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


Part of each day, usually the afternoon, is given up to the singing of curious songs which are called by the people "bad" songs. The intent of these songs is to insult and revile the people of hostile villages. The songs name over people in each village who have recently died. With the Diegueño, as among many primitive races, the naming of a deceased relative or friend is deadly injury. Some of these songs refer to other unpleasant facts about people, or ridicule them in various ways. They are sung by the men, while the women gather in two groups, one at the head and one at the foot of the reclining girls, and dance. This dancing is done by rising on the toes and dropping back on the heels in time to the music. Their hands are at times held out in front, palm upwards, with forearm stiff. At other times they hang loosely. The position is shown in pl. 26, fig. 1. It was impossible, owing to the long skirt worn when the photograph was taken, to determine whether or not the toes are ever lifted from the ground.

Specimens of such songs are the following:

ikitcyau  ikitcyau
arhamanto yaupo
aitco tcaxpo
nyitco hixpo
aminyo sinypo
mohnyi sinpo

... ... 42
your son
enemies all
I-name them 43
I-name them

This song (used by the people of Mesa Grande) refers to a man of another village whose daughter, son, wife, and mother-in-law

p. 291

had all died within a short period. The village where he lived was said to be near where San Dieguito is now.

A second song referring to the same people was used at Mesa Grande. The people from San Dieguito once came unbidden to Mesa Grande to take part in a festival, so the people there sing this song about them.

kwonyuwai itca
peyam wiyu
pinyai poitcai
nosom morai

our-relatives they-thought 44
Mexican's daughter 45

The following song is also sung at Mesa Grande, but the singer had forgotten the circumstances to which it refers.

xitol toyomsa
amoitc nya kwasau
awa sauits mesiny kersents
awa sauits mesiny perlata
awa sauits, etc.

North (she-was)-sitting
they-killed me eating
(at)-home was girl (proper name)
(at)-home was girl (proper name)
(at)-home was, etc.

The two following songs, one of them a fragment, were obtained at Campo.

peyam wiw
peyam mariyoi
hamau kokapa
haminyo sinytci (incomplete)

they-come, look!
they-come a-shameful-(sight)
fire around
... 46 woman-his

It was formerly the custom in singing certain of these songs to name over all the places and landmarks between the village of the people mentioned in the song and the home of the singer. Many of these place-names are no longer used, however, and the songs are therefore in part forgotten. The following fragments will illustrate the point.

makatco yiwoka
xitol ketcuyu
kawaka tcawam
tcoxixa tcoxixa (incomplete)
milaiya-a-a xitol-pi
Monterey-pi milaiya
Pueblo Ariwa yupi (incomplete)

... ... 47
(from-the)-north we-will-bring
(from-the)-east we-will-start
we-will-name we-will-name
(people-are)-dead up-north
at-Monterey (people-are)-dead
at-Pueblo Ariwa also 48


290:42 University of California phonograph record 729.

290:43 These words aitco tcaxpo are said to be "in the language of San Dieguito." Nothing further is known of a dialect there.

291:44 University of California phonograph record 728.

291:45 "Mexican" is said to have been applied to these people as a term of reproach.

291:46 The word was not translated by the informant. Haminyo means sandal in Mohave.

291:47 University of California phonograph record 748.

291:48 Place-names in Spanish have been introduced into this song.

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