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Religious Practices of the Diegueño Indians, by T.T. Waterman, [1910], at


A distinctive mortuary ceremony is performed after the death of each toloache initiate. Among the Diegueño it is called "otcam", and seems to coincide with the unish matakish ceremony of the Luiseño. 79 It is said by the Diegueño to take place

p. 308

on the afternoon preceding the Clothes-Burning ceremony just discussed. Some time about the middle of the afternoon one of the old men swings the bull-roarer, air, three times. This is the signal for the people to assemble. Some especially practiced man then performs the Whirling dance. This corresponds to the Luiseño Morahash dance, 80 called at the present time the "Tatahuila." It includes a great deal of whirling, and a man who is not used to it becomes dizzy and falls down. This dance has been observed a number of times by the writer. It is also performed in connection with another mourning ceremony known as the Eagle dance.


307:79 DuBois, p. 92.

308:80 Ibid., p. 185. Etymologically, the word is compounded of the root mor, to whirl, plus a connecting vowel a which indicates that the root is to be taken in a passive or middle sense, plus a suffix hash which means "the doing something for someone else." The Luiseño name implies, therefore, the whirling that is performed in behalf of someone else. This is particularly in harmony with what has been elsewhere written concerning the Tatahuila.

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