Lost Limbs Foundation

Sunday, March 2, 2014

The Cahto People of Coastal California

Eye Witness to Earth Cataclysm: Survivors, The Cahto (Kato) People of Coastal California

Many cultural stories are about disasters - but they really focus on survival following the global catastrophe many thousands of years ago. The Kato tribe once lived in coastal California north of San Francisco, along with other ancient people, the Kato believed the sky was made of stone. From that cosmological point of view, a rain of falling meteorites meant that the sky was falling as in this story. The tale accurately describes a cosmic event with almost no embellishment.
The Day the Sky Fell
The Creator and the Creators helper, called Thunder, originally made of the out of sandstone. After a while, the sky became very old and began to break apart. Down below the people of earth heard a great, thunderous cracking noise, first from the east and then from all directions.
Before the Creator and Thunder could fix the cracks, hung chunks of sky-stone began to fall into the ocean and onto the Earth, killing many people and animals and flattening whole mountains. The ocean impacts created giant waves that crashed across the shorelines, sweeping trees and animals out to sea.
The people were terrified as sheets of water and heavy rain began to pour down through the cracks in the sky onto the earth below. It rained for many days and nights, causing the water of the great ocean to rise higher and higher until there was no land for a long way in every direction. The floodwaters swept away people, animals and plants.
Some people jumped into their boats and some clung to logs and trees as the water swirled around them. any perished although a few people survived. Those who lived were the ones who listened to the wind, the Rain and the Rocks and who knew how to lie in harmony with them, who knew how to listen to the gentle whispers around them. The Kato tribe descended from those few people. For a while, all people lived in harmony forgot the lessons of those tines and turned away from the Creator. Today only a few still live that way.

Retold from Goddard, 1929