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

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

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

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