Sand Painting Of The Song-hunter
Source: Myths And Legends Of California And The Old Southwest
(Explanatory of frontispiece)
The black cross bars denote pine logs; the white lines the froth of the
water; the yellow, vegetable debris gathered by the logs; the blue and
red lines, sunbeams. The blue spot in the centre of the cross denotes
water. There are four Hostjobokon, with their wives, the Hostjoboard.
Each couple sits upon one of the cross arms of the logs. The gods carry
in their right hands a rattle, and in their left sprigs of pinon; the
goddesses carry pinon sprigs in both hands.
Hasjelti is to the east of the painting. He carries a squirrel skin
filled with tobacco. His shirt is white cotton and very elastic. The
leggings are of white deerskin, fringed, and his head is ornamented with
an eagle's tail; at the tip of each plume there is a fluffy feather from
the breast of the eagle. The projection on the right of the throat is a
Hostjoghon is at the west. His shirt is invisible, the dark being the
dark of the body. His staff is colored black from a charred plant. Two
strips of beaver skin tipped with six quills of the porcupine are
attached to the right of the throat. The four colored stars on the body
are bead ornaments. The top of the staff is ornamented with a turkey's
tail. Eagle and turkey plumes are alternately attached to the staff.
The Naaskiddi are north and south of the painting. They carry staffs of
lightning ornamented with eagle plumes and sunbeams. Their bodies are
nude except the loin skirt. The hunch upon the back is a black cloud and
the three groups of white lines indicate corn and other seeds. Five
eagle plumes are attached to the cloud-back, since eagles live among the
clouds. The body is surrounded by sunlight. The lines of blue and red
which border the cloud-back denote sunbeams penetrating storm clouds.
The black circle zig-zagged with white around the head is a cloud basket
filled with corn and seeds of grass. On each side of the head are five
feathers of the red-shafted flicker.
The Rainbow goddess, upon which these gods often travel, partly
encircles and completes the picture.
These sand pictures are drawn upon common yellow sand, brought in
blankets and laid in squares about three inches thick and four feet in
diameter. The colors used in decoration were yellow, red, and white,
secured from sand stones, black from charcoal, and a grayish blue made
from white sand and charcoal mixed with a very small quantity of yellow
and red sands.
(From eighth annual report of the Bureau of Ethnology, abridged from
description of James Stevenson.)
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