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The Rainbow Bridge

Another, more recent, book published about the Chumash, is the story of *Hutash*, the Chumash Earth Goddess who created a rainbow bridge by which the islanders crossed to the mainland. Those who grew fearful during the crossing, and looked down, fell into the ocean and were changed into *dolphins* ... a sea creature still thought of by the Chumash today as a relative of their people.

The Hutash story is also recounted in earlier publications, and this version is adapted from a publication from the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History.

The first Chumash people were created on Santa Cruz Island. They were made from seeds of a Magic Plant by the Earth goddess "Hutash". Her husband, the Sky Snake, was the Milky Way, and he sent down a bolt of lighting to the First People, giving them fire for warmth and cooking. Soon they began to live more comfortably. More and more people were born each year, and their villages got bigger and bigger. Santa Cruz Island was getting crowded, it is was becoming difficult to find enough food to feed all of these people. And the noise they made was starting to annoy "Hutash". It kept her awake at night. So, finally she decided some of the First People should move off the island and on to the mainland, where there were no people living. But the First People did not yet have canoes, and did not have a way to cross the Channel.

"Hutash" then created a brilliant rainbow that arched as a bridge between Santa Cruz Island and the mainland, from island mountain top to mainland mountain top. She explained to the people that many of them must cross over the Rainbow Bridge to fill the new world on the otherside with people. Many people began to cross the bridge, but some were frightened and when they looked down the swirling fog and waters below made them dizzy and they fell down, down, into the sea. "Hutash" felt badly about this because it was she who had told them to cross the bridge and she did not want them to drown. To save them, "Hutash" turned the fallen people into First Dolphins and the Chumash have ever since considered dolphins their relatives. "

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