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Replicating the War of the Ghosts Study


In groups of four or five perform serial reproductions of the War of the Ghosts story (below). Person A reads the original to Person B, B writes down his/her recalled version and then reads it to C, and so on. Compare the characteristics of your group’s reproductions with those of others in the class

The War of the Ghosts

One night two young men from Egulac went down the river to hunt seals, and while they were there it became foggy and calm. Then they heard war-cries, and they thought: “Maybe this is a war-party”. They escaped to the shore, and hid behind a log. Now canoes came up, and they heard the noise of paddles, and saw one canoe coming up to them. There were five men in the canoe, and they said:

“What do you think? We wish to take you along. We are going up the river to make war on the people”.

One of the young men said: “I have no arrows”.

“Arrows are in the canoe”, they said.

“I will not go along. I might get killed. My relatives do not know where I have gone. But you”, he said turning to the other, “may go with them”.

So one of the young men went, but the other returned home.

And the warriors went up on the river to a town on the other side of Kalama. The people came down to the water, and they began to fight, and many were killed. But presently the young man heard one of the warriors say: “Quick, let us go home: that Indian has been hit”. Now he thought: “Oh, they are ghosts”. He did not feel sick, but they said he had been shot.

So the canoes went back to Egulac, and the young men went ashore to his house, and made a fire. And he told everybody and said: “Behold I accompanied the ghosts, and we went to fight, many of our fellows were killed, and many of those who attacked us were killed. They said I was hit and I did not feel sick”.

He told it all and then became quiet. When the sun rose he fell down. Something black came out of his mouth. His face became contorted. The people jumped up and cried.

He was dead.


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