Mt. Tam Legends & Myths
Excerpted from a Mill Valley Herald article:
Praising Mt. Tamalpais, Marin’s Holy Mountain
In the classic Mountain Play “Tamalpa” a beautiful young Miwok maiden falls in love with an Indian prince. When he abandoned her, she walked to the top of the mountain nearby and died of heartbreak. As she sobbed, the mountain heard her intense sorrow and took pity. When finally she died, the mountain was so moved by it changed its form, taking on the supine shape of her body and become the SleepingLady, our dear Mt. Tamalpais.
The Hopis from Arizona used to travel up the West Coast gathering supplies. They always tried to make a stop at a Mt. Tamalpais beach to gather Kachina shells. These shells were considered very religious and worn only by the Kachina dancers and dolls. Grandfather David Monongye, the Hopi elder and holder of the Prophesies, gathered the shells as late as 1973 by offering prayers and sweet grass offerings to the Goddess of the Ocean to deliver up a good supply. Needless to say, that while on other occasions the beach offered few gifts, on this occasion the beach was filled with little white mounds of Kachina shells.
During the 1980’s, as more and more people from all over the world discovered the quiet beauty of the woods surrounding the peak, several momentous religious events happened on the Mountain. The Dalai Lama of Tibet paid a visit to the mountain several times, once to pray for peace with others at the very peak.
The highly publicized Harmonic Convergence of 1989 had Mt. Tamalpais as one of the center points of the convergence. People gathered from around the West to meditate in its woods and held ceremonies for the healing of the earth.
Mt. Tamalpais Image Copyright (c) Jason Armstrong and used w/permission