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19. Gull-Woman and Cormorant-Woman. 2

Gull-Woman lived with a companion, who was her female cousin. They sat sewing. Cormorant-Woman (i. e., the cousin in question) said, "While no one comes to the cave, I will go and prepare my sinew-thread." At the same time Big-Kamak said, "I will walk along the shore." He walked along the shore. Then he said, "What is there, that shows so white?"

p. 84 p. 85

He came (nearer, and it was) a Gull; and, [even] without chewing, he swallowed her. Then Big-Kamak came home, and said, "I am unwell." [He came home,] and as soon as he lay down (to rest), that Gull-Woman, with her woman's knife, ripped open his body (from the inside). Oh, he said to his wife, "Cheer me up (by some means)!"--"Without collar-string, without nostrils!" 1

Big-Kamak died. That Gull-Woman came out (of his insides). She began to jump up on the cross-pole above his pillow; but she could not fly up, because she was all covered with slime. She flew up again, and fell down and thudded against the ground. His wife lay flat in the corner (from sheer fright). Nevertheless she flew up again, and was on the house-top.

She came home, and said, "Big-Kamak swallowed me, I nearly died." That one, Cormorant-Woman, said, "I also will make something. Let him also swallow me!" The other one said, "Don't do it! You have no woman's knife." "Here are my nails. I will rip him open with my nails. If it were done, I should feel elated."

That one (Kamak-Woman) passed by, but she could not talk to her. She went to the cave and staid there. That Ka'mak-Woman, indeed, was often passing by, but she could not see her. That Cormorant-Woman began to cough, and to say, "Here I am!" but how could she see her in the dark?

She said, "Here I am! Swallow me!" But she could not find her. Indeed, she almost stepped over her. "Where is she?" Oh, she found her! She said, "I will swallow you!" The other one said, "Do swallow me!" She swallowed her, also, without chewing, gulped her down. Oh, she came home. And again she said, "I feel unwell!" She said to her husband, "Cheer me up!"--"Without collar-string, without nostrils!"

p. 86 p. 87

She killed her again, and tore the old scars 1 with her nails. This one died. Again she came out. [Cormorant-Woman came out,] and cut her way through several mounds of drifted snow.

Oh, she came home. (The kamak) said, "I have enough of these [former] doings." They have punished their own bodies, and ceased to walk along the stone. 2 That is all.


83:2 Compare Jochelson, The Koryak, l. c., No. 99, p. 287.

85:1 Compare p. 68. footnote 3.

Next: 20. Yini'a-ñawġut and Kĭlu's Marriage with Fish-Man