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p. 182


(Äqälịle´tkin pị´ñịltê, "[Of those] who led war tidings").

1. Ma´nê and Mana´qton.

 There were two brothers, Ma´nê and Mana´qton. In war times Mana´qton was taken captive by the Russians, and put into a dark prison. They fed him and gave him to drink. But he was not permitted to undress to satisfy his natural wants. Therefore his breeches became full of excrement, and in the end he could no longer move. A great Russian commander was moving along the shore in a large heavy boat. He went up-stream. Several young men were walking on the shore, towing the boat. Ma´nê concealed himself behind the bushes and watched them. They came nearer. They were making great efforts, because the boat was heavy; and of course they were unarmed, because all the arms were in the boat. When they came quite close, Ma´nê sprang out and attacked them. He stabbed all of them with his spear. They did not resist, because they were too weary from towing. When all were killed, Ma´nê seized the tow-line. The commander was alone in the boat, holding the rudder. Ma´nê tugged at the tow-line. "You there! All the arms that you have in the boat! throw them into the water! Otherwise I shall let go the tow-line!2 The commander took up the rifles and long knives (swords), and threw them into the water. Ma´nê drew the boat close to himself. "Why have you put my brother into the dark prison? Set him free!" — "All right!" says the commander. "Come to Markova!" They moved on. Ma´nê was towing the boat all alone.3 They came to Markova. The commander said, "Set Mana´qton free from prison!"

 But the Russian "transformed shaman"4 opposed it. He said, "I do not believe that you were able to tow the boat all alone; but if you really did do it, I propose a test. Two Russian men shall hold a long knife as high as their heads. You must jump over that knife." They held that knife high over their heads. He thought, "I shall not be able to do it. I shall die. Still my brother is also dying. Let me try!" — "Oh, oh, oh!" He drew a deep breath, almost with a moan, then made a bound, and jumped over the p. 183 knife. He returned and jumped back over the knife. To and fro he kept jumping over the Russian knife poised on high.

 "Oh, oh!" says the Russian shaman, "You are very nimble. Bring Mana´qton here!" They brought Mana´qton. He was so weak, he could not walk. They carried him in. They ripped open his breeches with a knife, washed him, and made him clean. Then he rose to his feet. Ma´nê said to the brother, "Go to the shore!" He asked the Russians for tea and sugar and tobacco. They gave him nothing. He struck the shaman in the face and killed him. Then he fled toward the river. The Russian young men shot with theirs rifles, and hit him on the head. So he was killed and died there. The end.

Told by Äɛmu´lịn, a Reindeer Chukchee man, in a camp near the middle course of the Anadyr River, November, 1900.



p. 182

1 Compare Bogoras, Chukchee Materials, Nos. 130-133 and Nos. 145-152.

2 In explanation of this threat, the teller of the story said that the current was strong, and the boat, set free, would probably have capsized.

3 A quite similar episode is to be met in Russian tales referring to Yermak, the Conqueror of Siberia. It was probably borrowed by the Chukchee from the Cossacks.

4 Yịrka´-la´ul, most probably a Russian pope, who is equivalent here to a "transformed shaman" of the Chukchee, because his upper garment resembles a woman's robe.