His initiation into the rites of Kiva marked the end of Chukai's boyhood. Yet greater obstacles than the symbolic ceremony were to be overcome before the Indian boy could-truly join the fraternity of men. Carried off by the warlike Painted Faces, Chukai is forced to teach his captors the more efficient and civilized customs of his own cliff-dwelling tribe. Secretly, he absorbs the essential lessons of attack and self- defense known to this primitive people. When the time is ripe, Chukai escapes into the mountains where each step in the direction of home is a test of survival. His overwhelming joy in reaching his village is immediately eclipsed by the strange absence of any sign of life. With the help of his old chieftain, the solitary member of the village, and renewed stores of energy, Chukai sets out once again and this time rediscovers his people on new land. He shares with them his acquired knowledge and is at last accepted as a man. The depiction of Indian folk-lore and the well defined comparison between two divergent tribes will enlighten the elementary grader who may hold a rigid image of the American Indian.