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110 | 13. The Yavapai Origin Tale1 many people lived down under the earth. one man was named Hukama’ta. When he was asleep, he dreamed he was up on earth. “I was out there and looked around over that country. It is a better country up there. There is plenty of game; all kinds of deer, antelope, mountain sheep, cottontails, and jackrabbits. There are also things which grow: yucca fruit, goosefoot [sile’], and pigweed seeds. All such things that grow, I dreamed I saw.” Hukama’ta said, “We ought to go out after ten winters [tcu’dinya­ vuwava]. I have a few grape seeds and a few spruce [kaθodovhe’]2 seeds. Prepare the ground and plant all the seeds together in one place.” They planted them and after a while the plants came up. They poured water on them from time to time while the plants grew taller and taller. Hukama’ta wanted the grapevine to twine about the spruce as they grew together. “They should grow straight up until they reach the sky; then we can climb up,” he said. They grew until they reached the sky. Then Hukama’ta said that he wanted his people to climb up there to the sky and dig a hole through. Hukama’ta’s daughter was a grown woman, but she was unmarried . She was very angry because she was not married; nobody liked her. She and her father lay on opposite sides of the fire to sleep. About midnight the woman went out to bring in a big armful of wood, which she put on the fire. When she had built a big fire she lay down with her feet toward the fire and her skirt drawn above her knees. Then her father saw her vulva, and he thought, “Maybe the girl is asleep. I think I will put my hand on it. When my daughter is married, and she sleeps with her husband, he will feel it. My daughter’s vulva is pretty big.” So he put his hand there, but the girl was not asleep; she was watching the yavapai origin tale | 111 him from beneath her lowered lids. The girl said, “Nobody likes me; only my father thinks what he will do,” and she cried, because she felt very angry. She thought, “What will I do to him? I can make him sick. I will make him sick the way men get sick and grow thin and die.” The man was not yet sick; he asked his people, “Have you finished making a hole in the sky so we can go out through it?” The people said, “Yes, we have finished the hole. We looked through, but there is no daylight. It is all dark and we could not see anything.” Then he sent a few out again. “Take a slow match with you and make fires everywhere out there and look around at the country.” When they came back they told him it was a very good country. Then he asked them again to prepare places to sleep on the grapevine. They made ten camping places. He said, “We are now ready to move; we can climb out on the other side of the sky. I do not feel good; my body aches all over.” He was just a little sick, when they started up. They wanted Hukama’ta’s girl to go too, but she was still very angry and refused. Her father talked to her and tried to take her with him, but she said, “I do not want to go; I intend to stay here.” So he left her and went with the others. They traveled for ten sleeps before they emerged. The place they arrived at was so dark they could not see anything. They made many fires so that they could see to gather the things that grew up there. They stayed there some time. Then Humaka’ta sent two boys to fetch his daughter. The boys knew where she lived, but when they arrived she was gone. They thought she had just gone off a little way, so they looked around and shouted, “Where are you? Where do you live?” Then the boys found her tracks and trailed her. They had followed but a short distance when they could no longer see any tracks; they ended abruptly. They looked all around but could find no more. Instead they found wild tobacco plants growing right where the tracks ended, handsome green...


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