Tradition of the L!a'L!asiqwEla.
(Recorded by George Hunt.)
Chief-of-the-Ancients lived at a pretty place named Dzê'gEm, at one end of Dancing-Place-Beach, with his younger brothers, all the myth people; that is, the birds and plants. Then Chief-of-the-Ancients called his younger brothers,--Canoe-Calking, Staying-in-Canoe, and Going-from-One-End-of-the-World-to-the-Other, and also Raccoon; and also his younger sisters,--Spoon-bringing-Woman, Winter-Dance-Woman, the Crow.
As soon as all the tribes were in his house, Chief-of-the-Ancients spoke, and said, "Oh, younger brothers! listen to what I am going to say to you. I wish that my younger brothers have a dance in the house one of these days. Now, you all shall paint yourselves, and you shall wear masks." Thus he said. As soon as Chief-of-the-Ancients had finished speaking, his younger brother Canoe-Calking also spoke, and said, "O brothers! let us begin at one end and call our tribes of this world that they come in and be painted by our elder brother, Chief-of-the-Ancients." Thus he said. Immediately those who had been seated went out. They all put on their belts, and they all took poles as canes, for indeed all the myth people in the village were winter dancers. As soon as those who were going to call all the myth people had gone out, Chief-of-the-Ancients also went out of his house, and went down to the beach, to the place where his Folding-Canoe was. Then he took a drift-log and put it down on the beach on one side of the bow of his Folding-Canoe. Then he took another drift-log and put it down
on the beach near the stern. Then he lifted the bow of his Folding-Canoe from the beach and put it on the drift-log. Then he also went to the stern and did the same to that also. Now he had lifted his Folding-Canoe from the sand, for Dancing-Place-Beach is sandy. As soon as he had finished, he went up from the beach to (his house, which) was already cleared, that all the birds might come and sit down. This was when all the birds were not yet painted; for then they were still men, as we are now.
They had not all come yet, when Chief-of-the-Ancients began at one end calling Harlequin-Duck, that he might paint him. When he had finished, he called Loon, and he painted him pretty. Then he called Golden-Eye-Duck and painted him. As soon as he had finished, he called Tomtit and painted him. As soon as he had finished painting him, he called Sea-Chicken. He painted him; and as soon as he had finished painting him, he called Duck (?) As soon as he finished painting him, he called Swallow; and as soon as he finished painting him, he called Buffle-Head-Duck; and again, as soon as he finished painting him, he called Mallard-Duck and painted him; and as soon as he finished painting him, he called Teal-Duck and painted him; and again, as soon as he finished painting him, he called Sawbill-Duck and painted him; and as soon as he had finished, he called Cross-bill, Kingfisher, Robin, Red-breasted-Robin, Magpie, Blue-billed-Duck, Hawk, Snow-Owl, Plover, Snipe, Diver (?), Widgeon, Pintailed-Duck, Heron, Crane, Red-winged-Flicker, Black-Woodpecker, Humming-Bird, Laughing- Goose, and painted them.
As soon as he had finished painting them, Chief-of-the-Ancients began to get tired. Therefore he called his younger brothers, Canoe-Calking, Always-staying-in-Canoe, and Going-from-One-End-of-the-World-to-the-Other, and
also the great man Raccoon, and other among his brothers whom he loved. Then Chief-of-the-Ancients requested that they take his place in painting those whom he tried to paint, for Chief-of-the-Ancients wished to burn the bottom of his Folding-Canoe, for he desired to make war on the fishes of the world beyond the ocean. Therefore he wished to burn the bottom of his Folding-Canoe. He just asked his younger brothers to go on painting any way they liked to paint.
However, it had taken Chief-of-the-Ancients two days to paint those whom he had completed. Then Chief-of-the-Ancients started and went to split boards, and tied them together. Then he lighted them at the end, and went down to the beach to the place where his Folding-Canoe was. Then he burned its bottom. His younger brothers, however, began at one end painting. The first to be painted was Eagle, they made him white at each end; then also Black-Duck (?); then also Golden-Plover, and then also Loon (?). They only put some white around its neck, but they just put black in the armpits of Golden-Plover. Now, the younger brothers of Chief-of-the-Ancients had been painting for one day when they began to be tired. Therefore they called Chief-of- the-Ancients to come again and help them, when he finished burning the bottom of his Folding-Canoe. Therefore Chief-of-the-Ancients came hurriedly, and left his work. Chief-of-the-Ancients just attempted to paint well several of his younger brothers. Then Canoe-Calking and several of his brothers spoke, and said that they would be the last to be painted, and that they would be painted best. Thus they said. Then Chief-of-the-Ancients became angry, on account of his younger brothers, because they were very lazy. Therefore he called the one who is named Deer to come and help him.
Indeed, Deer went immediately; and so Chief-of-the-Ancients called Canoe-Calking, and Deer called Spoon-bringing-Woman; and Chief-of-the-Ancients and Deer just blackened her all over; and they just turned to the Oyster-Catcher and Albatross and Swan, for they were in a hurry: therefore they just put lime on Swan and on the Pintailed-Ducks (?).
As soon as he had finished painting them, Chief-of-the-Ancients called his aunt (and asked her) to dress up. (He said,) "You shall be the leader of my three brothers when they come to dance from one end to the other on this long beach." Thus he said. Immediately his aunt the Fern dressed herself; and as soon as she finished, the myth people arose. Indeed, a great many began to sing. Then the Fern was their leader, and danced, turning round; and following her were her nephews. Then they went from one end of the pretty beach to the other, and Chief-of-the-Ancients just sat down on the beach and watched his younger brothers as they danced.
However, they went twice from one end to the other, dancing. Then Chief-of-the-Ancients saw smoke at the place where his Folding-Canoe was, on the beach. Immediately he went to look at it. Then he discovered that his Folding-Canoe was already burned. Several myth people said that when Chief-of-the-Ancients burned the bottom of his Folding-Canoe, he set fire to it; and others said that the younger brothers of Chief-of-the-Ancients burned it because they were angry because he had just blackened them when he finished his painting. Therefore they were blamed by Chief-of-the-Ancients for having burned his Folding-Canoe; for what should Chief-of-the-Ancients do, since he was going to try to make war on those on the other side of the ocean
Chief-of-the-Ancients just sat down in his house, and
his heart was bad on account of his younger brothers. Then he planned what to do. Then he said that he would just scatter them, each to go to the kind of birds (to which he belonged). After he had finished planning, he called his younger brothers. The first one he called was Deer. Then he told him what he had in mind, that they should be lost, with his Folding-Canoe. Indeed, Deer told him immediately to go ahead. Then Chief-of-the-Ancients asked Deer to call all the myth people from the houses to come again and sit down at the place where they had been sitting before. Deer went at once, and it was not long before all the myth people sat down at the place where they had been sitting. Chief-of-the-Ancients at once called Deer to stand by his side. Then Chief-of-the-Ancients spoke, and said to his younger brothers that he felt badly on account of what had happened to his Folding-Canoe, which was burned. He said, "I'll make you all leave with my Folding-Canoe. Now you shall scatter, each to his own [different] kind of birds. Go and scatter! You will never again meet (in the time of) later generations." Thus said Chief-of-the-Ancients to them.
Indeed, at once they assembled in pairs, and then they all scattered. Chief-of-the-Ancients and Deer only [still] kept together. Then Chief-of-the-Ancients said that he would go to Deer-Place. Immediately they started, and they lived there for a long time. It is not known why Chief-of-the-Ancients and his younger brother Deer began to quarrel, and why Chief-of-the-Ancients made him become a deer and drove him into the woods. Then Chief-of-the-Ancients remained alone.
He came to this place here, Tê'guxstê. There he lived for a long time. He was just seen by G*â'malag*î?laku paddling to and fro in his self-paddling canoe. He was
there a long time, and then he was not seen any more. Either he had died or he had gone to another place. He had disappeared. After that he was never again talked about. That is the end.