Traditional Hopi Songs - online book

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of the Hemenway Southwestern Expedition, who first applied the phono­graph to the preservation and study of aboriginal folk-lore.1 All of the ' present series were taken at the Pueblo of Walpi, on the East Mesa, the singer of Coyohim-katcina coming from Oraibe, on the West Mesa, one of the more primitive of the seven Hopi villages. All of the songs but the last appear to have a religious or mythological significance, the first six being among those sung in chorus by a number of priests in an underground chamber, or kiva, in the course of the well-known Snake ceremonial. The word katcina denotes a kind of mediating spirit. The name of the last song, " Mana," means maiden, and the song is sung by a man accompanying a dance of girls. A rudimentary flute appears to be the only one of several instruments used by the Hopi to accompany their singing, which is not almost wholly a source of noise. Specimens show holes at one, two, three, three and a half, and four sev­enths of the length, making possible a sequence of a very roughly approximate octave, fifth, and equally divided fourth. The instrument gives its name to an important ceremonial, and is apt to be used, according to accounts, without close relation to the melody sung, as its make would suggest.
The accompanying notations aim chiefly to present a close approxi­mation to the actual course of tone produced by the singer. The mea­sure of this music is often exceedingly difficult to observe, sometimes sounding differently at will, and the notations are in this respect undoubtedly less accurate than in the matter of intonation. To the singers themselves time and emphasis perhaps altogether outweighed the element of interval. Tolstoi writes that in a peasant's song the mo­tive appears " an accessory, coming of itself without effort, and seeming solely to mark the cadence."2 As an art of tone, Pueblo singing is doubtless subliminal in the same way.
This probability has been kept in mind throughout the study of the
of the occasion. The Handbook of Amer­ican Indians, published by the Bureau of American Ethnology (Part I, Wash­ington, 1907), is an encyclopaedia of its subject. Other books are: The Snake Dance of the Moquis of Arizona, Capt. J. G. Bourke, U. S. A. (New York, 1884); Zufli Folk Tales, F. H. Cushing (New York, 1901); The Delight Makers (a
romance), A. F. Bandelier (New York, 1890); and The Song of the Ancient People, Edna Dean Proctor, with an intro­duction by John Fiske and a commentary by F. H. Cushing (Boston, 1893).
1  " Contribution to Pasamaquoddy Folk-Lore," Journal of American Folk-Lore, October-December, 1890.
2  La Guerre et la Paix, vol. ii, p. 110.
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