Open Collections

UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

The Tlingit land otter complex : coherence in the social and shamanic order Barazzuol, Richard A. 1988

Your browser doesn't seem to have a PDF viewer, please download the PDF to view this item.

Item Metadata

Download

Media
831-UBC_1988_A8 B37.pdf [ 6.24MB ]
Metadata
JSON: 831-1.0097912.json
JSON-LD: 831-1.0097912-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): 831-1.0097912-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: 831-1.0097912-rdf.json
Turtle: 831-1.0097912-turtle.txt
N-Triples: 831-1.0097912-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: 831-1.0097912-source.json
Full Text
831-1.0097912-fulltext.txt
Citation
831-1.0097912.ris

Full Text

THE TLINGIT LAND OTTER COMPLEX: COHERENCE IN THE SOCIAL AND SHAMANIC ORDER by RICHARD A. BARAZZUOL B.A., U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1981 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS i n THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES Department of Anthropology and S o c i o l o g y We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming to the r e q u i r e d standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA February, 1988 c) R i c h a r d A. B a r a z z u o l , 1988 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 it 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 or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Department of DE-6 (2/88) ABSTRACT T h i s t h e s i s d e a l s with T l i n g i t n o t i o n s about death, s p i r i t s , l a n d o t t e r s and shamans. The l i n k a g e between these c a t e g o r i e s and t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p to the s o c i a l order are e x p l o r e d by examining T l i n g i t mythology. P a r t i c u l a r myths are analyzed t h a t embody the concepts and b e l i e f s which the T l i n g i t used to d e a l with the unanswerable q u e s t i o n : What happens when someone d i e s ? S o c i a l l y , there was a s e t p a t t e r n of r i t u a l p r a c t i c e s and a s e r i e s of memorial f e a s t s to dispense with the body and s p i r i t of someone who d i e d a normal death. Yet, there was an anomalous s i t u a t i o n a s s o c i a t e d with death by drowning or being l o s t i n the woods. The T l i n g i t i n d i c a t e d t h at people who d i e d i n t h i s manner were taken by l a n d o t t e r s p i r i t s and c o u l d become shamans i f c e r t a i n c o n d i t i o n s were met. T h i s t h e s i s contends t h a t t h i s e x p l a n a t o r y s c e n a r i o was an important aspect of T l i n g i t cosmology, s i n c e i t p r o v i d e d a means of i l l u s t r a t i n g the source of shamanic power, and a l s o of how t h a t power was r e l a t e d to the s o c i a l aspects of T l i n g i t c u l t u r e . The myths d e a l i n g with l a n d o t t e r p o s s e s s i o n o f f e r i n f o r m a t i o n about how shamanic power was a t t a i n e d and a l s o provide a glimpse i n t o the importance of the r o l e of the T l i n g i t shaman as a mediator between the s o c i a l and the s p i r i t u a l domains. TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT i i TABLE OF CONTENTS i i i LIST OF TABLES AND ILLUSTRATIONS i v ACKNOWLEDGMENTS . . v INTRODUCTION . 1 The T l i n g i t Land O t t e r Theme 1 Methodology 8 Summary Of Chapters 9 T l i n g i t Geography and Economy 11 Chapter I. TLINGIT SOCIETY AND BELIEFS 12 S o c i a l S t r u c t u r e 12 C r e s t and Rank 15 Names and R e i n c a r n a t i o n 17 P o t l a t c h i n g : Remembering the Ancestors . . . 23 I I . SPIRITS AND SOURCES OF POWER 31 T l i n g i t Views of the Body and Soul 31 T l i n g i t E s c h a t o l o g y 33 Shamans and S p i r i t Helpers 39 I I I . THE TLINGIT SHAMAN 48 The Nature of the Shaman 48 The Role of the Shaman 52 Shamanic I n h e r i t a n c e 53 D e a l i n g with W i t c h c r a f t 55 S p i r i t I n t r u s i o n 58 IV. PERCEPTIONS OF LAND OTTER 61 The Power of Land O t t e r 61 Land O t t e r s and Shamans 6 3 The Power" of Shamans 69 Land O t t e r People . 7 3 O t t e r s : The Animal 74 V. MYTHOLOGY AND TEXTS 7 7 T l i n g i t Myths and T a l e s 77 The Land O t t e r Myths 81 CONCLUSION . 9 7 Shamans, Land O t t e r s and S o c i a l I n t e g r i t y . . . . 97 Death: The Indeterminate Determination 97 The P o t l a t c h : D e a l i n g with Death S o c i a l l y . . . . 99 Myths: D e a l i n g with Anamalous Deaths 101 Land O t t e r : D e a l i n g with Death S p i r i t u a l l y . . . . 102 APPENDIX I 104 APENDIX II 114 SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY 118 i i i LIST OF TABLES Table 1 T l i n g i t E s c h a t o l o g y 37 LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS Fi g u r e 1. Land O t t e r Man Mask 43 2. Land O t t e r Mask 44 3. C h i l k a t Shaman's Mask 45 4. Shaman of the Taku Clan 51 5. Drowned Man Turning i n t o Land O t t e r 68 i v ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Acknowledgement must be g i v e n to Dr. Alan Sawyer, now r e t i r e d from the U.B.C. Fine A r t s Department, f o r making a v a i l a b l e the resources o f . h i s e x t e n s i v e s l i d e a r c h i v e . P r o f e s s o r B i l l Holm, now r e t i r e d from the U n i v e r s i t y of Washington, Fine A r t s and Anthropology Departments, a l s o k i n d l y made a v a i l a b l e h i s very comprehensive s l i d e a r c h i v e . Thanks to M a r j o r i e H a l p i n , Robin R i d i n g t o n and James Lovejoy f o r p r o v i d i n g manuscripts and other m a t e r i a l s t h a t were e i t h e r unpublished or not r e a d i l y a v a i l a b l e . Thanks must a l s o be g i v e n to Dr. Margaret S t o t t f o r her i n c i s i v e and u s e f u l c r i t i c i s m at an e a r l i e r and d i f f i c u l t p e r i o d . And of course s p e c i a l thanks to the members of my committee: Dr. Robin R i d i n g t o n who helped me to understand mythtime and the r e a l i t y of producing a t h e s i s ; Dr. Marjor-ie H a l p i n , whose i n t e l l e c t u a l grasp of myth and a r t was always an i n s p i r a t i o n ; and Dr. M a r i e - F r a n c o i s e Guedon f o r her i n v a l u a b l e i n s i g h t s and h e l p f u l i n f o r m a t i o n and s u g g e s t i o n s . v INTRODUCTION "The Tlingit have no consistent set of notions which can be invoked to explain the nature of ' the world and the ordinary regularities of natural events that take place in i t . There seens to be no developed cosmological scheme. Rather, there are various uncoordinated Bets of notions that are presented in the myths, some of which deal explicitly with the origins of certain natural features or human customs, while others , in apparent unconcern with temporal sequence, take these natural conditions and social institutions as already established, while explaining the creation of others which appear logically antecedant" (De Laguna: 1974;792}. THE TLINGIT LAND OTTER THEME The T l i n g i t , l i k e a l l n a t i v e peoples of the P a c i f i c Northwest Coast engaged i n v a r i o u s ceremonial a c t i v i t i e s , r e l i e d on o r a l t r a d i t i o n f o r the t r a n s m i s s i o n of knowledge, and produced v i s u a l l y s o p h i s t i c a t e d and h i g h l y symbolic a r t . The a r t and the mythology r e f l e c t e d the complex s o c i a l system and the s p i r i t u a l b e l i e f s of these people. A r e c u r r i n g theme i n t h e i r c u l t u r e was the "transmutable" r e l a t i o n s h i p between humans and animals. A r i c h mythology spoke of t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p and of the b e l i e f t h a t s p e c i a l power and s t r e n g t h c o u l d be obt a i n e d from animals. Both the myths and the a r t supported the i d e a t h a t some animals had the a b i l i t y to tran s f o r m i n t o humans and th a t some humans c o u l d tr a n s f o r m i n t o animals; t h i s i d e a was e x p l i c i t i n r i t u a l s surrounding death, and e s p e c i a l l y i n a l l b e l i e f s concerning l a n d o t t e r s . A c c o r d i n g to de Laguna (1972;823), the T l i n g i t b e l i e v e d t h a t animals had s o u l s t h a t were e s s e n t i a l l y l i k e those of human beings and i n mythtime, were i n human form. She c i t e s a myth 1 ( i b i d . ) which e x p l a i n s t h a t t h e i r present bodies are d e r i v e d from the f u r robes they were wearing when they were f r i g h t e n e d i n t o the woods or the sea by the D a y l i g h t t h a t was unleashed when Raven, the Transformer, was p u t t i n g the world i n t o i t s c u r r e n t order. In the myths, animals c o u l d d o f f or change t h e i r bodies while i n t h e i r homes under the sea or i n the mountains and r e g a i n t h e i r o r i g i n a l human form. They might even appear b e f o r e men i n t h i s human form. Now, however, she r e p o r t s t h a t only the Land O t t e r has the a b i l i t y to assume the shape of a person. In response to the opening quote from de Laguna, and c o n t r a r y to what she seems to imply, I would h y p t h e s i z e t h a t the common themes p r e v a l e n t i n T l i n g i t mythology suggest an u n d e r l y i n g order to t h e i r cosmology, even though t h i s order does not manifest i n an e x p l i c i t or c o n s i s t e n t f a s h i o n . The myths may o f f e r a c o n t r a d i c t o r y r e f l e c t i o n of s o c i a l r e a l i t y juxtaposed with somewhat i n c o n s i s t e n t b e l i e f s , but they a l s o express ways by which these i n c o n s i s t e n c i e s are brought t o g e t h er. According to de Laguna, the nature of T l i n g i t cosmology i s best understood through n a r r a t i v e or customary a c t s , r a t h e r than through p h i l o s o p h i c a l e x p o s i t i o n ( i b i d . ) . T h e r e f o r e , an a n a l y s i s of the myths, and a l s o of c e r t a i n r i t u a l behavior, w i l l p r o v i d e i n s i g h t i n t o T l i n g i t thought i n s p i t e of the apparent i n c o n s i s t e n c y of t h e i r cosmology. 2 Although some authors have emphasized d i s t i n c t i o n s between "sacred" and " s e c u l a r " aspects of Northwest co a s t c u l t u r e ( c f . J o n a i t i s ; 1984, Goldman; 1975, Oberg; 1973), both s o c i a l and shamanic a r t and r i t u a l s expressed r e l a t i o n s h i p s between the mythic world and the present r e a l i t y , as w e l l as between the n a t u r a l environment and the c u l t u r a l world. The myths a c t e d as a v e r b a l c o n f i r m a t i o n of these r e l a t i o n s h i p s , e x p r e s s i n g and c a r r y i n g on t h e i r s p i r i t u a l and s o c i a l v a l u e s and b e l i e f s . I would hypothesize t h a t d i s t i n c t i o n s between s a c r e d and s e c u l a r a c t i v i t i e s r e f l e c t western modes of a n a l y s i s which tend to dichotomize and r e i f y ideas and m a t e r i a l s i n t o - d i s c r e t e bundles f o r ease of study. In the T l i n g i t case, I would concur with Guedon ( p e r s o n a l communication), t h a t the shamanic order a c t u a l l y s p i l l e d over i n t o the s o c i a l order and t h a t the s o c i a l order s p i l l e d i n t o the s a c r e d order; I would f u r t h e r argue t h a t t h i s common zone comes i n t o focus when one examines how both the sac r e d order and the s o c i a l order d e a l t with the common problem of death. In T l i n g i t thought, the dead pl a y e d a very important r o l e . Deceased a n c e s t o r s were c o n s i d e r e d an e s s e n t i a l p a r t of the s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e . The p o t l a t c h , a s e r i e s of f e a s t s f o r the dead, was meant to both honor the deceased r e l a t i v e s and to ensure t h a t t h e i r h e i r s r e c e i v e d the c r e s t s and o b j e c t s a s s o c i a t e d with them. T h i s would i n t u r n secure them a p l a c e i n the c u r r e n t s o c i a l order. The p o t l a t c h was e s s e n t i a l to t h i s t r a n s m i s s i o n of s o c i a l power w i t h i n the community and yet i t a l s o had s p i r i t u a l c o n n o t a t i o n s . T h i s s p i r i t u a l dimension had to do with the b e l i e f t h a t some e s s e n t i a l p a r t of the i n d i v i d u a l e x i s t e d a p a r t from the p h y s i c a l body. The p o t l a t c h or memorial f e a s t was the means by which t h i s s o u l or s p i r i t was i n e f f e c t r e l e a s e d from i t s ' o b l i g a t i o n s among the l i v i n g . The s o c i a l power t h a t had been assumed by the deceased d u r i n g h i s / h e r l i f e had u l t i m a t e l y come from the s p i r i t s , who were a c t u a l l y a n c e s t o r s and/or animals. Thus the s o c i a l t r a n s m i s s i o n of power to an h e i r a t a p o t l a t c h i n c l u d e d a formal r e c o g n i t i o n of t h i s s p i r i t u a l o r i g i n . I t a l s o e n t a i l e d an e x p l i c i t attempt to i d e n t i f y the boundaries between the l i v i n g and the dead, as w e l l as the boundaries between the d i f f e r e n t human k i n groups. The r e l a t i o n between s o c i a l and sa c r e d elements i n the p o t l a t c h was best r e f l e c t e d i n the mythology and the artwork of the T l i n g i t . Both the a r t and the myths employed images of t r a n s f o r m a t i o n which expressed the T l i n g i t b e l i e f i n the power of s p i r i t s . The d e p i c t i o n of beings i n which animal f e a t u r e s and human f e a t u r e s c o e x i s t e d was common, and s t o r i e s of animals t a l k i n g or of humans l i v i n g among animals were t o l d f r e q u e n t l y . Many of the animals found i n the T l i n g i t environment were d e p i c t e d i n the myths and s t o r i e s , but some appeared more o f t e n than o t h e r s . 4 One animal t h a t appeared with great frequency on a r t o b j e c t s a s s o c i a t e d with T l i n g i t r i t u a l s and i n s t o r i e s was the la n d o t t e r . I t appeared as a primary f i g u r e on many of the charms and masks owned by shamans, and a l s o as a secondary f i g u r e on r a t t l e s , batons, charms and masks. The T l i n g i t p e r c e i v e d the land o t t e r as a very powerful s u p e r n a t u r a l c r e a t u r e which c o u l d t r a n s f o r m a t w i l l from animal to human form. Land Ot t e r / P e o p l e appeared f r e q u e n t l y i n T l i n g i t myths, o f t e n p r o v i d i n g humans with power, s t r e n g t h and g i f t s of food. Land o t t e r s were the most potent s p i r i t h e l p e r or yek f o r the T l i n g i t shaman, and were s a i d to be the f i r s t animal to approach the l a t t e r i n h i s i n i t i a t o r y quest f o r power. The l a n d o t t e r was a l s o an animal g r e a t l y f e a r e d by the T l i n g i t l a y p e r s o n s i n c e they b e l i e v e d t h a t i t was capable of kidnapping a drowning person or someone l o s t i n the w i l d e r n e s s and t a k i n g him or her away to a l a n d o t t e r v i l l a g e . T h i s was a p l a c e s i m i l a r i n many ways to a human v i l l a g e and was u s u a l l y reached by t r a v e l l i n g i n l a n d o t t e r canoes a c r o s s , and sometimes even under, the ocean. I f the abducted i n d i v i d u a l d i d not escape soon, they would e v e n t u a l l y t u r n i n t o a f u r r y l a n d o t t e r . In time, they would j o i n the ranks of the l a n d o t t e r people and p a r t i c i p a t e i n b r i n g i n g i n new v i c t i m s to i n c r e a s e the l a n d o t t e r p o p u l a t i o n . Perhaps the most f r i g h t e n i n g aspect of a l l t h i s f o r the T l i n g i t was t h e i r b e l i e f t h a t the l a n d o t t e r s p i r i t s they encountered were a t one time human and thus had a super-animal i n t e l l i g e n c e which g r e a t l y f a c i l i t a t e d t h e i r kidnapping endeavors. T h i s "kidnapping" c o u l d a l s o take the form of l a n d o t t e r p o s s e s s i o n , r e s u l t i n g i n i n s a n i t y and was viewed as a s i t u a t i o n where a person was c o n s i d e r e d s o c i a l l y n e i t h e r dead nor a l i v e . In t h i s t h e s i s I w i l l examine the l a n d o t t e r complex, i n order to determine what we can l e a r n from i t about the r e l a t i o n s h i p between t h a t most important T l i n g i t s o c i a l ceremony, the p o t l a t c h ( i . e . memorial f e a s t f o r the dead), and T l i n g i t shamanism. The t h e s i s w i l l focus on the l a n d o t t e r complex, as i t seems to accommodate the anomalous c a t e g o r y of people whose s p i r i t u a l and s o c i a l i d e n t i t i e s have been l o s t and who have thus been removed from t h e i r p l a c e i n the ceremonial order. More s p e c i f i c a l l y , I w i l l argue t h a t the l a n d o t t e r was used as a means of symbolic mediation between the l i v i n g and the dead. The common ground between the s o c i a l and the shamanic order was the arena i n which the r e s t o r a t i o n of l a n d o t t e r ' s v i c t i m s took p l a c e . I contend t h a t t h i s process made a s i g n i f i c a n t c o n t r i b u t i o n to the coherence of T l i n g i t cosmology. In d e v e l o p i n g t h i s argument, we w i l l e x p l o r e how the p o t l a t c h d e a l t with death and with the s o c i a l order; we w i l l a l s o examine some of the p e r t i n e n t themes i n the mythology and d e s c r i b e the shaman's con n e c t i o n with the l a n d o t t e r . 6 METHODOLOGY There has been l i t t l e i n terpretative work done on the topics of T l i n g i t shamanism and the Land Otter theme. In order to analyze the complex rela t i o n s h i p between the land otter, the shaman and T l i n g i t s o c i a l order, three major sources of data are available: 1) the l i t e r a t u r e , including early descriptive texts and ethnographies as well as current i n t e r p r e t i v e writing; 2) oral T l i n g i t l i t e r a t u r e , including myths, texts, songs and stor i e s c o l l e c t e d from the natives; and 3) a r t i f a c t s , which include museum notes, archival material and photographic images of the objects. This thesis w i l l deal with the f i r s t two sources, the l i t e r a t u r e and myths as primary materials to be analysed and referenced with the aim of casting more l i g h t on the inter a c t i o n of s o c i a l and s p i r i t u a l b e l i e f systems. The artwork, which i s also a r i c h source of material, w i l l be included only as an adjunct to thi s analysis. This thesis i s based on data extracted from h i s t o r i c a l writings and r e l a t i v e l y dated ethnographies. It deals primarily with the T l i n g i t b e l i e f system associated with the l a t t e r part of the l a s t century, and thus i t i s es p e c i a l l y d i f f i c u l t to v e r i f y some of the observations and conjectures that w i l l a r i s e i n thi s study of the land otter complex. Some of the more subtle aspects of the T l i n g i t b e l i e f system, such as the relat i o n s h i p between 7 body and s p i r i t , become apparent i n the early writings of Russian clergy, but even that i s subject to problems inherent i n t h e i r C h r i s t i a n perspective. In the f i n a l analysis, the primary source for understanding the nuances of both s p i r i t u a l and s o c i a l b e l i e f s of the T l i n g i t are the myths. The examination of T l i n g i t myths confirms and r e i t e r a t e s the observations of T l i n g i t culture gleaned from the ethnographies. Yet i t also goes a step further because the myths juxtapose s o c i a l and s p i r i t u a l b e l i e f s i n a way that i s not r e a d i l y apparent i n the ethnographies. Chapters IV and V w i l l explore some of the elements i n the myths which i l l u s t r a t e how t h i s blending of the s p i r i t u a l and the s o c i a l ultimately work to bring about a cohesion of values and b e l i e f s i n T l i n g i t society and thus a degree of coherence i n t h e i r cosmology. SUMMARY OF CHAPTERS In Chapter I, we w i l l examine the s o c i a l foundation of T l i n g i t society, including the h i e r a r c h i c a l system of ranking and the inheritance of crests and names. This chapter w i l l introduce the hypothetical role of the idea of reincarnation as a v i t a l element i n the potlatch ceremony. Chapter II w i l l give an overview of the T l i n g i t concept of the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the body and the indwelling soul or 8 s p i r i t . T l i n g i t views on what happens to t h i s s o u l upon death of the body w i l l be examined and used as s u p p o r t i v e evidence f o r t h e i r b e l i e f i n r e i n c a r n a t i o n . F i n a l l y the r e l a t i o n s h i p between humans and s p i r i t h e l p e r s or yek w i l l be summarized. Chapter I I I w i l l look a t the nature of the shaman and h i s r o l e i n T l i n g i t s o c i e t y . The r u l e s and taboos a s s o c i a t e d with shamanic i n h e r i t a n c e w i l l be d i s c u s s e d . T l i n g i t concepts of i l l n e s s and h e a l i n g (and the malevolent nature of w i t c h c r a f t ) w i l l be examined as w i l l the phenomenon of s p i r i t i n t r u s i o n . Chapter IV w i l l examine the b e l i e f t h a t l a n d o t t e r s can s t e a l away the s p i r i t s of humans and transform them i n t o l a n d o t t e r s . The m y t h o l o g i c a l o r i g i n s of the shaman w i l l then l a y the groundwork f o r e s t a b l i s h i n g the r e l a t i o n s h i p between l a n d o t t e r s and shamans. The a c q u i s i t i o n of power from l a n d o t t e r s by shamans w i l l be e x p l o r e d i n g r e a t e r d e t a i l . F i n a l l y , the b i o l o g i c a l nature of the o t t e r as animal, and some of i t s n a t u r a l behaviors w i l l be examined. Chapter V w i l l present s e v e r a l l a n d o t t e r myths as r e p r e s e n t a t i v e examples. The myths w i l l be analyzed to b r i n g out major themes and s i g n i f i c a n t d e t a i l s , with p a r t i c u l a r a t t e n t i o n to k i n s h i p , death and shamanism. Reference to other myths and cross-comparisons of themes w i l l be made when a p p r o p r i a t e . The Concluding chapter w i l l p r o v i d e a summary view of the v a r i o u s elements found i n the myths which i n d i c a t e t h a t there are p a t t e r n s i n the l a n d o t t e r complex which have c o u n t e r p a r t s i n the p o t l a t c h . These p a t t e r n s , taken as a whole, w i l l i l l u s t r a t e how 9 the T l i n g i t r e c o n c i l e d and d e a l t with the i s s u e of death. Shamanic a c t i v i t y , the l a n d o t t e r complex and the p o t l a t c h w i l l each be reviewed i n order to e l i c i t a comprehensive model of how they a l l served as cohesive elements of T l i n g i t cosmology. TLINGIT GEOGRAPHY AND ECONOMY The T l i n g i t i n h a b i t the c o a s t a l area of southeastern A l a s k a and the numerous adjacent i s l a n d s . T r a d i t i o n a l l y , t h e i r t e r r i -t o r y s t r e t c h e d f roro l a t i t u d e 54 40' to about l a t i t u d e 60 n o r t h . T h i s ranges from the area around P o r t l a n d Canal i n the south to G l a c i e r Bay i n the n o r t h . The r e g i o n i s bordered by the S t . E l i a s Range of mountains on the north and the Coast Range to the ea s t . Due to the past submergence of the g l a c i a t e d c o a s t ranges, the area to the west i s an a r c h i p e l a g o of l a r g e i s l a n d s which p r o t e c t the T l i n g i t from the f u l l brunt of the P a c i f i c storm waves. The f e a t u r e s of t h i s c o a s t a l area are t y p i c a l of sub-merged g l a c i a t e d s h o r e l i n e s , with s t e e p - s l o p e d i s l a n d s and headlands bounded by long, narrow bays or f i o r d s . Although many small streams empty i n t o these f i o r d s , they are g e n e r a l l y from v a l l e y s f a r above sea l e v e l , and very few l a r g e streams are found along the c o a s t . With a v i r t u a l absence of streams t h a t are na v i g a b l e to any d i s t a n c e i n l a n d , the steep surrounding mountains were a hindrance to easy communication with the i n t e r i o r . Since the i s l a n d s to the west and the j u t t i n g p e n i n s u l a r headlands r i s e 10 abruptly and are so densely covered i n undergrowth and forests, transportation i n the past was primarily by canoe along the coastal waters. The T l i n g i t area, often referred to as the Alaskan "pan-handle", i s the northernmost extension of what i s considered the Northwest Coast. The r e l a t i v e i s o l a t i o n afforded by the mountains to the north and east imposed l i m i t s on contact with the Eskimo and Athapaskan peoples and assured the prominence of a Northwest Coast c u l t u r a l pattern. This does not suggest that there was no borrowing of t r a d i t i o n s and trading of goods with neighbouring groups. In fact, although limited, such exchange was an important adjunct to T l i n g i t l i f e . The T l i n g i t economy was based on f i s h i n g and sea-hunting and thus water t r a v e l was extremely important. Typical of the Northwest Coast c u l t u r a l pattern, the T l i n g i t had a highly developed complex of woodworking, and a s o c i a l system with a strong emphasis on rank and wealth. Although there were c e r t a i n fundamental patterns prevalent throughout the area, there were also many variations i n the economy and material culture. 11 CHAPTER I TLINGIT SOCIETY AND BELIEFS "It is through his name, and the leaning of his name that a Tlingit knows himself. His name or names indentifies the spirit or spirits, formerly animating a long line of forebears, that have come to live again in him, shaping his body or lending character to his personality" (de Laguna, 1972 ;790). SOCIAL STRUCTURE Like t h e i r Haida and Tsimshian neighbors to the south, and the i r Eyak neighbors to the north, the T l i n g i t kin groups were arranged into m a t r i l i n e a l moeties. According to Oberg (1973:23), there were three m a t r i l i n e a l phratries i n T l i n g i t society: the Tlaienedi, or Raven, the Sinkukedi, or Wolf, and the Nexadi, or Eagle. However, since the Nexadi were so few i n number, they were generally grouped with the Sinkukedi. In any case, we may speak of the T l i n g i t as having two major d i v i s i o n s , Raven and Wolf/Eagle. Since these d i v i s i o n s were exogamous, the s o c i a l structure that evolved entailed r e c i p r o c a l ceremonial obligations with services rendered at a l l l i f e c r i s e s by the 'opposite' side. Such services were repaid at potlatches or feasts when the debtors served as hosts. De Laguna (1972:450), i n her extensive three volume study of the northern T l i n g i t , emphasizes that the moiety was not a s o c i a l group as i t had no organization of i t s own. Rather i t served to regulate the relationships between persons, e s p e c i a l l y those b u i l t on marriage, since i t arranged the sibs to which each in d i v i d u a l belonged on one side or the other. The primary o r g a n i z a t i o n was the s i b , or c l a n , which was preeminently a p o l i t i c a l as w e l l as a s o c i a l u n i t . The T l i n g i t term kwan r e f e r e d to a r e g i o n a l f e d e r a t i o n of sub-clans ( i e . the Stikine-kwan which was comprised of nine s i b s i n s e v e r a l v i l l a g e s along a p o r t i o n of the S t i k i n e R i v e r ) . There was c o n f u s i o n between these two s o c i a l c a t e g o r i e s which r e s u l t e d from the i n t r o d u c t i o n of the term " t r i b e " by e a r l y e x p l o r e r s and m i s s i o n -a r i e s and l a t e r , government o f f i c i a l s who used the term i n a p r i m a r i l y t e r r i t o r i a l sense. De Laguna t r i e s to show how t h i s usage d i d not r e f l e c t the a c t u a l s i t u a t i o n or n a t i v e thought: "While the i n h a b i t a n t s of each g e o g r a p h i c a l d i s t r i c t were to some extent u n i t e d by f e e l i n g s of l o c a l p r i d e , l o c a l s o c i a b i l i t y , and t i e s of a f f i n i t y , they s t i l l d i d not c o n s t i t u t e a t r i b e i n the sense of a p o l i t i c a l l y o r g a n i s e d and autonomous group. Rather a sense of community i d e n t i t y took second p l a c e to the " p a t r i o t -ism" f e l t by the members of each s i b f o r t h e i r own m a t r i l i n e a l k i n group... S i b members r e c o g n i z e d t h e i r common k i n s h i p even though they might be s c a t t e r e d i n d i f f e r e n t v i l a g e s i n d i f f e r e n t t r i b a l (ie.kwan) areas, f o r o n l y a few s i b s were r e s t r i c t e d to one r e g i o n (de Laguna, 1972:212). However, c o n f u s i o n s t i l l e x i s t s s i n c e , on the one hand, many E n g l i s h - s p e a k i n g T l i n g i t c o ntinue to r e f e r to the s i b as a " t r i b e " or " n a t i o n " , and on the other hand o f f i c i a l government and l e g a l documents i n s i s t on usi n g the word " t r i b e " i n a s t r i c t l y t e r r i t o r i a l sense. The s i b was a c t u a l l y independent of the l o c a l community or kwan, though n a t i v e t r a d i t i o n s suggest a l i n k between the u n i l i n e a l k i n group and the l o c a l i t y , the l a t t e r b eing the s i t e of t h e i r a n c e s t r a l house. To f u r t h e r c l a r i f y the l i n k a g e between t e r r i t o r y and k i n s h i p , de Laguna looks a t the composition of the s i b s : 13 "A s i b of any size i s composed of several lineages or house groups (hit-tan), and the l a t t e r i n turn may consist of a single house l i n e or a clus t e r made up of "mother" and "daughter" houses. While some sibs are found only i n only single t r i b a l (kwan) d i s t r i c t s , most sibs are established i n several areas where they own house s i t e s and t e r r i t o r i e s for hunting, f i s h i n g , and gathering. The l o c a l segments of such a widespread sib may or may not be able to form d i s t i n c t subsibs, perhaps depending on the recency or circumstances of the i r d i s p e r s a l . On the other hand, a single s i b i n one l o c a l i t y may exhibit two (or more?) f a i r l y i n -dependent lineages or clusters of houses, perhaps r e f l e c t i n g the process of s p l i t t i n g into separate sibs, or the incomplete fusion of two formerly d i s t i n c t groups. The r e l a t i v e independence of these sub-d i v i s i o n s may be seen in th e i r h i s t o r i c a l t r a d i t i o n s , i n t h e i r sharing or exclusive use of totemic crests or other prerogatives, and i n whether or not they form r i v a l groups at l o c a l potlatches (ibid.:212). The character of the sibs was an extremely important and jealously guarded aspect of T l i n g i t society. Each sib was composed of a group of individuals who were bound together by a set of p a r t i c u l a r prerogatives: a common name, a body of h i s t o r -i c a l and mythological t r a d i t i o n s , possession of t e r r i t o r i e s for hunting, f i s h i n g and berrypicking, house s i t e s and houses i n the v i l l a g e , and by a treasure of nonmaterial r i g h t s , together with t h e i r material or symbolic representations (ibid.:451). The lineage was l i k e a sib i n miniature and had i t s share of common sib possessions and prerogatives as well as those to which i t s made exclusive claim. Both the lineage and the sib had th e i r own pa r t i c u l a r material possessions, songs, dances, war c r i e s and shaman's songs. These were f e l t to distinguish the group from other sibs and lineages. Individual members of the s i b found t h e i r mates p r e f e r e n t i a l l y i n the s i b of the i r fathers. Cross-14 c o u s i n marriage p r e f e r e n c e was emphasized by the j o k i n g r e l a t i o n s h i p between such c o u s i n s , while b r o t h e r s and s i s t e r s stood i n an avoidance r e l a t i o n s h i p ; and i n c e s t between members of the same s i b or even moiety was c o n s i d e r e d a s i n provoked by or l e a d i n g to i n s a n i t y . CRESTS AND RANK A c c o r d i n g to de Laguna (1972:451), the d i s t i n c t i o n s and p r e r o g a t i v e s of the s i b were s t r o n g l y a s s o c i a t e d with i t s totemic c r e s t s . They were an important f e a t u r e of the m a t r i l i n e a l s i b or l i n e a g e . Thus members of the s i b or the l i n e a g e were viewed as v i t a l l i n k s to the "totemic" e n t i t i e s from which these r i g h t s were a c q u i r e d i n the mythic past by t h e i r a n c e s t o r s . The symbolic dimension of T l i n g i t s o c i a l l i f e was re p r e s e n t e d by the c r e s t s and c r e s t o b j e c t s , which corresponded to the totemic symbols c o r r e l a t e d with the d i v i s i o n s i n the s o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n . C e r t a i n c r e s t s i d e n t i f e d the moiety, others the s i b , and s t i l l o t h e r s the house-group. Some, such as Raven, were used a t a l l three l e v e l s , w h i le others were e x c l u s i v e to the s i b and/or l i n e a g e . The o l d e s t male i n a T l i n g i t l i n e a g e was g e n e r a l l y the yitsati or "keeper of the house". The yitsati d i d not i n a s t r i c t sense own the house or the ceremonial c r e s t s of the l i n e a g e , but r a t h e r h e l d them i n t r u s t . Although he was not 15 o f f i c i a l l y a war leader, his words c a r r i e d weight i n these matters. According to Oberg (1973:30), the yitsati was pre-eminently a ceremonial leader, a repository of myth and s o c i a l knowledge, and an educator of the young of the house-group. He c a r r i e d on the trading a c t i v i t i e s of the house-group and took an active part i n ceremonial labor, such as house building, feasts and b u r i a l s . The most important figure i n the s i b was the ankaua or " r i c h man". He was the leading yitsati or "house-keeper" of the highest ranked house in the s i b . The ankaua was also known as the 'big man' or lingit-tlen, and was usually the custodian or trustee of the sib's common inheritance. He was thus responsible for housing, maintaining and displaying the crest objects that were the sib's representation of that inheritance. He was also responsible for the group's t e r r i t o r i e s , and for the a l l o c a t i o n and preservation of i t s resources. He was a ceremonial leader and had the primary r e s p o n s i b i l i t y for the potlatches and ceremonies that established and maintained the status of his s i b in T l i n g i t society. The yitsati, as headman of a lineage, often stood as a counselor to the ankaua of his s i b . Shamans sometimes held t h i s p o sition of lineage head, perhaps due to the fact that the right was passed from the elder to younger brothers i n the house group. Thus, i f a younger, brother had choosen to follow the way of a shaman, he might f i n d himself suddenly immersed i n the more s o c i a l / p o l i t i c a l role of yitsati. The shaman, or ixt, also acted i n other capacities as advisor to the ankaua or yitsati. When disputes that concerned the whole sib were discussed, the ankaua c a l l e d the yitsati of the various house groups together, and they held a meeting i n a sweat house. The leading ixt of the sib was always present and often consulted i n an oracular manner..1 Whether as a yitsati or as ixt, his opinion was highly regarded, e s p e c i a l l y i n matters of warfare and the s e t t l i n g of disputes. NAMES AND REINCARNATION H i e r a r c h i c a l ranking was important to the organization of the T l i n g i t . Clans, sub-clans, house groups within sub-clans, and individuals within house groups a l l had th e i r r e l a t i v e status. The status of individuals was generally inherited, but had to be continually reaffirmed. The potlatch or feast was a mechanism for v a l i d a t i n g t h i s ranking i n the secular realm, and crest art was a means of displaying i t . The totemic s p i r i t s associated with the power of the crests were believed to have come i n mythological times to bestow t h i s power on the si b . It was up to the individuals of the sib to renew the v a l i d i t y of that crest's power when they inherited the right to display i t . 1 According to Olson (1961;207), a shanan accompanied all war parties; his power enabled him to tell where the enemy was hidden, and also who and how many would be killed. In these revelations he usually spoke in metaphoric or Delphic terms. 17 P a r t of the mechanism by which an i n d i v i d u a l i n h e r i t e d h i s r i g h t s was the a c q u i s i t i o n of an h o n o r i f i c name at a p o t l a t c h . These names were c l o s e l y a s s o c i a t e d with totemic animals and t h e i r symbols. L i k e the totemic c r e s t s , such names were r e l a t i v e l y few and g e n e r a l l y f i x e d i n number, although new ones c o u l d be i n t r o d u c e d on s p e c i a l o c c a s i o n s . A l s o , l i k e the c r e s t s , they were sa c r e d and used on l y on ceremonial o c c a s i o n s . But, bes i d e s these " h o n o r i f i c " names there were other kinds of names tha t were e s s e n t i a l to the i d e n t i t y of a T l i n g i t i n d i v i d u a l . A c c o r d i n g to De Laguna (1954; 184), the T l i n g i t d i s t i n g u i s h e d between the " r e a l " or " o r d i n a r y " name giv e n a t b i r t h , the "pet" name when one was growing up, and/or the "nickname" which c o u l d be a c q u i r e d a t any time, and the " p o t l a t c h " or " h o n o r i f i c " name which i s c e r e m o n i a l l y c o n f e r r e d by a r e l a t i v e who v a l i d a t e s i t by making a c o n t r i b u t i o n a t a p o t l a t c h . A " c h i e f ' s " name was ap p a r e n t l y such a p o t l a t c h name assumed by or pro c l a i m e d on b e h a l f of the h e i r at the memorial p o t l a t c h he gave f o r h i s predecessor. A person may i n h e r i t s e v e r a l " r e a l " names from d i f f e r e n t deceased r e l a t i v e s , thus embodying as many r e i n c a r n a t i o n s (de Laguna, i b i d . ) . For the T l i n g i t , the b i r t h of a c h i l d always meant the r e t u r n of someone who had d i e d , and the a f t e r - l i f e was but the prelude to a new e x i s t e n c e (de Laguna, 1954;181). A l l deceased i n d i v i d u a l s (with the p o s s i b l e e x c e p t i o n of witches and those who m i s t r e a t animals) c o u l d be r e i n c a r n a t e d . They c o u l d choose the 18 parents to whom they would be reborn as long as the mother was a c l o s e r e l a t i v e i n t h e i r own s i b or i n a r e l a t e d branch. Acc o r d i n g to de Laguna (1954:182) a person may t e l l a woman t h a t he w i l l come back to her as a c h i l d , and th a t she should name the baby a f t e r him. He may s e l e c t one woman among h i s k i n because of her good c h a r a c t e r or because her husband i s a good p r o v i d e r , and f o r b i d other p o t e n t i a l mothers from naming a son f o r him because they are "no good." A person c o u l d have two or more names, and thus presumably m u l t i p l e s o u l s or s p i r i t s . In t h i s case the person c o u l d come back to more than one woman, and each of the mothers may bear a c h i l d with one of the deceased's names. The p o s s e s s i o n of a name or names, when s e v e r a l of the deceased's were g i v e n to a l i v i n g namesake, made r e i n c a r n a t i o n " e f f e c t i v e . " The r e i n c a r n a t e d i n d i v i d u a l was s a i d to remember h i s p r e v i o u s l i f e . 2 His " r e a l " name c a r r i e d with i t the the k i n usages p r a c t i c e d by or toward the p r e v i o u s h o l d e r . T h i s p r a c t i c e i s i l l u s t r a t e d by de Laguna who says t h a t : A mother may c a l l a son "uncle" because he i s named f o r her mother's b r o t h e r , or a man may c a l l h i s son " f a t h e r " because the baby bears the name of the f a t h e r ' s f a t h e r . The former wife c a l l s her husband's namesake "husband," g i v e s g i f t s to her "mother-in-law" (the baby's mother), and.helps care f o r the baby. The 1 Stevenson's (1974;4) fieldwork suggests that the belief in reincarnation is s t i l l current among the Tlingit in Alaska. In fact, he indicates that the world's highest number of reported cases is among the Tlingit. Bis investigations suggest that theUncidence of reported cases is influenced by cultural beliefs, but also that reincarnation occurs in families ignorant of the phenomenon or even opposed to it. Of the many cases which indicated a memory of past lives, more than half involved some kind of birthmark or physical deformity of the present personality that related to wounds or illness of the past person. 19 f a t h e r and mother of one man gave presents to the orphaned c h i l d r e n of t h e i r son's dead namesake, as i f they were the t r u e grandparents. In t u r n , the son of the r e i n c a r n a t e d " f a t h e r " c a l l s the daughter of h i s f a t h e r ' s namesake " s i s t e r " and g i v e s her money as a t r u e b r o t h e r should ( i b i d . : 1 8 4 ) . A l l T l i n g i t names (except nicknames) were s a i d to belong to a p a r t i c u l a r s i b , and some were even d e s i g n a t e d as belonging to a s p e c i f i c "house group" or l i n e a g e . Names c o u l d be passed out of one s i b i n t o a c l o s e l y r e l a t e d one, e i t h e r through planned r e i n c a r n a t i o n on the p a r t of the o r i g i n a l h o l d e r , or because a gran d f a t h e r i n one s i b bestowed an h o n o r i f i c name on h i s son's c h i l d who belonged to another s i b . In the l a t t e r case, the r i g h t to the name was c o n f i n e d to the c h i l d so honored, u n l e s s the name was a new one c o i n e d a t a p o t l a t c h . I t i s not c e r t a i n whether the name i n v o l v e d i n r e i n c a r n a t i o n was i n theory completely t r a n s f e r r e d to the other s i b . De Laguna (ibid.:185) r e p o r t s t h a t the census r e c o r d s i n d i c a t e t h a t many names were shared by s e v e r a l s i b s and were d u p l i c a t e d i n many communities. The s p i r i t power of an anc e s t o r , which was bestowed on the T l i n g i t i n d i v i d u a l i n a name-giving ceremony a t a p o t l a t c h , was b e l i e v e d to s t a y with him as long as he c o u l d uphold the honor th a t went with t h i s p r i v i l e g e . Although i t was an e x c l u s i v e ceremonial name, i t was onl y one of s e v e r a l p o s s i b l e names a person might have. Noble names were l i k e t i t l e s , p a s s i n g from o l d e r to younger b r o t h e r , from mother's b r o t h e r to s i s t e r ' s son, or from g r a n d f a t h e r to h i s son's son, a t the death of the s e n i o r . T h i s d i d not imply r e i n c a r n a t i o n , although the p r e s t i g e and any 20 p r e r o g a t i v e s of the predecessor were t r a n s f e r r e d with the name. These h o n o r i f i c names were words or phrases r e f e r r i n g to s i b totems, to t h e i r r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s as c r e s t s , to episodes i n s i b h i s t o r y , or to graves and houses p a i d f o r at a p o t l a t c h i n which such names are g i v e n . A c c o r d i n g to de Laguna: Because the i n d i v i d u a l i s so c l o s e l y i d e n t i f i e d with h i s s i b and i t s o r i g i n s , totems and c r e s t s , some names have been c o i n e d to r e f e r to these, and so express i n analogous f a s h i o n t h i s m y t h i c a l - s o c i a l aspect of the s e l f . A person's names thus not onl y embody or symbolize h i s " s o u l " or " s o u l s " ; they express h i s p o s i t i o n i n s o c i e t y as d e f i n e d by the i n t e r s e c t i n g c o o r d i n a t e s of maternal and p a t e r n a l l i n e s and of rank; they i n d i c a t e h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p to those s e c t o r s and the " n a t u r a l " world a s s o c i a t e d with s i b mythology; and l a s t l y , they p o r t r a y h i s own i n d i v i d u a l p e r s o n a l i t y t r a i t s ( i b i d . : 1 8 7 ) . Shamans a c q u i r e d h o n o r i f i c names e i t h e r when they f i n i s h e d t h e i r n o v i t i a t e or when they o b t a i n e d t h e i r f i r s t s p i r i t h e l p e r . Thus, Tek-ic, as shaman, became Lxagusa, " T e l l s about War," r e f e r r i n g to h i s a b i l i t y (or th a t of one of h i s s p i r i t s ) to see approaching war p a r t i e s . A shaman's name was u s u a l l y a s s o c i a t e d with a p a r t i c u l a r s p i r i t , and thus would be i n h e r i t e d with t h a t s p i r i t by h i s succe s s o r , as was the name Setan. T h i s was a c t u a l l y the name of the s p i r i t , which was announced by the shaman while i n t r a n c e (de Laguna, 1972;787). The shaman summoned and r e c e i v e d i n t o h i m s e l f a l l of those s p i r i t s t h a t served h i s predecessors, f o r a time l o s i n g h i s o r d i n a r y i d e n t i t y , and speaking i n t h e i r names ( i b i d . ; 7 9 0 ) . 21 Recent symbolic analyses of Tsimshian and Kwakiutl c u l t u r e s suggest t h a t the people were given to e t e r n a l names, r a t h e r than the other way around, because "the name i s an i n s t i t u t i o n or the s o u l of a c o r p o r a t i o n that e x i s t s f o r e v e r " ( M i l l e r 1984;29; c f . Goldman 1975;37; Walens 1981:65; H a l p i n 1984; Seguin 1984;114). Th i s i n t e r p r e a t i o n of the meaning of names and naming may apply to the T l i n g i t as w e l l . The v a l u a b l e names i n h e r i t e d from the a n c e s t o r s were p e r c e i v e d by the T l i n g i t as t a n g i b l e s t h a t c o u l d be "put on" i n the same manner as the ceremonial r e g a l i a which they a c q u i r e d . A c c o r d i n g to Olson, "those to be r e i n c a r n a t e d go to a p l a c e no one knows where and when they come back they c a r r y (as a bundle) under t h e i r arm t h a t same name which i s t h e r e f o r e g i v e n to them." The T l i n g i t were concerned about p r e v e n t i n g t h e i r names from "dying out," and so they would p e r p e t u a l l y r e c y c l e them among the l i v i n g . P o t l a t c h names, as opposed to b i r t h and pet names, c a r r i e d a c e r t a i n p r e s t i g e and s o c i a l v a l u e , i n d i c a t i n g the rank of i t s h o l d e r (Olson, 1967:48). 22 POTLATCHING: REMEMBERING THE ANCESTORS T l i n g i t ceremonial a c t i v i t i e s , l i k e those of other Northwest c u l t u r e s , e n t a i l e d a complex s e r i e s of r i t u a l s which have come to be subsumed under the name ' p o t l a t c h ' . 3 The memorial p o t l a t c h , which f o l l o w e d f u n e r a l s , was the c h i e f ceremony f o r the T l i n g i t a c c o r d i n g to M c C l e l l a n , although she a c t u a l l y d i s t i n g u i s h e s three c a t e g o r i e s of ceremonialism: f e a s t s , " p o t l a t c h e s " and peacemaking ( M c C l e l l a n , 1954:77). On any s p e c i a l o c c a s i o n , f e a s t s were h e l d which i n v o l v e d the s e r v i n g of food i n a ceremonial manner to in-laws and r e l a t i v e s from the oppo s i t e moiety. These f e a s t s c o u l d be small s c a l e events among members of a household a f t e r a s u c c e s s f u l hunt, or grand a f f a i r s i n which the e n t i r e community might p a r t i c i p a t e . Often members of one moiety would f e a s t the oppo s i t e moiety and not eat themselves i n order to pay f o r s e r v i c e s rendered by t h e i r guests. The tobacco-smoking p a r t y which was h e l d j u s t b e f o r e the d i s p o s a l of a corpse i s an example of t h i s k i n d of f e a s t . These s m a l l e r f e a s t s might be c o n s i d e r e d as p a r t of a s e r i e s of r i t u a l a c t i v i t i e s t h a t together c o n s t i t u t e d the p o t l a t c h . R e c i p r o c i t y of t h i s s o r t strengthened the o p p o s i t i o n between the two s i d e s and r e a f f i r m e d the i d e n t i t y of each l i n e a g e . 3 The category of 'potlatch' was created by Europeans. As Goldman pointed out for the Kwakiutl (1975:131), "There never were, at least in precontact days, such events as 'potlatches'. Rather there were specific ritual occasions commemorating marriage, death, the construction of a house, investiture of an heir", and so on. However, following the usage by other anthropologists and, in many cases, the natives themselves, I will use the term 'potlatch' to refer to a set of ceremonies which shared certain basic features. 23 The fundamental core of the T l i n g i t p o t l a t c h was the formal and p u b l i c payment by members of one moiety to those of the o p p o s i t e moiety. The primary purpose was to honor the dead and a l s o the l i v i n g by recompensing i n d i v i d u a l s of the other s i d e f o r d u t i e s rendered, and to guarantee t h e i r " r e s p e c t b e h a v i o r " i n the f u t u r e ( i d i b . ) . I n d i v i d u a l s of h i g h rank used the p o t l a t c h not o n l y f o r the o b l i g a t o r y payment of f u n e r a l d u t i e s , but a l s o to mark the completion of a new l i n e a g e house, to absolve "shame" from a p h y s i c a l blemish or awkward a c c i d e n t , to remove an i n s u l t , and to maintain or a t t a i n t h e i r f u l l noble s t a t u s . P o t l a t c h e s f o r high ranking i n d i v i d u a l s were u s u a l l y a s s o c i a t e d - w i t h the r e b u i l d i n g or completion of a new l i n e a g e house, and o f t e n i n v o l v e d i n t e r - v i l l a g e p a r t i c i p a t i o n . The peacemaking or "deer" ceremony was s i m i l a r i n p a t t e r n and r i t u a l form to f e a s t i n g and p o t l a t c h i n g . Swanton recorded a T l i n g i t song (1909:412) i n which Raven i s married to a woman of the l a n d o t t e r people. He taught them the "deer" ceremony. Afterwards he came among humans and taught i t to them. The c r u c i a l d i f f e r e n c e the deer ceremony and a r e g u l a r f e a s t was t h a t i t r e s u l t e d i n a s a t i s f a c t o r y s ettlement f o r b o d i l y i n j u r y or death i n f l i c t e d on a member of one s i b by a member of another. Afterwards he came among humans and taught i t to them. A c c o r d i n g to Swanton (1908a:461), i f a man d i e d unavenged, or h i s death was not p r o p e r l y compensated f o r , then he c o u l d not get up the l a d d e r t h a t took him to Ki'waa (the T l i n g i t sky realm f o r h e r o e s ) , but i n s t e a d would d r i f t around with the c l o u d s and not be a v a i l a b l e f o r r e i n c a r n a t i o n i f denied access to t h a t realm. The f i n a l stage i n t h i s ceremony was the exchange of hostages c a l l e d " d e e r " . i The memorial, or f u n e r a l p o t l a t c h was by f a r the most important T l i n g i t ceremony, and helped to maintain the s o c i a l c ohesion of t h a t s o c i e t y r i g h t up to the present day (Kan, 1986:194). A l l of the major ethnographers of the T l i n g i t have emphasized the r o l e of the dead and the n a t i v e view of t h i s r i t u a l as a memorial, but few have e x p l o r e d the i d e a t h a t i t s u l t i m a t e purpose was to ensure the c o n t i n u i t y of the l i n e a g e . One e x c e p t i o n to t h i s i s a recent a n a l y s i s by Se r g e i Kan (1986) i n which he examines the symbolism of the ceremonial o b j e c t s , r i t u a l a c t s and d i s c o u r s e , as w e l l as the i n t e r a c t i o n and the r e l a t i o n s h i p s between the a c t o r s . His category of a c t o r s i n c l u d e s not o n l y the l i v i n g hosts and guests, but a l s o t h e i r deceased m a t r i l i n e a l r e l a t i v e s . By t r e a t i n g the dead as a c t i v e p a r t i c i p a n t s i n the ceremony, he i s a b l e to i l l u s t r a t e the n a t i v e p e r s p e c t i v e of c o n t i n u i t y ( v i a the i d e a of i n h e r i t a n c e ) as an important focus of the T l i n g i t p o t l a t c h . 1 "Deer" also appear in the myths: Swanton (1908:59?), tells of a village visited by land otter people who dms up and dance for their hosts in an effort to make peace with them, since their relatives (land otters) had been killed by the villagers. The guests (land otters) were all killed, the "deer" being saved for last, In Tale 31 (ibid.:139), two high-caste land otters are taken as peace hostages ("deer") to help settle a war between humans and land otters. The land otter people then come to the village and perform the peace dance. In the morning when the people wake up, they have disappeared, but the people remember the dance. 25 The death of a member of the m a t r i l i n e a l group ( e s p e c i a l l y someone of high s t a t u s ) caused a s o c i a l c r i s i s . The subsequent wake i n v o l v e d a c o l l e c t i v e reassessment of the s o c i a l c a r e e r of the deceased and r e i t e r a t e d h i s t i e s with a l l of the members of h i s l i n e a g e or c l a n . T h i s f i r s t stage i n the t r a n s f o r m a t i o n of the deceased i n t o an a n c e s t o r was a p e r i o d of s o d a l i t y among the l i n e a g e which was u n i t e d i n t h e i r common g r i e f f o r the deceased. According to Kan, t h e i r mourning a t t i r e underscored t h a t u n i t y , w h i le deemphasizing the important d i s t i n c t i o n s and i n e q u a l i t i e s among the a r i s t o c r a t s and commoners, o l d and young, men and women (Kan, 1986:196). Oberg's (1973:123) d e s c r i p t i o n of the T l i n g i t p o t l a t c h i n d i c a t e s the involvement of the shaman on these ceremonial o c c a s i o n s . He says t h a t the p o t l a t c h was a four-day a f f a i r . On the f i r s t day, speech making by both s i d e s , f e a s t i n g , and dancing by the hosts took p l a c e . On the second day the v i s i t o r s performed t h e i r c l a n dances and d i s p l a y e d and e x p l a i n e d the o r i g i n of t h e i r totemic c r e s t s . The t h i r d day was devoted to t h e a t r i c a l s and c o n t e s t s of v a r i o u s k i n d s . A f t e r e a t i n g and f i s h o i l d r i n k i n g c o n t e s t s , Oberg r e p o r t s t h a t : I m i t a t i o n s of other peoples' dances and customs f o l l o w . Another important f e a t u r e i s the c o n t e s t s between r i v a l shamans, each endeavoring to perform the most miraculous c o n j u r i n g a c t , such as walking through f i r e or shooting arrows a t a robe without p i e r c i n g i t ( i b i d . ) . At the c o n c l u s i o n of a p o t l a t c h , the guests thanked and comforted t h e i r hosts with formal speeches, and cheered them up by s i n g i n g and dancing i n t h e i r own p a r a p h e r n a l i a . When t h i s t h a n k s - g i v i n g was over the hosts s a i d t h a t they had "put t h e i r t r o u b l e s away" and t h a t the dead c h i e f who had been alone on an i s l a n d , had been helped by the guests to r e t u r n "back to the mainland". M c C l e l l a n (1954:82) notes t h a t t h i s s y m b o l i c a l l y put him i n the p o s i t i o n of being ready to be born agai n , f o r h i s death had been p r o p e r l y " f i n i s h e d " and h i s nephew - i n s t a l l e d as the new l i n e a g e c h i e f and b e a r i n g the o l d c h i e f ' s name - c o u l d take h i s u n c l e ' s widow as w i f e . There were two important processes going on w i t h i n the ceremonial a c t i v i t y of the p o t l a t c h . One was the d e s i r e to i n c r e a s e s t a t u s and p r e s t i g e and the other was the mortuary/memorial purpose of the p o t l a t c h . Kan (1986:201) e x p l a i n s t h a t many of the a c t i o n s t h a t were aimed at r a i s i n g the host group's rank and s t a t u s were meant as ways of honoring t h e i r m a t r i l i n e a l a n c e s t o r s . Whenever c o n f l i c t s occured among the p a r t i c i p a n t s , the names of the dead were invoked to r e s t o r e peace. Kan views the "love and r e s p e c t " of the l i v i n g toward the dead as an i d e o l o g y which allowed the l i v i n g to present a c t i o n s aimed at r a i s i n g t h e i r s t a t u s as noble and m o r a l l y c o r r e c t . At the same time, the p o t l a t c h was the o n l y major o p p o r t u n i t y f o r the d i s p l a y of the s a c r e d c r e s t s , the performance of songs, dances and myths which embodied the h i s t o r y , i d e n t i t y and d e s t i n y of the m a t r i l i n e a l group. 27 Kan ( i b i d . ) warns us t h a t i t i s i n c o r r e c t t o c o n s i d e r c o m p e t i t i o n over rank, s t a t u s , and p r e s t i g e as the o n l y s i g n i f i c -ant purpose of the p o t l a t c h as some s c h o l a r s have done ( J o n a i t i s , 1986:12; Oberg, 1973:124; T o l e f s o n , 1976:203-234). On the other hand, he r e c o g n i z e s t h a t i t i s a mistake to r e s t r i c t an a n a l y s i s to the n a t i v e i d e o l o g y , which emphasized commemorative aspects of the p o t l a t c h such as " d i g n i t y , sympathy, high r e s p e c t f o r a l l , with the e x a l t e d c h i e f and the poor and lowly u n i t e d i n sorrow and honor f o r the a n c e s t o r s " (de Laguna, 1972:612). I t i s Kan's o p i n i o n t h a t the complexity of the p o t l a t c h and i t s c e n t r a l i t y i n T l i n g i t c u l t u r e and s o c i e t y r e s u l t e d from a d i a l e c t i c a l r e l a t i o n -s h i p between c o m p e t i t i o n and c o o p e r a t i o n , between the s t r u g g l e f o r power and p r e s t i g e on the one hand, and the "love and r e s p e c t " f o r the a n c e s t o r s on the other (Kan, 1986:201). The important r o l e of these a n c e s t o r s i n m a i n t a i n i n g a balanced s o c i a l order must not be underestimated. A c c o r d i n g to Kan, the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the l i v i n g and the dead, maintained by the T l i n g i t , and dramatized and r e -i t e r a t e d i n the p o t l a t c h , was t h a t of r e c i p r o c i t y . The l i v i n g p r o v i d e d the dead with food, warmth, g i f t s , and most i m p o r t a n t l y , l o v e and rememberance. The dead, i n r e t u r n , passed on to them the v a l u a b l e names and other s a c r e d p o s s e s s i o n s and p r e r o g a t i v e s , which were used by the l i v i n g to m a intain and r a i s e t h e i r rank, s t a t u s and p r e s t i g e . The T l i n g i t b e l i e v e d t h a t the dead c o u l d not o n l y h e l p them, but might a l s o harm them with i l l n e s s or 28 death, i f the l i v i n g d i d not show proper r e s p e c t and h e l p them by d i s t r i b u t i n g food and other g i f t s a t the p o t l a t c h ( i b i d ) . The symbolic importance of i n c l u d i n g the deceased i n the r i t u a l exchange of the p o t l a t c h was e x p l a i n e d by an informant of Swanton's who s a i d t h a t : Whenever people had a b i g f e a s t i n t h i s world and put t r a y s of food i n t o the f i r e , mentioning the names of the deceased, t h i s food went d i r e c t l y up to the s p i r i t houses. And when the people gave b l a n k e t s away to those about them i t was j u s t as though they gave b l a n k e t s to the s p i r i t s , f o r the s p i r i t s a l s o r e c e i v e d them (Swanton, 1908a:462). M c C l e l l a n (1954:80) emphasizes t h a t a l l food eaten at a p o t l a t c h f e a s t was consumed f o r the dead - not o n l y the dead c h i e f , but f o r a l l the a n c e s t o r s of the host moiety. The names of the dead who were to r e c e i v e the food was announced so t h a t the s p i r i t s would hear. A l s o the name of each c o n t r i b u t o r of g i f t s among the hosts was c a l l e d out along with that of the dead person being honored. They kept t r a c k of the amounts c o l l e c t e d and then announced them so t h a t "the dead w i l l hear i t " ( i b i d . ) . When the accumulated wealth was d i s t r i b u t e d , every b i t had to be gi v e n away, s i n c e t h i s was the onl y way i n which the dead c o u l d r e c e i v e i t s b e n e f i t i n the s p i r i t world. As long as the dead were remembered by t h e i r l i v i n g k i n group they c o u l d p a r t i c i p a t e i n the p o t l a t c h . The f i r e was t h e i r means of communicating with the l i v i n g , and through i t they r e c e i v e d what they needed i n the s p i r i t world. Those who were remembered r e c e i v e d warmth and nourishment from t h e i r descendants and s a t c l o s e to the f i r e i n t h e i r noncorporeal houses (Swanton, 1908a:462). T h e i r remains were p e r i o d i c a l l y p l a c e d i n new grave houses or other c o n t a i n e r s and t h e i r names were passed on to t h e i r h e i r s . However, those who were f o r g o t t e n had to move f u r t h e r and f u r t h e r away from the f i r e , and thus s u f f e r e d from hunger and c o l d , while t h e i r "houses" i n the cemetery crumbled. U l t i m a t e l y the c o n t i n u i t y of the m a t r i l i n e a l c l a n , which was the core of the T l i n g i t s o c i o c u l t u r a l order, depended upon the human a b i l i t y to remember the a n c e s t o r s (Kan, 1986:200). De Laguna (personal comunication, M.F. Guedon) e x p l a i n e d t h a t you don't need a p o t l a t c h to be g i v e n i n honor of the deceased i n order f o r t h e i r s p i r i t to be r e i n c a r n a t e d . The p o t l a t c h c l e a r e d the s o c i a l p o s i t i o n of the deceased so t h a t the p o s i t i o n c o u l d then be f i l l e d a g ain. I t a l s o c l e a r e d the debts of the deceased so t h a t he/she would f e e l f r e e to move away. But she c l a i m s t h a t t h i s d i d not i n t e r f e r e with nor d i d i t f a c i l i t a t e r e i n c a r n a t i o n . However, she notes t h a t you d i d need a body (corpse) i n order t h a t a memorial p o t l a t c h ( i . e . f e a s t f o r the dead) be h e l d . Without a body, you may s t i l l have a f e a s t , but i t i s p r i m a r i l y an o c c a s i o n to i n t r o d u c e an h e i r who has taken on the "noble" name, or a new c h i e f as the case may be. The next chapter w i l l d e a l with the T l i n g i t b e l i e f s about the s o u l s of these a n c e s t o r s and how they are r e l a t e d , both s o c i a l l y and s p i r i t u a l l y , to the T l i n g i t concept of the i n d i v i d u a l . 30 CHAPTER II SPIRITS AND SOURCES OF POWER "Night is the tine for ghosts, spirits and animals; if man is to triumph over them he must perform the first crucial acts of ritual before raven's cries herald the approach of dawn. If he is to escape from the land of the dead back to that of the living, he must hurry and reach home before the raven calls" (de Laguna, 1972;835}. TLINGIT VIEWS OF THE BODY AND SOUL In order to e s t a b l i s h a con n e c t i o n between the T l i n g i t p o t l a t c h and the la n d o t t e r complex, i t i s important to know about t h e i r b e l i e f i n s o u l s and s p i r i t s . R e i n c a r n a t i o n b e l i e f s were based on the id e a t h a t there are e s s e n t i a l p a r t s of the i n d i v i d u a l which s u r v i v e a f t e r death. The p o t l a t c h was a way of ensur i n g t h a t these aspects of the i n d i v i d u a l were r e l e a s e d of a l l o b l i g a t i o n s to the l i v i n g . The b e l i e f i n la n d o t t e r 'capture' of l o s t or drowned persons was a means of d e a l i n g with those who were not a v a i l a b l e f o r the ceremonial d i s p o s a l of the body. S t i l l , a p o t l a t c h was giv e n , and a t memorial f e a s t s food was put i n t o the water f o r them, not i n t o the f i r e , as f o r the o r d i n a r y dead. The shaman, who was capable of r e t r i e v i n g l o s t s o u l s , was the o n l y means of rescue a v a i l a b l e to those captured by l a n d o t t e r s . He r e l i e d on s p i r i t h e l p e r s or yek to helped him i n t h i s r e t r i e v a l of wa y l a i d s o u l s . There i s a con n e c t i o n between these yek and the s o u l s of dead i n d i v i d u a l s which t h i s chapter w i l l e x p l o r e . The T l i n g i t c o n c e i v e d of the i n d i v i d u a l person as having t h r e e a s p e c t s : 1) the body; 2) a v i r t u a l l y s e x l e s s immortal s p i r i t or s o u l which i s r e i n c a r n a t e d i n a s e r i e s of bodies, yet leaves behind some g h o s t l y essence with the corpse; and 3) the name or names which i n d i c a t e and/or e s t a b l i s h p e r s o n a l and s o c i a l i d e n t i t y (De Laguna, 1974:7 58). The body was viewed as e s s e n t i a l l y a c o v e r i n g f o r the s p i r i t or " s o u l " . I t was l e f t permanently behind i n death or c o u l d be l e f t t e m p o r a r i l y while i n a t r a n c e or coma. The p h y s i c a l body was r e f e r r e d to as 'me around b l a n k e t ' or 'my surrounding f l e s h ' and the T l i n g i t term f o r ' f l e s h ' and 'blanket' are i d e n t i c a l ( i b i d . ) . In mythic times, the a n c e s t o r s were s a i d to be a b l e to don the s k i n of an animal and thus transform i n t o t h a t animal. De Laguna (ibid.:823) i n d i c a t e s t h a t a l l animals c o u l d once transform i n t o anthropomorphic form, but now o n l y l a n d o t t e r can do so. In the myths the f u r of the animals was seen as the b l a n k e t s they wore i n t h e i r e a r l i e r human form. A s u c c i n c t e x p l a n a t i o n of the r e l a t i o n between the c o r p o r e a l and the noncorporeal a t t r i b u t e s of the body as p e r c e i v e d by the T l i n g i t , i s o f f e r e d by Kan (1986:196). In h i s r e c o n s t r u c t i o n of t h e i r theory of personhood, he i n d i c a t e s t h a t the T l i n g i t made a c l e a r d i s t i n c t i o n between the temporary p h y s i c a l a t t r i b u t e s , which he l a b e l s the " o u t s i d e " and the more permanent c o r p o r e a l and noncorporeal ones, which he r e f e r s to as the " i n s i d e " . The former i n c l u d e d the s k i n and f l e s h , which were seen as the s u r f a c e r e f l e c t i o n of the s o c i a l i d e n t i t y and the emotional s t a t e 32 of the person. Ceremonial garments were a l s o c o n s i d e r e d another l a y e r of the " o u t s i d e " r e p r e s e n t a t i o n of s o c i a l i d e n t i t y . Althought they were concerned with the appearance of the " o u t s i d e " , the " i n s i d e " , which c o n s i s t e d of bones and s e v e r a l s p i r i t u a l e n t i t i e s , was p e r c e i v e d as a more s i g n i f i c a n t element t h a t c o n t r o l l e d the " o u t s i d e " ( i b i d . ) . TLINGIT ESCHATOLOGY According to Swanton (1908a:460), the s o u l of a l i v i n g person was c a l l e d qatuwu' or wa'sa-tu'wati ("what f e e l s " ) , "because when a person's f e e l i n g i s gone he i s dead." In the s t o r y of Kaka recounted f o r de Laguna (1974:749) by an informant, the shaman " l o s e s h i s f e e l i n g " when he t h r e a t e n s the l a n d o t t e r people and thus cannot harm them. T h i s may o n l y mean a k i n d of p a r a l y s i s s e t i n , or more l i k e l y i n the context of Swanton's d e f i n i t i o n , i t may suggest a k i n d of symbolic death and a consequent l o s s of power f o r the hero. Kan i n t e r p r e t s cremation as the means of s e p a r a t i n g the p o l l u t e d f l e s h of the deceased, which i s no longer c o n t r o l l e d by the " i n s i d e " , from the pure bones. T h i s r e l e a s e d the noncorporeal e n t i t i e s of the " i n s i d e " . A f t e r the cremation, the bones were "dressed" i n b l a n k e t s and p l a c e d i n s i d e a "house" i n the " v i l l a g e of the dead". The s p i r i t u a l e n t i t i e s t h a t were r e l e a s e d i n c l u d e d a ghost t h a t dwelled with the bones, a s p i r i t which dwelled i n a 33 noncorporeal r e p l i c a of the house of the deceased i n the d i s t a n t s'igeeekaawu aani, l o c a t e d i n the i n t e r i o r , and another s p i r i t t h a t r e t u r n e d to t h i s world to be r e i n c a r n a t e d i n a m a t r i l i n e a l descendant of the deceased. 1 The cremation f i r e thus helped the s p i r i t on i t s journey i n t o the a f t e r l i f e , while the f i r e p l a c e i n the house served as the medium of communication between the l i v i n g and t h e i r departed m a t r i k i n , who consumed the food and g i f t s put i n t o i t by the l i v i n g ( i b i d . ) . Swanton ( c i t e d i n de Laguna, 1974;749) a l s o i n d i c a t e s t h a t the T l i n g i t made a d i s t i n c t i o n between three c a t e g o r i e s of s o u l s ( t h a t are a s s o c i a t e d with a person. Besides the i n d w e l l i n g s o u l of the l i v i n g person, a f t e r death there was one c a l l e d yu'kgwahe'yak, or e l s e qayahayi, which means "shadow" and i s a l s o the word f o r p i c t u r e . The t h i r d category i s the s p i r i t of the dead body t h a t was c a l l e d s.'a'gi which i s a l s o a p p l i e d to the pl a c e where s o u l s go a f t e r death, sa'gi qa'wu ani ("ghosts' home"). T h i s was a happy r e g i o n , e l e v a t e d above the plane of t h i s world. There was a house there c a l l e d Sleep house ( t a hit) where people r e s t e d . 2 1 Actually the Tlingit believed that a person possessed more than the three spiritual entities mentioned by Kan, but he feels that they are the most important ones. Like the rest of their cosmology, Tlingit beliefs about the spirit are sketchy and often contradictory. The information in this chapter is an attempt to form a composite illustration of their beliefs drawing from the principal ethnographic sources (Swanton, Emmons, De Laguna and Kan). 1 This implies that this was not an eternal place for the soul to dwell, but rather a temporary respite in the journey of the soul after death. The ultimate goal was to be reincarnated as a result of the proper treatment of the soul by the descendants residing in the village - i.e. potlatching and passing on the name to appropriate heirs. There were techniques for insuring that a 34 The next h i g h e r r e g i o n , known as ki'waa ("way up") a c c o r d i n g to Swanton, was where those who d i e d by v i o l e n c e were s a i d to go. Access to t h i s upper r e g i o n was by a s i n g l e hole c a l l e d andaqe'n wul, which was reached by a l a d d e r . As we saw i n the l a s t chapter, persons who d i e d by v i o l e n c e but were not p r o p e r l y avenged or compensated f o r i n a peace or "deer" ceremony, were r e f u s e d e n t r y a c c o r d i n g to c e r t a i n myths and had to d r i f t with the c l o u d s . Of p a r t i c u l a r i n t e r e s t to t h i s present study i s a t h i r d r e g i o n s a i d to be f o r those who had d i e d by drowning, which was l o c a t e d below the plane of the e a r t h (perhaps i n the ocean s i n c e food f o r s p i r i t s there had to be put i n t o the water). Witches and other e v i l d o e r s went to Yel qiwaqawo (Raven's home) where i t seems t h a t there was l i t t l e chance of being r e i n c a r n a t e d . The T l i n g i t claimed to have l e a r n e d about a l l of these r e g i o n s from men who had d i e d and r e t u r n e d to l i f e a gain (Swanton, 1908a:461). De Laguna's e x p l a n a t i o n of the T l i n g i t concept of the s o u l ' s journey a f t e r death i s somewhat d i f f e r e n t and i s summarized i n Table I. She c l a r i f i e s Swanton's ambiguous d e s c r i p t i o n of the realm f o r e v i l d o e r s : 'Dog Heaven' (Aretl kiwa'a) i s r a t h e r s i m i l a r to H e l l as we imagine i t , a concept with which the T l i n g i t are f a m i l a r and which they c a l l the 'place below' (hayi). Yet Dog Heaven appears to r e p r e s e n t an a b o r i g i n a l concept of some a n t i q u i t y and i s l o c a t e d above, not under, the e a r t h (de Laguna, 1974:771). particular individual would come back to a specific woman (see.De Laguna, 1974:777). \ 35 There i s c o n f u s i o n here engendered by the m i s s i o n a r y concept of a B i b l i c a l H e l l , but the T l i n g i t informants i n s i s t e d t h a t they had t h e i r own concept of a separate, i n t e r m e d i a r y sky realm where those who s t o l e , murdered, committed s u i c i d e , m i s t r e a t e d animals or p r a c t i s e d w i t c h c r a f t would have to s t a y " f l o a t f i n g j up i n t o the sky and mov[ing] around with the clouds ( i b i d . ) - R e i n c a r n a t -i o n was not p o s s i b l e s i n c e , as de Laguna says, "the h o r r o r of Dog Heaven i s due i n p a r t to the mystery t h a t surrounds i t , s i n c e no one i s b e l i e v e d to have r e t u r n e d to t e l l about i t " ( i b i d . ) . Another p o i n t of c o n f u s i o n i s Swanton's c o n t e n t i o n t h a t those who d i e d unavenged c o u l d not climb the l a d d e r which gave access to Kiwa'a through a hole i n the sky, gus wul ("cloud h o l e " ) . De Laguna's informant i n d i c a t e d t h a t when a person was to d i e , the s o u l s i n Kiwa'a would know i n advance, and h i s r e l a t i v e s up there would t r y to cover up the h o l e . I f they were s u c c e s s f u l , the death c o u l d be prevented. When they were not s u c c e s s f u l , the person would d i e and enter Kiwa'a. The reason g i v e n f o r the l a c k of success was t h a t "the o p p o s i t e t r i b e (moiety) always t r y to open the way...They want more of the others i n t h e r e " ( i b i d . ) . Presumably, the m o t i v a t i o n f o r t h i s was an assurance, of r e c e i v i n g g r e a t e r wealth as repayment f o r f u n e r a l s e r v i c e s a t the ensuing p o t l a t c h e s . T h i s p l a c e was known about from those who had been s l a i n and l a t e r r e i n c a r n a t e d , most of those who went there wished to s t a y there because " i t was a happy world from which the wicked were excluded" ( i b i d . ) . Table 1 T l i n g i t E s c h a t o l o g y DEATH CATEGORY SPIRIT - SOUL - ANCESTOR ( l o c a t i o n of) FOOD FOR DEPARTED LEVEL OF AFTER-WORLD V i o l e n t : war, animal a c c i d e n t (cremated) Kiwa'a - Land Above (northern l i g h t s are s p i r i t s p l a y i n g games) G u s W u l f i r e above sky v a u l t Witches, M a l e f a c t o r s ( o f t e n k i l l e d ) "cloud h o l e " -guarded by watchmen-K e t l Kiwa'a -"Dog Heaven ( s p i r i t s i n the a i r with nowhere to go) No r e i n c a r n a t i o n ? a i r " o r d i n a r y death" -s i c k n e s s , o l d age. LIVING PERSON<-Sege qawu g'ani "ghost town" acro s s the water or deep i n f o r e s t behind v i l l a g e -< — <—REINCARNATION—< — < f i r e (. DEAD land, s u r f a c e PERSON drowned or l o s t i n woods {body l o s t ) Kucda 'anika "on top of land o t t e r s ' v i l l a g e " =smoke hole? --not d e a d — Kucda Qwani "Land O t t e r S p i r i t s " water water, below Adapted from Lovejoy, 1984. 37 In a l l of the s t o r i e s about people r e i n c a r n a t e d from Kiwa'a., the r e t u r n e d person was e i t h e r f o r b i d d e n access or was sent back to e a r t h because of some t r a n s g r e s s i o n of the r u l e s t h e r e (de Laguna, 1974:772-774). T h i s r e i n f o r c e s the i d e a that i t was an e x c l u s i v e and d e s i r a b l e p l a c e to s t a y . Since e n t r y was l i m i t e d to those who had d i e d i n b a t t l e upholding the v a l o r and s t a t u s of t h e i r c l a n , i t would appear t h a t t h i s was a d e s i r a b l e goal i n the c y c l i c a l process of r e i n c a r n a t i o n . In other words, T l i n g i t i n d i v i d u a l s seemed to be s u b j e c t to a continuous c y c l e of r e b i r t h u n t i l they reached the i d e a l s t a t u s of being a hero k i l l e d i n b a t t l e , at which p o i n t they c o u l d remain i n Kiwa'a i f they adhered to the r u l e s t h e r e . Yet, there was a g r e a t d e a l of f l e x i b i l i t y i n t h i s and a l l other aspects of the a f t e r l i f e and the s p i r i t world s i n c e T l i n g i t b e l i e f s are such a j u x t a p o s i t i o n of o f t e n c o n t r a d i c t o r y statements. I t i s u n c e r t a i n whether those taken by the Land O t t e r Men c o u l d be r e i n c a r n a t e d . De Laguna's informant i l l u s t r a t e d the c o n t r a d i c t o r y nature of t h i s i s s u e when he t o l d her t h a t " a f t e r they d i e as kucda qa, then they are reborn" and l a t e r ventured t h a t " a f t e r two years the kucda ( l a n d o t t e r s ) l e t them go. De Laguna 1972; 777) notes t h a t the names of those who drowned and whose bodies were never recovered were s t i l l g i v e n to c h i l d r e n at Yakutat. Although t h i s i n d i c a t e s a b e l i e f t h a t the drowned were reborn, she admits t h a t there i s a l s o a n o t i o n t h a t these people are i n some way s t i l l among the Land O t t e r People ( i b i d . ) . 38 SHAMANS AND SPIRIT HELPERS De; Laguna t e l l s us t h a t , apart from the i n d w e l l i n g " s o u l " t h a t was a s s o c i a t e d with a person's names, the T l i n g i t a l s o had a concept of a p e r s o n a l guardian s p i r i t which they c a l l e d 'ax kina yek or 'My S p i r i t Above'. According to Veniaminov, each person had h i s own kina yek, which always stayed with him. I f the person was wicked or impure, the s p i r i t would leave or k i l l them. As the T l i n g i t s a i d , " I f I do e v i l , my ax kina yek w i l l s l a y me." In times of misfortune or s i c k n e s s , however, they prayed f o r h e l p "to the c h i e f yek who belongs to some renowned or famed shaman" (de Laguna, 1972:813). While these p e r s o n a l guardian s p i r i t s seemed to be always a v a i l a b l e to h e l p the i n d i v i d u a l , the shaman's s p i r i t s , or yek, had to be invoked d i r e c t l y each time something was d e s i r e d . There were s a i d to be a g r e a t number of these yek who c o n t r o l l e d the weather, h e a l t h , success i n war, and many other human undertakings. As Swanton d e s c r i b e s : The number of s p i r i t s with which the world was peopled was simply l i m i t l e s s . A ccording to K a t i s h a n , there was one p r i n c i p a l and s e v e r a l subordinate s p i r i t s i n e v e r y t h i n g , and t h i s i d e a seems to be r e p r e s e n t e d i n shaman's masks, each of which r e p r e s e n t s one main s p i r i t and u s u a l l y c o n t a i n s e f f i g i e s of s e v e r a l s p i r i t s as w e l l . There i s s a i d to have been a s p i r i t i n every t r a i l on which one t r a v e l e d , and one around every f i r e ; one was connected with e v e r y t h i n g one d i d . So i n olden times people were a f r a i d of employing t r i f l i n g words because they thought t h a t e v e r y t h i n g was f u l l of eyes l o o k i n g at them and ears l i s t e n i n g to what they s a i d . " (1908:452) 39 Swanton mentions the T l i n g i t b e l i e f t h a t the Sun and the Moon were the abode of deceased s p i r i t s , the s t a r s t h e i r houses, and that the Northern L i g h t s were the s o u l s of the dead. He a l s o i n d i c a t e d t h a t the wind, sea, bays, r i v e r s , l a k e s , swamps, g l a c i e r s , hot s p r i n g s , mountains and many other p l a c e s were f e l t to c o n t a i n s p i r i t s . These s p i r i t s or animating s o u l s became the f a m i l i a r s of the ixt who sought the v a r i o u s powers t h a t these yek c o n t r o l l e d . De Laguna (1972:812) estimates t h a t the yek must have been innumerable and might be obtained by the shamans from almost a n y t h i n g . However, the most powerful h e l p e r s were obt a i n e d from animals, b i r d s or f i s h which the shaman encounters and whose tongue he c o l l e c t e d to secure the power. 3 The yek would then enter the body of the ixt d u r i n g a seance, when he . f e l l i n t o a t r a n c e and u t t e r e d i t s ' animal c r y . He c o u l d a l s o animate a p i e c e of h i s p a r a p h e r n a l i a with t h i s power, or send i t on a journey to see what was happening f a r away. I f h i s yek was overcome by t h a t of another shaman, the "master" of the vanquished yek may d i e . A f t e r the death of an ixt, h i s yek remained near the grave, ready to come to the nephew or other m a t r i l i n e a l r e l a t i v e who was d e s t i n e d to become the s u c c e s s o r . The T l i n g i t shaman's a b i l i t y to p r a c t i s e h i s p r o f e s s i o n was based on h i s c o n t r o l of these yek. The f i r s t , and most important 3 Land otter tongues are felt to be the strongest source of shamanic power. As we will see in Chapter III, the shaman will ideally cut eight tongues and thus obtain eight spirit helpers. De Laguna ( 1954;180) claims that other men (presumably non-shamans) might obtain lesser power from one tongue. 40 yek sought by a shaman was the l a n d o t t e r . The rank and power of the ixt was dependent on the number of these s p i r i t s he had under h i s c o n t r o l and on h i s a b i l i t y to demonstrate h i s power a t p u b l i c meetings and h e a l i n g seances. Since mythic times, the yek had been the s e r v a n t s of the s u p e r n a t u r a l beings who c o n t r o l l e d the f o r c e s of nature. The ixt a c t e d as a mediator to balance the power and. ma i n t a i n c o n t r o l of these f o r c e s f o r the b e n e f i t of humankind. Since the yek had to be invoked each time they were needed, the ixt used v a r i o u s p a r a p h e r n a l i a t h a t were e s s e n t i a l to t h i s purpose. When performing, he wore a s e r i e s of s p e c i a l garments and a c c e s s o r i e s which allowed him to impersonate, i n s u c c e s s i o n , each of h i s s e v e r a l yek t h a t came to him. De Laguna (1972:687), i n d i c a t e s t h a t t h i s impersonation was most e f f e c t i v e when masks were worn, but t h a t many other items decorated with c a r v i n g s or p a i n t i n g s r e p r e s e n t i n g a d d i t i o n a l attendant s p i r i t s , were a l s o worn and f e l t to be f i l l e d with power. The lan d o t t e r was a prominent m o t i f on many of these o b j e c t s . Some T l i n g i t ixt owned se t s of masks, each of which expressed the i d e n t i t y of the i n d i v i d u a l yek. The masks were the p h y s i c a l r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s of the yek. By wearing a mask, or by wearing and manipulating other s p e c i a l paraphe r n a l i a , the ixt was able to access the power a s s o c i a t e d with a p a r t i c u l a r yek. 41 Most of the T l i n g i t shaman's masks are r e a l i s t i c and many are r e p o r t e d t o r e p r e s e n t dead persons. De Laguna (1972;692) b e l i e v e s they - a l l do, and suggests t h a t i n many cases the mask may be the p o r t r a i t of a p a r t i c u l a r i n d i v i d u a l . T l i n g i t shamans were preoc c u p i e d with death and s p i r i t s . A f r e q u e n t l y o c c u r i n g m o t i f on these masks i s the d e p i c t i o n of a drowning man t u r n i n g i n t o a l a n d o t t e r . T h i s process of t r a n s f o r m a t i o n d i d not take p l a c e immediately f o r those who had been captured by l a n d o t t e r s . De Laguna (1972; 749, c f . Myth 2, Appendix I) t e l l s the s t o r y of Qaka's aunt, who had been among l a n d o t t e r s f o r some time, and was covered i n f u r except f o r her f a c e . Qaka, who had been captured more r e c e n t l y , d i d not have much f u r on h i s body. H i s s t i l l human hands and f e e t were b r u i s e d , and h i s mouth t o r n from the l a n d o t t e r ' s d i e t of raw c o d f i s h . T h i s p a r t i a l t r a n s f o r m a t i o n from human to animal i s p o r t r a y e d i n F i g . 1 and d e p i c t s the s p i r i t of a drowned man as a l a n d o t t e r with a human countenance but heavy moustache and beard of bear f u r . According to the myths c i t e d by de Laguna (1972;749) the pursed l i p s are a s s o c i a t e d with a mouth f u l l of c o d f i s h bones. Another f e a t u r e on many of the masks t h a t suggests the l a n d o t t e r i s the occurence of a mammalian, o t t e r - l i k e , s l i g h t l y upturned nose t h a t i s d i s t i n c t i v e on known l a n d o t t e r masks, and not found anywhere e l s e (see F i g . 2). On some of the masks, l a n d o t t e r s i n t h e i r f u l l animal form are d e p i c t e d (see F i g . 3). 42 43 F i g . 2 Land O t t e r Mask Emmons, AMNH 19/87 3 A. Sawyer, A r c h i v e 44 F i g . 3. C h i l k a t Shaman's Mask Emmons, FM 78147 A. Sawyer, A r c h i v e 45 The masks and other p a r a p h e r n a l i a (and t h e r e f o r e the yek t h a t were a s s o c i a t e d with them), were i n h e r i t e d from a maternal u n c l e or an o l d e r b r o t h e r . Some shamans ob t a i n e d new ones of t h e i r own, and i n r a r e cases, even i n h e r i t e d from t h e i r f a t h e r . But the us u a l custom was th a t the yek, each of which had a pe r s o n a l name, a s p e c i a l song, and a s s o c i a t e d r e g a l i a i n the costume; of the ixt, was passed on from one shaman to another i n the m a t r i l i n e a l l i n e (Oberg, 1973; 17). Some of the yek were a s s o c i a t e d with c e r t a i n s i b s and were s a i d to belong to a p a r t i c u l a r r e g i o n . However, they were o f t e n used by ixt of other s i b s i n other r e g i o n s . There were a l s o s p i r i t s t h a t belong to no s i b which would a i d anyone who c o u l d get i n touch with them. Accor d i n g to Veniaminov ( c i t e d i n De Laguna, 1972;835) the yek or s p i r i t s a s s o c i a t e d with T l i n g i t shamans can be d i v i d e d i n t o three c l a s s e s : 1) The K i y e g i or "upper s p i r i t s " who l i v e i n the sky and manifest themselves as northern l i g h t s ; 2) The Takyegi who l i v e "somewhere on the mainland"; and 3) The Tekyegi who are "water s p i r i t s " . The K i y e g i , or s p i r i t s above, are the s o u l s of human beings who have been s l a i n i n b a t t l e , and they appear to the shaman as f u l l y armed w a r r i o r s . The Takyegi are the ghosts who have d i e d o r d i n a r y deaths, and they appear b e f o r e the shaman " i n the guise of l a n d animals," such as the wolf, i n which case i t would be c a l l e d a Wolf yek. The Tekyegi take the form of sea animals, such as whales, k i l l e r w h a l e s , e t c . "Water s p i r i t s " might a l s o be the ghosts of those who have drowned. Although the ixt was abl e to c a l l on the power of h i s yek when needed, he a l s o had to be sure t h a t he was i n c o n t r o l of t h a t s p i r i t . A p r e r e q u i s i t e to becoming an ixt was t h a t an i n d i v i d u a l possess the c l a r i t y of mind and body and the stamina to c a r r y out the necessary r i t u a l s . He had to always be on guard a g a i n s t the p o t e n t i a l dangers of an e v i l yek or a r i v a l shaman. The f e a r of p o s s e s s i o n by e v i l s p i r i t s kept the ixt c o n s t a n t l y on h i s guard and a l s o kept other people i n f e a r of him. As we w i l l see i n the next chapter, the s p i r i t s of l a n d o t t e r s were p a r t i c u l a r l y f e a r e d , and o n l y the shaman was abl e to r e t r i e v e someone who had been taken away by them. 47 CHAPTER I I I THE TLINGIT SHAMAN "There was a man who had no arms, so Raven thought he would be a shaman and cure him. This is how the Tlingit came to have shamans, After there was death he showed them how to dance over the body placed in the middle of the floor" (Swanton, Tale 31 p.84). THE NATURE OF THE SHAMAN The shaman has been c h a r a c t e r i z e d as an i n d i v i d u a l who has c o n t r o l of v a r i o u s techniques of e c s t a s y . 1 According to E l i a d e (1964:4), the shaman i s a s p e c i a l i s t i n i n d u c i n g a trance s t a t e d u r i n g which the s o u l i s b e l i e v e d to leave h i s / h e r body and ascend to the sky or descend to the underworld. In t h i s s t a t e they a t t a i n the help of " s p i r i t " e n t i t i e s who w i l l augment t h e i r powers. As we have seen, these s p i r i t s , or yek i n the case of the T l i n g i t , take many forms, v i s i b l e and i n v i s i b l e , human and non-human. T h i s chapter w i l l examine the s o c i a l c h a r a c t e r of the T l i n g i t shaman and h i s p l a c e w i t h i n the community. I t w i l l a l s o look a t the manner i n which the shaman i n t e r a c t s with s p i r i t h e l p e r s i n terms of i n h e r i t a n c e of power, the p o s s i b i l i t i e s of w i t c h c r a f t , and the dangers of s p i r i t i n t r u s i o n . A shaman d i f f e r s from a possessed person i n t h a t he, or she, c o n t r o l s the " s p i r i t s " and i s thus able to communicate with them without becoming t h e i r instrument. T h i s c h a n n e l l i n g of power from e x t e r n a l f o r c e s i s g e n e r a l l y focused on h e a l i n g both 1 The literal meaning of ecstasy is to be outside of one's body as a result of a profound experience or emotion. 48 p h y s i c a l and p s y c h o l o g i c a l ailments b e l i e v e d to have been imposed on u n f o r t u n a t e i n d i v i d u a l s i n the community. They are s u b j e c t to these a i l m e n t s because they have not achieved c o n t r o l over the p o t e n t i a l l y malevolent s p i r i t f o r c e s . Although the b a s i c elements of shamanism can be t r a c e d i n many p a r t s of the world, shamanism i s a t the same time a h i g h l y i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c phenomenon, and thus m a n i f e s t s with numerous v a r i a t i o n s depending on the p l a c e , the i n d i v i d u a l , and the s o c i a l s i t u a t i o n . Northwest Coast shamanism i s no e x c e p t i o n and o f f e r s a m u l t i t u d e of v a r i a t i o n s on the themes of cosmic journeys, s a c r e d h e a l i n g and c o n t a c t with s p i r i t h e l p e r s . A broad survey of t h i s complex phenomenon i s beyond the scope of t h i s c u r r e n t work which, as i n d i c a t e d , w i l l focus r a t h e r on the p a r t i c u l a r v a r i a t i o n s w i t h i n the T l i n g i t c u l t u r e , e s p e c i a l l y as i t r e l a t e s to the Land o t t e r complex. 2 The s p e c i f i c context of T l i n g i t shamanism and some of i t s s o c i a l r a m i f i c a t i o n s are n e a t l y summarized by de Laguna as f o l l o w s : The shaman i s the i n t e r m e d i a r y between man and the f o r c e s of nature. He cures the s i c k , c o n t r o l s the weather, b r i n g s success i n war and on the hunt, f o r e t e l l s the f u t u r e , communicates with c o l l e a g u e s a t a d i s t a n c e , r e c e i v e s news of those who are f a r away, f i n d s and r e s t o r e s to t h e i r f a m i l i e s those who are l o s t and captured by the Land O t t e r Men, r e v e a l s and 1 See Grace Jorgenson's 1970 H.A. thesis "A Comparative Examination of Northwest Coast Shamanism" for a brief review of shamanism as it manifests among the coastal cultural groups. 49 overthrows the f i e n d i s h machinations of witches, and makes p u b l i c demonstrations of h i s powers i n many awe-i n s p i r i n g ways. He i s the most powerful f i g u r e i n h i s own l i n e a g e , and sometimes even i n h i s s i b . Though h i s fame may have spread f a r to f o r e i g n t r i b e s , he i s seldom c o n s u l t e d when those of h i s own l i n e are s i c k and dying, f o r these he cannot save. Nor can he save h i s own c h i l d r e n i f they are bewitched. His p a t i e n t s are i n e v i t a b l y members of another s i b , o f t e n r e s i d e n t s i n another v i l l a g e . His p r o f e s s i o n a l r i v a l s may be c o l l e a g u e s i n any s i b except h i s own; h i s most deadly enemies, l i k e those of any T l i n g i t , are t h e , t r a i t o r witches which l u r k among h i s c l o s e s t r e l a t i v e s (de Laguna, 1972:670). Jim Lovejoy (1984:80) reminds us t h a t t h i s a b s t r a c t n o t i o n of " f o r c e s of nature" i s a Western i n t e r p o l a t i o n and t h a t f o r the T l i n g i t b e l i e f system these f o r c e s were viewed as s p i r i t s with which on l y the shaman c o u l d d e a l . T h i s d i s t i n c t i o n i s important s i n c e the costume of the shaman, and e s p e c i a l l y the masks, were f e l t to d i s p l a y the p a r t i c u l a r s p i r i t s t h a t were owned by t h a t shaman, and i n t o which he was a b l e to transform h i m s e l f . T l i n g i t shamans "owned" many s p i r i t s but one t h a t was common to a l l , and indeed, was a p r e r e q u i s i t e to becoming a shaman, was the l a n d o t t e r s p i r i t . 50 F i g . 4 "Shaman of the Taku Kwan d r e s s e d f o r p r a c t i c e , Gastineau Channel, near Juneau, A l a s k a . " G.T. Emmons photo, 1888. A. Sawyer A r c h i v e . 51 THE ROLE OF THE SHAMAN Accord i n g to Swanton (1908:467), Northwest Coast shamanism reached i t s climax among the T l i n g i t . 3 The shaman p l a y e d an important r o l e i n T l i n g i t s o c i e t y , h e a l i n g both the i n d i v i d u a l and the community. The T l i n g i t shamans or ixt were r e s p e c t e d and i n f l u e n t i a l , but a l s o dreaded, because they were b e l i e v e d to have gre a t s u p e r n a t u r a l power. Often the shamans of other groups, such as the Haida, attempted to g a i n some of t h e i r s p i r i t h e l p e r s from the T l i n g i t to i n c r e a s e t h e i r own potency. Swanton ( i b i d . ) observed t h a t the T l i n g i t shamans were g e n e r a l l y of hig h e r s o c i a l rank than those among the Haida. De Laguna (1972:670), i n d i c a t e s t h a t some T l i n g i t ixt are house or l i n e a g e heads and are o f t e n c l o s e r e l a t i v e s of a c h i e f . A f f i l i a t i o n with other ixt of high rank, or even an important standing w i t h i n h i s own l i n e a g e , might h e l p to u p l i f t a shaman's s t a t u s , but was not a necessary or even s u f f i c i e n t c o n d i t i o n f o r a t t a i n i n g h i s own special, powers. Some ixt were h e l d i n high regard and demanded ample rewards f o r t h e i r s e r v i c e s . T h i s made them the a l l i e s of the wealthy and s o c i a l l y powerful. Yet, i n s p i t e of t h i s , t here was no i n d i c a t i o n t h a t shamanism i t s e l f was a l u c r a t i v e p r o f e s s -i o n through which a person might become r i c h . I t d i d , however, e n t a i l g r e a t power and p r e s t i g e which o f t e n s t i m u l a t e d r i v a l r i e s and much j e a l o u s y among shamans. 3 Olson ( 1967 ;207) indicates that Swanton's assertion must be qualified to some extent,-Swanton's informant had claimed that about 1850 there were 30 shamans among the Tantakwan. Olson suggests that this was an unintentional exaggeration or that it represents an exceptional con-dition. He estimates that there were from five to ten shamans per tribe [qwan] of one thousand. The T l i n g i t shaman, i n common with h i s c o u n t e r p a r t s i n other areas, had a v i t a l r e l a t i o n s h i p with animals. L i k e many other s o c i e t i e s based on hunting, the T l i n g i t viewed some animals as m o r a l l y , i n t e l l e c t u a l l y , and s p i r i t u a l l y s u p e r i o r to humans. They f e l t t h a t animals allowed themselves to be caught by hunters because they took p i t y on the weak humans. The s o u l of an animal was c a l l e d qwani, which means i n h a b i t a n t s . T h i s f o l l o w e d the same e t y m o l o g i c a l p a t t e r n t h a t was used f o r people; i e . Sitkaqwan meant " S i t k a - p e r s o n " . The p h y s i c a l body of an animal was seen as a cover f o r i t s ' s o u l or s p i r i t . A ccording to the myths, animal s p i r i t s , when at home, look l i k e people and l i v e i n houses and v i l l a g e s l i k e human beings. When v i s i t i n g humans they c o u l d appear e i t h e r as animals or as people. SHAMANIC INHERITANCE When a shaman d i e d he was not cremated as were a l l other members of T l i n g i t s o c i e t y . Instead, h i s body was taken to a s i t e f a r removed from the v i l l a g e and p l a c e d i n a s p e c i a l l y c o n s t r u c t e d grave house along with h i s p a r a p h e r n a l i a . His attendent s p i r i t s , which were a s s o c i a t e d with h i s masks and other r e g a l i a , remained with the corpse i n order to a i d the shaman's own s p i r i t i n choosing a new s u c c e s s o r . I n h e r i t a n c e was g e n e r a l l y m a t r i l i n e a l , with the shaman's s i s t e r ' s son as the prime candidate, although i f there were no s u i t a b l e c l a n s p e r s o n , the s p i r i t s c o u l d be passed to a shaman's own son (Swanton, 1908:466). The r e c i p i e n t was u s u a l l y a r e l a t i v e who had come i n c o n t a c t with the p a r a p h e r n a l i a or come c l o s e to the shaman's body when, as was customary, they were s u p e r v i s i n g the c o n s t r u c t i o n or r e p a i r of h i s grave house. Sometimes a successor was named by the s p i r i t s b e f o r e the shaman's death, and i n a t l e a s t one case, they were s a i d to have chosen a nephew who was r e l u c t a n t about h i s s u c c e s s i o n , over one who d e s i r e d i t (Krause, 1956:195). According to the T l i n g i t , once an i n d i v i d u a l was s e l e c t e d by the s p i r i t s , a r e f u s a l c o u l d mean s e r i o u s i l l n e s s and even death. Yet, there were always those who sought out the s p i r i t s or valued t h e i r u n s o l i c i t e d coming as a g r e a t b l e s s i n g . Although shamanism was g e n e r a l l y an i n v o l u n t a r y c a l l i n g , the success with which i t was c a r r i e d out, the number of yek i n v o l v e d and the power of the shaman, a l l depended upon h i m s e l f , h i s courage, s k i l l , f o r t i t u d e , u n d e v i a t i n g adherance to taboos, and f i n a l l y , to l u c k (Laguna, 1972:670). I t was important t h a t the shaman kept h i m s e l f a f i t r e c e p t a c l e f o r h i s s p i r i t s , and i n order to do t h i s he had to maintain a s t r i c t regimen of p e r i o d i c f a s t i n g , purging and sexual a b s t i n e n c e . Not everyone was capable of the prolonged f e a t s of endurance expected of a shaman, but some i n d i v i d u a l s c o u l d s t i l l a t t a i n a degree of shamanic power and s k i l l s . For example, a r e l a t i v e or descendant may have been t e m p o r a r i l y touched by the s p i r i t s , or a nephew may a c q u i r e some power of h i s own by coming i n c o n t a c t with h i s u n c l e ' s shamanic o b j e c t s , but would not pursue the necessary follow-up r i t u a l p r a c t i c e s and thus not r e c e i v e o f f i c i a l acknowledgement from the community. Such i n d i v i d u a l s with v a r y i n g degrees of power and c u r i n g a b i l i t i e s tended to b l u r the boundary between shamans and lay p e r s o n s , and a l s o opend up the p o s s i b i l i t y of w i t c h c r a f t and other forms of m a l i c i o u s s o c i a l i n t e r a c t i o n . DEALING WITH WITCHCRAFT An important element i n the T l i n g i t b e l i e f system r e g a r d i n g t h e i r view of i l l n e s s and shamanic h e a l i n g was the i d e a t h a t witches c o u l d cause s i c k n e s s i n a v i n d i c t i v e and c a l l o u s manner. Shamans were o f t e n asked to expose witches who were b e l i e v e d to be the source of such an i l l n e s s . These witches were c a l l e d nakutsati and were supposed to have l e a r n e d t h e i r s k i l l s f o r harming o t h e r s from Raven while he l i v e d on e a r t h . The context of witches i n T l i n g i t s o c i e t y i s expressed i n the f o l l o w i n g d e s c r i p t i o n by Laguna: The witch was f e a r e d and l o a t h e d because there was no a n t i s o c i a l , e v i l or u n a t u r a l a c t of which he was not b e l i e v e d capable: d i s h o n e s t y , shamelessness, i n c e s t , mysterious powers of locomotion or of b o d i l y t r a n s -f o r m a t i o n and, above a l l , c o r r o d i n g s p i t e and j e a l o u s y t h a t made him cause the i l l n e s s or death of those he e n v i e d (1972:728). These loathsome and dangerous beings were o f t e n l o c a l v i l l a g e r s or even r e l a t i v e s who were b e l i e v e d to have been r e c r u i t e d by other witches. They caused d i s e a s e by o b t a i n i n g 55 something from the person they wished to harm such as some h a i r , n a i l p a r i n g s , b i t s of c l o t h i n g or food l e a v i n g s over which they performed r i t u a l m a l e d i c t i o n s . They were a l s o f e l t to be capable of i n j e c t i n g f o r e i g n o b j e c t s i n t o t h e i r v i c t i m ' s body and causing i l l n e s s i n t h a t manner. U n l i k e the shaman, witches d i d not use s p i r i t power or yek to h e l p e f f e c t t h e i r m a n i p u l a t i o n s , but r a t h e r r e l i e d on the p r o p e r t i e s of the i n g r e d i e n t s or m a t e r i a l s they were u s i n g . In order to e f f e c t a cure of someone who was thought to have been bewitched, the shaman, with the h e l p of r e l a t i v e s and h i s a s s i s t a n t s , performed a v a r i e t y of a c t s : s i n g i n g , dancing, shaking of r a t t l e s , b e a t i n g of drums, b o d i l y g e s t u r e s and the m a n i p u l a t i o n of h i s potent power o b j e c t s such as charms, batons, knives and amulets. He a l s o massaged the a i l i n g p a r t of the v i c t i m ' s body, attempted to suck out any d i s e a s e - i n d u c i n g o b j e c t and f i n a l l y , most important of a l l , he determined which member of the person's s i b performed the w i t c h c r a f t . Krause (1956:200) t e l l s us t h a t the accused person, i f not p r o t e c t e d by powerful r e l a t i v e s , was s e i z e d , had h i s hands t i e d t o g ether behind h i s back, and was dragged to a secluded hut where he was kept without food or d r i n k u n t i l he admitted h i s g u i l t , or was t o r t u r e d u n t i l he d i e d . Formerly the r e l a t i v e s of someone accused of w i t c h c r a f t were supposed to k i l l him i n order to a v o i d having such a dangerous i n d i v i d u a l i n t h e i r k i n group. I f 56 someone of h i g h c l a s s was suspected of w i t c h c r a f t , h i s r e l a t i v e s would t r y to persuade him to cure the s i c k person because they were r e l u c t a n t to s e i z e and k i l l him. Once a witch admited g u i l t , i t was b e l i e v e d t h a t the p a t i e n t would recover ( i b i d . ) . W i t c h c r a f t and s o r c e r y a c c u s a t i o n s were made a g a i n s t people who were viewed as sources of s o c i a l d i s o r d e r . According to Gould (1973:41), the high i n c i d e n c e of these a c c u s a t i o n s can be l i n k e d up with the ambiguity of the f l e x i b l e and h i g h l y compet-i t i v e T l i n g i t ranking system. She maintains t h a t t h i s a l s o accounts f o r the c l o s e a l l i a n c e between shamans and c h i e f s i n the p o l i t i c a l sphere as evidenced by these two examples: Often there may be one s i b i n the community ou t s t a n d i n g i n s i z e , wealth, and the rank of i t s l e a d i n g c h i e f . The most important shaman i s u s u a l l y h i s c l o s e r e l a t i v e , and t h i s < s i b would be the most i n f l u e n t i a l p o l i t i c a l f a c t o r i n the community (de Laguna, 1952:6 ) . . . . i n a l l i a n c e with a c h i e f he [the shaman] may r e g u l a t e much s o c i a l p o l i c y w i t h i n the s i b ( M c C l e l l a n , 1954:95). Thus a c c u s a t i o n s of w i t c h c r a f t may be seen as a means of r e s o l v i n g the ambiguity of c o m p e t i t i o n f o r p o s i t i o n s of s o c i a l power and p r e s t i g e , and the a l l i a n c e of yitsai and ixt f u n c t i o n e d to maintain s o c i a l order. 57 SPIRIT INTRUSION The a c t u a l h e a l i n g power of T l i n g i t shamans was of an ambivalent nature. I t c o u l d be focused on h e a l i n g and h e l p i n g i n d i v i d u a l s and the community, or as a r e s u l t of the c o n t a c t with malignant s p i r i t s , i t might a l s o focus on causing s i c k n e s s and gen e r a l d i s r u p t i o n of the s o c i a l harmony. Shamans were thus sometimes so dreaded t h a t whenever a person came acr o s s a shaman's house b u i l t i n the woods he: "f e a r e d he would become s i c k and have h i s b e l l y grow l a r g e . Then o n l y another shaman c o u l d cure him (Swanton, 1 9 0 8 : 4 6 7 ) " . i T h i s i n f e c t i o n by the s p i r i t of a shaman manifested as an i l l n e s s , even i n one who was a c t i v e l y seeking s p i r i t power. U n w i l l i n g r e c i p i e n t s always had a hard time u n l e s s the power was accepted and c o n t r o l l e d , u s u a l l y with the he l p of a shaman. T h i s c o n d i t i o n was c a l l e d 'anelsin ('hiding, or, i t hides i n s i d e ' ) and was conc e i v e d as something a c t u a l l y i n s i d e the body (de Laguna, 1 9 7 2 : 6 7 4 ) . A c c o r d i n g to de Laguna's informant, the c o n d i t i o n was caused by the primary s p i r i t of the shaman, kucda yek, or la n d o t t e r s p i r i t . T h i s s p i r i t was a c t i v e l y sought by the novice shaman who, i n a c c e p t i n g t h i s s p i r i t i n t r u s i o n , had to e f f e c t the proper "cure" which was "to go out i n the woods and cut a tongue" 1 According to Laguna (1972;674 ), gallstones and tuiors Here attributed to inadvertant or unauthorized contact with shamanic equipment. Such growths took the form of the shaman's para-phernalia which had been handled, but ma; not manifest themselves until years later, when they might or might not be removed by another shaman. 58 ( i b i d . ) of an animal from which the new shaman d e r i v e d power. Other i n d i v i d u a l s who i n a d v e r t e n t l y encountered a shaman's grave or h i s p a r a p h e r n a l i a were s u b j e c t to 'anelsin, but s i n c e they were not a c t i v e l y seeking the power, the c o n d i t i o n manifested as g a l l s t o n e s or tumors, which may not show up u n t i l years l a t e r . No one would eat anything near the grave house of a shaman f o r f e a r of becoming s e r i o u s l y i l l , or even dying. Whenever anyone passed near a shaman's grave i n a canoe, he would lower food and f o u r p i e c e s of tobacco i n t o the sea and o f f e r a s h o r t p rayer (Swanton, 1908:467; c f . Olson, 1962:211). A s i m i l a r a c t i o n of p l a c i n g food i n t o the sea f o r i n d i v i d u a l s who had drowned, and thus been 'taken' by l a n d o t t e r s , r e i n f o r c e s the c o n n e c t i o n between shamans and the l a t t e r . There was g r e a t danger i n v o l v e d i n approaching a shaman's grave house or i n touching h i s p a r a p h e r n a l i a f o r those who were not a u t h o r i z e d to do so, or f o r anyone who was not r i t u a l l y prepared. Only s e l e c t members of the o p p o s i t e moiety were allowed, to b u i l d or r e p a i r a shaman's grave house, while a p o t e n t i a l s u c c e s s o r c o u l d o n l y s u p e r v i s e . One of de Laguna's informants s t r e s s e d t h a t i t was dangerous to go near such a p l a c e "because something gets i n you and makes you d i e soon. You have to prepare, get ready, to go near, by keeping away from women, and not e a t i n g f o r four or e i g h t days." T h i s same informant guessed t h a t t h i s a f f e c t e d Indians because they b e l i e v e d i n i t , but not Whites because they "don't get scared" (de Laguna, 1972:674). One of the e f f e c t s of the f e a r caused by n a t i v e b e l i e f s i n the power of the shaman was t h a t the equipment which was p l a c e d i n h i s grave was never touched except i n r e s p e c t by a s a n c t i o n e d c a r e t a k e r or by a h o p e f u l s u c c e s s o r . Chapter IV w i l l e x p l o r e the s o c i a l and p s y c h o l o g i c a l i m p l i c a t i o n s of t h i s f e a r , the- T l i n g i t b e l i e f s about lan d o t t e r s and some of the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the animal i t s e l f . 60 CHAPTER IV PERCEPTIONS OF LAND OTTER "It was believed by all the Tlingit that those who were drowned turned into Otter men, hair came out over the body, the arms shortened into the otter's fore paws, a small tail appeared, and they ran wild in the world about the sea shore. When people were upset in their canoes on the water these spirits assumed the appearance of their friends and came to them offering assistance, but in truth they only wished to cause them to drown and have them become as themselves" (Emmons, Field Museum, Note 77884). THE POWER OF LAND OTTER T h i s chapter w i l l look a t the c o n n e c t i o n between shamans and o t t e r s and a l s o examine how some of the t r a i t s of the o t t e r may have l e d to t h i s a s s o c i a t i o n . L i k e many of t h e i r other Northwest Coast neighbors, the T l i n g i t b e l i e v e d t h a t l a n d o t t e r s or k'ucda, had the power to t r a n s f o r m themselves so t h a t they looked human and to possess or "take away" the minds of people who succumbed to t h e i r dangerous enticements. Symptoms of t h i s p o s s e s s i o n were d i z z i n e s s , f a i n t i n g s p e l l s , b l e e d i n g at the nose, spontaneous s i n g i n g and a b b e r a t i o n s i n s o c i a l and p s y c h o l o g i c a l behavior. Land o t t e r p o s s e s s i o n c o u l d cause a person's death i f not cured by a shaman. Any T l i n g i t who d i e d by drowning or any other means by which a body was not recovered, was b e l i e v e d to have been taken by l a n d o t t e r people or k'ucda qwani. These k'ucda qwani appeared i n the g u i s e of f r i e n d s or r e l a t i v e s who l e d the drowning or l o s t person back to t h e i r v i l l a g e and then o f f e r e d him or her food or sexual f a v o r s . Unless these u n f o r t u n a t e s were rescued by a shaman 61 b e f o r e e a t i n g or p a r t a k i n g of sexual l i a s o n s , they would i n t u r n be transformed i n t o l a n d o t t e r s . Only a shaman c o u l d "see" a person i n t h i s " c r azy" s t a t e and thus be abl e to rescue them. He would do t h i s by h o l d i n g a seance to communicate with the s p i r i t s j u s t as he might when h e a l i n g a s i c k person. While s i n g i n g , he would put food i n t o the water or i n t o the f i r e as was done f o r someone who has d i e d . A c c o r d i n g to Swanton (1908:364), the f i r e s e rved as "a medium of communication between the two worlds" t h a t of o r d i n a r y people and t h a t of s u p e r n a t u r a l beings, w h i l e water was used to communicate with people who had drowned. S y m b o l i c i c a l l y , the food was t r a n s f e r r e d to the "captured" person so t h a t he would not have to eat the food of the k'ucda qwani. J u s t as a dead person might be brought back to the realm of the l i v i n g by r e i n c a r n a t i o n , one who was possessed i n t h i s manner may a l s o be r e t u r n e d from the realm of the k'ucda qwani. But the shaman had to work f a s t , b e f o r e the l o s t human became i r r e v o c a b l y committed t o the other world. Only shamans were ab l e to s u r v i v e l a n d o t t e r p o s s e s s i o n . Some a c t u a l l y sought the s t a t e of po s s e s s i o n i n order to c a l l upon the power of the animal, e i t h e r by song, by wearing a mask, or by other psycho-sensory means. 1 1 The effects of drumming, chanting and other methods of repetitious sensory stimulation are known to induce trance states which ma; facilitate the 'inner' journey a shaman takes in order to effect a cure or contact a spirit helper. The sound of the drum acts as a focusing device for the shaman. This creates an atmosphere of concentration and resolve which enables hii to sink deeper into trance ae he shifts his attention to the inner journey of the spirit (Drury:1982;8). 62 LAND OTTERS AND SHAMANS The c o n n e c t i o n between l a n d o t t e r s and shamans i s r e f l e c t e d i n the Raven c y c l e of T l i n g i t mythology. Raven was a t r i c k s t e r and a c u l t u r e hero who s e t the world i n t o i t s c u r r e n t s t a t e . Raven determined the h a b i t s of the l a n d o t t e r s as he had done with the b i r d s and f i s h and other animals. At one p o i n t i n T l i n g i t m y t h o l o g i c a l time, there was a grea t f l o o d which Raven avoided by hanging onto a c l o u d . 2 When the waters subsided, Raven, being exhausted, f e l l back to e a r t h . F o r t u n a t e l y , he "landed" a t sea i n a bed of k e l p . Here he was a i d e d by l a n d o t t e r s who took him s a f e l y to shore. Swanton has t h i s to say about the c h a r a c t e r of Raven's r e s c u e r s : Although a p p a r e n t l y harmless, the la n d o t t e r was dreaded more than any other c r e a t u r e . T h i s was on account of h i s supposed s u p e r n a t u r a l powers, fondness f o r s t e a l i n g people away, d e p r i v i n g them of t h e i r senses, and t u r n i n g them i n t o land-otter-men ( k u ' c t a -qa). As they l i v e d at v a r i o u s p o i n t s along the shore, these land-otter-men were c a l l e d qa'tu-qa ("men-i n s i d e - o f - p o i n t s " ) . When a person was i n danger of drowning, canoes would come to him (or her) and the people i n them would say, "I am your f r i e n d , " i . e . "clansman" and take the person home. A f t e r t h a t he became l i k e them, but was c a l l e d a land-otter-man. (Swanton, 1908:456). 1 In Tlingit mythology Raven's uncle was said to be the Controller of the Flood who unleased the waters upon the world. Be is sometimes confused with Ms-caki-yel or Raven-at-the-Head-of-Nass, the owner of Daylight, and may indeed be the same mythological figure. Jfas-calri-jel was, in a way, the creator of Raven since he wished for the latter to be born that he might take Daylight to the people. Raven went around the world apparently finishing the job of creation, which N&s-caki-yel had begun. Be told people and animals what they should do and, in part was the instrument of the Creator, a transformer and a bringer of culture. At any rate, it is probable that Raven was visiting him (them) in the sky realm when the flood was set upon the world. 63 Raven of course had no f e a r of becoming a Land O t t e r Man because he h i m s e l f had g i v e n the l a n d o t t e r s t h e i r shamanistic g i f t of t r a n s f o r m a t i o n . During h i s t r a v e l s a f t e r the f l o o d he had r e t u r n e d to v i s i t the l a n d o t t e r and s a i d to him: "You w i l l l i v e i n the water j u s t as w e l l as on the l a n d . He and the l a n d o t t e r were good f r i e n d s , so they went h a l i b u t f i s h i n g t o g e t h e r . The l a n d o t t e r was a f i n e fisherman. F i n a l l y he s a i d to the la n d o t t e r : "You w i l l always have your house on a p o i n t where there i s p l e n t y of breeze from e i t h e r s i d e . Whenever a canoe c a p s i z e s with people i n i t you w i l l save them and make them your f r i e n d s . " The land-otter-man (ku'cta-qa) o r i g i n a t e d from Raven t e l l i n g t h i s to the l a n d o t t e r . I f the f r i e n d s of those who have been taken away by the l a n d o t t e r get them back, they become shamans, t h e r e -f o r e i t was through the l a n d o t t e r s t h a t shamans were f i r s t known." (Swanton, 1909:86). The m y t h i c a l l a n d o t t e r used the skate, an ocean-going ray found i n Alaskan c o a s t a l waters, as a canoe. The mink, was r e f e r r e d to i n the myths as an a s s i s t a n t to the l a n d otter-man and was used as a paddle. De Laguna (1972:754) r e c o r d s an account where minks are r e p r e s e n t e d as the c h i l d r e n of a drowned woman by her new husband, the c h i e f of the l a n d o t t e r s . In another n a r r a t i v e mink are p o r t r a y e d as the s l a v e s of the l a n d o t t e r s . Although a t one l e v e l t h i s seems c o n t r a d i c t o r y , mink beings s l a v e s i n one account and n o b i l i t y i n another, i t i l l u s t r a t e s t h a t animals a l s o had a system of ranked o r d e r . When the l a n d o t t e r men came to "rescue" a drowning person, they were seen as o r d i n a r y people i n a canoe. The person was t o l d t h a t he was being taken 'home' although, i n the mythic r e a l i t y , t h i s meant the den or 'house' of the l a n d o t t e r people. 64 Those who were ab l e to escape, e i t h e r with h e l p from a r e l a t i v e among the Land O t t e r People or from shamans back i n t h e i r own v i l l a g e , were a b l e to become shamans themselves. A t y p i c a l account of t h i s form of shamanic i n i t i a t i o n i s found i n the myth of the f i r s t T l i n g i t shaman, Kaka. As Swanton r e l a t e s i n h i s a b s t r a c t of the myth, Kaka: "was taken south from S i t k a by the la n d o t t e r s and sent back aga i n by the husband of a woman who had been c a r r i e d o f f l i k e h i m s e l f . What they used as a canoe was a skate, and they kept him covered a l l the way. A f t e r a time one of h i s f r i e n d s heard him s i n g i n g i n the midst of a fog, but they c o u l d not get near him u n t i l they had f a s t e d two days. Then they found him l y i n g on a l o g with b l o o d running out of h i s nose and mouth. They brought him home, and he became a great shaman" (Swanton, 1909:420; c f . Myth 1, Appendix I ) . A f t e r r e l a t i n g the s t o r y of Kaka to Swanton, h i s informant, K a t i s h a n s a i d t h i s about the b e l i e f i n Land O t t e r Men: T h i s s t o r y of Kaka i s a t r u e s t o r y and i t i s from him t h a t the T l i n g i t b e l i e v e i n shamans' s p i r i t s (yek). I f the f r i e n d s of those who have been taken away by the l a n d o t t e r s get them back, they become shamans, t h e r e f o r e i t was through la n d o t t e r s t h a t shamans were f i r s t known. Shamans can see one another by means of the l a n d o t t e r s p i r i t s , but others can not ( i b i d . ) . The l a n d o t t e r yek was the most common and powerful s p i r i t a c q u i r e d by shamans. They were b e l i e v e d to have some connec t i o n with the weather, perhaps because drownings, when they made t h e i r c a p t u r e s , most o f t e n happened d u r i n g storms. De Laguna (1972:746) c i t e s a 1939-40 r e p o r t by H a r r i n g t o n t h a t about one fisherman per season drowns at Yakutat. I f one person per settlement i s an average, then the t o t a l number of drownings a l l along the coast would be a s i g n i f i c a n t f i g u r e . 65 De Laguna (1972:744) was t o l d t h a t the reason lan d o t t e r s wanted to take human beings was because people had k i l l e d them, and they wished i n t h i s way to o b t a i n new members of t h e i r f a m i l i e s . Thus they t r i e d to c a t c h anyone whom they found alone. A l s o the l a n d o t t e r s wanted to get even with p e o p l e . f o r " k i l l i n g so many of them to make b l a n k e t s " ( i b i d . ) . Yet, de Laguna was t o l d t h a t i n the o l d days, the T l i n g i t d i d not hunt l a n d o t t e r s , eat t h e i r f l e s h , or even use t h e i r p e l t s . T h e i r a v e r s i o n to l a n d o t t e r f u r was a t t r i b u t e d t o the b e l i e f t h a t i f one had anything of an o t t e r about one's person, t h i s would f a c i l i t a t e capture by Land O t t e r Men (Swanton, 1908a:536, c f . Appendix I, Myth 26). O p p o s i t i o n of human beings and l a n d o t t e r s i s suggested by a s t o r y recounted by Swanton (1909:141; c f . Appendix I, Myth 2). I t t e l l s how fou r boys from Klawak were captured by l a n d o t t e r s when t h e i r canoe overturned. In revenge, the people made f i r e s at the dens of the l a n d o t t e r s and k i l l e d a l l but a few. A f t e r the s u r v i v i n g l a n d o t t e r s had made war on the people, sending i l l n e s s and i n j u r y by means of t h e i r poisonous arrows made of s p i d e r crab s h e l l s , peace was f i n a l l y made. Crab s h e l l s were d e s i r e d by l a n d o t t e r s f o r another purpose. One of de Laguna's informants suggested t h a t the reason l a n d o t t e r s f o l l o w e d a canoe t h a t seemed to be i n d i s t r e s s was th a t they were l o o k i n g f o r the back of crab s h e l l s to serve as drums. Accord i n g to Krause's v e r s i o n of the "Land-Otter S i s t e r " , t h i s 66 transformed woman t o l d her b r o t h e r t h a t "nothing had as high a value among the Land O t t e r people as the s h e l l s and mandibles of crabs because they make dance r a t t l e s of them. That i s why the Land O t t e r people always t r i e d to rescue drowned Indians i n the hope that they may get crab s h e l l s and mandibles from them" (Krause, 1956:186, c f . Appendix I, Myth 10). Crab s h e l l s are a c t u a l l y found at l a n d o t t e r h oles as i n d i c a t e d by Gavin Maxwell, who says t h a t : "There i s a l a v a t o r y at every o t t e r h o l e , and the excretement (which i s known as s p r a i n t , and has no o f f e n s i v e odor, being composed almost e n t i r e l y of crunched f i s h bones, or i n the case of s h o r e - l i v i n g o t t e r s , of fragments of crab carapace) o f t e n forms a high pyramidal shape..." (quoted i n De Laguna, 1972;745). 3 Although crabs form an important p a r t of the c o a s t a l - d w e l l i n g l a n d o t t e r ' s d i e t , i t i s the symbolic importance of the carapace as a drum th a t i s s i g n i f i c a n t , s i n c e drums are r e c o g n i z e d as the shaman's medium of communication with the s p i r i t world (Swanton, 1909;412, Drury, 1982;8). In the lan d o t t e r s p i r i t domain, drums might be viewed as t h e i r means of communicating with the human world, which to the la n d o t t e r people might be seen as a realm of s p i r i t s . 3 A contemporary Tlingit carver indicated that he retrieves from these piles of excretement, operculeum which is the shelly plate in gastropods such as mollusks that closes when the animal is retracted (personal communication from James Lovejoy). These were traditionally used as teeth in land otter masks according to Emmons (unpunished notes, AHNH E 410). For an example of these shells being used as teeth in a land otter mask, see Fig. 3. 67 F i g . 5 Drowned Man Turning Into Land O t t e r (Note the operculeum s h e l l teeth) Emmons, AMNH E 410 A. Sawyer A r c h i v e 6 8 THE POWER OF SHAMANS People i n t r a i n i n g to become shamans were expected to take b i r d and animal tongues. I d e a l l y , a shaman would go o f f i n t o the f o r e s t e i g h t d i f f e r e n t times d u r i n g h i s l i f e so as to c o l l e c t t h a t many sources of animal s p i r i t power. The number of s p i r i t s encountered i n d i c a t e d the l e v e l of power achieved by the shaman. The lan d o t t e r was u s u a l l y the f i r s t animal to appear to a novice shaman. Other animals, or a d d i t i o n a l l a n d o t t e r s , c o u l d a l s o be encountered on subsequent r e t r e a t s . Land o t t e r power was thus a v a i l a b l e to any shaman, r e g a r d l e s s of h i s s i b or l i n e a g e , or i n h e r i t e d s p i r i t powers. A l l shamans cut l a n d o t t e r tongues, which were seen as t h e i r g r e a t e s t source of power. Some of the other animals whose tongues might be c o l l e c t e d i n c l u d e d brown bear, wolf, eagle, raven and owl. During h i s e i g h t day v i g i l i n the woods, the young shaman and h i s a s s i s t a n t ( s ) would d r i n k s a l t water, f a s t and eat d e v i l ' s c l u b , a powerful p u r g a t i v e and emetic. T h i s i n t e r n a l c l e a n s i n g of the body was accompanied by r e g u l a r bathing i n c o l d water i n order to achieve g r e a t e r s t r e n g t h and stamina i n p r e p a r a t i o n f o r the power he was to r e c e i v e . When a s u f f i c i e n t s t a t e of p u r i t y was thus achieved, a b i r d or animal ( p r e f e r a b l y an o t t e r ) would come to the shaman and d i e of i t s ' own accord a t h i s f e e t . As Krause t e l l s us: The l a n d o t t e r goes d i r e c t l y to the would-be shaman who, as soon as he sees the s p i r i t , stands s t i l l , and e x c l a i m i n g f o u r times a lou d "oh" i n v a r i o u s p i t c h e s , k i l l s him. As soon as the l a n d o t t e r hears t h i s sound 69 he f a l l s on h i s back and d i e s , with h i s tongue e x t r u d i n g (1956:195). The shaman would then cut o f f the l e f t s i d e of the o t t e r tongue and wrap i t i n a bundle of twigs. T h i s powerful amulet was c a l l e d a skutch and was f e l t to c o n t a i n the power of t h a t shaman. I t was kept hidden i n a s a f e , dry p l a c e f o r i f anything happened to i t , the shaman c o u l d l o o s e h i s senses or even d i e . According to Krause ( i b i d . ) , i f the shaman i s l u c k y "he w i l l get a l a n d o t t e r i n whose tongue i s c o n t a i n e d the whole s e c r e t of shamanism." 4 T h i s statement i n d i c a t e s the g r e a t importance a t t a c h e d to the l a n d o t t e r tongue and suggests t h a t i t i s the r e p o s i t o r y of not o n l y the power but a l s o the knowledge of the shaman. De Laguna (1972;836) e x p l a i n s t h a t the s p i r i t or yek o b t a i n e d from an animal i s i t s s o u l . In c e r t a i n cases, i t appears t h a t the s o u l of a dead person has entered the body of the animal and become i t s ' i n h a b i t a n t ' as a temporary stage i n becoming the yek of a shaman, which i s achieved when he cuts i t s tongue. In other cases, the s p i r i t comes d i r e c t l y to h i s "master," f o r there are shamans who r e c e i v e d power without c u t t i n g tongues ( i b i d . ) . 4 A c c o r d i n g to Swanton (1970:446), breath was c o n s i d e r e d the primary l i f e r e q u i s i t e by the T l i n g i t . The l a n d o t t e r tongue was thought to be most e f f i c a c i o u s i n h e a l i n g b r e a t h i n g problems, and was c o n s i d e r e d the most powerful medicine a shaman c o u l d have. Land o t t e r s have a very d i s t i n c t i v e "breath c a l l " which they w i l l make when s u r p r i s e d by the sudden appearance of a s t r a n g e r i n t h e i r midst. They a l s o have a p a r t i c u l a r w h i s t l i n g sound t h a t i s used as a warning s i g n a l . T h e i r frequent c h a t t e r i n g was i n t e r p r e t e d by the T l i n g i t as the o t t e r s ' means of communicating with each other. 70 There were many v a r i a t i o n s i n the b a s i c procedure i n v o l v e d i n s e c u r i n g shamanic power. Although the d e t a i l s v a r i e d i n accordance with the i n d i v i d u a l i t y of the shaman and the p a r t i c u l a r circumstances under which he e i t h e r i n h e r i t e d or deci d e d to seek h i s power, the standard procedure i s n e a t l y summed up i n the f o l l o w i n g anecdote Oison c o l l e c t e d from one of h i s informants: One of the shamans among the Ta.nkta.kwan was Gaanisten of the Hashittan c l a n . He wished to a c q u i r e a l l the s p i r i t s which the famed shaman Nuwat had had. When a l l these had come to him a male l a n d o t t e r appeared to him i n a dream and t o l d him to cut o f f i t s tongue. The s p i r i t t o l d him i n t h i s dream t h a t the la n d o t t e r would meet him. One day they ( h i s h e l p e r and he) saw three l a n d o t t e r s f o l l o w i n g t h e i r canoe, d i v i n g l i k e p o r p o i s e s . One of these came to r e s t and f l o a t e d up, dead. They took t h i s one to a cave and cut o f f i t s tongue. That n i g h t i t s s p i r i t came to Gaanisten, gave him a song, and t o l d him the o t t e r ' s name, Gakkahwan ("face of f r o s t " ) . He was u s u a l l y c a l l e d by t h i s name aft e r w a r d . The two men r e t u r n e d to t h e i r camp and f a s t e d f o r fo u r days, d r i n k i n g s a l t water d u r i n g t h i s time. (This was to make the shaman pure, so t h a t the s p i r i t would remain with him.) Among other s p i r i t s which Gakkahwan (Gaanisten) has was one from h i s u n c l e ' s u n c l e . But on l y three s p i r i t s were st r o n g i n him: gautuye'keh ( " s p i r i t i n the drum") kusawuka'h ("skinny man," mink), and gakahwan ("face of f r o s t , " o t t e r ) . But these were so st r o n g t h a t when one of them entered him he n e a r l y f e l l down (Olson, 1961:212). When a p o t e n t i a l shaman was going through h i s n o v i t i a t e , h i s h e l p e r s , who were c a l l e d ikthankau p l a y e d a very e s s e n t i a l r o l e i n the quest f o r power. They were t r a d i t i o n a l l y h i s youngest nephews on the m a t r i l i n e a l s i d e which ensured t h a t the power of the shaman would s t a y w i t h i n the m a t r i c l a n . I f no nephews were a v a i l a b l e , the ikthankau c o u l d be members of the shaman's s i b , although they were not n e c e s s a r i l y of the same house or l i n e a g e . 71 They had to wait on him i n much the same f a s h i o n as attendents of a "decjr" would care f o r the hostage-ambassador i n a peace ceremony because of the taboos r e s t r i c t i n g h i s a c t i v i t y . 5 The ikthankau made sure t h a t the novice adhered to a l l of the proper p u r i f i c a t i o n r i t u a l s d u r i n g h i s i n i t i a l r e t r e a t i n the woods. Many shamans had one s p e c i a l a s s i s t a n t who was c l o s e l y a s s o c i a t e d with him and who g e n e r a l l y accompanied him on l a t e r r e t r e a t s i n the w i l d e r n e s s i n which the shaman would a t t a i n new s p i r i t s or c o n s o l i d a t e h i s powers. The a s s i s t a n t c o u l d become a shaman h i m s e l f . He c o u l d care f o r the shaman's p a r a p h e r n a l i a , or be sent to f e t c h i t , s i n c e such dangerously power-charged o b j e c t s were u s u a l l y cached o u t s i d e the house and the v i l l a g e . Another a s s i s t a n t u s u a l l y beat the drum d u r i n g seances, although " a l l of h i s people", t h a t i s a l l of the men of h i s own house or s i b , a s s i s t e d the shaman by s i n g i n g h i s song and b e a t i n g time, thereby s t r e n g t h e n i n g h i s powers (de Laguna, 1972:670). The ikthankau had to f a s t and a b s t a i n from sexual l i a i s o n s and adhere to other r e s t r i c t i o n s imposed on the shaman s i n c e i t was f e l t t h a t a v i o l a t i o n of these s t r i c t u r e s when c u t t i n g a tongue while seeking power would r e s u l t i n the v i o l a t o r becoming m e n t a l l y unbalanced or t e r m i n a l l y i l l . 5 Swanton (1908a;451) reports that the reason a person who is sent as a peace hostage is called a "deer" is because a bear once met a deer in the woods and expected it to fight him, but it did not. The man who brought in the "deer" in a peace ceremony sang a grizzly-bear song,- so that the "deer" would not be troubled. The "deer" was likened to a bear's head, which was always treated with great respect after the animal was killed. Since the bear was an animal frequently associated with Tlingit shamans, the relationship between the deer and bear can be likened to that between the shaman and the animal whose spirit he was seeking on a power quest. 72 LAND OTTER PEOPLE Although Land O t t e r Men were g e n e r a l l y c o n s i d e r e d to be i n i m i c a l to human beings, there were p a r t i c u l a r cases where they were s a i d to he l p t h e i r own r e l a t i v e s . For example, Kaka (a shaman's young nephew who had disappeared and was taken by la n d o t t e r s ) was helped by h i s dead aunt (who had l i v e d among the la n d o t t e r s f o r a long time) to escape from there and r e t u r n home. Th i s i s s i m i l a r to the T l i n g i t b e l i e f t h a t r e l a t i v e s i n the Land of the Dead a s s i s t e d t h e i r kinsmen to r e t u r n to the l i v i n g . A l s o drowned persons were b e l i e v e d capable of v i s i t i n g t h e i r l i v i n g r e l a t i v e s and b r i n g i n g them l u c k . 6 Such persons might have become shamans i f they had been able to escape from the Land O t t e r People soon enough. At any r a t e , they s t i l l seemed to be able to a c q u i r e s u p e r n a t u r a l powers and presumably to he l p those who d i d become shamans. De Laguna (1972; 747) t e l l s us th a t those who v i s i t e d the home of the la n d o t t e r s p i r i t s p e r c e i v e d i t to be l i k e t h e i r own home, and the i n h a b i t a n t s as o r d i n a r y human beings. Marriages took p l a c e and c h i l d r e n were born. T i e s of k i n s h i p were re c o g n i z e d between land o t t e r people and human beings. Among the Land O t t e r Men there were c h i e f s or r i c h men and s l a v e s . 6 An informant of De Laguna's was given good fortune by her dead mother and father who appeared to her in her dreams. Another informant whose son had drowned was said to have seen his ghost in human form, In Angoon, De Laguna was told that the recently drowned might return to visit their village, and cited an instance which occured while a potlatch was being held (De Laguna,.1972; 748) 73 Peace ceremonies concluded wars between l a n d o t t e r s and human beings and both s i d e s c o u l d p o t l a t c h each other (Swanton, 1909:142-44) . For the T l i n g i t t here was t h e r e f o r e an equation between drowned human beings and l a n d o t t e r s which i s best summed up by de Laguna who says t h a t : In the l a s t a n a l y s i s , i t would seem t h a t the transformed Land O t t e r Man (kucda-qa), the "ghost" or revenant of the drowned person (yukwqaheyagu), the " s o u l " of the l a n d o t t e r (kucda-qwani), and the shaman's land o t t e r s p i r i t (kucda yek) were a l l a c t u a l l y or p o t e n t i a l l y one and the same e n t i t y , t h a t which one o r d i n a r i l y encounters i n i t s animal form or f l e s h y " c l o t h i n g " as a land o t t e r (kucda). (1972:748). OTTERS: THE ANIMAL M a r j o r i e H a l p i n (1981:217) i n d i c a t e s t h a t , p r i o r to the European i n t r o d u c t i o n of the monkey, the l a n d o t t e r was probably p e r c e i v e d as the most human-like animal i n t h a t environment. The sea o t t e r had a p r e s t i g i o u s p l a c e i n T l i n g i t s o c i e t y as a b r i n g e r of wealth d u r i n g the p e r i o d of the f u r trade u n t i l i t ' s near e x t i n c t i o n i n the ni n e t e e n t h century. However, i t i s the la n d o t t e r t h a t occupied a prominent p l a c e i n the b e l i e f system of the T l i n g i t . P a r t i c u l a r a t t r i b u t e s of the land o t t e r s l e a d to the p e r c e p t i o n t h a t i t has the a b i l i t y to c r e a t e a symbolic b r i d g e u n i t i n g human and animal. I t was seen as an ambiguous f i g u r e which had the a b i l i t y , l i k e the T l i n g i t , themselves, to f u n c t i o n w e l l both on the l a n d and i n the water. 74 Land o t t e r s can remain underwater f o r long p e r i o d s of time and are very f a s t swimmers. They are very much at home i n the water both on the s u r f a c e and underneath. J u s t as the T l i n g i t had to t r a v e l through the water i n order to hunt and gather t h e i r food (mainly f i s h and sea mammals), the o t t e r was b e l i e v e d to t r a v e l i n h i s canoe ( i e . a transformed skate or a log) to gather the s o u l s of humans. In emulation of the o t t e r , and perhaps with h i s h e l p , the shaman was a b l e to t r a v e l to mythic realms i n order to get, and then to use, s p e c i a l powers f o r h e a l i n g , which i n c l u d e d the a b i l i t y to r e t r i e v e l o s t s o u l s . Land o t t e r s are g e n e r a l l y r i v e r i n e animals with many of the same p l a y f u l and human-like q u a l i t i e s of t h e i r c o u s i n , the sea o t t e r . 1 Although they l i v e p r i m a r i l y i n and near r i v e r s , they a l s o f requent the ocean, e s p e c i a l l y i n areas where there are many i s l a n d s to p r o v i d e s h e l t e r from the open water. Thus the T l i n g i t speak of them as l i v i n g along the seashore " i n s i d e of p o i n t s " as was i n d i c a t e d i n the myth. The r e l a t i o n s h i p between the o t t e r and the shaman i s r e a f f i r m e d by the f a c t t h a t the i d e a l spot f o r a shamans' gravehouse was a l s o on an i s o l a t e d p o i n t or promontory j u t t i n g i n t o the ocean. L i k e the shaman, who would p e r i o d i c a l l y disappear i n t o the woods to p r a c t i s e a u s t e r i t i e s and 7 The land otter or Jutra canadensis is also commonly known as the river otter. In keeping with the usage in the ethnographic documents being employed here, the term land otter will be used. The scientific name for the sea otter is enhydra lutis and both of these animals belong to the family known as Husteliade. 75 seek power from h i s s p i r i t s , the l a n d o t t e r has the h a b i t of appearing and d i s a p p e a r i n g m y s t e r i o u s l y . I t can run on land almost as f a s t as a man, and i n the water i t can h o l d i t s breath f o r a long p e r i o d of time which enables i t to cover long d i s t a n c e s underwater. Thus i t sometimes seems l i k e i t has appeared out of nowhere, and i f threatened, can vanish very q u i c k l y . The l a n d o t t e r i s one of the few s o c i a l animals i n the T l i n g i t environment which stay s together as a f a m i l y u n i t f o r an extended p e r i o d of time and engages i n c o o p e r a t i v e a c t i v i t i e s . A l s o i t belongs to one of the few s p e c i e s i n which both a d u l t s and c h i l d r e n p l a y and f r o l i c t ogether. O t t e r s can o f t e n be seen i n groups s l i d i n g down r i v e r b a n k s i n t o the water or running and c a v o r t i n g along the beach or i n grassy meadows. T h e i r p l a y f u l nature and the exuberance with which they pursue t h e i r d a i l y tasks of f i s h i n g and food g a t h e r i n g suggests a very s t r o n g s o c i a l o r i e t a t i o n among f a m i l y groups. The f a c t t h a t they were e x c e l l e n t fishermen, maintained s t r o n g s o c i a l c o n t a c t s , and seemed to have t h e i r own means of communication, must have c o n t r i b u t e d to a T l i n g i t p e r c e p t i o n of them as l i v i n g a l i f e s i m i l a r to t h a t l i v e d i n a T l i n g i t v i l l a g e . The next chapter w i l l e x p l o r e some of these p a r a l l e l s and s i m i l a r i t i e s as they manifest i n the mythology. 76 CHAPTER V MYTHOLOGY AND TEXTS "Myths cannot be separated from actuality. They serve many purposes and are part of the total culture. They have many meanings and operate on several different levels of meaning. What might be difficult to acknowledge openly, such as immoral behavior, can be handled satisfactorily by myth. There are often many versions of one myth, and every version can be authentic and therefore relevant" (Harris: 1974;XV}, TLINGIT MYTHS AND TALES Mythic time, i n which T l i n g i t n a r r a t i v e s take p l a c e , i s q u a l i t a t i v e l y d i f f e r e n t from the continuous and i r r e v e r s i b l e time of everyday e x i s t e n c e . E l i a d e (1961;58) reminds us t h a t myths take the l i s t e n e r out of h i s sense of time - the i n d i v i d u a l , c h r o n o l o g i c a l time, " h i s t o r i c " time - and p r o j e c t him i n t o a "p a r a d o x i c a l i n s t a n t which cannot be measured because i t does not c o n s i s t of d u r a t i o n " . Some of the T l i n g i t myths d e a l with the o r i g i n of n a t u r a l f e a t u r e s and s o c i a l customs, and the apparent l a c k of concern f o r temporal sequence which de Laguna noted i n the opening quote on page one of t h i s t h e s i s i s accounted f o r i n pa r t by t h i s n o t i o n of mythic time. Myths are not concerned with the c h r o n o l o g i c a l s t r u c t u r i n g of n a t u r a l c o n d i t i o n s or s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n s . They embody compacted i n f o r m a t i o n about those c o n d i t i o n s or customs which are p e r t i n e n t to the c u l t u r e of the people who are t e l l i n g them. The non-temporal q u a l i t y of myths i s best summed up by L e v i - S t r a u s s who says t h a t : A myth always r e f e r s to events a l l e g e d to have taken p l a c e long ago. But what g i v e s the myth an o p e r a t i o n a l v alue i s t h a t the s p e c i f i c p a t t e r n d e s c r i b e d i s t i m e l e s s ; i t e x p l a i n s the present and the past, as w e l l as the f u t u r e ( L e v i - S t r a u s s , 1963;208). T l i n g i t myths and s t o r i e s are the primary source of i n f o r m a t i o n about the s p i r i t u a l s i g n i f i c a n c e of the l a n d o t t e r . A n a l y s i s of the myths i s c r u c i a l to understanding the s o c i a l s i g n i f i c a n c e of T l i n g i t b e l i e f s about l a n d o t t e r s , death, power, t r a n s f o r m a t i o n , and r e i n c a r n a t i o n . T l i n g i t myths sometimes recounted h i s t o r i c a l t r a d i t i o n s or p e r s o n a l experiences but they always drew from b e l i e f s about s p i r i t s , human/animal t r a n s f o r m a t i o n and l i f e a f t e r death. Ca u t i o n a r y t a l e s and s t o r i e s with a moral, as w e l l as h e r o i c e x p l o i t s and t a l e s of the o r i g i n and h i s t o r y of the s i b s were an important aspect of the education of T l i n g i t c h i l d r e n . According to de Laguna (1972;838) much of t h e i r knowledge was not o n l y t r a n s m i t t e d but a l s o formulated through s t o r i e s . These n a r r a t i v e s were used to e x p l a i n the T l i n g i t c onceptual schema and the values of the s o c i a l and moral order were a c t e d out and expressed v e r b a l l y ( i b i d . ) . Although much of the T l i n g i t o r a l t r a d i t i o n was c e n t e r e d around e x p l a i n i n g the o r i g i n of s i b p r e r o g a t i v e s , such s t o r i e s were not t o l d at p o t l a t c h e s when these p r e r o g a t i v e s were d i s p l a y e d . Mythic i n f o r m a t i o n was understood by the people who knew the myths a l r e a d y from repeated t e l l i n g s a t l e s s formal times. Myths formed the background f o r o r a t o r i c a l a l l u s i o n s , f o r songs and f o r the dramatic dances t h a t might accompany them. The masks, charms and other p a r a p h e r n a l i a of the shaman were symbolic r e p r e s e n t a t i o n s t h a t were f u l l y understood and 78 a p p r e c i a t e d o n l y i f the t a l e s a s s o c i a t e d with them were a l r e a d y f a m i l a r . T h e r e f o r e , any attempt to understand the T l i n g i t shaman and the l a n d o t t e r which was d e p i c t e d so o f t e n on t h e i r gear, i s incomplete without an examination of the myths a s s o c i a t e d with them. Although there are s i m i l a r i t i e s between the world of s p i r i t s ( i n c l u d i n g animals' s o u l s ) , 1 and t h a t of men, the myths a l s o emphasized the elements of c o n t r a s t and o p p o s i t i o n to the everyday human world. A c c o r d i n g to de Laguna (1974;835), n i g h t was the time f o r ghosts, s p i r i t s and animals; i f man i s to triumph over them, he must perform the f i r s t c r u c i a l a c t s b e f o r e the raven's c r y announces the dawn. I f a person was to escape from the l a n d of the dead, he must hurry home b e f o r e the raven c r i e s ( i b i d . ; 7 7 6 ) . When la n d o t t e r s assumed human form, they resumed t h e i r animal shapes b e f o r e the raven c a l l e d . In the la n d of the dead many kinds of r e v e r s a l s were encountered. Ghosts c o u l d not hear a shout, but they i n t e r p r e t e d a yawn or a s i g h as a l o u d n o i s e . In the home of l a n d o t t e r s and other animal/people, o n l y wet wood was to be used f o r a f i r e ; dry wood would not burn. Yet, i n s p i t e of a l l the c o n t r a s t s and r e v e r s a l s , the world of myth was e s s e n t i a l l y a s o c i a l domain i n 1 According to de Laguna (1974;823), animal souls were called qwani or qu-hani uhich means 'inhabitants of, since they were conceived of as being inside of the creature's fleshy body. These terms can also be translated as 'people' as, for example 'Fish People' (xat qvani) or 'Mussel People' (yai qu-h&ni). 79 which humans, animals and s p i r i t s c o n t i n u a l l y c o n f r o n t e d each other and gave or took power, wealth and s t a t u s , governed by laws t h a t were p a r a l l e l to those found i n the everyday human world. In order to f u r t h e r e s t a b l i s h the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the shaman and the l a n d o t t e r and to understand b e t t e r how both were r e l a t e d to the s o c i a l domain, I have examined a corpus of 32 myths which c o n t a i n r e f e r e n c e s to l a n d o t t e r s . Of these 8 were c o l l e c t e d from the Haida, 2 from the Tsimshian, and the other 32 were T l i n g i t i n o r i g i n . The s i m i l a r i t y of themes, and the use of T l i n g i t names and g e o g r a p h i c a l l o c a t i o n s i n most of the myths suggests however t h a t they were a l l T l i n g i t i n o r g i n . Each of the myths has been summarized with p e r t i n e n t d e t a i l s and a c t i o n s l i s t e d i n p o i n t form i n Appendix I. T h i s s e l e c t i o n of s i g n i f i c a n t d e t a i l s was u s e f u l f o r e x t r a c t i n g the major themes which w i l l be examined below. I t was a l s o h e l p f u l f o r comparing and c r o s s - r e f e r e n c i n g f r e q u e n t l y o c c u r i n g a c t i o n s i n the myths. Appendix II c o n t a i n s the complete t e x t of a l l the myths t h a t are r e f e r r e d to i n t h i s chapter. 80 THE LAND OTTER MYTHS There are f o u r major s c e n a r i o s t h a t r e c u r i n the myths about l a n d o t t e r s : 1) a man, o f t e n named Kaka, i s taken by (or sometimes goes on h i s own to) the land o t t e r s and upon h i s r e t u r n becomes a shaman ( c f . Myths 1, 2, 6, 9, 11, 24, 26, 28, 33, Appendix I ) ; 2) a shaman d i e s , u s u a l l y s y m b o l i c a l l y , but sometimes a c t u a l l y . He/she goes to the v i l l a g e of animal/people, e i t h e r to rescue someone or to h e a l someone of high rank, and r e t u r n s with many g i f t s or s p i r i t h e l p e r s ( c f . Myths 2, 8, 22, 24, 29, Appendix I ) ; 3) l a n d o t t e r s are k i l l e d by humans ( c f . Myths 1, 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 12, 13, 26, 28, 29, Appendix I ) ; and 4) a man i s helped by a deceased s i s t e r who b r i n g s food f o r him and h i s f a m i l y i n a time of famine ( c f . Myths 3, 4, 5, 10, 23, 31, Appendix I ) . In a l l f o u r types of myths, k i n r e l a t i o n s h i p s p l a y an important r o l e . The g i v i n g of g i f t s and the r e c e i v i n g of power i s a l s o important i n most of the myths. In two of the myths, episodes of p o t l a t c h i n g between the l a n d o t t e r people and humans take p l a c e ( c f . Myths 12, 29), while i n many of the others there i s an exchange of goods and/or a bestowal of power i n a manner s i m i l a r to the way such a c t i o n s are enacted i n a p o t l a t c h . Examining these f o u r s c e n a r i o s b r i n g s i n t o focus v a r i o u s m o t i f s or themes found i n the myths, i n c l u d i n g shamanic a c q u i s i t i o n of power, death, h e a l i n g and the c r o s s i n g of boundaries. 81 The f i r s t myth to be examined i s l i s t e d as Myth 2 i n Appendix II and i t comes from Swanton's T l i n g i t Myths and Texts, 1909. T h i s myth was an excerpt from a s e r i e s recounted to Swanton by an informant at Wrangell who gave d e t a i l s about the shaman Kaka. Swanton r e p o r t e d t h a t Kaka was a name " w e l l - l i k e d by the l a n d o t t e r s " but he d i d not e x p l a i n whether the name was g i v e n to many who became shamans or to one man whose s t o r y was t o l d many times. The context from which t h i s v e r s i o n was taken was a s e r i e s of incomplete fragments of a l a r g e r c y c l e of myths about Raven, who i n h i s customary r o l e of Transformer, had been s e t t i n g the world, i n order and t e a c h i n g the animals and the people how they must conduct themselves. The importance of r e l a t i v e s , p a r t i c u l a r l y maternal r e l a t i v e s , i s e v i d e n t i n t h i s myth. When Kaka was f i r s t l o s t at sea, l a n d o t t e r people came to him l o o k i n g l i k e h i s "mother or h i s s i s t e r , or some other dear " r e l a t i o n " ( i . e . people of h i s own s i b ) and i t was o n l y when Kaka dec i d e d t h a t he has been ' l o s t ' to h i s t r u e r e l a t i v e s t h a t he succumbed to the la n d o t t e r s . When Kaka a r r i v e d a t the la n d o t t e r v i l l a g e he was g i v e n a d v i c e by an aunt whose husband was the c h i e f of the l a n d o t t e r people. T h i s husband u l t i m a t e l y helped him escape at h i s wife's b i d d i n g . To d e s c r i b e t h i s aunt, Swanton used the term axa't-has which he t r a n s l a t e d as "marriable woman of the o p p o s i t e c l a n " (1908b:528; c f . de Laguna, 1972:480), thus suggesting t h a t Kaka 82 was i n l i n e f o r i n h e r i t i n g from the l a n d o t t e r c h i e f and p o s s i b l y marrying h i s w i f e i f he d i e d . De Laguna ( i b i d . ) i n d i c a t e s t h a t i t was the duty of a s i s t e r ' s son to marry h i s mother's b r o t h e r ' s widow and a l s o to assume r e s p o n s i b i l i t y f o r t h a t u n c l e ' s f u n e r a l . He was a s s i s t e d i n the f u n e r a l d u t i e s by members of h i s l i n e a g e who a l s o would b e n e f i t from h i s i n h e r i t a n c e . What Kaka a c t u a l l y i n h e r i t e d was the power to become a shaman and the.two l a n d o t t e r people became h i s s p i r i t s as i n d i c a t e d i n the myth when Kaka f i n a l l y r e t u r n e d from the l a n d of the l a n d o t t e r s : A f t e r they got him home they heard the s p i r i t s a y i n g f a r down w i t h i n him: " I t i s I, O l d - l a n d - o t t e r -s p i r i t (Kucta-kocanqo-yek)". T h i s was the name of the o l d woman who f i r s t t o l d him what to do. The next s p i r i t was T h e - s p i r i t - t h a t - s a v e s (Qosinexe-yek). He sang i n s i d e of him the same song t h a t the l a n d o t t e r s sang. I t was h i s s p i r i t ' s song and has many words to i t (Swanton, 1909; c f . Appendix I I , Myth 2). In the myth, the l a n d o t t e r c h i e f was a f r a i d of Kaka l e a r n i n g h i s people's s e c r e t s so he covered him up while h e l p i n g him escape. He was a f r a i d of l o s i n g h i s power to t h i s young man and thus found i t expedient to send him back to l i v e among h i s own r e l a t i v e s . 2 What he s a i d to h i s f e l l o w l a n d o t t e r s was t h a t : " I f t h i s human being sees a l l of our ways and l e a r n s a l l of our h a b i t s , we s h a l l d i e . . " (Myth 2, Appendix I I ) . T h i s f e a r may be a r e f l e c t i o n of the T l i n g i t c o n c e p t i o n t h a t i f you pass on your ! According to de Laguna (1972:480), a wife would be friendly to a husband's nephew, going out camping and fishing with him. In fact, informants from Angoon confirmed that a nephew could sleep with his maternal uncle's wife, a situation liable to result in jealousy as indicated in the Raven myth cited by de Laguna (ibid.). This may explain why the land otter husbands were so helpful in returning Kaka to his village. 83 knowledge to o t h e r s , you w i l l e v e n t u a l l y l o s e i t . 3 Yet there was a l s o an exchange of knowledge going on s i n c e , i n the myth, Kaka has l e a r n e d t h a t there are shamans among the l a n d o t t e r people who have a language of t h e i r own, and a l s o he has been taught by them how to c a t c h many h a l i b u t with a s p e c i a l f i s h o o k . I f we r e c a l l the i d e a of r e i n c a r n a t i o n , we can see a s i m i l a r process going on here. Kaka had, i n e f f e c t , brought these two s o u l s who had been l o s t among the l a n d o t t e r s , back i n t o the realm of humans, a l b e i t as s p i r i t s . Because he was of f i n e c h a r a c t e r and i n c o n t r o l of h i m s e l f ( i . e . not "crazy") Kaka ac t e d as a co n d u i t to al l o w these s p i r i t s to e x i s t a g a i n among humans r a t h e r than being h i m s e l f l o s t i n the realm of the l a n d o t t e r s as happened to others of l e s s e r c h a r a c t e r . A c c o r d i n g to the myth, "Kaka was so strong-minded a f e l l o w t h a t they f e l t they c o u l d do nothi n g with him, so they l e t him go and became h i s s p i r i t s " ( i b i d . ) In a s i m i l a r way, i n d i v i d u a l s who i n h e r i t e d names at a p o t l a t c h had to express t h e i r good c h a r a c t e r by showing t h a t they c o u l d i n f l u e n c e people and thus amass wealth which was subsequently g i v e n away to r a t i f y t h e i r new s t a t u s . T h i s was done a l s o to n u r t u r e t h e i r deceased a n c e s t o r s and t h e r e f o r e show them proper r e s p e c t . 3 This is probably related to the fact that there was a tendency for the elderly, rather than the adults, to teach young children many of the necessary life skills and to pass on to them knowledge and awareness of social etiquette. They had passed the prime of their life and were giving to the next generation before they passed on themselves (personal communication, H.P. Guedon). 84 There i s evidence t h a t a shaman's s p i r i t s were encouraged to r e t u r n to the shaman's h e i r i n the same way t h a t dead r e l a t i v e s were e n t i c e d to r e i n c a r n a t e back i n t o t h e i r l i n e a g e (de Laguna, 1974;777-78). Olson r e p o r t s t h a t at the f u n e r a l ( i . e . memorial f e a s t ) of a shaman h i s kinsmen would gather outdoors while the s i b c h i e f c a l l e d on a l l of the shaman's s p i r i t s by name, aski n g them to enter the new shaman by s a y i n g , "Don't g i v e up s t a y i n g with your masters!". He a l s o r e p o r t s t h a t the s p i r i t s may come unbidden, sometimes appearing to t h e i r new master i n a dream. These were s p i r i t s t h a t had belonged to h i s s i b a n c e s t o r and were now l o o k i n g f o r a new "home". (Quoted i n de Laguna, 1974;677). Kaka r e c e i v e d more than knowledge of s p i r i t s and i n f o r m a t i o n about f i s h i n g ; he gained a c t u a l s p i r i t h e l p e r s which would a s s i s t him i n h i s new o c c u p a t i o n as shaman. He a c q u i r e d not o n l y the s p i r i t s of h i s l a n d o t t e r aunt and uncle, but many others as w e l l : A l l the b i r d s t h a t assembled around him when he was f l o a t i n g upon the sea were a l s o h i s s p i r i t s . Even the wind and the waves t h a t f i r s t upset him were h i s s p i r i t s . E v e r y t h i n g strange t h a t he had seen at. the time when the l a n d o t t e r s got p o s s e s s i o n of him were h i s s p i r i t s . There are always sea b i r d s s i t t i n g on a f l o a t i n g l o g , and from Kaka people l e a r n e d t h a t these are shaman's s p i r i t s ( i b i d . ) . Before he c o u l d r e t u r n home with these s p i r i t s , Kaka and h i s l i v i n g r e l a t i v e s had to f a s t and t h e i r houses had to be r i t u a l l y c l e a n s e d . A f t e r he f i n a l l y got to h i s home, Kaka shared the 85 songs of h i s s p i r i t s with h i s r e l a t i v e s , f o r i n a sense, these s p i r i t s a l s o belonged to them. In the myth, Kaka's s p i r i t s c a l l e d h i s r e l a t i v e s "my masters" ( c f . Myth 2, Appendix I I ) . These r e l a t i v e s would h e l p him to s i n g the songs d u r i n g h i s shamanic performances and thus p a r t i c i p a t e d i n m a i n t a i n i n g the s t r e n g t h and power of the shaman and, u l t i m a t e l y , of the community. 4 Death was a prominent f e a t u r e i n most of the myths. Three l e v e l s or degrees of death were p o r t r a y e d i n these myths: 1) symbolic death, 2) "crazy" death ( i . e . p o s s e s s i o n ) , and 3) a c t u a l death. A l l v e r s i o n s of the Kaka myth e n t a i l a t l e a s t a symbolic, i f not an a c t u a l account of Kaka's death when he was e i t h e r taken by l a n d o t t e r s or r e t u r n e d by them to h i s v i l l a g e . In a l l of these cases he was c o n s i d e r e d dead, although i t was o f t e n d e s c r i b e d as a coma-like s t a t e . Yet Kaka was always u l t i m a t e l y r e v i v e d and renewed, u s u a l l y with the h e l p of p u r i f i c a t i o n r i t u a l s performed by h i s r e l a t i v e s . So not on l y d i d he r e c e i v e s p i r i t s and the power to become a great shaman, but he was bestowed with the g r e a t e s t g i f t of a l l , l i f e . In two of the myths (Myth 2 & 7), death i s supplanted by a s t a t e of c r a z i n e s s . In Myth 2 a " f o o l i s h " man who had l o s t h i s * Note that, contrary to the custom of influencing spirits so that they remain within the matrisib, Kaka. inherits from both his maternal uncles and his uncle's wife sib. This is another example of the discrepancies found in myths which contradict the normal social order (in the Tlingit case, matrilineal inheritance being the norm). 86 wealth and h i s f a m i l y while gambling, went o f f i n t o the bush and l i v e d l i k e a. w i l d animal. His f r i e n d s would not look f o r him because they c o n s i d e r e d him c r a z y and s a i d t h a t he was dead. However, he gained s p e c i a l powers from a grouse and became r i c h and powerful a g a i n . One day he was "captured" by l a n d o t t e r s and e v e n t u a l l y became a g r e a t shaman. T h i s t r a n s f o r m a t i o n of a "crazy" person i n t o a p r o d u c t i v e and powerful i n d i v i d u a l e pitomizes the T l i n g i t shamanic undertaking. I f a person can get past the c r a z i n e s s and p o t e n t i a l danger of being l o s t , both s o c i a l l y and p h y s i c a l l y , he gained access to sources of power. Strength came from the a b i l i t y to withstand the temptations of l a n d o t t e r s p i r i t s who e n t i c e d t h e i r "guests" to eat t h e i r food or have s e x u a l r e l a t i o n s with them (the l a t t e r was p a r t i c u l a r i l y improper s i n c e as we saw e a r l i e r , the l a n d o t t e r s u s u a l l y f i r s t appeared i n the g u i s e of mothers or s i s t e r s ) . By not succumbing to the l a n d o t t e r people, and with the support of h i s l i v i n g r e l a t i v e s , the person r e t u r n s with the s p e c i a l powers a v a i l a b l e from the l a n d o t t e r s such as the a b i l i t y to c a t c h many f i s h or to ensure success i n warfare (Oberg, 1973; 19). There were a l s o s t o r i e s about shamans who d i e d i n order to t r a v e l to the s p i r i t realm to h e a l someone there or to ensure a food source f o r the people. When the shaman t r a v e l l e d to the s p i r i t realm i n t h i s manner he was o f t e n accompanied by h i s yek who p r o t e c t e d and helped him on h i s journey. The f o l l o w i n g myth segment i l l u s t r a t e s how shamans ensured food r e s o u r c e s : 87 Once there was a famine among the people of Alsek r i v e r . There were two shamans the r e , one of whom began s i n g i n g to b r i n g up eulachon, while the other sang f o r s t r e n g t h i n order to o b t a i n bears and other f o r e s t animals. The f i r s t shaman's s p i r i t t o l d him t h a t i f he would go down the l i t t l e r a p i d s he would see great numbers of eulachon. So he dressed up next morning and went s t r a i g h t down under the water i n a l i t t l e canoe. That n i g h t , the other shaman's s p i r i t came to him, s a y i n g t h a t the f i r s t shaman would remain under water f o r f o u r n i g h t s ; t h a t he had gone i n t o a house where the r e were eulachon, salmon, and other f i s h and had thrown the door open. At the end of f o u r days they hunted a l l around and found him l y i n g dead on the beach amid p i l e s of eulachon. As soon as they brought him up, a l l the eulachon t h a t were i n the ocean s t a r t e d to run up r i v e r , and everyone t r i e d to preserve as many of them as they c o u l d (Swanton, 1909;64). As i n the myth of Kaka, s t o r i e s about shamans who " d i e " i n t h i s way u s u a l l y i n v o l v e a r e t u r n to the world of the l i v i n g with a g i f t of food or other m a t e r i a l abundance. In some of the v a r i a t i o n s of t h i s myth, the source of food brought back by the shaman i s a reward f o r h e a l i n g someone of high rank i n the " v i l l a g e " he has j u s t v i s i t e d (Myth 24, Appendix I ) . In many of the myths there are i n c i d e n t s where l a n d o t t e r s are k i l l e d by humans. In some cases the l a n d o t t e r was e x p l i c i t l y d e s c r i b e d as a 'former' human who had been "captured" by l a n d o t t e r s . In Myth 6 a man captured by l a n d o t t e r s was r e s t o r e d from h i s " w i l d s t a t e " by the h e l p of a shaman and c e r t a i n r i t u a l c l e a n s i n g p r a c t i c e s of h i s r e l a t i v e s . He then became an expert h a l i b u t fisherman, having l e a r n e d t h i s s k i l l 88 from the l a n d o t t e r s . But h i s r e s t o r a t i o n to human form was a p p a r e n t l y not complete, f o r he c o u l d o n l y eat raw food. When he was e n t i c e d by h i s r e l a t i v e s to eat some cooked h a l i b u t , he d i e d (Swanton, 1909;188). In another myth, a l a n d o t t e r man was k i l l e d by hunters who had j u s t eaten the f l e s h of another l a n d o t t e r . A f t e r k i l l i n g the l a n d o t t e r man, they went " c r a z y " . T h i s r e f l e c t s both the m o r a l i z i n g aspect of myths i n which humans who t r e a t animals improperly were d u l y punished, and a l s o the p o t e n t i a l danger of c o n t a c t with l a n d o t t e r s by humans who were not prepared ( i . e . non-shamans). I t i s found as Myth 7 i n Appendix II and comes from Swanton's T l i n g i t Myths and Texts, 1909. The myth i s an excerpt from a s e r i e s of i n c i d e n t s s a i d to have happened near Cross Sound. I t i l l u s t r a t e s the dangerous p o t e n t i a l of communication between l a n d o t t e r s and humans, but, t y p i c a l of s i t u a t i o n s i n which humans were not p r o p e r l y prepared f o r such an encounter, and/or m i s t r e a t e d animals, the l a n d o t t e r won out. A f t e r they k i l l e d the la n d o t t e r man by throwing him i n t o the f i r e , the men s t a r t e d to "wriggle from s i d e to s i d e and a c t as i f they were cr a z y ; and when anyone went to t h a t p l a c e a f t e r w a r d he would a c t i n t h a t same manner" ( i b i d , ) . The f o u r t h major mo t i f found i n the la n d o t t e r myths i s the g i v i n g of food, and thus power, by l a n d o t t e r people to t h e i r human r e l a t i v e s . T h i s s i t u a t i o n i s i l l u s t r a t e d i n a myth which 89 s t r e s s e d k i n r e l a t i o n s h i p s to an even g r e a t e r extent than the Kaka myths. I t i s Myth 5 i n Appendix II and comes from Swanton's T l i n g i t Myths and Texts, 1909. The s t o r y was about a man from S i t k a and how he and h i s f a m i l y overcame the burden of famine with the h e l p of h i s s i s t e r , who had been "captured" by la n d o t t e r s . Although the s t o r y was t o l d from the p e r s p e c t i v e of the man, the t i t l e "The Woman Who M a r r i e d a Land O t t e r " i n d i c a t e s the importance of the s i s t e r ' s r o l e and a l s o of her r e l a t i o n to a la n d o t t e r man. A c c o r d i n g to de Laguna (1972:481) s t r i c t r u l e s of avoidance were used to separate grown b r o t h e r and s i s t e r s and a l s o a l l grown members of the o p p o s i t e sex i n the same moiety. Yet, as i n d i c a t e d i n the myth above, there were a f f e c t i o n a t e t i e s between them t h a t were expressed i n terms of g i f t s of food. When food was s c a r c e i n the s p r i n g t i m e a s i s t e r was expected to have put away t h i n g s (food) f o r her b r o t h e r and "when t h i n g s get severe, you have to f e e d him p r e c i o u s s t u f f " ( i b i d . : 4 8 4 ) . A woman's husband might be j e a l o u s of her g i v i n g away food, but he c o u l d not i n t e r f e r e . In the case of the l a n d o t t e r husband i n the myth there was an abundance of food a v a i l a b l e to him and h i s f e l l o w l a n d o t t e r s , thus suggesting t h a t they had access to s p e c i a l powers f o r g a t h e r i n g food. In f a c t , s e v e r a l of the Kaka myths i n d i c a t e t h a t magical h a l i b u t f i s h i n g hooks were gi v e n to him by l a n d o t t e r s f o r the b e n e f i t of humans ( c f . Myths 2, 6, 22 31 i n Appendix I ) . Yet, there i s a l s o a t r a n s g r e s s i o n here s i n c e the wife of the l a n d o t t e r helped her human b r o t h e r and i n doing so 90 breached an important taboo because she and her bro t h e r t a l k e d to each other. B r o t h e r s and s i s t e r s were not supposed to be alone together or to communicate i n any d i r e c t way, a c c o r d i n g to de Laguna ( i b i d . ) . De Laguna's informants made i t c l e a r t h a t i t was shameful and c o n s i d e r e d an i n s u l t f o r a man to speak or joke with a moiety s i s t e r . I f he d i d so i t must be by way of h i s wife or some other " s a f e " r e l a t i v e . Yet i n Myth 5 there i s no i n d i c a t i o n t h a t the man's wife or anyone e l s e was a v a i l a b l e to i n t e r c e d e . The s i s t e r spoke d i r e c t l y to him s e v e r a l times. According to de Laguna: I f they broke t h i s r u l e , they would go c r a z y . They would be t i e d up f o r w i t c h c r a f t . A g i r l when they (she) mature and are not ashamed of a n y t h i n g - t h a t shows she's a w i t c h c r a f t (de Laguna, 1972;483, my emphasis). We have a l r e a d y seen t h a t there was an equation between being c r a z y , being dead and being , taken by l a n d o t t e r s . Since the l a t t e r two cases are q u i t e e x p l i c i t i n t h i s myth, the t r a n s -g r e s s i o n may be f o r g i v a b l e f o r the s i s t e r , but presumably the b r o t h e r ' s g u i l t i s o f f s e t o n l y by the f a c t t h a t he r e t u r n e d with a l a r g e q u a n t i t y of food f o r a presumably hungry v i l l a g e . The importance of food i n abundant supply i s i n t e g r a l to the T l i n g i t system of p o t l a t c h i n g . The f a c t t h a t l a n d o t t e r people were sometimes s u p p l i e r s of food i n times of famine p l a c e d them i n a p o s i t i o n of g i v e r s of wealth. Yet the l a n d o t t e r s were a l s o h e l d i n g r e a t f e a r and awe because the p r i c e to be p a i d f o r the bounty they o f f e r e d was the d i s l o c a t i o n of a person from t h e i r home v i l l a g e . I f the person was capable of g e t t i n g away from them ( i . e . i f h i s / h e r r e l a t i v e s c o u l d o b t a i n the s e r v i c e s of a shaman) then the person was not o n l y a p o t e n t i a l shaman, but might a l s o become a p r o v i d e r of food. In one myth a man who i s helped by h i s dead s i s t e r became a g r e a t c h i e f as a r e s u l t of the abundance of f i s h which her l a n d o t t e r husband p r o v i d e d f o r him. In f a c t the myth r e l a t e s t h a t he was a b l e to g i v e ten p o t l a t c h e s as a r e s u l t of t h i s help, a p r o d i g i o u s f e a t r a r e l y achieved by any T l i n g i t (Myth 31, Appendix I ) . As we have seen, a l l f o u r of the major s c e n a r i o s examined i n the l a n d o t t e r myths had shamanic or s p i r i t u a l overtones. The s p i r i t u a l journey of the shaman was h i g h l i g h t e d i n some of the myths, and death was a prominent f a c t o r i n many of them, a f f e c t i n g both humans and l a n d o t t e r people. In v a r i o u s myths, r e s p e c t f o r the dead and the importance of g i v i n g were primary elements. Power was a s s o c i a t e d with both death and g i v i n g . Indeed, g i v i n g something away du r i n g a p o t l a t c h i s e x p l i c i t l y i n t e r p r e t e d as " k i l l i n g " i t s i n c e i t then goes to one's r e l a t i v e s . Death i s c o n v e r s e l y a k i n d of g i v i n g away - nothing i s ever l o s t a b s o l u t e l y ( p e r s o n a l communication, Guedon). When a person was taken by l a n d o t t e r s , he d i e d , i n one way or another. But by not succumbing to t h a t death and r e t u r n i n g 92 from the l a n d o t t e r realm, he was a b l e to become a shaman and a l s o r e c e i v e d g r e a t power from the experience. That power was o f t e n manifested m y t h i c a l l y i n the form of a f i s h o o k or c l u b t h a t would pr o v i d e an abundance of food. Thus power i s equated with death i n the myths i n two ways. One way i s t h a t a person who proves h i m s e l f to the l a n d o t t e r s i s rewarded with instruments t h a t w i l l k i l l animals which pr o v i d e food f o r people. The other way i s t h a t anyone who d i e s and then r e t u r n s from the l a n d o t t e r realm, i s a u t o m a t i c a l l y endowed with power i n the form of s p i r i t s and/or food, as long as he and h i s r e l a t i v e s a s c r i b e to the proper c l e a n s i n g r i t u a l s (Cf. Myths 1, 2, 5, 9, 11, 16, 24, 26, 31, Appendix I ) . To be a b l e to leave the l a n d o t t e r v i l l a g e and r e t u r n with g i f t s and other r e s o u r c e s , i n d i c a t e d t h a t a person had g r e a t s t r e n g t h and an a b i l i t y beyond the norm. By e n t e r i n g the realm of the l a n d o t t e r s , the shaman or the shaman-to-be t e s t s h i s s t r e n g t h and stamina and even h i s courage by f a c i n g these s p i r i t s which are viewed with such awe and f e a r . Q u a l i t i e s such as p h y s i c a l s t r e n g t h , moral c h a r a c t e r and a sense of s o c i a l e t i q u e t t e are e s s e n t i a l to s u r v i v i n g among the l a n d o t t e r s . Shamans who journey to the l a n d o t t e r realm on a m i s s i o n / of h e a l i n g or to a t t a i n g r e a t e r power, u s u a l l y equip themselves with p r o p h a l y a t i c agents such as d e v i l ' s c l u b , blue h e l l e b o r e or u r i n e . T h i s p r o t e c t s them from the i n f l u e n c e of the l a n d o t t e r s (de Laguna, 1972:746). When a non-shaman ventures i n t o t h i s realm a f t e r being "saved" by l a n d o t t e r s , he must r e l y on h e l p .from h i s r e l a t i v e s , who may be e i t h e r among the lan d o t t e r s or among h i s l i v i n g k i n group, i f he wishes to get away. His l a n d o t t e r r e l a t i v e s (sometimes prompted by a shaman h i r e d by h i s k i n group, c f . Myth 2, 6, 11, 26, 28, Appendix I) h e l p him to escape, and h i s human r e l a t i v e s s e t the stage f o r the r e t u r n to h i s home. Without t h i s support, he was d e s t i n e d to remain among the l a n d o t t e r s j u s t as the s p i r i t of a human who has d i e d must remain, c o l d and hungry and f a r from the f i r e i n the s p i r i t world (Swanton, 1908a:462). With t h i s support, he was able to become a shaman and thus maintain c o n t r o l of the l a n d o t t e r s p i r i t s . An u n d e r l y i n g theme i n the myths was t h a t access to the sources of power i s determined by proper behavior i n both the s o c i a l and the s p i r i t realms. U l t i m a t e l y , the power t h a t makes wealth p o s s i b l e came from the s p i r i t domain ( i e . dead a n c e s t o r s ) or the realm of l a n d o t t e r people. By upholding c o r r e c t v a l u e s , t r e a t i n g animals p r o p e r l y and showing r e s p e c t f o r the dead, the non-material realm of the s p i r i t s c o u l d be made to p r o v i d e m a t e r i a l abundance. But o n l y people who had c o n t a c t with the s p i r i t realm, or even b e t t e r , had v i s i t e d i t themselves, c o u l d muster up the necessary s t r e n g t h and power to c o n t i n u a l l y access t h i s source of abundance. Connections with la n d o t t e r s p i r i t s , or r e l a t i v e s who had been taken by them, was the primary way of i n i t i a l l y o b t a i n i n g t h i s r e s e r v e of power ( c f . Myths 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 23, 24, 26, 31, 33, Appendix I ) . . By becoming a shaman, and thus u s i n g h i s s p i r i t s , the i n d i v i d u a l was assured of ongoing access to t h i s source. The r e s t of the community assured t h e i r success by having a shaman w i t h i n the l i n e a g e group who would i n t e r c e d e f o r them by making such endeavors as hunting, f i s h i n g or warfare s u c c e s s f u l (Oberg, 1973; 19). The myths served to r e i n f o r c e these b e l i e f s , and to i n d i c a t e how and why t h i s power was a v a i l a b l e to the shaman f o r the b e n e f i t of the community. A l l f o u r s c e n a r i o s i n these s t o r i e s about l a n d o t t e r s i n v o l v e d a p o t e n t i a l breach of taboo, e i t h e r a g a i n s t i n c e s t ( i . e . an i m p l i e d r e l a t i o n or improper behavior between a man and h i s s i s t e r or moiety s i s t e r , c f . Myths 2, 3, 5, 11, 13, 23, 31, Appendix I ) , or a g a i n s t the mistreatment of animals ( c f . Myths 2, 3, 7, 11, 24, 26, 28, Appendix I ) . More g e n e r a l l y , they i m p l i e d a p o t e n t i a l l y dangerous coming together of realms t h a t were u s u a l l y c o n s i d e r e d best separated by the T l i n g i t ( i . e . b r o t h e r s / s i s t e r s , humans/animals, n a t u r e / c u l t u r e , d e a t h / l i f e . However, each of these b i n a r y c a t e g o r i e s had an i n h e r e n t l i n k a g e b i n d i n g them together; b r o t h e r and s i s t e r s were bounded by blood, humans depended on animals f o r food, c u l t u r e i s not p o s s i b l e without nature and death i s i n e v i t a b l y l i n k e d with l i f e . Yet, s o c i a l customs d i c t a t e d t h a t a d i s t i n c t i o n between them must be maintained. In the myths, the main c h a r a c t e r g e n e r a l l y encountered a s i t u a t i o n t h a t threatened to c o l l a p s e the boundaries t h a t kept these c a t e g o r i e s d i s t i n c t . Unless the heroes avoided breaching 95 the taboo, they were absorbed by the wildness and thus taken out of the human s o c i a l order by land o t t e r p o s s e s s i o n which was the same as being "crazy" or dead. 5 I f they showed s t r e n g t h of c h a r a c t e r and proper r e s p e c t f o r the customs, they overcame death and r e t u r n e d with even g r e a t e r s t r e n g t h . Otherwise they became la n d o t t e r people and were d e s t i n e d to remain separated from t h e i r human k i n f o l k . The l a n d o t t e r myths thus i l l u s t r a t e d both proper and improper behavior and r e i n f o r c e d a c c e p t a b l e conduct by p o s i t i v e and negative examples r e s p e c t i v e l y . s According to Professor Halpin, the equation of land otter possession with a state of mental disorder and even death may have some bearing on a physiological condition associated with drowning or other situations where a person is subject to prolonged exposure to cold. Hypothermia is a condition where a person's body temperature becomes abnormally low and one of the symptoms is amnesia and/or distorted mental perceptions. If this state persists, death is inevitable. Yet, if a person were rescued from the water by friends, or if they had great stamina and strength, they could survive such an ordeal. However, they would likely have a distorted perception of what had happened, if they remembered it at all (personal communication, Marjorie Halpin). 96 CONCLUSION SHAMANS, LAND OTTERS AND SOCIAL INTEGRITY "Han does not stand apart from nature: in the Tlingit mind there is no dichotomy between the human moral world and a nonmoral world of natural forces, inanimate phenomena and dumb brutes. Hans essential self or spirit is identical in essence with the spirits or souls of animals, birds, plants, rocks, and winds, and as they can or could at times assume human form, or perhaps once possessed i t , so some men have the awful power of appearing in animal guise, or may suffer this transformation. Han acknowledges his moral obligations towards these other Belves in the world about him. He speaks to them and they to him. He fears their powers, greater than his own, yet relies upon their conformity to the common law and upon their reciprocal goodwill for his happiness and goodwill (de Laguna, 1972;836}. DEATH: THE INDETERMINATE DETERMINATION B u r r i d g e ( 1979; 151) c l a i m s t h a t the most s i g n i f i c a n t c o n f r o n t a t i o n with t r u t h and r e a l i t y among t r a d i t i o n a l s o c i e t i e s , i s death. E x p e r i e n c i n g the death of another or t h i n k i n g about one's own death, l e a d t o , f i r s t , repugnance and o p p o s i t i o n , then to acceptance. However, he i n d i c a t e s t h a t i n t h a t i n i t i a l o p p o s i t i o n l i e s the seeds of th a t which may transform the t r a d i t i o n a l order. Death p r e d i c a t e s l i f e as o f t e n as i t f o l l o w s ( i b i d . ) . Yet, death i t s e l f i s the u l t i m a t e i n i n c o n s i s t e n c y , s i n c e we g e n e r a l l y don't know when to expect i t , or what i t r e a l l y means. In order to accommodate to the u n c e r t a i n t y of death, most s o c i e t i e s develop an exp l a n a t o r y s c e n a r i o f o r what happens a f t e r death. T l i n g i t eschatology, l i k e t h e i r cosmology (of which i t might be c o n s i d e r e d a p a r t ) , was i n c o n s i s t e n t and even i l l o g i c a l on the s u r f a c e from a c a r t e s i a n viewpoint. Yet, they were very p r e c i s e and s p e c i f i c about what happened when someone d i e d . The body, 97 when a v a i l a b l e , was s u b j e c t to very p a r t i c u l a r r i t u a l s , and a s e r i e s of p o t l a t c h f e a t s were h e l d a t a p p r o p r i a t e i n t e r v a l s . Human s p i r i t s were d i v i d e d i n t o three p a r t s a f t e r death, one of which c o u l d be r e i n c a r n a t e d i n as many as fou r d i f f e r e n t people (de Laguna, 1972;780). There were fo u r d i f f e r e n t p l a c e s the s p i r i t s might go, depending on both how they had l i v e d t h e i r l i f e and on how they had d i e d . The a f t e r l i f e of those who had d i e d normal deaths can be d e s c r i b e d i n some d e t a i l , as we saw i n Chapter I I . However, the f a t e of those who drowned or were l o s t i n the woods has r e c e i v e d confused and c o n f l i c t i n g i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s . In a sense they had not d i e d because they were b e l i e v e d to have been taken ("captured" or "saved") a l i v e by Land O t t e r Men and transformed i n t o beings l i k e t h e i r c a p t o r s (de Laguna, 1972;766). Although they were s a i d to l i v e among the Land O t t e r People, they were i n another sense c o n s i d e r e d dead. T h i s ambiguous s i t u a t i o n i s f u r t h e r confused by the l a c k of c l a r i t y as to whether these u n f o r t u n a t e s were a v a i l a b l e f o r r e i n c a r n a t i o n , as those who d i e d normal deaths were. De Laguna (1974;777) r e p o r t s t h a t when informants were asked about people who drowned, they were vague about whether they were a v a i l a b l e f o r r e i n c a r n a t i o n or not. However, i f we f o l l o w the l o g i c of the myths ( c f . Myth 2, Appendix I I ) , there was a form of r e i n c a r n a t i o n a v a i l a b l e to people who have been 98 transformed i n t o l a n d o t t e r s ; they became the s p i r i t s of the shaman and thus assumed a new r o l e i n h e l p i n g to preserve T l i n g i t s o c i e t y . The concept of r e i n c a r n a t i o n suggested t h a t the deceased i n d i v i d u a l was, under normal circumstances, a v a i l a b l e f o r r e i n c o r p o r a t i o n back i n t o T l i n g i t s o c i e t y . As a r e s u l t of the proper care and treatment of the corpse and the consequent p r a c t i s e of " f e e d i n g " the dead and remembering them a t the p o t l a t c h , c e r t a i n aspects of the deceased had an o p p o r t u n i t y to r e t u r n , a t l e a s t s y m b o l i c a l l y , when h i s name and a s s o c i a t e d p r e r o g a t i v e s were passed on to a succ e s s o r . An a c t u a l r e t u r n was p o s s i b l e when h i s s p i r i t was r e i n c a r n a t e d back i n t o the l i n e a g e , a f t e r an announcing dream or some other s i g n t h a t a c e r t a i n person had r e t u r n e d (de Laguna, 1972:776). THE POTLATCH: DEALING WITH DEATH SOCIALLY The T l i n g i t p o t l a t c h or f e a s t f o r the dead was a p r i m a r i l y s o c i a l a f f a i r which served many purposes. As we saw i n Chapter I, there are s e v e r a l types of f e a s t s , but the one we are mainly concerned with here i s the memorial f e a s t . At one l e v e l i t served to i n c r e a s e the s t a t u s and p r e s t i g e of the host group, while a t the same time i t honoured the m a t r i l i n e a l a n c e s t o r s and emphasized the o p p o s i t i o n of the m a t r i l i n e a l k i n group to the p a t e r n a l k i n groups and in-laws ( i . e . between s i b l i n g s and c r o s s -99 c o u s i n s ) . Thus i t was an o p p o r t u n i t y to songs and dances and to t e l l s t o r i e s , a l l s o c i a l i d e n t i t y of the l i n e a g e group. d i s p l a y c r e s t s , perform of which expressed the The a c t of dying removed the i n d i v i d u a l from the s o c i a l order and p l a c e d him or her i n the t r a n s i t i o n a l realm f o r the s p i r i t s of the dead. The l i m i n a l nature of the p e r i o d between the f u n e r a l and the p o t l a t c h was c l e a r l y expressed by the n o t i o n t h a t the deceased had not yet found a permanent p l a c e i n the " v i l l a g e of the dead", while at the same time the l i n e a g e had not yet been r e l e a s e d from t h e i r mourning taboos, and were s t i l l i n debted to t h e i r " o p p o s i t e s " , who had helped them d u r i n g the f u n e r a l (Kan, 1986:197). In the f i n a l a n a l y s i s , i t appears t h a t the u l t i m a t e purpose of the p o t l a t c h was not merely the r e l e a s e of the deceased from t h e i r o b l i g a t i o n to the l i v i n g . I t a l s o ensured t h a t the e s s e n t i a l a t t r i b u t e s of t h a t person's a n c e s t o r a l s p i r i t was passed on w i t h i n the l i n e a g e group. T h i s i n e f f e c t maintained c o n t i n u i t y of the l i n e a g e and u l t i m a t e l y of T l i n g i t c u l t u r e as a whole. The l a n d o t t e r does not appear i n the p o t l a t c h ceremony; i t s ambiguity would not be welcome i n a context c e l e b r a t i n g order. 100 MYTHS: DEALING WITH ANOMALOUS DEATHS We have seen how, i n the myths, there was a l i n k a g e between death, power and m a t e r i a l abundance, o f t e n mediated by shamans and l a n d o t t e r s . When the shaman r e c e i v e d power from the l a n d o t t e r s , he was abl e to e f f e c t g r e a t e r c o n t r o l over l i f e and death ( i e . by h e a l i n g and/or r e t r i e v i n g l o s t s o u l s ) . We have a l s o seen i n the myths how la n d o t t e r people o f t e n helped r e l a t i v e s i n times of need, e s p e c i a l l y famine. I have p o i n t e d out how t h i s i s s i m i l a r to the way i n which r e l a t i v e s i n the land of the dead a s s i s t e d t h e i r k i n f o l k to r e t u r n to the land of the l i v i n g ( c f . T a l e s 31 & 46; Swanton,.1909). These myths i l l u s t r a t e how land o t t e r ' r e l a t i v e s ' c o u l d help a p o t e n t i a l shaman r e t u r n and thus e x e r c i s e h i s new power among the people. Given the T l i n g i t a s s e r t i o n t h a t these l a n d o t t e r people were a l l once human (de Laguna, 1972;836) and my hypothesis t h a t becoming h e l p i n g s p i r i t s was a form of r e i n c a r n a t i o n , these ' r e l a t i v e s ' had a ve s t e d i n t e r e s t i n h e l p i n g t h e i r v i s i t o r escape. T h i s would g i v e them l i m i t e d access to the world of l i v i n g people again. When the shaman r e t u r n e d from the realm of the Land O t t e r People, he brought with him knowledge about h e a l i n g , f i s h i n g , hunting, e t c . , a c t u a l d e v i c e s t h a t would h e l p him i n these t a s k s , or the end'product i t s e l f ( i . e . food, f i s h h o o k s or l o s t s o u l s of those who were s i c k ) . The importance of t h i s shamanic power to the s o c i a l realm i s i l l u s t r a t e d i n the myths, p a r t i c u l a r l y those 101 t h a t drew the con n e c t i o n between m a t e r i a l abundance and s p i r i t h e l p e r s from the la n d o t t e r realm (Cf. Myths 1, 2, 5, 9, 11, 16, 24, 26, 31, Appendix I ) . LAND OTTER: DEALING WITH DEATH SPIRITUALLY J u s t as the p o t l a t c h p r o v i d e d a means of pa s s i n g on power, a u t h o r i t y and wealth, and thereby r e a f f i r m e d the boundaries of the s o c i a l order, the la n d o t t e r complex, as seen through the myths and the shaman's r i t u a l s , p r o v i d e d a c o n t i n u i t y of the s p e c i a l k i n d of power wielded by the shaman. A la y p e r s o n would i n h e r i t names which had p r e r o g a t i v e s a s s o c i a t e d with them t h a t gave him access to c e r t a i n s t a t u s , p r e s t i g e and resou r c e s ( i . e . p r o p e r t y ) . The shaman i n h e r i t e d s p i r i t h e l p e r s ( l a n d o t t e r s being primary candidates) which o f f e r e d him a d i f f e r e n t k i n d of s t a t u s , p r e s t i g e and a l s o the a b i l i t y to ensure the renewal of food r e s o u r c e s (Swanton, 1909;64). Thus the common ground between the s o c i a l and the shamanic order r e s i d e d on two separate but r e l a t e d l e v e l s . On the m a t e r i a l l e v e l , . abundance of food and other l i f e - s u s t a i n i n g n e c e s s i t i e s was ensured by the p r o v i s i o n of he l p from the s p i r i t u a l l e v e l . T h i s h e l p , as manifested through the shaman, a l s o feeds back i n t o the maintenance of s o c i a l c o n t i n u i t y by p r o v i d i n g l i f e - s u s t a i n i n g powers of a more s u b t l e nature ( i e . c u r i n g i l l n e s s and r e t r i e v i n g l o s t s o u l s ) . 102 Where the p o t l a t c h denied the ambiguity of T l i n g i t cosmology and c e l e b r a t e d death as a means of c o n t i n u i t y , the l a n d o t t e r myths a f f i r m e d t h i s ambiguity by e x p r e s s i n g the p o s s i b i l i t y of a d i s i n t e g r a t i o n of the s o c i a l order. The shamans were ab l e to mediate between the human s o c i e t y and the s p i r i t realm because they were ab l e to go beyond the s o c i a l order and with the h e l p of t h e i r l a n d o t t e r s p i r i t s , r e s t o r e the very d i s r u p t i o n they had caused. So, i n e f f e c t , there were complementary f o r c e s a t work i n T l i n g i t s o c i e t y which n o u r i s h e d both the p h y s i c a l and the s p i r i t u a l needs of the people. The common ground between those f o r c e s was occupied by the l a n d o t t e r complex because the power of the shaman came from t h a t mediating f a c t o r i n the T l i n g i t b e l i e f system. The l a n d o t t e r s mediated between l i f e and death because i t was from them t h a t the shaman l e a r n e d to overcome death. The i n c o n s i s t e n c y of death, e s p e c i a l l y drowning, was made c o n s i s t e n t by the e x i s t e n c e of a l a n d o t t e r realm. The l o s t body (and soul) had somewhere to go and, i f c o n d i t i o n s were r i g h t , something to g a i n . I f there had been no l a n d o t t e r people, there would have been some other s i m i l a r n o t i o n s t r u c t u r e d i n t o t h e i r cosmology to h e l p ensure the c o n t i n u i t y and coherence of the T l i n g i t u n i v e r s e . 103 CONTENTS OF APPENDIX I: SUMMARY OF MYTH AND STORIES TLINGIT MYTHS & TEXTS - J.R. Swanton 1909 105 Myth 1 Tale 5 Kaka: p. 28 105 Myth 2 Tale 31 Raven: p. 80 105 Myth 3 Tale 6 THE LAND-OTTER-SISTER p. 29 . . . . 106 Myth 4 Tale 7 THE LAND-OTTER SON p.29 106 Myth 5 Tale 45 THE WOMAN WHO MARRIED A LAND OTTER p. 187 106 Myth 6 Tale 46 THE LAND-OTTER'S CAPTIVE p.188 . . 106 Myth 7 Tale 18 VARIOUS ADVENTURES NEAR CROSS SOUND p.47 107 Myth 8 Tale 27 THE ALSEK RIVER PEOPLE p.64 . . . 107 The T l i n g i t Indians - Aurel Krause 1979 . . . . 107 Myth 9 Kaka p. 197 107 STORIES ABOUT LAND OTTERS - F. de Laguna 1972 . . 108 Myth 11 THE STORY OF KAKA p.749 108 Myth 12 THE GIRLS WHO HAD LAND OTTERS AS LOVERS p.750 108 Myth 13 TWO LITTLE BOYS RESCUED FROM LAND OTTERS p.751 108 Myth 14 A BOY RESCUED FROM LAND OTTERS p.752 . . . 108 Myth 15 NEXINTEK RESCUED FROM LAND OTTERS p.752 . . 109 Myth 16 LDAXIN AND THE LAND OTTERS p.753 . . . . 109 Myth 17 THE DROWNED WOMAN p.754 109 Myth 18 A GIRL CAPTURED BY LAND OTTERS p. 754 . . 109 Myth 19 SMALL BOYS SAVED BY DOGS p.755 109 Myth 20 TWO BOYS LOST IN THE WOODS p.755 . . . . 109 Haida Texts and Myths J.R. Swanton 1905 . . . . 110 Myth 23 THE STORY OF HIM WHOSE SISTER BROUGHT FOOD FROM L-O 110 Myth 24 STORY OF Tc!aawu'nk! p.58 ( T l i n g i t name and story) 110 Haida Texts J.R. Swanton 1908b I l l Myth 26 QAKA p. 523 I l l Myth 27 Ldjan and Guk!a'na p. 535 I l l Myth 28 THE MAN CARRIED OFF BY LAND OTTERS p.545 . . 112 Myth 29 A SHAMAN AT QAIK p. 597 112 Myth 31 The Man Who was Helped by Land Otters p.449 112 TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY Franz Boas 1909 113 Myth 32 THE OTTER WHO MARRIED THE PRINCESS p.166 . . 113 Myth 33 LAND OTTER p. 345 113 104 APPENDIX I SUMMARY OF LAND OTTER MYTHS TLINGIT MYTHS & TEXTS - J.R. Swanton 1909 Myth 1 T a l e 5 Kaka: p.28 Kaka has two wives - saved by Land O t t e r woman w/two husbands Land O t t e r sinew as charm - turned Kaka i n t o Land O t t e r Underwater journey f o r Kaka - covered by a mat Land O t t e r people must hide i n woods du r i n g d a y l i g h t Myth 2 T a l e 31 Raven: p.80 Land O t t e r s posing as r e l a t i v e s Dog s k i n used and bones hang from apron to f r i g h t e n Land O t t e r Shamanic s p i r i t p o s s e s s i o n as a form of r e i n c a r n a t i o n : "the shaman who i s possessed by him dances i n the same manner" Land-Otter people have t h e i r own shamans and t h e i r own language Land-Otter people meet on an i s l a n d near S i t k a every year Canoe journey with head covered - Land O t t e r want to keep s e c r e t s Land O t t e r s hide i n dens a f t e r coming ashore R e t r i e v a l of body - brought d e l i g h t to Kaka's f r i e n d s M a s t e r / s l a v e : yek c a l l the shaman's r e l a t i v e s "my masters" Kaka's aunt's l a n d o t t e r husband i s a f r a i d to l e t him l e a r n t h e i r s e c r e t s - t h i s would cause the Land O t t e r s to d i e Strong mind r e s i s t s Land O t t e r - Kaka d i d not b e l i e v e t h a t Land O t t e r i s s t r o n g e r than people, thus they had no c o n t r o l over him S p i r i t p o s s e s s i o n - Kaka was 'saved' by two s p i r i t s , thus he sang t h e i r songs - i . e . i n h e r i t e d from h i s Land O t t e r 'uncle' Kaka's s p i r i t s were a l l around - wind, waves and sea b i r d s Sea b i r d s s i t t i n g on a l o g are shamans s p i r i t s . Land O t t e r s p i r i t s a medium of communication -allows shamans to see each other from a f a r , p.139 Loss of wealth > l o s s of wife > becomes l i k e a w i l d animal F o o l i s h people were equated with dead people Drowned person has " s t r e n g t h l i k e t h a t of a shaman" -uses i t to 'get' other people Four boys 'taken' (drowned) by Land O t t e r s -they d i d not want to r e t u r n when the people went a f t e r them Warfare between l a n d o t t e r s and human beings Mishaps, b o i l s and pimples caused by Land O t t e r arrows Land O t t e r ( h i g h - c a s t e ) equated with "deer" (peace hostage) Land O t t e r s dance the peace-making dance B i t t e r r o o t i n water renders Land O t t e r unconscious Animated shaman's r a t t l e and b e l t s e l e c t p a t i e n t to cure Shaman cures h i g h - c a s t e Land O t t e r by removing i n v i s i b l e arrow S p i r i t of clams as cause of s i c k n e s s clams look to the s p i r i t s l i k e human beings Shaman c r e a t e s sandbar on which he i s rescued Shamans and b e l i e f i n s p i r i t s d i m i n i s h Raven's importance 105 APPENDIX I SUMMARY OF LAND OTTER MYTHS Myth 3 T a l e 6 THE LAND-OTTER-SISTER p.29 Man f o r g e t s about h i s drowned s i s t e r Land O t t e r s i s t e r b r i n g s him baskets of food Land O t t e r nephews come to h e l p t h e i r human uncle Land O t t e r nephews put h a l i b u t on t h e i r u n c l e ' s l i n e Man's c h i l d r e n begin to grow t a i l s - stopped by Land O t t e r aunt Land O t t e r c a l l e d bad weather good and good weather bad F i r e t h r e a t e n s Land O t t e r nephew's t a i l s / c l o t h e s - they leave i n anger as they f e e l - m i s t r e a t e d by t h e i r human uncle Land O t t e r nephews use t h e i r t a i l s to c a r r y new canoe to water New canoe c a r r i e s an abundance of food back to v i l l a g e Myth 4 T a l e 7 THE LAND-OTTER SON p.29 Famine p e r i o d - ate o n l y s h e l l f i s h and food from low t i d e l i n e Land O t t e r son takes p i t y on poor and hungry parents g i v e s them d e v i l f i s h f o r h a l i b u t b a i t Land O t t e r son communicates by w h i s t l i n g - hides h i s face Land O t t e r son puts h a l i b u t on f a t h e r ' s l i n e Land O t t e r son hides i n the woods at daybreak -before raven c a l l s Land O t t e r son eats o n l y raw f i s h Land O t t e r son fades away as parent's canoe nears t h e i r v i l l a g e Myth 5 T a l e 45 THE WOMAN WHO MARRIED A LAND OTTER p.187 V a r i a t i o n of T a l e 6 Famine and hunger f o r a man-and h i s three c h i l d r e n Land O t t e r s i s t e r b r i n g s food f o r them Land O t t e r nephews he l p man f i n i s h h i s canoe Takes h i s t h r e e c h i l d r e n to v i s i t the l a n d o t t e r s P r o t e c t s h i m s e l f with blue h e l l e b o r e i n water C h i l d r e n b e g i n to grow t a i l s - he chops them o f f His s i s t e r says he has stayed too long - must leave When l e a v i n g he sees l - o h o l e s i n s t e a d of p a i n t e d houses Returns to h i s v i l l a g e with an abundance of food Myth 6 T a l e 46 THE LAND-OTTER'S CAPTIVE p.188 S u r v i v o r of c a p s i z e d canoe de c i e v e d by Land O t t e r s -taken south Land O t t e r s take i n a female l a n d o t t e r at every stop Coverd man with mat d u r i n g journey Land O t t e r aunt i n ground hog robe has two Land O t t e r husbands who h e l p him r e t u r n to h i s own v i l l a g e People of the v i l l a g e capture him with dog bones on the rope Man r e s t o r e d from h i s w i l d s t a t e by c u t t i n g head w/ dog bones Man l e a r n e d h a l i b u t f i s h i n g from the Land O t t e r s Man ate o n l y raw f i s h and meat - d i e d when he ate cooked food 106 APPENDIX I SUMMARY OF LAND OTTER MYTHS Myth 7 T a l e 18 VARIOUS ADVENTURES NEAR CROSS SOUND p.47 Land O t t e r communicates with men by w h i s t l i n g Hunters went c r a z y a f t e r e a t i n g a l a n d o t t e r and then k i l l i n g a land-otter-man by burning him Crazy equated with death Myth 8 T a l e 27 THE ALSEK RIVER PEOPLE p.64 Famine among the people Two shamans s i n g i n g - one f o r eulachons, the other f o r animals F i r s t shaman goes under the water i n a canoe to b r i n g f i s h back Land O t t e r s p i r i t s t a l k i n g i n s i d e of two menstruant women Menstruant woman enfe e b l e s the power of a shaman's s p i r i t Land-Otter-Men were i n v i s i b l e D i s r e s p e c t of Land O t t e r s cause a g r e a t avalanche and f l o o d The T l i n g i t Indians - A u r e l Krause 1979 Myth 9 Kaka p.197 Shaman i s wrapped i n a mat, t i e d w/otter s t r a p & lowered i n sea Bladder of a l a n d o t t e r marks the p o s i t i o n of the shaman He i s found i n f o u r days, hanging from a c l i f f Kaka has two wives - one f a i t h f u l , one not Charm of o t t e r sinew causes Kaka to drown - taken by Land O t t e r s Kaka f a l l s i n love with the c h i e f Land O t t e r ' s two daughters Kaka's aunt h e l p s him to r e t u r n to h i s senses by removing sinew Kaka's Land O t t e r uncles h e l p him to r e t u r n home i n canoe Uncles become l a n d o t t e r s at daybreak, remove Kaka's tongue and thus o b t a i n the powers of a shaman Kaka's u n f a i t h f u l younger wife f a l l s t h r u smoke hole commits s u i c i d e as a r e s u l t of her shame 107 APPENDIX I SUMMARY OF LAND OTTER MYTHS STORIES ABOUT LAND OTTERS - F. de Laguna 1972 M y t h 11 THE STORY OF KAKA p.749 K a k a ' s j e a l o u s w i f e p u t s l a n d o t t e r s i n e w i n h i s e a r K a k a i s t a k e n away by L a n d O t t e r s K a k a ' s r e l a t i v e s g a v e a g r e a t f e a s t f o r h i m The L a n d O t t e r s d r a g g e d h i m u n d e r t h r e e r o c k y p o i n t s n e a r S i t k a K a k a m a r r i e s a young L a n d O t t e r woman K a k a ' s a u n t r e m o v e s t h e s i n e w f r o m h i s e a r K a k a ' s mouth i s d i s f i g u r e d f r o m e a t i n g c o d f i s h b o n e s a n d h e a d s K a k a has no f e e l i n g i n h i s body when he t h r e a t e n s L a n d O t t e r s L a n d O t t e r s r e t u r n K a k a - t r a v e l by n i g h t o n l y K a k a ' s shaman u n c l e s e n t a s p i r i t t o g e t h i m b a c k When K a k a shows h i m s e l f i n h i s v i l l a g e , p e o p l e go u n c o n s c i o u s I r o n n a i l s a r e u s e d on a c l o t h e s l i n e t o c a t c h K a k a K a k a w o u l d n o t e a t t h e f o o d o f f e r e d by h i s f a m i l y M y t h 12 THE GIRLS WHO HAD LAND OTTERS AS LOVERS p.7 50 Two a d o l e s c e n t g i r l s a r e c o n f i n e d f o r one y e a r H o l e s i n t r e e s a r e L a n d O t t e r h o l e s - g i r l s s i t on h o l e s L a n d O t t e r s p i r i t s t r y t o e n t e r t h e g i r l s -r e p e l l e d by d e v i l ' s c l u b R e l a t i v e s o f t h e g i r l s " k i l l " a s l a v e f o r L a n d O t t e r L a n d O t t e r s e n d two s l a v e s ( m i n k ) i n r e t u r n p o t l a t c h L a n d O t t e r s t r y t o drown t h e p e o p l e i n mud P e o p l e s e t f i r e t o t h e L a n d O t t e r h o l e s w i t h p i t c h [ h o l e s = t o p o f l a n d o t t e r ' s v i l l a g e ] M y t h 13 TWO LITTLE BOYS RESCUED FROM LAND OTTERS p. 751 Two b o y s a r e l o s t a n d meet t h e i r " m other a n d s i s t e r s " ( i e . L a n d O t t e r s p o s i n g as r e l a t i v e s ) Shaman s u g g e s t s t h a t one w i l l , be f o u n d i n a h o l e u n d e r a t r e e s a y s t h e y s h o u l d u s e a dog t o f i n d h i m A f t e r 3 d a y s t h e y o u n g e s t i s f o u n d - he h a s m e s s e d h i s p a n t s A f t e r 7 d a y s t h e o t h e r i s f o u n d - b o t h were u n c o n s c i o u s Shaman r e v i t a l i z e s them a n d d r i v e s away L a n d O t t e r s p i r i t " c o m i n g t o a l i v e a g a i n " = r e i n c a r n a t i o n ? M y t h 14 A BOY RESCUED FROM LAND OTTERS p.7 52 Boy i s t a k e n by L a n d O t t e r s who l o o k l i k e h i s p a r e n t s Shaman s i n g s a n d p u t s f o o d on t h e f i r e t o s a v e t h e b o y - s e a l o i l , s e a l f a t , b e a r o i l a n d d r i e d f i s h Boy s l e e p s w/ L a n d O t t e r s - t h e y l o o k l i k e p a r e n t s i n d a y t i m e Boy g e t s s t u c k i n t h e L a n d O t t e r h o l e - r e l i e v e s h i m s e l f t h e r e L a n d O t t e r a r e a f r a i d o f h i s body w a s t e s 108 APPENDIX I SUMMARY OF LAND OTTER MYTHS Family f i n d s the boy - he i s c r a z y and a f r a i d of h i s s i s t e r u n t i l the shaman cures him Myth 15 NEXINTEK RESCUED FROM LAND OTTERS p.752 Boy dis a p p e a r s while f i s h i n g on a g r a v e l bar People searched t h r u the woods with p i t c h t o r c h e s f o r him Shaman f o l l o w s the boy's t r a c k s \ Land O t t e r s dragged him beneath the r o o t s of a t r e e but would not touch him because he de f e c a t e d on h i m s e l f People carved h i s face on a b i g t r e e where they found him Myth 16 LDAXIN AND THE LAND OTTERS p.753 Sea l hunter i s delayed by storms and camps on an i s l a n d At n i g h t he s l e e p s under h i s canoe - hears h i s parents w h i s p e r i n g / w h i s t l i n g ( l i k e Land O t t e r ) T r i e s to shoot h i s gun but hands go numb and he gets d i z z y Shaman sends h i s s p i r i t to p r o t e c t the hunter The man's unc l e s pay the shaman to 'cleanse' him when he r e t u r n s Myth 17 THE DROWNED WOMAN p.754 Man was t r a p p i n g mink, fox and la n d o t t e r s F i n d s two f o o t p r i n t s on e i t h e r s i d e of a t r a p and a g a r t e r on i t His wife says i t belonged to her mother who d i e d i n a canoe upset She dreams t h a t mother i s married to a Land O t t e r and has two mink c h i l d r e n Myth 18 A GIRL CAPTURED BY LAND OTTERS p. 754 Twelve year o l d g i r l d isappeared - s t o l e n by Land O t t e r s Search p a r t y heard people, but found o n l y l a n d o t t e r t r a c k s Myth 19 SMALL BOYS SAVED BY DOGS p.755 Canoe l o a d of ' r e l a t i v e s ' becomes a l o g when dogs s t a r t b a r k i n g Boy i s t a l k i n g to h i s 'uncle' but when dogs run and jump on him he turns i n t o a la n d o t t e r and runs away Myth 20 TWO BOYS LOST IN THE WOODS p.755 Boys l o s t i n the woods are saved because they had an ax and saw 109 APPENDIX I SUMMARY OF LAND OTTER MYTHS Haida Texts and Myths J.R. Swanton 1905 Myth 23 THE STORY OF HIM WHOSE SISTER BROUGHT FOOD FROM L-0 A man lea v e s town w/ wife and two c h i l d r e n to make a canoe His s i s t e r , who was taken away by Land O t t e r s i n the woods b r i n g s them food Her Land O t t e r husband turns the canoe over -then b r i n g s i t out They paddle to the Land O t t e r v i l l a g e f o l l o w i n g her d i r e c t i o n s They l i v e d t here a long time while f i n i s h i n g the canoe At n i g h t they were i n the r o o t s of a t r e e - by day i t was a house One of fou r Land O t t e r hunters i s k i l l e d because he f o r g o t to cover h i s knees while i n a canoe Land O t t e r b r o t h e r s - i n - l a w h e l p f i n i s h canoe Land O t t e r s i s t e r gave them d i r e c t i o n s home - t o l d them not to t a l k about Land O t t e r v i l l a g e When c h i l d speaks w e l l of Land O t t e r v i l l a g e they f i n d themselves back u n t i l f i n a l l y she f o r g e t s and they get home Myth 24 STORY OF Tc!aawu'nk! p.58 ( T l i n g i t name and s t o r y ) C h i l d i n c r a d l e becomes shaman surrounded by crows on beach Blamed f o r deaths so he went w/grandmother to l i v e o u t s i d e town Became a g r e a t hunter and pr o v i d e d f o r v i l l a g e d u r i n g famine Gains shamanic power by going underwater t i e d to a rope Sees the bottom of a T l i n g i t i s l a n d and a shaman's house Youngest of fou r nephews immune to Land O t t e r because he u r i n a t e s i n bed Tclaawu'nk! and youngest taken by Land O t t e r s to h e a l t h e i r c h i e f With a drum, r a t t l e and some u r i n e he t r a v e l s i n the bottom of the Land O t t e r canoe, covered with a mat (nephew a l s o ) Land O t t e r s c l e a n e d canoe by t w i s t i n g about ( i e t h e i r f u r was wet T r a v e l l e d under the water, through the k e l p strands His animated r a t t l e leads him to the house of the s i c k Land O t t e r c h i e f ' s son - Land O t t e r people had pretended he was elsewhere His people had speared a white o t t e r - i t was the c h i e f ' s son Tclaawu'nk! removes a bone spear from Land O t t e r then r e t u r n s i t Nephew beats the drum with h i s head from a d i s t a n c e When he s l e p t , the house became the ro o t s of a t r e e Tclaawu'nk! rewarded with many e l k s k i n s and grease He sprays the Land O t t e r shamans who make fun of him with u r i n e and h e l l e b o r e Clams spurted water at him (see Laguna f o r clams as s i c k n e s s ) He asks f o r two magic h a l i b u t hooks as payment Removes the spear and i s giv e n the hooks by r e l u c t a n t Land O t t e r s When he i s ret u r n e d , the hooks, e l k s k i n s and grease d i s a p p e a r ! 110 APPENDIX I SUMMARY OF LAND OTTER MYTHS Haida Texts J.R. Swanton 1908b Myth 26 QAKA p.523 Qaka had two wives - the e l d e r put Land O t t e r sinew i n h i s ears because she was j e a l o u s of the younger C o l l e c t i n g cedar bark, he see h i s young wife (but she i s r e a l l y a Land O t t e r ) Land O t t e r f o o l s Qaka i n t o the f o r e s t r a t h e r than to the sea where he had wanted to go She leads him to Land O t t e r v i l l a g e where he meets an aunt who t e l l s him about the l a n d o t t e r sinew Land O t t e r s went f o r food at n i g h t - Qaka gathered wood Aunt c o l l e c t e d dry wood - f i r e went out so she was t r e a t e d badly Aunt i s f a s t e n e d with p i t c h and p a r t l y turned to stone Qaka c o l l e c t s dry wood - f i r e keeps burning when Land O t t e r shake t h e i r wet f u r to dry o f f Qaka eats f i s h with Land O t t e r s -has a hard time with the bones Qaka i s g i v e n away as an exchange g i f t f o r a c h i e f ' s daughter Qaka meets another aunt here who i s bound w/pitch and p a r t stone Qaka t r a v e l s on and meets another aunt who has two Land O t t e r husbands, one young and o l d His aunt t e l l him h i s w i f e ' s t r i c k - her husbands w i l l r e t u r n him They t r a v e l by n i g h t - i n the day Qaka i s l e f t with a f i r e w h i l e the u n c l e s become o t t e r s i n the woods On the l a s t n i g h t they go along the bottom of the ocean They leave Qaka at a c l i f f near h i s v i l l a g e A canoe with f o u r men come near but o n l y the one i n the bow w i l l paddle towards Kaka - they go back to t e l l the v i l l a g e Qaka see a sparrow t h r u h o l e i n b l a n k e t - he i s i n v i t e d to v i s i t a c h i e f under the ground - p a r t s the grass and e n t e r s He meets another aunt who a l s o asks "Why do you do t h i s ? " Again the Land O t t e r s go f o r food at n i g h t Qaka c o l l e c t s wet wood Qaka p i e r c e s a blue bag with a bone- i t i s the scent bag of the c h i e f o t t e r - Qaka i s sent away He goes to a bay and l i e s down on the r o o t of a t r e e / f l o a t s away He d i e s and f l o a t s c l o s e to h i s own v i l l a g e on the l o g People see a f l o c k of s e a b i r d s i n the a i r around him Two o l d men say i t i s Qaka (a c h i e f ' s son) but can't f i n d him When they p u r i f y the house and f a s t on s a l t water f o r two n i g h t s they are a b l e to l o c a t e Qaka Qaka's dead body i s put on the r o o f of the house f o r f o u r days Qaka comes back to l i f e and becomes a great shaman His o l d wife r e t u r n e d to him - the young one married someone e l s e Myth 27 Ldjan and Guk!a'na p.535 i Four hunters stranded on a rocky i s l a n d The three d i d not share food with Gukla'na - l e f t him there alone 111 APPENDIX I SUMMARY OF LAND OTTER MYTHS when they were rescued by a canoe Canoe of Land O t t e r s appear and o f f e r water and to h e l p him -he r e f u s e s h e l p because he f e a r s them Canoe of Ocean-People o f f e r to h e l p him - he r e f u s e s He i s f i n a l l y rescued by h i s own people who come i n a l a r g e canoe Myth 28 THE MAN CARRIED OFF BY LAND OTTERS p.545 Qaka jumped from h i s canoe i n t o the water to j o i n the Land O t t e r s His wife went back home with her three c h i l d r e n f o r h e l p i An o l d woman i n the Land O t t e r v i l l a g e a d v i s e s Qaka to get wet wood f o r the Land O t t e r ' s f i r e Qaka c o n t r o l s when the Land O t t e r s can come out of the water Qaka worked f o r the Land O t t e r s l i k e a s l a v e Qaka gets a spoon from the o l d woman and eats the c h i e f ' s food The Land O t t e r s beat Qaka with t h e i r t a i l s Qaka t r i e s to run away with t h e i r scent glands, but they make the doorway s m a l l and he Is stuck Qaka i s found by f o u r f r i e n d s who cut the r o o t s away from him Qaka and h i s people p l a n to k i l l the Land O t t e r s with f i r e , u r i n e & h e l l e b o r e They poured u r i n e i n the den h o l e s , l i t f i r e s and clubbed Land O t t e r s as they came out They skinned the o t t e r s and t r i e d to s e l l the s k i n s to the whites i n t h e i r " O t t e r Canoe" (steamboat "Otter") Myth 29 A SHAMAN AT QAIK p.597 A shaman pr o p h e s i z e s the coming of a canoe -One s t a n d i n g i n the middle of the canoe i s d r e s s e d as a shaman The people i n the canoe s i n g a song i n T l i n g i t language When they came ashore the canoe became a r o t t e n t r e e These were the r e l a t i v e s of Land O t t e r s k i l l e d by the v i l l a g e r s The v i s i t o r s d r e s s e d themselves and danced and sang f o r the hosts In the morning the v i l l a g e r s k i l l e d the Land O t t e r s as they came out.of the house by c l u b b i n g them At l a s t the "deer" ( i . e . peace hostage) came out but d i d not d i e from t h e i r c l u b b i n g so they cut o f f h i s head They l e f t the bodies of the Land O t t e r s on an i s l a n d Myth 31 The Man Who was Helped by Land O t t e r s p.449 Dead woman pr o v i d e s food f o r a man and h i s f a m i l y (crab -she goes back to her grave-box d u r i n g the daytime Dead woman i s married to a Land O t t e r Her Land O t t e r husband helps the man f i n i s h h i s canoe and catches many f i s h f o r him Man becomes a g r e a t c h i e f as a r e s u l t of having so much -he i s able to g i v e ten p o t l a t c h e s 112 s h e l l s ) f i s h APPENDIX I SUMMARY OF LAND OTTER MYTHS TSIMSHIAN MYTHOLOGY Franz Boas 1909 Myth 32 THE OTTER WHO MARRIED THE PRINCESS p.166 A c h i e f ' s daughter r e f u s e s to marry her c o u s i n She goes i n a canoe to c o l l e c t f e r n s with other women At n i g h t she i s c h i l l e d i n s p i t e of her aunt's f i r e The p r i n c e a r r i v e s and b u i l d s a b i g g e r f i r e - she i s s t i l l c h i l l y A f r i e n d of the ' p r i n c e ' c a l l s f o r r a i n - i t f l o o d s the camp She accepts a r i d e home i n the p r i n c e ' s canoe The two are covered by a mat while they t r a v e l She a r r i v e s i n a strange country (Land O t t e r v i l l a g e ) The canoe becomes a d r i f t l o g a f t e r they get out Mouse Woman t e l l her to throw her ear-ornaments i n t o the f i r e Mouse Woman r e v e a l s t h a t the Land O t t e r p r i n c e has married her because she would not marry her c o u s i n She g i v e s b i r t h to a c h i l d and i s c a s t out by her mother-in-law She t r i e s to drown her baby Land O t t e r , but to no a v a i l As he grows up, the Land O t t e r c h i l d p r o v i d e s food f o r her Mouse Woman d i r e c t s her to k i l l the Land O t t e r s , and she does Meanwhile, her aunt has r e t u r n e d home and d i s c o v e r e d she has not The c h i e f c a l l s a l l the shamans who say she was taken by O t t e r s L i t t l e O t t e r goes to look a t h i s grandfather, the c h i e f O t t e r o f f e r s to take h i s mother home on h i s back to the mainland On the way they make sandbars (with handful of sand) to r e s t upon She and l i t t l e O t t e r are welcomed back to her v i l l a g e O t t e r p r o v i d e s much h a l i b u t and other food f o r the v i l l a g e C h i e f g i v e s a g r e a t p o t l a t c h f o r a l l the Tsimshian C h i e f asks the other v i l l a g e s not to harm l i t t l e O t t e r One v i l l a g e was not present - men from i t k i l l e d l i t t l e O t t e r Myth 33 LAND OTTER p.345 Man claims he would never y e i l d to Land O t t e r s He and h i s s i s t e r c a p s i z e i n a canoe He sees a f i r e moving away from him, but makes h i s own A canoe a r r i v e and he throws the paddles i n t o the f i r e they become mink The people i n the canoe disappear and i t becomes a d r i f t l o g A woman come to h i s f i r e and o f f e r s him f i s h and seaweed He r e f u s e s food from h i s Land O t t e r s i s t e r - then accepts A f t e r a month, he i s rescued. 113 APPENDIX II LAND OTTER MYTH TEXT Myth 2 (Swanton, 1909 T a l e 31) KAKA: The f i r s t man captured (or "saved") by the l a n d o t t e r s was a K i k s a d i named Kaka. The l a n d o t t e r s kept coming to him i n l a r g e canoes l o o k i n g l i k e h i s mother or h i s s i s t e r , or other dear r e l a t i o n , and p r e t e n d i n g t h a t they had been l o o k i n g f o r him f o r a long time. But they c o u l d not c o n t r o l themselves as w e l l as he, and a t such times he would d i s c o v e r who they were and t h a t t h e i r canoe was n o t h i n g but a skate. F i n a l l y , when Kaka found t h a t he c o u l d not see h i s f r i e n d s , he thought he might as w e l l g i v e h i m s e l f up to the l a n d o t t e r s . Then they named him Qowulka, a word i n the l a n d o t t e r language now a p p l i e d to a k i n d of f i s h o o k which the h a l i b u t are thought to l i k e b e t t e r than a l l o t h e r s . Nowadays, when a f i g u r e of Qowulka i s made, i t i s covered with a dog s k i n , because i t was by means of a dog s k i n t h a t he f r i g h t e n e d the l a n d o t t e r s , and they a l s o hang h i s apron about with dog bones. The shaman who i s possessed by him d r e s s e s i n the same manner. From Kaka the people l e a r n e d t h a t the l a n d o t t e r a f f e c t s the minds of those who have been with them f o r a long time so as to t u r n them a g a i n s t t h e i r own f r i e n d s . They a l s o l e a r n e d from him t h a t there are shamans among the l a n d o t t e r s , and t h a t the l a n d o t t e r s have a language of t h e i r own. For two years Kaka's f r i e n d s hunted f o r him, f a s t i n g at the same time and remaining away from t h e i r wives. At the end of t h i s p e r i o d the l a n d o t t e r s went to an i s l a n d about 50 m i l e s from S i t k a and took Kaka with them. The l a n d o t t e r t r i b e s go to t h i s p l a c e every year. Then an o l d land-otter-woman c a l l e d to Kaka: "My nephew, I see t h a t you are worrying about the people at your home. When we get to the p l a c e whither we are going p l a c e y o u r s e l f a s t r i d e of the f i r s t l o g you see l y i n g on the beach and s i t t here as long as you can." And her husband s a i d to him: "Keep your head covered over. Do not look around." They gave him t h i s d i r e c t i o n because they thought, " I f t h i s human being sees a l l of our ways and l e a r n s a l l of our h a b i t s , we s h a l l d i e . . " On the way a c r o s s the l a n d - o t t e r - p e o p l e sang a song, r e a l l y a k i n d of prayer, of which the words are, "May we get on the c u r r e n t running to the shore." The moment they came to l a n d the l a n d - o t t e r - p e o p l e d i sappeared and he d i d not know what had become of them. They may have run i n t o some den. Then he ran up the sandy beach and sat on the f i r s t l o g he came t o , as he had been d i r e c t e d . The i n s t a n t h i s body touched i t he became unconscious. I t was a shaman's s p i r i t t h a t made him so. By and by Kaka's f r i e n d s , who were at t h a t time hunting f o r f u r s e a l s , an occupation t h a t c a r r i e s one f a r out to sea, 114 APPENDIX II LAND OTTER MYTH TEXT suddenly heard the n o i s e of a shaman's drum and people b e a t i n g f o r him with batons. They f o l l o w e d the sound seaward u n t i l they saw thousands and thousands of sea b i r d s f l y i n g about something f l o a t i n g upon the ocean a m i l e or two ahead of them. A r r i v e d there they saw t h a t i t was a l o g with Kaka l y i n g upon i t c l o t h e d o n l y i n a k e l p apron. The people were d e l i g h t e d to f i n d even h i s body, and took i t i n t o t h e i r canoe. He looked very w i l d and strange. He d i d not open h i s eyes, yet he seemed to know who had p o s s e s s i o n of him, and without having h i s l i p s s t i r a v o i c e f a r down i n h i s chest s a i d , " I t i s I my masters." I t was a shaman's s p i r i t t h a t s a i d t h i s , and to the present day a shaman's s p i r i t w i l l c a l l the shaman's r e l a t i o n s "my masters." The o l d woman th a t saved him and t o l d him to s i t a s t r i d e of the l o g was h i s s p i r i t and so was her husband. The l o g was the s p i r i t ' s canoe. T h i s woman and her husband had been captured by the l a n d o t t e r s long b e f o r e , but Kaka was so strong-minded a f e l l o w t h a t they f e l t they c o u l d do nothing with him, so they l e t him go and became h i s s p i r i t s . They c o u l d not t u r n him i n t o a l a n d o t t e r because he d i d not b e l i e v e t h a t l a n d o t t e r s are s t r o n g e r than human beings. A f t e r the people had brought Kaka to a p l a c e j u s t around the p o i n t from t h e i r v i l l a g e , he s a i d , "Leave me here f o r a l i t t l e w h i l e . " So most of h i s r e l a t i o n s remained with him, while two went home to t e l l the people who were t h e r e . They were not allowed to keep i t from the women. Then they made a house f o r him out of d e v i l ' s c l u b s and he was l e f t there f o r two days while the people of the town f a s t e d . They b e l i e v e d i n these s p i r i t s as we now b e l i e v e i n God. Before he was brought home the house and the people i n i t had to be very c l e a n , because he would not go where there was f i l t h . A f t e r they got him home they heard the s p i r i t s a y i n g f a r down w i t h i n him: " I t i s I, O l d - l a n d - o t t e r -s p i r i t (Kucta-kocanqo-yek)." T h i s was the name of the o l d woman who f i r s t t o l d him what to do. The next s p i r i t was T h e - s p i r i t -t h a t - s a v e s (Qosinexe-yek). He sang i n s i d e of him the same song t h a t the la n d o t t e r s sang. I t was h i s s p i r i t ' s song and has many words to i t . A l l the b i r d s t h a t assembled around him when he was f l o a t i n g upon the sea were a l s o h i s s p i r i t s . Even the wind and the waves t h a t f i r s t upset him were h i s s p i r i t s . E v e r y t h i n g strange t h a t he had seen at the time when the lan d o t t e r s got p o s s e s s i o n of him were h i s s p i r i t s . There are always sea b i r d s s i t t i n g on a f l o a t i n g l o g , and from Kaka people l e a r n e d t h a t these are shaman's s p i r i t s . I t i s from h i s experience t h a t a l l Alaskans - T l i n g i t , Haida, even Eskimo and Athapaskans - b e l i e v e i n the land-otter-men (kuctaqa) By means of h i s s p i r i t s Kaka was a b l e to stand going naked f o r two years. T h i s s t o r y of Kaka i s a t r u e s t o r y , and i t i s from him that the T l i n g i t b e l i e v e i n 115 APPENDIX II LAND OTTER MYTH TEXT shaman's s p i r i t s [yek] (Swanton, 1909:138). Myth 7 (Swanton, 1909 T a l e 18) VARIOUS ADVENTURES NEAR CROSS SOUND Four men went hunting by canoe one autumn to _,ar p l a c e c a l l e d Wataslax, where they encamped. By and by one of the p a r t y , on going to h i s t r a p s , found a ,,-big l a n d o t t e r i n one of them. He took the bough of a t r e e , t w i s t e d i t around the l a n d o t t e r ' s neck, and c a r r i e d i t home. He d i d not know what i t was. As he dragged i t home i t went bouncing along behind him and at every bounce something w h i s t l e d behind him. A r r i v e d a t camp he began to s k i n i t . Then he s a i d to h i s b r o t h e r s , " Go and get your pot ready to cook i t , " but, when they began to cut i t up to put i t i n , something w h i s t l e d . "That i s j u s t what I heard on the way," he s a i d . A f t e r the pot had b o i l e d and they had begun to eat, something began to w h i s t l e i n t r e e near by and threw a rock down. They threw one back and soon rocks were f l y i n g back and f o r t h . I t was-a gr e a t t h i n g to f o o l wi.th. By and by the men s a i d , "You might cut our f a c e s , " so, i n s t e a d of throwing rocks, they s e i z e d long pine cones and threw these back and f o r t h a l l n i g h t . Towards morning the being i n the t r e e , which was a l a n d - o t t e r -man, began to h i t people, and they on t h e i r p a r t had become very t i r e d . F i n a l l y they t r i e d to get him down by l i g h t i n g a f i r e under the t r e e where he was s i t t i n g . When i t was burning w e l l , a l l suddenly shouted, and he f e l l i n t o i t . Then they threw the f i r e over him, and he burned up. But when they s t a r t e d f o r the beach to go home, a l l w r i g g l e d from s i d e to s i d e and a c t e d as i f they were c r a z y ; and when anyone went to t h a t p l a c e a f t e r w a r d he would a c t i n t h a t same manner. Myth 5 (Swanton, 1909 T a l e 45) THE WOMAN WHO MARRIED A LAND OTTER A man a t S i t k a had three l i t t l e c h i l d r e n who were c r y i n g with hunger because he had nothing to g i v e them. His s i s t e r had been captured by the l a n d o t t e r s a f t e r having been n e a r l y drowned. Then he s a i d to the l i t t l e ones, "You poor c h i l d r e n , I wish your aunt was l i v i n g . " Sometime a f t e r w a r d t h a t same evening he heard a l o a d s e t down o u t s i d e , and going out to look, he saw a 116 APPENDIX II LAND OTTER MYTH TEXT very l a r g e basket f i l l e d with a l l kinds of d r i e d meat, f i s h and o i l . The s i s t e r he had been wishing f o r had brought i t . Then t h i s woman h e r s e l f came i n and s a i d , "I have brought t h a t f o r the l i t t l e ones. I w i l l be r i g h t back again. I l i v e o n l y a s h o r t d i s t a n c e from here. We have a v i l l a g e there named Transparent V i l l a g e (Kanaxa-dak-an). You must come and s t a y with us." The man s a i d t h a t he was making a canoe and had to f i n i s h i t , but she r e p l i e d , "Your nephews are coming over, and they w i l l f i n i s h your canoe f o r you." A f t e r the food t h a t h i s s i s t e r had brought him had g i v e n out she came to him again with more and s a i d , "I have come a f t e r you now. B r i n g your l i t t l e ones and come along. I see t h a t you are having a hard time with them." So her b r o t h e r prepared to go. Before he s t a r t e d he got some blue h e l l e b o r e ( s ! i k c ) , which he soaked i n water to make i t very s t r o n g and b i t t e r , and f i n a l l y h i s s i s t e r ' s boys came, f i n e -l o o k i n g young men who were p e c u l i a r o n l y i n having very long b r a i d s of h a i r hanging down t h e i r backs. In r e a l i t y these were t h e i r t a i l s . He showed them where h i s canoe was so they c o u l d go to work on i t , and, a f t e r they had completed i t roughly, they p u l l e d i t down f o r him. Then the man s t a r t e d o f f with h i s f a m i l y , and, sure enough, when he rounded the p o i n t what appeared to him l i k e a f i n e v i l l a g e l a y t h e r e . The people came out to meet him, but h i s s i s t e r s a i d , "Don't s t a y r i g h t i n the v i l l a g e . Stay here, a l i t t l e d i s t a n c e away. The people of t h a t p l a c e were very good to him and gave him a l l the h a l i b u t he wanted, but he always had the blue h e l l e b o r e by him to keep from being i n j u r i o u s l y a f f e c t e d . They were a l s o i n the h a b i t of s i n g i n g a c r a d l e song f o r h i s youngest c h i l d which went t h i s way, ""The t a i l i s growing. The t a i l i s growing." Then he examined the c h i l d , and i n f a c t a t a i l was r e a l l y growing upon i t , so he chopped i t o f f . F i n a l l y the man's s i s t e r t o l d him t h a t he was s t a y i n g there a l i t t l e too long, and he s t a r t e d back toward h i s v i l l a g e . As he went he looked back, and there was nothing to be seen except l a n d o t t e r h o l e s . Before they had appeared l i k e p a i n t e d houses. Then he r e t u r n e d to h i s own p l a c e with a l l kinds of food g i v e n him by the l a n d o t t e r s . 117 SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY Bur r i d g e , Kenelm 1979 Someone, No One: An Essay on I n d i v i d u a l i t y . P r i n c e t o n : P r i n c e t o n U n i v e r s i t y Press. De Laguna, F r e d e r i c a 1952 "Some Dynamic Forces i n T l i n g i t S o c i e t y " , Southwestern J o u r n a l of Anthropology 8:1-12. 1954 " T l i n g i t Ideas About the I n d i v i d u a l " , Southwestern J o u r n a l of Anthropology 10-172-91. 1972 Under Mount S a i n t E l i a s : The H i s t o r y and C u l t u r e of the Yakutat T l i n g i t . 3 v o l s . Smithsonian I n s t i t u t i o n C o n t r i b u t i o n s to Anthropology 7. Washington D.C.: Smithsonian I n s t i t u t i o n P r e s s . Drury, N e v i l l 1982 The Shaman and the Magician: J o u r n i e s Between the Worlds. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul Inc. E l i a d e , Mircea 1961 Images and Symbols. Kansas: Sheed Andrews & McMeel. 1964 Shamanism: A r c h a i c Techniques of E c s t a s y . T r a n s l a t e d by W i l l a r d R. Trask. P r i n c e t o n , New J e r s e y : P r i n c e t o n U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s . B o l l i n g e n S e r i e s 76. (1964) Emmons, George Thornton n.d. C o l l e c t i o n Notes, American Museum of N a t u r a l H i s t o r y , New York, C a t a l o g E; C a t a l o g 19. (1882-87). n.d. C o l l e c t i o n Notes, F i e l d Museum of N a t u r a l H i s t o r y , Chicago, I l l i n o i s . Guedon, M a r i e - F r a n c o i s e 1984 "An I n t r o d u c t i o n to Tsimshian World View and I t s P r a c t i c i o n e r s . " In The Tsimshian Images of the Past: Views f o r the Present," e d i t e d by Margaret Seguin. Vancouver: U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia P r e s s . Goldman, I r v i n g 1975 The Mouth of Heaven: An I n t r o d u c t i o n to Kwakiutl R e l i g i o u s Thought. New York: John Wiley & Sons. 118 SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY H a l p i n , M a r j o r i e 1981 " S e e i n g i n S t o n e : T s i m s h i a n M a s k i n g " , i n The W o r l d i s As Sharp As a K n i f e : An A n t h o l o g y In Honor Of W i l s o n D u f f , D o n a l d N. A b b o t t , e d . V i c t o r i a : B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a P r o v i n c i a l Museum. H a r r i s , C . J . 1968 O t t e r s : A Study of the Recent L u t r i n a e . L o n d o n : W e i d e n f e l d and N i c o l s o n . H a r r i s , Kenneth and F r a n c e s M . P . R o b i n s o n 1974 V i s i t o r s Who Never L e f t : The O r i g i n of the P e o p l e of Damelahamid. V a n c o u v e r : U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a P r e s s . J o n a i t i s , A l d o n a 1986 A r t of the N o r t h e r n T l i n g i t . S e a t t l e : U n i v e r s i t y of Washington P r e s s . J o r g e n s o n , Grace M . M . 1970 A C o m p a r a t i v e E x a m i n a t i o n o f Northwest Coast Shamanism. ( U n p u b l i s h e d M . A . t h e s i s ) V a n c o u v e r : U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a . Kan, S e r g e i 1986 The N i n e t e e n t h - C e n t u r y T l i n g i t P o t l a t c h : A New P e r s p e c t i v e . A m e r i c a n E t h n o l o g i s t 13(2) p p . 1 9 1 - 2 1 2 . K r a u s e , A u r e l 1956 The T l i n g i t I n d i a n s . T r a n s l a t e d by E r n a Gunther (1885) . S e a t t l e : U n i v e r s i t y of Washington P r e s s . P u b l i c a t i o n of the A m e r i c a n E t h n o l o g i c a l S o c i e t y . L e v i - S t r a u s s , C l a u d e 1963 S t r u c t u r a l A n t h r o p o l o g y . T r a n s l a t e d by C . Jacobsen and B. G r u n d f e s t S c h o e p f . New Y o r k : B a s i c B o o k s . L o v e j o y , James 1984 T l i n g i t Shaman Charms. ( U n p u b l i s h e d M . A . t h e s i s ) V a n c o u v e r : U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a . M c C l e n n a n , C a t h e r i n e 1954 "The I n t e r r e l a t i o n s h i p s of S o c i a l S t r u c t u r e w i t h N o r t h e r n T l i n g i t C e r e m o n i a l i s m , " S o u t h w e s t e r n J o u r n a l of A n t h r o p o l o g y 10 :75-96 . O b e r g , K a l v e r o 1973 The S o c i a l Economy of the T l i n g i t I n d i a n s . S e a t t l e : U n i v e r s i t y of Washington P r e s s . 119 SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY Olson, Ronald l e Roy 1961 " T l i n g i t Shamanism and Sorcery," Kroeber A n t h r o p o l o g i c a l S o c i e t y Papers, No. 25, pp. 207-220. Berk e l e y : U n i v e r s i t y of C a l i f o r n i a P r e s s . Seguin, Margaret 1984 "Lest There Be No Salmon", i n The Tsimshian: Images of The Past, Views of the Present, M. Seguin, e d i t o r . Vancouver: U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia P r e s s . Swanton, John R. 1905a " C o n t r i b u t i o n s to the Ethnology of the Haida." Memoirs of the American Museum of N a t u r a l H i s t o r y , V o l . 8, pt.1 1905b Haida Texts and Myths. B u l l e t i n 29, Bureau of American Ethnology, Smithsonian I n s t i t u t i o n , Washington, D.C. 1908a Haida Texts - Masset D i a l e c t , P u b l i c a t i o n of the Jesup North P a c i f i c E x p e d i t i o n , X, p a r t I I . 1908b " S o c i a l C o n d i t i o n s , B e l i e f s and L i n g u i s t i c s R e l a t i o n s h i p of the T l i n g i t I ndians," Twenty-sixth Annual Report of the U n i t e d S t a t e s Bureau of American Ethnology, 1904-5, pp. 391-485. Washington, D.C: Government P r i n t i n g O f f i c e . 1909 T l i n g i t Myths and Texts. B u l l e t i n 39, Bureau of American Ethnology, Smithsonian I n s t . , Washington, D.C. Walens, S.G. 1981 F e a s t i n g With C a n n i b a l s . Metaphor and M o r a l i t y i n Nineteenth Century Kwakiutl C u l t u r e . P r i n c e t o n N.J.: P r i n c e t o n U n i v e r s i t y P r e s s . 120 

Cite

Citation Scheme:

        

Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics

Share

Embed

Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                        
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            src="{[{embed.src}]}"
                            data-item="{[{embed.item}]}"
                            data-collection="{[{embed.collection}]}"
                            data-metadata="{[{embed.showMetadata}]}"
                            data-width="{[{embed.width}]}"
                            async >
                            </script>
                            </div>
                        
                    
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:
https://iiif.library.ubc.ca/presentation/dsp.831.1-0097912/manifest

Comment

Related Items