Hupa Creation Story

Hupa creation story – – Humboldt County

He Who is Lost to us Across the Ocean first appeared on the Klamath River. When he appeared there was a ringing noise like a bell. When he appeared burning pieces of wood fell from the sky. When he appeared there was another race of people who went across the ocean, never to be seen again. They were immortals. Some of these people were bad, but one in particular kept all the deer inside a mountain. The God went to him and told him he was hungry for venison. The bad man opened the door on the side of the mountain to get a deer. But the god watched and entered the mountain. His quiver and arrows grew a plant called wild ginger. The deer liked this and he enticed them to come out of the mountain so everyone could have something to eat. A selfish woman kept all the salmon in a pond all to herself. The god asked her for eels to eat and she got some. He next asked for some surf fish. She caught some in a net. The god dug a ditch and released all the salmon from the pond. The old woman followed them. She follows them as they migrate upriver to spawn. She appears as a yellow breasted flycatcher. The god next saw a blind old man carrying a heavy load. He offered to help carry the load but the strap which held it broke. It was a big load of sharp obsidian and it could’ve cut the god to pieces. The old man was in the habit of killing people this way. He felt around for the god but did not find him. The god then pushed the load onto the blind old man’s back and it fell and cut him to pieces. In this way the god killed a cannibal who ate people. Then the god found a bad man who was catching people with a hook. The god hooked the bad man and killed him. He got rid of another cannibal this way. Then he found a bad man with a seesaw. The man asked the god to sit on it and then let it go suddenly. The god jumped off in time but told the man to sit on the seesaw himself. The god let go of the seesaw, which was a sharp stone and it came down hard and killed the man. Then he found a blind old man who split a log. He tried to get the god to stand in the cleft in the log. He let it go suddenly, trying to kill him. He tried to find the dead god but could not because he had stepped out of the cleft. He told the blind old man to step into the cleft and let it spring shut on him. He tried to arrange for people to live forever. But the people did not like this, that is why people die. After he made the world a comfortable place he went across the ocean, never to be seen again. He is there today.

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