Sacred Texts  Native American  California  Index  Previous  Next 

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

p. 158



After the water dried, the people went on to Kalaupa, 290 and killed a bear there, and held a council whether they should go any further. They decided to go on, and went to Elsinore where the lake is. From there they scattered, north, south, east, and west, in parties as they are now. The people of La Jolla stayed in one place; those of Rincon in another, and so on. When they scattered in this way they composed the songs about their travels and the different places where they stopped. These are the songs of Munival.

When the people scattered from Ekvo Temeko, Temecula, they were very powerful. When they got to a place they would sing a song to make water come there, and would call that place theirs; or they would scoop out a hollow in a rock with their hands to have that for their mark as a claim upon the land. The different parties of people had their own marks. For instance, Albañas's ancestors had theirs, and Lucario's people had theirs, and their own songs of Munival to tell how they traveled from Temecula, of the spots where they stopped and about the different places they claimed.

Wasimul, one of the Temecula people, who is now a small flat rock at Rincon in the field below the store, was one of Pio Amago's ancestors, and he has a song about it. It mentions Temecula and mentions Wasimul. Lucario cannot sing this song because it does not belong to his family.

Piyevla, 291 the man who scooped out a rock on the hill near Albañas's house at La Jolla, was one of Lucario's ancestors; and the turtle rock in the same locality was brought from Temecula by one of Lucario's ancestors and left there. The oak tree growing on this rocky knoll was called long ago Pecheya, sacred feather headdress. (Pl. 4, fig. 1.) The place itself is called

p. 159

Popikvo. The sliding place on a large rock in Trujillo's field adjoining Popikvo, was made smooth by Lucario's ancestors sliding on it.

One of the most striking rocks in this locality of ancient monuments is the painted rock, Exwanyawish 292 which was one of the Temecula people, a woman, who turned into this form. Indians suffering bodily pain rub against the rock to obtain relief. It is not known when the painting on the hollowed side was done, nor when the sacred stones, wiala, were poised on top. The oldest man remembers that they were always there, though the touch of a hand might overturn them. (Pl. 4, fig. 2.)

In those days they used to sing songs to kill each other by witchcraft, and Lucario knows these songs. He has one of them which mentions the turtle rock, and tells how it was left there. 293 The large flat rock is divided by cracks which resemble the marks on the turtle's back.

Lucario is the last of his line, party, or clan, and everything sacred will be lost when he is gone, as the succession in these things ends with him. He is dispossessed from his ancient home place, which was allotted to another.

Each man knows the migration route of his ancestors, and claims certain localities as having been theirs. They did not travel great distances, according to tradition. Salvador says that when the people scattered from Temecula all the tribes had names, but many are dead and few now living. He does not know the name of his own tribe. They are called by themselves Western people. 294 When they scattered, the people traveled in parties of two or three families, and they would claim the land where they stopped, though they might have left it and gone further and others might have occupied it later. This led to a great deal of fighting. The La Jolla people would fight the Potrero people. A man could not go from Potrero to San Jacinto without danger of being killed by some enemy.

The family songs of Munival mention the marks made by the earliest Temecula people when they took possession of certain

p. 160

localities. Every family or "party" had its own songs, and no man is allowed to sing a song belonging to another family connection. It would be an unpardonable offense against custom. Lucario was quite indignant when it was suggested that his song of the eagle dance might have been heard at Mesa Grande. One of the songs in his version of the creation myth belongs to the Calacs, so that he could not sing it but only refer to it.

The subject matter of the song series in all the lines of descent or "parties" is the same. All the singers have songs mentioning the same places and subjects; but Juan de Dios's song of Ouiot, for instance, would be entirely different from Lucario's in tune and arrangement.

This may also account for the variation in the myth versions, as the songs are part of the story, and the rigid separation of songs among family groups must have resulted in certain differences in the transmission of traditions.

Inheritance in these unsubstantial things is strictly observed until the family line is extinct. My Indian driver once pointed out a distant cliff of gray rocks, tall and forbidding, far from a human habitation, and informed me that an eagle had its nest on that cliff, and that this eagle belonged to Maria Subish.

This means that she is the last of a line in which the possession of this eagle eyrie was hereditary. The old eagle never dies, it is thought, hence may descend as the songs do. The young ones from this locality may have been caught for the performance of the eagle ceremony in this family.


158:290 Kalaupa, mountain near Santa Margarita.—S.

158:291 See the story of the Dance of the Spirits, ante.—Peyevla, a hollow rock near Potrero.—S.

159:292 Exvongawish (x German ch), of Exva, a place near Temecula; Exvayam, people of Exva.—S.

159:293 See song record 396, above.

159:294 The Diegueño also give themselves this name.

Next: Clans Or Traditional Groups