Wednesday, July 14, 2004


An Inuit legend _Kautyayuk


Once upon a time, a long time ago, a family was killed by bears, all that was left was a scrawny orphan who nobody wanted because he was small and was another mouth to feed. The orphan was called Kautyayuk.

Kautyayuk tried to become friends with the village people but they beat him. To keep warm, he slept with the sled dogs or inside the entrances to the camps of the people. To eat, he fought the dogs for scraps of meat. The village people would ridicule him and beat him for they did not want him around.

When he longed for human company, he would crawl inside the camp, both for warmth and to hear the people talk but if they noticed him they would beat him and haul him outside with their fingers hooked into his nostrils.

They would laugh and just throw scraps of walrus hide to him for food. Poor little Kautyayuk was always beaten and his nose now had big nostrils from always being pulled and thrown outside.

Finally, one night, the bears who killed Kautyayuk's family, came to the village. They could smell the cooking of food and were hungry because there were only a few seals to catch. "Give us food" shouted the bears. "We do not have enough to eat ourselves, for the caribou are gone and there are not many seals", cried back the people.

"Give us food or we will eat you" demanded the bears.

The people knew that the group of hungry bears would not stop until they had something to eat and they would attack soon killing all if no food was given, so the people who did not like Kautyayuk demanded that he go outside. They wanted him to be eaten instead of themselves.

Kautyayuk refused, but the people ganged up on him and whipped and beat him to the outside where the bears waited. The bears reared up, but a strange thing happened when Kautyayuk stood up to face his death.

The moonlight shone upon him and him alone, and he started to grow big and powerful. His clothes split and his muscles bulged so big did he grow. The bears attacked, but Kautyayuk was now strong for the Moon Spirit (Sila) empowered him.

Kautyayuk fights the bears who killed his family and he breaks them up like little twigs, Kautyayuk wins and the bears who wanted to eat him are dead.

Quickly the people rushed out, to get the meat for their houses but Kautyayuk said no so they attacked him with knifes but he killed them all but two old women.

"I have spared your lives, so that you will be abandoned and that you will know loneliness as you have taught me to know it" pronounced Kautyayuk. And so he left to travel the land, leaving behind two old women who pulled him by his nostrils and who beat him.

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