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p. ix


This collection of Cochiti tales was recorded in the summer of 1924. Besides these, which were obtained through interpreters, Prof. Franz Boas has generously added tales recorded in text and here given in close translation. These tales are indicated in the footnotes and in the table of contents. They give the literary style to which all the stories in Cochiti conform but which can never be completely reproduced without recording the text. Professor Boas will publish the accompanying texts and grammatical analysis at another time.

The informants were all of the older generation, for in Cochiti the first age group to be systematically sent to Government boarding school is now about 35 years old, and below that age even the commonest tales are known only by hearsay. Informants 1, 2, 7, and 8 (7 and 8 Professor Boas's informants) were women, all of them well-known native narrators. Informant 2 held an important ceremonial position. The other informants were men. Informant 3 was a priest of importance, and except for the taboo against imparting esoteric information to the whites, which both Professor Boas and I found very strong in Cochiti, both he and informant 2 could, I think, have given a great body of such lore. As it is, such references are slurred or appear in obviously abbreviated accounts. Informant 4 was a very different individual from the others, as can be seen in the material recorded from him. He spoke Spanish fairly, and had been an adventurer all his life. He is very old now, but a leading member of the principales, in great demand in those acculturated Mexican ceremonies in which repartee must be carried on in what is considered to be Spanish. He liked best to give "true stories"--accounts of old hunting parties, Cochiti versions of Cortez, Montezuma, and the Spanish-American War. His tales of the mythological heroes always emphasized their supernatural exploits in deer and rabbit hunting, and their success in turning the mockery that had been directed against them against those who had mocked them.

The greater proportion of stories in this collection are those novelistic tales that are fictionized versions of native life, and emphasize situations of equal interest to them in their daily life and in their mythology. In the discussion I have grouped the abstracts from this point of view, and it appears very strikingly that the fundamental

p. x

material in these tales, and the fundamental factor in their formation, is the daily life of the people. They turn to it in their fiction and make use of it as we are accustomed to do in modem fiction. The differences are rather in the lesser development of interest in personality and complex psychological situations than in any fundamentally different drive in the creation of their literary art.

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