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The Sea Monster and the bride a program in the series ways of mankind presented under the supervision of Walter Goldschmidt anthropologist of the University of California Los Angeles by the National Association of educational broadcasters a series designed to show dramatically how human beings live together in different times and places. The Sea Monster and the bride is the third of four programmes prepared to offer you with the experience of living as your rock Indians lived within their stone age culture. Dr. Goldsmith you know rock Indians had a way of life in many ways not so different from our own but to be sure they lived largely on acorns and salmon. Their houses were dugouts roofed over by cedar planks. They had no metals no writing no agriculture no flocks or herds. We would certainly be lost if we tried to understand their religious ceremonies and you know as I said there are many points of similarity here I believe that any person can get ahead if he works hard keeps trying and doesn't let pleasure interfere
with their own Horatio Alger tales of boys with pluck and luck. And this is based on one of them told us a true story. They also believe in romantic love. Many people marry according to kinship for convenience or pre-arrangement not so the euro they fall in love with one and only though they must buy her with Iraq money. We will find in this story a familiar pattern of behavior though hedged about by different customs. Just because the feel about marriage success and virtue very much as we do. I stood at the edge of the crowd watching the light from the fires touch the faces and bodies of the dancers as they moved. Everything was exactly as it should be. That was good because of a dance ceremony is not conducted in just the right way the salmon will stay in their ocean home beyond the sky and not come to our river. But as I watch this dance I knew the
salmon would come and it would be a good fishing year. The dances were properly painted with deer marrow and didn't make one misstep as they circled the fires. I could see the married women getting the food ready to leave here and it could be any two it was good but there was so much food because it meant that this dance was outfitted by a very rich man who did not skimp with his donations. The salmon would respect this and be even quicker to come up the river. By that time treat me. I started thinking how someday I would be rich and able to outfit many dances. I closed my eyes dreaming of the money I would have. Countless strings have been tailing him shows many bands of scarlet woodpecker crests and maybe even a white deer skin. Those woodpecker had then for the next stand. Careful then when I open my eyes I saw her. There were two girls standing at the end of the clearing talking to each other. One was fat but the other was the most beautiful girl I had ever seen.
Her hair was long and glossy. The plates tied with strips of mink fur. Her basket kept that close to her head and a buckskin dress. There must have been 15 scarlet woodpecker crests hanging from the fringes of that dress. She stood straight and slim and I knew she wasn't a glutton about food the way a friend probably was such a girl would have fined small babies. Did you ever see anything like that. You know what. Will as well. The way he walks around acting like she's the wife of a rich man. What about you know their husbands. It is a dance in the light I suppose. And what do you think I heard about her last child. What. She only steamed it over the five of four days after I was born. Everybody knows when you don't steam a baby for the full 10 days that you know what. You know I am listening. Yes I am of course I am who you know you're not you're just staring. Oh. Now I see what you're so interested in. Well
again sadly you know he's wonderful looking isn't it. He has the look of a man whose father is rich beautiful headband he's wearing. And that didn't take him necklace. She had her hardly broken. You've never seen him. He's coming over here. I was wondering when he worked up the courage. He's been staring at us hard enough to know how do I look. Fine as usual. I wish my father had your father's money. Oh if I'd only one minute necklace I meant to bring. Hello hello. It's a very fine bench. No no it was Father outfit. He's a very rich man whom men don't talk so much. Your father wrote for the stance. Yes. But you don't live here. No my house is upstream. I know the town I'm from upstream myself way up almost to where the other river comes in. I'm called Tregony.
I'm here I can tell you whatever dancing. How do you for the past. What didn't you say you were hungry a while ago. Well I was but. Oh all right I'll go. But mind you come along soon your father will be looking for you. It's a very fine dance. Yes I said that tonight. Look why don't we walk down to the river. We can be back before the dancing is oh I can't do that sugar My father's a rich man. Yes of course. I suppose he's already promised you to some men. No but there are men who want to marry you. Only if you or my father wants a great deal of money for me whatever he wants you're worth it. If it's really a great deal of money that could be the only reason why you're not already married. There's one man whose father is very rich is named. He said he was going to send somebody to speak to my father soon. Do you want to marry him. Well. Towm isn't handsome. He eats everything in his food basket but he is from a good family.
You know what can I send somebody to speak to your father. I think my father would like it very much. Then I'll do it soon. The morning after the dance I paddled in and I was that age I wanted to show our father I was a good your rock strong a hard worker a man who lived by the rules at Dun I went into the hills to gather wood as a gift for Opus White House the sun was high when I came in sight of his family house. It truly belonged to a rich man. The wooden roof was built in three sections. The door was perfectly round as the entrance to a woodpecker's house with carvings over the top. As I approached a bunch of dogs rush toward me and began yapping on the still back to the house. That is what is it. Here's a bit of wood for your sweat house. So I see thanks.
I don't think I've met you before. I'm from the house of rogue from upstream. I've heard of Rogue. He's been able to outfit a few dances. Maybe you would like to sweat yourself. It would be good of you to let me use your sweat house. I purified myself in the sweat house till I could no longer stand the heat. Then I crawled out of the narrow exit and plunged into the icy river. But it took me to his family house and had food brought all of the time I felt him watching me my wife bring you some more ACORN soup. Thanks I've had plenty then a bit more dried salmon plenty there's still some in my food basket so there is. You've got man a straight guy you're not a doctor. I think I'd better be going now. Don't rush off. There's something you want to talk to me about. Well I thought so.
When a young man comes to see an older man and when the older man has three daughters old enough to be married I'll send my go between As soon as I can go so that I thought you were some of his go between. Which one of my daughters but it would be better if you talk about this with your go between. Yes of course. Send him straight or I'll be waiting. I went upstream to my town and found my friend. He agreed to act as my go between when we returned I waited out of sight among some trees near Opus house while Kuala went into the sweat house. He was gone for a long time. I tried to concentrate only on money for money helps the Pura purify the mind. But my thoughts kept straying to Managua. I knew the price for her would be high maybe as much as seven strings of second large Intelli and shells. Finally I saw a qual walking toward me.
What did he say. He's very glad you want to marry me. How much does he want. He said it's good you want to marry a girl outside your own village shows enterprise how much does he want. It's a high price trade on. I wouldn't want her for my wife if the price were low. Well first of all he wants a red obsidian blade and two boats. That's easy. One of my uncles left me a fine obsidian blade when he died. How many strings have been Terry in ten. Ten string. I know I argued with him but he wouldn't hear of anything less said that's what he paid for and I was another 10 string also it said an NRI was well worth it. Talked about how she gathers twice as much wood as his other daughters. Now she makes the finest baskets. How she's not a glutton and is sure to have nice small babies. But where will I get ten strings. It's a lot but you shouldn't have too much trouble. Your father's rich you'll be glad to give it to you.
I hope so. I certainly hope so. It was late that afternoon when I reached home my father was in the sweat house counting the Intelli in shows and polishing them with a fine piece of deer skin. Father don't interrupt me when I'm counting money. Father I want to get married I. Want to get married and I suppose you come to me for the payment. You are my father. Yes. Well who's the girl. Somebody from my time her father's from the house of oh but oh but. He's a rich man isn't he. He outfitted one of the dancers I reckon I suppose he wants a lot of money for this daughter of his. She's a fine girl father she. Yes I'm sure he wants a lot of money. Seems to me straight gone you could have picked a girl from your own town I don't like any of the girls from here out of for instance nothing wrong with her and I've already spoken to her father. I don't have to pay three strings of dentate And if you married her I don't want either and why not because I want to know what she's the only one I want.
I see. And me that money pouch. You're going to give me the money for I'm going to put these shadows away where they'll be safe. How much does OP want for his daughter. Five Strings of them tell you. 10 strings 10 strange Opus a rich man father and saw you strings one at a hundred and twenty shows. Yes father I know three strange trade one. Listen oh my life I've dreamed of being able to outfit two dances in the same seat. I know but now in my old age I'm going to be able to do it. You could give me the money and still be able to articulate and he's a guy and you know why don't you go to open it and tell him your work for him live in his house until his daughter is paid for I don't want to have a marriage by not. Many young men do it. I want to marry now in a full honorable marriage. I want my children to belong to me not open.
Are you going to give me the money father out of the question Father out. I have that question. All right I'll get the money by myself. I wasn't as sure of myself as I sounded getting money was no easy job. I'd have to spend many days and nights gathering ceremonial wood for the sweat house and crying to the spirits for money. I decided that before I began to concentrate only on money I would go once more to Siena Nava. Shrake I'm straight and I'm so glad you're here. I had to see you. I kept hoping you'd be back soon. We can be married before you know. There's something wrong. My father won't give me the money. Oh this is awful. Don't worry I'm going to get that money myself. It may take a little while to recover. Today the man I told you about that wants to marry me that he sent a go between to my Father Time and sent word he could have the marriage price whenever my father was ready. What did your father say that you had already spoken to him about me.
That the first choice is yours if you have the money I'll get it. All I need is a little time just a little time. I don't want to marry too. He has the money now. When your father finds out that I don't speak to tell him I want to wait for you ask him to put two and a half he'll do that for me. Ever since I saw you wrecker I thought of nobody yet. And I was. Right. Not well no sure if I have a baby before I married my value will be nothing. My father could never get any money for me. If you don't want a wife you've paid nothing firm. Do you. Do you struggle. No. No. You're absolutely right and I will. There's another dance at record after the new moon. When I see her then no. No you won't
for a long time. I'll be thinking about nothing but money. And that's exactly what I did. I ate nothing but then a corn soup and drank no water at all. Each day I sweated in the sweat house to purify myself. I slept as little as possible everywhere I went. I cried to the spirits for money hoping it would fly to me from its home across the sea. And as my eyes sharpened I began to see the image I've been telling him shadows hanging from the trees like leaves dancing on top of the Spirit rocks and lurking in the deep pools as big as a large salmon. Then I knew what the Spirit said heard me and one day I would be rich. But meantime oh put my lotto on Marion and then early one morning as I walked along the bank of the river I saw my uncle standing by as boat a little way upstream.
I ran toward him. Uncle. You've been away a long time but I've been thinking long enough to hear things about you like what you want to get married and rollback won't give you the money and afraid you're right stingy. Since we're young together explain like that of course he's a rich man and does outfit dances with stingy uncle. Yes you are the only other wealthy kinsman I have. How much do you need. I've got the red obsidian blade but I have to have ten strings of second large entirely and ten strings. That's a lot of money for a wife her father is very rich and you should seem strong and slender as I was yes I know I'm sure you could stand here talking about her for not A-list guy falls down. I tell you what I have to take my boat down stream. Come with me we'll talk on the way.
I'm coming to it just be patient. You remember last year the man from which Paco fish did my fishing place and went off without giving me the tails of the salmon he got. I remember you went after him to get your payment. He started a fight and you had to kill him. I didn't want to. He was a rich man and I knew the price for killing him would be high. But when he refused to pay me for the fish you take it and then started fighting. I had no choice naturally. Well I've been upstream negotiating with his family. They drive a high buck and I have to pay them six strings have been telling me here for the next three years. So you won't have any money left to lend me. I'm glad you understand so quickly. I'd like to help trade on but I don't know what I'm going to do. I've cried after money for many days.
Have you seen dental human the trees. Yes and in the deep pools too. Then it will come to you. Just give it time. But there are others who want to marry now I see. When they say there is a quicker way to get money you could battle the Sea Monster the sea monster. If a man swims by night across the river where it meets the ocean and defeats the Sea Monster in wrestling he's bound to become a strong Hunter and get money quickly. But the battle of the Sea Monster. Have you the courage for several days I purified my thoughts and gathered my strength and one night just after dark I arrived at the mouth of the river. There was no moon but the sky was full of stars. I climbed onto a big rock overlooking the river and listened to the pounding of the waves. The Rock. Felt. Cold and wet under my bare feet. And my knees were trembling a little as I looked down at the black water. Somewhere in the darkness the Sea
Monster was looking. Waiting for me. For a moment I hesitated. Then I thought of how strong and rich I'd become if I defeated the monster. I took a deep breath and dove into the water was so cold it took my breath away. I swam as hard as I could toward the other shore. And the. Instant I expected to see the head of the monster jump out of the water. But there was nothing. On the waves. Then I felt something grabbing at my ankle. I kicked her but it would hit a record of my other leg and pulled. I couldn't stay on top of the water. I thrashed out with both arms but it was scary. I was lying on my back. My whole body ached and I couldn't open my eyes but I became aware of the sound of birds.
I knew there were no birds in the land of the dead so I must be alive. When I finally opened my eyes and sat up I looked straight into the face of a man are you a spirit. Who are you. First I thought you were a sea lion sewn up on the beach and then when I got closer so you looked like a man. But you came out of the ocean so you must be a spirit. On the other hand I have never heard of a spirit being covered with bruises the way you look. I thought the sea monster. You don't say. When was this last night. You're still alive so you must have one. Yes I won. Now I fought with the Sea Monster did you. You must want to be pretty strong under very badly. I have to be a good hunter. I wish I had enough nerve to fight the sea monster. We haven't had any luck hunting all year. Now I knew I could do it. When a man has battled the sea monster he is afraid
of nothing. I had the courage to follow even the smallest and least known trails to where there was no trail where no your rock ever went. For four days nothing happened but on the morning of the fifth day I heard it. I looked around half way up a tall tree was the largest red crested woodpecker I'd ever seen. I thought it had an arrow in my bow. Let it fly and hit him. I started over to pick him up off the ground and suddenly the forest seemed on Live with woodpeckers. I could hardly put I was in my bowl quickly enough even the playing of the. But the string didn't frighten them away because I had deep in the sea monster and he was using his power for me. But five more days I hunted each day was the same birds hammering at the tree. But on the tenth day suddenly I saw no birds not even a crow. I had killed forty three woodpeckers. I tied the
scalps in a leather thong and started home. Now to sell the crests. They were worth the least seven strings but I'd try to get eight. There was a man in our town called will be who but would take a crest whenever he could. He was a hard bargain or known both for his wealth and his reluctance to speak. Show them here they are forty three large woodpecker crests. Have you ever seen such beauties. Look at them. How much they're the finest crest I've ever seen anywhere in our whole country where you find such crests. There were 12 strings of second large Intelli and shells five strings. Now we'll feel them down on those crests. Think what a headband they'll make. You know they're worth every bit of twelve strings. But because you're from Tom you can have them for 10
six strings. There's a man down river looking for a woodpecker scalps. Seven strings. Not many woodpeckers killed this year. He'll pay me eight strings I'll go see him wait. Strings. That's better. They're yours for eight strings for eight strings. They're yours. I want to talk to you if I have cards for a gun and we'll go into this but we can talk here. You've come to tell me you've changed your mind. You're ready to marry at all you know. Then it must be you're ready to make a half marriage within an hour and live it up at tops. That's a fine decision my boy. You shouldn't be ashamed of it. Many young men make half married you know I'm not going to have to marry and I want I came to tell you I've just sold some woodpecker crests to will be for eight strings of them tell you why did you get them. I shot them father. I fought the sea monster.
Well you'll be a wealthy man and yet I'm proud of you sure I got the price for a novel is ten strings. Will you give me the other two strings. Now straight ahead to strings for a gun. Even in the few days you've been away things have changed. I find now you know that if I don't spend too much for food and ornaments I can outfit not two but three dances. Just a little skimpy you know understand. Think of it. I'd be the first man in this town to outfit three taxis two strings that's all I ask lead not going to give them to you. You've got eight strings. Buy yourself a less expensive wife. I'm going to marry an NRA and I think you ought to know. We're not going to live with you not going. You can't do that Trayvon. I won't allow it. The tradition says a son brings his wife to live in his father's house. Tradition also says a father should give his son marriage not refuse to hear one more word of this disrespect your wife belongs in my house.
She has to do her share of the work for me not men momma and not me either. Good bye father. Sure I got. Come back come back not to you father. Not as long as I live. Back on deck to talk money with me have you. Yes but I have. Then you have the ten strings. Well no I have eight strings. That wasn't a bargain we made. I know but I want to make a new bargain if you let me marry Nama I'll give you eight strings now and five more within three years time. Thirteen strings sounds interesting but how could I be sure you'd pay the rest.
I got these eight since last I saw you. I get the other five long before the time is up. You mean your father didn't give you the strings. I thought the sea monster. Then I shot forty three woodpeckers traded their crests to work. Sure a gun I'll be frank with you is ready to pay the marriage price every day he pesters me to let him air in and out while he's waiting in this warehouse right now. I promised him a definite answer today and you've already made up your mind. Not quite. How go talk with her on no. You wait here. It's Reagan you know I was hiding back of that tree I heard everything you and my father said. Maybe I'll take my offer I don't know. Last night he told my brother he was going to lotto and marry me. I couldn't sleep the whole night. Everything's going to be alright. You wait and see the phratry condoms.
Here he comes now but he looks so grim I'm sure he's going to make me marry too. I don't want to marry him I don't leave us than our father. Yes yes father. I've made my decision. Yes. There's a rich man. He's offered me the price I asked for. I understand his is a good family and wealthy family they're important people in our town. Yes his father and I have been leaders of the ceremonies here. We're good friends. I see. But John isn't my idea of a good New York. You sre gone. He was strong and industrious when I first saw you you were carrying a load of sweat house wood good ceremonial wood from the Hill. Yes I was just a moment I'm not through. You fought the sea monster that took real courage. You understand the importance of money. You sweat
yourself for purification eat moderately. You and I are people who know how to live by the rules. Then you're going to give know now what to me. She's yours for the eight string. Yes and of course the five more later on. You're a good you're actually a good euro. In the serious ways of mankind presented under the supervision of Dr. Walter Goldschmidt associate professor of anthropology and sociology of the University of California Los Angeles. You have heard the Sea Monster and the bride. The third of four programs designed to offer you with the experience of living as your rock Indians lived within their stone age culture. The consultant was Dr Alfred Kroeber professor emeritus of anthropology of the University of California. The script was by Charles Israel and was produced by Andrew Allen in the studios of the
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Toronto. These programs are presented by the National Association of educational broadcasters and are made possible under a grant from the fund for adult education an independent organization established by the Ford Foundation. This program was distributed by the national educational radio network.
Ways of mankind II
Sea-Monster and the bride
Producing Organization
Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
National Association of Educational Broadcasters
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program, "The Sea-Monster and the Bride," is the third of a series on the Yurok Indian culture and focuses on marriage customs.
Series Description
This series is an exploration into the origin and development of cultures, customs and folkways in various parts of the world. The second series of Ways Of Mankind is concerned with a specific subject area and with two specific cultures.
Broadcast Date
Yurok Indians.
Media type
Embed Code
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Funder: Fund for Adult Education (U.S.)
Producer: Allan, Andrew, 1907-1974
Producing Organization: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Producing Organization: National Association of Educational Broadcasters
Speaker: Sarrel, Philip M., 1937-
Writer: Sinclair, Lister
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 53-36-9 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:39
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Chicago: “Ways of mankind II; Sea-Monster and the bride,” 1964-05-06, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 23, 2024,
MLA: “Ways of mankind II; Sea-Monster and the bride.” 1964-05-06. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 23, 2024. <>.
APA: Ways of mankind II; Sea-Monster and the bride. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from