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p. 326


From XAkAnuwû' went a man of the XAkAnû'kedî, who were named from their town. The people used to go out from there after seals, which, not having guns at that time, they hunted with long-shanked and short-shanked hunting spears always kept in the bow. The shank of the long-shanked spear, which is grasped in throwing, is called cûx. This man's name was Qakê'q!utê. On starting off, he went up toward the head of the bay.

This Qakê'q!utê was a great hunter and used to kill all kinds of things, but now he could get nothing. Then he stopped in a place named The Bay, and dropped his anchor into the water beside the canoe. Immediately his steersman went sound asleep, but he could not. By and by a small thing began flying around his face, and, taking up his paddle, he knocked it down into the canoe. It made a noise, "Ts, ts."

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Daylight found Qakê'q!utê still awake. He took up the bird he had killed and saw that its eyes were swollen up and hung down over its face. Blood was on both sides of its mouth. What he had hit was his own sleep. Then he called to his steersman to awaken him. He did not hear him. Qakê'q!utê took up his spear and pushed his steersman with the end of it. As he did not answer, he went over to him and found him dead. Like the sleep bird Qakê'q!utê had hit, blood was coming out of his mouth. Then Qakê'q!utê went along sadly toward the town with the body. [I am now telling you about the very ancient people.]

When Qakê'q!utê came in sight of XAkAnuwû' there was no smoke visible, and nobody walked outside or came down to meet him as he had expected. Then he jumped out into the water and went up to his house. The people of that town were numerous, and it was long.

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[paragraph continues] In those days doors were made of skin hung on the outside, and the women wore labrets. All of the people there lay dead as they slept just like his steersman. He went through the houses among their bodies. Because he had knocked down Sleep not even one small boy was saved, and to this day people have the saying, "He knocked down the sleeper." They made a parable of it.

Fur blankets were not scarce in ancient times, so Qakê'q!utê took two marten blankets out of a box and put them around him. He was going to start away in desperation because he had killed his own sleep. He also put abalone shell in his ears and piled together the things they used for snowshoes. In a bag he carried along a bone knife and a bone trap, tied a weasel skin in his hair, and put a painted drum on his shoulder such as people used to beat when anybody was dead.

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[paragraph continues] He was going to die with these things. Then he started toward a mountain named TsAlxâ'n. a He took no food with him but put some Indian red paint in a sack and, when he was ready to start, painted his face and hair. Then he started toward Gonâ'xo. For perhaps ten days he traveled without food, using instead leaf tobacco mixed with calcined shells. His snowshoes had claws, enabling him to climb cliffs and cross glaciers. The mountain over which he was passing is called TsAlxâ'n.

By and by Qakê'q!utê came out upon a ground-bog place. There was then no rain, for he was traveling with reference to the clouds which rose in waves behind Mount TsAlxâ'n. When these clouds come down to the very foot of the mountain there will be good weather, and people then paddle far out into the ocean. Seeing an animal go down into the ground-hog hole, he set up his trap there,

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and it is from him that people know how to fix it. He camped near it. When he went to look at it next day it could not be seen. He took away the thing used to cover the top of the trap. He had set this trap because he was hungry, and he was very glad to see that it was down. When he came to examine it, however, he found that a frog had gotten inside. "This frog pretended that it was a ground hog," said Qakê'q!utê, and, taking up all of his things, he went to a bay near by called Canoe bay, hoping to see some people. He thought that he saw some at Seaweed point, and, being very lonely, he started down toward them. Then he discovered that they were black stones that looked like people, and said, "These are small stones which appear like human beings." a Starting on again toward the head of Alsek, he traveled for some time and came to its upper course.

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people did not know then that Athapascans lived up there. Although eulachon ran up this river the people there were starving, as they had no other way of catching eulachon than by means of hooks. At first Qakê'q!utê remained in the woods, not letting himself be seen by them. By and by, however, he tied together two eulachon traps (or nets) used by the Tlingit and called "seal's-head." Toward evening he went down to the place where those Athapascans came up to fish and set the two traps near by at the edge of the water. Both of them were filled that same night, and he emptied them where the Athapascans were in the habit of fishing. There was a large pile.

When the Athapascans came up next morning they exclaimed in astonishment, "What has done this?" Qakê'q!utê did not know that they were Athapascans, and they did not know him. After that an Athapascan shaman began performing to discover what was working

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for them. When he discovered it he said, "Something has come to help you. Hang all kinds of food around there." As he did not cat any of the food they hung about, they hung there a copper spear. Then they found him. They also placed the daughter of a chief there so that they could get him by having him marry her. So he at last went out among them. Now, the Athapascans took him with them, and be explained the fish trap to them. This is the way in which they were preserved from starvation, and the way in which they found out about the trap. When be married the woman they had given him they put many things upon him-moose skins, marten skins, beaver skins, and two copper spears valued at two slaves. The Athapascans paid him for that trap.

Qakê'q!utê spent two years among these people, and afterward they began to pack up his property in order to accompany him back to his friends, the Tlingit. All the Athapascans packed up his things for

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him. Just as the warm weather was beginning these People-of-the-last-stomach, as they were called, started with him for his town.

There was a stream called Brush creek owned by the Brush-creek people, who were his friends, so, feeling high, Qakê'q!utê led these men thither. At first the Tlingit did not know who they were walking along with him, for they had never seen such people, and a great number of men came along bearing load after load by means of forehead bands. When be and his companions, carrying packs of moose, beaver, and squirrel skins, came out on the side of the stream opposite the town, Qakê'q!utê said, "Come over to me in a canoe." The people had heard about these Athapascans, although they had not seen them. But after Qakê'q!utê had said, "Come over to me" twice, one ran out toward him from among the Brush people and said, "Are we splitting land-otter tongues on account of you? Go on below. Go to the people who are splitting tongues for you." The Athapascans asked Qakê'q!utê, "What is it that they are saying to us?" and he answered, "They are sending us away from here." That

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is why people now say, "The Brush people sent the Athapascans away from the other side." a

At once the Athapascans put their packs over their shoulders. It was as quickly done as if hot water had been thrown among them. The Brush people sent them away because they were afraid. As they set out they began making a noise, "Hê'yê." They went directly to the place whither they had been sent, and, crossing a glacier, came to Sand-hill-town. When the Kâ'gwAntân learned that Qakê'q!utê had left XAkAnuwû', they caught those Athapascans and obtained all of their things. The GânAxte'dî also came to have dealings with them. Even now these people stop among them. They never became Tlingit, but they became people with whom one may trade. Whatever things they had, such as abalones, the Athapascans gave to them. That is how the Tlingit used to do in olden times. In exchange the Tlingit gave them every sort of thing to eat and especially an edible seaweed; but they did not know what to make of this last. The Athapascans

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did not know how it was cooked, and, when hot stones were thrown inside of a basket pot and the pot began shaking, they took up their bows and arrows to shoot at it. But the people said, "It is something to be eaten after it has cooled," and gave them horn spoons for it. "Where do people go to get this?" said they, for it suited their taste. "They get it from the very edge of the water at the lowest tide." When the Athapascans went back with Qakê'q!utê to their homes they told the Tlingit to bring seaweed up when they came, so the Tlingit began taking this up to them. A beaver skin could be bought with one bunch of seaweed. From them were learned of the flat nose ring and dancing.

After this the people were going to build a feast house out of the wealth the Athapascans had brought them. Every morning before they had eaten anything they went after large trees for house timbers. They had nothing with which to chop except stone axes. While it was being completed the drum was beaten continually. The owner

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of this house was named Man-from-himself. Soon it was finished. There were eight main timbers, and it was completed in one year. After its long stringers had been put on they danced the house together. There are always eight songs for this. Then a stomach named xe'ca-hî'nî was soaked in water. The house was so big that a person who walked in front of it always appeared small, and, when he entered, one had to speak loudly to be heard across. This is why it was named Shadow-house.

Now all the women began to put fringed ornaments upon their ears in preparation for the feast. Anciently they wore these and had red paint upon their heads. After his guests were all seated, the chief put on the gonaqAdê't dance hat, and, just before the gifts were distributed, the xe'ca-hî'nî, which was close to the door, was thrown among them. Then they gave away to the opposite phratry the things

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they had received from the Athapascans and their other property. These feasts were always called q!aoduwacî'. They also called out to whom the slaves should be given and gave out coppers, which were placed around inside of the house. After their guests had gone out they danced. The other side also danced, wearing raven hats, and the feast was over.

The Athapascans on their way down used to be seen when still far back from the coast. Onetime, as they were coming across the glacier, the chief's daughter, who was menstruant, said something to make the glacier angry. In those days a girl menstruant for the first time did not stay out of the house. They placed something heavy in front of her, and for five months she was not allowed to talk. This is the period during which a labret hole was made. It was always done when she was fasting. This girl said to the glacier, "Would that that glacier were

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my father's," and during that night it began to grow out over their new house. It extended itself far out over the town, and the people fled from it to KAq!Anuwû', where they built a new one. The T!A'q!dentân fled to and established themselves at a place just opposite.

By and by the people of KAq!Anuwû' started to Gonâ'xo to make war on the Luqâ'xAdî, because of a Kâ'gwAntân woman who had been killed. They were armed with native picks, war spears, and bows and arrows. After they had killed their enemies they discovered a woman left alone in that place, whom they caught for a slave. She was mother of Chief Q!ayega'tqên. Then she said to them, "For what could you use me? Up here is the wolf post belonging to my son." The wolf post had been hidden when the people fled. Letting the woman go, therefore, the Kâ'gwAntân warriors rushed greedily for the post, and brought it down. A man whose face had been scratched up by the

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scratching-sponge that people used in ancient times before starting to war reached the post first. His name was Top-spirit, and the name of the next Fish-that-comes-up-in-front-of-one's-face-and-shakes. Then they started back with it but quarreled so much over it that they began to talk of not allowing anybody to have it. When they were out from shore, however, the war-leader, whose name was Dancer, stood up wearing objects representing ears over his face and said, "Who sent out these warriors? I, a high-caste Kâ'gwAntân, am also a brave man." Then they started off.

At that time there were two canoe loads of Island people going along, and there was a shaman among them named Wolf-weasel, who had eight tongues. The Kâ'gwAntân shaman tore his canoe apart by pretending to split the water of its wake. Before they got far out it began to split. The Kâ'gwAntân warriors had already landed at Xuq! creek where this shaman also went ashore, and they came out. behind him. His spirits' apparel was in a box in the bow.

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When the warriors rushed down upon them they soon destroyed his canoe men, but the shaman himself flew away by means of his spirits. Even now people say that a shaman can fly about. After he had flown about a certain town for some time the people told a menstruant woman to look at him. She did so, and he fell into a small lake. Then he swam under a rock, sticking up in it, leaving his buttocks protruding. To the present time this lake is red. It is his blood.

The sister and aunt of this shaman were enslaved, and the warriors also carried away his spirit box. Before they had gotten very far off, however, they stopped, untied the box, and began to handle the things in it. They took out all of the spirits (i.e., masks, whistles, etc.), and asked his sister [regarding one of them], "What is its name?" This was the chief spirit, and had a long switch of hair. "The spirit is named Hanging-down spirit," said she. Then the warrior in the bow put it on saying, "Let me be named Hanging-down spirit."

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[paragraph continues] Immediately he fell down as if he had been knocked over. He ceased to breathe. Another put it on. "Let me be named Hanging-down spirit," he said. All of those who put this on were destroyed. One, however, stood up, made a noise, and ran off. To this day his (the shaman's) spirit has not ceased killing.

After the other warriors had returned to KAq!Anuwû', they determined to erect a house. They were the old Kâ'gwAntân who were going to put it up. So they sharpened the jadite which they used in chopping and went out. On account of the house timbers the owner of that house fasted for four days. After they had chopped for one month it was finished, and the chief went outside and spoke to all the people. In the morning those of the opposite phratry went out in ten canoes to push the timbers down. They paddled across singing, and brought all of them in, and they left them on the beach overnight.

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[paragraph continues] In the morning they were invited for tobacco. There was no white leaf tobacco in those days. Then mortars were brought out so that the part of the house near the door was covered with them. The tobacco was chewed, a liquid was poured over it, and it was mixed with powdered shells. After that the names of those of the opposite phratry to whom balls of tobacco were to be given, were called out, for they did not have any pipes at that time. Those who had received the tobacco prepared to dance, and those who owned emblem hats, as the raven or the whale, wore them. Now they started to carry up the house timbers for the first of the houses of the Kâ'gwAntân chiefs. They carved the wolf posts and finished the entire house in one year. It was named Wolf house from its posts.

When the house was completed a man went to Chilkat to invite the GânAxte'dî, to Sitka for the KîksA'dî, and to Killisnoo for the Dê'citân.

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[paragraph continues] They were going to invite all of them besides the T!A'q!dentân into this house. Since then inviting back and forth has been going on. The guests kept coming out from the nearest point to the town site to look at the new house. The drums made a great noise there continually. After they had spent one night close to the town they came in quickly, dancing and singing. Inside, the town people began to dress themselves to dance before their guests. They went into the water, wearing Chilkat and marten-skin blankets. After that the owner of Wolf house went out and made a speech.

On the point at KAq!Anuwû' is a place named Slaves'-valley. Their slaves always a came from far to the south. Then the owner of this house killed four slaves for his guests, while the next in rank killed two slaves, and the whole number killed at that time was ten. After they had killed them they threw their bodies down into this valley. There two of them came to life, and one, getting up, opened and

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closed his fingers to the people sitting on the hill. From that time the place was named Slaves'-valley by the Kâ'gwAntân.

By and by they began to feed their guests. The people of all this world were there. The one who had invited them began to dress himself. Even now this part of the feast is named All-arisen [to attend to the feast]. They put on their abalone shells, Indian paint, and eagle feathers on their heads, and the women ear pendants. By and by the headman was told to start his song. This man always said, "All right, you are ready, my outside shell." He wore a blanket which had been kept laid away in a box and all the other things that his dead predecessor had worn. His wife also had her blanket secured around her waist. He always handed out his moose skins to the people. The chief always distributed for the dead.

After all the blankets had been brought out, they were taken up one at a time, and the names of those who were to receive called out, beginning with the guest highest in rank. When one's name was

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called he rose and said, "Hade'" ("This way"). The chief's property was sufficient for all of his guests. Whoever had slaves gave them away as well. When they began to give his property away the giver stood near the door with a baton in his hand. At that time there were no white men's things, the guests being invited for Indian articles only. After all of his property had been distributed the chief made a speech, and the people took their things home. In the morning the guests received all of the dishes, spoons, baskets, etc., and they thanked their host by leaving a dance. Afterward all of the guests returned to their homes.

Now all the people lived inside of this big house, Wolf house. The young fellows were in the habit of racing one another when they went to cut firewood with their stone axes. They called it "Stone-ax-taken-in-canoe." The party that had been beaten became angry, and when they were eating grease together they pushed the fire over upon those who had left them behind. Their opponents did the same

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thing. They did not have any shirts on. The chiefs, however, were sitting on top of the retaining timbers and had nothing to do with this. It was all done by their nephews. This thing never was forgotten, although now people do not kill one another. They threw fire at one another. Finally, however, one of the cohoes people, whose house was behind this, ran down bearing the raven hat, and made a noise like the raven. "Gâ," he said. Because they heard this raven they did not kill one another.

This is what caused all the trouble. We are called Burnt-house people, because the timbers of that house caught fire and were burned, and for this reason the people moved out of it and built other houses in the same place. Afterward some of the Burnt-house people moved to this place (Sitka). Because we are their descendants we are here also. They continue to be here because we occupy their places.


326:a Cf. story 32.

329:a At Cape Fairweather.

330:a For songs composed regarding these experiences of Qakê'q!utê, see songs 2 and 3

334:a Said when one loses a good thing or refuses to take it,

343:a "usually" would be truer.

Next: 105. Story Of The Kâ'ck!e Qoan