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ORAIBI NATAL CUSTOMS AND CEREMONIES
n. K. VoTii
I'iKi.i) Columbian Museum
Publication No. 97
Anthropological Skries Vol. V'I, No. 2
ORAIHI NATAL CUSTOMS AND
II. R. \\)T1I
THE STANLEY McCORMICK HOIM EXPEDITION
Gkorgk a. Dorskv
Curator, Department of Anthropology
Chicago, U. S. A.
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
1. Arrow with umbilical cord and stirring stick - - - - 48
2. Curtain over door -------- 49
3. Washing the child on the twentieth day ■ ■ - - 54
4. Naming the child -.-----. 55
5. Waving the ears of com to the rising sun - • - • 56
6. The baby sleeping between two baths ----- 58
7. Offering sacred meal to the rising sun ----- 60
8. Grandmother carrying home food ----- 60
NATAL CEREMONIES IN ORAIBI, ARIZONA.
In his paper entitled "Natal Ceremonies of the Hopi Indians,"
the late J. G. Owens describes the giving of a name or names to the
Hopi child. His observations, however, seem to have been made chiefly
in the villages of the First or East Mesa of Tusayan, and as the writer
of this article has observed these sanie rites in Oraibi, the largest of the
seven Hopi villages, it has been thought advisable to publish them as
a contribution to a comparative study of this and similar subjects.
As among most primitive peoples, the time preceding and attend-
ing childbirth among the Hopi is attended with very much less prep-
arations, excitement, ado, and expense than among white people. The
woman approaching confinement is, as a rule, very unconcerned about
It, though I am told that occasionally she will look forward to the
event with more or less anxiety, and express the wish that it may not
be the cause of her being transferred " to the skeleton house (mdski.)"
Usually the first and only one called to the house where a wonian
is to be confined is her own mother, or, if the mother be no longer
living, an aunt or some other relative. This attendant heats some water,
sees that a proper "bed" is prepared for the lying-in woman, which
usually consists of a layer of sand and some old rags. She also places
in readiness an old tray, a small broom, and a little twig of juniper.
Though she remains within hailing distance, even she is not supposed
to be present during the last stage of labor, and when parturition
actually takes place. So in the " hour of greatest need " the Hopi
mother is left to herself. "That is sacred to her" (" Pam put KdhCaona"),
the Hopi say. As a rule, the parturient woman assumes a kneeling posi-
tion with both hands on the floor, but the head somewhat raised. If there
are children in the house they remain almost to the time when the child
is actually born,* but at that moment they are sent out of the house.
Thp husband of the woman is, as a rule, absent.
As soon as the child is born, the attending woman is called. A little
of the juniper is first chewed, either by the patient herself, or by the attend-
ant, and in the latter case placed into the patient's mouth. She first
directs her attention to the delivery of the placenta. Usually a little
warm corn-meal gruel is given to the patient at this stage. If the womb
*When I was in charge of a boarding-school among the Cheyenne and Arapabo some
yean ago, it happened on several occasions that people asked for permission to take their chil-
dren home from school when a case of confinement was about to take place in the family.
48 Field Columbian Museum — Anthropology, Vol. VI.
fails to contract and to expel the placenta, she gently presses and kneads
the body; if that fails she resorts to the little broom, already mentioned,
which is made of fine stiff grass, and with which she strikes gently the
hips and back of the patient. She at the same time gently pulls the
cord. The woman during this time is usually in a recumbent position.
As soon as the placenta is delivered the patient usually is directed
to sit down on a bent piece of wood called "childbirth seat" (tihta
adtsvehpi), so as to permit the blood to flow through the opening. In
the absence of such a seat she places herself on the edge of a plain block
of wood. When she is tired she lies down, and the attendant then
directs her attention to the baby. A piece of the mother's hair string
is first tied around the umbilical cord close to the body of the child.
If it is a boy she is supposed to place an arrow shaft, or a piece of wood
under the umbilical cord, and cut the cord on it. If it is a girl it
Fig. 1. Arrow with umbilical cord, and stirring stick.
is cut on a stirring stick, or a piece of wood representing such a stick.*
This part of the cord is later, when it is dried up and severed from
the body, tied to the arrow shaft, stick, or piece of wood and thrust
behind some joist of the house, "because the boy will later become
a hunter, or have to carry the fire wood, and the girl stir the food in
the kettle and grind corn." See Fig. i.
The child is then wrapped up in a blanket and again left to itself,
while the attendant places on an old tray the placenta, pads, sand from
under the woman, and the little broom, and carries it all to one of the
placenta hills (kiwiichochmo), of which there are several in close prox-
imity to the village. She, or sometimes the father, if he be present,
then places two posts against the house in front of the door, over which
she spreads a blanket to exclude the sunlight, which is supposed to be
harmful to the child if it should happen to shine on it during the first
twenty days. See Fig. 2. Hereupon she places fresh sand or rags, or both,
under the woman, and then calls the mother of the baby's father, whom
we shall call the godmother. If this grandmother be no longer living,
which is often the case, one of her sisters or other relatives is called,
^Several of these sticks are used together for stirring corn that is being baked or popped
in jars or kettles.
Feb., 1905. Oraibi Natal Customs — Voth. 49
but she must be of the same clan as the father of the child. She brings
with her a little water and corn-meal, a piece of yucca root, two white
corn-ears, and some wrappings for the baby. She is supposed to be
in a happy frame of mind when she comes over, and it is for that
reason, it is said, everything uncanny is removed before she comes
to the house, so that she sees the mother and child only. Of the
latter she now takes charge. After having procured a bowl she prer
pares suds of the yucca root she has brought and washes the child in
it, rubs either ashes or a peculiar clay, which is found near the village,
all over its body, lays it on a cradle board, on which she has first
placed some pieces of cedar bark, cloth, and blankets, wraps it up,
ties a cord around it, and then places
the little bundle by the mother's
side. By the side of the little one's
bed she places the two ears of corn,
which remain there throughout the
lying-in period of twenty days. She
then takes a little finely ground corn-
meal with which she rubs four lines,
each about an inch wide, and from
six to seven inches long, one above
the other, on the four walls of the
room, whereupon she resumes her
" Now thus 1 have made a house Fig. 2. Curtain over door.
for you. Now thus you shall stay
here. That you may (survive) until twenty days we shall be wailing for
you." (Tad nu yan umiingem kita. Puu ydntakat dma yep kAtuni.
Hisat umui silnatavikat ak itam umilmii makdpchiigungwni.) This little
rite, however, is supposed to be performed early in the morning, "when
the roosters crow." If this, to the Hopi more or less important, function
on the part of the roosters has already been performed, the making of
those marks on the walls is deferred until the next morning, and this day
is not counted as one of the twenty days of the lying-in period.
These four lines on each wall are called " house." They are also
made in nearly all Hopi secret ceremonies. The explanations as to their
meaning are meager and unsatisfactory. Some say they represent the
houses of the Hopi, and if so, they may be in a general way an offering
or a prayer that they for whom they are made may always have a home
— which in the case of a new-born child would seem very appropriate.
I have also heard them called — in ceremonies — houses of the clouds,
and an old priest once sang me a song which speaks in the different
5© Field Columbian Museum — Anthropology, Vol. VI.
stanzas about houses of stones or shells of the different ceremonial
colors, and of different names.
After the godmother has made these lines, she repairs to her own
house and gets some ears of corn, which are cooked with a few small
twigs of juniper. This dish is called "lying-in cooked corn -ear"
(tlhkatchoyani), and is eaten for breakfast. Any one is welcome to step
in and partake of the meal; passers by and children outside are even
invited to come in. The lying-in woman also eats of this, but she has
usually partaken already of some crushed piki (paper bread) soaked in
warm water. In fact, she is not allowed to eat or drink anything
cold throughout the whole lying-in period. She is furthermore not
allowed to eat any meat, or any food containing salt, and everything
she eats must have been prepared, at least in some degree, with a decoc-
tion of juniper leaves.
This is about the way a case of childbirth among the Hopi passes
off normally. Of course, the various cases may differ somewhat in non-
essential points. The husband is sometimes present, and now and then
also another woman besides the mother (or the substitute) of the par-
turient woman. But the cases do not always pass off normally. Cases
of difificult and protracted labor are by no means rare, among the Hopi.
In those cases the husband is often present, and the assistance of others
is called in. Recently a man, who is one of the most intelligent in the
village, and who himself has a family of six children, told me that his
wife was usually in labor several days, and that hjj would then remain
with her and "work," as he called it, on her body, and thus "turn the
child," and his remarks indicated that he had a fairly intelligent idea
of different presentations of the child. In fact, they have of later years
called upon his obstetrical skill in a number of cases that were very
tedious, and, although he is very modest about his knowledge, and
very reluctant in making practical use of it, he certainly seems to have
managed several cases very successfully in his own way. In one instance
the woman had been in labor for about two days and one night, and
wdls totally exhausted. Her father and husband were lying and sitting
by her side tired out, sleepy, and in despair. An Indian doctor from
a neighboring village was at his wit's end. When my friend arrived,
he ordered the husband of the lying-in woman to kneel on the floor,
and also to place both hands on the floor. He then, with the help
of the others, placed the woman across the back of her husband, but
somewhat to one side, so that a downward pressure was applied to the
woman's abdomen. He at the same time applied gentle pressure with
his hands on both sides of the abdomen, and primitive and drastic
as the measures resorted to appear, the child was expelled in a very
Feb., 1905. Oraibi Natal Customs — Voth. 51
short time, and the woman's life saved. The child, however, was dead,
but they believed it had been dead for some time. In another case
the womb failed to expel the placenta. He also employed the so-called
** Crady's method " of external manipulation, without being aware, to be
sure, of the fact that at least that part of his obstetrical skill had long
been sanctioned by such high authority, and for a long time had been
taught in text-books and lectures on obstetrics. An old woman, acting
in the capacity of a midwife, who was also present, gently pulled on
the cord, for which purpose she had to partly introduce her hand,
as the cord had been torn off inside of the external opening, and in
a very short time the placenta was expelled.
Decoctions of all kinds are also resorted to in cases of protracted
labor. One of the favorite herbs is weasel medicine (Piwdnnga,
Linum rigidum Pursh), a decoction of which is used externally and
internally; because, they say, the weasel, when in danger of being
raptured, rapidly digs its way through the ground, and "comes out"
at another place. For this reason the meat, fat, and where these cannot
be obtained, even a piece of the skin of the weasel are favorite " medicines "
in cases of difficult labor. Other favorite herbs, used for various purposes
during the childbed period, are such as Votdkvala (Chrysothamnus gnapha-
loders Green), which is given especially if the uterus fails to contract
properly, or a disturbance in the lochial discharges occur. The drug
is given in the form of a decoction prepared from the leaves and roots
of the plant. Hohdyaqnga (Hesquerella cinerea Watson) is sometimes rub-
bed on the abdomen in case the uterus refuses to contract promptly after
parturition. The roots of " blood medicine " (Ungvnga, Eriogonum
annuum Nutt) are crushed and boiled, and the decoction given against
postpartem hemorrhage. Tdingwa (Reverihonia arenaria Gray) is given
for the same purpose. " Bluebird blossom " (Ch6rzci, Aster canescens
viscosus Nutt) is given, in the form of a decoction, to parturient women
against almost any disorder. "Charm remedy " (Ndapalnga, Solidago
pumila Nutt) is considered to be a good remedy against pain in the
breasts, and also for decreasing and even drying up the flow of milk in tne
breasts, from which it is also called " milk-throwing-away remedy"
(HitQwannga). It is cooked in connection with corn, from which it
is also called "corn-cooked remedy" (Kadkwipnga). Women who have
a scanty flow of milk chew the leaves of mdha (Hygodesmia juncea dian-
thaeflora). For the same purpose " milk remedy " (Binga, Ptiloria pauci-
flora) is employed in the form of a decoction, which is used internally
and externally, or the roots are chewed and eaten by the patient,
or chewed and then rubbed on the patient's breasts by the "doctor."
There are numerous other herbs and various leaves, preparations
52 Field Columbian Museum — Anthropology, Vol. VI.
of which are used by the women either before or after confinement.
" Sun top " ( Tawdriyanpi, Tetraneurio iresiana Greene) is applied locally
against severe pain in the hips and back, especially during the pregnant
state. A decoction of the leaves of various junipers (Juniperies occi-
dentalis Hooker and Juniperies communis L.), as well as of "maidens"
(Manatu) is taken by women who desire to have female issue, while
such plants as "boys" (Lolimu, Townsendia strigosa Gray) is used by
those who desire male issue.
When explaining to me the nature and uses of " Big Maiden blos-
som " (Wapamanci, Castillega Linearifolia Bentham) my friend and infor-
mant of the Hopi medical profession, once said that a decoction of this
was also sometimes used against excessive menstrual discharges and
to prevent conception, as it "dried up the menstrual flow," as he put it.
Another informant, in speaking about- Hopi drugs, mentioned two other
herbs, both called " not child-bearing medicine " (ka tihta-nga), as
being used for the same purpose. One of them is said to be so strong
that "it twists the uterus all up," causing the death of the woman.
To prevent such a fatal result, the two herbs are used together for the
purpose mentioned, one partly neutralizing the strength and severity
of the other.
While, of course, by far the greater percentage of Hopi women
pass safely through the puerperal state, cases are by no means wanting
where their apprehension, that the dark days through which they are
to pass might become for them the passage to the skeleton house
becomes fearfully true. Only lately a man was here from another vil-
lage, whose wife died recently of what I believe to have been puer-
peral fever. Other cases are known to me. Of one I learned — when
help was too late — that the woman had died of what seems to have
been puerperal ecclampsia. One of the causes to which the Hopi
attribute such fatal results is, that the patient has partaken of cold
water or nourishment, which, they say, causes the blood in the uterus
to coagulate, to produce distension of that organ, etc., and hence great
care is taken that a lying-in woman shall take warm food and drink only.
During the twenty days comprising the lying-in period, the fire
is not supposed to go out in the house where the patient is; of course
it is not actually to burn all the time, but care must be taken that at
least embers remain at the fireplace. In case it be entirely extinguished
it is at once renewed, but that day is not counted as one of the twenty,
and another one is added. In such a case the child is said to be
a " fire meddler " (towiishkovi). It is believed that it will have a mor-
bid inclination to play with fire. This, it is claimed, will also be the
case if anything be baked or roasted on the fire, or on the coal of the
Feb., 1905. Oraibi Natal Customs — Voth. 5,^
fire itself. It is all right, however, to place and cook something over
A primapara is not allowed to leave the house before sundown dur-
ing the entire puerperal period, while a multipara may do so occasion-
ally after the fifth day. Neither is supposed to go barefooted during
those twenty days.*
The child is every morning bathed and rubbed in by the godmother
with ashes or powder of the clay already mentioned, and is then fastened
to its cradle board. Food of various kinds, but all prepared with cedar
leaves, and some with salt or fat, is given to the patient every day,
and everything must be warm, at least during the first part of the
lying-in period, as already stated. On the fifth day after the child
has been attended to. the woman's head is washed with yucca suds,
and her body bathed with a hot infusion of juniper leaves, her clothes
are then changed, her bed, pads, etc., removed, whereupon the attend-
ant takes the soiled clothes to one of the distant springs where they
are washed, some leaves of juniper also being used in the water. When
the clothes are dry they are brought back and used as usual. On this
day, after the bathing of the child and the mother, the lowermost of the
four lines on the four walls is scraped off by the mother, or, if she be
not well enough, by her mother or mother-in-law. She scrapes it into
her hand, and going to the edge of the mesa she holds the meal to
her lips, utters a little prayer, and sprinkles it to the rising sun. She
says something like the following:
" Your beautiful rays may they color (illumine) our faces; being
dyed in them, somewhere at an old age we shall fall asleep old women."
Fall asleep an old man is substituted if the child be a boy. (Conwak uh
taldongway itdmui pichdngtoinaq, put itam pichdngwaikahkang woydmik
bdkdmi ndwokiwinkang wilhtihaskuwuwani. Wiihtakwuwani is substituted
if the child be a boy.)
On the tenth and fifteenth mornings after the birth of the child, the
head and entire body of the mother, as well as that of the child, is
washed by the godmother the same as on the fifth day. The father of the
child usually washes his own head also. On some occasions a tw4g
of juniper is placed in a vessel on the fifth, tenth, and fifteenth days,
some water poured on it, and a hot stone put into it. The mother
then stands over this vessel, and thus is subjected to a steam-bath.
She also washes her limbs and body with the liquid, whereupon the
water, stone, and twig are carried to a special place outside of the vil-
*A9 buckskin, and consequently also woman's moccasins, are beginning to get scarce,
women who anticipate such a twenty days' "confinement," or their friends, frequently come to
the mission and beg (or a pair of stockings to be worn by them daring that time.
54 Field Columbian Museum — Anthropology, Vol. VL
lage. On the tenth day, the second, and on the fifteenth day the third
of the meal lines on the four walls of the house is scraped off, and the
meal carried out with the water to the same place outside of the village
as that on the fifth day.
On the twentieth day, on which the child receives its name, more
elaborate ceremonies take place in the lying-in house. Early in the
morning of that day the same attendant — the mother-in-law of the
lying-in woman, or her substitute, proceeds to the house of the patient,
bringing with her some soap-weed root and some water. The mother
of the lying-in woman, or her substitute, has in the mean while built
a fire at one or several
places in the house, and
placed some water and
the food to be used for
breakfast thereon. The
mother-in-law then pre-
pares some suds of the
vucca roots which she has
brought. In these suds
she washes the two ears
of corn, which are usually
white. Hereupon she
washes the head of the
lying-in woman, then her
own; the mother's mother
then follows, and then the head and body of the child is washed by the
father's mother. See Fig. 3. Sometimes the father and others also wash
their own heads. After she has bathed the child, she holds it in her left
arm, rubs a little meal on its forehead, cheeks, chin, and into its mouth,
and then taking the two corn ears in her right hand she holds them on
the breast of the child. See Fig. 4. While she does this she says: "To
old age your life being preserved, may you become an old man (old
woman), but N. N. you shall be named." (Woyomii uh kdtci navokawinta-
kang wdhtakwuwani (wiihtihaskiwuwani) nikang N. N. yan um mdchiwni.)
Other women have in the mean while come in, each one bringing
with her a little water with which she also bathes the child's head and
body, giving it a name in the same manner as the grandmother.
The child thus receives as many as five, eight, ten, or even more
names, only one of which usually " sticks " (hiirzhti), as the Hopi say.
Each new name is greeted by the mother with "Thanks!" (dskwali!)
These women all belong to the same clan as the mother and child.
Some leave as soon as they are through, others remain. Sometimes the
Fig. 3. Washing the child on the twentieth day.
Oraibi Natal Customs — Voth.
mother washes her feel, body, and arms while the child is being bathed.
A branch of juniper is placed in the water, and usually also a hot stone.
On one occasion the mother stood over the bowl containing the branch
and stone, thus receiving, as it were, a steam-bath. On another occa-
sion the stone and wet juniper twjg were placed on the floor, and while
the mother held her feet over them — first the one and then the other
- they were washed by one of the aunts. In fact, this performance
varies in small details on different occasions.
The water used for these baths is always tepid, and the wrappings
of the child are warmed at the fire while it is subjected to a new bath.
It often happens that
when the little one has
just gone to sleep in his
warm coverings, a new
aunt arrives, and it is
taken out of its wrap-
pings and subjected to a
new bath and a new
name, which may be re-
peated in a few minutes.
When all the aunts have
done their duty as de-
scribed, the last of the
four lines on the four
walls of the room are
scraped off either by the
grandmother or by one of the aunts of the child. The meal, together with
the water in which the mother has bathed herself, some sand on which the
bowl had been placed to absorb any water that might be spilled, etc., is
taken by one of the relatives to the place outside of the village on which
the placenta, sand, tray, etc., were placed on the first day, as has already
been recorded. On one occasion I noticed that a vessel containing some
urine of the mother was also taken along, and I am told that this is done
every day. The godmother and the mother of the child leave the house
and go to the edge of the mesa east of the village, the godmother carrying
the child, the two ears of corn, and both some sacred meal. In the
case of a primapara, the young mother puts on her bridal moccasins
and the larger of her two white bridal robes for this solemn occasion.
Sometimes the mother carries the two ears of corn. At the edge of the
mesa they turn their faces towards the rising sun. The grandmother,
holding the child in her left arm, touches its breast with the two corn
ears, and then waves them towards the rising sun. See Fig. 5. Turning
Fig. 4. Holding the ears of corn to the breast of
the child, and >j[iving it its first name.
56 Field Columbian Museum — Anthropology, Vol. VI.
to the child she again says the little prayer, but now inserts all the names
it has received. Her£upon she hands the child to the mother, who
repeats the same performance. Both then hold their hands containing
the meal to their lips, breathe a prayer over it. sprinkle it towards the
rising sun, kiss the child, and then return to the house. Here the
morning meal is now prepared and partaken of. First, those who have
bathed the child and the members of the house eat. Then the grand-
mother on the mother's side goes through the houses and invites any
one to come and share with them the morning meal. Sometimes it
is even announced by the crier.
Any food may from now be eaten
by the mother, and a little meat
and salty food are even given to
the baby. The cover that carefully
kept out the sunshine during the
twenty days is not put up on this
day, and everything in the house
assumes normal conditions again.
The child is then rubbed all
over the body with a mixture of
tallow and clita (a red ochre).
This is later on repeated every
few days for about a month, to
clean the child's skin, the women
say. On the fifth and tenth days
after these rites, the woman once
more washes the child's and her
own head, but hers with cold water. In the case of a primapara this is
done on the tenth and twentieth days. During these respective periods
they are also supposed to observe the strictest continence.
While the manner of procedure during these ceremonies is essen-
tially the same in the different families, it naturally varies in small
details; for instance, where the grandmothers are no longer living,
one of her relatives takes her place, or sometimes the mother washes her
own head, sometimes it is done by her mother-in-law. Some details
are also determined by the condition of the patient; but the rites are
described as nearly as possible as they should be, and as they are per-
formed under normal circumstances.
Fig. 5. Mother of the child waving the
ears of com to the rising sun.
Feb., 1905. Oraibi Natal Customs — Voth. 57
A SPECIAL NAME-GIVING CEREMONY IN ORAIBI.
The foregoing account of the natal ceremonies is a compilation
of notes and observations made at different times. Since the com-
pilation was made, another name-giving ceremony was observed, and
it was thought best to print the notes on that observation as they
were made, instead of incorporating them in the foregoing general
account. An opportunity is thus afforded to notice and study the suc-
cessive stages of the rites in a particular ceremony, to note small varia-
We came to the house where the ceremony was to take place at
about four o'clock, and found the people still asleep. In about ten
minutes the grandmother came in bringing with her a kettle of water
and two white ears of corn. She soon commenced to make suds of yucca
roots. She is the mother of the father of the baby and her name
is Nuvayonsi. A few minutes later came in Qomdhepnoma,* the sister
of the former. Both belong to the Coyote clan.
.\s soon as the suds was ready the grandmother bathed the two
corn-ears, rinsing them off with fresh water. Some water had, in the
mean while, been heated, to which the grandmother added some suds.
A good fire was by this time burning in an American stove. Another
fire had been started in the fireplace in an adjoining room where
a large vessel of water was boiling. A third fire was burning in the
corner of the room where the ceremony took place. On this latter,
the water for the ceremony was being heated.
After having bathed the two ears of corn, the grandmother washed
the mother's head, which was repeated by Qdraa. When both were
through they poured some water over her head, rinsing it. The mother
herself pressed the water from her hair. The bowl, containing the suds,
was then placed near the stove, some fresh water being poured into
another bowl; and in this water the arms and the shoulders of the mother
were bathed. The water in the little pail, which was used for these
purposes, had been heated, with a few sprigs of juniper in it. After
the arms and the upper part of the body of the mother had been
bathed, a little sand, which had been lying in the corner, was swept
forward, a heated stone placed on it, and some yucca roots that had
been nsed for the suds, as well as some of the juniper leaves, were
placed on the stone. The mother then placed her right foot on these
branches, and the grandmother washed it. The same was repeated with
the left foot. The mother then got a tray on which the grandmother
•Uaually nsed in its abbreviated form Qoma.
58 Field Columbian Museum — Anthropology, Vol. Y1.
placed the sand, juniper branches, and yucca leaves, sweeping every-
thing up very thoroughly. The heated stone was also placed on this
tray. Hereupon the grandmother took the same broom and swept the
fourth corn -meal line, which still remained upon the wall, into her left
hand, throwing the corn-meal also into the tray. The meal on a joist
was then scraped off. A live ember from the fireplace in the corner
was finally placed on the tray, then Q6ma took the tray in her left
arm, and the little pail of water, containing some more juniper sprigs,
in her right hand, and carried these things to a "placenta pile" outside
of the village. This pile is about one hundred yards north of the
house. On this she threw the tray with its contents, pouring also the
water on it. The little
tin-pail she brought back
with her. Upon her re-
turn to the house the bowl
with the suds was again
brought forward, the baby
taken out, and its head
bathed by the grand-
mother. The child was
entirely nude, and did
not cry at all. After the
grandmother was through
bathing the child's head,
Q6ma took it and also
washed its head. They
held the child in their
left hand, back downward. The suds was then poured into another
bowl, and fresh water poured into this bowl, with which the head of
the child was rinsed. The water was again poured into the other
bowl, and fresh water taken, and the face of the child received
another washing. Hereupon the little one was placed into the bowl,
and the entire body bathed by Qdma. She then handed it to the
grandmother, who wrapped it up in a blanket, which the mother had
in the mean while warmed by the fire. The child at once went to
sleep. See Fig. 6.
A third woman came in, who was the sister of the father of the
child. She also bathed the child's entire body, the child by this time
having something to say about the matter.
The three women who had come in by this time belonged to the
Coyote clan, the clan of the father.
When the third woman was through, the child was again wrapped
Fig. 6. The baby sleeping during an interval
between two baths.
Feb., 1905. Oraibi Natal Customs — Voth. 59
up in the blanket and held by the grandmother, who rubbed its face
and body with corn -meal.* The step-sister of the baby carried out
the water. The child was here nursed by the mother. Another woman
came in with a little water and also bathed the child. The mother,
in the mean while, warmed a blanket, in which the child was placed
again as soon as it was bathed, whereupon the mother re-assumed the
nursing of the child. No one else coming in, the grandmother took
the child in her left arm, picked up the two corn-ears with her right
hand, waved them forward over the chest of the child, expressed the
usual good wish, and gave the child a name. The same thing was
repeated by the other three women in the sequence in which they hap-
pened to be sitting.
The first name given the child was "Little-Fox" (Sikdhtayhoya);
the .second, "Gray-In-a-Line" (QSydwishtiwa); the third, "Beautiful-
Brought" (Lomimakiwa), referring to a pretty fox skin which is im-
agihed to have been brought by some one; the fourth, "Remembered"
(Uuna), referring to the fact that the Coyote sometimes happens to think
about some food that he has run across, or buried somewhere; the fifth,
"Waving [Fire]" (Yoshjiuma), referring to the belief of the Hopis that
the " Skeleton " goes round during the night, occasionally swinging or
waving a spark of fire. The reason why this name refers to the Skeleton
clan, though the name-giver properly belongs to the Coyote clan, is that
these clans are related to each other. Another interval took place, in
which the grandmother held the child, calling it by the name she had
given it, and playing with it. By and by a sixth woman, an old grand-
mother, came in. She is probably the oldest of the Coyote clan, and the
members of that clan call her their C6a (old woman, ancestor, etc.). She
gave it the name of "Juniper-Nodule" (Hdplo, from h6p6lo), referring
probably to the berries, but sometimes also to nodules growing over
places where branches or twigs have broken off. Finally a seventh woman
bkthed it, and gave it the name Homihepn6ma.f She handed the child
to the grandmother again, who rubbed its face with a little corn-meal,
which, by the way, she did after each bathing.
By this time all the women, except the grandmother, left.
The step-sister of the little baby was grinding a handful of corn-
meal, which she brought in and placed in a bowl, from which the grand-
mother had been using corn-meal.
At a quarter to six the mother and grandmother got ready for the
•During the twenty days preceding, little girl babie* are sometimes rubbed with a Icind
of clay called "baby ashes" (tipdshqotcro), which is said to be of a pinkish color.
♦ For further information on Hopi names, their meaning, etc., see " Hopi Proper Names," by
H. K. Voth. Anth. Ser.. Vol. VI No. 3.
6o Field Columbian Museum — Anthropology, Vol. VI.
morning offering to the sun. The grandmother already had the child
on her back, and was ready to start, when another woman came in to
bathe the child. She complained that she had not gotten awake in
time. So the child was taken out of its wrappings and received an eighth
bath. This woman was Lomanan-Kwusha's wife. She gave the child
the name of "Well-Caught" (Lomavikta), referring to chasing and
capturing a fox. The grandmother and the mother then again made
ready for the morning offering, the grandmother taking the child on her
back, the mother the two corn-ears, and both a little pinch of corn-meal.
Fig. 7. Ottering sacred meal to tlie
Fig. 8. Grandmother carrying home
They proceeded to the edge of the mesa, southeast of the village, where
the main trail leaves the mesa. Here the mother took the blanket from
the grandmother's back, and assisted the latter in taking the child in her
arms. Holding the child in her right arm, the grandmother breathed a
silent prayer on the meal which she held in her right hand. See Fig. 7.
Rubbing a small quantity of it on and between the lips of the baby, she
threw the rest towards the rising sun. She then sucked the meal from the
child's lips, and spurted it towards the east, which she did four times in all.
Hereupon she took the two ears of corn from the mother, extended them
towards the east, and with a circular motion towards the left brought
them to the baby's chest. This she did four times also. As she went
through this performance, she repeated the different names which the
child had received. Finally, she expressed a good wish for the child,
IB,, 1905. Oraibi Natal Customs — Voth. ^m
whereupon she placed the baby on her back again, the mother takinjf
the corn-ears, and both returned to the house. The mother, it seems,
dispensed with going through the same rites, as is usually done on these
While they attended to this performance, the father of the child
prepared some suds, whereupon he also washed his head. A sumptuous
morning meal followed, in which a nun)ber of the relatives of the fam-
.\fter this morning meal the grandmother is usually given a con-
derable quantity of food, principally piki, which she wraps up in a
anket and takes home with her. • See Fig. 8.