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


Among the people living near El Toro, there was a boy who was always hunting rabbits, quail, and the like with bow and arrows. One day, near Santa Ana, he saw a rabbit which he tried to catch, but it ran into a hole in the ground. He got a stick and poked in the hole. He felt the rabbit, so he kept on digging, and went farther and farther down, every little while finding something, which, he would say, "I will take to my mother," "to my sister," and so on.

So he went on, and finally came to a place where those Chungichnish were living. They all said, "Witte,"—"Welcome"—to him, and told him to sit down. Then they built a big fire, a very large fire. The boy was very sad. He did not know what to do. There he was down in the ground among those people. He was afraid.

These people had power and could do anything. They would stand up, leap, jump, and dance moving about, jump into the fire and stand in the middle of it, the flames going up above their heads. All took turns in doing this; then they said to the boy: "It is your turn now." He was frightened, but he sang a song, a sort of invocation, 259 and then jumped into the fire. He felt

p. 151

no heat, and after standing there awhile he came out unharmed. They all shouted and said, "Now you are a good Chungichnish."

This is the reason people dance in that way, jumping and moving about.


150:258 Told by Salvador Cuevas.

150:259 See song record 405 given above.

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