LAkîtcîne' lived at Sitka. b He had a wife from among human beings, and every day, while he went out halibut fishing, she dug clams. The dog, GAnt, that his father had given him he renamed CAq!.
LAkîtcîne' had several children, but he killed all of them. He would take a child up, pet it, and sing cradle songs to it, and at the same time make his red-cod spines stick into it so that it died.
[paragraph continues] He also used the "Blarney stone a as a grindstone, and killed some of his children by rubbing their faces upon it.
His wife mourned very much for her children, and finally thought of a way of being revenged upon him. She had a litter of puppies by the dog. There were originally twelve, but seven died, leaving four male puppies and one female. These puppies grew up very fast. While the man and his wife were away fishing and digging clams the puppies played about the house, and the noise they made sounded just like that of children. But the female always watched at the door, and when their mother ran up to stop them all would be lying about on the floor asleep. They kept getting noisier and noisier, and sounded more and more like human beings. Finally
LAkîtcîne' heard it and said to his wife: "Who are these making so much noise here?" "It is those dogs." Then she thought very seriously what she should do with the puppies. The next time LAkîtcîne' was out he heard them still more plainly, and now he thought that he heard human voices. He came ashore in great anger and said to his wife: "It is not those dogs that I hear talking." He was so dangerous a man that his wife was very much frightened.
After that she formed a plan. So, when her husband went out halibut fishing the next time, she stuck her digging stick into the ground, put her blanket around it, and her hat upon the end. Then she ran up through the woods and hid herself, while the little dog was watching
LAkîtcîne'. After that she crept back to the house, which was made of brush, and in which they were again making a great deal of noise. Looking inside, she found that the boys were all playing about in human forms, their dog skins lying a short distance away from them. Then she quickly ran in upon them, exclaiming, "You must like to be dogs since you wear dog skins," grabbed the skins and threw them into the fire. The little dog that sat outside was the only one that remained in its original form.
LAkîtcîne' came ashore, and saw the children, he was angry and felt very much ashamed at having been outwitted. He did not know how to kill them, for he thought they had more power than he. One, named KAck!A'Lk!, was a shaman. He had his grandfather and the one-eyed man and his wife that his grandfather had killed as his spirits. LAkîtcîne' thought that he would first quarrel with his wife, and, when he came into the house, he began to throw and kick things about. But, when he began to beat his wife, the children jumped upon him and fought with him. They also asked the dog to help them. Together they killed him.
After these boys were grown up, their mother told them many times of a certain monster at a place called KAgê't!, that had been
killing many people. Finally they set out to see it, anchored off the mouth of the bay, and killed it with spears and arrows. They took the skin from its head. Then they went throughout Alaska, killing off the monsters of the sea and land that had troubled people and making others less harmful. The natives say, if it had not been for those boys, they would be there yet. They made some of these monsters promise that they would not kill people. The wolves, which were very destructive in those days, became less harmful through them. Although people in Alaska are afraid of wolves, you have not heard of anyone being killed by them.
There was one person called Tcâk!î's! resembling an eagle, who flew around and was very powerful. He would say to the bears and other game animals, "You are going to be killed." Because he kept warning the animals, human beings were starving, so the brothers came to him and made him promise not to injure people or forewarn the other animals.
Afterward the brothers left their mother at that place and went up to
Lâxayî'k, where they had heard of a bad person called One-legged-man (Lê- laq!ocî'). His proper name, however, is Man-that-dries-fish-for-the-eagle (Tcâk!-qê'dî-At-q!An-qâ), and he is very fond of spearing salmon. First the boys came to the prints of his one foot going up beside the river, and after a while they saw him coming down toward them spearing salmon. His shirt was the skin of a brown bear and had strength as well as he.
Lq!ayâ'k! caught a salmon, took all of the meat out, and got into its skin. Next day, at the time when they knew One-legged-man was about to come up, Lq!ayâ'k! put it on again and laid himself in a salmon hole in the creek. The big man, who was just coming along, saw a fine salmon go into the hole and said, "What a fine looking salmon." He thought that he could not get it, but, after he had stood watching it for a while, it swam up toward him, and he speared it. Just as he was dragging it ashore, however, Lq!ayâ'k! cut the cord to his spear point with a knife he had taken along and swam back into the water hole. Then the big man looked at his spear and said to himself, "My fine spear is gone;" but after he had observed closer he said, "This is not broken. It is cut. I suppose it is Lq!ayâ'k!'s doing." After that he went on up the stream while the brothers cooked salmon for their meal.
By a by they saw One-legged-man coming down again carrying a feather tied on the end of a long stick. He would point this feather at different trees and then smell of it. Finally he pointed it at the tree in which
Lq!ayâ'k! and his brothers were then sitting and said, " Lq!ayâ'k! is in that tree." Then he spoke out saying, "Give me my spear." Lq!ayâ'k! kept saying to his brothers, "Shall I go out and fight him?" But they answered, "No, no, don't go yet." He
was so determined, however, that he finally went out and was killed. Then the other brothers and the dog fell upon this man. After they had set their dog on him, they killed him. They took his bear-skin shirt off and burned his body.
Lq!ayâ'k! had been torn all to pieces, but KAck!A'Lk! put the pieces together, acted around him like a shaman, and brought him back to life.
Lq!ayâ'k! went along up to the head of that stream dressed in One-legged-man's shirt and acting like him. When he got there he found the largest two bears that ever lived. These were the wife and father-in-law of the man they had killed. Lq!ayâ'k! threw down one salmon before the woman and another very bright one before her father just as One-legged-man had been in the habit of doing. The woman found out right away that Lq!ayâ'k! was not her husband, but she made love to him and he took her as his wife. His father-in-law also thought a great deal of him. Every morning Lq!ayâ'k! would go off down stream after salmon just as One-legged-man had done. On these expeditions he was always accompanied by his dog, which kept chewing on something continually. He was really chewing those wild peoples' minds away to make them tame so that they would not hurt Lq!ayâ'k!'s brothers. His brothers all came to him.
After that they began pursuing Dry-cloud like Fire-drill's son. Like him they chased it from one kind of animal to another. They chased it for months and months until they had followed it far up into the sky where you can see the tracks of
Lq!ayâ'k! to this very day (the milky way). Finally they reached a very cold region in the sky and wanted to get back, but the clouds gathered so thickly about them that they could not pass through. KAck!A'Lk!, therefore, called his spirits to open a passage. After they had done so his brothers fell through and were smashed to pieces on the earth. KAck!A'Lk!, however, had his spirits make him enter a ptarmigan (q!ês!awa'), and reached the earth in safety. Then he shook his rattle over his brothers and brought them to life.
Before they ascended into the sky the brothers had killed all of the monsters on Prince of Wales island and elsewhere in Alaska except one at Wrangell called KAxqoyê'nduA. When they heard about this one, they went to He-who-knows-everything-that-happens (
Liu'wAt-uwadjî'gî-canA'ku) and said to him, "Grandfather, we want your canoe. Will you lend it to us?" Its name was Arrow-canoe (Tcû'net-yâku). Then the old man said, "What do you want the canoe for, grandchildren?" So they told him, and he said, "There is a very bad thing living there. No one can get to him. Several different kinds of spirits are to be met before you reach him. They are very dangerous." Then he gave them directions, saying, "When the monster is sleeping, he has his eyes open, but when he is awake he has his eyes closed, and he is then watching everything. When you
see that his eyes are closed, do not try to kill him. Approach him when his eyes are open. The canoe," he said, "is right round there back of my house." They went to look for it but saw nothing at that place except an old log covered with moss. They said to him, "Where is the canoe you were talking about?" Then the old man came out and threw the moss off, revealing a fine painted canoe. Another name for this was Canoe-that-travels-in-the-air (QAxyî'xdoxoa), referring to its swiftness. All of the paddles that he brought out to them were beautifully painted. Then they got into the canoe and tested it.
Next day they set out and soon came to a point named Point-that moves-up-and-down (Yên-yu
lu'-s!îtA'ngî-q!a). Whenever a canoe approached it this point would rise, and, as soon as the canoe attempted to pass under, would fall and smash it. They, however, passed right underneath, and it did not fall upon them. They killed it by doing so, theirs being the first canoe that had passed under.
Beyond this they saw a patch of kelp called Kelps-washed-up-against-one-another-by-the-waves (WûcxkAdutî't-gîc), which closed on those trying to pass, but they shot through as soon as the kelp parted. Thus they killed the kelp patch, and the kelp piled up in one place, becoming a kelp-covered rock which may still be seen.
Next they reached Fire-coming-up-out-of-the-sea (HînAx-qegA'ntc), which rose out of the ocean quickly and fell back again. When it fell back they passed over it and killed it.
After that they came to Dogs-of-the-sea (Wûc
lAdAgû'q-cAq!), after whom LAkîtcîne''s dog is said to have been named. a These drew to each side and then ran together upon anyone who tried to pass between. Arrow-canoe was too quick for them, however, and killed them by running through in safety. Then they became rocks.
Before the monster's dwelling were two mountains, called Mountains-that-divide (Wû'cqAdagAt-ca), which formed his doors. These would separate and come together again. Arrow-canoe passed between when they were separated and killed them. You can see them now, one on each side of a salt-water pond, looking as though they had been cut apart.
As soon as they had passed between these they saw the monster, a very bad shaman called also Shaman-of-the-sea (Hîn-t!Aq-î'xt!î). He looked as though his eyes were open, so they threw a rope made of whale sinew about his neck. Immediately he shook himself and broke it. They made ropes out of the sinews of all the different monsters they had killed, but he broke them. All the time they were doing this a little bird called Old-person (Laguqâ'wu), b kept coming to their camp and saying, "My sinews only, my sinews." So they
finally killed this bird, took out its sinews, and worked them into a very small thread. As soon as they threw this around the monster's head it came off. Then they took off its scalp, which had long hair like that of other shamans, and the rest of its head turned into a rock at that place. They now had two principal scalps from the two big monsters they had killed.
When the brothers now returned to the old man and related what had happened, he felt very good and said, "There would have been no person living. This monster would have killed them all, if you had not destroyed it." Everybody who heard that the monster was dead, was glad, and did not fear to go to that place any more.
After this they returned to their mother and sister. At that time their sister had just reached puberty and was shut up in the house with a mat curtain hung in front of her. So they hung the shaman's scalp up in front of the curtain. They also made her drink water through the leg bones of geese and swans so that she should not touch the drinking cups. Her mother put a large hat upon her so that she should not look at anything she was forbidden to see, If one shouted that a canoe was coming, or that anything else was taking place that she wanted to witness, she did not dare to look out. Since her time these same regulations have been observed.
Then they left that place and moved south through the interior. Having killed off the ocean monsters, they were now going to kill those in the forest. Besides that, they hunted all of this time, killing bear, ground hogs, and other animals; but their sister was not allowed to look at any of them. Among other wild animals they told the wolverine and wolf that they must not kill human beings but be friendly with them. They killed ground hogs, mountain sheep, and other animals for them and told them that that was what they were to live upon.
At one place they saw a smoke far off in the woods and, advancing toward it, came to the house of a man named He-whose-hands-see (Djînqotî'n). He was so called because he was blind and had his wife aim his arrows for him. He said to
Lq!ayâ'k!, "My wife saw a grizzly bear and told me where it was. She aimed my arrow and I shot at it. I felt that I had killed it, but she said I had not. My wife has left me on account of this, and I don't know where she is or what I am living on or how I am living without her." Then Lq!ayâ'k! and his brothers gave him ground-hog skins filled with grease and fat such as the interior people used to make, also dried meat.
While they were in the interior the brothers also made needles out of animal bones and threads out of sinew for their sister to use behind the screen. She worked with porcupine quills and dyed sinews, and it is through her that the interior women are such fine workers with the needle.
After they met this man the girl's brothers asked her to make a small net for them. This net was patterned after a spider's web which Spider-spirit (Qasîst!a'n yêk) showed to KAck!A'Lk!, saying, "You are to take this as a pattern." Then they took the old man to the creek and said, "Do you feel this creek along here?" Putting a long handle on the net, they said to him again, "Dip this net into the water here. It is easy. You can feel when a fish gets into it." They gave him also a basket their sister had made and said, "When you want to cook the fish, put it in here together with many hot rocks." After showing him how to cook his fish they left him and came to another camp. There another old man lived who said to them, "Do you see that mountain?" There were two mountains close together. "A very bad person lives over there named Long-haired-person (CAku
lyA't!)." So, after the brothers had gotten a great deal of food together for the old man, they left their mother and sister with him and went out to look for Long-haired-person. After a while they came upon good, hard trails made by him along which he had set spears with obsidian points, and presently they saw him coming along one of these with his long hair dragging on the ground. He had a bone in his nose and swan's down around his head and wrists. Then he said, "Come to my house. I invite you home to eat something. I know you are there." He said this although he could not see them. Then the boys came out to him and called him "brother-in-law," and he said, "It is four days since I saw you, my brothers-in-law. Your story is known everywhere." This Athapascan shaman's spirits were telling him all these things. So he took them home and gave them all the different kinds of food to which they were accustomed, not treating them as a wild man would. Then they said to him, "You see the old person that lives near by. Do not do any harm to him. He is our grandfather. If you see that old blind fellow down yonder, give him food also. Treat him like the other." Presently the shaman said to the brothers, "Let us make a sweat house." In olden times people used to talk to each other in the sweat houses, and the shamans learned a great, deal from their spirits inside of them. That was why the shaman wanted them to go in. But, when they were inside, and he and KAck!A'Lk! had showed each other their spirits, it was found that KAck!A'Lk!'s spirits were the stronger.
Now they returned to their mother and sister and took them to the head of the Taku river, where they spent some time in hunting. Then they crossed to this side and, moving along slowly on account of their sister, they came to a place on the Stikine called in Athapascan HAk!î'ts, where they also hunted. Their destination was the Nass. Coming down along the north bank of the Stikine to find a good place
for their sister to cross, they started to make the passage between Telegraph and the narrows, one of them taking the dog on his back.
Before the brothers set out, however, their mother covered their sister up so that she would not look at them until they got over. But when they were half way across, they started back and it looked to the mother as if they were drifting downstream. She said to her daughter, "Daughter, it looks as if your brothers were going to be drowned. They are already drifting down the river." Upon that, the girl raised her covering a little and looked out at them, and immediately they turned into stone. The pack that one of them was carrying fell off and floated down a short distance before petrifying, and it may still be seen there. The dog also turned to rock on its master's head and the mother and sister on shore. One of the boys had green and red paints with him, such as they used to paint their bows and arrows and their faces, and nowadays you can go there and get it. Years ago people passing these rocks prayed to them, stuffed pieces of their clothing into the crevices, and asked the rocks for long life. a
Raven was then living just below this place. His smoke may still be seen there, and they call it Raven's smoke (Yê
l s!ê'ge). When KAck!A'Lk! turned into a rock, Raven said, "Where is that shaman that was going to come to after he had died?" He meant that, while he used to restore his brothers to life by shaking his rattle over them, he could not now restore himself; and people now apply these remarks to a shaman who has not succeeded in saving a person after he has been paid a great deal for his services. They will say, "Where is that shaman that could save anybody, but could not save the very person we wanted saved?" If a shaman were not truthful, they would say, "He is trying to have KAck!A'Lk!'s spirits but will never got them because he is not truthful like KAck!A'Lk!." b
99:a Katishan added that once while Fire-drill's son was chasing Dry-cloud he was pulled into a village in the sky for some offense and punished there. Since then people have believed that the stars are inhabited. They were thought to be towns and the light the reflection of the sea.
99:b Near the site of the Presbyterian School.
100:a A conspicuous bowlder with flat, smooth top nearly in front of the Presbyterian Indian School.
103:a In another place, however, Katishan suggested that it might have been named from
lêq!, his red-cod blanket. The word cAq! must be an old term for dog or some variety of dog.
103:b Probably the wren.