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Yana Texts, by Edward Sapir, [1910], at

p. 209




Lizard, Gray Squirrel, and Coyote lived in a big sweat-house at Wamā'rawi. 331 They had no wives or children. Coyote wanted to make people, but the others thought that they themselves were enough. Finally Lizard agreed, "We'll make people, different kinds of people." So Lizard went out and cut three sticks like gambling sticks. The others wanted to know how he was going to make people out of these. Lizard said, "I'll show you." One stick he took for the Hat Creeks (Tc‘unô'yāna), one for the Wintun (Yā'?wi), and one for the Pit Rivers (Wa‘djā'mi). 332 When he looked at them he said, "There is something lacking." Coyote asked, "Who has been left out?" Lizard said, "The Yana." So he took any kind of a stick, broke it up into little pieces, and put them in a pile for the Yana. The

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stick for the Hat Creeks he placed in the east, the stick for the Wintun in the west, the stick for the Pit Rivers in the north.

All three, Lizard, Gray Squirrel, and Coyote, then made a big basket, heated rocks, put water in the basket, and heated the water by putting the hot rocks into the basket. Then Lizard put the sticks into the boiling water, put in more hot rocks to boil the sticks. All then went to sleep, after setting the basket outside on the roof and covering it up. Before they slept Lizard said, "Early in the morning you will hear some one when the basket turns over. That will be because there are people. You must keep still, must not move or snore."

Early in the morning they heard people falling down, heard the basket turn over. By and by they heard the people walking about outside. They got up, then covered the door with a large rock to keep the people out. They did not talk or answer those outside. For a long time the people were talking. One called out, "Where is the door?" Coyote said, "Keep still, that talk does not sound right." 333 Others then spoke, asked also. Then Coyote said, "Now it sounds right," and then they opened the door. Then all the people came crowding in, all came into the sweat-house. Then the three said, "It is well. There are people."


209:329 Besides the two texts given above (nos. XXIII and XXIV) Dr. Dixon's manuscript Yana material comprises a number of myths obtained in English. These are here made accessible with Dr. Dixon's consent; only such changes have been made in the wording and spelling of Indian names as seemed necessary. Some of the myths, though here and there exhibiting interesting variants, too closely parallel the versions obtained by Curtin and myself to warrant publication and have therefore been omitted; they are "The Creation of Men" (determination of sex and making of hands), "Flint Chief's Entertainment," "The Bringing of Fire," "The First Death," "‘I'lhat?aina" (first part), "Coyote and Frost," and "Coyote and his Sister." Dr. Dixon's informants were Sam Bat‘wī and Round Mountain Jack.

209:330 What is here given is only the first episode of Dr. Dixon's myth of "The Creation of Men," the other two dealing with the origin of sex and the making of hands by Lizard. Dr. Dixon's version of the making of the Yana and other tribes from sticks seemed different enough from my own (No. V) to justify its inclusion here. If, as seems likely, Sam Bat‘wī was the source of this version, it is certainly curious that it differs so markedly in detail, if not in general character, from that secured by myself only seven years later. It is noteworthy that Dr. Dixon's "Creation of Men" does not include the origin of death; this was obtained by him as a separate myth.

209:331 See note 111.

209:332 literally, "dwelling-north."

210:333 That is, they had not yet learned to talk Yana correctly.

Next: II. The Contest of Fox and Coyote