Pushing up the Sky
The Creator and
Changer first made the world in the East. Then he slowly came westward,
creating as he came. With him he brought many languages, and he gave a
different one to each group of people he made.
When he reached
Puget Sound, he liked it so well that he decided to go no further.
he had many languages left, so he scattered them all around Puget Sound and to
That's why there are so many different Indian languages
could not talk together, but it happened that none them were pleased with the
way the Creator had made the world.
sky was so low that the tall people
bumped their heads against it.
Some times people would do what was
forbidden by climbing up high in the trees and, learning their own words, enter
the Sky World.
the wise men of all the different tribes had a meeting to see what they could
do about lifting the sky.
They agreed that the people should get together and try to push it up
"We can do it," a wise man
of the council said, "if we all push at the same time. We will need all the
people and all the animals and all the elks when we push."
"How will we
know when to push?" asked another of the wise men. "Some of us live in this part of the
world, some in another. We don't all talk the same languages. How can we
get everyone to push at the same time ?"
puzzled the men of the council, but
at last one of them suggested that they use a signal.
When the time
comes for us to push, when we have everything ready, let someone shout
'Ya-hoh.' That means 'Lift together!' in all our languages."
wise men of the council sent that message to all the people and animals and
birds and told them on what day they were to
lift the sky.
poles from the giant fir trees to use in
pushing against the sky.
The day for the sky lifting
All the people raised their poles and
touched the sky with them. Then the
wise men shouted, "Ya-hoh!" Everybody
pushed, and the sky moved up a
"Ya-hoh," the wise men shouted a second time, and everybody
pushed with all his strength. The sky
moved a few inches more. "Ya-hoh," all shouted, and pushed as hard as they
They kept on shouting "Ya-hoh" and pushing until the
sky was in the place where it is
Since then, no one has bumped his head against it, and no one has
been able to climb into the Sky
Now, three hunters had been chasing four elks during all the
meetings and did not know about the plan.
Just as the people and
animals and birds were ready to push the
sky up, the three hunters and the
four elks came to the place where the Earth nearly meets the
The jumped into the
Sky World, and the hunters ran
When the sky was lifted, elks and hunters were lifted too.
In the Sky World they
were changed into stars, and at night even now your see them.
hunters form the handle of the Big Dipper.
The middle hunter has his
dog with him, now a tiny star.
The four elks make the bowl of the Big
We still shout "Ya-hoh!" when doing hard
work together or lifting something heavy like a canoe.
When we say
"Hoh!" all of us use all the strength we have.
Our voices have a higher
pitch on that part of the word, and we make
the 0 very long - "Ya-hooooh!"
back to stacks
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