Page:Tlingit Myths and Texts.djvu/244

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page needs to be proofread.
[bull. 39

seal is so strong that it will swim around with the eagle attached to it, and the longest time the eagle can stand this is two days. Now the poor man was an eagle himself, and he learned from the eagles how to catch fish. He thought all the time that he was spearing them, but in reality he was catching them in his talons. He became a great fisher and hunter.

The mother and brothers of this poor man were just as poor as he had been, and, when he saw his brother out fishing, he would leave some fish where he could find it. His brother thought that he was very lucky. Finally his mother dreamed that someone said, " It is I, mother, who provides for you all of this fish and meat," and afterward they would dream that he said to them, "I have left a fish (or seal) on such and such a point. Go there and get it." When they did so, sure enough it was there. Sometimes he would say in his mother's dream, "We are going off camping. You must go there and camp near by." They did so and dried a lot of fish which he had gotten for them.

In another dream he said, "I have married one of the eagle women. I can not come among you any more."

One time, when they were out camping, they saw an eagle working very hard to bring ashore a load of fish. After it had done so, the eagle sat up on a branch and said, "It is I." It told them its name, which was the name of the missing man. It is because a friend of theirs was once among the eagle people that the NexA di claim the eagle. This clan is now scattered everywhere.


There was a man called NatsilAne (the name of a worm that appears on dried salmon) who was continually quarreling with his wife. He had many brothers-in-law, who became very much ashamed of this discord but had to stay around to protect their sister. One day his brothers-in-law took him to an island far out at sea, named KAtsIe uxti, and talked very kindly to him. But, while he was out of sight upon the island, they left him. Then he began thinking, "What can I do for myself?" As he sat there he absent-mindedly whittled killer whales out of cottonwood bark, which works easily. The two he had made he put into the water and, as he did so, he shouted aloud as shamans used to do on such occasions. Then he thought they looked as if they were swimming, but, when they came up again, they were nothing but bark. After a while he made two more whales out of alder. He tried to put his clan's spirits into them as was often done a

See story 4.