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p. 288


Formula of Medicine to Cause the Infant to Grow Strong. 1

p. 291

A Kīxûnai woman lived at Tcexōltcwediñ with her grandson. The boy used to go every morning to the sweat-house where he worked fastening the feathers to arrows. He used to go back into the house and get sinew from the case in which feathers were kept. He worked the sinew into shape with his teeth, throwing the pieces scraped off into the spoon-basket. The old woman was always lying down. The next day the boy did the same thing.

After a time the old woman, while lying there one night, woke up and heard a baby cry. Having started a fire she took up a brand and was surprised to see a baby squirming about in the spoon-basket. She took it up and then thought, "With what am I going to steam it?" She went down to the river and picked up some blue-stones which she carried to the house and put in a basket of water. Then she went out again to get the herb for the medicine she was going to make. She saw small Douglas spruces growing there about so high (two feet). These she broke off, leaving only one standing. She sat down this way facing the south. "This way it will be," she thought. She talked to the one still standing. "This way it will be," she said, "one always will be left toward which she shall talk."

Then she put that under the baby in water. Several days after the basket-plate spread out and broke. After five days it did that again. After five days more she put it in a baby-basket. The baby-basket broke. She put it in a second one and leaned it up against something. The baby kicked up its legs. It was a blue-stone storage basket she leaned it against. Finally she thought, "I wish I could make some better kind of a baby-basket." It was only during five days that she carried it in the hazel baby-basket. At last she thought, "I will make for it a basket of blue-stone." She carried it in that for it was tough. When she leaned it up, the blue-stone baby-basket made a creaking noise. Then she carried it about. "This way it will be," she thought, "with those who put my medicine under. The Indians, when they come, will say of me, 'That is the one who did this way there.' She will sit the way I sit."


288:1 Told at Hupa, December 1901, by Emma Lewis.

Next: XXXVI. Formula of Medicine to Insure Long Life for an Infant