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Central Sierra Miwok Dictionary with Texts (1960) by L. S. Freeland and Sylvia M. Broadbent

Texts: Yayali the Giant: free translation (Page 58)


Yayali the Giant: Free Translation

1. Two women are spreading out buckeye-nuts. To Lymylym?yla from Wakimy the two women have come up. He, then, Yayali the giant appears to the east of them. 2. While they are in the midst of spreading their buckeye nuts, he has reached the other side [of the valley] shouting as he comes, shouting! “A monster is coming!” say the two women.

3. The elder of the women has a child with her. “Give me the boy, let me take him on my lap!” says Yayali. “He always cries, you mustn’t try to take him on your lap,” says the woman.

4. “So I’ve found some wives for myself!” says Yayali, and he roasts meat for them, human meat, meat of the pregnant women he has brought in from hunting.

5. When this is finished, then says Yayali: “I’m going out after digger-pine nuts.” It is almost dark when he appears again, coming from far away. 6. [In the meantime the women] make a long torch. When it is almost dark they light it near where the buckeye is spread out, and after they have lit it they run away, west the women go, home to where they live in a earth-covered house. 7. Away down in the west when they’re almost home, they hear him.

“Run! He’s coming!” says the older one to her little sister. He’s close behind, he almost catches up with them. 8. As they come near home, they’ve tossed the baby to an old woman, and have gone inside the earth-covered house. Tarantula has closed the entrance with a rock, and sealed it over with his nasal secretion.

10. “Give me the boy!” says Yayali to the old woman. He’s tossed the baby in his burden basket and brought him to Sewiya. He threw the baby against a tree, and the baby was transformed into tree.

11. Some people went out hunting deer after he had left. Over on the other side the hunters found Yayali [up in a tree], crushing pine cones with a rock to get the pinenuts out. 12. “Why here’s our grandfather, getting pinenuts!” they said. Two of them climbed up after him and began throwing pinecones in his burden basket. 13. The people are gathering brush together at the bottom, while he is still up in the tree. He looks about wildly up there, as he feels the load of pine cones growing heavy. The fire has blazed up at the bottom of the tree, and the people have climbed down.

14. Then Yayali begins to cry out. “In what direction am I to die?” he says.

“To the west![”] they say. They point it out to him. “To the west you’re to die!” they say. He doesn’t want to. “Die to the south!” they say. He doesn’t want to. “Die to the north!” But that way he doesn’t want to. “Die to the east!”

15. And as they say it he falls that way, east. His head rolls away east, and there it turns into obsidian, turns into arrowpoint rock over in the east. His dead body, that turns into rock. They named it Kulto, the place that used to be his body. That is the place where he died.1

———

1 This is Table Mountain, a rock-covered mesa close to the rancheria where these Indians live.


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