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Long ago the Cochiti Indians lived on the top of Cochiti Mesa. They had to carry all their water to the top of the mesa, and when they fought the Navaho, they had to come way down where Cochiti is now to have the battle. The women had to bring the bowls of food for their dinner way down to Kai'ati (up Bland Canyon) and then they had to return to the mesa, and this was very dangerous. They saw that this was too hard work for them, so they thought of moving down off the mesa.

They all came down. They stayed two days, but they were not used to it so they went back to the mesa. Some said, "How can we make our living up here? We had better stay where we were (Cochiti)." "All right." They came down again. They said, "We will stay in the place where they put us, for we had a hard

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time coming so far to fight with the Navaho." The Navahos hid in the rocky places before the battle and that is why it was so dangerous for them. The medicine men prayed hard for their people, that they might get used to it in this place (by the river), but still they went back again.

Again they made plans to come down again. They said that they were going to put a priest here for them in this place; they had not had a priest before, and that is why they were not contented to remain here. They sent the priests so that they would stay here. All the people were baptized. In a few days they were used to it here. They gave them a santu, our lady of Guadelupe, but still they did not like it here; they began to go back again to the mesa. They went into the church where the santu was and they broke it to bits and chewed it. It was sweet and they ate it all up. After they had done this they all ran back to the mesa.

They brought them back again and said, "Do not go back any more. You know that you can not raise crops there." They came home (present site) and they put a priest in charge to teach them how to be Catholic. But still the people did not care about santus nor priests. They gave the priest a girl to be his housekeeper. The girl had a room in the place where the priest stayed. One night they had a meeting in the priest's house and she did not sleep that night in the church, but in her own house. The people said, "In the night we will go to the top of the house where the priest sleeps and throw chili seeds down the chimney to choke the father." They went to the roof and they threw seeds down the chimney. The priest coughed, but did not know what was the matter. He saw smoke coming out from the fireplace. He tried to get out, but the door was locked. Right there he died. So they killed that priest. They found him dead, but nobody knew who had done it.

They sent another priest in his place, but again the people came back to the mesa, for that is where they were all born, and it was home to them. They put another woman in charge of the new priest's cooking. He began baptizing and they got used to living down here. The woman lived in his house and the priest had intercourse with her. He began to take very good care of her and bought her good shoes and food. He made her the best dressed woman in the village. But before her child was born the girl died. Afterwards she came back as a mule. (Now the saying is: "A girl who has intercourse with a Mexican comes back as a rooster or a hen.") The flesh on her legs was torn and swollen as if with hobbles (from the punishment she had received in the other world before she was reincarnated as a mule).


189:3 Informant 1.

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