Preferred Citation: Bahr, Donald, Juan Smith, William Smith Allison, and Julian Hayden. The Short, Swift Time of Gods on Earth: The Hohokam Chronicles. Berkeley:  University of California Press,  c1994 1994.

Part 3— New Creation and Corn

Story 5—
Corn Returns


Just southwest of here are signs of where people used to live, at the place called top-oiduk ,[g] or rabbit farm.

The reason why they called it top-oiduk is that there used to be a lot of rabbits there. When the people planted their crops, the rabbits would eat it all up.

From there one woman went to Superstition Mountain [40 miles eastward], gathered some [cholla] cactus fruit, and baked them in ashes, because they

[g] To:bi Oidag, 'Rabbit Field'.


were hungry. While the corn was standing in the east,[9] he saw what the woman was doing. The woman happened to be a young girl, very pretty, so the corn loved the girl and came toward her.

He came to a mountain, called Vatcum (means a hole)[10] at a certain place in the east, and at the base of the mountain he sang this song:

I have gone
I am going
And now I am passing by Vatcum
Flat-headed (corn, me)
Little bit crazy (I am).

Then he came to another mountain called White-thin and sang:

I am passing by White-thin (Stoa Kom)[11]
Flat-headed (corn)
(I am) little bit crazy
 chupa[h]  (like a woman ).

As he gets closer to the woman he sings this song:

I went and met a girl
I ran and met this girl
A cliff which decorated itself very pretty
I'm getting closer to top-oiduk
Hay do way ha'an.[12]

So this corn man went and came to the girl's home and stayed with her for one day. He told the girl that

[h] Ce:pa'owi , 'prostitute', 'whore'.


his head felt itchy, so she looked for something in the corn man's hair and took out a worm. She put it in her mouth and chewed it up. The corn man was also decorated. When his clothes peeled off the front of his chest, he appeared to have kernels of corn on himself.

When the sun was about to set, he went out of the house with one of his arrows and stuck it in some cactus fruit that had been cooked. When they took this cactus fruit out [from the pit in which it had been cooked], it appeared that it wasn't cactus fruit but pumpkin and corn. The girl got this changed food and went away. She was glad and sang two songs:

You have made a woman out of me
And you have made a basket for me
Which is made of corn tassels.

You have made a woman out of me
And you have made a basket for me
Which is made of pumpkin blossoms.

The girl went to where her parents were and gave them the pumpkin and corn, and they ate it. This happened four times. She went back to where the corn man was and got the same thing from him four times.

The fourth time the corn man talked to her and told her that when she got back to her people, she could


talk to them and tell them to make a special house for him to live in. He was going to live with the people. He also told her to tell them to clean up their houses and get everything ready, such as dishes and pots, and they must turn them [face] up.

When the fourth day was up, the corn man went. As he started he sang two songs:

Toward the west
Closer to the setting of the sun
Where is much understanding
To this land I come
And over this land
It is raining corn.

Toward the west
Close to the setting of the sun
There lies some land
Over this land
The clouds are roaring
And it's raining pumpkins
Over this land.

When Corn got to the land that he mentioned, just to give you an idea how he got [what he did] there, it [he] came like hail, it rained corn, it rained pumpkins in every dish, and it filled everything that they had turned up. When Corn got there, he went into the house that the people had made for him, and the girl that he had met came and lived with him.


When some people saw this thing happen, they couldn't believe that it was really corn and pumpkins. When Corn found this out, he sang two songs:

It is true that I am Corn
And you see that I have white kernels.

It is true that I am the Pumpkin
With white seeds.

When the people prepared and ate it, they were filled. They gathered it and stored it away for their food.

All this time the worm that the girl chewed had turned into a baby in the girl's womb. The girl stayed with the corn man four times four days. When the fourth fourth day was up, the baby was born. It was the child of corn man and was a girl.

When Siuuhu saw this, he didn't like it. The baby was taken care of for four days. Then the girl picked it up in her arms, to take it someplace. On the way, somehow she dropped it and the baby died. It was Siuuhu's scheme that this should happen. When the corn saw it, he got mad and went off to the east. This was the first time the people saw death.

The elder people, who were called wise men, went to Siuuhu and asked where the life of the child went to. Siuuhu said that out in the desert there is a mountain which is tossed back and forth by the wind. The wise people asked what he meant by


that. Siuuhu told them that he explained this to them because what happened to Corn and the girl was not right.

The next question that the people asked Siuuhu was, what was going to happen to that life [after death] in the future. Siuuhu told them it is not man's purpose to know what those lives were going to do, but it is Jeoss's business to know what he wants to do with them.

The people asked what was going to happen here, on earth. Siuuhu told them that in the earth there are four kinds of water with which the world will burn up with fire. The people asked him a stronger question, how the people would know when this thing [burning] was to come to pass. The reason they asked these questions was that they wanted more understanding, or to be more powerful, than Siuuhu.

Siuuhu told them that at this time they have one song, and when the end is near there will be all sorts of people dreaming all sorts of songs about birds and animals and everything. Also, when the time is coming, young men will grow old in a short time, and a young woman will grow old in a very short time. He also made a statement about the corn. When the time is near, they will plant corn and sometimes it will fail, and with the corn will come up all kinds of weeds. At that time, man must work


hard to get a good crop from that corn. He must clean the weeds and cultivate it to get a good crop. Then Siuuhu made a bitter pumpkin, and he told them that this would be a sign of what had happened, that corn's baby had died. It was right here, then, that Siuuhu made watermelons and musk melons. When he gave these melons to the people, they stopped being mad and were all right again.

Then Siuuhu made four commandments by which people should unite in marriage—not like corn did. The four commandments are that the father of the girl and mother of the girl should agree, and the mother of the boy and father of the boy should agree, which makes four commandments by which they should be married.

From then until now, when a person should die, the people should bury him in the ground. So the people were getting along nicely.

Part 3— New Creation and Corn

Preferred Citation: Bahr, Donald, Juan Smith, William Smith Allison, and Julian Hayden. The Short, Swift Time of Gods on Earth: The Hohokam Chronicles. Berkeley:  University of California Press,  c1994 1994.