Located on Olema Creek, the town of Olema resides at an elevation of sixty feet and is two and one quarter miles from Point Reyes Station. The origins of Olema come from the root “Oye,” the name of a powerful animal spirit and ancestor to the Native American Miwok. Olema, in Miwok, means “coyote” and the coyote plays an important role for he represents a creator god as well as the trickster, messenger, and fool. In the Native American tradition and mythology, coyotes—along with other animals—are sometimes known as creators of the land and of human beings. Sometimes coyotes are tricksters who break rules and stir things up—though often with ultimately beneficial results. Coyotes are fools who bring deeper wisdom and insight in those they fool. They are transformers and change-bringers who deepen connection with the wisdom keepers — those who walked the earth in generations past. Coyotes encourage and enrich a communion with nature, the land, the spirit in the land, and all of creation. In a remembrance of the spirit of the place, both the land and the people who inhabited it, we honor the essence of this special place, Olema.
Point Reyes Bookstore, the Point Reyes Library, and the Bear Valley Visitor’s Center have books including more information on the coyote as well as the Miwok. For an additional exploration and experience, from the Visitor’s Center you can take a hike around a replica in honor of a Coast Miwok village, “Kule Loklo” which means Bear Valley.
All best–Stacy, Front Desk Clerk