Home A - Z FAQ Art Prints Online Library Discussion Forum Muir Weather Maps About Search
Online Library: Title Author California Geology History Indians Muir Mountaineering Nature Management

Next: Beholding YosemiteContentsPrevious: Tu-tok-a-na

Lights and Shadows of Yosemite (1926) by Katherine Ames Taylor


Legend of Tis-sa-ack

Long, long ago, before the Great Spirit had peopled Ahwahnee, an Indian woman, called Tis-sa-ack, and her husband, Nangas, left the plains of the Merced Valley to cross the high mountains before them. Weary from long days of climbing, and laden with burdens, they reached Ahwahnee at last, parched for water. It had been many days now since they had tasted of water, and eagerly they stumbled on to Ah-wei-ya, or Mirror Lake, where they would refresh themselves.

Tis-sa-ack, arriving first, set her papoose in its basket on the ground beside her, and, bending over, drank thirstily from the lake. Again and again she filled her basket and drank deeply from it. So great was her thirst that by the time her husband arrived not a basketful of water remained.

In great anger, Nangas turned upon his wife and began to beat her. Tis-sa-ack, in fright, ran from him, but he pursued her, striking her as he ran. At last, in pain and humiliation, Tis-sa-ack turned upon her husband, and threw her burden basket at him.

The Great Spirit, angered by all this tumult in his peaceful Ahwahnee, straightway turned them all into stone. Nangas became Washington Column and North Dome. The upturned burden basket, hurled by his weeping wife, became Basket Dome. The forgotten papoose in his basket, became the Royal Arches, while Tis-sa-ack herself became that great monument, Half Dome, which is still streaked with the tears of shame which streamed down her face at her husband’s beating.

Mirror Lake, where at sunrise Mt. Watkins, 4,000 feet above the lake, is reflected perfectly in its waters. PHOTO BY DE COU
PHOTO BY DE COU
[click to enlarge]
Mirror Lake, where at sunrise Mt. Watkins, 4,000 feet above the lake, is reflected perfectly in its waters


Next: Beholding YosemiteContentsPrevious: Tu-tok-a-na

Home A - Z FAQ Art Prints Online Library Discussion Forum Muir Weather Maps About Search
Online Library: Title Author California Geology History Indians Muir Mountaineering Nature Management

http://www.yosemite.ca.us/library/lights_and_shadows/tissaack.html