Tradition of the Clans Q!a'mq!amtala
l, Q!wê'q!waênoxu, and P!ê'p!awiLênoxu, of the DEna'x*da?xu.
l), Always-staying-at-Olachen-Place (Dzâ'wadalalîs), Born-to-fly (P!â'Lelag*i?laku), Xa'niatsEmg*i?laku, and Only-One (?nEmô'gwis), the ancestors of the DEna'x*da?xu, came down from the sky. They lived at the upper end of the inlet. Song-Dance (Q!a'mtala l) built a house at the mouth of the river, opposite the house of Always-staying-at-Olachen-Place (Dzâ'wadalalîs). His wife was X*î'nt!alaga. He was a shaman, and wore a head-ring of cedar-bark dyed red, which he had on when he came down from the sky. His house was very long, and the front had four doors. Q!â'nêqê?laku, when he came to meet him, stood behind the house and looked at Song-Dance, who was engaged in driving piles into the river to make an olachen-trap. Q!â'nêqê?laku thought, "Drop it!" and the pile-driver dropped into deep water and went down. Then Song-Dance cried, "Op, op, op, op!" at the same time moving the palms of his hands a little ways upward. Then the pile-driver came floating up again. This was repeated four times. Then Q!â'nêqê?laku went down to meet him, and said, "This is enough. It is true, what I heard; you are a man of supernatural power (nau'alaku). Please give me part of your cedar bark ring. That is the only thing for which I ask you." Song-Dance gave him a piece of the cedar-bark, and put it around his neck. Q!â'nêqê?laku said he was going to show it at the place he was going,--to visit.
When Song-Dance's children--P!â'Lelag*i?laku, his eldest son; Nau'alagumga, the next one, a daughter; and K*!ê'Estali
la, his second daughter--saw what had happened, they resolved to show that they also had supernatural
power. They told their father to make his house ready, saying that they saw the Deluge coming. Song-Dance prepared his house. He caulked all the cracks and closed the doors; and when the Flood came, it just covered the house, in which they staid unharmed.
After the waters had receded, P!â'Lelag*i?laku and his sisters went up the river to look for a mountain that had not been covered by the Deluge, there to save themselves if the waters should return. They found it.
On their way back they saw in the water some fish which looked like worms. His sister said, "These must be the olachen of which our grandfathers spoke. Step on that log and drive them ashore. They are so fat that they melt over the fire." They caught them with their hands in the water, and they boiled them, and they now knew that they were the olachen. 1
Then the sisters danced their shaman's dance. Afterwards they started to go down to the mouth of the river. There they found a large log of driftwood. They went ashore; and while the sisters staid there, P!â'Lelag*i?laku was preparing to continue his journey. just at that time a canoe came up the inlet. P!â'Lelag*i?laku was sitting on the drift-log, and he asked the people who they were. Their chief said that he was Wä'qaê. P!â'Lelag*i?laku asked him where he was going, and Wä'qaê replied that he was going up to see his river. Then P!â'Lelag*i?laku said, "Is it your river? I did not know that."--"Yes, it is my river," replied Wä'qaê. Then P!â'Lelag*i?laku asked, "What kind of fish go up this river," Then Wä'qaê mentioned all kinds of salmon. P!â'Lelag*i?laku asked, "Is that all?" and Wä'qaê replied, "Yes, that is all."--"Nothing else?"--"No, nothing else," Then
[paragraph continues] P!â'Lelag*i?laku said, "I was inclined to believe you first, but now I do not believe you. If the river belonged to you, you would have named all the kinds of fish. You do not know what is running in my river. It is the olachen, not the others. The olachen is fat, and melts when you put it near the fire."
Then Wä'qaê became angry, and said, "Little slave, what are you talking there?" and turning to his men, he ordered them to take him into his canoe and enslave him. The men went and tied him. P!â'Lelag*i?laku said to his sisters, "Don't move away! Wait until I return." Wä'qaê travelled down the river with his slave. When they came to Dô'x?walits!ênê?, they poked him, and said, "Why don't you fly away? We thought you had supernatural power. Why don't you fly back home?" P!â'Lelag*i?laku, who was tied firmly, began to move his back, and he heard the tearing of the ropes with which he was tied. He said to his enemies, "It is not difficult for me to get away." Then they pushed him again and made fun of him. When they saw his attempts to free himself, they laughed at him; but suddenly, with a great effort, he freed himself, and flew up, carrying the canoe along until the thwart by which he held it gave way. They tried to hit him with poles, while he pretended not to be able to fly well; but suddenly he flew high up, and disappeared from their view.
454:1 The narrator remarked here that the people who had been exterminated by the Flood evidently had known and caught olachen.