The Delight Makers
Chapter II. Excerpt
from Who are the Delight Makers
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).
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
"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.
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."