Go to: The Wanderings - Navaho Index
Now after the Great Gambler had been sent up into the sky, the Sun wanted the people to know about the medicine that the Gambler had used and had taken up into the sky with him. So he made a plan.
note: A small branch of cedar is the sign of a medicine man.
note: If a man kills an enemy before his child is born, that enemy's spirit will harm his child afterward. It is said that the scalp, or spirit, of the enemy killed would have this power. If the child becomes ill the ceremony, with its medicine, is held over the child.
Sandoval, the Informant, said that his father had killed an enemy before he was born. When he reached middle age his legs "drew up." He was sick and vomited blood. He could not smell tobacco. This ceremony was held over him and he recovered.
There is a place called Gaeye net be'e at the foot of the mountain called Tso dzil, Mount Taylor. At this place there lived a poor woman who worked hard for her living. Now the Sun had visited this woman secretly, and she brought forth a baby boy. After the child was 10 or 12 years of age he ran a race each morning around Tso dzil. He thus became a great runner.
The woman and her son left Gaeye net be'e and went to live at Tse be' an y i, the Place Where Poles Hold up the Rock, Pueblo Bonito. At this place the people had the custom of making many turquoise offerings between the split cliff rocks. The woman discovered this place of offering. She picked up all the pieces of turquoise that she could find, then she went to the people and exchanged them for food. After the second time that she went to them the people began to ask among themselves: "I wonder where the poor beggar woman gets her stones?" Then they guessed that the turquoise must be the offerings made to the rock. They went to the place and found her tracks and where she had picked up the turquoise. When they reported that she had been taking the offerings to the rock, the head of the people decided to kill both the woman and her son. But the two heard of the plan and quickly left that part of the country.
From there they went to a place opposite Farmington. People were living under the big cliff at that time. While they stayed there they lived on what they could find. Some of the people gave them food, but others drove them away and were cruel to them. It was not long before the woman discovered the sacred places where the people made their stone offerings. These offerings she gathered and traded for food. She was caught and the people planned that the two should die. But someone told the woman of the plan that they were both to be killed. The beggar woman called to her son and they left.
They followed a ledge of rock so that their tracks could not be found. They stopped at a place opposite Fruitland and they built themselves a little home there. All around that place the seeds were plentiful. They ate those and once in a while they killed a rabbit or a rat. After a time the people discovered them. They were no longer safe and they left that place. They traveled to the Hog Back Mountains and they built a little house there. (Today they call this place Kinda ligene, the Little Ruin on the Side of a Rock). They made grass mats for the floor and matting to cover themselves with. They also made robes of rabbit and rat fur. These robes were at first small, about the size of a saddle blanket, but later they were larger. By this time the boy had grown into a youth.
They had thought that all was well, but they were discovered again. They left their home and passed Shiprock; they traveled to the other side of the Carrizos. Today you can see a ruin high up on a rock. It is called Kine'gauge'. It was the house the youth built for his mother. He was a good builder by that time. But soon the seeds from the plants got scarce, and the mother told her son that they must leave and go south of the Carrizos near Beck shi'bi tqo, Cow Springs, were a people lived at a place called Kiet seel.
When they climbed to the top of the mountain called Dzil li'jin, the Black Mountains of Arizona, they came, all of a sudden, upon a man who was gathering wood and wrapping it in a bundle. They frightened the man so that he nearly lost his breath. Now this man was the head or chief of the little village called Kiet seel. The man tied up a bundle of wood for the woman and one for her son, and on the top of each bundle he put some loose pieces. When they reached the village the man collected the loose wood and laid it near his house. He carried the three bundles of wood inside. Then the man brought a quantity of food for the woman and her son. He told them to burn the pieces of wood he had left outside the house that night. They built a fire and ate and lay down and slept.
They were no sooner asleep than some boys, and even grown men and women, came and threw sticks and stones at them. They threw mud and water and ashes. They bothered them all through the night. The next day they prepared to leave, but they returned the wood that they had used, for the mother said: "The man who gave us the food must be a kind man." They brought the wood to the house, but the food that they received was only barely enough. So that night they camped farther away from the house. Again they received cruel treatment at the hands of the people. The next morning they brought more wood, but this time they were given but one piece of food each. That night the same people came and bothered them again. However, the following day they brought more wood to the man's house, but this time they received nothing at all for their work.
They left that place and traveled toward the South to a place called Ya'kin. When they neared this place they came upon a man gathering wood. This man, as had the other one, tied the wood into three bundles and placed loose pieces on the top. He also carried some. That night the mother and her son made their camp outside his house, and they received all that they could eat. But that night the boys came and pulled their hair and burned them with burning sticks. These boys played every mean trick they could think of on the two strangers. At dawn they left them. That day and the following the woman and the youth carried wood to the man's house and received a little food; but on the fourth day no food whatever was given them; and each night they had received wicked treatment.
They left that place and journeyed to a place called O'zeye. Near there they again found a man gathering wood. He seemed very pleased to see them. He tied the bundles of wood for them, and the three carried the wood back to the village. They were taken inside the man's house and given lots of food to eat, and even some to carry away with them. They were told to camp outside the house. That night, as in the two other villages, the boys and then the people came and treated them in every cruel way they could think of. The two cried and hugged each other all night long. They carried wood to the man on the second day, and the food they received for their trouble was barely enough. That night they camped at a distance, but the boys found them and teased and tormented them all during the night. The third time that they brought wood they received no food. They camped far away and slept until dawn before the boys found them. Fortunately their wickedness lasted but a short time.
Then they went to a place called Tala hogan. There they made themselves a shelter out of the bark of trees. This time young girls came out each day and teased the mother and her son, saying: "We want a husband to gather wood for us." Now they teased the pair because they were so poor. One girl said: "He is to be my husband." And another: "No, I chose him for my husband first."
To avoid meeting these girls the youth would start out early each morning and hunt for rabbits or rats or whatever he could find. One day when he returned to the shelter his mother told him the following:
I was sitting here today when all of a sudden everything inside our shelter turned white. I looked and someone stood out there. It was a man who asked about you. I told him that you stay away all day because the girls come and tease you. He asked me about our food and about our bedding. I had baked four little seed cakes. I showed him those four and I told him we ate seed cakes and the rabbits you killed. I showed him the woven grass mats which we use for bed and cover. The man then took a piece of the bread and ate it and said: "This is my food also."
The woman continued: "I turned my head for a moment, and the man was gone. But there was only one track outside. The piece of seed cake he bit into is here." The youth told his mother that he did not believe this story. "It is foolish to think that any people as poor as we are would be visited by a Holy Being. It is you who have bitten the bread and made the track."
The next morning the youth went away as usual. That night when he returned his mother told him that at noon that day she had again seen the Holy Person, and that he was a handsome man. "This time he ate half the bread cake. I looked away for a moment and he was gone. I ran outside and looked about, but I saw only two tracks in the sand." Then the youth told his mother that she had eaten the cake and made the tracks.
The third day the youth went hunting as usual, and in the evening, when he returned to his home, his mother told him the same story. But this time the man ate almost the whole seed cake, and there were three tracks outside.
The fourth morning the youth left again. When he returned his mother told him that she had again seen the Holy Man. And that this time he had eaten the whole piece of bread. "And this is what the man told me, my son: he wants you to wash your hair in the morning, and to bathe your whole body, drying yourself with cornmeal and pollen. Then you are to get some water in the jar, and sit beside it in the shelter. You are to sit there and keep looking into the water. After he had departed there were four foot prints outside."
The next morning the young man did all that his mother had told him to do. She sat beside him looking into the jar filled with water. He became restless and doubted her. She said: "Son, the Sun is at noon."
At that moment all outside and inside the shelter turned white. In the midst of the glow there stood a young man. This Holy Being told the woman that he was going to take his younger brother, her son, but that he would return. The poor mother said: "No, you cannot take my child. He is all that I have in this world, and I would starve to death without him." The mother was asked to let her son go four times. Then the youth said: "Let me go, mother. Did you not hear him say that I would come back to you?" So the woman gave her consent.
A white rainbow flashed to the youth's feet, and the Holy Being told him to raise his right foot. With the first step they were on top of the mountain called Sis jin de'lea. The second step brought them to Natsi'lid be'tqo, Rainbow Springs. From there they went to Bitda'ho chee, Red Mountain, then to the top of Tqo jin whee tsa. There they stepped into a house whose first room was filled with trash. They entered another room and someone called out: "Um-m-m, I smell earthly people." And this person added: "The fool-hearted youth must be bringing someone home." When the two young men got to the fourth room they saw a man, a woman, and a girl. They were called Tqo jin whee tsa hastin, Tqo jin whee tsa esdzan, and Tqo jin whee tsa chike'. They were the people of the mountain, the man and his wife and daughter.
They washed the youth, and the maiden gave him a white bead basket. He was washed four times. He was also given a turquoise basket, a white shell basket, and a black jet basket. And each time that he was washed he was dried with corn pollen. Then he was trimmed and formed like the maiden herself. She put her head beside his and he was formed like her, all except the feet. He had big feet.
Then the Sun came.
Now the Man of the Mountain wanted to dress the youth, and his wife wanted to dress him. But the Sun said: "No, he is my son, and I will dress him myself." Then the White Bead Woman came, and she said: "If he is the son of the Sun he is my son also. I will dress him myself." The four Holy Beings had different minds. Their thoughts were changeable. There are four sections to the chant sung while he was being dressed by the White Bead Woman.
The White Bead Woman's Chant
She dressed me with her white bead moccasins.
She dressed me with her white bead leggings.
She dressed me with her white bead garment.
She dressed me with her white bead bracelets.
She dressed me with her white bead earrings.
She dressed me with the perfect white bead called ha'da tehe which she had on her forehead.
She dressed me with the perfect crystals of pollen, the beautiful goods pollen, which were her words
And with which I can call for beautiful goods and pollen and they will come at my word.
She dressed me with the turquoise feather
On top of which sat the blue bird with his beautiful song.
I am dressed like the Most High Power Whose Ways Are Beautiful.
All is beautiful before me.
All is beautiful behind me.
All is beautiful around me.
All is beautiful everywhere.
This chant is repeated, and then sung twice with this difference: "I am all dressed. . . ." instead of "She dressed me. . . ."
After this the Sun and the White Bead Woman returned to their home.
The Man of the Mountain gave the youth blue gum, and he gathered four herbs for his medicine. From the east side he gathered a plant called tlo cho ae tso which had black flowers. From the south side he got a plant called cholchin ilt ai, which had white flowers. The plant from the west was called aze bi'ni i, medicine of the mind.
note: The powdered petals of a flower are used with pinon gum to make blue gum.
note: blue sacred powder, Delphinium scaposum Greene.
note: Tlo che whee tso is a small mountain below San Francisco Peak where these plants grow.
note: aze bi'ni i, medicine of the mind, in reference to its bewitching effects. Akin to locoweed.
It is a very poisonous medicine herb which is said to make them insane. It is akin to locoweed. The plant from the north is called aze tlo' hi; this plant had yellow flowers. The flowers from the north had their mouths open, and if touched they laughed. It was called the laughing medicine. It was the medicine the Gambler had used, as were the others. The youth now learned the chants the Gambler had used. After that the Mountain Man got pieces of all the beautiful goods which were inside the mountain, and he tied them in a little bundle and gave them to the youth. All the trash that he had seen on entering the first room was now piles of beautiful goods and food. The youth was then told that he must climb to the top of the mountain called Dzil nit chee, Red Side Mountain; there he must shoot an arrow into a deer bush, into four different bushes eaten by deer. This he did. He was instructed to draw the arrows out of the bushes and to place them pointing back to the place he had come from. This was the price he had to pay for learning the chants and for the medicine.
From Red Side Mountain the Rainbow carried him back to the doorway of his mother's home. When he entered the dwelling she ran out; she looked about but saw no one else. Then the old woman grabbed him and said: "What have you done with my son? Did I not tell you that you would take him away from me? Where is he?" The young man said: "Mother, it is I." She did not hear or understand, and she asked the same question, shaking him. She did this four times, becoming more and more excited. The young man said: "Mother, don't you hear? I am your son." Then she fixed her eyes and looked long at him. He had changed, he was different. His hair fell to his ankles. She asked again four times if he was indeed her son.
The youth chanted the chants that he had learned and he chewed the blue gum, and he blew to the East, South, West and North, and they found themselves in a home like the home of the Mountain Man. Then he heard the maidens coming for their wood. When they opened the door of the house he blew toward them with the blue gum and they all fell back. He heard them whispering about all the beautiful things that they had seen inside his dwelling. He went out and led them to the forest; and he cut wood until each had her load. They carried the wood home, and they were ashamed of themselves, but also glad that he had helped them.
The chief of the village had two daughters. Their names were To chine'e and O chine'e. These maidens were well guarded and their father kept watch over them. The elder daughter went to the spring for water early in the morning. Now each time the maidens went to the spring, when they returned their father asked them to make water. So early one morning the young man went to the spring and waited for the elder sister. She came, but she did not look at the young man while she filled her water jar. The young man asked her for a drink and she filled a dipper from the spring and gave it to him. "No," said the young man, "I want the water from your jar." She threw the dipperful away and dipped out the water from her jar and gave it to the young man without looking up. He drank some of the water and threw the rest on her. She brushed the water from her clothing without looking up. Then she began to fill the water jar, but he blew with the gum on the jar and it tipped over. She filled it a second time, and she filled it a third time, and then she looked up and just a little smile came to her lips. She filled the water jar a fourth time, but he blew on it with the gum and it tipped over. After that she smiled and said: "How do you do this?" And he said as he gave her a piece of the gum: "This is how I do it." She put the gum in her mouth. She filled her water jar and blew and it tipped over. She did this a second time. Then she let the young man become her husband.
note: medicine hay, Arenaria aculeata
After that she returned home and her father told her to make water. When he saw that she had been visited by a man he went to the spring, and he measured the man's foot track with a stick. He called all the men of the village together and measured their feet. Every measurement of the men's feet were short by a long way. He next went to the neighboring villages and measured the men's feet; he even traveled a long way from where they lived, but all the men's feet were smaller. He returned to his home and he wondered whose foot track he had measured.
Now the Little Breeze told the young man that the father would never guess where to go after he got home. So the young man used the chant, that he had learned, that drew people, and then the father remembered the son of the poor woman. The Little Breeze told the young man that the father was coming, and he chanted until the father came to the door. The father entered and sat down, and the young man lay on his back. The father measured the young man's foot, and the size was exactly that of the stick. The father said: "My son-in-law, do you know that you are an expectant father?" He told the young man that his daughter was soon to have a baby.
When the father returned to his home in the village he saw that many people were about his house getting ready for the birth of the baby. A baby boy was born. And the people made ready to carry the baby and gifts to the young man. They carried a basket filled with meal. They chanted many chants as they walked, and the songs that they sang at that time are the songs that should be sung during the birth of a child. When the people were near the young man's home they wrestled with each other and laughed. The baby was brought into the house and placed on the young man's lap. Then they washed the baby.
The words of the chant that they sang are these:
I am the Sun's son, into my hands he is given.
I am the Sun's son, Into my hand he comes.
He has for his moccasins the turquoise moccasins, into my hand he comes.
He has for his leggings the turquoise leggings, etc.
He has for his garment the turquoise garment, etc.
He has for his earrings the turquoise earrings, etc.
A perfect turquoise is placed on his forehead, it comes to my hand.
He has for his feather the turquoise feather, it comes to my hand.
He is the turquoise boy and he comes to my hand.
Nothing can harm him as he comes to my hand.
Like the Most High Power Whose Ways Are Beautiful he comes to my hand.
For all is beautiful before, behind, above and below, and it comes to my hand.
The people gave their gifts to the young man, and they brought his wife to him. The young man, in his turn, gave them gifts of venison. They carried home a quantity of meat. After the people left they found that they had brought the younger sister also to be his wife. He had a baby and two wives. He went to the home of his father-in-law. There he was given a longhouse. His mother remained behind where they had lived. There also remained all the beautiful goods.
The next morning he drew a woman with his chant. She gave him her leg wrapping, and he told her that she would see old age. He made a beda like an antelope. The young man laced it with the woman's leg wrapping. Early the following morning he got up and counted the doorways of all the houses in the village, then he went to where there was a herd of antelope. He could do this, for he wore the beda that he had made over him. He killed as many antelope as there were doorways. When he returned home he told the people that one man from each doorway should go out and carry home an antelope. When they brought the meat home, the people said: "Our son-in-law is very great. He must have two longhouses."
The next morning he went out and killed two antelope for each doorway; and he told the people to send two men from each doorway to bring home the meat. He was given three longhouses.
On the third morning he killed three antelope for each doorway. And when he returned to the village he told the people to send three men from each dwelling. He received four longhouses. The fourth day he killed four antelope for each doorway, and four men from each house went out for them. He was given five longhouses. Then all the people said: "Our son-in-law is very great. We will have plenty of meat.
note: This is the song that is sung as they wash the baby; but not all know about it.
note: A beda consists of the head and hide of an animal. It is explained in the second hunting story.
On the fifth day San'hode'di', the Beggar's son, set out for the home of the Mountain People called Tqo che o whee tso. He started to hunt, as before, but when he neared an antelope herd, a coyote hit him with his hide and blew four times upon him. The coyote then took his beda, the antelope headdress, and placed it on his own head. He went away after the antelope, while the poor young man was left behind in the form of a skinny coyote.
Now the coyote was unable to kill one antelope, even with the beda. He took the discharge from his eyes and laid it in a row and stepped over it four times and it turned into fat. This he took to the two young wives. But the younger of the two sisters told the elder that the man who came to them was not their husband.
The Beggar's son in the coyote's skin turned to the East and lay that night under a cedar tree. He ate the berries of the cedar tree. The second night he traveled to the South and he laid under the bush called kin jilth ie' and he ate its berries. The third night he went to the West and he stayed under an iron bush. Its berries are called maida to this day because he ate them. He traveled to the North on the fourth day, and he lay under a wild-rose bush that night, and he ate its berries.
After the fourth day he went out and fell down for he was almost dead by that time. Now the person called Dotso went to the place called Tqo che o whee tso and told the people living there that the young man had been hit by the coyote's hide, and that he lay in the open almost dead. Then the same Holy Young Man, who had called him brother in his mother's home, went to him. When he found the skinny coyote, he said: "What are you doing here, Tqo che o whee tso tsel kee?" The poor coyote got to his feet and tried to say something, but all he could do was howl like a coyote. Then his "brother" made a ring out of a young cedar, big enough so that he could push the coyote through it. When he pushed the coyote through the cedar ring the skin ripped open and the head of the young man could be seen. Then the Holy Being made a ring out of the bush called kin jilth ie and the hide fell down and exposed half of the young man's body. The third ring was made from the iron bush, and after it was passed over the young man the skin fell down to his knees. The fourth time the ring was made from the wild-rose bush, and this freed the young man.
note: The berries of the cedar tree are called dit tse.
note: kinjil'ahi, currant, Purshia tridentata.
note: ma'ida, coyote food, or iron bush, the wild cherry, Prunus demisa.
note: cho, or chu, the wild rose, Rosa fendleri.
Now all this took place in order that the people might have medicine for another wrong that they would do. The Beggar's son was instructed about this thing. In cases where a brother and sister cohabit one or both persons will sicken. They usually become mad. There are several sicknesses, however, that come from this. It was necessary for the Beggar's son to go through this black magic transformation so that he could make known the medicine. There is a certain kind of plant, with pretty flowers, that attracts both moths and butterflies. They fall dead if they light on it.
While the young man was being told what should take place in the ceremony by the Holy Being they saw the coyote with the beda going by. So the young man was told to go and hit him with his own hide and to blow four times upon him. This he did and the creature resumed his true form. The headdress, however, was an awful looking thing, for the hide had spoiled it. But the young man, even so, was able to kill one antelope before going home.
On the way he met a little creature coming out of the ground. This person said: "I saw that you had a hard time." The young man answered: "I had a hard time of it, Grandfather." The person said: "You were given power from the Sun and the White Bead Woman, and also from Tqo che o whee tso hastin, the Mountain Man; but there are one or two things that they did not tell you. That is why you have had all this trouble. Come home with me." He raised a greasewood bush and blew four times into the hole, and they went down into the opening.
Now this person told the young man that he had heard that the Earth People's tobacco was very sweet and he longed to taste it. So he rolled four cigarettes made from the young man's tobacco, and each time he smoked one he killed little animals and brought them back to life. He said: "I see, my Grandson, your tobacco is very good." He then told the young man of the ceremony that was not before made known to him. He taught him all the chants and what was to be done. After this the person wanted a gift, so the young man gave him the antelope hide. He put it over the little creature and blew four times over him, and it became his coat. He is known as ha zeylth gaeye, the ground squirrel. He was well pleased.
There was in this ceremony, the young man learned, a prayer from the East, a prayer to begin way in the East and come home. It is called tche'whee a te'he'. This prayer is told from the East, from the home of the four plants of Tqo che o whee tso. It is also told from the South home, from the West home, and from the North home; but it is called "From the East back to the home of the Tqo che o whee tso people and the four plants." They say that it comes from the South, from the home built with cholchin ilt a'i; from the West it is from the home built with aze bi'ni i; from the North it is from the home built with aze tlo'hi, the laughing medicine. This was the prayer of the White Bead Girl, and this prayer is very long. This prayer was given by the White Bead Girl herself and was to be used for any person who became possessed or insane. It was also to be used over any young man or woman who became mad over drink, gambling, or sex. They were the medicines of the Great Gambler, and had only now been made known to the young man. They were the medicines that the Great Gambler had used against the people.
note: The Hopi call it the butterfly flower because it attracts them. The Navaho name is chil aghani, poison weed.
note: Ha zelyth gaeye is a member of the chipmunk family.
note: hazai, or tsidit i'ni, the rock or ground squirrel.
Then the Beggar's son went to a place called Tse jinjede lia. At this place he went through another prayer ceremony. It is called the prayer of the Turquoise Boy, Des chee del ja. It was the Turquoise Boy himself who gave it to the young man for his protection.
Then the young man was made so that nothing in heaven or on earth could harm him, and he was ready to return to his home.
When San'hode'di' begaeye returned to his home the younger sister recognized him and said: "Did I not tell you that the other person was not our husband? And you answered me and said that there was no other person like him." His father-in-law came out and said: "Did I not tell you that that person (the coyote) ate a whole lot more than my son-in-law?" The father of the two women commanded that the children begotten by the coyote should be killed, but the young man said: "No." They took them down to a place called Tqo che eko, and they became little animals somewhat like a coyote, but with black faces, short tails, webbed feet, and they climbed trees. They lived along the water and were called tapan mai, along-the-shore or water-edge coyote.
By this time the son, San'hode'di's first-born, was a youth. The Beggar's Son called to the youth and said: "Come here, my son, and stand before me. You will now go to the mountain called Taho chee, and you will live there. You will be over all the game. And because of you the People of the Earth will have game forever." When he began his chanting his son started out on his journey. He went first to Rainbow Springs, and he circled the springs four times as the Sun travels. Then the antelope of the plains came and circled around the youth. After this he ran ahead of the antelope and they all went to the mountain that San'hode'di' had told his son about, and they all disappeared out of sight into the mountain.
note: cholehinilt'ai, Geranium incisum.
note: aze bi'ni i, medicine of the mind, akin to locoweed.
note: aze tlo'hi, sandwort, Arenaria aculeata.
note: There are some medicine men who specialize in these ceremonies. They know all of the chants and prayers.
note: There is a saying among Navaho men that if a man marries a girl not a virgin, "The young man has gotten a coyote."
The Beggar's Son then went to his mother's home. His two wives wished to go with him but he told them that they were to remain in the village. However, after he left, they said: "We have nothing to do here now. We will follow him." So they trailed behind him until they reached his mother's house. Once there, by his magic, he gathered all the beautiful goods together and made them into a small bundle which he put in his bag. Then the four started out. They visited all the places where the beggar woman and her son had received ill treatment. Now in every village where the men and the boys had treated them badly the Beggar's Son took their wives. This was done to get even with them. When they arrived at a place at the mouth of Tse gee (Sage) Canyon they found that his two wives had worn out their moccasins. There was a small rock at this place. He stood the two sisters on top of it side by side. He placed his flute on their feet, but first he made their footprints on the rock. Then he began to chant. In this way he sent them back to their father's house on the flute, and the flute returned to him.
Now he built a house up in the canyon, and the two lived there, the man and his mother. The house which he built is called Kin'nee nii gaeye, the house with the white bands. At first he called his mother "Mother," but as he was a Holy Being and remained young and she grew old, he called her "Grandmother." The woman said "My son," then she said "My grandson."
During the time that the Beggar Woman and her son lived in the house in the side of the cliff San'hode'di' begaeye went out each day to the people of the canyon who had been cruel to them, and he visited all their wives. Then he told his mother that they would return to all the other places where they had been ill treated. They left their house and followed the top of the canyon. They crossed the head of the canyon called Tse he'lain and traveled to a place called Tsin tlo heyan', and from there they went to a place called To'jo'hogan. While they were camping at this place for the night, a little dog came near them. He was a pretty little dog, black with brown legs and brown around the eyes. Each time that the man tried to catch the little animal he ran away. The next morning the man went after him, but he jumped just when he was about to be caught. That night when the little dog came into camp again the man tried to catch him; and all the next day the dog managed to stay only a little way ahead of the man. He would jump for the dog, but the dog would always run. In this way the dog led him to a lake called Tqo' del tqo'. When they got near this lake the dog ran and jumped into the water. And the man saw the water rise up into the air. Then he ran, just as fast as he could, back on his own tracks. Just as he reached the summit of a hill near the lake the water fell just behind him. And the water ran back into the lake. When he returned to his mother he said: "Mother, Grandmother, the dog was from the lake called Tqo' del tqo'. The water nearly caught me. The water is cruel there."
From there they traveled over the pass called Besh el chee'beage. They went from there to a place called Cha bin i'ee, Beavers' Eyes. There is another lake there, and in it lived the Water Buffalo. When they neared this lake the water rose again, but they ran to safety. The water hit the ground just behind them. They left there and went to a place called Whee cha'. They camped on a little hill. They planted the turquoise walking stick on the East side; a white bead walking stick on the South side; a white shell walking stick on the West side; and a black jet walking stick on the North side. That night, near their camp, they heard chanting and the sound of a basket being pounded. They listened. These were the words of the chant:
I am the White Corn Boy.
I walk in sight of my home.
I walk in plain sight of my home.
I walk on the straight path which is towards my home.
I walk to the entrance of my home.
I arrive at the beautiful goods curtain which hangs at the doorway.
I arrive at the entrance of my home.
I am in the middle of my home.
I am at the back of my home.
I am on top of the pollen foot print.
I am on top of the pollen seed print.
I am like the Most High Power Whose Ways Are Beautiful.
Before me it is beautiful,
Behind me it is beautiful,
Under me it is beautiful,
Above me it is beautiful,
All around me it is beautiful.
note: Tqo' del tqo' is near Crystal, N. Mex. It is now a dry lake. The bank broke in 1936.
note: The road near Drolet's Trading Post, and over the mountain to Crystal, N. Mex.
The man planted a forked stick to see where the chant came from. He went to the place and found one kernel of white corn. He planted that kernel and it grew. With four chants he started it, before he prayed. He planted it in the center of a flat clearing, and it grew up before him. On his right side grow six white ears standing up. On his left grew six yellow ears standing up. There were 12 ears on the one cornstalk. Then he cut those ears and husked them, the white corn alone, and the yellow corn alone.
In the center of the field he planted the white corn by itself, and he planted the yellow corn by itself. Then he heard people there, and some were laughing. The next morning he saw that the whole field had been planted in corn, and some of the kernels were split open. It grew that way because of the laughing of the planters. On top of the cornstalks and on each side there were ears covered with kernels to the tip. Do'honot i'ni they were called. Then on one side was an ear split into five parts, and each little cob was covered with kernels, and it was called nadan tlane'.
The hill called To whee cha' was to be a sacred hill, and the people were to pray from the top of it from time to time. The Beggar's Son left his mother there with all their beautiful goods and the corn. He left her and he traveled to the place under the high rock across the river from Farmington. There he got even with all the men who had been cruel to them. He visited their wives.
From there he went to a place called Be'he'kitna'ha tzis, a lake hollow. He made little snares with his hair to catch the little gray birds which are to be found on the plains. These birds are called ga'tet lo'he. When he caught a number of them he strung them together and roasted them for his meat.
Go to: The Wanderings - Navaho Index