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.