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Native American Legends

Coyote

A Costanoan (Ohlone) Legend

Coyote's wife said to him: "I do not want you to marry other women." Now they had only one child. Then Coyote said: "I want many children. We alone cannot have many children. Let me marry another woman so that there may be more of us." Then the woman said, "Well, go." Then he had five children. Then his children said: "Where shall we make our houses? Where shall we marry?" Coyote told them: "Go out over the world." Then they went and founded five rancherias with five different languages. The rancherias are said to have been Ensen, Rumsien, Ekkheya, Kakonta, and that of the Wacharones.

Now Coyote gave the people the carrying net. He gave them bow and arrows to kill rabbits. He said: "You will have acorn mush for your food. You will gather acorns and you will have acorn bread to eat. Go down to the ocean and gather seaweed that you may eat it with your acorn mush and acorn bread. Gather it when the tide is low, and kill rabbits, and at low tide pick abalones and mussels to eat. When you can find nothing else, gather buckeyes for food. If the acorns are bitter, wash them out; and gather "wild oat" seeds for pinole, carrying them on your back in a basket. Look for these things of which I have told you. I have shown you what is good. Now I will leave you. You have learned. I have shown you how to gather food, and even though it rains a long time people will not die of hunger. Now I am getting old. I cannot walk. Alas for me! Now I go."

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