Creation of Pipes and Determination of the Eldest

Creation of Pipes and Determination of the Eldest


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By Shannon Mirelez

First their heads came out; they called themselves teimūluka; both heads came out at once. Then came out their shoulders, ribs, waist, thighs, knees, and ankles.212 Thus they came out of their house into the darkness, but they were unable to see one another in the dark space. As they sat in the dark Temaīyauit said, “I am older than you, for I heard the darkness making sounds.”213 Mūkat answered, “No! I am the older for I heard it first.” Thus they began to quarrel. Then Temaīyauit said, “What can we do to eat our smoke and blow-aaah! Away the dark.” Mūkat answered, “Why do you say you are older than I am? Take the pipe214 from your heart,215 out of your mouth.” So Mūkat took from his heart the black pipe,216 and Temaīyauit took from his heart the white pipe.217

Temaīyauit asked Mūkat, What will we smoke in it?” Mūkat answered, “Why do you say you are old than I am? We can draw from our hearts tobacco.218 Then we can eat and smoke it in our pipe.” He drew black tobacco219 from his heart, and Temaīyauit drew white tobacco220 from his heart. Their pipes were solid, and Temaīyauit asked Mūkat, “How can we open up our pipes to eat and smoke tobacco?” Mūkat answered, “Why do you say you are older than I, if you do not know that with our whiskers we can bore a hole221 through which to draw smoke?”222 Then the hole was too big and the tobacco would not stay, but from their hearts they drew out white and black materials223 and made it smaller. All was settled, but they had no fire.

Then Temaīyauit asked Mūkat, “How can we light our tobacco to eat and smoke it?” and Mūkat answered, “You still say you are older than I am and yet do not know how to light your pipe! We can draw from our heart the sun from which we can light our pipe.” Then he began to draw the sun; from his mouth it came, but it slipped through his hands to his feet. Both tried to catch it, but it was too fast and got away and disappeared. It was lost in the darkness.

Then Mūkat drew out from his heart the West Light,224  and Temaīyauit drew from his heart the East Light.225 With these Mūkat lit his pipe. When he smoked the smoke drifted up and formed clouds. He blew it out in spreading puffs, and said, “This is to eat our hearts and kill out hearts!”

To find out who was the oldest he held up his pipe, saying, “I am holding it down.” Temaīyauit said, “Where are you?” looking on the ground. Temaīyauit tried to find it below, but Mūkat cheated him holding it up in the air. At last he reached it. Mūkat said, “You claim you are older but you are not old enough to know this!” Temaīyauit smoked until he had had enough, then he said, “I am holding it up,” but he held it on the ground. But Mūkat knew where it was, and right away reached and took it. This proved Mūkat was the oldest.


212 sēka, amī, hemhūlūlū, hemees, hemtomī, hemī.
213 This was their mother’s lullaby.
214 taīuuinumuli, pipe.
215 tcemsuñ a, from our heart.
216 uliltunikic.
217 ulitevicnikic.

218 pīwut.
219 pīwut tūlnikic.
220 pīwut tēwicnikic.
221 penliwalwaane, bore a hole.
222 penhusossone, to draw on a pipe.
223 temalhu uhū, temal pikikī, tūlkūsivivamal (archaic), kanawal tūlawal: black; tēwic nikic: white.

224 kauwīkut.
225 tamīkut
.