Zuni Fetiches
by Frank Hamilton Cushing
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Transcriber's Note: ņ represents a small eng. Ņ represents a capital eng. ń represents a small n with a superior acute. [oe] represents an oe ligature. ['] represents a prime.

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Zuni philosophy 9 Worship of animals 11 Origin of Zuni Fetichism 12 The Zuni Iliad 12 The Drying of the World 13 Power of the Fetiches 15 Prey Gods of the Six Regions 16 Their origin 16 Po-shai-aņ-k'ia 16 Their power as mediators 18 Mi-tsi 18 Their worship 19 Prey Gods of the Hunt 20 Their relation to the others 20 Their origin 20 The distribution of the animals 21 Their varieties 24 The Mountain Lion—Hunter God of the North 25 The Coyote—Hunter God of the West 26 The Wild Cat—Hunter God of the South 27 The Wolf—Hunter God of the East 28 The Eagle—Hunter God of the Upper Regions 29 The Mole—Hunter God of the Lower Regions 30 The Ground Owl and the Falcon 30 Their relative values 30 Their custodian 31 The rites of their worship 32 The Day of the Council of the Fetiches 32 Ceremonials of the hunt 33 Their power 39 Prey Gods of the Priesthood of the Bow 40 The Knife-Feathered Monster, the Mountain Lion, and the Great White Bear 40 Their resemblance to the Prey Gods of the Hunt 41 The rites of their worship 41 Other Fetiches 44 Fetiches of Navajo origin 44 The pony 44 The sheep 44 Amulets and charms 44


Plate I.—Prey God fetiches 12 II.—Prey God fetiches of the Six Regions 16 III.—Prey God fetiches of the hunt 20 IV.—Mountain Lion fetiches of the chase 24 V.—Coyote fetiches of the chase 26 VI.—Wild Cat fetiches of the chase 27 VII.—Wolf fetiches of the chase 28 VIII.—Eagle fetiches of the chase 29 IX.—Mole and Ground Owl fetiches 30 X.—Shield and fetich of the Priesthood of the Bow 40 XI.—Shield and fetich of the Priesthood of the Bow 40

Fig 1.—Concretion 45 2.—Mineral fetich 45 3.—Fossil fetich 56




The A-shi-wi, or Zunis, suppose the sun, moon, and stars, the sky, earth, and sea, in all their phenomena and elements; and all inanimate objects, as well as plants, animals, and men, to belong to one great system of all-conscious and interrelated life, in which the degrees of relationship seem to be determined largely, if not wholly, by the degrees of resemblance. In this system of life the starting point is man, the most finished, yet the lowest organism; at least, the lowest because most dependent and least mysterious. In just so far as an organism, actual or imaginary, resembles his, is it believed to be related to him and correspondingly mortal; in just so far as it is mysterious, is it considered removed from him, further advanced, powerful, and immortal. It thus happens that the animals, because alike mortal and endowed with similar physical functions and organs, are considered more nearly related to man than are the gods; more nearly related to the gods than is man, because more mysterious, and characterized by specific instincts and powers which man does not of himself possess. Again, the elements and phenomena of nature, because more mysterious, powerful and immortal, seem more closely related to the higher gods than are the animals; more closely related to the animals than are the higher gods, because their manifestations often resemble the operations of the former.

In consequence of this, and through the confusion of the subjective with the objective, any element or phenomenon in nature, which is believed to possess a personal existence, is endowed with a personality analogous to that of the animal whose operations most resemble its manifestation. For instance, lightning is often given the form of a serpent, with or without an arrow-pointed tongue, because its course through the sky is serpentine, its stroke instantaneous and destructive; yet it is named Wi-lo-lo-a-ne, a word derived not from the name of the serpent itself, but from that of its most obvious trait, its gliding, zigzag motion. For this reason, the serpent is supposed to be more nearly related to lightning than to man; more nearly related to man than is lightning, because mortal and less mysterious. As further illustrative of the interminable relationships which are established on resemblances fancied or actual, the flint arrow-point may be cited. Although fashioned by man, it is regarded as originally the gift or "flesh" of lightning, as made by the power of lightning, and rendered more effective by these connections with the dread element; pursuant of which idea, the zigzag or lightning marks are added to the shafts of arrows. A chapter might be written concerning this idea, which may possibly help to explain the Celtic, Scandinavian, and Japanese beliefs concerning "elf-shafts," and "thunder-stones," and "bolts."

In like manner, the supernatural beings of man's fancy—the "master existences"—are supposed to be more nearly related to the personalities with which the elements and phenomena of nature are endowed than to either animals or men; because, like those elements and phenomena, and unlike men and animals, they are connected with remote tradition in a manner identical with their supposed existence to-day, and therefore are considered immortal.

To the above descriptions of the supernatural beings of Zuni Theology should be added the statement that all of these beings are given the forms either of animals, of monsters compounded of man and beast, or of man. The animal gods comprise by far the largest class.

In the Zuni, no general name is equivalent to "the gods," unless it be the two expressions which relate only to the higher or creating and controlling beings—the "causes," Creators and Masters, "Pi-kwain=a-ha-i" (Surpassing Beings), and "A-tae-tchu" (All-fathers), the beings superior to all others in wonder and power, and the "Makers" as well as the "Finishers" of existence. These last are classed with the supernatural beings, personalities of nature, object beings, etc., under one term—

a. I-shothl-ti-mon=a-ha-i, from i-shothl-ti-mo-na=ever recurring, immortal, and a-ha-i=beings.

Likewise, the animals and animal gods, and sometimes even the supernatural beings, having animal or combined animal and human personalities, are designated by one term only—

b. K'ia-pin=a-ha-i, from k'ia-pin-na=raw, and a-ha-i=beings. Of these, however, three divisions are made:

(1.) K'ia-pin-a-ha-i=game animals, specifically applied to those animals furnishing flesh to man.

(2.) K'iae-shem-a-ha-i, from k'iae-we=water, she-man=wanting, and a-ha-i=beings, the water animals, specially applied not only to them, but also to all animals and animal gods supposed to be associated sacredly with water, and through which water is supplicated.

(3.) We-ma-a-ha-i, from we-ma=prey, and a-ha-i=beings, "Prey Beings," applied alike to the prey animals and their representatives among the gods. Finally we have the terms—

c. Ak-na=a-ha-i, from ak-na=done, cooked, or baked, ripe, and a-ha-i=beings, the "Done Beings," referring to mankind; and

d. Aesh-i-k'ia=a-ha-i, from ae[']sh-k'ia=made, finished, and a-ha-i=beings, "Finished Beings," including the dead of mankind.

That very little distinction is made between these orders of life, or that they are at least closely related, seems to be indicated by the absence from the entire language of any general term for God. True, there are many beings in Zuni Mythology godlike in attributes, anthropomorphic, monstrous, and elemental, which are known as the "Finishers or makers of the paths of life," while the most superior of all is called the "Holder of the paths (of our lives)," Ha[']-no-o-na wi-la-po-na. Not only these gods, but all supernatural beings, men, animals, plants, and many objects in nature, are regarded as personal existences, and are included in the one term a-ha-i, from a, the plural particle signifying "all," and ha-i, being or life,="Life," "the Beings." This again leads us to the important and interesting conclusion that all beings, whether deistic and supernatural, or animistic and mortal, are regarded as belonging to one system; and that they are likewise believed to be related by blood seems to be indicated by the fact that human beings are spoken of as the "children of men," while all other beings are referred to as "the Fathers," the "All-fathers," and "Our Fathers."


It naturally follows from the Zuni's philosophy of life, that his worship, while directed to the more mysterious and remote powers of nature, or, as he regards them, existences, should relate more especially to the animals; that, in fact, the animals, as more nearly related to himself than are these existences, more nearly related to these existences than to himself, should be frequently made to serve as mediators between them and him. We find this to be the case. It follows likewise that in his inability to differentiate the objective from the subjective, he should establish relationships between natural objects which resemble animals and the animals themselves; that he should even ultimately imitate these animals for the sake of establishing such relationships, using such accidental resemblances as his motives, and thus developing a conventionality in all art connected with his worship. It follows that the special requirements of his life or of the life of his ancestors should influence him to select as his favored mediators or aids those animals which seemed best fitted, through peculiar characteristics and powers, to meet these requirements. This, too, we find to be the case, for, preeminently a man of war and the chase, like all savages, the Zuni has chosen above all other animals those which supply him with food and useful material, together with the animals which prey on them, giving preference to the latter. Hence, while the name of the former class is applied preferably as a general term to all animals and animal gods, as previously explained, the name of the latter is used with equal preference as a term for all fetiches (We-ma-we), whether of the prey animals themselves or of other animals and beings. Of course it is equally natural, since they are connected with man both in the scale of being and in the power to supply his physical wants more nearly than are the higher gods, that the animals or animal gods should greatly outnumber and even give character to all others. We find that the Fetiches of the Zunis relate mostly to the animal gods, and principally to the prey gods.


This fetichism seems to have arisen from the relationships heretofore alluded to, and to be founded on the myths which have been invented to account for those relationships. It is therefore not surprising that those fetiches most valued by the Zunis should be either natural concretions (Plate I, Fig. 6), or objects in which the evident original resemblance to animals has been only heightened by artificial means (Plate IV, Fig. 7; Plate V, Fig. 4; Plate VI, Figs. 3,6, 8; Plate VIII, Figs. 1, 3, 4, 5; Plate IX, Fig. 1).

Another highly prized class of fetiches are, on the contrary, those which are elaborately carved, but show evidence, in their polish and dark patina, of great antiquity. They are either such as have been found by the Zunis about pueblos formerly inhabited by their ancestors or are tribal possessions which have been handed down from generation to generation, until their makers, and even the fact that they were made by any member of the tribe, have been forgotten. It is supposed by the priests (A-shi-wa-ni) of Zuni that not only these, but all true fetiches, are either actual petrifactions of the animals they represent, or were such originally. Upon this supposition is founded the following tradition, taken, as are others to follow, from a remarkable mythologic epic, which I have entitled the Zuni Iliad.


Although oral, this epic is of great length, metrical, rythmical even in parts, and filled with archaic expressions nowhere to be found in the modern Zuni. It is to be regretted that the original diction cannot here be preserved. I have been unable, however, to record literally even portions of this piece of aboriginal literature, as it is jealously guarded by the priests, who are its keepers, and is publicly repeated by them only once in four years, and then only in the presence of the priests of the various orders. As a member of one of the latter, I was enabled to listen to one-fourth of it during the last recitation, which occurred in February, 1881. I therefore give mere abstracts, mostly furnished from memory, and greatly condensed, but pronounced correct, so far as they go, by one of the above-mentioned priests.


In the days when all was new, men lived in the four caverns of the lower regions (A-wi-ten te-huthl-na-kwin=the "Four Wombs of the World"). In the lowermost one of these men first came to know of their existence. It was dark, and as men increased they began to crowd one another and were very unhappy. Wise men came into existence among them, whose children supplicated them that they should obtain deliverance from such a condition of life.

It was then that the "Holder of the Paths of Life," the Sun-father, created from his own being two children, who fell to earth for the good of all beings (U-a-nam atch-pi-ah-k'oa). The Sun-father endowed these children with immortal youth, with power even as his own power, and created for them a bow (A-mi-to-lan-ne,=the Rain Bow) and an arrow (Wi-lo-lo-a-ne,=Lightning). For them he made also a shield like unto his own, of magic power, and a knife of flint, the great magic war knife (Sa-wa-ni-k'ia ae[']-tchi-e-ne). The shield (Pi-al-lan-ne) was a mere network of sacred cords (Pi-tsau-pi-wi,=cotton) on a hoop of wood, and to the center of this net-shield was attached the magic knife.

These children cut the face of the world with their magic knife, and were borne down upon their shield into the caverns in which all men dwelt. There, as the leaders of men, they lived with their children, mankind.

They listened to the supplications of the priests. They built a ladder to the roof of the first cave and widened with their flint knife and shield the aperture through which they had entered. Then they led men forth into the second cavern, which was larger and not quite so dark.

Ere long men multiplied and bemoaned their condition as before. Again they besought their priests, whose supplications were once more listened to by the divine children. As before, they led all mankind into the third world. Here it was still larger and like twilight, for the light of the Sun himself sifted down through the opening. To these poor creatures (children) of the dark the opening itself seemed a blazing sun.

But as time went on men multiplied even as they had before, and at last, as at first, bemoaned their condition. Again the two children listened to their supplications, and it was then that the children of men first saw the light of their father, the Sun.

The world had been covered with water. It was damp and unstable. Earthquakes disturbed its surface. Strange beings rose up through it, monsters and animals of prey. As upon an island in the middle of a great water, the children of men were led forth into the light of their father, the Sun. It blinded and heated them so that they cried to one another in anguish, and fell down, and covered their eyes with their bare hands and arms, for men were black then, like the caves they came from, and naked, save for a covering at the loins of rush, like yucca fiber, and sandals of the same, and their eyes, like the owl's, were unused to the daylight.

Eastward the two children began to lead them, toward the Home of the Sun-father.

Now, it happened that the two children, saw that the earth must be dried and hardened, for wherever the foot touched the soil water gathered—as may be seen even in the rocks to-day—and the monsters which rose forth from the deep devoured the children of men. Therefore they consulted together and sought the advice of their creator, the Sun-father. By his directions, they placed their magic shield upon the wet earth. They drew four lines a step apart upon the soft sands. Then the older brother said to the younger, "Wilt thou, or shall I, take the lead?"

"I will take the lead," said the younger.

"Stand thou upon the last line," said the older.

And when they had laid upon the magic shield the rainbow, and across it the arrows of lightning, toward all the quarters of the world, the younger brother took his station facing toward the right. The older brother took his station facing toward the left. When all was ready, both braced themselves to run. The older brother drew his arrow to the head, let fly, and struck the rainbow and the lightning arrows midway, where they crossed. Instantly, thlu-tchu! shot the arrows of lightning in every direction, and fire rolled over the face of the earth, and the two gods followed the courses of their arrows of lightning.

Now that the surface of the earth was hardened, even the animals of prey, powerful and like the fathers (gods) themselves, would have devoured the children of men; and the Two thought it was not well that they should all be permitted to live, "for," said they, "alike will the children of men and the children of the animals of prey multiply themselves. The animals of prey are provided with talons and teeth; men are but poor, the finished beings of earth, therefore the weaker."

Whenever they came across the pathway of one of these animals, were he great mountain lion or but a mere mole, they struck him with the fire of lightning which they carried in their magic shield. Thlu! and instantly he was shriveled and burnt into stone.

Then said they to the animals that they had thus changed to stone, "That ye may not be evil unto men, but that ye may be a great good unto them, have we changed you into rode everlasting. By the magic breath of prey, by the heart that shall endure forever within you, shall ye be made to serve instead of to devour mankind."

Thus was the surface of the earth hardened and scorched and many of all kinds of beings changed to stone. Thus, too, it happens that we find, here and there throughout the world, their forms, sometimes large like the beings themselves, sometimes shriveled and distorted. And we often see among the rocks the forms of many beings that live no longer, which shows us that all was different in the "days of the new."

Of these petrifactions, which are of course mere concretions or strangely eroded rock-forms, the Zunis say, "Whomsoever of us may be met with the light of such great good fortune may see (discover, find) them and should treasure them for the sake of the sacred (magic) power which was given them in the days of the new. For the spirits of the We-ma-a-ha-i still live, and are pleased to receive from us the Sacred Plume (of the heart—Lae-sho-a-ni), and sacred necklace of treasure (Thla-thle-a); hence they turn their ears and the ears of their brothers in our direction that they may hearken to our prayers (sacred talks) and know our wants."


This tradition not only furnishes additional evidence relative to the preceding statements, but also, taken in connection with the following belief, shows quite clearly to the native wherein lies the power of his fetiches. It is supposed that the hearts of the great animals of prey are infused with a spirit or medicine of magic influence over the hearts of the animals they prey upon, or the game animals (K'ia-pin-a-ha-i); that their breaths (the "Breath of Life"—Ha-i-an-pi-nan-ne—and soul are synonymous in Zuni Mythology), derived from their hearts, and breathed upon their prey, whether near or far, never fail to overcome them, piercing their hearts and causing their limbs to stiffen, and the animals themselves to lose their strength. Moreover, the roar or cry of a beast of prey is accounted its Sa-wa-ni-k'ia, or magic medicine of destruction, which, heard by the game animals, is fatal to them, because it charms their senses, as does the breath their hearts. Since the mountain lion, for example, lives by the blood ("life fluid") and flesh of the game animals, and by these alone, he is endowed not only with the above powers, but with peculiar powers in the senses of sight and smell. Moreover, these powers, as derived from his heart, are preserved in his fetich, since his heart still lives, even though his person be changed to stone.



Therefore it happens that the use of these fetiches is chiefly connected with the chase. To this, however, there are some exceptions. One of these may be partly explained by the following myth concerning Po-shai-aņ-k'ia, the God (Father) of the Medicine societies or sacred esoteric orders, of which there are twelve in Zuni, and others among the different pueblo tribes. He is supposed to have appeared in human form, poorly clad, and therefore reviled by men; to have taught the ancestors of the Zuni, Taos, Oraibi, and Coconino Indians their agricultural and other arts, their systems of worship by means of plumed and painted prayer-sticks; to have organized their medicine societies; and then to have disappeared toward his home in Shi-pae-pu-li-ma (from shi-pi-a=mist, vapor; u-lin=surrounding; and i-mo-na=sitting place of—"The mist-enveloped city"), and to have vanished beneath the world, whence he is said to have departed for the home of the Sun. He is still the conscious auditor of the prayers of his children, the invisible ruler of the spiritual Shi-pae-pu-li-ma, and of the lesser gods of the medicine orders, the principal "Finisher of the Paths of our Lives." He is, so far as any identity can be established, the "Montezuma" of popular and usually erroneous Mexican tradition.


In ancient times, while yet all beings belonged to one family, Po-shai-aņ-k'ia, the father of our sacred bands, lived with his children (disciples) in the City of the Mists, the middle place (center) of the Medicine societies of the world. There he was guarded on all sides by his six warriors, A-pi-thlan shi-wa-ni (pi-thlan=bow, shi-wa-ni=priests), the prey gods; toward the North by the Mountain Lion (Long Tail); toward the West by the Bear (Clumsy Foot); toward the South by the Badger (Black Mark Face); toward the East by the Wolf (Hang Tail); above by the Eagle (White Cap); and below by the Mole. When he was about to go forth into the world, he divided the universe into six regions, namely, the North (Pi[']sh-lan-kwin tah-na=Direction of the Swept or Barren place); the West (K'iae[']-li-shi-in-kwin tah-na=Direction of the Home of the Waters); the South (A-la-ho-in-kwin tah-na=Direction of the Place of the Beautiful Bed); the East (Te-lu-a-in-kwin tah-na=Direction of the Home of Day); the Upper Regions (I-ya-ma-in-kwin tah-na=Direction of the Home of the High); and the Lower Regions (Ma-ne-lam-in-kwin tah-na=Direction of the Home of the Low)."

All, save the first of these terms, are archaic. The modern names for the West, South, East, Upper and Lower Regions signifying respectively—"The Place of Evening," "The Place of the Salt Lake" (Las Salinas), "The Place whence comes the Day," "The Above," and "The Below."

In the center of the great sea of each of these regions stood a very ancient sacred place (Te-thlae-shi-na-kwin), a great mountain peak. In the North was the Mountain Yellow, in the West the Mountain Blue, in the South the Mountain Red, in the East the Mountain White, above the Mountain All-color, and below the Mountain Black.

We do not fail to see in this clear reference to the natural colors of the regions referred to—to the barren north and its auroral hues, the west with its blue Pacific, the rosy south, the white daylight of the east, the many hues of the clouded sky, and the black darkness of the "caves and holes of earth." Indeed, these colors are used in the pictographs and in all the mythic symbolism of the Zunis, to indicate the directions or regions respectively referred to as connected with them.

Then said Po-shai-aņ-k'ia to the Mountain Lion (Plate II, Fig. 1), "Long Tail, thou art stout of heart and strong of will. Therefore give I unto thee and unto thy children forever the mastership of the gods of prey, and the guardianship of the great Northern World (for thy coat is of yellow), that thou guard from that quarter the coming of evil upon my children of men, that thou receive in that quarter their messages to me, that thou become the father in the North of the sacred medicine orders all, that thou become a Maker of the Paths (of men's lives)."

Thither went the Mountain Lion. Then said Po-shai-aņ-k'ia to the Bear (Plate II, Fig. 2), "Black Bear, thou art stout of heart and strong of will. Therefore make I thee the younger brother of the Mountain Lion, the guardian and master of the West, for thy coat is of the color of the land of night," etc.

To the Badger (Plate II, Fig. 3), "Thou art stout of heart but not strong of will. Therefore make I thee the younger brother of the Bear, the guardian and master of the South, for thy coat is ruddy and marked with black and white equally, the colors of the land of summer, which is red, and stands between the day and the night, and thy homes are on the sunny sides of the hills," etc.

To the White Wolf (Plate II, Fig. 4), "Thou art stout of heart and strong of will. Therefore make I thee the younger brother of the Badger, the guardian and master of the East, for thy coat is white and gray, the color of the day and dawn," etc.

And to the Eagle (Plate II, Fig. 5), he said: "White Cap (Bald Eagle), thou art passing stout of heart and strong of will. Therefore make I thee the younger brother of the Wolf, the guardian and master of the Upper regions, for thou fliest through the skies without tiring, and thy coat is speckled like the clouds," etc.

"Prey Mole (Plate II, Fig. 6), thou art stout of heart and strong of will. Therefore make I thee the younger brother of the Eagle, the guardian and master of the Lower regions, for thou burrowest through the earth without tiring, and thy coat is of black, the color of the holes and caves of earth," etc.


Thus it may be seen that all these animals are supposed to possess not only the guardianship of the six regions, but also the mastership, not merely geographic, but of the medicine powers, etc., which are supposed to emanate from them; that they are the mediators between men and Po-shai-aņ-ki'a, and conversely, between the latter and men.

As further illustrative of this relationship it may not be amiss to add that, aside from representing the wishes of men to Po-shai-aņ-ki'a, by means of the spirits of the prayer plumes, which, it is supposed, the prey gods take into his presence, and which are, as it were, memoranda (like quippus) to him and other high gods of the prayers of men, they are also made to bear messages to men from him and his associated gods.

For instance, it is believed that any member of the medicine orders who neglects his religious duties as such is rendered liable to punishment (Hae[']-ti-a-k'ia-na-k'ia=reprehension) by Po-shai-aņ-ki'a through some one of his warriors.

As illustrative of this, the story of an adventure of Mi-tsi, an Indian who "still lives, but limps," is told by the priests with great emphasis to any backsliding member.


Mi-tsi was long a faithful member of the Little Fire order (Ma-ke-tsa-na-kwe), but he grew careless, neglected his sacrifices, and resigned his rank as "Keeper of the Medicines," from mere laziness. In vain his fathers warned him. He only grew hot with anger. One day Mi-tsi went up on the mesas to cut corral posts. He sat down to eat his dinner. A great black bear walked out of the thicket near at hand and leisurely approached him. Mi-tsi dropped his dinner and climbed a neighboring little dead pine tree. The bear followed him and climbed it, too. Mi-tsi began to have sad thoughts of the words of his fathers.

"Alas," he cried, "pity me, my father from the West-land!" In vain he promised to be a good Ma-ke-tsa-na-kwe. Had not Po-shai-aņ-ki'a commanded?

So the black bear seized him by the foot and pulled until Mi-tsi screamed from pain; but, cling as he would to the tree, the bear pulled him to the ground. Then he lay down on Mi-tsi and pressed the wind out of him so that he forgot. The black bear started to go; but eyed Mi-tsi. Mi-tsi kicked. Black bear came and pressed his wind out again. It hurt Mi-tsi, and he said to himself, "Oh dear me! what shall I do? The father thinks I am not punished enough." So he kept very still. Black bear started again, then stopped and looked at Mi-tsi, started and stopped again, growled and moved off, for Mi-tsi kept very still. Then the black bear went slowly away, looking at Mi-tsi all the while, until he passed a little knoll. Mi-tsi crawled away and hid under a log. Then, when he thought himself man enough, he started for Zuni. He was long sick, for the black bear had eaten his foot. He "still lives and limps," but he is a good Ma-ke-tsa-na-kwe. Who shall say that Po-shai-aņ-k'ia did not command?


The prey gods, through their relationship to Po-shai-aņ-k'ia, as "Makers of the Paths of Life," are given high rank among the gods. With this belief, their fetiches are held "as in captivity" by the priests of the various medicine orders, and greatly venerated by them as mediators between themselves and the animals they represent. In this character they are exhorted with elaborate prayers, rituals, and ceremonials. Grand sacrifices of plumed and painted prayer-sticks (Tethl-na-we) are made annually by the "Prey Brother Priesthood" (We-ma a-pa-pa a-shi-wa-ni) of these medicine societies, and at the full moon of each month lesser sacrifices of the same kind by the male members of the "Prey gentes" (We-ma a-no-ti-we) of the tribe.



The fetich worship of the Zunis naturally reaches its highest and most interesting development in its relationship to the chase, for the We-ma-a-ha-i are considered par excellence the gods of the hunt. Of this class of fetiches, the special priests are the members of the "Great Coyote People" (Sa-ni-a-k'ia-kwe, or the Hunting Order), their keepers, the chosen members of the Eagle and Coyote gentes and of the Prey Brother priesthood.

The fetiches in question (Plate III) represent, with two exceptions, the same species of prey animals as those supposed to guard the six regions. These exceptions are, the Coyote (Sus-ki, Plate III, Fig. 2), which replaces the Black Bear of the West, and the Wild Cat (Te-pi, Plate III, Fig. 3), which takes the place of the Badger of the South.

In the prayer-songs of the Sa-ni-a-kia-kwe, the names of all of these prey gods are, with two exceptions, given in the language of the Rio Grande Indians. This is probably one of the many devices for securing greater secrecy, and rendering the ceremonials of the Hunter Society mysterious to other than members. The exceptions are, the Coyote, or Hunter god of the West, known by the archaic name of Thlae[']-k'iae-tchu, instead of by its ordinary name of Sus-ki, and the Prey Mole or god of the Lower regions (Plate III, Fig. 5), which is named Mai-tu-pu, also archaic, instead of K'iae[']-lu-tsi. Yet in most of the prayer and ritualistic recitals of this order all of these gods are spoken of by the names which distinguish them in the other orders of the tribe.


While all the prey gods of the hunt are supposed to have functions differing both from those of the six regions and those of the Priesthood of the Bow, spoken of further on, they are yet referred, like those of the first class, to special divisions of the world. In explanation of this, however, quite another myth is given. This myth, like the first, is derived from the epic before referred to, and occurs in the latter third of the long recital, where it pictures the tribes of the Zunis, under the guidance of the Two Children, and the Ka[']-ka at Ko-thlu-el-lon-ne, now a marsh-bordered lagune situated on the eastern shore of the Colorado Chiquito, about fifteen miles north and west from the pueblo of San Juan, Arizona, and nearly opposite the mouth of the Rio Concho. This lagune is probably formed in the basin or crater of some extinct geyser or volcanic spring, as the two high and wonderfully similar mountains on either side are identical in formation with those in which occur the cave-craters farther south on the same river. It has, however, been largely filled in by the debris brought down by the Zuni River, which here joins the Colorado Chiquito. Ko-thlu-el-lon signifies the "standing place (city) of the Ka[']-ka" (from Ka=a contraction of Ka[']-ka, the sacred dance, and thlu-el-lon=standing place).


Men began their journey from the Red River, and the Ka[']-ka still lived, as it does now, at Ko-thlu-el-lon-ne, when the wonderful Snail People (not snails, as may be inferred, but a tribe of that name), who lived in the "Place of the Snails" (K'ia-ma-k'ia-kwin), far south of where Zuni now is, caused, by means of their magic power, all the game animals in the whole world round about to gather together in the great forked canon-valley under their town, and there to be hidden.

The walls of this canon were high and insurmountable, and the whole valley although large was filled full of the game animals, so that their feet rumbled and rattled together like the sound of distant thunder, and their horns crackled like the sound of a storm in a dry forest. All round about the canon these passing wonderful Snail People made a road (line) of magic medicine and sacred meal, which road, even as a corral, no game animal, even though great Elk or strong Buck Deer, could pass.

Now, it rained many days, and thus the tracks of all these animals tending thither were washed away. Nowhere could the Ka[']-ka or the children of men, although they hunted day after day over the plains and mountains, on the mesas and along the canon-valleys, find prey or trace of prey.

Thus it happened that after many days they grew hungry, almost famished. Even the great strong Sha'-la-k'o and the swift Sa-la-mo-pi-a walked zigzag in their trails, from the weakness of hunger. At first the mighty Ka[']-ka and men alike were compelled to eat the bones they had before cast away, and at last to devour the soles of their moccasins and even the deer-tail ornaments of their dresses for want of the flesh of K'iap-in-a-ha-i, Game animals.

Still, day after day, though weak and disheartened, men and the Ka[']-ka sought game in the mountains. At last a great Elk was given liberty. His sides shook with tallow, his dewlap hung like a bag, so fleshy was it, his horns spread out like branches of a dead tree, and his crackling hoofs cut the sands and even the rocks as he ran westward. He circled far off toward the Red River, passed through the Round Valley, and into the northern canons. The Sha'-la-k'o was out hunting. He espied the deep tracks of the elk and fleetly followed him. Passing swift and strong was he, though weak from hunger, and ere long he came in sight of the great Elk. The sight gladdened and strengthened him; but alas! the Elk kept his distance as he turned again toward the hiding-place of his brother animals. On and on the Sha'-la-k'o followed him, until he came to the edge of a great canon, and peering over the brink discovered the hiding-place of all the game animals of the world.

"Aha! so here you all are," said he. "I'll hasten back to my father, Pa-u-ti-wa,[1] who hungers for flesh, alas! and grows weak." And like the wind the Sha'-la-k'o returned to Ko-thlu-el-lon-ne. Entering, he informed the Ka[']-ka, and word was sent out by the swift Sa-la-mo-pi-a[2] to all the We-ma-a-ha-i for counsel and assistance, for the We-ma-a-ha-i were now the Fathers of men and the Ka[']-ka . The Mountain Lion, the Coyote, the Wild Cat, the Wolf, the Eagle, the Falcon, the Ground Owl, and the Mole were summoned, all hungry and lean, as were the Ka'-ka and the children of men, from want of the flesh of the game animals. Nevertheless, they were anxious for the hunt and moved themselves quickly among one another in their anxiety. Then the passing swift runners, the Sa-la-mo-pi-a, of all colors, the yellow, the blue, the red, the white, the many colored, and the black, were summoned to accompany the We-ma-a-ha-i to the canon-valley of the Snail People. Well they knew that passing wonderful were the Snail People, and that no easy matter would it be to overcome their medicine and their magic. But they hastened forth until they came near to the canon. Then the Sha'-la-k'o,[3] who guided them, gave directions that they should make themselves ready for the hunt.

When all were prepared, he opened by his sacred power the magic corral on the northern side, and forth rushed a great buck Deer.

"Long Tail, the corral has been opened for thee. Forth comes thy game, seize him!" With great leaps the Mountain Lion overtook and threw the Deer to the ground, and fastened his teeth in his throat.

The corral was opened on the western side. Forth rushed a Mountain Sheep.

"Coyote, the corral has been opened for thee. Forth comes thy game, seize him!" The Coyote dashed swiftly forward. The Mountain Sheep dodged him and ran off toward the west. The Coyote crazily ran about yelping and barking after his game, but the Mountain Sheep bounded from rock to rock and was soon far away. Still the Coyote rushed crazily about, until the Mountain Lion commanded him to be quiet. But the Coyote smelled the blood of the Deer and was beside himself with hunger. Then the Mountain Lion said to him disdainfully, Satisfy thy hunger on the blood that I have spilled, for to-day thou hast missed thy game; and thus ever will thy descendants like thee blunder in the chase. As thou this day satisfiest thy hunger, so also by the blood that the hunter spills or the flesh that he throws away shall thy descendants forever have being."

[Footnote 1: The chief god of the Ka[']-ka, now represented by masks, and the richest costuming known to the Zunis, which are worn during the winter ceremonials of the tribe.]

[Footnote 2: The Sa-la-mo-pi-a are monsters with round heads, long snouts, huge feathered necks, and human bodies. They are supposed to live beneath the waters, to come forth or enter snout foremost. They also play an important part in the Ka'-ka or sacred dances of winter.]

[Footnote 3: Monster human bird forms, the warrior chiefs of Pa-u-ti-wa, the representatives of which visit Zuni, from their supposed western homes in certain springs, each New Year. They are more than twelve feet high, and are carried swiftly about by persons concealed under their dresses.]

The corral was opened on the southern side. An Antelope sprang forth. With bounds less strong than those of the Mountain Lion, but nimbler, the Wild Cat seized him and threw him to the ground.

The corral was opened on the eastern side. Forth ran the O-ho-li (or albino antelope). The Wolf seized and threw him. The Jack Rabbit was let out. The Eagle poised himself for a moment, then swooped upon him. The Cotton Tail came forth. The Prey Mole waited in his hole and seized him; the Wood Rat, and the Falcon made him his prey; the Mouse, and the Ground Owl quickly caught him.

While the We-ma-a-ha-i were thus satisfying their hunger, the game animals began to escape through the breaks in the corral. Forth through the northern door rushed the Buffalo, the great Elk, and the Deer, and toward the north the Mountain Lion, and the yellow Sa-la-mo-pi-a swiftly followed and herded them, to the world where stands the yellow mountain, below the great northern ocean.

Out through the western gap rushed the Mountain Sheep, herded and driven by the Coyote and the blue Sa-la-mo-pi-a, toward the great western ocean, where stands the ancient blue mountain.

Out through the southern gap rushed the Antelope, herded and driven by the Wild Cat and the red Sa-la-mo-pi-a, toward the great land of summer, where stands the ancient red mountain.

Out through the eastern gap rushed the O-ho-li, herded and driven by the Wolf and the white Sa-la-mo-pi-a, toward where "they say" is the eastern ocean, the "Ocean of day", wherein stands the ancient white mountain.

Forth rushed in all directions the Jack Rabbit, the Cotton Tail, the Bats, and the Mice, and the Eagle, the Falcon, and the Ground Owl circled high above, toward the great "Sky ocean," above which stands the ancient mountain of many colors, and they drove them over all the earth, that from their homes in the air they could watch them in all places; and the Sa-la-mo-pi-a of many colors rose and assisted them.

Into the earth burrowed the Rabbits, the Bats, and the Mice, from the sight of the Eagle, the Falcon, and the Ground Owl, but the Prey Mole and the black Sa-la-mo-pi-a thither followed them toward the four caverns (wombs) of earth, beneath which stands the ancient black mountain.

Then the earth and winds were filled with rumbling from the feet of the departing animals, and the Snail People saw that their game was escaping; hence the world was filled with the wars of the Ka[']-ka, the Snail People, and the children of men.

Thus were let loose the game animals of the world. Hence the Buffalo, the Great Elk, and the largest Deer are found mostly in the north, where they are ever pursued by the great Mountain Lion; but with them escaped other animals, and so not alone in the north are the Buffalo, the Great Elk, and the Deer found.

Among the mountains and the canons of the west are found the Mountain Sheep, pursued by the Coyote; but with them escaped many other animals; hence not alone in the west are the Mountain Sheep found.

Toward the south escaped the Antelopes, pursued by the Wild Cat. Yet with them escaped many other animals; hence not alone in the south are the Antelopes found.

Toward the east escaped the O-ho-li, pursued by the Wolf; but with them escaped many other animals; hence not alone in the east are the O-ho-li-we found.

Forth in all directions escaped the Jack Rabbits, Cotton Tails, Rats, and Mice; hence over all the earth are they found. Above them in the skies circle the Eagle, the Falcon, and the Ground Owl; yet into the earth escaped many of them, followed by the Prey Mole; hence beneath the earth burrow many.

Thus, also, it came to be that the Yellow Mountain Lion is the master Prey Being of the north, but his younger brothers, the blue, the red, the white, the spotted, and the black Mountain Lions wander over the other regions of earth. Does not the spotted Mountain Lion (evidently the Ocelot) live among the high mountains of the south?

Thus, too, was it with the Coyote, who is the master of the West, but whose younger brothers wander over all the regions; and thus, too, with the Wild Cat and the Wolf.

In this tradition there is an attempt, not only to explain the special distribution throughout the six regions, of the Prey animals and their prey, but also to account for the occurrence of animals in regions other than those to which, according to this classification, they properly belong.


We find, therefore, that each one of the six species of Prey animals is again divided into six varieties, according to color, which determines the location of each variety in that one or other of the regions with which its color agrees, yet it is supposed to owe allegiance to its representative, whatsoever this may be or wheresoever placed. For instance, the Mountain Lion is primarily god of the North, but he is supposed to have a representative (younger brother) in the West (the blue Mountain Lion), another in the South (the Red), in the East (the White), in the Upper regions (the Spotted), and in the Lower regions (the black Mountain Lion).

Hence, also, there are six varieties of the fetich representing any one of these divisions, the variety being determined by the color, as expressed either by the material of which the fetich is formed, or the pigment with which it is painted, or otherwise, as, for example, by inlaying. (Plate III, Fig. 4, and Plate VII, Fig. 2.)


According to this classification, which is native, the fetiches of the Mountain Lions are represented on Plate IV. They are invariably distinguished by the tail, which is represented very long, and laid lengthwise of the back from the rump nearly or quite to the shoulders, as well as by the ears, which are quite as uniformly rounded and not prominent.

The fetich of the yellow Mountain Lion (Ha[']k-ti tae[']sh-a-na thlup-tsi-na), or God of the North (Plate IV, Fig. 1), is of yellow limestone.[1] It has been smoothly carved, and is evidently of great antiquity, as shown by its polish and patina, the latter partly of blood. The anus and eyes are quite marked holes made by drilling. An arrow-point of flint is bound to the back with cordage of cotton, which latter, however, from its newness, seems to have been recently added.

The fetich of the blue Mountain Lion, of the West (Ha[']k-ti tae[']sh-a-na thli-a-na), is represented in Plate IV, Fig. 2. The original is composed of finely veined azurite or carbonate of copper, which, although specked with harder serpentinous nodules, is almost entirely blue. It has been carefully finished, and the ears, eyes, nostrils, mouth, tail, anus, and legs are clearly cut.

The fetich of the white Mountain Lion, of the East (Ha[']k-ti tae[']sh-a-na k'o-ha-na), is represented by several specimens, two of which are reproduced in Plate IV, Figs. 3 and 4. The former is very small and composed of compact white limestone, the details being pronounced, and the whole specimen finished with more than usual elaboration. The latter is unusually large, of compact gypsum or alabaster, and quite carefully carved. The eyes have been inlaid with turkoises, and there is cut around its neck a groove by which the beads of shell, coral, &c., were originally fastened. A large arrow-head of chalcedony has been bound with cords of cotton flatwise along one side of the body.

The only fetich representing the red Mountain Lion, of the South (Ha[']k-ti tae[']sh-a-na a-ho-na), in the collection was too imperfect for reproduction.

[Footnote 1: I am indebted to Mr. S.F. Emmons, of the Geological Survey, for assisting me to determine approximately the mineralogical character of these specimens.]

The fetich of the spotted or many-colored Mountain Lion (Ha[']k-ti tae[']sh-a-na su-pa-no-pa or i-to-pa-nah-na-na), of the Upper regions, is also represented by two specimens (Plate IV, Figs. 5 and 6), both of fibrous aragonite in alternating thin and thick laminae, or bands of grayish yellow, white, and blue. Fig. 5 is by far the more elaborate of the two, and is, indeed, the most perfect fetich in the collection. The legs, ears, eyes, nostrils, mouth, tail, anus, and genital organs (of the male) are carefully carved, the eyes being further elaborated by mosaics of minute turkoises. To the right side of the body, "over the heart," is bound with blood-blackened cotton cords a delicate flint arrow-point, together with white shell and coral beads, and, at the breast, a small triangular figure of an arrow in haliotus, or abalone.

The fetich of the black Mountain Lion (Ha[']k-ti tae[']sh-a-na shi-k'ia-na) (Pl. IV, Fig. 7) is of gypsum, or white limestone, but has been painted black by pigment, traces of which are still lodged on portions of its surface.


The fetiches of the Coyote, or God of the West, and his younger brothers, represented on Plate V, are called Tethl-po-k'ia, an archaic form of the modern word Sus-k'i we-ma-we (Coyote fetiches), from tethl-nan,=a sacred prayer-plume, and po-an,=an object or locality on or toward which anything is placed, a depository, and k'ia=the active participle. They are usually distinguished by horizontal or slightly drooping tails, pointed or small snouts, and erect ears. Although the Coyote of the West is regarded as the master of the Coyotes of the other five regions, yet, in the prayers, songs, and recitations of the Sa-ni-a-k'ia-kwe, and Prey Brother Priesthood, the Coyote of the North is mentioned first. I therefore preserve the same sequence observed in describing the Mountain Lion fetiches.

The fetich of the yellow Coyote (Sus-k'i thlup-tsi-na), of the North, is represented in Plate V, Fig. 1. The original is of compact white limestone stained yellow. The attitude is that of a coyote about to pursue his prey (la-hi-na i-mo-na), which has reference to the intemperate haste on the part of this animal, which usually, as in the foregoing tradition, results in failure.

The fetich of the blue Coyote, of the West (Sus-k'i lo-k'ia-na—signifying in reality blue gray, the color of the coyote, instead of blue=thli-a-na), is shown, in Plate V, Fig. 2. This fetich is also of compact white limestone, of a yellowish gray color, although traces of blue paint and large turkois eyes indicate that it was intended, like Plate III, Fig. 3, to represent the God of the West.

The fetich of the red Coyote (Sus-k'i a-ho-na), of the South, is represented by Plate V, Fig. 4, which, although of white semi-translucent calcite, has been deeply stained with red paint.

Two examples of the fetich of the white Coyote (Sus-k'i k'o-ha-na), of the East, are shown in Plate V, Figs. 4 and 5. They are both of compact white limestone. The first is evidently a natural fragment, the feet being but slightly indicated by grinding, the mouth by a deep cut straight across the snout, and the eyes by deeply drilled depressions, the deep groove around, the neck being designed merely to receive the necklace. The second, however, is more elaborate, the pointed chin, horizontal tail, and pricked-up ears being distinctly carved, and yet in form the specimen resembles more a weasel than a coyote.

The fetich of the many-colored Coyote (Sus-k'i i-to-pa-nah-na-na), of the Upper regions, is reproduced in Plate V, Fig. 6, which represents the male and female together, the latter being indicated merely by the smaller size and the shorter tail. They are both of aragonite. This conjoined form of the male and female fetiches is rare, and is significant of other powers than those of the hunt.

The black Coyote (Sus-k'i shi-k'ia-na), of the Lower regions, is represented by Plate V, Fig. 7, the original of which is of compact white limestone or yellowish-gray marble, and shows traces of black paint or staining.


The fetiches of the Wild Cat, the principal of which is God of the South, are represented on Plate VI. They are characterized by short horizontal tails and in most cases by vertical faces and short ears, less erect than in the fetiches of the Coyote.

Plate VI, Fig. 1, represents the fetich of the yellow Wild Cat (Te-pi thlup-tsi-na) of the North. Although of yellow limestone, it is stained nearly black with blood. A long, clearly-chipped arrow-point of chalcedony is bound with blood-stained cotton cordage along the right side of the figure, and a necklace of white shell beads (Ko-ha-kwa), with one of black stone (Kewi-na-kwa) among them, encircles the neck.

Plate VI, Fig. 2, represents the fetich of the blue Wild Cat (Te-pi thli-a-na), of the West. It is formed from basaltic clay of a grayish-blue color, and is furnished with an arrow-point of jasper (jasp vernis), upon which, is laid a small fragment of turkois, both secured to the back of the specimen with sinew taken from the animal represented. Plate VI, Fig. 3, likewise represents the fetich of the Wild Cat of the West. It is a fragment from a thin vein of malachite and azurite, or green and blue carbonate of copper, and has been but little changed from its original condition.

Plate VI, Fig. 4, represents the red Wild Cat (Te-pi a-ho-na), of the South. Although formed from gypsum or yellow limestone, its color has been changed by the application of paint. It is supplied with the usual necklace and arrow-point of the perfect fetich, secured by bands of sinew and cotton.

Both Figs. 5 and 6 of Plate VI represent the fetich of the white Wild Cat (Te pi k'o-ha-na), of the East, and are of compact white limestone carefully fashioned and polished, the one to represent the perfect animal, the other the f[oe]tus. This specimen, like Plate V, Fig. 6, has a significance other than that of a mere fetich of the chase, a significance connected with the Phallic worship of the Zunis, on which subject I hope ere many years to produce interesting evidence.

Plate VI, Fig. 7, represents the fetich of the many-colored Wild Cat (Te-pi su-pa-no-pa), of the Upper regions, which is made of basaltic clay, stained black with pitch and pigment, and furnished with a flake of flint and a small fragment of chrysocolla, both of which are attached to the back of the figure with a binding of sinew.

Plate VI, Fig. 8, represents, according to the Zunis, a very ancient and valued fetich of the black Wild Cat (Te-pi shi-k'ia-na), of the Lower regions. It is little more than a concretion of compact basaltic rock, with slight traces of art. Its natural form, however, is suggestive of an animal. Long use has polished its originally black surface to the hue of lustrous jet.


The fetiches of the Wolf, God of the East, and of his younger brothers (Iu-na-wi-ko we-ma-we) are represented on Plate VII. They are characterized by erect attitudes, usually oblique faces, pricked-up ears, and "hanging tails."

Plate VII, Fig. 1, is a representation of the fetich of the yellow Wolf (Iu-na-wi-ko thlup-tsi-na), of the North. It is of yellow indurated clay-stone. In this example the legs are much longer than in most specimens, for nearly all these figures are either natural fragments or concretions slightly improved on by art, or are figures which have been suggested by and derived from such fragments or concretions. Moreover, the ceremonials to be described further on require that they should be "able to stand alone"; therefore they are usually furnished with only rudimentary legs. The tail is only indicated, while in nearly all other Wolf fetiches it is clearly cut down the rump, nearly to the gambol joint.

Plate VII, Fig. 2, represents a fetich of the blue Wolf (Iu-na-wi-ko thli-a-na), of the West. It is of gray sandstone, stained first red, then blue, the latter color being further indicated by settings of green turkois on either side and along the back, as well as in the eyes.

Plate VII, Fig. 3, represents the fetich of the red Wolf (Iu-na-wi-ko a-ho-na), of the South. It is but crudely formed from a fragment of siliceous limestone, the feet, ears, and tail being represented only by mere protuberances. Although the material is naturally of a yellowish-gray color, it has been stained red.

Plate VII, Fig. 4, represents the fetich of the white Wolf (Iu-na-wi-ko k'o-ha-na), of the East. It is of very white, compact limestone. The hanging tail, erect ears, attitude, &c., are better shown in this than perhaps in any other specimen of the class in the collection. It has, however, been broken through the body and mended with black pitch.

Plate VII, Fig. 5, represents the fetich, of the many-colored Wolf (Iu-na-wi-ko i-to-pa-nah-na-na), of the Upper regions. The original is of fine-grained sandstone of a gray color, stained in some places faintly with red and other tints. The mouth, eyes, ear tips, and tail have been touched with black to make them appear more prominent.

Plate VII, Fig. 6, represents the fetich of the black Wolf (Iu-na-wi-ko shi-k'ia-na), of the Lower regions. Although uncommonly large and greatly resembling in form the bear, it possesses the oblique face, upright ears, hanging tail, and other accepted characteristics of the Wolf.


The fetiches of the Eagle, God of the Upper regions, and his younger brothers of the other regions (K'iae[']-k'iae-li we-ma-we) are represented on Plate VIII. They are characterized merely by rude bird forms, with wings either naturally or very conventionally carved (Figs. 3 and 6). Further details are rarely attempted, from the fact that all the other principal prey animals are quadrupeds, and the simple suggestion of the bird form is sufficient to identify the eagle among any of them.

Plate VIII, Fig. 1, represents the fetich of the yellow Eagle (K'iae[']-k'iae-li thlup-tsi-na), of the Northern skies. It consists merely of the head and shoulders, very rudely formed of white limestone and painted with yellow ocher. This specimen is doubtless a natural fragment very little altered by art.

Plate VIII, Fig. 2, represents the fetich of the blue Eagle (K'iae[']-k'iae-li lo-k'ia-na), of the Western skies. It is quite elaborately carved, supplied with a pedestal, and pierced through the body to facilitate suspension. For during ceremonials, to be described further on, the fetiches of the Eagle are usually suspended, although sometimes, like those of the quadrupeds, they are placed on the floor, as indicated by the pedestal furnished to this specimen. Although of compact white limestone, this fetich is made to represent the blue Eagle by means of turkois eyes and a green stain over the body. A small pink chalcedony arrow-point is attached to the back between the wings by means of a single sinew band passed around the tips of the latter and the tail and under the wings over the shoulders.

Plate VIII, Fig. 3, represents the fetich of the red Eagle (K'iae[']-k'iae-li a-ho-na), of the Southern skies. Like Fig. 42, this is doubtless a nearly natural fragment of very fine-grained red sandstone, the wings being indicated by deep lines which cross over the back, and the rump grooved to receive the cord with which to secure to the back an arrow-point. The breast is perforated.

Plate VIII, Fig. 4, is a nearly natural fragment of compact white limestone, representing the white Eagle (K'iae[']-k'iae-li k'o-ha-na), of the Eastern skies. No artificial details, save the eyes, which are faintly indicated, have been attempted on this specimen.

Plate VIII, Fig. 5, represents, in compact yellow limestone, the speckled Eagle (K'iae[']-k'iae-li su-tchu-tchon-ne) of the Upper regions, the drab color of the body being varied by fragments of pure turkois inserted into the eyes, breast, and back. A notch in the top and front of the head probably indicates that the specimen was once supplied with a beak, either of turkois or of white shell. It is perforated lengthwise through the breast.

Plate VIII, Fig. 6, is a representation of a thoroughly typical conventional fetich of the black Eagle (K'iae[']-k'iae-li kwin-ne) of the Lower regions. It is of calcite, stained lustrous black. A cotton cord around the neck supplies the place of the original "necklace."


The fetiches of the Mole, or God of the Lower regions (K'iae[']-lu-tsi we-ma-we, in the sacred orders; Mai-tu-pu we-ma-we, in the order of the Hunt), are represented in the collection by only two specimens, Plate II, Fig. 6, and Plate IX, Fig. 1. The figure of a third specimen, taken from one of my sketches of the original in Zuni, is given on Plate III, Fig. 5.

These fetiches being unpopular, because considered less powerful than those of the larger gods of prey, are very rare, and are either rude concretions with no definite form (Plate II, Fig. 6), or almost equally rude examples of art, as in Plate IX, Fig. 1, which represents the fetich of the white Mole (Mai-tu-pu ko-ha-na) of the Eastern Lower regions. It consists merely of a natural slab of fine white limestone.

Nevertheless, value is sometimes attached to the Mole, from the fact that it is able by burrowing to lay traps for the largest game of earth, which it is supposed to do consciously. For this reason it is sometimes represented with surprising fidelity, as in Plate III, Fig. 5.


The fetiches of the Ground Owl (the Prairie Dog variety—Thla-po-po-ke'-a' we-ma-we) of all regions, are still more rarely represented and even less prized than those of the Mole. The only example in the collection is reproduced in Plate IX, Fig. 2. The original is quite carefully formed of soft white limestone, and is perforated to facilitate suspension.

The Falcon fetiches (Pi-pi we-ma-we) are included in the Eagle species, as they are called the younger brothers of the Eagle, and supply the place of the red Eagle which variety is met with very rarely.


The relative value of these varieties of fetiches depends largely upon the rank of the Animal god they represent. For instance, the Mountain Lion is not only master of the North, which takes precedence over all the other "ancient sacred spaces" (Te-thlae-shi-na-we) or regions, but is also the master of all the other Prey gods, if not of all other terrestrial animals. Notwithstanding the fact that the Coyote, in the Order of the Hunt (the Coyote society or the Sa-ni-a-k'ia-kwe), is given for traditional reasons higher sacred rank than the Mountain Lion, he is, as a Prey Being, one degree lower, being god of the West, which follows the North, in order of importance. Hence we find the Mountain Lion and Coyote fetiches far more prized than any of the others, and correspondingly more numerous. The Coyote in rank is younger brother of the Mountain Lion, just as the Wild Cat is younger brother of the Coyote, the Wolf of the Wild Cat, and so on to the Mole, and less important Ground Owl. In relationship by blood, however, the yellow Mountain Lion is accounted older brother of the blue, red, white, spotted, and black Mountain Lions; the blue Coyote, older brother of the red, white, yellow, mottled or spotted, and black Coyotes. So the Wild Cat of the South is regarded as the older brother of the Wild Cats of all the other five regions. And thus it is respectively with, the Wolf, the Eagle, and the Mole. We find, therefore, that in the North all the gods of Prey are represented, as well as the Mountain Lion, only they are yellow. In the West all are represented, as well as the Coyote, only they are blue; and thus throughout the remaining four regions.

The Mountain Lion is further believed to be the special hunter of the Elk, Deer, and Bison (no longer an inhabitant of New Mexico). His fetich is, therefore, preferred by the hunter of these animals. So, also, is the fetich of the Coyote preferred by the hunter of the Mountain Sheep; that of the Wild Cat, by the hunter of the Antelope; that of the Wolf, by the hunter of the rare and highly-valued O-ho-li; those of the Eagle and Falcon, by the hunter of Rabbits; and that of the Mole, by the hunter of other small game.

The exception to this rule is individual, and founded upon the belief that any one of the gods of Prey hunts to some extent the special game of all the other gods of Prey. Hence, any person who may discover either a concretion or natural object or an ancient fetich calling to mind or representing any one of the Prey gods will regard it as his special fetich, and almost invariably prefer it, since he believes it to have been "meted to" him (ań-ik-tchi-a-k'ia) by the gods.


Although these fetiches are thus often individual property, members of the Sa-ni-a-k'ia-kwe, and of the Eagle and Coyote gentes, as well as priests included in the Prey God Brotherhood, are required to deposit their fetiches, when not in use, with the "Keeper of the Medicine of the Deer" (Nal-e-ton i-lo-na), who is usually, if not always, the head member of the Eagle gens.

It rests with these memberships and these alone to perfect the fetiches when found, and to carry on at stated intervals the ceremonials and worship connected with them.

When not in use, either for such ceremonials or for the hunt, these tribal fetiches are kept in a very ancient vessel of wicker-work, in the House of the Deer Medicine (Nal-e-ton in-kwin), which is usually the dwelling place of the keeper.



The principal ceremonial connected with the worship of the Prey Beings takes place either a little before or after the winter solstice or national New Year.

This is due to the fact that many of the members of the above-mentioned associations also belong to other societies, and are required on the exact night of the New Year to perform other religious duties than those connected with the fetich worship. Hence, the fetiches or gods of prey have their special New Year's day, called We-ma-a-wa u-pu-k'ia te-wa-ne ("The day of the council of the fetiches").

On this occasion is held the grand council of the fetiches. They are all taken from their place of deposit and arranged, according to species and color, in front of a symbolic slat altar on the floor of the council chamber in a way I have attempted to indicate, as far as possible, by the arrangement of the figures on the plates, the quadrupeds being placed upright, while the Eagles and other winged fetiches are suspended from the rafters by means of cotton cords. Busily engaged in observing other ceremonials and debarred from actual entrance, until my recent initiation into the Priesthood of the Bow, I have unfortunately never witnessed any part of this ceremonial save by stealth, and cannot describe it as a whole. I reserve the right, therefore, to correct any details of the following at some future day.

The ceremonials last throughout the latter two-thirds of a night. Each member on entering approaches the altar, and with prayer-meal in hand addresses a long prayer to the assembly of fetiches, at the close of which he scatters the prayer-meal over them, breathes on and from his hand, and takes his place in the council. An opening prayer-chant, lasting from one to three hours, is then sung at intervals, in which various members dance to the sound of the constant rattles, imitating at the close of each stanza the cries of the beasts represented by the fetiches.

At the conclusion of the song, the "Keeper of the Deer Medicine," who is master priest of the occasion, leads off in the recitation of a long metrical ritual, in which he is followed by the two warrior priests with shorter recitations, and by a prayer from another priest (of uncertain rank). During these recitations, responses like those of the litany in the Church of England may be heard from the whole assembly, and at their close, at or after sunrise, all members flock around the altar and repeat, prayer-meal in hand, a concluding invocation. This is followed by a liberal feast, principally of game, which is brought in and served by the women, with additional recitations and ceremonials. At this feast, portions of each kind of food are taken out by every member for the Prey gods, which portions are sacrificed by the priests, together with the prayer plume-sticks, several of which are supplied by each member.


Similar midnight ceremonials, but briefer, are observed on the occasion of the great midwinter tribal hunts, the times for which are fixed by the Keeper of the Deer Medicine, the master and warrior priests of the Sa-ni-a-k'ia-kwe; and the religious observances accompanying and following which would form one of the most interesting chapters connected with the fetich worship of the Zuni's.

These ceremonials and tribal hunts are more and more rarely observed, on account of the scarcity of game and of the death a few years since of the warrior priest above mentioned, without whose assistance they cannot be performed. This position has been recently refilled, and I hope during the coming winter to be enabled, not only to witness one of these observances, but also to join in it; a privilege which will be granted to me on account of my membership in the order of the Priesthood of the Bow.

Any hunter, provided he be one privileged to participate in the above described ceremonials—namely, a Prey brother—supplies himself, when preparing for the chase, not only with his weapons, &c., but also with a favorite or appropriate prey fetich. In order to procure the latter he proceeds, sooner or later before starting, to the House of the Deer Medicine (Nal-e-ton i[']n-kwin), where the vessel containing the fetiches is brought forth by the Keeper or some substitute, and placed before him. Pacing in the direction of the region to which belongs the particular fetich which he designs to use, he sprinkles into and over the vessel sacred prayer or medicine meal. Then holding a small quantity of the meal in his left hand, over the region of his heart, he removes his head-band and utters the following prayer:

Ma: Lu-k'ia yaet-ton-ne, hom tae-tchu, hom tsi-ta, tom lithl ha Why! This day, my father, my mother, (to)thee here I

te-kwin-te te-ae-tip, o-na el-le-te-k'ia. Hothl yam a-tae-tchu unexpectedly have trail overtaken. Soever for my Fathers (by) road

Ka-ka A[']-shi-wa-ni, we-ma a-shi-wa-ni, K'ia-pin-a-ha-i sacred dance priest-(gods), Prey priest-(gods), the gods animal beings

awen ha lithl yam te-li-ki-na yel-le-te-u-k'o-na theirs I here my sacred things made ready (which) for them (plumes, etc., literally relatives of the species)

te-li-ki-na i-thle-a-nan tom lithl ha o-na el-le-te-k'ia; tom sacred things with (me) unto here I road overtaken; unto bringing thee by (have) thee trail

lithl ha hael-lo-wa-ti-nan thle-a-u tom an te-ap-k'o-nan here I good fortune (ad)dress thy own wherewith (thou hast being)

ae[']n-ti-shem-an a-k'ia yam a-wi-te-lin tsi-ta, ha lithl wishing for hence, to my all earth mother I here

te-u-su a-k'ia o-ne yathl kwai-k'ia-na. (with prayer) hence, trail over go out shall. (-from), prayer

Le-we u-lokh nan thla-na tom te-ap-k'o-nan sho-hi-ta tom Thus much (of the) great thy wherewith (thou (the) deer thy world hast being)

pi-nan a-k'ia a-u-la-sho. Awen shi-nan, awen k'iah-kwin wind by encircle about Their flesh their life fluid breath (of hence wander around. (blood) life)

hothl an-ti-she-man a-k'ia, le-hok te-u-su a k'ia ha o-ne soever wanting hence yonder prayer hence I trail (from me) with

kwai k'ia-na. go out (shall).

Kwa-i-no-ti-nam hothl yam te-ap-k'o-nan a-k'ia hom ta Without fail where- thy wherewith (thou hence (by) to me thou (unfailingly) soever for me hast being)

ke-tsae-ti-k'ia-na. Hom ta te-k'o-ha-na an-ik tchi-a-tu. happy (make, do). Unto me thou (the) light meet with (do).


Why (of course)—

This day, my father (or, my mother), here I, (as if) unexpectedly, meet thee with whatsoever I have made ready of the sacred things of my fathers, the priest gods of the sacred dances, the priest gods of the Prey (beings). These sacred things bringing I have here overtaken thee, and with their good fortune I here address thee. Wishing for that whereby thou hast being, I shall go forth from here prayerfully upon the trails of my earth-mother.

Throughout the whole of this great country, they whereby thou hast being, the deer, by the command of thy wind of life (breath), wander about. It is wishing for their flesh and blood that I shall go forth yonder prayerfully out over the trails.

Let it be without fail that thou shall make me happy with that whereby thou hast being. Grant unto me the light of thy favor.

Then scattering forth the prayer-meal in the direction he proposes to take on the hunt, he chooses from the vessel the fetich, and pressing it to or toward his lips breaths from, it and exclaims:

Ha! e-lah-kwa, hom tae-tchu (hom tsi-ta), lu-k'ia yaet-ton-ne o-ne Ah! Thanks, my father, (my mother), this day trails

yaethl eh-kwe ta-pan ha te-u-su a-k'ia, o-ne yaethl kwai-k'ia-na. over ahead taking I prayer with trails over go out shall.


Ah! Thanks, my father (or, my mother), this day I shall follow (thee) forth over the trails. Prayerfully over the trails I shall go out.

Should a party be going to the hunt together, all repair to the House of the Deer Medicine, repeating, one by one, the above prayers and ceremonial as the fetiches are drawn.

The fetich is then placed in a little crescent-shaped bag of buckskin which the hunter wears suspended over the left breast (or heart) by a buckskin thong, which is tied above the right shoulder. With it he returns home, where he hangs it up in his room and awaits a favorable rain or snow storm, meanwhile, if but a few days elapse, retaining the fetich in his own house. If a hunter be not a member of the orders above mentioned, while he must ask a member to secure a fetich for him, in the manner described, still he is quite as privileged to use it as is the member himself, although his chances for success are not supposed to be so good as those of the proper owner.

During his journey out the hunter picks from the heart of the yucca, or Spanish bayonet, a few thin leaves, and, on reaching the point where an animal which he wishes to capture has rested, or whence it has newly taken flight, he deposits, together with sacrifices hereinafter to be mentioned, a spider knot (ho-tsa-na mu kwi-ton-ne), made of four strands of these yucca leaves. This knot must be tied like the ordinary cat-knot, but invariably from right to left, so that the ends of the four strands shall spread out from the center as the legs of a spider from its body. The knot is further characterized by being tied quite awkwardly, as if by a mere child. It is deposited on the spot over which the heart of the animal is supposed to have rested or passed. Then a forked twig of cedar is cut and stuck very obliquely into the ground, so that the prongs stand in a direction opposite to that of the course taken by the animal, and immediately in front, as it were, of the fore part of its heart, which is represented as entangled in the knot.

This process, in conjunction with the roar of the animal, which the fetich represents, and which is imitated by the hunter on the conclusion of these various ceremonials, is supposed to limit the power of flight of the animal sought, to confine him within a narrow circle, and, together with an additional ceremonial which is invariably performed, even without the other, is supposed to render it a sure prey. This is performed only after the track has been followed until either the animal is in sight, or a place is discovered where it has lain down. Then, in exactly the spot over which the heart of the animal is supposed to have rested, he deposits a sacrifice of corn pollen (ta-on-ia), sacred black war paint (tsu-ha-pa)—a kind of plumbago, containing shining particles, and procured by barter from the Ha-va-su-pai (Coconinos), and from sacred mines toward the west—and prayer or sacred meal, made from white seed-corn (emblematic of terrestrial life or of the foods of mankind), fragments of shell, sand from the ocean, and sometimes turkois or green-stone, ground very fine, and invariably carried in pouches by all members of the sacred societies of Zuni. To this mixture sacred shell beads or coral are sometimes added. Then, taking out the fetich, he breathes on it and from it, and exclaims "Si!", which signifies "the time has come," or that everything is in readiness. The exact meaning may, perhaps, be made clearer by an example. When all preparations have been made complete for a ceremonial, the word "Si!", uttered by the master priest of the occasion, is a signal for the commencement of the ceremonials. It is therefore substituted for "Ma!", used in the foregoing prayer, whenever any preparations, like sacrifices and ceremonials, precede the prayer.

With this introduction he utters the accompanying prayer:

Lu-k'ia yaet ton-ne, hom tae-tchu k'ia-pin ha-i, to-pin-te yaet-ton-ne, This day my father game being, one day raw

to-pin-te teh-thli-na-ne, tom an o-ne yaethl u-lap-nap-te. Hothl one night thy own trail over round about However (even) though.

yam a-wi-te-lin tsi-tau-an to-pin-te i-te-tchu-na hom ta to me earth mother (with) one step to me thou your

an-k'o-ha-ti-na. Tom an k'iah-kwin an-ti-shi-ma-na, tom an shalt grant(favor). Thy own blood wanting, thy own life-fluid

shi-i-nan an-ti-shi-man a-k'ia tom lithl ha hael-lo-wa-ti-nan flesh wanting, hence to thee, here I good fortunes

a-thle-a-u thla a-thle-a-u. Le-we ta-kuthl po-ti['] hom (ad)dress, treasure (ad)dress. Thus much woods round filled to me all the about

an tom yae[']t-ti-na tsu-ma-k'ie-na. Hom a-tae-tchu, hom ton mine you grasping strong shall. My all-fathers, to me you

an-k'o-ha-ti-na-wa. Hom ton te-k'o-ha-na an-ik-tchi-a-nap-tu. favor do (all). To me you light (favor) meet with do.


Si! This day, my father, thou game animal, even though thy trail one day and one night hast (been made) round about; however, grant unto me one step of my earth-mother. Wanting thy life-blood, wanting thy flesh, hence I here address to thee good fortune, address to thee treasure.

All ye woods that fill (the country) round about me, (do) grasp for me strongly. [This expression beseeches that the logs, sticks, branches, brambles, and vines shall impede the progress of the chased animal.] My fathers, favor me. Grant unto me the light of your favor, do.

The hunter then takes out his fetich, places its nostrils near his lips, breaths deeply from them, as though to inhale the supposed magic breath of the God of Prey, and puffs long and quite loudly in the general direction whither the tracks tend. He then, utters three or four times a long low cry of, "Hu-u-u-u!" It is supposed that the breath of the god, breathed in temporarily by the hunter, and breathed outward toward the heart of the pursued animal, will overcome the latter and stiffen his limbs, so that he will fall an easy prey; and that the low roar, as of the beast of prey, will enter his consciousness and frighten him so as to conceal from him the knowledge of any approach.

The hunter then rises, replaces his fetich, and pursues the trail with all possible ardor, until he either strikes the animal down by means of his weapons, or so worries it by long-continued chase that it becomes an easy capture. Before the "breath of life" has left the fallen deer (if it be such), he places its fore feet back of its horns and, grasping its mouth, holds it firmly closed, while he applies his lips to its nostrils and breathes as much wind into them as possible, again inhaling from the lungs of the dying animal into his own. Then letting go he exclaims:

Ha! e-lah-kwa! hom tae-tchu, hom tcha-le. Hom ta ta-sho-na-ne, All! Thanks! my father, my child. To me thou seeds (of earth)

k'iae-she-ma an-ik-tchi-a-nap-tu. Hom ta te-k'o-ha-na, o-ne, yaethl water (want) meet (grant) do. To me thou light trail over (favor)

k'ok-shi, an-ik-tchi-a-nap-tu. good meet (grant) do.


Ah! Thanks, my father, my child. Grant unto me the seeds of earth ("daily bread") and the gift of water. Grant unto me the light of thy favor, do.

As soon as the animal is dead he lays open its viscera, cuts through the diaphragm, and makes an incision in the aorta, or in the sac which incloses the heart. He then takes out the prey fetich, breathes on it, and addresses it thus:

Si! Hom tae-tchu, lu-k'ia yaet-ton-ne, lithl k'ia-pin-ha-i an k'iah-kwin Si! My father this day here Game animal its life-fluid (blood)

a-k'ia tas i-k'iah-kwi-na, tas i[']-ke-i-nan a-k'ia hence thou shalt dampen thyself, thou shalt (thy) hence with, heart with

i'-te-li-a-u-na: add unto:


Si! My father, this day of the blood of a game being thou shalt drink (water thyself). With it thou shalt enlarge (add unto) thy heart:

He then dips the fetich into the blood which the sac still contains, continuing meanwhile the prayer, as follows:

——les-tik-le-a ak'n' ha-i['], k'ia-pin-ha-i an k'iah-kwin, likewise cooked being, game being its fluid done raw (of life)

shi-i-nan a-k'ia ha's lithl yam i-ke-i-nan i-te-li-a-u-na. flesh hence I shall here my heart add unto (enlarge). with


—- likewise, I, a "done" being, with the blood, the flesh of a raw being (game animal), shall enlarge (add unto) my heart.

Which finished, he scoops up, with his hand, some of the blood and sips it; then, tearing forth the liver, ravenously devours a part of it, and exclaims, "E-lah-kwa!" (Thanks).

While skinning and quartering the game he takes care to cut out the tragus or little inner lobe of its ear, the clot of blood within the heart (ae[']-te mul u-li-k'o-na), and to preserve some of the hair. Before leaving, he forms of these and of the black paint, corn pollen, beads of turkois or turkois dust, and sacred shell or broken shell and coral beads before mentioned, a ball, and on the spot where the animal ceased to breathe he digs a grave, as it were, and deposits therein, with prayer-meal, this strange mixture, meanwhile saying the following prayer:

Si! Lu-k'ia yaet-ton-ne, k'ia-pin-ha-i, to-pin-ta yaet-ton-ne to-pin-ta Si! This day game being, one day, one raw

teh-thli-na-ne, le-we tom o-ne yaethl u-lap-na-k'ia tap-te lu-k'ia night, thus much thy trail over circled about though this (even)

yaet-ton-ne te-kwin-te te-ae-ti-pa, tom lithl ha an-ah-u'-thla-k'ia. day (as if) was it thou here I upward pulling unexpectedly embraced.

Tom lithl ha hae[']l-lo-a-ti-nan thle-a-u. Tom lithl ha To thee here, I good fortune address To thee here I

o-ne-an thle-a-u. Tom lithl ha thla thle-a-u. Yam corn pollen address. To thee here I treasure address. By thy the yellow

an-i-kwan-a-k'ia hae[']l-lo-wa-ti-nan, o-ne-an, thla knowledge-hence good fortune, the yellow, treasure

i-thle-a-u-na ta thli-mon ha-i i-ya-k'ia-nan hom an (thyself) shall dress thou new being making shall be my own (thyself)

te u-su=pe-nan a-k'ia ta yae[']-shu-a i-tu loh k'ia-na. prayer-speech hence thou conversing come and go (shall). with,

K'ia-pin-a-ha-i a-te-kwi a-k'ia. Kwa hom i[']-no-ti-nam tun Game beings relative to with. Not mine fail to raw animals in the direction of a-k'ia tom lithl ha hae[']l-lo-wa-ti-nan, o-ne-an, thla, hence, to thee here I good fortune, the yellow, treasure

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