The Sound Of A Hummingbird's Wings

The Sound Of A Hummingbird’s Wings

Umhunum.  This is the word given to the sound of a Hummingbird’s wings by the Ohlone Indians.  Hummingbirds, specifically Anna’s Hummingbird, are year round residents of Mount Umunhum in San Jose CA, and because of their ongoing presence on this mountain, it was named ‘Mount Umunhum’ by the Ohlone tribes.  Pretty neat, right?!  I am lucky enough to view this historic and iconic mountain from my kitchen window, and I had been really feeling the need to be on this sacred land…so I played hooky and followed the call to the mountain.

Mount Umunhum holds great spiritual value for local tribal bands including the Ohlone’s Amah Mutsun and Muwekma tribes.

Ohlone Indians praying and healing on Mount Umhunum

This mountain is where visions are sought and communion with the spiritual world is made.  It is also where relationships with ancestors and future descendants are their strongest, where Hummingbird serves to remind those who see the mountain of the old teachings.  It also serves as a place of ceremony and prayer even today.  The Amah Mutsun tribe holds ceremonies here because it is close to their Creator, because of its resonance to the spiritual self and because it is where the children of their ancestors continue to reach out for balance and harmony.

While visiting Mount Umunhum I was reminded of how lucky I am to live in the Bay Area.  There are so many natural treasures throughout my community, and even though I live in the bustling and crowed Silicon Valley it’s very easy to slip away and enjoy nature.  On a clear day from the top of Umunhum you can see all the way to Lover’s Point in Monterey to the South, and to the North you can see San Francisco and Oakland.

Drumming for the land and animals in the Sacred Circle atop Mount Umunhum

There are many lookout spots, hiking trails, and there is even a beautiful ceremonial circle.  The Ohlone invite ALL people to this special Sacred Circle for healing and prayer – to pray for past generations and future descendants, for healing and for renewal of the environment.  I encourage you to visit, or revisit, this very special place.

— A’ho

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