c. 1925 | Sacramento Valley

The Water Will Come

Kate Luckie explains the end of the world.

People talk a lot about the world ending, but this world will stay as long as Indians live.

When the Indians all die, then God will let the water come down from the north. Everyone will drown. That is because the white people never cared for land or deer or bear. When we Indians kill meat, we eat it all up. When we dig roots, we make little holes. When we build houses, we make little holes. When we burn grass for grasshoppers, we don’t ruin things. We shake down acorns and pine nuts. We don’t chop down the trees. We only use dead wood. But the white people plow up the ground, pull up the trees, kill everything. The tree says, “Don’t. I am sore. Don’t hurt me.” But they chop it down and cut it up. The spirit of the land hates them. They blast out trees and stir it up to its depths. They saw up the trees. That hurts them. The Indians never hurt anything, but the white people destroy all. They blast rocks and scatter them on the earth. The rock says, “Don’t! You are hurting me.” But the white people pay no attention. When the Indians use rocks, they take little round ones for their cooking. The white people dig deep long tunnels. They make roads. They dig as much as they wish. They don’t care how much the ground cries out. How can the spirit of the earth like the white man? That is why God will upset the world—because it is sore all over. Everywhere the white man has touched it, it is sore. It looks sick. So it gets even by killing him when he blasts. But eventually the water will come.


Kate Luckie

From a prophecy. A Wintun shaman, Luckie attributed her powers to a supernatural experience she underwent as her son lay dying. A few years before this prophecy, Luckie was asked about the Pacific Highway, which she had heard of but not seen. “That road lies right on the backbone of the world,” she said. “But the world is disgusted…cars will turn over and will go off because the earth is tired of all these people who travel.”