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Ghosts may come back in Soo-koo'-me the Owl

The Middle Mewuk of Tuolumne River say:

When a person dies, Oo'leus the heart-spirit remains in the dead body for four days. During these four days everyone is quiet and the children are not allowed to run about or make a noise. On the morning of the fourth day the people sprinkle ashes on the ground over the buried basket of burnt bones—or over the grave if the corpse were buried instead of burned. On that day the heart spirit leaves the body in the invisible form of Hinnan Soos the Wind Spirit, or Soo-les'-ko the Ghost, and proceeds westward. That night it may come back in Soo-koo'-me the Owl, or in some other animal; so look out.

Some Ghosts are good, others bad. At last they all go to the ocean and cross over on a long pole to the Roundhouse of the dead, where they remain.


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