Tradition of the A'waiLEla.
(Dictated by Hai'a
lk*îngamê?, a DEna'x*da?xu, 1897.)
A person living at Having-Humpback-Salmon dreamed. (He said) "Don't stay thus, children! I have dreamed of the supernatural power that we get from time to time (we inherit)." Thus he said. He wakened his children. Then the children arose. He instructed his children, (saying) that he had dreamed of the place where he always found dead animals on account of the one-horned mountain-goat, the large mountain-goat, that only mother of the mountain-goats. (He said,) "Go on, go on, start, children! Go to our place at K*â'tâlê." K*â'tâlê was the name of the place where he found dead animals on account of the one-horned mountain-goat. Then his children went up the river of Having-Humpback-Salmon. They arrived at the place of their father, Hamâ'lak*aua?ê. Hamâ'lak*aua?ê was the name of their father.
Then the children started. They were four. Four were their dogs, all hunting-dogs. Then they sat down on the bank of the river. They were sitting there and looking
about over the country. The eldest one of the children saw something white on a meadow. "What may that be, friends?" said he to his younger brothers. "Evidently that is what our father referred to. Evidently that is the thing about which our father gave us instructions." Then it was shown to the dog. The dog discovered the white thing on the meadow. The dog went to the meadow. The dog started. The dog reached the white thing on the meadow, and barked, barking at the white thing on the meadow. Then the owners of the dog spoke. "Evidently that is what we came here for." Thus said the children.
The dog came back to his master. Then the dog raised his head to his master. They say the dog probably knew about the mountain-goat lying dead on the meadow. Then the brothers started, and the oldest one tried to get ahead of the others, although the youngest advised his elder brothers, (saying,) "Don't walk too fast, friends!" Thus said the youngest one to his elder brothers. Then the youngest one tried to speak again. "Take heed of the advice of our father!" Thus said the youngest one. He, the youngest one, alone spoke wisely. The eldest one arrived at the place where the large one-horned mountain-goat was lying dead on the meadow. The mountain-goat had a piece of quartz standing on its forehead. Then the eldest brother desired it overmuch. That eldest one twisted off the quartz from One-Horn. "Yä," said the youngest one. He, the youngest one, alone spoke wisely, trying to advise his elder brothers. Then the elder ones began to skin it. They skinned it quickly. Only the youngest one warned his elder brothers; but they disobeyed the instructions of their father, although the father tried to instruct his children (well).
The elder brothers were quick, and they quickly took off the tallow. Then they cut open (the mountain-goat)
to take off the kidney-fat. The elder brothers tried to get everything; but the youngest one was just sitting on the meadow, because he felt badly on account of his elder brothers, who overstepped the advice that their father had tried to give them in regard to their actions. The elder ones tried to get all the fat of the intestines of the one-horned mountain-goat. Then the youngest one spoke. "Be quick before anything happens, slaves (of misfortune)! Something important is going on above in the sky." Then a fog appeared above. In vain the elder brothers fought among themselves for the fat of the intestines, and for all the kidney-fat, and for the skin of the mountain-goat, In vain they tied it up quickly. Then they saw the sky. Smoke was rolling down the mountains. Evidently it was going to snow. Then it began to snow from above.
The youngest one just pinched off a little of the fat of the intestines, and then he also pinched off a little of the kidney-fat, which he kept in his mouth,--the youngest one. The youngest one continued to speak wisely. He followed the instructions of the father to his children, for the father knew what the ancestors of Hamâ'lak*aua?ê had been doing. The youngest one said to his elder brothers, "Make a start, slaves (of misfortune)." They started again and again (to go back).--Then a very heavy fall of snow came down. The -snow kept on coming down. The youngest one did not carry anything, Only the elder brothers carried much on their backs; but the youngest one just followed the words of his father, that had been given as advice by the father to his children, although be had repeated it often when he tried to instruct his children, and when Hamâ'lak*aua?ê told them much about his ancestors.
The brothers were all coming down, the youngest one
in the rear. The youngest one just thought that his elder brothers would be unlucky. In vain the brothers cried, because they were afraid of the snow. Then the snow reached the top of their feet. Then the snow reached up to their necks. They just sat down, and they would cry on account of what might happen. Only the youngest one did not cry in vain. He was only sad because he had in vain tried to speak wisely to his elder brothers, because he tried to follow the instructions of his father to his children.
They were coming (down), and arrived at a gorge on the mountain. A brook was trickling down there. Their trail led along under the brook, (which was falling down) from an overhanging cliff, so that the trail led along under it. Then they sat down by the dripping brook, and they cried, for what could they do? for the bushes were covered to the top by the snow. They reached the dripping brook on account of the dogs, for the doors made a trail for their masters, and the dogs marked (a trail) along the snow for their masters. They were followed by their masters, (who went) on the trail of the dogs. Therefore they arrived at the place where they were going to endure hardships. Then the brothers were just crying on the rocks, for they could not do anything because their trail was all ice, for it was really overhanging, the place under which the children had to go along.
Then the youngest one spoke to his elder brothers. Then he blamed his elder brothers. "Oh, you who disagree with me!" he said to his elder brothers, "why did you do that, although our father tried to advise us?" Thus said the youngest one to his elder brothers. He just scorned his elder brothers because the elder children were just crying. Then it occurred to the eldest one to send his dog over the rocks to start along the trail. There
was snow on top of the ice, and there was ice on the trail. The dog started across. Then an accident happened to the dog of the eldest brother, and the dog of the eldest brother tumbled down. He dropped into the gorge, and he was dead. Then the eldest brother cried in vain on account of what had happened to his dog, who fell down and dropped into the gorge. Then the dog of the next eldest brother also made an attempt. The dog of the third brother also walked on it. They just did the same as the dog of the eldest brother. The dog of the third brother just dropped into the gorge. Then the dog of the one next to the youngest tried to walk. He did just the same as the dog of his brother. The dog of the one next to the youngest had an accident.
Then the eldest one spoke. "Let me try and go along the trail." Thus said the eldest one to his younger brothers. "Go on, and try!" said the younger brothers to their elder brother. Then the eldest brother tried to go across. He walked on the ice, and just the same happened to him as to the dogs. That man just dropped down into the gorge, to the same place to which the dogs had dropped. Then his younger brothers cried in vain. The second one went across on the trail; and just the same thing happened to him, he dropped into the gorge; and the same thing also happened to the other one, he just dropped into the gorge. Then the three men and their dogs were all dead.
The youngest one alone was alive. He sat on the rock and cried on account of his elder brothers. The boy had half a mind to go on and just die, together with his dear elder brothers. He was crying. The boy cried on account of his elder brothers, and the dog, howled. The dog was crying with his master. Then the boy stopped crying, and directed his mind to a thing on
the rock. The dog, however, almost [not] spoke to his master. The dog would go and nudge his master, who was sitting on the rock, as though the dog would hurry his master to walk along the rock. After a little while it stopped snowing.
Then the dog of the youngest one tried to cross on the rock. The dog held on to the edge of the rock where the ice was at the overhanging place. The dog went safely across the ice. Then he came back and went straight to his master and nudged him, as though he were saying to his master, "Don't stay in this manner!" Then the dog hurried his master. Then the boy thought that he would listen to his dog, for his dog almost [not] spoke to him. Only he did not understand what the dog said to his master. Then the boy arose on the rock and lay on the back of his dog. He held on to the back of his dog, who then went across the ice. Then he was taken across the ice by his dog. Thus the boy went across, being carried across by his dog. Then the boy and his dog were safe.
He still held in his mouth the tallow that he had pinched off. Four pieces were held by him in his mouth. He had only cut off a little from the skin of the one-horned one. He had just put that skin of the one-horned mountain-goat in his armpit. Then the dog just put his master down on the rock, and he just sat down at the place where they had endured hardships. The dog went on marking the way downward, making a trail for his master through the snow, and then he returned to his master every time he had finished making a trail through the snow for his master. Only (by) doing like this repeatedly did the dog go on, continuing down his trail through the snow for his master, and coming back every time, asking his master (to go on). The dog came down,
continuing his trail downward through the snow, and in this manner almost arrived at the river.
Then the boy was tired out. He came to the bank of the river, and the dog went down the river. His mind was just one with that of the dog; and the dog was thinking of the village, and he was also thinking of the man. In this manner he just tried to bring his master home to the house at a place called Q!awâ'k*as. There is a fishing-station of the A'wiLEla at Q!awâ'k*as; and it was as though the dog spoke to his master, that the dog thought of bringing his master to the fishing-place at Q!awâ'k*as. Then the dog thought that he would swim and carry his master on his back [to swim] down the river [with his master], for the boy was tired out, as the snow covered the tops of the trees, and the dog was tired out from marking the way through the snow. Therefore he swam down the river with his master.
They arrived at a house in which a man lived at Q!awâ'k*as. That was what the dog had thought of. Then he just put his master down on the bank, but the boy could not walk well. The dog entered the house. Probably it had not been long since the owner of the house had gone down the stream with the current, frightened by the snow. The dog dug in the fireplace, and just bade his master sit in the hole at the fireplace; and he buried him and covered him with ashes. Only his mouth showed after he had buried his master. Thus he tried to warm his master. He just lay down, coiling himself around his master.
The father wailed for his children because he thought that it had gone wrong with his children. He [only] gave up his children for lost when he saw the snow coming down; and he already thought that his children had perished.
Now it stopped snowing, after it had [just] snowed from morning till night. For just two days it had been snowing, and the snow reached the tops of the bushes. Then the father called his tribe and sat down with his tribe. He asked his tribe what to do. "What shall we do, my dear ones?" Thus he said to his tribe. "It may be that one of my children has survived." Then the tribe said that they would go and try to go up the river of Having-Humpback-Salmon. One of them said, "I wonder what we shall do! Shall we walk, or shall we go in a canoe?" Thus said one of the men. "Don't let us do that," said the one who spoke in the house. "Let us push down four planks. Let us continue to lay them down flat and put them down endwise, changing their positions. Let us take four and lay them down flat on the snow."
They tried to pole up the river, but they just gave it up on account of the snow which was floating on the water. Then the tribe agreed to change the position of the planks, laying them down flat on the snow, while they were going up the river of Having-Humpback-Salmon. Then they put down the planks going up the river towards Q!awâ'k*as. Then they arrived at a tributary. Then one man discovered an opening in the snow. "What may this be?" said the man. "Maybe a wolf," said the man, "which made this opening as a sign." Thus said the man while they approached the trail of the dog,--of that dog of the only one of the children of Hamâ'lak*aua?ê who was left,--which was the trail that the dog had made for his master, and that came down the river. The men just went in the tracks that the dog had made for his master. Then the tribe arrived at Q!awâ'k*as, where the only one of the children of Hamâ'lak*aua?ê that was left over had stopped. They entered the house, and saw the child buried in the floor. Then the people
cried when they discovered the child, for only its mouth showed. Then the boy was pulled out by the men. The boy got out of the hole, and they saw his entire body. His feet were just falling off, for they and his fingers were frostbitten; and the skin of his whole body came off, for it was frozen. Therefore the A'wiLEla just cried out of pity for the boy, for the boy looked ragged because he was frozen,
Then they made up their minds what to do in case they should take the boy down the river, for he was not well enough to be handled roughly; for the boy was almost as though there were no life left in him, because he was frozen. Then the people tried to go down river. They cut two poles; and four men carried them, one at each end and the boy lay between them as they were carried at each end by the four men. They started and went home, walking on the boards, which were joined end to end.
Then one man, his uncle, spoke, saying that they should leave the boy a while a little above the village, that the boy should stop there. Then his father was told that only one of his children was left. Then the father of the children, Hamâ'lak*aua?ê, spoke. "Indeed, that is what I said to my children. Don't let them bring this my child out of the woods." Then his father made up his mind what to do for the only one of his children who was still alive. Hamâ'lak*aua?ê thought that he would make a winter dance for the only one among his children who was still alive. The people did not say that one was still alive: they just said that they were all dead, for they kept it secret on account of what Hamâ'lak*aua?ê, had said, because he was just going to show his great dance, the property of his family. It was to be the wolf-step for his child. It was to be the great dance from above, that would give his child supernatural power.
Then he cleared his house. Then the A'wiLEla just came stepping like wolves to the one who was still alive, who had encountered danger in hunting mountain-goats. Then the A'wiLEla surrounded him; and the great supernatural one, the great dance from above, came stepping like wolves. That was the great dance from above of the ancient tribe at Having-Humpback-Salmon. Then the great dance from above came down to the beach from the woods, and the dancers entered the house. Many of the ancestors of the people of Having-Humpback-Salmon, the ancestors of the Thunder-Birds, danced the supernatural dance. They brought it into the house, and the great dance from above 1was just the great supernatural power of Hamâ'lak*aua?ê at Having-Humpback-Salmon.
Then he showed what his child had taken from the great mountain-goat, the one-horned one, the tallow that he had pinched off, and which had just been kept in the mouth by his child. He put it on the floor of his house, and showed what had been held in the mouth. Then it increased in size, and the house of his father was very full. That was the supernatural treasure obtained from the one-horned one, that was valued, and that was obtained (found dead) from the large one-horned mountain-goat. What the boy had just held in his mouth was increasing in size: therefore that youngest boy was lucky, for he was not foolish, but had followed the advice of his father; but his elder brothers were dead.
Then his father, Hamâ'lak*aua?ê, kept inviting (the people) all the time, for the supernatural treasure of his child had increased in size, that which his child had had in his mouth, the child of Hamâ'lak*aua?ê. Then his father
danced. It was the great dance, from above. That was the great dance from above of the A'wiLEla, who lived at Having-Humpback-Salmon; and that was the song they sang first. Then they sang. The songs were sung because he had obtained supernatural power, the one who was endangered in hunting mountain-goats at Having Humpback-Salmon. Therefore he just turned into the great dance from above,--he, the only one who remained alive of those who were endangered in hunting mountain-goats. Therefore the great dance from above belongs to the great tribe at Having-Humpback-Salmon, and that came to those who were gathered at Gwa'dzê?,--those who had a winter dance together at Gwa'dzê?, and they came to be one when they came to dance the winter dance together at Gwa'dzê?.
Then Copper-Maker-Face and Pearl-Maker-Face asked Wood-Carver, the ancestor of the Kwakiutl, the ancestor of the Wood-Carvers, to make a Showing-Teeth headdress (wolf head-dress) for the great dance from above. He was the ancestor of the clan K*!îg*aê'noxu. Now they continually plaited ropes for leading the dE'nts!êq of the war-dance. Then Listened-to came and sat behind them when he learned about what is called "great dance from above" of the ancestors of the A'wiLEla, when they were dancing the winter dance together at Gwa'dzê? at the north side of G*iô'x.
Then the clan sat down, looking among their children (to see) who among the ancestors of the K*!îg*aê'noxu, the clan of the A'wiLEla, should disappear. Then the boy was instructed: "just go into the water all the time in the lakes in the woods, and always sprinkle yourself with water. Rub your body with hemlock-branches four times." Thus the boy was told by his father and uncles. "Just go straight to the place named Qwa?nêqwâ'la, at the lake above G*iô'x, above Tâ'yaqôL."
[paragraph continues] Then the child went. He would go at once into the water at the lake that was reached first, and he would rub his body with hemlock-branches. He followed the advice of his father and his uncles. He did those actions in which he was instructed by his father and his uncles. He went on, and arrived at the lake named Qwa?nêqwâ'la. The name of the lake of G*iô'x is Qwa?nêqwâ'la. The boy went, and came to the shore of the lake. He went right into the water and bathed in the lake. "Evidently this is what my father and uncles referred to," said the boy. "Evidently this is named Qwa?nêqwâ'la," said the boy. Then the boy swam to an island in the lake in Qwa?nêqwâ'la. Qwa?nêqwâ'la is the name of the lake. The nesting-place of all kinds of birds is in this lake.
Then the boy slept. It was just as though he was unconscious [asleep]. Then he heard the sound of paddling. "Hôi, hôi," said the noise of the paddles. Behold, it was he who is called Warrior-of-the-World. "Wôi, wôi," said what was heard by the child on the lake, in Qwa?nêqwâ'la. Then the boy made up his mind. Then the boy sat down on the island in the lake. The boy just went under water and sat in the water of the lake. While he was sitting there, he listened for the sound of paddling that had been heard to come again,--that which said "Wôi, wôi." Soon it approached the place where he was sitting. It came near. Then he went under water, and he looked at it from underneath. He sat under water in the lake. Then he took hold of the canoe of him who is called Warrior-of-the-World. He nearly [not] upset the canoe of him who is called Warrior-of-the-World. Then the boy put his month out of the water while he was tipping over the canoe of him who is called Warrior-of-the-World. One man in the canoe spoke: "What may be the matter with you?" Thus
said one man among those who are called Warriors-of-the-World. "Don't do that, my dear!" said another man in the canoe of the Warriors-of-the-World. Then the boy was just entreated. There was nothing that was not said to the boy. The one who is called Warrior-of-the-World was afraid that he might be capsized by the boy. "Don't do that, my dear! Now I will give you supernatural power." Thus he was told. Then the boy let go of the canoe of Warrior-of-the-World. Then Warrior-of-the-World went on, and left the child.
Then the boy went out of the water. The boy just sat down right on the rock, and felt as though he had to sleep on account of what he had done. Behold! he was dead. He was taken by Warrior-of-the-World. Evidently he was given something bad. He was killed by Warrior-of-the-World, whom he had almost upset. Then the boy was awakened on the rock. "Oh," he was told, "don't stay thus on the rock!" he was told. Then he uncovered his face, and he just looked about. He looked around to see who had awakened him. He did not see any one who had awakened him. Then he bit a hole in his blanket, and then he discovered a little feather. "What are you doing on the rock?" he said. "Don't merely handle things roughly. I have seen you." Thus said the boy.
Then he was invited to enter the house of the one who is called Cannibal-at-North-End-of-World. Then the house of Cannibal-at-North-End-of-World opened, and the house of Cannibal-at-North-End-of-World was open. Behold! that was the house of Cannibal-at-North-End-of-World where the boy had slept. Behold! that was the door of Cannibal-at-North-End-of-World where he had slept. Then he stood on the floor of the house of Cannibal-at-North-End-of-World, and he was asked, "What does our friend
want?" Thus the boy was told when he was standing on the floor. Then the boy said, "I want to get supernatural power." Thus said the boy. "Go on, take what you desire!" he was told by Cannibal-at-North-End-of-World. "I desire to be a cannibal. I shall be a cannibal."--"Go on, sit down!" Thus the boy was told.
Then Cannibal-at-North-End-of-World took some of his red cedar-bark, and he for whom it was tried by Cannibal-at-North-End-of-World tried it on. Then Cannibal-at-North-End-of-World uttered the Cannibal cry and went around his house. "Watch me!" the boy was told. "That is the way you will do." And the boy watched the ways of Cannibal-at-North-End-of-World. Then he finished what had been the reason of his endeavors. "I do not wish to stay long," said the boy. "I do not wish to be permeated too much by my supernatural power, else those who will praise me will be too much afraid of me."--"Wa! [you will not be]!' thus he was told by Cannibal-at-North-End-of-World. "Now you shall go home to your house." It was only plaited in at the nape of his neck, what was his Cannibal-pole. Only a small piece of hemlock was plaited in at the nape of the neck of the boy. The boy came out of the woods. Then he was expected, and the A'wiLEla tried to catch him in the great dance from above. Cannibal-at-North-End-of-World came uttering the Cannibal cry. Behold! they came across dancing the great dance from above. Then they came across. Then they hauled the rope, and the rope reached across. The rope went right across. They were pulling the dE'nts!êku,--the dE'nts!êq of the war dance. Now they were half across (on the way to) Gwa'dzê?.
They say that Listened-to now wished the sea-monster to show itself, when Listened-to, the ancestor of the Dzâ'wadEênoxu, came and was sitting behind them. "Show
yourself, sea-monster!" Thus he said. He wished Q!ê'q!ElsEla to show itself at Sea-Monster-Place. 'They showed themselves,--?yâ'x*?yak*ili
l, Q!ê'q!ElsEla, Wâ'wixêma,--those whom Listened-to wished to show themselves. Therefore an accident happened on the water to the supernatural power, the dance from above, that they tried to show on the water. Then the rope was cut with which they tried to lead the dE'nts!êq of the war dance. The dE'nts!êq of the war dance was rising out of the water. Then it was too much, what they were doing on the water, and the box containing the wolf-head masks just floated away. Listened-to, the ancestor of the Dzâ'wadEênoxu, came and looked for it, and found the box containing the wolf-head masks at LôlEla'ts!ê. That is the place to which the box containing the wolf masks floated. It was just stolen by Listened-to of the Dzâ'wadEênoxu. Therefore the ancestors of the Dzâ'wadEênoxu have the great dance from above. Listened-to [only] obtained by theft the box containing the wolf masks of those who danced the winter dance,--the box containing the wolf masks which had belonged to Pearl-Maker-Face and Copper-Maker-Face. They had been the owners of the box containing the wolf masks.
Now, the cannibal who had obtained as supernatural power Cannibal-at-North-End-of-World appeared on the beach. Then he devoured a man. He bolted down a man, although belonging to his own clan. Then it was difficult to catch him, but he was lassoed, and he was caught. Then he entered the house, and he was tied in the house. They took off what was plaited in at the nape of his neck by Cannibal-at-North-End-of-World,--that little piece of hemlock which was plaited in at the nape of his neck by Cannibal-at-North-End-of-World. Behold! that was called the
[paragraph continues] Cannibal-pole. Then it was put (up, and reached) through (the roof of) the house. A hô'xuhoku was sitting on top of the Cannibal-pole of Cannibal-at-North-End-of-World, and the body of the pole was snapping.
Then he was treated by his tribe. He was feared by his tribe because he was just bolting down the people of his own clan. Therefore his clan was ridiculed. Vomited was the name of this one Cannibal. Ku'n?watElag*ilidzEm was the name of another Cannibal. Then the ropes with which the Cannibal was tied were broken. He disappeared and did not come again. Then he had disappeared, he who was the ancestor of the K*!î'g*aênôxu, a clan of the A'wiLEla. Hamâ'lak*aua?ê was the ancestor of those living at Having-Humpback-Salmon. He brought the great dance from above to Gwa'dzê?, where the A'wiLEla danced the winter dance together. That is the end.
27:1 See F. Boas, Social Organization and Secret Societies of the Kwakiutl Indians (Report of the U.S. National Museum for 1895, p. 477, also p. 382).