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While they were living at Washpashuka, the Twins, Masewi and Oyoyewi, traveled around the country a great deal. During their wanderings they found a group of katsina belonging to the Corn clan and these katsina had different names. So when Masewi and Oyoyewi came back and reported that they had found some real katsina, the Corn clan stepped up and said, "They will belong to us, they are our relatives. We will be their friends." So the Corn clan nawai (head man), not knowing how to call these katsina, went to a chaianyi and asked him for advice, should he make an altar for them? Chaianyi said, "Why not? They are real katsina, they have to have an altar." Thus the chaianyi told Corn clan man that he would have to have an altar for himself, for without it he could not call the katsina. So the chaianyi instructed the Corn clan man how to make an altar, and told him to get young sprouts of oak about a year old.

Masewi and Oyoyewi said that these katsina carried canes, so the chaianyi told him to bend these oak sprouts like a cane (crook). The Twins described them and they made several like them. The chaianyi made four honani to be with this altar, but they were to lie flat (as corn is piled) and not set up on end.

One of the katsina always had fire with him. He was called Shura'cha 55 (pl. 1, lower right). He was small and he also had a little canteen, always miraculously full of water. So they thought of calling him to bring some of this water to place in the jar belonging to Antelope Man so the people would never be out of water, and to bring some of his fire, so that they could have him build a fire with it in the center of the plaza, from which the people could all light their hearths and in this way always have fire.

p. 70

Corn clan man finished his altar and decided to try it out. He asked all of the Corn clan to make prayer sticks and to bring them to the altar. They did as Antelope Man had done, went out and buried the prayer sticks and prayed for the katsina to come. It happened that the katsina received the prayer sticks and the prayer. In the prayer they asked for the water and fire, and the katsina understood. So they knew they were to expect these katsina on the fourth day.

All the Corn clan prepared. They washed their heads so they would look clean and neat. During the 4 days they had purified themselves [by vomiting, probably]. The fourth day was very hot, from early in the morning. Corn clan nawai had told the Corn clan they were to fast on this day. A little after sunrise they saw Shuracha in the distance with smoke around him. He built a series of fires as he approached the pueblo. There were three other katsina with him, Shu'naata, 56 Shumaashka 57 (pl. 7, fig. 2), and Kumootina. 58 The latter was a berdache. 59 They were very slow and took some time to approach. They were not at all lively and poked along. When they came near the pueblo, the Corn clan went out to meet them. Country Chief and his officers acted as guards, keeping other people away. They made a path with corn meal into the plaza. The Corn clan had already built a fireplace in the middle of the plaza and Country Chief had a jar to receive some of the water. Corn clan nawai asked Shuracha to make a fire for them so their people would always have fire, and to put some water in the jar so they would always have water. This katsina was very skillful in making fire and, after the katsina left, the people gathered the fire. The katsina danced four times (the usual ceremony) and about noon they left. (Nowadays at Acoma they bring them into the Corn clan house.)

These katsina dance very slow and sluggishly. They went away like real katsina. These katsina lived west of Washpashuka.


69:52 The impersonator of the Kopishtaiya draws four lines on the ground with a flint between himself and his mask at the conclusion of the ceremony (White, 1932, p. 87). This is a common Pueblo way of separating one's self from something sacred or injurious.

69:53 Informant's note: This method of getting rid of disease is still followed. When another village is visited the visitor on leaving brushes sickness off and leaves it behind. No sand painting is used.

69:54 Cf. White, 1932, p. 145. Stevenson renders wash'pa "cactus" (Stevenson, 1894, p. 19); Bandelier, "buffalo grass" [Bulbilis dactyloides] (Bandelier, 1940, vol. 2, p. 216); a Sia informant identified it with the Spanish chamiso or saltbush (Afriplex canescens) (White, ms.). Saltbush is commonly called "sagebrush" by many, especially newcomers, in the Southwest. Cŭkŭ means "corner," as in koamicŭkŭ, "southeast corner," the winter solstice (White, 1932, p. 85). (See Washpa, Washpashuka, in Handbook of American Indians.)

69:55 Cf. White, 1932, p. 79, pl. 2, c, pp. 94-96; 1942: Represented at Acoma today by a boy about 10 years 1932, p. 94). He carries a little pottery canteen and a firebrand.

Next: Wanderings, Part XIII