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Stories from Quechan Oral Literature

 | 
A. M Halpern
, 
Amy Miller

6. ’Aavém Kwasám

Tom Kelly
Traduction de Millie Romero, Barbara Levy, George Bryant et Amy Miller

Texte intégral

1Tom Kelly told the story of ’Aavém Kwasám to Abe Halpern twice: the first time on September 20, 1978, and the second time on October 2, 1978. The second version is presented here.

Notes and synopsis

2This story begins with a race between ʹAavém Kwasám and Qalʹiitáaq. During the course of the race, ʹAavém Kwasám sees and falls in love with a woman. (A discussion which takes place after the story is concluded suggests that the woman is actually the wife of Qalʹiitáaq.) She agrees to marry ʹAavém Kwasám, and they end up with two children.

3Eventually Coyote hears of their marriage. (There is a suggestion in the post-story discussion that Coyote might actually be the vengeful Qalʹiitáaq.) He beats ʹAavém Kwasám unconscious and takes the woman to the home of his uncle, Xóo Masée. Introducing her as his sister-in-law, he tells his uncle, “Here I am, and I want this person so much that I am going to kill her.” Xóo Masée knows a curse, and when Coyote uses the curse, the woman dies.

4ʹAavém Kwasám, distraught, decides to follow his wife into death. Cutting his hair — a sign of mourning — and leaving his two children behind, he goes off in a canoe. He sees the apparition of his wife, tries to embrace it, and drowns.

5His body is carried along the river. Eventually two young buzzards find it rotting in a fish trap and take it home, intending to roast it. After four days of roasting, the body is recognizable as that of ʹAavém Kwasám. The father of the two young buzzards instructs his younger daughter to fix the body up, presumably for cremation. She does so, making four trips underwater and enlisting the help of Beaver to restore hair to the corpse. She then returns home.

6At this point, the telling of the story is interrupted. When the narrative continues, it focuses on ʹAavém Kwasamʹs children. After the death of their father, the two children are raised by their paternal grandmother. She makes small hunting bows for them and teaches them about the dangers they will face in the wider world. In spite of her warnings, the boys fall prey to Old Lady Flesh-Ripper. Flesh-Ripper carries them off in a sack on her back, intending to kill them. They manage to start a fire in the sack, and they escape while Flesh-Ripper burns to death. The boys then turn themselves into unfeathered arrows and go up into the four levels of heaven.

7The person whom the boys encounter in the four levels of heaven is not their father but Old Lady Flesh-Ripper herself. Once again she tries to kill them — this time by secreting sharp objects in their food — and once again they escape. She herself swallows the sharp objects and dies. The boys return home to their grandmother.

8Soon they set off again, one of them reluctantly and with difficulty, the other urging him on. They struggle through strong winds, blazing fire, and impenetrable rocks, and when finally they reach their destination in the east, they find two young women there. They marry, and the couples settle in a “colorful house” in the east. From these circumstances, the narrator explains, arises the song ʹAxtá ʹAmáyəly Aaée (ʹRaise the Fluteʹ).

9The second half of Tom Kellyʹs story of ʹAavém Kwasám has much in common with the stories of Kwayúu in Chapter 4 and also with the stories of Old Lady Sanyuuxáv in Chapter 5. It leaves the reader with an entirely appropriate sense that many of the stories of Quechan oral literature are interconnected.

'Aavém Kwasám

10Told by Tom Kelly

11'Aavém Kwasám
Qal'iitáaqəm
asa'án matt-tsavakyévúm a'ím.

12Viitháwm,
pa'iipáats mattaaéevək.
'Atsiimák,
shaavár uuxáyməs a'ét,
nyáanyi.

13'Atsiimák vuunóom,
Xatalwéts alyuuváak,
tsáam shuupáwk uuváak.

14'Aavém Kwasámts,
Xamashé Vatáyəny asa'ánək,
aváts —
'atapíly a'éta —
aváts 'amátt alyathík awím,
'atapíly nyáany nyiipáxapat.

15Nyáany nyiisa'ánək athúm.

16Viinathíik,
tsavakyévək viinathíim,
uutáp 'ashénti uuttáwk,
'Aavém Kwasáməts uuttáwk viinathíim.

17Uutáp 'ashéntəm uuttáw,
avuuthíitsəm,
uuttáwk viiyám a'ím,
pa'iipáa —
sanya'ákts sanyuuváak —
“Xa 'ayáaw vanyaa'ayáak.”
Xatsapáats ayúum,
alyaváam.

18'Aavém Kwasám viitápk awím,
túlyəly a'ím,
paqátt nyaatháwk —
aavxáy iikwé a'ét —
avíly tsathúunəm.

19“Kuuthíik!
'Uutáp 'ashént,
nyamáartsiyúm!”
Kuuthíik!”

20“Kaváar!
Máanyts kathíik,
katháwk!”

21“Áa,”
a'étk,
nyaayáak atháw.

22“Móo,
nyatsúyk.”

23“Móo,
xótt.”

24Xatalwéts nyaa'ávək —
kór a'áv —
avány aaqwíttk vuunóony,
alythík,
apúyk viithík,
xweyamánək viithík.

25Nyaaváak —
Xatalwéts uumáyk viiwém,
uunyíik a'ím,
avány antsénək a'í.

26Viiwém.

27'Avá kamém.

28Nyáanyi uuváash,
nyáanyts.
Vanyuuváak,
Xóo Masée a'étka.
Xóo Masée a'étk,
'axwíttk uuvám.

29Nyáany,
iiwám mattkanáav:
“'Anavíiya,”
a'ím.
“Ée,
'avétta,
kaawíts kamathúum?”
“Áa-á,
'athúum va'thúum va'thúum.”

30“'Avák 'athúum,
pa'iipáany 'áartanək 'uuvák 'athósh.
'Atapúy 'a'ím 'a'ílya.”
“'Axótt.”
“Sanya'áka.”
“'Axótt.”

31Nyaa'íim,
viinathíiik athúm,
'avám katán.
Nyamawítsk nyaayúu awíi vuunóok,
tawáam,
shuuvíi a'íim,
kaawíim.

32Avány shuuvíi,
'axá alytsáam,
'axányts alól vaa'é a'ím,
nyamashtúum alytsáam:
“Áa,
kúur 'aavíirəm,
mamátsk mathútsxa.”
a'ét.

33“Áa,
xótt,” a'ím,
“A'íis,
'amuuvílyk 'uunáam,
'amuutsavíilyk 'uunáam av'athótəm 'athúum.”
“Maaíim.”

34“'Awétk vi'atháwk," a'ítya.
A'étəm,
“'Axótt.”

35A'étk a'ím,
uupúuvək viiwétsk.

36Avawétsk;
“Nyaayúu,
'áw aráak kayúuk!”
a'étəm;
vaa'ée ayúunyk,
kaváar.

37Viiwétsk viiwétsk,
ava'íntik,
xamók,
nyamkwatsuumpápəm,
“'Áw aráanya,
kayúuny!
Maláwxa!”
'A'áwənyts aráak,
apómək viivám.

38“Áa-á,

39***

40'Axótt.”

41A'ét
“Nyaanyamáam,
nyáanya.
Nyaanyamáam,
'ashént' ashuupáwk,
'awétəm,
nyáanyamáam.”

42Nyaa'étəm,
“Aváts nyaapúyk.”
Sany'áakənyts tawáany av'áwəny;
“'Iiwáats arávxá,” a'étka'a.

43Aa'áampət.
Apúyt.

44Nyaapúyəm,
nyiinyaakwévəm,
'iipáa aváts vanyuuváak,
ii'ényts'óook a'ím áam,
nyamaakyítt viiwáanyk viiwáany,
nyiikwévəm nyam.

45***

46Nyuupáyk,
vanyuuváak.
Nyaxuutsamáar xavíkəm,
uutsáam vuuváak awét.
'Aakóoyts nyiivántik athúm.

47Áa,
Xatalwé nyuuváantika.

48Iiwáam viiyém,
makyé ayémtək,
aváat.
Makyé ayémək uuváak,
nyáany awím,
'a'íi nyáany.

49Áa,
alykyéttkitya.
Awíi vuunóok vuunóok,
'axaalyáak atséw,
uutara'úyk aavíir.

50Viiyém a'ím.

51Nyamkamáyk,
viiyémk apúy a'ím.

52Nyamkanáav aly'émk uuváanyk,
viiyáam;
shatuupáawk viitháwk athúm,
nyaatuuqwíirək viiwéts.

53“Kaváarək,” a'étka.
“Avkuunóotsk.
Kaawíts 'ayáam,
'athúum,
'anymaatuuqwíir aly'ém.
Kuunóotk.”

54“Ma'axúutt muunóotəm ám.”

55“Ée'é,
'awítsapat 'a'étka.
'Athútsapat 'av'áwk 'aaly'éet,” a'ét.

56Matsats'étk vuuv'óom,
nyaayúuk,
“Ée'é,
kanéem,
vathány 'atsúutk,” a'étk a'ím,
awíima.

57Xalyamuutsáak awím,
“Ammawét vanyaathúm,” a'étəm;
“Áa,
'axóttk,”
a'ét.

58Uuv'óotəm awím,
tsúut nya'étk,
viiyém.

59Xuumáarəts nyuuv'óok,
matsats'étk uuv'óok.

60Viiyáak,
viiyáak,
viiyáak,
viiyáak.

61Vaa'éta:
“'Axuumáy kwa'nóq 'anamák,”
a'ét.

“Nuumáka,
kwiiyáma,
xuumáy kwiinóqa,”

62a'étk.
“Aháaa,”
a'étk,
amétk viiyáak.

63Nyáany ava'étk,
ava'étk,
viiyáam.

64Nyaavée kwapúyənyts,
viiyám.

65“'Aavém Kwasáméey!”
a'étk,
iimáatt-ts atspáktək,
aathómptəm ayúuk,
viiyáak.

66Nyamkwatsuumpápəm,
nyaavíirnyəm,
“'Awém,
'atháwxa,” 'aaly'étka,
nyaa'ét.

67Nyaa'íntim,
“Manyuuwíts manyáaw,”
nyaa'ét a'ím,
taxmakyíp,
awíik aaly'ét.

68Nyaayúuny ayúuxayəm,
viivák,
asháxk awím.

69“Áa-á,
'ana'áy vathány a'éta!
Vathány a'íim;
vathány 'apáavəm amátxa,”
a'étka,
nyaayúu kwáarəny.

70“'Óo,
kaváar,
asháxk 'aláay!”

71“Kanaqáməlyemk,
asháx;
nyaayúu 'uumáxats athúulyəm.
Nyaayúu shtar'úur avány 'awíim,
avány,
'aqwésxa.”

72A'ávəlyem.
“Kaváar.
Nyáava 'awíi 'a'ím 'a'ítya.”
a'ét.
Nyaayúu xan'uuthíly a'étəm,
'a'íiny awíim,
nyaapítsk vuunóonyk vuunóony.
Nyaamáam.

73Nyáava apáyk viinathíim,
“Áa,
asháxk,”
nyiixúu shapéttk,
amákəly athíik awím.
“'Óo,
asháxk 'aláaytsəm.”

74A'étəm,
nyamawítsk,
uutara'úyk suunóom,
amákəny,
kwatsuumpáp,
atspák.

75Avathótk:
xótt-təm ayúuts,
ii'ényənyts kaváarək athótk.
Vanyaavák.

76“Nyaayúu,
ii'é 'awíyú 'avák,”
vanyaa'íim,
kaawíts 'axály atsénək a'úpk.

77'Apén a'éta.
'Apénnya,
'aqwéshk viithíkəm,
kanáavəm:
“Ii'é 'atséwəm atspáa a'étka.
Kaváar.”

78A'étəm,
“Ka'úpəntik,
kaxávək!
Avík aviithíkəntik nyaavá.
'Apén vaathúts a'étəm,”
a'íik 'eta.

79Aváam,
ii'é nyiitápkəm,
kaváartənti.

80Aaxavík,
kwaxamók,
awíim,
kaváartəny a'ét.

81Nyamkwatsuumpápəm nyaaxávəntim,
ii'é ta'axán nyiitsaváw.

82'Apén nyíilyts avathík awím,
nyáanyts awíima.
Ii'ény uutara'úyəm
nyíily,
aalywíishm,
'axótt-tanək atspák,
a'éta.

83Nyaatspák,
viithíik,
'avá aváak;
“Nyaayúu,
'ats'amáaw,” a'íim;
nyaayúu mathílyk,
“Vanythály muutsáawva,
'amáts 'athóxa.
Shuuvíi 'amátsú.”

84A'íim,
viivám.
Mashaxáy kwa'kúts nyaathúuva.
“Kaváarək” a'ét.

85“Mana'áyəm kuutáarək,” a'ét.

86“Mana'áy kayém,
nyaayúu kawéeyk,” a'ét.
Vaa'étk viiwáatk.

87A'éta.

88***

89Nyáany a'étk,
xuumáarənyts
suunóok athúm,
alynyuuthútsk vanyuunóok —

90uupúyts athótəm a'étk a'íim,
alynyuuthútsk vanyuunóok,
“'Anyáats,
makyém 'uupúuvəxa?
'Aaly'íim,
'iiwáalyəm 'ayúus,”
vanyaathót.

91Nyaayúu,
'aakóoyənyts ava'ét.

92Xuumáar 'atskuunóom,
'uuntíish awéeytk,
iiwáanyi,
nyamáam,
nya'kúutsəm,
nyaayúu uukanáav a'ét.

93“Nyaayúu,
uusóx,
nyaayúu 'aqwáaq,
pa'iipáa nyiikwanáam,
pa'iipáa'axán uutssóots.
'Axánts —
pa'iipáa 'axán uutssóots athúuk a'ím.

94***

95“Nyamawítsk awíim,
tapúyk kamétk,
kaawíts awét.
Kaawíts awét.

96“'Aakóoy 'Amátt Shaxathúuk aví uuváak uuvák,
ava'étk,
pa'iipáa atháwk,
‘'Ashxthúk 'a'ávəlya,
'ashxthúk 'a'ét 'a'ávəlya,’ a'étk,
a'etəs,
athúum!
Uuvám!

97“Nyiimashtúum,
nyiimakwévəm!
Mashiithéevək athúm!”
“Áa,
ayóov awéts,” a'ét,
viiwéts.

98Athúm,
nyamathúts.
Siithíik,
“Pa'iipáa 'ashxathúk 'a'ávəlya!” a'ét.

99***

100Nyiishtúum,
amákəly aapáxk,
nyiithóshk siithíim.

101Kwa'kútsənyts,
“Xwóott!
'Apóoyt a'ím!” a'étkəm,
mattkanáavəm a'ét.

102A'étk,
awíim,
nyaayúuk.
'A'áw akyáam,
axtáttəly nyaatsavóowk,
karáy karáyts a'ím,
uutáaqsh,
uutspám.

103'Aakóoy nyuuváks,
axtáttá,
vathá lyavíik.

104***

105Apúyk.
Apóm.

106Nyáanyi atsénək,
viinathíik kanáav,
a'ét.

107Nyaayúuny kanáavətsk:
“Vaathúum,”
a'ét.
Nyaany nyiikwanáam ashíittk uuváatəm;
“Áa,
nyáany 'awítsk,” a'ét.

108“Nyáany 'ayóovxa,” a'ét.

109A'étk,
nyamathúts.
“'Iipá xash'étt matt'iitséw,
'amáy uutspámxa,”
a'ét.
Nyaayúu ayóov a'ét.
Xalyuukwéts,
aví vuunóok a'ét.
'Amáy uutspám,
athík aatsuumpápəly uutspám.

110Pa'iipáanyts,
áa,
maawíi kwapúy,
áa,
matt-tsapéem ayóov.

111Pa'iipáats vanyaavák,
uuvám,
katánəm.
Nyamathútsənyá,
awíts nyáts vuunóot.

112'Aláaytanəm nyaa'ávək,
“Ka'athúts av'athú'əm?”
a'ím.

113Nyaa'étəm,
nyiikwashtútsənyts,
avawétəm,
a'étəm,
“Ée-ee.”

114“Nyantamáatskəlyemtəm nyii'tháwk.”
Kaathúts avatháwəm a'ím.
“Muuváak ma'ím.”
“Ée-ee.”

115A'étkəm,
nyaayúu,
shuuvíi awíi vuunóok vuunóok.

116“Makyény awítsk,” a'étk.
“Nyatatapóoy a'ím,” a'ítstəsáa,
uuxáyk,
amáatk,
xiipúk awíikəta.

117Axúupt.
Nyaayúuk ayúuk,
vaa'éta.
Axúupk axúup.
Malyaqénya aakyíttk.

118Apúyk aatkyéerk,
nyaayúuk,
natsénək, a'éta.

119Natsénək,
viinathíik viinathíim,
'amáy athík aatsuumpápəm,
aatsavérək,
'avuumák uuv'óo.

120Uuv'óom,
namáwənyts uuvám,
Xatalwényts nyuuváak,

121***

122alynyéxəmk uuvám áam.

123Uuv'óok a'ét.
nyáanya,
nyaakatánəntik,

124“'Anyáanya,
'amáy 'anyáak,
'amáy 'anyáak 'anayém 'a'étk,
alynyi'athúutsəntik,”
a'ét.

125Vuunóok athúm,
“Muuthóxats alyathóm.
Nyiikwanáam!”

126“Áa,
'athútsəm 'a'ítya,”
a'ét.

127Nyamathútsk.
Viiwétsk,
nyaayúu,
kwakútsənyts,
nyiikwévək,
uuthóxats athúm awét.

128“Nyaayúu,
nyiikwanáam.
Matxá aspérək,”
a'ét.

129“'A'áw aráak,
nyiithík!”
a'étkəm;
“Kaawíts —
'aqwáaq matháwəm alyathík,” a'étk.
“'Avíits nyiitháwəm,
muuyémxats athúmk,” a'ét.
Kanáavək vuunóok.
“Ée,
nyam'uupúuv aly'ém.”

130As'ílyəm,
a'ávəlyemk,
viiwétstək, avathúum,
viiwétsk,
aatsnyavárəm,
avawétk,
'amátt tsathóm tsathóm awét,
tsuumpápəm,
“Nyuukats'éeyk,”
tspáyk tspáyk a'ét,
uutspám.

131A'étk,
nyáanya,
aashváarək ava'ét.
'Aashváarək ava'étəm,
nyaayúu,
“'Iimé nyáanyts arávəm,”
a'ím.

132A'ím,
“Xamanyéw nyáany,” a'ét.

133Nyaayúu,
nyamuuyémənya,
walytsaváamtəm,
nyaayúuk,
“Áa,
'anyxamnyéw,” a'étk,
nyáanyəm,
“Kamawém,
athúuk təsaa
'axóttxa,” a'ét.

134“Ée'é,
máam,
kamawíim,
vi'nayémxa,” nyaa'ét.

135Nyamnayémk,
viiwétsk.

136Nyaayúuk:
'a'áw aráa a'étk,
awét,
'xá aspér a'étk.

137***

138Naxkyíik,
nyáanyi,
nyáayúu,
iimé nyáany arávək, a'étk,
kanáavək,
nyáanyi av'áwk:

“Áaliiláalaláa,
áaliiláalaláa,”

139a'étk,
nyiiv'áwk a'ím,
xamanyéw,
xamanyéw uu'íts nyáanya,

“'Anyxamarúy kaamawépətik aléeləteee,”

140a'ét.

141Vaa'étk.

142“Vany'uuváam,
'awéxa,”
a'étk,
nyáany awíim aavíirək,
viinayémək a'ét.

143Nyamáam,
aapárv.
'Avíits lyavíik a'íikəm,
nyamuupúuvəm áam.
'Avíiny matt-takyév vaa'íim,
suuváam.

144“Nyam'uupúuvxa,”
a'ét.

145Iisháaly tsapáyk,
amák nyiuutspám.

146Ava'étk,
siiwétsk,
nyaayúu aatsxuukyáavk awím,
awím,
a'ávək.
Anáwəm,
matxály viithíim,
mashtxáats siitháwk,
a'áv.

147A'étəm,
nyáanyi,
alytsénək awím,
sanyts'áakənyts viitháwəm,
tsakyévək,
aváts avány atháwk,
avány atháwk athúm.

148Siitháwk a'étk,
nyaayúu,
'Axtá 'Amáyəly Aaée a'étk aashváarək,
nyáanyi atspáktəm.

149Nyáanyi atspáktəm.
Kwatsáanənyts tsanyót,
'Axtá 'Amáyəly Aaéenya.

150Vanyuu—
'avá kwanyór a'étəm,
nyáasi,
uupúuvətəm.

151Nyáanyi atháwk,
'Axtá 'Amáyəly Aaée nyáanyi uuvák a'ét.
Nyáanyi atspák athúuk,
a'ím.

152Nyáany aashváarək viiyémkitya.
Kwatsáanənyts,
a'étəma.

153Ava'étəm a'áv.

Translation

154'Aavém Kwasám
and Qal’iitáaq
were going to have a kickball race.

155There they were,
and people got together.
They danced,
even though they didn’t know (many) songs, they say,
at that (time).

156They went on dancing,
and Coyote was among them,
and he knew everything.

157'Aavém Kwasam
kicked the Big Star forward;
and these things —
they’re called cattails —
they were sticking out of the ground, and so,
he, in his turn, lost (the ball) in the cattails.

158That’s where he kicked it.

159They came,
they came running,
and he was one length ahead,
'Aavém Kwasám was ahead as they came.

160He was one length ahead,
and they brought it along,
and he went ahead intending to pass by here,
and a person —
there was a woman over there —
“I’m going to go get water,” (she said).
There was a spring over there
and she got there.

161'Aavém Kwasám threw it,
and it went plop,
and she caught it —
there’s a part of her dress —
she pushed it in there.

162“Bring it back!
My one-length lead,
they might win it away from me!
Bring it back!” (he said).

163“No!
You come
and get it!”

164“All right,”
he said,
and he went and got it.

165“Okay,
I’ll marry you,” (he said).

166“Okay,
all right,” (she said).

167Coyote heard it —
later he heard about it —
and he beat him up,
and he lay there,
he lay here dying,
he lay here unconscious.

168They got there —
Coyote invited her and they went,
and he called her his sister-in-law,
and he called her husband his older brother.

169He took her there.

170They got to the house.

171There he was,
that (person).
There he was,
and he was called Xóo Masée.
He was called Xóo Masée,
and he was red.

172That (person),
he told about himself:
“My father’s older brother,”
he said.
“Well,
my younger brother’s child,
what are you up to?”
“Well,
this is how I am and this is what I’ve done.”

173“(Here) I am,
and I want this person very much.
I want to kill her.”
“All right.”
“The woman.”
“All right.”

174Then,
they came,
they got to the house.
She was doing things there,
she was grinding (grain),
she was going to make porridge,
and she was doing whatever it was.

175She made that porridge,
she put in water,
and the water bubbled like this,
and she gathered (the ingredients) and put them in;
“Yes,
soon I will finish,
and you’ll eat,”
she said.

176“Yes,
all right,” he said,
“But
I’m in a great hurry,
(that is,) we are in a great hurry,” (he said).
“Do as you please,” (she said).

177“I am doing it,” she said.
She said it;
“All right,” (he said).

178He said it, and so,
they went in and went along.

179They went along;
“Well,
look at the fire blazing!”
he said;
she just glanced at it like this (without really looking),
and nothing happened.

180They went on and on,
and he said it again,
three (times),
and on the fourth (time),
“That blazing fire,
look at it!
You must turn your head!”
The fire blazed up,
it went on burning.

181“Oh,
***
All right.”

182She said it.
“That’s all,
that one.
That’s all,
I (only) know one,
and so,
that’s all.”

183When he said it,
“She will die,” (he said).
The woman was standing there grinding grain;
“My heart hurts,” she said.

184She fell face down.
And she died.

185She died,
that was the end of her,
and that man was there,
and his hair was long, down to here,
and he kept cutting it, on and on, until
there wasn’t any left.

186***

187It was all gone,
and here he was.
There were two children,
and he was in charge of them.
There was an old woman there too.

188Yes,
Coyote was there too.

189(The man) went off by himself,
he went off somewhere,
and he got there.
He went off somewhere and there he was,
and he used that,
that wood.

190Yes,
he cut down (a tree), they say.
He went on and on doing it,
he made a canoe,
he fixed it up and finished.

191He wanted to go away.

192(He wanted) to go into exile,
he wanted to go away and die.

193He didn’t tell anyone,
he (just) went along;
they knew (what he was up to), and so,
they went along following him.

194“No,” he said.
“Stay there.
I’m going after something,
and so,
don’t follow me.
Stay (there).

195“You (two) are doing fine.”

196“Yes,
we want to do it too.
We think we’ll do it too,” they said.

197They stood there crying,
and when he saw them,
“All right,
step back.
I’m going to launch this,” he said, and so,
he did it.

198He put it in the water, and so,
“Whatever you do, it will happen,” he said;
“Yes,
all right,”
they said.

199They stood there, and so,
he launched it,
and he left.

200The children stood there,
they stood there crying.

201He went,
and he went,
and he went,
and he went.

202This is what he said:
“I’m leaving my little son,”
he said.

“The one that’s left behind,
the one who goes,
my little son,”

203he said.
“Ohhhh!”
he said,
and he went along weeping.

204That’s what he was saying,
he was saying that,
as he went along.

205His dead wife
passed by here.

206“'Aavém Kwasám!”
she said,
and her body appeared,
and he watched it change course,
and he went after it.

207On the fourth (time),
when he finished,
“I can do it,
I can get her,” he thought,
and he said so.

208When he said it again,
“Go after your loved one,”
she said, and so,
he embraced her,
he thought that he did.

209Suddenly there was peace;
he fell in the water.

210He died, they say.

211He died,
and (his body) went
and went
and went
and went, until
in the water — the water —
(there was) something —
it’s called a fish trap.
It was in the water;
there were a lot of them there.

212There it was.

213He had gone in there,
and there he was,
he was rotting in there,
he was dead and rotting.

214There he was,
and (there was) a kind of buzzard,
and his two daughters were there.
This place —
they were hanging around someplace in the southeast,
they did that,
well,
those big birds,
they hunt for things like eggs,
they roast something and eat it,
they use whatever is rotten.

215He lay there,
and as for this,
and they went hunting as usual.
They went after (things).

216They were looking around, and suddenly,
here he was,
he was rotting.

217“Well,
my father said it was this one!
He said it was this one;
I’ll roast this one and he’ll eat it,”
she said,
the (sister) who wanted something.

218“Oh,
no,
it’s rotten and bad!” (said her sister).

219“Let’s not touch it,
it’s rotten,
it’s not the sort of thing we should eat.
We’ll use these eggs and things,
these (things),
they’ll turn brown.”

220(Her sister) didn’t listen.
“No.
This is what I’m going to use,”
she said.
Something called a pallet,
she made it of branches,
and she went on slapping (the remains of the body) onto it.
That’s all.

221They came carrying this,
“Oh,
it’s rotten,” (said the older sister),
and she held her nose,
and she came along behind.
“Oh,
it’s rotten and bad,” she said.

222They came,
and came,
and came,
and came,
and they got home,
and so,
“Yes,
that’s what you heard me say.
Roast it!” (he said),
and she went about roasting it.

223One night (passed),
and on the second day,
she opened it up and looked at it;
there it was,
and she looked at it.
She did it,
and the fourth (time),
(or) the third (time),
she recognized him, they say.
“That’s him.
That’s him.”

224***

225“Something is there!
Listen!” she said.

226“'Aavém Kwasam!” she said.
He said it slowly:
“Oh,”
he said.

227She listened,
and she went and told (her father) about it;
“Yes
fix it up!” (he said).
“Fix it up!
Fix that (body) up
(so that) it will be all right!
It will be like this.”

228He said it,
and she did it,
she went about fixing it up, over there,
and after (that),
on the fourth (time),
it came out.

229This is how it was:
it looked all right, but
the hair was not (right).
There it was.

230“Well,
I’m going to do something with the hair,”
she said,
and she dove down into the water for something.

231It’s called a beaver.
The beaver,
he was brown, lying there,
and she told him about it:
“I am trying to make his hair grow out.
It’s not right (the way it is).”

232She said it, and
“Dive in again,
go in!
There is another one there.
Beavers are like this, they say,”
he said, they say.

233She got there,
and when she had put the hair there,
once again it wasn’t right.

234She did it twice,
and the third (time),
she did it,
and it still wasn’t right, they say.

235When she went in again for the fourth (time),
she arranged the hair properly.

236A black beaver was there, and so,
he is the one that did it.
He fixed up the hair
(so that) it was black,
and he twisted it,
and it came out really well,
they say.

237When it came out,
she came,
she came to the house,
“Well,
let’s eat something,” she said;
(her sister) was making thick-mush corn bread,
“This little thing you are making,
we’ll eat it.
Let’s eat it as porridge.”

238And so,
here she was.
It was the older girl.
“No,” she said.

239“Share it with your father,” she said.

240“Go to your father,
and do something for him,” she said.
She went on saying this.

241So they say.

242***

243Anyway,
the children (of 'Aavém Kwasám)
were around over there,
and they were thinking —
it was his death they were thinking about, and so,
they were thinking,
“As for us,
which way shall we go?
We (should) think about this,
and look into our hearts,” (they said),
and this is what they did.

244Well,
the old woman had something in mind.

245The children were around here and there,
and she made little bows for them,
by herself,
and finally,
when they were older,
she explained things to them, they say.

246“Well,
the (meat) that will be eaten,
a deer or something,
a creature worthy of respect,
(that’s what) a proper person eats.
A proper (person) —
that’s what a proper person eats, they say.

247***

248“He does it like that,
he kills it and brings it,
he does something.
He does something.

249“Old Lady Flesh-Ripper is around here,
and so,
she takes people,
‘I feel like ripping out his flesh,
I feel like ripping out his flesh,’ she says,
or she might say,
and she does it!
She’s around!

250“If she catches you,
that (will be) the end of you!
She is dangerous!” (she said).
“Yes,
if we see her we will leave,” they said,
and off they went.

251And so,
that’s how it happened.
She came along,
“I feel ripping somebody’s flesh!” she said.

252***

253She caught them,
and she threw them behind her,
and she came along carrying them on her back.

254The oldest one,
“Oh, my!
We’re going to die!” he said,
and they discussed it among themselves.

255And so,
they did it,
when they saw (an opportunity).
They started a fire (with bow and arrow),
and they set it on her back,
and she went hopping around,
and they jumped (out),
and they escaped.

256The old woman was there,
and her back
was like this.

257***

258She died.
She burnt up.

259They came down,
they came and told about it,
they say.

260They told about the things (that had happened to them):
“It was like this,”
they said.
They listed the dangerous things (that they had done).
“Yes,
we did that,” they said.

261“We saw that,” they said.

262And so,
that’s what happened.
“We will turn ourselves into unfeathered arrows,
and go up into the sky,”
they said.
They intended to see things.
They intended to look for their father,
as they were there.
They went up in the sky,
they went up into the four levels (of heaven).

263The people,
yes,
their dead relatives,
yes,
they saw so many of them.

264Someone was there,
there she was,
(when the boys) got there.
The (thing) that had happened to them,
the very (person) who had done it was there.

265When they realized how bad (the situation) was,
“What shall we do?”
they said.

266Then,
the one who had caught them,
she did something,
and they said,
“All right.”

267“I’m not going to let you go,” (she said).
She intended them to stay where they were.
“You are going to stay there.”
“All right.”

268And so,
well,
she went on and on making porridge.

269“She’s going to do it to someone,” they said.
“She wants to kill us,” they said, but
they knew (what she was up to),
and they ate the porridge,
they ate first, they say.

270They gulped it down.
She was watching and watching,
and (then) she went like this.
She gulped it and gulped it.
It cut her throat.

271She was lying dead, on her back,
and when they saw this,
they came (back) down (to earth), they say.

272They came (back) down (to earth),
they came and came,
from the four levels of heaven,
and they finished,
and they stood there behind the house.

273They stood there,
and their father’s mother was there,
and Coyote was there,

274***

275and he was very restless.

276They stood there, and so,
as for that,
when they got home again,
“The east,
up high in the east,
we are going to go up high in the east,
we think,”
they said.

277There they were, and so,
“(That) is something that you must not do.
It’s dangerous!” (she said).

278“Yes,
we’ll do it,”
they said.

279That’s how it happened.
They went,
well,
the older one,
he was no good at it,
(but) it was what he had to do and he did it.

280“Well,
it is dangerous.
The wind is strong,”
he said.

281“A fire is burning,
there it is!”
he said;
“(There is) something —
there is a deer in there for you to get,” (his brother) said.
“There are rocks there,
and you will have to go through them,” he said.
He went on telling him.
“Well,
we’re not going through there.”

282He refused,
(but the younger brother) didn’t listen,
and they went on, they did it somehow,
they went on,
(the older brother) was exhausted,
but they did it somehow,
they pressed on and pressed on, and so,
in four (days),
“I’ll show you how,” (he said),
and they held hands,
and they went out.

283And so,
that song,
he sang it like that.
He sang it like that,
well,
“My feet hurt,”
he said.

284And so,
“It’s those shoes,” he said.

285Well,
that path,
he wasn’t up to it,
but when he saw it,
“Yes,
it’s my shoes,” he said,
and at that point,
“You must be able to do something,
that’s how it is, but
it will be better,” he said.

286“Well,
that’s all,
you’ll do something,
and we will go,” he said.

287Thus they went away,
they went.

288They saw it:
a fire was burning, they say,
and then,
the water was powerful, they say.

289***

290They went across;
and there,
well,
those feet of his hurt, he said,
and he told about it,
as he stood there:

“Fire is burning, burning,
fire is burning, burning,”

291he said,
and he stood there, they say,
and as for his shoes,
those things that they call shoes,

“What have you done with my shoes,”

292he said.

293He said it like this.

294“I am here,
and I will do it,”
he said,
and he finished doing it,
and they went on, they say.

295That’s all,
it was the end.
The rocks were like this, they say,
and they went through them.
(Then) the rocks came together like this,
there they were.

296“We’ll go through it,”
(the younger brother) said.

297They held hands,
and they came out on the other side.

298That’s what they did,
they went on,
they crossed over something,
and so,
(someone) heard them.
They made noise,
and it was carried by the wind,
and there were some young women over there,
and they heard it.

299So,
at that (point),
they went down, and so,
the women were over there,
and they paired off:
that one took that (boy),
and (the other one) took that (boy).

300There they were, they say;
well,
they sang a song called Raise the Flute;
that’s where it comes from.

301That’s where it comes from.
The Quechan (people) perform it,
the (song) Raise the Flute.

302Then—
it was a colorful house, they say,
over there in the distance,
and they went inside.

303There they were,
and Raise the Flute was there, they say.
It came from there,
they say.

304They go on singing that song, they say.
The Quechan (do),
they say.

305I’ve heard them say so.

Auteur

Millie Romero (Traducteur)
Barbara Levy (Traducteur)
George Bryant (Traducteur)

Acheter

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