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Miwok Material Culture: Indian Life of the Yosemite Region (1933) by S. A. Barrett and E. W. Gifford


TRAILS

Miwok trails were usually almost airline in their directness, running up hill and down dale without zigzags or detours. Past the soapstone quarry, Lotowayaka, on the north wall of the canyon of the north fork of the Tuolumne river, ran such a trail, connecting the hamlet of Pulayuto, in the meadows east of the north fork of the Tuolumne river, with the hamlet of Ha˝itwuye, near Soulsbyville. This trail ran straight down one canyon wall and up the other, not zigzagging on the steep slope. On the occasion of festivities at Ha˝itwuye, the Pulayuto people travelled this trail. The chief of Pulayuto furnished deer for the feast and sometimes his carriers would transport eight or ten deer over this steep trail. The trail was unnamed.

When a stranger was shown over an obscure trail it might be marked for him with sticks thrown down, so that he could find his way back. In the treeless high Sierra Nevada, Miwok travellers marked their way over the granite wastes with pine needles.

According to Powers,94 a dead skunk was sometimes hung beside a difficult trail, so that the odor would serve as a guide.

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94Powers, 351.



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