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3. Incantation for taming Wild Reindeer (Qaalva´t-ê´wġan).1

 When a wild reindeer-buck that has just shed his hair joins a domesticated herd, [the man] the owner [of the herd] says, "Let us try and make of him a tame reindeer! Let him create offspring for us!"

 He goes to the herd and utters [there among the herd] an incantation. (He talks) to the Being of Zenith: "Oh, You, there above! I am in great need. This one wants to go away, and he is the first of his kind that I have seen here.

 "Give me your wooden stake! I p. 129 will stick it into his foot, I will thrust it between his antlers. I will pierce his lower jaw, and bring it down to the level of the ground. With what else shall I pin (to the ground) this fleet-(footed) reindeer-buck?

 (I will gather) bowlders from all sides, and pile them up between his antlers. How will he move (his head)? I will wrap his ears with sod. [As to his nose,] I will gather withered sedge-grass and use it to cover his nose. Let all bad odors from every (part of the earth) enter into his nose!

 I make him into a fawn newly born. O (Good) Being! do not despise my (demand)! Let me get possession of him! I will give you in exchange (something) equally worthy to be desired."

 Then he spits, and with that the incantation becomes fastened. After that he says, "Bring the herd (to the house)." They bring it to the house. They make a fire in the house. They drive the herd windward, so that he (the reindeer-buck) will smell the smoke. But he can't run away, because he has become heavy. That is all.

Told by Keɛute´ġịn, a Reindeer Chukchee man, on the O´nmịlịn tundra, June, 1901.



p. 128

1 Compare Vol. VII of this series, p. 497, No. 1, b.