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The Traditions of the Hopi, by H.R. Voth, [1905], at

p. 210


Halíksai! At Muñáovi the Kókontu 2 (Sing. Kóna) were living. But they were all maidens and were constantly grinding corn. There was a long row of them, and they were singing as they ground the corn. One time the Coyote came around and was going up and down there. "There," he said, "there is somebody here singing." So he went up and saw a number of maidens grinding corn. When he came to the house he looked through the window where they were grinding corn. They sang the following song:

Talaw nö'nönga, Early we go out,
Nönönga, ma! We go out, see!

(Referring to the custom of going out early in the. morning [kúivato] and sprinkling meal towards the east.)

The Coyote listened to them and looked at them. By this time the Kókontu noticed the Coyote. "Come in," they said to him "How shall I get in, you have such a small house," he said. "All right, you talk to us from outside," they said. And then they said to one another: "Let us go out and do something." So they came out and went to a steep bluff south of where they lived, where there was a large piñon-tree growing at the edge of the bluff. The Coyote went with them and here they now played, running up the tree on one side and jumping down the tree and from the bluff on some sand that had piled up at the foot of the bluff. As they could run up steep bluffs they would repeat this constantly, Jumping down, coming up again, jumping down, coming up again, and so on. The Coyote looked on and envied them because they could do this. "You are enjoying yourselves," the Coyote said to them, "I shall join you." "All right," they replied, "you come and play with us." "But when I shall jump down there I shall hurt myself," he said. "No," they replied, "that will not hurt you at all. "

Hereupon he joined them, ran and played with them, and finally climbed up the tree, too. When he saw the Kókontu constantly jump down he also jumped down, but before he had reached the bottom he was circling around in the air and landed forcibly on the ground, and of course was killed. The Kókontu laughed at him, saying: "You fool, that you did as we did. We are not heavy, and nothing happened to us, but you are too heavy for that." So when they had laughed at him they went home again, leaving him there dead.


210:1 Told by Kwáyeshva (Oraíbi).

210:2 Small brownish animal with a short tail, and having white stripes running over its snout and head and along the back, living in rocks.

Next: 78. The Coyote and the Grasshoppers