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Traditions of the Thompson River Indians of British Columbia Teit, James Alexander, 1864-1922 1898

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The following collection of traditions is the result of the long-
continued studies of Mr. James Teit on the Thompson River Indians of British Columbia. The tales have been recorded with great
care. The present collection contains the prevalent versions, while
variants are given in notes accompanying the tales.
I have added to the notes a number of references to similar tales
found among other tribes of North America. These references do
not claim to be exhaustive, but an attempt has been made to bring
forward the more important points of similarity between the traditions of the Thompson River Indians and those of other tribes. I
have also added brief abstracts of the tales, in order to facilitate the
use of the collection by the student of comparative mythology.
Introduction  î
I. The Coyote  20
1. The Coyote and the Flood  20
2. NLi'ksEntEm  21
3. The Coyote and the Fox       .       .       . - .       .       .29
4. Cûkata'na ; or, the Coyote's Dog  30
5. The Ball  32
6. The Coyote's Daughters and their Dogs .... 34
— 7. Story of the Sisters who married the Coyote and the Lynx . 36
—8. The Coyote and his Guests  40
III. Story of Kokwé'la; or, Kokwë'la's Sktj'zas       .       . 45
IV. Story of the Bush-Tailed Rat  46
V. The Old Man  48
1. The Old Man and the Coyote  48
2. The Old Man and the Lad  49
3. Story of the Swan  50
VI.  Origin of the Deer  51
VII. The Tale of the Bad Boy; or, the Sun and the Lad . 51
VIII. The Story of the Man who travelled to the Sun . 53
IX. The Sun and his Daughter  54
X. The Hot and the Cold Winds  55
XI. The Mosquito and the Thunder  56
XII. The Beaver and the Eagle; or, the Origin of Fire 56
Xllb. Origin of Fire  57
XIII. Story of Fire and Water  57
XIV. The Skunk and his Younger Brothers     .       .       .       .58
The Skunk and his Younger Brothers (Second Version)       . 59
XV. Story of the Chipmunk and the Grizzly Bear      .       . 61
The Black Bear and the Chipmunk  61
XVI. The Dog and the Girl  62
XVII. The Owl  63
XVIII. The Marten and the Fisher  64
XIX. The Hare and the Grizzly Bears  66
XX. Battle of the Birds  67
XXI. Story of the Otter  68
XXII. The Grizzly Bears and the Black Bears       .      .       .69
XXIII. The Grizzly Bears and the Hunters    .... 72
XXIV. The Wolf and his Grandmother  74
XXV. Story of Stetso'  75
XXVI. The War of the Fishes with the Okanagon .      .      . 77 viii Contents.
XXVII. Story of TcÎskï'kik	
XXVIII. Story of the Ants and the Two Brothers
XIX. Story of âq	
XXX. Story of Ntcî'mka and the Cannibal
XXXI. Story of N ukano'xa, the Woman and the Haxaa'tko
XXXII. The Young Men who lost their Mother .
XXXIII. The Skunk and the Badger     ....
XXXIV. Story of the Lad who caught the Wind
XXXV. The Raven	
XXXVI. The Moon	
The Moon and his Younger Sister         .       .       .
XXXVII. The Man who stole the Horse ....
XXXVIII. The Brothers	
Two Traditions of the Lillooet	
I. The Story of Tsu'ntia	
11. Story of Tsu'ntia's Mother ; or, the Frog-People .
The Thompson River Indians, whose mythology has been recorded in the following pages by Mr. James Teit, form a branch of
the Salishan tribes which inhabit large portions of the States of
Washington, Idaho, Montana, and of the Province of British Columbia. The languages constituting the Salish stock may be grouped
in two main divisions, — the coast Salish and the Salish of the interior. While the former is divided into a great number of languages spoken by the tribes extending from Tillamook in Oregon
to Bella Coola in British Columbia, the languages of the interior
show greater uniformity. The Salish proper is spoken in the
interior of Washington, Idaho, and Montana, and extends into
southern British Columbia, where it is spoken by the Okanagon.
The Shuswap, that is spoken in southeastern British Columbia, is
closely affiliated to it. Between the Shuswap and the coast, two
other languages are spoken, — the Lillooet in the north ; the Thompson River language, or NLak'a'pamux,1 in the south. The last-
named tribe lives on Fraser and Thompson rivers, a little above and
below their confluence.
The tribe is divided into five divisions, — the Nkamtci'nEmux
on the upper part of Thompson River, the Cawa'xamux in Nicola
Valley, the NLak'apamux'o'è or real N_.ak-a'pamux, around the confluence of Thompson and Fraser rivers, the SLaxa'yux on upper
Fraser River, and the Uta'mqt farthest down Fraser River. The
Nkamtci'nEmux are neighbors of the Shuswap. The Cawa'xamux
come into contact with the Okanagon, while formerly they were
neighbors of a small Athapascan tribe which live on the upper part
of Nicola River. The SLaxa'yux live next to the upper Lillooet,
while the Uta'mqt come into contact with the coast Salish on the
lower course of Fraser River.
The greater part of the following traditions were collected among
the Nkamtci'nEmux and Cawa'xamux.
The NLak^a'pamux are primarily hunters and fishermen. They
subsist largely on venison and salmon, although berries and roots
which are collected by the women constitute an important portion 2 Introduction.
of their diet. Of recent years their customs have somewhat changed,
owing to the influence of the white settlers. They have learned
to build log cabins, and begin to till the soil. They also work to a
considerable extent for wages on ranches and in pack-trains. Formerly they spent the winter in the valleys of Thompson and Fraser
rivers, where they lived in small villages, most of which consisted
of a few houses only. In the spring they resorted to the mountains,
where the women gathered roots, and where the men went hunting.
In the summer, when the salmon ascend the rivers, considerable
portions of the tribe erected their summer huts near the river
courses, and engaged in curing fish for winter's use. Later on, they
visited their hunting-grounds in pursuit of deer. In the spring,
great numbers of Indians belonging to all divisions of the tribe
assembled in some of the higher valleys of the country, particularly
in a valley situated a short distance northeast of Lytton, which is
called BEta'ni. The hillsides of this valley abound in plants the
roots of which are eaten by the Indians. While they were assembled here, the men passed much of their time gambling, while the
women were engaged in digging and curing roots.
The winter houses of the Indians were underground lodges covered over with a roof made of beams, mats, and dirt. A hole from
eighteen to thirty feet in diameter, and about three or four feet
deep, was dug, and four beams were placed on the rim of the hole,
slanting upward towards the middle. They were supported by
posts. These beams were covered with cross poles and mats and
dirt. They did not come into contact in the middle, where a hole
was left about three or four feet in diameter. Access to the lodge
was had through this hole, in which a ladder was standing which
led to the floor of the dwelling. The fireplace was at the foot of
the ladder, which was protected from the heat of the fire by a slab
of stone.    The beds were arranged near the walls.
In summer the people lived in tents made of bark or of rush mats.
These tents were either circular or square. In the latter case the
smoke escape was along the ridge of the tent. Most of their household utensils were made of woven basketry or of birch bark.
They dressed mainly in deerskins. The clothing consisted of
shirt, leggings, and robes. Their shirts were generally made of buckskin. Those worn by the men reached half way down to the thigh.
The long leggings were attached to a belt. Moccasins made of
buckskin were worn over socks made of sage-brush. The shirts
of the women were longer, and were more elaborately ornamented,
than those of the men. They also wore long leggings. Both men
and women used to wear skin robes over their shirts. Deerskin,
dogskin, and buffalo-skin were used for this purpose ; but they also Introduction. 3
wore robes woven of rabbit-skins cut into strips. The Uta'mqt used
blankets woven of mountain-goat wooL These were undoubtedly
acquired from the coast Indians. The men used to wear a strap of
skin tied on their heads to hold their hair back ; but caps made of
buckskin were also used.
The social organization of the N_ak-a'pamux is very loose. There
are no definite village communities, but families settled at one or
the other winter camp. Some of these consisted only of one house,
which was occupied by several families ; but the locations of the
families were not permanent. It seems that there were no recognized chiefs, except in so far as wealth entailed greater influence
among the tribe. There is no trace of clans and of totems, nor
did any families claim the privilege of hunting and fishing in particular districts of their country. The only recognized divisions of
the tribe are those enumerated above. There were no restrictions
in regard to marriage inside and outside of tribal divisions ; only
marriages between near relatives were forbidden. On the whole,
the woman followed her husband to his village, and she only returned
to her parents to pay them a visit. Marriages were arranged on
the principle of purchase, the man giving a certain amount of property to the bride's parents, which, however, was returned in full,
or nearly in full, on later occasions.
During the early part of the century, before there was any contact with whites, the potlatch system, which plays so important a
part in the social economy of the coast tribes, held sway among the
NLak-a'pamux as well. It did, however, never attain an importance as great as it had on the coast. It is interesting to note that
in the myths recorded in the following volume, hardly any mention
of it occurs, while it is of the greatest importance in the mythology
of the coast tribes. I infer that the system has been recently introduced among the NLak-a'pamux, and did not obtain in early times.
It seems that the religious rituals of the NLak-a'pamux never
attained any great development, and in this respect they differ fundamentally from the coast tribes, whose rituals are exceedingly
elaborate. There are no secret societies, no extended ceremonials, in
which dramatized myths play an important part. The tribe assembled at regular intervals to celebrate a ceremonial dance, in which it
seems sacrifices were made to the sun. It may be that these ceremonials were more important and more elaborate than our present
information would seem to indicate. If such was the case, these
ceremonies must have resembled those of the Kootenay. The fundamental concepts of both seem to have been the same. They consisted in the worship of the sun, and appear to have been connected
with the idea that the dead would return from the land of the
J 4 Introduction.
The brief sketch of the customs of the tribe here given will be
sufficient for an understanding of the tales recorded in the following pages ; but it seems desirable to preface the collection by a short
discussion of a few of the more important features that characterize
the tales of the tribe. About one half of the volume is taken up
by myths referring to transformers. While in most American mythologies there is only one transformer who is, at the same time,
the culture hero, we find here several personages to whose actions
the present shape of our world is due. These are : the Coyote, the
three brothers Qoâ'qLqaL, Kokwë'la, and the Old Man. The first and
the second of these are decidedly the most influential and important
personages in the whole mythology of the tribe.
The Coyote as well as the three brothers are in a way the culture
heroes of the tribe, and the general characteristics of the legends
referring to these beings are very similar to legends of this class
as found among other American tribes. The story of the so-called
" Culture Hero," who gave the world its present shape, who killed
monsters that infested the land, and gave man the arts that make
life worth living, is one of the most widely distributed Indian myths.
In what we might call the prehistoric era there was no clear distinction between man and animals. At last the culture hero appeared,
and transformed some of the beings of those times into animals,
others into men. He taught the latter how to kill animals, how to
make fire, and how to clothe themselves. He is the great benevolent
being, the helper of mankind. But the same great culture hero
appears in other groups of tales as a sly trickster, who vaingloriously
thinks himself superior to all other beings, whom he tries to deceive
in all sorts of ways, and who is often punished for his presumption
by the superior powers of his proposed victims. No method of warfare is too mean for him, if it promises to lead to victory ; no trick is
too low to be resorted to, if it helps him to reach his end. Neither
is the end sought for one that we might consider worthy of this
great being. It is selfish to the extreme, the possession of riches
or that of beautiful women being his chief aim. It is very difficult
to harmonize these two aspects of the myths of the culture hero.
Some investigators, prominently Dr. D. G. Brinton, and also Dr.
Walter Hoffman,2 have held that the explanation is to be sought for
in a gradual deterioration of a purer and more primitive form of the
myth, and that the more vulgar tales are later additions to the old
cyclus of myths. If this were so, the problem would still remain,
why there is such a general tendency of making the ancient culture
hero the principal figure in these tales. But it seems to my mind
that the frequent occurrence of this phenomenon requires a different explanation.     It does not seem likely that all mythologies Introduction. 5
collected while still in more or less vigorous life should have undergone the same kind of deterioration. I am rather inclined to think
that we have to deal here with a most important characteristic of
all primitive religion.
The main features of the transformer legend appear very clearly
in the Raven tales of the Tlingit and Tsimshian.3 The tale begins
with the miraculous birth of the Raven. The faithless wife of a chief
was killed and buried by her husband. After her death she gave
birth to a child which was eventually found and raised by a chief.
The boy made a blanket of birdskins, by means of which he flew up
to the sky, where he married the Sun's daughter. They had a son
who owing to an accident fell down from heaven and was found
drifting in the sea. He was brought to an old chief, who loved him
very much and worried because the child would not eat. By the
advice of two old men who appeared in a miraculous manner, he
was given a certain kind of food. As soon as he tasted it he became so voracious that he ate all the accumulated winter provisions
of the tribe. Then the people deserted him. Now he assumed
the shape of the raven and began to traverse the world in search
of food. He came to the mouth of a large river, where he met
some fishermen whom he asked to give him fish. They scorned
him and refused his request. The fishermen were fishing in the
dark, for at that time the sun did not shine on our world. He
threatened them, saying that he would make the sun unless they
would give him some fish, but they merely said : "We know you,
Raven, you liar ! " He flew away enraged, and went straight to the
house of the chief who owned the daylight. Here he transformed
himself into the spike of a hemlock-tree, in which form he was
swallowed by the chief's daughter. In course of time she gave birth
to a child who was no other than the Raven. The old chief dearly
loved his grandson, and was unable to refuse any of his requests.
One day the boy asked to be allowed to play with the box containing the daylight. As soon as he had obtained it, he resumed the
shape of the raven and flew away. He returned to the place where
he had left the fishermen, liberated the sun, and then saw that the
fishermen were the ghosts. They fled frightened, leaving their fish
for the Raven. He ate as much as he desired, and became very
thirsty. But at that time there was no fresh water in the world.
Therefore he set out to obtain the water, and deceived the old chief
who held it in his possession. On being pursued he spilled the
water, and for this reason we find water all over the world. At
another time, when he was hungry, he set out to obtain the herring, which he obtained by fraud. He also cheated the cormorant,
tearing out his tongue and thus depriving him of the faculty of
1 6 Introduction.
speech. For that reason the cormorant says wulewulewule up to
this day.
It is not necessary to go into any further details. It will be seen
that the main characteristic of these tales is the fact that the Raven
gave the world its present shape while trying to satisfy his own
wants, and that he employed fair means and foul to reach his own
selfish ends. While his actions benefit mankind, he is not prompted
by altruistic motives, but only by the desire to satisfy his own
needs. I find that in most tales of the transformer, or of the culture hero, the prime motive is, as in this particular case, a purely
egotistical one, and that the changes which actually benefit mankind are only incidentally beneficial. They are primarily designed
by the transformer to reach his own selfish ends.
It will be well to illustrate the peculiar mental attitude of the
transformer by giving a few other examples. Among the Chinook *
we find the Coyote as the principal transformer or culture hero.
He was the first to catch salmon with nets. He was hungry and
tried to learn the art of catching salmon. He made a little man of
dirt, whom he asked about the method of obtaining salmon. This
artificial adviser told him how to make a net, and informed him
regarding all the numerous regulations referring to the capture of
salmon. He obeyed only partially, and consequently was not as
successful as he had hoped to be. He became angry, and said :
" Future generations of man shall always regard many regulations,
and shall make their nets with great labor, because even I had to
work, even I had to observe numerous regulations." He used to
drive his baskets filled with dry salmon to his winter quarters, but
one day they all ran away and jumped into the river. Since he had
failed in this attempt at making life easy, he cursed all future generations, condemning them to carry all loads on their backs and
taking away their powers of making the loads go by themselves.
The Tillamook,6 a Salish tribe, tell the following story of the
transformer : In the beginning there were two animals in each
mussel, and one day the transformer overate himself. This annoyed
him, and he threw away one of these animals, so that each mussel
should not have too much meat. It will be seen from this that all
the changes that these transformers made were in a way changes
for the worse, and that they made them in anger at some disappointment that they had had, or at some discomfort that they had suffered, not with a view of benefiting mankind. While the Raven'was
regardless of man, the Coyote of the Chinook made most of the
changes to spite him.
Among the Athapascan tribes of northwestern America we find
also most inventions  made and transformations accomplished by Introduction. 7
a being who tries to reach his own selfish ends. Thus Petitot6
tells of Kunyan, who made the first arrows for defending himself.
Later on he killed the people, and when the deluge was threatening
he built a raft to save himself. It seems that on it he collected the
animals for his future use. He then brought up the mud from the
bottom of the sea, from which a new earth was created. Later on
he found that there was no water in the world and he obtained it for
his own use.
The Klamath myths of the " Old Man," recorded by Gatschet,
seem to partake of the same character. The " Old Man " is the
creator, but in ridding the country of malevolent beings he only
tries to overcome his own enemies. He kills North Wind and South
Wind in revenge for their having killed his brother.
I might add many more examples of this character, almost all
from the tribes of the northwestern parts of America, but it may be
well to add an example taken from another region. The god Kutka
of the Kamchadal, according to the description given by Steller,
corresponded exactly to the Raven creator of the Alaskan Indians.
It seems, therefore, that in this region at least, the being who
gave the world its present shape and man his arts was not prompted
by altruistic motives. He did so in the course of his personal
adventures, often with the direct aim of harming his enemies. He
is not what we ordinarily understand by the term " culture hero,"
a benevolent being of great power whose object it is to advance the
interests of mankind, but he is simply one of many more or less
powerful beings who gave the world its present shape. With this
conception of the so-called culture hero the difficulty disappears of
uniting in one person the benevolent being and the trickster. He
helps man only incidentally by advancing his own interests. This
he tries to do by fair means or foul, just as the Indian will treat
his enemy. When he overcomes his enemies, the result of his
labors must accrue to the benefit of his fellow beings or of later
generations, while wherever he fails, he necessarily often appears as
a foolish trickster. We have a condition corresponding almost
exactly to the attitude of mediaeval Christendom to the devil. The
latter was considered as a powerful being, always intent to advance
his own interests. Often he succeeds, but often his triumph is defeated by the cleverness of his adversaries. The difference between
these two series of myths lies mainly in the fact that the devil in all
his adventures had only one object in view, namely, the acquisition
of souls, while the Indian transformer struggled with a great variety
of enemies who infested the country.
This aspect of the transformer myths makes it also intelligible
why failures as well as successes should be ascribed to the hero.
J 8 Introduction.
There was no psychological reason which made it more difficult to
ascribe failures to him than successes ; and since he was one of the
most important figures of Indian mythology, it is quite reasonable
to suppose that gradually more and more tales clustered around
It may be asked why, if the hero of these tales is not intentionally
a benefactor of mankind, do his acts always result in advantages to
man. I believe the explanation of this phenomenon must be looked
for largely in the circumstance that the human mind has a tendency
to consider existing conditions as the results of changes. The world
has not always been what it is now. It has developed, either for
better or for worse. On the whole, the progress of invention among
a more primitive people is not so rapid that man is induced to
speculate on the possible future achievements of his race. There
is rather a tendency to consider the present accomplishments as the
stationary result of a previous development. Therefore it is hardly
likely that. Indian traditions should speak of lost arts; they will
rather refer to the introduction of new arts, and consequently the
introducer must appear as the culture hero. The only exceptions
that seem at all possible are such when the native imagines that
previous races were able to accomplish certain feats by means of
magical powers, which in course of time were lost. These ideas are
embodied in many animal stories, and appear very clearly in the
Coyote tales of the Chinook to which I referred before.
It is the same when we consider the relation of man to animals
and plants. Everywhere he has succeeded fairly well in conquering
ferocious animals and making others useful to himself. There is
hardly any being that he is not able to overcome in some manner or
the other. But still the difficulties are often so great, that we can
easily understand how his fancy will create stories of animals that
man was not able to subjugate, or conditions under which he was
not able to conquer the animals that furnish food and clothing. His
fancy cannot as easily invent conditions under which it would be
possible to conquer the animal world more easily by natural means,
than is done now, because he cannot foresee possible improvements
in weapons of attack and defense. Therefore it seems intelligible
why so many stories describing the primitive status of our world
refer to the extinction of monsters by heroes.
It seems to my mind that the tales described heretofore do not
contain the peculiar psychological discrepancy which is so puzzling,
if we bear only in mind that the so-called culture hero is not con^-
sidered by the Indian as an altruistic being but as an egotist pure
and simple.
But there are many cases in which the natives have advanced to a Introduction.
higher point of view, and ascribe to the hero at least partially the
desire to benefit his friends. With the development of this point of
view the incongruity of the various parts of the transformer myth
becomes more and more striking. When the Algonquin, for instance, tell of their Manibozhoo, that he instituted all the secret
societies for the benefit of mankind, that he is a great and benevolent being, and at the same time relate the most absurd stories of
their hero, the psychological discrepancy of the two groups of
myths becomes very evident.
It is very important to note that we find a gradual transition from
the purely egotistical transformer legends, if I may use this term, to
the clearly altruistic series. The transformer legend of the Kwa-
kiutl of Vancouver Island7 is very instructive in this respect. The
transformer meets a number of enemies who are planning his death.
They do not recognize him 'and tell him of their plans. Then he
transforms them into animals, and ordains that they shall be the
food of man. He is thirsty, and in order to obtain water, he slays a
monster that has killed a whole tribe. In all these cases he acts
from egotistical motives. Later on he gives the laws governing the
religious ceremonials of the tribe. This he does in the following
manner : he meets the ancestors of the various clans, and they test
their powers. Sometimes he is vanquished, and then his adversary
obtains certain privileges as the fruit of his victory. In other cases
he proves to be the stronger. Then he takes pity on his rival, and
gives him certain ceremonials as a present. In all these adventures
he appears as a powerful chief who is travelling all over the world,
not with a view of making man happier, but doing so incidentally- in
the course of his adventures. Still the Kwakiutl look at him distinctly as the culture hero, and in this I see a fundamental difference from the manner in which the Tsimshian look at the Raven.
They recognise the Raven as the creator, but his actions were so
little dictated by considerations of the needs of man that they owe
him no thanks for what he has done. The Kamchadal express
this attitude very exactly when they say that the God Kutka was
very foolish, that he might have arranged things very much better
when he was creating the world. The transformer of the Kwakiutl, '
on the other hand, gave his gifts to the ancestors of the various
clans, and these gifts were naturally intended for the benefit of their
families, although they were not prompted by clearly altruistic
motives. Therefore the Kwakiutl revere their transformer. The
mental attitude has entirely changed.
Another instructive example is that of the transformer of the
Blackfeet.8 It is stated that he taught many arts to man because
he pitied him.    But other important changes of nature and similar
1 fC—»
io Introduction.
events came about without any such intention on his part. Death
was the result of a bet between him and a woman. Animals obtained their fat in a feast given to them by the transformer.
In short, we find that among various tribes the altruistic side is
developed very unequally.
It seems quite intelligible that with the progress of society there
should develop a tendency of substituting for the coarse motives
of the primitive transformer higher ones. With the consciousness
that the changes effected by the transformer were useful to man
may have developed the idea that they were made with the view of
benefiting mankind. The traditions of the Kwakiutl may be taken
to indicate a transitional point in the ethical aspect of these myths,
the changes being made not for the good of mankind, but for the
benefit of a particular friend of the transformer. The less the
altruistic idea is developed, the less will be the consciousness of a
discrepancy between the tales representing the transformer as a
benefactor and as a trickster. The higher it is developed, the
greater will be the friction between the two groups of tales. Hence
we find that wherever this idea is brought out most clearly, the tales
of the trickster are ascribed to a different being. The personage
of the transformer is split in two or more parts; the one representing the true culture hero, the other retaining the features of the
trickster. This has been done in the mythology of the Micmac and
Penobscot,9 where Glooskap retains almost exclusively the features
becoming to the benefactor of mankind. Still I think that in a few
of his adventures the more primitive conception of the transformer
may be recognized. The higher the civilization of the tribe, the
more sharply, it seems, is the line drawn between the culture hero
and the trickster.
I am well aware that the theory here proposed does not clear up all
the difficult questions connected with this subject, but I think that it
at least does away with the troublesome psychological discrepancy
between the two aspects of the transformer. I venture to suggest
that perhaps this theory would appear much better established if all
the Indian mythologies were recorded just as told by the Indian
uninfluenced by contact with civilization. As a matter of fact, many
were recorded by missionaries, who would naturally introduce in all
tales of a culture hero the altruistic element much more strongly
than it is mentioned by the Indian. Their whole training would
tend to introduce this bias. The same is true to a certain extent of
all white collectors, unless the traditions are recorded verbatim. I
have examined the available literature quite closely, and find that
very few collectors actually give the motive which led the transformer to carry out certain actions, although the latter is often
t_ Introduction. 11
implied by the incidents of the story. I think that in all probability
if Indian mythologies were available in their pure original form, the
egotistic character of the transformer would appear very much more
strongly than is the case at present.
Such criticism must, however, be applied most sparingly, because
the plausibility of our theory may induce us to reject evidence on
account of its incongruity with the theory. It seems, however,
justifiable to suggest to collectors of myths the desirability of paying particular attention to the motives ascribed to the culture hero
and to investigate if his character is that of a pure egotist in other
regions and among other tribes than those mentioned before. If
this should prove to be the case, I should be inclined to consider
the theory that has been suggested here as well established.
The traditions of the Thompson River Indians, as recorded by
Mr. Teit, show a peculiar development of the transformer myths.
There are at least four distinct personages who may be considered
as culture heroes or transformers. The most important one among
them is the Coyote, around whom a great many traditions cluster.
In his case the peculiar mixture of characteristics described on the
preceding pages is very marked. He is a being of great power ; he
performed many feats in consequence of which the world assumed
its present shape. A great many local features of the country inhabited by the Thompson River Indians originated through his
agency. In many of his actions he appears as the trickster, and all
his methods are based on sly cunning. The series of Coyote legends
of this tribe resembles very much the Coyote tales with which we
are familiar from a number of points on the western plateaus of our
continent, and I do not doubt that they belong to this series. In all
these tales he appears as a transformer and a culture hero, but he is
not moved by the desire of benefiting mankind ; he accomplishes
all transformations of the world in the pursuit of his own ends.
The second series of transformer myths refer to the three brothers
Qoâ'qLqaL. I do not think that we can interpret the differentiation
of transformers in the legends of the Thompson River Indians as
due to the developing desire of differentiating the altruistic and
egotistic side of this being, because the tales of the Qoâ'qLqaL do
not by any means bring out an altruistic point of view more clearly
than those of the Coyote. It seems much more likely that the
latter group of legends are simply new traditions introduced from
the lower course of Fraser River. A comparison between these
tales and the Xals legends of the tribes who live at the delta of
Fraser River and on southeastern Vancouver Island show that
these two series are practically identical, except that the Xals series
is very much more elaborate.10
1 12 Introduction.
It is not so easy to explain the origin of the legend of the transformer Kokwë'la. This being is the son of the hog-fennel (Peuce-
danum), a plant which plays a most important part in the ceremonials of the tribes of lower Fraser River, but which, so far as I am
aware, is not personified to any extent among them. I have not
found any analogon of this legend among the neighboring tribes.
The fourth transformer is called " The Old Man," but it does not
seem that there are many elaborate myths referring to him. The
whole concept of the Old Man is so much like that of the Kootenay
and Blackfeetj that I am rather inclined to consider these groups of
tales as having a common origin. In order to establish this point,
it will be necessary to investigate the transformer tales of the Shuswap and Okanagon, which are, however, only imperfectly known.
If the Qoâ'qLqaL legends and those of the Old Man are really of
foreign origin, the numerous instances of contests between these
beings may be explained very naturally as a result of comparisons of
their powers. Numerous examples of this kind are known from the
mediaeval epics, in which the heroes of most heterogeneous groups
of legends are made to struggle against each other. This is the
leading idea of the tradition of the " Rosengarten," in which all the
heroes of the old German tales appear, and compete against each
This theory is, however, acceptable only if we can prove that the
tales of the Thompson River Indians really contain foreign elements.
It may be well to discuss at least one of their legends rather fully
with a view of establishing this important point. I select the Coyote
tradition for this purpose.
We will begin our analysis with the story of NLi'ksEntEm (p. 21).
It is not certain that the beginning of the story, in which it is told
how the Coyote made boys out of clay, gum, and stone, has any
analogy among the neighboring tribes. It is true that among the
coast tribes a myth occurs in which the gum is presented as a man
who is made to melt in the sun ; but it occurs in entirely different
connections, and it is doubtful if this incident in the Coyote tradition is directly related to the corresponding tale of the coast. The
latter refers to the attempt of the Raven to obtain gum. He induces the gum-man to go fishing with him. He exposes him to the
hot sun until he is melted.
The next incident of our tale, however, can be traced among many
of the neighboring tribes. Coyote makes a tree, which he induces
his son to climb. Then he makes the tree grow until it reaches the
sky. The inducement held out to the boy is a nest of eagles on the
top of the tree. The Ponça | tell the same incident. They relate,
how Ishtinike makes a tree, and induces his friend to climb it in Introduction. 13
order to recover his arrows. Petitot tells the identical story from the
Hare Indians and from the Chippewayan.12 Dr. Livingston Farrand
has found the story of an ascent of the sky by means of a growing
tree among the Chilcotin, who live northwest of the Thompson River
Indians. The boy reaches the sky and travels over an extensive
prairie. After a while he reaches houses in which baskets and
other household utensils are living, and when he tries to carry away
one of them, he is beaten by the others, and finds that they are
the inhabitants of the house. This last incident has no very
close analogon among the other tribes, although it reminds us forcibly of the visit to the house of the shadows, told by the Chinook,
Tsimshian, and Tlingit.13 In these tales the traveller reaches a
house inhabited by shadows, by whom he is beaten whenever he
tries to take away some of their provisions and of their household
The Coyote travels on, and meets two blind women, whom he
makes quarrel by taking away their food. They smell him, and are
transformed into birds. This tale is found very extensively along
the Pacific coast. The tribes of lower Fraser River' tell of a boy
who reached the sky, and met two blind sisters. He takes away
their food and makes them quarrel. Then they advise him in regard to the dangers that he is going to encounter on his way to the
house of the sun.1* The same incident occurs in the traditions of
the Coast Salish, referring to a man who tried to recover his wife,
who was carried away by a finback whale. He descended to the
bottom of the sea, and met a number of blind old women, one of
whom was distributing food among the others. He took it away
and opened their eyes, and in return was given advice by the
women.15 The Comox tell of a young man who visited the sky,
where he met the Snail-women, whose food he took away. He restored their eyesight, and they advised them in regard to the dangers
he would meet.18 The Kwakiutl have the tradition of a man who
wanted to marry the daughter of a chief. On his journey he met a
number of old women, and the same incident occurred as told
before.17 In Nahwitti the same story is told of a great transformer,
Q'â'nig_laku, who met four blind girls, whom he made quarrel in
the same manner. He transformed them into ducks.18 Finally, I
have recorded the same incident among the Bella Coola, who tell of
a boy who reached the sky, and restored the eyesight of a number
of blind women. He transformed them into ducks. All these incidents are identical with those recorded among the Thompson River
Indians. Far to the east, in the collection of tales of the Ponca
made by Dorsey, a similar incident occurs, which, however, bears
only slight  resemblance with  the one discussed here, and which *-
14 Introduction.
may be of quite independent origin. It is told how an invisible
visitor burns the cheek of the Thunderers, and thus makes them
The following incident, in which it is told how the boy visited the
spiders and how they let him down from the sky, does not exhibit
any striking similarities with the tales of the neighboring tribes,
although the occurrence of a descent from heaven by help of a spider
is an exceedingly frequent feature of the North American mythologies. The descent from the sky is remarkably similar to a descent
told by the tribes of lower Fraser River, in which two spiders let
the visitor down in a basket which is tied to a long rope. When he
reaches the tops of the trees, he shakes the rope, whereupon the
spiders continue to let him down until he reaches the ground.20 The
story of the Chippewayan21 may also be mentioned here : a person
is let down from the sky by means of a rope.
The following incidents of the tale do not give any occasion for
remarks, although they remind us in a general way of the tales of
the neighboring tribes. When we confine ourselves to more complicated events, we are again struck by the incidents told on p. 26.
The Raven is given deer-fat by a person whom he had helped
before ; he took the fat home and gave it secretly to his children.
The attention of the people was called to this fact by the noise
the children were making when being fed by the Raven. A person
made one of the children disgorge the fat, and thus discovered
that the Raven was well provided for, while the other people
were starving. This incident occurs in the traditions of the Coast
Salish, where a boy sends fish to his grandmother, who hides them
until dark. The fish are discovered, however, when she begins to
eat them. The same tale is told by the Kwakiutl, where the boy
sends his grandmother whale blubber, which is discovered when
she is eating it. The incident is also told at Nahwitti. Farther
north the traditions agree with that of the Thompson River Indians,
in that a child is made to disgorge the food. We find this tale
among the Bella Coola and among the Tsimshian.22 Dr. L. Farrand
has recorded the same tale among the Chilcotin.
The following parts of the tradition have very close analoga on
the coast ; more particularily with the mink tales of the tribes on
lower Fraser River and with the As'ai'yahaL tradition of the Tillamook.28
Among the other Coyote tales the fourth and the last are rather
remarkable on account of their distribution. Coyote meets a cannibal. He proposes that they shall close their eyes and vomit into
two dishes, in order to see what kind of food they eat. Coyote exchanges the dishes before the cannibal opens his eyes, thus making Introduction. 15
him believe that he himself is a cannibal. The Shuswap ascribe
this incident to the Coyote and the Cannibal Owl, while far to the
south the Navaho tell the same of Coyote and the Brown Giant.24
The last story tells of the unsuccessful attempts of Coyote to
imitate his hosts who produced food by magical means. We may
compare with this tale that of the Chinook, who tell how Blue Jay
tried to imitate his hosts ; ffi that of the Comox, Nootka, and Kwakiutl of Vancouver Island, and of the Bella Coola and Tsimshian of
northern British Columbia,M who tell the same story of the Raven.
Dr. Farrand found the tale among the Chilcotin. Dorsey has
recorded it among the Ponca, who tell of Ishtinike's vain attempts to
imitate his hosts,27 and Rand tells it from the Micmac, among whom
the Rabbit is the hero of the tale.28 Finally we find it told of the
Coyote among the Navaho, although among this tribe the incidents
are materially changed.29
The distribution of the various parts of the Coyote legend as described here is conclusive proof of its complex origin. It is quite
inconceivable that all these complex parts of the tradition should
have originated independently among the tribes among whom we
find them now. This view is strengthened by the fact that the
incidents are most nearly alike among neighboring tribes. In the
notes to the various tales recorded in this volume, numerous additional instances of close resemblances between the tales of the
Thompson River Indians and their neighbors are given, which corroborate the evidence brought forward in the preceding remarks.
It appears, therefore, that there is ample proof of transmission of
tales to the Thompson River Indians from foreign sources and vice
versa. It was suggested before (p. 12), that if such proof can be
given, we may assume that the transformer myths originated from
different sources, and have not had time to amalgamate. The similarity of the series of Coyote tales with the Coyote tales of the
south and east, and with the animal tales of the coast, and of the
Qoâ'qLqaL legend with the Xals legend, point to the sources from
which the various series of transformer tales sprang.
I doubt if it will ever be possible to determine the origin of all
the parts of the tales of this tribe that have been woven into their
structure. It may be that we shall better understand the history of
their development when we shall have fuller collections than are
now available from the tribes of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.
Their relation to the legendary lore of the coast tribes of British
Columbia, however, seems well established. It appears that a considerable number of tales were borrowed bodily from the coast tribes,
and were incorporated ready-made in the tales of the Thompson
River tribe.    It is, therefore, certain that these importations when 16 Introduction.
interwoven with mythical tales never have had any symbolic significance among the people whose property they are now. They are not
nature myths, in the generally adopted sense of the term. While
dealing with phenomena of nature and with the peculiarities of
animals, they are not the result of tribal thought ; they are at best
adaptations of foreign thought, but much more frequently importations that have undergone little if any change. The present character of Indian mythologies can be understood only by historical
studies regarding their origin. How much is due to independent
thought or to gradual adaptation, under the influences of environment and of new social conditions, remains to be determined by
detailed comparative studies.
We may trace the influence of environment in the modifications
that the tales undergo, owing to differences in the mode of life
of various tribes. Thus the tales of the fishermen of the seacoast
who spend most of their time in their canoes, and whose villages are located near the shore, differ in many respects from the
tales of the Thompson River Indians, who hunt part of the year in
the mountains. The animals who are the heroes of the tales, also
change from one locality to the other. In northern British Columbia the Raven takes the place of the Coyote ; on Vancouver Island
the Mink takes his place, while still farther south, among the Chinook, the Blue Jay assumes many of his functions.
But much more striking than the influence of geographical environment is that of the social status of the tribe. The clan organization
of the coast tribes pervades their whole mythology and all their
traditions, while the loose social organizations of the tribes of the
interior gives their tales a peculiar character. This difference is
brought out very strongly in the myths of the transformer as found
among a number of coast tribes and those of the interior. Every
clan has a legend expounding the events that took place at the time
of meeting between the transformer and the ancestor of the clan,
while there is no such personal relation between the Indians and
the transformer in the interior. The rivalry between clans is one
of the mainsprings of action in these tales. It is evident that in
many cases tales which originally had no totemic bearing were
appropriated by a clan and changed so as to become clan traditions.
I have described a number of such changes in a fuller discussion of
the social system of the Kwakiutl.30 Other tales developed numerous variants among various clans, the more elaborate social organization acting as a stimulus for the development of traditions. The
same is true in the case of ritualistic myths. The complicated rituals
of the coast tribes are all part and parcel of traditions, and some of
the latter are made to explain the ritual.    Conclusions founded on Introduction. 17
observation of the tribes of British Columbia and on that of the
Pueblo tribes of the southwest31 agree, in that they tend to show
that the ritual and, we may say in a more general way, the social
system, have been foisted upon the myths, thus producing variations,
which tend to establish harmony between mythology and social
The Salish tribes, to which the Thompson River Indians belong,
owing to their wide distribution and diversity of culture, offer a very
interesting example of the influence of social organization upon
mythology. The great body of the people have the same loose
organization that we find among the Thompson River tribe ; but
among the tribes living on the coast more complex conditions
prevail. They have been under the influence of the tribes of the
coast of British Columbia for so long a time, that their customs and
beliefs have undergone material changes. The loose village community has been replaced by one claiming common descent from
one mythical ancestor.
This transition may be observed among the tribes of the Delta
of Fraser River, who are closely allied to the Thompson River
Indians. Each village has a mythical ancestor, and some of these
are described as animals. It may be well to make clearer the peculiar
character of these tales by means of a few abstracts of myths.
The ancestor of the Mâ'sxui, a tribe whose village is near the mouth
of Fraser River, was SqElë'yiL (derived from sqElâ'o, beaver). When
the transformer visited his village they had a contest, in the course
to which they tried to transform each other. Finally the transformer
proved to be the stronger of the two. He transformed SqElë'yiL into
a beaver. It seems that in a few cases these traditions contain
memories of historical events. Such seems -to be the case in the
tradition of the origin of the StEë'lis, who live on Harrison River.
The name of their ancestor is Ts'â'tsEmiltx. One of his descendants is said to have invited a chief named QulqE'mEx'i'l, whose
ancestors were the marten and the mountain goat, to descend from
the mountains and to live with him. Since that time the descendants of these two chiefs are said to have formed one tribe.32 I think
the occurrence of these traditions must be explained in the following
way : The coast tribes north of Fraser River are divided in totemic
clans, each of which has a clan tradition. All the privileges of the
clans are explained by the clan traditions, which, for this reason, are
considered a most valuable property. That this is so is indicated by
the jealousy with which the property right to certain traditions is
guarded by the families of the coast tribes. When the Salish tribes
began to be thrown into contact with the coast tribes, the lack of
family traditions must have been felt as a great disadvantage. Their 18 Introduction.
lack made the tribe, in a way, inferior to their neighbors on the
coast, and for this reason the tendency and the desire of evolving
myths of this character becomes intelligible. But the tribe was
organized on a different basis from that of the coast people. While
the latter were divided into clans, the idea that was present to the
minds of the Salish people was that of the village community ; and
it is clear, therefore, that the traditions which developed would be of
such a character that each village would have one mythical ancestor.
The same change has taken place among the Bella Coola, whose
mythology is much more thoroughly modified by the coast tribes
than that of the Salish tribes of Fraser River.
These considerations have an important bearing upon the interpretation of the myths of primitive people, such as are recorded in
the following pages. I have tried to show that the material of
which they are built up is of heterogeneous origin, and that much
of it is adopted ready-made. The peculiar manner in which foreign
and indigenous material is interwoven and worked into a somewhat
homogeneous fabric depends to a great extent upon the social conditions and habits of the people. Oft-repeated actions which are
the expression of social laws, and which constitute the habits and
customs of the people, may be expected to be more stable than traditions that are not repeated in a prescribed form or ritual, and have
thus become intimately associated with habitual actions. This is
probably the reason why we find that ritual moulds the explanatory
myth,.and why, in a more general way, the myth is made to conform
with the social status of the people. Discrepancies between the
two, in a general way at least, belong to the class of phenomena
that are called " survivals." The discrepancy may consist in the
preservation of earlier customs in traditions, or in fragments of early
traditions under modified social conditions. The survivals themselves are proof of the gradual process of assimilation between social
conditions and traditions which has wrought fundamental changes
in the lore of mankind.
Both factors, dissemination and modification on account of social
causes, must tend to obscure the original significance of the myth.
The contents of mythology prove clearly that attempts at the explanation of nature are the primary source of myths. But we must bear
in mind that, owing to the modifications they have undergone, we
cannot hope to gain an insight into their earliest form by comparisons and interpretations, unless they are based on a thorough
inquiry into the historical changes that have given to myths their
present forms. It would seem that mythological worlds have been
built up, only to be shattered again, and that new worlds were built
[Nkamtci'nEmux and Cawa'xamux.]
At one time, very long ago, the earth was very different from
what it is at present. There were no trees, and many kinds of
bushes and plants were wanting; neither was there any salmon or
other fish, nor any berries. The people who lived during this age
were called spêtâ'kl. They were mostly animals, who, nevertheless,
had human form. They were gifted in magic ; and their children
used to reach maturity in a few months.33 There were among them
many cannibals, and many mysterious persons.
After a time certain men successively appeared on the earth,
travelling here and there, working wonders, changing and modifying
the existing order of things. Gradually many of the spêtâ'kl who
were bad were shorn of their powers, driven out of the country, or
were transformed into birds, fishes, animals, and trees. The greatest
of these transformers was the Old Coyote who, it is said, was sent by
the Old Man to put the world in order, so that the people might live
more easily and happily. At the same time three brothers called
Qoâ'qLqaL travelled all over the country, working miracles. At
that period there lived still another transformer. His name was
Kokwë'la. The brothers were finally transformed into stone, while
the Old Coyote, after having finished his work, disappeared. Then
the Old Man travelled over the country. He saw that there were
still many bad people on the earth ; therefore he gathered all the
people together, and began to separate the good from the bad.
Having done this, he transformed all the evil ones into birds and
animals, cursing them and assigning them to the different spheres
which they were henceforth to occupy, while the good people he led
forth over the country, settling them in different places.
Thus ended the age of the spêtâ'kl, and since then the earth and
its inhabitants have been much the same as they are at present.
All the animals, birds, and fishes were originally people, whilst the 20 Traditions of the Thompson River Indians.
Indians of the present day are the descendants of the good people
who were left on the earth by the Old Man.
These events are told at length in the legends of the Coyote,
Qoâ'qLqaL, Kokwë'la, and the Old Man.
A long time ago the country along the Thompson River east of
Lytton M was inhabited by the Coyote people. The surrounding country to the east and south was also occupied by them ; but they were
probably more numerous around Spences Bridge, Nkamtcï'n, and the
immediate neighborhood * than any other place. The chief of these
people was the Old Coyote. He was great in magic. No person
could vanquish him or kill him ; and it is said that he could never
die. Although magically so powerful, yet he was often made a dupe
of by other people. He was always trying to do things beyond his
power, and to imitate others, and generally failed in such attempts.
Although he sometimes proved himself to be very simple, and easily
taken in, yet, on the whole, he was wise, crafty, cunning, selfish,
and deceitful. He travelled around the country a great deal from
place to place. He had many wives, most of whom he obtained by
trickery, or in some unusual manner. He used to dress in alkali
[Nkamtci'nEmux and NLak-apamux'ô'ê.]
There was once a great flood which covered the whole country
excepting the tops of some of the highest mountains. It was probably caused by the Qoâ'qLqaL, who had great power over water. All
the people were drowned except the Coyote, who turned himself into
a piece of wood ; and three men,37 who went into a canoe, and reached
the Nzûkê'ski Mountains, but who, with their canoe, were afterwards
transformed into stone, and may be seen sitting there at the present
day. When the waters subsided, the Coyote, in the shape of a piece
of wood, was left high and dry. He then resumed his natural form,
and looked around. He found that he was in the Thompson River
country.88 He took trees for wives, and the Indians are said to be his
descendants. Before the flood there were no lakes or streams in
the mountains, and consequently no fish. When the water receded,
it left lakes in the hollows of the mountains, and streams began to
run from them. That is the reason that we now find lakes in the
mountains, and fish in them. Traditions of the Thompson River Indians. 21
2. nli'ksentem.
[NLak-apamux'ô'ë and Nkamtci'nEmux.]
The Coyote was alone,39 without wife or children, and greatly desired to have a son ; therefore he took a lump of clay and transformed
it into a boy, whom he commanded to train himself, and to whom he
gave strict injunctions not to wash himself while training. But the
sun was hot, and ere long the lad wished to bathe. No sooner had
he entered the water than he began to melt away, until no trace of
him was left. The Coyote soon began to search for his lost son.
He came to the place where the lad had been dissolved in the water.
He was sorrowful, and said to himself, " My son was disobedient,
and my work was poor."
He then took gum off the trees, and made from it a boy, whom he
told to train, to stay in shady places, and to bathe often ; but before
long the lad grew tired of bathing, and of staying all the time in the
shade, and longed to bask in the sun. He saw a large flat rock
facing the sun, and went there to sun himself and to sleep ; but he
had not been there long before he melted away, and there was no-
. thing left but a patch of pitch on the surface of the rock. The
Coyote found him, and, being sorrowful, said to himself, " My son
was disobedient, and my work was poor."
He then took a piece of white stone40 and threw it against the
rocks several times, but the stone did not break ; therefore he was
well pleased, and transformed it into a boy. He told the lad to train,
to wash often, and also to sun himself often. The boy while training did as commanded, but neither the water nor the sun had any
effect on him ; therefore the Coyote was well pleased with the son
he had created.    The boy grew rapidly, and ere long became a man.
The Loon and the Mallard Duck41 saw that the Coyote's son was
goodly, and well-skilled in all arts, therefore they betrothed their
infant daughters to him. These girls, one of whom was dark-skinned
and the other fair, very soon matured into good-looking, industrious
women, and in due course of time became the young man's wives.
Soon the Coyote became jealous of his son's pretty wives, and
coveted them for himself, and devised a plan whereby he might
possess them. Eagle plumes were then scarce, and consequently
highly valued ; so he defecated on the ground, and turned his excrements into an eagle's nest& with eaglets in it. He then made a tree
grow underneath it, so that the nest was lifted up, and_ placed on the
top of the tree, the trunk of which was straight and smooth, without
branches, excepting the bushy top. He then called his son, and
said to him, " I will show you where you can get eagle's feathers.
Come with me."    The Coyote took him to the tree, and, pointing 2 2 Traditions of the Thompson River
out to him the eagle's nest on the top, said, " Climb for it. I will
help you." The young man divested himself of all his clothing, and
began to climb. While he was climbing up, the Coyote caused the
tree to grow, so that after a while NLi'ksEntEm i& (for such was his
name) said, " I cannot reach it. It is higher than I thought. I will
descend again." But the Coyote encouraged him, saying, "You
will soon reach it. With my help you are sure to do so. Keep on
climbing ! " So the young man renewed his efforts. After climbing a long time, he saw that he was not much nearer the top than
before. When he found himself at a great distance from the earth,
he became afraid to descend, and concluded that it was best to continue his ascent. At last the tree touched the sky, and ceased to
grow. NLi'ksEntEm, who had kept on climbing, now gained the
top, and put forth his hand to seize the eagle's nest ; but when he
touched it, it turned into excrement. He then perceived that he
had been deceived by his father, and cursed him for a dog. He
noticed, moreover, that he was now in a new world — | the upper
world," u or " sky country."
He did not know where to go, and started to walk at random.
The country seemed to be a vast plain (in reality it was a plateau),
reaching as far as he could see, nor were there trees in sight. There
was a steady cold wind blowing, and, being naked, he felt the cold
keenly, therefore he continued to walk at a brisk pace. He saw
plants which resembled wild potatoes45 of a large size, and, being
hungry, he stooped and pulled one out of the ground. He saw with
surprise that .the wind from the world below rushed through the
hole made by pulling out the root. He then knew that these plants
were the stars. Thus he travelled, hungry, and tired, and naked,
exposed to the keen wind, which blew steadily over the plateau.
Presently he saw an underground lodge in the distance, which he
eventually reached, and entered. Inside everything looked comfortable and snug. He saw no people, but instead, a row of baskets all
around the house. He thought, " I will take one of these baskets.
It will do for holding water in my sweat-house." So he took one,
and immediately the whole row jumped up and attacked him, bumping him on the head, face, and all over the body, so that he was
nearly stunned. He then cried out, " Stop, stop ! Do not strike
me ! I will put back your friend." As soon as he set down the
basket, all was quiet, and the baskets resumed their places. He then
went out of the house, and on departing, cursed the baskets for
treating him thus, saying, " You will be servants to people forever.'.'
He then travelled on as before, not knowing in which direction he
was going. Before long he saw another underground lodge. He
reached it and entered.   Everything looked comfortable within.   All Traditions of the Thompson River Indians. 23
around the house were spread fine clean mats of exquisite finish.
He said to himself, " I will have one of these. It will do for covering the door of my sweat-house, and in the mean time I will put it
round my shoulders as a cloak to protect me from the cold." But
no sooner did he lift one of the mats, than all the others attacked
him, flapping, and striking him on the head. He cried, " Stop, stop !
I will put back your friend." He laid down the mat, and all became
quiet as before, every mat going into its place. He went out and
cursed the mats, and the rushes they were made of, saying, " You
will always be slaves of men, and you will not be able to help yourselves." He then continued to wander on aimlessly, until he reached
another underground lodge, which he entered. Everything looked
nice within, and around in a circle stood many awls on end. He
said to himself, "I must have one of those nice awls to sew my
shoes with." He took up one; but the others attacked him, piercing
him all over the body. He cried out, " Stop ! I will put back your
friend." He put down the awl, and the rest at once became quiet,
and resumed their places. He went out and cursed the awls, saying,
I You will forever be slaves of men." Similar scenes were enacted
when he entered two other underground lodges which contained respectively combs and birch-bark vessels.46 Once more he travelled
on, thinking, " This is certainly a strange land. I wonder if all the
inhabitants are like those I have visited ! "
After a while he came to the edge of the plateau, and began to
descend the incline, which was dotted here and there with trees,
the first he had seen in that country.47 Here he spied a camp, and
two old women sitting one on each side of the fire. He was glad,
because they were the first people he had seen. He drew nearer,
and discovered that they were both blind. They were eating rotten
wood, and were passing it to each other across the fire. One of the
women was handing some over to her friend, when NLi'ksEntEm took
it. The woman asked the other one if she had got it, and the other
answered, "No." They then began to quarrel, because they thought
one was deceiving the other. Finally one said, "Some stranger
must be here." The other replied, "Yes, it is a man." The first
then said, " Yes, I smell something bad." NLi'ksEntEm therefore felt
insulted, so he took hold of one woman and threw her amongst some
spruce and black-pine trees, at the same time changing her into a
fool hen (or "Franklin's grouse"), and cursing her, saying, "You
shall be a fool hen, and shall be so foolish that women and children
will catch you with a stick and a twine noose on the end." The
other woman he threw amongst some rotten logs in the middle of
willow and alder trees, and cursed her, saying, "You shall be a ruffed
grouse." ** 24 Traditions of the Thompson River Indians.
He then resumed his journey, and after travelling a while saw an
underground lodge. He entered, and found therein two people, —
the Spider and his wife. They welcomed him, and asked all about
his affairs. By this time he was blue with cold, and almost famished.
They gave him clothing and food, and made him comfortable. They
said to him, " We are your grandparents," and forthwith treated
him kindly, giving him deer's fat and other dainties. These two
people spent most of their time making twine out of bark ; but he
noticed that what they had been using was short and of poor quality.49
They told him that bark was scarce in their neighborhood, and that
they had snared very few deer lately. NLi'ksEntEm m made a sweat-
house near a creek close by, and purified himself for several days ;
then he went out hunting and killed many deer. He filled the
Spider's house with skins and fat. One day, when sweat-bathing, he
pulled four hairs out of his pubes, and threw them on the ground.
Immediately there grew up a dense thicket of spdtsan. He said to
his grandparents, " Your bark is scarce and of poor quality. Go
towards my sweat-house and you will find plenty of good bark. It is
a wonder you did not see it before." They went there, and came
back loaded with bark of the finest quality, and thanked NLi'ksEntEm joyfully.
The Coyote, after his son had disappeared from sight, took his
clothes and ornaments, put them on, and went home. He said to
NLi'ksEntEm's wives, "Your father-in-law will not be back for a
while. Save some food for him from our meal. Meanwhile I will go
and fetch some fir-wood for your fire, as it is low." As soon as he
had left, the dark-complexioned woman said, " That is the Coyote,
and not our husband ; " but the other did not believe her. On
returning from his errand, the Coyote took advantage of an opportunity to examine the women, in order to determine which would
please him best.51 He was not favorably impressed with the dark-
skinned one, but took a fancy to her fairer sister, who, suspecting
nothing, stayed in the lodge as his wife. But the other woman left
them, and stayed alone, chiefly supported by the charity of the
people, and before long gave birth to a child ; for she was with child
when NLi'ksEntEm went to the upper world. She had cut her hair,
and still mourned for her husband. The early summer came ; and
all the people were journeying towards BEta'ni,62 to hunt deer and
to dig roots.
In the mean time NLi'ksEntEm had grown tired of the upper world.
He said to the Spider, " I am homesick, and wish to see again my
country and my wives. Can you help me ? " The Spider said, " I
will let you down in a basket.53 You will meet with four obstacles on
your way down.    When you alight on these, turn yourself over, and Traditions of the Thompson River Indians. 25
the basket will continue its course. The first obstacle will be the
clouds, the second the mist, the third the tree-tops, and the fourth
the grass-tops. You must not open your eyes on your way down,
else the basket will come up again When you reach the earth, you
will hear the crowsM cry ; then you will know that you are in your
own country, and you may then open your eyes and come out of the
basket." NLi'ksEntEm promised to do as told. The Spider tied his
bark rope55 to the basket, NLi'ksEntEm entered it, and the Spider
lowered him down. He followed the instructions given him, and
did not open his eyes until he heard the crows cry.56 He then stepped
out, gave the rope a few tugs, and the Spider hauled up the basket.
NLi'ksEntEm found himself on the top of a large flat stone 67 near
what is now the town of Lytton.
Here he soon discovered that all the people had gone to BEta'ni,
therefore he set out for the same place ; but he could not find a
canoe by which to cross the Thompson, therefore he made one out
of horse-tail, and, after getting out of the canoe on the opposite
bank, it sank. Ever since that time this plant is growing in the
river at the place where he crossed it. He then took the trail
for BEta'ni. Before he had gone very far, he overtook the ant, the
beetle (kîmkamu't), the caterpillar (sopsopali'latza), and other slow-
travelling people. Addressing himself to the ant, he said, " Why do
you have your sash so tight? You will soon be cut in two." The
people, recognizing him, told him all the news about his wives and
the Coyote's doings. They said, " Most of the people will camp at
this end of the lake œ to-night. Your wife and child are behind the
others. You will soon overtake them." He told them not to tell
any of the other people that they had seen him. He hastened on,
and soon came in sight of his wife, who was carrying her child along .
a grassy hillside about half way to the lake. The child said to its
mother, " There is father ! Father is coming ! " But its mother,
who was singing a dirge, rebuked it, saying, " You never saw your
father. How can you know him ? Besides, your father died long
ago." But the child persisted. At last the woman looked around,
and with joy recognized her husband. The latter told her to camp
below, and a little distance away from the other people, which she
did. There her husband came home to her at nights, and went
hunting during the daytime ; and thus he drove all the deer from
their usual haunts, and gathered them together in one secluded and
distant spot, killing as many as he required. He took home the
venison in his glove every night. On arriving, he would shake his
glove. The meat fell out and resumed its natural proportions. The
Coyote and the other people went out hunting, but could not find
any deer, and finally were reduced almost to starvation, having little 2 6 Traditions of the Thompson River Indians.
else but roots to live on. The Raven noticed that NLi'ksEntEm's
wife did not wail, and sing her mourning songs, as was her wont, so he
thought he would pay her a visit and find out the reason. On arriving outside the lodge, he listened, and heard a man's voice. Then
he entered, and found her and her child eating deer fat. The Raven
was very hungry, and she gave him some of the fat to eat, and told
him that her husband had come back, and that she would give him
deer meat every evening after dark if he would not tell anybody that
NLi'ksEntEm had returned. He promised ; when he returned to his
lodge, he carried some of the fat to feed his children, hiding it
amongst cooked moss. When the children saw it, they quarelled
over it, and woke up the people in the neighboring lodge, who asked
why his children were wrangling. The Raven said, "They are
hungry, and wrangle over the moss." The same thing happened
several nights in succession; and at last the suspicions of the
people were aroused. They said, "They would not quarrel over
moss. Certainly they must have something better to eat." One
of them watched the next night ; and when the young ravens began
quarrelling, he rushed in and seized one by the throat before he
had time to swallow the food. The pressure caused the child to disgorge the food, which the man took possession of, and kept until
morning. He then saw that it was deer fat, and showed it to the
people, who forthwith held a council, and asked the Raven to explain
where he got it, as it was well known that he had not killed any
deer, since even the wolf, the lynx, and all the best hunters in camp
had been unsuccessful. They also threatened to kill him if he did
not tell. Then he told them that he obtained it from NLi'ksEntEm,
who had returned, and whose lodge was full of deer fat and meat.
The people, therefore, in a body went to NLi'ksEntEm's lodge, and
congratulated him on his return. They also told his other wife to
return to him, but he would not have her at first. He feasted all
the people, so that their hunger was satisfied.
But the Coyote was ashamed, and did not go near his son. NLi'ksEntEm then went hunting, killed a deer, and took out the entrails,
which he made into a fine-looking and highly ornamented packing-
line, in which he tied the meat up, and hung it in a tree. He next
went and visited his father, saying, " I have a deer hanging in a tree
on the other side of the creek.59 You may have it if you carry it
home. There is a packing-line on it." The Coyote was glad, and
went to fetch it. He carried it home, and reached the crossing of
the creek, which was made by means of a log. When he was on the
log, the packing-line broke ; the pack fell into the creek over the one
side of the log, and the Coyote over the other. As the water was
flowing swiftly in the creek at the time, the Coyote was carried Traditions of the Thompson River Indians. 27
down the stream, and was eventually swept into the Thompson River,
where he was in danger of being drowned ; therefore he turned himself into a small piece of board,60 and floated down the stream to its
junction with Fraser River at Lytton, whence he was carried down
the Fraser to the unknown regions below.
Thus he floated with the current until he was stopped by a fish-dam
near the mouth of the river, which was owned by two old women.61
On the following morning the women came down to their dam, and
saw the piece of wood. One of them said, " That is a nice piece of
wood. It will make a fine dish. I will take it home." They took
the board home to their house, and made it into a dish ; but when
they ate of it, the fish disappeared so quickly that the women could
not get enough for themselves to make a fair meal, although they
put one fish after another on the dish ; so at last one of them got
angry, and threw the dish into the fire. Immediately there issued
from the fire the cry of an infant. The one woman said to the other,
" Pull it out quick ! It is a child ! I would like to have it to rear
as my own." Accordingly they pulled the child out. It was a boy,
who grew up very rapidly. But he was very disobedient and hard to
rear. They took him with them in their wanderings, and sometimes
they left him at home. Now these women kept in their house four
wooden boxes,62 and they forbade the boy to take the lids off these
boxes. The chief food of the women was salmon, — a new fish to
the Coyote, as there were none of them in his country, and, moreover, his people did not know of them. Below the dam mentioned
the river was full of salmon ; but of course above there were none.
One day the women were away. Then the Coyote made up his mind
to break the dam, and let the salmon ascend the river. Accordingly
he rushed down and broke the dam, then went to the house and
opened the four boxes. From one issued smoke; from another,
wasps ; from the other two, salmon-flies 6S and beetles.64 He then ran
along the bank of the river ahead of the salmon, while the smoke,
the wasps, and the flies65 also followed up the salmon. The people
saw- the great smoke, and wondered what it was. Some of the
salmon went up the Thompson, but the majority turned northward,
going up the Fraser River.66
The Coyote went ahead of them, and when abreast of Ntaxase'p,
he sat down and had a rest, and saw directly opposite him on the
other side four 67 young women bathing in the river. He called to
them and asked them if they wished any backbone of the humpback
salmon. The youngest one answered, "Yes;" but the others reproved her, saying, " You ought not to have answered him." The
Coyote called to them to stand side by side,68 as he would throw some
over.    The women placed themselves in a row.    Then the Coyote r
28 Traditions of the Thompson River Indians.
threw sickness into the youngest one. She was hardly able to walk
out of the water. The other women helped her to reach her lodge.
The girl's relations called several shamans to treat her, but they were
unable to cure her.69
The Coyote70 went over to Columbia River, and brought the salmon
up that river and its principal tributaries. After taking them up to
near the headwaters of the Okanagon River, he returned, and began
to conduct them up the Similkameen River. He had not proceeded
far up this river when, near the opposite bank, he saw some girls
bathing. He called over to them, asking them if they wanted any
backbone of the humpback salmon, to which question they answered
in the negative, at the same time adding that they would not mind
having a certain part71 of the mountain sheep, whereupon the Coyote
said to himself, " These people do not wish for any salmon, and I
shall not let them have any." Therefore he made a great barrier of
rock (falls) in the river, so that the salmon could not get around it,
and at the same time he caused mountain sheep to appear in great
numbers in the Similkameen country. That is the reason that
mountain sheep are (or were until lately) very plentiful in that
country, whilst there are no salmon, and the people have to travel
to Thompson, Okanagon, or Columbia rivers, to obtain their supplies of that fish. Formerly they generally went to Thompson River,
because there they got better fish. After having introduced salmon
into all the rivers, the Coyote travelled up the Similkameen, down the
Nicola and Thompson rivers, and finally he reached Lytton.
He was dressed like a shaman.72 When he passed the village in
which the girl was living whom he had made sick, he was seen by
the people, who, however, did not recognize him. They said, " If
you are a shaman, we should like you to cure our daughter." He
replied, " I am not a great shaman, but I will do my best. You
must build a sweat-house for me, as I cure all my patients in a sweat-
house." Then they made a sweat-house for him, heated the stones,
put water in it, and covered it with skins. Then they carried the
girl inside. The Coyote followed her, pulled out the sickness, and
thus cured her.73
While on Columbia River, he threw his daughter into the river.
She was transformed into a rock, with her limbs extended just in the
manner in which she fell.74
Amongst the many wonderful feats which he performed were the
turning of alkali grass into dentalia ; wild cherries into SLaq ; fish
skins into salmon ; and twigs into berry bushes laden with fruit.
Once he threw some humpback skins into the river, and they became
salmon. He then caught a number of them, and carried them to the
Grizzly Bear's house, along with some branches of berry bushes loaded Traditions of the Thompson River Indians. 29
with fruit, which he had changed from willow withes. On arriving,
he let them all hang down inside the entrance-to the Grizzly's underground lodge, so that they made a tempting display. Then he
descended inside to the Grizzly, and said to her, " Let us have a feast.
We will eat your food first, and mine afterwards. You need not be
afraid. You see what an abundance of fine food I have brought for
us to eat." So the Grizzly brought out her store of roots and berries, and before night they ate all her food. Then the Coyote said,
I We will eat my food to-morrow." But during the night he sneaked
away ; and when the Grizzly awoke in the morning there was nothing
hanging from the entrance of the house, except some dried-up humpback skins and a few withered willow branches, for the Coyote had
changed these things back into what they were originally.75
The Coyote found a deer's carcass, and, after eating all the meat
that was on it, he gathered the large bones together, and buried
them for future use. Some time afterwards he came back to his
cache, and, after lighting a large fire, dug up a quantity of the bones,
and, after having broken them up into small pieces, put them into
a kettle to boil, intending to extract the marrow. He was thus
engaged when the Fox came along, and addressed him, saying, " I
wonder at you, my friend, working in this way. You are a chief,
and yet you busy yourself with woman's work. Let me do your
work for you." The Coyote, who was flattered by these words, consented to the Fox's proposition, and, going a little distance away
from the fire, lay down on his back, with knees drawn up, putting
on the air of one who was too dignified to notice his immediate surroundings. The Fox boiled the bones. Then he skimmed off the
fat, put it in a dish, and set it by to cool, saying to the Coyote, " I
have nearly finished my work, and as soon as the fat stiffens, we
shall eat." The Coyote, who now had his vanity aroused, never
even deigned to notice the Fox nor his remarks. As soon as the
grease was stiff, the Fox took it up and ran away with it. The
Coyote chased him, but could not overtake him : therefore he returned to the same place, and commenced to cook more bones.
Soon the Fox returned, and addressed the Coyote with flattering
remarks, so that he allowed the Fox to do as before. The Fox
repeated this four times, until he had finished all the marrow. The
Coyote's vanity caused him to be the Fox's dupe.76 Traditions of the Thompson River Indians.
4.    CUKATA'nA ;   OR,   THE   COYOTE S  DOG.
tnd Cawa'xamux.]
One day the Coyote-was travelling around the country, when suddenly at no great distance he heard a jingling noise. He looked in
the direction whence the sound came, and saw a man approaching,
leading a dog. This man carried a large staff in his hand, and the
dog which he led was of immense size and ferocious aspect. The
Coyote thereupon defecated. He turned around and asked his
excrements the name of the man who was advancing towards them.
The excrements said, "He is a cannibal;" whereupon the Coyote
said, " Very well ! Get inside again. Your skin may become cold."
The excrements obeyed. As the man approached nearer, he heard
him cry continually in a gruff voice, as he turned his head from
side to side : " I eat people, I eat people ! " He also noticed that the
man wore necklaces of human finger and toe nails, and that his dog
wore a collar of the same material, which, like the necklaces, made
a jingling noise. The Coyote thereupon defecated again, and transformed his excrements into a large dog, which had arrow-heads all
over his body instead of hair. Then, tying a string around the
dog's neck, he advanced to meet the Cannibal, crying as he went,
11 eat people ! " and imitating the Cannibal's actions in every way,
whilst the arrow-heads on his dog rattled as they went along. When
they met, the Coyote challenged the Cannibal, saying, " Who are
you, that say you eat people ? " The Cannibal, who hitherto had pretended not to have seen the Coyote, now looked up, saying, " Who
are you that say that I do not eat people ? I eat people and animals." The Coyote answered, " I do not believe you. I alone eat
people." But the Cannibal reiterated his former statement, whereupon the Coyote said, " We will soon see who of us eats people.
Let us vomit." To this proposition the Cannibal agreed. Then the
Coyote said, " Let us shut our eyes until we finish vomiting, when
we will open them to see the results." The Cannibal shut his eyes,
and began vomiting large pieces of human flesh and venison. The
Coyote also vomited, but only produced a lot of swamp grass, and
other material of that description. Pretending still to be vomiting,
the Coyote reached over and took the Cannibal's vomit, and placed
it in front of himself, whilst he placed his own in front of the Cannibal. Then the Coyote said, " Let us open our eyes." The Cannibal
was astonished when he saw that before him there was nothing but
swamp grass, whilst his antagonist had evidently vomited large
quantities of human flesh. The Coyote then cried, " I knew that
you lied. I alone eat people. You eat nothing but swamp grass
and herbs." This filled the Cannibal with chagrin, and he answered
never a word. Traditions of the Thompson River Indians. 31
The Coyote then proposed that the two dogs should fight for the
mastery. To this the Cannibal answered, " It is no use for your dog
to fight with mine, because mine will tear him to pieces." The
Coyote answered, "Oh, no ! My dog can easily beat yours. Come,
Cûkata'na, let us see what you can do ! " They set their dogs at
each other, and forthwith ensued a fierce fight. Whenever Cûka-
ta'na's tail came in contact with trees or bushes, they were immediately cut in two, and fell. The Cannibal's dog only hurt himself
when he bit Cûkata'na, on account of the arrow-heads which covered his body, and before long he was cut in pieces. After the
fight the Cannibal said, " I should like to get your dog. He is a
wonderful beast." To which the Coyote answered, " If you will give
me your staff, I will let you have my dog." Now, the Cannibal's
staff was fraught with magic, and the knowledge of this made the
Coyote anxious to obtain it. The Cannibal agreed to the proposal.
" Now," said the Coyote, "you will have to tell me how to use it.''
The Cannibal said, "All you have to do is to cry 'pûmm!' at the
same time striking the end of it heavily on the ground, when immediately a deer's carcass will lie before you ; but do not strike it more
than once, or it will not work." Then they separated; and no
sooner was the Cannibal out of sight than the Coyote tried the staff,
finding that it did exactly as its former owner had said ; therefore
he was well pleased, and travelled on his way. Whenever he felt
hungry, he struck the staff on the ground, thereby causing a deer to
appear, of which he would eat until satisfied. Meanwhile the Cannibal went on his way, much pleased with the dog, which he led by
his side. At nightfall he camped near a clump of trees, and tied his
valuable dog up to one of them. In the morning when he awoke,
he found nothing but some Coyote excrement in the place where
the dog had been.
Not long afterwards the Coyote said to himself, "Why should I
be restricted to only striking the staff once on the ground ? One
deer at a time does not satisfy me. I will have quantities of deer."
Whereupon he began striking the staff repeatedly on the ground,
and each time he did so a deer's carcass fell there. He kept on
striking faster and faster ; and as fast as he struck the deer dropped
down ; and in a short time they were piled around him in great
heaps, so that he was nearly smothered ; but his greed was insatiable,
and as long as he could move his arm he continued to strike, saying, " I will have quantities of deer. Nothing less than quantities
will satisfy me." At last the falling deer covered him up entirely,
and he was no longer able to move his arm or staff. Then suddenly
all the deer came to life, and began to jump on him and kick him,
so that he was soon knocked senseless.   When he gained conscious- 32 Traditions of the Thompson River Indians.
ness, he groaned with pain, for all his bones were sore with bruises.
He looked around, and neither deer nor staff was to be seen. Then
he felt quite crestfallen ; he made off home as quickly as his bruised
body would allow him.77
5.    THE  BALL.
There was formerly a ball used at Lytton in playing ball-play.
This ball was of the ordinary size and shape used for this game, but
was very smooth and shiny, and sparkled like fire or gold.78 The
young men at Lytton used to be very fond of playing with the ball
to show off their prowess, and to let people know that they possessed such a rare and valuable ball. At this time there were two
underground lodges close together in a certain part79 of Upper
Nicola. One of these was occupied by the Coyote, and the other
by the Antelope.80 The Coyote had four81 sons called Tsamû'xei.
The Antelope also boasted of four81 sons. The Coyote and Antelope knew of this ball at Lytton, and wished to get it, and they
agreed to send their sons there for it, but they quarrelled as to
whose boys should take possession of the ball first. The Coyote
said his sons were the most gifted with magic ; while the Antelope
said, "You ought to know that my children cannot be killed or
beaten." However, the Antelope at length gave in, and the Tsamû'xei were designated to play the leading part. The eight young
men started out. On reaching Thompson River the Antelope's
four sons were stationed at intervals along the bank from Spences
Bridge to Thompson Creek.82 Three of the Coyote's sons were
stationed at different spots between there and Lytton, while the
eldest son went to obtain the ball. When in sight of Lkamtci'n
(Lytton), he noticed a great company of young men playing with
the very ball which he wished to obtain. He therefore turned himself into a stone on the ground where they were playing, and about
half way between the middle of the space and one of the goals.
Some of the players were suspicious, and said, " That stone was not
there before ; " but the others said it was, and they continued the
game. The ball at last came near this stone, and at once it was
seized by the Coyote's son and carried off. The alarm was given,
and soon a great number of people joined in the chase. The youth
had just reached his brother and thrown the ball to him, when he
was overtaken and killed, and his body broken in two. The second
boy then ran with it, and succeeded in giving it to the third brother.
Being out of breath, he was also overtaken and killed. The third
then ran with it, and succeeded in throwing it to the fourth brother, Traditions of the Thompson River Indians. 33
when he likewise was overtaken and slain. The fourth Coyote
brother ran with it, and reached the Antelope's son, who was stationed near the mouth of Thompson Creek, and threw the ball to
him just in time, for he was here overtaken and killed, like his
brothers. The Antelope's son then ran with the ball. His pursuers could not overtake him, and being very tired with the long
run, and perhaps afraid to venture farther, they turned back from a
little above83 Thompson, and went home. The next morning the
Antelope said, " Four men are coming in the distance, carrying a
ball like fire. The Coyote came out and looked. The Antelope
said, "These are my sons. Yours are probably slain. You see
what comes of putting your sons before mine."
The Coyote ran into the lodge, and in his grief threw himself into
the fire ; but the Antelope pulled him out, telling him he was foolish
to act so. On the arrival of the four young men, who told the whole
story, the Coyote again threw himself into the fire, and was once
more rescued, the.act being accompanied by the remark, "Why do
you try to kill yourself ?   Will you not live to have revenge ? "
That night the Coyote asked for the ball, that he might rest his
head on it when he slept. They gave it to him, and he slept four
nights with the ball under his head, each night under a different
beam of the underground lodge. On the fifth night he went to
sleep under the foot of the ladder, and when the Antelope and his
sons awoke in the morning, the Coyote was gone with the ball.
They looked out, and he was just disappearing on the horizon, only
the glitter of the ball being visible. They then gave chase, and
drew up to the Coyote near the mouth of Nicola River ; but the
Coyote caused a thick fog to come between them and him, so that
they could not see. When the fog cleared away, the Coyote was a
long way ahead, so the pursuers turned back.
The Coyote went down Thompson River, and when he arrived
near Lytton threw the ball to the ground and broke it. He then
found that the bright part of the ball was a hard shell which nothing
could pierce, and that the inside was filled with excrement. He
turned himself into an elk,84 and put the outer crust of the ball around
his body. He rubbed the contents over the shell, so that it was not
recognizable. Now this shell was like an armor, for no arrow could
pierce it ; but, being hardly large enough to cover all his body, there
was a small hole left underneath his throat. In this form the Coyote
appeared on the hillside above Lytton. The people saw him, and
ran out to shoot " the elk," but their arrows had no effect on him.
He charged them, prodding them with his antlers, and trampling
them under foot. Thus he careered through the place, killing great
numbers.    Just then the Meadow Lark, who was a great tell-tale, 34 Traditions of the Thompson River Indians.
appeared, and cried out, " There is just a little hole at his throat ! "
One of the people then sent an arrow into his throat, and, the elk
falling down dead, they at once commenced to butcher it. On doing
so, they found the carcass composed of excrement and the broken
pieces of their ball. "This is the work of the Coyote," said one,
"for he alone could do such things." Just then the Coyote laughed
at them from the hillside above, and walked slowly away. He went
back again to Nicola, having had his revenge.85
[Nkamtci'nEmux and Cawa'xamux.]
The Coyote sent his two daughters to marry two hunters who
lived in a distant country, and on their departure he gave them a
couple of dogs to act as their companions and guardians. These
dogs were fierce and strong, for they were the Grizzly Bear and the
Rattlesnake. When the girls approached the lodge of their intended
husbands, they noticed that their dogs showed signs of eagerness
for blood. In order to prevent their attacking the men, the women
chewed some red ochre, and spat it on the noses of the dogs. Then
they rubbed it over their faces, especially around their mouths. The
dogs became quite quiet after this treatment. They entered the
lodge, and, after introducing themselves to the hunters, settled down
as their wives.
After a time a son was born to one of them. While yet an infant,
he began to cry continually for his grandmother. Thereupon the
father said, "Has the child a grandmother?" And his wife answered, "Yes, he has." The hunters said, "You had better take
him to see his grandmother, for he will not be quiet until he does
see her, and when you return you may bring her with you to visit
us. On your way back, you will come to a parting of the trail. One
of the trails that you will see is rough and narrow, while the other ■
is wide and smooth ; the former is covered with red ochre, while the
latter is covered with birds' down. Take the red trail, which is the
right one, and avoid the other, as it will lead you over a wide prairie,
devoid of trees, to a land where live dead people, monsters, and
mysterious people. We will keep your dogs here with us, and if you
should happen to be in danger, and cry for help, the dogs will warn
us, and we will at once let them loose to go to your aid."
The women started on their journey, one of them carrying the
boy. When they came to the two trails, they disputed which was
the right one, and at last started off on the wrong trail. After
travelling a considerable distance, they came to a large underground
lodge, which they entered, finding an elderly woman sitting inside. Traditions of the Thompson River Indians. 35
The woman addressed them, saying, " Oh ! why did you venture
here? My husband will be home soon, and will eat you." At this
they became somewhat afraid, but said they would rest a little while
before leaving. Very soon afterwards the Cannibal appeared, and
was quite delighted at seeing in them the prospect of a good meal.
He was going to kill the women ; but the boy cried,86 " Kill me first,
and put me in the bottom of the kettle." He killed him, and,
doubling him up, put him in the bottom of the kettle. Then he
killed the two women, bending them also, and putting them in the
kettle. He then put the kettle on the fire to boil, and sat by, waiting for his meal to cook. In the mean time the boy made a hole in
the bottom of the kettle, and urinated through it on to the fire underneath, so that the bottom of the kettle remained cool,87 and the contents never boiled. After the Cannibal thought his meal was ready,
he told his wife to take it off the fire. But his wife said, " You do
not need to eat it to-night. Keep it for breakfast to-morrow." The
Cannibal took the kettle off the fire, and hung it up on the wall.
After he and his wife had retired, the two women and the boy (who
had come to life again) found that they could not get out of the kettle ; therefore the boy urinated through the side of it, thereby making a hole, through which they passed, right through to the outside
of the house. Then they hastened as fast as possible back over the
trail they had come. In the morning the Cannibal took down the
kettle, intending to eat the contents, but found it empty. He went
up to the top of the ladder, and looked about. He saw away in the
distance — although they were out of sight of ordinary mortals—the
fugitives crossing the prairie. He gave chase at once, and before
very long overtook them. The women, when they saw that they
were nearly overtaken, became much alarmed, as there was no place
to hide ; therefore one of them pulled out from her pubes four hairs
and threw them on the ground. Immediately therefrom grew four
tall trees close together, one of which they climbed.
When the Cannibal arrived, he began at once to chop down the
tree. When it tottered, the women jumped into the next tree.
The Cannibal also chopped down this one, and then the third one,
so that the fugitives took refuge in the fourth and last one. As
he commenced to chop at this one, the women cried for help. At
the same time the dogs in the hunter's lodge became restless ; the
Grizzly Bear growled and pawed the ground, and the Rattlesnake
shook its rattles. The hunters then knew that their wives were in
danger, and let the dogs loose. They ran with great leaps, and were
soon out of sight. Meanwhile, in order to gain time, the boy had
urinated down the heart of the tree,88 causing the wood to become
soft and elastic, so that the Cannibal made but slow progress in 36
Traditions of the Thompson River Indians.
cutting it with his chisel. The Grizzly Bear and the Rattlesnake
arrived when the tree was tottering. They attacked him fiercely,
and soon tore him to pieces, and killed him. The women then went,
with their child and their dogs, back to their father's house without
further adventure. After having once killed a human being, the
Grizzly Bear and the Rattlesnake acquired the habit of doing so.
For this reason they sometimes kill people at the present day. If
they had not killed the Cannibal, they would not now kill any one.89
coyote's SONS).90
There lived formerly a certain maiden, who was very good-looking. Although she had many offers of marriage, she did not consent to accept any of her suitors. Many a man tried to overcome
her resolutions, unknown to her parents ; but in spite of their requests, she refused them all, and so remained a virgin. At last she
became annoyed by the importunities of her numerous suitors, and
left her father's house, taking her younger sister with her. She intended to visit their grandmother, the female mountain sheep. After
travelling several days, they came in sight of an underground lodge.
This was the home of the Coyote, and he was busy inside, beating
(or softening) buckskin. He knew of their departure from their
father's house, and wished to make them his wives. When they
approached his abode, he made cold weather. Then the younger
sister said, " Let us enter that house and warm ourselves." After
some persuasion, the elder consented. On entering, they were
kindly treated by the Coyote, who built a large fire for them. Then
he took some food91 and put it before them, saying, " Eat some fat.
You must be hungry." The elder sister was suspicious, and threw
some of it in the fire ; and when she saw that it did not burn, but
only crackled and smoked, she told her sister not to eat of it. But
the latter disobeyed, and as a result became at once pregnant. The
sisters then continued their journey. When they were out of sight,
the Coyote took his underground lodge on his back, ran ahead to a
place which the girls had to pass, and began to dress buckskin as
before. Again the women were forced to come inside, owing to the
cold weather, when they were treated in the same manner as before.
This was done four times by the Coyote. The last time the younger
sister was taken in travail, and the elder sister left her in the Coyote's
house. On leaving, the Coyote said to her, " Your sister is my wife.
If she has a female child, I will kill it; but if a male, it will be
well." Traditions of the Thompson River Indians. 37
The elder girl went on. Her grandmother knew of her coming,
and sent out the Hare to meet her with some food, after telling him
to await her arrival in a patch of brush and timber through which
the trail led Jhe Hare, instead of doing as ordered, crept under a
fallen log in the middle of the trail. The woman came along and
stepped over the fallen log. The Hare then ran out, crying, " How
ugly you are I"92 At this the woman got angry, and threw her root-
digger at the Hare, making a hole through his nose.93 This is the
reason that the hare has such a peculiar nose and nostrils at the
present day. She then went on, coming presently to a very wide
prairie, on the other side of which, among hills, was her grandmother's dwelling. When she came in sight, although far off, her
grandmother said to all the young men, " Run out and meet your
sister. Whoever reaches her first shall be her husband." Then the
Grizzly Bear, the Antelope, the Coyote, the Wolf, the Lynx, the
Eagle, the Hawk, the Woodpecker, the Hummingbird, and many
others, ran out to meet the girl ; but the Hummingbird took the
lead and kept ahead of the others. Her grandmother then ran out,
passed the others, took her granddaughter back to the house and
hid her. Then she watched carefully over the girl, not allowing any
men to enter the house.    When she slept, the girl slept beside her.
Now ** the Lynx, who was a very handsome young man with beautiful features, was displeased at these proceedings. He made a hole
in the roof of the underground lodge, exactly above the girl's bed,
and spat down on her, his spittle falling on her navel, and thus mak- '
ing her pregnant. When she told her grandmother that she was
with child, the latter became angry, saying that some man must have
been with her, and asked her who the father of her child was. She
answered, " I have never known a man, and I do not know how I
came to be as I am." But her grandparents and the other people
would not believe her. The girl at length gave birth to a boy, who
grew up to be a handsome lad ; still no one knew his father. When
he was old enough to handle a bow and arrow, the girl's grandparents
called all the people together, and addressed them, saying, "The
time has now come when we shall know the father of our granddaughter's child. Each of you bring your bow and arrows, and hand
them to the boy. He whose bow and arrows pleases the lad, and
suits his hand best, is his father."
The Coyote, the Magpie, and the Raven each claimed the lad ; but
the old people said that they lied, and would not recognize either of
them as such. The Lynx, who was afraid, sat leaning against ^the
ladder of the underground lodge and never said a word. All the
people in turn handed their bows and arrows to the lad ; but as he
tried each of them he threw them away.    The Coyote came at last 38 Traditions of the Thompson River Indians.
with a finely-made bow and arrows. The arrow shafts were carved
and painted red, and the bow covered with snake's skin, and finely
ornamented with colored feathers. But they did not suit, and were
thrown away like the others. Then it was noticed that the Lynx
had not come forward. They discovered him, and ordered him to
present his bow and arrows to the boy. He handed him a roughly-
made bow and arrows made of fir branches. On taking hold of them
the lad was highly pleased, and fired many arrows. Then he turned
to the Lynx. He said, " You are my father ; " to which they all
The Coyote and all the other men were chagrined, and felt angry
because they had not been able to prove themselves the father of the
boy. The Coyote kicked the Lynx in the face, and all the others
also kicked him. They all left the house in disgust ; and as they ran
one after another up the ladder, each one put his foot on the Lynx's
head. The Coyote was last, and out of spite gave the head of the
Lynx such a hard press with his foot that he caused it to assume the
shape that we know to-day. The woman's grandparents were also
angry at the result, and left the house, deserting her and the boy.
After they had all gone, the woman took pity on the Lynx, who
was nearly dead, and bound up his wounds, putting medicine on his
face, so that he recovered. From that time he became a common
lynx, and his beauty was spoiled. His face had grown ugly, distorted,
and contracted, as we see it now. Some of the people who deserted
them had pitied them, and left a few dry fish in their cellars.
In after years the boy grew up to be a fine man and a mighty
hunter, and repaid the people their kindness by filling their cellars
with deer fat. His father the Lynx was also known before that
time as an expert and successful hunter.95
The ^ sister who stayed with the Coyote bore four sons to him.
These grew up, and were called collectively Tsamû'xei.97 Only the
youngest one was gifted in magic, like his father. He was sometimes called Sesiûsxî'n,98 and created fire99 in different places by
kicking stumps. Whenever the people were travelling and were
cold, he would kick a stump, and immediately a fire blazed up, and
the people warmed themselves. At that time there were a large
number of people who dwelt in an underground lodge in the neighborhood of a certain large river. One of these was a cannibal. He
had a friend named Kua'lum,100 who was gifted with magic, and able
to do almost anything. The Cannibal had a daughter, but nobody
dared to take her in marriage for fear of her father. The Coyote's
eldest son heard of this girl, and wanted to marry her. He came to
a rock near the river, and called "Twïa."101 The Cannibal came
down  on the opposite  side and  launched his  canoe.    When  he Traditions of the Thompson River Indians. 39
came near the rock, he said to the Coyote's son, "Jump into the
canoe, and I will take you across." The latter attempted to do so,
but fell into the river and was drowned. The other two sons of the
Coyote afterwards went in succession to get the girl ; but the same
fate befell them. The youngest son then said, " It is my turn to
go," and asked his father to accompany him. His father said, " We
will go and have revenge." They therefore went to the rock at the
river and called. The Cannibal came again with his canoe; but,
much to his surprise and chagrin, both men jumped into the middle
of the canoe. Then he took them across, and they went up to the
village. When they had entered the Cannibal's house, the latter put
on an immense fire in order to overcome them by heat. But the
Coyote and his son put lumps of ice on their foreheads, and sat there
without being hurt. The Cannibal gave his daughter to the Coyote's
son, but swore in secret to kill him. In the course of the evening,
the Cannibal said to the old man Kua'lum, " Take my son-in-law out
for a hunt to-morrow." The Coyote said to his son, "They want to
kill you. Go and ask the advice of your friend the old woman, Short-
tailed Mouse, who lives in the mountains. She is full of wisdom."
The lad obeyed, and the old woman told him how to act. She said,
■ They will try to burn you to-morrow. But I know how to avoid the
fire. Step in the middle of the trail, and it will not hurt you. I did
so when the country was all burnt, and I was the only one left." 102
The next day when they were hunting, Kua'lum sent fire to the place
where the lad was hunting, in order to burn him ; but the latter did
as directed. He stepped in the middle of the trail and remained
unharmed. For this reason, up to the present day, fire always stops
at a trail. Kua'lum went home discomfited, while the lad gathered
the deer in a gulch, shot them, put them in his glove, and went to
the village, where he shook the glove, letting enough deer fall out
to fill a whole lodge.
The Cannibal then said to Kua'lum : " Take my son-in-law to gather
firewood to-morrow." Once more the lad went to see the Short-
tailed Mouse, and she told him what to do. On the morrow they
came to a dry tree. The lad split it. Kua'lum, by his magic, caused
the tree to surround the lad, and then to close and press him to
death. The man watched until he saw what he thought to be the
blood and brains of the lad ooze out through the split in the tree,
and went home well pleased. But in reality the blood was red paint,
and the brains white paint, which the lad had ejected from the
separate corners of his mouth through the cracks of the tree. The
boy then took an arrow-head such as the Thunder uses when shooting, and struck the tree as lightning would, thereby splitting it,
and releasing himself.    He then gathered up some dry wood and 40 Traditions of the Thompson River Indians.
carried it to the village. He threw it into the Cannibal's underground lodge, almost filling it.
The Cannibal then said to Kua'lum, " Take my son-in-law to spear
salmon108 to-morrow." They went to the river. The lad was about
to spear a salmon, but the man said, " That is not a salmon. Don't
spear it !" In a little while a fish came along with a man's head and
hair,104 and Kua'lum said, " Spear that. It is a salmon." The lad
did so, and was carried, spear and all, into the water, where he disappeared. Now Kua'lum went home satisfied that the lad was dead.
But shortly afterwards he reappeared, carrying the monster, and
threw it, much to the terror of the others, into the underground
Next morning the Coyote and the Cannibal had a trial of their
respective powers. They had four trials, — one of fire, one of water,
one of wind, and one of ice and cold. The Coyote sang, and the fire
leaped up so that it caught the roof of the house ; but the Cannibal
lay down on his back, and the fire went out. The Cannibal also
tried fire, but the Coyote put it out. The Coyote then changed his
song, and tried water; but their powers over the water were also
equal. Then they tried wind, but with the same result. At last the
Coyote changed his song and brought cold and ice. The Cannibal
and Kua'lum could not meet this. They, their daughter, and all the
people of the village, were frozen to death ; moreover, all the houses
and the village site became covered with ice. The Coyote and his
son then departed for home, having thus taken their revenge.106
The Black Bear invited107 the Coyote to her underground lodge.
He went the next morning, and on arriving was kindly treated by
the Bear. She gave him berries and other food to eat, which was
very acceptable to him, as he was almost famishing. Before long
the Black Bear put more wood on the fire, and placed a dish108 down
by the side of the fire. Then she held her hands, fingers turned
downward, in front of the blaze. Before long melted fat commenced
to drip from her finger-tips into the dish below, which in a short
time became quite full. She took the dish and placed it in front of
the Coyote, asking him to partake of the fat, which he did, eating as
much as he was able. After finishing his repast, the Coyote said
that he would now go home. At the same time he invited the Black
Bear to his house on the morrow, when he said he would return her
dish, which in the mean time he would borrow so as to take home
the rest of the fat for his wife.    In due course the Black Bear Traditions of the Thompson River Indians. 41
arrived at the Coyote's house, where she was treated to some offal
which the Coyote had found, but which he told her was fresh, as he
had been out hunting and had just brought it in. After a while the
Coyote told his wife to stir the fire, because he wanted to get some
fat to give to his guest. He then set the dish down close to the fire,
and holding up his paws in front of the blaze, exactly as the Black
Bear had done, he awaited results. As there was no sign of any fat
coming, he placed his paws still nearer to the flame, and held them
there until they commenced to shrivel and curl up with the heat,
and still there were no signs of any grease dripping down. His
paws had now almost shrunk up109 into a ball. He was unable to
endure the pain any longer, withdrew his hands from the fire, and
ran around the house, howling with pain. The Black Bear then said
to him, "What a fool you are! Poor fellow! Watch me how I
do it." She then held up her paws in front of the fire, as she had
done on the previous day, and before long the dish was full of grease.
She then made the Coyote a present of the grease, and told him
never to try and do what was beyond his power.
Some time afterwards the Coyote felt hungry and thought he would
pay a visit to Tsala's,110 who lived in an underground lodge some little
distance away. Upon entering, Tsala's treated him kindly, telling
him that he would go and get some fresh fish for him to eat. He
went outside, took a withe from some neighboring bushes, and went
down to the river, where he made a small hole in the ice, and commenced to dive for fish. The Coyote, meanwhile, watched all his
movements from the top of the ladder. Before long, Tsala's had
caught a goodly number of fish, which he strung on the withe, and,
returning home, cooked some of them for the Coyote, who soon ate
his fill. On leaving, the Coyote invited Tsala's to visit him at his
house on the morrow. Accordingly, the next day, Tsala's repaired
to the Coyote's house, where he was offered old meat ; but, unlike
the Black Bear, he was not fond of such food. Therefore the Coyote
proposed to go and get some fresh fish for him. The Coyote left the
house, took a withe, and after making a hole in the ice put his head
down the hole in order to look for the fish before diving. But in
trying to get his head out again he found that he could not. Wondering at his long absence, Tsala's went to look for his friend, and
found him with his head stuck down in the ice-hole. He pulled him
out, more dead than alive, and, addressing him, said, " Poor fellow !
Why should you make yourself worse off than you already are?
You are very foolish to try to do things that are beyond your powers.
Now look at me ! " Tsala's then put his head down in the hole and
soon commenced to toss plenty of fish out on the ice. He made
a present of them to the Coyote, and went home, leaving the Coyote
in anything but a pleasant mood. 4.2 Traditions of the Thompson River Indians.
Some time afterwards the Coyote went to the mountains to watch
the Magpie U1 and learn his methods of hunting. The latter had set a
net-snare 112 close by his underground lodge. He went up the mountains, singled out a large buck deer, which he teased, and called
names, such as "big posterior," "hairy posterior," "short-tail."
The buck at last grew angry and charged the Magpie, who ran
away. He just kept a little ahead of the buck, so as to encourage
him, and led him right into the snare, in which his antlers stuck
fast, whilst the Magpie jumped11S over it, and, turning round, stabbed
the entangled buck to death. The Coyote made up his mind that he
would do as the Magpie had done. So he placed a net-snare close
by his house, and, going up the mountains, soon fell in with a buck
deer, whom he commenced to belittle and slander, calling him all
kinds of nasty names, just as the Magpie had done. The buck grew
angry, charged the Coyote, who made for home, where his snare
was, with the buck close after him. On reaching the net, the Coyote
tried to jump over114 it, but failed to do so. He fell into the net
and became entangled in it. Then the buck began to prod him
with his antlers, and would have killed him if the people had not
run out and prevented it by killing the buck.115
The Qoâ'qLqaL were three brothers117 who came up from the
country of the S'a'tcinko118 at the mouth of the Fraser River (prob^
ably they came from even a greater distance,119 but they are known
at all events to have followed up Fraser River from its mouth), and
entered the NLak-a'pamux country from below. The youngest
brother was the most gifted in magic. He was stout, and short of
stature. They did many wonderful things along Fraser River and
throughout the Uta'mqt country, changing people into fishes and
also into stones. They also left their footprints and other signs in
many places where they travelled, and it is said created all the
water-springs over the country. A short distance below Lytton
they met Kokwë'la,120 whom they tried to overcome with their
magic, thinking that they could easily get the best of him, and have
some fun at his expense ; but he defeated them in everything.
After this meeting they followed up the Thompson River, where
they found the country inhabited by the Coyote people. Then they
came to a place named Zîxazîx.121 There they met Tcû'i'sqâ'lEmux,
a man gifted with magic, who lived with his wife122 in an underground lodge. He lived by eating people and by fishing. When
they saw Tcû'i'sqâ'lEmux spearing salmon from the bank of the Traditions of the Thompson River Indians. 43
river, the youngest brother said, " I will turn myself into a salmon,
and carry away his spear-head." He jumped into the water, and
came up in the shape of a large salmon close to where the man was
standing. He speared him, and the salmon escaped with the spearhead. Tcû'i'sqâ'lEmux was very sorry, because it was his only
spear-head. He went home, and lay down without saying a word.
The three brothers then went to his house. Tcû'i'sqâ'lEmux's wife,
upon seeing them, said, " Do not come here ! My husband eats men."
But they paid no heed, and went closer. One of them showed her
the spear-head, and said, "We found this." The woman said,
" That is my husband's spear-head. He will be glad to get it." They
delivered it to him and sat down. Tcû'i'sqâ'lEmux told his wife to
cook a mealm for them in her basket.124 She did so, and when
ready set before them a very small basket full of food, giving them
very large spoons made of mountain stag's horn to sup with They
said to her, " Why do you give us such a small amount ? We can
take that at one spoonful." But her husband said they could not
finish it. They laughed at them, and commenced to sup, but were
soon satisfied, and the food was apparently undiminished. Tcû'i'sqâ'lEmux then sat down, and took it all in one spoonful. They were
angry at this, and went away. Shortly after this Tcû'i'sqâ'lEmux
went to the bank of the river to spear fish. When they saw him,
they kicked down a mountain on him, causing the present mud-slide
or slipping mountain at this place ; but when the dust cleared away,
he was still standing there. This they did four times with like
result.125 Then they took revenge by turning into stone his house
and basket,126 which are to be seen there at the present day.
The Qoâ'qLqaL travelled on, and a little above Zîxazîx they saw a
Coyote family carrying dried fish to put into their cellar. These
they turned into stone. Moreover, the pile of dried salmon, the
children standing around it, and the cellar close by, may all be seen
there at the present day.127
Now they reached a small island in Thompson River, situated
immediately underneath Ca'nExanEnEmax128 Mountain, camped
there for the night, and lighted a fire. Here an altercation ensued
between them, the two elder men making fun of the youngest, and
making light of his powers of magic. When he was asleep, they
took his beaver-skin headband, and threw it into the fire with the
intention of burning it. But the fire did not touch it. When the
youngest brother awoke in the morning, he found his headband in
the fire, and accordingly was very wroth with his brothers. He told
them that he would now show them the extent of his powers by
drowning them. Then he pulled the headband out of the fire, and
immediately the water in the river began to rise, causing the other 44 Traditions of the Thompson River Indians.
two brothers to flee for refuge to the mountain Ca'nExanEnEmax,
which they began to climb, trying to escape the fast rising water.
They reached the top, looked about, and saw that the water, still
rapidly rising, was surrounding the mountain. Now it had almost
reached them, whilst away below they could see their younger
brother sitting by the camp-fire, the waters standing back from him
on every side, and the smoke ascending from the fire, and emerging
from the top of the opening, as if it were coming out of a deep hole.
Soon the water overflowed the top of the mountain, and the two
men took refuge in a tall poplar-tree ■U8 which grew close by. They
began to cry on their younger brother to have mercy on them,
telling him that they were now well aware of his superiority in
magic. The young man then put his beaver-skin headband on his
head, and immediately the water began to recede, so that it soon
recovered its normal level. After this the three were good friends,
and went on their way as before. They continued their journey,
and on the next morning, they saw a Coyote who was sweat-bathing.
They turned his sweat-house into stone.180 A little farther on, they
met a Coyote and his wife, cooking food ^ in their basket or kettle.
They turned into stone the basket, and the stones used for heating
the water, and also tried to metamorphose the Coyote and his wife,
but were not able to do so, owing to the too powerful magic of
these people. Eventually they were compelled to take flight. They
managed, however, to turn parts of the body of both the Coyote
and his wife182 into stone, which may be seen at the present day,
with the basket at a little distance. They took revenge on the
Coyote for making them flee by breaking down his weir, which
extended across the river at Tsalê'qamux,188 a little distance upstream. The remains of the weir is what forms the bar across the
river and the rapid at that place at the present day.
Oncem when the Coyote was away from home, the Qoâ'qLqaL
passed by his house, and, finding his wife there alone, they threw
her into the fire of the lodge, where she was consumed. When the
Coyote came home again, he missed her, and looked for her. He
was unable to find her, and said, " Where are you, wife ? " And she
answered from the centre of the fire, "Take me away from here.
I am almost finished." Then the Coyote knew what had befallen
his wife. He became very angry and said, " I will not help you ! "
Afterwards he was very sorry because he had no wife, for he felt
very lonely. Therefore the Qoâ'qLqaL transformed the birch and
the alder trees into women, and sent them to the Coyote to become
his wives.
It is not known how far the Qoâ'qLqaL went, or the exact route185
they pursued through the country ; but it is known that they pene- Traditions of the Thompson River Indians. 45
trated a long distance into the Thompson country, and also travelled
through the Buonaparte, Similkameen, and Nicola valleys. In the
upper part of Nicola they turned the Coyote's underground lodge
into stone,186 and also a party of men who were going out hunting.
These may still be seen standing in Indian file in the same position
as when transformed It is said that they turned an elk137 which
was lying down, and a pack of fir branches,138 into stone on the
upper Similkameen River, and also some children who were tobogganing down a mountain side.139 When they had travelled over most
of the country to the south, they returned, and went up the Buonaparte River and Hat Creek, intending to reach Fraser River,   j
Not far from the mouth of Hat Creek they had a trial of strength.
There was a very large rock on the ground at that place, which in a
manner barred their progress. They proposed to lift it on their
heads,140 and place it some distance to the side. The two elder
brothers tried it, but failed. The youngest one then lifted it, but in
doing so the stone slipped down over the upper part of his head.
After putting the stone where he wanted it, he withdrew, leaving a
large impression of his head and of the bridge of his nose, which
may be seen at the present day. Shortly afterwards they came to
the lake called Tcexpâ'tkwEtn,141 close to the shores of which were
situated the houses of the Eagle and the Skunk, who lived by killing and devouring people. The bones of their victims were in large
heaps close to their houses, and the rocks in many places were colored with the blood of those whom they had slaughtered. The lake
itself was of four colors, white, red, green, and blue. These were
caused by the discharge of the Skunk's obnoxious fluid across the
lake when killing his victims. These cannibals the brothers metamorphosed into the common Eagle and the Skunk.142
They continued their journey towards Fraser River ; but when
going over a mountain above S'qwâ'ilôx,143 and about to cross a
large open prairie, they saw a young girl, who had retired from the
village to undergo the customary training. She approached them
dancing and singing. They stopped to watch her, and forthwith
by the magic influence of the girl they were all transformed into
stone.    They may be seen standing there at the present day.144
A maiden who lived in the Shuswap country refused all offers of
marriage, telling her numerous suitors that none of them were good
enough for her.    Thus she remained unmarried, whilst all the young
girls of her own age soon found husbands.    Afterwards, when she 46 Traditions of the Thompson River Indians.
became anxious to get married, no one would have her, the young
men treating her in the same way that she had treated them.
Therefore she married the root Kokwë'la,148 and soon afterwards
was delivered of a son. The boy, who did not know who his father
was, soon grew up, and used to play with the other boys of the
place. One day he treated some of his playmates roughly, and in
consequence they grew angry with him, calling him names, and
styling him "bastard," saying that he was the offspring of the Kokwë'la. The boy felt ashamed at this treatment. He went home
and told his mother all about it. He asked her if it were true
that he was the son of the Kokwë'la. She answered him, saying,
" Yes, the Kokwë'la was your father." On this he became very much
ashamed, and immediately retired to the mountains. He began to
train, and tried to acquire magical powers. He stayed for a long
time, and eventually developed into a man gifted in the highest degree with magical powers. On his return, he began to travel over
the country, transforming bad people, and others who offended him,
and curtailing the powers of those who did injury to their neighbors.
Departing from the Shuswap country east of Kamloops, he followed down Thompson River to its mouth at Lytton, where, a short
distance below that point, at a place called Kapoztcu't, he met the
Qoâ'qLqaL, who were on their way up the river. When they met
they tried their magical powers on one another, and had many trials
of strength and " mystery," to see who was the strongest. Kokwë'la
easily vanquished them, but they could not defeat him at any trial.
They camped there together one night, and the place where they lay
may still be recognized by the marks made by their bodies. On the
morrow they separated, the Qoâ'qLqaL going up Thompson River,
whilst Kokwë'la continued his travels down Fraser River. Upon
reaching NLaqLa'qEtEn,147 he turned around and came back again up
the Fraser, which river, it is said, he followed to its headwaters,
coming back again either by way of North Thompson River or Columbia River. Nobody knows what became of him. The Kokwë'la
root grew up wherever he went. He did not travel through the
Uta'mqt country, therefore the Kokwë'la root does not grow there.148
The Bush-tailed Rat was a man who lived in a cave in the rocks.
He was always abundantly supplied with provisions. The door of
his house used to open and shut at his command, without his having
to touch it ; for he merely used to say, " Wîkaiû' tcîLX ! " and immediately the door swung open, and " Mîsaiû' tcïLX !" 149 and it shut at Traditions of the Thompson River Indians. 47
once. Many people used to visit him, and these were always fairly
well received ; but occasionally he acted stingily, and did not offer
them any food. At such times he used to say, "The times are
hard. I have not been able to gather any food lately. I am sorry
that I cannot offer you anything to eat." Not far from the Bush-
tailed Rat's house there dwelt a large number of Indians in underground lodges ; and as might be expected, these people had many
cellars or caches in close proximity to their dwellings, in which they
kept their dried fish and other provisions.
One day a man from the village went to pay a visit to the Bush-
tailed Rat, for he suspected that the latter had stolen some of the
provisions out of his cellar. The Rat saw him coming, and when the
man approached the door, he told it to open, and ordered it to shut
again as soon as the visitor had entered. After having placed some
food before the man, the latter addressed the Rat, saying, " What a
large quantity of provisions you have! How do you manage to
accumulate so much ? We never see you or your wife gathering
fruit, digging roots, hunting, or trapping." The Rat answered, " My
friend, the store of provisions I have is small, and as I am not able to
do much work, what little food I have to eat is kindly given to me by
my younger brother the Long-Tailed Mouse, who is thus the means
of keeping me alive." The man answered, " That is strange ! We
all know your younger brother is small and weak : so it does not seem
likely that he should be able to gather such large stores of provisions as we see in your house." The Rat then reiterated his former
statement. Before long the man said, " Well, my friend, I will now
go home." The Rat commanded the door to open, and the man
went out. As soon as he departed, the door shut again. On reaching his lodge the man said to his wife, " I think the Bush-tailed Rat
steals food from our cellars. Keep a watch to-night and see if he
comes." The woman went and opened 15° the door of their cellar,
and leaving it open, went inside and hid in a corner.151 Shortly
after dark the Bush-tailed Rat arrived, and, entering the cellar,
began to help himself to the provisions, which he gathered in a pile
outside the door. He then went home and told his wife152 that he
found the door of one of the cellars open, and had taken out so
much provisions that it would need their combined strength to carry
them home. Consequently his wife accompanied him to the place
and helped him to carry home his stolen goods. After their departure, the woman went in and told her husband, who in his turn informed all the people.
The next day all the people of the village repaired in a body to the
house of the Bush-tailed Rat, who, seeing them coming, ordered
the door to stand open.    After they had all arrived and entered, the 48 Traditions of the Thompson River Indians.
Rat ordered the door to shut. The leader of the party then demanded of the Rat to explain where he obtained his abundant
supply of provisions, and the Rat answered, " I have no provisions,
and am sorry I cannot offer you anything to eat. If it were not
for my younger brother the Long-tailed Mouse, who gives me food,
I should be reduced to starvation." The man answered, " Why do
you he thus ? " He grew angry and attacked the Rat with a spear.
To avoid the man's savage thrusts, the Rat ran up and down the
walls of the house, and along the roof, whilst his wife hid in a
corner. Being sorely wounded, and hard pressed by the people, the
Rat called to the door to open. He jumped outside and ordered
the door to close again. Thus the people were all imprisoned in the
cave. The Rat caused the roof and the walls of the house to fall
in, and thus all the people were killed. The Bush-tailed Rat then
left that part of the country, and took up his abode in another place,
where he lived in a cave in the rocks, and killed all the people who
went to visit him. He made the door of his house close on them,
thereby crushing them to death. Eventually a man158 went to the
Rat's house, and placed a spear-head164 horizontally across the
entrance. The Rat called to the door to shut; but it could not
do so, owing to this obstruction. The man then changed the Bush-
tailed Rat into the animal known by that name at the present day,
and cursed him, saying, " You will now be an ordinary bush-tailed
rat, and you will be dependent for your livelihood on the refuse
that you may steal from people's cellars. Your house hereafter will
be only an ordinary hole between rocks, and the entrance will no
longer open or shut at your command. You will also be glad to
take refuge in the deserted habitations of people." ^
amux and NkamtcI'm
.   THE  (
Having finished his work on earth, and having put all things to
rights, the time came that the Coyote should meet the Old Man.
He was travelling eastward through the country somewhere to the
southeast of the Columbia, when he met the Old Man, but did not
know that he was the " Great Chief " or " Mystery," because he did
not appear to be different from any other old man. The Coyote
thought, "This old man does not know who I am. I will astonish
him. He knows nothing of my great powers, and of the wonders I
have performed." After saluting each other, the Old Man derided
the Coyote as a person possessed of small powers ; consequently the
latter felt annoyed, and began to boast of the many wonders he had Traditions of the Thompson River Indians. 49
performed. The Old Man then said, " If you have performed all
those feats, you must indeed be the Coyote, of whom all the people
speak, for he alone can do such things." The Coyote said, " Yes,
I am he. Why do you doubt my powers ? " Whereupon the Old
Man answered, " If you are he, and so powerful as you say, remove
that river, and make it run yonder." This the Coyote did. Then
the Old Man said, " Bring it back ; " and the Coyote did so. The
Old Man then said, " Place that high mountain on the plain." The
Coyote did so, and the Old Man then said, "Replace it where it
was ; " but this the Coyote could not do, because the Old Man,
being the greater in magic of the two, willed otherwise. The Old
Man then asked the Coyote why he could not replace it, and the
latter answered, " I don't know. I suppose because you are greater
than I in magic, and therefore make my efforts fruitless." The
Old Man then made the mountain go back to its place. Then, to
test the. Old Man's power, the Coyote said, " Remove that river."
The Old Man did so. The Coyote then told him to remove a
mountain, and he did so, returning each of them to its original
position. The Coyote then said, "You must be the Old Man, or
the Great Chief. I was looking for you." The Old Man answered :
" I am the Great Chief. Now you have been a long time on earth ;
and since the world, mostly through your instrumentality, has been
put to rights, you have nothing more to do. Soon I am going to
leave the earth. You will not return again until I myself do so.
You shall then accompany me, and we will change things in the
world, and bring back the dead to the land of the living." The
Old Man then made a large house out of ice in a far-away part of
the world, and put the Coyote therein to await his coming. He
placed inside the house a large log, which should burn forever, and
be a fire for the Coyote. No one knows where the Coyote's house
is.157 He will come again at some future time, and will bring back
the Indian dead from the land of shades.
Shortly after the Old Man's meeting with the Coyote, he encountered a lad who was gifted in magic. When they met, each tested
the other's magical powers. Eventually the Old Man pointed out
to the lad a house in the distance, saying, " That ' is my house. I
want you to go to it, and take possession of it, but you must go in
seven steps." The lad made three attempts to get there, and failed;
but on the fourth attempt he accomplished the feat, and reached the
house, which he entered, finding plenty of food and everything he 50 Traditions of the Thompson River Indians.
could desire. He saw the Old Man coming towards the house, and
thought, " I will cook a meal for the Old Man." The lad did not
know who the latter was. Before long the Old Man arrived, and
partook of the meal that the lad had cooked, saying in the mean
time, 11 intend to go on a long journey, and wish you to keep
possession, and stay in my house until I come back." After eating,
they walked abroad until they reached a small and very deep lake.
Here the Old Man said to the lad, " We will try our powers by
seeing who can stay the longest at the bottom of the lake." Accordingly they dived, and immediately the lake became violently agitated, and rose in such great and high waves, that the troughs of
the bilges reached the bottom of the deep lake. The Old Man then
rose on the top of one of these waves which reached to the sky, and
entered the upper world.158 The lad was surprised at the agitated
state of the lake, and immediately went ashore. Then the waters
became calm again. He thought, " The Old Man must have been
drowned in the lake, and hence its great waves." So he was sorrowful at the supposed death of his friend, and went away, no one knows
where. The Old Man will come back some day with the Coyote,
and will then help the Indians. He will appear amongst clouds of
tobacco smoke.159
Long ago the Swan was a great chief. He was a good man, and
used to be a chief at the dances. He was wont to sit by while the
people danced, exhorting and encouraging them, and also prayed,
and made speeches. When the Old Man turned the bad people
into animals and birds, and led the good people away, settling them
over the country, the Swan accompanied him. After the Old Man
had finished his work, the Swan went home with him, thus being
the only man that ever reached or entered into the Old Man's
abode. Here he stayed for a long time, but at last got tired, and
wished to go back again to his own country. The Old Man invited
him to stay there always, but he answered that he had left his child
in his own country, and wished very much to go back and see it.
Therefore the Old Man allowed him to depart; but before leaving he turned his skin pure white as a mark of his favor, and to
let people know that the Swan was no ordinary person, but was a
man who had found favor in his eyes. That is the reason that the
swan is all white at the present day. He returned to his country,
where he found the child, and never went back to the Old Man's
abode. Traditions of the Thompson River Indians. 51
3a. Another tale tells the origin of the swan as follows : Whilst
separating the good people from the evil, the Old Man had difficulty
in deciding the case of one man, whether he was good or bad, but at
last came to the conclusion that he would put him amongst those
who were to remain people, and whom he was leading forth. Now,
this man's wife had already been turned into a bird, and he was loath
to leave her. Therefore he looked back and said, "May not my
wife come with me ? " whereupon the Old Man got angry, because
he had issued strict injunctions to the people who remained not to
look back towards the scene of the transformation, under the penalty of his displeasure. Therefore he changed this man into a
swan, and, taking him by the legs, he threw him far away out upon
a lake.160
In the beginning there were no trees, and many kinds of bushes
and plants were wanting ; neither was there any salmon or other fish,
nor any berries. The only animals on the earth at that time were
deer, which were plentiful, but the people could not kill them because they were so fleet of foot and jumped so far. They sprang
from one mountain-top to another in a single bound. At last, however, a woman managed to curtail their powers by means of throwing
her breech-clout on one of them.161 After this they became ordinary
deer, and could jump only a moderate distance as they do now ; so
the people were enabled to kill them, and they thus commenced to
form an important part of their food supply.
There was once a boy who lived with his parents near Lytton.
He was a very bad boy, constantly getting into mischief and doing
what he was forbidden. He was also very lazy, quarrelsome, and
disobedient. His parents could do nothing with him; therefore
they resolved to desert him for a while, thinking that if he were
thrown on his own resources it might do him good. It was in the
springtime, and his parents were still living in an underground lodge.
Their neighbors, who were occupying four or five other houses close
by, agreed to leave at the same time, and to remove, bag and
baggage, into the mountains, where they intended to stay a while
hunting deer. One morning the boy went away for a ramble. Then
the people all packed up and went away. When he came home, he
found the place deserted, and commenced looking at the tracks to 5 2 Traditions of the Thompson River Indians.
find out which way they had gone. He followed them for some
distance, but eventually lost them. Then he heard the sound of
whistling,162 which he thought came from some of the people. He
went in the direction of the sound, but the next time it came from
another quarter. Thus it came from every direction, sometimes
sounding as if close to him, and sometimes far away. At last the
boy grew weary of following the sound, and, as he could not see any
one, he retraced his steps. On arriving at the village, he felt hungry,
and searched through all the empty houses for something to eat, but
could not find anything excepting in the houses of the Raven and
the Crow, where he discovered a few strings of dried fish. These he
took to his own house and began to eat them. While eating, he saw
move a basket, which was turned upside-down. It was half hidden
in one corner. He went up to it and kicked it over, when to his
surprise he found underneath his old grandmother. She was unable
to travel, and had been left behind. Being very angry, he kicked
and struck the old woman, who said to him, " Do not treat me so,
my child. I may be of service to you." She had a piece of cedar-
bark, which she had lighted at the fire before it had gone out. She
told the boy to gather firewood, which he did, and soon they had a
good fire. The old woman then showed the boy how to make a
small bow and arrows. After he had finished making these, she
told him to shoot mice, which were plentiful. Thus for a time they
lived on mice, while the old woman made the skins into a large
blanket. The boy then began to shoot larger game in the shape of
Blue Jays and Magpies, the skins of which the old woman also made
into two blankets, also the skins of another variety168 of birds, of
which the boy shot many. One day he had his four blankets spread
outside on the ground, when the Sun, who was on his daily round,
saw them. Admiring them greatly, he came to see whom they belonged to. (At that time the Sun, when travelling, always went
naked, for he only used robes when he slept in his house at night.)
Finding the owner, he offered to purchase them. The boy sold
them, receiving in return many fine presents. The Sun wrapped
them around his body, and soon disappeared out of sight ; but the
colors of the four blankets, may still be seen in the Sun at the present day, especially the blue tint of the Blue Jay blanket. After this
the boy became a mighty hunter. He filled the cellars of the Crow
and the Raven with deer fat, because they had been kind to him by
leaving a few fish-skins. The cellars of the other people he filled
only partly.164 Thus being thrown on his own resources made a
man of him. Traditions of the Thompson River Indians.
[Nkamtci'nEmux and NLak-apamux'ô'ë.]
The land at one time was troubled by the Sun, who killed many
people.165 At that time the country was hotter than it is now, for
the Sun lived near the earth ; but afterwards he moved farther away,
and later on farther still. He was a man and a cannibal, killing
people on his travels every day. He always travelled from east to
west, every night returning tired to his house. He hung up the
people whom he had killed during his day's travel when he reached
home, taking down the bodies of those whom he had hung up the
night before and eating them. He had a son 168 who always stayed
at home, and was clad in fine garments of many colors.
Now there was an Indian belonging to Lytton who was an unlucky gambler and had lost his all. He was sorrowful because of his
bad luck, so he went to a lonely part of the mountains to sweat-
bathe and to converse with his protecting spirit.167 Then he dreamt
that good luck was in store for him if he would travel. Therefore
he travelled, and after many days came to a cliff overlooking a great
lake. He saw a great cloud, which seemed to span the lake. Its
end touched the shore, and was moving up and down like fog. When
the cloud rose towards him, he jumped on it and walked across. At
last he reached a pleasant country, and, on striking a trail, in a short
time came to a house. Here he found the Sun's son, who treated
him kindly, and set before him the best of food. After telling him
whence he had come, the Sun's son said, " I am glad that you came,
because I am very lonely, and I should willingly have you to stay, but
my father is the Sun. He is a cannibal, and will eat you if he finds
you." The Indian said he would like to stay two days if possible.
The Sun's son hid him under a heap of robes, leaving only breathing-
room for his face, and then he himself lay down with his head resting on the heap of robes. When his father arrived in the evening,
he was carrying a man on his back. As he came near the house, he
said, "Mum, mum, mum! There must be a man here." But his
son assured him to the contrary, and made fun of him, saying, " How
could a man come here ? " The Sun entered, hung up his victim's
body, and, taking down the body of a man he had killed the day
before, began to eat his supper. After supper the Sun, who apparently felt very tired, immediately went to sleep. Next morning
he went on his daily travels as usual. The Indian then told the
Sun's son that he would go home, as he did not care to stay another
night. His friend gave him a bundle, telling him to put it on his
back, and not to look at it until he reached home ; and if his packing- 54 Traditions of the Thompson River Indians.
line should stretch, and the bundle should slip down his back, he
should not try to arrange it, but leave it as it was until he reached
home. The Indian left, going back the same way he had come. On
arriving near Lytton, he sat down, took off his pack, and proceeded
to open the bundle. On doing so, the bundle increased suddenly, so
that the whole hillside was covered with the finest garments of all
descriptions. He then proceeded to Lytton, where he sent out the
people to carry in the goods, which filled several underground lodges.
After this he became a great man, and the people wanted to give him
their daughters in marriage, but he refused them all. Finally
the Loon and the Goose came to him, and made him a present of
their respective daughters, telling him that it was not well that he
should have no wives. After a while he told his wives that he intended to travel, and wished them to accompany him. He took the
same route as before, and arrived at the Sun's house with the two
women. Here he was received kindly as before. He gave one of
the women to the Sun's son to be his wife, and told him to tell his
father when he came home that the other one was for him. The
Sun came home in the evening as usual, carrying a dead man on his
back. His son went out and talked to him, telling him of the fine
presents the man from earth had brought to them. The Sun was
well pleased, and, on taking his wife, told the Indian that he would
never trouble the people any more by killing them, except on rare
occasions.168 That is the reason the Sun does not kill people now,
as he formerly did.169
Formerly the Sun was a great chief, who lived at Lkamtcï'n
(Lytton), and who was possessed of much power and riches. He
had a young daughter who was noted for her wonderful beauty.
None of the young men of the place presumed to ask her in marriage, because they knew that her father considered them to be all
unworthy of such a fair prize as his daughter.
At this time there lived a man in a distant country to the east who
had become powerful in magic, as well as distinguished for bravery.
This man learned through the medium of his protecting spirit that
there was a beautiful maiden who lived at Lkamtcï'n, — the daughter
of the Sun, — so he determined that she should become his wife.
Accordingly he set out on his journey, and on reaching Lkamtcï'n
asked the people where the Sun's house170 was, and they pointed it
out to him. On arriving at the house, he stated the object of his
visit, but was at first received very rudely. Afterwards, however, he
found favor with the Sun, and thus, after giving presents, obtained Traditions of the Thompson River Indians. 55
his daughter to be his wife. After staying with his father-in-law for
some time, he took his bride away with him, to return to his home
in the east. Before they left, the Sun told his daughter soon to
come back and visit him, but she did not return for several years ;
therefore the Sun was very much displeased at his daughter's neglect. After reaching her husband's country, the Sun's daughter
lived happily for a time, two children being the fruits of their marriage. Shortly after the second child had been born, her husband
deserted her, saying that she was too hot, and that he would die if he
lived with her much longer. Therefore she took her children, and
returned to her own country. Her father saw her coming, and said
to himself : " She disobeyed my commands. Why should I receive
her now, when she would not come before ? She shall never find me,
nor enter my house." Therefore when she was nearing Lkamtcï'n,
he turned her into the present sun which we now see. This is the
reason that the Sun travels each day from east to west, in search of
her father.    Her children are occasionally seen as sun-dogs.
Formerly the country was troubled with successions of hot and
cold winds, which annoyed the Indians very much. The cold winds
were blowing when the wind-making people of the north were walking about, whilst the hot winds were in like manner caused by the
wind-makers of the south. These people used to contend with one
another by sending out the cold and hot winds, to see which would
get the mastery. The Indians, whose country lay between, suffered
much discomfort from these wars of the wind people. Therefore
they sent deputations172 to each of them, asking them to discontinue
their strife. This they agreed to do. A marriage was arranged to
take place between the contending parties, upon the consummation
of which both parties were to cease hostilities. Shortly after this,
the people of the south sent their daughter to marry the son of the
north. After enduring many great hardships on her travel norths
ward, she reached her destination, where she was kindly received
by the people, but it took her a long time to get used to her strange
surroundings and the constant cold weather. The offspring of the
marriage between these people was one child. After staying a while
in the north with her husband's people, the woman took her child
on a visit to her friends in the south. After spending some time
there, she started back on her return trip, accompanied by her elder
brother. They embarked in a bark canoe for the country of the
cold.   Her brother paddled.    After going a long distance, and while 56 Traditions of the Thompson River Indians.
crossing a great lake, the cold became so intense that her brother
could not endure it any longer. He took the child from his sister
and threw it into the water. Immediately the air turned warm, and
the child floated on the water as a lump of ice. This is the reason
that ice now floats on the rivers and some of the lakes after a mild
wind. Thus the people were no longer troubled by the hot and cold
winds. Since then the winds have neither been so hot nor so cold
as formerly, and they now blow only once in a while.
[N kamtci'nEmux.]
Once the Mosquito paid a visit to the Thunder. The latter, seeing
that the Mosquito was gorged with blood, asked him. where he obtained it, and .told him that he had been wishing to get some for a
long time, but did not know where to obtain it. The Mosquito
answered, " I got the blood from somewhere." The Thunder was
annoyed at this evasive answer, and said, " Why do you answer me
thus ? Don't you know that I can shoot you and kill you ? " The
Mosquito, being afraid, then said, "I suck it from the tree-tops."
By this lie the Mosquito saved the people, and that is the reason that
the Thunder strikes the tree-tops at the present day. If the Mosquito had told the truth, then the Thunder would now shoot people
and animals instead of trees.174
[NLak#apamux'o'e and Nkamtci'nEmux.]
In the beginning the people were without fire. The Beaver and
the Eagle said they would find out where fire could be obtained, and
accordingly they sent out the Swallow,176 who flew over the country
on a search. At last he came back with the intelligence that he
had discovered fire in possession of a family at Lkamtcï'n (Lytton).
The Beaver and the Eagle then said, "We will go and obtain it;"
and they laid their plans accordingly. The Eagle soared away
through the air, and at last discovered the shell of a fresh-water
clam,177 which he took possession of. The Beaver appeared at the
place178 where the people drew water out of the creek. They lived in
an underground lodge. Some young girls, going down to the creek
for water in the morning, came back running, with the intelligence
that there was a beaver at the watering-place. Some young men
ran out with bows and arrows, shot him,179 and brought him up to the
house. They began to skin him. In the mean while the Beaver
thought,  " Oh, my elder brother !    He is long in coming.    I am Traditions of the Thompson River Indians. 57
nearly done for." Just then the Eagle perched down on the top of
the ladder, and at once attracted the people's attention, so that they
forgot all about the Beaver in' their anxiety to shoot the Eagle,
which they could not kill, although they fired arrows at him. Meanwhile the Beaver caused the house to be flooded with water. In the
confusion the Eagle dropped the clam-shell down into the fire. The
Beaver immediately filled it with fire, put it under his armpit, and
made off in the water.180 He spread it over the whole country. After
that the Indians could make fire out of trees.181
A long time ago the people at the headwaters of Fraser River had
no fire. Only the people at Lytton had fire, which they had obtained from the Coyote or from the Sun. The people at the headwaters of Fraser River desired to obtain fire, and sent two men who
were to try to get it. They went to Tsotcowa'ux Creek,188 where
they remained for four months, sweat-bathing and strengthening
their magic powers, until in their visions they saw the edges of the
world, and knew everything. Then the one brother, to show his
power, asked the other to cut him up, and to lay the body on the
door of the sweat-house. He told him that all the birds would come
to eat his flesh. Then he instructed him to allow them to eat his
whole body except the heart. When the Eagle came, the brother
was to catch him by the tail, for he was his protecting spirit. After
all the birds had arrived one after another, the Eagle came. The
brother caught him by the tail, and secured him. The disembowelled man then came to life again. Next day the same was done
with the other brother, — all the animals were to come and eat his
flesh, and when the Beaver came, the brother was to catch him by
the tail, for he was his protecting spirit. Thus the Beaver was secured, and the disembowelled man arose. Then they said, "We
will go and obtain fire from Lytton," and laid their plans accordingly; the one changing184 himself into an eagle, whilst the other
turned into a beaver. [The rest is the same as the preceding version.]
[Nkamtci'nEmux and Cawa'xamux.]
A haxa'186 and his boy lived in a distant country.    He had two
wooden boxes186 in his house, one of which contained fire, the other
water.    At that time there was no fire and no water in the outside
world.    Whenever the man opened the lid of the fire-box, immedi- 58 Traditions of the Thompson River Indians.
ately the house became very hot ; and when he wandered away from
the house, he used to tell the boy never to open the lids of the
boxes ; because if he opened the one, the house would take fire and he
would be burned ; if he opened the other, he would be drowned, because the house would be flooded. One day when he was away, the
Elk came along and entered the house, and, seeing the two boxes
there, asked the boy what they contained, who told him fire and
water. Whereupon the Elk, whose curiosity was aroused, opened
the two boxes. When it saw the fire and the water, it became afraid
and ran away. The house was burned, and the fire spread over the
country, burning the grass and trees.187 After this, fire could be
obtained from every kind of wood all over the world. The water
also ran out and drowned the fire wherever it went, and spread all
over the world, forming lakes and rivers.188
[NLak-apamux'ô'ë and Nkamtci'nEmux.]
The Skunk had four brothers, who were all married. He coveted
his brothers' wives, and devised a plan whereby to have them for
himself. He said to his brothers, "The trees are our enemies.
They do us harm, and will yet do us more harm. The Yellow Pine,
the Fir, the Balsam Poplar, the Aspen Poplar, and all the other trees,
are our enemies. I propose that we go to war against them." The
brothers agreed to this. They took the war-path and travelled together. After a few days' journey, they camped one night near a
valley through which flowed a river. The valley and the river were
similar to the Thompson River valley. The Skunk said, " We will
stay here to-night. The enemies are close at hand. I will go out
to scout, and endeavor if possible to ascertain their place, and discover their most vulnerable point of attack." He stole away in the
dark, and went down to the river. Here he saw many humpback
salmon, fished for them, and caught many. He took off their heads,
and threw their bodies back into the river. He said to the heads,
"Whoop and sing ! " And the heads whooped and sang. He went
back to his brothers and said to them, " Did you hear the noise of
the people ? They are aware of us, and are on the alert. They are
many, and it would be useless for us to attack them. We will sleep
here to-night, and with daylight we will return home." His brothers
believed him. He continued, "You may sleep, and I will watch."
Then they all went to sleep, except the Skunk, who then took his
four little bags of fluid odor, which he had kept tied up, and emptied
one over the face of each of his brothers, so that they immediately
fell in a dead swoon. Traditions of the Thompson River Indians. 59
The Skunk left them there, went home and told the people that
his brothers had been killed.189 Then he claimed all his brothers'
wives, and they went to him. He took them each one, and pointed
out with his finger on their bodies where their husbands had been
wounded.190 Then they went over to his part of the house and sat
down. He went and sat between them, having two of them on each
side. Just then the people said, " Some men are coming rapidly along
the hillside. They are the Skunk's brothers." They arrived, and entered another house, and called for their wives. But their wives would
not go, because, they said, "The Skunk has shamed us. We must
now remain his wives." The brothers then came in and attacked
the Skunk. They beat and wounded him and left him for dead;
but afterwards he revived and crawled away. After a few days he
felt well again, and visited his brothers. He said to them, "You
cannot kill me by ordinary means. The only way you can do so is
by tying me, putting me in a basket,191 and setting me adrift on the
river." The brothers consulted, saying, " The Skunk has insulted
us greatly. Let us do with him as he directs." They then took
the Skunk, tied him, and put him in a basket, closed the lid on him,
and set him adrift on the river. He floated down the river, and was
never heard of again.192
The Skunk had three younger brothers, who were all married,
and who lived with several other families, forming thereby a band or
community.    They lived in the Nkamtci'nEmux country.
The Skunk said to his brothers, " Let us go on the war-path against
the Northern Shuswaps193 (SLEmxô'ëmux) ; we shall gain renown,
and bring back booty and slaves." They consented, and forthwith
prepared for war. Their war-paint consisted of white lines drawn
vertically down the body and face. Then the four brothers started
together. They soon reached a place on the confines of the Shuswap and Nkamtci'nEmux countries, albeit rather within the boundaries of the former. Here, close to Marble Canyon, and not far
from Hat Creek, the Skunk said to his brothers, " Let us camp, for
we need food and rest. We shall soon have to be on the alert when
we reach the heart of the enemy's country."
He then caused yellow pines to appear194 close to where they
were encamped, and they took the dry bark off some of the trees,
and kindled fires. As soon as his brothers were asleep, the Skunk
excreted his obnoxious fluid over their faces, and they fainted. He
next took their weapons from them, and caused a lake to appear, 6o Traditions of the Thompson River Indians.
and a high cliff near it.195 The waters of this lake were colored with
four longitudinal stripes, — red, white, yellow, and blue.196 Having
done all this, the Skunk was about to depart, when he noticed some
of his excrement197 near the lake's edge, and said to it, " Who are
you ? " It answered, " I am the Skunk's excrement." The Skunk
replied, " Do not say that, or I will strike you. Say, ' I am the
Skunk's slave,' for I want you to come with me as my little slave."
Then he repeated his question, "Who are you?" But it always
answered, " I am the Skunk's excrement," instead of saying, as it
was told to, " I am the Skunk's slave." The Skunk became angry,
and struck it repeatedly on the head, until it was dry and scattered.
Then he turned his steps homeward, and when at length he neared
the dwellings of the people, began to wail, " Oh my younger brothers !
They went to war ; they were attacked ; they were killed, — killed
by the Shuswap.    Oh my younger brothers ! "
The people heard him, and ran out armed, saying, "Some one
approaches, wailing." Soon they recognized him, and told him to
come in and give his news. He entered a lodge and sat down, and
related to the people how they had been attacked, and how his three
brothers had been killed, he alone escaping. "Let my sisters-in-
law," he said, " come here, so that I may relate to them the account
of the death-wounds received by their husbands." But two of the
women would not go, " for," they said, " he has killed our husbands."
The other woman, however, went to him. Then the Skunk related
to her how they had been attacked, and how, after a fierce fight, his
three brothers were slain, while he alone escaped, how, he hardly
knew. She asked him where her husband was wounded, and the
Skunk took hold of her shoulder with his left hand, and with the
index finger of his right hand, touched her brow, saying, " He was
hit here." He then touched her neck, saying, "And he was hit
here." Then he touched her breast, and said, . He was hit here."198
He then said, " You were my brother's wife ; you must now be my
wife." She consented to become his wife ; but the other two women
(his sisters-in-law) refused to become his wives.
A day or two after this, three men appeared in sight of the lodges.
Again the people ran out armed ; but they recognized them as the
Skunk's three brothers, and welcomed them. Then they came in,
and told their story, to the effect that they had camped with their
elder brother, who was to keep watch while they slept, and that
after falling asleep, they knew nothing more ; also that he had excreted his fluid upon them, intending to kill them ; but after the '
stupor caused thereby had worn away, they had awakened to see, to
their astonishment, high cliffs and a lake near at hand, whereas there
had been none before.    Moreover, they smelled the skunk odor on Traditions of the Thompson River Indians. 61
their bodies and on their clothes ; therefore they had taken the bear-
berry plant and burned it, causing a great smoke, in which they
stood with their clothes, until the odor left them, which it did in a
short time.199 Seeing that they were without weapons, they made
their way home. They afterwards saw the Skunk, and cursed him,200
saying, " You shall run on the ground, and eat vermin. You shall
be no person's friend. Everybody will dislike and avoid you, on
account of your smell." 201
Formerly there was a large log which burned 202 on the top of the
mountain called Yekatwau'xus Cuxcu'x,203 and which threw out a
great light and heat. The Grizzly Bear saw the light, and coming
along tried to put out the fire, because the warmth and the light were
disagreeable to him. He scraped up the earth with his paws, and
threw it on the fire, and thus had nearly extinguished it when the
Chipmunk came along and began to throw sticks on the fire, thus
making the Grizzly's efforts futile. The Chipmunk ran around
gathering sticks and throwing them on the fire, and crying, " Tcî'x-a,
tcî'x'a, mâ''a, mâ''a ! " 204 for he wanted to see the light and warmth
remain. The Grizzly Bear in the mean time worked hard, throwing
earth on the fire to put it out, and crying, "LÎ'pa, LÎ'pa, Lî'pa!"205
Thus they contended with one another for a long time, but eventually the efforts of the Chipmunk seemed to meet with success, for
the log commenced to burn more brightly. The Grizzly Bear, who
was now getting tired, became angry with the Chipmunk for defeating him, and attacked him by throwing earth on him. The latter
retaliated by throwing wood-dust. When he saw that he had no
chance in a fight with the Grizzly Bear, he ran away, and hid in a
hollow log close by. The Grizzly Bear chased him, and just as he
was entering the log made a stroke at him, tearing the skin off his
back in stripes ; but the Chipmunk soon got out of harm's way, and
was safe in his retreat inside the log. No one knows what became
of the fire afterwards.206
[NLak-apamux'5'ë and Nkamtci'nEmux.]
The Black Bear and the Chipmunk once contended against each
other, the former for darkness, the latter for light. The Bear cried,
"LÎ'pa, Lî'pa, LÎ'pa!" and the Chipmunk, "Mâ''a, mâ''a, mâ''a ! "
The Bear, finding that the Chipmunk was his equal in the possession
of magical powers, finally became enraged, and would have killed his 62 Traditions of the Thompson River Indians.
adversary ; but the Chipmunk was too quick for him, and ran into
his hole just as the Bear made a dash for him. The Bear scratched
the Chipmunk when going into his hole. This is the origin of the
present stripes on the Chipmunk's back. If the Bear had managed
to kill the Chipmunk, we should have had eternal darkness instead
of day and night, as we have at present.
The daughter of a chief at Lkamtcï'n (Lytton), who was very
pretty, refused all offers of marriage from her numerous suitors. At
last her father became angry with her, and said, " Is a dog to be your
husband, that you refuse all these offers from the best young men ? "
To which she replied in anger, "Even if a dog were my husband,
it would suit me as well as these." After this, one of her rejected
suitors, who was gifted in magic, changed a dog into a young man.
At night this man went to the girl, unknown to the other people of
the underground lodge. He did so repeatedly; but at daybreak,
when he left the girl, he was changed back into a dog, therefore she
could not find out who her lover was. After some time, when she
was with child, she devised a plan to discover the identity of her
lover. She rubbed red ochre on her hands, and when her lover
came, she embraced him, drawing her painted hands along his sides.
The man left her early, but she did not see him go out of the underground lodge, although she had watched all the people go out and
in. At last she noticed her father's dog go out, with a red streak of
ochre on each of his sides. Overcome with shame, she sat down
and wept. The people asked her the cause of her sorrow, but she
would not tell.
After some time she gave birth to a litter of four male pups. Her
father and all the people were so much ashamed and wroth, that
they immediately left her, and went to BEta'ni. She took her four
children, and went to live in a lonely place a little distance above
Lytton, where she worked very hard to provide food for herself and
her children. When they had grown a little, she used to leave them
at nights, and went spearing fish by torchlight along the bank of
the river. One morning, when she was nearing home, she heard
the noise of the children playing. She went on noiselessly, peered
into the house, when to her astonishment she saw her children in
human form, playing together. As soon as they became aware of
her approach, they were all changed into dogs again. Thus she
watched them three successive mornings, and discovered that they
were really children, who threw off their dogskins and laid them Traditions of the Thompson River Indians. 63
aside when they went to play, or whenever they thought their
m other had gone away ; but as soon as they became aware of her
approach, they put them on again. That day she prepared four
kettles of medicine.207 On the fourth night she suddenly appeared
at the house, and, getting between the children and the place where
their skins were lying, she threw the contents of the four kettles of
medicine over their bodies, and thus prevented their resuming the
shape of dogs.
The woman stayed in this place for several years, neither visiting
nor being visited by people. In the mean time her four boys grew
up into young men of great beauty and of fair complexion. They
became great hunters, and filled all the cellars and houses of the
deserted village with deer fat and dressed skins. They put the
choicest food and the best skins in the cellars and houses of the
Raven and the Crow, because these, when leaving, had taken pity
on their mother, and had left a few fish-heads behind in their cellars
for her to eat. One day in the early summer they were visited by
the Magpie, who had come down from BEta'ni, where most of the
people were at that time camped. The woman and her sons treated
their visitor hospitably, and gave him plenty of deer fat to eat The
Magpie then returned to BEta'ni, and related to the people what he
had seen. He went to the lodge of the woman's parents, and told
them, " Your daughter is still alive and well. Her children are no
longer dogs, but are young men of fine appearance and of fair skin.
They have become mighty hunters, and have filled all our houses
and cellars with meat, fat, and skins." The Wolf and some others
laughed at the Magpie, for they did not believe his story ; but most
of the people believed him, and said, " Let us go down and see our
friends." So they all moved down to their old village, and found
that the Magpie's story was true. Then they sent out messengers
to the woman and her sons, asking them to come and stay with
them, but they would not consent to do so for a long time. Many
people were anxious to marry their daughters to them, but for a long
time their propositions were rejected. At length the woman and
her sons removed to the village, where they took up their abode with
the people, and the young men married many wives, and became the
fathers of numerous children.208
Formerly the Owl was a great hunter.    At one time some people
who were hunting happened to camp near his haunts in the mountains.    They were accompanied by a boy who was in the habit of 64 Traditions of the Thompson River Indians.
continually making a noise, and crying, thus causing them much
annoyance. One evening his parents, intending to make him quiet,
said, "Owl, come and take him." That night the Owl came and
took him away. He reared him, and the boy eventually became,
like the Owl himself, a celebrated hunter. The two generally used
to hunt in company. The lad always walked near the top of the
hills, so as to intercept and shoot the deer, which were started up
the mountain side by the Owl, who always walked below, driving
the deer by means of cries. One day while hunting, the boy heard
the Owl, who was driving, shouting more distinctly than usual, and
recognized the words tci' tern uL En ca'ut (" go towards my slave "),
which he was calling to the deer. He felt very much ashamed and
offended because the Owl called him his slave, and therefore repaired to the Short-tailed Mouse for advice. She told him, "The
Owl is not your father : he stole you from your parents. Go back
to your own country and people." She told him how and where to
find his people, so he left the Owl and went back, taking up his
abode with his own friends.
The Marten and the Fisher were brothers. They lived together in
an underground lodge. The Marten had a young wife and a boy of
three or four years of age. One day the Marten's wife went down
to the river to draw water, and the boy accompanied her. When
she was filling her bucket, the Spring Salmon jumped out of the
river a short distance away. She said to herself, "What a good-
looking fellow that is ! I wish I could have him for my husband."
The Spring Salmon heard her, swam ashore, and said, " I am he
whom you wished to be your husband. Come with me." They
went into the river together.
Meanwhile the Marten said to his brother, " The woman is long in
coming. Go and see what has happened." The Fisher went down
and found the buckets of water and the boy. When he asked the
latter what had become of his mother, he pointed towards the river.
Then the Fisher returned home with the boy and the water. He
told his brother the Marten that the woman had disappeared. The
Marten said, " I know what has become of -my wife. She is fascinated with the Spring Salmon, who has bewitched her, and taken
her home with him. Therefore," he said, "we must go and get
her." Then the Fisher went out and caught a fawn, and brought it
home for the boy to play with ; and he also made a bow and arrows
for the boy, so that he should amuse himself by shooting at the Traditions of the Thompson River Indians. 65
fawn ; and on the third day after the disappearance of the woman,
they gave the boy an ample supply of provisions and left him to play
with the fawn, whilst they went to the underground lodge where the
Spring Salmon stayed. There were several houses there ; and towards evening, when most of the people had gone out to the water
to wash themselves, these two ventured out, and in the dusk mixed
with the women as they were going home again. They were in disguise, and represented some female relatives of the Spring Salmon,
who had left home a few days before. In this disguise they met the
woman, and whispered to her that they had come to take her home,
and told her to keep her new husband awake as late as possible by
playing with him, so that when he went to sleep he should sleep.
soundly. They then all entered the house together. There was very
little light in the house, as it was mild weather ; and the people had
a very small fire, so they were not noticed much when they went in.
Going to an out-of-the-way corner of the house, they sat down.
Some person said, " Let the fire go out altogether. It is too warm."
This was done, and after a while it was altogether dark inside the
house. The woman, as directed, kept the Spring Salmon awake a
long time by playing and talking with him, so that some of the
people, noticing this, said, " The Spring Salmon's new wife is very
fond of playing with her husband to-night She has not done so
hitherto." After the Spring Salmon fell asleep, the woman rose,
and the Marten went over and killed him by cutting off his head.
Then, turning the body, neck down, towards the fireplace, they all
departed, the Marten carrying the Salmon head. They walked to
the shore of a lake, where there was a canoe, by means of which
they crossed the lake ; and when they were half way over the Marten dropped the Spring Salmon's head overboard. Then they all
went home together. When the people in the underground lodge
awoke in the morning, they found the Spring Salmon's headless
body. The Coyote said, " certain the Marten and the Fisher
have been here to recover the Marten's wife. I thought they looked
strange when they came down the ladder last night, and their gait
looked peculiar."
The people went out to search for the fugitives. The Wolf tracked
them by the blood to the place where they had embarked in the
canoe. Then the Eagle arrived and said, "I saw them drop the
head in the lake." The Spring Salmon's relatives offered a great
price for the recovery of the head. The Swan, the Goose, the
Ducks, and Divers, all tried to find it, but failed. At last the Loon
said : " I see it in the bottom, but none but I can dive to such a
depth. If you will treble your price, I will get it." They trebled
the reward, and the Loon dived, and got the head.    The people 66 Traditions of the Thompson River Indians.
then took the head home, and put it on the body. The Otter and
the Wolf, who were the most powerful shamans, then treated the
corpse and brought it back to life, and the Spring Salmon became
as well as before.
The Hare lived with his old grandmother, in an underground
lodge on one side of a large river ; whilst on the other side lived the
Grizzly Bear family, consisting of the parents and four children.
The Grizzly Bears had plenty of dried salmon209 in their cellar, but
the Hare had none. He said to his grandmother, " I will go and
steal the dried fish of the Grizzly Bears from their cellar." The old
woman said, " Don't do so ; they may kill you. They are powerful
people." But he replied, " Oh, no ! they cannot kill me. I will kill
them." He went across in his canoe at night, and stole all the
dried fish of the Grizzly Bears, and digging a hole in his underground lodge, hid it there. On the next morning the Grizzly Bear's
wife came along, and entered their house, saying, " Have you seen
any stranger around ? Some one has stolen all our dried salmon."
The Hare was sitting on the top of the hole where the stolen salmon
were buried, and he mocked the Grizzly Bear, imitating her tone of
voice, and repeating her words, instead of answering her questions.
The Grizzly Bear got angry, and said, " I believe it is you who have
stolen our salmon." ao At the same time he attacked him. In the
fight which followed, the Bear tried to bite and to strike the
Hare ; but the latter was too quick, jumping from side to side, and
underneath and over the Grizzly Bear, who now pressed her antagonist hard. The Hare was getting out of breath, therefore he cried
toi his grandmother, " Throw the pitchwood in the fire ! The Grizzly is getting the better of me." The old woman did so, and immediately there was a great blaze and heat, and the house was soon
full of smoke,2U consequently the Bear, who was inconvenienced
thereby, commenced to lose ground, and finally was clubbed and
killed by the Hare, who skinned her, and cut her up, hanging the
paws and some of the fat underneath the ladder. Next morning the
husband of the bear came across the river and asked if they had
seen his wife. The Hare mocked and mimicked him, as he had
done the wife. Just then a drop of fat fell down on the Bear's nose
from his wife's paws, for he was sitting under the ladder. He looked
up, and, seeing parts of his wife's body hanging there, at once
accused the Hare of having killed his wife, and attacked him
fiercely. The Hare was getting the worst of the engagement again,
so he cried to his grandmother to throw the pitchwood in the fire. Traditions of the Thompson River Indians. 67
She did so, and the Bear at once became embarrassed, and finally
was killed by the Hare, who butchered him and hung up his carcass.212 He then told his grandmother that he would go across the
river, and kill the Grizzly children. She advised him not to do so ;
but he went, and, entering their underground lodge, he slew three of
them. The youngest one escaped. If it had not done so, there
would now be no Grizzly Bears in the world.
Some time afterwards the Hare said to his grandmother, " Wash
yourself," which she did. Then he said, " Comb and dress your
hair." She did so. Then he said, "Paint your face,"213 and she did
as told.    He then killed her.214
All the birds agreed to help the Hala'u m to steal the wife of the
Baldheaded Eagle, who was a very good woman, but ill treated by
her husband. The Hala'u said, " We will all go to the underground
lodge of our grandfather, the Baldheaded Eagle. I.will stay outside
whilst all of you go inside, and engage him in a game of lehal, and
you will at the same time complain of the cold, and keep putting
wood on the fire, until the house gets very hot, when his wife will
be sure to come outside to cool herself." Accordingly all the birds
entered, and engaged the Baldheaded Eagle in a game. They did
as directed by the Hala'u, and soon the place was very hot. Before
long the wife arose and said, " I am going out to cool myself. I cannot stand the heat." As soon as she got outside, the Hala'u took
possession of her, and conducted her to his house. Shortly afterwards the birds ceased playing with the Baldheaded Eagle, and all
went home in a body. As the woman did not return, the Bald-
headed Eagle knew what had happened, and began to train himself.
After training for some time, he donned a collar of several thicknesses of birch-bark, and repaired to the house of the Hala'u, where
all the birds were assembled. Here he took up his position on the
top of the ladder, and challenged them to battle. Each one of the
smaller birds went in succession to the woman to get his hair
combed, and straightway to fight the Baldheaded Eagle ; but they
all fell an easy prey to their warlike and powerful enemy. Then
the larger and more powerful birds had their hair combed and went
out ; but they also were slain. The Raven had his hair combed by
the woman and then went out ; but he, too, soon fell a victim. Next
came the Chicken Hawk ; but he soon shared the same fate. Then
the Fish Hawk sallied forth, and there was a stubborn fight ; but
eventually the Baldheaded Eagle killed him and cut off his head.
J 68 Traditions of the Thompson River Indians.
After that the Hala'u himself went forth with a birch-bark collar
around his neck, and forthwith ensued a fierce battle. The combatants rose to the clouds, and dropped to the earth, fighting ; but
at last the Hala'u was slain and decapitated. The woman then commenced to wail inside the house, for there was only one bird left,
viz., the Ha'tahat,216 who also had his hair combed, and went to give
battle to the Baldheaded Eagle. The contest was a very furious
one. The combatants flew up to the clouds several times, and back
again. At last the Baldheaded Eagle was slain, and the Ha'tahat
took possession of the woman. Afterwards he went around and
healed the wounds of the dead birds, put their heads on their bodies,
and they all came to life again, except the Baldheaded Eagle.217
At one time there was a group of underground lodges somewhere
in the NLak'â'pamux country.218 In one of these lived a very pretty
girl, who had numerous suitors or lovers, all of whom she refused.
Her real lover was the Otter, a young man who had spent much
time in training, but who was too bashful to ask for the girl from
her parents, seeing that so many others had been rejected by both
the parents and the girl ; moreover, he had never been able to see the
girl himself. One day, one of the rejected suitors threw a sickness
on the girl, so that she died in a few days. The night after she was
buried, the Otter repaired to the grave, and dug her up, and tried to
resuscitate her until daybreak, but without avail. He then hastily
buried the body again. During the daytime he sat sullen and sorrowful, without talking to any one, neither would he partake of
food. At night he again dug up the body of his love, and tried to
resuscitate her until daybreak. He did this four successive nights,
and on the fourth he brought her so far back to life, that she was
able to sit up and speak to him. He then took her on his back, to
her father's house, laying her down in the same place she had occupied when in life, and which was not yet occupied by the people.219
He then lay down beside her, spreading her robe over both. The
people woke up in the morning, and were startled to see a couple
sleeping there in the place of the dead girl. Her father and mother
cried out, " Whoever you are, don't sleep there, for evil will befall
you." But the couple never moved. The people wondered who
they might be, until the Coyote, who was sleeping in one corner
of the house, said, in his usual peculiar manner of speaking, " It is
the Otter, and he has dug up his sweetheart out of the grave, and
brought her home."    The people would not believe the Coyote Traditions of the Thompson River Indians. 69
until the Otter arose and told the girl to do the same. When the
people saw it was their daughter brought back to life again, they
were both astonished and pleased. Messengers were sent out to
cry with a loud voice; and all the people gathered in the lodge
to verify the statements, and to see the man who had restored her to
life. The Otter then became a mighty shaman. One day he was
lying down in the house with his wife, when a lad came in, and said
to him in a whisper, " How did you manage to bring your wife
back to life again ? My sweetheart is dead and I want to resuscitate
her." The Otter, for fun, said, "I dug her up, and carried her
home, then I tickled the soles of her feet, and she came to life
again." The boy at once ran away. The Otter's wife said to her
husband, " Why did you tell the boy that ? He will go and do it."
About midnight the boy stole softly into the underground lodge
carrying the body of his dead sweetheart. He laid her down and
at once commenced to tickle the soles of her feet. He tickled until
near daybreak, but there was no appearance of life coming. He
became frightened, and took the body on his back to go and bury it
again. But going up the ladder of the underground lodge his packing-line broke, and the body fell down with a thud. He hastily tied
it up again, and mounted the ladder ; but the line broke a second
time when he was half way up, the corpse falling as before. He did
this four times, the line breaking each time, and at last the people
awoke. They inquired what was the matter. The fifth time he got
outside with the corpse ; but as some one came up the ladder behind
him, he became afraid, and let the body down, and ran. The people
were surprised to see the body of the girl there, and knew that some
one had been carrying it.    They buried it again.
The Otter was not only a noted shaman, but also a very successful fisherman, and used to catch immense numbers of fish.220
Once upon a time a man221 lived in the mountains who had two
wives, the Grizzly Bear and the Black Bear. He loved the latter,
so that the former became jealous, and made up her mind to get rid
of her rival. One day she said to her husband, " I am going to dig
roots. Come along with me, and help me to carry them home."
He accompanied her. About sunset she turned to him and said,
" It is time we were going home ; but there is no great hurry.
Come here and lay your head on my lap. I will louse you." He
did as requested, and, after picking over his head a little while, the
Grizzly wife said, " What a quantity you have !    It is a wonder the _i^
70 Traditions of the Thompson River Indians.
wife you love so much does not louse you." Then she bit him in
the throat, and killed him. She then cut off his genitalia, put them
in her basket, and went home. Here she said to the Black Bear,
I Our husband left me and went shooting, but did not come back."
After dark she put her husband's genitalia in the ashes to roast.
One of the young Black Bears saw her when she was raking the
coals, and shouted, " She is baking my father's genitalia." But the
Grizzly Bear made fun of the child, and peace was restored. After
the meat was cooked, the Grizzly arose from her bed and ate it.
The next morning she said to the Black Bear, " Let us go out and
search for our husband." About sunset she called the Black Bear
and said, " It is in vain to search any longer. Let us go home to
our children. But we have plenty of time ; let us rest before we
start." She then said, " Come and lay your head on my lap. I will
louse you." This the Black Bear did, and after a while the Grizzly
bit her throat, killed her, and cut off her breasts. On arriving
home, she told the Black Bear's children, " It is strange your mother
did not overtake me. She must have gone a long way searching for
her husband." That night the Grizzly Bear baked the breasts ; but
one of the Black Bear's children saw her and shouted, "Oh, my
mother's breasts ! " But the Grizzly Bear made fun of the child,
and said she was baking roots. Then she told her three children 222
that she had killed her husband and his wife, and that she also
wanted to kill the Black Bear's three children. " When I go away
to dig roots in the morning," she told them, " say to the Black Bear's
children, ' Let us play at feasting ! ' Then set before them a basket
of their choicest food,228 in order that they may eat heavily and lose
their strength. You must eat very little of the food they give to
you. Then say, 'Let us go and swim,' and when you get to the
lake suggest, ' Let us play at fighting.' They will be full, and you
can easily overcome them and drown them. Then take their bodies
home, and stick the youngest one on a stick to roast, for I shall
be hungry when I get home." In the morning the young Grizzly
Bears did as told. The eldest Black Bear, however, became suspicious, and warned his brothers. They ate very little of the food
given to them by the Grizzly Bears ; but the latter could not restrain
their appetites. The Grizzly Bears then said, " Let us go and
swim." They all went down to the lake and swam. They then
suggested, " Let us play at fighting." The Black Bears agreed, and
the two youngest commenced first. The Grizzly Bear being glutted
was soon put under the water by the Black Bear, and drowned.
They pulled his body to the bank and laid it down, saying, "We
•will bring him to life again by and by." The next two then had a
contest, resulting in the death of the Grizzly Bear, as before ; and Traditions of the Thompson River Indians. 71
lastly the two eldest met, with the same result. The Black Bears
then took the bodies of the Grizzly Bears to the house, stuck the
youngest one on a stick to roast, and laid the others in the place
where the Black Bears themselves generally lay, covering them over
with rotten wood and ant-hills. They then went as fast as possible
along the trail to their grandfather's house.
The She-Grizzly Bear came home after dark, and being hungry
at once commenced to eat the small bear on the spit, and was thus
engaged when the Meadowlark cried out, "You are eating your
own child!" She then looked, and recognized it by the claws.
She flew into a rage, ran to where the Black Bears slept, to kill
them, but found there her own children dead. She then started on
the trail of the Black Bears, and overtook them shortly before they
reached the river, where their grandfather lived. The Black Bears
ran up a tree. The Grizzly came to the foot of the tree, and said to
them, " Your father and mother have come back, and I have come
to tell you so. Come down and return with me to your parents ! "
But the eldest Black Bear told her she lied, and advised the others
not to go down. She then grew angry, and said she would kill
them, commencing at once to bite the tree at the butt, in order to
make it fall. When the tree was nearly falling, the eldest Black
Bear said, "We will drop the youngest one down to you. Open
your mouth wide." He then threw dry rotten wood mixed with
ants into the Grizzly's face, choking and blinding her. The three
brothers forthwith descended and ran for the river. On arriving
they saw their grandfather S'qônë'qa224 patching his canoe on the
other side. He came across to fetch them, and landed them safely
on the other side. They told him their story and said, " The Grizzly
Bear will be here in a little while." As expected, the Grizzly came
and called on S'qônë'qa to take her over. He took her into his
canoe, and told her to sit down on an unpatched hole, so as to keep
the water from coming in. They took a long while to cross ; and
all the large fishes bit the Grizzly through this hole, pulling out her
entrails. When she would jump up, the canoe would fill with water,
so that she had to sit down again. The result was that, when she
landed, she fell down dead.
Shortly afterwards the Coyote came along and found the Grizzly
Bear's body, and, cutting it up, put the pieces on sticks to roast at
the fire which he had lighted. Here he left them to cook, intending
to eat them in the morning, and in the mean time retired to sleep
with his two children, who accompanied him. During the night the
Fox came along and ate all the fat meat which he found roasting.
When about to depart, he saw that the Coyotes still slept, and
rubbed grease over the mouths of the two children and on the hands 72 Traditions of the Thompson River Indians.
of their father. In the morning when the Coyote awoke, he missed
his meat, and seeing stiffened grease around the mouths of his children, he thought they had eaten the meat. So he thrashed them
severely. But they cried out, " It must have been you, father, who
ate the meat, because your hands are all covered with grease."
The Coyote then guessed what had happened, and lamented the lost
Four brothers lived together in the mountains.227 They were
hunters, and consequently spent all their time there. They had a
sister who lived with them and whose name was Sîlôlaxi'xtem.228
She was a very small m girl, and used to dig roots for her brothers,
who had burned a piece of mountain side, so that the s'ka'mitc
root280 should yield a better crop ; and it was here that the little
sister went to dig roots. One of her brothers had made a basket
for her out of a deer's hoof. She had a tiny dog, the Louse,
which constantly followed her. This dog had great difficulty in
walking through the grass, and grew tired jumping over the obstacles in its way. Therefore she used to lift it over the taller
grass. She generally led the dog by a string, singing as she went
along, sometimes to or about her dog, sometimes about her root-
digging, or again about her brothers who were out hunting. She
usually carried a lunch of deer's marrow in her basket, which she
partook of whenever she felt hungry. The four231 Grizzly Bear sisters also lived in the mountains and* used to dig roots, wandering
about from place to place. At length they came to the spot which
had been burned, and found the s'kdmitc root very plentiful. Here
they dug, and presently heard the little girl singing about her
brothers having gone hunting.282 They searched for the girl, who,
seeing them coming, became frightened, and, in order to hide herself, jumped into the hole from which she had dug roots. But there
was no room for her dog in the hole ; and the bears seeing it, with
a string leading to the hole where she was hidden, found her. They
asked her if she had any elder brothers, and she said, "Yes."
Then they filled her basket with roots, and said they would accompany her home, where they hid outside the lodge, while the girl
went inside and cooked the roots for her brothers. Shortly after
dark the four brothers came in, each carrying a deer inside its
skin.238 They began to eat, praising their sister for the large
amount of fine roots that she had dug. They said, " Our little
younger sister must be growing strong. Hitherto she was not able
to dig so many roots."    They gave her venison to eat, which she Traditions of the Thompson River Indians. 73
kept passing out underneath the tent to the bears. The brothers
wondered at her huge and unwonted appetite, saying, "Hitherto
our little younger sister was not able to eat so much." Before entering the lodge, the Grizzly Bear had given Sîlôlaxi'x.em four very
large s'ka'mitc roots, in the heart of each of which they had placed
a hair taken from their pubes, and had directed her to roast these
roots for her brothers, and to see that they ate them whole ; for if
they attempted to break them, she was to warn them, saying, " Do
not break the roots before you eat them, because if you do, my root-
digger will break when I dig roots with it." Sîiôlaxi'x-tem had
roasted the four roots as directed, and now, taking them out of the
ashes, gave them to her brothers, who were surprised at their large
size. One of the brothers took one, and was going to break it in
two, when his sister told him just as the Grizzly Bears had instructed
her. Then he desisted, and put the root into his mouth whole.
Each of the brothers ate one. Before long some of the brothers
said they were thirsty, and, as there was no water in the lodge, they
told the youngest brother to go and fetch some. He took the bucket
and went, but had not gone far from the lodge when one of the
Grizzly Bear women ran up to him and embraced him. He became
ashamed, and, turning back to the lodge, entered and lay down.
His brothers were astonished at his action, and asked him what had .
happened, but he did not answer them. Then one of the others
took up the bucket and went to fetch water ; but he, too, was embraced by one of the women, and, returning, acted just like his
brother. After the third brother had done likewise, the eldest
arose and went outside, where he also was embraced by one of the
Grizzly Bear women, who said to him, " We are four sisters. We
found your sister digging roots, and she told us that she had
brothers. We thought that we would pay you a visit." The Hunter
answered, "Then it must have been you who gave our sister so
many roots ; " and they answered, " Yes, we did so." Then he invited them to come inside the lodge, which they did, and the four
Hunters took the four Grizzly Bear women for their wives.234
Afterwards the eldest Grizzly Bear killed and ate the three younger
brothers and their three wives (her sisters). The eldest brother then
became afraid, and, taking his little sister with him, ran away, and
camped in the lonely and high mountains. His wife, the eldest
Grizzly Bear, searched for them, but could not find them. The
Hunter then married Sîlôlaxi'x'tem, and in time she bore him a child
One day the Grizzly Bear was out digging roots, and she heard a
woman singing to her baby, " Oh, your uncle is out hunting ! Oh,
your father is out hunting ! " She followed the sound and found the
lodge, which was that of the little sister.  She went in and killed the 74 Traditions of the Thompson River Indians.
young woman and ate her. She also killed the child, and put in the
cradle a piece of wood, which she covered up ; then she sat down
and sang to the supposed child, and rocked the cradle. In the evening the Hunter returned, and, hearing the singing, recognized the
voice as that of his Grizzly Bear wife. He was afraid of her and .
wished to kill her. He devised a plan to accomplish his object. He
made all the water of the creeks near his lodge gather in front of
his house in a hole, which he covered. Then he entered the lodge,
and said, "I am almost dead with thirst. Go and get me some
water." The Grizzly Bear took a pail and ran away to fetch it,
going first to one creek, and then to another ; but finding each creek
dry, she came back hot and covered with perspiration, saying, " I
cannot find any water." The Hunter said, " I did not tell you to go
so far. You will find plenty of it in front of the house, in a hole
under cover." She went out, and, taking off the cover, found plenty.
Being thirsty herself after her long run, she bent down to drink.
Then the Hunter came out and pushed her from behind, and she
fell into the hole headlong, and was drowned. The Hunter then
turned back the waters into their natural channels.235
Formerly there were a great number of people around Lkamtcï'n
(Lytton) and that neighborhood, and over most of the country of the
NLak'â'pamux ; but the country was set on fire by people coming
from the direction of the Okanagon country, and all the inhabitants
were burned, excepting an old blind woman and a boy, who escaped
by taking refuge on a well-beaten trail which the fire could not
reach. The boy said that he would be revenged. He went and
trained himself, and obtained magical powers. After a while he
told his grandmother that he had waxed strong in magic, and was
going to have revenge on his enemies. His grandmother said, " I
will go with you, as I may be of help to you." He found a short
piece of hollow wood, put his grandmother inside, and in this manner dragged her along, for she was too old and frail to walk. After
many days they came to an impenetrable piece of bush. He told
his grandmother that he could not pass through it. Then she
crawled out, and told him to hold open her eyelids, so that she could
look at it. At once the obstacle vanished. They did the same with
a barrier of fallen timber. After a while he left the old woman, and
in the shape of a wolf went on alone. Presently he approached a
large group of underground lodges. A boy saw the Wolf, and cried
out to the people inside; but he transformed himself into eagle's Traditions of the Thompson River Indians. 75
down, and fluttered down on to the lodge, setting it on fire, and burning all the inmates. He did so with three large houses, and then
went on to the fourth one. The boy who had first seen him ran
into the chief's house, and told him what had happened to the other
houses and inmates. The chief then seized all his daughters and
the other young women in the house, throwing them on a heap of
tanned skins. He then ran out, and, seeing the Wolf, said, " Chief,
have mercy on me. Come into my house, and I will give you a great
present." The Wolf changed into the eagle's down, and when near
the house again metamorphosed himself into a young man. He
entered, and received the large present of skins, and all the young
women on them for his wives, and did not return to his own country.
He left his grandmother, who was the Short-tailed Mouse,236 in the
mountains, where she ever afterwards dwelt all. alone, and lived by
her magic. After this the NLak-a'pamux country was uninhabited
for a long time.237
There once lived near Spences Bridge a lad named StEtso', the
only survivor of the great fire. This lad was endowed with magic,
and possessed great knowledge. One day during the run of the
salmon he went to the mouth of Nicola River to fish. At his word
trees fell down, were split, and cut into lengths, and took their position in the river, forming a weir. He then commanded, and spears
and nets were made, and the fish were taken out of the river, opened,
split, and hung up to dry in hundreds. After this he went home,
and told his grandmother what he had done. She did not believe
him, and said to him, " You could not possibly have done all that in
one day. Your fathers worked many days when constructing their
weirs, and could only catch a few fish at most." The next morning,
StEtso' went to see his fish, and found that they had all been eaten
up.239 He went home and told his grandmother what had happened,
and in anger said he would make a bow and arrows to shoot the
thieves. But he could not make these simply by his magic ; therefore he asked his grandmother's advice. She told him the different
animals to whom he must go and ask help to finish his bow and
arrows. Firstly, he must go to the Eagle for feathers to tip his
arrows with. He covered himself up with thick birch-bark for protection, and went down to a very precipitous rock, in which the
Eagle had his home. When the Eagle saw StEtso' approaching, he
attacked him. The youth laid hold of the Eagle. In the struggle
they fell off the rock, and gradually reached the ground, the Eagle
J 76 Traditions of the Thompson River Indians.
stopping the rapidity of their fall by the flapping of his wings. They
continued their fight for a short time after reaching the ground ; but
StEtso' had the best of the engagement, and choked the Eagle, who
was unable to hurt him, owing to his birch-bark armor. Then he
pulled out the Eagle's tail-feathers,240 and ran away with them, leaving his adversary to lament his loss. Next StEtso' was sent by his
grandmother to the Buck Deer for sinew for his bow-string. He
went and met the Fawn, who told him, "My mother the Doe is
coming along." He then met the Doe, who said, "You will see my
grandfather the Buck a short distance behind." At last he met the
Buck, who was glad to see him, and invited him to have a ride on
his back, an invitation which StEtso' gladly accepted. Presently he
took his knife, and commenced to cut the Buck at the back of the
neck. The latter said, "Ah, my child! that hurts. What are you
doing to me ? " StEtso' answered, " I am only scratching for your
lice." Finally StEtso' cut so deeply that the Buck fell down and
died. He then cut him up, and took the sinew from his back. After
he had returned home, his grandmother sent him to two old men
who were the possessors of arrowstone, and who lived in an underground lodge some distance away.241 He arrived there and they welcomed him. He talked quietly to one and told him that the other old
man called him " arrow eyes " and other bad names, and made much
fun of him. Then he went to the other old man and told him somewhat the same story of his companion, who, he said, told lies about
him, and called him names. By this means the two old men became
incensed at one another, and commenced to fight. Immediately
white arrowstone began to drop from the body of the one, and black
arrowstone from that of the other. StEtso' gathered them up and
ran out carrying a large pile of them, unnoticed. He then told the
old men, " You have had enough. Stop fighting. I was only fooling you." The old men sat down, saying, "It is too bad that you
made us quarrel like that by telling lies ! " 242 StEtso' took this arrowstone home to his grandmother, who said, " Take it to the Raven,
who is skilled at making arrow-heads." 243 He took it to the Raven,
who chipped the stone into arrow-heads of different sizes and shapes,
some of which were very large. He 244 then scattered them over the
country, more falling in some localities than in others. After that
the Indians always found the stone in the shape of arrow-heads.
Moreover, if they wanted stone to make arrow-heads, they picked up
these Raven arrow-heads, and finished them off. The ones used by
the Indians were very small, while the Raven arrow-heads were much
larger, and very clumsily shaped. The Indians often made six or
more arrow-heads out of one of these pieces of chipped stone.246 Traditions of the Thompson River Indians. 77
Formerly all the fishes m went from Lytton m to make war against
the Okanagon. On returning from the war, in which they had
been comparatively successful, they were pursued and finally overtaken by the Okanagon. Here the sturgeon, in his endeavors to
escape from the enemy, jumped from side to side, and ran around in
large curves, thus temporarily throwing the enemy off the scent. In
this way he formed the large and numerous windings which are so
characteristic of the upper Columbia River at the present day. His
endeavors were of little avail, however, for the sEmaê'suL, the
pï'suL,248 and most of the other fish, were overtaken and slain
before reaching the Nicola country, and their, bodies thrown into
the lakes and streams. Here the whitefish and other fish were slain,
and shortly afterwards the humpback salmon and the steelhead
salmon were also overtaken, and their bodies thrown into the Nicola
River. Upon reaching the Thompson, the s'Lekasu'L, the tsô'lxla,
the sockeye salmon, and the spring salmon were overtaken, and
their bodies thrown into that river. The sturgeon was killed on
reaching Lytton, and his body thrown into the Fraser River. Only
the kû'lôx escaped of all the fishes, and ever since he has been afraid
to come up the Fraser River above Yale. Thence the pursuers
returned home. That is the reason that at the present day these
fishes are to be found so abundantly throughout the lakes and
smaller streams of the upper NLak-a'pamux and Okanagon countries ; that the salmon abound chiefly in Thompson River, and not
in the Nicola, and that the sturgeon does not frequent Thompson
River, but is altogether confined to Fraser River. This is also the
reason that the kû'lôx seldom or never enters the NLak-a'pamux
country, only ascending the Fraser River as far as Hope or Yale.
Tcîskï'kik was a great deer hunter. He had a sister to whom he
had given strict injunctions never to eat venison while he was hunting. One day she disobeyed him, which made him very angry250
with her, because he thought that now his good luck would leave
him. He struck her several times, and also fired an arrow at her.
Then she ran away and left him, at the same time telling him that
she would not live with him any more, nor even talk to him. Therefore she transformed herself251 into a bird called kaqwâ',252 and soon
disappeared from sight. Her brother, after his anger had subsided,
was very sorry because his sister had left him, and began to wail, 78 Traditions of the Thompson River Indians.
and bemoan his fate, for he really loved his sister. This is the reason
that at the present day the tcîskï'kik always cries, " Na xlêntcê'tca ! "
(" Oh, my younger sister.")
Two brothers lived at one time with certain other people in an
underground lodge. One day one of these brothers disappeared.
The other brother searched for him but in vain. Then he became
very sorrowful. He did not know what had become of his brother,
for the Ants had stolen him, and by this time had led him to their
abode underneath the ground. The Ants were playing a game of
lacrosse, and he was playing with them. Suddenly he stopped playing, and sitting down, commenced to cry. The Ants said some one
must have struck him with his ball-stick while playing. But he answered, " No ! Nobody struck me. I am sorrowful, because while I
was playing a tear fell on my hand. It was my brother's tear from
the upper "world, and I know by it that he is searching for me, and
weeping." The Ants pitied him, and one of them said, "I will go to
the upper world, and let your brother know where you are, and that
you are well." The Ant went and reached the surface from underneath the firestone of the lodge in which the brothers used to dwell.
The fire was low, and the people were sitting smoking, and some of
them had retired for the night. Suddenly they saw a man at the
foot of the ladder. They wondered how he had come down the
ladder without being noticed ; so they addressed him, saying, "Welcome, friend ! Where have you come from ? " He said, " I am wandering about the country." He stayed a day or two, and then
suddenly disappeared. He had, however, taken opportunity to tell
the brother above all concerning his relative below, and how happy
the latter was, and the brother later on told the people. Then he
asked the Ant, " How can I go to see my brother ? " And the latter
said, " I must not tell you. Go to the Spider, and he may tell you."
He went to the Spider ; but the latter said, " I cannot let you down,
as my thread is too weak. Go to the Crow, and he will give you
advice." He went to the Crow. The Crow said, "I will not tell
you with my mouth, but I will tell you in a dream. Be careful and
notice what you dream." He went home and fell asleep, and in his
sleep dreamed. He was told in the dream to look under the fire-
stone of the lodge, and he would discover a hole. He was to shut
his eyes, and take one jump down the hole, when he would alight
on an obstacle. He was then to roll over and take another jump,
and would alight on another obstacle. This he was to do four times,
and then to open his eyes, as he would then be in the lower world. Traditions of the Thompson River Indians. 79
He did as directed, and eventually found himself in a fine country,
where the Ant people were playing ball. Here he found his brother,
and was happy.254
Seven women256 went off into the mountains to dig roots, and took
with them a boy. They arrived in the neighborhood of the place
where they intended to dig, and camped there in the evening.
Shortly after they had camped, they heard a cry at a long distance.
The cry came nearer, and they wondered what it might be. The
cry was, "Âq, âq, âq!" three times in succession, with short intervals of silence. The voice approached the camp, and soon from the
edge of the timber there emerged into the open a man of gigantic
stature, who looked from side to side, turning his face upwards, and
crying, "Àq, âq, âq!" He walked into the camp. The women
talked to him ; but he only answered with the cry of "Àq." Some
said, " Probably he wants a'qwEn " (fish-roe), and those who had
fish-roe amongst their food offered some to him ; but he turned away
his head and cried, "Âq ! " The women then said, " Let him alone !
He will be likely to go away by and by. We might as well go to
sleep." They went to sleep. After they had all fallen asleep, the
man killed them all by ripping open their stomachs, and then swallowed all their hearts. The boy had hidden beneath an overturned
basket and waited there until the man had gone away. He then
went home as quickly as possible and told the people what had
happened. Seven men257 armed themselves, and, accompanied by
the boy, travelled to the place of the tragedy. These men dressed
themselves, painted their faces, and did up their hair, so as to resemble women. They also carried baskets and root-diggers, and had
their weapons concealed on their bodies. The spot was reached and
the dead women found. Then they lit a huge fire and waited until
nightfall. Presently they heard the same cry gradually coming
nearer, and finally the man entered the camp, crying, "Âq!" They
pretended to be kind to him and offered him food, and at the same
time surrounded him. First those behind his back attacked him,
then they all closed in on him, and so dispatched him immediately.
They then cut him upw (similar to the way Indians cut up large
game), and threw one part in the direction of each of the surrounding tribes.259 In his stomach were found all the women's hearts,
which they replaced in their respective places in the women's breasts ;
and as each woman's heart was placed back in her breast, she arose
and said, " I have been asleep a long time." But the men and boy
told them all that had happened, and they were astonished.260 8o Traditions of the Thompson River Indians.
There formerly lived, a little to the east of the present Indian village of Lkamtcï'n (or Lytton), a man gifted in magic, and called
Ntcî'mka. He lived there in an underground lodge with his wife.
On the west side of Fraser River, near the present Indian village
of Nxômi'n, lived another man who was a cannibal. He was sometimes called by name Tcûisqa'lEmux, and was dreaded by everybody.
He came out of his house every morning and looked around. He
knew at once if a person approached his home, and chased and killed
him with the long staff261 which he always carried in his hand, and
which had strings of human nails attached to it by way of ornament.
No person could come anywhere near his abode without being killed
and eaten. Once he came over to Ntcî'mka's house. As he approached, Ntcî'mka called to his aid all his magical arts to crush this
enemy, but without avail. The Cannibal took the wife of Ntcî'mka,
who had retreated up Thompson River. Ntcî'mka was therefore
sorrowful, because he did not know how to effect a revenge. Thus
he wandered up Thompson River until he reached Kamloops, and
then, turning south, he went through the Okanagon country, returning by the Similkameen and Nicola Rivers. In the Okanagon262
country he stole a little boy, and carried him on his back every day
as he travelled. At night he camped, and washed the boy with fir
branches, so that he grew prodigiously every day, owing to this treatment. Ntcî'mka came down Thompson River as far as Tsotcowa'ux
Creek,288 which he followed up with his companion. Here he stayed
with the boy, washing, sweating, and training him until he was a
full-grown man, which was not long, as people grew fast in those
days. In a short time the boy was perfect in magic264 and knew
everything. Ntcî'mka put four necklaces around the boy's neck.
One of these was of eagle's feathers, two were of hawk's feathers of
different kinds, and the last was of rattlesnake skin. He told the
lad to go to their enemy's abode, and that he himself would go and
sit down on the bank opposite and watch them, but the lad was
not to begin his engagement until he saw the smoke from Ntcî'mka's
pipe rise over the hill. Ntcî'mka then sat down on the bank of the
river, opposite Nxomï'n, and began to smoke his large pipe.266 On
seeing the smoke rise, the lad jumped over the Fraser, alighting near
his enemy's house. The Cannibal at once attacked the lad, trying to
run his staff through him ; but the latter jumped up to the top of
one of the mountain peaks266 to the west of the Fraser, and the
Cannibal only found a necklace on the point of his staff. He tried
four times to hit the lad with his staff ; but at each attempt the lad Traditions of the Thompson River Indians. 81
jumped on the top of one of the high mountain peaks, and the Cannibal only found a necklace on the point of his staff. He did not
know that the magic power had left his staff, and that it had been
reduced to an ordinary staff by the magic of the four necklaces.
The lad then jumped back across Fraser River to the place where
Ntcî'mka was sitting smoking. The Cannibal came across to where
they were, intending to kill them with his magical staff, but he found
it was now of no avail. Ntcî'mka then attacked their enemy, and
they wrestled for the mastery. They rolled and tumbled around on
the east bank of Fraser River, from there to the mouth of Thompson
River.287 Presently Ntcî'mka began to feel faint. He called on the
lad to help him ; but the latter lay on his back resting and took no
heed. Ntcî'mka gradually became weaker, and in a faint voice called
on the lad again. Four times he called for help. The lad then rose
up and rushed at the Cannibal, who was on top of Ntcî'mka, and
struck off his head with one blow of his large knife. Ntcî'mka said,
" Cut off his arms, for he still wrestles with me." Then the lad cut
off his arms at the shoulder. Ntcî'mka then cried, " Cut off his legs,
for he is still overcoming me with them." The lad did so, and so on
until the body was all cut in pieces. After resting a while, Ntcî'mka
told the lad to throw the body away in different directions,268 telling him in which direction to throw the différents parts. Thus his
heart was thrown in the direction of the Okanagon ; his hands and
arms to the Shuswap ; his legs to the Lillooet proper (or Upper
Lillooet, who live near Fraser River) ; his feet and genitalia to
the Â'yût (or Lower Lillooet of the lakes). After he had scattered
the parts of the body, Ntcî'mka said, "You have forgotten to give
anything to the Uta'mqt. It was then noticed that his head still
remained on the ground some distance away, so the lad took it up
and threw it towards the Uta'mqt. He then wiped his hands, and
threw the wipings after the head. That is the reason that the
Okanagon are brave, and that the Â'yût and Lillooet are inferior
to the Upper NLak-a'pamux and Shuswap (having feet to run away
with, but no arms to fight), and also that the Uta'mqt are inferior
people, and have larger heads than the Upper NLak-a'pamux.
Ntcî'mka and the lad then crossed Fraser River, and the former
recovered his wife. They found the cannibal's son 269 there and slew
him, afterwards turning his body into stone, which is yet to be seen
near Nxomï'n. Ntcî'mka said that his body would lie that way for
all coming generations to see, and that his spirit would haunt the
place where his body was. That is the reason that Indians repair
to this spot when suffering from pains in any part of the body.
They rub the part afflicted with a fir branch, laying the latter beside
the stone, and praying to the spirit that they may recover, afterwards 82 Traditions of the Thompson River Indians.
leaving an offering or payment on the stone in the shape of hair,
tobacco, clothes, etc.
After a while Ntcî'mka told his helper to go home to his own
country, because he could now get along without his aid, and further
added that his friends would be glad to see him. He told him to
travel the same way that he himself had gone, — up Thompson
River to a point beyond Kamloops, and then to turn south. The
first day he was to travel ae far as Ca'nEXEnEnamax,270 on the top of
which mountain he was to camp. ■ He was to return to Ntcî'mka
the next day. On the following day he was to go to the same place,
camp again, then next morning to continue his journey up Thompson
River. Before departing, the lad went out hunting, and gathered
an immense band of deer in the valley ^ leading from Lytton to
BEta'ni. He killed a great number, which he gave to Ntcî'mka as a
present When he was ready to start on his journey, Ntcî'mka presented him with a great number of eagle's quills and dentalia. He
travelled as directed. On the second day he returned to Ntcî'mka's
house, having camped the preceding night on the top of Ca'nEXEnEnamax. Ntcî'mka had advised him to do this so that he might
have good luck on his journey, as Ca'nEXEnEnamax was a mysterious
place. The next day he started again. Ntcî'mka gave him directions how to go, and told him that he might have difficulty when
passing Kamloops. When the lad reached the plains which lie west
of Kamloops, a great number of men ran out with weapons to attack
him ; therefore he caused two large, thick trees to grow, and climbed
up into one of them for refuge. The Kamloops men ^ began to
chop it down, but it was nearly nightfall before it fell. Just before
it fell the lad jumped into the top of the other one. His enemies
said, " We will camp here, and on the morrow we will chop down the
other tree." Therefore that night they all camped around the tree
in. a large circle, leaving one old man at the bottom to keep watch.
During the night the lad crept down and offered to give the sentinel
all his dentalia and eagle's tail feathers if he would conduct him outside of the circle of his enemies, to which proposition the old man
assented. In the morning when they awoke, the people saw that the
lad had escaped, and, seeing the old man in possession of the dentalia and feathers, at once came to the conclusion that he had
purposely allowed the lad to escape. Therefore they were angry
with him, and were going to kill him, but the old man offered to
divide the spoils amongst them, and thus pacified them. The quills
were divided first, but there were not enough of them to go around
the party. For this reason the Porcupine got none, which annoyed
him very much, so he bent his head on his knees, and would not
speak to them.    One of the men told him not to be sulky, because Traditions of the Thompson River Indians. 83
he would be allowed more dentalia than the others, so as to make up
for the quills ; but the Porcupine neither looked up nor answered.
Then the old man, who was dividing the spoils, grew angry, and,
throwing all the dentalia at him, cursed him. He turned him into
a porcupine, as seen at the present day. Therefore porcupine
quills were once dentalia, and the porcupine himself was at one time
a man.
There were at one time a number of Indians who lived near a
lake. One of them had a young wife, who suddenly became unwell,
and was not able to do her household work and other duties which
devolved on her. Every morning she repaired to the lake to wash
herself, returning about noon, groaning, and leaning on a staff. This
conduct she continued for some time, seemingly without getting
any better, although she had been washing herself and taking medicine every day. At last her husband became suspicious, and thought
he would watch her, as he believed she was only feigning sickness.
Accordingly, the next morning, when she went to wash herself, he
followed at some little distance, keeping a close eye on her movements. Not knowing that she was watched, the woman repaired,
as was her wont, to a place where she had hidden nice clothing, and
other articles. Here she divested herself of the clothes she had on,
and, after washing, clad herself in this new apparel, combed her hair,
and painted her face. After finishing her toilet, she stepped out on
to the open bank of the lake, — a sprightly and handsome woman,
without any appearance of sickness. Lying down near the edge of
the lake, she cried, | Nukano'xa ! " and immediately a Grizzly Bear
half emerged out of the water and looked at her. She cried to him,
" It is not you I want, it is your elder brother." He disappeared at
once. She cried " Nukano'xa ! " many times, and each time the
head and half of the body of some animal or fish would rise out of
the water ; but she told them all that she cared not for them, it
was their elder brother she wanted. At last the head and half the
body of a man appeared, and she said to him, " It is you I call for."
The man, who was exceedingly handsome and had very long hair,
swam ashore. Advancing naked towards her, he embraced her, and
in return received her embrace. To judge by the way they acted,
it was evident that they were old acquaintances, and now the husband knew that his wife only shammed sickness, and that she
repaired to the lake every day for no other purpose than to meet
J 84 Traditions of the Thompson River Indians.
her paramour. The husband went home, and before long his wife
also arrived, groaning, and leaning on her staff. The next morning
he sharpened his large knife, and at daybreak repaired to the lake,
where he dressed in his wife's clothes, and disguised himself in such
manner as to resemble her. Then he went to the edge of the lake,
and called as his wife had done on the previous day. After all the
animals and fishes had answered his call, the man or haxaa'tko
(water mystery or spirit) appeared, and, seeing, as he supposed, the
woman, at once swam ashore, went up and embraced her. Immediately afterwards, while attempting to pursue his usual pastime,
the husband stabbed him to death with his knife, and afterwards
cut off his genitalia, which he took home, while he disposed of the
body in the lake, where it immediately sank. After he had reached
home, his wife departed for the lake, as was her wont. As soon as
she had gone, the husband boiled the genitalia in a basket-kettle,
which he afterwards put aside, with a cover over it, for his wife to
eat. On her arrival home he said to her, " I went out this morning
and procured some medicine, which I have boiled, and which I am
sure will make you well." He then set before her the kettle, and
she partook of the contents, but afterwards she grew suspicious, and
asked what it was. He answered, " This is the genitalia of the husband you love better than me," whereupon she got violently sick,
went outside, and vomited. She became very much ashamed, went
away, and did not return home for many days.
[Nkamtci'nEmux and Cawa'xamux.]
At one time, long ago, two young men lived in a lodge with then-
mother. They were great hunters, and used to live altogether on
game. Their mother made most of their clothes for them, and
generally stayed at home in the lodge, making herself useful by tanning skins, curing meat, and gathering firewood. They all lived
very happily, because they loved each other. They were never
known to quarrel. One night when the young men came home,
each carrying a deer on his back, they found no fire in the lodge,
and wondered what had become of their mother. They looked for
her all around in the neighborhood of the lodge, but at the end of
four days they gave up the search, concluding that she must have
gone away some long distance they did not know where. They made
up their minds that they would find her or die in the attempt. They
would look for her as long as they lived. Therefore they took
dressed skins and made moccasins for four days. Then they took
their bows and arrows, and set out on their journey.    They travelled ■fc
Traditions of the Thompson River Indians. 85
south, through a country of heat and of great rivers, until they
reached the edge of the earth. At the end of one year they returned without having found their mother. Then they made more
moccasins, and travelled north through a country of cold and of
small streams, until they reached the edge of the world, but with no
better success than in the first journey. Now they travelled east,
through a country of great plains and many mysteries, but never
heard anything of their mother. Then they travelled west, through
a land of high mountains and of evil spirits, but failed in their quest
just as before. The brothers felt very sorrowful, saying to one
another, " Thus we have travelled for four years. We have passed
through all countries, even to the edges of the earth, but have not
found our mother. We have asked often, but nobody has seen her.
She must be dead." That night one of the brothers dreamed that
his protecting spirit told him that their mother was in the land of
the dead. After imploring the aid of the spirits, they took their
canoe m and started on their voyage to the spirit land, over a great
lake.274 After paddling several days in a dim atmosphere, it grew
lighter, and they saw the shore of another country. They heard
the noise of people singing and dancing. Where they landed there
was a kind of entrance or door. Here, on their approach, a man
barred the way, asking them why they, being mortals, had come to
the land of the souls. They said they were in search of their
mother, whom they had lost, and had failed to find after travelling
through all the lands of the living. He told them, " Your mother is
here, but you cannot enter alive to see her, neither can you take
her away." One of them said, " I must see her ! " Then the man
took his body or mortal part away from him, and he entered. The
other brother came back.276
The Skunk and the Badger were brothers, — the former the elder,
and the latter the younger. They lived near NsFsket,276 in the
Nicola country. They were noted as being strong in mystery, and
great medicine-men, also for their beauty, and for their success in
gambling. They owned a roan horse, which they always used when
travelling; and one day they said, "Let us go to the Okanagon
and play with them." They started, and on arriving amongst the
Okanagon commenced a game of lehal. They played all night,
and beat their opponents, thus obtaining much property. The next
day they ran their horse against the best horses of the Okanagon,
and won each time, so that they gained almost all their valuables. 86 Traditions of the Thompson River Indians.
Now there was a young woman amongst the Okanagon who had
refused all offers of marriage made to her ; and the Badger said to
his brother, " Go and visit the girl to-night. Perhaps you may win
her affections." So the Skunk went, and stealthily crawled into the
house where the girl lived. When he came up to her side, she grew
angry and struck him, calling him popomu'L,277 and ridiculed his
manner and gait. He was insulted at this treatment, and hastily
beat a retreat, feeling crestfallen, as in his heart he really loved the
girl. He went and told his brother the result of his visit, whereupon the Badger replied, " Since you have been unsuccessful, I will
go and see what I can do." He also crept unperceived to where the
girl was lying, and, before she was aware of it, he stole away her
breath, drawing it down his throat, and keeping it in his stomach278
Then he hastily retired, and awaited events. In the morning the
people found their daughter dead. There was great commotion
amongst them, and on the following day the girl was buried in the
graveyard. During the following night the brothers went and dug
up the body of the girl, tied it on their horse, and started for home
with it. When they arrived at their house, they laid down the body
inside. Then the Badger said to his brother, " Use the art of a
shaman, and if you bring her to life again, she shall be your wife."
So the Skunk commenced his incantations, and continued almost all
night, but had to give it up in despair. The Badger then taunted
him, saying, " I see you are no shaman. Watch me, I will bring
her back to life." He commenced his incantations, took her breath
from his stomach, and blew it into her mouth.279 This done, the
girl sat up, and looked around, saying, "I must have been in a
dream. Where do I find myself ? " The Badger then told her,
" You were dead and buried. My brother and I dug you up, carried
you to our house, and now I have brought you to life again, in order
that you may become my wife." He then gave her food, and she
ate. The Skunk became angry and jealous of his brother, for
he loved the woman ; therefore he neither arose, nor ate for four
days ; and his brother said to him, " I am lonely. You do not talk
to me. I have got the woman for my wife ; I will give you the roan
horse to be your sole property." This gratified the Skunk, who
afterwards treated his brother as usual. The woman stayed with
the Badger, and bore him two children.
At length she became desirous of seeing her people again. After
obtaining the Badger's consent, she started for her own country,
taking her two children with her. When she approached the village,
she sat down a short distance from her parents' house, where she
saw her younger sister, and called to her, saying, " Do you not know
me ? "    Her sister answered, " No."    She then said, " Why, I am Traditions of the Thompson River Indians. 87
your sister." Then the younger sister ran into the house and told
her mother. But her mother wept and said, "Why do you bring
back the memory of your sister in such a manner ? Don't you
know that she has been dead and buried these many years ? " The
daughter, however, persisted ; and at last the mother went out, and,
recognizing the young woman, took her into the house. When she
had heard her story, messengers were sent out to the people to come
and see the girl who had been dead. They flocked to the place,
both to see the woman and to hear her story. After a few months,
she returned to her husband in Nicola.
Long ago the Wind did much damage, blowing violently over the
country of the Indian. Moreover, it often killed many people and
destroyed much property. At that time there was a man who lived
near Spences Bridge, and who had three sons. The youngest was
very ambitious, and fond of trying to do wonderful things. One day
he said to his father and brothers, " I will snare the Wind ; " but
they laughed at him, saying, " How can you do that ? The Wind is
unseen." However, he went out and set a snare. He did not succeed for several nights, as his noose was too large. He made it
smaller every night, and, on visiting his snare one morning, found
he had caught the Wind.280 After great difficulty, he succeeded at
last in getting it into his blanket, and made for home with it, where
he put it down. He told his people that he had at last captured the
Wind. They laughed at him. Then, to verify his statements, he
opened one corner of the blanket, and immediately it began to blow
fiercely, and the lodge itself was almost blown over. The people
cried to him to stay the force of the Wind, which he did by again
tying up the corner of the blanket. At last he released the Wind
on the condition that he would never blow strongly enough to hurt
people in the Indian country again, which promise he has kept.
After this the lad dreamed that there was a mighty chief possessed of great riches, who lived in a large high house away to the
south, and had a beautiful daughter who should become his wife.
He made up his mind to go to this man and try to marry his daughter. He started out, taking his bow and arrows. After travelling
a long distance, he wore out all his mocasins and became footsore.
At this moment he saw a Coyote on the hillside, and would have
shot him if he had not cried out, " I am your friend, and will show
you to the house of the great chief." The Coyote asked him to sit
on his back.    The lad obeyed.    Then the Coyote said, " I can go
J 88 Traditions of the Thompson River Indians.
only slowly now, but shall go faster after a while." They presently
saw a grouse, and the Coyote told the lad to shoot it. He did so,
and the Coyote at once singed it over a fire and ate it. They then
went faster, and in a little while saw a fawn. This in turn was
shot, and the Coyote, after eating it, was able to run faster. Then
a buck was seen, and the same was done, and the Coyote now went
at a gallop. A grizzly bear and an elk each appeared, and the same
was done with them. The Coyote was now going like the wind.
At last they came in sight of the chief's house, which the Coyote
pointed out to him, giving directions to him how to enter and what
to say. After passing some armed guards he was ushered in, and,
although received very coldly at first, he worked himself into the
chief's favor, and was hospitably entertained. He also found favor
with the chief's daughter, and one night he ran away with her, after
stealing the two best horses and saddles the chief possessed. In
the morning they were chased, and, being overtaken, they turned
their horses and saddles into stsûq,281 which they hid in their shirts
for safety. They then hid in the bush, thus evading their pursuers.
After travelling on foot for some distance, they met the lad's two
brothers, who had accompanied him part of the way on his journey
to the chief's house, but, being discouraged, had remained in that
neighborhood hunting.
They then journeyed together towards home. On the way home,
his brothers, who had taken a fancy to the girl, threw the younger
man over a very high cliff into a chasm, and went home with her.
The young man, although he was not killed, was unable to find a
way out. He called on all the animals to help him. The Wolf
came and hung his tail over the cliff, but could not reach him.
Then the Magpie, who also had a long tail, hung it over, but with the
same result. In fact, all the animals and birds tried it, but failed.
He then thought of an old Coyote who had his home in a cliff very
close to Spences Bridge. This Coyote came in answer to his summons, and let down his tail and drew him out. The young man
then changed his stsûq back into a horse, and, going to a village
close by, rode a race, which he won, and then sold the horse for
much valuable goods, but afterwards turned the horse into stsûq,
and the latter into a canoe, in which he went home. Reaching
home, he found his wife (who had been protected from his brothers
in his father's lodge), and she rejoiced at his return. After this
he was considered a great man in magic. The Coyote was his
friend.282 Traditions of the Thompson River Indians.
A maiden who lived at Lytton refused all offers of marriage, much
against the will of her parents. A young man, the Raven, who lived
in a distant country towards the east, knew of her by his magic
power, and said to himself, " I will go and get that girl for my wife."
Then by his magic he went to Lytton in half a night, and shortly
after midnight entered the underground lodge in which the girl
lived. He crawled up to her couch and awoke her, whereupon she
struck him, telling him to go away, as she did not wish any man from
that neighborhood (meaning her native place) to touch her. But he
replied to her, " I am not of your people. I come from far away.
My name is Raven, and I have come to marry you." Then she consented to become his wife. He said, " Awake your parents, and tell
them that I wish to start home with you before daybreak." She
awakened them and told them, and also bade them not to tell the
neighbors what had become of her. Before daybreak the Raven
departed with her as his wife, but did not give her parents any marriage presents. Shortly they arrived in the husband's country,
where he hid her, for he did not wish his father, who was a great
chief, to know that he had married a strange woman. He said to
his wife, " I will prepare a house for us to live in, then I will come
and fetch you." The houses in that country were like white men's
houses, and the people had plenty of horses, and metal [money].
He. then went some distance from his father's house, and, pulling a
feather out of his wing, threw it down, and immediately a house
sprang up. On the second day he pulled another feather out of his
wing, and this became food of many kinds and of great quantity.
On the third day he did likewise, and at once there was a young
male slave to cook for them. Meanwhile his father wondered at the
new house which had so suddenly arisen, and sent his younger son
to see who was there. He found his own brother in the house, who
told him, " I am married, and I have made this house to live in ; "
at the same time he warned him not to tell their father. The
younger brother returned and said, " I do not know whose house it
is. I could not gain admittance. Neither did I see anybody." At
this the old man's curiosity was aroused, and the next day he went
himself to have a look. He was surprised to find his son therein.
The latter gave him to eat, and told him all the circumstances. The
father said nothing, but went home and told his wife everything,
adding, " I will kill my son, for he has displeased me." The Raven,
however, already knew of his father's intentions and kept away.
For four successive days the father went to kill the Raven, but each 90 Traditions of the Thompson River Indians.
time found him absent. The Raven, who was annoyed at these
attempts of his father on his life, said to his younger brother when
they met, " Let us travel," at which his brother consented. They
travelled towards where Raven had hidden his wife. Her hiding-
place was surrounded by a deep chasm, which was spanned by a
single long thin log, so that any person who attempted to cross was
at once precipitated into the chasm below ; for Raven by his magic
caused this log, when trodden upon in the centre, at once to turn
over. The younger brother had left Raven a long distance behind
on reaching this place, and was surprised to see on the other side of
the chasm a beautiful young woman washing herself. He did not
then know that it was his brother's wife, for Raven had not told him
where his wife was hidden. Being equally gifted in magic with his
brother, he bounded across the log, and was immediately on the
other side. Then he went up to the woman and said, " I should like
you to become my wife." She answered, "Certainly, you must
become my husband, because you have seen my naked body." She
then by her magic caused food to appear and they ate. He told
her that he was travelling with his brother to a distant country, and
asked her to accompany them. " No," she answered, " I cannot go
with you, but I will help you," and forthwith gave him a long knife
and a stsûq,288 saying, " When you get tired and wish to ride, throw
the stsûq down and it will become a horse. When you desire, command, and it will become stsûq again." Then he went on his way,
and shortly threw the stsûq down, and it became a fine large black
horse, fleet of limb, on which he mounted, tying the large knife on
one side, saying to himself, "When he sees me, my brother will
wonder." Presently his brother overtook him, but did not say much,
because he already knew what had happened ; but in his heart he
resolved that he would kill his younger brother. Thus they went
on, and towards evening they neared a large village. The younger
man suggested, "Let us enter the village before it gets too dark; "
but the elder said, " No, we are too late. Let us camp here, and go
in with daylight in the morning." The younger brother tied his
horse to a tree, and presently they lay down to sleep. While the
younger brother was sleeping, the Raven went to the horse, untied
the large knife, and, returning, killed his brother with it by cutting
off his head. Then he dug a shallow grave in the ground and
buried the body. In the morning he mounted the black horse and
rode into the village, where for several days he rode races, beating
everybody, and obtaining great wealth. He also found favor with
the chief of the village, who gave him his daughter to wife. The
evening afterwards, while the Raven was eating with his new wife
and his parents-in-law, his younger brother, who had in the mean mm
Traditions of the Thompson River Indians. 91
time come to life again, appeared in the doorway and saluted him,
saying, " I have been looking for you." Raven did not answer, for
he was ashamed, but at length invited his brother to eat, which he
did, and after finishing went outside. That night the horse which
the Raven had taken disappeared, the younger brother being seen
next morning riding him out of the village, and afterwards nothing
more was known of him.
Then the Raven took his new wife and returned home. He
put her in the house he had formerly built, and made a new one
in another place for his wife from Lytton. He lived with both his
wives, time about, and neither of them knew of the other. Afterwards his first wife said that she wished to see her people and her
country again, and the Raven accompanied her to Lytton, where he
stayed with her for a time. They had at that time several children.
He built a new house for her there, and on departing left plenty of
food, and many toys for the children. He said he would return for
her very soon, but did not come back.
The Moon was formerly an Indian, but was transformed to what
he is at present. At one time his face was as bright as that of the
Sun, if not more brilliant. It would be just as bright now, but his
younger sister sits on it and darkens it. He and his younger sister
now live together. Whenever it threatens to snow or to rain, he
builds a house (the halo) and enters it. He is an inveterate smoker.
The clouds are the smoke of his pipe. If the weather is quite clear
and he begins to smoke, clouds arise. He always holds his pipe in
his hand. Therefore we always see the moon holding his pipe, and
we also see the basket which he uses as a hat.285
The Moon was formerly a handsome, white-faced Indian. The
stars were his friends. The Hare ^ was his younger sister. Once
upon a time he called the Pleiades and all the other stars to his
house, but only the star cluster came. They are named the Pleiades.
Yet the house was crowded, so that some of them had no place to
sit. After the guests had all arrived, the Moon sent his younger
sister to fetch some water. She took her water-buckets and left.
Ere long she returned carrying a bucket in each hand. When she
had entered she said to her brother, " There is no place for me to
sit." Her elder brother replied, " Sit here on my face, for there is
no room elsewhere." His sister jumped on to his face. If the
moon had not joked in this mariner, he would now be much brighter,
for his sister is darkening his brightness.    The woman may still be 92 Traditions of the Thompson River Indians.
seen sitting on the moon's face, holding her water-buckets ; and because the Pleiades gathered in his house, they form a cluster up to
this day, and travel the way they follow now. They are the Moon's
closest friends.
[Nkamtci'nEmux and Cawa'xamux.]
Once upon a time there lived an Indian who was noted for his
great "medicine." One day, while on a journey to a distant part of
the country, he happened to see a horse belonging to another man,
and, taking a fancy to the animal, stole it, and made for home. The
owner soon discovered the theft, and, saddling his horse, started in
pursuit. He had almost overtaken the thief, when the latter, who
saw him coming, had recourse to his magic, and caused a large river
to flow between him and his pursuer. After a little difficulty the
man crossed the river and followed in pursuit, as before. He had
again almost overtaken the fugitive, when he was stopped by an
immense tract of mud which stretched between them. This obstacle
was surmounted after some delay, and the chase continued. Presently the thief conjured up an almost impassable tract of country,
full of thick timber, and broken up with rocks ; but this obstacle the
pursuer also soon overcame, and at length began to gain on his fleeing enemy, who said to himself, " I will cause yet another obstacle
to divide us, and, if he surmounts that, I will leave his horse to
reward him for his trouble and perseverance." So he caused a field
of smooth ice to lie between them. This his pursuer tried to cross,
but, finding it too slippery, he sat down and cried, and then arose
and went home, with the full determination to be avenged on his
enemy. He told his wife not to be alarmed if he stayed away a long
time, because he was going to strengthen his . medicine." He also
told her to make plenty of moccasins for him, because when he came
back he would start on a long and rough journey. Then he went
up the mountains, where he spent ten months in training, dreaming,
sweat-bathing, fasting, purifying, and praying. At the end of this
time he returned home, reduced in flesh and weak. He told his
wife that he had dreamed of a canoe and of water. After a few days
spent in recruiting his strength, he created a lake which stretched
from himself to the village of his enemy. Then he caused a canoe
to appear, and painted the prow a bright red. In the latter he
embarked, but, before leaving, told his wife that he would stay away
for ten days, during which time she must fast and purify herself.
On the fifth day after his departure he neared the village of his
enemy, and the people, seeing him coming, ran and told the thief, Traditions of the Thompson River Indians. 93
IA canoe approaches. Its prow is like fire." But he answered, " I
already know all about it. That is the man coming for his horse."
On reaching the shore the man jumped out, and, going up to the
people of the village, asked them where his horse was. They pointed
to a large loon away out on the lake, saying, "That is your horse,"
for his enemy had changed the horse into a loon. The Indian did
not believe what the people told him until he heard the loon neigh.
Then he took his canoe and gave chase over the water. In the
mean time his wife had done as he had told her, and had become so
strong in magic that she far surpassed her husband. At last she
said to herself, " I am tired of that fellow. I will have another husband." So she changed him and the canoe into a fish, and, having
taken a fancy to pretty little Teal Duck, she changed it into a man,
who became her husband.
Two brothers, when boys, started out and travelled until they
were full-grown men. Now a haxa', who was also a cannibal, lived
on a hill across a large river. The light from his house could be
seen over all the world. It was this house that the boys reached
and entered. The wife said to them, "My husband will soon be
home, and will eat you." But they replied, "We are not afraid."
Presently the Cannibal came home carrying a man (for he ate Indians), and his wife said to him, "Do not eat those boys just now!
I will feed them up, and when they are fat you shall kill and eat
them." The haxa' had several children, with whom the boys played
for a time. After a while, the Cannibal made up his mind to kill the
boys on the morrow. But they already knew of his intentions, and
when he retired to rest they induced his children to change bed-
places with them, after every one had fallen asleep. Then they
arose and stole his magic staff. Reaching the river, where they
threw it down, it formed a bridge, and they crossed on it. Early in
the morning the haxa' arose and killed his own children by mistake.
Then he gave chase, but could not cross the river without his
staff. The boys then went to a white man's town and worked for
wages. They worked for saloon-keepers. The elder brother squandered all his money for drink, but the younger one saved his. The
chief of the town, hearing that they had stolen the Cannibal's staff,
asked them to go and steal the light from the Cannibal's house,
which the younger one volunteered to do. He reached there, and,
unperceived, put a large quantity of salt into the Cannibal's kettle
amongst the human flesh. The Cannibal was surprised at the fine
taste, so he and his wife finished the mess and licked the kettle,
trying to get more salt.    Thus they became thirsty, and, upon their 94 Traditions of the Thompson River Indians.
going to the river to drink, the lad stole the light, putting it on his
head and running away with it. The Cannibal chased him, but he
threw down the staff, and crossed the river as before. He received
a great deal of money from all the white people of the town for this
feat. He was then asked to steal the Cannibal's wagon and hojrses.
He accomplished this also, receiving a great deal of money. He
was then asked to bring the Cannibal himself. He took an iron
coffin and some whiskey, which he put in the wagon. Then he proceeded to the Cannibal's house. The latter was at home, and he
entered. Immediately the Cannibal was going to kill him ; but he
said, " I came here to give you a present of mysterious water, which
will make you strong. After you have drunk my present, you may
kill me if you like." The Cannibal drank the whiskey and became
helplessly drunk. The lad then dragged him to the wagon, put him
into the coffin, and closed the lid. He then drove to town, where
he received a great deal of money for his feat. The Cannibal, after
having got over his drunkenness, struck like thunder on the inside
of the coffin to get out, and the white people said, " Let him out,
that we may see him." Then the lad let him out, and immediately
the Cannibal began to kill the people, which he eventually accomplished, and ate them all. The lad was the only one of the whole
town who escaped. He reached home with the magic staff and
Long ago, during the time when the earth was being brought into
its present shape, and formed as we see it to-day, and people made
as they are now, a maiden who lived in the Lillooet country 29° wandered around mostly by herself. Taking a fancy to a root called
Kokwë'la, which is utilized by the Indians as food, she had connection with it,281 and became pregnant ; and in course of time the people wondered at this, as the girl was unmarried, nor was she known
to have been with any man. This son, whose father was the root
Kokwë'la, afterwards became a man of renown, gifted in magic •
moreover, it is said that most of the Upper292 Lillooet tribe are his
descendants.293 When he was yet a young man, he went to a spot a
short distance from Lillooet town,294 which was his native place.
Here he met several lads who were playing, and he wanted to join
in the game ; but one of them called him "bastard," saying that the
Kokwe'la-root was his father, and ordered him away to his own
place. He thereupon changed this lad into a fish, which is called
tsan'âtz ;295 then he took a stone and struck him on the head, thereby
flattening it, and cursed him, saying, " You will be a fish, and people
will take you and eat you, and you shall not be able to help yourself." Hence the reason of the peculiar shaped head of the tsan'âtz
at the present day. Tsu'ntia, for that was his name, then went
home and asked his mother who his father was. She was ashamed to
tell him the truth, and replied that the reason that he never saw his
father was that, before his (Tsu'ntia's) birth, his father was drowned
in the river. Tsu'ntia then took his bow and arrows, and went to
kill the Water, because it had taken his father's life. But the Water
told him, "Those whom I kill I know again. If I had killed your
father, I should know him ; but as it is, I do not." He then went
back to his mother, and asked her why she had lied, demanding
again to know who his father was. She told him other stories,
which he proved to be untruths. Finally he grew angry, and threw
her into a little lake below Lillooet, called by the Indians Hulako-
na'ntko. He then began to travel all over the world, turning people into animals, fishes, and rocks by his magic, and transforming
the features of many parts of the country through which he jour-
J 96 Two Traditions of the Lillooet.
neyed, performing many wonderful feats. He was in BEta'ni, and
afterwards went down the creek to Lytton, whence he followed up
Fraser River to its headwaters, doing wonders as he went. He came
back, following Thompson River from its source to its mouth,
crossed Fraser River, and a little below Lytton met the Nspâtc'ë'it,296
or the four young black bears, otherwise (and generally) called Qoâ'-
qoaL by the NLak-a'pamux, who were also doing great marvels.
These were on their way up from the mouth of Fraser River. Upon
meeting, they tried to metamorphose each other into many different
objects by their powers of magic ; but all schemes failed, for it
seemed they were all equally gifted. Having agreed to eat together,
Tsu'ntia forthwith brought out a small cup or kettle, and commenced to prepare some nka'ux. The brothers laughed at the idea
of such a small vessel holding enough food for all of them; but
Tsu'ntia assured them that it would. Then he set it before the
brothers to eat. They took a spoonful each, which filled them to
satisfaction, and made no impression on the nka'ux, which remained,
to all appearances, just the same. Tsu'ntia then said, "See what
you thought would not be enough to satisfy your appetites ! " Afterwards they ate of the brothers' food. They intended to serve Tsu'ntia as he had done them; but he took it all, and left the kettle
empty. Tsu'ntia then said, "Where shall we sleep?" telling them
to make a sleeping-place by their magic ; but they said they thought
he could do it better than they, and told him to do so. He then
caused a large, flat, smooth stone to appear, and upon it the five
slept that night. Tsu'ntia slept with his head to the north, and the
brothers with theirs towards the south The impressions made by
their bodies can still be seen. One mark in particular shows the
imprint of the back of the head, the elbows, and the heels of one of
them. Next morning they separated, Tsu'ntia going down the river,
and the others in the opposite direction. It is not known what
became of Tsu'ntia, for he disappeared, and it is said that he went
up to heaven.    He left descendants on Fraser River at Lillooet.
After Tsu'ntia had thrown his mother into the lake,298 she begat
people by her intercourse with the lake, who grew very numerous
in course of time. The inhabitants of SetL (Lillooet town) became
aware that there were people now dwelling by the lake, whereas formerly there were none ; also that they were good-looking, especially
the young women ; and that they always dwelt separate, holding no
intercourse whatever with other people. They lived on frogs, some
of which were in those days of enormous size. Frog-skins were their
blankets.  Now, many of the young men of SetL village took a fancy Two Traditions of the Lillooet. 97
to the young women of the lake, and at different times repaired there
with the intention of marrying ; but all of them, upon entering the
houses of the " frog-people," were overcome by the smell of frog,
and fell into a sleep, in which they invariably died, in which case
their bodies were thrown outside. At last one young man said he
would overcome the difficulty. He went into the mountains and
prepared his " medicine " for five years. At last he dreamed of the
Frog, and thereby gained the desired knowledge of escaping death
while having intercourse with the frog-eaters. He then went to
the dwellings of the "frog-people," and tried to enter. They were
living in underground lodges, as it was winter time. An elderly
person said to him, as he was about to go in, "You are a young
man, in your prime. I should not like to see you die; therefore
do not enter, for your fate will be the same as that of your fellows
who have come here before. It is a wonder that you people have
not learned wisdom by your experience." But the youth was not
to be frightened away, since he was confident of his powers. He
remained within for quite a time, while the inmates cooked frog
and frog's fat, and partook of their supper ; but he did not share in
it. They then began to talk, and inwardly wondered why he did
not fall into the death-sleep, as the others before him had done. So
he remained, and took to wife the two prettiest maidens. Shortly
after this the new son-in-law was taken out to hunt frogs, and told
if he saw any not to kill them himself, but to let the people know.
Feeling thirsty, and chancing to pass a swamp (at the back of Lillooet), he waded into the bog and drank, although almost mired in
the attempt. While drinking, he saw an enormous frog looking at
him (about as large as a bear). Upon returning, he told the frog-
eaters, who went there, killed the animal, and carried it home. After
this, the young man became thoroughly disgusted with their frog-
eating propensities, and decided to change the food of a people who
looked on everything as non-edible, except frog. Deer especially
was thought by them to be bad " medicine," and altogether unfit for
food. So he took his snowshoes, and went back in the mountains
and shot a big deer, which he took home, much to the horror and
disgust of the people. Nevertheless, he lowered it down into the
house, and after a good deal of persuasion induced the people to eat
it. Three of them, however, would not partake of this strange food,
and ran away. These he turned into dogs, who still haunt that lake.
The Indians often hear them yelping at sunrise; in fact, I myself
have heard them. The other people became then as ordinary human
beings after partaking of the venison ; and, being persuaded by their
son-in-law, they all moved up near SetL, and there made their homes.
They intermarried with the other people, and some of the Lillooet
tribes are their descendants, I being one of them.  NOTES.  i. The following alphabet has been used in transcribing Indian words and
a, e, i, o, u have their continental sounds (short).
à, ë, ï, ô, û long vowels.
e, obscure e, like e in flower.
à, in German Bar.
Ô, o in German roll.
ê, . in bell.
1 ; s ; d, t ; b, p ; k ; h ; w ; m, n as in English.
L, posterior palatal I; the tip of the tongue touches the alveoli of the lower
jaw, the back of the tongue is pressed against the hard palate; surd,
q, velar k.
k;, palatized k, almost ky.
x, ch in German Bach.
x, x pronounced at posterior border of hard palate,
x-, palatal x, as in German ich.
c, sh in shoal.
s of preceding sound.
The traditions of a number of tribes have been compared with those of the
Thompson River Indians, and quotations have been made in the following way : —
Shuswap, Fraser Delta, Coast Salish, Comox, Nootka, Kwakiutl, Heiltsuk,
Bilxula, Tsimshian, Tlingit : from Franz Boas, Indianische Sagen von der Nord
Pacifischen Kiiste Amerikas, Berlin, 1895.
Chinook: from Franz Boas, Chinook Texts, Bulletin Bureau of Ethnology,
Washington, 1894.
Loucheux, Hare, Dog Rib, Slave, Chippewayan: from E. Petitot, Traditions
Indiennes du Canada NordOuest, Paris, 1886.
Ponca: from James Owen Dorsey, The Cegiha Language, Washington, 1890.
Navaho : from Washington Matthews, Navaho Legends, Boston, 1897.
2. D. G. Brinton, The Myths of the New World, third edition, 1896, p. 194:'
I (He is) little more than a malicious buffoon, delighting in practical jokes, and
abusing his superhuman powers for selfish and ignoble ends. But this is a low,
sion of the character of Michabo, bearing no more resem-
cient one than the language and acts of our Saviour and
e Mystery Plays of the Middle Ages do to those recorded
modern, and corrupt v
blance to his real and
the apostles in the coa
by the Evangelists."
Walter J. Hoffmann in Fourtei
1896, p. 162 :  " There appears to
tth Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology,
have been a time, according to both the Ojibwa I02 Notes.
and Menomini Indians, when Mâ'nâbûsh became degraded on account of his
foolish actions. In the Ottawa dialect Mâ'nâbûsh signifies a 'foolish fellow,'
because of the ridiculous performances of the demigod previous to his final departure from the Indian country. (According to verbal information received from
Mr. A. J. Blackbird, an educated Ottawa chief and interpreter of Michigan.) Some
of these myths will be recognized as having, at some time in the past, formed part
of the cosmogonie ritual of the Menomini ; but when and how they became separated, and so altered as to have lost their reverential character, it is impossible
3. F. Boas, Indianische Sagen von der Nord-Paciflschen Kiiste Amerikas,
Berlin, 1895, p. 272 ff, 311 ff. A fuller version of the Raven legend of the Tsimshian
has since been obtained, which has been utilized here.
4. F. Boas, Chinook Texts, Washington, 1894, p. 92 ff.
5. Journal American Folk-Lore, 1898, No. 41.
6. E. Petitot, Traditions Indiennes du Canada Nord- Ouest, Paris, 1886,
p. 141ff.
7. F. Boas, Indianische Sagen, etc. p. 194 ff ; see, also, Chinook Texts, pp. 20, 21.
8. George B. Grinnell, Blackfoot Lodge Tales, London, 1893, p. 137 ff.
9. S. T. Rand, Legends of the Micmac, New York, 1894, passim; and Charles
G. Leland, The Algonquin Legends of New England, Boston, 1885, p. 15 ff and
10. F. Boas, Indianische Sagen, etc. pp. 19 ff, p. 45, p. 63; also pp. 66, 201.
11. J. O. Dorsey, The Cegiha Language, Contributions to North American
Ethnology, vol. vi., Washington, p. 607.
12. Petitot, Traditions Indiennes, etc. p. 127, p. 355.
13. F. Boas, Indianische Sagen, etc. p. 316; Chinook Texts, p. 181.
14. Ibid. p. 38.
15. Ibid. p. 55.
16. Ibid. p. 118.
17. Ibid. p. 136.
18. Ibid. p. 202.
19. Dorsey, The Cegiha Language, p. 204.
20. Boas, Indianische Sagen, etc. p. 40.
21. Petitot, Traditions, etc. p. 358.
22. Boas, Sagen, pp. 53, 133, 180, 264, 303.
23. Journal American Folk-Lore, 1898, No. 41.
24. Washington Matthews, Navaho Legends, Boston, 1897, p. 227 ; Boas, Sagen,
etc. p. 9.
25. Chinook Texts, p. 178.
26. Boas, Sagen, pp. 76, 106, 177, 245.
27. Dorsey, /. c. pp. 557.
28. Rand, /. c. pp. 300, 302.
29. Matthews, /. c. p. 87.
30. Report United States National Museum for 1895, p. 328 ff.
31. (Omitted.)
32. Boas, Sagen, etc. p. 24 ff.
33. Some Indians say that people in those days were immortal.
34. The country referred to includes all the present territory of the Nkamtci'nEmux, and down the Thompson to near Lytton, the Nicola, Similkameen, Okanagon, and southern Shuswap regions.
35. The Indians maintain that this is the reason why coyotes at the present
day are most numerous around Spences Bridge and farther to the east. From
Spences Bridge west they get scarcer, and are seldom seen around or below Lyt- Notes. 103
ton. The bad ones among the Coyote people were turned into the animal of that
name ; and as their habitat (when people) was principally around Spences Bridge,
and to the east and southeast, it still remains the same now.
36. It is also said that he talked (principally) in the Shuswap language, and in
a peculiar tone of voice (many of the other animals in these myths are represented
as talking in peculiar tones of voice). It is not known whether the Coyote talked
in Shuswap just for sake of imitation, or whether that was his natural language.
In telling stories connected with the Coyote, when they come to the part where
the Coyote speaks, the Nkamtci'nEmux (who are all more or less familiar with
the Shuswap language) put that language into his mouth. The rest of the NLak-a'pamux generally make him speak NLak-a'pamux.
37. Some say the Coyote escaped in a canoe with some other people, and that
the canoe of the Nzûkê'ski Indians broke loose from him, and drifted ashore near
the mountains of that name.
38. No particular place is mentioned, and the narrators cannot tell whether it
was the lower or upper part of Thompson River, or whether in NLak-a'pamux or
Shuswap territory.  They say it was somewhere not far away from Spences Bridge.
39. Some of the Indians say that at one time the Coyote was alone, being the
only man on earth. This is said to have been in or about the beginning of the
"spêtâ'kl " period.   Others say that it was after the Flood.
40. Probably quartz.
41. Some Indians say the Teal Duck and the Mallard Duck, still others say the
Swan and the Loon.
42. Some of the Nkamtci'nEmux say he transformed his excrement into an
43. The meaning of this word is " raised " or " lifted up." The verb nLi'ksEma
is applied to raising the trigger of a gun, to lifting the eyelids, etc. Some of the
Nkamtci'nEmux, in telling this story, assert that the Coyote lifted his eyelids and
looked up, and each time he did so the tree grew taller. NLi'ksEntEm was the
eldest son of the Coyote, and was noted for his great magical powers, and for his
44. The Indians believe there are three worlds, viz., the one we live in; the
upper one, which NLi'ksEntEm visited ; and the lower one, inhabited by the Ant
people.   The sky is the ground of the upper world.
45. A .plant which grows abundantly in the mountains of the NLak-a'pamux
country, the root of which is much used as food by the Indians. It is a species
of Claytonia called tatu'En by the Indians.
46. The birch-bark vessels consisted of all kinds of bark utensils used by the
Indians, such as cups, baskets, etc., as well as miniature canoes. NLi'ksEntEm
was attacked by the combs and the birch-bark vessels, just as he had been by the
awls, etc., in the other houses, and upon leaving cursed them in the same manner,
condemning them to be the eternal servants of man.
47. Some say he first saw some old wood chippings, then fresher ones, and then
at last the camp.
48. The full version of this passage is as follows : Deinde alter : " Ego vero "
inquit "pudenda ejus olfacio." NLi'ksEntEm therefore felt insulted He took
hold of one woman by her legs and threw her amongst some spruce and black
pine trees, saying, " You shall be a fool hen, and shall be so foolish that women
and children will catch you with a stick and a twine noose at one end." The
other woman he threw among some rotten logs between willow and alder trees, and
cursed her, saying, " You shall be a ruffed grouse ; et si quando pruris stipite alis
tunso gravida fies."
Some Indians, in telling this part of the story, say that NLi'ksEntEm took the g»
rotten wood out of the woman's hand, and placed therein, in place of it, his penis,
whereupon the woman exclaimed, " I smell a man's privates ! " Others say that
he caught hold of the women, broke their arms, and then threw them in the
49. Some Indians say the bark the Spider was using for making rope and thread
was that of a plant called ma'muskin, which the Indians use for that purpose, but
which is considered much inferior to the spa'tsan-b&rk.
50. The Nkamtci'nEmux say that NLi'ksEntEm, when he went to the upper
world, was ignorant; but when he returned he was skilled and wise, for his grandfather the Spider advised him to train himself, and instructed him in all manner
of magic ; and thus he became possessed of the power and knowledge for which
he was afterwards distinguished.
51. The full version of this passage is as follows: Canis occasione oblata, sub
vestimenta mulierum pudenda suspexit.
52. BEta'ni is the name of a valley situated in the mountains about fourteen
miles north of Lytton, and nine or ten miles west-southwest of Spences Bridge.
It is famous as a great root-digging and hunting resort, and formerly used to be a
summer gathering-place for all the upper divisions of the tribe.
53. Smq, a round or trunk-shaped basket with a lid.
54. The NLak-apamux'5'ê generally say the meadow-larks.
55. Some Indians say the Spider also tied a large knife to the basket.
56. Many of the Nkamtci'nEmux say that he opened his eyes several times,
and each time he did so he went up again; consequently it was only after a long
time, and with much difficulty, that the Spider succeeded in landing him safely on
the earth. They also say that the Spider lifted up the fire-stone of his underground lodge, which left an aperture, through which he lowered the basket with
NLi'ksEntEm; also that through this hole the people at Lytton could be seen
playing ball underneath, and appearing in the distance to be as small as flies.
57. Some of the Nkamtci'nEmux say that the space on which he rolled himself
was turned into this stone to mark the spot, for the Spider said that the place
where NLi'ksEntEm should first touch the ground would be the centre of the
earth (or of the.Indian's country). The NLak-a'pamux hold this stone sacred, and
at the present day keep it covered over with earth, so that the whites may not
58. BEta'ni Lake, at the headwaters of Lower BEta'ni Creek, a favorite camping-place of the NLak-apamux'ô'ë. Lower BEta'ni Creek falls into Thompson
River about one mile east of Lytton.
59. Skilki'lEx or Upper BEta'ni Creek, which flows through the Upper BEta'ni
valley, and falls into Thompson River about three miles and a half west of
Spences Bridge.
60. Some Indians say he turned himself into various animals in his attempt to
save himself, before he took the shape of a piece of board.
61. Some say three old women, others four, and that they were sisters, and
great in " mystery."
62. Similar to those used by the Lower Fraser or Coast Indians.
63. Called kolei'Exkîn by the Indians. Some Indians say that this box also
contained bluebottle or blow-flies.
64. Kakulx-u', the name given to a small variety of kimkamu't, — a variety of
beetle with a gray head, sometimes called meat-bugs by the whites.
65. The Indians aver that the opening of the boxes was the cause of the first
appearance of the smoke-wasps, salmon-flies, blow-flies, and meat-beetles, and
that is the reason that these insects accompany the salmon at the present day-
They begin to increase in numbers as soon as the salmon c Notes. x0e
these insects, they claim, were unknown to the Indians before the Coyote introduced the salmon.
66. Some say that the Coyote took the salmon up past Lillooet, then, turning
back, he conducted them up Thompson River, introducing them there.
67. Some say three, and that they were maidens.
68. Some say that he told them to open wide their legs. They also say that
the Coyote was carrying a small pack of salmon on his back, and when he sat
down to rest he took his pack off, intending to eat some. He then noticed the
women bathing on the opposite bank of the river.
69. This passage in full is as follows : Canis, cum arreptum penem trans flumen
traiceret effecit, ut in pudendis minima: natu haereret. She fell sick and was
hardly able to get out of the water ; so the other women helped her home, but were
ashamed to tell the people what had happened. The girl's relations called several
shamans to treat her, but they were unable to cure her.
70. This paragraph told by Cawa'xamux.
71. I have not been able to determine the exact part of the mountain sheep's
body that the girls asked for.
72. Others say that he was dressed in alkali grass (Elymus triticoides, Nutt).
73. The full version of this passage is as follows : Quam canis secutus cur
turn lodice operuisset, cantare coepit, nee multo post cum puella coire conatv
ut penis in suum locum redierit. Hie clamabat ea hominem se vitiare conai
bus auditis vicini qui quidem jam suspicabantur, ad sudatorium undique cc
rebant. Neque tamen canem poterant deprehendere qui ridens in pedes se
iecit. Turn demum canem esse intellexerunt. Puella autem causa morbi remota
statim convaluit.
74. So far I have been unable to locate the place, which is on the American
side, probably in eastern Washington.
75. Compare the following tales of other tribes: Page 21, § 2. Comox, p.
Nahwitti, p. 179. Krause, Die Tlinkit Indianer, p. 265. Page 21, § 4. Shusv
p. 17 ; Ponca, p. 607 ; Hare, p. 127 ; Chippewayan, p. 355. Page 22, § 2. Chinook^
p. 181 ; Tsimshian, Tlingit, p. 316. Page 23, § 2. Shuswap, p. 18; Fraser Delta,
p. 38; Coast Salish, p. 55 ; Comox, p. 65 ; Nootka, p. 118; Kwakiutl, p. 136; Nahwitti, p. 202 ; Bilxula, p. 263 (Ponca, p. 204). Page 24, § 2. Tillamook {Journal
American Folk-Lore, 1898, No. 41). Page 25, § 1. Shuswap, p. 18 ; Fraser, p.
40 ; Chippewayan, p. 358. Page 25, § 2, Cathlamet. Page 25, § 2. Navaho, p. 97 ;
Kootenay (Verh. Berl. Ges. fur Anthrop. 1891, p. 170). Page 26,' § 1. Coast
Salish, p. 45; Kwakiutl, p. 133; Nahwitti, p. 180; Bilxula, p. 264; Tsimshian,
p. 303. Page 26, § 2. Chilcotin, Kootenay (Verh. Berl. Ges. fur Anthrop.
1891, p. 163). Page 27, § 3. Fraser Delta, p. 26; Comox, p. 73; Nootka. p. 108;
Nahwitti, p. 172.   Page 28, § 3.    Tillamook {Journal American Folk-Lore, 1898).
76. Shuswap, p. 7.
77. Shuswap, p. 9 ; Navaho, p. 227.
78. The Indians describe it as being of the color of gold, and say that it shone
or sparkled like the sun. They think the crust of it must have been made of gold,
or some other bright metal.
79. Near a place called Nsi"s_Et. It is said that one or both of these houses
were afterwards turned into stone by the Qoâ'qLqaL.   See story of the latter.
80. The Antelope is mentioned several times in the mythological stories of the
NLak-a'pamux. Some say he was a great friend of the Coyote's. The Antelope,
as far as known, never inhabited the present country of the NLak-a'pamux. So
far as I can learn, this animal has never penetrated west of the Rocky Mountains, and is only to be found east of that range. This is certainly the case in
British Columbia.   Although the Nkamtci'nEmux and Cawa'xamux are tolerably
1 io6 Notes.
well informed respecting this animal, on the other hand many of the NLak-apa-
mux'ô'ê and others say they do not know what it is, but have heard it described
by the old people, who claimed that it was noted for its swiftness, some of them
saying that it may be an old name for either the wolf or the hummingbird. In
the same way the Uta'mqt have very indistinct notions of the buffalo and the
caribou, which are well known and correctly described by the upper part of the
tribe, although neither of these animals ever (so far as known) inhabited any part
of the NLak-a'pamux country.
81. Some say three.
82. This place is called Niqcu'emîn by the Indians, and Thompson or Thompson Siding by the whites. The creek there is generally called Thompson or
Nicomin Creek. Some, in telling the story, place the last of the Antelope's sons
at Tsotcowa'ux Creek instead of at Thompson Creek.
83. The present boundary between the Nkamtci'nEmux and NLak-apamux'ô'ê.
84. Some say a ram of the mountain sheep.
85. Some Indians say they think there is some more of this story ; but I have
not been able so far to collect any more, and have never heard it told by any of
Ihem at greater length than above.
86. Some say the boy did not speak, but that the Cannibal placed him in the
bottom of the kettle, perhaps by chance, or because he was small.
87. Some say, " So that the fire went out." It will be remarked that this whole
passage in its present form is recent.   The Indians had no kettles that they hung
88. Some Indians say he simply urinated on the tree, or on the topmost point
of the tree.
89. Cathlamet.
90. This story is sometimes told in separate parts, part of it being called the
Story of the Lynx, and part the Story of the Coyote's Sons.
91. Full version : tsûkEmâ'istîn, semen which has dried under the prepuce.
92. Full version : " Sunt rubra pudenda ! " (Sntiêkï'L).
93. Some say she also changed him into the ordinary hare.
94. This commences the part generally called the Story of the Lynx.
95. This ends the part called the Lynx Story.
96. This commences what is called the Story of the Coyote's Sons.
97. I do not know the exact meaning of this name.
98. Probable interpretation of this name is " mighty foot."
99. See other contradictory versions of the origin of fire, pp. 56, 57.
100. This is his personal name. The Indians do not give any meaning for it,
saying that it is simply his name.
101. I cannot obtain any meaning for this word.
102. See p. 74.
103. The Indians often call any kind of large fish " salmon."
104. This is one of the kinds of Haxaa'tko in whose existence the Indians
believe. They are the inhabitants of certain lakes or streams. In appearance
they answer very closely to the descriptions given of mermen and mermaids, some
of them having the upper part of the body and head exactly like men or women,
and the lower part like fishes. Others, again, have all the body like a fish, and
only the head like human beings.
105. Some Indians say that Kua'lum took the lad out a fourth time, but with a
like result. I have not yet been able to learn from any of them what experience
the lad passed through on his fourth and last test.
106. Compare the following tales of other tribes : Shuswap, p. 9. Kootenay
{Verh. Berl. Ges. fur. Anthrop. 1891, p. 163).   Page 39, § 1.   Cathlamet, Chinook, "I
p. 58; Ponca, p. 160. Page 39, § 2. Chinook, p. 34; Fraser Delta, p. 39; Comox,
p. 70; Nootka, p. 118; Kwakiutl, p. 136; Nahwitti, p. 198; Krause, Die Tlinkit-
Indianer, p. 256.
107. Some say the Coyote happened to visit the Black Bear.
108. Lêms; an elongated, rather shallow dish made of birch-bark, formerly used
by the Indians (Upper NLak-a'pamux) for catching fat-drippings in front of the
109. The Indians state that this incident was the cause of the Coyote's paws
becoming round and shriveled up as they are at the present day.
110. The name of a bird, of which I am unable to state with certainty the English name, but which I think is the kingfisher.
in. The Magpie was known as a great hunter and trapper. He used to catch
deer principally by means of snares, and was very success, ul.
112. A spînpï'n snare, which was a net with large meshes set between patches
of bushes, and in other suitable places, into which the deer were driven. They
became entangled, and fell an easy prey to the hunter. They were formerly in
use amongst the Nkamtci'nEmux and Cawa'xamux, and were also still more
largely used by the Okanagon. Some Indians, in telling this story, say that it
was a spring pole-snare that was used by the Magpie, and not a net-snare.
113. Some say he flew through between the meshes.
114. Some say he tried to jump through between the meshes, as the Magpie had
115. Compare the following tales of other tribes: Chinook, p. 178; Comox,
p. 76; Nootka, p. 106; Nahwitti, p. 177; Bilxula, p. 245; Tsimshian; S. T. Rand,
Legends of the Micmac, pp. 300, 302; Ponca, p. 557; Navaho, p. 87; Tillamook;
Hare, p. 217.
116. So far I have been unable to obtain any meaning for this name. Some
Indians say that this was the name of the youngest brother only; others, that it
was the name of the three as a whole. Some say that each of the brothers had a
separate name, but are unable to state what their names were, although they had
heard them from old people formerly. The name is pronounced, with slight variations, Qoâ'qLqaL, Qoë'qLqoL, Xoê'qLqoL, Xoë'qLxoL.
117. A few Indians claim that they were two brothers, others that they were
four ; whilst others say that they were not brothers at all, but simply companions.
118. S'â'tcinko is the NLak-a'pamux name for the Qauitcin Indians of lower
Fraser River, who occupy the valley of that river from the point where it emerges
from the canyon at Yale to its mouth about a hundred miles below. They occupy
the country between the NLak-a'pamux and the sea.
119. In the mythology of the Lillooet they are said to have come from the sea.
120. See story of Kokwë'la, p. 45.
121. The name of a place about four miles below Spences Bridge, on the south
side of Thompson River, where there is a sliding mountain called Mud-slide by
the whites.   Zîxazrx means . slides."
122. Some say his wife was the Short-tailed Mouse.
123. Nqau'x, a mess eaten by the Indians, generally consisting of roots of a
starchy nature, dried service berries, and deer's fat, boiled together. Bitter-root
is principally used in the preparation of this dish.
124. Spâ'nek, a small variety of basket in common use, and often used for boiling food.
125. Some Indians say that he avoided the falling earth by jumping up on the
cliff across the Thompson, directly opposite this place.
126. Some Indians say that Tcû'i'sqâ'lEmux and his wife were also turned into io8 Notes.
127. Some Indians say the man and woman were also turned into stone.
128. This is the name of a mountain situated on the north side of Thompson
River, about a mile and a half below Spences Bridge. It is very rocky and precipitous, facing the river, and rises to an altitude of five thousand feet above sea-
129. A balsam poplar tree. It is said that this tree fell down during the lifetime of the grandfathers of the present generation of Indians, and its trunk was
lying on the ground in a very rotten condition as late as twenty-five years ago.
It is described as having been from three to four feet in diameter. Some Indians
in telling this story do not say the two men climbed a tree, but state that the trunk
of the tree to be seen there formerly was the remains of one that had been carried
there at the time of the flood, because there were no other poplar trees growing
on the top of the mountains, and it is a very unlikely place for trees of that
description to ,grow in. Others assert that the tree was made to grow there by
the two men for the purpose of their taking refuge in it.
130. This place is called Nka'lzetins ha snikia'p (his sweat-house the Coyote),
and is situated about two miles above Spences Bridge, on the north side of the river.'
131. Nqau'x, see note 123.
132. Full version : To turn the genitalia of both Coyote and his wife into stone.
The place is generally called Spâeks ha snikia'p (Coyote's penis), and is on the
north side of Thompson River, about four miles and a half above Spences Bridge.
133. Tsalê'qamux (=mud or clay land). Name of a place about six miles
above Spences Bridge, on the north side of the river. The bar and rapid in the
river there are called Tsemï'ns ha snikia'p (his fish dam the Coyote).
134. This myth may possibly be part of a longer and more detailed one.
135. The Indians have conflicting statements regarding the routes followed by
the Qoâ'qLqaL.
136. Some say that near the same place they also turned the Antelope's house
137. This place is called N'Epu'etus a s'tExa'tz (where lies down the elk). It is
on the old Nicola-Similkameen trail.
138. This place is called En'Esclê'tcus a skêlpâ'ka (where spread in a heap the
fir-branch), and is on the old Nicola-Similkameen trail.
139. Some Indians say that only the toboggan-slide was turned into stone.
140. Some Indians say that they tried who could make the deepest impression
with his head. The elder two managed to make shallow impressions ; the youngest one made a much deeper one.
141. Lake at the Marble Canyon.   See Skunk myth, p. 59.
142. Compare this with the Skunk myths, p. 58.
143. S'kwa'ilux or S'qwâ'ilÔx, Pavilion Creek. The Shuswap village of this
name is situated near the creek, and at the foot of the mountain. Probably the
mountain referred to is Pavilion Mountain, which is very flat near the top, and
on that account is called spa'bxm by the Indians.
144. Compare the following tales: Shuswap, pp. 1 ff; Fraser Delta, pp. 19ff;
Bilxula, p. 241. Page 43, § 1. Shuswap, p. 13; Fraser Delta, p. 23; Comox,
pp. 64,66 ; Nahwitti, p. 201 ; Bilxula, p. 248 ; Loucheux, p. 33. Page 43, § 1. Dishes
cannot be emptied: Cathlamet, Shuswap, p. 4; Nootka, p. 103; Kwakiutl, p. 154;
Nahwitti, p. 181 ; Heiltsuk, pp. 223, 227; Micmacy p. 24; Ponca, pp. 138, 1395
Chippewayan, p. 369. Page 43, § 3. Shuswap, p. 16; Fraser Delta, p. 23. Page
45> § 2» 3-   Shuswap, p. 4.
145. Means " child of kokwë'la."
146. Name of a root used as food by NLak-a'pamux and Shuswap. (Peuce-
danum macrocarpum, Nutt.). Full version : She cohabited with the root kokwë'la. Notes.
147. Means "place of crossing the river," called by the whites Kanaka Bar. It
is on the borders of the NLak-apamux'ô'ê and Uta'mqt. Below this place, in the
Uta'mqt country, no kokwë'la grows; but above this place it grows, and gets
more and more plentiful eastward towards the Shuswap country.
148. Compare F. Boas, Sagen, etc. p. 16.
149. The expressions " wîkaiû' " and " mîsaiû' " are derived from NLak-a'pamux,
words meaning "open" and "close;" "tciLX" means "house" in ordinary
150. Almost all the Indian cellars open from the top, and have no doors in the
ordinary sense of the word.   They are closed by means of lids or poles.
151. More correctly "out-of-way place." The Indian cellars, being circular,
have no corners, properly speaking.
152. It is said that the Bush-tailed Rat's wife was some kind of a mouse. Some
say that she was the Short-tailed Mouse.
153. I have not been able to learn definitely who this man was. Some Indians
say that they do not know for certain, but think that it must have been the Coyote,
or one of his sons, perhaps Kokwë'la.
154. Skî'màist: literally "chipped stone," or perhaps "thrown stone," a large
arrow-head, those said to be fired by the thunder.
155. Compare Shuswap, p. 1.
156. At one time î was of the opinion that "The Old Man," or "Chief" of
NLak-a'pamux mythology, was of recent origin, their ideas and first knowledge of
whom had been probably gained from the missionaries who, upwards of sixty
years ago or more, had formed missions on the American side amongst the Nez
Percés and other tribes ; but from this and similar stories, and other information I
have since obtained, I am now inclined to think that he is a personage belonging
to their ancient mythology, and not the God of the whites. He is variously designated, as "The Old Man," "The Chief," "The Great Chief," and "The Big
Mystery." He is always represented as an old man, gifted in magic above the
power of others; in fact, a kind of superior being. He was also a creator and
transformer like the Coyote, and, like him, is expected to return, and to bring
good and happy days for the Indians. So far as I can learn, he was not made an
object of prayer, and, like the Coyote, was not held in particular reverence.
157. The Indians say that no one knows the location of the Coyote's house;
but it is supposed by some to be in high mountains where there are glaciers. He
is said to pass most of his time warming himself at his log fire, first on one side,
then on the other; and when he rolls over, the weather turns cold. When it
turns cold weather, the Indians often say, " The dog of a Coyote has rolled over,"
and consider it unlucky to mention his name during moderate weather in the winter-time, as this might induce him to turn over.
158. Some Indians say that the Old Man now resides in the upper world which
NLi'ksEntEm (see p. 21) visited, and that he is the maker of rain and snow which
descends from the upper regions. Every time the Old Man scratches his backside it rains or snows. Some, again, say that when he urinates it rains, while
others claim that it also rains when the Coyote urinates. Other Indians assert
that the Old Man lives in the higher mountains, where he makes rain and snow,
and also loud noises. Therefore the Indians do not like to go to the top of a very
high mountain.
159. Some say that the Old Man and the Coyote will come back together at some
future period, and will work wonders again on the earth. They will at first appear
walking, and surrounded with clouds of tobacco-smoke. Others say that they will
eventually bring back the Indian dead from the land of shades, but probably will
first come themselves and arrange the earth for their reception.    When they
J i io Notes.
return with the dead, there will be loud beating of drums, and the dead will appear
borne on the top of red clouds, aurora, and tobacco-smoke.
160. Compare Fraser Delta, p. 21.
161. Some say the woman struck the deer on the hind quarters with her " breech-
clout or kilt," leaving a mark near his thighs in the form of a piece of flesh, which
is called the breech-clout. The Indians say if the deer had no breech-clout, he
would be able to jump as formerly.
162. There is a bird which inhabits the mountains, and whistles just like a person. Its note deceives even the practiced ear of the Indian, who, while hunting,
sometimes takes the note of this bird for the whistle of his companion hunter,
and is thus led out of his way for a time, until he discovers his error. Some
Indians, in telling this story, say that it was this bird which whistled, and led the
boy on a wild-goose chase. Others say that after a time the boy discovered
whence the sound came, and found that it was his excrements which whistled.
163. The Indians say there was another blanket made out of the skins of a
bright-plumaged bird, of which they do not know, or never heard, the name.
164. Compare F. Boas, Sagen, etc. p. 17. Fire left for a deserted person;
Chinook, p. 51 ; Shuswap, p. 10 ; Fraser Delta, p. 20; Coast Salish, p. 52; Comox,
p. 93; Nootka, p. 114; Kwakiutl, p. 132; Nahwitti, p. 180; Bilxula, p. 264; Tsimshian, p. 301 ; Krause, Die Tlinkit-Indianer, p. 269; Micmac, p. 46.
165. Some say he killed them with his heat; others that he ran the
clubbed them.
166. The Indians call a beetle of a bright bronze color the £
167. S'nâm, protecting spirit or manitou.
168. Some add that the Sun also promised to move farther aw
169. Compare the following tale, collected by F. Boas at Lytt
A man had two daughters, one of whom married an Indian, t "
rejected all her suitors. One day her sister said, "Why a
Do you want to marry the Sun ? " She replied, " Yes, I want
made a great many moccasins and garments, and, accompanied by a slave girl,
she set out to find the Sun. Many days, many moons she travelled towards sunrise. They bathed in all the lakes that they passed, and rubbed their bodies with
spruce twigs. Finally they reached a sea. They did not know how to proceed
on their journey. After some time they saw the Sun rising from out of the waters.
Then the girl spread a large skin blanket over the waters, and on it she walked
eastward. Her slave stayed on the shore of the sea. Soon the girl saw that the
Sun was coming forth from a subterranean lodge. After he had left, the girl entered
the lodge and slept there all day. Then she hid. At sunset the Sun suddenly
entered the lodge. The heavenly orb was fastened to a staff that he was carrying.
He pushed this staff into the ground near the entrance of his lodge. He did not
discover the visitor. On the following morning after he had left, the girl went
back over the waters to fetch her slave. They cleaned the house. In the evening
when the Sun returned he found the two girls,
woman, and was angry at being disturbed. But sc
ried the girl.   They had a son, and after some ti
See, also, a sun myth of the Cathlamet.
170. Most Indians, in telling this story, say that the Sun lived ir
171. Some of the NLak-a'pamux believe that cold winds are caused by a family
or a people who live away to the north where the earth and the sky come together,
and where the sources of all the great rivers and waters are.   These people live
n down and
while the other one
:e you so haughty?
0 marry hin
le had never before beheld
n he calmed down and mar-
e she returned to her parents.
mderground Notes. m
in a house, and the belief runs that when they walk around, the weather turns
cold, or a cold wind blows. Hot winds are also caused by a people who live far
to the south, near that end of the earth, or at the mouth of all the great rivers.
When these people walk about, warm or hot winds blow.
172. Some say that they made arrangements between themselves, because they
were tired of their continual strife.
173. (Omitted.)
174. Indian version : —
Kite   na iawîEXus ha tEmô'x, eL kutcï'ax ha qô'qoaskë ul sai'tkênEmux Loa's
uâxs     Enâ'.   Uâ'x   Ena' n ha sai'tkEnEmux ; Loa's kanâ'mas hes kointcu'ts ha
he stayed there.   He stayed there with the people ; then      he heard     his voice        the
Sqe'kiex.   Tcut ha Sqe'kiex "ûha'nus aks Lê'qana ha sai'tkEnEmux."   Uâx lô
Thunder.       He said the   Thunder    " some time shall I kill them the people." Being then
ha qô'qoaskë Loa's kîlî'ms tu'a siwâ'nuxs ha sai'tkEnEmux; ha pEti'la
kutto tcemEnu's spêx-u'ps hes siwâ'nuxs.   Loa's kutcî'axs ul tcîtxs ha Sqê'kiex.
therefore   immensely        swollen     his       body. Then   he departed to his house the    Thunder.
Kite      ul Sqe'kiex he tcîtxs ; aLos tcu'ntem ha qô'qoaskë, sâ'watem • " Kê'nam
He arrived at the Thunder his   house;    then he said to him the   mosquito     he asked him:       "Why
kas kootc, a tu xwa'nstux axa kutto xuë't kas cLaxa'nz." Loa's tcuts a qô'qoaskë :
thou     fat,       if      whence thou that therefore much thy      food.» Then   said the    mosquito:
"xuî pila'xtcin, a'xuko tcut as xwïs Lê'kanux ha sai'tkEnEmux, a'xku koi'mEnux."
"Shall I tell thee,    thou do   say that wilt thou kill them the people, thon do long for them.»
Nes tcuLsts kutLo     ul    cira'p   ha  kîmkai'ns.     " Tù'a   cîpcira'o
He went he pointed out to him  therefore      to        tree        the its top. "From      thé trees
us'ô'pina,   auz aka xa   kax    Lê'kanux,      awi   axa' kwô'tc, kwotct awi   axa'
when I eat it,   that them  whom thou killest them, because  that       fat, fat     because that
ku'ttô uâxkt kwotct    uswî'ktep."    A'keks tcuts ha Sqê'kiex :   " Nswa'kukanuk
therefore   we are       fat     when thou seest us."    Then   he said the    Thunder: " I think really
kas ka'za, tata'ks s'ai'tkênEmuxs ha cipcira'p, tata'ks pEti'las,  zu'mLô uâ'x ha
thon   liest,    not they people the      trees,        not they   have blood,   yet then     it is   the
xue't ta pEti'la n'a piéVpst."   A stcuts ha qô'qoaskë : " Tata ki'ns ka'za, tu'a cira'p
much  the    blood     in      ye."        Then  said   the     mosquito:        "Not      I lie,     from    tree
axa uskwa'ndem
ha pEti'las ha cira'p axa' cLaxa'nzkt."   A stcuts ha Sqe'kiex :
the  its blood    the   tree      that      our food."        Then   said    the   Thunder:
" HomeL   ia' axa
' xui pô'esEna, uha'nus ta aswa'kukamî'na-us, aks, pô'estena ha
shall       I kill,     sometimes                 if I see fit,               then        I kill it    the
"Enough!    well that
cira'p."    Pila'xE
■nska ha qô'qoaskë,   êskaks    hai'ltem    ha s'ai'tkênEmux tus
tree."           Perhaps h
hai'ltem      ha ci
ra'p.     HatLstes    ha s'ai'tkênEmux ha qô'qoaskë. Lôa' stamus
he treats them  the    t
taks pilâ'xems.
175. The eagle referred to here, as well as throughout all these tales, is that
called by the Indians Xalau'. Its tail-feathers have white tips, and were formerly
in great demand by medicine-men and warriors for decorative purposes. See
F. Boas, Sagen, etc. p. 42.
176. Some say it was not the swallow, but another bird, of which they do not
know the name.
177. Probably a fresh-water clam or mussel shell, as these are the only kind
known to the interior Indians. StleLEX-lû'xa is the name applied to this variety
of shell, which is found in several lakes.
178. A very small creek or spring called Kule'ltko, which runs through the present Indian village of Lkamtcï'n or Lytton.
179. Some say that they did not shoot him, but killed him with a beaver-spear,
which has a detachable, notched bone head. Ii2 Notes.
180. The Upper Lillooet version of the acquisition of fire is that it was stolen by
two men who went to a house near the salt water, in which the people lived who
possessed it. They dammed a creek which flowed near the house, thus flooding
it, and putting the people in a state of confusion.
181. Some say that the Beaver put fire into all wood and trees which grow
near his haunts, whilst the Eagle put it into the trees which grow in high or distant parts of the country, away from the watercourses and lakes.
Compare Fraser Delta, p. 42, Tillamook.
182. In this version the Beaver was not shot, but speared with a beaver-spear.
183. See Story of Ntcî'mka, note 263.
184. Some say they went inside of a beaver and eagle skin respectively.
185. A mysterious person; anything composed of mystery, or having powers
above the ordinary, and which cannot be readily understood or imitated.
186. Wooden boxes were never used by the Upper NLak-a'pamux, but were
known to the Uta'mqt, and used by them to some extent. Probably they copied
them from theS'â'tcinkoor Qauitcin Indians of lower Fraser River.
187. Some say also the people.
188. Compare the legends of the liberation of the sun (F. Boas, Sagen, etc.
p. 360, No. 147).
189. Some Indians tell that he said his brothers had been killed while attacking
a fortified house.
190. Some say that he made them lie down. Full version: He took them
each one and pointed out with his finger on their bodies where their husbands had
been wounded. He pointed first to the brow, then successively to the nose, the
mouth, the chin, the breast, the navel. Deinde cum digitum ad partes génitales
intenderet atque adeo eas tangeret dixit se prurire.
191. SLuq, a large basket with a lid.
192. Some NLak-a'pamux'ô'ê and Nkamtci'nEmux say that he was found about
a year afterwards, having drifted ashore, and, when the lid was opened, was
found to be alive and well. He afterwards travelled around the country. Some
Nkamtci'nEmux say that he was set adrift on Thompson River, and that he
drifted ashore a few miles below Spences Bridge.
Compare Comox, p. 72; Kwakiutl, p. 158.
193. Some say that the Skunk and brothers were first attacked by a party of
northern Shuswap, but unsuccessfully, and that afterwards they made up their
minds to make reprisals.
194. According to this story, it would seem that the Skunk was the creator of
the yellow pine (Pinus ponderosa). The Indians state thaf he was the first person
to use the bark of this tree when on the warpath, and that since then the Indian
war-parties always used it. They also state that it makes comparatively but little
ash, that the ashes are light and easily scattered, and that it is difficult for any
one to tell by appearances how long since the fire was used. The yellow pine is
one of the commonest trees which are found in the Nkamtci'nEmux and lower
Shuswap countries.
195. This lake and the cliff are called Tcexpâ'tkwEtn, both by the Nkamtci'nEmux and the Shuswap, and are situated close to Marble Canyon. Some
Indians, in telling the story, say that the lake was there before, but that when the
Skunk discharged his secretion on his brothers, some of it floated over the lake
and changed the color of its waters.
196. In narrating this story, some of the Indians say that the lake had only
water of three colors,—yellow, blue, and red ; also that the colors in the water were
easily distinguishable until about ten years ago, when some Indians placed trout
in the lake.   Since the trout have become numerous, they say that these colors Notes.
have gradually disappeared. Both the Nkamtci'nEmux and the Shuswap fish the
water for trout nowadays.
197. Some say that the Skunk defecated, and turned his excrement into a boy,
whom he ordered to say, when asked, " I am the Skunk's little Shuswap slave."
But as the boy always answered, " I am the Skunk's excrement," the Skunk got
wroth, and pounded the boy up into a shapeless mass. It is said that he turned
his excrement into a boy four different times, but with like result.
198. Full version : And then her abdomen, saying, " And he was hit here."
Postremo genitalibus tactis dixit eum ibi vulneratum. Simul earn digito urgens ;
"Attat" inquit "casu non consilio digitus intravit."
199. It seems that the Skunk's brothers were the first to use this plant for such
a purpose; however that may be, the Indians always use it to take away the smell
of a skunk from clothes.
200. Some, when narrating the story, say, instead, that the Skunk disappeared,
and was not seen by his brothers again; and that he was changed to an animal by
"The Old Man" at the time of the transformation, when most of the birds and
animals were transformed.
201. Compare Comox, p. 72; Kwakiutl, p. 158. Page 60, § 1. Comox, p. 72;
Kwakiutl, p. 159; Tsimshian, p. 277; Tlingit, p. 314.
202. Some Indians say that the log was likely kindled by Sisiûsxî'n (the Coyote's
youngest son) for the purpose of giving fire to the people in the neighborhood.
203. The place so named is the top of the lowest terrace of the mountain immediately back of Spences Bridge, on the north side of Thompson River, and overlooks the valley. It is almost entirely covered with sage-bush at the present day,
and devoid of trees. The name of the place is derived from this story, viz.,
I buried or threw dirt on one another grizzly bear." It is also sometimes called
Lkwotwau'xus Cuxcu'x ("fought one another grizzly bear ").
204. The chipmunk's cry sounds somewhat like tctx-a. Its cry is also likened
to sounds made by a fire when fresh wood is thrown on it. Mâ'a is also similar
to a cry made by chipmunks, and is likened to the Indian word mama, meaning
205. Bears make a noise somewhat similar to the sound of this word, which is
likened to the Indian word LipLi'pt or LûpLÛ'pt, meaning " dark."
206. Some Indians say that the fire was probably extinguished, and that the
log was covered over with earth by the grizzly after he had chased the chipmunk
away, or, as an alternative, suggests that the fire must have burned out, as there
are no signs nowadays indicative of such an occurrence having taken place.
207. I cannot learn exactly what the medicine consisted of, but some Indians
say that it consisted of herbs boiled in water. The medicine in one kettle was
composed of Pûskaê'lp, and that in another kettle of Tsalsaê'lp.
208. The Indians assert that it is on account of the connection between the dog
and the woman, as evidenced by the above story, that the dog is bad " medicine "
for women at the present day. If a dog urinated on any article belonging to a
woman, it was at once thrown away. At the present day it is considered very
unlucky for a dog to urinate on any article of use or value. If it should urinate
on any wood or bark, the people will not burn it. If on any weapon, it was
considered contaminating, like a woman's touch, and the hunter often threw the
weapon away as being unfit for further service.
Another version of this story begins as follows : The girl's mother found her
in the act of having relations with a dog, and, going home, informed her father,
who thereupon killed the dog, and threw its body into the river. The next day
the girl looked everywhere for the dog, but could not find it. While she was
absent, her father called the people together and told them of his shame ; so the ii4 Notes.
people all left their houses and went to BEta'ni, thus deserting the girl. (The rest
as above.)
Compare Cathlamet, Fraser Delta, p. 25 ; Comox, p. 93 ; Nootka, p. 114;
Kwakiutl, p. 132; Bilxula, p. 263; Krause, Die Tlinkit-Indianer, p. 269; Dog
Rib, p. 314; Chilcotin.
209. Some, in telling the story, say, "The Grizzly Bears had plenty of dried
berries, roots, and fish."
_ 10. Some report that the Bear further said to the Hare, " For your insolence,
I will throw you into the fire," to which the Hare answered, " If you do, I will
bring snow and cold weather." (The Indians believe that to burn the feet, skin,
or bones of a hare will cause cold or snowy weather, therefore no part of a hare
is ever thrown into the fire.) The Hare then said, " I will kill you," to which the
Grizzly answered, " How can a thing as small as a mouse kill me?"
2ir. Some say it was always dark inside the Hare's house.
212. Some add, further, that when the fight was over, the old woman said, " Let
it be light," and immediately it became daylight inside the Hare's house.
213. Some say that the old woman's face-paint consisted of horizontal red
stripes across the upper part of the face, whilst the lower part was painted in perpendicular red stripes.
214. Full version : Cum jam se earn amare diceret, cum ea coibat ex quo coitu
statim mortua est. The Hare then buried her and felt very lonely. Next morning
he was standing outside the house when the Duck came along (according to another
version, the Mallard Duck, and one called tcêxa). He shouted, " Have you any
news?" The Duck answered "No," and passed on. This took place on three
succeeding mornings, and he always asked her for news. The fourth morning,
however, she came along again, and he asked her as before, whereupon the Duck
answered, "Yes, I have news. Lepus cum vetula avia sua coiit quo ex coitu
earn mortuam esse ignorât nemo." The Hare became ashamed and went into the
house. He was so much ashamed that, in his hurried descent into the house, he
walked into the fire and burned his feet, which accounts for the curious shape of
the Hare's feet.   He then left the place and took up his abode in the mountains.
215. A species of eagle. It is of a dark, almost black, color all over, excepting
a few inches of the tips of the. tail-feathers, which are of a pure white. The tail-
feathers were formerly much used and prized by warriors and medicine-men.
216. Name of a species of hawk.   I have not been able to ascertain its English
217. Some say the Bald-headed Eagle was also brought to life again, but for
his misconduct was thereafter turned into the present bird of that name. Some
say that he was scalped; which accounts for his white head at the present day.
Compare Cathlamet : Owl and Panther.
218. Some Indians say "at or near Lytton."
219. It is the custom to leave unoccupied for some time the place where a person died, or where he generally slept when alive.
220. Full version : The Otter was not only a noted shaman, but also a very successful fisherman, and used to catch immense numbers of small fish, principally
trout. Sometimes he used to come home staggering under the weight of his
catch. One day a man came to him and said, "What bait do you use? You
always catch more fish than any one else." Lutra respondit se pro esca particula
ab uxoris pudendis desecta uti. " I put it on the hook, and never need to renew
it ; and every time I throw it in the water, the fish tumble over one another in
their anxiety to catch it." The man having gone away, the Otter's wife said to
him, "Why did you lie like that to the man? He will believe it, and try to do
likewise."   The man reached home and told "his wife what the Otter had said, Notes.
qua; cum crederet, eum petentem particulam desecare passa est. The man went
fishing and caught nothing. While he was still there fishing, a messenger came
and told him that his wife had bled to death as the result of his operation.
Compare the Raven Legend of the Tsimshian and Tlingit; also Nahwitti,
p. 176.
221. This man is described as being an Indian and a hunter.
222. Some say that there were four young grizzly bears, and the same number
of black bears.
223. Some say a basketful of service-berries, deer-fat, and starchy roots boiled
224. This is said to be the name of a man. He is described as being an elderly
or old man, and generally employed in making or repairing canoes.
225. Compare Fraser Delta, p. 19; Cathlamet, Comox, p. 81 ; Gatschet. The
Klamath Indians, Contr. North American Ethnology, vol. ii. part i. p. 118 ff.
Page 71, § 1. Cathlamet, Fraser Delta, p. 32; Comox, p. 81.
226. Also called "The Story of SîlÔlaxi'x-tem."
227. Some say the mountains in the neighborhood of BEta'ni.
228. Diminutive form of the word s'oixi'tem, meaning "some one burned for
229. Some say a few finger-lengths in height.
230. An edible root which grows abundantly in softie parts of the mountains, and
is much used as food by the NLak-a'pamux and some other tribes.
231. Some, in telling this story, say that there were three Grizzly Bear sisters
and three hunters.
232. Some say that she was singing about her brothers having burned the hillside for her, and that when the Grizzly Bears found her they pulled her out of the
hole by means of the string which was fastened to her waist, and threatened to
kill her if she did not give them all the information they desired.
233. It is a usual custom for hunters to cut up large game in pieces, and then
put them inside of the skin, the skin of the hind legs being fastened together and
used in place of a packing-strap.
234. There seem to be some details wanting here, and I think that I have formerly heard the latter part of the story given in greater detail, but the Indians I
have interviewed on the matter lately cannot give me any further details.
235. Compare page 73, § 1 ; Cathlamet, Tillamook.
236. In NLak-a'pamux mythology the Short-tailed Mouse is generally described
as an old woman who lived in the mountains alone, and who was noted for her
great magic and unbounded wisdom. She was also a prophetess, and her advice
was often sought in great difficulties.
237. The narrator of this story was unable to tell how the country came to be
inhabited again, but ventured the suggestion that it was probably occupied afterwards by the Coyote people, who he said, according to some Indians, were the
ancestors of the present Nkamtci'nEmux and Shuswap. When all the animals
were created by the Chief or Old Man, some of these people who were bad were
turned into coyotes. The good ones of the Coyote people, being left, multiplied
in the country, becoming the ancestors of the present inhabitants. Another Indian
said that the land of the NLak-a'pamux became inhabited by the Old Man at the
dispersion, leaving some of the good people there ; or some of them wandered and
took up their abode there afterwards.
238. This is the name of a small bird which I have been unable to identify
with certainty, but think that it is the wren. It is always called StEtso', or statso',
by the Nkamtci'nEmux ; but some of the NLak-apamux'ô'ê pronounce it Tsa'stso'
and stE'stsu'. il 6 Notes.
239. Some say that the Crow and the Magpie were the thieves.
240. Some say he pulled out the tail-feathers in the struggle, and while falling.
241. Some add that these old men lived in the Shuswap country, a little north
of Cache Creek, which falls into the Buonaparte River about seven miles from
the mouth of that river. The neighboring mountains are celebrated for the large
quantity of arrowstones to be found there.
242. Some Indians further add that the old men said, " If you had asked for
arrowstone, we should gladly have given you some. You did not need to set us
243. Some claim that he was the only person who knew how to flake and chip
244. Most Indians say that the Raven distributed the chipped j
whilst others claim that it was StEtso' who distributed them.
245. Compare page 75, The Theft of Provisions: Comox, p. 78; Kwakiutl,
p. 149; Nahwitti, p. 189; Heiltsuk, p. 237; Bilxula, pp. 254, 256; Ponca, p. 216.
Page 75, Making Bow and Arrow : Okanagon. Page 76, Making of Arrow-heads :
Tillamook, Kalapooya.
246. Some also add that the birds and quadrupeds accompanied them.
247. Some say from Lytton and Fraser River below and above Lytton.
248. SEmaê'suL, pî'suL, s'Lê'kasu'L, tsÔ'Lla, varieties of trout. The latter grow
to a very large size, sometimes weighing forty pounds, and are delicious eating.
Pï'sul is, I think, the ordinary lake trout. I do not know the proper English
names of any of these fish.
249. A small gray bird, of which I do not know the English name. It is plentiful in the timbered parts of the NLak-a'pamux country ; and the Indians interpret
its song as meaning, "Nax'lênt câ'tca."
250. Some Indians say that the sister used to go out hunting with him, and as
soon as he would shoot a deer she used to run up and commence to eat it. He
warned her against doing this, but she persisted, and for this reason he got angry
at her.
251. Some say that she did not transform herself, but was afterwards changed
into the kaqwâ'.
252. I think, the American golden plover. This bird was formerly very abundant in the Upper NLak-a'pamux country, but is now very scarce.
253. The Indians believe that there is an underworld (situated below the earth),
which is inhabited by the Ant people, who are celebrated for their activity, gayety,
and disposition for play.   Lacrosse, or ball play, is their favorite game.
254. Compare tales of visits to the country of the ghosts, collected among many
255. Some Indians say that Àq was not a personage of the speta'kL, or ancient
world, but merely a haxaôi'mux (" land mystery or spirit "), or one of the genii
which frequent certain parts of the mountains, and called Aq on account of his
256. Some say ten women, and that they belonged to Thompson River, a few
miles below Spences Bridge. It is also said that the scene of the tragedy was at
or near the Nzûkê'ski Mountains, some miles south of Spences Bridge.
257. Some say ten men.
258. The carcass is cut up into nine pieces.
259. The Indians disagree as to the particular parts thrown to each tribe ; but
it is generally conceded that the back was thrown to the Shuswap, the heart to
the Okanagon, the genitalia and feet to the Lillooet and SLaxai'ux, and the washings and wipings of their hands to the Uta'mqt and S'â'tcinko. This is the reason that the Okanagon are brave, the Shuswap strong and stubborn fighters,, the Notes.
Lillooets, SLaxai'ux, and Eyu't immoral and unwarlike, and their country full of
haxaoi'mux and haxaa'tko, and that the Uta'mqt and S'â'tcinko are inferior people. Some Indians, in telling the story, simply say that the different parts were
thrown to the tribes of the east, of the south, of the west, and of the north respec-
260. Compare Kwakiutl in Rep. U. S. National Museum, 1895, p. 680. Explanation of the peculiarities of various tribes ; see Chinook, p. 21.
261. The staff used was that called tïkwï'ltEn, which is the name applied to the
very long shafts of some fish-spears (fifteen to twenty or even twenty-five feet or
more in length).
262. In telling the story, some say that it was doubtful whether Ntcî'mka took
the boy from the Okanagon or from the Shuswap.
263. Tsotcowa'ux, meaning " the creeks," which is the name of a creek which
flows into Thompson River, on its southeast side, about nine miles above Lytton,
and which was formerly a favorite resort for the men of the N_ak-apamux'ô'ë
when training.
264. Some add that the boy was so proficient that hé could see the "edges
of the world," and could also run and jump quicker than a person could look.
"Magic," here as elsewhere throughout these stories, is my translation for the
NLak-a'pamux word xahâ', haxâ', or hahâ', which means anything magical, mysterious, supernatural, wonderful, awe-inspiring, or beyond the understanding of
the ordinary individual, xaha' tik Lo'sqa'yux means " an Indian versed in ' mystery,' < medicine,' or magic." xahâoi'mux is a place which is mysterious, or in
which some "mystery" or supernatural influence or being dwells, xahâstê'm
means " to regard with mysterious awe or care."
265. Perhaps a "medicine-pipe," as amongst the Eastern Indians. It is described as "mystery," the same as a medicine-man's pipe.
266. The peak he alighted on is that called AmotEn, one of the Snow Mountains, on the west side of Fraser River, near Lytton.
267. A number of little hills and hollows are pointed out as the place where this
wrestling-match took place, and which are said to have been made at this time by
Ntcî'mka and his antagonist in their struggles.
268. In telling this part of the story, some say that his right arm was thrown to
the zaxtci'nEmux (tribal division of the Shuswaps, adjoining the Nkamtci'nEmux);
therefore they became expert warriors. The lungs and entrails were thrown to
the Uta'mqt. Afterwards it was noticed that his head had been overlooked, and
Ntcî'mka said that it should remain to mark the spot, and it is to be seen at the
present day in the shape of a large round bowlder. Others say that the several
parts of his body were thrown respectively to Uta'mqt (southward), Ha'âptEn (the
place of sunset, or west), Nkû'kEma (northward), and Pû'tlEmtEm (place of coming forth, or east).
269. Some add that he was of large stature, and of a blue color.
270. A rocky mountain about a mile and a half west of Spences Bridge. See
story of the Qoâ'qLqaL causing the flood, p. 43.
271. Lower BEta'ni valley.
272. Some say they were not Shuswap of Kamloops, but were xahâ' ("mysterious persons, supernatural beings " ).
273. Some say that they made a canoe before starting.
274. Some say that they went over a river first, before going over the lake. As
they proceeded, it grew darker and darker; then afterwards, as they neared their
destination, it grew lighter and lighter..
275. Some say that both brothers entered.
276. A place on the upper Nicola River.   Near by is a small Indian village. n8
277. Wind-breaker, person who constantly breaks wind."
278. Some say his belly.
279. Some say he also brought back her soul.
280. Some say that the Wind was never seen until caught in this manner; then
' it was found that he was a man with a very large head, and a body so thin and
light that it fluttered about and could not remain on the ground.
281. See note 283. In this case the stsûq was a small piece of birch-bark with
figures on it.
282. Compare Tylor, Early History of Mankind, p. 346 ff.
283. Stsûq means a mark or picture of any kind. Some Indians say that the
stsûq in this story was probably a mark or picture on birch-bark. Such, when
made by a person gifted in magic, had supernatural powers. Some rock paintings
are also " mystery," and have not been made in any ordinary way. Some of them
have not been made by the hand of man. The Indians at the present day call the
white man's writing and pictures stsûq.   They also call paper stsûq.
. India
s xoi'atêm Loas tsê'as tûs tsë'a tc'â'L.
transformed    him     like      as     like     now.
s Lon ha sqo'kwas, a têmus Eks pêtak's,
n ku'tto t<
s tc'â'L
Losqa'yux axa' n'a_awa'n
xne      moon Indian        that formerly
Naux    êks n mamaû'sts tu tcï'us, tsitseï
Very much was    bright faced he from long ago like fac
hêtcê'tcas   qax nmitcakû's'
tx pêL   tcê'tcas.       A xuï's wûxt,  Loa's tcî'txEms
ed  with his younger sister. If it will   snow,   then he makes house
Emô'x.    Kî'a tîk nmanxâ'p, tû'a tcînî'L stcûs ha
and  thus    if    it is going to rain    the   weather.      First   this     smoker,        from      him       grows  the
kwô'i, axa xaâ'tcts tu ntsaqô'ëtctEns.     Uà'xska   tEka'kua ha tEmô'x,   n     ez
mà'nxEms ha mâ'xEtEn Loas' kwô'ïs. Tata' pïsta' eks Lâ'kstems hêntsaqô'ëtctEns,
he smokes   the    moon then   its clouds.     Not   when   does    he lets go his pipe,
Lakamï'x sqwôksts.      A'wi   kû'tto wî'ktêm   tc'âL ha  mâ'xEtEn sqwokEm ta
ntsaqô'ëtctEn aL xuï'tsa wî'ktEm ta   tsia's ;   axa x-komutEmêna
aL hai'mska tc'âL,   lo  a'wi
and thus perhaps now,   then because h
nLÎpLÎpû's.    Uâ'x Lô tc'âL stc
dark-faced.       He was then  now   hot
aL haim a takLmâ'mEnus ha
1 sqwokE
Losqa'yux' ha mâ'xEtEn n'aLawâ'nus,   ihû's tîk Losqa'yux stpêku's   oko'.    Ha
nkoku'cEn axa' hêsnukanu'kas  ta'kEmus.        Stcê'tcaoko'      ta skukei'tc.   Uâ'x
stars .hat his friends all. Younger sister it is said the    hare. He was
Loa's wa'was ha nxEû's aL xuï'tsa ta'kEm ha siô'xEL ta snukanu'kas ; pa tata'ks
then    he called the  Pleiades and   more all      the     others     the      his friends;       but      not
nêsts     ha siô'xEL tcuk lo smôq ta nkoku'cEn qax kite   qax nEtî'EX  tîk nxEu's,
zu'mLo masî'p hêtcï'txs, tata' n'Ek mî'tcâkus ha siô'xEL ta s'ai'tkEnEmux. Tcuk Eks
yet then   crowded   his house,    not  where        to sit      the    others  the people. Finished
zarâ'ps ha s'ai'tkEnEmux, Loa's skuî'kuêsts      hêtcê'tcas    ul qo.   Loa's skua'nz
hêhaxaiê'qas   hêtcê'tcas,   Loa's kÔtcî'EXs.   Tata'ks xïnz aL LâqaL n
-       'wig  andshecame
hêxaiê'qas.      Laq     ul   Loa's tcuts,  " Tata'nEk
her buckets.        She came inside  then     she said,   " Not where
hêkâtsks,   " Mî'tcâka Ena' n EnskLûs, tcuk   lo
her elder brother,      "Sit here    on   my face,      only then
Then 1
s ka'zExs u
s tîk  naux
- skLûsts
a   hisface h
to'âL ha
er elder broth
Têskatâks Lê'kês   hêtcê'
r.   H perhaps not he joked his younge
lo a'wi xa qax LîpLîptstê
ha smû'Latc
stEm skwokwÔkEm
ta haxaiêka,
aL a'w
i tes
n ha tcinî'L ha nxEû
i' ha mâxEtEn.
's, ku'ttos
es,   therefore
tCn'ot' ïd^
287. According to others, the Frog.
T«_?' l ?!_ tWS St0ry_aS a fair Sample 0f a class of stories told among the
Indians at the present day. They are often called "White Man's Stories" I
cannot say whether they are altogether made up by Indians in recent vears or
whether they are old Indian myths added to, and dressed up to suit the times ' I
do not think, however, that these mixed stories are any improvement on the'old
ones, although they appear to be favorites amongst some of the young men
Ma^ry of them are ludicrous in the extreme. It is only within the last few years
that these stones have begun to be told among the Nkamtci'nEmux. Thev seem
to originate amongst the Cawa'xamux.
289. Compare this story with the Nkamtci'nEmux one of Kokwë'la, p 45
Tsuntia is the name applied by the Lillooet to the personage called Kokwë'la,'
or Kokwë'la s sku'zas, by the NLak-a'pamux. This story was related to me bv
an Upper Lillooet medicine-man called Papaa'ek or Loi'tza, who is married to an
Okanagon woman, and who has been living amongst the NLak-a'pamux for the
last twenty years.
290. The Nkamtci'nEmux claim that this woman lived in the Shuswap country
and Kokwë'la was born there. See myth of Kokwë'la. They say it is certain
that he entered their country from the east.
291. The nearest translation of the Indian words would be, "She used it upon
herself."   Sexual intercourse is meant
_y_. SLaLemux'ô'e, or Upper Lillooet of Fraser River, not the È'vut or Lower
Lillooet of the Lakes.
293. Some of the NLak-apamux'ô'ë say that people, or the Indians, were created
by the Qoâ'qLqaL, or some other demigod, who made them out of Kokwe'Ja-
294. Indian name : SeL.
295. I cannot ascertain the English name of the fish.
296. This name means "young black bears," or "black bear cubs." The Lillooet claim that the Qoâ'qLqaL were four brothers who came from the salt water.
They were black bear cubs, or at least they went under that name.
297. This story, like the other Lillooet one, was narrated to me by the Upper
Lillooet medicine-man, Papaâ'ek or Loi'tza. I have never heard anything similar
to it among the NLak-a'pamux.
298. See stoiy of Tsu'ntia.  ABSTRACTS.  ABSTRACTS.
i. The Coyote and the Flood —Men try to escape in canoes from the deluge.
Turned into stone. The Coyote alone saved. Marries trees. The flood runs out,
and leaves lakes and streams.
2. Nli'ksentem. — The Coyote makes a boy of gum, which melts in the sun.
He makes a boy of clay, which dissolves in water. He makes a boy of quartz,
which stands heat and water. Coyote's son marries Loon and Mallard Duck.
Coyote covets his son's wives. He transforms dung into an eagle's nest on a
tree. Induces his son to climb the tree in order to obtain eagle's feathers. He
makes the tree grow up to the sky by lifting his eyelids. His son reaches the sky,
where he finds a vast prairie ; he reaches houses, in which dwell baskets, mats,
awls, and other household utensils. When he attempts to take one away, the
others beat him. Then he curses them to be the servants of man. He reaches
two blind women, who eat rotten wood ; steals it, and makes them quarrel. Transforms them into grouse. Reaches the house of the Spider, for whom he creates
bark for his use in making ropes. The Spider lets him down in a basket; warns
him not to open his eyes until four obstacles have been overcome. He reaches
the earth on a large stone, near Lytton. He follows the people ; makes a canoe
of horsetails (equisetum) to cross the river; overtakes insects, to whom he gives
their peculiar form. He overtakes his wife, whose child recognizes him, although
it has never seen him before. He hunts for her ; takes his venison home in his
glove. He drives all the deer away, so that the people are starving. The Raven :
receives some fat from him, which he gives secretly to his children. They quarrel
about it; thus the fat is discovered by the Coyote, who compels the Raven to tell
where he obtained it. Coyote's son transforms the entrails of a deer into a packing-line, which he gives to his father. When he carries deer with this line over a
creek, he falls into the water and drifts down. He lands in a fish-dam owned by
two old women, assumes the shape of a dish, in which form he swallows the food
placed on it. Thrown into the fire, he assumes the shape of a child. When grown
up, he breaks the fish-dam, goes up the river, and breaks four boxes containing
smoke, wasps, salmon-flies, and beetles, which ascend the river with the salmon. He
gives the salmon to some young women whom he meets on the river. Women on
another river refuse it, but ask for mountain sheep ; therefore no salmon in river,
but sheep on the mountains. He transforms his daughter into a rock; transforms
alkali grass into dentalia ; cheats the grizzly bear, promising her a large supply of
fish, inducing her to produce all her food. The fish promised by him were fish-
skins which he had given the shape of fish.
3. The Coyote and the Fox. — Coyote boils bones, which the Fox steals before
he is able to eat them.
4. The Coyote's Dog. — The Coyote meets a cannibal with necklaces made of
finger-nails. He transforms his dung into a dog covered with arrow-heads. Coyote and Cannibal vomit into two dishes in order to see what kind of food they 124
eat. The Coyote exchanges the dishes before the Cannibal opens his eyes, thus
making him believe that the Coyote is a cannibal ; then follows a combat between
the dogs of the Cannibal and of Coyote. The former is killed. Coyote obtains
the Cannibal's staff in exchange for his dog. Whenever the staff is struck on the
ground, a dead deer is there. Coyote strikes with his staff until he is smothered
by carcasses of deer ; then the deer revive, and he loses his staff.
5. The Ball. — The people at Lytton have a glittering ball, which Coyote desires
to have. He and the Antelope send their sons to steal the ball. Coyote's son
assumes shape of a stone on the playground, and takes the ball. He is pursued.
When almost overtaken, he throws the ball to his brother, who is stationed at this
point. The first boy is killed. All Coyote's children are killed in this manner.
The Antelope's children succeed in reaching their home. Coyote is about to
throw himself into the fire from grief, when prevented by the Antelope. He
sleeps, the ball under his head, for four nights, each night under a different beam
of the lodge. The fifth night he runs away with the ball, pursued by the Antelope.
He makes a fog to throw the pursuer off his track. Near Lytton he breaks the
ball, which he finds filled with dung. Uses fragments of the shell as an armor,
which leave only his throat unprotected. Thus he attacks the people in the shape
of an elk, and kills many. Finally an arrow strikes his throat. The elk falls and
is found to consist of dung.
6. The Coyotes Daughters and their Dogs. — Coyote's daughters go to marry
two hunters, and take Grizzly Bear and Rattlesnake as their dogs. When approaching their intended husbands, they quiet the fierce dogs by smearing their
nozzles with red ochre. They return after some years. They reach a parting of
trails, one rough and narrow, covered with red ochre ; the other wide and smooth,
covered with birds' down. The latter leads to a mystic country. The dogs
remain with the husbands to notify them of any danger threatening the women.
These take the wrong track and reach a cannibal's house. They find only his
wife at home, who warns them. The Cannibal throws them into a kettle, which
the boy keeps from boiling. The Cannibal intends to eat them the next morning,
but they escape during the night. He pursues them. They make four trees,
which they climb. The Grizzly Bear and Rattlesnake arrive before the Cannibal
can chop the trees down ; they kill the Cannibal. Therefore they kill man up to
this day.
7. Sisters who marry the Coyote and the Lynx. — A girl who is pursued by
many suitors goes with her younger sister to visit her grandmother; reaches the
Coyote's house, who wishes to make her his wife. He compels her to enter by
making cold weather. He gives them magical food to eat. When they leave,
Coyote runs ahead and makes another house. The same repeated four times.
The younger sister finally marries Coyote. The elder travels on. Her grandmother sends the Hare with food to meet her. He hides under a log ; struck with
a stick which splits his lip. Animals run a race to meet the girl, but grandmother
reaches her first. Lynx marries her secretly. Everybody must give the child his
bow and arrow. He is pleased with the Lynx's bow and arrow, and thus it is
ascertained that the Lynx is his father. The women, the boy, and the Lynx are
deserted. On departing, all kick Lynx's face, which thus obtains its peculiar shape.
The woman who married Coyote had four sons ; the youngest creates fire by kicking stumps. A cannibal invites people who visit him to jump into his canoe ; they
miss, and are drowned in the river. Coyote's oldest sons are killed in this manner ; but Coyote and his youngest son succeed in reaching the canoe. The Cannibal tries to kill them by heat in his house. They put ice on their foreheads.
He tries to kill Coyote's son by brush-fire ; he escapes by following the advice of
the Short-tailed Mouse, who tells him to step on the middle of the trail ; for this Abstracts.
reason trails often prevent the spread of fire. He tries to let a tree that is being
split crush him, but he jumps out, squirting red and white paint over the tree, thus
making it appear that his blood and brains come out of the crack. He tries to
kill him by instructing him to harpoon a monster fish, who pulls him into the
water; but the young man carries the monster home. Coyote and the Cannibal
try their strength by conjuring fire, water, wind, and ice. By lying on their backs
they both overcome the attacks of their rivals ; but finally the Cannibal is frozen.
8. The Coyote and his Guests. — The Black Bear invites Coyote. He lets grease
drip out of his fingers. The Kingfisher dives under the ice for fish. The Magpie
catches deer in the net.   Coyote cannot imitate them.
Qoâ'qLqaL are three brothers who ascend Fraser River, transforming people
into stones. The youngest transforms himself into a salmon, in which shape he
carries away a harpoon with which a cannibal is fishing. They visit his house.
The Cannibal's wife gives them a small dish which they are unable to empty, while
the Cannibal empties it in one spoonful. They kick a mountain-side down, intending to kill the Cannibal, who remains unharmed. The youngest brother makes a
flood by taking off his beaver head-band. When he puts on his head-band, the
flood subsides. They transform Coyote's house and household utensils into stone.
They throw Coyote's wife into the fire. They transform birch and alder into
women, whom Coyote marries. They try to push their heads into stone, the
youngest one making the deepest impression. They transform the Cannibal,
Eagle, and Skunk into ordinary animals. They are transformed into stone on
looking at a dancing girl.
The plant hog-fennel (peucedanum) has a son who is abused by the other children because he does not know his father's name. On being informed by his
mother he retires to solitude ; obtains supernatural powers. He travels down the
river, transforming people. He meets the Qoâ'qLqaL, and proves himself stronger
than the latter.
The Bush-tailed Rat lives in a house the door of which closes and opens at his
command. He steals provisions from the cellars of the people, which provisions
he pretends to receive from his friend the Long-tailed Mouse. A woman hidden
in a cellar discovers his theft. When the people enter his house to kill him, he
runs out and commands the door to close, thus killing all the people in the house.
He makes a new house, the entrance to which is formed by two rocks that crush
all those who enter. A transformer keeps the rocks apart by forcing his lance-
head between them, and transforms the Rat into an ordinary animal.
1. The Old Man and the Coyote. — Coyote tries his strength with the Old Man
by moving rivers and mountains. He is unable to move a mountain, owing to the
superior strength of the Old Man. Coyote retires to a house of ice in the extreme
north. When he turns over, it is cold weather. Coyote and the Old Man expect
to return and to bring back the dead Indians.
2. The Old Man and the Lad. — A lad reaches the Old Man's house in seven
steps, and prepares a meal for the Old Man, who follows him.   They dive in a 126
lake in order to test who'can stay under water longest. When the Old Man dives
the lake becomes agitated, and he is thrown into the upper world. He is expected
to return amongst clouds of tobacco smoke.
3. The Swan (First Version). — The Swan accompanies the Old Man to the
upper world. He wishes to return to his child. The Old Man makes him white
before sending him back.
(Second Version.) — When the Old Man transformed the bad into animals, he
also transformed the Swan's wife, while he did not intend to transform the Swan.
When, however, the Swan asked to have his wife re-transformed, he was turned
In the beginning the deer were able to jump from one mountain-top to another.
They were transformed into ordinary deer by being struck with the breech-clout
A troublesome boy is deserted by the tribe. When he tries to follow them, he
is misled by sounds. Discovers his grandmother hidden in a basket. He kicks
her, but she gives him fire, and makes him small bows and arrows, with which he
shoots, first mice, then blue jays and magpies. The skins of these the grandmother
makes into blankets, which please the Sun, who in exchange for the blankets gives
the boy great power.
Originally the Sun is near the earth. There is a cannibal and gambler who
has lost his all. He reaches a great lake which he crosses on a gray cloud. He
reaches the Sun's house, meets the latter's son, who hides him under robes. The
Sun, on his return, smells him, but is quieted by his son. The next morning the
Indian returns. The Sun's son gives him a bundle, which he is not allowed to
look at until he reaches home. When he puts it down it assumes enormous size,
and is filled with presents of all descriptions. The Loon and Goose give the gambler their daughters. He takes them to the Sun, who in return promises to move
away from the earth, and to cease killing people.
The Sun is the daughter of a man who lived at Lytton. A stranger from the
East marries her and takes her home. Her father is angry because she does not
visit him for a long time. After two children are born, her husband deserts her,
saying that she is too hot. When she returns to her father, he hides from her.
She becomes the Sun ; her children, the sun-dogs. When the Sun-woman is looking for her father, she travels from east to west.
People in the North make the cold winds when walking about. People in the
South make the south winds in the same way. Owing to disagreements between
these people, the country is troubled by the hot and cold winds. The Indians
make peace between the Winds, and the daughter of the South Wind marries the
son of the North Wind. The woman visits her own relatives in the South. On
her return north, she is accompanied by her elder brother.   When nearing the Abstracts. 127
north country, it grows cold. He throws his sister's child into the water, and it
is transformed into a floating piece of ice. For this reason ice floats on rivers
and lakes after wild winds.
When the Thunder desired to eat blood, the Mosquito told him-that he obtained
it from the tops of the trees.   For this reason the Thunder strikes the tree-tops.
(First Version.)—The Swallow, sent by the Beaver and the Eagle, discovers the
owners of the fire at Lytton. The Eagle flies away, holding a clamshell. The
Beaver allows himself to be caught by the owners of the fire. When they begin
to carve him, the Eagle appears. The people run to shoot him. The Eagle drops
the shell into the house, where the Beaver fills it with the fire, causes the house to
be flooded, and both make their escape.
(Second Version.)—Two brothers obtain supernatural powers. The elder one
asks his brother to kill him, to allow animals to eat of his body, and to catch an
Eagle when it should come. After this has been done, the elder brother revives,
then the younger brother catches the Beaver in the same manner. They transform themselves into an Eagle and a Beaver.   (The rest same as first version.)
a boxes in a monster's house.   The Elk opens the boxes
Bre and water were obtained.
(First Version.)—Skunk's four brothers are married. He covets their wives
and proposes to his brothers to make war against the trees, intending to kill them.
They set out, and one night he catches many humpback salmon. He cuts off
their heads, and orders them to utter the war-whoop. He promises his brothers
to watch while they sleep, then he kills them with his secretion. At home he tells
their wives at what part of the body their husbands were wounded by the enemy.
While sitting among them his brothers, who had revived, return. They try to
kill him, but are unable to do so. He says the only way to kill him is to set him
adrift in a basket, which they do.
(Second Version.) — Skunk and his brothers go to war against the Shuswap.
When they camp, he creates yellow pine, the bark of which they burn. While his
brothers are asleep, he kills them with his secretion. He transforms some of his
dung into a slave, whom he instructs to say that he has captured him in war. The
dung does not obey, and is scattered by the Skunk. (The next part the same as
in the preceding version.) The brothers remove the smell of the Skunk with bear-
berry plant, and transform the Skunk into the ordinary animal.
The Grizzly Bear tries to extinguish a large fire by throwing dirt on it   The
Chipmunk puts on new supplies of fuel, and in doing so cries, " Tcî'x-a mâ"a ! "
(= Crackling of fire, light. )   The Bear cries, " L_pa ! " (= Dark ! )   The animals
fight.    When Chipmunk runs away, the Bear just touches his back with his claws, thus causing the stripes of the Chipmunk.   If the Bear had killed the
Chipmunk, it would always be dark.
A girl has a lover whose identity she ascertains by daubing his back with red
ochre. On the following day she sees a dog bearing the ochre marks on his back.
She gives birth to four pups, and is deserted by her tribe. She goes spearing fish
by torchlight, and on her return hears the noise of children in her house. When
they hear her, they turn into dogs. Finally she prepares four kettles of medicine,
returns unawares, takes the dog-skins which the children had thrown off, and
throws the medicine over their bodies. The boys become great hunters. They
are visited by the Magpie, who is treated hospitably, and who reports to her tribe
what has happened.   The rest of the tribe join them again.
The Owl, who is a great hunter, takes away a troublesome boy, rears him and
makes him a powerful hunter. The Owl used to drive deer up to him towards the
top of the mountain, crying, " Go towards my slave ! " This enraged the young
man, who is informed by the Short-tailed Mouse that the Owl is not his father.
He returns to his tribe.
Marten and Fisher are brothers. Marten's wife goes to the river with her boy
and asks the Spring Salmon to marry her. He takes her into the river. The
Fisher discovers what has happened. The Fisher catches a fawn, and makes a
bow and arrow for the boy to play with. They give him provisions, and leave
him, to find the lost woman. They reach the Spring Salmon's house in the disguise of some of his female relatives. They induce the lost woman to keep her
husband awake late at night, that he may sleep soundly in the morning. When
he is asleep they enter the house and cut off his head. On crossing the lake,
Marten drops the Salmon's-head into the water. The next morning Coyote, who
lives in Spring Salmon's house, says that Marten and the Fisher must have been
the murderers. The animals pursue them. The Eagle informs them that the
Salmon's head has been dropped into the lake. The waterfowl attempt to recover
it.   The Loon succeeds.   The head is put on the Salmon's body.
The Hare and his grandmother live on one side of the river ; the Grizzly Bears,
with their four children, on the other. The Hare steals dried fish from the Grizzly
Bears. A female Grizzly Bear crosses and asks the Hare in regard to his stolen
provisions. He mocks her, and on being attacked he evades her paws. His
grandmother throws pitchwood in the fire. The smoke blinds the Bear, who is
then killed by the Hare. In the same manner he kills the male, who discovers
the death of his wife by seeing her paws in the Hare's house. He also kills three
of the young Grizzly Bears. If he had killed all of them, there would be no Grizzly
Bears.   The Hare cohabits with his grandmother and thus kills her. XX. THE BATTLE OF THE BIRDS.
The Birds assist the Golden Eagle in obtaining the wife of the Baldheaded
Eagle. They gamble with the latter in his house, making a large fire, which
induces the woman to go out and cool herself. Then she is taken away by the
Golden Eagle. Baldheaded Eagle puts on his armor and challenges all the birds.
He kills all except one hawk, who revives all the other birds except the Bald-
headed Eagle.
The Otter, after three unsuccessful attempts, revives a girl who has been killed
by her lover. He tells another man that he has resuscitated her by tickling her
soles. This man then attempts to resuscitate a girl, but without success. He
pretends to use pieces of his wife's genitals as bait, and thus induces another person to kill his wife.
A man has two wives,—the Grizzly Bear and the Black Bear. The former is
jealous of the latter. Under the pretext of lousing her husband, she bites his
neck and kills him. She cuts off part of his body and roasts it and eats it. She
kills the Black Bear woman in the same manner. She instructs her children to
ask the Black Bear's children to play feasting. They themselves are to eat little.
Then they are to fight with the Black Bear's children, who, on account of being
full, will be easily overcome. Then they are to roast their bodies. The Black
Bears are suspicious and do not eat much, while the young Grizzly Bears gorge
themselves. They are killed and roasted by the Black Bears, who run away to
their grandfather's house. The Grizzly Bear returns in the morning and eats the
body of one of her own children. She is informed by the Meadowlark, and pursues the Black Bears. When she reaches them, the young bears run up a tree.
She begins to bite the tree until it begins to fall. Then they promise to drop the
youngest one down, and ask her to open her mouth wide. They throw rotten
wood into her mouth, thus choking and blinding her. They reach their grandfather, who carries them over the river in his canoe. When the Grizzly Bear
comes, the old man makes her sit on a hole in the canoe, through which the fish
bite her and kill her. The Coyote finds her body and roasts it, but falls asleep.
The Fox eats all the meat and smears Coyote's mouth with grease.
Four brothers have a sister of the size of a thumb. Her dog the Louse is tied
to her when she goes digging roots. Her brothers burn the side of a mountain in
order to make roots grow more plentifully. Four Grizzly Bears hear the girl, who
hides in a root-hole. The dog remains outside, and thus she is found. The
Grizzly Bears fill the girl's basket with roots, and accompany her home. When
she eats, she passes pieces of venison out of the hut to the Grizzly Bears. The
Bears have placed each one hair in a root, which the brothers are to eat whole.
The girl has to say that if they break the roots her digging-stick will break. They
swallow them whole, and then, one after the other, go out to fetch water. Outside
they are embraced by the Grizzly Bears, whom they marry. The oldest Grizzly
Bear kills and eats the three younger couples. Her husband and his sister run
away. The Hunter marries his sister. One day she is singing to her child, when
the Grizzly Bear finds her and kills her and her child.   She puts a piece of wood n
130 Abstracts.
in the cradle, and sits down singing. The Hunter recognizes her voice. In order
to kill her, he gathers all the water of the creeks in a hole in front of his house,
which he covers. He sends the Grizzly Bear to fetch water. After going from
creek to creek she becomes thirsty, bends over the hole ; he pushes her in, and she
is drowned.
One time the country was on fire. The people were burned, except an old
blind woman and a boy, who took refuge on a trail. The boy intends to take
revenge on the people who had burned the country. He puts his grandmother, the
Short-tailed Mouse, in a hollow log and drags her along. They meet with several
obstructions, which disappear when his grandmother looks at them. Finally the
boy continues alone, assuming the shape of a wolf. He reaches his enemies,
flutters into their house in the shape of an eagle's down, and burns the Indians.
The chief hides his daughters under skins, and presents the whole pile to the
boy, who accepts them and spares the chief.
StEtso', the survivor of the fire, makes a fish weir, spears, and nets, and catches
and dries many fish by his mere word. On the following morning he finds his
fish stolen. His grandmother informs him by whose help he can make bows and
arrows. He covers himself with birch-bark armor, climbs a high rock, whence he
is taken up by eagles, with whom he fights in the air, and is gradually let down.
He pulls out the Eagle's feathers. He asks the Deer to let him ride on his back,
and cuts the sinew out of the Deer's back. He makes two men, the possessors of
arrowstone, quarrel. When they fight, black and white arrowstones fall from their
bodies.   He takes these to the Raven, who makes arrow-heads for him.
The Fishes attack the Okanagon and are pursued. The Sturgeon jumps from
side to side, thus making the course of Columbia River. But they are overtaken
and thrown into the river. The Sturgeon is killed in Fraser River, and for this
reason does not ascend Thompson River.
A hunter's sister eats venison while he is out hunting.   He strikes her, and she
assumes the shape of a golden plover, while he himself is transformed into a bird
whose cry is interpreted as " O my younger sister ! "
One of two brothers is carried away by the Ants, who leave him in the underground world. He is reminded of his brother by a tear falling on his hand. The
Ants show the remaining brother that the entrance to their world is underneath
the firestone of their lodge. He is told that the Spider will help him to reach the
lower world. The Spider's thread being too weak, he is sent to the Crow, who
instructs him to jump down the hole. After striking four obstacles, he will reach
the lower world, where he is to open his eyes.    He obeys, and finds his brother. XXIX. AQ.
A number of women who are digging roots hear the cry, " âq." The crying
monster reaches their camp, and does not accept food they offer him. When they
sleep, he eats their hearts. One boy who had hidden in a basket escapes. The
men, when informed, go out in the disguise of women, and kill the monster.
They cut him, and throw the parts of his body in the direction of the surrounding
tribes, — the head, to the Okanagon, who for this reason are brave ; the back, to
the Shuswap, who therefore are strong ; the intestines, to the Lillooet, who for this
reason are unwarlike ; the remaining blood, to the tribes down the river, who for
this reason are inferior people. They replace the hearts of the women, who revive»
thinking they have been asleep.
Ntcî'mka desires to kill a cannibal who owns a long staff set with strings of
human nails. The Cannibal has taken Ntcî'mka's wife. Ntcî'mka travels, and
steals a boy whom he carries on his back. He makes him grow prodigiously by
washing him with fir-branches. He gives the boy four necklaces, — one of eagle's
feathers, two of hawk's feathers, and one of rattlesnake skin. He sends the boy
to the Cannibal where he sits on the opposite side of the river, smoking. The
boy jumps across the river, and is attacked by the Cannibal, who tries to stab him
with his spear. The boy jumps to the top of a mountain, and only his necklace is
on the point of the spear. When the Cannibal has speared the four necklaces, the
magical power of his staff has disappeared. Then Ntcî'mka attacks the Cannibal,
and, rolling about with him, tears up the ground. Four times he calls the boy to
help him. He strikes off the Cannibal's head, then his arms and legs, which were
still fighting against Ntcî'mka. The parts of the body are thrown about as in the
preceding story. The rest of the body is transformed into stone, which is still
effective in curing sickness. The boy is sent back to his friends. Before leaving,
he kills deer for Ntcî'mka, and receives presents of eagle's quills and dentalia.
On his way home, he is attacked at Kamloops. He makes two large trees grow,
which he climbs. His enemies chop them down, but have not finished when it
begins to grow dark. During the night he bribes an old man with his dentalia.
The people divide these the next morning. There are not enough quills to go
round, and the Porcupine does not receive any. He sulks and the dentalia are all
thrown on him.   They are all transformed into porcupine quills.
The woman pretends to be sick, and leaves her house every day. Her husband
follows her, and sees that near a lake she dresses handsomely, and calls up a sea
monster.   The next day, the man, disguised in her dress, calls up the monster and
kills it.   He cuts off part of his body and boils it, and gives it to his wife to eat.
Two hunters who live with their mother find, when they return home, that she
has disappeared. They make many moccasins, and set out to search for her. They
travel over the four points of the compass, but do not find her. Finally, by instruction of their guardian spirit, they go to the country of the ghosts, across a great
lake. As they proceed, it grows first darker and darker, and as they near their
destination it grows lighter again. On reaching the house of the ghosts, a man
forbids them to enter, but lets them pass after he has taken away their mortal XXXIII. THE SKUNK AND THE BADGER.
The Skunk and the Badger go to gamble with the Okanagon, and win all their
possessions. The Skunk tries to marry an Okanagon girl, but is refused. The
Badger tries the same, takes away her breath. She is buried. Skunk tries in vain
to resuscitate her, while the Badger succeeds by restoring her breath. The Skunk
is jealous, and is quieted by the present of a roan horse. After some time the
woman returns to her country, where she is recognized by her younger sister, who
reports the return of the woman to her mother, who, however, does not believe
A boy sets a snare for the Wind. After making the snare smaller every night,
he succeeds in catching the Wind, which he takes home. He frees it on condition
that the Wind will not do any more harm to the people. The young man travels
south to marry the daughter of a chief. After having worn out all his moccasins,
he meets Coyote, who invites him to a seat on his back. The young man shoots
various animals which the Coyote eats. Then the Coyote goes faster and faster.
He reaches the chief's house, and elopes with his daughter, stealing at the same
time two of the best horses. They are pursued, and he transforms the horses into,
painted pieces of birch-bark, and hides in the bushes. The young man meets his
two brothers, who had accompanied him part of the way. They take the woman,
throw the young man into a chasm. The animals try to pull him out by their
tails, and the Coyote succeeds. He re-transforms his piece of birch-bark into a
horse, and overtakes his wife.
A girl at Lytton refuses all the natives, and is married to a stranger, the Raven,
who takes her home without giving marriage presents. The Raven does not dare
to take her to his father's house, and leaves her at a place surrounded by a deep
chasm, and transforms one of his feathers into a house, where he asks the woman
to stay. The following day he transforms feathers into food and slaves. The
chief, on seeing the house, sends one of his sons, who by request of the Raven
says the house is uninhabited. The chief goes himself and finds the Raven. The
father tries to kill the Raven, who, however, evades him. The Raven and his
brother begin to travel towards the place where the Raven's wife is hidden. A
thin log is placed over a chasm, which turns over when stepped upon. The brother
bounds across the log, and marries the Raven's wife. She refuses to accompany
him on his-travels with the Raven, but gives him a knife and a piece of painted
birch-bark, which will become a horse when the man wishes to ride. The Raven,
when he meets his brother, knows what has happened, and resolves to kill him.
While they are camping, he cuts off his head, buries the body, and takes the
horse. He marries the daughter of a chief. When seated with his wife and
brother-in-law, his brother enters. He disappears with the horse during the
night. He builds a house for his second wife, and lives for some time with his
second wife.
The Moon is an Indian who invites the stars to his house. Only the Pleiades
come and crowd his house. He sends his sister for water. She returns, finds the
house full and does not know where to sit down. He asks her to jump on his face.
She is there still, darkening the Moon's brightness. XXXVII. THE MAN WHO STOLE THE HORSE.
An Indian steals a horse. He is pursued by the owner. He creates several
obstacles which the pursuer has difficulty in passing, — first a river, then a tract
of mud; a thicket, and a field of smooth ice. He is unable to pass the last-named
obstacle. The owner of the horse then retires to the mountains to fast, obtains
supernatural power, and creates a lake which stretches to his enemy's village. He
creates a canoe and starts. The prow of the canoe is painted red, and shines
like fire. The thief transforms the horse into a loon. The wife of the owner of
the horse obtains great power by fasting. She transforms her husband into a fish,
and marries the Teal Duck.
Two brothers reach a Cannibal's house. They find only his wife at home.
When the Cannibal returns, she protects the brothers. At night they change
places with the Cannibal's sons. Then they steal the Cannibal's magic staff and
escape. Reaching a river, they cross it on the staff. The Cannibal kills his own
children, and, T>n discovering his mistake, pursues the boys ; but the river stops
his pursuit. The boys work for saloon-keepers, the elder one squandering all his
money, but the younger one saving his money. A chief orders them to steal the
Cannibal's fire, which the younger one proceeds to do. He induces the Cannibal
to gorge himself by putting salt into his dinner. When he goes to drink, he steals
the fire. Next he steals his wagon and horses, and finally the Cannibal himself,
whom he makes drunk.
A girl marries the root Kokwë'la. She has a son, the ancestor of the Upper
Lillooet. He transforms into a fish a boy who abuses him. He asks his mother
the name of his father. She tells him that the latter was drowned. He takes
bow and arrows to kill the Water, but is informed that the Water has never seen
him. He goes back to his mother, who gives him more evasive answers. He
travels up Fraser River, down Thompson River, meets the Qoâ'qoaL. They try
their strength. He feeds them from a very small dish. They are unable to empty
it; but when they try him, the young man empties their dish easily. They lie
down to sleep, and the marks of their bodies may be seen to this day.
Tsu'ntia throws his mother into a lake. She becomes the ancestor of a fabulous
people. The men of Lillooet marry some of the young women of this people, but
are overcome by the smell of their food, which consists of frogs. A young man
obtains magical power by fasting, and enters the house of the Frog-people, marries
two girls, and is not killed. He sees that they are hunting enormous frogs. Later
on he compels them to eat deer meat. After they have partaken of it, they become
human beings, and settle with the other people at Lillooet. Only three refuse to
eat deer meat, and are transformed into dogs.  INDEX.
Adultery, vengeance for, 84.
Alphabet employed, 101.
Animais, originally men, 19.
Ants, underground people, 78, 116.
Antelope, 32, 37, 105.
Armor of birch-bark, 67, 68, 76.
Arrow-heads, how scattered abroad, 76.
Athapascans, 6.
Bad people, changed to animals, 19.
Basket, hat of the Moon, 91.
Baskets, 22, 24, 43, 52, 59, 72.
Bearberry, 61.
Beaver, 56.
Bella Coola, 1, 13, 15, 18.
Black bear, 69.
Black bears, magicians, 96.
Blackfeet, 9, 12.
Blankets, 52.
Blue Jay, 16, 52.
Boy as hero, 5, 34, 35, 51, 93, 95.
Buckskm, 36.
Bush-tailed rat, 46.
Caches, 29, 47.
Cannibal, deceived by Coyote, 14, 30.
Cannibal, dog of, 31.
Cannibal, spirit invoked, 81.
Cannibals, 14, 33, 38, 39, 79, 80, 81, 93.
Cedar-bark, 52.
Cellars, 47, 109.
Chicken Hawk, 67.
Chinook, 6, 15.
Chipmunk, 61.
Chisels, 36.
Clouds, smoke of Moon's pipe, 91.
Clothing, 2.
Collars, of birch-bark, 67, 68.
Cold weather caused by burning body of
Colors of water, 112.
Comox, 13, 15.
Coyote, 3, 6, 14, 16, 19, etc.
Coyote, son of, 21.
Crow, 78.
Culture hero, 3.
Darkness and light, vicissitudes of, how
caused, 61.
Dead, return of, 3, 109.
Death, caused by stealing breath, 86.
Deer, origin of, 5!.
Deer, carried in its own skin, 115.
Deer's fat, delicacy, 24, 26, 52, 27.
Diffusion of myths, 12, 18.
Dog, bad medicine for women, 113.
Dogs, mythical, 30, 31.
Door, magical, 47.
Dreams, 87, 97.
Eagle, 21, 37, 57, 67, 75.
Eagle, originally a cannibal, 45.
Eagle feathers, magical, 21, 75, 80, in.
Earth, centre of, 104.
Elk, 58.
Excrement, magical use of, 30, 33, 60, 113.
Eyelids, lifting up of, 103.
Fat, magical, 36.
Fatherhood, how ascertained, 37.
Feathers, magical, 80, 89;
Fire, the great, 75.
Fire, theft of, 56, 57.
Fire, why it stops at trail, 39.
Fires, of cannibal demons, 93.
Fish, dried, 52, 66.
Fish dam, 27.
Fish Hawk, 67.
Fish roe, 79.
Fisher, 64.
Fish-spearing, 62.
Fishes, war of with Indians, 77.
Flies, how spread abroad, 27, 104.
Flood, 20, 44.
Fool hen, 23.
Fraser River, 42, 45, 57, 81, 96.
Fraser River Indians, myths of, 17.
Frog-people, 96.
Grizzly bear, 36, 61, 66, 70,72.
Grouse, origin of, 23.
Growth, magical, 19.
Hair, combed before battle, 67.
Hairs, magical use of, 24, 35, 73.
Halo, house of Moon, 91.
Hare, 37, 66,114.
Ha'tahat, bird, 68.
Hawk, 37.
Haxa', mystic creature, 57, 93, 112.
Haxaa'tko, merman, 83, 84, 104.
it's life, to acquire magical powers,
ningbird, 37. 136
Jealousy, 70.
Kakwâ', bird, 77.
Kamloops, place, 46, 80.
Kettles, 35.
Klamath, 7.
Kokwë'la, root, 46, 95.
Kokwë'la, transformer, 12, 19, 42, 46.
Kootenay, 3, 12.
Kwakiutl, 9, 13.
Lehal, a game, 67, 85.
Lillooet, 1, 81, 95, 96.
Lodges, underground, 38, 42.
Logs, as bridges, 26, 90.
Louse, originally a dog, 72.
Lousing, 69.
Lynx, 37, 38.
Lytton, or Lkamtcin, 20, 33, 42, 46, 54, 57,
80, 96.
Magic, 19, 25, 29, 35, 38, 49, 54, 60, 80, 82,
Magic, trials of power in, 12, 40, 44, 49, 96.
Magical gifts, changed back to leaves, 29.
Magical mark, 88, 90, 118.
Magical powers, how acquired, 80, 92, 97.
Magpie, 37, 42, 88.
Maiden who will not marry, 36, 45, 68, 86,
89, no.
Mallard Duck, 21.
Manitou, or familiar spirits, 57, 85, no.
Marrow, 29.
Marten, 64.
Matricide, in myth, 61, 96.
Mats, why slaves of men, 23.
Meadowlark, tell-tale, 33.
Men, making of, 21.
Micmac, 15.
Moon, transformed Indian, 91.
Moon, hare with buckets in, 91.
Moon, pipe of, 91.
Mosquito, 56.
Mouse, Long-tailed, 47.
Mouse, Short-tailed, sagacious counsellor,
Navaho, 15.
Necklaces, magical, 80.
Net-snare, 42.
Nicola River, 45, 75.
Nkamtci'n, place, 20.
Nzûkê'ski Mountains, 20.
Offerings, to cannibal spirit, 82.
Okanagon, 77, 80.
Old Man, transformer, 12, 19, 45, 109.
Old Man, lives in sky, 50.
Old Man, makes rain, 109.
Old Man, return of, 109.
Otter, a shaman, 66, 68, 69, 114.
Owl, formerly a hunter, 63.
Packing-line, 26.
Penobscot, 10.
Pipe, of Moon, 91.
Pleiades, friends of Moon, 92.
Porcupine, why covered with quills, 83.
Potatoes, wild, 22.
Potlatch, 3.
Pups, who become children, 62.
Pregnancy, magical, 5, 36, 37.
Protecting spirits, manitou, 53, 57.
Quâ'qLqaL,  three  brothers,  transformers,
Rattlesnake, 36.
Raven, 5, 14, 37, 52, 67, 76, 89.
Resuscitation, 57, 66, 68, 69, 86, 91.
Rituals, 3.
Rocks, transformed people, 28, 43, 44, 45,
Salish, 1, 13, 17.
Salmon, 64.
Salmon, introduction of, 27, 28, 77.
Shadows, house of, 13.
Shamans, 28, 66.
Shuswap, 1, 46, 81, 116.
Sickness, cause and cure of, 28, 68.
Sinews, 76.
Skins, cause transformation, 63.
Skunk, originally a cannibal or traitor, 45,
60, 61.
Sky, journey to, 5, 13, 14, 22, 50.
Social conditions, influence myth, 16.
Societies, secret, unknown, 3.
Sociology, 3.
Spear-heads, 43, 48.
Spences Bridge, 20, 32, 75, 88.
Spider, 14, 24, 25, 78.
Spirit-land, visit to, 85.
Spirits, 5, 57, 85.
Spirits, evil, 85.
Spoons, 43.
Staff, magical, 30, 31, 8i.
Stars, sky-plants, 22.
Sun, originally a cannibal, 53.
Sun, colored robes of, 52.
Sun, daughter of, seeks her father, 55.
Sun, journey to, 53, no.
Sun, son of, 53.
Sun, son of, beetle so named, no.
Sun-dogs, children of Sun's daughters, 55.
Swallow, 56.
Swan, formerly good chief, why white, 50.
Thompson River, 20, 28, 32, 33, 42, 46, 80
Thompson River Indians, ethnography of, 1
Thunder, 39, 56, in.
Tillamook, 1, 6.
Tlingit, 13.
Totemic ideas, wanting, 3, 17.
Transformer, morality of, 6, 9, 17, 101.
Trees, magical growth of, 82. Index.
Tsala's, bird, 41.
Tsan'âtz, fish, 95.
Tsun'tia, transformer, 95.
Underworld, approach to, 7
Urine, magical use of, 35.
Uta'mqt, 81, 106.
Vancouver Island, n, 15.
Warnings, to hero, 13, 97.
Water, diffusion of, 57.
Water, personified, 98.
Water-spirit, 83.
Wind, appearance of, 118.
Wind, captured, 87.
Winds, child of, becomes ice, 56.
Winds, wars of hot and cold, 55.
Wolf, a shaman, 37, 66, 74.
Woman, work of, 29.
Woodpecker, 37.
World, edges of, 85.
Worlds, three in number, 103.
Zîxaxîx, place, 42, 107.  OFFICERS
HENRY WOOD, Baltimore, Md.
jFtret Sicc=|3rc_iucnt
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âecon. &itt--\}vcsi.cut,
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{FREDERIC W. PUTNAM, Cambridge, Mass.
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JJermanent Secretary.
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Boston Athenaeum, Boston, Mass.
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Clarence H. Clark, Philadelphia, Pa.
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Charles F. Daymond, New York, N. Y
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Alice C. Fletcher, Washington, D. C.
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Fifty Tales with Ki-mbundu text, literal English Translation, Introduction,
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