THE NAVAHO AND THE APACHE PEOPLES
From the Navaho, The Wanderings
Now that the horses were given to the people, and there were a great many people in the land, they commenced to crowd each other. Some of the people wanted to go to war over the slightest thing. They taught their children to be quarrelsome; they were not raising them in the right way. They did not have peace in their hearts. At this time there appeared in the country many plants with thorns, in fact these were more numerous than any other kind of plant. Even the grass became sharp and spiked. It was because of the people's ill nature, and the plants and the grass, that another plan was formed.
note: When the horse-meat plant was put up in Gallup, N. Mex., and the ponies were taken from the Navaho, the old men said: "Our Grandmother will not be pleased with this." They believe that that is why there is little rain now over the Reservation. Cattle and sheep stay near waterholes and springs. The ponies go far to graze. Good horses, fat horses, would grow poor and die on the little grass and water now available in the country. The wiry little ponies are acclimated, and they can carry a man as far as a finely bred horse. They are strong, and can go without feed and water much longer than can a heavy horse. The farms near Shiprock have fatter horses; but also, they have plenty of water and feed. The ponies are range horses.
This time Hasjesjini, the Yei of all the burning minerals in the earth, started a great fire. All the red rocks that we see now burned then. After this the Apache and several other tribes moved eastward. And a number of years after the great fire plants grew again, and this time without thorns. They were better and less harmful.
Again there were four chiefs of the Dîné. The first was Tan jet gaeye; the second, Atsel gaeye; the third chief was Yot aysel gaeye; and there was a fourth whose name has been forgotten. They began to wonder where the other people were who had traveled toward the East. The four chiefs, with some of their men and their wives, started out to find them; but they left the children with those others who remained at home. They headed East, camping here and there. They always sent out scouts. They hunted and made their clothing and moccasins, of buckskin. After 2 years they found where a fire had been made, and they wondered if the fire had been made by some of their own people. Then they found water. Whenever they found a spring they camped, and from there they sent the scouts out in different. directions.
One day a scout reported having seen the track of a man. They moved to the next spring, and they saw two tracks. The first track was a very old one. They tried to follow it, but they had to abandon it. However the fresh tracks led them to a spring in a rock, a little wall of rock, so they moved there and camped.
Two scouts were sent out from there. They came to a narrow canyon and they saw water in the bottom. They found a place where they could descend; so the scouts let a buckskin rope down into this canyon, and with its aid, they climbed down to the water and camped at the water's edge. The two men stayed there over night. They had been away from their party for 2 days. When they returned they reported having seen plain tracks of a man of their own people. The scouts told also of having seen plenty of seeds of plants which are used for food. And there was water, and it was near the water that they had seen the tracks. So they all moved to this place and camped.
After this happened the four chiefs. sent three men out. They returned and reported having seen smoke rising up in the distance. The following day the four chiefs sent four men out, each with two quivers full of arrows. The scouts were told to be careful when they neared the other people's camp, to stay hidden until dark, and then for one man only to go into the camp. When the men got to within sight of the camp, two went on and two stayed behind. Then one stayed just outside and one went in. It was very dark, but he could see the light of the fires. He was making his way slowly, like a mountain lion after its prey, when he touched something that rattled. He reached around and found that he was in a cornfield, and that the corn had been visited by frost. After he went on for a little while he heard someone call, and everyone went over and entered a dwelling.
note: Yot aysel gaeye means Heaven with Tail Feathers.
Then this scout heard different ones coming from different directions. The language that they spoke was his own language. So he left his bow and arrows behind and went into the dwelling with the rest. He began to be noticed. Men whispered to each other. The head man, who had been out that day, told the others what he had seen, where the game was plentiful, etc. At last he said: "That is all now. Where is that stranger you told about?" And one man spoke: "Now we will have a fresh scalp to dance by." But the chief said: "No. Place him here in the center, this stranger who is among us." So he was placed in the center of the room; and he was asked where he was from.
"I am from Nlth san dzil naa'dine, the range of Rain Mountains, Yote dzil naa'dine, the range of Beautiful Goods Mountains, Nitlez dzil naa'dine, the range of Mixed Stones Mountains, and Tqate dine dzil, the range of Pollen Mountains, and from the place where the Dîné came up from the lower world."
Then the chief spoke angrily to his people. "I have always said to be careful in whatever you do or whatever you say. What little you know is at the end of your tongue when it should be in your head." He said this because of the one who had spoken of the fresh scalp.
Then the scout told of his people who were coming, and he named his chiefs, Tan jet gaeye, Atsel gaeye, Yot aysel gaeye, and the last whose name is forgotten. Those were the four chiefs bringing with them a company of men and women. He told them to what clans the different ones belonged. Then the people in the dwelling spoke up and said: "I belong to that clan." "I belong to that clan."
Then the chief said: "Your people must join us tomorrow and make their camp with us."
Now the reason of their being together was because they were holding a Hail Ceremony, Nloae. They made ready and they began the chant. Soon the scout of the Dîné sang a chant. Different men nodded their heads and the chief said that it was correct. So he was given a drumstick with which to pound the overturned basket drum. After that he pounded the basket and led the chant all night. In the morning he took the basket and went out and got his bow and arrows and left. He joined his friends who were patiently awaiting his return.
Then the people from this country joined the people whom they had been searching for and had overtaken. When they came into the camp the people of the different clans came together and hugged each other and shook hands. They all lived there that winter and the next summer and for another winter. Then the people who had come last begged the first people to move back with them to the center of the earth. But the people who had moved to the East said: "Our new country here is good. We have no worry. It makes our whole body sick to think of all the griefs that happened back there. We do not want to return to a country where there is nothing but trouble."
Toward the middle of the second summer, being of two minds, they started to quarrel. The Dîné with the four chiefs decided to return. They said: "You can stay here forever now. And if we ever see each other again there will be a change upon earth." (Meaning that they would be enemies should they meet again.)
Then the other people said: "Start out for your home in your own country if you like. But your chiefs will never reach there." So they called to each other bitterly, and they split.
Now one of the chiefs was struck by lightning; one of them was drowned while crossing a river; one was bitten by a snake and died; and the other went out and was frozen to death.
When the rest of the party got back to the edge of the mountains, the eastern end of the range, they found more of their people living there. They were the Apache. After a time some of them left and went south to a country where there was much wood. They sent to the people on the plains asking them to join them. They said that they had found a place where there was a lot of wood. But the people of the plains said: "All you ever say or think of is wood, chiz. You will be called Chizgee." Then the people on the mountain said to the Chizgee: "Come up to the mountain where it is cool." But the Chizgee liked their own place, and said: "All the words that you use are of the mountain top. You will be called Dzil an'ee, Mountain Top."
Then the traveling Dîné reached Dzil na'odili, the mesa near Farmington, and they planted their corn there, and they lived there.
The Apache came and camped with them when the corn was ripe, and they carried corn home with them. The following year, when the corn was ripe, they came again. Their language was slightly different, but they could understand each other. They said: "My friend, Dîné, at this time of the year everything is ripe. My friend Dîné will be called Anelth an'e', The People that Ripen."
So the Navaho are the People Who Ripen to the Apache. They were called the Apache of the Green Fields, or Apaches del Navajo. The Apache have the Night Chants and many other chants that are the same as those of the Navaho. The Apache like to have their young girls marry Navaho; and many Navaho men marry them.
After the great fire spread over the country, the people went in different directions, and most of them were never seen again. They have never wanted to return to this country. So that was how the Dîné scattered. They moved this way and that, large parties and single families. They joined other tribes or settled by themselves, but many were lost.
note: The Apache of the South are the White Mountain Apache.
So the People who started from the world below came up to this White World, and they have gone in all different directions. They were made here in the center of the earth as one people. Now they are known as Indians wherever they are.