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p. 347


LtAxdA'x was dead. He had a valuable copper, and he also had a dish named Ts!AnAt!û'k!. When he was dead they took his property out. Those of the house in which these people lived who obtained the dish got into trouble over it. Whoever had a sister told her to go with him. "Let us go to some other place," he said. The people that went away were from that side of the house from which the dish was taken away. They were sad on that account. Probably they numbered about forty. They said, "Let us go straight for that mountain." Whoever had three brothers took them along to carry things for him. After that they carne out under the brow of the big mountain. On the way they dressed themselves in their fine clothing, some in weasel-skin coats, some in marten-skin coats, and they wore hats also because

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they wanted to die wearing them. Not very many came away. Many more stayed up there than came out. When they got up to the foot of the mountain they came together to talk over where they should pass through. They came to a place where there were many ground squirrels, which they clubbed. This is why it became foggy. They lost one another in it, and some of them disappeared. It was the fog that they got lost in. Then they let them (those who had disappeared) go. After that they made good headway toward the place whither they were bound. There appeared no place to get through. The mountain seemed to be very close to them.

By and by they came to the very foot of the mountain. There was no place where they could get through. But through the northern part of the mountain passed a glacier, and they went up that way toward the top. They thought that they were all going to die off when they reached the top. They did not come to the highest summit of the mountain, however. Then they put on all of their best clothing for good. They stayed there perhaps five days. They were

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now going to start on singing the song that they had sung when they left home. The morning of the day after they started away. And they started the song they used to sing up on Copper river. At that time they wore nose pins. When they were about to start from that place they put on weasel hats and coats. All mourned together over the friends they had left behind and over those who had been lost in the fog. When they were through mourning they arose and started off.

The Athapascans did not know about the sea, and they called one another together. They said, "What is that so very blue?" They said, "Let us go down to it. We have saved ourselves," they said. Coming to the lower end of the glacier, they traveled very fast down to the sea. They crossed a river boiling out from under the mountain and almost as large as Copper river. They went down to the sea alongside of the big river. Afterward they stayed down there at the

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mouth of that river. The first thing they did there was to claim the big mountain [as a crest], because they were the first to pass through it. When winter began to come on they built a house beside the river. They named it Mountain house because they had nearly lost their lives on that mountain. This is why they so named it. They stayed right there in that house, and the settlement grew into a town.

Then the Câ'dAdûx a grew strong. They were the ones who built Mountain house. After they had been there ten years one person began living away from town in order to make the frame of a skin boat.

A woman named K!wâdê'ltA reared a young sea gull. The sea gull did not grow large. All at once she did something to it that made it grow as large as an eagle. It began to grow big. Now it was almost as large as a house. When it got large she wanted to take it among her playmates. Her brothers, however, wanted to kill it. When she was playing with it the sea gull swam out of the mouth of the river. She also disappeared. She started after it. They used the song that

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they came out with over her. The song is a hard one, having all kinds of notes.

Then the man sent off six of his nephews. He told them to go along shore in the canoe he had made, to search for people. When the weather was very good they started off. They came down this way to a place opposite Yakutat. There they discovered eulachon and a fish called k!â'gAn. These were in a creek. They put a small net into it to catch the eulachon, and they put the k!â'gAn into a small cooking basket while they were still alive. They offended them, however, by laughing at them. Just as day broke they started off. When they got out on the sea there came up a south wind, so that they could not go anywhere. They came right back to their starting point, and their skin canoe was broken. One of them went under it and was killed. They stayed there. Probably they were there for twenty-one days. Then the weather became fair. Meanwhile they

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lived upon k!â'gAn and eulachon. When it was good weather they again started off.

At that time the people got over to Yakutat. There were many people in the town, some called Kosk!ê'dî, Some L!uq!oe'dî, who refused to let them remain, though they told them truly how they had come out from behind the mountain. They were there for some time. Then they started back to their own place. They came again to the place where their canoe had been broken and remained there for one night. Again they went out. They spent the night in their canoe. Then they came ashore. When they reached the foot of the big mountain they were told that a little girl had been given the name of the woman who followed the sea gull out.

This little girl went out to dig roots and dug up a red thing. The thing she dug up was quite long. So they made this into a dish like the one that had been taken away from them. After this dish had been finished they beat the drums for the girl who had followed out

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the sea gull. At that time a song was composed in remembrance of her. The people remained there one year after the six men had gotten back. Then the ninth month was beginning to come on. At that time a skin canoe came in sight from the direction of Copper river. It was bound southward. The people were called in, and they came, ashore there. These were Kâ'gwAntân from the mouth of Copper river. They called them into the house and gave them food.

After they had fed them six brothers went hunting with dogs, and the youngest killed nothing. They always put up a great quantity of food, and carried it around with them. By and by all rushed after mountain sheep on top of the mountains. Their brother-in-law also went along with them. One of them (the youngest) in chasing the mountain sheep went astray in front of a cliff. It was toward evening. He was shaking all over. When it was almost evening the mountain sheep rushed toward him. Their leader went to him and

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took him on its horns. It ran away with him and made him stand up on a place to one side. Then the people started down. They went down without hunting any more. When they got down on the beach they started home for Yakutat.

Now the six brothers started on a journey for the place whence they had all come out. Their uncle told them to go back for a copper plate which was in a valley called Ltaxê'n, leading down to Copper river. They did not want to leave it there because it was valuable. When the people first came out, it took them forty days and nights, but the young men took only twenty days and nights. They got back among their friends. When they came among their friends again these, wept with them and did not want them to return. But after they had stayed there for some time they went to the valley where was the copper plate. Since they had left their friends no one had been to the valley. The real owner of it, too, was dead. They reached the opposite side of that valley. When they got there they saw the

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copper, which was very long. It also had eyes and hands. The copper was pointing its hands in the direction whither its friends had gone. They cut it in two in the middle and took it apart. Then all six of them carried it. Their friends did not bother them about it at all. They started back. Again they traveled for twenty days, and came down to the ocean once more.

At that time all the people started for Yakutat. They started off with the copper that the six men had brought out. Again they came out to the place where their canoe had been broken up. They camped there one night. From there they started across to Yakutat. They came ashore there. Then the people did not want to have them there. The Kosk!ê'dî did not want to let them stay. They discovered Duqdanê'ku (one of the new arrivals) coming from a small stream called Kâck! with some humpbacks be had speared. When the Kosk!ê'dî saw him coming with a string of humpbacks they cut the string on which they were hung. They also broke his spear. Then

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the people were grieved over what had been done to him. They called one another together about it and thought it best to buy the place and pay for it once for all. So they bought the place. The six brothers were the ones who got it. They bought it for the copper plate, which was worth ten slaves, and sent the Kosk!ê'dî away. Afterward things were compared to the six Athapascan brothers [because they were very fast runners]. They stayed here probably twenty years. Meanwhile the Kosk!ê'dî and L!uq!oe'dî left the place. They were the only ones there. There were no other Athapascans at that place.

One of these brothers slept too much and became lazy. In olden times people went hunting with dogs. The six went hunting and camped in a house near a mountain. Afterward they went away from the youngest. One night while he was sleeping they went away from him hunting, because he was lazy. They went away to find out what he could do. They camped away from him for two nights. Meanwhile

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he slept very soundly. He dreamed that a man came to him and said, "I come to help you. Come down here by the salmon creek and vomit." Immediately he went down to the creek and vomited four times. While he was vomiting, he vomited up a salmon bone. "This is what makes you lazy," be said to him. "This is what you are eating all the time, the salmon people's toilet sticks. This is what makes you lazy." The one that helped him was the being of the mountain. The mountain being said, "Come with me this evening." Immediately he went with him. When they got far up, the doors into the mountain were all opened. Then he went down with him inside. There were rooms inside of the mountain for all things. In the first were grizzly bears, in the next black bears, in the next mountain sheep. All things were inside.

After they had stayed away two days his brothers came back for him. Their brother was not there, and they felt very sorry. They thought

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that he was dead. Then they floated down, laying the blame on one another. When they reached home there were other people in the town. These were the Te'qoedî who had come up from Prince of Wales island to the south.

The mountain being told the man he had taken how he could find the holes of grizzly bears in winter. Whatever he wished was killed for him inside of the mountain. While he was there winter began to come on. Then spring was coming. [The being] said to him, "Be careful not to use green fern roots for they are my things. If you are not careful about it you will kill nothing. Watch for the green fern roots. They grow wherever there are grizzly bears. The green fern roots will be found growing below. You will kill more things than your brothers. To-morrow you go away. I will give you my canoe which is here. In it you will float out among your friends." What he called one night was a whole month. Months kept on and on for him, however. His mind began to be troubled on account of it.

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By and by they began to make things ready for him. They dried all kinds of things for him. Then he started away. [The being] said to him, "It is well that you come now and see my canoe which you are going to take among your friends." He took him thither. It looked like a grizzly bear. What was there about it like a canoe? "The things you see inside are this canoe's food. When it is hungry it will always look back. If you do not give it anything it will eat you. It gets hungry quickly," said the mountain being. "Go on now."

It went down the river. They had loaded the canoe with mountain-sheep's fat and all kinds of fat. There came a time when it acted as he had said. It started to turn back. When it began to swim around quickly he gave it one whole mountain sheep. Already he was close to his home. When it started ashore with him in front of the town he began to feed it so that it would not kill any person. His friends ran down opposite him. They saw their friend who had been long lost. It came ashore with him a short distance from the town. When

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he got close to the shore he took his canoe up quickly, and it became a stone. Where it had turned around the river became crooked. They called it River-the-stone-canoe-came-down-through.

Then the man who used to sleep so much was ready to hunt. The man that had been lazy always went by himself. Just at the head of Kâck! is a glacier. There is a cottonwood tree standing there, rather old inside. When it is going to be stormy a noise is heard inside of this. Then people do not cross that glacier. When no noise can be heard inside then they go up across. The youngest killed more things than his brothers. He always took around bow and arrows with him. They are called dîna'. They all went in one canoe up to this glacier where was the seals' home. When they came up there, plenty of seals were around that place. There were plenty of grizzly bears and mountain sheep alongside of the glacier. The youngest would say to those with him, "There is a bear hole up there." Then they made a hunting house in one place. They took the canoe far up. After that

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a large piece of ice fell and raised a swell that carried their canoe off. They were in want of provisions. Their food was quickly gone. This happened in the Snow-shoveling moon (November). It was always blowing so that they could not get home. There was a cliff at that place. Already two months had passed over them. They could not see a canoe coming from any place, and they were living by the skill of the man whom the mountain being had saved.

When they became discouraged they made steps across the glacier. In one place was a precipice, and they had a hard struggle. They left one of their brothers in front of the cliff. He had become dizzy. So they left him. They came among trees after they had left him. He suffered very much from the cold. They, however, came upon a red-cedar house. They used a fire drill. Already it smoked. Then the fire came quickly out of the red cedar, and they sat by the fire without food. Day came without their brother having died.

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Now they made fun of their youngest brother. "Where is the being that helped you? Didn't you say that you could kill anything?" Then he became angry at the way they talked about him. He started off aimlessly. When he started he did just as the mountain being had directed him. Then he saw their white dog that used to go everywhere with them. He saw the little dog running up. He looked toward it. He saw that a mountain sheep was holed in there for the winter. Before he could believe it he heard the little dog bark. The mountain sheep had very large horns. He ran his spear into it just once and killed it. Not knowing what he should do, he squeezed himself in beside it. He cut open the animal, which was very large. This was the mother of the bears. He cut off only the fat from around its stomach. It was of the thickness of two fingers. Then he ran down to his brothers with it. That made them feel lively and drove away all their hunger. Then they brought down all of the parts. After they had brought everything down into the house they started back to hunt

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for their brother, but the wolf people had taken him. When the canoe that was hunting for them came outside they did not have much food left. They let their brother go, for they could not find him. They started to the town, and they got home. Then they stayed right where they were because something was always happening to them.

Afterward they started down in this direction with their brother-in-law, whose name was Heavy-wings. They started this way and came out here. He had a daughter. They came to KAstaxê'xda. Their daughter was grown up, but no man had ever seen her. Then they were going to Auk, but could not reach it on account of a storm. Heavy-wings had many nephews. They had some eulachon grease inside a sea-lion stomach, which they would throw on the fire whenever they made one. After that they said something to anger the north wind. On account of the north wind they had already been there for two months, and the food in the sea-lion's stomach that they thought would never be used up, was quickly consumed. Already only half of

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a piece of dried fish was left and the north wind was still blowing hard. They had already consumed everything. One night, when they went to bed, they could not sleep for thinking about their condition, but toward morning all except Heavy-wings fell asleep. When he at last fell asleep he dreamed a man came to him. It was a fine-looking man that came to him. It was North Wind that he dreamed of. [The man] said to him," Give me your daughter. Then you will seethe place you are bound for." But he did not believe his dream. In the morning he said, "One does not follow the directions of a dream." His wife, however, said, "It is not right to disbelieve what the dream says." His wife was angry with him. She said, "Why then did you tell your dream to me? This is why I am talking to you so." Next morning they went down to dig clams, but his nephews kept very silent as if they were thinking about themselves. When they were about to go to bed their fire was heard. a Four days later he dreamed North

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[paragraph continues] Man came to him again. "Give me your daughter quickly if you want to see the place whither you are bound." In the morning he said to his wife, "Had I not better obey my dream?" and he said to his nephew, "Go outside and shout, 'I give my daughter to you.'"

Then the North Wind came to his daughter. "It is well that I marry you," he said to her, and he slept with her. She was willing to cohabit with him. Then he did so, and it became calm. So they started off. Afterward the woman told her mother about it. "A fine man keeps coming tome." They started to cross the bay. Then this fine man came to her again. Cruor eius defluebat e rostro in puppim, de qua depletus est. Undae, ubi effusus erat, semper clarae erant. Now they came ashore. This is why people keep saving to one another, "Did you give your daughter to North Wind that you are not afraid of all the weather in the world?" He came ashore and stayed among the people.

That winter the people going for firewood went away forever. When they were gone, Heavy-wing's wife's labret broke and he went

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after one. He went along, the shore. He kept chopping into things to find the hard part of the tree. Then he saw a woman digging far down on the beach. She had a child on her back. He said, "Some one might think I was fooling with her." When he came up close to her, he saw that she was not a woman such as he had been in the habit of seeing. It was the L!ê'nAxxî'dAq that he saw. The mussel shells that she threw up always fitted together.

Then he went out after her to the place where she was digging. Without thinking of anything else he ran to her and caught her. His hands passed right through her body. He chased her and seized her again. Again his hands passed through her. When he got close up to the trees he remembered his earrings. He threw them away. Afterward he chased her once more. He seized the child on her back, and she immediately began to cry out. She scratched him in the face. She made great marks upon him. When he caught her he said within himself, "May I be a rich man. May all the children that come after

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me catch you." But he made a mistake in speaking, for he said, "Let me burst open with riches." After he had chased her a short distance up into the woods she sat down in front of him. There the woman defecated. When she got up there was only foam to be seen. Her excrement was very long and white. Then he took the foam and put it into a piece of paper. He made a box for the foam. The scabs from his face were called Medicine-to-rub-on-the-body (Dâ-nâku), and he gave it to those of his brothers-in-law who loved him. Although anything he had was very little it grew to be much, and he became a rich man.

Toward the end of winter he started for Yakutat. Before he reached home they went ashore. The sun was shining. He had his things taken outside. Then he wanted to sleep, and he lay down beside them. By and by some children ran against them and the pile fell on top of him. A copper plate cut through his stomach, and it was all laid open. His sister's son, named XAtgâwê't, was with him. Right there

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he burned his uncle's body. He gathered together his bones and all of his uncle's property, and he took his uncle's bones to Yakutat. The same thing happened to his nephew. He also seized the L!ê'nAxxî'dAq. He caught her when going for an ax handle. But he handled the L!ê'nAxxî'dAq better than his uncle. He became richer than his uncle had been. a


347:a This story was told by a man named Q!â'dustin, who belongs to the same family, and therefore contains some of the peculiarities of Yakutat speech.

350:a This seems to have been the ancient name of the family.

364:a The fire being a medium of communication between the two worlds.

368:a Cf. stories 35 and 94.

Next: 106. Origin of a Low-Caste Name