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Volume 2, No. 4, pp. I5 I-'67

Transmitted May 10, I937Issued November IS, 1939

Price, $.25



The University of California publications dealing with anthro-pological subjects are now issued in two series.

The series in American Archaeology and Ethnology, whichwas established in 1903, continues unchanged in format, but isrestricted to papers in which the interpretative element outweighsthe factual or which otherwise are of general interest.

The new series, known as Anthropological Records, is issuedin photolithography in a larger size. It consists of monographswhich are documentary, of record nature, or devoted to the presen-tation primarily of new data.






Shamanism is still a vital institution amongthe Southern Paiute and consequently it is dis-cussed by informants with some reluctance, al-though with less reserve than might be expectedfrom a Basin Shoshonean people.' Although thedata below are by no means complete, they aresufficiently full to permit formulation of whatappears to be a characteristic Paiute patternand, at the same time, to bring out certain localspecializations. This is best accomplished by aseparate treatment of each band. Seven of theoriginal fifteen bands of Southern Paiute are in-cluded here;2 an outline of the shamanistic be-liefs and practices of an eighth, the Chemehuevi,has been published.3 The two most westerlygroups-the Chemehuevi and the Las Vegas-arenoticeably divergent from the others, probablybecause of their Yuman and southern Californiancontacts.

Game shamans, individuals who by virtue ofsupernatural power control the movements of gameanimals, are not included in the present paper.In native terminology they are distinguished asdreamers (nono'si) in contrast to regular shamans(puaxanti). They were known to a number of South-ern Paiute groups, at least to those from theShivwits and Saint George westward, and were par-ticularly well developed among the Las Vegas andChemehuevi.

Informants and interpreters.-Kaibab: CaptainGeorge and Sarah Frank, Kaibab Indian Reservation,Moccasin, Arizona; interpreter, Katie Craig.Shivwits: Little Jim, Shivwits Indian Reservation,Santa Clara, Utah; interpreters, Big George andJames Yellowjacket. Saint George: Peter Hender-son, Shivwits Indian Reservation; interpreter,James Yellowjacket. Gunlock: Kenu, Shivwits Indian

Material for this paper was obtained inci-dental to an ethnogeographic investigation ofthe Southern Paiute, made when the author wasa National Research Council Fellow in the Biologi-cal Sciences. Eleven months, between July, 1932,and June, 1934, were spent in the field.

The identity and territorial extent of thesefifteen bands have been outlined in AA 36: 548-560, 1934.

3Kroeber anniversary volume (Bssays in Anthro-pology), published in 1936 by University of Cali-fornia Press. The larger part of the presentpaper, from the Kaibab to the Moapa, was preparedas part of a typescript anniversary volume pre-sented to R. H. Lowie by his students, in 1933.Material obtained the following year from the LasVegas band has been added to the original nucleusto form the present study.

Reservation; interpreter, James Yellowjacket.Paranigat: Bill China, Moapa Indian Reservation,Moapa, Nevada, with a few additional data fromhis wife, Maude, now deceased; no interpreter.Moapa: Dave, Moapa Indian Reservation, now de-ceased; interpreter, Grace Henry. Las Vegas:Daisy Smith, Colorado Indian Reservation, Parker,Arizona; interpreter, Stella Smith. Additionalmaterial from Tom Painter and Mata'vium (see be-low); interpreters, Kate Paddock and Eliza Sacket,respectively. Mata"vium (known also as CharliePete), of Las Vegas, Nevada, is referred to be-low as the joint Las Vegas-Chemehuevi informant.Interpreter, Eliza Sacket.

KAIBABThe first group to be considered is the Kaibab,

who formerly occupied the area between the south-ern tip of the High Plateaus of Utah and the GrandCanyon. At present the only shaman among them is aSouthern Ute, originally from the Henry Mountaindistrict. Upon occasion patients are taken fortreatment to the Shivwits Reservation or to theUte at Richfield or Koosharem (Utah), but in theold days only Kaibab practitioners were employed.

It is said that the shaman was "usually an oldman, sometimes a young one, but never a youngwoman." Theoretically women were the equal of menin doctoring, yet in a list of twenty shamans, onlytwo were women.4 One of these, however, seems to havebeen highly successful.

These were: (1) totsiats (gray hair), atAxla'vats (black-ant water), and (2) Tcantuya(slashed forehead), at Kana diuipy (willow carn-yon; Kanab Creek). Male shamans included: (1)Tca xavakitcim (thin waist), at the juncture ofNorth Creek and the Virgin; possibly Cedar bandrather than Kaibab. (2) Tcana (bull lizard) and(3) ML'mitana'bi (head bent back), both ofS3'vinokwint (cottonwood stream; Short Creek).(4) Waba'napun (alkali man), of Wabats (alkaliwater). (5) T3mpa'tsjad3ts, a rattlesnake shamanof Pa tspikain (water bubbling up; MoccasinSpring). (6) Yinimu' (bald head), of Tinka"nivats(cave water). (7) Yinlnapuni (bald man), and (8)his son, Takwasy (eagle tail), both of Parwab)(water ?-grass, the district around Alton).(9) Skuttimpaiya (from skump', Chrysothamnusnauseosus), in the White Cliff country, aboveJohnson Canyon. (10) Tuku'nimpi (wildcat feet),a rattlesnake shaman of Epa (old water; NavajoWell). (11) P3ronapun (walking stick man), ofPanwi abats (mud water), at the southwest baseof Paunsaugunt Plateau. (12) Tanu'u (bunion)and (13) K3'y3i'bi (one eye), of Paxa'mpats'(cane water, at the north end of Houserock Val-




Power came unsought, through dreams, and mightbe rejected if so desired. Dreams per se were dan-gerous: for to forget them was fatal; and to arousea dreamer might frighten him to death and bringsickness to the person who disturbed him. A novicedreamed at home, for perhaps a month before tryingto practice.

Treatment ordinarily took place at night in acircular brush enclosure, in the center of whichwas a fire. If no improvement was noted afterthree or four nights, another shaman was engaged.A dangerously ill patient might be treated by twoor three doctors in turn in the course of onenight. The Kaibab claim not to have killed unsuc-cessful shamans, who were allowed to continuepractice "and sometimes they cured." Formerly,payment was not demanded, but, generally, a smallgift of seeds or the like was offered. Today theeconomic aspect is stressed, five dollars a treat-ment being the usual fee.

In his dreams, the novice acquired a super-5natural spirit (utu'xuxuar; Sapir, tut.uyua'),the source of his healing power. This being tookthe form of a man, woman, or child; but, morefrequently, of an animal such as a bear, coyote,wildcat, lion, eagle, and so forth. According toone informant, the spirit was not visible to thedreamer immediately, but he "saw it later, not ina dream, but in the daytime, when alone." Severalsuch spirits might be acquired in the course of alifetime. They were visible to the shaman only,and although his professional colleagues mightknow of their identity, the layman ordinarily didnot.

The tutelary provided the shaman with a songor songs to be used in curing; these became knowngenerally, and persons attending a treatment cus-tomarily joined in the singing. The novice wasinstructed also in sucking and "dancing." Althougheach individual supposedly learned "dancing" fromhis familiar, there was no variation in the sha-man's "step,1' a simple stamping backward and for-ward from the prone body of the patient. Besides

ley. (14) Keno (crooked elbow), of Ka'nkwi orKa'nkwLts (singing water; Houserock Spring). (15)Niwa'r'impl (snow heel, a regular shaman as wellas a rattlesnake specialist, of Tuma'ranpaxantS(from the plant timad1, Stanleya), between House-rock Spring and Jacobs Pools. (16) Saitimpy(white spot mouth), who was "not a very gooddoctor," and (17) his brother, Kwiu'in'impi(crooked feet), both of Paxa'mpiaxantl (frompaxa mpl, cane), at the present Kane Ranch.(18) Nada'xwnts1 (tattooed?), of Sina'vats (coy-ote water), a spring at the western base of Kai-bab Plateau.

5Southern Paiute Dictionary, AAAS-P 65: 696,1931. According to Sapir (MS), a shaman sometimessang alone and sometimes accompanied. He mightgive his songs to others, but lost in efficacyif he thus "divided" his power too much. This andsucceeding references pertain to Sapir's unpub-lished notes on the Kaibab, the use of which hehas very kindly permitted.

giving general directions, the guardian spiritimposed individual rules of conduct. Thus, onedoctor habitually "danced" with a hand clapped tohis ear, presumably at the behest of the super-natural. Probably, too, a cane or staff was pre-scribed by the spirit. No other equipment was men-tioned except white eagle feathers, whose use theinformant attributed to recent borrowing from theUte.5 A shaman smoked, but not with the idea ofcuring by this means.

A shaman asked to treat did not leave his campbefore the arrival of his familiar. By pressingthe body of the patient with his hands he locatedthe seat of the ailment. Staff in hand, he dancedback and forth; he sang, accompanied by the gath-ering; and he sucked, lying on his back with thesick person face dewn upon him, usually across hischest. From the breast or ailing part he removeda small foreign body: a pebble, a length of twine,a piece of meat, a worm, a miniature coyote, orthe like. Sapir's informant described a colorlessround object "like a glass marble." This he dis-played, then swallowed. Informants say that theactual sucking was always done by the familiarspirit, lodged in the doctor's throat.

In extreme illnesses, when the shaman doubtedhis ability to cure, he inserted his spirit helperinto the body of the sick person. Removing thefamiliar from his own mouth, he held it betweenhis palms and, singing and blowing, put it intothe breast of the patient. Here it remained fora day or a night, then left of its own accord.Object intrusion seems to have been the result ofshamanistic malice: "it happened at night, likebeing shot with an arrow." A shaman who diagnoseda case as owing to witchcraft accused a colleagueof having instructed his tutelary to shoot thevictim with its bow. If the sorcerer admitted hisguilt and withdrew the "poison," recovery was ef-fected; otherwise death was inevitable. Sometimesthe victim, on the point of death, named the per-son he suspected of having bewitched him. But in-formants maintain that in no case was a sorcererpunished.

Soul loss is called muxu'a-uru'xwar) (soul-gone-away). There was disagreement about cause, oneattributing it to shamanistic bewitchment, anotherto the action of fnYpLts (ghost). For treatment,the shaman pressed his hands on the chest of thepatient and dispatched his tutelary in search ofthe missing soul, which was thought to have "goneabove." I could not discover whether the medicine-man became unconscious at this time, but it seemsunlikely, as trances of any nature are foreign toSouthern Paiute shamanism. According to a Shivwits

eSapir's informant (MS) told of a shaman whoused an eagle-feather fan with which he scatteredashes on his patients. This shaman began histreatment by calling on Wolf, evidently his tute-lary: "Our father, who made heaven and earth."This was, according to the informant, the onlytime he had ever heard this prayer.




informant, a Kaibab doctor actually ran about inthe hills in pursuit of the fleeing soul.7

Datura appears to have had no shamanisticassociations: "It was taken just for fun. To eatthe fruit or drink a tea of the leaves makes aperson drunk. He sees all kinds of things-snakes,coyotes, horses-just like a moving picture show."

7The foregoing causes of illness are purelymagical and ap such require shamanistic treat-ment. A number of practical remedies may be o$ in-terest. Colds: drank tea of leaves of sanwa'bl(Artemisia tridentata) or of paxwa'nanimpy(Mentha canadensis)-although this usually a bev-erage rather than medicine; or a tea of the rootsof pawa ma'animpy-tinab (Cycladenia). Or chewed(roots of ?) Mahonia repens. Coughs: drank teafrom leaves of sanwa'b (Artemisia tridentata) orof 3L'tsikwasipy (squirrel tail, an Achillea).Or smoked tobacco (Nicotiana attenuata), mixedwith leaves of sig'lmwiap (Salvia carnosa Dougl.)or of tontsaby (Angelica ?). Root of mimip (Da-tura meteloides) sometimes chewed to relievechronic cough. Fever: leaves of toxo'-awatsipCPentstemon palmeri) pounded and applied externally,also drunk as tea. Headache: slashed forehead tolet blood, took emetic (see below). If severe andcontinuous, shaman might be asked to treat; "heclapped both hands to the patient's head." Tooth-ache: root of paxu'rani(m?)p (probably a Ligusti-cum) said to give relief. Nosebleed: nostrilstuffed with soft bark to stop flow..Sore eyes:washed with tea of leaves of sanwa'bl (Artemisiatridentata) or of tobacco (Nicotiana attenuata).Juice of latter, warmed, dropped into eyes. Now-adays said to squeeze milkweed juice into eyes. Forgranulations, lid turned back and scraped withlizard's tail. Swellings: applied the poundedand soaked roots of pawa' -ma'animpy-thnab (swell-ing-rub-on-roots; Cycladenia), or applied poundedtobacco leaves, to which water added. Root of un-identified plant, t'iwa"baxantip', rubbed onswellings. Boils: the cactus ova'xoby (Echino-cereus coccineus Engelm.) peeled and sticky baseapplied directly. Fractures: set by any skillfulperson, wrapped with buckskin between junipersplints. Bites: coyote, dog bites unheard of;bee sting not treated. Measles: body rubbed withcrushed leaves of ya'ta'mpy (creosote bush,Larrea glutinosa), to which water added. Usuallyan external application, but one informant rec-ommended tea of this plant. Latter said to begood for "everything," although recommended ex-plicitly only for measles. According to inform-ants, creosote bush found within Kaibab terri-tory only at Moccasin Spring. Unspecified in-ternal ailments: drank tea of ina pi (Pursheaglandulosa Curran). Stomachache: drank tea ofwhole boiled plant anka'silnti (Gilia aggre-gata). Emetic and laxative usually prescribed,former a tea of leaves of sanwa 'b (Artemisiatridentata) (mixed with salt, according to oneinformant), or tea of roots and stalk-base oftixu sl taxantip (called also tixu'itcaxantip;t'ikoitc'ixantipY; Wyethia scabra Hook; catharticas well as emetic). Venereal disease (pipl p):last-mentioned remedy used, as well as tea madefrom stem-root juncture of anokwLmp, arlkamp1(Ourcubita foetidissima); venereal complaintsusually given shamanistic treatment. "Hearttrouble": unknown formerly; now, treated byshaman. Rheumatism: also unknown formerly (?);boiled leaves of ada'dimpipy (Arctostaphylos)said to be effective remedy (taken internally?y.

Specialists.-A rattlesnake shaman (toxo'-buaxanti; snake-doctor) was one who dreamed ofa rattlesnake and cured bites by virtue of thepower so derived. Informants remembered threeKaibab snake shamans, one of whom was also ageneral practitioner, that is, had an additionaltutelary. A snake shaman touched his cane to thebreast of a victim, and upon removing it, dis-played a small rattlesnake on the tip. This hedeposited on a near-by stone, from which it soondisappeared. With the removal of the snake, theswelling began to subside. The doctor then sucked,not from the bite but from the chest and stomach,either blood or yellow-green matter. This hesometimes swallowed, sometimes spat out.8

This is the only instance of specializationmentioned by Kaibab informants, who denied allshamanistic function save curing. Sapir's inform-ant, Tony Tillohash, however, mentioned a Kaibabdoctor who claimed to be able to bring rain.


West of the Kaibab were the Uinkaret, now ex-tinct, and west of them, the Shivwits, who occu-pied Shivwits Plateau, a broad upland stretch be-tween the Hurricane Fault ledge and Grand Washcliffs.9 Although all the Shivwits material comesfrom a single informant, it is conflicting inseveral respects. It was garbled at the outsetby an incompetent interpreter, who insisted upontranslating spirit, ghost, toul, and supernaturalhelper as "devil," for whose native equivalent hewould admit only inYpLts, the ordinary term forghost. Later I was able to check most of the datawith a somewhat better interpreter, after whichthey appeared to be reasonably consistent withinthemselves and with the shamanistic patterns ofrelated Southern Paiute bands.

8The plant paxu'rani(m?)p (Ligusticum?) some-times was applied to snake bite, perhaps onlywhen a shaman was not available. Bits of theroot, wrapped in buckskin, were tied to the moc-casin to prevent snake bite-a practice sharedby the Cedar band, who used the root of Ligus-ticum pringlei.

gThe following shamans are remembered: (1)U'a'tsat1 (sticking out), a "half-Shivwit"(Shivwit-Moapa?), of PaYa tso (head water;Hidden Spring). (2) T'itsikim (bird blind), ofIuL ntirinava (pine tree above spring). (3)Sumpa' si (blossom), (4) Wita'tsi (?), and(5) Ta virlwawits (side hill), a Uinkaret womanmarried to a Shivwits; all of Tinka'nivats (cavewater). (6) Kapinwaity, an unmarried Uinkaretliving with Shivwit relatives at T;nka'nivats.(7) Tuksats (black legging), of So'vLnokwLntl(cottonwood stream), who had a badger tutelary.(8) Niraxa'nkwe (right hand), originally of Pats(water)., but after marriage a resident of So vL-nokwLnt'. (9) Ka xababuats, who dreamed littleand was not a fullfledged shaman, of Kto' ki'mpats(brown earth water). (10) Onto tats, of thespring of the same name. (11) Wiyuts1(awl), aDatura shaman, of Pakwa'navats (jump water).




A novice dreamea for about ten nights beforeconsidering himself a shaman (pua'xant'). A famil-iar appeared to him from the east; it was usuallyan animal such as a wildcat, owl, eagle, badger,mountain sheep, porcupine, or coyote. The spiritaddressed the sleeper thus: "You like me; youwant to become a doctor." At this point thedreamer might either reject or accept the visi-tation. In the latter event the familiar toldhim, "I want you to cure people." It then pro-ceeded to sing and taught him to suck, dance,and sing. The instruction lasted all night; inthe morning the dreamer told his camp-mates ofhis call. At first the novice received only onesong; later, three or four additional ones. Inthe beginning he sang alone, but as he added tohis repertoire he taught his songs to others. Thusmy informant, although not a shaman, claimed toremember snatches of a rattlesnake-doctor's cur-ing song. In the course of time a "big" doctormight obtain as many as three tutelary spirits,with songs from each.

Nowadays a sick person remains within thedwelling, but formerly he was moved into a cir-cular brush enclosure. Persons came from near-bysprings to witness the s6ance and seated them-selves about the fire within the enclosure. Theshaman remained at his own camp until he receivedinstructions from his guardian spirit, who came"like the wind" when needed, the shaman beingable to follow its progress toward him. Havingbeen directed by the spirit to remove the causeof illness quickly, "before the man died," thedoctor placed himself on the ground with the pa-tient face down atop him, and proceeded to suck.My informant seemed not to incline to the beliefthat the spirit, lodged in the doctor's mouth,did the actual sucking; but of this I am notpositive.10

A shaman carried a staff "so as not to tire."One doctor stood white eagle feathers tipped withblack in the ground beside a patient, but theShivwits "did not know much about these feathers."It was a technique used, my informant said, bySaint Thomas (Moapa band) shamans, although I ob-tained no such account from the Moapa. Surpris-ingly enough, it is said that a Shivwits shamandid not smoke during a seance.

Sometimes a doctor danced alone, stamping hisright foot; sometimes with a volunteer. Singingand dancing continued until midnight or evendawn. Treatment ordinarily lasted two nights,but if there was no improvement, it was continueda third night.

If the shaman had to travel some distance, thesick person might die in the interim. Then the doc-tor would say, "I have lost my patient"; but every-one would assure him that he was not to blame. Ifthe patient died, no payment was expected; for acure there was a gift of arrows, a mountain-sheep

l°But compare page 162, where the shaman removesfrom his mouth what is presumably his guardianspirit.

hide, or the like. Once my informant was treatedby a native doctor, but did not pay "because hehad nothing."

To the Shivwits disease is caused by intru-sion, either of a disease object or of a ghost;and perhaps occasionally by soul loss.11 Thefollowing account treats of sickness caused byan evil spirit:

There is a little man, 3 or 4 inches tall,who lives 'way under the mountain. He is calleda xadirop'.12 I have never seen him, but theold people say that he comes around at nightand hides in the juniper trees. He has medicineswhich he makes into a bundle, like a small ballof bark. He tosses this into camp, and if ithits a person, he sickens the next morning. Adoctor has to sing and suck the pain from theman's chest. Then he throws the pain away. Theold doctors used to tell a person who was trav-eling alone to sleep where the junipers grewthickly. The branches spoiled the aim ofa 'xadorop' and caught part of the bad "medi-cine."

Ghosts were responsible for two kinds ofsickness, object intrusion and ghost intrusion.With the former a "pain" (paka'nkli) entered thevictim; with the latter, the ghost itself. TheVain, resembling a small stick covered withlight-colored blood," could be sucked out by

a shaman. Although invisible to a "common man,"it oas exhibited before being held up and blownaway.

When a ghost invaded a person it descendedwhistling into the ground, then emerged beneaththe victim and entered his body. The followinganecdote is illustrative:

"Once, when it was snowing on top of themountain, a man went for rabbits. He caught afew. He made camp in a rock shelter and builta fire under the trees. With his knife in hismouth he began to skin the rabbits. As he cutthe skin he heard a noise; it sounded likefootsteps. The man stopped and listened.

"Then an inYpLts (ghost) woman with a smallbaby came close to the fire and stopped. The manwas frightened and gave her rabbit meat. Thisshe did not roast but ate raw. The man was morefrightened. He said, 'I am thirsty. Will you getwater for me?' The host answered, 'All right.You mind the baby. I am leaving it here by thefire.' She left. After some time the man put the

.1A few practical remedies for minor, non-magical afflictions may be inserted here. Soreeyes: wash made by boiling tava' -namu'ob1 (Euphor-bia albomarginata) or (leaves of) pa'sinipl (Erio-dictyon angustifolium). Sores: rubbed with muru-niby (Atriplex canescens). Internal ailments:sprays of ya'tampi (Larrea glutinosa) boiled andliquid drunk. Unspecified ailment: treated by ex-ternal applications of mua'buipi (Thamnosa mon-tanum); leaves crushed with a stone, mixed withwater.

12My informant had not heard that this spirithad a tail. Cf. Gunlock belief, p. 158.




baby in the fire and covered it with hot ashes. Hethen picked up his rabbits and started for camp.

'It was evening when he reached home. Hecalled the doctors and told them that he hadkilled a ghost child. 'Help me,' he told them.Three or four doctors went out from camp, wait-ing for the ghost to come.

"The ghost woman was far off. She smelledsomething and knew that her child had been killed.She went into the earth and traveled under theground. She came out beside the man and enteredhis body. No one, not even the doctors, saw her.The man sickened right away. All the doctorsworked on himfA but they could not help him. Hedied quickly.

But ghost intrusion was curable:

"Once I was nearly dead. They 3ent to Tinka'-nivats (cave spring) for Witatsi, who was a doc-tor. I was lying do-wn when he came. As he nearedcamp he started to sing and dance. He told methere was a ghost in my belly but that he couldget it out and that I should be well by morning.By sundown I felt better. He sang and danced allnight, and in the morning he left. He took outthe ghost and killed it. I could see nothing, ascommon men do not see ghosts."

A shaman knew from his guardian spirit when aghost had entered a victim. He sucked and, makinga noise in his chest, extracted the intruder. Thelatter was very small, invisible to all exceptdoctors, but could be heard to whistle when with-drawn. The shaman took the ghost from his mouthand carried it away, acting as though he weredragging a heavy load along the ground. Some dis-tance from camp he released the ghost, threaten-ing it with death should it return.

Sometimes, in cases of ghost intrusion, theshaman used his staff, thus:

"When the doctor thinks that the ghost is un-der the patient, he stands his cane in the groundbeside the sick man. This helps to pry loose theghost. The doctor thinks [asks] that his spirithelper send the cane into the ground so as toraise the man more easily. The cane finds theghost under the patient, and the spirit helpertakes it away. Some doctors kill a ghost byspearing it tothe ground with a wooden knife(wil'ts, awl, dagger). This is a straight stickabout 8 inches long, of any kind of hard wood,usually ash."

Evil shamans could cause sickness and deaththrough the intrusion of a "medicine" or of aspirit arrow, possibly also through soul loss.But the latter seems to have been the naturalharbinger of death as a result of the disease ob-ject rather than the active cause. It is saidthat most "Shivwits doctors were friendly but thatthe Moapa people had doctors who wanted to kill."Among the Shivwits a shaman suspected of sorcerywas beaten or even murdered by the bereaved rela-tives.

A sorcerer dreamed of giving his victim "bad

medicine." The result was a slow poison requiringfor a cure the same treatment as a ghost-sentdisease object. Because this mode of poisoningcould be cured, most evil shamans preferred todirect their Iniptts13 to "shoot the victim inthe heart with an inipLts arrow." Death ensuedimmediately, for the soul left too quickly topermit of recapture.

Sometimes a person engaged a shaman, withoutpay, to dispose of an enemy. The shaman, if sus-pected, stood to suffer at the hands of the vic-tim's relatives, but the instigator escaped pun-ishment. It is said that in the old days, whena person died, one of the family-usually abrother, sister, father, or spouse-was selectedto accompany the deceased. Either the victim wasactually shot, or a shaman was induced to "shoot"him magically. For this service, likewise, ashaman expected no payment because "it was bad."

A doctor might be summoned to treat the veryperson he had bewitched, in which case he feltobliged to refuse. Naturally this directed sus-picion upon him, and if the man died, the sup-posed sorcerer might be shot by the brother ofthe deceased. A different shaman, with the guid-ance of his spiritual assistant, might be ableto cure the victim. The following is an accountof such a procedure:

"The second doctor sang as he came toward thesick man. He took his iniplts`' from his mouthand held it between his hands. He sang and putit into the sick man. It would not stay. He hadto catch it and put it in again. He sang until hewas sure that the fnipLts was well in. then hespoke to it, telling it to stay, to look aroundand find the cause of the sickness, and to curethe sick man. Then the inipLts found the 'medi-cine' in the belly. It took out that medicine andgave it to the bad doctor who had put it there."

At death the iniplts (ghost?)15 of a good per-son traveled upward, that of an evil person down-ward, carrying with it the soul (muxuab1). Ashaman might be able to prevent the departure ofthe soul by the insertion of his inYpLts (guar-dian spirit)16 into the body of the patient; or,even after the soul had left, he might be ableto restore the "dead" person by overtaking thedeparting soul. The latter he held between hispalms and, pressing his fingertips against thepatient's breast, sang until it entered the body.Frequently the soul escaped and had to be recap-

13This is undoubtedly due to the confusion ofterms mentioned above. Here iniplts certainlyrefers to the guardian spirit. Cf. Kaibab, p. 152.

34In this case lnYptts clearly refers to theguardian spirit.

15Here again the term inlpLts is unfortunate;it appears in this instance to refer to ghost.

15Comparable practices from other bands indi-cate that the supernatural spirit is referred tohere.




tured. Then the shaman asked two laymen to standone on either side of the patient and shout, "Hi,hi, hi," after which the soul was able to remain.The shaman motioned the bystanders back, while hewatched over the patient for a time.

When ordinary shamans failed, recourse was hadto the Datura doctor, who supposedly possessedstronger power. A prospective Datura shaman17first drank a liquid in which he had soaked theseeds, after 4hich he gathered those roots of theplant which grew eastward from the stalk. Thesealso he soaked, then drank the fluid from a smallbasket painted white around the rim. The doubledose of seeds and roots was potent, affecting him"like strong whisky.?

"He goes off alone. He takes off his clothesand climbs a tree. He yells and shrieks. Laterhe thinks someone is following him and he calls,'Here comes that man.'18 This is when he becomesa doctor. He lies down and dreams of Datura. Itgives him a song and tells him that he will be-come a doctor."

Spciaists.-With the Shivwits comes the firstindi ontion o- any considerable specialization inshamanistic function, for besides the Daturashaman, who was really a general practitioner,six kinds of specialists were mentioned: rattle-snake, spider, rock, arrow, weather, and lost-object doctors. But for these specialists theShivwits appear to have depended almost entirelyupon the adjacent Moapa.

The rattlesnake shaman dreamed of a snake fromwhich he obtained a curing song; handling thesnake; being bitten; and curing himself by press-ing with his hands above the wound, singing, andsucking out a snake. However, he is said not tohave sucked in actual practice. If the swellingtended to spread, several men assisted him inpressing above the wound. A rattlesnake shamannamed Panku'ts, who lived near Saint Thomas(Mo.apa band), ordinarily ministered to the Shiv-wits.

The spider doctor, Tutu'sibi by name, also wasfrom Saint Thomas. He dreamed of a black spider(kwampl) and of curing its bite by sucking andsinging.

The rock shaman (tYmpi'-puaxant0; timpi',rock) dreamed of climbing steep cliffs. As indi-cated by the name, a rock was the source of hispower which, incidentally, was considered "notvery strong." Such a shaman treated injuries re-ceived in falls from cliffs, trees, and so forth,by pressing with his hands and only rarely bysucking. One such shaman was mentioned by name,a man called Tcaka'i'S, who, like the specialistsmentioned above, was from Saint Thomas.

17Women did not take Datura. Boys sometimeschewed the seeds "for fun," but avoided the roots.

18Presumably this applies to the tutelary andsuggests that it had human form, although spokenof in the next line as the plant.

The particular function of the arrow doctor(ubu'axanti) was to treat wounds. He dreamed ofan arrow which gave him curative powers, saying,"If someone is shot, do not sing; but suck outthe blood." Consequently he danced and suckedbut had no song. Once during a rabbit hunt myinformant was shot accidentally in the ankle. Itbegan to swell, and that evening an arrow shamansucked blood from the wound and the sole of thefoot. Even though an arrow had been poisoned withthe dried heart of mountain sheep, a shaman couldcure if suimmoned in time. Koi'o'itc1 (Shoshone),of Tuma'ranponkwtnti (green brush [Stanleya])(stream?) is remembered as an arrow shaman.

The weather shaman (unadimpi-puaxa'nti; rain-doctor) dreamed of rain and other weather phe-nomena, including thunder and lightning. Whencontinued rain curtailed economic activities, heannounced, "I'll stop the rain; tomorrow will beclear," after which he dreamed of rain and ofstopping it. When the ground was parched and foodplants were withering, the shaman sang night andday, accompanied at times by the people. Hedreamed and told the rain 'We need moisture sothat the seeds will grow. During a thunderstormhe directed the lightning to strike far fromcamp.

One Shivwits shaman, Mapi'tcab1 (palm),specialized in locating stolen property, inci-dentally detecting the thief. He concentrated onthe quest without singing, while his YnYpLts19guided him to the place where the goods were con-cealed.


Immediately north of the Shivwits were theSaint George, on the lower waters of Santa-ClaraCreek and along the Virgin River in the vicinityof Saint George, Utah. This group is now repre-sented by a lone survivor living among the Shiv-wits. The material obtained from him agrees in ageneral way with the preceding but shows at thesame time some rather marked differences.

The generic term for shaman is puayanty; a'a'-tim-puayantO is "a good doctor, who cures";Yiwi'-puayant', an evil shaman "who sings withoutcuring." Doctors of both sexes derived theirpowers and songs from dreams. A shaman might haveseveral distinct sources of power with a corres-ponding multiplicity of songs. His power (tu'xub';cf. Kaibab, tut-uyuas, supernatural helper) was"what he saw in his dreams." It wvas thought toreside "far away in the mountains," the strongestand best power being the most remote. Strangelyenough, with two specific exceptions mentionedbelow, my informant failed to associate thispower with any form, animal or human, and in-sisted that "only a doctor could tell how hispower looked."

Treatment took place where most convenient,19Presumably his spirit helper.




either within the dwelling or in the open. If theseance were at night it lasted until sun-up; ifin the daytime, a few minutes only. Medicine-mensmoked, but not to assist in curing. They carriedan eagle-tail feather of undetermined function.Anything at hand served as payment; but such wasexpected only for a cure. Shamans suspected ofmalpractice were killed.

When summoned, a shaman did not await the arri-val of his "power," but proceeded at once to theside of his patient. He began to sing, accompaniedby the onlookers, and to dance, "tramping backand forth." Meanwhile the power had posted itselfon a near-by hill, from which vantage point itsupervised the treatment. At its direction theshaman lay beneath the patient and sucked, thendanced and sang with the extracted "pain" (paka -nk'ii) in his closed fist. The low fire within thecircle of onlookers was then made to flare. Theshaman exhibited the disease-object in his openpalm, low down, close to the blaze. It was sosmall that only one or two of the eager specta-tors claimed to be able to detect it. Followingthis display, he stretched his arm toward theeast as he sang, then opened his hand to showthat the object had disappeared. Sometimes, whena patient was extremely ill, the shaman insertedhis supernatural power, similar to Kaibab prac-tice.

A tiny male spirit (na' 'yadarop'), invisibleto all but medicine men, was responsible for muchsickness. This spirit, an evil shaman, or a ghost(in4pLts) might steal a man's soul. "A good doc-tor could look into the patient's heart 20 andsee whether the soul were missing. By singing allnight he might be able to retrieve it and avertdeath. The shaman did not become unconscious atany time during the procedure. When he attributedsoul theft to bewitchment, he sent for the doctorhe considered guilty and, pointing his staff athim, obtained a confession. He then held the re-turned soul between his palms and replaced it inthe body of the victim. Ordinarily it refused tostay and, reaching a hand into space, he retrievedit a second time. Not until after the third res-toration was the soul content to remain.

A good shaman likewise was able to restore asoul stolen by a ghost. It is said that ghostswere intent upon killing people and could causestill another kind of sickness; the latter by in-trusion, not of a material object, but of theghost itself. Bloating resulted, and death usuallyoccurred within the day. If a doctor were near byhe was summoned hastily, and by singing and suckingmight be able to remove the intruder. Nothing wasvisible, but as the ghost escaped, it was heard towhistle. No effort was made to destroy the malevo-lent ghost.

The first suggestion of an association betweenDatura (m3mu pi) and shamanism appears among theSaint George band. The Kaibab deny any such rela-

2°The soul (mugu'ab') is translated as heart;heart, the organ, is called piu'py.

tionship, but it is reasonably prominent amongcertain Paiute bands to the west. My Saint Georgeinformant had heard that a person desirous of be-coming a shaman might drink an infusion of Daturaroot in order to obtain the necessary dreams.Only men, he thought, did this; a woman would havechoked to death. But Datura-taking did not alwaysmake one a shaman. At an early age my informanthad been persuaded by his companions to drink atea of the roots. "Everything looked different."He saw people passing; he saw men with burdenbaskets, and a man setting up a rabbit net. Ittook him two nights and a day to recover; he didnot become a shaman after this experience becausehe received no power. Men occasionally ate Daturaseeds "when no one was watching; they walked allthe time and acted as though drunk."

Specialists.--The victim of a snake bite wasmoved into a separate camp, to be treated by arattlesnake shaman (toyo'a-buaxanti) who had re-ceived his curing song from a snake. The doctorarrested the swelling by pressing above the wound,and from it removed with his hands a wrigglingsnake several inches long. This he held up forinspection, then tossed it away with his cane(por). He did not suck the wound or cause it todischarge.

A second specialist seems to have been recog-nized by the Saint George band, a man or woman whothrough dreaming of babies had power to assist indifficult confinement cases. For a normal deliveryno shaman was required. Although among the Kaibaba doctor sang, either inside or outside the par-turition hut, there were no birth specialists.

Saint George shamans neither located lost ob-jects nor controlled the weather. From his Shiv-wits wife my informant had heard of persons whodreamed of rain and could produce it by singing;but this, he said, was foreign to his people.Bruises and injuries received in falls were nottreated by a shaman, but the person was placedupon a "hot bed."

GUNLOCKWhile the lower waters of Santa Clara Creek

were held by the Saint George people, the upperdrainage was occupied by another band, convenientlydesignated as Gunlock, from the Mormon settlementof that name. The one survivor of this group wasborn near Gunlock, of Moapa parents, and nowlives among the Shivwits. He himself is an activeshaman and incidentally regarded as a malevolentone.21 I took pains not to press him upon the sub-ject, and the brief account below was given un-grudgingly. As its resemblances are with the SaintGeorge rather than the Moapa material, the dataevidently have not been warped seriously by theinformant's Moapa affiliations.

2'Several times he has been brought from theShivwits to the Moapa Reservation to admit andretract his sorcery; in fact, "this is the onlyway he has ever cured."




"Some doctors did not know much and had littlepower. Men and women were equally good; youngwomen and middle-aged men were best but youngmen were good also. A doctor carried a cane tiedat the top with eagle-tail feathers."'

Power and songs were obtained in dreams froma diminutive supernatural helper (tu'xub1) inhuman form. Such spirits came from far to theeast, the best ones from due east. When a shamansang over a patient his familiar came to assist,communicating with him "like a telephone." The"pain" was sucked out by the doctor, exhibited,then taken by the supernatural helper, who putit in a small bag and buried it at a distance.

Sickness was caused by male spirits (a' 'xada-rapl) about 2 feet tall and having long tails.Formerly they were plentiful but are no longer tobe found. They used to walk about at night shoot-ing people who talked too much." The intrusivebody thus projected into the victim was a green,red, or white needle-shaped object, which couldbe removed by sucking. At this point a reference,unfortunately obscure, was made to a sicknesscaused by Coyote. This was in some way associatedwith a' 'xadarapl sickness, but no material diseaseobject Nas said to be visible.

As with the Saint George band, the Gunlock be-lieved that a ghost might enter the body of a per-son, causing bloating and a speedy death unlessthwarted by a good shaman. If the ghost weresucked out, the supernatural helper dispatched itwith a wooden knife.

When a person was very ill, his soul left thebody:

"When the sick man lies down his heart [soul]umps out. Then the doctor sends his tu'xubi[spirit helper] to fetch it. The doctor holds theheart between his palms and blows it into thesick man. It will not stay. The doctor must keepcatching and replacing it. Sometimes when it re-fuses to stay the doctor puts his tu'xubi in thesick man. It stays there overnight, and in themorning the man is better. When a person dies, hissoul goes to a high mountain to the east."

Datura (m3mupy) was taken by some to inducedreams. The seeds were not used, but a root grow-ing due east was selected and soaked in water.The liquid was drunk in the early morning to ob-tain "good dreams" in which a familiar spirit inhuman form taught the novice to suck while lyingbeneath a patient. However, the power of a sha-man dependent upon Datura was said to be short-lived.

Specialists. -Weather shamans were lackingamong the Gunlock, but there was a rattlesnakespecialist who derived his power in dreams from asnake. Able to cause as well as to cure bites,such a shaman was feared and treated with suchdeference that even his peremptory demands forfood were met.


West of the Gunlock were the Panaca, for whomI have no shamanistic data. West of them, and ad-joining the Moapa on the northwest, lived theParanigat, centering in Paranigat Valley, Nevada,whose sparse remnants now live among the Moapa.

A prospective shaman (puayanti) might beginto dream in early youth. When confident of hisability, he announced his calling and was givenan opportunity to test his power (mutsu'nim) bytreating someone. A person who dreamed but didnot desire shamanistic office arose early in themorning and, holding his hands to his mouth, blewaway the spirit which had come to him. Thereafterhe was not molested.

The guardian spirits (tugu'bi) acquired indreams (nono's i) were either human or animal.They "stayed some place in the mountains; manyof them lived toward the east." Doctors mighthave several, each specializing in a differentkind of treatment. Only regular shamans had gen-uine tutelary spirits, among which my informantdid not include the rattlesnake and arrow dreamedof by the respective specialists. The basis of hisdistinction is not clear.

Sometimes the tutelary spirit turned against ashaman, possibly for violating instructions. Thespirit not only caused him to sicken, but alsorefused aid, depriving him of ability to cure. Ashaman also lost his power through contact withmenstrual blood. Women shamans avoided doctoringduring their periods; but normally their curingpower was as strong as their male confreres'.

The Paranigat shaman smoked, but "not tocure." His cane (paulboron, doctor-cane) was madefrom a length of serviceberry, knobbed on theend, which he heated, straightened, and decoratedwith feathers. Magical powers were ascribed tothis staff, which "was a doctor itself. It stoodup and talked, but only the doctor could hear it.It was put on top or underneath a patient to takethe sickness away." Some, but not all, shamansshook white tail feathers of an eagle over a pa-tient as though sprinkling him. These feathers,carefully kept in a container, were seen onlywhen in use. A few doctors wore belts decoratedvvith eagle down, but these are said to have beenpurely ornamental.

A shaman went directly to the patient and be-gan to sing in order to summon his supernaturalassistant. The latter sang as it approached, andthe doctor re eated the song. But sometimes thefamiliar was wild" and did not come promptly.Then the shaman had to travel in search of hispatron and bring it to camp pressed between hispalms.

The doctor was little more than a passive agentin curing. Not only did the spirit diagnose thecase and pronounce whether it was curable, but"it told the doctor what to do and what to say".and did the actual sucking for him. In sucking,




the Paranigat adhered to the usual Southern Paiuteposition, with the shaman on the ground beneaththe patient.

The Paranigat shared another common SouthernPaiute practice, that of blowing the familiarinto the breast of an unusually sick patient.The spirit remained there overnight, gatheredtogether all the illness and in the morning de-parted of its own accord, accompanied by the as-sembled "sickness."

"Sickness (aWyadiwipi) was flying around every-where and might get into a person";22 then it wassucked from the breast in the form of a pebbleor small animal. Frequently, however, illness wasattributed to the intrusion of a ghost instead ofa material disease object. If treated promptly,the ghost could be sucked out, after which itwas taken to the east by the tutelary spirit andsometimes killed. An extracted ghost was not ex-hibited like a concrete disease object, for thatwould have jeopardized the shaman's power.

Formerly the Paranigat killed shamans whofailed to cure. An evilly disposed doctor (titsi'-puaYant:) could make a person ill merely by con-centrating. Another shaman, after tracing thesource of the malevolent influence through sing-ing, sent one or two men to fetch the sorcerer.The latter he accused, saying, "This is yourmuyu'abb [translated as mind] working on thisman; take it back." After repeated denials, theoffender admitted his guilt and, 'weeping, with-drew the evil influence.

A malevolent shaman was able to make a man'ssoul (muyu'aby) leave, resulting in the victim'sunconsciousness. A second shaman, by means ofsinging, determined the direction taken by thesoul and, if it were not too distant, was ableto overtake it. Death caused the soul to turnblack, but by fondling it, a shaman could restorelife and its original red color. The revivifiedsoul was inserted in the breast by the usualmethod, from between the palms of the minister-ing doctor. The patient then revived, but asnoise was thought to frighten a soul, he wasobliged to remain quiet the following day lestthe soul escape a second time. Even then, it couldbe restored by a shaman.

Some "strong doctors" might foretell sickness;but prophecy apparently was limited to diseasevisitation.

Datura (momipy), not being plentiful in Para-nigat country, was obtained chiefly from theneighboring Moapa. A person who took Datura wasnot considered a shaman. He neither dreamed norcured, but was able to locate lost objects. Afterhe had taken a tea of Datura, he was watchedclosely, because drinking water would have causeddeath. The Datura "told" him the location of themissing article and augmented his sight so thathe could see the object clearly.

My informant has heard that Datura could be

2""Evidently the equivalent of nay'adaroph,the evil spirit of the Saint George, Gunlock,and Shivwits bands; but by the Paranigat it wasnot personified.

used in some way to kill an enemy, but was notsure of the exact procedure. He had always avoidedthe plant because it was a bad habit."

Specialists.-All kinds of venomous bites weretreated by the rattlesnake shaman (t3xwa-buaxatlti),who obtained his curing song from a snake. He pre-served the "teeth" which he sucked from the vic-tim in order, it was thought, to return them tothe snake. My informant remembered several suchshamans, one of whom was an old man named Paru' -avLtcnap'.

There were no "rock shamans," although a personwho could climb to eagle nests "had some kind ofpower which he dreamed."

The arrow shaman (ubuaxanti) dreamed of an ar-row, and treated by singing and sucking.

Tne weather shaman (pa'buaxantP, water doctor;ua' dTmpuaxanti, rain doctor) dreamed of rain andthunder. When the Paranigat were in the mountainsgathering pine nuts and were short of water, theyappealed to the weather shaman. He warned them totake refuge in a cave; then he sang, causingclouds to gather and rain to fall. My informantremembered one such ocoasion:

"We were thirsty and asked an old weather doc-tor to make rain. He held his bow and arrows [saidto have been part of his povser] in his hand andointed to a small cloud. He sang something likethis: 'Timpi'kadid3 uabi wvitu'a; umpa'nitug

noyu'kwaigig; TYmpi kadid, uabi wita, umpa'ni-tug noyu'kwaigig.'23 He was asking the clouds tomove into the valley. The rain came. There waSso much that everything washed away, even thepine nuts that were in baskets. The people askedhim to stop the rain, so he said, 'That isenough.' He held up his arms and blew; then itcleared."

MOAPASouth of the Paranigat and west of the Shiv-

wits were the Moapa, in the desert countrydrained by the Muddy River and the lower Virgin.Concerning their shamanistic customs I have rela-tively little material because my informant con-sidered himself something of a doctor, althoughnot generally recognized as such, and spoke withnoticeable restraint.24

23 Timpi'kadid, Rock-knoll} the name of themountain; uab'i, valley; witu a, come in; umpa'-nitug, slow; noyu kwaigYg, move.

2 Today the Moapa have one shaman of fairreputation, Charlie Chemehuevi, and several sup-posed sorcerers, among whom are Xaka ntakwLt(large buttocks) and a woman, Koru (meaningless).Of the latter, who is ostracized by her people,a Vegas acquaintance remarked, "She has had badluck with herself but it really is not herfault. Most of her relatives have died. When thepeople tried to make her confess she would pre-tend that she felt sick and would go off alone."

Two shamans of an older generation are remem-bered, both of whom lived just below the junc-tion of Moapa Creek and Meadow Valley wash. Thesewere: Ta muntsup' (slender toes), below "the Nar-rows," near Wells Siding; and Aiya iyaxobl (tur-tle copulate), called also Tiw; axob (earth copu-late), near the site of present Wiser Ranch. Sev-eral shamanistic specialists will be named later.




A novice dreamed repeatedly of an animal withwhich he straggled until he overcame it. Thisanimal gave him his power and taught him to sing,dance, and suck. If he did not want to become ashaman, he could reject his dream by arising be-fore dawn and blowing (presumably the spirit)toward the sunrise. Although never rattlesnakeshamans, women doctors were generally on a parwith men. They were not banned from practice dur-ing menstruation.

A shaman (pu'axanti) alternately smoked andsang while treating.25 To strengthen his powerand aid his spirit helper, he wore on his back orhung, either from his belt or his staff, a thongof mountain-sheep hide wrapped with white downfrom eagle tail feathers. The patient lay on topof him, with his chest in contact with the doc-tor's lips. The shaman sucked first "over theheart, looking all through the sick person," andextracted blood or a small insect.

Besides object intrusion, the Moapa people be-lieved that a ghost might enter the body. This wasincurable: muscular contraction and death followedinevitably. Although I have no details, there wasevidently some notion of soul loss, for the spiritassistant is said to have caught a fleeing soul,which the shaman, from between his palms, re-stored to the patient's chest.

A cure warranted the payment of a mountain-sheep hide. Shamans who failed consistently mightbe asked to discontinue practice, while thosesuspected of sorcery might be killed.26 If a doc-tor admired a person's possessions and the obrnerrefused for a third time to relinquish them, theshaman would make him ill. My informant refusedto commit himself as to how this was accomplished.A disinterested doctor sang over the bewitchedperson and accused the sorcerer. If the latteradmitted his guilt, there was a chance of recov-ery. Sometimes the removal of an insect effecteda cure, indicating that shamanistic "poisoning"was at least sometimes a matter of intrusion.

Shortly before the Mormons came into the MuddyValley (ca. 1860) there had been a serious epidem-

25 One or two practical remedies were notedfor the Moapa. Colds: Thamnosa stems steeped andthe liquid drunk. The leaves, chewed or made intoa tea, effective as a laxative. Fractures: set"by anyone" and tied between splints. Stomachache:a brew of Mormon tea or of the leaves or roots ofcreosote bush. After the (post-white) introduc-tion of cottonwood tree, its bark was made into atea for stomachache.

2 The Report of the Commissioner of IndianAffairs, 1875:337, states that the Moapa killeda shaman who lost three successive cases. Itnotes also that medicine men "practice the most,hideous incantations over the sick; frequentlyalso burning the sufferer in the most inhumanmanner." The latter part of the statement is notclear, but probably refers to cautery.

ic.27 It was attributed to an evil shaman, angeredbecause a dog had eaten the caterpillars he hadspread (presumably to dry). The complaint, charac-terized by diarrhea and passage of blood, startedat the camps near the present Wiser Ranch (justbelow Glendale, Nevada), and spread down the val-ley as far as Saint Thomas. There were so manydeaths that instead of receiving regular burial,the corpses were dumped into a near-by gully. Thefamily of my informant was visiting near WiserRanch and left hastily for the hills. My inform-ant's brother died; he himself, then a small childhad a light case but recovered without medicineor treatment.

The shaman who was considered responsible wasput to death:

"The doctor who sent the sickness came fromBunkerville (Nevada) to Saint Thomas to treat hisgrandchild, who was sick. An Indian traveled upand down the valley, telling the people that thisman had come. One night when he was singing overhis grandchild, many people gathered and hid inthe brush around the camp. The doctor heard themsneaking around and said, "Why is this countryso full of rats?" Before daybreak the moon set,and it was dark. Then someone shot an arrow. Ithit the doctor but did not make a bad wound. Nowthe doctor became angry and said that he wouldkill too. His wife and daughter tried to holdhim but he broke away and fought. He ran aftersome of the people. A man who was coming towardthe camp hid in the brush and shot the doctoras he ran past."

A man or woman might become a Datura (momipy)shaman by chewing "a root that grew toward thesunrise.' The individual addressed the root,asking for good dreams and saying that he wantedto become a doctor. A person seldom tampered withDatura unless aeeking a vision. My interpreterremembered having seen an old Moapa woman grindDatura roots and feed them to her subnormal niecein a peach pie. She did this twice, talking tothe roots and asking that they give the girl asound mind.

Specialists.-There were several rattlesnakeshamans (kwia'b-puaxanti) in the vicinity ofSaint Thomas: Mantsu'n (stiff-jointed), the bestof them; RLnkin (Lincoln); and Tso'oikan (beads).Panku'ts, mentioned by the Shivwits, was unknownto my Moapa informant. A snake shaman sang, andfrom the wound sucked a snake which could be heardto rattle. If his treatment were not successful,a spider shaman (muka'm-puaxantO) might be calledto attempt a cure. From the bite he sucked bloodand spat it into his hand. Dreaming of a spidergave power to treat all venomous bites-spider,

27 Spier (Havasupai Ethnography, AMNH-AP 29:238, 1928) notes a similar epidemic among Hava-supai children about 1856. Cited hereafter: Spier,Havasupai.




insect, scorpion, and, upon occasion, snake.Mantsu'n and Rlnkin were spider as well as snakeshamans; Tuhu'sibT, who was mentioned by theShivwits, was not considered a shaman by my Moapainformant.

*The rock doctor (timpi'-buxant1) dreamed ofrocks and of scaling heights. He had a song and"strong power" for climbing, which he displayedby mounting cliffs to eagle eyries to remove theyoung birds. This was his sole function, for whichthe nest owners paid him. Bruises and like inju-ries were treated by a regular shaman. It will beremembered that the Shivwits rock doctor treatedinjuries received in falls; he may also have beenemployed by eagle nest owners, but I was not toldof this.

My Moapa informant did not recognize as suchthe Saint Thomas arrow doctor mentioned by theShivwits. He could, in fact, recall no such sha-man among his own people and thought that theysent to the Las Vegas band for a practitionerof this sort. The arrow shaman (u'buaxant!)dreamed of an arrow. He danced and sang but didnot suck. If dancing did not cure, he whipped thepatient with an arrow as he sang over him.

The Moapa had no weather shamans and no weath-er control.


The Las Vegas adjoined the Moapa on the south-west. They centered in Las Vegas Valley, Nevada,and extended westward into California to the veryborders of Death Valley and southward to includethe Old Dad and Providence ranges. Among them,shamans (puaxantl) were of either sex, but womenshamans were considered almost without exceptionmalevolent.28 A berdache dreamed of changing hissex, but my informant did not know if one everbecame a shaman.

A prospective medicine-man began to dream whena child. If the calling were agreeable he toldno one of his dreams; but if he wished to rejectit he related his dream experiences abroad, afterwhich they ceased. Curing powers were not exhib-ited until adulthood. Some sought shamanisticdreams in the famous Gypsum Cave, near Las Vegas.They first made an offering, usually tobacco, tothe resident spirit, then remained throughout thenight. The present shaman, Iua'rinkov (rain-face,because as a child his face was dirty; JohnStump) thus obtained dreams. He is, however, amalevolent shaman, depending upon coyote for hispower. A cave on a small mountain just north ofIndian Springs was famous for its mirages, buthad no shamanistic potency.

If a shaman lost (presumably forgot) his dreamshe died; a jealous colleague might wish" thismisfortune upon him. Although an aging practi-

28A woman shaman did not treat during menstru-ation, but a male shaman was free to practiceduring his wife's periods.

tioner did not will his power to anyone, his guar-dian spirit and songs passed of their own accord toa younger member of the same family, by which meansthe same tutelary spirit and songs continued withina family from generation to generation. More de-tailed data on this situation will be found in thepublished Chemehuevi account. This transfer is ex-ceedingly interesting for it really amounts to in-heritance, the first suggestion of such a tendencyamong the Southern Paiute. Although this may haveescaped me among the bands treated previously, Irather doubt it, especially in view of several defi-nite statements that noninheritance prevailed. Amongthe two westerly groups of Paiute this may well bea reflection of Mohave influence.

All guardian spirits came from the northeast,either close at hand or far distant. Apparently onenear by was not undesirable, as among the Cheme-huevi, but was on the contrary advantageous be-cause more accessible in case of emergency. Theidentity of the guardian spirit seems to have beenof peculiar significance in Vegas shamanism. Cer-tain spirits, to be mentioned later, always madefor malignant shamans. Only the two or three indi-viduals who had Kaini'mpavLts (mountain-spirit)for a familiar "could see all kinds of sickness."Among these was a Moapa woman, Ka'ibarigits (moun-tain-gather), who married into the Vegas band.She cured illness when others failed, dependingfor her power on mountain spirit and bat, both ofwhich are said to have cured successfully in thelegends. Another woman, who lived at Aka'vapi (aspring just northwest of Las Vegas) had a goodand powerful spirit aide, Xutsi'mamapits (ocean-woman). Tco'pi (meaningless), the brother of theabove-mentioned Iua'rinkov, also has the last-mentioned tutelary but has never attempted to cure.Ata'pituk (crow-buttocks) was one of the most suc-cessful shamans, with mountain-sheep and chuck-walla familiars.

When summoned, a shaman "sat thinking" (i.e.,concentrating) until his guardian spirit directedhim to proceed. Sometimes it warned that his ef-forts would be fruitless; but if the response werefavorable he proceeded to the camp of the patient,singing en route. Once there, he circled thehouse, in either direction, then entered and wasfeasted. Following this he "sat around thinking"and conferring with his tutelary.

Treatment began late in the evening. The patientwas placed with his head to the east, inside thehouse if the weather were chilly, outside in abrush enclosure if it were warm. Many spectatorsassembled. Seated, the shaman sang songs which re-corded the travels of his guardian spirit from adistant place, presumably its homeland.. After twoor three songs, the shaman rose and danced backand forth (first toward the east, then towardthe west) on either side of the patient. He heldhis cane, which was considered the property of thespirit aide and capable of speech. At the conclu-sion of the dance he stuck the cane deeply in theground at the patient's head, where it remained




until the next treatment. Other than the staffno paraphernalia were used. Most shamans smokedwhile traveling and after dancing because it was"restful." One or two, however, are said to haveblown smoke first on the patient, then toward theeast "to take the sickness away." Not all shamanssmoked, and when one did, he did not ask othersto join him, as in the published Chemehuevi ac-count.

Following the dance, the patient was placedatoW the shaman so the latter "could look throughhim and diagnose.29 The medicine-man sang "hard-er and harder," denouncing the sorcerer (Tbh -buaxant1, evil-doctor) he considered responsibleand urging him to admit his guilt. Formerly thosewho refused to confess were killed.

Toward morning the guardian spirit arrived andwas met by the shaman some distance from camp.The spirit was not displayed; this would have been"showing off" and would have brought ill luck incuring. Holding the spirit tightly between hispalms, the shaman blew it into the seat of thepain. Then, lying once more beneath the patient,his lips on the ailing part, he sucked out thetutelary, together with the "pain." From this itis clear that the Vegas cannot share the notionthat the spirit, while in the shaman's throat,does the sucking. The spirit was told to carryaway the "pain, after which the latter was tossedtoward the east.

Generic and diffused pain is called payanyi;acute, localized pain, wYni (from winipi, arrowpoint). It is the latter, in the form of a mate-rial arrow point, which is sucked out by the sha-man. Sometimes when a sorcerer persistently re-fused to confess, he was confronted with the ar-row point. Ordinarily, however, the "pain" wasnot displayed. This, too, would have been "show-ing off" and would have made other practitionersjealous.

If an accused shaman were not at hand to con-fess, the illness always terminated fatally. Toretract his evil forces, the accused danced, thensucked out the "pain" he had inflicted. There ap-pears to be a logical inconsistency here, as thisprocedure is said to follow the sucking by thecuring doctor, who presumably removed the diseaseobject previously. Sometimes an accused womanshaman used eagle feathers to extract the poison."Starting at the feet of the prone patient, shebrushed him with the feathers, thus directing themalignant essence toward the head. Such a perform-ance, however, would not restore the individual,and a shaman who directed an accused sorcerer to

29A shaman did not froth saliva, but at someunspecified time he stroked the patient's body.Further, at an unspecified time, he inquiredconcerning the patient's recent dreams, which hethen interpreted. Some dreams augured good. Thusif a young person dreamed of being old and white-haired, it was a sign of longevity, and if onedreamed of witnessing a battle without partici-pating, one would go through life without in-jury. This was not exclusively a warrior's dream.

follow this routine was parading his powers to nogood end.

Usually a cure was effected in one night, buta serious illness required two nights. If therewas no improvement after the second treatment,another shaman was asked to try his skill. Paymentpreceded treatment but was returned unless a curewas effected. "Anything they had" was acceptable,usually eagle feathers, mountain sheep or deerhides, perhaps a bone awl. Nowadays $20 the nightis considered more or less standard fee if thedoctor has any distance to travel; if close athand he may charge as little as $5.

Informants repeatedly held evil shamans respon-sible for the depletion of the population. Thus,"Long ago there were many Indians and few doctors;now there are few Indians and many doctors." Allserious sickness, it would seem, was attributed tobewitchment.30 Contagious magic (masu'tfk), de-scribed in some detail in the published accountfor the Chemehuevi, my Vegas informant declaredto be a KTima'nu (Cahuilla, or perhaps SouthernCalifornian Shoshone generally) and Iu'ta (Bea-ver Paiute [?], Pavant Ute [?]) practice. It wasnot used, she thought, by either the Las Vegas orthe Chemehuevi. The "follow-doctor" described bythe Chemehuevi, also was denied by the Vegas in-formant, according to whom a victim had to be ac-tually at hand for sorcery to be effective. How-ever, the Chemehuevi mentioned by name a Vegasman (of Cottonwood Island) as a sorcerer of thistype; and the Vegas say that a shaman might in-flict illness on a person just departing on ajourney, after which the victim would die at somedistant place.

Data on soul loss are meager. My informant-atfirst declared it to be unknown, but said later

30Casual ailments were treated with practicalremedies. Infants and sick persons bathed withwater containing pounded leaves of paiab (Hymenoc-lea salsola T. & G.). Sores: washed with tea ofsiguwiip' (Salvia carnosa Dougl.) or with watercontaining dried, pulverized leaves of sameplant. Cuts: tobacco leaves chewed and juicedropped into deep cut, which was then coveredwith tobacco leaves. Sore eyes: bathed with brewof Hymenatherum pentachaetum D.C. Unspecifiedinternal disorders: drank tea of root of Phace-lia palmeri Wats; tutu'pi (Mormorn tea, Ephedraviridis Cov.); whole plant kutsa r'lmpl (Erio-dictyon angustifolium Nutt.); whole plantwa'ateyowLmpl (Heliotropium carassavicum L.);Thamnosma montana T. & F. Stomachache (andheadache): tea of pa kwitupip (Porophyllum gra-cile Benth.). Emetics included naka br'inan'imp(Krameria grayi Rose & Painter) and tobacco. Useof latter as emetic believed to be practice in-trusive from PanumLnts (Kawaiisu). To ground to-bacco was added water, Mormon tea, and a softwhite stone (called tina'bi). Made into a pasteand placed in center of circle of ai12iag persons.Each of latter dipped finger into mess, takingsmall taste. Vomiting followed shortly. "Hearttrouble": sprays of ka'ninkwap (Garrya mcllisGreene) boiled and liquid drunk. Rheumatism andlike pains: treated by cautery. Administered byany experienced person using the root (calledpika'xadarimpl) of plant named nayu'tsonanimp(doubtfully identified as a Croton).




that it would be possible to make the "mind"'1leave, after which the person "would go crazyand die." Presumably, although not explicitly,this, like other illness, was attributed to anevil shaman. A curing doctor could send hisfamiliar to retrieve the wandering soul. Thelatter he held between his clasped hands. Then,with thumbs upturned and pressed to his lips,he blew the soul from his hands into the fore-head of the bereaved subject.

Evil shamans were responsible for both objectand ghost intrusion. With the former, the shamanin his dreams wished ill to an enemy. He couldcause him immediate injury by instructing hisfamiliar to shoot him, the arrow point from thisshot being later removed by the curing doctor.The Vegas share with the Chemehuevi the unpala-table notion that in his dreams a sorcerer feastson the flesh of his victim.

Evil shamans, particularly (exclusively?) thosewho had ghosts for guardian spirits, were able tocontrol ghosts, sending them to frighten a vic-tim or to enter his body (unwa'pakakadits, ghost-go-inside). Perhaps "ghost sickness" always in-volved ghost intrusion; my notes are not clear.A curing shaman sang and sucked out the invadingghost, which he blew toward the east. With theusual Vegas avoidance of exhibitionism, theghost was not displayed.

Certain tutelary spirits always were malig-nant: coyote (which is the familiar of Iua'-rinkov, mentioned previously); bear ("this broughtbad luck to somebody; it always killed"); birdsof prey-hawk, and the like;32 ghosts; commonwater spirits (pa'inipi, water-ghost); and an-other kind of water spirit (paru'-tutu'xubi;tutu'xubl, guardian spirit), who was "a man withlong white hair, long mustache, and webbedfeet." 3 Through the last-mentioned familiar, ashaman caused illness by polluting the drinkingwater. Whirlwind (turu'nier) also was malevolentas a familiar. By concealing himself in such awind a shaman could approach a victim unnoticedand later escape detection by the doctor.

The pronounced censure on "showing off" is notfound elsewhere among the Southern Paiute. Mostfrequently, according to Vegas informants,, "thiswould make other doctors jealous" and a jealousshaman worked havoc. Although frowned upon, cer-tain shamans indulged in feats of magic; "thatwas not good; it fooled the people but did notcure." Nevertheless, a certain shaman namedYanpa vinuk (runs-like-mockingbird; John Moss),of Pa'savanti (spring at the south end of Paiute

"After the mind [muxuan soul] leaves thebody it turns into the soul fnayu'ts, butterfly],which has wings and goes into the air."

32A shaman named Tuta, having Kusav (chickenhawk) for a familiar, sponsored the Ghost Danceamong the Vegas.

55This spirit reputedly had been seen twiceon the bank of the Colorado; mj interpretersuggested it might be a seal.

Range), was famous for his feats of legerdemain.An account of some of these follows:

"While this man sang he would pick up somesort of plant, and as he held it in his hand,it flowered and bore fruit. The latter he gavethe patient to eat. Sometimes this doctor cured,but rarely. If he performed these tricks he wouldlose the patient within a few hours.

"The same man would suddenly produce the[amnion?] sack of an unborn calf and turn itover and over in front of the fire for everyoneto see. He was able, too, to restore life todead animals-quail, dese-t tortoise, and rab-bits. He picked up the dead body, gave it life,and the animal ran over the hill, out of sight.But always on the far side of the hill it wouldbe found dead. If this man had been able torestore life permanently, his human patientswould have lived.

"Some doctors would show their spirit helpersto the people; others would form animals and thelike to impress the people. But all this was notcuring; it was like the tricks of white magi-cians. A doctor who did such things never lastedlong; he overdid. For this reason Yanpa'vinuk didnot call himself a real doctor. He himself diedyoung; his spirit helper was an eagle."

Despite the injunction against parading one'spower, certain Vegas shamans vied with the Cahuillaand their neighbors in feats of magic.34 The fol-lowing relates a contest in which the Vegas partic-ipated.

"This happened long ago, when WYnYganti [stand-ing] was chief and before the Chemehuevi movedfrom the desert to the river. The Kima'nu-[Cahuilla]were going to see which doctor had the strongestpower. Several went from here: some from Ka'iba[mountain; New York Mountains], from TYmpi'saxwats[stone-blue; Providence Mountains], and fromMa'upa [meaningless; part of Turtle Range]. Twoor three, who were not doctors, went from Wiivats[Apocynum-water; Mescal Spring, on Ivanpah Moun-tain]. They all met a certain day at Okwa'i[meaningless; Ivanpah Mountain] and started forthe Cahuilla country. Most of the doctors wereyoung and had not tried their power; so theypracticed during the trip. The older doctorswaited until they had reached the contest.

"On the way they hunted desert tortoise andchuckwalla wherever they camped. In the partywere two young men who hunted together and sharedtheir food. Between them they had only one chuck-walla, whereas the others had many. One of theseboys built a very large fire to roast the one chuck-walla. He heated many stones as though he had muchto cook. He threwv the one lizard in the middle ofthe coals and piled the hot stones over it.over it.

"Everyone was lying around the fires, laugh-ing and talking. One asked him, 'Is it cooked

34Such shamanistic contests have been reportedfor the Cahuilla: Lucile Hooper, The CahuillaIndians, UC-PAAE 16:336, 1920; and W. D. Strong,Aboriginal Society in Southern California, UC-PAAE 26:168, 1929.




yet?' The boy began to dig around the edge of theashes, although he knew that his one chuckwallawas in the center. He lifted a stone from theedge of the fire and under it were two chuck-walla, each with its tail in the mouth of theother. He lifted all the stones and found twochuckwalla beneath each. He put the food in alarge pile and asked the others to share withhim.

"The boy who did this was young and not yetsure of his power. He dreamed of kusiv' [abluish-gray hawk, with sharp points on eachshoulder], who in the legends roasted but onerabbit and later removed many from the ashes.This boy had the same power as the spirit.

"The next evening he tried again, with a des-ert tortoise. And in the fire he found many, intheir shells. He tried rabbits next, and otheranimals.

"The evening before the party reached theCahuilla this boy had his friends build a verylarge fire. When it burned down he threw him-self on the coals, where they saw him burn toashes. Then he appeared, walking toward campand smiling. The people said, 'We shall win; wehave a good one (shaman) among us.'

"The party arrived the next day. They werethe last to come and everyone was waiting.After sundown a fire was built and each doctorshowed his powers. Some competed in smoking,making pipe, smoke, and all come out of theirtoes. Others brought black "stink bugs"' out oftheir ears and toes. Certain mountain-sheepdoctors took pieces of sheep fat or meat fromtheir clothing and threw them on the coals; thepieces looked like fresh kill.

"They could not decide who was the winner;the Paiute could equal the tricks of all theothers. They sang all night, in turn. Towardmorning the boy who had burned himself said,'Make a hot fire; use mesquite wood.' At day-light the fire turned to red coals. The Paiuteboy came close and threw himself in the center.Everyone was surprised. The Cahuilla said, 'Whatare we doing? We have lost a man!' Then at sun-rise, when there were only ashes left, they sawthe doctor who had been burned walk toward them,smiling.

"The Cahuilla had fire doctors"" but theysaid, 'You have beaten us; we cannot do that.'So thig5boy won the prizes; they were a Navaho[Hopi] blanket, breecholout, and two shirts.One shirt was fringed, where it tied on thesides; the other had sleeves. These were expen-sive and were provided by the Cahuilla.

"In this contest, besides the Paiute and theKima'nu [Cahuilla] were: the TDmpi'mukwiats[edge-of-rock; unidentified tribe 'living some-where near the Cahuilla']; the Ka ibaxumpivats

3"There are several references to Cahuillashamans who handled fire with impunity. Hooper,op. cit., 331, 335, 336; Strong, op. cit., 169,177.

"3 The Vegas and Chemehuevi confuse the Navahoand Hopi, calling the former MukO, Muku, and thelatter Paya'wItc, names which are reversed by theeasterly Paiute. The Hopi-Navaho confusion isshared by the Mohave (Kroeber, Shoshonean Dia-lects, UC-PAAE 4:107-108, 1907).

[Luisefno, who 'lived the other side (i.e., west)of A'iyaka (San Jacinto Mountain) and spoke likethe Cahuilla'- their Mexican name said to be'San' Luisefiol; the Ma'ringiants [Serrano prop-er]; the Pita'ntf [Vanyume Serrano]; and theKwita'namuant [Gitanemuk (?), who 'spoke bothSpanish and Serrano']. There were no Yuma[Kwitca 'an] or Mohave [Aiye't] in the contest."

At this point a word may be said of prophecy,which was a nondreaming, nonshamanistic affair,undertaken by a person called muyu'anti (mind,soul), one "with lots of brains." In the even-ing, around the fire, he foretold the future.

"This man said that some day our land wouldbe taken away. He named all the mountains andsaid that we should lose them. He prophesiedthe coming of the Mormons, whom he called Paru'iyam [said to mean 'fromacross the ocean'] andsaid that they would own this country. He spokeevery evening for one or two years. iHe was avery old man when the Mormons came.

Datura was used as a medicine and as an aidin locating lost objects; my informant doubtedit was ever the source of shamanistic power. Norwas it considered a cure for mental derangement.Most people, my informant said, were normal, butshe remembered two whom she considered "insane."One, who insisted upon going naked, was the sonof a woman shaman; "his mother had too muchnono'si" (dreaming, i.e., supernatural contact).The other was a very old woman who repeatedlyremoved her skirt in the presence of others;"but she was able to work."

For rheumatism a person secretly obtained aDatura root that grew toward the east. He left agift in its place, then addressed the root, ask-ing for good luck. Then he pounded the root,mixed it with water, and rubbed it over his body.For finding lost objects a person asked the rootfor aid, then took (chewed?, drank?) a smallportion; to chew it made one thirsty. Under itsinfluence one "would even go into the water" toretrieve lost objects. According to one Cheme-huevi the Vegas had "a special woman who dreamedand found lost objects" without the aid of Da-tura, but this was not mentioned by the Vegasinformants.

Specialists.-The Vegas had, with one or twominor differences, the already familiar list ofshamanistic specialists.

Rattlesnake shaman. The Vegas speak of tworattlesnake shamans (kwia'buaxantl), both of whomhappen to be women. They are: Na'ntsurigi (akind of bluebird), of Maxa'vuvant (from maxa'vS,brush; a spring in Pahrump Valley, south ofManse); and Ma'vaiyun (brush-gather), livingsouth of Ivanpah Mountain. A child who refusedto bathe was told he would become a snake sha-man; "but there really was nothing to this; itwas just to frighten him." Although snake sha-mans had "no real spirit helper," they obtained




a ouring song through dreaming; and in theirdreams they could turn inanimate objects intosnakes. They are said to have been able to causesnakes to bite.

These shamans treated any venomous wound-snake,tarantula, or spider. The treatment lasted fouror five days and consisted of singing, dancing,and sucking.37 By means of the latter, "poison"was removed from the wound, but never a miniaturesnake or other visible object.

A snake-bite victim always was treated outsidethe dwelling. Persons took great care not to ap-proach, for unless they had just bathed and weremeticulously clean, they would have had a pro-nounced ill effect upon the patient. Neighbors,therefore, remained at their respective camps,within earshot of the shaman's song, and as longas the latter continued they kept time to themusic, two or three of them standing in line.Even children participated in this so-called"snake dance" (kwia'uviawinimiga).

Rock shaman. The Vegas equivalent of the rockshaman was called tintca'nuant; but "this wasnothing, only a person who took young eagles fromthe nest." My informant doubted that he dreamedor had a song. Nor did he treat falls from cliffs.As a matter of fact, my informant had "heard of onlyone person who fell from a cliff, and he was a Mo-have; the Paiute used their common sense and didnot fall."

Arrow shaman. As usual, the arrow shaman (ubu' -axant) treated arrow and gunshot wounds. He dreamedof a song and of curing such injuries.

"He sucked the wound and sang. He danced to thehead of the patient (who was not oriented) andkicked the sand; then to the foot and again kickedthe sand. After this the patient was able to get

"Once a man was shot through the breast with abullet. The doctor sucked it out and threw it tothe east. He did not press the body with his hands;only real curing doctors did that.'

Horse shaman. With the Vegas comes the firstmention of a further specialization, a horseshaman (wa'a'riv-puaxanti), who treated injuriesinflicted by horses. These medicine-men dreamedof a horse. They neither sucked nor used a staff;but they had one song, and stroked and blew uponthe victim.

"Once a man at Cottonwood Island fell from ahorse; he was unconscious. A horse doctor wasnearly two miles distant hut he knew of the acci-dent. He made sand into a small mound; it becamehard, like a rock, from which he knew that nobones were broken. He came to -treat the man. Hetapped him with a small stick, after which he be-came conscious. The doctor stroked the man's body,blew upon him, and he recovered."

37The snake shaman used no herbs in treating;but if he were not available, a poultice of thepounded plant taxopui 'bLmp (tax3, snake; Pentste-mon palmeri Gray var. ) was applied.

Weather shamans. The Vegas were interested inweather control, but with one notable exceptionthey did not practice it with much success.Usually, they state, they relied upon the effortsof the PanumLnts (Kawaiisu)38 about Mohave sta-tion and northward from there.

"The PanumLnts had some sort of thing whichthey always kept closed, and when they openedit, rain came. I do not know what this lookedlike. We would ask them to make rain, give thema buckskin, and they would tell us to returnhome, that it would already be raining there.

"To stop rain, the Panumints patted a pieceof clay very thin and set it out in the rain todissolve. Or they gathered rain water from theleaves of plants and drank it; this also stoppedthe rain."

According to one informant Vegas weathershamans (Ywa'dim-puaxantl, rain-doctor) dreamed,sang, and used the bull-roarer (mu'mut) to bringrain; "but they were not very successful." Ac-cording to another:

"Only children used the bull-roarer. We toldthem it would bring rain and thunder and light-ning, but it did not.

Rain doctors were dangerous; they could causelightning to strike people. They dreamed ofbringing rain. In dry weather they used theirpower by smearing black paint around their eyes,by singing, and by wishing for rain."

Although the Chemehuevi associate mountain-sheep dreamers with rain, apparently the Vegasdo not. They say, however, that the recital ofthe funeral oration (anpa' -uviCv, talk-song) isattended by wind and a light shower, which ceasewith the termination of the address.

Despite the general lack of success whichcharacterized Vegas weather control, they boastone famous rain shaman, Avena'ry (meaningless),who lived originally at Pa'savant' (spring atthe south end of Paiute Range). Most of his lifewas spent among the Chemehuevi at Wia'nekat (fromwiab, clay), a site along the Colorado River, be-tween Fort Mohave and Cottonwood Island (Mohaveterritory in prewhite days). Several anecdotesconcerning this shaman follow:

"Avena'ri dreamed for his power. To bring rainhe did not sing but used crystals [pi'utov-iwhich looked like diamonds. These he alone couldfind at a place that had been struck by light-ning. He seldom sang to bring rain, but insteadtouched one of the crystals to the surface of abowl of water. Immediately it began to rain. If

38PanumLnts almost certainly applies to theKawaiisu rather than to the Gitanemuk or otherSerrano (cf. Kroeber, op. cit., 108, 134). AUte-Chemehuevi group clearly is indicated becausethe language is said to be intelligible to Paiute.Furthermore, according to Kroeber (p. 111), "Fromthe statements of Garces it would appear that theIawaiisu held both slopes of the Tehachapi Moun-tains.'




he used a large crystal the storm continuedmany days.

"To stop the rain he sang; or he gathered rainwater from the leaves of trees and drank it [simi-lar to the reputed Kawaiisu practice].

"Once a party of Mohave were on their way toMohave station [Kawaiisu] for clamshell beads.They stopped near the camp of Avena'ri. Theytaunted him, saying, 'This man cannot bring rain.'But before they left Avena'r; brought a rain soheavy that the country was flooded. There was somuch water that the Mohave said, 'Have we notcrossed the Colorado River already?' They wenton their way but two or three of them weredrowned.

"When Avena'r1 was very old he gave his crys-tals to a young man-named WarYv:, or Warivi'tsima[meaningless], who was not related to him. He didnot want the crystals destroyed and told thisyoung man that he would be able to use them,without dreaming. But to do so he must neitherbury nor cremate Avena'ri's body but expose it on

some mountain. But that young man was 'crazy'; whenAvena'r1 died he burned his body and the crystals.

"Only one other doctor used crystals for makingrain. He lived at Tlimpi'saxwats FProvidence Moun-tains]. He could bring rain only in winter, whereasAvena'rl could bring it the year round, althoughin summer it would be only a light shower."


The bands treated in this paper may be consid-ered reasonably representative of the SouthernPaiute, even though by count they are just underhalf the total number. Of the original fifteenbands, seven are treated here; one, the Cheme-huevi, has been described elsewhere; another, theUinkaret, is extinct; and among the remaining sixI was not able, for lack of time, to investigateshamanistic aspects. The present data should beuseful, however, in indicating the general fea-tures of Southern Paiute shamanism and in gaugingthe variability among several local units of a

single ethnic group. More complete and more in-tensive information naturally would increase thesignificance of the conclusions, but on the basisof the foregoing material, the outstanding common

features of Southern Paiute shamanism may be out-lin ollows:

To become shamans, persons of either sex de-rive their power from dreams, which ordinarilycome unsolicited. They confer with a familiarspirit, sometimes human, but more frequently ani-mal, from which they receive songs and instruc-tions for curing. Shamans alone have such guar-

dian spirits. With the exception of the Las Vegasand Chemehuevi, neither power, songs, nor shaman-istic office is inherited. Sickness is attributedto intrusion, usually of a material disease object,sometimes of a ghost, or, less commonly, to soulloss. The last of these a shaman cures by the pur-

suit and restoration of the wandering soul, whereas

the two former he treats by song and sucking.

While sucking, he lies on the ground beneath thepatient. Several bands, but not all, hold theactual sucking fhe 4oney the gutardiansLrt,lodged in the shaman's throat. The insertion ofthe tutelary into the body of the patient is men-tioned by all except the Moapa, where its omis-sion probably is through oversight. Shamansusually smoke, either while treating or after-ward, but generally this is thought not to becurative. Save for the cane orFV_"staff, _rieig`aare conspicuously lacking; but the use of eaglefeathers appears persistently, if sporadically.

All the bands distinguish between the rattle-snake shaman and the general practitioner, andsome recognize numerous other specialists. Bearshamans are unknown. Weather control and the lo-cation of lost objects appear as shamanisticfunctians in scattered cases but are not empha-sized,

K..-<ff-Th whole, a broad and basic similarityevidently underlies the shamanistic fabric ofthe eight bands, the Kaibab apparently being theleast specialized. I suspect this to be actuallythe case, although it is barely possible thattheir apparent simplicity results from deficientdata, for they were the first, as well as themost reticent, of the bands with which I worked.The data do seem to show, however, increasingrichness and specialization as one proceeds fromeast to west, as is indeed the case with materialarts-agriculture, pottery, and basketry, forexample.

Paucity of material makes it difficult toplace Southern Paiute shamanism with respect tothat of either the Great Basin or other adjacentareas. The concept of object intrusion is nearlYuniversal in western North America in contrastto the relative infrequency of ghost intrusion.P'Probably the latter is more usual than the recordsshow. It may eventually prove to be a common GreatBasin notion; at least it is reported from thenorthern4o and southern extremes. Emphasis on theguardian spirit in curing is reminiscent of cer-tain sections of central California, while theidea of soul loss calls to mind southern California. But the closest specific resemblances to theSouthern Paiute seem to lie with the Havasupai.There is agreement in general shamanistic tenorand suggestion of agreement in three particularnotions: (a) ghost intrusion; (b) the insertiollof the tutelary into the patient; and (c) the belief that the spirit does the actual sucking."1This is consonant with Spier's estimate of HaValsupai culture as Basin-like.42

39 Forrest E. Clements, Primitive Concepts ofDisease, UC-PAAE 32:193-194, 1932.

40Lowie (The Northern Shoshone, AMNH-APF1909) reports ghost intrusion to be the commioflcause of sickness among the Northern Shoshone'

41Spier, Havasupai, 277, 279, 280, 281.42Problems Arising from the Cultural Positiof

of the Havasupai, AA 31:213-222, 1929.




Southern Paiute shamanism, hovwever, is quiteevidently thrown into a form of negative reliefwhen compared with other areas where shamanismand shamanistic functions are definitely elaborate.But the presence of generically fundamental andwidespread curing concepts as well as the uncrys-tallized nature of shamanism seem entirely in

harmony with the general tone of Basin culture.The difficulty in delimiting Southern Paiuteshamanism with respect to surrounding areas isperhaps as significant as any other fact in evalu-ating it as characteristically Basin, since itpartakes of the fundamentals and even some ofthe specific features of adjacent regions.


AA American Anthropologist.AAAS-P American Academy Arts and Sciences,


AMNH-AP American Museum of Natural History,Anthropological Papers.

UC-PAAE University of California, Publications inAmerican Archaeology and Ethnology.