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Yana Texts, by Edward Sapir, [1910], at


p. 76

"Where is your father?" said Lizard to Cottontail Rabbit. "I have no father." "So! It seems that neither of us have any father. 112 There are no people here. Let us make people!" They marked out a ring on the ground with a stick. "Wherewith are we going to make people?" they said to each other. (Cottontail Rabbit said,) "Put sticks down on the ground." He put small sticks down on the ground. He put twenty sticks down on the south side, he put twenty down on the west side, he put twenty down on the north side, he put twenty down on the east side. There were no sticks in the center. "It is good now," said Cottontail Rabbit and Lizard. (Lizard) took some sticks across the mountains to the east, twenty sticks he took to the north, he took sticks to the south, twenty sticks he took across the mountains to the west. Now he had placed all the sticks in every direction.

There were no sticks left for the center, there were no sticks for it. "Put down any sort of sticks in the center. The people of the far east will be very tall, they will be very handsome. The people of the far south will be very tall, they will be very handsome. So also will be the people of the far west; they will be very handsome and the men will be tall. So also will be the people of the far north, handsome and tall." Now he did it. Cottontail Rabbit took up the sticks and went off a great distance to the east. He put the sticks down and returned from the east over the mountains. Cottontail Rabbit put twenty sticks down

p. 77

in the south and again returned. He placed sticks across the mountains in the west, he placed sticks off in the north. "Let us put down bad sticks in the center. There are no more good sticks here." "Yes," said those two persons talking to each other. 113


74:111 This and the following are the only incidents of the creation myth that could be procured. Of a creation from out of a primeval watery waste, referred to by Dixon in his "Northern Maidu," p. 339, as possessed in common by the Maidu, Achomawi, and Yana, Sam Bat‘wī knew nothing. This inclusion of the Yana with the Maidu and Achomawi probably rests on an oversight, as Dixon's own version of the creation of the Yana fails to corroborate his statement (see below, Part III, no. 1). The creation of the Yana from sticks is in Curtin's "First Battle in the World and the making of the Yana" (op. cit., pp. 467-84) credited to Jupka (silkworm), instead of to Lizard and Cottontail Rabbit (p. 483). The scene of this myth is laid at Wamā'rawi, an Indian village at the cone north of Battle creek and several miles west of the present Shingletown.

76:112 This curious prelude is probably intended to show that no one had as yet been born.

77:113 The meaning of this is that the Yanas were made of shorter stature than the surrounding tribes. Cf. Powers Tribes of California, pp. 275, 276, for a confirmation of this opinion.

Next: VI. Origin of Sex, Hands, and Death