Davidialuk Alashua Amittu, Legend of the eagle who took the small girl to be his wife, c. 1965
Stone, 8 1/2 x 10 1/4 x 3 1/2 in. (21.6 x 26 x 8.9 cm)
Davidialuk wrote down the legend depicted by this sculpture, reproduced below:
Legend of the eagle who took a small girl to be his wife.
“This is the story of three young girls who played at being wives. One made believe she was the wife of a killer whale, the second of an eagle and the third, of a stone.
The first girl was taken by a real whale to an island across the sea. He kept her there for many days as his wife. One day, while the whale slept, the girl spotted a boat in the distance. Excited, she cried aloud, "A boat! A boat!" She realised her mistake, however, when the whale wakened and asked: “What was that you saw?" She lied quickly, telling him that it was only a fox and a rabbit walking together and that he should go back to sleep. This time, she waited quietly until the boat drew near and she was able to signal to be picked up. Even though the whale wakened and gave chase, he was too late to recapture his wife. The girl believes that she was taken to be the wife of a whale because of the game she played with the bone of the whale and she has never played that game again.
The second girl was pretending to be the wife of an eagle, using a bone of the eagle. A real eagle took her away to a high cliff from which she could not escape. After several days, she conceived the idea of braiding a rope of sinew. The eagle was a good provider and she was never hungry nor short of sinew. It took her several days of braiding and the work was so strenuous that the flesh of her fingertips wore off, exposing the bone. The eagle had great pity for her, not suspecting the cause of her difficulty. Finally, the rope was long enough and her only problem now was that the eagle was never away long enough for her to climb down the cliff. To make sure he would be away longer than usual, she sent him to get her some caribou meat. She knew the caribou were far away. The eagle, who enjoyed pleasing his wife, left right away and the girl he had taken to be his wife climbed down the cliff and ran safely to her home. Like the first girl, she believed this had happened because she had been playing at being a wife with the bone of an eagle and she never played that game again.
The third girl was pretending to be the wife of a stone. Singing to herself, she climbed a mountain with a stone in her arms. As she climbed higher, her arms turned to stone but she kept on climbing and singing. She didn't stop singing even when her legs had turned to solid stone. Soon her whole body, even her head, turned into stone and she could no longer climb or sing. She stayed in the same spot forever. Playing the wife of a stone, she had turned into stone and there was nothing anyone could do to bring her back to life.”
Davidialuk Alashua Amittu | Legend of the eagle who took the small girl to be his wife | c. 1965 | Alaska on Madison
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