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The Dawn of the World, by C. Hart Merriam, [1910], at


The Northern Mewuk say:

The heart-spirits or Ghosts (Soo-lek'-ko) of good Indians turn into Too-koo'-le the Great Horned Owl; those of bad Indians into Et-tā'-le the Barn Owl, Yu'-kal-loo the Meadowlark, O-lā'-choo the Coyote, or Choo'-moo-yah the Gray Fox. 26 Whatever they turn into they continue to be forever--there is no change after that.

The night after the Ghost leaves the body it may come back and do harm to someone-so it is well to look out. [My informant told me that the night after his wife's Ghost left her body it came back while he was, asleep and beat him severely.]

NOTE. The Tribes of Midoo stock also believe in transmigration. The No-to'-koi-yo or Northeastern Midoo say that their ghosts go into the Great Horned Owl, while the Pā'-we-nan or Southwestern Midoo say that when a person dies his spirit (oos) may go into any one of a number of things: it may turn into an Owl or Coyote, a Snake or a Lizard; it may become a Whirlwind, or it may

p. 220

go into the ground and become earth. Sometimes, but rarely, it goes off to a good place.


219:26 The Coyote and Fox are bad--they kill too much and make too much trouble; good Indians do not like them. Yu'-kal-loo the Meadowlark is a bad bird; he is mean and is always saying disagreeable things.

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