This article examines an Indigenous origins narrative from central California. The text is an oral narrative about the theft of the sun by Coyote, recorded in the Central Sierra Miwok language. The article presents a formal analysis of the structure, language, and poetics of the text from the perspective of ethnopoetics, focusing on structural and lexical metaphors developed for describing the pathway of the sun. It then offers reflections on the ethnogeography and worldview presented in the text, linking it to Penutian migrations from the western Great Basin into central California’s Sierra Nevada several thousand years ago. The article also provides a general contextualization of the themes of the text in relation to California and western North American coyote stories and origins stories more generally.

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