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32. Q!ô'mg*ila.

Tradition of the Clan G*i'g*îlgam or Awo'o of the A'waîLEla.

(Told by and NEg*ê' and Hâ'nidzEm.)

Q!ô'mg*ila lived in his house on the fighting hill (xusE'la) of his village, a little back of the river Ha'nwad at Â'LEgEmla. He had three children, two sons, named Lâ'x?unâla and Wâ'x?id and a daughter, named Xô'gumga. They were the first people at this place. He said to his children, "Don't be lazy, and look at the river and see if there is anything in it. Perhaps there are fish in it." They went down to the river; and when they saw a salmon swimming about in it, they told their father, "There is a salmon in the river," and the father told them to look again. When they saw it again, he asked them to catch it. Then he himself went down and lay down, his back leaning against a stone, at the place where he was accustomed to lie, and looked at his children. His children caught three salmon; and they were glad that they had them, because they had nothing to eat.

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[paragraph continues] Then he gave a feast with his salmon. The people came and sat down around him, and he spoke, and said, "Don't let us sit here all the time. Evidently there are many salmon below, about which we have never known before. Let us move down the river, and let us divide the fishing-places among ourselves, that we may have enough to eat." And they did as he told them. They went down the river and took their fishing-places. Xô'gumga took the place farthest up the river, and Lâ'x?unâla took a place at the lowest part of the river, according to the order of their birth.

Wâ'x?id, however, did not do anything. He used to dress up and to sit about idly. He only thought of the pretty girls in the village.

Xô'gumga went to her fish-trap, and found salmon in it. She split them, roasted them, and placed them on drying-poles. Then she went to get more, cut them, and roasted them. When they were done, she found that all the salmon she had roasted before were gone. Her grandmother had been in the house; and she asked her, "Do you know what has become of my fish?" She had not noticed how they had disappeared. Then Xô'gumga said, "Why don't you watch them? You ought to look after my fish." Then she went again, caught more salmon, and roasted them. When she took them up to her house, the whole supply of salmon had vanished. Again she asked her grandmother, "Don't you know what happens to my salmon?" After this had happened three times, she resolved to watch herself. She roasted a new supply of salmon, hung them up to dry, and then she made a bow and arrows for herself, and hid to see who was taking away her salmon. When evening came, she was still in hiding in the house. After some time she heard somebody lift the roof-boards, and to her surprise she saw two

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large breasts coming down through the roof, and there appeared a large Dzô'noq!wa. She shot two arrows into her breasts. Then the Dzô'noq!wa screamed and ran away through the woods, throwing down large trees which were in her way. Xô'gumga followed her. For a long time she heard her screaming.

All of a sudden the noise stopped. The Dzô'noq!wa had entered her house. Xô'gumga followed her, and saw the woman lying by the fire groaning for pain. After a little while she died.

There were four young Dzô'noq!wa was in the house, children of the old one. She killed them all by knocking them over the head with a stick. The house was full of skins, of whales, of fish, and all kinds of property, sea animals and land-animals. She cut off the head of the old Dzô'noq!wa and took it along. She was going to call her tribe to carry home all the wealth that she had found, skins of black bears, of grizzly bears, tallow, dried berries, and all kinds of food. They carried it all on their backs to their houses. Now they were rich.

Xô'gumga was married to Bâ'kwilnuku or Hamâ'lak*aue?, a G*î'g*îlgam. After some time she had a boy, who was named Lâx?unâla. When the child was born, she took the skull of the Dzô'noq!wa, split it, and used it as a wash-basin for her child, to make it strong; and when the child was older, she made him bathe in cold water. He grew up very quickly and became very strong. Then she tried him. She told him to twist a large yew-tree which was standing behind the house. He obeyed, and twisted it without any difficulty down to the butt. When his mother saw how strong he was, she said, "I want you to go down the river to see your dead grandfather." He walked down along the river, walking behind the houses, to look for his grandfather. While he was going

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down the river, he tried his strength on the trees, and he twisted them down to their roots. Then he knew that he was strong.

He came to a tribe, and he was asked, "Who are you?" He said, "I am the child of Xô'gumga." They said to him, "Half of us are dead. A large Dzô'noq!wa has eaten our people, and does not allow us to go fishing." Then the boy said, "Don't speak of it." He said to four young men, "Let us go and look for the Dzô'noq!wa!" They went aboard; and when they just started for the place where the Dzô'noq!wa used to sit, they saw him sitting there. He was a giant. When he was just going, to take hold of them, Lâx?unâla took up stones and hit him in the eyes. The stones went right through his head, and the Dzô'noq!wa fell down dead. Then the boy said to his companions, "Did I not tell you that you did not need to be afraid?" Then they recognized that he had supernatural power. He went back to the village with his four companions. He did not continue his way down the river, looking for his grandfather.

At this place lived his uncle Wâ'x?id. The young man invited his uncle Wâ'x?id to play with him throwing sticks at targets (lE'mk!wayu). They began to play, and his uncle lost continually. He lost his ear-ornaments, his nose-ornaments, and at last he even lost his throwing-stick, which was ornamented at the butt-end with a rattle. Then Wâ'x?id went home. His father, Q!ô'mg*ila scolded him. He said, "All you can do is to dress up nicely. Look at your nephew! He has even killed a Dzô'noq!wa. Now you have even lost your clothes. Do you think it is easy to get them?"

Then Wâ'x?id became angry. He jumped on top of his bedroom, wrapped himself in his blanket, and lay down. He resolved to kill himself. He got up and went

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through the village asking for a plaited rope. His sweetheart, a girl with an ugly lip, a piece of it being gone, gave it to him. He told her that he was going to kill himself, and she encouraged him to do so. He took the rope and went home. Then he lay down on his bed and wrapped himself in his blanket. In the evening his father called him, and said, "My dear son, arise! it is evening;" but he did not reply. Then his father gave up calling him.

In the evening his father ordered the people to go the next morning to pick berries. They got ready to start, but the young man had arisen before them. He left the house unperceived, and went to a place where a tree lay, thrown over by the wind. There he hung himself.

Ëx*p!ats!a, a younger brother of Q!ô'mg*ila, went out in the morning. He was going to make a canoe from the tree that had been blown over. There he found his nephew hanging from a branch. Then he went back home, and said to Q!ô'mg*ila, "Arise, slave! What are you doing here? Our chief is hanging outside dead." Q!ô'mg*ila replied, "Don't talk so foolishly!" But he continued, "Arise, and come out!" He went out; and there was his son, hanging there dead. All the people who were going to pick berries assembled there. They cried, and they tore out the hair of his father. 1 They pulled out his beard and his eyebrows. They turned out of the house the old people who had caused his death, tore down their house, and threw dung on top of the little house that the old people built for themselves. Then Wâ'x?id was buried. Then his father cried, and sang,--

"Evidently my son has gone right through, being made to go away.
Evidently my son has flown through, being made to fly away."

("LE'mXEntê hai'xwaxsalalîsLaxEn hai'xwêg*i?lakwa xunôkwa.
LE'mXEntê p!âLîx*salisLaXEn p!â'Lag*i?lakwa xunô'kwaê anananai'sEn xunô'kwa anê'.")


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Now his father I thought, "I should like to know whether it is true that the ghosts prepare a great reception for those who go to them. It is said that they give a dance and beat time for them."

He went out to try to see the ghosts. He had not gone very far when he heard the beating of batons. Then the batons stopped again., but when he proceeded, he heard them again. Then he heard the song-masters pronouncing the words of the songs. Finally he saw the house of the ghosts. He went to the corner and peeped in. After a while, Mouse-Woman came to him, and said, "Do not be too quick when you see your son inside; then you will succeed in taking him back." Mouse-Woman went back, and the people began to beat time again. Then he saw the young man dancing in the house.

He was dressed beautifully, and the ghosts were singing for him. Then his father 1 could not withstand the temptation. He jumped into the house, and ran right up to his son, intending to carry him away; but at once every thing became dark, and he held only foam in his arms. He had lost him again. If he had waited until they beat time the fourth time, Wâ'x?id would have come back to life. Thus he lost him, and his son remained dead.


446:1 The narrator said here "uncle."

447:1 The narrator said here "uncle."

Next: 33. The Blind Man who recovered his Eyesight