HOW A FAMILY QUARREL LED TO THE FOUNDING OF ORAIBI
LIKE all the other people, the Shung-opovi chief and his brothers were usually having some kind of trouble or argument over something, and about this time he found out that his younger brother was too bold. He was rather taking too much authority upon himself and didn’t have much respect for the other people. He never would do much of anything in the way of work, but he would always be down in the fields when the crops were ripe and he helped himself to the things the other people had grown. Since he was one of the royal family no one had a right to say anything to him, and he was always grabbing corn from other people’s fields at the time of the harvest and that was where he got his provisions, for he didn’t grow anything himself.
Now the people were rather tired of this and they were all turning against him, but no one dared say anything. One day they had baked sweet corn and the men were there husking it, and this man came down and picked out as much as he could carry of the best corn the men had. It happened that his brother, the Chief, was there at the time and his brother, having the same right or being a little above him, called him down. Then all the other men thought that was their chance to say something to him and they all called him down. That hurt him more than anything else and he left all the corn right there and went home.
When night came on he left Shung-opovi. The next morning he was missing and no one knew where he had gone and from then on, they were always looking for him and would send out searching parties but they never could find him. Nobody ever heard anything about him. All the other villages were asked if he had gone to one of them, but he was not in any of them.
One day they went out hunting and at that time Third Mesa was a hunting place where they hunted cottontails among the rock. Now while they were there hunting, they found this man. He was living in one of the little caves. His name was Ma-chito. When they found him they tried to get him to talk but he wouldn’t speak to them, so they tried to bring him back home but he would not go with them.
When they got home they told his wife that her husband was over on the mesa and asked her to go and see if she could get him to come home. The next day she went but he told her he would never return to Shung-opovi–that he had left his people for good. He wanted to see how his brother would get along without him, because he considered that he himself had witchcraft power and that it was he that knew all the different songs and all the ceremonies that were being carried on at that time. His wife made four trips over there but she could not get him to come home, so she decided to go over and join him.
So when she got there, they went up on top of the mesa and built up there. From then on, in the other villages, whoever was mistreated or got mad at something went over there to live. When other clans drifted in, Ma-chito didn’t have many questions to ask of them, but just brought them in, for he wanted to get ahead of his brother and have more people in a short time.