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There was a sister who wanted to marry her brother. One time while the brother was out hunting she sewed a new tent cover and prepared new poles also. Then she dug a long underground passage away from their house, and at the end of it she pitched her new tent. She said to her brother, "A strange woman has come to our camp. You should marry her. After that I will go away." He said, "Better stay with us."--"No, I will go and look for a husband; but you must go and visit that woman." As soon as he was gone, she changed her clothing, and arranged her hair in a different manner. Then she dived into the underground passage and made off to the new tent. There she sat down and when her brother came in he saw her working on skins. He went back home; but she was there before him, and put on her former dress. She asked him, "Did you see her?"--"Yes, I saw her. She looks very much like you."--"Don't be silly! Women are alike, just like larch-cones; you hesitate too long. Marry her, the sooner the better. I will go and look for a husband."

p. 132

The following morning he went to the woman's tent, and spent the whole day there. He paid his suit and married her. The sister pretended to go away, but she had gone to the new tent and stayed there. There they lived. In due time she brought forth a boy, who grew up and became able to shoot. His father made a bow and arrows for him. The boy shot at a Snow-Bunting, which grew angry, and said to him, "You good-for-nothing! do not shoot at me! Better think that you are the child of a brother who married his own sister." The boy went to his mother, and said, "The Snow-Bunting is abusing me. It says that I am the child of a brother who married his own sister." She only said, "Do not say that to your father!" When the man came home, the boy wanted to tell him; but just as he began and said "Father!" his mother gave him a spanking and drove him away. This was repeated several times. Then the father took notice and said, "Wife! bring me some wild sheep meat." She went to the storehouse. Then the boy began again, "Here, father!"--"What is it, child?"--"Snow-Bunting said to me that I am the child of a brother who married his own sister."--"Ah, ah!" said the father. He took his big ax and ground it well on the whetstone. Then he hung it up just above the entrance. He laid a spell upon it and said to the ax, "If she is really my sister, fall down and split her head." The woman entered smiling; but, as soon as she had shut the door, the ax fell down and split her head. So she died, and he prepared for her funeral. They lived on, he and his boy. The end.

Told by Anne Sosykin, a Russianized Chuvantzi woman, in the village of Markova. Recorded by Mrs. Sophie Bogoras, winter of 1900.


131:3 Cf. Bogoras, "Chukchee Materials", No. 59, 171--W. B.

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