Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 39.djvu/51

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41
SOME GAMES OF THE ZUÑI.

done. One place is designated as the stone-home. One hundred stones are placed in a row a certain distance apart. Each stone must be picked up and carried separately and placed, not thrown, in the stone-home. Another point, several miles distant, is taken, and the game is for one to run to the distant spot and return, while the other gathers up the stones. As it is a contest of speed and judgment, not chance, it becomes very exciting.

This almost inordinate desire for play, which I have claimed for the Zuñis, seems not to be of recent origin. The three games, shō-wē-es-tō-pa, shō-le-wā, and ti-kwa-we, were "played by the Zuñis as soon as they came out of the ground," as one expressed it. That this expression may be better understood, I will quote from Mrs. Stevenson's article on The Religious Life of a Zuñi Child:[1] "Let us follow the Zuñi tradition of the ancient time, when these people first came to this world. In journeying hither they passed through four worlds, all in the interior of this, the passage-way from darkness into light being through a large reed. From the under world they were led by the two little war-gods, Ah-ai-ū-ta and Mā-ā-sē-we, twin brothers, sons of the sun, who were sent by the sun to bring these people to his presence. They reached this world in early morning, and seeing the morning star they rejoiced, and said to the war-gods, 'We see your father, of whom you have told us.' 'No,' said the gods, 'this is the warrior who comes before our father'; and when the sun rose the people fell upon the earth and bowed their heads in fear."

Shō-lē-wā. — This game was played for me by Boots and José California. They have four pieces of reed about four inches long. These are differently marked; on the concave side, painted in places, and on the convex side marked with carvings, as shown in Fig. 1. Each piece is named. The one whose concave side is entirely

PSM V39 D051 Reeds for playing sho le wa.jpg

Fig. 1. — Reeds foe Plating Shō-lē-wā.

painted black is called quin, the Zuñi for black; the one with one black end, path-tō; with two black ends, kō-ha-kwa; and the one with a black center, ath-lu-a. Fig. 2 shows the manner of holding these pieces when about to play. They are held in the right hand, and thrown up against a suspended blanket and

  1. Fifth Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology.