Manataka American Indian Council





Apache Stories II



Coyote Proves Himself A Cannibal



Owl was the one who had arrows. He had a club also with which he killed men whom he ate. "Up at the low gap I am watching for men, wu hwu wo," he sang.  Coyote came walking along in front of him. " Wu hwu wo," sang Owl, " I am looking for men in the low gap." The two came face to face there. "Now,"  said Owl, "the one who vomits human flesh will kill men." "Very well," said Coyote, "shut your eyes." Owl shut his eyes. When he vomited, Coyote put his hand under and took the meat. The grasshoppers which Coyote vomited he put in Owl's hand.

"Now open your eyes," said Coyote. Owl looked and saw the grasshoppers lying in his hand. Coyote showed him the meat. "What did I tell you," said Coyote,  "this is the meat I threw up." "Where did I drink in the grasshoppers?" said  Owl.

Coyote ran all around Owl. "Because I run fast like this I eat people," said Coyote. "These legs of yours are too large, I will fix them for you. Shut your eyes." Coyote cut Owl's leg, trimming away the meat. He broke his leg  with a stone and took the arrows away leaving him only the club.

Coyote ran around Owl who threw his club at him. He would say, "Come back,  my club," and it would come back to him. He threw it again. "Come here, my club," he called. He hit him with it. Coyote said, "Wherever a stick falls
when one throws it there it will lie." The club did not return to Owl.

"Now you will live right here in the canyon where many arrows will be in front of you. Somebody might kill you," Coyote told him. Owl hitched himself along into the canyon. "Arrows painted black may kill you," said Coyote.

Coyote went around in front of him and shot him with his own (Owl's) arrows.

After that everybody was afraid of Coyote, who went around killing off the people.


Apache Goddard, Anthropological Papers of the American Museum of Natural History, viii, 225, No. 27
Submitted by Blue Panther Keeper of Stories.




Culture Heroes and Owl


Kubatc'istcine and Naiyenesgani were companions. When they came to visit their grandmother, Yo'gaiistdzan they said to her, "Make us something to play with."

"Go and see your father," she replied.

When they came near the house of the sun, children put their heads out of the door and looked at them.

When their mother was told who was coining, she said to her husband, "You always claim that you do nothing wrong and here are your children, coming to see you."

"Come in and sit back of the fire," they were told when they arrived.

"Why did you come to see me?" asked the sun. "We want something to play with," they replied. He made the hoop and pole game and some arrows for them. "You must not roll the hoop toward the north," he told them.

They went about playing with the hoop and poles. After some time, they rolled it to the north. Although they threw the poles after the hoop it rolled straight on, without falling, into the house of Owl and fell back of the fire.

When Owl saw the two boys standing there, he said, "What sort of people have come to see me? Hurry up and put them in the pot to cook."

Kubatc'istcine said, "I am stronger than he."

Owl's wife chopped them up, put them in a pot, poured water over them, and put them by the fire to boil. Although the water was boiling, they stood in the bottom of the pot, telling stories to each other.

"Well, take them up for me," said Owl, "I want something to eat."

His wife poked a stick into the pot and one of the boys jumped out to one side. She put the stick in again and the other one jumped out.

Owl looked at them and said, "You are something bad, you are using supernatural power so that you may not die."

The boys were still standing there.

"Hurry, put them in the ashes to roast for me," Owl said. Naiyenesgani said, "I am stronger than he."

Then she separated the ashes, put them in the middle of the fire, and arranged the fire on top of them, They sat there in the middle of the fire telling stories.

"Hurry now, I want to eat," he said, "take them out for me."

When she poked in the ashes for them, one of them jumped out. Then she poked again and the other jumped out.

"Why did you come here practicing magic?" Owl said, "Give them the hoop and pole," he told someone. They were given to them. "Go right around the hill here," Owl said.

The two boys started off and came again to their father. "I told you not to roll it in that direction," he said to them.

They went back to their grandmother. "See here, our father made us something nice to play with," they said. They went around playing with it until sunset.

[Pliny E. Goddard, Jicarilla Apache Texts, Anthropological Papers of the American Museum of Natural History, Vol. VIII]
Submitted by Blue Panther Keeper of Stories


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