Constance Goddard DuBois.

The religion of the Luiseño Indians of southern California online

. (page 8 of 11)
Online LibraryConstance Goddard DuBoisThe religion of the Luiseño Indians of southern California → online text (page 8 of 11)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook


They clubbed him well, but he got it just the same. Then when
everything was burned, they gathered the bones and held a
council to decide what they should do.

The eagle was a very wise man and he knew a great deal;
and he thought he would go north to try to get away from death,
as he found there was to be death after Ouiot died. When he



1908] DuBois. — Beligion of the Luiseno Indians. 147

went north he found that death was there, and east, south, and
west the same. When he came back he told the people that death
was everywhere. It was very close. They had all to die. He
sang this at Temeeula.^*^

Then they wanted to kill the deer, but he said, No, that was
not right, for he was just the same as they were. They told him
they would kill him with the sacred stones. He said, No, he had
the same. Then they got a stone arrow-straightener and said
they would kill him with that. He said, No, he had that too.
They said they had the feathers for the head-dresses and would
kill him with them. He said. No, he had some of them too. They
showed him arrowheads and said they would kill him with them.
He said. No, he had those also. They showed him a bow and said
they would kill him with that. Deer said he also had that. They
told him they had sinew and would kill him with that. He said,
No, he had that too. They told him they would kill him with
blood. Deer said. No, he had that. They told him they would
kill him with the tracks of their footprints. He said. No, some
of those were his too. They told him they would kill him with
marrow. Deer said, No, he also had marrow. They told him
they would kill him with their ears. He said they could not do
that. He had ears too. They told him they would kill him with
their eyes. He said, No, he had eyes too. They told him they
would kiU him with the skin of the deer's head and antlers worn
on the head by the hunter to deceive the deer. He said. No, he
had that too. They told him they would kill him with tobacco.
He said, No. He had some of that too. They told him they
would kiU him with wood-ticks. He said. No, he had those also.
They told him they would kill him with one of the big blue-flies.
He said. No, he had that too. Then at last he gave up when they
told him they would kill him with the feathers that wing the
arrows.

So they killed the deer, and aU the different kinds of rabbits.

Then the valley quail and mountain quail and road-runner

and woodpecker mourned and cut their hair for mourning.''**

They were the first to do this, and the Indians still mourn in this



218 See song record 391 above.

2*9 All birds with a plume or crest.



148 University of California Publications in Am. Arch, and Ethn. [Vol. 8

way in some places, cutting their hair for the dead. Chehemel,
kingbird, was the only one that knew that Ouiot was coming back,
and when the day came he got on his housetop and said, ' ' Ouiot
is coming." Some of the people said, "How can that be? He
is dead." Kingbird said: "Come. Look in the east. Karia
Ouiot, Ouiot Moyla, Rises Ouiot, Ouiot the moon." All came
out and saw him in the west. Kingbird alone saw him in the
east. All shouted out, and every time after that when they saw
the new moon they would start a fire and have races.

ORIGIN OP THE NOTISH MOUENING CEREMONY.^"''

The Sea-fog, Awawit, was the one who started the Notish
ceremony. He was one of those who arranged all the ceremonies
after the death of Ouiot. He was the one who had to provide
the food and to call all the people together.

Sea-fog set up the kutumit pole with baskets at the top, and
arranged for a contest of skill between his people of the West and
those of the mountains. The Western people were sure that
they could do better in everything than the people of the moun-
tains.^""

So everyone tried to climb the pole to get the baskets, but no
one could reach the top except the squirrel from the mountains,
and he climbed the pole, cut the string, and the baskets fell down.

When the mountain people went to this gathering, they took
deer meat and much food, all they could carry ; but Mechish from
the ocean, a sea animal that crawls along, and has little hollows
or cups in his shell, got a bag and got all the food in that and
carried it off. So the West won in that contest and got all the
mountain people's food. In the first game the squirrel beat. In
the second the West beat.

Then the Western people gathered fish and other things to
eat. There was a bird there from the mountains with a very big
mouth (the whip-poor-will?), and the mountain people said to

250 Told by Lucario Cuevish.

251 The place where the ceremony was held can still be seen. It is where
the trees stand around in a circle, and ashes and stones used for cooking are
there. It is on the mountain ridge from Pala going towards Temecula.
Compare the description of the place near Temecula where the sun was
raised, given by the same informant (p. 144, note 244).



190^] DuBois. — Religion of the Luiseno Indians. 149

him : " It is your turn now to eat. ' ' He said : ' ' That is nothing
for me to do. " So he opened his mouth and they poured every-
thing into it, and he ate it all up. So the mountain people beat.

Then they arranged a game between the fish and the owl.
They were to look straight at each other and whoever closed his
eyes first was to lose. The owl and the fish sat and looked at
each other, and finally the owl had to close his eyes, so he lost,
and the Western people won on that.

They were getting angry over all this contest and it seemed
that there would be a fight. When levalwish, the crow's skin,"^
is hung on the pole, there is to be fighting.

Then Sea-fog made a house and told the mountain people to
try to destroy it. So they got the summer-cloud, Thunder-cloud,
a very powerful man, to come and see if he could blow or break
it down. He came, he roared and blew, but could do nothing to
break the house down. So the West won. Then Thunder-cloud
invited Sea-fog to come up to his house and see if he could destroy
it. So Sea-fog came. A strong wind broke the trees and knocked
down all the houses. So the West won again. Then they tried
their skill in a long race. They went past Pala up through the
mountains as far as La JoUa.^"^ Some of those that raced on the
side of the mountain people were the hawk, frog, eagle, raven,
and chicken-hawk; and for the West, Emamul (little birds on
the seashore, very fast runners ),^°* the butterfiy, grasshopper,
and others. As they came by Pala to the foot of the mountain,
at Rineon, Wasimul,^^' a kind of hawk, gave out in the race, and
there he is now as a rock beside the road, right below the store.
(See Ancestral Songs.) At the same time Chehuka,^^" a person,
coming along in the race, gave out, and his footprint can still be
seen in the rock. When many of the racers had given Out and
died, or stayed behind, the eagle and the raven and the chicken-
hawk. Mountain people, were ahead; and the grasshopper and



262 Levalvush, wide; a rare word.

253 Lucario, probably on account of his blindness, is inclined to give a
very limited account of distance. All the others say that this race was to
be made out to the desert and back again.

254 Emamal, a small bird. — S.

265 Wasimal, a hawk that nests on the ground. — S.

256 Chahuka, a person that lived in the distant past. — S.



150 University of California Publications in Am. Arch, and Ethn. [Vol. 8

the butterfly, "Western people, were close behind, so the Mountain
people won in this race.

The last race was between the deer, Sukut, and the antelope,
Tonla. This race was from Temecula to San Bernardino moun-
tain, and the antelope beat in this, for it was all on a level, where
the antelope can go fastest. So they arranged to have another
race between them, and this time it was over a mountain route,
and here the deer won the race.

Summer-cloud (Thunder-cloud) was glad because the deer
beat, and the mountain people had won in most of the contests.""'
All these contests were made in the first Notish ceremony and
ended it.



Among the people living near El Toro, there was a boy who
was always hunting rabbits, quail, and the like with bow and
arrows. One day, near Santa Ana, he saw a rabbit which he
tried to catch, but it ran into a hole in the ground. He got a
stick and poked in the hole. He felt the rabbit, so he kept on
digging, and went farther and farther down, every little while
finding something, which, he would say, "I will take to my
mother," "to my sister," and so on.

So he went on, and finally came to a place where those Chung-
ichnish were living. They all said, "Witte," — "Welcome" — to
him, and told him to sit down. Then they built a big fire, a very
large fire. The boy was very sad. He did not know what to do.
There he was down in the ground among those people. He was
afraid.

These people had power and could do anything. They would
stand up, leap, jump, and dance moving about, jump into the fire
and stand in the middle of it, the flames going up above their
heads. All took turns in doing this ; then they said to the boy :
"It is your turn now." He was frightened, but he sang a song,
a sort of invocation,"'* and then jumped into the fire. He felt



261' It is evident that certain trials of skill have been forgotten by the
narrator, as in his list the mountain people are not ahead.
258 Told by Salvador Cuevas.
250 See song record 405 given above.



1908] DuBois. — Religion of the Luiseno Indians. 151

no heat, and after standing there awhile he came out unharmed.
They all shouted and said, "Now you are a good Chungich-
nish."

This is the reason people dance in that way, jumping and
moving about.

NAHACHISH.^^"

One of the Temecula people was called Nahachish. He was
a chief. He used to have in his house the limb of a tree cut into
a hook and fastened up to hang food on. Some people broke the
hook down. He became so poor that he had nothing to eat, and
did not know what to do. He sang a song.^*^ He sang that he
was going to leave that part of the country, but he did not know
where to go.

He went to Picha Awanga, Pichanga,^"^ between Temecula
and Warner's Ranch, and named that place. There were a lot
of people there having a fiesta, and there was plenty of food.
They passed everything to him, and there was a sort of mush of
a light gray color. So he said, "My stomach is picha." So they
called the place by that name.

Then he went over the mountain at George Cook's to Palomar
mountain. There was no one there. The houses were empty.
He stood looking and peering about, and could see no one. So he
called the place Chikuli."®^

Then he went to a place, Poyarak,=°* where some of his family
lived. They gave him so much to eat that he got sick and called
the place Sukishva,"*" nettle. "My stomach is nettle," burns, he
said. He was so poor that he did nothing but go from place to
place to get something to eat.

There is a place below here where he washed his hands, and
called it Kaiyawahuna.='«* He did this on a flat rock where one

260 See above under ' ' Ceremonial Songs, ' ' record number 409.

261 See song record 409.

2e2Piehaang, now Pichanga; Awa', locative Awanga, now Aguanga or
Aguango. — S. Awa, present series, IV, 147.

263 Chakuli. — S.

264 Poyarak. — S.

260 Shakishva, a place on Palomar mountain; shakishla, stinging nettle.
— S.

266 Kayawahana. — S.



152 University of California Publications in Am. Arch, and Ethn. [Vol. 8

can still see his footprints, and see where he knelt on the soft
rock. There are footprints of deer there too.

He came to La JoUa and called it Huyama ;^" and the place
next to that he called Namila.^"' He went in a ravine^"" and
called it Sovoyama,-'" because it felt chilly.

He made a sort of whistling noise and called the next place
Puma."'

He saw people feasting when his stomach was empty, and
called that place Yapichi,^" where the government Indian school-
house at Tapiehi now is.

When he came to where Mendelhall lives now, the people were
eating. He had a good meal there and called the place Tumka.^''"

In the canon he drank water and called it Pala, water, and
Pame, little water."*

He went on and came to Rincon. It was muddy there and he
called it Tohama.^'°

He came to Bear Valley, where he fainted from hunger. He
called it Nakwama.^'"

He came to the water. He had something with him in a
basket, and this he threw out, and it still grows there in the water,
a sort of greens, called Mawut.

Then he went below Pala to a place where they ground pinole
for him so fine that he could not handle it, and was disappointed.
They mixed it with poison to kill him. It made him sick, and
he traveled toward home. He died on the way, and turned into
a rock which still stands near Temeeula, two or three miles south.

They say that a priest once went out and baptized this rock
because the people told him it was a man.



2«7 Huyamai, a place, not La Jolla. — S.
268 Namila, a place near La Jolla. — S.
289 A ravine between the Mission house and Leandro 's place.

270 Sovoyamai, where the La Jolla schoolhouse now stands. — S.

271 Pumai, a hill on Potrero rancho. — S.

272 Yapiehi.— 8.

273 Tomka, valley on Potrero ranch. — S.

274 Pala, water; Pamai, in San Luis Eey canon above Eincon.— S.
276 Yuhwamai, muddy place, near Eincon; yuhwala, mud.— S.

276 Possibly Makwimai, a place near Eincon. — S.



1908] DuBois. — Beligion of the Luiseno Indians. 153



THE SPIRIT WIFE.

Some years ago the people from the Potrero district used to
go up to an old village site on Palomar mountain, Pahamuk,"^
near where Bailey's place is now, at the season for gathering
acorns ; and while they still lived there, a young man abused his
wife. He scolded and beat her all the time, and she was always
sad. She got sick and did not want to live. She would rather
die.

She had a little baby boy just beginning to crawl. Soon the
woman died, and the man was left alone with his baby. He had
to carry the baby about with him all the time, and the baby
cried.

The man went up the mountain to gather acorns, and left the
baby lying under a tree. The baby cried and cried, until at last
the spirit of the mother came and took the baby in her arms.

The man came down the mountain and found the woman there.
She spoke to him and said that he had been so cruel to her that
she had had to leave him ; but that now he must never be unkind
to her again. She had come back to him because he and the baby
were suffering without her. She could stay with him as long as
he was kind to her, but no longer.

So he promised never to treat her harshly again.

She used to make the wiwish, acorn mush ;^" but it was never
good. It was always watery. The man was sure he would never
abuse his wife again. But when she made the mush just as she
used to, and it was thin, he acted as before and lifted his hand to
beat her.

"You promised not to be angry," she said, "but now you are
doing the same as formerly. I see that you cannot be trusted to
be good. So now I shall have to leave you. ' ' With this she turned
into a dove and flew away.

The man fell on his back ; and he and his baby stayed alone.



277 laa. — s.



154 University of California Publications in Am. Arch, and Ethn. [Vol. 8



THE DANCE OP THE SPIRITS.

There were two large villages in old times, Kamak, where Po-
trero is now,^'* and Ahoya near where Sparkman's store is at
Rincon,'^^" where one leaves the sycamore trees.

"When it was time to gather the acorns, all the people of Ka-
mak left their houses empty and went up on Palomar Mountain.

An old man named Pautovak came up from Ahoya, and
stopped at Kamak, thinking he would stay all night and go on in
the morning. He took one of the enormous storage baskets, mush-
kwanish,"^" that was empty, inverted it over himself for shelter,
and went to sleep.

Early during the night he heard people call out the summons
to a dance. He lay and listened.

There were children among the people, little boys, and they
came near the granary basket, and there was a torn place in it
where the toes of the old man were sticking out. The boys said
"the devil" (a spirit) was there, and ran away.

The old man could recognize the voices of men and women who
had died long ago. He could hear the spirits talk and hear them
laugh. One was Exwanyawish,^*^ the woman that was turned
into a rock, and Piyevla,^*^ the man that scooped the rock with his
fingers.^'' Piyevla sang that night all the songs that had been
his when alive.

The old man could hear the women's songs as they danced.
He lay awake all night and listened ; till at last, just before dawn,
he could not wait any longer, but determined to see them for
himself; so suddenly throwing off the basket, he said, "Hai, are
you there?" and immediately all the spirits turned into a flock
of birds and flew away ; and the turtle-shell rattle they had used
all night for the dancing he found where they had left it, but
now it was nothing but a piece of soaproot.



278 Kama', near Potrero; Kuka, a village near where Potrero now is.-

279 Ahuya, old village site above Eincon on road toward Potrero. — S.

280 Ilid.—S.

281 Bxvongawish (x German ch), of Exva. — S.
282Peyevla, large basket; a hole in a roek at Potrero. — S.
283 See below, the account of ancestral landmarks.



1908] DuBois. — Seligion of the Luiseno IndiaTis. 155



THE SPRING BEHIND THE CEMETERY.

A man was going out to get some yucca, and went to the
spring. He had a stick in his hand, and he dropped it into the
water, and it sank so deep he could not get it. He was a witch,
so he went down under the water to look for the stick.

And he came out into a place where a man and woman lived
who sat there making baskets.

"Who are you, cousin, and where do you come from? What
are you doing here ? ' ' they asked.

' ' I live up there, and I came down to look for the stick which
Host."

He stayed there three days. He was very thirsty, so the
woman gave him a little shell full of water. He drank and
drank, and still the shell was full of water. He was hungry and
they gave him honey to eat.

Then he began to wish for his home, and the man who lived
there saw that he wanted to leave them; so he said he might go
if he would promise never to tell where he had been. If he told
this secret the rattlesnake would immediately bite him and he
would die. So the man promised not to tell, and they painted
him all over and pushed him out, and he found himself in his own
home.

His wife and his brother asked where he had been, but he
would not tell them. His wife was determined to find out, and
gave him no peace day or night until at last he consented to tell
her.

"I shall be killed for telling this," he said, so he called all the
people together and told them he must die ; and he wanted them
to burn his body in a certain open level place where there was no
water; but after his ashes were buried there, water would come
up and there would be a nice spring.

So he went out of his house, and a rattlesnake was there which
bit him, and he died.

The people got wood for the funeral pile, and burned his body
and buried his ashes. There was no water in this place, but two
or three days after there was a spring of water there. One can
see it now behind the cemetery, and fresh coals, pieces of charcoal,
are always rising where the water bubbles up.



156 University of California Publications in Am. Arch, and Ethn. [Vol. 8



THE WALKING TAMYUSH.

The Tamyush, sacred stone bowls, were never made. They
were among the first people, born of the Earth-mother. If the
chief in whose charge they are, does not take good care of them
they go away.

They have been seen going along the road, and one can follow
their track in the dust. It is like a rattlesnake track, but broad-
er.

At Piehanga one lately came there. A raven was seen flying
along above the road, and every now and then he swooped down
as if following some object. A man went to see what was there,
and found the Tamyush. It had been coming along the road to
Piehanga. He took it to his home and they had a big ceremony
over it. The man is dead now.

HOW COYOTE KILLED THE FBOG.

Coyote was going along. He was a man then, and had a bow
and arrows. He came to Wahawut, the frog, who was making a
large granary basket.

He went around her with his bow and arrows; and she
thought, "My nephew, I believe you are thinking of killing me."
She knew what he was thinking.

Coyote said, "No, I am not."

Then she said, "If you shoot me with your arrow, wherever
you hit me water will run out and drown you. ' '

"No, I don't believe it," said Coyote.

So he made ready his arrow and shot her, and ran away as
fast as he could.

As soon as the arrow struck her, the water began to run out.

He came to a tree^'* and climbed into it ; and the water reached
it, and made a big lake around it. It rose and rose, and Coyote
climbed up higher into the tree. He felt that he was near his
death and began singing about his brother, his relatives, and
friends.^*^



284 Chehenahut, a tall green tree.
28B Song record 1091, above.



1908] DuBois. — Eeligion of the Luiseno Indians. 157

The birds came close about the tree, and told him that if he
jumped down they would catch him on their backs and carry him
safe to land. He believed them, jumped from the tree, fell into
the water, and was drowned.



THE FLOOD.^*"

There is a wonderful little knoll, near Bonsall, the Spanish
name of it Mora, the Indian name Katuta -j^" and when there was
a flood that killed all the people, some stayed on this hill and were
not drowned. All the high mountains were covered, but this
little hill remained above the water. One can see heaps of sea-
shells and seaweed upon it, and ashes where those people cooked
their food, and stones set together, left as they used them for
cooking; and the shells were those of shell-fish they caught to
eat.^^»

They stayed there till the water went down. From the top
of this hill one can see that the high mountains are lower than it
is. This hill was one of the First People.^^''



286 Told by Lucario Cuevish.

287 Or Katuktu; see song records 395 and 398 above. — Katukto. — S.

288 The hills near Del Mar and other places along the coast have many
such heaps of sea-sheUs, of the species stiU found on the beaches, piled in
quantities.

289 See song record 398, above.



158 University of California Publications in Am. Arch, and Ethn. [Vol. 8



TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE.

ANCESTRAL LANDMARKS AND DESCENT OF SONGS.

After the water dried, the people went on to Kalaupa,"'" and
killed a bear there, and held a council whether they should go any-
further. They decided to go on, and went to Elsinore where the
lake is. From there they scattered, north, south, east, and west,
in parties as they are now. The people of La JoUa stayed in one
place ; those of Rincon in another, and so on. When they scat-
tered in this way they composed the songs about their travels and
the different places where they stopped. These are the songs of
Munival.

When the people scattered from Ekvo Temeko, Temecula,
they were very powerful. When they got to a place they would
sing a song to make water come there, and would call that place
theirs; or they would scoop out a hollow in a rock with their
hands to have that for their mark as a claim upon the land. The
different parties of people had their own marks. For instance,
Albanas's ancestors had theirs, and Lucario's people had theirs,
and their own songs of Munival to tell how they traveled from
Temecula, of the spots where they stopped and about the differ-
ent places they claimed.

Wasimul, one of the Temecula people, who is now a small flat
rock at Rincon in the field below the store, was one of Pio Am-
ago's ancestors, and he has a song about it. It mentions Teme-
cula and mentions Wasimul. Lucario cannot sing this song be-
cause it does not belong to his family.

Piyevla,^"^ the man who scooped out a rock on the hill near
Albanas's house at La JoUa, was one of Lucario's ancestors; and
the turtle rock in the same locality was brought from Temecula
by one of Lucario 's ancestors and left there. The oak tree grow-
ing on this rocky knoll was caUed long ago Pecheya, sacred
feather headdress. (PI. 4, fig. 1.) The place itself is called



290 Kalaupa, mountain near Santa Margarita. — S.

291 See the story of the Dance of the Spirits, ante. — Peyevla, a hollow
rock near Potrero. — S.



1908] DuSois. — Beligion of the Luiseno Indians. 159

Popikvo. The sliding place on a large rock in Trujillo's field


1 2 3 4 5 6 8 10 11

Online LibraryConstance Goddard DuBoisThe religion of the Luiseño Indians of southern California → online text (page 8 of 11)