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p. 59


There was a village and all the people were together there, and Ouiot was living there with the people. This man became a great teacher and knew more than all the rest of the people. He called all men and women his children. All were naked then, no one wore clothes. At that time there was a woman named Wa-há:-wut, who was very handsome. She was of a light complexion, and Ouiot was very proud of her. He called her his daughter. There was a pond where all the people used to go to bathe; and Ouiot was there, and this handsome woman was there bathing, and Ouiot saw that her figure was not handsome. Her back was flat and without flesh.

All the people then were like witches; and this woman could read his thoughts, so she knew that Ouiot thought ill of her. So this woman killed him. She took the spittle of Ouiot and put it in her mouth, and took a frog and hung it up. (This part is obscure.)

Ouiot at once got sick and thin. He knew what was the matter with him, and that this woman was killing him; so he called all the people together, and told them to send for some of the people from the north to help him. So they came. They were the stone bowls (Tam'-yush), and they were people then. They came to see him and to doctor him. They knew what was the matter with him, but they could do nothing to help him.

So then he sent east for some others. They are the stars, Nu-kú-lish, and Yung-á-vish, 2 people then. They came to see what was the matter with him, but they could not help him.

Then he sent south, and some people came from the south (now the oak and the live oak), and they tried to doctor him, but did no good. Then from the west, the tule and the pine-tree (people then) came, and tried to cure him, but in vain.

He was sick for a long time, and he called all these people, and all who were then living around him. He did not know in which month he should die, but he lingered through all the months. 3 In the eighth month he called them all about him, and told them that he was the one who made death. No one had ever died before, but after his death all would die too. Death would come for all. So the month was called Soym'-a-mul (or Som'-o-y-mal), Soym or Som meaning "all." It is applied to a man who in eating takes the whole of a thing into his mouth.

While Ouiot was dying, Coyote was trying to eat him. He was weeping, and Coyote licked his tears. After Ouiot died, Coyote wanted to eat the body, but the people took clubs and would not let him come

p. 60

near. They told him to go north to get fire. He ran a little way and came back. Then they sent him in the same way east, west, and south; but when he looked back he saw the smoke already rising. The big blue-fly, Sar-é-wut, had made fire with the whirling-stick. That is the reason flies rub their hands together. When Coyote came back, the body was burned all but the heart. He began to cry out that he wanted to see his father, but the people clubbed him to drive him away. He still shows the marks of the clubs on his body. But he got the heart and ate it.

Just before Ouiot died, he told his people that they could kill and eat the deer. They had never killed anything before this time. And when they had killed the deer, they must take the small bones of the leg for awls to make baskets with. This was the beginning of basket-making. Spider was a woman, and it was she who must make the baskets. 1

So they made awls out of the bones, and gave them to Spider, and she made a basket. The first basket was made to put the bones of Ouiot in, and they buried it and had. a big fiesta. That was the beginning of the fiestas for the dead. As they burned Ouiot, so they burn clothes and other things.

The eagle was a big man and a very great captain, and Ouiot had told them that when they made this fiesta they were to kill the eagle; and so they do. They kill the eagle, and burn the possessions of the man, and then begin to sing.

Before Ouiot died, he commanded that when they sing they should use a rattle made out of shells of turtles. 2

A man (now the kingbird) was his best friend, and a very good man, and before he died Ouiot told him that he would soon return.

So kingbird got on the highest mountain near San Bernardino, and began to tell the people that Ouiot was coming back. You can still hear him saying this on the top of a tree in the early morning. He sings, "Ouiot is coming Ouiot is coming."

When the people heard him saying this, they all went out to look, and to their surprise they saw him. He came up in the shape of the Moon. After he came in the morning he went west. Kingbird alone saw him in the east. Then all the others, and Coyote first among them, saw him in the west; and Coyote said, "Moyla has come."

Constance Goddard Du Bois.



59:1 Another version, told by another old man.

59:2 Antares and Altair.

59:3 The series is given as above.

60:1 Others say that a cicada-like insect that sings on summer evenings was the first basket-maker.

60:2 This most primitive form of rattle, mentioned by Boscana, is still in use. It is made of two hollow land-turtle shells, the top and bottom of which are joined by finely woven milkweed twine, the two shells being fastened upon a stick for handle, and having small pebbles within.

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