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[The four following tales are given in one section on account of their more local character, being known only to the west Greenlanders, especially the southernmost of them, and representing the only trace of intelligence left concerning the ancient Scandinavian settlers which the author has been able to discover by inquiries made in the country.]



IT once happened that a kayaker from Arpatsivik came rowing up the firth, trying his new bird-javelin as he went along. On approaching Kakortok, where the first Kavdlunait1 had taken up their p. 309 {see picture on page 309} p. 310 abode, he saw one of them gathering shells on the beach, and presently he called out to him, "Let us see whether thou canst hit me with thy lance." The kayaker would not comply, although the other continued asking him. At last, however, the master of the place, named Ungortok, made his appearance, and said, "Since he seems so very anxious about it, take good aim at him;" and soon the kayaker sent out his spear in good earnest, and killed him on the spot. Ungortok, however, did not reproach him, but only said, "It certainly is no fault of thine, since thou hast only done as thou wast bidden." When winter came, it was a general belief that the Kavdlunait would come and avenge the death of their countryman; but summer came round again; and even two summers passed quickly by. At the beginning of the third winter, the same kayaker again rowed up to Kakortok, provided with the usual hunting tools, bladder and all. This time he again happened to see a Kavdlunak gathering shells, and somehow he took a fancy to kill him too. He rowed up towards him on that side where the sun was shining full upon the water, and launching his spear at him, killed him at once, upon which he returned home unobserved, and told how he had done away with one of the Kavdlunait. They reproached him with not having let their chief know of this; and the murderer answered them, "The first time I only killed him because I was asked over and over again to do so." Some time after this occurrence, a girl was sent out to draw water in the evening; but while she was filling the pail, she noticed the reflection of something red down in the water. At first she thought it to be the reflection of her own face; but turning round, she was horrified at seeing a great crowd of Kavdlunait. She was so confounded that she left the pail behind, and hurried into the house to tell what had happened. At the same time the enemies posted themselves in front of the door p. 311 and the windows. One of the inmates instantly ran out, but was soon killed with an axe, and cast aside. They were all despatched in this way: only two brothers remained unhurt. They happily escaped out on the ice. The Kavdlunait, however, soon caught sight of them, saying, "Those are the last of the lot; let us be after them;" and at once began the pursuit. The leader now said, "I am the quickest of you; let me start after them;" and he followed them out on the ice, where the speed of the brothers had been greatly retarded owing to the younger one having got new soles to his boots, which made them slippery, and caused him often to lose his footing. At length they reached the opposite shore, and Kaisape (pron. Kysapee), the elder, succeeded in climbing the icy beach; but the younger fell, and was quickly overtaken. Ungortok cut off his left arm, and

held it up before his brother, saying, "Kaisape! as long as thou livest thou won't surely forget thy poor brother." Kaisape, who was not armed, could render him no assistance, but quickly took to his heels. He crossed the country for Kangermiutsiak, where his father-in-law was living. Here he remained all winter, and was presented with a kayak. In summer he kayaked southward to learn some magic lay that had power to charm his enemies. He again wintered at Kangermiutsiak; but when the summer came round he went away to the north, in order to find himself a companion. At every p. 312 place he came to, he first inquired if there happened to be a couple of brothers, and then he went on to examine the inside fur of their boots to see whether they had any lice in them; and he travelled far and wide before he found two brothers, of whom the younger one was altogether without lice. This one he persuaded to assist him, and made him return with him to Kangermiutsiak. He was now very intent on catching seals; and of all he caught he had the hairs removed from the skins, which were then used for white skins. This done, he went out in search of a large piece of driftwood, and at last found one to suit his purpose. He now proceeded to excavate it with his knife until it was all hollow like a tube, and made a cover to fit tightly at one end; and both sides he furnished with little holes, for which he also made stoppers of wood. Being thus far ready, he first put all the white skins inside the hollow space, shut it up at the end with the cover, and likewise closed the little side holes. He then put it down into the water, upon which all the kayakers joined in towing it down the inlet to Pingiviarnek, where they landed it; and having got out the skins, attached strings to them, then hoisted and spread them like sails, so that the boat came to have the appearance of a somewhat dirty iceberg, the skins being not all alike white. The people now got in: it was pushed off from land, and Kaisape gave the order, "Let the skins be spread!" This was accordingly done; and the people on shore were astonished to see how very like it was to an iceberg floating slowly along. Kaisape, who wanted to take a survey of the whole from shore, said to the crew, "Now ye can take the boat out yourselves, while I step ashore to have a look at it." When he beheld the work of his hands, he was well pleased with it, and ordered the boat to load again. The skins were all spread out to dry in the sun; and when this had been done, he remarked that he had not yet forgotten his brother. p. 313 They were now ready to go to Kakortok and have their revenge, but for some time they were obliged to station themselves at Arpatsivik, waiting a favourable wind to carry them up the inlet. When the fair wind had set in, the firth gradually filled with broken bits of ice of different form and size. Now was the time for Kaisape to spread all sail and get in. Several boats followed in his wake, but the crews landed a little north of Kakortok to gather fagots of juniper; while Kaisape and his helpmates, well hidden in the hollow wood, and keeping a constant look-out through the peep-holes, drifted straight on towards the house. They saw the Kavdlunait go to and fro, now and then taking a look down the inlet. Once they distinctly heard it announced, "The Kaladlit (plur. of kalâleĸ, a Greenlander) are coming:" upon which they all came running out of the house; but when the master had reassured them, saying, "It is nothing but ice," they again retired; and Kaisape said, "Now, quick! they won't be coming out for a while, I think." They got out on shore; and, well loaded with juniper fagots, they all surrounded the house. Kaisape filled up the doorway with fuel, and then stuck fire to it, so that all the people inside were burned; and those who tried to make their escape through the passage were also consumed. But Kaisape cared little for the people in general; his thoughts all centred in Ungortok; and he now heard one of his helpmates exclaiming, "Kaisape! the man whom thou seekest is up there." The chief had by this time left the burning house through a window, and was flying with his little son in his arms. Kaisape went off in pursuit of him, and approached him rapidly. On reaching the lake, the father threw his child into the water that it might rather die unwounded. Kaisape, however, not being able to overtake his antagonist, was forced to return to his crew. Ungortok ran on till he reached Igaliko, and there established himself with another chief p. 314 {see picture on page 314} p. 315 named Olave. On finding that Kaisape would not leave him at peace there, he removed to the head of the firth Agdluitsok, where he settled at Sioralik, while Kaisape established himself at the outlet of the same firth. The following summer he again left in pursuit of Ungortok, who, however, succeeded in getting to the coast opposite the island of Aluk. Kaisape traced him right along to the north side of the same island, where he took up his abode; and he now consulted the Eastlanders with regard to some means of killing Ungortok. At last one stood forth, saying, "I will get thee a bit of wood from a barren woman's boot-shelf, out of which thou must shape thine arrow." Having pronounced some spell upon it, he handed it over to Kaisape, who acknowledged the gift saying, "If it comes true that this shall help me, I will be bound to give thee my aid in hunting and fishing." He now went on making as many arrows as could be contained in a quiver fashioned out of a sealskin; and last of all, he added the precious charmed one, and then with his helpmates left for the great lake in front of Ungortok's house, where Kaisape stuck all the arrows in the ground at a certain distance from each other; and finally also the charmed one. He let his companion remain below by the lake, and cautiously mounted some high hills by himself, from whence he could see Ungortok striding to and fro outside his house. He heard him talk to himself, and mention the name of Kaisape. However, he resolved to await the coming of night to carry out his purpose. In the dusk he stole away to the house, and looked in at the window, holding his bow ready bent. Ungortok was passing up and down as swiftly as a shadow, on account of which it was impossible for him to take a sure aim. He therefore levelled his bow at Ungortok's wife, who lay sleeping with a baby at her breast. Ungortok, hearing a noise, gave a look at his wife, and perceived the arrow sticking fast in her throat. Meantime p. 316 Kaisape had quickly run back to the margin of the lake to fetch another arrow, while Ungortok sped after him with uplifted arm holding the axe that had formerly killed his brother in readiness for himself. Kaisape launched his second arrow at him, but Ungortok escaped it by falling down and making himself so thin that nothing but his chin remained visible; and before long

Kaisape had spent all his arrows, without having hit his mark. Ungortok broke them in twain, and threw them into the lake. But at last Kaisape caught hold of the charmed arrow, and this went straight through the p. 317 protruding chin down into the throat. As Ungortok did not, however, expire immediately, Kaisape took flight, but was shortly followed by the wounded Ungortok. Kaisape had been running on for a good long while, when all of a sudden he felt his throat getting dry, and fell down totally exhausted. Remembering Ungortok, however, he soon rose again, and running back to see what had become of him, found his dead body lying close by. He now cut off his right arm, and holding it up before the dead man, repeated his own words, "Behold this arm, which thou,wilt surely never forget!" He also killed the orphan child; and taking the old Eastlander with him, he travelled back to Kangermiutsiak, where he sustained the old man, whose bones, according to report, were laid to rest in that same place.



In former times, when the coast was less peopled than now, a boat's crew landed at Nook (Godthaab). They found no people, and traversed the fiord to Kangersunek. Half-way up to the east of Kornok, near Kangiusak, they came upon a large house; but on getting closer to it, they did not know what to make of the people, seeing that they were not Kaladlit. In this manner they had quite unexpectedly come across the first Kavdlunak settlers. These likewise for the first time saw the natives of the country, and treated them kindly and civilly; but the Greenlanders nevertheless feared them, and made for their boats. On getting farther up the fiord, they found many Kavdlunait stationed. However, they did not put in anywhere, but hastened away as fast as possible. When the boat and its crew returned from their summer trip in the fiord, p. 318 they told their countrymen all around of their encounter with the foreigners, and many of them now travelled up to see them. Many boats having thus reached Kangersunek, they now began to have intercourse with the Kavdlunait, seeing that they were well disposed towards them. Later on in the summer, many more Kaladlit arrived, and the foreigners began to learn their language. At Kapisilik a Kavdlunak and a Kalalek, it is said, became such fast friends that they would not be separated, but were constantly together. They tried to excel each other at different games and feats of dexterity; and their countrymen on both sides were greatly diverted as lookers-on; but being both first-rate archers, their arrows always fell side by side. One day the Kavdlunak said, "Come, let us climb yon lofty hill; but first we will stretch a skin for a target to aim at on that little islet yonder; then we will try which of us can hit the mark. He who fails shall be thrown down the precipice, and the other remain the conqueror." The Kalalek answered, "No, I will not agree to that, because we are friends, and none of us shall perish." But the Kavdlunak persisted so long that his own countrymen at last said, "Well, let him be thrown down as it is at his own will;" and the Kalalek at last gave in, and they climbed the mountain together, accompanied by a crowd of spectators. The Kavdlunak was the first to shoot, but altogether failed; then the Kalalek came in for his turn, and pierced the skin in the centre. According to his own desire, the Kavdlunak was hurled down the precipice, and his countrymen only thought it served him right for having thus recklessly pledged his life. From that day until the present this mountain has been called Pisigsarfik (the shooting-place).

NOTE.—The two preceding stories are compiled from six different manuscripts, in which the contents of both are partly mixed up, and the same events have been localised for each of the two tracts of coastland in which ruins of the old settlements are still to be seen—viz., the district p. 319 of Julianehaab, now most generally supposed to have been the old Easterbygd, and the district of Godthaab, identified with the ancient Westerbygd. The second story, however, is only told by the Godthaab narrators, who appear to have linked the first one to it, having previously altered and adapted it for their homestead fiords of Kapisilik, Pisigsarfik, and Ameralik, and inserted the tale of Navaranak (see No. 18) to explain the beginning of the warfare. The name Kakortok signifies Julianehaab itself; as also some very remarkable Scandinavian ruins about eight miles distant from it. Arpatsivik is an island between these places, upon which some very ancient sod-covered Eskimo ruins are still to be seen, and are pointed out as Kaisape's house.



A kayaker one day went to the bay of Iminguit to catch thong-seals. Arriving there he observed a tent belonging to some Kavdlunait. He heard them jesting and prating inside, and was strongly minded to go and look in upon them. Accordingly be left his kayak, went up to the place, and began to strike on the sides of the tent. This made them apprehensive, and they now became quiet, which only encouraged him to continue all the more, until he succeeded in silencing them altogether. Then he took a peep in at them, and behold! they were all dead with fear. At Ikat, the Kavdlunait living there were also taken by surprise by the Kaladlit, and four fathers fled with their children out upon the ice, which, however, being too thin, broke through with them, so that all were drowned; and it is said that only a few years ago they might be seen at the bottom of the sea. It is a common tradition at Arsut, that whenever they become visible it is a sure foreboding that one of the people will die.

p. 320



[A tale received from North Greenland.]

It is said that the Kaladlit of the south country at times were attacked in the autumn season, when the lakes were frozen over, and the sea-shore was all bordered with ice. It once happened that a man had been out hunting, and came home with two white whales. In the evening a couple of girls came running into the house crying, "The enemy is coming upon us!" At which the man got into a passion, and tore the fishing-line which he was busily winding up. But when he was about to go out, the Kavdlunait were already making an onset upon the house. The housewife, who had been newly delivered of a child, was by means of sorcery got through a window, and several escaped the same way; but all those who attempted to get through the entrance were miserably killed. The master of the house, who had escaped along with his wife, returned to bring his mother out, but finding her badly wounded had to leave her to her fate. Some had in this manner escaped, and hastened away to hide themselves among the stoneheaps, from whence they heard the enemy's wild shouts of triumph. And the man had to witness his mother being dragged across the frozen lake by a rope fastened to her tuft of hair. Though greatly enraged, he tried to keep quiet in his hiding-place, but ordered the two girls down on the ice, saying, "Now ye go on to the edge of the water, and when they overtake you plunge yourselves into the sea." Sobbing and crying, they did as they were bid. No sooner had they been observed by the Kavdlunait than they were seen to run out after them; but the ice was too slippery for them, and they lost their footing. Some fell on their backs, others p. 321 sideways, and some went tottering about. The angry Kalalek now asked his people how many of the enemy had gone out on the ice, and whether any of them were still on shore. About this, however, they did not agree; but at last one of them said, "That all of them had now got down." Immediately the furious Kalalek rushed out on the ice, spear in hand, and another one in store. The first of the Kavdlunait he met with was instantly speared; the others fell on approaching him, and were likewise killed. When the point of his spear had got too sticky with blood, he would only take time to blow it away; and before the girls had reached the open sea, he had despatched the whole of them. However, he turned back again, and pierced them through their bellies, in order to complete his vengeance, and then returned to the house, where he found the inmates all killed.



p. 308

1 Plur. of ĸavdlunâk, a foreigner, a European, a Dane.