As told by Charlie Joseph Sr.
This story belongs to the L'uknax.adi, the songs Yookoowahangi Yeik come from this
story. Before, there were four parts to these songs, but Charlie could only remember
two parts. It is also known as Kaaksateen Yahaayi.
When fall comes the cohos start coming into the rivers. Kaaksateen saw them in the
river, so she gaffed some up onto the river bank.
She started cleaning the fish, cutting the heads off, cleaning the insides and saving
the eggs. Nothing was ever wasted. She started putting the cleaned fish into a woven
basket that could be strapped to her back (yaanee).
The heads she strung together with a long, young branch (s'u). She put her basket on
her back and she bent down to put the heads around her neck. As she was getting up
she saw her reflection in the river; the heads swung to one side and then the other,
she thought they looked like the earloops that are called gukl'einxw. She started to
move with them, as she moved the heads swayed with her.
It is said that the river was not deep. As she started crossing the river she disappeared.
The people that had been watching her cross looked all over for her in the river. They
could not find her.
Her spirit came to the medicine man (ixt') and told what had happened to her. The
fish people took her away. "You should never play around or make fun of what you eat
or something might happen to you."
Back to Legends