Creation Myths of Primitive America, by Jeremiah Curtin, , at sacred-texts.com
After each name is given that of the beast, bird, or thing into which the personage was changed subsequently.
Chirchihas, mountain squirrel (red); Handokmit, striped snake; Hau, red fox; Hawt, eel; Hus, turkey buzzard; Kanhlalas, weasel; Karkit, raven; Kinus, wood dove; Kiriú, loon; Lutchi, hummingbird; Memtulit, otter; Múrope, bull snake; Nomhawena; Nop, deer; Patkilis, jack rabbit; Patit, panther; Sedit, coyote; Tichelis, ground squirrel; Tsaik, bluejay; Tsárarok, kingfisher; Tsaroki Sakahl, brown-green snake; Tsihl, black bear; Tsileu, yellowhammer; Tsudi, mouse; Tunhlucha, frog; Waida Dikit, Dolly Varden trout; Waida Werris, Polar star; Wai Hau, silver-gray fox; Waiti, north side; Watwut, mountain bluejay; Wima, grizzly bear; Yípokos, black fox.
On the south side of Bohem Puyuk is a small mountain called Tede Puyuk. Near that small mountain lived Waida Dikit Kiemila. He lived all alone, without neighbors. There was no house near his. He lived long in that place, thinking what was best for him to do, thinking, thinking. After a great while he thought: "The best thing to do is to build a sweat-house."
He built a sweat-house about a mile west of the place where he was living. When he had finished, he took a kind of red earth and painted the eastern half of the house red on the outside. The western half he painted green with paint made from leaves of bushes. After he had painted the western half, all the different kinds of bushes whose leaves
he had used for paint grew out of that side of the sweat-house.
The sweat-house was ready for use now, and Waida Dikit went to see a man, Tsaroki Sakahl, who lived farther south.
"My grandson," said Waida Dikit, "I wish you would come up and stay in my house. I have no one to keep me company. I wish you would come and live with me."
"I will go with you," said Tsaroki, and he went to live with the old man.
Waida Dikit had not told Tsaroki of the sweat-house, he took him to the old house. After two or three nights Waida Dikit said,--
"My grandson, what shall we do? What would you like to do? What will be best for us? We must talk about something. There should be something for us to talk about. We must have something to say."
"Well," said Tsaroki. "I think that you want what is best; you want to see somebody, to see something. I think that is what you want. I think I know what you want. The best way to get what you want is to build a sweat-house."
"That is wise talk, my grandson, I like to hear it. I have a sweat-house built--all finished."
"Where is it?" asked Tsaroki.
"I will show it to you soon," answered Waida Dikit.
Putting his hand behind him, he picked up a small basket, took out yellow paint with his thumb and forefinger, and drew a yellow streak from Tsaroki's
head down his back. The young man had been all green; now there was yellow on his back. Next Waida Dikit took a net woven of grass fibre, like a woman's hair net, and put it on Tsaroki's head. "You are ready now," said he. Then he led him out of the house and said, pointing to the west,--
"Look! There is our sweat-house. Now, my grandson, I am going to take you to that house. The east side is painted red. When we are there, don't go near the sweat-house on this eastern side; pass by, but not too near, a little way off. When we go in I will take the eastern half and stay in it; you will take the other half and stay on the western side, where there is green paint. That is where you are to lie, on the green side."
They started. The old man walked ahead. When they went in, Waida Dikit took the eastern half of the house and Tsaroki the western. The young man sat down, and then Waida Dikit took a pipe which was in the sweat-house.
"My grandson," said he, "you will find a pipe right there on your side of the house and a sack of tobacco. You may smoke if you wish."
Tsaroki took the pipe, looked at it, liked it well. This pipe was from Wai Hola Puyuk. When he drew in the smoke and puffed out the first whiff, the whole house was filled so that nothing was seen in it. Waida Dikit put his head outside the door. There was smoke outside everywhere. He could see nothing. Then he turned back and said,--
"My grandson, you are a good man. You are a
strong man. You smoke well. This will do for the first time.--If he does that again," thought the old man, "there will be nothing seen in this world; all will be covered with smoke;" and he said, "You are a strong man; that is enough for this time."
"I should like to know why he says, 'That is enough.' What does he want to do with me?" thought Tsaroki. "Maybe he is trying me in some way.
"My grandson," said the old man, after a while, "I should like to see somebody; I should like to see something, see people; I should like to have fun and see games of some sort."
"I should like to see them too," answered Tsaroki; "I should like to see them, my grandfather. You are older than I; if you tell me what to do. I will do it."
"My grandson, can you play on anything?"
"I should like to play if you would teach me," said Tsaroki.
The old man put his hand behind him into a basket of things, drew out a flute and gave it to Tsaroki. who took it quickly, he was so glad. He sat down. crossed his legs, and before he had blown into the flute, just as he touched his lips with it, beautiful sounds came out.
The young man was glad, wonderfully glad. The old man, who sat looking at him, asked,--
"How do you like the flute, my grandson?"
"I like it well," said Tsaroki.
"I am glad to hear you play, my grandson; I am glad when you do something good. When I was
young, I used to say good things, I used to do good things. Now, my grandson, think what you would like best to do."
"I should like to hear something nice, to hear music, to hear beautiful sounds."
After he had taken the flute Tsaroki did not sleep; he played for three days and three nights without stopping; then he stopped and asked,--
"What is this flute? What is it made of? It sounds so sweetly."
"My grandson, I will tell you; that flute is of wood,--alder wood. That is an alder flute, but the wood is people's bones. There were people long ago, and that alder wood grew out of their bones. My grandson, would you like to have another young man with you, or do you wish to be alone? I think it would be better for you to have company."
"My grandfather, I should like to have another man with me; I could talk with him. I could live then more pleasantly."
"My grandson, to see another young man you must go to the west; you must go in the middle of the night, when it is very dark, so that no one may see you. My grandson, it is better for you to go to-night."
"Where? Which way do you want me to go, my grandfather?"
"Go west from here, far away; you will start when it is dark; you will get there in the dark. You will go to where the old woman Nomhawena Pokaila lives: she is your grandmother. When you
go to her house, ask her about your brother; she will tell you where he is."
"My grandfather, I don't believe that I can find her house. I don't know what kind of house it is."
"You cannot miss it, my grandson. The night will be very dark; no one will be able to see anything, but you cannot miss the house. It is a little house; no one can see it, but you cannot miss it. You will go there very quickly, though 't is far from here and the night is dark."
Then the old man showed him a small sand trail; it was bright, just like a ray of light in the darkness, though it was very narrow, as narrow as a hair, and all around it was dark night. The old man had made this trail purposely.
Tsaroki started, and could see the trail straight ahead of him; he went over it as swiftly as an arrow goes from a bow. He travelled right on, and at the end of the trail, just on the trail itself, was a little bark house. He went into this house, and saw an old woman lying there with her back to the fire; she was sleeping on the south side of it. He walked in and stood at the north side. He sat down then, and was sitting a while when the old woman woke, turned her face to the fire, and saw some one opposite. She rose, stirred the fire to make light, looked at the young man, and said,--
"I see some person over there; who is it?"
My grandmother, I am Tsaroki Sakahl. I have come because my grandfather, Waida Dikit, sent me to see you, so that you might tell me about my brother. I should like to know where my brother
lives. I have come to see my brother and speak to him."
"Very well, my grandson, I will tell you. He lives right over here on the west."
As soon as she had finished speaking, Tsaroki stood up and went toward the west. He had not made many steps when he saw a large space, a broad space on which a great many people were sitting. The place was dark, but the people could see one another. Tsaroki saw all, and looked around carefully. He saw that all were at work except one man, who was sitting in the middle in a. good place. He looked a long time, not knowing what to do, for Waida Dikit had said to him,--
"You must not let any one know but your brother why I sent you, and tell him not to tell others."
No one present saw Tsaroki, and he thought: "I don't know how I shall go to my brother without letting any one know." At last he made up his mind what to do. He went down under the ground where he had been sitting, and came up just in front of the great man, his brother.
The people were dressing skins, making arrow-points, and finishing arrows. All were at work but the man in the middle. Tsaroki came up in front of him and whispered,--
"My brother, I have come for you. My grandfather sent me to ask you to go to him and not to tell any one."
"That is well. I will go. Let us start."
That was all he said. This big man was Hawt.
[paragraph continues] Tsaroki had brought his flute, but he could not use it, for he had to keep his journey secret and not let himself be seen; he held the flute hidden under his arm.
"Let us go," said Hawt; "you go ahead."
Tsaroki went into the ground, came out where he had been sitting at first, and then went to the house of the old woman, his grandmother. Hawt stood up to make ready for the journey. The people kept on working. They were all of the Hawt people, and the big man was their chief.
Hawt dressed, and took his bow and arrows. When ready, he turned and said,--
"My people, I am going to leave you, to be gone two or three days, perhaps longer."
That was all he said; he did not say where he was going, nor why. He walked away and went to Nomhawena's house, where Tsaroki was waiting. The two brothers had been sitting just a little while when the old woman said to them,--
"Now, my grandsons, you must go; you must be at Waida Dikit's before daylight; you must travel while it is dark, we do not wish to let other people know of your journey. Go. I shall be in this house, but shall hear all that is happening at your place."
They left the old woman, and reached Waida Dikit's before daylight. The old man was up already, and standing by the fire in the middle of the sweat-house combing his red hair, which touched his feet. The moment he went into the house Tsaroki took his flute, Jay on his back, and
began to play. Hawt stood a while; didn't know where to sit. At last Waida Dikit said to him,--
"My grandson, I am living here in a small house. There isn't much room in it, but go north of the fire and sit there."
just as Hawt was sitting down at the appointed side, daylight came. Tsaroki played two nights and two days. Hawt lay in his place and listened.
"My grandson," said Waida Dikit to Tsaroki, "I should like to hear you both play. You must give that flute to Hawt some of the time."
Tsaroki gave the flute to his brother, and from time to time they passed it from one to the other. Both played; both made beautiful music. They played day after day, night after night, ten days and ten nights.
"You play well now, both of you, my grandsons. Would you not like to hear other persons play?"
"Oh. we should like that very much; we: should like to hear other persons play," said Tsaroki and Hawt.
"I used to hear a friend of mine long ago," said Waida Dikit, "and he played very well. Would you like to have him play with you?"
"Yes, yes; maybe he would teach us to play better."
"My friend is very old now," said Waida Dikit: "he is Kanhlalas Kiemila."
"I will go and bring him," said Tsaroki.
"Go, my grandson. I will show you a trail, but do not go near the east side of my sweat-house. It is not far. Kanhlalas lives northeast from here."
Tsaroki found Kanhlalas's sweat-house on the trail. He heard music inside, beautiful music. He stood awhile listening, then went in and saw an old man lying on his back playing. The old man stopped playing, but did not speak. Tsaroki touched him on the shoulder and said,--
"My grandfather, I have come for you. Waida Dikit, my grandfather, sent me to ask you to visit him."
"I will go," was all that the old man said. No questions were asked or answered. "I have come for you," "I will go;" no more. Those people of long ago talked in that way; they didn't talk much.
Tsaroki went home. Kanhlalas made ready to go, and went under the ground. Waida Dikit was lying in his house when on a sudden Kanhlalas rose at his feet. Waida Dikit sat up when he saw him. took a pipe, and told him to smoke. Kanhlalas smoked, and the two old men talked a good while. The young men played, first one, then the other. It was dark in the sweat-house, but after Kanhlalas came he shone and gave light like a torch in a dark house. You could see some, but not very much. Kanhlalas was a grandfather of Waida Werris.
"I sent for you," said Waida Dikit, "for I thought you might teach my grandsons to play better. They like to make music. They think of nothing else."
"I am old," said Kanhlalas. "I am not as I used to be. I cannot play much now. When I was a boy, when I was young, I could play. But I will play a little."
About dark he said a second time. "I will play a
little." So he lay on his back, took his own flute, which he had brought with him, and began. The two brothers lay and listened. Kanhlalas never took the flute out of his mouth from the dark of evening until daylight. Next day he played, and all night again. When morning came there was a light stripe down his breast, and when the sun rose his breast was white, for the breath was nearly out of his body. That morning old Waida Dikit said,--
"Now we will invite all people in the world who can play, to come here."
"If you invite all people in the world who can play," said Tsaroki, "this house will be too small for them."
"No," said the old man, "it will not be too small. You will find it large enough when they come."
Tsaroki was sent to the northwest to invite people. He went very fast. In a little while he was at a place just this side of where the sky touches the earth. He went to Nop Hlut. When near the sweat-house he heard stamping in a dance. He went in and saw a very big house full of people sitting around at the wall. Only one woman and a young girl were dancing in the middle of the house, Nop Pokte and Nop Loimis. The girl was very small, and had fawn's feet tied behind her head. These rattled so sharply that you could hear them when far away. As Tsaroki was coming in through the door on the south, he saw an old man lying on the north side. This
was Nop Kiemila, the master of the house. Tsaroki went straight to him, put his hand on his shoulder, and said,--
"I have come for you."
"What kind of call do you make?" asked Nop.
"My grandfather is going to have a playing on flutes."
"I will go," said Nop.
"My grandfather is inviting people from all parts of the world. All will be invited who can play on the flute."
Waida Dikit himself went south to invite people living in the water, and sent Tsaroki to invite all the land people. They went far and near to invite all. After a time both grew wearied, and wanted to get some one to take invitations. They thought who would be best in heat and cold, light and darkness, and thought that Kinus would be; so they called him, and hired him to go.
Kinus went as far as he could go, went around the whole world to a distance a little this side of where the sky comes down. After a time he returned and said,--
"This world is wide and big. I called all the people as far as I went, but I was not able to go everywhere,--this world goes farther than I went. Whole days I could get no water, no food; but I invited all the people that I saw."
Now, while Kinus was speaking the invited people were listening; and there were many of them then at Waida Dikit's. Lutchi sat at one side and listened.
"There is," said Waida Dikit, "a man that we should like to see here. Waida Werris and also a man who lives far in the East, Patkilis; he lives behind the sky, beyond the place where the sky touches the earth, and Sedit lives with him. We want these three. Now Kinus cannot go to them,--nobody that we know is able to go to them. What shall we do?"
All talked about this. Lutchi sat back in silence, and listened to what they were saying.
"This sweat-house is too small," said Kanhlalas.
"You will see," answered Waida Dikit.
The sweat-house was spreading out, growing gradually, growing all the time as the people came. A great many came that afternoon. The house extended now as far as the eye could see. Whenever new people came, Waida Dikit would blow and say, "I wish this house to be larger!" And the house stretched, became wider and longer and higher. In the evening great crowds were there already.
Kinus and the rest talked all night and the next day. "Nobody can go to Waida Werris, Patkilis, and Sedit. That was what they said."
They asked all present, and each answered, "I cannot go to them." They talked and talked. At last one man said to another, "Let's ask that Lutchi Herit over there; maybe he can go." A third said, "Yes, let's ask him." And the three said to Waida Dikit, "Ask that little man; perhaps he can go." "He is small," said Waida Dikit, "but I will ask him." He went up to Lutchi, touched him on the shoulder, and asked,--
"My grandson, can you do something for me? You are small, but I am asking you."
Lutchi said nothing; just raised his brows, which meant "Yes." As soon as he did this, Waida Dikit put his hand under his arm and took out a kunluli (a delicate blue flower that grows near the water), and gave it to Lutchi. Lutchi took it in his open palm, looked at it, rubbed it between his two hands, spat on it, and made a paste which was a beautiful blue paint. Then he rubbed his face, arms, breast--he became blue all over (to this day Lutchi is blue, he was white before). He went out among the people then, and said,--
"People, look at me! What do I look like? Haven't I a nice color now?"
"You are beautiful," said the people. "You look well."
It was at the point of daybreak. They could see just a bit of light. When he was ready to start, Lutchi said,--
"I don't know how far it is, but if I go to those places I shall be back here at sunrise. If they are very far away, I shall be here when the sun is as high as the tree-tops."
"Do you think you will be back by sunrise?" asked Kinus. "Those places are very far away."
"I know they are far away," said Lutchi.
"I have been all over the world," added Kinus. "I was gone a long time, but those places are farther away than any spot where I have been."
"Ho! Now I am going!" said Lutchi; and he
darted straight up into the sky, next down, and up and down again. Then he called out,--
"How do you like that? Do you think I can go to those people? This is the way I travel."
He shot away east and returned. Then he went west and came back in a twinkle. Next he turned north and was gone. He had never travelled through the air before. Till that morning he had always walked on the ground, just as we do now. He went straight to Waida Werris's house and went in. It was dazzling there, and seemed to him just as bright as daylight seems to a man coming out of a dark place.
Lutchi saw some one inside, who was young and beautiful. He could not look at his face, it was so bright. There were two brothers in the house. The younger was Waiti, the elder Waida Werris. Waiti never left the house; never went abroad or wandered, stayed at home all the time.
"I have come," said Lutchi, "to invite you to meet people from all the world at a flute-playing in Waida Dikit's sweat-house."
"I will go," said Waida Werris. He knew all that was going on. He had seen it while travelling early, before daylight.
"I am going now," said Lutchi to Waida Werris. And as soon as he was outside he rushed off toward the west, came back, rose in the air, came down, and then shot away, like a lightning flash, eastward to find Patkilis and Sedit. Soon he was in the east, where the sky comes to the earth. He took a sky stick, which he had brought with him, pried up the
sky, raised it a little, and then he went under to the other side. When the sky came down again behind him and struck the earth, it made an awful noise which was heard over the world. The whole world shook. All the people at Waida Dikit's heard the noise and wondered.
"What can that be?" asked they. "What awful noise is that?" Waida Dikit knew what the noise was, but he never told any one.
Lutchi went straight east from the other side of the sky, and never stopped till he found Patkilis and Sedit. They were in another world, another sky came down to their world, and they lived almost at the edge of that second sky. Lutchi went into their sweat-house. They were sitting just inside the door, one at one side, the other at the other; the door was on the east side. When Lutchi had sat a little while, Sedit rose and said,--
"My grandson, which way have you come?"
"I come here for you and Patkilis," answered Lutchi. "Waida Dikit sent me to invite you to a flute-playing at his sweat-house. Nobody else could come to you, so he asked me to come."
"We are glad," answered they. "We will go. You go ahead. But how shall we pass the sky?"
"I will wait at the edge for you," said Lutchi; and he went on.
When Sedit and Patkilis were ready, Sedit said, "I wish this road on which I must travel to be short, very short."
They started, and found the road so short that
[paragraph continues] Lutchi was waiting at the edge of the sky only a little while when they were with him. Lutchi pried up the sky a second time, and the three passed under to the western side. Again there was an awful noise, and the whole world trembled.
"Now I am going quickly; you can move as you like," said Lutchi. He went west like a flash, and just as the sun was peeping over the mountains he was back at Waida Dikit's.
"Have you heard what is going on in this world that makes such a noise?" asked Waida Dikit. "These people heard an awfully big noise."
"That was my travelling," said Lutchi. "Kinus, whom you sent first, could not go to those three people. I went. They are on the road, and will be here in a few days."
All the people heard this and were glad.
"Now we shall hear great music," said they.
While travelling along together, Patkilis spoke to Sedit and advised him. "When we are in Waida Dikit's house," said he, "don't talk much. Sit down like a wise man and look on; be silent; don't act like a little boy."
Sedit was talking all the time. He told Patkilis what he was going to do. He would do this and do that, he said.
Two days passed, and the two men had not come. On the third day, near the middle of the forenoon, people saw a beautiful little arrow come down just by the door of the sweat-house,--a bright arrow. When it struck the ground, it made a grating noise, and they said,--
"That is a nice arrow. Who sent such an arrow?" And all liked it.
There were crowds of people in the sweat-house. Some of them wanted the arrow. "Let's pull it up!" said they, "and see who made it;" but Waida Dikit would not let them touch it. "Let it stay where it is. Do not touch it," said he, for he knew that it was Patkilis's arrow, and that it meant: "I am coming. I shall be there soon."
While the people were talking about the arrow, two men swept in through the door. No one saw their faces or their heads, just their legs and shadows.
"Give them room, let them in," said Waida Dikit.
"Where can they sit?" asked Tsaroki.
"Give each a place on the east side," said Waida Dikit.
The two, Patkilis and Sedit, went to the east side and sat down. Nobody had seen Waida Werris come, but he was in the house.
When leaving home that morning, Waida Werris said to Waiti, his brother,--
"You will stay and keep house, as you do always. You will be here, but you will see me all the time, you will see me night and day. Watch me; they will do other things there besides playing on flutes."
Patkilis and Sedit asked Waida Dikit if Waida Werris had come.
"I do not know where he is," replied the old man. "No one has seen him."
"Oh, he will not come," said many people. "What kind of a person is Waida Werris? He is nobody. What do we want of him?"
Waida Werris was sitting there all the time listening. Waida Dikit knew well what kind of person he was, but said nothing. That night after all invited people had come, Waida Dikit said:
"Listen, all you people here present. I have called this gathering to find who is the best flute-player, who can make the best music in this world. Let us begin. Let each play alone."
Tsaroki began the trial. "I will begin," said he to his brother Hawt, "then let the others play. You can play when you like."
"I am satisfied," said Hawt. "I will play last."
"That is well," answered Tsaroki. "I will play first, all will follow, and you may play last."
Tsaroki began. He played a little while, not long; played well. Kanhlalas played next. All liked his music. Watwut Kiemila played third; played splendidly.
"Go ahead and play, all you people," said Waida Dikit.
Tsileu Herit played best up to his time, played till almost morning till just before daylight. The inside of the sweat-house had become red, and some asked,--
"Why is it red everywhere inside the sweat-house?"
"We do not know," answered others; "something makes it red."
One man went up to Waida Dikit and asked, "Why is it red inside the sweat-house?"
"I will tell you. Do you see Tsileu Herit there? Well, he has been playing all night, the
breath is gone out of him, he is all red, and the whole sweat-house is red from him."
About daylight Tsileu stopped, and then it grew as dark as in a house when a fire is put out in the night. Now Tsaik played all day, and at sundown the sweat-house was blue, for Tsaik had grown blue.
All played to see who could play best. Every kind of people played. When any one was out of breath, he stopped playing, and received a new color. When Murope lost breath, he was spotted. When Handokmit lost breath, he became striped. Patkilis played three nights and two days, and when he gave out after sundown, he was roan. Wai Hau played five nights, and at sunrise the fifth morning he was red. Kiriu Herit played five nights, and at the middle of the sixth night he was black, and his breath gone.
And so for many days and nights they played, one person after another, till one night all had finished except Hawt. Hawt was the last to play. All were asleep now. All had lost breath, and received new colors. Tsaroki went to his brother on the north side of the house, and said,--
"Begin, my brother; over near the fire there is a place for you; go under the ground, and when you come out, you will play."
Hawt went under the ground, and came out near the fireplace. He lay on his back and began to play. He had two rows of holes in his body, one on each side; he fingered these holes, drew in air through his nostrils, and sent it out through the holes in both sides. Hawt was playing on his own
body. At first, all the people were asleep, except one person, Tsudi Herit. Tsudi heard Hawt, and he heard, as in a doze, wonderful sounds. He listened a long time, thinking it a dream. When Tsudi found that he was not sleeping, he shook the man next him, and said,--
"Wake up, wake up! Who is playing? All have played, but I have never heard music like this. Many have played here, but no one played in this way."
The person he roused was Hus. Hus said nothing, he was old and nearly bald, he took a pipe and began to smoke. Tsudi roused other people, one after another.
"Wake up, rise, sit up; listen to the music somebody is playing."
They woke, one after another. "Who is playing?" asked one. "Who is it?" asked another. "We have played many days and nights, but no one played like that. All have their own flutes. Who can this be?"
At last some one said: "I know who is playing. It is Hawt."
"How could Hawt play?" asked others. "Whose flute has Hawt? He has none of his own. Each of us brought a flute, but Hawt brought none. Whose flute has he now?"
Every one heard the wonderful music, and every one said, "We should like to see the man who plays in this way."
It was night, and dark in the sweat-house. All began to say how much they wanted light to see
who was playing. Waida Werris was lying back in the east half of the sweat-house, and heard every word. He. too, wanted to look at the player. He sat up, pulled one hair out of his beard, gave it to Tsudi, and said,--
"Go down near that man who is playing, and hold up this hair so that people may see him."
Tsudi took the hair and went along quietly. No one heard him. He held the hair over Hawt's head, and there was a light from it that filled the whole house. It was as bright as day there. All the People were seen sitting up, each hugging his flute. No man would lend his flute to any one else in the world for any price. All were looking toward the spot whence the music came. In the light they saw a man lying on his back with his arms across his breast, but they could not see that he was doing anything. He had no flute, he made no motion with his mouth, for he fingered his sides as he would a flute, and made the music by drawing in air through his nostrils, and sending it out through the holes in his sides.
Tsudi held up Waida Werris's single hair, and people watched Hawt to see how he made the beautiful music. He was lying on his back making wonderful sounds. He played the music of Tsaik's song, of Waida Werris's song, of Tsaroki's song. They could hear the music, but there was no motion of Hawt's mouth and they could not see his fingers play. He gave the music of Patkilis's song and of Sedit's. He gave the music of the songs of all people in the sweat-house.
"Hawt has beaten the world!" cried the assembly. "He can do more than we can; we yield, we are silent. Hawt is the best player in the world! No one can play as he plays!"
Hawt gave his own music next. No one knew that music but him, no one could play it but him. There was no other music so loud and strong, no other music so soft and low.
When the people had watched Hawt a long time and listened a long time, he stopped. All cried out then,--
"Hawt is the one great musician, the only great player on earth!"
Tsudi put down the hair and all were in the dark. He carried the hair back and gave it to Waida Werris.
People began to talk and ask one another:
"Where did that light come from; whose is it?" One said Tsudi had it; another said, "No, he never had a light like that." "Who gave it to him?" asked a third. "Some one must have given it to Tsudi. Let us ask him about this!'
Here and there people said. "Only Waida Werris could make such a light. What kind of person is Waida Werris? We should like to see Waida Werris."
"I have never seen Waida Werris, but I have heard people tell how nice looking he is, and that he can be seen from afar," said Patkilis. "If he were here he might make such a light, but he is not here, or we should all see him right away."
Waida Werris was lying near them, and heard all they said.
"Let us ask Waida Dikit," said Karkit Kiemila, a big man, lying on the west side, facing Waida Werris; and he began to talk to Waida Dikit.
"The people wish to see Waida Werris," said he. "You have invited all people in the world, and you have invited him. What will you do? Is he here? Will you let every one see him?"
"Oh, no," said one old man. "Waida Werris is bad. I don't want to see him." "We have heard that he is good," said others. "We want to see him." So they were divided.
Waida Werris smoked a while in silence. At last Waida Dikit bent toward Patkilis and Sedit and asked,--
"What do you think, shall I let people see Waida Werris or not?"
"They want to see him," answered the two. "You have invited them and invited him. If people wish to see Waida Werris, let them see him."
"Where shall I let them see him?"
"Let all the people go outside the sweat-house," said Patkilis, "and stand in two long rows, one on each side of the door, and let Waida Werris go out between them. If he goes out, every one can look at him; only a few would see him inside the house."
"Very well," answered Waida Dikit. "Now all you people go outside the house."
Tsaroki opened the door, and went out first. All
followed, each saying as he went, "It is dark: we shall not see Waida Werris."
"You can see him in the dark," said Waida Dikit. "Join hands, all of you, and go around to the north side of the sweat-house."
"Go you," said Waida Dikit to Tsudi, "and search inside. Tell me when all the people are out."
Tsudi searched everywhere. "All have gone out," said he.
Waida Dikit closed the door and said: "Some of you people are sleepy, but wake up, open your eyes, be ready to see--look north."
"What can we do here? Why did we come out in the dark?" asked a certain Chirchihas. "We can see nothing at this time of night;" and, turning to Lutchi, he asked: "Have you seen him, or his brother? What sort of a place do they live in?"
"I cannot tell you now; you will see him soon."
"Be ready, all of you," said Waida Dikit. "Look north."
All looked. There was a pointed mountain not far away, and straight out before them. They saw a small light rising till it reached the top of that mountain; there it settled, and soon it seemed near them, just a few steps from the faces of the people. That was Waida Werris. The place around was as if in daylight. All could see him; all looked at him.
"Now, you people, there is Waida Werris before you; do you see him?"
"We see him."
"Hereafter all people will see him there in the north, as you see him now," said Waida Dikit. "Come back to the sweat-house, all of you."
Tsaroki opened the door, and all went in. "We will talk," said the old man, "then eat, and after that separate."
Day had come--there was light in the sweat-house. They heard some one coming, and soon they saw an old woman in the door. This was Tunhlucha Pokaila. She would not go in, but stood a while holding in both hands two beautiful baskets of water. These she put down at the door. looked in, and went away. Waida Dikit took the baskets, put them on the ground north of the fire, and said,--
"Here is a little water, but come all and use it,--wash."
The old woman was Waida Dikit's sister; she lived north of her brother's, not far away. There was a rock at that place, with a spring in it. The rock was her house. Water rose in that rock to the surface and went into the earth again in another part of the same house. The old woman had two baskets; the smaller one held water for drinking, the larger one water for washing. Great crowds of people drank from the smaller basket and washed from the other; each used what he needed, the water never grew less; it remained the same always in quantity.
"Have all washed and drunk?" asked Waida Dikit.
"We have all washed and drunk."
The old man removed the baskets, and set out two others which the old woman had just brought,--one of cooked venison, and another a very small basket of acorn porridge. He put the baskets in the middle of the sweat-house and said,--
"Now, all people, I ask you to eat."
"I will try that food," said Karkit. He went and ate. Next Hus ate, then Yipokos. Now these three men ate deer meat since that time, and will always find meat by the smell,--this was the first time they ate venison. Tsihl and Wima, called also Bohemba, ate all they could from the little basket, yet the food was not less by one bit. Patit ate plenty. Hus ate, and so did Sedit. All ate as much as they could; still each basket was full. The food grew no less. Waida Dikit kept saying,--
"You people, here is food. I do not need it. Come and eat what there is."
He sent Tsudi around to ask each man if he had eaten. All said they had eaten till Tsudi went half around, when he found one man, Memtulit, who said that he had not eaten, but was willing to eat.
"I will eat if I see anything good," said he.
"Well, go and eat," said Tsudi.
"What kind of food have you?
"Venison and acorn porridge."
"I do not eat that kind of food."
"Here is a man who has not eaten," said Tsudi; "he cannot eat that food."
Farther on was found Kiriu, who had not eaten,
and a third, a very young man, Tsararok. "I should like to eat," said he, "but I am timid. There are so many people here eating."
"What kind of food do you eat, Kiriu?" asked Tsudi.
"I cannot eat venison. I eat what lives in the water." The other two men said the same.
Waida Dikit went to his old house, where he had dried fish. He caught besides a net full of little fish. He cooked both kinds and carried them to the sweat-house, set them down in the middle. and said, "Now come and eat."
Memtulit ate, so did Kiriu. Tsararok came after a while. He began to eat the little fish, didn't see the other kind; this is why Tsararok likes small fish to this day.
The old man asked again, "Have all eaten?"
"We have," answered all.
There was as much food in the two baskets as at first, and the old man put them outside the house. Sedit saw this, and was angry. He said that people should leave nothing.
"Don't talk so," said Patkilis. "What is done is right."
"You are all free to stay longer," said Waida Dikit, "but I suppose that you wish to go home, I suppose you are in a hurry."
"Why should we go so soon?" asked Sedit, "The people from the west might tell us what they know; we ought to tell them something."
"Keep quiet, Sedit," said Patkilis. "I told you not to talk. There are many big men here, better
men than you, but they don't talk. Waida Dikit says that we have stayed long enough; that is what he means; you ought to know it. He spoke as he did because he wished to say something nice to us and be friends; but you must keep still."
A man on the west side rose now and came toward the middle of the house, near the fire, stood there, looked about, and spat on the ground. All the people saw him spit, and in an instant they saw a small basket rise out of the spittle. Inside the basket were acorns of mountain live oak. This man was Patit. He went back to his place and lay down. Waida Dikit set the basket in the middle of the sweat-house, picked out an acorn, ate it, and said,--
"People, come and eat. My friend Patit has made this for you,--this is his food."
They never had acorns of that kind till then. Nop came first to the basket to eat, and to this day he is fond of acorns. Then Tsihl and Wima and Tichelis and Tsudi and Tsaik went to the basket and ate, and all are fond of acorns now. No matter how many they took from the basket, the acorns were none the less.
Sedit sat back ill-natured; he wanted them to eat all the acorns. Waida Dikit put the basket outside.
Tsihl rose now, went to the place where Patit had spat, and put an empty basket on the ground. He untied a wide strap, or braid of grass, which he wore around his wrist, and held down his hand. Something flowed out of it, like water, till the basket was filled. Then he tied up his wrist again. The basket
was full of seeds of sugar pine. Waida Dikit ate of them; then called all to eat. People came and ate all they wanted. The basket was as full as before. Sedit was very angry.
Hau came forward and put down a stone cup. He held his ear over it, scratched the ear, and out came a stream of manzanita berries. These were the first manzanita. No one had ever seen those berries in the world before. Waida Dikit ate a handful of the berries and sat down--said nothing. All the people hurried to eat, crowded around the cup, ate as long as they were able, but could not decrease the berries. Presently Waida Dikit began to itch. He did not know what troubled him. Soon spots came out all over his body--red, yellow, and black. This was because he had eaten the berries. His spirit was afraid of what he had eaten. His spirit did not wish that he should eat berries, they were not his kind of food; and that was why the spots came out on him. It was his spirit's fear that brought out the spots, and he has been spotted ever since. He ate not because he wished, but because he was master of the house. It was for him to taste everything, or people would think it bad food.
Now Wima came, put down a basket, and untied a white wristband which he wore, held his hand down, and wild plums dropped into the basket and filled it.
This time Waida Dikit sent Tichelis to taste the plums and set out the basket. People ate, but there were as many plums as before.
These different kinds of food were given to the world for the first time then, and this is why we have them now.
Tsaik came to the middle of the sweat-house. He tapped the ground with his nose, and out came a great pile of acorns.
Sedit had eaten as much as he could, and was angry because any was put away. He kept saying to Patkilis. "I don't like that."
"Sedit," answered Patkilis. "I have warned you against talking so much. Don't you know that after a while all the new kind of people, the people to come. will use food in this way, eat what they want, and put the rest away?"
"You people have talked and been friendly," said Waida Dikit. "This is the food we need; this will be our only food hereafter."
"Well," said Kanhlalas, standing up, "I think we have almost finished. If we stay here too long, some bad people may see us and talk about what we are doing."
Others said: "Yes, we have given all the food we have. If this gathering lasts longer, bad people may find us and make trouble."
"That is true," said the assembly; "let us part."
"We will part," said Waida Dikit. "I am going to my old house and will stay there forever. If salmon come up the Wini Mem, they will come as far as my house and go back."
Next morning all set out for their homes. Tsihl changed his mind on the road, and went back to Tede Puyuk, where he found that all had gone
except Sedit, Patkilis, Nop, and Hau. These four were outside the sweat-house, and Tsihl said,--
"We have comeback to look at this place again; it pleases us."
They stayed awhile, travelled through the country, and when Olelbis sent people down here, coyotes, jack rabbits, deer, red-foxes, and black bear came to Tede Puyuk, and there were many of them ever after around that whole country.