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Book No. 58

To first story in the book press: 2552

To last story in the book press: 2670

Tales of the Cochiti Indians

Benedict Ruth

Tales of the Cochiti Indians, Ruth Benedict, 1932

Tales of the Cochiti Indians

by Ruth Benedict

Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin No. 98



This is a collection of texts from the Cochiti, a Native American Pueblo tribe of New Mexico. Ruth Benedict gathered these texts in the early 1920s in the field with her mentor at Columbia University, Franz Boas. The texts range from mythological to autobiographical, and give us an unparalleled look at the inner life of a Native American group.

In her selection and commentary Benedict focuses on some interesting points. In Pueblo culture, women are considered the equal of men, and these tales show women exercising choice in their lives, engaging in specialized occupations, and taking action when wronged. This is reflected in Cochiti theology, which includes a cosmogenic mother (the moon, here called 'Our Mother') and father (the Sun). The texts also show the Pueblo as having positive attitudes about sexuality, (albeit also placing high value on marriage and family). Benedict, refreshingly, did not censor or translate into Latin the portions which previous scholars would have considered too explicit. The texts also show the darker side of traditional Southwestern life, where suspicion of malign witchcraft could lead to dire consequences; and the incessant low-level conflict with adjacent tribes, in this case, the Navajo.

Benedict was one of the first modern ethnographers. This collection is a classic, and an enjoyable read as well.


This collection of Cochiti tales was recorded in the summer of 1924. Besides these, which were obtained through interpreters, Prof. Franz Boas has generously added tales recorded in text and here given in close translation. These tales are indicated in the footnotes and in the table of contents. They give the literary style to which all the stories in Cochiti conform but which can never be completely reproduced without recording the text. Professor Boas will publish the accompanying texts and grammatical analysis at another time.

The informants were all of the older generation, for in Cochiti the first age group to be systematically sent to Government boarding school is now about 35 years old, and below that age even the commonest tales are known only by hearsay. Informants 1, 2, 7, and 8 (7 and 8 Professor Boas's informants) were women, all of them well-known native narrators. Informant 2 held an important ceremonial position. The other informants were men. Informant 3 was a priest of importance, and except for the taboo against imparting esoteric information to the whites, which both Professor Boas and I found very strong in Cochiti, both he and informant 2 could, I think, have given a great body of such lore. As it is, such references are slurred or appear in obviously abbreviated accounts. Informant 4 was a very different individual from the others, as can be seen in the material recorded from him. He spoke Spanish fairly, and had been an adventurer all his life. He is very old now, but a leading member of the principales, in great demand in those acculturated Mexican ceremonies in which repartee must be carried on in what is considered to be Spanish. He liked best to give "true stories" – accounts of old hunting parties, Cochiti versions of Cortez, Montezuma, and the Spanish-American War. His tales of the mythological heroes always emphasized their supernatural exploits in deer and rabbit hunting, and their success in turning the mockery that had been directed against them against those who had mocked them.

The greater proportion of stories in this collection are those novelistic tales that are fictionized versions of native life, and emphasize situations of equal interest to them in their daily life and in their mythology. In the discussion I have grouped the abstracts from this point of view, and it appears very strikingly that the fundamental material in these tales, and the fundamental factor in their formation, is the daily life of the people. They turn to it in their fiction and make use of it as we are accustomed to do in modem fiction. The differences are rather in the lesser development of interest in personality and complex psychological situations than in any fundamentally different drive in the creation of their literary art.



These tales were recorded in a native house in Cochiti open to all comers. This means, of course, to those who know the pueblos, that this is a selected group of tales. It includes the hero tales, the animal tales, the remade European tales, but only the culminating incident of the origin tale. There is no story in this volume like the one recorded in Washington from a visiting Acoma priest by Matthew W. Stirling, and no elaborate ritualistic tales such as we have, for instance, from Laguna, in Professor Boas's text of the Girl and the Witches,[1] and only less clearly from San Juan in Doctor Parsons's variant of the Deserted Child Guided by Awl.[2] The absence of stories of these two types in this collection is by no means to be set down to their absence in Cochiti, but to the taboo that makes it disloyalty to tell them to the whites, even when the white friend is accepted and valued.

The origin tale appears here only in unsatisfactory fragments, but in spite of the fact that the Rio Grande taboo against the whites is directed particularly against their seeing a masked dancer or a masked dance, there is no blanket taboo against katcina tales and accounts of katcina dancing.

The translations by Professor Boas are especially valuable in that they give the mythological style of the Rio Grande, its prolixity, its meticulousness in the matter of greetings and farewells, its elaborate specifications of directions, and its comparatively simple sentences.

Besides the texts collected by Professor Boas, and the tales I collected, the former of which appear in translation and the latter in the form in which they were recorded in the present volume, the abstracts discussed here include the only other folkloristic material that is available from Cochiti, the tales gathered by Father Noël Dumarest before 1900.[3]

I have grouped the abstracts to show: (1) the mythological concepts of Cochiti, their notion of creation, so far as we know it, their pantheon, and the first people; (2) its hero tales, identifying the various hero personalities and their exploits; (3) the fictionalized versions of pueblo life that constitute the great bulk of their folklore, emphasizing the situations that have seemed to them vivid or poignant enough to be singled out of their daily life for novelistic treatment. With these tales I have included the little animal fables and moral tales, which are a noticeable Cochiti development; (4) animal tales, emphasizing the character ascribed to the animal actors; (5) the European tales, which in their slight modification from their prototypes are an excellent indication of the amount of European influence to which the pueblo has been exposed; (6) the "true stories" or Cochiti versions of history. This last group I have not abstracted.

The greater part of this body of folklore falls into the group I have called fiction, and which consists of novelized versions of pueblo incidents. It is of the greatest importance in the understanding of most mythology to accept folklore of this sort for what it is. The cultures we see reflected in bodies of myths are often so alien to us and the plots so unfamiliar that it escapes us that the bizarre tale is really a novelistic treatment of some often recurring situation among that people. Or we become so engrossed in tracking the distribution of an incident that we forget to see that in a given tribe it is made a part of a deeply felt conjugal crisis, and in another of the shameful abandonment of a child. We have been misled also by the comparative ossification of European folklore, and drift easily into the assumption that myth preserves out-dated customs or philosophy. This is a characteristic rather of folklore that has become formal and stereotyped, not of a living folklore. While the folkloristic impulse is still active among any people they are likely to turn constantly to their own daily life for themes. This is markedly true in Cochiti. In so far as myth is of value for the study of culture, it is precisely from this angle that we must read their tales.

[1] Keresan Texts, by Franz Boas. Publications of the American Ethnological Society, Vol. VIII, pt. 1. New York, 1928, p. 56. Quoted Boas.

[2] Tewa Tales, by Elsie Clews Parsons. Memoirs of the American Folklore Society. New York, 1926, p. 52. Quoted Parsons.

[3] Loc. cit.





The story of the two sisters Uretsete and Naotsete is the sacred origin story of Cochiti, but for it we have to depend upon the version recorded by Dumarest before 1900. There is to-day a strong feeling against telling it to the whites, and only the culminating incident was told me.

Uretsete was the mother of the Indians, Naotsete, the elder sister, of the whites. They both wanted to go to the south to people the country, and Naotsete challenged her younger sister to a contest of powers to determine which should have the privilege. She was to tell the direction in which the tracks of a bird led along a meal road she had made. Uretsete guessed correctly and called Turkey Man who had made the tracks. He therefore belonged to her. In return she challenged Naotsete In the same fashion, but caused the chaparral cock to leave his tracks In the meal road. These do not indicate direction, and the elder sister failed in her guess. Neither could she name the bird that had left the tracks, so that chaparral cock also went to Uretsete and belonged to her. In return Naotsete challenged her to name the rattlesnake who had similarly left tracks on the meal road; she did so and won rattlesnake to belong to her. Again Uretsete challenged her sister to guess Crow; she failed and Crow also belonged to Uretsete.

The two sisters therefore challenged each other to fight. They were to undergo a test before the entire people and success would belong to the one on whom the rays of the sun rested first. Naotsete was the taller and was confident of victory. The sisters fasted for four days while their people made arrows for the warfare to follow. The sisters stood for the test on a little hill and the war captains watched closely. But Spider Man sent Magpie who covered a part of the sun with his wings so that the rays fell on Uretsete As soon as she had won she seized her sister and the war captains helped to bind her. Her sister tore open her chest and removed her heart. When it was split open a squirrel came from the north side and a white dove from the south. Uretsete then withdrew to Shipap, counselling her people against disputes. (Dumarest, 212-215.)

Only the challenge of the sun's rays is told in the versions given in 1926 (p. 1). Both versions agree closely, and add one detail recorded also for the Sia 1 (p. 34), and indicated also in Dumarest (p. 214, n. 2), which depends upon an association between the woodrat and the Navahos.

The Navahos are said at Cochiti to have taboos that center upon the woodrat, and in these three tales Naotsete saves herself by running off into the rocks as a woodrat; that is why Navahos still save themselves among the rocks.

All the Cochiti versions agree therefore with the Sia story[1] in making Uretsete the local divinity and Naotsete the mother of the Navahos (of the whites also, Dumarest). One version names Uretsete's shrine at Yoashke near Cochiti.

The Cochiti and Sia versions are set over against the Laguna versions (for discussion see Boas, 228-238) where I'tc‘ts‘ity‘i is the father of the whites and Nau'ts‘ity‘i the mother of the Indians.


The place of emergence in Cochiti is called Shipap and it is the home of the dead and the supernaturals.

There are four "rooms" each guarded by Mountain Lion, over which Masewa keeps watch. When people come who have a right to the help of the Cochiti supernaturals, he quiets Mountain Lion. In the first room the sk’akuts katcinas are parching corn. They jump when a kernel pops (the description of the other three rooms was obviously omitted). In the fourth room is Heluta, father of the katcinas (p. 10).

In Shipap also Heluta imprisons the deer until they are let out over the world for the use of man (p. 11).

Our mother forbade the witches to accompany her children, but her plans miscarried. The witches came up into this world (p. 4).

The emergence was led by Masewa and his younger brother, followed by Iareku, the corn mother, and all her people. They came through the gateway of the rainbow and before they came out they had each received from Masewa instructions as to where they were to settle in this world (pp. 7, 13, 249).

Each Indian carried an ear of corn and they stopped to grind when they came to flat slabs of stone outcropping from the soil (p. 13).


(3 versions, a Dumarest, p. 227; b Benedict, informant 1, p. 4; c Benedict, informant 1, p. 4)

Our mother gave the bag of stars, to carry up from the under world, to Kotcimanyako, b; to Coyote, c; to Scarabeus, who has two eyes which shine like stars. At the advice of spider she had made the stars of cornmeal dough and left them in the ashes without cooking so that they would shine, a. Our mother forbade the carrier of the bag to open it but he disobeyed. The stars flew into the sky in disorder and only a few of the constellations were given names. (Therefore Coyote was punished with great difficulty in providing himself with food, c; and Scarabeus was punished with blindness and given only two horns with which to feel his way, a.)


As they left Shipap a child sickened, and since this was the first sickness they sent the chief of the Giant curing society back to our mother in Shipap for help. She told him that if she helped her people in this the world would be overcrowded with the living and It was better for them to the and return to Shipap and live with her (p. 5).

At this time all people were brothers, corn ripened In one day and everyone was happy (p. 5).

The people separated, half settling at White House and half at the Village of Two Lions (pp. 5, 13).


The dead returned to Shipap and occasionally come back to this world for various reasons and report what they have seen. One such story is recorded of a man who was cruel to animals. He died and was escorted by the spirit messengers to Shipap. He saw that the roads approaching it were beautifully cared for, the work of many people. In Shipap the chief priests received him with grief because of his cruelty to animals, and he knelt and asked forgiveness. He was sent back to his body before it was prepared for burial, and summoned the war chiefs and priests and told them what he had seen. Ultimately he became cacique (p. 128).

Another tale recounts the summoning of the flint priest to the other world before he was installed as cacique. Supernatural messengers took him out of his body and returned him to it just as it had been made ready for burial. Meanwhile, In the other world, he had been shown the punishments that awaited the wicked and the happiness that would come to the good and how to care for his people as cacique (p. 130).

Still another story of this sort tells of a mother who grieved for her dead daughter, refusing to wash herself or cut her hair. Her daughter was sent with the two supernatural messengers to appear to her mother, dishevelled and dirty on account of her mother's mourning. The mother washed herself and was then taken by the messengers to the other world where she was shown her daughter who was again happy and clean. She was returned to her body just as they were burying it (p. 131).

Another account is told as a personal experience. It is full of Christian elements. A hell is pictured for the wicked, and war captains police them lest they escape (p. 255).


The rebellion against the Mother which takes various forms in the eastern pueblos (Boas, 27; 67) is not so strongly emphasized in these Cochiti tales.

After Uretsete withdrew into Shipap, the people continued their travels. But they quarrelled, and in consequence, they were decimated by illness. They sent Coyote to Our Mother, but she reproached the people and asked them to select two men to send to her. When they came she gave them each a corn fetish (iareko) which Spider helped her prepare with parrot feathers and eagle down. These two became medicine men. (Dumarest, 215.)

The estrangement from Our Mother is referred to also In connection with the plenty which Hummingbird enjoyed In Shipap, while all the rest were starving as a result of a punishment of her people for their disbelief. She withheld the storm clouds for four years (p. 5). The story is more fully recorded from Laguna. (Boas, p. 10-12.)


(2 versions: a, Benedict, informant 1, p. 6; b, informant 2, p. 7)

After Cochiti was settled Salt Woman came to the pueblo with her grandson, Salt Man. She was scabby and old and dirty and people turned her away unfed. She told the people, "These scabs are not sores," i. e. were salt. (She left the pueblo and came to a place where children were playing, swinging on a tree. She had a magic crystal, and she turned them all into chaparral jays. They went to Santo Domingo and were received and she gave them her flesh to eat a. She stayed only a little while at Santo Domingo for people fouled her place b.) They settled permanently to the southeast, at Salt Lake, and decreed the people must go quietly and naked to get salt. That is why it is necessary to go so far for salt.

(A similar idea is embodied in a. tale of European derivation, The Contest of Good-tasting Fat. All the animals contested over the good taste of their fat. Salt Mother decided the contest, proving that it was all one what fat was eaten so long as she had not flavored the dish (p. 7).


The carnivorous animals went into retreat In preparation for the blessing of the kind of livelihood they should have In this world. Coyote was thirsty the third day, put sacred meal in the water and drank. He told Wildcat and she did the same. Therefore good hunting was given the other animals, but poor to Wildcat and Coyote (p. 8).


(3 versions: a Boas, p. 251; b Benedict, p. 61; c Benedict, p. 11)

Ganadyani (Heluta, b) planted dewclaws which sprouted into full grown deer, b, c; he planted all kinds of game, a. He had (a baby son Payatamu, a; a son-in-law Corncob Boy, b) and when he took him to his field he knocked off the antlers of the deer just appearing from the ground, a, b. When the game was full grown (he shut the deer up In Shipap, and then let them out to fill the world, c; he Instituted the rites to be performed over game that has been killed, and dispersed the animals over the world, a). Corncob Boy in return for Deerplanter's field of game, planted corn and taught Deerplanter's people its use, b.



The most prominent figure in the katcina tales, as he is also in any katcina dance, is Heluta. He is called the father of the katcinas and precedes their entry at a dance, announcing them and talking with the people by signs. One of the tales of Heluta merges in that of Ganadjani, the name changing midway of the tale. Ganadjani is father of the koshare (Goldfrank, 53, n. 1) and father of the Shurdzi (Goldfrank, 62) and his shrine is the Shurdzi shrine. My notes specify his relation to the Shurdzi but not to the koshare. In the tales he is the planter of the deer, in whose garden the deer originate.

Heluta and Nyenyega, father of the Shurdzi, both wanted to marry Yellow Woman, and the koshare set the test: to bring to Yellow Woman a deer without a wound. Nyenyega succeeded and married Yellow Woman (p. 9).

Heluta lives in Shipap (p. 10). He is the father of Corncob Boy (p. 62). He is the planter of the deer (pp. 11, 61, 251).

Heluta is summoned to compete in a contest of food supplies. He arrives with only one little cob with a few scattered kernels on it. They mock him and he promises that In four years they shall rank his living above theirs. He withholds the rain. In the distress of famine they send Fly to Shipap as a messenger, but Heluta tears out its tongue and on its return it can only buzz. They sent Hummingbird who acknowledges to Heluta the submission of his people and Heluta promises help if they offer him a deer from the north side of the mountain upon which the sun has never shone. They find such a deer and the drought ends (p. 9).

Again in a tale of Corncob Boy, here Heluta's son, he punishes his people for sex license by withholding rain. Only Corncob Boy is given corn and an inexhaustible bowl of water, and is told to be generous to the people in their need. When they are in great distress they ask Corncob Boy to Intercede with his father and he sends Coyote as messenger. Heluta relents and gives them the ceremony of the Giant Society and it Is followed by rain (p. 62).

In another tale of Corncob Boy, Heluta, is his father-in-law. Corncob Boy leaves his pueblo and his two wives, because his people have mocked him, and withholds the rain. Only to his wives he leaves Inexhaustible water and corn and tells them to be generous. In the northwest he meets two girls, Heluta's daughters, who marry him. His father shows him his fields but he sees nothing. When he brushes aside sand he knocks off the tender antlers of Heluta's growing deer. In return he plants corn and teaches Heluta not to knock off its tender shoots. He teaches Heluta's people the use of corn as food (p. 61).

Heluta's (Ganadjani's) seeds are dewclaws. When he plants these the antlers appear first, then full-sized deer. He takes them to Shipap and shuts them up there. To fill the earth with deer he opens the gates and lets them out upon the mountain. Therefore there are deer In the world (p. 11).

In the text version (p. 251) a combination of the two stories, pp. 11 and 61, is told of Ganadyani and his son Payatamu (youth). See notes, "Origin of Deer," p. 206.


The widely distributed pueblo story of the imprisonment of the katcinas is fragmentary in our version.

A squirrel ran in among the katcinas at a basket dance, and frightened them so that they ran away and could not be found. The people appealed to Heluta and he commanded the koshare to find them. Masewa repeated his command as deputy. The koshare broke open the earth at their feet and a spruce tree grew out of it. Up this the lost katcinas climbed. They were very weak from imprisonment. When the people saw them they were very happy again (p. 11).

Another story of the loss and recovery of the koshare is told of the time when the people were living at White House and at the Village of the Two Lions.

The kurena had a dance and after it went back to their house In the east. But the koshare went off to (the then uninhabited) Cochiti, the middle of the world. After this the katcina dances at White House were failures because no koshare came with them, and at last Iareku, the Corn Mother, told them to go to Cochiti, to the center of the world, where they would find the lost clowns. Masewa led them to Cochiti and after all the people had enjoyed the dance, the colors of the directions were assigned to the koshare in the house of the Flint Society (p. 14).


Yellow Woman's son is a little child when the katcinas return from imprisonment, but when they have retired for four dances he is full grown and takes his position as dance leader in the middle of the line of dancers (mayurli katsena).

Clay Old Man and Clay Old Woman, katcinas, instituted pottery. Old Man danced for her while she worked and when the pot was almost done he knocked it over with his foot and broke it. She snatched up his stick (a part of his regular katcina costume) and chased him (a pantomime which is acted out in their katcina appearances). Afterwards Old Man gave a bit of her clay to all the women in the village and enjoined pottery making (p. 12).

Bloody Handprint Katcina is much feared. The first time he came with the katcinas to dance, he insisted on challenging a boy to race. When the boy outdistanced him he threw his long obsidian knife at him and killed him. He lives at the shrine at Koash'ke (p. 13).

Gawi'ma celebrated by dance and song Arrow Boy's discovery of his wife in sky land, and was paid by him with two turkeys (p. 48).

Corn Soot Woman, Wesa, is a patron of the women's Corn Grinding society. Her name and that of Ioashka figure in their songs. Corn Soot Woman blessed the grinders with the promise of fat corn when her flesh (corn soot) was included with the corn for grinding (pp. 14, 15).



The women's corn grinding society ground ceremonially that there might be plenty of corn flour. Four women remained in the society room that they might begin grinding before sunrise. They laid aside the sooted ears to discard, but Corn Soot Woman appeared and protested, promising that their corn should be fat if soot was included. Therefore they grind the sooted ears with the rest end use her name in their songs (p. 14).


In the old days the Koshare were dancing on the roof tops. They threw a little baby from one roof top to another and it fell and was killed. The Koshare jumped down after the baby and were killed also. For this reason they left Frijoles and went to the mesa of the Stone Lions (p. 15). In those days when they danced the footprints of the people and their turkeys remained as landmarks (p. 15).


There are supernatural dangers associated with the dances.

At a certain deer dance the deer dancers were permanently metamorphosed into deer and ran into the mountains. They tried to recover them through the curing society ceremonies but they could not (p. 17).


The scene of a Snake Society story is laid in Sia, there being no snake society in Cochiti at present.

A four days' fast of the Snake Society members enabled them to catch snakes for their dance. They put these in great ollas in the ceremonial room. They had to drink water flavored with ground cactus flowers. On the fourth night there was a general curing ceremony in their ceremonial room, and four members of the society danced with the snakes before the ground altar. The feast was brought in, and afterwards the members slept in the ceremonial room. They had intercourse with each other, and for their sins they were turned into stone. They can still be seen in Sia (p. 15).


When Pecos was deserted those who were left behind committed suicide by ceremonially becoming snakes. The others, who had gone down to Santo Domingo, summoned the Puyatc Society, and tried ceremonially to restore their relatives, but without success. Therefore the remnants of the people of Pecos who live in Santo Domingo now have the Puyatc Society (p. 16).


The Giant Society in. Cochiti is the curing society for all those who are not specifically members of some other curing society. As they say, the Giant Society is for all the uninitiated. It functions for them also at birth, death, etc. For this reason the Giant Society is mentioned as the proper curing society as a matter of course in many tales.

The Giant Society was instituted by Heluta after the great drought to show his forgiveness of his people and to bring back the rains. The Giant Society by its power created a giant magically to overcome the child-eating giant of the witches (p. 17). The Giant Society acts as the curing society (pp. 76, 109).

[1] The Sia, by Matilda Coxe Stevenson. Eleventh Ann. Rept. Bur. Ethn., p. 33.


All Cochiti heroes indiscriminately are insignificant, poverty stricken and ridiculed boys who are successful in overcoming their enemies and mockers. The Twin Heroes are mischievous and irresponsible (p. 19). Arrow Boy does not hunt, and spends his time courting the girls, for which all the boys ridicule him (p. 43). Poker Boy is ugly and untidy, and has singed, bushy hair (p. 49). Corncob Boy is described in identical terms, lived with his poor old grandmother and was despised by everyone (p. 51). He had to eat the scraps thrown out by other people (p. 62). Montezuma is a noodle, and is mocked by everyone. (Dumarest, 228.)

There are, other stories of all of them in which they are fairly dignified husbands, and in these cases they are described only by their prowess in deer hunting. Shell Man (p. 70) appears only in tales of this sort.

Of these heroes the Twins and Corncob Boy are clearly differentiated. The Twins are the mischievous, fun-loving, supernaturally powerful destroyers of the monsters of the earth, protectors of the helpless, and institutors of customs. Corncob Boy (with whom Poker Boy is to be identified also) is Cochiti's culture hero and his story is a curious mixture of the destitute youth and the Christ story. Arrow Boy is on the contrary the generic hero. The tales told of him are not considered to be all about the same individual. Any of the stories told of unnamed heroes, in some variant is likely to he ascribed to "Arrow Boy." This is even clearer in the case of his female analogue, Yellow Woman. She is a bride, a witch, the chief's daughter, the bear woman, or an ogress, quite without regard to character.


[1] The usual pueblo incidents of the twins were recorded by Dumarest about 1900 but have not been obtained in any recent collections. Dumarest's version ends with the establishment of the shiwana and it may be that these tales are sacrosanct in the rain cult. The incidents of their birth and of the two boys' visit to Father Sun are told today, however, without mention of the twin brothers and may really have become separated. The twins appear in the recent collections only in their rôle as two little boys who escape from the dangerous giant and kill him, or as the rescuer of the rabbit huntress.


Dumarest's version, p. 216, follows closely the usual pueblo outline. It is as follows:

While the people were living at Frijoles a very young girl asked the sunlight for a child. Her parents turned her out on account of her pregnancy and her children were born on the top of Bernadillo Mountains. They were called Masewa and Oyoyewa.

(Children of the Sun: Benedict, informant 1 (p. 23), is a parallel tale though it is told of Bluebird and Turquoise: A handsome girl went out from Cochiti to gather piñons. Sun loved her and by aid of his brother and a downy feather took her to his home in the east. He brought her back to her home before her children were born. They were named Bluebird and Turquoise.)

(Son of Sun: Boas (p. 26). A girl had been grinding the hard blue corn until she was very tired. She lay where the sun was shining and was impregnated. Sun told her to tell his son when he was old enough who his father was.)

The children wanted to hunt and she made them bows and feathered arrows. They complained of the arrows and she told them good wood grew a day's journey away guarded by a mountain lion. They went, shot mountain lion, and skinned him. While they were doing this, Bear came up but they killed him too. They stuffed Bear and dragged him back to fool their mother. They told her how tame the dangerous animals had become, and jumped on the stuffed Bear's back. She was terrified. They wanted feathers for their arrows. Their mother told them they came only from a cannibal eagle. They went In the direction where Eagle lived and on the way had to get water from a spring guarded by Deer. Squirrel helped them to kill him by tunneling to his heart and they shot an arrow through the tunnel. Deer tried to gore the twins but died before he reached them. They took out his intestines, filled them with blood and tied them bandolier fashion over each shoulder. Eagle Swooping down caught them by these intestines so that they were not hurt. He dropped them alongside his nest. The intestines broke so that he thought they were dead. They shot the grown eagle and commanded the eaglets not to eat human flesh in the future. They returned to their mother and they made fun of the warnings she had given them.

VISIT TO THE SUN – (Dumarest continued)

The boys asked who their father was and was told he lived in the cast. They arrived there and found a house whose entrance was a rainbow. Sun was not at home and the chiefs put the boys on a pyre to test whether they were the children of Sun. They were not burned. Sun's wife was jealous and confined the boys successively in four rooms with prey animals, but they played with them, using them as mounts. Sun returned and his wife reviled him for his unfaithfulness. He acknowledged his children.

Next day Masewa asked to carry the sun disk. He did so, but was afraid to plunge below the horizon at sunset. Sun had to push him down. Oyoyewa next day plunged without hesitating.

(Children of Sun, continued. See above. The boys asked for their father, and their mother told them he lived in the east. They had to cross a field of black arrow points set upright, but they succeeded. Sun's father and mother were there. When Sun returned he greeted the boys and tested them in a room of (1) snakes, (2) deer, (3) a narrow pass between great obsidian knives, (4) carrying the sun across the sky. They were told to tie downy feathers at sunrise to their foreheads, then parrot tail feathers. They were to stop at midday at the zenith and at a halfway point on either side to receive offerings of sacred meal. When the Sun set they were to plunge Into Dragon's jaws. The elder boy carried the sun disk first, but was afraid to plunge at sunset, and the younger pushed him in. The next day the younger was successful. Therefore Sun's father and mother knew that these were Sun's children (p. 24).

(Son of Sun. Sun's son started to find. his father's house and came to Spider Old Woman. She made medicine and blew it over them both. They became eagles and few to Sun's house. In his house the Mint shamans were in retreat. When his father came, the son proposed to accompany him across the sky. The Sun told him to gather all the offerings of sacred meal and pollen made to him, and dressed him in dancer's costume. He took the Sun's place in the journey across the sky, but at sunset was afraid to descend among the watersnakes. The Sun came to his rescue. The offerings he had collected from humans were given to the Mint shamans (of the sky) for their rites. Next day Sun's son killed a deer and took it to his mother as a farewell gift before he returned to live with his father Sun (p. 26).)

FURTHER ADVENTURES (Dumarest, continued)

They set out to return home. Sun gave them arrows and a rabbit stick. He warned them of their power, and told them to be careful. When they came near a pueblo, however, they both threw their sticks and mountains were leveled which formed the plains between the mountains of Santa Fe and Bernadillo.

They wanted to drink at a spring guarded by a great giant. They cut him in two with the rabbit stick, but the severed parts joined as before. They threw again and were able to hold the 'two parts from touching one another so that the giant died. They reached home.


(3 versions: a Dumarest, p. 22; b Benedict, informant 1. p. 20; c Benedict, informant 3, p. 19)

This is the part of the usual twin cycle which is commonly told in Cochiti to-day. The Dumarest version follows closely the usual Southwest account, but at the present time the giantess has become a giant in Cochiti versions, probably due to the influence of the story of the giant created ritualistically by the Giant Society to destroy an evil child-killing giant whom he overcame and shut up in the cave in Peralta Canyon. This cave, known as "Where the Giant is Shut up," is 40 to 50 feet up a perpendicular cliff and walled up with four enormous stones. See Dumarest, p. 207. Both tales have come to be associated with this cave in Cochiti.

The giant (Giantess throughout, a) lived at Peralta Canyon and used to descend on Cochiti and carry off all the children in his carrying basket (see Dumarest, p. 207). (He used to boll them in the boiling place of Giant, b.)

The twins met Giant. He threw them Into his basket, but as he passed through piñon trees, they gathered gum, plastered it on his head and set fire to it. He ran to the river to put it out and they escaped, b, c. He met them again and put them In his basket. They filled the basket with stones (they asked for them to bruise the leaves that children are accustomed to suck, etc., a; Masewa jumped out and handed them up, b) and when the basket was so heavy he did not notice the difference, they escaped (swinging themselves out of the basket on a pine branch. Giantess told them, "Do not go to sleep, you are too heavy when you go to sleep," a). He found them again and took them to his house (he ate rotten human heads and offered them to the twins, a). A great fire was burning there with which to cook them, but they were unharmed (because they were children of Sun, a; because the mud with which they were plastered cooled the water, b). They opened the oven door and put manure in their place. Next morning Giant took out the feast (and saw it was manure, b; and ate it with relish, thinking it was the children. The twins, hidden in bowls, mocked Giant, and he thinking it was the bowls that spoke broke the bowls and they jumped out. She made up another fire and they pushed her in and killed her, a. No killing of Giant is given. The story is only one of the practical jokes perpetrated on him, b).

When he found the twins had escaped he went after them to his home and brought them again to his cave, but they killed him with their obsidian knives and walled him up in the cave, c.

The story of the children-killing giant – not a story of the twin heroes – which probably modified the above tale is as follows:

Long ago, when the people lived at Tiputse the witches made a giant who came down and ate the children. The Giant Society asked Our Mother to help, so they put a grain of corn under a white manta, and prayed, and a giant was created. This giant, when he learned the purpose of his creation, came against and taunted the witch giant, and the two fought each other with thunder knife and war club, the witch giant, being the older, having the first four blows. The first stroke of the good giant destroyed the other, who was found to have a heart filled with cactus spines. This was replaced with one of turquoise, and Our Mother put marks upon him so that he should henceforth be the helper of the people. The good giant was sung back to Our Mother, and the bad one shut up in the cave "Where the giant is shut up" (p. 17).


(3 versions: Boas, p. 21; Benedict, informant 1 (omitted); Benedict, informant 3 (omitted).)

The twins are also shown as protectors of the unfortunate rabbit huntress. After they had rescued her from the ogre they instituted the proper way of living, that is, women shall stay at home and men shall hunt. (For abstracts, see p. 227.)


(Dumarest, p. 226)

There was a great drought. The twins came to a great hole into Wenima and heard from it the songs of the Shiwana. They cast themselves down. When they recovered from the force of the fall they saw it was such a beautiful place, they thought it was very natural the Shiwana had not come to visit the earth. Heluta was asleep and they stole the masks and lightnings and rose from the underworld on the bolts of the lightning. The rains fell and the Shiwana pursued them, but said, "It is well. Now you are one of us. Keep the masks and lightning." So they brought the Shiwana to Cochiti.


Another and different story is told of the twins and the Shiwana. In Cochiti to-day the dominant rôle in this tale is given to Arrow Boy, see notes, page 215, but in Dumarest's abbreviated version it is given to the Twins.

Kotshatosha had imprisoned the Shiwana and the twins contested with her in a game of hide and seek with the Shiwana as stake. They won and released the rains. (Dumarest, p. 234.)

The names of the twins are used as designations for the two war captains who function for yearly terms in the religious and secular government of Cochiti (see Goldfrank, p. 24), as pp. 43, 44, 54, 64, etc. Similarly, the terms apply to the war-captain guardians at the entrance of the house of Uretsete (Dumarest, p. 227), they lead the people at the emergence (p. 13), and they allot territory to the people of the earth before leaving Shipap (p. 7). The bridge between these two concepts is given in Dumarest: "When Masewa and Uyuyewa (i. e., the twin heroes) died they went to Shipap to guard Uretsete" (p. 227).

The following is the only tale of Sun's son which has no analogue in the Cochiti stories of the twins:


A girl who lived at White House refused to marry, but, while she lay In the sun in the hatchway, was impregnated by Sun and bore a child. Because the baby was fatherless, it was put on a cradle board and thrown into a spring, but his father Sun took him. When he was grown, Sun dressed him as a katcina and returned him to the village. Sun's son asked to dance the harvest dance, Uatyautci, for them, and selected his own mother for his partner. When the dance was almost over, he let fly his downy feather, and both were drawn up to Sun. So the boy took his mother back to her husband (p. 31).


Arrow Boy is the stock name for the hero in Cochiti. The tales that are told of him are not felt to belong to one integrated biography. He is a poor, despised boy, like all other Cochiti heroes, and he overcomes his detractors in a ceremonial deer hunt. Perhaps the favorite tale is that of his releasing of the Shiwana[2] from Wind Maker Old Woman. In another tale he follows his wife to the sky world where she has been taken by his pet eagle whom she has neglected to feed. Several tales which are told of Arrow Boy in one version and of unnamed heroes in others are discussed in their appropriate places among the novelistic tales. These are: The Abduction of Arrow Boy's Wife, p. 66, notes, p. 230; Arrow Boy Kills His Bear Children When They Come to Reap Their Father's Field, p. 111, notes, p. 229; Arrow Boy, the Child of a Witch Father, born after his mother had succeeded in exposing and killing her witch husband, p. 92, notes, p. 232.


(4 versions: a Boas, p. 32; b Dumarest, p. 233; c Benedict, Informant 1, p. 39; d Benedict, Informant 3 (omitted).)

This is the story of Arrow Boy's journey to sky land to release the rains which have been imprisoned by an old woman there. Version b recorded by Dumarest about 1900 ascribes this exploit to the twins (only the culminating incident is given), and their subordinate rôle in the more recent texts is probably due to the influence of versions such as that recorded by Boas from Laguna, (loc. cit., p. 76) in which the gambler is similarly overcome by Sun Youth, an analogue of Arrow Boy.

Arrow Boy was a great hunter and while hunting he met two girls, Eagles, the elder of whom flew up with him on her back to their home on a high cliff. Their parents came home bringing a buffalo and gave him the girls as wives, c.

Arrow Youth lived with his wife Yellow Woman, but was stolen by a female eagle, who with her sister swooped from the sky while he was hunting rabbits. They took him to the zenith, a.

They took him to the sky to release the Shiwana held captive by Wind Maker Old Woman. The eagle girls took him to the rock at the entrance to sky land (under which there were many dangerous rattlesnakes, a). (They sent him on with downy feathers plucked from under their, tails by means of which he traveled. He came to Spider Old Woman (to Macawi, Black Buzzard, a katcina, b) who directed him to the kiva of the twin brothers, c, d.) (They direct him to return the following day and he flies down on the back of Eagle Girls and back again the next day, c, d. They travel on feathers plucked from under the eagle girls' tail, c, on their arrows that they shoot as they go, c, on Arrow Boy's, d.)

They come to Wind Maker Old Woman who has imprisoned the Shiwana. (In version a Arrow Boy at this time kills Wind Maker Woman, cuts out her cactus heart and substitutes one of corn. He sends her southwest to live. This incident is repeated after the hide and seek contest in this version, and is obviously misplaced. They follow her to her home, kill her watchman, and challenge her to hide and seek, a.)

She offered them skulls to eat but they refused, c.

They contested with her (in a throwing contest, in which the articles the twins threw became birds so that they won, d; in a hide and seek contest where Wind Maker Old Woman hides in various places in the room and finally in the sun but is guessed by Arrow Boy, c; in a hide and seek contest on each turn of which the Shiwana of one room are staked. She is discovered by Arrow Boy hiding in her own ear, in the rung of the ladder, in the anus of the last reindeer in the northeast, on top of the sun where he finds her by holding up an eagle feather as if to catch the direction of the wind. Again they kill her and replace her heart, a. The twins hid under a deer lying down, the woman in the intestine of a rabbit, the twins in the queue of a woman, the woman covered the sun with her queue, and the twins found her by following a downy feather. They won the shiwana, b. Dumarest).

Therefore they won back the rain. They killed Wind Maker Old Woman and took out her heart, giving her a good turquoise one, c. They released all the Shiwana in the four rooms and it began to rain. Arrow Boy went back to (the Eagle Girls, a; his eagle wives, c, d), whom he had told that rain and lightning would be a sign of his success. They carried him back to this world (all versions).

Version a ends with the Eagle Girls' return to their home after they had taken Arrow Boy to Cochiti. Their father brought home a buck which they placed in front of the fireplace and fed with sacred meal, thanking their father, a. (See Introduction of versions c, d.)

The incident of Arrow Boy's meeting with the eagle girls, version is reproduced exactly as the introduction to the tale of Arrow Boy's son who brings back eagle powers to the village. It continues:

After Arrow Boy has been married to Eagle Girls for some time and the elder sister has a child, he proposes to them the test of meal ground so fine it will adhere to the side of the grinding stone. They finally succeed and therefore he takes them with him to Cochiti as his wives. His son grows up there and has eagle powers (p. 45). (See also same for Poker Boy, p. 217.)


Arrow Boy, the cacique's grandson, was an effeminate youth who did not learn to hunt, etc., but spent his time courting the girls in the pueblo. To shame him it was arranged that he should be put in charge of the ceremonial deer hunt, But Arrow Boy fulfilled all the ceremonial obligations and was successful. His grandfather had him initiated into the Flint society and he became cacique (p. 43).


Arrow Boy lived at Potsherd Place with his wife Yellow Woman. They had an eagle that she had to feed when Arrow Boy was not there. She became neglectful and the eagle escaped. She followed him, taking a white manta to catch him. She chased him to Whirlpool Place, then he lit on a rock and told her to fold the manta and sit on it. She was asked to close her eyes, and he carried her into the next world. He lit on the great rock where all eagles must light and left her there. He told her that she must shift for herself because she had been unkind to him. He returned to the world but did not tell Arrow Boy where his wife was. He was unable to trace her farther than Whirlpool Place and he mourned for her constantly. Grandmother Spider took pity on him, told him where his wife was, and offered to take him to the next world. He got on her back, and after an unsuccessful attempt, because he opened his eyes, she brought him to the great rock. She directed him along the middle road to the house of her sister who told him where to find his wife. He came to a house where he stayed that night, and on the following day, he killed turkeys for the feast to which the mother of that house invited his wife. They hid Arrow Boy under a sheepskin when she came in. They placed the food before her, and she recalled her life with him. When he heard this, he asked if she would like to live that life over again. She was happy when she found him in his hiding place. The mother of the house told him to take two turkeys to pay Gawi’ma for finding his wife, and this he did (p. 47).


Poker Boy is a subordinate name for the hero in Cochiti. In one version of Corncob Boy's marriage, with the chief's daughters and his magic contest to retain them, he is called Poker Boy for the first half of the story (p. 60, note 1). The following incident is also told of Poker Boy, though elsewhere (p. 46) it is connected with Arrow Boy's son:


Poker Boy lived at Old Pueblo. He was a great hunter and married to Yellow Woman. Her youngest sister, Blue Woman, was in love with her sister's husband, and they contested with finely ground flour as to which was to possess him. That one was to be successful whose flour was so fine It adhered to a polished floor-rubbing stone set upright. They each threw four times and were unsuccessful. At last the old woman told them to parch white corn before grinding. They did so and Yellow Woman threw first. Her meal stuck. So she got her husband back again (p. 49). (See also same for Arrow Boy, p. 216.)


The one fixed fact about Poker Boy is his shrine, the Shrine of Yellow Woman, which he shares with Corncob Boy. The following story is told of his going into his shrine.

The people were living at White House. Poker Boy herded his turkeys by the sweet sound of his flute. He drew his turkeys and wives with their babies with him far to the south to the Shrine of Yellow Woman where he gives blessing In hunting and the bearing of children (p. 50).


Corncob Boy is the local culture hero of Cochiti. He belongs to Cochiti, and the other pueblos are said to be in awe of this little village because of his blessing. His shrine is near by, the Shrine of Yellow Woman (see Poker Boy, above). In his youth he is mocked as a poor orphan, but he vindicates himself by his successful management of the ceremonial rabbit hunt. He foretells the weather and teaches the people all the customs of healing, hunting, fishing and warfare. He foretold the coming of the Whites and the strange fruits and animals they would bring (p. 64).

The name of Poker Boy is used interchangeably with Corncob Boy in one version (p. 60). Both names are associated with the shrine of Yellow Woman. The story as it stands is a curious mixture, with its affinities on the one hand to that of the dirty dwarfish twin heroes of the western pueblos and on the other to that of the Christ asking the mercy of the angry God his father, and bearing the people's prayer for forgiveness.


(2 versions: a Boas, p. 51; b Benedict, Informant 1 (p. 60, first part omitted; divergences noted in abstract).)

Corncob Boy was an untidy singed-haired orphan living with his grandmother. The cacique's daughters, however, chose him to make their rabbit sticks at the ceremonial rabbit hunt, and he killed all the rabbits. He married them.[2a] The rest of the men in the village were jealous and arranged contests with him on which his wives were staked. (Poker Boy (sic) won the first contest because he did not bleed when he was whipped, b.) They contested to determine whose hair was longest. He purified himself by vomiting and (Spider sent him to the turkeys, b; the chief's daughters called their turkeys, a) who pulled each hair till it swept the ground when he sat on top of the kiva ladder. The last contest was one of food stores. The men of the village painted stones to look like corn and melons (but Corncob Boy followed coyote's seed-filled droppings till he found his stores underground, in Shipap, and was given a well-stocked house which became large when it was set up where he lived, b; but the chief's daughters swept his house and gave him four large rooms filled with corn and melons, a).

Again they contested as to the parentage of Yellow Woman's child, who had by now been born. All the contestants and the chief's family purified themselves four days by vomiting, and came to the kiva. All the men held flowers to the baby but he paid no attention to any except Corncob Boy. a.


In order to show the people "who maintained them," Corncob Boy departed northwestward. He left inexhaustible supplies with his wives, and told them to give to the people when they were in distress. (He never came back any more, a.)

(Because of their sins, Heluta withheld the rains, giving only to his song Corncob Boy, Inexhaustible supplies and commanding him to give freely to the people. When the people repented they besought Corncob, Boy as Intermediary with his father and he sent Coyote to Shipap. Heluta blessed them with the Institution of the Giant Society and it began to rain (p. 62).)


When Corncob Boy left his home he went northwest and married Heluta's daughters. Heluta showed him his fields in which he planted dewclaws. The ground was pricked with the antlers of tiny deer (cp. pp. 11, 25). Corncob Boy then planted corn and taught them to cook it. He returned to Cochiti with his wives and disappeared into his shrine, the Shrine of Yellow Woman, b. (Also see notes, pp. 206, 207.)

The Cochiti version of this story does not specify that this is the culture tale of the introduction of deer, as does the Navaho, for instance, but it is regarded as implicit in the tales. On the other hand, the fact that this is the occasion of the introduction of corn to Heluta's people is stressed. They have to learn to like it, etc.


Corncob Boy was an orphan begging scraps from door to door. Before the ceremonial rabbit hunt the boys mocked him saying he could not kill a rabbit. He turned their mockery against them so that no one killed any rabbits on the hunt. The priests came to him and he told them why he had hidden the rabbits. Masewa proclaimed a new hunt and Corncob Boy purified himself. They caught more rabbits than they could carry.

After this people believed in him. He foretold the rains and snows, and promised good weather for the coming season. They asked him to be cacique, but he said he was not born for that. He instituted customs of the hunt and of warfare.

He prophesied the coming of the Whites and the disappearance of game animals (p. 62).


(2 versions: a Dumarest, p. 228; b, Benedict, Informant 4, p. 191.)

Dumarest's account of Montezuma is of a thoroughly mythological culture hero, and it contrasts strongly with version b, which is a very characteristic Cochiti historical tale, telling of his designation of Watumasi as chief of Azteco pueblo, and of his conflict with Nankortez for Tuskala. It agrees with Dumarest's much more mythological version of Montezuma, however, in stressing the golden age during his rule, his going away and his promise to return. He dressed himself and the Malinche, his female partner, as for a dance, and they entered a lake together. In his final speech he foretold the coming of the Whites, and promised to come again when there were many Whites in the country, b.

Dumarest's account agrees with all Cochiti hero stories in the picture of the hero as ridiculed, but Montezuma is ridiculed as a half-wit, and noodle stories are told of him:

His mother, a dirty orphan girl, was made pregnant by a piñon nut. The child walked In four days. He had no one to teach him of hunting but he made a bow and arrow for himself, and made a nuisance of himself asking questions. They told him to shoot a rabbit, and he shot the man digging out a rabbit from his burrow. He overcame his mockers by bringing in many rabbits, and by magically attracting game by playing his flute from the roof of his house.

He was accepted as a supernatural, and was paraded like a santu, while the people prostrated themselves. He assigned the places where all his people were to live. His food was the food of supernaturals, corn pollen and wild honey; when he fed his followers with it it was inexhaustible. His bowl he had only to lift to the sky, also, in order to have it fill with water. His Malinche gave a woman in return for her hospitality a roll of wafer bread, and when she unrolled it it had become gold.

The only culture hero incident that is assigned to Montezuma in instituting the customs, is, significantly enough, that of "reforming the unmarried mothers," i. e., he is associated with the Catholic enforcement of marriage. He made a winged fish to frighten them, but it devoured them, so Montezuma confined it in a lake.

He was put in prison by the Spaniards, but a stone from one of his own people killed him. He had told them he would return and deliver them. They were to offer ground shell to him every morning toward the east at sunrise, for that was the direction from which he would return.

[1] Tales of the Children of Sun are closely allied and are included here.

[2] The masked Impersonations of the rain clouds.

[2a] The tests to which a husband is put to retain his wife are a stock feature of southwest folklore (see also the wives' tests, pp. 45, 46), but in the text version of Corncob Boy these tests take place before marriage. However, In this same version a child of Yellow Woman Is born to Corncob Boy during the tests.


The tales included in this section are all fictionized versions of pueblo life. Insofar as we are interested, not in incident distributions, but in myth as native comment on native life, we need to know primarily which kind of situations in their own existence appeal to them as plot material, how they are treated, and what cultural attitudes they are made to express.

The tales I have grouped as hero tales are strictly a first installment of these novelistic tales based on native life. They are separated here only for reasons of convenience, and in the discussion of the cultural background of the tales I have included material from both groups.

The outstanding situations in the hero tales are those of the disguised boy triumphing over his detractors, and those of magically successful adventure. Perhaps no situations are better adapted as wish fulfillments to the majority of the tellers of these tales. As I have pointed out, all the heroes indiscriminately are mocked by their fellows at the outset of the tale, usually because they live in poverty with their grandmothers, and are unkempt in person. They turn the people's mockery by supernaturally successful rabbit hunts, by contests of personal beauty (long hair), of the fatherhood of a child, of food stores, in all of which they are considered to have magic aid. (See notes, pp. 210, 216, 217, 218, 219.)

The adventures are of similar type, only they are not always prefaced by the mockery of the people. The separation of hero tales of this type from the novelistic tales is entirely arbitrary as can be seen in a comparison of the two groups. My only rule has been to, group under hero tales the stories of the standard heroes, with emphasis upon their mythological exploits – the bringing of the shiwana, releasing them from imprisonment, etc.

There are two striking situations, especially marked in the hero tales, that are not paralleled in the culture so far as we know. One of these is the contest of food stores. Corncob Boy magically obtains four store rooms filled with corn and gourds while his opponents paint stone to imitate these (p. 56); Heluta pits his undersized corn ear against their five full store rooms (p. 9). It is a widespread pueblo incident.

The other situation is the marriage to multiple wives. The hero of course always marries the chief's daughter or daughters, and usually it is the daughters. Corncob Boy marries Heluta's two daughters (p. 51), Poker Boy retires into his shrine with his two wives (p. 50), Arrow Boy marries the two Eagle Girls (p. 45), or the two Bear Girls (p. 111). This folkloristic acceptance of polygamy is striking in a civilization where monogamy is strongly stressed, so far as we can see, in old native culture as well as in Catholic teaching. There is evidence of more feeling of discomfort in Cochiti in the face of this anomaly than, for example, in Zuñi where the same pattern is very strong. In Cochiti in a number of cases the hero marries only the elder of two sisters. Afterwards he and the younger sister fall in love with each other – this is always expressed as the younger sister's stealing him – and the elder sister ceremonially commits suicide by taking the form of a snake.



The younger of two sisters was stealing the husband of the other. A rabbit hunt was called, and the younger sister went with the husband, leaving the elder one at home to grind. The wife, wishing to know what was occurring, took a bowl of clear water, and set it in the middle of the floor. She looked into it, and saw the husband with her sister in his lap. She took a basket and sat in it. She turned into a spotted house snake. When these two came home, she bit them so that they died. When people found her turned into a snake, she asked them to put her somewhere where she could live always, so two medicine men took her to Gaskunkutcinako (maiden's cave). That is why there are so many snakes there, and why little pots are taken to her there as an offering (p. 115).


Arrow Boy shows preference for his wife's younger sister and his wife goes into the inner room, sits in a basket and becomes a snake. The Flint Society are summoned but can not restore her and she is taken to "The Maiden's Cave" (p. 95).

In other tales the two sisters contest as to which shall have the husband by the stock women's test in the Southwest: meal ground so fine that it will adhere to a polished perpendicular surface. (pp. 45, 49; notes, pp. 216, 217.)

The conventional folkloristic pattern of multiple wives (see above) contrasts violently with the tales of the wife's jealousy in the less formal novelistic tales:


A Cochiti girl stole the affections of an Uwashka man. The wife, seeing her husband take moccasins to her rival, followed him into the field, and caught them together at sunset. She fell upon the woman, threw stones at her and ripped off her clothes. The husband deserted his wife (p. 114).

A variant is told as introduction to the Deer and the Lost Child.

A woman whose baby was still in arms followed her husband to another pueblo where she suspected him of carrying on an amour. She brought him home in disgrace (pp. 75, 77, note 1).


In Cochiti four sisters lived together. The eldest was married. The sisters all had babies, born at the same time, by the same father. The wife, in order to avenge her husband's unfaithfulness, took her medicine stone, and promising him a pretty gift, rolled it to him. He was turned into a snake. The wife left her sisters and nobody knew where she went (p. 96).


A hunter and his wife were living at Potsherd Place. The wife became tired because he brought home so much game, took him down to the corral and scared him so that he turned into a dog. She turned him loose to hunt for his food (pp. 95, 123).


(3 versions: a Boas, p. 72; b Benedict, Informant 2, p. 75; c Benedict Informant 1, p. 77)

The calamities that follow a couple who have been unfaithful and jealous are pictured in this tale.

A hunter, whose wife had a new born baby, went to San Ildefonso to see other women, instead of hunting deer. She became suspicious. One day she followed him. When he got to Old Mesa, she came to the big arroyo, and laid the baby on the bank while she went on. She found her husband in one of the houses and asked him to go home with her. When they came to the place where the baby had been left they found it gone. b, c. (Version a does not give the motive of the wife.)

The father followed the deer tracks to (a cave in the mountains, a, c, lake into the underworld, and came out into a meadow of melons, squash, pumpkins, and corn. He came to a pond where there were many katcinas roasting yellow corn. They jumped with fright at the popping of the corn. They directed him to the chief of the Deer, who censured him for his conduct and his wife's. He was shown many fawns and picked out the littlest as his baby, b. He went back to the pueblo and called a council, and asked for help, for he could not find the baby and deer. He made prayer sticks, took sacred meal and prayed where they had disappeared. A voice told him that the baby had been lost because of the jealousy of his wife. The door opened and the man found his son. As they gave the child to him, they told him that he must not let it out of his arms on the way home, c. The hunter brought him home (to the Giant Society and they shut him up with them for four days, b). He was not to see his father or mother for four days. All the openings were plastered up. The mother broke the retreat just before the fourth day, and the child ran off as a deer and was never recovered, a, b. The father set the child down while he went to ease himself on the way home, and the child was lost, c.)


(3 versions: a Benedict, informant 3, p. 123; b Benedict, informant 4, p. 125; c Benedict, informant 1, p. 120.)

This wandering and popular tale has as its central situation the vengeance taken by a wife upon her husband. She had been turned out of the pueblo by him, was impregnated at a waterfall, and her numerous children raze the pueblo from which she was expelled.

The wife became tired because he brought home so much game. She took him down to the corral, and jumped at him so that he turned into a dog. She turned him loose to hunt for his food. He came to a witch house. They recognized him as a transformed human being and restored him. They gave him medicine to use against his wife and told him how to overcome her, a.

The hunter took vengeance upon his wife because she did not pray nor remain continent while he was hunting, c.

He dressed her like a Ute Indian (cut her hair off, painted her hair red, a) and sent her to get water. As she was returning he warned the people against her so that she was cast out of the pueblo, a, b, c.

She wandered toward the north, and was impregnated by water (at the place of the water falls, c). She bore child after child until she had a whole army who took vengeance upon the village from which she had been cast out, and destroyed the pueblo. (They asked their mother who their father was, c.)

The pueblo was utterly destroyed, only one baby girl was left alive. A pet parrot found her and cared for her. Parrot Mother chewed piñon nuts for her food. She did not allow the little girl to look outside the house because corpses were piled in the plaza. When she saw them she refused to stay there any longer, and went in search of other people, Parrot Mother guiding her on her shoulder (carrying Mother Corn in her hand. A great butterfly came from the sky and clothed the girl. They met Buzzard and he guided them, b). They settled at Cochiti b, Sandia, a, c. (Version a adds that an evil katcina stole her when she was getting water, set her tasks which she accomplished, so that they lived together happily.) See also p. 187, where this incident is part of an historical tale.

The amount of initiative allowed to women in all situations of life is very striking in these tales. This may be due in part to the fact that three of the principal informants were women. This fact should certainly be taken into account in connection with the detailed description of the processes of carding, spinning, dyeing, and weaving in the tale of the Industrious Daughter (p. 79). Perhaps also it is in the same light that the numerous descriptions of the bringing in of a deer should be considered. They are always told from the point of view of the woman. She is called out to help bring it in, she places it in front of the fireplace, feeds it with sacred meal, formally thanks her husband and sets out food for him (pp. 66, 87, etc.). But even in this last example, my impression is that an equal number of men story-tellers would tell the story in the same way. Certainly in most of the stories just quoted the amount of initiative allowed to women in conjugal situations is a characteristic of the culture, not merely a stylistic affair of story-telling. In actual life too, as well as in the stories, it would be women who fought together in a quarrel over a man, not men who fought in a quarrel over a woman. Just as it is the woman who ceremonially commits suicide in the tales when she loses her husband's affections, so in the gossip of the pueblo I heard tales of women who died in similar cases, but none of men.

The tales of conjugal dangers arising from the fact that one of the spouses is a witch are closely allied to the tales considered here and should be studied in this connection. (pp. 90-97, notes, p. 232.)


Amorous women are common in the tales.


A hunter overtaken by night followed a light and was invited in by Yellow Woman. She offered him a skull to eat, but he only pretended to eat it. He made a pretext of easing himself and went outside, but she tied him with her belt so that he should not escape. He tied the belt to his excrement and escaped. She pursued him through four kivas, where he took refuge among the shamans performing ceremonies. Finally the Flint Society saved him and killed the woman (p. 101).


The incident of the girl who used to go out to lie with a cactus is attributed to a Navaho girl (p. 119).

In a similar vein it is Old Beaver Woman's pleasure in intercourse that is stressed, not Old Coyote Man's (p. 136; notes, p. 236).


The initiative allowed to women in Cochiti life is especially striking in the stories of the girl who refuses to marry. The common Southwest treatment of this theme involves the punishment of the girl. She must be trapped into marrying Coyote or into promiscuous intercourse. This is consistent also with Cochiti feeling.


The daughter of a cacique refused to marry all the young men who asked her. They became angered, so they sent Locust Boy who was ugly and bald to woo her. He made a wig and so transformed himself into a handsome boy. The girl married him, but one night awoke and saw the wig and her ugly husband. She ran away from him, but she was pregnant and when her six children were born, they were all bald like locusts. Thus she was punished for her refusal to marry (p. 85).

The most often told tales on this theme in Cochiti, however, are the ones that end happily. They are not so much tales of punishment of the girl for her presumption as of how she was blessed with a supernatural husband or was happily rescued from danger. Even the widespread story of this girl's marriage with Coyote has been drawn into this pattern, so that he figures rather as a supernatural.


The daughter of aged parents decided she must do something to help the family. She decided to pick up the scraps of cotton which had been thrown away, and these she combed and spun, and wound the yarn into balls from which she knitted a pair of footless stockings. Then she made openwork stockings from the scraps of cotton she picked up. Next she made a white manta, and embroidered it. While she was working on this she had many suitors whom she refused because she was caring for herself and her parents. She continued her work, making a ball-fringed sash, a dancer's sash-belt. She dyed her yarn in urine in which she stirred powdered indigo stone and stretched it over the rafter beams. Then the girl told her parents to go out and sell what she had made. They were very successful in disposing of what she had made, and she continued to weave sashes and mantas, which were sold to all the people in the village. When every one in the village had a complete dancer's costume they held a great dance before her house to see with whom she would dance, but when the rainbow dance came she would not lift her head or pay any attention to it, but kept on working. She would marry none of the young men who came to ask her, saying that she knew how to make the sashes and mantas which they brought her, in fact had made these same ones. They tried to attract her by painting rainbows on the walls of their houses, and decorating them with birds and sunflowers. She liked none of these. They planted corn of many colors to win her, but she cared for none of it, so they decided not to bother with her any more. Coyote decided that he would win her by offering her nothing but a branch of black currants gotten from the mountains. He went to his house and collected all the articles of his dancing costume, and got a branch of currants. He went to an empty house in the village and donned his clothing, stamping four times as he put on each article and saying, "Do I look pretty? Yes, I look pretty." Then he went to dance in the center of Little Plaza. The girl left her work when she heard him singing, and asked him for his branch of currants. The boys of the village were provoked that she would let him sleep with her for such a small gift. They were married, and after a time she gave birth to a coyote. Her husband took his wife and child to his home, which at first seemed but a small hole, but when she entered, the girl found it as good as her own, and as richly supplied with clothing (p. 79).


A girl refused to marry. Four boys came in succession, each bringing a bundle, but she would not have any one of them. Coyote was living at White Mountain, and when he heard of this, he decided to try to marry her. He 'dressed himself for the dance, and went to the hill to get kapolin berries. He went to the village, and when the girl saw him, she said to her parents that there was a beautiful boy ready to dance in the plaza, and that he carried a branch of kapolin berries. She asked him for them, and took him to her house. They were married. She had two children who were half coyote and half human. When they were big enough to walk, their father took them to White Mountain with him, but their mother had to stay with her people (p. 83).

A shorter variant is of the same tenor. Though she bears Coyote children, both she and Coyote bring up these children and this was the origin of blue coyotes (p. 84).


The girl who refuses to marry is impregnated by the sun. Sun makes his child a katcina. He comes back to the pueblo, dances with his mother, and takes her to Sun, his father. (p. 31, notes, p. 214).


A girl who from birth had firmly refused to marry was killed by one of her suitors who was a witch. The witches stole her from her grave and brought her to life again that they might have promiscuous intercourse with her and shame her. Her brothers had been watching her grave and had followed the witches. They broke in and rescued her. She had learned her lesson: that girls should accept their proposals of marriage. (pp. 99, 100; notes, p. 233.)

(The usual punishment of promiscuous intercourse for girls who refuse offers of marriage is in other tales detached from this story and concludes the episode of the pursuit of a beautifully marked butterfly by girls who wanted the pattern of its wings to paint on their pottery. When they were unable to catch it, they lay down under a piñon tree and slept. Coyote found them, and called the Payatamu to come, and all had intercourse with the girls. The latter brought rabbits, corn, and melons to pay the girls, but Coyote had none of these to give them, so he gave them hairs from his whiskers which they used for pubic hair. Their parents were glad of all the presents the girls brought home (p. 85).


This initiative in women figures also as a special danger it is advisable to avert. The story of the rabbit huntress is told in Cochiti always of the girl who, having a lazy brother, assumes the duties of hunting, and has her lesson brought home to her.


(3 versions: a Boas, p. 21; b Benedict, informant 1 (omitted); c Benedict, informant 3 (omitted)

A huntress supported her lazy brother by catching rabbits. One day after a successful hunt she was pursued by a giant and trapped in a cave. She gave him all her rabbits one by one while he tried to hook her with a cane. When these were gone she gave up her clothing.

The Twin Heroes heard her cries. They followed them to the cave where they shot the giant with their arrows. They opened the giant (returned the girl's clothing and rabbits, b; clothed her in embroidered white manta, c) and exchanged his heart of cactus for one of turquoise. The Twin Heroes took the girl to her house, and advised her brother to do the hunting in the future. Afterwards the brother hunted for his family and the sister stayed at home (p. 21).


The evil consequences of neglecting or abandoning children are traced in several types of tale.


(4 versions: a Boas, p. 88; b Benedict, informant 4, p. 88; c Benedict, Informant 1, p. 89; d Benedict, informant 6, p. 90.)

A mother was always making baskets in the kiva. She would not even stop to nurse her baby. Its little sister brought it to the kiva again and again, but she put her off. The little girl started with the baby for the "drowning place." She told an old woman she met on the way, who brought the word to her mother in the kiva. The mother ran after them, but she was too late. (They were already sitting on the cedar tree in the center of the drowning place and being drawn down into the water, a, d. She was given four trials to reach her children by parting the waters with a rod but failed. She died right there, c. She was given a flint with which to cut the water but failed. She lost her children forever, a. She left off basket making forever, b. Her children were welcomed by the katcinas in the underworld and became katcinas, d.)


(2 versions: a Dumarest, p. 231; b Benedict, informant 2, p. 77.)

The story of children abandoned when their parents move on to some other pueblo, often in famine, is a constantly recurring motif in Pueblo folktales. In some way all these children find supernatural protection and shame the mother (sometimes the parents) who have abandoned them.

When the people went south from the Place of the Recumbent Lion they left two girls behind (one little girl, placing a corn mother by her side to guard her, b). The elder found a Corn Mother (kotona, perfect corn ear, used as fetish) and it spoke to her and told her not to cry for they would follow the people and see if they could not overtake them. She told her to carry her carefully and not drop her. But when the little girl came to a spring (the edge of an arroyo and had to climb down b) she dropped Corn Mother and knocked one grain out so that she could not speak. Shrew Mouse (chipmunk, b) found her crying and climbed down and recovered the kernel. She brought her a drink in an acorn cup that proved inexhaustible. When they went on, a bear met them, and the footprints of the bear and the turkeys are still to be seen. They came to Jemez and found their parents visiting there at a dance. They stood at the foot of the ladder and when their parents asked them to come in, refused, answering, "You have considered us sweepings and with the sweepings we will remain." When the house owners asked them to come in, they did so, building roosts for their turkeys, a (not in b). The child found her parents In Mexico. The mother had forgotten she had left a child behind, b.

"Turkey Mother" is the same story with the omission of the rôle of Mother Corn and of all supernatural elements:

The people left Rito de Frijoles and came to old Cochiti. They left a girl behind them with the turkeys. She was Duck Girl. She did not want to stay alone there so she went with the turkeys to Jemez. She did not care to join their pueblo, because her parents did not love her, so she stayed on the refuse pile. The people saw her, and feeling sorry for her, took her into their pueblo with her turkeys (p. 78).

Compare also the conclusion of the story discussed, p. 224, and the historical story of the destruction of San Felipe, p. 186.


(4 versions: a Boas, p. 111; b Dumarest 234; c Benedict, informant 1, p. 111; d Benedict, informant 2, omitted.)

Version d is told of Arrow Boy.

A man who was a great hunter found himself one night after dark in the mountains. At White Banks he saw a light in the cliff. A young girl carried him up the bank on her back, and he stayed with the two girls. Their father and mother were at Cochiti (for it was corn harvest time, c, d; curing a sick person who had invoked the help of the Bears, b).

When they heard their parents return the girls wrapped him in a skin and hid him. The Bears came in with (bags of corn, c, d; with gifts given for curing in Cochiti, b) on their backs. They took off their dresses and became people. The younger daughter revealed the presence of the hunter, and the parents welcomed him, treating him with great courtesy. (When he took his leave in the morning they told him not to harm his children and their mother when they came to get, corn in his field, a, b).

He returned home (but his desire for the girls brought him back again, and he brought his game to the Bear girls. Children were born to both. After a time the hunter went to the pueblo promising to plant corn for his children, and did not return, c, d). The Bears came to his cornfield, but he called all the people of the pueblo, and pursued them. The Grandfather Bear turned upon him and killed him. (He ripped his body open and brought back his heart to the cave. So the Bear children had their father living with them, c, d.)


One of the most constantly recurring situations is that of the husband who seeks his wife who has been taken from him. There are a number of stock incidents in these tales: the girl is ordinarily made way with while she draws water, and her jar is left overturned by the river; she is made to grind and do household duties on her arrival; her husband finds her by help of Spider Old Woman who has only one snowbird head that she keeps perpetually in her stew to flavor it because her grandson is afraid of these birds and can not track them.

The simplest situation is that of the bad katcina, who holds the stolen wife in durance from which she is rescued by her husband. The child has supernatural powers from his father.


(2 versions: a Boas, p. 66; b Benedict, informant 1, omitted.)

The husband and hero in version b is Arrow Boy.

Cuisi'nyinawa was an evil katcina who betrayed women by tempting them to pick up something of his when they came to get water. He took them to his home in the east. If they were not quick enough in making wafer bread, he threw them on the ice to die.

Yellow Woman went for water and picked up a kick-stock, a, a prismatic crystal, b, and put it in her dress. Cuisi'nyinawa came up and asked for it but she denied having it (he said, "Look, see its colors are reflected on your chin," b). He took her to his home (on which a rainbow rests, a). When her husband found she was gone he followed her tracks to the river and found her jar. Spider Old Woman spoke to him. (When he put his foot upon the entrance to her house it enlarged and he could enter, b.) Her grandson never brought food and Arrow Boy trapped birds for her stew. Again, a sister of Spider Old Woman spoke to him and gave him a root. His next helper was Whirlwind. Whirlwind was away when Arrow Boy arrived and his grandmother hid him under blankets. Whirlwind came in with a rush of wind, and when he had thrown himself down to sleep Arrow Boy prayed over him and disenchanted him, using the root Spider Woman's sister had given him. When Whirlwind woke his grandmother said, "Do not harm your brother, the spider boy. For his sake you are well. He has disenchanted you." Whirlwind took him to the house of Cuisi'nyinawa, b.

When he got to his village all the people mourned with him over the evil man who had stolen his wife. He took her back with Spider Woman's help. Cuisi'nyinawa pursued them with thunder and lightning, but because Yellow Woman was carrying his own child he could not kill her. (The curing societies were in retreat praying for Arrow Boy, and therefore he brought her home safely, b.) When her child was born he had great power because he was the child of a katcina.


The same story is told of Sun's abduction of Shell Man's wife. Sun, however, is, as usual in Cochiti tales, where he figures as a supernatural father, not evil:

Shell Man and his wife lived at old Cochiti. When she went out for water Sun stole her. On his search for her Shell Man was resting in a muddy place when something crawled on him. It was Spider Woman, who told him where his wife was and advised him to take the old road, of the two that led to this place, for a dangerous person would meet him on the new road. He, however, took the new road and came to Whirlwind Man's house. His mother received Shell Man, and when her son came back from the hunt, Shell Man fought and killed him. On the plea of the mother he pressed his stomach and Whirlwind Man came back to life. He then took Shell Man to the house of Sun, where he found his wife and started back with her. They were pursued by Sun who shot arrows at her, but could not harm her for she was carrying his child. Whirlwind Man took them as far as his house, then they continued their journey alone. Sun, who just missed catching them, told the woman that her child should be chief of this people (p. 70).


The story of Shell Man's recovery of his wife from Payatamu is similar, but Payatamu has not abducted her and he is not evil. He found her when she was lost, having run after her husband's eagle, and gave her up to, her husband after he had won the required game of hide and seek (p. 71).

Shell Man's wife lost her eagle and went in pursuit, taking with her a white manta to throw over it. She came to Payatamu, who took her to his house. Shell Man went to seek her. He came to Spider Grandmother. Her grandson never killed any game for her, so Shell Man went hunting for her and brought in many small birds, so that she would not have to use her bird head any longer for the soup. She was so pleased that she told him his wife was in the sky, and that she would take him there it he would bring her certain things, black paint, red paint, a white embroidered manta, etc. She crossed two owl's feathers, ordered him to stand in the middle, and not look. Twice he disobeyed this last injunction, but the third time they got up, and arrived where Payatamu lived with his mother. Shell Man, Payatamu, and the mother contested in hide and seek for the wife. Shell Man hid where the sun comes up, the old woman in the zenith, Payatamu in the cracks of the kiva steps, in the first round. In the end Shell Man won and secured his wife. Spider Grandmother took them down after some unsuccessful attempts because they opened their eyes. Shell Man lived with his wife in Tiputse.


A group of moral tales is told of the punishment that is visited upon people who step upon bugs and snakes and beetles. One of the stories of people who visit the world of the dead underground, is of the man who was taken there for a reprimand for this kind of behavior (p. 128; notes, p. 205).


There was a little boy who disobeyed his father and mother, and stepped on and killed every little animal that came near him. The spirits of the bugs and snakes were angry, and held a meeting to plan revenge. They first chose the swiftest snake, who refused to undertake to hurt the boy, as did the sand snake and the rattlesnake. Finally the tip beetle consented to try. When the boy came down the road, he saw tip beetle and kicked him, but as he kicked him, the beetle stung the boy in the middle of the foot. A man carried him home on his back, and that night he died. So the little bug killed him (p. 127).


(2 versions: Benedict, Informant 2, p. 126; b Benedict, Informant 1, p. 127.)

Powĭshke Girl lived there with her mother. She was afraid to let her go, out because she always harmed something, especially snakes. Snake wanted to go out but his mother was afraid that this girl might injure him. Both mothers yielded to the pleas of their children. On the road Powĭshke Girl saw Snake. Snake tried to get out of her way, but she threw stones at him and hurt him. His mother heard his cries of distress, as he cried that bowlegged Powĭshke Girl had broken his back. The mother snake took her little snake home, and went to tell the girl's mother what her daughter had done. But the mother said that her daughter did not pay any attention to her advice. Powĭshke Girl did not return, but that did not cure the little snake, a.

Version b is much slighter, and pleads the girl's lack of intent to harm as extenuation.


The situation that appears most often in the stories of witches is that of the husband or wife who is in danger from the fact that his spouse, unknown to him, is a witch. The anger of these unconfessed witches is easily aroused, and they turn their spouses over to the witches to kill.


(2 versions: a Boas, p. 90; b Benedict, Informant 1, p. 91.)

A hunter killed many deer. His wife was (tired of making mush; a, angry because she had to prepare the venison, and that made her late to the witch meeting, b). She turned him over to the witches to kill. (They planned to kill him by Whirlwind, but they were unsuccessful. A dream warned him, b. The game animals took him to their house and warned and advised him, a.) When he returned home his wife was gone, but she had left a (red, i. e. witch colored, b) Mother Corn to take her place. He threw it against the wall and some of the kernels fell out. He found his wife's eyes on a little shelf in the inner room and urinated upon them. When his wife came home in the form of an owl, she went into the inner room to exchange her eyes, but was unable to do so. In the morning her husband found her dead. Her body had owl eyes, a, b.

The same story is told of a husband who is a witch. Their child is called Arrow Boy.

A woman who had lost all her children carried dinner to the Mint Society to ask their help. They gave her prayer sticks for the kopishtaya, and she planted them before sunrise. She was given a root by the kopishtaya to rub upon the body of her next child and was warned against her husband who was a witch. They gave her directions. She threw the Corn Mother against the wall and dropped his eyes into the chamber pot. Her husband died and the Flint Society was called to kill him ceremonially; they cut the ground four times with an obsidian knife (p. 92).


One night the witch wife asked her husband to go to the corral with her and she turned him into a dog. He remained until he was weak from lack of food, then he went out and came to a house into which he fell. They recognized him as Bloodclot Boy, and told him that his wife was angry because he brought home set many deer and made her late for her meetings. They covered him with a white manta and performed their ceremony and he returned to his own shape. They gave him a crystal to roll to his wife. When she picked it up, she became a snake, a form which she must keep forever, for nobody had power to turn her back (p. 95).


The elder of two sisters lay sick, and the younger became suspicious of her brother-in-law. One night, when she went to do her accustomed grinding, she followed him to a bank, and found that he had gone to attend a witch meeting, and also that one of the witches was trying to gain his affection, giving him a root to put under his wife's pillow, so that she would not recover. In the morning her sister removed the root, foiling the plan. The same episode was repeated on the following day, as before. The next day the man was to make his wife get up and. to take her to a dance at the next pueblo, leaving the younger sister at home, if possible. On the way the witch woman, in the form of a bear, was to kill her. The sister overheard this plan, too, and prayed to the katcina, who gave her a magic crystal which she was to throw at the bear woman. She did this, and the bear hugged her brother-in-law to death, and was also killed at the same time. So the sisters returned to their pueblo and lived there (p. 97).

It is not only the, husband or wife who is in constant danger from the machinations of witches. All ordinary life is lived under this threat. A very popular story tells of the vengeance of the witches upon the girl who refused offers of marriage.


(3 versions: a Benedict, informant 2, p. 99; b Benedict, informant 3, p. 100; c Benedict, informant 4, p. 100.)

She was the daughter of the chief and declared her intentions from the time she was able to speak. Many sought her with gifts, but she remained firm, b, c. She said, "My brothers will take care of me," a.

(A witch boy became angry at her refusal and asked the other witches to help him injure her, b, c). They played shinny while the girl was going for water, hit her with the ball, and she died. The witches took her body from the grave and brought her back to life. They taunted her with her refusal to marry, and boasted of their advantage. Her brothers were watching her grave, and had seen the witches robbing it. They followed and heard what was said. They entered the witches' cave and killed most of them, and freed their sister, and took her home. (She was alive during the night and slept in the day, a; she had learned her lesson: girls were placed in this world to take suitable partners, b, c).

The outdoor occupations of men also invite danger from the witches:


A hunter overtaken by night followed a light and was Invited in by Yellow Woman. She offered him a skull to eat but he only pretended to eat it. He made a pretext of easing himself and went outside, but she tied him with her belt. Outside he defecated and tied the belt to his excrement and escaped. Yellow Woman pursued him. He ran north and hid in a kiva among the shamans.

She overtook him and he ran west and successively south and east, until there he was saved by the Flint Society. They put him on top of a spruce tree. Below was a dish of medicine water. She came looking for him, saw his reflection In the water, and jumped in to get him. The Flint shaman stirred it with his flint knife and killed Yellow Woman. The man escaped. (Boas, p. 101.)


A man and his son were wood gathering and their donkeys were grazing. They saw a coyote sitting on one of them. It was a witch who had taken that shape. They scared him away and summoned the people, who shot Coyote. But the following day the boy who had been frightened died. (Boas, p. 110.)


Three men were out working. Only one of them was not a witch. The latter had to open the door for them, when they went and came at night as coyotes and as owls. They brought bags of green corn and chili in the winter and shared with him. They offered him a man-woman for a wife. He accepted because he could not get any girls. When he had slept with her the witches demanded that he pay for her. He had no money, so his wife died. The witches made fun of him. (Boas, p. 105.)


A witch and another man were herding sheep. When the man heard of the wonders that occurred to the witch, the man wished to have such things happen to him. The witch assured him that if he were really interested he would find a teacher for him. One night the witch offered to take him to a meeting if he were willing, so placing his hands upon the shoulders of the witch, kneeling, and closing his eyes, he was carried to Old Mexico to the meeting place. At the feast he discovered a baby's finger in the food and refused to cat. After the meal a handsome man with horns, then a beautiful woman, who was followed by an ugly man, and then a great serpent came out, and last a he-goat; all of them tried to frighten him. They started back, but the man kept thinking of his flock, and called upon the forbidden name of Christ asking the other to hurry. The angered witch threw him off, and he had to make the eight days' trip back on foot to the camp. He failed to become a witch (p. 105).


There was a great famine. The witches had plenty for they turned themselves into mice at night and gathered corn from the corn rooms. One of them tempted a friend who was not a witch to join them. That night the owner of the house heard them; the witches escaped, but the friend was caught. He told his story and the owner gave him all the corn the witches had shelled and left behind. He took it home to his children and they had a fine feast (p. 104).


Four men went hunting antelope, and all were very successful except the leader who was a witch. Each night he used to go out by himself, build a fire and try to call the Gewa Indians to come and destroy his companions. His brother-in-law became suspicious, and decided since this man was "not thinking right" they should return home. He had a dream that his side locks were too long and should be cut before sunrise for his safety. He was about to do this when the witch came in, declared his dream false, and so prevented him from doing it. The next day they were about to return when the Gewa came. They captured the witch, but his brother-in-law escaped, although badly wounded. On his way home he fell in with some Mexican herders. They helped him as far as Santo Domingo where the Indians of that place helped him the rest of the way. When the Cochiti heard what had occurred they prepared to go against the Gewa. He was taken into the Giant Society and cured (p. 108).

A very few references to witches are found in the emergence and hero tales:


Our Mother told the witches not to come out of Shipap into this world, but they forced their way past (p. 4).


The witches killed a man and resuscitated him as a child-killing giant, because they were offended that so many children were growing up in Cochiti. He picked up the children in his basket and carried them off on his back and ate them. The Giant Society ritualistically created a giant who overcame him (p. 17; notes, p. 213).


There are a few miscellaneous situations in pueblo life that are given in the tales with very little modification:


Three children were left orphans, two little children and one adolescent girl. The older girl neglected her brother and sister and stayed out with men. The little children found shelter and food where they could till at last the baby boy died in his little sister's arms. The older girl never came back from Santo Domingo (p. 116).


An eagle swooped down on an isolated camp and stole first a lamb and later a baby. A great party followed the eagle's flight and located the nest. A man was swung over the edge of the cliff and the baby was recovered unhurt. The father and mother moved back to the pueblo where they would be safe and the baby grew up to find a gold mine, the gold from which he sent to Montezuma (p. 117).


In the old days when they were still living in White House and the Village of the Stone Lions, a father and mother and four sons joined them. When his mother was so old she could no longer grind for them, the eldest son said to her, "You must have help. I will find a wife." At the Village of the Stone Lions he asked a girl and then her father, and when they agreed she went to his village with him.

The man and his brothers were great hunters. They took two deer to the girl's family, and the daughters of that house made a feast. The brothers brought their parents also. The girl's family would not let them return, so they all lived together at the girl's home (p. 86).


When the people went to mine turquoise one man gave turquoise to his sweetheart. Buckskin is the proper gift and turquoise is taboo. Therefore the cave fell in on them and killed them all. To-day if any one offers them moccasins they give him turquoise (p. 254). This incident is told also with different motivation; it was forbidden to chip turquoise from the pillars of the mine, and it was this taboo that was broken (p. 196).


There is one type of animal tale that it is necessary to discuss among the novelistic stories based on cultural situations. This is the transparent animal fable, a type of story rarely found among the American Indians. In Cochiti it is characteristic of these tales that the moral is not given explicitly, but when informants are questioned they phrase the underlying idea of the story in terms of their own cultural life.


(2 versions: a Benedict, informant 1, p. 133; b Benedict, informant 2, p. 135)

A good example of the Cochiti fable is the story of the crow who abandoned her eggs in the nest. Hawk (another crow, b) had pity on them and hatched them. After they were out of the nest Crow came back and claimed them. The small birds refused to recognize her as their mother, and the case was taken before the king of the birds. He left the choice to the small birds, who elected as their mother the one who had brought them up and provided for them.


It is said that in former times two hunters would arrange to bring their catch to the other's wife and sleep with her. They took their turns on two successive days and nights. The story that deals with this custom is told of Beaver and Coyote.

Coyote is the proverbial bad hunter and Beaver Woman waits for him, but he does not come. Next day It is Beaver's turn. He brings as much as he can carry and sleeps with Coyote Woman while Coyote sits alone in the front room. Afterwards they are as good neighbors as ever (p. 136).


A story, the point of which is the difference in the domestic habits of two families which one discovers when one has married into another family, is told of the cranes and the geese.

The Geese were living at Goose Village, the Cranes farther down the river. One of the Goose Girls wondered what Crane did, went to investigate and married him. She learned to eat the fish which he caught In place of the corn picked up in the fields at Cochiti. For four days she stayed at his house and then took him home with her where he was received kindly. Crane brought fish for them, and taught them to like them. Since they were too far from the source of supply, Crane and his wife returned home. Their son went to visit them once and carried them fish, but soon returned to live with his parents (p. 137).


(2 versions: a Boas, p. 118; b Benedict, Informant 2, p. 118)

The point of this incident is of the consequences of a rash promise. In version b it is followed by a romantic incident:

Yellow Woman was in her field and was delighted by a grasshopper's song. She offered him (four ears of green corn a; his fill of her squashes b) if he would teach it to her. (Grasshopper said, "It is not enough, I have many children." "Take more, bring your children Into my field," a.) He taught her his song. He called all his relatives and ate her whole field. (She killed many of the grasshoppers, a.)

Yellow Woman's father and mother beat her and left her naked. She wandered off, but in his field she heard Payatamu singing to his flute. He gave her a long stick and told her to strike him, whereupon one by one articles of women's clothing came out of Payatamu. When she had dressed, he took her to his grandmother who welcomed them and they lived together, b.


Two tales are recorded of suitors who are accepted only to be discovered as Bat or Frog. One is of the discredited girl, the other of the discredited boy.


Corn Tassel Girl and Turquoise Girl heard Bat Boy singing, Inviting them to come to his meadow and gather pumpkin blossoms. When they had gathered the flowers he took them home with him Intending to marry them. However, he proved to be half bat and they were ashamed, and would not sleep with him. His grandmother had warned them not to pinch him, so in the middle of the night when all the rest were asleep, they pinched him as hard as they could and he burst. They escaped home taking the pumpkin blossoms to their father and mother who were very glad to get them (p. 139).


When the people first came to Cochiti, a girl went down to the river to fill her water jar. She saw a man sitting on the opposite bank who invited her to wade across and go home with him. He took her to his grandmother's house, and she was welcomed as a daughter-in-law. The grandmother prepared corn in the evening for the girl to grind in the morning early. The girl rose, ground the corn, parched it, and made hard mush for breakfast, and the grandmother was very happy. For four days the girl ground in the morning. Again the grandmother shelled the corn for her, but as the girl ground, the corn seemed as hard as rock. She began to cry, and the grandmother thought she was singing. She remembered the village from which she came and was homesick. So In the morning she took her moccasins and as she passed her grandmother she urinated on her, and then went back to the river, where she lived forever (as a frog or toad). When her grandmother awoke she could not find her (p. 140).


(2 versions: a Benedict, Informant 1, p. 142; b Benedict, Informant 3, p. 142)

Both versions of this tale describe, in an animal setting, official decisions of capital punishment. In both cases it is Bear that is the guilty person against whom the judgment is pronounced, but the crimes differ. In version a Grizzly Bear's strength has so run away with him that he has killed a culprit that he was ordered only to frighten. In version b he has merely refused to attend the council called by Bear Chief in preparation for a contest with the Mountain Lions. Version b is followed by the incident of how the animals held a war dance after they had killed a bear – in Cochiti bringing in a bear was celebrated in the same way as bringing in a scalp,

The queen of the animals ordered that Grizzly Bear frighten a man who had been disobedient, but he killed him. Lion was appointed to carry out Bear's punishment, and he roped the bear with his tall and climbed with him to the top of a, pine tree. He split a tree and put the bear In the crevice. They were glad he was dead because he had no control over himself when he was angry, a.

Bear Chief summoned the Bears in preparation for a contest with the Mountain Lions to determine which was the stronger. Grizzly Bear refused to come and Lion was ordered to kill him at sunrise. The Lion won, and the council ordered that Bear be hung on a tree because he had done wrong, b. (Version b continues with the war dance the animals held for the dead bear. They had no bear medicine bundle but one of them stole one from its owner. They brought in the war dance for the person who had killed the bear and initiated him into the Warrior Society, ompe).


The point of this tale (p. 155; notes, p. 243) is that great and easily procured riches have often accompanying dangers that even the score.




The great character in all Southwest animal tales is, of course, Coyote. In Cochiti his character is unusually consistent and no tales are recorded that clash with it.[1] He is an ill-omened cheat, imitator, and fool, never the clever inventor nor culture hero with magic power. This concept is so strong that even the Cochiti analogues of Hoodwinked Dancers can be identified only by the line of the song: "Coyote is going to hit you on the back," and the tale is only of a decrepit Grandfather Coyote singing to his drum over and over to the delight of the prairie dogs (p. 144). When in Cochiti they do tell of Coyote's murderous intent at a dance of prairie dogs, they tell how the prairie dogs taunted him and escaped into their holes. He dug till his tongue hung out, but he did not get one (p. 144).

The tale of how the prey animals fasted for their power, given under the Origin Tales, is consistent with this character of Coyote:

The other animals carried out their fast and were blest, but Coyote cheated by drinking water and sacred meal on the third day and his punishment was to get his food with difficulty forever (p. 8).

The same punishment is elsewhere visited upon Coyote for opening the jar of stars that had been entrusted to him by Our Mother (p. 4).


Quail brought her children to play just above Whirlpool Place. She sang while they danced. Coyote came along and wanted her children to play with the young quails. Quail sang for them. Coyote noticed that her children had no topknots, and was told, by Quail that she had put sticks in her children's heads to make them. Coyote tried to do likewise, hammering sticks into her children's heads. Thus she killed them, and Quail and her children ran off. (p. 145).


Coyote and Rattlesnake lived at Gamatsika. They planned to invite each other to a great feast. Coyote, invited Rattlesnake first, and prepared paper bread and meat for them, killing a sheep for the occasion. She called her guest who came in and coiled himself on the floor, but he did not care for the feast because he only ate sacred meal and pollen. When Rattlesnakes turn came, he thought of what Coyote might like and went out and killed two chickens. Coyote, wishing to imitate the snake, tied a gourd rattle on his tall, but found this too heavy and replaced it with corn husks. He came in to Rattlesnake's and turned around as his guest had done, and tried to make a noise with his tall. Because his guest had refused his feast, he too refused. Rattlesnake was angry and ran at him, for he thought he was being mocked, and Coyote had to escape. So he lost the chickens (p. 146).

For Bungling Host, see also introduction to "Bear and Deer" tale (pp. 160, 161, notes, p. 243).


There were many foxes and coyotes living at White Bank. Fox was invited by Coyote to race him to a big pond. Fox saw the full moon in the pond and told Coyote that somebody there had a big piece of cheese. Fox suggested that they drink the pond up in order to get the cheese. They took turns, Fox pretending to drink, and Coyote drinking. When Coyote was nearly exhausted, Fox said that he would get the cheese, put it out on a stone, and they would both race for it. He pulled up a white stone and carried It to the appointed place. But Coyote, when she began the race, burst, and "got no cheese" (p. 147).


Coyote was told that he should look into the water of a little stream. When he did this he saw something which he was told was cheese, and it was suggested that he jump in and get it. This he did and was drowned (p. 148).


At Whirlpool Place a duck lived with her ducklings. She sang for them to jump into the river. Coyote heard her and decided that her children should do likewise. The young coyotes were afraid of the water. Duck sang for them, but they would not jump. Coyote threw half of them into the water and they were drowned. She cried so for her lost children that she died (p. 148).


There was a bank of paper bread of all colors, and at the foot of this there was a pond of sweet corn milk. A crow was perched on the top of this bank singing, and every time he sang, he bit off a piece of the paper bread and flew down and drank of the sweet corn milk. Coyote came along and tried to imitate him, but when he jumped from the bank, he was drowned in the pond. Crow was glad for he wanted his eyes. Crow called all the small animals to come to get his fur for their nests, and all the birds who ate meat, to get his flesh. An old man came along with a basket and picked up the bones for soup, and took them home to his wife (p. 149).


Old Man Coyote is the proverbial bad hunter in the fable "Coyote and Beaver exchange wives" (p. 136, notes, p. 236).


Roadrunner girls were grinding corn, and Coyote Woman wanted to grind too. They told her to bring something to grind, and she brought hard acorns and could not break them. Roadrunner girls made a precipice in front of the door and excused themselves one by one. When Coyote Woman went out she fell and was killed. Crow plucked her eyes out and called all the little animals to get fur for their nests from the dead coyote. There was nothing left but bones, and an old man took these home to his wife to make soup of (p. 149).


Coyote went to get water for her children and was bringing it back when somebody called that she had a ball on her toe. She screamed and spilled the water. This happened a second time. The third time she drank lots, and while she was running back, she burst, and her children didn't get any water after all (p. 150).


Crow went visiting a pueblo, bringing a song to make them happy. He took his mother's dancing shells. Only Coyote came to hear him sling, and he admired the bunch of shells. Crow told him he had made them out of his own eyes, and offered to make some for Coyote. Crow directed him to find an obsidian arrow point, and he cut out both his eyes. Crow flew away and mocked Coyote. The blind Coyote ran about helplessly and died (p. 151).


Three brothers who are herding sheep send their burro home for food. Their father orders bread and corn, put in the saddle bags and the burro starts on the return journey. On the way back he passes Coyote who, in order to secure the food for her children, pretends to be lame and asks Burro to help her to her near-by home. She takes almost all the food. Burro becomes suspicious, throws her off, and discovers her ruse. The three brothers whip Burro, and send him back to get Coyote, telling him to turn his arse to the hole. Burro does this and Coyote is caught when she tries to get the meat which she thinks she sees coming in at her door. The little coyotes think she has caught a buffalo, Burro carries her to the brothers who whip her, and send her home bleeding. The little coyotes think she is meat and eat her, regardless of her protests (p. 152).


The rest of the animal tales are of very mixed character.


There is a light-hearted tale of the little snipe and the horned toad who play hide and seek. When Toad hid, Snipe thought she had found a flint arrow head when she stumbled over him. When Snipe hid, Toad thought he had found an awl for his grandfather to make moccasins with (p. 153).


Spider and Dung Beetle were playing, and they bet their eyes on the game. Therefore Spider who won has four eyes and Beetle none (p. 153).


Rabbit is the clever animal.

Bear and Rabbit bet their lives upon being able to scare each other. Bear scared Rabbit, who was not frightened. When her turn came Rabbit removed her skin, and Bear ran, pursued by Rabbit, who called to her aid all the animals In the mountain that were hunting. Bear was killed. Rabbit took the claws. giving the meat and skin to the rest. She made a necklace of the claws, and went to get coals from the little bears, so that she should have a chance to exhibit her prize. The little beam were enraged, and set out to kill her. She escaped to the rocks. She fooled the bears Into bringing her cactus and sage brush for her winter stores by telling them that in this way they could reach her. They went home disgusted (p. 157).


Black Boy was planting cotton. Horned Toad, who did not know cotton, asked him what he was doing and was told, but did not seem to know what he was doing. He said that he would ask four times and, If he were not told, he would swallow him. Four times he asked, and four times received the same answer. Black Boy swallowed Toad. Then he heard a song which said "I am In your stomach, and eating your heart, liver, lungs, and stomach." He became frightened and decided that he would go to the river where he would find the hishtiani who could open him with his thunder knife. He continued to hear the song, so he hurried to carry out his plans. The hishtiani cut him open and released Toad, and then rubbed his body and closed the wound. Black Boy got up and went home (p. 156).


Two Santa Ana girls went to Haniashte to pick beans. The geese called to them in their own language to come over and pick white beans. The girls became frightened, and fearing that they might be dangerous they returned home and told their mother, who warned them not to go again (p. 158).


The geese were gathering shells in a field. Their leader urged them to hurry, and they had just flown off when the owner of the field came up. He only got Crane, who had just come up (p. 159).


This widespread story[2] occurs in Cochiti in an atypical form with an introduction of a bungling host story.[3] It has been recorded three times: a, Boas, p. 160; b, Benedict, informant 1, p. 161; c, Benedict, informant 3 (omitted).

Deer invited Coyote to her house and killed her two children to feed her. She told Coyote to wash the bones in the river and the children were alive again. Coyote imitated her and killed her children to feed Deer. When her children did not come to life she pursued Deer and her fawns. A beaver carried Coyote across the water. She came to a buck, who gored her, a.

Version b differs slightly in the account of Coyote's pursuit. Beaver took Coyote across the river but played with her in the boat and had intercourse with her. Meantime the boat drifted two miles down the river and delayed Coyote. She overtook Deer on La Bajada Hill, but they had reached the buck, the father of the fawns, and he gored Coyote.


A deer, bear, lynx, lion, and wildcat came from Painted Cave. They decided that cats were needed so the lion was selected to get them. He was placed in the center of the circle while the others smoked around him. He sneezed twice, and a male and female cat came out from his nostrils. He declared that they were to be considered as his offspring and have his face, and that they were to be useful to people to protect them from mice. The rest of the animals were to live in the mountains, but these two cats were to live in Cochiti (p. 154).


Woodrat and Mouse challenged each other as to who had the larger store of grain. Woodrat arranged to show Mouse her stores which were very plentiful. The next night she was to inspect those of Mouse who lived with a cruel lion whose property Mouse considered as her own. As they were looking at the stores the cat discovered them. Mouse escaped, but Woodrat was too big and was caught and eaten (p. 155).

Other animal tales are grouped as fables, among the novelistic tales (pp. 135-142). These are stories that seem somewhat explicitly human moralistic tales, a rather unusual Indian development. (Notes, pp. 236-238.)


[1] Coyote as a human character or a katcina who marries a virtuous girl who has scorned proposals of marriage (pp. 83, 84), or who is sent as a messenger to Our Mother (Dumarest 215), is not to be confused with the character of Coyote in the animal tales.

[2] Journal of American Folklore, 42:307.

[3] Notes, p. 239.


The European tales in this collection include a number that are seldom reported from the American Indians. Among those tales, on the other hand, that are widely distributed, John the Bear, the comradeship of the lame man and the blind, the noodle tales and the amusingly confused tale of the Swan Maidens stand out conspicuously.

In contrast, for instance, with Zuñi European tales, the whole collection has been subjected to comparatively little change in the Cochiti versions. The life that is mirrored is not pueblo life, but a bastard version of European conditions centuries ago; robbers steal doors and let them fall from trees on people below (in a country that aboriginally did not have doors at all, and where rocks and not trees are places of refuge), the halfwit ties himself to a cow's tail (where cows are never kept), they take to court suit about a spoon, the heroes hire out to kings, and the bride and groom go to visit his parents in a buggy. For this reason, I have not used these tales in the discussion of domestic life as it is mirrored in Cochiti mythology. The abstracts of these European tales are included, rather, as an indication of the hold of European culture in the Rio Grande.

Other obviously European tales in this collection are: The Contest of Good-tasting Fat, p. 7; The Origin of the Cat, p. 154; The Woodrat and Mouse Challenge One Another, p. 155; and many of the stock incidents of the witch and coyote tales.



(4 versions; a Boas, p. 166; b Benedict, Informant 1, p. 163; c Benedict, informant 3, p. 165; d Benedict, informant 3, p. 167)

The favorite Southwest story of the lame man and the blind is recorded in four versions, of which one is the introduction to a noodle series.

A lame and a blind man (brothers, a) lived together in the West. They lived upon wood rats, which they killed together (upon birds which they lured by bird calls produced on a taut hair, d). The weak lame man directed the strong blind man, who carried him about to the traps. (They made practical jokes about each other's infirmity, and always speculated on how nice it would be if each were cured, b). One day they trapped unusually large wood rats (got good supply of birds, d) which burst unexpectedly when they roasted them over the fire. Startled, the blind man opened his eyes and the lame man ran. They had been cured, but they continued to live together.


(2 versions: a Benedict, informant 1, p. 163; b Benedict, Informant 3, p. 167)

Version b is the continuation of the story of the lame and blind man (version d above); version a follows the usual outline and is the tale of a halfwit boy and his grandmother. The two versions are the same except for order and for the final incident. I give an abstract of version a.

Ginini (halfwit) lived with his old grandmother. One day she sent him for wood, telling him to bring in "the gray" (i. e., well dried) sticks, and to lie down whenever it got too dark to travel. He found the (gray) bones of a horse and brought back a load. When the sun set he was at the foot of his own ladder, so he slept there, where his grandmother found him in the morning.

Next day she sent him to the give-away dance at Sia. He stopped at an ant hill (si'a, ant), and spread out the skin and took what the ants brought him, receiving many bites. His grandmother scolded him when he arrived home. The next day she sent him to gather locusts on the piñon trees. He saw a Jemez Indian gathering pitch, and he killed him for a "locust." His grandmother made him take the body back when he brought it to her. Next he was told to finish the hoeing in the fields. His grandmother carefully explained how he was to do the "throwing up." He found a snake and threw this up all day long. When his grandmother went to see the results of his work, she found the bruised snake. She felt pity for the snake because he had killed it.

A more unusual Southwest noodle tale is the following:


Two brothers and a friend went hunting. They separated to find deer. A big grasshopper jumped on the chest of one of the brothers, and was shot by the friend, who thought it was a deer. When he saw that he had killed his friend he felt remorseful and declared that he should not die alone. He tied himself to a cow's tall, struck the cow a blow and was dragged to death. The younger brother saw the dust, and, thinking it was caused by a deer, followed. He found various members of the body, and still considered them parts of the deer. When he came to the cow, he inquired why she had killed him, but the cow enlightened him as to his error, and declared that the man had taken his own life In this fashion. His brother collected all the scattered parts of the body (p. 176).


(2 versions: a Boas, p. 167; b Benedict, Informant 1, p. 169.)

The first part of the tale is told only in version b.

A man and his wife had no child. They prayed and finally the man went to the mountains to make offerings there. A bear met him in answer to his prayer, and exchanged beds with him for the night. The man's wife bore a son whom they called Sanosa. He was half bear and half human. The boy grew up always asking for his father. Finally his mother directed him to the bear. He lived with him. His bear father got human food mysteriously. Sanosa went out to get work and was employed by a king, b.

With five others he worked in the mountains. Each of them took turns cooking for the rest. An old woman used to appear when everything was ready and eat it all up, while the man who had cooked slept. The third day she was overcome by the half bear, who slept only on his human side. She begged for her life, promising him six girls whom she had shut up and would give him. She went back into her hole. When the others returned they tried letting themselves down the hole on a rope. The first two were afraid to go all the way down and shook the rope as a signal to be hauled back. (Half Bear went down, and tied a bell to the rope as a signal, b.) The half bear then went down (taking a stone with which he was able to overcome, a; he killed the old woman and found her heart of cactus, b). He reached the girls. They were all hoisted up the rope, but the boy they did not bring up. After three days he succeeded in getting out but he never found the others.


(2 versions: a Boas, p. 170; b Benedict, informant 1, omitted.)

Three brothers set out to seek work in other pueblos. They came to a forked road and each went a different way. The eldest met a coyote on the road, who asked for food. This he refused and sent her to his brother who was traveling on the middle road. He, in turn, sent her on to the youngest brother who gave her his last piece of bread. For his generosity the coyote advised him to go farther south to a certain stream and follow his directions. He did so, and threw crumbs on the water for the fishes to feed from. Presently three maidens in the form of doves came to bathe. He seized the clothes of the youngest and prettiest. When she was unable to find her clothes the eldest daughter (the youngest, b) asked him to find her ring lost in the spring, which he secured by the aid of the fishes. (All of the sisters gave him tokens of marriage, a.) He was received by their father, the king, as the husband of the youngest after showing the tokens, and sorting peas, beans, and wheat by the help of ants, a. After a time the boy remembered his parents, and planned to return to them with his wife. (Her parents gave her a hollow cane to supply her needs, b.) They drove in a buggy and when they came near his home they sent a message ahead by a cottontail rabbit which was caught by the family and the message read. The poverty stricken house was replaced that night by a fine one, well stocked by means of the wife's magic cane, a, b.

(One of the brothers became jealous, killed his younger brother, and told his wife that he had been shot while hunting. She was suspicious, found him and restored him to life with the cane, and they lived happily together again, b.)


Two sisters, Oheania and Okuronita, lived in Tiputse. The younger sister, who married first, had a child, and when she was lying in, her husband and sister took turns watching her so that she would not be alone. Just before dinner her sister, who was on duty, went to get water intending to be gone only a moment. At the river a fish called to her to come and see the stomach she had lost when she was washing it. She ran after it, but it was only fooling her. In the meantime a devil woman came to her sister, and under the Pretense of lousing her stuck a needle into her neck, and she was immediately transformed into a dove, while the devil woman took her place. In order to protect herself from discovery she said that the light hurt her eyes and that she must have it shut out. The next day when the sister was out doors a dove called and asked if Okuronita's baby were well. The following day the husband caught the dove and the sister pulled the needle from its head. The dove was immediately changed into her proper shape. The husband went in and choked the devil woman, and they were all very angry because they had been wasting on her good things to eat (p. 177).


The youngest son of a poor family ate too much and was not wanted by his family, so his three elder brothers were told to lose him in the mountains. The boy knew their plans so gathered food together. When night came, the little boy climbed a tree to see if there were any lights around, and saw a very faint one in the distance. They left their oxen and traveled toward it. They came to the house of a giant who fed them and placed them to sleep in a room with his daughters, planning all the while to eat them. In the night the youngest brother exchanged the fox skin bands which the boys wore over their heads for those of rabbit skin which the girls wore. As a result of this exchange the giant killed his own daughters, and the boys escaped. They came to the house of a woman who gave the little boy a piece of glass to throw behind them when they were pursued, so that it would splinter and the passage would be difficult. They met Grandmother Spider who gave them a root to chew and spit behind when the giant got near them. Another old woman gave them a needle, and a fourth a piece of glass which would form a sheet of ice. So the boys escaped through their assistance, and the giant fell on the ice and could not get up (p. 178).


An old man and woman who were afraid of robbers decided to go where it was safe. While on their journey, when they were eating under a tree, they heard a noise made by approaching soldiers. They took refuge in the tree, but were discovered by the urine of the woman. The old man had carried the door of his house, and they let it fall to frighten the soldiers and so escaped. They met a little boy who was about to take them to his home, when an old witch invited them to hers. The old man was suspicious and thought that the witch was going to steal from them. He told her that they were seeking for their long lost boy, and stole away in the night. At last they came to a safe place (p. 180).


The younger of the three brothers who worked in the silver mines was lazy and envious of the others, for they brought home much silver. He followed them one day, after they refused to tell him how they secured their loads. He hid in a pine tree, and found that they commanded the door of the mine to open, and when they had finished, to close. After his brothers had left he commanded the door to open, but while he was in the mine, robbers came, found him there, killed him and took all the money, hanging his body in the tree. He was found by his brothers and carried home. On the way they met an old woman who was inquisitive to find out whose body they were carrying. Her husband observed her, was jealous, and struck her dead. This was reported to the governor who sent his men to arrest the man. (Unfinished, p. 181.)


Half Rooster came down with the people from the pueblo on the mesa. An old woman gave him food, and shortly he returned saying that she had taken his spoon. She denied this and he took it to court before the king. On his way he met Lion, Bear, Wolf, Grinding Stone, Fire, Water. They wanted to go with him and he took them all into his arse and carried them along. He got to the court of the king. The king had him shut in a den of wild horses, and he ordered Lion out to kill them; of wild bulls, and Bear killed them; of two dangerous mules, and Wolf killed them. They shut him in the church to freeze, and he ordered Grinding Stone to break all the pictures and santus. They tried to bury him in ice, but Fire melted it. They made a great pyre for him, and when it was lit Water put it out. The king took him into his house to live with him (p. 182).



Long ago in the north below from the Place of Emergence, everybody came out. Now when those who are everyone's chiefs came out they all went out. They went down south. Ma*'s’ewa and Oyoyewa were watching them when from there they started. Then all the people were now going south. Everyone was moving away south and they built towns, but always were, still watching them everyone's fathers, everyone's chiefs as they went. Again when day came, they were always going. They only moved southward. Thus they were always going. Now they were just going to the middle south. Again somewhere from there they stopped. When it was day again they always started from there. Thus they were just going to go south, being taken by those who were everyone's chiefs, Ma*'s’ewa and Oyoyewa. But everyone's cacique was always walking in the middle. He took them, carrying all his people on his arms, until they arrived there somewhere at White House. And everyone's mother spoke thus, "Indeed, here it is." Now everyone's mother made them arrive. He just carried all his people, his children, in his arms. Now he arrived there. Therefore there was going to be here the town of everyone's mother. Everyone's fathers, Ma*'s’ewa and Oyoyewa, were going to make a town. Then everyone's fathers, Ma*'s’ewa and Oyoyewa and everyone's mother notified them. Later on the uninitiated were told how to act by Ma*'s’ewa and Oyoyewa. Then the two said, "It is good, everyone's mother, cacique, this place is ready for you, everyone's, mother. For his sake let there be a town here." Then everyone's mother, the cacique, made a town. Then he called it White House. That was the White House. Now it was a town. Then the people increased. Ma*'s’ewa and Oyoyewa were always watching them. They two took care of them, the whole town and the people. But everyone's mother made an altar down in the north room, west room, south room, east room, and above and below. After everyone's chief had made all of them, then Ma*'s’ewa and Oyoyewa looked after the room, looking after what everyone's mother had made and also the White House. Then the people had children and the town increased. Afterwards the people increased excessively. Then somewhere and somehow it happened that they began to separate there. Then some people were going to separate. Each one was trying to the everyone's people. Well, then they did so, but everyone's poor mother had altars in the north room, west room, south room, and east room. Then they were going to separate. Some went southwest, some, to the middle south, some went southeast. Then they were separated. Then everyone's people were going to take them as they went. They arrived in the southwest. Then they moved here toward the southwest. Then they were still going southward and they arrived way down south in the appointed place. They were going to reach the place for which they were hoping. Still everyone's mother was taking care of them as; they went and still everyone's chief was also taking care of them as they went. Then they were going to reach way down south Go'hawaima. They were going to arrive. They were hoping to go in there. They were still coming from the middle north down there. At the middle south they stopped. Here in the north they stopped where everybody's mother said, "The four truly sacred places are here," she said. Here he made altars and chiefs Ma*'s’ewa and Oyoyewa were always watching them as they went. They went along coming from the north and they began to make towns. They built altars. Thus they were coming from the north. Once upon a time they did go from there and they left all the altars for the towns. They went down south from there. Therefore there are many ruins in the north. Everybody's grandfather and everybody's grandmother left there. Therefore there are still ruins on the hills in the north. Then they wished for the place there in the south appointed by everyone's mother. They wished to go there to the south to Go'hawaima, that was the place appointed by everyone's mother which they were going to reach. They went along. They were going to go away. They were going to grow up. They were going to arrive there in the south, at the place appointed by everybody's mother. Everybody was destined to grow up, to arrive, to climb up and to enter there. Then whatever everybody's mother ordained, that was obeyed. They climbed up and entered there. Then everybody's mother doe's everything for everyone. Here will be the resting place. From here they went southeast, still taking the same way. They were also always going southward to Go'hawaima. They were going to arrive. They were going to climb up and enter somewhere where everyone's mother had promised. They took everything and had it. Then from there they were all going to assemble again. Then again our mother made everything sacred. Here, then, will be the, resting place. Then for the sake of everybody, you who are everybody's mother, cacique, you will have the power to take this.


[1] Recorded in text by Franz Boas. See also pp. 2-5. Notes, p. 204.


Long ago. – che'. – There somewhere in the northwest corner dwelt somewhere Ganadyani in a cave. There dwelt Ganadyani the chief. Then his wife gave birth. He had a child, a boy. They lived inside together. Then Ganadyani spoke thus, "I am going to plant," said he. He told his wife. Then his wife, spoke thus, "What are you going to plant?" said she to him. She told her husband. Then Ganadyani spoke thus, "Well, deer, and elk, and mountain sheep, and antelope, and buffalo, and jack rabbits, and rabbits, and gophers (?). All kinds of game I am going to plant," said he. Then Ganadyani, the chief, planted. Now they came up. Then his child went there. He spoke thus. "Oh my!" said his child, "what has father planted?" said he. "I am going to see," said his child. Then the boy went there. He took a rabbit stick. Then he arrived at the place where his own father had planted all kinds of game. Then the boy hit them with his rabbit stick, the, deer that was just coming out and everything that he had planted. Then the others, Oh my! the poor ones. He tore off all their ears, the child of Ganadyani, the boy. Then his father went there. There was his child. Ganadyani, the chief, spoke thus, "My child," Said he, "evidently you did some mischief," said Ganadyani, "to the poor game that I planted," said Ganadyani, thus he said to his child. Then his child spoke thus, "What kind of thing did you plant, father?" said he. "I wanted to see it, therefore I am here," said his child. Then his father, Ganadyani, the chief, spoke thus, "Well, my child, I planted all kinds of game," said he, "and now the poor ones, you tore off all their ears," said he to his child. "So that is what you planted," said his child. "I did not know that at all," said the child, "therefore I hit them," said he, "with my rabbit stick," said he. Then Ganadyani spoke thus, "Now the poor ones are coming up, don't bother them any more," said he to his child. "When they grow up you will see them," said he to his child. Then the two went away from there, both he and his child. Then the two entered their house. His mother was inside. Then Ganadyani, the chief, spoke thus. He said to his mother, "There somewhere the poor child did some mischief," said he. "There somewhere my child with his rabbit stick tore off the ears of some of the poor ones. The poor ones, behold, now the game that I planted is coming up," said Ganadyani, the chief. Then he told his wife, "Do not let my child hurt mine any more," said he. "'When they all come up then you will see them,' said I to my child." Then the mother scolded her child. "Oh, my child, why did you do that to them?" said to him his mother. "Your poor father has planted game," said his mother. She scolded him. "Somewhere you tore off the ears of some of the poor ones," said she to him. "Now do not hit the poor ones any more, my child," said she to him. "When they all come up, then we shall go to see them together," said his mother, "when Ganadyani, the chief, has planted all the game," said his mother. "Then for four days, we together shall purify ourselves by vomiting," said Ganadyani, the chief. Now for four days they purified themselves by vomiting. Then Ganadyani spoke thus, "Tomorrow we will go and see whether all the game has come up," said he. Then early he went to look. Now four days had passed. Then he went down there to some place and arrived where he had planted. Now all the game had come out. Already some of the game was walking about, everything, just what he had planted. Then he went to his house from there and he went to tell his wife and his child, Then he spoke thus, "Somewhere now all the game is come up," thus he said. "Let us now together go down and his mother shall take sacred meal and pollen," said Ganadyani the, chief. Then he took his wife. Then the two went together, Ganadyani and his wife, Yellow Woman. They went there together. There was much game there. They arrived. Then Ganadyani called the game.. Every animal from around there came. (The ground) just shook on account of the game of every kind, turkeys, eagles, deer, elk, mountain sheep, antelope, rabbits, jack rabbits, gophers, coyotes, every kind of game, bears, mountain lions, lynx, wolves, every kind that he had planted had come up. Then his wife went there and his child went together with her. Then Ganadyani, the chief, called them, he who had very supernatural power. Then they gave sacred meal and pollen to the game. "Eat, game, take all together the food," said Yellow Woman. "Now all the game of poor Ganadyani has come up," said his wife. "Thanks, it is nice, now we are going to eat game below here," said Yellow Woman, the wife of Ganadyani, and his child, Payatamu.[1a] Then Ganadyani spoke thus, "Now these are my children," said he to them. Ganadyani had all the. game as his children. Then he spoke thus, "Now you all will go from here," said he. Then the game was scattered from there. Therefore there are all kinds of game in the mountains. Then, "Eagles, you will be above, you will go there," said he. Then he scattered the game all about. Therefore all kinds of game lives in the mountains. Then, "Eagles, you will live above," said Ganadyani. "From above you will give life," the eagles were told. Therefore the eagles live above. Ganadyani sent the eagles there. "But all kinds of game, you will live in the mountains," said to them Ganadyani. Then he told his wife, Yellow Woman, "And thus," said he, "I have now scattered all the game," said Ganadyani. "Now, you, game, will live on the mountains," said he. "Thus here when anyone kills a deer or bear or, mountain lion or wolf or lynx or badger or rabbit or any kind of game, be, it mountain lion, mountain sheep or elk or antelope or eagle or turkey or coyote, if anyone kills any kind of game, we shall be eating, if anyone is lucky and catches it," said Ganadyani. "Only you, my child, Payatamu, you will always hunt with bow and arrow," said to him his father, "and with club and rabbit stick you will hunt them," said Ganadyani, the chief. "From here I have scattered all the game," said Ganadyani, the chief. "All the, game are my children," said he. "I planted the game," said he, "therefore all the game animals are my children," said Ganadyani. "You, Yellow Woman," said he to his wife, "if my child, Payatamu, hunts deer and if he kills one, then you will grind blue corn below here on the grinding place and you will grind blue corn. Then you will put the meal in the basket. You will make wafer-bread for him. Our child, Payatamu, will hunt deer," said Ganadyani, the chief. "Then you, his mother, when you grind corn, you will only make wafer-bread," said to her Ganadyani, the chief. "And you will stir mush. Mush and wafer-bread and atole will be our food," said Ganadyani, "and any kind of game, if anyone kills it, will be our food. All our poor people here, if from a poor town any Payatamu goes hunting, then they will give Yellow Women to the youth who hunts game," said Ganadyani, the chief. "Then Yellow Woman, you will only make wafer-bread and mush and atole, and, Yellow Woman, you will only grind blue corn and yellow and red and white corn, and that, Yellow Woman, you will allow to the Payatamu," that told them Ganadyani, the chief. Then he spoke thus, "Payatamu, you will hunt only with bow and arrow and club and rabbit stick all kinds of game here, Payatamu," said Ganadyani, the chief. Then he said, "If anyone is lucky and he should kill a deer or any kind of game, the Yellow Woman will eat it," said Ganadyani, the chief. "All kinds of game are my children. I shall be the one to give it," said Ganadyani, the chief. "I allow to him the game if anyone wishes to go hunting," said he. "I allow all of it," said Ganadyani, the chief. Then Ganadyani spoke thus, "Now," he said, "I shall go to my house," said he, "and somewhere in the northwest corner there is my house," said he. "Now I place all the game on the mountains," said he, "and the game will live," said Ganadyani, the chief. "Now, I shall go to my house," said he. Then he went away somewhere to the cave We'nima and he went forever. Then his wife, Yellow Woman, and his child, Payatamu, lived there together. He had one child, a boy. Then he was hunting deer and his mother made wafer-bread and all entered We'nimadze, Ganadyani, his wife, and his child.

[1] Recorded in text by Franz Boas. See p. 9; notes, pp. 206, 207.

[1a] "Youth."


There in the southeast at Yah’ats' somewhere below, the people are inside. In the middle stands up a pure turquoise. The post of turquoise standing in the middle is habitually being hewed by those who are inside, who are in Yah’ats'. Men and girls were inside together.

There was one youth who presented turquoise to a Yellow Woman. He gave turquoise to win her love. Then it happened thus from above to all those who were inside, all the people. Oh my! the poor ones were shut in somewhere below. They shouted. Then the cacique spoke thus, "Oh my! said he, "probably you have done mischief, boys," said the chief. Here we are all below, shut up. Now everything came down," said the chief. "Maybe somebody gave turquoise to win love," said the chief. "For this reason I told you it is not good to give turquoise to win love," said the chief. Then he called Ma*'s’ewa and O'yoyewa. Then the chief spoke thus, "Ma*'s’ewa and O'yoyewa, now we have all been shut up inside," said the chief. "Some one probably gave turquoise to win love," said he. He told Ma*'s’ewa; he told both of them. Then Ma*'s’ewa spoke thus. Ma*'s’ewa and O'yoyewa questioned all the men and boys who were inside, "Now this here trapped all of us," said Ma*'s’ewa. Then both asked all the boys, "Someone gave turquoise to win love, therefore this happened below here to our house," said Ma*'s’ewa. Then that one boy spoke thus, "Indeed Ma*'s’ewa and O'yoyewa, fathers, chiefs," said he, "I beg your pardon, Ma*'s’ewa and O'yoyewa," said he, "I gave turquoise to that Yellow Woman," said he. "Now it has trapped all of us here," said he. "I did something that was not good," said that boy. Then Ma*'s’ewa spoke thus, "Oh wonder! oh my!" said Ma*'s’ewa, "for that reason you told them well that nobody should give turquoise to win love. It is not good. Now to-day the kopishtaya trapped us below here," said Ma*'s’ewa. "We shall never get out. We shall remain inside," said he. "We all shall die in here of hunger," said Ma*'s’ewa. Then Ma*'s’ewa told the chief, "Indeed, this boy gave turquoise to win love. Therefore we are now all trapped here below," said Ma*'s’ewa. He told the chief. Then the chief spoke thus, "Oh wonder! dear me, my children," said he. "Now you have done mischief," said the chief. "Now the kopishtaya have trapped us here inside, said the chief. "We shall never go out," said the chief. "We shall die here all together of hunger," said he. "Therefore I told you well, my children, it is not good that anyone should give this turquoise to win love," said the chief. "It is not allowed to Yellow Woman. Buckskin is allowed to Yellow Woman," said the chief. "Thus, now we shall never go out," said the chief. "Below here we all together shall die of hunger and thirst," said the chief. "Now all the kopishtaya have trapped us," said he, "the kopishtaya, those who are very supernatural," said the chief. "These kopishtaya who give us life," said the chief. They all were trapped below. Then they all did thus down below. Down below they shouted. "Oh my! the poor people below who are inside. When anyone makes moccasins for them," said he, "when skin for shoes is given then shall we give turquoise," they said, "somewhere down below, for if anyone asks us for anything we shall give it to them," said those below. Then, oh my! the poor ones, all the people died down below. They all were trapped. All did thus down below. The kopishtaya trapped all of them.

[1] Recorded in text by Franz Boas. See p. 196. Notes, p. 236.



A man was sick for a whole year. He thought he was going to die, but he wished to live. He became weaker and weaker. One night he dreamed that person came to take him away. He followed him northward to the place where the dead go, which is called yu'dedec. A short time before they arrive at yu'dedec they came to a mountain. The trail passed by the foot of the mountain. He was following the person who had come to get him. They stopped at the foot of the mountain and he saw that the mountain consisted of ice. All around there were ledges, one over the other like the steps of a stairway. People were standing on these ledges entirely naked. He recognized some of them. He asked his guide, "What does this mean? I see all these naked people, men and women, in rows all the way up the mountain." His guide replied, "My son, this is the Iceberg. Do you see the water dripping down along it and dripping upon the people?" The man asked, "Why is this done?" His guide replied, "These are people who committed evil deeds while they were alive and they are being punished here. The ice-cold water runs over their bodies from head to foot. They have to stay here for a long time as punishment for their evil deeds."

They went on and came to another place where men and women were tied to both sides of the trail. They were tied to posts so that they could not move. They were hungry and had nothing to eat. Only animals that crawled along, the ground and came within their reach, such as lizards and birds, were their food. The guide said, "They are punished in this way on account of their evil deeds."

They came to another place and they saw an enclosure like a corral in which men and women were kept. A war chief walked about outside to see that nobody escaped. The guide told the man that these people were kept here as a punishment and that they were given very little food.

They went on and arrived at yu'dedec (or wenima. The narrator though it was more likely that it was the latter place). This was a very beautiful place. All the people were dancing ci'hwana of all kinds.

Then the guide said, "I have come to show you all these places. Only people who have done good deeds on the earth go to yu'dedec. The man became ci'hwana and they danced here. There are plenty of melons and watermelons."

Then the guide took the man to another place far in the south. There he saw all the shamans gathered in one room. They were all ready to perform their rites. One company was sitting in the north looking southward, another in the south looking northward, still another in the east looking westward, and another in the west looking eastward. The guide said, "Maybe you know some of these shamans." Then the man recognized some of the shamans from Cochiti who were dead. The guide told him that only shamans who had done their duty came to this place. He told them that people who had been bad would be sent to the places of punishment or that they might be put into a fire. He continued, "My chief (ck’a'ayna) ordered me to go and get you and to show you the places where the dead go. Our Mother thinks that you are a good man. You are head of the Giant shamans and you have always done your duty. You follow the orders of our Mother. Those shamans who do not follow the orders of our Mother will be punished in the fire or in the other places of punishment. They will be locked up forever. They shall have no joy and have nothing to cat. They will be given only bugs and lizards. When you go home tell the people of the town what you have seen. They shall keep to the faith that our Mother has given them. If they do not do so they will be punished in the places that you have seen. Only those who do right will have joy in the life after death. They will dance as ci'hwana."

Then the guide took him back. He awoke and told the people what he had seen.

Francisco Travers heard him tell this story.

[1] Recorded by Franz Boas. see p. 128-132. Notes, p. 205.

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