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California Indian Songs and Stories

From here, they surveyed the greenish gray water as far as they could see. The sky was a gorgeous bright blue with a few white drifting clouds, occasionally swirled by a passing breeze. All seemed serene to Eagle and Crow.


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Small fish were visible below the water, sometimes leaping out of the sea playfully. Hunger caused Eagle and Crow to swoop down, catching a meal for themselves from time to time. Soon a game developed between the two birds to see which one would be the winner in the fish-catching contest. Upon their return to the stump, however, they always shared the reward. Because of Eagle's great size and wingspan, he soared to great heights and surveyed widely, as the two birds often flew in opposite directions exploring for land.

But no land did they find. No other flying creatures did they see. But they always returned to their home base on the tree stump. Day after day these scenes were repeated, exploring in search of land or wondering how to create land, only to return to their stump and catch more fish. One morning soon thereafter and much to their surprise, a Duck was swimming around and around their stump. Occasionally, it dived deep in the water, rose to the surface chewing small fish, twisting its head from side to side trying to swallow its meal.

One time, Duck emerged with more mud than fish in its mouth.

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Eagle and Crow bird talked excitedly about this! An idea occurred to Eagle, which he bird talked to Crow, "If we supply fish for Duck, maybe he will bring up more mud than fish. By trial and error, the two birds caught fish for Duck, placing them at the edge of the stump, until Duck learned that the fish were for him in exchange for mud!

When Duck appeared on the surface after a deep dive, Eagle and Crow brushed off the mud from Duck's bill and his body with their wings. Progress was slow but steady. Gradually, Eagle had a pile of mud on his side of the stump and Crow had a similar pile on his side.

A Yokut Legend

Each placed fish on his own side for Duck, who now responded by carrying more and more mud to Eagle and Crow. This became a great game of fish-and-mud exchange. Duck worked very hard, consequently he was always hungry. The birds were surprised at how large each one's mud pile grew every day. Fortunately a group of Grizzly bears found her and took her in. Their children were then a combination of spirit and animal, having the nature of both; they were the first Modocs.


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  • Shasta to trade gold nuggets for supplies: A protrusion in the center of their very high foreheads was said to be a special organ enabling them to communicate by telepathy. When approached by townspeople, the Lemurians would apparently vanish into thin air.

    Shasta Legends (Folklore, Myths, and Traditional Indian Stories)

    Though the Lemurians had indeed created vast, underground pleasure palaces beneath the mountain, they had lost their freedom in a great war with the Atlanteans, and remain imprisoned by the Atlanteans in their pleasure palaces even today. It is these aircraft, some say, that accounts for the occasional appearances of UFOs above Mt.

    As time passed the ships became wingless, grew larger in size, and flew ever more smoothly and silently. Though powerful enough to destroy entire civilizations, Camazotz made a treaty with human beings to bring them fire… but in exchange, he demanded human sacrifices. His frozen spirit was then trapped within the body of a lumbering, troll-like monster, who devours any human he can get his hands on. There are many stories about these evil creatures, most of which portray them as a kind of vampire, and they vary in size from tiny to humongous.

    The most familiar story involves one of the beasts attacking a woman who was roasting chestnuts; the creature accidentally ingested a hot coal from the fire, which burned it to ashes. Known mainly to Navajo folklore, the Skinwalker is essentially the North American equivalent of the werewolf.

    The 10 Most Terrifying Native American Legends

    In most tales, the creature is a magical or cursed human being — usually a shaman who takes part in a heretical ceremony designed to summon evil forces, so that he may take on the characteristics of an animal. That animal can take many forms, including wolves, bears and birds.


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    • If the shaman stays too long in animal form, he can lose his humanity completely — which makes him even more dangerous. One of the scariest figures in Passamaquoddy and Micmac mythology, the Ghost-Witch is often said to be born from the dead body of a shaman who practiced black magic; the demonic entity then emerges each night with murder on its mind. They can be killed with fire, but beware if approaching one: