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The Ethnology of California

Nature volume 82, pages 352353 (20 January 1910) | Download Citation



THE University of California, continuing its useful work of investigating the ethnology and languages of the now rapidly disappearing Indian tribes of that State, publishes in the third part of the fifth volume of its Proceedings a monograph, by Mr. P. E. Goddard, on the Kato tribe, a branch of the Athapascan race on the Eel River. They have undoubtedly assimilated much of their culture from contact with the Pomos to the south and the Yukis to the east and west; but they still retain so much of their primitive folk-lore and beliefs that they deserve special examination. While their legends of the origin of fire and the sun are more or less common to other members of the group, their accounts of the creation and the deluge are peculiar to themselves. In the first, the earth with its great long horns raises itself from the primeval waters. The god Nagaitcho takes his seat upon it, places its head in the direction in which it should lie, and spreads clay between its eyes and upon each horn. Finally, in this he plants trees and other vegetables, and moulds the mountains and valleys.

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