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INDIAN LIFE AND INDIAN LORE 

INDIAN DAYS 

OF THE 

LONG AGO 

Edward S’Curtis 







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THE LIBRARY 

BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY 
PROVO, UTAH 


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INDIAN LIFE AND INDIAN LORE 


INDIAN DAYS 
OF THE LONG AGO 



The camp of the Salish 



















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Digitized by the Internet Archive 
in 2019 with funding from 
Brigham Young University 


https://archive.org/details/indiandaysoflong1914curt 



INDIAN LIFE AND INDIAN LORE 


INDIAN DAYS 

OF THE 

LONG AGO 


By Edward o. Curtis 


Author of The North American Indian 


ILLUSTRATED WITH PHOTOGRAPHS BY THE 
AUTHOR AND DRAWINGS BY F. N.'WILSON 


YONKERS'ON'HUDSON,NEWYORK 

WORLD BOOK COMPANY 

1915 















Copyright, 191k, by World Book Company. Copyright, 191k, in Great 
Britain. All rights of reproduction and translation are reserved. 
Cidla — 2 



THE LIBRARY 

BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIVERSITY 
PROVO, UTAH 



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FOREWORD 

This little book was written in the hope that 
it would give a more intimate view of Indian life 
in the old days, in the days when to the far west¬ 
ern tribes the white race was but a rumor, and 
buffalo roamed the plains in countless numbers. 
A further desire was to call attention to the 
great divergencies in Indian life, the number of 
languages, and the striking differences in dress 
and habits. The pictures, as well as the text, 
will emphasize this. 

We have been prone to regard Indians as be¬ 
ing without religion or spiritual life. Instead 
of being without a religion, they were influenced 
in every important act of their life by spiritual 
beliefs and religious practices. This fact is 
touched upon not as a pedantic lecture but rather 
as we see its influence on the characters of the 
story and in the folk-tales. I have tried to show 
how their religious beliefs influence the character 
building of the youth. Simple animistic beliefs, 
which bring the spirit beings close, are easy of 
comprehension, and the belief in the ever-present 
nearness has a strong influence upon the chil¬ 
dren. What could be more powerful in char¬ 
acter building than the mountain vigil of Ku- 
kusim? This story of fasting and prayer is not 

vii 





Foreword 


viii 

a created play of words, but is given practically 
as told by those who have thus fasted. 

The character He Who Was Dead And Lives 
Again has its historical prototype in a wanderer, 
a dreamer, a cataleptic who was able at will to 
throw himself into a state of trance; a leader in 
spreading the cult of hypnotic religious practices 
of which the great Siouan Ghost Dance of 1889 
was an example. 

The Huron, introduced to give a glimpse of 
the life of the eastern Indians, is fully as logical, 
since in the Flathead country—the central scene 
of the story—there are many direct descendants 
of the old eastern wanderers who came to this 
region at the date of the story. In fact, it was 
the old wanderers from the east who gave the 
thought of the oncoming hordes of white people. 

In brief, the story is told quickly from a full 
heart, drawn from a store of thoughts and lore, 
gathered through half a lifetime of intimate con¬ 
tact with many tribes in many lands. It has 
been a labor of love, and I can only hope that my 
readers will from the reading derive a small part 
of the happiness that I have derived from its 
writing. The Author. 




CONTENTS 

PAGE 

Foreword ..vn 

Prologue . 1 

Morning in Camp.2 

In the Forest.10 

A Dispute.17 

Greeting the Strangers . 23 

The Council Lodge.32 

The Story of the Two Strangers ..... 40 

The Sweat-Bath.56 

Ways of the Clayoquot.61 

He Who Made All Things First.76 

Adventures of Coyote . 83 

Four Moons Tells About the Mandan ... 96 

Hunting the Seals.106 

The Snake Dance.114 

The Snake Brothers.124 

The Girl and the Witch People.129 

Breaking Camp.137 

Pitching Camp.143 

An Elk Hunt.152 

Barefoot on Ice and Snow.159 

The Story of Corn-Smut Girl ..... 163 

A Buffalo Hunt.167 

Scouting. 171 

A Strange Trail.180 


IX 




























X 


Contents 


PAGE 


The Wolves and the Deer.187 

A Camp Discovered. 194 

Visit of the Pierced Noses.199 

Home Again.205 

In the Spring Time.208 

To the Mountain of Fasting. 211 

The Fast.215 









INDIAN DAYS OF THE LONG AGO 



INDIAN DAYS OF THE 
LONG AGO 


PROLOGUE 

The camp of Lone Pine, chief of the 
Salish, or Flatheads, was on the banks 
of the Red Willow River, a beautiful 
stream flowing through the forests of the 
Bitterroot Mountains, in what we now 
call western Montana. Its cold, trans¬ 
lucent waters come from the springs 
and snows far up among the mountain 
crags. 

Beautiful lodges or tepees made from 
the dressed skins of buffalo and elk 
were scattered everywhere among the 
pines. 

The village was like the camps of 
hundreds of other Indian chiefs or head 
men, which stood beside the forest 
stream, by the quiet brook of the open 
plain, by the lake in the mountains, 
or on the grassy bank of the prairie 
lake. 

A camp site was never adopted by 
chance, but was chosen for a definite 
purpose. In some cases the object was 
fishing; in others to hunt the buffalo, 
or elk and deer; or to dig roots and 
gather berries and other wild fruits. 

1 


MORNING IN CAMP 



The hour is that of a new day, just before the 
sun lifts itself from the forested peaks to the 

eastward. Here and 
there low voices of 
mothers speak to chil¬ 
dren; a woman calls to 
another to be awake, 
and not to hold too long 
upon the sleep. Now 
the smoke curls upward 
from the lodge-tops, 
and from fires built in 
the open just outside. 
To the nostrils comes 
the fragrant odor of 
burning pine. Soon the 
savory smell of roast¬ 
ing meat will tell that 
the women are prepar¬ 
ing the morning meal. 

There is a hushed 
feeling of excitement 
and anticipation. Only 
yesterday rumor came 
to the chief of two 
strange wanderers who on this day would reach 
the camp. In color they were said to be like the 
Salish, but their words were different. They 
told of strange people, of strange lands; they 

sang unknown and curious songs. They talked 

2 


Morning in Camp 


3 



with the spirit people, and claimed much knowl¬ 
edge of the spirit world. But most wonder¬ 
ful of all, they said they could see into the 
future, and they made prophecy of disaster to 
all the tribes. Long into the night just past 
had Lone Pine and his head men sat about the 
council fire and discussed the strange rumor. 

With the waking of the camp, Lone Pine, 
dressed in his trappings of a chief at ceremonial 
times, came from his lodge. He mounted his 
horse, and rode slowly about the camp, acting as 
his own herald. 

In a loud voice he cried: “Hear ye! Hear ye! 
Chiefs! Men! Women! Boys! Awaken! Do 
not hold on to your sleep like lazy ones, but lis¬ 
ten to my voice! This is a great day for us! 
The two strange men with wonderful stories will 
reach our camp before the sun sinks. It is said 
that one of these men was born by the Big Water 
from where the West Wind comes. Not alone 
does he tell us of the land of the West Wind, 






4 Indian Days of the Dong Ago 

where the Sun sleeps, but he has traveled to the 
land of the South Wind, which brings summer. 

He has seen curious peo¬ 
ple, in color like ourselves, 
but living in strange ways. 

The other wanderer 
comes from the Big Water 
of the East Wind, where 
the Sun rises. He has 
wandered for many win¬ 
ters, and has seen strange 
people and their ways. Of 
all these people 
tell us. 

“Chiefs, my words are 
heavy with meaning to our 
nation. The stories these 
wanderers tell are of many brown people like 
ourselves. But, besides, they tell of a people 
with skins of snow: a people as countless as 
the sands, who will take our land, steal our 
daughters, and try to teach us new ways. It is 
a story of war, misery, and sickness to our 
nation! 

“Women, make clean the camp and our lodges! 
Prepare much food, that our guests and our men 
may have a great feast! Young men and war¬ 
riors, dress as is fitting for greeting the visitors 
to our camp! Your chief has spoken! I have 
said it!” 

Kukusim, the son of Lone Pine, had sat in the 


they will 



Lone Pine 


5 


Morning in Camp 

shadows at the council fire on the previous night 
and had listened wide-eyed to the words of his 
father and the head men. 

He was early awake, at¬ 
tending to the words of 
the chief as he rode about 
the camp on his proud 
war-horse. Many of his 
father’s words were of 
matters too deep for his 
understanding, but he 
realized that this was a 
great event in the life of 
his people, and he wished 
that he, like his elder 
brother, were man grown, 
that he might be counted 
among the warriors, 
among the men who 
could protect the people 
however great the dan¬ 
ger. He often dreamed 
of performing some great feat in battle and hav¬ 
ing his name changed from Kukusim, the Star, to 
something more warlike, such as Kills First, or 
Hunts The Enemy. 

Soon his mother was saying: “My son, come 
with Sister, and eat food. Eat plenty, that 
you may grow up strong. Remember your 
grandfather’s teachings, and do not make a 
loud noise. If you do, no one will take you 








6 


the Long Ago 

for children of a 
chief.” 

The mother was of 
the Pierced Nose 
tribe, 1 who lived far to 
the southwest. She was 
very proud of her chil¬ 
dren. One, a boy of 
fifteen winters, was al¬ 
ready a man allowed 
to go on hunting and 
war expeditions with 
his father. Ivukusim, 
who was less than ten, 
still clung to his mother 
and the interests of 
her life. The sister, 
Blue Bird, had come into the world two winters 
later, and was still his companion. Baby was 
a boy, and had been with them but two sum¬ 
mers, and young as Blue Bird was, she called 
herself “little mother” to the baby. 

At breakfast time Baby was still asleep, so 
Blue Bird was carefree. Kukusim and she sat 
close together in the family circle about the food, 
which was in two or three horn and wooden 
dishes placed upon the ground. The mother saw 

1 This tribe is known to us as the Nez Perces, which is French 
for “Pierced Noses.” Many of the men in this tribe wore a slen¬ 
der shell, shaped like a dog’s tooth, in a hole cut through the 
partition between the nostrils. Therefore other tribes called them 
the Pierced Noses. 


Indian Lays of 



Blue Bird 



7 


Morning in Camp 



that they had plenty of the best of the food. Be¬ 
sides, she made a point of giving them some of 
the roast elk ribs, on which there was little meat, 
admonishing them: “Gnaw the meat from these 
bones, children. It will make your teeth strong 
and white.” 

While Kukusim was picking the meat from 
his rib bone, his favorite dog crept up and coaxed 
for it. The boy watched his mother, and when 
she was looking in another direction, he gave his 
bone to the dog. Just at that moment his mother 
looked around, and seeing himself detected, 
Kukusim exclaimed, “Mother, my dog was very 
hungry!” 

Like a true Indian mother, she laughed as she 
scolded him, and as punishment she gave him 
no more meat for his breakfast. But Blue 
Bird, sorry for Brother, shared her food with 
him. 

As soon as the two children had finished their 
morning meal, Kukusim said: “Mother, I shall 









8 Indian Days of the JLong Ago 

find my friends Scarface, Yellow Hawk, and 
Rabbit, and we will take our bows and arrows 

to the forest to hunt 
birds, squirrels, and rab¬ 
bits.” 

Before he left the 
lodge, Sister whispered 
to him: “I shall get my 
friends and we will 
make a play camp just 
at the edge of the woods. 
When you are coming 
home, stop there and 
show us what you have 
killed, and we will play 
at cooking it for our 
husbands.” 

Before breakfast Kukusim had gone with 
his father to bathe in the river. This was a 
daily practice, not only to keep their bodies 
clean, but to harden them so that they could 
endure cold and changing weather without dis¬ 
comfort or illness. It was summer time, but 
owing to the snows in the mountains and the 
cold nights, the water was icy cold. This, 
however, did not discourage the Indian chief, 
who with his son plunged in and swam about 
for a time. They stepped out on the bank, 
and as the day was warm, sat in the sun and 
dried themselves. Had it been a winter day, 
they would have wrapped a blanket or robe 



An Indian sweat lodge 



9 


Morning in Camp 


about them. Many Indian tribes bathed in this 
way every day, summer and winter. In some 
places they had to cut holes in the thick ice, but 
still the daily bath was not omitted. In that 
way the boys grew up with sturdy bodies, able 
to withstand all sorts of hardship. 



IN THE FOREST 


Soon the boys were away to the forest. Each 
carried a small bow, and in a skin quiver were 

his arrows. Some of these 
had points of sharpened 
stone or bone; some had 
wooden points; others 
were blunt ended, for 
bringing down game 
without killing it so that 
the boy could capture it 
alive. The boys wore no 
clothing but a loin-cloth 
of skin, with or without 
the hair upon it. This 
not only hardened and strengthened their bodies, 
but left them free to chase their prey. 

The chief’s son, Kukusim, was looked up to 
as the leader, so he called out, “Let us go to the 
rabbit traps, and see what we have caught.” 

Scarf ace and Yellow Hawk agreed at once: 
“That is what we will do. There will be some¬ 
thing in at least one snare.” 

But Rabbit declined to go, saying that he did 
not care to see the snares. 

“We know,” chaffed Yellow Hawk, “why 
Rabbit does not want to go with us to the snares. 
He is named after the rabbit, and he is afraid we 
have caught one.” 

Kukusim, always careful of the feelings of 
his companions, quickly arranged the matter by 

10 






In the Forest 


11 


suggesting that Rabbit and Scarface go toward 
the grove of the partridges, while he and Yel¬ 
low Hawk visited the snares. 

With Yellow Hawk close behind him, Ku- 
kusim followed the trail 
along the river. Then turn¬ 
ing off, he walked through 
the forest to the higher and 
more open ground, where 
the rabbits lived, and where 
the boys had their snares. 

Said Yellow Hawk: “Ku¬ 
kusim, I do not think we 
shall have any rabbits to¬ 
day. I think Rabbit has 
given us bad luck by wish¬ 
ing that we might not get 
any in our traps. After this we will not take 
him with us when we want rabbits.” 

The first snare they found sprung, but 
empty. They reset it carefully and went on 
their way. The second one was broken and 
pushed aside. 

“What has done this, Yellow Hawk?” whis¬ 
pered Kukusim. “Let us look closely and see. 
The ferns and grass are broken in this direction. 
We will follow.” 

They came to a wet, soft piece of ground, 
where they saw great tracks in the soft 
earth. 

“It was a bear,” exclaimed Kukusim. “His 



12 


Indian Days of the Long Ago 



The river near the camp 


tracks are broader than my two hands, 
and beside them are the tracks of a baby 
bear.” 

“Let us go hack out of this thicket,” exclaimed 
Yellow Hawk. “Perhaps the mother bear and 
her cub are still close.” 

Kukusim felt the cold creeping up and down 
his back, but being a chief’s son, he knew that he 
must be brave and show courage whether he had 
it or not. So, though his knees were shaking and 
his voice was hushed, he insisted that they go on 
to the next trap. 

“Let us walk quietly,” he cautioned. “Then 
if the bear is about, she will not hear.” 

Suddenly Kukusim stopped in the trail. 
“Look, Yellow Hawk, what is that?” he whis¬ 
pered. 

There, beside the trail in front of them, the 
two boys saw a bear digging skunk-cabbage. Her 
head was so far down in the hole she had made 
that she had not heard them. Then the cub 
caught sight of them and crowded close up to 
the mother bear, who knew by this that there 



In the Forest 


IB 



was danger. She lifted her head, and with a 
snort jumped into the brush. 

For a moment Kukusim and Yellow Hawk 
stood close together without speaking. Then 
Kukusim proudly boasted: “I was not afraid! 
See how the bear ran! Let us go on now, to our 
next snare, and if there is nothing in that we 
shall know that the wishes of Rabbit have been 
heard.” 

This was their fourth snare. They had been 
taught by the old men that in setting traps they 
should have four, as this was the sacred number 
of the four winds and the four cardinal points. 
The fourth trap also was sprung and empty. 
Convinced now that good fortune was not with 
them in snaring rabbits, they counseled what 
was to be done. 

“If this happened to our fathers,” urged Ku¬ 
kusim, “they would sing songs to drive away 
the evil and to bring good fortune.” 

“We know many songs, but we do not know 








14 


Indian Days of the Long Ago 

a song for bringing ns good fortune in snaring 
rabbits,” protested Yellow Hawk. 

“I have heard my father say that the best 
songs are those which are made in the forest,” 
answered Kukusim. “Let us make a song to the 
rabbits.” 

Still fearful of the bears, Yellow Hawk sug¬ 
gested that they also make a song to the mother 
bear. So they made up a song to the bear, and 
another to the rabbits, and sang them four times. 
This is what they sang to the bear: 

“Shaggy One, who walks like a man! 

Long Claws, who digs like a woman! 

Be happy, be not angry with us! 1 ’ 

And this is the way the music is written 
down: 


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In the Forest 


15 


And thus they sang to the rabbits: 

“White Tails, swift are your feet. 

Come to our traps, for we wish your bodies. 

Fine feathers then will we give to your spirits.” 


And this is the way the music is written 
down: 


F? 

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MU *=3 

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a tempo i|iaHa 

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“Now let us find the other boys,” said Kuku- 
sim. “But the songs belong to us, and we will 
not tell about them.” 

After traveling through the woods for a time, 
they came to a small opening in the pines. In 
the center of this was a large rock, and here they 
stopped to find some sign from their companions. 
Sure enough, there on the flat surface of the 
stone were a few broken twigs, two brown peb¬ 
bles, and a freshly peeled piece of bark with 
two or three black marks upon it. 








































16 


Indian Days of the Long Ago 



To a white boy this would have meant noth¬ 
ing. Even with the Indian boy there was much 
question as to just what the message was, but 
with some study they made out that two part¬ 
ridges had been killed with arrows, two deer 
tracks seen, a badger chased into his hole, and 
that the other boys had gone to the lake for duck 
nests. 













A DISPUTE 

In a short time Kukusim and Yellow Hawk, 
who had no difficulty in finding them, were 
with their companions on the rush-grown shore 
of the lake. Several nests had already been 
found, but it was not the purpose to take 
the eggs, because in two moons these eggs 
would be plump young ducks, easy of capture. 
Tiring of the search for duck nests, they de¬ 
cided to go to a small creek that emptied into 
the river. Here there were always trout to be 
taken. 

In the tiny stream, so narrow that in many 
places they could jump across it, they looked 
for the deep, dark pools. There they lay down 
on their stomachs on a sharp bank or overhang¬ 
ing log, and extended their arms fully into the 
water. Soon the trout swam close by. The 
boys slipped their hands gently under the fish, 

17 















18 Indian Days of the Long Ago 



and suddenly closed their fingers about the 
gills. 

Before long each boy had enough fish for 
an ample meal for his family, and they decided 
to go down to the river for a swim. 

The morning bath with father and the other 
men was merely a ceremony; for a lark it must 
be a warm afternoon, and just boys. The water 
was icy cold, but they were accustomed to that. 
They dived, and they played all sorts of games. 
They were like fish in the water, for their par¬ 
ents had taken them to the stream when they 
were mere babies, and as they learned to walk 
and talk they also learned to swim. After their 
frolic they sat on the bank in the sun to warm, 
and then swam again. 

Something besides the lowering sun reminded 
the boys that the day was passing. In the ex¬ 
citement of play, food at midday might be easily 
overlooked^ but when the day was done they 
were always ready for the evening meal. 







19 


A Dispute 

The four comrades had not, however, gone 
entirely without food since breakfast, as dur¬ 
ing the day they had found many varieties of 
bulbous roots, tender plant stalks, and luscious 
berries. 

As they started for the camp, they remem¬ 
bered the excitement there, and the expected 
visit of the two strange men. 

“Let us hurry, that we may reach camp before 
these men arrive,” urged Kukusim, “and to¬ 
night while they are in council we will creep back 
in the dark shadows where we shall not be seen, 
and listen. Let us hear what these men are to 
tell.” 

Now it must be remembered that almost every 
Indian tribe had a language of its own, dif¬ 
ferent from the speech of its neighbors, and 
either largely or totally unintelligible to them. 
So the Indians of the prairies and the mountains 
invented a system of signs, by which they could 
converse rapidly and accurately, just as deaf 
mutes talk with their hands. The sign language 
is still used when Indians of different tribes 
meet. 

“Will they talk with our own words?” asked 
Scarf ace. 

“No,” replied Kukusim, “my father says they 
will talk only with their hands.” 

Rabbit complained, “I do not understand 
much of the hand-talk.” 

“That is your own fault, Rabbit,” answered 


20 


Indian Days of the Dong Ago 

Kukusim. “You are lazy and will not try. Your 
father says in council: ‘My son sleeps while I 
try to teach him to dance. His feet do not play 
in the air, but drag like stones on the ground.’ 
Rabbit, you will never make a great warrior 
like your father unless you wake up!” 

Rabbit’s face burned with anger and humilia¬ 
tion. “Kukusim, you think you are smart be¬ 
cause your father is a chief, and the men say you 
can hand-talk like old men, and dance so that 
all the people want to watch you. When it comes 
to the day of the war party, that dancing and 
hand-talk will not get the honors that make 
chiefs.” 

“Rabbit, your feet will be as heavy in war as 
they are in dancing, unless you listen to your 
father and be awake. And now that I have said 
my hard words, I will make you happy by prom¬ 
ising to tell you tomorrow all that is said tonight, 
and to help you in learning to talk with your 
hands.” 

At the edge of the woods they passed the play 
lodge of Blue Bird and her companions. It was 
just like the real lodges, only much smaller, and 
here the girls spent hours playing as little 
mothers. 

Catching sight of the boys, Blue Bird called: 
“Bring us your game! We will cook it, and pre¬ 
tend that you are men and hunters, bringing 
home to their wives the game and fish that they 
have caught.” 


A Dispute 


21 



“We will give you a few of the smaller fish. 
Sister, but all the rest we will take to our mothers 
and grandmothers, to show them that we are 
really becoming men, and can hunt the game 
and catch the fish as well as our fathers and 
grandfathers did.” 

So with some banter and boy-like teasing, they 
went on to the camp. As they passed each lodge, 
they caught sounds of an unusual nature. Words 
were low and earnest, and they could see war¬ 
riors passing from lodge to lodge, carrying gar¬ 
ments and ornaments worn only on great occa¬ 
sions, such as a dance or a feast. When they 
caught glimpses of the interior of a lodge, they 
saw men dressing in ceremonial costumes of 
white deerskin and gay feathers, and men and 
women painting their faces. 

The camp was alive with expectation. The 
boy hunters quickly caught the spirit, and almost 
forgot that they were bringing their mothers the 
game of a day in the forest. 









22 


Indian Days of the Long Ago 

At the lodge of the chiefs Kukusim’s mother 
greeted them with a smile, and encouragingly 
said, “Really, our sons are becoming men!” 

Then she warned them not to make loud 
noises, so as to disturb the chief and his head 
men, who were in council. 

“The strangers are coming, and there is much 
need of serious talk,” she said. 




GREETING THE STRANGERS 


Kukusim slipped up to the door of the lodge 
and looked in. His father, in his medicine 1 cos¬ 
tume, was sitting in his accustomed place of 
honor at the back of the lodge, and on both 
sides of him were other chiefs, each dressed 
in his best garments. Their words were low 
and quiet. Lone Pine filled the pipe, lighted it, 

1 The word “medicine” here means supernatural, or anything 
supposedly of a supernatural nature. A medicine-man is one who 
is believed to cure illness by magic, through the power given him 
by some supernatural being with whom he has talked in a vision. 
A medicine shirt is one worn by such a healer when performing 
his cures. Medicine songs he uses while calling upon the spirits 
for help, and a medicine dance is a ceremony for the purpose of 
driving sickness away from the whole tribe. 


MEDICINE SONG OF THE EAGLE 


i 


M.M. J' ^ 138 


tv 


V— 


Hai - yi 


la. 


hi - yi, 




i~v~ 


yi, hi - yi, 



r -\-K-—K-—a--v- 

--5---- : -V-1 

nr 

l ' O i » m ' 

* # *is] 

4= F / * m =■ 




hai - yi - la; Ow - na - twik - na- nis, hi - yi, hi - yi, hi - 

> > > 

— : -r . ~:-N~r 


11 


yi, hai - yi - la, 


A - wi - yi - hi - yi, hai - yi - la. 


Tilting on wings, flapping, flapping, flapping, tilting on 
wings: 

Pursuing by means of song, flapping, flapping, flapping, 
tilting on wings, 

Soaring high, tilting on wings. 


23 















































24 Indian Days of the Dong Ago 



and then passed it 
about the circle for all 
to smoke. 

A warrior stood up 
and said: “It is not for 
me to speak of this 
with big words. If I 
did, my brothers might 
say, ‘Yellow Cloud has 
small thoughts behind 
large words.’ Black 
Eagle, when he fasted 
on the high peaks of 
the mountains, was 
shown great visions by 
the spirit people. Let 
him talk. The visions 
told him much. His 
courage in battle 
brought him many 
honors. Let Black 
Eagle speak. I have 

Fasting in winter finished.” 

Black Eagle, slowly and with deliberation, 
stood upon his feet. His height was the breadth 
of a hand more than that of the others. On his 
head was a close-fitting, crestlike cap made from 
an eagle skin, and wrapped close about him was 
a robe of the buffalo. As he rose, the robe was 
thrown off, and he stood before his fellows like 
a bronze statue. 



Greeting the Strangers 25 

“Brother chiefs of 
the Satish, Yellow 
Cloud has spoken of 
my long fasting in the 
summer and in the bit¬ 
ter winter. Many vis¬ 
ions have been granted 
me, but this is not the 
time to speak of them. 

Today two strangers 
come to us. They have 
many stories to unfold. 

When we have heard 
the words which come 
from afar, we will give 
deep thought and then 
speak. It is time we 
were ready to meet and 
make welcome the vis¬ 
itors. I have said it.” 

Lone Pine rose to his 
feet, and the words of 
his strong voice were Black Eagle in his robe 
these: “Black Eagle has spoken well. It is time 
we should mount our horses and prepare to wel¬ 
come our visitors. Around the council fire to¬ 
night we will talk. Running Owl, ride about the 
camp and tell our young men to be ready.” 

Running Owl quickly mounted his horse, and 
as he rode he called out repeatedly: “Our chief 
bids you be ready! Soon the scouts will re- 



26 


Indian Days of the Dong Ago 



port the coming of the 
strangers. M o u n t your 
horses and be ready!” 

Scarcely had the herald 
started when the chief 
and his head men mounted 
their horses and began rid¬ 
ing around just inside the 
camp circle. All were 
singing Lone Pine’s songs. 
Each moment, as they 
rode, other men joined the 
cavalcade, and soon every 
man in the camp was in 
the party. And now they 
rode away to the plain 
where the visitors were to 
be met. They passed 
through open groves of 
pine, and came upon a 
flower - dotted meadow, 
a place which afforded a 
broad outlook. There they 
halted and waited for word 
from the scouts. 

Their eyes were scarcely 
less penetrating than those 
of an eagle, and soon they 
saw a mounted scout. He 
was on a high crest, out¬ 
lined against the sky, and 



Greeting the Strangers 


27 



he rode back and forth on the same line. This 
was the signal that he had sighted the newcom¬ 
ers. Now he turned his horse and rode madly 
toward the warriors. 

Lone Pine and his chiefs were all in line, 
slightly in advance of the main party; at such 
times ordinary warriors remained behind their 
chiefs. The scout galloped up, dismounted, and 
reported to the chief that the two strangers were 
on a far-away hill; that they had halted some 
time ago to sing many songs, paint their bodies, 
and put on their fine clothing. 

Lone Pine listened quietly until the scout had 
told his story. “Chiefs and warriors,” he 
shouted, “what this scout tells us is good. We 
know he speaks with a straight tongue. It was 
a true report that told us these men were im¬ 
portant men, with great knowledge of spirit 
things; for has not our scout seen them while 
they sang their songs and talked with the spirit 
people? Now we will ride to meet them. To 
show that we are warriors, we will spare not 
our horses. We will sing the songs of your 
chief.” 



28 


Indian Days of the Long Ago 



For a time they rode slowly, and then, coming 
close to where the visitors were, they broke into 
the wild gallop of warriors. Soon they 
sighted the travelers, who were mounted 
on their gaily bedecked horses and sitting 
like statues outlined against the sky. 

As the warriors reached them, each one 
endeavored to be the first to strike with 
a coup-stick. 1 This desire to be the first 
to touch the newcomers brought about a 
brief whirlwind of struggling horses and 
shouting men, and had not the visitors 
known of the friendly intentions of the 
warriors, they would certainly have 
thought themselves at the last moment of 
their lives. 

After this first mad rush the warriors 
drew back, that the chiefs might have 
conversation with their guests. There was 
only an exchange of greetings here, as all seri- 

1 In many tribes, especially of the Prairie Indians, each war¬ 
rior carried into battle a long staff decorated with fluttering eagle- 






oils subjects must be put off until they gathered 
around the council fire. 

Now they all started upon the return to camp. 
Lone Pine and Black Eagle, as the leading 
chiefs, rode at the head of the column, and be¬ 
side them the strangers. The lesser chiefs, the 
scouts, and the other warriors came close be¬ 
hind. 

As the returning party reached the camp, they 
all began to sing, and rode round and round the 
camp circle, not rapidly, but in a slow and stately 

feathers and scalps. This was the coup-stick (pronounced coo- 
stick). The first part of the word is the French coup, meaning 
“a blow” or “stroke.” 

It was a high honor for a warrior to strike an enemy lightly 
with this staff, because in so doing he ran great risk of being 
killed while using a harmless stick instead of a bow or a spear. 
This is what is called “striking a coup.” In their dances and 
speeches the men always boasted of their great deeds, enumer¬ 
ating each one. This is known as “counting coups.” Warriors 
ranked according to the number and the daring of their coups. 

In rushing upon visitors and striking them with coup-sticks 
the Indians were only imitating warfare, just as a sham battle 
imitates a real fight. 












30 Indian Days of the Dong Ago 

fashion. The women and children, all dressed 
in their finest clothes of deerskin decorated with 
colored porcupine quills and elk teeth, stood be¬ 
side the lodges watching the cavalcade. 

In the center of the camp the women had 
pitched the long lodge. This was made by tak¬ 
ing the poles and skin covers of many lodges and 
combining them into one long structure. The 
poles and skins of twenty-five lodges had been 
used, making one about a hundred and fifty feet 
in length and twenty-four feet in width. This 
was a council lodge of ten fires. That is, when 
the council met at night ten fires burned at in¬ 
tervals down the middle of the floor. The usual 
family domicile had but one fire. There were 
also lodges of two fires, or of any other number 
up to ten. While the council lodge stood, the 
families who had furnished single lodges to make 
up the large one usually lived in the big struc¬ 
ture. 

Lone Pine, the proud chief, was master in 
this council lodge, but he had not taken down 
his home to help build it. He was rich in skins 
and lodge coverings, and furnished his share 
without destroying his home. 

When the riders had encircled the encamp¬ 
ment several times, the chief and the visitors 
stopped before the home of Lone Pine, and the 
other men went their individual ways to join 
their families. As they rode up to their lodges 
and dismounted, the women or boys took 


Greeting the Strangers 31 

charge of the horses, as that was a part of their 
work. 

The chief now called an invitation for certain 
men to come to his lodge, to take food with his 
guests. These men were ten or twelve in num¬ 
ber, and each was invited by name. 

On succeeding days it would be the privilege 
of other important men to ask the visitors to be 
their guests, and to call out the names of those 
they wanted to honor by inviting them to the 
feast with the strangers. At every such feast 
the host gave presents to his stranger guests, 
and sometimes to the others as well. 



THE COUNCIL LODGE 


With the coming of darkness, people from all 
jiarts of the camp began to gather at the council 
lodge. That none might be absent, a crier was 
sent to shout the command that all were to dress 
and attend the council. 

Kukusim and Scar face were eager to learn 
about the strangers, and slipped quietly into a 
place close against the walls of the lodge, but 
well up toward the end where the chiefs would 
sit. 

The entrance was at the middle of one side, 
and all the important men sat in a half-circle at 
one end. The hundreds of spectators sat on the 
ground at both sides of the long lodge. Down 
the central space were the fires which gave 
light. 

When the people were all assembled, Lone 
Pine, sitting in the center of the curving line of 
chiefs, filled the pipe . 1 He lighted it, and after 



one puff from the long stem passed it to the man 
at his left. This man passed it on to the left, and 
so it was handed from man to man until it 
reached the last one of the chiefs. He placed the 
stem to his lips and drew a whiff of smoke, which 

J With the Indians, smoking in council is not for pleasure, but 
is a serious and solemn ceremony. 

32 



33 


The Council Lodge 



he blew toward the ground, saying in a low voice, 
“Earth, to you I smoke!” Then he blew upward 
another draft of the smoke, saying, “Sky, to you 
I smoke!” He blew smoke to each of the spirits 
of the winds—the East Wind, the South Wind, 
the West Wind, the North Wind. 

This done, he passed the pipe to the man at his 
right, who also smoked to the Earth, the Sky, 
and the Four Winds. So it went on from man 
to man, until it came back to the chief. He 
smoked as the others had, and refilled and re¬ 
lighted the pipe. It was now passed from man 
to man to the right until it reached the last 
man on that side. He smoked in the same way, 
and started the pipe on its return toward the 
chief, who, upon receiving it, placed it on a 
buffalo skull in front of him and rose to his 
feet. 

“Two moons ago,” began Lone Pine, “a party 
of our hunters returned with word of two great 
and wise medicine-men who were with a hunting 














34 


Indian Days of the Long Ago 



expedition of the Ap- 
saroke . 1 To this news 
I gave much thought. 
I said in my heart: 
'Let us see and coun¬ 
sel with these medicine¬ 
men. Perhaps they 
can give us power 
which will strengthen 
our tribe and give vic¬ 
tory in battle.’ So I 
sent our brave young 
warrior, Fast Elk, to 
ask these wise men to 
visit us. Fellow chiefs, 
was that well?” 

“Aye! Aye! Aye!” 
voiced all those in 
council. 

“We know that in 
their hearts are many 
strange things which 

A man of the Apsaroke 

they can tell us. One 
night is not enough to hear it all. We want them 
to stay with us many moons, perhaps many win¬ 
ters. They will learn that the Salish are brave 
and fear no enemy, that the hearts of our women 
are warm, and their words as gentle as the mur- 


1 The Apsaroke (pronounced Ap-sa'-ro-ke), as they call them¬ 
selves, are usually known as the Crow Indians. They are a bold, 
hardy tribe, living in south central Montana, and formerly also 
in northern Wyoming. 






mur of the brook. Brother chiefs, make our 
guests welcome! Prepare many feasts for them! 
Give them the softest of your robes for their 
bed! They will tell us how to live and be big 
over our enemies. 

“I have taken horses twice from the Apsaroke, 
twice from the Piegan , 1 once from the Snakes . 2 
One Piegan have I killed and scalped. In honor 
of these my deeds I give to each of our guests 
five horses. I have said it.” 

During Lone Pine’s speech one of the Salish 
chiefs rapidly translated to the visitors by means 
of the sign language, and at the end five short 
willow rods were handed to each guest as visible 
tokens of the gift of the horses. 

Now stepped forward Black Eagle. “Lone 
Pine, our chief, has spoken well. Our visitors 
have seen the lands from which all winds come. 
In their many fastings in strange places they 
have learned secrets which make their power 
great. We want to keep them with us, that we 

1 The Piegan were a large, warlike tribe of northern Montana. 

2 The Snakes, or Shoshoni, roamed over what is now Wyoming, 
southern Idaho, and northern Nevada. 


36 


Indian Days of the Long Ago 


m 






Looking to the land of the 
winds 


may grow to be a greater 
people, that we may suc¬ 
ceed in war, that we may 
have our wives and chil¬ 
dren well and strong. We 
want to hear their voices in 
council. We want to hear 
their songs of war and 
their songs to the spirits. 
From their counsel our 
young men will know bet¬ 
ter how to fast in the high 
mountains. 

“Salish chiefs, warriors, 
make our guests welcome! 

“All the Salish know 
that twelve winters ago in 
the buffalo country I rode 
unarmed among our ene¬ 
mies, the P i e g a n, and 
struck their chief with my 
coup - stick. Of another 
Piegan I have the scalp! 
From a camp of the 
Snakes I captured a horse 
while it stood tethered at 
the door of its owner’s 
lodge. These were men’s 
deeds. In honor of them 
I now give to each of our 
guests a horse, a lodge, 






37 


The Council Lodge 



and robes ! I have 
said it!” 

Little Bear stood up. 

Many winters had 
piled their snows about 
his lodge, and the winds 
of many summers had 
laid deep wrinkles in 
his face. Every tribes¬ 
man knew his strength 
and courage. His 
tongue was as sharp as 
the claws of a bear, 
and fear of his cutting 
words brought close 
attention from every 
man in council. Before 
beginning to speak he 
turned toward the 
guests, and in sign lan¬ 
guage said: 

“I am called Little 
Bear, because with 

these two hands I killed the largest bear in our 
mountains.” 

Then with fire in his voice he began his rapid 
speech: 

“Salish chiefs, I speak now. I fear lest our 
words be foolish words. Are we to stand here 
tonight and each count his coups? Lone Pine 
and Black Eagle will tell us that we are here 


Little Bear 


38 


Indian Days of the Long Ago 

to learn of the strangers, 
but you spend the time 
talking of your deeds, of 
ponies, and of gifts. 
Countless times we have 
heard these tales, until 
our youths have for 
amusement woven them 
into song. Are we to 
have our ears made weary 
with stories older than a 
toothless bear? Let us 
hear the words of the 
strangers! I have said 
it!” 

The chiefs were glad 
that Little Bear had 
made his words so brief. 
Well they knew how he could hold them up to 
ridicule if he saw fit. 

Lean Wolf, a warrior as old and wrinkled as 
Little Bear, with scars of countless battles, 
stepped forward. 

“Little Bear’s tongue is sharp, like the ar¬ 
row-point, and were he less brave, his words 
would find no one to accompany them with 
laughter. And were he as wise as brave, he would 
soften a nest for his aged bones with smiles and 
words of honey. It is easy to get laughter with 
words which cut like the bear’s claw, but they 
do not bring friends. There is, however, I say, 



Lean Wolf 


39 


The Council Lodge 

much truth in his speech. Let us cease our talk, 
and ask the strangers to tell us of the things 
known to them. Do I speak right, brother 
chiefs?” 

“Aye! Aye! Aye!” 

Once more the pipe was filled and smoked in 
the regular way, and was replaced on the buffalo 

skull. 




THE STORY OF THE TWO STRANGERS 

One of the visitors stood up. In appearance he 
was unlike the other Indians about him. He 
was less tall, his face was broad, his shoulders 
were more massive, and his hips narrower than 
theirs. For an instant he stood hesitating. 
Then with his hands he said: 

“Salish, I do not do the hand-talk well. Where 
I was born we did not use this way, but as I 
have grown old I have learned to make my 
hands speak. 

“I know many words of the Salish, not just as 
you with your tongues make them, but nearly. 
My father’s people were neighbors of those who, 
though far away, speak words almost like yours. 
So as I talk with my hands I will also give such 
words as I can, and that will help you to under¬ 
stand. 

“My name is He Who Was Dead And Lives 
Again. My winters are so many that I have no 

40 








The Story of the Two Strangers 41 

count of them, but I 
know that the strength 
which made my feet 
as light as the deer’s 
has gone from me. 

In my numberless 
winters and summers 
I have seen many 
things, — seen them 
when I was alive, 
seen them when my 
body lay as though 
dead and my spirit 
was elsewhere. All 
these things I will in 
time try to tell you, 
but I cannot retravel 
the trails of a life¬ 
time in one night. 

“My parents were 
of the people who live by the Big Water where 
the sun goes down, where the forest is thick and 
dark, where people travel always in canoes, large 
and small. Many, many tribes are there. My 
father’s tribe is called the Clayoquot . 1 There, a 

1 The principal village of the Clayoquot (pronounced Clah'-yo- 
quot, but usually mispronounced Cla'-ku-ot) was on Meares Island, 
off the west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. The 
village was called Tla-o'-qui, and the people Tla-o'-qui-ut, which 
the whites turned into Clayoquot. Meares Island is named after an 
English explorer who visited this coast in 1788 and 1789, and 
Vancouver Island for a captain of the British navy who sailed 
around the island in 1792. 














42 


Indian Days of the Long Ago 

young warrior, I was captured by our enemies. 
Fearful that I should escape, they carried me far 
away and sold me to others. Again I was sold 
and taken far across the snow mountains, where 
flows the Great River [Columbia], and where 
the lodges are covered with rushes and skins. My 
heart was sore with longing for my home and 
people. 

“But soon I gazed into the dark eyes of a 
maiden, and no more did I think of my old home. 
The son of the chief also looked with love upon 
the maid of my choice. He demanded my life. 
This the chief refused to grant, exclaiming: ‘You, 
a chief’s son, and cannot win the maid of your 
choice without my putting a slave to death! 
No maid would want a man with so weak a heart!’ 
“The young man was angered by his father’s 

words, and he 
counseled with 
other youths how 
to make away with 
me. Without the 
knowledge of the 
chief, they crept 
upon me while I 
was fishing at night 
with a dip-net, and 
hit me from be¬ 
ll i n d. The first 
blow did not kill me, and we fought for a time. 
Then a blow made my body dead, but my mind 



The Story of the Two Strangers 43 



was alive. I could hear their words, but could 
not move. They spoke of what to do with my 
body. The decision was to put me into a canoe 
and set me adrift on the river. ‘Then my father/ 
reasoned the chief’s son, ‘will think he has stolen 
the canoe and fled.’ 

“In the canoe I drifted on waters slow and 
fast. I heard the roar of a rapid, and tried to 
make my spirit move my hand, but of no avail. 
My body was still dead. Then the canoe lurched 
and pitched, shot into the air, and half filled with 
water; and still I drifted on. My eyes were like 
my body, dead; but I knew that night had 
changed to day, and that the sun was shining in 
my face. Still I drifted. Day changed into 
night, and once more it was day. Then I heard 
the soft voices of women and felt the jar of a 
canoe touching mine. I knew but few of the 
words they spoke. At first they thought me dead. 

“Then one said: ‘Sister, he is not dead. He is 
only in the shadow land. What a handsome man! 



44 Indian Days of the Long Ago 

Sister, we will take him 
home and have songs made 
to call hack his spirit. Then 
perhaps one of us will have 
him for a husband.’ 

“They towed my canoe 
ashore, and I felt myself 
being carried into a house. 
There was much excite¬ 
ment, and many people 
talked at once. Then a 
medicine - man began to 
sing, and to blow life into 
my body, and to work my 
arms and chest. At last 
strength began to return 
to me, and I could open 
my eyes. 

“Many were the questions as to whence I came, 
but it was long before the strength of words came 
to my tongue. The singing man told me it was 
well that the maids had found me, as just below 
was the great waterfall, where the angry waters 
would have devoured my canoe. Laughing, he 
said: ‘They have saved your life. They can have 
you for a slave or a husband.’ 

“And still my heart was heavy with the 
thought of the maiden far up the river. 

“Days passed. Strength came to my limbs, 
and I thought I had escaped from the clutches 
of the evil spirits, when again my body became 




The Story of the Two Strangers 



dead. This time 
my spirit traveled 
far and saw strange things. 
Once more the singing man 
brought my soul back, and 
when my eyes opened I saw 
they had decided that I was a 
supernatural being. The men 
counseled that I be taken be¬ 
low the falls and sent on in a 
canoe. ‘He is of the spirit 
people,’ they said, ‘and per¬ 
haps he will bring evil upon 
us. We will send him on.’ 

“Thus again my wanderings 
continued. Many winters and 
many summers I traveled. 
When I found the ways of a 
tribe good, I became one of 
them for a time. 

“While dead I had learned 
to sing songs which made the 
sick well. I had talked much 
with the spirits and knew their 
ways. The farther I wan- 













46 


Indian Days of the Long Ago 

dered the stranger the people, the stranger their 
ways, the more curious the plants, the grass, the 

fruit. For many 
winters my steps 
were toward the 
wind of the south. 
Then I turned my 
feet toward the 
new - born sun. I 
crossed a great 
river [Colorado], 
and traveled on. 

“Strange sights 
were before me. 
The houses were 
not of boards, not 
of rushes, not of 
skins, not of leaves. 
They were of 
stones, one built 
high upon the 
other.” 

At this strange 
statement his lis¬ 
teners were wide- 
eyed. “Truly,” thought they, “can such things 
be not of dreams?” 

The old man continued: “There are greater 
wonders than stone houses. Do you know that 
the people of the stone houses call the snakes their 
brothers, and clasp them to their bosoms, and 



Indians of the palms 




The Story of the Two Strangers 47 



The Snake Brothers 


take them in their teeth, and that no snake ever 
does harm to a single one of the people?” 

A murmured “Ah! Ah! Ah!” swept over his 
listeners. “Truly, that is medicine!” 

Now stronger grew the voice of the speaker. 
“But, Salish, stranger things than Snake Broth¬ 
ers saw I there,—men like us in form, but like 
snow in color, of strange ways and words, and 
strange songs and religion. They are proud. 
They look down upon our ways and say we must 
make our songs and religion like theirs. Their 
talk says the white brothers are like the grains 
of sand, that when a handful is taken away, oth¬ 
ers quickly take their places. Long I talked with 
one of these white men, and my heart became 
heavy. 

“I sang to the spirits. Then my body became 
dead again, and my spirit saw many things. In 
my vision I saw these white men, like the count¬ 
less buffalo, swarm across the land. I saw them 



48 Indian Days of the Long Ago 

build their houses by the rivers and the springs. 
I saw them taking our forests and killing our 
game, until the red men, women, and children 
cried for food. I heard children wail, I saw war¬ 
riors and mothers sick with famine and disease. 
Then woe, woe! I saw all the nations of our 
land cry out, reaching their hands to the spirit 
people. And the cry brought no answer! 

“When my body awoke again, I talked long 
with the white song singer, and told him of my 
vision. 

“ ‘You saw right,’ was his reply. ‘The red man 
must give his country to the white. The red 
man’s songs are not true songs. They lead him 
on crooked trails.’ 

“Then he told me of his songs and prayers, 
but I lost the trail and could not follow him. All 
I could answer was: ‘My songs and my prayers 
are good enough for me. Long before you 
white skins with your great songs have taken 
our lands, I shall have started on the long trail 
to ghost land.’ 

“Salish, when I think of my talk with the 
white stranger, my heart is heavy, and I see only 
dark clouds, which hang so low that the moun¬ 
tain-top is buried. For me it matters not. My 
trail is short. But for these children and their 
children, there is no happy song to lead their 
steps. 

“Sadness filled my heart. I wandered away 
from the stone-house people, and turned my 


The Story of the Two Strangers 49 

eyes toward the rising sun. Many people I vis¬ 
ited, and then I came to the plains where the 
buffalo are thick like the 
blackbirds of autumn. There 
I met a party of warriors. 

They were from the north, 
and had been for many win¬ 
ters on a journey to the far 
south. These people called 
themselves Apsaroke. All 
the Salish know them. With 
them I traveled far and sang 
songs with their medicine¬ 
men. 

“When I reached the land 
of the north, there I found 
my brother wanderer. He came from the big 
waters of the morning sun. His songs are 
strange, and not like mine. Many stories he can 
tell you. More than I, he knows about the white 
men. I will not steal his words. 

“The welcome of the Salish has made my old 
heart young. May I have many winters in your 
camp. I have said it!” 

“Aye, aye, aye, aye!” Like a wave the mur¬ 
mur swept over the assembly as the Clayoquot 
sat down. Each chief would gladly have leaped 
to his feet and made a speech, but the second 
guest must be heard first. 

As the latter rose, it could be plainly seen that 
he was a stranger in the land. His face bore a 



50 


Indian Days of the Long Ago 


keener expression. His clothing was different, 
and instead of a full head of hair with a long 
braid down each side, he wore but a strip of 
bristling hair along the crown of his head. His 
talk was all by signs. 

“I am Four Moons. The story of my foot¬ 
steps on many trails would fill the nights of a 
long winter. My mother’s wigwam was beside 
the great lakes where streams flow eastward into 
the Big Water, whence the morning sun rises. 
My people were the Wendat. 1 Alas! the power¬ 
ful tribes of the Wendat are broken and scattered. 

“Sixty winters ago, in my boyhood days, there 

were eighteen great vil¬ 
lages of my people. 
Eight of them were 
protected by thick, high 
palisades. The people 
were like flies in num¬ 
ber. Twenty thousand, 
my father has told me, 
dwelt in the towns of 
the Wendat. 

“From the earliest 
time of which the old men could tell, we had 
been at war with Those of the Long Lodge. 
Fierce and cruel were the cunning warriors of 



Four Moons 


1 The Wendat were a federation of four tribes, nicknamed Hu- 
rons by the French. Later they became known as the Wyandot, 
a corruption of their own name. The Hurons, when first ob¬ 
served by the French explorer Champlain in 1615, were living in 
what is now Ontario, south and east of Georgian Bay. 


The Story of the Two Strangers 51 



Those of the Long Lodge, 1 yet not so numerous 
as ours. 

“I see that you are surprised that the few 
could overcome the many. But think not that the 
Wendat were lacking in strength of heart or 
knowledge of war. Our enemies had help that 
was not ours. 

“Even before I was born there came over the 
sea in great canoes people of the race about 
whom my friend has told you. But he has not 
told you of their wonderful weapons. My 
friends, when the white hunter would kill a deer, 
he points a stick at it. There is a flash of light¬ 
ning, a roar of thunder, and the deer drops dead 
in his tracks!” 

A murmur of awe and wonder, almost of dis¬ 
belief, swept through the assembly. 

1 This was the native name of the Iroquois, or Five Nations, a 
federation of the following tribes: Cayuga, Mohawk, Oneida, 
Onondaga, and Seneca. The territory they occupied is now north¬ 
ern New York. The Iroquois tribes belonged to the same family 
as the Hurons, the two groups speaking dialects of the same 
language. 
























52 


Indian Days of the Long Ago 

“Yes, my friends, it is true. As the winters 
passed, the white men in their town beside 

the Great Water became 
more and more numer¬ 
ous. To our enemies, 
who were nearer to them 
than we, they traded of 
these magic weapons for 
furs. The shooter of the 
white man will kill ten 
times as far as an arrow, 
and when Those of the 
Long Lodge had many 
of the new shooters, we 
could do nothing. 

“It is now fifty-two years 1 since they began a 
war to sweep us from the earth. With their 
thunder weapons they could not fail. I will not 
tell you now of the fierce battles, the bloody 
slaughters, of women wailing for slain husbands 
and sons, of starving children wandering 
through the woods. 

“A small party fled westward, among them 
my father, the chief Anabotaha, and myself. I 
was a young man just learning the ways of 
war. 

“After several years of wandering hither and 
thither, we came into the country of the Pota- 

1 It was in 1648 that the Iroquois began the final campaign 
against the Huron tribes. In two or three years nearly all the 
Hurons had been either captured and adopted or killed in battle 
or by torture. The remnants were scattered in every direction. 





The Story of the Two Strangers 53 



watomi 1 and built a 
village with a pali¬ 
sade on the shore of 
a great lake so wide 
that the eye cannot 
reach across it. 

“Still we were not 
out of reach of 
Those of the Long 
Lodge, and a few 
years later we left 
this new home. My 
father, with some 
others, returned east¬ 
ward beyond our 
former land, and 
later I heard a re¬ 
port that he was 
killed by our ene¬ 
mies. For my part, 
being now a man, I chose to go with those who 
continued westward. 

“Among the Illinois 2 we found welcome. But 
our rest here was brief, for the Illinois too were 
beset by a powerful enemy, the Dakota. 3 And 
thus, my friends, we were driven from place to 


Anabotaha 


1 In the region of Green Bay, Wisconsin. 

2 The Illinois lived on the river of that name, as well as on 
the Mississippi. 

3 The Dakota, or Sioux, were living at this early period on the 
upper course of the Mississippi, above the Illinois. They were 
very numerous and warlike. 














54 Indian Days of the Long Ago 

place. With a few companions I became sepa¬ 
rated from the main party, and one by one they 
have died. Alone, I have wandered from tribe 
to tribe, always westward. As my friend has 
told you, it was among the Apsaroke, whom you 
know, that he found me. 

“You know now, my friends, whence I came. 
At another time I will tell you of the habits of 
the people of the east. Their ways are strange 
to you. I will tell you, too, of the white men, 
for I have seen them, and listened to the songs 
of their medicine-men, the black-robes, 1 as we of 
the east call them. I will show you how on every 
seventh day they hold a dance, sing their songs, 
and speak to one whom they believe to dwell in 
the sky. But now the night is done. For this 
time it is enough.” 

As Four Moons took his seat, a murmur 
played over the people gathered there. Then 
Lone Pine stood up. 

“Salish brothers, the words we have heard to¬ 
night bring to my eyes many strange and won¬ 
derful pictures. But they make my heart very 
sad and heavy, for they show that a new people 
with strange words and thoughts are creeping 
upon us, and, like old age, nothing can stay 
them. 

“Sleep is making heavy the eyes of our young 
men. Our visitors have promised to stay many 
days, and around the council fire to tell us the 

1 The Catholic priests were very commonly called “black-robes.” 


The Story of the Two Strangers 55 



The return to the lodges 


strange things they have heard and seen, and to 
sing us the songs. We will go to our lodges 
now.” 

Late as it was, Kukusim had kept wide awake 
to the end. The stories set fire to his blood, and 
made him want to be a warrior and go on long 
travels. He decided to take the first opportu¬ 
nity to make friends with these wanderers, par¬ 
ticularly with He Who Was Dead And Lives 
Again, and get them to tell him many stories of 
their travels, and of the wonders they had seen. 
The guests slept in his father’s lodge, and he lost 
no part of their talk either in broken words or by 
signs. In his restless sleep he saw many wonder¬ 
ful sights, and dreamed that he was being car¬ 
ried in a canoe on the swift waters of an angry 
river, and again and again a hissing snake wound 
about him. 

He was early awake and off to the river with 
his father and the visitors for the morning bath. 



THE SWEAT-BATH 


He Who Was Dead And Lives Again noticed 
how quick Ivukusim was to understand the hand- 

talk, and in order to 
test him he told a story 
new to the boy, and 
asked him to repeat it. 
Quick as a flash the 
small hands flew back 
and forth, retelling the 
story with every detail. 

“Good, my grandson! I will be your new 
grandfather, and I will teach you the ways and 
wise thoughts of many chiefs and song singers. 
I will teach you new songs and the ways of many 
warriors. And when your arm is strong enough 
to draw the man’s bow, your father will know 
that you are wise and can proudly bear his name.” 

These words made Kukusim almost choke with 
emotion.. His thoughts were big. 

Scarcely had the sunlight touched the moun¬ 
tain-tops, when Lone Pine called out: 

“Brother chiefs, tonight our guests are to talk 
to us and sing us songs. That these words and 
songs may do us good and give us strength, let 
us sing in the sweat-lodge. Thus we shall make 
the body pure, that the spirit people may come 
close and take no offense at any human odors.” 

So after the morning meal a number of men 
went close to the water’s edge, and there made of 
withes several dome-shaped frames from five 

56 






The Sweat-Bath 


57 



to ten feet in diameter and just high enough 
to permit the bathers to squat inside of them. 
In the center of each a hole was dug in the 
ground, and the frame was then covered with 
skins or rush mats. In front of each sweat-lodge 
was built a roaring fire, and in it were laid many 
stones to heat. When these grew red-hot, a man 
took them up one by one with wooden tongs and 
placed them in the hole in the center of the sweat- 
lodge. 

Now the men who were to take part crept into 
the low sweat-lodges, and attendants on the out¬ 
side fastened the covers tightly so that no steam 
could escape. The leader in each sweat-lodge 
was a medicine-man or a chief, and he had with 
him a rattle. When they were all inside, he 
started a song, and all the men joined in. At 
the end of the fourth song, the head singer took 
a cup of water from a vessel before him and 
dashed it upon the heated stones. As the hot, 
suffocating steam rolled up and filled the little 



58 Indian Days of the Long Ago 

lodge, the crouching men again commenced to 
sing. The steam choked them and it was harder 
now to continue the songs. At the end of that 
song more water was thrown on; then another 
song was given. 

This continued until songs to the number of 
four, the sacred number, had been used. At the 
end of that time the cover was lifted to let in 
fresh air. After a short breathing space the cover 
was again lowered, and another series of four 
songs sung, and again they lifted the cover for 
air. 

Four times the series of four songs was given. 
One of the men could not endure so much of the 
heat, and during an interval he went out; but 
to do that made one look small in the eyes of 
his people. 

At the last song the remainder of the water in 
the pail was thrown on all at once, which made 
so much hot steam that it almost overcame even 
the strongest men. Only one or two of the men 
could sing to the end of the closing song. At the 
point when they were almost choked by the 
heated steam, the covers were lifted, and the 
bathers ran out and plunged into the icy cold 
stream. In a moment they were sitting care¬ 
lessly on the bank, and a little later the sweat was 
repeated. 

Salish boys could not participate with the 
men in the sweat-lodge. So while the men were 
preparing their bodies for the story-telling of the 


The Sweat-Bath 


59 


night, Kukusim and his comrades wandered far 
from the camp, and under a great pine they sat 
and talked of the wonderful new things they had 
heard. Kukusim had understood much more than 
his companions, so he had much to explain. Rab¬ 
bit had even gone to sleep during the council, 
and had heard none of the stories told by the won¬ 
derful strangers. 

They were all a little jealous of Kukusim 
when they found that He Who Was Dead And 
Lives Again had taken him for a grandson. Scar- 
face was least jealous, for was not Kukusim his 
chum? 

So great was the excitement and expectancy 
of this day that the boys neglected to go to their 
snares, deciding to put that off until another day. 
When the shadows grew long they returned to 
camp, and soon they heard the herald calling: 

“When it is dark, go to the council lodge! 
Our friends will tell stories and sing songs. 
Young men and maidens, put on your fine cloth¬ 
ing, that you may dance for the pleasure of our 
visitors.” 

From babyhood, even before he could utter 
words, Kukusim had been taught by his father 
to dance, and even at four years of age he had 
been known as a remarkable dancer. As they 
sat at the evening meal the old man from the 
Big Water of the West asked, “Is my grand¬ 
son to dance for me tonight?” Pleased and 
happy with this notice, Kukusim could hardly 


60 Indian Days of the Long Ago 

wait for the meal to end. He was proud of his 
ability in dancing. 

All the family took part in preparing him for 
the dance. His hair was oiled and combed, his 

whole body painted red. 
Special attention was given 
his face, which was painted 
to represent the sky at sun¬ 
rise—yellow at the chin, 
and blending through deep 
colors to a bright crimson 
at the forehead. In his 
hair was a bunch of hawk 
feathers, and on his feet 
were brown moccasins, and 
on his legs just below the 
knees were bands on which 
were fastened many deer 
dew-claws. These, when he 
danced, rattled in rhythm with the songs and 
drums. Also around his arms were rattles, and 
at his waist was a scanty loin-cloth of painted 
deerskin. Besides these things he wore no other 
clothing. 

When all were ready to go to the council 
lodge, the mother looked proudly at her hand¬ 



some son. 


WAYS OF THE CLAYOQUOT 



Kukusim and 
his mother 
were among 
the first to 
reach the 
lodge, and 
they sat watching 
the others enter. First 
the proud chiefs stalked 
in. Nearly all were wrapped 
with robes of the buffalo, 
some with the hair outside, 
others with the smooth skin 
out and the hair next their bodies. Many of 
these robes had decorations of gaily colored por¬ 
cupine quills sewed upon the smooth surface. 
Others were painted in a way that told the story 
of the warrior’s fasting and battles. 

Following the chiefs came the young men. 
They were prepared for the dance much as was 
Kukusim, their bodies painted according to 
fancy, their hair decorated with feathers. Their 
blankets they carried on their arms: to wear them 
would hide from sight their beautifully painted 
bodies. 


61 







62 


Indian Days of the Dong Ago 



After the young men 
and warriors came the 
maids and their mothers, 
usually in groups of three 
or four. Girls and boys 
never went together to 
public assemblages. While 
the young men stalked 
about, wearing only a 
loin-cloth and a few feath¬ 
ers and proudly display¬ 
ing their painted and 
glistening bodies, the 
maids revealed scarcely 
so much as an ankle. 
Their large, loose sleeves 
fell almost to the wrists. 
The dresses were dec¬ 
orated with porcupine 
quills, and on tassels were 
fastened shells or beads 
which rattled when they 
shook. As they entered, the girls and women 
kept their eyes modestly fixed on the ground. 

When all the people were in the council lodge, 
Lone Pine announced that He Who Was Dead 
And Lives Again would tell them a story of the 
land of the West Wind, and then the Salish peo¬ 
ple would dance to entertain their guests. The 
wanderer from the west rose. 

“Salish, today we have sung together in the 


Native of west coast 



63 


Ways of the Clayoquot 

sweat-lodge, and truly 
we are brothers. 

When I talk with 
your old men, I find 
your words are like 
those of some of the 
people beside the 
Great Water where I 
spent my boyhood. 

Soon I shall be able 
to speak with you 
without the hand-talk. 

“Salish brothers, I 
have many stories to 
tell you. Tonight I 
will begin at the Big 
Water, where was my 
father’s home. 

“My father’s house 
was a frame of great 
logs covered with 
planks cut from trees. 

It was more than half as large as this council 
lodge. There lived in it many families of our 
relatives, and they had many slaves. This house, 
like the others of the village, was near to the 
water, and on the beach, close in front of the 
houses, were numerous canoes. These were made 
of the great trees, and some were so long that 
they would carry several families. My people 
knew not the horse, but traveled only in canoes. 



A west coast maiden 


64 Indian Days of the Long Ago 

The village was on the quiet waters of a bay, but 
just around a point of wooded land was the Big 
Water, lashing always in anger against the rock 
cliffs. Ever we could hear the roar, like con¬ 
stant low thunder; and when the angry winds 
of winter blew, the water dashed mountain high 
against the rocks, and no man was brave enough 
to launch his canoe into the white monster’s 
mouth. 

“You would think the dress of my father’s 
people strange. Both men and women wear a 
blanket made from the bark of cedar trees, but 
the chiefs and their wives use blankets of smooth- 
fur animals of the water. When they dance they 
wear strange masks carved from wood, and they 
dress themselves with skins, bark, and feathers. 
The masks represent animals of the kind they 
see and hunt, and many which do not live but are 
seen in their dreams. In our dances the maids 
do not wear beautiful dresses of skin like the 
Salish, but rather oil their bodies until they glis¬ 
ten in the firelight, and their garment is a short 
skirt of shredded bark about the hips. 

“My heart is sad when I tell you this: at times 
when the great dances are in progress, men kill 
slaves and eat them. I hear your words of doubt 
and of horror at such a story, but my tongue 
speaks straight, and such is their way. They 
know no better. 

“Fish of many kinds are their food, and the 
greatest is a monster as big as a hundred buf- 


Ways of the Clayoquot 


65 



falo. I hear you Salish exclaim 'Oh! Oh!’ I 
know you think my tongue makes large words, 
but if a whale were placed in this great lodge 
it would take up more than half its length. To 
kill this monster in the water is hard work for the 
men, and only a great chief leads whaling par¬ 
ties. And that he may have success in killing 
them, he first must spend many weeks alone in 
the forest, singing and praying that the spirits 
may make his harpoon go straight, and that 
the whale may not in anger destroy him and 
his men. 

“When my father was preparing to hunt 
whales, he lived in the forest for four months, 
and then sent word to eight men who were his 
helpers, to go also to the forest and make their 
bodies pure, that they might have good fortune 
in capturing a whale. At the appointed time 
they all came from the woods, got into their great 
whale canoe, and started far out upon the open 
water. It was in the springtime, when the whales 






66 Indian Days of the Long Ago 

are not angry. As they started they sang many 
songs. My father had a hundred whale songs. 
As they went, my mother and all the women 
climbed upon the house-tops, singing and beat¬ 
ing time on the roof with sticks. 

“The spear used by my father was not much 
longer than his body. Its cutting point was a 
large mussel-shell held in place with the gum of 
the pine. The rope fastened to the harpoon was 
of the bark of the cedar. Fastened to this strong 
rope were many floats made of air-filled skins 
of the hair-seal. These floated and dragged in 
the water, and made the whale tired while he 
swam or tried to dive. 

“The whaling canoe left the smooth bay and 

went out into 
the Great 
Water. The 
canoe looked 
no larger than 
one’s hand. 

“Sometimes 
on the hunt 
they would 
not find a 
whale on the 
first day, but 
would have 
to keep pad¬ 
dling about through the night. In the dark 
they would hear many whales splashing and 













67 


Ways of the Clayoquot 



blowing water into the sky. Then when day¬ 
light came they might see one close by. 

“On sighting a whale they quickly paddled 
near enough to spear him. If he heard them and 
sank, they watched closely for him to come to 
the surface. At last they came near enough to 
throw harpoons into his body, and as he sank 
they sang songs to him, praying that he would 
not be angry. When he came up they harpooned 
him again, each time fastening more floats to his 
body. 

“Perhaps it would take a whole day to kill a 
single whale, and when he was dead they had 
hard work to get him home. When at last they 
towed him to the village, there was great rejoic¬ 
ing; for there would be plenty of food for every 
one. 

“My father was a big chief among his people, 
as his whale songs were good, and he killed many 
whales each year. 

“At the end of the whale killing my father 








68 


Indian Days of the Long Ago 

often went to visit 
the Nitinat 1 in the 
south. When I was 
almost man grown, 
he thought he 
might strengthen 
his friendship with 
the proud Nitinat by 
finding there a wife 
for me. In ten ca¬ 
noes we started, and 
on the second day 
reached the village 
of the Nitinat. As 
we came close, our 
people put on their 
dance clothing and 
formed the canoes 
into a line, with my father’s a little ahead. My 
father had his singers cry out that we had much 
food and presents, and that the chief was look¬ 
ing for a wife for his son. Then we sang songs 
of pride and boasting, telling of our courage, 
our strength, our wealth and rank. The crier 
shouted: 

“ ‘The great chief, the great whaler, the great 
warrior would find a wife for his son. His son 
is strong. His flesh is firm. He has many songs. 

1 The Ni'-ti-nat formerly lived at the mouth of Jordan River 
on the southern coast of Vancouver Island. Since the coming of 
white men they have lived at the mouth of Cheewhat River, near 
Nitinat Lake. 




69 


Ways of the Clayoquot 

He buries his rivals 
with the wealth of 
his property. He, 
like his father, will 
be a great warrior 
and a great whaler. 

The girl who be¬ 
comes his wife must 
be of a chief’s fam¬ 
ily, must be of good 
looks, and heavy 
with property.’ 

“A song of wel¬ 
come was heard 
from the shore, and 
the proud Nitinat 
weaved into it that 
their chief was no 
less great than my father, that all the women of 
royal blood were beautiful to look at, and no 
one could outdo them in gifts. Great was our 
welcome, and great the feasting. Soon a maid 
was selected for me, and after the next whaling 
season her people would return the visit and 
bring her with the wedding presents. 

“But the winds of the ocean had another story. 
Our singers and wise men had grown too proud 
to listen to the voice of the medicine-man of the 
Nitinat. With black-painted face he came from 
the forest, waving his arms and closing his eyes, 
exclaiming: ‘I see dark clouds, heavy clouds, an- 



70 


Indian Days of the Long Ago 

gry clouds! I hear war upon the waves, and 
cries of anger, and I see blood upon the water!’ 

“ ‘He sings these gloomy songs 
that we may give him presents/ 
protested our medicine singers. ‘No 
disaster can befall our great chief.’ 

“Homeward bound we put into 
a bay for protection from a threat¬ 
ening storm. There we watched 
for the angry ocean to calm, yet 
fury worse than the angry ocean 
was near by, and we saw it not. 
In a cove forming a part of the 
bay in which we had found shelter, 
there lay concealed more than a 
hundred war canoes of the hated 
Clallam. 1 They had seen us enter, 
and their spies came close upon 
our camp. 

“ ‘At tomorrow’s dawn we will renew our 
homeward journey,’ said my father. 

“In the darkness our old men fancied they 
heard strange sounds. And well they might have, 
for when the darkness lifted, there upon the 
water, completely blocking the mouth of the bay, 
were the countless canoes of the enemy. Flight 
to the forest was suggested, but no words were 
needed to tell us that the enemy was as thick in 
the woods as on the water. 

1 The Clallam were a warlike people living in a dozen stockaded 
villages on the south side of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, in 
what is now the State of Washington. 














71 


Ways of the Clayoquot 

“Then my father 
sang his war song 
and shouted; ‘No 
more shall we see 
our home! Let our 
fighting be worthy 
our name!’ 

“Spears and clubs 
were made ready as 
the medicine - men 
sang their songs, 
and then our hand¬ 
ful of canoes, close 
grouped, rushed in 
attack upon the 
enemy. 

“Salish, never 
again in my life 
shall I see such fighting. It was ten canoes of 
the enemy to one of our own. This was no 
fighting with bows and arrows, but with spears 
and clubs and knives. Canoes were capsized, 
and the fight continued in the water. The way 
of that land is to take the head of the slain 
enemy. A score of canoes circled about my 
father, and furious was the fighting as he beat 
the enemy back. And then the blow of a heavy 
club threw him into the water. 

“Many of our women were taken for slaves, 
and some of our young men. I was made as if 
dead with the stroke of a club, and when I came 





72 


Indian Days of the Dong Ago 



to life I found myself 
tightly bound in the 
bottom of a canoe, 
along with other cap¬ 
tives and a pile of gory 
heads. Angry war¬ 
riors who had lost 
friends would have 
killed us, but our mas¬ 
ters would not give 
up their slaves. 

“Half a day we 
traveled south to the 
home of the Clallam. 
Their village, like 
ours, was close to the 
water, but their houses 
were smaller, and they 
had no carved posts 
or dance masks. 
Their village was on 
small, quiet waters far 
from the open ocean. 
You have seen noth¬ 
ing like that land or its ways. All the 
heads of our people taken by the Clallam were 
stuck on the tops of poles in front of their 
houses. 

“My heart was always heavy, and I waited for 
a time when I could steal a canoe and return to 
my home-land. My owner saw the thoughts in 


The snow mountains 


Ways of the Clayoquot 


73 



A dancing scene 


my heart, and took me to Nisqualli 1 and there 
traded me to people who lived far from the water, 
eastward across the snow mountains. 

“My heart was sick in this strange land. The 
air was dry and hot. The great treeless plains 
burned under the scorching sun. I constantly 
longed for my father’s home-land by the Great 
Water, and the cool shadows of its forests. The 
food of a slave was bitter in the mouth of one 
who was the son of a great chief. 

“Salish, I have told you the story of my youth. 
Now I would see your young men and women 
dance. I will rest.” 

Lone Pine rose to his feet. 

1 Nisqualli is an extensive prairie at the head of Puget Sound, 
through which flows Nisqualli River. This region, the home of 
the Nisqualli tribe, was visited every autumn by Indians from 
near and far, to gather acorns and to trade. 


74 Indian Days of the Long Ago 



Young men dancing 


“Salish, the words of He Who Was Dead 
And Lives Again are wonderful. We cannot 
understand the fish as big as a hundred buffalo. 
We thought the man-size fish, the sturgeon, 
taken from the great river, was the largest of fish. 
And when he tells us of men eating the bodies of 
other men, our hearts are sick and we are glad 
we do not have such evil ways. Great was the 
story of our friend. 

“Now, young men, you will dance. Let us 
see how strong are your legs. The old men and 
women will feel young again. When it is your 
time to dance, be happy, and show our visitors 
that the eyes of the Salish are as bright as any 
in the land.” 

Far into the night lasted the dancing. At 
times the young men performed alone, at times 
in company with the maids. Furious was the 
dancing of the old chiefs and warriors, as they 
acted in pantomime the story of their battles. 


75 


Ways of the Clayoquot 

Kukusim danced alone, with every eye upon his 
supple movements, and no one shouted louder 
approval than his new grandfather. His happy 
smile told Kukusim that he had a real place in 
the heart of the old man. 







HE WHO MADE ALL THINGS FIRST 


On the day after the dance a big thought came 
to Kukusim. 

“Grandfather,” he said, “will you go with 
Scarf ace and me to our traps, and in the forest 
perhaps tell us a story?” 

“My son, you should not have so bold a heart,” 
said his mother, reprovingly. 

“Scold not!” said the old man. “My heart 
was empty, and I have taken him for my grand¬ 
son. Not wishing to be selfish in his pleasures, 
Kukusim has asked to have Scarface with him. 
That is good. I shall have two grandsons.” 

Soon they were away to the forest, the broad- 
shouldered man and the two boys. As the trail 
approached a deep, quiet pool in the river, Ku¬ 
kusim whispered, “Here lives the Father Fish 
of the river.” 

They stood quietly and looked into the clear 
water, and far below lay the 
monster. His body was 
nearly as long as that of 
Kukusim. 

“Some day I will show my 
grandson how to catch that 
fish,” promised the Clayoquot. 

A blue jay perched on a 
high limb shook his head 
and scolded, and a kingfisher 
dived into the water and came up with a small 
fish. 



76 


He Who Made All Things First 77 

“I will tell sometime 
the story of how the blue 
jay got his topknot,” 
went on the old man. 

“That topknot was once 
his war-club.” 

“Listen, Grandfather. 

Hear the drumming of 
the partridge! Do you 
know a story of that?” 

“Come close, my 
Grandsons, that I may 
tell you a great secret.” 

They nestled close to 
him, and he put his 
arms about them. 

“Yes, Grandsons, the 
partridge has a story. 

The squirrel which sits 
on yonder limb and scolds our presence has a 
story. Do you see that tiny insect crawling on 
the ground? It too has a story. See that great 
pine with its roots drawing life from the earth, 
our Mother, and its branches reaching out to the 
sky, our Father, and that slender blade of grass 
growing at its roots. Each, my Grandsons, has 
its own story. Look! Do you see that tiny 
speck against the clouds? That is a pelican. 
See that tiny bird flashing from flower to flower. 
And there is a monster bird which men see 
only in visions. All have their stories.” 



78 


Indian Days of the Long Ago 

In wide-eyed wonder Kukusim asked, “Grand¬ 
father, can you tell all those stories ?” 

“The sun is looking at us through the trees. 
Each day it comes out of the east and travels to 
the west, and never grows tired. Some of the 
people say the sun is the Great Father, and sees 
all the animals, birds, insects, trees, fish, and 
plants, and knows their stories. Others say the 
sun is only the scout of the One Who Knows 
All, and is sent out each day to do his work, to 
give light, to give warmth, to make happy the 
people. The Apsaroke call this powerful per¬ 
son I-tsfk-ba-dish, which means He Who Made 
All Things First. They say that he made all 
things, does all things, hears all things, sees all 
things.” 

“I-tsik-ba-dish,” repeated the two boys, “He 
Who Made All Things First.” Wider grew 
their eyes with wonder. 

“Does he hear that squirrel talking to us? 
Does he see that little flower? Does he know 
the little stone which I took from the water’s 
edge?” 

“Yes, my Grandsons, the Apsaroke think so.” 

“Then, Grandfather, he sees us sitting here, 
and hears our words. If we walk and talk in the 
dark, does he see us and know our thoughts?” 

“Yes, my Grandsons.” 

So big was the idea, that long were the boys 
speechless. Many thoughts came to Kukusim, 
and his mind was full of questions. 


He Who Made All Things First 79 



Each day the sun starts upon its journey 


“Grandfather, last night you told of the great 
fish killed by your father. A fish so large must 
have a great story. Could you tell us that?” 

“Yes, the whale has a story, and soon you 
shall hear it. But, my Grandson, sometimes the 
smaller animal has a bigger story than the large 
one. Perhaps the reason of that is that the 
smaller animal thinks more. In my father’s land 
the little mink has a story bigger than the whale’s 
story.” 

“We know the mink. We often see him play¬ 
ing by the river, and once I caught one in a trap. 
Grandfather, let us go and look at the rabbit 
snares.” 

They found the first one just as they had left 
it. No rabbit had been that way. Then came a 
thought to Kukusim. 

“Perhaps I-tsik-ba-dish told the rabbit about 
that trap, and he kept away.” 




80 


Indian Days of the Long Ago 

“My Grandsons, I do not think it was I-tsik- 
ba-dish; but the rabbit which was caught before 
and made his escape told his brothers, and they 
all kept away from this trail.” 

Soon they reached the swamp where the bear 
had been seen, and the boys told their new 
grandfather of the mother and the baby bear; 
but they did not tell him how frightened they 
had been. However, he had been a boy once, 
and knew. 

“When the bear snorted and ran, my boys felt 
weak in the knees, I think.” 

“How did you know that, Grandfather?” 

“Old men know a great deal, my Grandsons.” 

“Then I-tsik-ba-dish, who knows all things, 
must be very old, Grandfather.” 

“Yes, Grandsons, he is old. The Piegan call 
this person Napiw, which means Old Man.” 

“Grandfather,” laughed Scarface, “you know 
so many things that we should call you Napiw.” 

At the second snare they found a rabbit held 
high by the noose. The boys shouted with glee 
and thought of what a fine supper it would 
make. 



Lonely travelers 


He Who Made All Things First 81 



The men wore skins of strange animals 


The third snare was sprung, and empty. 

“Perhaps that was a mother rabbit,” sug¬ 
gested Kukusim, “and her baby needed her. I 
am not sorry that the snare did not hold her. 

“Grandfather, you have not told us a real story 
yet. Let us sit here under the pine, while you 
tell about some of the animals.” 

The old man did not speak for a long time. 
He closed his eyes and leaned back against the 
tree trunk, and the boys knew he was seeing many 
things. 

“My Grandsons, as your fathers have told you, 
there was a time when all the animals and men 
were alike, and the old men say they all talked 
together. The animals could lay off their skins 
and feathers like shirts, and go about like human 
beings. Then came a time when men spoke dif¬ 
ferent words, and did not wear skins like the 
bear, the wolf, and the cougar, or feathers like 
the eagle and the goose. I will tell of the time 





82 


Indian Days of the Long Ago 



when men and animals were one, the long ago 
stories. The first will be a tale related by the 
people living at the mouth of the Big River in 
the west [Columbia], and is of the time when 
an evil creature was destroying the people.” 





tr in 




ADVENTURES OF COYOTE 


“At the mouth of the Great River lived an 
ogress. She would tie a captive upon a cradle- 
board and send it adrift into the fog with the 
command, ‘Go forever!’ After a while the board 
would come floating back to her out of the fog, 
with nothing but bones on it. For it had been to 
a place of such great heat that the flesh had been 
melted from the bones. 

“On the sandy beach sat many people await¬ 
ing their turn. The magic of the ogress made 
them unable to run away. 

“Then came Coyote, who in those days looked 
like a man. 

“He said, T will try that, and soon I shall 
return.’ 

“So he was tied to the board, and as he floated 
away the ugly old woman cried, ‘Go forever!’ 
But the people shouted, ‘Come back again!’ 

“The board disappeared, but after a long time 
it was seen again coming ashore with Coyote still 
tied fast, unhurt. He was too strong for the 
magic of the ogress. 

“Wishing to show that she was just as strong, 
the old woman now allowed Coyote to bind her 
to the cradle-board, and as she went drifting out 
into the fog, all the captive people joined Coyote 
in the shout, ‘Go forever!’ In time the board 
came back with nothing but her white bones on 
it. And so the people were saved from this evil 
being. 


83 


84 


Indian Days of the Ijong Ago 

“Coyote then went up the river bank to a place 
where two women had all the salmon penned in 


a pond. He saw 
the women in a 
canoe gathering 
driftwood for 
fuel, and he 
changed him¬ 
self into a piece 
of wood and 
floated down the 
stream. He 
wished them to 
take him, so that 
he might free 
the salmon; but 
they let him 
drift by. Then 



he went back 
above the place 


Coyote went up the river 


and changed himself into a baby on a cradle- 
board. When the crying baby floated near the 
canoe, one of the women drew it out of the water 
and took it home to care for it. They gave the 
child a piece of dried eel to suck, and it fell 
asleep. 

“In the morning they gave him another piece 
of eel and went out to gather more wood. As 
soon as they were gone, Coyote untied the cords 
that fastened him to the cradle-board and turned 
himself back into a man. He took five sharp 



Adventures of Coyote 


85 



Letting- out the salmon 


oak sticks which the women used for digging 
roots, and ran to the pond where the salmon 
were. Only a narrow piece of land was between 
the pond and the great river. Coyote began to 
dig away the earth as fast as he could. When 
one stick was broken he took another and dug 
away. He was using his fifth digger when the 
women saw what he was doing. 

“ ‘Oh/ cried the elder sister, ‘we shall lose all 
our fine fish, and then we shall have nothing to 
eat but roots!’ 

“They paddled swiftly toward Coyote, but 
just as the canoe reached the shore, he pried 
off the last mass of earth. Water began to pour 
out of the pond into the river, and the salmon 
were carried with it. 

“Coyote picked up a lump of white clay and 
ran toward the two sisters. 

“ Tt is not right for you to have all these 
fish penned up!’ he cried. 









86 


Indian Hays of the Long Ago 

“He threw the piece of clay and it struck the 
younger sister on the forehead, leaving a white 
mark. He did the same to the other, and then 
said: 

“ ‘You two shall be swallows, and shall be seen 
at salmon time.’ 

“And the two women were turned into birds, 
and flew away. And now, each year when the 
salmon come, many swallows are seen building 
their nests in the rocks. The salmon swam up 
the Great River, and since then all the people 
on its banks and on the streams that flow into 
it have had salmon for food. 

“Farther up the river Coyote saw a canoe in 
midstream. Soon the head of a man came up 
near the canoe, and the man had a large fish 
under each arm. He threw them into the boat, 
and dived for more. 

“This was very strange. A man catching fish 
by diving! While the man was under the wa¬ 
ter, Coyote swam out and took one of the fish. 
Then he hid behind a large oak and watched. 
The diver came up again and counted his fish. 
He climbed into his canoe and sat there looking 
at them. Soon he pointed his finger straight up 
at the sky and moved it in a circle. At last, 
when the finger pointed directly at the oak, it 
stopped. 

“In great fear Coyote dodged, but the finger 
kept following him. Then the fisherman paddled 
ashore, and Coyote saw that he had no mouth. 


Adventures of Coyote 


87 



The strange man 
walked toward Coyote, 
all the time pointing 
his finger. He could 
not speak, and Coyote 
thought that this was 
his way of blaming 
him for stealing the 
fish. 

“Then Coyote gath¬ 
ered some stones, built 
a fire, and cooked the 
fish on the hot stones. 
He gave a piece to the 
stranger, who smelled 
it and threw it away. 
Coyote thought for a 
moment, then took a 
sharp piece of stone, 
felt the fisherman’s 
face, and suddenly cut 
a straight slit where 
the mouth should be. 

“ 'Be quick and 
wash your face!’ he 
cried. 

“When the man had 
washed off the blood, 
he ate the fish and said, 
'My friend, you should 
fish.’ 


A girl of the Columbia River 

have cooked a larger 









88 


Indian Days of the Long Ago 

“ ‘Why,’ said Coyote, ‘you nearly poked out 
my eye for taking this small one!’ 

“The man now led Coyote to his village, where 
all the people were without mouths. Coyote 
made mouths for all of them, but he cut them 
a little too large. That is why the people of 
that village to this day have larger mouths than 
others, and talk more loudly. 

“At another place Coyote saw a man turning 
somersaults, landing on his head and yelling 
loudly as if it hurt him. Wondering what this 
meant, Coyote went closer and found that the 
man had his ankles tied and between his legs a 
bundle of firewood. 

“ ‘What is the matter, my friend?’ asked 
Coyote. 

“ ‘ There is nothing the matter,’ answered 
the man. ‘I am carrying this firewood to my 
house.’ 

“ ‘But that is no way to carry wood,’ said 
Coyote. 

“He untied the man’s legs, cut some withes, 
twisted them into a rope, and attached it to the 
bundle of wood. Then he swung the fagot to his 
back, passing the loop of the rope across his fore¬ 
head, and so he carried it for the man. Thus 
the people of that village first learned the use 
of the pack-strap. 

“After a while Coyote in his travels came to a 
stream [White Salmon River] flowing into the 
Great River. Here was a very large village. 


Adventures 

As he sat on the bank 
he said, ‘I wish some 
young person would 
get me a drink of 
water.’ 

“A woman an¬ 
swered: ‘Nobody here 
drinks water. We 
have a hard time to get 
it.’ 

“He asked what was 
the trouble, and in 
order to show him a 
young girl was sent 
with a pail. Coyote 
carefully watched her. 
She waded into the 
stream and began to 
dip up water. Sud¬ 
denly she dropped the 
vessel, screamed, and 
ran away. Another 
girl was sent for water, 
and she behaved in the 
same way. Then Co¬ 
yote himself waded into 
the stream at the same 
spot and dipped a pail 
full of water. He saw 
two white salmon chas¬ 
ing each other in fun 


of Coyote 89 





90 Indian Days of the Long Ago 

with mouths wide open. ‘This is what these 
foolish people fear,’ he said to himself. 

“When he brought the water, a great crowd 

of thirsty people ran to 
him. He carried water 
until all were satisfied. 
Then Coyote went into 
the woods and cut some 
long poles and gath¬ 
ered some long strings 
of bark. With these he 
made spears, and then 
taught the people of 
this village how to 
spear salmon and cook 
them on hot stones. 

“Coyote’s next ad¬ 
venture was with an 
ogress and Owl, her 
husband. These two evil 
creatures would catch 
people, roast them in a pit, and eat them. Co¬ 
yote thought for a long time how he might over¬ 
come them. Then he cut some green fir cones 
into bits and dried them. He placed them on 
strings like beads, and tied the strings around 
his legs, arms, and neck, in many close rows. 
Then he covered himself with a robe and went 
to the home of the ogress. 

“She came out to meet him and asked, ‘Where 
are you going?’ 



Carrying with pack-strap 


91 


Adventures of Coyote 


“He answered: 

‘You see where 
the sun comes out 
in the morning ? 

That is where I 
am going. My 
wife died a few 
days ago and I 
feel sad and do 
not wish to re¬ 
main at home. 

She was a good 
wife. So I do 
not like to talk to 
women yet.’ 

“He began to 
dance, and the 
dry cones under 
his robe rattled. 

The ogress ran 
up to take him 
by the arm, but 
he dodged. 

“She asked, 

‘How did you be¬ 
come so that you 
could make that 
sound when you 
dance V 

“ ‘You need not ask that,’ he replied, ‘because 
I would not tell you, no matter how much you 



92 


Indian Days of the Dong Ago 

might pay me. If I told you that, you would 
never have to hunt for food, but only dance thus 


and the people 
would come to you. 
Then you would 
have only the work 
of cooking them.’ 



“He started as if 
to leave her, but she 
came up with him 
again and begged 
to know how he 
made that sound. 
He pretended that 
he did not wish to 
tell, but at last he 
agreed to give her 
the secret. 


The Ogress 


“Said he: Tt is 


my bones that rattle when I dance. I had my 
body covered with pitch, eyes and all. Then I 
was put on the fire. The pitch burned over my 
skin, and my bones were roasted dry. That is 
why they rattle, because they are dry and 
charred. Hear my head!’ and he shook it. 
‘Hear my legs F and he shook them. 

“ ‘Good!’ said the ogress. T am glad to know 
this, and I shall do it. Let us go up and you can 
work on me.’ 

“She led him up to the pit where she cooked 
the captured people. All around the edge of this 



Adventures of Coyote 


93 



The Witch’s cooking pit 


great hole sat her captives, old and young, wait¬ 
ing for their turn to be roasted. All were weep¬ 
ing, and around the pit were piles of bones. 

“Coyote sent some of the prisoners into the 
woods for pitch, and soon they brought what was 
needed. A great fire was built, and Coyote cov¬ 
ered the body of the ogress thickly with pitch. 
Then he pushed her into the fire, and at once she 
began to blaze. Coyote quickly gave each of five 
men a forked pole, one to hold her down by the 
neck, the others by the legs and arms. When¬ 
ever Coyote ordered her to be turned, they rolled 
her over. In a short time the creature was dead, 
and Coyote sent the people to their homes. 

“Soon Coyote saw Owl, the husband, coming 
home with a great number of prisoners. He 
threw a handful of ashes at Owl, and said: ‘This 
is not the way to do. It is wrong to roast these 
people. There is going to be another kind of 
people here, and this must stop. I have killed 








94 


Indian Days of the Long Ago 



On the banks of the Columbia 


your wife because she did this. From now on 
you shall be nothing but a bird, and your name 
shall be Owl, and you shall live among these 
rocks. Once in a great while your voice shall be 
heard, and then some one will die.’ 

“As Coyote finished speaking, Owl was 
changed into a bird, and his feathers were gray 
because of the ashes. 

“So Coyote traveled far and wide, changing 
evil beings into harmless things. Sometimes he 
made mistakes; but all things as they are now, 
good or bad, were made so by Coyote.” 

A satisfied sigh came from the two boys. 
“Truly, a wonderful person was Coyote!” ex¬ 
claimed Kukusim. 

“And truly, foolish were the people in those 
days,” said Scarface. “Did they know nothing 
of the ways we have?” 

“That was long, long ago,” explained the old 
man, “and they had not yet learned. Knowl- 


Adventures of Coyote 


95 



edge comes slowly. Men with great hearts find 
new and better ways, and Coyote, I suppose, 
was one of those great ones.’ , 





FOUR MOONS TELLS ABOUT THE MANDAN 

The sun was low when the old man and his boy 
companions reached the camp. The herald was 
going about the encampment announcing the 
council of the evening, and they stopped to 
listen. 

“Salish, tonight we are to gather again in 
the council lodge. This night Four Moons 
will tell us of things he has seen on his long 
travels. Young men and women, dress for the 
dance! Let us dance that our hearts may be 
glad!” 

As they came to the chief’s lodge, Kukusim’s 
mother gently chided the boys: “You were gone 
so long that I thought perhaps the Thunder 
Birds 1 had stolen you.” 

“No, Mother, we did not see the Thunder 

1 Many Indian tribes believe that in the sky live huge birds, 
the flash of whose eyes causes the lightning and the flapping of 
whose wings, the thunder. 


96 


Four Moons Tells About the Mandan 97 

Birds, but I learned many strange things, and 
when I am a man I am going to travel far to see 
them for myself. I 
shall take Scarf ace with 
me. 

“When you have 
grown to be a man you 
will have a wife, and she 
will see that you go each 
day to hunt and fish, 
that there may be food 
in the lodge. Little 
time will you have to 
wander in strange lands 
when you have a wife to 
feed.” 

“No, Mother, I shall 
take no wife until I am 
an old man. Meanwhile 
I shall be a warrior, a singer, and a wanderer.” 

“Eat your food, and prattle not of wandering. 
It was but yesterday you were a babe at my 
breast. You are not yet a man.” 

Soon the people were again in the long lodge 
for an evening of stories and merry-making. 
After the smoke Lone Pine rose to his feet and 
said: 

“Last night we were told of the land where the 
sun goes to sleep. Tonight the one who came 
from the land of the new day will talk to us. Our 
friend Four Moons will speak. I have said it.” 






98 


Indian Days of the Long Ago 



The earth lodge 


Four Moons slowly rose, looked about over his 
audience, and in the sign language began his 
speech. 

“Salish, I am more a stranger to you than He 
Who Was Dead And Lives Again, as I speak 
no word of your tongue. So with my hands alone 
I must tell my story. 

“Last night our friend from the western water 
spoke of the home of his father. The trail to 
my father’s home is so long that tonight I see it 
only as through a heavy fog. I will think much, 
and another night the trail will be clearer. To¬ 
night I will tell you of a people closer to you. 

“They live in the center of the country where 
feed so many of the buffalo, and they are called 
the People of the Earth-covered Houses. 1 Their 
villages are beside a big river. Its waters are 

1 Many tribes applied this name to the Mandan, who lived in 
several fortified villages of hemispherical houses on the Missouri 
River, in what is now North Dakota. The Mandan, who are now 
nearly extinct, are related to the Sioux, although they never were 
friendly with them. The traditions of the Mandan indicate that 
they once lived on the Gulf of Mexico near the mouth of the 
Mississippi. 


Four Moons Tells About the Mandan 99 



not clear like the stream we now hear flowing 
swiftly through the forest, but thick with mud, 
and of the color of the ripened prairie grass. 
They live not in houses of skins, blankets, or 
rushes, but in structures built of logs covered 
with earth—cool in summer, warm in winter. 
They kill many buffalo, yet do not have only that 
food. They have fields where they raise corn and 
squashes, as did my father’s people. 

“They sing songs and make prayers, the words 
of which, they say, cause the game to be plentiful; 
and they sing and pray to the spirits who care for 
the crops, for it is most important that the corn 
grow and ripen well. 

“The stories of long ago say that these people 
traveled far to reach this home-land. In the be¬ 
ginning they lived far away in the south, where 
the sun ever shines and the birds always sing. 
For the period of many lives they traveled, al¬ 
ways up the great river. When they find it nec¬ 
essary to cross this stream they use a boat which 


100 Indian Days of the Dong Ago 

would bring a laugh to the face of our friend 
from the western water. It is small and round, 
like one of your horn dishes, 
and will carry but two people. 
It is made by stretching fresh 
buffalo skins over a framework 
of willows. They told me of a 
war party that used more than 
a hundred of these. 

“The strangest thing about 
the People of the Earth-cov¬ 
ered Lodges is their great 
dance. 

“In the beginning of the 
world, they say, there was but 
one man on the earth, and the 
name by which they call him 
is One Man. The ground was not yet hardened, 
and in order not to break through the crust he 
had to run quickly. He it was who created 
rivers, lakes, springs, hills, and trees, making 
the earth ready for the people who were to come. 

“As he ran about the land, One Man was al¬ 
ways looking for other beings like himself. At 
last he decided to make some. 

“At the place where the river flows into the 
Great Water far away in the south, he took the 
lower rib from each side of his body. Of the 
right he formed a man, and of the left a woman. 
He left them together, and when he returned he 
found they had two children, a boy and a girl. 



Four Moons Tells About the Mandan 101 



Turtles that look like islands 


He lifted the children up into the air and sang, 
and thus caused them to become at once man 
and woman. In the same way three more men 
and women were created. 

“There were now five pairs of human beings, 
and these were the beginning of the five villages 
of the People of the Earth-covered Lodges. So 
say the old men. 

“After many years One Man again came back 
from his wanderings over the earth, and lived 
among them. He began to wonder what he could 
do to help the people become strong. He de¬ 
cided, with the aid of Black Eagle, a magician, 
to teach them a new dance, which would cause the 
spirits to favor them. 

“Eight buffalo masks were made, and for the 
drum they tried Badger. But one blow of the 
drumstick drove his legs into the ground, strong 
as he was. 

“Then they asked Beaver to be the drum, but 









102 Indian Days of the Long Ago 

he said: ‘I am soft, for I live in the mud. If 
Badger was not good, I surely would not do.’ 

“In his search for some animal to be the drum, 
One Man came to the Great Water. Having 
magic power, he walked far out on the water. In 
the distance he saw what seemed to be a clump of 
weeds; but going closer he found it to be large 
oaks growing from the cracks in the shells of 
four huge Turtles. The Turtles were like 
islands; their shells were like rough rocks of many 
colors. 

“ ‘My friends,’ said One Man, T am looking 
for a drum. My people have fine corn and good 
food, and I beg you to go with me.’ 

“Said they: ‘We are just like land in this place. 
We are very heavy. But if you can take us we 
will go.’ 

“One Man stretched out his magic staff and 
made the water walk back. He stooped to lift 


the Turtles, 
but they were 
much too 
heavy. 



“ ‘Look well 
at our bodies,’ 
they said to 


Turtle-Drums 


him; ‘then go home and make buffalo-skin shells 
just like ours, and we will go into them.’ 

“So One Man went home, and with thick buf¬ 
falo-skin he made four drums, which looked just 
like the great Turtles. And the spirits of the 


Four Moons Tells About the Mandan 103 



The Mandan dance 


Turtles entered them, and have been there ever 
since. Then One Man called the people together, 
and taught them the new dance. 

“My friends, I have seen that dance. Truly, 
it is a dance for strong men. It takes place in a 
big, dirt-covered lodge, and it lasts four days. 
In the evening of the first day all the young men 
who wish to have visions and thus obtain the aid 
of the spirits come slowly into the lodge. For 
three days and three nights they stay in the dance 
lodge without food or water. Only a strong heart 
can do that. But that is not all. 

“The days and nights are spent in singing and 
dancing. The singers squat on the ground be¬ 
side the buffalo-skin drums and beat on them, and 
while they sing the others dance. Some are 
dressed like buffalo, some like bears, some like 
eagles, and many like other beasts and birds. 

“At the close of the third day comes the great 
thing. To each one of the young men who have 


















104 Indian Days of the Long Ago 

been fasting comes a man with a knife. He raises 
the flesh on the young man’s breast and pushes 
the point of the knife through it, making a slit 
in the flesh. Then he does the same thing on the 
other breast. 

“Next he pushes a round stick through each 
slit, and over each stick he fastens a loop in the 
end of a long rope. The rope is then thrown up 
over a beam high above the ground, and the 
dancers pull on it until the young man is jerked 
off his feet. There he hangs, swinging in the air, 
and the blood drips from his wounds. 

“Think not, Salish, that this is cruelty. It is 
the religion of these people. When from hunger 


CHEYENNE SUN-DANCE SONG 


crfriu^L_ [ 


nz 5 r r r r r r n zn 

f-> tt a 000 r r. r , 

ij r * ^ 

US 2 

m 

-3 1-C L ' . 

¥ ^ : 


i 

T 

1 

T 

1 

T 

1 

l 

-9 - 0 --'-1-1- 

—1——1-1-—— 

m^=i -A -A -i 

V i^-^3 T 

—i-1-1-- 

- 



and suffering the young man faints, he is low¬ 
ered to the ground. As he lies there, he has a 














































Four Moons Tells About the Mandan 105 


vision. The spirits come and speak to him, and 
teach him songs which will give him strength 
throughout his life. This is their way, and they 
believe that so long as it is followed they will be 
a powerful nation. 


“That is the end.” 






HUNTING THE SEALS 


At the morning meal Kukusim was thinking of 
the big fish in the pool, which his new grandfather 
had promised to catch for them. The Clayoquot 
saw his thoughtful eyes, and asked, “What is it, 
my Grandson?” 

“You promised to help me catch the big fish. 
Let us do it today.” 

“So be it, Grandson. Get Scarf ace, and we 
will go after him.” 

Leaning against the back of the lodge was a 
long pole with a wide prong at one end. Over 
the two forks was stretched the mouth of a mesh 
b^g. This was Lone Pine’s dip-net. 

As a rule the dip-net was used only in taking 
salmon from the eddies of large streams, but the 
great char in the deep pool was worthy of the 
net. 

There was no need to caution Kukusim and 
Scarface not to show themselves to the fish. Al¬ 
most on their stomachs they crept to the edge 
of the overhanging bank, and not a blade of 
grass was shaken as their black eyes peered over. 
Far below like a dim shadow they saw the mon¬ 
ster’s form. 

“Slowly, very slowly,” murmured the old man, 
as he pushed the net into the water some distance 
behind the char. When it was at the right depth 
he carefully pushed it forward, inch by inch, un¬ 
til the great body was almost enclosed by the net. 
Then at the instant of releasing the string which 

106 


Hunting the Seals 


107 


held its mouth 
spread open, he 
gave a powerful 
forward sweep 
with the pole. The 
mouth of the net 
closed the moment 
the string was let go, 
and the fish was 
safely caught. 

When the glisten¬ 
ing creature lay on the 
grass, the boys fell upon 
the leaping, threshing 
body, and with arms and 
knees held it fast while 
the old man killed it by 
striking its head with a 
stick. 

“Now that we have the 
big fish,” begged Kuku- 
sim, when their prize lay 

lifeless, “tell us a story of your father’s home, 
where the monster fish is.” 

As they sat under the pines beside the rushing 
stream, the Clayoquot said: 

“When I talked in council, I spoke of the big 
house of my father’s people. Now I will tell you 
how they make these homes. 

“With tools of stone and hard wood men go 
into the forest and cut down many large trees. 

























108 Indian Days of the Long Ago 

The first ones are for the 
four great posts. In cut¬ 
ting down the trees they 
use a stone maul to drive 
the stone-pointed chisel into 
the wood, and thus pry off 
great chips. When the tree 
is down, they cut off a piece 
long enough for a post. 
Then with the same tools 
they make it into the shape 
wanted. 

“Now a man begins with 
small chisels to carve all 
sorts of figures on these 
posts, — whales, wolves, 
bears, eagles. These images tell the story of 
the origin of the names of those who are to live 
in that house. 

“On one of my father’s house posts was carved 
a great bear, because, so they say, in the time 
when animals could throw off their skins and be 
men, his first ancestor was a bear. In the bear’s 
mouth was a human body which the bear seemed 
to be devouring. This was to record the fact that 
my father once killed a slave in order to show 
the people that his wealth was so great he could 
afford to kill a valuable slave. 

“From other logs the workmen now split wide 
planks to cover the house. When a plank is first 
split it is too rough to use, and with small tools 




Hunting the Seals 


109 



they smooth it. All this is hard work and re¬ 
quires much time. It takes a number of men all 
of one summer to make planks enough for a sin¬ 
gle house. 

“When the posts and planks are put in place 
to form the house, there is a great feast, and 
many presents are given away and great speeches 
made.” 

“In our camp,” said the boys, “our mothers 
prepare all the skins and make the lodges. Do 
not the mothers in your village help to make the 
houses?” 

“No, that is not their part of the work. The 
men build the houses, the women only take care 
of them and the things in them.” 

“Do the men make the canoes, too?” 

“Yes. No woman would know how to make a 
canoe. Men fell one of the forest’s largest trees, 
and with stone mauls and chisels slowly hollow it 
out. Sometimes they use fire to help in this. 
Then, when it is roughly shaped, they put away 





110 Indian Days of the Long Ago 

their mauls and chisels, 
and take small hand chis¬ 
els, and with these chip, 
chip, chip away for day 
after day until at last the 
canoe is almost ready for 
the water. 

“To give it a final 
smoothing they use fire¬ 
brands of long cedar 
splints. These they hold 
close to the surface of the 
wood until it is slightly 
charred, and keep mov¬ 
ing them along. The 
charred surface is then rubbed off with a rough 
stone, and finally smoothed with a bunch of ce¬ 
dar bark worked into soft fiber.” 

“What do your people eat besides the flesh of 
the whale?” 

“We have many kinds of fish which are 
caught in different ways, and plenty of clams, 
large and small. And there are the sea-lion and 
the seal.” 

Instantly the boys wanted to know how these 
animals were caught and killed. 

“The hair-seal,” their teacher explained, “lives 
in the Great Water, and his food is fish. When 
the sun shines he lies sleeping on the rocks, bask¬ 
ing in its warmth. The people of the land where 
I was born are very fond of the flesh of the hair- 



Shooting salmon 


Ill 


Hunting the Seals 



Harpooning seal 


seal, and this is one of their ways of killing him. 
Many times have I watched my father. 

“He used a spear more than three times the 
height of a man, and to its point was fastened a 
strong line thirty times as long as the reach of a 
man’s two arms. The other end of this line was 
tied about his waist. 

“After removing his fur robe, my father 
would slip into the water. He would float 
under the surface with nothing but his face 
and the top of his head showing, and his long 
hair made him look very much like a swimming 
seal. Thus he would swim toward the basking 
hair-seals. 

“When he was close to them and in shallow 
water, he would suddenly rush forward and 
throw the long spear into one of them. Then he 
would quickly run back to the shore and brace 
his heels in the sand to hold the seal from es¬ 
caping into the water. If the animal was a small 






112 Indian Days of the Long Ago 

one he had no trouble, but sometimes a very 
large male would break the line and dive into the 
water, carrying the spear with him. 

“When the seal was tired out with fighting and 
bleeding, my father would run down and club 
him on the head. Then he would take out the 
spear point and stop up the wound with a plug 
of grass or a piece of wood. This was to keep 
the blood from running out, for they are very 
fond of the blood. 

“We cooked the seal in this way. Two small 
logs are laid close beside each other, and a fire is 
built between them. The seal is placed on the 
logs over the flames and is rolled over and over 
until all the hair is burned off. Then the crisp 
skin is scraped clean with a shell. 

“The thick fat which covers the body of a seal 
is cut off in strips, which are boiled in water. As 
the oil rises to the surface of the water, it is 
skimmed off with large shells and poured into the 
clean, dry stomach of another seal. This oil my 
people eat with dried berries and with cooked 
meat. 

“The flesh of the seal is boiled with the blood. 
My people boil meat as do yours, by heating 
water with red-hot stones. Only, instead of the 
water-tight baskets which you have, the vessel 
used is made with wide strips of wood. 

“Ha ho! This talk of the land and the food of 
my youth makes me long for a feast on the fat 
flesh of the hair-seal. But perhaps it would not 


118 


Hunting the Seats 

taste so good to me now that I have become 
used to the juicy meat of the buffalo and the 
antelope. 

“Let us now go home, that your mother may 
have the fish for our evening meal.” 




THE SNAKE DANCE 


Glad was Kukusim’s mother to have so fine a 
fish. Some of it she broiled by slicing off large 
steaks, holding them flat with skewers, and 
placing each piece in the cleft end of a stick thrust 
into the ground beside the fire. The remainder 
she boiled in water which she had heated in a 
skin vessel by dropping red-hot stones into it 
until it bubbled. 

As they ate their evening meal, Kukusim’s 
mother asked: “What new and wonderful things 
did you learn today? If you spend many days 
with our guest you will know more than Seven 
Stars, the story teller. I know he is already 
jealous of you.” 

“Soon my grandfather is to teach me songs.” 

“Soon you are to go to the mountains and 
look for songs for yourself. Your father and 
Seven Stars have already talked of your going.” 

Such warning words he had often heard, and 
knew that before many moons had passed he, 
like other boys, must go into the lonely places, 
looking for spiritual power. Even now he could 
hear his father and the Clayoquot talking of 
many good things which had come to them 
through their fasting. 

While they were still eating, the herald was 
riding about the camp, calling out: “Tonight He 
Who Was Dead And Lives Again will tell us 
more about his travels, and again we shall dance. 
Let us dance well tonight, for our chief, Lone 

114 


The Snake Dance 


115 



Pine, and his counsel¬ 
ors have talked long 
today, and soon we 
shall cross the moun¬ 
tains to the buffalo 
country.” 

At the word “buf- 
falo’ ’ Kukusim grew 
excited. 

“Father, am I not 
biff enough for the 
hunt?” 

“Winters must pass 
yet before you will be 
strong enough to draw 
the buffalo bow, which 
buries the arrow’s point 
in the heart.” 

Then a thought that 
hurt him came to Ku¬ 
kusim, and at the first 
opportunity he slipped seven stars 

close to the Clayoquot 

and in a low voice asked, “Do you go to the buf¬ 
falo land?” 

“Yes, Grandson, I shall take some of the 
horses your father gave me, and go with your 
party. Perhaps your mother will let you ride 
one of my horses.” 

As they drew near the council lodge, they 
could plainly hear the drums and singing. Six 




116 Indian Days of the Long Ago 



or eight young men 
were sitting on the 
ground about a big 
drum. Some were 
beating it, and all 
were singing. When 
the chief came in they 
stopped and remained 
quiet, waiting for the 
dancing to begin. 

“This is our last 
night to dance and 
hear stories in this 
lodge,” said Lone 
Pine when all had as¬ 
sembled. “Today we 
have counseled, and 
after one more day 
we shall start for the 
land of the buffalo. 
For more than two 
moons our men have 
been making ready 
their bows, arrows, and knives, and the women 
have made many moccasins. Well must we be 
prepared, as we go into the land of the enemy, 
and they may war upon us. 

“Our guests who have traveled so far will come 
with us upon the hunt, and we hope they will re¬ 
turn with us, that we may spend the long nights 
of winter around the council fire. They know 



The Snake Dance 


117 


much that will help 
to make our nation 
strong. Tonight 
He Who Was 
Dead And Lives 
Again will tell us 
of strange tribes he 
has seen. I have 
said it.” 

“Salish,” said 
their guest, speak¬ 
ing now in their 
own language but 
using his hands to 
assist him, “last 
night Four Moons 
told you of the 
People of the Earth-covered Lodges, who raise 
corn and squashes. 

“Now I will tell you of another tribe who raise 
corn. They are the people of the stone houses 
and the Snakes. They call themselves the Hopi. 1 
Their villages are in the midst of the land of 
sand. They have no river or lakes, and the rains 
seldom come. That is the reason they sing songs 
to the Snakes, for it is believed they bring the 
rain. 

“The Hopi villages are on the top of high 
cliffs; the housetops seem to touch the blue sky. 

1 The Hopi, frequently called the Moqui, still live in several 
villages of stone houses in northeastern Arizona. 



A Hopi maiden 


118 Indian Days of the Long Ago 



Going into the desert for snakes 


There they build them, that they may easily pro¬ 
tect their women and children and stores of corn 
from the warring INTavaho, Apache, and Ute. 
They build the walls of their homes thick with 
heavy stones. The entrance is through the roof, 
that they may better protect themselves from the 
enemy. To enter they climb to the top of the 
house on a ladder, and then descend another to 
the room below. At nightfall, and in times of 
attack, the outside ladders are drawn up to the 
housetop. 

“The wives and maidens of the Hopi have soft 
voices, and make glad the eye with their bright 
faces and happy smiles. 

“For many winters I tarried in the land of the 
Hopi. Their singing men have much knowledge. 
Their songs are great with power, and their danc¬ 
ing brings the rain-clouds low. Long was I with 
them before they would call me brother and let 
me join my voice with theirs to the Snakes. 


The Snake Dance 119 

“Important are the Four Winds to the Hopi, 
and when they go to the desert for the Snakes 
they go first to the 
land of the North Wind. 

Then on the next day 
they go to the land of 
the West Wind, another 
day to the land of the 
South Wind, and on the 
fourth day to the land 
of the East Wind. 

“The Hopi call the 
Snakes brothers, and 
would not in any way 
harm them. 

“Before going out 
upon the sand waste to 
find the Snakes, the men 
of the Snake brotherhood 
spend days in an underground room, singing 
songs, and praying to the Snakes.” 

Every listener sat in wide-eyed wonder. Cer¬ 
tainly this was strange medicine. Kukusim, sit¬ 
ting close to Scarf ace, thought of many things 
he would ask Grandfather. 

“Then on a day when all are ready they begin 
the search for the brother Snakes. When the 
men come to the foot of the stone cliffs, they stop 
at a spring which bubbles from the foot of the 
rocks. There they make prayers, and scatter 
meal of the corn upon the water. 






120 Indian Days of the Dong Ago 



Snake dance 


“When these songs and prayers are over, they 
begin to walk across the sands, looking for the 
Snakes. When one is found, they gather about 
it and make a prayer. At its close one of them 
scatters meal on the Snake. Then with a quick 
motion he picks it up in the right hand, passing it 
to the left and holding its head toward the Sun. 

“Now, Salish, listen! It is the Snake That 
Rattles, the bite of which brings death. But the 
Hopi knows the secret, and has no fear, and with 
meal in his hand he strokes the head of the Snake 
four times.” 

“Ah! Ah!” murmured the Salish. “Truly, 
that is great medicine!” 

The Clayoquot continued: “He now puts the 
Snake into a leather carrying-sack, and again 
they take up the search, and all through the day 
it is thus. Then, when the sun has gone to sleep 
in the west, they return to the underground 
room, which they call kiva [ke'-va]. There they 



The Snake Dance 


121 


sing songs, and 
place the Snakes in 
earthen jars. For 
four days they cap¬ 
ture Snakes in this 
way. 

“Many of the 
Snake brotherhood 
are not fully grown. 

I have seen among 
them boys not so 
old as Kukusim, the 
chief’s son.” 

“ I am glad I 
am not a Hopi!” 
thought the boy, 
shuddering at the story he had heard. 

“On the ninth day of this great ceremony they 
dance with the Snakes. This occurs in an open 
place in the village, where all the people can see. 
At noon of that day they purify the Snakes by 
washing them in a large earthen jar of water. 
While they wash them, they sing songs for the 
pleasure of their brother Snakes. Now they put 
the Snakes into a large leather sack, which they 
take to the dancing place, and just before the 
sun goes from sight, the Snake brotherhood go 
from the kiva to the dancing ground. 

“Salish, that is a great dance. I wish you 
could see it. The Snake brotherhood take the 
Snakes from the sack, the Snakes That Rattle, 



122 Indian Days of the Long Ago 

and dance about with them held by the back be¬ 
tween their teeth!” 

A murmur like the wind in the pines ran 
through the assembly. To take snakes in the 
teeth was beyond comprehension! 

“When the last dance song is ended, they 
quickly carry all the Snakes back to the places 
from which they were taken. 

“And this, Salish, is the story of the dance of 
the Snakes and the songs to them, which bring 
rain for the corn.” 

As the speaker sat down, every one began to 
talk at once. They could not understand the 


SONG TO THE SNAKES 


£ 






IS—N 


►-4—h- 


-MV 


FH- 




Hai - i 


ye, hai - i 


£ 


=|: 


ye,. 

A; 


hai - i - 


ye; 


MV- 


nMjt 


-MV—'-s>- 


fj -0- 

Hai - i 


hai - i - we,. hai - i 


—ft—[s— fv —ft-— [s — N — [s — jv —js— 


sg 


I] 


•#—- w - W - g | 


Hosh-ke, hosh-ke, pi - na - wi ma-sow - a. to - mi! 


Hurry, hurry, brother snakes, to the underworld, and 
send us rain. 


song which made of the snake a brother. That 
must be truly wonderful medicine! Certainly 
the traveler had seen much and should be a good 








































The Snake Dance 


123 


friend to have in their camp. Lone Pine stood 
up, and in a loud voice quieted the people: 

“Salish, this is a story of powerful medicine. 
We cannot understand it, but certainly the 
knowledge and the songs of our friend should 
bring us much good fortune and many buffalo. 
Now we will make glad our hearts in the dance.” 

At once the singers began to beat the drum 
with great enthusiasm, and the night was one of 
joy and excitement. 




THE SNAKE BROTHERS 

Kukusim was very sleepy in the morning, and 
wished he did not have to get up and go to the 
river to bathe with his father. The many nights 
of dancing had made heavy his eyes and tired his 
feet. While he was yet half asleep, he heard the 
herald calling out: 

“Women, get ready to move! Tomorrow we 
start on the journey to the buffalo country. 
Young men, find the horses, bring them close, 
that tomorrow we may get them quickly!” 

Kukusim had to be told a second time that it 
was not good to hold on to the sleep, and to be 
up and off to the river. Quickly he jumped up 
and ran toward the river, but his father and the 
two guests were already in the water, and they 
laughed at him. 

“Kukusim is not a man,” chaffed Four Moons. 
“He sleeps like a baby. He cannot dance in the 
night and then be ready for the swim. He will 

124 


The Snake Brothers 125 

have to get a strong heart before he can be a 
warrior.” 

He determined that, another day, he would be 
awake and ahead of the men, that they might 
find no chance for ridicule. 

Now that the cold water had thoroughly 
awakened him, he thought of the stories of the 
snakes, and the many questions he wanted to ask. 
At breakfast there was much talk of the plans 
for the hunting expedition, but soon he found an 
opportunity, and asked, “Can we go again for the 
last time to the snares?” 

His mother heard the question and chided him: 
“Son, you will make your Grandfather angry 
with your continual questions. He cannot give 
all his thoughts to a child like you.” 

But the Clayoquot smiled and said they could 
go for a short time, and then he would have to 
look after his horses and prepare for the jour¬ 
ney. 



Dancing with the snakes 


126 Indian Days of the Long Ago 

“Grandf ather,” 
cried Kukusim, 
eagerly, “I have rid¬ 
den my father’s fast¬ 
est race-horse. May 
I help you get your 
horses?” 

“My Grandson, 
we will go first to 
the snares, and then 
we will find the 
horses.” 

They went to one 
snare after the other. 
In one they found a 
rabbit; the others 
were undisturbed. 

“We will spring them,” said the boy, thought¬ 
fully, “and while we are away the rabbits can 
play as they like, with no danger from the traps.” 

When the last snare was passed the old man 
said, “Now, Grandson, we will sit again by the 
big pine.” 

They were scarcely seated, when Kukusim 
asked, “Grandfather, does I-tsik-ba-dish know of 
the snakes?” 

“Yes, my Grandson. If the Apsaroke are 
right, there is nothing which he does not know. 
As I told you, he is the one who made all things, 
does all things, sees all things, hears all things. 
But the Hopi, the people of the Snakes, do not 



A Hopi matron 




The Snake Brothers 


127 



Hopi sunrise 


know of I-tsfk-ba-dish. They sing their songs to 
many gods, and the greatest is Tawa, as they 
call the Sun.” 

“But is he the same as I-tsik-ba-dish, Grand¬ 
father? Does he see all things?” 

“I think he does, my Grandson.” 

“Do the Hopi think so?” 

“The Hopi do not say it in the same way, but 
I think they believe he sees all things. Each 
morning every Hopi prays to the Sun and makes 
an offering of corn meal. Standing on the edge 
of the high cliffs on which they live, they gaze 
toward the east, and as the Sun appears, each 
one tosses a pinch of corn meal into the air, and 
prays for health, long life, and good thoughts.” 

“Did you take the Snakes in your hands?” 

“Yes, Grandson.” 

“And they did not bite you? And if we found 
a Snake now would you take it up in your 
hands?” 
















128 Indian Days of the Long Ago 

“No, Grandson. I 
am away from my 
Snake brothers. The 
Snake might not 
know me, and would 
bite me, and I should 
die.” 

“Were some of the 
Snake brothers boys 
like me?” 

“Yes, and years 
younger.” 

“And they held 
them in their hands 
and took them in 
their teeth! Do the 
Snake songs always bring the rain?” 

“They say so, and the rain nearly always 
comes. But the white-faced singer laughed at 
the songs of the Snakes, and said they did not 
bring the rain.” 

“Do the Hopi have other songs and dances, 
Grandfather?” 

“So many, my Grandson, that it would take 
many moons to tell you of them. In some of the 
dances boys like you, and much smaller, take 
part, and later I will tell you of these.” 

“And do they have stories of the long ago, 
when the animals and men talked together?” 

“Many of them; and before we go I will tell 
you one of their long ago stories.” 




A Hopi prayer altar 


THE GIRL AND THE WITCH PEOPLE 

“Long ago, say the Hopi, Yellow Bird, a very 
pretty maiden, lived in one of those ancient vil¬ 
lages. Just across the narrow street lived a fam¬ 
ily of witches, and one of them was a beautiful 
girl. 

“The witch girl had a lover, and it happened 
that Yellow Bird fell in love with him and won 
him. This angered the witch family, and they 
planned to get rid of Yellow Bird. By witch¬ 
craft they took her heart away, and she died after 
a brief illness. 

“Her elder brother believed that she had died 
by witchcraft, and in the night he went with bow 
and arrows to watch near the grave. Soon he 
heard the howling of a wolf. It came nearer and 
nearer, and then there 4 was the barking of many 
coyotes. The wolf reached the grave first, and 
the coyotes came flocking in. These were really 

129 









130 Indian Days of the Long Ago 

witches, who had turned themselves into wolf 
and coyotes. 

“They soon uncovered the body and carried it 
away. The young man, following, saw them lift 
a large clump of long grass and disappear into 
the earth. He looked down in the hole and saw 
many people sitting in a circle. 

“As he wondered what to do, he thought of the 
war chief, whose duty it was to help in such a 
case. So he ran up the steep trail to the village 

and told the news to the 
war chief. The warrior 
put on his war cap and 
his deerskin mantle, took 
his war club, and went 
with the young man. 

“In the hole through 
which the witch people 
had gone they found a 
ladder, and they went 
down. The witch peo¬ 
ple were just ending 
their smoke. Their chief, 
a huge, ugly, bald¬ 


headed man, said, ‘It is 
time to get at our work.’ 

“They laid the girl’s 
body out on a blanket 
and began to sing. First they made her come to 
life, and then they prepared to change her into an 
animal. 





The Girl and the Witch People 131 


“But suddenly the 
young man darted 
out of the shadow 
where he had been 
hiding. He dragged 
his sister away from 
the witches and sat 
down again beside 
the war chief. 

“The witch chief 
demanded: ‘How is 
it that you have en¬ 
tered our house? No¬ 
body has ever done 
this before. Perhaps 
you think you are a 
strong man. We will 
see if you are.’ 

“It was now to be 
a contest of magic 
between the two 
chiefs, and the witch 
chief was to be the 
first to show his power. He ordered that the fire 
be put out. Quickly then the war chief placed 
the youth at his left and the girl at his right, and 
he set up his war shield in front of them all. The 
witch chief told his people to get their weapons 
ready. The Hopi witches, so they say, throw 
small pointed shells, porcupine quills, and cac¬ 
tus thorns. One never feels it when struck by 



132 Indian Days of the Long Ago 



Hopi flute ceremony 


these missiles, but they enter the body and cause 
death. 

“Now the witch people hurled their pointed 
missiles, but the shield of the war chief stopped 
them. When the witch chief thought that his 
enemies must be dead, he lighted the fire. But 
while he was doing this, the war chief hid his 
shield. There sat the three, unharmed. 

“The witch chief could not understand it. It 
was now time for the war chief to show his 
strength, and he ordered the fire to be put out 
again. Then he opened two jars filled with bees, 
which began to sting the witch people. Soon they 
were begging for mercy, and just before the fire 
was lighted the bees swarmed back into the jars. 
Again the witches were puzzled. 

“Still the witch chief was not satisfied, and he 
said they would have another trial. This time 
the witches threw larger shells, but they could do 
nothing against the shield. Then their chief said: 


The Girl and the Witch People 133 



Flute ceremony 


‘I think you are really a strong man! You have 
beaten us twice. Try again what you can do.’ 

“The fire was put out, and the war chief used 
his two lightning sticks, the big lightning and the 
little lightning. The blinding flashes filled the 
room and cut the witch people to pieces. 

“Then said the war chief: ‘Let us hurry out of 
this place! The witch people are clever, and 
they may come to life and do us harm before we 
escape.’ 

“So they hastened up the ladder, the war chief, 
the young man, and his sister. 

“No sooner were they gone than the witch peo¬ 
ple began to come to life. They reached this 
way and that for their heads, arms, and legs. 
But some of them did not place their legs prop¬ 
erly, and were lame. Others placed their eyes 
wrong, and were blind. Many had their eyes 
burned by the lightning, and their eyes were 
gray. And so the Hopi say that the lame, the 



134 Indian Days of the Long Ago 



Grinding corn 


blind, and the gray-eyed are the descendants of 
those witch people of long ago.” 

“Do the Hopi hunt the buffalo?” asked Ku- 
kusim, after a pause. 

“No, they live mostly on corn. Their hunters 
kill a few deer and antelope, and the boys and 
men hunt rabbits. The story of the rabbit hunt 
is a fine one, and some day we will have that.” 

“I am afraid that before you get time to tell 
me all the stories you know I shall be an old 
man,” sighed Kukusim. 

“I wish we had some of the Hopi corn to eat 
now,” said the Clayoquot. 

“Is it so good, Grandfather? How do they 
cook it?” 

“In more than twenty ways they cook the 
corn, Grandson, and every way is good. The 
most common way of all is the piki [pe'ke], as 
they call it. The women grind the corn to a fine 
powder by rubbing it between two stones, and as 




The Girl and the Witch People 135 



they grind they sing. Here is one of their grind¬ 
ing songs: 

“ 4 Where shall we go when the rain comes ? Where ?’ 

Sing the Yellow Dragonflies, 

Sing the Blue Dragonflies. 

‘Clouds are rising in the sky, 

Rain clouds are standing in all directions. 

The rain is ready to come.’ 

“This they sing in order to make the rain come 
and furnish them with corn for more meal. 

“They go to the grinding-rooms just at day¬ 
light, and the songs tell of the coming of the day, 
of butterflies, and of the bright sunshine. Every 
day the girls work at the mealing stones in this 
way. 

“In making piki the mothers put some of the 
fine meal into a large earthen bowl and mix it 
into a thick soup. Then they take it to a bak¬ 
ing-room, where they build a fire under a slab 
of stone. When the stone is hot, they quickly 


136 Indian Days of the Dong Ago 

spread upon it a handful of the thick soup, and 
in a moment it is baked. It is a thin sheet, no 
thicker than the leaf of a tree. 

“Piki is usually made from blue corn, but 
sometimes they use white corn, coloring it with 
dried flowers to make the piki yellow or red. 

“Also from the ground meal they make 
many other kinds of bread and puddings. When 
the corn is half ripe, the men dig a deep hole in 

the ground, 
and in it they 
keep a hot fire 
until the walls 
of the hole are 
red hot. They 
throw in the 
ears of corn 
with the thick 
green husks on 
them and cover 
them up, leav¬ 
ing them to 
cook for a long 
time. That is a 
fine way to 
cook half-ripe 
corn. 

“But we must not tell more stories today, 
Grandson. It is time to find the horses.” 



Baking piki 




BREAKING CAMP 

Early in the day the young men had ridden out 
in many directions to the meadows, to search for 
the bands of horses and drive them toward the 
camp, and by this time the herd was not far 
away. 

“My father,” stated Kukusim, “says that when 
he was a boy they had no horses, and that when 
they traveled every one walked, and dogs were 
used to carry the loads. At first, he says, they 
thought the horse a supernatural being.” 

“There were no horses in the time of the long 
ago stories,” replied his grandfather, “and they 
came long after that period. They did not be¬ 
long to the animals the red men knew, but were 
brought by the white-skinned warriors who came 
with the white singers. Even now my people in 
the west have never seen a horse. Everywhere 
I travel I hear many stories of how the red men 
got their first horses, and what amusing times 
they had trying to ride them.” 

137 



138 Indian Days of the Dong Ago 

“Yes,” answered Kukusim. “Our people tell 
stories like that, and every one laughs; but my 
father says that the old days before they had 
horses were very hard, and they did not live so 
well. It was not easy to hunt the buffalo, and 
they could not take many things of the camp with 
them. The dogs were small and could not carry 
heavy loads. And in the old days they could not 
have large lodges, as the covers were too heavy 
to carry. But when they had many of the big, 
strong horses, they found they could have large 
lodges and live better. And my mother says 
the dogs must like that, because they no longer 
have to carry such heavy loads.” 

By this time they had reached the open 
meadow to which the young men had brought the 
horses. Each man who had horses was looking 

them over, to see that 
all belonging to him were 
there. They did not yet 
take them into the camp, 
but left them feeding in 
the meadows, under the 
watchful eyes of young 
men. 

When Kukusim and 
the aged story-teller 
came to the camp, the 
council lodge was already down, and the herald 
was calling out: 

“Tomorrow we start for the country of the 



139 



Breaking Camp 


buffalo! Nine days 
over the mountains 
we must travel be¬ 
fore we come to the 
great plains where 
they wander. To¬ 
night there will be no 
dancing. Every one 
will find sleep early, 
that he may wake 
quickly tomorrow.” 

When darkness 
was gathering, Lone 
Pine, with some of 
his counselors and 
the two guests, sat 
in the lodge of the 
chiefs, and after 

smoking the council A Pierced Nose 

pipe, they talked of 

the plans for the journey and the hunt. A party 
of their friends, the Pierced Noses, had preceded 
them to the hunting ground. Some thought the 
Salish had better join them, and be in less danger 
from the Apsaroke and the Snakes. Others 
thought if they remained by themselves they 
might have better hunting. But the chief coun¬ 
seled safety in hunting with the Pierced Noses. 
The two guests thought there would be small 
danger from the Apsaroke, as they both knew 
the chiefs of that tribe and would use their 


140 Indian Days of the Long Ago 

voices for friend¬ 
ship. 

The plan was that 
they should go quick¬ 
ly to the plains and 
hunt until the frosts 
of autumn, and then 
with their loads of 
dried meat return to 
their home in the 
valley forest, to 
spend there the days 
of winter. The 
women had finished 
gathering and dry¬ 
ing roots, 1 and it was 
well that they start 
to find the buffalo. 

With the coming of light the camp of the Sal- 
ish was astir. The women quickly prepared 
breakfast, and as soon as it was over lodges were 
taken down, and robes and furs rolled into bun¬ 
dles to be tied upon the pack-horses. Men and 
boys drove the horses into the center of the camp 

1 The Indians, especially those who did not practise agricul¬ 
ture, depended largely upon roots for food. During the spring 
and early summer the women spent much of their time in the 
meadows gathering roots. One of the most important was what 
the Salish call ithwe (et'-hwe). This blue-flowering bulb, which 
we call camas, resembles a small onion in appearance, but in 
flavor it is sweetish. So plentiful was this plant that certain 
fields, seen from a distance, were easily mistaken for blue lakes. 
The roots were steamed, crushed, and pressed into cakes or loaves, 
which took the place of bread. 



A Nez Perce girl 


Breaking Camp 


141 



circle, and each family selected its own. Men 
picked out the ones they were to ride or lead as 
extra horses, and the women captured the ones 
they were to use as pack-horses, on which they 
and the children would make the journey. 

Kukusim was early awake and alive to every¬ 
thing going on. He helped to get the horses for 
both his father and mother. While talking with 
the Clayoquot, he lamented the fact that he was 
not old enough to ride with the warriors and the 
hunters, and would have to ride with the women 
and the babies. 

“The last time we went to hunt I had to share 
my horse with Sister, and see that she did not 
fall off. This year Father has given me a horse 
to ride alone, and Sister has her own horse. 
Sometimes Baby will be with Sister, and some¬ 
times with Mother, and I will help to watch and 
see that no enemy steals them.” 

Now they heard the herald calling out: “Soon 
we shalFhegm the march. The scouts have al- 



142 Indian Days of the Dong Ago 

ready gone ahead to see that no enemy is on the 
trail. If they see an enemy, quickly they will re¬ 
turn to give warn¬ 
ing. Lone Pine, our 
chief, will lead his 
people, and at his 
side will be other 
chiefs. Behind them 
will be warriors and 
hunters. Let women 
and children follow 
close. On each side 
of them will ride 
warriors, that no 
enemy may capture 
our families. And in 
the rear let there be many warriors, to see that no 
enemy attacks from behind. So says our chief!” 

Thus the people were instructed by the herald, 
as he rode about the camp telling every one what 
to do and the position each should take. Five hun¬ 
dred men, women, and children and twice as many 
horses formed the line of march on this day. 








PITCHING CAMP 


The route was over the mountain trails. Often 
there was not room for two horses abreast, and 
the line was miles in length. Then, when they 
came upon an open plain, many would ride in 
groups, and the line would shorten until it was 
perhaps not more than half a mile long. 

The children who could ride by themselves 
were often two on a horse, securely tied so that 
if they fell asleep they would be safe. Babies 
were carried in their mothers’ arms or in a baby- 
carrier suspended from a saddle. 1 

Much of the time Kukusim helped his mother 
with the pack-horses; at other times he would 
join his youthful compan¬ 
ions. There was then op¬ 
portunity for horse racing 
and all manner of larks. 

H our after hour they 
toiled on. As the line ad¬ 
vanced, women could be 
heard everywhere urging on 
the pack-horses. From time 
to time bundles would 
loosen and slip off. With 
much scolding and chatter¬ 
ing, the owner of the beast would stop, rearrange 
the load, and then go on again. 

1 The primitive saddle of the Indians had for its horn the 
prong of a deer’s horns and for the rest of the frame roughly 
shaped pieces of wood. The frame was covered with deerskin. 
The men seldom used a saddle. 

143 



144 Indian Days of the Long Ago 



A meadow camp 


Near midday they came to a beautiful moun¬ 
tain stream flowing through a meadow of rich 
grass and flowers. Here they halted for a time, 
that the horses might rest and feed. Children 
were taken down to rest, and in a moment the 
stream was filled with laughing, chattering 
brown youngsters. 

Soon the voice of the herald was heard call¬ 
ing: “Again we must travel. Tonight we must 
camp upon the Meadows of Many Springs. 
Travel fast, that the darkness may not come 
upon us. There in the forest at the edge of the 
river we shall camp. Let the hunters look for 
deer and elk, that our women and children may 
have food. Let the head man of each family 
reach the meadows early and find the spot for his 
fire.” 

The scattered animals were quickly brought 
into place, and soon the snake-like line was mov¬ 
ing on through forest and across meadows. As 
was the custom, the men reached the camping 


Pitching Camp 


145 


pi ace ahead of the 
cavalcade, and, se¬ 
lecting camp sites, 
started their fires. 

It was dusk when 
Kukusim with the 
women came over a 
low hill, and saw be- 
fore him a 1 arge 
pine-skirted meadow, 
and everywhere 
among the dark 
trees, the glowing 
camp-fires. All 
about in the deep 
grasses of the plain 
were the horses feed¬ 
ing upon the rich 
pasture. As he came close, he heard the con¬ 
fused voices of many men shouting. 

“Wife of Lone Deer, here is your fire!” 

“Wife of Crazy Thunder, here is your camp!” 

So each man was calling to his wife, and the 
women soon found the places that had been se¬ 
lected for them. 

When Kukusim found his father’s fire, Four 
Moons and the Clayoquot were there. Quickly 
they unfastened the ropes which held the tired 
children upon the horses. Many were sound 
asleep, and even the lifting from the horses’ 
backs did not waken them. Kukusim’s heart was 









146 Indian Days of the Long Ago 

filled with joy. This 
was living! The life 
and activities of the 
encampment made 
his pulse beat fast. 
Women from camp¬ 
fire to camp-fire were 
calling greetings, 
laughing, making 
merry, and asking one 
another as to the hap¬ 
penings of the day. 

Matrons and girls 
were going to the 
stream to fill their 
leather pails with 
water, and boys were 
caring for the horses. 
The animals used by the women and the chil¬ 
dren, and for packs, were hobbled by tying their 
fore feet together, and were turned loose; but 
not so those used by the grown men. Their fast 
horses were kept near by, tethered with long 
ropes, and moved frequently that they might 
feed well on the rich grass. For if they were 
not well fed, they would lack strength for the 
buffalo hunt. 

And now they were in a land where an enemy 
might be, so they must have their riding horses 
close at hand. For this reason, when full dark¬ 
ness came on, each man tied his riding horse to 




Pitching Camp 147 



About the camp-fire 


a stake driven at his side, where he slept. Then 
if the scouts gave warning, it could in a moment 
be mounted and ready for battle. 

Happiness reigns about the camp-fire of 
Lone Pine. The people have traveled well, and 
sickness has come to none. The scouts have re¬ 
ported the land free of enemies. The medicine¬ 
men have sung their songs, and say that all is 
well and that the spirits are happy. And more 
than that, has not the traveler from the western 
water killed a fine fat deer, which even now is 
roasting by the fire ? A boy who has not traveled 
a long day through the mountains, and then 
feasted to his fill upon juicy deer ribs, has not 
known the full joy of being a boy. Large and 
fat was the deer, but bare was its every bone 
when the family of the chief had finished their 
feasting. 

The Clayoquot always longed for fish, the 
principal food of his youth, and while the women 


148 Indian Days of the Long Ago 



and children were making camp he had gone to 
a small stream and taken as many trout as he 
could carry. These too were roasted over the 
fire to add to the feast. 

Kukusim was surprised that Grandfather had 
caught so many fish. 

“Truly, Grandfather,” he exclaimed, “you 
must have medicine for fish!” 

“Grandson, my medicine for catching trout is 
simple. I will show you. I went to yonder creek, 
so narrow that you could run and jump across 
it. At a narrow, shallow place I laid sticks across 
like this. Then I got many small willows and 
laid them like this, so that water could flow 
through, but the fish could not pass. With large 
sticks and stones I made just below this a bas¬ 
ketlike enclosure. Now I went upstream a dis¬ 
tance, and then walked, splashing through the 
water, toward my trap. The fish, escaping from 
me, swam into the trap, and I found it filled. 
There were more than a man could carry. That, 



149 


Pitching Camp 


my Grandson, is the way many of the people 
I have seen catch the trout. Some day I will 
tell you other ways to get many kinds of fish.” 

“Grandfather, I am going to call you by the 
name of the white-haired man who knows every¬ 
thing. You are Napiw.” 

The evening about the camp-fire passed 
quickly, and all too soon Mother was saying: 
“My son, it is time you found your sleep. 
Already your sister is dreaming.” 

“May I go with Grandfather when he brings 
in his horse, before I look for my sleep?” 

“Already you think more of your new grand¬ 
father than of your mother,” she said, half laugh¬ 
ing, half in earnest. “Soon my heart will be 
jealous. If it were not for the man child now 
at my breast, my heart would be empty.” 



“Do not scold our son,” 


I said the chief, as the old 

| man and the boy left the 

| lodge. “He is learning 

( new things. He will make 

j a great chief, and our peo- 

| pie will grow strong and 


mighty when he 


is their leader.” 


“Yes, I know. 
And soon he 


pSy®. must go to the 
mountains to 


fast.” 







150 Indian Days of the Dong Ago 

Hand in hand Kukusim and his companion 
walked through the camp and across the meadow. 

Fire after fire they 
passed. Supper was 
over, and the fires were 
dying down as the peo¬ 
ple sought their robes 
for sleep. Already 
more than half the camp 
was resting. 

The boy’s heart was 
filled with big thoughts, 
and he spoke in a low voice: “Listen, Grand¬ 
father! Do you hear the coyote? There is an¬ 
other, and another! Grandfather, their cry 
makes my blood cold, like the North Wind!” 

“My Grandson, listen again! Do you hear that 
coyote call from yonder high peak to the north?” 

“Yes, Grandfather.” 

“Now listen to the call from the peak to the 
south, and to the east, and to the west. And then 
you hear their barking from many directions.” 

“Yes, Grandfather.” 

“My Grandson, the call you hear from the 
north, the south, the east, and the west is not 
the call of the coyote, but of the scouts of the 
Salish calling to one another. Your father knows 
what it means, and he knows the scout’s call 
from that of a coyote. The scouts on the high 
places have looked far to see if other camp¬ 
fires burn, and their signal says that all is safe.” 






151 


Pitching Camp 

Then they found the tethered horse, and the 
boy said, “Now we will ride back to our fire.” 

The man jumped on and reached out his hand 
for Kukusim, who with a spring took his place 
on the horse behind him. In the camp of Lone 
Pine all were asleep, and as soon as the Clayo- 
quot had tied his horse, they also spread their 
robes for the night. Above them twinkled the 
countless stars, and half asleep Kukusim asked: 
“Do you think the stars are people? Do you 
know stories about the stars?” 

“It is time to sleep, Grandson,” answered the 
old man. “There are so many stories of the stars 
that should I start to tell them, the snows of win¬ 
ter would be upon us before I could finish.” 

“But sometime you will tell them to me?” 

“Yes, Grandson.” 

Then the boy dreamed that he was a star and 
was looking down upon the camp. His dream 
changed, and he felt that he, like many stars he 
had seen, was falling, falling, falling through 
the sky. With a cry he reached out to grasp 
something to check his speed. His arms clasped 
his Grandfather, waking him from dreams of his 
own. 

“What is the matter, my boy?” 

“I thought I was a star, and was falling.” 

“The trouble with you, Grandson, is that you 
ate too long of the deer and the trout. You 
should stop eating before your belly is as hard 
as your forehead.” 


AN ELK HUNT 



To Kukusim it seemed that he was yet mastering 
that morsel of his Grandfather’s wisdom, when 

he was awakened by a 
gentle shake of his 
mother’s hand. 

“My son, you have 
dreamed long enough. 
The stars are gone and 
the sun is coming. Go 
to the water and make 
your body fresh for the 
day.” 

He felt cross that 

the sun had come so 

soon to chase away the 

stars, but the cool of the 

water drove away that 

thought, and h e w a s 

glad with the voice of 

the meadow-lark. 

Go to the water to make the Already the herald 
body clean . 

was riding about the 
camp calling out the orders for the day: 

“Eat your food quickly, that we may be on 
the way. There are no lodge-poles to be taken 
down today, so the women can soon have their 
horses loaded. Tonight we shall camp on Camas 
Creek. The way is long, the trail is rough. Let all 
make haste. Let the young men watch the trail 
carefully, that there be no surprise by an enemy.” 



An Elk Hunt 


153 


Soon the toiling 
line was on the 
way. Today they 
would reach the 
highest places in 
the mountains, 
and then the trail 
would be ever 
winding down¬ 
ward. The pines 
gave shade to the 
trail in many 
places; then it 
crossed meadows 
yellow with bloom. 

The rain had 
lately passed, and all the world was fresh and 
green. 

Scarf ace and Kukusim rode close together. 

“These days we do not see you,” complained 
Scarf ace. “All the time you talk with your new 
grandfather, the singer of strange songs. Yellow 
Hawk and Rabbit say hard words when you do 
not hear. They say your heart has grown too 
proud, and that a poor chief you will make. To¬ 
day let us find them and ride together, that all 
may be happy.” 

Soon a full half-hundred boys were riding to¬ 
gether. In the open meadows they raced their 
horses, and were roundly scolded by their grand¬ 
parents. When the trail grew narrow and hung 




154 Indian Days of the Long Ago 

upon the edge of dizzy cliffs, there was no laugh¬ 
ter, and they let their ponies pick their own slow, 
careful way. A misstep here would mean a fall 
of horse and rider into the canyon, hundreds of 
feet below. 

The setting sun saw the Salish spreading out 
into the valley of a creek, and hundreds of camp¬ 
fires were glowing in the shadows beneath the 
pines. Scouts came to Lone Pine and reported 
large herds of elk, and it was decided to let the 
women and horses rest for a day, while the men 
hunted the elk. There were many hungry 
mouths to be fed. The summer was long, and 
there was no need of haste. 

So the herald announced the plan of the hunt: 
“Tonight around the fire of the chief we shall 
sing, that many elk may be killed. Long Elk, 

who in his fasting 
learned the secret of the 
elk, will sing his songs.” 

Far into the night the 
singers sat about the 
council fire, smoking 
the pipe and singing, 
that the elk might not 
be angry when the 
hunters took their lives. 
When Kukusim went 
to sleep, the men were still singing. 

On the following morning the hunters assem¬ 
bled on the bank of the creek a short distance 




An Elk Hunt 


155 



above the camp. From this point the valley grad¬ 
ually narrowed, until it became a deep gulley 
with sheer stone walls. 

The party divided, some going by a detour 
to the head of the valley and concealing them¬ 
selves behind large trees and rocks. The others 
scattered in a long line, which extended across 
the valley and up its slopes to the high ridge on 
each side. 

Then the line of hunters moved slowly for¬ 
ward, with keen eyes peering to right and left, 
that no elk might break through and escape down 
the valley. Now and then a hunter would sud¬ 
denly come close upon a browsing animal, when 
instantly his swift arrow would go flying to its 
mark. 

But it was the men at the gully who had the 
best opportunity. Here were stationed the best 
bowmen—the strongest of arm, the quickest with 
the arrow. As the drive progressed, the crash of 
fleeing creatures was heard in the undergrowth 







156 Indian Days of the Long Ago 

below them, and soon antlered heads appeared 
above the bushes. Then out burst a frightened 
elk, his great eyes wide with terror, his snorting 
nostrils distended. As he dashed past the lurk¬ 
ing hunters, from either side a flashing arrow 
buried itself to the feathers in his flanks, and 
after a few convulsive bounds he plunged for¬ 
ward and lay gasping. 

When the game drive ended in the afternoon, 
more than a hundred elk and deer had been 
killed. Then came the women to assist in the 
butchering, bringing pack-horses on which to 
load the meat and hides. 

So great was the success of the hunt that it 
was necessary to remain in camp a day in order 

to let the meat be¬ 
come partially 
dry. The women 
cut it into very 
thin, broad slices, 
and such was their 
skill that the meat 
was of a uniform 
wafer-like thin- 

Drying the meat neSS. It Was hung 

on racks in the 
sun, and small fires were made beneath. Thus 
in the course of the day it was half dried out by 
the smoke and the combined heat of sun and fire, 
so that on the morrow it could be packed in bun¬ 
dles without spoiling. Then at the next oppor- 




An Elk Hunt 


157 



The story of the stars 


tunity it would be spread out again for'more 
thorough drying. 

Great was the feasting, and few gave heed to 
advice that cautioned against overeating. 

During the day, while the women were work¬ 
ing with the meat, Kukusim found Grandfather 
and begged for a story while they were not trav¬ 
eling. 

“Can we not have a story of the stars?” he 
asked. 

“No, not now, Grandson. One should tell the 
stories of the stars while they are looking. Find 
Scarf ace, and then we will take Sister and her 
friends, and go to some cool place by the brook.” 

“Are you going to tell a story for girls, Grand¬ 
father?” 

“Yes. Sister says I should not tell all the 
stories to the boys, for girls like stories, too.” 

“But, Grandfather, girls cannot hunt; they 
cannot be warriors or chiefs.” 


158 Indian Days of the Long Ago 

“Many things they can do, even if they can¬ 
not be chiefs. Do you not see the women pre¬ 
paring the meat today? Do they not pack and 
drive the horses when we travel? Do they not 
dig the roots on which you live so much of the 
time? Can they not even fight when the enemy 
comes ? 

“My Grandson, there are many stories of girls 
which Sister would like to hear. Does not your 
mother tell you and Blue Bird tales through the 
long nights of winter?” 

“Yes, truly, Grandfather, but those are the 
winter stories, and cannot be told in the sum¬ 
mer.” 

But Kukusim felt the reproof, and at once 
found Blue Bird and told her that she was to get 
her friends, and they would hear stories from 
the wise grandfather. 

When all were comfortably gathered about 
the old man beside the purling brook, he began: 

“My children, as we travel the long trail 
through life, we find that there are sad as well as 
happy times. My first story today will tell of 
sad things.” 



BAREFOOT ON ICE AND SNOW 

“There came a winter colder and harder than 
any other. The snow was deep, as deep as half 
the height of a man. The old men had counted 
the moons, and it was time for spring, but the 
snow did not melt. Ice was coming down the 
Great River [Columbia] in huge masses, grind¬ 
ing and crashing through the boiling rapids. 
Every night snow fell and filled up the places 
that had been swept clean during the day. Snow¬ 
birds were everywhere about. 

“One day a bird was seen with something red 
in its bill, and they frightened it so that it 
dropped the red object. They found that this 
was a ripe strawberry, and knew that somewhere 
summer had come. It was plain that something 
was wrong, and a meeting was called in the house 
of the chief. After many had told what they 
thought should be done, the oldest man stood up. 

“He said: ‘When you who have been talk- 
159 



160 Indian Days of the Long Ago 

ing with words were babies, I was an old man. 
When I was young, I heard my grandfather 
say that if a small bird was struck with a stone 
the snow would never stop. The men of those 
times were wise.’ 

“Then he sat down. 

“The chief at once ordered all the children to 
be brought, and he questioned them. A little girl 
said that she had struck a bird with a stone. She 
was afraid of the old men in council, and could 
hardly speak. Then the men talked again. At 
last they said to the parents of the little girl: 

“ ‘Give us your child, and instead of killing 
her, as we first thought of doing, we will give 
her alive to Winter. Then Winter will cease 
to be angry and will leave us, and Summer will 
come.’ 

“Presents were given to the girl’s parents in 
payment for their daughter, but they were very 
sad, for she was an only child. While she was led 
away, they wailed as do those who mourn for the 
dead. The people dressed in their finest gar¬ 
ments, and the little girl was dressed the best of 
all. They marched to the river, and the chief led 
the girl. 

“A great block of ice was pulled to the shore, 
and on it they spread straw and mats. They 
carefully set the girl on the mats, and pushed 
the cake of ice into the swift current. It drifted 
down, swirling, and lifting and settling with the 
rise and fall of the water. Above the dull roar 


Barefoot on Ice and Snow 


161 



of the rapids rose the shrill crying of the child 
and the wild wailing of her parents. The peo¬ 
ple returned to the village, singing. 

“Very soon a warm wind was felt, and before 
many days the snow was gone. Then the people 
were sure that the words of the old men of long 
ago were true. They moved away to the fishing 
places and caught salmon for the next winter, 
and in the autumn they returned to the village. 

“Winter came again. Some old men one day 
stood on the river bank watching the ice drift by. 
Far down the stream they saw a black spot on a 
cake of ice which was whirling round and round 
in an eddy. A young man was sent to see what 
this was, and he reported that it seemed to be 
a human being. L . * 

“With long poles the block of ice was drawn 
to the bank. On it was a young girl, and the 
people saw that she was the child they had given 
as an offering to Winter. She was carried to 
the house of her parents, where she quickly fell 












162 Indian Days of the Long Ago 



Hopi maidens 


asleep beside the fire. And always after that she 
had the power to walk barefoot on ice and snow.” 

“So we must not be cruel to the little birds,” 
said Sister, “and strike them needlessly. That 
is what caused all the trouble.” 

“But I learn more than that from the story,” 
Kukusim said. “I learn that when a child goes 
into danger alone, the spirits will care for it. The 
spirits took care of the little girl on the cake of 
ice, and it was they who gave her the power to 
walk barefoot on ice and snow. Is it not so, 
Grandfather?” 

“It is true,” answered the old man, slowly. 
“And some day Kukusim will go alone into the 
lonely places, and there he will get power from 
some of the spirits.” 

“But, Grandfather,” Blue Bird protested, 
“that story was sad. Tell us one with a happy 
ending.” 

“Here, then, is a tale of a Hopi maiden of long 
ago,” began the aged story-teller. 



THE STORY OF CORN-SMUT GIRL 


“In one of the Hopi villages was a handsome 
young man named Rainbow Youth. Every day 
before sunrise he practised running, and made 
offerings to the Sun and to the other gods, that 
he might become strong and swift. During the 
day and the night he remained in the house. 

“One day he announced that he would marry 
the girl whose corn meal was ground so fine 
that it would stick to a large shell hanging on 
his wall. Then all the girls began to grind meal, 
and to make it just as fine as they could. For all 
the maidens wished greatly to marry this hand¬ 
some young man. 

“One after another they came to the home 
of Rainbow Youth and threw their meal against 
the shell. But always it fell to the floor, and 
the maidens, one by one, would go away ashamed. 

“Now in this village lived Corn-smut Girl, and 
she was dark-skinned and dirty. Her brothers 










164 Indian Days of the Long Ago 

teased her, asking why she did 
not marry Rainbow Youth, and 
she said she would try. But 
they laughed and said they did 
not think Rainbow Youth would 
keep his promise if her meal 
should stick to the shell. 

“When Corn-smut Girl had 
her meal ready, she took it 
in a basket to the young man’s 
house. He spoke kindly, and 
asked her to enter and sit 
down. 

“Then he said, ‘What is it you 
wish?’ 

“ T have come for you,’ she answered. 

“ ‘Very well,’ said Rainbow Youth. 

“He took a handful of her meal and threw it 
against the large shell, and it stuck fast. 

“‘Good!’ said he. ‘It is my own word. I 
have agreed to marry the girl whose meal stuck 
to my shell. Your meal has done so. There¬ 
fore I go with you.’ 

“So the two started to the home of Corn-smut 
Girl. For when a Hopi man takes a wife, he 
lives with her family. 

“The brothers and the mother of Corn-smut 
Girl were surprised that the handsome youth had 
married such an ugly girl, but they were glad to 
welcome him into the family. When the evening 
mealtime drew near, Corn-smut Girl went into 



Corn-Smut girl 





The Story of Corn-Smut Girl 165 

another room. Soon a beautiful young woman 
came out and sat down with the others to eat. 

Rainbow Youth wondered why 
his wife did not join them, but 
he asked no questions. 

“As bedtime came on, his 
brothers-in-law explained to him 
that this beautiful young woman 
was his bride, Corn-smut Girl. 
Her dark, smutty skin was 
really only a mask which she 
wore during the day. Every 
day she wore this mask, but 
at night she removed it and showed her true self 
to her family. For in truth she was not an ordi¬ 
nary person, but a goddess! 

“Now the girls who had wished to marry Rain¬ 
bow Youth were angry and jealous, and they 
made fun of the young man and his dirty bride. 
But he did not care, for he knew that his 
wife was really more beautiful than any of 
them. 

“After several years had passed, Corn-smut 
Girl said that since she was a goddess, it was 
not right for her to live among mortal people. 
So with all her family she one day disappeared 
into the ground. And at the place where she 
went into the earth the Hopi now pray to Corn- 
smut Girl as a goddess, begging her to send 
them good crops of corn.” 

“Grandfather, that is a fine story,” said Blue 




166 Indian Days of the Dong Ago 

Bird, gratefully. “I shall tell it to my mother, 
and she too will like it.” 

“The day has grown old, Grandchildren, and 
we must return to the camp.” 

As they rose from the grass, they could hear 
the herald calling, “Tomorrow we shall travel 
again toward the plains of the buffalo!” 



A BUFFALO HUNT 

Six more days the Salish traveled before they 
came to the prairies where the buffalo grazed. 
The scouts had gone far ahead, and reported the 
plains black with them, and long was the talk 
as to how the hunt should be managed. 

If they surrounded the herd with their horses 
and rode to kill with arrows, many would escape, 
and little meat would the women have to dry. If 
they could surround them and drive them over a 
precipice, they would have meat enough for the 
winter. Then afterward the young men who 
wished to show how great was their skill could 
hunt as many days as they liked with their fast 
horses. 

The chiefs decided that the latter plan was the 
better. 

“Tomorrow,” advised Lone Pine, “our scouts 
will look for the best place to drive the herd. 
Keep far from the buffalo, that they may not 
take fright and escape.” 


16T 







168 Indian Days of the Dong Ago 

Long the scouts traveled 
on the morrow before they 
found, at the edge of a val¬ 
ley, a sheer rocky precipice 
twenty times the height of 
a m a n. It stood at the 
edge of a plain, level as the 
sea and extending half as 
far as the eye could look. 
When the scouts made 
their report, the encampment quietly moved into 
the valley below the rocky cliff. On the plain 
above they built heaps of stones and brush in two 
great diverging lines, like a letter V with the 
point at the cliff. For several days they worked 
hard at the task, and then all was ready for the 
great killing of the buffalo. 

But before they began the hunt, there were 
many songs to be sung and prayers to be said; 
otherwise they could expect no success. So in 
the evening the chiefs and the medicine-men, 
after purifying themselves in the sweat-lodge, as¬ 
sembled in the lodge of Lone Pine and sang the 
Buffalo songs. With great care then Lone Pine 
gave final instructions to his hunters; each one 
must obey orders with thought, or there would 
be failure. 

Tomorrow is the day set. Early in the morn¬ 
ing the old men, the women, and the boys will 
go to the plain above the camp, and each will 
take his place behind one of the piles of stones 



A Buffalo Hunt 169 

and brush. Young men disguised with buffalo 
skins about their bodies and horns on their heads 
have been directing the herd toward the fatal 
place, and by now they have the buffalo so near 
that within a few hours the stupid animals will 
follow them within the lines. 

It is scarcely light when these disguised men 
are again leading the buffalo. Far and near in 
many directions are the watchful hunters on their 
swiftest horses. By the middle of the afternoon 
they perceive that the buffalo are entering the 
trap. Then quickly they surround the herd on 
every side except that toward the precipice. 

The animals see the horsemen, and start to 
run. The old cows take the lead, and look for a 
way of escape. Men are in every direction but 
one. Wildly they gallop forward, and the men 
behind ride madly after them, yelling fiercely; 
and at the right moment the women and boys be¬ 
hind the piles of stone and brush leap to their 
feet, shouting and waving blankets. 

The stampede is on. Large and small, the 
animals rush like the flow of a black river be¬ 
tween its banks. A few break out at the sides 
and escape, but the majority run on to their 
doom. On, on goes the stampeded herd,—cows, 
bulls, and calves. If one falls, it is ground to 
a pulp by the feet of the maddened herd. 

The leaders reach the brink of the precipice, 
but if they would, they cannot stop or turn. The 
weight of those behind forces them on. They 


170 Indian Days of the Long Ago 

pour over the edge like a mighty cascade, and are 
crushed and broken at the bottom almost as water 
is whipped into spray. Perhaps a few escape, 
but nearly all are killed by the fall. 

On the next day began the hard work of pre¬ 
paring the meat. Men and women worked to¬ 
gether, the men skinning the animals and cut¬ 
ting the joints. The women staked out on the 
ground the tightly stretched hides, that they 
might not shrink and curl in drying. Later they 
would make the skins into robes, lodge covers, 
blankets for men and women, moccasins, mit¬ 
tens. From the skinned animals the women cut 
the best portions of the meat, and old women 
sliced it thin for drying. Even the smaller chil¬ 
dren worked now, carrying the meat to the camp 
for drying, and bringing fuel for the fires. 

At the end of each day all were tired, and 
glad when it was time to sleep. For two weeks 
the meat was dried, and then the men were ready 
for another hunt. 









SCOUTING 

Through the busy days Kukusim had been 
more than active, and there had been little time 
to talk with Grandfather. Great was his happi¬ 
ness, then, when he heard the Clayoquot say that 
he would be one of the scouts to look for the 
buffalo, and that he would take Kukusim with 
him. 

Long they rode over the rolling prairie. Then 
said the old man: “Grandson, we will go to yon¬ 
der hill. From there we can look far for the 
buffalo.” 

“Each time we come to a high hill it is the 
same,” complained the boy, when they reached 
the hill top and found the country bare of living 
creatures. “We sight no buffalo, except two 
or three, which run when they see us. Do you 
think, Grandfather, that I-tsik-ba-dish warned 
them, and that they traveled far away from 
danger?” 


171 




172 Indian Days of the Long Ago 

“I do not know, Grandson. It may be so. 
More likely the buffalo that escaped from our 

drive at the precipice had 
fear in their hearts and led 
the others away. But soon 
it will be dark. Far yon¬ 
der is a stream, and in the 
shelter of its trees and thick 
brush we will camp for the 
night. The brush is so 
thick that if an enemy 
passes he will not see our 
fire.” 

The sun was sinking when they reached the 
shelter of the cottonwood trees bordering the 
creek, and soon the horses were tethered in the 
open, that they might eat their fill before night 
came. 

“Here is thick brush,” said the old man. 
“Truly no one could find us in this place. In 
this small open space among the trees we can 
have our sleep tonight. Let us gather a lot of 
this dry rubbish to put beneath us, that the sweat 
of the earth may not get into my old bones.” 

Their bed prepared, he ordered the boy to 
gather some of the dry fiber found inside the 
bark of decaying cottonwoods. Then he took a 
dead dry stick half as large as his wrist, which he 
flattened on both sides until it would lie firmly 
on the ground. In it he cut a slight notch ex¬ 
tending to one edge. Next he found a straight 





Scouting 173 



Making fire 


shaft of dead willow, the length of his forearm. 
One end of it he pointed and set into the notch 
of the larger piece. 

Finally, between the palms of his hands, he 
twirled the willow spindle rapidly, and always 
with downward pressure. Almost instantly there 
was a thin line of smoke, and friction-charred 
dust flowed down the notch from the point of 
the stick and fell upon a bit of the dry fiber. As 
if by magic there was a glowing spark, and with 
a little of the dry fiber for tinder he quickly had 
a flame, all in less than fifty pulse beats. 

While their dried meat w T as toasting on sharp¬ 
ened sticks pushed into the ground, Kukusim 
picked up the two dead and withered fire sticks 
and looked thoughtfully at them, and then at the 
sparkling fire which now leaped into the air. 

“Grandfather, who first learned how to make 
fire with sticks?” he asked. 

“I do not know, Grandson. There are many 


174 Indian Days of the Long Ago 

tales of how people learned to make fire. In the 
long ago time people had no fire. The Apsaroke 
often speak of the ancient people as those who 
had no fires.” 

“How did they live without fire?” 

“Do not the bears eat their fill of raw roots 
and pick berries from the bushes? So it must 
have been with people in the days before they 
learned to make fire.” 

“Without fire the winter must have been cold 
and hard. Grandfather. I am glad I did not live 
then. But tell me one of your tales about fire.” 

“Well, here is one I have heard in the land that 
lies far to the south. 

“When the Creator had made the earth, the 
animals, and the people, he saw that the people 
must have fire. So he called Coyote, and com¬ 
manded, ‘Go to the Land of the Fireflies and 
bring back their fire, for the people have no fire 
with which to cook their food.’ 

“The Fireflies lived at the bottom of a deep, 
deep hole, an enormous well in the solid rock. Its 
sides were smooth and straight, and how to get 
down Coyote did not know. But he went to 
the edge of the pit, and there he found Little 
Tree growing. 

“ ‘Help me down to the Land of the Fireflies,’ 
he begged. 

“So Little Tree sent its roots down, down, 
down, until they extended quite to the bottom. 
Coyote climbed down, and there he played with 


Scouting 

the Firefly boys. As 
he romped about, run¬ 
ning back and forth, 
he pretended to have 
no thought of the 
fire; for the Fireflies 
guarded their fire most carefully, 
and would let no one touch it. 

“Now on the tip of his tail 
Coyote had tied a tuft of dry 
cedar bark. Suddenly he dashed 
through the great fire which al¬ 
ways burned in the center of the 
village. Away he ran before the 
Firefly people understood what 
had happened. When they knew 
that Coyote had stolen their fire, 
they gave chase. But Coyote was 
very swift, and he reached the wall 
of the pit far ahead of them. 

“ ‘Little Tree, Little Tree, help 
me out!’ he called. 

“Little Tree drew its roots up, 
up, up, while Coyote held on and 






176 Indian Days of the Long Ago 

was drawn safely 
out of the hole. 
Then he ran 
quickly among the 
people, lighting 
the piles of wood 
they had pre¬ 
pared. Thus every 
family was sup¬ 
plied with fire.” 
“Now, Grand¬ 
father,” said Kukusim, “I will tell you what our 
brothers, the Kalispel, 1 say about the first fire. 

“Long ago the only fire was in a world above 
the sky. The people held a meeting to make 
plans for stealing this fire, and it was decided 
that the leader should be the one whose war song 
was the best. Muskrat sang first, but his song 
was not good. Others in their turn sang. 

“Near by was a small knoll, from which came 
the sound of whistling. They hurried over to it 
and found Coyote and his friend Wren, who had 
a thick bundle of small arrows. The two were 
invited to the council, and there Coyote sang his 
war song. It was so good that all the others 
could not keep from dancing, and so Coyote was 
made chief of the party of fire stealers. 

“Now the question was, how to get into the 

1 The Kalispel (pronounced Ka'-lis-pel') were a small tribe, 
closely related to the Salish, and living on what we know as Pend 
d’Orielle River, or Clark’s Fork of the Columbia, in northeastern 
Washington. About one hundred of them still live there. 



The Kalispel 


Scouting 


177 



Dance of the Fire Stealers 


upper world above the sky. Wren said that he 
would shoot an arrow up, piercing the sky; then 
he would shoot another into the end of the first 
arrow, and so on until there was a long line of 
his arrows from the sky down to the ground. 

“When all this had been done, Wren, because 
he was the lightest, climbed up with a long rope 
of bark. From the upper world he let down the 
rope, and all the others began to climb. The last 
one was Bear, that greedy fellow, who took two 
baskets of food on his back. But so heavy were 
they that when he was half-way up the rope 
broke and Bear tumbled back to the earth. And 
so fat was he that he was not injured. 

“In the upper world it was found that Curlew 
was the keeper of the fire and of the fish-weir, 
and Frog and Bullsnake were sent as scouts to 
learn in which house the fire was kept. They 
crept up close to the village, and stopped to lis¬ 
ten. Frog was in the lead, and Bullsnake, be- 








178 Indian Days of the Long Ago 

coming hungry, began to lick Frog’s feet, and 
suddenly swallowed him with a gulp. Then he 
returned to the others and told them that Frog 
had been eaten; but he would not say who had 
eaten him. 

“Coyote, the chief, now ordered Beaver to go 
into the village and steal some of the fire. So 
Beaver made a plan with Eagle. He went to 
the river and floated down, pretending to be 
dead. Curlew, keeping his watch on the bank, 
saw the Beaver lodge against his fish-weir, and 
dragged him out for the sake of his soft fur. 
When he had thrown the Beaver into the cor¬ 
ner of his house, Eagle alighted on the roof, 
acting as if he were wounded and unable to fly 
away. Then everybody ran out of Curlew’s house 
to capture the great bird for his feathers, and 

Beaver seized the fire 
and ran. 

“Just as B eaver 
reached the river, the 
people saw him and 
gave chase. He dived, 
carrying the spark of 
fire under one of his 
claws so that the water 
could not touch it. 

“Now Curlew sent 
Spider down the river 
to spread his net in the water and thus catch the 
thief. But Beaver swam too swiftly, and so he 



Scouting 179 

reached the rope safely and climbed down. The 
others of his party followed, and thus it was that 
the people of the earth obtained their first fire. 
So say the Kalispel.” 

“It is a good tale, my boy, and you tell it 
well,” said the old man. “But we have talked 
long, and it is now time to sleep. And first we 
must bring our horses and tie them close to us, 
lest some enemy find them.” 




A STRANGE TRAIL 

“Awake, my Grandson!” 

Kukusim rubbed sleepy eyes, and in a moment 
was on his feet and eagerly sniffing the savory 
odor of broiling meat. 

“Our horses have fed,” said the Clayoquot. 
“We will eat a mouthful, and start on our day’s 
ride. We will go northward.” 

Soon they were galloping across the plains, 
looking in every direction for buffalo. At mid¬ 
afternoon, close ahead of them, their keen eyes 
detected a streak of foot-worn grass. 

“Is it the tracks of buffalo, or of buffalo 
hunters?” the old man wondered. “We will go 
closer and see.” 

After examining the ground, he announced, 
“It is a large party of hunters traveling east¬ 
ward.” 

“Who do you think they are, and how long 
ago did they pass?” 

“They passed but a few days ago. See how 

180 



181 


A Strange Trail 

fresh are the tracks. Who they are we cannot 
tell, but we will follow for a time, and perhaps 
may learn. It may be your mother’s people, the 
Pierced Noses. You know that word came to 
our camp before we started, saying that they had 
gone to the buffalo country to hunt. Perhaps 
on the trail we shall find some object which will 
tell us who they are.” 

Mile after mile they followed the trail with¬ 
out finding any sign by which they could tell 
about the party. Then said the grandfather: 

“The sun is sinking. We must not travel 
longer on this trail. It may be an enemy, and 
we might be seen by their scouts. Here on our 
right is a very high hill, with some brush close 
to the top. We will stay there tonight, and if 
a camp is within the reach of our eyes we shall 
see the fires in the darkness. The bushes will 
conceal the horses and ourselves.” 

Watchfully and carefully they made their way 
to the summit. Crouching there in the protection 
of the dark, scrubby trees, they studied the coun¬ 
try in every direction. 

“My eyes find nothing in the distance, Grand¬ 
son, but I see that the scouts of the unknown 
have been here before us to spy out the land. 
See where their horses’ feet have broken the 
ground. We will sleep here tonight.” 

“And shall we make a fire?” 

“Not tonight. An enemy might see it. We 
are like scouts, and must have no light. When 


182 


Indian Days of the Long Ago 



it is dark and the stars come out, we must look 
long with strong eyes to find the camp-fires of 
the unknown.” 

“You say when the stars come out. Do you 
remember that you promised to tell me a story 
of the stars some night when we could see them? 
Tonight the sky is clear.” 

So, as they munched their dry, uncooked meat, 
the old man related the Star Story of the Puyal¬ 
lup . 1 

“There were two sisters who, working to¬ 
gether, kept their household supplied with fern 
roots. At times they camped out overnight, 
being too far from home to return. 

“One night, after they had arranged their 
beds, they lay gazing up at the stars. They won¬ 
dered who the stars were and how they lived. 

“Tapat, the younger, said: 'Do you see that 

1 The Puyallup (pronounced Pu-yal'-lup) are a Puget Sound 
tribe formerly occupying the valley of Puyallup River and the ad¬ 
jacent shores of the sound, including the site of the city of 
Tacoma. 


183 


A Strange Trail 

little red star? You may have him for your hus¬ 
band, but that big bright one is the one I want 
for mine. I wish we were married to them, 
truly!’ 

“ ‘Oh, be quiet!’ scolded Yasidbish. ‘Why do 
you talk that way?’ 

“Soon they fell asleep. In the morning they 
awakened early, and found themselves in the land 
of the Star people. Beside each lay a husband, 
the very one they had talked about in the night. 
But the red Star, husband of the elder sister, 
was a handsome young man, while the big bright 
Star was old and white-haired. 

“They were much frightened, but there was 
nothing to do but make the best of it. As on the 
earth, they spent their days digging fern roots. 

“Their husbands advised them not to dig the 
longest roots, which, they said, were not so good 
as the others. But the girls knew this was not 
true of the earth roots, and wondered why their 
husbands told them this. 

“One day they dug out the very longest root 
they could find. Suddenly their digging sticks 
broke through the ground, and peering down 
through the hole, they beheld the earth spread 
out below them. 

“They decided to escape, and gathering many 
slender branches of cedar, they twisted a long 
rope and let it down through the hole. Then, 
making the end fast, they quickly slid down to 
the earth. 


184 Indian Days of the Long Ago 

“Very soon after their escape the elder sister 
had a child, a boy, who was named Dababet. 
Every day when she went to dig roots she left 
the baby in the care of Toad Woman, its grand¬ 
mother, who tied a board to the rope dangling 
from the sky. This was a swing for the baby. 

“But Toad Woman was blind, and one day 
two women from the north came and stole the 
baby. Far and wide the people searched, but 
they could not find the child Dababet. 

“Many years passed. Blue Jay, traveling far 
in the north, discovered a land beyond this one. 
To reach it one had to pass beneath a shelf of 
land which constantly rose and fell like a huge 
jaw, shaking the earth each time it came down. 

“Blue Jay was afraid to try the passage, but 
at last he mustered all his courage and made a 
dash, feet foremost. He got through, but not 
without injury. His head was caught and flat¬ 
tened at the sides, as are the heads of all Blue 
Jays to this day. 

“In the northern land, Blue Jay found a single 
house, in which sat a man chipping arrow-heads 
from flint. When he appeared at the door, the 
man hurled a handful of flint chips at him, al¬ 
most blinding him, and began to scold him for 
making a noise and spoiling the work. 

“Now wise Blue Jay had recognized the man 
as Dababet, and he cried out: ‘Why do you treat 
me so? I came to tell you that your mother has 
been searching the earth for you many years.’ 


A Strange Trail 185 

“Then the man rose and with a touch healed 
Blue Jay^s eyes. He told Blue Jay to go back 
and inform the people that Dababet had spent 
the years in making many things for them, and 
soon would come to teach them what to eat and 
how to work. For the people were very poor, 
and knew nothing. They lived like the beasts. 

“Not long after this Dababet appeared among 
them with baskets, awls, bows and arrows, 
quivers, war clubs, fire drills, moccasins, skin 
garments, and many other tools and implements. 
He had also numerous roots and berries, and the 
seeds of countless trees and shrubs, which he 
afterward planted. For up to this time the 
earth had been barren. 

“When he came, the Stones were people, but 
he made them stationary. In the water he placed 
fish, and on land beasts. On each river he put 
canoes. The huge flies and other insects, the 
terrors of the earth, he made small and compara¬ 
tively harmless. 

“Many evils he corrected, changing terrible 
creatures into harmless animals or lifeless things. 
In the country of the Puyallup, they say, Daba¬ 
bet performed the same work which Coyote did 
on the Great River. 

“After all his labors were ended, Dababet 
went to the home of his grandmother, Toad 
Woman, from whom he had been stolen. There 
he saw a mountain of rock, formed from the coils 
of the fallen rope by which his mother had 


186 Indian Days of the Long Ago 



The night sun 


escaped from the sky. And in that land the 
people pointed out this mountain to me. 

“In those days the earth was dim. There was 
no sun for the day nor for the night. Dababet 
therefore went into the sky and traveled across 
it in the form of the sun. But he made the days 
so hot that the people could not endure it. 

“Then he came down and changed a man into 
the shape of the sun, and sent him into the sky. 
He said that he himself would become the night 
sun. 1 

“He announced that he would marry whatever 
girl could lift his great bundle of tools and seeds. 
Only the daughter of Frog Woman could lift it, 
and she accompanied him into the sky. And to 
this day Dababet and Frog, with the great bag 
on her back, may be seen in the night sun.” 


1 Most Indian tribes speak of the moon as the “night sun.” 

















THE WOLVES AND THE DEER 


The boy gave a pleased sigh as he turned his 
eyes toward the moon, which had just appeared, 
big and red, above the horizon. 

“So that is what those dim shadows are which 
we see in the night sun!” he exclaimed. “Daba- 
bet was a great man, and I shall always think 
of his great deeds when the night sun shines. 

“Grandfather, how is it that you have never 
told a tale of your own people?” 

“Well, Grandson, since you ask, here is a story 
I used to hear my old grandfather repeat in the 
great house of my father. Have you ever heard 
hunters say that wolves, when they kill a deer, 
always leave the stomach uneaten? Yes, so it 
is, and this is the reason, if we may believe the 
story. 

“It was in those ancient days when all ani¬ 
mals were people. Deer and his small son 
were in their canoe, fishing. The boy fell asleep. 

“In a short time a canoe paddled by some of 
the Wolf people passed him, and Deer called, 
‘Oh, are you going home?’ And in a lower tone 
he added insultingly, ‘You Eaters of Raw Food!’ 

“The Wolves responded with civil words and 
went on. 

“Soon came another canoe of the Wolves, and 
again Deer called, ‘Oh, are you going home, you 
Eaters of Raw Food?’ 

“But this time he carelessly spoke his insult 
a little too loud, and the Wolves understood. 


187 


188 Indian Days of the Long Ago 



“ ‘What is that you are saying?’ demanded 
one. 

“ ‘Oh, I asked if you are going home,’ replied 
Deer, ‘and said that you are having a fine day 
for moving.’ 

“ ‘No, that is not what you said,’ the Wolf de¬ 
clared. 

“They paddled up alongside and dragged 
Deer out into their canoe, leaving the boy asleep 
in the anchored canoe. They took Deer to their 
village and made him a slave to the chief of the 
Wolves. 

“One day the wife of the chief ordered him to 
sharpen for her two clam-shell knives. So he 
went to the beach and began his task. And as 
he rubbed the shells over a stone, he sang: 

“ ‘Knife, knife, knife, knife! 

I am sharpening the knife for the Wolf 
chief. 

Kwsh, kwsh , kwsh , kwshf 






The Wolves and the Deer 189 

“As he worked, he 
thought of a plan of 
escape, and when both 
the knives were well 
sharpened, he hid 
one under a corner of 
the house. The other 
he carried to the Wolf 
Woman, saying, T 
broke one, my mis¬ 
tress.’ 

“‘Where is it?’ she 
asked. 

“ ‘Why,’ said Deer, ‘it was broken into small 
bits that could not be put together, and I threw 
them into the water. So it was, my mistress.’ 

“That night the Wolf chief could not sleep, 
and he called to Deer, ‘Slave, come and tell me 
a story to make me sleep.’ 

“So Deer sat down beside him as he lay on 
the floor leaning his head against the bed. After 
a while the chief and all the others fell asleep. 
Then Deer slipped quietly out, got the knife 
from its hiding-place under the house, and 
slashed off the Wolf chief’s head. 

“In my country, Grandson, the warriors take 
not the scalp, but the head. 

“He ran down to a canoe, set the dripping 
head on the prow, and paddled away homeward, 
singing a war song about the head he had taken. 

“When the chief’s wife awoke and saw her hus- 




190 Indian Days of the Long Ago 

band sitting on the 
floor, apparently 
sleeping, she gave 
him a nudge and 
said, ‘Come to bed.’ 

“There was no an¬ 
swer, and she saw a 
dark, wet spot on the 
floor. She looked 
more closely and no¬ 
ticed that the head 
was missing! 

“ 6 Ai, ai, ai!’ she 
wailed. ‘Something 
terrible has hap¬ 
pened!’ 

“Then the people 
leaped out of their beds, and others came rush¬ 
ing from near-by houses. Some one noticed that 
the slave was gone, and they began to suspect 
him. 

“Now, Wren was a man who had power to see 
everything, no matter how far away. So he sat 
down and sang his medicine song, and then in his 
mind he saw Deer paddling home in a canoe, with 
the chief’s head in the prow. He called upon 
Crane to bring out his medicine box and create 
a fog. 

“Then Crane opened his box, and immediately 
the water was covered with a fog so dense that 
Deer could not see his way, and becoming con- 



The Wolves and the Deer 191 

fused he paddled ashore at the Wolf chief’s vil¬ 
lage, thinking he was at home. The Wolf men 
had sharpened their teeth and claws, and were 
waiting on the beach. 

“When the Deer man landed and caught sight 
of the Wolves, he ran and quickly climbed into a 
tree. As they could not climb, they began to 
gnaw off the roots. Soon the tree fell, but Deer 
leaped into another, and again the Wolves began 
to dig and scratch and gnaw. But as the tree 
toppled, Deer jumped into another, and so it 
continued until the Wolves were exhausted. 

“Then they held a council, and other men as¬ 
sembled with them to decide upon a way to 
capture Deer. But no one could think of a 
good plan, and they waited for Wren, who had 
not yet come. At length a messenger was sent 
to him, and then he came. 

“ ‘Such a little man, and we always have to 
wait for him!’ grunted Elk, impatiently. 

“Wren sat down beside him and chirped: 
‘Well, why do you not think, and make up your 
mind about this matter, you big man? Such a 
big-nosed thing!’ 

“ ‘I will crush you with my arm if you are not 
more careful,’ threatened Elk. 

“ 'Try it, and I will go into your big nose!’ 

“So the dispute continued, and suddenly 
Wren darted into Elk’s huge nostril, and the big 
man was taken with a fit of sneezing. When the 
great fellow was almost dead, Wren came out, 


192 Indian Days of the Long Ago 


and Elk was willing to 
have peace. 



“Now Wren told 
t h e m what should he 
done about Deer. First 
he made up a song, all 
about the arms and 


legs of Deer falling 
down from the tree, 


and he told them to sing it. 
“So they took up the song, and 
danced in a circle about the tree, 


and when they had passed four times around it 
and had finished the song the fourth time, down 
through the branches fell one of Deer’s legs, 
which the Wolves leaped upon and devoured. 

“Then they resumed their singing and dancing, 
and another leg tumbled down. 

“ T pray, my masters,’ begged Deer, ‘do not 
eat my stomach!’ 

“On went the dancing and the singing, and 
one by one fell pieces of Deer’s body, and all 
was eaten by the Wolves except the stomach. 
This is where the Wolves formed their habit of 
leaving the stomach of the Deer. So say the 
Clayoquot.” 

Heavy darkness had fallen. Kukusim yawned 
and began to arrange his robe for sleep. 

“What a scout you are!” said the old man, re¬ 
provingly. “Have you forgotten that it is our 
duty to look for enemies as well as for buffalo?” 


The Wolves and the Deer 


193 



A Clayoquot 


The boy leaped to his feet, alert and eager at 
the mention of possible enemies, and together 
they crept to the edge of the undergrowth and 
searched the horizon with careful eyes. But no 
light rent the mantle of blackness that over¬ 
spread the land, and they returned to their 
blankets. 























A CAMP DISCOVERED 


“Ho! Grandson! It is time to throw away the 
sleep.” 

Kukusim rolled out of his blanket. The east¬ 
ern sky was gray. 

“We must be traveling,” admonished the old 
man. “Our horses had little to eat in the night, 
and we will take them down to the rich grass of 
the valley, where they can feed and drink. But 
before we start, Grandson, come to my side and 
turn your eyes toward the coming sun. Look 
long and closely. Do you see a thin cloud al¬ 
most touching Mother Earth? That cloud is 
smoke from some camp, perhaps the camp of an 
enemy. We will ride in that direction.” 

The day was still young when they mounted 
their horses. Long they galloped eastward, and 
at length the Clayoquot drew rein and spoke. 

“The sun is overhead, my boy, and yet we do 
not see the camp. Watch you the horses here, 
and I will crawl on my belly up yonder hill and 
look. Before I start I will arrange my hair as 
do the Apsaroke scouts.” 

He gathered wisps of long grass and tied 
them in his hair in such a way that from a dis¬ 
tance his head and shoulders looked like a bunch 
of grass. 

“See, Grandson! Now when I come to the 
hill top to look beyond, I shall seem to be but a 
tuft of grass. Soon I will return.” 

Kukusim watched the old man creep up the 

194 


195 


A Camp Discovered 

hill, and then all he could see was a small, dark 
spot against the sky. He could hear his heart 
beat in the anxiety of the mo¬ 
ments of waiting. Was it the 
camp of an enemy, who might 
swoop down upon them? 

In a short time the scout 
returned. 

“Leave the horses and come 
with me!” 

“What is it, Grandfather?” 
asked the boy, anxiously. 

“Waste not your breath in 
questions, when soon your 
eyes will see. Creep close to 
the ground. Now raise your eyes, but not your 
body.” 

In the valley below, and but a few miles away, 
lay a beautiful camp of skin lodges, many of 
them white as snow, others browned with the 
smoke of many fires. In the meadows and on the 
hills grazed hundreds of ponies. 

“Grandfather,” whispered Kukusim, “who are 
the people of the camp?” 

“I think they are your mother’s people. If 
they were Apsaroke their lodges would be larger, 
and the lodges of the Snakes are smaller and not 
so fine as these. My heart tells me that they are 
Pierced Noses. We will not wait long here. 
Far down this same valley is our own camp. If 
we ride fast we may arrive by the time full dark- 





196 Indian Days of the Long Ago 



ness is on us. Tomorrow our horses can rest. 
Today let them use their legs. It is time you 
were back at your mother’s lodge. She will 
have an angry heart that I have kept you so 
long.” 

Instinct told the horses that their heads 
pointed homeward, and little urging did they 
need. It was hour after hour of steady, swing¬ 
ing lope. When the faithful ponies lagged, they 
were forced on with whip and word. 

Darkness settled before the tired animals 
brought them in sight of the encampment. How 
large and fine it looked, each lodge lit up with its 
fire and glowing in the darkness! 

Kukusim’s mother took his horse from him as 
though he were a returning warrior. 

“I thought the enemy had taken you, my son! 
Do you think you are a warrior, that you travel 
so far?” 

“I have learned many things, Mother, and we 
saw a big camp. Grandfather thinks they are 
your people.” 

“How far away is the camp?” she asked 
eagerly. 

“The sun was little more than half-way on its 


197 


A Camp Discovered 

journey when we 
saw them. Since that 
time we have ridden 
like the wind.” 

“Are there many 
lodges?” 

“Half as many as 
in our camp.” 

“Eat your food 
now, my son, and 
then sleep. The 
scouts have found 
the buffalo, and to¬ 
morrow the men will 
hunt.” 

“May I go with 
them, Mother?” 

“You may stay in the camp with the rest of 
the children. Your head has grown large with 
being a chief’s son and with much talking with 
the stranger. It is bad that you have no real 
grandfather to speak to you with hard words. 
Scarf ace’s grandfather is always speaking to him 
with hard words.” 

“I like better your soft words and Grand¬ 
father’s stories,” said Kukusim, mischievously. 

“Scarface is not so good a boy as you,” admit¬ 
ted the mother, “and it is well that his grand¬ 
father uses sharp words to him. Sleep now. We 
have made words enough.” 

In the meantime He Who Was Dead And 




198 Indian Days of the Long Ago 

Lives Again had joined the men in council, and 
many were their questions as to what he had seen. 

“I have traveled 
far toward the west 
and the northwest,” 
he told them. “Dur¬ 
ing the second sun I 
came to the trail of 
many horses. I fol¬ 
lowed the tracks far, 
and to the north in 
this valley I found a 
camp. My heart 
tells me that they are 
the friendly Pierced 
Noses, but because 
the boy was with me 
I did not spy on the 
edge of the camp.” 

“If it truly is a 
camp of the Pierced 
Noses,” said Lone Pine, “we need have no fear, 
and tomorrow we can kill the buffalo our scouts 
have found. We need more meat and more 
skins.” 

The voice of the council was that they should 
begin the hunt as planned. Scouts who were 
known to the Pierced Noses would visit the camp, 
and if they found the hearts of the strangers were 
friendly, all would camp together, that the young 
people might enjoy themselves. 



A Nez Perce babe in cradle 






VISIT OF THE PIERCED NOSES 

With the first light the hunters were off for the 
plain where grazed the buffalo. This time they 
were to hunt on horses, and kill the game with 
bow and arrow. Lone Pine carefully reminded 
the men of the hunting rules; no one could act for 
himself, but must follow the orders of the chief, 
and no one could dash forward in advance of the 
others. 

Scouts went out to learn the exact position of 
the herd. When they returned to the halted 
party, all gathered close to hear their words. 
Each man mounted his fastest horse, which had 
not been ridden on the way from the camp, as it 
must be fresh for the chase. The riding horses 
and the pack animals were left in care of youths 
and boys. 

When the hunters came in view of the herd, it 
was scattered across the whole valley. As it was 
impossible to surround the entire herd, Lone 
Pine quickly ordered that a small band near by 
be encircled. 

Swift as the wind the horses bore down upon 
the animals, cutting off several hundred from the 
main herd. Now the effort was to surround the 


199 




200 Indian Days of the Long Ago 

band completely, 
blocking every line 
of escape, so that 
the frightened buf¬ 
falo would begin 
madly charging 
about in a circle. 
Then the hunters, 
by the pressure of 
their brown, naked 
legs, guided their 
well - trained horses 
close to the side of 
the racing animals 
and let fly their arrows. To kill with the arrow 
they had to be so close that their feet almost 
touched the shaggy brutes. Some broke from 
the circle and made their escape, but few were 
so fortunate. 

The slaughter ended, they began the skinning 
and butchering, and with the help of the women, 
who soon arrived, meat and hides were packed on 
the horses for conveying to the camp. Once more 
there was merry feasting, and the racks were 
filled with drying meat. 

In the night the scouts returned with the wel¬ 
come news that the camp in the north was that 
of Rolling Thunder, a Pierced Nose chief. His 
words were, said the scouts, that his men were 
just starting out to kill buffalo, and that they 
would afterward come to visit the Salish. 



A Buffalo dancer 


201 


Visit of the Pierced Noses 



Dressing skins 


So again the Salish went out with horses to 
kill more buffalo. 

“It is well,” said Lone Pine, “that we have 
much fresh meat, so that we may feast our 
guests.” 

Some of the skins first taken had been scraped 
clean of hair, rubbed soft and white, and made 
into lodge covers. Many were the new lodges, 
for a skilful woman could prepare twelve skins 
in a day, and eighteen covered a large lodge. 
Throughout the camp, women were busily mak¬ 
ing new clothing for their husbands and them¬ 
selves, with which to excite the admiration of the 
Pierced Noses. 

As the time drew near for the arrival of the 
visitors, scouts were stationed on the northern 
hills to watch for their approach. At last they 
signaled that the Pierced Noses were in sight, 
and returning to the chief they reported that a 
temporary camp had been pitched but a short 
ride away. 





202 Indian Days of the Long Ago 



Tomorrow will come our visitors 


“We have talked with their scouts,” they con¬ 
cluded, “and tomorrow when the sun has made 
half his journey, they will come.” 

Then the herald rode about the Salish camp, 
shouting: “Tomorrow will come our visitors, 
the proud Pierced Noses. Their chief, Rolling 
Thunder, is a brave man, and they are a great 
people. They have many horses, swift horses, 
and they wear gay garments. Their women 
work well with their hands, and beautiful are 
their dresses and the trappings of their horses. 
Let our chiefs and warriors, our women and 
children, dress in their best clothing, and show 
that the Salish are a people no less proud. Let 
our maids look beautiful, that they hide not their 
faces in shame before the Pierced Nose girls, 
and that they make soft the hearts of the young 
men.” 

Time after time the herald repeated his mes¬ 
sage as he rode about the camp. 



Visit of the Pierced Noses 


203 



At dawn the Salish were again urged to pre¬ 
pare for the coming of the visitors. From the 
earliest hour the camp was bustling, and about 
the middle of the morning men, women, and 
children were dressing in gala costume and paint¬ 
ing their faces and bodies. As the sun traveled 
around to the south, the scouts signaled that the 
visitors were approaching. 

Then the Salish warriors mounted their gaily 
decorated horses and rode out to meet them. A 
short distance from the camp they drew up in a 
line, as if to give battle. Now came the Pierced 
Noses, who likewise formed in line, facing the 
Salish. Lone Pine rode out from among his 
men, and Rolling Thunder advanced to meet 
him. Sitting on his prancing horse, Lone Pine 
made his speech of welcome, no small part of 
which told of his own bravery and prowess, with 
much flattery of the visiting chief and his people. 

He was answered in like spirit by the Pierced 
Nose chief. 



204 Indian Days of the Long Ago 



Then cried Lone Pine: “It is good that Roll¬ 
ing Thunder and his people come today. Our 
hearts are happy. Now all will ride, singing, 
around our camp, and then our brothers will 
pitch their lodges in the part of the circle we have 
reserved for them.” 

So the gay cavalcade of the warriors of both 
tribes rode slowly around the camp four times, 
singing their war songs and uttering their shrill 
war cries. The Pierced Nose women and chil¬ 
dren kept their pack-horses at a respectful dis¬ 
tance until the end of this ceremony, and then 
drove them up to the place where their lodges 
were to be pitched. 




HOME AGAIN 

For Kukusim these were exciting times. All 
day long and far into night there were feasts 
and councils in his father’s lodge. In them, He 
Who Was Dead And Lives Again took a promi¬ 
nent part, and there was little chance for quiet 
story telling or rambles together. When the boy 
complained, the most he received was a comfort¬ 
ing promise: 

“Never mind, Grandson. Soon the visitors 
will be gone, and then we will have many tales. 
And the long winter is coming.” 

With the departure of the Pierced Noses came 
thoughts of the homeward journey. 

“Let us have one more great hunt,” counseled 
the men, “and then we will start across the moun¬ 
tains to our own land.” 

Days were spent and many buffalo songs were 
sung before a herd was discovered. The hunt 
was with horses, like the last, and many buffalo 
were killed. 


205 


206 Indian Days of the Long Ago 

On the second day following, Lone Pine him¬ 
self rode through the camp as herald. 

“Salish, already the North Wind has brought 
down the cold, and each night he has covered 
the plain with his white breath. Men, be ready! 
Women, hurry in preparing for the march! At 
once we must start for our home. Soon the snow 
will be too deep in the mountains for our horses.” 

With the meat half dried they started. Prog¬ 
ress now was slow, for the pack animals were 
heavily laden with bundles of meat and hides. 
Each night was colder than the last. However 
warmly the mothers wrapped the children, they 

were numb with 
cold at the end of 
the long day’s 
journey, and wel¬ 
come indeed was 
the glowing camp¬ 
fire which awaited 
their halt. 

When they 
reached the high 
mountain passes, 
the snow was deep, 
and it was still 
falling so thickly 
that Kukusim could not see the fourth horse 
ahead of him. Camp had to be made in the deep 
snow, and bitter was the work of clearing away 
places for their beds. The next day came the 



Home Again 


207 



At the stream in winter 


warm West Wind, and the trails were again 
free of snow. 

At last they were in the pine-grown valley of 
their own river, where the winter camp was to 
be. Lodges were soon in place. Then, with a 
warm lining of skin on the inside of the poles 
and the outside cover pegged close to the ground, 
they were warm and cozy homes. 

For Kukusim the long winter months passed 
rapidly. Each night around the camp-fire 
brought some new and thrilling story about the 
animals of the mountains and plains, or the 
monsters of river and ocean. 





V 



IN THE SPRINGTIME 

The arrival of spring was full of moment for 
Kukusim. Had he not heard countless stories 
of fasting and of visions in which strange spirits 
and animals visited the faster? And he knew 
that soon he must face that experience. 

“Come close, my Son,” one day said Lone 
Pine, “where others may not hear our words. 
Many times I have pointed out to you yonder 
peak of the Old Man mountain. We call it so 
because its top is the first to whiten with the 
snows of winter. I have told you that it was 
there, as a boy, that I looked for the help of the 
supernatural beings. You are shooting up like 
the willows. You are becoming a man. It is 
time that you look for the voices of the darkness 
and get something that will make you a strong 
warrior and a wise chief. As soon as the snows 
melt, you must go there and fast.” 

208 


209 


In the Springtime 

“But, Father, will I not be lost on the trail?” 

“Why lost? Have I not many times pointed 
out the trail to the Old Man mountain?” 

“But, Father, my feet have not traveled it.” 

“It is well worn, my Son, and you need not 
lose your way. Feet as numberless as the hairs 
upon my head have marked the path.” 

“What shall I see when I go to the spirit 
mountain?” 

“Of that we shall not talk now. When it is 
time that you start, I will tell you more.” 

“Could Grandfather tell me?” 

“Our friend from the Western Water has 
talked much with the spirits, and seen many 
strange people and their ways, but he could not 
tell. You will see. Every eye must see for itself. 
Every ear must hear for itself, every tongue must 
speak for itself. Our words have been enough 
for today.” 

Many thoughts came to the mind of Kukusim, 
and at the first opportunity he questioned his 
aged friend. 

“Grandfather, when the grass is green again, 
I am to visit the spirit mountain and fast for 
visions. What will the voices in the vision say 
to me, Grandfather?” 

“Grandson, you are asking me questions which 
I cannot answer. I might tell you what the 
voices said to me, but the voices and the words 
you hear will not be those which I or any other 
man heard.” 


210 Indian Days of the Long Ago 

4 ‘Tell me, Grandfather, what they said to 
you,” begged the boy. 

“It is the way of our people not to show our 
heart to others,” the old man explained. “If we 
show the secrets of our heart, then is our spir¬ 
itual strength broken. You are young and the 
thought is big, but it is like this: Within us, 
perhaps it is our heart, there is something white 
and pure, like the snowy down-feathers of the 
eagle. If we drag this pure feather about in the 
sight of others, or if we do wrong, the feather is 
soiled and black, and has no strength. It is the 
law of our inner self that if we take care of this 
feather, our footsteps lead us well. When you 
have fasted on the spirit mountain, my words 
will be clearer to you.” 

“Then, Grandfather, I will wait and see,” 
answered Kukusim. 



TO THE MOUNTAIN OF FASTING 


The western winds, like a warm breath, swept 
over the mountains, and the snow went in a night. 

Birds sang in the 
trees, and the hills 
became green with 
the gladness of a 
new spring. 

Then said Lone 
Pine: “Today, my 
Son, you go to the 
mountain to fast. 
I will walk with 
you a way, that 
your footsteps start 
well upon the trail.” 

As they walked, 
Kukusim clasped 
firmly his father’s 
hand. He tried to 
be brave, but his 
heart was filled 
with a strange fore¬ 
boding. He felt 
that he was walking 
into the land of the 
spirits, and he was almost afraid. He wanted 
to ask many questions, but no words came to his 
lips. At length his father halted and began to 
speak slowly and distinctly. 

“All day you will follow this trail, and when 
211 







212 Indian Days of the Long Ago 

the sun is sinking, you will come to its end on 
the topmost peak of the mountain. There you 
will find a low circle of stones. Take your 
seat on the edge of that circle, facing the 
dying sun. Watch until it has gone, and watch 
you in that direction all through the hours of 
darkness. 

“When the stars look down upon you, build a 
small fire to keep off the wild animals that might 
come to harm you. With the rising of the new 
sun, go you to the eastern side of the circle and 
watch. Let not your thoughts be of mother or 
of sister, of food or of water, but closely watch 
the sun as it moves on its way. 

“When it has traveled half its journey, go to 
the south side of the circle and there watch until 
it sinks to sleep again. Then once more you will 
sit as you did the first night, and watch through 
the darkness. 

“Perhaps on this night you will fall down as 
though dead, and you will hear voices, and you 
will see something which looks like a man but is 
not one. He will sing you a song, which you will 
keep in your heart. To get this song, is why you 
go into the mountains, and spend the nights and 
days without food. 

“If on the second night no voice comes to you, 
for another day you will sit and watch the mov¬ 
ing sun, and on the third night watch again, as 
on the first. Then certainly the spirit voices will 
speak to you. 


To the Mountain of Fasting 213 

“When the third day dawns, take the home¬ 
ward trail. Perhaps for lack of food your legs 

will be weak. I will 
come far on the trail to 
meet you, and if your 
strength is gone, my 
arms will carry you. 

“And when you re¬ 
turn to you r mother, 
you may have the spir¬ 
its’ secrets, but you must 
not tell those. She may ask: ‘Did you get a 
song?’ And you will answer: ‘Yes, Mother, I 
found a song.’ But the words you will not tell 
to her or to any one. It will be the secret of 
your own heart, until the day you are a man and 
it comes from your mouth at the winter singing 
in the long lodge. 

“Now, my Son, from here I turn back. Have 
a brave heart, and think well of my words to you, 
that the spirit voices may be heard. For if no 
voices come, it is bad. Let not your eyes or 
thoughts turn toward the camp.” 

Then Lone Pine retraced his steps, while the 
boy trudged onward. Did tears come to his 
eyes as he walked on alone through the forest? 
Perhaps they did. But they were more of emo¬ 
tion than of fear. Yet what child might not well 
be filled with dread? He was alone in the fast¬ 
ness of the mountains. The voices of the bear, 
the cougar, and the lynx sounded through the 



214 Indian Days of the Long Ago 

forest, and the howl of the wolf would make dis¬ 
mal the night. Alone, he was going through the 
haunts of wild beasts and toward the home of 
spirit beings with forms more fearful than that 
of bear or cougar. 








THE FAST 


When three nights had passed, Lone Pine 
was early on the trail to the mountain-top. His 
heart was anxious for his son. 

Half-way up the mountain they met. The 
boy’s step was weak, his face thin and pinched, 
but his eyes told of victory. He tried to run to 
his father’s outstretched arms, and as they closed 
about him he whispered: “I heard the voices!” 

Then all the world was dark, and he lay limp 
in his father’s arms. 

“It is well,” murmured the chief. “Now my 
son has spirit power.” 

Carefully the mother of Kukusim fed him and 
nursed him back to strength; but she asked no 
questions. Well she knew that his thoughts were 
his own. His strength returned quickly, and 
scarcely more than a week after his vigil, return¬ 
ing from the morning swim, he said: “Grand¬ 
father, let us go to the forest. It is many days 
since you have told me stories of long ago.” 

“Shall we take Scarf ace?” 

“No, Grandfather, today we want no ears but 
our own.” 

Their seat was beneath a great tree growing 
close to an overhanging cliff. 

“Grandfather,” began Kukusim, “when you 
were a boy did you go into the mountains to 
fast?” 

“Not as you did, Grandson. There are many 
ways for boys and young men to fast, and some 

215 


216 Indian Days of the Dong Ago 

day I will tell you what I can of these ways. But 
today my boy wants to talk. I see that his heart 
wishes to speak.” 

“Grandfather, there is much about my jour¬ 
ney to the mountain-top which you know I can¬ 
not tell, but as to other things there is no law 
that closes my lips.” 

“It is true, Grandson. Your heart is full, and 
there are many things of which you can speak 
freely.” 

“When my father turned back and left me 
alone,” said the boy, “my heart was very sick, 
and I wished that I were at home in the camp, 
where I could hear voices. Far away seemed the 
mountain-top, and weary grew my legs. But at 
last I came to the very top. Then I tried to see 
the camp of our people, but could not. From the 
village I could plainly see the mountain-top, but 
from the mountain I could not see our lodges. 

“Now I remembered my father’s words: to sit 
and look at the sun as it sank from sight. Not 
long did I have to wait until it went down behind 
the trees. Then truly my heart was heavy. I 
took not my eyes from the place where the sun 
went from sight, and before I knew it the stars 
began to look down on me. 

“Then, as my father had ordered, I built a fire. 
Much wood I carried, that my fire might burn 
through the night, the dark night. Now I sat 
and looked toward the west, where the sun had 
disappeared. 


The Fast 


217 



The Salish camp 


“Grandfather, I thought the night was quiet 
in the mountains and the woods. But it was not 
quiet there on the mountain-top. I heard sounds 
in the grass, strange noises in the air. In the 
edge of the forest close by me were sounds big 
and little. I heard footsteps come close, and in 
the darkness the eyes of an animal shone like 
coals of fire. 

“An owl sat in a tree and kept saying, ‘Hoo, 
hoo!’ At first I did not think of an owl. I 
thought a spirit was speaking to me, and I asked, 
‘Who are you?’ But the only reply was, ‘Hoo, 
hoo!’ 

“Then heavy, slow footsteps came through 
the woods, and I thought, ‘Do the spirits walk 
so heavily?’ 

“I saw two glowing eyes, and my flesh was 
cold as ice. I threw a stick of wood on the fire, 
and there was a snort and a loud crashing in the 
brush, and I knew it was only a bear. All night 
I watched, and there was so much to think of 
that I forgot I had had no food and no sleep. 




218 Indian Days of the Long Ago 



The Thunder Bird 


“When the stars faded, I went to the other 
side and watched for the sun to come. First the 
sky was gray, like the fur of a rabbit. Then it 
grew red, like the flames of the burning prairie. 
The great round ball of fire broke out of the 
earth and started on its journey across the sky. 
At first it went very fast, then more slowly. I 
thought of home, and how all were gathered at 
breakfast, and I wished I were there. 

“Soon the sun went from sight, Grandfather. 
Black clouds hid its face. The clouds roared, 
and I knew that the father Thunder Bird was 
flying. Then came rain, and I was cold. But in 
a little while the clouds flew away and the sun 
looked upon me. Again I was glad, for it 
warmed me. 

“And now it was time to sit at the south. 

“When again the sun sank in the west, I built 
my little fire, and while the stars looked down 
upon me I heard again the sounds of the forest. 



The Fast 


219 


But all the time my mind was upon the stories of 
visions and of songs. Then I fell asleep, and 
dreamed of many things you had told me, and of 
places I had seen. I dreamed it was winter, and 
that I was sleeping in the cold and the snow. 
My eyes opened, and I saw that my fire had 
died so low that my body was cold. 

“Then I heard sounds, and my blood chilled, 
for beyond the dying fire were balls of light, the 
eyes of many animals. My heart stood still, but 
quickly I threw fuel on the fire, and as the blaze 
flashed up there was a patter of many feet slink¬ 
ing away. By the sound I knew they were 
wolves. Soon their howls made the rocks ring. 
I think they were sorry they had not had me for 
supper. 

“Once more the owl called, ‘Hoo, hoo!’ and I 
waited for the spirits to come, but heard them 
not. Soon the stars grew gray, and the voices 
of the forest were stilled. Then I knew it was 

time to go to the east 
and watch for the ris¬ 
ing sun. 

“Day broke, and the 
warm rays of the sun 
closed my eyes in sleep. 
When they opened, the 
sun had almost made 
its journey, and I was 
sorry I had slept so long. Perhaps the spirits 
had come close and I had not seen them. 





220 Indian Days of the Long Ago 



The approach of the spirits 

“ ‘Tonight/ I resolved, ‘I will not sleep, for 
surely the spirits will come close/ 

“Once more I kindled my fire. While I gath¬ 
ered fuel, my legs had little strength, but I did 
not feel hungry as I had felt on the first day. 
With full darkness came the far-away howl of 
wolves, and thinking they would come again to 
get me for food, I made my fire big. 

“I remembered the words of my father: to 
keep looking toward the place where the sun 
went from sight, for it was there I should see 
something. And all the time I knew I must 
keep awake. Long I watched a certain star. It 
danced before me. It seemed to come close. I 
thought I heard voices. They were far away, 
and I could not distinguish them except as dis¬ 
tant singing. The singing became plainer, and 
I felt something close beside me. 

“I was not sitting up. I had fallen over as 
though asleep. But it was not sleep, for I could 









The Fast 


221 


hear singing, as of all the warriors of the Salish, 
only very far away. 

“Then there was a rushing sound in the air, 
and the trees of the forest swung their arms and 
groaned. A man stood beside me. No, it was 
not a man, for he walked like a great bird, an 
eagle, and flapped his wings. He stood closer, 
and I could not move. He picked me up, and 
we soared away through the clouds over the 
mountain-tops. He alighted upon a crag, and 
again I heard the singing voices, and the man 
who had carried me now led me to them. There 
came great flashes of light. The ground shook 
with the anger of fighting monsters. 

“Then I felt the cold rain beat upon me. The 
stars were hidden, the fire was dead with the 
falling water. But I was happy, for I had heard 
the singing of the spirits. 

“Grandfather, that is all I can tell now. That 
is my story.” 

“Grandson, it is a good story,” replied the old 
man. “Truly you have talked with the spirits. 
When you are a man, you will fast again and 
then you will know what power the singing voices 
gave you.” 

Long the two sat silent under the great pine. 
The sun sank, darkness fell, and in the near 
distance shone the twinkling fires of the camp. 


THE END 




The vision 











The above is an illustration from a new book 
by the same author, uniform with Indian Days 
of the Long Ago. It is entitled In the Land of the 
Ilead-IIunters , and is issued by the same pub¬ 
lishers, World Book Company, Yonkers-on- 
Hudson, New York. 










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