Sacred-Texts Asia
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p. 124


1. (Incantation on Behalf of a Sick Person.1)

 When a man is suffering, they call the Man from the Upper Region, and they speak thus: "Well, then, come down! I want to use you for my assistant. Indeed, what shall I do? Shall I find him myself? I am ignorant. With your permission, I will take you for my assistant. Search for me. It is too bad. Here I am, without any help at all."

 Then the man uttering the incantation picks up any small thing, — for instance, a splinter of wood, — and pretends that this is the Man from the Upper Region. Then he demands the reindeer from Front-Head (the star Arcturus), and says, "O Front-Head! give me your reindeer-bucks! This man wishes to use them for his driving-team." He demands also from Rulte´nnin (the constellation Orion) his whip. Then the Man from the Upper Region p. 125 starts on his journey of search. First of all, he visits the Ground-Beings.1 He comes there, and they say, "You have come?" (but in reality he remains motionless, as before.) "Yes, I have come!" — "And who are you?" — "Oh, I am employed only as an assistant. I come to find out where that man is. He is here probably?" — "But I do not know anything. It is wholly unknown. He is not here. I cannot tell." Then he goes away from there (of course, the man is standing motionless) and begins to talk again, and he says, "Oh, where shall I go? Where is he?" He goes to the Upper Beings. "Oh, you have come?" — "Yes!" — "What do you want?" — "I am an assistant of these people. I come only in search (of some one)." — "Indeed, but we do not know. That man did not come to us. It is quite unknown (to us where he is)." — "You say so! But where may he be?"

 He comes home and finds the patient, who meanwhile has died. He says, "Oh, he is not there! The people yonder do not know about him. Oh, it is hard! Where shall I find him? I will go and look among the people of Darkness." He arrives at the Darkness. " You have come?" — "Yes! Oh, oh, there he is!" Here at last he is found by the seeker. "Then p. 126 you are here?" — "Yes! I have come here. Here I am abiding!" — "Oh, let us go home! I am assisting these people. Indeed, for that they have called me. Let us return! I will take you with me." And he really takes him along. (For this the man picks up another small splinter, holding it with his left hand. This means that the man from the Upper Region brings back the soul, and makes it retrace its way.) At the same time the father pretends to blow into the ear of the patient, or scratches his head. The splinter of wood is put under the pillow. The man uttering the incantation is also called the father of the patient. At last the dead one recovers his breath, then his voice comes back to him, and he even assumes a sitting posture. Then he (the man practising the incantation) demands from the Morning Dawn some clothes for the patient. He says, "See here! This one is without clothes, this little son of mine. Give me some clothes, and I will put them on his body" (he stretches his hand upwards, as if taking clothes from above). Then he pretends to put the clothes on the man, and says, "I have put clothes on you which are unassailable (by the ke´let)." After that he causes the patient to be carried back mto the sleeping-room (because p. 127 for the last performance he was taken out of it). Before entering there, his whole body must be smeared over with ochre. After that he recovers completely. The end.

Told by Qo´tirġịn, a Maritime Chukchee man, in the village of Mị´s·qạn, November, 1900.



p. 124

1 Compare Vol. VII of this series, p. 502, no. 8, c.

p. 125

1 Compare Vol. VII of this series, p. 293.