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16. The Q!â'nêqi?laxu Legend. 1

(Dictated by Q!ô'mg*ilis, a ?naqE'mg*ilisala, 1894)

Q!â'nêqi?laxu and his Brother Only-One. 2

Heron had for his wife Woodpecker-Woman. Q!â'nêqi?laxu and Only-One came, pretending to be the children

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of Heron. Q!â'nêqi?laxu came from above. He came to see this world. Then Heron took cedar-wood (to make) a salmon-weir in the river. Then he looked after his salmon-weir. One salmon was in his weir. Heron said that he was hungry. Q!â'nêqi?laxu and Only-One were starving. Then Woodpecker-Woman roasted (the salmon). Then it was roasted, and she tried out (the oil). They ate the salmon quickly. They ate all the salmon. Q!â'nêqi?laxu had nothing. He was dying of hunger. Q!â'nêqi?laxu and Only-One came, and Heron said to his children, Q!â'nêqi?laxu and Only-One, "Oh, my dear ones, behold! you must run away on account of what I have seen."

Then they went to sleep. Day came, and (Heron) looked at his salmon-weir. Then there were two (salmon) in the salmon-weir. Heron said that he was hungry. Q!â'nêqi?laxu and Only-One were starving. Then (Heron) cooked it quickly, roasted it, and ate it. He ate both salmon. Then (Heron) rubbed some of the salmon-flesh on the head of the old woman. "Come," said the old woman to Q!â'nêqi?laxu, "look at this!" Then Q!â'nêqi?laxu looked at it, and he discovered salmon-meat on the head of the old woman. Rooted-to-the-Floor-of-the-House was the name of the old woman.

"What is this meat?" said Q!â'nêqi?laxu to the old woman. Then the old woman spoke. "That is what makes you all starve,--this, what he obtains whenever he goes, and what he eats quickly." Thus said the mother of Heron.

Then (Heron) looked again after his salmon-weir, and four salmon were caught. Again he said, "Go roast it." Q!â'nêqi?laxu and Only-One did not know (about it). They were hungry. They just went into the corner of the house, and hid in the house. Heron came and quickly roasted the four salmon. Then the four salmon were

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roasted, and he ate. Then Q!â'nêqi?laxu strung his bow and shot Heron and Woodpecker- Woman, and they were dead. Then Q!â'nêqi?laxu took Heron and tore him to pieces, and threw the pieces of the dead Heron about. "You shall be the herons of later tribes," said Q!â'nêqi?laxu. Then Heron began to fly. "Qwâ, qwâ, qwâ!" said the dead Heron, and became a bird. Then he did the same to his dead stepmother, Woodpecker-Woman. "You shall be the woodpecker." Thus said Q!â'nêqi?laxu. Then she began to fly and began to peck wood. That was the end. Then the two--Heron and Woodpecker-Woman--became birds. Then he began to dig out the woman rooted to the floor, the mother of Heron. (The root) only became thicker below. Then Q!â'nêqi?laxu gave up trying to dig out the root. That is the end.


187:1 The dialect of the ?naqE'mg*ilisala and of the La'Lasiqwala differ somewhat from that of the more southern Kwakiutl tribes. It seems that at the present time the Kwakiutl dialect is considered more "fashionable," and for this reason a number of Kwakiutl expressions have crept into the text as here told.

187:2 See publications of the Jesup North pacific Expedition, Vol. X, p. 185.

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