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Photographer's Note

Mono Native American legend:

Every year before the Great Spirit spread his snow-blanket over the Valley of Ah-wah-nee (Yosemite), it was the custom of the Mono Native Americans to cross the Sierra Nevada from the east to enjoy the venison feasts with their neighbors, the Ah-wah-nee-chees. At one such feast, Wa-lu-lah, a Mono maiden, stirred the fancy of a young warrior of Tenaya's band. Through all the time of feasting he watched eagerly for a love-sign in Wa-lu-lah's eyes. But all the love had gone out of her heart preceding year when her voice rose in the funeral wail beside the pyre of her dead Mono lover.

When the feast was over, she returned with her father to their Mono home, with never a thought of the
Ah-wah-nee-chee warrior. But her face was ever before him, and his desire grew, till, finally, with the clearing of the trails in spring, he crossed the mountains to the home of the Monos. There he smoked the peace pipe with Wa-lu-lah's father, the tribal chief.

That night, the warrior stole Wa-lu-lah while she slept, and created hatred instead of love in her heart.

Wa-lu-lah escaped her captor and warily as a trout and quietly as a fawn, she slipped out of the forest to the trail which led away from the Ah-wah-nee. Swiftly she ran through the spray of Pi-wy-ack (Vernal Fall) and soon heard shouts behind her, and knew the
Ah-wah-nee-chees had discovered her flight.

Nearer and nearer they came, till upon the edge of the Emerald Pool her pursuers overtook her. With a wild cry she unloosed the canoe which floated in the shadow of the ledge, and with quick strokes paddled to the middle of the stream, where the water ran swift, deep, and strong.

Erect, defiant, with her long black hair tossing on the wind, Wa-lu-lah guided the canoe to the current which glides over the edge of the cliff and dashes itself to pieces on the rocks below. And even as the young warrior sprang into the icy water, in one last effort to reclaim his love, the boat slipped over the edge of the cliff, and the spirit of Wa-lu-lah joined her dead Mono lover with whom she had kept faith.

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Photo Information
  • Copyright: Ray Anderson (photoray) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1002 W: 1 N: 2559] (10469)
  • Genre: Places
  • Medium: Color
  • Date Taken: 2000-05-00
  • Categories: Nature
  • Photo Version: Original Version
  • Date Submitted: 2014-01-18 8:43
Viewed: 407
Points: 12
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Additional Photos by Ray Anderson (photoray) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1002 W: 1 N: 2559] (10469)
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