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Thread: Local myths, legends, and stories

  1. #1
    Registered User Stargazer86's Avatar
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    Local myths, legends, and stories

    I thought it would be neat if we could all share stories/myths/legends (even urban legends!) that are local to us. Even if it's an interesting mythological story or tall tale from the country in which you live, or something more close to home, I'd love to hear it

    I'll start with a Cauhilla Indian legend that is local to my Valley

    The Legend of Tahquitz

    Tahquitz was the first shaman created by Mukat, the creator of all things. Tahquitz had much power, and in the beginning he used his power for the good of all people. Tahquitz became the guardian spirit of all shamans and he gave them power to do good. But over time, Tahquitz began to use his power for selfish reasons. He began to use his power to harm the Cahuilla People. The people became angry and they banished Tahquitz to this canyon that now bears his name. He made his home high in the San Jacinto Mountains in a secret cave below the towering rock known today as Tahquitz Peak. It is said that his spirit still lives in this canyon. He can sometimes be seen as a large green fireball streaking across the night sky. The strange rumblings heard deep within the San Jacinto Mountains, the shaking of the ground, and the crashing of boulders are all attributed to Tahquitz as he stomps about the canyon.
    (Copied from the Tahquitz Canyon official website)

    Today it's only accessible by guided tour. It was shut to the public in the early 70's due to accidents and people trashing parts of the canyon.
    It is also said that he survives by eating peoples' souls. Another legend says that Tahquitz was burned alive by his people when he became evil. While he was being burned he suddenly vanished which was proof that he was an evil spirit. Supposedly the canyon is cursed.

  2. #2
    Thanks for sharing the story of Tahquitz, Stargazer86! Maybe you can help me out about the pronunciation of "Tahquitz". Is it "TAH-keetz", as some of my friends say it, or is it "TAH-kwitz", as others say it? As for me, I'll probably always pronounce it "TAH-kwitz" in memory of my friend who introduced me to Tahquitz Rock (aka Lily Rock).

    Here's one about Tis-sa-ack (adapted from here):

    Tis-sa-ack, who lived in a far away country, journeyed with her husband to the Valley of Ah-wah-nee. They had crossed the high mountains, carrying heavy burdens, and were footsore and weary from their long journey. They were also very thirsty and were hurrying to reach the Valley, that they might drink from one of the clear lakes or streams, which they knew would be found there. When at last they reached Ah-wei-ya (Mirror Lake), Tis-sa-ack, who was ahead of her husband, sat down to drink. Again and again she filled her basket, and drained it, so that when her husband reached the lake she had drunk up all of the water and the lake was dry. When he found that she had drunk up all of the water her husband became very angry, and forgetting the customs of his people, he beat her severely. Tis-sa-ack ran, but her husband ran after her and continued to beat her so that she laid down the baby basket containing her papoose. Then, when he did not stop, becoming very angry with the pain and humiliation, she turned and hurled her basket at him.

    Then The Great Spirit himself, shocked by such conduct on the part of his children, became angry, and turned them all into granite. Tis-sa-ack became that noble mountain now called Half Dome, and today on the broken side of Half Dome can still be seen her face with the tears caused by her pain and humiliation streaming down it. Her husband was changed into Washington Column and North Dome, while beside him, the upturned burden basket, which Tis-sa-ack in her anger had hurled at him, became Basket Dome. The baby basket containing the papoose, which had been kicked aside during the trouble, became The Royal Arches, and there they may all be seen today.

    Tis-sa-ack:
    Optima dies ... prima fugit

  3. #3
    Registered User Stargazer86's Avatar
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    That story is so sad!! Thanks for sharing it Very interesting.

    And in answer to your question, it's pronounced Tah-kwitz

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    Registered User Stargazer86's Avatar
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    There's also an urban legend here about a little town called "Midgetville" not so high up in our mountains. Supposedly it's all miniature and only little people live there. I have no idea if it's true or not. I've never seen it myself but have heard several people swear that it's real. Not much to the story...but anyone who grew up here has heard it.

    Oh and I remember hearing several years ago that supposedly Jimmy Hoffa's body was thrown in the middle of the Salton Sea. I doubt it. It's really not that deep. There is a salt factor at the bottom of it though.
    ugh that place is disgusting.

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    Lady of Smilies Nightshade's Avatar
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    According to one source, The Gwain and the Green Knight story originated here. and the mere in the legend is quite likly the one running down the end of my road.
    The dialect it is written in was the local dilect apparntly and the presence and description of the mere and the fact that this town has been here since at least the 6th century AD . And something to do with laylines, at whihc point additedly I began to fade out of the conversation and get back with the job of trying to find all the books this customer wated.
    She gave me alist of texts to read that would prove it apparntly, still have it somewhere though I have yet to get round to actually reading the book.
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  6. #6
    Registered User Stargazer86's Avatar
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    I love the Green Knight tale!

    It sounds like where you live is rich in history Very cool

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Stargazer86 View Post
    And in answer to your question, it's pronounced Tah-kwitz
    Ahh... Sweet vindication!


    Quote Originally Posted by Stargazer86 View Post
    There's also an urban legend here about a little town called "Midgetville" not so high up in our mountains.
    This reminds me of the Lemurians on Mount Shasta. I've heard of them from many sources; the following is excerpted from here:

    Nestled at the foot of a partially extinct volcano, protected from the hot sun of mid-day and the chilling breezes of the Pacific by the towering mountain there exists the strangest mystical village in the Western Hemisphere, without equal, perhaps, in the whole world.

    The last descendants of the ancient Lemurians, the first inhabitants of this earth, find seclusion protection and peace, in this unique village of their own creation.

    ...

    Mt. Shasta is one of the most picturesque mountains in the West. Like the sacred volcano in Japan, which it resembles to a remarkable degree, it rises high above the plains surrounding it, and its white-capped peak can be seen for hundreds of miles. At the foot of this mountain, covered with snow most of the year, are green and flower-dotted fields and farm lands basking in the golden sun of the Pacific. There are sufficient stretches of wooded land at various parts of the base of the mountain to hide small valleys or glens; and in one of these lies the strange village and its strange in habitants,--far from the beaten paths of sand or gravel, and further still from the state highways.

    At midnight, throughout the whole year, a ceremony is performed in this village, called the "ceremony of adoration to Guatama". This latter word is their name for America; and the real purpose of the ceremony is to celebrate the arrival on this continent of their forebears when the continent of Lemuria disappeared beneath the quiet waters of the Pacific. At such ceremonies wonderful lights are used to such an extent that the whole southern side of Mt. Shasta is illuminated and made visible at great distances. These same lights are used at sunrise, daily and are often seen by passengers on the Shasta Limited which passes Shasta at about sunrise in certain seasons.

    ...

    [Reports there are, that the fire or red] light seen at the top of Mt. Shasta is not of a volcanic nature but [due to a celebration] at that dizzy height on [occasions] when the people [descend to the deep inside] caverns of the old volcano. In fact, there are reports from explorers that there are signs that entrance into the volcano is made [often and] by many persons.

    Mount Shasta:
    Optima dies ... prima fugit

  8. #8
    Card-carrying Medievalist Lokasenna's Avatar
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    The street I live on is actually named after a local legend. Llys Helig, known as the Atlantis of Wales, is supposed to be a lost city in the Conwy estuary. The legend goes something like this: (copied from http://freespace.virgin.net/prince.helig/helig.html)

    SOMETIME DURING THE 6TH CENTURY THE PRETTY DAUGHTER OF HELLIG AP GLANNOG HAVING REACHED THE AGE OF CONSENT HAD FALLEN IN LOVE WITH A YOUNG MAN WHO WAS A COMMONER AND THEREFORE HE WAS NOT ELIGIBLE TO MARRY HER.

    NOW HELIG AP GLANNOG KNOWING THAT HIS DAUGHTER WOULD ONLY EVER BE HAPPY IN LIFE IF SHE MARRIED THIS YOUNG MAN INSTEAD OF THE OTHER SUITORS SHE HAD CHASING AFTER HER HAND AND SO HE TOLD THE YOUNG MAN THAT IF HE WAS TO GO AWAY AND RETURN WEARING A GOLD TORQUE AROUND HIS NECK AS A NOBLEMAN WOULD WEAR THEN HE WOULD ALLOW SUCH A MARRIAGE TO TAKE PLACE.

    SO THE YOUNG MAN LEFT THE PALACE AND WENT TO FIND HIS FORTUNE IN THE VAST KINGDOM OF HELIG AP GLANNOG BUT HE KNEW THAT HE WOULD HAVE TO BE QUICK OTHERWISE HELIG MAY CHANGE HIS MIND OVER THE DEAL THAT THEY HAD MADE.

    NOW NOT LONG AFTERWARDS THE YOUNG MAN CAME ACROSS A NOBLEMAN AND ITS NOT CERTAIN IN THE LEGEND IF THIS NOBLEMAN WAS A SUITOR FOR THE PRINCESS OR JUST PASSING THROUGH THE COUNTRYSIDE BUT ANYWAY THEY BEGAN TO FIGHT AND SOON THE NOBLEMAN LAY DEAD AT THE YOUNG MANS FEET.

    SOON AFTERWARD THE YOUNG MAN RETURNED TO THE PALACE WEARING THE DEAD NOBLEMAN'S GOLD TORQUE AROUND HIS NECK AND THE WEDDING DAY WAS SET JUST LIKE HELIG HAD PROMISED.

    BUT AFTER CONFESSING TO THE PRINCESS ABOUT HOW HE CAME TO OWN THE GOLD TORQUE SHE TOLD HIM TO GO BACK AND BURY THE NOBLEMAN'S BODY SO THAT NO ONE WOULD FIND OUT ABOUT THIS TERRIBLE DEED AND SO HE WENT BACK BUT AS HE DUG THE GRAVE FOR THE NOBLEMAN HE HEARD A VOICE CALLING OUT "DIAL A DDAW, DIAL A DDAW!" WHICH MEANS REVENGE WILL COME, REVENGE WILL COME.

    NOW THE YOUNG MAN SCARED BUT DETERMINED TO COMPLETE BURYING THE DEAD NOBLEMAN CONTINUED HIS TASK UNTIL AGAIN HE HEARD THE VOICE SAY "DIAL A DDAW, DIAL A DDAW!" "WHEN WILL IT COME?" REPLIED THE YOUNG MAN TO THE VOICE AND THE VOICE ANSWERED "IN THE TIME OF YOUR CHILDREN, GRANDCHILDREN AND GREAT GRANDCHILDREN".

    ON RETURNING TO THE PRINCESS THE YOUNG MAN TOLD HER ABOUT THE VOICE AND WHAT IT HAD SAID AND PRINCESS REPLIED "OH, BY THEN WE SHALL BE DEAD ANYWAY" AND SO THE TWO OF THEM GOT MARRIED AND LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER.

    WELL NEARLY HAPPILY EVER AFTER FOR MANY YEARS LATER WHEN A FEAST WAS BEING HELD AT LLYS HELIG PROBABLY TO CELEBRATE THE BIRTH OF THEIR GREAT GRANDCHILD THE SEA RUSHED IN OVER THE LOWER LANDS OF THE KINGDOM AND ONLY A FEW SURVIVORS MANAGED TO REACH THE HIGH GROUNDS AND SAFETY.

    SOME SAY THAT THE ONLY SURVIVORS WERE A MAID WHO HAD RAISED THE ALARM AND HER LOVER THE COURT JESTER WHILE OTHERS SAY THAT A FEW MORE MAIDS HAD MANAGED TO FIND SAFETY.

    Archaeologists have actually found ruins under the water, although nothing as palatial as the legend suggests.
    "I should only believe in a God that would know how to dance. And when I saw my devil, I found him serious, thorough, profound, solemn: he was the spirit of gravity- through him all things fall. Not by wrath, but by laughter, do we slay. Come, let us slay the spirit of gravity!" - Nietzsche

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    I live reasonably close to the place that's said to be the inspiration for Lord of the Rings. As I am not into the books though, I've never really taken much notice of it or visited there, but as a literary/historical place, I suppose it's quite interesting, and I should go and visit.

    http://www.bplphoto.co.uk/TolkiensBi...enSarehole.htm

  10. #10
    Card-carrying Medievalist Lokasenna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wessexgirl View Post
    I live reasonably close to the place that's said to be the inspiration for Lord of the Rings. As I am not into the books though, I've never really taken much notice of it or visited there, but as a literary/historical place, I suppose it's quite interesting, and I should go and visit.

    http://www.bplphoto.co.uk/TolkiensBi...enSarehole.htm
    I do know that Prof. Tolkein thought up a lot of his ideas for TLOTR while he was working at Leeds - not least of which is the University's Parkinson Building, which he used as inspiration for the White Tower:

    "I should only believe in a God that would know how to dance. And when I saw my devil, I found him serious, thorough, profound, solemn: he was the spirit of gravity- through him all things fall. Not by wrath, but by laughter, do we slay. Come, let us slay the spirit of gravity!" - Nietzsche

  11. #11
    Registered User Stargazer86's Avatar
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    Awesome stories thanks so much for sharing

    That's interesting as well about Tolkein. I've read the books but I know virtually nothing about the author nor his inspirations. Good stuff

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