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For a long time it went on thus and all was well. Sometime afterward, a sickness fell upon the people at White House and for the first time sickness brought death to many people. The population decreased rapidly. The chaianyi called this sickness ushporoni. It was a disease with blisters all over the body (smallpox?). The chaianyi did their best to cure it, but it was too much for them. The people grew very unhappy, as they were dying off fast and they did not go through the proper burial ceremonies. When a person died they just wrapped him up and the family buried him. The Twins, Masewi and Oyoyewi, were the only ones who did not get sick. This was probably because of the power of their father. They tried their power on the sickness, but it did not always work. So they tried harder and harder each time until they had saved some of their people and they managed to check the disease.

The Twins had been traveling around a lot and had known other people, so at this time they thought they would go and learn whether these other people were sick or not. They went northwest and southeast, all around, and found many people. None had the sickness. Masewi and Oyoyewi were much hated by these other people, who did not know them. So they came back to their people and called a meeting of the Chaianyi, Country Chief, and Antelope Man. They said

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to the council, "I guess our mother Iatiku does not want us to live here any more." They remembered that Iatiku had told them to go on south to the place known as Haako. "Maybe this sickness is a sign that we should move on." The council decided that it must be so. So Country Chief said he would tell the people they were to leave in 4 days, so they would have time to prepare provisions and make new moccasins and select the things they would need to take with them. He ordered that nothing belonging to the religion (altars, masks, etc.) was to be left behind. All were to help in taking these things along.


FIGURE 4.--Diagram of rite of exorcism.
Click to enlarge

FIGURE 4.--Diagram of rite of exorcism.


When the fourth day came, Country Chief told the chaianyi to go on ahead four lengths (măati'), 49 a long ways, and to prepare a place to stop. So the chaianyi started. They dressed up in their official costumes when they made their first stop. They made a sand painting on the south side of the camp, representing four mountains (pl. 15, fig. 1). When the people came, they were to cross these four mountains and valleys and thus put the sickness that much more in their

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rear. All the people that came walked over, stepping on a mountain and valley in turn. The two chaianyi on the south had their two feathers, and would brush off the sickness of each person as he approached. The chaianyi explained how the people were to stop first halfway on the mountain, then on the top, then in the valley, then halfway up, etc. (fig. 4). The chaianyi would say, as they brushed them off, "Come, Raven! You represent the whirlwind, 60 sweep away from us this disease and all diseases and sadness. You are the one who has the real power to do this." They would repeat this for each person that approached to cross the sand painting. Two chaianyi were at the other end of the sand painting. They were holding two yucca plants cut off at the root and holding them on the ground as though growing. When the person came over the fourth mountain, he would spit his sadness into the middle of the plant. Two other chaianyi were placed at this end where, laid out on the ground, were yucca leaves tied at the


FIGURE 5.--Frame made of yucca plants, used in rite of exorcism.
Click to enlarge

FIGURE 5.--Frame made of yucca plants, used in rite of exorcism.


four corners (fig. 5). The person steps into the frame. The chaianyi swing it four times backward and spill out his sickness behind him.

After passing through the frame, they were told to pass on to a high place where there were two more chaianyi. Before going there they were to pick up any object that caught their eye, any stick or stone, and then to brush themselves with the object they had picked up, speaking to it to take away sickness and sorrow. 61 From there they were allowed to go on. All the people did the same and the chaianyi buried the objects carrying the sickness in the hole that had been dug between them. The medicine men finished their work by destroying the mountains and finally banishing the sickness. Last of all the chaianyi did all of this to each other. Then they made four marks on

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the ground 52 with an arrowhead, as a barrier to disease, 53 blocking their trail. They traveled for a long time, slowly, as they were on foot and heavily burdened. They came to a place they named Wash'pashŭkă (sage basin). 54 They found water there and the country was beautiful. So Country Chief said to the people, "We will stop here for 4 years and make a pueblo; here we will take along rest." So they made houses with stones and settled down, they built their kivas, carried on their ceremonies, and lived as before.


67:49 Informant's note: Maati is the span of thumb and forefinger. Four maati was the old way of saying "far"; the modern word is teetsa.

68:60 Probably ha·'yactc’ιTcunyi hα'tc‘tcTse, Whirlwind old man (cf. Boas, 1928, pt. 2, p. 190, ll. 19, 26).

68:61 This is the rite observed by other Pueblos and by Navaho on a journey. It is South American practice also. There, among Andean peoples, the sticks or stones are left in a pile.

Next: Wanderings, Part XII