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Beliefs Concerning Animals

Bears resemble People and like to Dance

The Northern Mewuk say:

Bears are like people. They stand up, they have hands, and when the hide is off, their bodies look like the bodies of people. Bears know a great deal. They understand the Mewuk language, and their hearing is so sharp that they hear a person a long way off and know what he says.

Bears, like people, like to dance. Once an old Indian saw some bears dance in the forest. He saw Oo-soo'-ma-te the old she Grizzly Bear and a lot of little bears. The old she Bear leaned up against a young pine tree with her left hip and bent it down, and sang moo'-oo, moo'-oo. The little bears caught hold of the bent-over tree, hanging on with their hands over their heads, while they danced with their hind feet on the ground.


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