Northern New Mexico Virtual Archive
Activities in Northern New Mexico

The Two Dove Maiden Sisters Who Became Stars

Once upon a time the people dwelt at Picurís. And two Dove Maidens dwelt there with their grandmother. The Picurís maidens were grinding corn and were going about with their faces all powdered up. The Dove Maidens and their grandmother did nothing but make baskets.

Once they told their grandmother: "Grandmother, why do we not grind corn like the rest of the Picurís maidens? With their faces all powdered up, they are going about outside. And we do nothing but make baskets."

"My dear children," said the grandmother, "you must not say that."

"Tonight get the corn ready, for we are going to grind in the morning", said the Dove Maidens to their grandmother.

When it got evening, grandmother, weeping, took out the tinaja and toasted some corn. The next morning the Dove Maidens got ready to grind. Pouring the corn on the metate, they ground. And they sang:

from Indian Tales from Picurís Pueblo
Collected by John P. Harrington
and published by Ancient City Press, Santa Fe: 1989.

As they ground, they rose slowly higher and higher. Their poor grandmother sat weeping. Said she: "My dear children, you must not do thus. Stop grind-ing!" The Dove Maidens~ did not listen. Singing, they ground. They rose slowly higher. Their grandmother sat weeping. They reached the ceiling. They rose slowly higher. "My dear children," their grandmother said, you must not do thus. Come back here!" The Dove Maidens disappeared. They are the two l~ttle stars above jicarita Mountain. This is the reason that it is well to obey one's par-ents, and this is the reason that Makiuto and Potoke27 are abovejicarita Mountain. You have a tail.

Picurís Pueblo

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