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8. Incantation for Pains in the Stomach (Nanqatẹ´lkên ê´wġan).1

 I call Qu´urkịl.2 This abdomen (of mine) I make into a bay (of the sea). (The bay) is frozen, (altogether) bound with ice. (Plenty) of rubbish is there. All this rubbish is frozen there in (the ice of) the bay; (the rubbish) is the disease (of my stomach). "Oh, you (my) stomach! you are full of pain. I make you into a frozen bay, into a (very) old ice-floe, into a bad ice-floe."

 Oh, oh! I call to Qu´urkịl, "You Qu´urkịl, you travel around from very remote times, I want your assistance. What are you going to do with this bay? It is frozen. Mischievous people (meaning hostile shamans) made it freeze. You have a strong beak. What are you going to do?"

 Then (the Raven) breaks the ice through, but (in reality) it is disease (which is broken). Everything that has stuck under the water, in the depths, I cause to be carried away. It is floating on the surface.

 Then he3 comes to the man who asked for assistance, and says to him, "I have finished." — "All right!"

 Now I call to the Great Sea-Wind.4 "Oh, you, Great Sea-Wind, turn back the broad river that flows to the sea-shore!" There comes the Sea-Wind, p. 134 great storm, high billows, I call (to all of them).

 He pretends that his fingers are all this. Then he catches (the patient) by (the skin of) the abdomen. The man who utters the incantation keeps his hands on the stomach (of the patient), pretending that his palms are billows. While doing this, he says, "Here I am cleaning away all rubbish. I make it to be carried away." Then he falls backwards, as if the breath of the great wind from the sea had dragged him away.

 Then the sea begins to ebb, the tide is at the lowest. Ancient pebbles of this place (these are in reality his intestines) are bare of water, quite without cover. There is no water near them. "I make you into a very dry place, I make you into a dry, sandy shore. A hairy maggot is rolling on the sand, it rolls into its hair all the rubbish from the ground."

 Then the man who utters the incantation blows. He smears over with saliva his own palm. He brings some snow from the outside and makes it melt in his mouth. He brings (also) a blade of grass and fastens it to the neck (of the patient). He wipes the saliva (from his palm) [and finishes]. The people bring the payment. It is sausages. They make a miniature skin bag, and put into it crumbs of sausage, dry leaves instead of skins, a little piece of meat, and a strip of thong.

 The shaman who utters the incantation takes all these and carries them home. He goes to [the sacrificing place] behind the tent. There he takes out everything [behind the tent]. He p. 135 stabs the pieces of sausage with his knife: these are his reindeer for slaughter. He scatters the sacrifice to the Substance of Incantation, all the thongs [he scatters], the beads and the tobacco [he scatters].

 Then he finishes, and enters the house. Evening comes, and they enter the inner room. They get up (the next morning), and they visit the patient [of yesterday] again. They say, "Halloo! (How are you?)" — "Indeed, I am a little better."

 Then (the shaman) fetches a small river1 and puts it into the chamber-vessel, to be used (afterwards) as an (additional) cure. With this they rub him all over. From that time on, (the patient) begins to improve, and (in due time) recovers altogether. That is all.

Told by Keɛ´ulịn, a Maritime Chukchee man, in the village of Mị´s·qạn, October. 1900.



p. 133

1 Compare Vol. VII of this series, p. 503, No. 8, g.

2 This is the name of the Raven in tales and myths.

3 That is, the man who utters the incantation. The man who told me this incantation spoke alternately in the first and in the third person.

4 The north on the Arctic Sea, and the east on the Pacitic (cf. Vol. VII, p. 321).

p. 135

1 That is, fetches some water, which by power of incantation is considered to be transformed into a small river.