Modoc Creation and Great flood story


  • Kumush: The Creator God, a central figure in Modoc mythology.
  • Kumush’s Family: Includes his wife, children, and other relatives who play roles in various legends.

Creation of the World

The Beginning:

  • In the beginning, there was nothing but water covering the Earth. The world was formless, and darkness prevailed everywhere.
  • Kumush, the Creator God, decided to bring order and form to the chaos. He emerged from the primordial waters with his family and set about creating the world.

Formation of the Land:

  • Kumush first created land by using a large island as a base. He piled earth and rocks onto it, forming the mountains and valleys.
  • As he worked, he molded the landscape with his hands, creating the rivers, lakes, and forests that would become the home for many creatures.

Creation of Mount Shasta:

  • Mount Shasta was one of the first and most significant creations. Kumush fashioned the mountain as a place of great spiritual power and a home for his family.
  • The mountain was designed to be a sacred dwelling, a place where Kumush could observe the world and interact with it.

The Great Flood

Anger of Kumush:

  • As time passed, the world flourished with various creatures and plants. However, Kumush became displeased with the behavior of some beings who did not follow his teachings.
  • In his anger, Kumush decided to cleanse the world with a great flood, sparing only those who were righteous and followed his guidance.

The Flood:

  • The waters rose and covered the Earth, drowning the lands and most of its inhabitants. Kumush and his family took refuge on Mount Shasta, the highest and safest place in the world.
  • From the summit of Mount Shasta, Kumush watched as the waters swept away the impurities of the world, leaving behind a clean slate for a new beginning.

Rebirth and Renewal

Survival and New Life:

  • As the waters began to recede, Kumush descended from Mount Shasta with his family. They set about repopulating the Earth with plants, animals, and humans.
  • Kumush used his powerful magic to bring life back to the barren lands. He scattered seeds and spoke words of creation, causing plants to sprout and animals to appear.

Teaching the People:

  • With the world renewed, Kumush took it upon himself to teach the surviving humans how to live in harmony with nature. He taught them the secrets of farming, hunting, and living off the land.
  • He also imparted spiritual wisdom, guiding them on how to conduct rituals and ceremonies to honor the spirits and maintain balance in the world.

Mount Shasta as a Sacred Place:

  • Mount Shasta remained a sacred place for the Modoc people. It was the home of Kumush, a place where the Creator God could still be felt and where the spirits were strong.
  • The Modoc conducted their most important ceremonies on or near Mount Shasta, believing that the mountain was a portal to the divine and a place of great power.

Continued Protection:

  • Kumush continued to watch over the world from Mount Shasta. He sent visions and dreams to the shamans and spiritual leaders of the Modoc tribe, guiding them in times of need.
  • The mountain served as a constant reminder of the Creator’s power and the importance of living in harmony with the natural world.

Children of Kumush

Kumush’s children play various roles in Modoc mythology, often interacting with the world and its inhabitants.


Role: Kumush’s son is typically portrayed as a helper to his father. He assists in the creation tasks and may have specific duties, such as overseeing certain aspects of nature or guiding humans.

Attributes: He inherits some of Kumush’s powers, including the ability to influence natural phenomena and communicate with other beings.

Personality: He can be curious and adventurous, sometimes getting into situations that require Kumush’s intervention. His stories often serve as moral lessons for the Modoc people.


Role: Kumush’s daughter often represents beauty and harmony in nature. She may be involved in the creation of plants, flowers, and other elements that add beauty to the world.

Attributes: She has a deep connection with the earth and its cycles, possibly influencing the seasons or the fertility of the land.

Personality: She is usually depicted as graceful and kind, embodying the gentle aspects of nature.

Extended Family:

There may be other relatives in Kumush’s extended family, such as siblings or cousins, who also play roles in various myths.


Role: Kumush’s brother might have opposing or complementary duties. In some stories, he could represent another force of nature or a rival deity.

Attributes: He could possess powers that balance or challenge Kumush’s, such as control over storms or the underworld.

Personality: Often depicted as a foil to Kumush, he could be more chaotic or mischievous, adding tension to the myths.

Other Relatives:

Role: These could include other deities or spirits related to Kumush. They might govern specific animals, plants, or natural elements.

Attributes: Each relative would have unique attributes and powers, contributing to the overall balance and functioning of the world.

Personality: They could have varying personalities, from helpful to trickster-like, influencing different aspects of the world and interacting with humans in diverse ways.

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