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p. 220


The Spoiling of the World. 1

p. 224

Yīmankyūwiñxoiyan 1 and the two women who were to be his wives grew at Leldiñ. When the time was near for Indians to appear upon the earth the smoke which was a token of their coming was seen. It hung along on the mountains as far down as those which stand in the middle of the world. Yīmankyūwiñxoiyan got lonesome and started to travel over the world. He went down this way through Hupa toward the north. When he had travelled nearly around the world he saw a handsome woman living there. He liked her. Finishing his journey he came back where he used to live and saw his wives and his child.

Then he went away to the world's edge toward the south where the handsome woman lived and became the father of a son. When the child was large enough to stand, his father told him to lie down back of the fire. Someone called out, "A Southfork man is running along from the north on the other side. He has the cover of the fire-pit on his head." 2 "Quick, take the boat over to him," Yīmankyūwiñxoiyan said. He was surprised to hear the stranger asking, "Where is the one who lives here?" "Why, what do you want?" they asked him. "Your child they have put in the ground still alive," said the messenger. Immediately Yīmankyūwiñxoiyan put his hand under himself and got up. He went into the house and girded himself.

Picking up his child he put him in his sack and crossed over. He ran down Southfork creek to Leldiñ. There was no one to be seen walking about. He saw his former wives sitting facing each other. He went to that something (grave) which had been made. He dug out the child and put it by the fire. It ran into the grave again. He dug in out ten times and it ran back each time. It quite spoiled the world. People would never have died but for that. "Well, let it be that way," thought Yīmankyūwiñxoiyan.

p. 225

Then he started down toward Hupa after the Kīxûnai who had fled. He went on foot following those who had gone in a boat. When he came down the hill to Djictañadiñ he found they had been gone some time. He ran on to the mouth of the Trinity. He was surprised to see from there that they were passing Kaikisdēke. He passed Natinōxoi Tcewilindiñ and at last ran down to the mouth of the Klamath. There he saw the Kīxûnai dancing in a boat which was headed across the ocean. One of them said, "Way over there is walking the one who spoiled the world." "Wait," called Yīmankyūwiñxoiyan, "only take my child." One of them took the child from him, and having painted it, put it into the boat. Then they went away.

Yīmankyūwiñxoiyan tumbled about on the sand in his grief and cried. Then Smaller hawk, Cotton-tail, Jack-rabbit, Ground-squirrel, Pine-martin, Coyote, Wildcat, Wolf, Fox, Hawk, and Crow came to him. "Come dance, my grandchildren," said Yīmankyūwiñxoiyan. And they danced. Then someone said to the others, "Way over there, that one who spoiled the world is leaving a dance." "Ye-he!" he exclaimed, "I wish something would happen to him." Yīmankyūwiñxoiyan went back. "I wish I had left dances for them at other places," he thought. He came back and arranged another dance. Some bears danced this time. He came back across Redwood creek and thought to go south. There he left two more dances. Then someone who was living way to the north said, "I wish something would happen to that one who did wrong." Finally he told TsōyōLtel to go and lie in the trail to tempt Yīmankyūwiñxoiyan. 1 She did as she was told. Yīmankyūwiñxoiyan was surprised to see her lying there but he walked on by her toward the south. Yielding to temptation he returned to her. Immediately she caught him against her breast and went with him through the water back across the ocean. As often as he became unconscious she held his head above water for him to recover.


220:1 Told by McCann at Hupa, December 1901.

224:1 Yīmankyūwiñxoiyan, "Old-man-across" is said to be the same as Yīmantūwiñyai.

224:2 It is customary for those who have touched a corpse to cover their heads lest the world be spoiled.

225:1 Compare p. 132 and footnote. In the former case the immortal beings wished to prevent the Indians' renewing their youth and becoming immortal. In this case they wished to prevent their securing the dances which are the Peculiar possessions of the immortals.

Next: XIX. Formula of the Jumping Dance