War Between The Quileute And Ozette

Quileute Legend

Tsikatso's Bone SwordIn Quileute Legend, in the past there was a war between the Quileute and the Ozette (Eyii’-elat). A Quileute man lost all his brothers in battle. He retired to a hill on the northern side of the mouth of the Quileute river, and cried at that place. That night there was a full moon, and the nights were very clear. On one of these occasions he viewed something in the river, with several animals swimming about it.

At sight of this, the man quit crying, and, took off his blanket, then dived into the river and swam towards it. He swam right over seals, otters, and other animals, till he reached the thing in the middle of the river. He took hold of it, and straightway went unconscious. The water then rose up; and when it sank, it deposited him on the bank about the bushes.

When he woke up, he had in his hand a long bone sword for fighting. The name of the thing in the river was “Tsikatso.” (Tsikatso is a sea-monster, the sight of which causes death. ) The man enfolded his sword in his blanket, and returned to the woods. He washed daily; but every time he saw an animal, it drop dead, on account of his being the owner of the supernatural sword. One day he traveled to the seashore, and all the seals basking on rocks that he saw quickly fell dead. So the man returned to the woods once more, and again bathed daily.

The next time he journeyed to the shore, he first concealed his sword in the woods. He viewed quite a number of hair-seals on the rocks; but this time they didn’t die as before, as he had arrived without his sword. Then only did he embark to return home. The people he saw were completely unaffected by him.

Again he returned to the woods. This time he tried to make a sword that would be an exact replica of the enchanted sword. When he had finished it, he went back to the beach, and, approaching some hair-seals on rocks, displayed it to them, with the prompt result that they all kicked the bucket. Then he headed home and told the people to bring home the seals he had killed. They did as he instructed.

When they came to the location he provided, they saw how many hair-seals had been killed. They assembled a fire to cook some of the meat. “Let that old woman eat first!” he said. “If she lives, then all is well. If she dies, let no one else eat any, for I killed them with this sword I found. After this we shall go to war again.” And so the old woman ate up the hair-seal meat, and demonstrated no sickness, so they took the meat back to the village. The man ordered them without doubt to get all the meat in prior to the Ozette returning.

There was a young man in Ozette whose mother was Quileute. He would warn the Quileutes every time the Ozette deciede to make war. By the time the seals were all tucked away, the Ozette young man arrived to inform the people that the Ozette were returning to battle in two days, and that they should get ready for them. “We intend to go up and attack the Ozette ourselves,” the people said. So he returned with all imaginable speed, and advised the Ozette that the Quileute were planning to attack on the next day. He told his people to fight on the beach, and let the Quileute fight from their canoes.

On the next morning the Quileute depart. The young man carried his sword under his blanket, so that his people might not see it. He instructed them that when they spot the Ozette, they should watch out for the half-Quileute man who’d wear on his head an eagle’s tail on a long stick.

The Ozette began their war-dance, then prepared to meet the Quileute who were looking out for the young man with the eagle-feathers. When they viewed him enter the house, the Quileute man ordered his people to lie down in the canoe and cover their heads, whilst he alone continued standing. Then only did he wield his sword. He

waved it around his head, hollering, “This is the sword of Tsikatso, and I am going to use it on you.” The Ozette looked and died. The half- Quileute, hearing no more noise outside, looked out and saw the sword, and he, too, died. One slave amongst the Quileute peeked from a hole in a blanket, and he died too. Then the young man wrapped his sword in a blanket, and called to his people to rise. All got up and all the Ozette were dead, — excepttwo old men who had remained in the house. They ran off to notify their Neah Bay relatives, the Makah, who were now afraid. The Quileute now headed for home. The man sang of how he had killed
all the Ozette, including the young man, his relative. For him he cried.

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