Yosemite > Library > Dawn of the World > Wek'-wek Visits Underworld >
After Wek'-wek had sent his sister home he stayed near-the caves below Koo-loo'-te and dug holes in the sand and found roots and seeds that were good to eat. In digging he came to a very deep hole which led down under the world; he went down this hole and when he reached the underworld found other people there, and got a wife with a little boy. Besides his wife there were To-to'-kon the Sandhill Crane, Wah'-ah the Heron, Cha-poo'-kah-lah the Blackbird, and others.
To-to'-kon the Sandhill Crane was chief. When he saw Wek'-wek he said, “What shall we do with this man; he is lost; we had better kill him.”
Wek'-wek saw a man make ready with his bow and arrow, and invited him to come and eat. The man came and ate, and when his belly was full went back.
Captain To-to'-kon said, “I didn’t send you to eat, but to kill him.” Then he sent another, and Wek'-wek asked him also to come and eat, and he did as the other had done. Then Captain To-to'-kon sent two men together to kill him, but Wek'wek called them both to come and eat, and they did so. Then To-to'-kon was angry; he sent no more men but went himself and took his bow and arrow. Wek'-wek said to him, “Come in,” whereupon To-to'-kon shot his arrow but missed.
Then Wek'-wek came out and faced the people. They fired all their arrows but could not kill him. Wek'-wek said, “You can’t kill me with arrows. Have you a pot big enough to hold me?”
“Yes,” they answered.
“Then set it up and put me in it,” he said.
And they did as they were told and put Wek'wek in the hot pot and put the cover on. When he was burned they took out the burnt bones and buried them in the ground.
Ah'-ut the Crow missed his uncle and went to his uncle’s partner, Hoo-loo'-e, who was in the hole crying, and asked where Wek'-wek was. Hoo-loo'-e pointed down the hole. Ah'-ut went down and found the rancheria of the underworld people and killed them all. He then asked Wek'-wek’s wife where Wek'-wek was. She answered that the people had burned and buried him.
Wek'-wek stayed in the ground five days and then came to life; he came out and asked his wife where the people were. She told him that Ah'-ut had come and killed them all. “That is too bad,” he exclaimed, “I wanted to show them what kind of man I am.” Then he said she should stay there and he would take the boy and go home.
She answered, “All right.”
Then he shot his arrow up through the hole and caught hold of it, and held the boy also, and the arrow carried them both up to the upper world.