Sacred Texts  Native American  California 

Hupa Dancers, from Life and Culture of the Hupa UCPAAE 1:1, plate 29 [Public domain image]

Hupa Texts

By Pliny Earle Goddard

University of California Publications in American Archaeology and Ethnology Vol. 1, No. 2


This is a collection of texts from the Hupa, who lived in Northern California, Humboldt County, on the Trinity River. The texts are unfiltered translations of stories related by Hupa at the start of the 20th century in an ethnographic context. They largely take place in a time before the arrival of human beings, populated by trickster gods and supernatural beings called Kīxûnai. The texts include a number of shamanistic formulas for healing, protection and good luck.

The following files contain music notation for songs: IX, XLIV, and XLVI.

Title Page
Key to the Sounds Represented by the Characters Used

Myths and Tales

I. Yīmantūwiñyai.--Creator and Culture Hero
II. XaxōwilwaL.--Dug-from-the-ground.
III. Xontcūwditcetc.--Rough-nose
IV. Yīnûkatsisdai.--He-lives-South.
V. Naxkekōsnadūwûl.--Two-neck.
VI. Litcūwdiñ yadeLtse.--At Sand-place They Lived
VII. Xonsadiñ Kûntcūwiltcwil.--Xonsadiñ Young Man
VIII. Datcwindiñ Xonaïswe.--Gooseberry-place Brush Dance
IX. Mīmedakût Kyūwintsit.--At Mīmedakût She Pounded Acorns
X. Tōdiñ KeïtLō.--By the River She Made Baskets
XI. The Cause of the Lunar Eclipse
XII. Origin of Fire
XIII. The Coming of White Men
XIV. The Coming of White Men

Relating to Dances and Feasts

XV. The Young Man who Threw Himself with the Arrow
XVI. The Scabby Young Man
XVII. The Passing of the Kīxûnai
XVIII. The Spoiling of the World
XIX. Formula of the Jumping Dance
XX. Daily Prayer of the Priest at the Jumping Dance
XXI. Origin of the Jumping Dance
XXII. Formula of the Acorn Feast
XXIII. Formula used at the Tcexōltcwe Rocks
XXIV. Formula of the Spring Dance.
XXV. Origin of the KinaLdûñ Dance
XXVI. Directions and Formula for the Brush Dance
XXVII. Formula for the Eel Medicine
XXVIII. Formula for the Salmon Medicine
XXVIII. Formula of the Rain-rock Medicine

Formulas of Private Medicines

XXX. Formula of Medicine for Pregnant Women (Deer's Medicine.)
XXXI. Formula of Medicine for Pregnant Women (Bear's Medicine.)
XXXII. Formula of Medicine for Childbirth
XXXIII. Formula of Medicine for the Birth of the First Child
XXXIV. Formula of Medicine to Cause the Infant to Grow Fast
XXXV. Formula of Medicine to Cause the Infant to Grow Strong
XXXVI. Formula of Medicine to Insure Long Life for an Infant
XXXVII. Formula of Medicine to Protect Children in Strange Places
XXXVIII. Formula of Woman's Love Medicine
XXXIX. Formula of Medicine to Shorten Period of Exclusion after Menstruation
XL. Formula of Medicine for Going in Dangerous Places with a Canoe
XLI. Formula of Medicine for Going Among Rattlesnakes
XLII. Formula of a Deer Medicine
XLIII. Formula of a Deer Medicine
XLIV. Formula of Medicine for Making Baskets
XLV. Formula of Medicine for Wounds Made by Flint Arrowheads
XLVI. Formula of Medicine for Going to War
XLVII. Formula of Medicine for Acquiring Wealth
XLVIII. Formula of Medicine for Green Vomit
XLIX. Formula of Medicine for Spoiled Stomach
L. Formula of Medicine for Purification of One Who has Buried the Dead
LI. Formula of Medicine for the Purification of Those Who Have Buried the Dead