35. The Woman Who Had Horse Power
A woman had power by means of horse1
A young man was breaking horses.
He was caught by a loop of rope.
A horse ran off with him.
He ran with him about as far as to Chino's house.2
He was made unconscious.
He was badly hurt.
Then his father asked this woman who was holy by means of horse for help.
Then this woman sang for him for four days.
Then this woman:
"Start taking down the wickiup3. And sweep it."
Then this one who was sick lay there all alone.
Then this woman who was holy spoke thus:
"Turn the horse loose."
Then they turned the horse loose.
Then the horse went toward [the sick man].
And he licked him.
He licked him on top.
He turned him over with his nose.
He licked him [on the other side].
Then the horse who was holy walked around him.
Then he faced him from the east.
And then from the south, and then from the west, he faced him.
And then he faced him from the north.
Then, now he went away from him.
Then [the man] arose, having been cured by this woman.
The Chiricahua believe that an accident which takes place while riding horseback, or some grave misfortune in
connection with horses may occur at the will of the horse involved as revenge for some neglect or ill-treatment
suffered. In the ceremony to cure the injured, the co-operation of the horse is required. It is usually staked near
the place where the ceremony is held and appeals are addressed to it, in song and prayer, to undo the damage
that it has caused. The horse is usually led to the patient during the latter part of the rite and if it neighs or
demonstrates any interest in the patient at this time, it is considered a fortunate sign and an indication that the
animal is relenting and will permit the cure to take place.
Chino is one of the informant's neighbors. The distance is about one hundred feet.
That is, they removed the outer covering, leaving the bare poles.