Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 57.djvu/635

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
625
RELIGIOUS BELIEFS OF THE CENTRAL ESKIMO.

man stepped out of the kayak on to the ice. Then she noticed that he was quite a small man, and that he appeared large only because he had been sitting on a high seat. Then she began to cry, while he laughed and said, 'Oh, you have seen my seat, have you?' [According to another version, he wore snow-goggles made of walrus-ivory, and he said, T)o you see my snow-goggles?' and then laughed at her because she began to cry.] Then he went back into his kayak, and they proceeded on their journey.

"Finally they came to a place where there were many people and many huts. He pointed out to her a certain hut made of the skins of yearling seals, and told her that it was his, and that she was to go there. They landed. The woman went up to the hut, while he attended to his kayak. Soon he joined her in the hut, and staid with her for three or four days before going out sealing again. Her new husband was a petrel.

"Meanwhile her father had left the dog, her former husband, at his house, and had gone to look for her on the island. When he did not find her, he returned home, and told the dog to wait for him, as he was going in search of his daughter. He set out in a large boat, traveled about for a long time, and visited many a place before he succeeded in finding her. Finally he came to the place where she lived. He saw many huts, and, without leaving his boat, he shouted and called his daughter to return home with him. She came down from her hut, and went aboard her father's boat, where he hid her among some skins.

"They had not been gone long when they saw a man in a kayak following them. It was her new husband. Soon he overtook them, and when he came alongside he asked the young woman to show her hand, as he was very anxious to see at least part of her body, but she did not move. Then he asked her to show her mitten, but she did not respond to his request. In vain he tried in many ways to induce her to show herself; she kept in hiding. Then he began to cry, resting his head on his arms, that were crossed in front of the manhole of the kayak. Avilayuk's father paddled on as fast as he could, and the man fell far behind. It was calm at that time and they continued on their way home. After some time they saw something coming from behind toward their boat. They could not clearly discern it. Sometimes it looked like a man in a kayak. Sometimes it looked like a petrel. It flew up and down, then skimmed over the water, and finally came up to their boat and went round and round it several times and then disappeared again. Suddenly ripples came up, the waters began to rise, and after a short time a gale was raging. The boat was quite a distance away from shore. The old man became afraid lest they might be drowned; and, fearing the revenge of his daughter's husband.