By Helen Addison Howard
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Additional info for American Indian Poetry (Twayne's United States authors series ; TUSAS 334)
This song of four stanzas was composed at t h e t u r n of t h e century by Koianimptiwa, a young H o p i poet, to celebrate the Hopi Corn-Dance in May. H e explained to t h e translator t h a t the butterflies had dusted themselves with pollen for their flight The Style of Indian 33 Poetry over t h e blossoming corn a n d b e a n fields. T h e Indians representing "Katzinas"—intermediary deities who brought Hopi prayers to the gods—wore rainbow-painted masks for the dancing ceremony. T h e poem also demonstrates the Indian's use of sense imagery.
T h e second "thought-rhythm" pattern is alternating in design; the repetitions are carried alternately from the first line in t h e first stanza to the first line in the second stanza, from the second line in the first stanza to the second line in the second stanza, etc. This type is especially well illustrated in the graceful lilt of the Hopi "Katzina" songs: Korosta Katzina Song 36 Yellow butterflies, Over the blossoming virgin corn, With pollen-painted faces Chase one another in brilliant throng.
1 I Ethnohistory of the Chippewa Densmore made her first field trip in 1905 to Grand Portage on the north shore of Lake Superior. She visited the White Earth 58 Frances Densmore (1867-1957) 59 Reservation in Minnesota to observe the Chippewa. The Ojibway —the Indians' correct name was corrupted by the whites into the "Chippewa" by which they are generally known today—is one of the largest nations north of Mexico. They once occupied shores of both Lake Huron and Lake Superior, and extended as far westward as North Dakota.