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Title: Pomo Bear Doctors
Author: Barrett, Samuel Alfred
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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       Vol. 12, No. 11, pp. 443-465, plate 7        July 11, 1917

                           POMO BEAR DOCTORS

                             S. A. BARRETT




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                Index, pp. 381-400.




 Vol. 12, No. 11, pp. 443-465, plate 7                     July 11, 1917




    Introduction                            443
    Origin Account                          445
    Acquisition of Power                    452
    Assistants                              454
    Hiding Places                           454
    The Magic Suit                          455
    Weapons and their Use                   457
    Rites Over the Suit                     458
    Communication between Bear Doctors      461
    Panther Doctors                         462
    Comparison with Yuki Beliefs            462
    Comparison with Miwok Beliefs           463
    Summary                                 464


One of the most concrete and persistent convictions of the Indians of a
large part of California is the belief in the existence of persons of
magic power able to turn themselves into grizzly bears. Such shamans
are called “bear doctors” by the English-speaking Indians and their
American neighbors. The belief is obviously a locally colored variant
of the widespread were-wolf superstition, which is not yet entirely
foreign to the emotional life of civilized peoples. The California
Indians had worked out their form of this concept very definitely. Thus
Dr. Kroeber says:[1]

    A special class of shamans found to a greater or less extent among
    probably all the Central tribes, though they are wanting both
    in the Northwest and the South, are the so-called bear doctors,
    shamans who have received power from grizzly bears, often by being
    taken into the abode of these animals--which appear there in
    human form,--and who after their return to mankind possess many
    of the qualities of the grizzly bear, especially his apparent
    invulnerability to fatal attack. The bear shamans can not only
    assume the form of bears, as they do in order to inflict vengeance
    on their enemies, but it is believed that they can be killed an
    indefinite number of times when in this form and each time return
    to life. In some regions, as among the Pomo and Yuki, the bear
    shaman was not thought as elsewhere to actually become a bear,
    but to remain a man who clothed himself in the skin of a bear
    to his complete disguisement, and by his malevolence, rapidity,
    fierceness, and resistance to wounds to be capable of inflicting
    greater injury than a true bear. Whether any bear shamans actually
    attempted to disguise themselves in this way to accomplish their
    ends is doubtful. It is certain that all the members of some tribes
    believed it to be in their power.

Pomo beliefs differ rather fundamentally from those here summarized.
In the first place, the Pomo appear to know nothing of the magician
acquiring his power from the bears themselves. Since they ascribe no
guardian spirit to him, he is scarcely a shaman in the strict sense
of the word. The current term “doctor,” misleading as it may seem at
first sight, may therefore be conveniently retained as free from the
erroneous connotation that “shaman” would involve.

In the second place, the power of the doctor was thought to reside
wholly in his bearskin suit, or parts thereof, and apparently was
considered the result of an elaborate ceremony performed in its
manufacture and subsequent donning. This distinctly ritualistic side
of the bear doctor’s practices removes him still more clearly from the
class of the true shaman.

Thirdly, there is a detailed Pomo tradition of the origin of bear
doctors. This story is cast in the mold of a myth; in fact, its initial
portions may be taken from the current mythology of the tribe. Other
parts are, however, remarkably unmythical and matter of fact. The
resultant whole is therefore rather incongruous, and, in the form
recorded, may have been somewhat influenced by the speculations of an
individual. But the events which it describes agree so closely with the
beliefs which the Pomo at large entertain concerning the practices of
recent bear doctors that the question of the extent of the prevalence
of the myth among the group is of less importance than the insight
which the tale affords into the Pomo mind. Its many specific references
make it a suitable introduction to the presentation of the other data

These peculiarities render a comparison of Pomo bear-doctor beliefs
with those of other Californian groups desirable, but the published
data from elsewhere are unfortunately too fragmentary to make such a
study profitable at present. It has only seemed feasible to append some
comparisons with Yuki and Miwok beliefs.

It may be added that the statements which constitute the body of this
paper are the statements of native informants cited as representative
of their convictions, and not as the opinions of the author. The degree
to which the reputed practices of bear doctors were actually practiced
is far from clear, as Dr. Kroeber has stated. Whether, however, they
rest mainly, partly, or not at all on reality, they furnish interesting
psychological material.


The following tradition was obtained in January, 1906, from an old
Eastern Pomo man and his wife. The husband stated that he had himself
been a bear doctor at one time in his life. In his later years he
became a noted practitioner of ordinary Indian “medicine,” and was much
in demand as a “sucking doctor.” His old wife proved a very valuable
informant on Pomo mythology, and it was while relating myths that the
subject of bear doctors was mentioned and the fact developed that her
husband had practiced this craft when a younger man. The incident led
to a full discussion of the entire matter with the couple, and resulted
in the recording of the following material. This was given by the
Indians more as a personal favor than for any other reason, and was
communicated only after a pledge that their story would not be spread
about as long as the two were still alive. Both are now deceased, as is
also the interpreter who aided in recording the material, so that there
is no reason for longer withholding this information. Out of deference
to the relatives of the three, it seems best not to name them in these

Besides the myth, these two old people furnished the greater part of
the descriptive information given in the remainder of this paper,
but additional data from other informants have been included. Unless
otherwise stated, the Pomo terms are in the Eastern dialect.

    In the days before Indians were upon the earth, and when the birds
    and mammals were human, there was a large village at _danō xa_.[2]
    These people were great hunters, pursuing their game with bows and
    arrows and spears. But chiefly they set snares in every direction
    about the village.

    They had caught many kinds of game, but finally found a large
    grizzly bear in one of the snares. They saw that his carcass
    would furnish a great feast, but they were confronted with the
    difficult problem of getting their prize to the village. Each
    of the birds tried unsuccessfully to carry the bear, first on
    his right shoulder and then on his left, in the following order:
    _tsai_ (valley bluejay), _auaū_ (crow), _īlil_ (a species of
    hawk), _tīyal_ (yellowhammer), _karats_ (red-headed woodpecker),
    _sawalwal_ (mountain bluejay), _bakaka_ (pileated woodpecker),
    _kabanasiksik_ (a large species of woodpecker), _cagak ba bīya_
    (a species of hawk), _kiya_ (a species of hawk), _sīwa_ (mountain
    robin), _tsitōtō_ (robin redbreast), _tcūma tsīya_ (grass bird),
    and _tīnītal_.

    Finally a very small bird, _tsina bitūt kaiya patsōrk_,[3]
    succeeded in carrying the bear. He first tied its front and
    hind feet with a heavy milkweed-fiber rope in such a manner as
    to enable him to sling the carcass over his shoulder with the
    body resting upon his hip. No one else had thought of any such
    method. The ingenuity of this bird, the smallest of them all,
    won success and enabled him to walk away easily with the heavy
    load. The others laughed uproariously and shouted their approval
    of the feat, immediately naming him _būrakal-ba-kīdjon_,[4]
    literally grizzly-bear-you-carrier. Thus he carried the grizzly
    home to the village, and Bluejay, the captain, cut it up and
    divided the meat among all the people. As a reward for his service
    _būrakal-ba-kīdjon_ was given the bearskin. This was a very
    valuable present, worth many thousands of beads.[5]

    With this skin in his possession, _būrakal-ba-kīdjon_ thought a
    great deal about the grizzly bear and became very envious of his
    powers of endurance, his ferocity, and his cunning. He forthwith
    began to study how he might make some use of the skin to acquire
    these powers. He needed an assistant, and finally took his brother
    into his confidence. The two paid a visit to _cō danō_, a high
    mountain east of the village. They then went down a very rugged
    cañon on the mountain-side and finally came to a precipice the
    bottom of which was inaccessible except by way of a large standing
    tree, the upper branches of which just touched its brink.

    In a most secluded and sheltered spot at the foot of this precipice
    they dug a cavern called _yēlīmo_, or _būrakal yēlīmo_, which
    they screened with boughs so that it would be invisible even if a
    chance hunter came that way. They dug an entrance about two feet
    in diameter into the side of the bank for a distance of about six
    feet. This led slightly upward and into a good-sized chamber. The
    mouth of this entrance was so arranged as to appear as natural
    as possible. Some rocks were left to project and twigs were
    arranged to obscure it. As a further precaution against detection
    the brothers always walked upon rocks in order never to leave a
    footprint, in case any one became curious about their movements.
    They even went so far as to have the rocks at the foot of the
    precipice, where they stepped from the branches of the tree,
    covered with leaves, which they were careful to adjust so as to
    obliterate the slightest vestige of their trail should any one
    succeed in tracking them to this point. In this cave they began the
    manufacture of a ceremonial outfit.

    They went out from the village daily,[6] ostensibly to hunt, and
    they did, as a matter of fact, kill deer and other game, which
    they brought back to the village; but they never ate meat, nor did
    they have intercourse in any way with women. When asked why he was
    thus restricting himself, _būrakal-ba-kīdjon_ evaded the truth by
    saying that he expected to gamble, and that he had a very powerful
    medicine which would yield him luck only with the most rigid
    observance of certain restrictions.

    When they began this work of preparing the outfits, they also
    provided a large sack of beads with which to bribe to secrecy any
    one who might discover them.

    The two worked thus in the cavern four months.

    When the outfit for _būrakal-ba-kīdjon_ was done, the latter
    emerged from the cavern and ran around its entrance eight times
    each way, first in a contra-clockwise and then in a clockwise
    direction. The two then prepared a level, elliptical area, about
    twenty by fifteen feet, smoothed like a dancing floor, where
    _būrakal-ba-kīdjon_ might practice and become a proficient bear

    Upon putting on the suit for the first time, the procedure was as
    follows: While seated in the dancing area, _būrakal-ba-kīdjon_ took
    the bearskin in both hands and swung it over his right shoulder and
    then turned his head to the left. This was repeated four times in
    all. He next adjusted the skin carefully over a basketry head-frame
    and placed the latter securely upon his head. He next inserted his
    arms and legs within the suit and laced it up tightly in front,
    beginning at the lower part of the belly and lacing upward to the

    He then tried to rise and act like a bear. This he did four times,
    saying “ha” (strongly aspirated), and turning his head to the left
    after each trial. He finally arose on all fours and shook himself
    after the fashion of a bear, some of the hair falling out of the
    skin as he did so. He then jumped about and started off in each
    of the four cardinal directions in the following order: south,
    east, north, and west. Each time he ran only a short distance,
    returning to the practice area for a new start. Finally, the fifth
    time he started off, he went for about half a day’s journey up
    the rugged mountains to the east. He found that he could travel
    with great speed and perfect ease through thick brush and up steep
    mountain-sides. In fact, he could move anywhere with as much ease
    as though he were on a level, open valley.[7] On this journey he
    hunted for soft, sweet manzanita berries, finally returning to the
    practice ground after covering a great distance, perhaps a hundred
    miles, in this half day.

    He repeated this ceremonial dressing and the race into the
    mountains for four days, returning each evening to the village and
    bringing the game he had killed. Finally, on the fifth day, he
    again put on his ceremonial dress and went over to a creek, called
    _taaiaka_, situated a considerable distance northeast of his hiding
    place. Here he found a bear standing erect and eating manzanita
    berries. The bear attempted to escape, but _būrakal-ba-kīdjon_ gave
    chase and by virtue of his supernatural power was able to tire and
    outdistance the bear, overtaking him at length and killing him with
    an elk-horn dagger, which was part of his outfit.

    He returned and brought his brother, who tied the bear’s legs
    together, as had _būrakal-ba-kīdjon_ when he won his name, and
    carried the carcass to the village, _būrakal-ba-kīdjon_ meantime
    returning to the secret cavern.

    The brother skinned the bear and told the captain to call all
    the people into the dance-house to receive their portions of the
    meat. On the following day a great feast was celebrated, every one
    joining and providing a share of acorn mush, pinole, bread, and
    other foods.

    The two brothers then announced that they were again going out to
    hunt. Instead, they really went to this secluded spot and made
    a second bear doctor’s suit. This one was for the brother, who
    underwent the same training as his brother.

    Finally the two brothers started out one day toward the north,
    going up to a creek called _gūhūl bidame_. Here they found a deer
    hunter coming down a chamise ridge. They hid until the hunter
    came within about fifteen paces of them. They then sprang out and
    attacked him, the elder of the two bear doctors taking the lead.
    This hunter was followed at a distance of perhaps a quarter of a
    mile by four others, and when he saw the bears he made a great
    outcry to his comrades. After a short chase the bear doctors caught
    and killed him. They tore his body to pieces, just as bears would
    do, took his bow and arrows, and started off.

    Meantime the other hunters, who were Wolves (_tsīhmeū_), hid and
    escaped the fate of their companion. After the bear doctors had
    departed, they gathered up the bones and whatever else they could
    find of the remains of the dead hunter and took them back to the
    village. The usual funeral and burning rites were held, and the
    whole village was in special mourning on account of the fact that
    the hunter had been killed by bears.

    The bear doctors went back to their hiding place, disrobed, and
    returned to the village as quickly as possible, arriving shortly
    after the four Wolves had brought in the remains of their comrade.
    They ate their supper and retired almost immediately, though they
    heard the people wailing in another part of the village. Their own
    relatives, the Birds, were not wailing, for they were not directly
    concerned, since the different groups of people lived in different
    parts of the village and were quite distinct one from another.
    During the evening the captain, Bluejay, came in and told the
    brothers the news of the hunter’s death, asking if they had heard
    anything of the manner of it. They replied: “No; we know nothing of
    it. We went hunting, but saw nothing at all today. We retired early
    and have heard nothing about it.” Bluejay then said: “We must make
    up a collection of beads and give it to the dead man’s relatives,
    so that they will not consider us unmindful of their sorrow and
    perhaps kill some one among us.” The bear doctors agreed to this
    and commended the captain for his good counsel.

    Accordingly, the next morning Bluejay addressed his people, saying:
    “Make a fire in the dance-house. Do not feel badly. Wake up early.
    That is what we must expect. We must all die like the deer. After
    the fire is made in the dance-house I will tell you what next to
    do.” Every one gave the usual answer of approval, “O”.

    After the usual sweating and cold plunge by the men, the captain
    again spoke, calling their attention to the fate of their friend
    the day before and asking that every one contribute beads to be
    given as a death offering to the relatives of the deceased.[8]

    Bluejay himself contributed about ten thousand beads, and others
    contributed various amounts, but the two bear doctors contributed
    about forty thousand beads. This very act made the other people
    somewhat suspicious that these two were concerned in some way with
    the death.

    As was usual, under such circumstances, word was sent to the Wolf
    people that the Birds would come over two days hence with their
    gift. The Wolf captain accordingly told his people to go out and
    hunt, and to prepare a feast for the Bird people for the occasion.
    On the appointed day the beads were brought by the Bird people
    to the house in which the deceased hunter had formerly lived,
    the usual ceremonial presentation of them to the mourners was
    performed, and the return feast by the Wolves was spread near by.

    The next morning the two brothers again left the village, saying
    that they were going hunting. They went to their place of
    seclusion, donned their bear suits and again started out as bears.
    By this time they had established regular secret trails leading
    to their hiding place, and regular places on these trails where
    they rested and ate. These trails led off in the four cardinal
    directions, and when they put on their suits it was only necessary
    to say in what direction they wished to go and what they wished to
    do, and the suits would bear them thither by magic.

    Upon this occasion they went eastward, and finally, in the late
    afternoon, met Wildcat (_dalōm_) carrying upon his back a very
    heavy load. They immediately attacked and killed him, but did not
    cut him to pieces as they had Wolf. It is a custom, even now, among
    bear doctors never to tear to pieces or cut up the body of a victim
    who is known to have in his possession valuable property. Hence
    they stabbed Wildcat only twice. When they looked into the burden
    basket which he had been carrying they found a good supply of food
    and a large number of beads of various kinds. They took only the
    bag of beads, which one of them secreted inside his suit. Upon
    reaching their place of seclusion they removed their suits and were
    soon back in the village. After supper they again retired early.

    Now Wildcat had started off early one morning to visit friends in
    another village, saying that he would be absent only two nights.
    When at the end of four days he had not returned his relatives
    became anxious about him, and his brother and another man set out
    for the other village to ascertain whether he had been there or
    if something had befallen him on the way. They found that he had
    set out from the other village to return home on the day he had
    promised. Then they tracked him and found his dead body. They made
    a stretcher[9] and carried the body home.

    They arrived at the village about mid-afternoon, and when about a
    half mile off they commenced the death wail, thus notifying the
    village of their coming. The people came running out to meet them,
    and the first to arrive were the bear doctors, who immediately
    assisted in carrying the stretcher into the village. Every one
    wailed for the departed, but the two bear doctors were loudest in
    their lamentations. Also they contributed liberally, in fact, more
    than all the other people together, when the death offering was
    made up.

    For sometime thereafter the bear doctors did not go out, but
    finally they did so, returning with four deer, which they gave to
    their captain to be divided among the people for a feast. This the
    captain did, after the usual sweat-bath, on the following morning.

    The next day the two brothers left the village before daybreak,
    donned their bear suits and journeyed southward to the Mount
    Kanaktai region. They made the journey by way of the east shore
    of Clear Lake, Lower Lake, and on down to near the present site
    of Middletown. Here they found a hunting party setting deer
    snares.[10] One of these men was driving the deer up out of the
    cañon toward the place where the snares had been set. He saw
    the bear doctors and called out to his comrades: “Look out for
    yourselves; there are two bears coming.” The hunters were up on
    the open, brushy mountain-side. Two of them ran down the hill to a
    tree, but the bear doctors reached it as soon as they, and, as they
    started to ascend, attacked and killed the two, taking their bows
    and arrows.

    The other hunters then attacked the bear doctors, who fled
    northward, pursued by the hunters, whom they outdistanced. The
    bear doctors became tired and very thirsty, for they had drunk no
    water all day, so they ran up Mount Kanaktai to a small pond just
    southwest of its summit.[11]

    The bear doctors first ran four times each way around the pond and
    then disrobed completely, even taking off their bead armor. Leaving
    their entire suits lying on the shore, they first swam and rested,
    and then hung their suits on some small trees near by.

    Shortly two men appeared, who approached close to them. The bear
    doctors said: “Oh, you have come; well, let us eat.” The strangers
    came and seated themselves beside the bear doctors. They then had a
    good meal of seed-meal and meat.

    The belts and strings of beads worn as armor inside the suit were
    piled up on the shore near by, and when the meal was finished the
    bear doctors gave all these beads to the two men, saying at the
    same time: “You must never tell any one, not even your brothers,
    mothers, or sisters, what you have seen and what we are doing.”
    They even told the two men who they were, where they lived, and all
    about their activities. The men looked closely at the bear suits
    hanging near by and then went their way. The bear doctors again put
    on their suits and returned to their hiding place, disrobed, and
    traveled home in the evening, retiring early as usual.

    When the people heard of the killing of two more hunters by two
    bears, they suspected the brothers, and formulated a plan to spy on
    them. All were to go hunting and certain ones were to keep a close
    watch on these two, and see just where they went and what they did.
    They also discovered that the skins of the two bears killed by the
    brothers were nowhere to be found in the village.

    The captain called all the men to go on a deer hunt, and all set
    off westward about midday to build a deer fence and set snares
    around Tule Lake, for they knew that many deer were feeding in the
    tule marsh there. Nothing unusual happened that day, but after all
    had left the village early the next morning some children who were
    playing about the village saw the two brothers _būrakal-ba-kīdjon_,
    who had remained away from the hunt, giving illness as their
    excuse, start off toward the east. Some of the children stealthily
    followed them, while two others ran over to Tule Lake to warn the
    hunters. About midday the hunters saw two bears coming toward
    them. Several of the best hunters hid at an advantageous point in
    the very thick brush and tule, while the others continued their
    shouting and beating the bush to drive the deer into the snares in
    order that the bear doctors would not suspect the trap that had
    been set for them. The hunters had agreed to act as though they did
    not know that the bear doctors were near, but to shout if they were
    seen, “Two brother deer are coming!” thus giving the hidden hunters
    notice of the approach of the bears. If deer only were seen, they
    were to shout, “The deer are coming!”

    Finally, one of the hunters on the east side of the lake saw the
    bears and shouted, “Look out there; two brother deer are coming
    down the hill!” There were two trees standing some distance apart
    with a thick, brushy place on each side. One hunter hid behind each
    tree. A third hunter stood very close to a near-by opening in the
    deer fence and in plain sight of the bear doctors, who immediately
    made after him. At each jump of the bear doctors the water in
    their baskets rattled and made a great noise. The hunter was but a
    few feet from these trees when the bears came close to him, so he
    dodged between the trees and the bears followed.

    Immediately the two hunters behind the trees attacked the bears
    from the rear with their clubs and jerked the masks from their
    heads. The other hunters came up armed with clubs, bows and arrows,
    and stones, and found the bear doctors standing very shame-facedly
    before their captors.[12]

    Every one shouted: “These are the two we suspected; we have them
    now.” Some wanted to kill them immediately with clubs, others
    wanted to burn them alive, but the captain restrained them and
    insisted upon first questioning the bear doctors. They finally
    confessed to the murders, and took the hunters to their hiding
    place. Here they exposed their entire secret and told all the
    details of their work: how they dug the cavern, how they made
    the ceremonial outfits, and how they killed people. The hunters
    then stripped the bear doctors and took them, together with all
    their paraphernalia, and the property they had stolen, back to the
    village, placed them in their own house, tied them securely, and
    set fire to the house. Thus ended the bear doctors. That is how the
    knowledge of this magic was acquired. It has been handed down to
    us by the teaching of these secrets to novices by the older bear
    doctors ever since.[13]


Even as late as the closing years of the nineteenth century many of
the Pomo were convinced that bear doctors were still active; this in
spite of the fact that the whites had at that time long possessed
complete control of the entire region, and had succeeded, purposely
or otherwise, in suppressing most of the aboriginal practices of the
Indians. Evidently the belief was a deeply rooted one in the native
mind. On the other hand, since the nefariousness of the alleged
practices would cause them to be carefully concealed, there are now
some Pomo skeptics who maintain that bear doctors never existed.

Both men and women of middle or old age could become bear doctors,
the same name[14] being applied to both. In fact, it is said that
women sometimes made very successful bear doctors; even a woman so old
and feeble that she could hardly walk would acquire great powers of
endurance and swiftness through this magic.

It is said that a bear doctor always learned from an old person who
was or had been one. The training for both men and women was precisely
the same and they were on a par in every way. A female bear doctor
could not operate during her menstrual period, but a male bear doctor
was similarly restricted by the menstrual periods of both his wife and
his female assistant or the other female members of his household. He
was even prohibited from going near his bear hiding-place during his
wife’s menstruation. The periods of other members of his household also
restricted him.[15]

No specific fee was paid for instruction in bear-doctoring, but the
instructor was given a large share, usually one-half, of the spoils
obtained by the new doctor in his murders. Also he could command the
assistance and protection of his pupil, who must stand ready, if
necessary, to lay down his life for his instructor. Each bear doctor
selected some friend to whom he willed his entire outfit and whom
he instructed fully in its use. Upon his death this protegé took
possession of the paraphernalia and the hiding place of his friend and
used them as he saw fit.

A bear doctor might “catch” a man who was out in some lonely spot,
particularly a solitary hunter, take him to his hiding place, and teach
him his secrets.[16] Particularly was this the case if the bear doctor
happened to be a man possessed of few friends, since it was thought
necessary for him to will his paraphernalia to some one. Stories are
told of specific instances in which persons have been thus made captive
and instructed. Thus:

    An old she-bear caught a young hunter from a village in the Santa
    Rosa Valley. She first jumped out upon him from her hiding place
    and frightened him badly. She rolled him about on the ground and
    made as if to kill him. Though greatly frightened, the boy made
    no outcry, but watched her closely. Finally she sat astride him
    for quite a long time and the boy ceased to be alarmed. She then
    led him away over the long journey to her hiding place on a high,
    rocky peak east of Santa Rosa. On the way they heard, late in the
    afternoon, the people down in the valley calling his name as they
    searched everywhere for him.

    Finally they arrived at the bear’s cave in the rocks, where she
    had a bed of moss and leaves just as a bear usually does in its
    den. In the early part of the evening the boy became homesick and
    fearful of his fate and began to cry. It was then that the bear
    doctor revealed herself. She removed her suit, showing her human
    form, and said to him: “I did not catch you to kill you. I desire
    only to show you how we become bear doctors and instruct you in our
    magic. Only human beings live in this section of the mountains.
    In the morning I shall place my bearskin suit upon you and you
    shall practice bear-doctoring.” This did not, however, reassure
    and comfort the boy, and he continued to sob and weep during the
    greater part of the night, despite the repeated assurances of the
    bear doctor that she would not harm him, but was, on the other
    hand, just like an elder sister to him and wished to teach him
    powerful magic. She finally prepared a good meal for him and he
    forgot his fright and, temporarily, his own people.

    During the night she taught him her songs, and at daybreak began to
    instruct him in the ritual of donning the suit. This, of course,
    required that he should completely strip himself. At first he was
    much ashamed, but the bear doctor told him that he must not be, any
    more than if he were only exposing his nose.

    About midday, this part of the instruction being finished, she put
    her own suit on him and gave him his first practice. She told him
    to first jump four times along the ground and then jump up and try
    to catch a high limb of a near-by tree, trying repeatedly until he
    could catch the limb. Then he would be able to do anything that she

    She then stepped back, looked him over, and smiled at him. This
    made him conscious and he hung his head and did not move until she
    commanded him to jump. At first he jumped only short distances,
    but he continued his practice for four days, each day donning the
    suit with the elaborately regulated ritual, and finding, each day,
    that he could jump a little farther and a little higher than on
    the previous one. At last he succeeded in reaching the limb and in
    jumping down at one jump and back to the starting point in four

    His tutor rejoiced at his success, and said: “Now you will succeed
    in every way and enjoy good luck, secure plenty of beads and other
    goods, be able to travel far and possess great endurance.”

    She then gave him a complete outfit and told him that he would
    thereafter procure an easy living and wealth if he would use it
    and observe the secret rites she had taught him. She, herself,
    had acquired great quantities of property--beads, food, and other
    commodities--which she stored in her hiding place.

A bear doctor was not permitted to kill more than four people in one
year, upon penalty of the loss of his magic power and consequent
capture upon his attempt to kill the fifth.


A bear doctor must always be assisted by some one. He usually hired
some female relative who could be trusted to secrecy. She wove for him
the water baskets which formed part of his costume and cooked for him
the special food which he must eat while operating as a bear doctor.
She must observe the same restrictions as the bear doctor himself,
abstaining from meat or foods containing blood in any form, and also
from sexual intercourse. The evil consequences of a violation of these
restrictions did not befall her, but the bear doctor himself was sure
to be killed in combat or captured, which meant certain death at the
hands of an outraged populace.

This assistant was never the bear doctor’s wife, but the wife, if he
had one, must remain abed in the morning until the sun was high and the
bear doctor was well on his way from his hiding place. She might then
rise and go about her daily routine as usual. If he had no wife, his
female assistant must observe this restriction for him.

In making a suit, it was necessary for a bear doctor to have an
assistant who not only helped in the actual construction of the suit
but also sang the long series of songs required during the ceremony
when the suit was first put on.


Since custom prescribed that every person leaving a village told where
he was going and the purpose of his mission, it was difficult for a
bear doctor to get away, undetected, for the pursuit of his nefarious
practices. All his preparations must, therefore, be made in perfect
secrecy. Very frequently he gave as an excuse for his absence that
he intended to go in search of manzanita berries or hunting in some
distant locality, sometimes announcing a stay of several days. Since he
was forbidden to partake of food or water on the morning of the day
he wore the bear costume, he usually ate and drank heartily the night
before, and repaired to his hiding place before daybreak. To lend color
to his excuses, he usually brought home some game or berries. As a rule
these were not handled at all while wearing the bear suit, although
apparently it was believed that no penalty was attached to doing so.

Whenever possible a bear doctor found some natural cave or secluded
spot in a deep cañon, or in the most rugged mountains. If necessary, he
dug a cavern, as related in the foregoing myth, taking care to scatter
the fresh earth about in such a manner that it would not be detected.
Such a place of seclusion was called _yēlīmo_, _būrakal yēlīmo_, or
_kabē ga_.

Near by a level “practice” ground, called _cīyō xe gai_, literally
“bear dance place,” was prepared, where, the weather permitting, the
bear doctor performed the ceremonies connected with donning his suit.
In bad weather these rites were performed in the sheltered cavern. This
practice ground was simply a level place in the bottom of a cañon near
the cavern. It was an elliptical clearing about twenty feet long by
ten to fifteen feet wide. No trail led to it, the bear doctor and his
assistant exercising the greatest care to obscure as much as possible
every evidence of their movements, not even a broken twig being left
about as a clue.


The suit of the bear doctor, called _gawī_, was made as follows:
First, an openwork basket was woven of white oak twigs to fit the
head and with openings for eyes, nose, and mouth. Disks of abalone
shell with small openings to permit actual vision were fitted into
the eye openings in the basket. This basket served as a foundation
over which to place the skin of the bear’s head. It was made so that
it exactly fitted the wearer’s head and remained in place even when
he moved violently. The covering of this helmet, as also the outer
covering for the rest of the body, was usually made of real grizzly
bear skin, though a net covered with soaproot fiber was sometimes
used. The skin of the bear’s head was shaped, but not stuffed, so as
to retain its proper form, the eye-holes of the skin being made to fit
the shell-filled eye-holes in the basket. The remainder of the bearskin
was fitted exactly to the body, arms, and legs so as to perfectly hide
every part of the body and give the wearer the appearance of a grizzly.

When soaproot fiber was used in making the bear doctor’s suit, a fine
net was first woven and thickly covered with shredded soaproot fiber
(_ap tsida_). This was woven entirely in one piece and so arranged
as to completely cover the wearer from head to foot, including the
basketry helmet just mentioned. It laced in front.

A low shoe, with the sole rounded and shaped somewhat like that of
a bear’s foot, was worn. This shoe was made of woven basketry held
between two hoops and so arranged that the foot went between the two
sections, which were attached directly to the costume. It was said that
sometimes, also, similarly shaped shoes were placed upon the hands. At
other times nothing was worn on either hands or feet.

Before donning the suit an “armor” of shell beads was put on. Four
belts covered the abdomen. Each was about six inches wide and made of
a different size and form of beads. One, called _hmūkī_, covered the
umbilicus. The other three, which were placed one above the other,
completely covered the remainder of the abdomen, chest, and back up to
the armpits, and were called respectively _kibūkal_, _catanī kūtsa_,
and _tadatada_. The last protected the heart, and was made of very
large, discoidal beads. Ordinarily these bead belts were woven in the
usual way. Sometimes, however, one or more of the four was covered
without by a layer of woodpecker scalps. Strings of shell beads were
wound closely about the arms from wrist to shoulder and the legs were
similarly covered. All these beads served as a protection against
arrows in case the bear doctor was attacked by hunters.

A type of body armor, made of wooden rods and used in open warfare,
is said to have been sometimes used by bear doctors. This consisted
of two layers of rods obtained from the snowdrop bush (_bakol_), each
rod being about the size of a lead pencil. These were bound together
with string, one layer of rods being placed vertically and the other
horizontally, in such a manner as to make a very close and effective

Two globose, three-rod foundation baskets, called _kūtc tcadōtcadoī_,
and each about three inches in diameter, were half filled with water
and each encased tightly in a closely woven fabric made of milkweed
fiber cord, or in a casing of rawhide. One was then tied, inside
the bearskin suit, just under each jaw or under each armpit. In the
soaproot fiber suit, small pockets were woven on its inner surface
for their reception. The swashing of the water made a sound (pluk,
pluk, pluk, pluk) resembling that of the viscera of a bear as he moves
along. Sometimes, instead of these baskets, a slightly larger pair
of plain-twining were tied one at each side at the waist. The doctor
never wore more than one pair at a time and never wore a single basket
alone. Canoe-form baskets ten or twelve inches long and with unusually
small openings were sometimes carried in place of the small, globose
baskets above mentioned. They were sometimes filled with water, as were
the small baskets, and at other times were used as receptacles for
beads, berries, or other commodities.

Plate 7 (frontispiece) shows a Pomo bear doctor suit, in the Peabody
Museum of Harvard University, reproduced by courtesy of Mr. C. C.
Willoughby. This is a model. While differing in some details from the
explanations received from informants, it confirms them in substance.


A bear doctor usually carried one and sometimes two elk-horn daggers,
called _bōō a_, literally “elk horn.” Such a dagger was from six to ten
inches in length and was made by pounding at its base and breaking off
the large end point of an elk antler and sharpening its tip. It was
rubbed on a grinding stone and smoothed throughout its length and a
hole was bored in its base through which a loop about two feet long was
passed for suspending it about the neck or from the belt. This loop was
always of string, as this is not affected by dampness.

Obsidian or flint knives, called _bat!_, were sometimes used in
addition to or in place of the elk-horn dagger. The blade of such a
knife was made by first striking the larger flakes from it with a
hammer stone and then chipping its edges with an antler chipping tool.
This blade was set into a split oak handle and bound securely with
string, but was not pitched. Both of these were thrusting weapons.

Other weapons were sometimes used, even the stone pestle being employed
as a weapon.

Bear doctors often operated in pairs, and sometimes in greater numbers.
They frequently deployed so as to cover a considerable area in their
hunt, and had a method of intercommunication. If a prospective victim
was sighted at some distance, the bear doctor stood erect on the top
of the nearest ridge, with his back turned directly toward him. This
signal brought the other bear doctors into positions to surround the
victim. Informants maintain that in the actual attack a bear doctor
frequently stood unconcernedly, near the path of his victim, and with
his back toward him until he was quite near. He then whirled and
attacked suddenly. They stated that this was also the method of attack
of a real bear.

It is said that the only way to overcome a bear doctor was to seize his
head or shoulders and jerk off his helmet. This completely removed his
magic power. The story is told that Kamachi, a very brave and powerful
man formerly living at the Yorkville Rancheria, mistook two real bears
for bear doctors, attacked them in this manner, and finally succeeded
in killing them.


When the suit was put on for the first time by the bear doctor, the
following elaborate ceremony was performed. The assistant took up his
position in the center of the practice ground, having on one side
of him four hundred counting sticks, each about the size of a lead
pencil, nicely arranged in even rows. Directly in front of him was the
entire bear doctor’s suit, except the beads and bead belts; that is,
the basketry helmet, the bearskin garment, the two water baskets, the
dagger of elk antler, and the obsidian knife. These were the articles
which were strictly ceremonial, and which must never be handled by
women or children for the reason that they were the property of the
particular supernatural beings under whose patronage the bear doctor
operated and whose powers were invoked for his success, especially
by means of a long series of ritualistic songs sung by his assistant
during the ceremony of donning the suit, now to be described.

While the assistant sang the ritualistic songs, the bear doctor who was
to wear the suit danced up toward it four times each from each of the
four cardinal points in the following order: north, west, south, and
east. Each time the dancer advanced toward the suit, the singer raised
above his head one counter from the one side and as the dancer receded
placed it on his opposite side. Thus this portion of the ceremony took
sixteen counters. Having thus approached the suit four times the sacred
number four, the dancer picked up with his left hand the basketry
helmet and danced with it four times around the practice ground, the
singer keeping tally with the necessary four sticks. He then danced
four times up toward and back from the place on the practice ground
where he intended to temporarily place this object, so using another
four counters. Thus there were used in all with this one object
twenty-four counters.

He did precisely the same with each of the remaining five articles of
the suit. Thus one hundred and forty-four counters were transferred
from the original group to the singer’s opposite side.

He next took all six of these articles in both hands and performed the
same cycle of twenty-four dance movements that was employed in handling
each separately, so using one hundred and sixty-eight counters up to
this point.

He then repeated this entire cycle of one hundred and sixty-eight dance
movements in precisely the same order and manner as just described, but
using the right hand instead of the left, thus using three hundred and
thirty-six counters up to this point.

He next repeated all the foregoing movements exactly in reverse order
in every respect; taking up the articles in reverse order and dancing
toward the cardinal points in reverse order and using the hands in
reverse order, thus using six hundred and seventy-two counters up to
this point.

He finally took the entire suit in both hands and went around the
practice ground four times in a clockwise direction and then four
times in a contra-clockwise direction, thus using in all six hundred
and eighty counters, indicative of that number of separate movements,
or rather one hundred and seventy distinct types of movements each
repeated four times.

Throughout this entire ceremony the assistant sang ritualistic songs
invoking, in the ascending order of their importance, the aid of the
particular supernatural beings under whose patronage the bear doctor
was supposed to be and with whom he came into direct contact. According
to one informant, these were, in order, brush-man, rock-man, shade-man,
spring-man, pond-man, mountain-man, and sun-man, though a large number
of others are also included.[17] In fact, it seems probable that all
the spirits of the Pomo world are supposed to be directly concerned.
The following were specifically mentioned by the informants:

    _English_           _Eastern Dialect_      _Central Dialect_

    Mountain-man        danō gak               danō baiya
    Water-man           xa gak                 ka baiya
    Night-man           dūwē gak               īwē baiya
    Valley-man          gagō gak               kakō baiya
    Brush-man           se gak                 see baiya
    Rock-man            xabē gak               kabē baiya
    Spring-man          gapa gak               gapa baiya
    Shade-man           cīyō gak
    Fire-man            xō gak                 hō baiya
    Disease-man         gak kalal              ītal baiya
    Insanity-man        gak dagōl              dakōl baiya
    gūksū               gūksū                  kūksū
    Whitled-leg widow   kama sīlī dūket mīya   cakū kattciū
    Dream-man           marū                   marū
    Wind-man            yai kī                 ya tcatc
    Pond-woman          danō kawō
    Blind-man           ūī bagō                ūī nasai
    Sun-man             da tca
    Sun-woman           da mata
    Deer-man            bice gaūk              pce tca

To all these he sang songs and made prayers the substance of which
usually was: “You know what I am doing. I am doing as you do and using
your ways. You must help me and give me good luck.”

He sang to and invoked particularly Sun-man because he was an
all-seeing deity and knew everything that happened all over the earth,
and more particularly because as Sun-man rises with the sun each
morning he comes with his bow and arrow drawn and ready to shoot on
sight any wrongdoer. Unless, therefore, Sun-man was propitiated and
previously informed of the bear doctor’s intentions, he was likely to
shoot him just as the sun appeared above the horizon. The substance of
his prayer to Sun-man was: “I am going to do as you do. I shall kill
people. You must give me good luck.”

When the suit was finally put on there was a certain amount of
ceremonial procedure. The beads used as armor were first put on the
naked body. The arms and legs were closely wound, each with a single
long string of beads. The bear doctor then danced around the practice
ground four times in a clockwise direction and then four times in a
contra-clockwise direction. He next advanced toward and receded from
the suit four times each from the north, west, south, and east. He
then made four times a motion as if to pick up the suit, and again
four times the motion of putting the suit on, after which he donned it
and was completely ready for his journey, being endowed with all the
supernatural powers of the bear doctor.

Throughout the entire construction of the suit, and also throughout the
ceremony connected with putting it on, he turned his head around toward
the left after each separate action, such as lifting up or putting down
any article and after each dancing up and back toward the suit, or
running around the practice ground.

Each subsequent donning of the suit was quite simple. The bear doctor
picked up each article separately and made a motion with it four times
toward the part of the body it was to cover, turning his head four
times to the left after each of these sets of four motions. He then
put on the suit and danced in a contra-clockwise direction four times
around the practice area or the interior of his cavern, as the case
might be, after which he was fully ready for his journey.

In case of inclement weather the bear doctor dressed in the shelter of
the cavern, but if the weather was fair this was always done on the
practice ground.

In undressing, on the other hand, the bear doctor performed no ceremony
at all, but simply took off his suit and carefully laid it away,
hanging up in the cavern the bearskin itself to keep it clean. It was
necessary that a bear doctor swim immediately upon removing his suit.
Still dressed in his bead armor, he went, therefore, to his swimming
place, removing the beads and piling them on the bank. This was done so
that if discovered he had immediately at hand a treasure with which to
buy secrecy. The penalty paid by an informer who had been thus bribed
was certain death at the hands of the bear doctor. Upon emerging from
the pool, he returned to his cavern, carefully folded the belts and
strings of beads and laid each away separately until the suit was again


Informants state that the various bear doctors all over the country
knew each other.[18] Two or more of them often met by chance at some
spring or other secluded spot in the mountains, and at such times
discussed their activities. They might tell each other where they
expected to be next month, or what mountain they would use as a hiding
place and base of operations next year.

Each bear doctor acted independently and knew no restrictions of any
sort so far as his fellows were concerned, nor had he or his relatives
any immunity from the attacks of other bear doctors, for one bear
doctor might become enraged at another and cause his death or that of
some of his relatives.

The only persons who were immune from these attacks were the captain
of the village and his immediate family. He knew all the bear doctors
and received a share of their spoils in consideration for his friendly

Any bear doctor or person who knew all the secrets of bear doctoring
usually took his relatives, or, at any rate, certain of them, to this
hiding place and showed them enough of his secrets so that they would
lose their fear of bear doctors and not be frightened when they heard
of the death of some one through an attack by bears. Such partially
initiated persons always mourned the loss of the victim as did the rest
of the people, but were not, in reality, afraid of the bear doctors.


While the bear doctor was the most important of magicians, there were
also mountain lion or panther doctors, who were also possessed of
considerable power. Very little was learned of this class of medicine
man save that the head part of their suits was made of the head and
neck of an actual panther skin drawn over a basket frame similar to
that used by the bear doctor. The remainder of the suit was made of
shredded soaproot fiber woven on to a fine net, which was said to
simulate quite well the skin of the panther.

The panther doctor wore no bead armor as did the bear doctor, but wore
a necklace of small and finely made shell beads around his neck. He
always carried a bag filled with valuable beads with which to bribe to
silence any one who might discover him. The bear doctor used the beads
comprising his armor for this purpose.


The ideas that the doctor is actually transformed into a bear, that
bear hair grows out through his skin, and that he comes to life
after having been killed--ideas found among certain California
Indians[19]--have not been discovered among the Pomo.

As might be expected, from the contiguity of the two groups and their
numerous cultural identities, the Pomo and Yuki[20] bear doctors are
very similar. The Yuki, however, have certain beliefs that the Pomo do
not possess.

The Yuki bear doctor began by repeatedly dreaming of bears and was
taken out and instructed by actual bears, thus placing the bear in
the position of a true guardian spirit, and making the doctor a real
shaman. Later he was thought to be instructed and to have his powers
developed by older shamans. The Pomo have no such notions.

The Yuki bear doctor was not always an evildoer, but in some measure an
accepted benefactor, particularly in curing bear bites and in avenging
wrongs to his community. His capacity thus was publicly recognized--a
fact that is further evidenced by his performance of sleight-of-hand
tricks. The Pomo bear doctor never performed any cure, practiced his
magic with the greatest secrecy and only for his own satisfaction and
aggrandizement, and had death awaiting him at the hands of his own
people if he was unfortunate enough to be discovered.

The Yuki bear doctor carried a basket containing a stone which rumbled
in imitation of the bear’s growl as the shaman shook his head.
Analogous to this was the Pomo bear doctor’s set of water-filled
baskets which swashed like a real bear’s viscera as he ran.

Both carried beads; but the Yuki to secure appropriate burial if
killed, the Pomo as an armor and to bribe to secrecy him who might
discover him.

The mode of attack and the dismemberment of the victim were quite
similar in both tribes.


The Northern Sierra and Plains Miwok called bear doctors _sulik müko_.
These shamans donned bearskins, but, like their Yuki colleagues, had
bears as spirits and exhibited their powers publicly. Like the Yokuts
bear doctors, they were thought able to transform themselves bodily
into bears.

The Miwok relate how a man was hunting in the chaparral south of the
Stanislaus when a bear appeared and asked what he was doing. The Indian
replied that he was seeking an arrow lost in a shot at a red-headed
woodpecker. The bear led him into its cave, kept and taught him for
four days, and sent him home with several bears as guides. A white man,
married to an Indian woman, instigated the building of a dance-house
to give the bear doctor an opportunity to show his alleged powers.
The latter accepted, came, walked into the fire, pushed aside the
flaming brands and made himself a bed in the coals, arose after a time
unharmed, swam, and resumed his human form.

The Miwok panther doctor was similarly met and instructed by a
panther. He wore no skin and possessed no power of transformation. He
did, however, acquire the panther’s ability to hunt, it was thought. In
extreme old age he revealed his experiences and then died at once.

It is clear that the Miwok panther doctor is merely a shaman who has
that animal as his personal guardian spirit, and that except for his
power of transformation and the character of his guardian, the Miwok
bear doctor does not essentially differ from an ordinary shaman.

It seems therefore that the institution of the bear doctor has attained
its most extreme form among the Pomo.


1. The origin of bear doctors is assigned by the Pomo to the
mythical times before men existed, when birds and mammals possessed
human attributes. The first bear doctors arose from a relatively
insignificant incident, which led one of the smallest of the birds to
develop his magic powers.

2. These powers are believed to be now acquired through the wearing
of a special suit which endows its wearer with rapidity of motion and
great endurance, but which does not itself actually transport him or
perform any act.

3. The powers are received through elaborate ritualistic songs and
prayers to certain supernatural beings under whose patronage the doctor
operates. These songs are largely sung not by the doctor himself but
by an assistant while the doctor performs an elaborate dance with the
various parts of the costume preparatory to actually putting them on
for the first time.

4. In addition to this constant assistant, the bear doctor must have a
female aide, who makes certain parts of his paraphernalia and cooks his
special food. He is subject to certain restrictions connected with the
menstrual periods of this female aide and his wife, and they, in turn,
are subject through him to certain other restrictions.

5. Although all-powerful under ordinary circumstances, a bear doctor
apparently loses all his magic power as soon as he is captured.

6. Bear doctors are all known one to another, but form no organized
group or society. They are also usually known to the chief, to whom
they pay tribute and give guarantee of immunity from attack in return
for his connivance and protection.

7. In exceptional cases the bear doctors are harmless, but in the main
their object is to kill and plunder, and they carry special weapons for
this purpose. They do not practice curative medicine in any form.

8. There are apparently other kinds of magicians similar to bear
doctors. One of these, the “panther doctors,” has been specifically

These statements reflect the opinions of the Pomo. Some of the
practices described by them could easily have had a basis in fact.
Whether and to what extent they were actually performed remains to be

    _Transmitted November 28, 1916._


[1] A. L. Kroeber, “Religion of the Indians of California,” present
series, IV, 331, 1907.

[2] This is the site of an old Eastern Pomo village and is situated in
the foot-hills about two miles northeast of the town of Upper Lake. It
is located on the western slope of a hill and overlooks the lake.

[3] Identity unknown, and common Indian name not recorded.

[4] This name in the Northern dialect is _būta baōm_, and in the
Central dialect is _bitaka yalō djak_, literally grizzly bear between
the legs flew. The Northern people say that the name of the bird
previous to the accomplishment of this feat was _mābasōmsō_. In
speaking of this bird one Northern informant stated that when the first
people were transformed into birds this man was wearing a very large
head-dress. This accounts for the fact that the bird now carries a
large topknot.

[5] In very early times it is said that a string of four hundred beads
was worth an amount about equal to two and one-half dollars. Later,
after the introduction of the pump-drill, this value dropped to one
dollar. On the basis of modern valuations of such skins, and under the
higher rating of beads, this hide would have been worth 12,000 beads.

[6] In giving the account the informant stated that while making their
ceremonial attire the two worked entirely at night, as was always done
by Indian bear doctors later, and then only upon perfectly dark nights,
when the moon was not shining or when it was obscured by clouds. In
case the moon suddenly emerged from behind a cloud they immediately
ceased their work. This was made necessary by the fact that many
hunters were abroad at night.

[7] Another informant told of a marvelous journey said to have been
made by his grandmother while the family resided many years ago in
Eight-mile Valley. She went during one night to Healdsburg, Sebastopol,
Bodega Bay, and Big River, thence returning to her home, covering in
those few hours about two hundred miles.

[8] The bringing of beads as a death offering from one village to
another, or from one political group of people to another, is called
_kal kubek_, while such an offering taken to the home of the family of
the deceased by relatives in the same village is called _kal banek_.

[9] This stretcher is called _kaitsak_, and consists of two side poles
with short cross-pieces bound to them in such a manner as to resemble a
ladder. It was used in early times for carrying the wounded or the dead
back to the village. A corpse was bound to it by a binding of grapevine
and the two ends of the stretcher rested upon the shoulders of the

[10] They were making a _bīcē gō_; i.e., setting snares in the brush
without making a brush fence. The fence with snares is called _bīcē

[11] This pond, which is said to furnish the only water on this great
mountain, was called _ka kapa_, and is said to be one of a very few
ponds apparently without a spring, and called _ka dabō_, which are
supposed to have been made in prehistoric times by bears as resting
places for themselves. This pond is nowadays almost never visited by
any one except hunters who have lost their way.

[12] This loss of magic power and their consequent capture was
explained as a supernatural penalty for their attempt to kill more than
four victims in any one year.

[13] One informant ascribed the source of Pomo bear doctor knowledge to
the Lake Miwok, to the south. This opinion, of course, conflicts with
the preceding origin tale.

[14] The bear doctor was known to the Pomo as _gauk būrakal_, “human
bear.” _Būrakal_ specifically denotes the grizzly bear. The brown or
cinnamon bear is _līma_, but black individuals, which we reckon as of
the same species, were called _cīyō būrakal_, “black grizzly bears,” by
the Pomo.

[15] It would appear that restriction depended rather upon co-residence
than blood kinship. The extent to which the taboo might accordingly
affect a bear doctor’s activities will be realized when we reflect that
it was customary for several related families to reside in one house,
each family having its own door and each two families a separate fire.
In the center of the house was the common baking pit.

[16] Usually, however, a person caught in this way was used as a “head
rest” and servant, it is said, and received no instruction whatever.

[17] Another informant gave as these chief spirits sun-man,
mountain-man, wind-man, night-man, water-man, and valley-man, though
not stating that they were considered in this order.

[18] So far as could be ascertained, they formed no organized society,
and never met as a body.

[19] Kroeber, _loc. cit._

[20] This comparison is based on manuscript data of Dr. Kroeber
concerning the Yuki.

    Transcriber's notes:

    The following is a list of changes made to the original.
    The first line is the original line, the second the corrected one.

    to his excuses, he uusally brought home some game or berries.
    to his excuses, he usually brought home some game or berries.

    This conisted of two layers of rods obtained from the snowdrop
    This consisted of two layers of rods obtained from the snowdrop

    from the original group to the singers opposite side.
    from the original group to the singer’s opposite side.

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