Sacred Texts  Native American  California  Index  Previous  Next 

p. 286


Formula of Medicine to Cause the Infant to Grow Fast. 1

p. 287

Here in the eastern corner of the world grew a maiden by herself. She lived all alone, seeing no one. After a time without cause she became pregnant. She had seen no one. She had not even seen the tracks of people. "From whom have I a child," she kept thinking. After a while the time for her to be sick had nearly come. Finally she was sick and gave birth to a baby. "I will pick up that baby," she thought. When she tried to pick it up it dodged from her. Many times she tried to pick it up but it eluded her until finally it fell down from the world above. When it had crawled near the beach across toward the west it stopped. Where it stopped the medicine grew. She broke off some of it and with that picked up the baby. That which grew at the place toward which he crawled became the medicine. She took him back to the eastern corner where she steamed him with it. The medicine was wild ginger. 1


286:1 Told at Hupa, December 1901, by Emma Lewis. For the treatment of infants by the Hupa compare, Life and Culture of the Hupa, p. 51.

287:1 Asarum caudatum Lindl.

Next: XXXV. Formula of Medicine to Cause the Infant to Grow Strong