Old Woman of the Sea

August 4th, 2008 by sabrina

Old Woman of the Sea is the Salinan Goddess of water, particularly the ocean and its power. The Salinan tribes of California told a flood story as follows: At the beginning of the world, Eagle was chief among the animals. Old Woman of the Sea was jealous of his power and plotted against him. One day, she came on to the land with her basket, which held the sea. She poured the water out, covering almost all of the land---everything was covered except for the top of one mountain, where all the animals gathered. Eagle asked Puma to give him some of his whiskers, from which he made a lariat. Eagle lassoed the basket away from Old Woman of the Sea. Without her basket, Old Woman of the Sea died and the water stopped rising. Eagle then had Kingfisher dive down into the water and fetch some mud, from which he formed the world. Eagle then formed humans out of elderberry branches; when he breathed on them, they came to life and became the Salinan people.

This entry was posted on Monday, August 4th, 2008 at 3:00 pm and is filed under North American. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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