Journal of the Southwest
tricolor bar, black, white and brown
volume 35, number 3, Autumn 1993


The Journal of the
Southwest


Contents Volume 35, Number 3, Autumn 1993

edited by
Joseph Carlton Wilder

University of Arizona Press
The Southwest Center
Tucson

*

The Elder's Truth: A Yaqui Sermon

THE ELDERS' TRUTH

Miki Maaso

Yoem Pueblo
12/22/87

transcribed, translated, and annotated by
Felipe S. Molina and Larry Evers

Miki Maaso (MM):

Well, you will speak the truth that ________________001
I have spoken to them.
They really will not understand me.
I will tell you. Well, so you will be able to tell them.

Felipe Molina (FM):

Yes
like this says . . .
well, like this we are thinking.
You will say it straight, yes?
The truth, you will say it to them.
Some will understand you
and some will understand pieces but _____________010
will not understand it all.
But later this here that you are recording,
all you will say, will be there.
Later I will
put it in the English language
when I give it to them.
They will read it.
Like that, like that says.
They say it will come out good, straight.

MM:

Yes ____________________________________020

FM:

You will just give it straight in the Yoeme language.

Like that you will know it.

MM:

Yes.

Well, children, we,
the ones who are sitting here, we,
three,
the two or three truths, also, like this, also,
you want it.
And your heart,
your five senses, also, like this, also, ___________030
you want it, you also want this
truth, the poor inheritance, from somewhere in the past
at that time.
You want the elders' truth.
Your heart is in it.
You walk about with your hearts in it,
and you get up in the morning with your hearts in it,
and you go to bed with your hearts in it.

You suffer everything in it, the cold,
everything,
the hunger, the thirst, _____________________040
the sleeplessness, drowsiness, you suffer everything in it.
But you want to know this, the two or three truths, the
elders' truth. Somewhere in the past at that time,
we did not even,
we did not even, we did not even know those elders,
and I did not know them.
At least you,
the two or three truths, also here,
many deer singers
arrive here on this land to you.
They walk about here on this land with you.
Some fathers, _________________________050
over there, from our
Yaqui River, arrive here to you.
Carrying the sacred request they arrive here to you,
come over here.
But knowing this, the poor inheritance,
like this, knowing, they arrive down here to you.
And you also, exactly,
you heard it, the talk
you understood it from them.
But you really wanted to know it. __________060
Over there at my home place
these fathers also came to me, really sought me out
where I was sitting
and where I was walking around.
Really they made the
steps after me,
they sweated for it.
And now the hour of your sacred request is happening, and,
like this is what you said, like this is what you wanted
to hear.
Here in your
village, here where you walk around, _______070
the two or three truths,
you want to know it.
I also, also I, also,
the elders' truth,
where am I going to find the best of
the elders' truth?
But I, also,
To me, this was not told.
Like, the way you are talking now,
like this, nobody said it to me, and like this nobody said
it to me nicely, the two or three truths.
How I could have learned it, ____________080
and how I could have known it?
Didn't say it to me,
but I
heard them, at least I heard the sound like you.
But nobody said to me, "sing it like this, and in this way."
Because then the elders' truth
then, in that time, it was cherished.
It was respected, this, that is lying here
where we are sitting,
the carpet was respected.
And the raspers lying here, the two or three lying here, 090
not just anybody could lay hands on them,
because the elder valued this then.
If someone laid hands on these, already
there would be talk.
Not just anybody could lay hands on it,
walking in from somewhere,
really there would be

If someone picks up our rasper, lays hands on it,
if he is one who does not have the big heart
in the dream world he will see this,
our poor truth here. _________________100
Like this it was said,

"no, father,
no, young man,
don't touch this,
that is lying here.

"You might not sleep," would say,
"because this is the enchanted,
enchanted world."
Like this truth sits.
Like this they valued it, ______________110

this is the enchanted world.
Not just anyone can handle it.
Like this, the elders said it. Like this,
the ones who walked around on this weeping earth
I did not even know them,
and they did not even teach it to me.
Because they used to talk
to me like this, they used to scare me,
not like now, to you the way I am saying it to you.
Nobody said it to me,
and not even my father,
and moreover not even my older brother, 120
said it to me like this.
Nobody taught me.
I just, on the blowing wind, I . . .
I caught it
and put it together in my head.
And maybe God says this,
and from the wilderness world,
the enchanted world, and maybe the . . .
maybe that, like that, the enchanted home says, maybe,
maybe, it gave me this, ____________130
and then I
I, the wind
What they heard, what they have sung, what they have heard,
what they have heard in the beginning, that truth
stayed in my head and in my five senses.
Like that I knew it.
Not like this,
the way I am saying it
to you, nobody said it to me.
Like this, you should pay attention to it,
do you see? I am sitting here saying it to you.
Beautifully, I am sitting here saying it to you. 140
But in the past our . . . this was respected.
Really, the elder deer singer did not give cigarettes
to those behind him.
And the second singer did not give cigarettes
to those behind him.
And the last one who sits with us did not give
cigarettes to those behind him.
And the water drummer also, cigarettes were not requested
from him,
and he could not talk to those behind.
And also the elder deer singer could not even talk
to those behind.
He doesn't answer anybody behind, here.
He doesn't answer anybody behind him,
and does not even really talk at all. _______150
Yes, they talk for it, for the wilderness world,
the flower person.
For that, they talk.
Because like this it sits.
Like this, they said it, the elders' truth.
Like this, they left it when they died, but I did not
see them.
Like this, the wind, the one that is blowing,
Like this, I heard it from them,
over there,
in Pitaya Pueblo.
Like that I heard it from them, __________160
but those elders have died:
Jose Maria Hapachituka'u,
and also, that Galavis,
like this also he said it, and again also that one Yoeme,
the one who is called Luis Chone'ela,
the one who is called Aldamas also said it like this,
really like this that one left it in my hands.
Really, they stood up to it in recent times,
but now the . . . more of elders' truth, they heard it like
this,
But those Yoeme elders did not teach me.
That is why I, on that ________________170
which happened, I, this,
the songs, how I should begin?
But they did not tell me.
But the swirling wind,
is how I received it poorly.
That truth,
but I . . . but I do not even know . . .
but I, the poor inheritance
that was left to me,
the pahkom,

or perhaps it could be a mother, _______180
or perhaps it could be a father,
perhaps like us they could be poor.

 

unidentified image

I continue to stand up with that,
the sacred request that settles in my hands.

Really I walk about, I pity him
the one who carries
the sacred request.
Poorly, the baptized ones,
the saints,
the Eight Pueblos, holy churches, __________190
the ones that are sitting side by side,
when the vespers occur,
those large pahkom,
like this we are accepting them.
Like this we make our steps on them.
Really it has been for this much time.
Like this I, on it, I . . .
the bad
and the good.
Like this I continue to see it on them.
Like this 1, I learned it. _________________200
You also like this will experience this here.
Really it is pitiful.
Really it is a burden.
But you also like this will feel it.
Really in the very beginning He, the Lord God, old father,
really he will not create it this way for you
but like this it is the . . .
Lord God, old father, He will help you.
Your body and your sound,
really nobody will get angry with you. ______210
Really nobody will have evil thoughts about you.
Because it is bad,
because there it does not help us,
the sacred request, the one that was placed in our hands,
does not help us.
The sickness that is there,
it does not help us.
Even the poorest
like this made the sacred request
and we, also, over there _______________220
as a little medicine we will go and give it to him.
He is pitifully sick.
"Let's go over there and see him,"
nobody will be standing there and saying that to you
of course, when you are well and walking around. Then
the good fortune will settle in your hands
then you will really,
while lying there in your suffering, lying there will
give yourself a little water,
or there, __________________________230
lying there without any energy, you will get up.
You will think,
you will think about everything.

When I walk about there in good health,
"anybody could place the sacred request in my hands,"
you will be thinking.
No, but God himself also will help you,
and the person in the wilderness world,
that one also, the flower person, also, will help you
that one also is for us. _______________240
The holy churches
the Eight Pueblos, the holy churches that are sitting
there in the wilderness world
in the mountains
wherever
there in the desert
in the most enchanted world
they are sitting there.
Everything is there.
What you are asking here from us ______250
and what you are asking from me.
Knowing it in this way you also
will go forward and you also will work on it.
I also
also like you, I also
would have liked to learn it in this way,
but I was not given it like this,
and I did not learn it like this.
Knowing it like this
with all __________________________260
your five senses,
all the way to the top, giving it parts side by side,
you will think about it and make steps on it.
And you will lie down with it in the evening

and it will continue to open your eyes.
You will question yourself about it.
You are very young,

not old.
Like this the truth will stay in your hands.
In your senses like this you will study it. _270
On the side where you carry your fingers,
on the right side, you see how you have your five senses?
it is in your . . . your fingers.
It starts, it is there on your right side.
That is in your senses.
Five senses, remember? This is how those elders used to talk
about it, the ones who used to walk about like this.
Really, like this you should know it.
On it you continue to awaken in the morning.
On it you continue to reach the evening.
You young men who are sitting here.
And the flower person, ____________280

the talk,

like this, also, you want it,
and also like this you also want to know it.
On this also later,
when the kanaria begins . . .
not even this was I taught.
They never told me all these things.
Pitifully I sit here.
Pitifully we sit here
with my children _________________290
with the three I sit here.
These, I fathered these, like you
the same way your people . . .
you became people in this way
like this I fathered them.
But even these I
have not told the two or three truths.
But also they also for whatever reason
are also here pitifully.
This one,
even though nobody could attain it, __300
even though nobody had the energy for it,
also, like this, also
maybe what was given to me was also given evenly to them.
Maybe the enchanted world also like this, also, it . . .
the . . . like this, also,

like this, I
on it,
where they will move about, like this, there they were
also given it, maybe.
But really good, also
also little by little they will also continue 310
to stand up to it.
But I, I am here.
When God gives me the days,
I, I, the good truth, also
I, there in my home place,
where I move around, like this I will tell them, I

really, like this, you will know it.
And like this you will know them.
These are my children,
children like you,
here the ones who are sitting facing you:
the one who plays the water, _______320
Julian,

and here the one that is sitting next to me,
Cresencio,

and the one that is sitting on the other side of me,
Ramon.

Like this you also will know it.
These are the ones that are bringing forward
the talk about the wilderness world,
the enchanted world
that is in the mountains, __________330
the elders' truth in the mountains,
where they used to move about.
The stick,
the plants,
the mountains, the rocks, the water, everything
like this they talk about it, where the animal
used to walk about.
The animals,
where they came together at a spring,
they searched for the water.
Like this also they talk about it. ___340
Like this they all know it equally.
And that is why from there on, fathers,
the two or three truths,

the kanaria,
because you want to hear
and because you want to know it, like this

where it came from,
and where it is coming from,
and what time it comes out,

like this you want to hear everything. 350
The talk,
like this, you want it,
and like this you want to hear it.
From here on
you want to hear the two or three truths from me.
That is why you invited me here.
We made our steps over here.
With all my children grouped together
we arrived here,
here in your home place. ________360
But like this, also, we, the two or three truths,
where am I going to find it,
more of the elders' truth,
what they walked around with?
They are not here.

Poor,
they are blowing as dust.
They passed away in the past.
They are grains of sand,
we will not even see them anywhere.
Really we will be looking for them with candles.
Even looking for them with candlelight, 370
we will not see anyone anywhere.
But like this the truth stayed in my hands.
The Eight Pueblo Holy Churches side by side
in which I work,
they did not leave it in my hand.
The sound, what they said,
like this also stayed in my head.
That,
that which is in the Eight Pueblo Holy Churches
that are side by side,
I have said it.
And I am pointed at for it _______380
and I am known because of it.
Like this also you will know it,
young men who are sitting here,
this the two or three truths.
Like this, also, more in the beginning,
Lord, Our Father,
it stayed in God's right hand,
and in Our Mother Mary's most holy
right hand it stayed,
and later like this also it stayed in your hands. 390
Did you hear me talk about it like this, fathers,
young men, throughout, the two or three truths?

FM:

Yes.

MM:

Really it is good.

And now
you want to listen to the beginning songs.
But more in the beginning, with your good permission
lords, my fathers,
the baptized ones that are here,
but more in the beginning, with your good permission, 400
fathers,
throughout
like this it stayed in your hands.

FM:

Yes.

MM:

Like this you will know it.

FM:

Yes, bless you strongly.

Song 1

aaaa ________________________407

Aa over here, we, we sit out,
two or three, on the flower mat,
we sit out.
Over here, we, we sit out,
two or three on the flower mat,
we sit out.

Aa over here, we, we sit out, ______410
two or three, on the flower mat,
we sit out.
Over here, we, we sit out,
two or three on the flower mat,
we sit out.

Aa over here, we, we sit out,
two or three, on the flower mat,
we sit out.
Over here, we, we sit out,
two or three on the flower mat,
we sit out.

Over there, from the flower covered enchanted dawn,
Here, we, in enchanted flower person's flower flower patio,
with these, our enchanted raspers,
not flower overturned, we, we sit out.
Over here, we, we sit out
two three, on the flower mat,
we sit out.

You see, like this, it says, fathers, the
beginning song. Like this you will know it, fathers.
This one begins first.
Later, after it, the ______________420
deer wants to go out. Also, the flower person, also
like this, also, begins
in the wilderness world, in the world, where it came out
there, this . . .
Like this, also, you will know it.

 

Song 2

aaaa

Ai flower covered fawn went out,
when this enchanted sun makes an enchanted cool turn,
with that the flower covered fawn went out.
Flower covered fawn went out,
when this enchanted sun makes an enchanted cool turn,
with that the flower covered fawn went out.

Ai flower covered fawn went out,
when this enchanted sun makes an enchanted cool turn,
with that the flower covered fawn went out.

continue