Stars Escape from Little Shasta Girl's Bag

Jul 24, 2014

  Northern California’s Shasta Tribe has shared many early tales of the region.  One relates how a little girl accidentally scattered stars across the sky.

Long ago, according to Shasta legend, people moved all over the earth after a great flood. Some moved north, some south. One young girl left behind heard a voice calling to her. She followed it to a stream where she stumbled over a bag made of white, hand-woven cotton. The same voice she had heard earlier said, “Carry this on your back, but do not unwrap it.”  The girl promised not to unwrap the bundle, but as she set off, her curiosity got the best of her. She set the bag down and bent over it. It had been tied together by many knots. As she unraveled them, one by one, the bag began to overflow with something bright. She immediately tried to tie up the bundle again, but it was too late. The contents had been scattered across the sky, lighting it with their brightness. Because the little girl had opened the bag too soon, the stars were scattered without order or name. It would be a long time before they were given the names they now bear. 

  Source: Holsinger, Rosemary. Shasta Indian Tales. Happy Camp, Calif.: Naturegraph Publishers, 1982.