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Part 7— Feather Braided Chief and the Gambler

1. But for once, not Thin Leather. He says that warrior purification did originate through the killing of the eagle, but he does not say that Elder Brother the eagle killer passed through it. Nor, therefore, does he mention an old woman as officiant or purifier. [BACK]

2. The Pima-Papago language does not have gender-specific personal pronouns (e.g., "he" and "she" vs. "it"). Instead, it has unisex pronouns equivalent to "it" (or "that one," "this one," etc.). Thus, unless it is made clear with a noun (e.g., "that girl "), one continue

cannot tell the sex of the person referred to in a sentence. This makes it inconvenient to translate Pima-Papago into English, because English requires that personal pronouns be genderized; and to use the genderless "it" in English translation implies that the thing being referred to is not human, or not even animate. Here we see Allison shifting between "it" and "he" at a point when the story has not yet openly stated that the baby is a boy. [BACK]

3. This song is remote from any Pima-Papago song known to me. I have not heard any song as chiding and complaining, or one might say, as tattling, as this one; and I do not know any Pima-Papago expressions precisely equivalent to "naughty" and "scold." This is not to say that something very like this song was not sung, but I wish I had heard it. [BACK]

4. Gins , a stick dice game. [BACK]

5. I have heard this place called Waw S-do'ig, 'Rock Raw'. The latter word refers to the smell of raw meat, blood, fish, and female genitals. "Rotten" is a different word ( s-jew ). The implication of using "raw" for this place is that the corpses did not rot but remained rankly fresh. The place is said to be east of Pima-Papago country, perhaps in today's Apache country. Smith-Allison affirm the "Rock Raw" name in the next story, which says that Siuuhu told the people to call the eagle killing place, "Cliff that smells like blood." [BACK]

6. Therefore, although not mentioned in the flood story, he must have found a way to save himself equivalent to the ways found by Earth Doctor, Siuuhu, and Coyote. In fact, no known Pima-Papago flood story involves a Nawicu character. It is as if the Nawicu character is an "extra" to that strand of world history. [BACK]

7. Such a song is in Russell (228), under the title, "Song sung by Eagle's wife to put him to sleep." The word yakahai occurs but is left untranslated (very rare in Russell), while a later word, sikosiimo , is (properly) translated as "sleep." I conclude from this that Smith probably knew the same song that Russell recorded from Thin Leather and that the yakahai probably belongs to the untranslatable, or not understood, portion of the song. Certainly I know no Pima-Papago way to say "sleep" that sounds like yaka-hai . [BACK]

8. Russell gives the entire song as:

Haya yakahai yahai mo,
Haya yakahi mo,
hovanyto sikosiimo,
hovanyto sikosiimo—

two lines, each repeated verbatim or nearly so. The second or continue

"last" of the paired lines is translated as "I sleep." It seems that Smith was here quoting the first paired line. [BACK]

9. Alluded to in the previous song. [BACK]

10. No doubt Siw Hewel , 'Bitter Wind'. Densmore's translator probably pronounced the English word "bitter" in a manner that made Densmore think he had said "beater." Indeed, Papagos do pronounce the word "bitter" in this way, with a Mexican accent, so to speak. Densmore's other problem was that she could imagine a wind that "beats" but not one that is named for a taste or attitude. Such, however, is the case with this wind. Recall that Bitter Wind figured into the Origin of Irrigation story as the means used by White Eater Old-woman to deepen the canal and the principal great-house chief was named "Bitter" (Siba). [BACK]

11. Like the Bitter Wind of the irrigation story. [BACK]

12. Undoubtedly the same Pima-Papago name as Hayden and others translate "Yellow Buzzard." Their name is Uam Nu:wi, Yellow [or 'brown' or 'yellow-brown'] Buzzard. [BACK]

13. Therefore, this house is the opposite of a Hohokam wa'aki (great-house) and the opposite of the cosmic wa:paki referred to in speeches such as Thin Leather gave in connection with the Corn Returns story. Those houses are always said to be full of rain, mist clouds, and lightning. [BACK]

14. Thus would Buzzard have acquired or recharged the solar power that he would use to kill Siuuhu. (This killing is the topic of the next story of Smith and Allison.) [BACK]

15. In my opinion the answer is, "No, you are not an eagle. You are destined to become a scalped buzzard bird, and at this moment you are acquiring solar power." Eagles are sometimes associated with rain and moistness in opposition to buzzards, which are associated with hot light. Thus, eagle feathers are said to drip moisture, and medicine men use them to fan and thereby to moisten and cool dehydrated and feverish patients. [BACK]

16. Or, on the pattern of other speeches and ceremonials enacted for directional progressions, the third throw is to the south and the fourth to the west. See the speech for I'itoi's resurrection, given in three versions by Bahr (1975) for this directional progression in which the thrown object was I'itoi (or Siuuhu) rather than the boy "Feather Braided." [BACK]

17. Conceivably, Garcia could have given this speech but chose not to. In any case, the sequence of tossings is surely in the speech, which Garcia was telling in "prose" rather than in the more measured, chanted mode of "oratory." See the discussion of modes or levels of memorization in the section on Pima-Papago continue

literature in the introduction. It is certain that the actual speech would have been more difficult to give than this prose precis. The question is whether Garcia could have given the speech if he was asked to do so for a cure or some other ceremony and if he had time in which to call it to mind. [BACK]

18. Komtan and ku:p , both used for sicknesses pertaining to warfare and war purification. [BACK]

19. Gohimeli and hiwculida , the first for the two nights of dancing that precede the wine drinks, the second being the Type B crop songs, discussed earlier. I do not consider this to be a proper myth of origin of those songs, since the songs are mentioned as acquired as a block, along with three other blocks of songs. A proper origin myth, I think, would have the songs appear one by one, on some actor's lips, like arias in an opera, as the Creation and various other kinds of songs originate in the Smith-Allison text. [BACK]

20. But not as powerful as the songs actually used by medicine men to diagnose sicknesses, the so-called duajida songs. In this passage Garcia is mainly responding to Densmore's large interest in songs. She came to the tribe to write a book on their music. [BACK]

21. This is the first mention of the old woman in the text. Densmore does not comment on that fact. Apparently this woman is neither the grandmother of the literalist boy nor the wife of the eagle. She is just an old woman. [BACK]

22. This is probably just an English paraphrase of the song. Since the Papago text is not given, it is not safe to ponder the English words and meanings. [BACK]

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