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p. 92


After the famine at White House there was a woman living with her daughter. This girl and her mother were hated by everyone. They took care of their own field and no one spoke to them or invited them to their house. But the katsina were very fond of them, as they always made offerings to them.

It was customary for the people to go out to pick prickly pears, piñons, and yucca fruit. One season there was plenty of piñons so the daughter asked her mother if she could go and gather some, but her mother said, "There is no one to take care of you." The girl insisted, saying she could go alone. So she took a lunch and followed the other people. She came to where the people were camped; no one invited her in, so she camped alone. She passed the night and the next day went out picking piñons all alone. At noon suddenly someone met her. He was Oshach Paiyatiuma, Sun Youth, 1 spirit and ruler of the Sun (pl. 1, center left). He spoke to the girl saying, "Are you picking piñons?" (Such greeting is applied to what anyone is doing.) "Yes," she said, "but you frightened me." Sun said, "I will help you pick piñons, but I have brought you two piñons; I want you to eat them." She asked who he was. He told her, "I am Sun." She asked where he lived. He said, "Hakuoikuchaha (where the sun rises)." She thanked him for the piñons.

She ate the piñons after he left, and became pregnant. He had promised to help her pick piñons, so whenever she picked piñons they increased in her basket. Seeing that she had more than she could carry, she decided to return home. So she put the load on her back, but it was not heavy. When she got home her mother praised her, saying, "You have certainly gathered lots of piñons." They noticed the others drying piñons on the roofs of houses, so they did the same. When they spilled out the piñons they grew into a large pile. The mother and the girl were astonished to see how many she had brought. The girl told her mother how Sun Youth had promised aid. She also said that he had given her two piñons to eat and maybe that explained what had happened. She did not know that she was to have children from these piñons.

Time passed and her pregnancy became noticeable. Her mother noticed it and asked if she were pregnant. She said, no, for she knew she had met no man. The other people noticed her condition too

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and said she was pregnant. Soon she gave birth to two children. After 4 days they were presented to the Sun and given names. Their names were: Masewi (the elder) and Oyoyewi (the younger). She wondered how she had gotten that way and then she remembered eating the two piñons of Sun Youth.

The babies were very small and did not look handsome, but they grew rapidly. They were soon crawling and before long began to walk. They started to speak very early. They began leaving the house and were not afraid to go out. Their grandmother cautioned them not to go too far from the village as the animals would get them, but they paid little attention. They grew very fond of hunting, starting with birds and rabbits, and when they came home they would speak of the animals they had seen. They spoke of seeing an animal with horns (rabbit) and asked grandmother if it was something to eat. Their grandmother told them it was a rabbit, so they asked how to kill it. They would wander off, remaining all day away. So their grandmother said, "I'll make you something to kill it with." She had an old basket she was no longer using. She took the circular stick forming the rim of the basket and cut it in two. She tied sinew connecting each end of the two segments. Giving one of these bows to each boy she said, this is ostiaha, "bow." (She got the word from the rainbow.) 2

The grandmother got some stirring sticks from a bundle for stirring corn. She took two of these sticks, giving one to each boy, saying, "You are to use this with the bow. These are istoa, "arrows." She showed them how to use it. (They had said they had tried to catch the rabbit but it was too fast.)

Then they went out with their new weapons to hunt. Their father, the Sun, was always watching them and helped them. It was he who made them grow fast and mature quickly. So he watched to see how they would use the bow and arrow. When they saw a rabbit they crawled up to it and shot at it. The arrow just touched the rabbit, but the rabbit fell. They ran up and caught the rabbit. It was by the power of the Sun that they had done this. 3 They took it home and their grandmother and mother were much pleased. They were so pleased with their success they were anxious to do more hunting. Sometimes they played with other children, but they were mean to the other children and being stronger made them cry. However, they preferred to go alone to the country to hunt. With the help of the Sun they began to kill larger game. They easily found deer and antelope which the Sun made come to them.

Any large animal they killed was too heavy to carry, so they would come back for their grandmother. She taught them to skin game with

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obsidian. Grandmother feared they would wander too far, so she tried to scare them by telling them the lions and bears, 4 would take them off. Instead of being scared, each time she would name a new fierce animal, they would go out and look for it, after she described it for them. They kept their grandmother very busy making buckskin. Soon they began killing large animals like lions and bears and kept their grandmother busy making rugs. Once their grandmother told them the bear would eat them, so they went out to find the bear and see if it was true a bear would try to eat them. They invented a stick with which to fight if the bear should prove dangerous. They got a stick of hard wood about 9 inches long and sharpened at both ends, saying, "With this we will overpower you." They came to two cubs, so they started to play with them, running them around till the cubs whined and cried as the boys teased them, poking sticks in their eyes. But the boys kept watch for the mother. Soon they heard her coming. The bear charged at them, but they stood their ground. Masewi was in front and poked the two-pointed stick in the bear's mouth as it bit at him. The bear stopped and started to paw at its mouth while the boys stood by and laughed. It was great fun for them. After they had laughed as much as they wanted, they killed the bear. They had learned from their grandmother that the chaianyi used bear paws, so they thought they would take them off as presents for the chaianyi. 5 (This is what Koshari would have done, as paws for chaianyi may not be taken this way.)

After they grew a little older they heard other children speak of their fathers. So they went to their mother and asked her why they did not have someone to know as father, like the other children. So their mother told them their father did not live there. The boys asked where he lived and the mother told them at Hakuoikuchaha. They asked how far it was to that place and how many times the sun would come up before they could reach it. Their mother said she did not know, that it was where the sun came up. The boys asked their mother if they could go to visit their father. She told them they could never get there and it was no use trying. She did not think they would try. They had always gotten up early before sunrise. They always prayed early in the morning; they were well instructed in religious practices. So next morning they got up early and, after discussing it, they decided to start out to visit their father. When they saw the sun come up they said, "It's not far, just on the other side of the mountain." So they started that way, walking fast so as to get there quickly. They came to the top of the first range and saw another as far beyond as the first had been.

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While they were talking about this someone spoke to them. It was kamashku koya (Spider Woman). She said to them, "My grandchildren, are you going to visit your father?" They were startled and said, "Did someone speak? Who is it? Who are you?" Spider Woman said, "Here I am." They looked in that direction and saw a spider on a bush. "Oh, is that you, Spider? Do you speak?" Spider Woman said, "Yes." So the boys told her they were going to visit their father. Spider Woman told them they were not to go yet, but to go tomorrow. Sun knew they were coming so he sent Spider Woman to meet them and instruct them how to reach him. So Spider Woman told the boys to follow her. When they came to her house, Spider Woman said, "This is my house, come on down." So they saw the spider go in and asked how they could ever go into such a small hole. Spider said, "Put your foot in, it will be large enough." So the older boy stepped in and the hole got large and they could see a stairway. He went on down and called to his brother, saying, "Come on, it is large enough." When they reached the bottom, there was a room and in it were many young spiders climbing around on the walls. They were afraid of the boys. Spider Woman fed the boys. She had just one boy in her family, so she asked this boy to collect webs from the other spiders, then to spin them into a ball so that it would reach to the house of Sun Man. Spider Boy brought back the ball. Spider Woman told the boys to rest for the night and to get to bed early for they were to start right after midnight, as they had far to go. So they went to bed early.

At midnight Spider Woman awoke Masewi and Oyoyewi and told Spider Boy to take the small basket (web) and to put the two boys in it and take them to their father's house, and to take good care of them and not to leave them till they arrived. So Spider Boy put them in the basket. The woman held one end of the ball of spun web and Spider Boy dropped down with the other, unwinding as they went. The boys were completely lost and did not know where they were, but they did not care much about that. Before the sun rose they reached the place where they were going. Spider Boy took them out of the basket and asked Masewi to let him crawl behind his ear where he could talk to him. Spider Boy gave them some roots to chew and rub on their bodies. This medicine was to protect them. "I will be along also to advise you," said Spider Boy. "You will spit toward the house where the Sun lives." Sun Youth knew his sons were coming, so he told his sisters who were with him that they were to arrive. He told them to wait for them.

The boys came to the base of the house and started to climb up the ladder. The women saw them and said, "Two boys are coming up. They look poor and dirty." One of the women said, "Maybe they are our brother's sons," but the others said," No, they can't be; our brother's

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children would be much better cared for." When the boys reached the top, they went right in (like Koshari) without ceremony. Sun Youth had a kiva, and one of the women went to tell him two boys had arrived, "Maybe they are your boys. Come up and see them." When the boys got in they asked for their father. By that time Sun Youth came in saying, "You have come, my sons." He picked them up and brought them down into the kiva. Sun Youth had brothers in the kiva and he spoke to them, saying, "My sons have come here." They laughed at the boys, saying, "Is that the kind of sons you have?" So one of the men asked if it was true that those boys were his sons. "If that is so, place them in the north den where the lions are and see if they come out alive."

So their father put them in with the lions. The boys were used to lions and were not afraid. Soon the lions began to lick them and act friendly. The boys played with the lions. One of the men got up to see if they had been eaten, and reported, "No, they are playing with the lions." So they were brought out. The man said, "Put them in the west den where the wolves are--they are always hungry." They did so and nothing happened to them; they came out alive. They were then placed in the south den with the lynx, 6 with the same result. Then they were placed in the east den with the bumblebees. The bees got all over them. One of the boys happened to open his mouth, one of the bees got in and he bit it, saying, "Oh, brother, they are good, they taste sweet." So they gathered others, breaking them open and sucking out the honey.

When the man came to see them he saw no harm had come to them and told them to come out. He reported the boys had killed a lot of their bees. They also had in the kiva a tsiwaimitiima 7 filled with hot coals. This is where the sun got its heat. Other kivas have their altars in this place. They were going to give the boys a final test. They grabbed the two boys and throw them into these coals, instead of being burned the boys came out full grown men, as handsome as their father. Now everyone was convinced that they were really children of the Sun. 8 They said they would send them back the next day, but in the meantime they would fix them up to be still more handsome. The boys had brought their bows and arrows. So the men took these and improved them. They put sinew backs on the bows and shaped them better. They put arrowheads and feathers on the arrows and made lion-skin quivers. They also made sticks (staffs) for them and: told them they were going to be Country Chiefs. They put this staff in

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a special pocket in the quiver. They were told that with this staff they would be made strong and would be protected. (This is still a part of the quiver. It holds the quiver in shape.) This staff is called yapi 9 (pl. 16, fig. 1).

They were told they were to be strong rulers as representatives of the Sun. So their father also made for them a curved rabbit stick. He told them not to use it just anytime as it had so much power that they might destroy something. To use it only when it seemed necessary. If they killed something and felt sorry about it, they could place the stick (yapi) or an arrowhead (which was given them) on it and it would come to life. Their father also made for them eight arrows, four in each bunch, pointing out the ones they were to use only in an emergency. The other four could be used for hunting. He told them they were to be allowed everywhere, in the North, South, West, and East, even in the most sacred places, 10 and they would be listened to. "Whenever you want to come back to my house, the doors will be open to you." Then he said, "Now I will give you costumes which will make you handsome." So he gave them beaded moccasins, girdle, and sash (bokaι' yo). He gave them arm bands decorated with feathers. He gave them each a wrist band made of buffalo skin, that they were to wear always as a protection; they were never to take it off, as their heart would be in it. He gave them bead necklaces of turquoise and shell. "With all of these you will look handsome and will have power to attract." Then he painted them around the eyes with red paint, saying, "This is the way you will paint up for bravery."

All of this time Spider was coaching them, telling them not to be afraid in the different tests. Their father also made for them a headdress called heyeashuni to hang on the back of their hair. They were made a pouch to be carried by a strap [bandoleer] over the shoulder (pl. 16, fig. 2). In this pouch Sun placed a number of fetishes. 11 They were always to wear this. Finally Sun Youth looked them over and saw they appeared very handsome. "I have given you all that you need for bravery, good luck, and power," he said. He said they would stay overnight and go back the next day, when they were to accompany him with the sun. Spider Boy told them to agree. So they were taken from the kiva into the other room and given food. They passed the night there.

The next day Sun Youth took his sons and put them high in the sun. The sun began to rise and came over the horizon. Their father was talking to them and pointing things out to them as they looked

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down. They asked many questions, so that nothing would puzzle them. So their father said, "Now we are near your house." Sun Youth knew how they had come and knew that Spider Boy was still with them. So Spider Boy put them in a basket and their father held the other end of the web and it hung down. They told their father that they would do all that he had asked them and would follow his advice. As before, the boys were lost, not knowing how far they had come. They came right to the house of Spider Woman. The boys thanked Spider Woman and told her they had seen their father. So they said a prayer for her and left.

They returned to their house. Their grandmother and mother had been praying for them and feared they were lost and the lions had gotten them. They looked everywhere for them but could not find them. They were not recognized by their mother as they were now handsome grown men. Their grandmother did not believe they were the same boys, but they told how they had met their father and how he had given them names. After their grandmother and mother heard this they believed. The boys took off their costumes and hung them up, for they had been told not to wear them until they needed them. They made up ordinary costumes for themselves, and they continued to live as common people in the village.


92:1 There are several of these Ocatc Paiyatyamo, anthropomorphic sun gods, brothers, who live at Sunrise Place. Each day one of them takes the sun across the heavens.--L. A. W.

93:2 Ho·ctya·'ka (bow); k’acTya·'tsi (rainbow).--L. A W.

93:3 Acoma hunters pray to the Sun to help them (White, 1932, p. 102).

94:4 Variant: "There are lots of cko·yo [giants] roaming around this country," she would tell them, might catch you and eat you." "Oh, we're not afraid!" the boys would say.--L. A. W.

94:5 The war god twins in a Sia myth skinned a bear's paws (Stevenson, 1894, p. 47). See also White, 1942, for an account of a medicine man skinning a bear.

96:6 Variant: In the west den were wolves that are always hungry, in the south den, snakes. some of them rattlesnakes. "The Twins made pets of the snakes, too. When the Paiyatyamos came back they found the rattlesnakes crawling around the boys' necks and faces and not hurting them at all.".--L. A. W.

96:7 See p. 19.

96:8 Variant: When the Twins stood up with their father the other "Sun Youths tried to pick their own brother out from among the three, but they looked so much alike they could not do it. Finally they said, "All right! These boys are your sons!"

97:9 Each officer in a Keresan pueblo has a little staff, a stick or cane of office, called ya·'Bi (White, 1932, p. 129, 4, 4, c; 1935, pp. 38, 47).

97:10 The War chiefs are allowed anywhere, in any ceremony, in the pueblo.

97:11 Informant's note: The pouch (koskatuna) contains ant gravel and a few hairs from scalps. The gravel keeps away the disease and bad luck that the hair might carry. A fighting ant never goes back, and is very strong. (The Ant chaianyi uses a bat dried out. The bat is laid on the ant hill. The ants eat the flesh of the bat, then they grow wings and fly away.)

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