Oral History and Earthquakes

Ann Finkbeiner, “The Great Quake and the Great Drowning,” in Hakai:

From the Tolowa people in northern California: one autumn, the earth shook and the water began rising. People began running and when the water reached them, they turned into snakes. But a girl and a boy from the village, both adolescents, outran the water by running to the top of a mountain where they built a fire to keep themselves warm.

The New Yorker article “The Really Big One” touched briefly on the earthquake stories of the Pacific Northwest’s indigenous peoples. Finkbeiner’s piece is centered on those same stories. Very much worth reading.