Sacred Texts  Native American  California 

UCPAAE Pl. 12, Fig. 2. Sand Painting for the Girls' Ceremony [1908] (Public Domain Image)
UCPAAE Pl. 12, Fig. 2. Sand Painting for the Girls' Ceremony [1908] (Public Domain Image)

The Religion of the Luiseño Indians of Southern California

by Constance Goddard DuBois


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This is a primary source of information on the religious beliefs and practices of the Luiseño people, who resided in what is now North San Diego and Orange counties in California. DuBois spent years with the remaining Native Southern Californians, and her ethnological work is of continuing value. This monograph includes information on ceremonials, mythology and lore. There are descriptions of dozens of songs used in magical and ritual context. She includes two versions of the Luiseño creation myth cycle, one of the most extensive in the literature of Californian creation mythology.

Title Page
Editor's Note

Initiation Ceremonies

The Toloache Ceremony
Wanawut, the Sacred Net
The Sand Painting
The Ant Ordeal
The Chungichnish Ceremony of Unish Matakish
Wukunish, the Girls’ Ceremony
Sacred Chungichnish Objects

Mourning Ceremonies

The Image Ceremony
The Notish Ceremony


Ceremonial Songs


Luiseño Creation: Third Version
Luiseño Creation: Fourth Version
Origin of the Notish Mourning Ceremony
A Chungichnish Story
The Spirit Wife
The Dance of the Spirits
The Spring Behind the Cemetery
The Walking Tamyush
How Coyote Killed the Frog
The Flood

Traditional Knowledge

Ancestral Landmarks and Descent of Songs
Clans Or Traditional Groups
Star Lore And Calendar
The Origin of Music


Appendix I. Games, Arts, And Industries Of The Diegueños And Luiseños
Appendix II. Notes On The Luiseños (A. L. Kroeber)