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Mojave Ethnography & Ethnohistory

Religion of the Mojave

According to the Mojave creation story, the Creator matavi•P'a, born of Sky and Earth, offended his daughter, who then killed him by witchcraft. He was cremated and the Great Dark House he had built was burned, setting a precedent for Mojave funerals. Mastamho, son or younger brother of matavi•P'a, created a mountain, Avikwame, and lived on it while he finished the creation process and allotted land to the Walapai, Yavapai, Chemehuevi, Quechan, and Mojave. He taught human beings how to subsist on their land, and how to behave.
Avi kwa ame, Spirit Mountain, Laughlin, Nv.
Avi kwa ame, Spirit Mountain, Laughlin, Nv.

Mojaves receive their knowledge power from dreams, in which they had adventures and were given information and instructions. They recalled their dream when awake, and sang the song cycles given them in dreams. Each person owned the songs acquired thus. Most of these songs referred to the areas adjacent to the Colorado River on either side and into the Mojave River (Kroeber 1925:754-778; 1948; 1972).

In Great Dreams, Mojaves were given supernatural power. Shamans dream of matavi•P'a's Great Dark House, which is on Avikwame, and receive their power there.

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ecology: wildlife - plants - geography: places - MAPS - map/sat - roads & trails: route 66 - old west - communities - weather - book store
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