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The Meadowlark, a Gossip and Trouble-maker

The Olayome of Putah Creek say:

Hoo-yu'-mah the Meadowlark understands and speaks our language. He often makes disagreeable remarks; we often hear him say, “I see you are angry,” and other mean things.

Note. In the Ancient Myths it has already been shown that the Northern Me'-wuk and Wi'-pā tribes of Mewan stock, and the Pā’-we-nan tribe of Midoo stock, hold the Meadowlark responsible for the failure of dead people to rise on the third or fourth day and come to life again (see pages 55-56 and 132). This belief is widespread among the Mewan tribes and is held also by at least one Pomo tribe-the ‘Ham'-fo or Koi'-im-fo of Clear Lake.

All the Mewan tribes, and many belonging to widely different stocks—including even the Washoo of Lake Tahoe and adjacent valleys east of the Sierra—class the Meadowlark among the bad birds. They say he talks too much and is a gossip and they do not like him. The Washoo call him Se-soo'-te'-al-le and, like several other tribes, insist that he talks to them in their own language and always makes uncomplimentary remarks. He tells them that he sees right through them; that they are stingy and provide only food enough for themselves; that they are dark on the outside only and under the skin are as white and mean as a white man, and so on.

The Mariposa Mewuk say:

If a person breaks a Meadowlark’s egg it will rain.


Next: Ki'-ki'-ah The Mountain Bluejay

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