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Three Birds scream to frighten the Ghosts

The Southern Mewuk of the Chowchilla region say:

After a person dies his Hoo'-ne or Ghost sets out toward the ocean. On the way it has to cross a broad river on a log. While it is crossing on this log, three birds scream to frighten it—Hek-ek'-ke the Quail, Ha-chah'-we the Barn Owl, and Hah'-jen-nah a small Heron.

If the Ghost is frightened and falls into the river it turns into a fish; but if it keeps on and crosses the log it continues westerly over the ocean and goes to the place where all the Ghosts live together, and never comes back.


Next: Ghosts May Come Back in Soo-koo'-me the Owl

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Online Library: Title Author California Geology History Indians Muir Mountaineering Nature Management

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