The Talking Vagina
The following story, which was told me by Barney Sapier. of Central Kinguclear, in April 1910. shows a strong European influence, though some of the conceptions seem to be native.
Once there was a man who was a great medeulin (shaman). He could do almost anything, but the greatest thing he could do was to make anything talk. He would say to a dog, "Whose dog are you?" or to a canoe, "Whose canoe are you?" and immediately it would answer, "I am John's," or "I am Peter's." This ability often helped him when he was in trouble. He could tell whether or not a man was lying, or whenever he thought he was losing his way, he had only to ask a tree, "Are you on the trail?" and it would answer "Yes" or "No."
This famous shaman was single, but one day he thought, "I had better be married." So he went to look for a girl that suited him. Finally he found one and decided to marry her if she should prove to be a virgin. He asked her to marry him and she agreed. He then asked her if she was a virgin and she, of course, said that she was. He then said to her vagina, "Is what she says true?" The vagina said, "No, it is not true." So the medicine man refused to marry her.
He tried a second time, but his success was no better than the first time. His success on the third occasion was no better than on the other two.
When he tried the fourth girl, she said she was a virgin. Then he said to her vagina, "Is it true that you are a virgin?" But the vagina did not answer. The shaman thought that his power was gone, but it was not so. The other girls had told her what had happened to them, and she had saved herself by filling her vagina with moss.