Read CHAPTER VII of Through Our Unknown Southwest , free online book, by Agnes C. Laut, on


There are two ways to travel even off the beaten trail. One is to take a map, stake out pins on the points you are going to visit, then pace up to them lightning-flier fashion. If you want to, and are prepared to kill your horses, you can cross Navajo Land in from three to four days. Even going at that pace, you can get a sense of the wonderful coloring of the Painted Desert, of the light lying in shimmering heat layers split by the refraction of the dusty air in prismatic hues, of an atmosphere with the tang of northern ozone and the resinous scent of incense and frankincense and myrrh. You can see the Desert flowers that vie with the sun in brilliant coloring; and feel the Desert night sky come down so close to you that you want to reach up a hand and pluck the jack-o’-lantern stars swinging so low through the pansy-velvet mist. You can even catch a flying glimpse of the most picturesque Indian race in America, the Navajos. Their hogans or circular, mud-wattled houses, are always somewhere near the watering pools and rock springs; and just when you think you are most alone, driving through the sagebrush and dwarf juniper, the bleat of a lamb is apt to call your attention to a flock of sheep and goats scattered almost invisibly up a blue-green hillside. Blue-green, did you say? Yes: that’s another thing you can unlearn on a flying trip-the geography definition of a Desert is about as wrong as a definition could be made. A Desert isn’t necessarily a vast sandy plain, stretching out in flat and arid waste. It’s as variegated in its growth and landscape as your New England or Old England hills and vales, only your Eastern rivers flow all the time, and your Desert rivers are apt to disappear through evaporation and sink below the surface during the heat of the day, coming up again in floods during the rainy months, and in pools during the cool of morning and evening.

But on a flying trip, you can’t learn the secret moods of the Painted Desert. You can’t draw so much of its atmosphere into your soul that you can never think of it again without such dream-visions floating you away in its blue-gray-lilac mists as wrapped the seers of old in clairvoyant prophetic ecstasy. On a flying trip, you can learn little or nothing of the Arab life of our own Desert nomads. You have to depend on Blue Book reports of “the Navajos being a dangerous, warlike race” blasted into submission by the effulgent glory of this, that, and the other military martinet writing himself down a hero. Whereas, if you go out leisurely among the traders and missionaries and Indians themselves, who-more’s the pity-have no hand in preparing official reports, you will learn another story of a quiet, pastoral race who have for three hundred years been the victims of white man greed and white man lust, of blundering incompetency and hysterical cowardice.

These are strong words. Let me give some instances. We were having luncheon in the priests’ refectory of the Franciscan Mission; and for the benefit of those who imagine that missionaries to the Indians are fat and bloated on three hundred a year, I should like to set down the fact that the refectory was in a sort of back kitchen, that we ate off a red table-cloth with soup served in a basin and bath towels extemporized into serviettes. I had asked about a Navajo, who not long ago went locoed right in Cincinnati station and began stabbing murderously right and left.

“In the first place,” answered the Franciscan, “that Indian ought not to have been in Cincinnati at all. In the second place, he ought not to have been there alone. In the third place, he had great provocation.”

Here is the story, as I gathered it from traders and missionaries and Indians. The Navajo was having trouble over title to his land. That was wrong the first on the part of the white man. It was necessary for him to go to Washington to lay his grievance before the Government. Now for an Indian to go to Washington is as great an undertaking as it was for Stanley to go to Darkest Africa. The trip ought not to have been necessary if our Indian Office had more integrity and less red-tape; but the local agency provided him with an interpreter. The next great worry to the Navajo was that he could not get access to “The Great White Father.” There were interminable red-tape and delay. Finally, when he got access to the Indian Office, he could get no definite, prompt settlement. With this accumulation of small worries, insignificant enough to a well-to-do white man but mighty harassing to a poor Indian, he set out for home; and at the station in Washington, the interpreter left him. The Navajo could not speak one word of English. Changing cars in Cincinnati, hustled and jostled by the crowds, he suddenly felt for his purse-he had been robbed. Now, the Navajo code is if another tribe injures his tribe, it is his duty to go forth instantly and strike that offender. Our own Saxon and Highland Scotch ancestors once had a code very similar. The Indian at once went locoed-lost his head, and began stabbing right and left. The white man newspaper told the story of the murderous assault in flare head lines; but it didn’t tell the story of wrongs and procrastination. The Indian Office righted the land matter; but that didn’t undo the damage. Through the efforts of the missionaries and the traders, the Indian was permitted to plead insanity. He was sent to an asylum, where he must have had some queer thoughts of white man justice. Just recently, he has been released under bonds.

The most notorious case of wrong and outrage and cowardice and murder known in Navajo Land was that of a few years ago, when the Indian agent peremptorily ordered a Navajo to bring his child in to the Agency School. Not so did Marmon and Pratt sway the Indians at Laguna, when the Pueblos there were persuaded to send their children to Carlisle; and Miss Drexel’s Mission has never yet issued peremptory orders for children to come to school; but the martinet mandate went forth. Now, the Indian treaty, that provides the child shall be sent to school, also stipulates that the school shall be placed within reach of the child; and the Navajo knew that he was within his right in refusing to let the child leave home when the Government had failed to place the school within such distance of his hogan. He was then warned by the agent that unless the child were sent within a certain time, troops would be summoned from Ft. Wingate and Ft. Defiance. The Indians met, pow-wowed with one another, and decided they were still within their right in refusing. There can be no doubt but that if Captain Willard, himself, had been in direct command of the detachment, the cowardly murder would not have occurred; but the Navajos were only Indians; and the troops arrived on the scene in charge of a hopelessly incompetent subordinate, who proved himself not only a bully but a most arrant coward. According to the traders and the missionaries and the Indians themselves, the Navajos were not even armed. Fourteen of them were in one of the mud hogans. They offered no resistance. They say they were not even summoned to surrender. Traders, who have talked with the Navajos present, say the troopers surrounded the hogan in the dark, a soldier’s gun went off by mistake and the command was given in hysterical fright to “fire.” The Indians were so terrified that they dashed out to hide in the sagebrush. “Bravery! Indian bravery-pah,” one officer of the detachment was afterwards heard to exclaim. Two Navajos were killed, one wounded, eleven captured in as cold-blooded a murder as was ever perpetrated by thugs in a city street. Without lawyers, without any defense whatsoever, without the hearing of witnesses, without any fair trial whatsoever, the captives were sentenced to the penitentiary. It needed only a finishing touch to make this piece of Dreyfusism complete; and that came when a little missionary voiced the general sense of outrage by writing a letter to a Denver paper. President Roosevelt at once dispatched someone from Washington to investigate; and it was an easy matter to scare the wits out of the little preacher and declare the investigation closed. In fact, it was one of the things that would not bear investigation; but the evidence still exists in Navajo Land, with more, which space forbids here but which comes under the sixty-fifth Article of War. The officer guilty of this outrage has since been examined as to his sanity and brought himself under possibilities of a penitentiary term on another count. He is still at middle age a subordinate officer.

These are other secrets of the Painted Desert you will daily con if you go leisurely across the great lone Reserve and do not take with you the lightning-express habits of urban life.

For instance, in the account of the Cave Dwellers of the Frijoles reference was made to the Indian legend of “the heavens raining fire” (volcanic action) and driving the prehistoric Pueblo peoples from their ancient dwelling. Mrs. Day of St. Michael’s, who has forgotten more lore than the scientists will ever pick up, told me of a great chunk of lava found by Mr. Day in which were embedded some perfect specimens of corn-which seems to sustain the Indian legend of volcanic outburst having destroyed the ancient nations here. The slab was sent East to a museum in Brooklyn. Some scientists explain these black slabs as a fusion of adobe.

As we had not yet learned how to do the Painted Desert, we went forward by the mail wagon from St. Michael’s to Mr. Hubbell’s famous trading post at Ganado. Mail bags were stacked up behind us, and a one-eyed Navajo driver sat in front. We were in the Desert, but our way led through the park-like vistas of the mast-high yellow pine, a region of such high, rare, dry air that not a blade of grass grows below the conifers. The soil is as dry as dust and fine as flour; and there is an all-pervasive odor, not of burning, but of steaming resin, or pine sap heated to evaporation; but it is not hot. The mesa runs up to an altitude of almost 9,000 feet, with air so light that you feel a buoyant lift to your heart-beats and a clearing of the cobwebs from your brain. You can lose lots of sleep here and not feel it. All heaviness has gone out of body and soul. In fact, when you come back to lower levels, the air feels thick and hard to breathe. And you can go hard here and not tire, and stand on the crest of mesas that anywhere else would be considered mountains, and wave your arms above the top of the world. So high you are-you did not realize it-that the rim of encircling mountains is only a tiny wave of purplish green sky-line like the edge of an inverted blue bowl.

The mesas rise and rise, and presently you are out and above forest line altogether among the sagebrush shimmering in pure light; and you become aware of a great quiet, a great silence, such as you feel on mountain peaks; and you suddenly realize how rare and scarce life is-life of bird or beast-at these high levels. The reason is, of course, the scarcity of water, though on our way out just below this mesa at the side of a dry arroyo we found one of the wayside springs that make life of any kind possible in the Desert.

Then the trail began dropping down, down in loops and twists; and just at sunset we turned up a dry arroyo bed to a cluster of adobe ranch houses and store and mission. Thousands of plaintively bleating goats and sheep seemed to be coming out of the juniper hills to the watering pool, herded as usual by little girls; for the custom is to dower each child at birth with sheep or ponies, the increase of which becomes that child’s wealth for life. Navajo men rode up and down the arroyo bed as graceful and gayly caparisoned as Arabs, or lounged around the store building smoking. Huge wool wagons loaded three layers deep with the season’s fleece stood in front of the rancho. Women with children squatted on the ground, but the thing that struck you first as always in the Painted Desert was color: color in the bright headbands; color in the close-fitting plush shirts; color in the Germantown blankets-for the Navajo blanket is too heavy for Desert use; color in the lemon and lilac belts across the sunset sky; color, more color, in the blood-red sand hills and bright ochre rocks and whirling orange dust clouds where riders or herds of sheep were scouring up the sandy arroyo. No wonder Burbank and Lungren and Curtis go mad over the color of this subtle land of mystery and half-tones and shadows and suggestions. If you haven’t seen Curtis’ figures and Burbank’s heads and Lungren’s marvelously beautiful Desert scenes of this land, you have missed some of the best work being done in the art world to-day. If this work were done in Europe it would command its tens of thousands, where with us it commands only its hundreds. Nothing that the Pre-Raphaelites ever did in the Holy Lands equals in expressiveness and power Lungren’s studies of the Desert; though the Pre-Raphaelites commanded prices of $10,000 and $25,000, where we as a nation grumble about paying our artists one thousand and two thousand.

The Navajo driver nodded back to us that this was Ganado; and in a few moments Mr. Hubbell had come from the trading post to welcome us under a roof that in thirty years has never permitted a stranger to pass its doors unwelcomed. As Mr. Lorenzo Hubbell has already entered history in the makings of Arizona and as he shuns the limelight quite as “mollycoddles” (his favorite term) seek the spotlights, a slight account of him may not be out of place. First, as to his house: from the outside you see the typical squat adobe oblong so suited to a climate where hot winds are the enemies to comfort. You notice as you enter the front door that the walls are two feet or more thick. Then you take a breath. You had expected a bare ranch interior with benches and stiff chairs backed up against the wall. Instead, you see a huge living-room forty or fifty feet long, every square foot of the walls covered by paintings and drawings of Western life. Every artist of note (with the exception of one) who has done a picture on the Southwest in the last thirty years is represented by a canvas here. You could spend a good week studying the paintings of the Hubbell Ranch. Including sépias, oils and watercolors, there must be almost 300 pictures. By chance, you look up to the raftered ceiling; a specimen of every kind of rare basketry made by the Indians hangs from the beams. On the floor lie Navajo rugs of priceless value and rarest weave. When you go over to Mr. Hubbell’s office, you find that he, like Father Berrard, has colored drawings of every type of Moki and Navajo blankets. On the walls of the office are more pictures; on the floors, more rugs; in the safes and cases, specimens of rare silver-work that somehow again remind you of the affinity between Hindoo and Navajo. Mr. Hubbell yearly does a quarter-of-a-million-dollar business in wool, and yearly extends to the Navajos credit for amounts running from twenty-five dollars to fifty thousand dollars-a trust which they have never yet betrayed.

Along the walls of the living-room are doors opening to the sleeping apartments; and in each of the many guest rooms are more pictures, more rugs. Behind the living-room is a plácito flanked by the kitchen and cook’s quarters.

Now what manner of man is this so-called “King of Northern Arizona”? A lover of art and a patron of it; also the shrewdest politician and trader that ever dwelt in Navajo Land; a man with friends, who would like the privilege of dying for him; also with enemies who would keenly like the privilege of helping him to die. What the chief factors of the Hudson’s Bay Company used to be to the Indians of the North, Lorenzo Hubbell has been to the Indians of the Desert-friend, guard, counselor, with a strong hand to punish when they required it, but a stronger hand to befriend when help was needed; always and to the hilt an enemy to the cheap-jack politician who came to exploit the Indian, though he might have to beat the rascal at his own game of putting up a bigger bluff. In appearance, a fine type of the courtly Spanish-American gentleman with Castilian blue eyes and black, beetling brows and gray hair; with a courtliness that keeps you guessing as to how much more gracious the next courtesy can be than the last, and a funny anecdote to cap every climax. You would not think to look at Mr. Hubbell that time was when he as nonchalantly cut the cards for $30,000 and as gracefully lost it all, as other men match dimes for cigars. And you can’t make him talk about himself. It is from others you must learn that in the great cattle and sheep war, in which 150 men lost their lives, it was he who led the native Mexican sheep owners against the aggressive cattle crowd. They are all friends now, the old-time enemies, and have buried their feud; and dynamite will not force Mr. Hubbell to open his mouth on the subject. In fact, it was a pair of the “rustlers” themselves who told me of the time that the cowboys took a swoop into the Navajo Reserve and stampeded off 300 of the Indians’ best horses; but they had reckoned without Lorenzo Hubbell. In twenty-four hours he had got together the swiftest riders of the Navajos; and in another twenty-four hours, he had pursued the thieves 125 miles into the wildest canyons of Arizona and had rescued every horse. One of the men, whom he had pursued, wiped the sweat from his brow in memory of it. He is more than a type of the Spanish-American gentleman. He is a type of the man that the Desert produces: quiet, soft spoken-powerfully soft spoken-alert, keen, relentless and versatile; but also a dreamer of dreams, a seer of visions, a passionate patriot, and a lover of art who proves his love by buying.

The Navajos are to-day by long odds the most prosperous Indians in America. Their vast Reserve offers ample pasturage for their sheep and ponies; and though their flocks are a scrub lot, yielding little more than fifty to seventy cents a head in wool on the average, still it costs nothing to keep sheep and goats. Both furnish a supply of meat. The hides fetch ready money. So does the wool, so do the blankets; and the Navajos are the finest silversmiths in America. Formerly, they obtained their supply of raw silver bullion from the Spaniards; but to-day, they melt and hammer down United States currency into butterfly brooches and snake bracelets and leather belts with the fifty-cent coins changed into flower blossoms with a turquoise center. Ten-cent pieces and quarters are transformed into necklaces of silver beads, or buttons for shirt and moccasins. If you buy these things in the big Western cities, they are costly as Chinese or Hindoo silver; but on the Reserve, there is a very simple way of computing the value. First, take the value of the coin from which the silver ornament is made. Add a dollar for the silversmith’s labor; and also add whatever value the turquoise happens to be; and you have the price for which true Navajo silver-work can be bought out on the Reserve.

Among the Navajos, the women weave the blankets and baskets; among the Moki, the men, while the women are the great pottery makers. The value of these out on the Reserve is exactly in proportion to the intricacy of the work, the plain native wool colors-black, gray, white and brown-varying in price from seventy cents to $1.25 a pound; the fine bayetta or red weave, which is finer than any machine can produce and everlasting in its durability, fetching pretty nearly any price the owner asks. Other colors than the bayetta red and native wool shades, I need scarcely say here, are in bought mineral dyes. True bayettas, which are almost a lost art, bring as high as $1,500 each from a connoisseur. Other native wools vary in price according to size and color from $15 to $150. Off the Reserve, these prices are simply doubled. From all of which, it should be evident that no thrifty Navajo need be poor. His house costs nothing. It is made of cedar shakes stuck up in the ground crutchwise and wattled with mud. Strangely enough, the Navajo no longer uses his own blankets. They are too valuable; also, too heavy for the climate. He uses the cheap and gaudy Germantown patterns.

At seven one morning in May, equipped with one of Mr. Hubbell’s fastest teams and a good Mexican driver who knew the trail, we set out from Ganado for Keam’s Canyon. It need scarcely be stated here that in Desert travel you must carry your water keg, “grub” box and horse feed with you. All these, up to the present, Mr. Hubbell has freely supplied passers-by; but as travel increases through the Painted Desert, it is a system that must surely be changed, not because the public love Mr. Hubbell “less, but more.”

The morning air was pure wine. The hills were veiled in a lilac light-tones, half-tones, shades and subtle suggestions of subdued glory-with an almost Alpine glow where the red sunrise came through notches of the painted peaks. Hogan after hogan, with sheep corrals in cedar shakes, we passed, where little boys and girls were driving the sheep and goats up and down from the watering places. Presently, as you drive northwestward, there swim through the opaline haze peculiar to the Desert, purplish-green forested peaks splashed with snow on the summit-the Francisco Mountains of Flagstaff far to the South; and you are on a high sagebrush mesa, like a gray sea, with miles, miles upon miles (for three hours you drive through it) of delicate, lilac-scented bloom, the sagebrush in blossom. I can liken it to nothing but the appearance of the sea at sunrise or sunset when a sort of misty lavender light follows the red glow. This mesa leads you into the cedar woods, an incense-scented forest far as you can see for hours and hours. You begin to understand how a desert has not only mountains and hills but forests. In fact, the northern belt of the Painted Desert comprises the Kaibab Forest, and the southern belt the Tusayan and Coconino Forests, the Mesas of the Moki and Navajo Land lying like a wedge between these two belts.

Then, towards midday, your trail has been dropping so gradually that you hardly realize it till you slither down a sand bank and find yourself between the yellow pumice walls of a blind cul-de-sac in the rock-nooning place-where a tiny trickle of pure spring water pours out of the upper angle of rock, forming a pool in a natural basin of stone. Here cowboys of the long-ago days, when this was a no-man’s-land, have fenced the waters in from pollution and painted hands of blood on the walls of the cave roof above the spring. Wherever you find pools in the Desert, there the Desert silence is broken by life; unbroken range ponies trotting back and forward for a drink, blue jays and bluebirds flashing phantoms in the sunlight, the wild doves fluttering in flocks and sounding their mournful “hoo-hoo-hoo.”

This spring is about half of the fifty-five miles between Ganado and Keam’s Canyon; and the last half of the trail is but a continuance of the first: more lilac-colored mesas high above the top of the world, with the encircling peaks like the edge of an inverted bowl, a sky above blue as the bluest turquoise; then the cedared lower hills redolent of evergreens; a drop amid the pumice rocks of the lower world, and you are in Keam’s Canyon, driving along the bank of an arroyo trenched by floods, steep as a carved wall. You pass the ruins of the old government school, where the floods drove the scholars out, and see the big rock commemorating Kit Carson’s famous fight long ago, and come on the new Indian schools where 150 little Navajos and Mokis are being taught by Federal appointees-schools as fine in every respect as the best educational institutions of the East. At the Agency Office here you must obtain a permit to go on into Moki Land; for the Three Mesas and Oraibi and Hotoville are the Ultima Thule of the trail across the Painted Desert. Here you find tribes completely untouched by civilization and as hostile to it (as the name Hotoville signifies) as when the Spaniard first came among them. In fact, the only remnants of Spanish influence left at some of these mesas are the dwarfed peach orchards growing in the arid sands. These were planted centuries ago by the Spanish padres.

The trading post managed by Mr. Lorenzo Hubbell, Jr., at Keam’s Canyon is but a replica of his father’s establishment at Ganado. Here is the same fine old Spanish hospitality. Here, too, is a rare though smaller collection of Western paintings. There are rugs from every part of the Navajo Land, and specimens of pottery from the Three Mesas-especially from Nampaii, the wonderful woman pottery maker of the First Mesa-and fine silver-work gathered from the Navajo silversmiths. And with it all is the gracious perfection of the art that conceals art, the air that you are conferring a favor on the host to accept rest in a little rose-covered bower of two rooms and a parlor placed at the command of guests.

The last lap of the drive across the Painted Desert is by all odds the hardest stretch of the road, as well as the most interesting. It is here the Mokis, or Hopi, have their reservation in the very heart of Navajo Land; and there will be no quarrel over possession of this land. It lies a sea of yellow sand with high rampant islands-600, 1,000, 1,500 feet above the plains-of yellow tufa and white gypsum rock, sides as sheer as a wall, the top a flat plateau but for the crest where perch the Moki villages. Up the narrow acclivities leading to these mesa crests the Mokis must bring all provisions, all water, their ponies and donkeys. If they could live on atmosphere, on views of a painted world at their feet receding to the very drop over the sky-line, with tones and half-tones and subtle suggestions of opaline snow peaks swimming in the lilac haze hundreds of miles away, you would not wonder at their choosing these eerie eagle nests for their cities; for the coloring below is as gorgeous and brilliant as in the Grand Canyon. But you see their little farm patches among the sand billows below, the peach trees almost uprooted by the violence of the wind, literally and truly, a stone placed where the corn has been planted to prevent seed and plantlet from being blown away. Or if the Navajo still raided the Moki, you could understand them toiling like beasts of burden carrying water up to these hilltops; but the day of raid and foray is forever past.

It was on our way back over this trail that we learned one good reason why the dwellers of this land must keep to the high rock crests. Crossing the high mesa, we had felt the wind begin to blow, when like Drummond’s Habitant Skipper, “it blew and then it blew some more.” By the time we reached the sandy plain below, such a hurricane had broken as I have seen only once before, and that was off the coast of Labrador, when for six hours we could not see the sea for the foam. The billows of sand literally lifted. You could not see the sandy plain for a dust fine as flour that wiped out every landmark three feet ahead of your horses’ noses. The wheels sank hub deep in sand. Of trail, not a sign was left; and you heard the same angry roar as in a hurricane at sea. But like the eternal rocks, dim and serene and high above the turmoil, stood the First Mesa village of Moki Land. Perhaps after all, these little squat Pueblo Indians knew what they were doing when they built so high above the dust storms. Twice the rear wheels lifted for a glorious upset; but we veered and tacked and whipped the fagged horses on. For three hours the hurricane lasted, and when finally it sank with an angry growl and we came out of the fifteen miles of sand into sagebrush and looked back, the rosy tinge of an afterglow lay on the gray pile of stone where the Moki town crests the top of the lofty mesa.

In justice to travelers and Desert dwellers, two or three facts should be added. Such dust storms occur only in certain spring months. So much in fairness to the Painted Desert. Next, I have cursorily given slight details of the Desert storm, because I don’t want any pleasure seekers to think the Painted Desert can be crossed with the comfort of a Pullman car. You have to pay for your fun. We paid in that blinding, stinging, smothering blast as from a furnace, from three to half past five. Women are supposed to be irrepressible talkers. Well-we came to the point where not a soul in the carriage could utter a word for the dust. Lastly, when we saw that the storm was to be such a genuine old-timer, we ought to have tied wet handkerchiefs across our mouths. Glasses we had to keep the dust out of our eyes; but that dust is alkali, and it took a good two weeks’ sneezing and a very sore throat to get rid of it.

Of the Three Mesas and Oraibi and Hotoville, space forbids details except that they are higher than the village at Acoma. Overlooking the Painted Desert in every direction, they command a view that beggars all description and almost staggers thought. You seem to be overlooking Almighty God’s own amphitheater of dazzlingly-colored infinity; and naturally you go dumb with joy of the beauty of it and lose your own personality and perspective utterly. We lunched on the brink of a white precipice 1,500 feet above anywhere, and saw Moki women toiling up that declivity with urns of water on their heads, and photographed naked urchins sunning themselves on the baking bare rock, and stood above estufas, or sacred underground council chambers, where the Pueblos held their religious rites before the coming of the Spaniards.

Of the Moki towns, Oraibi is, perhaps, cleaner and better than the Three Mesas. The mesas are indescribably, unspeakably filthy. At Oraibi, you can wander through adobe houses clean as your own home quarters, the adobe hard as cement, the rooms divided into sleeping apartments, cooking room, meal bin, etc. Also, being nearer the formation of the Grand Canyon, the coloring surrounding the Mesa is almost as gorgeous as the Canyon.

If it had not been that the season was verging on the summer rains, which flood the Little Colorado, we should have gone on from Oraibi to the Grand Canyon. But the Little Colorado is full of quicksands, dangerous to a span of a generous host’s horses; so we came back the way we had entered. As we drove down the winding trail that corkscrews from Oraibi to the sand plain, a group of Moki women came running down the footpath and met us just as we were turning our backs on the Mesa.

“We love you,” exclaimed an old woman extending her hand (the Government doctor interpreted for us), “we love you with all our hearts and have come down to wish you a good-by.”