Lowana Brantner

"Wohpekumew and the Salmon" (1951)

Writing system: default | hyphens | linguistic
Display style: paragraph |sentence | look-up

Text identifier: LA16-3
Speaker: Lowana Brantner
Primary documentation: R. H. Robins
Edition: R. H. Robins, The Yurok Language (1958), pp. 162-163

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1.

So nes Wohpekuemew 'ap neee'no'w 'o neskwechok'w. 'O ge'm, Peesh, cheeweyk', nepuy skewok kee 'ne-nepek'. 'O gee', Nee mok'w nepuy, mee' k'e-mer'wermery 'ue-me'y wo'oot 'ee neekee koosee 'ekone'm k'ee nepuy. Nekah kwehl 'wer'errgerch wee'eeet nepee'moh 'eenee kegoh puuek, tue' wee'eeet chpee kee 'o k'e-nahchelek'. Kwesee 'o ge'm, Chuue', Tue' kee yegok', kwesee 'o lego'l. 'O neskwechok'w ho mer'wermery, 'o 'ohpe'l kwelekw tokto'm kue nepuy. 'O ge'm, Paa, mos nek weet kee nepek' mee' neemuech 'ok'w 'nr-merw. 'We-sraach' 'ue-wo'eek 'ela hooreche'w weeshtue' 'o mue'mone'm kue 'wer'errgerch, mecheesh 'o nek'. Koosee neee'nowee' 'w-eseyk', Kues k'ee kwenee mue'mone'm? Komchuemehl 'w-esek', Nekah wee' chpee 'ekonee' k'ee nepuy 'o k'ee mer'wermery. Kwesee kue keech 'o wey kue ko'l 'we-nepek', 'o ge'm, To' wee' keech roo keekee 'ne-chkeyek', kwesee 'o koosee le'm kue keetee 'we-chkee'mo'w. Kwesee noohl keech roo keetee ye'wome'y lekwsee 'o sootok'w. Komchue'm 'ochkeech koosee chkee'mo'w. Heenoy so sootok'w 'o newo'm, kwesee wee'eeet 'o guenkek so pa'aahleek. Peesh, weeshtue' 'o laa'y skeleek 'o laa'y kwelas kem noolenee kue nepuy koosee hoole'm. 'O ko guenkekso' 'o ko 'ee yegoo. 'O 'ee yegoo's kue keech 'o guenkek keetee 'we-ro'. Ko'mo'y heenoy keech 'o nooloo, 'o ge's, Cheesh, kwesee keech komchuemehl keech 'ne-nah. Tue' weet 'ee mehl so'n we'yk'oh k'ee 'we-roy 'ue-kerkue'yermery teytko'hl mee' keech 'o komchue'm 'w-esek' heenoy keech 'o gegok'w. Tue' we'yk'oh, 'o ge'm, tue' 'eekee sho'n kee 'we-laaye'm so peeshkaahl k'ee nepuy, kee kwegomhle'm mee' kegesomewtehl so mer'wermery. Tue' we'yk'oh nekah k'ee 'oohl k'ee laayoh mehl negepee'moh nepuy.

Wohpekumew came and looked and went back. He said, Well, I am hungry, I want some salmon to eat. He was told, There is no salmon, because the daughter of the head of your river holds all the salmon by her. So we eat alder bark, and we catch more deer, and this is all you can be given here. And so he said, Well, I will be going, and he went. He came to the head of the river, and there he was offered salmon in great quantities. He said, No, I will not eat it as I have my own food with me. He reached into his quiver and took out the alder bark, and put it on the fire. They all looked at him thinking, Where on earth has he got it from? They knew, The salmon is held by us alone at the head of the river. When he had finished eating, he said, Now it is time for me to sleep, and they all went away to sleep. Then the time came when the sun was setting, and he went out. He knew that they had all just gone to sleep. He went away behind and saw (the salmon), and so he opened (the way) to the water (of the river). So he passed along, he passed down (on the river bed) and the salmon went all round him. He opened the way and shouted. He shouted when he had opened the way for them to run out. He heard them behind him answering, and he thought, Well, now (the folk there) know that the salmon are mine. That is how it came about that today the bends in the river are sharp because he knew that (the daughter of the head of the river) was coming after him. And now, he said, it shall come to pass that (the salmon) shall go down to the sea, and that they shall return, because they are homesick, to the head of the river. And today we Indians eat salmon regularly from the river.