In December of each year the Tolowa people gathered together at the Axis Mundi to celebrate the creation of the earth. It’s a ten day celebration beginning at the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year ... It would take days for people to arrive and as the population grew, the new Anglo settlement in Crescent City became a little worried, they thought that the Indians were maybe gathering to ... wipe them out or something. Since they had only been in the area less than a year, the settlers didn’t realize that this was a normal annual thing. So the Tolowa people all across the area and the Yurok further south gathered together at the centre of the world, to dance and celebrate ... They danced all night until morning, and then they rested during the day and prepared food and so forth and then in the evening the dance started again ... And each night the dance became a little more elaborate than the night before ... On about the sixth night ... the local militiamen got together, and they drank some whisky and got a good buzz going, and then they got on their horses and went out and surrounded the village, which was one of the larger towns in the area. And of course we all lived in plankhouses made from redwood then. They lined up along a slough which lies in front of the village and then they began to set the buildings on fire, and as the people were trying to escape they were killed. Anybody who jumped into the slough to get away was gunned down into the water. And it happens that I have a great-great-uncle who survived, he was in the sweat house and he slid out and went into the slough and got away, and then he pushed himself southward in the slough. In the morning the entire village was set aflame, and hundreds of people were burned and killed outright. He said the slough was literally red with the blood of the people, and the babies that were found crying were just tossed into the flames to destroy them as well. So several hundred people perished there at ... Yan’daak’$$$$t, and later the place was called Burnt Ranch. And the local people still know where Burnt Ranch is ... The next year, because Axis Mundi was destroyed, the dance was moved to ‘Eechuulet, and they started to dance there and they were attacked again and my great-grandmother said that there were seven layers of bodies in the dance house when they burned it. They just stacked them in and torched the house down and ... burned them up there. The next year, 1855, there was ... a battle at the mouth of the Smith River, where about seventy of our people were killed. But by this time our numbers were drastically reduced...