Thomas Doty – Storyteller
A Native View
Every Takelma story begins with the words, wili yowo, "there was a house." The importance of home in the myths dramatizes the people's deep love of their home and their homeland. Before traveling, it is an Old Time custom to stand a pestle on end to show that the house is lived in. If the pestle falls over, the occupants have gone away for good. Maybe they have died. In Indian country, there's a reason why forced removal from one's beloved homeland is called a Trail of Tears.
Photo: Takelma mortar and pestle.