you make into likeness of clouds.’
And this way I spoke to him, and he told me the news of the weakness
of the Apaches.
And I ran out of the house, and went westward, and found the old
woman doctor, Tawquahdahmawks.
And I said to her:
‘You belong here.
And you make the bow of the Apaches into the hoop of the game the
Aw-aw-bopp, the Maricopas, play, the rolling hoop that they
throw sticks after.
And their arrows you flatten up with your teeth, and wear around
your brows like a crown.
And the fore shafts of the arrows you have split, and painted red
with the Apache blood, and made into gainskoot, the dice sticks.
And the Apache hair you make into a skirt.’
And this way I spoke to her, and she told me the thought of the two
different peoples, the Awawtam and the Awup, that they were enemies,
and she told me this, and I went out from there and strengthened myself
And I spread the news when I got home, and set the doctor over it.
And there was the stump of the doctor’s pipe standing there,
and smoking itself, and I imbibed it, and smoked it toward the enemy,
and the smoke changed into different colors of flowers, white,
glittering, grey and yellow, and reached the edge of the earth, the
land of the Apache, and circled around there. 
And it softened the earth, and brought fresh grass, and fresh leaves
on the trees, so that the Apaches would be gathered together.
And my western famous enemy went and told his son to go to his
uncle, to see if it was so that there was plenty of grass and plenty of
things to eat there.
And his son went and said: ‘My father sent me to find out
about these things,’ and his uncle said: ‘It is so
what he has heard, that we have plenty of things to eat, and all kinds
of game, and that is what I eat.
You go back and tell the old man to come, so that I will be with him
So the boy went and told the old man this, and he got up and put on
his nose-ring of turquoise, and took his cake of paint, and his locks
of hair, and his pouch.
After he got everything together he started out and camped for one
night, and arriving at his destination the next morning, after the sun
rose, came to his brother and called him, ‘Brother!’ with a
And the next morning the brother got up and went hunting, and found
a dead deer, and brought it home, and called it fresh meat, and they
ate it together.
But instead of eating deer they ate themselves up.
And their skins became like sick person’s skin, and their hair
became coarse, and their eyes were sore, and they became lousy, and
were so weak that they left their hands beneath their heads
when they scratched themselves lying down.
And the brother’s wife went and gathered seed to eat, and
found it easy to gather, without husks, and thought to enjoy eating it,
but when she ate it she ate her own lice, and her skin became as a sick
person’s skin, her hair became coarse, her person lousy, her eyes
And my enemy in the far east heard about food being so plenty to eat
there, and sent his son to ask his uncle if these reports were so.
And his father got up and took his war-bonnet of eagle-feathers, and
his moccasins, and, using his power, brought even his wind and his
clouds and his rainbow with him, and all his crops, for tho he had
plenty at home he thought to find more at his brother’s
And, camping one night on the road, he came to his brother, after
sunrise, and called him ‘Brother’ with a loud voice.
And everything happened to this enemy from the east, and his
brother, and brother’s wife, that had happened to the enemy from
the west and his brother and brother’s wife.
And I found the Apache enemy early in the morning, lying
still needing his blanket, and covering himself up, and captured him
And there I captured all his property, and took from him captives
and many scalps, and my way coming back seemed to be down hill, and I
strengthened myself and came to the level ground. 
And when I came to the hollow where I drank, the water rippled from
my moving it.
And I appointed messengers to go ahead and tell those at home, the
old men and women waiting to hear of us, the good news of our
And after sending on the messengers I went on, rejoicing, carrying
the consciousness of my victory over the Apaches with me; and arriving
home at evening I found the land filled with the news, even the tops of
the hills covered.
And I told my people to send word to our western relatives, and to
our southern relatives, and our eastern relatives, that the good news
might be known to all.”
After this he called the people together for war, and the first
evening they camped a man prophesied, and said:
“Now we have heard our war-speech, and are on our way, and I
foresee the way beautiful with flowers, even the big trees covered with
flowers, and I can see that we come to the enemy and
conquer them easily.
And the road to the east is lined with white flowers, and the
Apaches, seeing it, rejoice also, with smiles, thinking it for their
good, but really it is for their destruction, for it is made so by the
power of our doctors.
And in the middle of the earth, between us and the enemy, stood the
Cane-Tube Pipe and smoked itself.
I inhaled the smoke and blew it out toward the East, and saw the
smoke rising till it reached the Vahahkkee of Light, and up
still till it reached the Cane of Light.
And I took that cane and punched it at the corner of the Vahahkkee,
and out came the White Water and the White Wasps, and the wasps flew
around it four times and then they went down again.
And then in the South I saw the Blue Vahahkkee, and the Blue Cane,
and I took the cane and punched it into the corner of the vahahkkee,
and there came out Blue Water and Blue Wasps, and the wasps flew around
four times, and then sank down again.
And in the West there stood the Black Vahahkkee, and the Black Cane,
and I took the cane and punched at the corner, and there came out Black
Water and Black Wasps, and the wasps flew around four times, and then
went in again.
And in the North stood the Yellow Vahahkkee, and the Yellow Cane,
and I took the cane and punched it at the corner, and there came out
Yellow Water and Yellow Wasps, and the wasps flew around four times,
and then went in again.
And on top of this vahahkkee was a Yellow Spider, and I asked him to
help me, and he stretched his web four times, and there found my
And there he bound his heart with his web, and bound his arms, and
bound his bow and his arrows, and left him there in the state of a
woman, with nothing to defend himself with. 
And he pushed me toward where he had left him, and I captured him
very easily, and all his property, and all his children.
You, my relatives, may not like the noise of our rejoicing, but it
is only for a short time that we rejoice over the enemy.”
And they camped out another night, and another one spoke, and he
“I was lying in ashes, and praying the distant mountains for
strength, and the far doctors for power.
And there was a Sun that rose from the east and followed the western
And all the four-footed animals met together and called themselves
relatives, and all the birds met together and called themselves
relatives, and in this order followed the Sun.
And the Sun rose again, and brought me the See-hee-vit-tah
Feather, the Sunbeam, to wear on my head, and hugged me up to him.
And the Sun rose again, and brought the Blue Fog, and in the fog
took me toward the enemy.
But instead of taking me to the enemy it took me up into the sky, to
the Yellow Crow.
And the Yellow Crow, as a powerful mahkai, went down to the enemy
and divided their land four times, and slew the human beings, and
painted the rocks over beautifully with their blood.
And from there I went to the Yellow Spider, living on the back of
the mound at the North, and asked him to help me. 
And he stretched his web four times, and found my enemy, and bound
him, and pushed me toward him, and I took him, and all his, captive,
and came home rejoicing.
So, my relatives, think of this, that there will be victory. You may
not like the noise of our rejoicing, but it is only for a short time
that we rejoice over the enemy.”
And they went toward the mountains where the Apaches live, and
camped there, and there were empty Apache houses there, and one of them
spoke using himself figuratively as a type of his people:
“Perhaps these Apaches have gone from here to my house, and
have killed me and have dragged me thru the waters we passed coming
here, and have beaten me with all the sticks we saw on the road, and
have thrown ashes over me, and maybe these are my bones that lie here,
and this dry blood is my blood.
This has been done, my relatives, and there in the East is a
Vahahkkee of Light, and within it there is a Butcher-bird of Light.
And I asked the Butcher-bird for power, and he followed his Road of
Light, and touched the ground four times with his tail, and came to
And he went on the road that is lighted by a mahkai, and following
that reached my enemy.
And my enemy thought himself a good dreamer, and that his dreams
were fulfilled for good, and that he had a good bow with a good string,
and good cane arrows, but the Butcher-bird had already punched his eyes out without his knowing it.
And all the animals and birds of the Apaches think they have good
eyes to see with, but the Butcher-bird has punched their eyes out
without their knowing it.
And the winds of the Apaches think they have sharp eyes, and the
clouds of the Apaches think themselves sharp-eyed, but the Butcher-bird
has punched their eyes out without their knowing it.
So he treated the enemy like that, and left him there as a woman,
and then pushed me toward him, and I went and captured him easily.
And I gathered all the property, and all the captives, and, turning
back, looked ahead of me and found the country all springy with water,
and wasps flying, and I followed them.
And ahead of me was a road with many flowers, and a butterfly that
beautifully spread itself open and led the way, and I followed.
And I brought the dead enemy home, and from there the news spread
all over my country.
So, my relatives, think of this, that there will be victory.
And you may not like the sound of our rejoicing, but it is only for
a short time that we rejoice over our enemy.” 
Notes on the Story of the
In this we are given wonderful glimpses into the
strange, fierce, sad, extravagant poetry of the Indian speeches, which
seem oftenest inspired by the passion of revenge. Notice that in these
stories, if several speeches are given in any one story, they generally
have a quite similar ending, a sort of refrain: “So, my
This story ends abruptly, and is, I think, manifestly only a
fragment. Following the speeches, which were mere boastful prophecies,
should have been an account in detail of the actual campaign, as in the
story of Pahtahnkum’s war. 
The Story of Nahvahchoo
once wandering along when he found some moss that had been left there
ever since the flood, and he stood and looked at it, wondering how he
could make it into a human being.
And while he watched it the sun breathed on it, and it became not a
man, but a turtle.
And he wandered on again and found some driftwood, and while he
stood wondering how to make it into a human being, the sun breathed on
it, and it became a man, but he could not see its face, which was
covered as with a mask.
And the turtle and the masked man, thus created, went westward, and
came to a Blue Vahahkkee, and they went in and staid all night.
In the morning, when the sun rose, they were frightened at the blue
beams that shone thru the vahahkkee, and they left.
And after going a little way they came to a Black Road, and Black
Birds flew over them to keep them from being seen.
And they came to a Black Night. In that night was a Black Bow, which
stretched as if it were going to shoot them, so that they were afraid
to lie down all night.
And the next day they came to a Blue Road, and a flock of Blue Birds
flew over them, and all around, striking them. 
After a while they came to a Blue Night, and in the night was a Blue
Bow, which stretched itself threateningly at them, as the Black Bow had
done the night before.
And they could not sleep for fear that night, either; and the next
day they came to a White Road, and a flock of White Birds followed
them, striking them.
And they came to a White Night, and in that night was a White Bow,
which threatened them as the others had done, so that again they could
And the next day they had a similar experience, only it was a Yellow
Road, with Yellow Birds, and a Yellow Night with a Yellow Bow.
The next day there was no danger any more, and they went on and came
to a mountain, Co-so-vah-taw-up-kih, or Twisted Neck Mountain,
and there the Nahvahchoo (masked man), having run ahead, left the
turtle behind, and when evening came sat down and waited for the turtle
to come up. But the turtle was too far behind, and when night came
stopped where he was, and made a fire, and made corn and pumpkins, and
roasted the corn and set the pumpkins around the fire, as the Indians
do, to scorch them before putting them in the ashes.
And Nahvahchoo heard the popping sound of the cooking, and came
running back, and tried to steal a piece of the fire to have one of his
own, but the turtle would not let him. And so the Nahvahchoo went off and made a fire of his own,
and corn and pumpkins of his own, and cooked them as the turtle had
In the morning, after they had feasted on the pumpkin and corn, the
turtle, Wee-hee-kee-nee, sank down and went under the earth to
the ocean, and made that his home, and Nahvahchoo sank down and went in
the same direction, but not so far, coming up on the sea shore.
And Nahvahchoo went along the sea-shore, toward the east, till he
came to a great deal of driftwood, and many flowers, and handled all
these, and got their strength, and made his home in the east.
One day Nahvahchoo heard the earth shaking, and ran out of his house
to try and find where the shaking came from, and he went south and did
not feel it, and went west and felt it a little, and went north and
felt it more. And so he ran back and put on his mask, and took his bow,
and went north. And the first time he stopped and listened he heard it
somewhat, and the next time he heard it more, and the third time still
more, and the fourth time he came to where many people were singing the
song Wah-hee-hee-vee, and dancing the dance Vee-pee-nim,
in which the dancers wear gourd masks, on their faces, pierced full of
little holes to let the light thru.
And they were dancing, too, the dance Kawk-spahk-kum, in
which the dancers wear a cloth mask, like Nahvahchoo, with a little
gourd, full of holes, over the mouth-hole, to sing thru. 
And they were dancing also the dance Tawt-a-kum, in which the
dancer wears a bonnet of cloth, and a mask like Nahvahchoo does.
And the people sitting around in these dances had little rods which
they rubbed upon notched sticks, in time to the singing and the
At first Nahvahchoo was greatly excited by all this dancing, for all
these people seemed to do nothing else but sing and dance, and make the
rods and notched sticks and stand them up in bunches; but after a few
days he began to think of game, for he was a great hunter, and he went
out and found the tracks of a deer.
And measuring these with his arrow he laughed, covering his mouth
with his hand, and said: “This deer will not run very fast, I
could catch him myself.” For a deer that measures a good way
between his tracks is long-bodied, and cannot run fast, while a deer
that measures short between tracks has a short body, and jumps
And he followed the deer, which heard him coming, and began to run,
and when Nahvahchoo saw by its tracks that it was running, he ran, too,
and getting on a hill saw the dust of its running away off; and he ran
after it, and when he came to the next hill it was close, and he ran
down, and killed it, and took it back to the singers, and they fell
ravenously upon it and ate it all up, not leaving him even the
Nahvahchoo sat off a little way and watched them, and one of their
speakers addressed him, and said: “We know you, who
you are. You are a great doctor, and a great hunter, and a great
farmer, and a powerful man every way. And maybe you expected us to join
in your hunt and help you carry the game. But we want you to join us,
and become a singer, and you will have plenty of corn and beans to eat,
and you will find that such food will last, while, as you see, the
game, when you bring it in, lasts but a little while.”
So Nahvahchoo staid with them and became a singer, and after a while
the people told him to go to a certain vahahkkee, and said: “You
will find something there with which you will be pleased. And then go
to the opposite one, and you will find that with which you will be
still more pleased.
And one of these vahahkkees was called See-pook (Red-bird)
Vahahkkee and the other was named Wah-choo-kook-kee (Oriole)
Vahahkkee.—But tho they told him to go to these they did not
allow him to do so, but one day he slipped away, when they were not
looking, and opened one, and saw in it many wonderful things, clouds
forming and sprinkling all the time; and in the other it was the
And one was covered with red flowers, and the other with yellow
flowers, and where they came together the mingling of red and yellow
was very pretty.
At the door of each vahahkkee was a corn-mill. And
he stole one of these and went west. But after a while he stopped and
said: “I wonder what is going to happen, for the east is all
green and the west is of the same color.”
But he ran on, and the clouds came over him, and it began to
sprinkle, and then to rain, and then the water began to run, and get
deeper and deeper, and he said: “This is happening to me because I stole
this mill, but I am not going to let it go, I am going to keep
And he ran on and came to where he had separated from Weeheekeenee,
and went on and over Cosovahtawupkih, the Twisted Neck Mountain.
And on that mountain he felt rather faint, and put his hand in his
pouch and found a root and chewed it, the root
Cheek-kuh-pool-tak, and breathed it out, and it stopped
And he went on to the Quojata Mountain, and sat there and took a
smoke; and then on to Ahn-naykum; and then to Odchee, where he left the
mill; and then to Kee-ahk Toe-ahk, where he also rested and took
a smoke; and then he went home.
And when Nahvahchoo arrived home he made a speech:
“Where shall we hear the talk that will make us drunk and
dizzy with the flowers of eloquence?
There was near the water the driftwood lying, and from above the sun
breathed down and a being was made.
And it was the beautiful daybreak that I took and wiped its face
with, and the remains of darkness that I painted its face with.
And there were all kinds of bird’s feathers that I made a
feather bonnet from.
And there were joining wasps that came and flapped on the
And there were many butterflies that flapped their wings upon the
bonnet, upon its feathers.
And it was from the rainbow that I made its bow, and from the Milky
Way that I made its arrow.
From a red skin it was that I made its saw-suh-buh, to cover
its arm for the bow-string not to injure it.
And it was a red kuess-kote that I made and put in its hair
to scratch with.
And it was the gray fog that I fastened in its shoulders for its
And the strong wind it was that I used for its girdle, around its
In the middle of the earth lay a square water moss, and the sun
breathed on it and it turned into a creature, a turtle.
And from there the Driftwood-Being went west with it.
From there they went westward and watched the sun rise in the Blue
Vahahkkee, and were frightened, and returned.
From there they came to a Black Road, and Black Birds followed them,
and to a Black Night wherein a Black Bow frightened them.
And from there they came to a Blue Road, with Blue Birds following,
and to a Blue Night with a Blue Bow to frighten them. 
And from there they came to a White Road with White Birds following,
and a White Night with a White Bow to threaten them.
And the next day it was a Yellow Road and Yellow Birds, and after
that a Yellow Night and a Yellow Bow.
And there was a square water full of ice, and he went around it four
And there he found Seepook Vahahkkee, with its red flowers, and
Wahchookookkee Vahahkkee with its yellow flowers, and there he got the
everlasting corn-mill, and went westward and strengthened himself four
And as he went westward there came a wind which felt good and
refreshed him, and pleasant clouds that sprinkled him with water, and
then there was rain, and the rattling of running water, and he went on
his road rejoicing.
And he reached the Twisted Neck Mountain, and there he felt faint a
little, and took from his pouch the root Cheekkuhpooltak, and chewed
it, and breathed it out, and was refreshed and went on.
And he refreshed himself four times and went on, and found Tonedum
Vahahkkee, the Vahahkkee of Light, and there he gave his power to the
people who were gathered together, and said: ‘My relatives, I
want you to think of this, that our country will be more beautiful and
produce more, because you know our country will not hereafter be what
it has been’.”
And he made another speech: 
“It was after the creation of the earth, and there was a mud
vahahkkee, and inside of it lay a piece of wood burning at one end, and
by it stood a cane-tube pipe, smoking, and we inhaled the smoke, and
then we saw things clearer and talked about them.
In the West there was a Black Mocking Bird, and from him I asked
power, and he brought the news and spread it over all the earth, and to
every hill and every mountain and every tree, that the earth would
stand still, but it did not, it still moved.
(And you, Black Mocking Bird, take back your Black Winds, and your
Black Clouds, and stay where you are, and your relatives may sometimes
come to you for power.)
And in the South there was a Blue Mocking Bird, and I asked it for
power, and it stretched the news over all the earth, and over every
hill and every mountain, and to every tree, that the earth stood still,
but it did not, it still moved.
In the East was a Mocking Bird of Light, and I asked it for power,
and it stretched the news over all the earth, and to every hill,
mountain and tree, that the earth stood still, but it still moved.
And Above there was darkness, where lived the Feather Nested Doctor,
who is famous for his power, and I asked him for power, and he spread
the news, as the others had done, but the earth still moved.
And in the North lived a Yellow Spider, and I asked him for power,
and he stretched his news, and made his web, and tied the earth up with
it, and made a fringe like a blanket fringe at each corner, and laid
his arrows over it.
The fringe at the West corner he made black, and covered it with the
Black Vahahkkee to hold it down; and he put the blue fringe at the
South corner, and over it the Blue Vahahkkee to hold it down, and he
put the black arrows over the Black Vahahkkee, and the blue arrows over the
And in the East he put the Vahahkkee of Light over the fringe and the
arrows of light over it.
And after all this was done the earth stood still.
And after this is done you are carried away like a child, and are
set down facing the East, and your heart comes out towards it, and can
be seen going up and down till it reaches it.
And over the land your seed shall spring up and grow, and have good
stalks and many flowers, and have good wide leaves and heads of good
And after the seed is ripe they will take it and put it away and
grind it with sunbeams, and the boys and girls shall eat and be happy,
and all the old men and women shall eat it and lengthen their
Notes on the Story of Nahvahchoo
The story of Nahvahchoo was celebrated till lately
among the Pimas by dancing games, resembling those described in this
story, the players wearing masks and gourds, and rattling notched
sticks, one of them impersonating Nahvahchoo himself.
In the reference to the earth’s moving, in one of the
speeches, one might suspect a glimpse of true astronomical knowledge,
but this is likely only a poetic figure.
The “everlasting corn will” reminds a little of the old
folk-lore tale of the everlasting salt mill whose continuous grinding
makes the ocean salt. 
The Story of Corn and Tobacco1
There was a powerful mahkai who had a daughter, who, tho old enuf, was unmarried,
and who grew tired of her single life and asked her father to bury her,
saying, we will see then if the men will care for me.
And from her grave grew the plant tobacco, and her father took it
and smoked it and when the people who were gathered together smelled it
they wondered what it was, and sent Toehahvs to find out.
But, altho the tobacco still grew, the woman came to life again and
came out of her grave back to her home.
And one day she played gainskoot with Corn, and Corn beat her, and
won all she had. But she gave some little things she did not care for
to Corn, and the rest of her debt she did not pay, and they
She told Corn to go away, saying; “Nobody cares for you, now,
but they care a great deal for me, and the doctors use me to make rain,
and when they have moistened the ground is the only time you can come
And the Corn said: “You don’t know how much the people
like me; the old as well as the young eat me, and I don’t think
there is a person that does not like me.” And Corn
told Tobacco to go away herself.
There were people there who heard them quarreling, and tho Tobacco
staid on, whenever she would be in a house and hear people laughing she
would think they were laughing at her. And she became very sad, and one
day sank down in her house and went westward and came to a house
And the person who lived there told her where to sleep, saying,
“Many people stop here, and that is where they sleep.”
But she said: “I am travelling, and no one knows where I am,
and if any one follows me, and comes here, you tell them that you saw
me, that I left very early in the morning and you do not know which way
I went.” And she told him that she did not know herself which way
she would go, and at night, when she went to bed, she brought a strong
wind, and when she wanted to leave she sank down and went westward, and
the wind blew away all her tracks.
And she came to the Mohaves and lived there in a high mountain,
Cheof Toe-ahk, or tall mountain, which has a cliff very hard to
climb, but Tobacco stood up there.
And after Tobacco had gone, Corn remained, but when corn-planting
time came none was planted, because there was no rain. And so it went
on—all summer, and people began to say: “It is so, when
Tobacco was here, we had plenty of rain, and now we have not
any, and she must have had wonderful power.”
And the people scolded Corn for sending Tobacco away, and told him
to go away himself, and then they sent for Tobacco to come back, that
they might have rain again.
And Corn left, going toward the east, singing all the way, taking
Pumpkin with him, who was singing too, saying they were going where
there was plenty of moisture.
And the next year there was no water, and a powerful doctor,
Gee-hee-sop, took the Doctor’s Stone of Light, and the
Doctor’s Square Stone, and some soft feathers, and
eagle’s-tail feathers, and went to where Tobacco lived, asking
her to come back, saying “We are all suffering for water, and we
know you have power to make it rain, And every seed buried in the
ground is begging for water, and likely to be burned up, and every tree
is suffering, and I want you to come.”
Then Tobacco said: “What has become of Corn? He is still with
you, and corn is what you ought to eat, and everybody likes it, but
nobody cares for me, except perhaps some old man who likes to smoke me,
and I do not want to go back, and I am not going!”
But Geeheesop said: “Corn is not there now, he has gone away,
and we do not know where he is.” And again he asked Tobacco to
come back but she refused, but gave him four balls of tobacco seed and
said to him: “Take these home with you, and take the
dirt of the tobacco-worm, and roll it up, and put it in a cane-tube and
smoke it all around, and you will have rain, and then plant the seed,
and in four days it will come up; and when you get the leaves, smoke
them, and call on the winds, and you will have clouds and plenty of
So Geeheesop went home with the seed balls, and tobacco-worm dirt,
and did as Tobacco had told him; and the smoking of the dirt brought
rain, and the seeds were planted in a secret place, and in four days
came up, and grew for a while, but finally were about to die for want
Then Geeheesop got some of the leaves and smoked
them, and the wind blew, and rain came, and the plants revived and grew
till they were ripe.
When the tobacco was ripe Geeheesop gathered a lot of the leaves and
filled with them one of the gourd-like nests which the woodpecker,
koh-daht, makes in the har-san, or giant-cactus, and then
took a few of these and put them in a cane-tube pipe, or
watch-kee, and went to where the people gathered in the
And the doctor who was the father of Tobacco said: “What is
this I smell? There is something new here!”
And one said, “Perhaps it is some greens that I ate today that
you smell,” and he breathed toward him.
But the mahkai said, “That is not it.” 
And others breathed toward him, but he could not smell it.
Then Geeheesop rolled a coal toward himself, and lit up his pipe,
and the doctor said: “This is what I smelled!”
And Geeheesop, after smoking a few whiffs, passed the pipe around to
the others, and all smoked it, and when it came back to him he stuck it
in the ground.
And the next night he came with a new pipe to the place of meeting,
but the father of Tobacco said: “Last night I had a smoke, but I
did not feel good after it.”
And all the others said: “Why we smoked and enjoyed
But the man who had eaten the greens kah-tee-kum, the day
before, said: “He does not mean that he did not enjoy the smoke,
but something else troubled him after it, and I think it was that when
we passed the pipe around we did not say ‘My relatives,’
‘brother,’ or ‘cousin,’ or whatever it was, but
passed it quietly without using any names.”
And Tobacco’s father said “Yes, that is what I
(And from that time on all the Pimas smoked that way when they came
together, using a cane-tube pipe, or making a long cigarette of
corn-husk and tobacco, and passing it around among relatives.)
So Geeheesop lit his pipe and passed it around in
the way to satisfy the doctor.
And the people saved the seeds of that tobacco, and to day it is all
over the land.
And the Corn and the Pumpkin had gone east, and for many years they
lived there, and the people they had left had no corn, and no pumpkins;
but after a while they returned of themselves, and came first to the
mountain Tahtkum, and lived there a while, and then crossed the river
and lived near Blackwater, at the place called Toeahk-Comalk, or
White Thin Mountain, and from there went and lived awhile at Gahkotekih
or, as it is now called, Superstition Mountain.
While they lived at Gahkotekih there was a woman living near there
at a place called kawt-kee oy-ee-duck who, with her younger
brother, went to Gahkotekih to gather and roast the white cactus, and
while they were doing this Corn saw them from the mountain and came
And the boy saw him and said: “I think that is my uncle
coming,” but his sister said, “It cannot be, for he is far
away. If he were here the people would not be starving as
But the boy was right, it was his uncle, and Corn came to them and
staid with them while the cactus was baking. And after awhile, as he
sat aside, he would shoot an arrow up in the air, and it would fall
whirling where the cooking was, and he would go and pick it up.
Finally he said to the woman: “Would you not
better uncover the corn and see if it is cooked yet?” And she
said: “It is not corn, it is cactus.”
Again, after a while, he said: “Would you not better uncover
the pumpkin and see if it is done?” And she replied: “It is
not pumpkin, we are baking, it is cactus.” But finally he said
“Well, uncover it anyway,” and she uncovered it, and there
were corn and pumpkin there, together, all nicely mixed and cooked, and
she sat staring at it, and he told her to uncover it more, and she did
so and ate some of it.
And then he asked about the Tobacco woman, if she were married yet,
and she said, “No, she is not married, but she is back with us
Then he asked her to send the little boy ahead and tell the people
that Corn was coming to live with them again. But first the little boy
was to go to the doctor who was the father of Tobacco, and see if he
and his daughter wanted Corn to return. If they did he would come, and
if they did not he would stay away. And he wanted the boy to come right
back and tell what answer he got.
So the little boy went, and took some corn with him to the doctor,
and said: “Corn sent me, and he wants your daughter, and he wants
to know if you want him. If you do he will return, but if you do not he
will turn back again. And he wants me to bring him word what you
And the mahkai said “I have nothing to say against him. I
guess he knows the people want corn. Go and tell him to
And Corn said: “Go back to the doctor and tell him to make a
little kee, as quick as he can, and to get the people to help him, and
to cover it with mats instead of bushes, and to let Tobacco go there
and stay there till I come.
And tell all the people to sweep their houses, and around their
houses, and if anything in their houses is broken, such as pots,
vahs-hroms, to turn them right side
up. For I am coming back openly; there will be no secret about
So the little boy went back and told the doctor all that Corn had
told him to say, and the doctor and the people built the kee, and
Tobacco went there, and the people swept their houses and around them
as they were told.
And before sunset the woman came home with the corn and pumpkins she
had cooked at the mountain, but Corn staid out till it was evening.
And when evening came there was a black cloud where Corn stood, and
soon it began to rain corn, and every little while a big pumpkin would
come down, bump. And it rained corn and pumpkins all night,
while Corn and his bride were in their kee, and in the morning the
people went out and gathered up the corn from the swept place around
And so Corn and Pumpkin came back again.
The people gathered up all the corn around their houses, and all their vessels, even their
broken ones, which they had turned up, were full, and their houses were
soon packed full of corn and pumpkins.
So Corn lived there with his wife, and after a while Tobacco had a
baby, and it was a little crooked-necked pumpkin, such as the Pimas
call a dog-pumpkin.
And when the child had grown a little, one day its father and mother
went out to work in the garden, and they put the little pumpkin baby
behind a mat leaning against the wall. And some children, coming in,
found it there, and began to play with it for a doll, carrying it on
their backs as they do their dolls. And finally they dropped it and
broke its neck.
And when Corn came back and found his baby was broken he was angry,
and left his wife, and went east again, and staid there awhile, and
then bethought him of his pets, the blackbirds, which he had left
behind, and came back to his wife again.
But after awhile he again went east, taking his pets with him,
scattering grains of corn so that the blackbirds would follow him.
Corn made this speech while he was in the kee with Tobacco:
In the East there is the Tonedum Vahahkkee, the Vahahkkee of Light,
where lives the great doctor, the king fisher.
And I came to Bives-chool, the king fisher, and
asked him for power, and he heard me asking, and flew up on his kee,
and looked toward the West, and breathed the light four times, and flew
and breathed again four times, and so on—flying four times and
breathing after each flight four times, and then he sat over a place in
the ground that was cut open.
And in the West there was a Bluebird, and when I asked him for power
he flew up on his kee, and breathed four times, and then flew toward
the East, and he and Biveschool met at the middle of the earth.
And Biveschool asked the Bluebird to do some great thing to show his
power, and the Bluebird took the blue grains of corn from his breast
and then planted them, and they grew up into beautiful tall corn, so
tall its tops touched the sky and its leaves bowed over and scratched
the ground in the wind.
And Biveschool took white seeds from his breast, and planted them,
and they came up, and were beautiful to be seen, and came to bear fruit
that lay one after another on the vine—these were pumpkins.
And the beautiful boys ran around among these plants, and learned to
shout and learned to whistle, and the beautiful girls ran around among
these plants and learned to whistle.
And the relatives heard of these good years, and the plenty to eat,
and there came a relative leading her child by the hand, who said:
“We will go right on, for our relatives must have
plenty to eat, and we shall not always suffer with hunger.
So these came, but did not eat it all, but returned.
So my relatives, think of this, that we shall not suffer with hunger
And Corn made another speech at that time to Tobacco’s
“Doctor! Doctor! have you seen that this earth that you have
made is burning! The mountains are crumbling, and all kinds of trees
are burning down.
And the people over the land which you have made run around, and
have forgotten how to shout, and have forgotten how to walk, since the
ground is so hot and burning.
And the birds which you have made have forgotten how to fly, and
have forgotten how to sing.
And when you found this out you held up the long pinion feathers,
mah-cheev-a-duck, toward the East, and there came the long
clouds one after the other.
And there in those clouds there were low thunderings, and they
spread over the earth, and watered all the plants, and the roots of all
the trees; and everything was different from what it had been.
Every low place and every valley was crooked, but the force of the
waters straightened them out, and there was
driftwood on all the shores: and after it was over every low
place and every valley had foam in its mouth.
And in the mouth stood the Doctor, and took the grains from his
breast, and planted them, and the corn grew and was beautiful. And he
went on further, to another low valley, and planted other seeds, and
the pumpkin grew and was beautiful.
And its vine to the West was black and zigzag in form, and to the
South was blue and zigzag in form, and to the East was white and zigzag
in form, and to the North was yellow and zigzag in form.
So everything came up, and there was plenty to eat, and the people
gathered it up, and the young boys and girls ate and were happy, and
the old men and the old women ate and lengthened even their few
So think of this, my relatives, and know that we are not to suffer
with hunger always.”
And the Dog-Pumpkin Baby lay there broken, after Corn went away, but
after awhile sank down and went to Gahkotekih, and grew up there, and
became the Harsan or Giant Cactus.
And the mother and grandfather could not find the Dog-Pumpkin Baby, and
called the people together, and Toehahvs was asked to find it, and he
smelled around where it had been, and went around in circles.
And he came to where the Giant Cactus was and thought it was the
baby, but was not sure, and so came back, and told them he
could not find it.
And they wanted Nooee to go, and Toehahvs said to Nooee: “I
did see something, but I was not quite sure, but I want you to examine
that Giant Cactus.”
So Nooee flew around and around and examined the Giant Cactus and
came back, and when the people questioned him said: “I have found
it and it is already full-grown, and I tell you I think something good
will happen to us because of it.”
And when the Cactus had fruit the people gathered it, and made
tis-win, and took the seeds and spread them out in the sun.
And the Badger stole these seeds, and when the people knew it they
sent Toehahvs after the thief.
And Toehahvs went and saw Badger ahead of him in the road, and saw
him go out and around and come into the road again and come toward
And when they met, Toehahvs asked him what he had in his hand. And
Badger said “I have something, but I’m not going to show
Then Toehahvs said: “If you’ll only just open your hand,
so I can see, I’ll be satisfied.”
And Badger opened his hand, and Toehahvs hit it a slap from below,
and knocked the seeds all around, and that is why the giant cactus is
now so scattered. 
Notes on the Story of Corn and
In the Story of Corn and Tobacco we touch the
superstitions about rain, the most desired thing in the desert. The
mahkais used tobacco in their incantations, both for curing sickness
and for making rain. It would appear that the Piman mind confused
clouds of smoke and clouds of vapor, and because tobacco made clouds it
was probably supposed to be potent in begetting rain. The Pimas told me
that the Doctor’s Square Stone was used in the incantations for
rain, and there appears to have been a connection in Piman thought
between feathers and clouds, and therefore between feathers and rain,
and it will be noticed that when Geeheesop went to get Tobacco’s
help in making rain he took feathers and both kinds of
This story seems to profess to give the origin of tobacco, giant
cactus and of tiswin. 
The Story of the Children of Cloud
There was a woman
who lived in the mountains, who was very beautiful, and had many
suitors, but she never married anyone.
And one day she was making mats of cane; and she fell asleep and a
rain came and a drop fell on her navel.
And she had twin babies, and all the men claimed them, but when the
babies were old enuf to crawl she told all the claimants to get in a
circle, and she would put the babies in the middle, and if they crawled
up to any man he would be the father.
But the babies climbed upon nobody, and she never married.
And when these twin boys were old enuf their mother showed them a
cloud in the east, and said: “That is your father, and his name
is Cloud, and the Wind is your uncle, your father’s older
But the children paid little attention, but when they got older they
asked their mother if they could go and see their father. And their
mother let them go.
And they went, and came to a house, and the man who lived there
asked them where they were going, and they said they were looking for
their father, whose name was Cloud.
And the man pointed to the next house, and said: “That man, there, is your
And they went to that man, but he said: “It is not so. He is
your father. He is Cloud,” and sent them back again.
But the first man sent them back once more to the second, who was
And Cloud said, that time; “I wonder if it is so that you are
And the boys said: “That is what they say.”
And Cloud said: “I want you to do something to prove
Then the oldest boy thundered loud and lightened, and the other
lightened a little, and Cloud said, “It is true, you are my
And before night Cloud fed them, and then went into his kee and shut
it up and left them outside all night. And it rained and snowed all
night, but they staid outside.
And in the morning Cloud came out, and said: “It is really so,
that you are my children.”
And the next night he took them to a pond, where there was ice, and
left them there all night. And the next day, when he came there and
found they had staid in the water all night he said: “It is
really so—you are my children.”
So Cloud acknowledged them for his children and took
them into his kee. And after awhile the boys wanted to go back to their
Cloud said: “You may go, but you must not speak to anybody on the
way. And I will be with you on the journey.” 
So the boys started, and cloud was over them, in the sky, shadowing
And after a while they saw a man coming, and the younger boy said:
“We must ask him how our mother is.”
But the older brother said: “Don’t you remember that our
father told us not to speak to anyone?”
The younger said: “Yes, I remember, but it would not be right
not ask how our mother is.”
So when the man came the boy asked: “How is everybody at home,
and how is the old woman, our mother?”
And then the cloud above them lightened and thundered, and they were
both turned into century plants. 
Notes on the Story of Cloud
In Emory’s report, before alluded to, also in
Captain Johnston’s, we find variants of The Story of the Children
of Cloud. Thristy Hawk, the Maricopa, told Emory “that in bygone
days a woman of surpassing beauty resided in a green spot in the
mountains, near where we were encamped. All the men admired and paid
court to her. She received the tributes of their devotion, grain,
skins, etc., but gave no love or other favor in return. Her virtue and
her determination to remain unmarried were equally firm. There came a
drought which threatened the world with famine. In their distress,
people applied to her, and she gave corn from her stock, and the supply
seemed endless.... One day as she was lying asleep with her body
exposed, a drop of rain fell on her stomach, which produced conception.
A son was the issue, who was the founder of a new race which built all
these houses” (ruins, vahahkkees).
Johnston has it: “The general asked a Pima who made the house
I had seen. ‘It is the Caza de Montezuma,’ said he, ‘it
was built by the son of the most beautiful woman, who once dwelt in yon
mountain; she was fair, and all the handsome men came to court her, but
in vain; when they came, they paid tribute, and out of this small store
she fed all the people in time of distress, and it did not diminish; at
last, as she lay asleep, a drop of rain fell upon her navel, and she
became pregnant, and brought forth a boy, who was the builder of all
The seeneeyawkum gives her twins but knew nothing of any story of
their children or of these buildings, the vahahkkees. 
The Story of Tcheunassat Seeven
Seeven wanted to gamble with Tcheunassat Seeven, who lived at Kawtkee
Oyyeeduck, and sent a man with an invitation to come and play against
him, and bring all his wives.
And Tcheunassat Seeven said: “I will go, for my wives are used
to travelling, and we will take food, and will camp on the road, and
day after tomorrow, about evening, we will be there.”
So the messenger went back with this word, and in the morning
Tcheunassat Seeven got his lunch ready, and he and his wives started;
and the first night camped at Odchee, and the next day came to the
little mountain, near Blackwater, called Sahn-a-mik, and they
crossed Ak-kee-mull, The River, the Gila, there, and Tcheunassat
Seeven told his wives to wash their hair and clean themselves there,
and then he told them to go ahead to Stcheuadack Seeven while he took
his bath. And while he bathed they went on and came to Stcheuadack
Seeven’s house, where he was singing and his wives dancing.
Then the wives of Tcheunassat Seeven did not ask for invitation, but
went right in and joined the dance, and went to Stcheuadack Seeven and
took hold of his hand in the dance, pushing each other away to get it.
And Stcheuadack Seeven thought from this that he would get all of
Tcheunassat Seeven’s wives away from him.
Tcheunassat Seeven, after his bath, cut a piece of oapot wood and
sharpened it, and split the other end into four pieces, and bent them
over and tied the ends of crow’s feathers to them, and stuck it
in his hair, and dipped his finger in white paint and made one little
spot over each eye, which was all the paint he used, and then he went
and watched his wives dancing and taking Stcheuadack Seeven’s
And Stcheuadack Seeven asked them if that was their husband, and
they said: “Yes, he is our husband. He is not very good-looking,
but we care so much for him.”
Tcheunassat Seeven watched the dancing awhile and then stepped back
a little and took out his rattle and began to sing. And at once
everybody crowded around him, and all his wives came back to him, and
finally all Stcheuadack Seeven’s wives came and contended for his
hand, as his wives had been doing with Stcheuadack Seeven.
And this went on into the night, all dancing and having a good time,
except Stcheuadack Seeven, who walked around looking at his wives
And finally he sent a message to the most beautiful of his wives
(who had a beautiful daughter) and told him to tell her: “I am
sleepy, and I want you home now, and I want all my wives
to go into the house.”
And she said: “I will come. I will tell my daughter, who is
over there, and then we will come home.”
But she did not tell her daughter, and did not come home, and
Stcheuadack Seeven waited awhile, and then found his messenger and
asked him: “Did you tell her?”
And the messenger said: “I did.”
And he said: “Tell her again that I am waiting outside here,
and I want her to come to me and we will go home.”
Then the messenger told the woman again, but she did not come, and
Stcheuadack Seeven wandered around outside till morning.
And near morning Tcheunassat Seeven sang a beautiful song, and began
to move toward his own home, dancing all the way, and all the women
going before him.
And he did this till morning, and then stopped, and went home,
taking all his own wives and all of Stcheuadack Seeven’s wives
And Stcheuadack Seeven went home, when he saw this, and took his
beautiful cloak all covered with live butterflies and humming-birds,
and lay down, covering himself with it.
But four days after, Stcheuadack Seeven told the messenger to take
this beautiful cloak to Tcheunassat Seeven, and ask him to send
back that beautiful wife and her daughter, and to keep the
rest of the wives; and to keep the cloak and use that to marry more
But Tcheunassat Seeven said to the messenger:
“Tell him I do not want his cloak. I have one just like it, and I
have all I want, and I will not send back any of his wives. It was his
wish that we should gamble, and if he had been the better singer and
had won my wives I would not have asked for any of them
And now Tcheunassat Seeven appeared as a beautiful person, with long
hair and turquoise ear-rings, and he said: “He need not think I
always look as I did when I came to his dance. That was only to fool
The beautiful daughter of the beautiful wife grew up, and
Tcheunassat Seeven married her, too, and she had a baby.
And when Stcheuadack Seeven heard of it, he said: “I am going
to punish him.” And he made a black spider and sent it thru the
And in the evening when the mother wanted to air her baby’s
cradle, she took it out, and then the black spider got in the
baby’s cradle and hid himself, and when the baby was put back the
spider bit it, and it began to cry.
And its father and mother tried to pacify it, but could not, and
when they took it out of the cradle, there they found the black
And Tcheunassat Seeven sent word to Stcheuadack Seeven to
come and see his grand-child, which was about to die, but Stcheuadack
Seeven said to the messenger: “What is the matter
with Tcheunassat Seeven? He is a powerful doctor. Tell him to cure the
child. I will not come. The bite of a black spider is poisonous, but it
never kills anybody. Tell him to get some weeds on Maricopa Mountain
and cure the child.” And he sent the messenger back again.
And Tcheunassat Seeven said: “How can I
get those weeds when I do not know which ones are right and there are
so many! I cannot go.”
And he did not go, and the child died. 
A Song of Tcheunassat Seeven
There stands a dead vahahkkee
On top of it there runs back and forth the Seeven
And he has a robe with yellow hand prints on it.
The Lark’s Song about his Lost
My poor wife!
In the West she seems to be bound by the song of the
The Legend of Blackwater
A little off
from the road between Sacaton, and Casa Grande Ruins there is, or was
in the old days, a mysterious pool of dark water, which the Indians
regarded with superstitious awe.
They said it was of fathomless depth, that it communicated with the
ocean, and that strange, monstrous animals at times appeared in it.
There are Indians still living who declare they have seen them with
their own eyes.
I visited this famous place once with my interpreter, Mr Wood. After
galloping a while thru a mezquite forest we suddenly emerged upon its
legendary shores. Alas, for the prosaic quality of fact! It was
but a common-place water-hole, or spring-pond, a few rods across, with
bogs and bulrushes in its center.
The unkindness of irrigation ditches, withdrawing its waters,
revealed that like most bottomless pools of story it was very shallow
It was nearly dry.
Its name of Blackwater has been given to the nearby surrounding
This was the only trace of the common Indian superstition of water
monsters I found among the Pimas.
Copyright © 2003-2012 Calvin & Rosanna Hamilton. All rights reserved.