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Menyil, the Moon, Leaves the People

Contribute to the art in this exhibit by submitting a digital photo, painting, or graphic about the Cahuilla Creation Story to

All the people who were left on earth were very sad, but their teacher, the moon, was still with them. The moon was a naked, white, and beautifully formed woman. She slept apart from the other creatures. One night Mūkat, who had often watched her, leaned above her and touched her as he passed.308 Next morning the moon was weak, sleepy, and sore; she felt very sad. She planned to go away somewhere, but before going she spoke to all Mūkat’s creatures, saying, “I am going away, but you must go to the place where you used to play.309 Go there and play as before. In the evening you will see me in the west, then you must say ha! ha! ha! ha! and run to the water to bathe. Remember this always.” Then she disappeared and no one saw or knew what became of her. In a short while they saw the new moon rise in the west, and they cried, “ha! ha! ha! ha!” as she had told them and ran to bathe.

 308 The informant used these words. They do not make clear what happened, for that was a great sin of the creator.
309 kanīsunwīt, līwīkauwut.

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