Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 21.djvu/199

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

tional rituals, prayers, songs, and sacred epics of this kâ kâ for a comprehensive idea of their mythology. Knowledge gained from both these sources may in turn be vastly added to, strengthened, and corrected by a close study of their most abundant and beautifully imaginative folklore.

Supreme over all the gods of Zuñi is Hano ona wilona, or holder of the roads of light, corresponding to the earthly pekwina, or priest of the sun, and represented by the sun itself. Beneath him is a long line of gods so numerous that I know not half their names, nor have I recorded them, but they are divided into six great classes: the celestial or hero gods (the demon-gods themselves perhaps the vestiges of a more ancient hero-god mythology), the elemental gods, or the gods of the forces of nature, the sacred animal gods, or the kia pin a hâi and kia she ma a hâi, the gods of prey or wemar a hâi, and the tutelary gods, or divinities of places. While Hano ona wilona is supreme over all, he himself, like the earthly sun-priest, is limited by his own high-priests among the gods—the celestial or hero gods, and they, in turn, by the demon-gods, while the two earthly offices of head political and war chiefs are represented, on the one hand, by the raw or water-wantings beings, or animal gods; and, on the other, by the wemâr a hâi, or gods of prey, while the priests of the night in the human organization (tkwi-na-proa-a shi-wa-ni) seem to be represented by the tutelar gods of the deistic organization. Not less important, then, because they are supposed to act in connection with the latter, are the ancients, or spirits of the ancestors, who form the body-politic of this great system of gods, and are supposed to serve as mediators between the mortals and the gods. In Zuñi belief they have also a definite place of residence assigned to them, notwithstanding which they are supposed to hold constant communion, even to the extent of occasional materialization with those whom they have left behind, to listen attentively to their prayers, and to represent them in some vague way to the higher gods of the Zuñi mythology.

While this great system of gods, like the kâ kâ, is organized, as a whole, not unlike the ecclesiastical and martial systems of the Zuñis, so also has each one of the six systems of gods, like each of the six estufas of the Zuñis, its offices of high-priests, priests of the house or temple, warrior-priests, etc. As an example of this special organization, let me speak of the gods of the ocean, who under specific names and attributes are further distinguished as "our beloved Pe kwi we, or sun-priest of the ocean; our beloved the ona ya na k'ia a shi tea ni, or priests of the temples of the ocean; our beloved mother, the K'o hak o k'ia, or the goddess of the white shells; our beloved, the three great warrior-priests of the ocean, kia chla wa ni, ku pish tai a, and tsi k'ia hâi a, in whom we do not fail to recognize the two master-priests of the bow, and the third priests of the bow, or head warrior-chief of the martial organization. The lesser personages of Zuñi