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catherine attla Dotson’ Sa Ninin’’atłtseen Great Raven Who Shaped the World In the time very long ago there were people and there was a village. And then there were big animals . . . Before our time it’s said that there were giant animals in the world. (In story time there were big animals around here of all different kinds, it’s said.) Those will go into the water. They informed a man of this. If you don’t kill them all, it will flood. That’s as long as the world will last, they said. And there was a man, a very strong person, [to whom they said], ‘‘These big animals will go into the water. If you don’t kill them all and they go into the water, it will flood,’’ they said. So, ‘‘All right, I’ll kill them and then the world will remain as it is,’’ he said. Those are their big bones that they find every now and then. It’s said that they existed in story time. And the Great Raven said, ‘‘Make a raft.’’ He [Raven] began building a raft. They built a BIG raft. It wasn’t something built right away. And meanwhile the world was about to be taken back.1 It was coming to that time. catherine attla: great raven who shaped the world  It really took a long time [to build the raft]. How long they worked on it! Then they finished it. Now the water began to rise, it began to rise. Meanwhile he arranged all the different kinds of animals in pairs, all the animals that exist now, all of those, he began putting on the raft. They all went on the raft with him. They put food on it. Meanwhile, the whole world was now being flooded. So all these animals, and also the water mammals, all of the flying things, he crowded them all onto the raft in pairs. In the future, when the world is remade, all these good animals will exist [and that’s why he put them on the raft]. Now the raft began floating around with them [on it]. It began floating around with them. The food that they had put on board was being used sparingly now. I don’t know how long that raft was floating along with them. Then [they decided to] go looking for land in every direction. When the Great Raven was building the raft, the seagulls and the robins were the biggest helpers in building the raft, it used to be said, they say. Now a seagull and the Raven said, ‘‘Let’s fly around the sky in opposite directions. We’re going to fly around in opposite directions in search of land,’’ they said. They took off in opposite directions now. They were gone a lo——ng time. They met each other at the end of the earth. They had flown in a complete circle [around the world]. There was no land. There was really nothing. There was ONLY water, all over the world. They were running out of food now. Then, ‘‘How about [you] water animals,  Koyukon those that can go under water and stay a long time, how about going under water in search of land,’’ he [Raven] said. Now they began searching downward. They kept diving. But water kept pushing and pushing all of them back up and out. Then, to everyone’s surprise, a muskrat was gone for a long, long time. Bubbles kept coming up and coming up. Then finally he came up from below, with just a li——ttle mud, he came swimming back up holding it to himself. The beaver and he began helping each other. Then they all began doing that again and again. Then they began making the raft into land [by piling mud on it]. During story time, they really used to perform a lot of magic [transforming objects into other things]. They also used to bring people back to life by closing their eyes. Things happened just the way they wished [because they wished] using medicine power. The medicine power then was very strong. And it’s said that when it flooded, the sinh taala’ 2 apparently floated to a faraway land. For that reason they used to say there would come a time when there would be no more medicine people in our country. Now the land came back into existence all over the world. Now plants were growing...


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