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p. 185



The people came up from Shipap. They lived all together at the mesa of the Stone Lions: the people of Cochiti, of Santo Domingo, of San Felipe, Acoma, and Laguna, and the people of Sia. They all spoke the same language, and they lived as brothers. At last they had trouble. The headman of one people took his families in one direction, and another in another. The descendants of one mother went together with one headman.

The people of Santo Domingo followed down the east bank of the Rio Grande till they came to Cactus Village (five miles from Cochiti). The people of Cochiti went to the old pueblo of San Miguel (seven or eight miles north of Cochiti on the west bank of the Rio Grande) having followed down the Kapolin Canyon from the mesa of the Stone Lions. The people of San Felipe, and Laguna, and Acoma followed down the Peralta Canyon toward the west and built the (ruined) pueblo of Peralta Canyon (six miles from Cochiti). There were people of the Corn clan among them, and they were not willing to go with their brothers to the south, and they went off by themselves and lived with the Utes and the Apaches.

The people of Cochiti lived at San Miguel. At last they had trouble. They came to the Potrero Plateau (Plateau of the Buildings, nearer Cochiti). There they lived many years. They made war on the different pueblos, and they all tried to drive the people of Cochiti from their plateau. While they were fighting, the Spaniards came from the south. The rest of the pueblos leagued with the Spaniards against the people of Cochiti. All these pueblos had already come down off their mesas and had been given lands by the Spaniards. Only the people of Cochiti were still on their mesa. There was only one trail up to the pueblo, and at the top the people had piled boulders. When any enemy came up the trail, they rolled down a boulder and killed him. The Spaniards could not bring the people down from their mesa. They went to Santa Clara and to Tesuque and the far-off pueblos to get help against the people (of Cochiti). They could do nothing against them. There were a thousand warriors among the people (of Cochiti) then; it was the largest of the pueblos. No one could hurt them on their mesa. Many of the people

p. 186

of Santa Domingo, San Felipe, Taos, San Juan, Santa Clara, Nambe, and even the people of Picuris, and Apicu (said to be a Mexican town) were killed in great numbers. They fled, and the people (of Cochiti) chased them, piling great heaps of stones along their way, one stone for each enemy they had killed. These piles of stones still remain all the way to the river. When the people had chased them across the river they returned to their mesa.

The Spaniards came against them again from the south, with all the pueblos. They laid siege to the mesa. The people went up and down a secret trail to the north side for their water. There was no path; they knew the way down the face of the mesa where there was nothing but rocks. The Spaniards thought of a plan. They captured a (Cochiti) Indian who had been living a long time in Jemez. They made preparations to kill him, but just as they were about to put him to death, they told him that if he would show them the trail the people used going up and down for water on the north side of the mesa, they would set him free. He promised he would take them up the trail.

That night he waited at the Moon Trail (secret trail) and took the Spaniards and the men of the southern pueblos up the face of the cliff. There was no path; they climbed from rock to rock. In the morning the people woke on the mesa, and they saw that the whole north side of the mesa was filled with their enemies. They saw there was no hope of resistance, for the Spanish had guns. They surrendered. The Spanish brought them down off the mesa, the women came carrying their babies. The Spanish put them across the river at Tipute to the east of the present site of Cochiti. The river covered that site with floods when it was high, and they asked the Spanish for a better place, on the west side of the river. The Spanish gave it to them. They came to the west side and built there, but the western edge of the old village is now the eastern edge of the present pueblo (at the church). In Santo Domingo also they built at first so that the eastern edge of the old village is now the, western edge of the present pueblo. From that time the people lived as they do now.


185:1 Informant 4.

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