On his childhood near Birch Mountain
Jack Stewart, Owens Valley Paiute
The Owens Valley Paiute live in the eastern Sierra Nevada in the Owens Valley, which is located almost entirely in today’s Inyo County. Jack Stewart, whose Paiute name was Hoavadunaki, was nearly one hundred years old when this story was collected in 1927 by anthropologist Julian Steward. Jack Stewart was already a grown man by the time the first whites arrived in Owens Valley, in 1861.
In this story, Stewart describes his childhood in the shadow of Birch Mountain, located on the great granite spine of the southern Sierra just north of Mount Whitney.
Read by Gary Noy, Director of the Sierra College Center for Sierra Nevada Studies