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The Southern Sierra Miwok Language (1964), by Sylvia M. Broadbent

16. Chief Tenaya (Pages 208-209)


16. Chief Tenaya (Pages 208)
[view image]


16. Chief Tenaya
(Told by Chris Brown)

(1) Long ago they say Tenaya talked about this, when the white people pushed him. (2) He arrived somewhere, he went to Tenaya Lake (3) and coming back he arrived. The white soldier found him, clubbed him and nearly killed him. (4) They brought him this way, they took him to the west, to what the white men call Oakhurst (who knows the Indians' name). (5) There they had nothing to eat for several days. They just lay there. They cracked acorns. (6) After they got the acorns, they ate them. The meat and things that the white people gave them they threw away. (7) "They are killing us," they said. (8) They took Tenaya himself to the San Joaquin Valley. (9) Then at night he felt sorry for himself. (10) The soldier killed his child. "I'm thinking about my child, about going back to him, to see him and take care of him," he said. (11) Then at night he told the Indians, "It is said that if we don't go with these white people they will kill us and get rid of all of us. (12) All of you go with these white people, but I am going to take care of my child, to see how he is there, I am going to bury him and burn him," he said. (13) He ran from there this way. (14) Lebrado, or somebody, maybe he, he was a little boy, he talked to me and told me that in answer, he told me at night. He came along the creek, they waded the creek this way. (15) Everybody came. (16) The soldiers got there the next day, the Indians had gone and run away. (17) But the soldier thinks, "They are tired, let them rest. They have nothing to eat," he said. (18) "They won't go anywhere," said he, this one, what was his name, his captain. (19) Then they came this way. They went along the creek, they climbed up to what they now call Bridal Veil. (20) Then below he reached where the bear ate his child, dragging him around. (21) "He didn't keep very well," he thought. He took his child (22) and brought him to Bear Creek, as they call it, and buried it there, his bones. (23) He himself died too, he was killed on the other side of the mountains by the Monos. They clubbed him. (24) After they clubbed him and killed him they laid him out. (25) John Hutchins, whom we call Tom Hutchins, he brought him, nothing but his hair, he brought it to the Indians. The Indians wept, they cried all one night. (26) The next day they buried him there in Yosemite, at what is called the Museum. He was buried there, his dust, as they say. (27) Then the Indians, "They are different, they are another kind of people, it is said," they thought. "That's right," they said.


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