The legend of Ayas

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Title: âtanôhkân wêskac, pêyak kishê-'iniw ê-itâtanôhkâsot okisisa âyâs kâ-ishinihkâson'ci - The legend of Ayas

Speaker: Simeon Scott

Dialect: Swampy Cree

Age Level: 6


In this story, there is an old man who doesn't treat his wife properly and his son, Ayas, disapproves. One day, the father tricks his son into coming with him and leaves him on a faraway island with no way to return home. A horned water creature comes to Ayas's rescue but is killed when Ayas doesn't warn him of the approaching storm. Feeling guilty, Ayas meets his grandmother who feeds him and gives him items for the long and dangerous journey back home: a sleeping-skin, a mink-skin, and a pointed stick. Ayas leaves his grandmother and travels into many wigwams on his way home, tricking and killing the people he meets with his grandmother's tools until finally finding his way home to his mother. He discovered, however, that his mother was living idly because his father had found another woman and had a child by her. Therefore, he instructs his mother to build a fire and throw the child into it to kill it, and when it is done, the father comes out and is outraged until he sees his lost son, Ayas, whom he treats very finely now. Ayas, on the other hand, fashions two arrows and kills his father and his second wife and makes them burn in such a way that the father becomes the "Ghost-smokes", and the wife becomes a stone defaced with mud and white moss. Ayas becomes the tamarack alongside the lagoon, used for snow-shoes.


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