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Indigenous Voices of the Colorado Plateau

Hualapai Legends

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The Legend of the Hualapai Origin I

According to the legend of origin, there were two gods named Hamatavilla and Tudjupa. Hamatavilla was the older god and Tudjupa, the younger. It is said that these two gods emerged from the bottom of the mountain, Wikame. While they were sitting at the top of the mountain, they both decided that Tudjupa would rule the world. Eventually, Tudjupa created various Native-American tribes from the pieces of a cane. The tribe created from the second longest strip was the Hualapai. These tribes live close to the mountain, Wikame.

The Legend of the Hualapai Origin II

Once upon a time, there were two gods and they were Tochopo and Hokomata. While Tochopo was good by nature, Hokomata was full of wickedness. Hokomata quarreled with Tochopo and vowed to inundate the entire world. After hearing Hokomata's words, Tochopo became unhappy and decided to save his daughter, Pukeheh, whom he held in great affection. He decided to save her so that she could be the progenitor of the future human race. After Pukeheh saw the world again, she yearned to be a mother. When she saw the rising sun, she thanked her father, Tochopo. She decided that the sun should be the father of her child. She conceived and gave birth to the sun's child whom she called Inyaa. Afterwards Pukeheh desired another child and chose one of the Havasu Canyon waterfalls (Wahahathpeekhaha) to be the father of her second child. Soon she conceived again and a daughter was born. The children of Pukeheh became the predecessors of the human race. The Havasupai were the first offspring, followed by the Apaches, Hualapais, Hopis, Paiutes, and Navajos.

Death of Hamatavilla & the Story of the Coyote

Earlier Tudjupa had warned Hamatavilla not step on the frogs near the river. However, Hamatavilla stepped on a frog and became very ill. Eventually, he died. Tudjupa decided to take Hamatavilla's body and burn it for four days. He informed the people that at the end of the fourth day, Hamatavilla would regain life. A Coyote was among the people in the crowd and he disputed Tudjupa's prediction. As a result, Hamatavilla never regained his life. Tudjupa decided to bury Hamatavilla's body and informed the people that after four days, plants would grow on the grave. Once again, the Coyote questioned Tudjupa's words. Tudjupa ignored the Coyote's words and sent him to the grave on the fourth day. There the Coyote saw beans, pumpkins, watermelons, and corn growing. Both the Coyote and Tudjupa decided that the crops should gathered and eaten. People from the various Native-American tribes ate the food and planted crops from whatever was left. They continued to do so for a long time. However, the various tribes soon began to bicker amongst themselves because the Mohave reserved their food separately. Finally Tudjupa resolved to put an end to the bickering by dividing the people into different tribes.


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