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p. 31

Tasi'o Sewa

THERE was once, here in the region of the Yaqui, a native girl who was more beautiful than any other. It is said to this day that there has never been seen such a pretty girl as Tasi'o Sewa.

She married a man called Wi'i Labeleo who made songs, and she had a brother called Beho'ori.

One day the two young men, Wi'i Labeleo and Beho'ori, went out to hunt. But they found no animals, nothing to kill. As they walked along, they came upon a very small ranchería. They robbed some goats and killed all of a family.

They were caught and taken to the nearest guardia. There the governors and the leaders sentenced them to death.

Tasi'o Sewa presented herself to the authorities to beg for them. And the Yaquis agreed to set one of them free. They asked her which one she would like to have set free.

Tasi'o Sewa answered, "You may kill my husband. I can find another man, I can get another husband, but I cannot get another brother."

So they hanged the husband and set the brother free. And they named her an intelligent woman.

This is not a tale. It is said to be the truth.

A common custom is to give young women characters a name referring to a flower (sewa). Seataka, Seahamut, Masa'asa'i are the names of flowers.

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