Sun Chief: The Autobiography of a Hopi Indian by Don C. Talayesva
By Don C. Talayesva
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Extra resources for Sun Chief: The Autobiography of a Hopi Indian
The report is not free narrative, but selected and condensed narration, interwoven with additional information obtained by repeated interviewing. It is greatly abbreviated and often reorganized. Possibly not more than one fifth of the data are published here, but the remainder is for the most part monotonous repetition of the daily details of life, legends, and additional dreams. After literally thousands of inquiries had been made, when on one occasion there was a long pause on my part, Don laughed and said: “Now it is my turn to question you.
Lesser sky gods are the wind, lightning, thunder, rain, and rainbow deities. Serpent deities live in the springs and control the water supply. Below these gods in rank are the Six-Point-Cloud-People, departed ancestors who visit Oraibi in billowy clouds and drop a little rain on the parched lands. Masau’u, the god of fire and death, is master of the underworld of spirits but resides also in shrines near the Hopi villages. He is a restless nightwalker who carries a firebrand and guards the people while they sleep.
The women are about five inches shorter and when young are rather fair-skinned, lithe, and graceful; but as they grow older they become portly, though almost never clumsy or lazy. The Hopi are a peace-loving people, as their name implies (“Hopi” means peaceful people), and display good fellowship and humor, but they maintain a poise which reflects courage and self-confidence. Whenever they were attacked by marauding Apache, Navahos, and Utes, they defended their homes on the mesa tops with great valor and have even made devastating counterattacks, although armed with nothing better than wooden clubs, sinew-backed bows, and reed arrows tipped with flint or obsidian.