Xiipuktan (First of All): Three Views of the Origins of the Quechan People
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Colophon: Half-Title-Colour-Digital, Title, Copyright

Part IV:
The Migration of the Yuman Tribes

Told in the Quechan Language
by George Bryant

DOI: 10.11647/OBP.0037.04

Kwatsáan uu'ítsənyts,

The ones called Quechan,

piipáats,

the people,

'anykór amánk athútya.

they began long ago.

'Atsaayúu,

Well,

matxávik,

from the north,

nyáanyəm vaathíik,707

they came from there,

makyík aathíik athútya.

they came from somewhere.

Athótəsáa,

However,

'axá sa'ílyts avathíkəm,

the ocean is there,

nyáany amákəly.

and it was beyond that.

.

Tsíin Nyatsamáatt-ts siitháwk athúuk 'et.

Asia is over there, they say.

Nyáasi kaathómk vanyoonóom,

They were doing whatever it was over there,

'axá sa'ílyənyts nyaaxatsóorəm,

and the ocean was frozen over,

athúm,

and so,

'atsaayúu,

well,

xanapáatsk viitháwəm,

there was ice,

athúm,

and so,

aatsxuukyítsk athúuk 'etəma.

they went across, they say.

Aatsxuukyítsk athúm,

They went across, and so,

nyaanyiimánk vaathíik athútya.708

they started there and came this way.

'Amátt ooyóovək vaathíik,

They saw land and they came this way,

aatsénk vaathíik,

they came down,

athúm,

and so,

kaa'íts

some of them

'anyáavik shathómp,

headed to the east,

kaa'íts 'amátt atóly shathómp,

and some of them headed to the middle of the continent,

'ís

but

'anyétsəts,

we (Yuman people),

va'aathíik athútya.

we came this way.

'Aatsénk av'aathíixaym,

We came down and headed this way, and right away,

'axá sa'ílyənyts avathík,709

the ocean was here,

iisháaly 'axáan avák,

it was on the right,

athúum,

and so,

'avíits athúum,

there were mountains,

iisháaly kwasár nyáanyik amánək athúm,

they rose up there on the left side, and so,

atsénək viithíik 'ítya.

they went up, they say.

'Atsaayúu,

Well,

'a'íits oov'ótstiyum.

there used to be trees there.

'Atsaayúu,

Well,

'amátt xatsúur alyoov'óts,

they grew in cold places,

nyáany,

those (trees),

nyáany ooyóovək

and (the people) saw them,

vaathíik

and they came this way,

vaathíik,

they came this way,

alyaatsénk.

they came down.

Aashmátsk,

They slept,

vaathíintik

and they came this way again,

aatsénk athúm,

they came down, and so,

'akórtan ayéməm,

a really long time passed,

vaathíik athútya.

and they came this way.

Nyaathíim athúm,

They came, and so,

viithíik viithíik,

they came and came this way,

viithíik,

they came this way,

kaawíts? —

and what was it? —

'axá sa'ílyənyts 'amátt alyaxávək vaa'ée 'ím,

the salt water came into the land, like this,710

nyáany aamáarək,711

and it flooded that (land),

athúm,

and so,

nyáanyi apámk,

they got there,

nyáanyi atíivək 'et.

and they settled there, they say.

Nyaathúum,

Then,

vuu'átsəntík,

they traveled again,

avaathíik vaathíik athum,

they came and came this way, and so,

'atsaayúu,

well,

'amátt-ts matxávik avák,

there was a place in the north,

'avíits 'anyáavi amánk,

the mountains were in the east,

matxávik avák athúm,

and it was in the north,

nyáany.

that place.712

'Atsaayúuts athúuk 'etəma.

There was something there, they say.

'avíits shipshípk nyiiv'óowk 'eta.713

A sharp-pointed mountain was there, they say.

Va'aayáanyək,

As we went along,

'amáytants,

the very top,

'atsaayúu,

well,

'asáyk athúm,

it was foggy, and so,

nyáany aakwíinək,714

it was wrapped in that (fog),

athúm,

and so,

'Asá Kwapáy a'ím ashét.

they named it 'Asá Kwapáy (Fog Bearer).715

Nyaanyiimánək,

Starting then,

nyaanyiitíivək avatíiv,716

they settled there,

nyakór ayém,

and a long time passed,

'axóttəm nyaayuuk,717

and when they saw that it was all right,

avaathíintik 'etəma.

they came this way again, they say.

Avaathíintik,

They came this way again,

vaathíintik,

they came this way again,

nyáavi,

and at this point,

'atsaayúu,

well,

shaly'áyts mattapéek 'eta.718

there was a lot of sand, they say.

'Amátt shaly'áyts athúm,

The land was sand,

nyáasi athík athúm,

there it was, over there, and so,

nyáany aatsxuukyítsk avaathíik.

they went across that (sand) and came this way.

.

Nyáany aatsxuukyítsk

They went across that (sand),

vanyaathíik,

and when they came this way,

'atsaayúu,

well,

apáməntík 'ítya.

they got there, they say.

Vathí,

Here,

mapíistəm,

nowadays,

'atsaayúu,

well,

'avíi nyaanyiiv'óowm,

there is a mountain standing there,

nyáany avathík athum,

that’s where it is, and so,

vatháts athútyá.

this is it.

'Axá viikwáamənyts,

The water that passes by here,

nyáanyts aviiyáak,

that (water) went along,

uuqáarək voonóonyək,

and it eroded (the earth), forming a canyon,719

nyáany,

and as for that,

'amáy nyiitíivək 'et.

they settled up there, they say.

Nyáanyts nyatsuuváayk athútya.

They are the ones who live (there).

.

Piipáats 'atáytants athótk,720

There were people, a whole lot of them,

aaíim matt-takyéevək vaathíik 'etəma.721

and they happened to be together, they say.

Vaathíinyək,

They came this way, until

nyáanyi atíivək.

they settled there.

Aashmátsk athótk,722

They slept, and so,

nyatsuuváayk voonóom,

they were living there,

piipáanyts nyamáam,

and the people were coming to an end,

mattshatpótt a'ím vanyoonóom,

they were getting ready to split up,

avaayáak 'éta.

and they went along, they say.723

'Ís

However,

piipáats siitíivəntik 'éta.

there were people over there too, they say.

Siitíivəntik,

They were over there too,

nyáany,

and as for that,

nyáanya,

as for that,

avíly

into this (place),

kwaanáqily aatsénəxáym,

they went down into the valley,724 and right away,

'axányənyts tama'órək vaa'íim,

water filled it up like this,

viitháwm,

and here they were,

aamáttk athúm,

and (water) covered everything, and so,

aamáttk athúm,

it covered everything, and so,

nyáany,

as for that,

ooyóovək avoonóok.

(the people) were looking around.

“Xaméra 'axóttíik,” nyaa'ím,

“It might be better later on,” they said,

“Aly'aatsénəntixá.”

“We’ll go down again (later).”

A'íi voonóok athúuk 'etəma.725

They went on saying that, they say.

Avathúum nyaathúum.

It was like that.

Nyikamáanənyts avaathíik 'eta.

The rest of them came this way, they say.

Oov'ótsxa.

They were going to stop.

Oov'ótsk,

They stopped,

avaathíik 'et.

and they came this way, they say.

Vuu'átstəntik,

They traveled again,

avaathíinyk,

they came this way,

avaathíiny,

they came this way,

nyáavi apák 'etəma.

and they got here, they say.

Nyáavi apák athúum,

They got here, and so,

'amátt nyáasi atíivənyək.

they stayed in that place over there.

Nyaasiitíivnyək,

They stayed over there,

'axáts asáttk vanyaayáam,

and the water started going down,

nyáanya,

and (at) that point,

alyaatsénəm 'ím.

they intended to go down into (the valley).

Xáam Kwaatsáan 'et.

They were Xáam Kwaatsáan (Those Who Descended by Means of Water), they say.

Kwatsáan nyii'íim,

They call them Quechan,

mapísa Kwatsáan a'étk,

nowadays they are called Quechan,

avathíkəm,

and here they are,

nyáanyəm,726

but at that (time),

Xáam Kwaatsáants athúuk 'étəma.727

they were Xáam Kwaatsáan, they say.

Vaathíik,

They came,

vaathíik,

and they came,

vaathíim,

they came this way,

nyáavi,

and at this point,

'axá kwaakwíinnya,

(at) a bend in the river,

matxávik amánk,

they started in the north,

aviithíinyək aváak,728

and they came until they got here,

nyáavi athúum.

it was right here.

Viiyáanyək,729

They went along,

akúulyəntik 'eta.730

and they went back up, they say.

Athúum,

So,

nyáavi,

at this point,

xaméra,

later on,

athúum,731

it happened,

'akór alyayém,

a long time passed,

nyáanyi,

and at that point,

Xáam Kwaatsáants nyiiuu'íitst,

they called them Xáam Kwaatsáan,

nyáanya,

and that (valley),

nyáany nyatsuuváayk 'ítya.

that’s where they lived, they say.

'Ís,

But,

vatháts,

these (people),

matxávik shathómpk vaayáak,732

they headed to the north and went along,

piipáa 'atáy alyaskyíits avathúm,

they were still a lot of people,

nyáanyi,

and at that point,

avaayáak vaayáany,

they went and went,

nyáasi,

and over there,

nyáasi atíivəntík 'eta.

they settled over there, they say.

'Amátt,

The place,

nyáasa,

that one over there,

matxávik avák,733

it was in the north,

'axányts atsénk viithíik.734

and the water was coming down and coming along.

'Axá kwaráawənyts —

The running water —

'Axá 'Axwétt,

'Axá 'Axwétt (Red Water, the Colorado River),

'Axá 'Axwétt a'ét,

it’s called Red Water (the Colorado River),

nyáanya.

that (running water).

.

Nyáanya,

As for that,

mapísa xáak athúum,

nowadays it’s different,

'atsaayúu,

(that) thing,

aapéttk,

they closed it off,

kaawémk avathót.735

they did it somehow.

Kwatsáants

The Quechans

saayáaxayk,736

went along, over there, until

nyaanyiitíivək 'eta.

they settled there, they say.

Vathík atíivəm,

They settled here,

'akórtan ayémk,

and a really long time passed,

viitháwxaym.737

while they were here.

Piipáanyts thúutt nya'íim,

The people increased (in population),

nyaayúuk,738

and when they saw this,

aatsxuukyítsk 'etəma.

(some people) went across, they say.

Aatsxuukyítsk athúm,

They went across, and so,

amák atíivapátxá a'ím,

they decided that they would settle back there,

vaayáak 'eta.

and they went along, they say.

Mattashtúum,

They volunteered (to go),

vaayáak,

and they went,

nyáasi,

and over there,

aaxkyéenyik atíivək.

they settled on the other side.

.

Athúum,

So,

siitíivəm,

they settled there,

nyáanya,

and as for that,

nyaanyiimánk,

from then on,

shiimúlyk 'ítyá:

that has been their name, they say:739

***740

***

'Axám Aakxáv 'eta.741

'Axám Aakxáv (They Went Through Water), they say.

Xamaakxáv a'íim,742

They are called Xamaakxáv (Mojave) (for short),

a'íim 'ítyá.743

they are called (that), they say.

'Axám aakxávək,

They went through water,744

nyáasi aaxakyéevək,

they went across to that (side) over there,

nyáasi atíivapat,

and they, for their part, settled over there,

avoonóonyk,

and there they were, until —

avoonóok,

there they were,

thúutt nyaa'ím,

and when they increased (in population),

mattashtúutəntik vaayáak 'etá.

(some of them) volunteered to go, they say.

Piipáa nyáanyts mattashtúum,

Those people volunteered,

vaayáak vaayáak,

they went and went,

'amáytan aatsuukúly.

and they climbed up really high.745

Nyáany a'íim.

That’s what they say.

'Axám aatsuukúlyək a'ím 'eta.

They were going to go upstream, they say.746

'Atsaayúu a'íim 'ítyá.

They were called something, they say.

'Axáts aráawk atsénk viithíim,747

They came down the rapids and came this way,

nyáany

and as for that,

kwaa'úurnyəm aayáak,748

they went along the bank,

vaayém.

and they went away.

'Axám aatsuukúlyk 'eta.

They went upstream, they say.

'Axály oonóok uuthúuts aly'ém.749

They weren’t in the water.

'Amáttnyi athúum,750

It was on land,

'axánya tsanyók siiyáak 'eta.751

they went along following (the course of) the river, they say.

'Amátt.

(On) land.

Saayáak vaayáak awím,

They went along over there, and so,

kwanyamély apáməntík 'etá.752

they reached another (place), they say.

Apámxáym,

When they got there,

vathí,

right here,

'anyáavik ooyóovxaym,

when they looked towards the east,

'avíits viiyáanyək,753

the mountains went along,

nyáanyi uuqáarək siivám ooyóovk awim,754

and they saw that there was a canyon over there, and so,

“ 'Anyétsəts,

“We (are the ones),

nyáasi 'aayémxá,”

we will go over there,”

a'íik 'eta.

they said, so they say.

.

A'íim,

So,

mattashtúuntik,

(some people) volunteered again,

siiwáanyək —

they went ahead, over there, until —

saayáanyək —

they went along, over there, until —

'atsaayúu ooyóovək 'eta.

they saw something, they say.

'A'íits 'almétstank oov'ótsəm,

There were tall trees standing there,

nyáanya,

and those (people),

nyáany kaa'émk ashé:755

they named them somehow:

Xawáaly 'éta.

Xawáaly (Pine), they say.

Xawáaly a'íim ashék awim,

They named them Xawáaly (Pine), and so,

nyáany maxák nyiitíivək awim,

they settled under those (pines), and so,

nyatsuuváayvək.756

they lived there.

Nyáany,

As for that,

nyamúlyəny,757

as for their name,

amúlya áayk 'etəma,

(the trees) gave them their name, they say,

nyáanya.

those (people).

Pa'iipáa avkoonóonya,

The people that were around there,

amúlyənyts a'ím:

it became their name:

Xawáalyapáay a'íik 'et.758

they are called Xawáalyapáay (Pine Tree People), they say.

Xawáalyapáay a'íim,

They are called Hualapai,

nyáanyənyts.

those (people).

Nyáanyiitíivək,

They settled there,

alyaskyíik avatíivxa.

they are still (there) and and they will be there.

Athótəm athúum,

It happened, and so,

'akór alynyaayém,

when a long time had passed,

piipáats mattashtúuntik saayáak 'eta.

people volunteered again and went on, they say.

'Axány tsanyók siiyáak,

They went along following the water,

xáam aatsuukúlyəntik vaayáaxaym,

they went upstream again and went along, and soon,

'amáy aatsuukúlytəm athúm.

they had climbed up high.

'Axányts maxáktan athík,

The water lay well below them,

avathíkəm,

there it was,

ooyóovək 'eta.

and they looked at it, they say.

.

Tsapéevək avathík kwalyavíit-sa,759

It seemed small, but

mattapées athótk athum,

it must have been tremendous,

nyáany,

that (valley),

ooyóovək athúm.

when they saw it.

'Amáy tan athúm,760

It was very high up, and so,

aqáarək viithík,

(the land) was deeply eroded, lying here,

'aqáqəny kwaqáqənyts mattapéek awim,

there were lots of canyons and split places, and so,

makyík alyootsénəmxats athúulya'émtəm,

there was no way they could go down into it,

kaathomk alyuuváak;761

and they went on doing what they could;

“ 'Aaíimk nyii'atíivək.

“Let’s just settle down.

'Amáy vathí 'atíiv aly'a'émtəka?” a'ítya.

Why don’t we settle here in the high place?” they said.

A'íim,

So,

athúuk 'etəma.

that’s what they did, they say.

'Amáy nyiitíiv athúm,

They settled there in the high place, and so,

oonóoxaym,

there they were,

piipáa kaa'íts vaayáak,

and some of the people went off,

athótk ooyóov 'étk athúm,

they intended to look around, and so,

avaayáaxaym,

they went along, and suddenly,

'oonyé lyavíik atsénk,

something like a road went down,

'axály atsénk athúuk 'etəma.

it went down to the water, they say.

'Axály atsénk athúum,

They went down to the water,

nyáanyi,

and at that point,

aatsxuukyítsk,

they crossed,

aakavék athúuk 'ím,762

and they went back, they say,

avoonóot.763

and there they were.

Nyáanya,

As for that,

mattkwashéntəts ayéxaym,764

the same (group) went along, and suddenly

vathí kwáamənyts,

the ones that had passed by here,

nyáanyts athúm.

they were the ones.

Avuuthúuts,

They did that,

ooyóovək voonóonyək,

they went on looking,

'axótt kwalyavíish a'íim.765

and it seemed to be all right, they said.

'Axá nyiimánk aapáyk,

It sloped up from the water,

vaa'ée a'íim,

it was like this,

'amáytan,

and way up there,

'amátt-ts siitháw,766

there was a place,

nyáanya,

and that (place),

nyáany atíivətxá.

that was where they would settle.

Uu'íitsk athúm,

They intended to, and so,

'a'íi kaawíts awíim,

they used wood or something,

ashtúum,

they gathered it,

'atáyk athúm,

there was a lot of it,

'axányts apáyk

the water had carried it

nyáanyi aapáxm,767

and placed it there,

nyáany ashtúum,

and that’s what they gathered,

'avá uutsáawk.

and they built houses.

'Avá uutsáawk avoonóonyək,

They went about building houses,

aatsavérk athum.

and they finished.

Nyáanyi nyatsuuváayk,

They lived there,

nyáanyi atíivək aashmátsk a'ávək awim,

they settled there and they slept anywhere, and so,

nyatsuuváayk,

they lived (there),

nyiitíivəm,

they settled there,

nyaathótəm athúm.768

it happened.

Nyáanyi,

At that point,

nyiikwatíiv nyáanyənyts,

the ones who settled there,

xó—

oh!—

avoonóoxaym,

they were there, and suddenly

'atsaayúuts avatháwk 'et.

there were things there, they say.

'Avíits.

Mountains.

.

'Avíits avatháwk,769

Mountains were there,

'axányts nyamayémk,

and the water went around them that way,

nyamayémk voonóonyək,

it went around that way, until

kwaskyíi vatáytan lyavíik a'íim,

there was something that looked like a really big bowl,

nyáanyily kwiixáalyts vanyaathíim,

and into that the flood came,

'axányts alytam'óorək athúm,

and water filled it up, and so,

nyaasáttəm,

when (the water) receded,

'amátt alykwatháwənyts

the dirt that was in it

asáttapatk 'eta.

receded too, they say.

Alyatséntəm athúm.

It went down (to the bottom).

'Axányənyts atóly atháwk a'eta,770

Water remained in the middle (of the rock), they say,

'avíi uutskúpənya.

(in) holes in the rock.

Nyáany,

As for that,

nyáanyi alyatháwəm,

there is was,

ooyóovxaym,

and when they saw it,

xavashúutánk 'eta.

it was really blue, they say.

Nyaanyiimánək xó—

Starting there, or—

'atsaayúuts athúuk 'ím 'itya.

there was a reason for it, they say.771

'Amáyəly ayúuxaym,

(Blue) could be seen in the sky, and as a result,772

'axányily axávək,

it went into the water,

'axányily athúu kwalyavíik,

it seemed to be in the water,

xavashúu kwalyavíim,

(the water) seemed to be blue,

ooyóovk athúm;

and they saw it;

avoonóok a'ét.

there they were, they say.

Nyaathótəm athúm,

It happened, and so,

'Axá Xavashúu a'íim, 773

they are called 'Axá Xavashúu (Blue Water),

amúlyk 'eta.774

they are named (that), they say.

Piipáanyənyts nyiitíivəntim,

The people settled there,

'Axá Xavashúupáay a'íi uumúulyk,775

they were named 'Axá Xavashuupáay (Blue Water People),

nyaanyiimánk,

and that’s where they came from,

nyáany ashék 'ítya.776

and that’s what they named them, they say.

'Axá Xavashúupáay

Havasupai

uu'ítsa.

is what they are called.

Athótəm athúm,

It happened, and so,

nyáanyi,

at that point,

nyáanyiitíivapatk awet,

they, for their part, settled there, and so,

avatíivək 'ítyá.

they settled there, they say.

Alyaskyíik avatíivək.

They are still there.

Nyáanya athúum:

That’s what happened:

'axóttk avatíiv.777

it was good and they settled there.

'Ís,

But,

nyiikamáan,778

as for the rest of them,

nyáany lyavéenyapátk,

they were the same too;

nyáany nyuutíivəny,

the place where they settled,

wanymooyétsk 'et.

they liked it, they say.

Athúum.

They did.

Nyáanya.

That (place).

Nyiitíivək athúum,

They settled there,

nyaanyiimánk.

starting then.

.

Kànyaa'íim,

Sometimes,

aatsénk,

they (would) go down,

maatsawíts avatíivəm ooyóovəxa.

and they would see their relatives settled there.

.

Aatsuukúlyxa.

They would climb (back) up.

Nyaatsuukúlyəntík,

When they climbed up again,

nyáasi,

to that distant place,

apám,

they got there,

piipáa maatsawíts soonóom,

people they called relatives were there,

ayúuk,779

and they saw them,

a'íim,

and so,

kanáavək,780

they told them about it,

avoonóok,

there they were,

nyaa'íim,

and then,

vaathíik,

they came this way,

nyáavi aatsénk,

they came down here,

vaathíinyək —

they came this way, until —

vaathíiny,

they came this way, until

nyáavi apák.

they got here.

Piipáa avkwathíkəny ayúuntik 'eta.

They in turn saw the people that were here, they say.

Nyamáam,

Anyway,

xuumáarənyts tsapéek,

there were a lot of children,

xó —

or —

piipáanyts mattapéek,

there were a lot of people,

athúum,

there were,

'ís,

but

nyaavoonóoxáym,

while they were here, suddenly,

athúum.

it happened.

Athúum athúm,781

It happened, and so,

nyáanyts athúum.

that’s what happened.

Nyáavəm kwatíivənyts alyaatsénk 'etá,

The ones who had settled there came down, they say,

Xáam Kwaatsáanənyts.

the Xáam Kwaatsáan, (Those Who Came Down by Means of Water).

Xáam Kwaatsáan 'eta.

The Xáam Kwaatsáan, they say.

Kwatsáan 'ét,

They are called Quechan,

mapísa.

nowadays.

'Ís

But

nyáasəm alyaatsénk,

they came down from that distant (place),

kaawíts nyatsuuváayapatk,

and they lived somewhere (in that area) too,

nyáanyiitíivəm,

they settled there,

nyáany ooyóovək,

and (other people) saw that,

a'íim a'íik 'eta.

and they called them (by that name), they say.

.

Piipáanyts avuuthúutsəsh.

The people did that.

Xáam aatsénk,782

They came down by means of water,783

'atsaayúu,

and, well,

nyáanyi,

at that (place),

nyáanyi nyatsuuváayk avoonóonyək;

they were living there;

“Alynyaa'atíivúm,” a'im.

“We will live here,” they said.

“Av'athík 'athósh,

“Here we are,

'anyétsəts.”

we are the ones.”

'Ís,

However,

siikwaayáanya,

the ones who kept going,

a'íintim,

they were called something else,

Xamakxáavəts a'étk,784

they were called Mojave,

'Axá Xavshuupáay 'etk,

they were called Havasupai,

Xawáalyapáay 'éta,785

they were called Hualapai,

Xawáalyapáay,

Hualapai,

nyáanya.

those (people).

Nyáany,

As for that,

mattatsáaməly,

all of them,

mattamaawíik avathík 'ítya.

they are related to each other, they say.

Athótəm,

So,

athúu lyaskyíik viitháwtəsáa,

it’s still the same, but

kór ayémk vanyaatháwm,

they have been there for a long time,

a'ím

and so,

nyáany,

that’s it,

nyáany a'íim,

that’s what they say,

katsuunávək oonóo aav'áarəm.

they have always explained it (in that way).

Makyík ma'áv alyma'ém,

You never hear (the story) any more,

táam,

it’s gone,

sáa

but

avathík,

it happened that way,

avathík athótəm athúm.

it did happen that way.

Nyaanymáamtək athútya.

That’s all.