The Legend of Two Faces

UPDATED: I created a composite image to illustrate the legend.

The Legend of Two Faces

The Legend of Two Faces

 

I recently learned of one of the many legends of the Wintu people in the Northern California area, known as the Legend of Two Faces. I love myths, folklore and legends, so this story piqued my interest and sent me on a quest with my camera. According to the information I have been able to find about this legend, there was once a beautiful maiden by the name of Rippling Water. Although her heart belonged to the son of the chief and future leader of the tribe, Lakadowa, there was another brave who sought her attentions. When Rippling Water made her love for Lakadowa known, the traitor murdered her with an arrow through her heart. As she was dying, Lakadowa vowed to avenge her death. He sought out the traitor, and a fierce battle ensued. Lakadowa was successful in ending the life of his enemy, but sadly, he was mortally wounded in the battle.

His dying wish was that his beautiful maiden, Rippling Water, could spend eternity on Mount Shasta, the home of the Great Spirit. And, that he could forever remain nearby to gaze upon her beauty and protect her from evil.

Today, the maiden Rippling Water can be seen reclining over the top of Mount Shasta.

The Maiden Rippling Water

The Maiden Rippling Water

 

Outline of the maiden

Outline of the maiden

And the Warrior Lakadowa can be seen on the face of Castle Dome, at Castle Crags standing watch over his maiden.

Lakadowa

Lakadowa

spotlight on Lakadowa

spotlight on Lakadowa

Many thanks to my friend Dustin Naef for introducing me to this local legend. Now, I always see Rippling Water when I look at Mount Shasta, and Lakadowa when I look at Castle Crags.

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Posted under: legends and folklore, locations, mountains, Siskiyou County

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5 comments

  • Cherie Broadbent on July 30, 2014 at 10:36 am said:

    I grew up there and never knew this legend. Looking forward to seeing it in a different light now.

  • Janice Powell on July 30, 2014 at 5:38 pm said:

    Thanks for putting the story of “Two Faces” in print! I have lived here in Shasta County all of my life and love the legends and the scenery in our “wonderland”. We are so fortunate to have the Wintu culture about us!

  • admin on July 30, 2014 at 8:52 pm said:

    Thanks Janice. It was difficult to find information on this legend and sources were few. I did the best I could to put it down in written form. I would love to hear from members of the Wintu tribe as to the accuracy and details of the story. I understand most legends like this are passed down through generations only in spoken form.

  • Dr. Karen L. Maloney on July 31, 2014 at 3:14 pm said:

    I knew there was a legend but, had never heard the real story.

    Grew up in Siskiyou County, Weed, CA. And, loved looking at all the different shapes that could be seen on all sides of Mt. Shasta.

  • Dolores Tupper on August 2, 2014 at 4:19 pm said:

    I hiked Castle Crags about 30 years and have lived here (born in Burney) most of my life. I don’t remember ever hearing this story or at least knowing it was about our home. Thank you , it made me happy.

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