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Newspaper Page Text
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This was indeed a true statement of the case. The Navahos had, in hap py disobedience to orders, culled the school orchards, leaving little for the covetous but not sufficiently bold Hopi. These were some of our star visit ors. Casually, there were old men and young, babies and mothers and grandparents, who came for Hosa (the Doctor) and I saw most of them. On the day of the great sing in the "wash" great numbers of them came through the village, en route, gaily attired in colors that were tropical and with silver ornaments that clank ed with heaviness. Ted-a-teen was among them, tall, supple, with the dare-devil light in his eyes and the smile of uncrossed good humor about his mouth but crossed!—well, there were stories of Tet-a-teen that made you anxious to keep him always a tfnile. That scene even now passes before my eyes—the turquoise sky, the row of tall, pointing Lombardies, the wide, sandy street that wandered away into the desert and in the shade of the low, dense fruit trees of our un turfed front yard the circle of Indians seated on the ground smoking, joking, talking, or silent, and ourselves going and coming among them, undisturbed and undisturbing. The Navaho produces an excellent impression. Physically, he is a specimen pleasing to look upon. The kind of life he leads, out of doors and upon horseback, gives him a freedom of movement that is a charm in the eyes of his more civilized brother. The women are slim and bright-eyed and the married ones more attractive than their unmarried sisters. The THE OGLAI A LIGHT. V It is curious with what mental im pedimenta one travels on a voyage of discovery. With great pains I had acquired the idea that Indians were always as Cooper had made them, silent and dignified, epics in feathers and moccasins, who bore upon their faces, the shadow of the tragedy of a declining race. What a shock, there fore, to see Navahos laugh! Their mirth is not noisy but so expressed with eyes and mouth as to leave no doubt of its depth and spontaneity. They are also intensely fond of a joke, but still show the edge of sa vagery in that their teasing borders on torment and their enjoyment is completest when they have a victim for their humor. The Navaho is deeply supersti tious. He may not talk of it, but superstition hangs on his every toe and finger, a dead weight to his in tellectual advancement. The Doctor one day, being asked to treat a man for tonsilitis, gave his throat the usual effective applications within and without. But on this occasions Hosa, as a a experiment, repeated i K 19. latter are shy, awkward, and disposed to keep to themselves. The smaller children, down to three years of age, are the least attractive. Marriage is consummated early among them and polygamy exists. One fine-looking young man that we knew, married his Mother-in-law for his second wife because according to the prevailing superstition a man may not look at his mother-in-law without some dire calamity befalling him. When the relation is changed to that of wife, he need have no fear of the sight of her. 1 i y •. j: J- 'V S'