A son of Earth and Sky. He gave the Mohave their names and their commandments. He is the father (or, according to some, the brother) of Mustamho, whom he made out of his own flesh. When he upset his daughter, Frog, she ate his excrement, thus causing his death.

Before he died, Matavilya told his son to provide food for man. Mustamho made corn, tobacco, and mesquite for his children. The
Mohave were the youngest and thus received more than the older tribes.

Matavilya lies buried on the top of Spirit Mountain (Nevada, on the west bank of the Colorado River, north of Fort Mojave). Another tradition1 holds that he was cremated by his son Mustamho.



  1. p. 188.


  • Bourke, John G. (1889). "Cosmogony and Theogony of the Mojave Indians." JAF 2:169-189, p. 179.