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p. 360


Formula of Medicine for the Purification of Those Who Have Buried the Dead. 1

p. 366

They say Yīmantūwiñyai lived with two wives at Leldiñ. One of his wives was a Yurok, the other was from Redwood creek. Each of them bore a child, one of them a boy and the other a girl. Yīmantūwiñyai went away from them to the southern end of the world. There also he saw two women and there he begot a boy.

In the morning about this time of day 1 while he was sitting outside he heard someone calling. A man came running toward him, wearing a woodpecker head-dress, saying, "I have just came to tell you that they have put your children into the ground alive. The children came up again, saying, 'It is not a good place there; it is dark; we can't live there.' All of the Kīxûnai who used to live there have gone away. They have taken all of the dance stuff with them, but your children remain in the ground alive."

Yīmantūwiñyai, taking only his child which he put in his sack, started back to the south. When he came to Leldiñ he was surprised to see the two women lying at the grave with their heads toward each other. "You have done badly," he said to them. "Ten times the people should renew their youth." "No," they said. "Five times at least," said Yīmantūwiñyai. "Once, anyway," he said to them. "No," said the two women. "We are not the only ones who will do this. Every one shall do this way." Yīmantūwiñyai, tramping them into the ground, said to them, "Never again will you see the games and dances of the Kīxûnai. You shall travel a marshy way." The wife who had come from Yurok territory became a white bug; the one from Redwood creek became a black bug.

p. 367

Then Yīmantūwiñyai started down the river toward the north. He spent the night at Tcexōltcwediñ, where he found the Kīxûnai were also camped. He himself camped at one side some distance from them. The next morning when the sun had come up from the east to about here (gesture) the Kīxûnai started out in boats. Yīmantūwiñyai went along the bank on foot. Just above Natinōxoi Tcewilindiñ the Kīxûnai commenced the boat dance. The dancing sent waves to both shores of the river. They landed on the shore at TseLtcediñ. Then Yīmantūwiñyai called to them, "Only take the boy into the boat for me that he may become a Kīxûnai." No one looked at him. Nevertheless Yīmantūwiñyai threw the boy across the water to the canoe, in the middle of which he fell. When the boat had started the boy looked back at his father, who was astonished to see that the boy's eyebrows had become woodpecker color and that he had already become a Kīxûnai.

Then they all went away across the ocean to the north, but Yīmantūwiñyai remained at TseLtcediñ. There he built a sweathouse, and in the morning went out to get sweat-house wood. He wished to make medicine for himself because his children had been placed in the ground. He gathered young black oaks for sweat-house wood and carried them home, but they would not burn. Then he went out and climbed the mountain north of the mouth of the Klamath to the resting place, where he sat down. He saw nothing there which he could use for medicine. He went on toward the north until he came to Yīmantūwiñyai where he stayed for awhile.

When he looked about he discovered that he was sitting in a sweat-house. From near the door where he was sitting he saw the post back of the fire was white from top to bottom. When he went out he saw a house was also standing there from which he took a wood basket and a cane for a digging stick. Then he went after medicine toward the northeast to Danaxûnūwinehwil where the ridges run across. The fisher only runs along there in whose arm-pits cling the dentalia.

"There will not be many," Yīmantūwiñyai said, "who will say of me, 'I hear that he did this way;' he must be very clever who shall say of me, 'I hear he did that.'" Then he made

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sweat-house wood of buck brush, to which the dentalia ever come to suck. The brush is dry after the dentalia have been sucking it, but when the sun comes up here (gesture) it blossoms again, then after it has blossomed and the sun has gone down the dentalia come again. Yīmantūwiñyai went back to the sweat-house, where he sweat himself with the wood which he had brought. When it had finished burning, the dentalia could be heard sucking at the pile of sweepings.

Then he went across the ocean to the north where a lake lies, along the shore of which grows a medicine. The red eels live in that lake. Across the ocean toward the west lives the small fork-tailed fish. Across the ocean to the south a rock stands having folds encircling it; the medicine, yerba buena, grows in these folds. South from there is ILbaladiñ where the white deer come out to feed. The eyebrows of these deer are woodpecker color. Five ridges for the white deer and five for the vine maple run out into the water. Ten ridges in all run into the water. There grows the vine maple, always in blossom, for which the dentalia-maker is continually seeking.

From there Yīmantūwiñyai went still farther south to TceiLtelnaladiñ. The Kīxûnai's salmon live there, and also those which come to this world. The Kīxûnai's salmon are woodpecker color all over, and their scales are as broad as a winnowing basket. They are knee-deep along the shore where the wind blows them out from the water. The medicine grew there with which his body when he rubbed it became perfect.

It was the mountain above the mouth of the Klamath to which the birds brought back the dances. Yīmantūwiñyai thought, "Well, let them do that." Then he brought to Hupa all the different dances. Had he not done this there would not be dances in this world.


360:1 Told at Hupa, June 1901, by Lillie Hostler, wife of Henry Hostler. She is a native of TakimiLdiñ, about 55 years of age. Compare, Life and Culture of the Hupa, pp. 71 and 72.

366:1 About 9 A.M.