Mount Diablo



Mount Diablo, California has long been a sacred mountain to many Native California groups within its expansive view. The Julpun recognized the mountain as the birthplace of the world. Hundreds of miles away in the Sierra Nevada, some Northern Miwok saw it as the place from which a supernatural being lit a previously dark landscape. Further south, the Central Miwok featured this mountain as part of their most sacred ceremonies. Wintun spiritual leaders prayed to the creator from the mountain's heights. Nearly every Native California community that viewed Mount Diablo would at one time or another make a pilgrimage to the summit area for ceremonies. The local natives would conduct ceremonies because they believed that Mount Diablo was the center of creation.

Mount Diablo State Park's interpretation of the Miwok creation story:
, a California condor who lived on Do'-yum'-bel'-le, or as we call it today, Mount Diablo. Mol'-uk would perch himself upon a prominent rock on the east side of the mountain to watch over the world.

Then one day Mol'-luk noticed that something was wrong with his rock, so he consulted his brothers. Mol'-luk was told by his brothers that the rock was his wife. He was also told that his wife was about to give birth and that a big fire must be made. When the fire was hot, the brothers rolled the rock into it, and when the rock was hot, it broke open. Thus Wek'-wek was born. Wek'-wek was Falcon-man.

After a time Wek'-wek wanted to create people but didn't know how. He asked his father Mol'-luk about it, and was told he must speak to his grandfather O-let'-te, Coyote man, who lived at the ocean. O-let'-te told Wek'-wek he know how to make Mew'-ko (Miwok people), but first Wek'-wek had to capture three birds: Choo'-loo the Vulture, Ah-wet'-che the Crow, and Kok'-koi the Raven. Once captured, they took feathers from each bird. Next morning Wek'-wek and O'-let'-te went around the countryside and stuck three feathers into the ground at each place they wanted people and villages. They also gave each place a name, used by the Miwok people. The three feathers they stuck into the ground were for Cha'-kah the Chief, Mi'-yum the Woman chief, and Soo-la-too the Poor People. Next morning all the feathers sprang to life and became the Mew'-ko, or Miwok people.


View of the southwest from Mount Diablo.



Mount Diablo State Park's interpretation of the Miwok creation story.

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