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


Texts: II. Shamanistic Experiences: Bear Shaman (Page 59)

Texts: II. Shamanistic Experiences: Bear Shaman (Page 59)
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II. SHAMANISTIC EXPERIENCES

(West Central Dialect)

Bear Shaman1

1. They went out early in the morning, all the people, they went out into the hills. When he had collected a lot of fledgelings in one place, he shot a woodpecker on a white oak.

2. "You all go on," he said, when his arrow stayed there, stuck, "I’ll throw stones at it for a while." He kept on throwing stones at it, and finally he hit the arrow and made it fall.

3. As he was going home, there stands in the trail a bear, a black bear. The bear does not see him it has its head down as he passes. He speaks to it all for nothing, it does not answer. But the bear as he passes seizes him, makes him faint with fear as it seizes him. It takes him to its hole, brings him into its hole, the bear. All of them are dancing for him. Everything the bear takes out of him, his heart, his guts, and they fill him up with down. After they have filled him, they dance, for him they dance. Four nights they dance for him. Like a corpse he stays, he does not hear anything.

4. When they have reached four nights: "Let him go home!" they say. All the bears shout, outside they go and stick a live oak twig in- to the ground. As they do it, "He is going home now," they say, shout- ing. As he jumps and runs he bites in two the live oak twig. The bears have started out, and dancing as they go, they bring him home, all of them in a line. 5. He has grown

———

1Told by Tom Williams.


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