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The Soul and the Shamans

1. The seers go to the ghosts [the souls of the deceased]. When three go, one having a strong guardian spirit is placed first, another one last. One having a less powerful guardian spirit is placed in the middle. When four seers go, the two lesser ones are placed in the middle. A strong seer goes in front, another one behind. They pursue the soul of a sick chief. When the trail [which they follow] begins to be dangerous, the one in front sings his song. When a danger approaches from the rear, the one behind sings his song. In the evening when it begins to grow dark they commence the care of the sick person. When the morning star rises they reach his soul. They take it, and the guardian spirits of the seers return. Sometimes they stay away one night, sometimes two. Then they give the sick person his soul and he recovers.

2. When the seers pursue the soul of a sick person and it takes the trail to the left, the seers say: "Behold, he will die." When it takes the trail to the right they say: "We shall cure him."

3. The spirits of the seers reach the hole in the ground where the souls of the deceased always drink. When the soul of the sick one has drunk at that water, then he cannot get well. Even if all the shamans try to cure him they cannot make him well.

4. They find a soul that has drunk of the water. They take it. It is large. The spirits of the seers return. When they bring it near the country of the Indians it begins to grow smaller. Then these men who know how to cure people say: "Perhaps de will die to-morrow."

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[paragraph continues] It gets day. They try to give him his soul. It does not fill his body and he must die. His soul has become too small.

5. When the seers go and their spirits arrive at the water in the country of the ghosts, and the soul of the sick one is still far from their town, and they have not given him food, then the seers say: "Oh, we shall make him well, the ghosts have not given him food." And indeed their spirits take the soul and return. Even if the person is very sick and they give him his soul, he revives at once.

6. Again the ghosts carry away a soul. The person faints at once; his legs tremble. Then the seers are paid and drive away the ghosts. The soul which they carried away sees the ghosts. He knows part of them; another part he does not know. Only those he knows who died not long ago. The spirits of the seers reach the soul which was carried away and turn it round. At once the sick one recovers; he gets well.

7. When the ghosts carry a soul away and no seer is present [to recover it], when the soul has been away a night, the person who fainted remains dead. Sometimes when it has been away two nights he remains dead.

8. When the soul of a sick person goes to the ghosts, the seers pursue it. If it has already been taken into the house, it cannot be recovered. The spirits of the seers cry and return.

9. When a horse is seen in the country of the ghosts and it is not taken back it dies after a few days. When it is taken back it does not die. Just so a person. When a person is well, but his soul is seen in the country of the ghosts and it is not taken back he must die within a short time. Just so a canoe. When the ghosts carry away a canoe and the seers do not bring it back it will be broken.

10. When a seer wants to shake his manikin [a figure made of cedar bark] he gives it to somebody who has no guardian spirit. Now they go to the ghosts. He helps him. Now this person sees everything in the country of the ghosts. The manikin carries him there.

11. When only one soul leaves the body of the sick person, when it remains in the country of the Indians and it is taken, then the sick person recovers at once. When the lesser soul of a person is caught in the country of the Indians and is given back to the person, he recovers after a short time. A soul is in the country of the ghosts; the spirits of the seers pursue it and reach it when it arrives at the ghosts. They bring it back, return it to the sick person, and he recovers.

12. When the soul of a chief leaves his body it goes to the beach. Not many seers know about it; only strong shamans know how it goes to the beach.

13. When a soul has taken anything that belongs to the ghosts, the sick one can not recover.

14. When a sick person will die, it is always high water. Then the spirits of the seers walk slowly. When the sick one will recover it is always low water.

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15. When the soul of a sick person is placed in a canoe and this is carried out into the ocean, the sick one can not recover.

16. The spirits of the seers reach the soul of a sick person. They take it and lift it. They look at it and seize it again. They look again and it has disappeared; then the shaman says that he has taken it.

17. When they try to take the soul of a sick person and sparks fall down, he will die. It seems just like a firebrand. They try to gather the sparks up. Then the shaman says: "Behold, I shall not cure him."

18. When a person will die, his soul is heavy; when he will recover, it is light.

19. When the ghosts watch a soul then the shaman makes a deer. He sends it and it runs away. The ghosts pursue it and leave the soul. They forget it. Thus the shaman deceives them and takes back the soul which the ghosts had left.

20. When a seer is evilly disposed against a person, he watches for him. At last he finds him asleep. Then he takes out his soul and hides it near a corpse, in a canoe burial, in a thorny place, under a house or in rotten wood. Then the owner of the soul falls sick. A shaman is paid to look for the soul and to cure him. He says: "Oh, that shaman has your soul." They search for it and find it in the country of the ghosts, or in a thorny place, under a house, or in rotten wood, or somewhere in the air. He takes it. When the soul is still hale and well, the sick one will recover. When the shaman's spirit has begun eating it, the owner of the soul must die.

21. Somebody sends, unknown to anybody, a string of large dentalia several fathoms long to a shaman, and asks him [through his messenger]: "Take the soul of that person out of his body." He gives in payment to him, secretly, long dentalia or a woman. Then he takes out the soul of the person against whom he was sent. The person dies. When his relatives learn about it and come to know the secret they take the shaman and kill him. If they do not kill him and he gives away a large amount of property or slaves, he is not killed. Then he is forgiven.

[Numbers 1 to 21 were originally Chehalish beliefs and customs.]

22. It is the same with a very strong shaman. When he observes his wife with a young man he shoots disease against them. In the same way a man sends a person to the shaman, who gives him goods. He pays him secretly long dentalia or a woman. Then he sends disease to a person. When his relatives learn the secret, the shaman is killed. The relatives of the man against whom he sent the disease kill him. If the disease is found in the sick one, a strong shaman is paid, who takes out the disease. He takes out five diseases [pieces of bone around which hairs are tied] and one rope. He cures the sick one. When the disease has gone right through him before it is discovered the sick man must die. Man has two souls. If both are taken out of the body their owner must die.

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23. When the supernatural disease is taken out, the shaman takes it into his hands. He folds his fingers [the thumb of the right hand being inclosed by the fingers of the left]. When the thumb comes out, then the disease-spirit escapes. When the shaman has taken the disease-spirit, one man takes him at his legs, another one at his arms, a third one at his back. He is lifted. Then water is put into a kettle. When they come near the water and the disease-spirit escapes, the people fall down (as though a resistance which they try to overcome were suddenly removed). Several times they carry him to the water. Then the disease-spirit is made soft in the water. It gets cold, and they look at it. Sometimes it is a wolf's or a bird's claw, sometimes a human bone. It is carved into the shape of a person.

24. When the disease-spirit has murdered five people, it has three cuts on one arm, two on the other. When it has murdered eight people, it has five cuts on one arm, three on the other. If it has murdered ten persons, it has five cuts on one arm, five on the other. When the shaman has taken out the disease-spirit, he lifts it. He brings his hands near the kettle. When the spirit sees the water, the kettle will burst. Then another kettle is taken. If the shaman gets tired, he asks another shaman: "Strike my hands with that rattle." Then a shaman takes a rattle and strikes the hands of the one who holds the disease-spirit. He puts his hands into the water and rubs the spirit. He takes out five at the same time and his hands become hot. Then he takes out the rope. Now others help him. Sometimes three shamans, sometimes two take out the rope. When many shamans are present, then four take out the rope. They take the rope out of the body of the man. into whom the disease was sent. The shamans pull at both ends of the rope and ask somebody to cut it. When a person who has no guardian spirit takes a knife and cuts between the hands of these people, he does not cut [feel] anything. If there is a woman who has a guardian spirit, she takes a small knife and cuts between the hands of the shamans. She cuts through that rope. Then blood flows out. She cuts through it several times. Now all the blood has flowed out. Then the person who sent the disease is struck with the knife. If the rope was struck [cut] with an arrowhead, then he is struck with an arrow. He is shot and killed.

25. When the ropes [the hairs tied around the middle of the pieces of bone] of the disease-spirits are long, then the sickness will come upon the person after a long time. If the ropes of the disease-spirits are made short, then the person will fall sick after five or six days.

26. When a chief's child has died, the people send for a shaman. Disease has been sent to the child of a chief. Then he takes revenge on the relatives of the murderer [and selects] the child of [another] chief. A shaman is paid secretly. When these people learn about it, they take revenge in their turn. They send disease to the younger brother of that chief. When that chief knows the shaman [who has done so],

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he will sometimes kill him. Sometimes they kill a relative of the chief. Then a family feud originates. If they pay a blood fine to each other, then they make peace again. They do not make peace until several are killed.

27. When a shaman and somebody who has no guardian spirit are angry against each other, and the shaman sends disease against his enemy, he is killed. When he gives away many dentalia, he is not killed; they forgive him. When the wife of a man is taken away, he secretly pays the shaman, who sends disease, sometimes to the man [who eloped with the woman], sometimes to the woman. When a deceased relative's wife is taken by a stranger, a shaman is paid secretly and the woman or the man is killed. When a woman has many dentalia and her elder brother dies, she pays secretly a shaman, giving him dentalia, and he sends disease to a relative of the one who killed her brother. She takes revenge on a relative of the murderer of her elder brother. Sometimes she marries the shaman. She gives herself secretly in payment and sends her husband [to kill her enemies].

28. When the shamans sing and one of them says: "I have a great guardian spirit," then the other shamans try him. When he really has a guardian spirit, one of them tries to hit him with a disease spirit, but he misses him. Another shaman tries him, but he also misses him. Several shamans try him, but they can not hit him. Then they say: "Behold! He is really a shaman." When he only brags, saying that he is a shaman, they try him and hit him at once. When a strong man sings and shamans try to send him disease, they can not hit him. When a person sings: "I am a strong man" [without being a strong man], and they send disease to him, he dies at once.

29. When somebody is made sick by his guardian spirit his friends say to a shaman: "Please sing for him." They pay the shaman who sings for the man whom his guardian spirit made sick. Then the shaman sings until he gets well. If he is not made well, he must die. This is the case with men and women.

30. When a shaman tries his power, he sends disease to the bark of a tree. The bark bursts at once and falls down. Then he thinks: "Indeed, I have the powers of a shaman." When an eagle sits on top of a spruce tree, the shaman sends disease against him. He falls down at once, his mouth full of blood. Then he thinks: "Indeed, I have the powers of a shaman."

31. When the weather is bad, the people ask a good person who has a guardian spirit of the sea to sing for good weather. He says: "When the sun stands there and there, it will clear up." When it will be bad weather for a long time, he says: "It is too difficult for me, probably it will not clear up. I can not do it."

32. When a person is shot, a "strong man" is paid. "Lend him your guardian spirit." Then they pour water [on the face] of the person who is shot. The blood squirts out; all the blood comes out. Then

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the "strong man" says: "If he gets well it will thunder." Indeed, it is quiet for a short time and then it thunders. He says: "You will hear the thunder twice."

33. When a "strong man" is shot, a child is made ready. Its face is painted red or sometimes black. Its hair is tied up over its forehead. Sometimes two children are made ready. Then water is poured on the "strong man" who has been shot, and the arrow is taken out. When two persons look after him, one is a girl and one a boy. The girl is placed on one side of the house. She holds a torch in one hand and a rattle in the other. The boy is placed at the other side of the house and has a whistle. On top of the house is a man who pours the water on the wounded "strong man." Then all the blood comes out of the "strong man." If there is no "strong man" in a town, a shaman who sucks is paid and he sucks out the blood from the one who is shot.

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