Old Salt Woman had a grandson. They were very poor. They came to Cochiti and went from house to house. People turned them away. The old woman said to her grandson, "We will go into this house," but again the people turned them away. The people were cooking for a feast. At that time they used no salt.
When Salt Woman and her grandson had been to all the houses, they came to a place outside the pueblo where lots of children were playing. Salt Woman had a magic crystal in her hand. All the children came to see. They came to a piñon tree. Salt Woman told them to have a good time playing under the tree. Then she told them each to take hold of a branch of the tree and swing themselves. She used her magic crystal, and they turned into chaparral jays (who live in piñon trees). Salt Woman said to the jays, "Now you are changed into birds because when we were in the pueblo nobody would invite us to stay. From now on you shall be chaparral jays."
They went south and came to Santo Domingo. They were well treated there and the people gave them food. After they had eaten Salt Woman said, "In Cochiti the people of the pueblo would not let us eat. My grandchild has suffered with hunger." When they were leaving she said, "I am very thankful for being given food to eat. I will leave my flesh for you." She gave them her flesh. The people of the house ate it with their bread and meat. It tasted good--salty. This is how it happened. Salt Woman said to the people, "If I am in your food it will always taste better. When I left Cochiti I took all of the children outside the pueblo and we came to a piñon tree and there I changed them into chaparral jays. They treated me badly. I am thankful to You that you gave my grandson something to eat. I will go southeast and there I will stay, and if any of you want my flesh you will find it at that place. And when you come to gather, let there be no laughing, no singing, nothing of that kind-be quiet and clean." So she left Santo Domingo
and went to Salt Lake, where we get salt to-day (a three days' journey in each direction).
The Indians were traveling south from White House. Before they all came out from Shipap, Masewa was told to tell all the Indians in White House where to live and what to call their pueblos. So they came to Cochiti, and afterwards they went out and settled the others.
Salt Woman and Salt Man came down to Cochiti. They were told, "If they do not receive you, you shall go on to the other villages." They started out. Salt Woman and Salt Man (her grandson) had been told to go into each of the houses and to greet the people there. But the people all said, "Do not shake hands with her. She has sores all over her hands and face." She was old, gray-haired, covered with scabby skin. As she left each house she said, "These are not sores on my hands and face. This is the way I was born." But nobody shook hands with her, or liked to have her in his house. She said, "I had better leave this place and cross the river with Salt Man." She went across and settled down in the meadow near Peña Blanca, but people came there and threw dirt over them. She said to Salt Man, "Let us move from here again." They moved farther off to Mosquito Place (a little farther up beyond Santo Domingo). Again they lived there a while, but cows and horses used to step on them, so Salt Woman said, "Let us go again." "All right," Salt Man said, "we'll start again and live far, far away from these people. Perhaps they do not want salt to flavor their food." So they went way down to Salt Lake (near Estancia). Since that time men have always had a difficult time to get salt. They have to remove all their clothes and even beads--naked as when they were born--and go in quiet as can be. They must not speak a word or laugh or make fun, and then they can take all they wish. If they speak or laugh or make fun, they will stand just where they are and die. It is always a great deal of trouble to bring the salt.
6:9 Informant 1. Notes, p. 206.
7:5 Informant 2.