1When we are able to work from tape recordings we present our transcriptions and translations in lines. Line breaks indicate pauses on the original recording. A related issue has to do with the spelling of proper names. Our practice is as follows: In the transcription and translation of the "Testamento," we followed Don Alfonso's usage exactly. And, in quotations, of course, we also follow Don Alfonso. in referring to Yaqui place names elsewhere, we use current Yaqui spellings, as provided by Felipe Molina. A map standard spelling is given in parentheses.
2Literally "the ones with knives," fr. Yaqui kuchi'im, "knives."
3Italics here and following indicate material written solely by Felipe S. Molina.
4See Gilbert Duke Bartell, "Directed Change Among the Sonoran Yaquis" (Univ. of Arizona: Ph.D. diss., 1964), for a discussion of the founding of the Guasimas fishing cooperative.
5We quote some of Miki Romero's recollections of these times on -Me Mescal Agave Talks Like That," a poster published as a part of "Singing Down Roots," an exhibition organized by Paul Mirocha on plant folklore of the Sonoran Desert, Office of Arid Lands Studies, University of Arizona, 1990.
6The total time the Spicers spent in Potam and the Rio Yaqui area was of course longer than this. It is detailed in Potam 3-4.
7Thomas E. Sheridan suggests that the "sense of history" of Yaquis such as Juan Valenzuela deeply affected Spicer's own developing understanding of the importance of history to anthropology (171).
8An item in the Spicer Collection, Arizona State Museum Archives, which is dated 13 April 1942 and which appears to be an outline of Giddings's thesis, indicates that Spanish language texts existed in their working files at the time. We assume that in deference to the wishes of the Yaquis with whom they worked, Spicer and Giddings chose not to publish those texts.
9One such translation, English to Spanish, of Giddings's "The Flood and the Prophets" does now exist in Ma. Eugenia Olavarria, Analisis Estructural de la Mitologia Yaqui, 73-74, a study published in 1989.
10See Giddings, Folk Literature, and Fabila, Las Tribus Yaqui, 216-18, on Ambrosio Castro.
11It was also, of course, a time of significant changes globally as World War II got underway, and a difficult time to be working in the Rio Yaqui area. The Spicers were evacuated from the Rio Yaqui area along with other North Americans in April 1942, cutting short their stay in Potam (Rosamond Spicer 1990:15).
12This is a point made by Gerald Bums of performance and interpretation of the central Hebrew text, the Torah. Bums is quoted in Arnold Krupat, "Post-Structuralism and Oral Literature," 123. See also Dennis Tedlock's discussion of the practice of Quiche Mayan writers in "From Voice and Ear to Hand and Eye," especially 11-12.
13By way of comparing the "Testamento" to other "flood myths" it is interesting to note that Fernando Horcasitas's extensive review of Mexican flood myths indicates that a major characteristic is that "none of them emphasize the causes of the cataclysm." He speculates that "the myths that do contain explanations are strongly influenced by European ideas" (Horcasitas 1988:186). This comparative perspective turns first impressions of the question of influence around, as the "Testamento" advances no explanations for the flood.
14Note a similar move as the single group of survivors in Genesis, Noah and his family, give way in the Yaqui "Testamento" to include some 53 persons and 21 domestic animals saved on 8 different peaks throughout Yaqui land. See Spicer, The Yaquis, 167.
15Don Alfonso uses u eteroi lei/law talk, sealei/flower law and Yaqui law as equivalent terms. See Jane Kelley, "Law-Talk," and Spicer, Potam where he writes: "It is believed that all procedure in church and village meetings is based on such law which once existed in written form" (163).
16A letter from the office of Ernest W. McFarland, Governor of the State of Arizona, dated April 30, 1958, indicates that "General Juan Sopohumea Bahicea, Jose Guadalupe Gonzales Paredes and Antonio Mabis today conferred with Governor McFarland at his offices in the Capitol Building in Phoenix, Arizona" (Evers/Molina files).
17Lutes, in "Yaqui Indian Enclavement," reports, "During my stay in Potam [1975-76], no less than seven delegations were sent to Mexico City in order to discuss problems thought to involve the tribe's rights under the 1936 decrees. Such grievances usually center around land disputes" (14).