Hopi Stories of Witchcraft, Shamanism, and Magic

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U of Nebraska Press, Feb 1, 2006 - Social Science - 290 pages
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The traditional Hopi world, as reflected in Hopi oral literature, is infused with magic?a seamless tapestry of everyday life and the supernatural. That magic and wonder are vividly depicted in this marvelous collection of authentic folktales.



For the Hopis, the spoken or sung word can have a magical effect on others. Witchcraft?the wielding of magic for selfish purposes by a powaqa, or sorcerer?has long been a powerful, malevolent force. Sorcerers are said to have the ability to change into animals such as a crow, a coyote, a bat, or a skeleton fly, and hold their meetings in a two-tiered kiva to the northeast of Hopi territory. Shamanism, the more benevolent but equally powerful use of magic for healing, was once commonplace but is no longer practiced among the Hopis. Shamans, or povosyaqam, often used animal familiars and quartz crystals to help them to see, diagnose, and cure illnesses.



Spun through these tales are supernatural beings, otherworldly landscapes, magical devices and medicines, and shamans and witches. One story tells about a man who follows his wife one night and discovers that she is a witch, while another relates how a jealous woman uses the guise of an owl to make a rival woman's baby sick. Other tales include the account of a boy who is killed by kachinas and then resurrected as a medicine man and the story of a huge rattlesnake, a giant bear, and a mountain lion that forever guard the entrance to Maski, the Land of the Dead.

 

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Contents

Preface
vii
Introduction
xiii
The Boy Who Encountered the Jimsonweed and Four Oclock Girls
1
The Man Who Was Buried Alive
8
How Old Spider Woman Came to the Rescue of the Yayat
11
The Boy Who Wanted to Be a Medicine Man
15
The Tsakwayna Death Spirits
21
The Fate of Pongoktsina and His Wife
30
How the Snake Ceremony Came to Oraibi
161
A Flood at Oraibi
173
The Boy Who Became a Deer
185
The Woman Who Gave Birth to the Seeds
202
The Creadon of the Morning and Evening Star
208
How the Poqangw Brothers Stole the Lightning
212
The Poor Boy Who Wanted a Horse
219
How the Poqangw Brothers Found Their Father
225

The Man Who Traveled to Maski Home of the Dead to Bring Back His Wife
55
The Yayat and Their Feats
65
An Oraibi Boys Visit to Maski Home of the Dead
69
The Snake Clan Boy and the Sorcerers
93
The Man Who Was Married to a Witch
104
How Coyote Came to Visit Maski Home of the Dead
115
The Soyoko Ogre and His Wife
124
How Somaykoli Came to Shungopavi
136
The Boy Who Was Born from a Dead Mother
141
Kotsoylaptiyo and the Sorcerers
147
The Water Vessel Boy
236
A Famine at Oraibi
240
How the Zunis Killed the Heheya Kachinas
247
Yaapontsa the Wind God
252
Soyoko and the Shungopavis
258
The Witch Owl
267
The Gambling Boy Who Married a Bear Girl
270
Glossary
284
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About the author (2006)

The editor of such books as Hopi Animal Tales (Nebraska 1998), The Bedbugs' Night Dance and Other Hopi Tales of Sexual Encounter (Nebraska 1995), and Hopi Ruin Legends (Nebraska 1993), Ekkehart Malotki is a professor of languages at Northern Arizona University. Ken Gary is a writer and illustrator with a longstanding interest in the Hopis.

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