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Title: Myths and Legends of British North America - Selected and Edited
Author: Judson, Katharine Berry
Language: English
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                    [Illustration: Haida Totem Poles
                       Indian genealogical trees
         _From “Memoirs, American Museum of Natural History”_]

                           MYTHS AND LEGENDS
                         BRITISH NORTH AMERICA

                         SELECTED AND EDITED BY
                         KATHARINE BERRY JUDSON


                          A. C. McCLURG & CO.

                          A. C. McCLURG & CO.
                         Published April, 1917



From the bleak coasts of Labrador and the icy borders of the Frozen Sea,
in the east, through the river-threaded steppes and plains of the
interior with all their charming lakes, over the tremendous, gleaming
white heights of the Canadian Rockies, and onwards by cañon and pass to
the more pacific climate of the western coast—it is a far sweep of
country, this British North America, and occupied in bygone times by
many a tribe of red men.

Yet from eastern coast to western, from the long southern boundary to
the Arctic Ocean, one finds everywhere the same questioning among these
red men. Who was the Someone who had cut and carved the rivers and
plains and great mountain heights? Who was the Someone who gave Squirrel
a beautiful bushy tail which swept his back, and gave Rabbit no tail at
all? Why did Someone send the icy winds of winter, the storm winds that
shriek around the tepee and rattle the flaps, howling through the trees
and blowing the snow down the smoke-hole? It seemed impossible that it
was the same One who sent the warm breezes in summer, when the lakes
were full of fish and the bushes laden with berries, when the forests
full of game, and life was easy. Therefore there must be two Powers, one
strong and ugly, one beautiful and good, always battling against each
other—the universal human belief in both good and evil.

Indian myths and legends are the efforts of the red men to answer these
questions, as well as to interest and amuse each other in the long
winter evenings when the fires burned brightly in the tepees and the
carved plumstone dice were thrown. Men forgot their games and women the
beading of the moccasin, while children listened intently, as the story
tellers of the camp related, with dramatic gestures, stories of the Days
of the Grandfathers, in the beginning of the Newness of Things. Nothing
was too large or too small to come within the bounds of their beliefs,
or within the play of their fancy.

As in all other volumes of this series, only the quaint, the pure, and
the beautiful, has been taken from the tales of the Indians. Any one
wishing pure ethnology, good and bad together, would do better to go to
ethnological reports.

The Indians omitted many stories we wish they had told. There are few
references to the snowy mountains, probably because of their belief that
all above the snowline was governed by vague, misty, but powerful
spirits who sent down the thundering avalanches in the sunlit valleys
when summer had come and all was green and beautiful. There are few
references to large lakes or rivers, which is characteristic, for even
the Indian names of rivers apply to localities on the river, not to the
entire river itself. And in the myths of British North America,
especially on the western coast, there are many legends involving
cannibalism—an element entirely lacking in the myths of the United
States, whether east or west. Even Alaskan myths practically omit that
subject, while in the Old South-west—New Mexico and Arizona—one finds
myths of rare beauty and charm of imagery. Indeed, climatic conditions
played not only a distinct part in the physical life of the Indian, but
had a tremendous influence over his thinking.

Only authentic myths and legends have been used in the compilation of
this volume. The leading authorities are the publications of the United
States Bureau of Ethnology, of the Jesup North Pacific Expedition, of
the Memoirs of the American Museum of Natural History, as well as the
ethnological publications of the Canadian Bureau of Mines.

                                                                K. B. J.

  _February, 1917._

                           TABLE OF CONTENTS

       _Haida_                                                         1
       _Eastern Eskimo_                                                5
       _Bella Coola_                                                   7
  Creation of the World
       _Wyandot_                                                       9
  How the Earth was Formed
       _Cree_                                                         12
  Old One and Creation
       _Thompson River_                                               15
  Creation of the Earth
       _Thompson River_                                               16
  Raven and Creation
       _Haida_                                                        18
  Origin of Rivers in Queen Charlotte Islands
       _Haida_                                                        20
  Origin of Haida Land
       _Haida_                                                        22
  Raven and Moon-woman
       _Haida_                                                        25
  Origin of Light
       _Wyandot_                                                      28
  Origin of Light
       _Thompson River_                                               29
  Creation of Light
       _Carrier_                                                      31
  Coming of Fire
       _Carrier_                                                      33
  How Grizzly Bear and Coyote made Light and the Seasons
       _Shuswap_                                                      35
  Origin of Light and Fire
       _Lillooet_                                                     38
  How Fire was Secured
       _Lillooet_                                                     42
  How Raven Brought Fire
       _Haida_                                                        44
  When Mink Carried the Torches
       _Bella Coola_                                                  45
  Old One
       _Shuswap_                                                      50
  The Great Fire
       _Lillooet_                                                     52
  The Burning of the World
       _Cree_                                                         54
  The House of Sun
       _Bella Coola_                                                  57
  Why the Sun is Bright
       _Lillooet_                                                     60
  When Sun was Snared
       _Ojibwa_                                                       62
  Sun and Moon
       _Thompson River_                                               64
  The Man in the Moon
       _Central Eskimo_                                               65
  Why the Moon is Pale
       _Wyandot_                                                      67
  The Woman in the Moon
       _Shuswap_                                                      68
       _Thompson River_                                               69
  War with the Sky People
       _Thompson River_                                               70
  How Two Sisters got out of Skyland
       _Chilcotin_                                                    72
  Origin of the Pleiades
       _Wyandot_                                                      74
  The Star Hunters
       _Chilcotin_                                                    77
  The Great Bear and the Hunter
       _Chilcotin_                                                    79
  How the Summer Came
       _Ojibwa_                                                       81
  The Rainbow Trail
       _Wyandot_                                                      83
  Origin of the Chinook Wind
       _Shuswap_                                                      85
  When Glacier Married Chinook’s Daughter
       _Lillooet_                                                     89
  Mink’s War with the Southeast Wind
       _Kwakiutl_                                                     91
  When North’s Son Married Southeast’s Daughter
       _Haida_                                                        94
  Capture of Wind
       _Chilcotin_                                                    98
  How Wind Became a Slave
       _Haida_                                                        99
  Thunder, Lightning, and Rain
       _Central Eskimo_                                              100
       _Wyandot_                                                     101
  Turtle and the Thunder Bird
       _Ojibwa_                                                      103
  Why Lightning Strikes the Trees
       _Thompson River_                                              105
  The Making of Lakes and Mountains
       _Haida_                                                       106
  Origin of Races
       _Cree_                                                        109
  Origin of Chilcotin Cañon
       _Shuswap_                                                     110
  Origin of Animals
       _Eastern Eskimo_                                              111
  Bird Beginnings
       _Eastern Eskimo_                                              112
       _Haida_                                                       115
  Origin of Death
       _Thompson River_                                              117
  Duration of Human Life
       _Haida_                                                       118
  How Death Came
       _Lillooet_                                                    119
  Origin of Arrowheads
       _Lillooet_                                                    120
  Origin of Carved House Posts
       _Haida_                                                       121
  The Wind-power Carving
       _Thompson River_                                              123
       _Thompson River_                                              124
       _Cree_                                                        125
       _Shuswap_                                                     126
  How the Indians First Obtained Blankets
       _Chilcotin_                                                   127
  Hunting in the Snow Mountains
       _Chilcotin_                                                   129
  Coyote’s Gift of the Salmon, and the Cañon of the Fraser River
       _Nicola Valley and Fraser River_                              132
  The Coming of the Salmon
       _Bella Coola_                                                 135
  Coyote and the Salmon
       _Shuswap_                                                     139
  Wolverene and the Geese
       _Eastern Eskimo_                                              142
  Nanebojo and the Geese
       _Ojibwa_                                                      145
  Adventures of Nanebojo
       _Ojibwa_                                                      149
  Wiske-djak and the Geese
       _Algonquin_                                                   154
  Wiske-djak and the Partridges
       _Algonquin_                                                   158
  Wiske-djak and Great Beaver
       _Algonquin_                                                   161
       _Ojibwa_                                                      163
  Nenebuc and Big Bear
       _Ojibwa_                                                      166
  Coyote and Fox
       _Shuswap_                                                     168
  The Venturesome Hare
       _Eastern Eskimo_                                              172
  Rabbit and Frog
       _Eastern Eskimo_                                              175
  Big Turtle
       _Wyandot_                                                     177
  Wolverene and Rock
       _Eastern Eskimo_                                              180
  Raven’s Canoe Men
       _Haida_                                                       183
  Raven and Pitchman
       _Haida_                                                       184
  When Raven Married off his Sister
       _Haida_                                                       185
  Beaver and Porcupine
       _Haida_                                                       187
  Beaver and Porcupine
       _Shuswap_                                                     190
  Beaver and Deer
       _Haida_                                                       192
  Eagle’s Feast
       _Kwakiutl_                                                    195
  When Chickadee Climbed a Tree
       _Shuswap_                                                     196
  Redbird and Blackbird
       _Ojibwa_                                                      198
  Little Gray Woodpecker
       _Wyandot_                                                     200
       _Eastern Eskimo_                                              201
       _Thompson River_                                              202
  Muskrat’s Tail
       _Cree_                                                        203
  Wolverene and Brant
       _Eastern Eskimo_                                              204
  War of the Four Tribes
       _Shuswap_                                                     205
  Tradition of Iroquois Falls
       _Eastern Cree_                                                206
  The Giantess and the Indian
       _Wyandot_                                                     207
  The Destruction of Monsters
       _Shuswap_                                                     209


  Haida totem poles                                       _Frontispiece_
  Carved stone dishes                                                 12
  Paradise Valley                                                     24
  Lakes in the clouds                                                 24
  Shuswap beadwork                                                    36
  Cathedral Peak                                                      48
  Haida blanket border designs                                        60
  Salish basketry designs                                             72
  Canoe and paddles                                                   84
  Haida house                                                         96
  Moraine Lake                                                       106
  Cameron Lake                                                       106
  Haida house with totems                                            122
  Carved handles of horn spoons                                      132
  Takakkaw Falls                                                     142
  Mount Stephen                                                      142
  Indian pipes                                                       156
  Shuswap beadwork                                                   170
  Sun Dance Cañon                                                    180
  Castle Mountain                                                    180
  Haida memorial columns                                             192
  Indian defensive armor                                             202

                           MYTHS AND LEGENDS
                         BRITISH NORTH AMERICA



The Earth World is flat and has a circular out-line, and above it is
a solid sky like a great bowl. Upon the top of the sky is the Sky
Country. The sky rises and falls regularly, and so the clouds strike
against the mountains and make a noise.

The Earth World floats, but it rests upon
Sacred-One-standing-and-moving, and he rests upon a copper box. Upon
his breast rests a pole which reaches up to the sky. When
Sacred-One-standing-and-moving is about to move, a marten runs up
the pole making the thundering noise which is always heard just
before an earthquake. Because when this Sacred-One moves, it causes
an earthquake.

In the Sky Country, the greatest power is held by
Power-of-the-Shining-Heavens. He gives power to all things. The
clouds are his blankets. Thunderclouds are the “dressing up” of the
Thunder Bird. Thunder Bird produces a very loud noise by rustling
his feathers.

Southeast Wind lives under the sea. Northeast Wind abides along the
northern mountains.

There are many tribes of Ocean People. Now in Haida Land, that is,
the Queen Charlotte Islands, the land and sea are entangled in an
extraordinary way.

Just so it is with the lands of the Ocean People—the Devilfish
People, the Porpoise People, the Killer-Whale People, and the
Black-Whale People. Of all the Ocean People the Killer-Whale People
are the most powerful. They have towns scattered along the shore
beneath the water, just as the Indians have their towns along the
shore above the water.

When a man dies in Haida Land, he follows a trail until he reaches
the shore of a bay. On the other side of the bay lies the Ghost
Land. Then he calls across, and soon a person appears who pushes a
raft from the farther side. This raft is made of fine cedar bark,
such as is used in the rings of the secret society. Then the raft
comes of itself to where the man is standing, and ferries him over.

Now in Ghost Land there are many towns, and many houses in each
town. So if a man is looking for his wife there, it may take him a
long time. These towns lie in numberless inlets, near the water,
just as the Haida towns on earth do.

When food or grease is put into the fire in the family of a man who
has just died, it comes to him at once; therefore he is not hungry.
And if his family sing songs loudly when he dies, then he enters
Ghost Land proudly, with his head up. It gives him a good name in
that country. But if they do not, then he enters Ghost Land with his
head hanging down, and people do not think so much of him. When a
man enters Ghost Land there is always a dance given in his honor.

People who are drowned go to Killer-Whale Country. But first they go
to The-One-in-the-Sea who gives them their fins and then they go
into the houses of the other Killer Whales. When killer whales
gather in front of a town, it is thought they are human beings who
have been drowned and take this way of informing the people.

One man who went to the Ghost Land, after he had been there for some
time, put all his property in his canoe and went to Xada, which is
the second Ghost Land. Then he went on to a third one, and later to
a fourth, and then came back to earth as a blue fly. Therefore when
a blue fly bumps into a man on earth, he says, “This is my friend,
who thus shows me that he recognizes me.”

At a place beyond the Ghost Land, and just visible from it, lives a
chief called Great Moving Cloud. He owns all the dog salmon. Once
when a gambler died, he went there and gambled with him. The stakes
were the dog salmon, and ghosts. When Great Moving Cloud won, many
ghosts came into Ghost Land. When the gambler won, there was a great
run of salmon.


                                                    _Eastern Eskimo_

No man can ever go into the Sky Land until he is dead; so all the
people say. The sky that we see is a hard, blue stone, built up over
the earth just as the igloo is built with snow, rounding, over the
Eskimo family. But where the land and sea meet are high precipices
which slope inward so that no one can climb up in the Sky Land. This
blue dome is very cold, and sometimes it is covered with crystals of
frost which fall as snow, and then the sky becomes clear.

The clouds are large bags of water, owned by two old women who push
them across the sky. The thunder is their voice and the lightning
their torch. When water leaks out of the seams of the bags, it rains
on earth. If a spark of lightning falls upon anyone, he has to go to
the Ghost Land.

At each corner of the Earth World there lives a mighty being, with a
very large head. When any one of these breathes, the wind blows.
Some breathe violent storms and others summer breezes. Each wind
spirit has many powerful servants.

At the edge of the Earth World, and beyond the precipices, is a
great abyss. A narrow pathway leads across it to a land of
brightness and plenty and abundance and warmth. To this place none
but Raven and the dead can go. When spirits wish to speak to people
on earth, they make a whistling noise and people answer only in
whispers. Auroras are the torches held in the hands of spirits to
guide the newly dead over the abyss.


                                                       _Bella Coola_

The Bella Coola believe there are five worlds, one above the other.
The middle one is our own world, the earth. Above it are two upper
worlds, one the home of Afraid of Nothing, and the one below that is
the House of the Sun. Below our earth are two lower worlds. The
first is the Ghost Land; the second is the home of those who die a
second time.

The upper heaven, which is the home of “Our Woman,” or Afraid of
Nothing, as others call her, is a prairie without any trees upon it.
In order to reach it, one must pass through the House of the Sun;
though some people say that the sky is rent and one must pass
through the great hole to reach the upper world.

The house of Afraid of Nothing stands in the far east. A strong wind
blows always toward it across the open prairie so that everything
rolls to her house; but immediately around the house it is quite
calm. In front of the house stands a post in the shape of a large
winged monster, and its mouth is the entrance.

Afraid of Nothing created the whole world. A long time ago she also
had a great war with the mountains. In the beginning of the world
the mountains were of great height. They were human, and they made
the world uninhabitable. Afraid of Nothing made war upon them and
defeated them. She made them much smaller than they used to be.
During this fight she broke off the nose of one mountain, and its
face may be recognized even now. It is near the Bella Coola River.

There were two mountains near the headwaters of the Bella Coola
River, and one kept always a fire burning in his house. One could
see the smoke, and this fire warned its master, the mountain,
whenever an enemy appeared. When Afraid of Nothing came down in her
canoe, the fire gave warning. When she approached, the mountain
broke her canoe and turned it into stone. So she returned to heaven.
The canoe is still there at the foot of the mountain.

Afraid of Nothing is a great warrior. She visits the earth now and
then; but when she does, her visits cause sickness and death.

Under the world where she lives is the House of the Sun. Our own
earth is an island swimming in the ocean.

                       CREATION OF THE WORLD


The people were living beyond the sky. They were Wyandots. One day
the shaman told the people to dig around the roots of the wild apple
tree standing by the chief’s lodge and Indians at once began to dig.
The chief’s daughter was lying near by. As the men dug, a sudden
noise startled them. They jumped back. They had broken through the
floor of the Sky Land, and the tree and the chief’s daughter fell

Now the world beneath was a great sheet of water. There was no land
anywhere. Swans swimming about on the water heard a peal of thunder.
It was the first peal ever heard in this world. When they looked
upward, they saw the tree and the strange woman falling from the Sky
Land. One of them said, “What strange thing is falling down?” Then
he added, “The water will not hold her up. Let us swim together so
she will fall upon our backs.” So the chief’s daughter fell upon
their backs, and rested there.

After a while one swan said, “What shall we do with her? We cannot
swim about this way very long.” The other said, “Let us ask Big
Turtle. He will probably call a council. Then we shall know what to

They swam around to Big Turtle and asked him what to do with the
woman on their backs. Big Turtle at once sent a runner with a
moccasin to the animals, so they came at once for a great council.
The council talked a long while. Then someone stood up and asked
about the tree. He said perhaps divers might go down and get just a
little earth from its roots, if they knew where it had sunk. Big
Turtle said, “Yes. If we can get earth, perhaps we might make an
island for this woman.” So the swans took them all to the place
where the tree had fallen in the waste of waters.

Big Turtle called for divers. First down went Otter, the best of
them all. He sank at once out of sight. He was gone a long, long
while. At last he came up, but he gasped and was dead. Then Muskrat
was sent down. He also was gone a long, long while. Muskrat also
died. Next Beaver was sent down to get earth from the roots of the
tree. Beaver also was drowned. Many animals were drowned.

Big Turtle called, “Who will offer to go down for the earth?” No one
offered himself, until at last Old Toad said she would try. All the
animals laughed. Old Toad was very small and very ugly. Big Turtle
looked her over, but he said, “Well, you try then.”

Down went Old Toad. At last they could not see her at all, though
she went down slowly. Then they waited for her to come back. They
waited, and waited, and waited. They began to say, “She will never
come back.” Then they saw a little bubble break on the water. Big
Turtle said, “Let us swim there. That is where Old Toad is coming
up.” So it was done. Then Old Toad came slowly to the surface, close
to Big Turtle. She opened her mouth and spat out a few grains of
earth that fell on Big Turtle’s shell. Old Toad was done for, too.

Small Turtle at once began to rub the earth around the edge of Big
Turtle’s shell. It began to grow into an island. The animals were
looking on as it grew. Then the island became large enough for the
woman to live on, so she stepped onto the earth. The island grew
larger and larger, until it became as large as the world is today.

When an earthquake occurs, it is because Big Turtle moves his foot.
Sometimes he gets tired.

                      HOW THE EARTH WAS FORMED


One winter day Wisagatcak was chiseling the ice, trying to catch Big
Beaver. At last he caught him by shutting up the creek with stakes,
leaving only an opening in the center of the stream. Then Wisagatcak
stood there, waiting for Big Beaver to attempt an escape in that
way. He stood there a long while. Just as evening came, Wisagatcak
saw a beaver coming along, but just as he was about to kill him,
Muskrat came up quietly behind him and scratched him. Wisagatcak was
so startled he did not catch the beaver.

At last it became dark, so he went ashore and built a fire, but he
had nothing to eat. He said to himself, “Tomorrow I will try to
break the dam down and dry up the creek.”

                 [Illustration: Carved Stone Dishes
              Showing the Indian love of the grotesque
       _From “Memoirs, American Museum of Natural History”_]

Early next morning Wisagatcak made a pointed stick from juniper
wood. Then he broke the dam down, but yet the creek did not dry up.
The water rose, and rose, and rose, until Wisagatcak no longer stood
on dry ground. So he at once made a raft and got on that. He took on
the raft with him two of every kind of animal, and stayed there with
them for two weeks. So they drifted about because there was no
chance to land anywhere. And while he drifted, Big Beaver was making
medicine against him for breaking the dam.

Now after two weeks, Wisagatcak wished to know the depth of water
under the raft. He tied a long string to the feet of Muskrat and
asked him to dive down and bring up some mud.

Muskrat went down, down, down! He could not even reach the bottom,
and drowned before Wisagatcak could bring him up. Then he waited
three days and told Crow to go and see if he could find any moss.
Crow came back without anything in his bill. When Crow came back
without any moss, Wisagatcak was frightened. He had a little moss on
his raft, so he took that and began to make medicine. The next day
he asked Wolf to take the moss in his mouth and run around the raft
with it. Wolf did so, and as he ran around, earth began to appear
and grow on the raft.

Wolf ran around the raft for a week, and the land grew larger and
larger. It continued to grow for two weeks. By that time the earth
had grown so large that Wolf never came back.

This is how the earth came to be built over water. And this is why
there are springs in the earth.

When Wolf had been gone for a week, Wisagatcak said to the other
animals, “I guess now the land must be large enough for us all to
live on.”

Beaver asked, “How are we going to live? We are eating willows and
poplars here, but there are no trees on earth yet.”

Wisagatcak said, “Um-m-m-m! Yes, you will need a little creek to
live in also.”

Beaver said, “Why, yes, of course.”

Wisagatcak said, “I’ll do something tonight.”

That night Wisagatcak made magic again. He tried to dig down through
the earth to his raft, to get a log from it; but the earth was so
thick, and the pressure of it so great, he could not even find a
trace of a log. When he failed to get even a stick, he said to
Beaver, “I’ll make a creek for you, and you will have to live on
grass roots until trees grow up.”

That is why, even today, Beaver eats certain white roots as well as

When Wisagatcak came back, he found that Beaver had dug ditches in
every direction in his search for roots.

                        OLD ONE AND CREATION

                                                    _Thompson River_

Before the days of the grandfathers, all was water. Old One lived
then in the Sky Land.

He still lives in the Sky Land, just where it is reached by the
snow-capped mountains. But in the days before the grandfathers, Old
One became tired of looking down at the waste of waters beneath him.
There was no earth at all. Old One thought, “I will make an island
in the middle of that great lake, which will be pleasant to look

He took some soil from the Sky Land, and made a large hollow ball of
it. Then he threw it down on the water. The lower side of the ball
spread flat, and all the upper part caved in and spread out into a
very large island. The earth even now lies on the water just as it
was when Old One threw down the ball. It is all broken up into flats
and hollows, hills and islets, just as it spread out from the
hollowed ball.

But even then the bare earth was not pleasant to Old One, so he
himself came down afterward and made the grass and trees and flowers
to grow.

That is why the earth is surrounded by water.

                       CREATION OF THE EARTH

                                                    _Thompson River_

Long, long ago, everything was a blank. There was nothing at all,
anywhere, except a number of people who lived together in a camp.
They were Sun and his wife Earth. There were also Moon and Stars
living there in that camp.

Now Earth scolded Sun all the time. She kept saying, “Oh, you’re so
hot! Go out of doors; you make the house too hot!” She kept telling
Sun how cross he was. Then Sun got tired of it. He moved away, and
as Stars and Moon were his relatives, they went with him. So Earth
Woman was left all alone in the camp. Then Earth Woman wept because
she was alone.

Old Man came around just then, and he asked what was the matter. He
asked all about it and Earth Woman told him everything. Then he went
to Sun’s camp. He talked to Sun.

Then Old Man said, “This will never do. There’ll be people after a
while. Something has to be done for them.” So Old Man sent Sun,
Moon, and the Stars up into the sky. He made them just what they are
now. He said to them, “Henceforth you shall not desert people nor
hide yourselves; you shall remain where everybody can see you,
either by day or by night.”

Then Old One changed Earth Woman into the earth upon which we live.
Her hair became flowers and grass. Her bones are the rocks. Earth is
never alone now, because she can always see Sun.

When people came, Old Man taught them how to spear fish and shoot
deer with bows and arrows, how to cook the meat and dress the skins.
Old Man taught people all they know.

                         RAVEN AND CREATION


Not long ago, there was no land to be seen.

Then there was a little thing in the ocean.

This was all open sea, and Raven sat upon this. He said, “Become
dust!” It became earth. Then it increased and he divided it, and he
put this earth into the water on each side of him. One earth he made
small, but he made the one on the other side larger. Because he made
one earth small, this island is small. So he finished this country.
White men call it the Queen Charlotte Islands.

Again Raven started off. He came to where Eagle lived. And Eagle
owned the fresh water. Before that there was none to be seen. Raven
wanted to drink the water, but Eagle did not want to give it to him.
A long time Raven wanted to drink this water. Then he drank it
secretly, unseen by Eagle. Then he made off with it.

Then Raven spit it out. He spit out water upon all lands. He spit
out Quilan first, therefore that is the elder brother of all the
streams on Masset Inlet. When the water was almost gone from his
mouth he came back to Masset. That is why the water here at Masset
is red.

This is the way the story was told in the days of the grandfathers.
But some of the story-tellers say that when Raven had taken all the
fresh water from the Owner-of-the-Water, he carried it in his bill.
He let a drop fall and it became the Chilcat River. When he spit it
out, all the water flowed away and the ground became dry. Then he
spit out more, and the ground also dried up after the water flowed
away. Raven saw that. Then he let still more drop, and as soon as he
let it drop he bent it together. He made a circle out of it; then it
stopped running off. Because Raven bent the water together, all the
streams keep on running, although they run every day.



Beaver lived in a beautiful house on the shore of a large lake. In
the lake were salmon and on the shores were berries of all kinds.

One day Raven disguised himself as a poor, hungry person. He went to
Beaver’s house. Beaver was just coming home with a fish and berries.
Beaver said, “What are you doing here?”

Raven said, “My father has just died. We have the same ancestors. He
told me to visit you and ask for food.”

Beaver believed Raven and pitied him. He told Raven to stay at home,
promising to give him much food. There were always fish in the lake
and ripe berries on the shores.

The next day Raven went to the lake. He rolled up the water like a
blanket. He took it in his beak and flew away. He alighted on the
top of a large cedar tree.

When Beaver went out to fish, he found his lake was gone. Then
Beaver called all the Beavers to help him, all the Wolves and Bears.
He called also a monster Talat-adega, which has a long body, a long
tail, and many legs. He asked them to throw the tree down.

The Wolves dug up the roots of the tree, Beavers gnawed the trunk of
the tree. All the animals worked until the tree fell; then Raven
flew to another tree.

All the animals of the forest worked hard. They tried to throw this
tree down. But when it fell down, Raven flew to another tree.

After they had felled four trees, the animals said, “Please give us
our chief’s water. Don’t make us unhappy.”

But Raven only flew away. He spilled some of the water on the ground
as he flew along. Thus originated all the rivers on Queen Charlotte
Islands. Raven also made the Skeena and Stikine rivers.

There was a man named Kilkun at Skidegate. Kilkun said to Raven,
“Give me some water!” Raven gave him only a few drops. Then Kilkun
became angry and fell dead. He forms the long point of land at

                        ORIGIN OF HAIDA LAND


Before the days of the grandfathers there was nothing but water. All
was water, except a single reef. Here lived the supernatural beings.
They were much crowded. They all lay heaped together. Then Raven
flew all about trying to get a footing, but he could alight nowhere.

Then Raven looked at the sky. It was solid. It was very beautiful
and Raven was fascinated by it. He said, “I’ll go up there,” so he
ran his beak into the sky and climbed up.

Now in the Sky Land was a large town. The chief lived there and in
the chief’s house was a baby. When night came, Raven took the baby
by the heel and shook all his bones out. Then he crept into the skin
and pretended to be the baby. But at night he stole out of the
baby’s skin and became Raven. He flew into all the houses and made
much mischief. Then at last a woman saw him and told all the people.

Then the chief called all the people together and they sang a song
for Raven. It was a magic song, and in the midst of it the one
holding Raven let him fall, and he dropped down out of the Sky
Country until he fell upon the great waters.

Now the cradle drifted about on the water for a long time. Raven
cried; then he cried himself to sleep; but as Raven slept, something
said, “Your powerful grandfather invites you in.” Raven sat up
quickly. He looked toward the sound, but there was nothing there.
Soon the voice said the same words.

Raven looked through the hole in his marten’s-skin blanket.
Presently up through the water came a grebe saying, “Your powerful
grandfather invites you in.”

Then Raven stood up. His cradle was floating against a kelp with two
heads. He stepped upon it, and behold! it was really a two-headed
house pole made of stone. When Raven climbed down, he found he could
breathe as easily as in the air above.

Beneath the house pole was a house. Someone said, “Come inside, my
son, I hear that you come to borrow something from me.” Raven
entered. In the back part of the house sat old Sea-Gull Man. The old
man sent him for a box which hung in the corner. There were four
others inside of this. Raven pulled them all apart and took out two
long pieces of something. One was black and the other was covered
with shining points.

Sea-Gull Man took the two pieces and showed them to Raven. He said,
“Lay this speckled stone in the water first, and this black one
last. Then bite off a piece of each, and spit it out and the pieces
will reunite;” so he said.

When Raven went out, he put the black piece into the water first.
When he had bitten off part of the rock with shining points and laid
it in the water, the points rebounded. He had not done as he had
been told. Now he went back to the black one, and bit off part of
it, and spit it out again. Then the pieces stuck. These were going
to become land. He put this into the water, and it stretched itself
out and became the Haida Country. Of the other piece he made the
Seaward Country—the mainland.

                 [Illustration: Paradise Valley[1]
                      Laggan, Alberta, Canada
                _Courtesy of Canadian Pacific Ry._]

                 [Illustration: Lakes in the Clouds
                      Laggan, Alberta, Canada
                _Courtesy of Canadian Pacific Ry._]

                        RAVEN AND MOON WOMAN


Raven became the son of Moon Woman. He cried a great deal. When he
cried, he said, “Boo-hoo, moon!” Then his mother said, “He talks
about a thing beyond his reach, which the supernatural beings own.”
So Raven began to cry again, “Boo-hoo, moon!”

Then, when Moon Woman’s mind was tired out with his noise, she
stopped up all the holes in the house. She stopped up the smoke
hole, and all the small holes as well.[2] Then she untied the
strings of the box. Although they were very strong, she untied them.
She did this because the moon was inside the box. Then she took the
moon out and let Raven play with it. She did not give it to him; she
only let him play with it to quiet him.

After his mother had gone out, Raven took up the moon in his beak.
He turned himself into a raven and flew about the house with it. He
made himself small. Just before his mother returned, he made himself
a child again. Then he again played with the moon.

Then Raven again began crying loudly, when his mother returned. He
cried, “Boo-hoo, boo-hoo, smoke hole!” So he cried, “Boo-hoo,
boo-hoo, smoke hole!” He cried this way for a long time. Then he
tired his mother’s mind with his crying, and she opened the smoke
hole a little. Raven cried, “Boo-hoo, more! Boo-hoo, more!” for a
long time. Then she made the opening in the smoke hole larger, and
he kept crying, “Boo-hoo, more!” until she had made it quite large.

Then again Raven played with the moon. Raven cried because he wanted
the moon, and his mother did not want to give it to him. When he
cried very much, she gave it to him and made that large opening in
the smoke hole.

Now at that time it was always dark. Raven did not like darkness.

Now after she had made the smoke hole larger, his mother again went
out, and Raven was playing with the moon. Then he put the moon in
his beak and flew through the smoke hole with it. Immediately he put
the moon under his wing. He perched up on top of the house with the
moon under his arm and called like a raven.

Then Raven flew to the bank of the Nass River, where they were
taking olachen. And it was dark. Raven called, “If you will bring me
your spruce needles, I will make it light for you.” He called the
olachen spruce needles. He said that same thing again.

The fishermen replied, “One who always talks is talking about
something which the supernatural beings own, and which is beyond his

Thus they made him angry, and he let them see a little of the moon.
It became light. Then they all went to him and gave him a great many

Raven again put the moon under his arm. Flying up with it, he sat on
the top of a high mountain. He took the moon out, and threw it down
so it broke. He took half of it and threw it up into the sky, and
said, “You shall be the moon and shall give light in the middle of
the night.” He then threw the other half upward and said, “You shall
shine in the middle of the day.” Then he threw upward the small
fragments, and said, “You shall be the stars; when it is clear, they
shall see you all during the night.”

                          ORIGIN OF LIGHT


After the earth was formed on Big Turtle’s shell, there was not
enough light, so the animals said. Big Turtle called a council. When
the council met, Big Turtle said that because the island had been
made for the woman, there should be more light. Someone said that a
light hung in the sky would be well. Then Small Turtle at once
answered, “If I could climb into the sky, I could gather together
some of the lightning, and make a ball of it.” Big Turtle said, “Oh,
yes. Try to climb up. You have great power.”

At once Small Turtle made medicine, and soon there was a great
storm. A cloud full of lightning rolled down towards the council,
with a great noise. There were broken rocks and trees in the cloud.
It came so near that Small Turtle climbed into the cloud, and went
upward with it.

When she reached the Sky Land, Small Turtle gathered much lightning
together. She made a ball out of it, and hung it in the sky. After
that there was light on the island because the sun shone. Small
Turtle also made moon.

                          ORIGIN OF LIGHT

                                                    _Thompson River_

A large dead tree stood near Spence’s Bridge. It was full of magic
and possessed the power of giving light. At that time the world was
always dark. Now Chipmunk did not like the continual darkness, and
his friends did not like it, but some of the animals did. And some
of the other animals were undecided.

Chipmunk knew that if he set fire to the magic tree near Spence’s
Bridge, the world would become light again, so he set fire to the
roots, and kept poking the ashes away with a stick that the wind
might fan the flames. When the tree fell, the earth became light.

Now Grizzly Bear and his friends wanted continual darkness. When
that tree fell, Grizzly appeared in a great rage and began to put
out the fire by throwing earth on the log and on Chipmunk.

Grizzly Bear cried,

  Le pa, Le pa! Dimness, dimness!

Chipmunk would poke the fire and brush the earth and ashes away and

  Tse ka, tse ka! Light, light, light!

And immediately the fire would flame up and light would come; but
when Grizzly Bear threw on more earth it became dark again.

Now both Grizzly and Chipmunk sang as loud and as hard as they
could, and sometimes it was light and sometimes it was dark. After a
while they both grew tired. Then they agreed that it should be dark
part of the time, and light part of the time.

But Grizzly Bear was angry at Chipmunk and chased him into a hole.
As Chipmunk scampered into the hole, Grizzly scratched his back.
That is the reason Chipmunk has stripes on his back.

                         CREATION OF LIGHT


In the days of the animal people, there was darkness everywhere
except in the tepee of an old chief. He owned all the light, fire,
and water; therefore men were very miserable and sighed always. Men
pleaded with the old chief for light, but he would give them none.
Therefore they tried to get it by craft.

Now all the animals put on their masks and their dancing aprons and
went to the old chief’s lodge for a dance. He did not invite them.
They went. They were going to get light by craft.

Now each one sang his own song. Fox kept singing,

  Khain, khain, khain,

because he thought in that way he would gain light. Therefore the
animals call him Khain, which means, “He cries for daylight.”

Now the old chief steadily refused to give them light. Yet the
animal people were each singing his own song, and each singing,

  Light, light, light, light!

Thus they sang. And they sang so loudly and so steadily that light
began to steal up into the sky, like a faint dawn. The old chief saw
it. At once he shouted,

  Let there not be——!

  Let there not be——!

Had he said “light” as the last word, light would have come. But at
once the light disappeared below the edge of the sky.

Now young Fox kept on conjuring and crying,

  Khain, khain, khain, khain!

and the animals kept on dancing and singing for light, because they
wanted to tire the old chief. And again light began to steal into
the sky. Then the old chief saw it and he became much excited. The
noise confused him and he shouted,

  Let there be—light!

And immediately the light came up into the sky. Ever since then men
have had light. But the old chief did not mean to say that.

                           COMING OF FIRE


Now after the animal people had won light by shouting “Khain,” and
 “light,” and had confused the old chief, they were very happy for a
time. But they had no fire. The same old chief owned all the fire in
the world. He kept it in his lodge, carefully guarded. Therefore the
people resolved to steal it, because he would not give it to them.

Now the people laid their plans. They said Young Caribou and Muskrat
must help. Then they put on their dancing aprons and their dancing
masks, and went to the lodge of the old chief. Young Caribou had a
fine headdress of pine shavings fastened to his horns. Young Muskrat
had a dancing apron made of a marmot skin.

Now they all entered the old chief’s lodge. They began singing, and
Young Caribou and Muskrat began their dancing. Each took a place at
one side of the fire, where the old chief kept close watch. Muskrat

  Oh, shelte! Oh, shelte!

which are magic words. Therefore Indians say, “Oh, shelte,” even
today, when they hunt muskrats.

Young Caribou, as he danced, jerked his head from side to side until
the shavings caught fire. At once the old chief put them out with
his hands. Everybody began to dance then, and Young Caribou let the
shavings catch fire. And again the old chief put them out, though
they were quite a blaze.

Now, while the old chief was busy watching Caribou, Muskrat had been
busy. He had burrowed a tunnel through the earth. Then he quickly
stole a piece of fire and slipped into his hole with it. The old
chief was busy putting out the fire in the shavings on Caribou’s
horns. Everybody went on dancing.

Suddenly a person said, “Oh, look!” He pointed to a great mountain
far away, near the edge of the sky. A great column of smoke rose
from it. Then soon flames burst from the mountain top.

At once everybody knew that Muskrat had stolen the old chief’s fire,
and had given it to men and animals.



One day Grizzly Bear met Coyote and said to him, “I am great in
magic, greater than all of the people. When I wish a thing to be so,
it has to be so. Now, I do not like having it dark so short a time.
I intended to make it dark all the time.”

Coyote said, “Oh, no! That would inconvenience the people too much.”

Grizzly Bear said, “I intend to have it my way.”

Coyote said, “No, you can’t!”

At once Grizzly Bear began to dance, singing,

  Darkness! darkness! darkness! Let it always be dark!

That was his song.

Coyote also danced and sang,

  Light! light! light! light! Let it always be light!

Thus Coyote sang.

They danced and sang a long, long time. Sometimes it was dark, when
Grizzly sang loudest, and sometimes it was light when Coyote sang
loudest. But neither won.

At last Grizzly Bear became tired. He said, “Let’s have it dark half
the time, and light half the time.” Coyote agreed. He said,
“Hereafter it shall be light from the time that the sun prepares to
follow the trail through the Sky Land until he reaches the edge of
the Darkening Land. The rest of the time shall be night. Thus every
day shall Sun travel. When he leaves the Earth Plain, the darkness
shall follow him.”

After a while, Grizzly Bear said, “I do not like the length of the
year. Winter is far too short. Let winter be as many moons long as
there are feathers in the tail of Blue Grouse.” So they counted and
found twenty-two feathers in the tail of Blue Grouse. Grizzly Bear
wanted winter to be twenty-two moons long!

Coyote said at once, “Oh, no! The people would die. Let winter be
half that number.” Grizzly Bear objected. Then Coyote said, “Let
there be as many moons in the year as there are feathers in
Flicker’s tail.” Grizzly Bear agreed, because he thought there were
many feathers in Flicker’s tail.

                  [Illustration: Shuswap Beadwork
   Tobacco pouch designs of great beauty. From the region of the
                          Canadian Rockies
       _From “Memoirs, American Museum of Natural History”_]

Now, when they counted, there were only twelve feathers in Flicker’s
tail. But it was too late to make any change. So Coyote said,
“Hereafter in a year there shall be six months of warm weather and
six months in which it may snow and be cold.”

Thus Coyote saved the people from living in darkness, and from very
long, cold winters.

                      ORIGIN OF LIGHT AND FIRE


Raven and Sea Gull were friends. Their houses were close together in
the Lillooet country. It was dark all over the world at this time,
because Sea Gull owned the daylight, which he kept in a box. He
never let any of it out except for his own use.

Raven said, “It isn’t fair that Sea Gull should have all the
daylight. People should have some of it.” Therefore Raven planned to
get the daylight.

One night he placed thorn branches on the trail between Sea Gull’s
house and the place where his canoe was fastened. Then he ran to Sea
Gull, shouting, “Your canoe has gone adrift! Your canoe has gone
adrift!” Sea Gull heard Raven and rushed out of the house in haste.
He did not even put on his moccasins; he ran in his bare feet and
stepped on the thorns. Then Sea Gull screamed, “Ah-ah!” just as sea
gulls do now. He shouted to Raven, “Get my canoe! Save my canoe!”
Then he went back to his house. He was much excited.

Raven pulled up the canoe and went to the house. Gull spoke of those
thorns in his feet. Raven said, “Oh, I can pull them out, if you
will let a little daylight out of your box.” So Gull sat down beside
the box and opened it a little with one hand. Raven began to pull
out the thorns with an awl. Soon he said, “I can’t see well. Give me
more light.” Gull opened the box a little more.

Raven pulled out all the thorns but one. He said, “This last one is
hard to get out. I shall need more light.” When Gull opened the box
a little more, Raven gave his arm a push. Thus he knocked down the
box and broke it. Then all the daylight rolled out and spread all
over the world. Sea Gull was unable to collect it again.

Raven took out the last thorn and went home chuckling.

Now Raven could see very well indeed, and one day he cleaned himself
nicely. He combed and oiled his hair, and put on his best robe, and
painted his face black. Then he sat on the top of his underground
house and looked all over the world. He saw nothing. The third day
he changed the paint on his face. That evening he saw signs of
smoke. The fourth day Raven changed his face paint again. Now he
located the smoke. It was far away to the south, on the shore of the

Raven had four servants. They all at once entered a small canoe, but
it was swamped. Then he tried another. Then he said to his wife, “Go
to Sea Gull’s house and tell him I need to borrow his canoe.” So he
started off in Sea Gull’s canoe.

Now they paddled downstream until they were close to the house of
the people who owned the fire. They planned very quietly. That night
they bored a hole under where the baby board hung and stole the
baby. Then they ran away.

Now early in the morning the people missed the baby. They knew what
had happened. But Raven was too far ahead. They sent out men.
Sturgeon, Whale, and Seal searched for Raven’s boat, but they could
not find him. Other men searched, but only one small fish found
Raven’s canoe. He tried to stop the runaways by sticking to the
paddle, but after a while he got tired and went home. Now Raven
reached his own country.

Then the Fire People visited Raven with presents. Four times they
came; Raven refused all their gifts. Then they said, “What do you
wish?” Raven said, “Fire.” Then they said, “Well, why didn’t you say
that before?” And they were glad, because they had plenty of fire
and thought little of its value. So they brought Raven fire, and he
gave them back their baby. These Fire People showed Raven how to
make fire with dry cottonwood roots.

Raven said to Sea Gull, “If I had not got the light from you, I
could not have seen where the fire was kept.”

                        HOW FIRE WAS SECURED


Beaver and Eagle lived with their sister in the Lillooet country.
They had no fire at all, so they ate all their food raw. The sister
cried and complained constantly because she had no fire at which to
roast her dried salmon skins. At last the brothers said, “Don’t cry
any more. We will get fire for you. First we will need to train
ourselves for a long time; but if you cry while we are training, we
shall fail.”

Beaver and Eagle went into the mountains and trained for four years.
Then they knew where fire was, and they returned home and told their
sister that they knew how to find it.

Now they started off. They traveled five days to the house of the
people who owned the fire. Eagle drew over himself an eagle’s body;
and Beaver drew over himself a beaver’s body.

Beaver at once went to work. He dammed the creek nearby and that
night made a hole under that house. The next morning Beaver swam
around in the pond of water made by the dam. An old man saw him and
shot him. He took Beaver into the house and laid him beside the
fire. He told the people to skin him. While they were skinning
Beaver, they found a clam shell under his arm, which he had hidden

Just then the people saw a large eagle perched in a tree nearby.
Quickly they wished for his feathers. At once they all ran out and
began to shoot at him, but no one could hit him. And while they were
shooting, Beaver was left alone.

Then Beaver rose quickly and put fire in his clam shell. He dug into
the hole he had made beneath the house, and raced away to the water.
He swam away with the fire.

As soon as Eagle saw that Beaver was safe, he flew away. Then they
returned home. They gave fire to their sister.

                       HOW RAVEN BROUGHT FIRE


At that time there was no fire to be seen. They did not even know of
it. Raven went northward on the surface of the sea. Far out at sea a
big kelp was growing out of the water, but the kelp head was gone,
and many sparks came out of it. This was the first time that Raven
had ever seen fire.

Then Raven went along to it on the bottom of the sea. Then the big
fishes—the Black Whales, and the Dolphins, and others—wanted to kill
him as he went along. Owner-of-the-Fire was the one to whom he went.

When Raven entered his house, Owner-of-the-Fire said to him, “Come
and sit here, chief.” Raven said, to him, “Will the chief give me

Owner-of-the-Fire gave fire to Raven, as he had been desired, and
when he gave it to him, he put it in a stone tray. A cover was over

Raven went away with it. After he had gone up to the shore, Raven
put a fragment of live coal into a cedar standing there. Because he
put fire into the cedar, when people want to start a fire they use a
drill of cedar, because fire comes from it.


                                                       _Bella Coola_

Mink’s father was “Walking-through-the-Heavens.” He was Sun, but no
one knew it, and one day when Mink was playing with the children of
his village, they laughed at him saying that he had no father. Mink
began to cry and went home to his mother.

Mink’s mother said, “Why, your father is
Walking-through-the-Heavens.” Then Mink demanded bows and arrows,
and his mother gave them to him.

Mink went outside the lodge and began to shoot his arrows into the
sky. The first arrow struck the sky and stuck there. The second
arrow hit the notch of the first, and held there; and the third
arrow stuck in the notch of the second. So with four arrows Mink
made an arrow chain which became a rope. He called to his mother and
said, “Hold the rope so it will not shake,” and she did so.

Then Mink began to climb up into the Sky Land, while his mother held
the rope. After a long time he reached the door to the upper world.
Then he climbed in and looked around him. He began to walk toward a
bright house in the distance. It was Sun’s house. As he came near
it, a woman came out to pick up wood. When she saw Mink, she said,
“Oh, little one! Where do you come from, sonny?” The woman went at
once back into the house and told Sun.

Now Walking-through-the-Heavens was tired that day. He did not climb
the trail through the sky, but left it covered with clouds.
Therefore it was gray and cloudy in the Earth Land. When there are
clouds in the sky, that is the time that Walking-through-the-Heavens

Mink told his father that the boys in the village teased him. He
begged to be allowed to carry Sun’s torches. Then Sun said, “Oh, you
can’t do it. I carry many torches. Early in the morning and late in
the afternoon I burn small torches; but at noon I burn the larger

Mink teased and teased. He said he wanted to carry the torches just
once. Therefore one day Sun said, “I think I’ll rest today. You may
carry the torches.”

So Walking-through-the-Heavens gave him the torches. He said, “Oh,
child, take care! Walk in the morning, but don’t walk too fast. Do
not sweep your aunts, the clouds, away too quickly, or it will go
hard with the people in the Earth World.” Then he said again, as
Mink started off, “Don’t be too fast when you walk or sweep.”

So Mink started off, carrying the torches. At first he lighted only
small ones, and he walked slowly, and swept away the clouds not too
rapidly. He did it very well indeed. But at noon Mink became tired.
He swept away the clouds very rapidly, and he walked very fast. Then
he also lighted many of the large torches at once.

At once it grew very hot. Great cracks came into the mountains and
they began to split. All the rocks in the world were burned so that
they are bare, even today. The trees began to burn and many animals
jumped into the water. But the water began to boil. Mink’s mother
covered all the people with her blanket, so they were saved. All the
people in the world hid under her blanket. The animals tried to hide
under the rocks and in caves. Ermine crept into a hole which was not
quite large enough, so the end of his tail stuck out. It was burned
black. That is why Ermine is white with a black tip to his tail.
Mountain Goat hid in a cave, so he is perfectly white. All the
animals which did not hide were scorched and therefore they have
dark fur on the upper side of their bodies, but the under side is

Now when Sun saw what was happening to the people of the Earth
World, he rushed up the trail, and said, “Why do you do so? Do you
think it is good that there should be no people on the Earth World?”

Sun took the half-burned torches and put them out. Then he pushed
Mink right out of the Sky Land, saying, “Go right down to the Earth
World again. You shall be mink and men shall hunt you.”

Now four women had gone out digging clams. Then they saw something
floating around among the drifting seaweed. They went towards it. It
was Mink. When they touched him, he rubbed his eyes and said, “I
have been sleeping on the water for a long time.” Then he went up
the beach and went home to his mother.

Now the world was hot, and the trees were burning, so that Sun
caused the waters to rise until they covered the whole country
except for a few mountains on Bella Coola River which rose above the
waters. The Bella Bella and the Bella Coola tribes fastened their
canoes to the tops of these mountains, and for this reason they were
not lost. Other tribes tied their canoes to other mountains, but
some of the canoe ropes broke and the people drifted away to
different countries. The flood went as far north as the Skeena
River, and people drifted even from up there. One canoe drifted over
in the lands of the white people. Then at last Sun made the waters
to sink.

                   [Illustration: Cathedral Peak
                      Field, British Columbia
                _Courtesy of Canadian Pacific Ry._]

Crow was sitting on the top of a tree when Mink made the Earth World
to burn. The smoke was so black that it made Crow black all over.
Before that Crow had been white; so the Indians say.

                              OLD ONE


In the days of the grandfathers men did not know anything at all
about the other worlds. They knew very little even about the Earth

Now in the Sky Land lived an old chief who was very wise and very
kind, and with great magic. The son of the old chief died and he did
not know where he had gone. Therefore Old One was very sorrowful. He
wailed, “Where is my son gone? He cannot be dead. He has only gone
away. But where has he gone?” In those days death did not happen

Therefore Old One began to travel. He went everywhere. He came down
to the Earth World and went into the Shuswap country. Here he found
the people very ignorant. He taught them how to fell trees and make
twine, how to sew clothes and make needles and awls. He also taught
them how to hunt game, how to trap, and dig roots, and gather
berries so they would have food enough. So the people were much
happier. There were no salmon there in those days; it was long
afterward that Coyote brought the salmon up the river.

After traveling all through the Shuswap country, Old One went on. It
became known afterward that he traveled through the country of six
different tribes, teaching all the people how to live, and looking
always for his son.

When he lived at home in the Sky Land, Old One had two servants and
several companions. His two servants were Beavers, and one slept at
the head of his bed and one at the door of his house. Because they
were nearer to him, Old One made them the most valuable of animals.
That is why beaver fur is always so much sought after.

                           THE GREAT FIRE


When Tsuntia and the four Black Bear brothers had traveled over the
earth and put things to rights, they met one another at the edge of
the earth. Black Bear brothers said, “There is yet one country where
the people are bad. They were too strong for us. You go to that
country and stop the sun so they will all be burned up.” Thus they
spoke to Tsuntia.

Tsuntia said, “If I go there and stop the sun, all the people in the
world will be burned up and everything on earth besides.”

The brothers would not believe this, so Tsuntia commanded the sun to
stand still. Then the earth became so hot it was scorched. The tops
of the trees began to smoke. The Black Bear brothers were overcome
with the heat, and they began to be afraid. They said, “We see that
you know and speak the truth. Now let the sun move on.”

Tsuntia said to them, “Whistle at the sun, and he will go on.” They
said, “Oh, no. You do it.” So Tsuntia whistled and pointed his
finger at the sun. The sun followed his finger as he moved it toward
the west. He moved his finger down over the mountains and the sun
set rapidly.

Then a breeze sprang up and soon cooled the earth and the people.
The bad people of that country were never punished. They are there
yet, near the edge of the earth.

                      THE BURNING OF THE WORLD


Once all the world was burned. Only a man and his mother and his
sister were saved. Before the fire there were many people on earth.
Then the young man fell out with his father, and they became
enemies. The young man had heard that all the world was to be
burned, but his father did not believe it.

Now the young man made a bow and arrows. He shot one arrow to the
west, and one to the east, and one to the north, and one to the
south. The places where the arrows fell were the four corners of a
bit of ground which would not burn. The young man told everybody who
wanted to be saved from the fire to come onto that square of land.
Many did not believe the world would be burned, so they would not

After a while the fire came. They could hear it. They were encamped
by the side of a big lake. By and by all the birds and animals came
running to that bit of ground marked out by the arrows. The old man
had quarreled with his son, so he would not come. The fire was very
hot. All the water boiled because it was so hot.

After a while the fire was put out, and the water had settled down.
Everything had to be started over again.

Now there were many animals on this patch of ground, and the man
named some of them and told them what to do.

He put Beaver in the water, but Rabbit wanted to live in the water.
The man said, “No.” Then Rabbit jumped into the water and the man
had to pull him out. He said to Rabbit, “Your legs are too long.
Even if you do eat willow like Beaver, you don’t go about in the
water properly.”

Squirrel wanted to be Bear. He did all he could to be Bear. He
argued and chattered a great deal about it. The man said, “Oh,
you’re too noisy. You wouldn’t be a good Bear.” He said also, “If
you are Bear, you are so noisy that when people come again, they
will kill too many of you. A bear must keep quiet. He has many
enemies.” Then Squirrel began to weep. He wept until his eyes were
white. Even today Squirrel has eyes bright and swollen from weeping.

The man made Bear then, because he was nice and wise and quiet.

Somebody wanted to be Caribou—nobody remembers just who wanted that.
Then Deer was made, and made so swift that he could outrun all

After the man had finished making all the animals, he put a mark on
them, so people would know what they were.

Then the man had to give all the people new names. His mother he
called Robin, because she was friendly. His sister he called
Golden-winged Woodpecker, because she was beautiful. He called
himself Blackbird because he would only come every spring.

                          THE HOUSE OF SUN

                                                       _Bella Coola_

The House of Sun stands in the center of the lower heaven. It has
other names. Sometimes it is called “Where man was created,”
sometimes “House from which people come down,” and sometimes “House
to which people go.”

In front of the house stands a great pole, painted with birds of
every kind, with the white crane sitting on top of the post. The
master of the house is Sun. He is also called “Our Father,” and
sometimes the “Sacred One.” The Bella Coola pray to Sun. When they
go hunting they say, “Look on us, where we are going, Father.” Or
they say, “Take care of us, Father.” After long rain, they pray,
“Wipe your face, Father, that it may be fair weather.” The hunter
who has shot deer, or the woman who has found many berries, prays,
“Father, you make me happy; you give me what I desire; thus I find
what I wished for!”

The Bella Coola also make offerings to the Sun. Hunters throw four
small slices of seal meat, or of mountain-goat tallow, into the
fire, as an offering to Sun, to obtain success in hunting.

There are other gods living in the House of the Sun. Two of them
wake man after sleep; without their help nobody could awaken from
sleep. One of them is the guardian of the Moon. Every month she
restores the Moon to her full size; and she cleans the face of the
Moon after an eclipse. Because when the Moon performs religious
ceremonies, she paints her face black.

The Mother of Flowers lives also in the House of Sun. Every spring
she sends all the new young flowers down to the earth.

There are four brothers who live in the House of Sun. They are
always busy in carving and painting. They taught men to make boxes,
to build houses, to carve wood, and to paint. They also taught him
to hunt, and they made fish for him to catch.

The Daughter of Sun invented the art of working cedar bark. She has
a song which she sings when the bark is brought to her and she
breaks it over the edge of a stick, so that it may be woven into
mats and clothing. First she sings, “Bring me the board on which to
break the bark,” and then when she begins to work, she sings another
song. Part of it is, “Behold me, ye who are not initiated. I am the
Cedar-bark Breaker, the Daughter of Sun.”

Many other people live in the House of Sun. One of them visits
houses and steals provisions.

The path of Sun is well guarded. Bear guards the sunrise. He is a
very fierce warrior who protects Sun against warlike enemies, and
Bear is also the cause of the warlike spirit of man. His hair is
tied up in a knot on top of his head.

At the sunset stands an enormous post which supports the sky and
prevents Sun from falling down into the lower world. The trail of
Sun is a wide bridge. It is as broad as the distance between the
summer solstice and the winter solstice. Sun always walks with his
face to the west. In summer he walks on the right-hand side of the
bridge, and in winter at the left-hand side. The extreme right-and
left-hand sides of the bridge are called “Place where the Sun sits
down.” If Sun tarries too long on the left-hand side of the bridge,
people say, “Salmon will be dried late this year.” But if he stays a
long while on the right-hand side, they say, “There will be plenty
of salmon this year.”

                       WHY THE SUN IS BRIGHT


Once a whole village moved away. They were angry with a boy, so they
left him behind with his grandmother. Now it looked as though they
would starve. Grandmother said, “Snare small animals. Shoot the
birds.” So the boy snared rabbits and squirrels and many small
animals. He shot many birds with bright plumage. Grandmother cooked
the animals and birds, but she made him a robe from the skins of the
birds. The robe was very large and bright. The boy wore it when he
went to spear fish.

Now Sun, when he followed the trail in the Sky Land, saw the robe
when the boy was spearing fish. He saw that robe many times. One day
Sun left the trail and came to visit the boy. Sun always dressed in
a goatskin robe, with long fringe.

Sun said to the boy, “I will exchange blankets with you.” The boy
looked at the goatskin robe, and said, “Oh, no!”

            [Illustration: Haida Blanket Border Designs
            Symbolical of the raven and the killer whale
       _From “Memoirs, American Museum of Natural History”_]

Sun said, “You do not know the value of my robe. It can catch more
fish than you can spear.” Sun placed the fringe of his blanket in
the water, and at once a fish caught on each tip of the fringe. When
the boy saw that, he exchanged blankets at once.

Before Sun traded for the boy’s robe of birds’ plumage, he was pale,
and his light was like the light of the moon. Therefore people could
look at him. Now he became bright and dazzling as he is today,
because of his bright robe. People can no longer look at him.

                        WHEN SUN WAS SNARED


Once there was a poor boy who lived with his grandmother. He set
snares for birds and rabbits because they were very poor. Now one
day this boy set his snares, and then went home to his grandmother.
But he had set his snare on Sun’s trail.

The next day when Sun came up over the edge of the earth and started
off on his trail, he was caught in the snare. He could not go on.
There was only a little light and Sun did not rise all day. People
began to be anxious at the gloom. They said, “What has happened?”

Then someone asked the boy, “Where did you set your snare?” and the
boy told him. They went to look, and there was Sun caught fast in
it. People said again, “What shall we do?” because Sun was so hot no
one could go anywhere near him. Someone said, “We shall have to gnaw
through the cords of the snare,” and somebody else asked, “Well, who
will do that?”

At last a number of the animals tried to gnaw the string. They were
all burned. They said, “Let Beaver-Mouse try it. He has such sharp
teeth.” So Beaver-Mouse tried it, and he gnawed the string so Sun
could rise and follow his trail. But Beaver-Mouse’s teeth were so
burned that they are brown even to this day.

                            SUN AND MOON

                                                    _Thompson River_

Sun and Moon were both chiefs who looked after the people. One day
they were quarreling, and began to say unpleasant things to each

Sun said to Moon, “You give too faint a light. The people cannot see
properly. Besides you do not warm them.”

Moon answered, “People turn aside their faces when they look at you.
You blind them; and you are so hot you make them very uncomfortable.
I don’t burn people as you do. Besides, I am prettier than you are.”

Thus they disputed.

At last they agreed to this: Sun should shine by day and Moon by
night. And they did so. They do so even to this day. They used both
to shine at the same time; so the Indians say.

                        THE MAN IN THE MOON

                                                    _Central Eskimo_

Once an Eskimo visited the Moon. He put out all the lamps in his
house, and sat down with his back to them, and at once his guardian
spirit carried him through the air.

Moon’s house was not very large. It is white because it is covered
with white deerskins, which Moon always has drying there. On each
side of the entrance is the upper half of a walrus’s body, with very
long teeth. It is very dangerous to pass here, because the teeth try
to bite you. Moon’s dog is dappled red and white. He lives in the
passage, and is the only dog in the moon.

Moon always sits in the outer room, but in an inside room, the
Eskimo saw Sun. She is Moon’s wife. The moment she saw the Eskimo,
she brightened her fire and got behind the glow of it, therefore the
Eskimo could not look at her for the brightness. Moon had great
piles of deer meat lying about, and piled up; yet he did not offer
any to the Eskimo until he and Sun had danced a very strange dance.

There are great plains in Moon Land, and large herds of deer roaming
over them. Moon allowed the Eskimo to choose one animal, which at
once fell through a hole in Moon Land to the earth below. In a large
house were many seals swimming. The Eskimo chose one seal and it at
once fell to the earth and into the ocean.

That is why the Eskimo have deer and seals. If this Eskimo had not
visited Moon, they would not have them.

                        WHY THE MOON IS PALE


Now Small Turtle made Sun out of lightning when she climbed up into
the sky. She also made Moon for his wife. Moon was smaller than Sun,
but she was very bright. Then the animals bored a hole through the
edge of the earth so that Sun and Moon could pass through at night,
and begin their trail again at the east.

Small Turtle never meant Sun and Moon to travel together. But one
day Moon ran into the hole at the edge of the earth much too soon.
She also ran in ahead of her husband, Sun. Sun was very angry. Moon
stayed under the earth for a long while. Small Turtle went after her
one day to see what was the matter. She found Moon small and pale
because of Sun’s anger. Then Small Turtle tried to make her large
again. Moon would grow larger for a while, and then remember Sun’s
anger, and fade away again, until she was only a strip. She does so
even today. That is why Moon is so pale, and why she keeps changing
as she does.

                       THE WOMAN IN THE MOON


Moon was a very handsome man. During the winter he traveled
constantly, camping every night in a different place. He had a wife
called Wala and many children. When they were traveling, Moon always
went ahead and prepared a house for his wife and children. White men
call his house a halo.

Wala was always loaded down. She carried large birch-bark baskets on
her back, and a birch-bark snow shovel in her hands. Wala used the
shovel to fill the baskets with snow, for melted snow was all the
water they could get in winter time.

One morning Wala said to Moon, “Where are you going to camp
tonight?” Moon did not answer. Wala said, “Where will you pitch camp
tonight?” Still Moon did not answer. Thus Wala kept asking, “Where
are you going to camp tonight?” until Moon said crossly, “Oh, camp
on my face!”

And Wala did that. She jumped right on his face and stuck there. We
know this is true because Wala may still be seen on Moon’s face,
holding her birch-bark baskets and her snow shovel.


                                                    _Thompson River_

Moon used to be an Indian. He would be as bright as Sun if his
sister Frog did not sit upon him. At one time when Moon had invited
the Stars to his house, it was so crowded there was no room for his
sister Frog to sit down. She jumped on his face and stuck there.

Whenever it threatens to snow or rain, Moon builds a house and
enters it. White men call it a halo. The cirrus clouds are the smoke
of his pipe, and he always holds his pipe in his hand. You can see
it in the moon today, and the basket which he uses as a hat. Moon
seems to change from night to night, sometimes being larger and
sometimes smaller, but that is all because of Frog’s shadow.

                      WAR WITH THE SKY PEOPLE

                                                    _Thompson River_

The people of Sky Land stole Swan’s wife. Swan at once called all
the Earth People to a great council. They agreed to make war on the
Sky People.

Now they gathered their bows and arrows. Swan was their chief. Each
man began to fire his arrows at the sky. Every one came down. Every
man tried to shoot an arrow into the Sky Land, until at last only
Wren was left.

Then Wren shot an arrow. The people watched, but it did not come
back to earth. They watched a long time. It had stuck in the sky.
Wren fired another arrow. That did not come down. It had stuck in
the notch of the first one. Wren fired many arrows. Not one came
back, though all the birds and animals were watching carefully. They
at last could see the chain of arrows, and Wren shot more arrows
until the chain reached the earth.

Now all the Bird People and the Animal People climbed over the arrow
chain and went up into Sky Land and fought the Sky People. Grizzlies
lived there, and Black Bear and Elk. And the Sky People won the
fight. The Earth People began to retreat in great haste. They came
down over the arrow chain, but when about half the people had
reached the ground, the chain broke. Those who could not get down
had to go back to Sky Land. Some of them were made prisoners and
some were killed.

There used to be many more birds and animals than there are now; so
the Indians say. There are fewer now because of this war.



Once there were two sisters who were not happy, and they ran away
from home. They ran until they came to Sky Land, where they lost
their way. At last they came to the house of an old woman. She
asked, “Where are you going?”

“We don’t know,” said the sisters. “We are lost.” Then the old woman
told them they could not get back to the earth again, so they stayed
with her.

One day the old woman went out to get some berry vines. She told the
sisters not to open a basket which stood just there. After she had
gone, the younger sister opened the basket, and at once thousands
and thousands of rabbits jumped out and ran all about the house.
When the old woman came back, she was very angry, but she caught the
rabbits, every one, and put them all back into the basket.

The next day the old woman went out again. She told the sisters not
to touch a certain box that stood there. As soon as she was gone,
the younger sister opened it and looked in. Then she was frightened,
for she could see clear down to the earth below.

               [Illustration: Salish Basketry Designs
        Made by the Lower Thompson River and Lillooet tribes
       _From “Memoirs, American Museum of Natural History”_]

When the old woman came back, she made a rope of the berry vines and
fastened a basket to one end. Then she said to the younger sister,
“Get in, and I will let you go down to the earth. You must keep your
eyes shut. If the basket stops, you must give it a little shake.
Perhaps it is stuck in a cloud. But do not open your eyes.” Thus she

So the sister started. She shut her eyes tight, and soon she felt
the basket stick in something. She shook it a little and then it
went on. It had stuck in the cloud. After a while the basket
stopped. She shook it once, and it did not move. Then she shook it
hard. It remained still. Then the sister put out her hands and felt
grass. At once she opened her eyes and stepped out of the basket.

The old woman called down to her to cut the grass and put it in the
basket. So she did so. Then the old woman pulled the basket up to
the Sky Land again.

Now the young woman sat down and waited many days, looking into the
sky all the time. At last she saw a speck far up. Then she knew it
was her sister in the basket. When it came near enough, she reached
up and helped her sister out. They both went back to their mother.

                       ORIGIN OF THE PLEIADES


A young man was out fasting. His fasting lodge stood at the end of a
lake, where no one ever came. There was a broad bench on both sides.

Now, one evening he heard something. Sounds of songs, faint and
distant, came to his ear. He did not know what it was. He looked
everywhere. There was no one to be seen. Then the sounds were
clearer. They came from the sky over the lake. The young man
listened. Now he thought the voices came from the beach near by.

He crept slowly down to the lake, through the reeds and grasses. The
singing grew more distant. Then through the reeds he saw seven
maidens, dancing about in the light of the stars.

Then a pebble slipped under his foot. The maidens sprang into a
large basket, and vanished into the sky.

Now the young man went back to his fasting lodge. The next evening
he listened. The air was very still. The water was very quiet. The
stars were shining. Then he heard again the sound of far-away
voices. He heard distant songs. So he crept to the edge of the lake,
through the reeds and grasses. He saw a great basket come down with
the seven maidens. They danced together, under the light of the
stars. The air was very quiet as they sang. Then they danced along,
each dancing in turn. And one maiden was more beautiful than her
sisters. Then the young man forgot; he made a sound with his voice
and the maidens vanished into the sky.

Now every evening the maidens came down to dance on the beach. It
was a broad beach. No one ever came to that end of the lake. They
danced under the stars, when the air was still, and they sang their
songs. So the young man watched them.

Now they came again, and the young man rushed among them; rushed
among them as they danced when the air was quiet, and seized the
most beautiful sister. Then the maidens sprang into the basket, and
the young man caught the maiden, and held the basket edge with one
hand. Then they fell to the earth together, and the maiden was

The maiden said, “We are seven sisters. We live in the Sky Land.
Often you see us when you look into the sky. But at this season,
when the air is still and the lake is quiet, we come here to dance
in the starlight.” She said also, “I cannot marry you until you come
and live with me in the Sky Land.”

So the young man went into the Sky Land with her. Everything there
happened just as one wished it.

We know this is true, because even today the seven sisters are in
the sky. Six are clearly seen, but the seventh sits back in the
shadow with her husband.

                          THE STAR HUNTERS


There were once three young men who spent most of their time with
their two dogs in hunting. They lived with their grandmother. When
they came in from hunting, they gave meat to her.

One day the hunters were gone all day without finding anything. In
the evening, for a joke, one of them gave grandmother a piece of
punk, saying, “Here is some caribou liver for you,” but when she put
it into her mouth, lo, it was punk wood! She was angry.

Now the next day, when the young men were out hunting, grandmother
heated a bear’s foot in the fire, and danced about the camp and sang
her song. So she turned them by this magic into stars, and they
lived up in Sky Land.

One day the young men were hunting in Sky Land, and they found the
tracks of a great moose. They followed him for several days. Then as
they were tracking the moose, they looked down and saw the Earth
Land far below them. The eldest brother said, “I am going to try to
get down to the earth again.”

Now this brother told the other two to cover themselves with their
blankets, and not to look down. Then he started down to the earth,
but he was only halfway down when the youngest brother looked
through a hole in his blanket. At once the eldest brother stopped.
He could go no further. So the three brothers have all lived in the
Sky Land among the stars. They live there with the great moose and
their dog. The Indians can see them even to this day. The morning
star is the old grandmother, with a torch, looking for the young

                   THE GREAT BEAR AND THE HUNTER


Once a man went out with his two dogs to hunt. It was in the autumn
and there was a little snow on the ground. At night he camped.

As he lay on the ground under the trees, Great Bear appeared in the
sky. Then the hunter started on, because he knew it was nearly
morning. When he had gone but a little way, however, his dogs
started a bear.

The bear ran fast and the dogs followed. The man followed both as
rapidly as he could, and soon he came to a man sitting on a log. At
once the hunter knew this was the bear. The man wore a blanket made
of many different kinds of skins.

When the hunter came up, Bear said, “You thought last night I was
slow in coming up, but my trail in the Sky Land is very hard and
rough. Sun has the same trouble. He travels rapidly at first when
the trail is smooth, but in the middle of the day the trail is rough
and he travels more slowly. Then his trail grows easier again, and
he travels more rapidly to the going-down place at the edge of the

Great Bear then told the young man to pull out from the blanket
which he wore the skins of whatever animals he wished most to kill.
The man took the skins of marten and fisher. Great Bear told him
whenever he went out to hunt, to put the skin of whatever animal he
wished to kill in his pouch, and then he would easily kill as many
as he wished.

Then Great Bear went back into the Sky Land.

                        HOW THE SUMMER CAME


Fisher used to live somewhere in this world, but nobody knows where.
This was in the days when there was no summer at all. It was always
snow and cold and ice all the time. People knew that there was a
Summer Land where the Summer Birds lived, but they were not sure
where it was.

Now it was always winter because in the days of the grandfathers a
man had captured all the Summer Birds and had taken them away with
him. Thus it was always cold. The people talked about it in their
tepees when North Wind rattled the flaps and shouted to them.

At last Fisher said he would find those Summer Birds so that summer
would come again. Fisher did not know where the Summer Land was, but
he traveled for a long, long while until he came to it in the Sky
Land. Then he reached the tepee where the man lived. All the Summer
Birds were there, all tied together.

Now Fresh-water Herring lived there also with this man. Fisher at
once put some pitch in Herring’s mouth, so that he could not cry
out. Then he took the birds up, and tried to break the cords which
bound them together; but he could not do it. Fisher then used his
teeth, and the cords gave way, and behold! the Summer Birds flew
about everywhere.

Then Herring got the pitch out of his mouth. He began to shout,
“Fisher breaks the bundle! Fisher breaks the bundle! The Summer
Birds!” Several times he called out until the man came rushing in,
but by that time Fisher and the Summer Birds were a long way off.
The Summer Birds dropped right down to the earth through a hole in
the Sky Land, but the man closed the hole before they all got
through. That is why it is not summer all the time. If all the
Summer Birds had come to earth, it would always be summer.

Fisher did not have time to jump back to earth, so he rushed up
among the stars. The man followed close after him, trying to shoot
him with his bow and arrows. But Fisher got safely into Star Land.
Only the man shot him once and hit him in the tail. That is why
Fisher’s tail is broken. You can see it today—so the Indians say.

                         THE RAINBOW TRAIL


Big Turtle had sent Small Turtle into Sky Land to make a light for
the Earth Plain. So Little Turtle became the Keeper of the Sky. She
lived in the sky. Whenever she was needed at a council, she was
called by Deer, the herald whose voice “goes a long ways.” At once
she came down on a cloud.

After a while Deer wanted to go into Sky Land. He went to ask
Rainbow to help him. Rainbow said, “Oh, no!” and Deer had to go
away. But Deer kept thinking about the Sky Land. Then he went again
to Rainbow. Deer said, “Please take me up into the Sky Land,” so
Rainbow spread wide the broad trail and Deer leaped up until he
reached the top of it. Thus Deer went into Sky Land.

Now Big Turtle called a council of all the animals. All came except
Deer and Little Turtle. Big Turtle asked, “Where is Deer?” but no
one answered. Yet some of the animals knew. Big Turtle said to the
runners, “Go find Deer.” The runners came back after a long time.
They said, “People say Deer has gone into Sky Land.” Hawk also said
that. Then Big Turtle was angry. He said, “Sky Land is Little
Turtle’s country. And where is Little Turtle?”

Deer was the only one whose voice “goes a long ways.” He should have
called Little Turtle out of Sky Land. But he was up in Sky Land and
no one could make her hear. But at last they shouted until Little
Turtle heard and came down. But no council could be held without

The animals said, “Oh, what shall we do?” Little Turtle said, “Deer
is now up in the sky. He has been there for some time, running
around everywhere.”

Little Turtle said, “Rainbow has a beautiful trail. Deer went up
that way.” Then she said, “I will show you the Rainbow trail.” So
all the animals followed her. Then Big Turtle spoke. He said, “Since
Deer has gone to Sky Land, we will all follow him there!” So Rainbow
took them all up on the trail of many colors. The animals are up
there also; so they say.

                  [Illustration: Canoe and Paddles
 All Indian designs are symbolical. Those on the canoe and paddles
            represent the eye of the raven and the whale
       _From “Memoirs, American Museum of Natural History”_]

                   ORIGIN OF THE CHINOOK WIND[3]


Fox and Hare were brothers. They lived together with many other
people. This was in the days of the grandfathers when there was no
fire and the earth was very cold. The Cold People of the north
delighted in making icy winds sweep down over the Indian country.
The people shivered, shivered always.

One morning Fox smoked his pipe and muttered, “Last night I dreamed.
I gained much knowledge.” When Fox had finished smoking, he said to
the people, “The People of the Cold have had power over us for a
long time. Do you like the cold?”

The Indians at once said, “No. We hate the cold; but we do not know
what to do.”

After a while Fox said to Hare, “Come with me. We will find warm

Now Fox and Hare were great warriors. They took their bows and
arrows and traveled south many days. They reached the mouths of the
large rivers where dwelt the People of the Heat. They owned all the
heat; and they were enemy to the Cold People. Their chief was Sun,
and they lived always in warm weather, sunshine, and mild winds.

Fox knew just what to do because his dream had told him.

When Fox and Hare entered the House of Sunshine, they saw a large
round bag hanging on a post. It contained the chinook wind. Fox at
once ran and struck the bag with his fist, trying to burst it. At
once the Heat People jumped up to stop him, but Hare held his bow
with arrow drawn on them so that they were afraid.

Again Fox ran at the bag and struck it. The fourth time he tried,
the bag burst and the chinook wind rushed out. Then Fox and Hare ran
along with the wind, and the Heat People made the weather
exceedingly hot, so as to overcome them.

At last the heat became so intense that the country took fire, and
the Heat People made the fire run with the wind so as to overtake
Fox and Hare. But Fox and Hare were great warriors. They were very
swift-footed, so they kept ahead. Thus the earth burned up for a
long distance north and many trees and people were destroyed. Hare
kept just far enough ahead of the fire to have time, every now and
then, to sit down and smoke his pipe. Hare was a great smoker. When
Fox told Hare to hurry, Hare would sit right down and smoke his
pipe. Fox was much annoyed with Hare. So Fox went on alone and soon
left Hare and the fire far behind. He was also swifter than the
wind, but wind kept right after him. So when Fox reached his own
people, he said, “I bring the warm chinook wind. You will be cold no

At first his people did not believe him. But soon the chinook wind
began to blow. The ice and snow melted. The people felt the cold no
more. Then Fox said, “Henceforth the chinook wind shall no longer
belong only to the Heat People of the south. Warm winds shall blow
over the north and the rest of the world. They shall melt the snow
and dry the earth. Only sometimes may they be followed by fire.
Henceforth the Cold People shall not always rule the weather and
plague the Indians with their icy winds.”

Now the wind had left the fire far behind, and without wind the fire
soon died out.

A long time afterward Hare arrived home and met Fox. Fox was smoking
a fine stone pipe, all carved with many strange figures. Hare’s pipe
was only of wood.

Fox said to Hare, “You and I are the greatest smokers of all the
people. Let us run a race. The one who wins shall have both pipes;
and the one who loses shall smoke no more at all.” Hare agreed to

Then Fox said, “We will run on flat, open ground!” Hare said, “Oh,
no! I like to run where there are fallen logs and much brush.”

Well, Fox assented to that, so they began to run through a brushy
piece of country, full of fallen logs. Fox had to jump over the
logs, while Hare always ran underneath them and so easily kept
ahead. Then Fox got angry. He gave a great spring, and seized Hare
as he came out from underneath a log, and said,

“Hereafter you shall be only an ordinary hare. As you like to run in
the brush, you shall always live in that kind of a country. You
shall no longer be the greatest smoker of all the people.”

Then Fox took Hare’s pipe and went home.



Now Glacier lived near the end of Lillooet Lake. This was a long
while ago. Then he decided to marry. Glacier traveled southward
until he reached the sea, and then he followed southward along the
shore until he reached the house of Chinook Wind. Chinook Wind said,
“Yes!” He allowed his daughter to marry Glacier. So Glacier took her

Glacier’s wife was not comfortable. Soon she complained because it
was so cold. She lighted a fire; but Glacier began to melt, so he
put out the fire and threw the wood away. He said to his servants,
“When my wife desires wood for a fire, always give her wet wood, and
never dry.” Chinook’s daughter tried to burn the wet, green wood,
but it gave out no heat. It smoked, also, so that she could not see.

After a long while Chinook’s daughter had a chance to send word to
her relatives. Her brother and many friends came at once to her in a
canoe. When they neared Glacier’s house, they changed to snowflakes
and danced around and above it. Chinook’s daughter saw them. She
said, “The weather is milder. It is snowing. My brother has

Then Glacier made it colder. Much frost was on the trees and Chinook
Wind was driven away. But he came back soon with more friends. They
changed themselves to soft snowflakes and sleet. They danced around
the house. Again Glacier made it colder, so that ice formed on the
trees; but Chinook Wind came back as rain. He began to melt Glacier.
Glacier could only fight him with hail. Then Chinook Wind came back
again, warm and steady and strong. Glacier retreated up the mountain
side, leaving his wife behind.

Chinook’s daughter at once stepped into the canoe with her brother
and his friends, and they paddled again down to Lillooet Lake. Then
her brother turned around and said:

“Henceforth, in this country, it shall be cold and icy only for a
few months each year. Then Chinook Wind will come and drive away the
cold and melt the ice as we have done. The journey we have made this
year shall be made every year.”

And it became so. Then they went home.



Mink called all his friends together—Deer, Raccoon, Young Raccoon,
and Canoe-Calking, the Raven. The four friends went in at once to
the council.

Mink said, “Oh, friends, my reason for calling you is that I wish to
make war on Southeast Wind.” Thus he said. Deer thanked Mink for
what he said. They said they would ask Halibut, Sea Bear, Devilfish,
and Merman to go along. Mink and all these people lived at Crooked
Beach. Southeast Wind was blowing hard all the time, and therefore
these people had no way of getting anything to eat.

Therefore they all went to the house of Devilfish[4] and Halibut,
for these two lived together. They asked them to join in war on
Southeast Wind. They agreed at once. Sea Bear and Merman also

In the morning, when daylight came, they started in their canoe. In
one day they expected to reach Southeast Wind’s house. They went
southward from Crooked Beach. They were already sailing close to the
southeast wind. The wind blew hard. It did not detain them. When
evening came, they discovered the house of Southeast Wind. Then Mink
said, “Let us stop at this cove and consider how we may conquer
him.” Then they held a council.

Now Mink said, “Oh, friend Halibut! Lie down flat outside of the
door of Southeast Wind. When he comes out of his door, he will step
on you, and slip on you, and come stumbling down into our canoe,
where we will hold him.” Then Deer said the wrong thing. He said
they should go to Southeast Wind’s house while it was not yet dark.
They indeed tried to, but they could not, because of the strong
wind. When night came, it was calmer. So they started at once, and
stopped on the beach right in front of the house. Halibut at once
went and lay down flat just outside of the door. Soon Southeast Wind
came to the door and stepped upon Halibut. At once he slipped; he
could not stand up. He slipped right down into Mink’s canoe. Then
Devilfish caught hold of him, and Sea Bear and Merman. Now they held
Southeast Wind.

Then Southeast Wind said, “Oh, Born-to-be-the-Sun, tell me what you
intend to do with me!” He said that to Mink. He saw that Mink was a
great warrior.

Mink answered, “I am doing this because you do not let our world be
calm.” Southeast Wind answered quickly, “Oh, Chief, now your world
shall always be calm, and your sea shall always be smooth.” So he
spoke to Mink.

Mink said, “Don’t give us too much. I do not say that it is good
when our world is always calm.” Thus he spoke.

Then Southeast Wind said, “It shall not blow in your world for four
days.” Thus he said. Then those who held him let him go at once,
because Southeast Wind was very much afraid of Born-to-be-the-Sun.

Therefore the southeast wind does not blow all the time, on account
of what Mink did. This is the end.



When North’s son wanted to marry Southeast’s daughter, there was no
wind. He spoke to his mother. He spoke also to his father: “I want
to marry Southeast’s daughter.” North said to his son, “What will
you wear when the weather is bad?” Southeast was such a dreary,
rainy wind that North did not want his son to marry the daughter.
The son said, “Oh, that’s all right. Give me something to wear when
it rains.” North said, “I have nothing for it. But marry her.”

When his son started off, North gave him some directions: “When you
get near Southeast, look at him from a distance. If his face is
good, go to him. But if his face is red, and under it black, do not
go. Go to him from Point Gafixet [Cape St. James].”

North’s son started. He went from Cape St. James. At that time
Southeast’s face was not bad. It was clean. Then the son came to a
big cloud rising out of the ocean. That was Southeast’s house.

When North’s son reached there, Southeast’s daughter was sitting in
front of the house. North’s son sat down beside her.

“Where are you going?” she asked.

“I have come to marry you,” he replied.

“I will tell my mother,” she said.

Now Southeast and his wife were much pleased with them both. By and
by North’s son told his wife he wanted to go away. “You must go
also,” said Southeast to his daughter.

When they were about to leave, Southeast gave his daughter some
directions. “When North speaks, and you are cold, call to me,” he

Now they came to North’s house. When he saw them he took them into
the house. After a while, North said, “What does your wife eat?”

“She eats nothing but limpets,” said the son.

Now North’s house was floored with ice, but it was warm. In front of
his house it was sandy, and there were broad ebb-tide flats. After
Southeast’s daughter had been there a while, she went out of the
house for a short walk. As she went, she pulled off an icicle
hanging from the wall of the house. Then North groaned. When she
went in, she ate it. After a while she went out again, and pulled
off another icicle. North groaned again.

North’s son said, “Stop doing that. Those are my father’s fingers.”
She was eating North’s fingers.

When the tide was out, North’s son said, “Let us go down now and get
limpets.” While they were there, a noise was heard from North’s
house. He was angry because his daughter-in-law had pulled off some
of his fingers.

So North began to blow. North’s son called at once to his wife, but
she said, “Wait!” Even while she said so, the place where she stood
became icy. Then the tide began to come in. When it reached her
knees, the snow fell. Then North’s son left her. The ice formed all
around her. Where North’s house stood the snow fell so thickly that
it looked like smoke.

Then the woman cried to her father. She was not disturbed because
she thought her father would save her. She sang, “Father, I am cold!
Father, I am cold! I want to go to my father!”

Even at once came the Southeast wind, “_Hi-hi-hi-hi-hi-hi_,” making
it rough right up to the shore. She began to sing another song. “The
wind blew upon me! The wind blew upon me! The wind blew upon me from
Cape St. James!”

                     [Illustration: Haida House
  The design, which covers the end of the house, shows the thunder
                     bird and the killer whale
          _From “Report of U. S. National Museum,” 1895_]

Now she had waited two days. Then she felt of the water. It was
slightly warm. Her father had heard her voice. He had dressed
himself up and set out to see her. His daughter was still singing.
While she sang, North stopped blowing.

Then it blew from the Southeast. Clouds became black and rains fell.
The icicles began to melt and fall. Then North groaned. Southeast
also broke up the floor of North’s house. He came upon him from

Then all of the ice melted and the woman went to her father. She is
the Oyster Catcher. Since its bill was made red with the cold, it is
red today. Because its legs were frozen, they are now white.

Now Southeast was a very powerful chief. He had ten servants. One
was Mist, another was named
He-that-takes-away-the-Surface-of-the-Sea, and another was called
Canoe Breaker. Still another was Cutter-off-of-Tree-Tops.

                          CAPTURE OF WIND


A long time ago there was a chief who had many sons. In those days
Wind used to blow furiously all the time, and the chief told one of
his sons to capture Wind. The son made a snare and placed it in a
tree. Then next morning, when he went to that tree, he found in the
snare a small boy with a fat body and streaming hair. Now that boy
was Wind. The chief’s son kept him for some time, then he let him go
free when Wind promised he would not blow so hard. Only once in a
while could he blow hard, said the chief’s son, and Wind agreed. So
now he is free, and he does not blow nearly so hard as he used to.

                      HOW WIND BECAME A SLAVE


Raven wanted to go to a rock from which Wind was always blowing. He
intended to kill Xeio, Wind. Raven tried to make canoes of hemlock,
of spruce, of fir, but they would not carry him to the rock. Then
Raven called upon the birds to carry him there. He called upon
Bluejay, upon Robin, upon Woodpecker, and upon all the birds. But
they could not carry Raven to the rock. Then Raven took wood of a
maple tree and made a canoe. The maple-wood canoe carried him to the
rock. Then Raven fought Wind and conquered him. Thus Wind became his

                    THUNDER, LIGHTNING, AND RAIN

                                                    _Central Eskimo_

Three sisters make the light, thunder, and rain. They live in a
large house, the walls of which are supported by whale ribs. It
stands in the far west, at a great distance from the sea.

Ingnirtung strikes the fire. She strikes two red flint stones
together. Kadla makes thunder by rubbing sealskins together and
singing. The third sister makes the rain. They procure food by
striking the reindeer. This roasts the flesh.

If an Eskimo should happen to enter their house, he must run away
immediately, or Ingnirtung will strike him. Even the stones are so
afraid of her that they jump down the hills whenever they see
lightning or hear thunder.

The faces of the three sisters are black.



Henq was one of seven brothers. They all played together—oh, a long
time ago—but Henq always made the others sorrowful. He was very
strong. He smashed everything. If he laid his hand on a pole of the
lodge, the lodge would fall to the ground.

At last his brothers said, “Henq is too strong. We are not safe.” So
they made a plan.

One day the brothers said, “We will go hunting.” So they started off
in their canoes to an island far away. They began to hunt. Henq and
one of his brothers went up into the island. Then the others jumped
into their canoes and paddled away. The brother said to Henq, “Go up
farther into the woods and wait for me.” And Henq did so. Then that
brother got into his canoe and paddled away.

Henq waited a long while. He heard no one. Then he came down to the
shore and saw his brothers far away in their canoes. He lifted his
great voice and called to them. His voice was so strong and so loud
it made the air shake. He said, “Will you take me back?” They said,

So Henq stayed on the island. Sometimes he raises his voice to call
to his brothers, and ask them how they are getting along. He always
makes the air shake. Henq roams around the island, in the spring and
summer; but in the winter he sleeps. When there is thunder in
winter, the Wyandots say, “Henq is turning over. Something has
broken into his sleep.”

                    TURTLE AND THE THUNDER BIRD


Once Turtle was living all alone in a lake. Several times he was hit
by something. When he came out to see what it was, he could see
nothing at all. One day he was struck again. He thought he would ask
someone to help him. When he came out of the water, he went into the
woods. He cried, “Who will help me? Who will help me?”

Deer ran out from among the shrubs and said, “I will help you.”

“Come on,” said Turtle, “let me see how you can fight.” Deer started
to fight a tree and broke his horns.

Turtle said, “Oh, you will not last long enough.” He left Deer and
again called out, “Who will help me?”

Bear came out and said, “I will help you.”

Turtle said, “Let me see how you can fight.”

Bear started to fight a tree, but he was so clumsy jumping around,
that Turtle said, “Oh, you won’t last long if you have to fight the
giant I am after.”

Turtle again began to call, “Who will help me?” He called this as he
came to a little swamp, and he heard small voices saying, “We will.”

“Come out and show me how you can fight,” said Turtle. And behold! a
crowd of little Turtles came out and began to fight him. Soon Turtle
cried, “You’re the very people I am looking for.” So he led them to
the lake where he lived and left them just outside. Then he went
home. Soon a big stone fell down upon the little turtles and killed
them all. When Turtle ran out to see what had happened, he saw a big
bird overhead.

Turtle ran to his neighbor who had ducked into the water. He asked,
“What bird was that?”

Muskrat answered, “That is the Thunder Bird and I am very much
afraid of him.”

Ever since that day Turtle has stayed in the water when there was a


                                                    _Thompson River_

Thunder Bird was angry with people and tried to drown the whole
world, but he could not make the water rise high enough, so some of
the people escaped. Then Thunder Bird shot arrows at them. He really
did hurt many, but all the people ran away and hid in a cave.

Then Turtle came out. He shouted out to Thunder Bird, “You cannot
kill people. Your arrows fly wild. Shoot at the trees and rocks;
perhaps you can hit them.” Turtle mocked Thunder.

Thunder said, “Oh, yes, I do strike people. I have killed many of

Turtle said at once, “Well, then, prove it by killing me.” So he
drew his shell down tight and moved about very carelessly, not
hiding at all, while Thunder shot many arrows at him. They only
glanced off his thick shell.

Then Thunder Bird believed that he really could not hit people, so
now he shoots his arrows at trees and rocks. But if people stand
under a tree in a storm, it is likely that Thunder will hit them.



Once the Bears stole a woman. Now she wanted to escape, and she
remembered to do as she was told. When she combed her hair, she
gathered the combings together. She prepared some hair oil and she
made ready also a whetstone and some red ochre.

Then the woman went out to get wood. Bear was watching her. He went
with her. So she piled much wood upon him and tied the bundle. Now
she took a little wood herself and ran to the house with it. She
threw it down outside. Then she took the things she had made ready
and ran away.

After the woman had gone on awhile, the one who watched her came and
called out. After she had run awhile longer, she heard them making a
great noise in pursuit. When they got very close to her, she poured
out some of the hair oil. It became a big lake. And after she had
run on awhile longer, she broke off a piece of the whetstone. It
became a mountain. Now after she had run on again, snowbirds almost
surrounded her. Then she poured out some red ochre and the birds all
went back to it and painted their faces with it.

                    [Illustration: Moraine Lake
                      Laggan, Alberta, Canada
                _Courtesy of Canadian Pacific Ry._]

                    [Illustration: Cameron Lake
                 Vancouver Island, British Columbia
                _Courtesy of Canadian Pacific Ry._]

Now she ran on again, and after a while when they had almost
overtaken her, she threw down the hair combings. They at once became
a mass of fallen trees. And while the Bears struggled through these,
she went on a long distance.

When she was almost overtaken again, she broke off part of the
whetstone and put it in the ground. It became a great mountain. Then
as she ran on, she threw down her hair combings and again they
became great masses of fallen trees.

Now as she ran on, she saw they had almost overtaken her. She stuck
the whole comb into the ground. “Become a mountain!” she said. It
became a great mass of mountains which they could not cross. They
had to go around. Then again the snowbirds almost came up with her.
She poured out all her red ochre and they began again to paint their
faces. When again she heard the noise of pursuit, she stuck the
remainder of the whetstone in the ground. It became a great
mountain. And as the birds pursued her, she poured out all the hair
oil, and put combings around it, and it became a large lake with
masses of fallen trees about it. She ran on.

Then she ran to the shore of the great sea. A man in a canoe paddled
near her. She cried, “Let me go with you!” At first he paid no
attention to her, then he said, “Get in.” He let her get into his

Just at that moment, in a great crowd, the Bears came after her.
They crowded about the shore and then began to swim out to her. The
man put a carved club into the water, and this club of itself killed
all the Bears. The man said to her, “Look out here,” and the woman
saw the Bears were all dead.

                         ORIGIN OF RACES[6]


When Great One made mankind, he first made an earth oven. Then he
modeled a man of clay and put him in to bake. He was not baked
enough and came out white. Great One tried again, but this time he
baked the man too long. He came out black. The third time Great One
baked the man just the correct time, and he came out red. That is
why different races have different colors.

                     ORIGIN OF CHILCOTIN CAÑON


A very long time ago, when the earth was new, Coyote traveled about
a great deal, looking after things and helping the Indians. Now
Coyote found that the salmon went to the upper Chilcotin River. He
did not like that at all, for he was a friend of the Shuswaps on the
lower Chilcotin River, and did not like the tribes on the upper
river. Therefore Coyote made a rocky dam across the stream, very
high, so that the salmon could not leap over it. Thus the Shuswaps
had all the salmon and the Chilcotins had none. But the pounding of
the waters wore away Coyote’s dam, and now the salmon go far up the
river. This is how the Chilcotin Cañon was formed.

                         ORIGINS OF ANIMALS

                                                    _Eastern Eskimo_

_Wolves._—Once a poor woman lived in an Indian camp with many
children. Her husband was dead, and she had so many children she
could not find enough for them to eat. Always they were hungry;
always they were gaunt and lean. Therefore they were changed into
wolves. Even yet they are always hungry and wander over the land,
roaming about, lean and gaunt, seeking for food.

_Hares._—Once a child in an Indian camp had such long ears that
everyone laughed at him. At last he went off into the brush and
lived by himself. Therefore he was changed into a hare. When Hare
sees anyone near, he lays his ears down flat, for if he hears a
person shout he thinks he is laughing at his long ears. He does this
even yet. Hare has no tail now because he formerly did not have one.

                          BIRD BEGINNINGS

                                                    _Eastern Eskimo_

_Ravens._—Raven used to be a man. Now in those days, people moved
about a great deal, hunting and fishing. One day a whole village was
preparing to move. They were collecting their blankets and cooking
boxes. Raven kept calling to someone that he had forgotten his
_kak_—forgotten the lower blanket of deerskin used for a bed. Raven
kept calling “Kak, kak, kak!” People said, “Get the kak yourself. Go
back for it yourself.” So Raven did, but he hurried so that he was
changed into a bird.

Raven still follows the camps. Even to this day when a camp is being
moved, Raven flies over it and shouts, “Kak, kak, kak!” because he
is afraid they will forget the blankets.

_Gulls._—Some people in a boat wanted to go around a long point of
land. Now the water was always rough at the point, and some of the
women were told to get out and cross the neck of land. One woman got
out with her children in order to lighten the load, but when she got
on shore, the noise of the water prevented her from hearing what the
boat people said. She wandered around the cliffs with her children,
crying over and over, the last word she heard, “Go over, goover,
over, ove, oh—”

_Hawks._—Once there was a woman whose neck was very, very short. All
the people in her village laughed at her. One day the woman went to
a very high place up on the rocks, and in the mountains. Then she
began to go there very often because she did not like people, so she
was changed into a hawk. Now, when she sees any one, she cries,
“Kea, kea, kea—who, who was it said ‘short neck’?”

_Swallows._—Once there were some small children, who were very wise.
They played a great deal on the edge of a high cliff near their
village, and their play was always building toy houses on the cliff.
One day when they were playing, they were changed into swallows.
Even to this day they come to the cliff near the Indian village and
build their houses in the side of the cliffs. They are very wise.
Even the raven does not molest them, and the Eskimo children like
much to watch these little swallows.

_Loons._—Once a man had two children, Raven and Loon. He wanted to
paint them so that they would look just alike, and he began with
Loon. First he painted Loon’s breast white, and then he painted
square spots on his back. When Raven saw how comical Loon looked, he
laughed so much that Loon became ashamed and ran away to a near-by
pond. Loon always faces a person so as to show his white breast and
hide the spots on his back. Raven refused to be painted in that way.
He ran away.

_Guillemots._—Some Eskimo children were very fond of playing on the
level top of a high cliff near their village, while the larger ones
watched them. Now this cliff overhung the sea and the sea was still
covered with ice. There was an icy strip near the shore, so that
even the seals could not approach. The wind was cold and the
children played hard to keep warm, shouting and calling to each
other. Just then the strip of ice along the shore broke away, and
the water was filled with seals. The men saw them, and ran for their
kayaks, and put them into the water to pursue the seals. The
children saw all this, and they shouted all the louder. The seals
were so frightened that they plunged into the water and were out of

The men were so angry that almost at once the cliff toppled over,
and the children slipped down with the fragments to the bottom. When
they reached the bottom, they had become sea pigeons with red feet.
They still live among the fragments of rock and earth at the foot of
the cliff.



Sun was fond of gambling. After he had gambled at one place and
another on Toets Island he launched his canoe. He wore a ragged
marten-skin blanket.

When Sun reached that place where he was going, he went up into the
woods. When he got far into the woods, something before him made a
noise, but the noise was not like that of a bird. Following it, he
came to a narrow trail. Sun went along this and came to a pond. When
he reached it, a log was there, with the top cut off, and a nest
made of moss at the end of it. This was a quiet place. And there
were nests near one another in the moss near the lake.

While Sun was looking at the moss hanging from the branches of the
trees above him, a long, thin bird flew out. It flew straight
towards him. It made a noise like _M-mmmmmmm_. It had a long bill.
And it sat on the moss nest at the end of the log. This was the
place where it sat. It was its nest. The bird was Mosquito. The
inside of its nest was green.

Then Sun went to look for a stick and he broke off a stick with his
feet. The bird’s nest was upon the moss. Then Sun walked to it upon
the log. He walked slowly to it. He held the stick in his hand. When
he got near, he struck it. Then Sun saw it was dead, and he took it
up, but it was very light.

Just as Sun turned, a humming sound arose on the other
side—_Hm-hm-mmmmmmmm_, it sounded. Mosquitoes came out from inside
the moss. These were small ones, like ashes. What Sun had come to
was a Mosquito town.

Then they bit that man. He ran very fast, but he kept his large
Mosquito. When he got far from the lake, he knew they were following
him for that. Then he tore it in pieces and threw it about. He said,
“You will bite even the last generation of people.”

Because Sun tore it in pieces, the big mosquitoes came to be in the

Then he escaped to his canoe.

                          ORIGIN OF DEATH

                                                    _Thompson River_

Ant and Spider were very wise. They were arguing one day about
death. Spider said to Ant, “You are cutting yourself in two with
that tight belt. Soon you will die.”

Ant said, “Well, if I do, I shall come to life again in a few

Spider said, “I think it would be better if people died properly,
else the world will soon become overcrowded. If so many people come
to earth and none die, soon people will starve.”

Thus they argued.

Now Fly joined Spider, so it was two to one. They said death must

Soon after that Spider’s child died. Spider came weeping to Ant, and
said, “Let us put things right by declaring people cannot die.”

Ant said, “But it is too late now. Death has already happened.”

                       DURATION OF HUMAN LIFE


At one time Raven said to stones scattered about, “Get up and help
me. I am tired;” so he said. The stones got up, but they were unable
to stand erect. Then Raven said, “Remain stones forever!” so they

Now the grass on the landward side of the stones was thick, and the
salmon-berry bushes were very thick indeed. Then Raven said to the
salmon-berry bushes and the grass, “Get up! Get up and help me. I am
tired!” Then the grass and the salmon-berry bushes both arose. They
turned into human beings, and they helped Raven.

So we are salmon-berry bushes and grass. Therefore we die in a short
time, because grass and salmon-berry bushes are weak. Therefore
people die in just the same way the leaves fall.

                           HOW DEATH CAME


Raven was once a chief of great power and very wise. At that time
people did not die. One day a man came to Raven and said, “I am not
happy as things go now. Let people die so that we may weep, and then
we will be happy.”

Raven said, “Very well. If people wish to die, it shall be so.”

The man went away and soon after his child died. He was sorry. He
wept; but instead of being happy when he wept, he was very
miserable. He went to Raven and asked him to stop people from dying.

Raven said, “It is too late for that now. I made it as you asked it.
I cannot change things now. Henceforth people shall continue to

That is the reason people die. Afterward Raven was changed into a
mere bird, because he let death happen. Through him it came into the

                        ORIGIN OF ARROWHEADS


It was after Raven let death happen. His own child died, and Raven
was very sorrowful. He took an arrow stone and cut himself with it.
He was surprised that it cut his flesh. Thus Raven first discovered
arrow stone and found that it could kill. After that the people
learned to make it into arrow points and knives. Raven put arrow
stone into the end of a stick; thus he made the first spear.

                    ORIGIN OF CARVED HOUSE POSTS


Many people lived upon the north shore of Masset Island. The east
wind blew so strongly that they did not care to live there.
Therefore they came to Delkatla, a few miles above Masset.

There was no salt water there. It was all covered with grass. Then
they dug the town-chief’s house hole. They finished his first. But
afterward they built houses on either side of him. Then they began
to live in their own.

One autumn after that they went to Rose Spit in two big canoes. Very
many people went. They went for berries.

Then one woman who was not paddling looked into the water. It was
very calm, and it was bright sunshine. Then the one who looked into
the sea saw something carved at the bottom. It was carved with
figures of human beings. The lower part was carved with a killer
whale, and the human being stood upon the whale.

They remained a long time above this thing, and they memorized it.
Then they went away. Then afterward they described it. They said,
“We will make the chief such house posts.” But some of them were

After they had finished picking berries, they went home. They told
about the carving to those who had stayed home. They made two posts
for the chief’s house like the one they had seen. Still some were

At this time the land moved. The Ocean People were angry on account
of it. Then a flood came. And after the people had fastened the
canoes together, they put the posts upon them. They liked them too
much to leave them. When the waters got far up on the side of a
small mountain, they put one post upon that. And they put one in the
sea. They wept bitterly. They sang a song: “The supernatural beings
were the ones who made the flood come—made the flood come.” They
sang that.

At this time the sea began to move. The canoes began to sink, and
when the canoes had sunk, the people floated upon the ocean. Now the
people became birds. The Ocean People were the ones who caused it
all. Then the tide began to fall. And now the people are birds.

               [Illustration: Haida House with Totems
          Entrance to the house is through the open mouth
       _From “Memoirs, American Museum of Natural History”_]

                       THE WIND-POWER CARVING

                                                    _Thompson River_

Now many of the people had carvings. They had house posts and door
posts, and they carved their totems on the posts, and they made
carvings of their guardian spirit.

Once there was a girl who was not happy in the village. She wandered
away and went to a lake in the mountains, where she saw many fish
swimming in the water. She sat down to watch them. Then the fish
changed themselves to small children with very long hair. They
watched her and smiled at her. The girl thought, “I should like to
live with them, they seem so happy.” So she jumped into the water.

As the girl fell into the lake, a violent wind blew all over the
country. It even blew down her parents’ house. When the girl found
she could not sink, she came out of the water and at once it became
calm. In the lake were neither fish nor children to be seen.

In this way this girl obtained possession of the power and knowledge
of wind. Only her descendants who live near Yale, in the mountains,
can use the wind-power carving on their grave boxes and in their
dancing masks and in the house.


                                                    _Thompson River_

  _First month._—People-hunt-deer moon.
  _Second month._—“Going-in” moon. People go into their winter
  _Third month._—Last “going-in” moon. Last of the people go into
          winter houses.
  _Fourth month._—“Little-coming-out” moon. Alternate cold and rain.
          Some people camp in lodges for a time.
  _Fifth month._—“Going-in-again” moon. Last cold when people go
          into winter houses again.
  _Sixth month._—“Coming-out” moon. Winter houses left for good.
          People catch fish in bag nets.
  _Seventh month._—People-go-on-short-hunts moon.
  _Eighth month._—People-pick-berries moon.
  _Ninth month._—People-begin-to-fish-for-salmon moon.
  _Tenth month._—People-fish-for-and-cure-salmon moon.
  _Eleventh month._—“To boil food a little.” So called because
          people prepare fish oil.
  _Autumn._—People hunt large game and go trapping.



  _May._—Frog moon.
  _June._—Moon in which birds begin to lay eggs.
  _July._—Moon in which birds cast their feathers.
  _August._—Moon when the young birds fly.
  _September._—Moon when the deer cast their horns.
  _October._—Rutting moon.
  _November._—Hoar-frost moon.
  _December._—Ice moon.
  _January._—Whirlwind moon; or, extremely cold moon.
  _February._—Big moon.
  _March._—Eagle moon.
  _April._—Goose moon.



Beginning with March:

  _Second._—Grass month.
  _Third._—Root-digging month.
  _Fourth._—Strawberry month.
  _Fifth._—Berry month.
  _Sixth._—Salmon month.
  _Seventh._—Month when salmon get bad.
  _Eighth._—Month when the deer travel.
  _Ninth._—Month in which they return from hunting.
  _Tenth._—Remaining-at-home month.
  _Eleventh._—Midwinter month.
  _Twelfth._—Pil-tshik-in-tin (translation unknown).



Once a Being with great power sat on a stone in the middle of a
river, and as he sat there, he wailed. So people were afraid to pass
up and down in their canoes. But one day a man came poling upstream,
and when he heard the wailing, he got out of his canoe and wailed
with the stranger. Yet he was a little afraid and kept one foot in
the canoe, ready to shove off.

The stranger said his son had been hunting in the snow mountains and
had been buried by a snowslide. As the man wailed with him,
Esterreqot was pleased. He took a sheet of metal on which he had
been sitting and gave it to his visitor. He told him to come to his
house in the mountains, but to come at night so no one would know
it. Thus he did.

When the man came to the house of Esterreqot, he was given two
boxes, one full of food and one full of blankets. The man took them
back to his tribe and invited the people to a feast. When they came,
they saw nothing for a feast. Then the man opened the boxes and took
out food enough and blankets enough to fill the whole house, and
there was a great potlatch.

That is how the Indians first secured blankets.



Once there was a boy who was very bad. He had sung a shaman’s song,
and the shaman had scolded him.

Now late in the autumn he went out hunting alone. He went up the
Chilcotin River, to a place near Siwash Bridge. Here he found three
beavers, so he killed them. He skinned them and hid the meat, and
went on up into the snow mountains. He came to a great gulch in the
mountains, and looking down he saw all kinds of animals—deer,
caribou, mountain sheep, and mountain goats. And as he looked down
upon them from the top, he wished his brother were there to help
him, there were so many. Then he went to a small cañon at the head
of the gulch and waited.

Soon the boy heard someone calling, away down the valley, and the
caribou started to run up through the cañon. As they crowded in, the
young man shot all the big ones, until they lay in heaps all around
him. So he made his camp there and started to cut up the meat.

Then the boy saw three men coming up the valley. As they came near,
they asked, “Did you kill all these caribou?” He answered, “Yes, I

Now these three men were Nun, or wolves. The Nun told the boy they
had found his beaver meat in the valley below, and had eaten it. So
they had helped him in his hunt. They had called away down in the
valley and frightened the caribou.

Now the young man stayed at that place and hunted caribou and dried
the meat until it made a huge pile. Then he danced and sang around
the pile of meat, until it shrank into two large packs. So he
started home. He carried one pack one day, and then went back and
brought up the other pack. But he became tired. That was slow work.
Therefore he danced and sang around these two packs until they
became one small pack. Then he continued home. At last he reached
the place where he had killed the beaver. He took the skins.

Then he came to the top of a hill near his village. He dropped the
small pack of meat and it became at once a huge pile, just as it was
before he danced and sang around it. Now he came into the village
and heard wailing. The people thought he was lost. They were wailing
for him.

The next morning the boy told the men to go to the top of the hill
and bring in the meat he had left there. Two men started, but he
told more to go. Then he ordered others to go, until all the men in
the village had gone. When they brought the meat in, the young man
gave a great meat potlatch.

So the boy became a shaman. The wolves were his helpers.


                                    _Nicola Valley and Fraser River_

Coyote was powerful in magic, and therefore he was sent into the
world by Old One. He spent much time traveling in the Shuswap and
Okanogan countries. It is said that he lived with Old One before
coming to earth, and that after he finished his work—as some say—he
went back to Old One. But others say that Old One built him a house
of transparent ice and put inside of it a log of wood which burns
forever. The aurora is the light of Coyote’s fire, shining through
the ice, or the reflection of it cast up by the ice. Coyote can hear
when people speak his name. When he rolls over in his sleep, it
creates the sharp wind which makes the earth so cold.

Coyote lived for many years in Nicola Valley. He hunted elk and deer
in the winter time, and in the early fall he fished for salmon about
six miles above Spence’s Bridge where he had a weir across the
Thompson River. Even yet it is called “Coyote’s Weir.”

            [Illustration: Carved Handles of Horn Spoons
               Beautiful examples of early Indian art
       _From “Memoirs, American Museum of Natural History”_]

Now when Coyote was traveling about on earth, he gave names to all
parts of the country. He changed many things. He made hills and
plains wherever he saw fit. He placed bushes and trees here and
there, and narrowed or widened the river, and made cañons and
waterfalls and rapids just as he pleased.

Coyote even made the various tribes to speak different languages.

Formerly there were no salmon in the interior of the country because
the coast people kept them all. There was a dam across both the
Fraser and the Columbia rivers. When Coyote had traveled through the
Shuswap country, he went down the Fraser and changed himself into a
piece of wood in the cañon and floated downstream until stopped by
the fish dam. Then he broke down the dam of the four skookums who
prevented the salmon from coming up the river. Then he went ashore.

Now Coyote led the salmon up the main waters of the Fraser and
through the tributary streams. He traveled along the river banks and
they followed him. He went up the Thompson River and the North

Then Coyote went down to the mouth of the Columbia River where four
skookums had dammed the river. He changed himself to a piece of
wood, as he had at the Fraser River, and floated down against the
dam. They picked it up, saying, “This will make a fine dish.” They
shaped it into a salmon dish. Then they put salmon on it. But all
the salmon they put on it disappeared. The skookums became afraid of
the dish, and they threw it into the fire.

Suddenly, in just a moment, the skookums heard a baby’s wail from
the fire. There it was. They picked up the little thing hastily.
They said, “How did it get there?” yet they were all skookums.

Now Coyote grew very rapidly. Soon he was running about. The
skookums told him not to touch four baskets which stood there. But
Coyote grew very rapidly indeed, and one day when they went out to
get firewood, he opened them all. Out of the four baskets came
flies, wasps, wind, and smoke. That is why flies and wasps always
appear during the salmon season, and why the winds at that season
always blow up river.

When Coyote had opened the baskets, he went out to the fish dam. He
said, “Henceforth, there shall be no dam here, and the salmon shall
ascend the river!”

Coyote led the salmon up the Columbia. Hair Seal went almost as far
as the Falls of the Columbia with him. The Coyote pushed him in the
water and told him that sometimes he could come up as far as that

Then Coyote sent the salmon into all the tributaries of the

The broken dam at the mouth of the Fraser River now forms the cañon.

                      THE COMING OF THE SALMON

                                                       _Bella Coola_

A long time ago, a man named Winwina lived on the Bella Coola River,
and he often sat in front of his house looking at the river. One day
he thought, “I wish fish would ascend this river.” At that time not
a single salmon visited the Bella Coola River. He thought much about

One night Winwina had a dream. He dreamed that with the help of all
the animals he had made war upon the Salmon People and had defeated

At once Winwina invited all the animals to his house, and told them
his dream. When they came, he said, “I wish something. You shall
help me obtain what I desire.”

Mink said, “What are we to do?” Mink always talked a great deal.

Winwina said, “I want to go to Mialtoa. There is not a single salmon
in this river. Let us make war upon the Salmon People. I shall
certainly take some slaves and we will place them in this river.”

Mink sputtered. He said, “I’m glad _you’re_ speaking in regard to
this matter. I asked my father, Sun, to give us salmon and I think
he gave you the dream you have just told us.”

But all the tribes agreed. The animals all wanted to start at once.

Winwina asked a person to make a canoe for them. He at once made a
self-moving canoe. In the third moon after the winter solstice the
canoe was completed.

At once Winwina started. With him went the clouds, the birds, and
all the animals. When they passed the village of Bella Bella,
Cormorant was sitting on the beach. He asked to be taken along as
passenger. So they followed the trail of Sun for a long time.

At last they reached the country of the Salmon People. The country
was a great plain, and there were no trees at all. A large sun was
shining in the sky. Soon the warriors saw the Salmon village and
they sent Raven out to spy. Raven was not gone very long. When he
returned, he said, “The Salmon People play on the beach every
evening.” Mink at once said, “That would be a good time to carry
them off.”

Crane said, “I will carry away Sockeye Salmon.”

Winwina said, “I will carry off the Humpback Salmon.”

Kingfisher said, “And I will look after the Dog Salmon.”

Raven said, “You can depend upon me for the Silver Salmon.”

Fish Hawk said, “I will capture the Salmon Trout and Olachen.” Fish
Hawk was undertaking a good deal, but the olachen and salmon trout
were not so large, nor so warlike as the Salmon People.

Cloud said, “I will capture the Spring Salmon.”

But Cormorant said, after everyone else had spoken, “Well, I’m only
a passenger. I’ll take whatever I can get.”

Mink answered, “I won’t tell what I am going to take! Now start! The
Salmon People cannot see you, just as we cannot see ghosts.”

At once they went on the warpath. They each seized a boy and a girl
of the various Salmon tribes, and the Salmon People could not see
them at all. They only saw that their children were fainting, as
though their ghosts had gone away.

Then the bird and animal warriors went back to the canoe with their
slaves. They were about to start home, when someone said, “Let us go
and see what is beyond this country of the Salmon People.”

The canoe at once went on, and they came to the Berry Country. One
of the birds went ashore and picked up a great many of the Berry
People and put them in the canoe. Then they returned home. For seven
moons they had remained in the Land of the Salmon People.

When they passed Bella Bella, Cormorant said, “This is my town. I
will go ashore here.”

The birds and animals traveled on, and came to the mouth of the
Bella Coola River. There they threw all their Salmon slaves into the
water. The Salmon people jumped and began to ascend the river. Then
Winwina arose in his canoe and told each one—the silver salmon, the
hump-back salmon—told each one at what season he was to arrive. Ever
since that time there have been salmon in the Bella Coola River.

Winwina also scattered the Berry People all over the mountains, and
through the valleys, and told each one at what season it was to

After all this was done, Winwina invited everyone to his house. He
gave them a great feast.

                       COYOTE AND THE SALMON


Once Coyote said, “I have never yet given a feast! Why should not I
feast the people?”

Coyote at once caught great numbers of sockeye and king salmon. He
made much salmon oil, and buried much roe. He filled all the skins
with grease. Then he sent messengers to invite all the people.
Coyote said to himself, “I will sing a great song, and dance for all
the people when they come. They shall think me a great man.”

Now when the people came they began to dance. And as Coyote danced,
one salmon which hung from the ridge pole kept striking his head and
catching in his hair until he was angry. Yet again it caught in
Coyote’s long hair, and he pulled and he pulled to get free, but he
only pulled his own hair. He became very angry. He pulled the whole
fish down and threw it in the river.

Immediately all the salmon came to life. They jumped off the poles
and ran to the river and leaped in. Coyote tried to catch some of
them, but into the river they jumped, every one of them. As he was
trying to catch the last one, he saw that all the oil had come to
life. It was running to the river. He tried to stop the oil, but it
was too late. And then all the salmon roe he had buried suddenly
jumped into the river.

Then all the people went home.

Soon after there was a great snowstorm. Coyote was snowed in and
without food for so long he nearly starved. The snow was nearly as
high as the trees all around Coyote’s house. Coyote thought, “This
is a very hard winter. The deer will all die.”

Now Coyote’s stock of dried fish and his roots had become exhausted.
He wondered what he should do. He said, “This is a very long

Coyote went to the top of the ladder and looked around. The heat and
smoke had kept a little opening. The snow nearly hid the trees
around his house.

Now the very next day a snowbird came and perched above the smoke
hole. He gave Coyote a ripe berry, saying, “Why are you living here?
It is summertime.”

Coyote laughed and said, “Oh, but it is the middle of winter. See
the snow all around.”

Then again a snowbird came and gave him a ripe berry, saying, “See!
The berries are ripe, but you are still in your winter house.”

Coyote answered, “How can the berries be ripe and snow be still
almost to the tree tops?”

Four times the snowbirds brought him berries, and then Coyote
thought something must be wrong. He put on his snowshoes and
blanket, and climbed over the snowdrifts. Behold! As he came down on
the other side of the drifts, just a few feet from his house, it was
bare ground! Then he went on and came in just a little while to a
place where the trees were budding and a little farther they were in
full leaf. He passed down the North Thompson Valley and saw service
berries in blossom, and then came to bushes full of ripe fruit. Then
Coyote came to a large berry patch, and heard two Indian women

The summer time had come. That was the way in which the salmon took
their revenge upon Coyote.

                      WOLVERENE AND THE GEESE

                                                    _Eastern Eskimo_

Wolverene was running along the seashore, when he saw many geese,
brant, ducks, and loons, playing in the water not far off.

Wolverene called to them, “Come here, brothers, I have found a
pretty bees’ nest! I will give it to you if you will come on shore
and have a dance!”

All the birds went on land. Wolverene said, “Now let us have a dance
and I will sing. But shut your eyes and do not open them until we
have finished dancing.” Wolverene began to sing,


So he sang. He sang that last word _hum_ very loud and very often.
And every time he sang _hum_ he snipped off the head of a duck. Now
Loon thought it very strange he sang _hum_ so often. He opened his
eyes and looked.

Then Loon ran to the water shouting, “Our brother is killing us.”
Wolverene ran after him, but Loon dived and came up a long way off,
shouting very loudly:

                   [Illustration: Takakkaw Falls
                      Field, British Columbia
                _Courtesy of Canadian Pacific Ry._]

                    [Illustration: Mount Stephen
                      Field, British Columbia
                _Courtesy of Canadian Pacific Ry._]


He sang that many times.

“Be quiet,” shouted Wolverene, “you shall be red-eyed!” And so Loon
is even today. Then Wolverene returned to the birds and pulled their
feathers off and cleaned them. He put them in a pot to boil.

Then Wolverene saw Jay flying about in the woods. Now the Canadian
Jay is a great talker. Wolverene threw a firebrand at Jay, shouting,
“You’ll be telling on me, you long-tongued bird.”

And Jay did so. He flew away to some Indians. He said to them,
“Wolverene has killed a lot of birds and is cooking them.” Then he
added, “I think he is sleeping. I’ll show you where he is.”

The Indians said at once, “We are hungry. We will go.” And they
went. Now Wolverene was asleep beside the pot. Then the Indians
pulled out all the birds and ate them all. Only the bones they put
back in the pot.

After a long time, Wolverene awakened. He said, “Now I shall have my
dinner.” He poured it all out into his eating dish. Behold! There
were only the bones of the birds, and the broth. Wolverene said, “I
must have been asleep a long while. The meat is all boiled away.”

Now Jay was flying about in the woods. He said, “The Indians ate it
all up. I told them where it was.”

Wolverene said, “You stupid bird! I was keeping a big piece for

But he wasn’t. This is the end.

                       NANEBOJO AND THE GEESE


Nanebojo lived with his grandmother. His parents had been killed by
a war party. Now Nanebojo resolved to leave that place with his
grandmother. He told the Indians that a stranger was coming who
would harm all of them.

Then Nanebojo climbed to the top of a maple tree. He poured water
into it; therefore the sap in the maple is now watery and thin. It
has to be boiled before it becomes sugar. Nanebojo also went through
the cornfields and pulled off all the ears of corn except one or
two. Therefore now cornstalks have but one or two ears. They used to
have ten or twelve.

Then Nanebojo went away.

Nanebojo and his grandmother traveled until they reached Lake Erie.
Then they journeyed to Lake St. Clair. Grandmother went on ahead.

Nanebojo saw ducks in Lake St. Clair, but he could not think how to
capture them. At last he remembered. He went to his grandmother and
told her to make him a sack.

“What for?” asked grandmother.

“Never mind what for,” answered her grandson. So Grandmother made
the sack.

Nanebojo took the sack and went along the lake shore to where there
was a hill, with a short stretch of flat land between the hill and
the water. He climbed to the top of the hill, got into the sack,
closed the neck, and rolled down the hill. Then he got out and
walked up again, laughing heartily all the time. Again he rolled
down the hill, shouting loudly.

Now the ducks heard him. They came out of the water and waddled
around him. They came closer and closer. After a while, one duck
grew bold. He said, “Let us roll downhill just once.”

Nanebojo said, “Oh, no indeed, you go away! Every time I do anything
you come around and bother me!” Then he went up the hill again with
his sack on his back, and rolled himself downhill, laughing loudly.

Again the ducks said, “Let us roll downhill just once.”

Nanebojo said, “Very well. You may roll downhill just once,” and he
told them to get into the bag. Just then some geese flew by
overhead. They stopped to watch. Nanebojo also saw them.

Nanebojo carried the ducks to the top of the hill, laid down the
bag, filled it with ducks, tied the neck, and started it to rolling
down the hill. He ran beside it, laughing very loudly, while the
ducks quacked. They all made much noise. When the bag of ducks
reached the bottom of the hill, Nanebojo emptied out the bag, and
told them to go away. Then he went up the hill with the sack on his
shoulder, and again he rolled down-hill, laughing loudly, but always
keeping one eye on the ducks and one on the geese. “If I lose one, I
may get the other,” he said. Every time he rolled down, the geese
came nearer. Nanebojo pretended not to see them. At last they came
very near indeed and asked him if they might roll down. “Let us roll
down just once,” they said.

Nanebojo said, “No!” and kept right on rolling downhill. The geese
were about to fly away when Nanebojo said, “Oh, well. If you want
to, you may roll down once.”

The geese were very glad to get into the sack. Nanebojo squeezed
them in together very tightly, saying, “If you are close together,
you will have more fun.” Then he shouldered the sack and started up
the hill.

Nanebojo walked a long, long time. He walked up to the top of the
hill and then he walked down on the other side. The geese after a
while thought he had walked too long a time. They called out, “Where
are you going?” but he made no answer and walked straight on.

When Nanebojo reached his grandmother, he said, as he laid down the
sack, “You heat some water while I go and get more from the spring.”
Then he went out after he had said, “Do not untie the sack.” When he
had left the lodge, Grandmother untied the sack, wondering what was
in it. At once the geese flew out and got away. Not one was left.

                       ADVENTURES OF NANEBOJO


Nanebojo and his grandmother journeyed about for a long time. At
last they came again to Lake St. Clair. In the lake were many geese.
Nanebojo thought, “How am I going to get some of those ducks?” He
thought for a long while. Then he remembered.

Nanebojo took a birch-bark pail, and began to drum on it and to
sing. He sang,

  I am bringing new songs,
  I am bringing new songs.

When the geese heard that, they drew near to him. At once he said to
his grandmother, “Go farther on, and build a lodge where we may
live.” And at once she did so. Then he went down to the water where
the geese were floating around. He pulled out his sack, got into it,
and dived into the water. The ducks and geese were quite surprised
to see what a good diver he was. They came closer and closer.

Nanebojo said, “I can dive better than you can.” The geese said,
“Oh, no!” Then they all began diving, and Nanebojo did beat them. So
he spent a long time diving and floating about in the water.
Suddenly he dived, came up softly among the geese, caught the feet
of many, and tied them together with a string of basswood bark. At
once the geese started to fly. They rose very slowly at first,
because Nanebojo was pulling back, but at last they rose high in the
air, carrying with them Nanebojo, who held on to the basswood
string. Higher and higher they rose, until the earth was far beneath
them. Then the string broke, and Nanebojo fell to the earth. He fell
into a tall hollow tree.

Nanebojo spent a long while in that hollow tree. At last he heard
the sound of chopping wood. Then he called for help, and the Indian
women let him out of the tree. At once he went in search of his

Grandmother asked, “Why didn’t you get the geese?”

“You know you never eat goose, even when you do get it,” answered

Nanebojo killed a deer. He at once skinned and dressed it, and then
he lighted a fire and roasted it. When he sat down to eat, the
branch of a tree near by began to screech. Two branches were rubbing
together. Nanebojo did not like that. He said to the tree, “Don’t
bother me just now when I want to eat, I am hungry!” But every time
he took a bite the branch began to screech.

Nanebojo climbed into the tree, broke off a branch, and just then
caught his hand between two branches as they rubbed together. He
could not free himself.

Just then a pack of wolves came running along the river. Nanebojo
heard them at a distance. He called to them, “Run right along. Don’t
look this way.” The wolves said among themselves, “He must have
something to eat over there, else he wouldn’t tell us to run
straight ahead.” So they went right under his tree. They ate that
entire deer.

When they had finished, Nanebojo said, “Now go straight ahead and
don’t look at that tree near-by.” In the tree he had hung the deer’s
head for his grandmother. So the wolves looked at the tree and at
once ate the head. Then they went on.

At once the tree released Nanebojo’s arm, and he climbed down. He
could only pick the bare bones of the deer. He went to the head. He
turned it round and round. It was entirely bare. He went on and
joined his grandmother.

One day when Nanebojo went for a drink, he saw some whitefish in the
river. He said to them, “Can’t I go along with you?”

“Oh, no,” said the whitefish. “You wouldn’t last long if you did.”

“Why not?” asked Nanebojo.

“Because the Indians are always looking for us. You would be the
first one caught,” they answered.

“I am very timid,” said Nanebojo. “If I go with you, I shall never
be caught.” So he turned himself into a whitefish.

Soon after some Indians came along fishing. Nanebojo said, “Now I am
going over there to tease them. You all stay here and I will go over
there alone. Just before they try to spear me, I will dive to the
bottom of the river and rise again a long way off.”

So Nanebojo began teasing the Indians. He kept it up for some time
until one of the Indians speared him. The Indian kept his spear in
the water until he got to the shore, and then dragged Nanebojo out.
The other whitefish remarked, “That is just what he said—that after
he dived he would not come up for a long time, and then at some

The Indians took Nanebojo home with them. He was a very large fish.
After a while he began to jump about a little, so the Indians were
afraid. They did not cook him at once.

Just about dawn the next morning, Nanebojo came to life again and
remembered he was a fish and that the Indians had speared him. So he
got up and found everyone sleeping.

“If they wanted to eat me, they should have done so while they had a
chance,” he said as he walked away. He was going back to his

                    WISKE-DJAK[7] AND THE GEESE


Wiske-djak was always hungry. One time, in the autumn of the year,
he stood on the shores of a lake, when clouds of ducks were flying
by overhead. Wiske-djak wanted some of those ducks. He thought for a
long time. Then he made a small clearing right there on the lake
shore, and built quite a large tepee, with a fire in the center. The
grassy floor of the tepee was very smooth, so one could dance well
there. Wiske-djak made a birch-bark door, with a long center stick
to keep the bark spread, and to prevent the door from opening
inward. Now everything was ready.

Wiske-djak went out walking and soon met Duck. “I suppose you will
soon be going south,” he said. “Yes,” said Duck, “and we’ll be gone
all winter. It’s a bit cold up here for us.”

“It would be pleasant,” said Wiske-djak, “if we all had a dance
before you went. Invite your friends, all of them, and Geese and any
of the others who go south for the winter. We’ll have a dance in my
tepee.” Duck thought that would be very pleasant.

Wiske-djak went back to his tepee, and sat down in the sunshine
outside. He got his drum and rattle and began to sing a song of
invitation. He sang:

  You will all be gone for a long time.
  You will all be gone until it is warm again.
  Let us have a dance before you go.

Thus he sang.

Soon ducks and geese came flying by overhead, and they heard his
singing. They alighted on the ground very near the tepee.

Wiske-djak called, “Let us go inside and have a good dance,” and he
opened the door. In went all the ducks. Wiske-djak mended the fire
so it would give very little light.

“Now,” he said, when he had finished that, “you must all follow the
rules of the dance. You must do whatever I call out.” So they all
began to dance. Geese were there and ducks and a few loons, and
Cyngabis was there also. They danced hard, around and around the

Then Wiske-djak said, “Now close your eyes. Don’t open them until I
give the order. That is one of the rules of the dance.”

The birds all closed their eyes tightly, and as they danced and
sang, they made a great deal of noise. Anyone who has seen Indians
dance knows that they make much noise. So Wiske-djak caught one fat
bird after another, and wrung his neck as he passed him in the
dance. No one heard anything at all because of the noise of the

But after a while Cyngabis thought Wiske-djak was moving around in
the dance, so he slipped into a dark corner and opened one eye just
a little. At once he saw that Wiske-djak was wringing the neck of
the dancers. He called out, “Wiske-djak is killing you! Fly!”

At once the birds all opened their eyes and took wing. They flew
very rapidly indeed. But Cyngabis was way over in one corner and he
was the very last man to get out. Wiske-djak tried to catch him, but
he got away.

Now Wiske-djak began to cook the birds for a feast. He built the
fire outside the tepee, after poking the earth loose with a stick.
Then he buried his birds in the hot earth, with the hot coals above
them. Then he went to sleep.

Now some Indians came around the point in a canoe. They saw the
smoke of the fire, and they saw something strange lying beside the
fire. Therefore they went nearer.

                    [Illustration: Indian Pipes
       _From “Memoirs, American Museum of Natural History”_]

One Indian said, “Look out, it might be Wiske-djak up to more of his
mischief!” But another Indian went ashore, saying, “I’ll see who it
is and what he is doing.” When he came close to the fire, there lay
Wiske-djak, sure enough, and sound asleep. But the Indian couldn’t
see why he should have a big fire on a warm day until he saw ducks’
legs sticking out of the earth under the hot coals. At once he went
back to his friends and told them all about it.

The Indians all jumped out of the canoe. They said, “Ha! We will
take Wiske-djak’s ducks and geese and eat them ourselves.” With
their paddles they dug up all the birds, twisted the legs off, and
put the leg bones back in the earth. They looked just as Wiske-djak
had placed them. Then the Indians paddled off.

Soon Wiske-djak waked up. He got up and looked all around. No one
was there. Everything looked just as it had when he went to sleep.
He looked at the dying coals, and said, “I guess those birds are
pretty well cooked by this time.” He went all around the coals,
pulling out the ducks’ legs. They came out very easily. He was
surprised. “They must be very tender,” he thought. He dug around in
the earth, but not one thing did he find. Wiske-djak was disgusted.



Wiske-djak wandered over the swamps and mountains feeling all out of
sorts with himself. It was just after the Indians had stolen all his
ducks and geese as they cooked in the coals. All at once he came
upon a little flock of partridges, just newly hatched. Their mother
was away.

“_Kwe!_” said Wiske-djak. “What are you doing here?”

“Nothing,” said the partridges. “Just staying here.”

“Where is your mother?” asked Wiske-djak.

“She’s away hunting,” they said.

“What’s your name?” he asked one of them. And then each little
partridge had to tell him his name until he came to the very last.
“What’s your name?” he demanded.

“Suddenly Frightened,” answered little partridge.

“Oh, you!” said Wiske-djak, “what can you frighten?” And he picked
up a big lump of soft mud and threw it all over the clean little
partridges. “What can you frighten now?” he said. Then he walked
off. He walked for a long time until he came to a high mountain.
When he had climbed to the very top he found a nice breeze blowing
across it.

“This feels good,” said Wiske-djak. “I think I’ll stay here,” and he
searched around until he came to a place clear of trees just on the
edge of a great chasm. The rock broke straight away for hundreds of
feet, and over the edge of the cliff came a delightful breeze.
Wiske-djak lay right down there and went to sleep at once.

By this time Old Partridge had got home, and found them all covered
over with mud.

“What has happened to you? Where did you go?” she asked.

“Nowhere,” said the little partridges.

“Who did this?” asked Old Partridge.

“Wiske-djak came along,” said the littlest one. “He asked us a lot
of questions, and then he asked us our names. When I told him my
name, he said, ‘Well, what could you frighten?’ and threw mud all
over us.”

Old Partridge was angry. She cleaned up the children, and washed
them and dried them, and gave them their supper. Then she asked them
which way Wiske-djak had gone, and she went straight on his trail.

Old Partridge tracked Wiske-djak to the high mountain. Then she kept
right on until she reached the high, rocky cliff. There lay
Wiske-djak, fast asleep. Old Partridge went close to him, on the
upper side of the rock. She spread her wings, went close to his
ears, and flapped her wings and gave her warwhoop. Wiske-djak waked
up so suddenly he could only see that something terrible was
whooping right above him. He moved backward and fell right over the
edge of the cliff.

“Well,” said Old Partridge, “now you know what ‘suddenly frightened’

                    WISKE-DJAK AND GREAT BEAVER


Wiske-djak was traveling about, looking for adventures. He never
succeeded in anything he tried to do, and he was always hungry. In
his travels he came to Turn-back Lake. White men call it Dumoine
Lake. He had no canoe, but he was a good swimmer, yet when he came
to Turn-back Lake, he found it too broad to swim. Therefore he
started to walk around it.

Wiske-djak wanted to hunt beaver. On one side of the lake he came to
a high mountain, very round, which looked just like a beaver lodge.
And a little way offshore, in the lake, was a small island, with
many grasses. “Hm-m-m!” said Wiske-djak, “This must be the home of
Big Beaver.” And so it looked, with the great, round lodge and the
island of grasses.

Wiske-djak tried to think how to catch Big Beaver. At last he went
to the lower end of the lake and broke down the dam, so the water
would run off. He lingered there while the lake drained. He even
took a nap. When it was low enough for him to get at Big Beaver, he
found that Beaver was gone. But as he looked about, he saw Big
Beaver just going over the dam. So he began to chase him.

Wiske-djak followed Big Beaver past Coulonge River and the Pembroke
Lakes. But when Big Beaver reached the Calumet Chutes, he was afraid
to go through and took to the portage. When Wiske-djak got to the
lower end of the portage, however, he had lost sight of Big Beaver
and started back up the Ottawa River. When he got to the upper end,
he saw fresh tracks.

“Somebody has been here,” he said very quickly. “I wonder if I might
be able to trail him? I might get something to eat.”

Wiske-djak followed the tracks to the lower end of the portage, and
found they turned toward the upper end, so he raced back there. He
did not see any beaver, however, so he turned back again to follow
other fresh tracks to the lower end of the portage. Then he saw he
had been following his own trail.

Even today one can see Wiske-djak’s footprints in the stone on the
Calumet portage.



Once a girl told her father to put his wooden dish before the fire
upside down and look under it every morning for five mornings. Then
she went to live in the sun.

The father did as he was told. On the first morning he looked under
the upturned dish, and there sat Nenebuc. The next morning he looked
under again, and there sat Nenebuc’s brother with him. So he did for
the five days. Nenebuc and his four brothers had all come to earth
to live. Then the old man picked up the dish and put it away.

Now one brother had horns on his head. Grandfather said to him, “You
can’t stay here; you go west!” and he sent him out to the edge of
the Darkening Land. Then he sent another brother to the east and one
to the north and one to the south. Nenebuc stayed with his

Now one summer Nenebuc could not fish during the whole summer
because of the high winds. The people almost starved and Nenebuc
became very angry. His anger was against West Wind for blowing so
much. West Wind blew all the time—blew hard.

Nenebuc said to his grandfather, “I am going west. I’ll make West
Wind cease blowing in this way.”

Grandfather said, “But don’t kill him. Tell him to let the wind blow
awhile, and then stop. Then everything will be all right.”

“I’ll be back soon,” said Nenebuc. “And I’ll end this constant

So Nenebuc went away. He went toward the Darkening Land, and there
he found his brother. Now this was the brother with the two horns,
and he was not friendly toward Nenebuc. He refused to stop the
blowing of West Wind, and at last they fought about it. Nenebuc
hammered his brother hard with a club and at last broke one of his
horns. Then he said, “Don’t blow so hard any more. Grandfather and
all the people will starve if the wind always blows so hard.” Then
he went home.

So things went much better. Nenebuc went fishing and found it was
very calm, with only a little puff of wind now and then. All the
winds stopped blowing, because West Wind had warned the other
brothers that Nenebuc would come and fight with them if they did

After a while things went badly again. There was no wind at all and
the water became ill-smelling, and bad-tasting. People could not
drink it. Fish could not live in it. Grandfather said, “We must have
some wind or the people will die. Did you kill West Wind?”

“Oh, no,” said Nenebuc. “But I’ll have to go and see him again.” So
he went again toward that Darkening Land where West Wind dwelt.

“I came to tell you,” he said to his brother, “that we must have
some wind once in a while. It must not be a dead calm like this, but
we don’t want too much wind. It spoils the fishing.”

So now the winds blow as they should, because West Wind told the
other three brothers. Sometimes it is calm, and people go fishing;
and sometimes it is windy.

                        NENEBUC AND BIG BEAR


Once when Nenebuc was traveling, he met Big Bear. Now Big Bear ate
people, and he had eaten many Indians. They were all very much
afraid of him. Nenebuc went to Bear and said, “If you eat so many
Indians, they will soon all be gone. I shall make you very small and

Then Nenebuc turned Bear into Squirrel and Squirrel into Bear.
Squirrel did not care at all, because he was fond of eating berries
and roots anyway. He did not care to eat Indians.

But Big Bear felt very badly. He wept so much at being Squirrel that
his eyebrows turned gray, and his eyes are all white and shiny.
Nenebuc said to Bear, “Now what are you going to eat?” and Bear
said, “I shall go right on eating people.” But he was so small, now
that he was Squirrel, he couldn’t eat them at all.

Nenebuc said, “You are too small to eat people. Run up that black
spruce there, and taste the seeds in the cones. Then see whether you
want to eat Indians any more.”

And Squirrel did that. He tasted the sweet seeds in the spruce cones
and was so well pleased he said he really did not want to eat
Indians any more.

                           COYOTE AND FOX


Coyote, while traveling about, came to an underground house in which
lived very small, short people. They were the Rock Rabbit People.
Coyote said, “They are far too short for people. I will just eat
them up.” He killed every one of the Rabbit people, tied them all on
a string, and carried them off on his shoulder.

Now the weather was clear and hot, so Coyote carried them to the
shade of a large yellow-pine tree. He made a big fire, and heated
stones red hot; then he dug a hole in the earth and put in the hot
stones. Then he put in the rock rabbits and covered them with leaves
and then with earth. Then Coyote went to sleep in the shade of the
big yellow pine.

Now along came Fox, and seeing Coyote asleep, he spied the earth
oven. Then he at once began to dig out the rabbits and eat them. He
had eaten half of them when Coyote awoke. Coyote was very lazy and
sleepy. He said to Fox, “Spare me ten.” Fox kept right on eating.
Then Coyote said, “Well, spare me nine.” Fox still went on eating.
Coyote was very lazy. He saw Fox eating the rabbits, and he kept
talking about them. He kept asking Fox to spare some for him. At
last he said, “Spare me half a rabbit, anyway.” But Fox ate every

Fox could hardly move when he had eaten all those rabbits. Coyote
was very hungry, and he suddenly became very wide awake. Coyote
said, “I will settle with that fellow,” and he followed Fox’s trail.
Soon he came upon Fox sleeping in the shade of a thick fir tree.
Coyote, by his magic, made that tree fall on Fox. “Now I guess we
are square,” said Coyote.

But the tree was so branchy that the trunk never came anywhere near
Fox. He crawled out from among the branches and walked away. Coyote
followed close after him.

Soon Fox reached a place where the rye grass, or wild redtop, was
very thick and tall. He crept into the middle of it and went to
sleep. Coyote set fire to the grass, but Fox waked up and set back
fires, so Coyote’s fire did not reach him.

Then Fox went on again until he came to a reedy place, where hares
were many. Coyote set fire to the reeds, saying, “Fox will burst in
the fire.” But when the fire spread, the hares ran out and Coyote
was so busy clubbing some of them that Fox ran out also, and Coyote
never saw him until he was far off. Then he called, “Fox, you may

Now Coyote traveled on until he came to a place where magpies were
many. He set snares and caught many, and then made a robe for
himself of the skins. He put on his robe and was well pleased. He
kept singing,

  What a beautiful robe I have!
  How the feathers shine!

He sang that over and over.

Soon afterward Coyote met Fox who was wearing a robe of silver-fox
skins, gleaming in the sun, and thickly covered with tail feathers
of the golden eagle. Coyote said, “His robe looks better than mine,
and is much more valuable.” So he offered to exchange robes.

Fox said, “How can you expect me to exchange my fine robe with eagle
feathers for your robe of magpie skins?” So Coyote made believe to
turn away; but the moment they separated, he seized Fox’s robe and
made off with it.

Coyote ran on until he came to a lake. He took off his robe of
magpie skins and tore it to bits. Then he threw the pieces into the
water. Coyote then put on the eagle-feather robe and strutted about
in it, admiring himself. He kept saying, “If only a wind would come,
then I could see and admire these feathers as they fluttered.”

                  [Illustration: Shuswap Beadwork
        Leggins and garters. Region of the Canadian Rockies
       _From “Memoirs, American Museum of Natural History”_]

Now Fox had watched Coyote until he was out of sight. Fox was
thinking. Then by his magic he made a great wind to blow. The wind
blew the robe off Coyote’s back and carried it back to Fox.

Now Coyote went back to the lake, to see if he could find his old
magpie robe. The wind had scattered all the pieces and the feathers.
Only here and there on the lake could a feather be seen.

Fox was wearing that robe afterward, when he became just an ordinary
fox. Therefore he still wears silver-fox skins, the most valuable of
all furs.

                        THE VENTURESOME HARE

                                                    _Eastern Eskimo_

A long time ago, Hare lived with his grandmother. They were poor,
and Hare was hungry. One day he said, “Grandmother, I shall set a
trap and catch fish.” The old woman laughed. She said, “_If_ you
can! Go set the net, grandson. But even if you should catch one, we
have no fire.”

“I’ll see to that,” said Hare.

Off went Hare with the net, and he set it. The next morning in every
mesh of the net was a fish, caught by its fins. Hare said, “Oh,
_my_!” He could not even pull up the net, so he shook out some of
the fish and pulled the rest in. Many of these he buried. The rest
he took home, and dropped them outside the lodge while he went in.

“Grandmother,” said Hare, “Here are the fish. You clean them. The
Indians across the river have fire, and I shall go over and steal

Grandmother was frightened. She said, “Oh, no!” But Hare had now
dried his net, so he folded it up and put it under his arm.

Then Hare went to the river, but the river was wide. Hare could not
possibly jump across, so he sat down and thought. Then he called to
the whales to help him. Many whales at once came up the river, and
side by side they lay across the river. Hare jumped from one to the
other. Thus he crossed. Then Hare jumped into the water to wet his

Now Hare laid himself down in the sand along the shore, for he had
seen some Indian children. Then the children came to where Hare lay.
They saw him there. At once a boy picked him up and carried him
home. Someone said, “Well, put him in the pot.” And a pot stood
ready there, near a bright, crackling fire. So the boy put down
Hare. An old man said, “You must kill him first.”

Hare was greatly frightened. He opened one eye just a little to see
if there was any way of escape beside the door. In the top of the
tepee was a large round smoke hole. Hare said, “I wish a spark of
fire would fall on my net.” Instantly the brands burned through and
rolled apart and a great spark fell on the net and began to burn it.

Hare, in a flash, sprang out of the smoke hole—sprang out through
the top of the tepee. The Indians saw him leap, and they ran after
Hare shouting. Now when Hare came to the river bank he had not time
to call his friends, the whales, to help him. Hare was running very
fast, and he gave one great leap across the river and landed on the
other side.

“Did I not tell you, Grandmother, that I would get fire?” said Hare
when he reached home.

“How did you get across the river, Grandson?” asked Grandmother.

“Oh, I just jumped across,” said Hare indifferently.

                          RABBIT AND FROG

                                                    _Eastern Eskimo_

One day Rabbit wandered over the hillside, and came near an Indian
wigwam. Now Rabbit was very timid. He crept close to the lodge and
peered through a small hole. There was Frog, sitting near the fire.

“Brother,” said Rabbit, “what are you doing?”

“I am playing with the ashes,” said Frog.

“Come live with me,” said Rabbit.

Frog said, “I have a lame leg. That is why I am sitting here while
my brothers are out hunting.”

Rabbit went into the lodge and tossed Frog on his back. “This is the
way I will carry you,” he said.

When Rabbit reached home, he went out to hunt for food. Suddenly he
spied smoke curling up from among the willows along the river bank.
Rabbit became frightened, and started home, exclaiming, “I have
forgotten my crooked knife! I must go quickly and get it.” Rabbit
rushed home and dashed excitedly into his lodge. He exclaimed, “I
have forgotten my crooked knife! I came home to get it.”

Frog said calmly, “Brother, why are you frightened?”

Rabbit said, “I saw a large smoke.”

“Where was it?” asked Frog.

“Among the willows by the river,” said Rabbit.

“Pooh!” said Frog. “The smoke came from Beaver’s lodge. He lives
down there. You’re very brave to be so afraid of Beaver! _I_ can
hunt _him_.”

Rabbit felt better. He said, “I’ll carry you to Beaver’s lodge.
We’ll break it in and catch him.” So he carried Frog to Beaver’s
lodge down among the willows by the river.

Rabbit built a dam of stakes across the stream, and told Frog to
watch, while he broke in the top of Beaver’s lodge. While Rabbit was
doing this, Frog pulled up some stakes, and therefore Beaver
escaped. When Rabbit saw this, he shook Frog roughly and pushed him
into the water under the ice.

And this was just what Frog wanted.

                             BIG TURTLE


An old man lived with his nephew. Every day the nephew went
somewhere. Every day the uncle asked, “Well, where have you been
today? What did you see today?”

One day the nephew said, “I have pulled off Eagle’s feather.” And in
truth he had Eagle’s tail feather. His uncle at once exclaimed,
“Danger! We are in danger!”

Then he hung the eagle feather in the smoke hole of his house. Soon
Eagle came and stood for a while over the smoke hole. The uncle
exclaimed, “Danger! We are in danger! We must have a council at

So they called a council of all the animals. The young man sent
around saying, “Come, for there is danger!” They all came at once.
The old man stood at the door of his house. Some of the animals he
would not allow to enter. He said to Deer, to Bear, and to Wolf, “I
do not want you at this council. You can run too fast.” Only the
animals that could not run fast were allowed to form a council.
Turtle came, and Otter and Skunk and Porcupine and others.

Then they held their council. Each said what he would do in case of
danger. Porcupine said, “I will shoot my quills through them when
they come near me.” They all said things like that.

Then the people from the council all ran away to where a big tree
stood, for fear Eagle would come. For safety they all climbed the
tree. Then Eagle came and stood over the smoke hole for the second
time, but the feather was not there. Turtle had carried it away.

Now the tree that all the people had climbed was very rotten. A
strong wind came and blew it down, so the animal people were
scattered all about. Porcupine had been covered with bits of rotten
wood. Therefore Porcupine climbed up on Turtle’s back, to hide him,
and they went away. Turtle carried the Eagle’s feather. Now all
along the way Porcupine kept scattering ashes on Turtle’s trail so
Eagle would not see him. But Eagle followed the trail of ashes.
Then, just as he got to the bank of the river, Eagle’s friends
caught Turtle.

They said, “We will throw Turtle into the fire.” Turtle pretended to
enjoy it very much. Then they struck him, but they hit Turtle on his
shell. They could not see that he minded it. Then someone said, “Let
us drown Turtle.” Turtle began to cry, “Oh, no! I am afraid of the
water!” Then they dragged him toward the water. Turtle pushed
back—he pushed back, and he cried. That is why someone said, “Let us
drop him to the bottom of the water. That is the place for him.” So
it was done. They threw him in. They could see Turtle lying on his
back on the bottom of the water. Then they left him.

At once Turtle turned over and swam to a log near the opposite
shore. Turtle climbed on that log, and waved Eagle’s feather high in
the air. He shouted, “Ki-he.” Truly, that is the cry of one who has
overpowered his enemy.

Now Eagle’s friends heard it. They gathered on the shore. They said,
“Who will bring back Eagle’s feather?” They held a council. One
said, “No, I cannot go there.” Another said, “No, I would be drowned
if I went there.” At last Otter said, “I will try it.” So he did.

Now Turtle sat on that log waving the feather. Otter darted across
the river and reached that log where Turtle was sitting. Turtle
dropped off the back side into the water. Soon Otter began to yell,
“Oh-oh! He is hurting me so badly!” Turtle was pinching him all
over. Otter yelled, “Oh, he is pinching me all over!”

Therefore Turtle kept that feather of Eagle’s. Turtle cannot be
overpowered by anyone—so the Wyandots say.

                         WOLVERENE AND ROCK

                                                    _Eastern Eskimo_

Wolverene was out walking one day, out on a hillside, when he came
to a large rock. Wolverene asked, “Was it you who was out walking
just now?”

“No,” said Rock, “I cannot walk.”

“Well, I’ve seen you walking,” said Wolverene sharply.

“That isn’t true,” said Rock. But Wolverene insisted that it was. He
said, “You are the very Rock I have seen out walking.”

Wolverene then ran off a little way and jeered at Rock. He shouted,
“Catch me if you can!” Then Wolverene went close to Rock and hit him
with his paw. He shouted, “See if you can catch me.”

“I can’t walk, but I can roll,” said Rock, who was very indignant.

“That’s just what I wanted,” said Wolverene, and he began to run.

                   [Illustration: Sun Dance Cañon
                    Near Banff, Alberta, Canada
                _Courtesy of Canadian Pacific Ry._]

                   [Illustration: Castle Mountain
                       Banff, Alberta, Canada
                _Courtesy of Canadian Pacific Ry._]

But Rock began to roll. Wolverene raced away and Rock tore after
him, close to his heels, all down that hillside. Then Wolverene
began to jump and leap and Rock rolled faster and faster, touching
his heels. Then Wolverene tripped over a stick and fell. Rock rolled
right on top of him and stopped there. He stopped rolling.

Wolverene yelled, “Get off of me. You are breaking my bones!” Rock
stayed right there. Then Wolverene yelled to the Wolves and Foxes to
come and save him. They all gathered around Rock and Wolverene.

“How did you get under Rock?” they asked. Wolverene was not a
favorite. Wolverene said, “I dared Rock to run after me, and he
rolled.” Then they all said, “It served you right.”

But yet they tried to push Rock away. Rock stayed right there. The
animals pushed and pushed. Rock did not roll.

Then Wolverene began to shout to his other brother, Thunder and
Lightning. In a few minutes a dark cloud rushed up from the
southwest. It made so much noise and was so black that all the
Wolves and Foxes ran away. Lightning suddenly drew back and then
rushed forward and hit Rock, while Thunder crashed. Lightning
knocked Rock into tiny small pieces, but he also tore Wolverene’s
coat all to pieces.

Wolverene picked himself up and saw that he had no fur at all. He
could find only a few bits of his coat so he said sharply to
Lightning, “You needn’t have torn my coat all to pieces when I only
asked you to strike Rock!”

                         RAVEN’S CANOE MEN


Crow made a great feast. He invited all the people, and he invited
Raven. But Raven refused. Raven wanted all the feast of hemlock-bark
cakes and cranberries.

Before they began eating, Raven ran into the woods. He made rotten
trees into ten canoes. Then he put in spruce cones, standing them up
along the middle of the canoes. Raven put grass tops into their
hands for spears. Raven walked near them, with his blanket wrapped
tightly around him. The canoes came around the point, terrible to
behold! Men were standing in lines along the middle of the canoes.
The people fled at once. They left their feast. Then Raven went into
the house and ate the cakes of hemlock bark and cranberries. He ate
and he ate! When the canoes landed they were washed about by the

                         RAVEN AND PITCHMAN


Raven came to a town. Now the Pitch People lived at that town.
Therefore Raven said to Pitchman, “Let us go fishing.” While it was
dark, they went fishing. Then only Pitchman killed halibut; Raven
could not kill any. Pitchman wanted to go home before the sun rose
because he was afraid of being melted.

Then they went fishing again in the morning. And again only Pitchman
killed halibut, and Raven caught nothing at all; and again Pitchman
wanted to go home early before the sun rose. But Raven did not want
to go home. He said, “Oh, no.”

When the sun rose, Pitchman wanted to go home very much. Raven said,
“Wait until I kill a halibut.” Then the sun got higher. Pitchman
began to say “A-a-a-a-a,” rather weakly, because he was getting
warm. Pitchman wanted to go home very much.

“Put the blanket over you,” said Raven to Pitchman. When the sun got
too hot, Pitchman said, “Ummmm!” He kept saying it. Then Pitchman
began to melt. At last he melted completely.



Raven wanted to find a good husband for his sister. He went out one
day and cried, “Who will marry my sister?”

“I,” “I,” “I,” “I,” said all the animals. So Raven began to question

“What can you do?” he asked Grizzly Bear.

“When I see people, I will roar,” said Grizzly.

“You are too bad-tempered,” said Raven. He refused him.

Wolf offered. “What can you do?” asked Raven.

“I snap at people if I am alone. When the pack is with me, I devour
them,” said Wolf.

“You are too bad-tempered,” said Raven.

Then Elk offered. “I can crash through the forests,” said Elk. Raven
refused him.

“What can you do?” asked Raven of Deer and Porpoise. They were

“I can pull out any skunk cabbage with my teeth,” said Deer.
Porpoise said, “I will always eat clean things. I always eat
herring.” That is why, when Deer swims to an island, Porpoise always
swims with him.

So Raven consented. He let Porpoise marry his sister.

                        BEAVER AND PORCUPINE


Beaver’s store of food was plentiful. While he was away hunting one
day, Porcupine stole that food. Then he remained sitting there. When
Beaver returned he asked, “Did you eat my food?”

Porcupine said, “No, indeed. How can the food of supernatural beings
be taken? You have supernatural power and I have supernatural

Then they started to fight. Beaver tried to seize Porcupine with his
teeth, but when he threw himself at his face, the sharp spines
struck him. After they had fought for a while, Beaver went to the
place where his parents lived. He was all covered with spines.

Then his father called the people together, and the Beaver people
came in a crowd. They all went along to fight Porcupine. Porcupine
used angry words to them. Then they pushed down his house upon him.
They seized him. They took him to an island lying out at sea, upon
which two trees stood.

When Porcupine was almost starved, he called upon the animals of his
clan. He called upon his father. He called upon all of his friends.
They did not answer him.

By and by Something said to him, “Call upon Cold-weather, call upon
North wind.” Porcupine did not understand. Then the Voice said,
“Sing North songs. Then you will be saved.”

So Porcupine began singing,

  Xune qa-sa zune,
  Let the sky clear altogether;
  Hu-n, hu-n, hun, hun.

After that he sat on a rock and sang,

  Let it be cold weather;
  Let it be smooth on the water.

Then North sent cold weather. The wind became strong. Then Porcupine
began to sing for smooth water. When it became smooth, the surface
of the sea froze. When the ice became thick, his friends came and
got Porcupine; but he was not able to walk.

Now after Porcupine reached his father’s house, his father called
all the Forest People. He gave them all food. Then they asked
Porcupine why the Beaver people did this to him. He said it was
because he had eaten Beaver’s food.

Then the Porcupine people went to war with the Beaver people. But
they did not defeat the Beaver people. After they had fought for a
while, they stopped.

After that, when they were gathering food, they seized Beaver. The
Porcupines did this. They were always plotting against Beaver. They
took Beaver up a tall tree. After he had been there awhile, he began
eating the tree from the top. He finally got down and went away.
Beavers cannot climb trees.

                        BEAVER AND PORCUPINE


Beaver and Porcupine lived together. They used to eat together, but
their food was different and Porcupine was always eating Beaver’s
food. He would leave his own food and eat Beaver’s.

One day Beaver said, “Hereafter we shall eat apart.” So he took his
own food and went some distance away, leaving Porcupine to eat his
own. But even so, Porcupine left his own food, and came around to
Beaver, and ate his.

One day Beaver said to Porcupine, “Tomorrow we will travel into the
mountains where there is much food.” They packed their blankets and
boxes and all their things and traveled into the mountains, where
they camped. The next morning Beaver said, “There is much food here
in the mountains. I am going hunting.”

When Beaver had gone some distance, he stopped and called to
Porcupine far, far away:

“Hereafter you shall be a common porcupine. You shall always live in
the mountains. You shall never again live with Beaver nor eat his
food. Neither shall you ever live in a good country.”

That is why porcupines live in the mountains, while beavers live in
low, flat lands, where there is plenty of water. Because when Beaver
left Porcupine, he traveled on to a flat country, with many lakes
and streams.

                          BEAVER AND DEER


Deer lived near Taku. The skunk cabbage he ate was like a garden.
Beaver came also to this place and he gnawed down the forest trees
growing around there. So there came to be many trees on top of the
garden. Then Beaver went away.

Deer went to see his property. Then he saw that trees were piled
upon it and he knew that Beaver had done this.

Now Beaver lived under an island in a lake in the woods. One morning
he felt the water was going down. Beaver went out. Deer was standing
there, and Deer had dug a trench from the lake. But Deer could not
get at Beaver.

Therefore Deer called to Beaver, “Come, go with me.” So Beaver went
with him. Then they came to the shore of the sea. Beaver had never
been in the sea, but Deer said, “Let us swim out to that island.”

“I have never been in the sea,” said Beaver.

               [Illustration: Haida Memorial Columns
              Erected in honor of chiefs of the tribe
       _From “Memoirs, American Museum of Natural History”_]

“You shall sit on my back,” said Deer. “There are many things to eat
over there.” So Beaver got on Deer’s back, and they went there. When
he got off, Deer went with him up to the woods. Then they came up
under the trees.

Deer said, “Go up, and I will sit down here and wait for you.” So
Beaver went up into the woods. When Beaver was a long way off, Deer
ran away quickly and swam off.

Beaver came back quickly, but Deer was nowhere to be seen. Beaver
sat down on the beach. He could see no way to get off the island,
because he was not used to swimming in the ocean. After he had sat
there awhile, evening came upon him. Then, in the middle of the
night, he called to the different animals.

First he called to Black Bear, then he called to Wolf. “Save me!” he
called. Then he called to Grizzly Bear, and he called to all the
smaller animals. None of them heard him. Beaver had been upon the
island ten nights. He called every day, wailing. When he was
unsuccessful, his heart was tired. So he sat still.

After a while, Beaver began to call to North: “North, save me!
North, save me! North, save me!” And as he sang this every day, he
continued to wail.

After ten days had passed, a black wind came toward him along the
surface of the sea, as he sat near the shore. North had heard his
voice. The wind blew hard from the north. At midnight Beaver felt of
the sea. After he had sat awhile longer, he felt of it again. After
he had done so for a while, he felt that it was frozen over. He sat
still. Then he perceived it was strong enough.

Then Beaver stepped upon it. And he went ashore upon it. He escaped
to land. Then he went to his home. He stopped up that trench. After
he finished stopping it up, he went into his house. This is the end.

                          EAGLE’S FEAST[9]


Eagle gave a feast. He invited all of the myth people. Eagle told
his servants to get the four cooking boxes and to put stones into
the fire and to get the tongs. When this was done, Eagle put on his
eagle mask and seated himself on the seashore.

As soon as Eagle was seated, he saw a porpoise coming up. Eagle flew
down and grasped it and brought it to the beach. When he had been
sitting there a long time, he saw another porpoise come up. Eagle
grasped it at once and carried it up to the beach. Thus he did four
times. Then as soon as he had caught four porpoises, he took off his
eagle mask and hung it up. Then he cut up the porpoises. When they
were cut up, water was poured into the cooking boxes. Then Eagle put
the porpoises in, and put red hot stones into the boxes also. Soon
they were cooked. Then they were taken out. Eagle had invited all
his friends for a feast, so they ate all the porpoises. Then they
went out.



Once Grizzly Bear told her grandson that if ever any of his arrows
should catch in a tree, and beyond his reach, not to climb the tree.
At first the boy did just as Grandmother said; but he lost many
arrows. Now one day he shot his best arrow at a bird that was
sitting in a tree. The bird flew away and the arrow stuck in a
branch just beyond his reach. It was his very best arrow.

Then the boy forgot and climbed that tree to get the arrow. Just as
he came near it, the tree suddenly grew and the arrow was far out of
his reach. The boy climbed again, but just as he reached out his
hand to take it, the tree shot up and again it was far out of his
reach. This happened many times. So the boy kept on climbing.

Now as the boy looked down, he saw that the earth was far below him,
and there were no branches at all on the tree trunk. He could not
climb down, so he began to climb from branch to branch after his
arrow, and the tree grew higher and higher until it broke through
the floor of the Sky Land. Its lower branches were just level with
the floor. And only then was the boy able to reach his arrow. Then
he pulled it out, and climbed off the branch into the Sky Country.

Now the Sky Country was a great plain, covered lightly with snow.
There were no signs of people. He said to himself, “There is no use
in wandering aimlessly around in this way. I will set my arrow on
end, and follow whichever way it falls.”

Then he did so. He traveled the way the arrow fell and came to some
chips which showed him that some people had been there felling a
tree. Then he came to some fresher chips. Then he traveled on until
he came to a lodge, with a mat door.

Then someone opened the door and he went in. Afterward he became the

                       REDBIRD AND BLACKBIRD


Once there were two men named Redbird and Blackbird. They had a
house on the shore of the lake, and they lived on wild potatoes.
They spent all their time digging for wild potatoes, and that was
all the food they ever had.

One day Blackbird said to Redbird, “There are great fields of wild
rice across the lake. We ought to go and gather it.” So the very
next day they crossed the lake and found themselves among large
fields of wild rice. They began gathering the rice, then they saw
people near by. They went to the people and said, “How do you do?”

The people said, “We have never seen you before.” Blackbird said,
“No. We live on the other side of the lake. We live on the wild
potatoes we find there.” The people said, “Well, you did right in
coming over here. You ought to have good food.”

Then Blackbird and Redbird shook hands all around and went home.

Now these people talked about the wild potatoes. Just about that
time, Redbird said to Blackbird, “Those people are planning to
attack us, for our wild potatoes. What shall you do?” Blackbird said
at once what he would do. Then Redbird said what he would do. The
very next day those people came. Redbird heard their voices. At once
he began to grow smaller and smaller until he was only a single
feather lying on the ground. When Blackbird heard their voices, he
hit himself against the house, and soon there was only an awl
standing there.

The people came and searched everywhere. They said, “No, we can’t
find those men,” so they went home.

Blackbird and Redbird were a little afraid they would come back. So
they changed themselves into birds. Redbird flew to the woods, but
Blackbird went over the lake to live.

                       LITTLE GRAY WOODPECKER


Once a beautiful Indian maiden used to go often to dances. When she
was dressing for the dance, Gray Woodpecker would come to help her.
He helped her put the many colors on her face.

Now Little Gray Woodpecker was gray all over. He had only a few
small white spots. Now one day the maiden left some red paint on the
bit of wood she used for a brush. Woodpecker saw this, and he said,
“I will make myself beautiful with this.” So Gray Woodpecker took
the brush and rubbed it just over his ears, on each side of his
head. He did this many times. That is why he has two tiny red
stripes on the sides of his head.


                                                    _Eastern Eskimo_

Sometimes Owl greatly disturbs a camp of Indians. Short-eared Owl
will come to a camp just at the dimming of the twilight, and when
the Indians hear his quiet flitting through the trees they are on
the alert. Immediately they hang up some robe or leggings which they
have not worn, which is just a silent way of saying, “We are not so
poor as you think.” Owl annoys only poor people.

Owl also likes the lower levels, so the Indians camp often on the
higher lands where he does not come.


                                                    _Thompson River_

One day, as Grizzly Bear came along the trail, Chipmunk called her
names and mocked her. Grizzly Bear rushed at Chipmunk. Chipmunk ran
under a log. Grizzly Bear rushed at her again. Chipmunk did the same
thing. Grizzly Bear shouted, “I’ll get you!” and the fourth time
almost caught her. Her claws scratched Chipmunk’s back. Therefore
the chipmunk has stripes on his back even today, because Grizzly
scratched her in that way.

Later, Marmot met Grizzly Bear. He teased her in the same way that
Chipmunk had, and the very fourth time that Grizzly rushed at him,
she almost caught him, and scratched him, too. So Marmot also has
stripes, even today.

               [Illustration: Indian Defensive Armor
      The first two designs are body armor, the third a shield
       _From “Memoirs, American Museum of Natural History”_]

                           MUSKRAT’S TAIL


Once Wisagatcak killed a bear; then he skinned it, and cut it in
pieces, and cooked all of them. While he was cooking, he looked up
and saw Muskrat in the river. Now the bear’s grease would not
harden, so Wisagatcak told Muskrat to swim through the water with
it. Muskrat did so, and when he returned Wisagatcak made his tail
much thinner and smaller. Muskrat formerly had a broad, fleshy tail
like Beaver’s, and it was a great annoyance to him.

“Now see how fast you can go,” said Wisagatcak. Muskrat jumped into
the river and swam so rapidly that he broke the grease bladder which
he still carried. All the grease and oil came out. That is why
Muskrat leaves such a smooth, oily wake when he swims.

                        WOLVERENE AND BRANT

                                                    _Eastern Eskimo_

Wolverene once called all the birds together. He said, “Do you not
know that I am your brother? Come to me and I will dress you in
feathers.” So he dressed them all up in feathers, and made wings for
himself. He said, “Now, brothers, let us fly.”

Brant said to Wolverene, “You must not look below when we are flying
over a point of land, when you hear a noise below. Take a turn when
we take a turn.”

The first time they took a turn, Wolverene did not look below,
though he heard a noise. At the second turn, when the birds came
over a point of land, he heard the shouting of Indians below. At
once he looked down. And down he came like a bundle of rags!

All the Indians ran up to him, shouting, “A brant has fallen down.”
They found nothing but an old dead wolverene.

                       WAR OF THE FOUR TRIBES


Once in the ancient time, so the old men say, the Crees from the
east, the Thompson River Indians from the south, and the Lillooet
Indians from the west, made up their minds to attack the Shuswap of
the north. They sent messengers with the war moccasin to each other,
and then they met on the east bank of the Fraser River and there
joined forces. There were several hundred men in all. Then they went
forward to attack the Shuswaps.

Now when they were nearly opposite the mouth of Lone Cabin Creek,
and still some distance from Canoe Creek, they were met by Coyote,
who changed them all into pillars of clay. You may see them there
today. The tall Crees are on the right, the shorter Thompsons in the
center, and the short Lillooets on the left.

                  TRADITION OF IROQUOIS FALLS[10]

                                                      _Eastern Cree_

At Iroquois Falls, a war party of Iroquois attacked and killed a
Cree party. They took the plunder of the camp, and saved one woman
alive for a guide. They asked her if she could run a rapid, and she
said, “Yes.”

Now when the party came to a point above the Iroquois Falls, the
woman guide told them it was possible to shoot the rapids there if
the women and goods were taken out of the canoes to lighten them.
The Iroquois let her out, as well, and she went by the portage. When
the Iroquois saw her there, they put out from shore, though the
waters were very swift. As they neared the falls, they saw how high
they were. Then the Cree woman saw them try to escape, but they
could not. The current of the water was too swift. So they headed
their canoes for the falls and sang their war song. All went
crashing over the falls and were drowned.

                    THE GIANTESS AND THE INDIAN


Once there were three men along a river making a canoe. As they had
just finished the canoe, they heard a Stredu approaching. She was a
giantess. Two of the men fled at once, without warning their friend,
who sat with his back to them in the canoe.

The Stredu said to the man in the canoe, “Now I have got you!” He
swiftly launched his canoe, and paddled across the river, saying
unconcernedly, “Now I will see how good it is.”

The Stredu said, as if speaking to herself, “Try your canoe if you
wish to, but there is more than one way of crossing a river.” She at
once started across, walking on the river bottom. The water was far
over her head, and the Indian could see her on the bottom. He was
now returning in his canoe.

When the Stredu reached the other side, she was surprised still to
see the Indian on the other side. But she thought, “This will not
prevent me from walking back. But perhaps he has supernatural
power.” So she started back, walking on the bottom of the river bed.
The Indian at once started to recross. He said, unconcernedly, “My
canoe is not quite water-tight. I will now patch it.” But he forgot
and left his stone ax on the shore when he began to cross this time.

When the Stredu had recrossed, she again saw that Indian on the
other side. Then she saw the stone ax. She said, “He has forgotten
his weapon,” for she did not know what it was. She said, “I will
smash it against that rock.” Then she hit the rock with the ax and
the rock was shattered into bits. The ax was not broken. Then the
Stredu became afraid. She ran away.



There were many monsters in the Fraser River and the North Thompson
River. Tlecsa was the eldest of four brothers who lived near
Kamloops, and there were many evil beings in that country who killed
all the Indians, so the four brothers decided to destroy them. There
were the four Grizzly Bear sisters, and the huge elk which stood in
the Thompson River just where it flows out of Kamloops Lake and
swallowed all who came down the river, even a canoe with people.
There was the great ram of the mountain sheep who lived on a cliff
in Bonaparte Valley and killed people by blowing his breath upon
them. Every one of these was killed by Tlecsa and his magic.

Then the brothers followed up the Bonaparte River until they came to
a chasm which is now near the old fifty-nine-mile post, on the old
Caribou road. Here lived Great Beaver and his friends. They were not
cannibals, but the Indians feared their magic. The Indians did not
know how to catch or kill them, but Tlecsa said, “I will eat beaver
flesh,” so he started after him. But first he made a beaver spear,
and tied a piece of white bark around each wrist so his brothers
could see him, if he were dragged under water.

Tlecsa went up to Great Beaver and harpooned him. Beaver at once
dragged him into the creek. His brothers watched him for a while and
then lost sight of him, and at once began to search for him in all
the near-by creeks. They even dug ditches in many places. At last
they dug a deep ditch along the largest creek, and then they found
him. When they dug near him, he said, “Be careful not to hurt me. I
am here.” Great Beaver had dragged him into his own house in the
bank, but there Tlecsa had killed Great Beaver. At once the brothers
killed many beavers and took their skins. They also ate Big Beaver.
Tlecsa said, “Hereafter beaver shall be speared by mankind. The
Indians shall use their flesh and skins. Beavers shall no longer
have magic power;” and it was so.

Now Tlecsa and his brothers wandered around through the mountains
and through Bonaparte Valley, and after a while they went up the
Marble Cañon. On a high cliff lived Great Eagle, who swooped down on
the Indians in the valley. He would catch an Indian and dash him
against the rocks and bring him to the young eaglets in his nest.
Tlecsa said, “I shall ornament myself with eagle feathers.”

Now when his brothers were not looking, Tlecsa put some white paint
in one side of his mouth, and some red paint in the other side. Soon
Great Eagle saw him. Swooping down, he clutched him, and then,
flying high on the cliffs, dashed him against the rocks. Tlecsa
warded off the blow with his flaker, and let the red paint flow out
of his mouth upon the rocks. His brothers below, watching, said, “He
is dead. See his blood.”

Again Great Eagle dashed Tlecsa against the rocks, and the white
paint flowed from his mouth over the rocks. His brothers below,
watching, said, “He is dead. See his brains.”

Now Great Eagle also thought he was dead, so he laid him on a ledge
of rocks near the nest. At once Tlecsa killed Great Eagle and pulled
out his tail feathers. Then he tied an eaglet to each wrist and
commanded them to fly down with him. When they reached the valley
far below, Tlecsa pulled the large feathers out of the eaglets’
wings and tails, and gave them to his brothers. He said to the
eaglets, “Hereafter you shall be ordinary eagles. You shall have no
power to kill people, and Indians shall ornament their heads and
weapons with your feathers;” and it was so.


[1]The scenic pictures in this volume were selected to show the
    magnificence and beauty of the home of many of these myths.

[2]These Indian houses were made with rough, loose boards on the
    sides and top, which were shifted to let the smoke out, and in
    summer to let the breeze in. The fire was always in the center
    of such one-room houses, and the usual smoke hole was
    immediately above it.

[3]The warm wind of the North Pacific Coast is called a chinook.

[4]Devilfish was the usual bait in halibut fishing.

[5]This myth is said to give an excellent idea of climatic
    conditions along part of the Northwest Coast—largely a struggle
    between the rainy southeast wind and the cold north wind.

[6]Told by all Cree Indians, but of course influenced by contact
    with the white race.

[7]Popularly called Whiskey Jack, though the word is Indian. It
    means “meat bird,” as this Canadian jay is fond of meat and
    therefore is a great torment around camps.

[8]The name appears under various spellings—Manibozho, Nanebojo,
    etc. Nenebuc appears among many tribes centering around the
    Great Lakes, though the myth is essentially Ojibwa. Other
    versions of it, received from the American Ojibwas, will be
    found in the author’s _Myths and Legends of the Mississippi
    Valley and the Great Lakes_.

[9]The chief interest of this tale is that it is a correct
    description of Indian cooking and feasting.

[10]There seem to be innumerable waterfalls in North America
    concerning which there is such a tradition as this one. Without
    question many of them are imaginary. This story of the Crees and
    Iroquois is told by many tribes, though the location of the
    falls differs in every version of the story.

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                        Transcriber’s Notes

--Copyright notice provided as in the original—this e-text is public
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--Only in the text versions, delimited italicized text in
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