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UBC Theses and Dissertations

The northwest coast sisiutl Paterson, Roderick Paul 1975

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THE NORTHWEST COAST SISIUTL t y RODERICK PAUL PATERSON B.A., University of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1972 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n the Department of ANTHROPOLOGY AND SOCIOLOGY We accept th i s thesis as conforming to the /required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA May, 1975 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make i t freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the Head of my Department or by his representatives. It i s understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of Q/• j T{~(R.OpOL O C Y The University of B r i t i s h Columbia Vancouver 8, Canada i i ABSTRACT This thesis comprises an investigation of the formal struc-ture, iconography and iconology of a being mythically and v i s u a l l y represented on the Northwest Coast of North America, the s i s i u t l or double-headed serpent. The following arguments are made or are i m p l i -c i t i n the body of the paper: 1. The prime reason for the importance of s i s i u t l i s that i t i s seen by the peoples of the Northwest Coast as a supernatural being whose powers are d i r e c t l y accessible to them, and as one who w i l l i n t e r -cede with the other supernaturals on behalf of those humans who have obtained i t s help as a guardian. 2. Shamanism and s i s i u t l are strongly associated with each other be-cause of the role of s i s i u t l as mediator; the position of the shaman i n human society, that i s , as one who has contact with both the natural and supernatural worlds, i s p a r a l l e l l e d by the s i m i l a r attributes of s i s i u t l . 3. The central face seen so often on representations of s i s i u t l , here referring s p e c i f i c a l l y to the Kwakiutl primary variant, generally represents BaxbakualanuXsiwae, the cannibal s p i r i t ; but, as shown by the fact that other supernaturals are sometimes depicted i n this central position, BaxbakualanuXsiwae i s actually representative of the supernaturals as a group. This i s so because BaxbakualanuXsiwae i s the most important character involved i n the sacred winter dance i i i cycle of the Kwakiutl. The face seen in association with the northern variants of s i s i u t l apparently represents the "Princess who suckled the grubworm", a being described in a myth shared by the Tlin g i t , Tsimshian and Haida. S i s i u t l , the Kwakiutl primary variant of the double-headed ser-pent, i s echoed i n similar beings of the Tsimshian, T l i n g i t , Bella Coola, Nootka and Haida groups. S i s i u t l occurs in many Kwakiutl myths, but i t i s an established supernatural s p i r i t with many attributes and no myth of origin. This fact supports the notion that the character s i s i u t l originated among the northern tribes and was adopted by the Kwakiutl. In addition, the question of visual a f f i n i t y among the Northwest Coast s i s i u t l andsisutl-like beings in Shang/Chou China and seven-teenth-nineteenth century New Zealand i s b r i e f l y addressed. This investigation indicates that structurally-oriented inquiry into phenomena far removed from each other in space and time i s more productive than research based on diffusion theory. i v TABLE OF CONTENTS Page Abstract i i L i s t of I l l u s t r a t i o n s v i Acknowledgements i x CHAPTER I Introduction j_ I I Definitions and Methods 8 I I I Pre-Iconographic Description: Primary Variant i j_ - D i s t i n c t i v e Elements and Compositional Arrangements 11 IV Brief Description and Iconography: Secondary Variants 15 - Dunts'iqs 15 - Soul Catchers 18 - Head and Neck Rings 20 - Northern Variants of s i s i u t l 21 - S t y l i z a t i o n 21 V Iconography and Iconology: A l l Northwest Coast Variants 22 - Discussion of D i s t i n c t i v e Elements: Table 1 22 - Double-Head Representation and Central Face I d e n t i f i c a t i o n 25 - S i s i u t l and BaxbakualanuXsiwae 26 - The Central Face i n the North 30 - Iconology: The Role of s i s i u t l 32 V TABLE OF CONTENTS (Continued) Page CHAPTER VI S i s i u t l and Shamanism 36 VII P a c i f i c Rim P a r a l l e l s : The Northwest Coast s i s u t l and s i s u t l - l i k e Beings i n China and New Zealand 43 VIII Conclusions 53 I l l u s t r a t i o n s 55 Bibliography 73 LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS Page Table 1 Composition and Elements of S i s i u t l 12 Map 1 55 Figure 1 Feast Dish - Kwakiutl 56 2 Belt - Kwakiutl 56 3 Baton - Kwakiutl 56 4 Baton - Kwakiutl 56 5 Bedroom Painting - Kwakiutl 57 6 Duntsiq - Kwakiutl 58 7 Duntsiq - Kwakiutl 58 8 Duntsiq - Kwakiutl 58 9 Duntsiq - Kwakiutl 58 10 Duntsiq - Kwakiutl 59 11 Painting from a Paddle - Coast Salish (Comox) 59 12 'Soul Catcher - Kwakiutl 60 13 Soul Catcher - Tsimshian 60 14 Soul Catcher - Nootka 61 15 Soul Catcher - Kwakiutl 61 16 Head Ring - Kwakiutl 61 17 Neck Ring - Kwakiutl 61 18 House Front Painting - Kwakiutl 62 LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS (Continued) Figure 19 Crooked Beak Mask - Kwakiutl 20 K i l l e r Whale Mask - Kwakiutl 21 Bedroom Painting - Kwakiutl 22 "Salmon Trout Head" Motif - Northwest Coast 23 Housepost - T l i n g i t 24 Drawing - Kwakiutl 25 Housepost - T l i n g i t 26 Khenkho Mask - Kwakiutl 27 BaxbakualanuXsiwae Mask - Kwakiutl 28 Supernatural Codfish Mask - Kwakiutl 29 Mawihl - Kwakiutl 30 Housepost - T l i n g i t 31 Transformation Mask - Kwakiutl 32 Mawihl Painting - Kwakiutl 33 Belt - Kwakiutl 34 Mawihl - Kwakiutl 35 Mawihl - Kwakiutl 36 Mawihl - Kwakiutl 37 Duntsiq - Kwakiutl 38 Mawihl - Kwakiutl 39 Ceremonial Box L i d - Kwakiutl v i i i LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS (Continued) Page Figure 40 Handle - Shang/Chou China 71 41 Pendant - Chou China 71 42 T'ao t'ieh - Shang China 71 43 L i n t e l - New Zealand 72 44 L i n t e l - New Zealand 72 45 Ridgepole Carving - New Zealand 72 46 L i n t e l - New Zealand 72 47 Comb - New Zealand 72 48 L i n t e l - New Zealand 72 ' ix ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Professor Audrey Hawthorn, my principal advisor for this paper, was invaluable in i t s preparation. My thanks to her and to the other people who assisted in my research. 1 CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION Magical thought i s not to be regarded as a beginning, a r u d i -ment, a sketch, a part of a whole which has not yet material-ized. I t forms a well-articulated system, and i s i n t h i s respect independent of that other system which constitutes science.... I t i s therefore better, instead of contrasting magic and science, to compare them as two p a r a l l e l modes of acquiring knowledge. (Levi-Strauss 1970: 13) The central importance of entering into worlds other than our own - and hence of anthropology i t s e l f - l i e s i n the fact that the experience leads us to understand that our own world i s also a c u l t u r a l construct. (Castaneda 1968: v i i i ) S i s i u t l i s a Kwakiutl term, denoting the double-headed ser-pent; the quantitatively largest v i s u a l representation of the being occurs among the Kwakiutl, and t h i s i s the form most commonly accepted as representative of the s i s i u t l proper. This paper i s concerned p r i -marily, therefore, with the Kwakiutl variant of the s i s i u t l theme, re-ferred to below as the primary variant. A formal description of the primary variant, i l l u s t r a t e d i n Figure 1-4 i n c l u s i v e , i s recorded i n table form (Table 1) i n order to more closely define i t s c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . I t i s noteworthy that i n many cases the most coherent mythical explana-tions of s i s i u t l occur among the northern t r i b e s , p a r t i c u l a r l y the T l i n -g i t and Tsimshian, where vi s u a l renderings of s i s i u t l are comparatively r e s t r i c t e d i n quantity. 2 The fact that s i s i u t l i s a monster, or anomalous species (Douglas 1966) , means that i t i s not confined to any part i c u l a r locale or t r i b e i n the Northwest Coast area. Because of t h i s ambiguity, i t i s unnecessary i n t h i s paper to break down the references to s i s i u t l into formal sections corresponding to t r i b e . As Boas (1970: 662) states, . . . a l l legends.of t h i s region are of complex o r i g i n , and they must have been carried over enormous distances from t r i b e to t r i b e . This i s true of the more i n s i g n i f i c a n t tales as • well as of the most important myths, such as creation l e -gends, and the legends of the o r i g i n of the secret societies. He writes also ( i b i d . : 661): A comparison of the ceremonials of the various tribes of the North P a c i f i c Coast...does not leave any doubt that they are in the main derived from the same source. Among a l l the t r i b e s , the badges of the ceremonials are made of cedar bark, which i s dyed red i n the ju i c e of the alder. Head rings, neck rings and masks are worn by the dancers. The performances themselves are es s e n t i a l l y the same from Alaska to Juan de Fuca S t r a i t . But the most certain proof of th e i r common or i g i n l i e s i n the id e n t i t y of name among the various t r i b e s . Therefore there can be no doubt that the i r present character was attained among the Kwakiutl, from whom the societies i n the i r present form spread over a vast t e r r i t o r y . Discussing the T l i n g i t , Swanton (1908: 436) states that the secret society dances of that t r i b e originated i n the south, towards Kwakiutl t e r r i t o r y , thus corroborating Boas' opinion regarding the ceremonial com-plex. Boas refers above to the Kwakiutl as the main developers of the ceremonies found on the Northwest Coast. He does not, however, state that the characters i n these ceremonials necessarily originate with the Kwakiutl. The s i s i u t l i s believed by t h i s writer to be a phenomenon common to a l l c u l t u r a l regions of the Northwest Coast i n various guises. That these 3 creatures are variants of a common theme i s apparent through investiga-tion of their attributes in the l i t e r a t u r e ; they share, to a greater or lesser extent, certain features too similar and too numerous to be ex-plained by coincidence. They a l l occur, i n art and/or myth, as double-headed; they are serpent-like; there i s a recurrent association of s i s i u t l with shamans; v i s u a l representations have horns i n the majority of cases; i n f l a t e d n o s t r i l s are shared throughout the area; crescents or segments are often seen on the bodies of double-headed serpents i n both north and south, and at t r i b u t e s , v i s u a l or mythical, which are un-explained by the traditions of the area where they occur, can be more f u l l y explained through reference to the t r a d i t i o n s of a different area. S i s i u t l has other names in d i f f e r e n t locales within the North-west Coast. Among them are the following: T l i n g i t - Woodworm (Barbeau 1964: 362) - Scrubworm ( i b i d . : 363) - Grubworm ( i b i d . : 366) Tsimshian - C a t e r p i l l a r or Hrtsenawsuh ( i b i d . : 367) - Larah'waese or Double-headed snake (Barbeau 1953: 240) - Tlenamaw or Dragon ( i b i d . : 237) Haida - Woodworm or Weenamaw (Barbeau 1964: 369) Be l l a Coola- S i s i u l or double-headed serpent (Boas 1898: 44) Nootka - H a i - e t - l i k or mountain-snake (Barbeau 1964: 375). I l l u s t r a t i o n s of these additional forms can be found, accompanied by text, i n Barbeau 1964 and 1953. 4 In order to j u s t i f y detailed research into i t s origins and associations, the central nature of s i s i u t l w i l l be b r i e f l y demonstra-ted. E.W. Locher (1932), i n an important work on the serpent, supports the thesis that s i s i u t l i s the central figure i n the Northwest Coast cosmos, with many important supernaturals (Qomoqua, BaxbakualanuXsiwae, Winalagilis and Thunderbird among them) seen as manifestations of s i s i u t l . Badner (1974) sees s i s i u t l as representing "...a cosmic schema which de-pi c t s the dragon-like monster, at one and the same time as upper world, lower world and integrated symbol of both." Boas (1970: 371) states, Besides a number of animals...we f i n d p r i n c i p a l l y a number of -fabulous monsters whose help was obtained by the ancestors, and who therefore have become the crest of the clan. Perhaps the most important among these i s the s i s i u t l , the fabulous double-headed snake.... Here Boas refers to the Kwakiutl; the next statement, by Barbeau (1953: 239), i s more general: "...the T l i n g i t , the Kwakiutl and the Nootka made the double-headed snake or dragon...their most favorite emblem." The following indicates the central position of s i s i u t l by d i r e c t reference to mythology. In the Tsimshian myth regarding the o r i g i n of Txamsem (Raven), there i s reference to s i s i u t l when (Boas 1916: 58) "...the whole world was covered i n darkness." The myth describes a young man's death and return to l i f e as a supernatural being. His father ( i b i d . : 59) "...had two great slaves - a miserable man and his wife. The great slaves were called Mouth At Each End." One day the youth was moved to ask the slaves what made them so hungry. (He had, up to that time, eaten very sparingly). The two great slaves replied (loc. c i t . ) : 5 We are hungry because we have eaten scabs from our shin bones ....Therefore the prince r e p l i e d , I w i l l also t r y the scabs you speak about. The shining prince took up the piece of whale meat with the scab i n i t , put i t i n h i s mouth, tasted i t , and s p i t i t out again. When the chief and the chieftaness came back from t h e i r v i s i t , the prince said to h i s mother, I am very hungry. The slaves prepared r i c h food, and he ate i t all...soon a l l the provisions i n his father's house were at an end...the chief spoke to his son, and said, My dear son, I s h a l l send you away inland to the other side of the ocean. Thus began the f l i g h t of Raven, creator of the world. In another loca-t i o n , Boas ( i b i d . ; 461) states that "...the slaves who make Txamsem greedy are called Was-at-Each-End...self-moving canoes have a Was head at each end." Self-moving canoes are a manifestation of s i s i u t l (Boas 1966: 146-148). I t can be seen that the journey of Raven did not commence u n t i l he interacted with Mouth At Each End, i d e n t i f i a b l e with s i s i u t l . The taking of nourishment by Raven, from the slaves, can be interpreted as an indication that s i s i u t l i s seen by the Tsimshian as the source of Raven's power. This view i s given additional credence by the fact that a Kwakiutl bedroom painting, seen i n Figure 5, can be seen as a depic-t i o n of various supernatural bi r d s , among them Raven, eating of the flesh of s i s i u t l . The other birds are i d e n t i f i e d by Boas as Crane, Eagle and Thunderbird; at the very l e a s t , t h i s painting v i s u a l l y depicts s i s i u t l among very select company, underlining i t s importance within the ceremon-i a l system of the Kwakiutl and of the Northwest Coast i n general. As the ceremonial winter dance complex i s so involved with the main characters of Northwest Coast mythology, i t w i l l be b r i e f l y summarized at t h i s point. The Kwakiutl are used as the source of t h i s summary, as recorded by Curtis (1915: 137-165). 6 The principle of inherited rank is very important...succession is s t r i c t l y hereditary, and the eldest son succeeds to the father's rank. At a certain age, the heir receives a feast name. This i s the name by which he w i l l be personally invited to every assembly. A l l public business is transacted at feasts. At the base of the whole sys-tem l i e s the potlatch, or distribution of property among the assembled people. The ceremonial l i f e of the Kwakiutl finds expression princi-pally in the winter season, which is devoted exclusively to a series of quasi-religious performances constituting' the winter dance. For ceremon-i a l purposes the tribe is divided into two classes; the pahus (uninitiated) and the pepahala (shamans), who compose the secret society. Before a man becomes hamatsa, the most important of a l l , he must have f i r s t been initiated into eight prior orders or secret societies. A prospective i n i t i a t e disappears a short time before the ceremony at which he is to be initiated. During this absence he is supposed to be with the s p i r i t from whom a mythical ancestor obtained the supernatural power which the new i n i t i a t e is now to receive. After acquiring this power, the ances-tor returned and performed a dance portraying his experience and extoll-ing in song the power he had gained; the new i n i t i a t e recapitulates the ancestor's performance with the same dances and songs. Among the prin-cipal s p i r i t s supposed to be visited by initiates are these: Baxbakualan-uXsiwae, seen by those about to become hamatsa; and Winalagilis, seen by those about to become tokwit, s i ' l i s or mamaqa. The most important and striking feature of the entire winter ceremony is the performance of the 7 hamatsa. Curtis (ibid.; 165-170) also includes the origin myth of the hamatsa dance. According to Holm (1974), almost every tsetseqa (winter dance) revolves around the taming of the hamatsa. 8 CHAPTER I I DEFINITIONS AND METHODS The representations of s i s i u t l dealt with i n th i s paper are divided into two large categories; that of the primary variant and that of the secondary variants. The complete primary variant i s seen i n Figure 1. It depicts the Kwakiutl s i s i u t l with a l l the d i s t i n c t i v e elements recorded i n Table 1: two heads, central face, horns, protruding tongue, a s p i r a l or up-turned nose and crescents along i t s body. Figures 2 and 3 are different versions of the primary variant; Figure 2 lacks horns and Figure 3 lacks crescents. Figure 4 i s a representation of the single-headed form of s i s i u t l , lacking the central head but with the d i s t i n c t i v e f i n i a l ser-pent head diagnostic of s i s i u t l . Secondary variants comprise either less l i t e r a l Kwakiutl rep-resentations of the double-headed serpent or variants depicting s i s i u t l as seen by the other groups of the Northwest Coast area. Figures 12 and 13 are soul catchers, designated as representative of s i s i u t l , with d i f -ferences from the primary variant, p a r t i c u l a r l y notable i n the f i n i a l "serpent" heads. Figures 6 to 9 inclusive i l l u s t r a t e duntsiqs, said to be representative of s i s i u t l . Figures 16 and 17, a head and neck ring respectively, include i n thei r composition very abstract depictions of s i s i u t l . Figures 23, 25 and 30 are peculiarly northern variants of s i s i u t l , presenting the T l i n g i t grubworm or woodworm. The most notably missing, or d i f f e r e n t l y placed element i n these northern forms, compared 9 to the primary variant, i s the central face normally seen on the body. The other differences hinge upon variations in style. As s i s i u t l i s both an a r t i s t i c motif and a mythical theme, i t is logical to use iconographic analysis in i t s investigation. Panofsky (1957: 39-40) states the following regarding a r t i s t i c analysis: "...I have summarized in a synoptical table...neatly differentiated categories (for analysis of a r t i s t i c motifs) which...seem to indicate three sep-arate spheres of meaning...in actual work (they) merge with each other into one organic and indivisible process." His three spheres are those of pre-iconographical description, dealing with formal analysis of p r i -mary a r t i s t i c motifs; iconographical analysis, constituting the inves-tigation of images, stories and allegories secondarily connected with a r t i s t i c motifs; and iconological interpretation,dealing with intrinsic symbols of a r t i s t i c motifs and the essential tendencies of the human mind. This breakdown i s the basic analytic framework for this paper. Relevant data for the determination of cultural contexts have been con-sidered to be myths, museum notes and ethnographies. The term "mediator", one of central importance to the argu-ments presented here, should be defined. A dictionary definition i s a logical starting point. Mediate: 1. To occur or be in an intermediate relation or position. 2. To bring about or effect by one's intervention. 3. To serve as the medium for effecting (a result) or con-veying (an object, information, etc.). (From Funk and Wagnalls Standard College Dictionary, Canadian Edition, 1963) 10 S i s i u t l i s well described by these definitions. The f i r s t describes the position of the serpent in relation to i t s capacity to contact both natural and supernatural spheres; the second describes i t s per-formance as an interlocutor, a role which i t f u l f i l s when communicating with the other supernaturals on behalf of a human associate; the third i s descriptive of the monster as i t sometimes appears in myth, for ex-ample, as a vessel f u l l of wealth. Implicit here i s that s i s i u t l i s a monster, which by definition means that i t does not exist in the physi-cal world. It operates on the psychic side of what has been termed, with respect to shamanism, as psycho-physical dualism. Its mediation takes place in what Mary Douglas (1966) has termed "the margins" be-tween reality and unreality; between ordinary reality and non-ordinary reality. S i s i u t l , then, i s a psychological construct intricately i n -volved in the structuring process of Northwest Coast thought. That i t appears so prominently in the art of the area, especially among the Kwakiutl, i s a reflection of i t s central position. 11 CHAPTER III PRE-ICONOGRAPHICAL DESCRIPTION: PRIMARY VARIANT The s i s i u t l i s described as follows (Dawson in Barbeau 1953: 244): "The double-headed serpent...is represented as with a c y l i n d r i -cal body, terminating at each end in a serpent's head, and with the appearance of a human head in the middle." This description serves to generally designate the primary variant of s i s i u t l , in i t s most common form, as seen in Figures 1, 2 and 3.. However, as Barbeau (loc. cit.) states, "Some of them are snakelike with a single head...." Among the Bella Coola (Boas 1898: 66), "...the s i s i u t l has only one head...." Figure 4 illustrates this single-headed form. Distintive Elements and Compositional Arrangements S i s i u t l has been characterized by Inverarity (1950: 41) as follows: "Usually one or more of these features w i l l identify the ani-mal ... plume-like forms rising above the'forehead, ending in round knob; spiral nose." Barbeau (1953: 241) notes "...a long bulging snout, i n -flated nostrils...and a long pointed tongue." These two quotes con-tain the majority of the elements recorded in Table 1: horns ("plume-like forms"), spiral nose ("inflated n o s t r i l s " ) , and protruding tongue. In addition, the table includes reference to the presence of crescent-shaped forms along the sides of many s i s i u t l representations. Compo-12 s i t i o n a l arrangements are included i n the table, explaining the presence of the categories of central head i n body, two heads and one head; the two heads/one head categories r e f e r r i n g to the terminal serpent heads of s i s i u t l . The material corpus used for a n a l y t i c a l purposes i n Table 1 comprises twenty-five pieces included i n the c o l l e c t i o n of the Univer-s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia's Museum of Anthropology. The a r t i c l e s referred to i n the table are a l l i l l u s t r a t e d i n Hawthorn, 1967. They provide a good range of s i s i u t l primary variants, despite the l i m i t a t i o n s imposed by the use of one volume. Key to Table 1 A - one head B - two heads C - protruding tongue D - spiral/knobbed nose E - central head i n body F - horns/plumes G - crescents on body Table 1: Composition and Elements of S i s i u t l B C D E F G Fig. # Cat. # Item A 10 A4363 curtain X X X X X 14 A6270 curtain X X X X X X 126 A4036 headdress X X X X X 126 A3639 headdress X X X X X 126 A3604 headdress X X X X X X 127 A3636 ceremonial board X X X X X Continued 13 Table 1 (Continued) Fig. # Cat. # Item A B C D E F G 128 A7472 belt X X X X X 128 A4263 belt X X X X X 128 A3791 belt X X X X X X 128 A6147 baton X X X X X 129 A3804 baton X X X X X X 129 A3 800 baton X X X X X 129 A3632 baton X X X X X 129 A3799 baton X X X X X 129 A3 83 6 be l t X X X X 163 A6350 bow X X X X X 186 A4325 cloak X X X X 190 A4172 apron X X X X X X 191 A4131 apron X X X X X 214 A3731 chief's headdress X X X X X X 251 A4147 dish X X X X X 252 A3413 dish X X X X 253 A3414 dish X X X 457 A4497 mask X X X X Note: A l l items i l l u s t r a t e d i n Hawthorn (1967). In some examples, the serpent heads are rotated on a horizontal or a v e r t i c a l axis around the central face area. Belts i l l u s t r a t e h o r i -zontal r o t a t i o n , and the curtain i n Figure 34 below i l l u s t r a t e s the ver-t i c a l variety of rotation. These operations are l e f t to the discretion of the creator, who i s , however, often l i m i t e d i n his choices by the shape of the f i e l d which i s to be decorated. The serpent heads can be oriented 14 in various ways, with respect to the central face (in two-headed examples), from a slight curve to a f u l l nose-to-nose rotation, as in Figure 34. Horizontal rotation is generally tightly linked to mechanical considera-tions, as headdresses and belts both physically alter the orientation of the three parts of the s i s i u t l to make them functional; they are connected with flexible joints. 15 CHAPTER IV BRIEF DESCRIPTION AND ICONOGRAPHY: SECONDARY VARIANTS While the above describes the primary variant, the typically Kwakiutl double-headed serpent, i t does not by any means describe the range of representational variants which the s i s i u t l may take. These variants include duntsiqs, soul catchers, northern forms, and cedar bark neck and head rings. Duntsiqs Duntsiqs, or power boards, are used by the Kwakiutl during the winter dance seaon by the Tokwit dancer in her performance. According to Hawthorn (1967: 46), The dancing societies of the Kwakiutl consisted of four main groups...the most important and the most complex was the Hamatsa society...the second group was under the inspiration of Winalagilis....The third group, the Atlakim dance series, could be used either for Klasila or Tsetseka displays by changing the symbolic decorations. The fourth group was made up of the Dluwalakha dancers...who were not, as a group, involved in the convincing and terrifying displays of super-natural seizure. The Tokwit dancer is character number two in the war dance series of Winalagilis (A. Hawthorn - personal communication). According to Boas (1969: 90), The toxwit, called by the Newettee Olala, embraces many dances in which powers are conjured up from underground. To these belongs the dentsek which represents the double-headed ser-pent. 16 Boas states further (1970: 491): In many of these dances (Tokwit) after the performer has been k i l l e d , the duntsiq arises from underground. It consists of a series of f l a t , carved boards, connected on their narrow sides by plugs which pass through rings of spruce root or through tubes cut out of cedar. The joints are somewhat loose, so that the whole can be given an undulating motion forward and backward. It has two or three points on top, and mica is glued on i t s painting. It is intended to repre-sent the s i s i u t l , but I am not able to interpret the carving in detail. The characteristic detail of the s i s i u t l certainly does not appear on i t . Also (ibid.: 488), "At other times the (tokwit) w i l l succeed in bringing the s i s i u t l up just enough for i t s horns to show." Figures 6 to 10 i n -clusive illustrate the duntsiq secondary variant. The plume-like shapes at the top of some duntsiqs, generally occurring in pairs, often strongly resemble the horns or plumes noted in the more common renderings of s i s i u t l . Describing the Tokwit dance, Curtis (1915: 211) supports the identity of s i s i u t l and duntsiq: "She (the tokwit dancer) pretends to catch something in her hands...she throws them apart towards the back of the f i r e , and the horns of the s i s i u t l appear. The s i s i u t l is raised out of a pit by men below." (Curtis here refers to duntsiq as s i s i u t l , without differentiating the two.) Some of these power boards have representations of figures or faces included in their designs. The identities of these figures are assumed to be the same as those discussed below in the Iconography section. Two po s s i b i l i t i e s not discussed in that section are presented here. Locher (1932: 73) supports the view that the bodies and faces seen on duntsiqs often represent Nomlemgila, a being which in turn (ibid.: 17 72) "...represents the serpent." Ritzenthaler and Parsons (1966: 98) describe the duntsiqs in Figures 6 and 8 as follows: "The faces in this design really represent the human face which is always in the middle of the s i s i u t l with i t s two serpent heads at i t s ends." While this statement can be successfully challenged on two of i t s points, that the face i s human and that i t i s always present, the author's opinion that the central head seen on duntsiqs i s identical with that portrayed on the s i s i u t l forms analyzed in Table 1 does add continuity to the range of s i s i u t l variants, primary and secondary. Duntsiqs often exhibit flakes of mica attached to their sur-faces. The following gives some information regarding this feature (Boas 1935: 126): Yayagextsa arose and went to the place where the double-headed serpent had been lying on the ground, to search for a scale of the double-headed serpent. Then he found something shining, lying on the ground at the place where the serpent had been. Then he took a leaf of the salal bush and wrapped i t around the scale. The mica is apparently intended to represent the serpent's scales, and emphasizes s i s i u t l ' s supernatural origin, as (Boas 1916: 460) "...super-natural beings appear as shining youths, or they appear in shining l i g h t " ; the glittering mica reproduces the shining light said to surround super-naturals. A Koskimo Kwakiutl myth recorded by Curtis (1915: 280) pre-sents another possibility regarding the shining mica; that i s , 'that i t is representative of quartz. It deals with the acquisition of super-natural powers, here described as quartz, by a "magician" or shaman: 18 And now the s i s i u t l assumed the real form of s i s i u t l with two snake heads at the ends and a man's face in the middle ....In the distance a voice cried: "Wai Strike i t once!" Four times the voice was heard...and then he really struck i t , and the s i s i u t l f e l l into a mass of hwela (quartz crystal).... He...wrapped a piece of the crystal in i t (cedar bark), and placed i t in his bosom. A Kwakiutl duntsiq owned by the Museum of Anthropology at U.B.C, A9083-9084 (Figure 10), strongly supports, in visual terms, the oft-mentioned identity of s i s i u t l with duntsiqs. It was found as part of a group of more representative duntsiqs in a cave si t e , located close to Loughborough Inlet on Vancouver Island. Its form i s that of a s i s i u t l with i t s two serpent heads upturned from a lower central axis and minus a central face. A paddle, illustrated in Hawthorn (1967), i s painted with a s i s i u t l very similar to that portrayed in Figure 10. It is of Coast Salish origin, made by the Comox, and is illustrated in Figure 11. Duntsiqs are representative of s i s i u t l . The features shared by both duntsiqs and the primary variant of Table 1 appear to be limited to the horns and the appearance of the face, repeatedly seen on duntsiqs, which is a simplified version of the central face seen on the majority of the primary variants. Figure 10 i s an exception, a duntsiq depicting a double-headed serpent in a more l i t e r a l way. Sould Catchers The s i s i u t l i s sometimes represented three-dimensionally as a soul catcher, an item found only in shaman's kits. Describing the Haida, Barbeau (1958: 57) notes that "...the double-headed Dragon or s i s i u t l (is) 19 one of the most potent charms in a medicine bag." S t i l l referring to the Haida, Krause (1956: 209) reports that, Among the ever-present paraphernalia of the Ska-ga (shaman), in addition to the noise-making apparatus, i s a hollow tube, open at both ends...in this bone he captures the s p i r i t . . . when i t leaves the body, by stopping both ends of the tube with cedar bark. In his footnote #15, page 209, Krause mentions that this item i s "... usually called a soul catcher." Describing the Northwest Coast in gen-eral, Hawthorn (1967: 367) mentions the following: These small carved objects were not connected with the pot-latch or the dancing societies but were part of the shaman's gear....A small box carved with magical symbols, the soul catcher was carried by the shaman when he pursued the soul of an aili n g patient under his care. When he succeeded in approach-ing i t , he popped i t into the box, replaced the stopper, and returned i t to the patient, who then recovered. The function of the artifact emphasizes i t s importance to the shaman. The possession of a soul catcher might also have been an indication of rank. According to Benedict (1964: 75), ...among the Nootka, those having fasted and obtained guar-dians...knew when souls were absent, and could go after them and restore them to the body, and so prevent death...but the doctors proper...who cured a l l diseases...other...than the wandering of the soul required no supernatural experiences. The soul catchers were the higher in prestige. Soul catchers were made in many forms other than s i s i u t l , and were some-times simply undecorated pieces of bone. Figures 14 and 15 are made in the forms of wolf and k i l l e r whale respectively. The wolf was particu-l a r l y prominent among the Nootka; Locher (1932: 32) supports the view that "...among the Nootka i t (the wolf) probably occupies the place 20 which BaxbakualanuXsiwae has with the Kwakiutl." BaxbakualanuXsiwae has strong associations with sisiutl,, as discussed below. While the strong association of s i s i u t l with shamanism sup-ports the interpretation of ambiguous soul catchers as s i s i u t l (Figure 13 i s a verified s i s i u t l soul catcher of the Tsimshian), there are many cases in which a soul catcher, apparently because of i t s two heads, is mistakenly identified as s i s i u t l . Figure 12 is an example of this type of mistake, based on generalization. The central face seen on this Kwa-kiu t l example is not the fierce one seen on the Primary Variants above; i t probably represents the shaman, depicted in the act of soul-catching, with the two heads (of s i s i u t l , or some other being) representative of the two worlds between which the shaman must travel in search of lost souls. The terminal heads, in cases where they do not represent s i s i u t l , are probably depictions of the shaman's guardian s p i r i t . Head and Neck Rings Although they represent s i s i u t l in some cases, these rings are totally unrecognizable as s i s i u t l to the uninitiated. Cedar bark plays an important role in the ceremonial l i f e of the Northwest Coast, and these rings are indispensable to the winter dance cycle. Head and neck rings are discussed below in connection with shamanism, and are illustrated in Figures 16 and 17.. 21 Northern Variants of S i s i u t l Figures 23, 25 and 30 depict the northern variant of s i s i u t l as seen among the Tsimshian and Tli n g i t , the woodworm or grubworm. The head seen in Figures 23 and 30 represents the "Princess who suckled the Grubworm". Her head i s depicted below the centre of the two-headed being she is associated with, rather than in the centre of i t s body. Stylization Hawthorn (1967: 12) has described Northwest Coast art as follows: Special characteristics of Northwest Coast painting are: 1. The use of salient recognition features, such as beaks, claws, or fins, as a representation of the bird or ani-mal portrayed. 2. Frequent use of a highly stylized symbol for a whole animal. This phenomenon applies to s i s i u t l . Figures 18, 19 and 20 include secon-darily important depictions of the "shorthand" form of s i s i u t l , i t s head with a spiral nose and/or a protruding tongue. Figure 21 shows a hawinalal dancer standing between two assistants, each of which is repre-sented as a humanoid figure with the "shorthand" s i s i u t l for a head. Figure 22 i s included because of the visual, similarity between the "salmon trout head" motif i t illustrates and the "shorthand" s i s i u t l form, perhaps an indication of some interrelationship. 22 CHAPTER V ICONOGRAPHY AND ICONOLOGY: ALL NORTHWEST COAST VARIANTS Discussion of Distinctive Elements and Compositional Arrangements as  Presented in Table 1 1. Spiral/knobbed nose (96% occurrence, Table 1): The spiral nose, along with horns and double-headedness, is one of the most important tr a i t s shared among the southern (here, Bella Coola and Kwakiutl) and northern (Haida, Tsimshian and Tlingit) groups within the Northwest Coast. This detail points to a common origin for the beast, either in t visual or mythical representations of s i s i u t l . Figures 23, 25 and 30 de-pict s i s i u t l as portrayed in the north. Referring to Figure 23, Barbeau (1964: PI. 152) states, ...this post shows the familiar s i s i u t l of the Kwakiutl Indians of British Columbia (called) Larah'wais among the Tsimshian. It is explained in the myth of the grubworm or caterpillar, the distribution of which centers in the Tlingit and Tsimshian country to the north. Barbeau here supports the view that the Kwakiutl variant of s i s i u t l i s the same beast represented among other Northwest Coast tribes, here Tsim-shian and Tl i n g i t , and that i t i s more f u l l y explained by u t i l i z i n g the traditions of groups other than Kwakiutl. The spiral nose, mentioned as "inflated n o s t r i l s " by Barbeau above, could be an indication of d i -lated nostrils, opened wide for sniffing out food. (A. Hawthorn, per-23 sonal communication 1975). This feature is seen in the Hamatsa masks of the Kwakiutl. Referring to this complex, Holm (1972: 11) has stated, The most important of the Kwakiutl Tseyka dances i s the Hamatsa, which is said to have been acquired in the early years of the historic period from related tribes to the north by marriage and war. Hamatsa can be roughly translated as cannibal, and the dancer impersonates and is considered to be motivated by BaxbakualanuXsiwae, a powerful man-eating s p i r i t . Insatiable appetite i s also an attribute of the northern variant of s i s i u t l , the Grubworm or Woodworm, a point which lends c r e d i b i l i t y to this interpretation of the spiral nose in the north. This association suggests that s i s i u t l and BaxbakualanuXsiwae, discussed below might be related. 2. Horns or plumes (88% occurrence - Table 1): On the North-west Coast, these are indicators of a supernatural being (A. Hawthorn -personal communication 1974). This device is normally associated with Thunderbird and s i s i u t l , but there are many examples of other creatures who exhibit this distinctive type of horn. Among them are the Kwakiutl beings Khenkho, BaxbakualanuXsiwae and supernatural codfish, illustrated in Figures 26, 27 and 28 respectively. What might be a variation of this horn form can be seen in Figure 29, a drawing of a mawihl excerpted from Curtis (1915). He describes i t as "Raven and the man into whom Raven changes himself at w i l l " , introducing the probability that in this case the plume-like shapes represent feathers. A similar feature is shown in Figure 34 which depicts the peculiarily-shaped horns attached to the head of a being identified as BaxbakualanuXsiwae. 24 3. Protruding tongue (68% occurrence - Table 1): There are several possible explanations for this feature. Swanton (1908: 464) has stated that "The shaman's power, l i k e that of a common person, was i n -creased by obtaining many split animal tongues, especially the tongues of land otters." The presence of the protruding tongue could, therefore, be a reference to the unusual range of powers of the s i s i u t l . The tongue might be a representation of lightning; Krause (1956: 214) reports that, , In the collection of Haida myths the Thunderbird also plays an important role....When he needs nourishment he puts on his feather cloak and raises himself in the air so that his body darkens the heavens and the rush of his wings causes the thun-der. Under his wings he hides a l i t t l e f i s h which he has got-ten out of the.sea. He throws this with great force when he sees a whale and the snakelike tongue of the animal appears as lightning. In this case, the " l i t t l e f i s h " is probably a salmon; the Kwakiutl ser-pent (Locher 1932: 6) "...frequently appears in the shape of a salmon." Figure 18 is an illu s t r a t i o n of Thunderbird in his role as lightning-maker. Under his wings he has " l i t t l e f i s h " , the form of which i s iden-t i f i e d above to be indicative of s i s i u t l . Protruding tongues are also involved in the transfer of power to a novice from the animal source of his power, as seen on raven rattles where (Gould 1972: i i ) : "...the re-clining figure i s the novice, the protruding tongue stands for the passage of power, and the animal at the other end of the tongue identifies the source of power." A Kwakiutl myth Included in Curtis (1915: 275) men-tions a canoe: "In the bow was a spear, the two points of which kept thrusting themselves in and out, lik e the tongue of a serpent. That spear 25 was a s i s i u t l . " This, also, contributes to an understanding of the pro-truding tongue. 4. Crescents or multiple crescents (60% occurrence - Table 1): These occur along the sides of the bodies of many examples, as in Figures 1 and 2. They could represent either stylized scales, as s i s i u t l i s described as both serpent and f i s h , or they could be an attempt to i n -clude in the visual rendering some reference to the segments of the nor-thern woodworm or grubworm. Composition of s i s i u t l motif - from Table 1: Based upon exam-ination of the nineteenth and twentieth century material in the Univer-sity of British Columbia Museum, the following arrangements characterize the s i s i u t l of this time and provenience: 1. ABA - Two serpent heads with a central face. 88% occurrence in this sample. 2. AA - Two serpent heads without a central face. 4% occurrence in this sample. 3. A - One serpent head, no central face. 8% occurrence in this sample. Double-Head Representation and Central Face Identification The double-headed serpent is represented throughout the North-west Coast cultural area. In the north the commonest visual representa-tion depicts a two-headed grubworm without a central face, as seen in Figure 25. Figures 23 and 30 both have central faces involved in their 26 composition, but their positioning i s at variance with that of the p r i -mary variants. The northern examples have the serpents draped over the head of the being centrally positioned; the Kwakiutl primary variant normally includes a central face mounted between two serpent heads. A Kwakiutl myth recorded by Boas (1970: 410) introduces the possibility that the central face is representative of the sun: "As soon as Kuexalalagilis had rounded the point, he opened the box. Then he took out the sun and removed his s i s i u t l mask. It grew light at once." Where the central figure does not have horns, i t could be a human face, perhaps representing an ancestor, as in the transformation mask seen in Figure 31. Curtis (1915: 280) lends credence to this interpretation with the following: "And now the s i s i u t l assumed the real form of s i s i u t l with two snake heads...and a man's face in the middle. And this man's face was that of...the father of Wahanagylis." The appearance of the central face, however, often closely resembles the drawing of Baxbakuala-nuXsiwae seen in Figure 32, taken from a mawihl. Figure 33, a belt, has the same face. S i s i u t l and BaxbakualanuXsiwae Mawihls, according to Boas (1970: 446) represent "...the house of BaxbakualanuXsiwae. Its front i s painted with designs which represent either the face of BaxbakualanuXsiwae himself or that of his servant the raven." The Kwakiutl mawihl in Figure 34 i s an important example. Here, instead of BaxbakualanuXsiwae and his servant Raven, there are possibly 27 three representations of BaxbakualanuXsiwae, two of which are incorporated into the s i s i u t l forming the c i r c u l a r boundary of the composition. S i s i u t l , rather than Raven, here represents BaxbakualanuXsiwae's servant. The central being, described as human i n the i l l u s t r a t i o n ' s o r i g i n a l cap-t i o n , has horns; i t i s , therefore, not human, and probably represents BaxbakualanuXsiwae. Figure 35 features BaxbakualanuXsiwae at the center of a Thunderbird's body. Figure 36 depicts, as would be expected from Boas' description above, Raven with BaxbakualanuXsiwae i n i t s body. Figure 38 i s a p a r t i c u l a r l y r i c h example. Included are a rainbow, which i s mentioned by Boas (1970: 459) as follows: "The Milkyway i s the cannibal pole of BaxbakualanuXsiwae; i n other cases i t (the pole) i s the rainbow." When a potlatch takes place, t h i s cannibal pole i s represented by the potlatch pole; s i s i u t l , with BaxbakualanuXsiwae as central head, i s seen; two raven helpers are present; central i n the composition i s a ceremonial copper, with the representation of a bifurcated whale's t a i l on the copper's lower h a l f . The face represented on the upper half of the same copper could represent the g r i z z l y bear helper of BaxbakualanuXsiwae, mentioned by Boas (1970: 394). The t a l e of BaxbakualanuXsiwae i s (Boas 1970: 662) "...the most important one of a l l the legends of secret s o c i e t i e s . " Boas' opinion of the importance of this being and of the ceremonial complex i t inspires i s supported by the fact that the highest-ranked of the sacred winter dance series, that of the Hamatsa, has as i t s three main characters Crooked beak, Hamatsa raven and Hokhokw, the helpers of BaxbakualanuXsiwae. These 28 three bird-monsters are by far the most often represented major charac-ters i n the Hamatsa dance, and are c o r o l l a r i l y the most numerous of the Kwakiutl dance masks (Hawthorn 1967: 50-53; i b i d . : 95-115). Hamatsa translates as cannibal, which i s the term used, as a ru l e , to characterize BaxbakualanuXsiwae. A concise summary of the Kwakiutl winter dance time i s given by Eliade (1958: 68-72). BaxbakualanuXsiwae i s heavily involved i n warlike, bloodthirsty acts; he i s the central figure i n the winter ceremonial, and s i s i u t l i s closely associated with him. The hawinalal, or war dance (Boas 1970: 495-496), with i t s use of sisiutl-decorated im-plements i n a bloody t h e a t r i c a l display, further emphasizes the involve-ment of s i s i u t l i n th i s complex. But s i s i u t l i s not associated only with BaxbakualanuXsiwae. A myth recorded by Curtis (1915: 271-279; Appendix p. 8) presents s i s i u t l i n close association with Qomoqua, making any absolute assumption that the central face always represents BaxbakualanuXsiwae untenable. The central face could, therefore, depict Qomoqua; indeed, according to Boas (1969: 129), "...Qomoqua i s i d e n t i f i e d with the double-headed serpent." The f i r s t thing to note i n t h i s myth i s that s i s i u t l i s a mediator, represen-ted here i n i t s canoe form as the vehicle which takes a mortal woman from the supernatural realm of Qomoqua (here, Komuqi) to her home v i l l a g e . The second i s that s i s i u t l i s a wealth bringer, as i t s form i n t h i s i n -stance i s that of a w e a l t h - f i l l e d canoe. The following provides addition-a l information regarding s i s i u t l , extending the mythic base for i d e n t i f i -cation of the beast as death bringer, wealth bringer and f i r e bringer. 29 In the Kwakiutl myth " S q u i r r e l and Thunderbird", the double-headed ser-pent speaks to the mortal Yayagextsa i n these words (Boas 1935: 126-132): ...you have succeeded when you took my scale. Now you have a great treasure...put the scale at the end of the arrow and nothing w i l l l i v e that i s shot by you, even i f i t were a whale or an animal. When you wish i t to become a rock, that which i s shot by you, say to t h i s arrow that i t s h a l l become a rock, and say to the arrow that what i s shot by you w i l l burn....Then he took h i s death-bringing arrow.... The death-bringing and f i r e - b r i n g i n g q u a l i t i e s are s e l f - e v i d e n t ; the rest of the text explains that Yayagextsa became wealthy through the use of h i s magic arrow. Boas (1935: 162) has recorded a Kwakiutl t a l e in which "...the cause of the house being a death-bringer was the double-headed serpent," further supporting the i n t e r c h a n g e a b i l i t y of death-bringer and s i s i u t l . S i s i u t l as property-bringer, as described by the sun to K u e x a l a l a g i l i s , another Kwakiutl representation of Raven, appears as follows" (Boas 1970: 411) "My f r i e n d ! Treat my s i s i u t l mask w e l l . You may show i t during the winter dance, and also the sunrise mask. Its name s h a l l be ... "Abalone s h e l l from one end of the world to the other," implying wealth. The presentation of s i s i u t l as both property-bringer and death-bringer, polar opposites, must be consistent with the image of s i s i u t l . This could be, i n f a c t , the basis f o r i t s double-headedness; i t must be ambiguous i n character i n order to have free access to a l l beings, supernatural and mortal. o It i s well established from the above that the Kwakiutl s i s i u t l i s strongly associated with a number of important supernatural beings, among them Thunderbird, Qomoqua, BaxbakualanuXsiwae, W i n a l a g i l i s , Raven; 30 i t also represents natural forces, such as lightning, sun (and f i r e ) , and earthquakes. Ordinary animals are also the results of transformation by s i s i u t l ; one myth describes a double-headed serpent becoming a squirrel in order to escape the Thunderbird pursuing i t . In i t s squirrel form, s i s i u t l speaks with the human protagonist. The Central Face in the North The most complete northern woodworm myth has been recorded from the Tsimshian; the theme presented in i t is shared among the Tsim-shian, Tlingit and Haida. It concerns a Tsimshian princess of the village of Khrain who suckled a grubworm u n t i l i t was of an enormous size (Bar-beau 1964: 367): ...before long (it) was able to scent the food boxes which were kept underground beneath the houses. On discovering these boxes, the woodworm bored through them and emptied them in turn. Only when i t had reached the end of the houses and was on i t s last food box, did the people catch i t in the act. They found that i t had a head on i t s t a i l . . . . They then k i l l e d i t . Some time after the death of the worm which had menaced Khrain, a strange being travelled along the coast in his canoe, following his floating urinal. He spoke to the villagers as follows (ibid.: 368): The big man (big chief) shouted back, "Come, my dear folk, look at me! I have something to show you." The people on the shore gazed at him, and a l l f e l l dead. They were k i l l e d by the great supernatural power of the chief, who was the sp i r i t of the great Grubworm that had brought death to the people of Khrain. 31 This was repeated at several v i l l a g e s , u n t i l f i n a l l y ( i b i d . ; 369), ...a Gitwilgyawts man took the contents (of the urinal) and threw them onto the big man i n the canoe. He f e l l over dead, and the Gitwilgyawts then took possession of the narhnorh ( s p i r i t ) . This i s the o r i g i n of the house and name of Me'awn among the Gitwilgyawts. This myth, as w i l l be discussed below, presents some clues as to the reason for the representation of s i s i u t l as having two f i n i a l heads among the southern as wel l as the northern groups. It also provides information regarding the possible i d e n t i t y of the central face seen on the primary variant. Referring to the T l i n g i t variant of the creature, Barbeau ( i b i d . : 366) notes: "The grubworm, now presented i n i t s other form which i s also f a m i l i a r along the P a c i f i c coast - that of the Double-headed monster, i s shown on her head, i t s two heads with horn-like n o s t r i l s drooping on either side." (Figure 23) The central be ing i n the story i s d e f i n i t e l y the woodworm and i t s destructive narhnorh ( s p i r i t ) . It i s presented here as a death bringer, which i s a quality associated with s i s i u t l i n i t s Kwakiutl variant. Another Tsimshian myth, recorded by Boas before 1916 (as op-posed to 1947 for the above) deals with the theft of l i g h t by Raven (Boas 1916: 58-61). In t h i s myth, summarized i n the Introduction above, the central figure i s ostensibly Raven. But his f l i g h t to create the world does not take place u n t i l he has dir e c t intercourse with s i s i u t l , the double-headed being, represented here as slaves called Mouth At Each End. The role of the serpent i n a myth with t h i s subject indicates i t s importance i n Tsimshian culture; Raven i s the culture hero. These two myths indicate the amount of detailed mythic information available on 32 the Grubworm, northern variant of s i s i u t l , among the northern t r i b e s , p a r t i c u l a r l y the Tsimshian; t h i s fact emphasizes the age depth of the woodworm t r a d i t i o n in the north, p a r t i c u l a r l y the myth dealing with the o r i g i n of the grubworm. There i s not, to my knowledge, a Kwakiutl myth dealing with the o r i g i n of s i s i u t l . The central face seen on the primary variant has been i n t e r -preted above to be, i n most cases, representative of BaxbakualanuXsiwae. But there are other important p o s s i b i l i t i e s a r i s i n g out of descriptions and v i s u a l evidence from the north. Figures 23 and 30 have a face asso-ciated with them; t h i s face i s believed to represent the "Princess who suckled the Grubworm", and i s also described i n myth above. The same myth mentions a "big man" s i t t i n g i n the canoe; t h i s "big man" and his two paddlers of the Tsimshian can be seen as representative of the cen-t r a l face and the two serpent heads respectively. If the s i s i u t l was imported by the Kwakiutl from the north, there may be some reference to these northern themes of "big man" and "Princess" i n the primary variant. Iconology: The Role of S i s i u t l The role and/or position of s i s i u t l i n the ceremonial system of the Northwest Coast can be interpreted i n a number of ways. The fact of association with the major supernatural beings, of both north and south, could mean that s i s i u t l i s the center of the system, and that the other supernaturals are manifestations of i t s e l f ; or that s i s i u t l 33 i s the common link connecting the supernaturals, adding some coherence to the pantheon; another possibility, and this appears to be the most like l y one, is that s i s i u t l i s seen as the intermediary between the worlds of humans and supernaturals. Its role as human/supernatural mediator is given weight by the following (Boas 1898: 28): The deity ruling there (upper heaven) i s a woman who is called Qama'its or Tsi'sisnaaxil ("our woman") or Eku!yakim-t o l s i l ("afraid of nothing"). Behind (her) house i s a salt-water pond in which the goddess bathes. In this pond lives the s i s i u l or xtsaltsalasen. This being sometimes descends to our world. Wherever i t moves, the rocks burst, and slide down the sides of the mountains. It is described as a snake or a fi s h . "This being sometimes descends to our world..." implies that the other supernaturals do not. Another indication regarding s i s i u t l as mediator, recorded by Boas (1970: 494), i s the following: (The people sing:) The dreaded s p i r i t i s coming in his canoe.' How great is his name! ( S i ' l i s sings:) My protector the s i s i u l goes right up to the greatest chiefs. He said to me: "You w i l l take counsel with Winalagilis. He said to me: "You w i l l be friend to Winalagilis. Here, s i s i u t l "goes up to the greatest chiefs", among them Winalagilis; implied i s that S i ' l i s , a mortal who has s i s i u t l as protector, cannot contact the great Winalagilis without his protector's help as mediator. The use of sisiutl-decorated mawihls, ceremonial curtains depicting the house of BaxbakualanuXsiwae, as boundaries between sacred and profane space 34 (a notable example being Figure 34) involves a physical rendering of s i s i u t l in a mediating position. This concrete form lends additional credence to the conclusions reached after investigation of the areas of mythology and i t s imputed symbolism. As a psychological construct, s i s i u t l must be seen as repre-senting some aspect of human nature. As an animal species, albeit one with supernatural qualities, s i s i u t l is subject to totemic association with humans (Levi-Strauss 1968: 8-13; Barbeau 1964: 369). In the words of Fernandez (1974: 122), "Totemism i s one of a variety of tropic struc-tures. . .arising out of the earliest experiences of inchoate subjects attempting through various concrete predications upon themselves to es-cape the anxiety of inchoateness." Metaphors arise because of the con-tinual need to stretch the range of words as new concepts and abstract relationships are accumulated (Cherry 1966: 74). S i s i u t l , in this frame of reference, i s , as mediator between humans and supernaturals, a con-cretized metaphor of the human soul or spirit,which s p i r i t travels i t s own abstract, ontogenetic journey in the l i f e of an individual. The supernaturals are seen as holding powers, attainable by humans for their own purposes; acquisition of these supernatural powers in societally approved ways is an important social step for an individual. As Levi-Strauss (1966: 221) states, "The notion of a supernature exists only for a humanity which attributes supernatural powers to i t s e l f and in return ascribes the powers of i t s superhumanity to nature." Super-naturals, therefore, are part of a controlled cognitive system which re-35 affirms the legitimacy of mankind as an integral part of a functional whole including nature, culture and supernature. This schema i s perhaps best summarized by Fernandez (1972: 58): However men may analyze the i r experiences within any domain, they inevitably know and understand them best by r e f e r r i n g them to other domains for elucidation. It i s i n that meta-phoric cross-referencing of domains, perhaps, that culture i s integrated, providing us with the sensation of wholeness. It appears that the prime role of s i s i u t l i s that of mediator, as mankind's contact with the supernatural world. It has been shown that the central face, represented on 88% of the sample i n Table 1, usu-a l l y depicts BaxbakualanuXsiwae, but also makes use of other beings. This ambiguity i s explained by the fact that s i s i u t l mediates between mankind and the supernatural, not just mankind and BaxbakualanuXsiwae; but he i s usually represented because he i s the most important character in Kwakiutl ceremonial l i f e (Boas 1970: 662). BaxbakualanuXsiwae repre-sents, therefore, i n t h i s context, a l l those beings which inhabit the supernatural world. The dead are included i n t h i s c l a s s i f i c a t i o n , ex-plaining the interpretation of Figure 31 above as having a human face i n the centre of i t s body. More material concerning s i s i u t l as mediator i s presented below i n connection with shamanism. 36 CHAPTER VI SISIUTL AND SHAMANISM Many of the items used in the winter dance series are easily recognized as s i s i u t l , for example belts and knives; but there are other accoutrements, such as cedar bark neck and head rings, which also repre-sent s i s i u t l , according to the ethnographies associated with them. Par-ticularly notable in this respect i s the dance of Haialikauae, the head and neck rings of which are described in Boas (1970: Figures 174-180) as follows: Fig. 174 - First head ring: "...heads of the s i s i u t l . " Fig. 175 - First neck ring: "...powers of the shaman." Fig. 176 - Second head ring.: "...powers of the shaman." Fig. 177 - Third head ring: "...powers of the shaman." Fig. 178 - First head ring: "...heads of the s i s i u t l , death bringer." Fig. 179 - Second head ring: "...powers of the shaman." Fig. 180 - Unspecified neck ring: "...heads of the s i s i u t l . " Judging from these figure descriptions, representations of shaman powers (in this medium) are virtu a l l y visually identical to those of s i s i u t l . This statement does not apply only to those rings used in the dance of Haialikauae; the dances of Nanaqaualil and Xaniatsangilak (Boas 1970: 488 and 454 respectively) u t i l i z e head and neck rings described in a similar way. 37 A possible reason for this association can be found by inves-tigation of the powers of BaxbakualanuXsiwae, who i s one of the close associates of s i s i u t l . Of this being i t is sung (Boas 1970: 405): 3. You tear men's skin, great magician 4. Everybody trembles before you, you great magician. According to Curtis (1915: 170), "The winter ceremony is called tsetsehka, translated by him as "secrets" or "tricks of legerdemain"; BaxbakualanuXsi-wae i s , as "great magician", accomplished in the performance of these tricks, which would be of use to the shaman. Also, according to Holm (1972: 26), "...the participants in the Tseyka (tsetsehka) are referred to as shamans...", which might explain the representations of the "powers of the shaman" on the neck and head rings. ordinary reality, or natural and supernatural realms (see above pp. this would be important reason for the association of s i s i u t l with sha-manism, as shamans also deal with the supernatural world. The shaman as mediator, as well as the position of a hamatsa i n i t i a t e during the sacred winter dance season, can be seen as follows: ; > 1. 2. You are looking for food, you great magician... You are looking for men whom you want to eat, great magi-cian; If s i s i u t l i s seen as a mediator between ordinary and non-A l l Year Winter Dance Society Society Shaman Initiate Supernaturals Supernaturals 38 Both are mediators between supernature and mankind. The shaman proper does not lose his properties during the winter dance time; his recognized powers are temporarily eclipsed in importance by the dramatic rendering of the initiate's t r i a l s . The i n i t i a t e during this time is the foremost mediator between the two worlds. The many occurrences of representations of s i s i u t l with respect to the accoutrements of the hamatsa dance fur-ther emphasizes, by association, the conception of s i s i u t l as mediator. The s i s i u t l in one of i t s forms is described as a self-paddling canoe (Boas 1969: 146-148). This is a very l i t e r a l depiction of the monster as mediator between states of mind/being. As mentioned above, i t is the bolt of lightning, mediator between earth and sky, as well as guardian of the houses of supernaturals (Boas 1966: 307), mediator between humans and the s p i r i t world. The Tsimshian myth regarding the Khrain princess who suckled the grubworm has, in some variants, additional i n -formation about the origin of the beast. A l l the variants state that she was notable in her society, i.e., a chief's daughter; but some include the fact that she was (Barbeau 1964: 364) "...just reaching womanhood," or (ibid.: 365) "...in seclusion at the time she reached maturity." She was "in the margins" (Douglas 1966 - discussed below) at the time of her f i r s t encounter with the woodworm, at i t s point of origin, giving further information regarding i t s extraordinary powers. The shaman, in order to get his power, originally has to en-dure privation of a major sort. This process includes starvation, exposure to extremes of weather, etc., because, according to an Eskimo shaman recorded by Rasmussen (1927: 54-55): 39 True wisdom is to be found far away from the people, out in the great solitude, and is not found in play but only through suffering. Solitude and suffering open the human mind, and therefore a shaman must seek his wisdom there. His power quest is located in what could be termed the margins: both of society, as he is physically removed from his people; and of the mind, brought to search unknown areas by the abuses in f l i c t e d upon the shaman's body. Discussing power quests, Douglas has stated the following (1966: 95-97): First there is a venture into the disordered regions of the mind. Second there is the venture beyond the confines of society . The man who comes back from these inaccessible re-gions brings with him a power not available to those who have stayed in the control of themselves and of society. To have been in the margins i s to have been in contact with danger, to have been at a source of power. Entry to the margins is possible only after some sort of transformation: death, trance, etc. Human ontogeny also involves dealings with the mar-gins, for example at the time of puberty r i t e s , where passage from one social status to the next is in process. Transfer from one state to another requires a vehicle, or mediator, which s i s i u t l has been shown to be above. More direct links between shamanism and s i s i u t l are presented here. Discussing the Tlingit, Swanton (1908: 465) states that, The greatest of a l l the shaman's sp i r i t s of this family, how-ever, was Unseeable, who was said to be chief of a l l shaman's s p i r i t s . He wore a t a l l hat and sat in the middle of a canoe in which were two other s p i r i t s . The s p i r i t in the bow was called bow-man; that in the stern, stern-man. 40 This description strongly recalls the s p i r i t of Khrain discussed above. Among the Bella Coola, according to Boas (1898: 44), "The s i s i u t l i s another helper of the shaman, and the means of curing disease. It appears that i t obtains i t s supernatural power from the fact that i t lives in the water in which the supreme deity washes her face." A point which further explains the association of Tlingit shamans with s i s i u t l i s the following: "...subsidiary spirits (represented on masks) ...were frequently supposed to strengthen...the shaman. Some of these small figures were animals, lik e land otters, but a favorite was the woodworm, because i t can bore through wood and so typifies strong per-ception." S i s i u t l is a transformer, mentioned (Boas 1970: 371) as being able to turn others into stone. This faculty again emphasizes the mar-ginal nature of s i s i u t l , as, in order to transform, a being is automati-cally involved with the boundaries crossed by the object of i t s actions. S i s i u t l i s , therefore, close to the power described by Douglas as pre-sent in the "margins"; i t s role as mediator i s carried out in those same "margins", and i t is a monster with supernatural characteristics. It i s also associated with virtu a l l y a l l of the important supernaturals present in Northwest Coast myth. A l l these attributes combine to make s i s i u t l a perfect a l l y for an entranced shaman; as a guide through un-known psychological regions, as transport to those regions, and as a source of great energy. An important thing to note about the energy of the s i s i u t l i s that i t i s accessible to men, given the proper circum-41 stances, as described in the myth: the death of the woodworm's s p i r i t , caused by a man, symbolizes this accessibility. According to Jensen (1963: 228-230), A l l shamanistic practices are based on psycho-physical dual-ism. The a b i l i t y of the shaman's soul to separate from his body would bear this out...his effectiveness is based upon specific psychic capabilities which can, of course, take many forms according to his greater or lesser personal commitment. Perhaps the two heads of s i s i u t l are somehow representative of this dualism. Regarding shamanism, Swanton (1908: 465)has recorded the follow-ing in his work on the Tlingit Indians: . . . i t is said that some U.S. marines were going to cut the hair of a Sitka shaman, when his s p i r i t came into him so powerfully that the arms of the big marine who was about to ply the shears were paralyzed and those of the other marines dropped to their sides. There are physical factors which can be used to explain an occurrence of this type. Present in the brain makeup of psychics is the following (Ostrander/Schroeder 1971: 75): "Most people generate three or four times more electrical voltage from the back of the brain than from the front ...Mikhailova's (a tested psychic) brain generates f i f t y times more vol-tage from the back of the head than the front." Also (loc. cit.) "... the electromagnetic force f i e l d around Mikhailova is much stronger than average." Implicit in this electrophysical explanation is that some shamanistic experiences are explicable in terms of contemporary science, here para-psychology and/or physics. Acceptance of this argument, in this instance, necessarily presumes that the incident mentioned by Swanton 42 actually happened; that this was the case i s not subject to verification. It cannot be denied, though, that shamans are effective in curing disease, be i t physical or mental. As is the case with modern medicine, many of the shaman's patients would probably recover without his help; but the fact of physical recording of psychic phenomena, phenomena which have been viewed in the same light as magical events (that i s , as being non-explicable in scien t i f i c terms), gives added cre d i b i l i t y to the effective-ness of shamanistic medicine. Levi-Strauss (1967: 192-193) has discussed a shaman's treatment of a d i f f i c u l t childbirth as follows: That the mythology of the shaman does not correspond to an objective reality does not matter. The sick woman believes in the myth and belongs to a society which believes in i t . The shaman provides...a language, by means of which unexpressed, and otherwise inexpressable states can be immediately expressed . . . i t i s the transition to this verbal expression...which i n -duces the release of the physiological process, that i s , the reorganization, in a favourable direction, of the process to which the sick woman is subjected. In this respect, the sha-manistic cure l i e s on the borderline between our contemporary physical medicine and such psychological therapies as psycho-analysis. The "language" that the shaman provides uses metaphor as it s main com-municative device; s i s i u t l i s a familiar symbol sometimes used in curing rituals. 43 CHAPTER VII PACIFIC RIM PARALLELS: THE NORTHWEST COAST SISIUTL AND SISIUTL-LIKE BEINGS IN CHINA AND NEW ZEALAND A comparison w i l l be made here between the Northwest Coast s i s i u t l and forms similar to the s i s i u t l which have been found in assem-blages of Shang/Chou China (1523-220B.C.) and of New Zealand (17th to 19th Centuries A.D.). The examples compared are taken from the visual arts. In his ar t i c l e on Northwest Coast Indian art, Inverarity (1972: 781-784) presents a l i s t of elements which he sees as being shared by various Pacific Rim cultures. Within this l i s t i n g , there are five head-ings which apply to s i s i u t l : 1. Symmetrically flanked displayed figures 2. Serpent 3. Double-headed serpent 4. Bird and snake motifs combined 5. Horns (on heads and elsewhere). While these w i l l be shown to be shared features among the arts of the Northwest Coast, China and New Zealand, i t i s hoped that an alternative explanation of this phenomenon can be determined without using the con-clusion arrived at by Badner (1966: 29): "The correspondences between Northwest Coast and Maori art can be due only to their derivation from some common source in Eastern Asia." 44 The Chinese Context In order to investigate the double-headed serpent in China, i t i s necessary to go back to the Shang period, 1523-1027 B.C. It is in the Shang that the Chou, 1027-220 B.C., has i t s roots, and the jade double-headed serpent of the Chou used as an example by Badner (Figure 41) is probably a traditional archaic form. Distinctive Elements The serpent in China, both Chou and Shang, exhibits a simpler set of identifying features than does that of the Northwest Coast. In the examples of art shown, there are two recurring elements: horns and a spiral or upturned nose. In cases of profile views, there is gen-erally one fang indicated. In the Chou double-headed example (Figure 41) there is a central face in the body of the animal. Composition of Chinese Serpent Motif Compositional arrangements are as follows: 1. ABA: Two heads, central face in body. This basically resembles the ABA form of s i s i u t l in the Northwest Coast (Figure 41). 2. AA: Two heads, no central face. Again basically similar to the Northwest Coast (Figure 40). 3. A; One head. One-headed examples are very close in detail to those of the Northwest Coast. Figure 42 includes a single-headed form, seen above the eyes of the main figure in the il l u s t r a t i o n . To be especially noted are the shape of the nose and the presence of horns. 45 Investigation to this point has shown that the most common manifestation of the serpent in China is the single-headed form, A, distantly followed by the AA form with even fewer ABA examples. The reason for the number of A forms i s the fact that they generally form the horns of k'uei dragons in Shang art, which dragons, when confronted with a mirror image on a horizontal base, form the t'ao t'ieh mask, the most important and by far the most numerous a r t i s t i c motif in Shang China (Watson 1962: 42-44). Figure 42 depicts a t'ao t'ieh. The AA form i s f a i r l y common, both in handles of the Shang period and in much later 4th-5th Century A.D. carvings in l i v i n g rock (J. Caswell - personal communication 1972) . Iconography There is no mythical description for a double-headed serpent in China. There i s , however, considerable information on the serpent and/or dragon. In China (Ackerman 1945: 89), "The serpent, an old v i t a l -i s t i c emblem, represents water, the coils representing the ancient spiral pool; and on the r i t u a l bronzes i t i s used most conspicuously as the pheasant wing-covert." This point illustrates the association of bird and water with serpent in the Chinese context. It has been noted above that the serpent is very closely a l l i e d to the t 1ao t'ieh masks of the Shang. According to Watson (1962: 43), The dragons found...closely associated with the t'ao t'ieh ...appear to correspond to the dragon ubiquitous in a l l later Chinese mythology. They were identified in Sung times (12th-14th Centuries A.D.) with the k'uei, a mythological creature mentioned in pre-Han texts and connected with rain-making. 46 In China, during the Shang-Chou periods, the double-headed serpent i s a free form visual motif, occurring in association with a wide range of items, both personal and ceremonial. Iconographically, i t has strong a f f i n i t i e s with birds, water and rain, and also thunder and lightning (Baynes 1966: 6). The New Zealand Context The best examples of the "double-headed serpent" in New Zea-land are to be found either as parts of carved door l i n t e l s or, more rarely, as complete l i n t e l s (S. Mead, personal communication - 1972). As in China, there is no mythical background for the double-headed ser-pent; also, in New Zealand, there are no snakes, Skinner (1966) has ex-plained the presence of certain animal motifs in Maori art (of animals which do not occur in New Zealand) as the product of folk memory of those animals. As what i s being dealt with bare is represented only v i s -ually, probably a simpler prototype could be found in eels, which do i n -habit the area. The l i n t e l part which most closely resembles a double-headed serpent is located centrally, at the extreme base of many l i n t e l s . This i s generally an unworked area of wood (sometimes decorated) which termi-nates in a manaia head at either end. Manaia are discussed below. The areas under discussion are generally small and visually unimportant to the composition of the l i n t e l as a whole, except in those cases where the l i n t e l i s condensed into a form specific to the relatively rare 47 Wanganui variant, seen in Figure 44. For purposes of distinction between the two major types of l i n t e l , the Wanganui example i s typical of Form B; the more common variety, as seen in Figure 48, w i l l be designated as Form A. A-type l i n t e l s appear to have their bases primarily as strengthening areas; that part which i s being dealt with as a double-headed serpent, therefore, is apparently so only through incidental decoration of an otherwise unworked area by an a r t i s t . Distinctive Elements In a l l cases, the head form on these pieces i s that of the manaia. The Type A l i n t e l s sometimes have designs on the bodies of the "double-headed serpents" included in their compositional makeup; these are usually in the shape of a double spiral. Type B l i n t e l s sometimes have a central face between the terminal manaia. Composition of Double-Headed Being Compositional arrangements appear as follows: 1. ABA: Two heads, central face in body. This is basically similar to the s i s i u t l of the Northwest Coast in appearance, but i t is a rare variant, whereas in the Northwest Coast i t i s the dominant form of the double-headed serpent. See Figure 44. 2. AA: Two heads, plain or simply decorated body. This i s the most commonly occurring form of the double-headed being in New Zealand l i n t e l art. Figures 43 and 46. 48 3. A: Single-headed legless beings or "serpents" do occur in the art of New Zealand, always represented as having manaia heads. Iconography As serpents are not represented there, there i s no material on serpents or double-headed serpents in the mythology of New Zealand. The only possible way to accumulate a corpus of myth for the purpose of analysis of the New Zealand double-headed being i s to investigate the manaia, as i t is the only recognizable theme on the s i s i u t l - l i k e motifs of this area and decorates a l l those things which have been classified as double-headed serpents (or legless beings). According to Archey (1963: 278), "...apart from the reply to leading inquiry that the manaia was a fabulous water monster, we have almost nothing on record to t e l l us (what the form of manaia represents)." One variant of manaia does have scales on i t s neck (Duff 1961: 313). Buck (1950) endorses Archey's view that the manaia grew out of human profiles. Mead (personal communication 1972) sees the manaia as a being developed out of non-human forms. Barrow (1969: 64) emphasizes the bird associations of manaia, but states, Its appearance as whole bird-men or as the head on a snake-like or fish body...make any single identification with one creature quite impossible. Manaia probably served as a sym-bol of supernatural force, especially mana, which the name... suggests. 49 Due to i t s generalized characteristics, both mythical and v i s -ual, i t i s very d i f f i c u l t to associate the manaia with specific referents. It i s a generalized motif, quite unlike the s i s i u t l which is specific. In New Zealand, the double-headed legless being is a secondary theme, generated through the decoration of structurally functional areas of l i n t e l s ; i t does not occur outside these l i n t e l s , and is therefore a bound form as opposed to a free form. Iconographically, the New Zealand form is associated with water, birds and f i s h , as well as ancestors (Bar-row ib id.) . Possible Development of Double-Headed Forms by Area Northwest Coast The s i s i u t l is well represented in myth. Its AA form (of which ABA is the dominant variant) is a l i t e r a l depiction of the monster described as two-headed in myth. China The late Chou pendant has definite parallels with Shang ser-pent figures. The spiral nose is evident in Shang times, as is the theme of the double-headed legless being or serpent. If i t is accepted that the pendant grew out of the earlier forms, which themselves were only i n -cidentally double-headed (as they decorated both ends of a handle) i t can be seen that this Chou manifestation is not representative of a par-ticular being. 50 New Zealand The Type A compositional form has apparently arisen in a manner similar to that in China; that i s , as a result of decoration of an area incidentally double-ended. Type B double-headed beings are apparently more condensed variants of the same decorative procedures. Summary From the above, the following points emerge: 1. Double-headed, usually legless beings, of basically AA composition, occur in China, the Northwest Coast and New Zealand at the times under discussion. 2. In a l l three areas, the motif exhibits horns. 3. China and the Northwest Coast share the spiral/upturned nose (com-positionally) and association with birds, water and lightning (icono-graphically). The manaia i s also associated with similar referents, but the data supporting this is highly speculative. Shared Elements The five shared elements, taken from Inverarity's l i s t i n g as being applicable to s i s i u t l and s i s i u t l - l i k e beings, w i l l be discussed here. 1. Symmetrically flanked displayed figures. Symmetry i s a highly probable logical possibility with respect to human compositional tendencies. The odds are at least even that a motif would be symmetrical, 51 given asymmetry as the alternative. This category describes a special case of symmetry, and due to the latitude of variants allowed by such a description, i t does not appear to be a useful distinction. 2. Serpent. Serpents are not a feature of New Zealand fauna, but they do inhabit the Northwest Coast and China. The poor definition of serpent in New Zealand, both visual and mythological, makes the eel as l i k e l y a natural prototype as is necessary. There are, therefore, naturally-occurring serpents or serpent-like creatures in a l l three l o -c a l i t i e s . 3. Double-headed Serpent. To produce this motif, a l l that is necessary is to make symmetrical an arrangement that would otherwise be asymmetrical, and therefore not balanced decoratively, by putting a head on the t a i l of an already existing snake. 4. Bird and snake motifs combined. This is a specific, well-defined t r a i t in China, but is less so in the Northwest Coast, where the s i s i u t l is linked with many supernaturals, bird monsters included. In New Zealand, the poorly defined manaia, associated with the serpent-like being of i t s area, is identified with a great variety of phenomena, among them water monster, bird and human, to mention a few. It can be seen that the types of "birds" linked with the "snakes" of these regions are of completely different orders of classification. 5. Horns. On the Northwest Coast, horns indicate a super-natural being; also, there are horned animals present in the area. The Chinese horns are often traced to rams (Levi-Strauss 1967: 244). In New 52 Zealand, according to Barrow (1969: 63), "...the horn on the beak i s a con-vention of b i r d renderings i n Oceania and Southeast Asia," making unneces-sary a search for distant and un l i k e l y h i s t o r i c a l connections outside Oceania and immediate areas; p a r t i c u l a r l y i n view of the fact that the K a i t a i a carving, seen i n Figure 45, i s a 15th Century A.D. foreshadowing of the l a t e r double-headed forms. V i s u a l l y similar forms i n widely diverse locations are explained by some as being the result of d i f f u s i o n of a p a r t i c u l a r t r a i t from a central area, through h i s t o r i c a l contacts. The presence of natural proto-types, however, i n the instance of double-headed serpents, appears to remove d i f f u s i o n as a necessary factor f o r explanation of v i s u a l simi-l a r i t y i n the areas under discussion. Levi-Strauss (1967: 242) has con-sidered this problem and has arrived at the following statement: If history, when i t i s cal l e d upon unremittingly (and i t must be called upon f i r s t ) cannot y i e l d an answer, then l e t us appeal to psychology, or the structural analysis of forms. Let us ask ourselves i f internal connections, whether of a psychological or l o g i c a l nature, w i l l allow us to understand p a r a l l e l recurrences whose frequency and cohesion cannot pos-s i b l y be the result of chance. This statement makes i t clear that the l o g i c a l p o s s i b i l i t i e s for Homo  sapiens sapiens are similar for any area or time, and that a r t i f a c t s produced by them w i l l naturally display close p a r a l l e l s . Normal v a r i a -t i o n , based upon environment, available materials, the presence or ab-sence of unusually creative individuals, and the presence of a highly developed art system, explains the differences to be seen among socie-t i e s . 53 CHAPTER VIII CONCLUSIONS It has been shown that s i s i u t l , the Kwakiutl primary variant of a Northwest Coast theme of double-headed serpents, is depicted, with alterations in mythical and visual attributes, among the Tsimshian, Tl i n g i t , Haida, Bella Coola, Nootka and Salish groups. This was shown by demonstrating that attributes i f the being in one area are more ful l y explained by referring to data obtained from different areas within the Northwest Coast. Visual similarity of a r t i s t i c representations was also taken into account, as the Northwest Coast is highly prone to tr a i t diffusion. S i s i u t l , in secondary variants, which are represented among a l l the groups, appears as duntsiqs, soul catchers, head and neck rings; i t also has a stylized form, that i s , i t s whole i s represented by a part in some instances. Sjsiutl i s , very importantly, a mediator; i t is a supernatural being which intercedes with other supernaturals on behalf of humans. Evidence for this conclusion was found in the fact that the central face of the primary variant, while usually representing the Kwakiutl being BaxbakualanuXsiwae, also depicted other supernaturals, notably Qomoqua. This meant that the central face symbolized a class of beings rather than a particular one. This class was determined to be that of the supernaturals, S i s i u t l as a mediating symbol is a metaphor for the human s p i r i t . 54 Its role as a mediator makes s i s i u t l a natural a l l y for a shaman, who, like the s i s i u t l , has intercourse with both the natural and the supernatural worlds. Many references in myth identify the s i s i u t l as a healing and all-seeing s p i r i t and i t is also referred to as chief of shamans' spi r i t s among the Tlingi t . S i s i u t l and i t s Pacific Rim parallels discussed above do have many features and associations in common, but the attributing of this series of similarities to historical contact and/or diffusion processes is probably less productive of useful information than i s an approach u t i l i z i n g structural theory of the type advocated by Claude Levi-Strauss. \ TLINGIT PRINCE OF WALES ISLAND TSIMSHIAN: Language QUEEN CHARLOTTE INDIANS OF BRITISH COLUMBIA, LINGUISTIC SUBDIVISIONS BouMlliiiv oi lint)mslu" slock "** Bouitdaiy ot linciuisiic division " \ Dialect boundary Tsimshian: Major Dialect Map 1 - L i n g u i s t i c S u b d i v i s i o n s : Northwest Coast Hawthorn 1967:2 56 Figure 1. Feast dish - Curtis 1915:176 Figure 2. Belt - Boas 1970:370 Figure TT^Baton - Hawthorn 1967: F i g . 129 Figure 5. Painting - Boas 1970: PI. 41 Figure 9. PuirtBiiq Boas 1970: P I . 3 9 59 Figure 11. Paddle - Hawthorn 1967: F i g . 486 Figure 12. Soul catcher - Hawthorn 1967: F i g . 521 Figure 13. Soul catcher - Dockstader 1966: F i g . 118 Figure H . Soul catcher Hawthorn 1967 F i g . 522 6 2 F i g u r e 20. K i l l e r whale mask - Hawthorn 1967: P I . XVII 6 4 F i g u r e 2$. Housepost -Barbeau 1964: P I . 151 F i g u r e 26. Khenkho mask - Hawthorn 1967: F i g . 383 65 Figure 28. Supernatural codfish mask - Hawthorn 1967: F i g . 322 Figure 29. Mawihl - Curtis 1915:174 Figure 33. Beit - Boas 1970: MgrTO" Pieure 34. Mawihl - Hawthorn 1967: Pig. 10 69 Figure 3 5 . Mawihl - Hawthorn 1967 s F i g . 12 '»»»! M l I JIM • I I I » Figure 3 6 . Mawihl -Hawthorn 1967s F i g . 13 Ifcgur© 38. Mawihl - Hawthorn 1967: Pig. 14 Figure 39. Ceremonial box l i d - Boas 1970: F i g . 41 Figure 42. T'ao t'ieh - Watson 1962: PI. 7b Figure 43. L i n t e l - Barrow 1969* Fig 122 Figure 44. L i n t e l - Duff 1961* PI. 18 Figure 45. Ridgepole carving - Barrow 1969* F i g . 14 Figure 46. L i n t e l - Barrow 1969: F i g 120 Figure 48. L i n t e l - Barrow 1969* F i g . 126 73 BIBLIOGRAPHY Ackerman, P. 1945 R i t u a l Bronzes of Ancient China. Dryden, New York. Archey, G. 1962 Spiral-Dominated Compositions i n Pare. Records of the Auckland Museum, Volume 5, November. Badner, M. 1966 "The Protruding Tongue and Related Motifs i n the Art Styles of the American Northwest Coast, New Zealand and China." Published i n Two Studies of Art i n the P a c i f i c Area. Verlag. Ferdinand Berger & Sohne, Horn-Wein. 1974 "The Double Headed Serpent i n Northwest Coast A r t " . Abstract delivered at Annual Meeting of College Art Association of America, January 23-26, 1974^' D e t r o i t , Michigan. Barbeau, M. 1953 Haida Myths. Queen's P r i n t e r s , Ottawa 1958 Medicine Men on the North P a c i f i c Coast. Queen's P r i n t e r s , Ottawa. 1964 Totem Poles. Queen's P r i n t e r s , Ottawa, Vol. 1 0 Barrow, T.T. 1969 Maori Wood Sculpture of New Zealand. A.H. & A.W. Reed, Auck-land. Baynes, C F . 1966 The I Ching or Book of Changes. Pantheon, New York. Benedict, R.F. 1964 The Concept of the Guardian S p i r i t i n North America. Kraus Reprints, New York. Boas, F. 1898 The Mythology of the B e l l a Coola Indians. Memoirs of the American Museum of Natural History. 1905 The Kwakiutl of Vancouver Island. E.J. B r i l l , Leyden. 1916 Tsimshian Mythology. Bureau of American Ethnology, Washing-ton, D.C 74 Boas F. 1935 Kwakiutl Tales. Columbia University Press, New York. x 1966 Kwakiutl Ethnography. (Ed. H. Codere). University of Chi-cago Press, Chicago. 1969 Kwakiutl Culture. Kraus Reprints, New York. 1970 The Social Organization and the Secret Societies of the Kwa- k i u t l Indians. Johnson Reprints, New York. Buck, P. 1950 The Coming of the Maori. Whitcombe and Tombs, Christchurch. Castaneda, C. 1968 The Teachings of Don Juan. University of California Press, Berkeley. 1 Cherry, C. 1966 On Human Communication. M.I.T. Press.Cambridge, Massachusetts. Covarrubias, M. 1954 The Eagle, the Jaguar and the Serpent. Knopf, New York. Curtis, E.S. 1915 The North American Indian. Vol. 10, Reprinted. Johnson Re-prints, New York. Dockstader, F. 1966 Indian Art in North America. New York Graphic Society, Greenwich. Douglas, M. 1966 Purity and Danger. Praeger, New York. Duff, R. 1961 "The Waitara Swamp Search", a r t i c l e in Records of the Canter- bury Museum, Vol. 7, No. 4. Eliade, M. 1958 Rites and Symbols of Initiation. Harper and Row, New York. Fernandez, J.W. 1972 "Persuasions and Performances: of the Beast in Every Body... And the Metaphors of Everyman", art i c l e in Daedalus, Winter 1972. Journal of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. 75 Fernandez, J.W. 1974 "The Mission of Metaphor i n Expressive Culture", a r t i c l e i n Current Anthropology, June 1974. Garfield, V. 1966 The Tsimshian and their Arts. University of Washington Press, Seattle. Gould, J. 1972 The Iconography of the Raven Rattle. Unpublished M.A. thesis, University of B r i t i s h Columbia. Hawthorn, A. 1967 Art of the Kwakiutl Indians. University of Washington Press, Seattle. Holm, B. 1965 Northwest Coast Indian Art: An Analysis of Form. University of Washington Press, Seattle. 1972 Crooked Beak of Heaven. University of Washington Press, Seattle. 1974 "Traditional and Contemporary Southern Kwakiutl Winter Dance." Paper delivered at 73rd Annual Meeting of the American Anthro-pology Association, Mexico Cit y , November 19-24, 1974. Inverarity, R.B. 1950 Art of the Northwest Coast Indians. Stanford University Press, Palo Al t o . 1972 "Observations on Northwest Coast Indian Art and S i m i l a r i t i e s Between a Few Art Elements Distant i n Time and Space," i n Early Chinese Art and i t s Possible Influence i n the P a c i f i c  Basin, (ed.) Barnard and Fraser Intercultural Arts Press, New York. Jensen, A.E. 1963 Myth and Cult Among Primitive Peoples. University of Chicago Press, Chicago. Krause, A. 1966 The T l i n g i t Indians. University of Washngton Press, Seattle. Levi-Strauss, C. 1963 Totemism. Beacon Press, Boston. 1966 The Savage Mind. University of Chicago Press, Chicago. 76 Levi-Strauss, C. 1967 Structural Anthropology. Anchor Books, New York. Locher, E.W. 1932 The Serpent i n Kwakiutl Religion. E.J. B r i l l , Leyden. Ostrander, S. and Schroeder, L. 1971 Psychic Discoveries Behind the Iron Curtain. Prentice-Hall, New Jersey. Panofsky, E. . 1955 Meaning i n the Visual Arts. Doubleday Anchor Books, New York. P h i l l i p s , W.J. 1955 Carved Maori Houses. Government Printers Wellington. Rasmussen, K. 1927 I n t e l l e c t u a l Culture of the Caribou Eskimos. Copenhagen, 1927. Reed, A.W. 1967 Treasury of Maori Fol k l o r e ^ A.H. and A.W. Reed, Wellington. Skinner, H.D. 'xhe Bird-Contending-With-Snake as an Art Motif i n Oceania, i n Records of the Otago Museum, Anthropology 2. Speiser, W. 1960 China. Methuen, London. Swanton, J.R. 1908 Social Conditions, B e l i e f s and L i n g u i s t i c Relationships of the T l i n g i t Indians. U.S. Government Press, Washington, D.C. Watson, W. 1962 Ancient Chinese Bronzes. Tuttle, London. 


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