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9. Incantation to bring back the Dying.2

 When a man has (just) died, (another person) goes into the open, while (the dead) is still lying in the inner room. That man goes out and talks to the Morning Dawn, to the Upper Being. He says, "Oh, my mind is uncertain! Enough!3 Whom (else) may I ask (for help)? You are most fit. Oh, give me your dog! I will also use it as a dog myself. I am sorrowful for my child.4 It has gone away to a far-off (place). Therefore let me use that (dog) for (my) assistant."

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 He makes (a motion) with his left hand, as if receiving that dog (from somewhere). Then he (comes back and) blows into the ear of the dead person, and howls (like a dog), "Uu, uu!" thus.

 Then this dog starts on, pursuing the dead man, [who has gone away.] It follows him, howling and barking, "Haw, haw, haw!" It passes ahead of him, and meets him (on the road with fierce) barking. It snaps at him (while he is) going, and intercepts his path in every direction. At last it makes him come back from his long journey. He must enter the body and put it on again. Then he begins to breathe, and (gradually) improves. And so he, though a real dead (one), revives again.

Told by Rịke´wġi, a Maritime Chukchee man, at Mariinsky Post, in October, 1900.



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2 Compare Vol. VII of this series, p. 506, No. 9, a.

3 Rattan·ñau´ñịn ("enough") means also "stop talking" and "stop doubting,"

4 The man who utters the incantation calls the patient his child (cf. Vol. VII of this series, p. 476).