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


A moon ceremony among the Luiseño is mentioned by Miss DuBois 120 in the following words: " They sing 'Wy-ot, Wy-ot' nine times, then 'Ne-yonga (My head), ne-chaya, tomave.' 121 The dances were to please the moon and prevent his waning."

This seems to correspond to what is known as the "Sick Moon" ceremony among the Diegueño. Information about this ceremony is not very satisfactory, but the following particulars were at length obtained by questioning several informants. The ceremony is held when the moon rises in the daytime and looks small and pale. The people at this time went out and bathed themselves and had footraces "to please the moon and make him glad." At the same time the women danced, each one by herself, and sang songs. Some of these songs are the following:

p. 329


halya kwasau


moon eat 122


inyau kwasau


sun eat


kwasau kwasau


eat eat


ī ī


ī ī






kamaiyo xwao kwatcayi


... ... ...






wami yoik amai


crying he-is up-there






axo kaiyax wumi


... ... crying






xatpa maxo


... ...






axikwa o-o xotcamiya


owl is-singing

The belief was that "if they sang and made a noise and laughed down here on earth, the moon would grow cheerful and get well and large again."


328:120 Journ. Am. Folk-Lore, XVII, 185, 1904. See, also, present series, VIII, 11, 1908, and Boscana, p. 298.

328:121 Compare the Fire Dance song before given on p. 326.

329:122 This song was said by the interpreter to refer to an eclipse.

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