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A man and his wife were living at a certain fort. At that time some disease came into the world and destroyed all of their uncles, fathers, and friends. Then the man thought within himself, "I ought to give some sort of feast to my dead friends," and he began to gather berries.

One day a quantity of ice floated up on the beach below him. He took this up piece by piece and put it into the house, treating the pieces as his guests. He poured a great deal of oil into the fire to make it blaze. Then he took dishes, put berries into them, and placed these in front of the pieces of ice to show that he was sorry for the dead people, and desired to give some one a feast. After he had given to them, the ice gave forth a kind of squeak as if the pieces were talking to him, though he could not make out what was said. It is from this squeak that the people now know that he invited them, and it is from this circumstance also that, when ice drifts down upon a person in a canoe, he talks to it and gives it tobacco, calling it "My son's daughter" or "My son's wife." This is ahead of the TcûkAne'dî (i. e., the beginning of the TcûkAne'dî clan). Therefore they own Iceberg House. b

Afterwards this man went out again. He said to himself, "I will invite anyone out on the sea that hears me." After he had gotten well out in his canoe he shouted, "Everybody this way. Everybody this way," just as though he were calling guests, and immediately crowds of the bear tribe, thinking they were the ones invited, began coming down between the mountains.

When he saw those animals coming, the man told his wife to be courageous, but for himself he said he did not care whether he lived or died, because all of his friends were dead. When the bear people began to come in, he told them to go up to the rear end of the house, saying, "It is your brother-in-law's seat you are going to sit down

p. 53

in" (i. e., that was where he formerly sat). His wife was somewhat frightened, but he talked to them as if they were his own people. As he called out the names of the dead men who had held those seats they would say in turn, "Hade' (present)," and he would pass a dish he speaker.

After they were through eating the chief of the bear tribe said to his friends very plainly, "Do not leave this man friendless, but go to him every one of you and show your respect." So they told the man to lie down in front of them, and before they left they licked him, meaning that thereby they licked his sorrow away. They said, "This is because you feel lonely." Then the bears started off.

At that time men from some other town came near, watched the big animals come out and heard the man speak to them as if they were his own friends, but they were afraid to go near.


52:a See story 64.

52:b This man can not have belonged to the TcûkAne'dî himself, because the ice he invited must be of the opposite clan, but his wife may have been. He perhaps belonged to the T!A'q!dentân.

Next: 22. The Woman Taken Away by the Frog People