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Part 11— After the Conquest
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Story 32—
First Grave

When they saw there was no danger close by, the [Wooshkum] people decided to make their home close to Komatke[d] mountain. Then the medicine man sang two other songs:

A sandy land I saw
And in this land
I make my home.
A sandy land mountain
I learned
I am going to make my home there.


While they made their home there, a leader of the other company [of Wooshkum] died. This man's wife was an old woman. She began to lead the people, who were called Chuch ma mike Oh tum, or horned toad people.[e] She took sick and was going to die.

At this time the people staying at Komatke were planning to leave again, and they told the other group, "When this old woman dies, you can leave and go on. We don't think there will be any more trouble."

So some were going to leave, and some were going to stay there. Then they said they would do something to show that the owl (chu kut )[f] does not belong here [in Pima-Papago country]. They made a rule: when a big bird builds its nest someplace, the owl will come and fight with the bird, chase it away, and lay its eggs in the nest.

This was true. When the owl found the nest of another bird, he fought the bird and took away its nest and laid its eggs there.

Early in the morning, before sunup, the people got ready to start their journey, and they sang:

I am leaving you and
I am going
The morning shining across.


I am leaving you
And running away
The setting of the sun
Is shining blue.

Part went on their journey and part stayed, but they were all afraid because this part of the land was dangerous. When the old woman found out the thoughts [plans to stay and leave] of the people, she sang:

Over ahead of me the land
Seemed like a piece of rubber
I want to lead my people
But I cannot do it.

Ahead of me there are many
In these mountains
My mind is getting weak.

The people taking care of this old woman were her grandchildren. They sang:

Our grandmother
I wish you would die.
And everything will be all right.
Ahead of you the land
Seemed to be springy.

We wish you'd fall pretty soon.


Ahead of you there are
Many mountains.

The old woman died, and they arranged her body in a grave like she was sitting down, close to these Komatke mountains. From that time, the grave where she was, was kept clean by the Pimas.

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Part 11— After the Conquest
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