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Prelude 3—
The Drinker (Governor of Uturituc)

He [the village governor] said also, that after the old man [Siba] there came to that land a man called the Drinker, and he grew very angry with the people of that place and he sent much water so that the whole country was covered with water, and he went to a very high mountain range which is to be seen from here, and which is called the Mountain of the Foam (Sierra de la Espuma), and he took with him a little dog and a coyote. . . . That the Drinker went up, and left the dog below that he might notify him when the water came too far, and when the water had touched the brow of the foam [marked today on the mountain] the dog notified the Drinker, because at that time the animals talked, and the latter [the Drinker] carried him up.

That after some days the Drinker Man sent the rose-sucker [hummingbird] to Coyote to bring him mud; they brought some to him of the mud he made men of different kinds, and some turned out good and others bad. That these men scattered over the land, upstream and downstream; after some time he sent some men of his to see if the men upstream talked; these went and returned saying that although they talked, they had not understood what they said, and that the Drinker Man was very angry because these


men talked without his having given them leave. That next he sent other men downstream to see those who had gone that way and they returned saying that they had received them well, that they spoke another tongue but that they had understood them. Then the Drinker Man told them that these men downstream were good men and there were such as far as the Opa, with whom they are friendly, and there were the Apache [upstream], who are their enemies.

He [the governor] also said that at one time the Drinker Man was angry with the people and killed many and transformed them into saguaros [cacti], and on this account there are so many saguaros in that country. . . . Furthermore, he said that at another time the Drinker Man was very angry with the men and caused the sun to come down and burn them, and was making an end of them; that he [they image] now begged him much not to burn them, and therefore the Drinker Man said that he would no longer burn them and then he told the sun to go up, but not as much as before, and he told them that he had left it lower in order to burn them by means of it, if they ever made him angry again, and for this reason it is so hot in that country in summer.

He [the governor] added that he knew other stories; that he could not tell them because the time was up, and he agreed to tell them to us another day; but as we laughed a little at his tales, which he related with


a good deal of seriousness, we could not get him afterward to tell us anything more, saying he did not know any more. (Quoted in Fewkes 1912: 43–44)

The striking difference between this two-myth mythology and the later, conquest mythologies is that this 1775 version separates the Drinker/Siuuhu from the great-house people. These people were earlier than the god, who came on the scene, did not like what he found (presumably, the people who remained after Siba's departure), caused a flood, and created the Pima-Papago, Apaches, and a good downstream people who lived as far as the Opas, generally considered to be a Yuman language-speaking people who extended in 1775 from around Gila Bend, Arizona, along that river toward today's town of Yuma (Spier 1933: 25).

One wonders if Font and his interpreter were truly attentive to the governor on the dissociation between the Drinker and the Hohokam. I assume that they were because, as we will see later, there were mythologies in the 1850–1940 period, and there are still some today (see n. 1 for part 8) that make a little of the great-houses and the sisiwañ chiefs; and while war is certainly a factor in these mythologies, the relevant war is not against the Hohokam but against Apaches and Yumas, as it seems to have been also for Font's governor.[7]

Thus, the text should not be dismissed as poorly heard. In fact, in its brevity it expresses a theme that we will find in the conquest mythologies. This is the opposition between rain and sun. In the Font text, Siba is a rain god, or at least a man blessed by rain. He keeps rain as a retainer, a "servant" Font said. The Drinker, in contrast, chastises people with the sun.

The narratives of conquest say the same thing. One of the two greatest battles in the long accounts is against a man simply called "Chief" by Smith-Allison and "Black Sinew Chief" by Thin Leather. This man has an armory of water defenses—fogs, mists, and so on. Siuuhu evaporates them. The other great battle is with a solar figure, the Buzzard who the Hohokam had enlisted earlier to kill Siuuhu. Buzzard had killed him by borrowing the sun's bow or gun


for a day and shooting him with it. During the revenge battle, Buzzard does not have the bow, and Siuuhu's forces outfly him with their eagles and hawks.

In both great battles the invaders prevail, thanks to solar power. Curiously, the Hohokam have both rain and sun, but the invaders have only the one. Neither Siuuhu nor his army are ever said to cause water, the implication being that the last real water magician was a Hohokam siwañ, long ago.

If we cannot say why the Font text lacks irrigation, at least we have said what it has instead. I will now take a final look at how Font's myths are reflected in Smith-Allison, for the above remarks are limited to the last part of their text, that is, their narrative of the conquest. There is no loss of Rain and Wind (or Cloud) myth in Smith-Allison, but there is an equivalent one, on the loss of Corn and Tobacco. Like the story of Siba, this myth starts with a society blessed with the things about to be lost. The blessing is special: the primordial society includes those things as human members, that is, as men (Tobacco is a woman, however, in a variant by Thin Leather). In one way or another (this is complex and not perfectly clear), the people of the society eat of, smoke of, or are wafted and watered by the things while also having them as human companions. The eventual loss that the myths speak of is not at all of the non-human aspect of the things, for example, of corn and tobacco as material products. Rather the loss is of the human aspect, that is, of Corn and Tobacco as human companions. These humans leave and stay gone, although they may be approached from a distance. Also gone are the vague but unlimited pleasures and uses that the things yielded while they were humans.

These are stories of the loss of a certain kind of paradise, unfamiliar to the West, in which a useful material thing and a human person become separated. The very commonly heard Native American stories of animals that are like people suggest the same idea, except that these stories are usually not understood to entail a loss. They do not stress that humanity lost something when the species became itself, so to speak. Perhaps the Font text on Siba is also of this


type, but it was recast by or for the Spaniards. (In that story, Rain and Cloud resume their residence.)

In Smith-Allison and all the late nineteenth-century stories of the type, the persons who are lost to society always leave voluntarily, as do Font's Rain and Cloud ("Wind," in the later versions). But whereas the Font text characters leave because of unspecified dissatisfaction with their master, Siba (perhaps because of his overbearing character), the characters of the later stories all leave unmarried, and in some cases they leave because they would like to be married but cannot. And there are many hints that their provision of unlimited pleasures—Corn through his person, Tobacco through his person, and so on—is linked to their unmarried, virginal, and unsexually reproducing condition. They are presexed creators. We will consider these matters in discussing Smith-Allison's part 3.


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