[page 256]


THE dress is of a cotton tunic, with a loose girdle, extending to the knees. In cold weather a blanket, made more generally by the Moqui tribes, is worn. Some of these blankets are of the richest designs, and will last a life time. They are mottled with all colors and devices, and resemble, and would make very fashionable and serviceable lap robes as used in American metropolitan life. Some travelers have been known to pay as high as one hundred dollars for one of these blankets, and it is estimated that to some of them a whole life time has been devoted. Col. R. J. Hinton has one of these blankets or shawls for which I think he said he paid forty dollars, but for which he would not take one hundred dollars cash. It puzzled the whole party to decide how the different colors were blended. The thread seemed to be a tightly

[page 257]


[page 259]

twisted or ‘‘water-twisted’’ one, of fine wool—a thread which among our modern manufacturers, is considered of the greatest durability. Remembering the primitive modes possessed by the Indians, it is a marvel how they can produce such perfection. The women wear an outer garment falling from the neck to the ankle, girded at the waist, with tassels hanging from the girdle to the feet. Woolen leggins and high moccasins of different designs ornament their feet. The arms of the women are generally allowed to go bare, (except in such cooler days or parts of the year when they wear the wrapper or blanket spoken of above) exhibiting an arm and hand that many a so-called belle would be proud of, except that the hand will show the effects of a little closer intercourse with the material things of the world—dish-cloths and slop-pails—for instance. When they conceal those arms under the wrapper, however, it seems to be with as much grace as the best of 'em. Their hair is black and thick like the ordinary Indian, but they wear it with more taste, and something after the fashion of the Chinese women.

Their government is more after the civilized code than Indian. It consists of a governor; and what might correspond to our Lieut. Governor. An Alcaldé (or Mayor). Three Tenientes (or Police commissioners)

[page 260]

who are responsible for the good behavior of the people, and twelve Caziques (or councilmen).

The head Cazique serves during life, and is called the Wakamano. The Governor also serves for life. The others are all elected yearly. The war chief during peace conducts the different kinds of hunts.

All orders—for the government and control of the tribes are given by the Governor in person from the top of the central house to his Caziques, and the orders are then distributed in the different locations or different sections of the grand house by them. They walk over the different places crying at the top of their voices, the order as given by the Governor—the story of the town cryers of old resuscitated.

In times of threatened raids from the Apachés or Navajoes, or impending dangers of war, they will not only congregate en masse in, and around their aerial city, but will drive up all their stock on the mesa, and once there they can bid defiance to an armed foe much greater in numbers than their own. It is supposed that these are the seven cities of Cibola which Coronado, with an armed force of Spaniards went, in 1540, from Mexico to conquer. It will be remembered how the inhabitants, although with primitive utensils of war, and with vastly inferior numbers, conquered the Spaniards. This was done by rolling huge boulders from the height, hurling missiles, arrows etc., at and down upon

[page 261]


[page 263]

their foes, as they would endeavor to ascend the mesa.

‘‘“These people too, have their tradition of the flood. They say they have lived in these mountains and among these valleys ever since the world was destroyed by a great flood. Their ancestors got into a floating log which happened to be floating along. This log in the course of due time, and as the waters ‘‘soaked into the earth,’’ landed on a high peak of the San Francisco Mountains. Shortly after their numbers increased rapidly, and the Apachés attacked them, killing the most of their tribe, and the remainder journeyed north to where they now live. Since this time, with their natural fortresses of defence, to be found in the mesa, together with their watchfulness, they have defended themselves against all odds. The old Governor—Governor Pino by name, can be often seen walking through his little city with the air and spirit of a truly modest guardian. On special or state occasions, the Governor carries a gold-headed cane which was given him by President Lincoln.’’

‘‘“In the centre of the town stand the remains of the old Catholic mission. It has not been used for worship for over one hundred years. How old the mission is, I am not possessed of sufficient facts to say. Some records date back as far as 1732,—some older records being obliterated. Two old bells which remain still in the belfry are stamped 1689 and 1751.

[page 264]

From some cause the priests of the church were banished from the place by the Zunis about one hundred years ago and have not been permitted to return since.’’

We give a few additional interesting extracts from Major J. W. Powell's letters to Scribner's Magazine, in relation to this people:

‘‘“By day the men hunted and the women gathered berries and the other rich fruits that grow in that country, and at night they danced. A little after dark a fire was kindled, and the musicians took their places. They had two kinds of instruments. One was a large basket tray, covered with pitch inside and out, so as to be quite hard and resonant; this was placed over a pit in the ground, and they beat on it with sticks. The other was a primitive fiddle, made of a cedar stick, as large round as my wrist and about three feet long; this was cut with notches about three inches apart. They placed one end on a tray arranged like the one just described, placed the other end against the stomach, and played upon the fiddle with a pine-stick bow, which was dragged up and down across the notches, making a rattling, shrieking sound. So they beat their loud drum and sawed their hoarse fiddle for a time, until the young men and maidens gathered about and joined in a song:’’

‘Ki-ap-pa tu-gu-wun,

Pi-vi-an na kai-va.’

(Friends, let the play commence; all sing together.)

[page 265]

Gradually they formed a. circle, and the dance commenced. Around they went, old men and women, young men and maidens, little boys and girls, all in one great circle, around and around, all singing, all keeping time with their feet, pat, pat, pat, in the dust and sand; low, hoarse voices; high, broken, screaming voices; mellow, tender voices; but louder than all, the thump and screech of the orchestra.

‘‘“One set done another was formed; this time the women dancing in the inner circle, the men without. Then they formed in rows, and danced, back and forth in lines, the men in one direction, the women in another. Then they formed again, the men standing expectant without, the women dancing demurely within, quite independent of one another, until one maiden beckoned to a lover, and he, with a loud, shrill whoop, joined her in the sport. The ice broken, each woman called her partner, and so they danced by twos and twos, in and out, here and there, with steadily increasing time, until one after another, broke down and but three couples were left. These danced on, on, on, until they seemed to be wild with uncontrollable motion. At last one of the couples failed, and the remaining two pattered away, while the whole tribe stood by shouting, yelling, laughing, and screaming, until another couple broke down, and the champions only remained. Then all the people rushed

[page 266]

forward, and the winning couple were carried and pushed by the crowd to the fire. The old chief came up, and on the young man's head placed a crown of eagle's feathers. A circlet of braided porcupine quills was placed about the head of the maiden, and into this circlet were inserted plumes made of the crest of the quail and the bright feathers of the humming bird. I have said that the ceremony was in honor of Mu-ing-wa, the god of rain. It was a general thanksgiving for an abundant harvest, and a prayer for rain during the coming season. Against one end of the kiva was placed a series of picture writings on wooden tablets. Carved wooden birds on little wooden pedestals, and many pitchers and vases, were placed about the room. In the niches were kept the collection of sacred jewels, little crystals of quartz, crystals of calcite, garnets, beautiful pieces of jasper, and other bright or fantastically shaped stones, which, it was claimed, they had kept for many generations. Corn, meal, flour, and white and black sand were used in the ceremony at different times. There were many sprinklings of water, which had been previously consecrated by ceremony and prayer. Often the sand or meal were scattered about. Occasionally during the twenty-four hours a chorus of women singers were brought into the kiva, and the general ceremony was varied by dancing and singing. The dancing was performed by single persons or by

[page 267]

couples, or by a whole bevy of women, but the staging was always in chorus, except a kind of chant from time to time, by the elder of the priests. My knowledge of the language was slight, and I was able to comprehend but little of what was said; but I think I obtained, by questioning and close observation, and gathering a few words here and there, some general idea of what they were doing. About every two hours there was a pause in the ceremony, when refreshments were brought in, and twenty minutes or half an hour was given to general conversation; and I always took advantage of such a time to have the immediately preceding ceremony explained to me as far as possible. During one of these resting times I took pains to make a little diagram of the position which had been assumed by the different parties engaged, and to note down, as far as possible, the various performances, which I will endeavor to explain.’’

‘‘“A little to one side of the fire (which was in the middle of the chamber) and near the sacred paintings, the four priests took their positions in the angles of a somewhat regular quadrilateral. Then the virgin placed a large vase in the middle of a space, then she brought a pitcher of water, and, with a prayer, the old man poured a quantity into a vase. The same was done in turn by the other priests. Then the maiden brought on a little tray or salver, a box or pottery

[page 268]

case, containing the sacred jewels, and, after a prayer, the old man placed some of these jewels in the water, and the same ceremony was performed by each of the other priests. Whatever was done by the old priest was also done by the others in succession. Then the maiden brought kernels of corn on a tray, and these were in like manner placed on the water. She then placed a little brush near each of the priests. These brushes were made of the feathers of the beautiful warblers and humming-birds found in that region. Then she placed a tray of meal near each of the priests and a tray of white sand, and a tray of red sand, and a tray of black sand. She then took from the niche in the wall a little stone vessel, in which had been ground some dried leaves, and placed it in the centre of the space between the men. Then on a little willow-ware tray, woven of many colored straws, she brought four pipes of the ancient pattern—hollow cones, in the apex of which were inserted the stems. Each of the priests filled his pipe with the ground leaves from the stone vessel. The maiden lighted a small, fantastically painted stick and gave it to the priest, who lighted his pipe and smoked it with great vigor, swallowing the smoke, until it appeared that his stomach and mouth were distended. Then, kneeling over the vase, he poured the smoke from his mouth into it until it was filled, and the smoke piled over


[page 269]

and gradually rose above him, forming a cloud. Then the old man, taking one of the little feather brushes, dipped it into the vase of water and sprinkled the floor of the kiva, and, standing up, clasped his hands, turned his face upward, and prayed. ‘Mu-ing-wa! very good; thou dost love us, for thou didst bring us up from the lower world. Thou didst teach our fathers, and their wisdom has descended to us. We eat no stolen bread. No stolen sheep are found in our flocks. Our young men ride not the stolen ass. We beseech thee, Mu-ing-wa, that thou wouldst dip thy brush, made of the feathers of the birds of heaven, into the lakes of the skies, and scatter water over the earth, even as I scatter water over the floor of the kiva; Mu-ing-wa, very good.’’’

‘‘“Then the white sand was scattered over the floor, and the old man prayed that during the coming season Mu-ing-wa would break the ice in the lakes of heaven, and grind it into ice dust (snow), and scatter it over the land, so that during the coming winter the ground might he prepared for the planting of another crop. Then, after another ceremony with kernels of corn, he prayed that the corn might be impregnated with the life of the water, and made to bring forth an abundant harvest. After a ceremony with the jewels, he prayed that the corn might ripen, and that each kernel might be as hard as one of the jewels Then

[page 270]

this part of the ceremony ceased. The vases and the pitchers, and jewels, and other paraphernalia of the ceremony were placed away in the niche by the mother. At day-break on the second morning, when the ceremonies had ceased, twenty-five or thirty maidens came down into the kiva, disrobed themselves, and were reclothed in gala dress, variously decorated with feathers and bells, each assisting the other. Then their faces were painted by the men in this wise: a man would take some paint in his mouth, thoroughly mix it with saliva, and with his finger paint the girl's face with one color, in such a manner as seemed right to him, and she was then turned over to another man who had another color prepared. In this way their faces were painted yellow, red and blue. When all was ready, a line was formed in the kiva, at the head of which was the grandmother, and at the foot the virgin priestess, who had attended through the entire ceremony. As soon as the line was formed below, the men, with myself, having in the meantime reclothed ourselves, went up into the court and were stationed on the top of the house nearest the entrance to the kiva. We found all the people of the village, and what seemed to me all the people of the surrounding villages, assembled on top of the houses—men, women and children, all standing expectant’’

‘‘“As the procession emerged from the kiva by the

[page 271]

ladder; the old woman commenced to chant. Slowly the procession marched about the court and around two or three times, and then to the centre, where the maidens formed a circle, the young virgin priestess standing in the centre. She held in her hand a beautifully wrought willow-work tray, and all the young men stood on the brink of the wall next to the plaza, as if awaiting a signal. Then the maiden, with eyes bandaged, turning round and round, chanting something which I could not understand, until she should be thoroughly confused as to the direction in which the young men stood. Then she threw out of the circle in which she stood the tray which she held, and at that instant, every young athlete sprang from the wall and rushed toward the troy, and entered into the general conflict to see who should obtain it. No blows were given, but they caught each other about the waist and around the neck, tumbling and rolling about into the court until, at last, one got the tray into his possession for an instant, threw it aloft and was declared the winner. With great pride he carried it away. Then the women returned to the kiva. In a few minutes afterward they emerged again, another woman carrying a tray, and so the contests were kept up until each maiden had thrown a tray into the court-yard, and it had been won by some of the athletes. About ten o'clock these contests ended, and

[page 272]

the people retired to their homes, each family in the village inviting its friends from the surrounding villages, and for an hour there was feasting and revelry. During the afternoon there were races, and afterward dancing, which was continued until midnight.”’’

[page 274]



© Arizona Board of Regents