The Delight Makers
Chapter XI. Excerpts
on the convening of a meeting in a kiva
interior of the estufa (kiva) was as brightly illuminated as a small
fire could make it, the smoke of which found egress through the door
and the two air holes, or rose to the low ceiling, where it floated
like a grayish cloud. The air was heavy and stifling, and odour of burning
pitch proceeded from the pine wood with which the flames were fed in
the center of the room.
. (The seating) arrangement corresponded
closely to the degree of importance of the various officers
taptop. As chairman of the meeting, occupied the middle, together with
the principal religious functionaries - the yaya, or mothers of the
tribe. On the outer circumference were placed the nashito, or fathers,
the delegates of the clans. The Koshare and his colleagues held an intermediate
position." The military head, and the assistant to the governor,
sat beside the entrance, guarding it. A lieutenant crouched outside
to prevent the approach of eavesdroppers.
As soon as the rustling
noise occasioned by so many people taking their seats in a small room
had subsided, the Hishtanyi Chayan again seized the two basalt plates
and caused them to ring. When the metallic sound was heard, everybody
became very quiet; not one of the twenty-three men that composed the
meeting moved. All maintained the deepest silence, fastening their eyes
on the ground. The shaman scattered sacred meal to the six regions,
then he raised his eyes to the ceiling, and finally turned to the three
caciques (head men) with the formal greeting, "Gatzens yaya!"
then to the others, with "Gatzens, nashito!".