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 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

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

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

wîhtikôwak - The windigoes

Simeon Scott

A windigo is speared through the neck while hunting an Indian. Instead of saving his life, the wise windigo makes sure he dies so that they can eat him. The wise windigo proclaims, however, that whenever the windigoes see each other after that, they will kill each other. That is why the windigoes no longer live together. Then, some windigoes began to marry their captives and one day, one of these windigoes went hunting Indians with his son. The Indians, however, escaped, got back to their home and laid a trap for the pair. Both windigoes were killed, their icy insides melted in the fire.

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

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

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

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

wêskac ê-ishi-pimâtisinâniwahk - Life in the old days

Willie Frenchman

Back in the old days, when people died of starvation, the last person left alive would not starve, he would become a windigo.

StoryTeller Willie Frenchman Community Moose Factory
Age/Level preschool Language Moose Cree (l dialect)
Year Recorded 1964 Year Last Edited 2010
Described by Doug Ellis
Topics
Teachings Genre

miscâkalâsh kâ-kî-nipikopanê, êko mâka kâ-kî-wasnishkâkopanê - Mischagalash who is supposed to have died and then to have risen

Hannah Loon

It is said that Mischagalash died in a wrestling fight but came back to life and his mother was happy because he was such a good hunter.

StoryTeller Hannah Loon 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

pakwacililiw - The Bushman

Hannah Loon

Hannah Loon recalls hearing a bushman making noise in the forest as she and her sister and friend were in her father's canoe.

StoryTeller Hannah Loon 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