cahkâpêsh kâ-natôkaminât mistamiskwa - Chahkabesh reaches for the giant beaver

Xavier Sutherland

Chahkabesh discovers a group of giants hunting beavers and despite his sister's warning never to approach them, he finds them again and, upon their taunting, snags a beaver out of the water. However, the beaver does not belong to him and when he runs off with it (breaking a giant's arm when they try to stop him), they come to his home and, not finding him, abduct his sister instead. Quickly, Chahkabesh finds his bow, follows them and kills all the giants to save his sister. Together they return to their home and make broth with the beaver meat and melted snow.

StoryTeller Xavier Sutherland Community Peawanuck (Winisk)
Age/Level preschool Language Swampy Cree (n dialect)
Year Recorded 1960-62 Year Last Edited 2010
Described by Marie-Odile Junker & Doug Ellis
Topics
Teachings Genre

cahkâpêsh kâ-isî-nakwâtât pîsimwa - How Chahkabesh snared the sun

Simeon Scott

One day, as Chahkabesh is looking for sustenance, he sees a trail leading over a ridge. He wants to know who created the trail and so he lays a snare. He returns home and forgets about it until the next morning when dawn never comes. His sister wonders what could have happened and then Chahkabesh remembers his snare. Sure enough, as he approaches it, he finds the sun unable to move. He cannot get close enough to free the sun without getting burned, and neither can other animals except for the mouse with the pointed nose who gnaws through the snare. That is why the mouse looks singed now.

StoryTeller Simeon Scott Community Kashechewan (Fort Albany)
Age/Level preschool Language Swampy Cree (n dialect)
Year Recorded 1955-57 Year Last Edited 2009
Described by Marie-Odile Junker & Doug Ellis
Topics
Teachings Genre

cahkâpêsh kâ-kî kohcipânihikot mishi-kinoshêwa - Chahkabesh is swallowed by the giant fish

Simeon Scott

When Chahkabesh wants to go hunt near the lake where the big fish live, his sister tells him to be careful not to lose his arrow in the lake or he'll be swallowed by the giant fish. Chahkabesh doesn't listen and when he tries to shoot at eagles, his arrow falls in the lake and he goes in after it. When he doesn't return home, his big sister worries and hooks the giant fish in the lake to see if her brother is inside it. As she begins to cut the fish's belly, she hears her brother's voice telling her not to cut too deeply or she will cut him too. When he's free she tells him never to go into the lake again.

StoryTeller Simeon Scott Community Kashechewan (Fort Albany)
Age/Level preschool Language Swampy Cree (n dialect)
Year Recorded 1956-57 Year Last Edited 2009
Described by Marie-Odile Junker & Doug Ellis
Topics
Teachings Genre

cahkâpêsh nêsta mâka maskwak - Chahkabesh and the bears

Simeon Scott

Chahkabesh finds tracks leading up a hill and wonders what animals are making them. When he tells his sister, she warns him that those are the animals that killed their parents, and that he was never to go looking for them again. Chahkabesh agrees but doesn't mean it. Instead he fashions arrows that can break even stones and when he finds the bears, he shoots one arrow that kills them all. He guts each bear but can't find his parents. When he tells his sister, she admonishes him but he ignores her again. Then, he goes outside to get snow and his big sister warns him not to look up at the moon but he does anyway and is drawn up and stuck on it forevermore.

StoryTeller Simeon Scott Community Kashechewan (Fort Albany)
Age/Level preschool Language Swampy Cree (n dialect)
Year Recorded 1956-57 Year Last Edited 2009
Described by Marie-Odile Junker & Doug Ellis
Topics
Teachings Genre

cahkâpêsh nêsta mâka mistâpêskwêwak - Chahkabesh and the giant women

Xavier Sutherland

Chahkabesh hears a strange sound, which his sister tells him is the giant women collecting wood in the morning. He promises his sister never to go back but the next day he returns to where he heard the sound, equipped with a bladder of fish-fat for a snack. As he nears the place, a whiskey-jack alights near him and he kills it to wear its skin and fly into the giant women's camp. When they discover the whiskey-jack, they figure it is Chahkabesh and try to boil him to make a broth but he opens his fish-fat bladder to stop the boiling. When the women come to look at the cauldron covered with fat, Chahkabesh bursts out and pours the broth all over them, killing them. He also kills the wounded giant whose arm he broke before.

StoryTeller Xavier Sutherland Community Peawanuck (Winisk)
Age/Level preschool Language Swampy Cree (n dialect)
Year Recorded 1960-62 Year Last Edited 2010
Described by Marie-Odile Junker & Doug Ellis
Topics
Teachings Genre

cahkâpêsh kâ-nakwâtâkopanê pîsimwa - Chahkabesh snares the sun

Xavier Sutherland

Chahkabesh finds what appears to be a blazed trail and wishes to set snares to trap whatever caused it but his sister forbids it because that region is where the sun walks when it rises in the morning. Chahkabesh does not heed his sister's warnings and sets a trap where the sun walks. The next morning, both brother and sister wake up early but the dawn does not arrive and they figure it must be because Chahkabesh actually snared the sun. He sets off to free it but the sun is shining too hot to get near so he asks his friend, the littlest mouse, to gnaw through the snare line so the sun may walk again.

StoryTeller Xavier Sutherland Community Peawanuck (Winisk)
Age/Level preschool Language Swampy Cree (n dialect)
Year Recorded 1960-62 Year Last Edited 2010
Described by Marie-Odile Junker & Doug Ellis
Topics
Teachings Genre

cahkâpêsh kâ-kî-kohcipanihikot mistamêsa - Chahkabesh is swallowed by the giant fish

Xavier Sutherland

When Chahkabesh shoots an arrow at a bird and misses, it lands in the lake. He is too afraid to retrieve it, however, because of the strange creatures creating ripples on the surface. He tells his sister about it and she warns him never to return to that lake because if he goes into the water the fish will surely grab hold of him. Chahkabesh ignores the warning and jumps into the lake the very next day and is promptly swallowed by a fish. His sister grows worried when he doesn't come home and goes to the lake herself and hooks the fish that swallowed him. She slits the fish down the middle and saves Chahkabesh.

StoryTeller Xavier Sutherland Community Peawanuck (Winisk)
Age/Level preschool Language Swampy Cree (n dialect)
Year Recorded 1960-62 Year Last Edited 2010
Described by Marie-Odile Junker & Doug Ellis
Topics
Teachings Genre

cahkâpêsh kâ-ocipitikot pîsimwa - Chahkabesh is drawn up by the moon

Xavier Sutherland

After hunting one day, Chahkabesh's sister tells him to get snow from outside but warns him not to look up at the moon. Soon, however, he looks up at the moon and stares at it as hard as he can and is consequently drawn up by it. That is why Chahkabesh now appears on the moon.

StoryTeller Xavier Sutherland Community Peawanuck (Winisk)
Age/Level preschool Language Swampy Cree (n dialect)
Year Recorded 1960-62 Year Last Edited 2010
Described by Marie-Odile Junker & Doug Ellis
Topics
Teachings Genre

cahkâpêsh kâ-kohcipalihikot mistamêsa - Chahkabesh is swallowed by the giant fish

Isaiah Sutherland

Chahkabesh asks his big sister about the fins he saw breaking out of the water of the lake and she warns him never to go into that water because there are giant fish who can swallow him. Chahkabesh doesn't believe his sister and when his arrow falls into the water, he goes in after it and is swallowed whole by a giant fish. For three nights, Chahkabesh is trapped until his sister throws her moccasin into the water for the fish to swallow. She drags it ashore and cuts it open to free her brother. Then, Chahkabesh tells his sister that he saw tracks but she tells him not to bother with them because the sun caused those tracks. Chahkabesh doesn't believe her and lays his snares and, as his big sister predicted, it didn't dawn the next day. He asked all the animals to free the sun but only the sharply pointed mouse could gnaw through the snare and release it. NOTE: the sound file is damaged at the end.

StoryTeller Isaiah Sutherland Community Kashechewan (Fort Albany)
Age/Level cycle 2 Language Kashechewan Cree (mixed n-l dialect)
Year Recorded 1957 Year Last Edited 2009
Described by Marie-Odile Junker & Doug Ellis
Topics
Teachings
Genre

cahkâpêsh nêsta mâka mistâpêskwêwak - Chahkabesh and the giant women

Sophie Gunner

Chahkabesh makes giant girls laugh by sticking out his genitals until their mother spots him and puts him in a boiling pot of beaver. He eats the beaver and escapes.

StoryTeller Sophie Gunner Community Moose Factory
Age/Level cycle 2 Language Moose Cree (l dialect)
Year Recorded 1964 Year Last Edited 2010
Described by Doug Ellis
Topics
Teachings Genre

wêhci-kî-shîwâkamihk wînipêk - Why the water in James Bay is salt

John Carpenter

James Bay is salty because, when the wolverine wanted to attend Weesahkwechahk's feast, a skunk repelled him with its spray and the wolverine had to wash it off in the bay.

StoryTeller John Carpenter Community Moose Factory
Age/Level preschool Language Moose Cree (l dialect)
Year Recorded 1965 Year Last Edited 2010
Described by Marie-Odile Junker & Doug Ellis
Topics
Teachings Genre