This section contains entries referring the reader to books and articles containing Native American stories and legends of Mt. Shasta. Note that the stories and legends have in general not been transcribed or quoted in this bibliography due to limitations of space. Several well-known Californian and American ethnologists, including Jeremiah Curtin, Roland B. Dixon, John Wesley Powell, and C. Hart Merriam, have collected the myths of the Wintu, Shasta, Achumawi, Klamath and other tribes. The anthropologists Cora DuBois and Dorothy Demetracopoulou spent a considerable amount of time collecting Wintu myths. Other ethnologists collected stories from outlying tribes, see for example the "Love Medicine-The Mt. Shasta Women" story from the Chilula Tribe of the Coast Range. Often Mt. Shasta is the site of action of some story, see for example B. G. Rousseau's 1923 "What Happened When the Thunder God is Mocked." Modern Native American story-tellers and scholars are adding to the published Mt. Shasta Indian lore, describing stories learned from tradition. Particularly interesting are Darryl Babe Wilson's stories mentioning "Mis Misa," about the spirit inside Mt. Shasta which holds in repose the balance of the Universe. Theodoratus and LaPena, in their 1992 "Wintu Sacred Geography" article elaborate the Wintu use of Mt. Shasta in traditional tribal lore. See also Section 2. Native Americans of the Mt. Shasta Region for additional Native American Mt. Shasta legends.
The [MS number] indicates the Mount Shasta Special Collection accession numbers
used by the College of the Siskiyous Library.
[MS1189]. Audley, John. The Legend of Mt. Shasta and Shasta Springs. no date. Photocopy of a handwritten document. Contains the legend of the Great Spirit and the Grizzlies. This appears to be substantially the same legend as told by Joaquin Miller in his 1873 Unwritten History. Possibly this story is the same as found in Southern Pacific's circa 1900: Picturesque Shasta Springs : On the Shasta Route of the Southern Pacific Co. between San Francisco and Portland. 15. Legends: Native American. [MS1189].
[MS963]. Bauman, James. The Harrington Collection of Indian Placenames in North Central California. 1979. Source of Citation: Henn 1992, p. 9. 'Prepared under Contract for Shasta-Trinity National Forests, Redding.' 15. Legends: Native American/40. Find List. [MS963].
[MS548]. Bent, Allen H. Indians and the Mountains. In: Appalachia. June 1915. Vol. 13. No. 3. Article begins on p. 257. pp. 268-269. Source: Stuhl bibliography. Contains Joaquin Miller's story about the Great Spirit and the Grizzlies. 40. Find List/15. Legends: Native American. [MS548].
[MS1286]. Buckskin, Floyd. Ajumawi
Doctoring: Conflicts in New Age/Traditional Shamanism. In: California
Indian Shamanism. Menlo Park, Calif.: Ballena Press, 1992. pp. 237-248.
Concerns the author's experiences with Indian traditional teachings and Indian
traditional teachers. Contains frequent references to proper attitude when dealing
with traditional teachings; for example, he says: "The old people always
say, 'Keep your mind right.' If you were going for this type of power, you had
to have your mind right. Be in one with the spirit." Includes many stories
about northern California shamanistic ways and the need for caution and right
The modern phenomenon of "new age" knowledge seekers has brought about many conflicts and dilemmas. The "new age" people bring a mix of objects and ideas that often conflict with the traditional ways. Many traditional places, such as prayer springs, are being over-used and under-respected, according to the author. One story about Mt. Shasta is told: "On Mount Shasta a couple of years ago, there was a large gathering of people, and one of the springs that Flora Jones uses was clogged with these large crystals. She was pretty angry. She didn't say anything, but Theodore Martinez, a cousin of mine who works with her, was really upset, and he let those people know. He took those crystals out and threw them down the hill. They became upset with him, and told him to take his hatred and get out of there, that he had no business being there. That really goes against the ways that we believe" (p. 247). 15. Legends: Native American. [MS1286].
[MS804]. Clark, Ella Elizabeth 1896.
Indian Legends of the Pacific Northwest. Berkeley, Calif.: University
of California Press, 1953. pp. 9-12. Contains two legends about Mt. Shasta.
One legend, entitled "Mt. Shasta and the Great Flood" describes the
character known as "Coyote" being chased by flood waters. The waters
chased Coyote to the top of Mt. Shasta. Many other characters joined Coyote
on the top of Mt. Shasta, including Deer, Elk, Black Bear, Gray Squirrel, Jack
Rabbit, Badger, Porcupine, Racoon, Fisher, Wolf, and Cougar. The author states
that; "At last the water went down, leaving dry land in the midst of lakes
and marshes. Then the animal people came down from the top of Mount Shasta and
made new homes for themselves. They scattered everywhere and became the ancestors
of all the animal peoples on the earth"
The second legend about Mt. Shasta is entitled "Mount Shasta and the Grizzly Bears." The authors credit this story to Joaquin Miller (see Miller Unwritten History... edited by Alan Rosenus, 1987 edition, pp. 243-246). 15. Legends: Native American. [MS804].
[MS64]. Coon, Reva and Harris, Grace. Dunsmuir, California. Centennial Book 1886 - 1986. Its First Hundred Years. Dunsmuir, Calif.: Dunsmuir Centennial Committee, 1985. p. 4. Contains: "The Legend of Two Faces" about the struggles of the great warrior Lakadowa and his beloved Rippling Water. "Today you may see them both: Lakadowa a great warrior face on the dome of Castle Crags; and Rippling Water sleeping peacefully and safely among the snows of mighty Mount Shasta" (p. 4). This Indian legend is adapted from the legend recorded by Leaton Foster in the 1923 edition of the Dunsmuir High School yearbook. 15. Legends: Native American. [MS64].
[MS284]. Currier, Edward W. Mt. Shasta in October. In: The Grizzly Bear. May, 1908. Vol. 3. No. 11. pp. 11, 39. Grant Towendolly, noted Wintu chief and storyteller, leads three climbers on a summit attempt in 1907. Contains an early account by Currier of Panther Meadows: "From Wagon Camp we followed a trail up the mountain side, through a beautiful grove of tall fir and pine trees, beside a mountain stream .... After following this creek upwards for three miles, we came to its source in a magnificent spring flowing out of ground in a stream six inches across and as deep. The water had worn out a pool or basin about three feet across, and all the edges were lined with emerald moss, making it look more like the work of some landscape gardener than of nature. Here beneath a group of pine trees we made our camp....Before retiring Towandolly told us we would not sleep much-we would hear them talking, the spirits of the old Winter[sic] Indians who guard Mt. Shasta, as this tribe is superstitious about climbing the mountain" (p. 11). Contains a portrait drawn from life of "Grant Towandolly, Winter Indian Chief" by Currier, plus two small photos of Mount Shasta and the climbers. 15. Legends: Native American. [MS284].
[MS2008]. Curry, Jane Louise. Back in the Beforetime : Tales of the California Indians / retold by Jane Louise Curry ; illustrated by James Watts. New York, N.Y.: M.K. McElderry Books, 1987. 134 p. : ill. ; 22 cm. 1st edition. Contents: How old man above created the world -- Roadrunner's pack -- How coyote stole the sun -- Mountain-making -- Measuring worm's great climb -- The theft of fire -- Coyote and the salmon -- Coyote rides a star -- Gopher's revenge -- Clever frog -- The lost brother -- The war between beasts and birds -- Cricket and mountain lion -- Coyote's squirrel hunt -- Coyote and badger -- Mole and the sun -- The pine-nut thieves -- Coyote rides the sun -- The making of first man -- The waking of men -- The last council -- Dog's choice. Several legends involve 'the great white-teepee mountain, Mount Shasta.' A retelling of twenty-two legends about the creation of the world from a variety of California Indian tribes. 15. Legends: Native American. [MS2008].
[MS1281]. Curtin, Jeremiah 1835-1906.
[Wintu Stories manuscript]. 1888? Catalogued at the National Anthropological
Archives, Washington, D. C., in the American Ethnology Catalogue of Manuscripts,
Call Number # WINTUN 3535 Ń'[Curtin, Jeremiah?] Wintun stories in English).
n. d. (1888-89?) 218 pp., total in handwriting of a scribe. ' Listed in
the catalogue as containing at least one story taking place on or near Mt. Shasta:
"Berit loses the Daughter of TŠretkiemila and his own hair by dreaming
of Kahit, 6pp." Other stories are listed as taking place on Pitt River,
McCloud River, Lassen Butte, etc. Apparently not all of these stories have been
Jeremiah Curtin's other Wintun manuscripts on file at the AAA include: "WINTUN 841-- Vocabulary....Shasta Co. 1888-1889;" WINTUN 1456 -- Vocabulary....Calif. 1884; "WINTUN 1763-- Wintu Words and names. [n. d.]; WINTUN 2170 -- Ms. Wintu Myths, Tales and Words 1884" [many of these stories have been published]; "WINTUN 2864 -- Personal names of the Wintu n.d." 15. Legends: Native American/40. Find List. [MS1281].
[MS525]. Curtin, Jeremiah 1835-1906. Achomawi Myths. Journal of American Folklore. July-Sept., 1909. Vol. 22. No. 85. pp. 283-287. 'Collected by Jeremiah Curtin; Edited by Roland B. Dixon.' Stories about Pine-Martin, Kangaroo-Rat, Cocoon-man, Weasel, and other characters. None of the stories mention Mt. Shasta; Pit River and Fall River are often named. 15. Legends: Native American. [MS525].
[MS745]. Curtin, Jeremiah 1835-1906.
Creation Myths of Primitive America. New York: Benjamin Blom, 1969.
First published in 1898 as 'Creation Myths of Primitive America in Relation
to the Religious History and Mental Development of Mankind.' Very important
book about the Mt. Shasta region. This book is entirely about northern California
legends. Curtin uses Wintu and Yana myths as representative of all native American
creation myths. Mt. Shasta is named often as "Bohem Puyuk" in Wintu
legends and as "Wahkalu" in Yana legends.
Curtin describes in his introduction that all the stories have to do with the "first people," and he says that "The creation myths of America form a complete system; they give a detailed and circumstantial account of the origin of the world and all things and creatures contained in it" (p. xi). He states that "in the primitive religion of America there is no speculation, all is simple statement; there are no abstractions, qualities are always connected with persons" (p. xx).
Mt. Shasta helps to define the location of the various stories. For example, the story of "Hawt" begins: "On the south side of Bohem Puyuk is a small mountain called Tede Puyuk. Near that small mountain lived Waida Dikit Kiemila. He lived all alone, without neighbors" (p. 487). As another example, in the story of "Olelbis," the storyteller uses Mt. Shasta to describe a great fire: "Soon all saw that the fire was coming toward them from the east and the west like waves of high water, and the line of it was going northward quickly. The fire made a terrible roar as it burned; soon everything was seething. Everywhere people were trying to escape, all were rushing toward the north....When he was northeast of Bohem Puyuk, he saw the fire coming very fast, a mighty blaze roaring up to the sky" (p. 13).
Contains lists of words with English translations of about 80 different Wintu and Yana place-names as mentioned in the myths (pp. 528-529); for example, in the Wintu myths "Bohema Mem" is the Great water or Sacramento River and "Bohem Puyuk" is Great Peak or Mount Shasta. Also note that at the beginning of each myth Curtin has included a vocabulary of from ten to twenty Indian words necessary to understand the myth.
Curtin, who first came to northern California in the early 1880s, has also included an account of a later visit to the Wintu in 1889 (pp. 488-489). 15. Legends: Native American. [MS745].
[MS562]. Dixon, Roland Burrage 1875-1934. Mythology of the Shasta Achomawi. In: American Anthropologist. Oct.-Dec., 1905. Vol. 7. No. 4. pp. 607-612. Contains no references to stories about Mount Shasta. 15. Legends: Native American. [MS562].
[MS526]. Dixon, Roland Burrage 1875-1934. Achomawi and Atsugewi Tales. In: Journal of American Folklore. Apr.-Sept., 1908. Vol. 21. Nos. 81-82. pp. 159-177. Contains at least one story, from the Achomawi, mentioning Mt. Shasta: "Search for Fire. After Hawk had been killed, and the flood had subsided, people found that all the fires were put out all over the world. Nothing could be done about it. Then after a few days they began to talk about it, and sent Owl to Mount Shasta to look all over the world and see if he could find any trace of fire...." (p. 165). 15. Legends: Native American. [MS526].
[MS527]. Dixon, Roland Burrage 1875-1934.
Shasta Myths. In: Journal of American Folklore. 1910. Vol. 23. pp. 8-37,
364-370. pp. 364-370 not seen and may contain additional Shasta myths. Pages
8-37 contains the following myths: 1. The Lost Brother, version one; 2. The
Lost Brother, version two; 3. The Theft of Fire; 4. The Girl Who Married Her
Brother; 5. The Magic Ball; 6. Origin of People and of Death; 7. Origin of Death;
8. Origin of Cremation, 9. The Dead Brought Back to Life; 10. The Cannibal-Head;11.
Eagle and Wind's Daughters; 12. The Wrestling Match; 13. Lizard and the Grizzly-Bears;
14. Winning Gambling-Luck; 15. The Captive of the 'Little-Men;' 16. Coyote and
the Rogue-River People; 17. Coyote and the Yellow-Jackets; 18. Coyote and Eagle;
19. Coyote and the Moons; 20. Coyote and the Grizzly-Bears; 21. Coyote and His
Grandmother; 22. Coyote as a Doctor; 23. Coyote and the Two Women; 24. Coyote
and the Pitch-Stump; 25. Coyote and Antelope; 26. Coyote and Raccoon; 27. Coyote
and the Flood; 28. Coyote and the Beaver; 29. Coyote Gambles; 30. [Coyote];
31. [messenger from the sun].
Several of the above myths mention Mt. Shasta. 15. Legends: Native American. [MS527].
[MS541]. Domitilla. A Legend of Mount
Shasta. In: The Redman. Mar., 1913. pp. 295-298. Four pages. No year of
publication given on photocopy; photocopy created in 1930. A legend similar
in content and style to the Mt. Shasta creation story described by Joaquin Miller
about the Great Spirit and the new race of Indians created from the marriage
of a grizzly and the Great Spirit's daughter (see Miller 1873). The version
of the story by Domitilla additionally explains how out of a barren land the
Great spirit first created a land of beauty, and filled it with life; for example,
the author writes: "Great Spirit gathered the leaves as they fell from
the trees, breathed on them, and they became birds. Fishes and animals were
formed from a large stick, the fishes from the small end, the animals from the
middle, but the grizzly was made last from the club end" (p. 295).
Mt. Shasta itself was the wigwam into which the great spirit retreated to avoid the ungrateful and unruly grizzlies. The grizzlies knowingly kept the Great Spirit's daughter, and married her to one of their kind. The Great Spirit punishes the grizzlies by making them mute and unable to stand up on two feet, as they had once been able. The new race of Indians was sent off to the wilds. 15. Legends: Native American. [MS541].
[MS995]. Doty, Thomas. Coyote Makes
Tracks All Over the World. Ashland, Ore.: The author, 1985. Contains an
elaborate telling of "The Yellowjackets Steal Coyote's Salmon," a
Mt. Shasta story (pp. 13-19), credited by the author to the compiler R. B. Dixon
(see Dixon "Shasta Myths" in Jour. Am. Folklore, Vol. 23, 1911). In
Doty's retelling he concludes "On the top of Mount Shasta, deep in their
hole, the yellowjackets laughed as they ate, convinced that smoked salmon was
more tasty than dried salmon. And the mountain puffed smoke for a very long
Thomas Doty has a feeling-centered approach to telling stories, and each of his books in the Mythtime Series contains the following important instructions: "There are certain things that should not be in books, should not be breathed into speech or their power is lost. The feelings of a Takelma girl as she dances her first dance as a woman. A shaman's power song. The sacred rites of a Shasta man as he climbs a mountain to receive a vision. To speak of these things is to break a silence more powerful than the roar of the wind through the rocks. You will not find these things in my books. But you will find stories and poems and essays written in a way as to allow you to feel an inkling of what it means to be Native, what it means to call a rock cairn the home of the Rock People--not just a pile of rocks--to call a place home and to know it as you know your own skin. These books are not scholarly and that is to their credit. I have reworked the texts of traditional myths, retaining their impact of meanings and image and incident, and have written the poems and essays from my own heart, and if they make you laugh or cry or feel the same way the Native people have been doing for thousands of years with stories swelled out of the landscape, then that is a testament to their authenticity. It is my hope that my books be a pathway toward things Native, a beginning. Then if your own heart opens up and you hear the wind speak the words of the Old Time Rock People, toss these books aside and step lightly out of your old skin, and into the sacred" (back cover).
Thomas Doty has also told the Mythtime Stories on the Ashland, Or., KSOR radio program "Stories from the Native Earth." Tapes are available from the station. 15. Legends: Native American. [MS995].
[MS161]. Du Bois, Cora 1903 and Demetracopoulou,
Dorothy. Wintu Myths. Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press,
1931. An important collection of seventy-four northern Wintu myths collected
from informants in the field during the summer of 1929. Twenty-four of the
stories were recorded in Wintu language and translated, another fifty tales
were recorded in English. The compilers state that prior to their study, only
nine Wintu tales, which were significantly different in style, had been recorded
(see Curtin 1969).
The authors state that: "The Wintu area here dealt with stretches of the northernmost part of the great Sacramento Valley, and along the McCloud and 'Upper Sacramento' valleys in the mountains, a distance north and south of some seventy miles" (p. 282).
Three stories, No.15 'Theft of Obsidian', No. 28 'Dentalium,' and No.71 'Mole and Mount Shasta' mention Mount Shasta. No. 59 'Coyote Eats Grasshoppers' mentions Shasta Buttes--an 1850s name for Yreka. The stories are often geographically precise in citing places such as Dog Creek, Campbell Creek, etc. A careful reading of all the tales might reveal other references to Mount Shasta. All of the stories are a link to the Indian teaching traditions of the greater Mount Shasta region. No. 15 for example, tells how Glass Mountain was created; note that it was the source of obsidian for arrow and spear tools for much of far-northern California. Part of the story explains how certain specific large rocks, on the way from Mount Shasta to Glass Mountain, came into being from people being burned at that place. Today perhaps those rocks still have historical significance for local Wintu people. 15. Legends: Native American. [MS161].
[MS1056]. Why Mount Shasta Erupted. In: Edmonds, Margot and Clark, Ella Elizabeth 1896. Voices of the Winds: Native American Legends. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 1989. pp. 137-140. A retelling of the "Coyote and the Yellow Jackets" story credited by the authors to pp. 27-29 of Roland B. Dixon's 1910 article on Shasta Myths (see Dixon 1910). The retelling of the tale has added a new title and a new ending to the story. 15. Legends: Native American. [MS1056].
[MS2009]. Fisher, Anne B. Anne Benson 1898. Stories California Indians Told. Illustrated by Ruth Robbins. Berkeley: Parnassus Press,  . 109 p. illus. 24 cm. Partial contents: Why grizzly bears walk on all fours (Mount Shasta legend) -- How the first rainbow was made (Achomawi) -- How Coyote became a friend to man (Karok) -- How Coyote put salmon in the Klamath River (Karok) -- Why women talk more than men (Shasta). 15. Legends: Native American. [MS2009].
[MS803]. Gifford, Edward Winslow 1887
and Block, Gwendoline Harris. Californian Indian Nights: Stories of the
Creation of the World, of Man, of Fire, of Sun, of Thunder, etc.; of Coyote,
the Land of the Dead, the Sky Land, Monsters, Animal People, etc. Lincoln,
Nebr.: University of Nebraska Press, 1990. Reprint. Originally published as
Californian Indian Nights Entertainments. Glendale, Calif.: A. H. Clark Co.,
1930. 1990 introduction by Albert L. Hurtado. Contains about eighty Indian
stories and legends retold by the compilers. Three of the stories mention Mt.
Shasta: "Dog Steals Fire" (p. 134) as told by the Achomawi Indians
of Shasta County, "Coyote's Salmon" (pp. 171-174) as told by the Shasta
Indians of Siskiyou County, and "Great Wind's Daughters" (pp. 278-280)
also told by the Shasta Indians.
The story of Great Wind's Daughters begins: "There once lived, on top of Mount Shasta, Great Wind and her two daughters. These two daughters were very beautiful girls and many men attempted to climb to the top of the mountain in the hope of winning them. They all offered much money for the two girls. But Great Wind did not want her daughters to marry, so when she saw the men climbing the mountainside she blew them back. All around the foot of the mountain men were lying who had been blown down. One day, Eagle said, 'I must try. I wonder if I cannot get there.' The story continues with details of the struggle. "Great Wind woman wore a skirt of hail, which rattled as she turned round....Great Wind blew harder than ever in her frenzy....Great Wind had exhausted herself....Eagle was the only one who ever succeeded in reaching Great Wind's house to buy her daughters for wives."
According to the introduction, Gifford and Block were distinguished anthropologists at the University of California at Berkeley during the 1920s. Gifford was the author of over one hundred publications and was director of the university's anthropology museum. Block was the university's anthropology editor, editing the important series "Publications in American Archaeology and Ethnology" and "Anthropological Records."
Both authors worked under the leadership of A.L. Kroeber who during the first decades of the Twentieth Century made the "California Indians the most thoroughly studied native people in North America" (p. 1). A lengthy and scholarly introduction by Gifford and Block attempts to classify by theme the stories of the Californian Indians. They note that "One hundred and four languages and dialects were spoken by the aborigines of the state....This vast aggregation of languages within so limited an area is not found anywhere else in the world" (p. 15). 15. Legends: Native American. [MS803].
[MS962]. Goddard, Pliny Earle. Chilula
Texts. Berkeley, Calif.: University of California Press, 1914. Contains
a Chilula story entitled: "Love Medicine--The Mt. Shasta Women" (transcription
with parallel translation, pp. 302-304, compiled translation pp. 355-356). The
Chilula were a distinct group of Indians now disappeared. They were similar
in many ways to the Hupa, who were their neighbors (see Goddard 'Notes on the
Chilula Indians of Northwestern California" Univ. of Calif. Pubs. in Am.
Arch. and Ethn. Vol. 10, No. 6, pp. 265-288). The Chilula lived along the middle
and upper reaches of Redwood Creek, inland to the northeast of Humbolt Bay and
one main ridge west of parts of the Klamath River. They apparently spoke an
Athabascan Indian language.
"Love Medicine--The Mt. Shasta Women" is transcribed phonetically line by line along with a phrase for phrase parallel translation below each phrase. The phrase "nin-san lžk gai" is translated as "mountain white." Goddard adds a footnote to "nin-san lžk gai" explaining: "Mt. Shasta, which is a triangle of white seen in clear weather from the higher mountains in the Trinity river region." (p. 302)
There is also a complete translation of "Love Medicine." Note that "The Mt. Shasta Women" in modern English (pp. 355-356) demonstrates how difficult it is to understand an accurately recorded Indian Myth. Because the different ethical and environmental systems which guided a tribe are not really well known to the modern reader, the story may not make sense to a nonmember of the tribe. The entire story is reprinted here.
"A Kixžnnai young man came into being at the southern end of the world. At the same time an herb came up by him. He did not see any people. After a time he thought 'Well, I will look for them.' He started out in the morning and went up in the sky. When he came to the resting place he shot as is the custom. Then he looked inside of the world. There to the base of Mt. Shasta his vision extended. 'There it is they have become,' he thought. When he came to the base of Mt. Shasta they said to him, 'Well, come in.' He went in the house and said, 'I am going to stay only a short time. I am going back.' 'Yes,' said the women, 'we will go with you.' He started back and the two women went with him. They came to the southern end of the world. They spent the night there. Then those women said to him, 'You think there are no Kixžnnai who have come into being?' 'Well,' he replied, 'I do not know of any.' 'Yes,' they told him, 'here to the northeast is a Kixžnnai. With him two women came into being. They do not see people. They never go out.' 'I will go there too,' he said. In the morning he started. He carried his herb with himself. When he came to the place in the northeast where the women had come into being, they said to him, 'Well, come in.' 'I will stay just a little while,' he said, 'and then I will go back.' 'We will go with you,' they replied. Then he went back and they two went with him. They came to the southern end of the world. 'I do this for Indians who will come,' he thought. 'It will be just this way. This way my formula will be hard.' Just this way only." 15. Legends: Native American. [MS962].
[MS27]. Graves, Charles Sumner 1857.
Lore and Legends of the Klamath River Indians. Yreka, Calif.: Press
of the Times, 1929. C. S. Graves was a whiteman who was friends with the Indians
for over fifty years. His book contains two legends, from Indian storytellers,
mentioning Mt. Shasta. The first legend, "The Coyote Wins the Fire"
(pp. 93-95), contains only one statement about the mountain: "The Coyote
climbed to the top of a high mountain- some say it was Mount Shasta- and there
met Thunder face to face" (p. 93).
The second legend has no title but is about "Yellowjackets" high up on Mt. Shasta. This legend explains both why one might feel sick to the stomach when climbing Mt. Shasta, and why the sulfur springs on top of the mountain smell bad. The explanation concerns the Yellowjackets carrying up the livers of game given as a gift by the Indians. The livers are buried high up, but this meat spoiled, and thus one feels nauseous when one approaches this altitude. The Indian storyteller concludes "If you doubt it, all you have to do is to climb to the top of Mount Shasta, and one whiff from the water will convince you" (p. 114-117).
Overall this is a book about the legends of the Klamath River Indians, and it is an excellent story book. Graves also wrote an article about his ascent of Mt. Shasta (see Graves 1888). 15. Legends: Native American. [MS27].
[MS2010]. Gridley, Marion Eleanor 1906. Indian Legends of American Scenes. Chicago, IL: M. A. Donahue & company, 1939. 127 p. col. front., illus., plates. (part. col.) 25 cm. Eleven full color illustrations; initial letters by Chief Whirling Thunder. Sponsored by the Indian council fire. Partial contents: Mt. Shasta (p. 22) -- Little Mt. Shasta (p. 23-24) A collection of Indian legends from the United States and Canada. 15. Legends: Native American. [MS2010].
[MS965]. Henn, Winfield. Documentation of Meeting with Flora Jones and Others, Mt. Shasta, California. 1985. Source of Citation: Henn 1992, p. 10. 'Letter on file, Shasta-Trinity National Forests.' 15. Legends: Native American. [MS965].
[MS966]. Henn, Winfield. Documentation of Meeting with Flora Jones and Others, Mt. Shasta, California. 1990. Source of Citation: Henn 1992, p. 10. 'Letter on file, Shasta-Trinity National Forests.' 15. Legends: Native American. [MS966].
[MS961]. Henn, Winfield. Native American
Historic Context: Mt. Shasta, California. Redding, Calif.: Oct., 1991.
Author employed by the U.S.F.S., Shasta-Trinity National Forests. Unpublished
typewritten report. Submitted as an enclosure for the U.S.F.S-Robert R. Tyrell
(see Tyrell 1992) letter of recommendation vis-a-vis portions of Mt. Shasta
as eligible for registration as National Historic properties. Contains an
extensive review of the extant literature, supplemented by interviews, of the
mythological importance of Mt. Shasta to Native Americans.
Topics of the paper include: A- Tribal Areas; B- Mythology; C.- Sacred Places and Shamanistic Practices; D.- Summary; E. References.
Myths and interviews from the following Indian Tribes are evaluated by the author: Shasta, Modoc, Achumawi, Wintu, Yana, and Chilula.
The author notes that "The ethnographic record demonstrates that Mt. Shasta was an important feature in the mythology of all groups whose territories bordered the mountain. Surprisingly, however, few specific places on the mountain are mentioned in myth.....The recent use of Mt. Shasta by the Wintu and others, while not well documented in the ethnographic or historical literature, is a continuation generally of such practices done traditionally....In summary, it can be said that Mt. Shasta was a very important feature of the mythological and cultural landscape and that today's use of the mountain for spiritual purposes is rooted in traditional practices and values. There remains, however, some disjunction between those areas currently important--for example, Panther Meadows, Hidden Valley, etc.--and the ethnographic evidence for those same places. Interview data may supply the missing information and aid in determining the historical depth of present day activities" (p. 9). 15. Legends: Native American. [MS961].
[MS186]. Holsinger, Rosemary. Shasta Indian Tales. Happy Camp, Calif.: Naturegraph Publishers, Inc., 1982. pp. 7-12. Contains six Indian stories about Mount Shasta: "Great Spirit Makes the Mountain;" "The Maiden Who Perished in the Snow;" "The Legend of Thumb Rock;" "Coyote and the Flood;" " Eagle and Wind's Daughter;" "Coyote and the Yellow Jackets." These stories were taken from various sources; references are given in a bibliography (p. 48). 15. Legends: Native American. [MS186].
[MS1101]. Hyde, Leslie Daggett. Indian Legends: Legend of Mount Shasta and Shasta Valley. In: The Siskiyou Pioneer and Yearbook. Siskiyou County Historical Society. Spring 1953. Vol. 2. No. 3. p. 23. "This is how Mount Shasta came to be. A very long time ago, there lived in that region an old Indian chief, who every year took his people and journeyed to the Pacific Ocean. The chief grew so old that he could no longer make the trip, and he so much wanted to do so once more before he went to the Happy Hunting Ground. So, his people gathered to build a mountain from whose top he might see the ocean. Sounds very much like a Paul Bunyon tale, for when the old chief finally shouted, 'I can see it, I can see it!' each worker dumped his basket of earth where he stood. And these are the mound-shaped hills which we see dotted over Shasta Valley." 15. Legends: Native American. [MS1101].
[MS812]. Jordan, David Starr 1851-1931
and Cather, Katherine Dunlap. High Lights of Geography: North America.
Yonkers-on-Hudson, N.Y.: World Book Company, 1926. pp. 27-28. Contains an
Indian legend about Mt. Shasta, the Coast Range, and the Sierra Nevada. The
story concerns Crow and Hawk. The two characters compete by each building a
mountain range. "They started at the same place and worked in different
directions, Hawk building the eastern range, and Crow the western one. It was
hard work and they had to push the mud deep into the water, and then pile it
high. But they did not stop to rest, and slowly, steadily, peaks arose, until
the ranges came together at Mount Shasta. Then they stopped to rest and to view
the work they had done. The western range was much higher than the eastern,
and Hawk was angry. 'You have stolen my mud,' he screeched at Crow. 'That is
why your part is higher than mine.' Crow did not answer. He only sat and laughed.
This enraged Hawk so much that he took hold of the mountains and twisted them
around in a circle. He put his own range where Crow's had been, which made his
side much higher than the other. It towered so far above the sea that the peaks
pierced the clouds. That is why the Sierras are higher than the coast range"
David Starr Jordan was a noted biologist and a president of Stanford University. 15. Legends: Native American. [MS812].
[MS741]. Judson, Katherine Berry. Myths
and Legends of California and the Old Southwest. Chicago, Ill.: A.C. McClurg
and Co., 1916. Second edition. Contains three legends attributed to the
"Shastika" Indians (see Powers 1976): Old Mole's Creation (p. 27),
How the Old Man Above Created the World (p. 37), Old Man Above and the Grizzlies
(p. 55). The first story does not mention Mount Shasta. The latter two stories
are about the origins of Mount Shasta, and both stories appear to be adaptations
of the Indian legends presented in Joaquin Miller's 1873 "Life Amongst
Also contains legends from the Pit River, Karok, and Yurok Indians. 15. Legends: Native American. [MS741].
[MS343]. Knudtson, Peter M. The Wintun Indians of California and Their Neighbors. Happy Camp, Calif.: Naturegraph, 1988. First published in 1977. Book contains a biographical chapter on the Wintu shaman Flora Jones (pp. 59-68). Flora Jones was born in 1909 and has conducted Indian ceremonies on Mount Shasta for decades. Many of the practices and beliefs of this Wintu shaman are described, though not always in the detail necessary for understanding. For example, the author, who first met Flora Jones in 1972, says: "Occasionally, I would ask Flora to list her helping spirits, only to discover that the 'list' grew longer with each attempt as she recalled other sacred mountains or springs or rock formations. The spiritual world of the Wintu, it soon became apparent, is not easily circumscribed. A suggestion that she try to sketch one of her spirits drew a burst of friendly laughter. White people did not seem to understand, she told me, that the spirits could not be drawn, for their appearance was fleeting, beyond description" (p. 61). The book contains a picture from 1924 of Flora Jones and her parents in ceremonial dress after a "Warrior Dance" (p. 57). There is also a picture of Flora Jones from 1973 (p. 58). 15. Legends: Native American. [MS343].
[MS1125]. Masson, Marcelle. By-Path
of the Wintu. In: The Siskiyou Pioneer in Folklore, Fact and Fiction and
Yearbook. Siskiyou County Historical Society. 1953. Vol. 2. No. 3. pp. 17-18.
Contains two stories about Mt. Shasta as told by Grant Towendolly: "Grant
Towendolly, who lives with his wife, Lillie, on their rancheria in Shasta County,
is a direct descendent of former Wintu chiefs of the upper Trinity Group in
Trinity County. His wife's people were Pit River Indians. This is the story
Grant told us: 'Giants, a mean and fierce people called Shupchets, once lived
up Flume Creek in Shasta County. These giants would come down the trails along
the river, waylay the Indian people, kill them and take them to their caves.
The giants carried no weapons but squeezed people to death.' A cave is always
an adventurous spot and a source for conjecture to anyone. Add to it an Indian
legend as told by our friend and it immediately contains fresh interest. An
underground tunnel, not man-made, holds all sorts of possibilities for investigation.
One such opening, Grant says, is near the north end of the railroad tunnel No.
11 above Sims and on the west side. A Shupchet is said to have lived there;
and from his hole in the ground there led a subterranean passage to the top
of Mount Shasta. A legend tells how two brave boys of ancient times flushed
out the giant by building a fire at the entrance and overcame him with the smoke.
This same smoke, then, could be seen belching forth from Mount Shasta."
"This story reminded us to ask Grant if his forefathers had even seen smoke erupting from Mount Shasta. 'Yes,' he said. 'My father told me he had.' 'Was that when he was a child?' we asked. 'No, he was a young man then.' he replied. Grant was born in 1873, so it is evident that his father must have seen an eruption prior to or in the early 1850s. This should help to give credence to the occasional story one hears of the early day settlers in Shasta Valley having seen the dying eruptions from the crater on the mountain." 15. Legends: Native American. [MS1125].
[MS1142]. Masson, Marcelle. [letter
to Arthur Eichorn, Nov. 5, 1954, in part concerning Grant Towendolly's Indian
legends]. Nov. 5, 1954. Hand written letter, seen in photocopy only.
Letter written by Marcelle Masson to Arthur Eichorn, author of the "Mt.
Shasta Story." Mentions Indian legend of "an invisible race"
on Mt. Shasta.
Letter contains the passage: "In regard to stories of Mt. Shasta, he [Grant Towendolly] has told us that the Indians believed that there was an invisible race of people living on the mountain. He said his father had heard them up there. I believe it was the laughing of children he had heard. This interested me in the light of the beliefs similar to that as held by 'I Am' people at Shasta Springs, and also the Rosicrucians."
This letter also contains other stories concerning Grant Towendolly's explanations of strange sightings on Mt. Shasta. One friend of Mrs. Masson, in the company of Grant Towendolly, had seen a horseback rider driving cattle disappear in an instant. In another story, a different friend had seen a man with a red scarf disappear. 15. Legends: Native American. [MS1142].
[MS1102]. [Mount Shasta Herald]. Indian
Legend On Origin of Mt. Shasta Retold. In: Mount Shasta Herald. Mt. Shasta,
Calif.: Feb. 27, 1947. Reprinted from 'the Knave editorial features in the Oakland
Tribune.' Legend about the building of Mt. Shasta. Unusual story in that
it gives many admonishings to the white man's presumptions about knowledge.
Appears to be a genuine Indian version of the "Burden Basket" myth.
Retold from a story by a '"high-family" Indian, and, according to the author, only "high-family" members were "taught the lore and legends and historical experiences of the tribe. When the youth had demonstrated they could repeat correctly the tribal lore, they were 'certificated' to repeat and teach these prized items of knowledge."
The entire story should be read, for it is a more subtle telling than most. In brief the Indian teller explains how the chief man was greatly induced by a very smart medicine-man to logically ponder the existence of a great water; the chief thus ordered all his giants to take their burden baskets, fill them with earth, and build a great lookout mountain, Mt. Shasta, so as to see the ocean. 15. Legends: Native American. [MS1102].
[MS739]. Nelson, Velma. Legends on
the Origin of Mount Shasta. Chico, Calif.: Chico State College, May 26,
1956. Unpublished paper. Written for a class on American Folklore, taught by
Mr. Clark at Chico State College. Consists primarily of four Indian legends
on the origin of Mt. Shasta. Three of the four legends presented were collected
by the author from Siskiyou County historian George R. Schrader. Each of these
three legends is attributed to either the Wintu (Tepee of a Great Chief Legend),
Shasta (Old Man Above also called 'Chareya' creates big pile of ice and snow
and hollows it out to hide from the Grizzly bears legend), or Karok tribe (Indian
chief desires high hill to be built so he can see the sea, and when high enough
his works abruptly dump the extra dirt making the Shasta Valley hills legend).
A fourth legend, about 'Mole' and his broken wrist, was taken from Du Bois and
Demetracopoulou's "Wintu Myths."
The paper also presents a brief review of the sightings of Mt. Shasta by Peter Skene Ogden and by the Wilkes Expedition. Some errors are evident; primarily the date of 1820 for Ogden is incorrect; 1826 for the probable first sighting of present-day Mt. Shasta or 1827 for the naming of Mt. "Sastise" are the correct dates (see LaLande 1987). Does not mention that Wilkes himself did not travel with the 1841 Wilkes-Emmons overland expedition. 15. Legends: Native American. [MS739].
[MS1014]. Park, Susan. Samson Grant, Atsuge Shaman. Redding, Calif.: Redding Museum and Art Center, Sept., 1986. Contains a "Loon Woman" story (pp. 81-90) which mentions Mt. Shasta. Entitled "Wucheserick (Loon Woman) Myth", the story concerns how Fisher, who could heal the crippled ("he is our Christ") and all other characters are burned in a fire caused by Fisher's trick to avoid sleeping with Loon Woman. Mt Shasta, called "Shasta Butte," is circled round and round by Eagle Woman, Fisher's sister, as she looks for her brother. 15. Legends: Native American. [MS1014].
[MS732]. Powell, John Wesley 1834-1902.
Wintun Myths and Legends [manuscript]. 1880. Catalogued at the National
Anthropological Archives, Washington, D. C., in the American Ethnology Catalogue
of Manuscripts, Call Number # WINTUN 794-b.Ń 'Powell, John Wesley. Wintun Myths
and Legends (in English). Ca. Nov. 1880, 205 pp. partly in Powell's handwriting,
most in ha[nd of] a clerk. (see list of myths following main catalog) ... Also
21 pp. vocabularies and notes in Powell's hand, apparently Wintun, found with
Curtin's Karok myths (no. 269) and added to this file (4/60).' Very important
manuscript materials on the Mt. Shasta region Indians.
Contains, in Powell's hand, many stories from the Mt. Shasta region including "Ber-rit--The Giant of Mt. Shasta. 2 pp.," and "Numklactawa creates the Sacramento River. 9pp."
The 21 pages of vocabularies contain hundreds of Wintun words and phrases, including: "Bś-lam P—-yok" = Shasta; "Sho-tem po-yok" = Black Butte; "Sho-tem" = beaver; "Win-ni-men" = McCloud River; "Hlot-lam po yok" = Castle Mts; "Hlot-lam" = steep rocks; "Ki'-ki=ice."
Note that the names of "Bź-lam" and "Hlot-lam" as recorded in this manuscript vocabulary later became names for two of Mt. Shasta's glaciers. It is presumed therefore that this manuscript is a direct link in the course of action which led to the naming of several of the mountain's glaciers. John Wesley Powell, world famous geologist and director of the United States Geological Survey, was also the founder and director of the Smithsonian's Bureau of Ethnology. In 1879 he climbed Mt. Shasta (see Zanger 1992, p. 47). It is likely that during the same period he collected the Wintun vocabularies recorded in this manuscript. 15. Legends: Native American. [MS732].
[MS701]. Reynolds, J. A. History of Siskiyou County. no date. Source: Rousseau., the Stranger, Oct. 1923. Contains a story of Reynolds and some Scott Valley Indians camping on Mt. Shasta. 15. Legends: Native American/40. Find List. [MS701].
[MS2011]. Robbins, Ruth. How the First Rainbow Was Made : an American Indian Tale. Oakland, CA: Parnassus Press ; Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 1980.  p. : col. ill. ; 24 cm. When so much rain falls on Mt. Shasta that the Indians cannot gather seeds, they ask Coyote for a sign the rain will stop. 15. Legends: Native American. [MS2011].
[MS700]. Rousseau, B. G. An Early California
Legend: What Happens When the Thunder God is Mocked. In: The Stranger. Oct.,
1923. Vol. 1. No. 8. p. 10. Contains a Mt. Shasta Indian legend. Rousseau writes:
"Near the northern border of the mountain is a tremendous chasm about 500
feet in depth, called by the Indians 'Ish-ne-quah-ish,' or 'Where the Arrow
Was Shot'.... One day, states Mr. Reynolds, he and a companion, together with
some Scott Valley Indians, were hunting on the mountain where they had been
camping for some days. One day they climbed to the top of the mountain, and
in a spirit of idleness, one of the party began to roll rocks over the steep
side to hear the rumbling reverberations, which came up like thunder from the
depths below. The old Chief, who was with them, became angry, and bade the foolish
young man to stop throwing stones, otherwise the God of the Mountain would show
his displeasure by bringing on a thunder storm. The young man laughingly pointed
to the cloudless sky....Not until the storm had spent its fury did the old Chief
break his silence; then he told the now thoroughly subdued and chastened party
the legend of the mountain, saying that the Great Spirit had sent the storm
in order to testify to his displeasure that a mere human should roll rocks down
the mountain to emulate his heavenly thunder."
Rousseau begins his article with a passage about the naming of Mt. Shasta. He states: "Mount Shasta in Siskiyou County was called by the Russians who settled on Bodega Bay in the early part of the 19th century, "Tchastal," literally translated meaning 'white' or 'pure' mountain. This name was adopted by the early Americans who followed the Russians, spelling it 'Chasta.' Time has softened the harsh consonants of the original name into the softer and more musical 'Shasta' of the present day."
Note that this Russian origin theory is often told in various ways but has never been proven. The first spelling using a "t" as the initial letter was perhaps Titian Ramsay Peale's 1841 journal spellings of "Tschasty" and "Tchasty." The names of "Sastise," "Castise," and "Sasty" were written by Peter Skene Ogden in 1826-1827. 15. Legends: Native American. [MS700].
[MS967]. Theodoratus, Dorothea J. and
Evans, Nancy H. Statement of Findings, Native American Interview and Data
Collection, Study of Mt. Shasta, California, U.S.D.A., Shasta-Trinity National
Forests, Redding, California, Contract No. 53-9A28-1-1N100. Fair Oaks,
Calif.: Theodoratus Cultural Research, Sept., 1991. Unpublished typewritten
report. Submitted as an enclosure for the U.S.F.S-Robert R. Tyrell (see Tyrell
1992) letter of recommendation for certain portions of Mt. Shasta as eligible
for registration as National Historic properties. Contains six parts: Introduction;
Interview Procedure; Historical/Traditional Findings; Contemporary Uses and
Values; References Cited; Appendix: Identified Native American Places On Mt.
Contains the results of interviews with 39 individuals of the Hupa, Karuk, Modoc, Pit River, Shasta, Wintu, and other tribes. The authors state that "Interview data clearly demonstrate that Mt. Shasta, in its entirety, continues to be held by northern California Indian peoples as a sacred entity within their physical environment....purification has been a requirement as part of an individuals preparation for an approach to the mountain. The individual's behavior and activities on Mt. Shasta should leave the mountain in an unaltered state."
Most of the authors' individual tribal interview summaries reflect Mt. Shasta a whole. For example, the authors state that "The Shasta Indian name for Mt. Shasta "Waka-nunee-Tuki-wuki," is the same as the name for the Shasta Creator. This name, meaning to 'walk around and around, but never on top,' should be repeated twice anytime the mountain comes into a Shasta person's vision. The area above the tree line on Shasta has been reserved for the 'Gods,' and therefore, is not a place a Shasta person would travel except under special circumstances" (p. 5).
The authors conclude that "In summary, contemporary Indian uses of Mt. Shasta are clearly rooted deeply in traditional values and beliefs. The spiritual and secular activities being practiced today on Mt. Shasta are consistent with historic Native American activities. The information on the sites listed in the appendix also demonstrates this continuity with the past. Additional research could reveal other locales or more data about proposed development are based on their continued concern for Mt. Shasta as well as the qualities which allow them to perpetuate their traditional cultural practices and beliefs" (p. 10). 15. Legends: Native American. [MS967].
[MS964]. Theodoratus, Dorothea J. and
LaPena, Frank Raymond. Wintu Sacred Geography. In: California Indian
Shamanism. Menlo Park, Calif.: Ballena Press, 1992. pp. 211-226. Contains
many statements about Mount Shasta, which is one of those "topographical
features that give meaning and distinction to people and place and are apart
from villages and daily home life.... topographical features that are the embodiment
of Wintu expression of an ordinary and non-ordinary world" (p. 211). According
to the authors: "Mountains also possessed benevolent spiritual power, and
a number of such peaks were named by consultants--Mount Shasta being the 'main
one' " (p. 223). The authors state that: "Spirits of the living and
the dead could also be manifest in the environment. The spirits of the dead
might manifest themselves in whirlwinds of dust, or as ghosts. The soul of the
newly deceased could linger a few days before traveling northward, where it
would go to Mount Shasta or to a spring known only to souls. It would then rise
to the Milky Way where it would travel south to a fork in the spirit trail,
and then east to a grassy plain where Indians 'are always having a big time'
(DuBois 1935:79; TCR Field Data). Generally, at death, the body would be oriented
toward the north, the direction the ghost must travel to drink from the spring
of life before starting the journey to the next world (DuBois 1935:65). Different
soul-travel orientations might be used for a person buried outside the Wintu
area. Then, the spirit would be released in the direction of Mt. Shasta, but
funeral oratory would always direct the soul on its celestial journey"
Contains reproductions of Frank LaPena's paintings of Mt. Shasta, including "North Mountain (Bohem Puiyuk)" (p. 224) and "North," (p. 215) which shows Mount Shasta juxtaposed with LaPena's aunt, who lived near Mt. Shasta. 15. Legends: Native American. [MS964].
[MS816]. [Towendolly, Grant. A Bag
of Bones: The Wintu Myths of a Trinity River Indian. Happy Camp, Calif.:
Naturegraph, reprint 1990. First published in 1966 A book of stories from
the Mount Shasta region, as told by the highly respected Wintu Indian Grant
Towendolly. Contains fifteen of his stories. Most of the stories mention Mt.
Shasta. These stories embody many of the beliefs of the local Indians. The most
extensive collection of Mt. Shasta region stories in print.
Note that in 1987 Native American author/artist Frank LaPena wrote The World is a Gift in honor of his uncle Grant Towendolly (see LaPena 1987). 15. Legends: Native American. [MS816].
[MS771]. Wilson, Darryl Babe. Mis Misa.
In: News from Native California: An Inside View of the California Indian World.
Spring, 1992. Vol. 6. No. 2. pp. 30-34. 'Special Issue: California Indians and
the Environment' Central to this important article about Mt. Shasta is an
Indian elder's statement that "It must be time to tell the white people
the story of Mis Misa."
Mis Misa is a traditional Indian teaching of the sacred importance of Mt. Shasta. According to the author "Mis Misa is the tiny, yet powerful spirit that lives within Akoo-Yet (Mount Shasta) and balances the earth within the universe and the universe within the earth. Its assigned duty makes Akoo-yet the most necessary of all the mountains upon earth, for Mis Misa keeps the earth the proper distance from the sun and keeps everything in its proper place when Wonder and Power stir the universe with a giant yet invisible ja-pilo-o (canoe paddle). Mis Misa keeps the earth from wandering away from the rest of the universe....to ascend this mountain with a pure heart and a real purpose, and to communicate with all of the lights and all of the darkness of the universe is to place your spirit in a direct line from the songs of the Mis Misa to hataji (the heart) of the universe" (pp. 30-31).
This traditional teaching is brought out by the author because of an impending ski area development on Mt. Shasta. The author feels that the white people see Mt. Shasta "as a piece of valuable real estate." The author states that "Yes there is a callousness in the manner that people have abused the world. Yes, environmentally oriented people must oppose that irresponsibility. Yes, children have an absolute right to peace and protection. Yes, we, the able and capable, have an absolute duty to defend our loved ones in their journey through life" (p. 34).
Illustrated by three artworks of Mt. Shasta by Wintu artist Frank LaPena.
For another account of Mis Misa see Darryl Wilson., "Jema Halo Ti Wi Ji (Great White Owl)" In The American Indian Quarterly Vol XIII, No. 4. Fall 1989, p. 503. 15. Legends: Native American. [MS771].
[MS904]. Wilson, Darryl Babe. Once
Upon a Time on Allisti Ti-Tanin-Miji, Rock Rainbow, aka Alcatraz. The Californians.
May-June 1992. Vol. 9. No. 6. pp. 8-12. The author's Pit River Indian grandfather
has told several important Indian stories about "Axo-Yet" or Mt. Shasta
(see Wilson "Mis Misa" 1992). The present article contains a long
account of the grandfather's escape from Alcatraz: "We wandered for many
nights....in the great valley....We waited for him to holler as was the plan.
We waited a long, long time. Then we heard: 'Axo-yet! Axo-yet! To-ho-ja-toki!
To-ho-ja-toki tanjan! (Mt. Shasta! Mt. Shasta! North direction!). Our hearts
were happy. We were close to home. My mother squeezed me to her. We cried. I
know we cried. I was there. So was my mother and grandmother" (p. 12).
The author adds that "It is nearing winter 1989. Snows upon Axo-Yet (Mt. Shasta) are deep....The beautiful mountain. The landmark that caused the hunted warrior 140 years ago to forget the tragic episode that could have been the termination of our nation, and, standing with the sun shining full upon him, hollered to a frightened people waiting below: Axo-Yet! Axo-Yet To-ho-ja Toki Tanjan!." (p. 12). 15. Legends: Native American. [MS904].
[MS1287]. Winthrop, Robert. Persistent Peoples: Mechanisms of Cultural Survival. In: Table Rock Sentinel: The Magazine of the Southern Oregon Historical Society. Sept.-Oct., 1989. Vol. 9. No. 5. pp. 22-30. An overview of the surviving tribes of southern Oregon and northern California. Contains information about the Shasta tribe, including a reference to the former ceremonial use of the headwaters of the Sacramento River in Mt. Shasta City, presumably the Mt. Shasta City park springs: "A Shasta informant, Carraway George, reported attending numerous ceremonies in the 1930s, many at the Sacramento River headwaters in Mt. Shasta City: 'They would give thanks to the Great Spirit...before they eat. Then when the families got together they would have someone, being the elder at the time...give what...the Christian people would call a prayer. (In the prayer) he would be glad that he had lived this many years....they sat around and talked...and all these different things that pertained to the Shasta people. This is how that their knowledge was passed down, from one generation to the other'" (pp. 26-27). 15. Legends: Native American. [MS1287].
[MS589]. Woiche, Istet. Annikadel:
the History of the Universe as Told by the Achumawi Indians of California.
Boston, Mass.: Stratford Co., 1928. Mt. Shasta is mentioned in several of the
stories in this book (pp. 128-129; 145-148).
There is a chapter on Jamul stories. Jamul was a mighty chief but a conceited braggart and usually lacked common sense. Consider the following brief account: "Another time Jamul and Kwahn were arguing about Summer and Winter. Kwahn said Winter should have not more than four moons and Summer eight. But Jamul insisted that Winter should have ten moons; Summer only two. So Kwahn told him to go up on Mount Shasta and try out having ten moons of Winter" (p. 146).
One Jamul story is entitled "Jamul and the Big Grasshopper on Mt. Shasta." The story begins: "The people told Jamul that he was chief and should go high up on Mount Shasta where he would find trees no one had touched, and berries no one had touched. He said that was fine; so he went. He built a house and stayed all alone. He was feeling big and liked to be high above everyone" (p. 147). In the end Jamul starved until saved magically by his son-in-law Kwahn. But the people of the village did not give Jamul any ego boast upon his return, and this made him very angry.
Other stories which mention Mt. Shasta are "Chool tells E-de'-che-we of the Deceit of Jamul's Wife" (pp. 133-134), and "E-de'-che-we asks Chah-hah's Help to find his Brother Yahtch" (p. 128). In the latter story, Mount Shasta is named "Et-ah'-ko."
The editor, C. Hart Merriam, writes: "The Modes'se Indians live in the densely forested Big Bend country of Pit River, in the northern part of northern California. They belong to the Achomawan stock. Like other California tribes they possess a precious legacy in the richness of their mythologies. This however is known to so few of our people that it is still the practice of American schools and universities to seek in foreign lands the myths with which to stimulate the imaginations of the upcoming generations. The mythologies of California Indians go back much farther than those of the people of Europe and Asia for they tell of the doings of the FIRST PEOPLE, the ANIMAL PEOPLE--curious beings, neither animal nor human--who immediately before the appearance of Real People were transformed, not into Indians but into real animals, trees, rocks, and other natural objects....The Pit River Indians have lived so close to nature for so many thousands of years, and have been on such intimate terms with nature, that they in their minds form a part of nature. They see in their environment not only what we see, but much more--for they endow animals with attributes and reason similar to their own and recognize in them a kinship of activities, relationships and powers. It is impossible for anyone not intimately acquainted with Indian beliefs to form anything approaching a true conception of their ways of thinking. The stories that make up the present volume were told to me by Istet Woiche, an old Modesse Indian known to whites as William Hulsey. He is Speaker and Keeper of the Laws, History, and Chronology of his tribe, and on important occasions represents the Chief. In fitting himself for his high office he studied the ancient tales, ceremonies, and laws of his people for more than twenty-four years. As evidence of his attainments he was awarded three and a half of the four degrees that may be granted in recognition of knowledge and rank. His certificate consists of three crossbars and an additional half-bar tattooed on the inner side of his left forearm" (pp.xv-xvii). 15. Legends: Native American. [MS589].
[MS2085]. [Yokut Indian Legend]. Legend: Mount Shasta. No date? Appears in advertisement for Adamson-Duvannes Galleries. Back cover of The Californians Vol. 13, no. 2. Entire legend appears here: "Once there was a time when there was nothing in the world but water. About the place where Tulare Lake is now, there was a pole standing far up out of the water, and on this pole perched a hawk and a crow. Thus they sat on top of the pole above the waters for many ages. The hawk and the crow then fell to work and commenced making the mountains. They began at the place now known as Ta-hi-cha-pa Pass, and the hawk made the east range, while the crow made the west one. Little by little, as they dropped in the earth, these, great mountains grew athwart the face of the waters, pushing north. It was a work of many years, but finally they met together at Mount Shasta, and their labors were ended. -Yokut legend." 15. Legends: Native American. [MS2085].
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