Excerpts from the
Edward H. Spicer drafted a "Preliminary Report on Potam," or "PROP," in Hermosillo, Sonora, in 1942, following the evacuation from the Rio Yaqui area by Mexican government officials. A letter (Spicer Files, Dept. of Anthropology, University of Arizona) written by Spicer from Hermosillo to Emil Haury, dated May 8, 1942, records his disappointment at having to leave the Rio Yaqui area at this time:
The order to leave the Yaqui country was a terrible blow ... There was absolutely no warning, and the real causes of the order are not yet clear to anyone except perhaps General Botello himself. It is pretty certain that we hadn't rubbed anyone the wrong way and the fact that the Dedricks, an American couple in Vicam, were also evacuated indicates that it was not directed to us in particular. It is not clear to the American Consul in Guaymas just why Americans should have been sent out.... Whatever was back of it, we were kicked out just at the threshold of our period of intensive work with individual informants. In the three months we were there things had opened up steadily. The most conservative group in Rahum was beginning to give us mythological and other material that no one else has ever hinted of getting, and we had had unusual luck in getting close to people in key positions in the social organization. We would have had plenty of money to work many hours intensively with selected persons for the remaining five months. The evacuation order knocked the spots out of me; it was one of the hardest things I've ever had to take. I was without any plan of action for a couple of weeks, during which time we wandered around the Mayo country-with all our worldly goods in the
station wagon, camping wherever we happened to find ourselves at night. We got some idea of the Mayo villages, but it was too hard a life for a whole family. Barry picked up a little dysentery somewhere and so we had to put in a week in Alamos until he was cleared up.
The following three pieces, "Juan M. Valenzuela," "Mythology," and "Rahum Myths" are from the "Preliminary Report on Potam," contained in the files of Rosamond Spicer. We thank Mrs. Spicer for making them available for publication here. "Rahum Myths," as told by Juan Valenzuela on March 12, 1942, was transcribed and translated by Edward H. Spicer.
JUAN M. VALENZUELA
When we took a trip in the station wagon one Sunday with Uj (Jesús Juan Ujllolimea, Maestro de Cathedral, Potam) and some others, making a tour of the western pueblos from Rahum to Pitahaya, we went, as is usual for any Yaqui to do, immediately to the soldiers' guardia or cuartel in Rahum. There we found about a dozen men, young and old, but mainly old, sitting on the benches talking. One was the aged pascola I had seen dancing at the Rahum fiestas in Potam; he was gay and bantering in mood and spoke only Yaqui to us. Another was a tall, slender old man in the usual blue jeans. He spoke in Spanish later on, but at first tried my mettle by using only Yaqui. It was a little of an ordeal for me, as he asked me about Tucson and Arizona and mutual acquaintances of ours there. To stand in front of the village elders attempting to speak Yaqui to a strange man or rather to several strange men left me sweating a little. Heraclio and Uj tried to make it easier for me, but the tall man was determined to see how much I knew and in a quiet, insistent way kept brushing Uj aside. A half smile played about the corners of his mouth in what otherwise seemed an expressionless face. When Uj mentioned our desire to see the church, the carrizo and brush ramada set on the little rise back of the cuartel, the tall man stepped out from the others, and a rotund man appeared from somewhere. These two acted as our guides. They took us the few steps up the bare dirt hill to the church and then asked us if we had a camera. They wanted pictures of themselves standing beside the church and the little bronze bell which hung on a mesquite frame out in front of the church. Roz took the pictures.
The tall man was Juan Valenzuela, the pueplo yo'otui of Rahum, which is to say, the most respected old man. In 1942 he had no village office, but he, nevertheless as I teamed from attending ceremonies with him at Rahum and otherwise, pretty much ran the village. The rotund man who came with us to the church was Sirildio Valencia, the head maestro of Rahum. Juan and Sirildio became sort of joint informants for us, often coming to our house together in Potam, and always being together when we went to Rahum, for there their houses adjoined each other. But the dominating personality in the pair was, without any question at all, that of Juan.
The next time I saw Juan, so oblivious was I of anything but Potam and its affairs, I did not recognize him. It was a drizzly day in February, a little chilly. I had been writing in the house and heard a ruffle of drums. I stepped out into our covered corredor where we kept the car. From here I could remain under shelter and yet look south to the Potam cuartel and see whatever might be going on there outside the building. The cuartel was little more than a hundred yards away. As I leaned on our gate, looking, I saw the close of a greeting ceremony, centered on the cuartel cross. I could not make it out quite, and as I stood there, a diffident-seeming man went by, to whom as a matter of course I said "Dios em chaniam." He stopped and shook hands and began to talk with me in Yaqui. As he slowly realized that I had no idea who he was, his mouth opened into a broader and broader smile. Finally he explained that he was Juan Valenzuela of Rahum and that he had come over with the kobanaos to have a little junta with the Potam kobanaos. It was their drum which I heard, announcing their arrival, and then the drum of the Potam soldiers calling the Potam kobanaos to the meeting.
We talked that time at length about the case in hand-the robbery by a Mexican truck of some old pump machinery from Rahum territory. The truck had been seen in Potam, so it was reported the day before. The Rahum kobanaos were getting permission to enter Potam territory in order to inquire further into the matter. Juan explained something to me of the political relations between the villages. From this time on I was deeply impressed with Juan, and I made a conscious plan to get thoroughly acquainted with him. But apparently he had made a similar resolution concerning me, and perhaps he could be looked on as the aggressor for the next couple of weeks.
During the rest of the period in Potam I entertained the idea of writing a short essay on "The World of the Rahum Yo'otui." Despite a very practical and direct approach and manner, he impressed me as living in some world which I knew very little about. He was a mystic. I more or less unconsciously felt this from the first and gradually found abundant evidence to back up the impression. His eyes were not bright and burning, but rather dim and burning. They were definitely looking off somewhere, clouded by the passage from our world to the other one. We sometimes said, as we sat around in the big room at Potam (that is, Bets, and Roz and I), that we had a feeling that maybe Juan was sitting in the rafters up there looking at us and listening to what we said. Bets took to calling him the Brujo and that stuck; we were all thinking of him as the Brujo by the time we left. That nickname is merely an indication of the feeling of unearthliness which he gave rise to in all of us.
Yet there was nothing peculiar or odd in his behavior. He was a normal-seeming old Yaqui man. He talked sensibly, practically about village affairs. He seemed to see clearly into the Mexican-Yaqui political situation. He worked in his fields like any Yaqui. He read Spanish and had a copy of a book on the life of Madero which he read often. He and his household were clean and well-kept. He had a great simplicity in conversational manner and a readiness to talk about any little thing from weather to ways of cooking oysters. He even handled the giving to us of the highly mystical myths in a matter of fact manner. He sometimes sat in our house in Potam like a pleasant old patriarch being mildly amused by and indulgent with the various children who were also there. I remember mentioning to him once how constantly the Yaquis came and peered in our door all day long and into the night. I had been mentioning the same thing to Felipe, our Mexican neighbor, the same day. Felipe had fulminated and roared about the ill-bred Yaquis. The Brujo said pleasantly, "Oh yes, they want to see what their neighbors are like. They will come so for many weeks."
After the meeting in the drizzle, I saw Juan next when he appeared one afternoon with Sirildio, the maestro. They had a letter in English which they wanted translated. It happened that I had already made an oral translation of the same letter for Juan Amarillas and some other leading men of the new Huirivis a few days before. Juan said that this time perhaps I could make a written translation and then each pueblo wouldn't have to have it translated. It had been sent from Vicam to Belen, then to Huirivis; now it had reached Rahum and was destined to make the rounds of all the pueblos. I saw it again finally at Juan Dedrick's in Vicam Station when the tribal secretary there brought it in for Juan Dedrick to translate.
Not in Potam, but in Rahum, we came into contact with the real cultural core of nineteenth-century Yaqui life. By that I mean the ideals and the principles, the values, which kept Yaquis separate from Mexicans and which made them resist the Mexican encroachments. These values may be expressed in the behavior and attitudes of various individuals today, even some of those in Pascua such as Refugio Savala, but the expression of them in words is not, I am sure, to be found outside of the River country. And it is only from their expression in words that an outsider can really comprehend them. This articulation of the Yaqui heritage we got from Juan Valenzuela, the pueplo yo'otui of Rahum.
I find it hard to place the myths which he gave us in time. They seem like reinterpretations of old Yaqui concepts by a Christianized Yaqui, that is, myths thought out by an individual who believed with his whole soul both what he had learned from his mother and father and what he had learned from the priest's books and talks with him. But they are not tight little literary creations which could be the product of one man, by any means. They could have been, I suspect, written out in a dozen different versions. Juan himself might have written them otherwise than he did in his blue line-ruled notebook. He did not seem deeply concerned that we should get the words down on our typed copies precisely as he had them. He was much more interested in explaining what was meant. This attitude and the echoes of these myths that I have heard in Pascua made me feel that they are something which is deeply embedded in the peoples lives and that they do not depend for their existence on a set literary form.
I confess, however, for some days at first after a session with Juan that I wondered whether or not I had got hold of a slightly loony individual who was feeding us some peculiar imaginings. I was not prepared for the interweaving of Christian and pagan names as well as concepts in the mythology. I had thought that there might be some odd twistings of Christian concepts like José Mania Casillas of Pascua's life history of Christ, but I had not expected a mythology which would read like, let us say, Mrs. Eddy's or someone else's Key to the Scriptures. Although I learned later to have a different feeling for Juan's myths, I say that I must confess that this was my first feeling. It seemed exactly like a slightly insane Key to the Scriptures which was being read to us there 'in the crumbling guardia at Rahum by the solemn, ancient-eyed "Brujo," as Bets called him. It flashed across my mind for a moment that he had probably gotten them by mail order from some "Religious House" in Los Angeles. But with the Bacatete Mountains in sight, the Brujo's sane voice and manner dominating us, and the serious and simple eyes of the young men gathered around us, I couldn't for long believe in anything so individual as an insane origin for these statements. More sessions with the Brujo-and they were not with him alone, they were with his whole family and the family of Sirildio, the maestro of Rahum, and the young men of the new village who were not working-and the necessary background had been established for appreciating these stories as testaments (that is what Sirildio always wanted us to call them) of the tribe.
These myths of Juan Valenzuela of Rahum are not all of the same source, and I mean by that, from the same cultural period in Yaqui history. The talking stick comes from one period, the other three from another. They all, along with other material which must be associated with them, should be studied both internally and in conjunction with whatever there is in the historical records in order to get them placed in their proper relation to the rest of Yaqui cultural history. In the absence of any further materials connected with them, my exegesis at present must be regarded as largely guesswork, that is, as hunches about the material which, however, might be used for further guidance in field and library work.
The talking stick myth is apparently the most widely known of any of the basic sacred stories of the Yaqui. It, with various additions and subtractions, is common knowledge from Arizona to Tlaxcala. In my opinion, it is one of the few old fundamental myths which has survived, but its antiquity is only partial. The talking stick itself probably comes from aboriginal Yaqui culture, but the prediction of baptism, of course, is post-Spanish, I should say of the Jesuit period. The predictive powers of the talking stick have been elaborated since the Jesuit period, during the recent period into prophecy of the telephone, etc. (See the Pascua versions.) Juan himself has something to say in this connection, something which he added for me later after he had told the above version: "Those were the sabios who refused to be baptized. There were many in those days. They could see what was happening great distances away without moving from where they were seated. They could see, for instance, what was going on in Cocorit without going there. Half the people in each pueblo followed them and didn't want baptism. They weren't baptized and so they never died. They didn't have to die. It was only the people who were baptized who had to die."
Juan evidently also knows the predictive incidents other than the prophecy of baptism. And what he says here also provides for me an interpretation of the whole myth. It was the shamans, the men full of the old pagan lore and knowledge, who didn't want baptism. They opposed it. And Yaquis were not able, in the Jesuit period, to conceive of their shamans, their wise men, as actually becoming powerless even in the face of the new wise and powerful men, that is, the Jesuits. The myth indicates how the old non-Christian powers and knowledge could continue in the Yaqui country, as invisible and anti-Christian spirits. The myth probably resolved the major cultural contradiction facing the Yaquis in the Jesuit period. It grew up then.
In my opinion, the talking stick is much, much earlier than the other three myths. Juan also came to this conclusion when I suggested to him that he think about the relative time of the myths he had given us. He was working on a written version of the talking stick just about the time we left, and one afternoon when I was taking Sirildio over to Rahum, Juan came out and said to me without preliminaries: "I think this apunto [the talking stick myth] is earlier than what we did the other day, that part about the flood and the line. Because in the story of the line, it says that they went along singing hymns and knew the prayers. That means that they knew baptism. They were baptized people. Then that must come after the story of how the people first learned about baptism. Yes, I am sure it was after Mapooli and the talking stick."
Juan's method of criticizing myths need not necessarily yield sound results, but nevertheless I think he is right, and I also think that we can use the method of internal analysis to some good advantage. The flood myth I have not found to be of general knowledge at all. I have found numerous statements that there is some lost book which contains the story of the fixing of the boundary and the founding of the pueblos, but I have not found the story before except in mutilated form by Refugio Savala. (This of Refugio's, by the way, was the only thing which he has ever asked me not to use in any publication of any kind; it is thus sacred in his view still.) We have Castro's unequivocal statement that there is nothing known of the fixing of the boundaries, an historian's viewpoint, but coupled with his belief in a mythical family somewhere along the Cocoraqui Line, between the Yaquis and Mayos. This material then I regard as representing some specialized knowledge. It is not, yet at least, the general property of the people, although they are aware of its existence. The material itself has the earmarks of learning and acquaintance with the Bible. I suspect that it came into being during the period of the nineteenth century, when the need for justification of the boundary line of the tribal territory was so great. That is, it is the product of the threat presented by Mexican encroachment during this period. I feel rather sure that we have here an instance of one or two individuals making these stories and that in our time we may see them in process of diffusion, of becoming a tribal heritage with wholly anonymous authorship. But I do not believe that an individual sat down consciously, as an historian might, to write out these things. On the contrary, I believe that they were the product of "revelation," that some Yaqui was inspired to "see" these myths. He utilized Biblical and tribal traditions and produced these myths and probably many more. It seems to me that we can probably place them in time, if we accept this "Vision" origin. We know, for example, that there were several "prophets" who appeared among the Mayo in the early 1890s, just after the most intense portion of the conflict with the Mexicans. The most notable of these, at least according to Mexican records, was the "Saint of Cabora," Cabora being of the places mentioned in the myth of "The Singing of the Boundary." This "prophet" was brought to Cocorit and thence to Guaymas. I imagine that she represented a widespread "revivalistic" movement among the Mayo and Yaqui after the catastrophic defeats of the 1880s. We have no actual record of Yaqui prophets; they are all Mayo. But I am sure that there must have been at least one. The interweaving of the Yaqui places into the myths is too intricate for them to have come from a Mayo.
This interpretation needs all sorts of further support. It needs an inquiry into documentary sources; it needs the support of more mythical material of the same type; it needs comparative study of this material with other more standard and generally known mythology of the Yaquis. The material seems to me extremely significant and is worthy of all the study that can be given it. In it we have a beautiful example of myth-making in process, and it will result in giving us also a keen insight into the most significant period of Yaqui history, next to that of the period of conversion by the Jesuits.
Principal a adoptado por el martirelogio del periodo aitei del diluvio universal de cuya catastrofe se salbaron y segun estas son las generaciones de Yaitowi Varron Justo y perfecto que en sus generaciones con Dios camino y a contecio los dias que las aguas crecieron sobre la tierra. para destruir a toda en que haya espiritu. de vida debajo del cielo lo que hai en la tierra. Las aguas reptiles de animas vivientes hasi mismo, aves que vuelan sobre la tierra en la vierta expansion de los cielos. Esta sucedió que al dia 7 de Febrero las aguas del diluvio fueron sobre la tierra. El año 614 de la vida de Yaitowi y del mismo mes a 17 de Febrero en aquel dia hubo lluvia sobre la tierra 14 dias y 14 noches. Y desde toda espiritu de vida terminaron la santa fin y asi fue toda sustancia las aguas. Prebalecieron y crecieron en gran manera sobre la tierra destruida toda sustancia que vivia sobre la faz de la tierra desde hombres y mujeres terminaron los dias.
Y el mes de Julio a 17 las aguas fueron descreciendo hasta el primero de octubre se descubrieron las cimas de los montes. Y el dia primero de Noviembre se retiraron las aguas sobre de la tierra. Y se salbaron Yaitowi y 13 mas y 11 mujeres en el Cerro de Parbus. Hoy es Matale. Y en el Cerro de Jonas aitel 11 espirituales y una mujer llamada Emac Dolores y desaparecio en el aho Septimo se volvió estatua de piedra y hoy es Matuacame y en Cerro Egosin se salbaron 6 y hoy es Tosalcawi y en Tohowai 3 hoy es Rehepacahui y en Golgota Fou Emac y 2 mas hoy es Tehetpaharia Otamcahui y en la sierra Sinaii uno que es Vaculo y una mujer Domisilia que es serafina y 7 aves y 7 asnos y 7 perillos -- hoy es Samaguaca. Y en la sierra Vaber uno que es Equitollis y mujer que se llamaba Parecenobix y hoy es Totoitacusehepo y a conteció despues de estas cosas llegaron 2 angeles a la sierra Sinaii al rayar al alba Vaculo y Fou Emac, Y Serafin estaban sentados sobre de una piedra cantando la santisima Ymno y viendolo se levantaron se a recibirlos e inclinaron se hacia el suelo y al cielo y les digeron pues mis señores enbiados de Vuestro Dios les rogamos nos defiendan que vengais a este valle de lágrimos y digeron los ángeles hay para Dios alguna cosa es dificil al tiempo senalado viene detras es que enderesada todo el camino de Dios y volveremos aqui segun el tiempo de la vida de Ustedes y al septimo dia cuando vino la mañana que vinieron truenos y relampagos y espesas nubes sobre la sierra. Va a ver en aquellos dias vino el angel San Gabriel enbiado de Dios predicando en el desierto mandamiento de Dios y diciendo a Vaculo y a Fou Emac a Serafina a repentios que el Reino de Dios de los cielos de santisima de la altar se ha acercada porque este es aquel del cual fue dicho por el profeta. Indomin patricin y id por el camino de Dios de nuestro padre y llegaron al lugar Venedici y oireis voz de Dios y vendigo Dios a Vaculo y a Fou Emac y a Serafin derramaré sangre del hombre porque a Imagen de Dios es hecho el hombre y ya ni habra mas diluvio para destruir la tierra cual será señal por siglos perpetua mi arco pondre en las nubes será que cuando haré venir nubes sobre la tierra se degará ver mi arco en las nubes acordarme y hoy habrá mi arco en el altar y en segundo tabernaculo de Dios para acordarme del pacto mio entre Dios y toda alma viviente. Y el dijo Dios que queris que os haga y ellos le dijeron danos que en tu Gloria de santisima altar y les dijo Dios podeis beber del vaso que yo bebo y luego comenso decir: mira que nadie os engañe. Esta es mi casa de oracion y sera llamada por todas las genres falsas profetas y direis a vosotros habeis hecho cuebas de ladrones si alguno os digera diciendo yo soi el Dios no le creais se levantaran falsos testimonios hermanos contra hermanos padres contra hijos mataran unos con otros y los falsas profetas daran señales a Ustedes para engañar y al tiempo señalado vendran Rahbonix mejor dicho nuestro esta son las generaciones antiguidad cronologicas los años que se completan el ultimo los hechos acontecimientos que referimos en esta tabla general de ley antiguidad y letras por Ynexselci deo mamfin y de correccion de santisima trinidad huerto de Dios que es In paradisum hoy es Potam y por la nuestra señora Santa Rosalia Prodigiosa aparicion del año 707 en Eden hoy Bahcum y asi mismo por la nuestra. Angel de Guarda Aprodigiosa aparición el año 902 con la Santa Cruz en venedicit hoy es Abascaure y de la Encarnacion Natividad de nuestro Señor Jesucristo Redentor del mundo.
El Canto del Límite
Y despues de estas cosas del año del 1414 a 1417 Isiderio Sinsal y Andres Couame, Andres Quizo y Rabdi Coguama dijo a los que el acompanan hoy, sels del primer mes de los ninos hinocentes de 1414 caminad por todos los montes y cerros y aldeas predicamos la Santa Linia divisoria y anunciamos el Ebangelio del Reino de Dios para salir a un lugar que es Takalaim. Y les digo Id delante y horad y cantemos la Santa Alba - pasando de alli un poco mas adelante al llegar a Cocoraqui. Y les ensenaba la Santa Dotrina y mandamiento de Dios. Para salir de Cocoraqui a rumbo, Cabora dice el Rabdi Coguama - Eli Eli lama sabactani. Esto quiere decir - Dios mio, Venid a id a horad. Pasando de alli mas adelante hal llegar a Cabora les digo de nuebo a los que que le acompanan-Mira que nadie os engabo a Vosotros, porque vendran muchos hombres y diran a Vosotros-Yo soi el enbiado de Dios. Y enganara a muchos a Vosotros y a nuestros hijos si hoireis a los que lleguen despues de esto. Entonces veran un guerra y no os turbeis y no sera el fin.
Pues señoresim achalim vatnatacai itom pueblo principalim achalim intoc junalebenasia jume itom ley principalim achalim intoc aet guelicia itom alle santa Madre Yglesiapo oficio priincipalta tequipanoame guame itom achali principalim, malestom intoc junalensu itom segundo, Santa Yglesiapo, guame nuestra Señora Virgen de Reina Guadalupanata dicipulo asohalam vatnataca itom sontaho alperecim achalim intoc aet guelicia guame itom sontaho cubaileom intoc aet guelicia guame itom achalim capitanim achalim tenientim sargentom cabo, achalim ultimo tropa yoremia yeutastia guame Senor San Miguel arcangel ta dicipulo yoremia asohalam yeutastia señoresim achalim señoresim caballeria vetana pues señoresim achalim eme quet ihan a juneillane achalim inica itom polobe herencia miqui guaca itom buia llollohogua apo achali Dios santicima trinidad.
Dios ta achai Dios ta husi Dios espiritu santo ime vahi personacim tua nau vahi Diosimtacai ilen itom a herencia micac señoresim achalim pues señoresim achalim junac tiempopo inime profetam ahabo, vituaguac Dios achaita nesaupo, guaca itom polobe herencia buia llollogua itom a micsaiguacai inim yeu llumac junamehe profetam. Pues señoresim achalim ilen guasuctiata guelleo inim llumac 1414 a 1417 inim a natec itom linia dibizoria itom herencia miqui Enerota 6 nicu lleu sajac sur vetana junaman cagui catec ili picachom juna cahui mogonea General Vaguepo catecame vesque guame itom llolloguam sihime nahui junaman lleu sajac Tacalaim ti a teuguac vempo vesa guame profetam vohou japtec liniata nateneme profetam
Inime profetam vesa julenjia guame pueblomegui intoc guame angelitom mehui. La santa linia dibizoria antes la llegada de los españoles en el año 1417 predicado por Indigeno, Andres Cusme, Isiderio Sinsai, y Andres Quizo para empesar esta santa linia dibizoria cantaban la Santa Alba y les enseñaban a los que le acompañaban la Doctrina mandamiento de Dios para salir a un lugar que es Tacalai y les digo di delante y cantad Ymno y al llegar a Cocoraqui les dijo entre algunos años vendrán unos hombres hinicuos procedente de Gehsemani que es nueva españa. Aquellos hombres tienen figura de Ycifer son himbasores y enemigos de nuestra vida y no respetan los ageno y quedran a propiarse a este nuestra suelo preguntaran a Ustedes por un Reino. Pues inilen amemac etehoc intuchia Cocoraquipo juchi etehoc pueblomaque al comenzar esta santa linia dibizoria les dijo el profeta
Venid y horad de alli un poco mas adelante al llegar a Cocoraqui y les enseñaba la Santa Doctrina y Mandamiento de Dios y les dijo mirad los Reino diran a Ustedes por engaño para saber si cc ignoran con Ustedes para recordarles y no le creas si algunos de Ustedes diger en bueno entonces levantaran falsos testimonios sobre esta linia hermanos contra hermanos padres contra hijos mataran unos con otros ilen amemac etejoc jume linia ta itom herencia micacame ilen eme a juneillane, señoresirn achalim pueplom lleutastia.
1. Cocoim vetana itom buia llollogua micguacame Jose Ignacio Vailutey
Foremost adopted by the martyrology of about the period of the universal flood, from which catastrophe were saved and according to these are the generations of Yaitowi, a perfect and just man who in his generations walked with God and has counted the days which the waters grew over the earth in order to destroy all in which there was the spirit of life under the heavens [and] that which there was on the earth, the reptiles of the water equally with living souls, birds which fly over the earth in the great expanse of the heavens. This happened that on the 7th of February the waters of the flood were over the earth. In the 614th year of the life of Yaitowi and in the same month, on the 17th of February, there was rain over the earth for 14 days and 14 nights. And since all spirit of life came to a holy end and thus water was the whole substance [of the earth]. [The waters] spread and grew over the earth in great manner, destroying all substance which lived on the face of the earth, since men and women terminated their days.
And from the 17th 'in the month of July the waters were going down until the first of October [when] could be seen the tops of the mountains. And on the first day of November the waters retired from the earth. And there were saved on the Mount of the Rabbit Yaitowi and 13 [other men] and 11 women. Today this mount is called Matale. And on the Mount of Jonas [were saved] 11 spirits and I woman named Emac Dolores. And [the latter] disappeared [and] in the seventh year returned [as] a statue of stone and today [this] is Matuacame. And on Mount Egosin were saved 6; and today this [is] Tosalcawi. And on To'owai, which today is Re'epacawi [were saved] 3. And on Golgotha, which today is Te'etpa'aria Otamkawi [were saved] Fou Emac and 2 others. And in the Mountains of Sinai, which today is Samawaka, [were saved] one who is Vaculo and a woman Domisilia who is Serafina and 7 birds and 7 burros and 7 little dogs. And on the Mountain of Vaber, which today is Totoi-ta-kuse'epo [Cerro del Gallo?], one who is Ekitoyis and a woman who is called Parecenobix. And after these things arrived 2 angels to the Mountains of Sinai at the beginning of dawn. Vaculo and Fou Emac and Serafina were seated on a stone singing the Holy Hymn and seeing them they rose to receive them and bowed towards the ground and to the sky and told them: 'Well, sirs, sent by your God, we entreat you to defend us who come to this vale of tears." And the angels said: "There is for God [not ?] anything which is difficult. At the appointed time comes that which is fitting along the road of God. And we shall return here according to the time of the life of yourselves." And on the seventh day with the morning came thunder and lightning and thick clouds over the mountains. It came to pass in those days that the angel Saint Gabriel came sent by God, preaching in the desert the commandments of God and saying to Fou Emac and to Vaculo and to Serafina to remember[?] that the Kingdom of God, of the skies, of the Holy Altar[?] was near, because this is that which was spoken by the prophet: "Indomin patricin and go by the road of God Our Father and arrive at the place called Venedici and hear the voice of God." And God blessed Vaculo and Fou Emac and Serafina. "I will shed the blood of man because in the image of God man is made and now there will be no more flood to destroy the earth, of which [there] will be a perpetual sign through the centuries. I will place my arc in the clouds. It shall be that when clouds will have come over the earth there shall be left to be seen my arc in the clouds as a remembrance of me. And today shall be my arc on the altar and in the second tabernacle of God in order to remind me of my pact between God and all living souls."
And God said that he wanted that they do it and they told Him: "Give us of the holy altar in your Heaven." And God said to them: "You can drink of the cup from which I drink." And he began to speak: "Look to it that no one deceiveth you. This is my house of prayer and will be called by all the people false prophets and say to you have made caves for thieves. If any speak to you saying 'I am the God,' do not believe it. There win arise false witnesses, brothers against brothers, fathers against sons, they will kill one another. And the false prophets will give signs to you to deceive you. And at the appointed time will come Rahbonix."
These are the ancient chronological generations, the years which are completed, the last the attested facts which we refer to in this general table of the ancient law and the letters by Ynexcelsi deo mamfin and by correction of the Holy Trinity, Orchard of God which is in Paradise, which today is Potam, and by Our Lady Santa Rosalia Prodigiosa, vision of the year 707 in Eden, which today is Bacum and similarly by our marvelous Guardian Angel, vision of the year 902 with the Holy Cross in blessing, which today is Abascaure, and of the Incarnate Birth of our Senor Jesus Christ, Savior of the World.
The Singing of the Boundary.
And after these things from the year 1414 to 1417 Isiderio Sinsai and Andres Cousme, Andres Quizo and Rabbi Coguama. He said to those who accompanied him on that day, the 6th of the first month of the Innocent Children of 1414: "Travel through all the country and the hills and the towns. We preach the Holy Boundary Line and we announce the Gospel of the Kingdom of God, in order to go out to a place which is [called] Takalaim." And I say to them: "Go forth and hear and we sing the Holy Dawn-passing from there a little farther on to arrive at Cocoraqui." And he taught them the Holy Doctrine and the Commandments of God. To go out from Cocoraqui to the Cabora road the Rabbi Coguama said: "Ell, Eli, lama sabactani." [This means, My God, come and go forth and hear.] Passing from there farther on to arrive at Cabora, he said anew to those who were accompanying him: "Look to it that no one deceive you, because there will come many men and they will say to you: 'I am sent of God.' And he will deceive many of you and of our children, if they should listen to those who arrive after us. Then they will see a war and you will be disturbed and there will be no end."
Thus, honorable fathers, [it was] in those times our leading pueblo fathers and thus it was there our great fathers of the law and on it Our Mother, the Holy Mother. In the church working in the high office those great maestros and thus indeed our second one in the holy church that one our Madam Virgin Queen Guadalupe's child disciple long ago. Our soldier flagbearers and on it our soldier drummer and those our honorable captains, lieutenants, sergeants, head corporals to the last of the Yaqui troops to that Sir Saint Michael's human disciple.
Gentlemen, on the side of the gentleman cavalry, well, sirs, you too now will know it, sirs, this our poor heritage given us that ancient land of ours by him Father God the Holy Trinity.
God the Father, the Son, the Holy Ghost, these three together, three indeed in one body of God. Thus he gave us the heritage. Gentlemen, well, sirs, in those early times, these prophets here were commanded by God the Father's order that poor heritage of ours in the ancient land these prophets accomplished this there in order to give it to us.
Well, gentlemen, the years between 1414 and 1417, then these set forth our boundary line, gave us the heritage. They set out on January 6, toward the south were there at the little peak, the hill of Mogonea in the sea. This is our whole ancient root there. They say they set out from Takalaim, those prophets said. They stopped on the road, asking the prophets:
These prophets then spoke thus to the people and the little children: "The Sacred Boundary Line, before the arrival of the Spaniards in the year 1417, preached by the Indian prophets to begin this Holy Line singing the Holy Dawn and teaching them, to those who accompanied them, the God-given doctrine to reach a place which is Tacalai and spoke to them in advance and sang a hymn and, at the arrival at Cocoraqui, told them that after some years would come some unrighteous men proceeding from Gethsemane which is New Spain. Those men have the form of Lucifer and are invaders and enemies of our life and respect nothing and remain to appropriate our soil and ask you for a kingdom."
He spoke thus again in Cocoraqui with them, he spoke again to the people: To begin this holy Boundary Line he spoke to them the prophet: Andres Cusmes and Andres Quizo:
Come and hear from there a little farther on to arrive at Cocoraqui, and he taught them the Holy Doctrine and the Commandments of God and told them: Look for the Kingdom. They will say to you through deceit in order to know if you are ignorant, and do not believe it if any of you say a good [word]. Then they will raise up false testimony concerning this line. Brothers will kill brothers and fathers will kill sons. Thus with them he spoke there of the line. Our heritage was given thus to you as you will know, out to the last honorable pueblo father.
The Foundation of the Eight Pueblos:
1. For Cocorit our land was anciently given [by] Jose Ignacio Vailutey [N.B. Cf. Ania bailutek]
The Talking Stick and the Surem.
(We unfortunately did not get a text of Juan's version of this. He was writing it out when we left, and no doubt he has it now in his notebook. The following is merely an abstract of what he told me one afternoon in Potam.)
THERE WAS A TIME when the people of the Yaqui River knew nothing about baptism. This was some time before the Conquest by the Spaniards and marks the beginning of the real Conquest in the Yaqui country. There was a stick at Vicam. It was of mesquite, and it was very thick. It spoke sometimes with a voice that was very unpleasant. People came to listen to it, but there were none who could understand what it said. The old people of Vicam tried and so did the older people of the other eight pueblos. There were many wise men in those days, but there were none who knew what the stick was saying.
There was a man named Mapooli, who lived 'in the west of the Yaqui country. He lived a little way toward the sea from the present place of Mapooli on the Southern Pacific Railroad. He had a daughter named Mapooli. The old people of the eight pueblos came to him and told him that they would like him to listen to the stick and say whether or not he could understand it. He said he would have to get ready. So he took his daughter and went down to the sea. Here he caught a fish and had some conversation with it, telling it what the pueblo wise men had asked him to do. The fish asked him why he had to do this, and he said that the mayoria had ordered it. Then the fish said he would help him with what knowledge he had. So Mapooli went to Vicam with his daughter, and they found all the people of the eight pueblos gathered there.
The stick was speaking in its very terrible voice every half hour. Finally it began to talk again. Mapooli was there with his daughter, and she translated what the stick was saying. It said: "There is a thing called baptism. All those who are baptized will die." This is all it said. Mapooli told the people. There was an angel in the sky above whose spirit had been talking.
Immediately all the people 'in each of the pueblos were divided into two different groups. Every pueblo, wherever you went on the Yaqui River, had one group of people who wanted to be baptized and one group who did not. The people got great piles of wood and took them to Vicam. There, one group planned to bum the taking stick. There was a great fight all up and down the river, the people who wanted to be baptized fighting with the people who did not want to be. They fought hard. Eventually the people burned the talking stick, but those people who wanted to be baptized were baptized. Those who would not be baptized became enchanted. Everywhere on the Yaqui River they were enchanted, like the Mesa Encantada near Roosevelt Dam in Arizona.
These people who became enchanted remained here but no one knows where they are exactly because they cannot be seen. Sometimes a person hears a drum or a violin, and it is probable that this is the music of the enchanted people. Sometimes when a pascola musician is a very good musician it is said that he learned his music from the enchanted people. They, like the Yaquis, are the descendants of the Surem, who were the small people who lived everywhere in the Yaqui country in the ancient times before the talking stick was in Vicam and before the beginning of the Conquest which started with the talking stick.