TOLOWA LEGEND OF THE FALL

From THE HIKER’S HIP POCKET GUIDE TO THE HUMBOLDT COAST by Bob Lorentzen

In ancient Tolowa mythology, Dead Lake was the scene of the People’s fall from grace. After Baby Sender created the world, a numerous tribe dwelt just inland from Tagian-te, what we today call Point St. George. Many summers they lived in peace. The waters abounded with fish, the forests with game, and the peoples’ hearts were glad. then came the time of sorrow. One day in council the chief became angry at one of the elders and struck him to the ground. This blow led to the destruction of the harmony that had existed. Some of the People began to doubt their leaders, others cried for vengeance. While many remained loyal, their discord allowed one dark-hearted person to practice evil. The heavens covered with menacing clouds of terrible darkness and the wind roared over the shifting sands, blinding everyone. Suddenly a deafening sound broke upon the ears of the people. Like the jaws of a dragon, the earth opened beneath their feet and swallowed them. The gaping abyss opened where Dead Lake is today. The storm broke in wild fury and torrents filled the sepulcher. To this day the Tolowa consider the lake bottomless, infested with enormous serpents, and they will not go there.

This mysterious lake has no inlet, and yet despite the ceaseless outpouring of Sweetwater Creek from it, retains a constant water level. You might carry angelica root or other protection from evil if you visit Dead Lake…

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One Response to TOLOWA LEGEND OF THE FALL

  1. Pingback: DEAD LAKE/TOLOWA LEGEND OF THE FALL | ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST

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