wîsakêcâhk ê-âtanôhkâsot kâ-kî-niskipotênik ômêniw askîniw - The legend of Weesakechahk and the flood

Simeon Scott

When a flood covered all land, Weesakechahk built a raft to save himself and gathered creatures onto it. He decided, however, that he wanted to make more land and so he lowered the creatures he had down into the depths of the water to gather earth from the bottom. The first animal drowned on the way and the second, a muskrat, was near death when Weesakechahk blew it off and collected the earth from the creature's claw. Weesakechahk told the wolverine to run around in circles until the land was so large that the wolverine never made it back. Then, Weesakechahk made his way North, leaving signs of himself behind, and he was found at the end of the land by two men. One asked to live long enough to see his children supporting themselves and Weesakechahk granted him this, the other asked to live forever and Weesakechahk turned him into a stone.

StoryTeller Simeon Scott Community Kashechewan (Fort Albany)
Age/Level cycle 2 Language Swampy Cree (n dialect)
Year Recorded 1956-57 Year Last Edited 2009
Described by Marie-Odile Junker & Doug Ellis
Topics
Teachings Genre

wîsakêcâhk kâ-itâcimikisot nêsta pinêsiwak kâ-papâmihnâcik - Weesakechahk and the birds who flew south

Simeon Scott

Weesakechahk wished to eat the birds with whom he lived and so he hosted a dance and bid them all to sway with their eyes closed. The loon, however, was suspicious and opened his eyes to see Weesakechahk snaring the birds and he warned the others, so Weesakechahk kicked him in the back. That is why the loon has a flattened back, they say. After Weesakechahk left them, Shingibish began to take two wives. But when he saw that the loon was covered in beads and looked handsome, he worried the loon would steal his wives and warned his wives not to leave him. The loon approached and stole Shingibish's wives anyway and that night, in revenge, he took a heated up chisel and shoved it down the loon's throat. That is why the loon has a dark-coloured throat, they say.

StoryTeller Simeon Scott Community Kashechewan (Fort Albany)
Age/Level cycle 2 Language Swampy Cree (n dialect)
Year Recorded 1956-57 Year Last Edited 2009
Described by Marie-Odile Junker & Doug Ellis
Topics
Teachings Genre

âtanôhkân wêskac, pêyak kishê-'iniw ê-itâtanôhkâsot okisisa âyâs kâ-ishinihkâson'ci - The legend of Ayas

Simeon Scott

In this story, there is an old man who doesn't treat his wife properly and his son, Ayas, disapproves. One day, the father tricks his son into coming with him and leaves him on a faraway island with no way to return home. A horned water creature comes to Ayas's rescue but is killed when Ayas doesn't warn him of the approaching storm. Feeling guilty, Ayas meets his grandmother who feeds him and gives him items for the long and dangerous journey back home: a sleeping-skin, a mink-skin, and a pointed stick. Ayas leaves his grandmother and travels into many wigwams on his way home, tricking and killing the people he meets with his grandmother's tools until finally finding his way home to his mother. He discovers, however, that his mother was living idly because his father had found another woman and had a child by her. Therefore, he instructs his mother to build a fire and throws the child into it to kill it, and when it is done, the father comes out and is outraged until he sees his lost son, Ayas, whom he treats very finely now. Ayas, on the other hand, fashions two arrows and kills his father and his second wife and makes them burn in such a way that the father becomes the "Ghost-smokes", and the wife becomes a stone defaced with mud and white moss. Ayas becomes the tamarack alongside the lagoon, used for snow-shoes.

StoryTeller Simeon Scott Community Kashechewan (Fort Albany)
Age/Level cycle 2 Language Swampy Cree (n dialect)
Year Recorded 1956-57 Year Last Edited 2009
Described by Marie-Odile Junker & Doug Ellis
Topics
Teachings
Genre

wîsakêcâhk kâ-pimiwatêkopanê onikamôwiniwat - Weesakechahk carries around his song bag

Xavier Sutherland

Weesakechahk lures many birds into his trap by refusing to sing outdoors for them and instead building a wigwam for them with snares all over. He instructs the birds to dance according to his song lyrics so that when he sings of eyes closing, they close their eyes and when he sings of dancing with their necks together, that's what they do. That is when he pulls on the snares and chokes the birds. The loon gets suspicious of the noises, however, and when he opens his eyes, he runs away. Weesakechahk kicks him in the back, flattening the loon forever. Then, Weesakechahk decides to bury the dead birds and cook them in the hot sand but he is robbed overnight and discovers only the feet still in the sand.

StoryTeller Xavier Sutherland Community Peawanuck (Winisk)
Age/Level cycle 2 Language Swampy Cree (n dialect)
Year Recorded 1960-62 Year Last Edited 2010
Described by Marie-Odile Junker & Doug Ellis
Topics
Teachings Genre

wîsakêcâhk kâ-wayêshîhâkopanê maskwa - Weesakechahk tricks the bear

Xavier Sutherland

Weesakechahk joins a bear that is gathering berries to fatten up and discovers that the bear cannot see well at all. Despite the bears reservations, Weesakechahk convinces the bear to let him crush berries into his eyes, claiming that this remedy is what cured his own eyes. When the bear's eyes start to burn, Weesakechahk tells him to close them and meanwhile fetches some stones and beats the bear to death. As he begins to cook the bear, he realizes that he's not hungry enough to eat a lot so he asks two trees to flatten out his stomach so that he can eat but the trees trap him between them and tell the forest animals to go eat the bear. When Weesakechahk finally frees himself, nothing is left for him except the liver and innards he'd thrown aside earlier. This is a lesson about not throwing food away when it is plentiful.

StoryTeller Xavier Sutherland Community Peawanuck (Winisk)
Age/Level cycle 2 Language Swampy Cree (n dialect)
Year Recorded 1960-62 Year Last Edited 2010
Described by Marie-Odile Junker & Doug Ellis
Topics
Teachings Genre

wîsakêcâhk wêhwêwa kâ-wîci-pimihnâmâkopanê - Weesakechahk flies south with the waveys

Xavier Sutherland

Weesakechahk comes upon a flock of waveys getting ready to fly to a place where it is never winter and he wishes to go with them. The leader of the waveys gives him permission to go with them but the trip is delayed as the waveys must eat heartily to fatten up. Then, after purging and cleaning themselves, the flock and Weesakechahk take off in the middle of the night with strict instructions to only look in the direction they are flying. Someone calls out to Weesakechahk as he is flying, however, and when he looks down to see who it is, he is shot and his wing is broken. He plummets to the ground but he does not die, he gets up and walks. They say that is why wavey geese are never killed by falling out of the sky.

StoryTeller Xavier Sutherland Community Peawanuck (Winisk)
Age/Level cycle 2 Language Swampy Cree (n dialect)
Year Recorded 1960-62 Year Last Edited 2010
Described by Marie-Odile Junker & Doug Ellis
Topics
Teachings Genre

nâpêw kâ-kî-kitamokokopanê wâposhwa - The man who was devoured by rabbits

Xavier Sutherland

This story teaches children not to laugh at anyone who is in trouble. There were once two families living together during winter who lived mostly on hunting rabbits. One day, one of the hunters came back earlier than expected with blood covering his hands from a rabbit bite and was laughed at by his companion. His companion thought he was inept and that angered the hunter who decided to cast a spell on the one who laughed at him. The next day, the companion went on the rabbit hunt and was confronted by waves of increasing numbers of rabbits until there were too many to kill. The rabbits feasted on him and all that remained days later were his bare bones on the snow.

StoryTeller Xavier Sutherland Community Peawanuck (Winisk)
Age/Level cycle 2 Language Swampy Cree (n dialect)
Year Recorded 1960-62 Year Last Edited 2010
Described by Marie-Odile Junker & Doug Ellis
Topics
Teachings Genre

nâpêw kâ-kî-mâkomikot sakimêwa - The man who was bitten by mosquitoes

Xavier Sutherland

This is a lesson about abusing creatures. Once there was a man who, during the hot summer, was repeatedly stung by mosquitoes because he had nothing with which to kill them. Later, he collected all the mosquitoes in a jar and when winter came, he took his revenge by spreading them outside so that they froze instantly. When spring and summer returned, however, the mosquitoes came back and never gave him a moment's peace, no matter what he did or where he went. That's why creatures shouldn't be abused, because they are defenseless and such actions bring requital on the person committing the atrocities.

StoryTeller Xavier Sutherland Community Peawanuck (Winisk)
Age/Level cycle 2 Language Swampy Cree (n dialect)
Year Recorded 1960-62 Year Last Edited 2010
Described by Marie-Odile Junker & Doug Ellis
Topics
Teachings Genre

nâpêw kâ-kî-wêpishkâtât kôna - The man who kicked away the snow

Xavier Sutherland

Once, during winter, there was a man whose younger brother got so cold that he froze to death. When the snow began to thaw, the older brother kicked at the snow and dared it to come freeze him and the snow threatened to do just that. So, during the summer, the older brother gathered burning wood and animal grease and waited for winter. One winter night, it got extremely cold and the man sat there keeping the fire going and adding grease to make it last until finally some snow started to melt. Then, the snow conceded defeat and promised not to bother him again.

StoryTeller Xavier Sutherland Community Peawanuck (Winisk)
Age/Level cycle 2 Language Swampy Cree (n dialect)
Year Recorded 1960-62 Year Last Edited 2010
Described by Marie-Odile Junker & Doug Ellis
Topics
Teachings Genre

tipâcimôwin awahkânak ohci - About animals kept as pets

Xavier Sutherland

When Xavier, the narrator, was a child, his family had a beaver for a pet. During the day he slept but during the night he worked hard at cutting willow sticks until there was a pile blocking the door. He worked hard to close the door completely like he would on the river and in the morning he would be asleep.

StoryTeller Xavier Sutherland Community Peawanuck (Winisk)
Age/Level cycle 2 Language Swampy Cree (n dialect)
Year Recorded 1960-62 Year Last Edited 2010
Described by Marie-Odile Junker & Doug Ellis
Topics
Teachings Genre

nikik ê-itâcimikosit - A story about an otter

Xavier Sutherland

Xavier, the narrator, used to have an otter as a pet. He slept at night and was up early in the morning but returned to bed in the afternoon. In winter, his family would cut two holes in the ice and tie a string around the otter's paw. The otter would dive into one hole and come out the other, effectively placing the string for the net under the ice.

StoryTeller Xavier Sutherland Community Peawanuck (Winisk)
Age/Level cycle 2 Language Swampy Cree (n dialect)
Year Recorded 1960-62 Year Last Edited 2010
Described by Marie-Odile Junker & Doug Ellis
Topics
Teachings Genre

ôko wîna okâshakaskiwêsiwak - About hawks

Xavier Sutherland

Xavier, the narrator, used to have hawks in his family's care from the time when they didn't even have feathers yet. They ate a lot of fish, once a day, and when they grew bigger they didn't want to leave. Also, the hawk was useful in keeping mice away.

StoryTeller Xavier Sutherland Community Peawanuck (Winisk)
Age/Level cycle 2 Language Swampy Cree (n dialect)
Year Recorded 1960-62 Year Last Edited 2010
Described by Marie-Odile Junker & Doug Ellis
Topics
Teachings Genre

wîsakêcâhk kâ-wayêshihâkopane maskwa - Weesakechahk tricks the bear

Isaiah Sutherland

Weesakechahk sees a bear walking along and asks him if he can see a tent in the distance. The bear cannot and Weesakechahk tells him that if he slept, his vision would improve. As the bear is sleeping, however, Weesakechahk throws a stone at his head, kills him, and begins to cook him. But because he had eaten so many berries earlier, he can't stomach eating more right away so he tries to suspend himself from a tree but the tree comes to life and traps him so that all the other animals can eat the bear until all that is left is bones. The reason, they say, that some trees are twisted is because Weesakechahk struggled against the tree and shaped it that way. Later, Weesakechahk tries to cool the grease from the bones by giving it to a beaver to dive with. In his anger, he tries to kill the beaver but a partridge startles him and he falls into the water. Now starving and having nothing to eat, Weesakechahk eats the parts of him that were burnt by the explosion.

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

wîsakêcâhk ê-oshihât kê-kâkikê-pimâtisinici ililiwa - Weesakechahk creates an immortal

Isaiah Sutherland

Two people hear Weesakechahk singing and find him. The first person asks to live to around average age and Weesakechahk grants this wish by blowing on his head. The second person wishes to be immortal and Weesakechahk pulls and spins him and throws him onto the ground where there is now a stone.

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 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

ê-oshihâkaniwit môso-wayân - Tanning moose-hide

Sophie Gunner

Sophie Gunner describes the many long steps in the process of tanning moose-hide. She also points out the different steps taken by men and women.

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

ê-oshihâkaniwit wâposh'-wayân - Making rabbit-skin blankets

Sophie Gunner

Sophie Gunner describes the process of making rabbit-skin blankets and the challenge in making large ones. She also talks about other clothes made of rabbit-skin.

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

wîsahkwêcâhk nêsta mâka pilêsiwak, nêsta wêhci-omikîwicik mistikwak - Weesahkwechahk and the birds, and why the trees have scabs

Sophie Gunner

Weesakechahk enticed all the birds into a trap by tempting them with his singing and building them a lodge in which to listen to him. Only the loon escaped the line but Weesakechahk chased him and flattened his back with a kick until he was dead too. Then he decided to cook them all in the hot sand, and before he fell asleep, he instructed his rear end to make a sound if anyone came. The next morning, however, all the birds had been taken, only the feet remained. In his anger, Weesakechahk put a rock in the fire until it was white-hot and then sat on it. As he walked around after though, the scabs on his rear got itchy and he peeled them off and plastered them on the trees as he walked by them. That is why trees have scabs, they say.

StoryTeller Sophie Gunner Community Moose Factory
Age/Level cycle 2 Language Moose Cree (l dialect)
Year Recorded 1964 Year Last Edited 2010
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

ê-ishilawînâniwahk ê-ôshkinîkinâniwahkipan - Stories of youthful exploits

Willie Frenchman

Willie Frenchman recounts a harrowing, months-long canoe expedition.

StoryTeller Willie Frenchman Community Moose Factory
Age/Level cycle 2 Language Moose Cree (l dialect)
Year Recorded 1964 Year Last Edited 2009
Described by Doug Ellis
Topics
Teachings Genre

ê-mâshihitocik wîskacânish nêsta mâka wâpikoshish - A fight between a whiskey-jack and a mouse

Hannah Loon

Hannah Loon remembers how a whiskey-jack kept swooping down and carrying the mouse away only to have his prey fight back and fall from his clutches. This happened many times until they had an open fight on the ground and the mouse won.

StoryTeller Hannah Loon Community Moose Factory
Age/Level cycle 2 Language Moose Cree (l dialect)
Year Recorded 1965 Year Last Edited 2010
Described by Doug Ellis
Topics
Teachings
Genre

ayamihitowin - A conversation

Hannah Loon & Ellen McLeod

Ellen McLeod tells Hannah Loon how she left home to catch up to her brothers who were going to the settlement for Christmas. Her father, who didn't want to go, actually met them there.

StoryTeller Hannah Loon & Ellen McLeod Community Moose Factory
Age/Level cycle 2 Language Moose Cree (l dialect)
Year Recorded 1965 Year Last Edited 2010
Described by Marie-Odile Junker & Doug Ellis
Topics
Teachings
Genre

askiy kâ-âpacihtâniwahk ê-tahkopitâwasonâniwahk - The preparation of moss for babies' diapers

Sophie Gunner

Sophie Gunner describes the fetching of moss for babies' diapers and comments on parents who use cloth exclusively.

StoryTeller Sophie Gunner Community Moose Factory
Age/Level cycle 2 Language Moose Cree (l dialect)
Year Recorded 1964 Year Last Edited 2009
Described by Marie-Odile Junker & Doug Ellis
Topics
Teachings Genre