Stone Mother Legend

Stone Mother

The father of Indians came to a mountain near Stillwater and set up home. Legend has it that he was created near the Reese River. He was a great man, but was very lonely and wished he had someone to keep him company.

Many years later a women heard about the man on the mountain. She was married to Bear and wished that one day she could meet the man. This made Bear very jealous and they had a big fight. The fight lasted for some time until she knocked Bear down and killed him with a club. She left the country in search of the man. She had an interesting trip and today her footprints can still be seen along Mono Lake.

As she came to Yerington she saw a giant and she had to kill him when he tried to eat her. She managed to kill him and he turned to stone. He can also be seen today. When she finally arrived at Stillwater Mountain she saw the man who she thought was very handsome. She hid from him and one day he saw her footprints and he finally found her. She was tired from her trip and very nervous about meeting him. He spoke to her kindly and asked her to come back to his place for some food. She followed him.

After their meal, the man asked her to stay with him and she stayed next to the fire. The next night she slept by the door and each night she got a little closer to him. By the fifth night, they married and after this had many children. Their first born child was a boy who had a very mean streak. He caused a lot of trouble among the other children. One day when they were fighting, the man gathered his children together to talk with them. He told them if they were to continue to fight he would separate them – they started to fight before he even finished his speech.

The man became very angry and told them he would separate them. He said he would go to his home in the sky and that when they die, they will go to him. All they had to do was follow the dusty road (pointing to the Milky way). Once you reach my home, I will be there waiting and I hope that one day you can live together in peace.

He called the oldest son and paired him with one of the girls and sent them to the West. They became the Pitt Rivers. The other children who were peaceful were allowed to stay at home and he told them to look after their mother who he was leaving in their care. They became the Paiutes and he left to the sky.

The Paiutes grew to be a strong tribe, however the woman still mourned for her other children and she cried bitter tears and each day she cried some more. She sat near a mountain where she could look over the Pitt River country and as her tears fell they formed a great lake. This became known as Pyramid Lake and she sat there for so long that she turned to stone. This is where she remains today, sitting on the eastern shore of Pyramid Lake with her basket. The Kuyuidokado (Pyramid Lake Paiutes/Cui ui eaters) call her the Stone Mother.

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