Yaqui Literature: Other Sources


Mini Valenzuela Kaczkurkin's collection of Yaqui traditions Yoeme: Lore of the Arizona Yaqui People (Tucson: Sun Tracks, 1977) is probably the best source on contemporary Yaqui oral traditions. Ruth Gidding's Yaqui Myths and Legends(Tucson: Univ. of Arizona, 1959) is a good gathering of Yaqui stories from the Rio Yaqui area in Sonora. Carleton Wilder's The Deer Dance, Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin 186, is a short study of the deer dance as it was performed in the early 1940's at Old Pascua village. It contains translations of twenty deer songs, but it is very technical. Muriel Painter gives a very clear overview of Yaqui ceremonies in her short account of the Yaqui lenten observances A Yaqui Easter(Tucson: Univ. of Arizona Press, 1971). 

Two sound recordings of Yaqui song are 
Yaqui Music of the Pascola and Deer Dance (Canyon C-6099), recorded in Potam, Sonora, during the Tiniran Fiesta, and Yaqui Ritual and Festive Music (Canyon C 6140), pascola, deer dance, matachini and folk songs recorded in Arizona. "Seyewailo: The Flower World: Yaqui Deer Songs" is a one hour color videotape of a Yaqui fiesta recorded near New Pascua Pueblo. In Yaqui with English subtitles, it is narrated by Felipe Molina and available through the Division of Media and Instructional Services at the University of Arizona, Tucson. 

The Tall Candle: The Personal Chronical of a Yaqui Indian (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1971) is the life story of Yaqui Rosalio Moises. It was edited by Jane Holden Kelley and William Curry Holden. Moises was grandfather to Mini Kaczkurkin, author of Yoeme. Refugio Savala's The Autobiography of a Yaqui Poet (Tucson: Univ, of Arizona Press, 1980) is in almost all ways a more representative picture of an Arizona Yaqui life. 

The foremost non Yaqui authority on Yaqui life is Professor Edward Spicer. 
His Cycles of Conquest (Tucson: Univ. of Arizona Press, 1962) gives a complete account of Yaqui documentary history in the context of the histories of the Mexican northwest and the American southwest. Two novels based on Yaqui life which have been very favorably received among Yaqui readers are Curry Holden's Hill of the Rooster (New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1956) and Virginia Sorensen's The Proper Gods (New York: Harcourt, Brace, and Co., 1951). The writings of Carlos Casteneda are not regarded as accurate portraits of Yaqui life by most Yoeme. As Spicer wrote in an early review of The Teachings of Don Juan, "it seems wholly gratuitous to emphasize, as the subtitle does, any connection between the subject matter of the book and the cultural traditions o f the Yaqui."

The Yaqui Bulletin is an occasional publication of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe printed at New Pascua Village, 4730 W. Calle Tetakusin, Tucson, AZ 85710.

As printed in Larry Evers, ed. The South Corner of Time. Tucson, Ariz.: The University of Arizona Press, ©1980, p. 234.