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


On the following day, late in the afternoon, they proceed with the final rite of the ceremony. While the other rites have been progressing, a figure representing a man has been fashioned out of netting made of nettle fibre, ahorl. This figure, minyu, is five or six feet long. It seems to correspond exactly with the Luiseño "wanal wanawut." 70 The Diegueño figure, besides having arms and legs, is represented as having a long tail. A pit is dug, large enough to accommodate the figure when stretched out at full length, and from eighteen inches to three feet deep. The long axis of this pit points east and west. The eastern end is made sloping. The netting figure, minyu, is placed in the bottom of this pit, feet to the east. Small flat stones, reserved for this purpose, are placed on the figure at the end of the tail, on the abdomen, on the base of the neck,

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which is very long, and on the head. The people, especially the relatives of the initiates, then gather around the pit. One by one the boys are placed in the pit, their feet resting on the first stone. Each boy's sponsor stands behind him and takes him under the armpits. According to one account, the boy also steadies himself by placing his hands on the sides of the pit. The kwaipai, when all is ready, pronounces "mwau." The people give three answering grunts, and at the third the boy jumps on to the next stone. At another grunt he jumps to the next, and so on. Should he miss landing fairly on one of the stones, his relatives all begin to wail, in the belief that he will die before long. When each candidate has passed through the pit in this way, they all gather about, each with his sponsor beside him. Some old man then takes out the flat stones, since they are preserved with the other ceremonial objects in the kwusitcnyawa. At a signal from the kwaipai, the whole company then "grunt" three times. At the third, the boys and their sponsors push the dirt in from all sides, filling the trench and burying the netting figure. If any of the dust rises from this "grave" and gets in a boy's nostrils, he will die. 71 As it is almost dark by this time, they begin the war dance at once, on top of the grave where the figure is buried. They dance all night, and at daybreak dance the fire out. 72 This ends the ceremony.


304:70 DuBois, p. 85.

305:71 Cf. the Chaup Myth by Miss DuBois, Journ. Am. Folk-Lore, XIX, 163, 1906.

305:72 See the account of the Fire ceremony.

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