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28. WOLVERENE AND THE BROTHERS.1 Wolverene was married to a woman. Her two brothers and her mother lived near them. When the brothers killed game, Wolverene used to go back at night to the place and cache all the meat in a hidden spot for himself. He was a great thief. When the people went to carry in their meat the next day, they found nothing there. On this account they were reduced to starvation. The brothers suspected Wolverene. They killed a moose, and cached all the meat themselves excepting a little that they packed home. That night Wolverene and his wife heard the breaking of bones in the other lodges, as if the people were extracting marrow. He said to his wife, “They are breaking fresh bones.” He sent his wife to see. She questioned her mother, who answered, “How could we have marrow-bones? I was just breaking up a bone skin-scraper to make soup. Your brothers are starving." Wolverene knew better, however, and went out and found their cache. He urinated and defecated on all the meat, and made it unfit to eat. The brothers said, "We shall beat him." They went out hunting, and killed a young fat moose. Wolverene was also hunting near by; so they called him, saying, "Brother-in-law, will you help us pack some meat home?" He came. They had lighted a fire near the carcass, and were cooking the web of fat from the inside of the moose. They said to Wolverene, "Sit down on the other side of the fire. The fat will be cooked soon. We shall eat something before we carry the meat to camp." Wolverene was sitting warming himself, and had his knees outspread in front of the fire. One of the brothers took the cooking-stick with the hot fat on the end of it, and threw the fat against Wolverene's privates, burning him. He scratched the sore place; and while he was thus engaged, they clubbed him. He managed to get away, and as he ran he kept scratching at the sore spot. The brothers chased him, and kept hitting him on the rump. Wolverene reached some smooth ice, and got away from them. Because the wolverene's rump-bone was broken, he has a halting gait at the present day. Because he was burnt, the hair of his loins is reddish, and he has a burnt smell. Wolverene's privates were much too sore to have connection with women. He took to the woods, and never lived with people again.
29. THE WOLF-DOG.2 Once a man caught a young wolf, and raised him as a dog. He took good care of him, and gave him the best of meat to eat. When he went out hunting, and saw sheep or caribou, he showed them to his wolf-dog, who chased them to the bottom of the hills, where he killed them one after another. The man followed him, and opened and
1 See Kaska (Teit JAFL 30 : 215).
The arrow worked in every detail as said, and killed them all. The hunter used it as long as he lived, following all the directions he had received from the Wolf chief, and thus had all the meat he could use. Because wing-feathers of the golden eagle were used for killing game, some Indians consider them lucky for procuring game, feathering their arrows with them, or wearing them on their heads, one feather on each side, when approaching game.
30. XE'NDA; OR, THE MAN WHOM THE WOLVES HELPED.I An old man called Xe'nda, and many people, were hunting caribou, but they could not kill any. They were starving, and became weak. XE'nda went hunting one day, although he could hardly walk. He came on a long trail of fresh caribou-tracks, and followed it. After a while he came to where a number of snowshoe-tracks followed behind the caribou. He saw where the caribou had begun to jump, and the people had run after them. Soon he came on a dead caribou, then on another and another. He thought some of the people had killed them. He pressed on, and soon heard talking, and then saw a number of strange people beside some dead caribou. They called out in the Kaska language, “A man is coming!" and then invited him to come nearer. He asked them who had killed the game. They answered that they had. They lighted a fire, and cooked and ate the two caribou there. They said to XE'nda, "Your snowshoes are too narrow. You cannot run fast with them, and the caribou get away. If you use snowshoes like those we have, you will be able to travel better and get game.” They showed their snowshoes to XE'nda, and further told him he could have all the caribou they had killed. XE'nda thought he must have slept; and when he woke up, the fire was out, and two caribou-skins were lying there. He looked for tracks, and saw only wolf-tracks. He returned to camp, and on the way came to the caribou-carcasses he had first seen. He cut out some meat and took it along. He told the people that he had killed caribou, and the people went out at once to carry in the meat. When they got to the carcasses, they saw that the caribou had been killed by wolves, and they knew that the wolves had helped XE'nda. After this, the people made snowshoes like those the Wolves had shown to XE'nda, and they obtained more game. In this way did the Tahltan learn how to make the shovel-nosed snowshoes they now use; and this is why snowshoes of this kind are called "Wolf snowshoes.” The kind used by the Kaska are named "Moose snowshoes." Both tribes used the same type of snowshoe formerly, but discarded them, and adopted each a different style.
1 Compare Chilcotin (Farrand, JE 2 : 33), Shuswap (Teit, JE 2 : 718, 719).
COLLECTED BY LIVINGSTON FARRAND; EDITED BY THERESA MAYER.
In the olden days Kweeti travelled all over the earth. The first person he encountered was a white man. At that time the whites were ignorant and did not know anything. Kweeti taught this man how to dig metal (?) (mammook mola) and many other things. Soon he came to know everything that white people know now. Among much else, Kweeti told the white man that when he decided to marry, he must take only one wife and not pay for her.
Kweeti next came to Beaver, who was sharpening a stone and singing, withal. Kweeti asked him what he was doing. Beaver, who by this time had made the stone quite sharp and pointed, answered, "I want to kill Kweeti when he comes." Thereupon Kweeti seized the stone and fastened it in Beaver's tail, saying, "Henceforth you must always wear it there. From now on you shall live in the river; and when an Indian comes near you, you will splash your tail in the water and dive under to escape."
After this he met Deer, who was sharpening shells, and likewise singing, “I am sharpening these for Kweeti.” Kweeti seized the shells, and, sticking them on Deer's head for ears, told him that now he was forever doomed to run away from the Indians, and then suddenly stop in his flight, look around, and run on again.2
Thereupon Kweeti went his way, and arrived at Queets River. At that time there were no Indians there. Kweeti spit on his arm, and, rubbing the dirt into little balls, threw them into the river, and lo! Indians appeared. He named these Indians Kwē'tsůx. When he came to Hoh, he saw Indians walking on their hands and carrying nets between their legs. Kweeti straightened them up and sent them to fish,
At Quileuti he changed wolves into Indians, and told them that a poor man might have only one wife, but that a chief or rich man might have from four to eight.
1 Compare Boas, RBAE 31 : 589 et seq. Compare Nootka “ Kweti-ath."
Compare Boas, RBAE 31 : 597 (No. 3). • Ibid., 597 (No. 2).