The Journal of the
Contents Volume 34, Number 1, Spring 1992
Joseph Carlton Wilder
University of Arizona Press
The Southwest Center
Hiakim: The Yaqui Homeland
Don Alfonso Flovez Leyva's "Testamento":
Holograph, Transcription, and Translation
I. 3 "adoptado": "adoptado" in Version One.
I. 5 Gen. 5:1 et sim.
II. 5-7 Gen. 5:22-23, 6:9.
I. 6 and following: Proper names and place names are spelled as in the holograph of the "Testamento." Inconsistencies are retained in this translation. "Llaitohui"/"Yaitohui" and "Aitey" are according to Don Alfonso the same person, a ya'ut, a leader.
II. 8-9 Gen. 6:13-7:23.
II. 11-12 Gen. 7:23; cf. Gen. 1:20-26.
II. 13-14 Gen. 7:11.
II. 15-16 Griffith suggests "a possible reading" of these lines is: "In the 614th year of the life of Yaitohui." Cf. Genesis 7:6.
Edward Spicer believed that confronted with dealing with the notion of absolute dates, the "working solution" for Yaqui elders was to use "707," a date visible on a bronze bell at Potam, as a point of reference.
The flood took place before 707, so they fixed the date at 614. The date 614, like other dates and names in the "Testamento," may also be another echo of Genesis 5-9. See Genesis 7:11: "In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened."
I. 18 Gen. 7:4, 21-23. 1.20 Gen. 7:23.
I. 24 Gen. 8:2.
II. 25-27 Gen. 8:4-5.
I. 31 "espirituales": Griffith suggests "spiritual beings" as a possible alternative translation.
I. 37 Mark 15:22 (Matt. 27:33; John 19:17).
II. 38 Exod. 19, 24, 32-34, etc.
II. 46-48 Exod. 24; Gen. 18; Mark 9:2-9 et sim.; Judges 6:11 et sim.; Luke 1.26 fl.
I. 53 Luke 1:37, 4:21.
II. 54-55 Dan. 8:19 et sim.; Isa. 40:3-4; Dan. 11:2-9. 1. 60 Luke 1:19, 26; Dan. 8:16.
I. 62 Mark 1:14-15.
II. 64-66 Matt. 13:35 et sim.; Jet. 6:16.
"indomin patrix" We leave this and other Latin phrases untranslated throughout.
I. 67 "benedixi" Don Alfonso: "benedixi, that is a prayer, the prayer is called that."
II. 67-69 Griffith: "If one ignores some verb endings and accepts those that seem to fit one can get `And they arrived at the blessed place and they heard the voice of God and God blessed Vakula, Fau Enak, and Sarafin."
II. 70-74 Gen. 9:6 (cf. 1:27), 9:11-13.
II. 77-78 "segundo tabernacula de dios": during his reading of the text April 29, 1989, Don Alfonso commented at this point: "This means that these bows that they announced, the rainbow that we have been seeing in the clouds, these are the ones that we use on the altars in the fiestas here on this earth." C£ Spicer, The Yaquis, 167-68.
II. 80-83 Mark 10:35-39 (Matt. 20:20-28).
II. 84-85 Mark 13:5, 11:17.
II. 88-89 Mark 13:6, 13:21.
I. 90 Matt. 10:35-36; Luke 12:53. ll. 92-94 Mark 13:22.
"al tienpo senaldo vendra": during his reading of the text April 29, 1989, Alfonso stopped here to comment: "This, already, we have seen it. And we have suffered it in the mountains. You know very well that the government was behind us with arms in hand."
I. 99 "letrax": Griffith suggests "exact text" as an alternate translation.
II. 114-17 Mark 6:7 ff.; Matt. 10:5-7; Luke 9:2.
I. 119 "la alva": dawn song.
II. 119 ff. "cantamos la alva": in Version One the following lines come between this line and 1. 120:
[Pasando de alli un poco mas adelante al llegar
[Passing through there a little further ahead to arrive
ha cocoraqui y les ensefiaba la santa dotrina y
at Cocoraqui and showed them the holy doctrine and
mandamientos de dios para safr de cocoraqui
commandments of God in order to leave from Cocoraqui
a rumbo ha Caborea dise el Rabbi Kaumeha
on the way to Caborea says the Rabbi Kaumeha
Elit Eli Lama Sabatami esto quire desir
Elit Eli Lama Sabatami this wants to say
dios into Venid ha ...]
God my come ... ]
Cf. Mark 15:34; Matt. 27:46. We make the assumption that Don Alfonso overlooked, skipped them when he was preparing this copy.
I. 122 Mark 13:5 ff. (Matt. 24).
I. 123 The following phrase appears in Version One between "as de enganar avosotros" and "yo soy":
[porque vendran muchos hombres y diran a vosotros]
[because will come many men and will say to us]
Again, we make the assumption that Don Alfonso inadvertently omitted this phrase when he was preparing this version.
II. 126-27 Mark 13:7; Matt. 24:6.
I. 129 Here the text shifts to the Yaqui-Spanish that we associate with Yaqui sermons. Cf. Painter, Savala, and Alvarez.
I. 130 "itom pueplom principal achalim": Felipe identifies these as the "main maehtom." Maehtom, fr. Span. maestros, are the Yaqui lay priests who direct and carry out the Yaqui versions of Catholic liturgy.
They are not ordained or sanctioned by the Catholic Church. We translate "maehtom" as "Yaqui priests" throughout.
I. 136 "disipulo asoalam": the Virgin Queen of Guadalupe's disciple children are the members of Wiko'i Yau'ura, the Bow Leaders, popularly known as the Coyote Society. Cf. Evers and Molina, Wo'i Bwikam: Coyote Songs.
II. 144-45 "senor san migel arcangelta dicipulo lloremia asoalam": the Lord San Migel the Archangel's disciple family is the Kohtumbre Yau'ura, literally the custom leaders, those who oversee all the ceremonies connected with the Yaquis' observance of Lent and Easter.
I. 167 "Mojonea": Don Alfonso: "Mojonea is in the land of the Mayos, in the Mayo land. It is called Takalaim, they say. It is about thirty miles out in the water, in the middle of the water, but visible." That is, Don Alfonso recognized two landmarks named "Takalaim." One marked the southwest corner of the Yaqui land, the other the northwest. Some Yaquis refer to Mojonea as Sooria.
I. 228 ff. Don Alfonso: "When the Eight Pueblos were being divided, laid out side-by-side, the people were divided and were given
names. That is why the names are mentioned, the names of the Pueblo Elders, the ones who accepted it."
I. 272 ff. We have two written versions of the "Testamento" from Don Alfonso: one made in November 1987, the other, which is printed here, dated January 1, 1989. In addition, Don Alfonso came to Arizona to visit Felipe and other friends at Yoem Pueplo in May 1989. We took the opportunity to record Don Alfonso reading the "Testamento." Don Alfonso read from the second copy he prepared for us. As we had hoped, he provided commentary on the text before and after and at several points during his reading. This tape recorded reading created in effect a third version of the text from Don Alfonso. There are differences among these versions. Some of these seem significant, some not. We will not undertake an exhaustive comparison here. However, we do want to note some obvious variations.
There are at least 150 differences between the 1989 copy and the 1987 copy. Many predictably are the inconsistent representations of certain phonemes, and the similarly inconsistent spellings of a language without a sanctioned writing system. Thus, /b/ alternates with /v/, /c/ with /k/, /j/ with /g/ and so on; while the spelling of words like sirra/ sierra, Rabbi/Rabbi, alternate sometimes in the same sentence. Occasionally, an ending or a word or even a phrase is dropped, or added. The following is a typical example: "hoy es tetparia otankahui" in copy one becomes "hoy es tepparia of se llama otam kawui" in copy two, lines 37-38. More rarely grammatical form is changed, as, for example from "anunsiamos" to "anunciando" (1. 115).
More significant kinds of change also occur. A passage of about six lines that appears in the 1987 copy is left out of the 1989 copy. We have no reason to suppose that this is an intentional deletion, a conscious editorial decision. We were unable to engage Don Alfonso in a discussion of differences between the versions. The passage omitted contains Rabbi Kauwuamea's surprising gloss: "Elit Eli Lama Sabatami. This says: `My God, come to pray."' And more importantly for the narrative it describes the arrival of the Prophets at Kokoraaki, a key event which is commented on at some length later in the "Testamento." This seems to us to be the only instance where Don Alfonso omits significantly. We believe that the omission was unintentional.
Other significant differences between the two versions are additions. These additions, we assume, are the result of Don Alfonso's consultations with other elder(s) before preparing the second copy for us. One addition is a long statement in Yaqui/Spanish, lines 129-193, which gives a retelling, a reiteration Of only certain parts of the narrative, especially the singing of the Holy Dividing Line in 1414-1417. A second set of additions comes at the end of the document. The name of the founding elder from Wiivism Pueplo (Huirivis Pueblo) is changed from "Bailutey" to "Sion Kauhuamea Yomomoli" (1. 256); the name of the founding elder from Veneem Pueblo (Belen Pueblo), absent in the first version, is given as "Cosme Tajinkoi" (1. 262); and a final statement and signature (ll. 265-276) are added to the second copy.
In November 1989, Alfonso prepared another handwritten copy of the "Testamento" and gave it to Mini Valenzuela, a Yaqui teacher and writer who lives in Tucson. We have not examined this version.
Continue with Photographs
From the Río Yaqui, 1940s