Tradition of the Awî'k*!ênoxu.
(Recorded by George Hunt.)
The ancestors of the SE'mxôlidxu lived at the head of Rivers Inlet at SE'mxô
l. They had Copper-Maker for their chief, and their second chief was Wisest-One. Wisest-One had four children, all boys. At one time he had five; namely, also a girl, the eldest one. She had gone to pick berries, and she had staid away at the place where she was picking berries in the woods. She was the first one of the ancestors of the SE'mxôlidxu who had staid away when they went to get fuel in the woods. The women also tried to pick different kinds of berries, and staid away in the woods. Now, almost all the men and women of the SE'mxôlidxu were gone, and one man was alive of those who had picked berries. He had seen the smoke of a house at the foot of a large mountain called Supernatural-Face-Mountain; and the smoke had different colors, the same as the rainbow; and it was that from which the women had never come back when they got near to it. There was also smoke that looked like lime. Those who came near it also staid away. That was the house of the Grizzly Bear,--the one that had the smoke the color of lime; and the smoke of the house of Cannibal-at-North-End-of-World had the many-colored smoke; and white-colored was the smoke of the house of the Mountain-Goat.
Now, the SE'mxôlidxu were really few, and they were really hungry; and the four men, the sons of Wisest-One, took their bows and each four arrows, and they were ready to go mountain-goat hunting, The grandmother of Wisest-One was sitting in the corner of the house of her grandson. Then she called the eldest one of her great-grandsons,
and she gave him a comb and a seaweed bottle of hair-oil, and also cedar-sticks and a stone. Then she gave him advice. The old woman said, "In case you should be pursued by Cannibal-at-North-End-of-World, when he comes near you, throw this stone behind you, and it will at once grow and become a mountain. And as soon as he comes near you again, throw behind you this comb: it will become a thicket, and Cannibal-at-North-End-of-World will just be tangled in it." Thus she said. "And then do the same with these two other things." Thus said the old woman to her great-grandson. Immediately Wisest-One also admonished his children not to go near the smoke of rainbow colors or near the lime-colored smoke. As soon as he stopped speaking, he sent his sons away.
Immediately the four children went out. They started, and went into the woods behind their village site. They came to the foot of the mountain of SE'mxô
l. Then they went up; they went up upon it, and they arrived on the top of the large mountain. Then they went down behind it. Then they came to a pretty place. Then the eldest brother discovered the rainbow smoke of the house at the foot of a large mountain. At once the second brother spoke to the eldest one. "Let us go and look at it!" Thus he said. At once all the brothers agreed to what he had said. They forgot the words that their father had said to them. They had not been walking long when they arrived at the house. The eldest one led when they entered the house.
At once the eldest one discovered, sitting on the floor of the house, their sister, Treated-Like-a- Chief, for that
was the name of the woman. Sitting by her side was a boy, her child. The youngest of the children of Wisest-One followed his elder brothers, and did not know that his knee was hurt. Blood came running out along the [back of his foot] instep. As soon as the child of Treated-Like-a-Chief saw the blood of his uncle, he began to put out his tongue and to cry. Then Treated-Like-a- Chief made a request to her brother, Setting-Right, for that was the name of the youngest one. She said, "Please take a piece of wood and scrape off some blood of your wound for my child here." Thus she said. At once Setting-Right took a slender piece of cedar-wood and scraped off the blood from his knee. Now there was blood on the cedar-stick, and he gave it to Treated-Like-a-Chief. Then Treated-Like-a-Chief gave it to her child. Immediately the child licked off the blood. Thus they discovered that he was the child of Cannibal-at-North-End-of-World.
Then the eldest brother, True-Fool,--for that was his name,--was whispered to by an old woman sitting in the corner of the house, who Was rooted to the floor of the house. Then the woman who was rooted to the floor of the house requested him not to stay long in the house. (She continued,) "else you will be dead, that you may arrive in time at your house before Cannibal-at-North-End-of-World comes; for, as soon as he sees you, he will eat you right away. Go on!" Thus she said to him.
Immediately Setting-Right spanned his bow, took one arrow, and put it on his bow. Then he said to his elder brothers, "Let us try and shoot through that hole in the corner of the house." Thus he said. Immediately the elder brothers guessed what he meant. They all spanned their bows, and True-Fool was the first to shoot. He
hit the hole, and his arrow went right through it. Then Post-of-Heaven also shot, and his arrow went through the hole. Then Born-to-be-Adviser shot, and his arrow went through the hole. But now the youngest one of the brothers, Setting-Right, shot last, and his arrow went right through the hole. Then he said, "Let us go and get our arrows!" and immediately they went out of the house. They just took up their arrows and began to run along.
As soon as their sister, Treated-Like-a-Chief, the wife of Cannibal-at-North-End-of-World, had discovered that her brothers had run away, she arose, went out of the house, and shouted aloud. She said, "Come, Cannibal-at-North-End-of-World! In vain meat came to you, Cannibal-at-North-End-of-World!" Thus she said four times. Then the young men heard Cannibal-at-North-End-of-World crying "Hap!" on top of the large mountain named Supernatural-Face-Mountain, and they heard his whistles sounding. Then the four brothers were really running, and Cannibal-at-North-End-of-World was coming near quickly. They were not halfway up the mountain when Cannibal-at-North-End-of-World nearly caught up with them.
Then (the eldest one) threw the comb backward. Immediately there was a thicket of crabapples [?]. Cannibal-at-North-End-of-World was tangled up in it. Then the brothers crossed the mountain, and again they heard him coming near behind. Then his brothers ran along level ground, when Cannibal-at-North-End-of-World approached again.
Then the eldest one threw the stone backwards, and
it at once became a mountain. The brothers were on one side of it, and Cannibal-at-North-End-of-World walked beyond it. Then the brothers went a long distance, and again they were pursued.
Then (the eldest brother) threw the hair-oil backward. Immediately it became a large pond. Then the brothers saw their house. It was not long before Cannibal-at-North-End-of-World nearly caught up with them again.
Then the eldest brother threw the cedar-wood backward. At once it became a thick cedar-tree, which moved to and fro on the ground. Cannibal-at-North-End-of-World tried to go from one end to the other, and it only moved along on the ground.
Then True-Fool shouted to his father, Wisest-One, and said, "Wisest-One, tie (ropes) around your house, for we are pursued by this Cannibal-at-North-End-of-World." Thus he said. Therefore Wisest-One at once tied up his house with cedar ropes; and when he had finished, his children came in. Then he barred the door; and as soon as he had finished, Cannibal-at-North-End-of-World came and went around the house. Four times he went around it; then he went up to the roof of the house. He opened the roof and he put his head through. Then Wisest-One spoke, and said to him, "Oh, my dear! I invite you and your wife and your child to come to-morrow morning and eat for your breakfast my four children." Thus he said to him. Immediately Cannibal-at-North-End-of-World drew back his head which he had put through, and went home to his house.
Immediately Wisest-One requested his children to dig a hole in the rear of the house. At once the young men dug a hole one fathom wide in the rear of the house, and its depth was two of our fathoms. It was not yet
midnight when they finished their work. Then they took fire-wood and made a fire in the bottom of the hole; and as soon as it had burned down, they threw stones on it; and when the stones were red-hot, smoke stopped coming out of it. Then they took a settee and placed it over the hole with the stones and the fire in it, and they took two mats and spread them over the settee.
In the morning, when day came, (Wisest-One) requested his children to kill four dogs; and as soon as the children had killed the four dogs, he cut them open, and they took out the intestines. Then they put the intestines on a mat. They hid the bodies of the dogs. Then he gave instructions to his children. "As soon as you hear the cries of Cannibal-at-North-End-of-World, lie down on your backs on the right-hand side of the door of our house, and pretend to be dead, and you shall have on your stomachs the intestines of the dogs." Thus he said. As soon as he stopped speaking, they heard the sound of whistles, and there was the sound "Hap!" Immediately the four young men went and lay down on their backs in the corner of the house. Then Wisest-One took the intestines of the four dogs and put one on the stomach of each of his sons, and they pretended to be cut open.
As soon as this was finished, Cannibal-at-North-End-of-World came and cried "Hap!" at the door of the house. He entered with his wife and his child. Immediately Cannibal-at-North-End-of-World went to the young men, who were pretending to lie down dead. Then Wisest-One led him to the settee where he was to sit in the house. At once Cannibal-at-North-End-of-World went and sat down on the settee. Then Wisest-One sat down on one end, and he told his guest, "O Son-in-law! let me
first speak in the way we do to our guests, for we always tell stories to our guests before we eat." Thus he said. Then Wisest-One saw that the body of Cannibal-at-North-End-of-World was all mouths, and they made the sound of whistles. At once Wisest-One told a story. He had not been telling his story a long time when Cannibal-at-North-End-of-World began to snore, and his wife and his child also began to snore.
As soon as Wisest-One believed that they were really asleep, he called his children, who were pretending to be dead, to come to help him. Then they took hold of each end of the mat on which the wife of Cannibal-at- North-End-of-World was sitting, and put it down on one side of the house. Then Wisest-One asked his children to take hold of each end of the seat of Cannibal-at- North-End-of-World and of his child, and to roll them over into the hole in which the stones were. As soon as they were in, they covered the hole with the settee, and at once Cannibal-at-North-End-of-World shouted, "Hap!" and he only stopped when he had become ashes. As soon as he stopped crying, Wisest-One looked at him, and Cannibal-at-North-End-of-World and his child had just been burned to ashes. Then Wisest-One took a small mat and fanned the ashes, and the ashes began to fly about. They turned into mosquitoes, and some into horse-flies. Then Wisest-One said, "You shall eat the flesh of later generations." Thus he said to them. Thus the ashes turned into horse-flies and mosquitoes.
As soon as he had finished, he awakened his wife. At once she was angry with her brothers when she discovered that her child was dead; but she was tamed by her brothers and her father, Wisest-One. As soon as she
ceased being angry, she asked her brothers and her father to go and get the things from the house of her dead husband.
In the morning, when day came, they started, and they arrived there at noon. At once the one rooted to the floor began to speak, and said to Wisest-One, "Oh, my dear! I knew already that Cannibal-at-North-End-of-World was dead. Go and get the box containing his magic power. Now you have the Cannibal dance." Thus she said. At once he entered the sacred room, and opened a large, long box. He took out the Hô'xuhoku Cannibal-head-mask, and the Raven Cannibal-head-mask, and the Crooked-Beak Cannibal-head-mask, and the Hô'xuhoku-on-Top Cannibal-head-mask, and also many whistles, and also four head-rings of red cedar-bark, and four neck-rings of red cedar-bark. He took them out and put them at the place where the woman rooted to the floor was sitting.
Then the woman rooted to the floor advised him what to do with them; and the brothers gathered the dried goat-meat and carried it on their backs; and the wife of Cannibal-at-North-End-of-World, Treated-Like-a-Chief, requested (of) her father, Wisest-One, that one of his children should disappear; "that he should take the place of Cannibal-at-North-End-of-World; and should be Cannibal-Dancer." As soon as True-Fool had disappeared, the three younger brothers carried the goat-meat on their backs. They were carrying it for four days. Then Wisest-One tried in vain to dig out the roots of the one rooted to the floor. The roots of her rump only grew larger. He only gave it up. He just carried on his back the cannibal masks when the Cannibal was caught. Treated-Like-a-Chief, the wife of Cannibal-at-North-End-of-World, taught them the ways of her dead husband and his songs. Then Wisest-One
gave a winter-dance with the dressed skins taken from the house of Cannibal-at-North-End-of-World, and he had for food the mountain-goat meat. The son of Wisest-One was the first of all the Cannibals.