LLAO is the god of the underworld in the mythology of the Klamath Native American tribe. Llao fought a great battle with the sky god, Skell , which caused the eruption of Mount Mazama , creating Crater Lake .
LLAO AND SKELL
The Klamath tell many stories of the powerful spirits Llao and Skell. Llao was the spirit of the underworld who lived beneath Mount Mazama . Skell was the spirit of the sky "above-world". In the beginning, the stories say that Llao was able to pass through a hole and climb to the top of Mount Mazama where he could almost touch the stars where Skell lived. The followers of the spirits could reportedly take the form of animals such as deer, fox, and dove, and they would play together.
LLAO AND CRATER LAKE
The story goes on to explain the origins of Crater Lake, known as
giiwas in the
Klamath language . The Klamath stories say that
quarrels began, and war broke out between
Llao and Skell. One time
Llao visited atop he saw Loha, the daughter of the Klamath Indian
Chief, and fell in love with her. He became extremely angry when she
rejected his hideous, underworld nature, and cursed the Klamath with
fire that rained down on them. The Klamath turned to Skell for help.
In response to the Klamath people's pleadings, Skell descended from
the sky to the top of Mount Shasta. A furious battle ensued, Skell
Mount Shasta and
Llao from Mount Mazama. The ferociousness of the
fight led two medicine men to jump into the pit of the underworld as a
sacrifice to appease the spirits. Inspired by their sacrifice, Skell
fought harder and defeated Llao, driving him deep into the underworld.
The story goes on to explain that Skell then covered the hole to the
underworld with the top of
Mount Mazama to imprison
Llao forever. As a
final act, Skell covered the remains of the dark pit with water to
restore peace and tranquility to the land, which became
LAST GREAT BATTLE
Klamath myths include many stories of battle, including one where
Llao kills Skell. In this story,
Llao is able to defeat Skell in a
battle to the death. However, when Llao's followers take Skell's heart
up a mountain to celebrate, Skell's followers are able to steal back
the heart and use it to restore Skell back to life. During the story
of the "Last Great Battle",
Llao is killed by Skell. Skell orders that
Llao's body is to be cut up and thrown to the creatures of the lake.
To trick the lake creatures loyal to Llao, Skell's followers claim the
body parts are Skell's, so the creatures gobble them down. When Llao's
head is thrown into the lake, the creatures recognize it and refuse to
eat it. The story explains that Llao's head is now
* ^ A B "A History of Crater Lake". Retrieved 2008-05-13. * ^ "Klamath Tribes Language Project". The Klamath Tribes. 2012. Retrieved 9 February 2017. * ^ A B Oregon Writers Project; Oregon State Board of Control (1940). Oregon, end of the trail. Portland: Binfords and Mort . p. 509.