Domingo of Weitchpec
"Buzzard's Medicine" (June 3, 1907)
Writing system: default | hyphens | linguistic
Display style: paragraph |sentence | look-up
Text identifier: I4
Speaker: Domingo of Weitchpec
Primary documentation: A. L. Kroeber
Project transcription: Andrew Garrett, with the assistance of Susanne
Edition: , unpublished; selection edited and published by A. L. Kroeber, "The
Languages of California North of San Francisco", University of California
Publications in American Archaeology and Ethnology, volume 9 (1911), pp.
Translation: A. L. Kroeber, Yurok Myths (1976), pp. 313-314 (myth
Manuscript source: A. L. Kroeber, Yurok field notebook 75, pp. 19-31; click here to view PDF
Yurok audio (original):
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Yurok audio (filtered, signal removed above 2000 Hz):
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Weesh-tue' son' 'ekw. Keet-kwo le-go 'oo-le-kwohl Lrgerl'.
This is exactly how it was. Buzzard was still a person.
Weesh-tue' ho son': nue-meech-yue, nue-meech-yue nep'.
This is what he did: he ate everything, everything.
Pue-le-kuek 'werp-keryko nee mehl hop-ke-chol'. Tue' weesh-tue' me'-wo-me-chol'.
He began downriver from where the river starts. That's where he came
Tue' 'o nue-meech-yue hek'ws: ley-yo-lekws, hlmey-yep-'eer', hlkerr-wers, hlkerr-wers, hlkwer-terkws .
He found everything: gartersnakes, rattlesnakes, salamanders, salamanders,
Too-me-neek k'ee nue se-go-no-wo-nee tue' nep'.
He ate all the kinds of things that existed.
Nee-keech-yue sook tue' nep', 'em-see k'ee huuek hlkey-yuer.
He ate every kind of thing, even the slimy babies.
Tue' ko-lo new' woh-pue 'ee nee loo-leek k'ee wer-'er-ger-yer-wer-nee wen-chokws 'ue-mey-yoo-moyk'.
He could see them thrown in the water by pregnant young women.
'Imee ske-wok-seem' kee ko-leesh 'uekom-chue-mek' kue 'ue-mey-yoo-moyk'. Weet woh-pueks 'o loot' nee kue 'uuekskeech kol' son'.
She did not want anyone to know she was pregnant. So she threw her child who
died in the water.
Peesh-tue' weesh-tue' 'o nep' kem. Nue-meech-yue nep'.
Then he ate it too. He ate everything.
Tue' noo laay', wek tue' noo laay' so pech.
He kept going along, he kept going upriver.
Tue' noo laay', tue' pech-kues 'o ho nes-kwe-chokw' nee so-nee-nee.
He kept going along, he arrived upriver doing so.
K'ee mer'-wer-mery tue' nee so-nee-nee weesh-tue' son' nue-meech-yue nep'.
Doing so where the river comes from he ate everything.
K'ee che-gee new 'we-se-go-no-wo-nee, k'ee che-gee new 'we-sook, k'ee kwen cho' nee ne-wo'-meesh, tue' nee nep'.
Everything he saw of all descriptions, every kind of thing he saw, whatever
he saw, he ate it.
Peesh, kwe-see 'o lok-see'hl, kwe-see 'eesh-kuue 'ee weesh-tue' son', keech tue' weesh-tue' ho soo ge-gol'. 'Ishkuue nee slo-'ehl-ko'.
Well, then it was a year, and slowly it was like this, since he had gone
around like that. Slowly he wasted away.
'Ishkuue nee slo-'ehl-kokw' k'ee won 'we-lok-see-hlek'.
Slowly he wasted away until a year was up.
Te nue hloy-kom' woo-ney-yeek. K'ee 'ue'werhl-ker' keech muue-wo-lo' so-nee-nep'.
He tried to go uphill. His bones started to feel all burnt.
Ko-lo keech nee mokw' ho 'e-kek-'o-lehl-kokw'. Nee so-neen keech che'-lee'. Nee mokw' k'ee mehl skuey' so-nee-nep'.
It was as if he no longer had strong legs. He got dry. There was nothing
that made him feel better.
Te nue chyue so-nee-nee ye's k'ee skuey' so-nee-nah, kem tue' nee-mee hlom' k'ee 'weskuey' so-nee-nah.
He tried to do everything he thought of to make himself feel better, but he
didn't take what would make him feel better.
Peesh, kwe-see weesh-tue' 'o son' koh-chee, keech nue-mee mok'ws 'we-nes-kwey.
Well, when he was like this once, he became very sick.
Kwe-see weesh-tue 'o ho nes-kwe-chokw' Ho-'o-wen. Ho-'o-wens ho nes-kwe-chokw'. Prwer'-k'uek keet wo soo-to' mo-kee.
That is how he came to Ho'owen. He came to Ho'owen. He was going south
Peesh-tue' weet keech 'o nue-mee mokw' 'we-nes-kwey-yo-wok', 'o nue-mee mokw' 'we-nes-kwey.
Then he became very sick, he was very sick.
Peesh kwe-see 'eesh-kuue ko'-moy' ko-lo kol' 'o chween-kep'. Ke-so-mehl ne-geeen' so hee-noo.
Then he suddenly heard what seemed to be someone speaking to him. He looked
back on his left side.
'O ne-geee'-now' so hee-noo. 'Oko, tee'-nee' 'wechween-ke-pek'? 'O new' kaap-'o-leehl yo' 'o pe-gah-chew.
He looked back. Hey, who spoke to me? He saw a plant there
To' wee' 'o tek kue kaap' 'o pe-gah. 'O chween-kep' kue kaap', kwe-see 'o lem', 'Ii!
The plant was growing there and moving around. The plant was talking, and it
To' kwel ko-me nes-kwey-yo-wom', kee-tee kol' so-no-wom'. kom-chue-mem' hes kee-tee kol' mehl so-no-wom'?
You are very sick, you are about to die. Don't you know that you are
about to die?
'O lem', Paa! Kwe-lekw nee-mee kom-chue-mek'.
He said, No! I don't know it.
'O lem', Kwelekw nek kee ne-paa-nem', ko 'o le-wo-lo-chem'. Kwe-lekw weet keech mehl so-no-wom'.
It said, You will eat me and you will get well. This is why you have
become like this.
K'i nue-meech-yue sook k'ene-ge-pek', k'ee 'oohl kol' wee' so-no-woom' tue' ne-pem'.
You eat every kind of thing, you even eat people who are
K'i che-gee nue 'wosook hlmey-yep-'eer' tue' ne-pem'. Tue' weet keech k'e-me'-wo-mech-kok'.
You eat every kind of thing, even rattlesnakes. That is what you have
become sick from.
Tu' ne-kee' kee nah.
[He said,] I will.
'O lem', Nek kee ne-paa-nem'. Hehl, cho' skuey' so-nee-nee week 'ee son-koom'.
It said, You will eat me. So, prepare (me) well there.
Keyomohl cho' ket-'oh-pee-nem'. Cho' s'e-mem', tue' weet ko 'o so te-ge-rue-paa-nem'.
Cook (me) in a basket dipper. Pound me up, then you will talk to
Kwelekw weet kee mehl he-wo-lo-chem', mo wee-'eeet tue' mehl slo-'ehl-koom', keech mehl mokw' k'ete-won. Wek hehl neee'-nes k'e'-wes!
You will get well from that, for you are thin, you no longer have
flesh. Look at yourself!
'O neee'-now' 'ue'-wes. Neesh! Tue' ko-me nes-kwey-yo-wok'.
He looked at himself. Alas! He was sick.
K'ee nee 'er-ger-kerhl chpee wee' ko nee 'er-ger-kerhl, 'ue'werhl-ker' chpee ko-me ro-'oh ho hlke-leek.
Only his joints, his joints [?], on his bones alone he stood on the
Son' 'ekw, keech nee-mokw' 'wete-won, 'ohl-kue-mee weesh-tue' keech 'ue me'-wo-mech-kokw'.
That is just how he was, he now had no flesh, because he had become sick
Pish, 'o lem', Witu' kee so-no-wok'.
Well, it said, I will do so.
Witu' kee mehl weee-ge-no-yek' 'o 'wes-'o-new, kye-kwen kee soo ho-goo-le'-mo-nee k'ee 'oohl; kwe-lekw woyn kee-tee yoo-lem' k'ee 'oohl.
For that I will always be called in the world, as long as people will
live thus; for there will be another people.
Wit kee neee-ge-mue'. Weesh-tue' kee ne-gep' 'o'-loo-le-kweesh-'ol k'ee ne-kah.
People will always carry it. Human beings will always eat us.
- 'O le's, Chuu', to' wee' kee so-no-wok'. Kwe-see 'o nep' kyew 'o pye-wo-lue' 'em-see re-kwoh.
He thought, OK, I will do so. Then he ate and chewed there
and also drank.
Peesh-tue' wee-'eee-tue weesh-tue mehl ma son'. 'O lem': Kwelekw nek weet nee so-no-wok'.
That is what he did with it. He said: Well, that is how I am.
To' 'uemeyr-kwe-nee nep' 'o'-loo-le-kweesh-'ol, kee to' 'uemeyr-kwe-nee nep'.
A human being eats everything, he will eat everything.
Tu' weesh-tue' ko 'o nep', weesh-tue' ko 'o loh-kue'.
He will eat, and then they will make it.
Pishtu' weet kee so-no-woom' 'o'-loo-le-kweesh-'ol. Weesh-tue' ko 'o so-nee-nee weesh-tue' so-no-wohl 'o'-loo-le-kweesh.
Human beings will do so. Human beings will act like this.
Nekah kee so-no-woom'. Weet 'wes-'o-nah 'o kne-gon.
We will do so. I am leaving it like that in the world.
'Wes'onah weesh-tue' ko 'o mehl he-gok' ko-lo 'o'-loo-le-kweesh-'ol.
People will be in the world as if I were around.
Weesh-tue' kee se-go-nok-see': Wishtu' kee ye-goh-kue' mo-cho keech slo-'ehl-ko' 'oohl.
This is what he thought: This is how they will make it if a person
Wish kee nep', weesh-tue' kue 'o loh-kuem' 'uemes-kwoh, mo wee-tue' nek soo skuey-yah-pe-lek'.
He will eat this, and he will make his medicine, because that is how
I got better.
Peesh-tue wee-tue' chpeen son'.
Well, that's just how it was.