Sacred Birds

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" and a stranger appeared there who carried a small broom and was very inquisitive. He was the Turkey Youth; he seemed proud and would not speak to the people, and when they offered him food he wandered about all night as if in search of something. When Dawn came, he said to the people, "Why bother me? There is light in me." And he walked about very proudly and kept bowing to everyone. No one knew whence he came and he kept saying over and over again the same phrase, "Why bother me? There is light in me." The people rose up in the morning and ate, but he paid no attention to them and took four long steps toward the east and shook himself. As he did so four white grains of corn dropped from his body, and he picked them up again. He did the same to the south with yellow corn, to the west with blue corn, and to the north with grayish corn, and he ate all these kinds of corn for his breakfast, for his body was made of corn and on his head there was a Red Mirage Stone. All the hunters came home again, the Turkey with them, and the Roadrunner made friends with the Turkey. Dontso, the Messenger, told the Roadrunner that the Turkey was called "Body of the Various Kinds of Corn or Vegetation," and that he lived on an open space at Black Mountain. So Roadrunner called him by his corn names, and the Quail and Magpie also made friends with him. These are the very Holy Birds; their Eye Water is put in the present Hanelthnayhe Jish or Pouch and is used for stargazing.

References: Emergence Myth, according to Hanelthnayhe or Upward-Reaching Rite; Recorded by Father Berard Haile, O.F.M Rewritten by Mary C. Wheelwright

The turkey, road runner, quail and magpie are patrons of dest' i, star reading. dest' i binatqo, eyewater for star reading, consists of a mixture of the eyewater of these four birds. tqazhi baezho, the turkey's tassel, the feathers of which are used in making sacrificial cigarettes (ket'an). tqazhi bit'a', turkey feathers, and tqazhi bitse, the turkey tail feathers, are also used ceremonially. tqazhi bikhe, the turkey's track or footprints. tqazhi ilkhie, like the turkey's track, designates the thongs or claws on the pole of the hoop and pole game. Pg. 159

An Ethnologic Dictionary of the Navajo Langauge, 1929; The Franciscan Fathers.

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