yatayawahey

Around 10 years ago, I met a strange man under strange circumstances. 
I spent a weekend with a fringe religious group in Henderson, NV whose members ingest as a sacrament a chemical compound called DIPT, a powerful aural hallucinogen. This story is documented elsewhere. I met there an august Akimel O'odham man named Buddy Hayes (grand-nephew of the locally infamous Ira Hayes). 

Buddy grew up in a tiny community near Snaketown (on the rez, south of Phoenix and west of Santan). He leads a spiritual ceremony in his home there on a regular basis, a unique and sometimes frightening invocation of visions. It is a singular, transcendental religion whose only member is its prophet. 

Years ago, Buddy tried to run as a write-in candidate for lieutenant governor on the Gila River Indian tribal council but ended up losing to his competitors. Upset by his defeat, he got drunk and drove his pickup truck aimlessly around the outskirts of Sacaton; it was a stormy monsoon night. His truck died at some point, he wandered into a windy alfalfa field, tripped and blacked out. When he awoke, he found a great horned owl sitting on top of his chest, looking directly into his eyes. The owl hooted loudly at Buddy, and Buddy lay paralyzed with fear. The owl puffed up and ruffled its feathers in agitation, and as it raised its outstretched wings lightning struck them both. The owl was probably killed instantly, but Buddy blacked out again. A powerful vision of an immeasurably large owl god grew before him, its rainbow-colored feathers made of flint knives. When thrown, the feathers gave birth to universes, mirages, and rainbows. The owl was the personification of death and universal knowledge, and its tongue shot lightning bolts. In the depths of this vision Buddy learned the name of the enigmatic owl deity: Yatayawahey. Buddy was forever changed.







1) Tash (6.5')
2) Chuhugam (12.5')
3) Wepgih (14.5')
4) Chukud (10.5')
5) Chehchki (12.5')
6) Mashath (8.5')



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