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The Delight Makers

Chapter II. Excerpt from Who are the Delight Makers

"My father … what are these Delight Makers, the Koshare? At every dance they appear and always make merry. The people feel glad when they see them. They must be very wise. They know if everything going on, and drag it before the people to excite their mirth at the expense of others. How is it that they know so much?" (the woman asked).

"My child, (the old man began softly) … the holders of the paths of our lives, those who can close them when the time comes for us to go to Shipapu, where there is neither sorrow nor pain, have many agents among us. Payatyama our Father, and Sanashtyaya our Mother saw that the world existed ere there was light, and so the tribe lived in the dark. Four are the wombs in which people grew up and lived, ere Maseua and Ouoyaua his brother led them to where we are now, and this world which is round like a shield is the fourth womb. "
"Father" she interrupted … where are the other three worlds?"

"This is a question I shall answer," he wais, "for it is wise in you to speak so. Haatze the earth is round and flat, but it is also thick like a cake. The other three wombs are down below inside, one beneath the other. At Shipapu the people came out upon this world which is the fourth womb, but it was cold and dark. Then the great sun rose in the heavens above. In it Payatyama dwells, and on it he rides around the world in one day and one night to see everything which happens. It is day and light, night and dark. We have also summer and heat, winter and cold. For this reason there are summer-people and winter-people, some who like to live when it is cold and others who enjoy the heat. Every tribe, every clan, has some of both kinds. This they came out of the third world, and thus they have remained until this day. It was cold at Shipapu when the people came out on the surface, and Those Above saw that they felt weak. Toward the south it was warm and bright, so Maseua and his brother said to their children, the men of our tribe, 'Go you where there is more light'; and the summer people they directed to go along the Rio Grande; the winter people they sent south also but far around by the east over the plains where the great buffalo is roaming, where the wind blows and its I cold and dry.

To both kinds of men they said, besides, 'Come together in the mountains and live there in peace, each one getting food for himself and others as you are wont to do.' But, lest the people get weary on their long journey, Maseua and his brother commanded that from Shipapu there should come forth a man whose body was painted white and black, and who carried on his head dried corn leaves instead of feathers. This man began at once to dance, to jump, and to tumble, so that the people laughed and their hearts became glad. This man lead the summer-people southward and as often as they grew tired he danced again and made jests; and the tribe followed him until they came to where we are now, and all met again.

The summer-people never suffered hunger in all their wanderings, for their leader was precious, and wherever they went he caused the fruits to be ripe. That man was the Koshare. Since that time there has been a Koshare in every tribe. Their task is to keep the people happy and merry; but they must also fast, mortify themselves, and pray to Those Above that every kind of fruit may ripen in its time, even the fruit of the woman's womb. To them is given the yellow flower from the fertile bottoms which makes the hearts of men glad."