Left Handed, Son of Old Man Hat: A Navajo Autobiography

By Left Handed; Walter Dyk | Go to book overview

4. Old Man Thankful's wife breaks a leg . . . They hold an Nda for Ruins, in which he is also treated . . . He finds an ancient pot . . . His father tells him what to do and how to live.

WE lived there all summer. Old Man Thankful moved a little way below us. One day while his wife was taking the horses to water the horse she was riding fell with her. A man came to our place and said, "Old Man Thankful's wife is lying out in the flat. She fell off her horse, I guess, and her leg is broken." They sent word around, and a lot of people gathered where she was lying and carried her home. Close to her home they stopped and put up a little brush hogan for her. Old Man Thankful went after a singer and brought back the man called Black Horse. Her leg was broken right below the knee, slanting. The singer put a lot of medicine on it and washed it and covered it with medicine. They'd prepared some sticks about eighteen inches long and thin, and after he'd set the bone he put them on each side of her leg and tied around them as tightly as he could, so that it couldn't move. He did this while he was singing. He sang for a few days, and then they got another. They said, "There are two singers singing the Knife Chant." Every day while I was herding I could hear them sing a long way off.

At the end of about ten days they said, "Her leg was all swollen, but the swelling is down now. She was suffering very much, but now she's all right. She's quieted down, and the swelling is down too. She's getting along fine." They

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