Books Should Be Free is now
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

Washo Religion   By: (1923-1999)

Book cover

First Page:

Washo Religion


James F. Downs

University of California Publications

Anthropological Records

Vol. 16, No. 9, pp. 365 386

Editors (Berkeley): J. H. Rowe, R. F. Millon, D. M. Schneider

Submitted by editors September 16, 1960

Issued June 16, 1961

Price, 75 cents

University of California Press

Berkeley and Los Angeles


Cambridge University Press

London, England


Preface Introduction Mythology Water Babies The Giants The Coyote And Other Figures Curing And Shamanism (2469 2541) Noncurative Use Of Power (2567 2593) Divining And Rainmaking (2553 2556, 2566) Objects Of Power Sorcery And Witchcraft (2562 2564) War Power Summary Of Shamanism Dreams And Dreamers (2566) Ritual Activities Conception And Contraception Birth (2178 2293) Puberty: Girls (2305 2352) Puberty: Boys (2379 2386, 369 374) Marriage (2018 2051) Death (2389 2453) Ritual In Subsistence Hunting Fishing (252a 296) Miscellaneous Concepts About Hunting And Fishing Gathering Miscellaneous Ritual Influence Of Christianity Bibliography Footnotes


This paper is the result of two and one half months' field work among the Washo Indians of California and Nevada supported by the Department of Anthropology of the University of California and the Woodrow Wilson Foundation. In it I have tried to describe the religious beliefs and ritual activities of the Washo as they can be examined today. Where possible I have attempted to reconstruct the aboriginal patterns and trace the course of change between these two points in time.

A second purpose has been to supplement the culture element distribution lists prepared by Omer C. Stewart in 1936 (Stewart 1941). In a number of instances his findings were at variance with those of Smith, whose notes Stewart incorporated; I have been able to resolve some of the differences between Stewart and Smith. Where my own research has led me to disagree with the statements in the culture element distributions I have discussed the problem. In general my own work simply expands the rather sparse descriptions of the element lists (Stewart 1941, pp. 366 418). The culture element distribution list numbers which refer to traits dealt with in the various sections are indicated in parentheses following the headings. Where a trait or complex is dealt with in detail it is indicated by parentheses in the text. Statements not otherwise attributed are the result of my own field work.

I am indebted to Mr. W. L. d'Azevedo, who encouraged me to carry on field work among the Washo and who has made his own field notes and knowledge available to me. I have indicated information attributable to d'Azevedo by placing his name in parentheses in the text; where his name appears with a date, the reference is to a work published by him.

I also wish to express my thanks for the suggestions made by J. H. Rowe, R. F. Millon, and D. M. Schneider, who read this article before it went to press, and to acknowledge the final reading given the manuscript by the late A. L. Kroeber.

In addition, my thanks are owed to Mr. Frank Yapparagari, Mrs. Juanita Schubert, and Mrs. Lois Buck of Gardnerville and Minden, Nevada, to Mr. Richard Shulter of the Nevada State Museum in Carson City, Nevada, and to Mrs. E. M. Keenan of Paradise, California, who assisted in various ways in the progress of the investigation. Last, to the various members of the Washo tribe, who with patience and good humor bore the probing into their lives, my deepest gratitude... Continue reading book >>

eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac
PDF eBook
• Download & View PDF file

Review this book

Popular Genres
More Genres
Paid Books