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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Wii'ipay: The Living Rocks—Ethnographic Notes on Crystal Magic Among Some California Yumans


This study presents new ethnographic data on the use of rock crystals as power objects among several Yuman groups in northern Baja California and southern Alta California. The first section deals specifically with the physical and conceptual properties of the stones themselves. This discussion includes a general description of the stones through a linguistic, geomorphological, and conceptual exegesis. The second section describes the relationship between a crystal charmstone and its owner by discussing how the stones are acquired and used.

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