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Part 6— Morning Green Chief and the Witch
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Story 9—
Ho'ok, "Witch"

That's the way the people made their living for years. As time went on, a woman lived west from here [Snaketown or Casa Blanca, Ariz.]. She was a Mojave [and therefore lived about 180 miles west of Snaketown]. She was unmarried. Young men tried to marry her, but she didn't like any of them.

Another man lived [about 15 miles] east from here, at the San Tan mountains. He was called Yellow Buzzard (Huamanui),[6] and he had a son. He knew the woman that was living over there, and he knew she was hard to marry.

He gave his son some kind of ball, so he would play with it and come running over this way. When the


boy got close to the girl, he kicked and threw the ball so it came close to where the girl was working, making a reed mat. The ball came close, and she picked it up and hid it under her clothes. When the boy came to her and asked if she had seen the ball, she said she didn't know anything about it. All this time the boy knew that the woman got his ball, but he pretended not to know and looked for the ball around her. When he didn't find it, he went home.

The ball turned into a baby, and the woman brought out the baby inside of nine months. When the baby came out, it was not like any other baby but had claws on its fingers like a bear.

These Mojave Indians did not know who the baby belonged to. The baby grew up and was learning to crawl along, so these people decided they would meet at a certain place, sit around in a circle, and put the baby in the middle. At that time, the only way they could find out about a baby was because a baby always knew its father. So they sat in a circle, put the baby down, and the baby crawled around in the middle of the people.

Coyote sat with them and called for the baby to come to him, pretending to be its father. The people told this Coyote not to call the baby to him. Among these people was the grandfather of the baby, Yellow Buzzard. The baby crawled to him and climbed on him. Then the Mojaves knew the father of the baby.


The baby was a girl. Four years passed. The child had an uncle who would take her along when he went hunting. When he killed a rabbit, he would give it to her to carry for him. When she got the rabbit, she would tear it to pieces and eat it raw. When the uncle saw this, he was sad because he had never seen people eat rabbits without cooking them.

Four more years passed. The man took the child hunting. She lay down on a rock. He couldn't lift her up. He went home crying and sang a song.

The child got up and came east. She settled and grew up south of here somewhere in Papago country. From then, whenever she found that there was a baby at some place, she would go there and play very kindly with it, take the baby home, and eat it up. All the people were afraid, so they let her take their babies.

She kept doing this and killed a lot of children, so the people asked Siuuhu to do something to get rid of her. One man went to Siuuhu's house—at that time he was near here at Mo-ha-duk (South Mountain).[b]

When the man got to Siuuhu's home, he asked if he knew that this thing was going on, that something was eating the babies and destroying a lot of chil-


dren, and he told Siuuhu that the people wanted him to kill this thing. Siuuhu said, "Yes, I know, it's ho'ok (some kind of evil witch).[c] Tell them to gather a lot of wood, and when the fourth day is up I will come over there.

When the fourth day was up, and the sun went down, he came. He told them to send one man to this evil person's home and tell her that Siuuhu was going to sing some songs. The man went to her house and told her what Siuuhu said, and she said that she doesn't like that kind of singing. The man went back and told Siuuhu that she would not come.

This man went over there three times and told her to come, but she would not come. The fourth time he went there, the woman said that she will come. This mean woman was very glad to go. She picked up her dress made from human bones and put it on.

When the man came back to Siuuhu, he told him that she was coming. Siuuhu went to work and made four cigarettes. One of them was called chunasuk .[d]


Another [cigarette] was called heo-ko-tatk ,[e] some kind of root to make her weak. The third was some kind of tobacco that is dope for sleeping; and the fourth was a weed that grows in damp places, roots of jimsonweed. He told the people that, when the woman came, he would light one of the cigarettes, smoke it for a while, and then give it to the woman to smoke. Then he sang.

The mean woman came. The first thing she did was to go and stand beside Siuuhu and begin to dance. Siuuhu lit the first cigarette, smoke it a little, and gave it to the old woman who smoked it, breathed it in her breast, rubbed her breast with her hands, and said, "I'll never get tired, I'll dance all night."

They passed this first cigarette around. The people, knowing what was in it, pretended to smoke it but were not smoking it at all. Siuuhu sang:

On top of this mountain (Mo-ha-duk)[8]
I am singing

The old woman was getting weaker all the time. She would open her eyes and then close them again. Then Siuuhu sang the fourth song:

Old woman went to some singing
And fell asleep.
And this old woman was sound asleep


When she was sound asleep they took her to a cave, laid her on her back, and pulled wood into the door of the cave. They set fire to the wood and burned her to death. From then on the children grew up and the people lived happily for many years.

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