These stories are from my families oral history.
They are presented here to that the user may appreciate the culture of one family of
Kumeyaay Indians. My Late Father is from the Brown family and my Late Mother
was from the Curo family. These stories were derived from both
families. Some people have found them interesting.
Here is my Dad talking about Story Telling
(Stories copyrighted, not released to public domain but may be copied and reproduced for classroom educational purposes. [Me being a credentialed teacher and all that.] Not released for commercial use of any kind.)
|A Dad||Always Ask||Fate||School|
|The Deer Hunter||The Arguement||The Talking Horse||Sky on Fire|
|The little people||The day my Grandfather met God||My Uncle, Pancho Villa||Joe the bus driver|
|Wounded in Action||Who-Dee-Does||The Fox||The Bomb|
|After Death||Sam Tule the Liar||Kumeyaay Christmas Story||The lost friend|
|Ham and eggs||Just Maybe||Marcilina||Dynamite Truck|
|The Big Mouth||Here he comes again||The tortilla roll||Sage Brush|
|Prisoner||Falling off horse||The magic song||Dinner|
|Money Left Over||Storytelling||The Great Snake||The Monster|
|Under the Wheel!||Wagon||Model T||Yelling|
|Curo Eyes||Falling Head||The Dog||The Turkey|
|The Silver Dollar||The Daddy||The Devil?||The Nun|
|The Reach||The Shovels||The War||The Road to Conejos|
|To hear the wind||Dad in a suite||KaKwipe||The Hutamul|
|My Mom's Driving||Life of a deer||Being Poor||The Dinette Set|
|67 Cents||Party Line||Outhouse||The Blue Cloud|
|Tribal Gathering (YouTube)||The Finger||Jeff Chandler|
Oddly the local Indians have a belief in little people. There are many tribes who have a belief in little people and their descriptions are generally the same. The small people are about the size of a three year old child. The following is told by a group of people who are elders but still remember their encounter with the little people that we call "EE-Yah-Poos." Click Below
There has just been a heavy week of rain a group of children went down to the river to see the swollen waters run. Much to their surprise they saw a small boat and little people in it. They were not surprised because they saw the Eeyahpoos, because they grew up hearing about them, but were surprised that despite the rapidly running water the boat was traveling against the current and going up stream.
The children immediately decided they wanted to play with the boat so they would take it away from the Eeyahpoos. They tried to get sticks to bring the boat in but the boat moved toward the other side of the river. Their last method was to toss rocks so the waves would move the boat to the shore. They begin to toss rocks on the opposite side of the boat but it had the opposite effect and the boat moved away from them. They all remember the best thrower in the group was the last to toss rocks but the Eeyahpoos, and the boat, got away from them.
Now that they are grown they are fascinated that they actually saw little people. It astounds them that there are little people among us, they actually exist.
I have never seen them but my late Brother saw one in the woods at night. He ran home screaming. My son also saw one looking in his bedroom window and ran outside to see it but it was gone. In both cases the Eeyahpoos had hats on. I had an aunt who moved into the city. She adopted the ways of the Whiteman. She saw then in the city but she said she was dreaming and referred to them as the "Kats and Jammer Kids", which was an old comic strip.
My father recently said to me that an Eeyahpoo thing happened to him. He lost the keys to his car. He remembered coming into the house and having the keys in his hand. For two days he and other members of the family searched for the keys but couldn’t find them. Then his ten year old grandson came to look for the keys. He immediately found the keys under an umbrella. What bothered my Dad was that he had also looked under the umbrella and it was not there when he looked. My Dad said that eeyahpoos’ are tricksters and will do things like that.
No, I haven’t seen any nor do I want to. After all I have been to the university and know that such things do not exist.
Now where did I put my keys?
One time we saw a movie about "Babes in Toyland." In the film there were little people. This film really impressed one member of my family. She was in the house one day and no one else was home. It was very quiet. All of a sudden she could hear a tiny voice saying "Hello! Hello!" "My gosh their real," she thought. Then she proceeded to look for the little people. She went this way and that around the house until she could locate the sound. She found the phone off the hook.
My Grandfather Richard had a very rough time when he was young. The same was true for many rural families in San Diego County in the early 1900's. All he could remember, when he was a youth, was cutting wood. His family cut wood and then came into town to sell it. Every morning he woke up, before the sun, and went with his Father to cut wood. They would return in the evening and began again the next day. Even when they did sell wood there was no rest. My Grandfather always hoped that he could rest the next day after the sale but the very next morning he would be out cutting wood.
When he turned 15, his father told him he was too old to stay with the family and had to leave. His father hitched up the team of horses and took him to El Cajon, and left him there. My Grandfather watched as the wagon pulled away. My Grandfather did not know what to do. He had just turned 15 and was illiterate, he didn't go to school because he had to cut wood.. He had 15 cents in his pocket and did not know where he would sleep or how he could survive. He had no where to go so he started to walk down the road.
As he walked down the dusty road a wagon pulled up besides him. The driver was a whiteman and said "Are you looking for work?"
My Grandfather ended up with a job, room and board. He was so happy he went to town and bought some crackers and cheese. (15 cents went further then.)
When my Grandfather would finish the story he would say "That's the Ami-a-ha." He would say to my Mother.
(Ami-a-ha is our word for God. It literally means the "High Waters".)
"And now I am here Yeah-Ta-Nuk." he would say.
(As with many phrases and thoughts, there is no English word for Yeah-Ta-Nuk. It means something like your heart, mind, spirit and soul are at peace.)
From time to time my Grandfather would tell the story. I liked to hear it each time. I can’t help wonder about the teenagers today who, at fifteen, want the latest video device and games. This is especially true about some Reservation Teens who think the world is all laid out for them. They should be happy that they are in a situation where they don’t have to meet God.
He was constantly getting into fights. Some people have a hard time believing that there are Indians in California. Out of state Indians also have a hard time with this and they would say things about him not really being an Indian and a fight would result. He had a real terrible time there.
After his first year ended he went home for the summer and asked his Grandma to teach him the Indian language and tribal songs. As kids do in the summer he was having too much fun and did not go to his grandma until a few days before school started. All she had time to teach him was one Indian gambling song and he left.
That year he was elected president of his class. His mother asked him what changed and told her it was the song. He would sing that one song all the time. When he was just walking or taking a shower. He said he easily made friends and was accepted by people who ignored him last year. He said he had a great year.
You can say the song gave him confidence and people could see the confidence. The song made him feel more acceptable to the people around him. He had a change in attitude an so on and so forth.
It was the magic.