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The Traditions of the Hopi, by H.R. Voth, [1905], at


A long time ago many Áahtu were playing in the cedar timber north of Oraíbi. One time they were near a very pretty cedar-tree and here they sang the following song:

Hatava, yayhona yayhona,
Hatava yayhona,
Hatava yayhona,
Tûva yayhona!

The meaning of the words is not known, except "tû'va" (throw). "Hatava" may be an obsolete word for "eyes."

When they were through with the song they all took out their eyes, throwing them on the tree, where they remained suspended like little balls. They then sang the same song again, whereupon the eyes returned to their sockets. This they did many times. All at once a Coyote appeared upon the scene and asked: "What are you doing here?" "Yes," they said, "we are having a little dance here, and then we play throwing our eyes on the tree and getting them back again. Sometimes when the eyes are not very clear and one throws them away in this manner they become clear again." "All right," the Coyote said, "I shall join you because one of my eyes is not very clear. Some time ago I was chasing a rabbit and ran with my head against a tree and a piece of wood entered my eye, and ever since that eye is very dim, so I shall play with you and maybe my eye will get clear."

So they sang their little song again, the Coyote joining them, and as they sang the last word they all threw their eyes on the tree, the Coyote too. They then sang again, and all the eyes, except those of

p. 195

the Coyote, returned. The little Birds all laughed at him saying, "Your eyes will never return; you are bad (unáihu), you are taking other people's things away sometimes, and that is the reason why your eye got hurt with that stick; your eyes will never come back; you are dangerous; and you are going to die somewhere." The Coyote was very angry and left them. As he could not find anything to eat now, he soon died. The place where he died was called Coyote-Death-Place (íshmo'mokpu) ever since.


194:1 Plural from Ahu, a blue-bird of about the size of a turtle-dove, probably the blue Jay.

194:2 Told by Qöyáwaima (Oraíbi).

Next: 67. The Coyote and the Turtle-dove