Myths and Tales from the San Carlos Apache/Songs of the Deer Ceremony

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Myths and Tales from the San Carlos Apache: by Pliny Earle Goddard
Songs of the Deer Ceremony

Songs of the Deer Ceremony[edit]

SONGS OF THE DEER CEREMONY 1

I

They went on a hunting trip.

Here to the east, Where he made a mountain ridge of jet, Where he made lie the head of the mountain of jet.

Here to the south, Where he made a mountain ridge of baiłgaiye, Where he made lie the head of the mountain of baiłgaiye.

Here to the west, Where he made a mountain ridge of coral, Where he made lie the head of the mountain of coral.

Here to the north, Where he made a mountain ridge of turquoise, Where he made lie the head of the mountain of turquoise, One horn stands up at the four places in the sky where he made its head lie.

They went on a hunting trip. 2


II 3

He placed a house here where there was none. He covered it with the black skin of the deer which come from the east. He covered it with the white skin of the deer which come from the south. He covered it with the yellow skin of the deer which come from the west. He covered it with the white skin of the deer which come from the north. He caused the black deer horns to alight one after the other on the top of his house. He placed a house there. He alights there.


III 4

At the east where he made a spring with black red water, He alights there.

At the south where he made a spring of white red water, He alights there.

At the west where he made a spring of the yellow colored slobberings of red water, He alights there.

At the north where he made a spring of the blue colored slobberings of red water, He alights there.

He caused two black deer horns to come together. He made pillows under them as the two arrived. He caused two fawns to alight at his feet. He made holes inside through his house in four directions with mouth blood. Here where he made a moving bed, He alighted.


IV

I go after it on the earth. Panther boy they call me,       I go after it. With dark mouth blood lying under my soles, With dark mouth blood making a black strip between my toes,       I go after it. With mouth blood making stripes on me,       I go after it. With mouth blood making stripes running out from each other on my face,       I go after it.


V

Send word for me Where I am going. Send word for me Who am called Panther Boy.

Where under the east the plain of jet lies, Send word for me, That they bring for me the large male deer, Send word for me

Where under the south, I made lie the head of the sky of white shell, [Send word for me.] Where the plain is, they two came down for me, [Send word for me.]

Where under the west I made lie the head of the sky of coral, Send word for me. The two female deer coming down for me, Send word for me.

Where under the north I made lie the head of the sky of turquoise, Send word for me. The spiked deer coming down for me, Send word for me.


VI

I came there. Where the Sun and Dipper are looking at each other, I came. Where two male deer not wild came down, I came.


VII

We two went together, They call me Panther Boy and the girl, Walks-On-The-Water.

Bring her for me and may she be not wild.

At the east we two went over the forked mountain of jet To the place where it stands beyond.

(At the south) we two went over the forked mountain of white shell To the place where it stands beyond.

At the west we two went over the forked mountain of coral. (The remainder not obtained.)


VIII

I came to the one they brought me.

I, called Turquoise Bay, came to her. Someone not wild, I came to her. Someone laughing, I came to her. Walks-On-The-Water, her mind not wild, her walking not wild.

I came to the one they brought for me.


IX

At the east the mountain ridge of jet lies, He listened to what was happening beyond it.

The mountain ridge of white shell lies, He listened to what was happening beyond it.

The mountain ridge of coral stands, He listened to what was happening beyond it.

The mountain ridge of turquoise stands, He listened to what was happening beyond it.


X

Below the dawn Where the mountain ridge of jet stands, The echo comes out from beyond it.

Where the mountain ridge of white shell stands, The echo comes out from beyond it.

Where the mountain ridge of coral stands, The echo comes out from beyond it.

Where the mountain ridge of jet stands, The echo comes out from beyond it. (Not finished.)


XI

Make a smoke for her, The girl who became a deer is far away where she is better pleased. When you make a smoke for her with a pipe of jet she is pleased. She is far away where the Dipper descends. There she likes it better.


XII

The sky one higher than the others where it is called Ganowan speaks. I came here whom they called "he speaks with the black cloud." They brought me a male deer. His gait is wary His eyes are wary. They brought me one.


XIII

Where the sun first looks There where the two male deer with forked horns came for me, They tell me to walk out.

At the south Where where the two male deer with forked horns came for me, They tell me to walk out.

When I walked out there Two deer with forked horns came down for me.


XIV

Where the Sun and the Dipper look at each other, They tell me to walk out. When I came there Two large bucks whose bodies were not wild came down for me.


XV

At the east Where the mountain of jet stands, Where the four footprints of mouth blood lie, They told me to walk out.

At the south Where the mountain of white shell stands, Where the footprints of white mouth blood lie, They told me to walk out.

At the west Where the mountain of coral stands, They told me to walk out. Where the footprints of yellow mouth blood lie, They told me to walk out.

At the north Where the mountain of turquoise stands, They told me to walk out. Where the four footprints of blue mouth blood lie, They told me to walk out.


XVI

At the east Where the mountain of jet stands across, I passed under as male deer came out one behind the other. As I passed under I came to male deer as they were coming on it.

At the south Where the mountain of white shell stands across, As I came under it, I came to them. It happened that I came to male deer.

At the west Where the mountain of coral lies across, Where the yellow ears of the deer alighted one after the other, I came to them.

Go where the head of the mountains lies, they told me. There female deer whose bodies were not wild came to me. Walk out there, they told me.

At the north Where the turquoise mountain lies across, Where the spiked deer with blue horns came one behind the other, Walk out there. They told me. (Not completed.)

At the east, Where the jet ridges of the earth lie.

At the south Where the white shell ridges of the earth lie, Where all kinds of fruit are ripe, We two will meet.

From there where the coral ridges of the earth lie, We two will meet. Where the ripe fruits are fragrant, We two will meet.


XVII

Where the rising sun looks, Walk out, they tell me. When I went there, she who walks on the water was wild, Her walked was wild, her eye was wild, I came as she brought me some.

With a bone medicine belt not wild, I came to her. With a wind's footprints not wild, I came near her. With a yellow spotted belt not wild, I came near her. With a bone medicine shirt not wild, I came near her.

Footnotes[edit]