Sacred Texts  Native American  Southwest  Index  Previous  Next 

p. 120


AND after this the people had long peace, increased in numbers,. and were scattered all around. Some lived where the old vahahkkees now are in the Gila country, and some lived in the Papago country, and some in the Salt River country. And those who lived where the mound now is between Phoenix and Tempe were the first to use a canal to irrigate their land. And these raised all kinds of vegetables and had fine crops. And the people of the Gila country and the people of the Salt River country at first did not raise many vegetables, because they did not irrigate, and they used to visit the people who did irrigate and eat with them; but after a while the people who, lived on the south side of the Salt River also made a canal, and you can see it to this day.

But when these people tried their canal it did not work. When they dammed the river the water did not run, because the canal was uphill. And they could not seem to make it deeper, because it was all in a lime rock.

And they-sent for Ee-ee-toy to help them. And Ee-ee-toy had them get stakes of ironwood, and sharpen them, and all stand in a row with their stakes in their hands at the bottom of the canal.

p. 121

And then Ee-ee-toy sang a song, and at the end of the song the people were all to strike their stakes into the bottom of the canal to make it deeper. But it would not work, it was too hard, and Ee-ee-toy gave it up.

And Ee-ee-toy said: "I can do no more, but there is an old woman named Taw-quah-dahm-awks (which means The Wampum Eater) and she, tho only a woman, is very wise, and likely can help you better than I. I advise you to send for her."

And the people sent for her, and she said: "I will come at once."

And she came, as she had promised, but she did not go to where the people were assembled, but went right to the canal. And she had brought a fog with her, and she left the fog at the river, near the mouth of the canal. And she went up the course of the canal, looking this way and that, to see how much up-hill it ran.

And when she reached where the canal ran uphill she blew thru it the breath which is called seev-hur-whirl, which means a bitter wind. And this wind tore up the bed of the canal, as deep as was necessary, throwing the dirt and rocks out on each side.

And then the fog dammed up the river and the water ran thru the canal.

Then the old woman did not go near the people, but went home, and in the morning, when one of the people went to see why the old woman did

p. 122

not come, he saw the canal full of water and he yelled to everybody to come and see it.

And in this way these people got water for their crops and were as prosperous as the others below them.

Next: Notes on the Story of Tawquahdahmawks