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Open Access Publications from the University of California

"Playing Leaves": A Study of a Traditional Kashaya Pomo Play Behavior


Kashaya Pomo, one of seven Pomo languages, is understood and spoken today by many adults, although English is preferred for socio-economic facility. Individuals under twenty years of age only rarely know Kashaya words and phrases. The Kashaya Pomo madrone leaf game, "Playing Leaves," is a traditional female play activity which is no longer practiced. In the game, behavior patterns, linguistic and non-linguistic, are employed in situations indicative of Kashaya Pomo cultural norms. In this preliminary study, I consider the game as a mechanism for reinforcement of cultural identity of the Pomo.

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