California Big Trees

: Myths And Legends Of California And The Old Southwest

Pai Utes (near Kern River, Cal.)

The California big trees are sacred to the Monos, who call them

"woh-woh-nau," a word formed in imitation of the hoot of the owl. The

owl is the guardian spirit and the god of the big trees. Bad luck comes

to those who cut down the big trees, or shoot at an owl, or shoot in the

presence of the owl.

In old days the Indians tried to persuade the white men not to cut down

the big trees. When they see the trees cut down they call after the

white men. They say the owl will bring them evil.