Sacred Texts  Native American  California  Index  Previous  Next 


Two girls who were of an age to dance the puberty dance, were dancing it. And having stopped dancing just at dawn, they both slept. Toward morning the two girls, who were sleeping, arising, went off to dig roots. When they returned at night, the people all danced the round-dance.

Having finished the round-dance, they danced forward and back. And just as the light came over the hills, while it grew brighter, after having run off after the one who carried the rattle, they (the two girls) went to sleep. They dreamed. "If you have a bad dream, you must dive into the stream after having pierced your ear-lobe. Then you must blow away all evil from yourselves. Thus ye will arise feeling entirely well," she said. So their mothers told the two girls.

They dreamed of Star-Men, but did not blow the evil away from themselves; they did not pierce their ears, did not bathe. When the dance was over, they went again to make camp with their mothers at the spring to dig roots. And having arrived there, they camped. And

p. 184 p. 185

going to sleep at that place, lying on their backs and looking upward, they talked.

"Do you want to go there?" said one. "If I got there, I should like to see that red, very bright star." Then the other said, "I also, I should like to go to that one that looks blue. I wish I might see what he looks like!" Then they went to sleep. As they slept, in the morning they woke up there, where the Star-Men were.

The old woman hunted for them back here. She hunted to find where they had gone. She kept looking for tracks, but could not see them, could not trace them; so she went back, weeping, to the house. When she returned, the people got back from a hunting-expedition. They kept coming back; and when they had returned, they searched. They kept looking for tracks, and, not finding them, they went back. And so, having returned, they remained there.

Meanwhile the two girls staid up there in the sky, and were married. They talked together. "Our mothers, our fathers, our brothers, have felt very badly at not being able to trace us," said the younger girl. "You wanted very much to come to this country; and I, believing you, came thus far. It is making my father feet badly, my mother feel badly, my brothers feel badly. It was your idea," she said.

"Our mothers gave us very good advice. But you, not believing her, when you had bad dreams, did not pierce your ear. It is for that reason that we are living far away here. I am going back. If you want to remain, you may stay. All my relatives are thinking about me. I feel very badly. I ought not to speak that way, but I have said it. I feel very badly, thinking about it," said she, the younger girl.

p. 186 p. 187

[paragraph continues] (The other) said to her sister, "Let us both go back in some way! Let us go and gather some kind of food! We shall learn something in time." So they remained. To each a child was born; and they, making a hut at a little distance, staid there. After they had remained there for some time, they said, "These children ask for sinew." So the husbands gave them sinew. Again, "They ask for sinew," they said, and the men gave it to them.

Meanwhile the two girls made rope. Every day, "They call for sinew," they said. And they gave them sinew. So the two girls kept making rope, until night they made rope. Letting it down towards the earth, they measured it. "How far down does the rope extend?" they said. But it did not quite reach the ground. So they still said, "They ask for sinew. These children are eating a great deal, but only sinew," they said. And the two men believed.

And so the two women kept making rope until it was sufficient, till it reached all the way down, till it reached down to the earth. Then having made the children remain, they came back down. Having fastened the rope, and just as they were halfway down to the end, the children began to cry, kept crying and crying. "What can be the matter with those two children! Suppose you go and see," said one of the men. Then one went over to the house; and going across, when he reached it, there was no one there but the two children only, crying.

When he had looked about, he saw the rope hanging down hither. So he cut it; and the women, who had almost reached the ground, fell and were killed. And one of their brothers, who was still hunting for them, saw them. And the rope was there also. Taking that, he went off to the house; and, arriving there, he told all the brothers, "Our two sisters are dead," he said.

p. 188 p. 189

Then they went, and, having arrived there, lifting up the bodies, they brought them back. And having carried them there, they laid them in the water. In the morning the two girls awoke, and, waking, they came out of the water, came back to the house, and after a while they spoke.

"She spoke that way. When she loved him much, I talked with her, talking like her, I followed her," said the younger girl. "She said it would be good to go to the place where the man was whom she had dreamed of while dancing. . . . She said that truly; and I, thinking it was said in fun, said the same. When we had said this, the men we loved did, indeed, do so to us. When we returned, they, learning about it up there, cut the rope, and in that way we died," said the youngest one, speaking to her mother and relatives.

"One was a very red man, who ate only hearts. One was a bluish man, who only ate fat. There are many people of that sort, each always eating but one kind of food. Some eat only liver, some only meat. There are men of that kind," said the younger girl. But the other girl said nothing. And thereafter they remained there in the olden time. That is all, they say.

Next: 11. Rolling Skull