Sacred Texts  Native American  California  Index  Previous  Next 


Many snows have come and gone since an old squaw and a maiden of Ah-wah-nee were picking berries along the stream above Po-ho-no (Bridal Veil Fall). The maiden, looking down the stream to the brink of the fall, was attracted by the mists whirling high into the air. Charmed by the loveliness of the vari-colored cloud she moved down the stream that she might better enjoy the beautiful scene. Gazing into the mists she was drawn, as if hypnotized by some evil spirit, nearer and nearer the brink, until the whirling winds, with a shriek of unholy glee, whipped her up and carried her over the fall to her death on the rocks below.

The old squaw, terrified by what she had seen, quickly made her way down the cliff, and into the camp, crying that Po-ho-no, "The Spirit of the Evil Wind," had drawn the maiden into his clutches. The old chief of

p. 81

[paragraph continues] Ah-wah-nee then warned all in his tribe never to venture within the spray or mists of Po-ho-no, as it was the abode of an evil spirit who would draw them to their death, and carry their spirit down into his land of darkness and misery, there to hold it captive until he secured another.

So solemnly was this warning given that to this day no one has ever known a son or daughter of Ah-wah-nee to venture into the spray or mists of Po-ho-no.

Next: The Legend Of Yo-sem-i-te