In the story of Vandaih we are given a curious glimpse into Indian friendship. The reference to smoking, too, is interesting. The Pimas had no true pipes. They used only cigarettes of tobacco and corn-husk, or else short tubes of cane stuffed with tobacco. These I have called tube-pipes. They smoked on all ceremonial occasions, but appear to have had no distinctive pipe of peace. The ceremonial pipes of cane had bunches of little birds' feathers tied to them, and in my photo of the old seeneeyawkum he holds such a ceremonial pipe in his hand.
"He gambles with the gain-skoot:" The gain-skoot were the Pima dice--two sticks so marked and painted as to represent the numerals kee-ick (four) and choat-puh (six), and two called respectively see-ick-ko, the value of which was fourteen, and gains, the value of which was fifteen. These were to be held in the hand and knocked in the air with a flat round stone. At the same time there was to be on the ground a parallelogram of holes with a sort of goal, or "home," at two corners. If the sticks all fell with face sides up they counted five, If all fell with blank sides up it was ten. If only one face side turned up it counted its full value, but if two or three turned up then they counted only as one each. If a gain was scored the count was kept by placing little sticks or stones (soy-yee-kuh) in the holes as counters. If the second player overtook the first in a hole the first man was "killed" and had to begin over. Among all Indians gambling was a besetting vice, and there was nothing they would not wager.
Sometimes instead of the gain-skoot they used waw-pah-tee, which was simply a guessing game. They guessed in which hand a certain painted stick was held, or in which of four decorated cane-tubes, filled with sand, a certain little ball was hidden and wagered on their guess. These tubes were differently marked, and one was named "Old Man," one "Old Woman," one "Black Head," and
one "Black in the Middle." Sticks were given to keep count of winnings.
The moral advice which Ahahnheeattoepahk Mahkai gives Vandaih, is very quaint, and the shrewd cunning with which he loads the dice, pockets the proceeds, and yet finally unloads all the blame on poor Vandaih, is quite of a piece with the confused morals of most folk-lore in all lands. On these points it is really very hard to understand the workings of the primitive mind. Here is certain proof that the modern conscience has evoluted from something very chaotic.
It will be noticed that Vandaih drinks the pinole, which bewitches him, five times instead of the usual four. Whether this is a mistake of the seeneeyawkum, or significant I do not know. Perhaps four is a lucky and five an unlucky number,
Another variation in the numerical order is in the woman whistling only three times, in putting Vandaih to sleep.
As I have before pointed out the reference to white men, and pens and ink, is evidently a modern interpolation, not altogether lacking in flavor of sarcasm.
There are suggestions in this story of Jack the Giant Killer, of the Roc of the Arabian Nights, of the harpies, and of the frightful creatures, part human, part animal, so familiar in all ancient folk-lore.
The latter part of this tale is particularly interesting, as perhaps throwing light on the origin of that mysterious process of purification for slaying enemies, so peculiar to the Pimas.
It seems to have been held by the Awawtam that to kill an Apache rendered the slayer unclean, even tho the act itself was most valiant and praiseworthy, and must be expiated by an elaborate process of purification. From old Comalk Hawk Kih I got a careful description of the process.
According to his account, as soon as an Apache had been killed, if possible, the fact was at once telegraphed to the watchers at home by the smoke signal from some
mountain. This custom is evidently referred to in E-ee-toy's cloud over a high mountain as a signal of success. The Indians apparently regarded smoke and clouds as closely related, if not the same, as is shown in their faith in the power of tobacco to make rain.
As soon as the Apache has been killed the slayer begins to fast and to look for a "father." His "father" is one who is to perform all his usual duties for him, for be is now unclean and cannot do these himself. The "father," too, must know how to perform all the ceremonial duties necessary to his office, as will be explained. If a "father" can be found among the war-party the slayer need only fast two days, but if not he must wait till he gets home again, even if it takes four or more days. It appears that this friend, who has charge of the slayer, is humorously called a "father" because his "child" is usually so restless under his long fast, and keeps asking him to do things for him and divert him.
It there is no "father" for him in the war-party, as soon as possible a messenger is sent on ahead to get some one at home to take the office for him, and to make the fires in the kee, that being a man's special duty. And the wife of the slayer is also now unclean by his act, and must purify herself as long as he, tho she must keep apart from him. And she also must have a substitute to do her usual work. She must keep close at home, and her husband, the slayer, remain out in the bushes till the purification is accomplished.
For two days the fast is complete, but on the morning of the third day the slayer is allowed one drink of pinole, very thin, and no more than he can drink at one breath. The moment he pauses he can have no more at that time.
When presenting this pinole. the "father" makes this speech:
"Your fame has come, and I was overjoyed, and have run all the way to the ocean, and back again, bringing you this water.
On my return I strengthened myself four times, and in
the dish in which I carried the, water stood See-vick-a Way-hohm, The Red Thunder Person, the Lightning, and because of his force I fell down.
And when I got up I smelled the water in the dish, and it smelled as if something had been burned in it.
And when I got up I strengthened myself four times, and there came from the sky, and stood in the dish, Tone-dum Bah-ahk The Eagle of Light. And he turned the water in the dish in a circle, and because of his force I fell down, and when I rose up again and smelled the water in the dish it was stinking.
And when I had started again I strengthened myself four times, and Vee-sick the Chicken Hawk, came down from the sky and stood in the dish. And by his force I was thrown down. And when I stood again and smelled the water in the dish, it smelled like fresh blood.
And I started again, strengthening myself four times, and there came from the East our gray cousin, Skaw-mack Tee-worm-gall, The Coyote, who threw me down again, and stood in the dish, and turned the water around, and left it smelling as the coyote smells.
And when I rose up I started again, and in coming to you I have rested four times; and now I have brought you the water, and so many powerful beings have done wonderful things to it that I want you to drink it all at one time."
After the third day the "father" brings his charge a little to eat every morning and evening, but a very little.
On the morning of the fourth day, at daybreak the slayer takes a bath of purification, even if it is winter and he has to break the ice and dive under to do it. And this is repeated on the morning of each fourth day, till four baths have been taken in sixteen days,
The slayer finds an owl and without killing him pulls long feathers out of his wings and takes them home. The slayer had cut a little lock of hair from the head of the Apache he had killed. (for in old times, at least, the Pimas often took no scalps) and now a little bag of buck-skin
is made, and a ball of grease-wood gum is stuck on the end of this lock of hair which is placed in the bag, and on the bag are tied a feather of the owl and one from a chicken hawk, and some of the soft feathers of an eagle, and around the neck of the bag a string of blue beads.
(And during this time the women are carrying wood in their giyh-haws to the dancing place.)
Now the Apaches are contemptuously called children, and this bag represents a child, being supposed to contain the ghost of the dead Apache, and the slayer sits on the ground with it, and takes it in his hands as if it were a baby, and inhales from it four times as if he were kissing it. And when it is time for the dance the slayers who are a good ways off from the dancing place start before sunset, but those who are close wait till the sun is down. And the "father" goes with the slayer, through woods and bushes, avoiding roads. And before this the "Father" has dug a hole at the dancing place about ten inches deep and two feet wide, just big enough for a man to squat in with legs folded, and behind the hole planted a mezquite fork, about five feet high, on which are hung the weapons of the slayer, his shield, club, bow, quiver of arrows, perhaps his gun or lance.
(The shield was made of raw hide, very thick, able to turn an arrow and was painted jet black by a mixture of mezquite gum and charcoal, with water, which made it glossy and shiny. The design on it was in white, or red and white. The handle was of wood, curved, placed in the centre of the inside, bound down at the ends by raw. hide, and the hand fended from the rough shield by a piece of sheepskin.)
in this hole the slayer sits down and behind him and the fork lies down his dancer, for the slayer himself does not dance but some stranger who represents him perhaps a Papago or a Maricopa, drawn from a distance by the fame of the exploit. Nor do the slayers sing, but old men who in their day have slain Apaches. These singers
are each allowed to sing two songs of their own choice, the rest of the veterans joining in. And as soon as the first old man begins to sing, the dancers get up, take the weapons of the men they represent, and dance around the fire, which the "fathers" keep burning, keeping time with the song.
And the women cook all kinds of good things, and set them before the singers, but the bystanders jump in and snatch them away. But sometimes the wife of an old singer will get something and save it for him.
And the relatives of the slayers will bring presents for the dancers, buckskin, baskets, and anything that an Indian values. And as soon as presented some relative of the dancer runs in and takes the present and keeps it for him.
And while this big war-dance is going on the rest of the people are having dances in little separate groups, all around. And as soon as the dance is over the weapons are returned to the forks they were taken from.
By this time it is nearly morning, and the slayers get up and take their bath in the river, and return and dry themselves by the expiring fire. Then returning to the bushes they remain there again four days, and that is the last of their purification.
As this dance is on the eve of the sixteenth day, there were twenty days in all.
Grossmans account differs considerably from this, and is worth reading.
During the time of purifying, the slayers wear their hair in a strange way, like the top-knot of a white woman, somewhat, and in it stick a stick, called a kuess--kote to scratch themselves with, as they are not allowed to use the fingers. This is alluded to in the Story of Paht-ahn-kum's War. A picture of a Maricopa interpreter, with his hair thus arranged, is in the report of Col. W. H. Emory, before alluded to. This picture is interesting, because it shows that the Maricopas, when with the Pimas, adopted the same custom. When I showed this picture
to the old see-nee-yaw-kum he was much interested, saying he himself had known this man, who was a relative of his, there being a dash of Maricopa blood in his family, and that he had been born in Mexico and had there learned Spanish enough to be an interpreter. His Mexican name, he said, was Francisco Lucas, but the Pimas called him How-app-ahl Tone-um-kum, or Thirsty Hawk, a name which has an amusing significance when we recall what Emory says about his taste for aguardiente, and that Captain Johnston says of the same man, "the dog had a liquorish tooth."