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To conclude, we may say that folk-research should be granted the status it deserves, and established upon an entirely new basis. Carried on by well trained and directed folk-lorists, it can only rest upon a sound financial basis, and have its headquarters at well-equipped museums for folk-ethnography. Publication facilities should be regulated by the corresponding needs. So much energy and wealth are squandered everywhere to no purpose, that every active member of our Society should feel it his duty to bring about a renewed and practical revival of interest in our aims. For the past fifty years a growing desire for knowledge and civilization has led to the foundation of scientific bodies, laboratories, and museums. If, curiously enough, the history of mankind was the last seriously undertaken, America may now boast of several prosperous institutions interested in the history of aboriginal culture or the archæology of Europe or other continents. Has not the time come for a comprehensive study of our white ancestors and the fast-vanishing phases of their daily life?

VICTORIA MUSEUM, OTTAWA, CAN.

TAHLTAN TALES.

BY JAMES A. TEIT.

PAGE

238

CONTENTS.

PAGE 1. The Raven Cycle . 198 15. Origin of the Feast for the 2. Earth-Mother (Netce'nsta). 227 Dead ...

• 238 3. Earth-Mother and Sun-Father 227 16. Origin of Laziness. 4. Story of the Sun .

227 17. Origin of the Death-Chant . 239 5. Story of the Dipper Stars . 228 18. The Four Ghost Brothers; or, 6. The Milky Way. .

229 The Origin of Cremation. 239 7. Sa'kesada, or the Moon-Boy 229 19. Story of Tenqalati'ya. . . 241 8. The Warm and Cold Winds 20. War among the Fishes 242 People .

230 21. Bald-Headed Eagle and the 9. Atsentmā', or the Meat

Iron Tree ..

242 Mother.

30 22. Mosquito and Woodworm 243 10. Meat-Mother and the Cari 23. Beaver and Muskrat. 243 bou and Moose 231 24. The Dog.

243 11. The Great Flood 232 25. The Bad Dog.

243 12. Origin Tradition of the 26. Story of Ca'kinā Tahltan.

234 27. Cannibal-Wolverene and the 13. Story of the Tagish Man; or,

Fog-Man.

246 Origin of the Killer-Whale 28. Wolverene and the Brothers. 248 Crest of the Nanaa'i . . 235 29. The Wolf-Dog

. 248 14. Origin of the Toad Crest of 30. Xe'nda; or, The Man whom the Katce'de.

237 the Wolves helped . . . 250

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I. THE RAVEN CYCLE.

The Raven.

Big-Raven (TsE'sketco ) is said to have been born far north in the Tlingit country. Some informants claim that he was of miraculous birth, but the common story is that he was the youngest of many brothers. He never saw his father, and no one knows who his father was. Raven always talked the Tlingit language. He was quite young when he began travelling as a transformer. He followed along the seashore in a small canoe, alone, stopping here and there where people lived. In his day people lived in small groups, sometimes widely separated, and under varying conditions according to locality. They differed from one another in their customs

1 Published with permission of the Geological Survey of Canada, under whose auspices. the material embodied in this paper was collected. The comparative notes have been added by the Editor.

· TsE'sketco or tcEski'tco, "big raven" (from tcEski'a, "raven"). When speaking. English, the Tahltan generally call the Raven Transformer "Big-Crow."

and in their methods of making a living. They were nearly all semi-animal, and possessed of various kinds of power and knowledge. Some of them used their powers for evil or to the disadvantage of others. These people Raven had to kill to deprive them of their power. Some groups of people had knowledge that others did not possess. This knowledge was the remains or fragments of the (general) knowledge possessed by all people before the Flood. 1 The knowledge of one thing was retained by one group of people, and of another thing by another group. Raven made this knowledge the common property of all people by obtaining possession himself and then giving it away to others. He allowed nothing that was of value to mankind to remain the sole property of any particular family or group.

Raven travelled from north to south throughout the Tlingit country. The Tlingit at that time extended along the coast a long way north and south, farther than in historic times. Raven went beyond the Tlingit to the south, and is said to have turned back from the country of the Mink people. The latter people, therefore, must have had a different transformer. Raven came back up the coast again, and finished many details of his work to which he had not attended on his way south. Either on the way south or north he is said to have visited the Haida. He worked a long time on the coast. When he had finished on the coast, he ascended the rivers into the interior. He went up the Stikine to its head waters, and it is said he also went up the Nass, Skeena, and Taku Rivers, and all the principal streams. He was tired when he reached the interior, and did not do much work there or stay long. It seems he lost much of his power towards the end. He ascended one river after another, and did not cross the country between them. He always kept close to the main streams. He never travelled beyond the sources of any of the rivers, and therefore he did very little work among the Kaska and other interior Indians to the east. 3

When Raven's work was finished, he travelled out to sea towards the setting sun, and disappeared. No one knows where he went, or where he is now if alive; but some people believe he lives now with Kanu'gu" and other great gods or chiefs of the ancients, on an island or country away out in the ocean, where the weather is made.

(1) THE BIRTH OF RAVEN." -- A number of people were living together near the sea. Among them was a man, gifted with magic power, who did not live with his wife. He did not allow any other man to go near her, and watched her very closely. He had a married sister, who gave birth to a boy who grew very rapidly. When he was old enough to travel about, his uncle asked his mother for permission to take his nephew hunting, and she consented. They went out to sea in a canoe. When they had gone some distance, the man told

See p. 232. * Possibly the people who have Mink as one of the heroes of their myths, the Kwakiuti and Coast Salish.

• The principal transformer of the Kaska appears to have been Beaver (see Teit, JAFL 30 : 429).

• See pp. 201, 212.
• See RBAE 31: 621 (Kaigani, Tlingit).

the boy to sit on the prow of the canoe. Then he rocked it, and the boy fell into the water and was drowned. The man returned home, and told his sister the boy had fallen overboard and been drowned.

His sister gave birth to another son; and when the latter had grown a little, his uncle asked the boy's mother to let him go hunting. He drowned him in the same way. Thus he killed every son to whom his sister gave birth. At last she gave birth to another son. This was Raven. He played in a manner different from other children. He was fond of carving wooden toys representing canoes, people, fish, and other things, and played with them. When he was still a small boy, his uncle asked his mother to allow him to go with him hunting. She refused several times, saying, “He is my last child, and I do not want to lose him.” At last the boy said to his mother, "Let me go! I shall not meet with any harm.” She then assented, and he went. Before leaving, he hid a toy canoe under his blanket.

His uncle asked him to sit on the prow of the canoe, and rocked the canoe until the boy fell into the water. He remained underneath for some time; then, after coming to the surface, he made the toy canoe assume large proportions, and paddled home in it. His uncle had preceded him, and told his sister that her son had been drowned, and that he was just as foolish as her other sons had been. Soon afterwards the boy arrived, and told his mother all that had happened. He said, "Uncle killed my brothers in the same way that he tried to kill me." She was glad that he had returned, for she had given him up as dead.

After some time the uncle asked the boy's mother to allow him to go again. She consented, and the boy went. His uncle tried to drown him, but he escaped in the same manner as before. A third time he asked him; but this time he refused to go, saying, “You always try to kill me." His uncle went alone; and when out at sea a considerable distance, the boy ran to his uncle's wife's house and played with her. He noticed that she always kept her arms down. He tickled her to make her lift her arms. At last he clutched her abdomen, and then she raised her arms. A bluejay flew out from one armpit, and a woodpecker from the other. She died immediately. Her husband knew at once that something was wrong, and came home. When he found his wife dead and the birds flown, he became very angry, and chased the boy, intending to kill him. The latter put his small canoe on the water. At once it assumed large proportions, and the boy embarked and escaped.

After this he became Raven. He began to travel over the world, and never returned to the place where he had been born.

1 See RBAE 31: 804 (Bellacoola, Comox, Kathlamet, Lillooet, Nass, Squamish, Thompson, Tlingit).

(2) ORIGIN OF THE TIDES. - Now the people in many parts of the country had no food. Game and all kinds of food were in the possession of a few persons (or families), who alone controlled these things. Thus many people were constantly starving. Raven followed the shores of the ocean in his canoe. As he went along, he noticed many things underneath the water which the people could eat; but, owing to the depth of the water, this food was out of reach. At last he came to a large man sitting down on the edge of the water. He asked him why he was sitting there; and the man answered, “If I get up, the ocean will dry up.” It seems, he was sitting on a hole in the earth through which the water poured when he arose. Raven told him to get up, but he would not do so. Then Raven took him by the hair, and pulled him up so far that he was able to put a rock underneath him. The rock was sharp; and when the man sat down again, it hurt him, and he jumped up farther. Raven then put a larger sharp-pointed rock under him. Thus he continued until the man was sitting almost upright. The ocean went down a long way, and exposed the beach. Raven said to the man, “Henceforth you must get up twice a day, and let the sea go down as far as it is now, so that people may obtain food from the beach. Then you will sit down again to let the water gather and come up. If you promise to do this, I shall not kill you." At last the man promised, and thus the tides were made. The people were able to find many kinds of food in abundance along the shore, and they no longer starved.?

(3) ORIGIN OF FRESH WATER. — At this time there was no fresh water in the world except the rain. All other water was salt. Raven visited some people, and asked them for water to drink. They said, "We have none. Water is very scarce. We get a mouthful sometimes from the man who owns it. Wealthy people who can pay for it get a little more.” Raven asked the name of the man, and where he lived. They told him that the man's name was Kanu'gu,' and

1 See RBAE 31 : 656.

2 According to another version, said to be of Tlingit origin, he called the Tide-Man his partner. He pushed him over unawares, and struck his backside with devil's clubs. When the Tide-Man tried to sit on the hole again, the devil's club hurt him so much that he had to rise again. Then the sea began to ebb and to rise.

• See RBAE 31 : 651.

• Kanu'gu or Kanu'ge. According to Tahltan information, this mythological personage appears to be a water-deity or sea-god of the Tlingit. He is said to have been the first man created (or the first man in the world). He is the most ancient of the ancients, and has been from the beginning of the world. He was on earth long before the Flood. He is eternal, and will never die. He is the only man who ever lived that never told a lie. Among the Tahltan, when a person's word is doubted or certain information is in doubt, they say, “Kenu'ge told me," or "KEnu'ge said it." This saying is much in vogue among young people, and is always meant in a jocular way. The Tlingit are said to pray to Kenu'ge, asking for fine, clear weather. They make offerings to him when

VOL. 32.-NO. 124.- 14.

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