The Grand Canyon of Arizona: How to See It,
George Wharton James

Part 3 out of 4

making baskets or dressing buckskin.

To most people an Indian is an Indian, yet there is such a wonderful
difference between these three peoples, in features, language, habits,
religion, social customs and life, that a short comparison cannot fail to
be of interest and profit.

The Hopi Indian. The Hopis belong to the people popularly spoken of as
"pueblos," but this name signifies nothing more than town Indians, as
distinguished from the nomad or wandering tribes. They belong to the great
Shoshonean family, and are a short, stocky, gentle people, given to
agriculture, sheep raising, basketry and pottery, and a little weaving and
silver work.

The Navaho Race. The Navahos, on the other hand, are of Athabascan stock,
coming from the north, and are blood brothers of the Tinnehs of Alaska, and
the fierce and warlike Apaches of Southern Arizona. They are natural
horsemen, raising great herds of their wiry, active, hardy ponies, as well
as herds of sheep and goats. These are the chief industries of their men,
and the women are the most skilled blanket-weavers in the world.

The Havasupais. The Havasupais are of still another stock. They belong to
the Yuman family, and are kin to the Wallapais, the Mohaves, Yumas and
Cocopahs of the Colorado River.

Comparison of Three Races. In appearance, the Hopi and Havasupai are more
alike than either are like to the Navaho. As a rule, the Hopi is well built
and stalwart, with the unmistakable Indian face, but with less coarse and
sensual lips, higher and more intellectual brow, more alert and kindly eye,
and stronger chin than the Havasupai. The lobes of the nostril are wide and
flexible, showing the wonderful lung power of this great running people.

The Navaho shows, in the build of his flexible body, that he is a horseman,
a rider. His face is one of the strongest of Indian types, and is
distinctive and easily recognizable, as a rule. With high cheek bones,
strong square jaws, flexible, thin lips, large, limpid eyes and expansive
brows, the tribe shows a high order of intelligence, and while at rest,
their faces are kindly and inviting. There is a flash in the eye when
aroused that denotes great pride, absolute fearlessness and hatred of
control. It is a race of warriors, a race that for two centuries harried
the Spaniards as well as the gentle Hopi, whom they regarded as their
legitimate prey.

Costumes of Hopi Men. In dress, these three peoples are distinctive, though
in these days of part civilization and close contact with the whites, the
true Indian costume is being discarded for the conventional dress of the
latter. The Hopi men generally wear the true pueblo costume. In olden days,
it was the buckskin shirt and trousers, with a blanket over all. Now, the
trousers are generally of white calico, with a slit on the sides from the
knee down. A calico shirt is worn. The stockings are of blue wool, without
feet. Moccasins, with a sole of thick rawhide and uppers of dressed
buckskin, are worn. The invariable silk handkerchief, or red bandana
"bands" surrounds the hair, which is cut long, generally long enough barely
to reach the shoulders.

Costumes of Hopi Women. The women's native dress is most picturesque, and
far more adhered to than that of the men. The main dress is a welt-woven
blanket of deep blue, sometimes with slight red decoration, which is
fastened over the left shoulder and down the left side. The right shoulder
is left bare, unless, as invariably is the case with the Indians who
associate much with the whites, a light calico shirt is worn under the
dress. It reaches to below the knees, and is encircled around the waist by
a broad home-woven sash, which is wrapped two or three times around the
body, and has the end carelessly tucked in. The feet are covered with
moccasins, to which are attached swathings of buckskin, which are wrapped
around and around the legs, until they are as large as ordinary sized
stovepipes. The hair is worn in peculiar fashion, that symbolizes the
social condition of the wearer. At puberty a maiden is required by the
inflexible rule of the tribe to dress her hair in two great whorls--one
over each ear--called "nashmi." These are in imitation of the squash
blossom, which is the Hopi symbol of maidenhood and purity. When she
marries, she must change the fashion of dressing the hair into two pendant
rolls, in imitation of the fruit of the squash, which is their emblem or
symbol for matronhood and chastity.

Navaho Men's Costumes. The old time Navaho men wear the white calico
trousers, slit up the side, and a shirt, either of colored calico or of
some kind of velvet cloth. On the feet are moccasins, and the stockings are
the same footless kind as worn by the Hopi, fastened below the knee with a
wide garter. This is made in the same style as the sashes which the Hopi
and Navaho women wear around their waists, but is neither so broad nor so
long. The hair is either allowed to flow loosely over the shoulders, or is
arranged in a kind of square knot at the back of the head. As a basis for
this knot, a hairpin made of bone, from three to five inches long, smoothed
almost flat, with beveled or rounded edges, and often rudely carved, is
used. Around this knot a sash similar to a garter is generally wrapped to
secure it. The universal bands is worn around the head to help bind the
hair, and keep it away from the forehead.

Navaho Women's Costume. The women wear a brown, green, or red velvet shirt,
with a "squaw dress" beautifully woven of deep blue cotton, with a
conventionally designed red border. Around the waist the wide sash, before
described, is wound. This dress is both skirt and waist, but of late years
those women who live in or near our civilization discard their native
dress, and wear a skirt of calico, with the velvet shirt.

The Havasupai Dress. The Havasupai men and women now wear as near the
conventional dress of our race as their means will allow. When I first knew
them, the men seldom wore more than a pair of moccasins and a breechcloth
in summer, with buckskin shirt and trousers, and a Navaho blanket over the
shoulders in winter. The conventional dress of the women at that time was a
skirt made of shredded cedar bark, which was suspended from the waist to
below the knees, without shirt or shirt-waist. In winter, a Navaho blanket
was worn over the shoulders. Both men and women still wear the inevitable
moccasins, though the "civilized" members of the tribe buy their shoes at
the white man's store in Williams, Ash Fork or Seligman. The women
generally bang their hair across, about the center of the forehead, and
then allow the rest of the hair to hang loose. It is a great insult to a
Havasupai woman to ask her to throw back her hair from her cheeks, and to
do it oneself is a serious offense.

Language. In language, these people are as different one from another as
are the Turks, the Esquimaux and the French. Even in the simplest words
these differences are marked. Take a few comparisons. For good the Hopi
says lolomai, the Navaho yatehay and the Havasupai harnegie. Bad in Hopi is
ka-lolomai (not good), Navaho da shonda (of the evil one), Havasupai

CHAPTER XVII. The Navaho And Hopi Blanket Weavers

What a marvelous art is that of weaving, and how much the human race of
today owes to the patient endeavors of the "little brown woman" of the
past for the perfection to which she brought this,--one of the most
primitive of the arts.

Blanketry was a necessary outcome of basketry. The use of flexible twigs
for baskets readily suggested the use of pliable fibres for textiles; and
there is little question that almost simultaneously with the first rude
baskets the first textile fabrics made their appearance.

Whence the art had its origin we do not know. But it is a matter of record
that in this country, three hundred and fifty years ago, when the Spanish
first came into what is now United States territory, they found the art of
weaving in a well advanced stage among the domestic and sedentary Pueblo
Indians, and the wild and nomadic Navahos. Scientists who have given the
question careful study, hold that the cotton of these blankets was grown by
these Arizona Indians from time immemorial, and they also used the tough
fibres of the yucca and agave leaves and the hairs of various wild animals,
either separately or with the cotton. Their processes of weaving were
exactly the same then as they are today, there being but slight difference
between the methods followed before the advent of the whites and afterward.
Hence, in a study of the Indian blanket, as it is made today, we are
approximately nearly to the pure aboriginal method of pre-Columbian times.

Archeologists and ethnologists generally assume that the art of weaving on
the loom was learned by the Navahos from their Pueblo neighbors. All the
facts in the case seem to bear out this supposition. Yet, as is well known,
the Navahos are a part of the great Athabascan family, which has scattered,
by separate migrations, from Alaska into California, Arizona and New
Mexico. Many of the Alaskans are good weavers, and according to Navaho
traditions, their ancestors, when they came into the country, wore blankets
that were made of cedar bark and yucca fibre. Even in the Alaska (Thlinket)
blankets, made today of the wool of the white mountain goat, cedar bark is
twisted in with the wool of the warp. Why, then, should not the Navaho
woman have brought the art of weaving, possibly in a very primitive stage,
from her original Alaskan home? That her art, however, has been improved by
her contact with the Pueblo and other Indians, there can be no question,
and, if she had a crude loom, it was speedily replaced by the one so long
used by the Pueblo. Where the Pueblo weaver gained her loom we do not know,
whether from the tribes of the South or by her own invention. But in all
practical ways the primitive loom was as complete and perfect at the time
of the Spanish conquest as it is today.

Any loom, to be complete, must possess certain qualifications. As Dr. Mason
has well said: "In any style of mechanical weaving, however simple or
complex, even in darning, the following operations are performed: First,
raising and lowering alternately different sets of warp filaments to form
the 'sheds'; second, throwing the shuttle, or performing some operation
that amounts to the same thing; third, after inserting the weft thread,
driving it home, and adjusting it by means of the batten, be it the needle,
the finger, the shuttle or a separate device."

Indian looms are made of four poles cut from trees that line the nearest
stream or grow in the mountain forests. Two of these poles are forked for
uprights, and the cross beams are lashed to them above and below. Sometimes
the lower beam is dispensed with and wooden pegs driven into the earth
instead. The warp is then arranged on beams lashed to the top and bottom of
the frame by means of a rawhide or horse-hair riata. Our Western word
lariat is merely a corruption of lariata. Thus the warp is made tight and
is ready for the nimble fingers of the weaver. Her shuttles are pieces of
smooth, round sticks upon the ends of which she winds yarn. Small balls of
yarn are frequently made to serve this purpose. By her side is a crude
wooden comb with which she strikes a few stitches into place. When she
wishes to wedge the yarn for a complete row--from side to side--she uses a
flat broad stick, one edge of which is sharpened almost to knife-like
keenness. This is called the "batten." With the design in her brain her
busy and skilful fingers produce the pattern as she desires it, there being
no sketch from which she may copy. In weaving a blanket of intricate
pattern and many colors the weaver finds it easier to open the few warp
threads needed with her fingers and then thrust between them the small
balls of yarn, rather than bother with a shuttle, no matter how simple.

Before blankets can be made the wool must be cut from the sheep, cleaned,
carded, spun and dyed. It is one of the interesting sights of the southwest
region to see a flock of sheep and goats running together, watched over,
perhaps, by a lad of ten or a dozen years, or by a woman who is ultimately
to weave the fleeces they carry into substantial blankets. After the fleece
has been sheared, the Navaho woman proceeds to wash it. Then it is combed
with hand cards,--small flat implements with wire teeth, purchased from the
traders. (These and the shears are the only modern implements used.) The
dyeing is often done before the spinning but generally after. The spindle
used is merely a slender stick thrust through a circular disc of wood. In
spite of the fact that the Navahos have seen the spinning wheels in use by
the Mexicans and Mormons, they have never cared either to make or adopt
them. Their conservatism preserves the ancient, slow and laborious
method. The Navahos live on a reservation which covers several hundred
square miles, extending along the northern borders of New Mexico and
Arizona where few travelers go. They do not live in villages or settlements
and their homes are so scattered that one may travel a whole day without
finding a woman at work with her loom. Day after day, however, one may see
the carding, spinning and weaving processes in the Hopi House at El Tovar,
where a little colony of Navahos is maintained.

Holding the spindle in the right hand, the point of the short end below the
balancing disc resting on the ground and the long end on her knee, the
spinner attaches the end of her staple close to the disc and then gives the
spindle a rapid twirl. As it revolves she holds the yarn out so that it
twists. As it tightens sufficiently she allows it to wrap on the spindle
and repeats the operation until the spindle is full. The spinning is done
loosely or tightly, according to the fineness of the weave required in the

The quality and value of a Navaho blanket is governed largely by the
fineness of the weave. The yarn in some of the cheaper qualities now made
is often coarse and loosely spun, and the warp, or chain, which has much to
do with the life of a blanket, may be improperly spun and of uneven
strength. A blanket of a given size may be made in two weeks, or in four,
or in two months, according to the quality of the work and the skill of the
weaver. Next in importance to the fineness of the weave is the proper
blending of colors. Though a woman may have the highest skill in her
primitive art, she must take time to study out the color scheme for her
blanket. These are the principal factors, but there are others which enter
into the making of a blanket, and the finer the product of the loom the
more difficult the work becomes.

There are still a limited number of very fine blankets made. The number is
governed largely by the demand.

In the original or natural colors there are white, brown, gray and black;
the latter rather a grayish black, or better salt, as Mathews describes it,
"rusty." Many of the best blankets now produced are of these natural
colors, with sometimes a touch of red.

There are certain Navaho blankets much sought after by the collector,
especially those rare old specimens made of purely native dye, the colors
of which have softened into harmonious tones. These have not been made for
many years past and most of the specimens in perfect state of preservation
that are in existence were obtained from Mexican families where they had
been handed down from generation to generation as heirlooms. Often in these
old specimens the red figures were made of bayeta. As Mason says: "The
word 'bayeta' is nothing but the simple Spanish for the English 'baize'
and is spelled 'bayeta' and not 'ballets' or 'valets.'" Formerly
bayeta was a regular article of commerce. It was generally sold by the rod
and not by the pound. Now, however, the duty is so high that its
importation is practically prohibited.

This bayeta or baize was unravelled and the Indian woman often retwisted
the warp to make it firmer. She then rewove it into her incomparable

From the earliest days the Navahos have been expert dyers, their colors
being black, brick-red, russet, blue, yellow, and a greenish yellow akin to
an old gold shade.

There is abundant evidence that they formerly had a blue dye, but indigo,
originally introduced probably by the Mexicans, has superceded this. If in
former days they had a native blue or yellow they must of necessity have
had a green. They now make green of their native yellow and indigo, the
latter being the only imported dye stuff in use among them.

To make the black dye three ingredients were used: yellow ochre, pinion gum
and the leaves and twigs of the aromatic sumac (thus aromatics). The ochre
is pulverized and roasted until it becomes a light brown, when it is
removed from the fire and mixed with an equal quantity of pinion gum. This
mixture is then placed on the fire and as the roasting continues it first
becomes mushy, then darker as it dries until nothing but a fine black
powder remains. This powder is called "keyh-batch." In the meantime the
sumac leaves and twigs are being boiled. Five or six hours are required to
fully extract the juices. When both are cooled they are mixed and
immediately a rich, bluish-black fluid called "ele-gee-batch" is formed.

For yellow dye the tops of a flowering weed (Bigelovia graveolens) are
boiled for hours until the liquid assumes a deep yellow color. As soon as
the extraction of color juices is complete the dyer takes some native alum
(almogen) and heats it over the fire. When it becomes pasty she generally
adds it to the boiling concoction, which slowly becomes of the required
yellow color,--"kayel-soly-batch."

The brick red dye, "says-tozzie-batch," is extracted from the bark and the
roots of the sumac, and ground alder bark, with the ashes of the juniper as
a mordant. She now immerses the wool and allows it to remain in the dye for
half an hour or an hour.

Whence come the designs incorporated by these simple weavers into their
blankets, sashes and dresses? In this as in basketry and pottery, the
answer is found in nature. Many of their textile designs suggest a
derivation from basketry ornamentation, which originally came from nature.
The angular, curveless figures of interlying plaits predominate and the
principal subjects are the same--conventional devices representing clouds,
stars, lightning, the rainbow, and emblems of the deities. These simple
forms are produced in endless combination and often in brilliant,
kaleidoscopic grouping, sometimes representing broad effects of scarlet,
black, green, yellow, and blue upon scarlet, and the wide ranges of color
skilfully blended upon a ground of white. The centre of the fabric is
frequently occupied with tessellated or lozenge patterns of multicolored
sides; or divided into panels of contrasting colors, in which different
designs appear. Some display symmetric zigzags, converging and spreading
throughout their length. In others bands of high color are defined by zones
of neutral tints, or parted by thin, bright lines into a checkered mosaic.
In many only the most subdued shades appear. Fine effects are obtained by
using a short gray wool in its natural state, to form the body of the
fabric in solid color, upon which figures in black, white and red are
introduced. Sometimes blankets are woven in narrow stripes of black and
deep blue with borders relieved in tinted meanders along the sides and
ends, or a central figure in the dark body with the design repeated in a
diagonal panel at each corner.

The greatest charm of these primitive fabrics is the unrestrained freedom
of the weaver in her treatment of primitive conventions. To the checkered
emblem of the rainbow she adds sweeping rays of color, typifying sunbeams.
Below the many angled cloud group she inserts random pencil lines of rain;
or she often softens the rigid lines signifying lightning, with graceful
interlacing and shaded tints. Not confining herself alone to these
traditional devices, she often creates realistic figures of common objects
such as her grass brush, wooden weaving fork, a stalk of corn, a bow, an
arrow or a plume of feathers from a dancer's mask. Although the same
characteristic styles of weaving and decoration are general, none of the
larger designs are ever reproduced with exactness. Every fabric
carries some distinct variation or suggestion of the occasion of its

Among the Navahos the women invariably do the weaving though in the past a
few men were experts in the art. Among the Pueblo Indians the men perform
this work. The products of the Pueblo looms are readily distinguishable
from those of the Navahos, the latter having far out-distanced the Pueblos
in the excellence of their work. Only among the Hopi, are blankets made
that in any way resemble the work of the Navahos. Generally a Hopi man
weaver can be found at work in the Hopi House, as well as Navaho women

The Hopi to this day preserve the custom of wearing a bridal costume
completely woven out of cotton. After the wedding breakfast the groom's
father "takes some native cotton and, running through the village,
distributes it among the relations and friends of the family. They pick the
seeds from the cotton and return it. A few days later a crier announces
from the roof of a house that on a certain day the cotton for the bridal
costume will be spun in the kivas." Here the friends assemble and "the
rasping of the carding combs and the buzzing of the primitive spindles"
are heard accompanied by singing, joking and laughing of the crowd. This
cotton is then woven either by the bridegroom or his father or other male
relation, into square blankets, one measuring about 60 by 72 inches, the
other about 50 by 60 inches, also a sash with long knotted fringes at each
end. When woven they are given a coating of wet kaolin, which adds to their

This preparation of garments often takes several weeks, during which time
the young married couple reside at the home of the groom's parents. Now the
bride, with considerable simple ceremony, walks with one of the robes on,
and the other in a reed wrapper, to her mother's house where, unless her
husband has prepared a separate home for them, they continue to reside. In
the Field Columbian Museum, Chicago, is a fine model showing the young
bride wearing her new garment, going to her mother's home.

In their ceremonial dances, the Hopi women wear cotton blankets, highly
embroidered at the sides and edges with red, green, and black wool. Fine
specimens may be found in the Hopi House. Similar to these in style, though
long and narrow in shape, are the ceremonial kilts or sashes of the men. In
pictures showing the march of the Antelope Priests during the Hopi Snake
Dance these beautiful sashes are well depicted.

In addition to the products of the vertical loom, the Navaho and Pueblo
women weave a variety of smaller articles all of which are remarkable for
their strength, durability and striking designs.

In weaving sashes, belts, hair bands, garters, etc., the weaver uses a
"heddle frame" similar to those found in Europe and New England. None of
these have been found in places that assure us of their use before the
Spanish occupation, so we conclude that they were introduced by the
conquistadores or the early colonists about 350 years ago.

The Thlinkets of Alaska, also, are good weavers. In the Fred Harvey
collection in the Hopi House, El Tovar, and Albuquerque, the United States
National Museum and the Museum of Princeton University, fine collections of
their work are to be seen. These collections generally consist of cape and
body blankets made of the wool of the white mountain-goat. The colors are
white, black, blue and yellow. The black is a rich sepia, obtained from the
devil-fish; the blue and yellow colors coming from two barks grown in the
Alexandrian archipelago. The white is the native color and the fringe of
both cape and blanket is undyed. To strengthen and give solidity to the
garment, the fibrous bark of the yellow root is twisted into the warp.

CHAPTER XVIII. Pueblo And Navaho Pottery And Silverware

Primitive Processes. The primitive industries of a primitive people are
always interesting to the student. They are more; they often reveal more
than appears at first sight. We, with our present knowledge of improved
mechanical methods, stand and watch an Indian silversmith or potter, and we
laugh at the crudity of the methods employed, naturally comparing them with
our own. But this is not the proper way to look upon the work of the
aborigine. Rather let the gazer imagine himself without any of his advanced
knowledge. Let him project himself into past ages, and find himself groping
his way out of the darkness of primitive ignorance. He will find himself
seeking for many centuries, ere he invents and discovers even the rude
processes used today by the Indian. As an inventor, the aborigine has laid
us under great obligation, for he discovered the first steps of mechanical
progress, without which all later steps would have been impossible.

Hopi Pottery. In the Hopi House, the processes of making pottery
and silverware by primitive methods may be seen in active operation, though
in the manufacture of silver, some modern appliances have taken the place
of the ancient ones. In the pottery, however, everything is exactly as it
used to be before the white race appeared on the American continent. The
Hopi woman brings her clay with her from some pit or quarry in Hopiland,
where experience has demonstrated a good pottery clay is found.

After thoroughly washing, pulverizing and crushing, it is ready to be
worked up into domestic and other utensils. Squatted upon the ground, the
potter places in her lap a small basket, wood, or pottery base, upon which
she places a "dab" of clay. This she thumbs and pats, until it forms the
basis of the new vessel. Then another piece of clay is rapidly rolled
between her hands, until it is in the form of along rope. This rope is then
coiled around the edge of the base already made, pressed well into it and
then smoothed down. After four or five coils of clay are thus added, the
potter takes a small "spat," generally a piece of dried gourd skin, dips
it into water, and proceeds to smooth out and make thin the clay coils. As
quickly and dexterously as can be, her hands and the spat manipulate the
vessel, until it has the desired shape. More coils of clay are then added,
and the shaping continues until the vessel is complete. Now it is put out
into the sun to dry, and when reasonably solid, it is ready for the
painting and decoration. With a rude brush made of horsehair or yucca
fibre, and paints gathered and ground by herself, she works out the design
that her imagination has already created and pictured upon her piece of
work. Some of these designs represent conventionalized objects of
nature--birds, clouds, mountains, rain, corn, lightning, tadpoles,
dragon-flies, horned toads, serpents and the like; others are purely
geometrical, and the variety and extent of them are more wonderful than any
except the experts realize. In a monograph upon the ancient pottery of
these people, Dr. Fewkes pictures every known geometrical figure of ancient
and modern times, all of which were copied by him from vessels that have
been excavated from ancient ruins and graves.

The Pottery of Nampeyo. Every village has its own style of pottery. Among
the Hopis, the finest potter is a resident of Tewa or Hano, Nampeyo by
name. Her ware is characterized by beauty of shape, perfection of form,
dignity and character in design, and a general appearance that is pleasing
and artistic. Zuni pottery is of a superior quality to that of Acoma,
Laguna, and the other villages near by, and often contains in its designs
the deer, with its peculiar red line of throat leading to the heart.

Black Pottery. At Santa Domingo and Santa Clara, pueblos on the Rio Grande,
a black ware is produced that is effective and strongly decorative in
certain pieces.

Ancient Varieties. Ancient ware, dug from ruins and graves, is exceedingly
rare and commands a high price. There are three distinguishable varieties,
among others, that denote comparative age. The earliest type is of the
corrugated ware, in which the thumb and finger marks, denoting the pressure
of the coils, one upon another, are clearly in evidence. Some pottery was
made in basket matrices, and marks of the basket are clearly outlined upon
the outside of the vessels so made.

The second type is the plain black and white ware, and the third is the red
ware painted with black designs.

Both ancient and modern ware, the latter in large variety, may be seen and
purchased at the Hopi House.

Navaho Silverware. Of equal interest is the making of silverware by the
Navaho peshlikai, or silversmith, whose primitive forge is in the first
room entered at the Hopi House.

Fondness for Silver. The innate desire of a primitive people for personal
adornment early led the pueblo Indians to a use of metal. When the
Spaniards and Mexicans came among them, the iron, brass and copper of the
conquerors were soon added to the dried seeds, shell beads, pieces of
turquoise and coral they had hitherto used. But silver has ever been their
favorite metallic ornament. Long ago they formed an ideal in the Spanish
don or Mexican vaquero, with his personal apparel adorned with silver, his
horse's bridle trapped out with silver belts, buckles and buttons, and his
saddle and its equipment studded with silver nails and other fanciful
expressions of adornment. From the Mexican and the pueblo Indian he rapidly
picked up the necessary knowledge, and practice soon gave the skill to
fashion the silver into every desired shape.

Navahos Used Silver Three Centuries Ago. Cushing contends that the Zunis
knew how to smelt metals before the Spanish conquest, but the statement is
strongly disputed. There can be no question, however, but that the large
use of silver ornaments by both pueblo and Navaho Indians dates from three
hundred and fifty years ago, after Coronado's conquistadores had found out
that this was no land of gold and precious metals, as was Peru.

In almost every pueblo of Arizona and New Mexico, and in many a Navaho
hogan, one may find the primitive silversmith at work. There is no
silversmith's shop, but generally in a corner of the quaint pueblo house,
or in an adjunct to the Navaho hogan, the worker quietly pursues his
important avocation; for in a community whose members have no other
metallic arts, the silversmith is an important man, and sees to it that his
profession is regarded with the high dignity it deserves.

Method of Working. With a rude mud forge,--the bellows of which, though
primitive, is as ingenious as any patent bellows invented,--a hammer, a
piece of railroad steel for an anvil, a three-cornered file, one or two
punches, a crucible which he understands how to make as well as the best
metallurgist in the land, and a bit of solder, he goes to work. Sometimes
he runs his melted Mexican dollars into primitive moulds; again he hammers
the metal into the shape he requires. He creates rings, some of them
containing rude pieces of turquoise, garnet, etc., well designed bracelets,
belt-disks, large and small silver buttons (some of which are admirably
adapted for belt-buckles), earrings, necklaces, crosses, beads, bangles,
clasps of silver for bridles, etc.

Ornaments and jewelry. The two most cherished objects are the waist-belt
and the necklace, though far more rings and bracelets are to be found. But
this is on account of the great expense of the former. The waist belts
generally consist of eight moulded plates, either circular or oval, with
filleted border and scalloped edges, each plate weighing from two to four
ounces. These are punctured in the center, or a small band is soldered to
the back, to admit of their being threaded upon a long and narrow belt of
leather, the ends of which are fastened with a buckle. Both men and women
wear these, and they are highly prized as ornaments by both sexes. The
necklaces are equally in vogue, the designs being principally hollow beads,
crosses, and ornaments representing pomegranate blossoms. The silver bridle
is also an object of great esteem. It is made of curiously designed, heavy
clasps of silver, fastened upon leather, with numberless buttons shaped
from coins. Many of these weigh not less than fifteen ounces, and some as
high as forty, hence their value can be readily estimated.

CHAPTER XIX. The Hopis And Their Snake Dance

A Hopi Religious Rite. Interesting among Indians, because of their unique
houses on the summits of high mesas, reached only by precipitous trails,
the Hopi of northern Arizona always have possessed peculiar fascination on
account of their thrilling religious rite, known as the Snake Dance, an
account of which follows.*

* This Sacred Dance and the life of the Hopi Indians is more fully set out
in the author's larger work "The Indians of the Painted Desert Region".

The Painted Desert. The region they live in, named the Province of Tusayan
by the Spanish conquistadores, three hundred and fifty years ago, is a
region of color. The rocks of which the mesas are built, the sand of the
desert, the peculiarly carved buttes which abound on every hand, are all
strikingly colored, with such a variety of hues and tints that one does not
wonder at the name--the Painted Desert--which is applied to the country
through which we must travel to reach Hopiland.

A Saddle Trip from El Tovar. The traveler who wishes to visit this
fascinating and unique region can arrange for full equipment at El Tovar.
The trip will be a saddle one and all outfits will have to be transported
on pack burros.

The Old Hopi Trail. The road followed is practically the line of the old
Hopi trail. On the way out, the interested traveler may visit Grand View
Point and Hotel, Hance's Old Camp and Trail, the Red Canyon Trail, Moran's,
and all the other salient points at the eastern end of the Grand Canyon.
Especially should he stand on faraway Navaho Point, or Desert View. This is
the last of the promontories before the rim of the Canyon turns sharply to
the north. Below it, a vast amphitheatre is opened out with more
precipitous walls than at any other part of the Canyon. The sweep of the
river, the mouth of Marble Canyon, the superlative richness of coloring at
this point, combined with the unequalled views of the Painted Desert, which
lies to the right, or east, afford a place of varied delight, scarce found
elsewhere on the whole Canyon rim.

Hopi Cornfields. Crossing the Little Colorado River at the Tanner Crossing,
Moenkopi is visited, and then a day's ride of forty miles over the Painted
Desert brings one to the cornfields of the Hopi, as properly they should be
called. For years, they have been known as the Moki, a term of reproach
applied in derision by the Navahos. These cornfields are a wonderful
monument to the thrift of the Hopi. White men would have starved to death
in the place, before they would have dreamed of planting corn in such an
inhospitable-looking soil. No springs or streams sufficient to irrigate
with, unversed in digging wells and pumping water to the surface, one would
have thought an ignorant Indian would have looked elsewhere before planting
his corn in such a place. But the Indian is not so ignorant. His life, from
the cradle to the grave, is one of close observation. His very existence
depends upon its exercise. He soon discovered, therefore, that there was a
natural subsoil irrigation in certain parts of this desert, where his corn
would grow. And grow it does, most wonderfully. Sometimes water is scarce;
then the crop decreases, but generally a good crop may be relied upon. To
hoe his cornfield, a Hopi will often run over the desert forty, fifty,
sixty, and even eighty miles in a day. Sometimes, when the field is near
by, the Hopi will ride on his burro. These cunning creatures are almost a
necessity of Indian life. The streets would seem lonely without them. It
will be noticed occasionally that one of these animals has lost part of his
left ear. This is proof that he is possessed of kleptomaniac proclivities.
If a burro is found stealing corn, he is sentenced to have part of his ear
cut off.

Oraibi. On one of these burros we ride up the steep trail that brings us to
the westernmost village of the Hopi, Oraibi. It is perched high on the mesa
top, several hundred feet above the valley, and the various trails are
steep and rugged. Some of them are sheer climbs, up which no animal other
than man can go. There are six other villages, three of them ten miles, and
the other three about twenty miles, to the east of Oraibi. They, also, are
perched upon high mesas, which thrust themselves, like long fingers, into
the sandy desert. On the middle mesa are Shungopavi, Mashongnovi and
Shipaulovi, while on the eastern mesa are Walpi, Sichomovi and Hano.

Sandstone Houses. All the houses are built of rude pieces of sandstone,
cemented with mud. Steps are made of larger slabs of stone, and often the
only means of access is by long ladders, the poles of which tower high
above the buildings, and give a singularly picturesque aspect to the
village. In the olden days, there were neither doors nor windows in the
first story of the houses. They were built so purposely, since they must
serve for fortresses as well as homes.

Hopi Wafer. Bread. One is often likely to find a woman engaged in making
piki. Piki is a wafer bread, peculiar to the Hopis. It is finer than the
finest tortilla of the Mexican, or oatcake of the Scotch. No biscuit maker
in America or England can make a cracker one-half so thin. The thinnest
cracker is thick compared with piki, and yet the Hopi make it with
marvelous dexterity. Cornmeal batter in a crude earthenware bowl, is the
material; a smooth, flat stone, under which a brisk fire is kept burning,
is the instrument; and the woman's quick fingers, spreading a thin layer of
the batter over the stone, perform the operation. It looks so easy. A lady
of one of my parties tried it once, and failed. My cook, a stalwart Kansas
City man, knew he would not fail. And he didn't. He had four of the
best-blistered fingers I have seen in a long time. But the Hopi woman
merely greases the stone, dips her fingers into the batter, carries them
lightly and carelessly over the heated surfaces, and, in a moment, strips
the already baked sheet from the stone. When several are baked, she folds
them over and over until they are about the size of an elongated shredded
wheat biscuit.

Hopi Women as Builders. It is a reversal of our conception of things to see
the "gentler sex " engaged in building a house, as is often the case in
Hopiland. Yet to the Hopi there is nothing strange in this scene, for the
woman, and not the man, is the owner of the house. Hence, the Hopi reasons,
why should she not build it? It is hers, so let her make it; and she does.
She uses no spirit-level, no plumb line, no square, no saw, and yet she
makes a creditable house, fairly square and plumb, warm and cosy in winter,
and cool and comfortable in summer. The mud of the winter's watercourses is
used as mortar, and the pieces of disintegrated sandstone, that abound on
the mesa tops, form the building material.

Men Who Weave and Knit. In accordance with Hopi logic, the antithesis of
the woman house-builders is to be seen daily in the men who are engaged in
weaving the women's garments; men, also, knit the stockings, and follow
other so-called feminine occupations. There is nothing incongruous in these
things to them. They are part of "the way of the old," handed down to them
by their forefathers.

Hopi Method of Weaving. To watch a weaver at work is to acquire a new
respect for Indians. As one sees the crude, home-made appliances, and then
watches the yarn climb up, thread by thread, battened down by hand so that
the garment will hold water, until the article is finished, artistically
designed, and perfectly fitted for its required purpose, he comes to the
conclusion that the Hopi weaver, at least, is a skilled artificer.

Hopi Rituals. The Hopi are a remarkably religious people. I question
whether there is to be found elsewhere in the world so ritualistic a people
as they are. They have ceremonies--all of religious character for every
month of the year, and some of them require from eight to sixteen days for
their observance. Their dances are propitiations of the gods they worship,
and whose aid they implore. One of the most noted and world-renowned of
their ceremonies is the Snake Dance, and I wish to conclude this chapter
with a brief description of this wonderful act, which I have now witnessed
thirteen separate times. It has been woefully misrepresented by careless

The whole ceremony is conducted with a dignity and solemnity that is not
surpassed by any Christian observance.

Hopi Mythology Regarding Snake Dance. It is not a dance, in our sense of
the word. It is a prayer for rain, and of thanksgiving for the blessings of
harvest. Neither is it an act of snake worship. According to Hopi
mythology, the snake and antelope clans, or families, are descended from
the union of Tiyo and his brother with two sisters, daughters of the snake
mother,--Tiyo being the paternal Ancestor of the Snake Clan, and his
brother of the Antelope Clan. The story of Tiyo's visit, using a sealed-up
hollow pinion log as a boat, and sailing down the Colorado river through "
shipapu" to the underworld, is one of the most interesting pieces of
aboriginal folk-lore. It appears elsewhere,* and forms the burden of the
sixteen dramatic songs sung in the secrecy of the underground ceremonial
kivas of the snake and antelope clans, in the nine days of preliminary
ceremonial, which culminate in the open-air public dance.

* See Indians of the Pointed Desert Region.

Antelope Race and Corn Scramble. There are two other ceremonies connected
with the Snake Dance that may be witnessed by all who like. These are the
antelope race and the corn scramble. The former takes place on the morning
of the eighth day before sunrise. Though apparently a mere test of athletic
ability, it is in reality a religious ceremonial. For centuries, the Hopi
lived surrounded by warlike people who preyed upon them. Being few in
number, living in a desert land, and beset by murderous marauders,
fleetness of foot and great "staying" powers while running over the long
trails of the sandy deserts became an essential condition of national
preservation. Hence the priests made the cultivation of the bodily powers a
matter of religion. Every youth was compelled to exercise to the utmost.
The result is a fine athletic development. Each year many great races are
run, and two of the chief of these are at the Snake Dance, there being a
race on both the eighth and ninth mornings.

At the end of that fierce race across the hot sands and up the steep mesa,
the winner exultantly stands before the chief priests. The lightning bearer
then throws the zigzag symbols over him, and rain clouds are pictured at
his feet. Then he is hurried on to the antelope kiva, where another priest
gives to him the sacred gourd full of water and a sack full of sacred
meal, with certain ceremonial prayer sticks, which, placed and used in his
cornfield, ensure to him an extra fine crop at the next harvest.

In the meantime, a number of young men and boys have followed the rest of
the racers, bearing in their hands cornstalks, melon vines and fruit. As
soon as they reach the level mesa top, the women and girls dart upon them,
and a most good-natured but exciting scuffle takes place. For five to ten
minutes this scramble lasts, and when every corn or vine carrier is rid of
his gifts, the play is at an end, and all retire to await the great event
of the whole ceremony,--the open-air dance, when the deadly reptiles are
carried in the mouths of the priests.

Preparation for Snake Dance. At noon a secret ceremony takes place in the
dark recesses of the kiva, viz.: the washing of the elder brothers (as the
snakes are called), which I have fully described in "The Indians of the
Painted Desert Region." When the afternoon shadows lengthen, every
available place in the dance plaza is speedily occupied by the villagers
and visitors, who wait the march of the antelope priests. The photographers
present must keep within a certain line.

Arrival of Snake Priests. After circling in front of the kisi (a cottonwood
bower in which the snakes are kept) the antelope priests line up with their
faces fronting from the kisi. There they sing and dance awhile, waiting for
the snake priests. These come from their kiva to the south of the dance
plaza, and, as they arrive, all sounds are hushed and all attention
concentrated upon them. They circle before the kisi, and then line up
facing the antelope priests.

Appearance of Priests. Some people say they are hideous; others have said,
with me, that the sight is sublime. If one looks merely at the half-nude
bodies, made repulsive by a coating of reddish black paint, with dabs of
whitewash in several places, at their faces painted with the reddish black
stuff, at the strings of white beads around their necks, and the snake
whips in their hands, then indeed it is easy to say that they are hideous.
But if one looks at their faces, he will see intense earnestness, deep
solemnity, profound dignity, and unflinching belief in the necessity for
and power of the prayer about to be offered. Then, too, with what simple,
trustful bravery they handle the snakes, when that part of the ceremony
comes! They know the danger; no one more so. Indeed, if a priest is afraid,
he is not allowed to participate. Not only would his fear prevent his own
proper worship, but it would interfere with that of his comrades.

Variety of Snakes. There were few snakes at Oraibi, the year I last saw the
dance there, but those they had were active and vicious. There were several
rattlers, some red racers, and a few bull snakes. The light was good, and
several first-class photographs were made which actually show the snakes in
the mouths of the priests. At the Snake Dance in the other villages, the
priest swings the snake out of his mouth, and allows it to fall. Here, I
noticed that every snake was gently placed upon the ground by the priest
who had been carrying it in his mouth. The antelope men never leave their
line, during the handling of the snakes. They continue to sing during the
whole performance.

Purification of Priests. While waiting for the priests to return, after
taking the snakes into the valley, I learned of several slight changes,
owing to changed circumstances. The rain had made numerous small pools at
the top of the mesa. The priests, in returning, divested themselves of all
their ceremonial paraphernalia, and washed the paint from their bodies,
before returning to the kiva and drinking the emetic. Generally, they have
gone to their homes at Oraibi or at Walpi, have had the women bring water
to the west side of the mesa, and there washed themselves.

CHAPTER XX. An Historic Trail Across The Grand Canyon Country

The Old Hopi Trail. One of the most noted aboriginal trails in the western
United States, is the old Hopi (generally called Moki) trail, leading from
the seven villages of the Hopi and their agricultural offshoot, Moenkopi,
to the Canyon of the Havasupais. This was the trail followed by Lieut.
Frank Hamilton Cushing--the noted ethnologist when he visited these Kuhne
kiwes while he was living at the interesting pueblo of Zuni, in New Mexico.
I have made the whole trip from Hopiland to the Havasupais and back twice,
and have ridden for many years over small portions of the trail. It is
intimately connected with the history of two of the people seen most at the
Canyon. According to one of the Havasupai legends, the Hopis and Havasupais
are descended from twin brothers. Hence they have always been friendly and
have traded continuously the products of their own manufacture. The Hopis
exchange their horses, sheep, and burros, laden with blankets, pottery and
silverware, for buckskin, Havasupai baskets (which they prize very highly),
dried peaches, etc.

Originally this was a foot trail; then horses, burros and mules were used;
and now, in some portions of its distance, notably from Moenkopi to Oraibi,
it is used for wagons.

A Six Day Journey. Let us leave the home of the Havasupais and go on a
visit to the Hopis. Our trip into Havasu Canyon is described in another
chapter. I discussed the matter with several of the leading Havasupais, and
they told me that the trip will be arduous and long. How long? Five, six

A Side Trail. But before starting I decided to see one of the outlets to
Havasu Canyon, that used to be a part of the old trail, and that was used
as an inlet when General Crook and his soldiers came there. The trail is
called after a spring bearing the name Pack-a-tha-true-ye-ba. Never did I
have such a sense of the maze of canyons contained in this system of
canyons as on that trip. My guide was Sinyela, one of the most intelligent
Indians of the whole tribe. We left the Havasupai village early one
morning, each riding an Indian pony, with all the provisions we thought we
should need on our saddles. After awhile, we entered a side canyon I had
never before explored. During the whole of that day we toiled, riding as
hard as we could over the almost trackless canyon floor; trailing through
deep sand; climbing over masses of boulders that freshets or cloud-bursts
had. piled between the walls; forcing our way through dense willows;
scratched by thickets of mesquites. Again and again in the walls were seen
cliff-dwellings and corn storage houses. The heat was intense, and radiated
from the precipitous walls on either side.

The Camp at Night. When night came, we ate our frugal meal, our horses
standing by waiting to be hobbled and turned loose. For beds, we had the
nearest layer of sand we could find, with our saddles for pillows.

Suffering from Thirst. Early in the morning we started again, winding and
curving with the course of the Canyon. For nearly two days we had been
without fresh water, and the little we had brought in our wicker-woven,
pinion-gum-covered esuwas had to suffice for our needs. Suddenly we entered
a vast amphitheatre, with a rude arch at the end. It was flower-covered,
with occasional trees, and here, hidden from any but the view of an Indian,
was found a tiny spring of coolest, purest water. How we enjoyed it!

A Dangerous Slope. On the third day, we came to the place where the
soldiers descended from the plateau above into the depths of the Canyon.
There was no well-defined trail, and the slope was steep enough to make
one's flesh creep. The site was marked with disaster. Here a pack mule had
slipped, fallen, and been dashed to pieces; there a man had fallen and been
killed. It was a difficult descent, but nerve and pluck had accomplished
it. Beyond was the Pack-a-tha-true-ye-ba Spring, and after seeing its water
I determined that we must return.

Capturing Wild Ponies. On our way back, Sinyela made a proposition that, as
our ponies were exceedingly weary, we catch some fresh ones of his, for
this was his "stock range," and he knew where there were plenty of good
animals. The horses were wild, as range horses generally are, but Sinyela
was crafty. He knew of a blind ravine, or rocky pocket, into which we could
drive the horses we needed, and to that end all our energies were directed.
Darting back and forth to arrest the dodging and fleeing animals, we at
length succeeded in "penning" about a dozen horses in the pocket. Then I
watched Sinyela, hand extended, slowly and stealthily approach the pony he
needed. Time and again, as he got nearer and nearer, all the time making a
peculiar sissing sound, the horse would suddenly swing around and endeavor
to dash away. But I was "guard of the gate," and it was my business to see
that none of the band escaped. It took us fully two hours to catch the two
horses. At last they were ours. Neither was well broken, though both had
been ridden, and the first thing Sinyela did was to blindfold them. The
saddles were removed from our jaded ponies, and placed upon the new ones.
The starts of terror and anger showed what we had ahead of us. Bridles were
adjusted, and then, with our fresh ponies still blindfolded, we sprang into
our saddles. When our feet were firmly placed and all was ready, we lifted
the blinds from the horses' eyes and then braced ourselves. Digging our
heels into the ponies' sides, off we started, at a jerking, bounding,
half-bucking pace. Shouting directions to each other, helter-skelter, over
and around boulders, we dashed along as if we were after the hounds on a
genuine old-fashioned fox-hunt. I suppose we kept it up a full hour, at
topmost speed. The horses didn't want to stop, and Sinyela knew that the
best way to break them was to let them have their own way. But before the
day was over, the ponies were considerably tamed down, and it was a weary
band that stopped for camp that night. The animals were duly hobbled and
turned loose; I lit a camp fire, though we had nothing to cook and no
kettle for boiling water, and dirty, dusty, with every nerve and fibre of
my body weary and aching, I finally stretched out on the solid earth and
wooed "balmy sleep." The ride was resumed next day. We finally got
ourselves to Sinyela's camp in safety, where a sweat-bath and a swim in the
delicious waters of Havasu fully rested us.

The Hopi Trail Ascent. We decided to leave Havasu Canyon by way of the
"Make" Trail. This is the same trail as that described in the chapter on
the descent into Havasu Canyon from El Tovar, as far up as the point where
the pictured rocks appear. Here the Hopi trail turns and follows the course
of the main Havasu Canyon. Cushing counted forty-four knots in his buckskin
fringe from the village to the exit, each knot denoting an abrupt curve or
angle in the winding canyons. The Topocobya Trail descends a sheer cliff of
stupendous majesty, and the Wallapai Trail is enough to shatter the nervous
system of any but the most experienced; but the Hopi Trail ascent out of
the Canyon is different, in that, in several places, it passes through
narrow clefts, with ponderous, overhanging rocks, the whole course barely
wide enough to permit a laden mule to get through with its pack. It is an
almost vertical ascent of about twelve hundred feet which winds around and
up the clefts, up steps hacked out of the solid rock with flint axes and
hammers, by the patient hands of long-dead Indians.

The Legend of Ahaiuta. The Hopis and the Zunis believe this to be the spot
where the Zuni god; Ahaiuta, one of the twin gods of war, after the waters
of the world had arisen and overwhelmed the nations of their ancestry, and
flooded the whole earth from the far west to the Rio Grande, dug a little
outlet for the waters. The flood, finding this hole, had rushed down into
the interior of the earth, and had thus worn this terrific cleft, and the
gorge below, leaving the marks of its strife upon the banded rocks which
surrounded and hovered over us.

Now we scrambled over great rocks, then along a foot-wide trail, and at
length wound our way out along a massive bank of talus. Around at the head
of the trail, I sent Sinyela back, and started alone along the historic
trail across the plateau. The general scenery of the plateau already has
been described.

A Roundabout Drive. At this point, I prevailed upon Mr. Bass to hitch two
horses and two mules to his ambulance (which had once been a United States
Army ambulance and was used in his Arizona campaigns by General Nelson A.
Miles), and drive--a roundabout way to the northeastern slopes of the San
Francisco range, thence to the Little Colorado River, where we would again
strike the Hopi trail from Moenkopi to Oraibi. There were four of us in the
party. From the rim of the Canyon direct to the Little Colorado the route
is, at present, inaccessible for wagons. It is a horse trail, and somewhat
of the same nature as all the plateau trails through the Kohonino
(Coconino) Forest. Hence our roundabout wagon trip.

On the Fringe of the Painted Desert. Filling our canteens to the nozzle, we
drove over the western fringe of the Painted Desert. Skirting the mountain,
we made a "dry camp" that night, and used up every drop of water next
morning. Some went for our coffee, and the rest was given to the animals.
Then we started for the far-away Tanner Crossing of the Little Colorado,
across the thirsty desert. As we were without water, it was natural that,
on that particular day, the elements should combine to make it hotter than
usual. A few clouds sprang into existence, but we felt no breath of cooling
air, and as the day grew, the clouds became burning glasses to focus the
sun's heat more powerfully upon us. Late in the afternoon, our eyes were
delighted with the sight of what seemed to be a pool of water, in the road
ahead of us. Parched almost to keen suffering, we drove our weary and
thirsty horses right into it, scaring away, as we did so, several horses
that were standing there, and then, not waiting for cups or ceremony, each
man threw himself flat on his stomach and began to drink the uninviting
compound. A heavy shower had fallen in this one spot, and the pool had not
yet had time to evaporate.

A Dash Across the Little Colorado. The day was sultry and betokened a heavy
rain storm, so, when we reached the Little Colorado, we decided to get over
that night, since, if the storm came, it might render crossing impossible.
Our ambulance was heavily laden, and the crossing dangerous. Before I
ventured, we unloaded about half the weight, and then I undressed, save for
my undershirt, and went to investigate the bed of the crossing for
quicksands. As soon as I had determined where to drive, we started across.

Whipping up the mules, and keeping their necks well into their collars, we
dashed across in safety. Immediately the wagon was unloaded, I turned it
around and crossed alone. The remainder of the load was put in, with our
two men, and, one of them seated by my side with the whip, we "yelled"
ourselves across again. Our wagon was stopped in a sandy drift, our grub
box thrown out, a fire lighted, and with the impending storm in close
proximity, we hurriedly cooked and ate our evening meal. No sooner was my
plate cleared than, taking my roll of blankets, I wearily threw them down
not more than ten feet from the wagon, too utterly "played out" to seek
shelter in the cliff beyond, where a number of cave-like shelves afforded
good level sleeping places, secure from the storm. As I unrolled my
blankets, I called to the men to be sure to put out the camp fire and place
the sugar sack, etc., in the grub box and close the lid. I was no sooner
stretched out than I was sound asleep.

A Storm at Night. One of my companions insisted upon unrolling his blankets
close to me, in spite of the fact that a terrible storm might break over us
at any time. Poor fellow! He had scarcely gotten to sleep when a frightful
gust of wind swept down upon us. Awakened with the noise, my eye caught a
glimpse of the flaming brands from the fire being tossed into the wagon,
and I rushed to the rescue. In a fierce wind, with a wagon and its contents
dried out by the fierce Arizona sun, I knew there was not a moment to lose.
Fortunately, I had left a pail, of water close by, and with this I doused
out not only the flames in the wagon, but the remnant of the camp fire. It
was pitch dark by now. All at once, with a light that was blinding in its
intensity, and with a terrible clap of thunder, the storm burst upon us. It
was, without any question, one of the fiercest short storms, accompanied
with the most vivid lightning, I have ever seen. The darkness was so black,
that, like that of Egypt during the plague, it seemed almost as if it might
be felt. With a suddenness that was awe-inspiring, it became light as
noonday. The lightning was of a brilliant, violet tint, and shone with
fervent intensity. And it was not merely a few flashes. It came down in
millions of jagged streaks, completely filling the heavens to the horizon
in every direction.

A Frightened Traveler. In one of these blinding flashes, I caught sight of
my neighbor. His face wore an expression of anguish. In his dread he had
arisen, and had tried to pick up his clothes and blankets, in the hope of
reaching shelter. In one of the sudden lulls of the tempest, I heard him
talking to himself: "Shall I ever live through this awful night? Can I
get to those cliffs? Why doesn't some one come to help me? I'm going to
die. There's no help for it!" Taking advantage of the next flash, I picked
up my blankets and carried them to the cliffs; then returned to him,
gathered up his belongings, and urged him to follow me. As soon as he was
secure, I spread out my sopping wet blankets in the first space I could
find. Wet through as I was, I rolled myself up in my wetter blankets, and
soon should have been asleep, had it not been for the moanings of the man I
had rescued. He wished he hadn't come; he was sure the exposure would kill
him, and he wondered why people were such fools as to take unnecessary
trips. Just then the storm waters from above, seeking their accustomed
drainage channels, found their way down to a rock which overhung my
sleeping-place as a rude spout, and began to pour upon me in bucketfuls. Yet
I vowed I would never admit that my sleep was in the slightest disturbed.
So I turned over in my watery bed, and kept up the play until morning came,
while the angry man complained the entire time. Funny? In spite of my own
misery, it was funny enough to make a burro laugh.

Two Days' Rest. It took us a couple of days to get well dried out, which we
spent at Tuba City, a Mormon town since abandoned by order of the Courts,
which found that it was illegally located on an Indian reserve. Then we
enjoyed a day or two at Moenkopi, watching the Hopi Indians at their
interesting occupations, caring for their fields, and preparing to go on to
Oraibi, forty miles distant, where the Snake Dance was soon to occur.

Camp at Blue Canyon. The heat was fearful--it was the middle of August -and
the sand made hard pulling for the horses. It was late in the evening
before we reached Blue Canyon. The road was uncertain, so we camped on the
rim above, leading our animals down, as best we could, to a Navaho hogan,
where we thought we might get water and some cornstalks for them. We got
both, and then decided to hobble the animals and turn them loose in the
Canyon, while we returned to our wagon above. The wind had come up, and was
blowing fiercely, so, in the dark, I chose for a sleeping place a piece of
ground that was somewhat sheltered from it. It was irregular, rocky and
rolling, and as the wind continued to blow, the fine sand blew over and on
to my face, while the coarser sand settled into my blankets. It was not a
refreshing and comforting night.

An Exciting Descent. In the morning, when we went down for our animals, we
found that they had broken through the flimsy fence of the Navaho, and had
worked considerable havoc in his corn-patch. The Navaho grumbled and
gesticulated, and showed unmistakable anger, but I took the matter coolly
and, after seeing the extent of the damage, quietly asked the head of the
family: "Tu-kwe peso?" (How many dollars?) On receiving his answer, I
offered to give him sugar and flour to that amount. We became friends at
once, and he invited us to bring our wagon down and spend the day with him.
As we were all wearied, we decided to do so. To save going around by the
wagon road, he showed us a quicker way of descent. It was a sand bank not
quite vertical, but as nearly so as ever any one drove down and lived to
tell the tale. So, harnessing the animals, we brought the wagon to the edge
of this sandy descent; then, tying all the wheels securely, so that they
would drag, all of us holding on to the hind axle and with weights trailing
behind, the whole mass went over. Though we threw ourselves into the sand
and held on to our ropes, it was only by expert driving that the animals
were kept from being crushed.

Experience with a Navaho Pilot. The next day we pushed on to Oraibi,
piloted by a Navaho. When we reached the western side of the mesa, I
decided to go up the foot trail directly to the village, so as to have
water and corn fodder awaiting the animals, when they got safely around to
the eastern side. The Navaho got it into his head that the wagon was to be
driven up the slope on to the mesa, an impossible thing without making a
road. There was a trail for horses and burros, however, and the driver
yielded to the Navaho's guidance. At last a sheer cliff was reached, up
which only trail stock could possibly go. There the party was, with four
saddle animals harnessed to a wagon, in a cul de sac, consisting of a spot
barely large enough for the wagon to stand on, a deep precipice on the
right, a steep cliff ascending on the left, and the animals ahead on a
sandy slope as steep as the one we had descended at Blue Canyon, a day or
two before. Fearful for the safety of animals and wagon, the only course
was retreat. A crude road was built, and, after tying wheels and trailing
ropes on as before, with the help of a number of Indians who had come to
look on, the whole outfit was lowered to the level below in safety.

An Unforgetable Memory. Thus we had come over a large part of the historic
Hopi trail, never designed or planned for a wagon, with our ambulance; and
the memories of the trip, arduous though it was, linger in the mind, side
by side with experiences of the Snake Dance, and other unforgettable and
delightful remembrances.

CHAPTER XXI. The Navaho And His Desert Home

The Navaho Reservation. To see the Navaho in the Hopi House making
silverware, or watch his wife weaving blankets, is one thing. To see him on
his native heath in the heart of the Painted Desert--is another. With the
conveniences of travel now made possible by the excellent equipments of the
El Tovar transportation department, any visitor who is not afraid of a
strenuous trip may now visit these people with the minimum of discomfort.
Indeed, the Navahos and Hopis may be seen together, on the one excursion
described in an earlier chapter. The Navahos are the warlike nomads of the
desert. They occupy an extensive reservation in northern Arizona and New
Mexico, that adjoins the Hopi reservation on the north and east. They now
number some twenty thousand souls, and are slowly on the increase. They are
proud, independent, and desirous of being left alone by the United States

Punishment for Depredations. In the early days, before they had learned the
power of the new people who had flocked into the land, they committed many
depredations upon Americans, and when remonstrated with were insolent and
defiant. So an expedition was sent against them, and large numbers--the
major portion of the tribe were arrested and moved near Fort Bayard--the
Bosque Redondo--in New Mexico, on the Pecos River. Here the conditions were
so adverse that many scores of them died, and when, finally, they were
allowed to return, it was an humbled people that wended its way back to the
high mesa lands they had for so many centuries called their own.

Navaho Customs. Linguistically, the Navaho is akin to the Apache and the
Tinneh of Alaska; indeed, he calls himself Tinne. In winter he lives in a
rude shelter of logs and mud called a hogan. In summer this is changed for
a simple brush stack, which affords shade from the sun, and yet allows free
course of the cooling air. He is a polygamist, and lives with his one or
more wives, as he can afford. His chief industries are cattle, horse and
sheep-raising. The latter supply his wife (or wives) with the wool needed
for blanket-weaving, which is her chief industry.

Navaho Superstition. The Navaho is superstitious about several things: If
any one dies in the hogan it is henceforth "tabu." The body is burned and
the building with it, and whatever fragments of poles, etc., withstand the
fire are regarded with distrust.

Dislikes and Fears. Another tabu of the Navaho is his fear of seeing his
mother-in-law. Whenever she comes in sight, he disappears. Technically he
never sees her, and I have often had great fun in trying to bring them
together. Fish is another object placed under the Navaho ban. He will
neither eat, see, nor smell fish, if he can help it.

Essentially Religious. He is an essentially religious being, and has a
large number of ritualistic ceremonies. He has many dances for various
purposes, the most exciting of which is locally known as the HoshKon. It is
a healing ceremony. Dr. Matthews calls it the Mountain Chant. It requires
many days for its complete performance, and one of its final ceremonies
consists of a wild fire dance which is thrilling in the extreme.

Superior Horsemanship. But perhaps it is in his every-day horsemanship that
the Navaho shows himself the superior man. Oftentimes he introduces feats
of skill on a horse into his ceremonies. A few years ago at Tuba City, I
saw a large band of Navahos unite with the Hopis in their dances and
ceremonies of harvest thanksgiving. The Hopi director of the dances was
Mootchka, whose costume was as astoundingly frightful as he could possibly
make it. His naked body was smeared over with whitewash, some of which
adhered and some of which did not. On his head was a mass of rudely woven
black wool, crowned with the duplex pads of some wild flower. Around the
waist was a similar black wool mat, fastened on with a Navaho belt of
silver disks. When all was ready the dancers began. The trader's store-yard
was the plaza, and the roofs of all the buildings on the three sides of the
square were covered with Navaho spectators. Hour after hour they continued.
Some of the dancers were decorated, others were in ordinary costume, but
all danced and sang with fervor.

Dancing. The chief instrument was a large drum, made by hollowing out a
section of a tree trunk, and covering the ends with rawhide, which were
tightly laced on with strips of the same material. The dull monotonous
thump of the drum kept time, while dancers sang and rattled. Their songs
are invocations to "Those Above" to continue their good gifts, and at the
same time accept thanks for all that had been given. One dance was
particularly beautiful. It was supposed to represent the movements of the
planets in and out of the fixed stars. Two little girls, brightly and
beautifully dressed, waving feather plumes in their hands, threaded their
way in and out of the lines of the dancers, themselves moving with an easy
graceful swing.

Origin of Dances. To seek to penetrate the origin of these dances is to
find ourselves in the darkness of antiquity. Almost all Indian peoples have
the firmly fixed notion that the gods can be propitiated only by these
exhausting dances. Consequently they are not performed by a few
professional dancers, or even by certain families; all the people must
dance. The smallest child, as soon as he is able to understand, must take
his place with the elders, and the women and girls enter into the dances
with the same religious fervor and zeal that is displayed by the men. And
there is none of that sex enjoyment injected into their sacred dances, as
there is in the white man's pleasure dances. The Indian men dance together,
and the Indian women together, or, where both sexes participate, men are in
one row and women in another. So that Indian dances are not pleasure
dances. Neither are they competitive. There is none of the negro cake-walk
idea connected with them, nor the Italian peasant's carnival, where rivals
dance to gain the applause of the village.

Gifts Thrown to Spectators. During these dances at Tuba, gifts of corn,
squash, melons, flour, cloth of native texture, and loaves of unleavened
bread were brought and given with accompanying prayers to Mootchka, the
leader. Then, at certain times, these were thrown among the spectators and
eagerly caught, for not only were the articles themselves to be desired,
but there accompanied them the prayers of the original donors, which, in
some subtle manner, were supposed to bring good fortune to the final

The "Rooster" Race. The next day the Navahos had their turn. The two
leading chiefs selected a suitable site, and, taking a rooster, buried it
up to the neck in sand. The running course was soon cleared, and excited
Indians on horseback lined up on either side for half a mile. Horseflesh of
all kinds known to the Indians (from fleet, wiry steeds that had won many a
prize, to broken-down cayuses fit only for the boneyard) was to be seen.
The riders were decked in all the gorgeousness they could afford. Silk
bands were around jet black masses of hair; calico of rainbow colors was
made into garments, here and there overshadowed by a beautifully woven and
exquisitely patterned native blanket. Around the waist of many of the men
were leathern belts, to which were attached large silver disks worked by
native silversmiths; and rings, bracelets, necklaces and earrings of
similar work abounded.

Beginning of the Fun. The competitors were soon gathered together at one
end of the course. The chiefs stated the conditions upon which the prizes
must be won, and a signal was given. Like a shot, a rider darted out from the
mass toward the tiny head of the buried rooster, stooping over from the
saddle as he neared the bird, with fingers
of the right hand extended, the left hand holding the bridle and clutching
the horse's mane. With a sweep, sudden as it was delicate, he tried to
catch the rooster's head between his extended fingers. He failed, but
dashed on, for another horse and rider were at his heels, and another and
another; the string seemed endless. Now and again one would touch the bird,
or would actually catch the head, but the body was too securely buried to
be pulled out easily. Cheers would ascend as the riders showed approximate
success. Sometimes a horse would shy, and the white visitor looked for
nothing less than a broken neck for his rider. But, laughing and shouting,
the athletic and careless Indian would swing himself into the saddle, and
in a few rough jerks teach the unruly animal to recognize a master. Of
course, long before this, the rooster was dead, for at the first strong
clutch his neck was broken, so that there was no unnecessary torture. The
stream of riders flowed on, and at last one lucky fellow gave the right
kind of a pull, and out came the rooster, to be swung around his head with
a fierce yell of triumph.

Pursuit of the Victor. Now the real sport begins. With a shout that only
Indian lungs can produce, every rider darts after the possessor of the
rooster, and for an hour, more or less, it is a question of hard riding,
dodging, evading, whirling to and fro. Over the sand-hills they go, pursued
and pursuers, yelling and shouting like demons. The victor's horse seems to
know all about the sport. He watches and dodges and doubles, like a hunted
hare. Now a stalwart ruffian has caught the rooster carrier, and hangs on
like grim death, while he is beaten over head and breast and shoulders with
the rooster as a weapon. Others join in. Surely someone will get hurt!
Watch the horses. They nip and pinch each other, and squeal with pain and
anger. Ah, the winner still keeps his prize! Again he is caught, and this
time it seems as if he must succumb. But his horse helps him out and, by
clinging desperately to the horn of the saddle and his horse's mane, he
wrests himself away from his pursuer, aided by the shying of the pursuing
horse, which is kicked and bitten by his own animal. But where is the
pursuer? His horse is dashing riderless away. Is he trampled to death in
that swirling, sandy conflict? No, he is hanging on to the man with the
rooster, belabored the while with the now bloody and dilapidated bird.
Regardless of this he still clings, although the horse is bounding along at
great speed, and a hundred or more are following, all yelling and
encouraging him not to let go. With a superb effort, he swings himself onto
the horse behind the saddle, and with a second sudden move grabs the
rooster and wrests half of it out of the original victor's hands. Seeing a
chance to escape he drops upon the sand, picks himself up unhurt, and is
soon seated upon a new horse. Now he becomes the pursued, and two bands,
instead of one, of howling, raving, shouting demons, occupy the attention.

Finish of Contest. And thus the struggle goes on, good-naturedly, yet with
a fierceness of energy that is exhausting in its wild excitement;
exhausting to the onlooker, as well as the participant. When the unlucky
bird is all dismembered, and the racers smeared from head to heels with
blood, and it seems impossible to divide the pieces any smaller, then, and
not till then, the conflict ceases.

Two Thousand Horsemen. But for superb riding watch nearly two thousand of
these sons of the desert as they train their young men and boys in daring
control of their horses. The greatest chief of the Navahos is a good friend
of mine, and it was by his kind invitation that I was privileged to see
this never-to-be-forgotten sight. He commanded the "regiment"--shall I call
it?--riding alongside at times, and again standing where he could signal
his demands and note the result.

An Exhibition of Riding. Let us stand with him. These riders are about to
dash past. Just before they reach us, a signal is given, and every rider,
in an instant, disappears over the side of his mount, while the horses
continue running under perfect control. Simultaneously, every Indian
reappears upon his saddle, sits about as long as one might count three, and
then slides over to our side of his horse, fully in our sight, holding on
by stirrup and mane, but completely hidden from one who might be looking
from the other side.

Wonderful Agility. The chief was delighted, in his dignified quiet way, as
I burst into warm encomiums, and told me I should soon see "some more"
riding. Again the horsemen dashed past. This time I watched for their
disappearance and saw where and how they went, but I was scarcely prepared
to see many of them peeping at me from under the bellies of their animals.
This was done several times; then Pacoda gave me another treat. The riders
came toward us. At a sign, every man sprang from his horse to the ground,
to our left, gave three or four wild jumps, sprang completely over the
saddle to the other side of his horse, where he gave more jumps, and then,
with a yell of joyful triumph, landed into his saddle, the horse,
meanwhile, keeping up his speed.

An Impressive Spectacle. But to see the whole party ride furiously away
from us, nothing but black hair, sturdy backs, horses' tails and
hindquarters with galloping feet presented, and then, in the twinkle of an
eye it almost seemed, to have the same party dashing towards you, was a
feat in horsemanship which impressed me most profoundly.

Horsemen almost from Birth. It is not to be wondered at that the Navaho is
an expert horseman. He is as nearly born on horseback, literally, as he can
be, for on several occasions I have ridden with Navaho friends, among whom
was an expectant mother, have stopped half an hour for the birth, and then,
with the new-born babe strapped on the mother's back, have resumed the
trip, completing, perhaps, forty or fifty miles in a day. Children born
under such conditions could not fail to be skilful horsemen.

CHAPTER XXII. From El Tovar To The Havasupai Indians And Their Wonderful
Cataract Canyon Homes

Havasu Canyon. The Grand Canyon has two important tributary canyons. The
most important of these is the Havasu Chic-i-mi-mi (canyon of the blue
water). This is where the Havasupai Indians live.

First White Visitor. The first white man to visit the Havasu, as far as we
know, was Padre Francisco Garces, of whom I have written in another
chapter. Four times he made long journeys into the interior, visiting a
large number of Indian tribes. Among these were the Wallapais and the

Garces' Diary. Dr. Elliott Coues, who visited the Havasupais in 1881 with a
governmental party, has translated Garces' diary, and it was published a
short time ago by Francis P. Harper, of New York. In this translation, he
describes the descent of his (Coues's) party into the Canyon, and his
description is so vivid that it is well worth repetition here.

Dr. Coues' Description of Trail to Havasu Canyon. "On the 10th, a march of
ten miles in the same direction brought us abruptly to the brink of the
precipice--a sharp-edged jump-off of perhaps a thousand feet. There was no
side canyon here for gradual descent; the firm level ground gave no hint of
the break before us until we were actually upon the verge, and when the
soldiers lined up to look down an involuntary murmur of astonishment ran
through the ranks. Dismounting and going in single file, each man leading
his horse, we took the dizzy trail--a narrow footpath, in many parts of
which a misstep would have been destruction to man or beast. The way
zigzagged at first for some distance, on the 'switchback' principle by
which railroads sometimes make grades otherwise impracticable; the face of
the precipice was so steep that, as we filed along, those of us at the head
of the procession looked up to see the other sections of the train almost
overhead; certainly a fall of any man there would have been right on top
of us. Then the trail took a long lurch to the left with little descent,
hugging the face of the cliff, and we looked like a row of ants on a wall.
This brought us at length to the head of a great talus, down which the
trail zigzagged--the incline was too steep for straight descent, probably
at an angle of forty-five degrees. This fetched us into the bed of
Cataract Canyon, perfectly dry. The trail was nearly a mile long, and it
took us an hour to make our creepy way down. The Havasupai chief, who had
been advised of our coming, was there to meet us with some of his men, all
mounted; and he took us up the canyon about five miles to a place where
there was a scanty aguage, not sufficing for the wants of the whole party.
Next morning we retraced our steps down the canyon and kept on in its bed
until we reached the wonderful blue spring above described and the
wonderful rancheria of the Indians, a distance from last night's camp of
about twenty-five miles, as we had struck the canyon some twenty miles
above the living water."

Other Trails to the Canyon. Garces came into the canyon by another trail,
entirely distinct from this, commonly known as the Wallapai Trail. He left
Havasu Canyon by still another trail, known as the Moki Trail, which leads
directly from this canyon to the home of the Hopis.

In 1857, Lieutenant Joseph C. Ives made the descent into Havasu Canyon down
the Wallapai Trail. His account of the journey reads like a novel, and
people who are unfamiliar with the wonderful engineering feats of the
Havasu Indians can scarcely believe that Ives did not allow his imagination
to run away with him, in his descriptions of the Havasupais' trails.

Later, Lieutenant Cushing, guided by his Indian friends, rode across
country to the Hopis, and then secured a Hopi guide who took him to see the
Havasupais over the Moki Trail. He confirms all that Ives and Coues have
written of the astonishing character of these trails. Having been up and
down these trails many times during the last dozen years, I can say without
hesitation that there are no more startling trails to be found in our

Trip from El Tovar. One of the most enjoyable of the more arduous trips
taken by visitors to El Tovar is this trip to Havasu (Cataract) Canyon.
Only those who enjoy a strenuous outing should arrange for this trip, and
then plenty of time should be allowed to do it without too great rushing.
The first portion, to the head of the Topocobya Trail, is generally done in
a buckboard. The distance is thirty-five to forty miles, over a varying
road,--good in places, fair in others, and wretchedly poor now and again.
Arrived at the "hill-top," as the Indians call this point, the conveyance
must be abandoned, and all the outfit for sleeping, cooking, and eating is
transferred to the backs of pack animals, which have been sent on ahead.
The visitors take saddle animals. There are those who make this drive, and
then ride to the village, fifteen miles further down the trail, in one day.
A better plan is either to make "dry camp" at the head of the Topocobya
Trail; or, if time permits, descend to the Topocobya Spring, which flows
out of the base of the immense cliff down which one fork of the trail
descends. For there are now two ways of descending at Topocobya,--to the
right or the left of a mountain which overlooks the Canyon. The trail by
which I first entered Havasu Canyon is the one to the left, looking into
the Canyon.

Topocobya Spring. Arrived at the spring, the stock can be watered, packs
removed, beds unrolled, and camp made for the night. The water, however, is
not of the best for drinking purposes, though the Indians habitually use

Pictographs. The following morning an early start may be made, and the
winding course of Topocobya Canyon followed to its entrance into the main
Havasu Canyon. Here a number of interesting pictographs may be seen on the
wall to the left, reminding one somewhat of those found in Mallery Grotto
at El Tovar.

Havasupai Gardens.* Except in the rainy season, the upper portions of the
main Havasu Canyon and all its tributaries are dry and sandy. Just before
one reaches the village, however, the barrenness disappears. A thousand
springs appear, and unite to form a stream which, in less than a hundred
yards, will measure from four to six feet deep and fully eight feet across.
It is this stream that renders life possible for the Indians. For the
distance of about two miles, the bed of the Canyon, which is here filled
with sandy earth, is irrigated from this rapidly flowing stream. The result
is that with comparatively little labor the Havasupais are able to produce
excellent crops of corn, beans, chillis, onions, melons, squash and other
vegetables. After the advent of the Spaniards, they obtained peach trees,
and they now grow far more peaches than they can eat, drying large
quantities, some of which they sell to ranchers, miners and other
outsiders. They also have fine figs.

* Since this chapter was put into type, the Havasupai village has been
swept nearly out of existence by a flood. The winter of agog-igto saw a
large fall of snow on the plateau, which, melting suddenly during a hot
spell in January, rushed down the Canyon in a body, destroyed the school,
agent's house, and took away nearly all the hawas, fields, and orchards of
the Indians. This catastrophe has several times occurred to them (according
to their traditions), so there is little doubt but that they will ere long
replant their cornfields and reestablish their homes in the spot they love
so well.

The Havasupai "Hawa." The house of a Havasupai is called a "hawa." It is a
primitive structure, generally built of cottonwood poles, willows and
earth. Occasionally one of the leading men will put up a more pretentious
home, whose sides will be of matted willows, plastered inside and out with
mud, and with a mud-covered roof which will turn the rain.

A Basket-maker's Paradise. There are about thirty basket-makers among the
Havasupais, and specimens of their work may be found in the Hopi House. As
Havasu Creek is lined with willows that are admirably adapted for
basket-making, and as an abundant supply of martynia, or cat's-claw, is
found on the plateaus above, this Canyon is a veritable basket-makers'
paradise. Their best work is done in the coiled stitch. The esuwas, or
water-bottles, are made out of the twined weave, and then covered with
pinion gum.

Beautiful Waterfalls. Havasu Canyon is interesting, not only on account of
its Indians, but because of its narrow walls reaching up to the very
heavens and shutting out the sun except for the midday hours, and the
beautiful blue water flowing in its willow-fringed bed, which finally
dashes in successive leaps into the lower depths, making several cataracts,
one of which I regard as the most exquisite waterfall in the world. As a
consequence, it is becoming a great attraction for travelers.

Bridal Veil Falls. There are five falls in all, occurring in the following
order: Havasupai, Navaho, Bridal Veil, Mooney and Beaver. The last three
are the most important. Bridal Veil is about one hundred and seventy feet
high, and five hundred feet broad, but this space is not entirely covered
with water. The edge is so broken that the water dashes over the precipice
in a large number of stream and falling upon several different ledges, is
again broken into a dashing spray, which, light and feathery, again leaps
into the air. The general effect is indescribably beautiful.

The visitor should not fail to cross the Creek either above or below the
Bridal Veil Falls, for on the further side are a number of water
concretions well worth seeing.

Mooney Falls. Mooney Falls, one mile farther down, is a much higher
cataract, but the water falls in an undivided stream. It gets its name from
an unfortunate miner, who, in trying to descend a rope ladder to the bottom
of the falls, fell, and was dashed to pieces.

Beaver Falls. Beaver Falls are about four miles farther down the Canyon,
and receive their name from the large number of beavers that used to be at
work in the stream close by.

By recent survey of this region, it has been found that these falls are not
included in the Havasupai reservation. It is to be hoped, however, that,
before it is too late, this Canyon, its waterfalls and surroundings, will
be made into a National Park, forever and inalienably to belong to the

CHAPTER XXIII. The First Discoverers And Inhabitants Of The Grand Canyon

A Barren Waste of Rock. While the Grand Canyon, its vast system of
tributaries, and its plateau were being uplifted from the primeval ocean,
it consisted of nothing but a wild, barren waste of rock. Not a tree, not a
shrub, not a flower, not a blade of grass relieved the monotony of the
wilderness of rocks which emerged from the great Eocene sea. Not a lizard,
horned toad, centipede, tarantula, chuckwalla, campamouche,* frog,
tree-toad, turtle or snake was to be found on the long stretching areas of
its lifeless shores. Not a chipmunk, prairie-dog, coyote, rat, mouse,
porcupine, fox, bear, mountain-lion, badger, deer, antelope or other
four-footed creature ran over its new-born surfaces. The sun
shone unhindered; the rain beat with pitiless fury; the winds swept
unhampered; the snows piled up undeterred over the whole plateau and canyon
country. It was plateau and canyon, canyon and plateau; red rock, gray
rock, creamy rock, yellow, pink, blue, chocolate, carmine, crimson rock,
soft rock, hard rock; sunshine, shadow, wind and quietude; winter, summer,
autumn, spring-and that was all! A lifeless world, as yet unprepared for
insect, reptile, beast, man, flower or tree. Perhaps a solitary sea-bird
with strong pinion flew over it, and gazed into its lifeless depths with
wonder, or a dove flew from some earlier and habitable land over this
wonderful mass of rock, and returned to its nest and its mate. But no olive
or other leaf was in its bill.

*An insect that looks like a tiny dried wisp of hay, well-known in Arizona.

And so the land was born, and rested; while silence, sunshine and solitude
brooded over it.

Creation of Soil and Verdure. But in the course of ages, soil was created
by the disintegration of the rocks by the weather and the atmosphere, seeds
were blown in from regions where flowers and plants bloomed, or were
carried in by birds, and later distributed by the four-footed creatures.
Then verdure sprang into life; the gentle grasses and flowers began to
cover the slopes and level places where soil had gathered, and the trees
came to sway and swing in the breezes, and sing their songs of coming life
to the hitherto barren rocks.

Fossils of Sea Creatures. Yet they had not been altogether lifeless. Many
of the rocks had known life, but it was not insect, reptile, bird, beast or
man life; neither did they known anything of grass, flower, shrub or tree
life. In the far-away ages, when they were being deposited deep under the
surface of the Eocene sea, they saw vast monsters floating in the salty
deep, and later, fishes of all sizes, and even great beds of waving
sea-moss and ferns floated back and forth, as the tides ebbed and flowed.
And fishes and ferns, monsters and moss were occasionally caught in the
flowing deposits of lime and sand and silt and clay, and were embedded in
their mass. Thus imprisoned, their otherwise forgotten life and history is
told to the ages of man that were as yet unborn.

Coming of Man. But now the new life is coming! With verdure and animal life
in existence, these hitherto uninhabitable regions became capable of
sustaining human life. And the restless spirit of the human race, wherever
and howsoever it originated, drove bands of men and women into this region.

Who were they? What were they like? Whence did they come? How long did they
stay? Whither did they go? are questions one naturally asks in regard to
these first discoverers and inhabitants. If I were to say "I do not know,"
I would be saying what every other thinking man is compelled to say. Yet
there is pleasure in conjecture.

Traces of Ruins. Before looking at these conjectures, however, it is
appropriate that we look first at what facts there are to justify them.
Suppositions without any facts are mere fictions of the imagination, and
this we are not indulging in. When in our day men began to explore the
Grand Canyon and its numberless tributaries, a great number of indications
of man's presence were found on the rim, on the fault lines or breaks in the
sheer precipitous walls, on the plateaus and in the Canyon beneath, in the
shape of crude house ruins, lookout houses or forts, indifferent trails,
cliff-dwellings, hewn-out water cisterns, mescal pits, with countless
pieces of broken pottery, arrowheads, stone axes, hammers, mortars, pestles
and even cemeteries. or places of cremation.

Evidences of Superior Civilization. Major J. W. Powell, in his journal of
explorations, writes that when he and his party reached the mouth of the
Uinta River, they went up to the agency of the Indians of the same name.
While visiting the Indians, and noting their fertile, irrigated farms, he
found many evidences that "this beautiful valley has been the home of a
people of a higher grade of cultivation than the present Utes. On our way
here yesterday, we discovered, in many places along the trail, fragments of
pottery, and wandering about the little farms to-day I find the foundations
of ancient houses and mealing stones that were not used by nomadic people,
as they are too heavy to be transported by such tribes, and are deeply
worn. The Indians, seeing that I am interested in these matters, take pains
to show me several other places where these evidences remain, and tell me.
that they know nothing about the people who formerly dwelt here. They
further tell me that up in the Canyon the rocks are covered with pictures."

Ancient Dwellings. When Powell and his party reached the junction of the
San Juan with the Colorado, they might have found a large number of ancient
dwellings in the cliffs not far away from where Bluff City now stands.

Further on, when the Bright Angel was discovered (the beautiful stream and
canyon on the north side of the Canyon directly opposite El Tovar), the
story of which is told in a separate chapter, Major Powell went up a little
gulch, just above Bright Angel Creek, about two hundred yards from their
camp on the Colorado, and there he discovered the ruins of two or three old
houses, which were originally of stone, laid in mortar. Only the
foundations were left, but irregular blocks, of which the houses were
constructed, were found lying scattered about. In one room he found an old
mealing stone, deeply worn, as if it had been much used. A great deal of
pottery was strewn around, and old trails, which in some places were deeply
worn into the rocks, were seen.

Ruins of a Village. Between the foot of what is now the Bright Angel Trail
and Bass's Cable Crossing, Major Powell discovered another group of ruins.
"There was evidently quite a village on this rock. Again we find the
mealing stones, and much broken pottery, and up in a little natural shelf
in the rock, back of the ruins, we find a globular basket, that would hold
perhaps a third of a bushel. It is badly broken, and, as I attempt to take
it up, it falls to pieces. There are many beautiful flint chips, as if this
had been the home of an old arrow-maker."

Old Gardens. Later, when white men began to go down the trail now known as
the Bright Angel Trail (the one near to El Tovar), the remnants of gardens,
with irrigating ditches, in which small pieces of Indian pottery were
scattered about, were discovered. The place is known today as Indian
Garden, and is seen from the upper porch of the hotel.

Stone Huts. In his account of Powell's second expedition, Dellenbaugh tells
of ancient ruins found below Labyrinth Canyon. "Small huts for storage were
found there in the cliffs, and on a promontory, about thirty feet above the
water, were the ruins of stone buildings, one of which, twelve by twenty
feet in dimensions, had walls still standing about six feet high. The
Canyon here was some six hundred feet high, though the top of the plateau
through which the Canyon is carved is at least fifteen hundred feet above
the river. We discovered the trail by which the old Puebloans had made
their way in and out. Where necessity called for it, poles and tree-trunks
had been placed against the rocks to aid the climbers. Some of our party
trusted themselves to these ancient ladders, and with the aid of a rope
also, reached the summit." These Indians had tilled a small piece of arable
land in an alcove near by.

An Old Indian Fortress. Hance found a number of cliff ruins and the
remnants of old houses on and near his trail, and on the Red Canyon Trail.
It was the discovery of an old Indian lookout fortress, located on the very
edge of the Canyon where Bass Camp now is, that led Bass to hunt for the
trail into the Canyon. This fortress is about fifteen feet square, outside
measurement, and consists of one room, twelve feet square, with a lookout
in the eastern wall, which is still to be seen. Remnants of the walls still
stand, and at one corner are fully ten feet high. About a mile below this
fortress, were discovered two large native water-storage tanks or
reservoirs, which, when cleaned out, were capable of holding many hundreds
of gallons of water. Further down, on the plateaus beneath, several large
pits for the cooking of mescal were discovered.

Cooking of Mescal. This mescal is the succulent and sweet inner leaf of the
agave deserti, which is found in large quantities in this region. The
Indians still prepare it in the same manner as did their forefathers. The
larger thick leaves are taken from the plants when they are full of sap.
Great pits are dug and lined with rocks. Into these pits dry wood, roots,
pine cones, etc., are thrown and set on fire, until the whole oven is
thoroughly heated. On the hot rocks are then laid the pulpy stalks of the
agave; over these is placed a layer of wet grass; then more agave or mescal
leaves, more grass, and so on, until the pit is full. Then the oven and its
contents are banked over with earth, and allowed to steam and cook for
three or four days. The woman in charge is an expert in determining when
her "bread is baked." She thrusts stalks of the agave into the heart of the
pit before it is finally closed up, and when she deems "time up," she pulls
forth one of these stalks. If it is not done to her liking, she allows the
process to continue; otherwise the banked up earth is removed, and the
contents of the pit withdrawn and placed upon adjacent rocks to dry. It now
looks like large cakes of brownish fibres, thoroughly saturated in
molasses. In taste it is sweet and fairly palatable, though the fibres
render it a food that requires a large amount of mastication. It has great
staying qualities, contains much nutrition, and will keep for months, even
years. I have eaten pieces of it that were sweet and good over three years
after it was made.

Unlimited Fragments of Pottery. In my own wanderings of nearly twenty years
in the Grand and Havasu Canyons and their smaller tributary gorges, I have
discovered scores of these cliff-dwellings. Ruins uncounted are to be found
scattered along the rim, within five to ten miles of the Canyon, and
thousands of pieces of pottery of old design have been picked up by the
visitors of the past fifteen years.

On the Shinumo, opposite the Bass Trail, are several cliff-dwellings, and
as late as the summer of 1908 a young couple camped there for a month on
their wedding trip, excavated and discovered a fine stone axe, numbers of
pieces of pottery of three different kinds, several pieces with holes bored
with the primitive drill of flint or obsidian, a fine spearhead of flint,
and a number of arrow points.

Similarity of Cliff Ruins. The whole region of Arizona, New Mexico,
Southern Utah, and Southern Colorado abounds in these cliff ruins. The
likeness of their appearance, and the fact that everything excavated is of
a similar kind, seems to indicate a relationship, both in time of
occupancy and in the peoples who built and tenanted them.

The questions now naturally arise: Who were these people? What was their
life? Whence did they come? Whither have they gone?

The Race of the Cliff Dwellers. In the earlier days of America's serious
researches into her own archaeology, those who led our thought on the
subject, though personally they had not seen the cliff-dwellings, declared
them to be the homes of the Aztecs, one of the Mexican races found by
Cortes below the City of Mexico. Hence today we find people talking about
the Aztecs and their ruined homes in Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and
Utah. We used to read of the wonder of the discoverers of these dwellings,
at finding them so small. The doorways were small, the rooms themselves
less than six feet in width and length, and the ceilings so low that a
five-foot man could not stand upright in them. It was reasonable therefore
to infer, said these discoverers, that the builders and inhabitants of the
cliff-dwellings were an exceedingly small people, dwarfs, as in no other
way could the rooms be occupied. And thousands of people who have read
about these ruins still hold to the idea that they were inhabited by
dwarfs. But who the dwarfs were, or where they have gone to, no one seems
to have the remotest idea. But by and by, such men as Bandelier, the
Mendeleffs, Stevenson, Cushing, Fewkes, Hough, Hodge and Hewett, began to
investigate. They took the field, and carefully explored hundreds of ruins.
Then, some of them with a profound knowledge of the Spanish tongue, went
through all the records and diaries of the old conquistadores and the
padres who accompanied them. They found out all that the early Spaniards
had discovered and conjectured. In the meantime, they began to study the
languages of the Indians of the regions nearest to the ruins, and question
them as to their myths, legends, and traditions bearing upon the ruins, and
their researches speedily bore fruit.

Storage Houses. First of all they classified their discoveries. Though
scores of skeletons were found, there was not a single dwarf specimen among
them. This seemed to be a death blow to the dwarf theory. Stone slabs were
used as doors. Necessarily these were comparatively small, since even
though large slabs might have been found, they could not have been moved by
the cliff-dwellers, on account of their weight. This, in itself, accounted
for the size of the doorways. It had long been noticed that these small
dwellings were scattered profusely where there were larger dwellings, and
finally it became known that the small dwellings were not used for
habitations at all. They were merely storage houses for corn and other
edibles, farmed by the inhabitants of the larger dwellings. On one
occasion, some years ago, I was exploring one of the side gorges of the
Havasu. We had seen scores of the cliff dwellings, perched high in the
walls of the canyons, until at length one particularly well-built, though
exceedingly small structure attracted my attention. My guide was the most
intelligent and communicative of the Havasupai Indians, and he immediately
responded to my query by crying out: "Meala-hawa! Meala-hawa!" (Corn
house). Further inquiry revealed the fact that all the small dwellings were
but storage houses for corn and other foods.

Textiles. Excavation brought forth delicate textiles in cotton and yucca
fibre, well-woven, and in a remarkable state of preservation--silent
testimony to the dry climate, and the fact that the dwellings were so
constructed that rain and snow were practically excluded. Basketry and
pottery in large quantities were found, all showing ability in
manufacture, also artistic skill, anti-aesthetic conception in the form of
the articles and the designs portrayed upon them.

Excavated Relics. Stone hammers and axes, obsidian, flint and other
arrow-heads, spear-heads, and knives, mortars and pestles, metates or meal
grinders, obsidian and flint drills for making holes through stone or
shell, bows and arrows,--the bows of tough wood often brought from afar,
and the arrows pointed with chipped flint or obsidian, deftly and securely
tied to the shaft with tough and durable strings of sinews; shell beads,
pipes, bone awls, punches, needles, etc.; stone fetiches in semblance of
animals, the like of which were never seen on land or sea; ornaments of
shell, turquoise and onyx, and even a kind of jade; sandals and mats of
yucca fibre, and exquisitely delicate feather robes,--these are some of the
things that the excavators have found. Corn-cobs, melon rinds and grass
seeds may be added to the list.

Old Cemeteries. Then--most interesting of finds--a number of cemeteries
were located, and these were raked and scraped over until every visible
secret hidden in their depths was brought into the light of the sun.

Tracing the Indian Races. Now here were numbers of facts to work upon. Then
the myths, legends and traditions of the Indians living near by were
carefully collected and studied, and light began to dawn in the minds of
our archaeologists. The Hopis in Northern Arizona, the Zunis in New
Mexico, the Acomas who live on the massive cliff twenty miles south of the
Santa Fe Railway at Laguna Station, the score of pueblos on the banks of
the Rio Grande, even to far-away Taos,--all contributed their share to the
elucidation of the mystery. Even the semi-nomadic Navaho had something to
say which helped. Cushing found among the Zuni stories galore of their
struggles with the fierce and warlike wandering tribes, who constantly
harassed the home-loving people who built their rude villages. Fewkes not
only unearthed whole cities of the past, but, gained from the nearby Hopis
their traditions, which told in reasonable and intelligible form what was
most probably their history. He listened while their old men and women
recited the stories and legends of their migration from the south
northwards, and how certain families or clans came from this or that
direction, building and inhabiting certain now ruined dwellings in ages
long past. Others heard similar stories, which they investigated as far as
possible, compared with the ruins named, and then recorded, with such
discovered facts as helped in the elucidation of the problems involved.

Ancestors of the Pueblo People. All these investigations pointed to one
great fact, and that was that the cliff and cave dwellers of the Grand
Canyon region and all the contiguous country were none other than the
ancestors of the present pueblo people,--those who live in the Hopi
villages, the Zuni villages, Acoma, Laguna, Santo Domingo, Isleta, Teseque,
Jemez, Taos, San Ildefonso, Zia and the rest.

With this luminous fact before them, a greater study began of these pueblo
people, and it was then found that, to this day, they use the same
utensils, make the same implements, wear the same ornaments, follow the
same burial customs, and generally live the same life that these ancient
cliff-dwellers did. The conclusions, therefore, are obvious and inevitable.
The cliff-dwellers were none other than the ancestors of the pueblo people,
a little less advanced, doubtless, in the march of civilization, yet
already far progressed from the rude civilization of the nomad. They were
driven to occupy the inaccessible cliffs by the constant attacks of the
warlike nomads.

Sedentary and Home-loving Indians. Thus the cliff dwellings become
interesting memorials of the great fight for existence, where one race has
striven to the very death with other races, and the weaker have either
given way or been swept out of existence. The picture is easy to draw. The
country was peopled with these sedentary and home-loving Indians. They had
come largely from the south, had settled down, had built their humble
villages, tilled their fields and cultivated their crops. The women made
baskets and pottery, and the men hunted game, while the women prepared it
for food, and gathered seeds, nuts and roots to eke out their not
overextensive dietary. Young men and women grew up, felt the dawnings of
love and the final awakenings of the great passion, and then married,
settled down in a house the community helped them to build, and began to
work a piece of land selected for them, or at least approved, by the town
council. For, even in those early days, there is every evidence that these
people had a definite and distinct form of democratic government, to the
elected officials of which they yielded an almost perfect reverence and
obedience. In due time, happy and healthy children were born to them.

Peaceful and Religious. They were a religious people, were these early
dwellers in the land. They built kivas and estufas,--under and above ground
ceremonial chambers,--where they regularly and decorously met to worship by
dance, recitation of ancient songs, telling of divine leadings and
interpositions on their behalf, smoking, singing, prayer, and the
observance of other ritual. Thus happy, contented and basking in the favor
of Those Above, they dwelt, until suddenly a new and unfavorable element
was injected into their hitherto peaceful life. The buffetings of nature
they had become accustomed to, and they had kept their bodies healthy so as
to resist these assaults, but now human storms were about to burst upon
them. Apaches in the south, Comanches and Navahos in the east, Utes and
Navahos in the north, Mohaves and Yumas in the west began to encroach upon
them. Envious eyes gazed upon their houses and the goods that industry and
skill had gathered within. Those who had no food stored when famine swooped
upon them, came and begged from those who had. By and by jealousy and envy
prompted theft, and then strife began. Strife spread and grew, until war in
all its horrors became the normal condition. In self preservation, these
peaceable, friendly, hospitable peoples were compelled to be warriors. But
their foes were many and crafty, skilful in war, wary in attack and
retreat. Their harassments became more than could be borne, so, in their
desperation, the peaceable people retreated to the cliffs and walls of the
Canyons, where surprise could be guarded against, where a small supply of
water could be reasonably sure, and where, not too far away, when permitted
to do so, they might cultivate a small piece of arable land.

Compelled to Wage War. Think of the state of affairs! A state of perpetual
siege and watchfulness, of readiness to fight at any moment, of keeping
lookouts on the alert day and night, of working in the fields with one hand
on the implements of peace and industry, and the other on the implements of
war. The night attack, murder, rapine, fire and bloodshed became common
experiences, and the discovery of many bodies, the skulls crushed with
battleaxes, of skeletons of men slain with the deadly arrow, of bodies
twisted by torture and charred by fire, reveal what a reign of terror and
dread that epoch must have been in the land of the cliff-dweller.

Houses Became Fortresses. For how many decades or centuries this lasted, we
do not know. Somewhat uncertain tradition is all we have to rely upon. But
ultimately the pressure became less severe. In some cases, hostilities
largely ceased; in others, they became less constant. So the pueblos we
find in existence to-day slowly began to arise. One by one, the bands of
cliff-dwellers dared to leave their wall fortresses and to build in more
congenial places, nearer to their fields and springs or water-courses. But,
taught by past experience, they made their homes into fortresses. The
houses were massed together, largely for protective purposes; there was no
means of easy entrance to the bottom story (they were built from two to
seven stories high), the only way provided being by a hatchway and ladder
from the roof. The rooms of the second story were thrust back a little, so
that the roof of the first story formed a kind of courtyard for its
inhabitants. Ladders that could easily be removed afforded ingress and
egress, and the doorways could be guarded by flat slabs of rock. Numerous
loop-holes afforded outlook points, and also opportunity for the shooting
of poisoned arrows upon an oncoming foe.

Buildings in Inaccessible Places. In some cases, as that of the Hopi
villages, Acoma and old Zuni, the new towns were erected upon almost
inaccessible mesas, the steep trails of which could be securely guarded
against an army by a handful of hidden men.

Arrival of Spaniards. This was the state of affairs when the Spaniards
marched into the country (after the reconnaissance of Fray Marcos), under
the leadership of Coronado and his lieutenant, the ensign Tovar. Hence it
will be seen that the original discoverers and inhabitants of the Grand
Canyon were evidently the ancestors of the present pueblo peoples.

CHAPTER XXIV. El Tovar And Cardenas And The Modern Discovery Of The Grand

The Spanish Conquistadores. Few romances are more fascinating than the
history of the early exploitations of this continent by the Spanish
conquistadores. Cortes, Pizarro, Guzman, Narvaez, Coronado are names to
conjure with. The wonderful successes of Cortes naturally excited the
jealous envy and cupidity of his compeers. In his earlier experiences,
Cortes had aroused the anger of Velasquez, Governor of Cuba. Cortes, in one
of his many acts of gallantry, had betrayed the sister of Velasquez's
mistress. When Velasquez learned the facts, to peremptorily commanded
Cortes, who was his subordinate, to marry the unhappy girl. Refusals and
imprisonments, threats and anger were the natural consequences, and, while
Cortes did ultimately marry her, the enmity thus engendered bore bitter
fruit for the husband.

Breach between Cortes and Velasquez. When Cortes made his effective
conquests on the mainland and sought to supplant Velasquez, the breach
between the two men considerably widened. Both sought, with embassies, the
ear of the King of Spain, Charles V, and while the future conqueror made a
deep impression with his reports of conquests to come and treasures already
in hand, the Governor's friends were not slow to act. Meanwhile, Cortes had
hit upon the bold plan of destroying his ships, and thus compelling his men
to march to the subjugation of Mexico. Velasquez was about to dispatch
Panfilo de Narvaez with a commission as captain-general to arrest him, and
send him in chains to Cuba. The king, however, would not permit this, and
Narvaez was sent forth charged to be friendly to Cortes. But this was not
to be. Events prevented, and Narvaez finally decided to place Cortes and
his whole army under arrest. This was a great undertaking, and required
skilful generalship, as well as boldness and skill in execution. Though a
gallant warrior, Narvaez was not equal to the task he had set himself, and
Cortes, having learned what was before him, turned the tables upon Narvaez
and his force by becoming the arrestor instead of the arrested. It requires
no great knowledge of human nature to picture the fierce anger of Narvaez
and his men. When Cortes eventually released them, it was on condition that
he be left alone, and that Narvaez return to Spain. The defeated man, with
anger burning his jealous heart to a white heat, did return, and
immediately demanded of the king some mission that should allow him to
remove the disgrace from his name. To get rid of him, the king sent him to
the conquest of what is now Florida.

Expedition to Florida. It was a brave expedition that set forth on a bright
day in June, 1527. Five ships and six hundred men made quite a showing, yet
the Atlantic Ocean, aided by storms and winds, flouted and routed them, so
that it was April of the following year before the main part of the
expedition landed at Tampa Bay. Of the total destruction of the party, save
Cabeza de Vaca and three or four others, all readers are fairly familiar,
as they are likewise of De Vaca's wonderful eight years' journey across the

Arrival at San Miguel. I have thus rapidly traced these events in the early
history of the exploration of this continent, for it was the wanderings of
Cabeza de Vaca and his final arrival at San Miguel in New Galicia that
brought the Ensign Tovar into Arizona, and led to the discovery of the
Grand Canyon.

Preliminary Reconnaissance. The Viceroy of New Spain at that time was
Antonio de Mendoza, a wise, loyal and farseeing man. He was anxious to
checkmate Cortes, and to show that others besides the great, though
treacherous conqueror, could make discoveries of new lands, where gold was
abundant, and where colonies could be established. Yet he would not be
rash. Before sending out a large expedition to conquer the cities and
fertile land Cabeza de Vaca had described, it would be wise and cautious to
send a cool-headed man, one who was prepared for any hardship, one who had
no lust for gold in his own soul, yet who could be relied upon to bring
back a straight and true story to the viceroy as to whatever he might
discover concerning De Vaca's stories. He should be accompanied by Stephen,
the negro, who was one of De Vaca's companions; and thus he would be
accurately guided to the places that had been described. The man chosen for
this important reconnaissance was a devoted Franciscan, Fray Marcos, to
whom I have devoted the next chapter of this book. Marcos went, saw,
returned and reported, and upon his report the expedition of Coronado was
equipped and fitted out.

Coronado's Army. The fervor with which the Spanish gallants joined
Coronado's army of exploration is realized when one remembers that three
hundred Spaniards as well as eight hundred Indians were gathered together
in a few days. Coronado was a Spanish grandee, traveling at the time of De
Vaca's arrival as a royal official visitor. In the words of Castaneda he
was "a gentleman from Salamanca, who had married a lady in the City of
Mexico, the daughter of Alonso de Estrada, the treasurer and at one time
governor of Mexico, and the son (most people said) of his Catholic Majesty
Don Ferdinand, and many state it as certain." And the same historian later
on continues, in his simple and naive way, to tell us about Tovar and many
others: "When the Viceroy, Don Antonio de Mendoza, saw what a noble company
had come together, and the spirit and good will with which they had all
presented themselves, knowing the worth of these men, he would have liked
very well to make every one of them captain of an army; but as the whole
number was small he could not do as he would have liked, and so he
appointed the captains and officers because it seemed to him that if they
were appointed by him, as he was so well obeyed and beloved, nobody, would
find fault with his arrangements. After everybody had heard who the general
was (Coronado), he made Don Pedro de Tovar ensign general, a young
gentleman who was the son of Don Fernando de Tovar, the guardian and high
steward of the Queen Dona Juana, our demented mistress--may she be in

A Brilliant and Gallant Company. After the naming of their officers,
Castaneda regrets that he has "forgotten the names of many good fellows.
It would be well if I could name some of them, so that it might be clearly
seen what cause I had for saying that they had on this expedition the most
brilliant company ever collected in the Indies to go in search of new
lands. But they were unfortunate in having a captain who left in New Spain
estates and a pretty wife, a noble and excellent lady, which were not the
least causes for what was to happen."

First Disappointment. Poor Coronado! The reader is thus prepared to throw
upon him the blame because similar treasures to those found by Cortes in
the land of Montezuma were not found in Arizona and New Mexico. In spite of
his having so many fine gentlemen in his official family, Coronado's
disappointments and disillusionments began early. As he reached the region
where the wilderness began--just past the Pima country--he felt
downhearted, "for, although the reports were very fine about what was
ahead, there was nobody who had seen it except the Indians who went with
the negro, and these had already been caught in some lies."

Meeting with Indians. When the expedition first came in contact with the
Indians of the desert region, the gallant members of the party must have
been a little scared, for, according to Castaneda: "Some Indians... during
the night... in a safe place yelled so that, although the men were ready
for anything, some were so excited that they put their saddles on hind-side
before; but these were the new fellows. When the veterans had mounted and
ridden round the camp, the Indians had fled."

Coronado Reaches Zuni. Coronado finally reached Cibola--the mythical--now
known to be Zuni, in New Mexico. Here he was not only disappointed because
he did not find the great treasure so long anticipated, but he was wounded.
Getting into converse with him, the Indians told him of the people who
lived round about, and among others, of those who dwelt in the province of
Tusayan. And here is what Castaneda tells us about the discovery by
Europeans of those whom we now know as the Hopi.

Castaneda's Account of their Experiences in the Canyon. "The General had
sent Don Pedro de Tovar to these villages with seventeen horsemen, and
three or four foot soldiers..Juan de Padilla, a Franciscan friar, who had
been a fighting man in his youth, went with them. When they reached the
region, they entered the country so quietly that nobody observed them,
because there were no settlements or farms between one village and another
and the people do not leave the villages except to go to their farms,
especially at this time, when they had heard that Cibola had been captured
by very fierce people, who traveled on animals who ate people. This
information was generally believed by those who had never seen horses,
although it was so strange as to cause much wonder. Our men arrived after
nightfall and were able to conceal themselves under the edge of the
village, where they heard the natives talking in their houses. But in the
morning they were discovered, and drew up in regular order, while the
natives went out to meet them, with bows and shields, and wooden clubs,
drawn up in lines without any confusion. The interpreter was given a chance
to speak to them and to give them one warning, for they were very
intelligent people, but nevertheless they drew lines and insisted that our
men should not go across these lines toward their village. While they were
talking some men acted as if they would cross the lines, and one of the
natives lost control of himself and struck a horse a blow on the check of


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