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General Editors: Helen Jaskoski and Robert M. Nelson
Poetry/Fiction: Joseph W. Bruchac III
Bibliographer: Jack W. Marken
Editor Emeritus: Karl Kroeber
Assistant to the Editor: Sharon M. Dilloway

SAIL - Studies in American Indian Literatures is the only scholarly journal in the United States that focuses exclusively on American Indian literatures. The journal publishes reviews, interviews, bibliographies, creative work including transcriptions of performances, and scholarly and theoretical articles on any aspect of American Indian literature including traditional oral material in dual-language format or translation, written works, and live and media performances of verbal art.

SAIL is published quarterly. Individual subscription rates for Volume 3 (1991) are $12 domestic and $16 foreign; institutional rates are $16 domestic and $20 foreign. All payments must be in U.S. dollars. Limited quantities of volumes 1 (1989) and 2 (1990) are available to individuals at $16 the volume and to institutions at $24 the volume.

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Copyright SAIL. After first printing in SAIL copyright reverts to the author.
ISSN: 0730-3238

Production of this issue supported by the University of Richmond.



Studies in American Indian Literatures
Series 2               Volume 3, Number 1              Spring 1991


        Toby C. S. Langen and Bonnie Barthold         .                   .         1

        Victoria Howard        .                  .                  .                  .          8

        Victoria Howard        .                  .                   .                 .          13

        Craig Thompson         .                  .                  .                 .          19


        Crisca Bierwert  .                   .                  .                  .         40

        Martha Lamont. With Thom Hess, Levi Lamont, and Crisca Bierwert                    .                   .                  .                  .         48

        Crisca Bierwert .                  .                  .                   .         66

        From the ASAIL President             .                  .                  .          80
        From the Editors        .                   .                  .                  .          81
        1992        .                  .                  .                  .                  .          83

Word and Image in Maya Culture. Ed. William F. Hanks and Don S. Rice.
        Omar S. Castaneda      .                   .                  .                  .         84

Ugiuvangmiut Quliapyuit / King Island Tales: Eskimo History and Legends from Bering Strait. Ed. Laurence D. Kaplan.
        Cortland Pell Auser       .                  .                  .                  .         87

Seneca Myths and Folk Tales. Arthur C. Parker.
        Paul G. Zolbrod             .                  .                   .                  .         89

Wintu Texts. Ed. Alice Shepherd.
Mirror and Pattern: George Laird's World of Chemehuevi Mythology. Carobeth Laird.
        Helen Jaskoski                .                  .                  .                  .         92

CONTRIBUTORS .                .                 .                  .                   .        98

*              *               *               *

      Permission to reprint "Grizzly Woman Killed People" and "Awl and Her Son's Son" has been granted by University of Chicago Press. Both stories are reprinted from Melville Jacobs, The Content and Style of an Oral Literature: Clackamas Chinook Myths and Tales, The University of Chicago Press, 1959, ©1959 by Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, Inc. The same volume was also issued by the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research as Viking Foundation Publications in Anthropology Number 26.
      Martha Lamont gave her stories to Thom Hess without attaching any stipulations. She understood that they would be discussed by university professors and students and would be published eventually. Levi Lamont in fact tailored his translations to such an audience. We asked Hess' permission to publish his transcription, and at that time he made it clear that he wishes his work to be accessible to the audience that is interested in Martha's stories. All rights to Crisca Bierwert's translation of "The Marriage of Crow" are reserved by Lushootseed Research, Inc., a non-profit educational and research organization created by Vi Hilbert to promote the teachings of her elders. The translation will appear in a volume, Lushootseed Texts, prepared under the auspices of that organization.


THE TEXTS ARE COMPELLING: Introduction to This Issue
Toby C. S. Langen and Bonnie Barthold

      Although her name is not exactly a household word (it does not figure, for example, in a list of entries for a proposed directory of Native American women that recently reached us), a case can be made for Victoria Howard's being a major figure in American literature. The narratives that Mrs. Howard gave to Melville Jacobs constitute the remaining corpus of Clackamas Chinook literature and are the basis for four books (Jacobs 1958, 1959a, 1959b, 1960) and part of a monograph (Jacobs 1936). In order to find her work, however, one has to look under "J" for Jacobs: in those days (1930s to 1960s) the collector routinely became the "author." The consequences of this transformation have always been more than bibliographical.
      One can see in Jacobs' commentaries a failure to recognize Mrs. Howard either as author (though it must be said that we do not yet know to what extent she may have been a bearer, rather than a shaper, of traditional narrative) or as narrator. Jacobs evidently did not converse with her much about her telling of the stories (he states that his interpretations suggest "what I judge may have been the intent of the raconteur" [1959b:3-4]); indeed, much of his commentary suggests that he thought of the stories as composed in a predominantly male tradition and passed on, as through a straw, by Mrs. Howard. Her female dimension is never consulted in his analyses of the stories: in his remarks on "Grizzly and Black Bear Ran Away with the Two Girls" (1959b:57-69), for example, Jacobs confesses himself at a loss to see how the initial scene, which he considers to "concretize a most pleasant wish fulfillment" (the rape of two women), can lead to a brutal, cannibalistic sequel (the daughter of one of the women develops misanthropic tendencies). This blindness in his approach to the literature is all the more puzzling in that Jacobs made an effort in certain areas of his own life to promote the professional success of women, consulting female physicians and attorneys long before it became politically correct to do so. As well, Jacobs' interest in the psychoanalytic interpretation of literature, which comes across to us today as reductionist and male-biased, was probably initiated and certainly nurtured by his interest in the career and concerns of his wife, Elizabeth Derr Jacobs, who was a psychiatric social worker as well as his collaborator in the field. In addition, though his literary criticism strikes us as rudimentary today, Jacobs was the first (and a lifelong) champion of the literary quality of Native American "texts."
      At any rate, when in the course of putting together this special issue of SAIL devoted to traditional literatures we received Craig Thompson's article "Gender Representation in Two Clackamas Myths," one of us said to the other, "It's about time."
      Thompson is working with two examples of the kind of text promulgated by linguistic anthropologists in a previous era, the kind that Leslie Silko is on record as saying that she is glad not to have to {2} depend on. The texts, from Jacobs' Content and Style of an Oral Literature (1959b), are presented without much narrative of the circumstances and process of collection, translation or editing--very much on a take-it-or-leave-it basis; but in those days, we have to remember, professors of linguistic anthropology were telling their students, "Don't invite the guests into the kitchen." In anthropology today, this frame of mind has changed, though too late to affect the important collections of yesteryear, of which Mrs. Howard's oeuvre is one. The change does affect us as readers of these collections, though, because we no longer attribute to them and to the commentary that often accompanies them an authority that we now recognize they never had. We know that when Jacobs says, "Clackamas did such-and-such," he means, "One person of Clackamas heritage told me that in her family this is what they did."
      Articles such as Thompson's are the welcome product of our liberation; but at the same time, in issuing his challenge to Jacobs, Thompson confesses himself handicapped by a lack of information about Clackamas society, a lack of that very authority-from-the-field that anthropologists still seem to claim. There is (a little) unpublished information about Clackamas culture in the fieldnotes of Melville Jacobs and of Philip Drucker in the Jacobs Collection at the University of Washington Library; in addition, as Jacobs himself suggests, ethnographies of tribes neighboring the Clackamas can provide suggestions; settlers' memoirs may also contain information; and dissertations can contain unexpected data (in Henry Zenk's "Chinook Jargon and Native Cultural Persistence in the Grand Ronde Indian Community 1856-1907," for example, we find a portrait of the language community in which Mrs. Howard grew up and some information about her personal history). Federal archives may contain something, but this is unlikely: the treaty with the Clackamas was negotiated in secret by a solitary federal agent and no record-keeping was done. No one has as yet gone to the enormous trouble of consulting all these sources in order to construct for himself the kind of authority that Thompson wishes he had: the prospect of meagre reward for prodigious effort is sufficiently intimidating.
      But it has occurred to us to wonder whether it is not the lingering aura of insider privilege around Jacobs' Clackamas publications as much as it is his own sense of information lacking that occasions Thompson's unease, for we must recognize that at this point he is doing criticism on Jacobs' work, not Mrs. Howard's. The effect of his article is to free Mrs. Howard's stories from a construction that has made them unattractive to a present-day audience and that was never her own. But we have not yet gained access to Mrs. Howard's stories: we do not even know the extent to which Jacobs' text represents Mrs. Howard's performance. The authenticity of the text is a matter Thompson does not raise, nor does he consider questions of translation. Prying into these matters may well be fruitless in this case, however, for even consulting the Clackamas language version of a {3} story is no guarantee of an encounter with Mrs. Howard's very words. "Dictation" is Jacobs' favored term for what his storytellers did: he wrote down what they said, and no doubt they stopped and started to keep pace with his pencil. It is quite possible that under these circumstances there never was any performance of these stories. (Under these circumstances, what happens to the dictum that every text carries within itself the directions for its own reading?)
      We are thrown very much, then, upon our own uninformed encounter with these compelling "texts" that may or may not represent Mrs. Howard's intentions. But the texts are compelling, and it is the effect of Thompson's article to increase both their accessibility to us and, it is to be hoped, our willingness to take a chance on them.
      During the past year, each of the editors of this issue of SAIL has taught a course in Native American literatures in which a little over half the time was spent on traditional narrative. We had both read and admired Haa Shuka', Our Ancestors: Tlingit Oral Narratives, a volume of historical and non-historical narratives presented in the Tlingit language with facing-page English translations, along with an introduction, notes and storytellers' biographies. One of the things we liked most about the volume is the fact that it is meant to be of use to Tlingit people, especially those studying their ancestral language, as well as to non-Tlingits. The reader from outside the culture is invited to share the Tlingit heritage by means of the book: in making such an invitation, the editors, Nora Marks Dauenhauer and Richard Dauenhauer, have laid to rest any idea that the stories they present need to be accommodated to non-Tlingit literary expectations, and they have given their non-Tlingit readers a chance to encounter a poetics that will be new to them. We each decided to use Haa Shuka' in our classes, along with a series of Lushootseed (Puget Salish) stories in a format similar to Haa Shuka' but as yet unpublished.
      As it turned out, many of our non-Indian students did not have a good time reading the traditional stories. They expressed their unhappiness in one of two ways: they spoke about feeling incompetent in the face of the Indian stories' difference from what they were used to, or they said that the tradition itself was incompetent: "These people are still telling stories this way in the 20th century? Why haven't they evolved up to our level of stories?" The fact that an ability to deal with traditional stories accumulates precisely as one encounters more and more of them was cold comfort in the face of students' need to appropriate, rather than to share, what is not their own tradition.
      These problems of reception, as well as the problem of the linguistic anthropologist's kitchen door, are addressed in Crisca Bierwert's contributions to this issue of SAIL, an introduction to and glossary for her translation of Snohomish storyteller Martha Lamont's "The Marriage of Crow." As it happens, "The Marriage of Crow" was among the Lushootseed stories that the editors of this issue asked our students to read, and in the course of our discussion of the introductory portion of Bierwert's article it became evident to us that in relying {4} on her post-story glossary in the way that she does, she may be assuming in the introduction an access to figurative levels of the story that her term "polyphony" does not provide. We offer this commentary on a short passage from the story by way of illustration:

             hay gwel 7ululhexw tsi7e7 ka7ka7
             So then Crow travels on the water.
                    cickw ha7lh s./lexil
                    The day is very bright.
                    It is calm.
                     put (h)a7lh s./lexil
                    The day is intensely bright.
             huy 7ululhexw
             Thus she travels. (lines 9-13)

      On the tape recording of this performance, one can hear that Mrs. Lamont delivers the passage in a slow and measured way very different from her regular narrative voice. In Bierwert's lineation we can see chiasmus doubling as inclusio (abcba). Both rhetorical and acoustic values signal the operation here of what Bierwert calls "polyphony." It is a Lushootseed literary convention (though not invariably adhered to) that a journey begun in fair weather will be successful. By saying three times that the weather is fine, Mrs. Lamont signals to us that the convention is operative here. In the old days that are the setting for this story, though not necessarily only then, certain people had the ability to change the weather. This kind of ability goes along with being si7ab, a person of distinction, and is, like "si7ab-ness" itself, rooted in the spiritual life. Chantlike delivery, another Lushootseed literary convention, signals the presence of a supernatural context for the passage. At some level, also, whether one wants to see it as deep-structural or as figurative, the story of Crow's journey reflects the genre of stories told about encounters between spirit powers and human beings, encounters that are the result of searches.
      It is possible, then, to see at least three levels of discourse moving along in this passage: the "joke" level, in which Crow goes looking for a husband, something no si7ab young lady of that era would do; the level of what we might call "cultural recollectedness," which recalls and restates what it is to be Indian; and a level to which the statement "Crow goes looking for a husband" does not refer at all. Bierwert rejects the term "allegory" for this level as inappropriate for Native American literature. Specifically for this story, too, it is inappropriate, for, as Bierwert points out, Mrs. Lamont's narrative never leaves the everyday behind; the literal is never less valid than the figurative. "Polyphony," if we understand Bierwert correctly, is the interaction of all levels in dialogue. It is closer to a typological mode than to an allegorical one, but interweaves more strands than either.
      (It seems to us that Thompson's discussion of whether Awl in Victoria Howard's "Awl and Her Son's Son" is a woman, an awl or {5} a phallic symbol needs to be seen in the light of Bierwert's "polyphony." Though Jacobs reports universal agreement among his consultants that myth-era people called "Coyote," for example, looked at all times like people, other writers report differing opinions. Our appreciation of the richness of "The Marriage of Crow" depends in part upon our being willing not to make such distinctions between "person" and "other kind of being." To consider examples from other stories: what are we to make of a scene in which Slug, out getting bark for kindling, can't run fast enough to escape being crushed by the bark as it falls from the tree after he has loosened it with a pole? Or a scene in which Magpie is playing with her grandson but scares him as she suddenly takes a peck at a ball of tallow that he is rolling on the ground? To posit that Awl must be or look like either an awl or a woman is to preclude the possibility of this kind of joke, which is found everywhere in Northwest Coast stories, including, we think, "Awl and Her Son's Son.")
      It seemed to be our students' experience that the impression made by the language of a translation was more formative of their opinion about the quality of a story than was their reaction to its narrative content. The Dauenhauers translate into a sort of interlanguage in which the Tlingit syntax is allowed to influence the English, and in which their lineation, reflective of Tlingit speech rhythms, disrupts the expected contours of English. Their decision-making in these matters is governed by a desire to "recreate on the written page as much as we can of the original performance" (8). Their rejection of full translation (that is, not only into the language of another culture, but into a literary mode that already exists in the other culture) is made in order to provide access to an extra-literary feature of the original. Bierwert, too, translates into an interlanguage, but her reason is different: "Telling what sounds smooth in English would exceed the limits of translation and move into appropriation." She seems to be attempting a redefinition of literary translation in what may well be political terms: as an instrument of the English-speaking dominant culture, she will go only so far in operating on the Lushootseed text. One cannot imagine a translator of Proust or Calvino rejecting "what sounds smooth in English" as an unacceptable appropriation of the French or Italian text. Though they seem to approach their decisions from opposite directions--the Dauenhauers from within the source culture and Bierwert from outside it--both sets of translators have settled on a medium, interlanguage, that refers as much to what is withheld in translation as to what is conveyed.
       In the sound of interlanguage it seems to us that we hear the collaboration of glamor and authority. Interlanguage is not the voice of a culture (cultures speak their actual languages), but the voice of an authority about the culture. We may hear echoes of Tlingit and Lushootseed in the English because someone more knowledgeable than we has let us experience a little of what it is like to confront the actual sounds, syntax, and lexicon of the source language. {6} Interlanguage makes us aware of the process of translation and of the translator's authority; at the same time, it glamorizes the source by inviting us to hear the siren call of the untameable text. Our incompetence as readers may make the interlanguage text seem to us either full of things waiting to be found out, or frustratingly inaccessible. Each of these effects of interlanguage has value: functionally monolingual Americans need to stop reading translations as though they were complete transfers of their sources. Both the Dauenhauers and Bierwert take pains to defuse this kind of reading: they invite collaboration from their readers, insisting by the very format of their works that readers revisit and not merely gaze at the stories. They spend time laying bare the process of their translating activity so as to avoid giving the impression of omniscience and omnipotence that past translators like Jacobs have cultivated. Bierwert struggles to decide whether she will address the reader as collaborator ("you") or merely refer to an audience ("the reader") for her work; in the annotations they provide, the Dauenhauers allow themselves to be seen as caught between cultural reticence and ecumenical fervor. But it seems to us noteworthy that in their very struggles to avoid assuming either the mantle of authority or the veil of glamor, both sets of translators have settled on a medium of translation that winds most closely about itself both veil and mantle.
      As it happens, one of the editors of this issue of SAIL is working on a translation of another of Mrs. Lamont's tellings of "The Marriage of Crow," this time with the goal of finding a voice in English for Mrs. Lamont that reflects her competency in Lushootseed as well as the register of her narration, as far as that can be recovered. The result has been an English text void of the magic of the Lushootseed, a result even more puzzling than disappointing.
      One question the translator can ask herself at this point is, "Is the magic I perceive really a property of Mrs. Lamont's telling or only a facet of my response, a side-effect of the amount of effort I have spent?" The English for each word and sentence is sought after in grammars and lexicons, with elders and colleagues, and the resulting understanding of the possibilities of the story--this understanding being, after all, the thing that can be translated--seems precious because hard-won. Bierwert's translation, for this editor at least, reflects the translator's experience of the Lushootseed: it leaves some mysteries unsolved. But in so doing, it cannot pretend to reflect Mrs. Lamont's own voice, her own narrative personality. It may be impossible to do this--as some schools of critical theory are ready to tell us. But the search for a way to demystify Mrs. Lamont's utterance without "reducing" it in translation remains a worthwhile endeavor, at least for a certain audience.
      Something else, however, must be said. Supposing someone ever does deal in a satisfactory manner with the question of glamor as it affects--and adheres to--the decisions translators make: the problem is still not solved. For as one works with these traditional tellings of stories with a group of elders nowadays, or with an elder and her {7} family, it becomes evident that for them these tellings are not simply "Lushootseed literature," but now have become a degree more special, more like scripture. If you ask an elder, "Which is the better translation of `7eslhalhlil': "living there" or "dwelling"?--as Thom Hess recently did (he collected much of Martha Lamont's oeuvre in the 1960s and remains engaged in the process of bringing it back home to her relatives and friends)--the elder may well respond: "`dwelling': it sounds `higher'"--even though "7eslhalhlil" in that elder's own speech gets translated (by the elder) as "living." How is this elder going to feel about a translator's plausible, competent English for Martha Lamont--betrayed?

      This issue of SAIL is longer than usual, as any issue of any journal will be once the editors agree to publish otherwise unavailable Native American texts along with the articles people write about them. We wish to thank Helen Jaskoski and Robert Nelson for being not only willing but eager to cope with this task and to make SAIL a home for this kind of work in the future. We also thank William Seaburg for answering our questions about the Jacobs Collection of Native American materials in the University of Washington Library. (Any errors in our discussion of Jacobs' life and work are of course our own.) Those interested in Jacobs' work will find Seaburg's Guide (1982) to the Collection invaluable.


Dauenhauer, Nora Marks and Richard Dauenhauer. 1987. Haa Shuka', Our Ancestors: Tlingit Oral Narratives. Seattle: U of Washington P and Juneau: Sealaska Heritage Foundation.

Jacobs, Melville. 1936. Texts in Chinook Jargon. University of Washington Publications in Anthropology 7 (1): 1-27.

------. 1958. Clackamas Chinook Texts, Part I. IJAL 24 (2, Pt. 2): 1-293.

------. 1959a. Clackamas Chinook Texts, Part II. IJAL 25 (2, Pt. 2): 301-663.

------. 1959b. The Content and Style of an Oral Literature. Chicago: U of Chicago P. Reprint of Viking Foundation Publications in Anthropology 26.

------. 1960. The People Are Coming Soon: Analyses of Clackamas Chinook Myths and Tales. Seattle: U of Washington P.

Seaburg, William R. 1982. Guide to Pacific Northwest Native American Materials in the Melville Jacobs Collection and in Other Archival Collections in the University of Washington Libraries. U Washington Libraries Communications in Librarianship 2. Seattle: U Washington Libraries.

Zenk, Henry. 1984. "Chinook Jargon and Native Cultural Persistence in the Grand Ronde Indian Community 1856-1907: A Special Case of Creolization." Diss. U of Oregon.


Victoria Howard

      A man lived (alone) there. He hunted all the time. The following day he would go again. That is the way he was. I do not know how long a time he lived there. One day he thought, "I will not go today. I will stay and patch my moccasins." And so he did. He sewed all day long. After a while then he broke his (bone) awl. He thought, "Oh me oh my! my poor awl!" He took it, he threw it underneath his bed-platform. "I wish you would turn into a person!" Now he continued to live there. The next day then he went to hunt again. That is what he did.
      I do not know how long after, he got back, his (hearth) fire was burning, he saw footprints of small feet (inside his house). He thought, "Where could a person have come from to me?" The next day then he made a bow (and) arrows, he laid them close by the fire. He thought "If it is a male, then he will take hold of it" (and I will see that it has been moved).
      Now he went away, he hunted. He returned in the evening. Again his fire was burning. Someone had fixed his things nicely indeed for him. The arrows (and) the bow just lay there (untouched). He thought, "Oh it is no male. Apparently it is a female."
      So the next day he made a camas root-digger. He stood it in the ground close by the fire. Now he went away again. He got back at night. The root-digger was gone, it was standing far over there. He thought, "Indeed that must be a female." And again that was how she had covered (put away) nicely all his things.
      So again the next day he went. And he went along, he hunted. He got back in the evening. Now she had swept his house quite clean, his fire was burning. He thought, "Maybe she just went somewhere a short while ago." He went to bed, and then he began to think it over. "Wonder where this person has been coming from? Now tomorrow I shall hide from her."
      It became the next day. He finished eating, he got ready, he went outside, he forthwith went around the house. He went up above, he lay on his stomach on the roof, he looked down inside. Pretty soon then someone ran out (from hiding). She said, "Now I guess that my son's son has gone. Suppose I go look." She ran outside. "Oh yes now my son's son has long since gone on." She went inside. "Very well. Now I shall wash and clean up everything." And so she did.
      But he himself descended (from the roof) slowly and cautiously now, he went all around the house, he entered, he spoke harshly to her. "Who are you? What people are you from?" She merely sat there. She said absolutely nothing to him. "Why have you come here and disturbed everything?" Now she replied to him, "Yes, but that was what you thought in your heart. You yourself said, I wish that you would turn into a person. That's me here." "Oh oh, I merely said that (unseriously) to you."
      Now they lived there, he and his father's mother. She would say to him, "Son's son!" And so they lived on there. He served food to her, and then she said, "No! my son's son! Had you not broken me (the point at the tip of the bone awl), then I would be able to eat. But because you broke me, I cannot eat now." She did not ever eat. He would bring a deer, she would merely assist him. They would smoke-dry it.
      Now it became summertime, and some blackberries became ripe. He had gotten there (to a blackberry patch), he got back, he told his father's mother, "Father's mother! Perhaps you can pick berries. Some are commencing to ripen now." "Yes. I shall go tomorrow." He showed her the place where. And to be sure the following day then she went, she went to pick berries. She picked both green ones and red ones, with their stems on. She brought them back. He returned in the evening. She placed it (the basket of berries) before him. "Indeed," he said to her. "You found it (the berry patch)." "Yes," she replied to him. He selected ripe ones, he ate them.
      Now they (people at a nearby village) were gossiping, they were discussing Awl and her son's son. "They live luxuriously." At once one unmarried girl said, "I am going to go tomorrow (to them)." So the next day the girl got ready (she dressed in her finest and carried all her valuables with her), she went away, she sought them. She went along, she reached a spring. She thought, "I shall wash my face right here." She sat, and she washed her face, she combed her hair, she put on her face paint. All done. Then she proceeded.
      Presently while she was going along, she now reached the (patch of) blackberries. "Oh dear me, they are mixed red and black now (they are already ripening)." So then she picked them. Pretty soon now it became dark (because Awl made a storm with her spirit-power). She (the girl) thought, "Oh too bad! It will rain, I shall get wet."
      Shortly after that then she heard someone hallooing, "Whooooo went through my patch? they have been pulled unripe! they have been trampled! Hm!" she sounded (angry). She (Awl) commenced stabbing at the woods. At the place where she (the girl) was hiding (to escape the stabs of the awl), right close by there she stabbed at her (in order to frighten, not to kill her). She (the girl) said to her, "Hey! old woman! You nearly picked at (stabbed) me." "Indeed. Is that you? my son's son's wife?" Now she (the girl) began to help her, they picked blackberries. She (Awl) said to her, "Don't pick the ones that are too black (overripe), pick all kinds." "All right." They filled her (Awl's) berry basket. Then they went home, she took her with her. They went along.
      She (Awl) said to her, "Sit here. This is the bed of my son's son." She served her food, she ate, she finished eating all of it. Then she said to her, "Wash your head, son's son's wife. (Then) I shall look and see how you are." So then she washed her head. When all done she said to her, "Comb your hair. Stand over there. Let your hair down (over your eyes)." So that is what she did. Now Awl stood there, she {10} said,

      "I am going to stab you, son's son's wife!
      Put your hair down! son's son's wife!
      I am going to stab you.
      Put your hair down! son's son's wife!"

Now she pierced her right to her heart. Her heart burst, she fell, and then she died. Now she dragged her to the rear of the house, she laid her down, she piled things on top of her.
      Pretty soon afterward then he returned. He went inside. His father's mother (Awl) just sat there. "So you are sitting here!" "Yes indeed! son's son!" Whereupon she set food before him, he ate it. Then she set blackberries in front of him, he ate them. He said to her, "Oh dear me! father's mother! You are learning now." "Yes," she said to him. She thought, "I said to her, Do not pick the ones that are too black."
      Then another one (the second oldest of the five girls) also said, "Our older sister perhaps found them. I shall go also." She got ready, and she went. She was going along, she got to a spring. She saw her (older sister's) tracks. Face paint was scattered around (on the ground). "Indeed," she thought. "Right here is where she must have been." She sat there too (and prepared herself as the older girl had done. The second girl's experience duplicates the first in almost identical words. A third girl then journeys, and the act is again the same, except that in the woods the girl almost weeps because of a premonition of danger. The day after her murder the fourth girl departs, and in the woods she weeps profusely in her anticipation of an unknown peril--she knows that her involuntary tears are a bad omen. The fifth and last girl's experience after the murders of her four older sisters, and the remainder of the myth, are in the following words).
      Over yonder now there was only one (girl remaining). She thought, "I shall go too." She said to their (the five girls') parents, "I am going to go too. I am going to try to find where my older sisters went." "Very well." She got ready, and then she went away. As she was going along she wept (involuntarily). She thought, "Why am I doing like that?" She quit doing it. She kept on, she got to a spring. She saw their footprints where her older sisters had sat. She wept. In vain did she stop it. Now she wept still more. She thought, "Why am I weeping like that?" She did not wash her face, she did not comb her hair. Now she went on.
      Presently as she was going along, now she heard, "Ouch ouch ouch ouch ouch my leg! and that is not my name, (nor) have I been killing your older sisters. You broke my leg." "Really," she said to her (to the injured Meadow Lark Woman). "Indeed tell me the truth. I am carrying along everything (that I possess that is valuable and I shall give you these valuables in return for information)." She took her valuables. She wrapped her (Lark's broken) leg, she chewed up a money-dentalium, she chewed it, she spit it over her (Lark's) leg. All done (the leg was repaired and the payment made).
        Now she (Lark) gave her the information. She said to her, "To be sure, when the first of your older sisters came, she got to the place where Awl's berry patch is. At that place she (your older sister) assisted her. They filled up her berry basket. She (Awl) took her along with her to her house. She said to her, Wash your head! Comb your hair! Stand over there! That is what she (your older sister) did. She said (chanted) to her,

      Undo your hair! son's son's wife!
      I am going to stab you! son's son's wife!

She pierced her. Her heart burst. She killed her. She dragged her around to the rear of the house. She did like that to all (four) of them. Your older sisters are lying behind the house."
      She (Lark) said to her, "Let us go together. Take me with you. Let us go together. When we get to where her berry patch is, she will come to us at that place. You will help her. You will pick blackberries. You should fill it (the berry basket). Then she will say to you, "Let us go now. I shall take you to my son's son's and my house. You will say to her, Yes. Go along. She will take you to there, she will give you food. All done (eating), and then she will say to you, Wash your head! Comb your hair! She will say to you, Stand over there! Put your hair down over your face. You will stand there. Then when she says to you (and chants),

      Put your hair down over your face!

Then turn and move your hair, look (peering through it) at her. Then when she says to you,

      I am going to stab you!

Watch out! Then she might pierce you. Turn and move (aside)! She will miss you, and then you will kill her. Let us be going! Take me along with you!"
      They went along, and she placed her upon her shoulder. As they were going along, they got to blackberries. Now she (Lark) said to her, "This place is where she picks berries." Soon now it became dark (because of Awl's spirit-power to make it so). She (Lark) told her, "She is coming now. She is coming now. It will not rain, it is merely her doing that." Soon then they heard someone hallooing. She said, "Whooo has gone through my berry patch? They are being picked there! It is being trampled there!" She (Lark) said to her, "That is her now." Then she started to stab at the woods. She nearly stabbed them. She (Lark) said to her, "Speak to her!" When she (Lark) sat there (on the girl's shoulder), whatever she might have to say to her, she would nudge her, she would pinch her (with her beak).
     She (the girl) stood, she said to her (to Awl), "Hey! old woman! You almost pierced me." "Indeed! son's son's wife! is that actually you?" "Yes," she replied to her. She assisted her (picking blackberries). They picked blackberries. They filled her berry basket. She {12}(Awl) said to her, "Let us go now. I shall take you along to my son's son's and my house."
      So they went, they got there, she (Awl) served food to her. She (Awl) did not eat. She got through (eating). She (Awl) said to her, "Wash your head now." She finished doing it. "Comb your hair! Stand over there! Put your hair down!" She went, she stood there. She did the very way that she (Awl) told her. The old woman did (chanted),

      "Put down your hair! son's son's wife!
      I am going to stab you!"

She saw her, she moved and looked at her, she (Awl) stabbed at her. She missed her. She pierced the house (wall). There (stuck in the wall and howling in pain) "Ouch ouch ouch! ouch ouch ouch! ouch ouch ouch!"

      Meadow Lark came out from there (because she had hid somewhere), she said to her, "You have killed her now. Now I shall take you to where your older sisters are." They went outside, they went around the house, they opened (uncovered) them where they were lying. She sat there, she wept and wept. She (Lark) said to her, "The man will get back pretty soon."
      Presently he himself, while he was hunting, now he broke his bow. He thought, "Oh dear! my poor poor father's mother! Something (bad) has happened to my father's mother!" He went back, he saw his house, smoke was rising (as always) from it. He went on, he entered, he saw the (young) woman seated there. He said nothing. No father's mother (was present). He sat down.
      She told him, "Probably what is missing in your heart (is your grandmother), (but the fact is that) I killed your father's mother. Look over there!" He turned and looked, he saw his awl stuck there (in the wall). "Oh," he thought. "Indeed now," he said to her.
      She told him, "The first of my older sisters came, another one of them came, all four of them. Then I myself came here too. I found all of them dead. She had killed them. Had I not found her here (my Lark helper), she would have killed me too." "Yes," he replied to her. Then they went, they uncovered them. They were becoming black now. "Indeed," he said to her.
      (He proceeded to explain,) "To be sure, she was not actually my father's mother. I was merely sewing my moccasins. I broke my awl. I liked it. I threw it under my bed. Then it became this person (Awl) here." "Indeed."
      The next day then they buried them. They worked all day long, they buried them. They wrapped them up in everything (of monetary value which) he had. And as for her she put her very own valuables on her older sisters (too).
      Story story.

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Victoria Howard

      They lived there in their village. Their headman's house was in the center (of the village). After a while then a woman came to him. They (the village residents) said, "Some woman has come to our headman (to be his wife)." Now they lived there (and she remained as his wife). When it got toward springtime she went to I do not know where. She returned in the evening. Oh dear, she brought back camas with her. She shared it about. They said to her, "Where did you get them?" She replied to them, "Indeed I got to a burned-over place. The camas were just standing thickly there." They replied to her, "Goodness, whenever you go again let us follow you." "Yes," she said to them, "perhaps tomorrow." "Indeed. Let us follow you." "All right," she replied to them.
      The next day then they (only women) went. I do not know how many canoes went. They got to there, they went ashore. They dug (camas). It became evening, and they camped overnight. They said, "It will be tomorrow before (we return to the village, because the camas digging is so good here)." In the evening they went to sleep. Toward dawn she got an arrow-like spear, she went through the camp, she broke (pierced) their hearts. She killed them all. Now it became morning, and then she carried them away, she laid them down, she hid the paddles. She thought, "I shall go now. I shall go back home." She took along those camas of the (murdered) people. She reached the village. She said to them (to women at the village), "They (the women who accompanied me to the root patch) sent this (the camas) to you." At another house (to which) she went, she took along their camas to them (to the women at that house). She told them, "It will be till tomorrow before I go fetch them (the women who have remained overnight at the root patch)." They said to her, "Let us follow you too." "All right," she replied to them.
      The next day then they (the second group of women) got ready, and then they went, three canoes. They went along, they arrived, they (their murdered predecessors) had tied up the canoes there, so they too tied up their canoes at the place. They went ashore. She told them, "Dear me, I guess they went yonder. There are even lots more camas over there. But stay here first. Let it be tomorrow before we go in that direction (where the first group of women went)." "Very well," they replied to her. They dug. It became evening. They turned away from there, they made fires. Shortly then Grizzly Woman got to them, she said to them "Goodness, now they (the women of the first group) have lots of camas. They said to me, Perhaps we will cook them right here." "Indeed," they replied to her. Then they ate. They finished (their camp meal). Grizzly was gone.
      Shortly now they heard singing. They said, "Goodness! singing! Listen!" They listened. Shortly afterward she got back. She said to them, "Why are you so silent? They are singing yonder." "To be {14} sure!" they replied to her. "We heard them." They said, "Let us sing too." So then they began to sing. They quit (singing, after a while), they went to sleep. Toward sunrise then she again went through the camp, she caused them (with her spirit-power) to sleep. Then she again took her arrow-spear, she broke (pierced) their hearts. She killed all of them. The next day then she again carried them away, she laid them there where she had laid those first ones. She collected their camas, she put it in (her camas bag), and she went back. She got there. Now again she informed them in the same way, "They are not going to come, it will be a while (tomorrow) before they will come back," she said to them. "Indeed," they replied.
      Now others (of the remaining women at the village) said, "Let us go too." The next day then they got ready, they went. She took them along (to the root patch) also. They arrived, they went ashore. They became somehow or other (they felt something was amiss). She said to them, "This is the place where they (first) stopped. Possibly they moved yonder to where there are much more camas." "To be sure," they replied. They dug (camas). One (of this group of women) said, "What do you think? Looks like a long, long time since they were digging (at this site)." "Yes," they replied, "we noticed that." They stopped (digging). In the evening they made their camp there. They said, "It is not good. Something is some way or other (wrong)."
      Shortly afterward then Grizzly arrived. She said to them, "Why are you silent? Yonder they are singing, they are giggling, they are laughing--those who came first. And they baked their camas over there." "Indeed," they replied to her. "We merely got to feeling queer." "Oh dear, oh dear!" she said to them, "why? Soon they will be dancing again (yonder). Suppose I go see them again." She went. Soon afterward as they sat there they heard singing. They said, "It is indeed so. They are singing now. Listen." "Yes," they said. They sat there. Now she got back to them, she said to them, "You sing too!" "All right," they replied to her. They tried to sing, but no, they quit, they lay down to sleep. Now Grizzly arose, she caused sleep in them. She got her arrow-spear, and she went among them, she broke their hearts (with the dart), she killed all of them. The next day then she again carried them to the place where she had laid those earlier ones. All done. Then she loaded up (her canoe) with their camas, and she went back (to the village). She arrived. Now she told them the same way again, "They sent these (roots) to you." "Very good," they replied. "The first ones who went (to the root patch), now they are baking them (the camas they dug) there." "Goodness! Let us go tomorrow too." "All right," she replied.
      They got ready then the next day, they went, they got there, they went ashore. They got to the place where their fire had been. One of them began crying. They said to her, "Why are you making a bad sign for yourself?" She replied, "No. Something is amiss. It (must have) happened to our people at the place where you see." "Why no! Their fire is from a very long time ago, and now it is gone there," they said {15} to her. "Never mind! say nothing to her (to Grizzly)!" They went to dig, they dug. That one (woman) attempted to quit (digging), for then she would be crying again (involuntarily). In the evening they stopped (digging roots), they went to their camp there, they sat. They said, "We will not build a fire (because we are uneasy about the danger we sense)." Shortly afterward then Grizzly came too. She said to them, "What is the matter with you?" They replied to her, "This one here is ill." "Indeed. She will quit (feeling like that) soon." Now they also lay down to sleep.
      She got back to them, she said to them, "Goodness! Have you already laid down to sleep?" They replied, "Yes. It will be tomorrow when we (rise and) dig." "To be sure," she replied to them. "I will go inform them (the earlier arrivals whom Grizzly had indicated as camped at a distance)." They paid no attention to her there. She went away, pretty soon they heard, "Goodness! they (the women yonder) are singing." They said, "Listen! they are singing." One of them said, she said, "Do you suppose that it is really so?" They quit (discussing their doubts). Now she came to them again, she said to them, "They were going to come but I told them that they (you women) had long ago lain down to sleep. So let it be. Now I shall lie down too." Then she lay down. They went to sleep.
      Now she again made sleep sleep sleep for them. Then she arose, she got her arrow-spear, and again she went among them, she broke (pierced) their hearts. Again then in the morning she carried them away. All done. She quit (carrying away corpses and hiding evidence). She loaded up with their camas, (only) a very few (had been dug by them). Now she went home. She got there. She shared their camas around. She told them (at the village), "They became lazy. They dug only a few. They said, It will be tomorrow before (we dig plenty)." "Very well," they (the remaining village women) replied.
      Now the others (the remaining women) also said, "We will go too in the morning." Her (Grizzly's) sister-in-law also said, "I will go tomorrow too." At once her (that woman's) little younger sister said, "I will go too, older sister!" She (Grizzly) said to her (to the girl), "So you too already! Now really why should you accompany us!" She (the girl) said, "I will merely follow my older sister." "No!" she (Grizzly) replied to her. "You must not go." She (the girl) said, "I will go!" She (Grizzly) said to her, "No!" "I will go." Her older sister said to her (to Grizzly), "Oh she is merely saying that to you (and so you need not be concerned about her presence). We will go in the morning."
      The following day then they got ready. The very first one was (the little girl named) Water Bug. She went, she hid in the canoe. They went to the river, they got into their canoes, they went along. Grizzly turned and looked, she saw her (the girl). She said to her, "Goodness! I told you not to come." She (Water Bug) paid no attention to her there. They went along, they arrived. They went ashore. Grizzly forgot (about Water Bug). She forgot, she did not take the older sister's paddles. Water Bug took them, she went, she hid them. She ran about, {16} she got (discovered) all those paddles (which Grizzly had hidden), she moved them away.
      Then she went ashore, she got to her older sister, she said to her, "All the dead people are lying right here. Let us go (see them)!" So the two of them sat, they wept. She said to her older sister, "Wash your face. She (Grizzly) might get suspicious." They got (back) there, they told them (the other women) about it. They wept. They quit (crying). They washed their faces. Water Bug said to them, "Say nothing. If she should tell us, Sing, do that. But be very careful! She will be coming soon now." (When Grizzly arrived) she nudged her older sister, she nudged her, she said, "She will be talking (lying) to us now!"
      She (Grizzly) said to them, "What are you being quiet about? You have lied to the people about something or other, Water Bug!" She (the girl) paid no heed. She (Grizzly) said to them, "Goodness! Now they (the women who are yonder) are drying their cooked camas." She (Water Bug) nudged her older sister. She (Grizzly) quit, and then she left them.
      Again then Water Bug informed them, she said, "Watch carefully!" "Yes," they replied, (Water Bug continued,) "You will not be first. I will be first. She plans to kill me (first)." She told them everything (that they had to do to survive). She said to them, "When she has fallen asleep, then we will leave her." "All right," they said to her. She went to the river, she picked up shells, she brought them to her older sister. Now it became nighttime, they went to bed (as if they were going to sleep).
      She (Grizzly) got to them. "Humph!" she said (to Water Bug). "Now you lied about something to them." She paid no heed, she said nothing whatever. They had gone to bed. Grizzly said, "Now I shall go to bed too then." Water Bug picked up a lot of firewood. She (Grizzly) said to her, "Why are you going to build up the fire? So that is why you came (only in order to be a nuisance). You are supposing some youth may get to your older sister (during the night)!" She (Water Bug) ignored her. (Grizzly observed,) "They are sleepy. They will be getting up (very early) in the morning to dig (and so you should let the fire die down)." She paid no attention to her. She (the girl) lay down. She put those shells over her eyes.
      Shortly afterward the fire went down. Grizzly arose slowly and silently. She (the girl) noticed her, she nudged her older sister, they saw her. She (Grizzly) went to them, she looked at Water Bug. She (the girl) was watching her. "Oh dear me!" she (Grizzly) said to her, "Are you not going to go to sleep? (You are very likely supposing that) youths are going about." "Aha!" Water Bug responded (pretending fright at being awakened). She (the girl) got up, she fixed the fire, she put large pieces of firewood on the fire. "Ah," she (Grizzly) said to her, "indeed why are you building the fire?" She did not reply at all, she lay down again.
      Shortly afterward the fire became low. Now Grizzly got up again, {17} she approached stealthily, she (the girl) heard (Grizzly saying) sleep sleep sleep. "Aha!" retorted Water Bug (as if she had been awakened). "Oh dear me! Have you not been asleep?" (Grizzly asked her). (The girl replied,) "Oh I was dreaming. I saw an arrow-spear with blood on it." "Goodness! Now she is lying to them. Leave them alone. They are sleeping." Then she (Grizzly) lay down again. Water Bug got up, again she put additional wood on the fire. She (Grizzly) said to her "So that is why you came (in order to be a pest)! so you might awaken the people all through the night." Water Bug lay down.
      Now it was getting close to dawn, and Grizzly became sleepy, she nodded off to sleep. She woke up, she arose stealthily so as to look at Water Bug. She (the girl) was keeping watch on her. Then she (Grizzly) lay down again. Soon afterward then it dawned, and Grizzly fell asleep. Water Bug arose, and she made sleep sleep sleep for her (for Grizzly). She slept.
      She (Water Bug) said to them, "Hurry! get up!" They arose, they hurried, they went down to their canoes, they got onto them. She went, she fetched the paddles, she put all of them in (the canoes). Her older sister's paddles had holes in them (in the blades). Now they went away. They were going (paddling) along, they turned and looked, and now she (Grizzly) was already following them (in her canoe). She was pursuing Water Bug. "So that is why you came! You lied to the people." She got close to them. She took her nasal mucus, she hurled it at them. It broke their paddles. She followed them, she got close to them. She blew her nose, she threw her nasal mucus at them. Their (reserve) paddles became broken, all those paddles that they had taken along with them, they were all broken. Now they had gotten close (to their village), and she (the girl) took out her (older sister's) paddles (which were the only ones remaining unbroken). She (Grizzly now) threw her nasal mucus to no avail at them, it went right through them there (through the holes in the blades of the unique paddles). (Now) they went along.
      The people (the men at the village) said, "Something is amiss. A canoe is approaching in a hurry." They (the men) went out (from their houses), they said, "Looks like our headman's wife is following (pursuing) them." They took hold of their bows and arrows. They (the women who were fleeing Grizzly) arrived. Water Bug went, she told their older brother (the headman), "She murdered the people. She took along so many of them, she killed all of them. She is pursuing us." Now they waited for her (for Grizzly). Pretty soon she came ashore, and then they shot at her. She (was unhurt and) said to him (to her headman husband), "Oh dear, oh dear! Why does Water Bug just lie and lie to you?" They shot at her as she went (from the shore up the trail to the houses on the bluff). Her husband sat on top of the house, he shot at her. When she got close to their house, now he had only one arrow (left). He thought, "Oh well, let it be! (she will kill us all)." He threw it at her (he shot his last arrow despairingly), he shot her small finger, it split, she fell there. He had killed her. It was just right there {18} that she had put her heart, on her small finger. Now they burned her, they took (and) completely ground up her bones, they blew her (ashes) away.
      Then they went, they went to gather up the dead persons. They got to there, they went ashore at that place. They took Water Bug along with them, she showed them the place there. They got to there where the first ones (who had been murdered) where now black (and) rotting. They took them all to the canoes, and they took them with them to their graveyard. They buried them all. They finished. All done. Story story.
      When they were finished with everything (and had completed a myth recital), then they (raconteurs) would say, "Now let us (the Myth Age actors) separate (and go our respective ways to the rivers, mountains, or into the air)." And they would do just that then. Some of them would become birds, some of them animals of the forests, some of them (became the creatures) in the river, some of them (especially the larger animals) in the mountains, all sorts of things (they would metamorphose into).

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Craig Thompson

{Permission to reprint this article has not been received.}

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As in Greek Poetry, as with Theocritus or Vergil, the biblical love in the Song of Songs is stated in metaphorical discourse. The figure of speech is amatory: as condensation and displacement of semantic features it points to an uncertainty, not concerning the object of love . . . but an uncertainty concerning the bond, the attitude of the loving subject toward the other. It is the very enunciatory pact . . . that disturbs the normal, univocal exchange of information. . . . [E]ach bit of information is loaded with semantic polyvalence and thus becomes undecidable connotation. . . . Let me point out, nevertheless, that with the very dawn of lyrical poetry [in the West] . . . the transfer of meaning (metapherein = to transport) sums up the transference of the subject to the other.

Julia Kristeva, Tales of Love             

Crisca Bierwert

A Theoretical Introduction
      The texture of voicing in oral tradition perplexes the translator doubly: first comes the effort to grasp and convey suitable resonance of vocabulary, and second comes the motivation to recapitulate a convincing thematic rendition. Lyrics of the storyteller, then, become as elusive and beguiling as those of a love song in the mind. Somehow, in the process of translation, the writer becomes convinced of the appropriateness of her retelling, her rendition. This is a kind of reconciliation, if you will, between the teller and herself, and (like reconciliation in love) its history can become lost in its emergence.
      Although translations seem to be quite active, slippery creatures, this essay presents a translation as something stopped in motion. The Lushootseed language creates nominals by adding an "s-" prefix to verbal forms, a process short of nominalizing which is sometimes called "freezing" by Salishanists. Of Martha Lamont's "The Marriage of Crow" I present a transcription of the Lushootseed-language tape-recording and then an English translation-in-the-works, explicating in a manner once reserved for archivists a translation which I admit is incomplete. Although I do interpret the story, fanning its variety of signification, I try to leave the story primarily "on the ground," in the mundane context of its telling, in order to distinguish it from fable or allegory of other traditions.
      In lieu of an extended interpretation, I offer a glossary in which my intent is to charge the English words I use as glosses with the potential they need to carry the meaning of the Lushootseed words they replace in the text.
      My glossary-discussion format mimics the works of Quine and Barthes, whose deconstructive responses to the crying relativism of language keep company with the reconstructive iterations of Foucault and Kristeva in Euro-American criticism today. Certainly, the translation problem has laid much groundwork for our attempted grappling with various "others."
      Those of us who translate Native American texts contend constantly with the importance of the surface in "grappling." Whether language is skin or shroud (hide living or preserved), whether sexuality obscures or reveals, whether knowledge is intrinsic or extrinsic to what is lived in ordinary terms, these questions diminish within the larger context of translation. Here the differences in presumptions become grappling places. Our English adjusts in response to the teachings of Native American stories and experiences, and in response to the efforts to translate. We begin to speak differently when we think of Native American texts. Rather than trying to hold onto the distinctions of language, we create meeting grounds with newly used words, words we come to have in common with others. Thus, the glossary is such a meeting ground, a gathering place, an intercultural dictionary, an exchange network.
      The ground of translation cannot possibly be as smooth as that of storytelling, and I stop short of trying to make it so. To my mind, telling what sounds "smooth" in English would exceed the limits of translation and move into appropriation. But this position is questionable: shouldn't what is beautiful in Lushootseed sound beautiful in English? If the English text is beautiful but not smooth, then am I adding a "strangeness" effect, an appeal doomed to relate even unintentionally to stereotype? Here, the second motive for the glossary reveals itself: the glossary allows me to present a "good" translation (a sound one with recognizable beauty) and then explain its deficiencies. My efforts here are very much like those of Toelken and Scott in rendering the "pretty words" of Yellowman, a Navajo storyteller (1976). They chose to tell about confusions and clarifications, their story replete with insights gained in awkward and funny moments as the companion to what else they said. "Now that's Indian," I say to myself.

Historical Context
      "The Marriage of Crow" is part of an oral tradition that is barely alive in a language spoken today only by a few elders, though the story {42} continues to be told in English among Puget Sound Indian people. Mrs. Lamont seems to have enjoyed this story; she tape-recorded it twice. She made her first recording of it in 1953 for Leon Metcalf, who had worked as a logger with Indian men, including Mrs. Lamont's husband Levi, and was moved to record Lushootseed stories and information as a dedicated amateur. In 1962, when linguistics graduate student Thom Hess began work with Mrs. Lamont, she told the story somewhat differently. This time the recording project was viewed by Hess as a means to document the grammatical structure of the moribund language. After taping stories, he worked with Levi Lamont to translate them.
      Martha's and Levi's use of language must, however, have reflected the differences in their lives: Martha did not use English very much, while Levi had lived in closer contact with English-speaking others, both Indian and non-Indian, and was proficient in the work and the language of the off-reservation world. Whether Martha had any comment to make about Levi's English translation of her work we do not know; unknown also is her point of view regarding the process and goals of the tape-recording project. Hess's notes on Levi Lamont's remarks and glosses are the only available commentary contemporary with the recording. The evocative story that Martha Lamont has left us, then, leaves us also with questions about her, as well as about the narrative. Is the story intrinsically evocative or did she make it so? If she made it so, did she tell it this way for this occasion? Is this moment of retelling part of what Martha Lamont intended to speak to?
      In approaching this story, thinking about the lives that the Lamonts lived and about the Hess-Lamont collaboration, I find my way to an extent already prepared by others. In Coast Salish winter gatherings of western Washington and southern British Columbia, individual dancing is preceded by the dances of distinguished visitors called "floor openers" in Indian English. These people and their songs clear the way for the others who follow. Among those whose teachings have cleared the way for me to speak about Coast Salish stories and understandings are Vi Hilbert, Hank and Maggie Pennier, Frank Malloway, Sweetie Malloway, and Beatrice Silver and their friends and families. Many others have helped clear the way to publishing interpretive translations; I think now of Andrew Peynetsa (Tedlock 1972), Madeline De Sautel (Mattina 1985), Andres Xiloj (Tedlock 1985, 1987), and Felipe Molina (Evers and Molina). Contemporary Native American fiction and poetry provide other sources of inspiration.
      The translation I provide draws on my own fieldwork as an anthropologist, work which allows and encourages me to see reference to traditional Puget Sound ritual practice in the text. My interest {43} in interpretation differs from Hess's work partly as a reflection of my field, partly as a response to the present historical moment, and partly as a possibility derived from his previous work. My understandings of ritual reference (hence my interpretation and translation) are based on observations not contemporary with the 1962 text, but on the combination of involvement, research, and oral history I have participated in since 1977. Published scholarship also affords some basis for insight, but there exists some controversy about the appropriateness of having put some of that published information into writing at all. I have been guided by contemporary standards in making reference to ritual, speaking only of information that is "common knowledge" (neither particularly esoteric nor personal) or outside the sensitive area of initiation. My translation also benefits from work with materials prepared by Hess, consultation with him, and ongoing work with Vi Hilbert, the native speaker of Lushootseed who has worked with Hess and with her elders over the past 25 years to transcribe and interpret the archival tapes of the 1950s and 1960s, and who more recently has worked to video- and tape-record texts from contemporary elders.
      This article is part of a larger effort to publish texts from the Lushootseed traditions, an effort guided by Vi Hilbert, who wants to present the texts in a manner as open to interpretation as possible. My translation is one of a collection to be published by the University of Nebraska Press in a series that also draws on the work of linguist Dawn Bates. It is the third translation of this story that has been done, so far as I know, following the Hess-Lamont English version, and a second one by Thom Hess and Vi Hilbert.

The Storytelling--Poetic Diction
      What I particularly like about "The Marriage of Crow" is that Martha Lamont tells a story which is "about" surface texture, thus giving me a chance to play recursively with the idea of surface even as I translate it.
      Lamont's words and the story form are polyphonic, and her ability to speak of many things at once is the essence of the beauty of her telling. I use the word "essence" guardedly but intentionally here. For my understanding of the Salish culture is that it rests on essentialist premises--but not those that deny the material. Indeed it is the substantial nature of the story I will talk most about: longing and rejection, dressing up, sexuality, accumulated riches. For background, we have class division, modes of production, social graces, and even the weather. What could be more fun?
      The story is a journey, a straightforward one with a definite conclusion (unlike so many Puget Sound and other Native American traditions in which the narrative structure loops about and predict-{44}ability is routinely upset). Crow sets out by canoe to find the man she wants to marry, a man whose name she knows (Whyalliwa, an iridescent shell), but whom it seems she has not yet seen. As she goes along singing her anticipation of her mate, various men come down to the shore in hopes of being her choice, but she rejects each suitor. Finally, she arrives at the place where she is to be married. The people there gather together, Crow joins her husband to sit on a pile of ceremonial blankets, and the people feast and dance.
      It could be that this very straightforwardness is upset by the nature of Crow herself. Customarily in Lushootseed literature, Crow is a rascal rather like the more widely familiar tricksters Raven and Coyote (though less ubiquitous and successfully avaricious than these). In this story, she acts her usual self, somewhat subdued, but still at times raucous, clever, and unconventional. Despite this behavior, she is described as si7ab (that is, honorable and of high status) and she is looking for a partner of unquestioned quality. Is she really si7ab? Her mate appears the straight man; is he really meeting his match--or is he taken in? On this level of questioning, the story retains the unsettled quality of other trickster tales, a quality which must be borne in mind throughout the rest of my (rather more serious-minded) discussion. It is not that this dimension impugns the interpretation I offer, by the way, but that it acts as a perpetually humorous (possible) counterpoint. It does not unsettle, for example, the argument that the substantive reference of the story is Lushootseed ritual, for human nature in that tradition is seen in its entirety, which includes the laughable as well as what Westerners would see as more abstractly sacrosanct.
      Within this larger orchestration of ambiguities, Mrs. Lamont livens her story with subtle reference to varied dimensions of experience. Crow is engaged in more than courtship here. Certainly, this is a mythic marriage which carries allusion from story to the immediate world and out again.
      In the social context, in the "old days" a marriage of those who were si7ab created an alliance between people remote from one another, involving families of considerable wealth and power. Such a marriage ostensibly brought together people of apparently different natures. Historically, of course, reciprocal intermarriage tended to re-create its own patterns and limit some of that kind of difference. And in any event, marriage of those of the "same" (si7ab) nature played for that kind of sameness over the paradigm of difference.
      In the context of the sacred, "partnership" also has another particularly Lushootseed frame of reference: the relationship between the Lushootseed person and a spirit familiar. This reference may seem to lie beyond the surface texture of the story as a shadow story, paralleling the literal one. But it is not only, I argue, an allegorical or {45} analogical reference, for it lies also specifically within the surface texture, the (exquisitely minimal) descriptive detail of the story. Each of the suitors has an appealing physical feature, a distinctive characteristic which he has enhanced. Each of the features signifies a specific part of the costume worn by a dancer in Lushootseed ritual. When we interlace these images (weaving together the indexical referents implied in everyday language), we see a stronger and detailed description of the suitors as possible spiritual partners. In short, what makes them physically "attractive" is indicative of their "otherworldly" appeal. Furthermore, Mrs. Lamont's use of descriptive detailing is cumulative, so the details stand not only as distinctive emblematic indices, but also --taken together--as a diagrammatic set or series. Thus, Mrs. Lamont evokes simultaneously the human, the animal, and the spirit-human forms of the story's characters.
      The idea that Crow's journey is (or is an allusion to) a spirit quest is somewhat obscured by the point of view of the story. Unlike most stories which are clearly mythic versions of spirit quests, there is no movement here into a definitely "other" world. Although the suitors are clearly "other" (the seagulls squawk that each one is "wrong/different/wrongly different"), there is no life-challenging struggle, illness and healing, no unconsciousness and waking, as in the transition and transformation episodes of a spirit quest story. There is no otherworldly threshold here.
      It is possible that Crow is seeking her muse; like Orpheus she carries the song and makes her journey. But it is more likely that Crow is the muse here, moving toward the one who is--in a more limited way--questing. Within the terms of the culture and the story, this dynamic would make sense of the apparent conflict between the presence of vision-quest allusion and the absence of an experienced threshold of transformation. If Crow is the familiar, then the "other" world is permeable to her.

Narrative and Dramatic Voices
      Mrs. Lamont uses a wide variety of contrastive voices in her storytelling. Not only does she voice the characters differently, she uses various voices for commentary on them. Most obvious is the development of the seagulls: she describes them in a patterned manner, mimics their speech, and provides metacommentary on the representation of seagulls in the story. The appearances of the men in the story are fairly conventional (I hear a common voice used for all of them until Shell is reached and perhaps even then), but this character/action-(i.e., episode-) narrative voice differs from a scene-setting narrative voice. Crow is described with various languages: most notable, of course (given that this is a culturally specific mode of {46} identification), is her song. Equally remarkable are her insults to others: her rude mockery of the men and her commands to her slaves. The voice which describes her social context is different from the character voices, however, in using more elaborate syntax and more specific details (which also include a complexly formed vocabulary).
      The scene-setting narrative voice is not only a complex and detailed voice, however. The voice used for weather-setting (the propitious context which Crow experiences) is simple and patterned, as is the voice used for setting travel. This voice is formal; in the story these motifs are used for bridging from location to location, for moving the story along, for reminding the audience of the metaphorical drift which this story carries. In addition to the travel motifs, other elements of the story seem to have their own stylized language patterns.
      However, these "types" of voice seem to be less important than the particular ones for each type of "-setting" which Martha Lamont is voicing at a given time. That is, the particular words for what is happening at the moment contribute to the voice and must be considered part of the contexture. Although it is analytically possible to think of the character-setting voices as intersecting as a set with the scene-setting voices, we just don't find everyone everywhere in this story. Crow is the bridge; she appears almost everywhere. However, she figures more in more formal scenes and less in less formal scenes. Her relatives, her slaves, the animals who come down to the shore, her in-laws, her guests, all appear more in less formal scenes, less in more formal scenes. These others are a backdrop, in a way. As for the gentlemen, they don't really have a setting. This is significant to the story: we don't know "who they are"; they have no social background. They present themselves dramatically, actors out of context.
      With this overture, then, I offer Mrs. Lamont's story and my translation, following with a glossary.

*               *               *               *

Note on Pronunciation and Orthography

Lushootseed vowels are pronounced as follows:

a        ah as in "father"
e       schwa
i        ee as in "machine" or ay as in "may"
u       oo as in "tool," o as in "hole" or oo as in "foot" (Pronunciation of Lushootseed i and u varies from dialect to dialect and speaker to speaker.)
7        glottal stop
With the exception of the following, Lushootseed consonants unless glottalized sound similar to English ones:
c        ts as in "mats"
lh        unvoiced l
K        glottalized tl
x        ch as in German ach
xw     rounded version of x (above) or of a sound similar to ch in German ich
q        like k, but uvular instead of velar (a "back" k)
The transcription omits diacritics, so glottalizing of consonants is not indicated. "./" is used to separate roots from affixes and is not significant for pronunciation. Carons (v . . . v) enclose false starts.

The original IPA-based orthography of the transcription has been modified for this publication.


Told by Martha Lamont
Transcribed by Thom Hess and Levi Lamont

1.         7es./lhalhlil vti7ilh . . . ,v ti7ilh 7acilhtalbixw.
2. 7es./lhalhlil.
3. qa 7al ti7acec s./watixwted 7e ti7e7 gwelh dibelh
   7al kwedi7 tu./ha7kw.

4. tsi7e7 ka7ka7 v7i ti7e7 . . . ,v 7i ti7e7 vs . . . ,v kiyuuqws.
5. kiyuuqws ti7e7 vs . . . ,v s./tudeq 7e tsi7e7 ka7ka7.
6. vti7e7 . . . ,v ti7e7 kiyuuqws ste./tudeqs.

7a. cickw xelh ti si7ab tsi7e7 ka7ka7             vti ses./huys 7al
                                                                             ti7e7 . . . ,v
7b.       7al     kwi c[ed]ilh teses./huys 7acilhtalbixw
                     7al ti7ilh tu./dzixwbid 7e ti7e7 dibelhexw
                                                           7al ti7e7 s./watixwted
            7al kwedi7 tebeses./bech 7e kwedi7 tebe./leli7
                                                           s./watixwted tu./dzixw.

8. dzixwbidexw
            7al kwedi7 tus./qwibitebsexw ti -> s./watixwted.


9. hay gwel   7ululhexw tsi7e7 ka7ka7.
10.                cickw ha7lh s./lexil.
11.                7es./ha7leb.
12.                pu.t (h)a7lh s./lexil.
13. huy         7ululhexw.


14.          cuucexw ti7e7 v7i . . . ,v ste./tudeqs kiyuuqws.
15.          qa. ti7ilh kiyuuqws ste./tudeqs.
16.          xelh ti K(u)u./cut ti7ilh kiyuuqws.
17.                           "qweni qweni qweni qweni qweni."
18. huy   xelh ti 7ugwe./cutad.


19. huy   gwel gwe./qwibidexw ti7ilh kiyuuqws.
20. huy                  qwibidexw elgwe7 ti7ilh vcanoes elgwe7 . . . ,v
                                                                                    qilbids elgwe7.


Told by Martha Lamont
Translated by Crisca Bierwert

1. People are living.
2.                                    Many of them.
    They are living.
3.                                    Lots of them
    in this world of ours a long time ago.

4. Crow and these--,
                       these seagulls are there.
5.                        The seagulls are Crow's slaves.
6.                              Her slaves are seagulls.

7. Crow was rather si7ab
                  when she was a person, --that's how she is then--
in the first time of ours
           in the world,
when a different world was yet laid out, at first.

8. It is the first time now,
        when the world was created.


9. So then Crow travels on the water.
10.         The day is very bright.
11.         It is calm.
12.         The day is intensely bright.
13. Thus she travels.


14. The slaves are talking, the seagulls.
15. Lots of them.
                       Her slaves are the seagulls.
16.            Just like seagulls always talking,
17.                                                "qweni, qweni, qweni, qweni, qweni";
18. Thus just like that they "talked."


19. And   then those seagulls prepared.
20.           Thus they prepare their "qilbid"--
                                                      their canoes.

21. huy    gwel huyutebexw ti7ilh s./lhagwid, ci./celshaad xelh ti,
        vgwe . . . ,v                gwedexw./7ibesh 7e tsi7e7 ka7ka7
                         lhudexw./qilagwil dxw./7al ti7ilh qilbid.
22.                    7es./lhe.x dxw./7al tudi7 qilbid.
23. vlhi . . . ,v    yaw les./cil ti7ilh 7iisheds 7al ti7ilh se./7ibeshs
                                                                                   tsi7ilh ka7ka7
24. huy ->        si7ab, cickw si7ab tsi ka7ka7 7al kwi cedilh

25. huy             7u./qilitebexw 7e ti7e7 ste./tudeqs.


26. huy     7ululhtubexw.
27.            7ululhtubexw.
28.                              qa ti7ilh 7iisheds elgwe7.
29.            xwul 7e(s)./shulh ti7e7 7iisheds 7es./kwitalgwilh.
30.            7ululhtubexw.
31.            7ululhtubexw tsi7e7 ka7ka7.
32. 7i.,      7es./liqwil.


33. cut./cut      tsi7ilh ka7ka7. vdxw7al ti . . . , 7al ti7ilh . . . ,v
34. "dxw./7al   kwi beda7 7e kwi xweyaliwa
                       kwi lhus./7uxwtubshlep.
35. dxw./7a     kwi lhus./7uxwtubshlep."

36. "xweyaliwa ti7ilh s./da7 7e ti7ilh lhedexw./7uxws,
                                                                dexw./7uxws hawe7."


37. huy   7uxwtubexw 7e ti7e7 ste./tudeq.
38.          qa kiyuuqws.
39.          xelh ti le./cut ti7e7 kiyuuqws le./7ululhtub
                                                                 tsi7e7 s./7ushebabdxw ka7ka7.
40.          xelh ti le./cut.

41. ludubexw 7e ti7e7 bekw s./tab titchulbixw. vlhu . . . ,v
42.          lhu./7ibesh kwsi ka7ka7 l(e)abschis./chistxw.

21. And    then    they laid a mat, a sort of long long rug,
                            they made a woven path,
                                                     a place for Crow to walk
                                                           in order to get into the canoe.
22.                       It is spread out all the way to the canoe.
23.                       There must be a covering where she walks, that Crow.
24. Thus she is si7ab.
                 Crow is very si7ab
                                               when she was            a person.

25. Thus              her slaves put her on board.


26. Thus they take her.
27.            They take her.
28.                  Her relatives are there.
                                         Lots of them.
29.                  Her relatives are down at the shore just seeing her off.
30.            They take her.
31.            They take Crow.
32. Ye-s,   it is perfectly still.


33. Crow says,                                     --"there . . . to . . .--
34.                   I want you guys to take me,
                                            to the son of Whyalliwa.
35.                   I want you guys to take me there."

36. "Whyalliwa is the name of the one, why she'll go,
                                                      why she goes,
                                                      why she goes, aha!"


37. Thus   the slaves take her.
38.            There are lots of seagulls.
39.            The seagulls are going along sort of talking.
                 They are taking dear Crow.
40.                        They are going along sort of talking.

41.            All kinds of little animals hear about it.
42.            Crow plans to travel to get a husband.

43.           xaKtxwexw kwi gwesebs./chistxwils.
44.           "gwat kwi vlhus7ilh . . . ,v lhus7ilh./huygwass."
45. gwel  "dilh 7u tsi si7ab."


46. huy,    qwi7adexw ti7e7 chagwexw.
47.            xwu7ele7 7al kwi dzixw ti7ilh vxelh ti,v aa./KaK
48.                             7al -> dzixw ti7e7 vsteb . . . ,v xa7xalus.

49.            qwibicutexw ti7e7 xa7xalus.
50. huy     7es./ludxw l(e)abschis./chistxw tsi7e7 ka7ka7 dxw./7al
                 kwi lhudexw__________.
51.            gwat kwi dexwbes./chistxwil 7e tsi7ilh ka7ka7.
52.            cickw si7ab ka7ka7 tsi7ilh.
53.            7es./Kubil.
54. huy gwel      qwibicutexw ti7e7 xa7xalus.

55.                  [dxw]./liqwusbexw.
56.                  [dxw]./xalusbexw ti7ilh vti7ilh steb . . . ,v xa7xalus.
57.                  [dxw]./xalusebexw.
58. gwel         7exid.
59.                  7e[xw]./xalusexw 7e ti7ilh xwi./qweqw 7i ti7ilh
                       7al kwedi7 s./7acus(s).
60. gwel         7es./qwib.
61.                  putexw ha7lh ti7ilh xa7xalus.
62.                  putexw xelh ti gwat.

63. huy,          kwitexw.
64.                  kwitexw 7al ti7ilh cedilh se./7eK 7e tsi7ilh ka7ka7.


65. le./tilib 7al kwedi7 s./7ilgwilh,
                       7al ti7e7 s./7ilgwilh
                                 7al ti7e7 s./watixwted
                                         7al kwedi7 tu./dzixw.
66. dzixwbidexw 7e kwi tedexw./qwibitebsexw ti7e7 s./watixwted
                         [7al kwi] teses./huys elgwe7 tu./7acilhtalbixw ti7e7
                                                                                       bekw s./tab.

67. huy           le./tilib tsi7e7 ka7ka7 [7al] ti7ilh se./7ululhs.
68.                  le./tilib.
69. vl . . . ,v      le./tilib.
70.                                "lebekixw./kixw kayeye
                                     lebekixw./kixw kayeye
                                     dxw./7al kwi beda7 7e xweyaliwa,

43.            Now she wants to have a husband.
44.                                         "Who will become-- become her partner?"
45.                                    and "Is this the one?"


46. Thus they announce to come down to the shore.
47.            Just like the riff-raff to be first, I guess.
48.            Ah-- Raccoon is first.

49.            Raccoon has prepared himself.
50. Since  he has heard that Crow is going to get a husband
                                                                                        --to . . . .
51.            who will become Crow's husband?
52.            That Crow is very si7ab.
53.            She is good.
54. And so Raccoon has prepared himself.

55. He paints up.
56. Raccoon paints his face.
57.            He paints his face.
58.            And how!
59.            He paints his face with white and black
                                               there on his face.
60. And    he is ready.
61.            Raccoon is very fine!
62.            He really looks like somebody!

63. Thus   he goes down to the water.
64.            He goes down to the water as that Crow is coming.


65. She is going along singing, along by the shore,
                                                     along the shore
                                                                 in the world
                                                                       in the first time.
66. It is the first time now when the world was created
                       when everything was a person.

67. Thus   Crow is going along singing as she travels on the water.
68.            She is going along singing.
69.            She is going along singing.
70.                                               "Kayaya's going to marry,
                                                      Kayaya's going to marry,
                                                                       the son of Whyalliwa,
                                                                       the son of Whyalliwa."

71.                  lecut./cut tsi7ilh ka7ka7.
72.                                 "lebekixw./kixw kayeye
                                     lebekixw./kixw kayeye
                                     dxw./7al kwi beda7 7e xweyaliwa,
73.                  cut./cut tsi7e7 ka7ka7.

74. le./tilib      ti7e7 secut./cuts.
75. l(e)abschis./chistxws dxw./7al ti7ilh beda7 7e kwi xweyaliwa,
                                          ti7ilh xw./chilhqs hawe7 ti7ilh xweyaliwa.
76. dilh ledi./da7ad.
77. si7ab 7acilhtalbixw vti7ilh . . . ,v ti7ilh dexwe./7uxws t[s]i7ilh


78. huy,              7ululhtub.
79. "vlha . . . . ,v  lhaliltxw lhi.
80.                     gwe./dilh kweda7."
81.                     lhalil ti7ilh 7i kiyuuqws.

82. di7lh kwi s./cha7kw 7e ti7e7 xa7xalus le[dxw]./xalus[eb].
83. putexw ha7lh ti7ilh xa7xalus, s./7ushebabdxw.
84. 7exw[s]./cuteb cedilh kwi dexwe./7uxw 7e tsi7e7 ka7ka7.

85. xwulexw bele./cut(t)eb.
86. "leli.7 ta7a."
87. "7a., me./leli7 me./leli7 me./leli7 me./leli7 me./leli7."
88. cut./cut ti7e7 kiyuuqws.

89. "cha7kwtxw lhi 7e vte . . . ,v te gedu.
90. cedilh dzelh cexwe./7uxw 7exw./xalus(s)
91. be./qxateb ti7e7 7ushebabdxw xa7xalus.

92. 7uxw.
93. chube.
94. les./xelhelh xech ti7ilh xa7xalus


95. huy,    be./hiwil tsi7e7 ka7ka7 7al ti7e7 lilh./7ilgwilh.
96.            le./7ululh.
97.            ha7lh s./lexil.

71.            Crow is going along saying,
72.                                               "Kayaya's going to marry,
                                                     Kayaya's going to marry,
                                                                      the son of Whyalliwa,
                                                                      the son of Whyalliwa."
73.            Crow is saying it.

74.             She is going along singing what she says.
75.             She is going along to get a husband in the son of Whyalliwa,
                                                                  that Shell, aha!: Whyalliwa.
76.             He's the one she names.
77.             He's a si7ab person. He's--
                                                   He's why Crow goes.


78. Thus   they take her.
79.                            "Land it, folks!
80.                              Maybe he's the one."
81.            She and the seagulls land.

82. Suddenly Raccoon is at the shore.
                      He's going along all painted up.
83.            That Raccoon is really very fine, the poor guy.
84.            He thinks that he is the one Crow is going for.

85. However, they keep saying,
86.            "He's the wrong one, he is."
87.            "Ah, wrong again, wrong again, wrong again,
                                               wrong again, wrong again."
88. The seagulls say it.

89. "Take it away from that-- that guy!
90. Am I going for somebody painted up like that,
                                         little paint-up face?"
91. She insults poor Raccoon again.

92.            He goes.
93.            He goes up from the shore.
94.            Raccoon is going along heart-broken.


95. Thus    Crow is going on again, along the shore's edge.
96.            She is travelling.
97.             The day is bright.

98.            7es./ha7leb.
99.            bele./7uxw sixw.

100.          be./hiwil.
101.                                    "lebekixw./kixw kayeye
                                            lebekixw./kixw kayeye
                                            dxw./7al kwi beda7 7e xweyaliwa,
102.          be./7uxw sixw.


103. di7lh kwi bes./cha7kw 7e ti7e7 ha.7lh vti7e7 steb . . . ,v ti7e7                                                                                                s./tettqwi7.

104. put ha7lh vsteb . . . v.
105.                  7u./leleli7cut.
106.                  7u./leleli7cut ti7e7 s./xeuss
                                   xelh ti ses./huys s./qedzu7s

107. put     ha7lh 7u./leleli7cut.
108.                        bekw 7es /7exideb:
109.                                                 xwi./qwixw,
                                          xelh ti 7exw./chciligwed,
                                          xelh ti pink kwedi7 ses./huy 7e ti7e7.
110.                                  vxelh ti 7es . . . ,v s./tab vgwes . . . ,v
                                          xelh ti xwi./qwac.
111. ha.7lh ti7ilh
                        su./leleli7cut 7e ti7e7 s./xeyus v7e ti7e7 . . . ,v
                                                     7e ti7e7 cedilh s./7ushebabdxw.

112. huy     be./cut(t)eb 7e tsi7e7 ka7ka7.
113.            "dxw./taqttxw lhi!
114.            dilhexw kweda7."

115.            be./chube elgwe7 ti7e7 di7e7 kiyuuqws.
116.            belecut./cut.
117.            lhalil elgwe7.
118.            ta./taqtagwil.

119.            le./kwit tsi7ilh s./tettqwi7.
120.                  vha7lh "pretty" . . . ,v ha7lh kwedi7 sxi7./xeys 7e ti7e7

98. It is calm.
99. She is still going along.

100. She's off again.
101.                    "Kayaya's going to marry,
                             Kayaya's going to marry,
                                                     the son of Whyalliwa ,
102. Still she goes.


103. Suddenly a fine man is again at the shore.
        (What's this?)
                           It's that-- It's Drake Bufflehead.

104. He is very fine.          --what--
105.          He kept changing.
106. His head kept changing.
                       There is something about how his hair is,
                                     something about his hair.

107. He is very fine.
                  He kept changing.
108.           It is every color:
109.                                        blue,
                                     sort of red inside,
                                          sort of pink.
                 That's how it is.
110.                                sort of what? what would you say?
                                       sort of yellowish-green.
111. That  is fine.
                     His head kept changing,
                                                                 that poor man.

112. Thus   Crow says again.
113.            "Beach it, you folks!
114.            Now this might be the one."

115. The seagulls go up from shore again.
116. They are going along talking.
117. They're ashore.
118. They all go up the bank.

119. This Drake Bufflehead is coming down to the shore.
120. He is fine, "pretty."
        Something about his little head is fine.

121.           put yu ti7e7 vseschi . . . ,v su./leleli7cut 7e ti7e7 gwe./shiqws

122. huy   gwel be./cut(t)eb 7e ti7e7 kiyuuqws.
123.                  "leli.7 te le./leli7.
124.                              Kal be./leli7.
125.                              Kal be./leli7"
126. hu.y          "dxw./cha7kwtxw lhi!"

127. huy    be./7uxw.


128. gwel   7alil ti7ilh cedilh bedexw./lhalils

129.            ti7e7 s./qigwec.
                                         bekw tu./cha7kw. kwedi7 Ku./cut(t)eb.
130.            7u./qwibicut ti7ilh s./qigwec.
131.            ha7lid ti7ilh gwada7kws.
132.            put 7es./tabtxw.
133.            7es./qwibtxw.

134. xwi.7.
135. Kal be./leli7 ti7ilh vle./xal, 7i kiyuuqws, steb,
                                                       kiyuuqws, huy steb 7i . . . . ,v


136. kwi s./chetxwed.
137. dilh 7exws./cuteb cedilh kweda7 kwi dexwe./7ibesh 7e tsi7ilh
138. be./cha7kw ti7e7 s./chetxwed.

139. "Kal be./leli7.
140. xwi7 le./dilh."

141. ha7lh kwi ses./qwib 7e ti7e7 s./chetxwed.
142. put 7u./gwilicheb ti7e7 tabids (h)a7lh.
143. vles./dzeqil . . . ,v lesdzi7./dzeqil kwi se./kwit 7e ti7e7

144. xwul 7ucu./cut(t)eb.
145.                   "[dxw]./cha.7kwtxw lhi.
146.                    leli7.
147.                    cedilh dzelh kwi cexwe./7uxw te putexw
148.                                                                      7exws7ut./7utalus."

121. It was very--
            His headgear, whatever it is, kept changing.

122. And   then the seagulls say it again.
123.                  "He is wrong: he's the wrong one.
124.                    He's wrong too.
125.                    He's wrong too."
126. Thus,        "Take it away, folks!"

127. Thus she goes again.


128. And they come to the next one she lands for.

129. This is Deer.
                 Everyone came down to the shore.
                 Something has been said.
130. Deer fixed himself up.
131. He made his antlers nice.
132. Everything is just so.
133. He is prepared.

134. No--.
135. He's the wrong one too again.
                 That seagull--, what--,
                                 seagull--, then what . . . . oh, Deer.


136. There is Bear.
137. He thinks he is the reason Crow is travelling.
138. Again: Bear comes down to shore.

139. "He's wrong too.
140. He's not the one."

141. Bear is fine in the way he is prepared.
142. His fur is slicked and shiny:      extremely fine.
143. Hanging his head--
hanging his head bashfully, Bear comes toward the water.

144. She just said this:
145.               "Take it away, folks.
146.                 He's wrong.
147.                         Now that would be something,
                                for me to be going for someone like him.
148.                      Ugly Stretch-eyes!"

149. 7u./7uxw ti7ilh s./7ushebabdxw s./chetxwed.
150. les./xelhelh xech.


151. 7uxw ti kiyuuqws.
152. bele /7ululh elgwe7.
153. lecut./cut.
154.                  lebekixw./kixw kayeye
                         lebekixw./kixw kayeye
                         dxw./7al ti beda7 7e xweyaliwa,

155. bele /7uxw.
156. gwel ->     bele./lhalil elgwe7.

157.                  bes./tabexw ti7e7 b(e)u./cha7kw.
158.                  Kal be./ha7lh.
159.                  7es./qwibicut ti7e7 cedilh
                         7u./cha7kw 7i s./tabexw.
160.                  xwu7ele7 tu./bu7qwexw kwi tulilh./laq.
161.                  vti dexw . . .v xatxat 7i kwi tebelilh./kwelq.
162. tuxw (h)uy xwul 7es./7iste7.
163.                  ti7e7 bu7qw kwi tu./cha7kw.
164.                  Kal be./leli7.

165. be./7uxw.
166. be./hiqicut ti7e7 kiyuuqws.
167. Kele./xaKil ti7e7 kiyuuqws.
168. "Ka.l me./leli7, me./leli7, me./leli7, me./leli7."

169.            dilh ti7e7 dexwes./cutucid 7e ti7e7 kiyuuqws.
170.            7ebilexw gwus[aqwaqw]./saqw.
171. gwel   gwucut./cutexw xwulab 7e ti7ilh xelh ti dilh.
172.            7ebilexw elgwe7 gwu./7exid.
173. gwel   lhu./Keladi7 elgwe7.

174.            7uxa./xaKil.

175. vhuy . . . ,v huy dilh teses./huys elgwe7
                         7al kwi teses./huys elgwe7 7acilhtalbixw.
176.                  tu./huy.

177.                              t(u)as./huyuteb s./tudeq 7e tsi7e7 ka7ka7.
178. vtu . . . ,v                                          tus./7i7i7eb tsi7ilh ka7ka7
                         7al kwi teses./huys ->                  7acilhtalbixw.


149. That poor Bear went.
150. His heart is crumbling.


151. The seagulls go.
152. Again they are travelling.
153. They are going along saying,
154.                                    "Kayaya's going to marry,
                                             Kayaya's going to marry,
                                                             the son of Whyalliwa,

155.            Again they are going along,
156. and     again they are coming to land.

157.            Again there is someone, and he came down to shore.
158.            Again he is also fine.
159.            This one has prepared himself.
                                               He and others came down to shore.
160.            It was duck who was last, I guess.
161.            Mallard and these others.
162.             So there, that's just how it was.
163.                                                 This duck came down to shore.
164. He's wrong too.

165. Again they go.
166. Again the seagulls push themselves off.
167. The seagulls are always going along screeching.
168.            "He's wrong too, nya, nya, wrong one, wrong one,
                                                                                         wrong one."
169. That is the reason seagulls chatter.
170.             Whenever they flew,
171. then they would just talk, sort of like that.
172.             Whatever they're doing,
173. now they'll make a racket.

174. They screeched.

175. Thus they were that way,
                                                     when they were      people.
176. Thus it was.

177. Crow had made them slaves.
178. Crow was rather si7ab,
                                               when she was a person.


179. hu.y  gwel  7alil kwi ce[di]lh dexw./lhalils.

180. huy ->        cut(t)ebexw 7e kwedi7 di[7i7]
                          "le./7eKaxw tsi ka7ka7 l(e)abschis./chistxw."
181. huy, ->       haydubexw 7e tudi7 ce[di]lh vdebelh ti7acec . . . ,v
182. "huy, dilh ti7ilh d./beda7 kwi dexwe./7eK 7e tsi ka7ka7.
183.  huy, hikw si7ab, tsi7ilh ka7ka7."
184. huy,            qwibicutexw ti7ilh 7acilhtalbixw.
185. hay,            7uxwtubexw ti7ilh lhalil elgwe7.

186. vgwe[l] ->                  cu[t] . . .v cut./cutexw ti7e7 kiyuuqws.
187.                                             "ni..lh te, ni.lh te, ni.lh te, ni.lh te.
188.                                             "ni..lh te, ni.lh te, ni.lh te, ni.[lh te].
189. hay, ->       be./dilhexw ti7ilh s7exw./lhalil[eb] 7e tsi7ilh                                                                                                sixw./si7ab chelh."

190. "lhaliltxw lhi!
191. dilhexw kwelh 7e ti7e7 xwi7 leha7./ha7lh."
192.                  lha.lil.

193. vgwel ->    le./tab txwu . . . ,v txwuteb elgwe7 7e ti7e7
                                                                       si7i7ab 7es./lhalhlil.
194. huy gwel, 7es./huyutebexw ti7e7 dexwci./celshaadebexw 7e
                                                                                      tsi7e7 ka7ka7.
195.                  xwulul kwastedulica7 ti7ilh 7u./lhexteb dxw./ta.qt
                                       dxw./7al tudi7 7al7al,
196. huy gwel 7uxwexw tsi ka7ka7 vle . . . ,v [l(e)a]bschis./chistxw.

197. dzub./dzubalikwexw ti7e7 7i./kiyuuqws ste./tudeqs.
198.                  "ni..lh te, ni.lh te, ni.lh te, ni.lh te, ni.lh te, ni.lh te,
199.                    ni.lh te, ni.lh te, ni.lh te."

200. [dilh] ti7ilh Kedexwucut./cuts elgwe7
                 xilh ti Kuxa./xaKil ti7e7 kiyuuqws.
201. vdilh cexw . . .v dilh Kec[exw]e(s)./suxwtesh lhu./Keladi7es
                 ti7ilh Kus./cut(t)ebs 7al ti vs . . . ,v s./yeyehub.


202. hay, belyihexw tsi7ilh ka7ka7 7i ti cedilh debelh ti7ilh
203. si7ab ti7ilh xw./chilhqs.
204. pu.t (h)a7lh ti7e7 beda7 7e ti7e7 xw./chilhqs.

179. And then they come to the next one she lands for.

180. Thus   someone over there talks about it,
                                   "Crow is coming to get a husband."
181. Thus   someone way over there knows about it.
                    It is Shell.
182. Thus,            "My son is the one Crow is coming for.
183.                        Well, Crow is very si7ab."
184. Thus  the people prepare themselves.
185.    So   the landing party was gotten ashore.

186. And    the seagulls were talking.
187.                "That's the one! That's the one!
                         That's the one! That's the one!
188.                  That's the one! That's the one!
                         That's the one! That's the one!
189. So       this is the place for our lady to land again."
     They know even as they begin to get close that this is the one.
190.            "Land it, folks!
191.            This is it according to you scoundrels."
192.                   They landed.

193. And,    the si7ab people who lived there pulled them up.
194. And     then, a walkway was made for Crow.
195.                        It was none other than a ceremonial blanket
                                                   which was spread up the beach
                                                              way up toward the house,
                                                                                   a grand house.
196. And so, Crow went to get a husband.

197. Her seagull slaves were dancing about.
198.            "He's the one, he's the one, he's the one,
                     he's the one, he's the one, he's the one,
199.              he's the one, he's the one, he's the one."

200. That is the reason seagulls chatter
                          just like seagulls, always screeching.
201. That is how I recognize them:
                              they'll make a racket.
        That is what is said about them in the story.


202. So Crow and that one, that Shell, have a wedding.
203. Shell is si7ab.
204. The son of Shell is very fine.

205.            put 7u./lel(e)licut ti7e7 ses./huys su./celqwcuts put
206.            bekw (7)es./7exid ha7lh shulh su./celqwcuts ti7e7
                                                                           s./Kalabacs ses./huys.


207. huy   Ju7tebexw tsi ka7ka7.
208. huy   vlhu./belyi . . .v lhu./huygwasexw elgwe7.
209.            gwediltub 7es./qwu7 7e ti7e7 cedilh debelh ti7e7

210. huy      kwa7   Ju7ilexw ti7e7 7acilhtalbixw.
211. huy      gwel    Ju7ilexw.
212.                   tel(e)abxw./qil tsi7e7 ka7ka7 ti7e7 qa. v. . .steb. . .v
                                          ti7e7 vs . . . ,v shidzus, kwi bekw s./tab,
                                                                 s./tu7el kwi bekw s./tab.
213.                     xwulexw Ku./7uxw.
214. gwel            Ku./tabad 7al ti7ilh qil./qilbid.
215. gwel  (h)uy xwul Ku./7uxwtxw.
216. gwel            lhu./tabad 7al ti7ilh kwelh./kwlhad
                                [tul]./7al ti7ilh qil./qilbid 7e tsi7e7 vti7e7
                                                                                    ses . . . ,v ses
217. huy
                           dilhexw kwa7 dexw./Ju7il 7e ti7ilh caadilh.

218. hay              belyi tsi ka7ka7 7i ti7e7 cedilh
                                                           [debelh ti7acec] [xw]./chilhqs.
219. gwel  (h)uy tu./Ju7ilexw ti7e7 caadilh.
220. hay              tudzub./dzubalikwexw elgwe7.
221.                     xelhexw elgwe7 ti Ku./xwulabil elgwe7 Ku./tadz.
222.                     dzub./dzubalikwexw.
223.                     7uqit./qitid elgwe7 ti7e7 hud.
224. huy,             7u./huygwasexw tsi7e7 ka7ka7 7al ti7e7 vce . . . ,v

225. gwel ->       dilh tu(s)./shacs ti7ilh v, . . . ti7ilh, 7e . . . ,v
                                                      dxw./7al7adad ka7ka7.

*               *              *              *

205.          He was quite iridescent;
                       that's how he is.
                 He glittered quite beautifully.
206. He is good-looking in every way.
                 His clothing glitters;
                        that's him.


207. Thus   Crow is pleased.
208. Thus   they will be wed now.
209.            She is seated beside that one, a Shell.

210. Thus,  the people are pleased, according to custom.
211. And    then    they are pleased.
212.                      Crow has brought a loaded canoe.
                             There is lots.            what--
                                                           smelt and everything,
                                                                  herring and everything.
213.                   They always just went.
214.            And they always helped themselves from the canoes.
215. And  then they always just took that.
216.            And they will help themselves from the piles,
                                                            from her feasting canoes.
217. Thus,
           that is the reason everyone is pleased, according to custom.

218.            So Crow and that one, a Shell, are married.
219. And so everyone has been pleased.
220. So       they have danced and danced now.
221.            They are rapt as they always become when they sing.
222.            They dance and dance.
223.            They circled all around the fire.
224. Thus   Crow was wed at the--
                                                      place she went in.

225. And     that's the end of it,
                    that's it,
                    that's it, pertaining to Crow.

*               *              *              *



      These fragments of discourse can be called figures. The word is to be understood, not in its rhetorical sense, but rather in its gymnastic or choreographic acceptation. . . .
      Each of us can fill in the code according to his own history; rich or poor, the figure must be there, the site (the compartment) must be reserved for it. It is as if there were an amorous Topic, whose figure was a site (topos).
                                                 --Roland Barthes, A Lover's Discourse: Fragments (3-5)

      Whether the figure of speech moves in itself, like a movement of dance, or whether it is the place in which others are moved to create significance, or both, the translator's place is conceptually between two sets of figures. This glossary adds to the context of the story by training English words to carry significances which they would not otherwise bring to most readers, and which are not discernible from the context of the story.
      If certain words are so culture-specific, why not use the Lushootseed terms themselves in the English translation? My intent is to avoid an overly exotic representation. The Lushootseed text is available and should be the source of understanding. On the one hand, I think that using a few Lushootseed words--like si7ab--is appropriate, especially where English simply cannot come close to the cultural sense and where the sense can be derived to some extent from the combination of reading-notes and context. But the inclusion of a greater number of Lushootseed words also pretends, I think, that the reader will begin to understand the Indian language. That is not my intent here.
      By now you can see the gap between my translation and the interpretation I offered in the opening discussion. In lieu of disappointment in my translation or disbelief in my interpretation, I hope that you will see that I have intentionally refrained from glamorizing the text in order to retain the understatement it carries in Lushootseed. Now, I can charge the vocabulary for you. If you are unconvinced, you will believe that I have stretched the signs to suit my interpretation. But you will then also see how I could have "disguised" the translation with glorifying glosses and left you none the wiser. Either way, this exercise is a step in the direction of championing the process of translation as well as its product and its inspiration.
      [In the following glossary, entries are grouped according to three subject areas, the journey, the suitors' appearances, and the wedding scene. Numbers in parentheses following entries represent line numbers in the text.]

7ululh (
      travels on the water. In line 9, 7ululh locates the journey as on water. I leave "on the water" implicit in the translation of 7ululh as "travel" in lines 13, 96, and 152, in order to keep the lines as short as those around them, and since the other references to water-travel make clear what kind of locomotion is referred to here.
      In the culture, water-travel was the primary mode of travel between villages, which were always located on the banks of rivers or on salt water bays. Just as distant places in this world were reached by canoe, so too were otherworldly places. Thus 7ululh carries potential references which are changeable depending on where you think Crow is going. The question for the translator is to convey (without too much punning) the multiple referentiality without using words that are so peculiar in diction that they insist on "other" frames of reference. That is, Mrs. Lamont's word-choice leaves reference largely up to her audience; her diction is both clear and ambiguous. A correct translation, I think, uses the same kind of word in English.
      Not only does Crow travel (7ululh), she "is travelled" (7ululh-teb) by her slaves, the seagulls.

7ululh-teb (
      they take her. Other translations could play more with the sense that this journey is portentous. I considered translating 7ululh-teb using the English idiom "being transported" to convey ambiguity. But it seems to suggest too strong a change of mental state. It also sounds too cumbersome in English to be as good a sign of everyday life as 7ululh is in Lushootseed, too ornate to translate an ostensibly simpler word. "They take her" has a matter-of-fact quality. In Salish Indian English, these words are used on occasion to refer to religious initiation, but in standard English a ritual reference--while it is possible in the words--does not arise from them. A problem with this translation lies in its shift of focus away from Crow in the English story where in the Lushootseed Mrs. Lamont leaves the focus upon her kayaya.

ha7lh (10.12.97)
      bright/beautiful. In lines 9-13 and again in lines 97-98, the quality of the day is named in the word ha7lh. The range of meaning of ha7lh encompasses human character, where it includes warmth, goodness, radiance, and superficially recognizable beauty. When referring to things that are made, ha7lh means they are made well, with care, that they are appropriate to the context, fitting, beautiful.
      The way this descriptive occurs in the story, however, poses a problem for using the gloss "beautiful." In line 10 the day is said to be cickw ha7lh, "very beautiful." Next, in line 12, it is pu.t ha7lh, "extremely/intensely beautiful," which argues for using a word in English that can be qualified in varying degrees. "Beautiful," being presumably complete in itself, strains against being modified adverbially in English.
      For qualitative variation in intensity, "bright" is suitable to describe a day. Moreover, "bright" carries the sense of "enhanced intrinsic quality," "finely made," and "fitting" in the context of qualifying the kind of day it is in Lushootseed country: slexil, "day," is based on the root lex, "light," extended with the suffix -il, whose meanings include both "becoming" and "intrinsic quality," and is nominalized by the standard prefix s-. If ha7lh means that the day is full of its own essence, light, then "bright" works well.
      (See also below the different glossing of ha7lh in relationship to the suitors.)

ha7leb (11.98)
      calm (?). ha7leb seems to be a "looser" articulation of ha7lh, possibly then a softer qualifier. In line 11, the statement 7es./ha7leb is embedded between two statements that the day is ha7lh; in line 98, the same statement simply follows one that the day is ha7lh. The -eb is a suffix which connotes intrinsic state, self-containment; it is a passive voice marker. ha7leb is perhaps the beatific version of "beautiful." In context, ha7leb is a verb prefixed by the aspectual marker 7es-, for "state of being." It is the unstated third person ("it"), rather than anything in particular, that is ha7leb: here we have a statement of being perhaps full of its own essence. To distinguish ha7leb from ha7lh, I chose to express a generic quality contained: peaceful, quiet, "calm."

7esliqwil (32)
      it is perfectly still. Here we have another weather report, 7esliqwil, which includes the "state of being" prefix, 7es, and the "becoming" ending, -il. The root liqw means "empty of motion or disturbance." The implied referent here can be the water. This line is one of the few instances where we have in Hess' notes an expansive gloss by Mr. Lamont: "Not a ripple on the water."

qwibid (19.20)
qwibicut (
qwibtxw (133)
qwib (60.141)
      prepare. In lines 19-20 the seagulls "prepare" the canoe for Crow, qwibi- plus the transitive suffix -d. What is meant here is that they check the canoe to make sure that it is a secure vessel and also that it is equipped. (In the practical sense, this means loading it: adding mats, lines, canoe bailer and provisions, for example).
      In lines 49-54, Raccoon has "prepared himself," qwibi- plus the reflexive suffix -cut. In analogy to canoe preparation, there is a provisioning and equipping of the self which is culturally defined. While the Lushootseed word can mean a rather technical "fix" or "equip" in addition to the less technical "get ready," I choose the generic "prepare" to suggest subtleties of reference appropriate to the anticipation of the hopeful groom.
      This "grooming" is the self-decoration through which Raccoon tries to bring himself into conformation with the wished-for state (and status) of marriage. At this point in the story, the signs of preparation are details of body ornamentation. Superficial decoration is not trivial here. (See the discussion of the suitors' appearances below.)
      In lines 130 (Deer), 159 (Mallard), and 184 (the people at Shell's place), we find that those presenting themselves to Crow have prepared themselves. Deer "is ready" with the transitive suffix -txw applied to qwib; and Bear is prepared with a subordinating prefix for qwib. Distinguishing oneself, internal preparation, and readiness to receive someone of distinction all seem to cooperate here in a very Lushootseed way.

tus-qwibiteb (8.66)
      create. In lines 7-8 and 66, Mrs. Lamont describes the story's "world" as one that is "first" and "different," and also tusqwibiteb, qwib(i) with a sequence of transitive (-t) and intrinsic (-eb) endings along with a past (or, perhaps more accurately, "remote") prefix (tu-) and nominalizer (s-). The "past" signifier here is the same one that precedes the name (or term) for someone who has died. If "preparation" of the world were understood in the sense of qwib discussed above, it would involve preparation for something that is not evident to me (destiny in itself, perhaps). It would also involve some internal composition. The way I have used "prepare" above is so personified that applying it to "the world" here seems to me to evoke a Gaia character. I used the somewhat older-style "was created" in order to duck the question of where to locate agency and also because I do think Mrs. Lamont refers to another kind of preparation and difference here.
      "Transformation" or "formation" may apply to these qwib contexts. But these words carry so much weight as academic jargon that I see their conventional connotation as interference.

The Appearances of the Suitors

To allow us to picture the suitors more specifically, Mrs. Lamont gives us what seems in English to be the most minimal detail. The following entries list the features distinctive of each suitor and the qualities achieved through "preparations" to make him "fine" (ha7lh in a different range of meaning from the one we have discussed above). Each section ends by citing Mrs. Lamont's statement about each suitor that he is "quite fine" or whatever he is.


xa7xalus (90)
      little marked-up face. In lines 55-62, Raccoon prepares by painting his face black and white. The Lushootseed architecture of language here is artful, playing between the action of "marking," xalh (making a mark of distinction) and the otherwise "unmarked" Raccoon. The {70} signification here is familiar in every sense; of course Raccoon marks with black and white, of course he marks his face: he is Raccoon, after all. But we also see the word liqwus (55), which refers to the face paint of a ritual dancer. The word is the first of only a few semantic indicators that place the story explicitly in the realm of ritual. The term is somewhat disjunctive in context, since we picture Raccoon literally painting his face black and white, and liqw normally refers to ochre paint and to a "red paint" genre of ritual song (as opposed to a "black paint" song). In the ritual context, his paint would signify and enhance the expression of what he is; it also makes him look "good." In the social sense, his paint will enhance all aspects of his appearance: what he looks like in and of himself, the grandness of his arrival, and the totality of his presentation to the potential consort.
      The act is unmistakably funny, though, and all the more for the involuted references to his preening. Raccoon is a person in the story, of course, but in his black and white face paint his animal character is prefigured. Painted up, his human and animal forms are analogous, just as in present-day ritual humans "paint up" in ways that particularly signify--not quite so graphically--"what they are" by nature. Raccoon's preparation is a routine; his paint is a conventional ideographic representation of himself as Raccoon.

putexw ha7lh ti7ilh xa7xalus (61).
      Here, we have Raccoon introduced as someone who is pu:t ha7lh (very fine), though he will be rejected by Crow. Raccoon's "Indian name" can be glossed as "little marked-face," the descriptive Crow uses as an insult in line 90. Mrs. Lamont may use ha7lh sarcastically here, reflecting a self-inflated view that Raccoon wishfully holds of himself. Or she may use it ambiguously.


shiqws (121)
      hat. In lines 120-121, Drake's ideographic representation (the colorfully "changing" head or hair which the subjunctive gwe- makes even more ambiguous in line 106) is delimited. A shift of reference from "head" to "hat" detaches the icon physically from the Drake, while leaving it as his "signature." The semantic progression from head to hair to headgear is a natural-to-artifactual progression.
      I have stressed a comedic quality in Drake's description by translating the subjunctive gwe- rather literally ("if it's his hair") to suggest both admiration and doubt: "something about his hair." This emphasizes the dimensions of vanity and attraction and may detract from the semantic progression mentioned above and its role as metacommentary.
      Coast Salish Indian English today uses the term "hat" for ritual headgear, but shiqws is not the Lushootseed term for it. Ambiguity holds, and the leap (if it is there) to ritual practice is based on formal possibilities.

      changing colors. In these lines Drake's head (or whatever it is) is named leli7 with the reflexive -cut where it is glossed "changing colors" and means "iridescent," according to Vi Hilbert. More literally "repeatedly changing itself," the word here implies color changes, an implication then explicit in Mrs. Lamont's mention of the "sort of" colors on Drake's head: red, "pink" (in English), and green.
      In ritual practice, an essential element of a dancer's costume is a headdress which is particular to that person. The headdress of Drake the "man," if it is his headdress, seems to resemble the feathered head of the present-day bird.

put ha7lh 7u./leli7cut (107).
      Mrs. Lamont seems to gloss ha7lh herself in line 120, using "pretty" (in English) in apposition; but I don't think I can fill "pretty" in English with the combination of diminutive endearment and great beauty which the word seems to hold in Indian English.


qwada7kws (131)
      antlers. If the antlers here are a reference to ritual paraphernalia, it is probable that a new dancer's pole is what is being referred to. The reference here may be unlike those to Raccoon's paint and Drake's hat in that it is primarily an animal-feature reference: Deer do clean their antlers, rubbing them free of moss, for example. Or the reference may simply be a more general one to grooming, the caring for intrinsic nature only obliquely implied.

put 7es.tabtxw (132)
      This is what takes the place of "put ha7lh" for Deer. The root -tab- has indefinite reference (the nominalized form stab means "what/ whatever"); it connotes "something" and that even vaguely. In contrast to other terms which seem to defy specific reference, the phrases applied to Deer simply avoid reference altogether. The form of ha7lh which does occur is ha7lid, ha7lh with a transitive ending (-i)-d. Mr. Lamont translated the line, 131, in which it occurred as "Deer cleaned his antlers," with ha7lh not even manifest. The emptiness of specifics here, more than anything else, suggested to me the gloss "nice."


tabid (142)
      fur. Bear's distinctive feature is his fur, which again evokes a costume equivalent (as the claws would not, for example, in this Salish tradition). One contemporary style of dance shirt is a hand-made, frock-cut shirt of velvet or velveteen. Forms photographed as recently as the 1930s include a fur shirt.

gwilicheb (142)
      slicked and shiny. The shininess of Bear's fur may indicate simple grooming, but, like Drake's iridescent hat, Bear's fur has a quality of light. Contemporary dance shirts are shiny like fur when they are made {72} of velvet. Moreover, light is added to them through ornamentation with sequins, abalone, pearl, glitter and satin. (Ribbon shirts are also sometimes worn.)

put 7u./gwilicheb ti7e7 tabids (h)a7lh (142).


In the lines pertaining to Mallard (157-163) there are no specific descriptives.

Son of Shell

leli7cut (205)
       changing color.

sKalabac (206)

celqwcut (205.206)
      glittery. Shell is not only iridescent (like Drake), he is glittery (brighter than Bear): in terms of brilliance, he surpasses the others. Whatever he is wearing (sKalabac is a general term for clothing used in lieu of naming any specific decoration), it is glittery like a dancer's costume. This is not everyday dress; it is without doubt ceremonial regalia. Thus, the son of Shell is luminous, "good-looking" [ha7lh shulh (206)] and dressed in showy garb appropriate to someone radiant himself.

put (h)a7lh ti7e7 beda7 7e ti7e7 xw./chilhqs. (204)
put 7u./lel(e)li7cut ti7e7 ses./huys su./celqwcuts put (h)a7lh. (205).
      I take put ha7lh wholly seriously now, since we know Shell is "the one."

Other Terms

leli7 (7b.86.87.123-
       wrong/different. In line 7b, the world of the journey is leli7, "different." In the other lines cited above, would-be suitors are called "leli7," "different from the one (ni7lh, deictically marked in lines 198-199) sought after."
       The gloss "wrong one" for the suitors is troublesome. "Wrong" in English seems to me to carry some implication of there being something "wrong" with them also, particularly in the sense that Crow's search may be for an ideal. But if the search is for an ideal for Crow, "wrong" may be too absolute a term. The idea that leli7 signals "difference" is a much more Lushootseed idea. But as difference and otherness are signs requiring respect in English intellectual discourse today, they seem highly inappropriate coming from the sardonic mouths of the seagulls. Not to muddy such sensitive waters, I opted for the simpler but more devastating "wrong." (On reading a manuscript version of this article, Thom Hess was reminded that this line was the only one that Mrs. Lamont glossed at the time she told the story: in "seagull voice" she said, "'Tain't the one.")
       In an attempt to reconcile the two leli7s, I consider that leli7 may suggest variance and variation. The word may connote a "spectral shift" occurring either within (reflexively and reflectively as iridescence) or between (nominally identifying difference). In both contexts, there is an element of "strangeness." On the other hand, there just may be two distinct leli7s at work in Lushootseed. This is Hess' opinion, and in any event I am quite unable to find a consistent gloss for leli7 that covers its range in this text.

seshuys (
       the way s/he/it is made. This phrase occurs in lines referring to how the world is made (7.66), to how Crow is made (24.178), to how the seagulls are made (175), to how Drake and Shell are made (106.206). In the description of Shell, for example, Mrs. Lamont closes with the confirmation that all these attributes are seshuys: "so he is made to be," "so he is," or in more ordinary terms, "that's how he is," "that's him."
      The root huy can carry a full range of composition in English, from the very physical sense of something quite material through the expressive sense. But contrivance is not part of what seshuys is; the phrase communicates assumptions that things really are substantial even though (or even because) they are "made up" of other things.
      The phrase dilh seshuys is often used to close a story, meaning "it's done," "so it's made," etc.


       The poetic ambiguity of words in this story relates ideas of surface and hidden signs of quality in a rather intricate and changing fashion. The issues here, I think, go beyond the particulars of the ritual complex, beyond even the commentary the text may make on the story-creating process itself, to questions of human nature.
       There are a number of difficulties in formulating a consistent interpretation. Some of the intended appearance may be only artifice; some of the signs may be pretentious. Raccoon, for example, whose face-painting clearly evokes winter-dancing preparation, is also sarcastically described:

              He really looks like somebody! (62)

("dressed up like nobody's business," in Levi Lamont's words). The problem may be that "what Raccoon is" is what is painted on; this may be a superficial coloration, a beauty that is less than skin deep.

       Suddenly Raccoon is at the shore:

            He's going along all painted up.
              That Raccoon is really very fine, the poor guy.
             He thinks that he is the one Crow is going for.     (82-84)

As for Drake, there may be something dubious about his getup:

              He is fine, "pretty."
              Something about his little head is fine.
              It was very--
                     His headgear, whatever it is, kept changing. (120-121)

But on the whole there is consistency in the desired quality described: this "light" which ha7lh may be. Whatever they have, none of the other suitors has the "everything" that Shell has. Each is lacking, and each also lacks partnership with Crow. "What they are" is passed by, quite literally, in the plot development. A key here may be the idea that these characters are not complete in themselves. Unlike the son of Shell, none of them is "bright" in every way.
       When the suitors are taken together, they form a kind of set. The features of the would-be suitors include at least a marked face, a hat, fur and antlers. At one level, different creatures have different characteristic body parts. At another level, we can see face paint, headgear, dance shirt and possibly a dance staff. Taken together, the suitors have an assemblage of paraphernalia for a dancer's costume, but none of them has everything.
       The "star" quality of the son of Shell is evident only in part in the other suitors. When we picture the characters as dressed-up men, we can see the brightness of Drake's shimmering tresses (whether headdress, hair or feathers), Bear's sleek coat and Shell's gleaming clothing. Traditionally, the materials that would have made the garments shine included abalone shell, fur strips and feathers. These materials were valued for their intrinsic quality as well as for their brightness.
       Just as the individual person expresses his or her own light in ceremonial regalia, so too the creatures of the natural world may reflect their quality through their outer garments, the coverings of feather, fur and shell. Thus, as a human dresses up in the brightness of other creatures, he also appropriates that value to reflect his own value. He becomes artificially decorated in accordance with his true nature. He may also appropriate that "other" value to enhance or inflate his own, perhaps adding a questionable kind of glamor to his appearance.
       The motif of shining is widespread in Native American mythology. In addition to the well-inventoried "Star Child" myths, there are numerous others in which individuals returned from questing are "changed" and also shining: they are well, whole and gifted: beautiful in the sense of the Navajo word hozho. An example from the contemporary literary tradition comes in this view of Navajo people from N. Scott Momaday's House Made of Dawn:

The Dîné, of all people, knew how to be beautiful. Here and there in the late golden light which bled upon the walls, he saw the bright blankets and the gleaming silverwork of their wealth: the shining weight of their buckles and belts, {75} bracelets and bow guards, squash blossoms and pale blue stones. (72)

       In Beloved, Toni Morrison writes of Afro-American sensitivity to radiance in a context quite similar to that of "The Marriage of Crow":

Paul D had the feeling a large, silver fish had slipped from his hands the minute he grabbed hold of its tail. That it was streaming back off into dark water now, gone but for the glistening marking its route. But if her shining was not for him, who then? He had never known a woman who lit up for nobody in particular, who just did it as a general announcement. Always, in his experience, the light appeared when there was focus. Like the Thirty-Mile Woman, dulled to smoke while he waited with her in the ditch, and starlight when Sixo got there. He never knew himself to mistake it. (65-66)

       Bachelard celebrates light that emanates in a Western metaphysical view in The Psychoanalysis of Fire. Fire, he writes at first, subsumes "the opposing values of good and evil. It shines in Paradise. It burns in Hell" (1968:7). He expands upon the idealization, ultimately describing what he calls a "phenomenological dialectic of fire and light," a "dialectic based on perception . . . at the root of the dialectical sublimation."

. . . [T]he idealization of fire through light rests on a phenomenal contradiction: sometimes fire shines without burning; then its value is all purity. For Rilke, "To be loved means to be consumed in the flame; to love is to shine with an inexhaustible light." (106)

This Western view is transcendental but finds its basis in phenomena.

According to Novalis, . . . "There where light finds nothing to do, nothing to separate, nothing to unite, it continues on. That which can neither be separated nor united is simple, pure." In infinite space light then does nothing. It awaits the eye. It awaits the soul. It is then the basis for spiritual illumination. Never perhaps has anyone drawn so much thought from a physical phenomenon as Novalis when he describes the transition from the inner fire to the celestial light. (106-107)

Not satisfied with such sublimation, Bachelard directs inquiry in another direction:

Perhaps it would be interesting to consider a more coordinated illuminism like that of Swedenborg and to ask oneself if by looking at this life in a primitive light one could not discover a more modestly terrestrial existence. (108)

      To have a better Lushootseed view of the "shining," we can look to the "modestly terrestrial" story again, to what is happening in its climactic scene, to the "coming together" where Crow crosses the threshold, however modestly expressed, into a new life.

Resolution: The Gathering
Dancing (Jumping for Joy)

       In lines 220-224, the wedding celebration seems to be of several natures, each cued (like the scene of Raccoon's appearance, in which a multireferential image is articulated in shifting diction) by a particular word.

dzubalikw (220.222)
       dance. The term dzubalikw refers (during Mrs. Lamont's lifetime and now, anyway) to secular dancing, including ballroom-style and square dancing.

tadz (221)
       sing. The term derives from the English word "dance." I translate it as "sing," rather than "dance," however, to contrast with dzubalikw. In fact, Indian dancers both dance and sing their songs.

xelh (221)
      rapt. Here, xelh refers to the ritual state of dancers, a trance propelled by intense emotion including grief as well as delivery from grief. "Ecstatic" might seem to convey the dynamic expression that goes on during the Indian dancing of the scene, but "ecstatic" has other particular relgious referents which make it inappropriate here. Although "rapt" sounds a bit inert (like "transfixed"), I rely on the context of the surrounding lines to make it clear that the dancing expression is lively.
      xelh is also the word Mrs. Lamont uses to describe the heartbreak of Raccoon (94) and Bear (150).

7uqit./qitid ti7e7L
       they circled all around the fire. The presence of the fire places the gathering inside a longhouse and repeated circling clearly refers to sacred ceremonial dancing. Secular weddings took place (at least in historic time) outside in the summertime, not inside around the fire.

dexw./hedi7ws (224)
       the place she went in. dexw./hedi7ws simultaneously refers to the landing, to the house of Shell, and to the ceremonial context. In Coast Salish Indian English "going in" is a cryptic expression for being initiated into the sacred traditions. Where a person "goes in" becomes a place for lasting association, and those who are there form a permanent family of support for the person.


       With the final scene, we have some greater resolution, but Mrs. Lamont still plays strongly with ambiguity. Here we have juxtaposi-{77}tion of diction replacing juxtaposition of suitors. Still she clearly invokes a sacred level of significance with her reference to "going around the fire." The wedding does appear to be a sacred union: if Crow has found her partner, she has been "singing" for him and then "gone in" where she belongs, into the Shell, her new home.
       Returning to Bachelard's question about the play of light in "modestly terrestrial existence," it can be seen that Mrs. Lamont's story develops the ambiguous relationships between a terrestrial existence and one that some might call "otherworldly" but which I have interpreted to be a manifestation of interior substance. The descriptive words that specifically signal this domain to the Lushootseed speaker are liqw, the ochre face-painting term in Raccoon's scene, and qitexw te hud, "go around the fire," in this closing scene. These expressions are both material indices of ritual efficacy. The word xelh, used for feelings of disappointment and loss as well as for what is expressed in longhouse dancing, indicates an emotional dynamic which laces the love story together.
      Mrs. Lamont's words go around what illuminates the story. They suggest, rather than clearly state, the possibility of insight. Mrs. Lamont does more than create allegory in sustaining her story, for her references maintain their physical grounding. Each imagic dimension informs the other, with the openly transformational power of "metaphor of metaphor" (Bachelard 1968:111).
       Bachelard's lyrical commentary on "shells" in The Poetics of Space offers comparably resonant metaphor with a difference.

     Here, in the very limited domain in which we are studying images, we should have to resolve the contradictions of the shell, which at times is so rough outside and so soft, so pearly, in its intimacy . . . [a contrast of surface texture and interiority] . . . At the slightest sign, the shell becomes human, and yet we know immediately that it is not human. With a shell, the vital inhabiting impulse comes to a close too quickly, nature obtains too quickly the security of a shut-in life. But a dreamer is unable to believe that the work is finished when the walls are built, and thus it is that shell-constructing dreams give life and action to highly geometrically associated molecules. [Is the constructed expression a "put on" or a vehicle for intrinsic quality?]
     . . . [quoting Jesuit priest Kircher on a Sicilian fable:] "the shells of shell-fish, after being ground to powder, come to life again and start reproducing, if this powder is sprinkled with salt water." [generative power which survives xelh, "heartbreak," and its tears]
     . . . [and from Charbonneaux-Lassay's Le Bestiare du Christ] "ancient symbolics used the shell as a symbol for {78} the human body, which encloses the soul in an outside envelope, while the soul quickens the entire being, represented by the organism of the mollusk." [Crow is a moving force as she goes into the house of Shell.] (1969: 115-116)

       Mrs. Lamont's story is a lodging place, in itself, which illuminates and exemplifies the qualities of "shell" described by Bachelard. In the earlier work on Fire Bachelard calls for a "poetic diagram" which is "not merely a design." His agenda includes "find[ing] the way to integrate the hesitations, the ambiguities which alone can liberate us from reality and permit us to dream," "attain[ing] . . . an ordered multiplicity," "resort[ing] to dialectics," "break[ing] the impulses of a reflex expression," and "psychoanalyz[ing] the familiar images." Although all of this work is called for in the service of the imagination, the agenda describes the contemporary intellectual efforts of such post-modernist literary and political writers as Kristeva and Foucault.
       I suggest that Mrs. Lamont goes further than Bachelard by breaking with a naive and egotistical ideal of the unity of composition, and that she expresses the power of a tradition that suggests and allows for decomposition of forces at the same time as it inspires new composition.
       My approach to translation has been to maintain what I see as cooperating images in the texture of Mrs. Lamont's story and to show also how these images jostle one another under the surface of the story in a more realistic relationship than a "smooth"ly integrated order of composition would reveal.
       If my translation carries the potential of Martha Lamont's story, then it should allow others to "help themselves" to significance within the vehicle of the text until "the people are pleased, according to custom."

ACKNOWLEDGMENT: This paper was made possible in part through my participation in a National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Seminar given by LaVonne Ruoff at the University of Illinois at Chicago in 1989 and in part by a grant from the Research Tools Program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.



Bachelard, Gaston. 1968 (edition). The Psychoanalysis of Fire. Trans. Alan C. M. Ross. Boston: Beacon.

------. 1969 (edition). The Poetics of Space. Trans. Maria Jolas. Boston: Beacon.

Barthes, Roland. 1978. A Lover's Discourse: Fragments. Trans. Richard Howard. New York: Hill and Wang.

Bierwert, Crisca. 1986. "Tracery in the Mistline: Semeiotic Readings of Sto:lo Culture." Diss. U of Washington.

------, ed. Lushootseed Texts. Lincoln, Neb.: U of Nebraska P. Forthcoming.

Evers, Larry and Felipe S. Molina. 1987. Yaqui Deer Songs/Maso Bwikam: A Native American Poetry. (Sun Tracks 14.) Tucson: U of Arizona P.

Foucault, Michel. 1977. Discipline and Punish: Birth of the Prison. Trans. Alan Sheridan. New York: Pantheon.

------. 1972. The Archaeology of Knowledge. Trans. A.M. Sheridan Smith. New York: Harper and Row.

Hess, Thom. 1976. Dictionary of Puget Salish. Seattle: U of Washington P.

Kristeva, Julia. 1987. Tales of Love. Trans. Leon S. Roudiez. New York: Columbia UP.

Kroeber, Karl, ed. 1981. Traditional Literatures of the American Indian: Texts and Interpretations. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P.

Mattina, Anthony. 1985. The Golden Woman: The Colville Narrative of Peter J. Seymour. Tucson: U of Arizona P.

------. 1987. "North American Indian Mythography: Editing Texts for the Printed Page." In Swann and Krupat.

Momaday, N. Scott. 1977 (reprint). House Made of Dawn. New York: Harper and Row.

Morrison, Toni. 1988 (reprint). Beloved. New York: New American Library.

Quine, W.V. 1987. Quiddities: an intermittently philosophical dictionary. Cambridge, Mass: Belknap-Harvard UP.

Swann, Brian, ed. 1983. Smoothing the Ground: Essays on Native American Oral Literature. Berkeley: U of California P.

Swann, Brian and Arnold Krupat, eds. 1987. Recovering the Word: Essays on Native American Literature. Berkeley: U of California P.

Tedlock, Dennis. 1987. "Walking the World of Popul Vuh." In Swann and Krupat.

Tedlock, Dennis, trans. 1972. Finding the Center: Narrative Poetry of the Zuñi Indians. New York: Dial.

------. 1985. Popul Vuh: The Mayan Book of the Dawn of Life and the Glories of Gods and Kings. New York: Simon and Schuster.

Toelken, Barre and Tacheeni Scott. 1976. "Poetic Retranslation and the `Pretty Languages' of Yellowman." In Kroeber.

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From the ASAIL President: ASAIL Business Meeting, 12/29 1990

       The business meeting opened with a report from secretary/treasurer Elizabeth McDade on the financial status of Studies in American Indian Literatures. As of December 1, 1990, SAIL had a balance of $1320. After the year's remaining projected expenses are paid, she expects a balance of $775.
       Unfortunately, SAIL's prospects for 1991 are less promising. Robert Nelson, one of SAIL's general editors, projected a 1991 SAIL debit of $1396. Because the subscription rate has already been changed once for the coming year, an increase in the cost of subscriptions is not presently a feasible way to make up the difference. He hopes that we can make up the shortfall through additional subscriptions.
       Following these two reports, Susan Scarberry-García, editor of ASAIL Notes during John Purdy's absence in 1990, reported on the expenses involved in producing the newsletter. For the two issues she edited (550 copies each), total expenses were $759.50. Part of this expense was met thanks to the generous help of Lavonne Ruoff and Alanna Brown. However, Professor Scarberry-García had to spend $435 from her own pocket. A small Notes fund in an account at her college will permit a small partial reimbursement. We hope to reimburse her in full eventually. John Purdy has returned to his editor's duties. At the present, his college, Central Oregon Community College, is providing support for the production of the Notes. (We are grateful for this support. However, we encourage all who receive the Notes to pay their subscription of four dollars.)
       Throughout these reports, various members suggested ways of improving SAIL's financial status. Some recommended that we try to increase awareness of SAIL by exchanging advertising with other journals, others that we sell advertising to university presses. Another suggestion was that we encourage support from our own institutions by assuring that our libraries are subscribers and by encouraging our colleges to contribute as patrons. Elizabeth McDade and Robert Nelson both emphasized that it is crucial to the financial well-being of the organization that members pay their annual fees at the beginning of the year. Subscriptions that arrive after the first issue is mailed create additional expenses.
       While noting this year's subscription rate cannot be changed, the officers proposed a new dues schedule for ASAIL membership (tied to the membership categories identified in the by-laws recommendations) and new subscription rates for the future. The proposal was voted upon and accepted by those in attendance. Beginning in 1992, then, the following will be in effect:
       Regular ASAIL membership: $25;
       Limited income ASAIL membership: $16 (or current combined cost to publish SAIL and Notes);
       ASAIL Patron: $50.
(Individuals joining ASAIL at these levels will receive SAIL and the Notes and will be permitted to participate in future ASAIL conventions).
       Library rate: $35 (for combined SAIL-Notes subscription);
       Individual subscription to SAIL alone: $16 (or current cost to publish) domestic.
       Professor Nelson also reported for Helen Jaskoski on forthcoming issues of SAIL and on her solicitation of papers. (See SAIL, Winter 1990, page 23.)
       Jim Ruppert, chair of the Committe on Incorporation, reported next on the committee's findings. Incorporation of ASAIL would be a relatively easy process and would provide at least two definite benefits: It would make holding conferences easier and would facilitate our seeking grants for the organization's projects. The legal process would involve some small expense, but we hope that members will contribute to defraying this. There is some uncertainty, however, about the potential effect that incorporation might have on the relationship between SAIL and the University of Richmond, under whose auspices the journal is now published. A motion was made and passed directing the officers to proceed with incorporation, providing that such will not adversely effect the journal's relationship with the University of Richmond.
       Next on the agenda was a brief discussion of the proposed by-laws. During the past year, ASAIL officers and others who have long been involved in ASAIL's activities had opportunities to examine at least one draft of the by-laws and to recommend revisions. Copies of the most recent draft had also been distributed to those interested in the few days preceding the business meeting. After further revision, the by-laws recommendations will be published in the first 1991 issue of ASAIL Notes along with a ballot. The vote to accept or to reject the by-laws will be conducted by mail.
       Greg Sarris was elected vice-president to replace Andrea Lerner. (Other officers were elected to two year terms at the 1989 meeting.)
       Finally, the question of whether the organization should sell its mailing lists rose again. The sentiment seemed to be that members don't want their names and addresses sold for commercial mailings. Most, however, don't seem to object to sharing our lists with those planning professional conferences, etc. Once again, those present left the decision of when to share our lists to the judgement of the officers.

Franchot Ballinger       

From the Editors
       This issue has been a labor of love, and one that represents a clear priority for SAIL: rigorous and imaginative attention to the classical, traditional literatures of Native American peoples. The editors, Toby Langen and Bonnie Barthold, have spent many hours reviewing submissions, discussing articles with their authors, and working out {82} the contextual commentary in their introduction; we are all in their debt.
       Editorial questions presented by this issue have challenged us as well, making us aware as few experiences have of the many points of tension between the ideal presentation we would like to see of transcribed oral texts, and the exigencies of our technology and the limits of our expertise. In theory, for instance, a completely phonetic transcription of the Lushootseed text of "The Marriage of Crow" would be most desirable. In fact, however, our typesetting capabilities are more limited, as are funds for special typesetting jobs. Moreover, we are aware that many of our readers will be more encouraged to attempt reading and reciting original language texts the more familiar those texts appear. No compromise is completely satisfactory, yet we hope that the one reached here, a modified Lushootseed orthography, will be of most help to the largest number of readers.
       The placement of stories and the order and wording of the table of contents raised other questions. The stories have first importance, of course, and our editorial decisions have been made with the intention of keeping that priority evident. The arrangement of Craig Thompson's discussion of Mrs. Howard's stories observes a familiar convention: text followed by discussion. Crisca Bierwert's new presentation of Mrs. Lamont's story offered a more complicated challenge. Crisca's tripartite structure of Introduction/Texts/Discussion is the logical order for the reader new to the text. Our editorial problem in the Table of Contents was how to accord Mrs. Lamont and her text the appropriate recognition, without either inaccuracy or excessive redundancy. Again, the compromise we reached is not entirely satisfactory as a solution; it is, rather, an indication of our struggle with the creative tension between original and translated, and oral and written, texts and performance conventions.
       Our problems and decisions exist in a context of evolving study of oral literatures. Early publishers of Native American texts frequently suppressed the identities of the artists whose work they published. Many times this was done at the request of the performer, who for philosophical or pragmatic reasons preferred to remain anonymous. Many other times, however, the practice simply indicated the unthinking appropriation of an artist's work on behalf of "contributions to [whose?] knowledge" which mainly benefitted the academic researcher.
       Times have changed. Now, although some storytellers still prefer to remain anonymous or pseudonymous, the prevailing custom is to credit sources of oral texts in the same way as authors and originators of written texts are credited. Moreover, in researching earlier collections scholars tend to bring forward the identities of those authors whose names have been buried in the works of anthropologists and linguists.
       The archival project of "unburying" poets and storytellers has a parallel in the process now going on of return and re-interment of skeletal remains from museums and other research institutions. The {83} collection of bones and the collection of texts were parallel and contemporaneous activities, and they had similar consequences. Human remains unearthed from grave sites lay for decades in museums, sometimes studied (ostensibly the purpose of collecting), more often not. Institutional burial replaced earth burial. So with texts: whole libraries of texts "saved" from extinction have languished unread in archives, special collections and museum basements. The parallel with physical remains, of texts disinterred from the artificial preservation of the museum institutions, raises the question of whether there are parallels with the re-interment of ancestral bones.
       The goals of the different kinds of burials give a clue to the parallel: institutional burial preserves, earth burial transforms. Even petrification is a process of transformation. Metamorphosis and transformation are ubiquitous themes in traditional tribal stories, and the stories may tell us important things about the scholarly enterprise of studying them. Transcription and translation are--as the prefixes indicate--also transforming acts. Yet scholarship itself is dedicated to preservation above all else: the ideal of the researcher is to achieve and maintain the data most uncontaminated by externally imposed alterations. The scholar working with Native American texts will always be focused in the creative tension between the obligation to preserve--to maintain what is beautiful, valuable, true--and the necessity to transform--if literature (or anything) is to be alive and human, rather than an inert object. Moreover, if the enterprise is to be fruitful, transformation must occur within the conventions and approaches of the scholarship itself. The deadness of museum collecting as an end in itself results from the separation of the investigator (an operator), on the one hand, from the object of knowledge as, simply, object, on the other. If a genuine, living dynamic is to be achieved, both studier and studied--both text and scholarship--must be open to revivifying transformation. This issue of SAIL is part of that dynamic.

Helen Jaskoski       
Robert M. Nelson          

       Preparations are being made in many places to observe the quincentenary of Christopher Columbus' arrival in this hemisphere. We are faced with a question: what is appropriate for this journal in relation to the memory of this event and its consequences? Should SAIL decline to note the anniversary, or should we make a specific statement in response to it? And, if the latter, what would be an appropriate response? We would like to hear from our readers. Please give us your opinions, suggestions, insights on this matter.

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Word and Image in Maya Culture. Edited by William F. Hanks and Don S. Rice. Salt Lake City: U of Utah Press, 1989. 384 pp., ISBN 0-87480-314-4.

{Permission to reprint this article has not been received.}

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Ugiuvangmiut Quliapyuit / King Island Tales: Eskimo History and Legends from Bering Strait. Edited by Laurence D. Kaplan. Fairbanks: Alaska Native Language Center and U Alaska Press, 1988. 259 pp. paper, ISBN 1-55500-019-3.

        King Island Tales is a highly successful compilation in many ways. Laurence D. Kaplan has done a fine job as editor, but the success of the collection was achieved only by the special assistance of Inupiaq Eskimo story tellers, collectors, and transcribers. The book I feel will serve as a model for professionals assembling similar materials about and of a people.
        The structure of the book is most helpful. There is a balance between the introductory material, which includes a foreword, a preface, data on the story tellers, a detailed description of the life, traditions, and language of the King Islanders and the appendices which have an apparatus for further understanding and study: a section on names, 1974 photos of the Island, a map, and a bibliography. The book proper contains quliapyuk or oral history and personal reminiscence as well as unipkaaq or myths and legends which contain supernatural occurrences.
        The editor has followed advice offered by scholars such as Paula Gunn Allen, who has stressed how necessary it is to study a people's literature (oral or written) within the context of its culture.
        In one of the introductory sections, Margaret Seeganna tells of traditional life on the Island; she describes dwellings, traditional hunting, weather, boats, celebrations and rituals. One section shows how important the qaitquq or cold storage cave was to the sustenance of the inhabitants of the village. Dr. Kaplan's comments on the King Island Inupiaq language have, of course, special interest for linguists. The Inupiaq versions of the stories are primary, for English, despite the utmost care of translators, cannot convey the manner of telling and the nuances of each King Island narrator's style. The differences in grammar between the two languages reveal that one long Inupiaq word may convey the meaning of an entire sentence in English. Students of the dialect have concluded that it is similar to that spoken by the {88} Esquimos living on the two Diomedes islands. Thus, linguists have concluded that the King Island people must have inhabited the island for many generations.
        In "The Ways of the King Islanders," four different tellers talk of their ways, women's tasks, the recollections of a grandmother, and Inupiaq rules of behavior. Aloysius Pikonganna speaks of kayak hunting, warming houses with oil when no stoves were to be had, and trading skins and furs on the mainland. Magdaline Omiak reviews the many hard tasks of women, including the preparation of meat and the hunting of greens. She asks the question: "I wonder why we ever came here to Nome, leaving behind a good land?" Catherine Kasgnoc recalls her grandmother's chores, and Mary Muktoyak talks of people teaching correct behavior to the young. She praises the wisdom of her parents, and she too regrets the departure of the old ways. She feels that there is no longer the closeness of villagers who were all a large family, and prays for a way to go back to the village so that the old ways might return. Other sections are devoted to "Qagri," "Hunters," "Hauntings," "Childbirth" and "Shamans."
        The closing tales are supplementary to the earlier stories and the reminiscences dovetail well with them. In "Hunting," for example, a hunt for a huge polar bear is graphically pictured. The custom of boys wishing the departing hunters well is shown; the lads would get shares of the animal if the hunter was lucky in his catch. A grandfather's reminiscence indicates the stark living condition of the hunters, and Frank Ellanna captures the sense of danger when two men are adrift on the ice. Two stories are included about childbirth: one shows the urging of family members to the fetus, calling it to come out of the womb. The other recaptures the story of an old man telling about a small human in a little house from which it will depart.
        Tales of hunting turn to those of hauntings. In one story a woman had rolled to her death; her place of haunting is experienced by two women who had gone searching for greens. In another story two women feel they are haunted as they hear a pounding noise. Finally, there are tales about shamans. One tells of a shamanic flight from a qagri where two shamans are tied up in the darkness. The other reports a shaman's clairvoyance as he predicts the future after gazing into a dish of sea water.
        The tales narrated by the different Islanders at times repeat facts learned from other tellers in earlier sections of the book; each teller has his or her own way of telling, emphasizing and commenting. The translators have done a fine job of conveying the individuality of the voices. All the narrators help the reader to sense the cycles of daily, seasonal, and yearly living. The book has many excellent sharp photographs; some are new, but many are taken from the collection made by Father Hubbard on his visit to the island in the 1920s.
        It is important for readers to know that most of the King Islanders had moved to the mainland near Nome in the 60s and 70s. There are notes of regret that recur in the narrations of the tellers. (This reviewer {89} saw their settlement on the outskirts of Nome in 1971; at the time it appeared that they were living in poverty. They performed dances for tourists and were paid for this by the Alaskan Airlines. The dances were performed in what appeared as a mainland version of the qagri, the community room.)
        King Island Tales serves many groups of readers: those interested in learning the ways of a different people, scholars of ways and customs whether they be anthropologists, sociologists or linguists.
        The text is aptly dedicated to the elders of King Island, those present and those who have gone. The past lives in these retellings. "Iqqaumatuina lugit puuyanagit ipkua utuqanaavut."

Cortland Pell Auser        

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Seneca Myths and Folk Tales. Arthur C. Parker. Introduction by William N. Fenton. Lincoln: U of Nebraska Press, 1989. ISBN 0-8032-8723-2.

        The University of Nebraska Press deserves considerable credit for adding this important volume to its list of Bison Books. Now that Native American poetry is beginning to receive the attention it deserves from scholars and general readers, earlier efforts to gather traditional material from tribal America have become too easily overlooked or dismissed. Seneca Myths and Folktales is a case in point. Originally published in 1923 by the Buffalo Historical Society, it never circulated widely. It was compiled at a time when such collections were often heavily bowdlerized or totally recast either as ethnography or as quaint storytelling, and it is easy to regard such a volume as raw data rather than a literary work--or a poetic one, as I would prefer to say, since the term "literary" too often denotes only what exists in print and implicitly overshadows material whose origins are preliterate and even today may exist not just textually but by way of performance.
        In fact, Parker reinforces the somewhat misleading dichotomy between data and poetry in his introduction, which is otherwise excellent and useful. "The value of this collection is not a literary one but a scientific one," he says (xxiv), insisting that in assembling this text he is "recording folklore" (xxv), not producing poetry. Rejecting the latter as something outside his province, he goes on to say that "The poet will see only the inherent beauty of the story, and perhaps failing to find any beauty, will invent it and produce a tale that no Indian would ever recognize. Plot and detail will be changed, fine flowery language will be used, and perhaps the whole given the swing and meter of blank verse" (xxv).
        In establishing such a distinction, Parker himself relegates the term "poetry" to what should more accurately be called verse in the negative {90} sense--language which draws attention to itself for its contrived patterns or "flowery" features because it displays superficial properties that either stand apart from what they mean or have no bearing upon meaning. Furthermore (and this is what I think bothers him about the "method" a poet may use), that language may be so construed that what it purports to convey has been fully removed from the society which creates it.
        In these stories the English seems adequate in nearly every case, and in many instances it is superb, perhaps because it never distorts the stories or misrepresents the culture which has produced them. What is lacking overall, perhaps, is the careful kind of application of English called for by someone like Dell Hymes or Dennis Tedlock in the ongoing effort to produce viable translations of traditional material. But that does not detract from the effectiveness of Parker's format, which is the ordinary prose passage with no effort made to reflect graphically vocal features such as pause, rhythm, tone or pitch. Those features exist, however, and as one narrative gives way to another, the impression emerges that even in English translation Seneca storytelling has a distinctive quality about it very much in keeping with the idiom of Iroquois oratory and ceremonial poetry.
        The discipline of ethnopoetics helps to avoid Parker's misconception that "literary" value and "scientific" values are necessarily exclusive of one another. The "inherent beauty" that Parker insists the poet will either "see" or "invent" emerges from the story's cultural setting and cannot be supplanted by any trickery of language when some essential information about that setting is missing. Thus the culture itself must be understood; data of all sorts have to be gathered and then applied to the work.
        That, in fact, helps to explain why this volume is exemplary even if Parker alleges to treat its material as folklore and not as poetry. Compiled from direct accounts gathered by someone who was a Seneca himself and a researcher familiar with the conventions of contemporary scholarship, it brings precisely the kind of cultural awareness I speak of. He serves these stories well by repeating them pretty much as they were recited to him in English around the turn of the century by capable informants. Or in the case of those stories he acquired in Seneca, he relied on others to verify his translations. Hence the English we find here has a ring of authenticity not ordinarily found in less worthy early translations of Native American narratives, yet it is smooth and sometimes eloquent.
        Besides a useful general introduction which identifies Parker's assumptions and describes his methodology, the prefatory apparatus in Seneca Myths and Folk Tales contains three additional parts. The first includes what he calls the "basic premises of Seneca folklore," and makes important distinctions between manifest spirits and unseen spirits in Seneca culture, magical power and mere transformation, and human consciousness versus the consciousness present elsewhere in the natural world. Beyond that, he provides a catalog of the gods, the {91} major spirits and folk beasts, the nature-beings, and the magical beasts and man-like beings--all of whom figure prominently in the narratives. Meanwhile, Part Two identifies the various themes and materials represented by the seventy-two stories contained in the volume, along with specifying components of the Seneca universe as it is envisioned. And to supplement that kind of background, Parker provides a version of the Seneca creation story.
        Hence readers are drawn into a distinctively different world fully alive with spirits and with magic. Buffalos teach mortals. Bears rear abandoned children. Witches assume human form and then transform themselves into dogs or snakes. From the far north cannibalistic stone giants terrorize ordinary mortals. In this world children are often separated from parents and then mistreated. Yet since the volume contains so much supplementary information and is so richly documented, reading these narratives becomes more and more comfortable from one story to the next, even if they do emerge from a culture distinctly different from our own. Taken together, the narratives are as lively and intense as the best stories to emerge from our own familiar canon, yet they also become as readily accessible, not least of all because in the third of his three prefatory parts Parker describes the longhouse atmosphere in which they were traditionally recited with a vividness rare for any collection of tribal narratives. Indeed, it is possible to imagine hearing them.
        A few stories are especially worth mentioning. In number 50, "The Bird Woman," a chewink whose mate has been blown away by a storm finds herself forced to care for her young alone. Several species of predatory birds offer to help her, but something sinister about each voice prompts her to refuse. Then she recognizes the faint sound of her lost mate and helps him return together to their nest. This tale's seemingly simple charm has no match that I recognize in our own tradition; its appeal results from its artful brevity, the swift sequence of its events, and its mood of violence and uncertainty common to many of the other stories as well.
        Number 6, "The Seven Star Dancers," is one of several that tell of a seemingly short Rip Van Winkle-like venture into a sky world that turns out to be a long absence. In another tale (number 37) a young man slays a friend, and after he buries the body under the hearth it begins to cry out in a manner reminiscent of Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart": "My friend has killed me, my friend has killed me" (p. 293). Full of accounts of incest, wild dreams, necrophilia and witchery together with descriptions of a forested wilderness filled with apparitions, such narratives suggest that the influence of Native American storytelling on an emerging American literature distinct from its European counterparts has been greater than we have supposed.
        To understand fully the deep loam of American literary tradition, we need to recover its full cultural context the way that Parker provides a context for these stories. That means knowing the cultural circumstances out of which the literature first grew, in performance {92} and in print. To what small amount of such knowledge we have recovered, add the material in this book, whose importance we are only beginning to discover. With the way Parker presents it, the artistic quality it represents is easily enough seen. What it can teach us more broadly about mainstream American literature remains virtually unexplored.

Paul Zolbrod         

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Wintu Texts. Ed. Alice Shepherd. U California Publications in Linguistics vol. 117. Berkeley; Los Angeles; Oxford: U California Press, 1989. 497 pp. paper, ISBN 0-520-09748-3.
Mirror and Pattern: George Laird's World of Chemehuevi Mythology. Carobeth Laird. Banning, CA: Malki Museum Press, 1984. 374 pp. cloth, ISBN 0-939046-30-X.

        These two volumes of Native California literature are important additions to the body of Native American oral texts in transcription/translation. They represent differing approaches to translation of narratives, both respectable, both with inevitable shortcomings as well as advantages.
        Wintu Texts, in keeping with its primary function as a repository for language study, prints the texts according to the conventions for such dual-language presentation, with Wintu text and interlinear translation followed by English prose rendering--with corresponding sentences numbered--and commentary after. The Introduction is spare but essential, telling us that Grace McKibbin taped all but one of the stories with the editor between 1975-1982, and that Mrs. McKibbin checked the translation with the editor and supplied the commentary notes after each story. Printing of the first tale includes a detailed morpheme-by-morpheme analysis. The tales are thematically divided into four categories: Tales (with a sub-category of Coyote tales), The Supernatural, Ethnographic Texts, and Personal Narratives. A brief bibliography completes the apparatus.
        The book embodies--from the literary standpoint--a plain-vanilla approach to editing: as much linguistic information as possible with as little interference from the editor as may be compatible with a comprehensible translation. There is no attempt to describe or convey details of performance (excepting occasional relevant matters of pronunciation) nor to indicate part divisions or other structural elements. What we have is a script, not unlike a Renaissance or medieval playbook, that restricts itself to the performers' lines and leaves to individual directors and actors the details of any given performance.
        The stories themselves are treasures of narrative artistry and {93} innovation. A short tale called Potato Bug and Ground Hog (142-146) is illustrative. Potato Bug's husband wants to visit relatives in Shasta County (across the mountains to the east), but as he departs she calls him back and complains that he must cut her hair, which has grown too long. Three times he cuts her hair; the fourth time he shaves her head clean and then leaves. When Potato Bug feels her head she discovers she is bald; we learn from the notes that Wintu widows shaved their heads and blackened their faces, and we infer that Potato Bug thus thinks her husband is dead. When he returns from Shasta County he does not find her, and so leaves again: "All alone he left. He never returned" (145). (This fulfills her original prophetic fear, also explained in the note, that if he went away he would "stay too long.") Even this brief summary suggests some of the tale's complex irony and allusiveness.
        For all the story's brevity (58 sentences) its protagonist appears to be a rather complex character. She seems inordinately jealous of her husband, or perhaps she is insecure? She acts as if she cannot do without his presence. (Potato Bug is also an appropriate figure for a widow, the note tells us, because Potato Bugs are "all slick because they have no hair" [146]). Her husband humors her, until he becomes exasperated and gives her what appears to be a desperate message. Or is he just fed up and in a hurry? They seem doomed never to communicate on the same wavelength.
        In A Story About a Dog (165-170) the editor suggests that implication is an important stylistic feature of Wintu narrative. In this tale, a "floppy-eared Indian dog" (168) howls incessantly after a hunter has left, while his companion (the hunter's wife?) repeatedly urges him to quiet down. Suddenly, while the companion is talking, it appears that the hunter has already returned. It is a curious passage:

". . . 49. I think he may be home before dark today. 50. I am telling you, I know. 51. I have seen many things happen. 52. I used to see people hunt. 53. So don't cry. 54. Don't. 55. Tomorrow after we take care of the deer, we will have food until the snow is gone."
        56. "When the snow is shallow and I go hunting, you can go with me."

        Somewhere before sentence 56 the hunter has returned, but the event is unmarked in the narrative: his presence is simply and suddenly taken for granted. The development of the narrative raises interesting questions: Is the storyteller using a particular kind of foregrounding-backgrounding to emphasize theme, emotion or moral over plot? Is distortion of point of view--cabin fever, perhaps, induced by isolation, confinement and insecurity--a possibility? Can treatment of the narrative line here (and in other stories where comparable effects occur) be compared with narrative ellipses we are familiar with from European ballad traditions? How can these tales modify our theories of narrative in general?
        Fortunately for us, Mrs. McKibbin appears to have made no concessions to an extraneous audience in her performance of the texts. Although she explained many things in the notes, there is little or no elaboration of ethnic material in the texts themselves for benefit of the non-Wintu auditor. Their strangeness, to a strangers' ears, and delicacy are preserved and made available insofar as possible in these translated renderings. This passage, and most of the translations in this volume, would benefit from ethnopoetic analysis in the Hymesian mode, although rendering in the quasi-dramatic form which seems to suit other literary traditions might not be the optimum result. What Wintu Texts offers--in addition to its intrinsic value as a collection of remarkable tales--is a sound and careful foundation for investigation of the tales' literary qualities.
        Carobeth Laird's edition of George Laird's stories in Mirror and Pattern represents a very different and no less valid collaboration. The story of Carobeth Harrington Laird and George Laird is itself a romantic tale that outdoes the formulas of a Fenimore Cooper or Helen Hunt Jackson. We glimpse moments of its high comedy and bleak loss in Encounter with an Angry God, Carobeth's account of her life with John Peabody Harrington, and in the editorial portions of Mirror and Pattern, in the Background and Appendices sections, especially, and in the copious notes to the tales. Fortunately, rather than attempting a second autobiographical work centering on her life with George, Carobeth Laird in her eighties chose instead to memorialize her last husband by bringing into print the treasury of tales and lore he had given her beginning some fifty years before, with as much as possible of the rich commentary, discussion and study the two had pursued until his death in the early 1940s. (Carobeth herself is no slouch as a storyteller, relating with wit and gusto anecdotes she had heard from George about his early life in rural California.)
        Mirror and Pattern is the stories George Laird dictated to Carobeth beginning in the 1920s when she was assistant and wife to John Peabody Harrington, "the gifted and eccentric linguist/ethnologist" (2) as she describes him, and George Laird was Harrington's informant on Chemehuevi language and Carobeth's lover. By her account and the evidence of the texts, George Laird was a remarkable man, learned though with little or no formal schooling, cultivated and sensitive, fluent in Chemehuevi and "a man well-loved and prominent in the tribe" (3), a gifted raconteur with a sensitive ear for nuances of language. Many of the stories were told to him by "his maternal grandfather, the legendary Black Turtle [who] lived to an immense old age" (2).
        The tales comprise most of Mirror and Pattern in a section titled Part II: The Myths, which is divided into 15 subsections which group two to four related stories together. A generous commentary section follows each tale, and notes at the end of the book add further information (although this seems an unfortunately cumbersome division of apparatus; the folio book is heavy, and there is no clear reason why {95} material in the notes to the tales was not incorporated within the commentary sections). A final section of almost 100 pages tells about Chemehuevi life in chapters on mythology, women and family life, shamanism, songs and spells, language, and rock art. An expanded glossary and an index complete the apparatus. A bibliography would have been a welcome addition, but the book is so rich as it is that it seems ungrateful to wish for more.
        Although the stories were first recorded in Chemehuevi, with subsequent interlinear translation, only English texts are printed here. The scribe (as she terms herself) developed a quasi-macaronic presentation which includes some words, some personal names and sometimes idiosyncratic speech patterns rendered with Chemehuevi terms. An example is Story 7-1, "How Great Horned Owl Got His Feet Frozen with Snow (Muhuumptsi Nivarisima'ipi" (124-134). The first sentence tells us that "Great Horned Owl (Muhuumpitsi) was living with his wife and son, (the latter) having Sntnyáh for his name" (124). Thereafter in the story the father is always called Great Horned Owl, but the son carries his Chemehuevi name of Sintiniyáh. The commentary after the story tells us that Sntnyáh "may be . . . Ground Owl" (132).
         The same commentary includes a notation about another character--Skunk--who appears in the story:

         Skunk's speech-signature is haikyaikuku'u, which he employs as Coyote does haikya. Skunk lengthens and stresses the first syllable of each word or phrase. Using "Skunk-talk" he addresses his mother as piívyiyagapi "old mother" (which George explained . . . as an archaic word used only in myths). (132)

Such passages are tantalizing in their suggestion of the many devices available to the accomplished Chemehuevi storyteller, augmenting Carobeth's discussion elsewhere on Chemehuevi fondness for puns and wordplay and George's sensitivity to these elements of language as well as to nuances of etymology. In this story the reader encounters Skunk-talk in Skunk's exchange with his mother:

        The old woman sat down to mourn. Skunk heard the sound of her weeping. "Old Mother-aikyaikuku'u, what has happened to you-aikyaikuku'u that you have started to cry-aikyaikuku'u? Quick ly tell me-aikyaikuku'u!"
        "I am crying merely because I am remembering. Do you think that you are the only person who ever lived? You used to have lots of relatives. Remembering them, I sat down to cry." (125)

The passage is obviously meant to give us some sense of the conventions for "doing different voices" which Chemehuevi storytellers and their audiences, if they were in the know, could render and recognize in dramatic portrayal of their characters. Chemehuevi words also {96} appear often in songs and characteristic chants or sayings, as in this song of Badger's from the same story:

                  Húnangkava yahaiyi yahaiyi                   Badger-ear hunts small game
                                                                                          hunts small game
                  Húnangkava yahaiyi yahaiyi         (127)

         The flavor of this mode of presenting the stories is unique and difficult to describe. There is clearly a goal of rendering within the written translation some sense of the oral performance. Yet we do not have the slavish fidelity to a single unique performance evident in Tedlock's versions of Zuñi stories. It is clear from the copious apparatus that Mirror and Pattern was developed from dictations and repeated discussions, so again there is no unique single performance that the texts attempt to reproduce. Although an interlinear translation is referred to, it is not given. The stories are hybrids between oral and written works: they suggest performance, but they stand as polished, accomplished written literature.
         The tales are remarkable for their variety and richness of characterization. Great Horned Owl in the story mentioned above appears both stupid and selfish: his foolish attempt to hide his greed by eating with his back to his wife and son only alerts them to investigate his odd behavior. His wife, by contrast, demonstrates resourcefulness, independence and a genius for poetic justice. When she sees that her husband unjustly monopolizes the fattest rabbits, she kills him with sharpened rabbit bones--which he mistakes for frostbite. She takes her place among other strong, determined female figures in Native American traditional literature, and the story relates her quest for a suitable husband and the challenges she must confront and changes she must undergo in order to fulfill her mission. She is a powerful person, able to deceive the self-absorbed, licentious Skunk--blinded by lust--into mistaking body lice for mountain sheep and a shawl-draped cactus for herself. Skunk, on the other hand, whom the editor characterizes as "the villain of the piece" (131), comes across as more of a self-willed playboy. He is a dandy who minces around in fragile shoes, and he uses baby-talk to woo the reluctant wife. He is regularly thwarted by his own ineptitude, but dangerous when he does not get his way.
         Coyote and Hawk appear later in the story; in this tale Coyote is a foil whose silly cunning and cheap tricks show up the noble and appropriate behavior of Hawk. Distant, reclusive and powerful, Hawk brings home a single jackrabbit each night which miraculously transforms into many rabbits, while Coyote instead first challenges Hawk to a hunting contest, then tries to pass off his daughter's pet jackrabbit as his prey. Hawk's behavior also counterpoints Great Horned Owl's and brings the story round to a symmetrical close: both birds eat "away" from their families, but Hawk's generosity and fulfillment of duty in first providing his family with the multiplied rabbits emphasizes and, by implication, shames Great Horned Owl's earlier selfishness.
         Mirror and Pattern is full of stories like this, some 38 of them as the editor has divided them. Most tell of the early days of the world's creation, and they are richly elaborated and complex. At the end of the series is a section offered as "Miscellaneous Fragments and Anecdotes"; a few are contemporary anecdotes, but these are mostly pieces from dictations which were apparently never completed.
         Carobeth Laird asserts the authenticity of these texts at the outset of the book when she says that "there is no one more qualified than I to deal with the subject matter and style of these particular myths and to convey some intimation of their esoteric significance, because no one living or dead ever knew the narrator as I knew him" (2). Though students of Chemehuevi language and other Chemehuevi texts will add materially to our knowledge and ability to perceive the literary richness of these texts, it is unlikely that they could be "improved" by the intervention of a different typography or printed format. It would of course be helpful to have the interlinear translation to assist our study of the stories, and it is a paradoxical limitation of the "macaronic" character of the text that the performance cues in Chemehuevi actually make the stories harder to read aloud in English; but there is nothing to be gained by messing with them. Neither "ethnopoetically" rendered nor examples of "Red English," they stand as the product of a unique collaboration and in every sense a labor of love.
        Under the tutelage of Dell Hymes, Dennis Tedlock and Barre Toelken--and a new generation of scholars applying their theories to more texts--we have learned to appreciate and sometimes expect dramatic and poetic patterns in Native American oral narratives. Ethnopoetics has immeasurably enhanced our access to the internal dynamics of many texts. Yet we may see in books like Wintu Texts and Mirror and Pattern that there is room and need for a variety of modes and approaches to translated texts, including sensitive, linguistically valid prose renderings.

Helen Jaskoski         

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Cortland Pell Auser, Professor Emeritus at Bronx Community College, has written articles and organized panels on Native American Literature. In 1966, 1968 and 1971 he taught at Alaska Pacific University (then Alaska Methodist University) and met with King Islanders in their village near Nome.

Bonnie Barthold teaches English at Western Washington University. She is the author of Black Time: Fiction of Africa, the Caribbean, and the United States and is currently working on a book about the illustrations that have accompanied Uncle Tom's Cabin throughout its publication history.

Crisca Bierwert teaches anthropolgy at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. During her years with the Upper Sto:lo people she learned to weave on the traditional Salish weaving frame, and Upper Sto:lo fine arts continue to be a subject of her teaching and writing, along with the arts of the southern neighbors of the Upper Sto:lo, the Lushootseed.

Omar S. Castañeda, Assistant Professor of English at Western Washington University, has two novels, Cunuman and Among the Volcanoes. Under a Fulbright Senior Research Grant, he worked on a combination folklore/creative writing project in Guatemala during the summers of 1989 and 1990.

Thom Hess teaches linguistics at the University of Victoria, B.C. He is the author of numerous articles on Salishan languages, of a dictionary of Lushootseed and, with Vi Hilbert, of a textbook for learners of Lushootseed. He continues to be involved in efforts to set up reservation-based native language programs and is currently also writing a Lushootseed-language curriculum for use in a nonreservation high school near Seattle.

Victoria Howard is best known as the narrator of the Clackamas Chinook stories on which Melville Jacobs' The Content and Style of an Oral Literature is based. Dozens more of her stories are to be found in other Jacobs publications. Fluent in Clackamas and in Chinook Jargon, Mrs. Howard also provided Jacobs with songs and lexical materials in at least three other languages spoken by the Native peoples of western Oregon.

Helen Jaskoski is professor of English and comparative literature at California State University Fullerton. She has published and lectured in the U.S. and abroad on American Indian and African-American literature and on poetry therapy. She is currently working on a collection of essays on witch wife stories.

Martha Lamont
lived on the Tulalip Reservation, where she was assistant minister of the Indian Shaker Church, beginning the services with a greeting in Lushootseed--she spoke little English. She is remembered as shy and retiring in later life: even people who knew her well are surprised at the forcefulness of her storytelling on the taperecordings made by Thom Hess in the 60s and by Leon Metcalf in the '50s.

Levi Lamont was bilingual in Lushootseed and English. His father was of French heritage, and when Martha became ill in old age and Levi cared for her, she used to boast about her "French chef." The current audience for Martha's stories is indebted to Levi for the painstaking help he gave to Thom Hess with problems of transcription and translation.

Toby Langen teaches English at Western Washington University and Lushootseed in an experimental family-based class at a nearby reservation.

Craig Thompson studies American literature in the Ph.D. program at the University of California at San Diego, where he also teaches. The focus of his research is contemporary Native American literature.

Paul Zolbrod pioneered a course in ethnopoetics twenty years ago at Allegheny College, where he is Frederick F. Seeley Professor of English. He is the author of Dine Bahane': The Navajo Creation Story.

Contact: Robert Nelson
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