The Origin of Death (Yauelmani Yokuts)

It was Coyote who brought it about that people die. He made it thus because our hands are not closed like his. He wanted our hands to be like his, but kondjodji (a lizard), said to him: 'No, they must have my hand.' He had five fingers and Coyote had only a fist. So now we have an open hand with five fingers. But then Coyote said: 'Well, then they will have to die.'

Source: Kroeber, A. L. "The Origin of Death". Indian Myths of South Central California (1907). Accessed 26 December 2002.

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