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4. (The Youth who received Supernatural Powers from the Ke´let.)

 Once upon a time there was another man who lived in a single house. There were only three of them. The son was suffering, so the parents (even) could not sleep. A strong gale was blowing. Notwithstanding (the noise), they heard the clattering of sledge-runners. The man's wife looked out into the darkness and saw the visitors. They were Re´kkeñ.2 She said, "Oh, they are coming down upon us! Their reindeer were breathing fire. They came and entered the house. The suffering one immediately even ceased to moan. "Oh, we come for provisions. Oh, dear! with what are you going to treat us?" — "Oh, with thong-seal meat." — "We are not used to it. Oh, with p. 35 what are you going to treat us?" — "With ring-seal meat." — "We do not eat such things." They pointed at the direction of the suffering one. "We want that one." — "Indeed, there is nothing there."

 Then one of them entered the sleeping-room, caught the suffering one by the ankle and carried him out. As soon as they had caught him, they only did thus with their mouths, whp! And only his bones were left. His little mother cried. Then one of the (re´kkeñ) took off his overcoat, picked up the bones and put them into the overcoat. The ke´let did so with the bones of that man. Then they went out and said, "We are going away, watch us." The old woman watched them when they were going to their sledges. They came to the sledges and emptied the overcoat, flinging its contents in the direction of the house. And there was that one just now eaten by them. They restored him, the suffering one, to life. He came to the house, quite naked. And he had acquired great shamanistic power. He entered the house naked.

 He seemed to be out of his wits. All at once he would strike his own p. 36 body with a bowlder, and the bowlder would crumble to a mere nothing. From every settlement in the neighborhood there came inquisitive people. They wanted to kill him, and all at once they struck him with a spear. But his body was as hard as stone. And they could not do anything.

 After a while he married. His wife was very pretty. So the other people, the wrong-doers, felt a desire to have this woman. They took this shaman and carried him to the (open) country. There they strangled him, and he was killed. They took his wife and went with her to the house. Then they saw the one whom they had just killed sitting in the house, as before. "Oh, again! Oh, dear! What shall we do?" The woman was too pretty.

 So they dug a cellar, filled it with insects, [mere] hairy grubs. These grubs soon became quite large in size. Then they called him. (He said to the woman,) "Oh, but now I must give up the struggle. Now they will take you for good. But you must remember to dig the ground in the cellar." They pushed him into the cellar. The grubs caught him and consumed him. Then (his enemies) took the Woman.

 As soon as night came, she went away quietly and followed a trail. p. 37 This was the working-trail of her husband. She followed the trail, and found the duodenum of a reindeer hanging on a bush. She stopped there and made a fire. After that she departed again and felt thirsty. She saw a river quite filled with grubs, so she did not drink from that river. After a while she saw a lake. It was full of fish, but from this lake she could take a drink. At last she found her husband. He was standing outside a house, and was working at something. He said to her, "You have come?"

 Meanwhile he had married also among the ke´let. The other wife said to her, "Put on my combination-suit!" But her husband said, "Do not put it on, you will die." His other wife said, "At least do look upon me!" Her husband said, "Do not look upon her. She will take your [female] soul." This was a ke´lẹ-woman: therefore, if she had looked upon her, she would have died immediately. The other woman said again, "At least do sit on my pillow-bag!" — "Do not sit down. She will kill your child."

p. 38

 The human wife went out and busied herself in the outer tent. His other wife had made a cellar in the outer tent. In the darkness the human wife fell into that cellar. At last the child began to cry quite loud. Their husband said, "Oh, where is she?" He questioned his other wife. "Don't you know anything about her?" — "Oh, I do not know anything at all." Oho, the child was crying quite loud.

 Their husband said, "Now, then, give me the drum!" Then he looked for his wife among the various Beings and could not find her. Then he set off (to visit) other kinds of Beings, those of the Morning Dawn, and she was not there. "Oh, oh, oh! How very extraordinary! I cannot find her." Again he struck the drum. This time he went to the Mid-Day, and searched for her there. She was not there.

 He said to his ke´lẹ-wife, "It is you, who did (harm) to her." The ke´lẹ-wife answered him, "Why should I have done (harm) to my working-companion, my wife mate?" — "Now then, give me the drum again!" He searched for p. 39 her among the Ground-Beings and saw her. He said to her, "Oh, what are you doing here? She was starving. She said, "It is your wife who made this cellar for me with the desire of murdering me."

 Then her husband said, "Now let us leave her! She is bad, and so we shall be made childless." — "Oh," he said to his ke´lẹ-wife, "you are an experienced shaman! Do practise your art a little, and let us have some recreation." — "Aha, all right!" The woman practised her art. The shaman, her husband, made a man of excrement, to give her the usual answers.

 Then the woman practised her art. The man made a fire all around the house, and flames flashed up. Meanwhile the mannikin made of excrement was giving answer, "Ġịt, ġịt, ġịt." He proved to be quite lively. Then the ke´lẹ-woman felt quite warm, because the house was ablaze, and the fire approached the sleeping-room. The husband and his human wife went far away, taking with them their obsidian scraper.

 (The following is also used as an incantation.) At last the ke´lẹ-woman p. 40 appeared from the sleeping-room, because she felt too hot. And the man made of excrement, who was giving answer, was downcast, because the excrement was melting. He could only call out feebly, "Ġịt, ġịt," because this lively answerer was melting in the heat.

 Then the tip of the tongue of the ke´lẹ-woman jumped out and rushed in pursuit of the fugitives. It was quite swift, and soon drew near. The man said, "Now put down the obsidian scraper!" A big mountain originated, quite slippery. The tip of the tongue would climb up halfway, and then slide down again. Still, somehow it succeeded in crossing it, and continued the pursuit.

 They stuck into the ground a piece of wood, and it turned into a dense wood. The wood had no openings, and was quite thick and dense. When passing through that wood, the tongue came to be covered with blood. Still it passed through it, and continued the pursuit. Then the man said to his wife, "Draw a line on the ground with the little finger of your left hand!" This time a river originated. As soon as the tongue left the bank, it was carried p. 41 down by the current, because the river was flowing in rapids. Still it crossed the river. Then the man said to his wife, "Draw another line on the ground!"

 They apply all kinds of means: it crosses again and pursues them. At last he ordered her to draw a line with soot1 of her lamp, using her right hand. When the tongue came to that soot river, it felt superstitious fear,2 and could not cross it. Then they went away and disappeared. The tongue probably turned back.

 The human beings ascended to the Morning Dawn. There in the upper world they died of old age. The name of the shaman is Tai´pat. His son took his abode on the moon, and became a Sacrifice-Being. They throw up to him some thong, and in doing this they throw that thong upon every kind of game. They sacrifice also blood to the moon.

 The mother was immortal. And she became the Left-Side Morning Dawn.3 Those probably were the people from the time of first creation.

p. 42

 Those that possess evil charms also dwell upon the moon in another place. Also Epilepsy1 was created. Of old the people were immortal. Also Coughing-of-Blood comes from there. And also a man who is visited by his enemy's anger and ceases to catch game, his misfortune is also from there. It is necessary to be on guard, else even the lucky one may feel want. Truly, the game is made scarce by supernatural means. Then it becomes hard to kill. The sacrificing-shamans also have been created from there, and every kind of "Beings,"2 at least part of them. The end. Let the wind cease!

Told by Rị´nto, a Maritime Chukchee man, at Mariinsky Post, in October, 1900.



p. 34

2 Re´kkeñịt are evil spirits (see Vol. VII of this series, p. 295).

p. 41

1 The lamp, and everything connected with it, are considered a highly efficient protection against spirits.

2 Compare p. 29, footnote 3.

3 See Vol. VII of this series, p. 303.

p. 42

1 {Ite´yun.} Spirit of Epilepsy. See Vol. VII of this series, p. 42.

2 {Va´ịrġịn.} Benevolent spirits. Compare Volume VII of this series, p. 303.