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The Religion of the Luiseño Indians of Southern California, by Constance Goddard DuBois, [1908], at


Another form of the Image mourning-ceremony was known to the Luiseños as having been in use among the Indians of the north; and, though never performed among the mountain Luiseños, it was celebrated at least once at San Luis Rey, for Lucario Cuevish remembers to have seen it there.

Salvador Cuevas, who never saw this form of the ceremony, gives the sacred basket pole as one of the children of the Earth-mother, sent by her to the north.

This ritual for the dead was called Notish 53 or Kutumit. 54 The chief feature of it was a tall painted pole called Kimul Chehenish, 55 made very smooth from the trunk of a pine or fir, which was hung with baskets at the top to be reached by climbing

p. 104

as a contest of skill. This pole was as high as a house and was painted with different colors. It represented the dead man, the spirit. Different parts of the pole were painted in different colors to refer to the different parts of the body. The pole was not painted with the shape of a man, but one part of the painting meant the knee, another the arm, and so on. The top for the head was always painted white.

On top was fastened the dressed skin of a crow or raven, the same they laid on the breast of Ouiot when they burned him. When the pole was set up they danced and sang.

Notish was a more elaborate form of the mourning-ceremony, in which it was necessary that great stores of food should be provided, and different villages were invited to participate. Contests of skill were a feature of the occasion. The simpler form of the Image ceremony can be performed by one village alone. 56


103:53 Notush, ceremony when things are given away.—S.

103:54 Kutumit, pole erected at notush; objects are hung on it.—S. Kotumut, pole at San Fernando described by C. Hart Merriam (unpublished account).

103:55 Kimal, small house, diminutive of kicha, objective kish, house; chehenish, objects hung on kutumit; no doubt derived from chehe’i, to appear, show.—S.

104:56 The Notish ceremony is referred to below in the third of the myths given.

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