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Who were the first Californians? Legends, Myths, and how they relate to real history

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posted on Feb, 12 2012 @ 08:50 AM
I made a connection when the OP mentioned professor von Sadovszky and his terms "Cal-Ugrians" and "Ob-Ugrians." I'm a fan of the Finnish band Varttina, and they have stated that they explore "Finno-Ugrian" musical traditions. For those who don't know, the Finnish language is related to von Sadovszky's Hungarian language. I'm going to have to look up "Ugrian," and find out what it is.
edit on 12-2-2012 by Lazarus Short because: lah-de-dah

Edit: OK, I looked up "Ugric," and it looks like the whole subject is not yet cut-and-dried. Looking at the Hungarian language, am I the only one who sees a resemblance between ancient (pre-1000 AD) written Hungarian and the Rongo-Rongo of Easter Island?
edit on 12-2-2012 by Lazarus Short because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 15 2012 @ 12:43 PM

Originally posted by punkinworks10
In this thread I wish to discuss, who were the first Californians, and how does that relate to the populating of north America.
My focus will be on the legends and myths of the native peoples of central California

Great topic. And I thought about it and there might be others related to the Penutian language family in addition to the three you named. So since I had a few hours to spare/waste this morn, I put together a list of all the tribes of California and links to their myths and legends. If they are from the Penutian Language family, then they have a double star ** in front of their number.

And now anyone can use my quick links to look up legends and myths of each Cali-tribe for discussion. The map I have for them I bought as a giant postcard on the Gila Indian Reservation. It only had about 38 or so tribes on it. I'm assuming there's more than the list I came up with.

Original Inhabitants-- 38 Tribes of California (from North to South)

1. Hoopa/Hupa (northwest Cali on Oregon border) - Athabaskan Languange Family, and one of the few Athabaskan tribes with patrilineal descent (most Athabaskan tribes have matrilineal descent).
Hupa Legends
History of the Hupa
2. Yurok (on different maps different places, all northwest Cali, some maps north of Hoopa, other maps south of Hoopa, other maps place them next to the Achomawi) - Algic Language Family
Yurok Legends
Yurok Tribal History
3. Shasta (north Cali/Oregon border) - not a formally recognized tribe now, they were incorporated into the Karuk and Alturas tribes.
Shasta Legends
Shasta Indian Tribe Our Story
4. Chasta Costa (north central Cali near Oregon border) - part of the Shasta tribe but a different branch
5. Wiyot (northwest coastal Cali, now Humbolt Bay - Algic language roots and distantly related to Algonquian Language Family.
Wiyot Legends
Wiyot Tribe Culture & History
6. Achomawi (northeast Cali/Nevada border) - Palaihnihan Language Family
Achomawi Myth
Myths of the Achomawi
Achomawi: Wikipedia
7. Yuki (northwest Cali coast, south of the Wiyot) - only 100 left
Solitude Walker
Yuki Legends
Yuki Tribe: Wikipedia
8. Pomo (northwest Cali coast south of the Yuki tribe) - Kulanapan Language Family
Pomo Legends
Pomo People
9. Nomlaki (northeast Cali, what's now Sacramento Valley) - Wintuan Language Family Nomlaki Tribal History
10. Atsugewi (east Cali/Nevada border) - Palaihnihan language
Myths of Atsugewi
Atsugewi Traditional Narratives
11. Wintun (north central Cali, south of Nomlaki) - Wintuan Language Family
Wintu Legend
History of Wintun Nation
12. Yahi (east Cali/Nevada border, south of Atsugewi) - extinct tribe
Ishi, the Last Yahi Indian
**13. Maidu (east Cali/Nevada border, south of the Yahi) - Maiduan/Penutian Language Family
Tolowim Woman and Butterfly Man
Maidu Legends
Our History: Konkow Valley Band of Maidu
**14. Konkow (north central Cali, east of Maidu) - Maiduan Language Family
(see above links for Maidu)

posted on Feb, 15 2012 @ 12:48 PM
15. Wappo (north coastal Cali, south of Pomo, Nappa to Alexander Valley) - language is extinct, last speaker died in 1990
Wappo Legends
About Mishewal Wappo Tribe
16. Patwin (north central Cali) - Wintuan Language Family
Patwin Traditional Narratives
Patwin People
**17. Miwok (north of Oakland area) - Utian/Penutian Language Family
Miwok Legends
Taboos and Superstitions of Miwok Tribe
**18. Ohlone/Costano (Oakland area, San Francisco Bay) - Utian/Penutian Language Family
Ohlone Mythology
Ohlone Legends
Costanoan Tribal History
Ohlone People
**19. Yokut (just south of the Miwok) - Penutian Language Family
The Lizard Hand
Yokut Legends
Totems, Superstitions & Customs of the Yokut
20. Paiute (central Cali/Nevada border) - Numic Branch of Uto-Aztecan Language Family
Why the North Star Stands Still
Ghost Dancers of the Paiute
Paiute Legends
21. Washo (central Cali/Nevada border) - Washo language is an isolate
Washo Legends
Washoe Tribal History
22. Esselen (Monterey County and San Francisco) - Hokan Language Family
Esselen Legends
Esselen Tribe
**23. Salina (coastal Monterey County, San Luis Obispo) - can't seem to find info about their language family, however, they were placed on Spanish Missions with the Yokut. The last living speaker of their language was the 1950s. Forced to speak Spanish.
Salinana Legends
Salinan Indian History
**24. Mono (central Cali/Nevada border ) -finding sources saying that they are part of the Numic branch of the Uto-Aztecan Language family. Which doesn't necessarily mean that they are because a lot of Native American languages get thrown into that family when they aren't related, just a few borrowed words
The Earthdiver
Mono Legends
Mono Source Says Uto-Aztecan Language Family
25. Panamint (just south of Mono on Cali/Nevada border, Death Valley) - Timbisha Language, Numic Branch of Uto-Aztecan Language Family
Sacret Texts: Panamint Valley
26. Shoshone (east Cali/Nevada border ) - Uto-Aztecan Language Family
Lodge Boy and Thrown-Away's Father
The Shoshone Indians
Shoshone Legends
27. Kawaiisu (east Cali/Nevada border ) - Numic group, Uto-Aztecan Language Family
Kawaiisu Heritage
Kawaiisu Legends
28. Chumash (Santa Barbara, Ventura region ) - Hokan Language Family
Chumash Myths & Customs
Customs of the Chumash
Chumash Creation Myth
Chumash Legends

posted on Feb, 15 2012 @ 12:52 PM
29. Kitanemuk (south central Cali , Mohave desert) - Takic branch of Uto-Aztecan Language Family
Kitanemuk Indians
Kitanemuk Legends
30. Serrano (north of LA, San Bernardino) - Takic branch, Uto-Aztecan Language Family
The Land of the Dead
Serrano Legends
Serrano People
31. Fernandeno/Tongva People (San Fernando Valley) - Takic branch, Uto-Aztecan Language Family
Gabrielino/Tongva People (Los Angeles area) - Takic branch, Uto-Aztecan Language Family
Tongva Creation Story
Tongva People
Quaoar Mythology
Gabrielino Legends
32. Mojave (east Cali/Arizona border) - Yuman Language Family
Mojave Indians
Mojave Creation Myth
Mojave Legends
Mohave People
33. Luiseno (Los Angeles area) - Takic branch, Uto-Aztecan Language Family
Sacred Texts: Myths of Luiseno
Dance of the Dead
Luiseno Legends
Pechanga Band of Luiseno History
34. Juaneno (Orange County, Oceanside area) - language went extinct, but was retrieved by tribe members studying nearby Luiseno language
Juaneno Legends
35. Cahuilla (north of San Diego) - Uto-Aztecan Language Family
Creation Story of the Cahuilla
Cahuilla Mythology
Cahuilla Legends
36. Cupeno (south Cali/Arizona border) - Takic branch, Uto-Aztecan Language Family
Cupeno People
Cupeno Legends
37. Kumeyaay/Diegueno (San Diego area) - Delta branch, Yuman Language Family
Diegueno Religion
Diegueno Creation Myth: Sacred Texts
Kumiai Legends
Kumeyaay People
38. Kamia (south Cali/Arizona/Mexico border) - Yuman Language Family
Kamia Indians
(see above links for Kumeyaay since they are extension of that tribe)

A stich in time saves nine. =)

posted on Apr, 16 2013 @ 07:52 PM
reply to post by MapMistress

Hi Mapmistress,
A belated thanks for all of that hard work with the links.
I'll have to admit that I basically forgot about this thread last year. The company I work for had just taken over another company and I found myself running two shops.
But hey, I'm back on this one.
So after a recent discussion in another thread, with Skalla, about fire drills and other primative life strategies, I decided to revive this thread.
I know its of limited interest, but it' for those who are interested.
So the first story i'll relate is the story of how the people got fire.

posted on Apr, 16 2013 @ 07:59 PM
reply to post by punkinworks10

Here's a skit about The Californians.

Maybe it has some historical relevance.

posted on Apr, 17 2013 @ 08:34 AM
reply to post by Wertdagf

Oh I hate that skit
Not one of snl's best

posted on Apr, 17 2013 @ 09:57 AM
The following stories are about how the people got fire, or more precisely stole fire.

A yokut story,

There was no fire. It was very cold. Then the eagle told the roadrunner and the fox to go out. These two were good runners. Coyote said: "Let the crow go. He is good at looking about." The eagle said: "They are better;" but he let the crow go. Then Coyote said: "I am going too," though the eagle wanted him to stay. Then the eagle told the crow: "Start early. If you see fire anywhere tell us." Late in the day the crow saw fire in the west. He came back and said: "They have fire there." Then the eagle sent out the roadrunner and the fox. Coyote and the crow went with them. They went directly north along the Coast Range. Before, when the crow had gone alone, he first went eastward and then north and then to the west and back south. Now Coyote said: "Wait until the sun is down. Then we will steal it. They agreed. Now it was dark in the west. Then Coyote said: "Now they are all asleep." The crow said: "We will not all go there. Let one who can jump well take the fire. You, fox, go." Coyote said: "I will go too. I am a good jumper too." The crow said: "No, we will be killed." But Coyote said: "No, we are all good runners. And I will take the fire. Even if you come with me it is I who will take the fire." Then they came to one end of the village. "Here is good fire," they said. They took fire, and put it in a net-sack. Then Coyote

[p. 212]

told them: "Run ahead. I am going to kill this little one." "No, do not," said the fox. "Yes, I will," said Coyote. Then the fox and the others went ahead. Coyote took the child, threw it in the fire, and killed it. Then he leaped out of the house and ran. It was another coyote who was living there. He called out: "Take care! Someone has come!" Now as the fire-stealers ran, their path was the San Joaquin river. The fog ( ?), gumun, and a duck, wolwul, pursued them. Coyote jumped from side to side and the pursuers ran here and there after him. That is why the river is crooked. They kept on running southward. Then Coyote reached his sweat-house. He entered and closed it. They could not catch him. He had the fire inside. He had succeeded in taking it away from them. Then in the morning they made fire there. From that day they had fire and were well off.

And another yokut version,

The people in the foothills had no fire. Only to the west in the plains was there a man who had fire, and he had it all. Now when he slept, the antelope, selected for its swiftness, was sent to steal his fire. It took it and fled. It was again in sight of the place from which it had started, when a rain came, which put out the fire. Then others tried to bring it. The last was the jackrabbit. After he had stolen the fire, he bid in a thick brush, shek'ei. There he burrowed. Then he crouched over the fire, holding it in his hands under his belly. From this the palms of his hands are black. When he stole the fire it was not extinguished; and so he obtained it for the people.

The yokuts were the people of the san Joaquin valley and low foothills, and the miwok lived higher in the hills and the northern san Joaquin valley, thier stories are similar but a little different.

At first there was no fire. The turtle had it all. He sat on it and covered it up. He lived far up in the east in the mountains. Coyote went to that place. He lay down like a piece of wood. The people who lived there came by and saw him. "I am going to take this piece of wood," they said. They took him home and put him in the fire. Coyote tried to get into the fire under the turtle. The turtle said'. "Stop pushing me." Now Coyote got some of the fire. Then he ran down-hill with it westward

[p. 203]

into this country, where then there was no fire and it was cold. He caught a quail and with its fat he made his fire blaze up. Now the people first all became warm. The Mono (Shoshoneans) were far back up in the hills; the Chukchansi (Yokuts) in the middle; the Pohonichi (Miwok) were the ones who received the fire. Coyote was one of them. That is why the Mono cannot speak well; it is too cold where they live.

Coyote made the eagle the chief of the people. They enjoyed themselves and made dances. They were warm now because they had fire. They lived well. They wore no clothes. Some men wore a blanket of rabbit skins or of deer skin; others wore nothing. They used hollow stones to cook in, made of soft red stone. The eagle told them: "Go out and catch rabbits," and then they caught rabbits to eat. To get salt they went beyond the North Fork of the San Joaquin.

Those stories are very similar in the idea,

Now here is a story from the Yaqui of Mexico,

NOW THERE IS fire in all rocks, in all sticks. But long ago there wasn't any fire in the world, and all of the Yaquis and the animals and the creatures of the sea, everything that lived, gathered in a great council in order to understand why there was no fire.

They knew that somewhere there must be fire, perhaps in the sea, maybe on some islands, or on the other side of the sea. For this reason, Bobok, the Toad, offered to go get this fire. The Crow offered to help him and also the Roadrunner and the Dog. These four, the winged animals and the dog, went along to help. But Bobok, the Toad, alone, knew how to enter the water of the sea and not die.

The God of Fire would not permit anyone to take his fire away. For this reason he still sends thunderbolts and lightning at anyone who carries light or fire. He is always killing them.

But Bobok entered the house of the God of Fire and stole the fire. He carried it in his mouth,

p. 159

traveling through the waters. Lightning and thunder made a great noise and many flashes. But Bobok came on, safe beneath the waters. Then there formed on the flooding water, little whirlpools of water full of rubbish and driftwood.

Suddenly not only one toad was to be seen, but many swam in the waters, many, many toads. They were all singing and carrying little bits of fire. Bobok had met his sons and had given some fire to one, then another, until every toad had some. These carried fire to the land where they were awaited by the Dog, the Roadrunner, and the Crow. Bobok gave his fire to those who could not enter the water.

The God of Fire saw this and threw lightning at the Crow and the Roadrunner and the Dog. But many toads kept on coming and bearing fire to the world. These animals gave light to all the things in the world. They put it into sticks and rocks. Now men can make fire with a drill because the sticks have fire in them. LC

posted on Apr, 17 2013 @ 10:11 AM
reply to post by punkinworks10

The reason I brought up the Yaqui story is that the Yaqui are an uto-aztec speaking people of the coast of mainland Mexico. They are distant linguistic cousins of the Californians who have been separated for 3000-4000 years, but the story still follows the same idea, that fire had to be "stolen" from people or in the case of the Yaqui a fire god, that were already here.

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