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7. Eme'mqut's Whale-Festival. 1

Eme'mqut and his people were living. They were hunting whales, and killed one whale. They took it home. Then they arranged a thanksgiving ceremonial. They gathered together all the reindeer-breeding people, also the Magpies (namely, Magpie-Women).

"Magpie-Woman, you dance!"--"What shall I sing

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while dancing? I am unskilful. Vakikikikikiki'. My mother told me, 'Do not leave anything from the other people's wallets!' My grandmother said to me 'Leave something from the other people's wallets!' Vakikikikikiki'!"

"So it is," said Kĭlu'. "When we come to find them, our wallets are (half-)eaten." Magpie-Woman had nothing to say, so she felt ashamed and flew away.

"Oh, you Fox-Woman! it is your turn to dance." She grew excited and sang, "My brother, Pilferer, made a knife with a well-ornamented handle. But with what shall I eat the whale-skin? I forgot it. He wanted to strap it to my thigh. With what shall I eat the whale-skin, eh?"

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The old man Big-Raven said, "Ah, ah! they are singing about their feeding at other people's expense." 1 Still another Fox-Woman began to sing. She also grew excited. "I am she who eats hard excrements. I am she who gnaws the snowshoe-strings."

Ah, she was brought to shame by Eme'mqut. He said, "Yes, when we find them, the snowshoe- strings are gnawed through." She felt ashamed and went away.

"O, Small-Magpie-Woman! it is your turn to dance."--"What, then, shall I sing? I feel ashamed. Vakikikikikiki'! On the gables of other people's storehouses, with her running and skipping foot, the magpie is striding and

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pecking at the food."--"Ah, ah! they are singing about their feeding at other people's expense.--O, Raven-Woman! it is your turn to dance."--"Caw, caw! my cousin's shadow passes on the water." [Raven-Woman began to dance (and sing) in this manner: "My cousin's shadow passes on the water."] "Caw, caw! Oh, I like you while you pass!"

She finished her dance. Then Eme'mqut went out, and the two (Magpies) were sitting there. "O girl! use your voice! Abuse Eme'mqut!"--"He is feeding on dog's inner skin, on reindeer inner skin. (He is consuming) a reindeer-hoof!"--"Off! When have we fed on dog's inner skin? Even when wandering in the open we do not eat (reindeer) inner skin. Much less do we

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eat dog's inner skin." Ah! they felt ashamed and flew away.

Yini'a-ñawġut wanted to skin a dog. "Halloo! who will hold it for me?' Raven-Woman said, "I will hold it." They went out and began to skin the dog. Raven-Woman pecked out one of its eyes. "Who pecked out this eye here?"--"I do not know." She pecked at the coccyx. "Was it here?"

Then she pierced the other eye, and the liquid squirted on Yini'a-ñawġut. "Are you now looking for this one? What of that! I only shut my mouth." But this carcass I will lay aside." She buried it in the ground under a steep river-bank.

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Then they finished the thanksgiving ceremonial with the food appointed for distribution. The reindeer-breeding people loaded their sledges quite largely with sole-leather cut out from the middle, and scraped clean of hair, also with thong of the same quality. They tied up their loads (and went away). That is the end.


45:1 Compare W. Jochelson, The Koryak, l. c., No. 89, p. 266.

47:1 This means, that they are exclaiming about (the fact that they are consuming what serves for) the bringing: up of other people's (children).

Next: 8. Eme'mqut and Ila'