The Delight Makers eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 557 pages of information about The Delight Makers.
creed, in which he was born, he would not yield to his own wishes until the will of the higher powers was ascertained.  To that end he was resolved to apply to the leading shamans of the tribe.  In order, however, that the Shiuana might look favourably upon his request, he determined upon doing penance himself during four consecutive days.  Until this was performed he would not even speak to the medicine-men.  The self-sacrifice he thus imposed was to be light, and not a formal fast.  It limited itself to a much less substantial nourishment, and to a shorter rest during the hours of night.


[Footnote 10:  In the symbolical paintings of the Pueblos, the rainbow is represented usually as a tri-coloured arch with a head and arms at one end and with feet at the other.  It is a female deity.]


At the time of which we are speaking, the chief civil officer of the tribe at the Rito,—­its tapop, or as he is now called, governor,—­was an Indian whose name was Hoshkanyi Tihua.

Hoshkanyi Tihua was a man of small stature; his head was nearly round, or rather pear-shaped, for the lower jaw appeared to be broader than the forehead.  The lips were thin and the mouth firmly set, the nose small and aquiline.  The eyes had usually a pleasant expression, but when the little man got excited they sparkled in a manner that denoted not merely an irascible temper, but a disposition to become extremely venomous in speech and utterance.  Hoshkanyi Tihua was nimble, and a good hunter.  He seldom returned from a hunt without a supply of game.  On such occasions he was always suitably welcomed by his wife, who suffered him to skin the animal and cut up the body.  When that was performed she allowed her husband to go to rest, but not before; for Koay, Hoshkanyi’s wife, was not so much his companion in life as his home-tyrant; and however valiant the little fellow might try to appear outside of his home, once under the immediate influence of that home’s particular mistress he became as meek as a lamb.  Koay was an unusually tall woman for an Indian,—­she overtopped her husband by nearly a head; and the result of this anomalous difference in size was that Hoshkanyi felt very much afraid of her.  Koay had a temper of her own, besides, which temper she occasionally displayed at the expense of the little tapop’s bodily comfort.  Among the Pueblo Indians the wife is by no means the slave only of the lord of creation.

Koshkanyi had somehow or other acquired the reputation of being an experienced warrior.  Whether he really deserved that reputation or not was never accurately ascertained.  At all events, he was the lucky possessor of one scalp, and that gave him prestige.  There is no doubt that he acquired the trophy in a legitimate way; that is, he had not stolen it.  Once upon a time a war-party of Navajos infested the

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The Delight Makers from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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