The Story Of Sohahnee Mahkai And Kawkoinpuh

: Aw-aw-tam Indian Nights

Now when the bands were going thru this country they had selected

the places for their homes, expecting to return, and each band, as

it selected its place, drove down short sticks so as to know it again.

And after returning across the Rio Colorado the bands went again to

these places which they had selected and settled there.

Only the Toehawnawh Awawtam (the Papagoes) did not at first go to

heir selected place, but went on beyond Awn-kee Ack-kee-mull, the

Salt River, to where is now Lehi.

And there was one doctor among them named So-hah-nee Mahkai, and he

had no child, but he had found one of the children belonging to the

country, which had been left alive, and he had adopted it for his

own. And he went on and lived by himself at the place then called

Vah-kah-kum, but now named Stcheu-a-dack-a-Vahf, or Green Cliff.

And the Aw-up, or Apaches, were a part of the original people of

this country, and this child which Sohahnee Mahkai had adopted was

an Apache.

And when he had grown up to be quite a large boy the Apaches planned

to capture Sohahnee Mahkai; but Sohahnee Mahkai knew of this and told

the boy to go to a place where he had been clearing up a farm and to

find the stick there with which he had been cutting down bushes, and

to dig a hole there under the bushes, and then to come back home and

eat his supper. And after he had eaten his supper he was to return to

the place where the stick was, and hide in the hole under the bushes

which were there.

And the boy's name was Kaw-koin-puh, and he dug the hole under the

bushes, as he was directed, and returned for his supper.

And then Sohahnee Mahkai said to him: "Now to-night the Apaches will

come to kill me, but here is a basket-box which I want you to have

after I am dead. And when you are safe in your hole you will hear

when they come to kill me. But don't you come out till they are far

enuf away. Then come and find my body, no matter whether h is here or

dragged away. And when you find it, do not mind how stained and bloody

it is, but fall upon it, and put your mouth to mine, and inhale, and

thus you will inherit my power. And when you leave my body, do not

attempt to follow after the Apaches, for they would surely kill you,

for tho you are one of them they would not know that, because you do

not speak their language. But I want you to return to where we left

some people at the place called Vik-kuh-svan-kee."

So the boy took the little basket-box, and went to his hole, and

early in the evening the Apaches came and surrounded the house,

and staid there till near morning, and then began the attack. And

the boy could hear the fighting, and could hear Sohahnee Mahkai yell

every time his arrow killed anyone; and he could hear the old woman,

his wife, shout out in her exultation, too. And it was after the sun

was up that the old woman was killed; and then Sohahnee Mahkai ran

out and the Apaches chased him and killed him, and said: "Now let us

cut him open and find what it is that made him so brave, and enabled

him to kill so many of us." And they cut him open and found under

his heart a feather of the chicken hawk.

And the Apaches took that feather, and that is how they are so brave

and even if there are only two of them will often attack their enemies

and kill some of them.

And after the Apaches were far away the boy came out of his hole and

found the old woman, and from there tracked till he found the old man;

and he fell over him, as he had been told, and inhaled four times;

and then he went to Vikkuhsvankee, but he got there at night, and

did not attempt to go into any house, but staid outside all night in

the bushes.

And in the morning a girl came and found the boy, and went back and

told the people there was some one outside who was a stranger there,

some one with short hair. And they came and stood around him, and

teased him, and threw dirt at him, until finally he cried out: "Don't

you remember me, who I am? My name is Kawkoinpuh and I was here once,

but went away with the doctor, Sohahnee Mahkai. And now the Apaches

have killed him and the old woman, his wife, and I am left alone."

And when he said this the people remembered him, and took him by

the hand, and led him to a doctor named Gawk-siss Seev-a-lick, who

adopted him, and he was treated nicely because he was a good hunter

and used to keep the doctor in plenty of game.

And the doctor had a daughter, and when she was old enuf he gave

her to Kawkoinpuh for his wife. And Kawkoinpuh staid with his wife's

people; and his wife expected a child, and wanted different things to

eat. So Kawkoinpuh left home and went to the mountain called Vahpkee,

and there got her a lot of the greens called choohookyuh. And after

a while he wanted to go again, but she said: "Do not go now, for

the weather is bad. Wait till it is more pleasant." But he said,

"I am going now," and he went.

And this time he was hunting wood rats instead of greens, and he had

killed three and was trying to scare out the fourth one, where he could

shoot it, when the Apaches came and surrounded him a good ways off.

He saw them and ran for home, but there were many Apaches in front

of him, and they headed him off.

But he jumped up and down and sideways, as Sohahnee Mahkai had done,

shooting and killing so many that finally he broke thru their ring,

and started for home. But he kept turning back and shooting at them

as he ran. And one of them came near and was about to kill him, but

he shot first and killed the Apache. And then another came near and

this time the Apache shot first, and so Kawkoinpuh was killed.

And when evening came, Gawksiss Seevalick came out, and called aloud,

and invited the people to his house, and asked them if any had seen

his son, Kawkoinpuh; who had seen him last; for he knew something had

happened to him, as he always came home after his hunt, because he

loved his home. But nobody had seen anything of Kawkoinpuh, because

no one had been out, the weather being bad.

But Gawksiss Seevalick knew the boy was killed, because he was a

doctor, and there is a being above, called Vee-ips-chool, who is

always sad and who makes people sad when anything bad has happened.

So they went out the next morning, and tracked the boy, and came to

where he had killed the wood-rats, and then they found the tracks of

the Apaches, and then found a great many Apaches whom he had killed,

and finally they found his body.

The Apaches had cut him open, and taken out his bowels and wound

them around bushes, and cut off his arms and legs and hung them on

trees. And one of the men, there, told them to get wood and to gather

up these parts of Kawkoinpuh's body and burn them. And some of the

people remained behind and did this, and then all went home.

And in the evening Gawksiss Seevalick again called the people together

and sang them a song to express his grief.

And the next morning he went with his daughter to where Kawkoinpuh had

been burned, and there they found some blood still remaining and buried

it. And that evening again he called the people together, and said:

"You see what has happened; we have lost one of our number. We ought

not to stay here, but to return to the place we first selected." And

the people took his advice and got their things ready and started.

And they went slow because they were on foot, and it took them four

nights to get to the place where they wanted to go. And the first

night there was no singing, but the second night there was a doctor

named Geo-goot-a-nom-kum who sang a song for them; and the third night

there was a doctor named Geo-deck-why-nom-kum who sang a song for them;

and on the fourth night there was a doctor named Mahn-a-vanch-kih

who sang for them a song.


In this we are given a most graphic and pathetic glimpse of Indian


Notice the bushes are "cut down" (broken off more likely) by a stick. A

glimpse of the rude old tools.

Very poetic is the conception of Veeipschool, "the being above who is

always sad, and makes people sad when anything bad has happened." A

personification of premonition.