A note on the transcription. We transcribed this performance from audiotapes we made with the assistance of John Crouch. Copies of the tapes are available to readers of this translation. Roosters, barking dogs, children at play, trucks and farm machinery, adults buzzing in the kitchen, not to mention airplanes overhead, all will be very present to those who listen to the audiotapes, but we did not try to represent any of them in this transcription and translation. Likewise we did not attempt to transcribe, or otherwise represent, the sounds of the instruments, the deer dancer or any of the other features of the varied soundscape of Yoem Pueblo.
During the last twenty years, an extraordinary amount of scholarly attention has been devoted to the challenges posed by transcribing oral performances into print form. Brian Swann's collection, On the Translation of Native American Literatures (1992), provides a representative selection of this work. The necessity of "truth-in-packaging" seems to be a lesson to be learned from all of it. Don't assume that the practice of various transcribers and translators is all one thing; try to be self-aware and to describe your own practice as clearly as possible.
Out practice in transcribing Miki Maaso's talk: is as follows. We transcribe his speech into lines because we think that better represents the rhythm of his talk than paragraphs, and we think it results in a more readable translation. A line break indicates a pause on the tape. Longer pauses get a double line break. What we heard as we listened to the tapes is what we set down on the printed page. Out ears were out guides. We listened to the tapes several times, together and individually. In some places it was a tough call for us. We felt the transcribing could go either way. Was that really a pause or not? longer line or new line? Playing questions like these out has led some to stopwatches, computers, and other electronic devices to validate their decisions (see, for example, Sherzer in Swann 1992). That kind of science is not out interest in this project. We listened, listened again, made a decision, and went on.
In any case, each new line is represented flush left. If the transcribed line runs beyond the right margin, we indent and complete the line, block style for the talk, stepped style for the songs. Thus the line numbers that we provide for convenience of reference count only those lines starting flush left. In the case of the song texts we followed much the same procedure: a pause indicates a new line, aided by Felipe's sense of the line as a practicing deer singer. The stepped indentation of long song lines is intended to reflect a descending contour. The first line of the concluding stanza (tonua) was the one place where questions arose: one long line or two? We went by what we heard on the tape but recognize that there is more to work on here. Suggestions for better solutions are welcome.
027 woi vahi: literally, two three; two or three, in the sense of several.
034 eme aet hiapsek: Your heart is in it. Painter notes that "Hiapsi means the heart of a living person and the soul of a dead one" (87) and that "complete fulfillment of an obligation with consequent divine favor cannot be accomplished without faith, love, and devotion. This is more important than carrying out correctly the details of the ritual. Tui'i hiapsimak (with good heart) and chikti hiapsimak (with whole heart) are phrases often heard in sermons and among the people" (Painter 97).
047 maso bwik1eom huevenakai: many deer singers. The reference is to the deer singers from the Yaqui villages in Sonora who come frequently to the Yaqui villages in southern Arizona to perform at various ceremonies.
053 waka uhbwanta: the sacred request. From the noun uhbwani: sacred request (and the verb, bwaana: to cry or to weep). A special request that is made by the sponsors of a pahko, who are called the pahkome, to the church group (maehtom, kopariam, temahtim, matachinim) or the deer dance group (moro, deer singers, deer dancer, pahko1am and their respective musicians). Formal speeches are given as a part of the request and other customs followed. For example, to request the services of the deer group the pahkome go to the moro ya'ut, the lead moro. After he agrees that he will get the performers together, the pahkome lights a cigarette and passes to the moro ya'ut. This seals the agreement. The moro ya'ut then carries the sacred request to the performers, taking along cigarettes provided by the pahkome. Once accepted, this agreement cannot be broken.
062 inline achaim: these fathers. The reference is to the sponsors of this event: Larry Evers, Joseph Wilder, and particularly Felipe Molina and Ignacio Amarillas Sombra who walked all around the Vicam-Potam area looking for Miki Maaso in order to give him the sacred request to come to southern Arizona.
089 wa karpeta yo'oriwan: the carpet was respected. Traditionally the deer singers put down a hipetam, a mat woven from carrizo (a native cane, arondo donax). It is now common for singers to sit on a small rug or blanket as they perform. Miki Maaso uses karpeta, from the Spanish carpeta, to refer to this space, which is reserved only for the deer dancer and singers and their helpers.
098 waka bwe'um hiapsekame tenku aniapo: one who does not have the big heart in the dream world. Felipe: In order to pick up the deer singers' instruments, a person must have the power, the ability, or else he will have bad dreams. Or perhaps he will get sick with diarrhea. Many singers have a dream that tests their courage. Perhaps a big snake or large animals threaten them. If they are brave and do not fear what appears to them, they will gain the power to sing or dance the deer songs.
111 yo ania ini'i: this is the enchanted world. The enchanted world and the enchanted homes are places in the wilderness world that surrounds the Yoeme villages. They are a source of knowledge and power. The deer singers' instruments, the raspers and other instruments, contain the powers from the enchanted world. No one outside the deer group should handle them. See Yaqui Deer Songs regarding enchanted world, wilderness world, dream world.
142 viva: cigarette. During a pahko, the sponsors are expected to provide cigarettes for the pahkolam to distribute to the audience. It is thought that when people smoke together there is a feeling of unity, of agreement and harmony. Miki Maaso explains that it is not the proper role for the deer singers to give out these cigarettes. They should not chat and banter with the audience the way the pahkolam do, but rather should only talk for the wilderness world and the flower person during the pahko.
151 sea yolemta: the flower person, the deer.
221 ili hittoata: little medicine.
285 waka kanaria: the Kanaria.
369 tua te kantelammak haiwakka huni'i: Really, we will be looking for them with candles.
414 seyewailo: flower-covered. We continue to translate both seyewailo and sewailo with this phrase but see our more extended discussion of the word in Yaqui Deer Songs, 51-52.
415 sewa sewa: flower flower. Repeating words or syllables, reduplication, is a common feature of deer songs, one that gives beauty to the songs. Repetitions such as this one, or yoyo: enchanted enchanted, emphasize the quality described, in the sense of "doubly flower" or "doubly enchanted."
ka sea momovela: not flower overturned. Felipe: The Yoeme always place a hat upside-down when they take it off in order to collect flowers. Perhaps the reference here is to the gourds used in deer singing, the ones they have just placed down, overturned in front of them to play on. But notice also that one of the last songs Miki Maaso sings uses momovela (see the next-to-last song, song 11, line 861). There the idea seems to be connected with the concept that flowers have gathered, accumulated, clustered on the singers, the instruments, and the maso during the pahko. Here at the beginning, perhaps the flowers, the blessings of the pahko, have not yet fallen on them.
426 ika yo taa'ata yo vali kuakte: when this enchanted sun makes an enchanted cool turn. Felipe: When the sun is low in the sky, it has less heat and we feel the coolness over the earth.
440 For some reason, the singer does not use siika in this, the first line of the concluding stanza, u tonua. This is but one instance of a kind of slight variation that occurs in the repeated lines of the songs throughout.
After this song concludes, Miki Maaso says something to one of the other deer singers. It is not transcribed because we cant understand it on the tape.
443 fayalia: from pa'aria, a clearing, an opening in the desert vegetation, a place that linked the song equation to the space where the deer performs in the flower world, which later in this song is called the yo sewa tevatevachiapo: the enchanted flower patio patio (in the doubled language of the song), and, of course, to the space in the pahko rama where the deer dancer performs.
453 vivichaka weyeka: you saw, you are walking out. The singer uses both tenses: vivichaka is 2nd person sing. past tense; weyeka, 2nd person sing. present.
470 kokomala: all over. The flowers are not just omola, on the side, but kokomala, all over.
493 mah torom: deer bulls
522 kahtikaroavawaka: punished. Felipe: For the first Yoeme this was not so hard, but for us who come after it is hard: staying up all night, being hungry, getting sleepy, being cold, and being hot. We suffer all those things, but the first Yoeme knew how to take care of themselves.
530 vetuku'u humaku'u: there, under. Felipe: He means underground in the graveyard in front of the church; ordinary people would be there wrapped in a white burial sheet (savana) but those who have dealt with the wilderness world will not be there but in the other world, the enchanted home.
532 atteakame: the one who owns, in this case, his deer songs, because of the enchanted world.
541 ini: this. That is, the practices of the deer group, deer songs and singing and dancing. Felipe: He's saying the two should be kept separate, we never sing in the churches, we might go in, but we never sing there; the deer dancer goes in with the drum and the flute, but we never sit down and sing in there. There are a lot of ways to see this, but maybe it is too sacred for the church, or maybe the church is too sacred for it. People will see it in different ways.
623 hiponreom: drumstick. Felipe: I would say hiponiam, but he was in a hurry and said hiponreom, which could mean the water drum players, the inen rather than the drumsticks.
635 sia: green, from siari
vo'osime: craw1ing. Regarding the meaning of this word in another deer song Felipe wrote: "In the song it says he is vosime. That is not exactly like crawling in English. In Yaqui we say that babies or even drunks wakate, crawl. They can't walk, so they crawl. But vosime means that you are lying, moving, or crawling because you, want to be, because you have the ability." Yaqui Deer Songs 102-3.
650 sitepolo: no translation. A form of the word siteporo or sitepoa, which is a plant. Felipe: It must be a big one because the deer is standing under it. He and Richard Felger will try to identify it as part of their Yoeme ethnobotany.
665 ian vea yo aniapo bwiika: Now it is singing in the enchanted world. We don't know what is being described here, what "is singing in the enchanted world" in this song.
675 inia mak emo nok yopna wa tampaleo into wa aapaleo: The tampaleo and the harpist answer each other with this talk. "Answer" in this context has a very special meaning. As we noted in Yaqui Deer Songs (85-86):
The pahko proceeds in repeated sequences of music and dancing. The violin and the harp players play together and begin each sequence, and, when they do, each pahkola takes a turn dancing to their stringed music. There is a break during which the pahkolam may joke with the crowd or among themselves, then one of them may call for the tampaleo, the flute and drum player, to begin.... Once the tampaleo has begun his song, the pahkolam each take a turn dancing to his music, this time with their masks covering their faces. It is as the pahkolam begin to dance to the music of the tampaleo that the deer singers finally begin. Usually a deer song is sung two or three times. When the deer dancer has performed and the deer song is over, everything stops. There is a more extended break. The violin and the harp players begin a new song and the sequence is begun again. So it goes throughout the pahko.
As it is the violin and the harp players who begin each of these sequences, they are said to vata weiya, carry it first. In addition to the temporal order of the sequence, this means that the violin player chooses the songs, the alavansam. If the violin player chooses an alavansa titled, say wichalakas, cardinal, then the tampaleo is supposed to follow with a cardinal song on his flute and drum, and the deer singers in their turn should choose a cardinal song from their own repertory as well.
If all goes well, as Miki Maaso notes here, "truly they do not leave each other behind."
693 enchimmeu limohnavaetia: she wants to donate something to You. Trudie Narum is a Jemez Pueblo woman, Tucson resident and director of Tucson Indian Alliance. She has hosted Felipe and other Yaqui deer singers when they performed by invitation during Jemez Pueblo feast days. She carne for-ward from the audience at this time to bless the deer singers and to give them a donation, as is appropriate in her tradition.
720 aaaa: Those who listen to the audiotape will note the distinctive rasping style that Miki Maaso uses in this song; the second and third deer singers provide long strokes, Miki Maaso adds a double time stroke. If this style has a name, Felipe doesn't know it. But he and his brother Steve have noticed and talked about this style of playing. Felipe suggests that there are probably many nuances in the practice of various deer singers that he does not know. As an example, he mentioned that one deer singer told him recently that early in the evening the singer should play or use only the notches on the left end of the raspers, then as the evening and the pahko proceed the deer singer should increase the length of his stroke in order to use notches in the middle, and finally, toward the end of the pahko, the far right end of the rasper.
728 vichakasu: ? Felipe: This is what I hear but vichausu means toward, maybe that is what he meant. In this song the other singers seem to be singing different things at some times.
872 yeu machusakane: get through the night.