—One order, the "Chiffoneti" (pl. 39), is called the Black Eyes at Taos and Isleta, Kossa among the Tewa, Koshare by the Keres, Tabösh at Jemez, Newekwe at Zuñi, and Paiakyamu at Hopi. The members of the different groups of this order impersonate, without the use of a mask, a certain kind of supernatural. For the concealment of their identities they depend entirely upon the painting of their bodies and faces and the arrangement of their hair and headdresses. These extraordinary beings are striped from head to foot in horizontal black and white earth colors. Their faces are white with circles of black around their mouths and eyes.[*] They wear breechclouts with the ends hanging to midthigh. These are held in place by a narrow belt around the middle. The hair is parted in the center and bound in two bunches which stand upright on each side of the head and are trimmed with bristling rosettes of cornhusks. Among the Tewa, this cornhusk is called "mist." Short hair necessitates a two-pointed cap in imitation of the horned hairdress. This cap is striped in black and white, carrying out the general decorative scheme. Sometimes strips of black cloth are tied around the neck and knees. Branches of evergreen are worn in the belt, or in a bandoleer over the right shoulder, or carried in the hands.
The comic action of these entertainers is impromptu, and it occurs between the appearances of the main drama dance. For subject matter they make use of incidents in village gossip, or they mimic spectators in the crowd. Erna Fergusson, speaking of the Koshare at a Santo Domingo Tablita Dance, says that "a fat one, one day, caught sight of a plumpish matron watching the dance. She was trim and erect, and with a dignity that would have abashed any white clown. But not the Indian. Approaching her, in her full sight and knowledge, he minced, swinging his ample
hips, extending a condescending hand, caricatured her so exactly, but with such complete good humor, that the dowager herself laughed and made friends."
Again, these black and white clowns may entertain a crowd by dramatizing an incident. At Taos, on St. Geronimo's Day, a greased pole is set up in the middle of the plaza. From the top a sheep and various other spoils are hung, a reward for the one who successfully climbs that high. On a particular occasion, "one of the Delight Makers walked up under the pole on which the sheep was hanging and made sheep tracks with his fingers in the dust. ... Another strolled by and, discovering sheep tracks, began trailing the animals eagerly, looking everywhere until, glancing up, the dangling sheep caught his eye. Then with tiny bows and arrows the actors began shooting at the sheep with great glee and horseplay. Afterwards they went through the performance of climbing the pole. When the first man slipped down they put earth on the shaft, and when he climbed part way the others dropped on all fours, acting the part of furious bulls ... to discourage the climber's descent."
When the influence of the Church made itself felt among the Rio Grande villages, many Catholic ceremonies were burlesqued. This would indicate that in prehistoric times the 'play' was also about local matters, such as a caricature of some secret ritual which had been performed previously in the kiva.