Where Happiness Dwells, 1-2

[Beaver tribe, along two tributaries of the Beatton River :

Blueberry River (in BC) & Doig River (in BC & AB)]






Introduction : Trails of Time



Dane-zaa Creation Story



Tsa'a'yaa, the Culture Hero


pp. xiii-xvi pronunciation


apostrophe = glottalized (>)

underlining = retroflex

gh = <

ch =c^

sh = s^

zh = z^

j = dz^


iota subscript = nasalized (~)

acute accent = high-pitched

circumflex = falling-pitched

e = E

i = I

ii = i

u = U

uu = u



Introduction : Trails of Time


p. 1 the people & their gathering-place

Dane-Zaa 'real people'

"heaven is like Su Na chii k>chige, the summer gathering place where people from different bands met to sing and dance".

Su Na chii k>chige "the place where happiness dwells"



Dane-zaa Creation Story


pp. 10 summary of cosmogony

p. 10

"The creator, Yaak>ih Sade~ ..., draws a cross on the water as a way of establishing the four directions.

He or she {androgynous?} ... then sends animals down beneath the water's surface to bring back earth ... . Muskrat dives way down and brings back a bit of earth under his or her fingernails. The creator tells this earth to grow, and eventually it becomes large enough ... . ... the creator enters into conversation with the animal people, who already existed

in the creator's mind."

{or rather, in the Creator's dream}

p. 13 words for 'Deity' & for 'Heaven'

"storytellers often refer to the creator as Yaak>ih Sade~, which literally means "Heaven He's Sitting" but in a more abstract sense could be translated as

"motionless at the centre of the heavens."

{cf. Shinto Supreme Being "Master of the August Centre of Heaven"}

Yaak>ih in Dane-zaa Za'a'ge'> means "beyond the sky, heaven, or the heavens." {Heaven (of the deities) is 'beyond the sky'.}

Sade~ ... expresses ... sitting or being motionless."

pp. 14-18 cosmogony (narrative by informant Ch.Y.)

p. 14

"This land, this whole world, was created many times.

This story is about two or three of the {successive} worlds ... .

Long ago, someone stayed in a boat. ...

{According to S^an-hai-jin 17, "Di Ku's ... bamboo ... was so large that just one knot [joint, section] of it could be used to to make a boat." (HChM, s.v. "Di Jun", p. 97)}

He made a big cross. He floated that cross on the water.

{cf. the cross marked on the back of Cherokee primaeval deity Waterskate, skimming [cf. floating] upon the water's surface}

From the centre of that cross, he sent all the water animals down to find earth.

p. 15

Many tried ... . Then Chehk>aa, the little muskrat, ... dove down deep into the water and came back with a little bit of dirt. ...

[Yaak>ih Sade~] put

that earth at the centre of the cross. "You are going to grow," he told it. ...

{"Xirang was a kind of mythical soil that was able to grow ceaselessly by iteself." (HChM, s.v. "Gun", p. 127)}

p. 16

He gave us the ability to dream to heaven.

That is a place where Dreamers talk to one another."

{"Many experienced lucid dreamers can provide examples of meeting other lucid dreamers in dream space, conversing and interacting" (LDGIS, p. 223).}

"Tsa'a'yaa ["the Transformer"] began to follow the trails of the giant animals. ...

He killed one of the big animals. ...

p. 17

He cut its body up into pieces and threw the meat ... .

Every time a piece of that meat landed on the ground, it turned into a different animal."

"The animals remember that [Yaak>ih Sade~] provided for them.

When the winter is very hard, they start talking to him. They start praying. ...

[Yaak>ih Sade~] hears their voices. He answers them, and makes warmer weather return. ...

Each animal has a different song. ...

Swan, without dying, went straight to heaven. There is a song about this. ...

p. 18

[Yaak>ih Sade~] made himself.

{He dreamt into existence his own body.}

He made everything else in the same way he made himself. ...

{He dreamt into existence everything else as well.}

He made the big kettle ["the Big Dipper"] in the sky. ...

If the big kettle goes wrong, it is going to be the end of the world."

{According to the Puran.a-s, the R.s.i-s (stars of Ursa Major) are changed with each Manu-antara world-age.}

HChM = Lihui Yang & Deming An : Handbook of Chinese Mythology. Oxford U Pr, 2005.

LDCIS = Robert Waggoner : Lucid Dreaming : Gateway to the Inner Self. Moment Point Pr, Needham (MA), 2009.

{To "dream into existence" one's own body or anything else, would be to cause its egress out of the dream-world and its ingress into the waking-world.}

pp. 19 & 21 snatching of a song out of a dream : likened to carrying off of a person's arm [pulling one's arm; similar in meaning to (in English slang) "pulling one's leg", i.e., telling a tall tale]

p. 19

"They grab one song over there {in one dream} and then another one {in another dream}.

Over here when the dream is moving,

{Over to here (the waking-world), when the song is moving (out of the dream-world),

they wake up with that song over there."

they awaken holding in memory of [words and tune of] that song, the power-base whereof is located in yon dream-world.}

p. 21

"His dog changed itself into a tle~chuk ["big dog"]. ... "The earth is so big. Run around it!" he told him. ...

{Cf. the Maori myth about how the hound Ira-waru lengthened the land by walking along it.}

And when it returned, it brought back a person's arm. ...

{"Di Ku issued an imperial decree that ... anyone in the world ... bring back the enemy general's head ... . Panhu, a mythical dog in the royal palace, accomplished the mission" (HChM, s.v. "Di Ku", p. 100).}

He made its teeth out of metal."

{There is a mythical iron hound in the Taoist Netherworld of the dead.}



Tsa'a'yaa, the Culture Hero


pp. 26-7 swans

p. 26

"Swans ... can fly to heaven and return in the same body. ... Dreamers leave this world, fly to another one,

{The swan (Hamsa) is the animal-vehicle of god Brahma, whose name is now usually considered cognate with that of Morpheus, Hellenic god of dreaming.}

and return with songs and stories for the people they left behind on Earth.

When swans fly, their wings and bodies make the sign of a cross in the sky. {As doth the the wings-cum-body of every bird.} They remind people of the cross that [Yaak>ih Sade~] drew on the water ... . {Is it implied that this Cross somehow became the first swan?} ...

p. 27

Dreamers ... fly to ... where their relatives who have passed on {died} are still alive. They return with stories and songs from their relatives in heaven."

pp. 28-9 Tsa'a'yaa & the gigantic animals

p. 28

"He killed the giant animals. ...

He cut them into small pieces and threw them.

"That's how you will be named," he said to them. ...

Every type of animal came from there. ...

Some of the {giant} animals he didn't kill.

He just chased them under that place {chased them into the underground}.

That's why the land goes high {forming mountains}.

He also sent giant fish underneath, and that is why even today white men drill a hole to them {the fish} to get their {the fish's} fat.

The oil {petroleum, or rather tar} that they get is the fat of the giant

animals. ...

{The tar must all come from the giant fishes, for it is never found in the mountains, which underlie where the giant mammals were chased into the


p. 29

The [mountainrange-]ridges are the backs of these giant animals."

pp. 29-37 "Tsa'a'yaa begins his life as a boy named Swan."

p. 29

"When Swan was still young, his mother died. ...

Before his mother died, she told Swan's father,

"I like my son. I want you to find a good woman to look after him.

You should look for a woman from where the sun is the highest in the sky {the zenith}. ... You should just find a woman from where the sun is at dinner {lunch} time {noonday}. ..."

p. 30

... Then Swan and his father ... took that woman with them. ...

p. 31

She told him [Swan], "Every time you see rabbits, shoot them in the head. ..." ["a hunter whose wife is pregnant must never shoot an animal in the head."] ...

{While seeming to Swan that Swan's step-mother was implying a disinclination for herself to become praegnant with a child (lest any such child become a rival to Swan); yet nevertheless her secret intent may have been to charm Swan's external soul so that such soul would travel with the arrow into the rabbit's head (the only location in anyone's body that another's soul may be injected into such body). In cases of spirit-possession, the possessing-spirit commonly can be felt to entre the possessee's body by way of that possessee's head (usually the rear of the head).} [written Mar 20 2914]}

Then that woman put the rabbit Swan had shot under her dress. She killed it between her legs. As it died, the rabbit kicked and scratched her legs. ... . ... Swan's father went to sleep with that woman. He saw that she was all scratched up ... . ... Then that woman ... to Swan's father told ..., "Well, your boy did that. He threw me down and did that. ... He's stronger than me {I am}." Swan's father believed what she told him. ...

{It may be implied that Swan's soul was indeed stationed within the rabbit's body while the rabbit was dying, and that thus Swan was implicitly guilty of sexually violating his stepmother's body sexually. [written Mar 20 2014]}

p. 32

Swan and his father made a canoe.

They paddled far into the ocean ... . ...

Then they came close to the island. ...

As soon as Swan was out of sight, the old man ... got into the canoe and went out into the ocean. ...

Swan went all the way around the island, but ... he saw his father way out in the water. His father shouted to Swan, "I am leaving you here. ..."

p. 33

... Then he paddled back ... to his own country. ...

Swan put lots of pitch on the flat rocks of the island. ...

p. 34

The next morning ..., he found forty ducks and geese stuck in the pitch ... . ...

{"someone was taking his birds ... and so had laid sticks coated with birdlime" (AMO, cap. 14).}

p. 35

One day, he heard somebody singing way out in the water

{One of the Gandharva-s (singing gods, who are usually to be found in waters) is named /Haha/, possibly cognate with /gag/ (Strong's 1406) 'roof'.} {"he put the boy on the roof of the hut" (AMO, cap. 14).} {"on the roof, ... the ogre ... had very long hair ..., and [U]Hlakanyana managed to knit it, lock by lock, into the thatch ... . ... A hailstorm came along, and [U]Hlakanyana went ... " (M&LB).} {O-kuni-nusi tied "to the rafters" (HJM, p. 82) the very long head-hair of Susano-wo.}

and hitting the canoe like a drum. ...

{"the canoe ends up ... by an iguana" (MQu, p. 91).} {"the iguana dived into the river, carrying the whistle with him." (M&LB)}

p. 36

The woman ... ran into the water ... the water boiled. ...

{"naked women" (MQu, p. 91).} {"He helped her undress; ... she got in ... and she was ... boiled and dead." (AMO, cap. 14)}

p. 37

The [female] monster said to him, "... You stay with me."

So Swan lived with her. ... .

{Uthlakanyana cohabited with a Leopardess. (AMO, cap. 14)}

... the two children ... were smart and rolled themselves fast down a hill."

{Uhlakanyana asked to "throw it downhill." (M&LB)}

AMO, cap. 14 = "Uthlakanyana". In :- Stephen Belcher : African Myths of Origin. http://books.google.com/books?id=_hVD1Yepe6IC&pg=PT130&lpg=PT130&dq=

HJM = Michael Ashkenazi : Handbook of Japanese Mythology. ABC-CLIO, Santa Barbara (CA), 2003. http://books.google.com/books?id=gqs-y9R2AekC&pg=PA82&lpg=PA82&dq=

MQu = Enrique Florescano (transl. by Lysa Hochroth) : The Myth of Quetzalcoatl. John Hopkins U Pr, 1999. http://books.google.com/books?id=3HDprRxXsGsC&pg=PA91&lpg=PA91&dq=

M&LB = "Uhlakanyana" In :-Alice Werner : Myths And Legends Of The Bantu. http://books.google.com/books?id=HmAJAwAAQBAJ&pg=PT138&lpg=PT138&dq=

pp. 38-43 Tsa'a'yaa

p. 38

"Then Swan took an arrow and shot Wo,lii Nachii in the breast. ... But Swan shot her again and killed her.

{cf. heroine "Deianeira, who was wounded in the breast (so schol. Ap. Rhod. 1.1212-19a)." (EGM, vol. 2, p. 101)}

After that, Swan changed his name and took the name of Tsa'a'yaa. ...

[p. 30 "Tsa'a'yaa's name means "sun in the sky" because he ... is responsible for the sun's movements north and south with the seasons."]

p. 39

Big Man [Yaaetsi'i'ghadah "He Who Touches the Sky"] ... put Tsa'a'yaa inside one of his mitts ... . ...

{According to the Prose Edda 28 (UE, p. 67), Skry`mir (U`tgarda-loki) put a company of divine travelers into his glove.}

p. 40

Tsa'a'yaa walked backwards. ...

Tsa'a'yaa ran to a big hill, and Yaaetsi'i'ghadah couldn't follow him up. ...

Tsa'a'yaa shot down the hill and hit him in the throat. ...

p. 41

There was ... something like a beaver dam across. That was Big Woman, with legs that went up like two hills. ...

Chickadee landed on his shoulder. ...

Chickadee said, "Big Woman is lying on her back. When the wind comes, it knocks you down, and she puts you between her legs." ...

{goddess Hine-nui-te-Po said : "the little birds watch, excited and trembling. My vagina, where he must enter, is set with teeth of obsidian" (MC 7.3)}

Tsa'a'yaa got close up between Big Woman's legs before the wind came. ...

Tsa'a'yaa yelled "Hey," and the wind stopped.

When it stopped, he threw a big rock between her legs, and

{In the "vagina dentata ... episode ... the hero breaks out her [vaginal] teeth with a stone pestle" (YM, p. 280, fn. 49).}

p. 42

a big lightning bolt came out of her.

That was her power. ... He sent it into [the] sky. After that, the people saw the

lightning up in the sky. ...

{cf. "The flashes of lightning" ("MSI") with Hine-nui-te-Po.}

Tsa'a'yaa ... was really old, and he made himself young again three times. ...

{Sarpedon was able to (CW 19A -- HHHECH, App.) "live for three generations of mortal men and not waste away with old age."} {Starkadr lived (RG, p. 226) "three lifespans."}

He said to the ducks, "Give me one feather ... . Just one each." ... And they gave them ..., and he started to fly away up in the air. ...

{Daidalos "made a pair of wings" (GM 92.e). Also, Daidalos threaded (GM 92.i) the shell of a snail; and Hellenic /KoKHlo-/ 'snail' is apparently cognate with Skt. /S`iKH/ 'tress' : snails alternate their gendre; as likewise did heroine/hero S`ikh-an.d.in[i]. The latter part of this name, /an.d.in[i]/, is a reference to an egg (/an.d.a/), such as (HChM, s.v. "Chiyou", p. 93) "the egg of a goddess who was born from a maple tree."}

They saw him flying in the air with those birds, and everybody was hollering at him, and so he fell down. ...

{"The sound it made was so great that it prevented Chiyou from flying away." (HChM, s.v. "Chiyou", p. 93)}

p. 43

He fell right in front of all those people ... . ... They ... tied him up for use as a toilet. ... They use him for a toilet. ...

{In Ski`rnis-ma`l 35 ("FTG", p. 68), forcing of goddess Gerdr to drink "goats' piss" is threatened.}

So she untied him. ... Tsa'a'yaa killed her".

{"Susano-Wo became angry with Ukemochi, the food goddess, when she disgusted him by pulling food from her rectum ... , and ... he killed her" ("S-W").}

EGM = Robert L. Fowler : Early Greek Mythography. Oxford U Pr, 2013. http://books.google.com/books?id=scd8AQAAQBAJ&pg=PA101&lpg=PA101&dq=

UE = Snorri Sturluson (transl. by Heimir Pa`lsson) : The Uppsala Edda. Viking Society for Northern Research, London, 2012. https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=5&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CEkQFjAE&url=http%3A%2F%2Fvsnrweb-publications.org.uk%2FUppsala%2520Edda.pdf&ei=wvE6U8WZLczKsQTFkoGABQ&usg=AFQjCNFbwDZEALfJn9p7l-NpHV3iowiTKQ&sig2=OQshWkGFQktuBNoDXTQWeA

MC 7.3 = Maori Concepts ... 7.3. "Maui-tikitiki-a-Taranga". http://www.justice.govt.nz/publications/publications-archived/2002/guardianship-custody-and-access-maori-perspectives-and-experiences-august-2002/maori-concepts-of-guardianship-custody-and-access-a-literature-review#7.3

YM = A. L. Kroeber : Yurok Myths. U of CA Pr, Berkeley & Los Angeles, 1976. http://books.google.com/books?id=CrGUkuQx6MYC&pg=PA280&lpg=PA280&dq=

"MSI" = "Maui Seeking Immortality". Chapter XI of W. D. Westervelt : Legends of Maui. Honolulu : HI Gaz, 1910. http://www.sacred-texts.com/pac/maui/maui14.htm

CW = Hesiodos : Catalogue of Women.

HHHECH = Hugh G. Evelyn-White (transl.) : Hesiod, Homeric Hymns, Epic Cycle, Homerica. New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1922. http://www.bartleby.com/241/701.html

RG = Kimberley Christine Patton : Religion of the Gods. Oxford U Pr, 2009. http://books.google.com/books?id=8vmJcw1WBtQC&pg=PA226&lpg=PA226&dq=

"FTG" = Britt-Mari Na,sstro,m : "Freyja the Trivalent Goddess". In :- Erik Reenberg Sand & Jo/rgen Podemann So/rensen (edd.) : Comparative Studies in History of Religions. Museum Tusculanum Pr, 1999. pp. 57-74. http://books.google.com/books?id=TU_H79-CtucC&pg=PA68&lpg=PA68&dq=

"S-W" = "Susana-Wo". http://www.fofweb.com/History/HistRefMain.asp?iPin=JMAZ506&SID=2&DatabaseName=Ancient+and+Medieval+History+Online&InputText=%22Inari%22&SearchStyle=&dTitle=Susano-Wo&TabRecordType=Subject+Entry&BioCountPass=0&SubCountPass=23&DocCountPass=0&ImgCountPass=1&


Robin Ridington & Jillian Ridington : Where Happiness Dwells : a History of the Dane-zaa First Nations. U of BC Pr, Vancouver, 2013.