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VIII.    Myths of the Reindeer Koryak of the Taigonos Peninsula


Eme'mqut and Worm-Man


Eme'mqut and Sun-Man's Daughter


How Creator overcame the Kalau


How the Kalau ceased to be Cannibals


How Kïlu' killed the Kalau


How Yiñe'a-ñe'ut was married to a Seal


How Eme'mqut married his Sister


The Bear People


Yiñe'a-ñe'ut and Sun-Man


Creator and Miti'




11.   Eme'mqut and  Worm-Man.

         It was at the time when Creator (Tenanto'mwan) lived. His son Eme'mqut married Grass-Woman (Ve'ai). They had no children. Eme'mqut used to go hunting and had such good luck, that he would always bring reindeer home, as though he had  found  them  killed quite near their  house.

         Once upon a time Eme'mqut said to his father, "I shall move with my wife over yonder: there is a good hunting- place." — " Very well," replied Creator. Eme'mqut and his wife moved. Then they put up their tent, and settled down to live there. One morning Eme'mqut went out hunting. Suddenly Grass-Woman heard a voice from outside, saying, "Grass-Woman, come out!" She said, "I will not come out." Then a man came in, took Grass-Woman by her hair-braids,  dragged  her outside,  and carried her away to his house.  

         Eme'mqut came back from hunting, and, not finding his wife, went to his father, and said to him, "My wife has disappeared." Thereupon he harnessed his reindeer, and drove from camp to camp, searching for her in every place; but no one knew what had become of her. One day, while on his way to his hunting-place, he sat down on the grass to rest. Suddenly he noticed that a ground-spider was crawling over his body. He took it and threw it aside, saying, "Have you not room enough on the ground, that you crawl over me?" All of a sudden the ground-spider became an old woman. "You have thrown me away, and I wished to tell you who had taken your wife." Eme'mqut said, "Well, tell me who did it." — "You will not find her if you keep driving around here. Worm-Man (Legu'mtila'n) has taken your wife. If a man has a pretty wife, Worm-Man takes her away; and whoever tries to pursue him is killed by him. He lives on an island in the sea. If you want to seek him, you have to go there. You will cross a sea, which is always hot. Then you will have to climb a high red-hot mountain."

         Eme'mqut ran to his father's house, and said, "I know now who has taken my wife. I am going to bring her back." But Creator said, "Don't go! You will not return alive." — "I will go, just the same," answered Eme'mqut, "even if I meet my death. I feel lonesome without my wife: let them rather kill me."  

          "If that is so, go," said Creator. He gave him an iron boat, saying, "In this boat you can cross the hot sea." Then he gave him two iron mice, an iron sledge, and an iron harness, and said, "With these you will be able to ascend the red-hot mountain. After you have crossed the sea, you will come to the settlement of the Ant people (Tagaya'mtila'nu): stay with them for a few days. Annoy their girls and women! Throw yourself upon them, don' t give them any rest. When the Ant people ask you to leave their women alone,   and   to   let them  sleep,  say to  them,  'Worm-Man  has  taken away my




wife.     If  you   do  not help  me get her back,  I  shall  stay with you  for good, and will not give your women  any rest.'"

          Thereupon Eme'mqut started. He reached the sea, got into his boat, and paddled away. Soon his boat landed on an island. Eme'mqut looked around, and saw the settlement of the Ant people. He went to them, and began to annoy the women. He gave them no peace, night or day. The Ant people entreated him to leave their place; but Eme'mqut replied, "If you will help me get my wife back, I will leave your women alone: otherwise I shall stay with you all the time."

         The Ant people talked among themselves, and said, "We will rather help you get your wife back." Then Eme'mqut went on with his mice-sledge, and the Ant people followed him. When he climbed over the fiery mountain, the people from Worm-Man's settlement said to the latter, "Eme'mqut is coming. He must be coming after his wife." Worm-Man did not believe them, and said, "How can he come here? Nobody ever managed to get here." However, the people of his village insisted, saying, "He is here, quite near by." Then Worm-Man went out and saw Eme'mqut, who said to him, " Now let us fight, let us see who will be killed."

         They grappled. Suddenly Eme'mqut, squeezed by Worm-Man, fell on his knees. He shouted to the Ant people, " Come on, rush upon Worm-Man!" Eme'mqut held Worm-Man fast until the Ant people had devoured him. Only
his bones remained.

         All the women who had been carried away by him before were very glad. Eme'mqut revived their husbands and brothers, whose bones were lying on the ground, and all went away to their homes.

Eme'mqut took his wife, Grass-Woman, and married also Worm-Man's first wife. Some of the people revived by him gave him their sisters in mar- riage ; some presented him with reindeer. He lived pleasantly and in affluence. Of all the women, he kept just three wives for himself: the rest he gave to his brothers and to Illa'.    That's all.

Told by Kucä'ñin, a Reindeer Koryak woman, in camp
on Chaibuga River, April,  1901

.12.  Eme'mqut and Sun-Man's  Daughter.

         It was at the time when Creator (Tenanto'mwAn) lived. There was no village and no camp near him. One evening his son Eme'mqut was returning home. It was getting dark. Suddenly he noticed sparks coming out of a marmot's hole He went into the hole, and saw Marmot-Woman (I'la-ña'ut) sitting there.     He married her, and took her home.     On the following day he



again  went hunting,   met  Sphagnum-Woman (Vi'ti-ña'ut), took her for his wife, and also conducted  her  home.

         Eme'mqut's cousin Illa' envied his success in having found pretty wives for himself, and conceived a plan to kill him in order to take away his wives. Illa' said to his sister Kílu', "Go and call Eme'mqut. Tell him that I have found a tall larch-tree with gum. Let him go with me to take out the gum; and while there, I will throw the tree upon him and kill him." She went and called Eme'mqut, and he and Illa' started off to the woods. They began to pick out the gum. Suddenly Illa' threw  the tree down upon Eme'mqut and killed him.

         Illa' ran home, singing and repeating to himself. "Now Marmot-Woman is mine, and Sphagnum-Woman is also mine." He came running home, and said to Kílu', "Go into Creator's house and tell Eme'mqut's wives, your future sisters-in-law,  to  come to  me."

         Kílu' came into Creator's underground house, and saw Eme'mqut lying in bed with his wives, and all of them chewing larch-gum. She returned to her brother, and said, "Eme'mqut is at home alive, and lying with his wives." — "Well," said  Illa',   "now  I will kill  him in another way."

         On the next day Illa' sent his sister to Eme'mqut to tell him that he had found a bear's den. Illa' added, "He shall go with me to kill the bear." Kílu' delivered the message to Eme'mqut. Eme'mqut came, and went to the woods with Illa'. As soon as they reached the den, the bear jumped out, rushed upon  Eme'mqut,  and tore him into  small pieces.

         Illa' ran home again, singing and repeating, "Now Marmot-Woman is mine, and Sphagnum-Woman is also mine." He came running home, and said to his sister, "Go an d call your sisters-in-law." She went into Creator's house, and saw Eme'mqut sitting at the hearth, and his wives cooking bear-meat. Kílu' came home, and said to her brother, " Why, Eme'mqut is alive at home, and his wives are cooking bear-meat."

         "Well," said Illa', "now I will put an end to him." He dug a hole in his underground house, and made an opening which led to the lower world (Enñelenai'ten), and put a reindeer-skin on top of the hole. "Go and call Eme'mqut to play cards with me." Thus said Illa' to his sister. Eme'mqut replied, "I am coming." When Kílu' was gone, Eme'mqut said to his wives, "He is likely to kill me this time, for he has made a hole for me which leads to the lower world. I shall go now. If I do not come back for a long time, go out and look at my lance which is standing there. If it should be shedding tears, then I am no longer among the living. Then tie some whalebone around your bodies,  which  will  wound him  when  he  lies  down  to  sleep  with you."

         Eme'mqut went away. When he entered Illa"s house, Kílu' said to him, "There is a skin spread for you: sit down on it." As soon as Eme'mqut stepped  on  the  skin,  he fell  down  into  the  lower world. 



         Soon his wives went out, and, seeing that tears were running from his lance, they said, "Our husband is dead now." Then they tied some whale- bone around their bodies. After a while, Kïlu' came and said to them, " Come, Illa' is calling you." They went. Illa' said to his sister, "Make a bed for us: we will lie down to sleep." Kílu' made the bed, and Illa' lay down with Eme'mqut's wives. They tried to lie close to Illa', and pricked and wounded him all over. After a while, when they went outside, both stepped acciden- tally upon  the skin,  and fell down  into the lower world.

         Having fallen into the lower world, Eme'mqut found himself in a vast open country. He walked about, and came upon a dilapidated empty under- ground house. This was the abode of Sun-Man's daughter (Teike'mtila'n-ña- va'kik). Her name was Mould-Woman (Iklã-ña'ut). Sun-Man covered her with a coating of mould, and let her down into the lower world, that the people on earth might not be tempted by her dazzling beauty. Eme'mqut stopped near the house, and began to cry. Suddenly he heard Mould-Woman's voice behind him, saying, "You are such a nice-looking young man, why do you cry?" Eme'mqut answered, "I thought that I was all alone here. Now, since I have seen you, I feel better. Let us live together. I will take you for my wife."    Eme'mqut married her,  and they settled  down  to live together.

         When Eme'mqut's wives fell down into the lower world, they also found themselves in a vast open country. They wandered about, and soon fell in with Mould-Woman. They said to her, "We are Eme'mqut's wives." She
replied, "So am I." — "Well, then don't tell your husband that we are here. You are bad-looking; and when he finds out that we are here, he will desert you and come to look for us." Mould-Woman returned home. After she had met the two women, she used to go out to visit them ; and Eme'mqut noticed her frequent absence. He asked her, "Is there some one near our house?" — "No, there is no one there,"  she  replied.

         Once when she went out, Eme'mqut followed her stealthily. She sang as she went, " My husband is a valiant man : he kills all the whales; he kills all the reindeer!" and Eme'mqut walked behind her, and laughed. She heard his laughter, turned around, but there was no one to be seen, for Eme'mqut had suddenly turned into a reindeer-hair. Then she said to her buttocks, "Buttocks, why do you laugh?" She went on singing. Eme'mqut again laughed behind her. She looked back again, but Eme'mqut had turned into a little bush.

         Thus she reached the place where Eme'mqut's former wives were. Eme'm- qut suddenly jumped out in front of her. She was so much frightened that she fell down dead. Then the coating that covered her cracked, broke in two, and the real handsome and brilliant daughter of Sun-Man appeared from it. Eme'mqut took all his three wives and settled down.

         Once   Eme'mqut said to his wives,   "The  Fly-Agaric-Men  (Wapa'qala'nu)



are getting ready to wander off from here into our country : let us move with them." His wives prepared for the  journey, and made themselves pretty round hats with broad brims and red and white spots on them, in order to make themselves look like agaric fungi. Then they started, and the Fly-Agaric people led them out into their country, not far from Creator's underground house.

          Illa' and Kïlu' went to gather agaric fungi. Suddenly Eme'mqut and his wives jumped out from among the fungi. Then they took Illa' and Kílu' home. Eme'mqut put them upon the Apa'pel,1 on which they stuck fast. Eme'mqut said to his wives, " Boil some meat in the large kettle, and scald Illa' and Kílu' with the hot soup. In the morning pour out over their heads the contents of the chamber-vessels. Put hot stone-pine-wood ashes from the hearth also on their heads."

         They did as they had been told. Finally Eme'mqut's aunt Ha'nna said to him, "You have punished them enough; now let them off." Eme'mqut let them off, and they lived in peace again.

         Eme'mqut took his wife to Sun-Man's house, then he came back with Sun-Man's son,  who married Yiñe'a-ñe'ut.    Thus they lived.    That's all.

Told by Kucã'ñin, a Reindeer Koryak woman, in camp
on Chaibuga River, April, 1901.

13.   How  Creator overcame the  Kalau.

         It was at the time when Creator (Tenanto'mwan) lived. Once his sons got ill. Creator said, "It looks as though the kalau were near." When all had gone to bed, Creator went out, put on his raven coat, turned into a raven, and flew away. Soon he arrived at the camp of the kalau and sat down by the entrance-hole to listen to what the kalau were saying. One of them said, "Let us attack Creator's home to-morrow. We shall kill him and his people all at once:  they all live in one house."

         As soon as Creator heard this, he flew back home. When he arrived, he took off the raven coat, and resumed the shape of a man. On the next day the kalau came. Creator received them as guests, asked them to be seated on the cross-beams of the underground house, above the hearth, and ordered his sons to fetch stone-pine-wood. This wood produces intense heat. His sons brought plenty of wood, and made a fire. Then they closed the smoke-hole. The kalau began to roast. Then they beseeched Creator. "Let us off!" they said. "We will never come to you again." But Creator said, "Why don't you eât us now, you are so fond of human flesh?" The kalau implored   him   again:    "Let   us  off,  we will  never come  back.     Give  us some

1  Apa'pel   (from   A'pa,   «grandfather"   or   "father"   [Kainenskoye])   is   the   name given  to sacred rocks  or
hills (see  pp. 23, 97).




stones: we will cast a spell over them. If there are any other kalau here, they will also leave with us." 

         Creator's sons went to fetch stones. The kalau applied their magic to them. Then Creator's sons brought some alder-branches, took out the kalau that had been discovered by means of the charmed stones, and let off those who had been roasting inside the house.

         After the kalau left, Creator's children recovered, and did not get sick again.     Henceforth they lived comfortably.     That's all.

Told by Kucã'ñin, a Reindeer Koryak woman, in camp

 on the Chaibuga River, April, 1901.

14.   How the Kalau ceased to be  Cannibals.

         Kílu' was a shaman. Eme'mqut married her. Once he said to her, "Let us move away to hunt wild reindeer." She replied, "We shall fare ill if we do so." — "Well," said Eme'mqùt, "I want to move, just the same." She said, "Well, let us move, but listen to me: otherwise we shall have ill luck. If a reindeer-buck, bright like the fire, should run into our herd, do not kill him."

         They moved away, put up a tent, and Eme'mqut let his herd loose. Soon he came running to his wife, and said to her, "A reindeer-buck as bright as fire has come into our herd. I shall kill him." — "Don't kill him!" Kïlu' replied. "This is the very reindeer that I told you about." He insisted, saying, "I shall kill him, just the same." He went away and killed the reindeer, which was as bright as fire.

         At night, when Eme'mqut and his wife had gone to sleep, she heard some footsteps. A kala and his wife were coming up to their tent. Suddenly they stopped, and said, "Eme'mqut!" He answered to the call. Then the kalat1 called, "Kílu'!" She also answered. Then Kala-Woman (Ka'la-ña'ut) said, "You may be enjoying yourselves here now; but we shall eat you up in the morning." The kalat pitched their tent at the very entrance to Eme'm-
qut's tent, so that they should not be able to run away, and then went to bed.

         Kilu' caused the kalat to fall asleep for a few days. Eme'mqut and Kílu' had each a younger sister, who was with them in the tent. They left these two little girls in the tent, while they themselves moved away with their rein- deer. They thought, "When the kalat wake up, let them eat the little girls: then they will not pursue us,  and we shall remain  alive."

         After a few days the kalat woke up. Kala-Woman said to her husband, "It   seems,    these   people   have   run   away."     They   called   them.     Somebody

1 The suffix for the plural in Koryak is  u;  for the dual,  t;  while in the Chukchee language, which has
no dual, the plural is formed by  the suffix t.



answered from the tent.    Then the kala said,   "They are here: they have not run away."

         Eme'mqut's and  Kílu"s  little  sisters  came  out of the  tent;   and the kalat discovered that only the little girls remained, and that Eme'mqut and his wife had made good their escape. Then the Kala-Woman said to her husband, "What shall we do with the little girls? Shall we eat them, or give them in marriage to our sons?"    The kala replied,   "Let us spare them for our sons."

         The girls lived with the kalau. Soon they were with child. One of them said to the other, "A child seems to be stirring inside of me." The other one said, "So it is with me. The kalat must have married us to their sons. When I wake up at night, I find a man near me; but when I get up in the moraing, there is nobody there." Soon, however, their husbands became visible, and brought their herds. One of the women gave birth to a boy; the other one, to a girl.

         Once their husbands said, "We shall take you to your parents. They may think that our father and mother have eaten you up."

         The young men, with their wives and the old folks, moved to Creator's (Tenanto'mwan) home. The old kala became ill, and Creator said that they were suffering because they had a craving for human flesh. When they went to sleep, Creator took out their cannibal stomachs, and put fish stomachs in their place. On the following morning, food was set before them ; but they refused to eat. Kala-Woman said to her husband, "Why can't we  eat any more?" The kala answered, "We prided ourselves on being stronger than Creator. We used to kill people, and eat their flesh. Now he has apparently done something to us."

         After that, the kalau stopped feeding on human flesh ; but little by little they began to eat the same kind of food that others ate, and they remained with Creator.    That's all.

Told by Kucã'ñin, a Reindeer Koryak Woman, in camp
on Chaibuga River, April, 1901.

15.  How Kílu' killed the  Kalau.

         Creator (Tenanto'mwan) lived alone with his family. Once Kïlu' and Illa' went outside; and Kílu' said, "Let us play driving with dogs." They took a dog each, harnessed them up,  and went up the river.

         Suddenly they noticed a camp. The kalau were living there; but Kílu' said to her brother, "Lo! I proposed to play the dog-game, and now we have come up to the Reindeer people. I shall get married here, and you will find a wife for yourself." They ran up to a tent that stood in the middle of the camp.      The   name   of  the   kala   who lived   there   was   Able-to-do-Everything



(Apka'wka),   and his wife's  name was Yam-ña'ut.     They came out,  and  said, "Aha! food has come of itself to us.     We shall  eat you  now."

         In order to save themselves, Kïlu' invented some lies, hoping to deceive them She said to them, "Mother said to me, 'Go and pay a visit to your aunt.' Your wife, Able-to-do-Everything, is our own aunt." Able-to-do-Every-thing  replied, "I never heard that my wife was your mother's sister." Yam- ña'ut also denied their relationship. But Kïlu' insisted, saying to the woman, "You cannot possibly know it. Your mother gave birth to you outside, while playing games; and Able-to-do-Everything found you and carried you away." — "It may be true," said Yam-ña'ut. They gave food to Kílu' and Illa'; and Able-to-do-Everything said to his wife, "Let us feed them well: we will eat them later on."

         After they had eaten a hearty meal, Kílu' eased herself over the kala, and broke wind so violently that it completely tore up the kalau, killing them all. Then she said to her brother, "Go and gather up their herd while I am preparing the riding and freight sledges." Illa' went out, drove up the herd, and also brought a young kala along, who was watching the reindeer. They took all the kalau's property along,  and went off.

         Soon they arrived at Creator's house, where they unloaded the freight- sledges. Some of them were loaded with clothing, and others with human bodies. Creator kicked the bodies with his foot, and they revived. Then he noticed that one reindeer in the herd was so stout that it dragged its belly along the ground while walking. He struck it with his staff. The belly burst, and two pretty girls came out of it. Eme'mqut and Illa' took them for their wives. The young kala married Kílu', and they all lived in affluence. That's all.

Told by Kucã'ñin, a Reindeer Koryak woman, in camp
on Chaibuga River, April, 1901.

16.  How Yiñe'a-ñe'ut was married to a Seal.

         It was at the time when Creator (Tenanto'mwan) lived. Once he said to his wife Miti', "I am going to the seashore." He arrived at the seashore, and heard somebody singing. He looked around, and soon he noticed not far away a seal, who was lying there, singing. "What a nice song you have!" said Creator to Seal. "Sell it to me: I will give you half of my herd for it." Seal replied, "I don't need your reindeer." — "Well," continued Creator, "I will give you my daughter Yiñe'a-ñe'ut in marriage if you will give me your song."    Seal accepted this offer.     He spat out the song into Creator's mouth. Creator returned home, and Seal followed him. Upon his arrival, he said to Miti',   "I  have promised our daughter for a song." —  "All right!" she said.



  They gave Yiñe'a-ñe'ut to Seal, who took her to his home, took off her reindeer-skin coat, and put a seal-skin on her. After some time Seal took a dislike to Yiñe'a-ñe'ut. When he was angry with her, he would take a knife, with which he would slash her.   ,

         Creator was singing Seal's song day and night. Once he thought of Yiñe'a- ñe'ut, and said to  Miti',   "I  am going to visit our daughter."     He went.

         Seeing that Creator was coming, Seal tied up Yiñe'a-ñe'ut's tongue at its root with sinew, so that she should not be able to tell her father how she was being maltreated. Seal's sister, by rubbing her body against that of Yiñe'a-ñe'ut, assumed the shape of Yiñe'a-ñe'ut as she had looked when she left her father. Then Seal said to his sister, "Come and sit down near me, in Yiñe'a-ñe'ut's place." It was hard to recognize the real Yiñe'a-ñe'ut now,
clothed in a seal-skin, and scarred  and wounded.

         When Creator arrived at the settlement of the Seals, they warned him, pointing at Yiñe'a-ñe'ut: "Look out for this Seal! Don't go near her: she bites." Yiñe'a-ñe'ut wished to go to her father, to show him that her tongue had been tied; but he kept moving away from her. And the Seals would strike her hands and feet with knives.

         When they got ready to go to bed, the Seals warned Creator again: " If this Seal should try to crawl up to you at night, call us: she might bite you all over." At night, Yiñe'a-ñe'ut approached her father, took his hand, and put it into her mouth, that he might untie her tongue; but he cried, "Look here! she wants to bite off my hand." The Seals woke up, and thrashed Yiñe'a-ñe'ut with sticks.

On the following morning, Creator got up and went home. Upon his arrival, he said to his people, "In the Seal settlement lives some kind of a Seal woman, whose hands and feet are all cut up, and they say that she bites. She nearly bit off my hand." Eme'mqut suspected that it was Yiñe'a-ñe'ut, and said,   "I shall go to the Seal settlement to-morrow, and see who she is."

         On the next morning, Eme'mqut got up, hitched the reindeer to his sledge, and   drove   off.      He   came   to   the Seals; and they said to him immediately, "Look  out for this woman!     She eats human beings.     We beat her, and do not let her throw herself upon people."    They went to bed.     At night, when all had gone to sleep, Yiñe'a-ñe'ut came up to her brother, took his hand, and put it into her mouth.     He felt in her mouth, and noticed that the root of her tongue was tied up with sinew.     He untied her tongue.     Then she told him, "I   am   your   sister   Yiñe'a-ñe'ut.     As soon  as  I  came  here,  the Seals took a dislike to me.     They took off my clothes, and pulled a raw seal-skin over me; they beat me  constantly,  and cut my hands with knives.     Now they have tied up my tongue, that I should not be able to tell you and father how I have been maltreated."     Then Eme'mqut said to his sister,  "To-morrow, when I get ready to leave here,  throw yourself upon  my sledge,  and  I  will  drive you  home.





         The following morning, as soon as Eme'mqut arose, he made ready for his journey. His sister tried to keep near him, and the Seals tried to drive her away. But Eme'mqut said, "Leave her alone: let her stay here." As soon as Eme'mqut whipped his reindeer, Yiñe'a-ñe'ut threw herself upon the back of the sledge, and Eme'mqut drove his sister home. He said to his father, "You seem to be getting old. You gave away your daughter for a song; and when you went to visit her, you could not see that she was being abused."

         Creator grew angry with the Seals, and hid all the sea-water. The bottom of the sea dried up, and the Seals were dying for lack of water. As soon as the Seals that had abused Yiñe'a-ñe'ut were dead, Creator let the water out again,  and the rest of the sea-animals revived.

         After that,  Yiñe'a-ñe'ut remained with her father.     That's all.

Told by Kucã'ñin, a Reindeer Koryak woman, in camp
on the Chaibuga River, April, 1901.

17.   How Eme'mqut  married his Sister.

         Creator (Tenanto'mwan) was young. He had just married. His wife Miti', too, was a very young girl; and even after their marriage they continued to play near the home. Miti' was pregnant, and still continued to play. Thus it happened that she gave birth to her daughter Yiñe'a-ñe'ut outside, during her play. She pushed her into a marmot's hole, and said, "If she lives, well and good; if not, I shall not be sorry, either." Then she resumed her play., and forgot all about her daughter.

         Soon she gave birth to a son, whom she named Eme'mqut. When Eme'mqut grew up, she stopped playing. They lived all alone, and no people ever came to visit them. Eme'mqut asked his father once, "Where did you get your wife, if there are no people around here besides ourselves?" Creator answered, "How can you find a wife if you always remain at home? I found Miti' in the wilderness." Thereupon Eme'mqut began to walk about in the wilderness; but he did not find any people anywhere. Once, while on his way home, he noticed a spark coming out of a marmot's hole. He went nearer, looked into the hole, and saw a girl sitting there. It was Yiñe'a-ñe'ut. He entered the hole, and said to her, "Here, I have found you: I shall take you now." He married her, took her home, and said to his father, "Here, I have found a wife for myself in the wilderness." Soon a son was born to them, and they named him Yayi'leget. He grew up, and hunted wild ducks. The Ducks said to him, "You are shooting us, and your father is your mother's own brother." He came running home, and told what the Ducks had said to him. Creator could not understand what they meant, for long ago he had forgotten about the birth  of their daughter.

 I 55


         Soon after that, Yayi'leget caught a marmot in a snare, and carried it home in the noose. The Marmot came running to Miti', and said, "When
you were still amusing yourself with games, you gave birth to a daughter outside the house, and you threw her into our hole, saying, 'If she lives, well and good; if not, I shall not be sorry, either.  We brought her up, then Eme'mqut married her,  and now your grandson is killing my children."

         Only then did Miti' recollect that she had given birth to a daughter, and said,  "That is true:  I really threw my daughter into a marmot's hole."

        Thereupon all the Reindeer people learned about it, and Envious-One (Nipai'vaticñin) said, "Come on! let us look at Eme'mqut, who has married
his own sister." 

         On that day, Yiñe'a-ñe'ut went outside to dress a skin. Suddenly Ground- Spider came running to her, and said to her, "If you wish, you may get
another husband to-day. Strong-One (A'n-qiw) will come here in his skin boat. His wife's name is also Yiñe'a-ñe'ut. She will go to gather moss. Go to her, and ask her to exchange husbands."

         Yiñe'a-ñe'ut went home. On the following morning she noticed that the skin boat had landed far from their house. Then she saw a woman coming out of the boat, and going inland. She went there to meet her; and when they met, she said, "We have one and the same name. My husband is my own brother. Go to him, and I will go to your husband." — "No, I have left my fur coat in the skin boat," said Strong-One's wife. "I have plenty of
clothes at home," answered Creator's daughter. "When you go there, you can wear them." — "I have left my boy in the boat," said the new-comer. uI have a boy at home also," said Yiñe'a-ñe'ut. "He will be your son." — "They will recognize us," finally said the newly-arrived Yiñe'a-ñe'ut. But the former replied, "My brother knows even now that I have gone to exchange husbands with you, and it does not matter that I am white. I shall tell your husband that I soaked moss in fresh water, and washed myself with it, and have become white."

         Then they exchanged husbands. Strong-One's wife went to Eme'mqut. He saw her, and said, "My wife is coming," and went out to meet her with
joy, and carried her in his arms into the house.

         Creator's daughter came to Strong-One. He asked her, "How is it that you have become so white?" And Yiñe'a-ñe'ut answered, "I soaked some
moss in fresh water, and washed myself with it: therefore I have become so white." After a little while she said, "I am Creator's daughter. I have
changed places with your wife, and have come to live with you."

         Strong-One was glad, and shouted to the people in his skin boat, " Creator's daughter has come to  me of her own  accord  to become  my wife!"

         When Creator learned that his daughter had gone to Strong-One, he built a large iron boat, put some earth on it, covered it with reindeer-moss,
poured some fresh water on  it,  and put one-half of his herd of reindeer there.



He said to Strong-One, "Here are reindeer for you, and here is water and moss for them." Strong-One went back in his boat to his own country. From time to time he went to visit  Creator.     That's all.

Told by Kuêâ'ñin, a Reindeer Koryak woman, in camp
on Chaibuga River, April, 1901.

18.  The Bear People.

         Creator   (Tenanto'mwan)   lived   alone   with   his family.     His sister Ha'na also   lived   with   him.     Creator's   daughter  Yiñe'a-ñe'ut used to sew at night. She would not go to bed until sunrise.     Once she kept on sewing until morning ; and  when day came, she went outside.     Suddenly she noticed a spark flying near   the   edge   of the  forest.      Heretofore  she had never seen sparks there. "I shall go and see what it is," she thought.     She went, and found an under- ground   house.     She   entered,   and   saw   a girl sitting there.    She was black. The   girl   said,   "Don't   talk   loud:   my brothers  are asleep.     They are cross; and,   if  they  wake up,  you will have trouble."     Yiñe'a-ñe'ut sat in the house a little while.     The girl gave her something to eat, and she went home.     As soon  as  she  was gone, the girl struck her sleeping brothers over their legs, and said,   "While you were slee ping here,  a  girl  was walking over your legs, and you never heard anything."    Her brothers jumped up,  and the oldest of  them   said,   "Give   me   a   polar-bear  skin."    They gave  him the skin, and he put it on.    He turned into a polar bear, and ran in pursuit of Yiñe'a-ñe'ut.

         Illa' saw that a bear was chasingf after Yiñe'a-ñe'ut, and shouted to Eme'mqut, "Go and save your sister from the bear !" Eme'mqut came out, took up an iron lance, ran after the bear, and killed it. When they pulled off its skin, a nice-looking young man came out, and he married Yiñe'a-ñe'ut.

         Kílu' was envious of her cousin Yiñe'a-ñe'ut, and wished to do the same as her cousin had done. She also did not sleep all night, and kept sewing until morning. At sunrise she went out, and noticed the sparks that were coming from the underground house at the edge of the forest. She went into the house, and saw a girl, who said to her, "Don't talk loud: my brothers are cross." She sat there a little while. The girl gave her food, and then she went home. As soon as Kïlu' walked out, the girl woke up her brothers, and said to them, "Get up! A girl was again here; but I do not know whether she is a human being or a kala. Let our dog-bear loose!" They let loose their bear, which was black, and served them as a dog. Seeing that a bear was pursuing Kïlu', Eme'mqut shouted to Illa', "Go and save your sister!" Illa' came out with a bone lance, and stabbed the bear. Kïlu' expected that a suitor for her would come out of the bear; but they skinned it, and nobody appeared.     Yiñe'a-ñe'ut's husband said,   "My brothers have let



their dog  loose." Then he went home, and said to his brothers, "Why did you let the dog loose? Why did you not marry Kïlu'?" — "She is ugly,"
said his brothers. "She does not look nice now," said Yiñe'a-ñe'ut's husband; "but she may look better later on."    Then his younger brother married Kïlu'.

       Yiñe'a-ñe'ut's and Kïlu"s husbands lived at Creator's house for some time, and then they took their wives home. Before their departure, Ha'na knocked her daughter Kïlu' down with her cutting-board. She broke in two, and the real, the pretty Kïlu' appeared. Eme'mqut married his brother-in-law's sister, No'takavya.1

         Thereupon they lived together. Eme'mqut would go on a visit to the Bear settlement, and the Bear people would call upon  Creator.    That's all.

Told by Kuòã'ñin, a Reindeer Koryak woman, in camp
on Chaibuga River, April, 1901.

19.  Yiñe'a-ñe'ut and Sun-Man.

         Creator (Tenanto'mwan) and his family lived alone. Once he said to his daughter Yiñe'a-ñe'ut, "Go to the summer house and dry the clothing that was left there. It must be all wet after yesterday's rain." Yiñe'a-ñe'ut went. She arrived at the summer house, hung out the clothes, and thought, "I had better stay over night here. The clothes will not get dry till evening. I shall dry them during the evening."    She staid there over night.

         When evening came, she suddenly noticed that a flame was coming through the opening in the roof and from the porch. She was frightened, but the flame soon disappeared.

         Then   sea-water   poured   into   the   underground house.     She was so tired from fear, that she fell asleep.     Then Sun-Man (Teike'mtila'n) came and married her.    In the morning he woke Yiñe'a-ñe'ut, saying,   "You have slept enough! You slept so long on account of your fright.     Let us go to your parents.     I am   your  husband now."    She arose  and went out with Sun-Man.    The herd of reindeer was gathered there, and the sledges were all ready.    They started off.

         At Creator's house the people said suddenly,  "Yiñe'a-ñe'ut is being driven here.     She  married in the summer  house."     Kïlu' heard  this, ran out to meet them,   and   said  to her cousin,   "How did you manage to get married?    Tell me,   how   did   it   happen?"     "I   will tell you  later  on,"  replied  Yiñe'a-ñe'ut. Kïlu'   reproached   her,   saying,   "You  have a  rich  man  for your husband,  and you   don't   want   to talk  to  me  any  more."     Then  Yiñe'a-ñe'ut told her what had   happened.     She   said,   "In the  evening  I  was sitting in  the underground house,  and suddenly  a  flame appeared, then sea-water poured in.     Being tired

1 This   is   one   of  the   Koryak   mythical   names   of  the   bear    and   it  means  "the one who walks around
the earth."                                            '



out from fright,  I fell asleep;  and in  the morning, when I  woke up, I had a husband."

          "Enough!     Now  I know how it happened," said Kïlu', and went into the house.   Outside  they slaughtered reindeer,  and Illa' called to his sister Kïlu', "Come on,  help  us to  carve and put away the reindeer."     She replied,  "Why should I help you?    I shall go to the summer house and get married there." Then   she   said   to   her   father,   Great- Cold   (Mai'ñi-ca'ican),1   "Send me to the summer   house."     Her father replied,   "How  can  I  send you?    Don't you see how   much   work   we   have   here   to   do?" —   "Why   should   I   carve  another person's   reindeer?" she said.     "I  will go there,  then I  shall be able to carve and put away my own reindeer later on.    Creator, send me to the summer house." —  "Well,  if you wish to go,  do  so," said Creator.     Kïlu went to the summer house,  and staid there over night.     In the evening she suddenly saw a   flame  coming through the opening of the roof and from the porch.     Kïlu' took stones from  the hearth and threw them  into the flame.     Then the flame disappeared, and sea-water poured in.     Kïlu' struck the water with sticks until she got tired and fell asleep.

         In the morning a young man woke her, and said, "Get up, you bad girl, and go home!" She arose, and discovered a young man lying there. His body was covered with wounds. He was even nicer-looking than Yiñe'a-ñe'ut's husband. He was also a Sun-Man. She said to him, "Marry me and go home, there you will recover from your wounds." While she was saying so, she noticed that there was no one in the house. The youth had disappeared. She was ashamed to show herself at home, so she went into the porch, and from wrath and vexation she bit her own body. In this way she completely consumed herself, so that only her bones were left.

         After some time, Creator said to his sister Xe'llu, "Go and look for your daughter. What has become of her?" Xe'llu went to the summer house, and found her daughter's bones in the porch. She put them into a grass bag, and took them home; but she did not take the bones into the house. She put them into a seal-skin bag, which she placed on the storehouse platform.2

Once Envious-One (Nipai'vaticñin), talking to other Reindeer people, said, "Creator's niece, Kïlu', is a very pretty girl. Let us go and serve for her. Perhaps they will give her to one of us." The Reindeer people went to Creator's, and served there. They were told, "We have no Kïlu'. She is lost." Still they continued to serve. Once the suitors went fishing. They caught plenty of fish, and took it home. Then they cut off the fish-heads, went up on the platform of the storehouse, and ate the raw heads there. Illa' was with them. One of the suitors, Fog-Man (Yma'mtila'n), took out the eyes from the head of a fish, and said,  "Who will eat these eyes?"    Suddenly

1  Or Öaican-a'qu.

2  The storehouses of the Koryak are built on a platform raised on  posts.



something stirred in the bag, and a voice said, "I will." The boys looked into the bag,  and saw that there was nothing but bones in it. Then they all
ran away  home, and ceased to serve. Illa' ran from the storehouse; but he was caught on one of the posts by the opening in his trousers. Thus he was
hanging  down. He cried to his mother, " Come out! a kala is moving on the storehouse platform." His mother came out, knocked Kïlu' over the fore-
head with her cutting-board, and stunned her. She took Illa' down, and left Kïlu' where she was.

         Eme'mqut, who was outside, waited until Kilu' recovered her senses, untied the bag, and took her out. Then she broke in two, and the real, pretty
Kïlu' appeared. Eme'mqut  married her, and conducted her into the under-ground house.

         Envious-One learned about it, and said to his comrades who had been serving  with him, "I heard that Eme'mqut took the bones which were moving on the storehouse platform for his wife.     Let us go and see."

         They all went. They arrived, and saw that Kïlu' was pretty, and was sitting with Eme'mqut. Envious-One said to him, "There was nothing but
bones in that bag. Did you really take them for your wife?" — "Yes, I took them,"  Eme'mqut replied.     "And now see what kind of bones they are!"

         Soon a son was born to Eme'mqut. They named him Self-created (Tom- wo'get). Then Sun-Man and his wife came to visit them. Thus they lived
together. Toward winter they would move away to the Sun settlement, and in the spring they would come back to Creator's village.    That's all.

Told by A'vvac, a Reindeer Koryak woman, in camp on
Kilimadja River, April 20, 1901.

20.  Creator and  Miti'.

         It was at the time when Self-created (Tomwo'get), the father of Creator (Tenanto'mwan), lived. His wife's name was Ha'na. Creator had just been
born to them. When summer came, many Reindeer people moved over to them; and they, together with Self-created, went in a skin boat to sea. They
caught a whale, took it home, cut it up, divided it among themselves, and put the meat into the storehouse. When fall came, the Reindeer people left,
and Self-created celebrated the whale feast. But he could not send the whale home: the whale did not wish to go.1 "We are going to die," said Self-created. He and his wife deserted their underground house, and ran away, leaving little Creator alone, after having put a bow and arrows into his hands. Self-created also left near  Creator a piece of meat of a mountain-buck, into which he had

1 This is asce rtained during the ceremony  of equipping the  whale, by means  of divination and interpre-tation of signs (see pp.  73-76).                                                                                              




put   an   arrow,   saying,    "When   Creator   grows up,  and begins to  understand things, let him see how food is procured by means of arrows."


         At that very same time Twilight-Man (Çi'thilila'n) also left his country on account of his failure to send a whale home. The whale he had caught did not wish to leave. Twilight-Man had a little daughter, Miti', who had recently been born to him. He deserted his house, leaving his little girl all alone there. He put a strangled marmot near her, with a noose around its neck, saying, "When she grows up, and learns to understand things, she will see how food may be procured."

         When Creator grew up and came to the years of understanding, he looked around, noticed the bow and arrow near him, and the piece of meat with the arrow in it, and thought, "This must be food." He ate, and felt well. Then he had to go outside. He walked around the house. Then he went some distance from the house, and saw a mountain-buck (Ovis nivicola Eschscholtz). He took his bow, shot an  arrow,  killed the buck,  and carried it home.

        Miti' also began to understand things, and, seeing the marmot strangled by the noose near her, she said, "This seems to be food." She ate the marmot. After having eaten, she had to go outside. She went out, and took the noose along. Then she walked around her house, and saw a marmot near its hole. She set her noose, and soon the marmot was caught in it. Miti' took the marmot, carried it home, skinned it, and ate it.

        Once, when Creator was hunting a mountain-buck, he came to an under- ground house from which smoke was rising. He entered the house, saw Miti', and said to her, "I thought I was the only man on earth." She said, "I also thought that I was the only human being living." Creator said, "Well, I shall marry you. Let us live together." She answered, "All right; let us live together.    We two are all alone on the earth."

         After Creator had married Miti', he said to her, "Go outside. There is a mountain-buck that I killed not long ago. Take off its skin." She went outside, found the wild mountain-buck, and tried to skin it, but did not succeed, for she did not know how to do it. She called, "Creator, I cannot take off the skin."     He came out and showed her how to do it.

         Thus they lived. He would go hunting, she would stay at home. Soon she was with child, and gave birth to a son, whom she named Eme'mqut. Then a daughter was born to them, whom she named Yiñe'a-ñe'ut. Right after she was born, they took her out, and placed her in a separate under- ground house. Eme'mqut did not know that he had a sister; but Miti' told Yiñe'a-ñe'ut that she had a  brother,  Eme'mqut by name.

         When Eme'mqut became a man, he began to go hunting. Every day he would kill wild reindeer, which he would drag home. Once he was coming back from hunting, carrying a wild reindeer on his back. Suddenly he noticed a little underground house.     He went in,  and saw a young girl sitting there.



It was Yiñe'a-ñe'ut. He said to her, "It is well that I have found you. I shall marry you now." She replied, "You must not marry me. I am your sister." But Eme'mqut said, "I have no sister. My parents never told me that I had a sister. Who is your father?" — "My father is Creator, and my mother is Miti'." — "And my father is also Creator, and my mother is Miti',"  said Eme'mqut. "But you are telling an untruth. My parents would have told me if I had had a sister.     I will take you."

         Eme'mqut married Yiñe'a-ñe'ut, and took her home. His father and mother said to him, "Why did you marry your sister?" — "If she were my sister, you would have warned me long ago not to touch my sister if I should find her while hunting." Eme'mqut did not mind his parents,  and continued to live with his sister.

         When summer came, the Reindeer people from down the river came up in their skin boats, and landed not far from Creator's house. They also had a woman, Yiñe'a-ñe'ut by name.     Her husband's name was Big-Kamak (Kamakk'a'qu).

         The newly-arrived Yiñe'a-ñe'ut went to pick berries. She met with Creator's daughter, who was also picking berries. Creator's daughter asked the new-comer, "Who are you?" She replied, "I am Yiñe'a-ñe'ut."— "I am also Yiñe'a- ñe'ut," said Creator's daughter. "My brother Eme'mqut took me for his wife. There are no other people here. He saw me and took me." — "And my hus- band's name is Big-Kamak," said the newly-arrived Yiñe'a-ñe'ut. Then Creator's daughter said to the new-comer, "Let us exchange husbands. You go to my house, and I will go to yours. I am ashamed to live with my brother, and Eme'mqut is ashamed to live with me." — "I am sorry to leave my husband," said the other. "Why should you be sorry?" rejoined Creator's Yiñe'a-ñe'ut. "I also have a husband:  he will take you,  and you will have a husband."

         Thus the two Yiñe'a-ñe'uts exchanged husbands. The new-comer went to Creator, and said, "Your Yiñe'a-ñe'ut has met me and said to me, Go and take my place: my brother has married me." Eme'mqut took the newly-arrived Yiñe'a-ñe'ut for his wife.

         Creator's Yiñe'a-ñe'ut came to Big-Kamak, and said to him, "I have sent your Yiñe'a-ñe'ut to Eme'mqut, and I will be your wife in her place." Big-  Kamak   said,   "Your   parents   may   not   wish   to   let   you go." —  "Yes," said Yiñe'a-ñe'ut,   "they will be very glad."

         Big-Kamak took her for his wife, and Eme'mqut lived with Big-Kamak's wife.    The people from downstream remained with Creator during the summer. When  fall came,  they paddled  away home.     Eme'mqut lived very nicely now. Before that, his parents would reproach him for living with his own sister, and he would feel ashamed.

         Thus   they   lived.      In   the   summer   the   lowland   people   would  come to Creator's,  and in the fall they would return  home.     That's  all.

Told by A'vvac, a Reindeer Koryak woman, in camp on
Kilimadja River, April 20, 1901.