Source: Creation Myths Of Primitive America
After each name is given that of the beast, bird, or thing into which
the personage was changed subsequently. Names on which accents are not
placed are accented on the penult. Names of places are explained in
the notes. Kiemila and Herit mean "old" and "young," respectively;
they are applied to male persons. Pokaila and Loimis are applied to
females; the first means "old," the second "young."
=Bisus=, mink; =Ch├ílilak=, goose; =Chuluhl=, meadow-lark; =Dokos=,
flint; =Hau=, red fox; =H├ęssiha=, tomtit; =Hilit=, house-fly;
=Hlihli=, white oak acorn; =Hus=, turkey buzzard; =Kahit=, wind;
=Kahsuku=, cloud dog; =Kaisus=, gray squirrel; =Kar=, gray heron;
=Karili=, coon; =Katkatchila=, swift; =Katsi=, chicken-hawk; =Kau=,
white crane; =Kiri├║=, loon; =Klabus=, mole; =Klak=, rattlesnake;
=Kuntihl├ę=, fish-hawk; =Lutchi=, humming-bird; =Mem Loimis=, water;
=Mem Tulit=, beaver; =Min Taitai=, sap-sucker; =M├│ihas=, bald eagle;
=P├íkchuso=, the pakchu stone; =Patsotchet=, badger; =Poh├íramas=,
shooting star; =Sas=, sun; =Sedit=, coyote; =Sosini=, a small
web-footed bird; =S├║tunut=, black eagle; =Tede Wiu=, a small bird;
=Tilichi=, a water-bird; =Tilikus=, fire drill; =Titchelis=, ground
squirrel; =Toko=, sunfish; =T├│rihas=, blue crane; =Ts├írarok=,
kingfisher; =Tsaroki Sakahl=, green snake; =Tsurat=, woodpecker; =Wehl
Dilidili=, road-runner; =Wima Loimis=, grizzly bear; =Wokwuk=, a large
bird, extinct; =Yilahl=, gopher; =Yoholmit=, frog; =Yonot=, buckeye
* * * * *
The first that we know of Olelbis is that he was in Olelpanti. Whether
he lived in another place is not known, but in the beginning he was in
Olelpanti (on the upper side), the highest place. He was in Olelpanti
before there was anything down here on the earth, and two old women
were with him always. These old women he called grandmother, and each
of them we call Pakchuso Pokaila.
There was a world before this one in which we are now. That world
lasted a long, long time, and there were many people living in it
before the present world and we, the present people, came.
One time the people of that first world who were living then in the
country about here were talking of those who lived in one place and
another. Down in the southwest was a person whose name was
Katkatchila. He could kill game wonderfully, but nobody knew how he
did it, nor could any one find out. He did not kill as others did; he
had something that he aimed and threw; he would point a hollow stick
which he had, and something would go out of it and kill the game. In
that time a great many people lived about this place where we are now,
and their chief was Torihas Kiemila; these people came together and
talked about Katkatchila.
 That is, in the Upper Sacramento Valley.
Some one said: "I wonder if he would come up here if we sent for him."
"Let us send for him," said Torihas; "let us ask him to come; tell him
that we are going to have a great dance. To-morrow we will send some
one down to invite him."
Next morning Torihas sent a messenger to invite Katkatchila; he sent
Tsaroki Sakahl, a very quick traveller. Though it was far, Tsaroki
went there in one day, gave the invitation, and told about Torihas
and his people.
"I agree," said Katkatchila. "I will go in the morning."
Tsaroki went home in the night, and told the people that Katkatchila
would come on the following day.
"What shall we do?" asked they.
"First, we will dance one night," said the chief; "then we will take
him out to hunt and see how he kills things."
Katkatchila had a sister; she had a husband and one child. She never
went outdoors herself. She was always in the house. Nobody ever saw
the woman or her child.
When Katkatchila was ready to start he told his sister that he was
going, and said to his brother-in-law: "I am going. You must stay at
home while I am gone."
The sister was Yonot. Her husband was Tilikus.
Katkatchila came to a hill up here, went to the top of it, and sat
down. From the hill he could see the camp of the people who had
invited him. He stayed there awhile and saw many persons dancing. It
was in summer and about the middle of the afternoon. At last
Katkatchila went down to where they were dancing, and stopped a little
way off. Torihas, who was watching, saw him and said,--
"Come right over here, Katkatchila, and sit by me."
Olelbis was looking down from Olelpanti at this moment, and said to
the old women, "My grandmothers, I see many people collected on
earth; they are going to do something."
Katkatchila sat down and looked on. Soon all the people stopped
dancing and went to their houses. Torihas had food brought to
Katkatchila after his journey. While he was eating, Torihas said to
"My grandson, I and all my people have lived here very long. My people
want to dance and hunt. I sent one of them to ask you to come up here.
They will dance to-night and go hunting to-morrow."
Torihas stood up then and said,--
"You my people, we will all dance to-night and to-morrow morning we
will go to hunt. Do not leave home, any of you. Let all stay. We will
have a great hunt. Katkatchila, will you stay with us?" asked he. "I
shall be glad if you go and hunt with us."
"I will go with you," said Katkatchila. "I am glad to go."
They danced all night. Next morning, after they had eaten, and just as
they were starting off to hunt, the chief said to his people,--
"I will send my grandson with Katkatchila, and some of you, my sons,
stay near him."
Some said to others: "When Katkatchila shoots a deer, let us run right
up and take out of the deer the thing with which he killed it, and
then we won't give it back to him."
"Do you stay with him, too," said Torihas to Kaisus, who was a swift
The whole party, a great many people, went to Hau Buli to hunt. When
they got onto the mountain they saw ten deer. Katkatchila shot without
delay; as soon as he shot a deer fell, and Kaisus, who was ready, made
a rush and ran up to the deer, but Katkatchila was there before him
and had taken out the weapon.
He killed all ten of the deer one after another, and Kaisus ran each
time to be first at the fallen body, but Katkatchila was always ahead
of him. When they went home Kaisus carried one deer, and told of all
they had done, saying,--
"Now you people, go and bring in the other deer. I don't believe any
man among us can run as fast as Katkatchila; he is a wonderful runner.
I don't know what he uses to kill game, and I don't think we can get
it away from him."
That night Hau spoke up among his friends and said, "I will go with
Katkatchila to-morrow and see what I can do."
A great many of the people talked about Katkatchila that night,
"We do not think that he will ever come to us again, so we must all do
our best to get his weapon while he is here."
Katkatchila was ready to go home after the hunt, but Torihas persuaded
him, saying: "Stay one day more. Hunt with us to-morrow."
Katkatchila agreed to stay. Next morning they went to hunt. Hau went
among others, and stayed near Katkatchila all the time.
On the mountain they saw ten deer again. Katkatchila stood back to
shoot. Hau was ready to spring forward to get the weapon. The moment
the weapon was shot, Hau ran with all his strength, reached the deer
first, took out the weapon and hid it in his ear.
That moment Katkatchila was there. "You have taken my flint!" cried
he. "Give it back!"
"I have not taken it," said Hau. "I have nothing of yours. I have just
"You have it. I saw you take it," said Katkatchila.
"I took nothing. I only put my hand on the deer's head."
"I saw you take it."
"No, you did not. I haven't it."
Katkatchila kept asking all day for his flint, but Hau would neither
give it back nor own that he had it. At last, when the sun was almost
down, Katkatchila turned to Hau and said,--
"I saw you take my flint. It would be better for you to give it back
to me, better for you and very much better for your people. You want
to keep the flint; well, keep it. You will see something in pay for
this, something that will not make you glad."
He left the hunt and went away in great anger, travelled all night and
was at home next morning.
Torihas's people went back from the hunt, and Hau with the others. He
went into the sweat-house, took the flint out of his ear and held it
on his palm. Every one came and looked at it. It was just a small bit
of a thing.
"When I took this," said Hau, "Katkatchila got very angry; he left us
on the mountain and went home."
All the people stood around looking at the flint in Hau's hand.
"You have done wrong, you people," said Patsotchet. "Katkatchila is
very strong and quick; you will see what he will do. He has great
power, more power than you think, and he will have vengeance. He will
make us suffer terribly. He is stronger than we are. He can do
anything. You will see something dreadful before long."
"Now, my people," said Torihas, "come into the sweat-house and we will
see what we can do with that flint."
All went in. Hau went last, for he had the flint. He held it out,
showed it again, and said, "I took this because you people wanted it."
They passed the flint from one to another; all looked at it, all
examined it. One old man said: "Give it to me here, let me see it." He
got it in his hand, and said: "Now all go outside of the sweat-house."
This was Hilit Kiemila. They went out, leaving him alone. Patsotchet
kept on repeating, "Katkatchila is angry, he is malicious; before long
we shall see what will happen."
As soon as Hilit was alone in the sweat-house, he began to rub the
flint with his hands and roll it with his legs (Hilit was turned
afterward into a house-fly, and that is why house-flies keep rubbing
their legs against each other to this day). He wanted to make the
flint large. After he had rolled and rubbed the flint all night, it
was four or five feet long, and as thick and wide. He let the block
fall to the ground and it made a great noise, a very loud noise;
people heard it for a long distance. Hilit went out then and said,--
"Go in, all you people, and look at that good flint."
They went and looked. It was almost daylight at the time, and each one
"Well, I don't know what is best to do; perhaps it would be best to
send this off. It may be bad for us to keep it here; bad for us to
have it in the sweat-house or the village."
They did not know who could carry the great block, it was so heavy.
"Perhaps Patsotchet can carry it," said they.
Torihas went outside and called Patsotchet, saying: "Come into the
sweat-house a little while. You come seldom; but come now."
Patsotchet left his house, which was near by, and went into the
"What are you going to do?" asked he. "It is too late to do anything
now. I have known a long time about Katkatchila. He is very strong. He
will do something terrible as soon as daylight comes."
"Patsotchet," said Torihas, "you are a good man. I wish you would take
this big flint and carry it far away off north."
"I don't want to take it," said Patsotchet. "It is too heavy."
Torihas went to Karili, who lived a little way off, and said: "Come
into the sweat-house. I wish to talk with you."
Karili went in. "Take this block," said Torihas. "No one is willing to
carry it away, but you are strong. Carry it north for me."
Karili took up the flint, but when he had it outside the house he
said: "I cannot carry this. It is too heavy. I am not able to carry
Torihas called in Tichelis, and said: "My uncle, will you take this
north for me?"
"Why will not others take it? Why are they unwilling to carry it?"
asked Tichelis. "Well, I will take it," said he, after thinking a
little; and he made ready.
"Take it and start right away," said Torihas. "Daylight is coming. Go
straight. I will go, too, and when I am on the top of Toriham Pui
Toror I will shout, and show you where to put the block."
Tichelis put the flint on his back and hurried away with it.
When Katkatchila reached home he told his brother-in-law, Tilikus, and
his brother-in-law's brother, Poharamas, and Yonot, his sister, how
his flint had been stolen.
It was just before sunrise. Tilikus and Poharamas went out in front of
the house and swept a space clean and smooth; then they ran off to the
east and got pine as full of pitch as they could find it. They brought
a great deal of this, split some very fine, and made a large pile
there on the smooth place.
Just at this time Torihas's people were in his sweat-house talking
about the theft. "Nothing will happen," said most of them; "old
Patsotchet is always talking in that way, foretelling trouble. We will
dance to-day. Tichelis has carried that thing far away; all will be
Yonot, Katkatchila's sister, had one child, a little baby which she
called Pohila (fire child). The woman never left the house herself,
and never let any one carry the child out.
"Now, my sister," said Katkatchila, "bring your child here; bring my
nephew out, and put him on that nice, smooth place which we have swept
clean; it will be pleasant there for him."
She brought the boy out, put him on the smooth place. Poharamas was on
the southeast side all ready, and Tilikus on the southwest side. As
soon as Yonot put down the baby, they pushed pitch-pine sticks toward
it. That instant fire blazed up. When the fire had caught well
Poharamas took a large burning brand of pitch-pine and rushed off to
the southeast; Tilikus took another and ran to the southwest.
Poharamas, when he reached the southeast where the sky comes to the
earth, ran around northward close to the sky; he held the point of his
burning brand on the ground, and set fire to everything as he ran.
When Tilikus reached the southwest, at the place where the sky touches
the earth, he ran northward near the sky. The two brothers went
swiftly, leaving a line of flame behind them, and smoke rose in a
cloud with the fire.
After the two had started Yonot snatched up Pohila, and as she raised
the boy a great flame flashed up from the spot. She ran into the house
with her son, and put him into the basket where she had kept him till
Torihas's people had begun to dance. Some time after sunrise they saw
a great fire far away on the east and on the west as well.
"Oh, look at the fire on both sides!" said one.
"It is far off, and won't come here," said another.
"I feel the heat already!" cried a third.
Soon all saw that the fire was coming toward them from the east and
the west like waves of high water, and the line of it was going
northward quickly. The fire made a terrible roar as it burned; soon
everything was seething. Everywhere people were trying to escape, all
were rushing toward the north. By the middle of the forenoon the heat
and burning were so great that people began to fall down, crying
"Oh, I'm hot! Ah, I'm hot!"
Torihas made a rush toward the north, and reached the top of Toriham
Pui Toror. When he saw the fire coming very near he called out to
Tichelis, who was struggling along with the great block of flint on
"Go ahead with the flint! Go on, go on, the fire is far from here, far
Tichelis heard the shouting, but said nothing; kept going northward
steadily. When he was northeast of Bohem Puyuk, he saw the fire coming
very fast, a mighty blaze roaring up to the sky. It was coming from
the south, east, west. Tichelis could go no farther; there was no
place for escape above ground; the fire would soon be where he was.
The flint had grown very hot from the burning; he threw it down; it
had skinned his back, it was so hot and heavy. He ran under the
ground, went as far as he could, and lay there. Presently he heard the
fire roaring above him, the ground was burning, he was barely alive;
soon all blazed up, earth, rocks, everything.
Tichelis went up in flames and smoke toward the sky.
When the brothers Tilikus and Poharamas had carried the fire around
the world and met in the north, just half-way between east and west,
they struck their torches together and threw them on the ground. The
moment before they joined the burning brands two persons rushed out
between them. One was Klabus and the other Tsaroki, who had carried
the invitation from Torihas to Katkatchila. They just escaped.
The flint rock that Tichelis dropped lies there yet, just where it
fell, and when the Wintu people want black flint they find it in that
Poharamas and Tilikus ran home as soon as they struck their torches
Katkatchila had a little brother. He put the boy on his back, and went
beyond the sky where it touches the earth in the south.
Yonot, the mother of Pohila, took her son and went behind the sky; her
husband, Tilikus, went with her. Poharamas went to Olelpanti. He flew
up to where Olelbis is.
Olelbis looked down into the burning world. He could see nothing but
waves of flame; rocks were burning, the ground was burning, everything
was burning. Great rolls and piles of smoke were rising; fire flew up
toward the sky in flames, in great sparks and brands. Those sparks
became kolchituh (sky eyes), and all the stars that we see now in the
sky came from that time when the first world was burned. The sparks
stuck fast in the sky, and have remained there ever since the time of
the wakpohas (world fire). Quartz rocks and fire in the rocks are from
that time. There was no fire in the rocks before the wakpohas.
When Klabus escaped he went east outside the sky, went to a place
called Pom Wai Hudi Pom. Tsaroki went up on the eastern side of the
sky,--ran up outside.
Before the fire began Olelbis spoke to the two old women and said: "My
grandmothers, go to work for me and make a foundation. I wish to build
They dug out and cleared a place for the sweat-house the day before
the world-fire began. Olelbis built it in this way: When the two women
had dug the foundation, he asked,--
"What kind of wood shall I get for the central pillar of the house?"
"Go far down south," said the old grandmothers, "and get a great young
white oak, pull it up with the roots, bring it, and plant it in the
middle to support the house."
He went, found the tree, and brought it.
"Now, my grandmothers, what shall I do next?"
"Go north and bring a black oak with the roots. Go then to the west,
put your hand out, and there you will touch an oak different from
He went north and west, and brought the two trees.
"Now," said Olelbis, "I want a tree from the east."
"Go straight east to a live-oak place, you can see it from here, get
one of those live-oaks." He brought it with the roots and said,--
"Now I want two trees more."
"Go to the southeast," said they, "where white oaks grow, and get two
He went and got two great white oak trees, pulled them up with the
roots, brought them with all the branches, which were covered with
Olelbis put the great white oak from the south in the middle as the
central pillar; then he put the northern black oak on the north side;
he put it sloping, so that its branches were on the south side of the
house; over against this he put a southeastern white oak sloping in
like manner, so that its head came out on the north side. The western
oak he planted on the west side, sloping so that its branches hung on
the east side; then he put up the two white oaks from the southeast on
the east side: six trees in all. The top of each tree was outside
opposite its roots; acorns from it fell on the opposite side. Olelbis
wished to fasten the trees firmly together so they should never
"Stop, grandson," said one of the old women. "How will you bind the
"I have nothing to bind it with," answered Olelbis.
She put her hand toward the south, and on it came humus koriluli (a
plant with beautiful blossoms). She took it with roots, stem, and
blossoms and made a long narrow mat, the stem and roots all woven
together inside and the blossoms outside. "Here, grandson," said she,
"put this around the top of the house and bind the trees with it
He did this. The binding was beautiful and very fragrant. He wrapped
it around the trees where they came together at the top of the house
The two old women made four very large mats now, one for each side of
the house. They wove first a mat of yoso├╝ (a plant about a foot high,
which has no branches and only a cluster of red flowers at the top).
When they had finished it they told Olelbis to put it on the north
side of the house.
"Now, my grandmothers," said Olelbis, "I want a cover for the east
"My grandson," said each, "we are sorry that you are alone, sorry that
you have no one to help you in building this house. Now take this mat
and put it on the east side."
They gave him a mat made of the same plant that was used for a binding
to hold the top of the house.
"I want a cover now for the south side."
The old women put their hands to the east, and a plant came to them a
foot high with white blossoms, of very sweet odor. A great deal of
this plant came, and they made a mat of it. They put all the blossoms
outside. The mat covered the south side.
"Now, how shall I cover the west side?"
"We have the covering here already, made of kin-tekchi-luli" (a plant
with blue and white blossoms).
They put that mat on the west side, the blossoms turned outward.
The old women gave him all kinds of beautiful plants now, and flowers
to form a great bank around the bottom of the sweat-house. All kinds
of flowers that are in the world now were gathered around the foot of
that sweat-house, an enormous bank of them; every beautiful color and
every sweet odor in the world was there.
When they went into the sweat-house, the perfume was delightful. The
two old women said then:
"All people to come in the world below will talk of this house, and
call it Olelpanti Hlut when they tell about it and praise the house on
Olelbis said: "I want to lay something lengthwise on each side of the
door. What shall I get?"
The two said: "We will get sau" (acorn bread made in a great round
roll like a tree-trunk).
They got sau, and put a roll at each side of the door; these rolls
were put there for people to sit on.
Olelbis walked around, looked at everything, and said,--
"I want this house to grow, to be wide and high, to be large enough
for all who will ever come to it."
Then the house began to extend and grow wider and higher, and it
became wonderful in size and in splendor. Just as daylight was coming
the house was finished and ready. It stood there in the morning dawn,
a mountain of beautiful flowers and oak-tree branches; all the colors
of the world were on it, outside and inside. The tree in the middle
was far above the top of the house, and filled with acorns; a few of
them had fallen on every side.
That sweat-house was placed there to last forever, the largest and
most beautiful building in the world, above or below. Nothing like it
will ever be built again.
"Now, my grandson," said the old women, "the house is built and
finished. All the people in the world will like this house. They will
talk about it and speak well of it always. This house will last
forever, and these flowers will bloom forever; the roots from which
they grow can never die."
The world fire began on the morning after the sweat-house was
finished. During the fire they could see nothing of the world below
but flames and smoke. Olelbis did not like this.
"Grandson," said the old women, "we will tell you what to do to put
out that terrible wakpohas. There is a very old man, Kahit Kiemila,
and he lives far north toward the east, outside the first sky. He
stays there in one little place; he is all alone, and always in the
same place. Tell him what to do, and he will do it. If you don't like
the fire and smoke down below, tell the old man to turn his face
toward you, to come this way and to bring with him Mem Loimis. He sits
with his head between his hands and his face to the north, and never
looks up. The place where he sits is called Waiken Pom Pui Humok Pom."
The first person who came to Olelbis on the day of the fire was Kiriu
Herit. He came about daylight.
"You have finished the sweat-house, my nephew," said he.
"I have," said Olelbis, "but we are going to have trouble, and do you,
my uncle, go up on the west side of the sweat-house, look around
everywhere, and tell me what you see."
Kiriu went to the top of the house and looked. Soon another man came
and said, "My brother, you have finished the sweat-house."
"Yes," said Olelbis, "and do you, my brother, go up on the east side
of the house, stand there, and call to Kahit."
This was Lutchi Herit. Two more came and saluted Olelbis. "Go into the
sweat-house," said he. These were the two brothers, Tilichi. A fifth
person came, Kuntihle, and then a sixth, Sutunut, a great person.
Lutchi kept darting around, looking toward the north and calling:
"Kahit cannot take me! Kahit cannot take me!" Kahit was getting angry
by this time, and thinking to turn and look at Lutchi, for though far
away, he heard the noise of his darting and his calling. "That old
Kahit may come out, but he cannot catch me!" called Lutchi, as he
darted around, always watching the north.
Now Olelbis called Lutchi and Sutunut, and said: "You, Lutchi, go
north, pry up the sky and prop it; here is a sky pole and a sky prop."
Turning to Sutunut, he plucked a feather from each of his wings and
said: "Go to Kahit in Waiken Pom Pui Humok Pom; tell him to come south
with Mem Loimis. She lives not far from him. Her house is in the
ground. And tell him to blow his whistle with all his breath. Put
these two feathers on his cheeks just in front of his ears."
Lutchi went quickly. No one could travel as fast as he. He reached the
sky on the north, raised and propped it. Sutunut gave the message to
Kahit, who raised his head from between his hands slowly and turned
toward the south. Sutunut put the feathers in his cheeks then, as
Olelbis had commanded.
One person, Sotchet, who lived just south of Kahit, spoke up now and
"Go ahead, Kahit. I am in a hurry to see my father, Olelbis. I will
follow you. I am drinking my mother's milk." (He was doing that to
bring great water.) His mother was Mem Loimis.
"Come with me, Mem Loimis," said Kahit to Sotchet's mother. "When I
start, go ahead a little. I will help you forward."
Olelbis was watching, and thought, "Kahit is ready to start, and Mem
Loimis is with him."
Olelbis made then an oak paddle, and hurled it to where Sotchet was.
Sotchet caught the paddle, made a tail of it, put it on, and went
plashing along through the water. Not far from Kahit lived an old
woman, Yoholmit Pokaila. She made a basket of white willow, and
finished it just as Mem Loimis was ready to start. In the same place
was Sosini Herit, just ready to move. In one hand he held a bow and
arrows, with the other he was to swim.
Olelbis saw all this,--saw and knew what people were doing or
preparing to do. "Grandmothers," said he, "Mem Loimis is ready to
move. Kahit is ready. All the people around them will follow."
The great fire was blazing, roaring all over the earth, burning rocks,
earth, trees, people, burning everything.
Mem Loimis started, and with her Kahit. Water rushed in through the
open place made by Lutchi when he raised the sky. It rushed in like a
crowd of rivers, covered the earth, and put out the fire as it rolled
on toward the south. There was so much water outside that could not
come through that it rose to the top of the sky and rushed on toward
Olelbis went to the top of the sweat-house and stood looking toward
the north. Sula Kiemila and Toko Kiemila had come that morning. "Take
your places north of the sweat-house," said Olelbis, and they did so.
Olelbis saw everything coming toward him in the water from the north,
all kinds of people who could swim. They were so many that no one
could count them. Before he had built the sweat-house, the two
grandmothers had said to Olelbis: "Go far south and get pilok, which
is a tall plant with a strong fibre, and make a cord." He did so, and
twisted a strong cord from pilok. Of this he made a sling. He put his
hand to the west, and kilson came on it, a round white stone an inch
and a half in diameter. He put the stone in the sling, tied the sling
around his head, and kept it there always.
He took this sling in his hand now, and stood watching ready to throw
the stone at something that was coming in the water. Olelbis threw
with his left hand. He was left-handed, and for this reason was called
Nomhlyestawa (throwing west with the left hand).
Mem Loimis went forward, and water rose mountains high. Following
closely after Mem Loimis came Kahit. He had a whistle in his mouth; as
he moved forward he blew it with all his might, and made a terrible
noise. The whistle was his own; he had had it always. He came flying
and blowing. He looked like an enormous bat, with wings spread. As he
flew south toward the other side of the sky, his two cheek feathers
grew straight out, became immensely long, waved up and down, grew till
they could touch the sky on both sides.
While Kahit flew on and was blowing his whistle, old Yoholmit lay in
her basket; she floated in it high on the great waves, and laughed and
shouted, "Ho! ho!"
"How glad my aunt is to see water; hear how she laughs!" said Olelbis.
And he gave her two new names, Surut Womulmit (hair-belt woman) and
Mem Hlosmulmit (water-foam woman). "Look at my aunt," said Olelbis
again. "She is glad to see water!"
As Yoholmit was laughing and shouting she called out,--
"Water, you be big! Grow all the time! Be deep so that I can float and
float on, float all my life."
Olelbis was watching everything closely. Sosini Herit was coming. He
held a bow and arrows in one hand and swam with the other. He was next
behind old Yoholmit.
"Look at my brother, Sosini, look at him swimming," said Olelbis. When
mountains of water were coming near swiftly, Olelbis said to the two
old women, "Go into the sweat-house." The two brothers, Kuntihle and
Tede Wiu, went in also. Olelbis stood ready to use his sling. When
Yoholmit was coming near, he hurled a stone at her. He did not hit
her. He did not wish to hit her. He hit the basket and sent her far
away east in it until the basket struck the sky.
When the water reached Toko, it divided, went east and west, went no
farther south in Olelpanti. At this time Olelbis saw a hollow log
coming from the north. On it were sitting a number of Tede Memtulit
and Bisus people. Just behind the log came some one with a big
willow-tree in his mouth, sometimes swimming east, sometimes swimming
west. He slapped the water with his new tail, making a loud noise.
This was Sotchet, the son of Mem Loimis. Olelbis struck the log with
a stone from his sling, and threw it far away west with all the
Memtulits on it except one, which came to the sweat-house and said,--
"My brother, I should like to stay with you here." This was Tede
"Stay here," said Olelbis.
Next came Wokwuk. He was large and beautiful, and had very red eyes.
When Kahit came flying toward the sweat-house, and was still north of
it, Olelbis cried to him,--
"My uncle, we have had wind enough and water enough; can you not stop
Kahit flew off toward the east and sent Mem Loimis back. "Mem Loimis,"
said he, "you are very large and very strong, but I am stronger. Go
back! If not, I will stop you. Go home!"
Mem Loimis went back north, went into the ground where she had lived
before. Kahit went east, then turned and went north to where he had
been at first, and sat down again in silence with his head between his
When Mem Loimis and Kahit had gone home, all water disappeared; it was
calm, dry, and clear again everywhere. Olelbis looked down on the
earth, but could see nothing: no mountains, no trees, no ground,
nothing but naked rocks washed clean. He stood and looked in every
direction,--looked east, north, west, south, to see if he could find
anything. He found nothing. After a time he saw in the basin of a
great rock some water, all that was left. The rock was in Tsarau
"My grandmothers," asked Olelbis, "what shall I do now? Look
everywhere, there is nothing in the world below but naked rocks. I
don't like it."
"Wait awhile, grandson," said they. "We will look and see if we can
find something somewhere. Perhaps we can."
On this earth there was no river, no creek, no water in any place but
that water at Tsarau Heril. This was the morning after Mem Loimis had
Now a person came from the east to Olelpanti, Klabus Herit. "My
uncle," said Olelbis to Klabus, "I am looking all over the world
below, but can see nothing on it. Do you know any place beyond the sky
on the north, south, east, or west, where there is earth?
"I know no place where there is earth," said Klabus.
Soon another person, Yilahl Herit, was seen coming from the west. When
he came up, Olelbis asked,--
"My uncle, do you know of earth, or trees, or people in any place
beyond the sky?"
"I do not," answered Yilahl. "But are you all well here?"
"We are well and unharmed," answered Olelbis.
"How did you come here? Which way did you come? Where did you stay
that the world fire did not burn you?" asked Klabus of Yilahl.
"I will tell you," said Yilahl. "When the fire began, I went west, I
went under the sky where it touches the lower world, I went out to
the other side. The fire did not go there. There is earth now in that
"My uncles," said Olelbis, "I want you both to go down, to go west,
and get that earth for me."
"I will go," said Klabus; and turning to the two old women he said:
"Give me two baskets, very large round baskets."
The old women made two very large baskets. Klabus took these and went
west with Yilahl. As soon as they started Olelbis took a great sky net
(kolchi koro), and it spread out; it reached to the ends of the sky in
every direction; it was full of small, fine holes, like a sieve. He
spread it out in Olelpanti; put it under his sweat-house. It is above
this world yet, but we cannot see it.
Klabus and Yilahl went west to where the earth was. Klabus dug it up
and filled the baskets quickly; went to the north side of the
sweat-house and threw the earth into the great net, then hurried back
and brought more earth and threw it on the net. It went through the
net and fell down here, fell on the rocks in this world like rain.
Klabus hurried back and forth very quickly, carrying one basket on
each arm. He was going and coming for five days and five nights; fine
earth was falling all this time, till the rocks were covered, and
there was plenty of earth everywhere.
Yilahl gave no help. He went down the first time with Klabus, showed
him the earth, and stayed there, but he did not help to carry earth or
to dig it.
When Klabus had covered all the rocks with good earth, Olelbis told
him to rest.
"Go west and tell Yilahl to help you," said Olelbis to Klabus the next
morning, after he had rested. "Tell him to work with you, fixing the
earth which you have thrown down. Go, both of you; make mountains,
hills, and level country; arrange everything."
No fire was visible anywhere; every bit had been quenched by the flood
which came in after Lutchi propped up the sky. Yilahl came out into
this world below from under the edge of the sky in the west, and
Klabus came out from under it in the east. Both met and went to work.
Yilahl made the small hills and fixed the rolling country. Klabus
raised the great mountains and mountain ranges. There was nothing but
earth and rock yet; no people at work only these two, Klabus and
Olelbis stood watching and looking; he looked five days, found no fire
in any place. Next day he saw a little smoke in the southwest coming
straight up as if through a small opening. Olelbis had a Winishuyat on
his head tied in his hair, and the Winishuyat said to him,--
"My brother, look; there is a little fire away down south; a woman
there has fire in a small basket."
This woman was Yonot, the mother of Pohila, who had gone back to live
in her old house.
"My brother," said Olelbis, turning to Tede Wiu, "do you see that
place there? Go and bring fire from it."
Tede Wiu went quickly to the place where Olelbis had seen the smoke.
He found a house, and looking through a crack he saw the glow of fire,
but not the fire itself.
Tede Wiu stayed five days and nights watching. He could not get into
the house where the basket was. That house was closed firmly, and had
no door. At last he went back to Olelpanti without fire.
"I should like to catch the fish which I see jumping in that southern
water," said Kuntihle, "but we could not cook fish if we had it, for
we have no fire."
"You would better go yourself and try to get fire," said Olelbis.
Kuntihle went and watched five days. He could not get into the house,
and no fire fell out. He went back to Olelpanti.
"We need fire," said Olelbis, "but how are we to get it? Go again and
try," said he to Tede Wiu; "watch till fire falls out, or go in and
Klabus and Yilahl were at work yet.
Tede Wiu went, crept under the house, watched five days and nights,
stayed right under the basket in which Pohila was. On the sixth
morning, very early, just at daybreak, a spark of fire fell out. Tede
Wiu caught the spark, ran off quickly to Olelbis, and gave it to him.
They had fire in Olelpanti now, and were glad. Neither Yonot, the
mother, nor Tilikus, the father of Pohila, knew that fire had been
carried away to Olelpanti.
Klabus and Yilahl were still at work making the mountains and
valleys, and had almost finished.
Now that there was fire in Olelpanti, Kuntihle said: "I will go and
see that fish. Tilitchi, will you come with me?"
Tilitchi went. Before they started Olelbis gave them a fish net. They
caught a fish, and went back, dressed, cooked, and ate it.
"This is a good fish," said Olelbis. "How did it get into that water?
That pond in the rock is small and round; there is no water to run
into it. Grandmothers, what shall we do with this pond and the fish in
"We will tell you," said the old women. "Go to the west under the sky,
break off a strip of the sky, bring it here, and make a pointed pole
Klabus and Yilahl were just putting the top on Bohem Puyuk; all the
other mountains in the world were finished.
Olelbis went west, got the sky pole, and pointed one end of it. He
stuck the pole down at the foot of Bohem Puyuk, drew the point of it
along southward, making a deep furrow. Then he stuck the pole far
north, and made a second furrow to join the eastern end of the first
one. There was no water in either furrow yet, and Olelbis said,--
"Now, my grandmothers, what shall I do next?"
"Take this grapevine root," said they. "Throw it to the place where
you thrust in the pole at the foot of Bohem Puyuk."
He threw the root. One end of it went into the mountain, the other
hung out; from this water flowed.
"This will be called Wini Mem," said the grandmothers. "The country
around it will be good; many people will go there to live in the
The grandmothers gave a second root, a tule root, and Olelbis threw
this far up north, where one end stuck in the ground as had the
grapevine root, and from the other end flowed Pui Mem--there is much
tule at the head of Pui Mem to this day.
Olelbis took his sky pole again and made deep furrows down southward
from Bohema Mem, large ones for large rivers and smaller ones for
creeks. Water flowed and filled the furrows, flowed southward till it
reached the place where Kuntihle found the first fish; and when the
large river reached that little pond, fish went out of it into the
river, and from the river into all creeks and rivers.
When the rivers were finished, and water was running in them, Olelbis
saw an acorn tree in the east, outside the sky. He looked on the north
side of the tree and saw some one hammering. He hurled a stone from
his sling, struck down the person, and sent Tilitchi to bring him.
Tilitchi brought him.
"Of what people is this one?" asked he of the old women.
"He is of a good people," answered they. "Put him on the central
pillar of the sweat-house; we call him Tsurat."
Tsurat was only stunned. When Tsurat was taken to the central pillar,
he climbed it, stopping every little while and hammering. The sound
which he made, "Ya-tuck! ya-tuck!" was heard outside the
sweat-house,--a good sound; all liked to hear it.
Olelbis saw on the same tree another of the same family. When he was
brought, the old women said, "This is Min Taitai; put him on the
ground east of the fire"--the fire was in the middle.
Min Taitai began to talk to himself. They could hear two words, "Wit,
wit!" (coming back, coming back).
Olelbis stunned a third person, who was brought by Tilitchi. The old
women said, "He, too, is of a good people, he is Hessiha; let him be
with Min Taitai, and put a basket of red earth and water near them."
Min Taitai talked on to himself, "Wit, wit!"
"Who is 'Wit, wit?'" asked Hessiha.
"Sas" (the sun), answered Min Taitai, "was going down, and now he is
coming back; that is who 'Wit, wit' is."
"Who is coming back?" asked Hessiha.
"Sas is coming back."
"Sas is not coming back, he is going on."
(In winter Sas goes down south, and in summer he comes back north. Min
Taitai was saying Sas is coming back, up north. Hessiha thought he was
saying Sas has gone down toward the west, and now is coming back east
"Wit, wit" (coming back, coming back), said Min Taitai.
"Cherep, cherep!" (going on, going on), said Hessiha.
Soon they came to blows, began to fight; when fighting, Hessiha took
red mud from the basket and threw it. Min Taitai took mud, too, and
threw it at Hessiha. Both were soon covered with mud and water.
Clover, beautiful grasses, and plants of all kinds were growing around
the sweat-house in Olelpanti. The whole place was a mass of blossoms.
"Now, my grandmothers," said Olelbis, "tell me what you think. All
that ground below us is bare; there is nothing on it. What can we do
"My grandson, in a place southeast of this is a house in which people
live. The place is called Hlihli Pui Hlutton [acorn eastern
sweat-house place]. An old man lives there. Send Tsurat to bring that
old man to us."
"I will," said Olelbis; and he sent Tsurat, who brought Hlihli
Kiemila, who had lived all his life in that eastern sweat-house. When
Olelbis looked at the old man, he said to Tsurat: "Go to the world
beneath us with Hlihli. Carry him all over it,--north, south, east,
Hlihli was like an old worm-eaten acorn outside; inside he was like
meal or snuff, and when he moved this inside sifted out of him. He had
a daughter, Hlihli Loimis, and she had many sons.
Tsurat carried Hlihli all over the world, and when he had carried him
five days little oak bushes were springing up everywhere from the dust
which fell from him. They took seeds of clover growing around the
sweat-house in Olelpanti and scattered them; clover grew up in every
place. Olelbis threw down all kinds of flower seeds from the flowers
blossoming in Olelpanti.
A little way east of Olelbis's sweat-house lived Sedit. At the time of
the fire he ran through under the sky in the south and went up on the
sky to Olelpanti. He stayed there with Olelbis until the fire and
water stopped. Then he went east a short distance, and made a house
for himself. During the great water Sedit caught Wokwuk, and afterward
built a house near his own for him.
There was a big rock east of Sedit's house. Olelbis saw Chuluhl
sitting on this rock, and he said,--
"My brother, I have put clover on the earth. I want you to go down
there and stay with that clover, stay with it always. The place is a
good one for you." This place was Tokuston on Pui Mem. "Take this
pontcheuchi [headband made of dew], wear it around your head, wear it
always, guard the clover, put your head among its leaves, and keep the
grass and clover wet and green all the time. I will take that rock
from near Sedit's house, and put it down on the earth for you." (The
rock stands now about fifty miles above Paspuisono. It is called Pui
Toleson--rock leaning east.)
Wokwuk at the time of the great water lost the middle and longest
finger on one hand; it went far north, and after a time became a deer,
and from that deer came all the deer in the world after the fire.
When Kahit and Mem Loimis went east on the way home, Wokwuk lost a
small feather from above one of his eyes. It went west and was turned
into the beautiful shells tsanteris. He also lost two neck feathers.
They went west and became kalas, and from that came all pearl shells.
He lost the tip of his little finger. It went west and became the
Wokwuk bird down here. He lost some spittle. It went east on the water
and turned to blue beads, such as people wear now around their necks.
Wokwuk lost a small bit of his intestines. It went south on the water
and became mempak; from that come all mempak (water bone). He lost a
piece of his backbone. It went east on the water and became an elk,
and from that elk came all elks.
One day Sedit said to Olelbis, when all were telling Olelbis what they
were going to do: "Grandson, I am going to take off my skin and let it
go to the world below."
"Do so," said Olelbis.
Sedit took off his skin as he would a coat, and threw it down to this
"Now there will be Sedits all over down there," said he.
While Olelbis was gathering into Olelpanti all the people from every
place outside this sky above us, Min Taitai and Hessiha were disputing
and throwing red mud at each other.
Olelbis gathered people from every side till he had gathered them all
at his house. They were there in crowds and in thousands, singing and
talking inside and outside, everywhere in Olelpanti.
One morning Olelbis said to the old women,--
"My grandmothers, I cannot tell what to do nor how to get what I want,
but far west of here is a ridge that stretches from the south to the
north, and on that ridge people of some kind come from the south and
hurry north; they do that every day; they go north along that ridge,
and I do not know what kind of people they are. When they are on the
top of the ridge, they run north very swiftly. As soon as Klabus and
Yilahl finished the level ground and the hills and mountains in the
world below, these people began to travel along the ridge in this way,
and they have been going north ever since."
"You do not know those people," said the old women, "but we know them,
the Katkatchila brothers know them; they are Kahsuku, the cloud dogs,
the cloud people. If you wish to know more about these cloud people,
ask the elder Katkatchila; he knows them; he lives far west at this
time; go and ask him, go yourself."
Olelbis set out next morning early, and just before he reached
Katkatchila's house in the west he came upon some one who was stooping
and looking toward the south. It was the elder Katkatchila, who was
watching the cloud people.
"Stop, my brother," said Katkatchila, "and watch with me."
The two looked along the ridge toward the south--it was before sunrise
then--and they saw a person come a little way in sight, then turn and
go back. He did not come nearer because he saw Olelbis. The cloud
people are very timid; they can see a long distance, and have a very
keen scent. When he saw Olelbis, this one ran away home.
"My brother," said Katkatchila to Olelbis, "we have been watching here
to drive back these cloud people. We have watched night and day, I and
my little brother. My brother is near the eastern slope of this ridge
which runs north and south; he stays there and watches."
"What do you mean by cloud people?" asked Olelbis; "what kind of
people are they? I have seen only the head and neck of one; what I saw
looked well, seemed good. I wish you, my brothers, would catch one of
these people, if you can."
"How is it that you do not know these people?" asked Katkatchila. "You
ought to know them; you have seen every place, every person,
everything; you ought to know these people. I will tell you how they
came. My sister and I made the great world fire; we made the wakpohas
because Torihas and his people stole my flint. I was angry. I told my
sister to put her baby outside the house. We put pitch-pine around it,
and fire blazed up from the baby. When the fire was burning all over
the earth and there were great flames and smoke, a big water and a
strong wind came; the water filled the whole world with steam, and the
wind drove the steam and smoke from the great fire, and carried them
far off to the south, where they became a people,--the cloud people.
These people are red or white or black, all of them, and they are
going north always. They have good heads and long necks."
"I should like to stand near some of these people and look at them,"
"I do not like to see them go north," said Katkatchila. "My brother
and I are here trying to drive them back; but they go north in spite
of us. My brother is on the other slope over there to frighten them
back; but they turn to the east a little and go around him."
"Bring your brother here," said Olelbis.
Katkatchila brought his brother, and the two said,--
"These cloud people are very wild; we cannot go near them. But we
should like to drive them back or catch them."
"Go west, my brothers," said Olelbis, "and get something to stop that
gap on the east where the cloud people pass you and go north. Stop
that opening on the east, and stop the western slope also, leaving
only a narrow place for them to go through. Get yew wood, make a very
high fence with it, and stop the eastern slope."
They brought the yew wood and made a very high fence on the eastern
slope, and then one on the west, leaving only a narrow gap open.
"Go to the east now," said Olelbis, "get katsau, which is a strong,
fibrous plant, and make strings of it. Make a rope of the string and
set a snare in the opening of the fence across the western slope to
catch those cloud people."
The elder brother was on the ridge near the western slope, and the
younger on the ridge near the eastern slope. The brothers made the
snare and set it on the western slope. Both watched and waited for the
clouds to come.
"Now, my brother," said Olelbis, when he saw this work, "watch these
people well, frighten them into the trap, and I will go back to
Next morning early the two brothers were watching, and very soon they
saw a great many cloud people coming. Both brothers were lying flat on
the middle of the ridge, so that the clouds could not see them. The
clouds watched closely. They came to the place where they had always
turned east to go past little Katkatchila; they ran against the fence
and could not pass. They turned and went toward the west to pass
northward along the central ridge; but when both brothers stood up,
the clouds rushed to the western slope and fell into the trap.
Olelbis saw this and said: "Now, my brothers are driving them in. I
must go and see!" And he ran off quickly.
"Oh, my brother," said the Katkatchilas when he came, "we have caught
one cloud. All the rest went through the fence. They broke it--we
caught one; the others burst away."
Olelbis looked at the cloud and said,--
"This is a black one! They broke down the fence and ran away! They are
a strong people."
"Now, my brother," said the elder Katkatchila, "we will skin this
cloud, and you may have the skin. We will give it to you."
"I shall be glad to have it," said Olelbis.
They stripped the skin from the cloud, and, when giving it to Olelbis,
the elder one said, "You must tan this carefully."
"Make another fence," said Olelbis, "but make it stronger. You will
catch more of these people."
"A great many clouds have broken through our fence to-day and gone
north. Others went before we made the fence. We shall see these people
by and by," said Katkatchila. (He meant that clouds would stay in the
north and become another people; stay there always.)
Olelbis took the skin, turned toward home, and travelled on. He was
rubbing it in his hands, tanning it as he went. The brothers put the
body in a hole and buried it, not caring for the flesh. They wanted
only the skin.
Olelbis went along tanning the skin of the black cloud, and he walked
around everywhere as he tanned. He went away west, then north, then
south, then east. At last he came home with the skin well tanned. He
spread it and stretched it smooth. The two Katkatchila brothers had
not been able yet to catch another of the cloud people, but they were
working at it all the time. After Olelbis spread the skin on the
ground, he took it up and said to one of the old women,--
"My grandmother is always cold; let us give her this skin;" and he
gave it to her. Each of the two old women said,--
"My grandson, we are glad to have this skin. We shall sleep warm now."
"I must go," said Olelbis, "and see my brothers drive in more of the
cloud people." And he went.
"We cannot catch these clouds," said the older brother; "they go
through our fence, they escape, we cannot catch them; they have gone
to the north, they will stay there and become a new people. We have
caught only one, a white cloud. Those that have escaped will become a
new people; they will be Yola Ka" (snow clouds).
The Katkatchilas stripped the skin from the white cloud and gave it to
Olelbis. He went around north, south, east, and west, tanning it in
the same way that he had tanned the black skin. After he had tanned it
well he spread the skin, stretched it, straightened it; then he gave
it to the other grandmother.
Both old women were glad now. Both said: "We shall sleep warm at night
now all the time."
Next day the two brothers caught a third cloud, a red one, but they
kept that skin for themselves. They did not give it to Olelbis,
because he told them to keep it. We see this skin now often enough,
for the brothers hang it up when they like in the west and sometimes
in the east.
"Now," said the two old women, "we have this white skin and this black
one. When we hang the white skin outside this house, white clouds will
go from it,--will go away down south, where its people began to live,
and then they will come from the south and travel north to bring rain.
When they come back, we will hang out the black skin, and from it a
great many black rain clouds will go out, and from these clouds heavy
rain will fall on all the world below."
From that time the old women hang out the two skins, first the white,
then the black skin, and when clouds enough have gone from them they
take the skins into the sweat-house again; and from these two skins
comes all the rain to people in this world.
"The cloud people who went north will stay in the northwest," said
Olelbis, "and from them will come snow to people hereafter."
All this time the people in Olelpanti were singing and talking. Any
one could hear them from a distance. Olelbis had brought in a great
many different kinds of people, others had come themselves, and still
others were coming. After the tanning of the two cloud skins a man
came and took his place above the sweat-house door, and sat there with
his face to the east. This was Kar Kiemila. Right after him came
Tsararok, and took his place at the side of Kar. Next came Kau; then
the two brothers Hus came, and Wehl Dilidili. All these people in the
sweat-house and around it asked one another,--
"What shall we do? Where shall we live? We should like to know what
Olelbis will do with us."
"You will know very soon where we are going," said Toko and Sula.
"Olelbis will put us in our places; he is chief over all."
Next morning Olelbis said: "Now, my grandmothers, what do you think
best? What are we to do with the people here? Is it best for them to
stay in Olelpanti?"
"Our grandson," answered the old women, "send all that are not needed
here to the lower world; turn them into something good for the people
who are to come soon,--those fit for this place up here. The great
people, the best ones, you will keep in Olelpanti, and send down only
a little part of each of them to turn into something in the world
below and be of use to people there."
Olelbis called all who were in the sweat-house to come out, and he
began to send them to their places.
To Kar he said: "Go and live on Wini Mem. Be a gray heron there; that
is a good country for you." (Before white people came there were many
of these birds on that river.)
To Toko he said: "Go to Kawiken on Pui Mem. Be a sunfish and live
there always. You, Sula, go to the south of Bohem Puyuk on Wini Mem.
Be a trout, and live at Sulanharas."
To Torihas he said: "You will be a blue crane," and to Chalilak: "You
will be a goose. You both will have two places to live in, one in the
south and the other in the north. You will go north in the spring and
live there all summer; you will go south in the fall and live in the
south all winter. Do this always; travel that way every year."
To Kiriu he said: "Go and live along the water. You will be a loon,
and you will go up and down great rivers all your life."
To Katsi he said: "You will be a fish hawk, catch fish and eat them,
live along rivers."
Olelbis plucked one small feather from the neck of Moihas. This he
threw down and said, "Be an eagle, and live on high mountains." All
bald eagles on earth came from that feather, but the great Moihas
remained above with Olelbis, where he is now.
From Lutchi Olelbis plucked one feather, threw it down, and said: "You
will be a humming-bird. Fly around in spring when the green grass
comes and the trees and flowers bloom. You will be on blossoms and
dart from one to another everywhere." Lutchi himself stayed in
Olelbis pulled a feather from Kau, threw it down, and said: "You will
fly along rivers, be a white crane, and live near them always." The
great Kau stayed in Olelpanti with Olelbis.
From the elder Hus brother Olelbis plucked a feather from the right
side, sent the feather down on this earth, and said,--
"You be a buzzard down there, and in spring go up on Wini Mem and look
for dead salmon and other fish along Pui Mem, Bohema Mem, and other
rivers, eat dead salmon and other fish. When people kill a snake or
something else which they do not like, you will go and eat the snake
or other dead thing. The Wintu, the coming people, will feed you
always with what is dead."
Tilitchi had been sent for three persons, and now he brought the
"Who is this?" asked Olelbis of the old women.
"This is Dokos," said they; "he is bad."
Dokos was placed a little northeast of the sweat-house. He sat looking
toward the west. Tilichi brought in a second and third person.
"Who are these?" asked Olelbis.
"These are both bad people," said the old women. "These are Wima
Loimis and Klak Loimis."
"Put them with Dokos," said Olelbis. After he had called all the
people out of the sweat-house to send them to their proper places,
Olelbis had put something on their teeth to make them harmless.
"Come here, Wima Loimis," said Olelbis. "I have something to put on
your teeth so that they may harm no one."
"I want nothing on my teeth," said Wima Loimis. "If something were put
on them I could not eat." He asked again, but she shook her head,
saying: "I want nothing on my teeth, I could not eat if anything were
put on them."
"If she will not come, come you, Klak Loimis." Klak Loimis would not
go to him.
"Why not come when I call you?" asked Olelbis.
"My sister Wima will not go. She says that she could not eat if her
teeth were touched. I want nothing on my teeth. I am afraid that I
could not eat."
"Very well," answered Olelbis, "you, Wima, and you, Klak, want to be
different from others. Come, Dokos, I will touch your teeth."
"My sisters, Klak and Wima, want nothing on their teeth. I want
nothing on mine. I am angry at my sisters; my heart hates them. I do
not wish to be good. I am angry at my sisters. I will be wicked as
well as they." Then turning to his sisters he said: "After a while
people will employ me against you whenever they are angry at you.
Whenever you bite people or hurt them, they will call me to fight
against you, and I will go with them. I will go into your bodies and
kill you. Then you will be sorry for what you have done to-day.
Olelbis asked you to be good. He wants you to be good, but you are not
willing. I will be bad to punish you."
When the two women heard these words they cried, and Wima said, "Well,
my brother, we can put something on our teeth yet."
Dokos placed his head between his hands and sat awhile in that
posture. Then he straightened himself and said,--
"You two have talked enough; you would better stop. You are not like
me; I am stronger than both of you, and I shall be so always. You,
Wima, and you, Klak, will hate people only, but I shall hate all
living things. I shall hate you, hate every one; kill you, kill every
one. I want nothing of any one. I want no friend in any place."
"Well," said Olelbis, "you go as you are."
"I will go first," said Dokos.
"Go," said Olelbis, "to Koiham Nomdaltopi, be flint there, and spread
all around the place. You, Klak Loimis, will go to Klak Kewilton, be a
rattlesnake there, increase and spread everywhere. I will send you,
Wima, to Wima Wai Tsarauton; you will be a grizzly bear there. After a
while a great family will come from you and spread over all the
country. You will be bad; and, Klak, you will be bad, but, Dokos, you
will be the worst, always ready to hurt and kill; always angry, always
hating your sisters and every one living.
"You, Klak, and you, Wima, when you see people you will bite them, and
people will take Dokos to kill you, and Dokos will go into your
bodies, and you will die. Wima, you will be sorry that you would not
let me change your teeth. You, Klak, will be sorry. You will bite
people, and they will kill you because you cannot run away from them.
Your dead body will lie on the ground, and buzzards will eat it.
"Dokos, you will go to your place and increase. People will go there
and get you to kill your sisters and others for them, and when you
have pleased them and killed all the people they wished you to kill,
when they want you no longer, they will throw you down on a rock and
break you to pieces, then you will be nothing. You will be dead
forever. Now go!"
To all those who let their teeth be made innocent, Olelbis said: "You
will go to where I send you,--one here, another there." And he gave
their places to all. To some he said: "After a while the new people
will use you for food," and to the others he said: "The new people
will use your skins, and you will be of service to them, you will be
good for them."
The first person taken up to Olelbis's sweat-house was Tsurat; and now
Olelbis spoke to Tsurat last of all and said,--
"Pluck one feather from your back."
Tsurat plucked it.
Olelbis threw the feather to the earth and said,--
"The place where this falls will be called Tsurat-ton Mem Puisono.
This feather will become woodpeckers, and their place will be there.
Their red feathers will be beautiful, and every one will like their
red scalps and will use them for headbands. The woodpeckers will be
also called Topi chilchihl" (bead birds).
All people that were good on this earth only, of use only here,
Olelbis sent down to be beasts, birds, and other creatures. The
powerful and great people that were good in Olelpanti and useful there
he kept with himself, and sent only a feather or a part of each to
become something useful down here. The good people themselves, the
great ones, stayed above, where they are with Olelbis now.
Next: Olelbis And Mem Loimis