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reservoirs, one fed by a tiny spring. The horses belonging to the family are turned women, with beautifully decorated earthen into the enclosure and driven around in a jars poised gracefully on their heads, com- circle until the grain is threshed from the ing and going from the wells, make a pict- straw. Then with forks they separate the ure long living in the mind.
straw and chaff from the grain, sift it in a The Acoma fields are far away at Acom- large box-sieve with a perforated bottom ita. There, during the summer, they dwell made of rawhide, and then, for the final in tiny box-like adobe houses and till their cleaning, take it to the small streams or small but well-kept farms, journeying back canals and wash it. In this washing the to their cliff-perched home for all cere- grain is taken in large coarse baskets, carmonial occasions. They are, as a people, ried down to the water and stirred about in and have been for generations, devout fol- the basket, the chaff and lighter matter lowers of the Catholic Church. This fact floating away with the current. The clean has not, however, in any way seriously grain is then spread out on cloths to affected their primitive religion or crowded dry. This drying must be finished the out one of their pagan ceremonies. They day of washing, and to hurry it the grain are a positive argument that a people can is taken in baskets, held high in the air and be loyal followers of two religious creeds at let sift slowly to the ground. This is reone and the same time.
peated time after time until it is thorIn the valley of the Rio Grande we find oughly dried. For daily use, such as is many small villages. The buildings are wanted they grind on the hand mealingusually one story in height, and, from their stone or metate. location in the valley, lack the picturesque Here, too, among these villages we see features of Walpi and Acoma. Here, dif- the church religion blended with the primifering from Hopiland, and like Zuni and tive one. Generation after generation of Acoma, farming is by irrigation. Com- patient padres have worked and laid down pared to the Hopi, it is princely. Com- their lives, many in their own red blood at pared to the white man's farming, theirs the hands of those whose souls they thought is petty. Prehistoric irrigation by the to save. The Indian cannot yet see how dwellers in this region was probably of the or why his soul should be lost. To-day, simplest order—small ditches drawn from when we talk to an old man of the village the stream, the water dipped in earthen jars of religion he will tell us, with certainty, and carried out to the crops. This form of that he believes in the true God of the irrigation necessarily meant that very lim- priests. “Yes, I know you believe in the ited areas could be cultivated. Slight evi- true God, but the story of that God is all dence is seen which would lead us to believe written in the big Book. I want to talk that Indians of prehistoric time used other with you of your own God, Poseyamo, who system than this in irrigating their fields. lived once on earth and who went long ago In the valley of the Gila, even where the to the South.” His face lights as if he, ditches were miles in length and carried a himself, was already entering the eternal considerable volume of water, it is probable paradise of his fathers. “Do you know that the actual application of water was Poseyamo? Tell me about him, and tell made by carrying it in jars rather than by me, will he soon come back to care for his flooding. To look at the cultivated portion children? The signal fire burns at the of the Rio Grande valley from a slight old shrine on the one night of each seven. elevation, it is a field of grain and other It has burned thus many lifetimes to show crops divided into squares of slightly dif- him that we are faithful and that we wait. ferent shades of green, reminding one of Tell him to come soon or I will not be here a patchwork - quilt carried wholly in one to see him.” And so it is; that which their color. Their principal crop is wheat. forefathers accepted for policy's sake they This they care for in the simplest way: have grown, in a measure, to take for grantwhen ripe, they harvest it with a hand ed, but cling to the old with but slightly sickle, and the gleaned crop is gathered shaken faith. They plant their crops as at the threshing ground, which is simply a of old, by the star which governs each plot smoothed and enclosed with a rough special growth. The Navajo plants his fence. At the time of threshing, the corn by the Pleiads, but the Pueblo farmer
plants by the corn star, or the wheat, or the come down to meet the plains. A beaustar of the melons, on the day when the tiful, and to them sacred, stream flows cacique gives out the word that the stars down through the forest's cool shadows and say that planting should be done. Only passes through the heart of this village. At the cacique and one other man knows the its forested bank, above the village, the potent day of each star, and he, the reader women get the water for home use, and on of the stars, is kept secret from the tribe. its banks below are gathered groups of One may not read their movements and matrons and maidens washing the clothing tell the secrets in any but matters of great of the family, for these are a cleanly peotribal importance.
ple. The forest above the village is, in Taos is, if anything, more conservative a measure, like the stream, a sacred one, than the others, and is delightfully primi- and is jealously guarded by the men of tive, and the blood of its people excep- the tribe, and in its great depths are held tionally pure. Tribal laws stand firm many of the old-time rites, rites never seen against intermarriage with blood not their by any except members of the order or own, and the same tribal laws forbid all tribe. white man's garments. The youth can go Spring, Summer, Autumn, or whiteto the village to our schools and learn the robed Winter, this wonderful old forest is white man's ways and cunning in order to a master creation, and the like can be seen be better fitted to cope with encroaching nowhere else. You, who say there is nothneighbors, but when he returns to take up ing old in our country, turn your eyes for tribal life he must leave outside the village one year from Europe and go to the land of gates his dressy school uniform and wrap an ancient yet primitive civilization. The himself in a blanket of the tribe.
trails are rarely travelled, and you will go Taos is built where the mountain forests again.
Twilight,-a darkling wood.