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Q: Meaning of Name: Dyami ( No Answer,   3 Comments )
Subject: Meaning of Name: Dyami
Category: Relationships and Society > Cultures
Asked by: eagle212-ga
List Price: $50.00
Posted: 31 Aug 2005 13:41 PDT
Expires: 30 Sep 2005 13:41 PDT
Question ID: 562778
Looking for the definitions, origins, and history of the name Dyami. 
It is a Native American name that means Eagle, but I have also seen it
defined as Soaring Eagle in some places.  Some resources claim that
the name is of Cochiti (tribe?) origin, and perhaps at one time there
was (or there is) a Dyami Clan.

A good answer to this question would include:  All known definitions
of the name Dyami with some background provided about the
characteristics/significance of the name; Date and place of name
origin(s)- including name of tribe and language known to have
originated its usage; a brief history of said tribe; and lastly, a
list of resouces (online AND offline) for further investigation.  Good

Request for Question Clarification by justaskscott-ga on 31 Aug 2005 19:30 PDT
In response to the questions in your comment:

- Any luck with other lines of research?

Well, I obtained enough information to find these pueblos.  But I saw
only a little information on the Web concerning this name.

- Which Pueblos did you contact?

I suppose I should hold back on answering that question.  Typically,
of course, Researchers provide information as an answer to a question.
 If you decide ultimately that you would benefit from this
information, you could reduce the price of this question to a level
that matches your benefit or post a separate question.  (The reduced
price or separate question need not be for me, but for anyone who
might be able to provide it.)

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 31 Aug 2005 20:07 PDT

As I'm sure you know, this is a very obscure topic.  Nevertheless,
I've managed to find quite a bit of useful information on the use of
the term dyami, and related terms, dya'mi, tyami.

Dyami is indeed a reference to an eagle, particularly the bald eagle. 
It is also used to indicate North, is the name of a dance, and the
name of a clan.  The term is most closely associated with the Keresan
Indians of New Mexico, most notably of the Sia Pueblo.

The problem is that the references occur within the text of fairly
academic, ethnographic studies, that make elaborate use of terms
(including native American vocabulary) that are defined earlier in the
text.  Without reading through the entire works, I'd be hard-pressed
to offer a meaningful summary.

Here are the excerpts I've found though.   Let me know if you think
these qualify as an answer to your question, and if so, I'll provide
the information for accessing these texts online.

Thanks for a most interesting question, by the way,



[There's a lot of text below.  If you do a ctrl-F search for [ dya ],
you'll quickly locate all the relevant text regarding the terms. 
Also, some of the original text is printed with strange diacriticals,
etc that don't reproduce well here]

The Pueblo of Sia, New Mexico
Book by Leslie A. White; U.S. Govt. Print. Off., 1962 

The ethnographer is especially fortunate with respect to the pueblos
of New Mexico in that he has a long historic record of them even
though it be meager or even wholly lacking in spots. In many other
instances the anthropologist must begin his study of a people without
any specific knowledge of its past.

The Sia have only their origin and migration myth to account for their
present location. Like all other Keresan pueblos, Sia's mythology
states that they emerged from the lower world at a place "in the
North," and that they migrated southward until they arrived at their
present location, where they have lived ever since. They have no
legends, as far as I could discover, of having lived at some other
location, although one informant said that one of the nearby pueblo
ruins is called Tsiya. Nor have they any legendary account, as
distinguished from the origin-migration myth, of the initial
occupation of their present site.


...The Sia, like every other people, have a traditional ideology that
explains the origin and nature of everything--the heavenly bodies, the
earth, plants, animals, human beings, and culture--and shows how they
are related to one another; their cosmology is the connective tissue,
so to speak, of the world--material, social, and spiritual--that they
live in. Temporally, reality or existence is divided into two eras:
the mythical past in which supernatural beings brought the world to
its present shape and condition, and the present real world of
ordinary experience, which includes, of course, the memories and tales
of grandparents, great grandparents, and so on. In this respect Sia
cosmology resembles other nonscientific ideologies.

...The earth, according to Sia belief, is square and flat; and, since
it has thickness, it may be assumed to be a cube. It is divided into
four horizontal layers: the lowest one is yellow; the one above,
bluegreen (the Keresan language does not distinguish between blue and
green; White, 1943 b); the third, red; and the top layer, white (this
is the opposite of the order at Santa Ana; White, 1942 a, p. 80; one
of these reports is probably an error). Everything in the world above
is arranged according to directions. There are six cardinal points:
north, west, south, east, zenith, and nadir; sometimes a seventh, the
"middle," i.e., the middle of the earth and the whole cosmos, is
included also. These points constitute a ritual circuit, in the order
just given, which is followed in songs and rituals: one addresses the
north first, then west, and so on. Each direction, or cardinal point,
has a color and a mountain. And at each lives a weather spirit, a
warrior, a woman with an appropriately colored face, an animal, a
bird, a snake, and a tree

...Animals. --North, mokaitc (mountain lion); west, kowhaiya (bear);
south, dyupi (badger); east, k?ak?ana (wolf); zenith, dyami (eagle);
and nadir, maDyup u (shrew). These animals are addressed in this
order in the rain song mentioned above ...[refers to:  ...These
women-color-directions are mentioned in a rain song of the Kwiraina
(Querranna) society as recorded by Stevenson ( 1894, p. 130), except
that zenith and nadir are reversed]

...If a man kills a bear while on a hunt--and he would try to do so if
he encountered one--and becomes the first man to touch it, he must
become an Opi. He could, however, refrain from being the first to
touch the bear. But someone must do this: "it would be a great wrong
to let him lie there and not claim him." In any event, the first man
to touch the dead bear must become an Opi.

...On the morning of the fourth day the owner takes the bear's skin
and bones to the house of the society that is to perform the ceremony.
The medicinemen have laid down a sand painting and have put up their
slat altar. They "dress the bear": they lay the skin on the floor; the
bones, which have been painted with red ocher, are placed under the
skin so that both bones and skin assume the attitude of life. The bear
is not a full honawai'aiti so the tcaiyanyi make him one at this time.
They make a rattle for him and provide him with hicami, wicdyuma, and
bags of medicine.

...The ceremony is held on the evening of the fourth day. The owner of
the bear is allowed, for that occasion only, to wear the bear-claw
necklace and whistle, and is permitted to talk and act like
honawai'aiti. The owner and the honawai'aiti who removed the leg skins
sit against the wall to the left of the altar, i.e., to the left of
the medicinemen who are seated behind the altar. The bear is made
honawai'aiti: they give him the paraphernalia they have made for him,
put a piece of turquoise on his head, and tie a kaotsaiyawat (badge of
honawai'aiti) beside the turquoise. There is much singing.

...When the ceremony is over the bear's bones are gathered up and,
together with his honawai'aiti paraphernalia, prayersticks, and
itsatyunyi (beads of various kinds), done up in a bundle. The bear's
owner and one medicineman take the bundle to the top of Dyami Kot
(eagle mountain) on the west side of Sia pueblo. There is a tsapacroma
(sacred place) there: a circle of stones with an opening on the east
side; pieces of petrified wood lie within the circle.

...There is no English equivalent of "WCBi". It is the name of a
ceremonial object that is made and buried by each of the medicine
societies periodically (unfortunately, my notes do not specify when).
Each society makes and buries only one; all of the societies perform
this ceremony at the same time, however.

...The wicBi is made of a piece of "cane," or "bamboo," commonly
called istoa ('arrow').

...The tube, above the segment near the bottom, is filled with wild
tobacco (Bits); it is tamped in until the tube is filled from the
segment almost to the top. Then two crwakai (magpie, Pica pica ) tail
feathers are inserted into the tube, into the tobacco, on the side
where the highest point of the beveled end is: this is the "back" of
the wicBi. One could use the feathers of the djack' a (road runner,
Geococcyx californianus ) if magpie feathers are not available. The
top of the tube is then filled with Dyami cpaik' a (short, fluffy
eagle feathers).

Dyami cpaik' a (eagle feathers), 312  
Dyami Kot (eagle mountain), 181  

Eagle, 28, 31, 47, 51, 112, 114, 116, 139, 146, 147, 149, 153, 154, 177, 289, 297  
 Eagle clan, 184, 185  
 Eagle dance (Dya'mi), 268  
 Eagles, down from, 259  feathers, 238, 240, 242, 249, 269, 291, 304,
307, 309, 311, 312
 neck, 238  
 tail, 240, 246, 247, 268, 304, 319  
 wing, 162, 172, 174, 175, 201, 218, 242, 247, 290, 295  
 Eagle Mountain (Dyami Kot), 181  


Eagle (Dya'mi, 'eagle') dance. --This is performed by one or two men,
as a rule, who wear eagle costumes, accompanied by a drummer and
singers. It may be danced at any time, but it is always danced at
Christmas time, according to one informant.


Indian Tribes of New Mexico
Keresan Pueblo Indians

Keresan Pueblos. Keresan is adapted from K'eres, their own designation

Sia, on the north bank of Jemez River about 16 miles northwest of Bernalillo.


Origin Myth of Acoma, and Other Records
Book by Matthew W. Stirling; , 1942 

Keresan pueblo origin myths 

...At Sia we find Ss'sstinnako, who is also a creator, and said to be a spider 

...Before they began to pray, Tsichtinako told them they were facing
east and that their right side, the side their best aim was on, would
be known as ku'a'mee (south) and the left ti dyami (north) while
behind at their backs was the direction piina'me (west) where the sun
would go down.

...Whenever a girl was born to Iatiku, she gave it a clan name. 

...clans in order were: 

Oak clan, hapani hano. 
Squash clan, tanyi' hano. 
Roadrunner clan, shaaska hano. 
Eagle clan, dyami hano. 
Turkey clan, tsina hano. 


Ethnozoology of the Tewa Indians
Book by John Peabody Harrington, Junius Henderson; Govt. Print. Off., 1914 


Halietus leucocephalus leucocephalus (Linn.). Bald Eagle. 

...Eagles of various colors are mentioned in Tewa mythology. Tse is
the tsiietujo, 'chieftain bird' ( tsiie, bird; tujo, chieftain), and
symbolizes the zenith in the beast-identifications of the
worldregions. The Isleta call eagle ?uiie; the Cochiti, t j me; the
Hopi, kwahw.

Hodge gives as Eagle clans of various pueblos: San Juan (given by
Bandelier), Santa Clara, and Tesuque, Tse-tda; San Ildefonso and
Nambe, Ts-tda; Isleta, Shu-t'ainn; Jemez, Sehtsa-sh; Pecos, Se+;
Laguna, Tymi-hno ch ; Acoma, T'ym-hnoq ch ; Sia San Felipe, and
Santa Ana, D'ymi-hno; Cochiti, Dymi-hnuch; Zui, K'yk'yalikwe;
also a "Painted Eagle" clan, Sepi n -tda, at San Juan.


Again, let me know if there's anything else you need to make for a
complete answer to this question.


Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 02 Sep 2005 16:50 PDT

Just checking in.  Did you see the material I posted earlier (above)?

If so, I'd like to hear your thoughts as to its usefulness.



Clarification of Question by eagle212-ga on 02 Sep 2005 18:21 PDT
Thanks for the update!  This looks like a good beginning to the type
of answer I am looking for.  I'm glad to hear that you have found at
least a modicum of online text on this topic, as I found barely any.

Part of what I am looking for in your answer is certainly a
"meaningful summary", as you put it.  Is it that the info you have is
indecipherable without having more expertise with Native american
terminology, or is it so voluminous that digging through the text will
take an extremely long time?  In the first case, some of the links you
have will be of lesser value to me; in the second, I guess I can
manage to dig somewhat further on my own.  In either case, I will
definitely need some kind of summary to connect the dots in the texts

Thanks for some of the tribe info you prided as well.  I'll need a
little more clarification on the link between keresan, sia, cochiti,
and dyami clan.  Are they subsets of one another or what?

Thanks so much for your effort on this, you have been very helpful thus far!

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 02 Sep 2005 18:43 PDT

Thanks for your comment, but I fear you've put your finger on the
problem I'm faced with.

The references I cited are all online books.  Without reading through
them in their entirety, I'd be hard pressed to provide the sort of
summary information you asked for, or to clarify the relations between
tribe and clan names (if, in fact, such clarification is even
possible).  The texts are all so self-referential, that it is really
necessary to start right from the beginning of each book to get really
clear on the material to come.

I'm sorry, but this level of effort is not really within the scope of
a $50 question.

Of course, you can access the reports yourself and create the sort of
summary that best suits your needs.  Since you have some background on
the topic already, the books may be much more accessible to you, than
they are to me.

But you should be aware that the reports are available through a
subscription service, so there would be some additional costs to you
(beyond what you pay here at Google Answers) in order to fully access
the materials.

Let me know if I should post additional information about accessing
the materials as an answer to your question, so that you'll be able to
custom-tailor a summary of the information on Dyami from the books I

Let me know what you think.


Clarification of Question by eagle212-ga on 03 Sep 2005 10:05 PDT
In your estimation, what level question is this?

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 03 Sep 2005 10:26 PDT
Hello again.

I'm not sure I understand what you're asking.  But if you want to know
what fee would be appropriate for summarizing the information on Dyami
in the three books I mentioned, then I would have to say that this
would be a $200 question, given the level of effort involved.

Sorry if that seems out of bounds for you, but I really couldn't see
doing it at the current question price.

If we were to go ahead with the summary, it would be important to
understand one key thing:  I can only summarize the information that
is the books as well as elsewhere on the internet.

The available information MAY answer your questions, such as the
relationships between the different tribes and clans.  But then again,
it may not.  There's no way of knowing in advance.  The most I can
offer is to make my best effort to get you the information you're

Let me know what you think about how (or whether) we should proceed on this.


Clarification of Question by eagle212-ga on 03 Sep 2005 11:28 PDT
I think 200 is  bit more than I am ready pay for now.  I was hoping
for an online shortcut to doing the research on my own, but I see now
that it really is not possible.  Seems that any way you slice it, this
is a topic that will require spending time in the library on my part. 
I am going to decline getting an answer at his time.

However, I really appreciate what you came up with so far, and I would
like to give you something for the time already spent- how can I do

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 03 Sep 2005 21:12 PDT
>>I was hoping for an online shortcut to doing the research on my own,
but I see now that it really is not possible...<<

I'm sorry that I didn't make myself clearer.  The sources I cited ARE
available online, but through a subscription service.  Subscriptions
are $19.95/month, so it may certainly be worthwhile to sign up for a
month so you can access the books (and perhaps others that you can
find at the same site) and continue your research on Dyami.

The books are all available at the online Questia library:

Have a look at the site (you can begin searching and accessing books
even without having a subscription), and let me know what you think.


Clarification of Question by eagle212-ga on 04 Sep 2005 11:00 PDT
Oh yes, I understood that there were several online texts you found,
but I meant that for a more robust explication of Dyami it will be
necessary to research it the old-fashioned way.  You know, books and
libraries and telephones and such.

Thank you for your help though.  As I said, I'd like to give you
something for the time spent already- is it possible to tip you even
though no answer has been given, or can I ask another qustion just for
you as a formality, and tip you that way?

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 04 Sep 2005 19:08 PDT

Me again.  Thanks very much for sticking with the process here, and
for your kind over to find a way to leave a tip of some sort.

Even though it's possible to do this, I'd much rather ask you
this...Come back here in a few weeks, and let me know what you find!
(But please, before your question expires on 9/30.  After that date,
no one can post any updates).

Some questions capture my attention.  This is one of them.  I'd like
to know what you find after you look into it in more detail.

By the way, I still think Questia is a great place to start.  If you
spend some time with the three texts I mentioned, I think you'll come
up with a lot more useful context for the terms, tribes, clans, etc,
as well as amassing a terrific bibliography of other sources you'll
want to track down.

Good luck.  Hope to hear back from you.  


Clarification of Question by eagle212-ga on 04 Sep 2005 20:48 PDT
Ok, will do.  As soon as I'm done, I'll post my findings here.

There is no answer at this time.

Subject: Re: Meaning of Name: Dyami
From: justaskscott-ga on 31 Aug 2005 16:13 PDT
I have not yet received a reply from two pueblos associated with the
name, mentioned in my comment to  As before, I
will let you know if I do get a reply.
Subject: Re: Meaning of Name: Dyami
From: eagle212-ga on 31 Aug 2005 17:40 PDT
Thanks, I hope we can get some info back soon.  Any luck with other
lines of research?

Which Pueblos did you contact?
Subject: Re: Meaning of Name: Dyami
From: nativeartnetwork-ga on 09 Apr 2006 23:56 PDT
The Keres Pueblos in New Mexico all retain their culture and language
to this day. In most of the Keres villages, Keres is the first
language before English for the residents and day to day interaction
in the community is conducted in the Keres language. The official
Government meetings (tribal council) are conducted in Keres.  The
Keres pueblos include:

Zia, Cochiti, San Felipe, Santo Domingo, Santa Ana, Laguna and Acoma.

Each of the tribes are members of the New Mexico Indian Pueblo Council
- visit their web site to learn more:

Paul Kabotie

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