The traditional Yaqui story of the Sorcerer Cricket, made into a video short by Gabriela Badillo, tells how he saved the people from a serpent monster, only to face the prophesied coming of the Spanish conquistadores.
Yaqui. El Chapulín Brujo
From 68 Voces, a Version of the Traditional Yaqui Story
A long time ago, a tree which reached from the ground to the sky kept talking, making a humming noise like bees. It was a prophet named Napowisáin Jisákame, and told the Yaqui people that a ferocious monster would arrive from the North. In preparation, the Yaqui set permanent warriors in different strategic points.
Some time later, a great serpent appeared. After fighting it and losing two battles, the Talking Tree Prophet Napowisáin Jisákame commissioned the swallow to ask the sorcerer Cricket for help on behalf of the eight tribes.
The swallow flew with the speed of a bolt of lightning until it found Cricket. The latter heard out the swallow, and sang thus: “Chik chik chik.” After giving it some thought, Cricket sharpened his sawed legs. Climbing a steep hill, he pronounced mysterious words, and with a hard blow of its spurs jumped so far that anyone would need to walk eleven and a half days to cover the distance.
Suddenly, as if fallen from the sky, Cricket appeared in the center of the Yaqui settlement. The Yaqui bathed it with an extract of twigs and green leafs and put it on a tree, as it had instructed them. “I am ready,” said Cricket, “chik chik chik chik.”
68 voces: The sorcerer cricket: Yaqui People from Sonora, Mexico
When the monster approached the tree, Cricket jumped on him, delivering two brutal blows that severed the monster’s body. And this is how they got rid of the monster and the prophecy that the tree had made.
Nevertheless, at the same time, a new prophecy was made…
When the serpent died, it warned them that years later a new menace would come and they would have to face it even with more courage: white men with great weapons that would spit fire…
Cricket continues to sing, “Chik chik chik.” He is not afraid.
Idea Original y Dirección
Alejandro Javier Cuéllar Rodríguez
Humberto Zamorate Lugo
Edited by Jack Eidt
Felipa Morales Campoy
Ignacio Zavala Buitimea
Unión Nacional de Traductores Indígenas AC
Traducción y locución yaqui
Biovo / Enrique Quiroz
Wetback Audio / Igor Figueroa
Diseño de Audio
Versión en Inglés
The Yaqui People of Mexico
The Yaqui or Yoeme inhabit the valley of the Río Yaqui in the Mexican state of Sonora and the Southwestern United States, and they also have small settlements in Sinaloa, Chihuahua, and Durango. The Yaqui language belongs to the Uto-Aztecan language family. Yaqui speak a Cahitan language, a group of about 10 mutually-intelligible languages (Tarahumaras, Opatas, Conchos, Mayos, and other nearby tribes) formerly spoken in much of the states of Sonora and Sinaloa. Most of the Cahitan languages are extinct.
The Yaqui call themselves Hiaki or Yoeme, the Yaqui word for person (yoemem or yo’emem meaning “people”). The Yaqui call their homeland Hiakim, from which some say the name “Yaqui” is derived.
Eight Pueblos. The feeling among Yaquis, wherever they may be, is that the true center of their culture is in the eight pueblos which cluster about the mouth of the Rio Yaqui. Since the middle of the 20th Century, five of the eight pueblos have suffered varying degrees of depopulation. The remaining Yaquis in their valley today live mainly in the Pueblos of Potam, Vicam and Torim. Various small rancherías are scattered along the river, but some live in all of the traditional eight pueblos except one, Belen, which is deserted because of a complete lack of water in its vicinity.
Cosmology. The Yaqui conception of the world is considerably different from that of their European-Mexican and European-U.S. neighbors. For example, the world (in Yaqui, anía) is composed of five separate worlds: the desert wilderness world, the mystical world, the flower world, the dream world, and the night world. Much Yaqui ritual is centered upon perfecting these worlds and eliminating the harm that has been done to them, especially by people.