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Creation Myths of Primitive America, by Jeremiah Curtin, [1898], at


HERE we find another myth of a flint people.

In the Hakas and Tennas we have a struggle between the lightning and the clouds. In Haka Kaina the myth represents the advance of spring to colder regions. The swan-maidens go north with the early lightning of the year. Hence Haka Kaina, the war chief of Wahkalu, the great residence of Jupka, is represented as stealing them. In another myth, of which, unfortunately, I have only a fragment, these same swan-maidens are borne away north by Haka Kaina with great pomp and circumstance. The chief is attended by an immense escort, in which all the personages are phenomena of springtime. His regular force, his trusty warriors do not migrate; they stay all the year at Wahkalu, unless when absent on some expedition. The most characteristic person in the escort is a species of poplar-tree, the leaves of which tremble like those of an aspen. This hero dances all the time from his point of starting in the south till he reaches Mount Shasta. This gives a fine picture of that kind of tree putting forth leaves which quiver with gladness at the approach of the swan-maidens.

The marshalling by Haka Kaina of forces so numerous that they surround the immense base of Mount Shasta, the enormous dust

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which they raise, dust which goes up to the sun, their death by fire at the hands of the Mini Aunas, their resurrection and return home with the swan-maidens and all the spoils of Hwipajusi's people, are conceived on a scale truly grand.

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