Navaho Witchcraft (Navajo Witchcraft)

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Digitized by the Internet Archive in 2019 with funding from Kahle/Austin Foundation





Published by arrangement with the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, Harvard University Library of Congress catalog card number: 62-13533 Printed in the United States of America


PUBLISHER’S NOTE Navaho Witchcraft was first published in 1944, in a limited edition of folio pages issued by the Peabody Museum of Harvard University. The publishers are honored to republish this classic monograph in tribute to the late Professor Kluckhohn and to his service to man’s understanding of himself. The changes and additions resulting from publication in book form have been kept to a minimum. Parenthetical cross references in the text have been made into footnotes. The foot¬ notes have been numbered separately in each section and moved from the text to a section following the appendices. With this exception, the sequence of materials is exactly that of the origi¬ nal edition. No material present in the original has been omitted from this edition. A photo facsimile of a newspaper page, which ap¬ peared as excerpt 2333 in Appendix IX, has been deleted, but the complete text of the two articles on the newspaper page has been included in the present footnote number 26 of Appendix IX. The words “paper” and “monograph” referring to this work itself have been changed to read “study” or “book.” No other change has been made in the original words and sentences in the text, the appendices or the footnotes. Two additions have been made in the introductory pages of this edition. D. Herbert Landar of Los Angeles State College in California has kindly provided a brief “Key to the Phonetic Spelling of Navaho Words,” which should be helpful to general readers in interpreting the phonetic symbols, all of which have been retained. The other addition is the obituary article about Clyde Kluckhohn by Professors Talcott Parsons and Evon Z. Vogt which appeared in the American Anthropologist, Vol. 64, No. 1, February 1962. v


publisher’s note

The publishers wish to express their gratitude to Professors Talcott Parsons and Evon Z. Vogt and the editors of the Amer¬ ican Anthropologist for permission to publish their article in this edition. The publishers also extend their thanks to the Peabody Museum of Harvard University, and its director, Dr. Joseph O. Brew, for cooperation and advice in this undertaking.

CONTENTS Publisher’s Note


Biographical Introduction


by Talcott Parsons and Evon Z. Vogt Key to the Phonetic Spelling of Navaho Words


by Herbert Landar Acknowledgments



5 Part I: Data


1: General Discussion of Data


2: The Distinct Categories of Witchcraft



3: Witchery Way and Were-Animals



4: Sorcery



5: Wizardry



6: Prostitution Way



7: Other Types of Witchcraft



8: Protection Against and Cures for Witchcraft



g: Observed Behaviors Relating to Witchcraft


Section 10: Participation



Part II: Interpretation Section

1: Introductory



2: Distributional and Historical Comments



3: Navaho Witchcraft as Providing Culturally Defined Adaptive and Adjustive Responses vii




Part III: Appendices: Instances and Stories of Witchcraft Introductory Note to the Appendices


Appendix I:

Witchery Way


Appendix II:



Appendix III:



Appendix IV:

Prostitution Way Chant Legend


Appendix V:

Datura Divination


Appendix VI:

Frenzy Witchcraft


Appendix VII:

Other Types of Witchcraft


Appendix VIII: Protection and Cure


Appendix IX:

Behavior and Participation







by Talcott Parsons and Evon Z. Vogt

Clyde Kluckhohn (1905-1960) was certainly one of the most notable anthropologists of the present century. But he was more than that—an eminent social scientist generally, an im¬ portant academic statesman, and an influential figure in public affairs. In anthropology his influence was deeply felt in at least four important ways, namely his penetrating ethnographic studies of the Navaho, extending over a period of 37 years; his contribu¬ tions to the development of the theory of culture, particularly in the fields of pattern analysis and the study of values; his in¬ tellectual leadership and stimulation of a large number of stu¬ dents, both graduate and undergraduate; and, not least, his rep¬ resentation of anthropology in a wide range of different contexts —academic, governmental, and otherwise. He was a man of un¬ flagging energy and the widest catholicity of interests, with mas¬ tery of some seven languages, wide knowledge of the humanities, firsthand acquaintance with many parts of the world, and pas¬ sionate concern for human values. While Kluckhohn did some pioneering work in the field of culture and personality, engaged in some research in linguistics and human genetics, and also did some early work in archeology, he will, in our judgment, go down in the annals of strictly in¬ tellectual history mainly for his work in Navaho ethnography, on the one hand, and his theoretical work on the concept of culture, on the other. Reprinted from the American Anthropologist, Vol. 64, No. 1, Part 1, February 1962, pp. 140-161. Reprinted by permission. ix



Kluckhohn’s interest in the Navaho began in 1922 when, at the age of only 17, ill health interrupted his freshman year at Princeton, and he was sent by his family to a ranch near Ramah, New Mexico. The nearest neighbors were Navahos and young Kluckhohn soon developed a deep interest in learning to speak Navaho and in studying Navaho customs. He quite obvi¬ ously had both an unquenchable curiosity about exotic customs and a deep sensitivity to the nuances of alien ways of life—two qualities essential for an anthropologist. The American South¬ west in general, and Navaho country in particular, had what Kluckhohn called “an obsessive fascination” for him. Through¬ out his life he was always happiest, more relaxed, and in his best form, both as a magnetic person and as a creative thinker and teacher of anthropology, when he went on field expeditions to the mesa and canyon country of New Mexico and Arizona. Travelling on horseback or in various models of old station wagons or jeeps, he became a familiar figure as he led his many devoted students through the pinons and junipers in pursuit of elusive Navaho informants, or lived for weeks at a time in Navaho hogans. He spoke Navaho fluently and was known affec¬ tionately by hundreds of Navahos as “Hasteen Clyde.” It was in this Southwestern setting that much of Kluck¬ hohn’s creative work was accomplished. His portable typewriter was in use almost every day, even on field expeditions, with a steady flow of anthropological writing. On the day of his fatal heart attack, July 28, i960, he was working on an article in a small cabin on the Upper Pecos River near Santa Fe. Kluckhohn’s first book, To the Foot of the Rainbow, de¬ scribing his early pack trip to the Rainbow Bridge, was published in 1927. In 1928 he completed the work for his A.B. at the Uni¬ versity of Wisconsin, studied at the University of Vienna in 1931-32 and at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar in 1932, served as Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of New Mexico from 1932 to 1934, and completed his Ph.D. at Harvard in 1936. During this decade he kept in close touch with the Navahos, making a number of pack trips to unexplored country on Wild Horse Mesa, and published his second popular book, Beyond the Rainbow, and two semi-popular articles on the



Navaho in 1933. In 1935 Kluckhohn was appointed an instructor of anthropology at Harvard, and the rest of his formal academic career was spent at Harvard. More serious ethnographic work with the Ramah Navaho began in the summer of 1936 and from that season on he was either personally or through students continuously in touch with the Navaho until his death. In his introduction to the Leightons’ Gregorio, The Hand-Trembler, he wrote of his Ramah Project: The original plan was to spend two summers (with assistance from graduate students) doing the ethnography of the group as a back¬ ground for the child study. Advisors assured me that Navaho culture was already well known and that it was merely necessary to describe local variations at Ramah together with the Ramah situation. It was also pointed out that no Navaho local group had been described. In 1938 I completed the first draft of an ethnography. However, when we checked it during the 1938 field season I got a sense that we had not yet mastered the basic patterns, let alone the cultural dynamics. It was resolved, therefore, to continue ethnographic investigation si¬ multaneously with the research upon the children. Gradually there emerged the notion that the following of a small community and its culture through time was a needed experiment in anthropology. It seemed plausible that the lack of time dimension was primarily re¬ sponsible for the flat, one-dimensional quality which acute and sensi¬ tive scholars from other disciplines had noted in even the best of anthropological monographs. In 1939 a long correspondence with Professor Donald Scott, Director Emeritus of the Peabody Museum of Harvard University, clarified my thinking. Mr. Scott stressed the significance of “continuous observation of the same persons in the same environment.” He suggested that “if biologists have found it profitable to spend their lives following the events in colonies of paramecia, it is likely that the science of man would be rewarded by intensive, longitudinal observations of a single community.”

Over the years Kluckhohn produced a series of technical papers and monographs on the Navaho that are noted in the profession as models for accurate and perceptive ethnographic description. Two of these monographs, Navaho Classification of Their Song Ceremonials and An Introduction to Navaho Chant Practice, were written in collaboration with his close friend and colleague, Professor Leland C. Wyman. A third, Navaho Witch-



craft, is perhaps his finest work, since it combines detailed de¬ scription with a new and penetrating theoretical interpretation synthesizing psychoanalytic learning, and social structure theory. Less technical, but still classic examples of fine anthropological writing and analysis, are the two books he wrote with Dorothea Leighton, The Navaho and Children of the People. He also collaborated with Leonard McCombe and Evon Z. Vogt on the picture book, Navaho Means People. Another ethnographic study, Navaho Material Culture, written in collaboration with W. W. Hill and Elizabeth Colson, is now in press. Kluckhohn was often criticized by his anthropological col¬ leagues for not writing a full-scale technical monograph on the Navaho. In point of fact, he clearly planned to do such a mono¬ graph and would, we think, have done so had he lived. His files contained too much good material collected by technical ethno¬ graphic methods over a period of 24 years to make this an easy assignment, especially while Kluckhohn himself was busy with a number of other enterprises. A strong and continuing interest in theory developed very early in Kluckhohn’s career. His thesis on “Some Aspects of Contemporary Theory in Cultural Anthropology” was submitted in 1936 and his early papers in the late 1930’s and early 1940’s soon gave him a real charismatic quality for large numbers of anthropologists. This perhaps explains in large part why Kluck¬ hohn was in 1947 the first president of the American Anthro¬ pological Association to be elected to the post after the Asso¬ ciation was reorganized and the method of election changed. It is extremely difficult to characterize Kluckhohn’s theo¬ retical position. He never developed a tight theoretical scheme; rather he was wide-ranging and eclectic in his interests and publications. He was deeply interested in developing anthro¬ pology as a science; yet he was also a humanist who wrote from a philosophical as well as a scientific point of view about values in human culture. In addition he wrote papers on statistics in anthropology, on aspects of psychoanalytic theory, and on popu¬ lation genetics. He was hence very much of a generalist in an¬ thropology. Yet if one were to attempt to isolate a special thread in his theoretical development, it would, we think, be his writings



on culture pattern and value theory. Many of his basic ideas were summarized in his Mirror for Man (which won the McGraw Hill prize for the best popular work on science in 1947); they are also developed in the monograph on Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions which he wrote in collaboration with the late A. L. Kroeber. But more impressive were the series of papers he did on levels and types of patterning in culture in which he developed especially the idea of “covert” or “implicit” culture. His theoretical concerns with value systems took two major forms: a search for universal values and the development of a series of categories based upon the idea of “binary distinctive features.” The papers on universal values make an increasingly convincing case for the position that, despite wide differences in customs, there are apparently fundamental human values common to the diverse cultures of the world. The application of “dis¬ tinctive features” analysis to value systems was just beginning to emerge in his writings in the last few years of his life. It is too early to judge whether this method of analysis will provide a lasting contribution, but it was a pioneering effort to bring some order into what will continue to be one of our most difficult areas of study in the social sciences. These deep interests in value systems were also the strongest moving spirit in the organization of the Comparative Study of Values in Five Cultures Project which included additional field work with the Ramah Navaho but extended the study to include four other neighboring cultural groups—the Zuni, the SpanishAmericans, the Mormons, and the Texan Homesteaders. This large scale project carried out field research in the Ramah area from 1949 through 1953, involving 37 field workers from a variety of the behavioral sciences, and leading to an impressive series of papers and monographs on the five cultures and their value systems. Kluckhohn’s eclecticism in theoretical matters precluded his founding a “school” with “disciples,” and hence a focused effort to develop a particular type of anthropology. On the other hand, it had the virtue of enabling him to cultivate and encourage novel and often times “off beat” ideas in his students. He had an as¬ tonishing capacity to stimulate students in all branches of an-



thropology to go ahead on their own, and he was amazingly tolerant of the diversity of points of view that were developed among his students and younger colleagues. He was a gifted field worker, and much of his skill and enthusiasm was communi¬ cated to his students as he initiated successive generations of them into field research in the Southwest. At Harvard he devoted countless hours listening to and counselling students who flocked to his office with ideas or problems, large and small. To return to Kluckhohn’s contributions as a theorist in anthro¬ pology, it seems fair to suggest that he occupied an important transitional position. He came to maturity in the heyday of the ideas of cultural relativity which had become predominant in the earlier years of this century in American anthropology, par¬ ticularly under the impact of the thinking of Franz Boas, and of the traditions of German idealism on which Boas built. As we have noted, Kluckhohn, with his humanistic sensitivities to uniqueness and qualitative considerations had much sympathy with these positions; he above all felt the absolute necessity of the empathetic understanding of the attitudes of people living in cultures other than his own, which he carried out so outstand¬ ingly in his work on the Navaho. At the same time he was fully cognizant of the inadequacy of the more radical type of cultural relativism for the needs of scientific theory, and he was determined that anthropology should assume its full place among the theoretical sciences. Hence, from an early phase of his career he was, as again we have noted, actively concerned in the search for elements of universality in human cultures. His solid knowledge of biological science sensi¬ tized him to the importance of invariants at this level, but per¬ haps even more his studies of psychoanalytic theory convinced him of the existence and importance of essential common ele¬ ments in the structure of human personalities, influenced as these were by the processes of personality development within the framework of kinship. A relatively early insight in this field was that matrilineal kinship systems—which of course, included the Navaho—did not, as Malinowski had claimed, eliminate the relevance of the Oedipus complex. The articulation of these personality factors with both the



biological and the sociological aspects of kinship might have led Kluckhohn s search in a sociological direction, but he showed less interest in this than in going directly to the patterning of culture itself, particularly the component of values. Here he was certainly striking at the heart of the matter so far as the main traditions of American anthropology were concerned. In the process he came increasingly to look to linguistics as a model and to hope that universal units of culture analogous to the phoneme and the morpheme could be identified. He also was much attracted by Roman Jacobson’s emphasis on the impor¬ tance of binary oppositions in the structure of language and, in his last papers on the theory of culture, he made this the main basis of his very tentative approach to systematization. In the whole process he not only looked to a scheme of cultural universals, which could be used as a framework for cross-cultural comparisons, and could be articulated with the social, psycho¬ logical, and biological levels, but he also explicitly revived con¬ sideration of the problems of cultural evolution which the previ¬ ous generation of anthropologists had so ceremoniously buried. Along such fines as these, though not the systematic de¬ veloper of a single coherent scheme, Kluckhohn, in his time, had an important catalytic influence on his discipline and beyond. This influence is closely connected with the fact that Kluckhohn had such a catholicity of knowledge and understanding for the whole world of learning, which made him, though so eminent an anthropologist, never content with anthropology alone. In addition to the variety of influences he was exposed to and he himself sought out in the course of his education, and to his continuing breadth of reading throughout his fife, this catholicity underlay the extension of his role at Harvard beyond anthropology, both as one of the principal founders and main¬ stays of the Department and Laboratory of Social Relations and as a prominent citizen of the University as a whole, not least in his capacity as a member of the Committee on General Educa¬ tion and a teacher under its auspices. Among the constituent disciplines which were brought to¬ gether in the social relations group, in addition to anthropology to which he was so deeply loyal, his closest affinity was with



clinical psychology. This involved not only his lifelong interest in psychoanalytic theory, but very particularly the ideographic and empathic aspects of the “clinical approach. ’ He was fond of suggesting that there was a correlative affinity between anthro¬ pology and clinical psychology on the one hand and sociology and social psychology on the other, in the latter case associated in particular with their common concern for statistical methods and the breaking down of complex configurational phenomena into quantitatively measurable units. It was clear where his own primary personal sentiments lay, and yet he was certainly deeply committed to working toward a synthesis broad enough to in¬ clude both types of approach, a commitment which was indeed manifested in the direction his analysis of culture was taking in his last years. Another evidence was his insistence on a re¬ quirement in statistics as part of the training of social anthro¬ pologists. However much, to observers in the foreground of major innovations of academic organization, such developments may seem to depend on the particularities of immediate settings in university organization and politics, and of the personalities in¬ volved, in a longer view they could scarcely occur or prove viable if they did not incorporate major possibilities in the trend of development of cultural content itself. Kluckhohn had the rare imagination to grasp, more clearly than any but a few, the po¬ tentialities of the fruitful interplay between these three major growing disciplines in the behavioral field. In evaluating his contribution in this respect it should be remembered that, at the time when he first made these commitments, the importance of the relationships was far less widely recognized than it has since become. For the record it may be noted that certain early associations and friendships prepared the way for his later more general role at Harvard and on the national scene. Besides his early field experience in anthropology, his experience with psychoanalysis in Vienna, and his contact with R. R. Marrett at Oxford were certainly important. Again, there was a very old friendship with John Dollard, starting when they were undergraduates together at the University of Wisconsin, and an early and long-continuing friendship with Alexander and Dorothea Leighton. The psycho-



analytic interest was also continued by participation in the joint seminar of Abram Kardiner and Ralph Linton at Columbia dur¬ ing one year when Kluckhohn was on leave of absence from Harvard. Also it is important that he saw a good deal of Robert Merton during the brief period, in Kluckhohn’s early days at Harvard, when they were both there together. On the other hand, in the development of what came to be his central anthropological interests, it is striking to note what httle impact the anthropologists under whom Kluckhohn studied during his graduate student days made upon him. The interests in pattern theory and in value systems bore little relationship to the concerns of his early anthropology professors in Vienna, or of R. R. Marrett, or of Tozzer, Dixon, or Hooton at Harvard. Two things seem to have happened. From the very beginning he began to range well beyond the field of anthropology for ideas and insights. He came to respond more strongly to the influence of four men with whom he never studied as a graduate student: Sapir, Boas, Linton, and Kroeber. Sapir clearly stimu¬ lated his interest in culture and personality and in culture pat¬ tern theory, as did Linton who was more of a contemporary. He came to have great admiration for the contributions of Boas. And in the last 15 years of his life he developed a veiy close intellectual and personal relationship with Kroeber. Although the relationship was not as close, Kluckhohn was also an admirer of the contributions of Ruth Benedict and Robert Redfield, whose intellectual interests were in many respects very close to those he was working on at the time of his death. Another salient aspect of Kluckhohn’s professional charac¬ ter was his concern with and talent for practical affairs, in which he was heavily involved over most of his mature life. These ranged from the prominent role he played in the profession of anthropology itself to very active involvement in the affairs of government. He was thus, within his profession, one of the principal advisors to and participants in the activities of the Wenner-Gren Foundation. He also played a particularly promi¬ nent part in the relations between his beloved Navaho and the government, being deeply involved in this problem in the months immediately preceding his death. At the university level, in addition to his participation in



the affairs of the Department of Anthropology (he served as its Chairman from 1957-1960), of the Peabody Museum, where he was curator of Southwestern Ethnology, and the Department and Laboratory of Social Relations where he was the senior social anthropologist and a member of the executive committee of the Laboratory from the beginning, he performed particularly im¬ portant services as the first Director of the Russian Research Center, established in 1947 with a grant from the Carnegie Cor¬ poration of New York. This was explicitly an interdisciplinary venture oriented to the most important single focus of American foreign relations after World War II. Many eyebrows were raised over the fact that the Director was not an established expert in the field of Russian or Soviet affairs; indeed the many languages which Kluckhohn commanded did not at that time include Russian. His qualifications, in addition to his high general level of ability, were those of a general social scientist talented in administration. In addition, two more specific factors played a part. The first was the role Kluckhohn had played during the war in the re¬ search unit of the Office of War Information, under the director¬ ship of Alexander Leighton, which was concerned with the analysis of the trend and determinants of Japanese morale. This group showed that it was possible, by careful use of social science methods, to achieve a substantially higher level of under¬ standing, precisely in the areas most relevant to policy, than could even the best interpretations of the empirical, policyoriented “experts” operating within the traditional framework of government.

Specifically, the progressive deterioration of

Japanese morale from early 1944 on, and the importance of the role of the Emperor, were matters on which the usual experts did not have clear, certainly not agreed opinions, but the rele¬ vant findings of research were unequivocal. The important point here is that the directors of the research, though they made liberal use of experts on Japan, were not themselves such ex¬ perts at the beginning, but were general social scientists. The second factor was Kluckhohn’s participation in the social rela¬ tions experiment, which was expected to provide an important



part of the orientation for the projected studies of Soviet society and its background. The Center under his direction brought together a variety of talent in these fields. It also provided one of the most ex¬ tensive examples of collaboration between the social relations disciplines and history, economics, and political science. It has produced a long series of important publications in the Russian field and has had an important, though intangible, influence on policy. Among these he himself participated as author in only one. How the Soviet System Works, by Kluckhohn, Inkeles, and Bauer. Kluckhohn’s administrative talent was manifested not only in the way in which he brought together a particularly able team of social scientists and “nondirectively” directed their work, but by the way in which he handled the extremely delicate and sensitive political aspects of the problem. It should be remem¬ bered that the Center was established just when the tensions of the cold war were coming to their first peak of exacerbation and that Kluckhohn’s directorship included the period of the Korean War and the early stages of McCarthyism. Throughout this he was able to retain the confidence of all the important relevant government and university agencies without sacrifice of academic integrity or the freedom of research and opinion. And this was done with only a few relatively minor disturbances. It is significant that McCarthy, in his crusade against “Pusey’s fifth-amendment communists,” did not even mention the Russian Research Center. It is not surprising, in view of this record, that Kluckhohn was in great demand as a consultant and advisor outside the University, particularly in the foundations and in governmental agencies. Especially in the last 10 years of his fife he devoted a great deal of his energy and time to these demands. He was also in demand as a “cultural ambassador” and in this connec¬ tion served on assignments at the Salzburg Seminar in Austria, with UNESCO, in Japan, Australia, and India at various times. Kluckhohn was, to an unusual degree, honored by election to major professional organizations beyond his field, including the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of



Arts and Sciences, and the American Philosophical Society. Characteristically, he treated these memberships not merely as an honor, but he played a major active role in the affairs of all of these associations. He thereby also served to keep the rela¬ tively small field of professional anthropology in constant and effective communication with the higher echelons of American academic as well as governmental life. In 1949 the University of New Mexico conferred on him an honorary degree of L.H.D., and in 1954-55 he was a Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. The theme of creative eclecticism, which we stressed in con¬ nection with Kluckhohn’s more strictly academic work, can thus be extended to his professional career as a whole. His career was in a sense a living demonstration that it is possible, even in the modern age, to approach the role of a universal man, a true Renaissance type. As anthropologist his work was of high dis¬ tinction in a number of specialties, but he will probably be re¬ membered more as a generalist, as some have said perhaps the last general anthropologist in the great tradition of Boas and Kroeber. But he was a generalist in a much wider sense than this, as eminent citizen in his own university and in the academic world generally, as promoter and director of manifold inter¬ disciplinary alliances between his own field of anthropology and a whole series of its academic neighbors. He was one of the best examples of the academic man in practical affairs, both as university administrator and policymaker and in the outside world. With all this he was a deeply cultured man in the widest sense, and a man with a genius for personal friendship, with the widest variety of types of people. And all this he did while living in the most precarious state of health from late adolescence on, blithely ignoring the dangers inherent in that condition. His premature death removes from our ranks a great anthropologist whom we can ill afford to lose. Professor Kluckhohn is survived by his wife, Florence Rockwood Kluckhohn, with whom he collaborated on a number of publications, and a son, Richard Paul Rockwood Kluckhohn, now an assistant professor of Anthropology at Boston University. HARVARD UNIVERSITY

KEY TO THE PHONETIC SPELLING OF NAVAHO WORDS Many Navaho vowels and consonants can be pronounced essentially as in English, but some of them will seem strange to the average American. The vowels i, e, a, and o give no trouble. They are pro¬ nounced roughly hke the vowels in bid, bed, top, and no. When they are especially long, a raised dot is used, as in the word sa-d. This sounds hke the English word sod and means “word.” Vowels have nasal quality sometimes. Breath is released through the nose as well as the mouth, in making nasal vowels. Nasal vowels are shown by a hook, as in bi-h “deer.” If you hold a finger under your nose as you say this word, you can feel breath coming through your nostrils. Vowels vary not only respecting length and nasalization, but also respecting pitch or tone. With low pitch on the first syllable, the word nib means “he is,” but with high pitch on the first syllable, the word we have is nili “you are.” Movement from high to low pitch is shown by a circumflex accent, as in Pe^e-lni? “disease witchcraft.” The sign which looks like a question mark stands for a com¬ mon Navaho speech sound, the glottal stop. It is produced by closing the space between the two vocal cords or membranes in the larynx as pressure builds up from air of the lungs, and then popping the vocal cords open suddenly, in a little cough. We hear this sound in certain emphatic pronunciations of the word apple: dapple! The consonants b, d, g, h, k, l, m, n, s, t, iv, y, and z give no trouble because they are pronounced much as in English. Strange to the eye, but familiar to the tongue and ear, are c (the sound of ts in cats), c (the sound of ch in chair), g (the sound XXI






of dz in adze), 3 (the sound of /' in jump), s (the sound of sh in ship), Z (the sound of s in pleasure), and A (the sound of dl in paddle). Strange to the tongue and eye are l, formed like an l but without voice, so that breath whispers past the edges of the tongue (as in dil “blood”); x (like the eh in Scottish loch or the h in an exuberant huge); y, made like x but with voice produced by vibration of the vocal cords; and A, a combination of t and l. Glottalized or checked consonants such as t\ U, 6, d, and A are not ordinarily used in English. The f is made partly like an English t, but one’s vocal cords close before the t is made and open abruptly an instant after the t has been made. The same pattern of glottal closure, consonantal articulation, and glottal release occurs with U (ha-? “arrow”), c (Facose• “sucking way”), £ (PaSdh sodizin “shield prayer”), and A (PafdZ Faze-? “gall medicine”). Herbert Landar


To Leland C. Wyman


Support for the field work basic to this monograph has been provided by the Division of Anthropology and the Peabody Mu¬ seum of Harvard University, the Social Science Research Coun¬ cil and by grant No. 544 from the Penrose Fund of the American Philosophical Society. I am also grateful to the following friends who have generously made available unpublished field notes: David Aberle, Flora Bailey, Helen Bradley, Malcolm Carr Collier, W. W. Hill, J. Charles Kelley, Alexander and Dorothea Leighton, Maud Oakes, Katherine Spencer, Harry Tschopik, Jr., R. Van Valkenburgh, Paul Vestal, Ben Wetherill, L. C. Wyman and Robert Young. Father Berard Haile has kindly given advice on linguistic matters. Superintendents E. R. Fryer and J. M. Stewart made available material in the confidential files at the Navajo Central Agency. To L. C. Wyman, S. K. Harris and Paul Vestal are due thanks for botanical identifications. To Mrs. John Adair I am indebted for assistance in the preparation of the manu¬ script. June McCormick Collins and Cordelia Galt scrupulously checked the proof and verified references. If, in Part II, I have attained to any correct or useful employ¬ ment of psychological and psychiatric conceptions, this is largely owing to two sources. First, I must mention the informal guid¬ ance and instruction which I have received over a period of years from a number of kind friends, notably John Dollard, Margaret Fries, Edward Hitschmann, Alexander and Dorothea Leighton, O. H. Mowrer and Henry A. Murray, Jr. To Dr. Mowrer I am particularly grateful for the notions of “adjustment” and “adapta¬ tion” which play so central a role in my interpretations. Second, I must express my gratitude to the Carnegie Corporation of New York and to Professor Ralph Linton for the opportunity of study3



ing psychology and psychiatry systematically for a year and es¬ pecially of participating in the Seminar directed by Dr. Linton and Dr. A. Kardiner at Columbia University. The manuscript, or parts of it, had the benefit of a critical reading and many helpful suggestions from David Aberle, Father Berard, Malcolm Carr Collier, W. W. Hill, E. A. Hooton, J. Charles Kelley, W. Kelly, Florence Kluckhohn, John Landgraf, A. H. and D. Leighton, R. M. McNair, M. E. Opler, Donald Scott, A. M. Tozzer, R. Van Valkenburg, Paul Vestal, Esther Goldfrank Wittfogel and L. C. Wyman. The criticisms of David Aberle, Father Berard, A. H. Leighton and L. C. Wyman were particularly searching and detailed, and I am most appreciative of the many hours they gave to the task. Naturally, however, they must not be held responsible for blemishes of description or analysis which remain, for in some instances I was bold enough to disregard their advice. But I am deeply sensible that this was a cooperative venture.


Thousands of pages have been published on Navaho cere¬ monials. But thus far only one paper1 (by a psychologist!) has been devoted exclusively to Navaho witchcraft. Goddard has published a brief text,2 and Hill less than half a page on the Witch Way type of ritual hunting.3 Otherwise, the literature pre¬ sents only stray paragraphs and sentences and casual mentions.4 And yet we have reason to assume that belief in witchcraft has been (and in some areas still is) an exceedingly important dy¬ namic of behavior. Whether Navahos actually carried out rites of witchcraft—or at least whether such rites were carried out by many individuals at all frequently—is, in the present state of our information, as open to question as in the case of the Pueblo Indians. But there is no doubt that in both cultures belief in the existence of witches is manifested in expressions of fear of indi¬ viduals and of places and objects held to be associated with witchcraft. Distrust and suspicion of certain persons unquestion¬ ably influence various behaviors, and there are occasional acts of violence. Knowledge of Navaho idea patterns5 on this subject is essential to our total understanding of Navaho culture. The term “witchcraft” is not unobjectionable as covering all the materials to be treated here. A more precise title would have been cumbersome, but “Navaho idea and action patterns con¬ cerned with the influencing of events by supernatural techniques that are socially disapproved” would have expressed rather ac¬ curately the subject of this study. In analyzing the conceptual picture of the world presented by Navaho culture, it is con¬ venient and not misleading to make a grand dichotomy. Every unacculturated Navaho believes that it is possible to influence the course of events by means involving the supernatural. On the 5



one hand, there are the personal and public rites and ceremonials for the protection of self, family and property, the increase of desirable goods and for curing. The personal rites are trans¬ mitted within the family and, occasionally, from friend to friend. The public ceremonials have highly similar purposes as well as their more obvious “curing” function. The rites of divination, the Hunting Ways, the salt-gathering and trading ceremonies are neither precisely private nor precisely public. But all the cere¬ monial means of influencing the course of events which have just been mentioned have this important property in common: they are culturally approved. Knowledge of these aspects of the eso¬ teric culture brings prestige and positively toned responses from other members of the society. On the other hand, it is believed that some individuals know supernatural techniques for injuring their fellow tribesmen.6 The one body of knowledge and belief is sometimes referred to by English-speaking Navahos as “the good side,” the malevolent knowledge and activity as “the bad side.” It is with “the bad side”7 that we shall here be concerned. In social science it is of crucial importance that fact and inference should always be as clearly distinguished as possible. For that reason this book is divided into two parts: “Data” and “Interpretation.” For example, it is unequivocally a fact that the vast majority of those whom my informants have accused of witchcraft have been persons of wealth or prestige. My “ex¬ planation” of this circumstance is equally unequivocally a non¬ fact. When data and interpretation are closely juxtaposed, there is often confusion as to the dividing line between the two. In the hope, then, that the reader, however much he may be dis¬ posed to reject my conclusions, will treat the data separately and make his own inferences, Part I will consist entirely of direct in¬ ductions from my field materials, together with an account of how they were obtained. In the appendices all interviews which present divergent material are published; so, in that regard, no factor of selection is involved. The troublesome matter of the selection of inform¬ ants as influenced by the investigator’s personality remains, of course—altiiough tending to cancel out in time as more investiga-



tions overlap. Likewise, the sheer accidents of the sampling process cannot be entirely controlled when dealing with a topic such as “witchcraft.” It is altogether possible that another worker, working over an equally long period and with an equally large number of informants, would obtain a body of material which was substantially different in a number of critical respects. In all honesty, however, I must say that I doubt this. The number of informants is so large, the range of variation with respect to age, status and “personality type” is so great that major discrepancies are highly unlikely. More than half of my informants were not sought out by me as informants on witchcraft. I picked some of them up as hitch-hikers while I was traveling in the Navaho country. Others asked me, as an old friend, to take them to a town or a government agency, and I seized this occasion to en¬ gage them in conversation on the subject of witchcraft. Circum¬ stances such as this control the factor of personal selectivity to a considerable degree, as is evidenced by the goodness of fit be¬ tween data obtained from informants whom I sought out and those who, as it were, sought me out. In general, the internal consistency of my data and their agreement with data obtained altogether independently by Dr. Hill and other workers indicate that, at least in all major directions, these data are not materially prejudiced by factors of selection and sampling. This is, of course, primarily a study in Navaho folk belief in witchcraft in the past twenty years. No sustained attempt is made to discover the “aboriginal” as opposed to “acculturated” beliefs. We are as interested in what the young school boy thinks about witches as in the notions of his old grandfather. An at¬ tempt will be made to call attention to beliefs and practices which seem to be the result of recent acculturation, but we shall not disregard inconsistencies and discrepancies because we have not created any “ideal” systematization of idea patterns which we take as the cultural standard. Whether or not any particular belief accords with the generally accepted version of a myth is largely irrelevant to the questions we are asking here. What we want to know first of all is: on the basis of a large sample of Navaho men and women, some with and some without great



stores of esoteric knowledge, what generalizations as to beliefs (and related acts) concerned with witchcraft can be made for the Navaho population as a whole.

Purpose and Limitations of This Book The basic purpose of this study is to present (in Part I and the Appendices) certain field materials and to make from these (in Part II) certain inferences and interpretations as to the dy¬ namics of Navaho social organization. Reference will be made to the already published literature to indicate discrepancies or to reinforce points for which the support from field data is weak. There are two topics with which I shall not deal systemati¬ cally in this study. The few mythological fragments which hap¬ pened to be volunteered by my informants will be presented, but I did not attempt to gather the mythology of witchcraft. Father Berard Haile’s infinitely rich collections of mythological texts can be expected to establish the mythological background of witchcraft in full clarity. Since movements in the underworlds were largely motivated by dissatisfaction with the conditions produced by the Witchery of First Man and his associates, the chantway legend for Upward Reaching Way (Moving Up Way) should be especially illuminating.8 For purposes of our interests here, the important consideration is that mythology establishes the validity of belief in witchcraft.9 The second subject which I specifically eschew is any in¬ tensive comparative or historical analysis. A few particularly sug¬ gestive parallels among other peoples will be cited. But an ade¬ quate comparative study is a large task in itself. My aim is to provide data which may be utilized by other students in distribu¬ tional investigations. Similarly, while I recognize the legitimate importance of questions as to Puebloan, Spanish or other deriva¬ tion of Navaho idea patterns related to witchcraft, I regard such questions as beyond the scope of this book. The first draft of this study was written in 1938. In 1939 it was revised and new data were incorporated. In 1941 there was a complete rewriting and inclusion of material obtained in 19391941. Changes during 1942 were limited to taking advantage of



suggestions by critics and the addition of a very few items from current publications and fresh field notes. The base line for such statements as “during the past few seasons” or “last summer” is always the autumn of 1941, except when I am quoting an in¬ formant or another field worker.



Introductory The principal reason that so little is known of Navaho witch¬ craft is the extreme reluctance of the Indians to discuss the mat¬ ter. As one informant remarked, “People don’t tell out about these things; they keep them down here in the body.” On the one hand, if other Navahos learn that a certain man or woman has discussed the subject, that person is by that very fact open to suspicion of knowing too much, i.e., of being a witch. On the other hand, if the informant relates anecdotes referring to the supposed witchcraft activities of others, he becomes liable to their hatred and revenge. In particular, if these persons “really are witches,” and they learn that someone has gossiped about them, they are, it is believed, certain to witch the gossiper and get him out of the way. Over and above these two excellent rea¬ sons for caution and silence, there is the additional motive that most Navahos who are “good citizens” feel a genuine discomfort1 in talking about such topics which are defined for them by their culture as evil and ugly. Because of these barriers to gathering material, a particularly detailed account of how the data were collected is required. Since the number of informants is so large and since conversa¬ tions were held with many of the informants on several occasions, the description of the interviews must be somewhat generalized. However desirable, ideally, it might be to give an extended portrayal of the status and “personality” of each informant as well as the complete context of the situation in which each bit of material was obtained, this course is clearly impractical for rea13



sons of space and expense of publication. Where such details seem of peculiar significance, they will be presented.

How the Data Were Obtained Under the right circumstances almost any Navaho will talk about witchcraft. What are “the right circumstances”? First and foremost, confidence in the person or persons to whom the stories are told, trust that idle or malicious gossip will not be spread. Navahos who resolutely denied the very existence of witchcraft, when they knew me only casually, years later, after they knew me really well, poured forth deep-seated fears and very detailed materials. Secondly, some sort of privacy is essential. Witch¬ craft is seldom discussed in a group (except very generally, ob¬ liquely or jokingly) unless those present are closely related, or at least know each other well and have mutual trust. For this rea¬ son it is very difficult to obtain witchcraft data through an in¬ terpreter, except, to some extent, from relatives and close friends of the interpreter. The “investigator plus a single Navaho” is usu¬ ally the best situation. I have found that Navaho hitch-hikers whom I picked up when I was alone in my car were often sur¬ prisingly willing to discuss witchcraft in spite of the fact that they had never seen me before. Indeed, I am sure that it was because they had never seen me before and anticipated that they would never see me again that they were ready to talk! Thirdly, the inquirer’s approach is of great importance. To say “I hear you know a lot about witchcraft and I want you to tell me about it” would be disastrous. One must be careful to begin one’s remarks with a statement of this order: “I know you are a good man (woman). All the people say so. I realize that you don’t know anything at all about witchcraft. But you are old (or, have trav¬ eled around a great deal, have studied a lot), have had lots of experiences, and I am sure you must have heard some good stories about witches. I wish you would just tell me some of the things you have heard.” This, of course, is an approach to a rather formal interview. For a more casual talk (e.g., with a hitch-hiker), I have found a rather jocular approach best: “Oh, you live at-. I hear there are lots of witches over there.



Is that true?” or “These Navahos keep talking about (mentioning one kind of witch). Are there really such things? Have you ever seen any, or their tracks?” In the fourth place, the general “mood” and situation of the informant are determin¬ ing factors. If he is at a chant or otherwise preoccupied with “good thoughts,” or, if he is only mildly disturbed over his state of affairs, he is not likely to wish to discuss witchcraft. Navahos, however, who are really in a state of anxiety over the activities of their neighbors will often throw caution to the winds and “let off steam” to whoever will hear them sympathetically. Of course, over all these abstract and generalized conditions, the factor of individual personality supervenes. A few Navahos will speak about almost anything if they are well paid. Others feel strong enough and secure enough in their knowledge of good powers to be able to talk of witchcraft with impunity. A few Navahos also—even unacculturated ones—appear to be genuine sceptics2 and to feel no hazard in repeating stories which they consider purely imaginative. Finally, a Navaho under the influ¬ ence of alcohol usually has a looser tongue on this as well as on other topics. I confess that when I have encountered mildly in¬ ebriated Navahos at “squaw dances” I have not scrupled to try to get them talking on witchcraft. Working under these conditions, it takes a long time to amass an adequate body of material. My first witchcraft stories were collected in 1923 from English-speaking informants and from white traders. Almost every year since then I have collected some anecdotes and I have been working systematically on the subject every field season (except 1935) since 1932. My ma¬ terial includes five major divisions. First, I have field notes on 132 formal interviews with 93 different informants. Here I took notes in the presence of the informant3 and used an interpreter except in the five cases where the informant spoke adequate English. Notes on these interviews range from two pages to ninety-one pages. Of these formal interviews twenty-seven were of passive type. That is, I did not ask specific questions but merely led the informant to discuss anything concerned with witchcraft which he was willing to. Twenty-five of the interviews where I consistently questioned were carried on with twenty-five



different informants during the past three years in an endeavor to obtain statistically sound generalizations on various matters of witchcraft belief. It is only with these informants (plus two or three others) that anything approaching a comprehensive dis¬ cussion of Navaho witchcraft ideology was carried on. Other informants were able (or willing) to discuss only one or two topics in any detail, making merely a few vague and general re¬ marks about others. The remark “I just heard a few things” became a familiar pattern. Second, I have notes on 115 conversa¬ tions with 102 different informants (with twenty-one of whom I also had formal interviews at some time). Seventy-three of these conversations were carried on directly in Navaho, the remainder in English. These notes were written down from half an hour to a full day after the conversation. They range from only a few lines to ten pages, but I do not include in the enumeration almost countless casual references to the commonplaces of witchcraft lore. Third, I have notes on conversations with sixteen white in¬ formants (mostly traders) who related some anecdote they had heard from Navahos. Fourth, I have some twelve pages of notes on gossip or witchcraft talk which I overheard going on between Navahos. Fifth, I have eighty-seven pages of notes supplied me by other workers.

Informants Of the ninety-three informants used in formal interviews, seventy-six were men. Ages ranged from about fifteen to puta¬ tively past ninety, with seventy-one informants presumably more than fifty years of age and forty-two presumably more than sixty.4 Thirty-eight were ceremonial practitioners. The vast majority were of moderate to good economic circumstances. Only four could be classified as poor and only three as rich. The eighty-one informants (who do not enter into the first group) with whom informal interviews were held, ranged in age from eight to past seventy. Only thirty-one were presumably more than fifty years of age. Only twelve were ceremonial practitioners, to the best of my knowledge. It is impossible to be precise as to economic position, but my impression is that this group includes a greater




number of the poor and that, in general, its economic status is lower. Of the ninety-three informants used in formal interviews, thirty-eight came from the Ramah and Two-Wells Danoff areas. Only eight, however, of the “check group” of twenty-five came from these two areas. Other localities represented include: Nav¬ ajo Mountain, Kayenta, Tuba City, Chaco Canyon, Fort Defiance, Pine Springs, Klagetoh, Canyon de Chelly, Puertocito, Stoney Butte, Shiprock, Lukachukai, Tohatchi,5 Manuelito, Pinedale, Gallup. The western Navaho territory is much less well repre¬ sented than the eastern. The north is scarcely represented at all. Of the eighty-one informants in the informal interview group twenty-three came from the Ramah and Two-Wells Danoff areas. The remainder have a quite satisfactory geographical spread with Shiprock, Aneth, Canyon Largo, Red Rock, Huerfano, Crystal, Leupp, Kearns Canyon, Salina, Chilchinbito, Tsaya and Dinnehotso being represented, as well as all of the places named in the first list. With a few exceptions all informants in the formal interview group were paid, usually at the rate of twenty-five cents per hour. The informants in the informal interview group were not paid (except indirectly by transportation, cigarettes, food, etc.). For obvious reasons the names of informants will not be given.

Investigator s Role This has already been partially covered above. No consistent role assumption was possible. With some informants the role was very simply that of a friend of many years’ standing. In these cases, I think the attitude of the Indians could be generalized and summed up in the words of one informant: “I don’t know why you want to know all this stuff. I can’t see what good it does you. But you have always been nice to me and my family so I will tell you the stories I have heard.” In the case of some slightly sophisticated informants, experience showed that it was possible to heighten motivation by talking to them in this fash¬ ion: “You know that a lot of things have been written about the



Navaho Indians. You know too that a lot of these things were lies—by people who had never been out here or had just talked to a few no-good Indians in Gallup or at some agency. But white people read those things and believe them and get all their ideas about the Navaho from them. Well, I am writing a book too. But I want it to be right. That is why I have come way out here to you. I know you’ll tell me what you have really heard about it.” Some persons, in Navaho society as in our own, need very little exterior inducement to talk. The blind, the old and feeble, the neglected are often so grateful for an audience that, if they know the investigator well enough so that the usual sus¬ picion of outsiders is not operative, they will talk at great length even without economic reward. With others, of course, the eco¬ nomic factor was not only primary but essentially sufficient in itself. It was enough that they could earn a few dollars rather easily. In the same breath it must be pointed out that there were others who would not discuss witchcraft at any price. With hitch-hikers and other informants with whom my contacts were very transitory, I usually assumed a role with which they were familiar from their relations with white traders and Indian Serv¬ ice employees—that of a slightly supercilious and bantering white man who has some real curiosity about “Navaho ways.” After I had become familiar with the verbal pattern,6 “I don’t know anything about it, I just heard about it,” I learned to prevent by various devices exaggerated suspicion or active hos¬ tility on the part of the informants whom I did not know well but whom I sought to interview formally. I would state at the outset that I was quite aware the informant knew nothing of these un¬ pleasant practices, but that I approached him only as a gen¬ erally respected and well-informed man. This statement would be backed up by a more extended and carefully calculated ap¬ peal to vanity. I always sought to learn as much as possible in advance about the person’s life history and present situation. In this way, I could phrase my whole approach in a way that tended to avoid “tender spots” and arousal of anxieties. By such means, I have been able in recent years to interview nineteen informants who are widely rumored to be witches and even three who have actually been “tried” for witchcraft. Even so, some individuals




are so touchy” that despite the most careful preparation, I have recently been indignantly repulsed with “Who told you I was a witch? Who sent you to me? You can go right away from here. I don’t know anything about those bad things.” Naturally, working as I have among the same individuals over many years, I have most scrupulously preserved the confi¬ dences of my informants. I believe this is the primary explana¬ tion for the fact that the materials I have obtained in the last five years have been infinitely less guarded and richer in content. During interviews I have always endeavored not to appear too eager or interested. Except during systematic checking I have not interrupted the free flow of the informant’s remarks until he stopped. Then I have seldom said more than “Is that all?” or “Do you remember hearing any other stories?” or “That’s quite a bit like another story I heard—but a little bit different. Another fellow told me-.” Occasionally, the indication on my part that I was already familiar with a certain bit of esoteric lore has served as a useful entering wedge at the beginning of an inter¬ view or as a stimulant to further utterance by the informant. Perhaps ten per cent of my total data were volunteered al¬ together spontaneously by Navaho friends without my so much as steering the conversation indirectly into such channels. This last class of data is, of course, peculiarly valuable as a yardstick against which to test the trustworthiness of information which was given with resistance. For purposes of the type of socio-cultural analysis and inter¬ pretation which is attempted in this monograph, the above ac¬ count of interview problems and methods is perhaps sufficient. In a later publication I hope to examine the beliefs and be¬ haviors which concrete individuals manifested with respect to witchcraft. This, obviously, can be done effectively only against the background of their life histories and in terms of detailed study of the actual situations in which the verbal or other be¬ haviors occurred. It is clear that for such purposes the interpre¬ tation of interview materials would constitute an elaborate exer¬ cise in the most intricate sort of semantic analysis. It would be necessary to specify most carefully the emotional intensity mani¬ fested in each interview and in different portions of the same



interview, the degree of resistance apparent, the extent to which the direct or indirect emotional release method had been em¬ ployed. The analysis of explicit lies would be very important, and the search for projections would have to be very intensive. The analyst would need to be very sensitive to all of the in¬ formant’s attitudes and evaluations: how and what sectors of the culturally available witchcraft lore had been assimilated, how he discriminated—these questions would be of crucial significance. Juxtapositions of subject matter would give clues as to the mean¬ ing of witchcraft belief to the particular individual. In short, the determination of the manifest and latent content of each inter¬ view would need to be very searching. In every case the analyst would have to try to distinguish: (a) what the informant was willing and able to say, (b) what he was willing to say but not able, (c) what he knew but was not willing to say, (d) what the informant was himself unaware of—repressed or semi-formed material. However, since in this study we are proceeding at a higher level of abstraction (the social and cultural), a cruder sort of analysis can be expected to give adequate results to a first approximation.

General Nature of Data and Plan of Presentation By content, data can be divided into five classes: (1) State¬ ments dealing with the theory of some branch of witchcraft. (2) Anecdotes purporting to relate some actual occurrence of witch activity. (3) Statements dealing with the theory of protec¬ tion against or antidotes for witchcraft. (4) Actual behaviors (observed or reported) which were said to have been motivated by fear of witchcraft. (5) Accusations of witchcraft against spe¬ cific persons and other material on participation. Sections 3-9 of Part I will present digests of the data of classes (1) and (2). But since materials of this sort are so dif¬ ficult to obtain and since, apart from Morgan, almost none have hitherto been published, the majority of the actual statements are published in Appendices I-VII. The first portion of each ap¬ pendix includes those excerpts from interviews dealing with the generalized idea pattern of this kind of witchcraft. The second




consists of anecdotes of specific cases. Each separate interview excerpt is numbered to facilitate reference in the body of the book. In some cases the assignment of interview excerpts to an appendix is somewhat arbitrary, for the excerpt may deal both with a particular type of witchcraft and with protection or cure or with participation. Such cross references are indicated at the end of each appendix. Almost all statements of any length which have been made to me about Navaho witchcraft are published in the appendices, although the content of a single interview may be distributed be¬ tween several appendices. In those cases where the same anec¬ dote has been independently obtained from different informants only the fullest version is published. The similarity of the ac¬ counts as to names, places, sequences of events was astonishing. The principal discrepancies between various versions of the same anecdote arose from the fact that some informants were disposed to give briefer accounts, less richly embellished with small par¬ ticulars. Certain statements of idea patterns duplicated each other so completely that it seemed necessary to publish only those which embodied some new detail of information or some variation, however slight. Many brief references to witchcraft or insinuations that so and so was a witch likewise do not appear in the appendices. But all of these classes of unpublished ma¬ terial have, of course, been utilized in the enumerations which indicate the patterned modalities and the ranges of variation. In many respects the scientifically preferable course would have been to have had the documents precede, or at least imme¬ diately follow, the generalizations. But these interview excerpts are enormously detailed and, in many cases, not easy to read. It was therefore felt that their inclusion in the body of the text would interfere with the reader’s obtaining a readable and run¬ ning account of Navaho beliefs relating to witchcraft. Section 8 of Part I will deal with data of class (3); Ap¬ pendix VIII gives apposite documents. Sections 9 and 10 cover material of classes (4) and (5); Appendix IX contains the re¬ lated texts.


According to Navaho belief, there are a number of distinct methods of carrying out malevolent activity. Each has its own Navaho name, and these terms are almost never used inter¬ changeably. For convenience of reference, English equivalents are needed. Unfortunately, in every case a literal rendering of the Navaho terminology would have resulted in a vocabulary which was awkward, and which would have had little signifi¬ cance for the student who was unfamiliar with Navaho lin¬ guistics. It is believed that the terms “Witchery,” “Sorcery,” “Wizardry” and “Frenzy Witchcraft” will convey the diagnostic differences in the four principal techniques of witchcraft roughly in accord with dictionary definitions and current usage. It must be emphasized that each of these English words is to be used as (' a technical term. Thus “Witchery” will be a convenient and brief way of designating all phenomena which the Navaho call f'ant’f-;1 “Sorcery,” a short designation for those which the Navaho refer to by the =0301 stem; “Wizardry,” those which the Navaho call ?adagas; “Frenzy Witchcraft,” one of the several classes of be¬ havior which the Navaho designate as Pajile-. These terms and the corresponding Witch, Sorcerer and Wizard will be capital¬ ized as a reminder that they are used in a special and technical sense, as equivalents of Navaho terms. For this reason, “Witch” will refer only to practitioners of ^ant’f; whereas “witch” will designate practitioners of all types of witchcraft. Fikewise, it is convenient to reserve the term “witchcraft” to cover all types of malevolent activities which endeavor to control the course of events by supernatural techniques. 22




It must be insisted that it is the natives who have created these distinct categories—not the ethnologist who forces his data into pigeonholes of his own devising. It has been truly said: “There are no synonyms in the English language.” In the strictest semantic sense there are no synonyms in any language. If any people finds that two or more terms are necessary it may be inferred that they “think of” the phenomena so differentiated as - somehow distinct. The Navaho are unusually sensitive to such distinctions. I have heard Professor Sapir remark, “The Navaho language is peculiarly interested in categories; it delights to file things away. Vividness in contrast between categories is very important to the Navaho.” This does not mean, of course, that every Navaho always makes every distinction with perfect clarity. There is some confusion as to the differences between the various types of witchcraft when one gets to the peripheries,2 but most informants are clear and consistent on the main outlines. With few exceptions, the various techniques are separately categorized and scrupulously referred to by the distinct terms. There is, to be sure, always syncretism. The association of plants with types of witchcraft other than Frenzy Witchcraft is probably an in¬ stance of the syncretistic tendency.3 There seems to be syn¬ cretism between Sorcery and Disease Witchcraft.4 In the ap¬ pendices will be found three cases where Witchery and Sorcery -) are definitely mingled,5 at least two others6 where there are traces of such syncretism and three7 where Sorcery and Frenzy Witch¬ craft are perhaps confused. In excerpt 97 Witchery and Wiz¬ ardry do not appear to be clearly distinguished. Also, in certain contexts, Navahos tend to lump all witchcraft practices in the same way that in other contexts they tend to class together all the worst things they believe in—all ghost and witchcraft lore.8 Sometimes, when pressed as to whether there was any connec¬ tion between those, for example, who practiced Witchery and those who practiced Frenzy Witchcraft the informant would make replies of this sort: “Oh, yes, all those people who do bad things hang together.” Field notes show a greater number of references to Aint’i • than to any other type of witchcraft so Witchery will be treated first. Sorcery will follow, because Witchery and Sorcery are so




closely linked that some informants regard Sorcery as merely a branch of Witchery. Wizardry will come next since it is clear that Witchery-Sorcery-Wizardry constitute a pattern assemblage which native thought separates from Frenzy Witchcraft by a major dividing line.

SECTION 3: WITCHERY WAY (’arit’i-zi)1 AND WERE-ANIMALS (ye-na-lxo-si-)

Digest When an English-speaking Navaho refers to “witchcraft” or a cognate it is most often ?ant’i which he has primarily in mind. First Man and First Woman were the originators of Witchery Way, the beginnings of which are thus placed in the pre-emer¬ gence period. The classic Witchery Way technique is that mentioned in the emergence legend. A preparation (usually called “poison” by English-speaking informants) is made of the flesh of corpses. The flesh of children and especially of twin children is preferred, and the bones at the back of the head and skin whorls are the prized ingredients. When this “corpse poison”2 is ground into powder it “looks like pollen.” It may be dropped into a hogan from the smokehole, placed in the nose or mouth of a sleeping victim or blown from furrowed sticks into the face of someone in a large crowd. “Corpse poison” is occasionally stated to have been administered in a cigarette. Fainting, lockjaw, a tongue black and swollen, immediate unconsciousness or some similar dramatic symptom is usually said to result promptly. Sometimes, however, the effects are less obvious. The victim gradually wastes away, and the usual ceremonial treatments are unavailing. Witches are associated with death and the dead. They are likewise closely associated with incest. Suspicion of incest means by that very fact suspicion of Witch activity and vice versa. Both men and women may become witches (^adant’f), 25



although references to male Witches are considerably more nu¬ merous. Almost all the female witches mentioned in actual anec¬ dotes are old women; some informants insisted that only child¬ less women could be witches. It was agreed generally that transvestites were neither more nor less likely than ordinary per¬ sons to become witches. Witchery is most often learned from a parent, a grandparent or a spouse, but a spouse also often re¬ mains ignorant that the partner is a Witch.3 Killing a near rela¬ tive, normally a sibling, is a part of the initiation into Witchery Way. Persons become Witches in order to wreak vengeance, in order to gain wealth or simply to injure wantonly—most often motivated by envy. Wealth is obtained by robbing graves or by a practice of fee-splitting. The one Witch would make a person seriously ill and his partner (a practitioner) would treat him, and the two would split the fees. Or, the Witch-(singer) would cause illness, then the diagnostician would recommend treatment by the same singer-(Witch). Direct black-mail is seldom men¬ tioned, but victims are most often rich individuals.

W ere-Animals (ye-na-lAo-si- ).4 Witches are active primarily at night, roaming about at great speed in skins of wolf, coyote and other animals (bear, owl, desert fox, crow). This is one bit of witch¬ craft lore with which even the youngest Navaho is familiar. In¬ deed, ye-na-lAo-si- and ma^i-coh (“wolf”) I have found to be the most common colloquial terms for “witch.” Witches are tracked, normally the morning after an incident: when dirt falling in from the hogan smokehole, unusually loud barkings of the dogs or “strange” noises or other occurrences have made the dwellers in a hogan feel that a Witch has been there. The tracks of were-animals are usually spoken of as larger than those of the actual animals. Sometimes the trail is followed5 a long distance, only to end at the home of some Navaho. In other cases the Witch is caught and often recognized as a clan or real sibling. The trapped Witch tries to buy freedom with beads or other jewelry, but these are refused with horror. Sometimes the Witch is shot at night or at such a distance that




recognition is impossible. Then some Navaho (often at a distant spot) turns up with an unexplained wound.

Witches’ Sabbath Witches as were-animals meet at night to plan concerted action against victims, to initiate new members, to have inter¬ course with dead women, to practice cannibalism, to kill victims at a distance by ritualized practices. The place of assembly (?arit’i baho • yan) is most often said to be a cave. (There was general agreement that all types of witch activity must be carried on away from home.) The Witches sit in a circle, surrounded by piles or baskets of corpse flesh. Some informants said that rows of identifiable human heads were likewise stored in the cave. The Witches are naked save for masks6 and many beads and other articles of jewelry. Their bodies are painted in a fashion reminiscent of that carried out in ceremonials. The proceedings are directed by a chief Witch “for whom all the others just work.” This chief Witch and other leading Witches are thought of as rich, but they are assisted by a class of menial “helpers,” and these are said to be poor—so poor that sheer self-preservation demands that they “work for” the Witches. English-speaking informants will describe the proceedings as “kind of like a sing” or “just like a bad sing.” Most informants agreed that songs were sung and dry paintings (often described as of “colored ashes”) made. Some informants specified that the paintings represented the intended victim. One interview7 sug¬ gests that the assembled witches spit, urinate and defecate upon the sandpictures. A few stated that the chief Witch shot a tur¬ quoise bead with a small bow at some definite part of the figure represented in the painting. Some informants assert that the bows are made of human shin bones.

Disagreements On the whole, there is substantial agreement between in¬ formants on the major features of Witchery ideology. Night ac¬ tivity, were-animals, association with corpses and incest, killing of



a sibling as part of initiation, various points of technique—these traits are mentioned in interview after interview and are not denied explicitly or implicitly in any. This concordance holds also for the literature. Every statement about Witchery in Matthews and the Franciscan Fathers is confirmed by several or more of my interviews. A very few points in the published material are not specifically mentioned by my informants.8 In short, the general outlines are very consistent. Variation is almost entirely restricted to details of technique, costume, de¬ scription of the meeting place, and the like. And then there are certain features with which some informants were not familiar or were less familiar. The use of a bearskin by the Witch was men¬ tioned by only two of my informants.9 Only one informant spoke of the use of the genitalia of corpses. Other details (such as necrophilia, for example) were referred to spontaneously by only three informants. It was not possible to test all of these embel¬ lishments with all informants, but most of them were checked with the group of twenty-five. In most cases, the check inform¬ ants would say, “Oh, yes, I have heard of that” or “Yes, some people say that” or something of this sort. Thus in the case of necrophilia twenty-three informants admitted that they had heard tales involving this feature. Active disagreements center around such matters as what creatures could be were-animals. All agreed on wolf (almost in¬ variably mentioned first) and coyote. Nine of the check group denied bear and eleven, owl. Only three would admit desert fox, and only one, crow. One of Hill’s informants spoke of wereanimals stealing sheep, but this was denied by all of my check group. Two of this group denied body painting for were-animals. Eight of the check group felt that songs were not used in Witchery Way but only in Frenzy Witchcraft.10 Twenty-two of the check group insisted that plants likewise were used only in Frenzy Witchcraft. (Actually, “runs into the mouth” 11 is the only plant spontaneously mentioned in connection with Witch¬ ery;12 it is also mentioned by one informant in connection with Wizardry.)13 The check group explicitly denied data in the literature only with respect to some statements by Newcomb.14 All denied the association of red with witches and that the heart



must be torn out of a relative as part of initiation. All denied that twin colts were killed because witches rode them. Twenty-three informants denied that dogs were especially likely to bite witches (not disguised as were-animals), but two informants professed familiarity with this notion. Twenty said they had never heard that the flesh of badgers, ducks (and other animals and birds), was “witches’ food.” Close study of the interview material reveals a number of clear examples of syncretistic thinking. One of the most striking of these is that of the relation between ghosts15 and witches. Certain white writers about the Navaho (notably the Coolidges and Reichard) have written at times as if these two were synony¬ mous. This is, I think, most definitely not the case. But ghosts and witches are certainly very closely associated. Both are con¬ nected with the dead, with the night and with certain animals, e.g., coyote, owl. They are the two things which the Navaho fear most. It is not surprising that they are juxtaposed in more than one interview,16 and the fact that there was some disagreement among the check group as to whether ghosts or witches or both ate the flesh of corpses is probably to be understood in terms of the syncretistic tendency. Probably, the statement of some inform¬ ants that witches are especially dreaded when the wind blows is another example. It is understandable that some whites have treated the two as essentially synonymous, for I have had more than one Navaho do just that. The beginning of the following interview will serve as an example: (Ethnographer) Tell me everything you ever heard about witches. (Navaho) You mean were-animals perhaps? How do you mean? (Ethnographer) Suppose you start in and tell me the time when you first heard about witches. Who told you? Where were you? What was the story? (Navaho) Long time ago when I was very small, they told me a lot of stories about witches. I can’t just remember all that. But here is a story I remember pretty well. [And here the in¬ formant proceeded to tell a perfectly straightforward ghost story (which has been published elsewhere).]17



Nevertheless, every member of the check group and many other Navahos with whom I have discussed the matter agreed that ghosts are not witches nor do ghosts practice witchcraft.18 Moreover, the cure par excellence for ghost sickness is an Evil Way chant, whereas that for witchcraft is one of the prayer ceremonials.19


Sorcery is not as distinct from Witchery as is Witchery from Wizardry.2 Indeed, Sorcery is regarded by most informants as a branch of Witchery Way (in the same fashion that there are branches of the principal chant-ways). Sorcerers participate in the witches’ sabbath. But since it is a different technique, and especially since the consistent use of a separate term suggests that the Navahos categorize Sorcery separately, it is here treated in a distinct section. Sorcery is essentially an enchantment by spell. The Sorcerer does not need to encounter his victim personally at all. He must merely obtain a bit of the victim’s clothing or, better, personal offal (hair, nails, faeces, urine, body dirt).3 This will be buried with flesh or other material from a grave or buried in a grave or under a lightning-struck tree. The Sorcerer will then recite a spell, often setting the number of days after which the victim is to die. The incantation may be recited as is a prayer in a chant or may be a song or both songs and spoken formulas may be employed. Saying “good prayers” backwards is sometimes men¬ tioned as a technique. The “praying a person down into the ground prayer” is spoken of frequently: various parts of the body (beginning with the vertex of the head) are successively in¬ voked.4 Apparently, there is a variant of this associated with the sweathouse.5 The “hard flint” (be-s nXiz) song is also mentioned as a witchcraft incantation. The “Two Came to their Father” (hata • P ba • zna^azi) song is connected with the visit of the Hero Twins to their father, the Sun, and is said to have been employed “in the old days” only against monsters and enemy tribes but now to be perversely directed against intra-tribal victims. A song or group of songs, attributed in mythology to 31




First Man, which is frequently referred to is ni?i • sill - d (“it be¬ came dead!”). It is a great advantage to know the personal and secret name of the victim in reciting this spell. Various special techniques are mentioned. One of the most familiar of these is that of opening the belly of a horned toad, putting “the charm” therein and then saying the spell.6 This seems to be almost spe¬ cific against a pregnant woman and her unborn child. Or, the spell may be whispered while stepping over a person who is lying in a hogan or around a campfire at a ceremonial gathering. Murmuring the incantation while walking around the hogan of the victim is also mentioned.7 It is often added that the victim dies four days after the recitation of the spell. Another special technique is that of making evil-wishing sandpaintings, ?i-ka-h be• ?ohono5in (this term is also sometimes applied to those said to be made in the Witches’ cave, but the sandpaintings con¬ nected with Sorcery are stated to be made by a single Sorcerer— or with a companion or two, at most—on top of a hill or in the timber to the north of a hogan). Sorcerers also follow the technique which has an almost worldwide distribution: they make images of the victim from clay or carve them from wood and then “kill” or “torture” the effigy by sticking a sharp-pointed object or shooting a projectile into it. This practice, however, was spontaneously reported by only four informants, and all of these came from strongly acculturated areas. I therefore suspect recent diffusion from Spanish¬ speaking individuals or from eastern Pueblos where the “doll” technique is well-known. However, Richard Van Valkenburgh writes me that he found “a small image with a turquoise bead punched in the heart in a reputed Witches’ cave near Lukachukai. It is carved from a six-inch piece of pine that was struck with lightning. It is in the shape of a man (crude). Black hair is painted on the head.” 8 So far as I have been able to discover, no other white observer has reported seeing such an “image.” Some¬ times it is said that the Sorcerer scratches a representation on stone and puts it in the home or automobile of the victim—or conceals it in a saddle bag. In the working of spells each Sorcerer, according to some in¬ formants, is believed to have a particular “power” (the earth,




the sun, lightning, darkness, bear, owl, snakes, etc.), which assists him. Sorcery is carried out against animals, grain, crops and other property as well as against persons. Even an automobile may be witched! 9 There is occasional reference to Sorcery as directed against whole communities or groups of people rather than against single individuals. Thus grasshoppers, caterpillars and other insects are said to have been sent by Sorcerers to destroy the crops in a given locality.10 Animals11 and whirlwinds also practice Sorcery. Dogs12 are perhaps mentioned most frequently.

Disagreements Once again, certain details were mentioned by some inform¬ ants and not by others. But work with the check group revealed only two positive differences of opinion as to the theory of this branch of Witchery.13 Ten of the check group denied that Sor¬ cerers necessarily had a “power.” Nine informants maintained that Sorcery was used to produce illness but never to kill. In general, even among those informants who would not agree that Sorcery was never used to kill, there appeared to be a feeling that Sorcery was somehow less violent, less catastrophic than Witch¬ ery or Wizardry.

SECTION 5: WIZARDRY (’adages)1

The central concept here is that of injecting a foreign par¬ ticle (stone, bone, quill, ashes, charcoal) into the victim. The projectiles are often described as “arrows.” English-speaking Navahos will occasionally refer to this kind of witchcraft as N “bean-shooting,” but the majority of informants stated that actual beans were never used. The term “Wizardry” is used here merely to permit brevity and clearness of reference in later dis¬ cussion and interpretation. Wizardry is generally considered to be of comparatively recent origin among the Navaho. Indeed, some informants in¬ sisted that it has been known only since Fort Sumner. Some informants mentioned Mexicans as the source, others, Pueblo Indians. Ashes from a ghost hogan, beads—especially a bead that had belonged to the intended victim, bits of bone or teeth from a corpse, grains of sand from a red ant hill, pieces of yucca, porcupine quills, olivella shells, deer hair, wild cat’s whisker, fragments from rocks burned for a sweatbath—all these were mentioned by a number of informants as the objects shot. The shooting was apparently believed by a few informants to be car¬ ried out through a tube, but the majority opinion was that the objects were placed in a special sort of red basket or on a cloth or buckskin and made to rise through the air by incantation. According to some informants, shooters removed their clothes and rubbed ashes on their body before shooting. As in the case of Witchery and Sorcery, the killing of a sibling or other close ^ relative was a necessary preliminary to participation. Sucking was the special cure for this type of witchcraft. Of a victim who has been treated it is usually said “hah ?axa • nil—objects were taken off him.” Those who believe themselves tire victims of 34




Wizardry often seek curers from other tribes: Hopis, Santo Domingos and other Pueblo Indians; Utes and Apaches are also mentioned.2 Prevalent opinion seems to be that Wizards do not, as such, become were-animals and participate in the witches’ sabbath. Women were never mentioned in passive interviews or in anecdotes as Wizards. Wizards seem to be almost exclusively old men. The rich are again prominent as victims. Although emaciation is occasionally mentioned as a symptom of Witchery or Sorcery, emaciation (together with pain in the part where the object has lodged) is almost always stated to be diagnostic of Wizardry. Wizardry may also be practiced by animals.3

Disagreements Fifteen informants in passive interviews (without questions, leading or otherwise) spoke of the recency of Wizardry among the Navaho. Of the twenty-five check informants only two main¬ tained that Wizardry was known in legendary times. Five of the check informants asserted that the objects were propelled through a tube, fourteen others held to the basket technique, while the rest said that the object to be shot was simply placed on a cloth or buckskin. Three denied that Wizards used songs. Only three claimed that Wizards, as such, behaved as wereanimals, and it is my impression that here (as in the matter of recency) direct questioning brought syncretistic thinking into play. It is significant that few of the passive interviews or anec¬ dotes refer to Wizards participating in the witches’ sabbath. Ten of the check informants said that women could do Wizardry. The rest denied that there were female Wizards. The practice, referred to by the Coolidges,4 of Wizards shooting with a “witchbow” at a sandpainting figure of the intended victim was familiar to seventeen of the check group, even though not mentioned spontaneously by any of my informants.5


Introductory The term “Prostitution Way” is used by Navahos today to refer to three different (though connected and interrelated) sets of activities. First, there is the type of witchcraft wherein certain plants are used for “love magic,” or for success in trading and gambling. To avoid confusion this will be referred to as “Frenzy Witchcraft.” 1 Second, there is the ceremonial (chant according to many informants) which existed to cure the victims of Frenzy Witchcraft. This ceremonial will be referred to as Prostitution Way chant.2 Finally, there is a form of divination which utilizes some of the plants (and especially Datura) which are employed in Frenzy Witchcraft. This will be referred to as Datura divina¬ tion. In a sense, the latter two hardly fall within the scope of this book. But since considerable confusion (even on the part of many Navaho informants) prevails as to the relation of the three sets of activities, it seems best to set down in a single place the limited information I have obtained on the chant and the rite of divination, as well as on this form of witchcraft. Reluctance to discuss any type of Prostitution Way is ex¬ tremely great. While many informants mentioned that Witchery, Sorcery and Wizardry were talked about only in private and never in the presence of children, this provision was violated in more than forty instances. In the case of Prostitution Way, how¬ ever, the ideal pattern was scrupulously adhered to. Women as well as children are rigorously debarred from hearing talk of Prostitution Way. The only exception is a woman who has been successfully treated by the Prostitution Way chant or the Moun36



tain Smoke ceremony of Blessing Way. I finally succeeded in obtaining seventeen fairly substantial interviews on Frenzy Witchcraft and in every case children were rigorously sent away. Indeed, each of these interviews was carried out only in the presence of the informant and one or two other older men. All informants agreed (and all save three spontaneously mentioned) that it was dangerous to children or young people “whose bones are not formed” to talk about Frenzy Witchcraft in their presence and that it was highly improper to discuss it in the presence of women. Only five informants gave me even scraps of information on the chant, and only seven on Datura divination, but similar precautions were also observed in all these cases.

Prostitution Way Clumt3 Wyman and I,4 following the Franciscan Fathers and our own informants up to that time, listed Prostitution Way as a Holy Way chant. In the last few years I have happened to encounter a number of informants who steadfastly denied that there was ever a chant of this name. For a time I was inclined to feel that we had made a mistake in listing such a chant. But rechecking and repeated discussions with some of our earlier informants seem to make the following points clear: (1) There was undoubtedly some sort of a socially approved ceremonial which existed for treating victims of Frenzy Witchcraft and especially lewd women. (2) Since a rattle was not used and since equipment was generally meager, some informants are unwilling to call the ceremonial a chant (hata-1).5 It is significant that the disagreements on this matter showed a definite age line. All informants who dogmatically denied the existence of a socially approved ceremonial by this name were probably under sixty years of age. Those who postulated such a ceremonial (including the five who had heard some bits of in¬ formation about it) had all been born during or prior to the cap¬ tivity at Fort Sumner. Several were certainly more than eighty years of age. This circumstance fits well with the fact that the Franciscan Fathers, writing a generation ago, considered that there had been a Prostitution Way chant.





It is dangerous to assert that any Navaho ceremonial is “ex¬ tinct.” But, with the exception of Awl Way and Earth Way, Prostitution Way would appear to be “more nearly extinct” than any other known Navaho ceremonial. Dr. Wyman informs me that a singer of the Otis Trading Post region claims to know how to conduct Prostitution Way. But after repeated and sustained enquiries I have not been able even to hear of a person who says he has seen a performance in his youth. My five informants all got their information from parents or other older relatives who had seen the ceremonial carried out. Excerpts may still be carried out in some localities, but it seems highly probable that full fivenight performances are things of the past. The ceremonial is stated to have lasted five nights. There was a sweat and emetic ceremony for four mornings. The plants for the emetic were gathered at one of three peaks0 which some¬ what resemble a phallus in shape and all of which are called “White Cone” in English at the present. Also, according to two informants, Datura, gathered at one of these cones by the singer, was chewed by him and spit into the mouth of the patient. The other informants denied this. Two prayer-sticks are said to have been made and also small sandpaintings, but I was unable to obtain detailed descriptions of either. One informant said that the sandpaintings represented two of the principal characters in the origin legend. Another informant said there was one sand¬ painting “of birds and butterflies” and a second one of Cone Towards Water Man. All informants except one agreed that no rattle was used and that there was very little equipment at all other than the plant medicines and that necessary for making prayer-sticks and sandpaintings. All informants seemed to feel that Prostitution Way was closely linked with Coyote Way and with Moth Way,7 but all were positive that Prostitution Way and Coyote Way were separate and distinct ceremonials with differ¬ ent origin legends and different procedures.8 Prostitution Way existed for the curing of victims of Frenzy Witchcraft or lewdness however caused. For example, it was stated that a man who had too many wives or had been married too many times might “get sick from it” and find a performance of Prostitution Way helpful. Coyote Way (Moth Way), on the other hand, was for




treating those who had been guilty of incest. Masked God Im¬ personators took part in Coyote Way, but no such figures ap¬ peared in Prostitution Way. The patient in Coyote Way wore a coyote skin for a G-string. A performance of Prostitution Way was normally capped by a performance of Blessing Way, including the Mountain Smoke ceremony.9 It is said that there is a Prostitution Way part of Blessing Way.10 There are said to be special Prostitution Way songs in Blessing Way which most singers are afraid to learn, but which it is highly helpful to know “because it will keep you from going dry.”

Datura11 Divination12 Hill has already published a brief account of Datura divina¬ tion. My material is generally congruent with his account. There are no actual disagreements, but my data13 permit the addition of a few details. Singers of Prostitution Way chant supervised an individual’s first taking of Datura for divinatory purposes. Prostitution Way chant and the Mountain Smoke ceremony of Blessing Way were restorative rites. The plant called “deer eye” was an antidote which the diagnostician carried (only three confirmations for this statement). Datura divination was used as a last resort. Two informants insisted that Datura divination was used only for tracing thieves and locating lost objects—not for diagnosis in ill¬ ness. Rather careful enquiries indicate a rather interesting geo¬ graphical distribution of Datura divination at present. The rite is almost unheard of in the Navajo Mountain and Kayenta re¬ gions; in Chaco Canyon a number of informants have heard of it but were unable to name any persons who carried out the rite. The seven men who were mentioned as still practicing Datura divination all live in a central belt stretching from Ganado to the eastern side of the Lukachukai Mountains, and there also appears to be a maximum general familiarity with it in this area.14



Some singers apparently have a ceremony (which may be added to any chant) which provides for the administration of Datura to a patient or co-patient as a general prophylactic against illness or misfortune. The implicit theory would seem to be that anyone having the hardihood to take such a powerful and dangerous medicine is inevitably fortified against all sorts of disaster. The few cases which have come to my attention all involved singers, curers or practitioners of hand trembling divina¬ tion.

Frenzy Witchcraft15 Frenzy Witchcraft is primarily the Navaho “love magic.” This and the use of a group of plants,16 of which Datura17 is the most prominent, are its most distinguishing features. Sec¬ ondarily, Frenzy Witchcraft is employed for success in trading, in gambling and in hunting. A few informants maintained that it was also used in salt gathering. Frenzy Witchcraft has a distinct association with Game Way. Negatively, Frenzy Witchcraft is set apart by the fact that the dead are not connected with its techniques and by the fact that its practitioners do not take part in the witches’ sabbath. The basic technique is that of administering the plants: through food, in a cigarette, by kissing,18 or simply by contact on the person or with objects. One of the plants (Datura) is a known drug. Other plants, such as poison ivy, are known to be noxious irritants. The plants must be gathered in a prescribed manner, reminiscent of Navaho chant practice.19 Songs and prayers are also mentioned. Indeed, it is said that each plant has its own song. The special cure is the Mountain Smoke ceremony of Blessing Way; prayer ceremonials are mentioned only in¬ cidentally. In a sense, there are two major types of Navaho witchcraft: the Witchery-Sorcery and Wizardry complex, and Frenzy Witch¬ craft. Although many informants denied that Wizards behaved as were-animals, there was general agreement that Witches, Sorcer¬ ers and Wizards “work together and help each other.” And no in¬ formant said that practitioners of Frenzy Witchcraft behaved as




were-animals. By its plant technique and its association with love magic, trading and gambling,20 Frenzy Witchcraft unquestionably stands apart. Greater direction against non-Navahos may be another such differentia. On the other hand, certain traits mark it out with equal clearness as part of the general corpus of Navaho witchcraft. Frenzy Witchcraft is a malevolent activity directed especially against the rich;21 the killing of a sibling is the price of initiation; there is the tie-up with incest, especially with the sister;22 there is collusion with singers and diagnosti¬ cians. On the basis of mythological and other considerations, Father Berard is of the opinion that under aboriginal conditions Frenzy Witchcraft was directed only against foreign women, gamblers, etc. Some of the interview materials would appear confirmatory of this view.

D isagreements Although all informants agreed on Datura and nine inform¬ ants spontaneously mentioned the same five plants, there were some disagreements as to subsidiary7 plants which could or could not be used in Frenzy Witchcraft. Certain items of technique (such as the “doughnut” through which the chewed plants were spit)23 could be verified with only three or four informants. No such item was explicitly denied, but the great majority of the check group simply pleaded complete ignorance. Although fear of Frenzy Witchcraft was universally ex¬ pressed24 and unusual precautions were taken in discussing it, there was no unanimity of opinion that Frenzy Witchcraft was un¬ qualifiedly bad. (This may be because it is still thought of pri¬ marily as directed against aliens.) While everyone agreed that it should be dreaded, seven informants seemed to take the position that it could be used only in ways which were relatively respect¬ able (for self-protection, for success in trading or gambling against out-groupers). In other words, while Frenzy Witchcraft could be (and by some people was) used in ways which were universally condemned, its possession, while fearsome, was not



necessarily disreputable. This view would fit well with Father Berard’s opinion that Frenzy Witchcraft was originally a tech¬ nique for obtaining foreign women. Some informants felt that only, or mainly, the pollen of the plants was used. The Prostitution Way chant legends say the pollen must be mixed with dew from the plant, but no informant listed this practice. Some stated the pollen was blown on the victims (as in Witchery), others that it had to enter their mouths —either by kissing, eating or smoking.25 Another group of in¬ formants stated that it was the powdered leaves and roots which were administered. Still others insisted that any portion of the plants was equally efficacious. The exact relationship of Frenzy Witchcraft to Game Way remains somewhat obscure.20


The idea patterns relating to those types of witchcraft of which every Navaho has heard have now been discussed. There remains a little material on varieties which were mentioned spon¬ taneously by only a few informants and about which most of the check group professed either complete ignorance or familiarity with the name only. It is possible that these types were better known in days gone by—some informants suggested this. I sus¬ pect, however, that this suggestion is merely a syncretistic gen¬ eralization. My guess would be that these varieties were always relatively obscure. It is likewise possible that more detailed information might have been obtained in certain local regions. Indeed, I have reason to believe that intensive enquiry on top of Black Mesa and in the Shiprock (and northern country generally) would give good results for Eagle Pit Way and “A Woman’s Piece of Wood.”

Disease Witchcraft (?e?e-lni?)2 This was referred to spontaneously by only four informants; three others discussed it briefly when questioned. However, all of the check group professed familiarity with the name. The technique is essentially the same as that of Sorcery. Except that association with the dead is not prominent and that game animals and domestic livestock are a focus of this kind of witchcraft, the whole lore of Disease Witchcraft reminds one most strongly of that of Sorcery. Indeed, it may not be very far from the truth to say, “Disease Witchcraft is that form of Sorcery which is asso43



ciated with Game Way and which has its mythological authoriza¬ tion in the Game Way legends.” It seems to be used particularly by hunters and upon hunters and to produce bad luck in hunting. It is also used against domestic animals, especially sheep. Practi¬ tioners of Disease Witchcraft do not behave as were-animals or participate in the witches’ sabbath. At one time I had thought that Disease Witchcraft might turn out to be the “Witch Way” of hunting which is briefly dis¬ cussed by Hill3 (without giving the Navaho name). But the practices discussed by Hill are apparently associated with the Wolf Way of Hunting.4 It may be that the connection of Disease Witchcraft with Game Way is illusory, dependent simply upon the accident of the sampling process whereby my four informants who discussed Disease Witchcraft all happened to know the lore of Game Way. Game Way legends apparently relate various types of witch activities. An alternative view of the position of Disease Witch¬ craft, suggested by some of the evidence, is that this is the form of Sorcery wherein appeal is made to various supernaturals to effect the evil, as opposed to Sorcery proper where the spell itself, without direct invocation of any supernatural, is deemed efficacious. Today some informants do refer to the use of “powers” by practitioners of Sorcery, but this may again be a case of syncretism. Certainly the minimum statement which can be made is that the central notions concerning Sorcery and Disease Witchcraft show much in common.

Eagle Pit Sorcery (?o-dbe-?inizi n) This was discussed by only three informants. Eight of the check group said they had heard of it. The technique, once again, is in principle that of Sorcery. All agree that it was more dangerous than any form of witchcraft except, said two, Frenzy Witchcraft. One can only speculate as to how much this reputa¬ tion for power is conditioned by vagueness of knowledge and unfamiliarity. Actually, so far as one can tell from the meager data, Eagle Pit Way would appear to be a type of Sorcery associated with




eagles and Eagle Way—just as Disease Witchcraft appears to be a type of Sorcery associated with Game Way. One informant stated that Eagle Pit Sorcery was part of some larger ceremonial complex known as “a woman’s piece of wood, now extinct but said to have been learned from the dwellers of Mesa Verde. However, another informant discussing the same type of witchcraft considered that the name was not woman’s piece of wood” (Pasja-bicin) but “woman’s song” (?as3a-biyi-n).5 Repeated efforts to check and obtain further information brought only vague and contradictory replies.

Other Kinds of “Evil Magic” The Franciscan Fathers6 mention belief in the evil eye. This did not appear in any anecdotes I have collected, and it was denied by all of my informants. One informant did remark, “The only time I ever heard of it was when Monster Slayer and his brother met some people who did it against them with their eyes.” We may here again have to do with regional (or possibly tem¬ poral?) variation. It seems plausible that those Navahos who have been in contact with Spanish-speaking groups might well have taken over this belief. My sampling would indicate that fear of the Evil Eye is not very prominent or frequent among Navahos generally. A malicious act which one occasionally hears of is that of administering menstrual blood in food. All of my check group (and twelve other informants) denied that this was connected with any of the types of witchcraft. Observations of this kind were frequent: “Women just do that to be mean. It hurts you all right, but it isn’t a witch way.” My impression is that my in¬ formants felt that menstrual blood was intrinsically dangerous7— there was no need to add “magical” procedures.


Every culture channels, to some extent, the anxieties felt and expressed by the members of that society. The culture says, in effect, “This is what you must fear. These are the dreadful things that can happen to people—and they happen in this way.” How¬ ever, just as cultures tend to define anxieties so also they define the means of partially preventing and of relieving these anxieties. Forms of protection against and cures for the various types of Navaho witchcraft have already been alluded to incidentally, and reference to these will be found in many of the excerpts from interviews, in addition to those which have been explicitly re¬ served for Appendix VIII. But it seems useful to summarize all of this material in one place.

Protection Although this is not actually the protection mentioned most frequently, I would venture the inference that the Navaho feel tangible and intangible ceremonial goods to be their surest war¬ rant against all types of witches because informants spon¬ taneously stated that those who had “good songs and prayers and stories” were the hardest to witch. Possession of talking prayersticks, other ceremonial equipment and medicines in the home was said to be excellent insurance. Twenty-one of the twenty-five check informants referred to these tangible and intangible pro¬ tections when specifically queried: “How do Navahos protect themselves against witches?” But the indirect evidence was even more convincing to me. In spite of the fact that ceremonial 46




practitioners are more subject to suspicion than others, and the threat of malicious gossip against them is always present, it was nevertheless the singers, in general, who talked most freely. And, without known exception, it was the singers (and especially the curers), who were commonly held to know the least or whose professional reputation” was in some way dubious, who were more reluctant. Some singers of great knowledge and wide fame seemed to feel (and in several cases stated verbally that they felt) an immunity to the dangers of witchcraft. Conversely, some lay¬ men said things of this sort: “I am afraid to talk about those things. I haven’t any medicine.” The fact that many singers do not appear to be afraid of witchcraft is undoubtedly partly due to their knowing it “from the inside.” As Malcolm Carr Collier has observed (in an unpublished manuscript), “Any singer is supposed to know some witchcraft; the Navaho say that it is good to know something about it because then you can protect yourself, but if you practice it too much, it is to your own detri¬ ment.” The above discussion refers to general ceremonial knowl¬ edge. The specific protection against witchcraft which was men¬ tioned most often was gall medicine (?aXiz ?aze-?). Gall medi¬ cine is a specific against and antidote for Witchery, although one informant mentioned it also as a cure for Wizardry.2 Most con¬ servative Navaho carry gall medicine with them whenever they enter a large crowd (especially at ceremonial gatherings). It is said to act as an immediate antidote to the fainting produced by “corpse poison.” The gall of eagle, bear, mountain lion and skunk are the most frequently mentioned ingredients, but wolf, badger, deer and sheep (once) are also referred to. Some sort of ground corn is also generally agreed upon as an ingredient. This medicine is also carried by many Navahos when they travel away from their home country and especially when they plan to enter regions (such as Chin Lee, Black Mesa and Canoncito)3 where witches are believed to be particularly numerous. Certain small sand or pollen paintings are made by individ¬ uals or by family members (rather than by ceremonial practi¬ tioners) as protection against witchcraft.4 Possession of certain plants, notably “witchcraft plant,”5



“lightning herbs” 6 and “Game Way plant,” 7 and drinking and anointing the body with a lotion from such plants is also believed to be a useful protection. Sometimes these plants are adminis¬ tered in the sweathouse and various other minor ceremonial features are added. According to some informants, all Game Way and War plants may be used as protection against witch¬ craft. But other informants averred that these plants were used in witchcraft. The check group divided almost evenly on this issue. Perhaps it may be said that the agreement is that there is some sort of close association felt between Game Way, war and witchcraft? Certainly a number of informants mentioned the use of Enemy Monster Way and other war ceremonials for both pro¬ tection and cure. Songs from these ceremonials were also said repeatedly to be sung in the sweathouse for protective and cura¬ tive purposes. The eating of Datura was mentioned by some informants8 as a protection against witchcraft, and sixteen of the check group agreed but seemed to feel that the protection was almost as fearsome as the danger. One informant specified that the eating of two plants (generally considered as part of the Frenzy Witchcraft group of plants) was a protective against Frenzy Witchcraft.9 Another protection, volunteered by only one informant but confirmed by all save two of the check group, is Talking Rock medicine. Scrapings from a rock are obtained with various rites in a cave where there is an echo and mixed with certain plants.10

Confession. A confession by the witch is believed to be very helpful (and will produce a cure unless the victim is in too far advanced a stage) for the victims of all types of witchcraft. When some form of divination or the observation of suspicious acts has convinced a certain group of Navahos that a certain per¬ son is a witch, that person is summoned to a meeting (leading by a rope is mentioned more than once) and questioned. If he proves recalcitrant, he is tied down and not allowed to eat, drink or relieve himself until he confesses. Since this practice is wellknown in Zuni and other Pueblos, I suspected at one time that



its distribution among the Navaho might be limited to some areas of immediate geographical contiguity with Pueblo groups. How¬ ever, whatever its ultimate derivation may be, the practice is at present generally distributed over the Navaho country. The trait of suspending the accused by the thumbs (familiar from Zuni) was not reported by any of my informants and was denied by all the check group. Placing hot coals on the feet of the ac¬ cused was first mentioned to me by a white informant but was confirmed as at least a former practice by eighteen of the check group. If a witch confesses, the victim will at once begin slowly to improve, and the witch will die within the year from the same symptoms which have been afflicting the victim. If a witch re¬ fused to confess within four days, he was most often killed. In some cases the accused was allowed to escape if he permanently left the community. A number of accused witches are said to have fled to Canoncito. But Van Valkenburgh11 is undoubtedly right in considering witchcraft as a crime for which the Navaho administered capital punishment. A considerable number of witches put to death are referred to in the literature,12 and a much larger number are known to me from reliable white and Navaho informants. Sometimes, when tension mounted suffi¬ ciently, the witch was killed without “trial,” sometimes by an aggrieved individual but equally often by a group of relatives (and friends) of some supposed victim. The manner of execu¬ tion varied, but was usually violent (by axes or clubs). Shooting at the hands of injured individuals occurs fairly often; I have heard only once of hanging. The tearing apart by four horses described by Mrs. Richard Wetherill13 was ridiculed by all of my informants as utterly fanciful. Payments to the families of supposed victims by the families or clans of persons accused or executed as witches were men¬ tioned by many informants. Apart from the effects of confession, a diffuse supernatural sanction against witches exists in the form of a belief that a witch who escapes human detection will nevertheless eventually be struck down by lightning. According to some informants, a witch who is caught in the



act will try to present something valuable to the intended victim. If the victim consents, then the witchcraft will take effect on him as originally planned, but if, after catching the witch in the act of witching, the victim refuse's the proffered gift, then the witch falls under his own curse. As to the fate of witches after death, the majority of inform¬ ants say that all people go to the same place irrespective of the manner in which they die or of their practices during life (twenty-seven confirmations to six denials). Morgan’s informants, however, claimed that suicides and “mean people” (including witches) live by themselves and that the spirits of witches con¬ tinue witchcraft in after life.14 Twenty-three of the twenty-five informants in the check group maintained that the spirit of a dead witch was no more likely to molest the living as a ghost than the spirit of a man who had been guiltless of malevolent super¬ natural activity during life. Prayer Ceremonials.15 These constitute a second general cure for witchcraft, although fivfe informants in the check group denied that they were particularly useful in cases of Frenzy Witchcraft, and three others seemed doubtful. But, with this qualification, there was general agreement that a prayer cere¬ monial, or “big pray,” as English-speaking Navahos say, was the most useful remedy for a person who had been witched. There are a number of prayer ceremonials, but I know of only three which have actually been carried out in recent years. These are the Self-Protection Prayer (?acah sodizin) or “Shield Prayer” as it is often called by English-speaking informants; the Bringing Up Prayer (ha• ?ayate• h—literally, “leading up from below”); the Bringing Out Prayer (il7wo')i,1° to kill people.


One of the seeds of this plant was placed in a sleeping man’s mouth or nose and it just keeps going into your brain or lungs. 10. #(Q) It is dangerous to talk about Woman chief.11 She is the same as the boss of all the witches. xi. #An old man is the boss of the were-animals. They have a meeting place, usually in the moun¬ tains in a big hollow rock. They got out of there dressed like a coyote or owls. They sing and paint up at that meeting place. They grind up blue lizard and feed it to other people. They eat coyotes and owls. If you see the tracks of a wereanimal, you must be sure to step across them. Never go in front of them. If you dream of were-animals, you must have Enemy Monster Way. 12. # Witches use masks just like the yeibichai except that there aren’t feathers on them. They break twigs and speak the name of the per¬ son who is going to die. They get more and more emaciated and finally they die. Or, if that Witchery poison gets on them, they get some kind of lockjaw. You have to pry their mouths open to get the antidote in. A lot of people were dying around Pinedale lately. A woman has confessed. She said her father and her brother forced her into it. She killed her own sister. They made her do it. That is part of be¬ ing a witch. She had a baby last year. Said her father and her brother, they made it. She gave a list of witches from Canoncito all the way over. After she told all this, she don’t know nothing. She is still out of her mind. 13- # Witchery people carry around bad stuff. They put a piece on a stick and throw it on you. Or they throw the stick at night from the top of a hogan—on people while they are sleeping. They grind up



human flesh and mix it up with other stuff and make poison. Children’s flesh is best. 14. #Witchery people grind powder and carry it around. When they come close to you they sprinkle it on you. They put the powder on a stick that has a furrow down the middle. After they throw it on you, your mouth shuts tight im¬ mediately and unless you get help quickly you die. Sometimes you die anyway. 15- #(Q) Witches wear masks —that’s how they talk. The masks are made of unwounded buckskin. They aren’t painted like those that the dancers in the Night Way chant wear are. 16. 012“Witches may have intercourse with their own sisters or their own clan mates and nothing will happen to them.” 13 17. #Two witches work in partnership. One witch makes a man sick—the other cures him. That way they make a lot of money. Witches meet at night. The meeting place is usually in mountain or in big hollow rock. They take their clothes off there. They sing and paint up at the meeting place. They make noises like coyotes or owls. If you ever see the tracks of were-animals be sure to step across them, don’t go in front of them. 18. # Witch people use the gall bladder from the blue lizard to poison people with. They also make a witch bag out of the skin of the homed toad. Instead of having the pouches for their equipment made out of deerskin or mountain lion


skin like the singers do, they say they use horned toad and other things that crawl like that. 19. °This was just about fifty years ago right after the Navaho came back from Fort Sumner. We got rid of all these witches. The only kind of witches that we have today are the kind that sprinkle something that looks like pollen on a man which will cause him to be¬ come sick. Hair, clothes, nail parings, faeces and saliva are taken by witches. They take these to a place where someone has been buried and then pray over them. Then they leave them there. The man to who these belong will die as the witch prays. He may die easily or with great suffering. 20. # Were-animals cut out the whorls from feet and fingers and top of head too, to use for Witchery poison. Those witches especially like to get twins. It’s more interesting. 21. #Witches are just like ghosts. They eat dead people. They like to get the bodies of children best because they make the strongest medicine. Crows and buzzards and coyotes eat the people. So do witches. Witches have medicine and songs and prayers. They also use little bows when they witch. 22. The gall of eagle ground with corn meal, that will keep you safe from Witchery. If you don’t have this, Witchery poison would make your tongue black and come right out. If your tongue is black and swollen out of your mouth that proves Witchery has got you.

Anecdotes 23. #In Witchery hogan they have medicine soaked up in a basket

for people to drink. One time this was going on inside a hogan and a



hunter I used to know came along. He was lost and he went right in to get directions. He soon found out he was in a place where he had no business to be. He stayed inside long enough to think what he would do. These people had killed a fine woman. A day after she died they had taken her to this Witchery hogan. They put her body behind a blanket in one corner and one after another the witch men had intercourse14 with her. They had put a little pot underneath her vulva to catch the liquid from the men. The hunter could hear one man after another say, “Now she’s getting warm. Now she’s getting hot.” The circle of people inside the Witchery hogan were calling one bundle “medicine.” This hunter ran oif with that bundle. This medicine was what they killed people with— certain parts of the body including the brain, all dried and ground up. (Q) The basket was just a regular Navaho basket. 24. ““There was a man who lived on a mountain. He was a chief. One day they gathered the galls from all the animals, birds and rep¬ tiles to make a poison of them. This

man set a date four days ahead and told all the people to come and plant for him. “He prepared the galls and other meat for food for these helpers. The people came and planted and finished his field in one day. The food was all in one dish. All of these people ate of the food and in a little while some of them fell dead. A few of these men escaped and these were the men who later be¬ came witches.16 (Some of them knew that the food was poisoned and they did not eat it.) There are still some of these witches around the country today.” 25. **“My father and mother went on a trip to Crownpoint. They stopped to spend tire night just before they got there. My father told my mother that she should learn to be a witch. My father told her that she must allow her favorite brother or sister to be given to the were-wolf people so that they could kill him or her. Then she would be able to learn witchcraft. My mother begged my father not make her learn. The same winter my father’s brothers and sisters, there were seven of them, died.”

Were-Animals 26. These were-animals, they rim like a cat. They run around wearing a wolf skin. There are a lot around Black Mesa and Canyon de Chelly. The Mexicans have some too. They go near dead people, take them out to a house where some¬ body has died and put the bones there. Just like the Zuni who take bones out of the ground, bones of their own family and bring them to their house. They carry the bones on their back. (Q) They rob for jewelry, but

don’t kill. They meet together some place at night—mostly in a cave. They take off all their clothes there. The Lagunas have some too. They would go from Zuni to Laguna and back in one night. They can out¬ run a fast horse. (Q) It could be a woman or a man or a boy. They all do this were-wolves. 27. Were-animals use ^ant’L. They climb up on top of the hogan and drop it in the hole. They can sure run fast—can go right through



the mountains. To learn Witchery you have to kill somebody closely related to you. (Q) It has to be a full brother or sister that you kill. That’s why people get stuck and don’t learn all of it. If you do kill your brother or your sister, they put it right into this medicine. You can get rich with Witchery just like you can with Blessing Way. 28. "The informant says that he has heard that witches can wear the hides of bears, wolves or coyotes and turn into those animals. He has also heard that there are witches among the Hopi who get into bowls and can roll right along. 29. People are very much afraid of those were-animals. That is why people don’t like to go about at night very much, especially alone. They are also especially afraid when the wind is blowing bard. Some people don’t like to go to the Girl’s Dance at the Enemy Way unless they have good medicine because they say those witches are worse when there is a big crowd. Were-animals paint their faces as the singer paints the faces of the patient in Female Shooting Way. Some people say they wear masks and a gourd over their nose. If any¬ one catches a were-animal and tells somebody else about it, the witch will die within a year. Horses smell were-animals at night and will jump. (Q) I saw the tracks of one in the morning once. They were like a dog’s but bigger. (Q) Sometimes they use goat hides and colt hides too, they say. The hides come right down to the wrist. 30. Were-animals paint their faces with the same kind of white clay that is used on patients in chants. I don’t know what the witches mix up with that clay. They


paint both their bodies and their faces. They don’t wear any clothes, but they dress up with a lot of beads. 31. (Q) I don’t know whether they wear G-strings or not. The people who have caught them didn’t want to get very close lest they be witched. Nobody could catch a witch on horseback. The only dan¬ ger to were-animals is when they stumble in a prairie dog hole or a gopher hole. 32. #At night witch people dress up in the skins of wolves, coyotes or owls. They run around dressed up like that. They paint their bodies and their faces with the white clay which we use in chants. They dress with lots of beads. No¬ body could catch them on horse¬ back. The only danger to them is if they stumble in a prairie dog hole. You can tell the were-animals from the real animals because their tails move constantly and their eyes are just slits through the masks. Also, the tails of real wolves stick out behind—those of were-animals hang straight down. 33- #At night they run around on all fours in skins of wolf or coyotes or bear. They paint their face just like First Scolder used to— yellow on chin, black on nose, blue on the mouth, white on the forehead. Except for the beads and skins and paint they are naked. (Q) I never heard whether they wear G-strings or not. People who caught them didn’t want to get very close. They were scared they would be witched. 34. Some places we believe and some places we don’t believe. A lot of people don’t believe people can go in coyote or wolf hide. Other people do believe it. Some has been seen by some people. Man who seen running with coyote or wolf hide. If he is caught, witch person says, “don’t report it to the other people that I am doing that.” He wants to

140 pay so many sheep or horses or some beads so he won’t tell about that. But man who seen this don’t want to take sheep or beads. They afraid to take it. (Q) Yes, they wear masks, that’s how they talk; masks made of unwounded buckskin. (Q) No, they aren’t painted. (Q) They just kill people. They don’t steal sheep. 35. 0 “Bears used to bother the crops but nothing could be done about it. Only a witch could kill a bear.16 These men would go to bear’s den in winter, sing, drive them out and kill them. “My brother said that one night at his hogan his dogs were barking and chasing around all night. To¬ ward morning they chased some¬ thing away. In the morning my brother looked for the tracks and saw bear tracks. He followed them and they went to the house of a man who was a witch. These kind of men put on a whole bear skin and then they are just like a bear. They can run like a bear. That is what those witches use. They look just like a bear and they go and do harm to someone.” 36. ““Before the Navaho went to Fort Sumner they did not move around very much. They just herded sheep around home. “Any animal, even a bear, would be killed if it was caught stealing sheep. Even a were-wolf will steal sheep and carry them off to their homes.” 37. #If people see wolf or coyote tracks around their hogan they sure get scared. If the tracks are real big, they really get scared. If a coyote follows a Navaho it means his sister or brother is going to die. Only way you can stop it is put turquoise in Coyote’s tracks. They say that people wears the skin of these animals at night. Some¬


times horses get scared at night when person doesn’t see anything. They say that is those were-animals. (Q) Bear, coyote and wolf—just those three, I think. But some people mentions owl and desert fox too. 38. ““Before the Navaho went to Fort Sumner there used to be witches who would put on the skin of a bear, coyote or wolf and go around in them. You used to see their tracks.” 39. # Whenever somebody is very sick and no chant will help him, then they know that person has been witched. They say that is how people get rich. Some people say they witch to do that. I don’t know. They say the witches dress up in wolf or coyote skins and run around at night. They say they go naked. They say they put yellow on their cheeks, black over their eye¬ brows, white on their forehead. Their bodies are spotted with white clay. Both men and women do that, they say. 40. # Those were-animals take the whole hide off a bear or moun¬ tain lion or they take any kind of hide. They take the bones out and leave the claws. They put sticks in tlie legs to move the skin. With strings they move the ears of the hide up and down. That is one way you can tell a were-wolf from a real wolf—the ears are always mov¬ ing up and down. If you shoot at the head of one of these wereanimals, the shot will just go through the hide. Shoot at the animal’s neck and then the shot will go right through the real head of the witch. These witches put poison in your nose or your mouth. If a singer is half witch and half singer he puts something bad in the medicine he gives his patients and then they die. These witches sit in a circle in a

PART in:


witch cave. They sing songs there. 41. #Were-animals use a pow¬ der which they get from dead people. Then they just touch you with it. If you get touched with this powder, it starts it on crown of your head and comes down. When it gets to your eyes, you fall over. It just takes a few minutes. Some of the medicine people, they know about that.


Those witches never wear any clothes—even in winter. They run around at night. That’s why Navahos don’t like to go out at night. Those Zunis, they work witch¬ craft against us too. They put the hair of a Navaho—or something else from him—and dance around it and do a ceremonial over and kill the Navaho.

Were-Animal Anecdotes 42. ““Witches would wear an animal’s clothes. My old grandfather was called Many Hats. He was the head of all the witches. He send a man from the Salt Water clan over to see if a man they wanted to die was still living. This man from the Salt Water clan would dress himself in a wolf’s skin and go back and forth and report to my grandfather. “There was a man who was hunting. He saw this wolf coming so he hid. When the wolf went by him he shot him. The wolf went over the hill just a little ways. The hunter went over there and there was the wolf with the skin off his head and the hunter saw that it was old Salt Water. The wolf said, ‘My grandson, you have killed me now. I was sent by Many Hats to see if the patient was dead.’ The hunter said, ‘What are you doing out on a day like this? Don’t you know that you might freeze?’ Old Salt Water said again that he had been sent by Many Hats to see if the sick man was dead. The hunter told the wolf to go into a pot hole. The wolf backed into the hole. He had all sorts of beads around his neck and arms. The wolf took off all of these beads and told the hunter to take them. However, the hunter was afraid to take them. The hunter took off his head band. Then he got

a stick and lifted the beads into the head band with the stick. The wolf said, ‘There is nothing on those beads to kill you.’ Then the hunter took the beads in his hand and went home. He told another man about it and said that he had killed some¬ thing with fur on it. They both went back to see it. When they got there the wolf was dead. They kicked dirt into the pot hole to fill it. This happened during the winter. They went back to their homes. “A few days later they saw wolf tracks around where they were living. The tracks were those of Many Hats and his friends. They were looking for old Salt Water. They went to Salt Water’s wife and asked where he was. They found only his moccasins at home. They hired a listener to find out where he was. He took Salt Water’s moccasins and went out to listen to see if he could find out where he was. All that he heard was a mouse scratch¬ ing the inside of the moccasins. He thought to himself old Salt Water is dead. He went back to the hogan and said, ‘This man is dead.’ “After that they called old Salt Water’s wife ‘Trotted Aways Wife.’ This woman did not get another husband for many years. Then there was a family who wanted to give their son to this woman. They asked

142 the woman and she said it would be all right. The marriage was ready and they were waiting for the boy to come. As he left his home he said, ‘I am going to eat for the were-wolf.’ After that he was called ‘The man who eats for the wolf.’ This man just died lately.” 43. “They talk about witches. They think there was some witch people round there. They say man’s name which mean No Hat, they think he is the one. They think this man done something wrong to that woman. They talk about that for a long time. . . . This man, Mr. Slender, they think he was a witch too. (Did they say it to him?) They told it right there to him. Moustache told him that he heard he was work¬ ing with this man (No Hat). That man, and they ask him something too about him. He asked this man, Moustache did. It happened about a year ago: he was going to the sing and while he’s going to the sing, was a snowy day, and he’s coming close to the hogan, another feller was riding behind on horse¬ back. And this man was walking ahead. This man pretty near catch up to this feller, coming right behind and he heard the coyote hollering and looks like this coyote was pretty close. The sound sounded very far off. And he says right ahead of him was a lot of trees. He waited a little while when he heard this coyote. He started off again. He went through this wood. He come to a place, a little open place. He heard that noise again. And when snow was on the ground in that night you can see, he says it’s like that you can see pretty well. He listen to that coyote. He got scared a little bit. Maybe that coyote going to run after him. Sometimes coyotes do that. You heard about that, American way? ‘Yes, I have.’ Yes? Well, one did that to me a little while ago. He


says he seen looks like somebody was standing here (in the open). And his horse begin to move around, kinda scared of that noise. After he stop that noise, then he heard a man cough over there. And he rode over there and it’s this man, Mr. Slender, howling there like a coyote. He just ask him why did he holler like a coyote? He says he didn’t holler like coyote, coyote making the noise some other place. But this man know he was making that noise cause he was listening to him all that time. He says he got afraid and his heart beating like that and he kept on till he got up to the sing. And when he got to the sing there was a lot of people there, he told about it. And when that man came there they ask him about it. When they ask him like that, he says he didn’t holler like coyote. Moustache was having the story just about there and the singer stop him. Singer says, “Let’s quit those kind of stories. Talk about it some other time.”17 44. *1 was almost killed by a witch when I was young. I was lying in the back of a hogan when a man came along. This man wanted to be a star-gazer. He drew a sand¬ painting and put the kind of a rock that you can see through in the center of the painting. Then he sang and went out to look at the stars. He saw something white on my eye¬ lids and around my mouth. While the man was singing I saw a white streak and then a lot of little spots. Then the man came back. I got well, but a year later the man died. He was a witch and got it himself. These kind of witch fellows go around in wolf skins. One of them went to Keams Canyon about ten years ago wearing such a skin. The trader shot him and the next morn¬ ing followed the tracks to Pinon. There was an old man shot in the stomach.




#A man followed some were-wolf tracks all the way from Crystal to Chin Lee. He got quite close to it and was about to shoot when he saw it was his sister. He let her go and before he got back to his mother’s place his sister had returned and bathed herself all off. 46. # Yesterday a whole bunch of men from that - outfit tracked a were-wolf from Pine Springs to Houck. But they never did catch up with it. 47• #01d-’s wife’s father used to go around in a wolf skin between here and Lupton and where people had died he would dig up the graves and collect the belts and jewelry. Then he takes this over to Crownpoint somewhere and gives it to a silversmith to make into different bracelets and so on. That’s the way they got their start to being rich, they say. Her father used to be a pretty bad man. That’s why some people says she is a witch too. 48. -’s wife got very sick. The baby came the wrong way. Finally she died. The night before she died they heard somebody on top of her hogan. The next morning her husband followed the tracks. They looked like the tracks of a big wolf and they led to a cave. They found a bearskin in that cave. After the woman was buried, somebody dug her up. Her husband followed the tracks clear down to the Zuni Reservation. There he found No Hat herding all alone for the Zunis. So he shot him.18 49. #Not long after they buried old lady -, at midnight one night her son and two sons-in-law heard a dog howling a long time. He just wouldn’t stop. So these boys went out there near where she was buried. They went there with a sixshooter. They heard someone using a hammer. It was moonlight and thev could see two witches, one on


each side trying to get into the coffin. They shot several times and the witches went off. The next morning they found blood there. Pretty soon they heard that old-, way over at Danoff, was pretty sick. They went over there and asked what was the matter. His wife said, “My husband was trying to ride a bronc horse and got thrown off and tom in the stomach by barb wire.” One of those boys knew that it was right in the stomach that he shot that one witch.10 The next day, that old man died. 50. #Four years ago at-’s place, that mean dog they have there chased a witch off. The people all stayed inside the hogan. It was night and they were afraid to go out. But the next morning they found part of the hide the dog had torn off. They tracked that witch to Chin Lee. There are lots of witches in that country. 51. #Down in the Alamo where I live one time they caught a man going around at night in a wolf skin. They burned him on a pile eight feet high. They do that, you know. Go around in bear skin too. Also crow and owl skin and desert fox. I don’t really believe in those witches. But I think maybe I roped one once. And they say the govern¬ ment would pay a thousand or fifteen hundred dollars for a shot witch. One time down in the Alamo a man said he shot a woman dressed like a wolf in the rump. The very next day a woman died there. And they say she had a gunshot wound in her rump. 52. Over at Gets Black Beneath, north of Mount Taylor, two were¬ wolves and some other Navaho were living. They were having a sing and every night the two wolves came over where the patient was. Had a lot of sheep there and trailed this wolf around the hogan every time

I44 they came up. The way they knew the wolves were coming was that the dogs barked every night and they knew the wolves were gathering urine and faeces. Use a lot of doctors there but never helped the patient. The pa¬ tient got too sick. But finally he did get better. When this man started to get better he started to herd sheep one day himself. He took his sheep out in a flat, open place. There was a hill in one place —he got up on top of that. And while he was on top there he got his nose bleed and when his nose stopped bleeding he didn’t cover the blood up and when he looked through the sheep he saw something, looked like two coyotes. He started to go, went over there where these two coyote was and he found track there. It ran off to one side. There he found a dead sheep—throats were already cut. The track was al¬ most like a man’s track where they had been handling the sheep. They got away already. He just let that go and took the sheep home and told some others about it at home. Someone went out there and was going to track this coyote off and see which way he was going back. They came down there where they kill a sheep and start to track the wolf from there. They found the place where they was hiding for a little while and they started to went over where the sick man had been sitting on top of the hill. And he noticed the place where the blood was—this had been scratched up and taken away. They did that the same day they killed the sheep. These men tracked the wolves out south of Mount Taylor and came home. The man who had been sick got worse again pretty soon—sick in bed. They decided they were go¬ ing to track the wolf again where he


had picked up the blood. Over to one side they found a place where they killed a horned toad and cut belly open and put blood in there and close it up again and put horned toad right out in sun on its back. Then away they went back home. When they got home they de¬ cided they were going to track this wolf again. They tracked him back to Gets Black Beneath and found the two people and brought them back to where the patient was. Tied them down until they told about these things which they done. Didn’t let them go outside. I don’t remember how long they kept them there. Treat them pretty rough. Fi¬ nally, one of them began to tell the whole story. Say they been going down there all the time. Want to kill this man because he is rich and got a good wife. They say they is guilty. One of them says, “You peo¬ ple find out that we did it. So we know there is no more hope for us to live. We die pretty soon.” And they says that patient there he’ll get well but they’ll be dead pretty soon because they got found out. “Better to turn us loose because we going to die pretty soon,” they says. One of the men says, “We will turn you loose and we will see how it will go. If the patient gets well, we won’t do anything about you. If he dies, we got to kill you.” So they turned them loose and went home. 53. The story begins north of Toadlena, on the mountain. It hap¬ pened to a man called Mr. Friend’s Grandson. One day this man was hunting big game. He had a saddle horse but not much good to ride— weak and small. He came to a big canyon. In this canyon he saw two big deer tracks. Begin tracking these two deer—had a gun with him. He kept following these two tracks. Go off a little ways and deer kinda split up. One go off all alone. Up in the



hills of the main mountain there was a lot of big bluff rocks. This track goes toward these big bluff rocks. Following this track up he kept look¬ ing off this way as he go along and he saw through the rocks a big wolf that moved there. This wolf stops over there and he takes a shot at him. He thought he shoot this wolf. He go a little closer to this place where wolf was and was looking down there and he saw a man coming out of there, walking. He kept walking and walked right under where man was on top of rock. He didn’t recognize the man but the man called out his name and said, “Mr. Friend’s Grand¬ son, is that you?” Keep asking him that. This man was all painted up and had beads on but no clothes. Beads over to shoulders. Elbow to wrist solid with beads, red, white, turquoise. He noticed then when this man started to cough he spit out blood so he knew he was shot. And while he was sitting there he took bunch of beads off his neck and threw them up to man on rock.® Man says he was shot but don’t shoot again— let him die with that one shot. And the beads what he threw up he says that’s a good beads—not dead peo¬ ple’s beads, live people’s beads, and I’ll pay that for not reporting about this. Well, those beads got stuck in a tree when the wolf man threw them up. So Mr. Friend’s Grandson walked over there where his horse was and break off a long stick and pick up beads with stick. He was afraid they might belong to dead people. He took those beads with a pole on his horse and carried it back to¬ wards his place. As he came near to the place he came into a big can¬ yon where there was a lot of differ¬ ent kinds of trees and he thought he could hide these beads in this wild


place. When he rode down in this little canyon and found a big spruce tree down in there. Hang this beads to this spruce branch and left the beads there and went home. When he got home, before he got home he come to sweathouse. There are some people there using the sweatbath and he went in the sweatbath himself. While he was in there with the people, he told his story and these people says they think this wolf he had a lot of friends. Pretty dangerous from those people if they see tire way he did it. He also say he hide the beads up there. And the people say they going to put up a big pray. Self-protection Prayer, for him. Had big pray for him at night. Left beads where they were. Two days later he was looking for a horse and found it and started back home. On way back a big rattle¬ snake struck his leg—didn’t bite it —just fell back. When the snake fell back it was half dead. He broke a stick and stuck it through its head and hung it on a tree and left it there. Three more days after that it started raining. Lightning struck his sheep corral right at the entrance. His hogan was struck at very rear. Then start striking more things right there at hogan. Along that time a man called Hair Knot Gleams and another called Hair Fuzzy got up and talked to the lightning. Told the lightning that there must be somebody talking to you to do it—must be your father or mother or sister or brother if you mind it like that. So tire lightning stopped. The third time he corralled his horse and put a rope on one of his horses—when he started walking up to this horse, taking up the rope, the horse got away and the end of the rope got wrapped around his leg. He got dragged off by the horse—


once around inside the corral. But he was safe there again. Well, he wants to go back to this place where he was tracking this deer. People told him he must get on another horse, a good horse so that he have a good horse to ride up there, so he change horses and went down there where had been trailing this deer. There were lots of other wolf-tracks where he had killed the wolf. They had taken the wolf’s body away. He noticed the were-wolves had also trailed him to where he hid the beads. The were¬ wolves took the beads. There were big red beads in the bunch and they say that after that a man called Mr. One Eye was seen wearing those beads. He got one deer and killed it. He start skinning this deer. He skinned this deer on one side and started to skinning it on the other and it seemed like his horse has been looking off in one direction and finally he act like he seen something, kinda afraid. Pretty soon this horse got scared and frightened—saw something toward that hill. He look off that way and he see a big bear loping down the hill towards him. As soon as he see this bear he got scared himself and got on his horse but forgot to untie him. Horse jerked back with him twice, third time rope was pulled off from the pole. And he made a pretty good run trying to get away from this bear, coming right after him. He made a big circle around and left his knife and gun and every¬ thing where the meat was. He come back there and pick up his gun and the stick he used to clean the barrel with. And he start to run¬ ning from there up on the main mountain where it was high—only one place where the rock ends, he got up on top of this rock, and the bear was running straight up where


this rock was. He tied his horse up on top and walked back and got to rim of rock. Bear was coming straight up to him but he cannot get up. He spoke to this bear and bear said he must mind a man, must do whatever he says. That’s why he is chasing him. The man told the bear that of course it was the witch peo¬ ple that told him to talk that way. He told the bear, “I’m going to shoot you now and kill you too.” Whenever he kills him that means for all these other witch people the bad way they used to doing. All this badness is going to be upon the witch people. They are going to start dying out. The bear was walking up to him. His mouth was wide open— all the spit was running down from the jaw to the neck. When the bear heard what the man said he got up on his hind feet and stood up like he is going to fight him. But the bear is under the rock and the man shot him right through the heart. When the bear was shot, he grabbed a little pine tree. He put his arms around that tree and started to fight it. After the bear fell off the tree, the man came back to his horse. He broke off another long stick and came over to the bear. He was afraid that bear was alive yet so he poked that stick in the bear’s eyes and belly, all over. He found that blood was running down through the pine needles. Many years after that this man came back to where the bear had been by the tree. The tree had grown but the scars of the bear’s bite were still there. 54. A young boy was caught by two witch people. They said, “There is a sing down here. We want you to go along.” He thought a sing was going on over there where they said, so he made up his mind to go



with them. It was after dark when he was caught. They start to going off in one direction. Kept going. I don’t know how long they kept going. While they going they come to a place where there is some kind of a door in the ground. And the boy noticed the door was wide open. And he see the light out of that place. He looked down in there and seen a lot of people down in there. When they come to that place the two witch people blow the same kind of whistle that the singer uses. After they come to that place, they went in there. After they got in there these other people they made a lot of talk about the young boy. They said, “Why did you bring this boy over. He’s got no business to come in there.” These people thought that the other people were bringing some dead people when they heard the whistle. That’s why they open the door for them. While they was waiting in there talking they heard a whistle outside. One jumped up and opened the door. Two people came in from the top carrying a dead woman. They had a big load. This boy was scared to death. There was a back room and when the door opened he saw a lot of meat drying in there—dead peo¬ ple’s meat. They take this woman’s body in there. There were some mans in there that this boy knows already and a lot of other people that he don’t know. They told this boy he is going to be with this people, with the rest of them. They not going to turn him out. There’s one man in there like the boss of all. He told the boy he might be a helper of the others. He might give him a job to go out and look for some dead bodies. He might teach him that. He showed him everything that they had inside this room: a lot of meat, a lot of turquoise, a lot of beads—so many


you can hardly count them. These beads come from the dead bodies. (Q) They say these people use the meat for food. They think when¬ ever they go out for another person, they eat this meat first so they’ll have good luck going. They told this boy they going to teach him how to use this wolf’s skin. They told him there’s a wolf skin in there hanging up with the ear cut off. They going to let him use that. They want him to go over the other side of Mount Taylor. They told him to undress his clothes so he did that. He didn’t know what they going to do to him next so he just pull his clothes off. They close up other door over here. They told this boy they going to take him in¬ side in this other room and told him he was to have intercourse with this dead woman before he did anything else. And this boy he got scared and the top door was open yet. He asked to go out a minute and make his water. These men said no. But he kept saying this and finally they let him out. He act as if he going to make his water so they go behind him. He ran off. He heard a lot of noise behind him, people behind him trying to catch him. He hid in dead pine tree and he can hear a lot of them running quite close. After these people pass by him he start off the other way. He go a long ways and then he turn to his home. At first when the boy was brought in the witch people didn’t know what they were going to do with boy. He was too young, they says. They told him after he’d had intercourse with the dead woman, they’d tell him the rest of it. Tall Smith from Thoreau was in that bunch of witches. He got killed in a car accident just a few years ago. 55. #Four years ago in May I was alone with my two small boys.

148 I heard someone walking around tire hogan. I started out to see but I heard steps again so I ran back in. No one came so I went out to the shade. I saw a big wolf there. I went for a gun, but by the time I got it the big wolf was gone. I was scared so the boys and I went over and stayed all night at my father’s place. Two other women [names mentioned] saw that same wolf. Wherever the tracks came, someone died. My sister saw it jumping in an arroyo and saw that it had hu¬ man feet and not hooves. Some peo¬ ple tracked that down and saw that the tracks always started at-’s place. 56.21 My father said he was out away from home one day and saw a coyote or wolf—didn’t know which—through the sagebrush. It was early in the morning. When he saw it, he thought he would try to run him down. It was wide open country—no trees, only sagebrush. He got pretty close to the coyote be¬ fore he saw him. Finally, the coyote ran into some few trees near by. The coyote ran around these trees and stopped near a fallen dead tree. Then my father saw something there. It was a woman sitting down with coyote hide slipped over her shoulder. Her forehead was painted white, black around eyes, blue moustache, yellow on chin. Around her shoulders it was painted red and she had white and yellow spiders painted on her arms. Had white eagle feathers on head but was ab¬ solutely naked. She had a bunch of beads around her neck and wrists. My father spoke to her. She put up her hands and said, “Don’t shoot me, I am your sister.” 22 My father


took his gun and started to shoot anyway. But she said her father-inlaw and mother-in-law were witches too. “If you kill me there are lots more. We work together. You’ll get into worse yet.” It was the sister of Mr. Little. My father recognized her after they spoke a while. She was in his own clan. She pulled out a bunch of beads and lots of turquoise beads—four or five sets. She threw it at my father so he would let her go and not say a word to the people. My father didn’t say a word. She did all the talking. He didn’t touch the beads. She said, “If you are afraid of these beads, pick it up with the stick. Or if you aren’t satisfied, I’ll give you fifteen head of horses—-one at a time so the people won’t notice it. And fifty sheep on top.” This happened on the north side of Danoff. My father was on his way to Mount Taylor. His partner was just over the hill. He didn’t like to talk to her. But he thought to himself, “I don’t like to kill her be¬ cause she is my sister. But I will report this to the people.” He said nothing about sheep and horses and beads. He just left. When he got to the top of tire hill he thought he would see which way the coyote left. But he couldn’t see her at all. When my father got back home, he called the rest of the people to come to him—the ones that she had said were witches. They denied it. (Q) I remember just two other little things. My father said her hair was all untied and spread out and wrapped around her neck. Could see some sticks painted red sticking out from beneath hide.23


General 57. Witch people, one will have to say, “the earth is belong to me. Whenever I says anything to the earth, he’ll do it for me.” Another witch will say, “the sun is mine. Whenever I says something to him, he’ll do it for me.” Another says, “thunder is mine.” These witch people can sit and he can have somebody to work for him. Like the white man, big boss, he sits to the table. Anything what he supposed to have it done by the police. Po¬ lice people they can work for him. All the same as that. 58. #A. witch practices in this way. He goes to a ghost hogan and finds a stone. Then he takes another stone and draws your picture on the one from the hogan and calls you by your name. Then he puts the stone back in the hogan with your picture face down and you get sick.1 Another way is to get a finger¬ nail, hair or something and to put it in a red ant hill or in a grave or bury it in an arroyo. Then you die. If someone knows Shooting Way very well he is very dangerous and might become a witch. If he gets really mad at you he will say, “lightning is going to strike you soon.” Then you have to go up on top of a mountain and find a tree that has been struck by lightning. Where the lightning struck the

ground you put turquoise and pray to the lightning not to strike you. A man who knows Mountain Top Way can send the bear after you. A man who knows Navaho or Chiricahua Apache Wind Way can send the snakes after you. The worst of all is the man who knows Beauty Way. He can send everything after you. 59. #One man says he has power over thunder, another over snake. He can make them do what he wants to you. He can kill you just by touching your foot with a stick. He has power over rocks also. He uses your spit, hair—anything dirty from your body like your shoes and socks. He takes it away and buries it in some bad place. He prays to it there. He calls your name, your real name and he fixes the date when you will die. 60. # Sorcery is when a man puts spit or a piece of the clothing of the man he is going to kill in a grave, perhaps in the mouth of a dead person. Or he can place a corn stalk a certain way on a cliff—when it blows backward the man’s corn will die. Another thing they do is to take a homed toad and open up its belly. Put in its belly something from a woman who is going to have a baby—part of her apparel (xa'n2oi or xanc1 oi) or some dirt from her


150 body. Then both she and the baby will die. 61. Coyote, or a dog or a snake—things that don’t speak— sometimes they do Sorcery too. We call that be-H-nizi-n. Sometimes a man might bother a snake and the snake will get angry. We say that the snake will try be-?i-nizi-n against this man. If a child bothers a dog too much we will say to it, “Don’t bother that thing. It is dangerous. It will witch you.” When a whirlwind runs through a hogan or through a bunch of peo¬ ple they will say be-?i-nizi-n just like they do when a coyote runs in front of a person. 62. # Sorcery is just a talking way. Get anything dirty from your body—your hair or your spit. Witch man puts it where man has been buried or where they died or put it inside dead body. Pray to it that you die in a month or two. Or they could say, “If he takes a step it will hurt him.” “If he sits down it will hurt him,” and things like that. (Q) Yes, women could do it too. 63. #Sorcery is when someone picks up your faeces or your urine and takes it where someone died and pray there and you get sick. Or take dirt from where you stepped or laid down or dirt from a Pueblo ruin. Some people kill a snake and point it toward the person they are be¬ witching. They set a date when you are going to die and it comes out just right. A horse might roll over on you or something. (Q) No, they don’t do this to make money. They just hate people. 64. # Whenever there is an epi¬ demic any place, the Navaho people will say, “First Man be-pi-nizi-n.” 65. #01d singers are the ones that we are afraid of. We think they pray and sing and do Sorcery to us. Witchery and Wizardry are also for


the medicine people mainly, but it is especially Sorcery that we think singers do. 66. #Boys here in school some¬ times say be-?i-nizi-n, “may bad luck come to you!” [Father Berard comments that the grammatically more correct form would be be-^i-nzii-d. However, in my ex¬ perience, the form more commonly used colloquially is certainly be-?i-nizi-n.] 67. #They don’t kill people very much with Sorcery. Those old singers just get a rich man sick that way. Then they get called to treat him and they get money or sheep. Or they have a partner. 68. #cin—personal dirt, that is what they use in Sorcery. [Father Berard comments: While cin or cxin is the absolute form of this norm, the bi-possessed form bicT-n fits better.] One Navaho will say to another, “Don’t leave your shoes around like that or somebody will 5in you.” 69. Gather some man’s foot dirt or cut a place where there is skin dirt sticks to pants or clothes. Take it to a red ant house or a black ant house or a yellow jacket house and pray to it and kill people that way. I heard that the singers of Red Ant Way knows that part. That was the way they shot that Indian Agent - in the penis. They had to take stones from a red ant house out of his penis. 70. #The sun and moon bearers they know Sorcery all right. The Sun every day gets as pay the peo¬ ple who die. The Moon gets those who die at night. 71. If a dog comes in the hogan and sits with his behind towards you they think the dog is doing some kind of a pray which will put some kind of a sickness upon the people. In that case we tell our people to feed the dog, not treat him rough.

PART Hi: INSTANCES AND STORIES OF WITCHCRAFT Some day he might do that if you don’t treat him right. 72. #You can do Sorcery in different ways. One way is to put a cornstalk a certain way on a cliff. When it blows backward the corn of that man will wither away and die. If you want to kill the man him¬ self, they say the Sorcerer just gets some of his spit or a piece of his clothing and puts it with a dead body. The best place, they say, is in the mouth of the dead body. Or the Sorcerer can speak the secret name of the man he is after. The best way to do that, they say, is for the Sorcerer to sit on horse¬ back, not moving at all, and watch his victim who can’t see him. Around Canyon de Chelly where there are so many witches and sor¬ cerers they say that the Sorcerer just stands still on top of the canyon wall and watches the man down in his fields below. 73. #Sorcery means “thinking bad thoughts toward you.” It is sort of like profanity. If a man talked that way to you, you might die sometime. 74. Do people cheat when they wrestle? Yes. They cheat by trip¬ ping and knocking you down before you are ready. That’s the only way. Could they use witchcraft? I think they do that. They sure beat you. The way they do: they have some kind of bad spell in their mind, or plants, I don’t know what kind, and poison weeds. They put it in their mouth and chew and spit on you, or put some on your hand and you touch your mouth and you don’t feel good.2 And he sure would let you down when you wrestled. Or an¬ other way: he don’t like you for a long time, and he gets a chance to wrestle, and he pulls some hair off your head and puts that some places where witches will go. Where is


that? Witches will go where the dead are buried, and put the hair in the grave, and say how many days they set for you, three days for ex¬ ample, and then at that time you might get sick and might die. In¬ stead of putting the hair with a dead person, they might put it in a tree where lightning hit—a pinyon or a pine, under the bark, and pray and sing and pretty soon they would say how many days or minutes, and lightning will kill you. Wherever there is a snake or a lizard they would pray and sing and the snake will come and bite you. These are * called Sorcery. .... How would you cheat in footracing? [Mentions various ways.] That’s all. Could you use witchcraft? If you race, a witch-man will do some kind of bad spell: he will say something bad in his mind, and you fall down, or you can hardly run, and the witch-man will beat you. . . . Another way, if you beat a witch-man, after a few days he sets a day and says bad spells—-he might say a horse will kick you, lightning hit you, snake bite you, and it hap¬ pens that way. And another way: they take some pieces of clothes— shirt, or shoes—and diey might pull some of your hair out, and see you and take it over there where a dead person is and say something and after that you feeling bad and have to die. And maybe tire witch-man will watch you and see you urinate and pick some of the dirt and put some of the dirt and kill you. They put it where a dead person is too. They use faeces too. Another way: if you beat a witch in a footrace, he will be nice to you and sitting by you, and where you spit he will take the dirt where a dead person is. Too bad for you. Only way a witchman will do these things is if you beat him. If he beats you, it’s all right.3



Anecdotes 75. Yesterday five Navaho sil¬ versmiths who work at Zuni came by my place. They had been drink¬ ing. My wife shut herself up in the hogan. One boy peeked in the win¬ dow and said, “We came over to find out where the Squaw Dance was. Would you like to go over there with us?” My wife said, “No, and I don’t like a noise around my place either. If you want to drink, go way off over there.” The boy said, “If you don’t like my talk, ou’d better be careful. You’ll get urt. And you’d better not call for help either. I mean it.” It sounds as if he was talking about Sorcery. If somebody gets sick at my place today or tomorrow, that would just fit it with that man’s talk. 76. Two men called Other Side of the Mountain and Bent were play¬ ing the hoop and pole game. These two people were bad. They some kind of witches on both side. You know in the old days they say that when these bad people get mad with some other people they can call a snake and the snake can bite a per¬ son or they can call the lightning and the lightning can strike a person. They can use many things. These two people were pretty bad. They can use the lightning. This man Bent he says to the other person, Other Side of the Mountain, “Why don’t you call the lightning? I heard you are a good witch-man. Nobody can talk back to you. But I talk back to you so why don’t you call the good light¬ ning to strike me.” Other Side of the Mountain answered back to him, “Bent, you keep still. I look at it just this way: you look just like an old burnt stump. So an old stump like that—lightning wouldn’t do a

thing to it. Lightning wants to hit a good tree. Lightning wants to hit something better than you.” “Well,” Bent says, “what are you talking about a good stump or an old tree for? Why don’t you say, ‘I am not able to do that to you.’ You might just as well say, ‘You are too strong for me.’ But myself, the snakes in the early spring, the very first snakes that crawl out, the rattlesnakes, I am going to try with his rattle. I am going to see what kind of fun you get.” So these two people they just talk together like that. The danger that they called, it didn’t show up. 77. # Recently at the sing for Moustache’s wife, her daughter said that Filomeno’s widow was trying to get her by Sorcery. Filomeno’s widow went up on the hill where she could see the hogan of Mous¬ tache’s granddaughter. Moustache’s granddaughter’s sons tracked her there and found different kinds of pollen there and one or two kinds of shells. That made them think that Filomeno’s widow was witching their mother and them. That tur¬ quoise had no business to be there. It is a bad place for turquoise to be. Somebody died there some time ago. So Moustache’s granddaughter is thinking of having Blessing Way. 78. #Several years ago they killed his father for being a witch. Somebody, they claim, saw him pick up tlie spit of Tall Man’s wife from the ashes. Then Tall Man tracked him to a cave. Tall Man was afraid to go in the cave. They told me [a trader] about it then and wanted me to report it to the agent. After that a mouse4 chewed the fringe off a robe in Tall Man’s hogan. His wife got real sick. Then a gun went off



instances and stories of witchcraft

accidentally and wounded Tall Man’s son. That was too much for that outfit. They just went and killed this boy’s father. 79. #Last year my sister was sitting at the loom weaving when she suddenly felt a terrible pain in her shoulder. She thinks somebody did Sorcery to her. The pain lasted until after she had a Blessing Way over her. They often do it like that to women who are weaving. 80. # About ten years ago Red Boy’s wife was having a baby. Old Man Arm was singing over her. The baby come the wrong way and kill both of them. Red Boy thinks that Arm’s son did that. He was helping his father at the sing, and some¬ body said he saw him pick up that woman’s faeces. A long time ago people say that Arm’s son’s tracks were seen going to where somebody was buried. And when he was drunk he told somebody once that he knew how to kill a snake and point it toward a person he wanted to witch. So the people questioned Arm’s son and tried to get him to say how he did Sorcery against that woman. They told him they was going to hang him up by a rope. But still he wouldn’t admit anything. Finally, his father-in-law said that he was go¬ ing to report it to the agent at Crownpoint that Red Boy said he wanted to kill Arm’s son. Then pretty soon one of the head men said, “There is nothing to this. I don’t want to hear any more.’’ Some of the other head men kept on awhile, but the father-in-law said again he was going to report it and pretty soon the meeting broke up. 81. #Last year Big Woman was pretty sick. Bluebird was sing¬ ing over her. Big Woman’s husband was helping him. Bluebird sent him


out for a stone to grind the sand¬ painting minerals on. While he was out looking for that stone he found two small sandpaintings of the sun west of the hogan. One was made of blue pollen,6 the other of cat-tail pollen. He thought perhaps Blue¬ bird was doing Sorcery against his wife, but he didn’t say anything to the singer. He was scared to. After the sing, his wife got a lot worse. She was so sick she couldn’t move out of the hogan. She was out of her mind. So her husband took her shirt to a man who does hand trembling. He saw that woman needed to have Hand Trem¬ bling Holy Way done for her. Then her husband took the shirt to his wife’s grandmother. She did hand trembling too. She found out those sandpaintings were made by that woman’s first husband. Then her husband took the shirt to another hand trembler. He saw it was Blue¬ bird who made those little sand¬ paintings. 82. The way they do a long while ago, some Indians were hunt¬ ing deer way beyond Zuni Salt Lake, and three guys were hunting and one was the witch and knew how he and another man were mad at each other and say bad spells back and forth. Two of them left the camp to go home. The witch was up at camp and the others got farther away and he says something to the man’s horse, and the man’s horse sweat and lay down and roll, and the man knows what he said because they were mad at each other. The horse was ready to die, and the other man he knew the plants for tire horse, and so the horse got well, and the witch lost his horse because he didn’t do a good job. This happened thirty-two years ago.0


General 83. After the people went to Fort Sumner, when they came back they heard about shooting something into you. They used to get a sucker. He would cut you open and dig it out or suck it out. The bad people would shoot the bone of a dead per¬ son or an olivella shell into you. They could also use porcupine quill1 or coals from place person dies. Also rocks burned from sweatbath. Also sand from a red ant hill. If they don’t get things out of you pretty quick, you get poorer and poorer. Your flesh just dry away. Pretty quick you die. 84. Wizardry is when they shoot a dead man’s tooth or a quartz crystal in you. You have to go to the Zunis or the Santa Claras to get that sucked out. They rub you all over first. Then the man sucks out a little stone or flint or snake too sometimes. You could do Wizardry too with ashes from where a man die and hogan was burned. A singer who knows Holy Way chant might do this sometimes. He could shoot the richest man he know, have an¬ other man in it who knows hand trembling, and this man will tell the fellow who gets sick to get the singer who did the shooting to cure him up. Will pay him lots of money. No one else would know how to get thing out of body. He’ll cut place open and suck it out. Will sing a song or two first. He’ll have some

kind of medicine to put on lips and tongue—grind up bits of bees and other things that suck the flowers most. (Q) I don’t know how they shoot it. I never heard about that. 85. #A Wizard is envious of people with turquoise and property. He kills them. Only a man can do that. My maternal grandfather started to learn it but when it came to where he had to kill his brother or his father he gave it up. The people say that a man who taught - Blessing Way knew how to do Wizardry. 86. #When a person wakes up at night with a sudden pain they will get a man to do hand trembling just as soon as they can. Maybe this hand trembler will say, “I see a bad man. ?azdi-f gas (he practices witch-shooting).” Then they will get a Sucker to cut place and suck it out. There are still suckers on the Reservation. Usually they are sing¬ ers too, especially Male Shooting Way singers. This singer will pray before and after he cuts it out. These Wizards they uses shells. Also bones and sticks or grains of sand from red ant house. They put these in a red basket. Old Man Black House used to fly all over in a basket like that. 87. Wizards could shoot porcu¬ pine quill, sharp points of yucca, charcoal from where a man died or was buried, tiny rocks from red ant 154

PART III: INSTANCES AND STORIES OF WITCHCRAFT house. Two men would do it to¬ gether. They rub their bodies all over with ashes when they are going to shoot. Sit together where yucca plant grows. Sit right behind yucca. Put something in middle of hand or in red basket if they have one. Pray to it, call man’s name or woman’s name. Tell it to go right over there and through its heart. Then more prayer and songs. As sing starts, the little thing raises up and goes out. Hear noise over there and in minute man is dead. 88. #Rich people used to do Wizardry against each other. Three people get together to do Wizardry.


To start Wizardry you must kill someone close to you. Best is your brother or your sister who is just older or just younger than you. 89. Make a bullet (not a bul¬ let exactly) of stone, hair, porcupine quill or anything. Shoot it through a smooth rock and three other tilings (?). If it goes through all four things it will go in body of person you hate and kill him. Medicine man remove it by sucking—or by putting medicine on place, and it kills the thing right there and it disappears. Old time belief. D- has never seen it done.2

Anecdotes 90. #“One of -’s friends the other day said he had had trouble with his eyes. He went to a Ute doctor who took something out of his eye like a fingernail. The Ute said that someone had shot it into him and that if he would pay him he would send it back to the shooter and then he, the shooter, would have to take the conse¬ quences. He described how this man looked, his age, etc. The sick man found that he was describing a very close neighbor of his. He told - to watch that this man would get sick as he paid to have the ‘bean’ sent back to him.” 91. Before Fort Sumner my grandfather and his family were go¬ ing back and forth, robbing sheep from the Mexicans. They were liv¬ ing on a mesa, staying in the day¬ time where no one could see them. At night they would drive the sheep off. One day they looked off the mesa and saw a bunch of Mexicans trailing the tracks they had made the night before. The Mexicans camped at the foot of the mesa.

Some of these people my grand¬ father was with decided to try to kill the captain of the Mexican sol¬ diers by Wizardry. Two old men told my grandfather to help by hold¬ ing the basket. The man who was going to shoot sat behind. Two others sat in front. They had a cer¬ tain kind of basket called “little basket” or “red basket.” The shooter took this basket out from a buck¬ skin sack and put it on his lap. Next he took out two leaves of nar¬ row-leaved yucca. He laid them straight across from him toward the Mexican. He put a live eagle feather in between, sticking straight up, but leaning against one of the yuccas. He put olivella shell on bottom of basket, in center, between two yucca leaves. He took up the feather then and touched first four medicines in little sacks one by one and then the olivella. (Q) I don’t know what the medicines were, how they were called. He put the sacks of medi¬ cines away and then told my grand¬ father to hold the basket tight. The old man started to sing and the olivella started to move, slowly

156 at first. When he sang another song, it moved faster. It began to move around feather, rising out of the basket. Pretty soon it came near the doorway of the basket which was pointed toward the Mexican captain. When tlie second song was finished it went like a bullet out of the bas¬ ket. The old man told the boy and the other old man to put their heads down as the bullet went out and keep very quiet. “If you hear a noise we got him. If not, we didn’t get him.” They heard the Mexican yell out. Other Mexicans got up, built up fire. The Navahos went down closer to the camp of the Mexicans. One of them could understand Span¬ ish. Heard them say the captain suddenly got sick. Maybe a red ant bit him right over the heart. Pretty soon the captain began to yell loud. The Navahos said, “They’ll move now. Let’s go home and go to bed.” Next morning the Mexicans were packing up. The Navaho stole close to their camp, heard them say the captain died toward daylight. Before I heard this story my brothers and sisters and I had been laughing at the old people. This made us stop laughing. It showed us they had something too. 92. #In Canyon de Chelly there used to five a bad man called “Gums Only.” This Wizard hit a school girl in the leg. Another man took the thing out while she was in school in Shiprock. The super¬ intendent there, Tall Chief (Mr. Parquette) saw what they took out and saw the place. But still he didn’t believe in witchcraft. Said it looked more like a red ant bite to him. The place was red on the out¬ side where the man had sucked it a little. This girl’s family kept after Tall Chief to arrest this man Gums Only. But Tall Chief said it wasn’t true.


There wasn’t any such tiring. Fi¬ nally, one man in her family who was really a sucker, not a witch, said he’d prove it to Tall Chief. Tall Chief took this man into his house and let him try it on him. The man told Tall Chief to go into his bedroom, take his clothes off, and lay down. The Navaho stayed in a room by himself. The other people that were there could hear him praying. The superintendent had said just to hit him in the mus¬ cle of his arm so it wouldn’t kill him. Well he was hit in the muscle of his arm. Then the sucker took it out. He put medicine in his own mouth and sucked out the piece of shell. The soreness was gone. But Tall Chief sent the sucker to prison in Sante Fe and he had to stay there all his life. This happened about twenty or twenty-five years ago.3 93. #When I was a small kid my family was rich. We had lots of sheep, lots of horses and some cattle. We are sine poor now. That’s because we had to spend too much money getting my father treated. Those people around us up there at Shiprock, they hated us because we were rich. Those witch people they shot something into my father. It made a sore just like a big abscess. We had about every sing the Navahos know. My father got a little better, then he’d get worse again. He sure got poor. Then we had to take him to Oraibi to get some man to try to suck this tiling out of him. That was because none of the Navahos know how to do this any more. But this Hopi he couldn’t get it. He worked awful hard. He sweated and he squirmed and he shouted. But he didn’t get anything out. So then after a few months we took my father way over to Santo Domingo. A man dressed in a bearskin worked on him over

PART III: INSTANCES AND STORIES OF WITCHCRAFT there. He had to work pretty hard too, but he did get something out —a piece of bone from some dead fellow. That was about a year ago and my father has been getting bet¬ ter ever since. He’s about all right now—just a little bit thin. But we sure haven’t got any money. It’s hard to get started all over again. My father’s folks and my mother’s folks they helped us all they can.4 94. #Up near Chin Lee there used to be a man called Legs Spread Apart. There are many witches up in that country. Legs Spread Apart used to do Wizardry at night. He would put ashes on his face and go outside the hogan to do it. Once he got mad at a Mexican who was a trader there. So he went on a hill about half a mile from the Mexican’s house. He took a little piece of turquoise and prayed to it. He sang two or three songs and the turquoise went off and hit the Mexican in the chest. It killed him. 95. A man living near Shiprock got very sick. He said he had a bad pain in the back of his neck. It was swollen there. He couldn’t eat and he got very thin. One day when he was being sung over the singer said to him, “Maybe you have been witched. Maybe that is the trouble with you. I am going to find out.” So he took tire sharpest flint he had in his pouch and cut a slit where it hurt. Then he sucked. At first nothing but blood came out. Then came a piece of charcoal with some human hair wound around it. The charcoal, they found out by doing hand trembling, came from a ghost hogan and that hair came from the head of a dead man. (Q) Sometimes when a singer sucks out blood like that, he’ll save some of the blood and later use it himself in one of these bullets. (Q) All I know about how


they shoot is that they say they al¬ ways shoot from left to right.5 (Q) The Navahos don’t know where this Wizardry comes from. First Man and First Woman had nothing to do with it. 96. #The man who has his home by Tall Mountain went several hundred miles to get some White Mountain Apache suckers to work on him. That was just a few months ago. He had been sick a long time, and he knew lots of people hated him. So he figured there must be some of those things in his back where it ached so much. Those Apache doctors took out several pieces of charcoal and some other things. Now he is better. 97. When they do Wizardry two men go off to the Mountain where nobody is. They sing four songs—Wizardry song. They shoot weeds like a needle—the plant we call “runs into the mouth.”6 Or they shoot woodpecker feather or ashes or turquoise sharpened like an arrow. They take their clothes off. Put white cloth on floor. One fellow sits in front, one sits in back. Put com pollen on cloth and also ?&nt’i. They start to sing—four songs. Then the things on the cloth start to move. Then they call the name of the man they are going to shoot. The thing goes off—zzzz. Then the Wizards keep very quiet. If the man gets hit he jumps and says ?e-. The Wizards are listening and hear this and they say, “Now we got him.” After about six weeks he gets sick and then dies. 98. A month ago - went over to those White Mountain Apaches to get treated. They sucked a handful of ashes and a white feather out of his body. “I’m feel¬ ing pretty good now,” he says. 99. Wizards they do it to the horses. It makes a horse fall down, and the wicked men hide and you can’t see them.7


The following origin legend was told me by Old Soldier of Stony Butte. He knows Blessing Way and Enemy Way but claims to have learned only the origin legend—• “not tire songs and prayers and medicines” of Prostitution Way. Since he was already married before the Navahos were taken to Fort Sumner he must have been well past eighty when he told me this story. It seems likely that there is more than one version of the origin leg¬ end 1 for Prostitution Way because several informants made remarks of this sort: “The Prostitution Way story starts down near the White Mountain Apache country at P^ilesila.” The story I recorded makes no mention of this spot.2 There are hints in information provided by Dr. Wyman that a singer in the Otis Trading Post region knows this other form of the origin legend. The story3 begins in a comer of Coyote Pass Canyon near Jemez. A boy was living there with a woman he called “my maternal grandmother.” This boy had been abandoned by his parents at birth and hidden away. The Wind People picked him up and took him to Talking God and all the other Holy People. But the Holy People didn’t have any milk to nurse him so they carried him over on the north side

of Pelado Peak. There they found a woman at the place called Black Flint, and she took the baby right away. She had no milk either but she made a soup of rats and rabbits and fed the baby and raised him. That is the way she raised the baby, and when he got old enough to go around with her he went every place she did. They kept going around until the boy was about twelve years old. Then they settled down there where the Jemez people live. They stayed there eight years until the boy was full grown. This story starts when that boy was twenty. The boy was living there in Coyote Pass Canyon with his grand¬ mother. They were hungry and poor, trying to get some way to live. The boy hunted rats and cottontails. The grandmother found corn for him. The boy went out farther and farther from where they lived. Fi¬ nally, he went up on top of a hill where there was a spring. He found that die Pueblo people had put some prayersticks away there. He began to think that whoever had put those prayersticks away was bad. And so he broke them up. He kept on after diat going to other springs and gathering die prayersticks and break¬ ing them. The Jemez people found out about this and got very angry. They wanted to find die boy and

PART in: INSTANCES AND STORIES OF WITCHCRAFT his grandmother and kill them. The boy and his grandmother hid by a spring on top of a hill. When the sun began to set, the boy and his grandmother left the spring and followed the water down the wash until they got out of the arroyo. They went farther on and saw some white hills. They kept walking until daylight. After day¬ light they started walking again. They kept walking west all the time and passed Black Hill Rises Up. They then heard someone following them behind, tracking them up. They had just passed Bitter Water Spring when they found a place to hide in the cliff. It was sundown again. The grandmother was very tired. Nothing happened that night. When daylight came they were go¬ ing to start again but the boy told his grandmother that since she was so tired they had better lay over a day. He said he would look around. He did and found that some people were still trailing them. When the sun came up the next morning they started off. They went halfway up Mount Taylor and they hid again. They could look out from their hiding place and see people tracking them. They watched these people hunting for them for a long time, but finally the trackers turned back. There were too many rocks and they couldn’t follow the tracks across those. The boy and his grandmother started off to the west. Their tracks could be seen again, but they went on anyway, hiding the tracks as best they could. They came to Rock Way Up In The Air. From there they went to Rock With Willows and from there west to Water Runs On. They started from there west again but changed their minds and walked back quite a ways to Bee Weed Rises Up. Then they started


west again and got to Blue Rock Canyon and stayed there three days. Then they went northwest—not straight west as they had been go¬ ing. They got to Stinging Water. Then to Snake Water. Then to Lit¬ tle Water. Then to Tall House. Then down to House On The Rock. Then they walked to Two Rocks Lay. Then to Many Notched Hills.4 They stayed four days in one place where there was a big canyon. The boy left his grandmother at home and started to walk in the canyon. He walked up the moun¬ tain. He nearly got to the top, but the wind blew him back so he just walked back where his grandmother was. Then they both started walk¬ ing straight west again. They came to another place called Water Re¬ sounds. This was a cave and there was a spruce tree in front. When someone walked in the cave to get a drink, they would always hear a noise, “don, don, don.” (That noise was still there for many years, but it no longer makes a noise that way now.) They got a drink of water and walked on again. They went on and came to another spring called Squir¬ rel Water. The sun had set when they got there. They sat near the water there. There was a big cave there too, and they decided to sleep in the cave at first. Then they changed their minds and left and walked out to a little open place. It was way after dark. They went to bed where that open place was. They heard a noise and this voice came from where tire spring was. It was ye • Pibicai. They heard it four times. After that a little puppy started barking. The next minute they saw a light there where that little dog was barking. It was just like seeing through the windows of a house. There was a crowd in there and tlie ye • Hbicai dance6 was start-

i6o ing right away. It was the Holy People. That went on the whole night through. (In that cave, if you look up you can see a cross in the roof—one line is black and the other is red.) The next morning they started to walk to another place called Red Willow. Then from there to another place called Piny on Needle Water. Then there is a big valley across called Red Valley. Then another place called Black Water. Then another place called Coyote Box Canyon—it is shaped like a corral; they used to drive coyotes in there. Then they went to Choke Cherries Spread Out. Then from there on top of the hill to Mark On Rock. Then to Black Weeds Stand Up. Then to Hill Spreads Out. Then to Picking Up Rock (where they used to have contests to see who could lift the rock). Then to Water Car¬ ries Wood Out. Then to Hill Stands. Then up in that canyon, then up in the mountain to place called Bands Of Green Grass. Then to Long Side Of Hill, then Grass Green Again. Then to Water Moves Clockwise. Then to Hill Like Man’s Face. Then to Grey Cottonwoods Spread Out. Then to Red Flint Notch. Then to Rock Breaks Off. They stayed there four nights. They walked into another cave where there were more y4-?i bicai. Again from there they start to walking again to Round Stick Lies. Then to Dry Around Water. They stayed there two days. The boy was looking for some more food around there while the grandmother was staying there. He was seeing the country too. In the morning they were starting off again. They just ate a little. They saw a little yellow dog. He came up from somewhere and was with them there. The boy said, “Let’s catch that little dog. It is a pretty one. Let’s catch it and

NAVAHO WITCHCRAFT start to own it.” He started to grab it, but it got away from him. He started to run after that dog. The dog outran him. He chased the dog to Shooting Water. The little dog jumped in that water. The dog sunk down in that water and he didn’t see the dog any more. But right in the middle of that lake a big stream spouted up. The boy knew the water was angry so he ran away from there. The boy ran be¬ hind a rock called Black Rock. The water started to fall on him. When the water went away he started walking back to where his grand¬ mother was. Then they started to walking from there towards the west to Hole In The Ground. They kept walking to Swallow’s Nest. While they were walking toward that place they saw water rising up again in one direc¬ tion. From there to Cool Water. Then Green In The Mountain. From there to Horse Falls In The Arroyo. Then to House Under The Rock Spreads Out. Then to Mistle¬ toe Hangs. Then Dead Tree Stands Up. Then to Possessing Fish. Then to Red House. Then to Lake With Weeds On Surface. Then to Rock For Making Paper Bread. Then to Rock Points Toward The Valley. Then Wide Reeds. Then In The Middle White Top. Then Hill Where Water Cuts In. Then from there to Water Comes Together. Then Water Afraid. [Here the nar¬ rator said he had forgotten some names.] Then Big Willow Juts Out And Droops. Then to Keams Can¬ yon. Then to Walpi. On the south side there were a few juniper trees and they located there. In the daytime while the boy was out hunting for food, the grand¬ mother walked over to the Hopi village and did grinding for the Hopi people and brought back a litde corn flour in the evening. Be-

PART in: INSTANCES AND STORIES OF WITCHCRAFT sides the corn meal she got some com and wild berries called blue cherries. It had taken them four years to get from Coyote Pass Canyon to Kearns Canyon. They got to Walpi in the spring and they stayed there four years. By that time the boy was a full grown man. The man just spent his time hunting for rats and rabbits. He brought in food every evening. After four years he got tired of walking around that place and he said he wanted to go down near San Francisco Peaks. He told his grandmother that he wanted to make a circle trip, that he might see some people. If he did, he might stay one night with them, he said. He started off on his way and went right straight west. On the way he found more food: rabbit, prairie dog and things like that. He had a long stick that could be used for rabbits and also in prairie dog holes. One day he was doing that when Talking God came up. He had come to a hill. He had been stand¬ ing on top of that hill and looking around. But he didn’t see anyone. But as he started off again Talking God met him. Talking God didn’t talk. They just understood each other by signs. The man had under¬ standing. He knew that Talking God was saying something about white shell, blue shell, abalone, black shell, red shell, sparkling rock, blue pollen, com pollen, cat-tail pol¬ len. The man recited these things to Talking God. Then Talking God spoke up. He said, “You have every¬ thing, my grandson. You have all the shell and pollen. And I have nothing to worry about. So I want you to go along with me, my grandson. So they started off toward the mountains called Streak Towards Water. When they got there they


got to a home. When they came near the home Talking God was making the sound of the ye?-ibicai’s voice. He kept on making that sound until he entered. Inside were Cone Towards Water Man and his wife and seven children. When Talking God and the man went in, all the people were holding their noses. Cone Towards Water Man said to Talking God, “Kind man, what are you bringing inside? You always do something when people ask you. We want you to throw out that man. We don’t want him in here.” But Talking God just kept on making that noise. Cone To¬ wards Water Man said again, “You’d better throw him out.” But Cone Towards Water Man’s wife said, “Let him go. He might do no harm. He might just be wanting some¬ thing. Let’s hear what he says.” “Well, we’ll let it go,” said Cone Towards Water Man. After that Cone Towards Water Man started to talk with Talking God and the man. The man asked Cone Towards Water Man if he wanted any blue shell, white shell, black shell, red shell, abalone, blue pollen, cat-tail pollen, com pollen, sparkling rock.* Cone Towards Wa¬ ter Man said yes, they wanted all of that. So they paid all these things to Cone Towards Water Man to bathe the man, to try to get rid of that smell. Talking God then brought in yucca root. Then they spread out an unshot buckskin and Talking God and the man sat down on the buckskin. Cone Towards Wa¬ ter Man brought out a white shell basket. They bathed the man in that. But Cone Towards Water Man said, “He is still stinking. We can’t have him in here yet.” They bathed him again in a blue shell basket— still he stunk. They bathed him again in an abalone shell basket. About that time the smell wasn’t


quite so heavy. He only smelled badly at the hair line of his neck. They bathed him over again in black shell basket. From the neck down they got all the smell off. But there was still some on his head. Finally, they bathed him in a red shell basket. When they got through, the smell was all gone. And from the hair line in the back of his neck there came out a litde tiny rabbit. It had been chased out. The rabbit had made the smell. The man thought the rabbit had been borne there the night before. But they told him it had been there for four days. They killed that rabbit. But they kept on bathing that man for three more days. The first day they had used the leaves of big yucca. They had pulled off four leaves, taken them and softened them. The second day they used the leaves of Monster’s Yucca. The third day they used the leaves of Horned Yucca. The last day they used a small piece from the root of all these kinds of yucca. They used some songs too while they did the bathing. Right after that they put up Blessing Way for this man. They sang all night for him. And in tire daytime of Its Day they shaped him up. His hair was short, but they stretched it down to below his knees. And they shaped all his legs, arms, body. They gave him more muscles there. They shaped him all over. Then he looked pretty good. He had a lot of muscle then all over. The last night they sang Bless¬ ing Way all night. Cone Towards Water Man was the singer. When the singing was all finished, Cone Towards Water Man told the man to get up, to stand up straight. He handed the man a bow called Black Bow and four arrows called “feath¬ ered with an eagle tail feather” (Pace-bcst’a-n). He said, “I don’t

NAVAIIO WITCHCRAFT mean for you to keep these. I’ll just loan them to you. You must pay me for the singing I have done for you with antelope. First shoot an ante¬ lope buck. And when you have shot it just pull the arrow out and lay it across the body and leave it. Next shoot a doe antelope and do the same thing with the arrow. Then a buck antelope again and the ar¬ row the same way. Then another doe and this time leave both the arrow and the bow. Leave them and go off. That will be my payment. And I’ll get the bow and arrow back.” The man started off back to¬ wards where his grandmother was. He found he had been six days and six nights with these people. When he came to a place called Malapais Lays Out he saw some antelope grazing. He shot a buck and did as he had been told. Then at Malapais Lays Down he shot a doe. Then at Malapais Laughter Downwards he shot another buck. And at Malapais Lies another doe. When he got back to Walpi, his grandmother had been missing him. But she was still over grinding com for the Hopi people. He looked around and saw fresh tracks so he knew his grandmother was all right. So he walked around and thought. He wanted to have a good home. Cone Towards Water Man had given him black gum and blue gumd Told him he must keep that and take care of it, musn’t lose it. When he needs something, he must take a little bite, chew it, and blow it and it will turn into whatever he needs. So he took that gum (he had had it wrapped up under his belt) and chewed a tiny piece and blew it. It turned into a forked stick hogan. Inside the hogan he blew it again and he got some pots and some food. Next he started off for Walpi. He looked around for his grand-

PART III: INSTANCES AND STORIES OF WITCHCRAFT mother there and asked some people, but they said they hadn’t seen her. He thought they were just hiding his grandmother. Back there where they had sung Blessing Way over him, they had also given him two Little Black Winds, one on his right ear and one on his left. These two little winds gave him the news. Now they said to him, “Your grandmother is down underneath the village working.” He went down there and saw his grandmother there grinding. He took his grandmother out and took her home. They came back where the hogan was. When they got inside the hogan, the grand¬ mother cut up a lot of meat inside and boiled it. Two Hopi women came back with them. These two women were there a little while. When the meat was boiled they ate it up with those women. The women wanted to stay there, but the man made them go back home. They didn’t want to go back, but he sent them back anyway. Next morning two different women arrived. They had breakfast with those two women. They stayed there until noon and then after noon the women said to the man that they wanted him to go with them into the woods to cut up a small piece of wood for them so they could pack it back to Walpi. He cut up a little wood and made up a lit¬ tle bundle for each one. While they were in the woods, he slept with one of the women, then after a while he did it to the other one. After that, they took the wood back to Walpi. Next day three different women came. They stayed nearly a whole day and towards the evening they went after wood again and he did the same thing to these three. Then they took their wood back. The next day there were four more. He made up some more wood for the four, and he did the same


thing to them. And over at the hogan young boys had started to come and do the same tiring to his grandmother as he did to those women in the woods. He finally cleaned up all the women in Walpi and his grandmother all the young boys. When they had cleaned up all these people, there were still some girls in the town living in a house which was like a basement down in the ground. These two girls had only lived inside where it is dark. They never get out into the light, do-bi?de-Xa-d,8 they are called: “Light Can’t Get Them.” This man studied about these girls. He wants to get them. The only time these girls get out is early in the morning just as it starts to get bright. They go to the water hole then. This man went there before daybreak and waited there. The two girls came up. They had water jugs. They walked down to the water hole and filled up their pots, brought them up and were standing quite close there—at the only place where you can get to the water. They put the jars on their heads. The man blew the water out, twice for each girl, four times in all. The one started back to refill her jar. He took the other one off and did it to her. Then he took the second one while tire first one was getting water. So he got the two. They stayed for quite a while there. Then they went to take the water back and the man went home. The father of these girls was called Not-Sunlight-Struck too. He knew how long it would take them to get water. He thought it took them too long this time. They never used to stay out that long. So their father thought something might have hap¬ pened to them. When the girls came back in and brought the water, they reported this man that they had seen

164 outside. So their father said he would have to see about that, he would have to step outside this time. He never had stepped outside be¬ fore, not at any time. He stepped out there by the water hole and saw the foot tracks there. He saw someone had been standing up there. There were two foot racks, about eight inches apart. He looked around and he picked up a piece of stick and measured that foot track two ways, lengthwise and crosswise. Everybody had breakfast there at Walpi and, after they had eaten, Not-Sunlight-Struck spoke to the people and told them not to go olf. Everybody must stay at home until noon. Even if somebody has a corn field, he must not go off. Nor must anyone go off to get wood. Next he rounded all the people up in a bunch and he started in with one man. He told him he must put up his foot so that it could be measured. So he went through with that stick, measuring the foot of each one. But nobody had a foot like that. There is another place where there are a lot of Hopis called Mishongnovi. And Not-SunlightStruck measured up all the feet around there. He still didn’t find the right foot. Then he went to Oraibi. Then to another Hopi town. Then he went to another Hopi town, the one farthest west, and found one man whose foot fitted that stick length¬ wise but not crosswise. He rather thought that man might have done it. He tried it all over in all the towns and still couldn’t find the right foot. Then he came back to Walpi because he didn’t find it. He studied it over again and heard about this woman and her grandson out south. He thought about that. He started off early in the morning and tried to go to that place. But this man already had

NAVAHO WITCHCRAFT found out that Not-Sunlight-Struck was coming to him. As he was lying down, he saw this man coming far off. He told his grandmother to get outside and look. She went out¬ side and looked and saw him. She went back in and told her grandson somebody was coming. This hap¬ pened four times. But the man just lay on his back inside. When the man heard Not-Sunlight-Struck just outside he put one foot on top of the other toward the doorway. As soon as Not-SunlightStruck came in, he just walked to the man and measured his foot. The stick just came out all right. It just fit his foot. Not-Sunlight-Struck said, “I have been looking for this foot for a long while. I should have come here first, but I have been walking all over the country. I dis¬ covered about the man who left his tracks down there—and did some other tilings too. I know about that. But now I have found my son-inlaw. For you are my son-in-law. So you are living here.” The grandmother got some food ready and she and her grand¬ son ate with Not-Sunlight-Struck. After they had eaten, Not-SunlightStruck said, “My son-in-law, I want you to go to Walpi. It’ll be very nice if you’d come down to our home. I want you to come over tonight and make it sure.” The man said he would go over to the village that night. About noon Not-Sun¬ light-Struck went home. That night the man went over to Not-Sunlight-Struck’s home and stayed with his two wives. The next day he started out west over to the first place where he had shot antelope for Cone Towards Water Man. There he saw a bunch of ante¬ lope again. He used the sunbeams. He threw sunbeams over this bunch of antelope and drew them close to him and killed twelve of them.

PART III: INSTANCES AND STORIES OF WITCHCRAFT After that he went back to Walpi and told his father-in-law about that. He said those twelve antelope would be his payment for those girls. The father-in-law sent a bunch of men out there, and they had a lot of meat in Walpi. The man stayed in Walpi again all night. About sun-up the next morning he went off again to the second place where he had killed antelope before. This time he used the rain¬ bow and got fourteen antelope. He reported it back again and a bunch of men were sent out to bring them all in. The next day he used the sun¬ beam again. He got thirty that time. Men brought them all in on thenbacks. The next day he used the rainbow again and there were fifty in that bunch and he killed them all. Men, women and children all went out to bring in the fifty, and they got them all in by a little after dark. Each of these four days, his father-in-law gave him a new girl. That makes six wives for him al¬ together. That’s the reason we call this story Prostitution Way. The next morning he went back to his grandmother. She had been getting all the young boys. When he came to his home, he wanted to leave that place. He went outside and he blew the whole hogan back into his mouth. In a minute the hogan was gone. Where the hole had been, all was level. He and his grandmother started for Walpi and they stayed over night there. Just after sun-up the next morning he took tlie two wives he had gotten first and put them on the sunbeam. He put his grandmother on the rainbow, and he got on that too. They went over the hill toward the north. They came to the ground at the place called Open Over The Hill. When they hit the ground they


started to walk, and they walked from there to Canyon de Chelly. They started to live there. They stayed there four days. While they were staying there, the Hopis (a bunch of men) came up each day. They were after the girls. They don’t want him to take the girls away. Every time these Hopi men came, the man used the sunbeam and the rainbow to lift the girls up in the air so that the Hopis just looked and could find nothing. So they went back. That’s where the people started getting two wives—two sisters. The Sun also had two wives. That’s why policemen can’t stop it—it is some¬ thing written down back there. But the man figured it didn’t look very well—his having two wives and sleeping with them right there. So he wanted to send them back to Walpi. He studied that out. He gave a five feather to each of the girls and the top of a cat-tail (when cat-tails get ripe you lie them down on the ground and the stuff flies around like a cloud). He gave each one a cat-tail and told her to put it under her clothes. He took them over to a place called Water Washes Around The Rock. He put one of the girls on a sunbeam and the other one on the rainbow. They had these things with them. He told the girls that if they had trouble the feathers and the plants would protect them. After they left, he kept looking after them and he thought he could see the girls as far as Walpi. He saw all the Hopi people out¬ side, each with a whip in their hand—girls and men and boys, everybody big enough to use a whip. The girls went through these people, and each one hit them with a whip as they went by. The girls took out their cat-tails and threw them on the ground. The fluff flew out and

i66 spread into thick clouds. Each girl got on her feather and started Hying with it. They went up into the air in spirals. That was the last he could see of those girls. This man went to a place called Water Makes Sound. While he was there, his two wives came back. Then he and his wives and his grand¬ mother went back into Canyon de Chelly to Round Rock Sticks Up. They didn’t stay there long. They kept on going to Rock In The Mid¬ dle Crooked. From there they kept going up to Trail Runs Through Rock—this trail is still there yet. Then to White House. They kept going to another place called Rock Struck By Lightning. They stayed all night there. Then they started off again to House Slides Off Cliff. Stayed three days there. Then from there start to going up and got to House In Middle Of Rock. They kept going, going east all the time. They have passed Canyon de Chelly now and are a long ways off. The next place they came to was Rock Face. Then up on top of the mountain they came to Place Where Red Ochre Is Gathered. Then to Makes Him ting Pipes. Stayed there several days and made four pipes:9 white shell, blue shell, abalone and jet. They smoke with these pipes there before they start off again. They got to Pointed Sand Hill.10 When they got there these two girls stayed there. Refore the man started out he said, “Many years from now there will be Navaho living on this earth. If Navaho get sick from Prostitution Way, they should get some plants from this hill and use those plants in the emetic of a five-night chant. Use only these plants and use the fire in the morning for four morn¬ ings. Then the last night finish up with Blessing Way. That is the way

NAVAHO WITCHCRAFT they are supposed to work Prostitution Way.”

it in

Then the man and his grand¬ mother came to Sonsola. When they got there he was going to leave his grandmother. But Bear People were living there and they didn’t want anyone to live there because they owned that place. And so they passed on to Black Salt. Then they went over again to Many Lakes—on top of the Tohatchi Mountains. Then to Sand White Up—on the eastern rim of the mountains, and came down to Toadlena. Then on to Rock Point. Then down to Cotton¬ wood Pass. Then to Earth Opens Up. He left his grandmother there. This was a forked stick hogan of the Holy People. The whole hill was a hogan. He started walking off by him¬ self. Then to Can’t Pass The Moun¬ tain. Then to Green By The River. From there to Badger—where Drolet’s store is now. Then to Adobe Lays. Kept on coming east to Sewed Stick. Then to Water White On Top. Then to Blue Malapais. He kept going east all the time. At one place he found the Frog People living. He came to another place called Grinding House. This was a little village where some more Pueblo Indians were living. He stayed there several days and got all the girls there. Then he went on to Moun¬ tain Sits Out. There was another hill a little way from there. He started to live on top of that. Pie didn’t make a house there—just a litde wall of rock. That still shows there. Near there some more Pueblos live and he visits and goes around through these villages, but he comes back to the same place every eve¬ ning. The next village he came to was House Of The Winds.11 Black House was another. Also Valley

PART III: INSTANCES AND STORIES OF WITCHCRAFT House, Pueblo Bonito, Blue House. He kept coming back to where he was staying. At the time when Cone Towards Water Man had sung for him, Cone Towards Water Man had taught him how to use Cone Towards Water plant pollen. Just take a little and mix it with the dew from the plant and touch the girls and they will come. He did that to the girls in all those towns. At last he came back to his place again and he wants to leave that place for another place. He just blew that wall back into his mouth and picked it up with his wind. Only a few rocks were left standing up and you can see them yet today. He then went to Dark Lake where there were a lot of birds called Prairie Dog Legs. He started to catch these birds for meat. He pulled out his own hair and trapped with that. He twisted his hair and tied it to a stick. He put these traps along the edge of the water and birds got their legs caught. He lived there and made his bed with the feathers of those birds. He had a bed four or five inches thick and he went to bed on that at night. At night he made a trip from there out to Wide House, way out north. There were also other places besides Wide House. He went around to all of them, gathering girls. That is all he is doing. He doesn’t bring any of the girls home. He just does it to them while he is with them out there. When he gets back at night he puts himself in the lake water and while his body is still wet he rolls in the feathers. The feathers stick to him and he goes to bed that way. When the Pueblo Indians saw him using the feathers this way, they started in to call him Downy Home Man [literally, “his home of downy feathers”]. He made four trips to Wide House (Aztec Pueblo) and each


time he got every woman. Then he went down alongside the San Juan River. Some other Pueblo Indians lived in villages there. After that there is only one more place where he hasn’t been. This is a little vil¬ lage called House On Top (Pueblo Alto) and there is a man there called Earth Winner. He beats everyone at gambling and wins girls. Downy Home Man wants to meet this man and so he starts off. On the way he stopped in Chaco Canyon. They were having a big meeting there. The people ad¬ dressed him as Downy Home Man. There were Mirage Stone People, Water Sprinkler and all those kinds Moon People, Wind People, Crystal People. Talking God, hasfie?07a • n, of Talking God were there too. There were also Yellow Mirage, Stone People, Sunbeam People and Rain¬ bow People. The crowd was talking about Wide House. Some people were liv¬ ing way down there in the basement, they said. They have been trying to get these people out, but they can’t. They are trying to figure out new ways. This man just came up there and listened to those people. He stayed there one whole day and what it was all about was that Earth Winner had been trying himself to get those girls12 out at Wide House, but he couldn’t. In the evening when Downy Home Man was starting for home he just spoke one word and then left. The people just laughed—they didn’t get the word the first day. Next day he came back, and that evening when he left again he said, “Eat my brain.” That was all he said, and people couldn’t figure out just how he meant it. He did that for four days—kept going back and forth down there and spoke that word every evening. After the fourth time. Earth

i68 Winner tried again to get those girls out, but he didn’t have anything to use and he couldn’t get them out. And the Sun and Moon tried it. And Darkness tried it last. They couldn’t get anybody else to try it. Nobody has power enough to get those peo¬ ple out. At last, people began to talk about Downy Home Man. They talked about that word that he spoke every day. They figured he knew something. Some of the people be¬ gan to say that that meant some¬ thing. Earth Winner said, “In the morning he will come back again. We will ask this man to try to get those people out.” Everyone said, “All right. Let’s ask him to do it. Let’s tell him that.” Downy Home Man was the name they were using while they were talking about him. And he knew at home that same night that they were talking about him, because he had tire two little Winds and the little Night right beside his ear. Those two little Winds told him already that they were talking about him and that they were going to send him over to Wide House. When this man went back there an the morning again, there were a lot of people there. Some of the people asked him, “What does that word mean? Why did you say that word?” Downy Home Man an¬ swered, “I meant it. I could eat the brain of Light Never Strikes if I wanted to.” He said that right in the middle of the people. The peo¬ ple asked him again if he had a way to get those people out at Wide House. He said, yes, he could do that. There is a big crowd around him, all watching him. Downy Home Man said, “All right. I’ll do that.” So everybody said, “All right. Go ahead.” They told him that when he got the girls out he should bring them right back

NAVAHO WITCHCRAFT here where he was starting from. And he said he would do that. He told the people that they must look for him on top of the mountain where the twins13 were bom about noon that day. He went off over the hill, just a little way, and then he got on the rainbow which carried him up in the air to the north and brought him down this side of the village of Wide House. On his way he had sung eight songs. He was on top of a hill from which the people of Wide House got their wood. He turned into a bird which is called “Red Under The Wing” and flew part of the way. Then he changed into a woodpecker. He went a little way like that. Then he changed into the bird called “White Head.” He went a little way like that. Then he changed into the same kind of a bird only smaller, called “Running On The Log.” Then from there he changed into the bird with the pretty voice.11 After that into the yellow bird. Then there was a corn¬ field. He was getting pretty close now. He was at the edge of the cornfield. He changed into a com beetle. Now it is pretty close to noon. Since everybody was inside and eating at noon, no one saw him. He traveled through the com as a com beetle. Next as a rock wren he jumped right onto the wall of the village. Right in the middle of the village is where those people are that no one can get at. He traveled through the houses and then changed into the red rock wren. From there he could see the ladder sticking up from the roof where these girls were staying. From there on he went as a but¬ terfly—first yellow, then pink with yellow, black, white, variegated (with all these colors). As a but¬ terfly he followed the ladder down. The girls were there when he got

PART III: INSTANCES AND STORIES OF WITCHCRAFT down. They were making very nice weaving called “sewed fabric.” They were doing it with white hair from a deer thigh, antelope hair, mountain sheep hair. They mixed up all these kinds of hair and made pretty things with it. The older sister was sitting with her legs spread apart and with this weaving on her right knee and the butterfly sits on it. She watches the butterfly a while and sees that it is a very pretty thing. She says to her younger sister, “Let’s catch this butterfly.” The younger one says, “No, it might be something.” The older one said, “We’ll catch it and we’ll use a design the color of this butterfly.” The younger one kept saying no, but the older one put her hand over the butterfly. The butterfly crawled out between her two fingers, and she put her other hand on top of it. The butterfly crawled through again, and then the younger sister put her hand over it. So now they were both working on the butterfly. The butterfly started to fly off up the ladder—rather slowly. So the two girls followed the butterfly, try¬ ing to catch it as it went up the ladder. And that was tire way he got these girls out. Over the roof he still flew slowly so the girls followed. And he got away from town at the end of the field. It was still noontime. No one was outside to see what was going on. Those girls were still trying to catch him when he changed to a man and stood near them. The girls saw him and he asked them what they came out there for. He says he heard that they can’t come up to tire light at all, that they stay down in the base¬ ment where it is dark all the time. He asked the girls where they were going. They said they were after him. The man asked the girls four times to make sure if they were


after him. They said yes all of the four times. They said, “We want to stay outside this time. We want to stay with you.” Then he put one on the sunbeam and one on the rain¬ bow. They started going up, going back toward Pueblo Alto and then to tire mountain where the twins were born (Huerfano). All the people were making fun of him there. About half the people didn’t believe he would get the girls. If they had looked carefully to tire top of the mountain they could have seen him, but they didn’t look very carefully because they didn’t believe him. So they went back to Pueblo Alto. He had the girls there without their seeing them. He told the people, “I got them out. They are here now. They are pretty nice girls. Suit yourselves about what you do to them. I leave that up to you. I don’t want to take them myself.” The others left it up to Earth Winner. Downy Home Man said to Earth Winner, “Take those girls.” Earth Winner said, “No, I don’t want to take them. I have twelve wives already.” Every¬ body asked the Sun to take the girls. The Sun said, “No.” The Sun said that the man who had called for tire girls must take them. That was Earth Winner. Earth Winner asked every person one by one if they’d take tire girls. They all said no. He asked each one four times and still they didn’t take them. At last all the people said that Downy Home Man, he who brought the girls, had better take them him¬ self. They all said they haven’t any¬ thing to take care of the girls with, that’s why they don’t want to take them. Downy Home Man asked why they want to take these girls out, why they tried so hard even when they can’t get them. Then he re¬ minded them that they had sent him down there to bring the girls back.

170 Then they don’t want the girls. But they all tell Downy Home Man that he had better keep them. So he kept them. He said he would take the girls. He thinks he will take them •over where he is staying and then after a while he will take them back where he got them. He says he hasn’t anything to feed the girls with, nothing for them to sleep on—no food and no blankets. When he brought them to his home, he had no food but bird meat. He tried to feed that to the girls, but they don’t like it. After dark he went to the water and swam in the water, rolled in the feathers and went to bed. The older girl went to bed on his right side, the younger girl on his left. The next day he kept trying with that bird meat, but they can’t eat it. He kept this up another day. The girls were surely hungry by then. The third day the younger one ate a little piece of meat, the fourth day the older one ate a little piece too. So they both had a piece. After the oldest one ate the meat, that night they went to bed again. All three lay down together. The man put more sleep on those girls so that they went to sleep very heavily that night. While they were sleeping, he got the rainbow and put the girls on the rainbow and raised it up a little and let it stay there. He chewed up the blue gum or Datura which Cone Towards Wa¬ ter Man had given him. He chewed it and blew it and that brought up a long house. He blew some more and inside there was plenty of food. He blew again and that turned into bedding—what was called “white buffalo robe” (cidflgai). Two of these came at once—one to sleep on and one to cover themselves up with. They went to bed again. For all of this time he hasn’t done anything to the girls yet. That

NAVAHO WITCHCRAFT Wind next to his ear keeps telling him he mustn’t do anything to the girls yet. The Wind also told him that he had done too much singing to get these girls. He had sung on the way going and again coming back.1® The Wind said, “If you do anything to them, you’ll get sick yourself. You’ll get crazy right away.” Toward daylight the younger one woke up and felt the bed covers. She scratched the blanket and stripes of fire came from it. She said to her sister, “What’s all this?” But her sister was sleeping. She wakened her sister and said, “What is this fire in the blanket? I must be lost.” The older girl did the same thing. She wanted to know where they are. Her sister said, “We are in a house now." “That’s all right,” said the older girl. In the morning they woke up, went outside and got some wood and built a fire. Downy Home Man was still lying down. They cooked some food, then the man got up, and they all had a good breakfast. They lived there in that place for four years. He told the girls that he was travel¬ ing all the time, and that they must stay home while he was away. He went around to see the Pueblo people, to House Of The Winds, Blue House and other places. They stayed at home. He came home every night. After one year, then he went ahead and slept with the two girls. They were his wives then. One day, after four years had passed, he went out again, but when he came back at night the two girls were gone. A white butterfly had come to the girls and they thought it was their husband. When the white butterfly left, they had fol¬ lowed it. Butterfly himself knew a way like Prostitution Way by which he could bring the girls out. Downy Home Man kept track¬ ing around, trailing the girls, but he couldn’t find any tracks at all. So he

PART III: INSTANCES AND STORIES OF WITCHCRAFT came back and slept by himself that night. The next morning he got his hunting pipe out, put some mountain tobacco in it. First he blew smoke with the pipe he had made with his grandmother. He blew to the east— the smoke didn’t go very far. Then to the south, the west and the north. Then he tried his flute. If it had worked, the flute would have risen of itself and gone in the right direc¬ tion. But the flute did not rise in any of the four directions. Then he tried some again southeast, south¬ west, northwest, northeast. When he tried northeast, the smoke made a long stream out in that direction, and he knew the girls went that way. He tried the flute again. And the flute did the same thing—it rose in the air and faced northeast. He got on top of the flute, and the flute carried him the way the smoke had gone. It carried him quite a dis¬ tance. Where the flute let him down, he saw tracks. It was a meadow with a lot of different kinds of flowers. He worked through this, and came to a place called Edge Of The Earth. There was a bird called grey rock wren on a rock up above. The bird laughed at him as he was tracking those girls. It made a sound “Wa, Wa, Wa; Yes, White Butterfly was leading your wives along here—they passed just after noon.” Fie kept going off north and came to a place called “Yellow Rock.” At this place there was a red rock wren who told him White Butterfly was going this way with your wives. Then the wren laughed at him. It made Downy Home Man a little angry when those two birds laughed at him. He started walking from there. He came to a valley and found smoke coming out. There was no house—just smoke coming out of


the ground. Fie kneeled down and looked. It was a smokehole. He looked in and saw a woman combing her hair. The woman saw his shadow and looked up and saw him there. She asked him to come down, but the hole was too small. She said she would make it big enough. She blew four times, and the hole got big enough. Her breath also made a ladder. “Come in, my grandson,” she said. When he got down inside, the woman said, “The place where you are going—there is sure danger down there. White Butterfly lives there. He passed yesterday evening with your two wives.” He told her that he wanted to stay there for a while. She made a corn mush for him and dished it out in a pottery bowl. She made a cross in the middle with com pollen and spots of corn pollen in the four directions and in the center. Then he ate it all. When he had finished, she told him White Butterfly had twelve wives. He already had ten at home and now the two more made twelve. The woman said she would loan him her twelve daughters. “That man down there, he is going to ask you to bet twelve wives, so I am going to loan you my daughters. You can’t do anything without the girls.” She went in another room and brought twelve girls out of there. She told her girls not to laugh when they got down there. “If they laugh, White Butterfly might not want to bet be¬ cause they haven’t very good teeth. All the girls down there have good teeth.” This was Spider Woman and her teeth are far apart. She had lots of children. Spider Woman said she wanted to go along too so that she would be down there with the others. They left and soon they came to a place where White Butterfly had some people around for guards: Big Blue Hawk and Hawk and Small

172 Hawk and Hummingbird. These guards fly out from White Butter¬ fly’s home and look in all directions. So Spider Woman and Downy Home Man stopped here. They knew there were some people com¬ ing out. So they got four different colors of hail: black, blue, yellow, white. They chewed up the black one first and blew it toward the east, then blue to the south, yellow to the west and white to the north. That turned into clouds from tire different directions which drew together and started hailing. This scared the people who were watching. That hail was so big that the hawks all ran inside. So there was nobody outside and they started walking again and came to a doorway. White Butterfly came outside and they met him there just in front of his door. As soon as he got outside he said, “My opponent.” Downy Home Man said, “I am not your opponent; I am your friend.” They threw the word back and forth like that four times. Finally, Downy Home Man said, “I didn’t mean to call you a friend. I am not a friend of yours.” They talked some more. Then White Butterfly said that he wanted to play a ball game. Downy Home Man asked for time to think but then agreed. White Butterfly said, “We will bet our wives, all twelve of them. Also we will bet each other— our whole body on either side. Also the place we own—everything all at once.” Downy Home Man said, “All right. Let’s do that.” While he had retended to be thinking, he had xed up a ball and gotten Big Snake to help him by promising shell and pollen. Everybody had said they would help Downy Home Man so he could win. The game was to be outside and down west. After Downy Home Man had said, “I am ready,” they all

NAVAHO WITCHCRAFT walked down there. Downy Home Man and White Butterfly were each wearing hats with flowers and with pretty singing birds. When they got to the hills, tire birds of Downy Home Man started singing, but those of White Butterfly did not sing. Downy Home Man said he knew that was bad luck for White Butter¬ fly. There was a small hill on one side and one on the other. White Butterfly had played there before. Between the hills and to the east was the house. There was a hole in the house, and each player had to hit the ball from the top of his hill through that hole. They walked down there, and White Butterfly said he would try out first. He hit his ball, and it didn’t go through that hole. It very nearly did, but it fell back. Then Downy Home Man used his ball with a mouse inside. Downy Home Man set his ball with the mouse in it on top of the hill. The mouse said, “Don’t hit the ball. Just hit under the ball so I can start running my¬ self.” And he did that. He just hit the bottom of the ball, and the ball started running from there. It didn’t even touch the bottom or the top of the hole—it just went through. And White Butterfly said he still won because the ball didn’t really go through the hole. They had an argument. But finally White Butter¬ fly gave up and said, “I got beat.” That is the way it always is. When people play together, one gets beat and then they get mad at each other. There were supposed to be four games. The next was the hoop and pole game. White Butterfly said, “I’ve got my own equipment. Let’s use that.” Downy Home Man said, “I’ve got mine too. Each of us will use our own.” Downy Home Man had Big Snake in his hoop. Big Snake said, “Don’t hit me hard. You might break my stomach. Just roll

PART III: INSTANCES AND STORIES OF WITCHCRAFT me off easy. I’ll get in the right place. They placed twice there. The first time neither man did any¬ thing. The second time Big Snake did some crawling and so Downy Home Man won again. White But¬ terfly ran after the hoop, but Downy Home Man tripped him. There was an argument again, but White But¬ terfly finally admitted he had lost. Next was “pushing the posts.” Two posts were set in the ground, one black and one blue. The black one was White Butterfly’s; the blue one was Downy Home Man’s. White Butterfly said, “Run at this post and grab it and pull it out and run with it. Whoever can’t pull out the post loses.” Downy Home Man had the Wind People fix White Butterfly’s post so that White Butter¬ fly couldn’t move it at all. On his own post he put the worms that eat wood [“woodeaters” is the literal translation of the Navaho] under the ground, and they ate through the post so that it lacked only a little of being eaten through. White Butterfly ran at his stick. He had been used to taking it out easily. But this time he got thrown back. He said, “This never happened to me before. What is the matter with me?” Then it was the turn of Downy Home Man. He ran to his post and grabbed it and pulled it out. He won again.16 Now three times he has won. One remains: a footrace. They bet everything: the earth, what is on the earth, flowers and trees and them¬ selves. White Butterfly said, “To¬ ward the east there is a cornfield. Out there at the end of the field is a round hill called Smooth Round Hill. We are going to start from the end of the cornfield and run around the hill.” They got up to the start¬ ing place and started running from there. It was quite a way to the hill. They ran, first one and then


tlie other ahead. After they got round that hill the two little Winds of Downy Home Man told him White Butterfly was ahead of him. “Go ahead and run ahead of White Butterfly and as you go by say, ‘Why don’t you run?’ ” He did that. When Downy Home Man passed and said, “Why don’t you run?” the Winds said, “Look out. He is going to shoot17 right under your foot.” White Butterfly wasted his shot. He was going to shoot the bottom of the foot of Downy Home Man. But Downy Home Man jumped aside and grabbed up the shot as he passed by. Then he threw it into White Butterfly’s body where White Butterfly had meant to hit him. It happened that way three more times. When Downy Home Man said, “Why don’t you run, White Butter¬ fly?” White Butterfly tried to shoot him in the hip, in the shoulder and in the back of the head. But each time Downy Home Man ducked, grabbed the shot and threw it into White Butterfly’s body. Now they were only a little way from where the line was. Downy Home Man ran ahead of White Butterfly and said, “I thought White Butterfly was a good runner." Downy Home Man crossed the line and beat White Butterfly. Then White Butterfly came in slowly and sweating. Downy Home Man wasn’t sweating a bit. White Butterfly had four shots in his body. White Butterfly said Downy Home Man might as well kill him. He had nothing left. He had lost everything, himself too. White But¬ terfly had an axe called “Reversing Axe.” White Butterfly said, “Use my own axe and chop my head off with that.” That axe, whenever any¬ one tried to kill someone, would kill that person himself. White Butter¬ fly handed this axe to Downy Home Man and laid down face to the

174 ground, saying, “Hit my head with that axe on the sharp side.” Downy Home Man was just about starting to swing when White Butterfly looked up again and said, “Be sure to use my own axe.” He put his head down again and then Downy Home Man quickly substituted his own axe. So White Butterfly was killed, and when the head was chopped off all colors of butterfly flew out of his head: white, black, green, blue, variegated. There were about a thousand altogether. That is why we see butterflies all over the world. White Butterfly got all his girls from the Pueblo Indians. These were his ten wives. Downy Home Man sent all these girls back where they belonged. They were able to go back and live with their families again. And his two wives he took back home. First, he returned home the twelve that he had borrowed from Spider Woman. Some of the goods that he won from White But¬ terfly were different colors (yellow, black, blue, light-colored) of a cloth something like calico or silk which was called “sewed fabric.” He gave all this cloth to Spider Woman. After they got back home she and her daughters dressed in that. That is what made the different colors of spider. They are still wearing that yet. Downy Home Man and his two wives came back to the lake. But the girls were rather afraid to stay there so Downy Home Man took them back to Wide House where he had got them. He stayed there a few days and left them there. He told them not to feel badly about it—that was their home. They said that was all right. He went back to Dark Lake. He blew his home and the furnish¬ ings back into himself again. He wanted to leave there again. He


started to walk from there out south. He came to a mountain called “Two Peaks Stick Up.” He got on top of that mountain and looked off toward Gallup and the west. As he was looking down, he thought it was very pretty country down that way. So he wants to go down there. Then he went to Red Striped Willow. He kept on going west that way and came to Black Salt towards Chin Lee. He came back to the place where he left his first two wives, ?ayahkingi do-bi?de-\adi, “the notsunlight-struck ones at Walpi.” This was his main home. “All the people are scared to hear this story. I don’t know why. It won’t hurt anybody. The man that gave me this story says it isn’t for harm at all. “I didn’t learn the chant. I just heard the old people telling each other the story around the fire. The man who knows the songs and prayers of Prostitution Way is the one who does the bad things against the people. I just heard the story, not the songs and prayers. The story is all right. Downy Home Man killed tire bad man and the good is left, and so that is carried on yet. He brought all those women back to their homes. “Young people get these stories and add some more and then they bring that up. Most people that talk about Prostitution Way don’t know the whole story. They just know parts. My teacher told me I’d better not learn the songs. The story is the good thing. But if a man who knows the whole Prostitu¬ tion Way chant uses it against women he’ll get it himself and get dry. “My teacher was from the Big Water clan. He lived in Canyon de Chelly and he knew the nine-night Night Way chant.”18


100. One time back in the old days there was a boy, pretty good herder. Used to be herding all the time. There was a man in the family, Mr. Blind Man. Somebody in the family lost some good turquoise beads. They looked very hard for it, asked everybody. Nobody seems to know who got it. At last there seemed to be no more hopes for it. At last Mr. Blind Man got some Datura and had this boy chew all of it. And this boy, soon he’s out of his mind. And he start to running out of the hogan and run, made a circle around the corral. Kept run¬ ning around outside and inside. Seems like he wants to do something with the corral. At last he run inside again and break up a stick and scratch out some sheep manure inside, looks like he’s looking for something. Some other people came to the corral—they all standing up at the opening way—this boy made a sign to the people to come down there where he was. And when they got down there he scratch out that turquoise beads from under the sheep manure. That’s the way they found that beads. And this man who started the boy that way he did some more to the boy so the boy came back and got all right again. 101. If you lose something, eat a piece of Datura root. Then you’ll

see dream and when you wake up you can go to it. Some make a business of it—Prostitution Way.1 102. #If a man has lost some¬ thing, go to Datura and give turquoise, go to another plant and take the root and chew it and then find where the thing is. (Q) You don’t use this for diagnosis in ill¬ ness—just for something lost. 103. You have to have a good singer right near you the first time you eat Datura. The mind of the man who eats it will go around and go out in many directions by him¬ self but several people will follow him and see where he is going. The man will find the thing—take it out of the ground or ask person who has it hid. Use this only if hand trem¬ bling and star-gazing don’t work. After the man comes back to the hogan do “kneading his body” to him and also the Mountain Smoke ceremony of Blessing Way and then his mind will come back. This must be done by a singer of Prostitution Way chant. 104. The first time that man is going to use Datura to find some¬ thing, a singer of Prostitution Way chant must chew Datura and other plants and give them to the man who is going to do the finding. This singer has to watch that man pretty close the first time. After that the

176 man can use Datura by himself all right. It won’t do him any harm. He doesn’t have to have a singer around any more. The first time a man takes Datura it is called naxo3isjil (“he regained his mind”). [Father Berard comments: “The stem -sil refers to hydrophobia or insanity, and prefix 11a- to regaining -xo- a condition. The term could be applied in any case of temporary insanity or loss of mind.”] 105. # Diagnosis by Datura1 is done only when everything else has


failed because it is dangerous both to the patient and to the practitioner. It is connected with Prostitution Way and so it is especially dangerous. The first time a man starts out to do divination by Datura he must chew it with a singer of Prostitution Way. They both chew it. Then they walk around outside. After that, the diagnostician can chew it all by himself. But he must always have “deer eye”3 with him as an antidote.


106. # Frenzy Witchcraft is when they pick up dirt from a girl’s track and sing a song to it. Then they give her some plants. Then the girl goes to the man. Some¬ times she tears her clothes off. 107. #The Mexicans talk about women all the time. I never heard Navahos do that except around here. There is lots of Frenzy Witchcraft around -. That’s why they have trouble all the time.1 108. # Frenzy Witchcraft is a bad name. They use “laughing medicine.”3 They use it on the women. It is hard to get the best women. (Q) No, the people who do Frenzy Witchcraft aren’t were-animals. Those things are way far off. 109. #That man-claims he know how to use Frenzy Witch¬ craft and how to do it. He sure has got lots of women. Game Way and Frenzy Witchcraft come back to¬ gether farther on, he says. 110. Frenzy Witchcraft was started near Fort Apache. People don’t know it any more. They are afraid of it. Use medicine that makes a man crazy. I haven’t had that medicine in my mouth so I am afraid to talk about it. The people on Black Mesa will talk about it. It makes rich people crazy, they say. (Q) No, they aren’t were-animals.

111. If an old man wants to marry a young girl, he uses Frenzy Witchcraft to get her to come to¬ ward him. I have heard that this came from the Mexicans. 112. #You must never talk about Frenzy Witchcraft around the hogan where the women and children are. There is also Frenzy Witch¬ craft in Game Way—at the end. You don’t kill people with that. You put turquoise one place for Talking God, one for Deer Raiser, one for wind. You pray for good luck in hunting; you pray for beads and all good things, like rain. 113. # Frenzy Witchcraft makes women go crazy and tear their clothes off. They use plants for it, especially “laughing medicine”8 and Datura. “Laughing medicine” makes you laugh crazily. You can’t stop. It is for getting girls or for getting sheep and money from a rich young woman. 114. Hunters have Frenzy Witchcraft. But they always explain to the people that they don’t use it to witch. They say they just do good to the people with it—get buckskin or fat meat. But some people say that when anybody learns Frenzy Witchcraft, after he has learned everything else, he must sleep with his own sister. That comes next. 115. You shouldn’t start off


178 talking about Frenzy Witchcraft unless you know the stories and the prayers first. Also the man who is learning it has to get his teacher to chew the plants they use in that thing and to put them in his mouth. Now they say they use just two plants: Datura and poison ivy. The other plants are hard to get—you have to go way up on the mountain for them. They use to use “my thumb”4 and “red base”6 too. (Q) They put all the plants in the mouth at one time—all in a bunch, not one after the other. (Q) Use it not only for women, but also to get things like money with. (Q) Women also know Frenzy Witchcraft, I think—but hardly any of them know it now. (Q) Not were-animals. It’s a long ways off—quite a ways apart. (Q) I think there are some yet. One man died two years ago. I heard that there are some more people. I think it is pretty wellknown yet. You can’t tell these stories in somebody’s hogan or when somebody’s children are there. Get tire plants over in the woods when you learn it. Smell it first—then start to learn it. (Q) The best thing if you are sick from Frenzy Witchcraft is to have the Mountain Smoke ceremony from Blessing Way. There is also a prayer against Frenzy Witchcraft in all the strong prays. 116. # Frenzy Witchcraft med¬ icine is worth lots of money. You have to offer turquoise to all those plants. Now they use those med¬ icines only to get the best of some¬ body in trading. You musn’t handle those plants too much. If you start to itch, you must wash off in “witch¬ craft plant”8 right away. 117. What these Navaho wom¬ ens is afraid of is these gamblers and these poison weeds, what we call


Frenzy Witchcraft plants and those. They got the pollen of these plants and they can use that in the home there. Another man who hates you, he might send him over here [said with considerable feeling]. That’s when they see you got the best of goods all the time, good children, good wife. That man from over there, that bad man might think, “We’ll break up that home up.” Also, we got medicine in our home here: mountain dirt and talking prayersticks and that’s what we afraid of—we don’t want to break it up. 118. # Frenzy Witchcraft is esecially dangerous. A person who nows it can get on top of a high hill and pray a good woman as far off as Gallup, and she will come over and sleep with him. You can kill people with that too. It twists your lungs. A person who knows this can hide your mind away from you. You’ll run around, throw your clothes off, throw your shoes away.7 (Q) The only medicine is mountain tobacco and the mountain song. (Q) Yes, it is part of Bless¬ ing Way. 119. It is better not to tell about that. Those are crooked people. You musn’t talk about that close to horse, sheep or people. (Q) Yes, it is connected with Game Way. (Q) Sometimes people laugh about Frenzy Witchcraft because the people who eat those plants, they act so funny. The trees and the bushes laugh too, they say. But mostly people don’t laugh or even smile about Frenzy Witchcraft. They are too scared. 120. When the people went crazy down underneath the earth First Man and First Woman got sorry. All the people were acting as if they knew nothing so First Man

PART III: INSTANCES AND STORIES OF WITCHCRAFT and First Woman had to do some¬ thing for the people. So they made pipes of white shell, blue shell, abalone shell and jet. There were seven plant people that still had their own minds. These were “ehamiso,” “jack rabbit’s food,” “tall juniper”8—I can’t re¬ member the others. The man who started Frenzy Witchcraft tried to get these too but he wasn’t able to. So First Man said, “We will make our smoke out of those plant people that didn’t get it.” He also took leaves that rat had gathered for his nest. He got those flowers and leaves for the smoke. He put in “sheep tobacco”9 too. And so he made up a smoke and prayed and sung as he lighted it. He said, “We have got to try to help these people. We have got to get them well if we yy can. The people gathered and smoked. When the last man finished it, everyone fell down fainting and half dead. Soon they began to move again and one after another got up. They began to talk like they used to. First Man gave them another smoke and they got all right. And so this is one way of smoking. It is tlie Mountain Smoke ceremony of Blessing Way. 121. A man tried to get my father to learn Frenzy Witchcraft. He said you must do it away off from home and livestock. My father said he went there just a little while and practiced half a day. That night he went back and told his mother and father. They sure told him to cut it out—not to go back with that man any more. They told him to learn good songs and good medicine. “That’s what the people want.” My father had promised that man to learn it. But he didn’t go back any more. He quit all at once. My father learned Blessing Way from his maternal grandfather.


When he had learned Blessing Way, his grandfather said to him, “You must learn Prostitution Way at the end so you won’t go dry—get poor and starve.” But his father and mother got mad again and wouldn’t let him. They said, “If you do that you’ll marry your sister. Which sister will you get?” My father got scared of that and cut it out. He went back to his grandfather. His grandfather scolded him and said he had promised to do it. He told my father once more to learn it. But my father said, “No, I thank you for the Blessing Way you have taught me, but I don’t want to learn this part of it.” My father split up with his grandfather after that. But still my father got struck by lightning. He had a man who used to go around with him, help him sing. They were struck by light¬ ning one day. The man never got up again. My father was pretty sick too. I think that was because he had practiced Frenzy Witchcraft for half a day that time. My father asked the man how much he had to put up to learn it. The man said, “Not lots of money or horses. Just put up your full sister or your full brother. Just give them to me.”10 The man who learns it has to kill his brother or his sister himself. So two people tried to teach my father. But he kept away from it. He got none of those things. 122. Game Way has a Frenzy Witchcraft part. With that you can beat people at playing cards or other games. Especially the hoop and pole game. People who know the game know this. They would bet high on those games. They would use Frenzy Witchcraft only when they were losing badly. At first they would just use only the game songs and game prayers. You could put

i8o turquoise in a rat’s nest and say a prayer. Rats used to play this game —they started it. Or you could give turquoise to blue hzard. Earth Win¬ ner was the first one who did those two things. Also you could put tur¬ quoise on a spider’s web and pray to the boss of the spiders. You could do all of these tilings when you were going home after you had lost quite a little at a game. But if that doesn’t work—if you lose two or three games and maybe lose your wife too, then you might try Frenzy Witchcraft. They are very careful about that. They think about that a lot. If you use it and make a mistake, even a little mistake, you won’t live long. To do Frenzy Witchcraft, you have to gather poison to sprinkle on people—for instance, when they take their food. Then they will start act¬ ing funny. They’ll laugh and they can’t stop. They’ll do anything you tell them to then. You get three plants: “laughing medicine,” Datura, “mind medicine.”11 Use any one of these plants or mix all together. Before you get the plant you must say a prayer and give it turquoise, shell and lignite before you pull it out by the root. Go to one plant, give it turquoise, but don’t take it. Go to another. Grind up the plants fine and keep the powder in a little sack. Or carry pieces of the root an inch or two long. To get girls, give them a very little bit of it in their food. Or touch it to their bodies any place. Just a tiny bit at first and they will be easy. They will be nice to you. Give them some more, and soon the girls will try to play with your penis. For winning the games, if you use all the turquoise and the Game Way songs and prayers and it does¬ n’t work, then use these Frenzy Witchcraft plants. Take a little piece of deer from a deer that has

NAVAHO WITCHCRAFT been shot a few days ago. Just a small piece of meat or fat. Put the meat with these plants on four sides of a firepit and put some in the mid¬ dle too. Sing the Frenzy Witchcraft song. If this doesn’t work, go into the sweathouse and sing the Frenzy Witchcraft song and take a very little of these plants yourself. You must put spruce needles on the floor of the sweathouse. You can also get deer this way in the sweathouse with these plants. Pray to Talking God to see just one deer, no matter how poor. Whenever you kill a deer, then you must put a little of the Frenzy Witchcraft medicine into the deer’s mouth and tell Talking God that after that all the deer are going to come to you. Soon, that very same day, the deer will come to you. You can catch them just with your hand. But you must only kill two or three. Then catch a little deer alive. Put some Frenzy Witchcraft plants in his mouth and sing some Game Way Blessing Way songs over him. Pray and sing. Six good songs. Then turn that young deer loose. (Q) To be protected according to the Game Way you must go to those bad plants and talk to them. The plants are alive. Give them a good talk. Get a man who knows this way to chew some of the plants and spit them in your mouth. That will protect you afterwards. And then you must have the smoke from Blessing Way. If you aren’t treated, your mouth and heart dry up and you die. You run around and try to fight with a tree or a sagebrush. You even laugh at that. 123. There are five main plants for Frenzy Witchcraft: Datura, “laughing medicine,” Turns Toward The Sun,13 Cone Towards Water plant1* and “mind medicine.” Four more plants could work under the

PAET in: INSTANCES AND STORIES OF WITCHCRAFT big ones: “irritating medicine,”11 “gray irritating medicine,”15 “my thumb” and “smashed down su¬ mac.” 10 The man who really know about this plant, he eats that plant and men who do not eat the plants and who wanted to know go to this man. When he sees this man ask him he wants to use this medicine. And asked the man for to taught him. If the man wanted to he’ll say, “Yes, Ill explain everything to you before we go ahead.” He says that he is going to gather all these plants. When I gather them I bring them home. Make a date so he’ll be back there again. So at that time they meet again there. The man that wanted to know he should have ground corn made up into a circle of bread with a hole in the middle and about the size of a doughnut. The man chews one plant at a time. After he gets them real chewed down that man that wants to learn will hold the bread up over his mouth and the man that is teaching will spit those plants through that hole in the bread. He will spit those plants into the other man’s mouth. The man that is learning he takes it and swallows it. He do that with all the plants until he gets finished. When he gets through, that man that is learning will go like drunk right away. Start running or laugh¬ ing or hollering. But in a little while he get another plant, “deer eye,” and give that to the man who is acting like drunk. And that’ll cure him. He’ll straighten up right away. Then the teacher asks the other man, “Why did you want to eat this?” The man that is learning says, “The people was telling me that it is a good thing to eat these plants. These plants when you eat protect yourself from the witch people and the big sickness, like big cough, flu. That’s the reason I want to eat.”


The teacher say it’s truth all right if you know enough to use it. But I am going to explain just how you are going to have to use it from now on. He says I don’t want you to use this in any other way but what I am going to explain. He says when we are going to trade with somebody, some other tribe, Pueblo Indians maybe. When you start to trading with them, you must have some pollen of any of these plants. And you must sprinkle a little on the thing that you want to trade. When the Pueblo gets hold of that, let him handle it. Pretty soon his mind will go funny way, feeling good. He can lose then. You can beat him. You can get the best of it all the time. Same way with the other tribe. Same way with our own tribe. But don’t use it upon one who knows it. That’s the way you wanted to know. Then after women people, young women and rich women, we can sure get them with that. You can just put a little of the pollen or the plant in your mouth and blow it on them. The whole plant should be used from the root up to the top. But take very little at a time, so little you can hardly see it. In that way we get young women. Without that you can’t do it. In this way, they sure like you. If you start and use one upon the women the first time, when it did work for you, after that they’ll keep coming to you without eating the plant either. And using a whole lot upon our tribe who is rich. Same way use it —by eating it. We can get a lot of his money or sheep or horses or cattle. If you really know this plant and how to use it in the right way, it is the very easiest way to get rich. You don’t have to work hard for it. We can also put it upon deer which is wild. And also antelope. And they can come right up to you.

182 You could almost catch them with your hand. We can also use it upon coyotes and bear. And about these plants you must eat it once a year—every time when the grain comes up. In that way the plant will know you all the time. If you don’t eat it, if you let it go for two or three years, the plants will forget about you. It will be danger again if you do that. If you let it go for many years and eat it again your heart will go twisted, you’ll get crazy. Make the rich people sick with these plants—then cure them and get lots of money. When they think they got enough, then go ahead and cure them. The man who eat plants he might have a friend over there by that rich man. After that rich man down there has been given some of this plant, he might find somebody else who does hand trem¬ bling. And by just thinking they might say, “We know who could cure that.” Get rich people sick. Keep promising cure it the next day. (Q) Sheep meat soup is a good cure for the sickness from these plants. (Q) I don’t know how you use it with coyote and bear. 124. In Frenzy Witchcraft they use blue gum17 and black gum and these plants: Datura, “laughing medicine,” turns toward the sun, Cone Towards Water plant, “mind medicine.” Use the pollen of all five and chew it with those two kinds of gum. At Fort Sumner a man used that against a woman. She took her clothes off, put her dress on top of her head, and went after the man. This man knew Prostitution Way chant. (Q) Other plants they can use are “my thumb,” “red base,” “milk plant,”18 “irritating medicine” and

NAVAHO WITCHCRAFT “crushed down sumac.” The last three are the worst. You can drop these medicines in a person’s shoe or in his shirt at the neck. A man can kiss a woman and put it in her mouth that way. Gamblers too can sure make a woman want a man, or a man want a woman. 125. In the moccasin game they play and play and lose all. Never knew about losing lots. Witch he heard, in fourth game, do something. They use some kind of loco weed or other things. Don’t play with man unless you know. If they put stuff on you, you go crazy. He don’t know how they use it—chew, spit on you, or how. (Q: do they use pollen of four plants?) I heard that. The way they say, more than four plant. I don’t know how they call it, just loco weed. . . . They use loco weed in all sorts of different games. When you play, if you don’t know about these things and he does, don’t touch hand with tongue.19 126. #There are five plants: Datura, “laughing medicine,” Cone Towards Water plant, Turns Toward The Sun and “crushed down su¬ mac.” “Irritating medicine” isn’t very strong and isn’t used for that. They go in pairs, male and female, and you don’t have to use both, just whichever one grows there. That goes along with Game Way, but I didn’t learn it when I learned Game Way. Those plants didn’t grow around here and besides I didn’t want to learn that. The man who taught me Game Way told me about it, how it went, and what you used it for. You might go around to a really rich woman and ask her to marry you, and try a second time, and a third and a fourth, and still she wouldn’t, and then you could work that against her, and then she knew how to take care of sheep and horses, but now she wouldn’t. Just



in one summer she would get kind of crazy and lose a lot. Then they might have hand trembling or star¬ gazing to see what was wrong with her, and then they would find out it was Frenzy Witchcraft and having Blessing Way and a cigarette and then she might be cured. If she was cured, then it would turn back against you and then you couldn’t ever be cured. A man would use some of that on stick dice and pray, and pray against one particular man, his real enemy, and then he would hand those sticks first just to that man, and then that man would begin to feel good and lose and bet, but it wouldn’t be to kill him. But if it went to somebody else, and he got ahold of it first, after you prayed for that one man, then that would be really bad. That Frenzy Witchcraft goes with Game Way, because you use it in hunting. You could take some of that and blow it towards the deer if the wind was that way, but if the wind was against you and you did it, the deer would blow back because they are smart and understand that. Then it would hurt you. Frenzy Witchcraft is like a stick standing up, and it would just as soon go one way as the other. So hunters carried some medicine for that, if they got it back from the deer. That was be¬ cause there was no guns or any¬ thing, and arrow can’t go far, and if you use Frenzy Witchcraft on the deer, you could go right up and touch them. My man that taught me said, “I didn’t use those, for deer or to get rich, but just to have them to keep myself from being hurt. I don’t want to teach them to you. There’s lots of people that have had those plants or some of them to keep from being hurt. You don’t just take one plant,” my man said, “but you take all five at once and we couldn’t


do that, they didn’t grow there, so he said not to do it.” 20 127. (Q) Frenzy Witchcraft is separate from Wizardry and Witch¬ ery. Frenzy Witchcraft is tied up with Game Way. A woman refuses a man in mar¬ riage. He tries it twice and then he gets mad and uses this Frenzy Witchcraft Way on her. After the woman eats the medicine, then he gets what he wants. But her mind is not very good. But the man has a smoke for that—he cures the woman himself or gets a friend to cure it for him. That will be a man that knows his way, a kind of friend with him. ( ) Yes, they use that in gam¬ bling too. (Q) I don’t know about horse racing. They say all right that some¬ times bad people will put medicine so that a race horse will die or get sick so it doesn’t run very good. But I think it is mostly Witches and Sorcerers that does that. They pick up dirt from a horse’s track just like they do from a man’s track. You take Frenzy Witchcraft plants out on trading trips with you. Touch a buckskin or some beads with a little of these plants and you’ll get it cheap. A man who was going to lead a salt-gathering expedition21 would take a little of this Frenzy Witch¬ craft medicine and sing some trip songs before he started. 128. Grown people are not sup¬ posed to touch these plants, and old men who22 have something in their minds23 sing and pray over the leaf, chew it, soak it in water, sing and pray for the person who is going to handle it and put it in that person’s mouth, and then he could always touch it and chew it. Me, nobody didn’t sing on me, and I never put it on my mouth and I can’t handle it. Another way, they use Datura every year around here. At Ramah



or on the Reservation, some of the trading posts have rodeos and dances for the Indian women. And some¬ times the ones that know how dance with the girls and put this stuff on them some way and the girls are crazy and busy at night and you have intercourse with them all you want to. It would happen at a circle dance. .... If you don’t know how to use Datura, you’d go crazy too from it. (Would it work for an old woman to get a young boy too?) No matter how old a woman and a pretty nice boy, she’d sure get him. Mostly this happens at a circle dance. Some old man tries to get hold of some girl. The ones who do are the ones who have something in their minds and use it in games and dances and try to get hold of a pretty girl. And some old woman too would try for a boy, and they sure would be busy.24 129. Datura, “mind medicine,” “laughing medicine” and Cone To¬ wards Water plant—these are the four you should know. “Crushed down sumac” and “irritating medi¬ cine” are separate from these four. At least according to the story you should have two of these four, and they are given to you by a secret medicine man. If you have two of those (“crushed down sumac” and “irritating medicine”), you don’t have to have the other four.25 These were very secret things the old peo¬ ple knew. It is very dangerous to have all six of them. They didn’t tell the persons who had these plants what would happen if you had all six, just told them it was very dan¬ gerous. In case a person knows, they would use some of these four on you, and your mind would be all kind of losing your mind, you would get weak in mind and suffer that way gradually. The last two will put


sores on you or inside you if used against you. With the first four you will lose your mind and get weaker. . . . If you want to beat somebody off if they get a mean on you (of course only the old people really know) they gather pumpkin and squash seeds and all the growths of plants around here and all that mix¬ ture of seeds and corn meal they use and make a flat round bread and after the bread is made, make a hole in the center and then the medicine man who knows how will have the plant and chew it in his mouth and also sing and pray and afterwards he spit it through the bread into your mouth, you don’t know he’s doing it (?). This is all a vaccina¬ tion against witch magic. Then you can handle it and eat it, but if you eat too much, still you would feel like half drunk, and the only thing to help that is just mutton soup. . . . . (Sex magic?) That’s right. According to the stories, that’s the way. “Laughing medicine” is smile medicine, laugh and laugh. “Mind medicine” is mind medicine, you will think about the person who worked it. Use the first four plants for that. Cone Towards Water plant and Datura make you lose your mind and work about the same. An old woman could use it against a young man too. If an old man or woman knows another person, a young boy or girl, and knows Navaho name, just call it, and though they were three or four miles away, they would come and meet you, just according to the story. .... Yes, it is possible to have a sing to cure, but very few know how to treat it, and if no one knows, the person will just die. The person who has been magicked will not live with one person but just go from person to person with her mind gone. There are three ways to cure it. There is Game Way—they use

PART III: INSTANCES AND STORIES OF WITCHCRAFT it by gathering all plants that are used by deer and make a cigarette out of it, out of corn-husks and some sage, and they say a prayer, when the person is smoking the cigarette. After that, if you treat it all right, the person will get his mind back. There is Prostitution Way. It is the same, only he never did hear all the plants, just heard you should use “mountain tobacco” and also “big tobacco” 20—that’s all he heard for that one. These are the only two cures that will help a person. Blessing Way doesn’t usually work so good, it helps some, but it con¬ tinues again anyhow. .... And according to the stories, these four plants are just like humans and understand things. It’ll have to be done that you give corn pollen to a plant you are going to pick and say a prayer too. When a man that knows gives it to you, you can pick and chew it. You don’t have to pick in the four directions, like yucca for a sing. You just give pollen and say a prayer. After you take it once that way, then you can pick it any way. I don’t know much about it any other way, but I know you just can’t handle it without its being given to you by someone who knows how. For instance, if I went down and picked that plant and chewed it, a few hours later it would bother me and in a few hours I would have internal hemorrhage and die. The flowers are the main use, not the pollen, though they do use it and the leaf too. The flower is the main part. According to the story, if a per¬ son knows all four, he just wouldn’t use all four because it’s very dan¬ gerous. I guess a person would use just one—that’s enough, because a song and prayer goes with it, and he would use the Navaho name and mention the name, and soon after the person would be insane. If all


four plants were used, the victim would not live very long. It is very dangerous to know all four. I never heard of a person who knew all four, but it is possible to know all four if you were able to. As for “smashed down sumac” and “irritating medi¬ cine,” they do not do much harm, just make sores. If you take these two, you can’t take other four. I don’t know, it may be possible if a man who knows how if he already knows the two, he might have learned these two and then might afterward learn one or two of the other four, I’m not sure. According to the story, you just don’t learn all six. It doesn’t say what would hap¬ pen. You take the same treatment to learn these two. .... According to the story, these four are really for winning game, but some use it for women, all right.27 130. [When playing the hoop and pole game.] Each man usually had this Datura, “mind medicine,” “laughing medicine,” Cone Towards Water plant in his mouth. They bet buckskin or buckskin shoes. They usually put it on the hoop and the thing they bet on, and so the fellow playing the game push each other like the bucks getting at the ewes, and push each other, and when they get tired and wet and spit water on each other, then they get tired and lazy or a little bit crazy so it is easy to lose the game. These fellows that eat Datura, it would not make them crazy, because they eat it, because they know medicine. Others get crazy easy. So that way it is just like drinking wine. That’s the way they have done to each other. That’s all. If a fellow didn’t use it and eat it, he would dry up quick and is thirsty and dies easy, playing hoop and pole. The way to get cured is to get tire fellow who knows how

i86 and he spits in your mouth and you get back to life. . . . “laughing medicine” has gray blossoms, and Turn Towards The Sun has blossom like a sun¬ flower. Cone Towards Water plant has blossoms like Datura, but the blossoms are dark blue. It grows by the San Juan (river). “Mind medi¬ cine” has white blossoms and light green leaves and it blossoms like “laughing medicine.” They use those plants in stick dice and if a man is trying to give love-crazy to a squaw, it is easy to do it and have the squaw: you spit it on her or touch it on at night, and she will run off with the man who spits it on or puts it on. They usually have some trouble, and some squaws eat it and go crazy. If you never touch or taste it, it is easy to go crazy or love-crazy. They use two or three or just one of these plants. These fel¬ lows they sure very wicked. Most of these fellows usually if they know how they are going to get rich, and if they do it to a rich woman to get her property. It is easy if you know the song: sing the song and call her by her Navaho name, and it is easy for her to go crazy; finally, they get a medicine man: a hand trembler to know who done it, and so they do it that way, and so they get medi¬ cine men to make this lady get well and pay something worth something to him. The same one who injured her would have to make her well. So he would get property. They usually have this medicine in trading posts: some of the fellows selling silver stuff have something valuable, and they would spit on tire trader, and on the bracelet or anything, and it would be easy for him to go crazy, and he would be liable to give away things for cheap. If I am buying from you I put it on you. That’s the way it is, and usually many Navaho while hunting deer have

NAVAHO WITCHCRAFT that medicine and they get a deer head and put it over their head and get a song and some stuff and sing and then while the deer is running you go round four times and the deer goes crazy and runs around till it falls down. You butcher it and get the hide and heart. Don’t eat it because you poisoned it dead. That’s the way they used to do in hunting, but now they don’t do it, just use a gun.28 131. That “irritating medicine,” if you are walking barefoot in those weeds, it’ll get all over your body, and it’ll sure kill you. With “laugh¬ ing medicine” you get the pollen or the leaf and use it some way to put on any kind of game. I have no idea how they use it—on a game, or what they might use it on. You put “mind medicine” in your mouth, chew it a little and put it on the game. [I ask: “I thought there were four medicines, not three?”] There is poison ivy—they do it to you some way, and make you swell up. They don’t use it for games, it’s too dan¬ gerous. There’s some way they use those plants and pollen. They use them some way and they win all the games, but I don’t know what they use.29 132. They use some kind of plants, they put them on these stick dice, and so I never touch that game. You go crazy. (What sort of plant?) The way I heard, it is Datura, soaked in water, put over them, and you go crazy. (How?) You get funny, and don’t know what you are doing. (Any other plants?) The only one I heard was Datura. (“Mind medicine?”) I just heard about it. It is like Datura. It might be the same. (“Laughing medi¬ cine?”) They put it on, I just heard. Might be it would make you crazy. (Poison ivy?) I don’t think so— it’s too dangerous. Even where the plants are, the ground is poisonous.

PART III: INSTANCES AND STORIES OF WITCHCRAFT The only thing to fix you up from poison ivy is sheep-blood.30 133. Yes, people do get into game with a witch. If they got in game and the witch loses, he makes medicine and makes you crazy and you die. They use plants, don’t know which ones. (Datura?) Yes. And “mind medicine” and “laughing medicine”—even if you don’t want to laugh, you do. I can’t remember the fourth. I haven’t seen about girl, but I heard about it. Datura makes you go crazy, like drunk from whiskey. Your mind goes off and you don’t know what you are doing. (Is poison ivy31 one of those, the fourth?) It’s another, but there is another main one. Poison ivy makes sore—some can’t stand even just passing by it. If you have that plant inside you, you die of it. Some could stand it. Datura, “mind medicine,” “laughing medicine” can be cured by nothing—just witches can take care of that—just so they get some¬ thing out of you. After they take your property they cure you.32 134. aA man who wished to win everything when he was gam¬ bling would draw such a figure. He would draw it on the way to the dance with pollen. Then he would pray over it. This would bring him good luck. This represents the sun and the sun’s eyes, mouth and horns.33

135. * Another way to frame a race was for a man to take some medicine and rub it on his hands. Then he would go over to the horse that was a sure winner and rub this


medicine on the horse. This would make him lose. The man would go over and pretend to feel the horse’s legs. He would say, “This horse will win all right.” All the time he would be rubbing on the medicine that would make the horse lose. 136. *Boys have love songs which they sing at home. Even though these songs are sung at home the power of the song will reach the girl and make her like the boy. . . . When you have finished your love song you take your flute and go over to the girl’s house. When you get there you blow the flute once. Then you say “let me see you” and you go out. Then you blow the flute again and the girl will follow you. You walk away blowing your flute every once in a while. The girl will be following you. You walk until you get behind a rock or in a forest and then you sit down and wait for the girl. When the girl arrives you have intercourse with her. The note on the flute will make her want to. You should not let the girl get hold of this flute because if she should blow on it it would make her kind of crazy. She would get dizzy. This is because you have sung over the whistle when you made it.34 137. [The informant collected a specimen of the plant called “my thumb”36 and was asked its uses.] Gamble people use this. Take leaves only from top end (one-half inch). Take and chew this with other medicines and rub on the body. Then when they gamble they have good luck. Poison plant. All poison plants used for gam¬ bling. Good people use only pol¬ len of poisonous plant. When you want someone to trade—for horse, beads, etc., just touch pollen, put on rope, on beads when other man touches this it makes his mind wrong and he gives it to you cheap. Also used in medicine to make

i88 them stronger. Where real bad hurt (for example, broken bone) they use the root of any of these medi¬ cines.33 138. [The informant was shown a specimen of Datura meteliodies DC. and asked its uses.] Never use. Medicine men use the root for a person with a very bad hurt. Rub on the hurt and give a little to drink (one-quarter teaspoon full). When the patient is better, the patient should smoke the tips of the leaves and tip of the flower. This is so tlie plant will know him and not make him sick. This is al¬ ways done after administering the root. Also, must chew a leaf—make a hole in another leaf, then medicine man passed the chewed portion through the hole into the mouth of the patient, then the patient chews tire rest and swallows it. After that comes the smoke. This is accom¬ panied by songs and prayers. If the singer does not know how to do tliis, he must bring someone in who does, before he lets the patient go. The smoke makes all the bad effects leave the body so the man will not be crazy. First administered to kill the pain. After that you do the cor¬ recting. When you have had this done, then you do the correcting. When you have had this done, then you can do it yourself or to someone else. Used only when badly needed, not otherwise. It is not associated with a Way but can only be used by one who knows how—usually the singer. Hunters use the pollen, put a

NAVAHO WITCHCRAFT little in their smoke. Smoke makes the deer tame and they come to you so you can get one right away.37 [The informant was shown a specimen of Datura meteliodies DC. and asked its uses. The interpreter translated the Navaho name as “lucky plant, male.”] Take a little before a trip. It will be lucky trip or if buying sheep or horses you will get them cheaper. In winter root is used—dry. Carried by men who knows (how to use it). First use—must pay medicine man —he chews a small piece, puts it in your mouth, then he can com¬ municate with medicine and tell you what to do. After that you can use it yourself and communicate with the plant medicine and it can be given to someone else. [Stigma eaten by the informant at this point, and he remarked, “Tastes like chile.”] Will squeeze heart. Very good medicine but dangerous. Medicine man must chew and place in an¬ other’s mouth. Leaves and fruit, also root used. Horses wflh sores on body; make decoction to cure. If hate a woman or man, use this and she will run away. Give it to her without her knowing it. Use seed. Seed used—make one lose memory and forgets all and has curi¬ ous effects—like making drunk. Seems like a crowd—no one there. Bad people use for bad purposes. Not dangerous for right people. Like drink whiskey and get drunk. Cure running away with same plant.38


Disease Witchcraft 140. Disease Witchcraft means gathering some clothes or hair which is dirty from a person’s body. They pick that up. Where witch people hates a family. If a witch has a friend, a young fellow, he could hire him to pick up things for them. Or get dirt from moccasins and carry them out to witch people. Take out where somebody has died and stick it into dead body. Some pray and sing there. In that way they get a man where he can start to get rich. Maybe so sick a singer never can cure it. (Q) Yes, I think maybe Witch¬ ery and Disease Witchcraft work to¬ gether. 141. In Game Way, Disease Witchcraft is the way they witch. It means “he getting for you to die.” It is like Sorcery—say what kind of sickness he wants you to have. Do it out hunting or at home. It is part of the Game Way legend. Use it hunting mostly. Can do it also so man out hunting can’t kill anything. Will have bad luck. 142. Hunters have a strong pray that they call Disease Witch¬ craft. Can set animals on you too. If a hunter hates you, he treats you nice and gets you out hunting. A deer will start to run away from you

—then turn around and blow at you. You can’t run any more. You sweat like in a sweathouse. (Q) The only way to protect yourself is to take along some “groin odor.” 1 Every hunter takes this med¬ icine along with him. Disease Witchcraft is used against stock. It is connected with Game Way. Could make a man sick if you wanted to, but main thing is to use on livestock. Work it against head of home and right behind him tire stock will be destroyed. Use the secret name of the man who owns sheep and get piece of meat belong¬ ing to him. 143. Disease Witchcraft is to destroy somebody’s luck while they are hunting. Get a piece of the heart of a deer or some other animal which has been killed and pray to it. 144. Disease Witchcraft is when someone picks up something from you and puts it in the ground. They do that to sheep3 mostly. (Q) Both Witchery Way and Game Way can do Disease Witch¬ craft to sheep. But the people that knows Game Way does it more often. The reason is that the deer and the sheep was made together. (Q) Disease Witchcraft is really a part of Game Way. Frenzy



Witchcraft isn’t. Game Way just has Frenzy Witchcraft added to it. Frenzy Witchcraft has a smoke to cure it—that smoke is part of Bless¬ ing Way. Game Way has a smoke too. And that smoke will cure some¬ body who gets sick of Disease Witchcraft. But it won’t cure any¬ body who gets sick from Frenzy Witchcraft. Just make it worse. Only its own smoke will cure Frenzy Witchcraft. (Q) No, Witchery is different too from Disease Witchcraft. The Witchery people they meet in one place and talk about it. They go to those meetings wearing some kind of skin. Disease Witchcraft people, they don’t do that. 145. The worst thing about hunting the Navaho Way is that somebody can do Disease Witch¬ craft to you so you won’t hunt good any more and you’ll lose all your horses and things. If somebody gets you that way, the only thing to do is to keep giving Deer Raiser tur¬ quoise. Then, finally, if you kill a deer, the bad luck will go back to the man who did Disease Witchcraft to you. That’s the only way to get rid of it. Just keep praying you’ll get the fellow who does Disease Witchcraft to you. Doesn’t make any difference what kind of deer you kill—small and weak, old, just any kind. Or, you can catch a young deer.

While you are holding him, tell him you are going farther with it— just to kill this man’s power over you, not so’s you can get some more deer. Tell the deer you want this man’s Disease Witchcraft to go back on himself—to kill himself or his family. Tell that young deer that when you go home you will have a Game Way Blessing Way for the deer—straighten things up for the deer, just like it was before. After you turn the deer loose, leave at once. Go straight home. Don’t kill anything, even a rabbit. Have Talk¬ ing God’s Game Way Blessing Way. That’s where all the hunting songs begin. Once the Deer Raiser took all the deer away. People nearly starved. Then Deer Raiser called the people together for a lesson— put all the songs together into Talk¬ ing God Game Way. This is the main body. This has Game Way Blessing Way. It is sung by a good hunter, not by a Blessing Way prac¬ titioner. There is a smoke during it. All the people smoke—for all tlie deer in the country. There is one other way to get rid of Disease Witchcraft. That is to go into the sweathouse with some¬ body who knows Datura and those other plants that go with Frenzy Witchcraft. Eat those plants in the sweathouse and sing some songs. But most people is afraid to do that.8

Eagle Pit Way 146. Eagle Pit Way is very strong. I think it is the strongest of all the kinds of ways of witching. I don’t think anybody knows how to do that any more. A man could set an eagle on you. Or a man if he hates you he can go to the eagle pit and leave some of your spit there and pray to it, if he knows your real

name. You’ll get a sore throat4 right away and begin to rot right away. Also that way they can puts some sore spot5 on a person. The person will get skinny and bony and slowly he’ll die. 147. The men who know Eagle Pit Way are sure bad. When a man knows Eagle Way0 and catches an

PART III: INSTANCES AND STORIES OF WITCHCRAFT eagle in a pit, maybe before this he hates a man who is mad at him all tire time so he wants to get rid of him. He’ll get just little bit of tiny hair off from that person or a little bit of dirt off from tire body. And the eagle that he is not going to kill he puts that little piece of hair or dirt in the eagle’s mouth. He have to know a man’s name— the name of the man he hate. Tell the eagle that the man shouldn’t live any more. Whenever he turns that eagle loose and let it fly away, then person has no more hope for him. 148. Eagle Pit Way is the worst


thing those old Navahos had, they say. (Q) Yes, it is much stronger than Witchery—much worse than that. The worst thing about it is the eagle feather prayer (Paca bicos bi sodizin).7 They say that is part of an old big prayer (some people say it was a chant) called “a woman’s piece of wood.” (Pas3a. bicin).8 That prayer or chant they say it came from the ancient ene¬ mies who lived at Mesa Verde. Some of those people up around Shiprock and Greasewood, they still know about it.9


149. #The gall of eagle ground with commeal is the best antidote for Witchery. If you didn’t have this, Witchery poison would make your tongue black and come right out. When your tongue is black and swollen out of your mouth, that is proof of Witchery. 150. #The cure for Witchery is the gall of various animals with “witchcraft plant” added. 151. °The bladder of a skunk is taken and given to a man who has been bewitched and Is about to die. “He is made to drink this. This is the only cure.” 151a. #You mix up the gall of eagle, bear, mountain lion and other animals and drink that to cure you of Witchery. 152. °The gall of bear is al¬ ways taken. This, plus the gall of wolf, lion and eagles are mixed to¬ gether and used for curing dizziness and fainting. These are caused by witchcraft. One of-’s brothers carries this antidote today. Also if a witch shoots you with a bean shooter this will kill the bean. It will also cure fever. For fever it is taken in¬ ternally and a pinch is rubbed on the body. 153. “Witchcraft plant” pro¬ tects you from being witched. We aren’t allowed to give that to any¬ body. My great grandfather made

it for the whole family. We have kept it a long, long time. When anybody hates you and wants to hurt you it prevents them.1 154. Sorcery medicine is made of ground dark-red com, ground wolf’s gall, mountain lion’s gall, big eagle gall, deer gall, bear gall, badger gall and skunk gall. This is kept until needed and then take a pinch on the finger and eat it. If administered to another person, eat some yourself first. There is also a plant called “witchcraft plant” which is soaked in water and rubbed on the body before retiring, and some is also drunk. This plant is very especially strong medicine for witch protec¬ tion. Chop the entire plant and soak in cold water. Drink one cup per day. Can use it alone or mixed with “gray medicine.” 3 Maybe you’ve had hand trem¬ bling several times and you do all they say—you have several sings but it’s no good. Finally, they de¬ cide you must be witched so you use “witchcraft plant.” They are also used in the sweathouse for the same purpose. When administered you gather and cut up many roots, add water and soak, drink one cup once a day.3 155. The Eagle Way man he is stronger than Witchery people. He

PART Hi: INSTANCES AND STORIES OF WITCHCRAFT have a strong medicine. He gathers all these eagles and cut the galls of every one. He uses that against the witch people—to protect himself. Witchery people are afraid of Eagle Way people. 156. On the way to Lukachukai - was disturbed because he had forgotten his witch medicine. Many witches there. Put powder on your nose in a crowd—-make you crazy. Good medicine—fresh blad¬ ders of deer, badger, porcupine, wolf, bear, wildcat and so forth. With ground corn—good medicine.4 157. #The best remedy for Disease Witchcraft is a medicine made of these plants: Gila Monster plant, bear plant, mountain lion plant, be?gocidi plant.6 There is a coyote prayer that will help you if you get witched. Coyote is the one that knows every¬ thing on the earth. Way back in the old days when people want to know this and that, coyote always there. I think that’s the reason they got his pray. 158. #The best thing for Wiz¬ ardry is the Bringing Out Prayer. The best thing for Witchery are the Thunder and Wind Prayers. The Prayer is good for Sorcery. The Shield Prayer will finish up, will round off all of these. 159. Fear of witchcraft cured in sweathouse. If, for example, a person were scared of were-animals, a new sweathouse would be built— on north or east side of hogan. No fixed number of baths. Same type of sweathouse. Medicine taken by bather. Called “lightning herbs.”0 Ingredients: charcoal from lightning struck tree, dodge weed,7 sage, “bit¬ ter food,”8 pinyon needles, juniper leaves, “rock sage,”9 “ghost plant. 10 Chopped and mixed with water. This treatment given by man who knows Enemy Monster Way songs. Man paid. Arrows stuck up in


ground around hogan—as for pre¬ vention of epidemics, etc.11 160. Twenty years ago a singer witched -’s wife. They dis¬ covered him by hand trembling. They brought him here and tied him down and a lot of people questioned him all night. He had torn off a dirty piece of the woman’s dress, buried it in a bad place and prayed to it. The man who did hand trem¬ bling first led the people to the top of a hill. He did hand trembling again there and followed an old track. He found a little pit in the ground. He dug there in the ground, took out old clothes, horse manure, sheep manure and other tilings. They came back, got the old singer, took him back to the place. The next morning the singer confessed, said he was sorry and would make the woman well again. The woman didn’t get well for a long time, but slowly improved. The singer went poor, bony, died within a year. 161. #If somebody gets sick from witchcraft, they keep trying things. If nothing else works, they get somebody to do one of the prayer ceremonials. This is the best thing there is for any kind of witchcraft. But not many people know them any more. They are afraid of them be¬ cause if the man makes a mistake it kills him. They usually try the Shield Prayer first. If this doesn’t work, then they try the Bringing Up Prayer. Sometimes they have all three of the prayer ceremonials. The Shield Prayer is especially good for Sorcery. 162. ‘’The Ghost Dance never did any harm, but the witch business did. After Fort Sumner the Navaho were very poor. The government gave them rations for ten years. Some of the families had a few sheep and they got a good start right away. Such families, headmen who were good talkers, young men and

194 healthy girls would all of a sudden get sick. The chanters were not able to help them. So they got suckers to suck these suffering persons. They would always suck out something, a deer hair, a piece of charcoal, a piece of bone, a wildcat’s whisker or a porcupine quill. As soon as this was sucked out the patient would feel better. They would say to the sucking doctor what is this and tire doctor would say this was shot into the body by some witch. Then they would lay this object aside and think no more of it and the doctor would go home. But the patient would not be al¬ together well and after awhile would have a relapse. Then the family would get another sucking doctor who would suck out somedring else. This kept on until the people began to say, “I wonder who is doing all this?” Of course the sucking doctors got big pay for this. They would ask the sucking doctor, “Do you know who shot this?” and he would say, “Yes." Usually he would say this belongs to the first doctor you had. The family would say, “Can you shoot it back?” The doctor would then shoot it back for a big price. Then star-gazers were hired to find out who did the shooting. Then hand tremblers who figure out the signs which their hands are giving them when trem¬ bling were also hired to find the guilty ones. When the family thought they had enough evidence they went and got the guilty party. He was forced to give a ceremony to cure the patient. Later it got so bad that they were killing those doctors. It was not until this time that the sucking doctors sucked out ob¬ jects. Before they just sucked out blood. These doctors got so nu¬ merous that they called themselves witches and offered to bewitch people in different ways. They got

NAVAHO WITCHCRAFT saliva, a hair of a person or any belonging that a person had touched and buried it in a grave and made people sick. Of course the people couldn’t stand this so they started killing these doctors off. The agent at this time was as ignorant as the people themselves; he said that if you find a witch kill him. Finally, the government stepped in and stopped it. They used to get a witch and they would not let him eat, drink, urinate or sleep until he pointed out someone who was re¬ sponsible for causing the sickness. It got so bad that no medicine man was safe. 163. Wizardry start up all at once. Got too much of it altogether. People says these witch people can shoot a dead man’s bone and a lot of things they could shoot with. So if any time witch man shoots a person like that, they would cut the place where it stings and take the tiling out of his body and cure the patient. Two can be friends to¬ gether—get the bone out of it. Shooter and sucker can split the money. Was getting too much of it and white people stop it. Those suckers use to hold a little piece of bone or something in the mouth when he tries to suck somebody, suck the pain out. He can have something in his mouth before he starts sucking. And he sucks hard at this place—he act like he sure work hard. After he quit and spit out quite a lot of blood, he can show that tiling to the patient— tell him that he has got that bone in his body that he sucked out. Somebody learned maybe from the first person who sucked out. There was a man living just across from Fort Wingate called Little Curly Hair. He was the man that knows how to take these bad things out of the body. He has three of these olivella shells and

PART III: INSTANCES AND STORIES OF WITCHCRAFT whenever a man is shot by a witch he can go there and give an olivella to the patient to hold in each hand and put the other one where he has been shot and he sing a song to it. These three beads can work some way to get those things out of the body. Every time he sing one song he ask the Patient, “Does the thing move?” Sometimes he feel the thing move, move right out sometimes. I seen this one time that this man has taken out bone from person’s body. Not cutting a place, just setting the olivella shell on where it hurt. Do it without the sucking. They report this man to the agent at Fort Defiance. People think they was going to stop him doing that because they stopped all the rest of them—the ones that sucking. But the agent told him to stay with that job because he doesn’t do like the others—cutting the patient where he is going to suck or have something in his mouth. He using those three beads, that’s all. Looks like pretty good job. Only agent asks a few questions of that man. How did he learn that and where did he learn it. He says he learned it from one Pueblo tribe. I don’t know which one. They call that yo-P dbjo-lf baha?i-m-l, “gathering out [‘extracting’] the olivella shells.” 164. If a dead person’s tooth or a rock crystal is shot in you, you have to have it sucked out. The sucker rubs you all over first. Some¬ times they suck out a little stone or a snake too. You go now to the Santa Claras and the Zunis to get the stuff sucked out. The government stopped all that a while back. That’s why we have to go to those Pueblo Indians now. They throw the thing they get out right into the fire. The Bringing Up Prayer is good for Wizardry too. (Q) The Bringing Up Prayer


and the Bringing Out Prayer are the best cures for Sorcery. 165. Suck out sometimes through live eagle feather or a reed. When they got the thing out, they blew on it. A person who knew this was called Mr. Sucker. Sprinkle water on patient with feathers after getting thing out. Would sing Hand Trembling Evil Way songs. The hand of a sucker shakes like a man who does hand trembling. He can stick his hand in the fire and not get burnt. He can chew coals in his mouth. 166. The father of -’s father was a sucker. Those suckers had medicines and songs. They also had rock medicine—long and smooth like flint. Looked like a bird’s bill. The rock was called ^assa" kesga“woman’s fingernail.” The suckers used “witchcraft plant” too. They spit the blood out and then put some of that “witchcraft plant” on the bloody place. That sucking business didn’t last very long. It just came in after Fort Sumner. There was sure lots of it for a while then. But the gov¬ ernment stopped all those suckers about twenty-eight years ago. Made them quit. (Q) The Navahos didn’t get Wizardry until long after the emer¬ gence. It came in way late. 167. #It hurts like fire where they shoot you. You have to get a man to suck it out. He holds a flint club [hal] against the place where the thing is in you. He kneads that place with that club and puts “witch¬ craft plant” and other medicines on that place to kill the bullet. 168. The father of -was a witch. He bewitched -’s oldest sister and nothing the singers could do would cure her. Finally, someone did hand trembling and discovered him. They tied him up


and left him in the hogan for two nights until he confessed. He did, and then they turned him loose. “If a witch says he is one—he will die right away. Even if he doesn’t die, he can’t be a witch any more.” If a person bewitches you, you can find out about it by having some¬ one do hand trembling or star-gaz¬ ing. “Have two working at once, sometimes three, but not more than four.” When you find out who the witch is, get a real good singer to sing Shield Prayer or Bringing Up Prayer or Bringing Out Prayer. If the singer is stronger than the witch, he sings the sickness back into the witch’s body and he dies. Some¬ times the singer sucks the sickness out of the bewitched man’s body and shows it to everyone. Then they throw it in the fire and burn it up. On the last night of Shield Prayer (sometimes you have Blessing Way after that) a sandpainting of the stars is made and the patient sleeps on it. “This helps him to know (through dream) whether they have the right witch.”12 169. #Mix eagle gall, bear gall and mountain lion gall up and drink it for a cure. After that have one of the prayer ceremonials. Shield Prayer can cure you even if the witch doesn’t confess. But a chant wouldn’t do you any good. If you don’t have a prayer ceremonial you’ll die. (Q) You could alternate Bring¬ ing Up Prayer and Shield Prayer. The patient and the sponsor are the ones that say what prayer ceremo¬ nials are to be used. But you wouldn’t say all the prayer ceremo¬ nials at one time. That is too strong. (Q) Coyote Prayer they also use to protect you against the witches. That helps the prayer cer¬ emonials, but it isn’t part of them.

NAVAHO WITCHCRAFT 170. #They tied witches down and made them confess. Kill the ones that never tell. That is going away now. (Q) If the witch dies or if they kill him before he tells, the patient can’t get well, they say. (Q) Prayer ceremonials are the best thing all right. But they can’t help much if it has gone down deep. They will cure the patient if they have just been doing the witch stuff a short time. Then it goes back to him—the evil of the witches. When they say Shield Prayer, the very first night they pray that the Sorcery prayer they made to us won’t get us—will be destroyed between here and there. (Q) All three prayer ceremo¬ nials are good for Frenzy Witchcraft too. Also good to make people stop doing Wizardry. 171. Long years ago there was a family living like this one. A man got sick. They tried everything but it didn’t work. Tried hand trem¬ bling, star-gazing—did no good. Then Big Fly came and said, “I know who could cure this thing. This sick¬ ness came from Witchery. Witch people have got you pretty strong. Nobody around here can cure you. Only Talking God and hasce^o • 7a • n can cure you.” The man went over to see them, but each said they didn’t know. That’s why a singer says at first, “I don’t know.” Finally, Talking God said, “If you have a buckskin I’ll do it for you. A buckskin goes with this big pray.” They had figured out by hand trembling that a witch had a piece of his shoes, belt, pants, shirt, hair, spit and put it away. Witch kept it there and prayed to it. When Talking God came he did the Bringing Out Prayer to the east. Then he turned around and came back and did it to the west. The

PART III: INSTANCES AND STORIES OF WITCHCRAFT last morning he gave the patient a bath. Then he did the pollen ad¬ ministration and making pollen trail.13 Then he made a sandpainting on buckskin. The patient sat on that. The sandpainting had com and squash on it. This patient was sick a long time. He was thin and he could hardly swallow. After Talking God had sung over him he got better slowly. But it took a month before he could take his first steps. Slowly he got well. 172. In somebody who has had Wizardry done to him you can feel something in that man’s body that doesn’t belong there. A man would cut that place with an arrowhead. Then he would suck and spit the blood out on a piece of pinyon bark. He would have to suck four or five times. I have seen people do that a lot of times soon after Fort Sumner. If white people hadn’t stopped that Wizardry and that sucking, people might all be killed by witchcraft now. The sucker would get char¬ coal, rock, also bone out—but only one thing out of one place. (Q) No, they didn’t use any eagle feather to get those things out. But sometimes they would take an eagle feather quill out of the body. (Q) You really can’t cure peo¬ ple who are sick from witchcraft. But it helps out if they can find the Wizard and make him tell. (Q) The best ceremony is one of the prayer ceremonials. 173. Used to bring witches into a meeting and ask them ques¬ tions—try to make them confess. Most wouldn’t. Only one or two would tell. That is how the people found out about what those witches do. That is how the people who aren’t witches got their story. 174. *“If a man gets sick and falls down as if he were dead you give him some herb medicine and


make him drink the contents of a sheep’s bladder. Then he will get right up.” (That is if he has been bewitched.) 175. When they catch a witch they tie him down in the hogan and try to make him tell who all he done that to and how he done it. Would let him go to toilet but give him no water or food. Tie him down for two days—then he would confess. Tie any place close to doorway and just question him. (Q) Find him in first place by hand trembling or star-gazing or see him standing off by himself, talking to himself or marking on stone or in sand. Sometimes a witch would go four days tied down like that with¬ out talking. If he didn’t confess, kill him then. Then try to get boss— main man this guy’s working for. Try to get main man and lead him over here with a rope. This main man has to say four times he will straighten things up. Then let him go. But after that hold one of the prayer ceremonials over him. That won’t do him much good. He’ll die pretty quick anyway. But the people he witched will get well. People won’t confess even if they know they’ll get killed because they know that if they do tell they are going to die anyway before long. 176. That day a bunch of men came over to my place and said I had to come with them to a meeting. They had guns so I went along. Over there they said I had made -’s wife’s baby come the wrong way so that it killed both of them. They said that while my father was singing over her just a little before the baby came (and I was helping him there) somebody saw me pick up some of her faeces. They kept on asking me ques¬ tions all day, trying to make me tell what I had said against her. But I


hadn’t said anything at all. I was just helping my father do the good things for the people. After lots of questions, B- walked off. He said, “There is nothing to this. I don’t want to hear any more.” His brother, P-, followed him. Two of those old men, the leaders of the people, kept on. Finally, my grandfather made a speech. He said, “Let’s take this up to the agent at Crownpoint and if the widower says up there before the agent that he wants to kill my grandson, the agent will make him pay my grandson a fine.” Then they decided to let me go and the meeting broke up.14 177. People says it’s a good thing we have that Talking Rock [echo]. They say that’s a person—it is something like Talking God. Talk¬ ing Rock Man it is called. A man who sings in Blessing Way believes Talking Rock. He says when said a prayer near my house. While saying this prayer a dog ran between Mr. Squinter (who conducted the cer¬ emony) and the rest of the group. One of the men remarked that the witching would be ineffective be¬ cause the chain would be broken between the participants and the ceremonialist. Next morning one of the police¬ men came and told me about it and asked what to do. I said to forget about it. But he was afraid of the effects on the people in the district. Well, that very day a horse threw the other policeman and injured him so that he was laid up for two or three months. Just before the three year old grandson of the judge had died. The judge said that while he had been away Mr. Squinter had gone to his home and asked the women about the different members of the family—who they were and so forth. Six weeks or two months later the policeman who had reported it

NAVAHO WITCHCRAFT to me had an accident. His horse fell on him and broke his leg. The policeman’s clan brother came up then and started a row. He said I had to do something about Mr. Squinter. He accused Mr. Squinter of having killed his own brother and two or three other people. He said he’d been invited to join in the witchcraft ceremony against me. Finally, as a result of my conferences with him and with the judge, a meeting was arranged with Mr. Fryer at his office in Window Rock. We took twelve Indians there: Mr. Squinter, one of Twins, the dele¬ gates, the judge and the policeman, the clan brother of the first police¬ man. My wife and I and some of the Navahos who were our good friends came in my car. The rest went by truck via Keams Canyon. On the way, the Navahos insisted we stop and have a purification ceremony. First, everybody had to pray with pollen. Then they threw some bits of turquoise into the air and said a prayer. Then they gave each of us an arrowpoint to hold and the old man said, “Everyone who can under¬ stand must repeat this prayer after me.” There was some discussion about my wife because she knows only a little Navaho. Finally, the old man said, “She has the thought; that is the main thing.” We each, as I said, had an arrowpoint in our left hand. In our right hands each of us had ground white shell. We had to cast that into the air three times at intervals in the prayer. (Q) I don’t remember all of the prayer, but I do remember that it started with Big Snake the people had a lotta flu he takes his com pollen and some shells—white, blue, black, blue pollen, sparkling rock and cat-tail plant. He goes to the cave with this and he goes to the back center of the cave and puts






that there and he call Talking Rock’s name there, that he is wanting this man to stop all the flu. That’s the reason that he is giving this pollen and shells away to him. He make long pray in there and he might sing two or four songs. While he is talking this echo helps him talking and while he is singing he helps him too. And singer says when he gets out of there that that pray and that song is pretty strong for the people because the echo did the talking and the singing too for the people. When he finished that part, they scraped just a little bit of rock under the cave—some place where water runs and makes it black. He takes that and gathers some plants as he goes back home and he chops that in little pieces and soak that with water—let all his family drink that. Put that little stuff what he gets from the rock—drop that in the water too. They says that’ll scare flu away. They do that for flu, big cough, measles or if they think somebody is witched—they use that for the witch wouldn’t hurt em. We work it that way. If I don’t know the pray at the song, I hire a man to do that for my family. (Q) The plants are spruce, ponderosa pine, “witchcraft plant” and “floating juniper.”15 And a lotta people they add some of these litde plants around here. They also say that if you do that for your children or your sheep or your horses, you won’t be hit by lightning or snake or getting hurt very badly. That’s why we do that. 178. It was at the time when feeling over the stock reduction program was at its height. Twothirds of my10 district are paupers; the other third are well-off. The well-off crowd was fighting me, be¬ cause I was enforcing the stock reduction program. One of Twins who rules that whole country was




the leader of the opposition. He and Mr. Squinter decided they’d get me by witchcraft if they couldn’t get me in any other way. They gathered up four other men and held this witch¬ craft ceremony. They tried to get a bigger crowd, but they couldn’t. After midnight they went into the school yard and sung. Then they Blue. We started facing east and then turned south. They prayed to Changing Woman to “turn the evil back to the man who sent it.” I also remember the phrases: “Keep the big blue snake in front of you; keep the big yellow snake in front of you; turn this evil away from us.” The prayer was called Shield Prayer. In Fryer’s office, Fryer first gave a talk and said that in the past a lot of people had been killed as witches. Then Mr. Squinter was questioned as to what ceremony he had used. Pie said it was the “A Woman’s Piece of Wood” prayer and that it came from the old Pueblo Indians, this side of the La Plata Mountains. Then somebody said he had “prayed me into tire gravestone.” Later he said it was just Sorcery—this just makes you sick—doesn’t necessarily kill you. It was agreed that if he would say a prayer over me to re¬ tract the evil, he would be released. But he said that if he said the re¬ verse prayer the evil would turn back on him. So at the insistence of the judge they held him two or three days at Window Rock. Howard Gorman and others questioned him pretty continuously. Finally, he promised. When we got back home he said the reverse prayer over me at the same spot. He wouldn’t allow any¬ body but me near and he said it so low that even I couldn’t hear him. After he finished, the Indians made him go back into my office, although two or three people out of the crowd tried to protect him. There they

200 questioned him again and later they took him to the policeman’s hogan. They tried in the nice way and they tried in the hard way. During the night I understand he went around and shook hands with everybody and said, “I have no malice against anyone.” This didn’t satisfy them. At 4 p.m. the next day he said the Bringing Up Prayer with two men close to him. That starts from the feet up. Then after that the Indians just insisted that a Blessing Way be held over me. So I let them do it. 179. Well, he start hand trem¬ bling. He start off with one hand and every time when he rubbed like that (palms together) he start the other hand. He changing from hand to hand all the time. As he hand tremble there he mark on the ground •with his fingers. People can’t under¬ stand what that mark mean, and he pointed off that way (west) many times. And pointed off this way ( southeast) and also like he’s throw¬ ing down something with his hand like that. He got through. When he got through, he sit back over there where his place is (south). He says, well, mens, this might be truth, may not too. The way I got it, he says, there’s no medicine man sing or pray could cure this girl, but he says who’s singing down over here (west) last, does anybody know? They didn’t answer for a little while. Then one of the men says, yes, there is somebody singing down there. Who? This man Ugly Singer. He’s the one that’s singing down there for a man. Says seems to me one or two of you could go down where this man is singing and bring him down here and tire way I got it want you to ask the question this man. I think this man did some¬ thing bad about this girl. . . . And another thing he says, I point off this

NAVAHO WITCHCRAFT way so many times southeast, some¬ thing like mile and half away from here. He says this man down there (witch) took something out over there and buried it over there, and that’s got to be taken out, right away. Specially if you got this man down here by tonight. Want you people to ask him what he has over there buried. And tell him to change it around and cure the girl. But after he says yes that he did it here, when he says he did all this, trying to kill that girl, if you find out that much, then the girl is going to be safe. If the man doesn’t want to tell about it, don’t want to make it good for the girl, the girl is going to die right away. If he make it up good, before you people here, he’s going to die himself. If he didn’t want to tell about it, he’s going to be safe too. There is only one man starting to go down after this man. These mens, they say they want to, they going to do just like he says with that man. Man didn’t want to go down there, the one they was send¬ ing down. This man that was going down there say it’s way after dark now, maybe he can’t come now, maybe he say I come tomorrow or the next day. The people told him when he got down there, tell him that the people want him down here tonight. That the girl is getting worser every day and night. Tell him that we want him to do a little medicine, he have to do it tonight. Says you might get him to come this way, give the girl a little med¬ icine, we want you to sing for her, a little not much. This man went down there and he brought the man back towards daylight. Didn’t want to come for a long while. He let him ride be¬ hind, ride double back. When the man was brought over they give him the room there in the middle of




the people. There was three of the best men, asking the question. They didn’t tell him anything else, just like hand trembling says about him, just like the way he says. These three men says they think this man is truth, this hand trembling, that he did it. The way he did this, the way he know this is, he got this hand trembling way back in the old days, people all knows way back there. Says we know that anything like that, what comes from back there, we say is truth. And we don’t want to have you mad to us and also we don’t want to mad to you, but we want to cure this girl. Just tell us the truth about it. Tell the truth whether you, if you did it say you did it. If you got something left to cure, to cure this girl with. And we think you know. The reason we think that you know how to cure it, it’s your job. They ask him the question like that, but he got mad about it, he says he didn’t, says, “Who says this? Who did the hand trembling?” Says to that man that he is telling lies to these people. They keep asking this man for a long while until daylight. People told him if he didn’t want to tell about this we don’t want to let you go out. We want to keep you in here until you tell your part. The rest of the people says we not going to drop this thing. You think that you are going to get by with it, but you are not. We won’t even let you go the toilet. After he heard that and giving more talk, this man says I’m guilty to this. First he ask the people if he did it what they are going to do with him. Told him they not going to hurt him, all they want is to hear the truth of it. And want him to use the good medicine that will cure this girl. And that’s all they want, they not going to hang him or send him jail or anything like that. But if he


did it they might send him back where he was raised. After that he says yes he did it. He was trying to kill that woman. He says he couldn’t remember what it was this bad man said about the girl. He couldn’t remember what he said about why he did this to the girl (informant can’t remember). After he said he did it they want to take him over here where he buried these things. Lots of people didn’t want to take this man over there, and a few of the people went out there and they leave the bad man there in the hogan with some people taking care of this man. But they take this man that did the hand trembling, they take him out there. He says when he went out there, he did the hand trembling two more times out there. This man while he doing the hand trembling he point off where they going, where tliis thing was in the ground. And they found this, they found a little tiny, little bundle there in the ground. Just a little piece. There were two places where these things were taken out. They ask him about these bundles and he says yes he did it. It was some of this girl’s hair, says he stole the hair from this girl, pull it out. And old shoes, the moccasins what she wear and break a piece out of moccasin, buckskin. And you know sometimes when you feet is sweatin’ you find mud and dirt in there? Some of that stuff. This man says he use all those things that he had. Says all this things that he buried over there, when he use his prayer, when he use his bad pray about this girl, says he has these things right here before him, so these tilings have to be in place of this girl. That’s just the way he told the people. But now, right now he is going to say a few pray for this girl. And he sing, couldn’t remember how many

202 songs, maybe four or five. Says you be well now, and he told the people that he’s going to sing over this girl for nine nights, says that will cor¬ rect everything up. Told the people, what they think about it? People told him they think they let that go. Says he not going to charge anything for singing. Then they let that go and they turn this man loose and let him go back where he is singing. These people made talk over that after he is gone. They all say if they let him sing here, he might make it worst yet. So they go by just like the hand trembling said. This hand trembling says if man is guilty it’s going to be hard for him, so they just let him go. Says the girl begin to get better every day. After then they watch that man pretty close where he goes, and about one month time, this man wasn’t feeling very good. From then on he gets poor, this is happen in lambing time, and from then on towards fall, about that time this man was pretty sick. When he got too sick around here, he went back home to Chin Lee. In Decem¬ ber one of his brothers come out here, that man he had some horses out here, these horses was took back by this man. The man that came from over there says that man didn’t live long after he got home over there, died. The girl got all right. The girl was feeling good and do their work, says everything is O.K. now. Still living now—was at the sing last night. That is -’s wife.17 180. [The scene is at a “Squaw Dance.”] There was another wagon with some people in it come there same place. Those people got out of the wagon, they build a fire there. Little while after that these people been talking there, says one of the womans fall down, couldn’t get up no more. They says that woman

NAVAHO WITCHCRAFT didn’t know a thing after she fall. They, three of them, help that woman up. They all take a hold of that woman, they didn’t know what to do for that woman. They didn’t know what made her do that. They think some of these people that are witch, sometimes those kinda people could make people do that. These people say that. They are wanting to know who has some medicine of that kinda sickness, could erne that, and they been asking people there; nobody had any. One man had long hair, tied up. Happy says come over to us where they all were, ask for some medicine, if they had any. (Q) It is called gall medicine. J- and his wife they had some, gave just a little bit to that man. Tell him how they use is to get a cup of water and drop some of this medicine and mix it up, let that woman drink it up. That man took that medicine over there and they did like they told him to use it. Use it that way. After about one hour from there, woman got well. About that time dance stars.18 181. [Game Way is being dis¬ cussed.] Some of these songs here, some of these big songs that stand for witch people, if us use that, witch people won’t hurt you. Big Medicine, Game Way plants19 what they let me learn at the end here, that is five different names for plant is there, taking the root about that size of each kind two [square inches] and chop it together in little pieces, we could keep that all the time. That is when you go to the big ceremonial, or big sings, take some of that and chew that, chew just a little bit of it, and same way when big flu comes, they says. Not just a little cough or a little flu or a little fever, but big flu, measles, sore, then it says use that. (Q: Why at big sings?) Long years ago the people had sings, they

PART III: INSTANCES AND STORIES OF WITCHCRAFT says there some witch people used to have some kind of stuff and they look for good man, rich people. They says they can rub on a piece of stick of that size [one-quarter inch], he could, they says he could just kind of when he get you with that, some says they could put it, drop it into your foot (shoe) or shirt like in here [at neck]. There is a lotta ways they could do it. They used to say he could just throw it on you like that. They used to do that, those, that crowd. But they is just talking there to me, I don't know.20 182. I want a dog around the house, because he would watch out for magic wolves. Magic wolves are about four feet high and four feet long hind legs higher, like a cow, tail just hanging down and head is stuffed out with something, and he looks out through the neck. Yes, it is a man dressed in a skin. He looks out through the neck, so if you shoot him in the head it doesn’t hurt him. They would crawl up on top of the hogan when the fire died down and throw some bad Witchery on the fire, and soon the room would fill with smoke and you would die.21 183. Put coyote pollen at the base of a horse’s tail and then if some witch-man will say something, in his mind, if you put those on the horse, he won’t be able to do any harm, because in a long time nobody has hurt coyote.22 184. ... a coyote followed him one morning when he was com¬ ing back from a sing near Two Wells. Followed about a mile right behind the horse, frisking like a dog. He first noticed it because the horse was looking back. When he got to the hogan the coyote stood in the sage just a little way off. Dave brought out a shot gun, he used to have, and shot him. Didn’t kill him, trailed


him about a mile and lost him. In Navaho way that pretty bad to have coyote follow us. Means something bad going to happen. Your sister or your brother going to die. Dave had sing for the coyote following. Singer told him he made mistake to shoot coyote. Coyote not meaning harm when he does that. He only comes to warn you, so you could look out for it and have the sing. The singer put turquoise in track of this coyote to make him happy. They always do that when coyote follows one.23 185. Peteria scoparia (A. Gray). One of the most valuable plants of Navaho. If collected for someone else—get pay. When man wants to get this plant must give a small blue turquoise to the plant and pray to it. Also give com pollen—that makes plants feel good. Top part medicine for big flu—chop up, soak, drink. Take any kind of tree struck by lightning, chop up and mix with this—two cups full. Also used against witches. Top burned with deer hair. In corral and drive stock around so they can smell smoke to cure a cough. Roots used—split with hand into four pieces—put on hogan. Four songs for this plant. Soak in water with two others. Throw over the door—east, south, west, north—then sprinkle inside. If you do this to hogan, big sickness hardly come around. Also used on sheep and horses with two others— soak and sprinkle on them—keep big sickness away and big increases. Also keeps lightning away from sheep, horses and home. All in family taste it.24 186. During a visit to Chin Lee, D (from Pinedale, New Mexico) showed signs of anxiety, especially for the first day or two. The first night we (D and L. C. W.) camped near the canyon rim, and before retiring D said that we would have to perform a little ceremony. At a

204 point between the canyon and camp, D selected a spot beneath a juniper tree and made there a pollen paint¬ ing of the sun, about three inches in diameter, with the face of blue pol¬ len and the features of yellow pollen. Then he deposited a jewel offering and sang one song. Following this, the painting was left in place and we went to bed. No mention was made of this being a protection against witchcraft, but D had remarked that there are lots of witches around Chin Lee and the general context together with his apprehension makes it seem in retrospect that such was the pur¬ pose. It is interesting that D had the necessary paraphernalia along with him. He dug these several sacks out of his pocket, so he must have prepared himself, without my knowledge before we started on the trip. 187. Under date of May 27, 1942, Miss Maud Oakes of Coolidge, New Mexico, wrote me as follows: As for the sand paintings, I asked you about; interesting things developed. Before giv¬ ing them he had said they had been handed down from father to son, and that it or they were used for protection, and that there were only two. When he started doing the first, due to the reverse of black and white, and because my instinct told me, I started telling a story about witchcraft in Africa, and a personal experience. He then admitted the paintings were used for protection against witchcraft and evil to him, his family, his flocks, etc., and that he had four sand paintings. Whether they are connected with a chant way or not I do not know, so will describe them to you. (1) Rainbow circle in mid¬ dle with a rainbow cross in center, the interior of circle black, outside four toads dec-

NAVAIIO WITCHCRAFT orated with flint design all col¬ ors but red—east, black; north, white—east and west have male lightning in both hands, and crossing body two large male lightning, others the same only female. From their mouths run a rainbow line to a small rainbow inside circle, four rain¬ bows in all. (Circle and cross symbolize hogan and fire.) The whole surrounded by rainbow circle. (2) The same except in¬ side and outside circles were white, plus yellow and red. The inside interior of circle blue, and in place of lightning in hands they have four stone knives. (3) The same, only colors of outside circle were white, yellow, blue and white. The toads were without armor only four rainbows on body and four outside body, no light¬ nings. (4) Both circles rainbows with the red on inside and on all other rainbows used. Four bears walking on rainbow strip that goes into circle to small rainbow, four paw prints on strip and on east side only in circle a pinon tree with cones on it. Bears have the usual grey stripe and at throat a cross and on body four rainbows. He also gave the story, and prayer and some interesting in¬ formation on witchcraft. The story is about the holy toad who eats ants that give him power. One day he was swallowed by a coyote, who he had kindly given of his best corn, so while inside he asks the coyote what all the things he sees are for and, finally, comes to the back brain and asked what it was for, and the coyote said, “That is what I live by, leave it alone, so the toad cut it in two, killed the coyote and came out his throat.” 28


188. (Q) Men are more witches than women. If a man knows his wife won’t tell about it, then he teachers her. This is her only chance. But it is sure hard to find out about those tilings. Once a friend of mine and I gave a man who was supposed to be a witch whiskey, hoping to get the story from him. But he wouldn’t tell it. (Q) I never heard of a woman Wizard. It is old men who do that. 189. #One of my grand¬ mothers told me she could teach me how to kill people. She did tell me most of it. But I have never done that. I am a singer. I don’t want anybody to die—try to keep them alive without killing. Keep them all alive. My grandmother knew Witch¬ ery and Sorcery. But my mother told me not to do that. 190. #[A singer is speaking.] Yes, they are somewhat afraid of me now, and they will be even more when my hair gets grey. 191. # People are afraid of the old people who carry medicine pouches—afraid they have witch medicine in them and will point them in the direction of their ene¬ mies at a sing. 192. #Some people say that singer is a witch. They say he just stole other people’s songs by hearing them through a crack outside the

hogan.1 Not very many men say that, but quite a few women do. 193- #Wizardry started after Fort Sumner. You have to find out about that by hand trembling or star-gazing. But this doesn’t always tell the truth. So they killed a lot of people. 194. #I’ve heard some people say that - is a witch but I don’t think he is a witch. He works hard. He has a plough and other things. A witch doesn’t do anything. Just loafs around all the time. 195. We started off today talk¬ ing about chants. Now we are talk¬ ing about witchcraft. It is just that way when Navahos learn chants. They work hard and learn every¬ thing. Then, finally, they start talk¬ ing about witchcraft. 196. #If you get mad at a singer and tell him you are going to punish him, he will say, “You can’t do anything to me. I have a power.” 197. It was in 1938 at the Squaw Dance. One side was sing¬ ing against the other. - was leading the one side—he was pretty drunk. At daylight they were sup¬ posed to stop, but - didn’t want to. His maternal uncle was kinda bossing things there and so he tried to make them stop singing. He pushed - out of the fine


206 finally. - pushed his maternal uncle back and they started talking back to each other. - says to his maternal uncle that he is not boss over that sing. And says, “Get outa here. Don’t come around me again.” Then they started to cussing each other in English. They start to fight for a little while and then they split them up. I wasn’t very close so I didn’t get all the talking. Someone was telling me that the singer said he’d kill his maternal nephew. Says he has a little pistol, a little gun. He says if he takes the gun it won’t take a minute to kill him. If he doesn’t use the gun, he says he’ll kill him some other way. And of course -’s family, his folks, they heard all that. See, -’s family they worry about that, all that time. But after two years they kinda forgot about it. Then last month got sick. Before he died maybe just like two more days he live, his maternal uncle sung for him and - died right after that. So that’s how they start thinking about that and talking about it. Talking about the maternal uncle that he might use bad medicine.2 And they start to talk about reporting that to the agent at Window Rock. But Moustache stopped that. He told them that if the agent up there didn’t find anything with the uncle he might think -’s sister had something to do with it. Then she’d be up against it. 198. He said man was made sick by people around having bad thoughts about him—made him have bad dreams ... he said after a sing one recovered from the bad thoughts of others. . . ,3 199. When this man got sick, this medicine man that he got, he says this medicine man gave some kind of medicine to this man, that puts him out the mind. The people

NAVAHO WITCHCRAFT says back in the old days the people used to do that which they know, which these older people used to know but they all died out now. They think in that way this man made him do that. The way they talk about these bad kind of medi¬ cine man, they do that to the rich people, they make them sick, and then they tell them they have the medicine there to make him better. When they think they got enough money, then they go ahead and cure this man with the right kind of med¬ icine. That’s the way they talk about it, he says.4 200. A saw B had some cig¬ arettes in his pocket; A ask for some. B reached in the other pocket and took out some tobacco bag half full, the cigarettes he just rolled himself. A says no he wants the other, al¬ ready rolled cigarettes. A roll up a cigarette and strike a match and start burning. He strike two matches and it went out before he light it and about the time they start to working again, this was at noon. He run over there to the camp and he gave this cigarette to C. A wanted to smoke himself, but he gave it to C, he’ll smoke up. C got headache out of that after he smoke it and his head went wrong, he says, don’t know much, his mind is not working right. Besides that he feel the food like to going out. Day after that he start begin to throwing out. So five days after that at pay day again this A says something wrong with him after he smoke that cigarette. You see he told him right away when he bringing that cigarette to him, he says he got that smoke from B. When that pay day comes, after that they left there. Why they leave there is because this man is got sick there. This C started to come by himself, but A made up his mind to go too. He always go with that boy

PART lit: INSTANCES AND STORIES OF WITCHCRAFT while they down there at the work. And this other man he says he home¬ sick so he just have to come. (Q: What about B?) A and C they talk about that and they think it that cigarette must have been made for him, some kind of a smoke that B knows. (Q: What was in it?) A says he don’t know that. He says he don’t know one thing about that, but I can tell you the rest of it, how much this other boy [C] had the trouble with it when he came back. Said he was told to be down there the day after tomorrow. They sent him to Gallup, his wife died that day, two days after he came home. He came back that same day and he went over to C’s place. See, this man C says when he got there, he says he got sick of it too much, he says. He says when he was down there that sickness go up on him heavier and heavier all the time. He gets more of it every day. One day after he get back home says his mind, he is out of mind, he says. These things are trees and things go round like this he says, like going around him. Coming to second night he is home, the trees or wood like this [in the hogan] he is think¬ ing these are all men people or women people. All just the same like people. Throwing up, throwing out all the time. Day that he sup¬ posed to come down there in the morning he says he was awful weak and he thought he was going to die. His mother old lady, know this and she come up there where this sick man was and seen him. He had the medicine and soak it in the water in the cup, some kinda medicine he says he don’t know. Says he didn’t ask the woman what the medicine was. Or what was the name of the medicine, I didn’t ask for it, he says. After this medicine was soak, the woman says to him to drink this up and he drunk that up and rub


some on his head and body and had a sweatbath after that. Says he sleep good last night. Right now he says he thinks he is well and after that he never did heard about it, that man never did talk about it any more. He guess that man got well.6 201. [The reference is to a man who had had children by his own daughter.] He made lots of money and said he didn’t care how people talked, they didn’t have the power, he had the power, he had the money. They didn’t have nothing to talk with. People were afraid of him. I asked was he a witch. - said there was some talk about that but they never were sure or had any cases that they could trace to him. Nobody dared take any action against him. . . . [The man’s death from a wasting disease is then related.]6 202. If a man and a woman that pretty close relation if they get together and sleep together and then some of these witch people, he could put some plant pollen, some of these poison pollen, put it in smoke and let you smoke that when he hates you. Or they could do it for the money, they says. They get you pretty easy that way. But some¬ times the man who did that, they say they doing that for money and that bad man might have another man, friend of his might know the hand trembling and he might go over there and do the hand trem¬ bling over that patient and he might say that this man knows the medi¬ cine that he cure tire patient and they’ll come back to the same man who did it and he could cure the patient. Just only him, not some¬ body else. They says medicine and singing won’t cure that man. But he has some kinda medicine, that’s the way they used to work it in the old days. . . .7 203. Some people like -



or this old man, here, they kind of went around and robbed the grave afraid of those people about that of a rich man who had died a few age. They say they might be witch days before. Witches always rob the and if you don’t feed them, he’ll graves of dead people. go off and he’ll work you some way. After that he went up the can¬ You or one of your children will get yon that is just south of the Tsegi’. it. So that was more why we feed My grandfather hid and watched the always in our way.8 trail that led up to the cave. He 204. In the summer of 1938 the saw a lot of wolves and coyotes with medicine man Ayoonalnezhi and I straight tails sneaking up that trail. returned from Santa Fe. When we They disappeared in a hole in the canyon wall. arrived at his camp near Bislakaih some half way between Fort Defi¬ After a while my grandfather ance and Chinle on the Defiance sneaked up the trail. He found the Mesa his wife handed him a small way around a big rock that cov¬ buckskin pouch. She told him that ered the opening of the cave. Hid¬ she had paid two baskets for the ing behind a rock he saw a band medicine that was in it—mountain of some twenty witches with their lion gall to protect her from the f wolf and coyote robes off. There witching that has been going on was a fire burning in there and he around there. saw that they had made sandpaintAyoonalnezhi severely repri¬ ings of the rich men in the country manded her saying: “This is a bad and one of the agent at Fort De¬ thing you have done. You have fiance. With small bows made of taken chances. Haven’t I always the shin bones of dead people that told you to never take any medicine shot turquoise beads into the sand¬ from anyone I don’t know. How do painting while they sang the you know that he is not the witch “ ’Aadak’anshgii, Shooting ‘ways.’ ” that has been chasing around here. Then they spit, urinated and dunged Take this bag back to that fellow on the sandpaintings as they sang from the Chuskas and tell him to some songs about Inzini, offal. give you back the baskets and tell Some time later my grand¬ him to take back this medicine and father’s brother who was a rich man go away from here. If he don’t I and a headman (hastuii) died from know twenty-four ‘ways’ that will a strange sickness. My brother (the make him sick and die.”9 witch) had been hanging around 205. There was a man near his camp after the girls—his own Chinle—my grandfather’s brother. female relatives. So my grandfather This man was a sly one and people made up his mind to kill him. suspected him. He acted queer and There was a big ’Aanaadjih. was always threatening people. Peo¬ My grandfather took his bow and ple started to get sick and die. So arrow. When he saw his brother my grandfather decided to find out he got behind a horse and called to what he did to witch. On one him, “Come over here, brother. I moonlight night he followed him. have a present for you.” When the First he went to the graves of witch got near my grandfather shot twins who had died and were buried an arrow right through his eye as in the rocks near the mouth of the he said, “That’s the present I have Tsegi’. He took out some of their for witches.”10 brain. Then he cut off their finger 206. Some winters ago C. S. whorls and toe whorls. After that he and some other Navaho were sitting




around a camp near Lukachukai. There had been a heavy snow and they stayed inside. Late at night they heard a sound like a wolf howl¬ ing. Everyone was afraid, but fi¬ nally C. S. got strong and went out to see what it was all about. He found a woman crawling down the trail on her hands and knees. Every once in a while she would lift her head and howl like a wolf. When she would do this she would put her hand on her belly and act like she was in pain. They took her in tire hogan. After she got warm she told them that a man at Lukachukai had witched her. She knew it for the following summer he had come to her and told her that she would have to pay him three ewes or he would go up in a cave in the redrocks and make the “Medicine going down”—back through Hadjinaa. He would make a wooden doll from a juniper tree struck by lightning— then he would shoot it with tur¬ quoise beads taken from the grave of a dead person. He would shoot right into the belly of the doll. She didn’t pay him so she was witched. There was an old pickup hang¬ ing around—so the next morning C. S. got it started. They were go¬ ing to take her to my father who was the old blind medicine man near Chinle. He knew some good medicine against witchcraft. The pickup froze and they had to have a team start it down the trail—and after working all morning they got it running on about three cylinders. They started out towards Chinle— over the road that goes by the rim of Canyon del Muerto. When they got near Tsin Sikaad the car started to howl. All the time from Lukachukai the woman was howling like a wolf. C. S. said, “This sonafabitchin chiddi is getting witched.”


They made camp right there. One of the boys walked on into Chinle and got a gear for the pickup. He got a relative to let him have a horse to bring it back. He got back in three days—we had a little grub, we made it pretty good—even if the woman was howling all the time and holding her belly (this got us all to feeling funny in our bellies). We got into Chinle and went by Hastin Tososih’s camp. But he ran us off—he said everyone in the pickup—even the pickup itself— was witched. So went on to my father’s. He started to “sing” over her right that night. The next morn¬ ing she vomited—he looked in her puke and there was a small piece of charcoal shaped like an arrow. He said, “Here is what that ‘Wolf Fel¬ low’ did to you. Do you remember anything about this charcoal arrow?” The woman said, “La! Last fall just before ‘the lightning went to sleep’ a stroke went across the sky and struck the hok’ai hoyan in which my sister was struck by lightning and killed. When it hit I felt some¬ thing in my belly like an arrow. Then I knew that that medicine man had witched me.” My father sang Hozhoni songs over her for four days, but she started howling around again, so he said, “Take her on over to Ozai (Oraibi) to Nasjaa, the Owl, the Aayakhinih medicine man. He is good on these things and has some strong medicine.” She was feeling bad by then, so I had my father sing over me before we left. When I got to feel¬ ing a little better we all started out to go by Steamboat Canyon. When we got to Oraibi, the Hopi medicine man gave the woman some medi¬ cine. She took some and got to feel¬ ing better. She paid him one belt, a silver belt and a string of turquoise beads. So we started home.


The pickup broke down all to¬ gether when we passed Salina. We tried to fix it, but it wouldn’t go —so we got some horses from one of my relatives, an old lady called Astzaa Lapai. Just after we started she came running after us on a horse, yelling, “Stop! Stop!” When we stopped she said, “Get off my horses before you get them all witched up.” So we got off and started to walk in carrying our stuff. We reached Chinle after sleep¬ ing out one night. Right there we left that witched woman. I heard later that she started howling again and went to the witch medicine man. He said she would have to have a Mountain Top ceremonial in the Female Way before she got well. So that winter she had one. I hear that she got better after this.11 207. Hastin Tsoni—now dead —had a Piute slave boy whom he raised, and when he grew up he was taken into the Txodichiini. He died just two years ago. They called him Chazh. He was mean—a witch fel¬ low. He started witching. Peter Paquette was Agent. When the news got around Paquette called Chazh in. The police brought him into the Fort. Chazh told Paquette he sure was a witch. He said, “You take off your clothes and I’ll witch you!” But Paquette didn’t take off his clothes. Then old S elow Sani who had brought Chazh in said, “If you stand back of Paquette will you be able to shoot through him?” Chazh answered, “It will go through all right.” There was another witch with Chazh—a fellow from Tsalee and who now lives on Black Mountain. He is called Aadishkonishlitsoui. The two were sitting there. They said to Selow Sani, “Take off

NAVAHO WITCHCRAFT your clothes—we will both witch you.” “We won’t take off our clothes!” answered Selow Sani, “we are going to put more on—and we will then stand right up to you. When we do tins you witch us and see if it will go through.” Chazh said nothing more. Selow Sani said, “How many kinds of witchcraft have you?” Chazh answered, “I have four kinds—both of us know them.” Selow Sani asked, “What kind of songs do you witch with?” Chazh answered, “Hataa bazhniazh, Father goes to it (home of the sun); Tachai ayoli yagi, sweathouse putting into the ground— that’s where I get the four songs.” Selow Sani asked again, “Have you any more?” Chazh answered, “A place on Mt. Taylor where a man turned to a deer—that’s where I get the four more—that what we witch with.” Selow Sani asked, “Maybe yours joking with me. Your’s not a very good witch. I witch with twenty-four different songs.” Chazh answered, “We have the same as you—that’s not for witching —that’s for ourselves.” They asked the other witch where he learned to witch. He said, “I learned it from an¬ other fellow. I killed my grand¬ father by witching to pay him for learning. His name is Tseginiyazzih. I sang Hozhoni, also Dzil Kedzhi, Hozhongi and Chishigi. He died and also my sisters died from my witching! After that the one who taught me to witch took the shin bone of one of my sisters and made a bow out of it.” That’s what he told Paquette. Also Paquette told them to bring in their bags, but they didn’t. So Paquette put them in the stone

PART III: INSTANCES AND STORIES OF WITCHCRAFT guardhouse across the Bonito Creek and questioned them every morning and every night. Paquette didn’t be¬ lieve he was witched, and told them if they brought in their bows he would believe them. Chazh told Paquette, “You’ll find out after maybe a long while.” Day after day Paquette ques¬ tioned them, and finally let them go home. After that Paquette got sick and went to a hospital some place. They took some stones out of him (sixteen of them). And then maybe Paquette believed that Chazh had witched him?12 208. Cabezon, N. M. April 30, 1913. Mr. S. F. Stcher Say Mr. Stcher I am going to tell you some thing going on around here. Some Navajos are blaming my grandfather on some trouble. One girl is sick I suppose you Felipe Toled. He has been there some time this summer, his sister is sick and his people say that my grand¬ father is the one that is killing her. that’s why I want to tell about it he was the one to tell us to write, and they said that they are going to kill my grandfather, no reason why they should kill my grandfather, and please see about it for us. that is when the girl dies they say that they will kill him. Antonio Toled carried some whiskey the very next day when he came back from Crownpoint. he carried nine bottles of whisky every body saw him and lots of them know him to Did you excuse him. That’s why my grandfather went over there to tell you about it. They are the ones that are always lighten¬ ing each others and are always drinking whiskey. This is all we


want to tell you. I suppose you know Heronimp Castillo, he is my brother he is around there some place. I am Margaret Castillo this boy is Emilio Castillo my uncle.1'’’ 209.14 On Feb. 14th, 1940, a delegation of Navajos, Tribal dele¬ gates and district supervisor came to Window Rock and appeared before the General Superintendent, E. R. Fryer. The Delegation were very much concern regarding an unusual incident that accured recently at Pinon, Ariz. (In the Black Mt. re¬ gion). Among the delegation a man by the name of Hosteen Gani Choii (Mr. Arm rasal) who was accused of practising witchcraft (The en¬ chanter with evil spirit type) The chant being the basterized and corrupted Beautiful Way Chant (Hozoji) intruduce by a man named Tsi ta a ghal (Head top rattler) in 1300 a.d. claiming to be ordain in beautiful Way Ceremony—yet prac¬ tised the beautiful Way ceremony to gain the evil-end His version of Beautiful way ceremony was contrued to mean “protection,” and can be used against any person regard¬ less of clan or kinship—The athentic beautiful Way ceremony is the sa¬ cred protection (blessing) not used to condemn. Hosteen Gani Choii (Mr. Arm rasal) is a man about sixty-five yrs. of age. He appeared to be partially unbalanced mentally. Apparently a small fry in the medience men’s world—and boasts of being ordain in Beautiful Way ceremony—but for a matter of fact he knows enough chants to pass as a sweat-house chanter or can be compared to a man who knows enough chants to earn a Navajo-corn sweet-cake. He is a toughy and is very bitter to any one who inclines to favor the Gov¬ ernment politics and hates any thing

212 coming from Window Rock and the Navajo leaders endeavoring to co¬ operate with the Government. At the final horse-branding work at Pinon Hosteen Gani Choii intigated to witch Mr. - (the district supervisor). School Boy (Navajo Policeman), Chiishi Bekis (Navajo policeman), Hosteen Tom Klaw (ex-Tribal delegate) Hosteen Gani Choii contacted Naki Soni Beyi (Old Mexican’s Son) Askeh, Bilinal Ghadi Beyi (Son of Bucking Horse) Hosteen Tse ni nol dol zahei (Verticak Corrigated Rock) fibe in all consented to perform a witch craft ceremony thinking that if Mr. - Policemen and other Navajo tribal leaders were witched—the Horse reduction program would be done away with. According Hosteen Gani Choii, Nakai Soni Beyi, Askeh, Bilinal ghadi Beyi, and Hosteen Tse ni noldol zahei left with him after dark from the Pinon Trading Post—en¬ tering die premises of the Pinon Day school on the west side. Hosteen Gani Choii then instructed the men to sit in line parallel to Mr. -’s house and the Navajo Policemen’s Hogan—Hosteen Gani Choii then left the men, walked direcdy to¬ wards Mr. -’s house about 150 yds away—Hosteen Gani Choii stopped fifty yrds within because Mr.-dog came out—Hosteen Gani Choii confessed that he used beesh ni tlizi sin (Hard steel chant) then followed with asdzani Beyin (Woman’s song) Then prayered two prayers of Lhe iyah t’egeh (praying person or per¬ sons into the ground) Starting at the vortex at the top of a person head downward mentioning hair— scalp, head bones—brain. Then the eyes, ears, nose tongue, teeth, jaw, neck, shoulders, arms, hands, fin¬ gers, nailes, the prayer of reversing at terminal points whorles at finger

NAVAHO WITCHCRAFT tips. Then chest, hips, thighs, knees feet, toe nails, prayer passing through the whorles into the ground through into the sulpicre of the firstdead—The whole ceremony was short then Hosteen Gani Choii came back to where the other Navajos were sitting, in passing the rest joined him. Askeh asked Hosteen Gani Choii what he said. Hosteen Gani Choii answered “I used Beesh ni tlizzi chant—followed with Asdzani beyin—Then two Tie iyah T eyeh prayers. Askeh then asked “whose name did you mention in your Ikei yah t’eyeh prayers?” Hos¬ teen Gani Choii answered “-” [the Christian and family names of the district supervisor]. Shortly after this chiski bikissi, the policeman, was thrown from his horse and was hurt. Scoolboy, an¬ other policemen’s horse fell and broke his leg and was taken to Ft. Defiance Haspitl. Several of the grandchildren of Tom Tla (ex dele¬ gate) died. Happened every time that Hasthin Gani Choii came to the hogans and asked how many children were there. Hastin Gani Choii was turned loose because he promised Mr. Fryer he wouldn’t do it any more and was allowed to return home. He called the Navajos together (his partners) and held a “sing.” He offered up medicine to counteract the witch¬ craft. Took a red hot charcoal at him and made him spit it out. Threw it to the north—dismissed it from the north. He sang the whole thing backward. His medicine (bag, etc.) should be burned. 210. While working in the Lukachukai vicinity in 1936 I no¬ ticed the rotting remains of a pilestick hogan beside the road near a ford over a creek between Luka¬ chukai and Greasewood. I asked my interpreters to enquire about tire

PART III: INSTANCES AND STORIES OF WITCHCRAFT hogan. Later Tom told me this story, which he said he had also heard several years before when he worked in the same vicinity. This man’s wife got very sick. They held a sing for her and she didn’t get any better. Then they knew something was wrong. A di¬ viner was called in. He told the men to ride over toward that mountain, over where the star was. They all rode over that way and pretty soon they came to a cliff. They got off their horses and then they saw some¬ thing on the rock. Somebody had scratched a human figure on the rock. It wasn’t very well made but they could see it was a woman. There was a litde hole where the heart should be but it was empty. They looked around and then they found a turquoise bead at the foot of the rock. They talked about it and decided somebody had shot the bead at that woman. Maybe it fell out of the hole when they rode up. Then they rode back to the hogan and when they got there that woman was well again. The people said she got well all at once and they knew that was when the bead fell out of her heart. They looked at that bead and it was one of that woman’s beads. It fitted right in her string of beads. Somebody had stolen it from her and she hadn’t known it. They talked about it and that woman remembered letting one man look at her beads just before she got sick. That man wasn’t there and they remembered he hadn’t ridden up to the mountain with them. So they said, “Don’t say anything,” and everybody went to their hogans. But everybody knew and that man knew too but he didn’t say anything. Just a few days later something hap¬ pened. It was almost dark and that man was standing in the door of that same hogan. His wife and kids were outside getting in the


sheep. All at once lightning struck that man and killed him. His wife and kids ran right away and didn’t even go back in the hogan to get their things. They never went back and that man is still there where they left him. Nobody was sur¬ prised. Witches always die when they are found out. My interpreters said that the woman who had been sick still lived there pretty close by and some of the others who had been there also. They promised to take me to see this woman but I left before the trip could be made.16 211. Slender man was also a witch. He used to go back and forth between here and Lupton, just as - used to do. That’s how he got rich too. One night going along to a sing he hollered in a coyote voice. His son now living in Two Wells Canyon has about fifteen hundred sheep. 212. #My grandfather told a story about how he was witched by a man who first treated him as a patient and sucked blood out. Later he incorporated some of this same blood into a Wizardry pellet. 213. #Last year, in 1939, the Navahos near Chin Lee killed a witch. That witch used to stand still on top of Canyon de Chelly and watch someone down in the canyon. Or, he would sit still a long time on his horse and do the same thing. Then, something would happen to the people he looked at like that. So, finally, they couldn’t stand it any longer and they killed him. 214. My father told of seeing a were-wolf on top of an oak tree. My father was going to shoot him, but he called out “Don’t shoot, my brother,” and then my father rec¬ ognized him as - [a clan brother]. 215. If somebody kept saying that B- [a well-known singer]

214 was a witch, then B- would get mad finally and try to kill that person. 216. #It was in 1918, just be¬ fore the big influenza epidemic, that a witch in the Tsalee country was chopped to pieces with axes and hatchets. 217. #We could not decide what ailed me. I had a pain be¬ neath my heart, and I feared that some wizard had shot a dreaded thing into my body. I tried Bless¬ ing Way, but I got no relief. Fi¬ nally, - cut and sucked it out for me. 218. I don’t know where Witch Way goes in. Only witches hunt this way, and it is against all the other hunting Ways. I don’t want to know it. They are against all the people. Witches ate bear and men too.16 219. Once J- wove too much and her shoulder was “be¬ witched.” Her mother had a sing for her and the man sucked a little piece of wool from her shoulder which had gone in her hand somehow and up her arm and lodged between her bones. “I was sure sick then.”17 220. J’s father was a witch. He bewitched B’s oldest sister and noth¬ ing the singers could do would cure her. Finally someone did hand trembling and discovered him. They tied him up and left him in the hogan for two nights until he con¬ fessed. He did, and then they turned him loose. “If a witch says he is one, he will die right away. Even if he doesn’t he can’t be a witch any more.” If a person bewitches you, you can find out about it by having someone do hand trembling or star¬ gazing. “Have two working at once, sometimes three, but not more than four.” When you find out who the

NAVAHO WITCHCRAFT witch is, get a real good singer to do Self-Protection prayer. ... If the prayer-maker is stronger than the witch, he prays the sickness back into the witch’s body and he dies. Sometimes the singer sucks the sick¬ ness out of the bewitched man’s body and shows it to everyone. Then they throw it in the fire and bum it up. On the last night of the ceremonial (“which goes its own way, but you sometimes have Bless¬ ing Way after it”) a sandpainting of the stars is made and the patient sleeps on it. “This helps him to know (their dream) whether they have the right witch.18 221. Magic wolves come down from the reservation and are to be feared. That’s why I keep a dog.19 222. Way back the old Indians used Game Way Sorcery. The Witch man used that. I don’t know what it is. If they start to race, a witch man will sit way away and say some sing and pray and bad spell and say what’s going to happen. The same as for hunting deer. The same you use on a horse. Just the ones who know do that, and don’t tell anybody. Long ago, tire one man used to do that, and all stopped racing on account of that man. That man sure knew how. ... At the base of a horse’s tail put coyote pol¬ len, and then if some witch man will say something, in his mind, if you put those on, he won’t be able to do harm, because in a long time no¬ body has hurt coyote.20 223. J- got killed by a witch after a visit to Bluewater to a yeibichai. He came back, and four days later the blood poured from his mouth and he died, and a hand trembling woman said Two Wells witches had killed him.21 224. If you want to handle that [Datura] and eat it, and not to get crazy, get a fellow who eats it, the first day he makes corn-bread about

PART in: INSTANCES AND STORIES OF WITCHCRAFT four inches across, hole in the mid¬ dle, cook it, and he puts it in his mouth, hold corn-bread right on his mouth, and you get right close and he spit it in mouth, and just after you swallow the spit, and that is one day. Next day come, and the next till four days, and then the medicine knows you are a friend and knows how and doesn’t make you crazy. In two years you come back and so keep on and do it every two years. Each plant comes separately. Don’t eat bread, put it where no one could get it. [Laughs] Might use baking powder but nothing else in the bread but com. . . . Just one man would give you all four; he would do ou four times. If you asked him, e would do it, but you would have to pay much. You don’t have to use it after having had it only once, or it is liable to kill you. You use any one you like to. If you want Datura, that’s the one you take, and not the rest, or they would kill you. On the reservation, might find someone who would tell you, but as we heard, they just use for the one you want. . . . Usually you learn one song, and you have to sing it just right to spit it into another. If a singer doesn’t want to, he won’t unless he has to. A prayer, but no story. No pollen or prayer when you pick it up. Earth Winner was the first to use this, and it was called Frenzy Witchcraft. If you knew how, you might do it, but not while some¬ body knew about it. It is a secret. A close relation would teach you. If you had no relation and wanted to get it, you would have to pay big money.22 225. Her oldest daughter mar¬ ried No Hat, the man T’s father killed, and it is this woman’s daugh¬ ter who periodically goes crazy. No Hat was also this way, but they didn’t know it when they let the marriage take place. B says it is his


witching still going on that makes his daughters like that. B also says that - was like that at one time. One of the No Hat daughters has been out of her mind since she had a baby last winter. The only tiring she says that they can under¬ stand is “Is it time to go to bed?” and “Is it time to get up?” She makes sounds of other sorts but “the words aren’t right.” She doesn’t go very wild if there aren’t too many people around so only her mother and one other woman stay with her. The other sister who goes crazy gets really wild. They have locked her up in this hogan sometimes. They never know when she will go off in one of these spells.23 226. While they were making the sheep. Coyote wanted to make a sheep too. They said no but finally they gave him some wood because they were afraid of him. He knew Sorcery. Then Coyote tried but he couldn’t roll it out right. He tried four times but failed. Then he put the mud in his mouth and swallowed it. “That’s what I’ll do to any sheep I find,” he said.24 227. B says a turkey can kill an eagle. Once his father was up hunting in the mountains. He came into a clearing and saw a lot of tur¬ keys running around in a circle and looking up sideways and hollering. He looked up but couldn’t see any¬ thing. Finally he saw something falling down. It fell right in tire circle of turkeys. He went over to see what it was and found a big eagle dead. He scared the turkeys away when he came up. Then he cut the eagle open to find out what was wrong, and right through the eagle’s heart he found a turkey’s beard. He thought maybe the tur¬ key shot the eagle.25 228. #Two years ago my mother was sick all the time for a long while. They couldn’t figure out


what the trouble was. Finally a man who does hand trembling told us that one man who used to sing a lot around here was causing it. Well, we had several sings for my mother but they didn’t do any good. Finally, we got an old man from way off in tire Black Mesa country and he did the Leading Up from Below prayer. While this was going on my father and several other people could hear just as plain a man outside catching for his breath as if he were drownding. When the old man had finished the long prayer, he asked all the people if anybody had heard a sound like that. My father and some others spoke up and said yes, they had. Then that old man told us that the witch would drownd soon. Before a month had gone by the singer who we thought was doing it drownd right here in the San Juan River while he was helping hunt for the body of a rela¬ tive of his who had just drownd there. That old man who prayed over my mother had told that that would happen too. After the singer was drownd, then my mother got well right away. 229. #After my mother and father died I went to work for a man who lived over at Many Farms. After I had worked for him a few months, one night he told me to go to sleep in the hogan next to his daughter. Then he made me marry that girl. Not till after I had mar¬ ried her did I find out that she was my clan sister. Nobody told me that. As soon as I found it out, I left her and came back to live over here at Lukachukai with my uncle. Pretty soon a young boy near here died, and they claimed I was a witch. Everybody, even my own relatives, was very mean to me. I was scared and got the priest to pro¬ tect me. That’s why I went back

NAVAHO WITCHCRAFT to school—to get away from all those people who said I was a witch. 230. I was at the Squaw Dance right there when it happened. Somebody, one man, came from there excited and said for us to gather close around, so we all gath¬ ered there and listened. First he said he was coming toward the Squaw Dance and he heard a gun, maybe two shots so he decided to see what was happening over there. I guess he went over there to find it out. Then he say he went in one of those hogans and found a lady in there was shot and found a man in there also. He said the man was dead already and the woman was still living and told the man’s name that shot them, Custer Badoni. That’s all that man told us. He just came after two policemen that were at the Squaw Dance. (Q) How do people explain this tragedy? Well, there was a boy that was sick, Custer Badoni’s boy, and his wife was at the Squaw Dance. Custer Badoni was at home with that lit¬ tle boy was sick for a long time, maybe TB. Anyway, that boy and his father were staying at home. That boy wanted to go but they said for him to stay home and his father, too, to take care of him. His mother went to the Squaw Dance and was there when that happened. I guess after they left that boy died and his father put him away in the hogan and went to another place, another hogan that was there and killed that man and woman. Somehow, he blamed it on them that they were the cause of it that that little boy die. This is how it is they found out there is a woman over there toward Huerfano, and I guess they go over there and ask her why that boy is sick. She told them that another family cause it. Maybe with some

PART m: INSTANCES AND STORIES OF WITCHCRAFT magic. I don’t know, but Custer Badoni believe it because others in his family die. And he blame the family because that woman tell him who does it. That woman in Navaho they call her “The woman that some¬ thing tells here.” Well, after he killed the man and woman he went off again. Then he went toward east. I’d say about two and a half miles past the day school. There was another hogan there that belong to that woman was killed. The woman that was killed’s father was there, and that man went in that place. They say he knocked on the door and asked that man if he was there. That old man say “yes,” and Custer Badoni say for him to come out and talk about something. So he did and they talked a while. The people inside could hear Custer Badoni say that this family was to blame because that boy and others in his family die. That old man, Grey Horse, he said, “What’s the matter with you? Are you drunk?” C.B. says, “No” and got a pistol out and shot Grey Horse. Grey Horse died in another day and a half. Custer Badoni ran off from there to his home and went off on a hill about four miles and then he came back to one tent that belongs to someone else and that’s where he shot himself, through the head. There was nobody there, and when these people came home there he was. (Q) Do your own folks and others think that Grey Horse’s family were to blame? People think that, yes. They think that that family cause those children to die. Every¬ one was worried because five people died that time. They were afraid it would be bad—maybe Chindi around after that. (Q) Do your family know anything about that witch woman? Yes, my mother went there one time when my little


sister that died. She was sick my mother say that woman tell her to sit down one place in a hogan, and then my mother asks and right away the answer come from back of her. There is nobody there but the an¬ swer come. My mother was scared. That’s what she told me. All those people sitting around they could hear that answer. The answer say my little sister was sick because my mother or my father went to a movie before she was born. My mother said she did not go to a movie, but maybe my father did, but he said he could not remember that he went to a movie. (Q) Well, do they be¬ lieve the answer then? Yes, they believe it because when my little sister was dying she went just like a movie, hands shaking and her eyes back and forth just like a movie. Just like when it flickers not in focus good. (Q) Does anyone think that Custer Badoni was just drunk?2® No. 231. There was a lot of talk and excitement at the time. People don’t like to have things like that happen. Everyone felt sorry for Custer Badoni. He has had a lot of bad luck which everyone knows about. Yes, everywhere you went around the Hogback and Shiprock, people were talking about that. Most of them believe that witch at Huerfano. Some have gone clear over there to ask her about things. (Q) What kind of things? Well, like (he laughed in an embarrassed way) oh, love and about if it’s good luck to do something or other! No, I cannot say who has gone over there. Maybe they don’t advertise it. I mean, like if a man goes, he doesn’t say so—maybe even goes at night. (Q) Why? Well, maybe he just doesn’t want people to know he’s been over there. Maybe they’d be afraid then. (Q) What kind of


power does the witch have? Well, what I hear is that that witch woman uses peyote. Lots of people get peyote from her. Maybe that is not true. People say that, anyway. Maybe she just uses that peyote and knows what advice to give people. (Q) Is there much peyote around? Well, quite a lot. Isn’t that so, Mary? Mary: May be not so much as used to be. I’m not sure. Seems like I haven’t heard so much about it as years ago, except for this case. (Q) Do you think Custer Badoni used peyote? Mary: May be. Brother, do you think so? Charky: May be. (His only answer.) Both seemed to be be¬ coming ill at ease, so I changed the subject to medical care for TB, in¬ stead of witchcraft. Both expressed approval of the white man’s methods

NAVAHO WITCHCRAFT and C added, “Well, you see, it’s going to take these Navahos a long time to learn. Most of them got dieir old belief right along with what their education tells them, even the educated ones.” 232. Mr. Left-Handed, Crownpoint, New Mexico: “I heard that all the Navaho who had died at Fort Sumner and all those who had been killed by enemies were com¬ ing back to life. The Navaho were all to go back where they had been living before and all the whites would have to go back to their own country. This came from a round Tohatchi. There was no dance con¬ nected with the coming of the ghosts. As a rule it was not be¬ lieved by the majority. Most of the eople thought that this was started y the witches.”27




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Arabic numerals in footnotes will always refer to the numbered inter¬ view excerpts in the appendices.

Introduction 1 Morgan, 1936. 2 Goddard, 1933. 8 Hill, 1938b. 4 Kluckhohn and Spencer, 1940, pp. 52-53, have provided a fairly com¬ plete concordance to these scattered references. Hence, they will not be listed here except when the text requires citation. A few additional references are, however, cited in this book. B Such terms as “idea patterns,” “ideal patterns,” “behavioral patterns,” “pattern assemblage” and “configuration” are used in this book as defined in Kluckhohn, 1941b. For certain modifications and developments of these concepts, see Kluckhohn, 1943. 0 While there are occasional references in the field data to witchcraft directed against Spanish-Americans, Anglos and members of other Indian tribes, these are very few in number. Father Berard informs me that there is an esoteric name of address for Mexicans in witchcraft but none for Anglos. In aboriginal times the war rites provided a set of supernatural techniques for aggression against out¬ groups. See W. W. Hill, 1936. 7 That the Navaho tend to think of both ceremonial practitioners and “witches” as, in a larger sense, placed in the same category—namely, those persons who are able to influence the course of events by supernatural techniques—is evidenced by the circumstance that the same linguistic term is sometimes applied to the two groups. Cf. Kluckhohn and Wyman, 1940, p. 15. Cf. also the statement from Van Valkenburgh’s field notes: “Witch¬ craft or ‘poisoning’ is the turning of good medicine into bad medicine.” (Van Valkenburgh, 1937, p. 52.) 8 See Haile, 1942, pp. 411-417. 9Cf. Kluckhohn, 1942, pp. 58, 61, 63, 66, ff. 226




Section 1: General Discussion of Data 1 This statement must be qualified lest misunderstanding result. It must not be supposed that every reference to witchcraft is made in an atmosphere of solemnity. On the contrary, a casual mention of most (but not all) types of witchcraft in most contexts is almost invariably greeted with ribald laughter. A white man, at least, can make jokes (especially about wereanimals) and what is apparently real merriment follows. Navahos will themselves often jocularly accuse a white man of witching them. But any attempt at extended discussion, and particularly any attempt to question any single Navaho intensively results, almost without exception, in manifesta¬ tions of uneasiness: replies are evasive; there are long pauses between utterances; excuses are made to leave the locale; chips of firewood or twigs or pieces of paper are torn apart. 2 Cf. Part I, Section 10. 8 For further information on how the data were recorded, see the Introductory Note to the Appendices. 1 The Navaho idea pattern is that older persons, especially those with grey or white hair, can discuss dangerous subjects with relative impunity. 5 All place names in the Navaho country throughout this book will be spelled in accord with Van Valkenburgh, 1941. 0 Cf. Kluckhohn, 1941b, pp. 109, 124, for further details on the collect¬ ing of witchcraft data.

Section 2: Distinct Categories of Witchcraft 1 For an explanation of the phonetic spellings of Navaho words used in this book see “Key to the Phonetic Spelling of Navaho Words in this volume. For a complete and more technical explanation of the phonetic usage consult Navaho Phonology, by Harry Hoijer, University of New Mexico Publications in Anthropology, No. 1, The University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, 1945. (Ed.) 2 Cf. fn. 6, Part I, Section 7. 8 Cf. Part I, Section 3, para. 4. 4 Cf. Part I, Section 7. 6 Cf. 19, 52, 53e Cf. 6, 8.


228 7 Cf. 74, 106, 118. 8 Cf. fn. 3 supra.

Section 3: Witchery Way and Were-Animals 1 Father Berard Haile writes me: “?&nt’i' is both active: he is a witch, and passive: witchery or ‘witchery is being done.’ Etymologically, it would appear that we have ?a-something, -n- terminatively, with the connotation of ‘fatally,’ and -ti', action. Instrumental be- ‘with it’ may be employed in colloquial be-nt’i' (or be-?ent’i') ‘his witchery or the means employed in witchcraft.’ ” The term ?4nt’i' is used to refer both to this practice of witchcraft and also to the “poison” or “medicine” which these Witches administer. 2 It will be convenient to reserve this term “corpse poison” as a technical designation for this preparation. 31 did not hear stories of one spouse witching the other as in Morgan, 1936. My feeling is that in this and other respects Morgan’s material is slightly specialized and aberrant—that is, it departs from the central tendencies which do prevail in most of the data, in spite of individual and local variations. 4 Literally, “one who trots along here and there on all fours with it.” “With it” (ye-) may possibly refer to the Witch’s power, or, more plausibly perhaps, to tire Witch’s hide and “outfit” in general. 5 Cf. the tracking of ghosts the morning after a ghost incident. See Wyman, Hill and Osanai, 1942, pp. 22-23. 4 Who Follow One Another (?alke • na'■’asi) masks are employed in witchcraft. Cf. Haile, 1938, p. 30. This doubtless explains the fear of these masks reported by Wheelwright, 1942, p. 169. On heads in the cave, cf. the Night Way chant as recorded by Matthews where it is said that when Monster Slayer distributes corpse poison there are “a heap of twelve human skulls ornamented with turquoise earrings” as paraphernalia. Matthews, 1902, p. 202. 7 Cf. 205. 8 For example, Van Valkenburgh (1937, p- 52) speaks of “the brains of dead twin infants” as well as skin whorls. Two of my informants did refer to human brains but not specifically to those of infants. Note that the yeibichai ’ who punish children also cut off their heads and eat the brains. Cf. Dyk, 1938, pp. 34-36. 9 Confirmed by Dyk, 1938, p. 273. 10 Cf. Part I, Section 6. 11 Cf. Wyman and Harris, 1941, pp. 19, 70. Throughout this study, plants which have been listed by Wyman and Harris will be given the English equivalents which Wyman and Harris use and will be referred to by their serial numbers. (Cf. footnote 10, Appendix I.) Thus, “runs into the mouth” is Wyman and Harris, 39. However, most ethnobotanical in¬ formation will be segregated in the appendices. 12 Cf. 9. 13 Cf. 97. 14 Newcomb, 1940a, pp. 47, 52, 57.



For a detailed study of ghosts and fuller data on the syncretistic tendency see Wyman, Hill and Osanai, 1942. Cf. footnote 23, Appendix 10 Cf. 21. 17 Wyman, Hill and Osanai, 1942, p. 29. That there was a linguistic confusion in this case is ruled out by the circumstance that the interview was carried on both in Navaho and in English with Navaho technical terms used throughout. 13 Reichard (1939, p. 19) speaks of ghosts shooting “witch objects.” This was emphatically denied by all of my check group. Objects taken from a ghost hogan are, of course, often mentioned. Here again the matter is not perfectly clear-cut. I know of prayer ceremonials being given as a cure for ghost sickness and vice versa. But the trend of the behaviors is consistent, and the statements on the theory of the matter overwhelmingly make the differentiation. Nevertheless, a fairly consistent tendency to associate Evil Way chants and witchcraft is unquestionably manifested. Cf. Matthews, 1902, p. 5. “In legends that refer to the underworld, or place of danger (and, it is said, in the rites of witchcraft), the east is black and the north white; the south and west remain unchanged.”

Section 4: Sorcery I Cf. Pansin or ^anji “evil-wishing”; ?i- nzi’de- “evil-wishing by witch¬ craft.” It would be following the Navaho more closely to call this “EvilWishing Witchery,” but this is a cumbersome term. Mr. Robert Young contributes the following linguistic examples: dine la? shino-jingo kasda• dasecq “two nearly died because someone (a man) did Sorcery to me”; si?i-nizi-n “my evil mind,” “my malevolent desires or thoughts”; the Christian “devil” is commonly called in Navaho bi^i-iuzi-m-. a Cf. Section 5. 8 Bourke (1884, p. 75) speaks of a “charm of human hair and saliva, human flesh, cow-manure and powdered glass.” Powdered glass seems quite congruent with Navaho configurations relating to witchcraft, but I find cowmanure less plausible. It was not mentioned in any interview, and my check group uniformly laughed at the idea. However, Bourke also refers to it in another place (Bourke, 1888, p. 50). ‘ Cf. 209. 5 Cf. 207. 6 One informant associated this practice with Witchery (cf. 52). 7 Cf. Sapir and Hoijer, 1942, p. 83. 8Cf. 210. 0 Cf. 206. 10 The flood episode described by Gillmor and Wetherill (1934, p. 86) is comparable. II Cf. Dyk, 1938, pp. 261-262. Yellowjackets and ants are the only in¬ sects ordinarily referred to. However, none of my informants mentioned the witching being done through the stings of the insects, a practice stated in



legend to have occurred in the second world (Goddard, 1933, PP- 127-128). However, I did not specifically question my informants on this point. 12 Cf. 61, 71. 13 There was one disagreement with Newcomb (1940a) who associates cats importantly with this kind of witchcraft. Four check informants said, in effect, “Oh, yes, any kind of animal can do Sorcery.” The remainder refused to connect cats with Sorcery in any way. Several insisted that since cats had come with white people they could have nothing to do with any kind of Navaho witchcraft. However, one of Goddard s texts indirectly links cats with witchcraft (Goddard, 1933, p. 139)-




1 Actually, ‘Aadilgas [“he is a Wizard”] is the term I have heard more frequently. Father Berard writes me: “the stem -gqs reminds of ‘emaciation’ which is caused by these injections.” 2 Cf. 84, 90, 93, 96, 983 Cf. 227. 4 Coolidge, D. and M. R., 1930, p. 143. °Cf. also 205.

Section 6: Prostitution Way 1 This seems justifiable because Father Berard writes me that the stemjjil, while today usually used to designate prostitution, primarily refers to any form of recklessness. It was clear that all informants felt that “losing their mind,” i.e., getting into a state of abandon or frenzy, on the part of bewitched women, gamblers and trading partners was the dominant feature of this type of witchcraft. 3 Wyman and Kluckhohn (1938, p. 25) state that there is a slight dif¬ ference between the words referring to the chant and to witchcraft. This is an error. 3 See Appendix IV. 4 Wyman and Kluckhohn, 1938, p. 5. 5 Cf. Kluckhohn and Wyman, 1940, p. 8, footnote 2. n These are Female Pointed Sand Hill, (sai hi-cozl ba^a-d) between Wheatfields and Whiskey Creek, Male Pointed Sand Hill on the east bank of Whiskey Creek and White Cone (literally, “penis head” in Navaho) near Indian Wells. Cf. Van Valkenburgh, 1941, pp. 170, 171. 7 One informant spoke of Moth Way as “the Rabid Coyote branch of Coyote Way.” Father Berard writes me: “Moth Way and Prostitution Way link together because they originated at the same place and may use medi¬ cines found in that surrounding. The reason I think your informants linked Moth Way with Coyote Way is that the genital parts of brother-sister coyotes, yellow coyotes (foxes), blue foxes, badgers and bears are added to the Moth Way medicine. You have three distinct chantways here.” 8 Old Soldier of Stony Butte said: “They used to put Moth Way and Prostitution Way together. In Moth Way they made sandpaintings on the



west side of the fire, with the coyote picture facing towards the north. Facing south was the woman who slept with her brother. South of the fire is another coyote and the man who slept with his sister. The patient wore a fox skin or a coyote skin or a desert fox skin. They used one of these skins for a G-string. (Q) Yes, it was just the same if the patient was a woman. You see coyote can do it to his full sister or to his mother. That’s why the patient has to wear coyote skin. A singer of Prostitution Way didn’t have any real equipment. He just had a coyote skin and some medicine.” 0 Cf. Wyman and Kluckhohn, 1938, p. 18. 10 The following remarks by informants in this connection are worth quoting: Prostitution Way is bad and it isn’t bad. If you didn’t have Blessing Way with it it would be bad. Blessing Way is all good. Yes, you have to learn Blessing Way on top of Prostitution Way. It is dangerous to know Prostitution Way without Blessing Way. Blessing Way is good. Prostitution Way is bad. If a man has Prostitution Way alone he can’t protect himself or the people. A man who knows Prostitution Way first will learn Blessing Way to save himself. But a man who knew Blessing Way first would never bother to learn Prostitution Way. Prostitution Way comes from before the emergence. The Navahos used it ever since, but now most of the people who know it have died off. A person will get out of his mind and go crazy. Have to have some way to cure those people. The Blessing Way part of Prostitution Way has a smoke to cure the patient with. Game Way also has a smoke for this. In both kinds everybody takes a smoke out of a hunting pipe—you get those from the Utes or find them in a ruin. If they haven’t got a pipe, they can use a corn husk and several plants together with mountain tobacco. The man who knows Prostitution Way will go to Cone Towards Water Man (probably White Cone near Indian Wells. Cf. fn. 6 supra. However, one informant insisted Towards White Streak was south of Holbrook. “It is like a red ant house, high and round.” Another informant simply located it as “somewhere in the White Mountain Apache country”) and gather Datura and bring it to tire sing. There he chews it up and gives it to the patient. If the patient gets better, then they put Blessing Way on top of that. 11 Hill, 1938a. 12 See Appendix V. 13 In Appendix V will be found all excerpts from my interviews on this subject which add anything to Hill’s published material. I am not pub¬ lishing data which merely duplicate those he has published. 14 Parsons, 1916, reports that in the Zuni state they obtained this type of divination from the Navaho. It must be noted, however, that what her Zuni informants told Parsons was “the Navaho method” of divination hardly shares more with the techniques described to Hill and to me than the use of Datura. Taken detail by detail, tire practices seem very different. The historical origins of the various types of Navaho divination are interesting but at present obscure. A highly intelligent and sophisticated Navaho has told me that he believes hand trembling to be aboriginal Navaho, whereas star-gazing and listening he believes to have been bor¬ rowed from the Pueblo Indians.



16 See Appendix VI. 16 Plant identifications are given in Appendix VI. Datura is, of course, the connecting link between the chant, the form of divination and the form of witchcraft which are all referred to in Navaho by the same word: ?a3ile-. 18 Kissing is probably not an aboriginal Navaho practice but is certainly practiced by some Navaho today. 10 Cf. Wyman and Harris, 1941, p. 7. 30 David Aberle observed that fear of actual specimens of stick dice was manifested by some informants. Some others said in a joking way that the sticks might be witched, while still others made no comment, movement, nor seemed affected. 21 Cf., e.g., 123, 126, 130. 22 Cf. 114, 121. 23 Cf. 123, 129. 24 At a recent Navaho gathering a Navaho leader in a speech to the assembled crowd said, “There are three main things we want to avoid: Frenzy Witchcraft, Witchery and Peyote. The worst of these is Frenzy Witchcraft.” Incidentally, a study of inter-connections between peyote and witch¬ craft among the Navaho would be a most rewarding investigation. It is said that the most common peyote vision among the Navaho is that of someone (usually a relative or an in-law) doing witchcraft against one! I have little direct information on this matter, for in the regions where I have worked intensively since peyote has recently found favor among the Navaho, there has been little or no interest in peyote. Remarks of this kind are common: “I don’t see why they use that. I don’t see what they get out of that.” “Why do they do that? They don’t get anything out of that. They can’t make a living out of that.” “ A brief synopsis of the chantway legend of Plume Way indicates that the hero came to the home of a witch (who was also a cannibal), married to his own daughter. The hero gave the witch some tobacco with which he had mixed the pollen of certain Frenzy Witchcraft plants. Smoking this sent the witch into a swoon. Cf. also Matthews, 1897, pp. 176-177. 20 The Franciscan Fathers, 1910, p. 172, note that Deer Grower, “used the crow as a spy for his victims of witchcraft.” See also Matthews, 1897, pp. 186-187.




Other Types of Witchcraft

1 See Appendix VII. 3 Literally, “wishing somebody an epidemic or a disease.” Father Berard writes me: “the stem -l-ni? reminds of naTnih (‘disease’) which— the verb form seems to express—is thrust upon a person.” 3 A valued English-speaking informant who knows 3 Hunting Ways read the passage in Hill and commented as follows: This is the ^ana^a^/a- 31 branch, the “chasing branch” of Wolf Way. I know it, but I don’t use it. If you make even a little mistake in the prayer or if you can’t follow the tracks all the way, it is especially danger¬ ous. You can’t ever go hunting again.



The dirt from the deer tracks has to be from where a deer has stepped in a gopher hole. You get the dirt from way out of the bottom of that hole. Some people say that if only two people are there, nobody needs to go away. The man can do it in front of his partner. If there are three or four there, you must do it by yourself. But if it is a bunch of brothers or maternal uncles and nephews, you don’t need to hide it from them, even if there are three or four of them. Especially if you are teaching your younger brother or your maternal nephew—then he has to be present all the time. He has to see everything you do. We got good guns now. We don’t have to chase like that any more. 4 Hill, 1938b, p. 132. 6 Cf. 178, 209. a Franciscan Fathers, 1910, p. 421. Morgan, 1936, p. 39, also mentions this but on the basis of data from a strongly acculturated region. 7 Cf. Wyman and Harris, 1941, p. 59.

Section 8: Protection Against and Cures for Witchcraft 1 See Appendix VIII. 2 One informant seemed to regard galls as “witchcraft poison.” 3 Dr. Wyman informs me that his experience confirms my generalization that the Chin Lee and Canoncito regions are feared as loci of witches. Van Valkenburgh (1941, p. 17) also observes: “Eastern Navahos say their witches come from the Canoncito people.” 4Cf. 186, 187. eWyman and Harris, 1941, pp. 28, 69. 0 Cf. Kluckhohn and Wyman, 1940, pp. 52-53. 7 Cf. Wyman and Harris, 1941, pp. 26, 72. 8 Cf. 128, 130. 9 Cf. subsection on Frenzy Witchcraft in Section 6 supra. 10 Cf. 177. 11 Van Valkenburgh, 1938a, p. 45. 12 See Bourke, 1884, pp. 76, 77; the Coolidges, 1930, p. 143; Van Valkenburgh, 1937, p. 51, 1938b, p. 47; Weber, 1916, p. 41. 18Wetherill, 1932. 14 Cf. Morgan, 1936, pp. 33, 38. For one interesting confirmation by one of my informants of Morgan’s view, see the final paragraph in Interview 6, Appendix I. See also Wyman, Hill and Osanai, 1942, p. 39. The first two sentences in my paragraph above are almost a direct quotation from Wyman, Hill and Osanai. 16 See Kluckhohn and Wyman, 1940, pp. 101-102; also Wyman, Hill and Osanai, 1942, p. 31; Haile, 1942, p. 417. 16 Cf. Reichard, 1939, p. 5. 17 Cf. Wyman and Harris, 1941, pp. 28, 69. 18 Gila Monster songs according to one informant. See Kluckhohn and Wyman, 1940, p. i6g. 10 Hrdlicka, 1908, p. 240. “Dr. A. H. Leighton calls to my attention a case in which an abscess



was treated by a sucker. But from the Navaho point of view the treatment consisted in sucking out the instrusive object. 21 Father Anselm speaks of Navahos being afraid to sleep in the same room with a sucker and says that they would have killed the sucker if he had left the Mission. Father Anselm Weber, 1916, p. 41.

Section q: Observed Behaviors Relating to Witchcraft 1 See Appendix IX. 2 Cf. Opler, 1939, p. 439. 3 “Insanity” (“losing your mind”) is prominent here—especially with reference to Frenzy Witchcraft but also for other types (cf. 81). 4 There is considerable variation in one respect here. In the neighbor¬ hood of many hogans one never encounters human stools while wandering about in the timber—they are all carefully buried. In other cases, they may be seen, although they are almost always at quite a distance from the hogan. 6 See Kluckhohn and Wyman, 1940, p. 69. 6 Cf. Hill, 1938b, p. 179. 7 Bourke (1884, p. 75) and Wetherill (1934) do report unqualified avowals of witchcraft knowledge and direct threats. See also excerpts 92, 207. 8 Father Berard, after reading this passage, assured me that he was even more convinced than I that some Navaho actually practice various forms of witchcraft and cited actual individuals who, he felt certain, had carried out such activities and whom he knew to have offered to sell such knowledge to rich Navahos. Since Father Berard speaks Navaho fluently, has lived continuously for more than forty years among the Navaho, and, in my opinion, knows much more about them than any living white person, his judgment must be given great weight. “Dr. A. H. Leighton comments: “It seems to me likely on the basis of the laws of chance and the range of human nature, that if a pattern of any sort exists in a culture, no matter how it may be socially disapproved, if it exists, there will be some individuals in the population who will try it. Somebody at some time has done everything the human mind has been able to devise that is physically possible. Added to this, in the case of witchcraft, it is not too hard to see in theory how for certain individuals in certain circumstances such practices might well contribute to their equilibrium and adjustment to life.” 10 A number of supposed cases have been reported to me and described in great detail with apparent sincerity. In every case, however, the pos¬ sibility seemed to remain that the disturbance of the grave might have been produced by coyotes or other animals, and also that pack rats might well have been responsible for the disappearance of jewelry. 11 Since some Navahos are skilful at sleight-of-hand, it is conceivable that an individual could put on a sleight-of-hand performance which would convince helpers that he was actually able to shoot objects out into the air. Sleight-of-hand is certainly practiced by suckers. 12 Cf. 178, 209.



Section 10: Participation 1 See Appendix IX.

;cf. 34,51. 3 See A. H. and D. C. Leighton, 1942. This article does not give the figures I have quoted (kindly supplied me by the Leightons from their volume of tables), but does describe the method used in categorizing the data. 4 Cf. Newcomb and Reichard, 1937, p. 16. 6 The old man in question is probably the “Many Hats” of interview excerpt 42. 0 Haile, 1933, p. 38. 7 Cf. 28. 8 Cf. 206, 142, 144, 92, 72.


Section 1: Introductory 1 The circumstance that quite a number of traits described for another Southern Athabascan people (see Opler, 1941, pp. 242-257) do not appear at all in the material at present available strongly suggests the possibility that the sampling for the Navaho is still inadequate. It is of course possible that the discrepancies reflect the differing contacts with other cultures which the Navaho and the Chiricahua Apache have had during recent centuries. Likewise, differing pressures and hence differing characteristic needs of individuals in the two groups may have brought it about that they have dropped different traits from a common complex which the Southern Athabascan-speaking peoples may once have shared. Still, in default of specific testing, I would not venture the opinion that no Navahos share at least some of the divergent beliefs reported by Opler. Unfortunately, his material became available after I had finished the field work for this study, and the demands of other aspects of my field program suggest that it would be better for me not to delay publication of this study in order to investigate witchcraft further. 2 Morgan, 1936, p. 11. 3 Jones, 1931, pp. 196, 218, 232, and passim. 4 Two facts possibly support the connection with cessation of sexual



activity. Women accused of witchcraft are almost invariably past the menopause. Frenzy Witchcraft material speaks of old men “getting” young girls and of old women “getting” young boys. Cf. Ill, 123, 128. B Roheim, 1940, p. 56. It may well be the case that Navaho wereanimals, for example, are, in part, symbols of old fears arising out of the socialization process and act as “bogeymen” reinforcing the real parent figures. 6 Morgan, 1936, p. 14. 7 It will be noted that I have here used “sorcery” without a capital letter. (Cf. Part I, Section 2, para. 1.) For the word was used by the anthropologist whom I am quoting in the same general sense in which I employ “witchcraft.” The convention whereby “sorcery” applies to the socially disapproved manipulations of the supernatural by males and “witch¬ craft” to that by females would not apply at all satisfactorily to the Navaho case and does not seem to me to be a useful convention in general discussion. 8 By “structural analysis” I do not mean mere descriptive anatomy. I do mean: (a) description of structure but also (b) analysis of what that structure means in terms of dynamics—the implications of structure for process. This is a study in “functional dependence” in Chappie’s sense. See Chappie, 1940; Chappie and Coon, 1942.

Section 2: Distributional and Historical Comments 1 “Pattern” and “configuration” are used throughout this book as defined in Kluckhohn, 1941b. For certain modifications in developments of these concepts, see Kluckhohn, 1943. 2 In this study, any trait which does not appear in either Part I or in one of the appendices may explicitly be assumed to be absent—so far as the existent evidence goes. 8 See, for example, Osgood, 1937, pp. 177-183; Drucker, 1937, pp. 259261; Nomland, 1938, p. 116. 4 See Goodwin, 1942, pp. 400, 417-425. 6 See Opler, 1936, p. 83; 1941, esp., pp. 242-257. 8 Parsons, 1927. 7Cf. 188. 8 Clements, 1932, p. 240. On the near-universality of exuviae and of intrusive objects (and sucking) see Tylor, 1870, pp. 129-133, 280 ff. 8 Buck, 1936, p. 3. 10 Cf. 114, 121. u Cf. 123, 126. 12 Cf. 129. 13Castetter and Opler (1936, p. 55) comment on the fact that the Chiricahua and Mescalero Apache have never used Datura meteloides. The Ute and the Zuni are the two nearest neighbors of the Navaho for whom the use of this narcotic has been reported. 14 In that objects taken from a ghost hogan are among those shot. 16 Cf. 26, 50, 94, 186. 10 Hill, 1938b, p. 51. 17 Hill, 1936, p. 3. 18 Cf. Kluckhohn, 1939a, p. 64.


10 Cf. Kluckhohn, 1939a; see also, Reichard, 1928, p. 14. 20 Hill, 1.936, p. 3.

Section 3: Navaho Witchcraft as Providing Culturally Defined Adaptive and Adfustive Responses 1 These interpretations were partially developed in the course of participation in the seminar on Culture and Personality conducted by A. Kardiner and R. Linton in Columbia University, 1939-1940. For the op¬ portunity of sharing in this seminar I am grateful to the Carnegie Corpora¬ tion. While I benefited markedly from association with Dr. Kardiner, it is only fair to him to state that few of his psychoanalytic interpretations of Navaho witchcraft material are here incorporated, and that he has not commented upon many of the hypotheses in this section because they have been formulated subsequent to the time of my contact with him. Member¬ ship in Dr. Sandor Rado’s seminar on psychoanalytic theory at the New York Psychoanalytic Institute during the same period should also be mentioned as an important influence underlying the type of analysis attempted. Rut for direct revisions of this section I am most indebted to a pains¬ taking criticism (both factual and theoretical) by David Aberle. 2 Frank, L. K., 1940, pp. 344-345. 8 Radcliffe-Brown, 1940, p. 10. 4 The differentiation is basically that between “purposed function” and “non-purposed function” (cf. Davis, 1942, p. 313). 6 See Kluckhohn, 1942, esp., pp. 66-69. 8 Lee (1940, pp. 356-357) has argued that “An analysis of Trobriand behavior and language shows that the Trobriander, by custom, focuses his interest on the thing or act in itself, not on its relationships ... he deduces no causal connection from a sequence. . . . The Trobriander has no linguistic mechanism for expressing a relationship between events or acts. Culturally, causation and teleology are either ignored or non-existent.” She is, however, careful to say, “By this I mean, not that the individual Tro¬ briander cannot understand causality, but that in his culture, the sequence of events does not automatically fall into the mould of causal or telic rela¬ tionship.” Whether or not all peoples employ a category which may be roughly equated with our “causation” or even our “mutual interdependence,” all human beings whom I have known or read about seem to go to considerable trouble to find and to express “reasons” for what they say and do. The giving of justifications which are “rational” with reference to tire logics of that culture seems to be one of the most universal of adjustive responses. This does not mean, of course, that “the function” of such behavior is usually that of “satisfying intellectual curiosity,” although this motivation must not be too dogmatically and cavalierly excluded in every case. (Cf. Kluckhohn, 1942, p. 56, fn. 46.) So far as the Navaho are concerned, the statement hardly needs qualification. For the Navaho language is marked by elaboration and refinement of causative categories.



7 In Kardiner, 1939, p. 270. 8 Linton, 1939, pp. 303-3049 Mead, 1939. 10 The Leightons, 1942, p. 206. u See Kluckhohn, 1942, p. 74. 12 The Leightons, 1942, p. 205. 18 See Kluckhohn, 1942, pp. 72-73. 141 am aware, of course, that anxiety and hostility are not always particularly intense where a realistic food problem exists and that the food anxieties of some peoples are distinctly non-realistic (cf. Du Bois, 1941, p. 279; Benedict, 1940). But it seems important to point out that the Navaho have a realistic source of anxiety from this direction. 15 Murray, 1938, pp. 40, 122. 16 Cf. Homey, 1937, pp. 43-4417 Hallowell, 1938, p. 38. 18 As Maslow has recently pointed out (Maslow, 1941) the term “frustration” has come to be used in a fashion which is too loose and too broad in some contexts. For some purposes a clear distinction must be made between those interferences with gratifications which are relatively unimportant to the organism and those which constitute threats to the personality (to life goals or to the security system). Otherwise, the mistake will be made of attributing to the relatively minor deprivations the effects which are commonly thought to result from threat situations where the whole personality is involved. The terms “deprivation” and “threat” will be used occasionally in this book as a reminder that the differentiation is often significant, but the term “frustration” will be used also to cover both of the types of situation in which organisms fail to get what they desire. 19 Consciousness that the younger organism is not neutral to the socializ¬ ing agent crops up not infrequently in Navaho material. For instance, when Left Handed is being instructed and admonished by his foster father, the foster father remarks: “When I talk to you, it seems to me you hate me for it.” (Dyk, 1938, p. 236.) 20 See Kluckhohn, 1942, p. 73, footnote 93. 21 Mowrer and Kluckhohn, 1944, pp. 95-96. 22 See Kluckhohn, 1939a, p. 74. 23 Ibid., pp. 77-80. 24 The term “consumption group” was originally used by the Navajo Soil Conservation Service. I use it to mean “a group of Navahos related by blood and marriage, who live most of the time within easy walking distance of one another and who habitually co-operate in many economic activities.” 25 See Dollard, 1938. 20 Cf. 84, 932‘ See Mead, 1940, p. 353. 28 See Fortune, 1932, chapter III. 29 Cf. Homans, 1942, p. 403. "Failure of whites to grasp the fact that the Navaho did not constitute a “political” unity accounts for much that was said and done by representa¬ tives of the United States government in the middle nineteenth century. Army officers or others would make a treaty with the “chief” and leading men of one or more bands of Navaho. Then members of other bands would



make raids or otherwise violate the treaty which the whites assumed to have been made with the whole “Navaho nation.” White leaders then voiced recriminations against the “perfidy” of the Navaho and instituted reprisals. From the Navaho point of view these incidents well illustrate the Navaho tendency for one local group to regard another as an out-group. Navahos from the interior (Black Mesa or de Chelly region) would pillage, knowing well that Mexican or United States troops would probably punish the Navahos nearest at hand rather than marching all the way into the interior. The Navaho local groups closest to the European posts reacted with indignation against their fellow tribesmen (cf. Hill, 1936, p. 4) and failed to understand why they should be held responsible. 31 Cf. Reichard, 1939, pp. 7, 8; also Newcomb and Reichard, 1937, p. 16. 82 Cf. 208. It is a nice illustration of this situation. 83 Cf. Part I, Section 10, para. 10. 84 Morgan, 1936, p. 43. 38 Ibid., pp. 5-8. 80 As Fenichel (1934, p. 461) says, “A person who unconsciously hates his fellow-men has every reason to dread them, or their possible revenge.” 87 “Projection” as a technical psychological term may be simply defined as follows: “Projection is escape from repressed conflict by attributing our emotional drives to the external world.” 38 Morgan, 1936, p. 5. 89 Hostile talk against relatives may seem to contravene the generaliza¬ tion that expressions of aggression against relatives are not tolerated. But it is overt acts that are primarily interdicted. Responsibility for gossip can be denied or evaded. 40 Cf. the case reported by Freud where the noise of a clock ticking set off a whole chain of misinterpretations. Freud, 1924. a Sherif, 1935. 42 Morgan, 1936, pp. 5, 6. 48 Buck, 1936, p. 3. 44 Kardiner, 1939, p. 99. 45 Out of seven interviews where a returning ghost was identified, five specified brother or sister, one maternal uncle, one father. 46 Cf. 8, 12, 25, 27, 88, 121. 47 Cf. 25, 205, 207. 48 There is at least one reference in legend to a hero killing his witch sister. See Matthews, 1897, pp. 236-237, note 151. Other mythic material reflects the submerged hostility between sisters and brothers. The myth of the Maiden Who Changes into a Bear is a particularly good example of this. See also Kluckhohn, 1942. Cf. also 45, 56, 214. 49 It should be remembered that three signally important events are often approximately coincidental: birth of sibling, “loss” of a mother, learning that faeces and urine must be concealed. That the birth of a new sibling is even anticipated by the nursing child as a trauma is shown by the state¬ ment of one of Hill’s (1938b, p. 56) informants, “A child, before its mother gives birth to a second child, will act childish and cry all the time.” 80 Cf. Kluckhohn, 1941b, p. 126. 51 For stimulating discussion of various aspects of such problems see Loeb and Toffelmier, 1939.



621 have in mind here primarily the unpublished dreams in my own collection. Evidence will, however, also be found in Lincoln, 1935, pp. 207-208. 63 Manuelito (1818-1893) was a Navaho headman who for a time (especially between 1879 and 1885) was the effective “chief” of most of the eastern Navaho. Although his authority was limited to the east, his influence extended over a much wider area. Manuelito, Narbone and Barboncito come about as close as any Navahos of whom we have record to having been leaders for the whole Navaho tribe. 64 Kardiner, 1939, p. 104. 65 Kluckhohn, 194 lb, p. 125. 60 Cf. 65, 67. 57 Wyman, Hill and Osanai, 1942, p. 21. A complication here is the position of those who die “of a good old age.” There are no days of mourn¬ ing for these; they are not assigned by native belief to ghostland; and fear of their remains is, at least, at a minimum. Cf. Wyman, Hill and Osanai, p. 13. 68 Wetherill, 1934, speaks of a witch threatening his mother. This is the only allusion of this kind I have ever heard. 69 Warner, 1937, p. 230. 00 Cannon, 1942. Stewart and Winser (1942) have recently provided dramatic evidence of the extent to which external stimuli (in this case the heavy air-raids over London) can influence the incidence of a somatic condition (perforated peptic ulcer). For other important evidence of the connection between emotional states and somatic conditions, see Mittelmann and Wolff, 1942; Wolff and Wolff, 1943. 61 Cf. Radcliffe-Brown, 1933, p. 332. 02 Kardiner, 1939, p. 309. 08 In a few cases I have good evidence that blatant protestation of scepticism was, in fact, compensatory. 64 As Hallowell says (1935, p. 23), “Once indoctrinated with such concepts, human individuals tend to interpret particular events and expe¬ riences in a manner which offers empirical support to the traditional dogmas.” See also Hallowell, 1934, pp. 391-393 for an excellent extended discus¬ sion of this point. 00 Horney, 1937, p. 89. Cf. also, p. 106, ". . . anxiety is generated by a repressed hostility and ... it in turn again generates hostility.” 06 It is necessary to say “malicious destructiveness” to avoid the implica¬ tion that all destructiveness is necessarily “evil.” 67 Reik, 1941, p. 8. 68 Cf. 54, 77, 81, 97. 60 Cf. “disposal” in chants. 70 Cf. also fn. 1, Appendix IX. 71 Van Valkenburgh, 1938b, p. 47. 72 Cf. 232. 73 For an excellent discussion of witchcraft as a device for social control see Gayton, 1930, pp. 409-411. 71 Cf. 6, 19, 83, 162, 166, 193. 75 See Sapir and Hoijer, 1942, pp. 337-397 for an excellent example. 78 Hill, 1940b, p. 24.



Hill, 1936, p. 14. Cf. the Coolidges, 1930, p. 145: “In war medicine they sing downward, in the witchcraft way, . . 78 Cf. Part I, Section 4, para. 2. 70 For an interesting discussion of the problems of an Indian Service administi ator in dealing with Navaho witchcraft see Leupp, 1910, pp. 80 The question immediately arises: is it just that they have been talking more freely to the observer during this period? It is true that this has been the case, but the talk has been as much about the past as about the present. Navaho memories for gossip are long. And remarks of this kind have been frequent: “so and so started to be a witch just lately.” “We never used to have trouble with witches like this. It seems like everybody just began to do bad things.” “We all used to get along just fine. But now the white people have got us all mixed up. We hate each other now.” “It used to be that if anybody began to get mixed up in this witch business his rel¬ atives would make him stop. For the last few years everybody acts like they didn’t have any relatives.” 81 The overt issue upon which the two factions are split is that of whether to remain under the jurisdiction of the Navajo Central Agency or to transfer to that of the United Pueblos. But it could be shown that the alignment is in terms of interests and sentiments which are much more abiding. The relevant point here, however, is that to a very considerable extent the leaders of faction A are talked about by the members of faction B as witches and vice versa. Thus each faction is further solidified, for a com¬ mon hatred is usually a rallying point for unity. The sentiments of the mem¬ bers of faction A are worked upon in this fashion by their leaders: “You know you can’t trust those other people. Some of them are all right, but they don’t know what they are doing. And the boss people are all witches.” Such behavior, while producing solidarity of factions, is, of course, disruptive to local group solidarity. 82 For a hint from another Navaho region that increasing white contact has brought increased ceremonial activity, see Dyk, 1938, p. 262. 83 About twenty years ago there was a very dramatic witchcraft inci¬ dent at Navajo Mountain, culminating in the shooting of a woman “were¬ wolf.” And I do know that one man at Navajo Mountain at present is rather generally suspected of being a witch. 84 It is true that I have not found any single Navaho word which lumps together Witchery, Sorcery, Wizardry and Frenzy Witchcraft. So far as “conceptual category” is concerned, the category “witchcraft” is probably the observer’s and not a native category. I do think that evidence has been presented that the Navaho do treat the separate varieties as a “feeling category.” In any case from the standpoint of the observer attempting a structural analysis, there can be no doubt that all of these patterns are crystallized around a common focus: private manipulation of the super¬ natural for socially disapproved ends. Moreover, there are more explicit elements common to each. For example, the use of the personal name enters in all four techniques. As one informant remarked, “They used to say you can’t witch a person until you know his name.” 85 Cf. Rosenzweig, 1941. 88 Ibid. 87 Cf. Part I, Section 3, fn. 8.



88 Levy, 1941, p. 356. 89 Cf. Homey, 1937, pp. 171-175. Power, prestige and possessions serve not only as a reassurance against anxiety but also as a means of releasing hostility. 00 The constant association of witchcraft with the dead is a problem which can be regarded at present as only partially understood. The explana¬ tion is doubtless historical, in part. That is, the generalized complex of witchcraft idea patterns which has been transmitted to the Navaho contains this as one element—for the witch-ghoul notion has a very wide distribution. But the Navaho have intensified and reified the association. The linking of almost all types of witchcraft activity with the dead or with objects con¬ nected with the dead is approximately to be explained as part of the pattern which attributes all the Navaho “worst things” to witches. Likewise, the association is to be understood on the ground of the partial equivalence of witches and ghosts (ghost = witch from the company of the dead). In this connection, Opler’s (1936) hypotheses of ambivalence may, in my opinion, profitably be invoked. The peculiarly morbid Navaho fear of the dead, however, is a topic which deserves an essay of its own. Among other things, this almost patho¬ logical (as it seems to the observer from our culture) fear may perhaps be related to the configuration of individualism and its sub-configuration of modesty. These are manifested in many other witchcraft data. Note that modesty and privacy are to some extent preserved even in a witchcraft con¬ text (54, where the boy is allowed to be apart while he urinates and thus escapes). I suggest that such dread of the dead is likely to be at a maximum in a culture which glorifies the individual. The later Middle Ages where the salvation of the individual was the great goal and where St. Thomas Aquinas expressed the dominant attitude as “persona est, quod est perfectissimum in natura” is a good parallel. Here also the macabre, the gruesome, the dismal aspects of death seem to have been deliberately exploited. (Cf. Huizinga, 1927, esp., chap. XI, “The Vision of Death.”) One may contrast cultures where societies are extended by generations as in India and China. 911 am indebted to David Aberle for suggesting to me this concept of “cost” to balance that of “function.” 92 Cf. Part II, Section 3, “Differential Frequency of Witchcraft Mani¬ festations in Navaho History," paras. 3, 4. 03 Dyk, 1938, p. 357. 94 See Kluckhohn, 1939b, p. 100. 95 Lasswell, 1935. 96 Cf. Kluckhohn, 1942, esp., pp. 59, 60. 07 See footnote 82, supra; also Kluckhohn, 1938. 98 Redfield, 1941, pp. 332-333.



Introductory Note to the Appendices 1 Cf. Kluckhohn, 1941a, pp. 6, 7.

Appendix I: Witchery Way 1 In order to differentiate between statements written down at the same time, and given in the exact words of informant or interpreter, and my paraphrases (written down later) or rough translations from the Navaho these latter are preceded by this sign: #. 31 have this story from 6 different informants with only very slight variations. 8 My renderings of bird names from the Navaho are principally on the advice of Father Berard Haile. The Navaho word which was used by my informant was talXah xa?ale*h. 41 have also this story from 8 different informants with only the one major variant (3). Cf. also Matthews, 1902, p. 202. 0 Actually, Father Berard informs me, they were assembled at many localities in the Navaho country by the local headmen at the instigation of Manuelito. This was in 1884. 6 Cf. the fact that the spirit is believed to escape from the body at death through the cutaneous whorls. See Wyman, Hill and Osanai, 1942, p. 15. 7 The man who gave this interview was a singer who was himself widely believed to be a witch. Gossip had it that only a few months pre¬ viously he had killed his maternal nephew while singing over him. I had known this singer for many years and heretofore he had resolutely refused to discuss witchcraft except in terms of a few widely known generalities. On this occasion I had just brought him back from a long trip in my auto¬ mobile. 8 (Q) indicates interruption and question by the investigator. 8 Dr. Wyman tells me that he has seen one adult Navaho man manifest eagerness to leave a locale where a “blue lizard” appeared, and that he has observed two others make pollen offerings on seeing a “blue lizard” (collared lizard). 10 Where plants referred to by the same Navaho name have been listed in Wyman and Harris, 1941, they will be referred to the numbered list of Navaho species and “form genera,” pp. 17-35 of this publication. Thus the



plant in question here may be cited: Wyman and Harris, 39. It will be understood, of course, that unless an actual specimen has been collected and identified the concordance is only on the basis of the same Navaho term. The same Navaho word often designates plants of different botanical species, and the same botanical species will often be assigned more than one Navaho name. Where the Navaho recording I obtained corresponds to that given by Wyman and Harris, their translation or English designation (usually set off by quotation marks except in cases where their English term corresponds with common usage) will be used in the text to avoid expensive setting of linguistic type. In this case the difference is very slight; the word I have uniformly heard is simply the shortened, colloquial form. In cases where I have myself collected specimens of plants supposedly used in witchcraft, the identification of such specimens will be given follow¬ ing the reference to Wyman and Harris. Thus a specimen of this plant was identified by L. C. Wyman and S. K. Harris as Sitanion hystrix (Nutt.) J. G. Smith. u Woman speaker (“chief”) is often referred to in discussions of witch¬ craft. In the eleventh world, before the emergence, she was a victim of the Witchery of First Man. She was the first person to die and became the first ghost, and, as Father Berard says, “Because she was a ‘chief’ she is the chief of ghosts to whom mortals must return in time.” (See Haile, 1942, p. 420.) It seems, however, misleading to refer to her, as does Matthews (1888, p. 167), as “the goddess of witchcraft.” Nor have I obtained confirmation of the view that the saliva, hair or whatever is used in Sorcery is thought of as “a lost element ... in possession of the goddess of witchcraft in the lower world” (ibid. p. 164). The following interview excerpt I have not included in the text of the appendix because its significance, if any, is obscure to me: “Woman speaker she was working with the boss man people. We don’t have that any more. That might be one reason why people at this time don’t listen very well to their bosses. Woman speaker was with the witch people. People used to say way back, ‘You must know something before you be boss over the people.’ What they meaning is that—know some kind of a big pray or witch—that will protect himself with that much so people won’t hurt him. If he didn’t know anything and becomes a boss won’t last long. Woman speaker didn’t last long—just stayed a little while with the people and we don’t have much story of her.” Perhaps the point is that Woman speaker, though a “chief,” wasn’t able to cope with First Man who knew Witchery? 12 Interviews marked with an asterisk come from the field notes of W. W. Hill. 13 The usual result of incest is believed to be insanity. 14 Cf. the “Introductory Note to the Appendices.” 16 This is perhaps a functional equivalent for the “inoculation” against Frenzy Witchcraft. Cf. 115. 16 This statement was denied by all of my check group, except one who said, “Not only witch people but those who know the bear’s prayer and song can get the bear out of a cave. Also the person who knows the sacred name of the bear.”



17 This interview is from the field notes of Drs. A. H. and D. C. Leighton.

181 have this story from 9 different informants. The versions dif¬ fer only in the amount of detail. 16 This notion of wound in the same place in animal and man is, of course, a common European belief. 20 Cf. Part I, Section 3, “Witches’ Sabbath ” para. 1. nI have two briefer but substantially identical versions of this story from younger brothers of the informant who gave this one. The only varia¬ tion is that one brother stated his father had seen the witch first on top of an oak tree. 23 Actually, clan sister as later context indicates. 28 For additional material on witchery see 149, 180, 181, 182, 205, 211, 214, 223.

Appendix II: Sorcery 1 From the field notes of Harry Tschopik, Jr. “The reference throughout this sentence is to Frenzy Witchcraft. See Appendix VI. “From the field notes of David Aberle. * This is the sign of a ghost. See Wyman, Hill and Osanai, 1942, p. 19. 6 Cf. 134, 186. 6 From the field notes of David Aberle. In the absence of a definite Navaho term it cannot be certain that the anecdote does not refer to Disease Witchcraft (see Appendix VII). The hunting context would make Disease Witchcraft plausible. For additional material on Sorcery see 160, 164, 171, 176, 179, 187, 206, 213, 226.

Appendix III: Wizardry 1 David Aberle reminds me that Navaho informants will often speak of “arrowpoint seat poisoning” [kasda be*g4] as porcupine quills, burnt ash, etc. An animal shot with one of these arrows is said to swell and die. [< ka*? arrow, ?asda seating > —sda, be* by means of it, — g4 killing is done.] * This material comes from the field notes of Dr. Leland C. Wyman. * Variants of this story were independently volunteered me by informants from Ramah, Pine Springs and Stony Butte. The variants agreed in all save small details. However, excerpt 207 seems to be the same incident but with considerable variations. Father Berard informs me that the story has some basis in fact, in that an Indian agent did submit to sucking and then sent the sucker to prison in Fort Leavenworth. But both the Navaho and English names of the agent are given incorrecdy by my informant, according to Father Berard. ‘This story was told me by a boy who was a senior in an Indian high school. In most respects he was highly acculturated and professed contempt for chants and Navaho ceremonialism generally. But there was no doubt that he firmly and fearfully believed in Wizardry.



5 This counter-clockwise order is that of Navaho chant practice. Cf. Kluckhohn and Wyman, 1940, p. 59. ” Wyman and Harris, 39. 7 From the field notes of David Aberle. For additional material on Wizardry see 162, 163, 164, 165, 167, 172, 193, 207, 210, 212, 217, 219, 227. See also Appendix IV.

Appendix IV: Prostitution Way Chant Legend 1 This would be nothing unusual in Navaho ceremonialism. Cf. Kluck¬ hohn and Wyman, 1940, p. 155. 2 However, this may conceivably be simply an alternative form of ref¬ erence to Cone Towards Water [presumably White Cone (secularly called “Penis Head” by the Navaho), 12 miles north of Indian Wells, Arizona, and west of Beshbito Wash], which figures prominently in an early episode of the version here recorded. 3 Old Soldier first gave me an abbreviated form of this story (35 pages of notes). Two months later he gave me a longer version (91 pages of notes). At a third interview he straightened out certain minor discrepan¬ cies between the two versions. Since the interpreters were not the same in all three interviews and since the legend as presented is a composite, I have not here adhered strictly to the interpreter’s English. For tire most part I have used words which occurred in at least one translation, but I have corrected grammar and made tenses consistent so that this fairly long document will read easily in reasonable English. Nevertheless, the flavor of the original is, I believe, preserved. 4 The psychological background for the almost obsessive preoccupation with the details of travel, the minute specification of an endless series of place names in Navaho legends is an interesting problem. It may be sug¬ gested that, in part, the psychological function performed is that of adding to the verisimilitude of the story and of enhancing the sense of security which the familiar provides. (Cf. Kluckhohn, 1942, pp. 66-70.) 6 This dance is normally connected by Navahos today with the final night of the Night Way chant. But presumably any chant of the God Impersonators sub-group could have such a dance. Cf. Wyman and Kluck¬ hohn, 1938, pp. 6, 26. 0 The translation of this and other terms from the Navaho follows the “Glossary of Ceremonial Terms” (pp. 191-196) in Kluckhohn and Wyman,

1940. 7 Cf. Appendix VI, footnote 17. 8 Literally, “Not-Sunlight-Struck.” "For the technology and lore of these pipes, see Tschopik, 1941, pp.

55-66. 10 This is presumably White Cone between Wheatfields and Whiskey Creek. 11 This and other names mentioned subsequently are familiar designa¬ tions of Pueblo ruins in the Chaco Canyon region. Cf. Van Valkenburgh,

1941, pp. 29-37. 12These are, of course, do-bi?de-\a-d, “Not-Sunlight-Struck” (maid¬ ens) again. Father Berard comments: “Some of their dwellings in legends



are underground, others are provided with transparent ceilings to allow light but not sunlight, to enter and strike them directly.” 13 The reference is, of course, to the Hero Twins, Monster Slayer and Child of the Water. 14 Father Berard tells me this is the tanager. 16 A Navaho singer may not later marry a woman who has been his patient. Cf. Kluckhohn, 1939a, pp. 57, 58. 13 This and a number of other incidents in this legend occur also (in abbreviated form) in the emergence legend recorded by Goddard (Goddard, 1933. esp., pp. 142-143). Likewise, a number of parallels may be found in Wetherill and Cummings, 1922. In both of these instances it is Earth Winner who is the central figure. Certain tale elements (big Snake-as-Hoop, ball game, etc.) which appear in this Prostitution Way chant legend are also found in the story of Earth Winner recorded in the Chaco Canyon by Gretchen Chapin (Chapin, 1940). It is interesting that here Earth Winner uses “weeds” which make people “crazy” (p. 65). (This and other material, cf. 224, suggests that Cone Towards Water Man and Earth Winner are practically the same figure [as Changing Woman and White Shell Woman.]) 17 Subsequent remarks by the informant made it clear that it is Wizardry “shooting” which is referred to in this episode. 18 Only when this book was originally in galley proofs did I discover that Pepper had, in 1908, published a brief version of the Prostitution Way Legend. Except for a brief additional episode at the end, the events and details follow very closely those in the version which is here published. Pepper’s recording, however, is very truncated, omitting most of the earlier episodes. See Pepper, 1908.

Appendix V: Datura Divination 1 From the field notes of Dr. Leland C. Wyman. 2 A specimen collected by this informant and designated the Navaho name usually assigned to Datura meteloides (see Harris, 1941, p. 25) was identified by L. C. Wyman and S. Eriogonum racemosum (Nutt.). 3 For botanical identifications see Wyman and Harris, 1941,

by him with Wyman and K. Harris as p. 30.

Appendix VI: Frenzy Witchcraft 1 This informant has recently married into the community he was disparaging, and at the time of making these remarks was having serious trouble with his wife and his in-laws. Local gossip accused him of witchcraft against his father-in-law and other of his wife’s relatives. 2 A specimen of ?aze-?\o?l, “laughing medicine” was identified by L. C. Wyman and S. K. Harris as Eriogonum microthecum (Nutt.) var. rigidum. East w. The Franciscan Fathers (1910, Pidentify this plant as a “yellow thistle,” Erisium Neo-Mexicanus. 3 Cf. fn. 2 supra. 4 Wyman and Harris, 262. A specimen collected by me was identified by L. C. Wyman and S. K. Harris as Lotus Wrightii (Gray) Greene. A



specimen collected by Paid Vestal and called by his informant “my thumb female” was identified by Vestal as Hackelia floribunda (Lehm.) Johnston. 5 Ibid., 191. 8 Ibid., 183. A specimen collected by me was identified by L. C. Wyman and S. K. Harris as Wulfenia plantaginea (Benth.) Greene. This seems to be the botanical species most frequently used against witchcraft. 7 David Aberle points out that those who gamble to excess always finish by losing their clothes. Parents say, “Don’t gamble or you’ll lose everything, even your shoes.” 8 Wyman and Harris, 147, 160 and 155, respectively. 8 Ibid., 138. A specimen collected by this informant for me was identified by L. C. Wyman and S. K. Harris as Aster oblongifolius (Nutt.). 10 This paying of the teacher by sacrificing a sibling gives a “rational” sanction for the arbitrary and otherwise rationally unexplained necessity of killing a brother or sister. 111 have been unable to secure a specimen of this plant. The Franciscan Fathers, 1910, p. 201, also list it as “unidentified.” A number of informants have described it as being only slightly different in appearance from Datura meteloides. DC. 18 Father Berard tells me that it is impossible to etymologize sai^-nalaliand that “Turns Toward the Sun” is a folk etymology. A specimen of this plant collected by me was identified by L. C. Wyman and S. K. Harris as Petalostemum oligophyllum (Torr.) Rydb. This plant is the “basic species” for Wyman and Harris, 249. Another plant (pointed out by linguistic term but not collected for identification) in the Chaco Canyon region appeared to be a sort of sunflower. 13 A specimen of this plant collected by me was identified by L. C. Wyman and S. K. Harris as Pericome caudata (Gray). 14 Wyman and Harris, 47. A specimen collected for me by this in¬ formant was identified by L. C. Wyman and S. K. Harris as Phacelia crenulata (Torr.) var. ambigua (Jones) Macbr. One of Aberle’s informants characterized this plant as follows: “It’s pretty dangerous; if you put it in your mouth, it’ll kill you, and if you just touch it, it will bum your whole body. It means ‘don’t touch it.’ ” 151 have been unable to obtain a specimen of this. 18 Wyman and Harris, 209. Two specimens collected as “witchcraft plants” for me by two different informants were identified by L. C. Wyman and S. K. Harris as Gymnolomia. multiflora (Nutt.) B. & H. [now changed to Viguiera multiflora (Nutt.) Blake; cf. Wyman and Harris, 109, 103] and as Rhus Toxicodendron L. 171 did not collect a specimen of this plant, but several were collected by Dr. Paul Vestal. One has been identified by him as Lygodesmia juncea (Pursh) Don, three others, one of which was called by the informant “big blue gum,” was identified as Stephanomeria pauciflora (Torr.) A Nels. The following remarks about “blue gum” were made to Dr. Vestal by various informants: “Make chewing gum out of root. Four or five plants used for this purpose. This is the best one.” “Cut root. Leave in the sun until gum comes out, then chew this like regular gum.” “Chew the root. Gum will come out. It tastes good.” “When woman has a baby, boil whole plant. Give to her when baby comes, two or three cups. Cleans all blood out. Use either fresh or dry.”



All of my informants seemed to connect “blue gum” closely with Datura. Indeed, some seemed to feel that the two Navaho names were synonyms. Cf. Appendix VI, footnote 17. Wyman and Harris, 102. A specimen collected by me was identified by them as Ptiloria neomexicana (Greene). 10 From the field notes of David Aberle. 20 Ibid. 21 See W. W. Hill, 1940a. 23 Note how “grown people” [i.e., mature adults] are contrasted with “old men.” 23 Have something in their minds” is a frequent euphemism for “know witchcraft.” 24 From the field notes of David Aberle. 35 Note by David Aberle: Henceforth, the first four plants are called “These four” by the informant, and the last two, “these two.” They are considered by him as two separate groups and so distinguished. 20 Wyman and Harris, 235. 27 From the field notes of David Aberle. The informant is generally believed to practice Frenzy Witchcraft (he had had a succession of wives and ‘ mistresses”) and is said to have boasted to other Navaho that he knows Frenzy Witchcraft. 28 From the field notes of David Aberle. 29 Ibid., Cf. fn. 32. 30 Ibid. 31 Poison ivy is normally the plant referred to in Navaho as kisisgi-s which is often translated by English-speaking Navahos as “crushed-down ki-P (sumac).

Father Berard, however, comments: “This nasal stem -Ji-s

or -3i-2 has no relationship with -I31S to smash or to crush. If ki- refers to sumac it should not lose its nasality.” 32 From the field notes of David Aberle. These notes contain a great deal more material than I am here publishing, most of it simply confirmatory of material in my own interview. I publish here only those excerpts which add something new or which confirm doubtful points. 83Dry paintings of this type were also used in Sorcery (cf. 81), as protection against witches (cf. 186). A similar figure, but made as a sandpainting, is also used in Chiricahua Wind Way chant (cf. Kluckhohn and Wyman, 1940, figure 19). 34 Cf. the magical use of the flute in the Prostitution Way chant origin legend (Appendix IV, para, 73). 35 Wyman and Harris, 262. Cf. also fn. 4, supra. 30 From the field notes of Dr. Paul Vestal. 37 Ibid. 38 Ibid. For additional material on Frenzy Witchcraft, see 224.

Appendix VII: Other Types of Witchcraft 1 Wyman and Harris, 3. 2dibe ye^elni. 3 See also 222. 4 As David Aberle reminds me, it is a Navaho major behavioral pattern



that a man does not feather arrows inside his hogan. If he did, the children would get the slivers of Eagle feathers in their mouths and throats and these parts would become sore. In other words, Eagle feathers are drought of as intrinsically dangerous. 5 Cf. Wyman and Kluckhohn, 1938, p. 29. 0 Cf. Newcomb, 1940b, p. 65. Cf. also: 155. 7 Father Berard comments: “I suspect that this has some relation to that part of Bead Way which concerns ?aca Baxi-iii• I3a, way of trapping eagles (throwing them in one after another; viz., into the ?o-d, eagle trap). Naturally, songs would be sung. The pet eagle had to be released with an offering of jewels after sufficient eagles had been caught and plucked of their feathers. This part was performed if one suffered after entering the eagle trap, which was made in the shape of a pit.” 8 Cf. 178, 209. 0 See also 155.

Appendix VIII: Protection and Cure 1 From the field notes of Flora Bailey. 2 Wyman and Harris, 40. 8 From the field notes of Flora Bailey. The first two paragraphs are a composite from interviewing and checking with 7 different informants. The last paragraph comes from a single informant. 4 From the field notes of Dr. Leland C. Wyman. 61 have not been able to obtain specimens of any of these plants. Dr. Vestal has collected a specimen called “bear plant” and identified it as Pedicularis grayi (A. Nels). 6 Cf. Kluckhohn and Wyman, 1940, pp. 52-53. 7 Wyman and Harris, p. 113. 8 Ibid., p. 101. '‘Ibid., p. 75. 10 Ibid., p. 122. n From the field notes of Harry Tschopik, Jr. 12 Ibid. 13 This and other technical terms for Navaho ceremonialism follow the glossary given in Kluckhohn and Wyman, 1940, pp. 191-196. 14 Accounts substantially similar to that of the accused (save as to the evidence for his guilt) were independendy obtained from several eye¬ witnesses. The accused added that the real witches were his accusers. 16 Wyman and Harris, 156. 10 The narrator was a white man who had been brought up on the Navaho Reservation and spoke Navaho fluendy. At this time he was supervisor of one of the Reservation districts. For another account of this same incident cf. 209. 17 From the field notes of Drs. A. H. and D. C. Leighton. 18 Ibid. 10 Wyman and Harris, 146. 20 From the field notes of Drs. A. H. and D. C. Leighton. 21 From tire field notes of David Aberle. 22 Ibid.



23 From the field notes of A. H. and D. C. Leighton. Reading this excerpt out of context, one might be inclined to think that fear of ghosts rather than witchcraft was the referent. In this case, however, the material was very definitely given in a witchcraft context. 21 From the field notes of Paul Vestal. In discussing this, the informant commented to me, “Not many people know this plant at all. The Navaho name they gave your friend [Dr. Vestal] is its sacred name—the one they use when they pray to it. Usually we call it ^aze-P coh (‘big medicine’). It has a lump like potatoes.” Cf. Wyman and Harris, 52 (p. 20). However, Wyman and Harris include this botanical species under their 52 “globular medicine.” Dr. Wyman tells me that the plant is well-known in the PinedaleThoreau area. 25 For additional material on protection and cure see 8, 22, 53, 82, 92, 115, 116, 117, 120, 122, 123, 129, 132, 133, 142, 144, 145, 204, 205, 209, 210, 212, 217, 219, 220, 221, 222, 228.

Appendix IX: Behavior and Participation 1 Saying in one breath that a singer has obtained his knowledge improperly and that he is a witch makes definite sense from the Navaho point of view and is a fairly common pattern. Both attributions are modes of manifesting hostility to a singer. Moreover, the pairing of improperlytrained-singer and witch tends to preserve the belief that singers who have gained their knowledge by culturally approved means are altogether good— the “bad singers,” who become witches are then, after all, not really true singers anyway. Cf. Part II, Section 3, fn. 70. 2It is interesting that a rumor (entirely without foundation in fact) has grown up and been widely believed to the effect that after the man died (in a government hospital) “his body and some fluid” was sent to Alburquerque “to be studied” and “a big doctor there said ‘some medicine man there must have used some kind of poison on him.’ ” 3 From the field notes of Drs. A. H. and D. C. Leighton. 4 Ibid. 0 Ibid. * Ibid. 7 Ibid. 8 Ibid. 0 From the field notes of Richard Van Valkenburgh. 10 Ibid. u Ibid. 12 Ibid. This seems to be a variant of the story told in 92. 18 This letter (which I was able to copy from the government files through the kindness of Mr. Van Valkenburgh) is typical of many similar documents I have seen wherein Navahos have appealed to government officials either for protection of members of their families who are accused as witches or for protection against witches. Mr. S. F. Stacher was for many years superintendent of the Crownpoint Agency. 14 This deals with the same incident covered in 178. But this account was written by a highly acculturated Navaho in the government service who acted as interpreter in the meeting with Mr. Fryer. With the exception of



the last three paragraphs, the notes were written down immediately after the meeting (the white district supervisor’s version, given in 178, was obtained from him by me some six months after the events). The last three paragraphs represent notes made by the interpreter within a few days or weeks after the meeting, as a preliminary to submitting a complete report to Mr. Fryer. In view of the unusual and many-sided interest of this docu¬ ment, the version presented here is a careful transcription (preserving all details of orthography, etc.) of the original pencilled manuscript of the interpreter. It may be added that Navahos (and whites!) have made much of the “run of bad luck” (serious automobile accident, shooting off of his foot) which “pursued” the white man in question within two years after he was “witched.” 15 Contributed by J. Charles Kelley. 10 From the field notes of Harry Tschopik, Jr. 17 From the field notes of Helen Bradley. 18 From the field notes of David Aberle. 19 Ibid. 20 Ibid. 21 Ibid. 23 Ibid. 23 From the field notes of Dorothea Leighton. 21 From the field notes of Harry Tschopik, Jr. 26 Ibid. Note that hairs from a turkey’s beard are commonly part of a singer’s equipment. Cf. Newcomb and Reichard, 1937, p. 11. “This and the following document (231) are accounts of the same incident. Both are interviews of a school teacher with former pupils, conducted entirely in English. Names have been disguised. The incident was reported in the Farmington, New Mexico, Times Hustler, September 18, 1942, under the title “Custer Badoni Slays Three Navajos, Then Shoots Self, Monday on Fruitland Project.” This article is representative of the information and misinformation on Navaho Witchcraft then current, in the surrounding white population, and is also representa¬ tive of the interactions with whites in the witchcraft context. It is to be noted that J. C. Morgan, the Navaho who writes the accompanying “explanatory article,” entitled “Navaho Witchcraft Has Significance in Navaho Life,” was highly accultured and himself a Christian missionary. The two articles appear in full below. Typographical pecularities have not been corrected. Custer




Navajos, Then Shoots Self Monday On Fruitland Project

Grim tragedy stalked the old farming section of Navajo lower Fruitland Project west of Farmington early Monday a “hex” murderer took the lives of a young Navajo man fatally wounded an elderly Navajo man, and then blew off own head. The dead: Mr. and Mrs. George Nice Gray Horse, sixty year old father of Mrs. Nice.

Indians on the morning when and wife, and the top of his



Custer’s Son In Law Seven year old son of Custer’s Mr. and George Nice, a couple in their early thirties, and neighbors of Custer s Son In Law, were shot while in bed around two o’clock Monday morning, and both died soon afterwards. Gray horse was the next victim, being called from his home in the early morning, and was shot thru the thighs by Custer’s Son In Law, he stated. Jack Leonard of the trading store at the Fruitland Project called Sheriff Andy Andrews to the scene, and accompanied Andrews and his deputy O. L. Chapman to the scene of the crimes. The party tracked the killer from the Nice home to Gray Horse’s place, and then the tracks doubled back down the river for some three miles. Finally they led off to a tent owned by the father of the hex killer. After a cautious approach, it was discovered that the young father they had been tracking had taken his own life some time before they reached the place. He had reclined on two sheepskins on the dirt floor of the tent, place the rifle he was carrying against his forhead, and literally blew die top of his head off. Pieces of skull were scattered about the tent, and brains had stuccoed the tent wall near his head. Sheriff Andrews then returned to Farmington to pick up officials to hold an inquest. He was accompanied by Assistant District Attorney, Harold Palmer, Justice C. R. Bolton, and Editor Orval Ricketts of the Times Hustler. After selecting die coroner’s jury, a study was made of the slain Navajos, the bodies having been left where they were discovered. Indian police were also at the scene making an invesdgadon of the crime. Mrs. Custer’s Son In Law stated that she with the other members of the family, with a number of neighbors, had gone to a Squaw Dance held down the river Sunday night, and did not return until daylight Monday morning. They had left the husband home with the invalid seven year old son, who had been suffering from T B for the past year. Some time in the night the child died of a hemhorrhage. Testimony developed that two other children of the family had previously died and that the father had had interviews with a so-called Navajo Wich Woman at Huerfano, who had named several Navajos as having placed a curse on the Custer family. The widow of the killer informed Navajo police that her husband had on several occasions declared that he would kill the “hexers” should the invalid child die. Evidently this is just what occurred. The body of the child was found in the tent where he had been left with his father when the others had gone to the Squaw Dance. The home of the murdered couple was less than two hundred yards from the tent. Following death of child, Custer evidently went straight to his home, stepped into the adobe hogan where the Nice couple were sleeping on a mattress on the floor. Custer’s Son In Law flashed a light at them, then shooting the husband thru the stomach, the bullet being found imbedded in the mattress. Mrs. Nice was also shot thru the abdomen. Mrs. Nice’s sister Lydia, who lives in a hogan fifty yeards away, was awakened by a shot around two o’clock and rushed over to the Nice hogan. She found her sister had dragged herself out side the hogan, and was still conscious. The husband was also conscious but lay just within the hogan door. Lydia rushed off for assistance, finding Russell Simpson. Upon



returning to the Nice hogan they found George had also dragged himself out of the hogan door, but he was dead, altho Mrs. Nice was still conscious and able to talk. She said they had been shot by Custer’s Son In Law. She died soon afterwards. The dead mother was expecting a child within a few weeks. George Nice had been working for Santa Fe railroad in California and had returned home two weeks ago, planning on leaving again soon for the job, his wife wishing to remain at her home with her relatives. Navajo Indian police are working on the hexing angle of the case. Navajo


Has Significance In Indian Life

The T-H asked a Navajo Tribal Council Chairman J. C. Morgan, a full blooded Navajo, to write an explanatory article on just what it is that Navajos of the oid school believe about witchcraft, or “chindi” as the white man call the superstition. Mr. Morgan very kindly wrote the follow¬ ing, which throws light on the thinking of Custer Badoni, who killed three of his tribe members believing them to have exerted some power over his children causing them to die. Anit’in or Enizin is the word for witchcraft. Enizin has been con¬ sidered as a practice of evil thru evil spirit. A person of evil mind or intention is considered dangerous. A man or woman who has a bad look or who has a peculiar action is suspicious. Anit’in really is a bad poisonous medicin that can be blown thru the air, as it is believed and feared by the most superstitious, by some magic power in the direction of a person Be-’e-ni-zi-ni- (witchcraft) wish to injure. It also has been believed Anit’in dine’l (witch organization) go in wolf skin which are known as Yenal-dlo-si which means to go around as an animal. These were the class of grave robbers. It has been told that when a well-to-do person dies it is buried with all the valuable jewelry and the best robes which the grave robbers dig out from the grave. A person who is considered as Anit’in be’e-nizin can also shoot, a most dangerous secret arrow so tiny to be seen, but presumedly a piece of char¬ coal wrapped with human hair, or a piece of a bone of the dead, or even rock, into the body of a person they wish to die. There is a woman not many miles from Farmington who became famous almost overnight because she has learned ventriloquisim. Indians say she throws her voice; she been fooling the people and at the same time is dangerous. She charges some big fee for her medicine (peyote). All in all such a practice or belief is considered as Enizin or Anit’in. 27 An interview of Dr. W. W. Hill with an informant on the Ghost dance.


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