Friday, September 25, 2015

Quotes From "The Raven's Gift"

Ravens may drop walnuts on your head, storms may batter your canoe, blizzards may scatter your reindeer, but lighten up; nature is "'playing' with you and that is all.  It is not to be taken seriously." (page 210)
I wonder, does nature make traffic lights turn red just as you get to them?

The Koryak Creation Story
When the cosmos was new, there were no people, so Etinvin, our God, made people and placed them on the earth.  He started off first by making the Northern People.  He gave them the best, richest, and most wonderful place on the planet, right here near Vyvenka and above.  He put salmon in the rivers, seals in the bays, and reindeer on the tundra.

When Etinvin finished, there were many places left on the earth with no people.  But he ran out of genuine parts to make people with.  He asked Kutcha [the Raven God] what he should do and Kutcha suggested that they carve some people out of wood.  So Etinvin carved people out of wood.  These people became the Europeans.  They are stupid because they are made of wood and not genuine parts.  They fight too much and they don't think about the future of the earth.  They build too many machines that destroy the earth.

When all the people were finished, Etinvin looked down and saw a woman on the tundra.  She was giving birth and crying in great pain.  Her husband didn't know what to do, so he tried to cut the baby out of the woman's stomach with a large knife.  But that made the women and the baby dead.

Etinvin was sad and called Kutcha: "These people are new and they don't know how to live.  You must fly down from the heavens and teach the people how to live."

So Kutcha gathered the people, and explained: "Women must go to the tundra.  Watch the birds and see how they give birth."

The women walked out to the tundra and watched the birds laying eggs.  And then they understood.  They had many healthy babies and their numbers grew.  But still the people didn't know how to live very well.  So Etinvin called Kutcha again and told him to go back down to earth and tell the people out to live.

And Kutcha gave the following advice:

"Ocean water is full of salt and is not good to drink.  Drink water from the mountains.  That is the sweetest water.

"When the sun is setting, your children must not cry.  They must sit near you and you must tell them stories.  After the stories, the children must sleep.

"You must wake up early in the morning, especially in the spring, when the earth is waking after the winter night.

"If a child falls down, you the must say, 'Stand up.  Don't cry.'

"When fish swim up the river, you must have silence near the river.  The fish will have babies, so you must be quiet to respect the children.

"If you have a headache or stomachache or other pain, you must call Kutcha and say, 'Help me.'  And Kutcha will put on his raven coat and fly down from the heavens.  He will spit on the place that makes the pain.  Then you must push the pain through the body with one finger.  Pick up the pain on the other side of the body, grab it in your hand, and say, 'Go to your mother.  She lives in the darkest place in the North.'  Then you must go outside and throw the pain into the wind." (pages 194 - 195)

From "The Raven's Gift," by Jon Turk

No comments: