Moquis have a legend that, long ago, when the principal mesa
that they occupy was higher than it is now, and when they owned
all the country from the mountains to the great river, giants
came out of the west and troubled them, going so far as to dine
on Moquis. It was hard to get away, for the monsters could see
all over the country from the tops of the mesas. The king of
the tribe offered the handsomest woman in his country and a
thousand horses to any man who would deliver his people from
these giants. This king was eaten like the rest, and the citizens
declined to elect another, because they were beginning to lose
faith in kings. Still, there was one young brave whose single
thought was how to defeat the giants and save his people.
As he was walking down the mesa
he saw a lizard, of the kind commonly known as a horned toad,
lying under a rock in pain. He rolled the stone away and was
passing on, when a voice, that seemed to come out of the earth,
but that really came from the toad, asked him if he wished
to destroy the giants. He desired nothing so much. "Then
take my horned crest for a helmet."
Lolomi -- that was the name of him
-- did as he was bid, and found that in a moment the crest
had swelled and covered his head so thickly that no club could
break through it.
"Now take my breastplate,"
continued the toad. And though it would not have covered the
Indian's thumb-nail, when he put it on it so increased in
bulk that it corseleted his body and no arrow could pierce
"Now take the scales from my eyes," commanded the
toad, and when he had done so Lolomi, felt as light as a feather.
up and wait. When you see a giant, go toward him, looking
in his eyes, and he will walk backward. Walk around him until
he has his back to a precipice, then advance. He will back
away until he reaches the edge of the mesa, when he will fall
off and be killed."
Lolomi obeyed these instructions, for presently a giant loomed
in the distance and came striding across the plains half a
mile at a step. As he drew near he flung a spear, but it glanced
from the Indian's armor like hail from a rock. Then an arrow
followed, and was turned. At this, the giant lost courage,
for he fancied that Lolomi was a spirit. Fearing a blow if
he turned, he kept his face toward Lolomi, who maneuvered
so skillfully that when he had the giant's back to the edge
of a cliff he sprang at him, and the giant, with a yell of
alarm, fell and broke his bones on the rocks below. So Lolomi
killed many giants, because they all walked back before him,
and after they had fallen the people heaped rocks on their
bodies. To this day, the place is known as "the Giants'
Fall." Then the tribe made Lolomi king and gave him the
most beautiful damsel for a wife. As he was the best king
they ever had, they treasured his memory after he was dead,
and used his name as a term of greeting, so that "Lolomi"
is a word of welcome, and will be until the giants come again.
an exerpt from:: "Books of the Southwest"
- The University of Arizona Library
CHAPTER XIII. THE MOQUI INDIANS
The Indians of Arizona are, perhaps, the most interesting
of any of the American aborigines. They are as unique and
picturesque as is the land which they inhabit; and the dead
are no less so than the living.
The Pueblo Indians, with which the Moquis are classed,
number altogether about ten thousand and are scattered in
twenty-six villages over Arizona and New Mexico. They resemble
each other in many respects, but do not all speak the same
language. They represent several wholly disconnected stems
and are classified linguistically by Brinton as belonging
to the Uto-Aztecan, Kera, Tehua and Zuñi stocks. He
believes that the Pueblo civilization is not due to any one
unusually gifted lineage, but is altogether a local product,
developed in independent tribes by their peculiar environment,
which is favorable to agriculture and sedentary pursuits1.
The houses are constructed of stone and adobe, are several
stories high and contain many apartments. None of the existing
pueblos are as large as some that are in ruins which, judging
by the quantity of débris, must have been huge affairs.
Since the advent of the Spaniard the style of building has
changed somewhat to conform to modern ideas, so that now some
families live in separate one-story houses having doors and
windows, instead, as formerly, only in large communal houses
that were built and conducted on the communal plan.