Once upon a time there were family had a daughter at Point Hope. Their daughter become nice looking lady. When their daughter became lady, nice looking young men from Point Hope or different village visit this nice looking lady, and ask her to become wife but this lady always refuse them. Not really refuse them, but she always told them if they were better Eskimo dancer than her, she will become wife to best Eskimo dancer.
One time one of the young men come over to see her. He had needle case with him made out of ivory. This nice young good looking lady had her own home by that time then, and the young man come into her home. When young man come in lady saw needle case. Gee, it look good to her.
She said to young man, “What you got there with you? I want to see it.”
Young man give it to her. Lady got hold of it, look it over — the needle case.
She said, “Gee, this look good to me. I like it, suppose we get together and become wife and husband and went out whaling this spring and caught whale and put up big feast. After big feast and Na-lee-ka-tuk (blanket toss game) we have dance. I wonder how we look like when we dance together.
They both start dancing and after they get through dancing lady trun around to this young man and she said, “I’m not going to become your wife because you not much of Eskimo dancer.”
And the lady took the needle case — let the young man go.
Few days after another young man had lady knife (oo-loo — that the name for woman knife). When young man came in lady saw lady knife; and lady ask young man just like she did not know what the man got. Young man gave it to her. Lady got hold of it, she was surprise to see lady knife.
The lady say, “I was hoping long time to have lady knife made, so I got it now. Suppose we get together, become ife and husband and went out whaling this spring and caught whale, and after whaling we put up big feast for all people at Point Hope. After feast we had Na-lee-ka-tuk, and dance. I wonder how we look like when we do Eskimo dance together.”
So they started Eskimo dance. After they dance lady turn around and face young man and said to him, “I’m sorry. I not going to become your wife becuase you don’t know how to Eskimo dance.”
So the lady took the knife and let the young man go.
Third young man was a poor boy, he got no parents, just grandpa. So this poor boy take a visit to this nice looking young lady. But he was poor boy, nothing to take with him, so he took sinew with him. When he came into this lady home he hide them sinew. When poor boy came in lady saw him and she ask him what he got with him. Poor boy did not tell her. But the lady keep asking him, so the poor boy told her what he brought her, Lady was very please for them sinew. She have them in her hand for long while.
Eskimo lady say to poor boy, “After whaling is over I make you fancy mukluk also for myself — I will use these sinew. Then we will have big feast for all people at Point Hope. After we caught whale at spring time, and we have Na-lee-ka-tuk and Eskimo dance. I was just wonder how pair of us look like when we dance together.”
So they start Eskimo dance. After they through with first dance she said to poor boy, “let us do it again.”
So they start dance again. After they get through with last Eskimo dance she turn around to this poor boy.
She said, “You nearly got me this time but you didn’t make it.”
And the poor b oy turn to her, “I am going to tell my grandpa!” he say, and run out.
After poor boy went out nice looking young lady sit down on top of deer skin on the floor and start sewing. While she was sewing she heard something. It get closer every time when finally she hear it clearly. It was poor boys grandpa.
Old man was saying, “It was me, poor boys grandpa. You was refusing them nice looking young men and good hunter for these years. So I am going to have you for myself.”
And the nice good looking lady got mad, tried to get up, but she can’t move. She was paralyzed. Finally old man show up —coming up to nice looking lady—walking on hand and knee, he got too old, can’t stand on his feet. But the nice looking lady becomes his wife. None of the young men like her anymore.
*This story was originally published in I Am Eskimo: Aknik My Name by Paul Green. The book was published in 1959 and can be found at Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Am-Eskimo-Aknik-My-Name/dp/0882405888/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1527633739&sr=8-1&keywords=i+am+eskimo+aknik+my+name&dpID=513cbIPV6HL&preST=_SX218_BO1,204,203,200_QL40_&dpsrc=srch