Thomas Doty – Storyteller



Drawing  |  Photo

This symbol is located at the entrance to a lava cave in the Modoc homeland of northeast California. In the Modoc language, Shapasheni means "where the sun and moon live." In the mythology, the sun and moon travel westward across the sky to their home. There they rest before traveling back underground through lava caves to rise again in the east. This image combines symbols to show the sun traveling through an empty place, a crooked place. We know the place refers to a lava cave because the image is located at a cave entrance. A knowledge of the story completes the message.