The Project Gutenberg EBook of Seven Mohave Myths, by A. L. Kroeber

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Title: Seven Mohave Myths

Author: A. L. Kroeber

Release Date: July 19, 2014 [EBook #46336]

Language: English

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Vol. 11, No. 1

Editors: A. L. Kroeber, E. W. Gifford, R. H. Lowie, R. L. Olson
Volume 11, No. 1, pp. 1-70, frontispiece
Submitted by editors August 17, 1945
Issued August 6, 1948
Price, $1.25








Introduction 1
I. Cane 4
  The narrator 4
  The Cane narrative 4
  Song scheme and narrative outline 19
  The Cane song scheme 19
  Movement of the narrative 20
  Apparent inconsistencies 20
  Handling of the plot 21
  Supplementary 23
II. Vinimulye-pātše 24
  The tale 24
III. Nyohaiva 27
  Circumstances and nature of the story 27
  The Nyohaiva tale 28
  The song scheme 35
IV. Raven 37
  Narrator's statements 37
  Outline of song scheme 37
  The Raven story 38
V. Deer 41
  Discussion 41
  Variations in song scheme 42
  Words of songs 42
  The Deer story 42
VI. Coyote 46
  Circumstances of the recording 46
  The tales 46
  A: Dreamed 46
  B: Dreamed 48
  Children's stories: C, D, E 48
  More stories for children: F, G, H 48
VII. Mastamho 50
  The informant 50
  Content of the myth 50
  Schematic outline 51
  Quality of the narrative 52
  Main narrative: Mastamho's instituting 52
  Supplement: Thrasher and Mockingbird institute sex life 64
  The lists of manufactured words 67
Appendix I. Mohave Directional Circuits 69
Appendix II. Mohave Names 70
Interpreter and narrators frontispiece, facing v





This paper is an endeavor to make a beginning of payment on a scholarly debt long in arrears. Between 1900 and 1910, I spent considerable time with the Mohave Indians, both in the vicinity of Needles and with visitors from there to the University. Summaries of the data recorded, and some samples of concrete detail, have been published in one place or another, most coherently in two chapters of the Handbook of California Indians in 1925. But I kept deferring presentation of the fuller data, in particular of the mythological narratives, many of which run to unusual length. The tales offered herewith comprise in bulk about half of the Mohave narrative material in my notebooks. This is exclusive of the "Great Tale" of pseudo-historical moving about and fighting of clan-like groups, my unfinished recording of which runs to about the length of the seven tales presented herewith.[1]

[1] The fragmentary beginning of one of these clan or war legends is given in Handbook, pp. 772-775.

In quality the narratives of the Mohave resemble not only those of the other Yuman tribes of the Colorado River, but also, to a considerable extent, those of the Shoshonean Indians of southern California. The typical story of the region is not a relatively rapid narrative of plot, but a detailed elaboration still further expanded by the inclusion of a song series. A myth might be characterized as a web loaded with a heavy embroidery of songs which carry an emotional stimulus of their own, and at the same time endow the plot with a peculiar decorative quality and charge it with a feeling tone which renders of secondary importance the sort of consistency of character, motivation, and action which we expect in a narrative. This is a paraphrase of how I expressed myself in regard to Gabrielino mythology in 1925. It holds probably even more forcibly for the Mohave. Many of their tales seem to appeal to them more in the manner of an ornamental pattern than as a portrayal of a related sequence of events. Essentially all Mohave myths are told in an almost ritualized style. They are not, strictly, rituals; but their telling and singing largely take the place of formal rituals in the culture. The songs which belong to the great majority of narratives can be sung with equal suitability for a dance at a festival or victory celebration; for the mere pleasure of singing; as an expansion of the spoken tale; or as a "gift" of lamentation for a dying or dead relative.

The Mohave validate what happens in their lives by referring it to their dreams. Success in life, the fortunes of a person or of a career, are believed to be the result of what one has dreamed. A Mohave dreams among other things—or perhaps above other things—of the beginnings of the world in the far distant past.

He dreams of being present at the creation and witnessing its events. Thereby he participates in them and gets certain knowledges: powers for war, for curing, for success in love or gambling. Such mystically dreamed powers are what really count in human life, the Mohave firmly believed. Over most of native North America the acquisition of power by dreams or visions of spirits is the basis of shamanism; and where religion is simple, it is largely constituted of shamanism. The Yuman tribes, however, have evolved the special belief that the visions are not of the spirits of now, but of the spirits and great gods of the beginning of the world. This group of tribes in their philosophy transcend time and project their souls back to the origin of things. This act they call dreaming. The basic and most significant dreams are not those of last night or of one's adolescence, but those which one had before birth—while still in the mother's belly, they say. It is these prenatal dreams which the newly born baby and the child may forget, but which come back to the growing boy and to the man when he hears others singing or telling similar experiences. As they see it, the tribal mythology is thus first learned by personal participation in it as an unborn soul. Secondarily, it is strengthened, clarified, and perhaps adjusted by what one learns from others. Some old Mohave of my acquaintance admitted that they "also heard" or learned their special lore, usually from blood kinsmen, in addition to dreaming it; but all denied having been "taught." The distinction may seem verbal to us, but I am sure that it is not verbal to them.

Now and then a person will admit having learned a story from others, apparently without any sense of inferiority therefor. Mostly, however, the old men claimed to have dreamed what they knew. This was without any very evident sense of pride about it—in fact, dreaming was so common that it would be only what one had dreamed, not the fact of dreaming, that could give distinction. I am sure that my informants believed they had dreamed in [2] the way they said. A people starting out with preconceptions such as these would not be likely to be able to explain matters in terms of what we consider psychological reality. I suspect that many men, as they grow older and perhaps begin to sing song series with their kinsmen, begin also to brood about them in periods of inactivity. Their minds presumably run on the implications of the words of the songs, until, under the spell of the tribal theory, they come to believe that they have in their own person seen the events of the far past happen.

At any rate, informants now and then mention in the midst of their mystical narrative, randomly and in the most matter-of-fact way, "Then I saw him doing so and so," or "I was there," or "Then he said to me."

Those narratives which the Mohave evidently consider historical, and they are the longest of all, the Great Tales, come unaccompanied by singing. The story of the actual first beginnings of the world seems also to be without songs; and so is the prolix account of the origins of culture, of which I give a version herewith under the title of Mastamho, the culture hero. Matters of "history" are in the Mohave mind related to matters of war, and are therefore clean and honorable. Cosmic origins, however, seem to be felt as allied to shamanism and doctoring. Now the doctor can cure, but he can also kill; and there is consequently some reluctance to sing, or even to hear, series of doctoring songs, no doubt because of their associations with illness. The songs of a good many non-shamanistic narratives are danced to when there is a festival or gathering. Each story has its appropriate dance step, as it has its characteristically recognizable songs, and its prescribed rattle, struck basket, palm slap, resonating pot, or other accompanying beat. There are even one or two kinds of singings, notably Pleiades, for which I could never learn that there was a narrative and the two songs of which are simply sung over and over again for the dancers. The non-shamanistic song series are "given away" or "destroyed" (tšupilyk) at the death of a relative. If he dies gradually, they are sung during his last one or two days and nights. If he dies suddenly, they are sung from then until his cremation. This is considered equivalent to the destruction of property for the dead. But, as the Mohave say, after a time a man forgets his grief and begins to sing his songs again.

The songs accompanying any narrative seem to run from about a hundred to about four hundred. All the songs of any one series are variations on a basic theme, which most Mohave can recognize and name on hearing. Most of the variations presumably are improvised according to a pattern style. It seems impossible that hundreds of minute variations should be kept separately fixed in memory. An informant's listing of the localities or stages of his story at which he sings is usually fairly consistent from one listing to another. But the number of songs that he says he sings at each stage varies considerably more. Obviously, if his recollection is uncertain whether he sings three or four songs at a particular point, he is unlikely to carry precise minor variations of his melody fixed in his memory.

For convenient reference, I have followed the plan of putting into a single paragraph each section of a story which a narrator told as a unit until he said that here he sang so many songs about the episode. Informants fell of themselves into the habit of thus punctuating the narrative by mentioning the song numbers. These paragraphs I have then numbered consecutively for convenience in reference to episodes; and a list of captions corresponding to the paragraphs has usually been added to serve as an outline of the song scheme and guide to the story.

Most of the tales take a night to tell, or a night and part of the morning, or up to two nights, according to the narrators. If anything, they underestimate the time required, in my experience. It seems doubtful that they would keep an audience through periods as long as this; and I have the impression that many of them had never told their whole myth continuously through from beginning to end. They also found it difficult to make clear what sort of occasions prompted the telling. Theoretically, when it is not a matter of a dance or a funeral, a man both narrates and sings, telling an episode and then singing the songs that refer to it, until his audience drops off or falls asleep.

It remains to characterize the tales themselves and their style.

If the narratives are long, they almost inevitably show minor inconsistencies. The narrator may say that a thing is done four times, and then proceed to narrate six variations of it. Contradictions of plot may occur through lapses of memory or shifts of the narrator's interest. Sometimes it is difficult to decide whether this has happened, or whether the interpreter or recorder misunderstood. This holds for a number of discrepancies in the first tale, that of Cane, which are noted in detail in the discussion and footnotes. Such inconsistencies proved difficult to clear up with informants: explanations had a way of introducing new discrepancies. On the other hand, most narrators keep pretty successfully to the main thread of their plot and proceed in its development in a rather prolix, step-by-step, orderly manner.

Major inconsistencies are due to shifts in participation or identification of the narrator and hearer with the characters. He who seems to have been the hero, turns evil without warning and our sympathies are enlisted for a new personage. This is a quality which is also notable in southern California Shoshonean myth narratives. I suspect that the Mohave feel less need than we of participating with their personages, both the story and its setting being so formalized and stylized.

Where fighting is involved, motivation becomes particularly elusive. The main thing seems to be that there should be war and the happenings that go with war. Hence, in place of a definite sense [3] of identification of the teller or hearer with one or the other of the personages, there is often a sense of foreboding or of the inevitability of what will happen. This is not confined to the tales which professedly deal with war, but recurs in the Cane myth, and, with reference to death instead of war, in that of Deer. In the latter, the identification is particularly obscure. Jaguar and Mountain Lion create a pair of Deer in order to kill them for the benefit of the future Walapai. But a full three-quarters of the story tells about the Deer, their thoughts and feelings; so that it is difficult not to feel them as what we would call the "heroes" of the plot. If so, they are unquestionably tragic heroes.

The tales are given their great length less by fundamental complications of plot than by expansion of detail. The most common expansion is geographical. There are long travels. If no events occur on the journey, many places are nevertheless enumerated, and the traveler's feelings or thoughts at each point, or what he sees growing or living there, are expatiated on. The Mohave evidently derive a satisfaction from these mental journeys with their visual recalls or imaginings.

In Raven the physical movement of the whole story exists only in the mind. How people will travel and fight is told and sung of, but in the tale itself the entire journey is that from the rear to the front of the house in which the two fledgling heroes grow.

Another method of expansion is more stylistic. What is going to happen is discussed first, and then it is told over again as a happening. There are arguments between personages on whether to do this or that; whether to understand an event in one way or in another; or as to what is going to happen later.

Most of the tales are given some tie-up with Ha'avulypo in Eldorado Canyon and the first god Matavilya and his death there; or with Mastamho who succeeded him and his Avikwame which we call Dead or Newberry Mountain—both north of Mohave valley. These tie-ups seem to be for placement reference: they indicate that the events occurred in the beginning of time. Sometimes an incident of the creation serves as the introduction of a tale; or it may be only alluded to. The heroes or personages are preponderantly boys, sometimes even miraculously precocious babies. Then overnight they may have grown up sufficiently to get married. These irrationalities or surrealisms of time should not be disconcerting when one remembers that to the Mohave the whole basis of knowledge of myth is due to a projection from the present into the era of first beginnings—is the result of the utter obliteration of time on the mythological and spiritual level. Even the culture hero Mastamho is sometimes described as merely a boy; so are the future tribes whom he is instructing; at times the informant refers to himself as a watching and listening boy. There is an evident feeling that the eras dealt with are those when everything in the world was fresh and young and formative.

I have put the Cane tale first because it has more plot and less of mere prolixity, geographical or otherwise, than the others. Next follow three stories that to the Mohave are concerned with war: Vinimulye-pātše, Nyohaiva, and Raven. After that comes the story of Deer, with animal actors; and then some fragments on Coyote, without songs and perhaps unorthodox, secured from a woman. Women are not precluded from dreaming, but on the whole the Mohave seem to have no great interest in women's dreams. The last is another tale unaccompanied by songs, the long one of Mastamho, which is essentially an account of the origin of human and tribal culture.




The story of Cane, Ahta, more properly Ahta-'amalya'e, Long Cane, was told me on three days between April 24 and 27, 1904, with one day of intermission, by a middle-aged man named Tšiyêre-k-avasūk, or "Bluebird," who said he had dreamed the tale, beginning at Avikwame. I neglected to write down personal or biographical details about him, and dare not trust my memory at this interval.

This story has more plot interest than the majority of those which the Mohave profess to dream and sing to. It might be described as a tale of adventures on an almost epic scale, and it does not systematically account for the origin or institution of anything, although a bit of cosmogony drifts in toward the end.

The version recorded was told carefully and accurately. There are a number of internal discrepancies, especially as regards relationship of the characters and topography, which are considered in a section following the story itself; but the plot is well constructed and maintained.

The song scheme is also given after the tale. The songs are accompanied with a double beat of a stick struck against the bottom of a Chemehuevi bowl-shaped basket. Cane is not danced to.

The Cane type of plot recurs in another kind of Mohave singing called Satukhôta, of which only a brief outline was obtained. The singer of Satukhôta beats time by striking his palm against his chest.


A. Kamaiavêta Killed at Avikwame

1a. All the people at Avikwame had gone out of the house and had sent for (the great snake in the ocean to the south) Kamaiavêta.[1] They thought it was he who had killed Matavilya and they wanted to kill him. No one knew this to be so but all believed it. Then when he came they killed him, and his body lay stretched over the earth. When he was dead, I[2] took a piece from his tail, the rattle nearest the body. I took it for good luck. Several tribes dream about this killing: the Yuma, the Maricopa, the Kamia, the Walapai, the Halchidhoma, and others down to the mouth of the river.[3]

[1] "Sky-rattlesnake-great." Also Kumaiavête or Mayavete.

[2] The narrator believes that he has seen and heard what he is relating.

[3] The Kamaiavête incident seems to be mentioned only for the purpose of fixing the time and place of the beginning of the story. The myth properly begins at this point. Most Mohave song-myths begin with an allusion to the death of Matavilya, of which the Kamaiavête story is an after-incident.

B. Two Brothers Go Off

1b. Now there were two brothers there. They stood east of the house and told of it. They did not speak, but sang. They sang of its posts, the rafters, the sand heaped around and over it, and the other parts. (4 songs.)

2. Their names were Pukehane, the older, and Tšitšuvare, the younger.[4] They went north a short distance, where there was a little gravelly place and thorny cactus. The ground-squirrel, hum'ire, lived there. When the two brothers came, it ran away, crying like a boy. It had never seen them before. They stood there and sang about it. (3 songs.)

[4] Both names refer to cane. Hipūke is the "end of the root" or butt. Hipūke-hane is probably the full form. Tšitšu-vāre is said to refer to the points of the cane. In the text, ū and ā have been rendered u and a in these two names.

3. Then they went north again a very little distance.[5] There they saw a rat, hamalyk. They did not kill it, but looked at it and sang about it. (2 songs.)

[5] "About 50 yards," not far enough to necessitate a new name for the place.

4. Now it was sundown. They struck their fire-flints,[6] made a fire, and sat by it. They did not eat anything all night. In the morning they were hungry. One thought that they should kill the rat and eat it. His brother said: "That is good." So they killed the rat and ate it. They stayed there that day, thinking. The next day, in the morning, Pukehane, the older brother, said: "We have no place to live." Tšitšuvare said: "Yes, that is true. Where can we get wood to build a house?" Now Pukehane was intelligent; he was born thus. Therefore he made sticks out of his saliva.[7] Thus in one day they built a round house. At night they went into it. (3 songs.)

[6] Like wheat, cloth, etc., a Spanish absorption integrated into the culture.

[7] Hika, his saliva, important element in magic and therapeutics.

5. Now it was three days.[8] In the morning they hunted rats. When they killed a rat, they hung it by its head under their belts. Pukehane said: "I do not think this is good." Then he took[9] two net-sacks,[10] and they put the rats into them and carried them on their backs. At sunset they came back to the house. Now two men lived at Avikwame, Hatpa-'aqwaoθtše,[11] their father's older brother, and [5] Nume-peta.[12] Hatpa-'aqwaoθtše said: "I will live with my younger brother's sons (ivitk). I will not live with this man (Nume-peta) who is not my relative." And he came and lived with them. So they were three. In the morning, the two boys went hunting rats again. As the rats were shot, they squeaked. The boys stood and listened and laughed. (1 song.)

[8] One day since leaving Avikwame they had spent in thinking, a second in building the house, this is the third.

[9] Created by magic out of nothing, by reaching out.

[10] Mayu, carrying-sacks of net-work such as the Paiute and Chemehuevi use.

[11] Hatpa. Pima; aqwaθ-, yellow. The second part of the name is not certain.

[12] Or Numê-t-veta. Nume is the wildcat; nume-ta, the jaguar.

6. When they came back, Pukehane said, "Some tribes after a time will do like this: let me see how far you can shoot." They bet their arrows. The elder shot far. The younger did not shoot far and lost, lost all his arrows. The quiver was empty and he tied it around his waist. He said, "I will bet the rats that I killed." Then he lost all his rats. They came home and he had no arrows and no rats, only his bow. Their father's older brother saw them. He said, "Why do you not do right? This is wrong. Do not do it any more. That is not what I came here for. I came in order that when you go hunting you bring them here and I eat." (1 song.)

7a. Hatpa-'aqwaoθtše said, "We are three men here. I see you two do not sleep but sit and wake. If three men live in a house everything is ready for them when they come home to it. But there is no woman here and that is why there is no wood and water. If you get a woman she will cook." The boys said, "Yes, we will do that." That night Pukehane stretched his hand to the southeast toward the Maricopa and got corn in it. He got much and laid it in the corner of the house. Then he stretched his hand out northeast, toward the Kohoaldja Paiute, and took wheat.[13] Now they had two kinds of food.

[13], [13a] Cf. note 6.

C. The Brothers Get Wives

7b. In the morning the two boys went west. There was a man who had a daughter Tšese'ilye;[14] her they wanted to get. As they went west they saw a bird hanging in a tree in a cage of red and white woven cloth.[13a] The bird was hwetše-hwetše.[15] "Look, that girl has a bird," they said. (1 song.)

[14] My notes, after a correction, say that she was Tšese'ilye's daughter; but the correction may be in error, since later the woman is said to have been Tšese'ilye, daughter of Sun. Cf. notes 35, 38, 52, 54, 58, 60, 63, 68, 75, 78, 83, 87 on the confused relationships and names of certain characters.

[15] A yellow bird.

8. When they reached the house, Pukehane did not take the bird with his hand, but caused the cage (sic—the bird?) to be outside the door. The bird was singing: the woman was inside; she came out, saw it in front of the door, and said: "What sort of people are you who have come? That bird belongs to me; do you not know that? It watches everything I have when I go out to gather seeds." The two boys stood and laughed, the older east of the door, the younger west of it.[16] The woman went back into the house, put on a (pretty) dress, and beads around her neck. She took a white peeled willow stick, qara'asap, to sweep the dress under her thighs so as not to crumple it when she sat down.[17] Tied to the top of her dress she had two bags of paint (kômkuvī), one black, one red. When she came to the two boys standing outside the door she did not go to the older, she went to the younger: she liked Tšitšuvare. Pukehane said, "She is mine." His younger brother said, "No, if she were yours she would come to you." The older said, "She is mine." The woman said nothing. The older embraced her. The younger said, "Do not embrace her. She belongs to me." He embraced her too and they both held her and pulled. Pukehane became tired. He stood aside. "You are the better; take her," he said. So now they had one woman: Tšitšuvare had her. (1 song.)

[16] The door was sohlyêpe, woven of willow inner-bark.

[17] A piece of coquetry or swank, rather surprising in a culture so meager in its material aspects.

9. They started to go home from there: Pukehane wanted to. They had far to go, too far for one day. So they slept in the desert where no one lived. Tšitšuvare made a bed. Pukehane said, "My brother, when you marry, both of us sleep with the woman.[18] That is what you said." Tšitšuvare had not said that: Pukehane only wished it; and Tšitšuvare did not let him. Then in the morning Pukehane said, "Let us go, my sister-in-law."[19] (1 song.)

[18] "You at the vagina, I at the anus." While the younger slept with her, the older sat up, had an erection, tried to clamp it under his thigh and sit on it, could not.

[19] Hunyīk. The term denotes any female affinal of a man (except his wife's sister) irrespective of generation, and all male or female affinals of a woman (except her sister's husband).

10. They started. At noon, when they came to the house, the woman was ashamed, because it was the first time she was married. Hatpa-'aqwaoθtše said, "I want to see my younger brother's daughter-in-law." She did not look up: she had long hair—down to her hips—behind which she hid her face. The old man took her by the hand, led her inside, and took her around the house. He wanted her to grind corn. Now the three men felt glad, when they saw her grinding corn. They looked to see how she worked; all of them smiled. "See how beautiful she looks," they said. She was clean and wore beads around her neck and on her ears and wrists, and a dress of willow bark, and was painted. (1 song.)

11a. In the morning she was going to make mush of the corn she had ground. The two brothers were still in the house. The old man was outside: he wanted to help her cook. He poured the corn into the pot and she stirred it and put in salt.[20] [6] When there was enough, she boiled it, gave some to the old man, put some in a dish for the two boys, and took it inside to them. Then the three ate together; the old man sat outside. When the sun set they built a fire in the house near the door. When it was dark the house was warm and they stayed there. The two brothers did not say anything. Their father's older brother spoke again. He said, "This is one woman. If you get another, it will be well. Go east and take Sun's daughter." That is what the old man said.

[20] An informal domestic scene, such as could still be seen forty years ago. The cooking is in front of the house: the ground corn is boiled; the old man stands by and assists; eating is in or outdoors, men and women together or apart.

11b. In the morning the two boys went east. When the sun was halfway up they heard a cock[21] making a loud noise, telling the time. (2 songs.)

[21] Kwaluyauve. Cf. the flint, wheat, cloth, etc. The cage, however, is native: all the river tribes kept bird pets in stick cages. In 86, however, the woman's bird is a masohwat.

12a. Very soon, after four or five steps, they saw a cage hanging, Sun's daughter's cage, with red and blue cloth tied to it for ornament: it was hanging high. The two boys came to it, took the cock out of his cage, and put him by the door. He crowed and the woman heard him. She said, "What sort of men are you? Do you not know anything? That cock belongs to me. He takes care of me and stays with me always. You have spoiled him." She went back into the house, put on her dress and her beads, and came out. Tšitšuvare embraced her. His older brother said, "She belongs to me." "No, she is not yours. She is mine," said the younger. "No, she is mine," said the older. The older was unable to hold her. "Well, she is yours," he said. Now the younger had two wives.

12b. They started to go. The woman looked back and saw her house. She said, "I thought my house was (already) far away, but it is only a little distance." She stopped and urinated. "Wait and stand, while I tell of my home." She meant that now she was going with them and would live with them and would not go to her house any more. (2 songs, about her house.)

13. They went on again. Now all the stars had been made,[22] but the two boys were wise, had dreamed, and knew all. They said, "We will tell about the stars; of mountain sheep (Orion), and of Hatša (the Pleiades)." (2 songs, about the constellations.)

[22] The creation is recent in all these tales. Night comes on as they travel, apparently; but they arrive in the afternoon!

14. In the afternoon they came home. The (new) woman sat down outside at the southeast corner of the house. She was ashamed, and did not go indoors with them. She had long hair, down to her thighs; she did not say anything. The old man was ready for her to grind: he had a metate prepared inside. Now he came out, took her hand, and led her indoors. Then she ground corn. As she ground, blood flowed on her thigh. They said, "Look at her, she is menstruating: the blood makes a streak on her thigh."[23] (1 song.)

[23] More Mohave—both the fact of the mention when nothing hinges on it, and the fact that the woman goes on preparing food for them.

15. Now there were two women to work, and it did not take them long to grind enough for mush. One of them built a fire and put a pot on it; the old man came out to help them. When the water boiled, the old man poured the corn into it and one of the women stirred. She put in salt and tasted it; there was not enough, and she put in more until it was good. Now she gave the old man some. She put some in a large dish and took it in to the two boys. They ate together, the two women and the two boys. At night they all lay down indoors. The old man thought, "It is not right: one of them has two wives. They are two brothers but one has no wife." He said, "You are two brothers, but the older has no wife. He must have a wife too. In the morning go north and get one for yourself also. Kukho-metinya's[24] daughter is the one that I want you to find." In the morning the two boys went north. Then Kukho(-metinya)[24a] met them, flying in the air. They said, "The bird is intelligent: he flies to meet us." (2 songs.)

[24], [24a], [24b] Kukho is the yellowhammer or red-shafted flicker. Kukho-metinya is the girl's father and flies to meet the young man; and the girl keeps a kukho in a cage.

16. When they came there, there was a bird in a cage. It was a kukho.[24b] They took it out with their hands and set it by the door. The woman was inside, heard it, came out, and saw the bird. She said, "Where are you two from? You are foolish. Do you know that that is my bird in the cage? Why do you take it out?" They stood and laughed. She went inside again, put on her dress and her beads, and came out. She went to the older one and he embraced her. The younger wanted to come to her also, and said, "She is mine." But Pukehane said, "No, she is not yours, she is mine." Then Tšitšuvare said, "Well, she is yours." He let him have her, because he had two already. Then they started home. (1 song.)

17a. When they came to the house the old man took her by the hand, led her inside, and wanted her to grind corn. Now there were three women grinding and it did not take long. The old man helped them cook. They gave him some, and the three women and the two brothers ate together. The sun set, it became dark, they built a fire in the house. The two brothers did not speak: the old man was thinking again. He said, "Now you two brothers each have a wife." Pukehane had his bed in the southeast corner of the house; Tšitšuvare, at the southwest; the old man lay in the center of the house. He said, "Tšitšuvare, you have two wives; Pukehane, you have only one. I think it will be best for you to get another. If you each have two it will be well. If one of you has two and the other only one, it will not be right. I want you to go south to get one. Get Tankusahwire's[25] daughter." That is what he said that night.

[25] This is again a bird.

[7] 17b. In the morning they went south. They saw a hotokoro bird in a cage. The cage was woven of red and blue string. They had not come there yet: as they were going they saw it. (1 song.)

18a. When they arrived, they took the bird in their hand, set it at the door, it walked about there. The woman heard it and came out. She said, "That bird is mine. It takes care of me. It lives with me always. You know why you have done that!" It was as if she were angry. She was not angry but she said that. She went back into the house to put on her dress. She put it on, and beads on her neck and ears and wrists. Tšitšuvare, the younger, saw her come out but did not go to her. He let his older brother embrace her. He said nothing. He thought, "It is well." Then they went back north. They came home the same day. The three women were grinding corn. The new one did not go inside: she was ashamed and sat outside. The old man took her in. He gave her a metate and the four of them ground. When they had finished they made mush: the old man helped them: he wanted to taste if there was enough salt. He said, "If there is not enough, put in more. If it is right, set it off the fire." Then they gave him some. They put more in a large dish and took it inside. All the women and the two young men ate together. At sunset they built a fire inside. Two women went to the east side of the house, two to the west. The two men were lying in the corners shading their eyes with their hands (δokōuk). The old man lay in the center of the house. He got up, thought, and said, "There is another thing good to have: it is cane. When you play on it the sound goes as far as the sky and everyone can hear it." He said that in the night.

D. Quarrel over Cane: Elder Kills Younger

18b. In the morning the two brothers went west, far west. There were no clouds but there was lightning and it thundered. Tšitšuvare said, "Do you hear that? I think that is dangerous." Pukehane said, "Well, I do not care. Perhaps it will go well, perhaps it will go wrong. We will go anyway: it does not matter where we die. We do not know. Do not mind: if we both die in this land it will be well." (1 song.)

19. They went on west. They climbed up a mesa.[26] They stood and looked down. Then they saw cane. Tšitšuvare was glad to get it. Pukehane said, "Do not go yet! Wait! Good ones do not grow everywhere: they grow in only one place. Wait until we tell about them. I will tell about the roots (butts?), the large roots that they have." The younger brother stood and listened to what the older one said about the cane roots. (1 song.)

[26] River terrace of gravel.

20. They went down to the cane. There was a cane to the east: Pukehane put his hand on it. There was a cane at the west: his younger brother put his hand on that. The younger one said, "I do not want the top." He cut the top off and gave it to his older brother: he wanted the bottom part where it is large. Pukehane said, "A little boy like you takes a little piece from the top." Tšitšuvare said, "Don't you know when there are two brothers the younger wants the most of everything? I want the large one, you take the top." Pukehane said, "Very well. It is good." Tšitšuvare said, "If you had not given me the bottom but had left me the top, I should have cried, because the younger always wants most and if he does not get it he cries. You thought I would cry. Well, my brother, I feel happy." Tšitšuvare wanted to break the cane with his hands. Pukehane said, "Wait! You are able to break it with your hands, but do not do so. We have both dreamed well. We have no knife here but I can get a knife to cut it with." (1 song.)

21. He did not make a knife. He put his hand out to the west and had a knife in it. The younger asked, "How many joints shall we cut?" "Three," said Pukehane. (2 songs.)

22. Then Pukehane cut the cane at the butt. He was holding the top end, his younger brother the bottom end, but Pukehane wanted that. Tšitšuvare said, "No, you said you would let me have it!" "No," the elder said. They did not break it: both of them held on. Tšitšuvare did not want the top; Pukehane wanted to take it all: but his younger brother held fast, and he could not take it away from him. Pukehane was larger and knocked his little brother down, but Tšitšuvare held on: he did not let go, he held tight. Then Pukehane put his foot on his brother's belly: still he held on: He nearly died, but he kept his hold. When Pukehane saw that his younger brother was nearly killed, he stopped. He took hold of him and made him stand up. "Well, my younger brother, I will let you have it," he said. The older was a doctor: he had dreamed. He thought, "Well, I will let him have it, and after a while I will kill him." Tšitšuvare said, "How must we use them, long or short?" Pukehane told him, "The Yuma make them long, of four or five joints, with a hole right through them. We do not do that: we use three joints." (2 songs.)

23. Then they went back and came home. They laid the cane on the ground. They told how they had brought it. (1 song.)

24. When the two boys sat down, the women had wheat bread[27] ready and gave it to them. They began to eat outside. The old man came out from the house and saw the two boys about to eat the bread. They had not swallowed it yet: their mouths were full. The old man said, "Did I not tell you that that was dangerous? I said not to eat anything with salt in it[28] until you have washed yourselves." They spat it out. When it was nearly sunset they built a fire and all went into the house. That night the younger one became sick: he had the nightmare and talked to [8] himself.[29] Before it became day, Pukehane started to go outdoors. He could make people go to sleep with θavôθapanye. He held it in his hand and struck a house post. So they all went to sleep: his younger brother too. Then Pukehane went outside, took the cane, and decorated it with his saliva.[30] In the morning he said, "Younger brother, why do you not get up? Do not sleep: a common man is always doing that. You are likely to get sick. Get up and help me." The younger sat up. Pukehane had already finished painting his cane. Tšitšuvare came out and wanted to paint his. He did paint it: but when he held it out to look at, there was no paint on it: it looked dark (unpainted) to him. He said, "I thought I had painted it well. I think I shall die." He threw the cane away to the north, went indoors, and lay down. Then Pukehane sent for people to come for his brother who was about to die; he sent for Nume-peta at Avikwame. When a man will die they send word of it about and begin to sing. (1 song.)

[27] Moδīlya, baked in the hot sand.

[28] Salt is one of the most frequent Mohave taboos.

[29] Nyaveδītš itšôuk, ghost ill. The victim is in pain, like crazy, thinks he is talking with someone, keeps on talking.

[30] Instead of marking it with fire. It is not clear whether the paint consisted of his saliva, or whether he used spittle to moisten his pigment.

25. The two brothers had birds in cages. The younger had five kinds: pariθi (shrike), sakwaθa'ālya (magpie), aθikwa (woodpecker), atšyôra, θinyêre (sparrowhawk). Pukehane took one of them, peeled the skin off its head, and let it go. One he skinned on the back, one on the belly, one over the ribs, and one under the eyes. He threw the pieces of skin away, and let the birds loose. They flew up and fell down again. The sick man said, "I think I shall die: I never saw that before: my birds look different." (1 song.)

26. When the sun was halfway up, Nume-peta arrived with his people. They crowded around the sick man and began to cry. Nume-peta said, "After awhile, people will always do that; they will burn them too. Now, two men go get wood: get timahutši."[31] (1 song.)

[31] It grows in the mountains; the interpreter did not know it.

27. Pukehane had made his younger brother sick. Therefore he did not stay by him but by Nume-peta. Tšitšuvare said, "Move me a little so that I can tell of all my bones before I die." (1 song.)

28. The two men got wood. When they brought it, Pukehane and Nume-peta were thinking what they wanted to be in the future: they wanted to teach the Chemehuevi, Yavapai, Walapai how to do. The sick man was not dead yet. Then they took his rib out to use for a skin-dressing tool. They took his kneecap for a shinny ball. They took his shinbone, cut off each end, and used it to juggle up and catch on the back of the hand.[32] They took these bones out of his body and so killed him. Then they went to Avikwame, Pukehane taking his own two wives with him.[33] Tšitšuvare's wives and Hatpa-'aqwaoθtše stayed, stood, cried, and sang. When it was dark the old man took a knife and cut the two women's long hair, and his own. One of the women was pregnant. (1 song.)

[32] "The Walapai and other tribes play much with bones like this."—But, like the Mohave, not with human bones, except in myth or fancy.

[33] They did not burn the body.

E. Birth of the Hero

29. They cried all night. In the morning—they had not thrown their food away, and had corn and beans—they ate. Then Sun's daughter went back to her home; the other woman (Tšese'ilye) and the old man were still in the house. In the afternoon the woman said, "I am going to have a child. I have a pain on each side of my belly." Then the old man said, "Yes, that is the way." At night the child had not been born yet, but it sang. They heard it talking and singing inside. They said, "He is singing. We hear it." (1 song.)

30. The old man said, "That sort of a boy will be somebody; he will be a shaman. When he is a man, he will make me be like a young man again. I am glad." Then the boy said from inside, "Too many people are passing by the house. I am going to make rain so that no one will come by while I am being born: I want no one to know or hear or see it. I do not want people to know when I emerge." (1 song.)

31. The woman could not sit still from her pain. She crawled around into the corner of the house, and outdoors. Then the boy said, "Sit still. I want to emerge." He did not know where to come out, at the mouth or anus or ribs. He said, "Sit still. Keep your legs still, so that I can come out; do not move them!" The woman said, "Old man, do you hear what the boy in me says?" The old man said, "That sort of a boy is wise. He will be a shaman." When it became day the boy came out. They made hot sand to lay him on and covered him with hot sand up to his neck. (1 song.)

32. The night the boy was born it rained. (Far in the north) Nume-peta thought, "I believe that child has been born and has made the rain. If one of you goes there today, you will see the child." A man went: he saw the child sitting in the door. Hatpa-'aqwaoθtše asked him, "What do you want?" The man said, "Nume-peta sent me to see this child." Hatpa-'aqwaoθtše said, "Yes, it was born this morning." So the man went back and told Nume-peta. Nume-peta said, "Did I not know it? The child is wise and will be a doctor. It made rain so that no one would know it was being born; but I knew it, for I am a doctor too." Then Nume-peta took his people and Pukehane, and they all came to see the child. They said, "We will look at it. If it is a boy, we will kill him, because he will be a doctor and will kill us; when he is grown he will make us sick. But if it is a girl, we will not kill her. It will be well: she will work and get water. A girl will do that, but a boy will not do that: he will kill us." Now they all stood at the door [9] looking at the child. Hatpa-'aqwaoθtše hid the child's penis, drawing it back to the anus. Then they all said, "No, it is not a boy, it is a girl. If it were a boy we would kill it, but it is a girl." So they all went back. (1 song.)

33. Then the woman suckled the child and sang. They had made them think that the child was a girl. It was a boy but they would not let them know it. (1 song.)

F. Shinny Game with Father's Foes

34. The child grew fast. In four, five, six days it smiled and laughed. In a year it was as high as that (gesture), and walked around and played. Now Nume-peta and Pukehane came again with all their people. They played shinny with the dead man's kneecap. Then the child, dressed as a girl, went out to watch, not knowing those bones. Some of them gave him a bone to make a doll of, for he wore a dress and looked like a girl. Every day he went to play where these people played, and at sunset came back to his house. So it was three nights: the next night it would be four. Then his mother told him, "That doll, the bone you play with, is from your father. Your father traveled to be married. And he traveled to get cane, he and his older brother. The younger was wise: he was superior to the older; but the older was a great doctor. He made his younger brother sicken and die. That bone is from your father, and so is the bone they play shinny with." (2 songs.)

35. Then the apparent little girl said, "I did not know that. If I had known that it was the bone of my kin I should not have played with it." So he said and cried. He cried all night and never suckled. In the morning when the sun was up he went under the shade; he was tired from crying, lay down and slept a little. Then he dreamed. The insect θonoθakwe'atai[34] sat on his lip while he slept and said, "All of them play with those bones. They think it is amusing but it is a bad thing. They are not the bones of an animal. If they were animal bones it would be well, but they are your father's bones." When the boy dreamed that he sat up. He went back into the house. That night he wanted to send his mother home: he did not want her to live there any longer.[35] He told her, "Go west.[36] These people here are my relatives but they do not treat me right. They said they would kill me. I will stay here. The old man, my (father's) uncle, will stay here too. He is wise: he saved me or I should have been dead long ago. I want him to stay: he can beg around the houses and get something to eat and water to drink. He can live in that way and be well; but I want you to go west." The woman took a little round dish[37] and put glowing coals into it. So she lit her way, to know where to go.[38] Then she went off westward, traveling by that light. When she was gone the boy thought about her. He thought, "Why have I sent my mother away like a bird? A bird's nest is on the desert; it sleeps on the desert, where no one lives." Then he was sorry for her and cried. (2 songs.)

[34] An insect that lives in trees, does not fly, and looks like haltôθa.

[35] "Tšese'ilye was her name"—her father's, ante. About this confusion, see note 58. Another confusion is that in 29 it is Sun's daughter (wife no. 2) who goes away and Tšese'ilye who gives birth to the hero, as confirmed by his now sending her home west; whereas in 82b, 86, 87, he travels east to rejoin his mother, and in 90 her father is Sun.

[36] Where she had come from, if she is Tšese'ilye (or Tšese'ilye's daughter) and not Sun's daughter.

[37] Kwaθki-mareko, almost as deep as a pot.

[38] Travel by firebrand is a Yuman habit. Rio de los Tizones was the first European name given the Colorado.

36. That night when there were only the two of them there, the boy told the old man, "I am going to leave you. You stay here. Listen to what I will do." He thought he would do something to the people that played with his father's bones, but he did not yet know what. Then the old man Hatpa-'aqwaoθtše said, "It is well. You will die somewhere and I will cry for you here. That will be all. I can live. I am not very old yet. I can go about begging for food. I will come to people's houses and they will give me something to eat, for they will know me and that I am poor and hungry. I shall live like that staying on here." Then in the morning they all came there to play ball again. They had short shinny sticks, nearly straight, not long and curved.[39] When the boy saw them, he went outdoors, took earth and rubbed it on himself, so that no one would see him, or know him; for he wanted to take away their ball. So he turned himself into a halye'anekītše lizard.[40] Now they played. They came near him: he was lying by the side of the playing field: no one knew it. Now they played toward the south and back again, four times, and one side won. Then the boy seized the ball: no one saw him take it: no one knew he had it. He went back to his house. Now he wanted to throw it, but did not throw it yet: he wanted to know in which direction to throw it.[41] First he wanted to throw it north, but did not. Then he was going to throw it south, then west, then east. He kept it in his hand and stood there. (1 song.)

[39] Of bone? The ordinary Mohave shinny stick is a yard long and definitely bent at the end.

[40] The tip of its tail is blue: cf. note 95.

[41] Typical hesitation of Mohave narrative.

37. When he had told (kanavk) of the far heavens (amaiyêitše) four times, still holding the ball, he struck the ball with a stick and it flew west like a meteor (kwayū). It fell in the mountains and broke them and killed the people who lived on them: it killed them all. The boy stood and heard. He thought, "No one is there now: they are all killed!" Nume-peta and Pukehane said, "That boy! I knew he would do it: he has killed all those people. He will kill us too. You shall see: he will do that." [10] The boy did not hear them, but he knew (what they said). He was glad and laughed and shouted and ran. He ran north to Avi-kwutapārva: There he stood. (2 songs.)

G. Journey South to Sea

38. When he stood there at the river he thought how to cross it. He said, "I thought I was a man who knew everything, who had dreamed well." Then he piled up sand, four heaps, so high. He began, at the nearer end, to level them with his foot. Then the river was full of sand all the way across, enough to walk on. So he crossed and stood on the other side, the east side of the river. He thought which way to go, whether east or south. Then he thought, "Well, I will follow this trail south." (1 song.)

39. He went downriver to Iδô-kuva'ire,[42] did not stop there, but went on to Ahtšye-'iksāmta and Qara'êrve. There it was sunset and he slept in the thick willows and cottonwoods by the river bank: it was a good place to sleep, with much brush. Many birds were in the trees: early in the morning they all awoke and made much noise. Then he could not sleep well: he tried to but could not. So he sat up and listened to the birds calling. Tinyama-hwarehware[43] was sitting on a tree singing loudly. When a boy sleeps somewhere alone he is lonesome and afraid; so this boy was afraid and could not sleep. Then he said to the birds and the insects, "You make too much noise. I cannot sleep. Be quiet!" So they were quiet and he slept again. (2 songs.)

[42] Iδo-kuva'ire is upstream from Fort Mohave.

[43] An insect "like a butterfly," with wings and a long belly.

40. After he had slept he got up and went south. Then he came to the hill Selye'aya-kumītše.[44] (1 song.)

[44] East of Fort Mohave.

41. He went on south to an overflow lagoon, Hanyo-kumasθeve.[45] From there he went south a little distance to where the ahtšye grass was high. There a rattlesnake stuck up its head and shook its rattle noisily. When he saw the snake he was frightened: he had never seen one before. He nearly died from fear: he stood unable to move. (2 songs.)

[45] A little east of where the wagon road (of 1904) crosses the irrigating canal.

42. Then he made the rattlesnake lie still without shaking its tail, making no sound, and not biting. He kicked it and threw it with his feet, four or five times. Then he picked it up, and used it for a belt, and put it around his neck and into his mouth. So he played with it, and the rattlesnake died and he threw it away. He said, "I am not afraid of you. If you were dangerous to me you would bite and kill me, but you are not dangerous and so it is you will not bite me."[46] He left the snake lying there, and went south, to Amai-nye-qotarse, did not stop there, and went on south to Kamahnūlye. Two men were hunting there. When they killed a deer they did not cook it but ate it raw: He saw their red mouths and was afraid of them. He saw that they were wildcats (nume). (5 songs.)

[46] An unusually direct reaction on the wish-fulfillment level.

43. The two wildcats went off east and he went on south. He came to Aha-kuminye. A horsefly (hoane) lived there at the edge of the mesa in a cavity. It came to him, lit on his back and shoulders, and flew off again. Then the boy thought, "It is intelligent like a man. It knows something. When it sees me it comes to meet me." (1 song.)

44. The horsefly flew away and did not come back. Then the boy said, "That is not a man. If it were a man he would come back to talk to me. I will go on." Then he went on south to Hotūrveve. There were astake trees there on the mesa: there he saw that a hummingbird (nyenyene) had its nest. (1 song.)

45. He went on south to Sampulya-kwuvare. There he told the name of that place. (1 song.)

46. He went on south to Atšqāqa. There he followed the (Sacramento) wash up eastward, away from the river. The day was bright and there were no clouds. Then he told about clouds, for he wanted the air fresh and the day cooler because it was too hot to walk. He did not stop but kept on going talking of that. (1 song.)

47. As he went on, soon there were clouds all over the sky. He came to Hanyikoitš-kwamve, crossed the wash, and went southward toward the mountain Akokehumī. Then he came to Avi-ahnalya (Gourd Mountain). (1 song.)

48. He went on south but not very far. He had not yet come to Avi-a'īsa ("screw-mesquite mountain"), but stood and told of his going there. (1 song.)

49. He went on south and reached Akokehumī. There he saw a spring: a single screw mesquite grew there. He said, "I think this is my food: I will eat it. There is water here too; so I shall be alive. I was lucky to find this spring and this tree." He stood by the tree and sang. (5 songs.)

50. Then he pulled the mesquite-screws off the tree and ate them. When he had eaten, he drank, and went on. He went south to Ahwaṭa-kwimātše.[47] There used to be people who danced there, who had turned to stone. At first they were men, but now they were many rocks standing up; and the boy saw that. (2 songs.)

[47] North of Bill Williams Fork; also now called Williams River.

51. He stood there awhile, then went on south. He came to Amaṭa-kuhultoṭve. There there grew wild grapes (ahtoṭa) on the ground: they were ripe and he picked them and held them in his hand and played with them. He did not eat them. (2 songs.)

52. He threw them away and went on south. He came to Hakutšyepa, Bill Williams Fork: he followed that creek up east. Then he met a badger (mahwa). [11] It smiled when it met him. He did not try to catch it and the badger ran off. He paid no attention, but followed the creek up east. He went on and on and came to Aha-ly-motāṭe. There were sand and mountains and caves there, and he told about them. (1 song.)

53. He stayed there awhile and played. Then he followed a trail south and came to Avi-su'ukwilye, a sandhill. There he stood on a mesa. Ohūtšye, coyote-grass, grew there. He saw a jack rabbit eating that. He thought, "Its body does not look like a man's, but it feels when it gets hungry, and it eats. I thought it knew nothing, but it does know something: it knows that that is good to eat." (1 song.)

54. Then he followed along the sand ridge, keeping on it, going south. Far away he saw high mountains: they looked as if they were near, but they were far. They were called Avi-melyehwêke: he was going there: he arrived when it was nearly sunset. (3 songs.)

55. There he slept. It was (Western) Yavapai country. In the morning he did not want to go farther south. He turned northward and came to Avi-hupo. (2 songs.)

56. From there he went on north to near the river, to Selye'aya-'ita.[48] There he stood, wanting to cross the river to the western side, to Kuvukwīlye. (1 song.)

[48] There are two Selye'aya-'ita. This is the farther one, well south of Mohave territory.

57. Then he did as he had done before. He made four piles of sand and leveled them into one ridge with his feet and made the river dry enough so that he could walk across, and came to the west side of the river. Now he was at Kuvukwīlye. He said, "I can stand here and tell the names of the mountains." (3 songs.)

58. He turned south again and came to Aha-kumiθe where is a spring. He thought no one had seen it before. "I found this. No one knew of it." People had seen the spring, but he thought not. (1 song.)

59. He went south to Amaṭa-hiya, "earth-mouth." There there was a hole or crack in the ground, red like blood. He saw it and thought, "How did this come to be?" He walked around it looking in, and stooped over it. (1 song.)

60. He went and came to Tôske. There he stood and told the name of that place.[49] (1 song.)

[49] He is near Yuma land now.

61. Going south again he came to a low mesa, to a place called Yelak-īmi, "goosefoot." (1 song.)

62. Going on he came near the Yuma country. He stood on the mesa, looked down on the ground for planting, and saw much cane. He thought, "How did the cane come to be here? I did not think it grew here. I will go down to see it." (2 songs.)

63. He went down to where the cane grew, broke off a piece as long as a flute, and played with it. He came (abreast of) Enpeθo'auve, the Cocopa Mountains, south of Yuma. He kept along the edge of the river, going fast, running, walking, and keeping on. (1 song.)

64. He went on until he came to the sea (the Gulf of California). The waves were high. When they came up on the land and went back, there were holes and some of the water did not run back, but stayed in the holes and made ponds. A crane (nyāqwe) was there. He said, "That is an eagle (aspā): it surely looks just like an eagle." (3 songs.)

65. The bird flew off eastward. He said, "That bird is afraid of me: it flew away." He walked along the sea to the east. As the waves came and went they left shells there: hanye, ahtšīlye, aha-nye-amokye, tamāθe, ahāspane, and two other kinds used by doctors.[50] He knew that these shells were good to wear. No one had told him, but he knew. He took them in his hand and played with them. (2 songs.)

[50] For which reason the narrator did not like to name them. Perhaps they are used in poisoning. Hanye are small clamshells cut into shape of a frog (hanye) and worn as a gorget.

66. Then he threw the shells away and kept going east. He looked back to the west and saw ducks, heard them making a noise. He thought, "What are those? They have feathers. They are like persons, but they are ducks." There was a large flock of them on the sea, close together. (2 songs.)

67. He went on east. Where a little lagoon came out of the sea, there was a hatômpa'auve.[51] He lived in that lagoon. The boy saw him fishing and was afraid. He thought, "I will tell about him. Then I will go on." (2 songs.)

[51] The hatômpa'auve is described as looking like "a large horse with feet like a duck's and a tail."

68. He went on, not following the edge of the sea any more, but north and northeast. Soon the sea was far away. He came to a gravelly place, a good level place. There he saw a'i-kumeδī trees (mountain or desert trees with curved thorns—catsclaw acacia?) He told of them. (1 song.)

H. Marriage and Contests with Meteor and Sun

69. He went on east or northeast. Soon, in a level place in the desert, he saw women's tracks, four women's. The tracks had been there a year but they looked as if they had been made the same day. He said, "I think I know these four women. I know who they are. I think they are Sun's wives."[52] (5 songs.)

[52] They are called Sun's daughters later, and then his wives again. See notes 54, 58.

70. Going on to the east, he found a house. No one was there. He said, "Sometimes people go away and their house is empty." He went in and stayed. He had in mind the four women. He said, "I think the oldest of those four sisters knows me." He did not say this aloud: he thought it. He did not want anyone to know that he had come: he did not want anyone to see him. "But the oldest one will know me, I think," he said. He slept there. He pulled out one of the sticks from the east side of the [12] house and made a little fire of it and slept. In the morning he made a wind to blow away the ashes so no one would see he had been there, and smoothed the sand inside the house to cover his tracks. He thought, "I will turn to cane. I want the wind to blow me away into the bushes. The oldest sister will find me." Then he went out and lay there in the brush, a piece of cane. He left his shadow inside the house. (2 songs.)

71. The four women came near. The boy was singing loudly. They could hear him from far. He was telling the names of the four women. The oldest was called Tasekyêlkye, the next Ahta-tšaôre, the next Ahta-kwasase, and the youngest Ahta-nye-masape. Then the youngest said, "My oldest sister, do you hear him say that? He calls you first. He names you too, and you; and me: He calls all four of us. Do you know that?" The oldest sister said, "Yes, I know it. There were two men in the north. They were married. I think this is their boy. He knows us. No one knows us, but this is their son. When we enter the house you will see no one there, and no tracks. He will have turned to a stick or perhaps to a piece of charcoal. Perhaps when you (are about to) break a coal it will say, 'You are hurting me: look out!' If it says that do not break it. Perhaps when you break a stick it will speak and say, 'Look out: you hurt me!' Then do not break it. Perhaps he will be lying in a crack of a house post. Perhaps he will turn into a piece of cane and lie outdoors in the brush." So Tasekyêlkye, the oldest sister, said to Ahta-nye-masape, her youngest sister. Then they went into the house. She said, "There is no one here. There are no tracks. He slept here last night but there is no one. Put your foot on the fire place: There is warmth there." They drew the sand away with a stick and there they found fire. "See, I knew there was fire here," said Tasekyêlkye. (2 songs.)

72. The four women stood in the house. Tasekyêlkye, the oldest, said, "Look around. When you find a crack in the house post, push something into it. If it says, 'Ana (ouch, look out), you are hurting me,' then stop. Or pick up a lump of earth and start to break it: If it says, 'Look out, you hurt me,' then do not break it." They took up a coal and broke it. It did not speak and they knew it was not he. Tasekyêlkye said again, "When you find him, do not say, 'He is rotten, he stinks.' And look in the brush; perhaps you will find him there." So Ahta-nye-masape, the youngest, went west, and the others all about, to look for him in the brush. Then the youngest found him: he was long dead, stinking, rotten, full of maggots. With a stick they scraped off the maggots. But there was no flesh on him: he was all bones: he had been dead too long and was dry: they could not bring him to life. The four of them stood there. (2 songs.)

73. Tasekyêlkye said, "Bring a karri'i basket; I want to put him in." But her three sisters said, "What for? I do not like that. I don't want my basket spoiled." Then Tasekyêlkye brought her own basket. She said, "Come, help me. Take him up with your hands and put him in the basket." But her three sisters turned away. They stood and would not look at him: they vomited: none of them helped her. Then she herself gathered the flesh and bones and put them into the basket. She said, "Help me put it on my head: I want to carry him to the house." Her three sisters did not want to help her: he was too old and maggotty and stinking: they would not come near, but stood around. "Do it yourself," they said; "take the basket up with your own hands and set it on your head." So she took it up and carried it to the house. The others followed her. Then Tasekyêlkye said, "Make a fire." She wanted hot sand. When it was hot, she poured water on it and leveled it. Then she piled the maggots and flesh and bones there together and covered them with the basket. Then she went and bathed. Her three sisters looked at the thing. They did not know what she would do with the rotten boy. She came back, took off the basket, and a boy was sitting there, as big as that boy (pointing to a ten-year old). The three women looked at him. Tasekyêlkye sat by him combing her hair with her fingers; the boy had no hair yet.[53] (2 songs.)

[53] Or: she combed what little hair he had?

74. The man whose house this was had four wives. He was Kwayū, meteor, shooting-star: he hunted people and ate them. The four women were Sun's daughters[54] and Kwayū's wives. Then Tasekyêlkye said, "That boy does not eat. He does not become hungry. I know what he likes: he likes tobacco. That is all he uses for food. Ahta-nye-masape, bring a dish[55] with tobacco in it." The youngest sister went and got the tobacco and gave it to the boy. He took the dish and poured the tobacco in his mouth: he did not take it up with his hands. "Do you see? I know what he likes," said the oldest sister. The boy had not enough. He looked around and picked up the tobacco stalks lying about the house and ate them. The three sisters laughed. Tasekyêlkye said, "I think he wants more: he has not had enough." Then the youngest sister gave him a cane as long as a hand, filled with tobacco. The boy smoked it. He did not smoke it long: he sucked once and swallowed the smoke: he did not blow it out. The whole cane was burned up except the end. He chewed that up and spat it out. The women laughed. They liked to see that: they had never seen a man doing it.[56] (1 song.)

[54] Not to be confused with the Sun's daughter who was the second wife of Tšitšuvare and the boy's mother's co-wife.—See notes 14, 38, 52, 58, 68, 78, 83.

[55] There is no record of tobacco being stored in pottery vessels. Evidently it is here served in a dish because it is consumed like food.

[56] Characteristic Mohave lack of reserve.

75. Tasekyêlkye said, "When our husband comes back he is tired from gambling with hoop-and-poles [13] and is hungry. Then he is angry. We had better go gather something to eat: we have nothing in the house." Every morning Kwayū went early to gamble, carrying his poles: one day he would win and one day lose. Now the women all took their baskets (karri'i). Tasekyêlkye said, "We are going to gather kwinyo or what we can find. We are going off, but will come back. The man who lives in this house, Kwayū, hunts persons. The people who live near he does not kill: he kills those who live far away.[57] Sometimes he kills two or three men and carries them home. He cuts them up but does not cook them: he eats them raw. If he does not eat them all, he slices the meat and dries it on a tree. And he does not throw away their bones: he puts them away. When they are dry, he says, 'Grind the bones: I want to eat mush.' We grind and he eats it. He does not eat what we do. I am afraid that when he comes he will swallow you and keep you in his stomach (isoqāte). I am thinking of that and afraid of it. That is why we will not go off the whole day but will come back. If you were not here we should be gone all day." So they went, carrying their baskets. The boy thought, "How will he swallow me? I do not think he can swallow me. I am wise; I have dreamed; I am a shaman, too. He cannot do that. Sun is my father's elder brother (navīk). Now I have come to his house.[58] If he sees me he will not let Kwayū swallow me." Then he said to the house, "In the north I saw a house like this, a good house. A man who lives in a house like this does not eat people."[59] (4 songs.)

[57] Typical stylistic expression.

[58] The kinship is inextricable. His only uncle was Pukehane, who had killed his father, whose second wife was Sun's daughter. About the "two" Suns and their daughters, see above and below, notes 35, 52, 54, 64, 78, 79, 83. When the informant was appealed to at this point, he repeated what he had said first, that the four women were Sun's wives, but contradicting the statement in the narrative two paragraphs above, that they were Sun's daughters and Kwayū's wives. Perhaps the kinship is specifically conceived at any given moment in the story, but the concepts waver and contradict one another as the long narrative progresses. A kind of decorative pattern is followed rather than logical or factual consistency maintained. At the same time the inconsistency is precisely of the sort that is familiar in lengthy dreams. This seems significant in view of the Mohave assertion that they dream their tales. Even though this cannot be literally true, they perhaps tend to regress into a dream-mood in thinking of and relating the stories.

[59] This self-reassurance by addressing the house also suggests infantile or dream phantasy.

76. So he stayed there alone. About noon Kwayū came. The boy saw him coming and went into the house to hide. He drew his breath into his belly and made it tight and projecting. He wanted to go on a rafter. He thought, "If I lie on it he will not be able to pierce me. If he stabs (at) me I will jump to another rafter. If he stabs (at) me there I will go to another." Kwayū came: he had a spear (otaṭa). He said, "Who came into my house? I smell him but I do not see him. Tell me, has some one come? I know it." The boy heard him but did not say a word, lying on top of a rafter. Kwayū struck at him. The boy jumped to another rafter. Kwayū stabbed at him there. He penetrated the rafter too far: his spear stuck: he could not pull it out: he became tired. The boy jumped to another rafter. Again Kwayū struck at him and his spear stuck in the rafter. He could not pull it out and left it hanging in the rafter; he went and sat at the door. The boy came down and sat in the middle of the house between the posts. "Give me tobacco, I want to smoke," he said. Kwayū said, "You are too young to smoke, but I will give you tobacco. You do not know how to smoke cane, for the Mohave smoke a pipe of clay." The boy said, "I know how to do that, for that is my name (I am cane)." Kwayū said, "My younger brother's son, is that you?"[60] The boy said, "Yes, I know you: that is why I came here. If I had not known you I should not have come." Kwayū thought, "I thought that the boy born from the two brothers in the north was wise. I was afraid of him. I was thinking he would kill me." He did not say that but he thought it. He said, "You do not know the small cane?" The boy said, "Yes, I know it. It belongs to me. I dreamed good luck from it." Kwayū said, "I have meat here. I have people's bones ground and made into mush. I ate of it but I did not eat it all and there is some left. But I think you do not like that." The boy said, "I do not know that kind: I do not like it. I know cane; but wait, do not give it to me. I will tell you about it first: then give it to me." Then he told of joints of cane.[61] (2 songs.)[62]

[60] Still another relationship. This would make Kwayū the same person as Pukehane. Of course, kin terms may be being used loosely in address to non-relatives.

[61] His father's name refers to cane joints.

[62] Here the narrator interjected the following: When Kwayū came home, he thought: "No one comes to my house; I want no one to come. I am stingy. I want no one to see my wives' faces. I am bad and want to kill any man who has been among my wives. My brother (sic) is good, he goes to play with people and wants to be friendly; but that is not my way."

77. Kwayū said, "Have you told all?" "Yes," he said. Then Kwayū handed him two pieces of cane filled with tobacco. The boy smoked one. It was gone, but he still had the other. Kwayū said, "Stay here. I always go hunting. I eat whatever I find. If I find a little boy on my way I swallow him; if an old man or an old woman, I eat them too." Then Kwayū went. Then after he had gone, Sun came. The four women had not yet returned. Sun said, "You are a young boy, too young to travel. Where are you from?" The boy said, "I came this morning." Sun said, "There is a bad man here: he [14] eats everybody. But he did not eat you: I think you must have dreamed well." The boy said, "Yes, he did not eat me." "Where are you from?" asked Sun. The boy said, "I came from Avikwame. I was born there, I lived there." He meant that his father had died there and his mother had gone away and his (father's) uncle was still living there. "I left my uncle[63] (Hatpa-'aqwaoθtše) in the north and came here. He knows everything, but I do not. He told me, 'Your relatives live far south.' You are my uncle:[64] that is why I have come here." Sun said, "I knew you when you were at Avikwame. I know what you wore: you wore cut raven-feathers." He had not (really) seen it, the boy did not tell him, nevertheless Sun knew it. "You wore a woven belt and beads. I know what else you wore: a white feather rope." The raven feathers, aqaqa soverevere, he called kwasolīθ soθôre. The woven belt, sorāpe, he called sorāpe.[65] The beads, nyapūke,[66] he called hapanyôra. The feather rope,[67] soδīlyk nyitšêve, he called kwinyekalāk. He said, "Will you gamble?" The boy said, "I am poor. I have nothing to bet. My father died and my mother went away and I have nothing." Sun said, "You have something at the back of your head" (in his hair). "No," said the boy. After a time he said, "Yes, I have it: I have a bead necklace. But I do not want to play." He had hidden that, but Sun knew it. (2 songs.)

[63] Navik denotes not only f's o br but f's f's y br; but the boy's father Tšitšuvare was said to be Hatpa-'aqwaoθtše's hivetk, man's y br's ch, which would make him the boy's f's f's o br. Again, the kinships cannot be reconciled.

[64] Ct. note 58.

[65] Span. zarape, "serape."

[66] Obtained from the Cahuilla and Serrano, the Shoshonean tribes toward the Pacific.

[67] Made by twisting the skin of a large white bird around a cord; worn as a scarf or boa.

78. He said, "Well, I will put up what I have." Sun asked, "Will you bet your body?" The boy said, "Yes. What will you bet against my body? Put up your four women."[68] Then they played (hoop-and-pole). They played running to the south. The boy won and counted one. They ran and threw to the north and the ring fell on his pole and he had two points. Then they threw to the south and he won and had three. Then they threw north and he made that point and had four. So the boy won. He won Sun's apparel and the four women. Then Sun said, "I want to bet my house, my dishes, and the sack I have in the house. I have made heaven and earth into a sack."[69] They bet, played again as before, four times, and the boy won: now he had won the house too. Sun said, "I will bet you the lake (slough) where I bathe. I will bet you my looking-glass water (haliyōi). And I have a beaver who lives in the water: that is why you cannot see him; but he belongs to me and I will bet him. I have a scorpion (menīse), too, and bees (θampô): I will bet those." So they played four times, to the south and the north and the south and the north, as before, and the boy won again. When he had won all those things he said, "I will bet what I have won against your body. Will you play?" Sun said, "Yes, I will bet it." The boy said, "If you lose your body, lie down where we have played. When I take my knife, do not move: I will cut you to pieces because you have lost." Sun said, "It is well: if I lose I will not move. Say what you like: name whatever part you like to cut first." Then they played for four points. Now Sun was lying: the four women belonged to Kwayū; and the house belonged to Kwayū, and what was in the house, but Sun said it was all his own. So they played. Three times the boy won. Now Sun had nearly lost: once more and he would lose. Then he did not go on playing: he stepped back, and stood, and did not throw his pole, and talked, for he was about to lose his body. The boy thought, "If Sun loses his body I think he will do something to me: he will try to kill me, and I know how. He has sky-heat (ammay ipīlyta) in his body: I know he has it and he will try to kill me with that. I have not seen it but I know he will do that. He will make his casting pole stand up, climb up it, and drop it on me and the house to kill me." So the boy thought; but then, "I will prevent it: I will make ice. When he throws his fire on the brush of the house the ice will prevent it." Soon Sun climbed up his pole and threw the fire on the house. The boy caused ice to be there and it put out the fire. Sun began to climb to the sky. The boy climbed after and tried to strike him but could not reach him. Then he slid back and stood on the ground. Sun went on up, jumping like a ghost. The boy said, "You thought I was a little boy and did not know anything; but I am wise. I will turn you into something. I will make you be what you are now (the sun)." The fire was still running all around the house. The four women came back and saw the fire. Tasekyêlkye said, "Did I not know that that boy was wise, that he would do something we have never seen?" The boy stood outdoors and put the things he had won into the little sky-sack. He thought (about Sun), "I will make you be something: I will turn you into something: I will make you be two. Some days there will be two suns (the sun and a sun dog)." That is what he did. (1 song.)

[68] The four women of the house, Sun's "daughters."

[69] The beginning of an episode of cosmic mythology.

79. As he stood he thought, "Well, I will see what I have won. I will take a bath. And the looking-glass[70] and the beaver I have won! I will go see those." Then the beaver did not know the boy and cried with much noise. The boy said, "You do not know me? I am the one that feeds you." And he went to see his scorpion. He thought, "I would like to see it." The scorpion was lying still, [15] but when the boy came, it moved about, afraid. "Do you not know me? I am the one who feeds you," he said. "Well, I will go to see the bee that I have won, my bee." The bee did not know him and wanted to sting him. It flew to him, under his arm, lit where his neck and shoulder came together. The boy said, "Do you not know me? Know me now: I am the one who feeds you." (2 songs.)

[70] A pottery dish, blackened with charcoal and filled with water, used in face painting; a minor ethnographic detail, interesting because of the prehistoric Hohokam mirrors of pyrites in the Gila valley.

80. The boy stood there: he left these things there in the playing field (matāre). He wanted to see his body. He wanted to look in his mirror. He thought, "I want to see what sort of a looking boy I am." When he looked; he said, "I have no clothes: I am a bad-looking boy." (2 songs.)

81. He had no long hair, only short hair like a boy: he saw that. He went to the bathing place and dived in northward. He came out again and dived westward. Then he dived to the south. Then he dived to the east.[71] He came out and now his hair fell below his hips. Then he wanted to make a little wind to dry his hair. He did not sit down, he did not lie down, he stood. Then the wind dried his hair. He came back and looked in his mirror. He said, "I think I will wear eagle-down (θume)." He put his hand out to the north and got eagle-down. Then he put that on and looked at himself. "That is good," he said. Then he put out his hand to the east and got a woven ("Navaho") shirt, tolyekô-pa, and a woven strip of wool cloth (tolyekô-hare-hare) for a breech-clout. "Now I have all that," he said. He put his hand out to the west[72] and got beads (nyapūka). He thought, "When I was a boy I did not know what was good: I did not wear anything. Now I know what is good and am wearing what I have never worn before. I am ready now and it is good." He was standing where he had bathed. The four women were crying (at the house); he heard them. Tasekyêlkye, the oldest, was thinking about the three persons (the boy, Kwayū, Sun), wondering which of them had been turned into something and killed, for none of them had come back yet. "Perhaps the boy has done that," she thought. Then she said to her youngest sister, "Get water! You have a jar you made yourself." "Yes, I have one," she said, and went to get water. When she saw the boy all dressed up, she dropped her jar and went and embraced and kissed him. She was away for some time. The oldest sister said, "What is the matter with her that she does not come back? What did she see when she went to get water?" And she sent another. When the other woman came and saw Ahta-nye-masape embracing and kissing the boy, she too threw away her jar and hugged him. "He is a good-looking boy: I want to marry him," she said. Then Tasekyêlkye sent her other sister. She came and saw the boy: he was not embracing the two girls; they were holding him, and saying, "I want him." "No, I want him." Then she also dropped her jar, for she wanted him too. Now the three were gone and did not come back. Then the oldest sister thought, "Well, there were three of them, but they have not brought water. I will go myself and drink and then return here to cry." She took her jar, went there, and saw the three women surrounding the boy, embracing him; but the boy was not moving, not saying a word. When she saw it she ran up: "Did I not know it? You like that boy: all of you want him: I knew it!"[73] She too wanted him, but could not take him away from the others. Now they had all come there to get water and there was no one at the house. Then the four women said, "We will take you to the house. We do not want you to walk: we will stand, you lie down, and we will carry you." So the boy lay down and they carried him in their hands. Four times they became tired and laid him down. When they came to the house they spread a woven blanket, hatš-hārke, and laid him with his head against a post in the middle of the house. (4 songs.)

[71] Anti-sunwise circuit, contrasting with the W-E, N-S pairing of Tšitšuvare's and Pukehane's wives.

[72] Not a ceremonial circuit in this case, but a reaching out to where the articles came from, to the Mohave: cloth from the Hopi to the east, shell beads from the Shoshoneans to the west.

[73] Mohave tales do not weary of I-told-you-so's.

82a. The boy said, "I want the sky-sack in the house. I have many things in it." The youngest went out and got the sack. Then the three youngest ground corn, for they thought, "I think he is hungry." The boy thought, "You three did not like me before: you thought I was rotten. Now when you grind corn and make bread or mush and give it to me I will not eat it." They made bread (môδīlya) and gave it to him but he would not eat. Then Tasekyêlkye, the oldest, ground aksamta[74] seeds and made bread of them and gave them to him and he ate: he did not eat the other bread that the three younger sisters made. At sunset they went to bed: two of them lay on each side of him. From each side they tried to embrace him. He paid no attention to them except to the oldest who lay next to him on the right side. That night she said, "Will you stay here and live in this house, or go away? The man who lived here eats people. We are afraid of that. When he goes hunting without luck, he is hungry, and then I am afraid he will eat me; I fear that every day." Then the boy said, "When I was north I told my mother, 'I am going far to the south, but I am coming back.' My mother is thinking of me, thinking I am coming to see her. I must go north to where she lives and stay there. I will start in the morning."

[74] One of the "wild" seeds planted by the Mohave.—Handbook of California Indians, p. 736.

I. Return to Mother, Half-Brother, and Father's Ghost

82b. In the morning he said, "I think that man (Kwayū) will come back today." They said, "He has enough to eat: plenty of people's dried meat and people's bones ground up." The boy said, "I do not think he will follow me. Now I am ready to start. Are you ready?" All the women said, "Yes." He said, [16] "Take your baskets." Then they each took a basket. He said, "I did not come here to gamble, I came to see my relatives. When I came he wanted to play with me. He wanted to bet everything,[75] his house, his property, and you, and I won you too. It was not I who wanted to gamble, it was he." Then they went east on the desert along a valley. After a while he stood still with the four women. He thought, "When I am traveling, women make too much trouble. They do not travel fast. If I kill them, I can go fast. I think I will make it rain on them and they may die. It will become cold and they will freeze and die from that." (2 songs, about clouds.)

[75] This must be Sun, whereas just before, in this paragraph and the preceding, it is clearly Kwayū the cannibal that is being referred to.

83. They went on and soon it rained. It rained heavily and continued to rain. They went farther and the water was deep. The four women were wet. Their clothes were wet and they could not go fast. The boy thought, "Some men do wrong. I was thinking something bad. It is not right: I do not like it. I said of Kwayū that his was a bad way. I do not want to do anything bad. That is what I said, but now I am doing a bad thing. I brought a heavy rain and made the four women wet. I will stop the rain. If the rain stops and the sun shines, the women will sit for awhile and their dresses will become dry; then we will start again and go on." He thought like this and the rain stopped, and they sat and rested. (1 song.)

84. They sat in the shade with their clothes off hanging in a tree to dry. When their clothes were dry they went on again. There was much mud from the rain. Their sandals (haminyo)[76] were full of mud. The boy ran around the women. "Your feet are full of mud," he said, and laughed. (1 song.)

[76] In recent generations sandals were made of horse rawhide, but not very often worn.

85. They did not rest but went on. The four women wore frog shell-gorgets (hanye),[77] with strings of shell beads at the back of their necks. Then the boy told of what they wore. (1 song.)

[77] Standard woman's ornament. Cf. note 50.

86. They went on east and came to a valley and saw a basket-like cage hanging; there was a masohwaṭ bird in it; the cage was red and white striped. The bird saw the boy and came flying toward him. He said, "This bird is my mother's. That is why it came to me. It belongs to her." Then the bird flew back to its cage. (2 songs.)

87. He went on east and came to his mother's house at sunset. He took the bird, put it down at the door, and stood to one side. The bird walked around at the door, and made a noise. The woman came out and saw the boy. "My son, it is you," she said. "Yes, it is I," he told her. She said, "I thought you had died long ago. I thought somebody had killed you. You have dreamed well: I did not think I would see you again." She embraced him and cried. The four women stood off, looking at them. (2 songs.)

88. The boy said, "You left me and I stayed in the house. When you left me, I hid. The people playing shinny did not see me. I lay there and took their ball. When I got it I went back to my house and struck it to the west with my shinny stick. The ball fell in the mountains and broke them, killing many people. Then I said to the old man, 'My uncle, I am going to leave you. I am going to follow my mother. I am going to go to her house. If I am not sick I will come back to see you.' That is what I told the old man. Then I left and saw many dangerous things, rattlesnakes and other dangers, but I was not afraid. I saw animals and people but I overcame them all. I came to Sun's house. When I came there this woman knew what I would be like. She saved me. No one knew me, but she knew me. I killed Sun and turned him into the sun, to be two suns. I did that; then I came here. I myself killed my uncle (the sun): no one else did it." (1 song.)[78]

[78] On being asked the mother's name, the narrator said it was Kuvahā; that the dead father's first wife's name was Tšese'ilye, and that the two were half-sisters, daughters of Sun by different mothers. Apparently either I or my experienced interpreter misunderstood on Tšese'ilye's first mention, and recorded "Tšese'ilye's daughter" instead of "Tšese'ilye, Sun's daughter" (note 14). However, it is also possible that names and relationships changed in the narrator's mind. His story was recorded for three days, with an empty day's interval. In any event, it is clear that names mean little to the Mohave in these narratives: they talk chiefly in terms of boy, old man, woman, brother, etc. Cf. note 87.

89. When she heard what her son had done, his mother said, "You have come far and are tired. You have stood long and your legs are tired. Sit down. I have corn and wheat. Grind it and make mush or eat it whatever way you like. Take as much as you want." Then the oldest of his wives went into the house and took corn and parched it. The three other sisters were ashamed and stood with their heads hanging. His mother put her hands on them, saying, "My daughters-in-law." (1 song.)

90. When Sun[79] came home, his daughter (the boy's mother) told him what her son had told her. She said, "He says he has killed Sun and turned him into the sun. He has made him be two suns." Then the old man, the boy's grandfather, said, "If he has killed him, it is well. Even though it was his kinsman, it is well. If a relative is bad and is killed it is right." Then the boy asked him, "Are there any dangerous things to the east?" He said, "Yes: thunder and lightning. One cannot do anything to them. Look out!" The boy wanted them to kill somebody with. He wanted to make them be something to take with him when he went to war. So they talked that night. In the morning he rolled [17] up his blanket and carried it on his back, going east. He did not say where he was going. When he was gone, his mother asked his wife, "Did you hear him say anything? Did he tell you?" His wife said, "I heard him say, 'When I come to my mother's house, Sun's house, I will not stay because I do not know the old man there.' That is all I heard him say." Meanwhile the boy went on east. (2 songs.)

[79] "Another Sun, brother of the one" that the boy had chased to the sky and turned into the luminary.

91. When he came to Thunder's place, he went into a hole made by lightning when it struck the ground. In the hole he found a (piece of) cane. Then he split it with his fingernail into four splints. (2 songs.)[80]

[80] The only words in the two songs are: īδauk, I hold; kwatša, a chief in the north (note 82); hanyô, enter hole; oδik, I bring. These words are considerably twisted and added to by meaningless syllables like -ngau.

92. When he had that cane, he brought it back to his mother's house, at noon. He carried it in a bundle and hung it outdoors. His wife gave him to eat. That night he said nothing. In the morning the woman wanted to see what he had got. He said, "If I show it to you you will all die quickly. So I will not show it to you: I will put it away." Next day he said, "You know what they did to me long ago.[81] I am going to have war with them. I am alone, but I am going, going north." The women said, "If you go, we will go." Sun said, "I will stay." The boy was going to war with Pukehane, Nume-peta, Tinya-kwaθpi, and Kwatša-kwatša.[82] In the morning they started. (1 song.)

[81] When they killed his father. Perhaps the indirect allusion to the dead is preferred.

[82] The two last are mentioned here for the first time. The Mohave like groups of four. Tinya-m is "night." Kwatša-kwatša's name, unreduplicated, occurs in the songs about getting the lightning-cane (note 80).

93. They went north. Tšese'ilye had also had a boy.[83] That boy said, "I am wise too. I have dreamed well: I know everything." He called himself Ahta-kwasume.[84] He gave himself that name: no one else gave it to him. Around his neck he wore cane, and he wore it on his belt and in his ears. When he walked, the cane in front and behind him rattled. Now he went east: He came to Hatšakwanakwe. There he burned the grass[85] and stayed, wanting to see his half-brother from the south. Then that one from the south came. Ahta-kwasume had a little fire over which he was stooping and did not see him. Then when he saw him he did not know him: he thought he was of some other tribe and not his brother. He was afraid and ran off east, and the other chased him, saying, "You do not know who I am: I am your brother." That one continued to run; at last he stood and waited; he saw it was his brother, and they talked. He went back with him to where the women were. (The one from the south) said; "You are my brother. I did not think I should see you. You did not expect to see me, did you? I met you on the desert. How do you live?" (1 song.)

[83] Here the woman, not her father, is again called Tšese'ilye. This boy would of course be our hero's half-brother.

[84] Ahta is cane.

[85] Perhaps as a signal?

94. "Who are you? Whose boy are you?" he said. Ahta-kwasume did not say, but asked him the same. He also would not tell. Then Ahta-kwasume sang. In the song he mentioned his father's (sic) name. Then the one who had come from the south said, "I stand on Hatpa-'aqwaoθtše" (circumlocution for: he is kin of my father).[86] (1 song by each of them.)

[86] Names of the dead are not mentioned. Hatpa-'aqwaoθtše was his father's older kinsman and still alive.

95. Then Ahta-hane,[87] who had come from the south, said, "We met here. We will cry together for a little while." Then they took hotū paint;[88] with that they painted. Then they cried. They burned their clothes and their baskets and all they had;[89] but Ahta-hane did not burn the cane he had got from the lightning hole. (1 song.)

[87] Here at last we have the name of our boy hero. The narrator gave it when he was asked it at this point. When asked previously, in the part of the story where the boy is coming near Yuma tribal territory in his southward travels, the narrator said that as yet he had no name.

[88] Not ordinary black paint, but micaceous, and glittering when ground. Perhaps a mourning paint.

[89] In mourning. The reunion, recognition of kinship, and reference to their dead father finally brings on this expression of emotion.

96. He sprinkled water on the ashes and walked on the ashes and made the ground open wide in four places. Their father was deep down and they wanted him to come up. They heard him come. He continued to come and they heard him nearer. Soon he emerged. He had no bones, only flesh.[90] The two boys embraced him and cried. Ahta-kwasume sat to the west of him, Ahta-hane to the east. (2 songs.)

[90] A curious expression of unsubstantiality. This whole Witch of Endor episode seems strange in Mohave culture.

J. Revenge on Father's Foes

97. Ahta-hane said, "You cannot walk. You cannot come with me. I wanted to see you, to see your face and your body. That is all. I am going north." Their father said, "It is well. I have seen you both." Soon he went back (down), he who had been Tšitšuvare. Then the two brothers and the women went north. They went north until they came to Selye'aya-kumītše.[91] They stood there. Then Ahta-hane saw dust in the north, and his father's scalp tied on a pole, and the wind raising the dust.[92] (1 song.)

[91] Near Fort Mohave, to the east of it.

[92] Presumably from people dancing about it.

[18] 98. Then word was brought to Pukehane and Nume-peta and Kwatša-kwatša and Tinya-kwaθpi, who were living at Avikwame with many people. Then Pukehane and Nume-peta sent Kwatša-kwatša to the two boys to say that they wanted to meet them: he came southward and met them at Qara'êrve.[93] They said, "Tell them that we shall be there. We will see them: we are going there." (2 songs.)

[93] A mile or so northeast of Fort Mohave.

99. Kwatša-kwatša said, "All have heard that you are coming. All know it: the news was brought to them. When you arrive they want to try something with you. There is a large rock with roots far down in the ground. Takse[94] has dug under the rock and broken the roots. He is to roll it, pick it up in his hand, and put it back where it belongs. There is another: Halye'anekītše:[95] he will obey you. Your father's scalp is on the pole: he will climb up to get it. If he can bring it down, we shall lose, but if he cannot bring it we shall win." The two boys said, "The people who live in the north do not think as we do. They ridicule me because they have killed my father. We shall arrive about noon." Then Kwatša-kwatša went back. (2 songs.)

[94] A ground-squirrel or large rat.

[95] The blue-tailed lizard. Cf. note 40.

100. That day they went up the river and came near the others. Halye'anekītše went to meet them. He said, "I will climb up to get the scalp. If you win you will get everything, their clothes, the men and women, the boys and the girls. But if I climb and cannot bring down the scalp, you will lose your bodies and everything you have. Then again, if Takse can dig under the large rock and cut its roots and carry it and throw it, you will lose, but if he cannot move the rock, you will win. You will win the houses, the dishes, and all the property of those people." Now Hatpa-'aqwaoθtše wanted to see the two boys. He said, "I want to see my two nephews." He met them, embraced them, and felt them over.[96] (1 song.)

[96] Tactifying his emotion, as it were. He did not cry, the narrator said.

101. Now the two boys came there.[97] Then they argued what they should do first. The two boys wanted Halye'anekītše to make his trial first. The people who lived there wanted Takse to be first. Then Takse tried first. He took the rock, but could not throw it and it fell down just where he stood. So the people who lived there lost. Now Halye'anekītše was ready to climb: they told him to try. He climbed and brought down the scalp. So the two boys won again. The people there had lost everything. But they did not give up everything that they had lost; they gave up only part. They gave up their clothes and dishes and property but they did not give up their bodies. (1 song.)

[97] Where the others lived "at Avikwame" or Avi-mota (note 98). Subsequently, the narrator said that when he threw his fire, the hero stood at Tšohatave and δokupīta-tuδūmpe, two spots at the east end of Avi-mota. Presumably this is where the contest took place. It is not clear why the localization of this important scene was not given spontaneously.

102. Then they said they wanted to bet again. They wanted to bet their bodies. They too had lightning. Ahta-hane's lightning (horrave) was not like theirs. They said to him, "Show yours." He said, "No, show yours." Then they showed it. It was only light and did no harm. Then he showed his: it was brighter than theirs, and quick, and struck the ground, and entered it. So he won everything that they had bet. Then he started to go away. But before that he had sent the five women back, his four wives and his mother; and Hatpa-'aqwaoθtše and Axta-hane (sic, for Ahta-kwasume); seven people in all. Now, when he went, he took one of his four pieces of cane and threw it west over Avi-mota.[98] It burned up everything and killed every one: Pukehane, Nume-peta, Kwatša-kwatša, Tinya-kwaθpi, and their people. Then he ran to the south. The fire had nearly overtaken his seven people. Only a plant like bulrushes, nyaveδi-ny-ipa, ghost arrow, did not burn. It stopped the fire at I ō-kuva'ire and saved those seven people. (2 songs.)

[98] It was on Avi-mota, not on Avikwame, that these people lived, the narrator said later, in explanation. Cf. note 97.

K. Transformation

103. Ahta-hane had made this plant grow. Now his brother stood by him, and Hatpa-'aqwaoθtše, and the five women in a row. They wanted to know what he would do. He took off the covering of his cane, showed it to them, put the pieces of cane together between his hands, and it thundered. He wanted to turn them into something. Then the five women flew up to the sky. They stayed there and were the Pleiades, hatša. Then he wanted to do something for his brother. "I think it will be best if I take him to a little lake full of mud and throw him in to be a bird and he will shake his head, and we shall call him teristeris."[99] Then he did that, and now Ahta-kwasume was that sort of a bird. Then he wanted to do something with the old man, Hatpa-'aqwaoθtše. He thought, "I will throw him into the same place. I want him to be called soθêrqe."[100] Then he did that with the old man. (10 songs.)

[99] With a banded neck, in flocks. Elsewhere recorded as mīn-turīs-turīs. Perhaps a snipe.

[100] Probably the snowy owl; with "gray" feathers.

104. Now he alone was left. No one was there. He thought, "What am I going to be? I think I will fly up and go through the air. I will be a meteor, kwayū,[101] and fly into the sea." Then he changed his mind. He thought, "No, I will not go [19] into the sea. When I fly up I will go south." Then he went south. Just below Mukiampeve is Kway-ū-namau,[102] where Kwayū's father's mother had turned to rock. He went by there southward a little, jumped into the water, and sank to the bottom, to stay there. But, "I do not think it is good here," he said, came out, and went to the east side of the river. There he sat down. He is sticking up there now. He has been there forever, turned to rock. We call it Mêkoaṭa. (2 songs.)

[101] A checked start toward another doublet name.

[102] The name means meteor's paternal grandmother.


As usual for Mohave myths, a list of song topics also provides a sort of skeleton or framework of the story, and, although somewhat imperfectly, it serves conveniently as an outline of the plot.

The list that follows is in a sense the informant's. Wherever he said: "one song," or "four songs here," a paragraph has been terminated. The sections thus indicated by him normally deal with a single episode or thought, and are presented as consecutively numbered paragraphs. The only departure I have made from this procedure has been to break a paragraph into "a" and "b" when its first part consists of the conclusion of an incident without songs, and its second part deals with a new incident to which there are songs; as, 1a, 1b, 7a, 7b, etc. This minor formal device in the interest of clarity in the outline of the tale makes it that there are 111 actual paragraphs of narrative as against 104 numbered ones.

The informant listed 182 songs as due to be sung at the 104 stations or stages of incident: an average of less than two per station. This is low for Mohave song-narratives. There was only a single song for 54 stations, or more than half of them. He sang two songs at 38 stations, three at five, four and five at three each, and ten songs only once, at the next to final incident of the story.

The narrative breaks naturally into sections or chapters of unequal length. To these I have given titles, and have entered these captions, for convenience of orientation, both in the text of the narrative and in the song scheme outline. The latter follows.

The Cane Song Scheme

Paragraph Songs  
    A. Placement in the Cosmogony
1a .. Kamaiavêta killed
    B. Two Brothers Go Off
1b 4 At Avikwame: parts of the house
2 3 To North: Ground-squirrel
3 2 A little north. Rat
4 3 Rat eaten; house built
5 1 Uncle "Yellow-Pima" joins the brothers
6 1 Betting arrows
7a .. Corn and wheat from east
    C. They Get Wives
7b 1 Girl in west has hwetše-hwetše bird
8 1 Quarrel over the girl
9 1 Tšitšuvare gets her
10 1 Bring her to uncle
11a .. He sends them to Sun in east
11b 2 Cock sings in cage
12a .. Tšitšuvare gets Sun's daughter
12b 2 About her house
13 2 About the stars
14 1 She grinds corn
15 2 Uncle sends them north for a third wife; yellowhammer in cage
16 1 Pukehane gets her
17a .. Uncle sends them south
17b 1 Hotokoro in cage
18a .. Bring fourth wife
    D. Quarrel over Cane: Elder Kills Younger
18b 1 Go for cane
19 1 Find cane
20 1 Quarrel for butt
21 2 Elder makes knife to cut cane
22 2 They fight over it
23 1 Return home
24 1 Elder makes younger ill
25 1 Elder spoils younger's birds
26 1 Nume-peta arrives for the death
27 1 Younger tells of his bones
28 1 Killed by elder and Nume-peta
    E. Birth of the Hero Ahta-hane
29 1 Younger brother's son sings inside his mother
30 1 The unborn child makes rain
31 1 He emerges
32 1 Spared because disguised as girl
33 1 Suckled as if a girl
    F. Shinny Game with Father's Foes
34 2 Shinny played with his father's kneecap
35 2 Boy grieves, sends his mother away
36 1 Steals the shinny ball
37 2 Knocks it west as meteor into mountains
    G. Journey South to Sea
38 1 Crosses river on four sand piles
39 2 Sleeping at Qara'êrve, wakened by birds
40 1 South to Selye'aya-kumītše
41 2 Frightened by rattlesnake at Hanyo-kumasθeve
42 5 Wears snake as belt, sees wildcats at Kamahnūlye
43 1 Met by horsefly at Aha-kuminye
44 1 Hummingbird nest at Hotūrveve
45 1 On southward to Sampulya-kwuvare
46 1 Wants cooling clouds as he goes east up Sacramento Wash
47 1 Cloudy as he goes south to Gourd Mountain
[20]48 1 Proceeding south
49 5 To Screw-mesquite spring at Akokehumī mountain
50 2 To petrified dancers at Ahwaṭa-kwimātše
51 2 Finds wild grapes at Kuhultoṭve
52 1 Eastward up Bill Williams Fork, meets badger
53 1 South again to Avi-su'ukwilye, watches jack rabbit
54 3 South along sand ridge to Avi-melyehwêke
55 2 After sleeping, north to Avi-hupo
56 1 Northerly to river at Selye'aya-'ita
57 3 Crosses on sand piles to Kuvukwīlye
58 1 South to Aha-kumiθe spring
59 1 On south to Earth-Mouth gap
60 1 On to Tôske
61 1 On to Goosefoot mesa
62 2 Near Yuma land, sees cane in bottoms
63 1 Breaks off cane, travels on down past Cocopa Mountains
64 3 To Gulf of California, sees surf and crane
65 2 Plays with sea shells
66 2 East along shore, sees ducks
67 2 Sees Hatōmpa'auve monster in lagoon
68 1 Turns inland northeast to catsclaw acacias
    H. Marriage, and Contests with Meteor and Sun
69 5 Tracks of four women in desert
70 2 Reaches their empty house, hides as piece of cane
71 2 Returning, the sisters are warned of him by the eldest
72 2 Youngest sister finds him, rotten
73 2 Eldest revives him
74 1 Feeds him tobacco
75 4 Women go gathering, warn him of their husband Meteor
76 2 Meteor comes, fails to kill him, gives tobacco
77 2 Meteor leaves, Sun comes, wants to gamble
78 1 Sun loses belongings, then body, escapes to sky
79 2 Boy inspects his winnings
80 2 His mirror shows him he is ugly
81 4 Beautiful from diving, he is found and wanted by the four women
82a .. Selects the eldest
    I. Return to Mother, Half-Brother, and Father's Ghost
82b 2 Going homeward, he wishes rain to get rid of wives
83 1 Repents, brings out sun
84 1 Laughs at mud in wives' sandals
85 1 The wives wear frog-shaped shell-gorgets
86 2 Mother's masohwat bird flies to meet him
87 2 Reunion with his mother
88 1 He tells her what happened
89 1 She calls the wives daughters-in-law
90 2 Boy questions his mother's father (another Sun)
91 2 Goes east to get lightning cane
92 1 Travels east to war on father's relatives
93 1 Meets his half-brother
94 2 They identify their relationship
95 1 Mourn together
96 2 Call up their dead father
    J. Revenge on Father's Foes
97 1 Traveling north again to father's killers
98 2 Foe sends messenger to meet at Qara'êrve
99 2 Conditions of contest arranged
100 1 Old man Yellow-Pima embraces both boys
101 1 Hero boy wins the contest
102 2 Destroys foes with his cane lightning
    K. Transformation
103 10 Transforms wives and mother into Pleiades, brother and old man into birds
104 2 Flies south as meteor, turns into rock Mêkoaṭa by river


Bluebird was a competent narrator in making his story move while retaining concrete and vivid detail. There is not the actionlessness of Raven, the bald outline manner of Vinimulye-pātše, the constant self-communing of Deer, or the deliberate repetitive prolixity of Mastamho. The tale always progresses. Either there are incidents crowding into a situation of emotional interest; or, when this flags, as in a long journey, the stages of travel are passed through with conciseness. The direct story appeal of Cane seems to me greater than that of the other Mohave narratives here presented.


There are a number of internal inconsistencies or contradictions. Some of these are almost certainly due to misunderstandings by either the interpreter or myself; for others I strongly suspect the narrator to be responsible; but in any given case it is almost impossible to be sure. After all, the story is so long that it took three days to tell and English it, and these three days were interrupted by a fourth. There was thus much provocation for the narrator to change his plot in spots through forgetting what he had said before.

One of these doubts concerns whether Tšese'ilye is the name of Tšitšuvare's first wife from the west or of her father (cf. n. 14); also that Tšitšuvare also married Sun's daughter in the [21] east; that this woman went home after Tšitšuvare died, whereas Tšese'ilye gave birth to the hero Ahta-hane (29-31), who in 35 sends her off to the west; but in 82b following, he travels eastward (after having gone south and east!) to meet his mother, whose father is Sun (90): which would make her the second wife. See footnotes 14, 35, 36, 52, 54, 58, 63, 68, 75, 78, 79, 83, 87.

There are two Suns (11a, 90; 77, 78). Analogous is the fact that the hero strikes his shinny ball away as a meteor (37), overcomes Kwayū, the cannibal Meteor (75, 76), and flies off as a meteor himself on his way to his final transformation, 104.

Relationship terms are not always used consistently. See especially 75-77, footnotes 58, 60, 62-64. However, we do not know how strict and consistent Mohave usage in daily life is. In 11b, Sun's daughter, Tšitšuvare's second wife, has a tame cock, kwaluyauve, as her pet, but in 86 it is a masohwaṭ bird; or, if in 86 the woman is Tšese'ilye, Tšitšuvare's first wife, the change is from a hwetše-hwetše bird in 7b to a masohwat.

In 2 and 3, the two brothers are said to have gone north only a short distance from their origin at Avikwame. They must however have proceeded farther, and then have turned to the south, as may be inferred from what follows. Thus, in 37, the younger brother's son goes north from where his father was killed and he was born, to Avi-kwutapārva, crosses the Colorado river there, and then goes downstream a little on the east side to Iδô-kuva'ire and Qara'êrve, all three places being in northern Mohave valley near Fort Mohave.—The evil older brother is at Avikwame, according to 5, 24, 28, 98, when his nephew hero returns, but is killed by him at Avi-mota in 102; cf. footnotes 97, 98.—The hero sends his mother away to the west in 35, though his father got her in the east; he starts on a long journey south in 38, then east along the seacoast, and inland northeast in 68 to find his wives and his adversaries. When he returns to his mother in 82b, he ought accordingly to be going north or northwestward, but is said to be traveling east. Is it a case of a slip of the narrator's mind, of the interpreter's tongue, or of my pencil? Or possibly did the hero follow an indirect course which escaped mention? An emendation might simplify the situation—such as assuming an intended "east" for recorded "west" when the mother was sent away in 35; but there would be no control of the guesses. And it may well be that as much contradiction as this is expectable in so long a narrative acquired supposedly by dreaming, retained without mnemonic device, and probably told only a very few times in a life.

In any event, none of these discrepancies of factual statement, if they are discrepancies, seriously affect the plot interest, the feeling tone, or the hearer's ability to participate in the story.


This section will examine the organization and treatment of the plot of the Cane narrative as a construct and specimen of literary endeavor. The discussion will be more easily followed by reference to an ultra-summary of the principal parts or sections of the story, as follows:

  Paragraph Designation   Number of Paragraphs Songs
A. Placement in Cosmogony 1a    1 ..
B. Two Brothers Go Off 1b-7a    7  14
C. They Get Wives 7b-18a  15  16
D. Quarreling over Cane, Older Kills Younger 18b-28  11  12
E. Birth of the Hero Ahta-hane 29-33    5    5
F. Shinny Game with Father's Foes 34-37    4    7
G. Journey South to Sea 38-68  31  54
H. Marriage, and Contests with Meteor and Sun 69-82a  14  31
I. Return to Mother, Half-Brother, and Father's Ghost 82b-96  15  22
J. Revenge on Father's Foes 97-102    6    9
K. Transformation 103-104    2  12
    111 182

The main defect in the Cane plot, from our point of view, is the long preliminary, A to D. A full quarter of the tale—to be exact, three-tenths of its length, 28 out of 104 song groups or stages, and 42 of 182 songs—precedes the hero's birth. This makes a narrative long enough for interest to get well established in the hero's father, and it has then to be rebuilt around the son. However, the story can also be viewed as a sort of epic covering two lifetimes, with the second generation recuperating the losses of the first and revenging it. In a definitely sophisticated art, the reverses of the first life would presumably be only sketched, or suggested by implication, and the action could then be developed around the chief hero's career or its climax. The Cane situation is somewhat like that in the Nibelungenlied, where the story of Siegfried's exploits about balances that of the revenge for his death: as an introduction, the first half is too long and autonomous; as an epilogue to a life, the second half is much too long and heavily charged. The imbalance in the mediaeval German epic is obvious as a defect and has led to discussion of whether in its present form it is not a secondary joining of two poems originally distinct. Similarly, the history of the accretion of the Cane story might conceivably have been partly traceable from comparison of a series of versions. But these have not been recorded and are presumably no longer remembered, at least hardly in unmutilated form.

The very brief first section, A, with the reference to Kamaiavêta, is the normal Mohave way of giving the story its placement in the scheme of things by tying it into the cosmogony. Kamaiavêta or Sky-rattlesnake was killed for being thought to have caused the death by witchcraft of [22] Matavilya, the child of Heaven and Earth and first great god. This dates the Cane story as happening right after the beginnings, ties it to the sacred spots Ha'avulypo and Avikwame, and endows it with weight and authenticity. That this is pure preliminary is shown by the fact that there are no songs.

In our next section B, the brothers drift off, discover things, build a house, find a living, and are joined by their uncle. In short, they grope and become partially established. This is good Mohave story pattern. The pairing, in place of a single hero, occurs again in Raven, in Coyote, in Deer; and in other myths. But so far there is nothing very eventful in the plot: it is only slowly getting started.

Part C has the brothers get themselves wives, at their uncle's instigation. The plot is beginning to have "human interest." And yet it remains quite "decorative": there are four girls in four directions, each living alone with a pet bird in a cage, the approach is through the bird, then the brothers struggle for the girl, and bring her home. Still, the repetition is not formally exact, as it would be in a ritual, or as in the myths of some other tribes; no two of the four episodes are told quite alike, and each contains certain unique incidents. The brothers' quarreling for the girls foreshadows what is to come; just as it is faintly pre-anticipated by their childish arrow betting in paragraph 6 of the preceding part. The younger is the stronger and wins the two first girls; and though the elder gets the next two on sufferance, a grievance is thereby set up. This is not dwelled on, but helps to motivate what follows.

Part D. They go for cane, apparently as a source of power, and quarrel over it. The older almost kills the younger, but relents, concedes him what he wants, but then bewitches him. Omens of doom pile up effectively. The victim's state of mind may be an example of what a Mohave feels who believes himself bewitched. The magic operating too slowly, the younger brother is finally dispatched with the humiliation of having bones cut out of his body for use and play. The elder goes off with the non-kinsmen whom the uncle had left when he joined his blood nephews. This marks him as a traitor and Chemehuevi foreigner, as well as establishing two inimical groups or parties.

With part E, dealing with the posthumous birth of the hero, the main narrative begins. The hero evidences prenatal magic power, but this is a faculty often attributed by the Mohave to shamans, so that the manifestation is mythically expectable, rather than miraculous in our sense.

In the next section, F, the baby, grown to boyhood, steals his father's bone with which his foes are playing—compare the incident in Nyohaiva, 15—and sends it flying to break the western mountains and kill their inhabitants. It does not appear that these people are his foes: rather is he trying out his growing powers; and his real foes begin to foresee their end.

Then he goes on a long journey which constitutes part G. This travel is motivated by Mohave song-myth custom rather than by anything in the boy hero's situation. At the same time, it serves to give a sense of his growing up, and of having his life filled with experiences as a hero should. The Mohave narrator is in intent the teller of a near-epic, or of a novelistic romance, not of a short story which aims to cut to the essence of an action. From this point of view, the journey rounds, or properly fills out, the plot, though it contributes nothing vital. The incidents of the journey—down the Colorado from northern Mohave land to the mouth of the great river, including detours, and southeast along the Gulf shore—are characteristic. The traveler is awakened by birds, frightened by a rattlesnake, sees a horsefly, hummingbird, wild grapes, badger, jack rabbit, springs, cane, the surf, a crane, ducks, sea shells, and various other sights such as might make a boy watch or wonder. There is certainly a sense of unending interest in nature, of rapport with it, in these Mohave itineraries—a pre-Wordsworthian attitude, one might almost call it.

The narration is concise in this journey. There are 31 stages or paragraphs—between a fourth and a third of the whole story—and 54 songs out of 182, or the same proportion; but only about one-seventh or one-eighth of the length of the tale. Thus the tempo of narration is doubled during this part; which fact contributes to the fact that its interruption of the main action does not wear down plot-suspense unduly. Also, it is easier to devise long strings of simple songs of five or six words about horseflies darting or hummingbirds on their nests or cranes in the surf, than about dangers, feats, and dramatic tensions such as make up the preceding and succeeding sections.

As soon as Ahta-hane leaves the sea to turn inland—part H—the character of the telling changes. It becomes pure hero-story again, now of fairy-tale quality. The roster of place names is over with. We are somewhere in the desert—presumably in the Papaguería—but places and distances are undesignated. This is perhaps the most interesting part of the tale, in incidents and affects as well as in glimpses of unsuspected ethnography. The events comprise:

The hero hides himself from the four women.

Lets himself be found rotten but is restored.

Wins encounter with Meteor.

Wins gambling with Sun.

Through his winning makes himself attractive to his wives.

Complex as the action is here, it is thus nevertheless well tied together.

This is the longest section of Cane: about a quarter of the total narration, and this crowded with stirring events. But the songs of the section constitute only about a sixth, and the song stations or paragraphs about an eighth, of the total. There is much happening, but little of the discrete incident that best lends itself to singing about.

Section I is moderately long and describes the [23] journey home, but now with his wives, in order to meet his mother, a half-brother unmentioned before, and finally his dead father's shadow. Kinship relations are thus in the forefront, and most of the topography is still indefinite. The return, as so often in Mohave story, presages war. The hero's successive reunions, culminating in the unique interview with his father's spirit, build up affect toward a climax which can end only in a contest with his hereditary foes.

This contest constitutes part J, and is characteristically brief: the Mohave seem not to know how to dilate on a fight, even one conducted by magic. The hero first beats his enemies in competitions, then destroys them with lightning from his magic cane. The narrator's knitting together of items, and suspending them over intervals, is evidenced by the lightning cane, which has been acquired in paragraph 90, but is used only in 102.

Section K, the final transformation of the hero and his folk into stars, birds, and rocks, is of course a conventional coda—somewhat like the particle used in some languages, or the tone-glide in others, to indicate end of sentence. It means nothing specific in relation to the particular events preceding, but without it the tale would not be felt as having been brought to an end.

This analysis perhaps helps to establish the genuine skill of the narrator in joining, developing, and sustaining a plot which has something of epic quality and which in a less simple culture, with a more specific medium than natural prose available, might have had epic potentialities.


References to Cane, Ahta (by paragraphs)
2. Names of the brothers refer to cane (fn. 4).
18a. Uncle sends them for cane.
18b. On the journey lightning and thunder, omen of death.
19-23. Cane described, argument about division, knife made, cane cut, quarrel over it, return.
24. Not to eat salt while unwashed—indicates power in cane.
24. Older brother paints his cane; younger, bewitched, sees his unpainted.
62. Cane seen on journey, near Yuma.
70. Turns into cane sliver to hide from four women.
71. Oldest woman thinks he may be cane.
74. Hero smokes caneful of tobacco, chews up the cane.
76. Told that the Mohave do not smoke in cane, he says he is Cane.
77. Smokes two filled canes.
88. His name, Ahta-hane, first mentioned (fn. 87).
90. Told by mother's father of lightning and thunder.
91. Takes cane from hole made by lightning bolt, splits into four.
92. Refuses to show it to his wife: it would kill.
93. Half-brother called Ahta-kwasume; wears cane that rattles.
95. The two brothers mourn their father and burn all their belongings except the lightning cane.
102. Contest with canes that flash lightning: hero's is stronger.
103. Shows them his canes and makes it thunder.
References to Meteor, Kwayū
37. Hero knocks father's kneecap shinny ball west as meteor to explode in mountains.
75-77. Meteor, husband of four women, tries to kill hero, gives him tobacco.
82b. Meteor referred to again as cannibal.
104. Hero flies as meteor past rock "Meteor's father's mother" to turn into rock Mekoaṭa.
References to Sun, Anya
7b-10. Hero's father's first wife is Tšese'ilye (fn. 78), daughter of Sun in west.
11a-14. Hero's father's second wife is Kuvahā, daughter of Sun in east by different mother.
29-31. One wife returns, other gives birth to hero.
35. He sends his mother away.
77-78. Sun, father (or husband? see fn. 58) of four women, gambles with hero, loses body, escapes, is turned into double (sun dog).
87-99. Hero returns to mother.
90. Hero learns from mother's father's son about deadly lightning.
References to Blue-tailed Lizard, Halye'anekitše
36. Hero turns into halye'anekitše lizard to steal father's kneecap shinny ball (fn. 40).
99-101. Halye'anekitše wins contest for hero by taking father's scalp from pole.



Vinimūlye-pātše, more fully "Vinimūlya-hapātša," is a song series prominent in Mohave consciousness, perhaps because it deals with war. I have never secured an etymology for the name. The present version was narrated April 23, 1904, upstream from Fort Mohave, by an old man called Hiweik-kwini'īlye, "her anus is black." He told his tale with unusual compactness: part of a day sufficed for his outline and the Englishing. He mentioned the place in the story of 196 songs; besides an indefinite group near the beginning: "4, 5, 6, 10, 12 while they are on the way," or "a night long, 50 songs." The whole cycle, when sung complete in sequence as tšupilyk, a "gift" to a dying relative, takes two nights to sing, he said. Jack Jones, was, as usual, my guide, sponsor, and interpreter.

The tale is simple. The Mohave hero, Umas-kwitšit-patše, with his people, leaves his home in the northern part of Mohave valley, for the Providence mountains, off to the northwest in Chemehuevi territory, and lives there a year. There is no farming possible in this desert range, but the story is silent on subsistence. The chief wants to return to make war, and, after a brief visit home, leads his people to the river at the south end of Mohave valley, and then makes a long detour downstream to below Ehrenberg, in Halchidhoma land; from there they turn back until they once more reach the foot of Mohave valley. Nothing happens on this excursion; it is perhaps introduced from sheer love of mental travel, or to suggest the progress of a war party. The Mohave in the southern half of the valley flee before the invaders, who appropriate a set of houses near where they had lived originally. Here they stay a year, as is shown by his daughter, when her feelings of modesty are hurt, running away to the Walapai for that period. Then they suddenly resume the march northward for a few miles, and finally join battle with Savilyuyave, Umas-kwitšit-patše's own younger brother and leader of the refugees, at "Hawk-nose" near Fort Mohave. The account of this climax is quite meager. The residents run away across the river. Savilyuyave is killed and scalped, his daughter is made a "slave." After the despoiling of another group, the "Quail people," and some calling of names across the stream, the hero and his band return to the Providence mountains, where one of them dies of a wound received in the battle. Why the two halves of the Owitš clan should peacefully separate under the leadership of two brothers, and then the returning one insist on war to a finish, but abandon the conquered territory, is wholly unaccounted for. Either there is motivation which the narrator knows but considers it unnecessary to discuss; or the motivation is as lacking as in a dream. After all, these tales are all dreams, the Mohave insist. And while it is clear that they do not ordinarily invent new plots in their dreams, they do quite probably dream over or brood about or perhaps actually redream, each man, the plot or plots which he calls his. The one theme which runs through this tale as a unifying thread is the doom of war.


1. Umas-kwitšit-patše lived at Aha-kwa'i[1] with his people. At that time the river was near that place. He was the only one of them to talk to the rest. Then he and his people crossed the river to the western side to Amaṭ-kusayi.[2] (4 songs.)[3]

[1] Aha-kwa'i is at the "Old Gus" ranch, below Milltown, on an overflow pond or slough (an old river arm), at the foot of the mesa on the east edge of Mohave valley, upstream from Needles and downstream from Fort Mohave. At the time of the story, the river lay close to Aha-kwa'i.

[2] Downstream from Hatšioq-vaṭveve.

[3], [3a] The narrator stated that he usually omitted the songs credited to pars. 1 and 2 and began with those referring to the Providence mountains. Iθava is arrowweed.

2. Then they went up on the mesa, and from there into the mountains at Iθave-kukyave. (2 songs.)[3a]

3. Then they went on to the large mountains, Avi-kwe-havasu,[4] the Providence mountains. (2 songs.)

[4] "Blue mountains," as they appear from the Mohave country.

4. They had found that land and kept it for their own. They lived there a year. Now Umas-kwitšit-patše was a Mohave, and his relatives were Mohave in this country. He said: "I want to go back to my relatives." Then he returned by the way he had come, going back to Aha-kwa'i with his people. When he had returned, all the Mohave said: "I think he has come to make war." They talked of war. They were afraid of him, for he was very large. Then he went back to the Providence mountains with his people. Now he was a man who dreamed well.[5] He knew what the people were saying about him: he dreamed it. They were saying: "I wish Umas-kwitšit-patše would come again. We would cook wheat[6] for him, and put meat into it, and make good food for him." No one sent for him to come but he knew what they wished. Then he was ready to come to make war. So he started with his people, but he did not go straight. He went past Hatalompe[7] far down to Aha-kwatpave.[8] (An indefinite [25] number of songs.)[9]

[5] Sumatš-ahotk.

[6] Frequently considered native by the Mohave.

[7] Six miles south of Beal, the point at which the Santa Fe railroad leaves California on its way east.

[8] On the Colorado on the east side, below Ehrenberg. He had to cross the river to reach it, of course.

[9] The narrator first said he sang "4, 5, 6, 10, or 12 songs" about the journey to Aha-kwatpave Later he stated that he sang of this portion of the story "a whole night, 50 songs." The last place mentioned by name on the way south, however, is Hatalomve or Hatalompe.

5. From there he turned back and started north up the river. (10 songs.)

He came to Hôore.[10] (1 song.)

[10] Ehrenberg. The route now is back northward up the east bank of the river.

6. From there he started again with his people and went upstream to Kapotake-hiv'auve.[11] They slept there and went on up the river to Amaṭ-koahoatše. (2 songs.)

[11] No songs were mentioned for this place, perhaps by oversight.

7. Having slept there, they went on to Avi-helye'a. (1 song.)

8. The next day they came to Avi-kwa-hapama, (1 song.)

9. From there they went on, the next morning, until they reached Aqwaqa-have.[12] There they slept again. (5 songs.)

[12] Aqwaqa means deer.

10. Starting in the morning, they went on up to Tatasky-anve. They did not sleep there.[13] But Umas-kwitšit-patše talked of war. He said: "When there is war, people are beaten and run away. Women are captured as slaves and pushed into the river." So they talked of what they would do. (2 songs.)

[13] Possibly meaning that they went past the place without stopping, but more probably that they made camp and spent the night there, and that Umas-kwitšit-patše talked to his people instead of letting them sleep.

11. Then they came to Hakutšyepe.[14] There they made camp. Then they saw a beaver's track, like a little boy's foot. They had never seen it before and thought it was a little boy. Umas-kwitšit-patše showed it to his people and they were afraid. In the morning they started. (10 songs.)[15]

[14] The mouth of Bill Williams Fork of the Colorado, the place being known as Aubrey.

[15] Thus the narrative. In subsequently indicating the number of songs relating to each part of the story, the narrator made no mention of Hakutšyepe and the incident there, but proceeded as follows: "On the way north, 4 songs. At Selye'aye-kwame, 4 songs. At Chemehuevi valley, 2 songs." There is no discrepancy, but different events and stages of the same part of the journey are specified in the two accounts. It must be remembered that the narrative is unusually condensed.

11a. They came to Selye'aya-ita, where they slept. Umas-kwitšit-patše told his people how brave he was, and how good his luck was, and what he had dreamed. (4 songs.)

12. They started up the river next day, came to Hatuṭve and slept there. (4 songs.)

13. They went on up again. (3 songs.)

14. That night they slept at Amaṭ-kyerekyere-kwitni.[16] (4 songs.)

[16] South of Mellen on the railroad. They are now at the foot of Mohave valley.

15. In the morning they came to Kwaparvete[17] and stood there. The people on the west side of the river, saw them and were afraid and ran off. (10 songs.)

[17] Kwaparvete is the name of a little mesa which the railroad ascends and traverses after it crosses the river and before it enters the mouth of the Sacramento wash, by which it climbs to the Arizona plateau.

16. Umas-kwitšit-patše and his people saw them going. He said: "Let us pursue but not kill them." Then they followed them.[18] Now women shout in war. But this time the women said: "We will not shout. You say you will not kill them, but only chase them; therefore there is no need for us to shout. When you are ready to kill, we will shout." Umas-kwitšit-patše said: "We shall have war. We are not killing these people. We do not even wish to attack them. But there will be war." Those who fled came to above where Needles now is. Umas-kwitšit-patše and his people followed their dust until they came to Avi-hilykwampe.[19] There the pursued crossed the river, and Umas-kwitšit-patše crossed after them. (20 songs.)

[18] Crossing the river to the west bank, as the context shows.

[19] About five miles north of Needles, where the mesa from the west runs down to the river.

17. The fleeing people came to Amaṭ-tasilyke and to Aθ'i-kupome. But Umas-kwitšit-patše and his people went another way, eastward to Aha-kukwinve.[20] Now they were nearly at the place where they had formerly lived.[21] All the people in the vicinity were afraid and ran northward, upriver, abandoning their food and dishes and property. Umas-kwitšit-patše's people gathered up these effects, ate the food, and lived there.

[20] At the foot of the mesa. Both parties are now east of the river.

[21] Namely, Aha-kwa'i, where the story starts.

18. Umas-kwitšit-patše had a daughter, Ilya-owitš-maikohwere. He said: "Now that you are big enough, do not sleep near me. Sleep at a distance. Sleep in the corner of the house."[22] Then the girl was angry at his saying that and ran off. (4 songs.)

[22] He wanted her to have a lover and marry, and feared that no man would steal to her while she lay close to her parents. There is nothing disgraceful in this suggestion, to the Mohave, who scarcely make a distinction between lover and husband. The old people frequently exhort the young to enjoy themselves while they can.

19. She went east until she came to Hawi, where she slept. Then she went on to Avi-hoalye, the Walapai mountains.[23] There were many girls among the (Walapai) people living there, and she played [26] with them and stayed with them a year. She liked it there. (30 songs.)

[23] Hoalye means yellow pine. The name Walapai, hawaly-ipai in Mohave, seems to be derived from this word.

20. After a year she went back. When she returned, she was ashamed and sat outside the house. She did not go indoors to her parents. She was painted red. The people she had been with, the Walapai, had given her the paint. The Mohave do not paint like that. So they did not know who she was. She sat with her head bowed. Then Umas-kwitšit-patše came out. "That is my daughter," he said. (10 songs.)

21. He said to her: "I thought you had died. When a woman visits her friends among another tribe, she stays two months or three months. You stayed a year and I thought you were dead." Then, after four days, Umas-kwitšit-patše said: "Now it is four days. I am ready to fight. The people I am going to attack do not live very far away. But I think my daughter is tired. Have you become tired?" But Ilya-owitš-maikohwere said: "No, I am not tired. I will go with you." When they came to Amaṭ-tasilyke and Aθ'i-kupome, the people whom they had pursued before and who had fled there and were still living there, saw them, and took their property and fled north once more. They ran to Sokwilye-ihu.[24] There they lay down for the night. Umas-kwitšit-patše and his people slept at Selye'aye-'itš-patše,[25] downriver from them. Then Umas-kwitšit-patše named a mesa near by: Havateitše-'isnave. (40 songs.)

[24] "Hawk-nose." Not far from Fort Mohave.

[25] Near the river, on the irrigation canal in use at Fort Mohave in 1904. Selye'aye is sand.

22. Then he started again. Now he wanted to kill the people at Sokwilye-'ihu. Savilyuyave,[26] his younger brother, was the head man among those who had fled. When Umas-kwitšit-patše and his people came to Sokwilye-'ihu, they fought. Soon Savilyuyave's people ran away and jumped into the river. Savilyuyave himself was killed in the river. He sank to the bottom and they seized him, dragged him on the bank, and scalped him. His daughter[27] they took as a slave. Umas-kwitšit-patše's people went back downriver to Selye'aye'-kumitše.[28] (5 songs.)

[26] Also the name of a Mohave who died not many years before 1903.

[27] Her name was said also to be Ilya-owitš-maikohwere. Owitš is one of the women's clan-names. As Umas-kwitšit-patše and Savilyuyave were brothers, and of the Owitš group, their daughters would both be named Owitš. In reply to a question, the informant stated decisively that all the people accompanying Umas-kwitšit-patše called their daughters Owitš, showing that he regarded them as a clan. The totemic reference of the clan is to clouds.

[28] A mesa approaching the river about two miles south of Fort Mohave.

23. There they stayed and rested.[29] Umas-kwitšit-patše stood up and named all the places along the river, up to the source. (5 songs.)

[29] Probably for the night, while their leader addressed them.

24. Then they started again and went north to Amaṭ-nyamasave-kwohave.[30] Those who lived there were called the Quail-people, Ipa-'ahma.[31] They saw Umas-kwitšit-patše coming and fled across to the west bank of the river. He took their land and all their food. Now Savilyuyave's people were at Avi-kutaparve.[32] The Quail-people, being afraid, wanted to join Savilyuyave's people, and went to Avi-kutaparve. (3 songs.)

[30] Two or three miles north of Fort Mohave: "earth-white-kwohave."

[31] "When these people were killed, they became quail."

[32] Three or four miles north of Fort Mohave, on the west bank of the river, where the mesa or cliff is whitish.

25. Umas-kwitšit-patše went up the east side of the river. He saw (his brother's and the Quail) people on the other side and stood and talked across the river to them.[33] He said: "I have fought you. Now I will spare you. You did not stand up against me: I will let you go." Then they talked badly[34] to each other, telling of each other's dead parents and ancestors. (4 songs.)

[33] Literally, "talking" is hardly possible. The Colorado is so wide that a conversation cannot be carried on across it except by shouting.

[34] Amatyesumak, "cursed."

26. Soon Umas-kwitšit-patše crossed the river, not at Avi-kwutapārva, but below. "When a man is fighting, he does not stay in one place, he travels," he said. He wanted to go back to the Providence mountains. Then they came to Aha-kuhulyu'i.[35] But they found the spring full of vermin[36] and went on without drinking. One of them, Umas-elyiθe, who had been shot in the thigh, was in great pain as they traveled through the desert here. (1 song.)

[35] "Stinking-water," a spring on a slope, five miles or more from the river.

[36] Humkuyove.

27. They came to Avi-'itšierqe[37] and stood there and saw their mountains, their own place, the Providence mountains. (1 song.)

[37] "Excrement-rocks" or "mountain."

28. From there it did not take them long to reach their home. (2 songs.)

29. When they arrived, Umas-elyiθe died. (10 songs.)[38]

[38] These ten songs mention the roof, posts, and other parts of their houses—a favorite subject.




In November, 1905, my friend and interpreter Jack Jones came to San Francisco and the University, bringing with him an informant called Aspa-sakam, which means Eagle-sell. Aspa-sakam was a youngish middle-aged man, heavy-set and inclined to be fat, who worked pretty steadily for the Santa Fe railroad at Needles. He was, however, a good Mohave inwardly, and had dreamt and could sing two cycles, Yellaka or Goose, and Nyohaiva (Nyô'haiva), which is a story of war but named after an insect. He narrated both of these, proving himself an excellent informant as regards precision, orderliness of mind, and willingness to explain. His Goose story has been outlined on pages 766-768 of the Handbook of California Indians. It is a very long tale with a minimum of action. The Nyohaiva story, which follows here, is much shorter. The songs, as their scheme was outlined and as they were recorded on the phonograph in part, aggregate only about a hundred, as against four hundred or more in the Goose series. Aspa-sakam said that it took only one night to sing the Nyohaiva series through.

Nyohaiva, the narrator said, was known also to an old man called Mehulye, who was his mother's brother and who now lived with him. This was a paralyzed man who knew the Great Tale, the story of migrations and battles of Mohave clan groups.

As regards Goose, Aspa-sakam said that this was known also to his brother and to an old man, Hakwe, who was his father-in-law and therefore not a blood relation. The narrator added that perhaps sometime he would teach the singing to his son. The old man, Hakwe, was subsequently interviewed at Needles. I shrank from obtaining from him the whole of the story, having already gone through the ordeal of securing it from Aspa-sakam, but did record some of the songs and a place-name synopsis of the story, which is given on pages 768-769 of the Handbook. This outline shows Hakwe's version of Goose to be quite different in detail from Aspa-sakam's. The songs also have a different melodic theme. It does not seem, therefore, that either of these two informants, son-in-law and father-in-law, could have learned from, or been very much influenced by, the other.

As for Nyohaiva, Aspa-sakam subsequently said that his kin on the father's side knew Nyohaiva. As a boy he heard them sing it and learned it. "They did not teach me, for such things cannot be taught. They can only be dreamed. But my relatives knew Nyohaiva, and I dreamed it." These are his own words, and, semi-contradictory as they may seem to us, they perhaps come as close as is possible to expressing a characteristic Mohave nondifferentiation of spontaneous development from within and acquisition from without. Aspa-sakam added that the way he came to know Goose was different: none of his kinsfolk knew this. In our words, he really dreamed this; Nyohaiva he both learned and dreamed. When he was a boy, sometimes he would sing parts of Goose. An old man, hearing him sing, would say: "Yes, that is right. Yes, that is Goose." So he acquired more of it, dreaming it, and came to sing more and more of it.

It is doubtful whether he had ever sung either Goose or Nyohaiva through consecutively at any one time or occasion. I had seen him about two years earlier at a death and cremation, where he was singing, probably Nyohaiva. He had sung Goose for amusement at night at his home, he said. Neither he nor the interpreter seemingly could be made to understand clearly my questions whether he had ever sung Goose a whole night through, or whether he had ever sung it or Nyohaiva continuously from beginning to end. Such a statement of factual events seems to have little meaning to the Mohave.

Nyohaiva is sung standing, at any rate when women dance in a ring around the singer. He leans on a stick, which he sometimes thrusts forward and waves to the rhythm of his song, sometimes drops through his hand to strike the ground. There is no rattle or musical instrument.

Nyohaiva is classed by the Mohave as one of their song-myths dealing with war, and its plot is simple. Nyohaiva is an insect. She comes into existence as a woman in the north end of Mohave valley, at Miakwa'orve, above Fort Mohave, at the time of the beginnings: "The world was still wet." There is however no reference in the tale to Matavilya's death, Ha'avulypo, Avikwame, or the actually originating events. Nyohaiva travels south along the river, naming places and encountering named personages, but without notable happenings, as far as Aqwāqa-have, in Halchidhoma territory, below Parker. Here four brothers, including Otšôuta, believe that she comes for war and plan to kill her first. She on her part finds bones which she recognizes as her relatives'—a characteristic Mohave motivation and inconsistency—and bets her body against her freedom in a game to be played with one of the same bones. She wins, threatens them with war, and runs off southward, announcing impending war to those whom she meets, as far as Ava-tšohai, somewhere between Parker and Yuma. There she incites the people, under the leadership of men whose names denote blackbirds, to join her in returning and attacking Otšôuta's people. There is no reason given, why they should do so; rather, war is treated as something which, now given its roots, grows and will be—a sort of gathering fate, though a stirring and pleasurable one. The prolix Mohave narrative manner of adding incident to incident makes for an effect of slow [28] accumulation of feeling on this theme. However, the war itself resolves into the killing by magic of a single leader: Homeric battles are not a usual part of the story pattern of the Mohave, in spite of their preoccupation with war. With a magic ball Nyohaiva puts the enemy settlement to sleep, enters Otšôuta's house, cuts off his head. This she carries upriver to Samo'okusa or Amaṭ-ya'ama near Parker, where people are living under the leadership of four transvestites! She institutes the scalp dance for them; throws Otšôuta's skull far south to become a rock at Picacho in Yuma land; then turns herself to stone as Hawk-rock, east of Parker.

The objective towards which the events of the tale trend seems to be the institution of the victory scalp dance; at which, in actual Mohave practice, Nyohaiva was one of several singings that were sung and danced to. In this dance, too, transvestites—the word means coward as well—participated along with women; and there was the expectable heterosexual indulgence. Hence probably the astounding berdache chiefs of the tale: they are imagined in order to provide the fitting dance setting. The scalp celebration seems to have been the principal Mohave occasion for dancing.

Nyohaiva, as a woman, herself reflects this peculiar relation between women and war: her hair, her skirt, her bashfulness are specified. But there is also the opposite attitude: she incites, she wants revenge, she kills. Here she is almost the embodiment of the hwami, the occasional female active homosexual whom the Yuman river tribes recognize as the counterpart of the more frequent male passive invert or alyha. But she is never explicitly designated as a hwami, nor does the tale itself allow us to interpret her as having had defined hwami status in the Mohave mind. Normal sex impulse or relation, what we should call love interest, does not enter into this story at all. It is normally treated meagerly in Mohave mythology, in spite of the endless sex talk and obscene humor of Mohave daily life. When it does appear in narrative, it is episodically. The plots as a whole show the love incidents to be subsidiary. Thus the Cane hero wishes a storm to rid himself of his wives, who are delaying the revenge for which he is traveling; and when his conscience makes him relent, it is because his wish strikes him as inhumane and bad in general, not because of tender sentiments toward the wives as love-objects. And there is rarely much sex feeling, and never a touch of ribaldry. For instance, the Tumanpa story is based on an incest motive, but the theme is treated with such restraint as scarcely to obtrude beyond the skeleton of the plot, and never with a trace of passion. The brother and sister are old people at the beginning of the tale! The fact that such sex element as enters into Nyohaiva is tinged with the quality of inversion, suggests a definite functional relation between inversion and war in Mohave culture. I say inversion because its sanctioned institutionalization largely removes it from the realm of the perverse, at least socially and in part psychologically.

Besides fighting and love-making, a third element active in Mohave life is left out of Nyohaiva as out of certain other stories in Mohave mythology. This is their tribal consciousness and keen ethnographic or international interest. All the people encountered in the story are treated as if they were Mohaves, or at least members of a still undifferentiated human race leading a specifically Mohave-type life; even though they dwell as far away as the Yuma habitat. (There is a partial exception in the incident when Nyohaiva detours east into the mountains, finds a man whose name refers to buckskin shirts, and gives him hunting arrows to live by: thus she institutes the Walapai more than she encounters them.) The attitude of clannish rather than of tribal differentiation recurs in the unpublished "Great Tale" and, in the present monograph, in Cane (I), and explicitly in Vinimūlye-pātše (II), where the victorious attackers of the Mohave, coming from the desert Providence mountains, are not the Chemehuevi who historically inhabited this range, but a separatist band of Mohave who are represented as having settled there, contrary to economic possibility for a farming people.

Nevertheless, the Nyohaiva geography reflects historic international relations. The district of the Mohave-like settlements which plot against Nyohaiva and are vanquished by her are where the Halchidhoma lived as recurrent objects of Mohave and Yuma attack. However, the war party against them comes from the south, that is, from the Yuma direction; and the victim's head is petrified in Yuma territory. It is possible therefore that Nyohaiva is a variant derivative of the Av'alyunu myth and singing which the Mohave recognize as the Yuma equivalent of their Nyohaiva, as per the third paragraph of the tale. That Nyohaiva herself is made to have her origin in northern Mohave valley and turns to stone not far from the scene of her victory, means less, because almost all stories move from north to south, through the vicinity of Avikwame being the typical point of mythic departure with the Mohave, and at times also in Yuma, Walapai, and even Diegueño narratives.


1. Nyohaiva came to life at Miakwa'orve.[1] That place was the first one to be dry. All about, the world was still wet. She thought: "I do not know which is the best way to go. I wonder in what direction is the best place for me, so that everyone will know me and I can tell what I know. I have dreamed well. I wish to tell what I know so that everyone will understand it." Now the day and the sun and everything else already existed. Then she [29] thought: "There is the sun. It is already gone down as far as that."[2] (3 songs.)

[1] Opposite Fort Mohave and upstream from it; therefore in Nevada.

[2] It was anya-tonya'im, afternoon.

2. Then she said: "Now I know what to do. I will not go elsewhere than south. I will cross the river and go to Iδô-kuva'īre."[3] Then, when she came to Iδô-kuva'īre, she thought: "I will tell about this place and that I am here." (2 songs.)

[3] Iδô-kuva'īre is upstream from Fort Mohave and frequently mentioned. Iδô is the black willow.

3. When she was about to start from there, she said: "I will tell further what I know, so that everyone will learn what I say. Let everyone listen to me and take my words." As she said this she took a handful of sand. "I am a person who has dreamed well. When you Mohave sing, you will sing Nyohaiva. There is another name for singing that, Av'alyunu,[4] but it is the Yuma who will learn that. It will be the same singing, but I give it another name." (1 song.)

[4] Ava-lye means in the house. Some Mohave sing Av'alyunu, but as something learned from the Yuma.

4. She said: "Well, I have told everything here. I have finished. I will go." Then she went to Ahtšyê-aksāmta.[5] When she had gone a little to the south from there she saw a hill of sand, Selye'aya-kumītše.[6] Then she said: "All will come to this place. They will come here to play and sing and have a good time. That is how I want you to become married."[7] All the people there looked at her, but did not know who she was. "I am the person called Yanaθa-kwe-'ataye,"[8] she said; "Do you not know me?" Then all said: "Yes, we know you. We have heard of that person. That is one who sings and from whom we learn singing. Her name is Nyohaiva." Now they all knew who she was. (4 songs.)

[5] Two to three miles from Fort Mohave, a little east of north. Aksamta is one of the "wild" seeds planted by the Mohave; cf. Mastamho, VII, 36-42, below.

[6] About a mile north of Fort Mohave; a sand hill.

[7] Merrymaking and dancing lead to courtship. Compare the "Supplement" of the Mastamho myth.

[8] This insect, of which Nyohaiva is so to speak the impersonation, is described as being red-spotted and as coming out of the ground when this is dry. Hence no doubt the allusion to Nyohaiva's place of birth being the first to become dry. The Mohave call yanaθa-kwe-'atāye a "spider," but it spins no web. The element -ataye means many, atai-k; yanaθa-, the narrator suggested, was from δanuθa, tears, alluding to the spotted appearance of the animal.

5. Nyohaiva said: "There are people living below. I must go down. I want to talk to them and teach them to sing. I want to talk to others as well as to you." Then she went. She came to Kamahnūlye.[9] When she arrived there, she said: "I do not tell you anything else. I teach you only singing. I do not tell you what you are to do, but only how you are to sing." (4 songs.)

[9] Kamahnūlye is at the foot of the mesa (valley edge) in Arizona, 4 miles south of Fort Mohave, near the Lamp ranch.

6. She said: "That is what I teach you. Listen to me." As yet she did not teach other tribes. She taught only the Mohave. Then she went on downward to Savêt-tôhe.[10] (3 songs.)

[10] Savêt-tôhe, a sandy place, is across the river from Needles, due east, at the foot of the mesa. Another place of the same name, but rocky, is said to occur farther down the river.

7. As she stood there she heard someone speaking or shouting in the east. She thought: "I hear people to the east. I think I will go there." Thus she said and went east. She went up over the mesa and far up into the mountains A'ī-kumnau-tšumī. There there was a spring, Aha-kuvilye.[11] Someone lived there. She said: "I know you. Your name is Hamaθôle-viya.[12] Well, I will tell of your body. I will tell about you." (4 songs.)

[11] "Stinking water." She is in Walapai land now.

[12] Hamaθôle is a Walapai buckskin shirt; viya, ham-vaya-k, to turn, revolve. "All will see him as he stands in his shirt and turns about to display it."

8. Then she was ready to return. "I am going back now," she said. She got up. Then she said again: "You can live here by hunting, but you cannot hunt without having the things with which to hunt." Then she took[13] a bow and four arrows and threw them on the ground, and those living there picked them up. "Now you are provided. You can hunt and shoot," she said. She also took a stone knife with a wooden handle and gave it to them, then she started to go back. (She did not sing about what she did there. She only instructed those people, the Walapai.) As she returned toward the river, everything had been made, both sky and earth, and all was quiet and still. She thought of that as she came, and sang about it. (4 songs.)[14]

[13] Produced magically, hiwaksoāmim.

[14] She evidently returned to Savêt-tôhe after her eastern excursion, for the songs are credited to that place. Note that the songs are about the completion and stillness of the world on her main journey, not about the episodic side trip of instituting Walapai customs.

9. Now she went downstream along the edge of the river. She said: "The way that I have come will be a trail. I am making a trail for people. When they want to go, they will travel by this." It was when she came to Hotūrveve[15] that she said this. (1 song.)

[15] Unidentified.

10. She went on. Then she heard someone far downstream. She thought: "I wonder whether I can jump four times and reach that place." Then she tried to find how she could jump. She thought: "I think I am able to jump. I am light now: I can jump far. Perhaps if I stand and turn around four, five, six times I shall go far." She stood there thinking, thus. Then she turned herself around four times. [30] Then she arrived far down below, at Iveθīkwe-'akyulye. Nyahunêm-kwayāve[16] lived there. He said: "The person who has come is not like other people. He combs and spreads his hair,[17] he does not roll it.[18] What is the reason you do not roll your hair? Come among my people and live here and I will give you a name." Nyohaiva said: "It is good. Give me a name. I will join you." He told her: "Stand facing the south." Then she faced the south. He sat behind her, looking at her back. "I give you the name Aθ'inkumeδī," he said. When she received that name, Nyohaiva said: "Now I have a new name. Everyone has heard it. My name is Aθ'inkumeδī. I have learned something new." Then she sang. (4 songs.)[19]

[16] Nyahunêm-kwayāve: hune is the Mohave name of a crook used by the Yavapai for pulling fruit from the tall sahuaro or giant cactus; it consists of a pole with a small stick tied at an angle at the end. Kw-ayave, ayave-k, bent, crooked.

[17] Like a woman. There is of course no pronominal gender in Mohave, so "his" is ambiguous.

[18] Into pencils or strands, like a man.

[19] It is characteristic that it was at this point in the story that the interpreter first realized that Nyohaiva was a woman, not a man.

11. From there she went on slowly. She came near Amaṭ-ehê'-kwaδôske.[20] The man who lived there saw her coming: he was called Hutšatš-mekulypuk.[21] He said: "I heard that it was so: I think this is my sister. I think that I look like her." When she arrived and stood before him, he said: "You are my sister."[22] Nyohaiva said: "No, you are not my brother."[22a] "Yes, you are my sister," he said. Then she told him: "Well, let us measure our feet. See, your feet are different. Let me see your arms. Yours are different from mine. Mine are short, yours are long. You are not my brother." Still he insisted: "Yes, I am your brother." But she said: "No, you are not like me. You are tall." Then she went away from that place. (3 songs.)

[20] Amaṭ-ehê' is white earth paint.

[21] Evidently a myriapod or centipede. Described as a white underground insect or worm, longer than a finger, with legs along both sides of the body, and able to run fast. "Hutšatš, white-haired; pukel-pukim, wriggle, travel like a snake."

[22], [22a] They use the term havīkwek, defined by the narrator as a man or a woman's older or younger brother or sister, viz., any sibling. The word has not been secured as kinship term. It is obviously from havīk, two; hence probably "one of a pair."

12. She went to Hô'aunye-vatše. Hutšatš-matillaye[23] lived there. When she arrived, he also said to her: "You are my sister." She stood opposite him, saying: "I do not think I am your sister." "Yes, you are my sister," he said. Then she told him: "I have heard of you. You have been away. No one knew it; no one saw you; but I heard it: I know you have been away; I know you and what your name is. You are Hutšatš-matillaye." (3 songs.)

[23] Apparently also an insect. It jumps awkwardly, sometimes falling. For matillaye, compare ke-layi-m, fall.

13. So she went on. When she arrived at a place where there was no one, she passed by. She reached Ahmo-kutšeθīlye.[24] There she stood on a rock. Then she heard people singing at Amaṭa-kwitše. She thought: "When I come to them they will not know me. I am afraid they will kill me. How shall I go there? I do not know." (2 songs.)

[24] Ahmo' is a mortar.

14. She wanted to go to that place. She thought: "What shall I be? I will become something." Then she walked, and jumped about. She put three feathers on herself. Then she became an arrow. She jumped up.[25] She arrived where she had heard the noise, at Amaṭa-kwitše, and there she stuck in the ground. Little boys were playing about and found the arrow. One of them said: "I have often been here but I have never seen an arrow sticking in the ground." He did not take it, but went back and told the old man who lived in that place. The old man's name was Haltoṭ-amītš-kwisāma.[26] When the boy told him, this old man said: "Be careful: that is no arrow. Perhaps it is a person who has become an arrow." Nyohaiva heard that and thought: "I will change back. I want to go to that old man's house." Then she turned human again, and went to the house. The old man saw her coming and said: "See, she is coming. I told you that it was no arrow. It is a person who is coming." When she reached the house, the old man said: "Give her to eat: give her pumpkins and corn." They had food ready and gave it to her. But she did not know that it was food and would not eat it. She had never eaten that kind before. They wanted her to eat and said: "Why do you not eat?" But she said: "No, I do not want to." She was afraid. She thought: "If I eat it, perhaps it will kill me."[27] She wanted to go on and did not even sit down. She only squatted and sang. (3 songs.)

[25] And flew.

[26] Haltoṭ, given as meaning himake, his back, more likely is the word for spider; amitš, far; kw-isam, see.—This is also an insect, a small rough bluish or gray beetle that feigns death when handled.

[27] The Mohave are averse to strange food; it may bring sickness.

15a. She wanted to go on to Aqwāqa-have.[28] So she started. Now she came to Aqwāqa-have. There were four brothers who lived there, old men: Nyahamo-vetaye,[29] the oldest, Otšôuta,[30] the next, Hiδô-kwitara,[31] the next, and Kīm-ku-sumā,[32] the youngest.

[28] Aqwāqa is deer.

[29] Nyahamo "from ahmo', mortar" (?); vetaye, atai-k, large, much. Cf. Nyahaim-, wet, moist, in ritual names.

[30] From itšou-k, to make (?). "He was well-made, good looking."

[31] Hiδô, his eyes; kwi-tara, compare δo-tara-k, blind. "He always looked down."

[32] Kīm-, cf. akyêm, shoot; ku-sumā, dream. He dreamed of bows and arrows and instructed people in successful hunting, and told how he could shoot the sky and make his arrows stick in it. He shot at ammo, the mountain sheep (the three stars of Orion's belt); hence people hunt mountain sheep. Two or three small stars in a row in Orion are his arrow.

[31] 15b. Nyahamo-vetaye had a daughter. He said to her, as Nyohaiva arrived: "When a traveler comes, you must talk to her. You must make her come to the house and be her friend. That is the way you should do." When the old man said that, his daughter went to Nyohaiva, took her by the hand, and brought her to the house. Nyohaiva would not go in, but sat outside at the corner of the house. The four men did not know her. "I wonder who she is," they thought. She was ashamed and did not look up. She kept her face down.

15c. Then Kīm-ku-sumā, the youngest of the four, said: "Do you not know her? Have you not heard of her? Her name is Nyohaiva. When she came to one place, she changed her name and took a new one. I heard that she was coming. Now that she has come, I can tell from the way she sits, squatting without sitting down, and from her not looking at us, that when she goes below where there are many people, she will stir up trouble and there will be war and you will not sleep well."[33] He was afraid of her and wanted her to be killed.

[33] From fear of night or dawn attacks.

15d. Then Hiδô-kwitara, the next oldest brother, said: "Well, if you will kill her, you must send word to all, so that they will come and all our people may know it. Send a man to Haltoṭ-amītš-kwisāma to tell him that we wish him to come; that everyone should be here in four days. I want to roast her alive. I do not want only to kill her: I want her blood, and her bones to crush and mix with what we eat. We will do that on the fourth morning." Nyohaiva heard them say that; and they, though saying it, nevertheless gave her to eat; but she would not eat it. She had heard them say that they would kill her in four days.

15e. After two days she went outside and dug down in the ground. There she found a kneecap. "That is my father's bone," she said. She dug on and found a foot bone. "That is my mother's bone," she said. She dug on and found a rib. Then she said: "That is my brother's[34] bone. The people here have killed them. I think that they will try to kill, me in the same way. They recognize me from my face. They knew me because my face was like my father's and my mother's and my brother's. How will they kill me? I would like to know how they will do. They will make me bet my body against something that they put up and then they will kill me. They will bet something against me."

[34] Havīkwek, of note 22.—Finding and playing with bones of kinsfolk who have been killed by people that are plotting to kill the hero also, is a stock episode in Mohave mythology, and a standard motive for fighting. Cf. the Cane myth. A game and bet are also a usual preliminary to war. There is a seeming contradiction in the fact that Nyohaiva, who grows from the ground while the earth is still new, should have parents killed long before. Most Mohave myths, however, begin with the growth or birth of the hero; and if fighting later occurs, it is motivated in the way just explained. Both incidents conform to the conventional pattern according to which myths are constructed, so the logical inconsistency does not jar.

15f. Then in four days everyone came there. Nyohaiva had kept under the belt of her skirt the bones that she had found. Now, taking the foot bone[35] in her hand, she said: "If you can take it away from me, you can kill me. If you cannot take it away from me, you shall not kill me. If I am not able to keep and hold it, you may kill me. I do not think you will be able to take it away from me, and if you cannot take it away, I will go off. I will try to run to Avi-'itšôrinyêne and there I will be free. But if you can take it away from me, and bring it to Kunyāvatš-yampeve, you can have my bones and blood." Then they prepared to take from her the ball of bone. But she had dug a little hole[36] and there she buried the ball and stood on it. Then she waved her hands and made it appear as if she were hiding the bone as she folded her arms. She said: "If you do not take it away from me before I come as far south as Avi-'itšôrinyêne, I shall win; but if you can get the bone to Kunyāvatš-yampeve, then I shall lose." Then they all came toward her. She ran south, holding the bone between her toes where they did not see it. They reached her, seized her arms, looked for the bone in her hands, but could not find it. Again they pursued her, seized her, held her fast, tore off all her clothes. She fell, got up again, and ran on, scratched all over, but they did not find the bone. Then, when she came to Avi-'itšôrinyêne, she threw the bone up, and they all stopped. So this one woman had beaten those people. "I have beaten you all. I have dreamed well. In four days we shall have war," she said, and stretched out her arm towards them with four fingers extended (spread in defiance). They stood and looked at her and thought: "Did I not know it? You cannot overcome her. She is Nyohaiva. Now we have made trouble for ourselves. Everything will be turned over." (4 songs.)

[35] Perhaps a heel bone, as it is later spoken of as a ball.

[36] With her toes.

16. From there Nyohaiva went down the river to Avi-haly'a.[37] There she saw Amaly-kapaka[38] who had come to that place with many people. She said to him: "I can tell about your body and about you. I can tell about another thing too: I say there will be war in four days." (4 songs.)

[37] Moon-rock, or moon-mountain. It was recorded as -hily'a (Yuma form?), whereas the Mohave for moon is haly'a.

[38] Again an insect. Amaly-kapaka are small flies such as settle on horses.

17. She went on again. As she traveled she kept saying that there would be war in four days. There was no one there and she was all alone, nevertheless she told of the war. Then she came to Avê-ny-eva. Two men lived there, Ahma-kunuhwilye and [32] Tšem-korrave,[39] his younger brother. She came to the house in which they were. She stood at the door and did not say a word. They did not know her, so they said: "Who is it?" Then she told them: "I am Aθ'inkumeδī. I have come to announce war: I say it will be in four days. That is why I have come here: I have come to tell you in how many days there will be war." The two men said: "I know Aθ'inkumeδī: she is Nyohaiva. I know her." (1 song.)

[39] Both brothers are green worms or caterpillars that live in cottonwood trees. They have a bitter taste. The ordinary name of Ahma-kunuhwilye is hamasukwenpa. A similar black worm is called amiθe. Ahma, quail, is also a small bitter melon, not good to eat; ku-nuhwilye is to drag. Korrave, or kw-irrave, means pain. Tšem-korrave was thinking of his food, hukθara-nyamely-a'uva, coyote's-food-tobacco, a strong, pungent, wild tobacco.

18. Then she went on and came to a place to which she gave the name Qapotaq-iv'auve. She stood there and said: "I can tell where I am: I have dreamed well." Now she was there alone, but she said: "I say we shall have war." Then she tried what she could do. She trotted, to the south one step (sic). Then she came back. Then she trotted one step to the west and returned, then one to the north, then one to the east.[40] Then she pulled out one hair on her right side and threw it to the west, and it began to rain. She said: "I thought I should do that. I dreamed about war: that is my power; I know that." (4 songs, one about each direction.)

[40] Sunwise circuit, beginning with the south. This is unusual, but she is traveling south.

19. She went on down again until she came to Avi-tuva'auve. There she stood and said: "I thought the sky was far off. I thought the earth, too, was far around, and that its end could not be told. But now, when I have arrived here, the sky is not far away, and the (end of the) earth is near." Thus she thought. (2 songs.)

20. She went on again and came to Ak'ulye-tšakapāva, a high hill, on which she stood. From there she heard and saw many men. She said: "They have been away a long time. I heard of that; I see it now. They are ready to make war. I see them prepared with feathers, with bows and arrows and war clubs, and with paint, ready to fight." (2 songs.)

21. From there she went on, running. When she had gone part of the way to where she had seen the people, she came to a rock. She stood on this. This rock had no name. She said: "I give it a name. I call it Avi-tšitše." From there she again saw the people all ready for war. "I am glad," she said, as she saw them playing and wearing feathers and carrying bows and clubs. (4 songs.)

22. She went on down along the river again. Four times she ran and rested. Then she began to be near the place. Now she had long hair[41] and wore a dress of willow bark.[42] Then she thought: "How shall I approach them?" Then she took some of the strands of her dress from one side and the other and tied them across the front like a belt. She did not tie her hair, but grasped it on both sides and twisted the two masses into a knot behind.[43] "And I want to do something to look pretty," she said. She took a handful of dirt and rubbed it across her jaw and her forehead. "That will not do: it will not show," she said. Putting her hands down to the ground once more, she dug. Then she reached into the hole and took out white earth paint. From a handful she made four horizontal stripes across her face. These were white and plain. "That is better. Now I look well. And I will give a name to this place. I will call it Amaṭ-ehê'-iδauve.[44] Now it has a name." (4 songs.)

[41] Halfway down her thigh.

[42] Reaching below the knee.

[43] Tšumkwinevek.

[44] Amaṭ-ehê', white earth paint.

23. Then she started and ran again. She ran twice and rested. Then she arrived where those people were. She did not go in among them, but stood off at a little distance. She saw that they were prepared and ready for war, with feathers and bows and clubs and all weapons. Then Hivilyk-kemohakwe,[45] a man who was there, called to her, "Come!" She came nearer but soon stood still. "Come!" he called again. Again she came but stopped. "Come!" he said once more, and again she came but stood. Again he said, "Come!" This time she came in among the crowd. She still held white paint in her hand. When the people saw this, they all took some from her, put it into their own hands, spat on them, rubbed them together to make them white, then drew their finger-tips over their palms, and with their fingers painted white marks on their hair. They said: "We will fight. We want to prepare because we will fight." They all did that. Then Nyohaiva said to them: "It is well. But wait: I will think about it. I will tell you how to go, how to arrive, how to fight. Now I want to give a name to this place so that all will know from where we started to go to war. The name of this place is Ava-tšohai.[46] Now all will know it." (4 songs.)

[45] Evidently a bird, like the other leaders among his people. Hivi-lye, on my shoulder; kemohakwe, "cf. hakehake, many-colored."—"His other name was Itoke-pilyuwake," (a small, red-bellied, sharp-billed bird).

[46] In Arizona, above Yuma, well below Parker. This is as far south as she travels. Ava is house.

24. Then she said: "Who dreamed about war? Who knows how to fight? Who will be leader? The first will be Horrave-sakamīm.[47] The next will be Aqāqa-suverevere-ketukupanye.[48] The next will be [33] Ampot-ahwaṭe."[49] She herself was to be the fourth. Horrave-sakamīm was to be the leader and go first and kill. All wanted to go along. (3 songs.)

[47] The blackbird with a white spot behind its eye. Horrave-sakamīm means "lighting-extinguish."

[48] A similar bird with an erect crest. Aqāqa, raven or crow; su-verevere, rope or band of erect trimmed raven feathers; ke-tukupánye, tie on the head.

[49] The red-winged blackbird. Ampot-ahwaṭe, red-dust. He painted each shoulder red before fighting.

25. Now they were ready and wanted to cross the river. They gathered, tied driftwood into bundles, and put their weapons on them.[50] Then they crossed to the west side of the river and came to Ahpe-hwêlyeve.[51] "When we arrive there I will tell you more," Nyohaiva said. (4 songs.)

[50] Improvised ferriage to keep bowstrings dry.

[51] Ahpe', metate or grinding slab.

26. Nyohaiva said: "Men who are at war do not stay long in one place; they do not rest, but go on. Let us go at once." Then they went north along the west side of the river. They continued to go on to Amaṭ-tato'itše. Then she said: "Let us rest: all sit in the shade." Now Hivilyk-kemohakwe went off from them up on the mesa to see if there was anyone to fight. As he looked north to see if there were smoke or dust, he stepped on an ataṭa (Mamillaria) cactus. The thorns entered his foot, hurt, and he was unable to walk. He returned crawling on his knees. Then Nyohaiva said; "See, we have bad luck. If we had good luck, the thorn would not have entered you: now your luck is bad." Then she drew out all the thorns. "Now you are well again: you will walk. Let me see you!" He tried to walk but could not yet. Then she spoke and sang once more, and now he had no pain and could walk again. "Let us go on," she said. (2 songs.)

27. They went northward. When they came to Aqwāqa-mūnyô, they saw dust and smoke and heard noise. Nyohaiva said: "That is near the place. That is near my father's and mother's and brother's bones. I came by there. I know they are there, those whom we go to fight. Now all do as I want you to. I wish all tribes to fight. If I did not fight, no one in future would fight." She thought of what she was about to do, and how pleasant it would be, and that they were all to learn how to make the war dance. (3 songs.)

28. They started on again. Now they were near, at Matha-tše-kwilyeve,[52] and stopped. There were hills there and a wash and a little mesa. Someone was standing on the mesa. He ran down toward them. Nyohaiva saw him coming and said: "I think they are sending a message to us. They are sending someone as a spy. Or perhaps he is coming to meet me, to tell me that there will be war. I see him: he is coming." Now that person came among the crowd. He was not afraid. Nyohaiva saw him and said: "Oh, you are my brother."[53] Then he said: "There where you see the smoke and hear the noise they killed my father and mother and brother and took their bones and played with them. They enslaved me. Now they have let me go. 'He is going to become something,' they said of me." His body was a person's, but he had horns. He wore skin clothing. Then Nyohaiva took his shirt, his leggings, and his moccasins from him. She sent him away to the west to eat grass and become a mountain sheep.[54] "Go that way," she said. "The mountains there will be full of sheep. East of the river there will be no sheep in the mountains. When you find grass, eat that. I call you hômô.[55] Now you are hômô." (4 songs.)

[52] Matha-, wind, also north.

[53] Navīkwek, sibling or twin, as ante, notes 22, 34. "She was the older."

[54] Ammo.

[55] Said to be "the Chemehuevi word" for mountain sheep. This however is naah. Hômô is not the form in any known Yuman dialect. It may represent distorted Mohave as it is supposed to be pronounced by the Chemehuevi.

29. Then they went on again until they came to Koθîlye. There Aθ'inkumeδī (Nyohaiva) entered the river up to her knees. The water rushing about her legs made a noise and frightened her. She said: "I will tell of this water. Then the river will not run fast. It will flow slowly. I will make it be like that, not as it is now." So she told[56] about the river. When she had sung three times, the river flowed smoothly and they crossed to the eastern side once more. (3 songs.)

[56] Sang?

30. Now when they had arrived on that side, all took up their feathers and paint, and Nyohaiva said: "Put on your feathers and paint. Paint yourselves black, but your hair red. I will tell you what to do. I will sing about you." (4 songs.)

31. Then, when all were dressed, they went on. They went without stopping, and as they walked Nyohaiva continued to talk. The four leaders[57] went ahead; the others were behind. Nyohaiva said: "I will reach them first. I will begin the fight." As she walked she sang about their steps, and as their arms swung she sang of those. For a little distance she sang thus. (5 songs.)

[57] Nyohaiva and the three blackbirds.

32. Now they were near, and all of them ready, painted and wearing feathers and holding their clubs. Then Nyohaiva said: "I dreamed well: no one can surpass me." She wanted to do something. She spat on her hand, rubbed her hands together to make a ball magically, and threw it towards the people at Aqwāqa-have. "That will make them sleep," she said. What she threw entered Nyahamô-vetaye's house and hit a post. It was nearly sundown and Nyahamô-vetaye's people were still outdoors; but now they all came in; everyone went in. Nyohaiva said: "See, they are all entering. We shall overcome them. They can do nothing against us. I am able to make them all go into the house. You will see that they all sleep. Now we four will go in: the rest of you stay here." Then the four leaders went on and entered the house. They were looking for one man. In the dark Nyohaiva put her hand on the legs and faces of the sleepers in order to [34] find him. As she touched them she made them weak and sleepy. Then she found the man in the middle of the house. She put her hand on his body and on his ear and knew him because he lacked one ear. His hair was long and he had it coiled in a large bunch, on which his head was resting.[58] Nyohaiva said: "This is he for whom I was looking: this is Otšôuta, who wanted to kill me.[59] Now I have found him and will kill him." Then the four carried him outside. Nyohaiva said to him: "I will take your head from you alive. I will tell you about it before I kill you." As Otšôuta sat there,[60] she seized his hair and pulled it. Four times she moved him as she pulled it. The fourth time she said: "Now I will behead you. I have no knife, but I can kill you with my thumbnail." Then she felt about his neck. She knew where the bones joined: there she cut him with her thumbnail. She cut entirely around his neck, cut off his head, and held it up. The body lay there, jumped up, walked, fell down, jumped again, fell, and died only after a time. Then Nyohaiva said: "Now we will tell about this head."[61] (4 songs.)

[58] Evidently using a coil of his long plastered pencils of hair as a pillow, a sleeping habit not specifically reported before.

[59] The story has mentioned only his two younger brothers as urging her death.

[60] He was apparently awake now, but unable to move.

[61] Such a head, their usual war trophy, is commonly called a "scalp" in English by the Mohave.

33. Then she said to her people: "Let us go northward on this side of the river. I have heard that people live here; but we will not go near them. They want war with us, but we will not stay." So they went. They came to Aha-δekupīδa.[62] They went on past that place, on up the river until they came to Sama'ôkusa. Many people lived there. There were four men[63] there, Alyha'-tuyāme, Alyha'-tokwīme, Alyha'-tšaôre, and Alyha'-mīṭ-kusāma.[63a] Many people wanted to see the head that she brought, but Nyohaiva said: "No, I will not show it to you now. I will let you see it, but not now. You will see it in time." She hid the head under her dress. She would not show it to them. She said: "When I show it and you sing, all will know what to do with it." Then she marked a ring on the ground. She stood in the center and waved her hand to the people to come. "Come, all of you, and see this head," she said. All came and stood about. Then she threw the head up so that it fell on the ground: she threw it up four times. Then she said: "Now you have seen the head: you all know it. Now we will sing about it." Then she sang about its bones, its eyes, its eyelashes, its tongue, its mouth, its teeth, and its nose. (4 songs.)

[62] "Owl water."

[63], [63a] Alyha' is a transvestite, a man living a woman's life. Such people would be likely to be prominent in a dance in which women participated. Tuyame, tayām-k, walk in a circle; -tokwīme, stand in one place; tšaôre, said to be connected with kavaôrem, to step on, as on the heel of one in front; -mīṭ-kusāma, perhaps from amītš, far, kw-isam, see.

34. She said: "Now you have all seen what I do. That is how I want you to do. After I am dead,[64] you will do the same. But there is another thing." She made four heaps of sand. Then she ran to the south, returned, and with her right foot stirred in one of the heaps. She ran east and returned and stirred in another heap; then north, and stirred in another heap; then west, and stirred in the fourth.[65] As she stirred that one, she took out from it[66] a sandbar-willow (ihore) stick, a long wand. On the end of it she tied the hair of the head so that it waved.[67] "That is how I do," she said. "That is how I want you to do." (4 songs.)

[64] Have become transformed.

[65] Anti-sunwise circuit, beginning at south.

[66] By magic.

[67] Now a true scalp.

35. When they had finished that, she said: "When there is war and a scalp is taken, people will do as I have done. They will dance and enjoy themselves. All will be happy and will play and sing. I have done that. Now I wonder what I shall be. I wonder where I shall go." As she thought, she was holding the skull of the head in her hand. She went eastward two steps and stood there. "The name of this place is Amaṭ-ya'āma,"[68] she said. Then, standing there, she threw Otšôuta's skull far south, nearly to Yuma. "I want it to become a rock," she said. Then it became the rock called Avi-melyekyête.[69]

[68] About four miles east of the Mohave Reservation Agency at Parker, in Arizona.

[69] A sharp upright rock at Picacho at the foot of the Chocolate mountains, above Yuma. According to Ford, Ethnography of the Yuma, p. 102, there was a historic Yuma village here.

36. Now the people there stood in a circle about her. She was thinking about her own body. "I wonder what color I shall be: white or blue or yellow? Well, I will turn black. I shall be a rock, but all will know me, that I am Nyohaiva. My name will be Avi-soqwīlye.[70] All will know that rock and that it is Nyohaiva." (No songs.)

[70] A black rock, "as large as a house," on which soqwīlye hawks nest. It is about a quarter of a mile from Amaṭ-ya'āma. The transformation is appropriate for the leading character of a war cycle, because dreaming of soqwīlye hawks is what makes warriors.



As already said, the Nyohaiva singing is "short": it requires only one night to complete, probably including a certain amount of narration.

I give the number of songs at each point, first as the narrator volunteered them in telling the full text, and next as he subsequently revised them in a review of the skeleton of the story. There are the usual discrepancies; some perhaps due to misunderstanding; more, probably, to his not having in mind any really fixed scheme of the number of songs at each place.


Origin, Identity, Future    
1. Born at Miakwa'orve 3 3
2. South to Iδô-kuva'īre 2 1
3. Yuma Av'alyunu singing like Mohave Nyohaiva 1 0
4. At Selye'aya-kumītše, about her identity 4 4
5. At Kamahnulye, the same 4 4
6. At Savêt-tôhe, the same 3 3
Detour to the Walapai    
7. At Aha-kuvilye, about buckskin shirt wearers 4 1
8. Returning from the Walapai to the river 4 3
Southward again    
9. At Hotūrveve, on the trail 1 1
10. At Iveθīkwe-'akyulye, about her new name 4 4
11. At Amaṭ-ehê'-kwaδôske, claimed as sister 3 3
12. At Ho'aunye-vatše, claimed again 3 3
13. At Ahmo-kutšeθīlye, hears singing ahead 2 (?)
Magic, Game Won, Defiance    
14. Flies as arrow to Amaṭa-kwitše; afraid to eat 3 3
15. From Aqwāqa-have to Avi-tšôrinyêne, wins contest, defiance 4 4
War Will Come    
16. At Avi-haly'a, telling of war coming 4 4
17. At Avê-ny-eva, same 1 1
18. At Qapotaq-ivauve, the cardinal directions 4 3
19. At Avi-tuva'auve, the sky is near 2 3
20. At Akulye-tšakapava 2 3
21. Avi-tšitše named 4 3
22. At Amaṭ-ehê-'iδauve, about white paint 4 3
War Party Got up    
23. At Ava-tšohai, reaching allies 4 4
24. Horrave-sakamīm appointed leader there 3 0
On the March, and Preparations    
25. Crossing the river to Ahpe-hwêlyeve 4 2
26. At Amaṭ-tato'itše, curing cactus spine 2 2
27. At Aqwāqa-mūnyô, on the way to battle 3 3
28. At Matha-tše-kwilyeve, meeting mountain sheep 4 3
29. At Koθīlye, crossing the river 3 3
30. Across it, painting themselves 4 3
31. On the way, about her steps and arms 5 3
The Stupefied Foe Is Beheaded    
32. At Aqwāqa-have again, Otšôuta decapitated 4 4
The Victory Dance    
33. At Sama'ôkusa, about his scalp; the Alyha' 4 4
34. At same place, the scalp on the pole 4 4
Transformation of Victim and Victor    
35. At Amaṭ-ya'āma, Otšôuta's skull thrown to Picacho Rock 0 4
36. Nyohaiva turns into Hawk-Rock 0 0
  110   98+

The first list aggregates 110 songs in 34 groups; the second, 98 or 100 in 33. In the first list, groups of four songs are most frequent, occurring 17 times. In the second list groups of four occur only 10 times, but groups of three 16 times. In short, in the second enumeration the typical group consists of three instead of four songs. At what appear to be crucial points—Nyohaiva's identity, her new name, the contest, Otšôuta's killing, the scalp dance—the two lists agree in naming the full complement of four songs. Evidently there is some sense that lesser episodes merit fewer songs. That this sense of relative weight is fairly constant is shown by the fact that of 31 places or stages to which both lists attribute songs, 19 have the same number; 9 differ by only one song, as three for four or three for two; and only 3 differ more widely: see paragraphs 7, 25, 31. There is thus evident a plan in the narrator's mind for relative elaboration of songs in different parts of the story. This plan is adhered to with approximate consistency or repetition; but it is no precise ritual scheme fixed in memory.

As usual, the song scheme serves also as a synopsis of the narrative. I have therefore organized it by introducing captions. It is evident from this outline that only about three of the thirty-odd sections contain vigorous plot such as is the usual content of myths and tales in cultures of the same general level as the Mohave. These are sections 14 and especially 15 and 32. If to these are added the first and last one or two brief sections, to give the heroine an origin and an end, we have about the equivalent of what most American tribes would use to make a tale. The remaining sections, nearly thirty, are Mohave filling, or prolixity, dispensable incidents which make the story run slower but give opportunity to build up the singing into a long series, a real cycle, corresponding to a ritual among other tribes. This song association is presumably the cause of the dilatory narration; though it is also clear that [36] the Mohave like the strung-along episodes for their own sake, and maintain the habit even when the narrative is unaccompanied by songs, as in the Mastamho myth and Great Tale.

The difference in manner, according as interest in plot or in song themes prevails, is shown by the fact that the three paragraphs mentioned (14, 15, 32) take up about three-tenths of the length of the narrative, but have only one-tenth of the songs referring to them. That is, Mohave singing is far from really dramatic. Its text tends to be pensive, subjective, reflective on incidents. When the action becomes eventful, tense, or critical, the songs become few, or drop out, until the flow of the narrative quiets again.

From one to four of the songs of each of the groups were phonographically recorded in cylinders catalogued as 14-228 to 14-269 in the University of California Museum of Anthropology. The correspondence of these phonograms to the sections of the narrative is as follows:

Sections     Phonograms
  1 228-230
  2 231
  4-7 232-235
  9-12 236-239
14-23 240-249
25-32 250-257
33 258, 264-266
34 259, 267-269
35 260-263

That is, all the songs pertaining to the first section and the three last sections were recorded; but only the first of each group of songs for the other sections.



This song-myth was recorded near Needles on March 19, 1903, from Pamitš, "Weeping Person," a middle-aged man of the Sun-fire-deer-eagle clan, who call their daughters Nyo'iltša (or Nyôrtša after they have lost a child). Jack Jones interpreted. The story has been previously outlined and discussed in Handbook of the California Indians, page 761, and some songs given on page 758. It was there characterized as "a curious tale within a tale, if it can be called a story at all. The [boy] heroes do nothing but move thirty feet, sing all night, and disappear [as ravens] at daybreak. What they sing of is what any Mohave would be likely to sing of if he sat up. The story is thus but a pallid reflection of the conventional subjects of Mohave singing." This judgment is confirmed by the outline of songs given below.

While Raven is said by the Mohave to be sung at celebrations and to refer to war, along with Tumanpa, Vinimulye, and Nyohaiva, it differs from the last two of these—which have just been given—in that these contain actual narratives of fighting as the central theme of the plot; whereas Raven merely sings of war customs in the abstract. There is also no travel in Raven, except mental travel. Tumanpa is like Raven in that it has no war story; like Vinimulye and Nyohaiva in that there is journeying; and is peculiar—especially for a war and festival song-cycle—in that its formal theme is incest.


Pamitš said to me: "I was a baby boy [meaning a foetus—see below] when I dreamed this singing: it was given me by the Ravens. Now I am a man, but have not forgotten it. I dreamed it before I ever was born. If I had been born when I dreamed it, I would have forgotten it. No, I did not learn it from other Mohaves; and I did not hear any of them sing it. In fact, no one else sings like this, for it was I that dreamed it myself." Later he added: "Only I and Jo Nelson" (the narrator of the Mastamho Myth, VII, below) "know this Raven, and he learned it from me; he did not dream it. Jo is my paternal cousin, itškāk" (a term not recorded otherwise). "If one of us two dies, the other will sing Raven for him all of a day and a night. My older brother, and his son, also learned it from me. And my grown-up daughter learned it, without dreaming: I will sing it for her if she dies, or she for me."

He added: "When a raven is on the ground, he hops twice before rising in flight. That is why I shake my gourd rattle downward twice before raising it to sing; and why the women who are to dance hop twice before I start my song. Then, when I shake it upward, they just walk past me; until, a few beats before the end of the song (8 or 10 bars), I make a long downward sweep of the rattle, nearly to the ground. This is the signal for the women to begin to dance. When we do like this, in the daytime, it is outdoors, and I walk slowly back and forth, and the women dance forward and backward, following me. When I sing indoors, there is no dancing, and I stay seated in one place near the middle of the house all night, except sometimes I rise to my knees."

I did not see an actual Raven dance, but it was illustrated for me as follows. The women bend their knees somewhat so that their skirt hem is lowered perhaps four or five inches. They then sag and rise in the knee an inch or two, without moving their feet or even rising on their toes. The body is inclined slightly forward, the head is erect, the eyes wide open and looking level (not lowered as by Plains Indian women); the arms hang straight down, almost stiffly, the wrists perhaps being bent back a trifle. When the women move forward and back, they shuffle their feet forward (or back) an inch or two at each step, without raising them from the ground.


1. Birth of the brothers 4  
2. Cane buzzers 4  
3. Darkness and war 4  
4. Gourd rattles 4 16
5. Bat flying west 6  
6. Stars 12  
7. Cane 18 36
8. Hostile tribes 4  
9. Wind and dust and war 4?  
10. Brave men 4  
11. Fighting 4  
12. Captive women 2  
13. Scalped men 4  
14. Return with the scalps 4  
15. Arrival at Bill Williams Fork 4  
16. The start next morning 4  
17. Message of victory 4  
18. Dance with the scalps 22  
19. Gathering and feast 8 68
20. Masohwaṭ bird 12  
21. Night hawk 4  
22. Curve-billed thrasher 8  
23. Mockingbird 6 30
Tribal Life:    
24. Grinding food 6  
25. Play at Miakwa'orve 2 8
26. Bodies of the brothers 4  
27. Their knowledge 4  
28. Their future shape 4  
29. New names 4  
30. Wish to change 4  
31. Learning to fly 4  
32. Departure 4 28
Total   186



1. It was at Ha'avulypo that Matavilya built the first house.[1] After he died, two brothers, Aqāqa, the Ravens, were there. When such birds find anything that has died, they eat it; but they would not have eaten Matavilya then, even if they had seen him. But they did not see him, for these two, the older and the younger brother, only grew from the ground where the northwest corner of the house had been, after this house had been burned down.[2] The name of the older brother was Humar-kwiδe, of the younger, Humar-hanga.[3] They were little boys then—not Ravens. They looked up to the sky, and all about, and saw that the world had been made. Then they looked toward the south. As they sat, they each sang two songs; first the older, then the younger. (4 songs.)[4]

[1] As told more fully in other accounts.

[2] As doors are to the south, this would be the right rear corner, from inside.

[3] Humar is boy; the sound ng does not occur in Mohave speech, but is frequent in the distorted forms which words assume when sung. Hang is also the Mohave idea of the reverberating sound produced by beating or scraping a basket set in front of the mouth of a jar—the proper accompaniment to certain song-series.

[4] The first song of the four is: humīk pi'ipaik nakwiδauk, now-both being-alive we-sit-here.

2. Then they said to each other: "My brother, we will leave this place. We grew here. We came out of the corner here, but now we will leave it." So they started from their corner, crawling forward on their bent legs a short distance, four times: but they thought they were walking. Then they began to talk of cane-buzzers[5] which they had. There was no cane there then. Nevertheless they had cane, both ahta-hamaka and ahta-hatšima, large cane and small cane. They said: "I hear canes swaying in the wind in the west and in the south." They heard it rustling. That is why large cane grows in the south below Yuma, and in the west; but not in this country. They sang twice each. (4 songs.)

[5] A toy, a piece of cane as large as a finger, through which a string is passed on which it is revolved against the teeth.

3. Then they said:[6] "Listen to what we tell. We have dreamed well. We can divide the dark and the stars.[7] You do not know it, but you will have war. We did not learn that from Matavilya: we dreamed it. We are telling what is so: You will see. We are brave and tell of things which we have dreamed." (4 songs.)[8]

[6] "Said to me," in the narrator's words.

[7] Referring to wars of the Mohave against the Halchidhoma and Cocopa.

[8] The words of the first of these songs about dreaming are: sumāk imank akanavek.

4. Now as they sang, they had no gourd (rattles). They said: "We have no gourds. That will not do. When people make war and kill an enemy and dance, it will be well that they have such things." Now they were about to make a gourd to give to me.[9] They said: "We have none yet but we can make it." Then the older one stood up, turned to the west, to the north, to the east, and to the south.[10] Then he had a gourd in his right hand. He said: "It will be well, when a man sings, to use that. Everyone will like to hear it." (4 songs.)[11]

[9] Viz., to the narrator.

[10] Clockwise circuit beginning with the west.

[11] The words of these four songs are: 1, ahnālya hiδauk imat-kievek kanavek, gourd hold when-have tell; 2, ahnalya oalya viv'aum, gourd I-show standing; 3, ahnalya hiδauk amaim-itšiak viv'aum, gourd I-hold upward-raise-it standing; 4, iδauk akanavek viv'aum atšδumk atšikavakek viv'aum, I-hold-it I-tell-of-it standing look-here look-there standing. Atšiδumk and atšikavakek may refer to upstream and downstream (north and south).

5. The two Ravens had not yet gone far from their corner. They were still near the place where they had grown, and still in the house.[12] Then the older said: "My brother, there is another thing we will tell about. The bat has started from the east in the darkness and is flying westward. I hear him. It is he." The youngest did not know that. The older sang three songs and the younger three. (6 songs.)[13]

[12] The confines of what had been the house.

[13] The first of these six songs runs: tinyam-kaltšieska himan-kuyamk akanavek sivarek, night-bat rising-flies I-tell-it sing-it.

6. Then the older said: "There is another thing that I will tell of. I will tell about Orion (ammo, the mountain sheep, the three stars of the belt of Orion), and also about six that are near them (Hatša, the Pleiades). I will sing about those." Then he sang six times and his younger brother sang six times. (12 songs.)

7. Now the older said again: "There is another thing that we will sing about. It is the large cane that we heard far down in the south and west." They each sang nine songs about that. (18 songs.)[14]

[14] From here on the repetitious statements of assignment of half of each song group to each brother will be omitted.

8. Then they said: "Now let us sing of other tribes, in the south, the Halchidhoma and the Cocopa. We know more than they. We have dreamed well and are brave and can beat them." He meant that no tribe could overcome the Mohave in war. They each sang two songs about this. (4 songs.)

9. Then they said: "There is another thing we will sing about. We will tell of wind and dust. When we go to fight those people, the wind will blow and the dust will fly so that they will not see us. When we sing thus the wind will blow hard." (4? songs.)

10. Again they said: "There is another thing. Some men have dreamed well and are brave, but not all men are like that. When there is war, brave men will be the first to see where the houses of the enemy are. There will be only a few men who [39] will have that power.[15] They will not be afraid in the day nor in the night. You will see that." (4 songs.)

[15] By dreaming.

11. "There is another thing. The Mohave will have war with other tribes. They will not begin to fight at night, but in the day. They will use bows and arrows. We tell of that. We sing of fighting." (4 songs.)

12. Then they said: "When there is war, women will be captured. Perhaps two or three will be taken. They will stand with their heads down, ashamed." (2 songs.)

13. "There is another thing that we will tell about. That is scalping. When they fight, there will be men killed with long hair, and these will be scalped." (4 songs.)

14. They said: "When they have taken a scalp and go back to this country,[16] they will sing over it." (4 songs.)

[16] Really the narrator's country, Mohave valley. The Ravens are still at Ha'avulypo, many miles north.

15. They said: "When they have fought and have taken scalps and slaves, and have started to return, they will come to Hakutšyepe."[17] (4 songs.)

[17] Bill Williams Fork of the Colorado River.

16. They said: "When they have slept there, in the morning one of them will say, 'Get up.'" (4 songs.)

17. They said: "After they have started from there, they will come to Amaṭ-aθove. Then they will send word to the people in this country. They will announce: 'We have taken scalps and slaves. Prepare for the dance.' Who will carry the news to them? His name is Irra'um-kumaδaye. Then when word is sent, all will hear it." (4 songs.)

18. They said: "When they return and bring the scalps and the slaves, all the people will gather and a place will be prepared to dance. We will sing of that." (22 songs.)[18]

[18] The substance of this paragraph was given twice by the narrator. As he first mentioned 4 songs and then 22, it is possible that he meant to sing twice on this topic.

19. They said: "Now when all come to the appointed place and bring food, there will be a gathering."[19] (8 songs.)

[19] Yimatšk, festival.

20. They said: "There is another thing we are thinking of. We will tell about it. I hear the sound of a bird, far up in the sky, as it comes from the east. That bird has been here, but went away. It is our bird. We know it, though we have never seen it. Its name is Masohwaṭ."[20] (12 songs.)

[20] Frequently mentioned and probably mythical. It is described as bright red and larger than a raven. It does not live in the Mohave country. It is also called Sakatôre, it is said.

21. They said: "There is another bird, Orro.[21] It knows where to obtain daylight. It goes east and brings the day. Thus it makes morning." (4 songs.)

[21] The night hawk.

22. They said again: "There is another bird, Hotokoro.[22] We hear it making a noise." (8 songs.)

[22] The curve-billed thrasher, probably. See Mastamho, VII, 85 seq.

23. Then they said: "Different birds sing differently. There is a bird that we know, Sakwaθa'alya.[23] We will tell of him." (6 songs.)

[23] The mockingbird. One of the songs about him is: sakwaθa'alya me'eptekwoa melerqênye hiolk ikavavek, mockingbird you-are-the-one (?) from-throat loudly tell. See Mastamho, VII, 85 seq.

24. Then the older brother said: "I want to know what we shall be. I want to know what the people will do. I want to know all that." He was thinking about it. He said: "We will tell another thing. We will tell about grinding food." (6 songs)[24]

[24] The first of these six songs runs: ahpe hamutšye (for hamukye) tawām taδi(tsa)-tawam, metate muller grind maize-grind.

25. He said: "When we have finished telling about everything, we will go outdoors. There is a place called Miakwa'orve.[25] All the people will come there to enjoy themselves; they will play and sing." (2 songs.)

[25] Near Fort Mohave.

26. Now the Ravens moved, as before, creeping on their legs, still not walking. They moved from the place where they had sat, near the back corner of the house, to near the door. Then the elder said: "My younger brother, we will tell of our body: of our legs, our arms, our head, our nose. We will tell of every part of our bodies before we go outdoors." (4 songs.)

27. Then they both stood up. Now they were able to walk: they were young men. They said: "We have told all we know. It is enough. Anyone who dreams of us and sees us, will know everything, and will be able to tell all that we have said. We have not seen what we tell of, nevertheless we know all these things." (4 songs.)

28. Now they stood outside the door. Standing there, they said: "What shall we be? Now we are persons, but what shall we turn into? Shall we live in the air, or on the earth, or in the timber? Shall our bodies be black, or yellow, or red? How will it be?" (4 songs.)

29. Then the older brother said: "Which will be the best way to go? I do not yet know. I want to change my name. When we were born in the corner of the house we were called Humar-kwiδe and Humar-hanga. Now we shall not have those names any longer. My name will be Sowêltek." And the younger said: "My name will be Eteqwesongk."[26] (4 songs.)

[26] These two names are said to refer respectively to flapping and flying.

30. They did not stand still, but walked eastward and back. Then stood and then walked toward the north and back, then west and back, then [40] southward and back.[27] Now they did not want to be persons any longer. They sang four songs, two each, one for each direction. (4 songs.)

[27] Counterclockwise, starting in the east: cf. note 10; also Appendix I. The Mohave frequently mention cardinal circuits and sometimes associate colors with the points, but without any fixed direction of the circuit or fixed color association. As ritual symbolism, their material has not set. The fact and content of dreaming are more important to them than precisely formulated ritual pattern.

31. Then they said: "We have finished. We have told about our entire bodies. Now we wish to have feathers." Then they had feathers over their bodies. They tried to fly up but could not yet go far. They rose only as high as a house. Four times they tried, but said: "No, we cannot yet fly." (4 songs.)

32. Now the older stood on the east, the younger on the west, both facing the south. It had been night but now it was becoming morning. Then the older said; "The darkness comes from the east and goes west and I will follow it. Now I have another name. My name is Aqāqa-hatšyara.[28] I will go to the Kamia.[29] I will never return. I will be Crow and will not come to this country." Then he followed the darkness to the southwest. That is why he is black.

[28] Crow.

[29] The Diegueño, or perhaps more properly the Diegueño offshoot in the desert and along the river whom we call Kamia. The Mohave say that the Kamia, the Yuma, and they themselves sing Raven songs, but the Kamia series is different.

Then the younger said: "My name will be Tinyamhat-mowaipha."[30] He did not leave this country but stayed here. He is Raven.

[30] "Dark-dusk," or dusky night.

Now they had turned into birds. No one changed them, but they became thus. They went with the darkness and therefore are black. As they flew off, they said: "We fly with the help of the wind. When the wind blows hard, we fly high: it helps us; it whirls us around." (4 songs.)[31]

[31] The last song of the cycle is: matahaik (for mat-haik) ikwêrevik, wind whirls.




This tale of Aqwāq-sivāre or Deer-singing was recorded at Needles, on March 21, 1903, from Yellow-thigh, known also as Enter-fire and Three-horses, a man of one of the Tobacco clans, who call their daughters Kaṭa. Yellow-thigh did not profess to have dreamed this song-myth-cycle: he said he had learned it from his older relatives. His son also knew it.

The beginning and end of the story, comprising about a quarter of its length, deal with two great felines, Jaguar and Mountain Lion. At least, that is who they are here construed as being: certain doubts of identification will be discussed in a moment. These two create for themselves a pair of Deer, who travel eastward for two nights and on the second day of their journey are ambushed by the cats who have gone ahead to lie in wait for them in the Walapai country, in order that the Walapai may learn hunting. Three-fourths of the story relate to the wanderings of the Deer, and all the songs of the cycle except the very last set are sung by them. The listener's emotional identification is thus with the Deer, rather than with their creators and destroyers; as the cycle name would also indicate. The result is that most of the tale is pervaded by a flavor of doom, such as the Mohave manage to inject, however inarticulately, into many of their mythical narratives.

The geography—after formal respects are paid to the beginning of things at Ha'avulypo—is simple: a west-to-east journey from Gabrielino or Serrano country near the sea in California to Walapai territory in upland Arizona. This includes something of a swerve first north and then south to take in Avikwame and the upper part of Mohave valley.

Biologically, the Jaguar has his regular northern limits in Sinaloa or southern Sonora. Occasional strays however roamed into Arizona and perhaps southern California. He was certainly a traditional animal to most Mohave: very few of them could ever have seen one, even in the old days; but he was not imaginary. There is some confusion as to which name designates which feline, or whether one of them may not in fact be Wolf. I have translated Numeta as Jaguar, and Hatekulye as Mountain Lion (Puma), because Nume is Wildcat, and the Jaguar is spotted dark on yellow like that smaller stub-tailed animal.[1] Hatekulye was said by the Mohave to refer to a long tail, a feature which many Indian tribes note about Mountain Lion. Etymologically, the word seems to mean "long dog"; which would of course be Wolf. In that event, nume-ta, the "real cat" or "large cat," would presumably be the commoner Mountain Lion, and Jaguar would not enter into the present story. The wobbliness of identification by the Mohave and other Yumans is increased by the fact that two other large carnivores besides the jaguar, the wolf and the bear, are not regular habitants of their lands.

[1] These are the vocabulary data: In all Yuman dialects, nume', or some obvious dialectic variant, means wildcat. In Walapai (F. Kniffen et al., Walapai Ethnography, AAA-M 42, 1935) nyimi-ta was given as mountain lion (p. 64), and hat-akwila as wolf, described by some, however, as blunt-nosed like a cat, and perhaps confused with straggling jaguars; it also was a rare animal. In Yuma, I was given xat-akūly for mountain lion (łaqol-k meaning long), to which īmtša xantš-ekuł was said to be the Cocopa equivalent. I secured no words for jaguar or wolf. In Maricopa my forms ran: name', wildcat; nam·e-t or nam·et xat-ekyulyk, mountain lion; xat-ekwily(k) or xat-ekuly, wolf. Spier, Comparative Vocabularies (Univ. N. Mex. Publ. Anthr. no. 2, 1946, pp. 104 seq.) gives these Maricopa forms: name-s, wildcat; name-t, cougar (viz., mountain lion); name-t hatagult, "cougar wolf"; name-t katca-s, jaguar; xatagult, xatagulya, wolf, ? from xatagwilg, "bigger than a dog" (xat). In the same place he gives the Havasupai forms as nyim'i, wildcat; nyimita, mountain lion; hatagwila, wolf; no form for jaguar. The weight of this comparative evidence would seem to make the heroes of the present Mohave tale Mountain Lion and Wolf rather than Jaguar and Mountain Lion. But what is perhaps surest is that two of these three carnivores did not occur regularly in Mohave territory, and Mountain Lion was probably uncommon, so that a degree of uncertainty prevailed as to the identity of all of them.

The amount of discursive detail in this version is moderate. The number of songs in the series is around 90. No two statements by the narrator, as to how many he sang at each point, agree altogether; as is customary for the Mohave. But the subjoined table shows that a scheme is adhered to. The narrator probably intends singing about 4, or 7, or 1, or 3, or 8 songs on a given episode, and perhaps approximately remembers sets of words for each song in a group. The blanks in the first column of the table presumably mean only that the teller had not yet got started in mentioning songs. If we supply the omissions from the next column, the addition of these 23 makes the total 90, as compared with totals of 90 and 88 in other listings.



Number of Songs Mentioned by Narrator

Place in Story In Original Dictation In Review at Conclusion In Attempt to Reconcile
"Dark-mountain" in the west .. 4 4
Hoalye-kesokyave .. 8 10
Avi-kitšekilye .. 4 3
Ava-sa'ore .. 4 4
"Sandbar-willow-water" .. 3 3
New York Mountains 3 3 3
Avi-kwinyamaθave 3 3 3
Avikwame (Dead Mt.) 3, 13, 1 3 14
Iδô-kuva'īre 7 7 9
Qara'erva 1 1 1
Selye'aya-kumitše 3 3 3
Kamahnulya 2 2 2
"Raven's house" .. 3 3
"Excrement-sand" 1 4 1
"White-water" 2, 9 9 9
Avi-kwaθanye 1 1 1
Walapai Mountains 7 11 7
Hoalye-ketekururve 5 9 7
"Land-blood-have," near Hackberry* 6 8 1
Total 67 90 88
* Sung by the cats—the rest by deer.


The following are the words of some songs:

1. The very first song of the cycle, where the Deer are made at Dark-mountain far in the west (par. 5). Deer sings: inyahavek tinyamk kanavek, west it-is-night, tell.

2. First song at Hoalye-ketekururve (par. 25), next to the last step in the journey, and the last at which the Deer sing. Hatekulye kanavek, Mountain-Lion tell-(of).

3. Same place, second song. Ipa amaimiyak kanavek, Arrow from-above tell.

4. Same, third song. Ipui-moṭe' ipa'-maimiate ninyupakem hirra'a-môṭ(e), I-shall-not-die-arrow-from-above fall-on-me it-does-not-pain.

5. Same, fourth song, last by the Deer. Ito-nye-kyam ipa'-maimiak, Belly-in-shoot arrow-from-above.

6. Apparently Jaguar sings, at Land-blood-have: Himekeseik kwora'āk-oêve, Track-them old-man (= brother).

7. The same: Intomaku-moṭe itavere(m) viewêmeθ(a), Do-not-desist chasing continue.

8. The same: Hatapui viuêmhe kworaāk-oêve, Kill-them continue brother.

9. The final song of the cycle, still by Jaguar: Kwora'āk-oêvitš atšwoδavek himaṭva hikwīve tšaθwilve kosmave, Brother divide-it flesh horns hide sinew.


1. When Matavilya died and Mastamho took his place[2] he gave supernatural power to Jaguar and Mountain Lion,[3] two brothers. No one saw them while they dug a hole into the ground and disappeared. They traveled underground toward the wind.[4] At Hatekulye-naka,[5] above Avi-kwatulye,[6] they emerged. Here they raised themselves out of the ground as far as their breasts, turning their heads to look around. Seeing only mountains all about, they said: "This is no place for us," and went underneath again.

[2] At Ha'avulypo.

[3] Numeta and Hatekulye.

[4] North, mathak.

[5] "Mountain lion's naka."

[6] "Lizard-mountain," still at Eldorado Canyon on or near the Colorado, as is Ha'avulypo also.

2. They continued westward, below the surface, until they came to Avi-kwin-yehore, Avi-ku-tinyam, Kwilykikipa, and Kwamalyukikwa.[7] There Jaguar proceeded to make Deer. He put his hand into the ground: but the earth was not good. Then he thrust his hand farther down until he found good clay. Then, just as little girls have clay dolls, he made a Deer, with legs and neck and horns and all parts. He made a Doe also. So the two Deer came into existence.

[7] West of San Bernardino, California; that is, in Serrano or Gabrielino territory. The second name means "dark mountain."

3. Now it was dark where Jaguar and Mountain Lion were.[8] Then they said: "There are flint arrow-points.[9] Some persons will dream of those. Then they will make them; they will make bows also." Then they measured a bow. They measured it a fathom in length. It was too long. So they measured it somewhat shorter, and said: "That is good: it will be right for the Walapai and Yavapai." They prepared sinews and feathers for the arrows. When they had finished everything else, they said: "Rattlesnake, scorpion, black-widow spider,[10] and tarantula[11] are the poisons to use. We will tell the Walapai and the Yavapai about them. They will take these four poisons, mix them with a plant and with red paint. They will paint their arrow-points with that and their bows and arrows too. Then if they pursue game, it will not be able to run fast."[12]

[8] Spoken of as a house, but conceived merely as a round space of darkness.

[9] Avi-rrove sohêna.

[10] Haltoṭa, a poisonous spider, probably the black widow.

[11] Kwatšmunyo-'ipe in Mohave, "but they called it hanekasave."

[12] The Mohave say that the Walapai who have dreamed of Jaguar and Mountain Lion follow this practice. If anyone but the owner takes hold of the bow, his hand swells. They also tie to their moccasins a small piece of deerskin containing this poison. Among the Mohave, on the other hand, certain men, who wish to be lucky in gambling, tie to their hair a small concealed bag of rattlesnake teeth and paint. This is, however, likely to render them cripples.

[43] 4. Now Jaguar and Mountain Lion took the two Deer that they had made and said: "They are finished. We will make wind blow on their bodies and cause it to rain over them. The rain will wash out all bad smell and make their flesh good." They made it blow and rain on the Deer and said: "Now that we have made wind and rain, all their bad smell has disappeared. Their meat is good. And now they will be able to go anywhere and never become cold."

5. The two Deer stood looking westward. Then they faced south, east, and north.[13] They wanted to know the land, and where the sun and the night came from. Now they knew that, for the male was wise. He said: "There is the sun. It is going down." But the female said: "No, the wind and the clouds are taking it away. And there is no place for it to go to; perhaps there are only mountains, perhaps only sea there. Perhaps it will go behind the mountains, or descend into the fog at the sea." Then they both looked toward the east, and the male said: "Here darkness is coming. When it comes it will bring the stars and the moon in the sky. Then we will know which way to go east." (4 songs.)

[13] Anti-clockwise circuit, starting in the west.

6. Now the two deer started eastward. They came to Hoalye-keδsokyave.[14] Jaguar and Mountain Lion had given them good eyes: They could see well. Now they said: "Everything is finished, but it is dark. Do you hear a noise? When it is dark there is always a noise. Every one sleeps except two, Tinyam-hwarehware[15] and Tonaθaqwataye.[16] They are the ones that make noise at night." (8 songs.)

[14] Said to be now a railroad station in the San Bernardino mountains, perhaps Summit. Hoalye are yellow pines.

[15] An insect living in willows, and with wings like willow leaves. Its night call is hwar hwar hwar. It exercises the Mohave imagination.

[16] Unidentified.

7. From there they started again, going eastward. When they came to Avi-kitšekilyke,[17] they said: "This is what they have given us: I know it: it is grass that they gave us." They did not eat it yet. They were to eat it soon. (4 songs.)

[17] North or west of Calico, which is not far from Barstow. The route is eastward through the Mohave desert.

8. From there, starting on again, they said: "Now the night is over. It is nearly daylight." They went eastward until they came to Ava-sa'ore.[18] There they stood and rested and looked about. They looked up at the sky and saw the star called Hamuse-anyam-kuv'a, the morning star.[19] They said: "I see it. It is there. All will be able to see it. The sun is in the middle of the sky, and we are at the middle of the earth." (4 songs.)

[18] A mountain east or northeast of Calico. An old Indian trail, from before the coming of the whites, used to pass there.

[19] "Star-day-walk." The sun follows it, and it is visible in the middle of the sky at midday.

9. Starting from there, they went east until they came to Aha-kwi-'ihore.[20] There they saw much grass, but said nothing about it; they did not eat it yet. They only said: "We are at Aha-kwi-'ihore: from here we will go on again." (3 songs.)

[20] "Sandbar willow water"; a mountain north of Blake. Soldiers were once stationed there on account of the Chemehuevi or Paiute.

10. Not far to the north from where they were are the New York Mountains. They said: "That is the place Jaguar and Mountain Lion told us of: they called it Avi-waθa; it is not far away." They went there and stood and looked. "It is a large (range of) mountain; everything grows on it, and is green and looks good. It is the greatest mountain. It has a great name and is the first of all." (3 songs.)

11. They started again, going eastward. Coming to Hukθara-tš-huerve,[21] they did not stop there, but went on eastward. At Apurui-kutokopa[21a] and Avi-kwinya'ora they also did not stop, but went on. When they came to Avi-kwi-nyamaθave,[22] they stopped. (3 songs.)

[21], [21a] Hukθara is coyote; apurui, hapurui, a pottery water jar.

[22] "Yellow-mountains," in the middle of a valley, north of Ibex and visible from it.

12. Starting again, they saw Avikwame.[23] They went northward to Avi-tšierqe,[24] without resting there, and continued to Kwanakwetšeθkyeve.[25] There they said: "I know this place: it is Kwanakwetšeθkyeve: now Avikwame is near. Grass and everything grows about that mountain; it smells good; the wind from the north brings the odor." Starting again, when they saw the grass, they jumped about as deer do, and ran here and there; but they did not yet eat. They came to Aha-mavara, to Amaṭ-qatšeqatše, and to Kwatulye-ha,[26] but went by without stopping. They came to Amaṭ-mehwave-'auve and to Hatom-kwiθike.[27] Then they said: "This is the place: this is Avikwame; now we are at Avikwame. This is what they gave us, this grass here. Everything growing about is what they told us of." (3 songs.)

[23] Dead or Newberry mountain, in the southern tip of Nevada; with Ha'avulypo, the Mohave myth focus.

[24] "Excrement-mountain"; in a valley.

[25] In a valley southwest of Newberry mountain, probably Piute valley.

[26] Kwa'tulye is a species of lizard. Ha, aha, is water, but "lizard-water," "lizard-spring," should be Aha-kwatulye or Kwatulye-nye-'aha. The word perhaps means "water-lizard."

[27] A whitish region south of Avikwame, near the Colorado.

13. Then, standing there at Avikwame, they said: "Now I will tell about my body: of my legs, my tail, my ears, my horns, and everything. Sometimes my horns change: they itch, and I rub them against rocks or trees. Then I grow new horns and the old ones are seen lying cast off on the ground. [44] Sometimes I rub myself and my hair comes off." Now there were bushes there, a huelye bush to the east and a tanyika bush to the west. The male Deer said: "I will stick my horns into these bushes and pry them off. I will leave them here at Avikwame and go elsewhere." (14 songs.)

14. Then they started southward. They came to δokupita-toδompove and Ihore-kutšupetpa,[28] but did not stop. When they came to Avi-kutaparve,[29] still farther south, they wanted to cross the river. It was sundown. They crossed to the eastern side at Iδô-kuva'īre, Kwilyeθki, and Avi-tutara.[30] As they crossed, the female came out of the river onto the bank with difficulty. She said, "I nearly drowned." But the male said: "Of course; I am a man, but I too almost drowned." (7 songs.)

[28] Lekupi'ta or δokupita, owls; toδompove, looking at one another; ihore, sandbar willow. Both places are on the Nevada side of the river, above Fort Mohave. The Deer are traveling south now.

[29] Or Avi-kwataparve; on the west bank of the river, south of the last mentioned.

[30] The three names are considered as applying to one place, not far above Fort Mohave across the river from it. Iδô means the black willow.

15. They said: "Now we know where we will go. We know where the darkness comes from. It comes from the east." They went southeastward, past Yamasave-kwohave and Aqwer-tunyive, to Qara'erva. There they stopped and said: "We call this place Qara'erva;[31] everyone will always call it so." (1 song.)

[31] A frequently mentioned place.

16. Starting again, they went southward. At Selye'aya-kumitše[32] they met Muulye, Antelopes. They saw ten or twelve of them. There were only the two Deer. The Antelope stood at a distance and then ran off. The Deer said: "I know you. You cannot climb up rough places. You can only ascend to the mesa by following up a wash. You belong to Muulye-mat'are.[33] That is the place that has been given you by Jaguar and Mountain Lion." Now the Antelope went westward to Porepore-kutšeim, while the Deer stood at Selye'aya-kumitše. (3 songs.)

[32] One mile inland (east) from Fort Mohave. Selye'aya is sand.

[33] "Antelope-playground." A place on the mesa. See note 36 below.

17. They went on southward. When they came to Kamahnulya, they stood, looked east, and saw two Wildcats[34] coming down the wash at that place. "Someone is coming," they said. They saw them carrying rats and rabbits in their belts and fastened to a string around their shoulders. When they came near, they saw that they had their tails drawn between their legs because they were afraid. The Deer said: "I know you: you are Wildcats; you hunt. When you kill rats and rabbits, you eat them raw; you do not cook them." Then the Wildcats went into the brush without looking at them. (2 songs.)

[34] Nume.

18. Starting again, the Deer came to Aqaq-nyiva.[35] (3 songs.)

[35] "Raven's-house?" The place is on a line between the town of Needles and the sharp peak called Boundary Cone or Avi-veskwi.

19. Going on, they reached Nyiketate and Selye'aya-itšierqe and Muulye-mat'are.[36] They said: "This is the place: this is where Antelope belongs. That is what I spoke of." (4 songs.)

[36] Approximately one place. It is east of Fort Mohave, north of Avi-veskwi, and marked by an exposure of whitish sand at the foot of the mesa. Selye'aya-itšierqe is "excrement-sand," but a different place from that previously so named (note 24).

20. As they stood there, they saw Avi-veskwi.[37] They said: "We will not go there, but look at it from here." It was midnight now. (1 song.)

[37] Boundary Cone, an unusually sharp peak between the Black Mountain range and Mohave valley.

21. They went on until they came near Ikumnau-tšumi, Aha-kwi-nyamasave, and Hatoδike.[38] They stood at the foot of the mesa below these places. Jaguar and Mountain Lion caused them to stop there. The male said: "This night is bad; it is not an ordinary night." But the female said: "Yes, it is usual; you will see. It is dark, and the stars are bright, it is cold, and there is a little breeze. Can you not feel it? It is cool. It is just an ordinary night." (2 songs.)

[38] All three are visible from the town of Needles. Ikumnau-tšumi is at the brink of the plateau that forms the eastern edge of the valley. Aha-kwi-nyamasave ("white water") is a large whitish depression—one of the four places at which Frog emerged after causing Matavilya's death. Hatoδike is a blackish ridge below this.

22. Then they folded their legs and laid their jaws on the gravel. Jaguar saw that; he saw them lying there, though he was far in the west. Now the male heard what (Jaguar) said and got up. He said: "It is a bad night; I have dreamed bad. I think I shall not live long." Waking the female, he said: "I will tell you what I have dreamed: I dreamed bad. I know what will happen. There are four mountains which Numeta and Hatekulye named. They are large mountains, Avi-waθa, Avi-kwame, Amaṭ-ke-hoalye, and Avi-melyehweke.[39] They said: 'When you have come to Avi-waθa and to Avi-kwame and have crossed the river, you will come to a bad place.' Now we have arrived here and I have had bad dreams. We will go on, and on another mountain I shall die. It is night and the stars are flying. They told us [45] about that too. They said: 'The stars will fly[40] and will seem to fall and strike your body.' That is how it is: I shall die; I shall be a ghost."[41] (9 songs.)

[39] Respectively, New York Mountains, Dead (Newberry) Mountain, Walapai Mountains in Arizona, and (Avi-melyehweke) a large peak or range in Arizona. This last is said to be not far from the river, east of Parker; but several ranges converge toward the river here, pointing westward and northwestward.

[40] A meteor, Hamuse-'amai-kuvuhwere, is an omen of the death of a prominent man.

[41] Nyaveδi.

23. They went on from there until they came to Maθkweha and Tšamokwilye-kwiδauve, but passed by. They came to Aha-kuvilye[42] and followed up the wash from there until they reached the mesa. Then they said: "I will give this place a name: I call it Avi-kwaθanye.[43] All will know that." (1 song.)[44]

[42] There is a spring at Aha-kuvilye, "stinking water."

[43] Kwaθanye is a small lizard. Avi-kwaθanye appears from the town of Needles as a blue peak the summit of which is visible over the plateau that bounds Mohave valley on the east.

[44] The words of the song are: iny-amaṭ Avi-kwaθanye vi'emk, My-land Lizard-mountain go.

From there they went east. They went down into the valley and crossed to the mountains called Ahta-katarapa[45] and Hanemo-nye-ha.[46] There they stood; then went upward, onto the mesa. There they saw tracks. The male said: "I know these tracks. They are the tracks of Yellow Jaguar and Yellow Mountain Lion.[47] It is they. They traveled here by the wind and by the clouds. We cannot see them, but they are above us in the canyon or perhaps in the mountain and they can see us." The female said: "You see tracks, but they are not new. They have been there a long time; they were here when the earth was made." The male said: "No, they have been here two days or three days.[48] You will see." The female said again: "No, they have been here a long time, ever since the ground was still moist and they walked on it." But the male said: "No, you will find out. They have seen us; they are watching us now." It was on the Walapai (Hualpai) Mountains[49] that they saw the tracks and stood and talked like this. (11 songs.)

[45] Ahta is cane.

[46] Hanemo'nye-ha is "duck's water." There is a small stream here.

[47] Yellow is -yamaθave. These are said to be their full names.

[48] It is only two nights since the deer were made.

[49] Amaṭ-ke-hoalye, "yellow pine country." See note 39.

24. They went on eastward. Jaguar and Mountain Lion had indeed gone before them; the Deer followed. They did not see Jaguar and Mountain Lion, but they saw what they had done, pulling out trees by the roots and breaking large rocks, so that the Deer could follow them. The male said: "See, they have pulled up trees, and broken stones and rolled them about." Then after a time they saw no more tracks: Jaguar and Mountain Lion had made the wind blow so that the footprints were effaced. The Deer went on nevertheless. When Jaguar and Mountain Lion came to Hoalye-ketekururve,[50] Jaguar, the older brother, sat down on the west side, Mountain Lion, the younger, on the east. The two Deer did not know they were sitting here, and came on until they were between them. Jaguar, in taking up his bow and arrow, made a slight noise, the Deer heard it, and he did not shoot. But Mountain Lion shot and hit the male. Deer said: "They have failed: they did not shoot me in the right place; they shot up into the sky, and the arrow only dropped on me. I was struck, but I have no pain." Then both Deer ran off eastward. (9 songs.)

[50] East of the Walapai mountains. This would be in or near the Big Sandy Wash, still in Walapai country, but not far from Yavapai territory.

25. Jaguar and Mountain Lion still sat there. Jaguar said: "Go: follow; kill them." So Mountain Lion went, and his older brother followed. They did not see the tracks of the Deer, but they followed them. They went up on the mesa. Jaguar said to his younger brother: "Keep on: follow; do not stop. I want to teach the people here, the Walapai and Yavapai, to hunt. Some among them will dream and then they will be deer hunters. Do not stop. We could kill them here, but I do not want that. We will wait until we come to Amaṭ-ahwaṭ-kutšinakwe and Amaṭ-ahwat-kw-iδau;[51] then we will kill them. When we kill them there, there will be blood on the rocks: I want to name those places for that."

[51] Amaṭa, land, place; ahwaṭa, blood, red; iδau, have, hold.

26. Then when they came to Amaṭ-ahwaṭ-kutšinakwe and Amaṭ-axwaṭ-kw-iδau, the male Deer had fallen down dead. Now Mountain Lion stood to the east of him, Jaguar on the west. Jaguar said: "You know why I have pursued him. I want only the skin and horns and sinew. You can have the meat: I do not want it." But Mountain Lion said: "No, we will divide it. I want the right horn. I too want some of the things you want." Then Jaguar said: "I wanted to divide it, but you did not want to. Well, you can have it all." And he went off to the side and stood there.[52] So he had none of it. He went away to the north, to Amaṭ-ke-hoalye, the Walapai Mountains. But Mountain Lion stood by the Deer and tore his body open with his claws. He put his hand inside and took out the heart. Then he went north, holding that. He did not take meat or skin or sinew or horns. He left them and he went to Ahta-kwatmenve.[53] (8 songs by Jaguar and Mountain Lion.)

[52] An older-younger brother quarrel typical of the myths, usually with the younger having his way.

[53] East of Kingman, below Hackberry, in the heart of Walapai territory.

The female Deer went on to Avi-melyehweke.[54]

[54] One of the four mountains mentioned above, which Deer said were named to him by Jaguar and Mountain Lion (note 39).




This group of narratives was told chiefly by an old woman of the clan which names its daughters Māha. Her more specific name was Mah-tšitnyumêve. She was a doctor for eyes that had been made sore from being struck by mesquite leaves or by a rushlike plant called hatelypo. In curing, she breathed against the palm of her hand held near her mouth, then laid the hand on the eye. She got this power from Coyote in her dream, as told in this story. She had a son called Lahoka, who was also a doctor, for the sickness caused by contact with foreign tribes. He was alleged to have also the power to make people sick, and at the time I knew his mother, he had gone from Needles to live at the reservation in Parker because of this accusation of witchcraft.

I secured the Coyote material from Mah-tšitnyumêve near Needles on March 22, 1903, as the result of an endeavor to learn more about the place of Coyote in Mohave mythology. Coyote is always mentioned in connection with the death of Matavilya, as in the beginning of the Mastamho myth (VII, 1-6), but beyond that there were mostly allusions only. This old lady said she had dreamed a Coyote story which she was ready to tell. It proved that she told it very badly. She did not pursue a consistent thread and she left contradictions which remained unresolved after questioning. The fault is undoubtedly hers, not my interpreter's, for Jack Jones was by this time well trained. She said nothing of songs belonging to the story, and I failed to enter in my notes whether I asked her.

I do not know how far the narrator's deficiencies were the result of her being a woman. She was my only Mohave woman informant on matters of myth and religion. I suspect she was unaccustomed to narrating and therefore inexpert at it. A number of people were listening in, some probably members of the household and others casual visitors. Several of these, including a man older than the narrator and one younger, protested when she concluded her main narrative (given as "A" below). They declared that she had told not a Coyote narrative, but a (private) dream, and that it was not the sort of thing to tell. Their disapproval seemed fairly strong. After this controversy had subsided, she resumed and told the briefer section given as "B," but this again evoked protest from an old man who was listening, who said it was not a genuine Coyote story, but a dream about killing people. All the Mohave listeners seemed to take for granted that Mah-tšitnyumêve had dreamed what she alleged. Their objection was to her dreaming the wrong sort of thing.

Possibly these protests had their effect, or the old lady ran out of what she had dreamed, because she then dropped into telling conventional Coyote tale episodes such as are told children—"C, D, E." These in turn stimulated the interpreter into telling several that he had heard—"F, G, H."


A: Dreamed

Coyote was a person like these Indians. There were two Coyote brothers,[1] little boys.[2] They started going from this country.[3] They had bows and arrows, and as they went along they shot at a mark, betting their arrows. They would throw up a bundle of arrowweeds to shoot at. The older won all the younger brother's arrows. Then he took one, wiped it on his anus, shot it up into a cottonwood tree, and said: "Will you go get it for yourself?" The little boy said: "No," and cried because the arrow was soiled. So he was going to leave that place and, crying, went north to θawêve, a place on Cottonwood Island. Now I was following him.[4] When he got to θawêve, I did not see him any longer, so I came back to this country here. Then I dreamed of him again at Avi-hamoka, near Tehachapi.

[1] She later denied that they were brothers. See footnote 6.

[2] The heroes as little boys is a favorite Mohave motif.

[3] "This country," namely, Mohave valley, were the informant's words. Most informants specify a named place.

[4] This is pattern again: the narrator is present at the myth-happening through having dreamed it.

The older Coyote was called θarra-veyo,[5] the younger Patša-karrawa. They were not brothers.[6]

[5] A name recorded elsewhere for Coyote. The first two syllables occur in the most common name, Huk-θara.

[6] Contradicting the former statement. See footnote 1.

At Avi-kwa'ahāθa, a mountain beyond Phoenix in Arizona, there lived an old man called Patak-sata. This is a name of Coyote. With him at the same place there lived a man called Hipahipa.[7] There were many people there at Avi-kwa'ahāθa, among them a woman called Qwāqāqta.[8]

[7] Hipahipa is a personage, or at least a name, that recurs in other tales: see Handbook, p. 772. The word definitely refers to Coyote: Hipa is the name given to all their daughters by members of those lineages whose totemic reference is Coyote.

[8] The informant said the name Qwāqāqta refers to the crow or raven, aqāqa; which sounds like an improvised etymology.—The woman's relation to the people at Avi-kwa'ahāθa is not clear. She may have been a Mohave who was married among Easterners.

[47] Now there was war between the Mohave and those people. On that day Qwāqāqta bore a boy baby. Then these people[9] won, burned all the houses and food and blankets and broke the dishes. They threw the newly born child into the brush, but did not succeed in killing it. Then they set fire to the brush, but the boy baby made it rain and did not burn.

[9] My notes say "these people," which probably means the Mohave, but might refer to the people at Avi-kwa'ahāθa.

Then the old woman, his father's mother, ha'auk,[10] found him and made a roof shade and a cradle for him and hung him up off the ground so nothing could touch him while she went out to look for inyeinye seeds for food.

[10] Father's mother is namau-(k). Ha'auk seems really to denote the reciprocal of father's mother, namely, woman's son's child, usually given as a'avak. This would fit in with my suggested explanation of the grandmother being an Easterner and the boy being born among the eastern tribe, although his mother was a Mohave. In answer to a question who the boy's father was, the informant said she did not know, except that he was a Coyote.

She was gone all day. The baby was intelligent and after she was gone, he made black balls (vanyeilk) from his own breath by magic. Before long many quail came to where he was hung up, and he snapped or filliped (harrêmk) the balls at them and killed them. Then he piled the birds into a heap and went back into his cradle.[11]

[11] The supernaturally precocious hero, who kills game from his cradle and then climbs back to it, is told of in other tales of Yuman tribes.

When his grandmother came, she said: "Who brought them here? Who did it? I am an old woman and I surely like to eat meat, but I did not think that someone would bring them under my shade roof." She was very angry and began to curse who did it. She said: "Kweva-namaue-napaue."[12]

[12] "That is how Indian women say son-of-a-bitch," the interpreter explained. The cursing consists of stringing together the names of three grandparents, who are presumably dead, and allusion to whom is therefore the height of shocking offense. The three terms are: (na)-kweu-(k), mother's father; namau-(k), father's mother; napau-(k), father's father.

The boy grew up. Then they returned to this country,[13] he and his grandmother. The Mohave Indians went to Phoenix to fight the people at Avi-kwa'ahāθa, and he went along. Patša-karrawa was his name.[14]

[13] "This country" can only mean Mohave valley. It is not clear why they should be "returning" if the old woman belonged to a tribe on the Gila River and the boy was born there, as suggested in note 10. The whole story is involved in minor obscurities of telling.

[14] The baby is now supposed to be grown up. His name identifies him with the younger of the two Coyotes with whom the first paragraph deals. It would seem that the bulk of the story ought to precede in time, the first paragraph really being the end of the story; but the two sections are given in the order in which the informant told them.

Now he went ahead of the others, like a leader, to spy them out and see where the houses were. On the desert he found his mother. She was a slave there. He said to her: "Do not tell them when you go back home that I met you here. Take these birds and rabbits with you, but do not tell that I gave them to you. Say that you found them." She had on her back her pack basket.[15] Into this she put the game he gave her. He entered it too. He said: "Let me get into your basket. I will make myself into a bird so that they will not know me. Carry me back, but do not tell who I am. You may tell them tomorrow."

[15] The kūpo is the peculiar pack basket of the Mohave, which consists of two crossed sticks bent into U-shape and wound around with string spaced an inch or so apart.

So she returned and gave the rabbits and birds to the people. They wanted to know where she got them, but she would not tell. Then Patak-sata said: "Let me look at them. I think Patša-karrawa killed these." He knew it right, but she would not admit it. In the morning she said: "I have another bird in my basket, a dove." Then Patak-sata said: "Let me see it." She gave it to him. "That is not a dove," he said, "I know it. Patša-karrawa made himself into this. I can tell a dove by its bill. And when you see a dove, it shakes its head. This does not." Soon after, on that day, the Mohave arrived and attacked. While the fight was going on, Qwāqāqta stood on the roof and sang as follows:

ahwe-kanām abroad-tell
haθo'ilya to the sea

Then she sang:

hunapnap butterfly
mat-utšavek he made himself
mat-apui killed
meθkemewê-mote he cannot be
sumatš-ahôtem he dreamed well

Then the Mohave killed all the people at Avi-kwa'ahāθa, and took Patša-karrawa's mother as a slave and brought her back to this country. Then she said: "Where there is war, notify other tribes and then gather: my son is wise and cannot be beaten."

Now he and his mother were poor and had nothing to eat. There was much food here among the people, but no one gave them anything to eat.[16] Then he took his mother and went west with her to Avi-hamoka.[17] There they lived.

[16] The withholding of food is entirely unmotivated by the narrator. Perhaps it is because they were Easterners and foreigners.

[17] This is the place near Tehachapi mentioned at the end of the first paragraph, where the informant dreamed of him. Subsequently, when she was asked to give more information about this dreaming, she said that Coyote had a man's shape; but she now stated that it was at Ha'avulypo, at the rear of the house there, that she dreamed of him. Her dream was of the time before "Matavilya was born." (Perhaps a slip of my pencil for Mastamho?)


B: Dreamed

This country was full of coyotes. Then we became Mohaves, human beings: the coyotes turned into people. There is a place called Hukθara-ny-enyêve, a small mountain south of Mukiampeve, Needles Peak.[18] There is where Kwayū[19] lived, at Hukθara-ny-enyêve: he belonged to this country. Whenever he saw a child, he seized it, stuck it under his belt, and took it home. There he would put them into a hole in the rock, pound them up, and eat them. Sometimes he ate them raw, sometimes he roasted them in the fire. All the people were afraid of him.

[18] Mukiampeve is the standard form of the name; Okiampeve is what the informant was understood as saying.

[19] Kwayū means a meteor or fireball, usually conceived of as a monster or man-eater. He recurs in the Cane story.

Now the Crayfish, Hal(y)kutāṭa,[20] killed Kwayū. He was little, but when he became angry, he made himself into a big man. So all the people were saved. If Crayfish had not killed him, Kwayū would have eaten everyone up. After killing him, Crayfish took him far south to the ocean where he lived and ate him up. So there was no more Kwayū in this land here.

[20] Hal(y)kutāta was described as a "bug" as long as a finger, with long legs, a back like a scorpion, living in the water in sloughs, but not in the river: it must be a crayfish.

Kwayū was Coyote.[21]

[21] This statement is in line with the name of the place where he lived, as given two paragraphs before.

Children's Stories


Coyote was hunting, but killed nothing. Then he took deer excrement, planted them like seeds, and built a brush fence around. In four days the deer had grown as big as dogs: then he ate them.


When Coyote was hungry, he ate his children. "My daughter, climb this tree," he said. When she had climbed up, he piled brush around the tree and set fire to it. The girl fell down and into the fire and he ate her.

Stories like this are not dreamed, but are heard from other people and are told to children.


One Coyote said to another, "Let us set fire all around to this patch of thick brush. I think there must be deer, rats, and rabbits in it which we cannot get at. But if we set fire to the brush all around, they will burn up and we can just pick them up and eat them." Then they set fire to the patch, but one Coyote went inside first and stood in the middle. When the fire came near him, he had a song which would make him sink into the ground to his ankle. His second song would make him sink in to the middle of his calf (or the middle of his body); the third, to his knee (or neck). And with the fourth song he would be completely under the ground so the fire could not touch him. Now when the flames began to come near him, he sang his song: hilyhavek kerropsim, enter descend. But he did not begin to sink into the ground. He sang again and still did not penetrate. By the time he had sung his fourth song, the fire reached him and he burned up.

More Stories for Children


[The following three episodes are not from informant Mah-tšitnyumêve, but are from the interpreter, whose recollection of them she stimulated. He had heard them told by a young man called Mekupuru-'ukyêve. They are recognized as stories for children.]

Coyote went out and met Quail. Quail said to him: "Pluck my feathers and then send me to your wife to cook me." Coyote plucked him and Quail came to Coyote's old woman and said: "He says you are to cook your sandals."

"He is crazy."

"That's what he said. 'Cook your sandals!' Tell her that, he said."

"What for?"

"You have a pair, have you not?"


"Then you are to cook them."

So she started to cook her sandals. Meanwhile Quail lay down outside under the shade roof. After a while Coyote came home.

"What are you cooking?" he asked her.

"What you sent me word to."

"What did I tell you?"

"To cook my sandals."

"Who was it said so?"


"Where is he?"

"Outside in the shade."

Quail was lying there laughing. When Coyote came running up, he fled till he came to a slough. There he sat quietly on a tree. When Coyote arrived, he saw his reflection in the water, thought it was Quail, jumped in to seize him, and drowned. Then his old woman came too, tried to pull him out, but fell in and drowned also.


Coyote was visiting Beaver, his friend. Beaver had nothing to eat, but he had four or five children, so he killed them, cooked them, and gave [49] them to Coyote to eat. But he warned him: "Do not throw away any of the bones. Lay them aside." When they had eaten, Beaver took the bones, threw them in the water, and they turned into living beavers again.

Then after a while Beaver came to visit Coyote. Coyote had no food, so he killed his young ones and cooked them. "Do not throw away the bones, but put them carefully aside," he warned him. Then after the meal, he threw the bones into water. But no young coyotes came out, and the bones were gone.


When Coyote visited Beaver, he had no food. Beaver took his bow, shot up in the air, the arrow fell down and entered his rectum. Beaver turned it around and then pulled it out with fat on the end. This he cooked and fed to Coyote. This he did for four days then Coyote went home.

Beaver came to see Coyote. Being without food, Coyote took his bow, shot up in the air, the arrow came down, hit him in the rectum—but he fell down dead.




This story of the institution of culture differs from most of the preceding in that it is a pure myth unaccompanied by songs. It was told to me at the University's Museum of Anthropology, then in San Francisco, between November 16 and 24, 1903, by Jo Nelson, also called Baby's Head in Mohave; with Jack Jones the interpreter as usual.

Jo Nelson, aged about sixty, is pictured in Handbook of California Indians, plate 64, top right, and in our frontispiece. Like many Mohave, he was interested in travel and in new lands and peoples. He had visited widely among Indian tribes both east and west of the Mohave and had asked questions both abroad and at home. He gave me, on the whole, the best information which I secured from the Mohave about other tribes, and which has been published in part in the Handbook, though considerable detail remains unpublished. Jo Nelson was in many ways an ideal informant for matters of fact. His memory was excellent both for what he had seen and heard. His mind was orderly, his procedure methodical. He distinguished between hearsay and actual observation; and he would exhaust one topic before proceeding to the next. These same qualities show in his myth as presented here.


The narrative may be described as dealing essentially with the institution of culture by Mastamho, the second of the two great myth heroes of the Mohave. The story assumes the cosmogony as such as already known. I obtained one such Mohave account of the origin of the world. This has been abstracted in the Handbook, pages 770-771, and also in the American Journal of Folklore, 19:314-316, 1906. That was one of the first narratives which I recorded from this tribe, and its quality and my rendition are not of the best; but it is confirmed by innumerable allusions to world origins in other Mohave myths and in their discussions of their culture.

The present Mastamho narrative begins after Matavilya is dead, and its first chapter, so to speak (A:1-6) deals with the disposal of his body. Thereafter the tale is concerned with the planning, trials, and execution of his plans by Mastamho, especially with reference to the way of living of the Mohave, but first for the desert tribes nearest them (B:7-19). Essentially Mastamho thinks of what will be good for one or more of these tribes, causes it to come into existence, and then explains it to the people or has them practice it. One long section (C:20-35) is devoted to the institution of night and sleep, to the building of houses and shade roofs, and the setting aside of playing fields. The relation of sections like this to the remainder will be clearer by reference to the outline of the whole narrative given a few paragraphs below. The total story is so prolix that this summary will be useful as a conspectus for orientation.

Another section (D:36-42) is devoted to the making of the wild plants which spring up either of themselves, or through being planted, in the bottoms of the Mohave valley immediately upon the recession of the annual overflow. The Mohave distinguish between wild food plants which grow of themselves but are harvested, wild food plants which are sown, and domesticated food plants such as maize and beans. The second group, in other words, are cultivated plants which also grow spontaneously in the Colorado bottoms, but probably grow in denser stands if sown. They were apparently seed-bearing plants which were particularly adapted to rapid growth in the summer heat following the June inundation; and this fact may have contributed to their not having been diffused to other environments. At any rate, it is to be noted that the narrator gave considerably more space to the institution of these wild and "tame-wild" plants than to strictly agricultural ones.

By the time he comes to the latter, it is near the end of Mastamho's career and the episode seems hurried (H:76-78). Pottery is mentioned first and agriculture second; which may be an accident, but I suspect that it reflects a Mohave attitude. At any rate, it is clear that they strongly associate pottery and agriculture, which is not surprising in view of the absence or underdevelopment of both among many of the tribes to the west, north, and east. That the telling of the story in this section was hurried, or perhaps shortened by fatigue, is indicated by the fact that, strictly speaking, the instituting of neither art is described, but they are taken for granted and then Mastamho teaches the people the names of vessels and plants. This creation by naming may pass as a shorthand explanation, but it is not in the narrator's usual methodical manner.

There is a section, as might be expected, on hawks and warfare (F:59-69), this being a subject the Mohave never tire of. It is men who dream of hawks that become successful fighters and renowned war leaders.

A rather unusual section deals with Mastamho's trial-and-error attempts to teach the names for tribes, objects, and the numeral count (E:43-58). Here the device is to begin with distortions of the Mohave words which, however, the taught fail or refuse to learn. The distortions are something on the order of Pig Latin or the languages which groups of children sometimes concoct. This sort of attempt is not commonly found among North American Indians, and the techniques of distortion have therefore been analyzed in a separate discussion appended to the tale itself. On account of its fixed sequence, the [51] numeral count perhaps lends itself best to word plays of this sort. In not a few languages, including Mohave, succeeding numerals partly rhyme. This feature has been further developed in the artificial counts. The whole process is somewhat akin to the occasional instances of the count in a foreign language being parodied by substitution of somewhat like-sounding names in the speaker's language, a device with which obscene or other humorous effects can easily be attained.

A fair question would be how much of Mohave culture is accounted for in all this narrative of institution. A fair answer would seem to be: most of the more conspicuous, concrete features of the culture, houses and their parts, weapons, utensils, food plants. This omits certain items from what we are wont to call material culture, such as clothing, cradles, and the like. But the technological and economic deficiencies of the Colorado River Yuman culture are so definite that the omissions are perhaps in the minority.

Having done his work, Mastamho goes off and turns into the bald eagle (J:82-84). This is spoken of as "dying" or "leaving his body." He is said to have become "crazy," which probably means without sense, knowing nothing, without human consciousness.

There follows a long supplement, making about a quarter of the total story (K-N:85-102), which tells of the institution of sex, courtship, and marriage under the leadership of a man and a woman to whom Mastamho has delegated this task and who at its conclusion turn the people with them into birds and themselves become, respectively, the curve-billed thrasher and the mockingbird. The guess may be hazarded that Mastamho is to the Mohave too heroic a figure to be credited with undertaking the institution of these practices in person. At that, the treatment is restrained and, from the native point of view, thoroughly decent, though the emphasis is on festivals, playfields, and courtship.


Main Narrative: Mastamho's Instituting

A. Mastamho Disposes of Dead Matavilya: 1-6

1. Matavilya's death and pyre at Ha'avulypo
2. Coyote seeks fire
3. Fly and the cremation
4. Coyote's theft of the heart
5. Covering of the ashes
6. Coyote abandoned, homeless

B. Avikwame, River, Desert Land and Foods Made: 7-19

7. Mastamho promises to teach
8. Arrival at Avikwame
9. White-spring made for the Chemehuevi
10. Colorado River, fish, and ducks made at Hatasaṭa for the Mohave
11. Matavilya's ashes washed away
12. Boat tilted to widen valley
13. Avikwame mountain made from mud
14. Other mountains made
15. Four seed foods made for the Chemehuevi
16. Four plant foods made for the Walapai
17. Planning for the Yavapai
18. Foods and water made for the Yavapai
19. Languages given to Chemehuevi, Walapai, Yavapai

C. House, Shade, Sleep, and Playground: 20-35

20. Planning a shade roof
21. Ant makes dry ground
22. Two insects dig postholes
23. Shade built
24. House planned
25. House built
26. Door made
27. Insect helpers given names
28. Sunset named
29. House entered
30-32. Night; Future nights; Sleep
33. Day coming
34. Playground made at Miakwa'orve
35. More in time

D. Wild Seeds Planted: 36-42

36. Planning to plant
37. Scaup Duck plants four wild seeds in overflow
38. You will understand later
39. Planning for more planting
40. Frog told to be ready to plant
41. Frog told what wild seeds to plant
42. Return to Avikwame

E. Counting, Directions, Tribal Names: 43-58

43. Preparation for the next night
44-46. First, second, third counts taught
47. Final count taught
48. Fingers made on hand
49. First direction names taught
50. Final direction names taught
51. Mispronounced tribal names
52. Walapai and Yavapai tribes named
53. Chemehuevi named
54. Yuma and Kamia named
55. Mohave named
56. Told to stay a while
57. Doctors will dream of this
58. Mastamho takes new name

F. Hawks and War: 59-69

59-62. Four hawks given names and war power
63. Practice trial
64. Weapons to be made
65. Cremation of warriors
66. Dreamers of journey will be runners
67. Eagle unintelligent; to dream of him unlucky
68. Crane ugly; to dream of him unlucky
69. Hawks will wear morning star in fight

G. Thrasher, Mockingbird, and Mastamho's Dream Names: 70-75

70. Gnatcatcher to be rich: women will dream of
71. Tšoaikwatakwe in cottonwoods: women also dream of
72. Thrasher and Mockingbird-to-be named
73-75. Three new names of Mastamho

H. Pottery and Farmed Food Instituted: 76-78

76. Pottery vessels each given two names
77. Planted foods named
78. Chutaha singing with basket

I. Thrasher and Mockingbird Delegated to Teach: 79-81

79. Thrasher and Mockingbird appointed to teach play and sex
80. Avikwame named
81. What Thrasher and Mockingbird are to do and be

J. Mastamho's Transformation into Bald Eagle: 82-84

82. Turns into Bald Eagle at Avikutaparve
83. Floats downriver to Hokusave
84. Flies south to sea, is crazy (unknowing)


Supplement: Thrasher and Mockingbird Institute Sex Life

K. Courtship Instituted at Miakwa'orve: 85-92

85. Thrasher and Mockingbird face people on playground at Miakwa'orve
86. Tortoise chosen to be approached
87-90. Sparrowhawk, Quail, Ah'akwasilye, Oriole rejected
91. Blue Heron accepted by Tortoise
92. Dove arrives: loose women dream of her

L. Transformation of Water and Valley Birds: 93-97

93. All go downriver to Hokusave
94. Noses of racers pierced there
95. Yahalyetaka's nose pierced with difficulty
96. Racers become water birds
97. Some others become valley birds

M. Mountain Birds Transformed at Rattlesnake's Playfield: 98-101

98. Rest led back to Miakwa'orve
99. Thrasher and Mockingbird at Rattlesnake's Playground teach venereal cure
100. More songs for this
101. At Three-Mountains, Thrasher, Mockingbird, and rest turn to mountain birds

N. Leftover Straggler Reaches the Sea: 102

102. Hakutatkole, left for pošoik sickness, goes south to sea and becomes a bird


So much for the content of the narrative: now as to its form. First of all, although the story is not accompanied by songs, it is developed according to the same pattern as the song-cycle myths. Moreover, the informant was just as insistent as the majority of narrators that he got his knowledge through dreaming.

However, the approach in the telling is less formally decorative and more rational than in other narratives. There is actually less story, in the sense of there being a minimum of events, a maximum of explanation. The account is therefore bald and didactic. One sees the narrator throughout aiming to be clear even at the cost of repetition or prolixity.

In fact, repetition is deliberately indulged in as part of the didactic style. Mastamho talks to himself of what he will do, then perhaps tells the people that he will do it, then goes and does it; after which, he may explain to them what he has done. Or he will have them try the innovation, in which case it may be four times before they learn, or before he finds the correct manner.

Accordingly, the pace throughout is tantalizingly slow. The story could have been condensed by me, but its characteristic manner and style would thereby have been completely discarded. There are constant references to "This will be, but it is not yet." Such antitheses seem to serve both emphasis and clarity. For instance, paragraph 62, "If people dream of you, they will kill enemies; if people dream of being in darkness, they will not kill them." Or again, paragraph 70, "I will not let you go to a distance: I want you to stay in this country." Balances of this sort constitute a distinct stylistic manner, rudimentary though the devices may be from a literary point of view.

The Mastamho account contains certain minor inconsistencies, but they are not inconsistencies of identity or kinship of person, or of topography, as in the Cane narrative; nor are they due to sloppiness of telling, as in the Coyote stories. The chief inconsistencies noted are the fact that Mastamho keeps saying that he will teach the people everything in four nights before his transformation into the bald eagle, but then actually is six nights doing it; and similarly he at first separates the people into four future tribes—three in the desert and the Mohave—but then later there are six, the River Kamia and Yuma suddenly appearing with the Mohave. These discrepancies should not be charged too seriously against the narrator's care and precision. The story is an exceedingly long one. He told it at intervals during nine days. Part of my time was tied to University duties, so that there would be whole days of interruption. While I made no detailed record, I assume that we spent at least four working days in the telling and Englishing. This would mean a minimum of two days, or say twelve to fifteen hours, of Mohave narration by the informant, distributed over more than a week. Few people could follow one thread of telling so long as this with so few discrepancies.


A. Mastamho Disposes of Dead Matavilya: 1-6

1. Matavilya's death and pyre at Ha'avulypo.—Matavilya died at Ha'avulypo.[1] I did not see him when he was sick, but dreamed of him and saw him only when he died; others know of his sickness. When he died in the house,[2] they carried him west of the door. Now Mastamho was a boy about so high (about ten-year size). They asked: "What shall we do with him?" Then Mastamho told them: "Burn him. When people die I want you to burn them. That is what I wish. Now I want you, Badger,[3] to dig a hole; and I want this man, Raccoon,[4] to bring wood." Then after a time these two men came back into the house and said: "We have dug a hole and the wood is ready." Now there were many people there in the house when they said that, but not one of them spoke a word. Then Mastamho asked them: "Have you fire?" But Badger and Raccoon said: "No."

[1] Near Mathakeva, Cottonwood Island, on the Arizona side of the Colorado.

[2] The door of which of course faced south.

[3] Mahwa.

[4] Nammaθa.

2. Coyote seeks fire.—Now Coyote—θara-veyo-ve, Mastamho called him, but the Mohave call him Hukθara—said: "I am sorry because Matavilya died: I want fire and will bring it. I will go to Fire-Mountain:[5] I know there is fire there and will get it." So he started westward. He was gone a long [53] time. Mastamho waited and all the others waited. Then Mastamho said: "I do not want it to become day, for Matavilya to be lying here in the light. Let it remain night." Now they were all still waiting for Coyote, but he did not return: he was still traveling west.

[5] Avi-'a'auva.

3. Fly and the cremation.—Then θilyahmo, Fly, a woman—for there were only people then, and no animals—who had been sitting west of the door, went outside, pulled up dead arrowweeds, came back indoors, broke the sticks up, and dropped them into two or three small piles; for she wanted to try to make fire. Then she plucked off a strand of her willow-bark dress and rubbed it fine into tinder. Then she twirled a stick in her hands, and with this and the shredded bark she made fire, as she sat in the corner of the house by the west side of the door. Then she carried it into the middle of the house, saying: "Here is fire." Now that they had fire, Badger and Raccoon carried Matavilya outdoors and laid him down on their pile of wood. All who had been in the house went out with them. Then Badger and Raccoon returned into the house and brought out the fire. Lighting the pile of wood at the north end, they went one along each side of it, setting fire to it, until they met at the south end. There they stood. Then everyone cried, Badger and Raccoon with the rest.

4. Coyote's theft of the heart.—Now when Coyote arrived at Fire-Mountain, he looked back and saw the burning at Ha'avulypo. Then he did not even stop to take the fire, but ran back at once. When he arrived, he found the people all standing around the pyre. He said: "Matavilya is dead and I do not know anything. How am I to? He told me nothing." He ran around and around the circle of people who were standing and crying for Matavilya. He cried too. Now Mastamho was standing on a higher place to the north, looking at Coyote. Though he was only a boy, he was thinking about him. He thought: "I know what he wants: he is not really sorry." What Coyote wanted was to jump over the ring of people, to seize Matavilya's heart and run away with it: that is why he was trying to come near the fire. But the people, standing close together, would not let him. Now they were all tall; but Badger and Raccoon were both short. Then Coyote jumped: he succeeded in leaping over their two heads, and he got to the fire. But Mastamho said: "Did I not know it? That is Coyote's way: he has no sense. When a person really mourns he does not take away the heart of the dead. But now Coyote will go away: I do not want him here. And I do not want him ever to know anything. I want you who are standing here to know something, and I will do many things for you. But let him go off and be Coyote. He will always be without a home in the mountains. If you see him you will kill him, because he knows nothing." After Coyote had seized Matavilya's heart, he ran southwestward, beyond Avikwame to Amaṭa-hotave. There he stopped and looked south. But the heart was still too hot to hold; so he dropped it, turned around, and held his mouth open towards the north to let the wind cool it.[6] Then as the heart lay on the ground and cooled, Coyote ate it.

[6] Mathak, north, means windward.

5. Covering of the ashes.—Now Coyote thought: "I will go to Aksam-kusaveve and tell Hame'ulye-kwitše-iδulye." So he went to Aksam-kusaveve and told Hame'ulye-kwitše-iδulye: "Matavilya has died: go to see him: I am announcing it everywhere." Then Hame'ulye-kwitše-iδulye went to Ha'avulypo. When he found where Matavilya had been burned, he thought: "What shall I do with these?" So he rolled himself over the ashes. No one had covered Matavilya's ashes and it was that which Hame'ulye-kwitše-iδulye did not like to see exposed; that is why he covered them with sand by rolling over them. Then he returned to Aksam-kusaveve.

6. Coyote abandoned, homeless.—Now Coyote too came back to Ha'avulypo. No one was there now, for Mastamho had taken the people away to Kwaparvete, a short distance southward. He had seen Coyote coming and had thought: "I do not want to tell him what I know: I want him to be foolish and know nothing: I do not want him to hear what I say. I will let him go. He will be the only one like that, the one I call Coyote. He will not know his own home: he will want to run about the desert and do what is bad. If someone is not at home, Coyote will go there; but if a person is in his house, he will not come; and if anyone sees him, he will run off."

B. Avikwame, River, Desert Land and Foods Made: 7-19

7. Mastamho promises to teach.—Now Mastamho said: "There is no house here, and no shade roof.[7] I have not made everything as yet; it will take time to do that. I know you are hot or cold, and hungry, and without houses; but I will provide everything. The sun and the night have not yet been made, but I will make them; and I will tell you what to eat. Then you will know how to live."

[7] Ramada, arbor.

8. Arrival at Avikwame.—Now they went downriver to Avikwame. There was no mountain there then; the land was level. Mastamho said: "Now we have come to this place and I will do something for you. I want you to learn how to make pottery, and then to know what food is good to eat. You will learn how to know day and night. And you will not be hungry nor thirsty. When you are cold, you will know it[8] and will make a fire, and will have a house to live in. And so when you are hungry you will eat, and when you are thirsty you will drink. I will make mortars, metates, cooking pots, drinking cups, and water jars. I will tell you all about those things. When Matavilya died, you were ignorant, but I thought and knew. Therefore I will do these things [54] that I say; only I cannot do them now, at once. It will take a long time yet to do them." Now Mastamho had no one to help him, no one to join with him in talking. He was alone: while there were many people there, they did not speak. Then he thought: "After I have done other things for them, I will give them names." Now the people did not sleep, but constantly stood, or sometimes sat, and when the sun went down Mastamho talked to them. For four nights he spoke to them.

[8] "At that time they felt neither cold nor hunger, but walked on and on."

9. White-spring made for the Chemehuevi.—On the fourth morning he said: "Now I am old enough. I will go west. I will not go far, I will take only four steps, but I will do something for you." He was intending to make a spring. So as soon as the sun had risen, he walked four steps west to Aha-kwi-nyamasave.[9] He put his weight on the ground, thinking: "Let me see if it is hard." As he stepped on it, he found that it was soft, like mud. So he went toward the north four steps. There he stood, stretched out his hand backward, and had in it a stick of sandbar willow, a forearm long.[10] This stick he set into the ground. When he pulled it out, water came with it. Then he put his foot against the water as it flowed out, and pushed earth over it, until there was only a small stream. Then he returned. When he was again at Avikwame, he said: "If I had been so sorry for my father[11] that I had immediately turned myself into a bird, you would now know nothing. But I want to do everything for you: I want to make things for you. I call you Hamakhava, Mohave. Now I have made a spring in the west: I will give that to the Chemehuevi. Those sitting here on the west side will be the Chemehuevi. Now I will stay here four days and then I will go north to Hatasaṭa."

[9] "White-water (spring)."

[10] Magically obtaining things by reaching out for them is a frequent incident in Mohave and other Yuman tradition.

[11] Nakutk, my father. Other accounts, perhaps less influenced by Christianity, make Mastamho the younger brother of Matavilya. The narrator subsequently added: Mastamho said: "Matavilya is my father. I was born at night. Then he said to me: 'I give you a name. I call you Tinyam-humare, night-child.'" After Matavilya died, Mastamho no longer liked to hear this name and called himself Mastamho.

10. Colorado River, fish, and ducks made at Hatasaṭa for the Mohave.—After four days he went to Hatasaṭa. From there he went west a short distance to Hivθikevutatše. He said: "They are not named, but I will give these names to these two places. I will not go farther but return." He had with him the stick he had got at Aha-kwi-nyamasave, was using it as an old man uses a cane. So he came back to Hatasaṭa, and there he set the stick into the ground. When he drew it out, water came with it. With his foot, he pushed earth over it, thinking: "What beings shall I let issue with the water, animals that will be useful for the Mohave?" Four times he allowed water to come and stopped it again. The first time Atši-mikulye[12] emerged. The next time Atši-yonyene[13] swam out, and the third time, Atši-hane.[14] The fourth time Atši-tšehnap, also called Atši-tšeheθilye,[15] came out. Mastamho thought: "I will give these to the Mohave." Next Av'akwaθpine[16] came out, and then Puk-havasu.[17] Then there came Hanemo.[18] Then Hanyewilye, the mudhen, emerged. As each came out, fish and ducks, he did not let them go, but kept them there. He made only a little water, enough to hold them. Whenever he left his stick plunged into the ground, the water did not issue; but when he drew it out, the water and the fish and the birds came out. When he had finished making the fish and the ducks, he said: "These are for the Mohave, but they do not yet know how to catch them. I will teach them."

[12] A small edible fish with few bones. Atši is fish.

[13] A similar but larger fish, Colorado salmon.

[14] A large fish.

[15] A small, yellow, humped fish.

[16] The scaup (?) duck.

[17] "Beads-blue," that is, blue or green necklace. Probably the mallard duck.

[18] Hanemo is the name commonly used for ducks generically. It is also the specific name of the pintail or wood duck. The four ducks mentioned here reappear with other water birds in par. 96.

11. Matavilya's ashes washed away.—Then he drew out his stick entirely, and the water came unrestrained, with the fish and ducks in it, and flowed southward.[19] Mastamho ran ahead of it on the west bank, to Ha'avulypo where Matavilya had been burned. There he set his stick into the center of the ashes, for he did not like to see them and wanted the water to wash them out. He called to the water, and it ran where he held his stick, and the ashes were washed away. So they were gone, and the river flowed through the place where they had been.

[19] As the Colorado River.

12. Boat tilted to widen valley.—But Mastamho went back up to Hatasaṭa. Putting his stick into the same place as before, from which the water now issued, he stirred it around. Then a boat, kasukye, came out. Mastamho called it kanuθkye,[20] but the Mohave name is kulho. As the boat emerged, Mastamho put his foot on it, held it, entered it, and floated down. Where the river was not broad enough to suit him, he stood on the edge of the boat until it lay far on its side. Then the river became wide there. Thus he went down to Avikwame, where the people were. As they saw him coming down the river and then going by, they thought that he would leave them. At Aqwaq-iove[21] he waved his hands to them, meaning: "Stay where you are: I will return." When he approached the lower end of Mohave valley, he [55] thought: "I think some one else has taken the boat long ago,[22] and that it will not be suitable for the Mohave. So I cannot let them have it: I will let it go." And when he came near where Mellen is now, he jumped off the boat, shoving it away with his foot: so that it floated downstream. Mastamho stood at Mepuk-tšivauve[23] and watched it going down. When it came to Ahwe-nye-va,[24] it no longer drifted tilted, but floated level. Then the valley land there became wide, and the river also; but wherever the boat floated tilted, the river and the valley were narrow. Then Mastamho returned to Avikwame.

[20] Compare the word distortions below, in par. 44 seq., and p. 67.

[21] Near Fort Mohave.

[22] Probably meaning that Hīko or Haiko, white man, already possessed the idea of the boat.

[23] About eight miles below Needles City.

[24] Near Parker, Arizona.—Here it is the boat's floating level that widens the valley, whereas, just above, Mastamho tilts the boat to widen the river.

13. Avikwame mountain made from mud.—Now there was no mountain at Avikwame at that time. There was only a flat and the river. The people stood on the bank. But the water was not near them; as the water receded, it left mud. Mastamho took up some of this mud and let it drop. As it fell, he said: "Goloto," as little boys say when they splash mud in play. He did that repeatedly. He said: "Let it be higher, and let the river flow by it. After this mountain which I am making is dry, I will make a house for you: You will be in that."

14. Other mountains made.—Thus Mastamho made Avikwame. When he had finished it, he made the mountains west of the river, Satulyku,[25] Ohmo,[26] Mevukha,[27] Hatšaruyove,[28] Avimota,[29] and Avi-kwi-nyamaθave.[30] All these he made and named.

[25] Near Needles peaks, south of Needles City.

[26] West of Needles City.

[27] South of Ibex.

[28] North of Java.

[29] The same mountain range farther north.

[30] The northernmost end of the range.

15. Four seed foods made for the Chemehuevi.—Then he went westward to Hukθara-tš-huerve. He took up a handful of fine gravel, put it in his mouth, then blew it out, wishing to make something to eat for the people who would live in these mountains that he had made. He thought: "I will make kwaθapilye seeds: they will be good for the Chemehuevi." Then he took more gravel and spat it out in another direction, but also westward, saying: "I now will make ma-selye'aya seeds. They too will be good for Chemehuevi; they will grind and parch them with coals and have them for food." Then he ran northward to Avi-nyilyk-kwas-ekunyive, put gravel into his mouth and spat it out over the ground. "This that I plant is malysa,"[31] he said. Again he took up gravel and blew it out, saying: "This that I plant is tšilypeve." When he had planted these four kinds for the Chemehuevi, he said: "That is all that I can do. You have seen me: it is all that I can make. No one will be able to sow these and make them grow: they will grow by themselves every year." Then he returned to Avikwame and told the Chemehuevi and the Paiute: "I have planted food for you. I have planted kwaθapilye and ma-selye'aya and malysa and tšilypeve for you. But wait: do not hurry."

[31] Black seeds resembling those of cane.

16. Four plant foods made for the Walapai.—Then he said: "Next I am going east, to make mountains there; I want people to live in them. I will start in four days." After four days he started, crossed the river, and went downstream to Avi-veskwi.[32] There he stood and looked back down toward the river, and thought: "It is not very far. Let me go farther east, to Kitšehayare."[33] So he went on till he came to Kitšehayare. There he did as he had done before. He put gravel in his mouth and spat it over the earth. He said: "This is what I plant: I plant vannata."[34] Again he took a handful of sand and blew it out. "This that I am planting is vaδilye,[34a] mescal." From there he went north and said: "I call this place Coyote's water;[35] it will be good for Coyote. He has no home: when he finds this water he will drink of it. I do not make it for him, but he will find it." Now he stood there. Then he stripped the leaves from the tops of the brush called kamomka and put them into his mouth. He blew them out and thus made iδitša, the wild grape. "I want it to grow in this spot," he said. Then as he stood there he scraped his foot to one side, and grass came up. He said: "I thought when I did that it would grow." Then, covering it up again with his foot, he took of the sand with which he covered it, put it in his mouth, blew it out, and kumδur[36] grew. Now he had made four things for the people who were to be here. He had made each of these kinds of plants in only one place, but from that they came to grow in many places. Then he returned to Avikwame.

[32] Boundary Cone, a pinnacle near the east edge of Mohave valley, part of the Black Range.

[33] A small hill in a large valley, west of Kingman, Arizona.

[34], [34a] Vannata is a root which is peeled and dried, roasted in the fire like vaδilye, mescal (Agave), and tastes sweet. It grows in the valleys, while the mescal grows in the mountains. The habitat and name suggest Yucca, Walapai menat, but the Walapai speak of cooking the fruit, not the root.

[35] Hukθara-ny-aha.

[36] The tall stalks are eaten by the Walapai.

17. Planning for the Yavapai.—Now he said to the people: "When I tell you: 'Be Walapai!' you will be Walapai and will live in that country. When I tell you: 'Be Chemehuevi!' and 'Be Mohave!' you will be Chemehuevi and Mohave. But that is not yet. First I want to make something for the Yavapai. So I will go to their place next." He still had his stick of sandbar willow with which he had made the river. He said: "I do not want to put this away for when I arrive there, I will thrust it down and make [56] water: not much, but a little, enough for everyone to drink. If they have no water at all, they will not be able to live. So I will go and prepare for them what they will eat and drink. I will make a small country, enough only for a few. In four days I will make the land for the Yavapai. I will go to Amaṭ-ko-'omeome and to Amaṭ-katšivekove and plant seeds there."

18. Foods and water made for the Yavapai.—Now in four days he went there. When he arrived, he looked about: "It is not a good place to plant; it is not level enough; too many mountains. I will go to Avi-ke-hasalye." So he went to Avi-ke-hasalye. He said: "This is where I want people to live. It is a good place: there is a long plain on each side." Again he took gravel, put it in his mouth, and blew it out. "I plant kalya'apa[37] for the Yavapai: I give it them for food. I give them also a good small stream of water." Again he put gravel in his mouth and blew it out over the valley eastward. "This that I plant will be a'a,"[38] he said. Then he started and went to Ah'a-'ikiyareyare, thinking: "I will go and make cottonwood trees (ah'a) grow." When he came to Ah'a-'ikiyareyare, he stood and pointed his stick to the west, to make water flow from there. Then water came towards him: it washed white sand. Taking a handful of this sand in his mouth, he faced east and blew out. Then kam'ipoi[39] grew up. "That will be for the Yavapai," he said; "they will eat the seeds." Then he said: "I want this little water to be here always. I do not want it ever to become dry." Then, taking up sand, he blew it north: akwava[40] grew up in that direction. He thought: "I will thrust my stick far down into the ground. When I draw it up, a cottonwood will grow. That is why I will call the place Ah'a-'ikiyareyare. I will make only one cottonwood, but later there will be many." He did this and thought: "Now I have finished everything here: I will go back." So he returned to Avikwame. He returned early in the morning, after sunrise.

[37] A cactus.

[38] Sahuaro or giant cactus.

[39] A plant about two feet high, with seeds "like wheat, but much smaller."

[40] The young stalks that spring up after a flood are eaten. The seeds, which are black, are roasted and ground for food.

19. Languages given to Chemehuevi, Walapai, Yavapai.—Then Mastamho said: "I have made something for you Yavapai. I have finished it, but I have still to tell you how to use it. If I do not tell you, you will not know how to cook and eat what I have made; after I tell you, you will know and it will be well. But I will not tell you yet." As he was speaking, they all listened: no one said a word. He said again: "I have given you all these things, but I have not finished. Now I will show you how to speak. I want you to talk like this," he said to the Chemehuevi. "I want you to speak like this," he said, and gave their language to the Walapai. "And I want you to speak like this," he said to the Yavapai. But he gave nothing to the Mohave as yet. Then he said: "Now it is all made. I have prepared it. You can go, you Walapai, and scatter in the mountains there. You need not go into one place. You can go all about, for I have made springs everywhere. You can live in one spot, and when you want to live in another you can do so. You Chemehuevi can do the same, and you Yavapai too. But I will do differently for the Mohave. They will have everything along the river: whatever grows there will be theirs. It is well."

C. House, Shade, Sleep, and Playground: 20-35

20. Planning a shade roof.—Now he was thinking of building a shade, av'a-matkyalye.[41] He said: "I have spoken to the Mohave. Later on someone will dream what I have told them, and will do accordingly. To each of you, to all four tribes, I have given something, and you will know it. I shall not die like Matavilya, but will become a bird. And there is something more that I will do for you, you Mohave. It will be difficult for me and will take a long time. I want someone to build a house. This is no house where we are now. When I have had a house made, I want you all to enter. Then I will tell all of you what I shall be. This will be, not soon, but in the future."

[41] A brush roof on posts, ramada or arbor.

21. Ant makes dry ground.—Now the ground was still wet at that time. Then Hanapuka, the small ant, came up out of the ground, piling up little heaps of dry sand; as Mastamho walked about, he saw them. He said: "I wish it were all like this. I wonder who it is that has made this come out of the ground? I think I will call him Hanapuka." It was the ant who had done it; it is he who made the earth dry.

22. Two insects dig postholes.—He said again: "Ant has made a dry place: now mark it out around. I want the house to be built there. I want the Mohave to enter it; and only they. You, Amaṭ-kapisara, I want you to begin building it. I want you to dig the holes to set the posts in. And you, Namitša,[42] carry, and throw the sand farther away when he digs." Now these two men dug holes and brought poles for the house.

[42] Namitša is a large reddish insect, perhaps a wasp, that throws earth as it burrows; or perhaps the ant lion? Amaṭ-kapisara is evidently also a burrowing insect: amaṭ is earth.

23. Shade built.—Then Mastamho said: "Wait! Listen to me! I call the posts av'ulypo. Say that, you Mohave! Say av'ulypo!" Then all said: "Av'ulypo." When the posts were set and they were ready to lay the girders across them Mastamho said: "Call them iqumnau!" Then all said: "Iqumnau." Then Mastamho said: "When you lay on the roof poles, call them av'a-tšutara! Now say that! Say av'a-tšutara!" and they all said: "Av'a-tšutara." He said again: "When you place the thatching of arrowweed on the poles, call it av'a-tšusive." Then they said, [57] "Av'a-tšusive." He said again: "When you lay willows or any other brush over the thatching, call it av'anyutš." So they said: "Av'anyutš." Then he said: "Now you have a shade. It will be good for you. When the sun shines and it is hot, you will go under the shade. That is what it is for. Now that it is finished, I want all you Mohave to come under it." Then the Mohave sat under the shade. The Chemehuevi sat to the west of it. On the east the Walapai sat to the north and the Yavapai to the south. None of these tribes said a word, and none of them entered under the shade.

24. House planned.—Then Mastamho went to the edge of the shade and stood leaning against the post at the southeast corner. He said: "Now I will build a house. I will make you understand: you know nothing now. You do not know when a man is hungry or thirsty or cold. You only know that if he has no shade and stands in the sun, he becomes hot. You know now that it is good under the shade." Then he entered the shade again, went to the northwest corner, and stood there. Then he said: "Amaṭ-kapisara and Namitša, build another house. Build av'a-hatšore. It will not be well to sit under the shade always. When it is winter the wind will come: perhaps it will rain and be cold. But if you build a house, you can make a fire inside of it when the rain and cold come. That is why I will make a house for you Mohave. I will build a house here at the back of the shade."

25. House built.—Again he told Amaṭ-kapisara and Namitša to dig holes in the ground and to bring posts. Then as he still stood, he said to the people: "When you are about to build a house, and you dig holes, call them amaṭ-ahuelkye." He wanted them to learn that word. Then, as they built, he told them to call the different parts av'ulypo, iqumnau, av'a-tšutara, av'a-tšusive, and av'anyutš as before, and they repeated each one. Then he said: "We have done all that. We have covered it with brush. Now put sand on the brush, so that the rain will not come through. Call that av'a-ta'ive! Say: 'av'a-ta'ive!'" He gave them that to say and they said it. He said again: "When there is wind, build a house of timbers and brush and sand. When you make a house only of posts and thatch, call it av'a-tšoamkuk. But when you cover it with sand also, call it av'a-tapuk."

26. Door made.—Then he said again: "Now that the house is finished, I will tell you how to make a door. You will see dead cottonwoods: strip the bark from them,[43] weave it together, and make a mat longer than it is wide. Fasten it at the upper corners to a stick. Then call it av'a-pete."

[43] The inner bark is called hanuθkwilye. "The Mohave now use black willow bark, iδo, but they learned that themselves; Mastamho taught them to employ ah'a, cottonwood."

27. Insect helpers given names.—Now the house was complete, but he did not yet let the people enter. He said: "I want you, Amaṭ-kapisara and Namitša." He took them to the people and said: "I will give these two men names for their work. When they dug, they worked quickly. When they built the house, they finished it quickly. So I will give them names: listen well, so that you can all say them. This man's name (Amaṭ-kapisara) is Ikinye-mastšam-kwamitše.[44] Thus I give him a name, and when you dream you will see him. Do not forget what I tell you. In future some man will dream and see him. No one will see me then, but they will dream of me, and in that way they will know all that I have said. They will have heard everything. Now I have given this man a name. Now I will give the other one a new name too. I call him Umas-amtše.[45] People will dream and see him too."

[44] "Boy-throw-far."

[45] Perhaps from amtške, to travel, move about. The insect is described as noisy and restless. Umas- occurs in other names and may be a form of humar, child.

28. Sunset named.—Mastamho said: "The house is finished; but I will not yet take you into it. I said that I would give you food; I will not tell you about it yet: nevertheless I will give it to you. After you enter the house, I will tell you what you will plant and what you will eat. When I enter, I will tell you about what my body will be. You know the sun, and sunset, and night. When the sun goes down, we will enter the house. Now, when it is nearly down, the time is anya-havek-tšiemk. Call it: anya-havek-tšiemk!"

29. House entered.—When the sun went down, Mastamho entered and said: "Come in, all of you." Then all the Mohave entered the house. The Chemehuevi stayed outside on the west. On the east were the Walapai and Yavapai, the latter to the south. Mastamho sat down, leaning back against the southwestern one of the four middle posts. He was thinking about the people inside and those outside. He said: "There is a fire just within the door. Charcoal is piled up there. That is what makes the house warm. Now you understand: that is how it is done; you have learned that." As he spoke he was leaning against the post thinking. He put his hand behind him.

30-32. Night; Future nights; Sleep.—30. He said: "The mountains will always be here; but I cannot live forever. Darkness is here forever and day is here forever, but I cannot live like the sun and like the mountains: I must die. I could tell you about that, but I will not tell you tonight, because you must sleep. You know now that it is night. You know how to sleep. After you get up in the morning, I will speak to you again and will tell you those things. I will not tell everything as yet."

31. Now he no longer addressed them as Pautšyetše-vukwiδauve as he had done at first; he called them Patšumi-'itšitš-vukwiδauve[46] now. But he did not tell them much. He spoke only a short time. He told them two or three or four or five words and stopped. He said: "This is not the only night: tomorrow will be another. When one day is gone, another comes. It will always be so. This is the first night: there will be three more."

[46] Patšumi, food; kw-iδau, have, hold.

[58] 32. That same night he said: "Say: 'Tiniamk!'[47] Say: 'Osmamk!'[48] Say that when you want to sleep. When you want to enter the house, say: 'Av'alye pok!'[49] Now say it." Then they all said it. Now they were still sitting up. Then he said to them: "Lie down. Say: 'Kupam!'[50] After you are lying down, say: 'Upam.'"[51] Then they all lay down, said nothing, and slept quietly.

[47] "It is night."

[48] Sleep.

[49] In-the-house enter.

[50] Lie down!

[51] I lie.

33. Day coming.—When it was nearly day, Mastamho said: "Day is coming, but I will not yet let you go outside: I want you to stay here for four days and nights. Then on the fourth night, toward morning, when it is still dark, I will let you go to where you belong. It will not be during the day, but in the night."

34. Playground made at Miakwa'orve.—When the sun had risen, Mastamho went and stood outside the house. He said: "I want to make a level place." Then he leveled with his feet a place that had been rough. He said: "Call it Miakwa'orve.[52] Can you say that? Say: 'Miakwa'orve!'" Then all said: "Miakwa'orve." He told them: "That is right. I will make a hill close to the river below Miakwa'orve: swallows[53] will live there: I will call it Avi-kutaparve. Now say 'Avi-kutaparve!' All of you say it! That is right. That is the way I say it."

[52] Important later: see par. 85 ff.

[53] Hamkye.

35. More in time.—Now he stayed at Avi-kutaparve that day, preparing the place for the swallows. At sunset he returned to Avikwame and entered the house. He said: "I have made two places: made them for you. When you come there, to Miakwa'orve, those who are footracers will run. Those who can sing will sing. Some will dance, and some will gamble.[54] But that is as much as I will tell you: I will not tell you everything now; in time I will tell you more about those places. And I do not want you to live there: your houses will not be there. When you want to sing or dance or speak to the people and tell them what you know, then go there; but do not live there."

[54] With the hoop and dart game.

D. Wild Seeds Planted: 36-42

36. Planning to plant.—That night, in the middle of the night, he said: "I am going down to Av'a-θemulye and Amaṭ-kusaye and Hatšioq-vaṭveve.[55] There there are good places to plant after the river has receded, and seeds will grow there. Av'akwaθpine,[56] who came out when I first made water in the north, and who has floated down on the river, knows about that. I will have him plant seeds for you Mohave; I will tell him to do that for you. I think it will be a good place to sow. In the morning I will go and have him plant for you. When I return, I will tell you what he has sowed. I will not tell you now, but in the evening, after I come back." When he had finished talking to them thus, he sat leaning forward with bent head, thinking of what seeds he would plant. He thought, but did not speak aloud. Then, in the morning, he said to them: "Now I am ready to go. I told you that today I would go to Av'aθemulye and Amaṭ-kusaye, and Hatšioq-vaṭveve. I told you that when I had been there and had returned, I would tell you what seeds had been sown. Now I am going."

[55] Two of these places are mentioned in Vinimulye-patše, II, 1. They seem to be in Mohave Valley, on the west side of the river, and Amaṭ-kusaye (or -kusayi) is downstream from Hatšioq-vaṭveve.

[56] A duck, probably the scaup, mentioned before, note 16.

37. Scaup Duck plants four wild seeds in overflow.—Then he went to Av'a-θemulye and Amaṭ-kusaye and Hatšioq-vaṭveve. When he came there, Av'akwaθpine was walking about in the mud like a boy at play. He was entirely covered with mud. When Mastamho saw him, he said: "I have been thinking about you. I want you to plant four kinds of seeds: akatai, aksamta, ankiθi, and akyêse.[57] It would be hard if I were to give you all kinds of seeds to plant: therefore I give you only these four. Now plant those." Then Av'akwaθpine took the seeds. They were in four gourds, each kind in one gourd. In the gourd to the southwest were akatai seeds. Holding the gourd in his left hand, Av'akwaθpine took the seeds from it with his right hand, put them into his mouth, and blew them out over the mud. Then he took aksamta seeds from the northwest gourd and blew them out to the northwest. The ankiθi seeds he took from the gourd on the northeast and blew them out in that way. Then he took the akyêse seeds from the southeast gourd and blew them out to the southeast.[58] Now all four kinds began to grow in the mud. He said: "See how fast they grow. It will not be long." Then Mastamho said: "That is good. I will go back and tell my people about it."

[57] "Wild" seeds planted in the overflow. Handbook, p. 736.

[58] Clockwise circuit, beginning with southwest.

38. You will understand later.—Then Mastamho returned to tell his people about what Av'akwaθpine had done: "He has planted for you what will be your food. You will know about it later, for as yet you have no dishes, no pots, and no jars, and do not know how to cook. I will tell you what to do to eat. Now you think that it is merely necessary to take with your hands what you want to eat: that is because you do not yet know. But I will make you understand. In time you will eat, and you will be happy then. In time I will also tell you about my turning into a bird. For I shall not die, but shall live as a bird. Before that happens I will tell you everything."

[59] 39. Planning for more planting.—Then Mastamho said: "I have told you what Av'akwaθpine has planted for you. Now there is something else. In the morning I will go downriver again, below where I was. I will go to Avi-halykwa'ampa, Amaṭ-kaputšora, Amaṭ-kaputšor-ilyase, and Amaṭ-θonohiδauve.[59] There I will get something else to grow. Grass will grow there of itself, without being planted by people. I will make Frog[60] plant it for you. He knows the water, for he lives in it. I do not know him. When I made the river, I saw various kinds of beings come out with it; but I did not see him. He was born after the river was flowing. And so he knows the places where the grass will grow. Now it is three nights, and tomorrow will be the fourth.[61] Then you all will remain awake the whole night. You will not sleep and I will tell you what I will do for you. I will tell you that tomorrow. And this is all I will say today. Now all sleep!"

[59] I cannot place these spots, but judge they are still in Mohave Valley.

[60] Hanye, the small frog.

[61] The number of nights is correct in contrast with the same statement made by him two nights later in par. 42; see note 62.

40. Frog told to be ready to plant.—Mastamho remained awake all night. When it became daylight outdoors, he looked about. Then he stood in the door and said to his people: "Now I am going down to Avi-halykwa'ampa, Amaṭ-kaputšora, Amaṭ-kaputšor-ilyase, and Amaṭ-θonohiδauve." Then he went downriver until he came to Avi-halykwa'ampa. There he stood on the mesa and looked. Near by, below, was Amaṭ-θonohiδauve. He thought: "That is a good place. It is level. I think it will be a good place for growth whenever the river recedes." Then he went there. He saw Frog sitting there facing the north and making a noise. He said to him: "I hear you making a noise. I know what you mean: you want the river to flow toward you. I know what you are saying: 'I want the water to come here.'" Frog said: "Yes, that is what I said." Mastamho told him: "After the water has risen and when it has become dry once more, I want you to plant something. That is why I came here." Frog said: "Yes, I will plant it." Then Mastamho went back to Avikwame. He said to his people: "I saw Frog. I told him I wanted him to plant; but I have not told him what to plant. I am going back to him tomorrow. Then I will tell him what seeds to plant."

41. Frog told what wild seeds to plant.—Next morning he went to Amaṭ-θonohiδauve once more and saw Frog again. He told him: "Now I will tell you what to plant. I want you to plant akwava, kupo, hamasqwere, ankike, kosqwake, and aksama: those are the ones. Persons do not plant them: but you will plant them, and when the water recedes they will grow by themselves. No one knows about them: only you know them, you who live in the water. But all will see them after the high water has gone down. Those plants grow by themselves without having been sown, I will not tell you where to make them grow, for you will know. Plant them wherever you like. I want them to grow of themselves, like cottonwoods and willows. So cause them to spring up wherever you think best. I do not even know how you will plant them. Perhaps you will put seeds into your mouth and blow them about; perhaps you will blow out water from your mouth, or perhaps mud, and it will sprout and grow. I do not know how you will do it, but I know that you know how, and so you can do as you like."

42. Return to Avikwame.—When he returned to Avikwame, Mastamho said: "Well, it is done. You will all scatter along the river on both sides of it. Everything has been arranged. I will not tell you more now. I will not speak all night. Tonight is three nights; tomorrow will be the fourth.[62] Tomorrow I will not let you sleep: you will remain awake and I will tell you what I shall become; that I shall not die, but turn into a bird. That is what I will tell you about on the fourth night, but not today." Then they slept that night.

[62] The narrator has lost his count: it is the fifth night, not the third. See pars. 31, 36, 39, 40, 42, with the events of par. 44 seq. for the sixth night. It should be said in his behalf that owing to other duties, I was able to work with him only intermittently, and that it was now several days since he had begun his narration to me.

E. Counting, Directions, Tribal Names: 43-58

43. Preparation for the next night.—In the morning Mastamho went outside. He wanted a place to put the people outdoors. He said: "Tonight some of you will become Mohave, some Chemehuevi, some Walapai, some Yavapai, some Yuma, some Kamia;[63] and some of you will become birds. I will tell you about that tonight, but not during the day."

[63] Another inconsistency, and expansion from four to six, by the sudden inclusion of the Yuma and Kamia. In pars. 9-19 and 23, it is Chemehuevi, Walapai, and Yavapai as set off from the Mohave.

44-46. First, second, third counts taught.—44. When the sun set, all went into the house, and Mastamho stood up. He said: "You are alive now. I will tell you what you will eat. I will tell you about corn and beans and melons and other food. But first I will teach you how to count. I will show you how to use your fingers. When you want to say: 'Four days,' do like this." And he held up four fingers. "When you want to tell of as many as all these fingers, show them all. Now listen. All be quiet and listen to me counting. Then perhaps you will like it. If you do not like it, you can listen to another way. Sintš, tšekuvantš, tšekamuntš, tšekapantš, tšekaθara, umota, kutšyeta, koatša, kwisan, noe.[64] Can you say that? How do you like that counting?" Now those who were to be Mohave did not say a word. They could not count that way.

[64] The distortions of this and the two following imperfect counts are analyzed in a separate discussion following the myth.

[60] 45. So Mastamho said again: "Count like this: sinye, mivanye, mimunye, mipanye, miranye, miyuš, mikaš, nyavahakum, nyavamokum, nyatšupai, nyavali, nyavalak. Can you say that? Do you like that counting?" But they were silent. There were too many words in that: more than ten.

46. So Mastamho counted for them again: "Hatesa, hakiva, hakoma, tšimkapa, θapara, tinye, sekive, kum, ayave, apare.[65] Now I have counted ten. Perhaps you will like that." Again they did not speak a word.

[65] This third try at a count interchanges the consonants of the stressed syllable in the normal Mohave words.

47. Final count taught.—Then he said: "Well, I will make it four times: I will count once more; that will be all. Then I will teach you other things: for you do not yet know east and west and north and south: I will teach you that. Now I will count. Seto, havika, hamoka, tšimpapa, θarapa, sinta, vika, muka, paye, arrapa. Do you like that? Can you say that?" Then they all said it after him. They could count and liked it; they knew how to do it and clapped their hands and laughed.

48. Fingers made on hand.—Now their hands were not yet as now: their fingers were still together. Then Mastamho tore them apart and made five fingers. "I want you to call this one isalye tšikaveta.[66] Call this one isalye itma-kanamk.[67] I want you to call this one isalye kuva'enye; this one isalye tokuv'aunye; and this one isalye kuvapare.[68] Now I have made your hands for you, too."

[66] The thumb.

[67] The index. Kanamk is "point."

[68] Middle, fourth, and little fingers, of course.

49. First direction names taught.—He said again: "Now we are here in this house: all will know and hear it. Now when I mean here," and he pointed his hand to the north, "all say: 'Amai-hayame.'" But they did not do so: they kept their hands against their bodies; they wanted another name; they did not like that word. Then he said: "And there is Amai-hakyeme; all say that!" And he pointed south. But again all sat still: they did not want to call it that. He said again: "Well, there is another: there is the way the night goes.[69] I do not know where its end is, but when we follow the darkness that is called Amai-hayime." He said that, but none of the Mohave said a word: they sat with their hands against the body. Then Mastamho said once more: "You see the dark coming. I do not know where it comes from: I did not make it. But where darkness comes from, I call that Amai-hayike." Again they sat still and did not point.[70]

[69] The Mohave, like the far-away Yurok, constantly speak of night coming from the east and traveling west.

[70] The plan underlying the twisting of the terms of direction is less clear than for the other series of words. See discussion at end.

50. Final direction names taught.—Then Mastamho said once more: "I have named all the directions but you have not answered. Well, there are other names. Listen: I call this (the north) Mathak. Can you say that?" Then all said, "Yes," and stood up, and pointed north, and said, "Mathak." He said again: "This (to the south) I call Kaveik. Can you say it?" Then all said, "Yes," and pointed and called the name and clapped their hands and laughed. He said again: "I told you that the night went in that direction. I gave it a name, but you did not say it. There is another way to call it: Inyohavek. All of you say that!" Then they all said: "Yes, we can say that. We can call it Inyohavek," and all pointed as he directed them. He said again: "Where the dark comes from, you did not call that as I told you to. There is another way to call it: Anyak." Then all said: "Anyak," and pointed east and clapped their hands and laughed. Then Mastamho said: "That is all."

51. Mispronounced tribal names.—Mastamho said: "Some of you are outside, east of the house: I want you to be the Hamapaivek. Some of you are outdoors west of the house: I call you Hamivevek. You people in the house, just west of the door, I call you Hamitšanvek. You just inside the door, near these last, I call Hamiaivek. You people near the fire here, not against the wall, I call you Hamahavek." He called them by these names, but all the people did not answer. They did not say: "Yes, we will be called that." All of them said nothing.[71]

[71] These distorted forms consist of prefix Ham-, a suffix -vek, and the accented syllable (plus preceding unaccented vowel) of the correct Mohave name for the tribe. See discussion at end.

52. Walapai and Yavapai tribes named.—Then Mastamho said again: "This time I will call you who are on the east Havalyipai."[72] Then those people called that name easily, and all those indoors said: "Now they are the Walapai." Then he said again: "Those will be the Yavapai also. I want them (the Walapai and the Yavapai) to live near each other in the mountains." Those are the ones that at first he had called Hamapaivek.

[72] Or Howalya-paya.

53. Chemehuevi named.—Then he said again: "Those outdoors on the west, whom at first I called Hamivevek, I now call Tšimuveve. All say that!" Then all said: "Chemehuevi."

54. Yuma and Kamia named.—He said again: "Those just inside the door on the west of it I called Hamitšanvek. Now I call you Kwitš(i)ana (Yuma)." He said again: "You near them, whom at first I called Hamiaivek, I now call Kamia. You two will live near each other."

55. Mohave named.—Then he said: "I have made you all to be tribes, Walapai, Yavapai, Chemehuevi, Yuma, and Kamia: you are all different. I also spoke the name Hamahavek. Now I call them Hamakhave. All will call you that, you Mohave, and will know you by that name."

[61] 56. Told to stay a while.—He said: "I have told you where I want you each to go. You know the places and you know the way. I will not take you there: you can go by yourselves. But it is too dark yet: you may go in the morning." They had been ready to go, and had stood up, even though it was still night. He told them: "It is too early now. If you go during the night, you will become confused. Listen to me, and do not mix with one another: stay here." Then he drew lines with his foot for the three tribes inside the house, and told them to remain within the marks. He went outside and drew marks for the Chemehuevi, telling them: "Stay here," and the same for the Walapai and Yavapai on the west. As he said to each, "Stay here," he waved (flapped) his hands downward from his extended arms.

57. Doctors will dream of this.—Mastamho said again: "Follow me, and do the same. Listen! In future some men will dream: they will be doctors. If you dream of me at night, you will be crazy. Some men will be doctors who can cure sickness by touching with their hands. They will not tell of me, but only sing about me. If you wait here, you will hear of this and know about me."

58. Takes new name.—He walked about. He stood at the north end of the house. He said: "My name is Pahutšatš-yamasam-kwakirve. That is my name now. First my name was Mastamho. But I have left that, and now it is Pahutšatš-yamasam-kwakirve. Whoever dreams about me will know me by that name."

F. Hawks and War: 59-69

59-62. Four hawks given names and war power.—59. Now in the middle of the house four men were sitting leaning against the posts. Mastamho said to them: "You will be birds. You," he said to one, "your name is Soqwilye-akataya.[73] Stand up! I will give you another name: I call you Ampoṭ-em-kutšu-kuly-ve.[74] I want you to talk. When you speak there will be wind and rain and dust. I want you to tell about fighting: I want you to direct war."[75] This man had a blue stone[76] ornament in his nose.

[73] A species of hawk.

[74] "Dust-dash-through."

[75] Men who dream of him will always be brave and ready to go to war. When they narrate what they have dreamed, wind and rain will follow.

[76] Avi-havasutš.

60. Then he called another one of the same name[77] and said to him: "I want you to make dust four times, each place behind the other. I call you Ampoṭ-em-kutšu-kunuly-ke-va.[78] I want you to rush and seize and kill and fight and take slaves."

[77] Also called soqwilye-akataya, but a smaller species than the last.

[78] Said also to refer to dashing through dust. The name is the same except for the "infixes" -nu- and -ke-.

61. He called out the third one,[79] and gave him the name Ampoṭ-em-kutšu-var-ve.[80]

[79] A hawk described as blue-billed.

[80] "Dust-stay-on-this-side-of."

62. The fourth[81] he called Ampoṭ-em-kutšu-min-ve.[82] He told them all how to fight: "If there are four or five men on the other side of where you have made it dusty and dark, you can dash across to the enemy. If people dream of you, they will kill enemies in battle; but if they dream that they are in the dark and cannot see, they will not be able to kill in battle."

[81] A large yellow-billed hawk.

[82] "Dust-pierce." All four names contain ampoṭ, dust; -em; kutšu-; a verb stem (respectively kuly, kunulyke, var, min); and the suffix -ve or -va.

63. Practice trial.—Now a man was standing outdoors, north of the house: his name was Ampoṭ-kwasanye. Mastamho said: "Let us see who of you will be lucky, who will kill men." Then Ampoṭ-em-kutšu-kunuly-ke-va rushed through the darkness and caught this man. Thus he learned how to do, and all shouted and laughed. Mastamho said: "Now you four know how. You will be the ones to do that."

64. Weapons to be made.—"Now I will tell you what to make in order to fight with. Make the bow of black willow. Make the arrows from dry arrowweed. Make the knobbed war club[83] from (bean-) mesquite.[84] Make the straight war club[85] from screw-mesquite.[86] That will be four weapons. Sometimes birds' feathers will fall on the ground. You will pick them up and use them on your arrows.[87] That is how you will fight."

[83] Halyahwai, potato-masher shape, for end-thrusting from below into faces.

[84] Analye, Prosopis glandulosa.

[85] Tokyete, for cracking skulls.

[86] Aya, Prosopis pubescens.

[87] War arrows simply had the end of the shaft sharpened—no head or foreshaft.

65. Cremation of warriors.—"Perhaps later on, when people fight, some will have dreamed badly and will be killed. Then, when they are burned, their bows and arrows, their clubs and their feathers, will be laid on their breasts.[88] Now here you are, you four. I have made you brave. I have given you everything with which to fight. In the morning I want you to become birds. I myself will become one."

[88] This seems to be a hereditary privilege, being performed also for the relatives of brave men, and not limited only to those killed in battle.

66. Dreamers of journey will be runners.—Mastamho said: "You know what I did: when I went to plant seeds, I went a long way, to several places; that was what I did. Some will dream of that journey of mine, and they will be foot racers."[89]

[89] Because Mastamho traveled far and fast.

67. Eagle unintelligent; to dream of him unlucky.—He said: "There is a large man here, with [62] long hair. His name is Ampoṭ-em-makakyene. He is a good-looking man, but he is not intelligent. When I say anything, he does not look at me: he looks away. If he had looked at me when I spoke, he would have been an important man. But since he turned away and did not listen, he will not be a chief. He does not talk loudly, and no one listens to what he says. Some will dream of him: they will be great men among the people, but they will not live long. This man too will be a bird in the morning. He will be Eagle."[90]

[90] The golden eagle; Mastamho himself becomes the bald eagle. Both are treated depreciatingly compared with the hawks (falcons).

68. Crane ugly; to dream of him unlucky.—He said again: "There is another one here who is large and good-looking: his name is Ampoṭ-hamθarka. He also will not be important. If you dream of him, you will be quarrelsome, taciturn, poor, and lazy. I call him Umas-akaaka.[91] He, too, will turn to be a bird, and will be called Crane.[92] He will stand on the sand flats at the edge of the water and will eat fish. He will not be good-looking, and men who dream of him will not be good-looking."

[91] Umas (from humar, child?), common as first element in myth names.

[92] Nyaqwe.

69. Hawks will wear morning star in fight.—He said to (another one called) Soqwilye-akataya:[93] "I call you Ampoṭ-malye-kyita because you talk of fighting and stand by the dust. You will be chief over the others. I give that to you, and you will know what I say, and will teach it to some people. You will do that before you turn into a bird. I myself shall be a bird before you are. Before you change, I want you to say everything that I have told you. When there is war, put katšetulkwa-'anya-ye on your shoulder. It is bright: that is how you will be able to see clearly." He called it katšetulkwa-'anya-ye and no one understood him; but he meant the morning star.[94] "You will see it in the morning," Mastamho said.

[93] Said to be the largest of the hawks, and distinct from the four mentioned before.

[94] Hamuse-ku-vataye, "great star."

G. Thrasher Mockingbird, and Mastamho's Dream Names: 70-75

70. Gnatcatcher to be rich: women will dream of him.—He said again: "There is Ampoṭe-ku-vataye,[95] a small man. He is the older brother of Eagle's father; but he is smaller than Eagle. I give it to him to be a rich man. He will have much food, and all the people will come to him to dance. They will sing and dance and jump and wrestle and play. Whoever dreams of Ampoṭe-ku-vataye will be such a man. But you, Ampoṭe-ku-vataye, will be Gnatcatcher.[96] I will not let you go to a distance: I want you to stay here in this country.[97] I want you to be near the river. There you will live."

[95] "Great dust."

[96] Hanavetšipe. Described as building small-mouthed nests in mesquite trees.

[97] Evidently the narrator has in mind the Mohave country, though Mastamho is still at Avikwame.

71. Tšoaikwatake in cottonwoods: women also dream of.—He said once more: "There is another man: you, Ampoṭe-'aqwaθe. When you have become a bird your name will be Tšoaikwatake. I want you to stay below where Gnatcatcher will be. You will be among the cottonwoods and the sandbar willows. Gnatcatcher will take the land where the mesquite grows; you will have the overflow land. Between you, you will divide the low valley. You, Gnatcatcher, when the mesquite-screws are ripe, and you want to store them, ask Tšoaikwatake for arrowweeds with which to make a granary; he will give them to you. Not men, but women, will dream of you two."[98]

[98] Such women are diligent and never tire of work.

72. Thrasher and Mockingbird-to-be named.—Again he said: "There is one to whom I give it to tell what he knows. He will talk to you. I shall go south and become a bird and tell you nothing more: then he will teach you. His name will be Ikinye-istum-kwamitše.[99] With him will be Hatšinye-kunuya,[100] a woman: I name those two. They will be the ones who will show you how to be happy. They will tell you how to feel good."

[99] Boy-istum-cry (?).

[100] Girl-kunuya.

73-75. Three new names of Mastamho.—73. "Now I have made everything. I have also given you those who will tell you more. Now I am standing here. When at first I stood in the north, you knew the name I had then. It was Pahutšatš-yamasam-kwakirve. Now I stand in the west and have another name. Now my name is Pahutšatš-yamasam-kuvatš-kye."[101]

[101] Food-white-walk-about.

74. Then he stood at the southwestern corner of the shade. The Mohave stood north of him. Then he said: "Now my name is Pahutšatš-yamasam-kuvatš-inalye.[102] Watch me! I shall be a bird: but I shall have told everything before I become a bird. There was a large house, the oldest house.[103] I was a boy then, and came here and built the house here. Now all raise your arms." Then all raised their arms, laughing, and pulled at the posts and made the shade shake. Then he said: "The house I built is still new and young. It still moves and shakes."

[102] Food-white-stand-off-from.

[103] Ha'avulypo.

75. He went off a short distance and stood, away from the people. He said: "There is another name by which I will call myself. It is Pahutšatš-yamasam-kuvatš-kaδutše.[104] That is four names that I have." Now he was standing still farther towards the south[105] from them than before: he had stepped backward. Each time he moved farther away and took a new name.

[104] Food-white-stand-at-a-distance.

[105] One would expect a circuit, but the directions are N, W, SW, S.


H. Pottery and Farmed Food Instituted: 76-78

76. Pottery vessels each given two names.—Again he said: "This is the last before I become a bird. But no, I have forgotten one thing. I want you to use something to bring water in: mastoyam. And I want you to use something to cook in: umas-te-tooro and umas-te-hamoka." But no one understood him. He said again: "You do not understand. You call them water jar,[106] and cook pot,[107] and large stew pot.[108] I also want you to have umas-uyula, but you do not understand me. I mean spoon.[109] I want you to have what I call han'ame, but you do not know what I mean. It is an oval food platter.[110] And I want you to have what I call umas-kasara. I mean the stirrer.[111] You do not yet know it, but when you boil food you will stir with this. I am telling you these things, though you do not understand me, because I want you to know everything. Some of you are listening to me and know what I say: they will be doctors. But some do not understand me and do not listen. And there will be what I call umas-iaδa. You do not know what that is, but it is a bowl.[112] There will be another one: I call it umas-eyavkwa-havik. I mean the parching dish.[113] You will use that when you toast corn and wheat."

[106] Hapurui.

[107] Taskyene.

[108] Tšuvave, set on three supports; hence the name applied by Mastamho: hamoka being three.

[109] Pottery spoon or ladle, kam'ota.

[110] Kakape.

[111] Three or four sticks tied together in the middle and used to stir stews; called so'ona.

[112] A round bowl without lip: kayeθe.

[113] Katele of pottery, pointed at two ends.

77. Planted foods named.—"I will tell you also what you will eat without cooking: you will eat umas-kupama. I mean melons.[114] But there will also be umas-kupama which you will cook: I mean pumpkins. And there is still another thing. You will have corn and wheat and beans to grind. To do this you will use umas-oapma. I mean the metate.[115] And I will show you tšamatš-ke-hutšatše: I will give you that. You do not know what it is; but I mean food (tšamatš). I mean white beans, yellow beans, black beans, spotted beans;[116] and white maize, blue maize, red maize, white-and-yellow mottled maize, and yellow maize.[117] You will see all these: you will call them thus. Now I have given you these names, and this food: I have finished that."

[114] Topama, melons of all kinds.

[115] Ahpe, the grinding slab or "saddle quern."

[116] Beans are marika, teparies: the colors are, respectively, -nyamasave, -akwaθe, aqwaq-itšierqa (deer excrement), hatša (Pleiades).

[117] Maize is taδits: the colors, in order, are: -nyamasave, -havaso, -ahwaṭa, -arrova, -akwaθe—five in all, where four or six would be expectable.

78. Chutaha singing with basket.—"And if you dream about these things, you will sing Tšutaha. I will tell you what you will use, for singing that. You will beat umas-ekyire: I mean a basket, karri'i." Then all said: "Karri'i." "And I say: Umas-ihonga. When you strike the basket with your hand, it will make a noise: hāng. At Miakwa'orve you will have samelyivek and itšimak. You will call that arro'oi, play. You will do that at Miakwa'orve: all the people will dance; that is what I mean."

I. Thrasher and Mockingbird Delegated to Teach: 79-81

79. Thrasher and Mockingbird appointed to teach play and sex.—Then Mastamho said again: "Now everything is finished. You, Ikinye-istum-kwamitše, and you, Hatšinye-kunuya, are the man and the woman I have appointed. Now they do not yet marry each other and do not love. You two will make it that all will marry. You will marry. Then you will have a child: it will be another person. I give it to you to do that. All will do what you do and as you say."

80.—Avikwame named.—He said again: "This mountain Avikwame that I have made and where I have built my house, I call it avi-nyamaθam-kuvatše.[118] Men who are not doctors will call it Avikwame, but some of you will dream about me and they will call it avi-nyamaθam-kuvatše. That is what I mean."

[118] -nyamaθam for (?) nyamasam, white; kuvatše, stand (?).

81.—What Thrasher and Mockingbird are to do and be.—Meanwhile Mastamho had walked backward from where the people were, until now he had reached Avi-kutaparve.[119] From there, still looking north, he saw Ikinye-istum-kwamitše and Hatšinye-kunuya, whom he had appointed to arrange about marriage, making the people stand in a row in order to talk to them. So he said to them: "That is right: that is what I want. You will do that: you will tell them everything about marrying. Then when you have told them all, you also will be birds, as I shall be. You, Hatšinye-kunuya, will do that. When a woman dreams of you, she will be loose.[120] You, Ikinye-istum-kwamitše, will be dreamed of by some men. Those men will be ugly, but they will be successful with women;[121] they will always be marrying. When you turn into birds, you, Ikinye-istum-kwamitše, will be Curve-billed Thrasher.[122] You, Hatšinye-kunuya, will be called thus while you are a girl, but after you are a woman, you will be called Kuvuδinye. When you have said everything that I have told you, and have become a bird, you will be Mockingbird: Sakwaθa'alya is how people will call you."

[119] Near Fort Mohave. See ante, par. 34. It is near Miakwa'orve of note 52 and par. 85 ff.

[120] Kamaluik. Cf. note 148.

[121] θenya'aka-'itθak.

[122] Hotokoro.


J. Mastamho's Transformation into Bald Eagle: 82-84

82. Turns into Bald Eagle at Avi-kutaparve.—Mastamho was standing at Avi-kutaparve. Now he proceeded to leave (change) his body. That is why the little mountain there is now white in one place. Mastamho was looking to the north, standing close by the river. He wanted to have wings and flap them. He moved his arms four times to make them into wings. Then he said: "See, I shall be a bird. Not everyone will know me when I am a bird. My name will be Saksak."[123]

[123] The bald or white-headed eagle; or possibly the fish-diving osprey.

83. Floats downriver to Hokusave.—Then he turned around twice from right to left, facing south, and then north, then south and north again, and lay down on his back in the middle of the river. Four times he moved his arms in the water. Thus he reached Hokusave.[124] Then he had wings and feathers, and rose from the water. He flew low above the water so that his wings touched it.

[124] About eight miles north of Needles City, in California, not far from the Nevada line.

84. Flies south to sea, is crazy (unknowing).—He flew southward, looking for a place to sit. He settled on a sandbar. But he thought: "It is not good: I will not sit here"; and he went on again. He sat on a log, but thought again: "No, I do not like this," and went on. He sat on a bank, but thought: "No, it is not good," and went on. So he went far down to the sea where the river emptied into it. There he stayed, and lived near the river eating fish. Now he was crazy and full of lice and nits.[125] Now when he had told everything and was a bird, he forgot all that he had known. He did not even know any longer how to catch fish. Sometimes other birds kill fish and leave part of them. Then Saksak eats them, not knowing any better. He is alone, not with other birds, and sits looking down at the water: he is crazy.

[125] Hatšilye, "louse-excrement." When a bald eagle is killed it is said to be always lousy and to smell of fish. People who dream of Mastamho after he became the bald eagle know nothing and are crazy (yamomk) like him.


K. Courtship Instituted at Miakwa'orve: 85-92

85. Thrasher and Mockingbird face people on playground at Miakwa'orve.—Now when Mastamho had died,[126] the man and woman he had left at Miakwa'orve, Ikinye-istum-kwamitše and Hatšinye-kunuya, took his place. So wanting to make a field for play, matāre, they drew their feet in a line over the ground for the people to stand on facing north. "No, it will not do;" they said. Then they drew lines for them to stand on facing east, and south, but again they said: "No." Then they drew a line so the people could look toward the west.[127] Then they said: "Yes, that will be right." Now they marked four such lines and made the people stand along them in four rows, one behind the other, all facing west. In the middle, between the first and second lines, they set a stick of sandbar willow.

[126] Left his human body.

[127] Sunwise circuit beginning in north.

86. Tortoise chosen to be approached.—Then they said: "Who is a beautiful woman? I think Pahutšatš-yamasam-iarme. Mastamho did not call her by that name, but he told us to. After a while she will turn to be Tortoise: then she will be called Kapeta." Now that woman stood there, with long hair reaching to the middle of her thighs and white paint[128] on it. The two said: "Some of you go to her. If she does not like you, she will not have you; but if she likes you, she will marry you. Go and try to take this good-looking woman's hand. If she takes yours, it will be because she likes you; but if she does not like you, she will refuse to let you take her hand. In future there will be men who dream that they have taken her hand: such men will always be able to become married as they like. When she turns to be a tortoise, those who dream of her will sing Kapeta.[129] And other men will dream of what we are making you do now, making you stand in four rows. Those men will sing Yaroyare."[130]

[128] Amaṭ-ehe.

[129] There is a reference to Kapeta or Tortoise singing and story in Handbook, p. 763.

[130] There is little on record about the Yaroyare song-cycle. The narrator, on another occasion, coupled Yaroyare and Ipa-m-imītše (person-wail) as dealing with Matavilya's sickness and death at Ha'avulypo, of the dreamers laying their hand on him, and the like. They sing and tell about this at people's death, he said. He knew one man who had dreamed this: his name was Kolhonyešuδuk (alive in 1903), who was a doctor, but only for ahwe'-ahnok, "foreign sickness" due to eating alien tribes' food.—Another informant, Atšyôra-hunyava, did not mention Yaroyare but coupled Ipa-m-imītše with Humahnān, a cycle named after a black, hard, stinking beetle. Both singings use no rattle or other instrument and belong to doctors who cure sickness due to eating hawk-wounded birds, or birds killed by oneself, or to birds which cause young babies to be sick with white stools.—All this does not sound like having much to do with courtship and play.

87-90. Sparrowhawk, Quail, Ah'akwasilye, Oriole rejected.—87. The people were still standing in four rows, facing west.[131] Before them, at the southern end of the rows, stood Ikinye-istum-kwamitše, looking at them all, and Hatšinye-kunuya stood at the stick they had set up. Now the first who went to take the hand of the woman was Sparrowhawk.[132] As he came up to her, he said: "Liklik."[133] [65] But the woman said: "That is a bad word to say to a woman,"[134] and all four rows of people laughed.

[131] Mohave dancing is described in Handbook, pp. 746, 765.

[132] θinyere.

[133] The bird's call.

[134] Have-lik or have-kwet means clitoris.

88. Now when a man will have great supernatural power he dreams of Hoatšavameve and Amaṭ-ku-matāre.[135] Quail[136] came from those places. He was a good-looking man, with fine eyes, and hair tied at the ends below his hips. Now as he approached the woman and tried to seize her hand, she, knowing that where he came from was where they gave power, was dissatisfied with him and folded her arms, so as to cover her hands. So Ikinye-istum-kwamitše and Hatšinye-kunuya said: "This is not the place to acquire power and learn to be a doctor: we are teaching other things: we are showing how to sing and dance. This is no place for a doctor to come to." Then Quail went back, and stood at a distance, and all the people laughed and clapped their hands. Now these two men, Sparrowhawk and Quail, were good looking, but it was with them as it is with some men now, who are good looking but fail to marry women they want. As Quail came from where doctors are made and was not wanted, people now are afraid of doctors.[137]

[135] East of Avikwame, close to the river in Arizona. The second name means "playfield-place."

[136] Ahma.

[137] One of the rather rare explicit "because then, therefore now" explanations.

89. Now there was a man called Ah'a-kwašilye,[138] who came from Avi-kunu'ulye.[139] He went and stood before the woman holding his privates in his hands. Then the woman said: "I do not want him! I do not want that sort of a man to come here: it is bad." So he went back to Avi-kunu'ulye.[140]

[138] A bird with red wing pits. It lives in cottonwood trees.

[139] A small peak, sharp and erect, about six miles north of the Hoatšavameve just mentioned. Ku-nu'ulye, tumescence.

[140] "Some men dream of this place or this man. Then they will fail to obtain wives. They will say of a woman: 'I should like to have her,' but they will never marry her."

90. And there was a man called Yamaθame-hwarme. When he became a bird, he was called Oriole.[141] Now he too approached the woman. He was a man who knew too much and spoke constantly. Ikinye-istum-kwamitše and Hatšinye-kunuya said: "He talks too much: he chatters."[142] When he came to the woman, she swung her arms and pushed him back. So he returned and stood at the rear of the four rows, and all laughed.[143]

[141] Sakumaha.

[142] The oriole is reputed noisy.

[143] The three preceding suitors did not come from among the people standing in rows at Miakwa'orwe, and are evidently thought to have returned to their homes after being rejected.

91. Blue Heron accepted by Turtle.—Now when Mastamho had turned into a bird and gone south, one other man went also. His name was Ampoṭ-yamaθam-kuvevare. He, too, reached the sea. Now he said: "I thought that everything had been made and that all had turned into birds: but it is not finished yet. I hear a noise at Miakwa'orve: I will go there." Then he started to return. He came to Aksam-kusaveve, and from there he went on to Hanemo'-ara, where there is a lake.[144] When he looked into the water there, he saw little fish, atši-mikulye, and caught four. He put leaves of black willow through the gills of the four fish, and so made a head dress like the feathers worn on a stick at the back of the head: he called it atši-sukulyk. From there he went on to Miakwa'orve. He did not go among the rows of people, but stood at the side and looked at the woman. He had whitened his face with dust which he had rubbed on his hands on the ground. Now he stretched out his arm toward the woman. She put out her hand, and he took it and pulled her over to where he stood. Then they said: "That man has her: he is married to her." And all laughed. He was Great Blue Heron.[145] He is not a handsome bird now and was not a handsome man then, but he was easily married. So some men are ugly but dream of him, and then easily obtain women, even virgins, and if they leave these, they readily secure others. And so now all the people said: "He has taken Pahutšatš-yamasam-iarme: she is his wife: her husband is Heron." Now Ikinye-istum-kwamitše and Hatšinye-kunuya said: "That was what we wanted you to see and to learn. Now when you want to marry, do that way."

[144] An overflow lake or slough from the river. Hanemo means duck.

[145] Atšqeuqa, the American bittern, or great blue heron, whose cry is qau, qau.

92. Dove arrives: Loose women dream of her.—Now there was a girl called Hatšinye-kwora'e. When all went away from Ha'avulypo at night, after the house there had been burned, she came back next morning alone, looking for food that might have been thrown away. From there she did not go with the others to Avikwame and Miakwa'orve, but traveled westward[146] until she came to Otahvek-hunuve.[147] There she made with her hands a round level place on top of the mountain. Now, as she stood there facing north, she heard the noise from Miakwa'orve. Then she started for it. When she came to Oyatš-ukyulve and Hokusave, she stood still and heard the noise from Miakwa'orve more loudly and saw the dust rising. So she went on and reached Miakwa'orve. Then Ikinye-istum-kwamitše and Hatšinye-kunuya said to her: "We have made every thing: it is finished, and the people here have the knowledge. But we will tell you the same that we told them. You are a handsome girl. In future, some women will dream of you. Then they will be loose.[148] And you will turn into a bird. You will become Dove."[149]

[146] Through the valley in which Ibex lies.

[147] South of Ibex.

[148] Kamaluik, as in note 120. Such women do not stay with one husband, but have no children and change from one man to another.

[149] Hoskive, the mourning dove.


L. Transformation of Water and Valley Birds: 93-97

93. All go downriver to Hokusave.—Then they said: "She was one who was away and did not see what we did; but now all have come and have heard. Now you will all become birds. We will go with you to Oyatš-ukyulve and Hokusave[150] and there we will turn you into birds."

[150] Where Dove had just come from, and where Mastamho rose from the river (par. 83).

94. Noses of racers pierced there.—Then they started to go to those two places. When they arrived, Ikinye-istum-kwamitše and Hatšinye-kunuya made a large circle on the ground. Then, standing to the west of it, they said: "Let us see you all run with your mouths shut tight, holding your breath. Do not breathe until you have gone around the ring. If you breathe only then, you will be footracers." Then they pierced the septum of the nose of those who were about to run, for four at a time; when four had been pierced, they ran. Then Ikinye-istum-kwamitše and Hatšinye-kunuya would pierce another four, and these ran. Now some of them could not run all the way. Some went part way and breathed out, "Wh!" and everybody laughed because such as these could not run well. Then Ikinye-istum-kwamitše and Hatšinye-kunuya pierced the noses of four and with them of Kasunyo-kurrauve,[151] so that five of them ran together. The other four became exhausted after one circuit, but Kasunyo-kurrauve ran around four times with his mouth still shut. Only after the fourth circuit, he said: "Wh!" Then Ikinye-istum-kwamitše and Hatšinye-kunuya said to him: "You are the one who can run. Those who will dream of you will be racers."

[151] Kasunyo is the American gold-eye; kurrauve seems to refer to running.

95. Yahalyetaka's nose pierced with difficulty.—Now all of the runners had had their noses pierced, and Ikinye-istum-kwamitše and Hatšinye-kunuya said to them: "Now we will throw you into the water." But there was one left inside the ring, who sat crying because no hole had been made in his nose. He wanted his nose pierced too, but it could not be done, for it was too flat to perforate; therefore he cried. He said: "If you do not pierce me, I shall not be able to go with the others but must stay here." So he sat crying with his hands together, and all stood there about him. Some said: "Well, why can we not pierce his nose?" But others said: "It cannot be done. It is too flat, like my hand." "Well, let us try it anyway," they said. Then Ikinye-istum-kwamitše and Hatšinye-kunuya went to him and, by drawing out his nose, succeeded in piercing it. Then he was glad. He is Yahalyetaka.

96. Racers become water birds.—It was not all the birds who had had their noses pierced, but only those that live in the water.[152] There were Scaup Duck,[153] Mallard, Wood-duck,[154] Mudhen; also Hwat-hwata, Tšuyekepuyi, Sahmata, Minyesa'atalyke,[155] Moviθpa,[156] Sakataθere, Western Grebe,[157] and Minyesahatša.[158] They said: "Now we all have holes in our noses. Hereafter, people who dream of us will have their noses pierced and will be able to go far without becoming tired or hungry. Some who dream of us will be chiefs: they will have ornaments hanging from their noses and people will know them and say 'That is a great man.'" Then they ran a short distance and returned four times; then they jumped into the river. "Now we shall be water birds," they said.

[152] That is, dive, evidently.

[153] Av'akwaθpine. The identification is not sure.

[154] Or pintail? Hanemo. Cf. note 18.

[155] Probably red-headed, since the name was misapplied to a specimen of a pileated woodpecker.

[156] A bird similar to the king rail.

[157] Halyekūpa, to be distinguished from halyepūka, the loon.

[158] Said to be a land bird, the varied thrush; see minyesa'atalyka just above.

97. Some others become valley birds.—Then Ikinye-istum-kwamitše and Hatšinye-kunuya said to the others: "You know in what places you will like to live, whether among the willows or the cottonwoods or elsewhere. This country will belong to you, and you will stay here."[159]

[159] They became land birds.

M. Mountain Birds Transformed at Rattlesnake's Playfield: 98-101

98. Rest led back to Miakwa'orve.—Now some of them had not yet turned into birds. Then Ikinye-istum-kwamitše said: "We will go back to Miakwa'orve: we want to do something more." Then he started with Hatšinye-kunuya and with those that were still people. When they came to Avi-kutaparve, they stood there. Then Ikinye-istum-kwamitše and Hatšinye-kunuya said: "We have done what he wanted us to do: we have made them birds. We have made it that those who will live in this country in the water and near the river will be here. And they know how to marry: they will have children and so they will continue. You know how: you saw Ampoṭ-yamaθam-kuvevare become married. Those who will live here have learned from that. But some will marry a woman and feel well, but later they will become sick. We will tell about that also. There will be men who dream about that, and such men will know how to cure venereal disease. We will not tell you that here, but we will go where the darkness goes, and when we come to another place like Miakwa'orve, we will tell you there. Rattlesnake's Playground[160] is that place. We will make you birds there, mountain birds, who will not be about here. And there will be some who will dream about us at that place."

[160] Hayekwire-nye-matāre, a dry lake bed which the railroad crosses between Mojave station and Kramer. It is described as about fifteen miles east of Mojave, wide, level, entirely without vegetation, and surrounded by mountains.

99. Thrasher and Mockingbird at Rattlesnake's Playground teach veneral cure.—Then they started; and near sunset they arrived at Rattlesnake's [67] Playground. Then Ikinye-istum-kwamitše and Hatšinye-kunuya said: "When you have intercourse, you will think you feel good. But some of you will be sick from that. Some women will have a baby. When it is born, it will cause them great pain in the belly. The pain will go back into them and will be a sickness in the bones." Then they hooked their middle fingers into the middle fingers of the people who were still with them and swung them to the left. This they did to all of them, saying: "You will understand." After they had been swung, all sat looking at the ground, and appeared thin and sickly. Then the two talked to them again, and sang four songs. When they had sung the four songs, the flesh had returned to them and they were healthy once more; and they all shouted and laughed.

100. More songs for this.—The two said to them: "You have seen us do that: you all know it now. When someone dreams about us, let him tell what we have said. When they cure sickness, let them say what we have said, and the sick person will get well. Sometimes a man will like a woman. She will sleep with him and soon he will be sick. Or she will like him, and kiss him, their saliva will come on each other, they will become sick, and have pains in the body. Then sing about us and you will cure them." Then they sang again for them.[161]

[161] Making the total number of songs used by the doctors of such sickness much greater than the four first mentioned. In addition, the narrator stated, Ikinye-istum-kwamitše and Hatšinye-kunuya sang other songs, later learned by other people, to cure different kinds of sickness; but of that he himself did not dream.

101. At Three Mountains, Thrasher, Mockingbird, and rest turn to mountain birds.—Now in the morning Ikinye-istum-kwamitše and Hatšinye-kunuya wanted them to try to fly; they wished them to learn flying. Four times they all rose into the air and settled again, Ikinye-istum-kwamitše and Hatšinye-kunuya with the others. Then they flew off, northward to Three Mountains.[162] When they arrived there, they were birds, and no longer knew where they came from. Then Ikinye-istum-kwamitše and Hatšinye-kunuya said: "Now we know nothing. Now we think no more, for we are birds. We are Thrasher and Mockingbird. When you dream of us, and tell of us and of Three Mountains, for a person that is sick, you will cure him. Say: 'I saw them do that: I heard them say that.' Then the person will become well. Tell them that we said so and so."

[162] Avi-hamoka, described as being "near Tehachapi."

N. Leftover Straggler Reaches the Sea: 102

102. Hakutatkole, left for Pošoik sickness, goes south to sea and becomes a bird.—Now when the others had all flown off to Three Mountains, one of them, Hakutatkole, nevertheless had stayed at Rattlesnake's Playground. He was sick with pošoik[163] in his mouth. Ikinye-istum-kwamitše and Hatšinye-kunuya had said: "We do not want that kind of man with us," and had left him. So he went south, alone, until he reached Halyuilyve. Now at Konyokuvilyo and Ha'tana there was another man, Himeikwe-halyepoma, who also taught, but about other things. Hakutatkole, coming to where he lived, approached him with his hand over his mouth; but Himeikwe-halyepoma, coming to meet him, pulled away his hand from his mouth, and said: "Do not come here!" and pushed him away. So Hakutatkole went south to the sea,[164] and there he, too, became a bird.

[163] A minor skin disease, for which the Mohave do not employ doctors. They fear it as contagious, however, and others do not use the clothing or food dishes of the person afflicted. Hakutatkole is said to have received this sickness from swallowing sea fog: the bird is spotted inside the mouth.

[164] Cf. his illness being from sea fog.


The most concise analysis of the counts in paragraphs 44-47 of the story is given by a comparative tabulation such as follows. With its subjoined notes, this table probably is as explanatory of the processes followed in the distortions as is possible in the present lack of analytic understanding of the Mohave language.

  First try   Second try Third try Final
1. si-ntš   si-nye ha-TESA seto
2. tšeku-va-ntš   mi-va-nye ha-KIVA havika
3. tšeka-mu-ntš   mi-ma-nye ha-KOMA hamoka
4. tšeka-pa-ntš   mi-pa-nye tšim-KAPA tšimpapa
5. tšeka-θara   mi-ra-nye θa-PARA θarapa
6. *umo-ta   mi-*yu-š TIN-ye sīnta
7. ku-*tšye-ta   nya-va-hak-um še-KIVE vīka
8. *koa-tša   nya-va-mok-um KUM mūka
9. *kwisan   nya-tšu-pai a-YAVE pāye
10. *noe   nya-va-*li a-PARE arrapa

Underlined: jingle increments.

CAPITALS: metathesized parts.

* Asterisks: stems or bases not found in any Yuman language (except possibly 6, *umo-, cf. Yuma xumxuk; 7, -*tšye-, cf. Yuma pāx-kyê-k).

Remaining syllables are those parts of normal Mohave count words which have survived the playful mutilations. They are of course not the etymological bases, except sometimes by accident.

2, 3, 4 in actual Mohave appear also as havik, hamok, tšimpapk.

The made-up directional names, paragraph 49, do not yield to analysis or relate to the standard forms.

Trial Standard
ha-YE-me matha-k
ha-KYE-me kavei-k
ha-yi-me inyohave-k
ha-yi-KE anya-k

[68] The trial names for tribes, paragraph 51, are built around the accented syllable of the normal Mohave form of the name. To this is prefixed ham-, followed by the vowel -a- or -i-. This prefix may possibly be taken from the Mohaves' name for themselves, Hamakhava or Hamakhave. There is also a suffix -vek; which may or may not be suggested by the final syllable of Hamakhave and Tšimuveve. These devices yield a list that jingles with initial and final rhymes: but the parts seem unetymological.

Trial name Mohave name
Ham-a-PAI-vek Walya-PAI (Hoalya-paya)
  Yava-PAI (Yava-paya)
Ham-i-VE-vek Tšimu-VE-ve
Ham-i-TŠAN-vek Kwi-TŠAN-(a)
Ham-i-AI-vek Kam-i-A(I) (Kamia)
Ham-a-HA-vek Ham-ak-HA-ve

Underlined: jingle increments.

CAPITALS: retained accented syllable of real name.

The concocted names of objects having to do with preparation of food seem not to be made by jingles or twistings, but to be descriptive ritualistic circumlocutions somewhat like the long compound names of myth personages. I cannot translate most of them; but there are a few indications. The large tšuvave cook pot is called umas-te-hamoka because it rests on three (hamoka) supports in the fire. Katela, a double-pointed parching bowl, is spoken of as umas-eyavkwa-havik, the last element meaning two. The frequent prefix umas- occurs in the names of many myth personages; it seems to be a form of humar, child; why it is used here is obscure. Umas-ekyire seems to be a distortion of karri'i, the usual word for basket. Tšamatš-ke-hutšatš for tšamatš, food, suggests Pa-hutšatš, another name for Mastamho, as in paragraphs 73-75; also his name in the Goose myth (Handbook, p. 767). The name may mean "food person."



These seven stories contain mentions of eight or nine directional circuits, as per the list. Four of these circuits are sunwise; five, if a half-circuit be included, run counter-sunwise. Three begin with north; three with west; one with south; one with east; one with southwest. None of the circuits has color associations; such do occur in other tales, but they seem to be as variable as the directions and starting points are variable here.

Myth Paragraph Footnote Direction Begin End Reference
Cane 81 71 Counter N E Dive to become beautiful (Ct. n. 72)
Nyohaiva 34 65 Counter S W Create wand magically
Raven 4 10 Sunwise W S Create gourd magically
Raven 30 27 Counter E S Walk before transforming
Deer 5 13 Counter W N Look about
Deer 22 39 Sunwise W S 4 actual mountains cited
Mastamho 37 58 Sunwise SW SE 4 kinds of seeds planted
Mastamho 75 105 Counter N S Half circuit, withdrawal
Mastamho 85 127 Sunwise N W Dancers' lines face

There are also cases of the directions being named in opposite pairs instead of in a circuit. Thus in Cane, I, 7b, 11b, 15, 17b, girls are obtained successively from W, E (as wives for the younger brother), N, S (for the older). The cages of the girls' birds are twisted, successively, of red and white, red and blue, (unstated), and red and blue cloth. In Mastamho, paragraphs 49-50, the direction names are taught in the order: N, S, W, E.

It is evident that the Mohave like the formalism of four times, of cardinal directions, and often of a circuit; but that, especially as compared with Hopi, Zuni, and Navaho, they are untrammeled as to turn, start, end, color, or other associations. This is evidently because they wholly lack strict rituals such as these other southwestern tribes have developed so abundantly with manipulations, altars, cult objects, schematized songs, fetishes, and priests.




Aha-kwi-nyamasave, V:21, VII:9, 10.

Ahtšye-'aksāmta (-'iksāmta), I:39, III:4.

Amaṭ-kusaye (-yi), II:1, VII:36, 37.

Aqwāqa-hāve, II:9, III:15a, 32.

Avi-hamoka, VI:A, VII:101.

Avi-halykwa'ampa, (-hilykwampe), II:16, VII:39, 40.

Avi-kutaparve (-kwu-), I:37, II:24, 26, V:14, VII:34, 35, 81, 82, 98.

Avi-kwame, I:1a, 5, 24, 28, 77, 98, V:12, 13, 22, VII:4, 8, 12-18, 35, 40, 42, 80, 92.

Avi-kwi-nyamaθave, V:11, VII:14.

Avi-melyehwêke, I:54, V:22, 26.

Avi-mota, I:101, 102, VII:14.

Avi-('i)tšierqe, II:26, V:12.

Avi-veskwi, V:20, VII:16.

Ha'avulypo, IV:1, V:1, VII:1, 4-6, 11, 74, 92.

Hakutšyepa, I:51, II:11, IV:15.

Hotūrveve, I:44, III:9.

Hukθara-tš-huerve, V:11, VII:15.

Iδo-kuva'īre, I:39, 102, III:2, V:14.

Kamahnūlya, I:42, III:5, V:17.

Kwaparvete, II:15, VII:6 (probably different places).

Miakwa'orve, III:1, IV:25, VII:34, 35, 78, 85, 91, 92, 98.

Mukiampeve, I:104, VI:B.

Qara'erve, I:39, 98, V:15.

Selye'aya-'ita, I:56, II:11.

Selye'aya-kumitše, I:40, 91, II:22, III:4, V:16.


Kwayū, Meteor, I:37, 74-83, 104, VI:B.

Mastamho, V:1, VII:1-91.

Matavilya, I:1a, IV:1, 3, V:1, VII:1-5, 8, 11, 20.

θarra-veyo, θara-veyo-ve, Coyote, VI:A, VII:2.


Hanye, frog, shell-ornament, I:65, 85, VII:40, 41.

Hotokoro, curve-billed thrasher, I:17b, IV:22, VII:81, 85-101.

Hukθara, coyote, V:9, VII:2.

Masohwaṭ, mythical (?) bird, I:86, IV:20.

Mahwa, badger, I:51, VII:1.

Nume, wildcat, I:42, V:17; nume-ta, jaguar, V:1, 22.

Sakwaθa'ālya, mockingbird (or magpie?), I:25, IV:23, VII:81, 85-101.

θinyere, sparrowhawk, I:25, VII:87.

θonoθakwe'atai, I:35, tonoθaqwataye, V:6, yanaθa-kwe-'ataye, III:4; an insect.


Havīkwek, younger sibling, III:11, 15e, navīkwek, my sibling, twin, III:28, navik, my father's older brother, I:75, 77.


Aksamta, a plant, I:82a, VII:37.

Hapurui, apurui, jar, V:9, VII:76.

Karri'i, basket, I:73, 75, VII:78.

Kupo, carrying basket, twine-wound, VI:A, VII:41.

Transcriber's Note

Variations in hyphenation, accent usage and spelling are preserved as printed, except where there was a very clear error:

Page 6—Tšitsuvare amended to Tšitšuvare—Then Tšitšuvare said, "Well, she is yours."

Page 12—Tasekyêlke amended to Tasekyêlkye— Tasekyêlkye sat by him combing her hair with her fingers; ...

Minor punctuation errors have been repaired.

In a few sentences there may be a missing word, due to either author or printer error. Alternatively, there may be no error at all, and the phrasing is simply that of the original narrator of the story. In all cases these are preserved as printed. The noted occurrences are as follows:

Page 16, para 90—The boy wanted them to kill somebody with.

Page 17, para 92—His wife gave him to eat.

Page 31, para 15d—... and they, though saying it, nevertheless gave her to eat; ...

Page 31, para 15e—I would like to know how they will do.

Page 53, para 4—How am I to?

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