Tales of the Tundra
Funded in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting through a grant from the Pacific mountain network program from. The Southwest to Alaska. That's. Remould. All. In its power. And timelessness. The more who call this land home. It is a place of wonder mystery and match. The secrets of the land are explored and understood. Through history. Yes I a storyteller in this place. Very little
has changed for a thousand years where the forces of nature dominate. Little wonder. That these stories deal with mystery magic. Once there was a white man in there ask him or they were traveling up the Kuskokwim River
from east to get far along the way they passed a river called the fire and right near there was an old village ancient village nobody was living there then. And behind that village was an ancient graveyard. And on this the grave in the graveyard. Oh what the people who are buried there. Their belongings were piled on top of the graves. Finding old abandoned house and they decided to make camp for the night when they got ready to have supper. They realized they had forgotten to catch the white man remembered seeing a teakettle on one of the graves in the graveyard back and decided to go and get it. But the Eskimos. Oh no you shouldn't. You should eat them. White man said there was. There's no ghosts. Those people are dead. And even though the Eskimo told him not to the white man went back to the graveyard that teakettles
fact yet seem to make tea. When the tea was done he invited the Eskimo man to have some wish you'd better ask him all refused and instead he muttered some ice in a cup that the white man kept asking the Eskimo to have some tea. But the Eskimo said oh and that of. The men were preparing for bed. It was very dark and they had one candle burning in the middle of the table. Suddenly they felt like they were in a ball and suddenly something else that said the white man was the one who had said there were no ghosts. Let's go out. Of course father us. Yes but the white men
refused fearing the ghost might see them. Second second. And finally it was so loud and hard. The whole building. They were that old abandoned house. Shall I start creeping in under the door to Foreman. She goes down to Muskrat park and have him and its sleeves were trimmed with Wolverine and its rough ones Wolf. The meat has gone. The ground under the coast was covered with fog rolled around like an idiot. The coast began to approach them. Only the white man was very frank
and ask him over and over and remembered what his mother had told him that when they saw a ghost that if you stand still when you saw you would turn your house inside out in fact you get this Kimmel taught him that the person who sees a ghost is supposed to first catch the ghosts game then put a hand on its head and push down with the weight of the arm or something covering the costs face. Yes come on. Reached under the ghost's color touch skin when his hand touched the skin it felt like sand was very cold. His hand the coon skin it felt like it was burning. After that the Colonel put his hand on their
costs hand and pushed it down with the weight of his arm began to slowly but surely sinking to the ground. The ground was frozen. Then the thought to himself make it go down faster I'll push it harder. When he did that the Course came back up. So we just left the weight of his arm push it down and then the cuffs disappear around where it was where it disappeared. Greiling swirling around like that. And then as he had heard heard it when he was younger he stepped on the floor in sand to fog there and smothered it with his foot. And went out of the house and circled the house starting from that side. Told that white man to bring the teakettle back. From where he found it but he was afraid.
He didn't want to bring it back because he wasn't the one who took it in the first place. The men then decided to return to it because it was closer than before. While they were traveling they noticed something holloing them behind following them from behind. A great big ball rolling. After them. Ask him or remember. That. If you took a knife. And cut your trail. Because ghosts were afraid of. Knives and weapons. Stop it. So this kid more took out the trail behind him going. And. They. Got to that place where he cut. His knife. He disappeared.
When they arrived in the village. I asked him or remembered. That they had to go find a place where people. Dump. Their trash. They had to roll around in it because. If they went to the village without hearing that people said that they met in the village. So they rode around. In that trash. This story was originally told by. Many Carter. A true story. Well. The ground I'm standing on. Is the exact same place. Where the story took place. Where the course came. For the. Camp. And. The graves are back there. In these trees here.
So overgrown now. You see. Grass. Now and then you'll find some old posts. And some deep holes where they bury their food. Back. There. And. That's the. Cattle. Somebody else came. Right. Back.
You force people to sit up. You think you know what your. Point or my. You don't say that to me. This is actually half the traditional treat for too long classical streams and rivers for religious liberty businessman respected political leader and a gifted storyteller. Did he get to be fact about 3 x y. You know every day he would go on for 10 days he'd come. We have you live every day. He turned your back. But you know I was thinking once while returning home from up river by dog team one cold lonely night Eddie Hoffman had a personal encounter with a grave yard course
and we started home in the evening you know. You said the moon was shining and shining you know and maybe but 20:30 below river all right to come in and we come down we was coming down opposite the door to the old village on this side of the river and new horn village and across the river. So we got to about a thousand feet away from that place and I happened to glance a glance over there at the graveyard. Up pops a big ball of fire you know maybe six to eight feet in diameter. It rolled it didn't come out roll down the bank. He was traveling. It was traveling on top of the ice about four feet.
And we kept going and you know we didn't know what day it was we kept going we got there about 100 feet and our dogs they just stopped reared back stop short. You know and by golly when they stop that ball of fire past us you know went right up the bank into the graveyard and disappeared. And I told my partner let's get out of here and get out of here fast. But first I had a Martin cap which was cold I had tied. And I don't know how how I lost that. I looked on top of my head. Nobody you can't beat this thing.
The dead the dead deer fell out of my head. Lol. There's no way I'd like to be today. You know I wouldn't think about that. I don't even know. How dare they. Out of my head and do it with no feeling you don't want to. I had that you would feel let me know. And boy we got we'd get the hell out of there fast. Do I tell you. My.
See. A The food blog Tchoupitoulas she grew up in a small isolated island which she's very near the sea coast to be respected. Assistant Professor of cross-cultural education Kuskokwim campus of the University of Alaska Fairbanks. She remembers personal incidents of her youth and the traditional stories of her. You ever hear about noises noise noise ghosts. My brother and his partner were out trapping and there's little igloos you know for just to stop hearing. A new way. They were stopped dead at this hour when he saw it. And they had me. I didn't know if
they had made home brew in their house. And they attribute this to their home brew. Anyway. When you hear a noise and its noise we call it noise goes around in your house soapland gets closer and closer and closer and at that time there was nobody around outside except their dogs and their dogs are going you know that funny noise when something's going on. They were making that whining noise and they heard that and that caused the noise spirit. You know I read in English and it kept coming closer and closer and closer and one of the other hunter my brother his partner had rosary beads. You know that Captain excelsis he had those in his
pocket and just pointed to his going. It got to their door. They had one entrance got to the door. He took his rosary and he threw it as hard as he could at the door and then the noise suddenly stopped and he fell on the floor. They were too scared to walk so they went to bed together and when they went to bed no. Light made light doing. And then next morning. They got up and they were going through their home brew out because they thought since they had that Hober they were being. Bothered by spirits. That guy went over to the door to look for his rosary. And he wasn't there on the floor. So he opened the door and there is that porch that leads out to the altar. And he
opened the inner door and he walked out and there was his rosary beads. Outside of the inner entrance. And there were broken up. He gathered them together and put them back in his pocket went back to my brother is it were better through our home brew and they me. And after that they were father they.
Tales of huge animals living in the depths of isolated lakes and rivers of bone throughout the world from the Loch Ness in Scotland to the Australian outback repeated sightings. Right. And any man for a thousand years in North America. A surprising number of Indian legends about lake monsters seem to be more or less confirmed by continued modern sightings and encounters. You know Aska there are many stories of such creatures Eskimos in southwestern Alaska will tell you of that monster of heart lake surrounded on all sides by the towering Kobuk mountains. Heartbreak lies in an isolated lonely valley nearly 100 miles south east of Bethel for countless generations. Heart Lake was a spring fishing and hunting camp for the Eskimos of Greek village. Then something strange and terrible emerge from the deep still waters
and heart lake became a place of fear. Good luck to you. Richert I was born in 1912 the Eskimos called Heartbreak Gonzalo. As a girl she remembers that lots of people went to spring camp near us but her father would never take her because the lake had a reputation of being bad. People were told never to cross the lake in a skin boat because something bad lived in the water. Be looking to get back
to me but not till I got to bed many years ago. People were watching a herd of caribou swim across the end of the lake. Suddenly the head Karibu a huge animal started dropping below the surface of the water and reappearing then finally disappearing for good. Something had pulled it under water and swallowed it. Even the big rack of horns on its head was gone. It was a big fish that got the caribou. You like doing so being so peaceful. Some time after that. There was this man and his wife and daughter camp down by the lake. He had shot the caribou and his daughter was down by the shark intestines. Then the girl noticed that the water level was rising. She called to her mother. Her mother
told her to get back to the tent but the girl kept washing intestines. I need to. Know why she is below me. Jane the water kept rising and soon they could see something big moving under the water. First they saw eyes under the water with the sun reflecting off them. The eyes looked like a big flashlight. Then they saw fin breaking the surface. It looked like a big sailboat then a huge fish jumped out of the lake and opening his mouth swallowed the girl and took off. The girl was never seen again so it would be dusk be dusk to me. No me no don't go there. The father of the girl said that he would kill the fish. He had a good
boat and he made some really good points out of the rock you find around the lake. He took the leg of the big caribou and fastened it to run along by rope and stuck it in some rocks out in the lake. He was baiting a trap door so Im Bhullar. So. Going to see him. No need be. When the water level started to rise he began to pull the cap to shore and the water coming back next week. I asked when he and his wife could see the great big lake moving under the water. They could see the ice he could see a huge fin breaking water. Soon the fish was right up on the Caribou Lake next to the shore the fish charged with his mouth wide open. Quickly the father stepped up and fired three years into that huge open mouthed
giant just beneath the water on me. I'm over seventy. Good night. Knew Then I said many. You know I've seen them get me to let them tell me I'm going to be so good. The next year people coming to spring fish can send a huge pile of fish. I mean grass growing up we are high through the bones in the shape of a giant. The bones in the backbone was so huge that children used to play house and crawl in and out of the hole in the vertebrae. That doesn't want to go down. No go out all good. I mean I don't know that there was
going to be there. My family would never go back because I would even fish with birds. Nothing's going on though. You ok. I things one. Oh. Oh. Oh.
Oh. Oh you do know you smarter and more storytellers often we weave their tails of the past while sitting at the kitchen table after dinner with a cup of tea and the family gathered around as a young girl growing up in the marshy long island Delta Borsellino ask Andrew listen to her mother and father told many stories she later passed down to the five children she raised in the river village of two to three. One of these stories warns of the danger
of not believing in respecting the power down as you go higher. Having to me. At once there was this person who never believed that goes towards people kill. And he used to question her ghosts could exist when the story tellers would say never graveyards used to wonder how come. One day you will try talking with a dog team and normally when you know there is an old village or village with a twinkle saw Deimos still standing in an old sod house with a hole in the ceiling for a window and smoke coming from behind that is a lake and by it and several crosses of an old graveyard. No not no not don't they. I didn't shoot down
my car because. None of your own to get it done. I mean when the man arrived in the old village he left his camp stool prepared and so he could talk waterside he couldn't walk or shouldn't be so bad. Suddenly we need only going after getting the water he started to see the old grave digger. A man came down one of the old crosses and said to it so that you and I can eat you can come and join me after saying this to the old sod house. Later he
forgot what he had said. He brought the wood and who knows what stove Have a look and they're asking you to send hear the stuff you started to it sounds right. Bush and his camp stove the kettle began to simmer. Then he noticed that the camps can carry on. And he caught them then while he was eating his camp stove suddenly we're now in the camp still don't know as he was feeding the camp stove when out of here really incredibly. Know several times more. He played a masterpiece Tarkin Martin got joke to me because then he happened to notice some work and I missed coming in under the door on the floor.
I looked and saw the fog could rise and fall. That man didn't think anything of it and didn't care. So much hope. There's more fog crept in his camp stove. The stove will not begin to come when this happened. He took a match and read it but the camp still kept going. Even when he struck a match to add any meaning to it. And so I mean any time he noticed that when the fog reached the woodstove burning hotly the red hot coals died down from the stove would nearly go on. He noticed that when the fog receded the stove would fire up again by tossing down. The Wall. After seeing what was happening he began to feel afraid
and leaving his camp stool behind. He went out of the sand house because the man had been traveling with several other hunters and he knew where they were Camp Dawson. So he hitched up his dogs and leading his lead dog walked away from the place. She wished they had gone some distance from the place he got on his side and the dogs got on a fast turn. I couldn't tune in to don't see much point in one night at any being. He called to his dogs them called my companion while he was traveling one of the dogs fell over. The man said to himself Why do I have a story to call my hunting opening in. My. Garden. He stuck to his team and went over to his dog and saw that it was vomiting galore.
By all means. Don't you want a local man and his dog and leaving behind. Continued down until he arrived at the other hunter's camp. So when he arrived and the other men were near he tried to remember what he was going to know but he could not think it. The men returned home and all the men still could not remember what had happened and when you do. No. Put them down or even later on when he went back to the old village to take his mink traps out. He remembered what had happened to me remembering the heel of the old guard post and noted that its door was open. Chop chop chop. He could see inside and there could be a pile of debris reaching up toward the window at the feeling to
look closer and you realize that they no clue what his camp stove booed clamping down including the wood he had chopped all piled one on top of the other door. When he saw the Secret Service he left without leaving any of his belongings from the house. Graves must never be disturbed because this is what can happen. The stories about tiny humanoid creatures with supernatural powers are found in the folklore of every culture. Sometimes they are called fairies gnomes elves brownies pixies leprechauns dwarves gremlins. But here in southwest Alaska we simply call them the little people. Nearly every Eskimo can tell you about an encounter with
these mischievous enchanted bee. Cecilia Martes actually saw the little people when she was a child at summer camp. The one story that we experience those. Of us little girls. We were told when we were growing up that the people of those different sets of people in my area we have if huckster's I saw you X and Sing Sing or something like that there's three steps. And what these people do is one of the things they do is foretell events that are going to happen in the future. Another one is a feature. By a mountain. And you see a door or a window and you look through. You look at that window at something that's happening inside.
Seems like you'd be looking at it for a few minutes. But when you turn away when the event is whatever you're looking at is over and you turn away. You had been looking at it for a whole year. There's different stories of different people. And but one of them was one of the. Guests and actually people one of the most important things they do is foretell the future tell what's going to happen in the future. Well there were a bunch of us girls that were either playing hopscotch or. Jump jumping or by the river. There was a fish camp. And upriver. There's only the genie. College meaningless little piece protruding land going out into the river and you can see part of the water on the other side. But some of that
water was. Beyond that Jeannie. But anyway there were three or four of us that door. I think we were hopscotching. Playing hopscotch. And. One of us happened to look up river and we saw. A kayak. Towing up be a log and there was one man and one of the fathers of the girls that we were playing with was the only guy that had gone upriver and the rest of them had gone down river. So we told that girl run and tell your stepmother that your dad is coming home and we are watching that are towing that log on the other side of that building. And she ran up to their 10 and told her stepmother because they have to prepare tea and food for them as soon as they land.
Anyway. We watched that and it disappeared from view. On the other side of that Jeannie and that girl came back and we were sitting there and we were waiting for it to go around the bend bend over that deadly teaching. We waited and we waited and waited it didn't. He didn't appear into view. And we were wondering. If he stopped on the other side of that thing or. Or if he. Turned over. But it was a beauty for a day and a man like that wouldn't turn over his head. Anyway we we we waited and waited and waited. He didn't come off. And then after a while we forgot about it and we were continuing our hopscotch. And then that girl mother came down and asked you know where her husband was and we said he's on the other side of that. Jean we go over
there. She weighted down saw him look in would not be in the on after we play hopscotch. We went back to our tents. I think it was supper time and I was telling my dad about that happening and he told me that we it to a little. You know a little person. But it seemed to us it was a regular size up and regular size me. And then about two or three days later that girl's dad came came down river. He was doing a big cute July exactly the way we had seen that other guy. And in that time when I turned my back he had told me that we scientists and then sure enough that girl's dad came tearing up be huge long and
that's the end of my story. Chief Eddie Hoffman mittimus previous little people in the deep dark or of the upper crust or cream River Valley 19:3 who took a contract from Alaska with filmmaker Corey Pridgin of Pine Ridge and cook a contract for 200 for 20 Cordier wood. And we we had to cut. We never you know her fingers a chain saw or like we had we just saw an IMAX. So there was no no no timber to be got. And we went up about five maybe five or six miles below the mood and we were running a big patch of fire and burnt the tree you know burned all the spruce stuff made. We would go to that show the first night couldn't we sit there and you know we put our 10
we had two dogs we would. Somebody told you what a take two dogs with you. So we took the two dogs we did put them right by the door of the 10 you know. So we went to bed but 12 o'clock at night. Boy they were flying all over the wall row can and everything else and we went out to look you on this little tiny little sticks you know and we looked we never seen nobody. So we went back in again you know. And by golly we went to bed didn't boy them sticks was getting worse and worse. You know and we were and we couldn't sleep you know when it got to be daylight. That's the time we fell asleep because the day had
disappeared. So we went back up to the village and told them Guys and street we had that was the closest place that to happening down there. Oh he said this is this place where we cut and that is known as the village people are the only three to three feet high. But they control them sticks around here and now. And. By golly you know after after that. Night in the in our minds it's going to come back again. And by going to that same night with nobody from there on you know there was nobody no no sticks flying all over the place. It did. You know they knew that they knew that too.
I guess in the early days somebody was hurt and them you know trailers take back at them. And. Doing everything they can to get them off. And we never seen we never seen them no more after that. But then we talked to them quite a few religious river that had the same problem and you know that these people when they come out nobody see what you know what they are. Peter knows her the different from River community has been training the racing sled dogs for as long as he can remember. Also a master sled builder He's looked up to is a man who knows dogs and how to retrieve them. Addressing a recent gathering of elders he took the opportunity to relate this tale of closely encounter at an abandoned fall camp.
Our No no no no. You don't know this way. When I was a young man and went hunting I knew of a place where there was a house the only house there I was supposed to meet another hunter there. I was afraid to go there but too proud to admit it because I had the lead dog to protect me. We had been trapping men and gone without sleep for hours. When I was heading in the direction of the house when it seemed to appear out of nowhere I'm being beaten. The. Guy couldn't help thinking. I thought if anything want to get me could. So I brought my lead dog inside because I was too scared but he was the only company I had. I ate. I got very full and I laid down and went to sleep with my dog beside me. I remember during the night we used to have
sea lamps in the cabins that could light up the whole place. Sometimes there were three or sometimes four weeks. That lamp was really bright. Even so during the night I was really scared. My heart was pounding hard. I looked at the dog who was looking at the door as if something was happening. I don't know maybe these dogs are smarter than we are. I don't. Think. I know them and then I started to think that indeed something was going to come and get me. I sat still watching the door. Suddenly I saw a white fog come in and it stopped and then retreated. But I knew that would return and. The next time it'll be even worse or frightening.
So no. Mom. No nothing. I didn't go because the dog kept moving back and forth in front of me. I knew then the dog was afraid just like me. Really scared. As time went on the dog seemed to get even more nervous whining and crying when the dog looked back it wanted to bark and the fog came in again. I believe the dog was so scared he couldn't bark Bhagam even closer even closer than it did the last time. Then he retreated outside the house. More time to cool. Down. No need. For my philosophy. My dog was hiding behind me. He just wasn't himself. It was almost as if he was possessed or something. The dog started
pushing from behind with when it snows. And I started to wonder. Does the dog want me to get out for a moment. I wonder if I should stay. But I found myself packing and putting on my parka. Then I put on my hat and went out the entry way had a cloth covering the real entrance. Had a door no way. Then it came time to turn off the lamp. It was really dark. I tried to remember where the entryway was. I was really afraid of what I would bump into maybe be go. I went outside towards where the sun sets. I walked around the house following the path the sun takes. I did that because we were told to do that when we meet spirits. I went all the way around the house but I did not want to look around. I just kept my eyes to the ground so I wouldn't fall. I only had
three dogs so I got them ready and my lead dog just came up. I put his harness on his head and he did the rest by himself. Normally you got to put the dog's legs through the harness but he bent down and did the job all by himself. When we got ready to go I didn't look around at all. I just kept looking for the dog was looking. He wasn't looking around at all. I just kept looking for the lead dog was looking. And so when the dogs were all harnessed I said hike. And then we took off like a snow machine. Lol I was so scared the ghost might grab us from behind. Boy I was really amazed that my dogs. And my dog were telling me to go out of the house. His actions and you know ways of dealing with dogs.
Oh. Oh oh oh. God oh God. Oh my God. DAGNY. They ask why I need to fly me out there and not say sound bites. And then there is the story. I used to hear a very long time ago in the early days those men used to come to us and they meet us there need to sit down facing them watching me to sit still and man close to the story and tell them to listen carefully in the very early days ago I. Believe. These men. Several of them. Who quoted the same way again from the other side. At that time. They used to be worst men used to travel around together. And
then at the headwaters of. Kids around. After crossing many the they got into their canoes. Traveling with them. He was this man who was blind and could not see. But they took him along with them in their canoe. But then. Came. The water. Which. Was the headquarters. Which. He. Called. The Night. Who did not think a say day is up to you who died among them because the blind man was one of them and in the same village they didn't want to kill him but rather that he gets killed by falling in the water. So they took him and put him into a canoe and told him that nothing was going to happen to him that they would meet him no coming down the mountain.
And that they were going to kill. Him. When they could get into the canoe. And. Learn. To swim. But before they left they pushed the canoe out into the water. The what of. The. Men wants. To move over the phone and disappeared into the furling broad at the base of the waterfall. Soon it reappeared and it was not very pretty but it came back out or the tech couldn't just go. So I sat down to google I'd done clean out of the water and that man. Has to fall over the waterfall. We're still. Getting. In the. Mood. And some people try. To leave him to look good. So you go when the canoe was full.
Sure sure. The lame. Man was. Trying. So because the blind man was not killed. Decides to go. Play. With. Him. When the canoe was examined further the men saw something like a rock between the leaves of the plane and the food looked like the head and one of the men to wrap it around with resembled the face of a man under the face head seals their eyes and see that he looked very real and exactly like humans humans. The man took the head with them. And further down there were men heads were in later years the place where the men went to shore was settle down and live. That man was alone in the movies to see him when you were young. There were two more to go. Good
men choice. He told two of this took them to take the stone had up the mountain behind them and placed the head on top of the mountain. No one would bother you look good though who couldn't quite get the old stripe down street up and down. The elders the group of men instructing those who would take the head of the monk to say to the head as they had set it down. That's why we stay here. And so later on in the future our future generations through here they will use you as a reflection in later years. Young people when we begin to travel on our own. Used to go and see the head. But then again those who used to go and see the head on long trips
every spring. Then we found the river. We stopped to go and see them for some time people would come down the mountain very happy and see the head on the mountain. It's not that its disposition is very good and very happy and it looks like it is not hungry. Don't you see me eating my homepage Gahagan I mean 1927. The first time I was at the mountain and even though we had been to the mountain tops it was very flat. It was the time of the food probably the second time people had used to bring food. Under this time many people had died.
- Tales of the Tundra
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- MLA: “Tales of the Tundra.” KYUK, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. July 20, 2019. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_127-472v73xt>.
- APA: Tales of the Tundra. Boston, MA: KYUK, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_127-472v73xt