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Yana Texts, by Edward Sapir, [1910], at

p. 200



(Round Mountain Jack's Version)

p. 202

Wildcat had a bad dream. He climbed up a digger pine and broke off the branches, broke them all off. He wrenched off one of his arms from his shoulders, then wrenched off the other one also; he also wrenched off one of his legs, also the other leg. He broke off his backbone and threw it down; he also broke off his neck. Down he bounded, (now nothing but) a human skull, and there he lay for a while.

He bounded to the south, and, bounding, arrived at a house. All the people died. He bounded (still farther) south, to a house in the south. All the people died. He turned and bounded back, hastened back to the north. Off towards the west the people died: he hastened back to the east. He hastened off towards the north, and arrived at a house; the people died. He hastened back to the south; there were no people. There he lay for a while. He came hastening back from the south, came hastening back to this place. He hastened back as far as a hill.

Coyote was coming from the north, from Montgomery creek. The human skull was singing. Coyote heard him, and stood still. "Come to me, pack-basket!" 318 he said. "Come to me, tasselled apron? Come to me, basket-cap! Come to me, bread! Come to me, salmon! Come to me, deer-meat! Enough now!" Now he was carrying a pack-basket on his back. "Come here, staff!"

p. 203

he said. Now he was walking along, coming from the north. Now (Wildcat) was rolling north, bounded along the ground to that one. (Coyote, now) a woman, was coming from the north, came near to him. He started in to weep. "Yes," he said, "my brother acted in that manner. I put rocks in the fire, dug a round hole in the ground, and put the hot rocks into it. I roasted him in the hole. Let me roast you in a hole: you will not die." (Wildcat agreed, and Coyote) roasted him in a hole. He kept holding on to him, kept holding him down tight. (Wildcat attempted to break out.) The earth shook all about, but he did not (succeed)--he remained there. Coyote put out his hand for him, took up the head back again, the human skull.

"I am a sensible person," he said. "It is I that have always been possessed of much sense." Now he took him up and carried him off. He went west (until) he came to a halt. "Now!" he said, "I shall throw you into the creek here. People will bathe here," he said; "they will become medicine-men." Now he threw him into the creek there. Then he went back home to the east.


200:314 These two supplementary texts of myths were obtained in 1900 by Dr. R. B. Dixon from Round Mountain Jack, who has since died. Round Mountain Jack, whose Indian name was Buī'yas*i (cf. buī- "to kick"), was recognized as the last chief or "captain" of the Northern Yana and was always mentioned with respect and affection. By Dr. Dixon's kindness I am enabled to append these texts to my own. The first is a variant of a myth independently secured by Curtin and myself, the second is valuable as the only Yana version secured of a widespread western American myth. With Dr. Dixon's consent I have normalized his orthography in conformity to my own. The dialect of the texts is garī'?i or Northern Yana. On only one phonetic point is there uncertainty. Dr. Dixon often writes a syllabically final r where my own materials shows gat‘ā'?i n, rt‘, or t?, garī'?i t (or t‘), rt‘, or t?; e.g., Dr. Dixon has tirdjauā'lti (i.e., dirdjawa'ldi?) where Central Yana would show ditdja-, Betty Brown's material ditdja-. As it is doubtful how far Dr. Dixon's r represents voiced r and how far voiceless r (or rt‘, rt?), it has seemed most expedient to normalize all eases with variant r in conformity with the phonetics of Betty Brown's material.

200:315 Cf. text IX and footnote 191.

202:318 The pack-basket, tasselled apron, and basket cap stamp the woman, the bread, salmon, and deer meat are to be the contents of the pack-basket, the staff marks the old woman.

Next: XXIV. Grizzly Bear and Deer