Sacred Texts  Native American  Hopi  Index  Previous  Next 
Buy this Book at

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


While Oraíbi are practicing with bows and arrows at foot of mesa, news is brought them that Navaho expedition is corning. Men hasten to village where councils are held. Situation is discussed and warriors encouraged during night, but many Hopi go to Navaho with presents. These are weakened by blood-letting near ankle so that they may be recognized by Navaho next day through walking slowly. Immediately before sunrise Navaho ascend mesa and fill space north of village. Hopi warriors protect their bodies with buck-skins and some have head-dresses of societies. War rites are celebrated and warriors are decorated with powdered war god vomisis stone. Leading Navaho rides up to Hopi, says something and shoots arrow without hitting any one. Battle begins and Hopi drive Navaho off mesa. Navaho who has lived in Oraíbi and speaks Hopi calls out that Hopi had better not follow them, as many more Navaho further east. But Hopi follow and while lines of warriors are facing each other, Navaho woman on pony grabs lance from warrior and dashes towards Hopi, followed by her people. They break line and divide Hopi into two parties, which are surrounded. Navaho are mounted, but are dressed only in loin cloths, while Hopi are wrapped with heavy buckskins. Hopi break through, but are surrounded again, so that circles become smaller and smaller. In afternoon small party of Hopi break through and climb point of mesa. Three of them afterwards go down and hide behind rocks, from which they kill number of Navaho who are fleeing from party of Hopi, who then join others. All then ascend mesa, from which they descend in another place and rest at spring. Navaho who had at first pursued them male for village. Meanwhile different groups of Hopi have succeeded in cutting way through assailants and run towards village. Both sides have lost heavily. Hopi are followed by bands of Navaho and others try to outflank them and reach village first. Six Hopi hide in stone inclosure, who keep Navaho at distance until latter procure firearms from comrades. Then five of Hopi are killed and sixth, rushing through Navaho, jumps down steep place and hides under rock. Brave Hopi warrior is hit several times by Navaho, but is protected by buckskins, and they abandon pursuit of him. Hopi discover that among Navaho are Hopi from Wálpi disguised as Navaho. Brave warrior addresses them and they surround him. He is overpowered and killed and his heart

p. 318

torn out. This is seen by man hidden under rock. Wálpi take victim on horse to Wálpi and place him in small hut and throw stones upon him. Navaho reach village and drive out sheep that have been assembled on plaza behind barriers. Navaho women shell corn and load it on ponies. Navaho then leave village, taking with them all sheep. They tie dead and wounded on horses. Many wounded die while they are traveling and all are buried at place sixty miles northeast of Oraíbi. After Navaho have left village, straggling Hopi come in bearing wounded. Some have to be carried into village and are placed in home of Coyote Clan. Here they are attended by their "fathers," those who had carried them. On fourth day survivors are taken to their homes.

Next: 108.--A Hopi Raid On A Navaho Dance.