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of the Southwest 


Author of Hop* Girl and I Mamed <s Ranger 

Dlustrated by GEORGE L. COLLINS 











To my father 
William G. Brown 


ENG before -the invasion of the Spanish or the 
later intrusion of the Anglo-Saxon race into the 
Southwest, the Indians had a civilization, developed 
by them, together with an enduring religion which 
met their every need. Arts far beyond those we 
strive to teach them were theirs. They wove wild 
cotton into garments ; willows and grasses they con- 
verted into baskets and sandals; from, clay they 
formed their household vessels, and from native 
stones ornaments with which to decorate them- 
selves, their priests, and their altars. Religion was 
so ingrained in the Indian of the Southwest that he 
gave it up only when life ended. He prayed con- 
tinuously to the Powers for protection, for health, 
for rain, for every need. The Red Gods ruled at all 

Centuries have passed since the coming of the 
white race. Indian tribes, as tribes, in most places 
have vanished from their homes and hunting fields. 
Only in the Southwest has the Indian clung 
staunchly to the ways of his forefathers, keeping 
his ancient faiths, although compelled to accept, 
at least outwardly, strange gods. 

Deeply interested in the Indians of the South- 
west, a party of four college girls spent an entire 


summer traveling by automobile from Reservation 
to Reservation under the guidance of the writer. 
The pleasant experiences of these trips inspired 
this little book. 

Dances and ceremonies are here described ex- 
actly as they occurred, and the guide's explanations 
accompanying them are the result of more than a 
decade of friendly intercourse and observation. 

The party at all times met with courtesy and hos- 
pitality. These homes of America's own children 
were open to us, not as members of a conquering 
race, but as personal friends. Indians acknowledge 
no superiority in their conquerors. They have great 
dignity and self-respect, and the object of this book 
is to bring them to the reader as an interesting race 
worth knowing at close quarters. 

For actual dates and statistics used in this work 
the author has consulted Goddard's Indians of the 
Southwest, Coolidge's The Navajo, Parish's His- 
tory of Arizona, and government documents such 
as Survey of Conditions of the Indians of the 
United States. For intimate facts about certain 
tribes she is indebted to L. H. McSparron, Canyon 
de Chelly trader, and long a friend of the Navajos ; 
and to Mrs. Nancy Graham Pinkley, trusted friend 
of the Pimas. 


February 18, 1933 

Table of Contents 












Acoma the Sky City 

Location: Northern New Mexico, sixteen miles south of highway U.S. 66. 
Railway: Santa Fe. Accommodations: Hotel Acoma at Laguna, New Mexico. 
Population: 600. Religion: Mixture of Catholic and native. Arts: Pottery- 
making. Industries: Farming and stock-raising. 

ROMANCE and history have combined to make the 
pueblo town of ancient Acoma most fascinating. 
Perched on its earthly "Rock of Ages/' this city 
claims to be the oldest continuously occupied Indian 
village in the Southwest. However, Oraibi, Hopi 
town, disputes this. 

Acoma is not to be regarded lightly, as the Span- 
iards learned to their chagrin. In 1540, when the 
great Coronado came into this land, he found the 
old town dozing on top of its rock like a sleepy cat 
napping in the sun. Like a contented cat it re- 
sponded to his overtures and purred softly. A few 
years later, with arched back and unsheathed claws 
it tore to fragments a pillaging horde of soldiers it 
had lured into the dusky houses, and for two cen- 
turies war drum and death cry resounded from its 


flinty summit. At times this cry muffled the noise 
of Spanish muskets ; at other times it mingled with 
the sound of Mission bells and softly chanted Ave 
Marias. More than one Spanish Padre drenched its 
stony ground with martyr blood. Once a tyrant 
priest, after years of lording it over the patient in- 
habitants, was taken at moonrise and tossed head- 
long over the edge of the 350-foot precipice upon 
which the village stands. It was useless; others 
came to take the place of those disposed of, and 
today the gaunt, grim old Mission stares relent- 
lessly across the purple-shadowed plain, the victor. 
The Catholic Church has won by compromise. Al- 
though the choir loft resounds to the soft guttural 
notes of the Indian choir, in the hearts of the 
singers burns bright the fire of loyalty to their own 
red gods. 

At Hotel Acoma, twenty miles distant, we dined 
early, served by light-footed, low-voiced Acoma 
girls, who, finding their village homes too dull after 
years of schooling away from the desert, had come 
to the railroad town to earn a few dollars. It was 
not so lonely here. 

Our guide suggested that we drive to the base of 
the unoccupied Enchanted Mesa, camp among the 
junipers, and see the moonlight, the starlight, and 
the sunrise on that mystic spot. The Acoma girls 
looked troubled and said it was not well to sleep 
near that big rock, for spirits of the Gone-Away 


People hovered about there when the sun went 
down. Nevertheless, an hour before sunset we 
turned from highway U.S. 66 and passed into the 
evening silence of the desert. We met flocks of 
sheep, their grazing ended for the day, being driven 
into their folds, and a few belated Indians with 
wagonloads of wood for the railway villages. 

The wide red plain swept softly away on each 
side of the road to meet serried mountains looming 
darkly against the rose-and-gold sunset sky. Tow- 
ering castles, skyscrapers, and Coney Island struc- 
tures rose thickly from the flat valley, giving the 
impression of a ruined* city. It was not a desert 
land, but a sage-covered plain, dotted with juniper 
and golden with the blossoms of the rabbit brush. 

Suddenly we confronted a huge rock mountain. 
So abruptly it rose from its juniper carpet and so 
softly its pinkish tones blended into the coming sun- 
set that it seemed a mirage hanging in midair. 

"What is that?" 

"Katzimo, the Enchanted Mesa," our guide re- 
plied. "That's where we'll camp tonight. Doesn't 
it look ghostly?" 

It really did seem spooky, but she drove the car 
into a sheltered cove at the base of the great cliff 
and there we built a campfire to ward off the eve- 
ning chill and make the place seem less lonely. 

To the west a high wooded peak loomed above 
us, and suddenly a beacon fire burned brightly on 


its summit. We could but guess at its meaning. 
Perhaps some faithful Indian priest was commu- 
nicating with his gods, keeping a lone vigil through 
the night. Tomorrow was to be a Dance Day at 
Acoma, and hour after hour the faithful beacon 
burned, sparks flying upward as fuel was added. 
The Spaniards called this big rock "Mesa En- 
cantada." Charles Lummis, who lived for many 
happy years in Acoma, has given us the story in 
Mesa, Canyon, and Pueblo. It was once the home 
of a busy, happy tribe of Indians, he says, and on 
its sunny top they built their homes, carrying the 
timbers and rocks and mud from the plain below, 
To the fertile valley not far distant they came in 
the daytime and planted and cultivated and har- 
vested, returning at night to their secure stronghold 
above us. The rock is 430 feet high and the top 
contains forty or fifty acres. Perhaps six hundred 
Indians lived on it. They were safe there, and 
when they needed other food than their corn and 
beans they killed the antelope and wild turkeys, 
which were plentiful in the neighborhood. Clothing 
was made of buckskin, rabbitskins, and feathers. 
Turkeys were caught and tamed to furnish prayer 
feathers, and young eagles were tied to the house- 
tops and plucked on special occasions. There was 
no Mission on top of the rock, but the people danced 
and feasted and made prayersticks to place in shel- 
tered crevices, where we find them today. 


There was only one way to reach the top of 
Katzimo. A great slab had broken off and lay, at 
that long-ago time, leaned against the rock, making 
a pathway halfway up its side. Above the slab 
hand- and toe-holds were chipped out of the face 
of the cliff, and up this perilous pathway the In- 
dians brought their supplies, slung on their backs. 

One summer in harvest time all the people came 
down to work in the fields. Only three women 
stayed on the rock top. And that day a great storm 
and flood came. Water undermined the big path- 
way slab and it fell far into the plain, shaking the 
earth with its fall. When the sun shone again, the 
people crept out and looked at the beaten earth. 
Their fields were washed away and they went sadly 
toward their home. But the stairway was gone for- 
ever. They could not reach the top and the poor 
women above could not come down to join their 
families. Day after day the three came to the edge 
of the cliff and shouted that their water was almost 
gone, that the food would not last much longer. At 
last one demented creature threw herself from the 
high rock and died at the feet of her people. Then, 
when the other women came no more to the edge 
and the Indians knew they were dead, they went 
away from the sad place and built other homes on 
the high rock four miles away. They never come to 
the big rock when the sun is not shining, for then 
they hear their women calling for help. 


With morning we moved on to the present village 
of Acoma, perched on a neighboring mesa almost 
as inaccessible as the Enchanted Mesa. First dis- 
covered in 1540 by Coronado and coveted for king 
and country, it has been conquered and lost, time 
and again. Since 1700 the Acomas have not been 
at war, but they have yielded nothing of their tribal 
rites and beliefs. Indians they were and Indians 
they remain, defiant and unashamed. 

We were close under the cliffs of Acoma before 
any signs of life were visible, so cleverly do the 
human habitations blend with the native rock. At 
the base of the mesa, wind and time have carved 
themselves an art gallery. Punch and Judy figures 
are surrounded by stately church spires and beauti- 
ful towers. Springs seep from the rock, and wild- 
gourd vines run riot over the sandstone figures. 

Although at first there seems to be no path to the 
top, there are in reality three: an old burro trail 
built by one of the early priests; Wild Horse Trail; 
and the steep winding trail used in the daily coming 
and going of the village folk. This last follows a 
crack in the cliff and at places leads over rocks set 
in to form steps. Other portions of the path are 
mere holes pecked in the smooth surface for finger- 
and toe-holds. During a rainstorm, water pours 
down this natural ditch in such volume that it 
washes everything before it. We were all breath- 
less and shaken before we reached the top of the 


trail, and one girl said she preferred to live up there 
henceforth rather than brave the downward pas- 
sage. But while we peered back down the way 
we had come, a handsome young Indian literally 
bounded up the trail with a newly dressed sheep 
across his shoulders, and following him came a 
pretty girl with a beautiful pottery bowl filled with 
water balanced on her head. They scarcely touched 
the rock as they came up, and put us to shame. The 
sheep was to furnish food for dance visitors, and 
the water came from a special spring, used only for 
ceremonial purposes. 

Acoma was the usual pueblo town, terraced and 
compact, stark against the sky, picturesque, with 
ladders reaching from terrace to terrace, and here 
and there, chained to a roof top, a screaming, fight- 
ing eagle, newly caught and not yet reconciled to 
its loss of liberty. 

The homes are grouped into three blocks, with a 
single back, solid except for small openings re- 
sembling portholes. But the fronts show three tiers, 
the second being set back twenty or thirty feet on 
the roof of the first, and the third in turn using the 
roof of the second row for a front yard. Little al- 
coves and balconies break the plainness and add 

Red blankets and gala-day shawls were shaken 
from the terraces and hung across the balconies to 
air ; jerked meat swayed in dark red strips on wires 


stretched from house to house, and bread-baking 
was going on in various households. The Acoma 
menu is the regulation Pueblo Indian corn and 
beans, melons, pumpkins, red peppers, mutton and 
beef, and either wheat bread or corn bread from 
meal ground on old-time metates. Acoma trades 
with neighboring villages and secures plenty of 
grapes, peaches, and apples. On this morning of 
the dance, the trail was kept hot by runners bring- 
ing supplies to the village so that the visiting multi- 
tude could be well fed. 

The housewives were entirely too busy to bother 
about our small group, and we wandered across a 
narrow bridge of rock joining two sections of the 
mesa and watched girls getting the day's supply of 
water from a big reservoir in the rocks. This nat- 
ural storage place for rain water and melted snow 
furnishes all the water necessary for the village, 
and the spring at the foot of the mesa is visited only 
for ritual purposes. The girls came racing down to 
the waterhole carrying big native jars in their arms. 
Each swung her jar, dripping full, to the top of her 
sleek black head and went striding along without 
touching the burden with her hands. 

We walked along the narrow alleys and then 
went sightseeing on the boulevard. One of our girls 
aimed her kodak at a crowd of small warriors play- 
ing "Indian" with bows and arrows. There was a 
rattle of shrill invective from an unseen mother and 


every youngster scuttled to shelter. Immediately a 
dignified old man reached the scene. He wore light 
cotton trousers reaching halfway between knee and 
ankle, a cotton shirt, its tail outside, no socks, red- 
dish sheepskin moccasins, and lots of shell and tur- 
quoise jewelry. His hair was cut square, even with 
his shoulders, and a purple silk handkerchief was 
bound around his head. His face was a mass of 
wrinkles, but his big black eyes had lost none of 
their keenness. Sensing that our guide was respon- 
sible for the entire company, he extended his hand 
and greeted her graciously in English. He said we 
were welcome to visit the village but that before we 
took pictures there was a fee of five dollars to be 
paid ! Questioned as to where this five dollars would 
go, he said that he was the governor and collected 
the money for the benefit of the entire population. 
After some argument we compromised by giving 
him two dollars and buying some pottery from his 
wife, who had drawn near with her wares. We 
never stopped to ask how the pottery money would 
be divided! 

Pottery-making is the only real art practiced by 
the Acoma people. The clay in that region is very 
good, and the bowls and big water jars they make 
are sought by other villages for daily use. The 
pottery when finished is a cream white, and the 
decorations are large and colorful. 

Clay is pounded, sifted, soaked, and kneaded until 


it is a smooth, compact mass. After it is of the 
proper consistency, it is rolled into slender cylinders, 
with which, round after round, the bowl is built up 
to the desired height. A smooth stone models the 
outside, and interior surfaces are smoothed by con- 
tinual stroking with the potter's hand, the fingers 
being dipped into water every few minutes to keep 
the clay workable. 

The completed vessel is set in the sun to dry, 
then rubbed to a glossy smoothness by polishing it 
with a small stone. A dressing of white clay wash 
is next applied, and the polishing is done all over 
again; the bowl is then ready to be painted. Mixing 
her mineral paint in a hollowed rock, the artist 
chews a bit of yucca leaf into the semblance of a 
brush and by freehand drawing she then applies 
patterns representing birds, snakes, turtles, and 
conventional flowers, clouds, and mountains. Fir- 
ing is now done by placing the vessels upside down 
on a level rock and covering the heap with dry sheep 
manure as fuel. This burns slowly and keeps an 
even heat for many hours. 

For the dance the women had donned their best 
native clothes, and they made beautiful pictures in 
their short, full skirts, embroidered and reaching to 
the knee, where they met the wrap-around white 
leggings so dear to the hearts of pueblo women. 
Full blouses with long sleeves were tucked inside 
their skirt bands, and some of them wore hand- 


woven sashes of red and white. Quantities of na- 
tive jewelry made of shell, coral, turquoise, and 
silver adorned each woman, and over the entire 
ensemble a light silk or wool shawl of some gay 
color was worn. Many of the younger girls, home 
from school, had bobbed hair, but each older woman 
pulled hers back in a big knot on the back of her 

The Mission and its churchyard held special in- 
terest for our party. We knew from Willa Gather's 
Death Comes for the Archbishop how the Indians 
had been forced to bring those great stones and 
heavy beams up the steep trail, breaking their 
hearts and their spirits in the service of an unknown 
god. The big church has walls ten feet thick and 
sixty or seventy feet high. Inside the cloisters it 
was still and cool, and we wandered on through 
into the desolate graveyard. 

At the edge of the cliff a wall sixty feet high has 
been built, and the space within it has been covered 
with earth from the plains below. This was brought 
up the steep cliff on the backs of Indians, as was the 
earth for an adjoining plot which at one time was 
a flourishing orchard and garden. The dead of 
centuries sleep in that high cemetery. Scattered over 
the graveyard are broken bowls, once filled with 
food for the spirit's journey to an unknown world 
pagan burial in priestly realm ! 

With a stone in his hand a stalwart Indian 


pounded the big Mission bell, calling all the faithful 
to worship. They flocked into the dim old church 
and celebrated Mass. Either they were good actors 
or the solemn old chapel cast its spell upon them, 
for no more devout or reverent worshipers could 
have been desired. 

When the service was ended, the flock went out 
and formed in line. Armed with antique muskets, 
two important-looking Indians stepped out and led 
the procession. Saint Stephen, patron saint of Aco- 
ma, was on his annual outing. Four men carried 
the weatherbeaten image, its wooden hands raised 
in perpetual blessing. The Mission bell clanged, 
guns roared, and the people shouted as the image 
was carried from house to house and finally de- 
posited in a bower of cottonwood and juniper 

All day long the Indians visited the saint, bring 
ing gifts of fruit and food. Two Acomas guarded 
the shrine and kept inquisitive whites from coming 
too near and hungry pigs from eating the offerings. 
Each devout visitor would approach, kneel in front 
of the figure, deposit his or her offering, and make 
way for the next comer. 

At noon the dancers appeared. We could not tell 
whether they came from the kivas, which are built 
right into the cluster of houses, or whether each 
dancer came from his or her own home. 

They wore wreaths of juniper about arms and 


inkles. The men dancers, bare to the waist, were 
painted in zigzag lines with white and red paint; 
from the waist an embroidered kilt hung to the 
knees and was fastened with the native woven sash 
of red and white. Parrot feathers were tied to the 
bands around the hair, and each carried a bunch of 
parrot feathers and a rattle made of a gourd filled 
with pebbles. They kept time to the beat of the 
drum in a slow, dragging shuffle. 

The women, dressed in their short, full skirts 
and white deerskin leggings and moccasins, danced 
two and two. They had loosened their long, glossy 
hair and it streamed down over their gay shawls 
almost to their knees. Their only paint was a bright 
red spot on each high cheekbone, and they like- 
wise carried parrot feathers and jumper boughs. 
Wooden crowns, cut in fanciful designs and painted 
with symbols of sun, moon, and clouds, rested 
lightly on their heads and added to the colorful 
pageant. They never lifted their eyes from the 
ground but kept step with the drumbeats, their de- 
mure, nun-like faces half-hidden by their flowing 

The dance continued throughout the afternoon, 
visitors passing carefully between the lines to place 
their offerings in front of the wooden saint. When 
the assorted gifts reached a certain height, the two 
guardians laid aside their guns and let the good 
Saint Stephen shift for himself while they dis- 


tributed the food among the visitors from other 

Seeing us standing in the background and mak- 
ing no effort to share in the plunder, the old gov- 
ernor who had sold us the village secured a long 
string of red chili peppers and two golden musk- 
melons and presented them to us. Such articles as 
crisp loaves of bread, ears of green corn, and the 
smaller round melons were tossed into the air and 
the spectators scrambled for them. Needless to say 
no Navajo came from the scrimmage empty- 
handed. Whatever they secured they carried to 
the sidelines, where the patient Navajo women, 
nursing the babies, proudly received the offering 
and tucked it out of sight under voluminous skirts, 
while the providers went back for more. 

At sunset the dancers broke step and crowded to 
the little shrine, where they dropped on their knees 
in silence for a minute or so. Rising, they headed 
the procession back to the church, while the bell 
clanged and guns roared. Saint Stephen, patron of 
Acoma, was placed in his dusky niche in the old 
Mission wall and would go abroad no more until 
the next fiesta in his honor. 

All of the Rio Grande Indians have a weird mix- 
ture of Catholic faith and tribal rites, which seem 
to work well together. In Acoma each clan or so- 
ciety has its own kiva, built in among the dwellings 
and showing its purpose only by the high ladder ex- 


tending from its top opening, for it is entered only 
from above; here are kept the clan fetish and the 
dance masks, dresses, and drums. But marriages 
are performed in the old Mission, babies are bap- 
tized there, and the dead are laid to rest in the con- 
secrated ground of the churchyard. Just how many 
tribal ceremonies are secretly held in the kivas to 
offset the white man's worship it is hard to say. 

Here in Acoma girls choose their own husbands, 
making the necessary advances. If the boy's mother 
is willing, the young people go to the Padre, return- 
ing after the ceremony to the home of the girl, 
where they add another room to the mother's house 
or re-plaster one that has been deserted and set up 

The Padre at Acoma told us that several rooms 
in the three clumps of houses had been deserted and 
completely sealed up on account of accidents of cer- 
tain kinds of death which had occurred within them. 
A wise man was this good Father, laboring here on 
the mesa of Acoma. "We must not expect too much 
of them/' he said mildly; "after all they are just 
children." He had walked with us to the top of the 
trail and now smiled gently at two plump women 
squabbling over which should earn the money of- 
fered for carrying our pottery, melons, and peppers 
down the trail to the car. They compromised by 
both loping down the trail we found so fearsome !, 

Apache Indians 

Location: Northern and central Arizona, central New Mexico. Railway: Santa 
Fe. Accommodations: Hotel Holbrook or Commercial Hotel at Holbroofc; Hotel 
at *McNary (20 miles) ; government schools at White River Agency. Popula- 
tion: 6,000 (Mescalero and Jicarella in New Mexico; White Mountain, San 
Carlos, Chiricaliua in Arizona). Arts: Basket-making, fine beadwork. Indus- 
tries: Lumbering, cattle-raising, farming. 

DARK and sinister are the pages of history which 
record the activities of the Apaches. Apaches 
were first mentioned by Onate in 1598 as being on 
the plains of New Mexico. After the middle of the 
sixteenth century they seemed to be everywhere in 
Arizona and New Mexico where a white man 
wanted to settle. Natural enemies of the Pueblo 
Indians when the Spaniards first came, even today 
they are feared and hated by many Indians and 
whites, who have not forgotten how they killed 
freighters, plundered and burned wagon trains, and 
murdered miners and settlers until within the last 
fifty years. Subdued by General Miles in 1886 and 



scattered from Florida to Alabama, they were re- 
turned to Oklahoma as prisoners of war. They now 
occupy four widely scattered reservations in Ari- 
zona and New Mexico, a broken and defeated race. 

We were well on our way toward the White 
Mountains and the home of that group of Apaches 
before members of our caravan knew just where 
we were going. 

"Apaches ! You don't mean you are taking us into 
the Apache Reservation?" gasped our New York 
girl. "Why, they kill people, don't they?" 

Our guide just laughed and drove resolutely on 
into the heart of the mountains. She insisted that 
the Apaches were not only a peaceful people but a 
disheartened, spiritless race, making little progress 
toward independence or education. She said not all 
the fault in the long warfare lay with the Apaches. 
They had been robbed and mistreated by Mexicans 
and Americans alike until they felt it was quite a 
noble deed to kill such enemies, 

At one time, before the United States owned this 
part of the country, an Englishman had managed a 
big mine near the border. Apaches were always rob- 
bing his supply trains and committing depredations 
that annoyed him immensely. He planned a grand 
revenge. He prepared a big feast and invited all 
the Apaches in the country to it. Cattle were butch- 
ered, sheep killed, beans and corn cooked ; and while 
six or eight hundred Indian men, women, and chil- 


dren sat feasting, his men opened fire upon them 
with concealed cannon, killing hundreds. One likes 
to remember that the Apaches eventually killed the 

After the Civil War Arizona complained so 
loudly to the government about the conduct of its 
red children that General Crook was sent out to 
chastise them. Eight years later he resigned, thor- 
oughly wearied in mind and body by his unsuccess- 
ful efforts. He expressed himself in no uncertain 
words: "I have come into contact with practically 
every Indian tribe within the United States/ 7 he re- 
ported to the War Department, "but we have never 
seen the equal of these Apaches. They are abso- 
lutely indefatigable and never seeni to tire. They 
live on food that we would starve on. When they 
go into camp they leave guards seven or eight miles 
out. They will travel a hundred miles a day over the 
wildest country imaginable. A million men cannot 
take them!"- 

But they were eventually taken, and the leaders 
with their families were marched away into various 
parts of the South, where many lived out their 
years and died pining for their own rugged country. 
Geronimo, the most wily and treacherous of the 
chiefs, made plea after plea to be allowed to return. 
Once, with the help of outsiders, he escaped from 
his prison, only to be recaptured and returned to 
confinement, where he died in 1906. 


After the war leaders were eliminated, the 
Apache people were placed on reservations too 
widely separated for them to meet and plot. They 
are still occupying these reservations. 

The White Mountain Reservation, which we vis- 
ited, seventy-five miles south of Holbrook, was 
reached over a fine state highway that intersected 
U.S. 60 near McNary and passed directly through 
the small agency town of Fort Apache. The reser- 
vation is rich in natural beauty. Tall yellow pines 
clothe the towering mountains, and a swift, clear 
river waters the valley and breaks into waterfalls 
over the red sandstone cliffs. 

The Apache people are among the handsomest of 
their color. Yet they live in rude tepees, called 
wickiups, made of tall saplings or poles set closely 
together in a circle perhaps ten or twelve feet across 
and brought to a peak. The huts are about fifteen 
feet high and are built in clusters. Over the poles 
mud is packed, and boards or bits of tin or burlap 
are fastened to the side most exposed to rain and 
wind. A small entrance is left on the eastern side. 
There are no windows, and the smoke from the fire 
built in the center of the dirt floor goes out at the 
top where the poles cross. Usually the earth inside 
the shelter is scooped out to the depth of a foot or 
two, where the unwary visitor is likely to fall head- 
long when he steps into the dark place. There is no 
furniture. Sheepskins serve as beds, and the house- 


wife gets along with a coffee pot and a pan or 

The small farms and gardens supply plenty of 
beans and corn and peppers, and also pumpkins and 
melons. This food is cured and put away for winter 
use. During the last few years good cattle have 
been furnished by the government and the Apaches 
are going in for stock-raising. They have had sheep 
and goats since they stole those which the Pueblo 
Indians first obtained from the Spaniards. 

The men are tall, portly Indians, with large, 
wide-open eyes and pleasant, intelligent faces. They 
dress very much in American style, most of them 
having their hair cut short and covered by a wide- 
brimmed Stetson hat. The women, however, are 
more conservative. They cling to long, full-gath- 
ered skirts, ruffled and braided, and a short, full 
blouse, much like the dressing-sacque of the '90's. 
The neck is high, the sleeves are long and full, and 
the blouse hangs outside the skirt. Their hair is 
worn long and hanging down the back, usually 
tied at the neck with a bright string. Native beaded 
moccasins, or, more often, "store" shoes, cover their 
feet. The Apache women are most modest and 
gentle. They smile shyly, but seldom enter into a 
conversation with strangers. 

The children wear clothing similar to that of 
white children, and seem to notice little difference 
between their own race and white visitors. 


An Apache mother-in-law, like the Navajo, is 
just plain unlucky as far as sons-in-law are con- 
cerned. After an Apache marries a girl he takes 
her to his people to live and from that day on he 
must not look at his wife's mother. Should he ac- 
cidentally face her, they must both go through va- 
rious ceremonies to avert blindness or other ills 
which are sure to follow the meeting. 

Marriages are arranged by the older people after 
the young folks signify their interest in each other, 
but a girl is seldom compelled to marry someone to 
whom she objects. Should he die, the widow cuts 
her hair and blackens her face, female relatives 
wail at sunset for two months, and at the end of a 
year the widow is supposed to marry her husband's 
brother, at whose hut she has been staying. This, 
regardless of how many wives he already has. Not 
so long ago an Apache might have half a dozen 
wives, as he was free to have as many as he could 
support. He usually did not take a second wife until 
after the birth of a child to his first one. 

In the event of a death in the wickiup, the men 
of the family take care of the burial. The body is 
wrapped in its best blanket, the most prized posses- 
sions of the dead person being wrapped along with 
the body, and it is carried to a high hill. Rocks are 
heaped high on the grave to protect it from wild 
animals, and a bundle is placed on the grave,, con- 
taining a few beans, some meal, and some ground 


coffee, or whatever food is in the house at the time. 
The dead Indian has a long journey to make, and 
must have food for his trip. Now and then a horse 
or dog is killed as a companion, but that custom is 
gradually dying out. A grave is never revisited and 
the name of a dead companion is never mentioned. 

Healing dances are held for the sick, or to avert 
some misfortune. The drum in such cases must be 
made of a buffalo skin, and the moccasins of the 
patient are used as drum sticks. More noise than 
music is made with the shoulder bones of the deer 
or antelope, which are rubbed with a notched stick, 
to scare away the evil spirits. 

From the number of Navajos wandering around 
a brush inclosure and the wagonloads of Apaches 
arriving on the scene, we believed a healing dance 
was in progress. This seemed to be a good place to 
camp, and with the aid of a quiet young Apache 
schoolboy we made camp. Our guide at length made 
friends with him and he told us the dance was for 
the young girls and not a healing dance at all. 

A ceremony held for girls when they reach wom- 
anhood has always been of great importance among 
the Apaches. While other rites and beliefs have 
been allowed to disappear, this coming-out party is 
never neglected. Their girls must be protected from 
evil spirits ; they must remember to be modest and 
chaste, and to be industrious and faithful to their 
marriage vows. In fact there is little unfaithful- 


ness among Apache women, for the wronged hus- 
band may slice off a portion of his defaulting 
partner's nose and turn her out of his house as a 
warning to other light women. 

Like the Navajo Womanhood Dance, this young 
girls' ceremony is a social event. Other dances and 
ceremonies are held at the same time, as Uncle 
Sam has decreed that there must not be too many 
such gatherings in the course of a year, for dance 
days interfere with planting corn and with caring 
for the flocks and looking after the cattle. 

Our guide tried to get some advance information 
from the silent lad assisting in pitching the tent and 
gathering the wood for us, but the Sphinx would 
have been as loquacious as he. He accepted the food 
we offered, and he said that he played in the band 
at the Riverside School in California; but let the 
dance be mentioned and he suddenly developed an 
entire deafness. We gave up trying to converse 
with the lad and wandered around to see for our- 
selves what was going on. 

Indians were camped all about us. Stern, tall 
Navajos loafed magnificently while their dutiful 
wives carried wood and water and put mutton to 
simmer over the fire. Hopis and Zufiis chattered 
and laughed, comparing their wampum jewelry and 
trading back and forth. One fat Zuni busily 
sketched the red cliff among the green trees and 
added a few bold strokes to indicate the sparkling 


river at its base. We stood admiring the result 
until our guide arrived and introduced us. 'This is 
Teddy Weakie, the Zuni artist/ 5 she said, "and his 
work is exhibited in famous galleries around the 
world/ 3 He gave the sketch to our guide and gra- 
ciously signed it for her. They discussed the "Sha- 
lako" and the "Rain Dance/' which the Zunis had 
traveled to Hopiland to give the previous autumn. 
It was the first time in twenty years the dance had 
been presented, and all the Indians believe it was 
the direct cause of the terrible blizzard which cov- 
ered their world with snow a yard deep and killed 
their flocks and cattle. "No more will the Zunis 
give that dance!" Teddy declared as we moved on 
about the encampment. 

Gambling was rampant, for Apaches are great 
gamblers. They played with cards, but we could 
not get the hang of the thing, and they waved us on 
if we stood too long watching. Teddy said they 
thought we brought bad luck to them. 

Out of nowhere a really beautiful young woman 
appeared beside our guide and waited patiently to 
be noticed. "Why, Violet I" and white hands and 
slim brown ones met in warm friendship. There 
were hurried questions about husband and babies, 
and we followed the girl to her home among the 
pines. She and her husband, a rock-worker, had 
spent the previous summer building a house and 
keeping it tidy for our guide. Now her husband was 


dressing native stone for a government house, and 
Violet and her babies lived there while he worked. 

Our hostess brought wooden boxes for us to sit 
on. She was perhaps twenty, tall and slender. Her 
hair was brushed into shimmering smoothness and 
tied close at the back of her neck with a bit of red 
calico, the long strands swinging the length of her 
full calico blouse. Her skirt, made of blue calico 
trimmed with white braid, was freshly washed and 
ironed. She wore low, canvas tennis shoes. Several 
rings and bracelets from a ten-cent store adorned 
her beautifully shaped hands. I think she had the 
largest, softest brown eyes and the most beautiful 
smile I've ever seen. She seemed quite fond of our 
guide and kept touching her as they talked. Her 
three babies were presented. The little girl, about 
five, was shy and crept away and hid, but the three- 
year-old brother leaned against us and fingered our 
purses and our kodak. The poor baby was the only 
crippled Indian baby we saw in the entire summer. 
He was plump and brown, but there was no 
strength in his little spine, and his head fell help- 
lessly unless supported by his mother's hand. 

"Violet makes the most beautiful baskets/' said 
our guide. "You girls want some. This is the place 
to get them/' 

The girl brought her baskets and we agreed that 
they were beautiful. The masterpiece was what she 
called a "burden basket." It was a deep basket, 


wide at the top, large enough to hold perhaps half a 
bushel, and its closely woven white strands were 
checkered with a soft red band now and then. The 
bottom was covered with white buckskin reaching 
perhaps two inches up the outside of the basket, and 
then out into fringe which hung gracefully from the 
lifted basket. The top was bound with buckskin, 
also fringed, and the head band was a wide strip 
of this same soft material. At one time every 
Apache woman owned more than one of these car- 
rying baskets, but of late years the baskets are rare 
and seldom sold. Other baskets were the wide, 
rather flat plaques, just turned enough at the edge 
to keep corn or fruit from rolling off. These were 
smoothly, closely woven of yucca fiber, in star pat- 
terns or squash-blossom designs, artistically worked 
with black fiber. This, Violet said, was the outside 
of the seed pod of the "devil's claw," the one used 
by the Hopis in their beautiful work. 

Perhaps the most interesting things we bought 
were water jars, really baskets. In shape like the 
old Grecian urns, these utensils are thickly smeared 
inside and out with pinon gum, boiled and thinned 
to the proper degree. Through this translucent cov- 
ering the weave of the basket shows plainly. Two 
woven handles serve as lugs for the carrying rope. 
Just such water bottles have served the Apache 
tribe since they were first known. 

Quaint little Apache carrying-boards, beaded and 


fringed over the woven frame, were among her 
baskets. These were exactly like the ones used by 
Apache mothers every day, and peeping under the 
hoods we discovered babies made of rags, with 
painted faces. Violet said she sold all of these she 
could make to a little store on the reservation. 

She brought from another hiding-place bags 
made of white buckskin and skillfully beaded. Her 
designs were original and Indian; no red roses 
bloomed on her pocketbooks, and there were no 
American flags waving over their white sides. Con- 
ventional clouds and pine trees and her own native 
objects decorated them. 

Basket-making and beadwork are the only native 
arts the Apache women have developed. The men 
seem to have entirely neglected artistic develop- 
ment. In fact the men we saw all seemed to be help- 
less, hopeless, moping specimens, sunk in bitter 
recollections of lost, glorious days. The young men 
wore slouched hats and white men's clothes, which 
sat but ill upon their muscular bodies. We came to 
the conclusion that the Apache as he is now is a 
caged animal, his wild tricks forgotten and no tame 
ones learned to replace them. 

Some writers say the Apaches weave blankets. 
Our guide made diligent inquiry time and again of 
old women and young, and could not learn of even 
one Apache woman who weaves. It was suggested 
that perhaps Navajo women married to Apaches 


continue to weave blankets, but even a Navajo 
weaver was not located in Apacheland. 

"Violet," said our guide, "did your sister go to 
the hospital when her baby was born?" 

The Apache girl looked around in an apprehen- 
sive manner, and spoke quite low. 

"Yes, and it is well she did. She had two babies, 
and that, you know, is very bad. The older people 
wanted to let them die, because everyone knows the 
last twin born is a devil child and must die. But 
the hospital people just laugh and think the babies 
are nice. They are still there because they do not 
know which one was born last and my sister is 
afraid to take either out. I guess they will have to 
live in the Mission all their lives/' 

She referred to the Lutheran Mission for orphan 
children, built for just such cases. The Apache 
tribe shares with the Hopi and Navajo the deepest 
fear and abhorrence of twin or crippled children. 

Twilight fades quickly in Arizona, and sounds of 
a chant came to us before our camp supper was 
eaten and things tidied up. Violet had promised to 
take us with her to the dance and tell us what we 
could not understand. Our guide warned us not to 
let our curiosity get the better of our manners, and 
so we were careful about the questions we asked. 

It seemed that the singing we heard was a sort 
of warming-up, as it was just a group of men sing- 
ing through their noses while a circle of men, 


women, and children held hands and moved round 
and round in a dragging shuffle. We watched them 
a while and even joined the circle. But the cere- 
monial tepee standing high and stark among the 
trees proved too interesting, and we made our way 
through the crowd until we could look inside of it. 
It was quite a large shelter, trimmed with oak 
branches and pine boughs. Straw covered the floor, 
threatening to bring disaster if the fire in the center 
should get out of bounds. Violet said this fire would 
burn for four days and must not go out or the girls 
concerned in the ceremony would have nothing but 
ill luck all their lives. 

Two mummified medicine men sat there, entirely 
engrossed in their music, chanting away like phono- 
graphs. Each had a rattle of goat or deer hoofs in 
his left hand and with his right grasped a long 
decorated wand stuck firmly in the ground. Their 
chant was not unlike that of the Navajos and the 
Hopis, but somehow it did not carry that weird un- 
dertone which all Navajo songs have. 

This big tepee is built at dawn, and certain very 
secret ceremonies are connected with the process. 
At one time it was supposed to house the young 
girls during the entire four days, but of late years 
they are permitted to go back to their parents' te- 
pees between acts. While we watched, four girls 
came into the structure as silently and as gracefully 
as young does. Their spectacular clinging dresses 


were made of doeskin, yellowed and softened by 
years of careful usage. How many girls, we won- 
dered, during past years, had slipped into just such 
tepees wearing those identical garments? How 
many restless feet, now dust, had tapped the earth 
to that centuries-old chant ? 

The dresses had short fringed skirts, short 
fringed blouses, with deep yoke-length fringe at 
the neck. The high moccasins were beautifully 
beaded and seemed moulded to the slender feet and 
legs. In the long, glossy hair of each girl eagle 
feathers had been tied, and one girl held a bunch 
of eagle feathers in her nervous hand. 

It was growing dark in the big tepee, but we kept 
our places, and soon the ceremony began. On each 
of four deerskins, pegged to the dirt floor, knelt 
an Apache girl. They were very serious and intent, 
as they knelt, their slim little backs straight, their 
arms close to their sides, and their palms turned up 
and outward like praying temple girls. Fitful light 
from the fire shone upon their tense faces as they 
lifted them toward the heavens. Now and then 
four old women would enter and drive stakes in the 
earth around the fire. The little girls swayed and 
nodded with weariness, but their posture never 
changed. One stake for each song, Violet said ; but 
how anybody could tell where one song ended and 
another began we couldn't guess. 

When our own muscles were aching with syni- 


pathy, one girl rose and with head thrown back and 
hands still imploring danced back and forth, and up 
and down her deerskin. It was the most graceful 
movement one could dream of, and thoughts of 
what such a setting and such a dance would mean if 
it could be brought to a modern theater stage kept 
intruding. When the wish was repeated to our 
guide, she thrust out impatient hands as if to push 
the vision away. "Never ! This is Indian!" 

The little girl finished her dance and drooped 
silently into her former position. Without any vis- 
ible signal the girl farthest away rose and danced 
her brief moment. There was no sound except the 
slow never-changing chant and the tinkle of the 
beaded fringe one girl wore as she glided back and 
forth. When the last girl had danced, the old 
women broke into a moaning wail that carried all 
the trouble and sorrow of their tribe in its throb- 
bing notes. It went on and on, chanting medicine 
men, stakes marking the songs and forming a clos- 
ing circle; little girls in their trance-like dance; old 
women sobbing a death-like wail; flickering fire- 
light; and the same thing over again. At dawn 
the girls, drugged with weariness, slipped out of the 
tepee and almost staggered to their own homes for 
the remainder of the day. They must eat no salt 
during this four-day ceremony and must not 
scratch themselves with their fingernails. Why? 
Violet did not know. They just mustn't! 


That day we drove deep into the White Moun- 
tains and rested and roamed among the graceful 
white birches and rugged firs. Flowers of every 
shade and odor carpeted the mossy woodland, and 
squirrels and birds kept the dusky depths alive with 
sound and movement. A rushing, scolding little 
river tore its way through the forest, and we seemed 
a thousand miles away from last night's scene. The 
same ceremony would continue in the big tepee for 
three more nights, but Violet had whispered that 
the "Crown Dance/' which white people call the 
"Devil Dance/ 3 would be staged also, and we re- 
turned to our camp in time to see and hear all we 
could of that. 

Although the Devil Dance is commonly supposed 
to be a part of the Girls 7 Ceremony, it has abso- 
lutely nothing to do with it. It is held at the same 
time, while the crowd is there, because the agent 
does not permit many such annual get-togethers. 
Many, many years ago this was a very special 
dance, held only when war was imminent or where 
a sickness had struck the tribe. Now it seems to be 
given on general principles. 

The six or seven men who took part in this affair 
were startling creatures. Their bodies were bare 
with the exception of a loin cloth, but their skins 
were painted white and on the white background 
were painted fantastic figures, big polka dots and 
zigzag lines and triangles, making the men look 


lopsided and grotesque. They carried wands and 
juniper branches and wore magnificent masks, 
gaudy and glaring in color and design, no two alike. 
Their faces were either painted black or covered 
smoothly with black cloth. From the darkness out- 
side the firelight they came with animal-like shrieks 
and cries, leaping into the air and landing with 
arms and knees akimbo. They then formed in line 
and passed by the priests, who sprinkled each one 
with sacred pollen from the tule or cat-tail The 
cries had changed to hoots of an owl by this time, 
the hoot owl being a sacred bird to Apaches, though 
feared and hated by other Indians. 

When all had been anointed with pollen, they 
began to dance about the fire. It was a dance of 
wooden men, jerky and mechanical, stiff- jointed 
and yet devilishly graceful ; the thing was lewd, and 
still there was not one movement or gesture that 
was offensive. One just felt the underlying ob- 
scenity of the entire dance. For half an hour the 
demon dancers leaped and hooted in the firelight, 
then darted away into the darkness. 

We shook ourselves free from the spell and went 
silently back to the ceremonial tepee. There the 
nun-like maidens knelt on their white deerskins, 
their innocent faces turned upward, their heavy 
eyes filled with dreams and visions. 

And that was the picture we carried away from 
the land of the Apache. 

SrSr^v. f'^^'^^ -r-\^!?'~''<!i~1 f rn 



Havasupai and Hualapai Indians 

THERE is no comparison between the Havasupai 
Indians and the orderly, prosperous, and happy 
Pueblos we had visited on our Indian journey. Of 
neither camp-dwelling nor Pueblo stock, the Hava- 
supai have been compelled by circumstances to live 
on less than a section of land in the narrow bottom 
of a little sheltered canyon leading from the main 
gorge of the Grand Canyon, while the Hualapai or 
Walapi Indians occupy a great rolling country near 
the California state line. At one time the two were 
united, but difficulties with other Indians and inner 
strife parted them. 


Location: Cataract Canyon, 54 miles from Grand Canyon National Park Head- 
quarters. Railway: Santa Fe. Accommodations: Hotel El Tovar or Bright 
Angel Cottages. Population: 203. Arts and industries: Baskttry; farming and 
road work, 

The 'Supais are rather large, corpulent Indians, 
with broad, rather stupid faces, and long, tangled 
hair falling in disorder around their shoulders, and 



are untidy in their dress. When the children are 
returned from non-reservation schools they make 
an effort for a time to maintain general cleanliness, 
but the struggle is too uneven and soon they too 
have reverted to the ordinary dirt hewas and the 
tribal untidiness. 

'Supai children are sent to school at Truxton 
Canyon, the home of the Hualapais. 

From Grand Canyon we drove thirty-six miles 
through desert and sage land and some timbered 
country to Hilltop, where we left the car and loaded 
our necessary belongings on pack horses. Fourteen 
miles of startling trails, steep and fearsome in 
places, wide and enjoyable in others, led to a camp- 
ing spot near the government buildings at the foot 
of the canyon trail. Here we found five white people 
living the superintendent's family of four, and 
a white man teacher. 

Our camp attracted sellers of baskets, and really 
beautiful work was brought to us by those primitive 
basket-makers. The banks of the rushing little 
stream provide an abundance of willows. The 
wands are gathered at the proper season, split, and 
colored with juice from other plants. While the 
work progresses the thin strips are buried in wet 
sand to keep them pliable. 

Many of the baskets are shallow bowls, with no 
trimming other than a conventional pattern of black 
running around near the top. Others in graceful 


vase-like shapes with decorations of black and a 
brownish red are almost as fine as Apache work. 
'Supai work always looks as if turned wrong-side 
out, and is easily identified. Water jars and small- 
necked bottles are woven of the willow and plas- 
tered inside and out with pinon pitch to make them 
waterproof. Cooking vessels are of this willow, 
lined with clay and tempered to resist heat. 

The Havasupais raise plenty of vegetables, corn 
and beans, pumpkins and melons, and the tribe 
owns perhaps a hundred head of beef cattle. 

Figs, peaches, apricots, and apples grow plenti- 
fully in their small valley and are dried for winter 
use. When the crops are being gathered the old 
and helpless people down in the Canyon look after 
the children who attend the little one-room school, 
while the able-bodied Indians move to a winter vil- 
lage three miles from El Tovar. The men are given 
what work there is in the National Park; others 
work on ranches. 

The Havasupais have healing dances similar to 
the Navajo ceremony and indulge freely in sweat- 
baths. This sweatbath, which they take about once 
a week, would appear to a white person tp be 
something of an ordeal. The small adobe structure 
used is scarcely larger than the outside ovens we 
had observed along the way. There is no opening 
in the top, and the doorway is so small the bather 
must creep in on all fours. Rocks are heated in a 


fire and placed inside the house. Then water is 
thrown on them, and the bather enters, dropping- a 
blanket tightly over the door. He stays inside until 
he is dripping with perspiration and then comes out 
for a breath of air, while cold water is tossed on 
him by helpful neighbors; in he goes for another 
sweat, and then out for a final dash of cold water 
to close the pores. The old men attribute their long 
life to this weekly steaming rite. 

Until not many years ago the 'Supai dead were 
cremated, and all their personal possessions burned 
on the funeral pyre. The eldest son took charge of 
the father's funeral. Now, at the insistence of the 
superintendent, bodies are buried, and nothing that 
can be used by the survivors is destroyed. 


Location: Northwestern Arizona on U.S. 66 to Colorado River. Railway: Santa 
Fc. Accommodations; Camp grounds and cabins at Valentine, Arizona. Popu- 
lation: 437. Arts and industries: Basketry and beadwork; farming and stock- 

The Hualapai Reservation, containing almost 
750,000 acres, including rough and mountainous 
territory, with some timbered land and a great deal 
of desert, was set aside fdr them in recognition of 
their fine services with the white army against 
Geronirno and his marauders. 

Houses are not important, it seems, since they 
are so carelessly thrown together. Four supporting 
posts are put up tentwise, and a fifth is stretched 
along the top. Smaller poles are leaned against this 


roof pole and brush and willows woven amoqg them. 
Earth piled around the base keeps out wind and 
water, and, in winter, dirt is piled almost to the 
top to keep out rain and cold. The floor is of dirt, 
and there is no furniture. Cooking is done over a 
wood fire in the center of the floor. Trachoma, pel- 
lagra, and tuberculosis are present in 50 per cent 
of these homes. 

The women wear full-gathered calico dresses 
sweeping the earth, and their shawls are made of 
four big red or blue cotton handkerchiefs sewed 
together and hung down their backs. 

Beautiful baskets, similar to Apache work, were 
being made in almost every miserable hut, and with 
a few choice specimens we retreated to the home 
of the agent. He said these Indians seemed indiffer- 
ent to education, cleanliness, and religion, and have 
few tribal dances or ceremonies of their own. 

Only one old rite is religiously observed. Once a 
year there is a community burning of food and 
clothing in commemoration of their dead. That 
ceremony corresponds to our Memorial Day. 

Hopi Snake Dancers 

Location: Northern Arizona, 75 miles north of highway U.S. 66, Railway: 
Santa Fe. Accommodations: Commercial or Holbrook Hotel at Holbrook, or 
La Pasada at Winslow. Population: 3,000. Arts and industries: Pottery, 
basketry, weaving, silverwork; farming and stock-raising. 

WHO has not heard of the Hopi Snake Dance? 
It is mentioned with bated breath in the East. 
In planning our proposed Indian journey we 
scarcely hoped to see this much-discussed spectacle, 
but, as our guide said, one has not seen the Hopis 
at their best unless one has visited them at Snake 
Dance time. 

Leaving highway U.S. 66 at Holbrook, Arizona, 
we turned due north and followed a typical Indian 
Service road, through sand and cactus, jumper and 
sagebrush, and a beautiful section of the Painted 
Desert with its hills and valleys of colored clays 
and sands. 



Soon after we turned north we began to pass 
Navajo hogans, each with its door open toward the 
east, and flocks of milk-white sheep and goats 
guarded by their small herders. Sometimes shaggy- 
haired boys would come to the car and accept the 
candy we offered, but the little girls were quite shy 
and with a flutter of full bright skirts would flee 
to the protection of a bush and peep out at us. Ugly 
cur dogs with every flock bravely chased us away 
from their charges. 

We passed an old trading-post, Indian Wells, 
with its solid stone building, lighted only by small 
windows high up, and protected with iron bars. 
Volcanic formations dotted the landscape, and after 
miles of such country we dropped into Kearn's 
Canyon, with its hospital, its mess hall, clubhouse, 
schools, and stores, the logical place for tourists 
to stop when they visit the Hopis. 

For twelve miles we followed the high mesa west 
to Polacca, a little town at the foot of the First 
Mesa, upon which are the three towns best known 
to white people Hano, Sichomovi, and, at the ex- 
treme end of the stone ledge, Old Walpi, gallant 
veteran of many a siege. From the road below we 
could see the houses perched on top of the rocks, 
but even with the windows to betray them the) 
looked like a part of the natural fortress, so clev- 
erly are they built in. 

This mesa, together with the other two, lying 


seven and twenty miles, respectively, farther west, 
were chosen as an asylum by the Hopis after they 
had been harassed by warlike tribes and driven 
from former homes in valley and plain, as attested 
by ruined homes left in their wake. The Hopi In- 
dians have never been fighters, they have not lived 
by pillage and war, but century after century they 
have tilled their small fields, raised the wild cotton, 
woven it into clothing for their households, shaped 
earthen vessels for daily use, and asked nothing- of 
gods or man except enough rain for their crops. 

Coronado, hearing of these Hopi towns, after 
"his conquest of Zuni, sent Captain de Tovar with a 
dozen soldiers to visit them and annex them to his 
long list of villages taken for the king of Spain. 
De Tovar found them just as they are today. He 
visited the village of Oraibi, which recent tree-ring 
readings show to have been occupied since 1370. 
They were planting their colored corn, grinding it 
on mealing stones, cooking it on hot rocks; they 
were shaping and painting and burning pottery, 
just as they do today. Don Diego tells us that they 
were holding their famous Snake Dance then, and 
time has not materially changed their mode of life. 

They hated and killed the white priests sent there 
to teach them a strange religion two hundred years 
ago ; and since it seems to rile the government offi- 
cials at Washington for priests to get killed nowa- 
days, they just ignore the Padres as much as 


possible. The missionaries live at the foot of each 
mesa and do good work teaching sanitation and 
sewing and helping to care for the old and sick In- 
dians, but, religiously speaking, they have not reg- 
istered as yet with the Hopis. The Hopi Indians 
are frank nature-worshipers. 

At Polacca the Hopi trader, Tom Pavatea, joined 
us and welcomed our guide warmly. He wore a 
red velvet shirt trimmed with silver buttons, ordi- 
nary trousers, brown deerskin moccasins, and a red 
silk handkerchief about his bobbed hair. Perhaps 
fifty years old, he loomed tall and straight, and his 
large brown eyes were full of fun. He settled him- 
self in the front seat beside our guide and dropped 
into conversation with her about various Hopi fam- 
ilies, joint charges of Pavatea and his white friend. 

"One old woman you know is buried there," he 
said, pointing to a newly turned mound in the native 
graveyard at the foot of the trail. The one he indi- 
cated had a gaudy footstool on top of it. Our guide 
had given the stool to the old woman so she would 
not have to sit on the floor, and it was so dear to 
her that the relatives had placed it on her grave so 
she could take it with her on her journey. Other 
graves were marked by favorite utensils or by worn 
"cornsticks," with which the owners tilled their 
fields during their lifetime. 

A Hopi is buried in an upright position, chin on 
knees, and sewed securely into one of his best blan- 


kets. Food is placed on the grave for four days, 
and at the end of that time the bowl is broken, as 
the spirit will not hover around any longer. Hopi 
men bury their dead during the hours of darkness, 
after the body has been prepared by the female 
relatives. The face is painted with corn meal, and 
a bunch of eagle feathers is tied to the hair, after 
which the blanket is sewed around the still form 
and it is placed in a corner while the mourners 
address it. They upbraid the dead person for go- 
ing away, and explain that they have always tried 
to be kind and loving. After this the father or 
an uncle carries the body to the graveyard and 
buries it. 

Bodies of little children under the age of seven 
or eight are not placed in the ground but are hidden 
away among the rocks at the edge of the mesa. 
Their souls stay near the mother until another child 
is born and that child's body is occupied by the soul 
of the dead baby. Mothers often put pinches of 
food about the house for the little spirit to feed 
upon while waiting for another body to occupy. 

Leaving the graveyard we crawled up the steep, 
winding road that leads to the top of the mesa. 
Halfway up we passed a number of scraggy peach 
trees growing in the sand. Tom left the car and 
secured a handful of peaches for us, and although 
they were very small their flavor was delicious. 
These trees are descendants of the seedlings set out 


by priests almost three hundred years ago. Bushels 
of fruit are dried and stored each season for fu- 
ture use. 

Many years ago there was a prolonged drought 
in Hopiland and the Indians suffered from lack of 
food. Since that time each family is required to 
keep a three years' supply of corn and dried peaches 
in the little hidden corn room built into every house. 
About every two weeks this corn, which is piled 
in orderly rows, assorted according to color, is 
carried up and spread on the roof for the sun to 
sweeten it. The peaches in sacks share the sunning 
and airing. 

The Hopi people are short, plump Indians, 
friendly and smiling. The men wear cotton trou- 
sers, light shirts, moccasins made of red sheepskin 
or of deerskin, and their hair is usually cut in a 
square bang hanging to their shoulders and bound 
with a bright-colored ribbon or handkerchief. On 
the Second and Third Mesas the men have not cut 
their hair but wear it in big knots at the napes of 
their necks. 

The women of the First and Second Mesas have 
succumbed to the shapeless calico wrapper for 
everyday work. The commonplace garment is re- 
lieved, however, by being tied around the waist with 
the handwoven red and white sash which husbands 
weave in their spare hours. Usually the women 
are barefoot, and their little, short feet have de- 


veloped such thick soles of skin that the sharp rocks 
do not bother them. On gala days out come the 
native dresses of blue wool, woven by the men folk 
and embroidered with red. This dress leaves a 
brown arm and shoulder bare, and is tied with the 
red and white sash. The petticoats of all these 
pueblo Indians are arranged so as to extend a few 
inches below the dark dress and display the lace 
with which they are trimmed. A married woman 
wears her hair in two clubs, one over each shoulder, 
with bangs hanging to her eyes. The school girls 
come home with fashionable bobs which speedily 
grow into long tresses, and are arranged on wicker 
frames to make the romantic-looking squash-blos- 
soms when the girl decides to take a husband. 

Here, as well as in most Pueblo villages, the girl 
selects her life partner and he becomes a member 
of her mother's household. After she makes up her 
mind which boy she wants, she takes a woven 
plaque heaped with meal of her own grinding, or 
piki she has made, and presents it to the lad's 
mother. The mother, in turn, if she approves, re- 
turns the plaque filled with a gift and the marriage 
arrangements go on; but if she does not care to 
have her son marry the girl she simply returns the 
original plaque with the food undisturbed. That 
ends the matter. An engaged couple announce the 
event by sitting in an open doorway while the girl 
combs her lover's hair. For this purpose she uses 


the short end of the grass-stem broom. Since the 
Hopis are closely supervised by government officials 
and missionaries, they usually are married accord- 
ing to white man's law, but in addition a Hopi wed- 
ding follows. 

The bridegroom makes a pair of moccasins for 
his bride and weaves two robes for her, one large 
and one small. The large one is embroidered by the 
men working in the kiva and serves on only two 
occasions when her first child is christened, and 
as a shroud when she dies. The other is her best 
cloak as long as it lasts. 

The wedding ceremony consists of hairwash- 
ings in yucca-root water and eating marriage mush 
from a wedding basket. The mush is sprinkled with 
pollen from blue corn, and first the bride dips in, 
then the groom. What is left is scrambled for, 
much as is our bride's bouquet. During the first 
year of married life the young wife is supposed to 
grind two thousand pounds of corn meal on the 
stone metates for her mother-in-law to compensate 
her for the loss of her son. Young wives invite 
their friends in and have a grinding-bee. 

Divorce is not common, but is very simple. The 
girl puts her erring husband's belongings outside 
the door and he has to go back to hi v s mother's house 
or to the kiva of his society with the other bache- 

One of the most colorful ceremonies among the 


Hopis is the christening- of a child. On the twenti- 
eth day of the baby's life, up to which time the sun 
is not supposed to have shone upon it, the little one 
is washed in yucca-root water by its father's mother 
and well rubbed with corn meal and pollen. 
Wrapped firmly on its cradle board, it is then car- 
ried to the edge of the mesa, accompanied by friends 
and relatives. The young mother in her bridal robe 
leads the procession, carrying an ear of corn in her 
hand. At the edge of the mesa the priest holds the 
baby so that the first ray of sun will shine in its tiny 
face, and touching it with the ear of corn, names 
it Sunshine, or maybe White Cloud, or Whirlwind, 
or whatever object of nature attracts his attention. 
The friends, in turn, touch the baby with the corn 
and give it the names they favor. So a little child 
may have twenty names. 

When the last name is bestowed the group go 
back to the baby's home and feast upon the food 
prepared. The main dish is mutton, roasted or 
stewed with corn and beans. Rich cornmeal pud- 
dings, filled with peach-seed kernels and bits of 
mutton fat, baked in cornhusks, are always to be 
found at such a feast. In season, green corn and 
beans, tomatoes, fruit, and melons are served. 
While the guests eat they make wishes for the baby 
and each one gives presents of corn or cornmeal. 
Piki bread in gay colors surrounds the feasters. 
Piki bread was being made by the Hopis in 1540 


and the process so interested the Spanish Fathers 
that they wrote a description of its making. Time 
has not materially changed the method. Colored 
corn is dried in the sun and shelled. Then the grain 
is broken in the coarse metate, passed on to the 
finer stone for thorough pounding, and then into 
a stone bin, where it is completely pulverized. Then 
it is placed in a big earthen mixing - bowl and 
thinned to a batter with water. In the meantime a 
big stone two feet long and a foot wide has been 
heating over a wood fire. The top of this baking 
stone, rubbed to satin smoothness, is greased with 
mutton tallow. When it is smoking hot the baker 
dips her fingers into the batter and with one swift 
sweep spreads a layer entirely over the hot surface, 
where it cooks almost instantly. With another swift 
jerk she removes the thin sheet from the stone and 
then smears another across it. The first sheet is 
folded twice lengthwise and rolled into a cylinder 
about the size of an ear of corn. For hours the 
baker crouches over the hot stone making piki 
bread, without which no Hopi dance or ceremony 
would be complete. 

In Hopiland there are three mesas, and each mesa 
has three villages. While they all speak the same 
language and have the same customs and religion, 
or lack of it, the craft of each mesa remains the 
particular property of that mesa. When a First 
Mesa girl marries and goes to live on another mesa, 


she does not continue her pottery-making, but takes 
up the art of the people among whom she lives. 

The mesa of Walpi, meaning "Place of the Gap/' 
is a rocky ledge five hundred feet high, perhaps half 
a mile long, and two or three hundred feet wide. 
At the top of the trail is the Tewa village of Hano, 
to which in 1700 the Tewas came at the request of 
the Hopis and settled to guard the trail against 
Apaches, Navajos, and Piutes. Tewas are fighters 
and they have kept faith with their hosts. Halfway 
down the present road is a wedge-shaped rock 
known as Tally Rock, and here, engraved in 
straight rows of small lines, is the record of the 
hostile Indians killed as they tried to reach the vil- 
lage to kidnap and steal. About one hundred and 
eighty marks can be counted. The Tewas are very 
proud of this record. 

The Tewas are very fine potters, and there is 
rivalry between them and the Hopi women of the 
other two villages as to which tribe produces the 
finer pottery. Nampeyo, a fine old Tewa woman, 
still living, although blind and almost helpless, was 
the one who revived the ancient art of pottery- 
making among the Hopi Indians. In 1897 she 
began to collect bits of prehistoric pottery from 
neighboring ruins and to study the designs and 
texture of the clay. Gathering the blue clay from 
among the ledges around Hano, she finally devel- 
oped a strong firm clay that withstands hard usage. 


Now, thirty-five years later, she cannot see to paint 
the pottery, but her sensitive old hands still shape it 
and polish it ready for others to decorate. And 
around her all day long she hears the clay being 
beaten and pounded and vessels being rubbed ready 
for painting, and smells the smoke from the firing. 

Hopi pottery is a soft, glowing cream color, with 
reddish-brown decorations, and is not coarse and 
brittle like so much of the pottery of the South- 
west. The clay is worked into a smooth, tough 
mixture before being shaped, then tempered in the 
sun, and baked for hours in a slow, sheep-manure 
fire. The designs are conventional clouds and moun- 
tains, water, and snakes, and almost all of them 
carry a suggestion of the Thundcrbird. Sale of 
pottery brings the First Mesa women many dollars 

On the Second Mesa coiled baskets are made, 
Yucca leaves are gathered at different times of the 
year, in order to secure a variety of colors; devil's 
claw pods, which are black, are soaked and peeled ; 
and sometimes vegetable and mineral dyes are used 
to provide bright colors for the work. The founda- 
tion of the coil consists of perhaps a dozen or more 
coarse grass stems, around which the yucca fiber is 
woven. Flat plaques and baskets are made to hold 
fruit, piki, and green corn. Deeper baskets serve 
as storage vessels, and all are beautiful and sub- 
stantial examples of Indian baskets. 


On the Third Mesa the women weave wicker 
plaques and baskets, and while these are much 
cheaper, they are not as popular as the coiled ones. 
The dyes used are store dyes, and light and sun 
fade them. These wicker baskets are made from 
split willow twigs. Butterfly and Thunderbird 
designs are popular. Some very beautiful large 
baskets are produced, which serve well for waste- 

Without doubt the Hopi Indians are the most 
versatile tribe of the Southwest Among their arts 
and crafts they include practically every article 
made by other Indians. The men weave beautiful 
rugs and sashes, and do gay wool embroidery equal 
to the famed peasant embroidery of Europe. They 
knit wool into stockings and weave it into robes 
and dresses for their wives. They spin and weave 
cotton. Their silverwork, while not so profuse as 
that of the Navajos, surpasses it in design and 

From cottonwood roots they carve Kachina dolls, 
delicate featured, and with hands and feet beauti- 
fully sculptured. These little images represent the 
various kindly gods of their legends and are given 
to the Hopi children much as we give dolls to our 
little ones. The dolls are painted, and usually have 
fanciful head dresses of turkey or eagle feathers. 

Hopi artists have won renown in New York and 
elsewhere with their native paintings of dancers 


and village scenes. There is little in the field of 
Indian art that the Hopi people cannot imitate well. 

The Kachina dolls are the means of teaching the 
little ones the various religious legends of the tribe, 
and there is scarcely a summer day that a dance is 
not in progress in some one of the nine villages. 
These masked figures are great overgrown dolls 
dressed to represent the kindly spirits, and they 
chant and dance hour after hour for the entertain- 
ment of their unseen deities. 

The women are never permitted to mask, but they 
can be seen romping through a basket dance or 
taking part in the spectacular Butterfly Dance, 
which is one of the most colorful of their cere- 

Little boys imitate their elders and gravely go 
through all the measures of the hunting dances. It 
is a treat to see them prance and charge, elude and 
lock horns in the Buffalo Dance. While one small 
member thumps a drum, they beat the hard earth 
with restless twinkling feet, until the moment when 
the fatal arrow reaches the heart of the buffalo. 
The wounded buffalo paws dust into the air, then 
rolls over on its side, and the magic is gone, while 
half a dozen or so small Indian boys dart to shelter. 

In the underground kivas or clubrooms of the 
various societies much work is done to keep the 
moon, sun, and stars friendly to the Hopi activities. 
About the middle of August, the thump of the drum 


and the sound of solemn chanting tell the visitor 
that Snake ceremonies are in progress. The Snake 
Dance, occurring yearly in some one of the villages, 
has been so widely advertised by scientists, rail- 
ways, and tourist bureaus that it needs little de- 
scription. The Hopi Mesas are overrun with white 
crowds when Snake Dance time draws near. 

Snakes of all kinds are collected for four days, 
and after that five days of ceremonies are held over 
them in the underground kivas. Visitors are warned 
to stay at a discreet distance from the kiva by a 
rabbit skin, a bunch of corn, or some eagle feathers 
hung to a rung of the ladder protruding from the 
kiva roof. But chanting and drumming come from 
the kiva at all hours of the day and night. The 
snakes are washed and rolled in sacred sand-paint- 
ings and entertained generally until sunset of the 
ninth day. Then comes the public dance, the only 
one outsiders are permitted to witness. 

In a cottonwood bower the snakes are secreted, 
tied securely in a leather bag. We entered the plaza 
just in time to see the snakes being deposited, and 
we lost no time in securing seats on a housetop far 
above wandering reptiles. In exchange for a silver 
dollar each visitor was assigned a seat on the edge 
of a housetop. Although we entreated our guide to 
seek safety with us, she elected to remain near the 
kiva with Pavatea. Surrounding the rocky ground 
where the dance would be held were hundreds of 


Navajos, Zunis, and white tourists, and a group of 
Havasupai Indians on their way to trade with the 

From the Snake Kiva came a solemn figure gro- 
tesquely painted with black and white stripes, and 
he whirled a greased string through the air until 
it moaned like a lost soul. This was the wind before 
the storm, so Pavatea explained. Soon about twenty 
almost naked figures, Antelope Clan Dancers, came; 
they lined up in front of the kiva and began a chant 
and shuffle dance. 

After about ten minutes the real Snake Dancers 
appeared. They entered the plaza at a dogtrot and 
raced around in front of the kiva, each one stamp- 
ing heavily on the board in front of the snake bower 
to inform the underground gods they were there to 
honor them. After each one had passed the en- 
trance and been showered with sacred meal, they 
formed in line, and the first snake was handed out 
from the kiva to a Snake Priest Holding it firmly 
between his lips, he began his slow progress around 
the ring, an Antelope Dancer shuffling beside him 
with an arm thrown across the Snake Dancer's 
shoulders. The snake wriggled and stuck out its 
forked tongue, but the Antelope Priest stroked it 
and soothed it with a bunch of feathers he held in 
his hand. When the circle was complete the dancer 
gave a quick, sidewise jerk and landed the snake in 
the plaza. Snakes and yet more snakes appeared, 


perhaps half of them being wicked-looking rattlers 
that hissed and threatened to strike but were kept 
in check by the feather wand. Many of them when 
dropped to the ground wriggled among the spec- 
tators and caused small panics. 

When all the snakes had been honored, they were 
dropped inside a circle made of sacred meal and the 
women of the society poured more meal on them. 
The dancers grasped as many snakes as they could 
hold in both hands and went to the four points 
of the compass with them. They had no trouble 
getting the right of way as they passed through the 
crowd, taking their squirming brothers to the floor 
of the desert far below, where they were turned 
loose to carry the news to underground gods that 
another Dance was over. 

As soon as the snakes were removed the Navajo 
visitors made a wild rush for the scattered meal 
and carefully collected what they could to carry 
away with them. They believe that this meal will 
bring them good luck and plenty of corn if sprin- 
kled on their small fields. 

The Snake Priests returned and removed the 
paint and grease from their bodies. But before they 
did this, they lined up and drank a mixture prof- 
fered by the head Snake Priest. After that they 
rushed to the edge of the mesa and standing in a 
row proceeded to be very sick indeed until they 
were relieved of the drink. 

Navajo Indians 

Location: South of San Juan River to Santa Fe Railroad, from New Mexico 

NAVAJOS! What visions are evoked by the 
name ! Wide reaches of sagebrush plains with 
straight-backed riders in velvet shirts, bright head- 
bands, and silver jewelry, lashing their wiry ponies 
across the foreground; flocks of sheep and goats, 
hundreds of them, each flock herded by a small 
Indian maid, her brilliant skirts making a splash of 
color as vivid as a bluebird's wing, as she darts 
behind a juniper and peers out at white intruders ; 
brown earthen hogans, before which the mother 
weaves her barbaric rug. And hovering over all of 
Navajo Land, whether it be in Cany on 'de Chelly, 



stronghold of the famous tribe, or high on the 
windswept mountains, the pungent spicy smell of 
juniper smoke from fires smoldering in the center 
of each hogan floor. 

Navajos ! Greatest of all Indian tribes greatest 
in number, greatest in story and song, greatest in 
the beautiful wares that pour ceaselessly from their 
land for the white trade, and greatest in their un- 
bending resistance to encroaching white habits and 

They number forty-five thousand, and they have 
more than nine million acres of land of their own. 
Yet they have overflowed the landscape, and are to 
be seen anywhere north of U.S. 66, from Albu- 
querque on the east to the Colorado River on the 
west. Colorado and Utah furnish homes for them 
above the Arizona and New Mexico line, and they 
have drifted down into Zuni country, where their 
homes are to be seen almost at the front gate of 
that ancient City of Cibola. 

They have millions of sheep and goats and hun- 
dreds of ponies, and it takes five acres of such land 
as a generous government has bestowed upon them 
to feed one animal ! Their very lives depend upon 
their flocks. They eat the flesh, fresh when killed, 
or cut into strips and dried in the high, keen air of 
the desert ; the babies drink the rich, warm milk of 
the goats, wool makes the blankets from which they 
derive half a million dollars each year, and the sur- 


plus wool is sold to their local trader for flour and 
coffee and sugar and for wide Stetson hats and 
bright silk kerchiefs. Skins of the animals provide 
the beds which are spread on the dirt floor of the 
hogan at night and rolled into a bundle during the 
day. Tanned hides become moccasins. Even the 
bones are formed into ornaments and implements. 
Wherever one finds a Navajo family, there also are 
the flocks. 

Horses and Navajos are inseparable. Gleefully 
laying hold on the equine importations of the Span- 
iards, the American Arab has come into his own. 
Men, women, and children astride the small desert 
ponies ride about their daily affairs, the men usually 
lashing their mounts and singing a falsetto song as 
they go. 

Little is known definitely of the early history of 
the Navajos. It is believed that their ancestors came 
over the frozen northern wastes by way of Bering 
Strait, and that at one time Navajos and Apaches 
belonged to the same tribe and were parted by some 
inward strife. At any rate the first actual mention 
we have of them is in 1539 or 1540, when Pedro de 
Tobar marched from Zuni to the present Hopi vil- 
lages and reported passing through the land of the 
Navajo Indians. On the other hand, Parish, Ari- 
zona historian, states that they were unknown until 
the seventeenth century when Fray Alonso Bena- 
vides spoke of them as Great Seed-Sowers. 


The Navajos themselves may tell us where they 
came from: 

"In the beginning all men lived in the center of 
the earth. One day a Navajo accidentally touched 
the top of the cave and heard a hollow sound, which 
awakened the curiosity of the Indians and started 
them digging through the ground. After digging 
for some time they found they were getting near 
the top, so they sent a raccoon up to reconnoiter. 
He failed to make any progress, so they pulled him 
down again and sent up an earthworm, who reached 
the top and looked around. He discovered four 
great swans at the four cardinal points, each with 
an arrow under a wing. Each swan shot him with 
the arrow. The worm was frightened and retreated 
down the hole with the arrows sticking from his 
body, and they so widened the hole that the Navajos 
could come up through it. At that time there was 
neither moon, stars, nor sun. It was determined 
that these were necessary for the convenience of 
the Navajos, so their great medicine men proceeded 
to make them. When the sun was completed, they 
held it in the air and blew their breath against it 
until it was pushed up into the sky and there it 


For everything under the sun the Navajo has an 
explanation, similarly manufactured, and more 
than likely a chant and dance to fit the subject. He 
is the most superstitious mortal on the face of the 


earth, unless it be his black brother in darkest 
Africa. Some of the Navajo superstitions are 
funny, while others are really pathetic. Their rules 
regarding food are interesting: 

"During the Eagle Chant, the participants must 
not eat eggs, turkey, chicken, or the flesh of any 
bird or fowl/' 

"Duck or bear meat must never be tasted/' 

"Food being cooked in a skillet or kettle must 
not be stirred with a knife/' 

"If a knife is thrust point first into a melon or 
other food, the food must not be eaten, as it carries 
with it the curse of lightning stroke/' 

"During the month of July beef cooked with corn 
may not be eaten, as the two foods will quarrel in 

The Navajos are mortally afraid of death or a 
dead body. That fact, perhaps more than any other, 
has retarded the development of permanent dwell- 
ings in their country. It is common to see deserted 
hogans all over the Reservation, the door fastened 
shut and a jagged hole knocked in either the north 
or the east of the structure. This indicates that 
Death entered the hogan, and from then on it is a 
"Chindi-hogan" or devil house. Whenever possible 
the dying are carried outside, to save the hogan. 

For two or three hundred years the Navajos 
roamed the Southwest, preying on more peaceful 
tribes. They stole the women and the corn and the 


sheep from the pueblo folk. They made raids into 
Mexican territory and returned richer with horses 
and women. They were the tyrants of the New 
World. This continued far into the eighteenth cen- 
tury, and long after the United States owned the 
country and tried to protect its citizens raids and 
massacres followed each other in rapid succession. 
After various treaties were made and broken, in 
1863 Kit Carson drove them into the Canyon de 
Chelly retreat and starved them into submission. 
They were deported into New Mexico and held in 
captivity while poor food, homesickness, and a 
raw, damp climate killed them by hundreds. At last 
the older men begged so humbly to be allowed to 
return to their own home, pledging themselves to 
control the hot-blooded young warriors, that they 
were allowed to come back to their desert home, to 
the ruins of their peach orchards, where the bones 
of their slaughtered flocks bleached in the sun. The 
government restocked their grazing lands with four 
sheep for each Navajo, and once again the Navajos 
rode and sang over the sage-sweet plains and 
breathed the thin, pine-tanged air of their own land 
with its Rainbow Bridge and the great red sand- 
stone gorges of the Canyon de Chelly and Canyon 
del Muerto, and the beautiful weird formations 
breaking into serried fragments against the blue 
horizon. From that day to this they have been good 
Indians, although very much alive! 


The Navajo religion can be summed up in one 
word: pantheism. He gives divinity to all the 
mighty manifestations of nature. The storm carries 
a Great Spirit, as does the raging torrent sweeping 
down the gulches in his mountainside. The bliz- 
zards, the lightning, the high wind, the sand that 
colors the whirlwind twisting into the sky, each and 
all are inhabited by deities. 

However, the spirits are mostly evil ones which 
must be placated. The medicine men of the tribe 
grow fat by saving their scared followers from 
evil spirits. The use of charms is almost unlimited. 
To be safe from witches a dried bear-gall is carried 
constantly next to the skin. Various diseases are 
cured by eagle feathers, antelope toes, crane bills, 
and such articles. 

Their religion is expressed in ceremonies we call 
dances. Various rites are practiced, but there is no 
bloodshed, except in the case of death. One such 
instance is given : 

At Thunderbird Ranch, Canyon de Chelly, the 
trader keeps a guest hogan for the comfort of 
Navajos passing the night in that vicinity. Three 
or four distant Navajos had come in to trade and as 
it had grown late they were spending the night in 
the hogan. While they cooked their coffee for sup- 
per a rather prominent medicine man rode up and 
entered the place. They shared their coffee and 
bread with him and went on with their talk. He 


stretched out in the shadows when he had eaten, 
and soon, to their abject terror, they saw he was 
dead. The doorway of that hogan was probably 
much enlarged as the entire bunch sought to leave 
at once. They went for the trader and the neigh- 
boring government doctor who pronounced death 
due to heart trouble, and it was only because the 
trader stayed beside the body until morning that 
the other Navajos did not burn the hogan with its 
dead occupant. At dawn he heard a commotion and 
went out to find that the poor horse belonging to 
the dead man was being killed with an ax. Because 
it brought the sick man to the hogan the Indians 
held it more or less responsible for his death and 
therefore sent it along to carry its dead master's 
soul to whatever place he would find in the next 
world. There was no peace for the trader until the 
hogan was torn down and the wood piled in the 
wood lot. And no matter how cold a Navajo is, or 
how scarce wood becomes, that certain stack of 
wood is never touched. This same trader told me 
he was at one time stuck in the mud with his auto- 
mobile. His Indian passenger was as much a 
stranger in that neighborhood as was he, but when 
he was directed to bring a certain log lying near by 
and put it under the car he refused, saying it was 
"chindi." No food cooked over wood from a death 
hogan would be eaten by a Navajo, not even to 
stave off starvation. 


One of the most interesting of healing ceremonies 
is that in which sand-painting is utilized. At Na~ 
ah-tee Canyon, fifty miles north of Holbrook, such 
a painting was made. The trader had given our 
guide notice of the "sing," and the last day of the 
ceremony found our car parked at the trading-post. 
As we lunched the trader told us the reason for the 

Two Navajos, a man and his wife, past middle 
age, were herding their sheep near by when a 
summer storm broke over the valley. While they 
sought shelter together under a pinon tree, light- 
ning struck, killing the woman. Blood from her 
severed arm splashed over the frightened husband. 
He left there very hurriedly, and since no Indian 
would approach the body it fell to the trader to bury 
her. Soon he heard rumors of a "sing" and learned 
that the husband was sure lightning devils were 
after him and he must have this protecting cere- 
mony before another thunder storm or he too 
would be killed. 

With the trader as sponsor for us we entered the 
ceremonial hogan. At the entrance the men turned 
to the right of the structure, the women to the left, 
and seated themselves. We had been warned we 
must not leave while a song was being sung. At 
the rear a space on the floor perhaps three feet 
square was covered with smooth white sand. Two 
young helpers were carrying out the orders of the 


medicine man, who had numerous little dirty sacks 
of sand and with a few guttural words poured 
certain colors in the palm of first one helper, then 
the other. They squatted and shaped human figures 
on the white background. Beautifully done, finished 
in every detail, the picture lay glimmering in the 
light which came through the smoke hole in the 
roof. When it was completed to the last white 
feather in the head dress of the main figure, the 
patient was made to undress and seat himself in 
the midst of the painting, where he sat like a graven 
image while a long wailing song was sung. At its 
end he rose and destroyed the painting with his 
feet. At the close of the ceremony he was presumed 
to be immune to bolts from the blue. 

Different ailments require different chants, and 
there are at least a hundred assorted ceremonies 
from which to select. If relief is not obtained from 
the first one chosen, an assortment of half a dozen 
chants may be required before the right one is 
stumbled upon. For the simpler chants the medicine 
man demands, and of course obtains, two or three 
sheep and a velvet shirt. The more elaborate, long- 
drawn-out ones, such as the Mountain Chant and 
the Fire Dance, run into hundreds of dollars before 
the nine days required are past. 

It was late when the chant was ended, and we 
chose to make camp there for the night. After 
supper the trader's wife came and asked our guide 


to go with her to a hogan near by, where a Navajo 
woman was giving birth to a child. It was morning 
before they returned. We had full details of the 
night as we prepared coffee and bacon for our 

"Gee, that was awful! If a woman can escape 
infection and death after such a confinement as 
that, all this talk about sanitation is a lot of hooey! 
This woman was quite old to have a child, and had 
been in labor for hours. She was suspended by a 
rope fastened to the ceiling and under her arms. 
Her bed was a heap of dirt with a sheepskin on it, 
and she was facing the east. An old withered crone 
sat at the door, shaking a gourd and singing the 
same weird plaint over and over. Goodness only 
knows what it was, but I think it was ' Bubble, 
bubble, toil and trouble !' But there was no water to 
bubble. When the baby was born the old crone 
grabbed it and rubbed it well with ashes and then 
dipped it into cold water to make it brave. Then 
she put it with its head to the fire and began to 
sprinkle ashes over our patient. You should have 
seen us give her the bum's rush and shove her out 
of the hogan/ 3 

We were all excited about the baby, and later in 
the day, led and protected by the trader's wife, we 
sallied down, carrying gifts to the mother just as 
did the Three Wise Men out of the East. Canned 
milk and Campbell's soup took the place of precious 


scents and spices, however. We found the poor 
mother propped back in her harness, and around 
her tortured body was a tight belt under which 
great bunches of juniper branches were wedged. 
This, we were told, was to hasten recovery and 
insure more children. The wee baby had been 
strapped to its carrying-board and tightly bound 
with rawhide strings to keep it from slipping when 
it was necessary to hang the board in a tree or carry 
it slung against the side of a horse as the mother 
rode about her duties. Its padding on the board was 
of finely shredded inner bark from a cedar tree. 
And that's what it means to be born in Navajo land. 

Back at the trading-post a group of Navajos, 
men and women, awaited the trader's wife, who is 
herself Navajo. They talked in their own tongue, 
and as she found opportunity she translated for 
our benefit: 

"An old woman died across the hill. They want 
me to haul her down somewhere and bury her. 
Where they live it is rocky and there is no place to 
cover her up. I won't use my car because if I put 
her in it they will never ride in it again, and the 
truck is what we haul goods for the store in and 
they would never buy any groceries hauled in the 
truck after a dead person had been in it." 

Another long conversation, and they moved into 
the store with us at their heels. Here the best 
Pendleton blanket was bought, and a string of 


beads in "pawn" was redeemed to place on the dead 
woman's neck. They were her own beads on which 
the trader had loaned her money, keeping the beads 
for security until she could weave a rug or sell 
some sheep and redeem her property. Now she 
could never buy them back and it was the duty of 
her daughter to get them for her. 

Our guide had a brilliant thought: "Mattie, tell 
them I'll haul her to the burying-place, that is, if 
you'll stick close to me, I do want to see a Navajo 

This was repeated to the Navajos and they eyed 
the white woman with a sort of amazed wonder. 
Why should any person in her senses off er to touch 
a dead body? But we went, taking a carload of 
them with us. They were quite willing to ride with 
us before the funeral, but not after ! 

Going over the hill, at a typical summer camp 
we found a few Navajos looking very uncom- 
fortable while a young woman leaned over the dead 
figure holding tightly to one hand. Tears were 
streaming down her cheeks, but there was no aud- 
ible sound of grief. The dead woman was her 
mother. When we came to her side and the trader's 
wife spoke to her in her own language, she pointed 
to a new velvet blouse and a pile of yellow ruffled 
skirts which she wanted put on the body. Jewelry 
was placed on the dead woman's arms and neck, 
and she was wrapped closely in the new blanket 


bought for that purpose. Then we white women 
carried her to the car and put her in the back seat, 
while the daughter hung on to the hand. We won- 
dered why this was done and the trader's wife told 
us that they had to hold on to her while she was 
above ground or she would think she was not being 
treated with respect and her ghost would stay 
around and bother them. We carried the body to 
a spot on the desert where the trader had dug a 
grave, and there we buried it. 

And that's what it means to die in Navajo land. 

Perhaps the rarest and most costly dance given 
by the Navajos is the Fire Dance. This is never 
held until "the thunder sleeps/' or after all danger 
of thunder storms is past. Our guide had wit- 
nessed one such dance and beside one of our desert 
camps far up in Navajo land she told us about it: 

A young mother with three sick babies under 
five years of age left them sleeping in her log ho- 
gan and walked three miles to the hogan of her 
mother to, obtain food for them. She fastened the 
door from the outside so that the children could 
not wake and crawl outside where a cold wind was 
blowing. When she returned with a brother the 
hogan was a smoldering heap of ashes, and she 
fought free from her brother's restraining hands 
and rushed into the ashes searching for the bodies 
of her babies. She was badly burned and the 
wounds would not heal Her clan decided upon a 


Fire Dance to cure the burns and bring her poor 
grief-sodden brain back to normal 

Inside a great corral of pmon boughs woven 
into a tight fence the huge bonfire was built. Nine 
days were spent in various ceremonies, and the last 
night ended the dance in a blaze of glory. From a 
fire inside the Medicine Hogan coal was carried 
for lighting the big pile, after which the mother 
was assisted to a place very near it. The medicine 
man touched her head, her poor burned hands and 
feet, her ears and lips, with a bough of juniper, 
which he immediately cast upon the fire. At the 
same instant at least a dozen naked Navajos ap- 
peared, completely smeared with a soapy white 
clay, even their hair being plastered with the mix- 
ture. Each man carried a long bundle of finely 
shredded cedar bark They raced madly around the 
inclosure, leaping and shrieking, coming nearer and 
nearer the fire, until at the same moment every 
actor lighted his torch in the flames. Then came 
the wildest, maddest performance of all. They 
lashed one another over their bare bodies with the 
flaming faggots. At times they whipped themselves 
with the burning brands, and as the torch burned 
too low to hold longer it was flung upon the hard 
earth and the dancer darted away into the dark- 
ness, followed by the jeering taunts of his hardier 
companions. Wheia the end of the torch landed it 
was instantly covered with a fighting mob of Nava- 


jos, each seeking to obtain a shred of the scorched 
cedar to place in his hogan to safeguard it from 
fire or to use in the treatment of burns, which are 
all too many, what with open fires and full-blowing 
calico skirts. When the last torch burned low the 
dance was ended. 

"Did the poor mother get well? Tell us more 
about it. You surely know more than you've told." 

"Well, when a white man who speaks Navajo 
went to the father and told him his hogan and his 
babies were burned, he dropped his head on the 
friendly shoulder and stood trembling for several 
minutes, while slow, painful tears flowed down his 
cheeks. He turned away without a word and walked 
the seven miles to the site of his hogan. By that 
time missionaries had recovered the tiny seared 
bodies and buried them. The father returned to the 
trading-post and bought small overalls, three pairs 
of little shoes, a pink and white baby blanket with 
frivolous bunnies on it, and some candy, and again 
went silently away. He placed these things on the 
heaped-up earth over his dearest treasures. He had 
been cutting cedar posts for a white man in order 
to buy winter clothes for the babies, and he bought 
them after all. I never heard again of the mother. 
I don't know whether the dance cured her or not" 

Navajo children are welcomed and loved by their 
parents. They are given the closest care and train- 
ing until they are seven or eight years old, when 


they are taken away and placed in government 
schools. Perhaps they do not see their homeland 
or relatives for eight years, but just as soon as they 
return they drop the white enamel and revert to 
their own language and mode of life with lightning- 
like speed. They seem merely to endure the en- 
forced schooling with a haughty indifference and 
to delight in forgetting it as soon as possible. 

When within reach of the agent young Navajos 
are compelled to be married and divorced according 
to the white man's law. But there are thousands of 
them who go serenely about their own Navajo mode 
of life, are born, marry, die, and are buried, with- 
out ever having heard of Holy Church. 

Children of the hogan belong to the mother, as 
they carry her clan name and inherit through her. 
At thirteen a Navajo girl is presumed to have 
reached the marriageable age and is presented at 
a "Squaw Dance/ 3 or what we really should know 
as the old "War Dance." Here the young girls 
appear in their best finery and choose their dancing 
partners, while the matrons sit on the sideline, en- 
couraging but not permitted to join the dancing. 
Here many a romance starts. After a boy and a 
girl have indicated their interest in one another, 
her mother's brother or uncle goes to visit the boy's 
people and the wedding-gift is arranged. Members 
of the same clan may not marry. Usually the groom 
brings several nice horses and perhaps some jewelry 


to the girl's family as a gift. But she is not really 
bought and sold except when some old man of im- 
portance in the tribe desires a certain pretty young 
girl; then he pays well for her, either in protection 
from sickness and evil spirits or in good silver 
jewelry, horses, and sheep. The lot of such a young 
girl married to a sickly old scoundrel is not a happy 
one. About all she can hope for is that he'll die 
soon; and her seeond choice of a husband is en- 
tirely her own business. 

Navajo weddings are social events. There is 
much feasting and visiting around the girl's ho- 
gan, and on the night of the wedding the Arbuckle 
coffee flows freely and mutton after mutton is con- 
sumed, while the old men make a lot of rude jests. 
The girl has been concealed under a blanket beside 
her mother on the women's side of the hogan. She 
is called forth at length and seated beside the 
groom. Meanwhile the marriage mush has been 
prepared and it is now served in a woven "wedding 
basket" made by the Piute tribe. The bride's father 
or uncle sprinkles a circle of sacred blue meal and 
pollen around the edge of the mush and makes a 
cross of it over the mush. This has nothing to do 
with the Christian religion but indicates the four 
cardinal points. The basket of mush is placed be- 
tween the young folks and the boy is handed a 
gourd of water. He pours water over the girl's 
hands, and she does the same service for him. They 


then begin to take small pinches of the mush from 
various places in the basket. After a few dips by 
the wedding couple the basket is turned over to the 
young guests and they scramble merrily for it as 
we do for wedding souvenirs. 

For many hours the young folks must sit re- 
spectfully and listen to advice from the old men. 
They tell the young folks how to manage their 
flocks, how to run their hogan properly, how to 
grow corn and beans, how to train their children, 
and how to save money; also how to be kind and 
good to one another. When the old fellows run out 
of coffee and conversation and fall to nodding, the 
wedding couple can make their getaway and go to 
their own hogan, which has been built near by. But 
the young man must never come face to face with 
his mother-in-law, or dire ill luck will descend upon 
him. He probably does not consider this a very 
great hardship, however ! 

Mutton is, of course, the piece de resistance in 
the Navajo larder. It is stewed and roasted and 
barbecued and fried, likewise jerked and dried. 
Bread is either of wheat flour, baking powder, and 
water, fried in mutton grease, or else of home- 
grown and -ground cornmeal made into johnny- 
cakes and baked on hot stones. If there is any money 
or credit to be had, Arbuckle's coffee is the drink 
served. Canned tomatoes are a prime treat. Corn, 
beans, red peppers, and pumpkins are raised by al- 


most every family, and in the Canyon de Chelly 
country plenty of peaches are raised and dried. 
These are traded far and wide. 

The kitchen utensils consist of a smoked kettle 
or two, a frying pan, and a sooty coffee pot, with 
perhaps two or three tin cups. There is no furni- 
ture, since the housewife must carry all her equip- 
ment on one or two small ponies when she moves 
after her flock. Water is scarce, and the sheep must 
continually be moving in search of food and drink. 

Of all the Indian dress in the Southwest, that 
of the Navajo is the most interesting. Against the 
drab landscape the Navajo squaw makes a splash 
of breath-taking splendor. The outstanding char- 
acteristic of a Navajo woman is slimness and tall- 
ness, together with dignity of carriage. While there 
is none of the spontaneous, white- toothed, flashing 
smile of the Pueblo Indian on the Navajo face, there 
is an arresting quality of seriousness and dignity 
that is almost sad in its still intentness. None of the 
cheery wave and greeting called to the white passer- 
by, merely a watchful gaze that never softens in the 
presence of a stranger of the white race he despises. 
This is not from sullenness on the part of the Nav- 
ajo, but rather from a profound reserve founded 
on self-respect and dignity. 

A Navajo woman's dress consists of a soft vel- 
veteen shirt, high-necked, long-sleeved, basque 
style, hip length. Silver, coral, and turquoise neck- 


laces hang on her bosom, and a silver belt at her 
waist adds a barbaric note. Rings and bracelets set 
with turquoise are plentiful Her hair is pulled 
back in a smooth cap and wound into a great knot 
at the back of her head. Yarn winds around this 
knot and holds it firm. If she is young and comely 
a colored celluloid comb set with glass jewels may 
emphasize the blackness of her hair. Her skirt is 
of bright-colored cotton, and very full. It has a 
deep ruffle trimmed with a contrasting color and 
sways gracefully against her ankles as she walks 
along. She may have on three or four of these full 
skirts at one time. Her feet, the envy and despair 
of white women, so small and slender are they, peep 
in and out from the floating skirts, clad in soft red 
deerskin moccasins, fastened at the side with tur- 
quoise-set silver buttons. Neither hat, coat, nor 
gloves are worn, but a gay and flaunting Pendleton 
blanket, gypsy-colored, warm and soft, which she 
wraps about her shoulders when the winds are cold. 
The customary dress for the Navajo man com- 
prises American overalls, velvet shirt, red-colored 
moccasins, plenty of silver trimmings, and a wide 
high-crowned hat sitting grotesquely on top of his 
mass of clubbed hair no, not grotesque at all, be- 
cause even the hat partakes of the dignity and 
aloofness of its wearer. A Navajo mounted on his 
wiry pony, its bridle brave with silver conchos of 
his own making, and a red and black and gray 


saddle blanket his wife has woven, bright against 
the dark horse, makes a picture long to be remem- 
bered, as he lopes along the trail, singing in a far- 
away treble monotone to himself. Perhaps he sings 
to keep away evil spirits ; perhaps he is composing 
a sonnet about his ability as a silversmith ; or per- 
haps after all he sings merely because he is young 
and not hungry and the sun warms him as he rides. 

While camped at Canyon de Chelly we heard a 
lonely lament, a Navajo song, drifting up from the 
depth below, where the singer, lifting his head, 
poured forth his soul in sound. Cozy McSparron, 
owner of Thunderbird Post, listened and when the 
singer was still he repeated the doleful song. 

"What is it all about?" asked one of the girls. 

Cozy smiled, and interpreted: 

"Once I was young. My mustache was black. 

I was young and had a black mustache. 

My mustache is now gray. 

I am old and my mustache is gray. 

Once I was young, and my mustache was black !" 

Navajos are best known for the beautiful blan- 
kets rugs we call them which they send out into 
the white world by the thousands. This is a typical 
Navajo art. The rug is genuine, from the minute 
the wool-bearing lamb is born until the finished rug 
is carried to the trader to exchange for food and 
clothing ! The wool is clipped from the sheep's back, 
picked over, washed in desert pools with pounded 


yucca root for soap, then dried and bleached by 
spreading it on sagebushes. Carded by hand, spun 
on a homemade spindle, the wool is then dyed, 
sometimes with the age-old dyes made from roots, 
herbs, and minerals, sometimes with Diamond dyes 
purchased at the trader's. But the white, the gray, 
the brown, and the black are natural colors, coming 
from sheep of those colors. 

The loom is a crude, homemade thing, slung to 
the top of the hogan ceiling in bad weather and 
anchored to a handy juniper in the summer time. 
There is no pattern other than that lying in the 
mind of the weaver. Navajo rugs are too well 
known to need description here. From this work 
comes practically two-thirds of the livelihood of 
45,000 Navajo Indians. 

Silverwork is the sphere of the men. They beat 
and pound Mexican coins, or bar silver obtained 
through the trader, into ornaments, beautiful in 
their chaste simplicity and crudeness. Native tur- 
quoises add the needed gleams of color. 

And we, the noble white race, who have stolen 
the birthright of the American Indians, cannot let 
such an opportunity as this slip by. Therefore, con- 
cerns in Denver, in New Mexico, in Texas, and 
even in New York, set themselves with their perfect 
machinery to duplicate this Navajo silver art and 
from a people already made destitute by us steal 
this last means of support 


As we drove back to white civilization, passing 
here a humble hogan, the mother weaving and 
watching her children herd the sheep, there a man 
driving his ponies to a waterhole known only to his 
own people, still other hogans with the old men 
dreaming in the sun, and the feeble grandmothers 
winding the bright-colored yarn they can no longer 
see to weave into patterns, we rejoiced in the un- 
breakable spirit of the Navajo race. They have kept 
the ways of their fathers in spite of a conquering 
white man ! 

Rio Grande Pueblos 

SCATTERED up and down the Rio Grande Valley 
are numerous interesting pueblos Tesuque, 
San Ildef onso, Santa Clara, San Domingo, Santa 
Ana, Zia, Jamez, Isletta, and Old Laguna each 
with a distinctive charm and interest for the In- 
dian-lover. While an entire chapter could be devoted 
to each village, we found time for only a short stop 
with each group and that, we learned, is the usual 
program of Southwest visitors. 


Location: Nine miles north of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Railway: Santa Fe 
Population: ISO. Arts; Pottery, making toy drums. 

With historic old Santa Fe as our starting-place 
we drove nine miles north to Tesuque. Tesuque 
means "Place of the Red Willows." Because it is 
so close to Santa Fe it is overrun with visitors, and 
easy money is earned by catering to their demand 
for cheap souvenirs. We passed by the doorways 
filled with toy drums and poorly made pottery, and 



refused to buy. One old lady, with sly twinkling 
eyes, beckoned us into her home and brought to 
light some truly beautiful bowls, nicely shaped and 
decorated with sun shields and rainbows. These we 
were glad to buy. We paused at the doorway of a 
white-washed house and the young girl within 
asked us to enter. She was admiring and rocking 
her first baby as it lay in its native cradle, suspended 
from the ceiling beams by two handwoven sashes. 
The girl's house was a picture of color and cleanli- 
ness. Gleaming whitewash covered every portion 
of the walls and ceiling, and on the hard clay floor 
Navajo rugs were spread. The beds were built-up 
ledges of adobe covered with brightly colored 
blankets, which served as seats during the day. 
White curtains hung at the small windows and a 
green plant was on a ledge. The corner fireplace 
held a few coals, over which a pot of stew sim- 
mered. One end of the low ceiling dripped strings 
of red peppers and bunches of colored corn strung 
on braided shucks. A crucifix and some pictures of 
the Holy Family told us this girl was of the Catholic 

She wore a pink-and-white checked gingham 
dress, made with full gathered skirt and blouse, and 
a white apron was tied around her waist. Her only 
concession to Indian dress was her footgear, the 
little white moccasins and high leggings worn by 
so many Pueblo women. 


Leaving her neat little home, we strolled around 
the village and found the men getting ready for the 
Eagle Dance, which is their prayer for rain, be- 
lieved by them to be far more effective than the 
Hopi Snake Dance. We settled ourselves under a 
cottonwood tree and watched the antics of the chil- 
dren while waiting for the dance to begin. 

An intelligent-looking young Indian came and 
offered us some turquoise and shell necklaces. He 
joined our group and in answer to a question gave 
us the legend of the Eagle: 

"Centuries ago the Tesuque Indians were all sick 
of a plague brought on because no rain fell to wash 
the evil spirits from the air they breathed. They 
prayed for relief and the Great Spirit sent the 
Eagle, who flew over our village here and with his 
wings made a great wind and blew the rain clouds 
together. Then the Thunderbird shot his lightning 
arrows into the clouds and the rain fell through the 
holes made by the arrows and washed all the sick- 
ness away. So the Eagle is honored by this dance 
and reminded that we depend upon him to keep the 
rain falling for us." 

And thus it is with the Southwest Indians. Every 
thought and wish and prayer and dance revolves 
around the never- forgotten need of rain. 

Into the dusty plaza with its gaunt old Mission 
built along Spanish lines the chanters and the drum- 
mers came. Following them were the dancers, just 


two of them. Their nude bodies were painted yellow 
and daubed thickly with eagle down. A close-fitting 
cap of yellow cotton cloth coming to a long peak in 
front of each nose simulated an eagle's beak. On 
each outstretched arm was bound a length of raw- 
hide and to this rawhide were sewed eagle wing 

The chanters began to moan and from the drum 
came a low rumbling sound like thunder, which 
grew louder and louder. The men squatted facing 
each other, and then rose slowly on tiptoe and stood 
swaying back and forth, waving their arms in a 
flying movement. They dipped and swayed and 
touched the ground with the tips of their wing 
feathers, never making an ungraceful motion and 
keeping always the tempo of the drum. When we 
left the plaza they had fallen to their knees and were 
resting with folded wings. 


Location: Thirty miles north of Santa Fe, New Mexico, and highway U.S. 66. 
Railway: Santa Fe. Accommodations: Hotel LaFonda, at Santa Fe. Population: 
200. ^ Arts and industries: Pottery, paintings, embroidery, silvcrwork; small 

San Ildefonso would be in a poor way were its 
inhabitants dependent upon farming the land given 
to them by a generous government. Of their 30,000 
acres only 160 are irrigated and fit for cultivation. 
Their entire farming products are worth only about 
$4,000 a year, or $20 a year for each family less 
than is spent for food in one week by a white f am- 


ily. Fortunately, however, their pottery is so beau- 
tiful and so famous that single families, where both 
husband and wife work together, make two or three 
thousand dollars a year from the sale of their 

This is the only pueblo we visited where men 
were working on pottery. Here we found them 
busily decorating the vessels moulded and polished 
by the womenfolk. Most famous of all Rio Grande 
potters, Maria Martinez lives in the pueblo of San 
Ildefonso. Other women are making swift strides 
toward sharing her fame, and to see the name of 
Nellie Martinez or Santanna scratched on the bot- 
tom of a smooth, glossy black vessel or shimmering 
chocolate-colored bowl is to know that you are 
holding a masterpiece. 

The government, recognizing the importance of 
this industry, has hired Maria to teach her art to 
other Indian women, and for this instruction she 
receives one dollar an hour. The pottery is made of 
smooth red clay and just as other clay vessels are 
made, but the beauty of this particular pottery lies 
in the grace of its outline, its smooth gleaming pol- 
ish, and its beautiful black or chocolate color. This 
black is obtained by baking the vessel for a certain 
number of hours, then smudging the fire, and let- 
ting the clay absorb the smoke. To make the finish 
glossy the burned vessel is next rubbed vigorously 
with a polishing-stone. Some of the most unique 


bowls and vases are decorated with designs of dull 
black against the shiny black. 

We moved away from the pottery-makers and 
inspected the plaza. There was a big cottonwood 
tree, the veteran of many years of storm and 
drought, in the center of the plot, and it was giv- 
ing shelter to round, naked babies wearing only 
strings of beads, happy and healthy as they rolled 
in the dust with the dogs or followed our girls 
around waiting for candy. In the shade, uncon- 
scious of the movements around him, a young In- 
dian worked with water colors at his easel. He 
graciously smiled and showed us his work, explain- 
ing the meaning of the costumes worn by the dance 
figures on his paper. We learned later that this 
young artist exhibits his pictures of native dances 
in the great art galleries of New York and Paris 
and earns a big salary illustrating Indian books. 

His sister, following the sketches he makes for 
her, embroiders old Indian designs on draperies, 
curtains, pillows, and even dress materials, and 
finds a ready market for the work. We watched 
her as she made the designs with bright-colored 
yarn. Her work was stretched tight in a frame, 
where bold, striking designs were swiftly outlined, 
making a barbaric border on monkscloth drapery. 
These hangings, she said, were for a mountain 
home built by New Yorkers, 

The big 1 , rambling Catholic church in the plaza 


told us without asking that these Indians have a 
judicious mixture of creed and nature for their re- 
ligion. We were told that on the second of each 
November a solemn Feast of the Dead is celebrated, 
and before every visitor are set bread and coffee. 
This is done in every Rio Grande pueblo. 


Location: About thirty miles from Santa Fe, New Mexico, off U.S. 64, in the 
Rio Grande Valley. Railway: Santa Fe. Accommodations: Hotel LaFonda, at 
Santa Fe. Population: 250. Arts and industries': Black pottery, silverwork, 
drum-making, water colors; farming and peddling. 

So closely are Santa Clara and San Ildefonso 
related in their customs and industries that we 
probably should have passed by Santa Clara had 
we not seen Indians from other villages hastening 
there to see the Rainbow Dance. Our guide prom- 
ised that it would be a colorful affair, and we fol- 
lowed the crowd. 

Santa Clara men are not short and stout as are 
the other Pueblo Indians. Slender and tall, with 
hair parted and braided, they resemble Apaches and 
Navajos. This can be accounted for when one re- 
members that the Santa Claras intermarried with 
those tribes and with the Utes. Even the expres- 
sions of these Indians are different, their faces 
being thoughtful and unsmiling. Women wear full 
calico dresses, white aprons, and over their heads 
the inevitable shawl in turquoise or cerise. On this 
dance day some of the old native woolen dresses 
and doeskin leggings made their appearance. 


The afternoon was hot and sultry, and in the 
plaza where the dance was to be held the shade of 
the few cottonwoods was well patronized. Behind 
the hill thundercap clouds piled up, and there was 
not a breath of air. Housewives deserted their pot- 
tery-making and dragged chairs to the shade, where 
they made themselves as comfortable as possible, 
with their fat, comatose babies on their laps. 

When the dancers appeared we were surprised 
to see that half of them were women, wearing the 
old Pueblo dress tied around the waist with the 
hand-woven red and white sash. White and red 
Hopi ceremonial blankets fell from their shoulders, 
in the center of the back of which was fastened a 
bright-colored plaque made of parrot feathers and 
edged with brilliant feathers in rainbow shades. 
Their feet were incased in the white moccasins and 
high leggings, and their cheeks were painted a 
bright red. In their hands they carried juniper 
branches and bunches of parrot feathers. 

Their men partners were bare except for breech- 
cloths, and their bodies were painted black, resem- 
bling dark storm clouds. White stripes ran around 
their bodies. Around their waists, ankles, and wrists 
they wore a deep fringe made of varicolored yarn, 
with little tinkling bells tied to the yarn. Their long 
flowing hair was confined at the back of the neck, 
with a fan-shaped bunch of parrot feathers fas- 
tened there. Over their heads they held rainbow- 


shaped frames made of willow strips painted in 
bright colors. 

The women danced with downcast eyes, taking 
short, modest steps, one foot firm on the hard 
ground while the other came up and landed with a 
dull thump at each beat of the drum. The men, how- 
ever, took intricate steps, leaping through their 
rainbow circles as if they were jumping rope, and 
as they reached the end of the plaza they held the 
willows high over their heads and shuffled back to 
the starting-place, where they lowered the circle 
and jumped through it down the length of the plaza 
again. Sometimes they hopped backward through 
the rainbow, never losing step with the music. 

This, too, was a prayer for rain, and a Santa 
Clara woman assured us it had never yet failed to 
produce rain. She was correct for the time being, 
since big, warm drops splattered down upon us as 
we left the dance and turned back toward San 


Location: Eighteen miles south of Santa Fe, New Mexico, three miles off U.S. 85 
Railway: Santa Fe. Accommodations: Hotel LaFonda, at Santa Fe. Popula- 
tion: 700. Arts and industries: Pottery, turquoise and shell jewelry:' farming 
selling curios. J ' K> 

On flat bottom lands near the Rio Grande River 
is the ancient village of San Domingo. Too many 
white visitors have imposed on these Indians for 
them to greet tourists cordially. No kodaks are 
permitted, and when one of our girls made a sketch 


on her notebook it was confiscated and destroyed 
while the Cacique, or village priest, glared at her 

When our guide learned of the incident she of- 
fered elaborate apologies, together with a gift of 
cigarettes, and the old fellow relaxed his vigilance. 
He even unbent sufficiently to conduct our party 
about the village. We were anxious to see the 
jewelry-makers at work, and he took us into the 
home of his son, where we saw shells being broken 
into bits, rubbed between coarse rocks, then between 
finer ones, until they were the proper thinness, then 
drilled with the primitive native drill and strung on 
stout cord. A rock with a groove carved in it was 
placed on the workbench and the artisan took hold 
of each end of the string upon which the shells 
were strung. Grasping the ends firmly, he turned 
the shells around and around in the groove until the 
corners were worn off and they were round and 

Bits of blue-green mineral, the turquoise from 
age-old Indian mines, were stuck with sealing-wax 
on the ends of sticks and held against an emery 
wheel turned by hand until they were smooth and 
polished. Holes were then bored through them and 
they were distributed among the shell disks in a 
finished necklace. It sometimes takes a hundred 
shell disks to measure an inch after they are strung. 
One black bead of obsidian was strung with the 


shell to ward off ill luck to the wearer of the 

We witnessed the wedding of a returned school 
boy and girl, and they faithfully went through the 
Catholic ceremony. Our old Cacique told us in- 
vitations were out for the native ceremony, which 
would be carried through to the last detail before 
the marriage would be recognized by the Indians 


Location: Northwest of U.S. 66, near Bernalillo, New Mexico. Railway: Santa 
Fe. Population: 200. Arts and industries: Pottery, painting on buckskin, drum- 
making; farming and fruit-raising. 

Leaving the highway U.S. 66 at Bernalillo, we 
turned north and followed the bed of the. little 
stream, now dry, for a few miles. We saw patches 
of corn and pumpkins scattered over the landscape, 
showing that the Indians know their underground 
moisture. The Santa Ana Indians have to find 
planting-places away from their village on account 
of the alkaline soil near the Jamez River. 

We crossed the Jamez River, mostly sand bars at 
this season, with the banks so incrusted with alkali 
that they looked like snowdrifts, and climbed the 
hill to the old Mission, built centuries ago by op- 
timistic Spanish priests. The village was almost 
deserted, as all the able-bodied Indians were away 
tending their crops ten or fifteen miles distant. An 
old man sunning himself in the plaza rose and 


walked about the little pueblo with us. It was not 
prosperous-looking, and we asked him why the In- 
dians did not move their homes to the region of 
their fields. He made horrified gestures and said 
their fathers had built the pueblo long before white 
men came and it could not be left while their dead 
were in the plot adjoining the Mission. He showed 
us row upon row of mounds there, unmarked, but 
he said that at the Feast of the Dead each woman 
places food upon the graves belonging to her house. 
Each one knows her own, it seems. He told us that 
if one of the Indians died while down at the fields, 
all work ceased and the entire tribe came slowly 
back to the old pueblo to place the dead Indian in 
the graveyard. 

This old man had a little curio shop, in which 
we found very poor pottery, since the clay here is 
not suitable. Beautiful paintings on buckskin were 
displayed, also some nice sketches of native dancers 
done in water colors. We bought several of these 
and added two small Indian drums to our already 
glutted collection. Even the drums carried the 
thought of rain; they were painted a sky blue, with 
white rain clouds around each end, 


Location; Six miles from Santa Ana, north of highway U.S. 66. Railway: Santa 
Fe to Bernalillo, New Mexico. Population: 100. Arts: Beautiful pottery, paint- 
ing on buckskin. 

Glossy, smooth, graceful pottery, comparable to 
the finest Italian work, caught our eye all along the 


Southwest route. It was so different from the other 
pottery we saw. Beautifully shaped, boldly painted 
with symbolic designs, and so firm and tough it 
gave a musical ring when struck lightly, it excited 
our admiration. We wanted to see where it was 
made and the women making it. 

Six miles from Santa Ana we came upon this 
pitifully small pueblo, with its crumbling, deserted 
houses and its general air of decay. At one time 
these people were a happy, prosperous tribe, but 
punishment fell heavily upon them for their part in 
the Rebellion, and in 1683 Petriz de Cruzat, pro- 
vincial governor for Spain, marched against their 
village, killed 600 of the inhabitants, took about a 
hundred prisoners, and ransacked the village. From 
this destruction they have never recovered. 

Met at the doorways by housewives, we were in- 
vited into their poor dwellings and given the best 
the houses afforded. They brought us platters of 
peaches and grapes to eat while we watched them 
at their work. They wore the customary full cotton 
dresses tied with the sash around the waist, and 
most of them were barefooted. Their uncut hair 
was gathered in a loose knot behind the neck. As 
they moved from house to house or to the ovens 
where the pottery was baking, they covered them- 
selves with shawls for protection against the sun 
and the sand, which a strong wind blew into every 
corner of the village. 


The men wore cotton shirts and light cotton 
breeches reaching only a little way below the knee. 
They wore homemade moccasins, and their tangled 
hair hung on their shoulders, being tied away from 
the eyes with faded silk or cotton bands. 

While we stood with one of the women watching 
her fire her pottery, a haughty old man stalked up 
and eyed us thoroughly. He accepted a smoke and 
after questioning us went away and left us to our 
own devices. He was the war priest, holding his 
office for life and having the power to name his 
successor when he felt himself nearing his end. 

We noticed that the Zia potters pounded up frag- 
ments of broken pottery with their clay before they 
put it to soak. They explained that the bits they 
used were found in the prehistoric ruins twenty 
miles away against the Jamez Mountains. Two or 
three times a year all the women journey there and 
search for broken shards with which to temper their 
modern jars, and to study the figures on the pots 
they find. Sometimes entire jars are uncovered by 
the wind and rain, and new vessels are made ex- 
actly like the finds, which are perhaps a thousand 
years old. 

A jar is started by taking a ball of clay and shap- 
ing it by pressure against the bottom of a gourd. 
Then spiral after spiral is added until the desired 
shape is reached. The Zia bowls are usually rather 
large and are shaped like ollas. After being hard- 


ened in the sun, they are painted with a white "slip," 
and decorated by means of a yucca leaf. Baked in 
a coal fire for hours, the vessel comes out a pinkish 
cream color with brown designs and is fit to grace 
the finest home in the land. 


Location: North of U.S. 66, twenty-five miles from Bernalillo, New Mexico. 
Railway: Santa Fe. Population: 500. Industries: Farming, fruit-raising. 

It was evening when we reached Jamez, snuggled 
close to the mountain range of that name, and as 
we made camp the sounds of a contented village 
came to us. Homecoming menfolk were returning 
from vineyards and fields, driving burros loaded 
with wood and food before them. Little children 
rushed out to meet them and were given places on 
the shoulders of fathers or big brothers. It seemed 
to be a happy village, and we thought sorrowfully 
of the Zias on their barren hill a few miles away. 

Two half-grown boys came to our camp loaded 
with roasting ears and fruit. The boys squatted 
and visited with us, never taking their eyes from 
our gasoline stove. They asked no questions, but 
our guide, seeing their interest, explained the whole 
thing to them and showed them how to pump air 
into the generator to make the gasoline burn. Not 
long after they left, the village Cacique arrived, 
followed by his advisers, demanding to be shown 
the stove that burned air. It was late before we 
had a chance to cook anything on the magic stove. 


Our guide was offered various trades for the stove, 
but firmly declined on account of the damage the 
uninitiated Indians might do to themselves. 

Jamez is well watered from sweet, cool mountain 
streams following the canyons down to their valley. 
Vineyards and fields and orchards stretch in pleas- 
ing pattern away from the village. 

Franciscan Fathers, clad in their straight brown 
robes, rope girdles, and barefoot sandals, add a 
touch of the Old World to the scene. They work 
in the fields with their Indian friends, help about 
the vineyards, and receive a sort of tithing in the 
way of. wheat, strings of chili peppers, corn, and 
dried fruit. Once the government sent a college- 
trained farmer to the Jamez Indians to teach them 
how to farm ! He didn't stay long, just long enough 
to find out that his scientific knowledge was a total 
loss compared to the things the Jamez knew about 
the land their fathers had tilled for centuries. 

Preparations were going on for the Bull of Jamez 
Festival. As this sounded intriguing, we remained 
to see what we thought would be a bull fight. And 
what a bull! Around noon, on the day following 
our arrival, we saw a gathering of the populace 
near the church and took our stand with them. 
From the valley below came a strange animal. His 
frame was made of willow saplings. His skin was 
of black muslin, his head a sheepskin, and his long 
lolling tongue a red stocking stuffed with sand. His 


legs and tail seemed not to belong to the rest of his 
body and refused to work according to the laws of 
nature; the motive power was a Jamez Indian in 
dancing costume, walking on hands and feet and 
carrying the frame on his back. 

In the meantime the Catholic priest had accom- 
panied the image of Santa Maria of the Angels to 
a place of honor in the center of the plaza. Then 
the good man went serenely about other important 
business, ignoring the pagan dance held in the 
Saint's honor. Inquiry brought the information 
that when the Pecos Indians abandoned their own 
village in 1838 and came to live at Jamez, they 
brought this wooden image, called Porcingula, with 
them. To do honor to her as well as to the Pecos 
inhabitants this annual fiesta is held. 

When the bull reached the center of the plaza he 
was set upon by children, who poked him with sharp 
sticks, pulled his tail, and tried to feed him green 
corn. He charged them and sent them shrieking 
and scuttling to their mothers. 

Then a group of young men appeared. Their 
faces and hands whitewashed, false whiskers 
adorning their faces, in long-tailed black coats, 
American trousers, shoes, and hats, they were gro- 
tesque mimics of white men. They formed into line 
and sang American songs, not the most modest ones 
at that, danced the most suggestive of white dances, 
and in every way mimicked the white race which 


considers itself so superior to its red brothers. One 
young man, using a mail-order catalogue, read a 
long declaration of friendship, giving the most side- 
splitting imitation of a Yankee orator we had ever 
heard. When they tired of that sport they went 
nosing into every house, playing tricks on the 
women, and dragging one fat old man out into the 
plaza, where they fired blank cartridges at him to 
make him dance according to the best Wild West 
picture mode. 

The women brought food to the plaza and the 
boys and men feasted. The bull at length lumbered 
over to the table, upset it, food and all, then dis- 
appeared into the Valley of Jamez; and the Feast 
of the Bull was ended. 

It seemed this horseplay was merely the setting 
for the real dance, the Corn Dance, a beautiful 
prayer for rain. The Turquoise and Squash Clans 
were in charge of the dance, the Turquoise people 
painted a brilliant blue, while the Squash Clan's 
dancers were yellow. 

They advanced to an altar erected near the 
wooden saint and surrounded by a sand-painting. 
Ears of corn covered with eagle feathers were on 
the altar, and the dancers made soapsuds of yucca 
root and sprinkled the altar and the corn. After 
that the ears of corn were taken to the springs in 
the valley and deposited, while other dancers de- 
stroyed the sand-painting and the altar. 



Location: Twelve miles south of Albuquerque and U.S. 66. Railway: Santa Fe. 
Accommodations: Hotel Alvarado, Albuquerque. Population: 1,000. Religion: 
Catholic afld native. Arts and industries: Pottery; farming. 

So close to the crawling Rio Grande River is 
Isletta that the green cottonwoods shelter the little 
pueblo and seem trying to help it escape the notice 
of the thousands dashing along U.S. 66 as they 
drive from coast to coast. The brown adobe houses 
nestle among the trees, and from every protruding 
rafter hang strings of red peppers. The houses are 
clean and tidy, with white-washed walls and hard 
mud floors. The floors are dropped a foot or two 
below the level of the threshold to keep out drafts 
and also to prevent the creeping babies from escap- 
ing while their mothers are busy with household 
tasks. Built-in ledges against the walls serve as 
beds at night and as couches during the day. 

In the large plaza is the square old Mission with 
its dignified, thick walls, the picture somewhat 
spoiled by two added turrets of later date. Quite 
close to it is the Indian church, the built-up estuf a 
requiring several steps to reach the roof, whence 
a ladder leads, down into its dusky depths. No white 
visitor need apply for admission there. From the 
services in the Mission, the Indian medicine men 
retire to their estuf a and hold communion with their 
native gods, whom they consider much more re- 
liable than the white man's Great Spirit. 

Isletta has a ghost of which the Indians are very 


proud. It is the only ghost we encountered along 
the way. This one inhabits the old Mission and 
is the uneasy spirit of a Padre murdered three hun- 
dred years ago by the Tesuque Indians, who trans- 
ported his body at night to the Isletta Mission 
seventy miles from their village, where they buried 
him in the nave. About every twenty years or so 
the restless priest was in the habit of lifting the 
earth above his burial place and appearing on top 
of the floor. When first this occurred they buried 
him anew and sealed the cracks with Mobe mud. 
Twenty years later they found him reposing on 
the surface again. At last they secured two-inch 
planks and nailed him down securely, so they 
thought. But the Cacique took us into the quaint 
old church and showed us that the boards over his 
grave were warping and pushing the nails right out 
of the timbers ! Our guide suggested in a matter- 
of-fact tone that there was more than likely a hot 
spring or gas pocket under the church causing the 
mischief. We were indignantly hurried out. That 
ghost is not to be laid by scientific methods. 

Pottery offered here by the women was very poor. 
In fact it broke when lifted from the hands of the 
seller. It so poorly represents real Southwest pot- 
tery that one hates to see it being sold. 

Little children born at Isletta receive lots of at- 
tention. For eight days, regardless of weather con- 
ditions, the father of a newborn child must keep a 


fire burning in the corner fireplace in his home. 
Should he fall asleep and permit the fire to burn 
out he must rush to the home of the Cacique and 
secure a coal with which to rekindle it. This birth 
fire is kindled by means of a fire drill or flint and 
steel. When a godmother has been chosen for the 
baby she fasts for four days, not even tasting water, 
and during that fast she has visions about the baby's 
entire life and receives instructions as to what name 
she is to give. This information comes from The 
Trues good spirits. 


Location: Halfway between Albuquerque and Gallup, New Mexico, on U.S. 66. 
Railway: Santa Fe. Accommodations: Hotel Acoma, at New Laguna, New 
Mexico. Population: 200. Arts and industries: Pottery, drum-making; farming, 

Highway U.S. 66 winds its way exactly through 
the center of Old Laguna, with its adobe houses 
decorated with red peppers and its big Mission dom- 
inating the landscape. 

The inhabitants were friendly and gracious, and 
anxious to sell their pottery, which we found infe- 
rior in both quality and design. Two-headed birds, 
small ash trays, match-holders, and candlesticks 
are produced in quantities, and the young girls sit 
beside the highway and offer their wares to the 

Laguna Indians are rather tall, dignified folk, 
Americanized both in dress and in their homes. 
Sewing-machines, wood ranges, and iron bedsteads 


were in practically every home we visited. In one 
room the women were reducing dried chili peppers 
to powder, which the men would peddle in neigh- 
boring towns. The dry pods were put in stone me- 
tates and pounded with a heavy stone until they 
were reduced to red dust. The room was so filled 
with the dust and the pungent odor that we could 
not tarry long, and the women laughed at our 
sneezes and streaming eyes. They themselves 
seemed impervious to the sting of the pepper. 

We sought out the governor of the village and 
asked permission to visit the interior of the Mis- 
sion on its rocky lookout. This is not the original 
Spanish Mission, whch was destroyed in the Rebel- 
lion, but one built by Franciscans in the eighteenth 
century. It is made of roughly dressed stone, quite 
unique in a land of adobe. Surrounding it is the 
Indian graveyard with dozens of mounds, scattered 
over with broken food bowls and cotton strings 
adorned with eagle feathers. Catholics they may 
be, these Rio Grande Indians, but they evidently 
think that if one religion is good, two are better, 
and so cling to both. 

The main room inside the church is very narrow 
and at least a hundred feet long. The altar, like 
all Indian altars, glowed with primitive color and 
statues. Some very old and interesting Indian paint- 
ings on elkskin adorned the walls. 

The governor showed us where the coveted paint- 


ing of St. Joseph once hung-, until, as he explained 
with a great deal of venom, it was stolen from them 
by the Acomas. We asked the innkeeper at the 
Acoma Hotel about the painting and he said it was 
given by Friar Ramirez in 1629 to the Acoma 
Indians when they finished the great Mission on 
top of the Acoma Rock. The Acomas always had 
plenty of rain, and the Lagunas decided the picture 
was the cause of their good luck. They sent a dele- 
gation to borrow it, but met with a refusal. At 
night the visitors took the picture and carried it to 
Laguna, where rain began to fall, and continued 
to be plentiful. Acoma demanded the return of 
their treasure; Laguna refused; and the matter 
was settled by a court order which compelled the 
Lagunas to deliver St. Joseph to the Acomas, where 
it now hangs in its original home and each spring 
is carried around their fields to insure plenty of 
moisture for their crops another method of ob- 
taining rain in a desert land! 

Salt River Indians 

OUR summer among the Indian tribes in north- 
ern New Mexico and Arizona was drawing 
to a close. Our guide, thinking we should see as 
many reservations as possible, proposed that we 
leave U.S. 66 at Ashfork and take the southern 
route, which would carry us by way of Casa Grande 
ruins and through the Salt River Valley Reserva- 


Location: Along Gila River, on State Highway 87, near Sacaton, Arizona. 
Railway: Southern Pacific. Population: 4,388. Arts and industries: Pottery, 
basketry; wood-cutting, farming, cotton-raising. 

Clustered around the huge adobe structure 
known as Casa Grande Ruins, the Pimas live today 
as they did centuries ago when the Spanish fathers 
first heard Mass in the ruined interior of that build- 
ing. Some authorities even claim that the ancestors 
of the Pimas built that prehistoric watch tower used 



by the Ho-ho-kum, the "Gone Away People." Eight 
hundred years have passed since the building was 
constructed and irrigation canals were dug in that 
vicinity, but today the Pimas live much as those 
vanished people must have lived. They till their 
fields, getting their water from irrigation canals 
maintained by their own labors until the govern- 
ment came to their aid. They make their pottery 
and baskets, live on the fruits of their labor, and 
are gentle, friendly Indians. They have adopted 
the dress and religion of their white friends, and 
are trying to improve their homes and furnish them 
as white homes are furnished. 

On our journey from Phoenix we passed clusters 
of their huts grouped together in villages. Usually 
a little church and its accompanying cemetery could 
be seen close by. Parking our car at such a village, 
we asked permission to enter one of the homes. A 
large, pleasant- faced woman, speaking English in 
a soft, slow drawl, invited us to her mother's house, 
where she said we could see a basket being made. 

The house itself was worth the visit It was per- 
haps twenty feet long and fifteen wide, and it was 
a framework of ocotillo ribs standing on end close 
together, held in place by crosswise cottonwood 
poles wired here and there to keep them firm. At 
each corner a forked mesquite post supported 
squared timbers, and a post in the center of the 
room held another square rafter in place. Lighter 


poles covered with fine brush formed the roof, and 
a layer of dirt kept the interior cool. The floor was 
of hard-beaten earth, and the furniture consisted 
of two battered iron beds, a few benches, and an 
iron stove, on which bubbled boiling beans in an 
earthen pot. 

The inside and outside of the pole framework 
was thickly daubed with 'dobe mud, and the interior 
was dark and cool. We sat under the brush shelter, 
called a ramada, in front of the house. Four up- 
right forked posts supported cross poles forming a 
roof, and small brush was piled on top, making a 
dense shade, under which the basket weaver sat 
and worked. 

Pima baskets have long been justly famous for 
their beauty of shape and design. This middle-aged 
woman laid aside the coarse basket sieve upon 
which she was working, and began a fine plaque. 
Her materials consisted of a bundle of cat-tail 
rushes split into strips lengthwise, a roll of willow 
splints, and a smaller roll of the outside covering 
of the black devilVclaw pods. She explained that 
the cat-tails were gathered in June and split while 
green so that the cut edges curl together, making 
each strip look like a round stalk. The willows are 
cut when they turn green in the spring, and after 
the outside bark is removed the white growth is 
split into perhaps twenty thin splints and rolled up 
until needed. The devilVclaw pods are gathered in 


the fall when they are ripe and have turned black 
They are pressed closely together, perhaps a bundle 
two or three feet around, and this is hung by one 
of the sharp claws to the rafters until needed. Then 
the required number of pods are soaked in water 
for a day or so and buried in wet earth until mellow. 
The black outside is stripped off and each pod fur- 
nishes eight or ten six-inch-long strips. In late 
years the plant has grown scarce and now each 
thrifty basketmaker raises her own supply of 
devil's claw. 

With a length of this black material, she fash- 
ioned the center of the basket, wrapping it closely 
together with another black fragment. Gradually 
she added one and then another cat-tail padding 
coil, until she had a circle perhaps two inches across. 
Taking a strip of the willow she held it firmly be- 
tween her strong, white teeth and with a stout, 
sharp knife followed the length of the willow to 
where it was held taut in her left hand. This 
scraping sized the material, in other words, scraped 
the willow down to a uniform size and thickness 
and removed roughness. 

With a short steel awl, the weaver made a hole 
in the preceding coil, and with expert fingers 
pushed the willow through the opening. This she 
drew smoothly and tightly against the previous 
stitch, and when the place for the black figure was 
reached, a strand of the black devil's claw was sub- 


stituted. The design made on the plaque was a 
small crossed pattern, and she explained that it 
represented coyote tracks on the desert. From a 
government publication, a history of the Pinia 
people, by Russell, she had copied many pictured 
designs of old baskets, the meanings long since lost. 
Our guide asked her where she had obtained the 
book, and she said her father had bought it for her 
many years ago and they read it to learn what they 
should know about their own people. One of the 
most interesting baskets we saw bore a copy of the 
maze graven on an inside wall of the Casa Grande 
Ruin, always an object of wonder to modern In- 
dians. A figure representing Ho-ho-kurn was shown 
entering the maze. 

In a house near by we next watched an old 
woman making mesquite flour. Beans from the 
mesquite tree are gathered and stored until they 
are needed. A portion of these were placed in a 
metate and with a stone pestle the old woman 
pounded them into fine flour, which she sifted 
through a coarse basket to remove shells. In a 
cloth sack she placed a portion of the flour, sprinkled 
it well with water, and added another layer of flour. 
This operation was repeated until the sack was full. 
It was hung to a ceiling rafter for use as needed. 
Sometimes slices of such a flour cake are cut off 
and fried like mush. Sometimes it is used to thicken 
the gravy in a stew, and at other times it is eaten 


raw. It has a sweet, nutty taste. Very little food 
is purchased by the Pima people, as their fields yield 
all sorts of grain and vegetables. They also have 
chickens and cattle, and as a rule coffee and sugar 
are about the only articles of food they purchase. 
By sale of their baskets and the pottery they make, 
money is obtained for their modest wants. Pimas 
pride themselves on their civilization, and their 
adoption of white dress and religion. 


Location: Along Salt River among the Pimas. Population: 394. Religion: 
Catholic, Mormon, and Protestant. Arts and industries: Basketry, pottery; 
farming, cattle-raising, and wood-cutting. 

Our Pima friend offered to accompany us to the 
home of a Maricopa woman who was engaged in 
making pottery. As the home was just across a 
wheat field and over a canal, we left our car and 
walked. The wheat was ready to harvest and the 
Pima woman said it would be cut and threshed very 
soon. Threshing would be done by piling the wheat 
on a hard surface and driving the horses over and 
over it until the grains were beaten free of the 
straw. Then the kernels would be gathered in big 
flat baskets and tossed up and down, while the wind 
blew the chaff away. 

We were introduced to the Maricopa woman, who 
was not as friendly and talkative as our Pima friend. 
We found that the Maricopa people are more shy 
and reserved in their dealings with strangers. 


The Maricopa home was similar to the Pima 
house we had just left. We settled ourselves tinder 
the ramada where our hostess was working. An 
interesting object was a three-pronged post sunk 
into the ground, supporting a huge earthen olla 
filled with water. The pot was swathed in burlap 
and now and then a drop of moisture fell down on 
the pepper plants at the base of the post. Water is 
too scarce to waste even one drop ! 

The potter's clay had been brought from a dis- 
tant hillside and dried in the sun. She had pounded 
it into powder, sifted it to remove pebbles and 
hard lumps, and soaked it in water. It was now in 
the form of lumps of tough gray mud. Taking one 
of these she shaped the bottom of a vessel by using 
a gourd mold. Another lump of clay was rolled into 
spirals and added round by round to the shaped 
base. With a short, curved, wooden paddle the potter 
spanked the clay into shape on the outside, holding 
a smooth stone against the inside to keep it smooth 
and in place. Now and then a half -finished vessel 
was set in the sun to stiffen a bit while the potter 
worked on another. When a new start was made, 
the old edge was wet by running moist fingers along 
the top, and more coils were added until the thing 
was complete. These wet bowls were now set in 
the sun, and yesterday's bowls were brought in to 
receive a slip or coating of red ochre applied by 
dipping the fingertips into the mixture and spread- 


ing it over the surface. While this dried a bit, a 
shallow pit was dug and a wood fire kindled. The 
pots were put in and left to fire. Bowls burned the 
day before were given their decorations with a 
black dye made from boiling mesquite gum in an 
earthen vessel until it looked like ink. Geometrical 
figures and conventional designs were put on by 
free-hand drawing and the vessels then heated again 
for a short time. When the burning is complete, 
the pottery is a shiny, dark red base with black 
decorations, and is beautiful if somewhat brittle. 

Maricopas have accepted the dress and religion 
of the whites, and differ little from their Pima 
neighbors. They, however, have never learned the 
Pima language and are more reserved and subdued 
in their manner. 


Location: Valley of Santa Cruz River in southern Arizona, near Tucson. Rail- 
way: Southern Pacific. Population: 6,000. Religion: Catholic, Protestant, Mor- 
mon. Arts and industries: Basket-making, pottery; farming, stock-raising. 

Nine miles south of Tucson old San Xavier Mis- 
sion, where mass was first said in 1697, is still 
serving the Papago Indians. The same good father 
Kino who laid the foundation for the Mission and 
strove to save their souls brought horses, chickens, 
and cattle to the Papago Indians, and that was the 
beginning of stock-raising in Arizona. 

The old Mission has been attacked more than 
once by Apaches, and the sacred images have been 


mutilated and carried away, but several of them 
were recovered by their devout worshipers and are 
enthroned again in their niches. 

After hearing the story of the Mission from the 
Father in charge, we walked with him to the village 
half a mile away. The houses were quite similar to 
those of the Pimas and Maricopas. The Papagoes 
themselves are tall, well- formed Indians, their dark 
skin testifying to their outdoor occupations In a 
land where the temperature reaches 120 degrees in 
summer time. They dress like whites, and live as 
nearly as possible like whites. They cultivate their 
fields, herd their cattle, asking nothing from the 
government except schooling for their children and 
water development for their industries. As long 
as they observe the rules of the Catholic church, 
the resident Father at the little village near the 
Mission fails to see any harm in their annual fiesta 
with its pagan dances and games, dating back to 
a period before the coming of white men. 

We purchased a few baskets, made of white 
yucca fiber, secured an olla, which we planned to 
plant atop a three-pronged post on an eastern lawn 
somewhere, and continued our westward journey. 

Taos Pueblo 

Location: On highway U.S. 64, 100 miles north of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Rail- 
way: Santa Fe. Accommodations: Hotel LaFonda, Santa Fe. Religion: Catholic 
and native. Arts and industries: Some oil-painting and water-color artists; 
farming, stock-raising; selling curios made by other Indians; posing for artists 
and guiding sightseers. 

SITUATED at the foot of a beautiful snow-capped 
mountain, Taos, with its terraced pueblo 
houses, is one of the most interesting of Indian 
homes. Add to that the fact that for many years 
Kit Carson lived there with his beloved Josephine 
and now sleeps in the shadow of the old town, and 
it is no wonder that artists and writers flock to the 
picturesque spot. The highway leading to Taos, the 
old trail made by Kit Carson and his followers, is 
known as the "Highway of the Immortals/' 

From Hotel LaFonda at Santa Fe a stage leaves 
each morning for Taos, and we followed closely in 
its wake as it led us into the heart of the southern 
Rockies, losing their tops in the clouds which hung 



over them until the sun, winning a victory, banished 
them and poured its warm light over the fertile 
valleys and bathed the Sangre de Cristo Mountains 
with an almost unearthly glow. 

We passed beside Indian villages where the na- 
tives were making pottery or cultivating their little 
gardens, or baking bread in the outside oven beside 
every door. Mexican ranches sprinkled the green 
valley, and more than one dude ranch made its pres- 
ence known by the parties of smartly clad riders 
emerging from an elaborate corral. 

Our guide pointed out a bleak-looking chapel 
standing at one side of the plaza in one little town. 
This is the place of worship of that hysterical band 
of Mexican "Penitentes" who during Lent prac- 
tice flagellation, sometimes dying from the ordeal. 
Members of this sect are lashed to crosses and left 
hanging for hours, and are not always brought back 
to life after the ceremony ends. 

A little farther along the way is a sacred cave 
from which gushes a hot spring. This cave was 
for generations the scene of many mysterious Taos 
ceremonies, and it is only in recent years that white 
people have obtained possession of it and turned it 
into a fashionable healing resort. 

There are really three villages called Taos, the 
first being properly Rancho de Taos, with its great 
white-walled Mission, built in 1700, and surrounded 
by fertile little farms. There is an interesting story 


told of the Padre who ruled over the Rancho. This 
old rascal, known as Padre Martinez, found it very 
pleasant to have charge of the Mission with its soft 
living and its good-looking Mexican and Indian 
women. He revised the rules of the Catholic church, 
declaring that priests should have wives and fami- 
lies and that fasting was not essential to holiness. 
Of course he was excommunicated, and he then 
started a church of his own. But before that oc- 
curred he induced some Taos Indians to rebel 
against the American Governor Bent, and murder 
him and his officers. All seven of the poor ignorant 
Indians, condemned to hang for this crime, appealed 
to the Padre to save them. This he agreed to do if 
they would deed their fertile farms to him. Once 
these were recorded in his name, he went hunting 
and forgot all about the Indians. After they were 
quite dead he returned and took possession- of their 

The second Taos, Taos proper, or Don Fernando 
de Taos, is the modern art colony which has grown 
up around the old Spanish settlement of Kit Car- 
son's time and is internationally known as a center 
for writers and artists. Kit Carson's old home, just 
off one of the busy streets, has been converted into 
a museum and is filled with objects pertaining to 
his life and occupation. 

Two miles on is the third Taos, Taos Pueblo, 
built so long before the coming of white men that 


Coronado could get no information from its oldest 
inhabitants as to its age. 

Watered by a clear, murmuring brook, wild roses, 
clematis, and sunflowers bordered our road, which 
led past cultivated fields dotted with Indians at 
work. Small plots of corn and wheat lay on each 
side of the road, and the stream has been diverted 
to irrigate the growing crops. Tall, straight, intel- 
ligent Indian men, bare to the waist, with white 
sheets or blankets draped about their hips, seriously 
regarded us, then turned again to their labors. The 
hair of each was parted in the middle and confined 
in two braids, each wrapped with red cloth. Those 
not working in the water wore beaded moccasins, 
similar to those of the northern plains Indians, but 
we learned these had been made by Apaches and 
traded by them for fruit and corn. When we waved, 
there was a dignified wave in return, but no flash- 
ing smile or cheery greeting. 

Farther up the road we came upon a scene which 
might have been taken from the pages of the Old 
Testament. Here the hard earth had been swept 
clean inside a corral and paved with bundles of 
wheat. Around and around the inclosure, two half- 
grown girls were driving a dozen rebellious goats, 
their small, shining hoofs threshing the grain. The 
girls were bareheaded and laughed at the plaintive 
baas of the goats. Their blouses were bright red, 
and the full, short skirts they wore just reached 


their knees. They wore no stockings or shoes, but 
when we stopped the car to watch them they 
snatched their blue shawls from the fence and 
draped them over their faces. They thought we 
intended to take pictures of them. 

We found ourselves at the base of a 13,000- foot 
mountain which makes a magnificent background 
for the theatrical-looking Taos Pueblo. There are 
two major structures in the pueblo, one of four 
terraces and the other of five. On the housetops, 
quiet figures, wrapped from head to heel in white 
blankets, looked like Arabs turning toward Mecca. 
Other brightly blanketed figures of women moved 
back and forth across the plaza, dipping ollas into 
the clear stream, or carrying loaves of bread from 
the ovens to their homes in the pueblo. 

While we stood silently drinking in the scene, a 
courteous Indian approached us and asked us to 
register in a book which he kept in his house. We 
did this and also deposited a dollar each with him, 
the village fee for the privilege of taking some 
pictures. For another dollar we engaged him to 
show us about the town, as we wanted to see all we 
could and did not wish to intrude anywhere. 

The young man called his wife and mother to 
meet us, and they in turn invited us to look over 
their stock of Indian curios, none made by the Taos 
Indians but all bought from other tribes to sell to 
tourists. The only thing they manufacture is a 


beaded rabbitVfoot doll, similar to those made by 
the Zunis. 

The most beautiful colored corn, tied in bunches 
of perhaps six or eight shades ranging from yellow 
to deepest purple, hung from every ceiling, and 
hundreds of bunches are carried away each year by 
visitors. This corn is grown in Taos fields, as are 
the small gourds which they dry and paint to re- 
semble chickens, pigs, goats, and other funny ani- 
mals, and string for hanging around fireplaces. 
Yards and yards of shining red peppers adorned 
every home, adding a spicy smell to the Indian 
cedar and the mutton odors. Pottery from every 
tribe, silverwork, blankets, and baskets were dis- 
played for sale. 

The women wore short, full skirts and blouses, 
and many of them had aprons tied about their 
waists. Blankets fell from their heads and almost 
concealed their figures. Most of them wore Amer- 
ican shoes, but a few of the younger girls had the 
white deerskin moccasins and wrap-around leg- 
gings, the favorite Indian footgear. 

Their food consists of wheat bread and corn 
bread, meat stews, and plenty of vegetables and 
fruit. Fruit, drying on housetops, seemed to con- 
sist of grapes, plums, and peaches. 

Having seen the intimate manner in which other 
Pueblo Indians lived, we thought it strange that 
each family has its own private apartment in the 


pile of adobe. Perhaps three or four rooms make 
up an apartment, and each apartment opens on its 
own private terrace. There are no doors inside 
leading from one apartment to another. 

The Indian guide with us said they make adobe 
by burning straw to ashes, then mixing it with 
water and clay, and shaping bricks from the mix- 
ture. Most of the hard work of building is done by 
the men, but the plastering inside and out is done 
by the women. The outside plaster is adobe thinned, 
applied by handfuls, and smoothed until the 'dobe 
bricks are hidden. Inside plaster is gypsum and is 
renewed about twice a year. The rooms inside were 
almost bare, a few low stools or plain chairs being 
the only furniture, except where a sewing machine 
or phonograph occupied the place of honor. We saw 
a few iron beds, but our guide said the people slept 
mostly on blankets and goatskins on the floor. Cor- 
ner fireplaces were used for cooking, and the out- 
side ovens took care of the bread-baking. 

When Coronado visited Taos in 1540 he de- 
scribed a very large circular kiva which required 
twelve big cedar poles to support its roof. We asked 
the Indian about this and he led us toward what 
he declared was that ancient kiva. It is still in use 
and was very much occupied that day by humming, 
chanting priests, "Delight Makers," and we were 
not allowed to approach closely. Outwardly there 
has been little change in the pueblo since the coming 


of the white man. Once a young couple returned 
from years of schooling away from their native 
town, and after being married by the Catholic priest 
proceeded to remodel their apartment. A big, clear 
glass window was placed in the front wall, and the 
sash painted an uncompromising New England 
green. The village fathers were horrified, then 
imperious! The young couple were compelled to 
remove that affronting window, wall up the open- 
ing, and get along with the original peephole. Our 
guide pointed to the walled-up window with a great 
deal of native pride. 

A group of older men rule the pueblo, and their 
word is law. Men are permitted to wear hats while 
working in the field but must not enter their homes 
with them on, and they must wrap themselves in 
white blankets or sheets when around the pueblo. 
This adds a touch of the Orient to the scene as the 
men move about in their burnoose-like garments. 

Indians of all tribes were arriving at the pueblo, 
and sightseeing cars full of white tourists were 
coming in. It was the Fiesta Day of San Geronimo, 
patron saint of the village, the Indian said. 

For days in the underground kivas the priests 
had been holding secret ceremonies, and today was 
the public appearance of the ''Delight Makers/ 7 
Before the sun set and they took their departure we 
thought a more suitable name could have been 
found for these clowns. 


When the sun was about three hours high the 
Indians hurried from the old Mission, carrying a 
wooden image of their saint. He was taken to the 
center of the plaza and placed on an elevated stand 
trimmed with willow boughs. From this vantage- 
point he could observe all the activities in the plaza. 

The sport began with a race between the young 
men of the two big apartment houses. The almost 
naked boys, moving as swiftly and gracefully as 
race horses, bounded over the plaza and crossed the 
home line. The winning side claimed as their re- 
ward a huge amount of food hurled at them by the 
women folk. None of it was wasted, as the ever- 
present and hungry Navajos salvaged what the 
others neglected. 

From the big kiva a dozen or more painted, half- 
naked priests appeared, holding willow boughs high 
over their heads. They swayed gracefully back and 
forth several times across the plaza, singing to 
themselves and their gods a sort of humming re- 
frain. As they retired, the village swarmed with a 
mob of howling, leaping clowns, wearing only daubs 
of paint and breechcloths. They shrieked and yelped 
and made themselves generally obnoxious an opin- 
ion evidently shared with us by a small warrior 
who chanced to catch their leader's eye. This tiny 
brave, clad in gay purple pantaloons, darted to cover 
like a chicken pursued by a hawk but was overtaken 
and carried shrieking with terror to the rippling 


stream and dumped in the middle of it. His anxious 
mother, who had fluttered along after the clowns, 
fished him out and disappeared with him into the 
bowels of the pueblo where doubtless she dried both 
his tears and his clothes. 

The clowns darted up ladders and into houses, 
and giggles and shouts came out. They brought 
their hands full of food from the houses and tried 
to cram it into their mouths as they danced. Sud- 
denly one would pause and make motions as though 
he felt very sick. Then the entire group would sur- 
round him and all join in being sick. They tore the 
white blankets from the shoulders of the men and 
took aprons and shawls from women, but for some 
reason they did not molest the grim Navajos. 

They surrounded two Apaches offering beaded 
belts and bands for sale and robbed them of their 
wares. The clowns grabbed fruit from Indian ped- 
dlers, and after biting into a peach or an apple 
tossed it back to its owner. A big melon was 
smashed over the head of a white visitor, who re- 
tired very much insulted. This pleased the tormen- 
tors and they redoubled their efforts to be amusing 
and original. The only time they were quiet was 
when the priests came from the kiva with their wil- 
low boughs and danced back and forth in the plaza. 

Toward sunset they turned their attention to the 
greased pole erected in the plaza and hung with the 
carcass of a sheep, bunches of fruit, loaves of bread, 


and other food. There was much slipping down and 
landing in the face of the next Indian before the 
first bunch of food was reached and the pole 
lowered. When the food was secured by the enter- 
tainers, they leaped out of sight, yelping and moan- 
ing as they went We were glad to see the last of 
them, as they had circled near us more than once 
and only the presence of our Taos guide had pro- 
tected us from their antics. 

It was sunset now, and over the high mountains 
the red shadows fell on the village. Smoke rose 
from a hundred chimneys, and the women came 
and went from the stream, carrying water for 
household needs. Placing a full olla of water on 
the top of her head, a woman would mount the 
successive ladders gracefully and enter her own 
doorway without touching her hand to the vessel. 

High on top of one of the pueblos a figure 
wrapped to his eyes in a white robe appeared and 
faced the plaza. As he intoned a message to the 
people we almost believed ourselves to be in the 
land of Mohammed where the faithful are called 
to prayer. But as the mournful voice rose and sank 
our friend explained that a hoop dance would be 
held in the plaza by the light of a fire as soon as 
the dancers were ready. 

Our guide asked us if we would eat with his 
mother, and we gladly accepted the offer. She had 
a table and chairs and she spread a clean red and 


white checked cloth for us. Thick slices of squash 
baked in the outside oven, plenty of crusty bread, 
and a mutton stew made a substantial meal that 
we enjoyed. For dessert she placed a big bowl of 
grapes and peaches in front of us. 

When we had eaten, it was time to go to the 
plaza, where a fire was blazing cheerfully, its heat 
not unwelcome, as the air cools rapidly when the 
sun is down. 

Women hastened to the scene to encourage their 
particular entrants in the dance. Little fellows not 
more than five or six years old strolled into the 
circle, holding their gayly decorated hoops, and try- 
ing to appear indifferent to the cheers of the white 
observers. They wore no clothing except short little 
aprons and a few parrot feathers in their black 
hair. Several half -grown boys and two middle-aged 
men completed the dancing group, and as the drum 
sounded its first faint beat they shifted into a 
smooth, gliding step that was never broken during 
the entire dance. Down to the end of the line they 
moved, holding their bright hoops above their 
heads, and as they turned to come back each 
lowered the circlet, about as large as a barrel hoop, 
over first one shoulder and then the other; down 
over the hips it moved and up came one leg through 
it, then down, all to the drum's beat, and the other 
leg passed through. Then back up again over the 
body and high into the air each hoop rose as the 


line reached the end of the plaza. The women 
laughed and cheered, and the beat of the drum 
quickened. One by one the men and boys left the 
line, until only the two small boys, almost babies, 
remained slipping through their hoops, doing in- 
tricate side steps and never missing a beat of the 
drum. As the drummer ended the contest with a 
decided whack on his drum, coins showered upon 
the small dancers, who immediately forgot their 
dignity and scrambled on all fours in search of 

A kindly faced Padre had taken his place beside 
us and during the dance we heard him chuckling 
softly to himself and urging this or that dancer to 
greater efforts. We asked him what progress had 
been made toward Christianizing the Indians, and 
he answered, as do all sincere missionaries, that 
while they acknowledge the Church in marriage and 
burial customs, attend Mass, and try to repeat 
songs and prayers, they are pagan at heart, and 
remain so to their dying day. Even the most de- 
vout of them mix their own native rites with those 
of the Catholic Church. 

"But they are dear, good children/' he said, 
softly, as we left him surrounded by his charges. 


Location: Fifty-four miles southwest of Gallup, New Mexico. Railway: Santa 
Fe. Accommodations: None nearer than El Navajo Hotel, Gallup, New Mexico. 
Population: 3,000. Arts and industries: Silverwork, beadwork, pottery; farming. 

ZUNI, most historic of all the pueblos of the 
Southwest, lies fifty-four miles south of U.S. 
66. We left the highway at Gallup, New Mexico, 
and drove over an excellent dirt road leading up- 
ward toward the hills through miles of sagebrush 
and sunflowers to a country of big pines and pinons. 
Tucked away, here and there, in sheltered nooks are 
the dull brown hive-shaped hogans of the Navajos, 
who have drifted over from their own reservation. 
One doubtless would miss many of these secluded 
homes were it not for the blackness of each open 
door looking faithfully toward the east. Flocks of 
stolid sheep and playful goats feed near by, and 
often the Navajo mother with a wee baby in her 
arms and another tugging at her long skirts watches 
the sheep as they graze. 



Navajos like to prowl over the Zuni country, for 
Zunis are always dancing and feasting and Navajos 
are fond of eating. Moreover, the sweet pifion 
nuts grow plentifully in this region and make good 
winter food. 

One place in Zuniland, however, the Navajos 
shun. This is sacred "Corn Mountain," home of 
the Zuni gods, and an altogether alarming spot to 
the Navajos. This great volcanic hill looms close 
to the present village of Zuni, and is the home of 
their various native deities. It was the refuge of 
the frightened Indians when they were first driven 
from their homes by the Spaniards, and it was here 
they hid their women and children when they feared 
vengeance for their part in the great uprising of 
1680. The mountain top is covered with sacred 
shrines and prayer-stick repositories. Halfway up 
the side two giant figures, carved by erosion, rep- 
resent the god and goddess of childless couples, and 
many feather prayers are deposited at the base of 
the statues. Today, incongruous and regrettable, 
a modern air beacon stands on the very top of this 
historic spot. 

Between Corn Mountain and the village are the 
sweet-smelling alfalfa fields, with brown-skinned 
farmers tossing and turning the hay in the sun as 
they call to one another in merry tones. They waved 
as we passed by, gracious and smiling, as are most 
Pueblo Indians. 


This valley has been irrigated by the government, 
and here are grown the beans, peppers, tomatoes, 
melons, and pumpkins which add so greatly to the 
winter supplies of the Zunis. 

The village itself surmounts a hill, and one thinks 
of the other pueblo villages already visited. They 
are alike and yet so different, each holding its own 
particular fascination. Zuni houses are terraced, 
rising three stories high, but not in such an orderly 
array as those at ancient Acoma; Zuni is pictur- 
esque, but not as magnificent as Taos; Zuni houses 
are built attached to one another, but not in the 
same compact mass as those at Old Walpi. Here 
at Zuni there was plenty of space, and the dwell- 
ings have sprawled all over the hill and into the 
level land below. Built of adobe and stone, with 
quaint stone steps leading to higher stories, the 
houses are beautiful in a mellow, restful way, 
though modern builders have enlarged the small 
mica windows and replaced them with many-paned 
glass, painting the frames a harsh blue, one sees 
as he stands on a rooftop and looks down into the 
busy courts, across the plaza, and into the roofless 
old Mission with its bleak graveyard. Beyond that, 
the ovens cluster on the riverbank, where their 
smoke will not annoy the villagers, and on across 
the river the flat is covered with corrals made of 
cedar logs set upright in the red earth. 

The Zuni houses belong to the women, but the 


heavy construction work with rock, adobe, and 
rafters is done by the men. The finishing touches 
are provided by the women, including smoothing 
the mud floor, plastering the inside with whitewash, 
and covering the outside with brown adobe plaster. 
These homes are charming. Each family has one 
large room, with two or sometimes three outside 
entrances, and this one room serves for everything 
connected with their daily life. Here they work 
and eat and sleep, having no furniture other than 
rolled-up sheepskins and blankets, on which they 
sit in the daytime and sleep at night. Cooking is 
done at the corner fireplace found in every home. 
Food is served in one big bowl, and everyone dips 
in and selects his food with his fingers. Meat stews 
and corn bread are staple foods. 

Grinding-stones are present in every home, and 
the corn is rubbed between stones just as it was 
four hundred years ago when Zuni was first sighted 
by explorers. 

The good Fray Marcos, with a few friendly In- 
dians and a trusty Negro servant, was roaming 
around the New World when Zuni was discovered. 
Estavanico, the Negro, was sent forward to re- 
connoiter and report. He reached the first village 
and was denied admittance, but trusting to his color 
to bear out his contention that he was a powerful 
medicine man, he forced his way inside and by his 
actions brought a speedy death to himself and his 


companions. Only one Indian escaped to report to 
Fray Marcos. The priest climbed a high hill, prob- 
ably Corn Mountain, where he could look down 
upon the villages. There they lay, the rays of late 
afternoon sun gilding each roof with a layer of 
gold. What dreams and visions must have come to 
the holy man, judging from the reports he sent to 
the king of Spain! He had discovered the Seven 
Cities of Cibola. 

Seven hundred years before that time, seven 
bishops of old Spain had fled before the Moors and 
sailed away into the Sea of Darkness. They had 
taken their friends and relatives with them, and 
somewhere in the mystic sea they had found land. 
Here they had settled and founded the Seven Cities, 
which were reputed to be of pure gold. 

A few miles from the present Zuni village lies 
a ruined pueblo. This pile of crumbling adobe is 
all that remains of the friar's mad vision. Spain 
may have forgotten what it did to Zuni, but the 
present-day Indians have not lost one detail of the 
legend dealing with the killing of the Negro. And 
to this day Mexicans, despised descendants of the 
Spanish invaders, are driven away from the village 
dances by the Indians. 

Zuni Indians are of typical Pueblo stock. They 
are short and stout and smiling. Their wide, intel- 
ligent eyes are gracious and friendly, and their 
perfect white teeth flash in laughter. In dress the 


men have adopted white cotton trousers slit up the 
sides so they can be easily rolled up while they work 
in the irrigated fields. Their shirts are of calico and 
hang with the tail outside the trousers. The hair 
is cut in a square bob over the forehead and ears 
and tied in a club behind the neck. Around their 
heads, keeping the hair from their eyes, they wear 
a bright, twisted band of silk. Reddish-brown deer- 
skin moccasins cover their feet. In cold weather a 
heavy blanket is wrapped about their shoulders. 

The women wear rather short, full cotton skirts 
and full gathered blouses. A spotless white apron 
lavishly trimmed with lace or embroidery is usually 
tied around the waist. Gayly flowered shawls cover 
their heads and fall to their hips. Their long hair 
is pinned in a knot on the back of the head, the 
older women letting theirs hang in two clubs, one 
over each shoulder. Their moccasins are made of 
white buckskin and reach to their knees. 

Little girls are dressed like their mothers, but 
the small boys run around the village with only a 
short cotton shirt on each plump little body. 

Four hundred years ago when Coronado, spurred 
on by Fray Marcos' accounts of the wealth of the 
Zunis, drew rein before their village, with three 
hundred mounted soldiers and six hundred Indians, 
he drove before him herds of sheep and hogs and 
extra horses. Thus, into the Southwest, came these 
domestic animals. 


It must have been a strange sight when that cav- 
alcade drew up in front of the adobe town. On one 
side were the weary soldiers on their worn-out 
horses. Their armor was rusted and soiled. At 
their head was Coronado, brave in his suit of gold 
armor donned for this auspicious occasion. Facing 
them, terrified but determined, stood the Zunis, 
guarding their homes. It was their first sight of 

The flower of the Spanish Army opposed the 
Stone Age men! Coronado sent a peaceful mes- 
senger. The Indians replied by drawing a line of 
sacred corn meal over which they forbade the in- 
vaders to cross. When the Spaniards advanced they 
were met by a shower of arrows. The horses dashed 
forward, and the Indians fled to their houses. Dur- 
ing the fight Coronado was struck by a stone and 
lay unconscious while the battle raged. Before 
morning the Indians retreated to their sacred 
mountain and the Spaniards found themselves in 
possession of a tumbledown mud town, utterly 
lacking in wealth of any kind. So ended the con- 
quest of the Seven Cities of Cibola, like so many 
modern conquests, dust and ashes in the grasp of 
the conqueror. 

Today, in the village with which they replaced 
the one destroyed by years of warfare with Spanish 
soldiers and priests, life goes on as it did centuries 
ago. The women climb to sacred Corn Mountain 


and bring back clay to be shaped into pottery. They 
grind this coarse gray clay between rocks and soak 
it until it is a stiff gray mixture, not unlike model- 
ing clay. Taking a handful, they roll it between 
their palms until spirals the size of a pencil are 
formed. Then, with the bottom of a gourd as a 
foundation, the potter shapes the big water jars, 
ollas, by coiling the spirals round and round and 
smoothing the edges together by stroking with a 
smooth stone. When the big jar is half-finished it is 
set aside to harden a bit, before being completed. 
The potter explains that the weight of the wet clay 
would push the bowl out of shape were it all done 
at once. While the big bowl tempers, the potter may 
shape half a dozen smaller ones for sale to tourists. 
These usually hold about a quart and are merely 
round bowls with mud frogs modeled by hand and 
stuck one on each side to serve as handles. When 
the vessels are all shaped they are either set to dry 
in the sun or dried out in one of the hive-shaped 
ovens, which serve a double purpose, drying the 
pottery prior to the firing, and baking the round, 
crusty loaves of bread for which Zufii is famous. 

When the bowls are sufficiently cured, they are 
painted, Zufii decorations are bold, startling de- 
signs, utterly lacking the delicate artistic touches 
given by the Hopi women. Frogs of a startling 
greenness appear on many of them, and ducks with 
visible hearts float over their surface. One of the 


favorite designs is the deer, and this animal always 
has horns and a heart almost as large as the deer 
itself. The conventional designs are those of moun- 
tain and cloud, now and then of squash-blossom as 
well. Firing is done by covering the pottery with 
sheep manure and burning it for several hours. The 
designs are painted on, and while the old potters 
used native herbs and minerals, modern Zunis re- 
sort to dyes. 

Zuni pottery is brittle, and while striking in ap- 
pearance, being white with colored designs, it is not 
durable. The clay of the Zuni region does not 
harden like the Acoma or the Hopi clay, and Zuni 
pottery must be handled very carefully in shipping. 
It is inexpensive, and furnishes a livelihood for 
many Zuni families. 

The women are always smiling and happy as 
they sit shaping the pottery or making the little 
beaded dolls with the rabbitVfeet foundations. 
Several times a year there is a grand rabbit hunt 
The animals are herded into a low open space and 
killed with clubs, with curved throwing-sticks not 
unlike boomerangs, and with arrows from the 
bows of small Zuni nimrods. After a rabbit hunt 
nobody goes hungry at Zuni. The skins are cured 
and are used for many things, one of the most in- 
teresting being the loose gloves made for the 
women and used in spreading plaster and white- 
wash on their houses. .The feet of the rabbits are 


cut off and cured. The top of each is now padded 
and covered with white cloth, and then colored 
beads are sewed on it, black for the hair, white for 
the face, with black eyes, nose, and mouth; also a 
shirt of some gay color, and trousers, usually of a 
different color, are added The toes of the unfor- 
tunate bunny disclose the origin of the doll. Thou- 
sands of these little dolls are made and sold yearly. 
They are used for lucky charms, for curtain pulls, 
and for lamp-cord tassels. Zuni women earn per- 
haps fifteen cents a day at making them. 

When the fields are covered with snow the men 
are not idle. They are skillful silversmiths. While 
they learned this art from the Navajos, they have 
surpassed them in finished workmanship. Zuni sil- 
ver jewelry is made of the same material the Nava- 
jos use and with the same crude tools. Navajo 
designs are used, and the turquoise is polished and 
set in the same manner, but there is a lightness of 
touch when the design is put on, a smoothness of 
finish, a fanciful placing of the blue stones, that 
tells a native jewelry-lover that a Zuni and not a 
Navajo shaped the article. Something of the joy- 
ousness of the craftsman goes into the Zuni work, 
just as the stern unbending Navajo spirit imbues 
the silver he shapes. 

There is a workbench in almost every Zuni home, 
and there one can see the silversmith hammering 
and heating and tempering the silver as he makes a 


ring or a bracelet. More than likely his next-door 
neighbor has brought his work, and sits gossiping 
while he polishes turquoise. A chunk of the raw 
gem is stuck on the end of a stick by means of 
common red sealing-wax and pressed against a 
small emery wheel turned by hand. This grinds the 
stone into shape and smooths it ready to be set in 
the silver ornament. 

We watched the potters at work and, tiring of 
that, visited the women as they beaded the dolls. 
Wandering outside into the plaza and on down to 
the riverbank, we stopped where a young girl was 
preparing one of the ovens to receive her fiat tray 
of bread. A fire had been built inside the 'dobe oven, 
and the sticks had burned to coals. With a board 
nailed to a paling she raked the coals outside, where 
they lay smoldering and smoking. Down to the 
water's edge she went and came back with an olla 
full of water balanced on top of her head. She 
lowered it beside the oven and dipped a mop of 
pinon boughs into the water. With this she swabbed 
the inside of the hot oven until it was filled with 
steam and the floor was free from ashes. The bread 
was made of white flour, and she placed each loaf 
directly on the stone floor. This was a "dance day" 
and lots of bread would be needed, she said. 

"How long will it take to bake?" 

"When the sun reach this mark, it done/ 5 she 
said, placing a brown finger on a groove in a stone 


near by. "Would you want some of my bread?" 
We would, so we seated ourselves and waited for 
the sun to make its journey. By our guide's Elgin 
it was exactly thirty minutes reaching the mark, 
and the girl was back at the oven within two min- 
utes after the sun was there. Out came the loaves, 
crusty and well-baked, and we sat there munching 
them while the girl visited with us. She had learned 
to make the bread at school. Yes, the schools were 
all right. Their school was all right because a Zuni 
girl taught in it and she knew how to tell the In- 
dians things so they could understand. 

We all laughed together as a small warrior about 
four years old came around the corner. He was 
following his nose to the hot bread, and that small 
nose wiggled just like a rabbit's as he approached. 
"My brother," the Zuni girl said, and gave him a 
generous portion of hot bread. She made no com- 
ment on his lack of clothes. In winter time, our 
guide said, children play near the hot ovens to warm 
themselves between games. 

A little girl slipped shyly up to us and took the 
candy we offered. She went into an adjoining house, 
and soon there was such a wail of woe our guide 
was afraid she had been punished for consorting 
with strangers. She went to the door and knocked, 
wanting to explain that the fault was entirely ours. 
A handsome young man opened the door and in- 
vited her to enter. He was laughing. 


"I heard the baby cry. Was it because I gave 
her candy?" 

"Oh, no. She cries to put on her new dress for 
you to see," the young father explained. "Already 
her mother have say yes." 

The howls subsided and soon the child appeared; 
tears still glistened on her baby cheeks, but pride 
overcame such minor details. She wore a quaint 
little dress of white embroidery, trimmed profusely 
with turquoise buttons. Her silky black hair shone 
with the vigorous brushing it had received, and she 
came smiling into the arms of our guide, who could 
not resist her charms. The little one clutched a 
gaudy beaded rabbit's foot in her hand, and this 
she bestowed upon her admirer. 

The father stood near while we were playing 
with the baby, and our guide asked him if he had 
gone to school at Phoenix. The man said he had 
been sent to California, to the big school at River- 
side, both he and his wife. He liked the school life, 
but they were glad to be back in their own village. 
He studied farming at school, he said, and many 
of the things he learned there helped him here in 
his fields, since the government had made it possible 
for them to have water for irrigation. But he didn't 
believe the Hopis or the Navajos would get much 
good from their schooling. There were no watered 
fields where they had to live. 

We walked together to the ruined Mission. The 


talk turned to religion, and the man said that the 
Zunis had stayed with their old beliefs and cere- 
monies. "A few go to the Catholic Church and a 
very few say they are Christians, but mostly we 
believe in the gods of our fathers/' he said. Many 
priests have lived and worked in the, village of 
Zuni, but there is little to show for their labor. 
The gaunt old Mission has fallen into ruins, the 
roof is gone, and the walls have begun to crumble. 
Many beautifully carved beams remain exposed to 
the rains and snows, and only the weatherbeaten 
cross in the center of the graveyard refuses to con- 
cede defeat. 

The churchyard is walled with 'dobe brick, and 
divided by a walk through the center. The earth 
on each side is littered with bits of human bones and 
broken pottery. So many generations of Zunis have 
been buried there that the earth has been turned 
again and again in making place for the newer 
dead. Among the Zunis, like the Hopis and Apaches, 
it is the men who carry out the final duties toward 
the dead. The men are placed on the south side of 
the graveyard and the women on the north, the 
heads all toward the east. The souls are supposed 
to go within four days' time to the sacred lake about 
sixty miles away, and for the journey food is placed 
in bowls upon each new grave; on the fourth day 
the bowl is broken. After the four days have passed 
the family of the dead Zufii purify themselves and 


their house. The personal property of the dead, all 
that was not buried with him, is burned on the river 
bank. Each Zuni has a personal fetish, given at the 
time he is taken into a society; sometimes this is an 
ear of corn covered with eagle feathers. Whatever 
it is, it is always carried with him and placed in 
the grave at his burial This personal fetish aids 
and protects the soul on its journey into the un- 
known Land of Death. No Zuni will drink water 
from the sacred lake, supposed home of Zuni souls. 
Marriage with the Zunis means that when a 
young girl has reached the marriageable age she 
looks at the available husbands in the village, talks 
the matter over with her mother, and then goes 
after her man. She takes presents of food and 
pottery to his home, and if his mother approves, 
presents are made in return. Once selected, there is 
not much a helpless Zuni can do except marry the 
girl, which he does by having his head washed in 
yucca suds by his future mother-in-law, while his 
mother performs the same service for the girl. 
Then they eat the marriage mush out of the usual 
marriage basket, and the wedding is over. For a 
while the shy bridegroom visits his new wife on the 
sly, but soon he moves into her home and works 
for her folks. For a year, or until her first baby is 
born, the young wife takes presents of food and pot- 
tery to the boy's mother. This is to repay her for 
the loss of her son's labor. The Zuni husbands and 


wives are noted for their faithfulness to the mar- 
riage tie, but if there is any trouble the wife just 
turns her unsatisfactory husband outside and he 
must go back to his own people. And if the wife is 
unruly the husband leaves her house and goes back 
to his mother. 

More real happiness and content is found in the 
Zuni village than is usual among Indians. This is 
because they do not have to undergo the hardships 
suffered by the Navajos through lack of water and 
food and fuel. The government has provided irri- 
gation for the Zuni fields, crops are always good, 
and their storehouses are always filled; wood is 
plentiful, and a good state highway passes through 
their village, so that white people come and go all 
the year, buying their silver, their pottery, and their 
rabbit's-f oot dolls. So they are a happy people, and, 
as such, their calendar is full of dances. 

Every season brings feast days and dances. 
These are always open to visitors, except Mexicans, 
who are permitted to witness only the Doll Dance. 
This doll is a carved wooden figure clothed in faded 
finery and exhibited once a year while gayly dressed 
figures dance and visitors place coins in the doll's 
lap and gifts of bread and fruit at her feet. This 
dance is an odd mixture of Catholic rite and 
heathen custom. 

Perhaps the best known of Zuni ceremonies is 
the Shalako, which is a new-house blessing cere- 


mony and occurs early in December of each year. 
The exact date is set by the priest, and for eight 
days no fires are lighted and various personal sac- 
rifices are made. This interesting dance is for the 
purpose of bringing all good things to the new 
house and to give thanks for the past year's blessings. 

When it is time for the Shalako to be announced, 
ten masked clowns called "newekwe" go through 
the village shouting the news. Then the tempo of 
the easy-going village life is quickened. Houses are 
cleaned and replastered inside and out. The plazas 
are swept and garnished. Food is prepared for 
hundreds of expected visitors, baking and stewing 
and grinding going on from daylight until dark. 
Women go from house to house carrying pans of 
food, and hundreds of uncooked loaves are borne 
to the ovens to be returned fragrant and brown and 
inviting. The corn, pulled from the stalks and 
hauled in, husk and all, is stripped and stored out 
of the way, while children and old women carry 
the discarded shucks to the corrals and store them. 

This dance starts at sunset. First comes the God 
of the Little Fire, a half-naked, painted figure, with 
a great winged mask covering his face and resting 
on his shoulders. He carries a smoldering torch and 
is led about the village by a priest in ceremonial 
garb. They plant feather-stick prayers at certain 
points. Not far behind the two, a frolicking band 
of clowns, also masked, leap and caper and chant. 


At dusk the Shalako arrive. These are indeed 
startling figures. They are huge Punch and Judy 
creatures, at least eight feet high. The head of each 
is an immense painted mask with grotesque eyes 
and mouth, and the nose is a long wooden bill which 
opens and shuts with a vicious snap and at the same 
time emits a shrill whistling. The whole thing is 
mounted on a frame and draped in long decorated 
robes, while a Zuni walks along under the robes 
and carries the masked figure by the stick going 
up into the mask. An impressive head dress of 
eagle feathers waves in the night breeze as these 
big bird-like creatures move along. For each new 
house in the village there is a Shalako, and if the 
householder has been particularly fortunate during 
the year there are two such gods. 

With a chanting choir of masked Indians these 
mystic figures move toward the first house to be 
blessed. There they separate, each with its ac- 
companying choir. At the threshold of the new 
house, the huge figure awkwardly kneels outside 
while the priests chant and sprinkle sacred meal. 
Prayer-sticks are placed at the door, and then the 
Shalako enters and ties a feather bahoo or prayer- 
stick to the central ceiling beam. This is the good- 
luck emblem, the horseshoe, of that household, and 
it must remain as long as the house stands. 

Now that the work is done, the feasting begins. 
First the gods are fed, then the older people, then 


the men, and after that the women, in case there is 
anything left. All the good things of Zuniland are 
fed to the visitors. For two or three hours feasting 
holds the attention of all, but as midnight ap- 
proaches the real ceremonial dance begins. A prim- 
itive altar has been erected in the main room of the 
new house, and a group of men sit there and chant 
to the music of drums and gourd rattles. 

In and out of the houses move the dancers. One 
group will come in at one door and the other retreat 
through another, the measure of the dance never 
breaking. A spare squad takes the floor now and 
then so that the masks may be removed and the 
dancers fed between sessions. The same coffee cups 
are used all night long, passing from Shalako to 
priest, on to old Zuni Indians, thence to Navajo 
men, and handed by them after being emptied, to 
their meek wives who sit silently in the background. 
These cups are not washed during the feast The 
big dish of stew progresses in much the same man- 
ner as do the coffee cups, being refilled when the 
the contents vanish. 

The dancing and feasting lasts all night, with 
now and then a Shalako growing playful and join- 
ing the dance with a few awkward galloping meas- 
ures while his bill snaps wickedly at some onlooker. 

As day breaks, cold and pink, in the eastern sky, 
the Shalako gather in the plaza and take their de- 
parture. Covered with sacred meal and watched by 


the entire population, they wend their way toward 
the rising sun. 

The dance is ended, and the white visitors return 
to the trading-posts and the government school, 
where they are fed and given a cot for a few hours' 
sleep, for there is no hotel at Zufii, and one must 
depend upon camping or the hospitality of the 
traders, which is usually overtaxed. 



Acorna, 1-15, 102; history, 1, 6 
Apache Indians, 16-33; division 
of tribe, 16 

Basket-making : Apache, 16, 25, 
26-27; Havasupai, 34, 35-36; 
Hopi, 39, 50-51; Hualapai, 37, 
38 ; Maricopa, 108 ; Papago, 
110, 111; Pima, 103, 105-107 

Beadwork: Apache, fine, 22; 
Havasupai, 34; Hopi, 39; 
Hualapai, 37; Zuni, 125, 133 

Burials: Acoma, 11; Apache, 21; 
Havasupai, 37; Hopi, 42, 43, 
50, 51; Navajo, 63, 67, 68, 69; 
Santa Ana, 90; Zufii, 138, 139 

Canyon de Chelly, 56-61 
Carson, Kit, 61, 112, 114 
Casa Grande Ruins, 103 
"Chindi-hogan," 60 
Chiricahua, 16 

Christening 1 ceremony, 46-47 
Cibola, Seven Cities of, 57, 131 
Corn Mountain, 126, 129, 131 

Dances : Acoma, 12-14 ; Apache, 

22, 23, 28-33; Buffalo Dance, 
52; Butterfly Dance, 52; Corn 
Dance, 97; Crown Dance, 32; 
Devil Dance, 32, 33; Eagle 
Dance, 82; Fire Dance, 65, 69- 
70 ; Havasupai, 36 ; healing, 22 ; 
Hopi Snake Dance, 39, 41, 52, 
53-55, 82; Jamez, 95; Navajo, 

23, 65, 69, 70, 72; Rain Dance, 

24, 88 ; Rainbow Dance, 86-88 ; 
religious, 62, 64, 65, 69, 70; 

Santa Clara, 86-88; Squaw 

Dance, 72; Taos, 119, 120, 121, 

123; Tesuque, 82 
Dress: Acoma, 10, 11; Apache, 

20, 25, 27; Havasupai, 34, 35; 

Hopi, 44, 45; Hualapai, 38; 

Laguna, 100; Navajo, 74, 75, 

76; Salt River Indians, 110; 

Santa Clara, 86; Taos, 115, 

117; Tesuque, 81; Zuni, 129, 


Drums, toy, 52, 80, 86, 90, 100 
Dwellings, 19, 21, 37-38, 98, 109, 

111, 117-118, 126, 127-128 

Enchanted Mesa, 2, 4, 6 

Feast of the Bull, 95-97 
Feast of the Dead, 86 
Food, 6, 20, 36, 44, 47-48, 57, 60, 
74, 90, 117, 123, 127, 135 

Geronimo, 18, 37 

Hano, 40, 49 

Havasupai Indians, 34-37 

Hopi Indians, 39-55 ; history, 39, 

41 ; see Dances, Hopi Snake 
Hualapai Indians, 37-38 
Hualapai Reservation, 37 

Isletta, 98-100 

Jamez, 94-97 

Jewelry-making, 88, 89-90 
Jicarella, 16 

Kachina dolls, 51-52 




Laguna Indians, 100-102 
Luinmis, Charles, 45 

McSparron, L. H., iv, 77 
Maricopa Indians, 108-110 
Marriage customs, IS, 21, 45, 46, 

72, 73, 74, 90, 139 
Martinez, Maria, 84 
Martinez, Nellie, 84 
Mescalero, 16 
Miles, General, 16 

Nampeyo, 49 

Navajo Indians, 56-79 

Navajo Reservation, 57 

Oraibi, 1, 41 

Papago Indians, 110-111 

Pavatea, Tom, 42, 53, 54 

Piki bread, 47-48 

Pima Indians, 102-108 

Pinkley, Mrs. Nancy Graham, iv 

Polacca, 42 

Population, 1, 16, 34, 37, 39, 56, 
80, 83, 86, 88, 90, 91, 94, 98, 
100, 103, 108, 125 

Pottery: Acoma, 1, 9; Hopi, 49- 
50; Isletta, 98, 99; Maricopa, 
108-110; Old Laguna, 100; Pa- 
pago, 110; Pima, 103, 104; San 
Domingo, 88, 91 ; San Ildefonso, 
83, 84-85 ; Santa Ana, 90 ; Santa 
Clara, 86; Tesuque, 80, 81; 
Zia, 91, 93-94; Zuni, 132-133; 
see Nampeyo, and Maria Mar- 

Rabbit's-foot dolls, Zuni, 133- 
134; see Kachina dolls 

Religion: Acoma, 1, 11, 12; Hopi, 
42; Laguna, 101; Navajo, 62, 
64, 65, 69, 70; Papago, 111; 
Rio Grande Pueblos, 14, 98; 
Salt River Indians, 110; Taos 
124; Zuni, 138 

Rio Grande Pueblos, 86-102 

Saint Joseph, painting- of, 101, 102 

Saint Stephen's Day, 12-14 

Salt River Indians, 103-111; 
Maricopa, 1 08-110; Papago, 
110-111; Pima, 103-108 

San Domingo, 88-90 

San Ildefonso, 83-86, 90 

Sand-painting, Hopi, 53; Jamez, 
97; Navajo ceremony, 6465 

Santa Ana, 90-91 

Santa Clara, 86-88 

Santanna, pottery mark, 84 

Shalako, Zuiii ceremony, 24, 140- 

Sheep, 57, 58, 75, 78 

Sichomovi, 40, 50 

Silverwork: Hopi, 39, 51; Nava- 
jo, 56, 78 

Sweatbaths, 36-37 

Taos, 112-124 

Tesuque, 80-83 

Twins, Apache suj>erstition, 28 

Walpi, 40, 49, 127 

Weakie, Teddy, Zuni artist, 24 

Weaving: Apache, 27-28; Hopi, 

39, 51 ; Navajo, 56, 77, 78 
Wickiups, Apache, 19, 21 

Zia, 91-92 
Zuni, 125-144 

1 24 268