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Comparative examination of Northwest Coast shamanism. Jorgensen, Grace Mairi McIntyre 1970

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A COMPARATIVE EXAMINATION OF NORTHWEST COAST SHAMANISM by GRACE .MAIRI MCINTYRE JORGENSEN B.A., U n i v e r s i t y o f M a n i t o b a , 1967  A THESIS SUBMITTED I N PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF  MASTER OF ARTS i n the Department of A n t h r o p o l o g y and S o c i o l o g y  We a c c e p t t h i s t h e s i s as conforming t o the required standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA September, 1970  In p r e s e n t i n g an  this thesis  in p a r t i a l  advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y  the  Library  f u l f i l m e n t o f the requirements f o r o f B r i t i s h Columbia,  s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e  I f u r t h e r agree t h a t p e r m i s s i o n  f o r reference  I agree  that  and study.  f o r e x t e n s i v e copying o f t h i s t h e s i s  f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be granted by the Head o f my Department o r by  h i s representatives.  of  t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l gain  written  I t i s understood that  permission.  Department o f  Anthropology  The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h Vancouver 8, Canada  Date  J^J-  jfftf  Columbia  /?7f>  shall  copying o r p u b l i c a t i o n  not be allowed without my  ABSTRACT  The  f o l l o w i n g paper p r e s e n t s a c o m p a r a t i v e e x a m i n a t i o n  of  shamanism as p r a c t i s e d t r a d i t i o n a l l y among a number of B r i t i s h Colum- . b i a n Northwest Coast I n d i a n groups.  Case s t u d i e s r e p r e s e n t i n g groups  about w h i c h i n f o r m a t i o n i s r e a d i l y a v a i l a b l e , from each of the s i x maj o r l i n g u i s t i c d i v i s i o n s i n the a r e a , have been p r e s e n t e d i n d i c a t e the ordered  i n terms whic  r e l a t i o n s h i p s between s h a m a n i s t i c b e l i e f s  p r a c t i s e s , and an attempt has been made t o suggest s t r u c t u r a l w i t h other aspects  of c u l t u r e i n each case.  The major  and links  ethnographic  works p e r t a i n i n g t o each group were examined i n t e n s i v e l y and as many independent sources  as p o s s i b l e were c o n s u l t e d f o r c r o s s - c h e c k i n g  the  data. I t was  found t h a t w h i l e i n outward appearance p a t t e r n s of  b e l i e f and a c t i o n show c o n s i d e r a b l e s i m i l a r i t y from one group t o anot h e r , the emphasis and  s t r u c t u r a l i m p l i c a t i o n s of these b e l i e f s  and  p r a c t i s e s a r e d i f f e r e n t f o r each group. Some of these d i f f e r e n c e s are expressed  most c l e a r l y by  v a r i a t i o n s p r e s e n t i n the p u b l i c i n i t i a t i o n of n o v i c e shamans. t h i s time p r i n c i p l e s such as r a n k , k i n s h i p , i n h e r i t a n c e or are, to v a r y i n g degrees, recognised  At  residence  or a f f i r m e d , c o u n t e r b a l a n c i n g  shaman's i d e n t i f i c a t i o n w i t h the s u p e r n a t u r a l , as s p i r i t  the  the  intermediary.  ii  TABLE OF CONTENTS Page ABSTRACT  i  INTRODUCTION  1  CHAPTER I  SHAMANISM AND THE SUPERNATURAL:  DEFINITIONS  5  II  SHAMANISM AMONG THE COAST SALISH OF THE FRASER VALLEY  26  III  NOOTKA SHAMANISM  39  IV .  SOUTHERN KWAKIUTL SHAMANISM  59  V  BELLA COOLA SHAMANISM  87  VI  COAST TSIMSHIAN SHAMANISM  102  VII  HAIDA SHAMANISM  125  VIII  TLINGIT SHAMANISM  147  IX  A COMPARISON OF INITIATION PRACTISES  172  X  CONCLUSION  190  APPENDIX  209  BIBLIOGRAPHY  216  1  INTRODUCTION T h i s p r e s e n t a t i o n seeks t o r e v i e w the d a t a on shamanism, as p r a c t i s e d t r a d i t i o n a l l y , among B r i t i s h Columbian Northwest Coast I n d i a n s from the p e r s p e c t i v e s of form and s t r u c t u r e . the morphology  By form i s meant  of b e l i e f s and p r a c t i s e s , the p a t t e r n e d , p e r s i s t e n t  order of r e l a t i o n s i n a complex of i d e a s and b e h a v i o u r .  By  structure  is.meant the p r i n c i p l e s on which t h e s e forms depend ( F i r t h ,  1961:28).  The major assumption here i s t h a t a p a r t i c u l a r c u l t u r a l domain of a c t i v i t i e s , i n t h i s case those which have been termed  1  shamanistic', w i l l  yary:V\,-4 from one c u l t u r e t o the n e x t i n accordance w i t h d i f f e r e n t p a t t e r n s of human i n t e r a c t i o n , and the c o n t e n t of b e h a v i o u r and b e l i e f i n r e l a t e d spheres of c u l t u r a l a c t i v i t y .  I n s h o r t , by p r e s e n t i n g and  comparing a sequence of case s t u d i e s , t h i s paper hopes t o show t h a t although there are repeated s i m i l a r i t i e s i n shamanistic p a t t e r n s throughout the Northwest Coast so t h a t , i n o u t e r appearance, shamanism i n the a r e a appears r e m a r k a b l y u n i f o r m , the emphasis and  structural  i m p l i c a t i o n s of these b e l i e f s and p r a c t i s e s a r e d i f f e r e n t f o r each group. I n terms of method, the c o m p a r a t i v e u n i t s s e l e c t e d were d e t e r mined m a i n l y by c o n s i d e r a t i o n s of the e t h n o g r a p h i c l i t e r a t u r e g e o g r a p h i c l o c a t i o n , and l i n g u i s t i c a f f i l i a t i o n .  available,  S i n c e , on the N o r t h -  west C o a s t , broad c u l t u r a l d i f f e r e n c e s were g e n e r a l l y c o r r e l a t e d w i t h l i n g u i s t i c a f f i l i a t i o n and g e o g r a p h i c p r o p i n q u i t y , I chose groups  about  2  w h i c h i n f o r m a t i o n was more r e a d i l y a v a i l a b l e ,  from each of the major  l i n g u i s t i c d i v i s i o n s , p l u s the B e l l a C o o l a , who, a l t h o u g h they spoke a S a l i s h language, were c o n s i d e r a b l y i s o l a t e d from o t h e r S a l i s h s p e a k i n g groups and developed a number of t h e i r own d i s t i n c t i v e t r a d i t i o n s .  The  number and c h o i c e of these c o m p a r a t i v e u n i t s has p r o v e d s u f f i c i e n t t o a l l o w me t o suggest f o r m a l and s t r u c t u r a l d i f f e r e n c e s i n s o - c a l l e d s h a m a n i s t i c b e l i e f s and For  practises.  each group, because of c o n s i d e r a t i o n s of t i m e , o n l y the  major e t h n o g r a p h i c s o u r c e s were examined t o any g r e a t e x t e n t .  However,  as many independent s o u r c e s as p o s s i b l e were c o n s u l t e d f o r c r o s s c h e c k i n g the d a t a .  A major source of d a t a was myths and s t o r i e s , p a r -  t i c u l a r l y those of the H a i d a c o l l e c t e d  by Swanton (1905, 1908), and  those of the T s i m s h i a n c o l l e c t e d by Boas ( 1 9 1 6 ) .  I tended t o s e l e c t  from the myths and s t o r i e s t h a t i n f o r m a t i o n w h i c h agreed w i t h what has been found f o r o t h e r N o r t h w e s t Coast groups, or which d i r e c t l y or i n d i r e c t l y was c o r r o b o r a t e d by e t h n o g r a p h i c r e p o r t s of the a r e a .  Also,  where p u t a t i v e cause and e f f e c t r e l a t i o n s a r e i m p l i e d , I have i n f e r r e d an i t e m of b e l i e f .  F o r example, sometimes s t o r i e s r e s t on s p e c i f i c  r e a c t i o n s associated w i t h menstrual blood; other s t o r i e s r e s t , f o r t h e i r e f f e c t , on the assumption t h a t s u p e r n a t u r a l b e i n g s cannot see when human b e i n g s a r e a source of i n j u r y .  A t a l l times I have t r i e d  t o i n d i c a t e when c o n c l u s i o n s a r e d e r i v e d from myths or s t o r i e s and when otherwise.  3  The time scale represented by the ethnographic l i t e r a t u r e relates to d i f f e r e n t periods of the post-contact era.  By and large this  i s d i f f e r e n t for each group, both i n terms of the date of publication (and therefore i n terms of the style of the ethnographer), and i n terms of the degree of contact undergone by each group.  We can s t i l l  perhaps  make•statements about the structural implications of shamanism for each group butwe must be more cautious about making statements of comparison.  An added d i f f i c u l t y concerning the ethnographic l i t e r a t u r e i s  that, i n order to get as comprehensive  a knowledge as possible for each  group, sources ranging over time had to be examined.  I t was therefore  d i f f i c u l t to arrive at both an accurate and a comprehensive  understand-  ing of t r a d i t i o n a l shamanism, and thus a cautious acceptance of conclusions i s not  unwarranted.  Chapter I gives d e f i n i t i o n s of the main terms used, particul a r l y the d i f f i c u l t term 'shaman' as this has been used on the Northwest 4  Coast and i n the l i t e r a t u r e at large.  Chapters II-VIII present case  studies of shamanistic b e l i e f s and practises as found among the S a l i s h of the Lower Fraser Valley, the Nootka of the northwest coast of Vancouver Island, the Southern Kwakiutl of northern Vancouver Island and the immediate mainland, the B e l l a Coola, the Coast Tsimshian, the Haida, and the T l i n g i t .  For each case study the available data has been pre-  sented i n terms which indicate the ordered relationships between b e l i e f and practise, and an attempt has been made to suggest structural links  4  with other aspects of culture.  Chapter IX attempts to i l l u s t r a t e some  comparisons more e x p l i c i t l y by focusing on the s i m i l a r i t i e s and d i f ferences involved i n shamanistic i n i t i a t i o n . ways clear cut or easy.  This i s by no means a l -  I n some cases, for example, i t i s clear that  although two or more groups d i f f e r by the emphasis they place on a p a r t i c u l a r aspect of behaviour or b e l i e f , this difference can only be inferred i n d i r e c t l y from the ethnographic reporting.  S i m i l a r l y , ab-  sence of a p a r t i c u l a r b e l i e f or practise cannot always be inferred from an absence of reporting.  Chapter X, f i n a l l y , attempts to form some  general statements about t r a d i t i o n a l shamanism as found on the Northwest Coast.  I t reviews some of the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s common to shamans  as individuals, some of the differences and s i m i l a r i t i e s regarding.the p o s i t i o n of shamans i n society, and some of the features associated with the shaman's position i n r e l a t i o n to the symbolic order.  5  CHAPTER I SHAMANISM .AND THE SUPERNATURAL:  DEFINITIONS  Shamanism has u s u a l l y been regarded b e l i e f i n a ' s u p e r n a t u r a l ' arid i n ' s p i r i t s ' .  as a phenomenon  involving  Since each of these  terms  have g i v e n r i s e to c o n f u s i o n and c o n t r o v e r s y i n the p a s t i t i s as w e l l to  t r y and d e f i n e what w i l l be meant by them here. B u r r i d g e has suggested  that:  A l l r e l i g i o n s a r e b a s i c a l l y concerned w i t h power. They are concerned w i t h the d i s c o v e r y , i d e n t i f i c a t i o n , moral r e l e v a n c e and o r d e r i n g of d i f f e r e n t k i n d s of power.... W i t h i n these terms a s p i r i t b e i n g , whether thought of as a d e i t y or ghost or human b e i n g or angel or g o b l i n or f a i r y , becomes a named and i d e n t i f i e d source or p r i n c i p l e of power w i t h p a r t i c u l a r and often.fljme'asu'rable a t t r i b u t e s and ranges of power. And a l l t h a t i s meant by a b e l i e f i n the supern a t u r a l i s the b e l i e f t h a t t h e r e do e x i s t k i n d s of power whose m a n i f e s t a t i o n s and e f f e c t s a r e o b s e r v a b l e , but whose n a t u r e s a r e not y e t f u l l y comprehended ( 1 9 6 9 : 5 ) . B u r r i d g e ' s comment i s u s e f u l here because i t was w i t h i n j u s t such range of  concerns  t h a t shamanism operated:  concepts  of power, the d i s c o v e r y ,  i d e n t i f i c a t i o n and moral r e l e v a n c e of "not y e t f u l l y comprehended" power were c e n t r a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n s .  Shamanism was a system of a c t i o n based  on the assumption t h a t t h e r e were powers, embodied i n , or r e a l i z e d i n , s p i r i t e n t i t i e s , which could help or harm men, and which, by u s i n g c e r t a i n t e c h n i q u e s , c o u l d be p r e v a i l e d upon f o r human ends. ' S u p e r n a t u r a l ' as used here w i l l r e f e r to those k i n d s of power p o s t u l a t e d by Northwest Coast I n d i a n s whose " m a n i f e s t a t i o n s and e f f e c t s a r e o b s e r v a b l e , but whose n a t u r e s a r e n o t y e t f u l l y comprehended."  A  6  ' s u p e r n a t u r a l ' w o l f , t h e n , would be a w o l f p o s t u l a t e d t o have supern a t u r a l power.  Some i n d i v i d u a l s , f o r example, t w i n s , shamans, c e r e -  m o n i a l dance i n i t i a t e s • , had s u p e r n a t u r a l power, i n c o n t r a s t t o o r d i n a r y people:  power whose m a n i f e s t a t i o n was  n a t u r e was m y s t e r i o u s .  i n f a c t o b s e r v a b l e , but whose  T h i s d e f i n i t i o n makes sense of the K w a k i u t l  term "nawalak", and of Boas' t r a n s l a t i o n of i t as " s u p e r n a t u r a l " . L i k e o t h e r N o r t h w e s t Coast groups, the K w a k i u t l a t t r i b u t e d a a s p e c t t o a l l phenomena of the u n i v e r s e .  'spiritual'  But i n a d d i t i o n , some c r e a -  t u r e s or phenomena were d i f f e r e n t i a t e d from o t h e r s on the b a s i s of t h e i r p o s s e s s i o n of "nawalak", an a t t r i b u t e w h i c h , i t seems t o me, c o n c e i v e d of much i n the same way of e l e c t r i c i t y .  as u n i n i t i a t e d Westerners  was  conceive  The d e f i n i t i o n a l s o seems to make sense of the Tsim-  s h i a n term '-'nexnox" w h i c h , Boas n o t e d , " d e s i g n a t e s a n y t h i n g m y s t e r i o u s " (1916:543).  A n y t h i n g which was deemed t o p o s s e s s . e x t r a o r d i n a r y p r o p e r -  t i e s , f o r example, t r e e s , r o c k s , p o o l s , mountains, or o t h e r phenomena of unusual shape, s i z e , or p r o p e r t y , the s l e i g h t - o f - h a n d t r i c k of a d a n c e r , or weapons of unusual s t r e n g t h , were a l l termed "nexnox". 'ftfawalak*' and "nexnox" were n o t synonymous, s i n c e the former was  used  most f r e q u e n t l y as an a d j e c t i v e , the l a t t e r as a noun, but b o t h r e f e r t o power sources which a r e or appear t o be, m a n i f e s t l y o b s e r v a b l e , although mysterious i n nature. I t i s e x p e d i e n t a t t h i s p o i n t t o say a word c o n c e r n i n g ' w i t c h craft  1  and  'sorcery'.  F o r the most p a r t , i t would seem t h a t these  terms were used i n t e r c h a n g e a b l y by Northwest Coast e t h n o g r a p h e r s .  two With  7  the p o s s i b l e e x c e p t i o n of p o s s e s s i o n by a m a l e v o l e n t  supernatural  being,  they were used t o r e f e r t o t h e c o n s c i o u s , c o n t r o l l e d use of s p e c i f i c r i t u a l techniques two p a t t e r n s .  f o r a n t i - s o c i a l ends.  U s u a l l y the techniques  followed  One method c o n s i s t e d o f ( o r was a l l e g e d t o c o n s i s t o f )  the p r e p a r a t i o n o f elements taken from t h e i n t e n d e d v i c t i m ( c l o t h e s soaked i n t h e v i c t i m ' s sweat o r b l o o d , u r i n e , h a i r , n a i l c l i p p i n g s , t h e v i c t i m ' s vaporous b r e a t h c o l l e c t e d on a s t i c k , and so f o r t h ) and s u b j e c t i n g t h i s t o s p e c i a l treatment, flesh.  f o r example, wrapping them i n corpse  The second common method, u s u a l l y a t t r i b u t e d t o shamans, was  the " t h r o w i n g " the v i c t i m .  o r p r o j e c t i o n of s u p e r n a t u r a l l y charged o b j e c t s i n t o  F r e q u e n t l y i t was b e l i e v e d t h a t t h e " t h r o w e r "  i n s i g h t of h i s v i c t i m .  had t o be  I n terms of t h e c l a s s i c a l d e f i n i t i o n s of w i t c h -  c r a f t and s o r c e r y , used by.most A f r i c a n i s t a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s , e i t h e r method would p r o b a b l y conscious  be regarded  as s o r c e r y s i n c e they d e f i n e s o r c e r y as t h e  and c o n t r o l l e d use o f l e a r n e d t e c h n i q u e s , as opposed t o  w i t c h c r a f t w h i c h i s t h e u n c o n t r o l l e d use o f i n h e r e n t , p s y c h i c powers. T h i s d e f i n i t i o n a l d i s t i n c t i o n has been c h a l l e n g e d s i n c e t h e dichotomy seldom p e r s i s t s i n t o e t h n o g r a p h i c  reality.  On t h e N o r t h w e s t Coast t h e  a n t i - s o c i a l use of s u p e r n a t u r a l power f o r t h e most p a r t conforms more or l e s s t o t h e c l a s s i c a l use o f t h e term ' s o r c e r y ' and i n these I am q u i t e w i l l i n g t o use t h e term. e x t e n t t h e H a i d a and T s i m s h i a n ,  instances  Among t h e T l i n g i t , and t o a l e s s e r  t h e phenomenon d i f f e r e d somewhat.  Details  are d i f f i c u l t t o e s t a b l i s h b u t t h e a c t i v e f e a r o f t h e a n t i - s o c i a l use  8  of  s u p e r n a t u r a l power seems t o have been b o t h g r e a t e r and more p r e v a -  l e n t , j u d g i n g by the i n c r e a s e d i n s t a n c e of cases which have come t o the  n o t i c e of ethnographers,*and by the i n t e n s i t y of p e o p l e ' s r e a c t i o n s  i n these i n s t a n c e s . the  The p e r s e c u t i o n of s u s p e c t e d i n d i v i d u a l s among  T l i n g i t c o u l d w e l l have been l o o s e l y d e s c r i b e d as a " w i t c h - h u n t " .  However, w i t h o u t becoming^embroiled sus s o r c e r e r i t would be d i f f i c u l t here.  i n the complex i s s u e of w i t c h v e r t o defend a d e f i n i t i o n a l  distinction  Thus s o r c e r e r w i l l be the term used throughout the paper.  Shaman -- A D e f i n i t i o n A t h o u g h t f u l . r e v i e w of the l i t e r a t u r e w i l l i n d i c a t e t h a t the term 'shaman', f o r c o m p a r a t i v e p u r p o s e s , i s n o t easy t o d e f i n e .  In  much of the l i t e r a t u r e the term i s t r e a t e d as synonymous w i t h w i t c h d o c t o r , m e d i c i n e man, medium.  m y s t i c , v i s i o n a r y , m a g i c i a n , s o r c e r e r , or  spirit  P a r t l y t h i s r e f l e c t s the p r o c e s s of d e f i n i n g , s i n c e d e f i n i t i o n  i s l a r g e l y a m a t t e r of convenience based on the problems and p e r s p e c t i v e s of the r e s e a r c h e r .  But i t i s a l s o a r e f l e c t i o n of a n a l y t i c a l  c o n f u s i o n about a s e r i e s of phenomena which a r e n o t w e l l known. d e f i n i t i o n s s h o u l d , i n some sense, c o r r e s p o n d t o an e m p i r i c a l  Since  reality  b e f o r e they can be a p p l i e d t o c o m p a r a t i v e a n a l y s i s , i t seems a p p r o p r i a t e here t o examine f i r s t how west C o a s t .  the term shaman has been a p p l i e d on the N o r t h -  Then t h e r e w i l l be an e x a m i n a t i o n of how  p l i e d and d e f i n e d more g e n e r a l l y .  i t has been ap-  9  Among the Goast S a l i s h of t h e F r a s e r R i v e r v a l l e y the term shaman has been a p p l i e d by ethnographers t o i n d i v i d u a l s , c a l l e d i n S a l i s h "sxwalem", who had a c q u i r e d s p i r i t power t o c u r e a f t e r a s u c c e s s f u l s p i r i t quest w i t h i t s v i s i o n a r y s p i r i t encounter.  They were t h e r e b y  d i s t i n g u i s h e d from otheiswho a c q u i r e d s p i r i t power by the n a t u r e and e x t e n t of t h e i r power w h i c h i t s e l f . d e r i v e d both from the n a t u r e of t h e i r s u p e r n a t u r a l r e l a t i o n s h i p and from t h e i r own r i t u a l p u r i t y and s p i r i t vitality.  A l t h o u g h r e p o r t s sometimes suggest t h a t the shaman a c q u i r e d  from the s p i r i t the power t o c u r e by h i m s e l f w i t h o u t the d i r e c t a i d of the s p i r i t ( J e n n e s s , 1955:67),  c o n t i n u e d c o n t r o l of the s p i r i t as a  n e c e s s a r y r e q u i r e m e n t i s i m p l i e d by the -fact t h a t shamans c o u l d l o s e the a b i l i t y  i f they l o s t c o n t r o l of the s p i r i t ( f o r example, as they  l o s t p e r s o n a l v i t a l i t y i n o l d age or s i c k n e s s ) .  Continued c o n t r o l of  the s p i r i t i s a l s o i m p l i e d by the f a c t t h a t shamans c o u l d " s e t t h e i r powers t o f i g h t i n g " a n j f ' d i r e c t t h e i r s p i r i t s t o a t t a c k o t h e r s ( D u f f , 1952:101), and by the f a c t t h a t d u r i n g c u r i n g ceremonies were supposed supposed quent  the s p i r i t s  t o come near ( D u f f , 1952:101). A l t h o u g h i n i t i a t i o n  was  t o r e q u i r e v i s i o n a r y or h a l l u c i n a t o r y e x p e r i e n c e and subse-  ' i n s t r u c t i o n ' by the s p i r i t through dreams or v i s i o n s , c u r i n g  ceremonies d i d n o t n e c e s s a r i l y i n v o l v e a t r a n c e and shamans were n o t b e l i e v e d to be''possessed  1  by s p i r i t s i n the sense t h a t the s p i r i t  took  over c o n t r o l of the body.  Shamans were thus s p i r i t masters more than  they were s p i r i t mediums.  They were masters i n the sense t h a t they con-  10  t r o l l e d and d i r e c t e d s p i r i t s . s u p e r n a t u r a l knowledge.  They were not n e c e s s a r i l y masters of  Among the S a l i s h another i m p o r t a n t means of  m a n i p u l a t i n g or c o n t r o l l i n g s u p e r n a t u r a l f o r c e was c o m p u l s i v e  magic.  By c o m p u l s i v e magic i s meant a c t i v i t i e s or o b j e c t s of s y m b o l i c importance b e l i e v e d t o have a u t o m a t i c cause and e f f e c t r e l a t i o n s h i p s w i t h s u p e r n a t u r a l power.  R i t u a l i s t s among the Coast S a l i s h were those mas-  t e r s of m a g i c a l knowledge who  could manipulate supernatural force f o r  s p e c i f i c ends by p e r f o r m i n g or r e c i t i n g s p e c i f i c f o r m u l a s . Among the Nootka the term shaman has been a p p l i e d by Drucker to i n d i v i d u a l s who performed a r o l e analogous "sxwalem":  they were those who  had a c q u i r e d s p i r i t power t o c u r e a f t e r  a s u c c e s s f u l v i s i o n a r y encounter. a l i s t s and from o t h e r s who  to t h a t of the S a l i s h  They were d i s t i n g u i s h e d from r i t u -  had a c q u i r e d v i s i o n a r y s p i r i t power by the  n a t u r e and scope of t h e i r power w h i c h , a g a i n , depended on the n a t u r e of  their  ' r e l a t i o n s h i p ' w i t h the s p i r i t and t h e i r own  and r i t u a l p u r i t y .  spirit vitality  A s u c c e s s f u l i n i t i a t i o n and subsequent  curing  power depended on c o n t r o l of the s p i r i t .  A t no time were shamans be-  l i e v e d t o be possessed by t h e i r s p i r i t s .  The  i n s t r u c t e d or d i r e c t e d them but remained will.  s p i r i t came c l o s e and  s u b o r d i n a t e t o the shaman's  L i k e the S a l i s h , t h e n , Nootka shamans were masters of  spirits.  Perhaps even more than the S a l i s h shamans, however, they were potent i a l l y r i v a l l e d as e x p e r t s i n s u p e r n a t u r a l c o n t r o l by some of the more p o w e r f u l r i t u a l i s t s who  c o u l d determine the weather  or the movements of  a n i m a l s or f i s h , and a number of o t h e r i m p o r t a n t phenomena.  11  W r i t i n g o f t h e K w a k i u t l , Boas d i s t i n g u i s h e d between w i n t e r dancers and other r e c i p i e n t s of s u p e r n a t u r a l f a v o r , c a l l i n g t h e l a t ter  shamans, a l t h o u g h  the n a t i v e . t e r m  "shaman",designated e i t h e r .  " p a x a l a " w h i c h he t r a n s l a t e d  A l t h o u g h t h e d i v i s i o n s between these two  groups were n o t always d i s t i n c t ,  'shamans' as a group d i f f e r e d  from  w i n t e r dancers by the f a c t t h a t they r e t a i n e d t h e i r s p i r i t name throughout t h e y e a r where w i n t e r dancers r e t a i n e d t h e i r s o n l y f o r t h e Cerem o n i a l season, and 'shamans' a c q u i r e d power a s s o c i a t e d w i t h c u r i n g .which they c o u l d t h e r e f o r e i n some sense d i r e c t . could cure although  they c o u l d a s s i s t i n c u r i n g .  Not a l l 'shamans', Not a l l shamans r e -  c e i v e d t h e i r power d i r e c t l y from a s p i r i t e n c o u n t e r , s i n c e power c o u l d be t r a n s m i t t e d by t r a n s f e r r i n g a m a t e r i a l source.of 132),  o r i g i n a l l y d e r i v e d from t h e s p i r i t .  power (Boas, 1966:  And n o t a l l shamans c o u l d  c l e a r l y have been c a l l e d s p i r i t masters s i n c e , as the e x p e r i e n c e o f one woman i n d i c a t e s (Boas, 1930:53), some never came i n d i r e c t c o n t a c t with their spirits  and c o u l d n o t p r o p e r l y c o n t r o l them.  i n a d d i t i o n t o power, a song and name.  A l l acquired,  Whether power was a c q u i r e d as  the r e s u l t of d i r e c t s p i r i t c o n t a c t or by t r a n s m i s s i o n , shamans underwent a p e r i o d o f r i t u a l p r e p a r a t i o n , and i n i t i a t i o n , an event such as s i c k n e s s . o r r i t u a l t r a n s f e r of power, which i n K w a k i u t l terms  provided  some v a l i d b a s i s f o r a f o r m a l announcement of changed s t a t u s .  In  s h o r t , Boas a p p l i e d the term 'shaman' t o i n d i v i d u a l s who c l a i m e d t o have a c q u i r e d  s u p e r n a t u r a l power a s s o c i a t e d w i t h c u r i n g , and.asong and  12  a name, d i r e c t l y or i n d i r e c t l y from a s p i r i t s o u r c e , a f t e r some u n u s u a l event w h i c h p r o v i d e d v a l i d a t i o n of the c l a i m - and the r i g h t t o the shaman's name and song.  He f u r t h e r d i s t i n g u i s h e d s e v e r a l c l a s s e s of  shamans; those who had c o n f r o n t e d  the s p i r i t d i r e c t l y and c o u l d b o t h  cure and "throw" s i c k n e s s ; those who c o u l d cure but c o u l d n o t cause s i c k n e s s and those who c o u l d o n l y " s e e " and diagnose s i c k n e s s . A l l these i n d i v i d u a l s were d i s t i n g u i s h e d from s e v e r a l other groups o f people  who had u n u s u a l powers, t h e w i n t e r d a n c e r s ,  w i t h non-curing  power.  s e e r s , and i n d i v i d u a l s  S i n c e those who c o u l d o n l y d i a g n o s e s i c k n e s s  were c l a s s e d by Boas as 'shamans' a l o n g w i t h the v e r y p o w e r f u l  super-  n a t u r a l e x p e r t s who c o u l d p r o j e c t d i s e a s e , a l l o f them i n d i s t i n c t i o n to d a n c e r s and thereby i n o p p o s i t i o n t o the n a t i v e . u s e o f the term " p a x a l a " , i t seems c l e a r t h a t he regarded c u r e r or m e d i c i n e man.  'shaman' as synonymous w i t h  There seems some j u s t i f i c a t i o n f o r t h i s s i n c e  c u r e r s , weak or p o w e r f u l , g a t i o n s and e x p e c t a t i o n s .  shared many of t h e same r i g h t s , d u t i e s , o b l i Since r i t u a l i s t s  who c o u l d be c a l l e d upon t o  m a n i p u l a t e t h e s u p e r n a t u r a l were absent or u n i m p o r t a n t , even minor  sha-  mans were i n some sense masters of the s u p e r n a t u r a l s i n c e , u n l i k e o t h e r s w i t h s p i r i t power who c o u l d use t h i s power o n l y f o r t h e i r own ends, they were i n t e r m e d i a r i e s between t h e human and s u p e r n a t u r a l w o r l d s , d r a w i n g upon s u p e r n a t u r a l power on b e h a l f of members of t h e community. I f they were n o t s p i r i t c o n t r o l l e r s , they were c e r t a i n l y s p i r i t  authorities.  Among the B e l l a C o o l a , M c l l w r a i t h d i s t i n g u i s h e d two types of r e l i g i o u s e x p e r t s t o w h i c h he a p p l i e d the term'shaman', one of t h e s e ,  13  " a l u k w a l a " i n B e l l a C o o l a , he c a l l e d shaman, the o t h e r , he c a l l e d "shaman of the dead". ing'  The  "askankots",  f i r s t d e r i v e d powers from a  s p i r i t , the second from a ghost.  'liv-  He d e f i n e d a shaman a s , "a  p e r s o n endowed w i t h m y s t e r i o u s a b i l i t y and w o n d e r f u l knowledge, due p e r s o n a l c o n t a c t w i t h s u p e r n a t u r a l b e i n g s " (1948a:547). C o o l a r e c o g n i z e d a t h i r d type of i n d i v i d u a l who sonal contact w i t h supernatural beings.  The  to  Bella  had e x p e r i e n c e d  These were those who  per-  had r e -  c e i v e d " i x l o k w a l a d j u t " , ^ ' s u p e r n a t u r a l a i d g r a n t e d t o the u n f o r t u n a t e . " T h i s l a s t was  c o n s i d e r e d an e x c e p t i o n a l l y r a r e o c c u r r e n c e and the r e a -  son f o r a s s i s t a n c e was  commonly a t t r i b u t e d t o the s p i r i t u a l  or r i t u a l p u r i t y of the i n d i v i d u a l concerned.  strength  They d i f f e r e d from the  o t h e r two by the f a c t t h a t t h e i r powers were of p e r s o n a l r a t h e r than public  importance. Ability  s i n c e many who  t o cure was n o t , i t s e l f , a d e f i n i n g c h a r a c t e r i s t i c  c l a i m e d the s t a t u s of an " a s k a n k o t s " or an " a l u k w a l a "  c o u l d not cure a l t h o u g h they c o u l d p e r f o r m a m i r a c u l o u s f e a t of some other k i n d .  The  recognised, v a l i d a t e d c l a i m to v i s i o n a r y  experience,  w i t h or w i t h o u t the a b i l i t y t o cure marked the i n d i v i d u a l as p a r t i c u l a r i n s i g h t i n t o the s p i r i t realm.  having  A c c o r d i n g l y , he was  viewed  as p a r t i c u l a r l y s u i t a b l e t o e n l i s t s u p e r n a t u r a l a s s i s t a n c e , " h i s g r e a ter  acquaintance  w i t h them r e n d e r s i t more l i k e l y t h a t they w i l l  his  r e q u e s t s " (1948:572).  The  f a c t t h a t s p i r i t c o n t a c t was  grant  exceedingly  dangerous meant t h a t shamans were u s u a l l y those i n d i v i d u a l s who  had  \  power w i t h i n themselves t o w i t h s t a n d the power of the s p i r i t .  In this  r e s p e c t they c o n t r o l l e d the s p i r i t t o some e x t e n t a l t h o u g h they d i d not d i r e c t i t . Among the T s i m s h i a n ,  the term 'shaman' was a p p l i e d by ethno-  graphers, t o those s p i r i t e x p e r t s who were c u r e r s . two terms d e s i g n a t i n g s p i r i t m a s t e r s ; literally  The T s i m s h i a n had  one, "naxnagam h a l a i t " meaning  ' s p i r i t s u p e r n a t u r a l performance', r e f e r r e d t o those  lin-  eage c h i e f s p o s s e s s i n g a number of i n h e r i t e d s p i r i t a s s o c i a t e s , who c o u l d c a l l upon t h e i r s p i r i t s  t o "throw" power i n t o young l i n e a g e  t i a t e s , the o t h e r "swe'nsk h a l a i t " meaning l i t e r a l l y b l o w i n g ' , r e f e r r e d t o those i n d i v i d u a l s who possessed which they c o u l d c a l l upon f o r c u r i n g . a p p l i e d t o these l a s t .  ini-  'supernatural s p i r i t associates  The term 'shaman' has been  The s p i r i t powers of c h i e f s were i n h e r i t e d and  were c l o s e l y concerned w i t h the c e r e m o n i a l  a f f a i r s of t h e l i n e a g e .  The s p i r i t powers of shamans were a c q u i r e d l a r g e l y i n d e p e n d e n t l y ( t h e shaman d i d n o t n o r m a l l y i n h e r i t h i s s p i r i t s  b u t a c q u i r e d them  indepen-  d e n t l y i n a s o l i t a r y q u e s t ) , and were concerned w i t h a f f a i r s such as s i c k n e s s , the p r e d i c t i o n of t h e movements of game, the d e t e c t i o n o f w i t c h e s , or the c o n t r o l of w e a t h e r , which were of g e n e r a l r a t h e r l i n e a g e importance. pers.  Shamans c o n t r o l l e d and d i r e c t e d t h e i r s p i r i t  They were supposed t o be a b l e t o send t h e i r s p i r i t s  o t h e r s or t o f i n d out what was happening i n d i s t a n t p l a c e s .  t o t h e l a n d of g h o s t s .  hel-  to attack I n myths  shamans a r e r e c o r d e d as h a v i n g v i s i t e d the homes of s u p e r n a t u r a l and j o u r n e y e d  than  beings  At least mythically, therefore,  15  shamans n o t o n l y had t h e power t o d i r e c t t h e i r own s p i r i t s b u t c o u l d t r a v e l themselves through t h e s p i r i t r e a l m t o c o n f r o n t m a l e v o l e n t s p i r i t s or gather i n f o r m a t i o n .  Modern shamans, however, were b e l i e v e d t o  r e l y on t h e a s s i s t a n c e and d i r e c t i o n of t h e i r s p i r i t h e l p e r s r a t h e r t h a n t o t r a v e l themselves i n t h e s p i r i t w o r l d . Swanton d e s c r i b e d t h e H a i d a 'shaman' a s : One'who had power from some s u p e r n a t u r a l b e i n g who 'poss e s s e d ' him, o r chose him as t h e medium through which t o make h i s e x i s t e n c e f e l t i n t h e w o r l d of men. When t h e s p i r i t was p r e s e n t t h e shaman's own i d e n t i t y was p r a c t i c a l l y a b o l i s h e d . F o r t h e time he was t h e s u p e r n a t u r a l b e i n g h i m s e l f (1905a:38). S t o r i e s d e s c r i b i n g s h a m a n i s t i c performances c e r t a i n l y s u b s t a n t i a t e description. beings. (e.g.  this  However, shamans were n o t s i m p l y v e h i c l e s f o r s p i r i t  They were d i f f e r e n t i a t e d from o t h e r s who a c q u i r e d s p i r i t power  h u n t i n g power), o r who were p o s s e s s e d by a s p i r i t ( e . g . s o r c e r e r ) ,  by t h e f a c t t h a t they c o n t r o l l e d t h e i r s p i r i t s , f o r p u b l i c b e n e f i t . When community c o n s u l t a t i o n w i t h t h e s p i r i t was d e s i r e d they induced possession. I n d i v i d u a l s d e s i g n a t e d 'shaman' by ethnographers among t h e T l i n g i t were those who had a c q u i r e d , t h r o u g h d i r e c t c o n t a c t , c o n t r o l of  s e v e r a l , i d e a l l y e i g h t , s p i r i t h e l p e r s and who had f o r m a l l y announced  the  c l a i m t o shaman a t a p u b l i c i n i t i a t i o n  old  shaman.  f o l l o w i n g t h e d e a t h o f an  As i n d i c a t e d by de Laguna (1954:176), e i g h t s y m b o l i z e d  . r i t u a l completeness and by e s t a b l i s h i n g c o n t r o l over e i g h t s p i r i t  hel-  p e r s t h e i n d i v i d u a l e s t a b l i s h e d , i n c o n t r o v e r t a b l y , h i s thorough a c q u a i n -  16  tance w i t h and mastery  of the s p i r i t s ,  and the r i g h t t o become acknow-  ledged as shaman a t the death of a p r e d e c e s s o r .  The shaman's power de-  r i v e d from h i s c o n t r o l over the movement and a b i l i t i e s did  n o t h i m s e l f " s e e " s i c k n e s s or determine  of s p i r i t s .  He  the movements of a n i m a l s ,  but a c q u i r e d t h i s i n f o r m a t i o n from h i s s p i r i t s .  The evidence i s not  c l e a r as t o whether shamans were 'possessed' by s p i r i t s  a t such times.  T h i s b r i e f review has been s u f f i c i e n t t o i n d i c a t e t h a t the term  'shaman', on the Northwest  Coast, has been a p p l i e d t o a number of  s p e c i a l i s t s who by no means share a complete tions.  Among some groups  i d e n t i t y of r o l e s or f u n c -  the term has been a p p l i e d t o i n d i v i d u a l s  acknowledged as s o l e s p e c i a l i s t s of the s p i r i t w o r l d , i n o t h e r s the i n d i v i d u a l s termed ists  shaman have been r i v a l l e d as s p e c i a l i s t s by r i t u a l -  or c e r e m o n i a l l e a d e r s .  I n some, the shaman's sphere of i n f l u e n c e  i s l a r g e l y c o n f i n e d t o c u r i n g or c a u s i n g s i c k n e s s , i n o t h e r s i t extends to a g r e a t number of other concerns. to d i r e c t s p i r i t s ,  p o s s e s s e d by t h e i r  I n some.groups i t i s b e l i e v e d t h a t shamans spirits,  the s p i r i t t a k i n g over the f u n c t i o n s of  the body, w h i l e among o t h e r groups  i t i s believed  near and i n s t r u c t the shaman, or even, received i n i t i a l l y  that s p i r i t s  draw  t h a t the shaman d i r e c t s power  from a s p i r i t without the n e c e s s i t y of  attendance by the s p i r i t . termed  shamans a r e b e l i e v e d  i n o t h e r s the s p i r i t i s a b e n e f a c t o r or p a t r o n r a -  t h e r than an a s s i s t a n t . are  I n some groups  subsequent  The common f e a t u r e d i s t i n g u i s h i n g  'shaman' seems t o have been t h a t , f o r whatever reasons  individuals (sickness,  17  v i s i o n a r y experience,  t r a n s f e r of power), they have been those i n d i v i -  duals p u b l i c l y acknowledged as having s p e c i a l inside, knowledge of the behaviour of s p i r i t beings and a p e c u l i a r l y close r e l a t i o n s h i p with spirits.  They act as p u b l i c intermediaries between men and s p i r i t s ,  p u b l i c i n the sense that they are p u b l i c l y known and acknowledged as s p e c i a l i s t s and i n the sense that they, provide a service upon which p o t e n t i a l l y any member of the community, and even sometimes beyond, may c a l l .  Among some groups.those termed 'shaman' are aligned with  k i n s h i p u n i t s although t h e i r services may be requested by other people outside the: k i n s h i p u n i t . a l l y set apart from others.  Generally, those termed 'shaman' were r i t u The r e t e n t i o n of power required the main-  tenance of s t r i c t r i t u a l p r e s c r i p t i o n s .  By contrast, t h i s was generally  l e s s imperative for. others who possessed s p i r i t power or p r a c t i s e d magi c a l techniques.  For example a man with hunting power might temporar-  i l y lose h i s a b i l i t y as a r e s u l t of contact with a menstruant woman but the r e s u l t s would be deemed f a r more disastrous f o r a 'shaman'. The term 'shaman' on the Northwest Coast, then, seems to have been applied to i n d i v i d u a l s who were p u b l i c l y acknowledged as s p i r i t :  experts  and who, by v i r t u e of t h i s acceptance, acted as intermediaries between men and supernatural  entities.  A word of caution should be noted.  There i s the danger that  i n s p e c i f y i n g a series of c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s held i n common by a number of s p e c i a l i s t s , we appear t o have i s o l a t e d a s i n g l e , i d e n t i f i a b l e occu-  18  p a t i o n common throughout t h e a r e a .  I t should perhaps be remembered  t h a t t h e term 'shaman' i s an a n a l y s t ' s  construction,  designating  cer-  t a i n s p e c i a l i s t s who appear t o share t h e p a r t i c u l a r f e a t u r e s we have chosen.  I t i s an a r b i t r a r y d e c i s i o n  t p - t e r m as 'shamans' t h o s e w h o  p o s s e s s . i n common, c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s such as v i s i o n a r y and  powers o f p u b l i c  importance.  those who c o u l d be c a l l e d  1  s p i r i t contact  A g a i n , i n r e a l i t y t h e - d i v i s i o n between  shamanJ by ethnographers and those who c o u l d  n o t was sometimes, as among the S a l i s h o r K w a k i u t l , v e r y i n d i s t i n c t . .We may now t u r n t o a b r i e f e x a m i n a t i o n of some o t h e r d e f i n i t i o n s o f the term shaman, since, t h e s e / f o c u s on c e r t a i n p r o p e r t i e s  or  suggest problems f o r a n a l y s i s which might be of importance f o r the N o r t h w e s t Coast.  A t the v e r y l e a s t i t p l a c e s t h i s a n a l y s i s  of N o r t h -  west Coast shamans i n t o a more g e n e r a l p e r s p e c t i v e . I n 1910 Swanton w r o t e , i n The Handbook o f A m e r i c a n I n d i a n s N o r t h o f M e x i c o : C\f M e d i a t o r s between the w o r l d of s p i r i t s and the w o r l d of men may be d i v i d e d i n t o two c l a s s e s : The shamans, whose a u t h o r i t y was e n t i r e l y dependent on t h e i r i n d i v i d u a l a b i l i t y , and t h e p r i e s t s , who a c t e d i n some measure f o r t h e t r i b e or n a t i o n , o r a t ]e a s t f o r some s o c i e t y (1960:522). By  t h i s d e f i n i t i o n he emphasized t h e p u b l i c n a t u r e of the shaman!s s e r -  v i c e s b u t d i f f e r e n t i a t e d shamans from p r i e s t s by the f a c t t h a t they h e l d no f o r m a l o f f i c e w i t h f o r m a l i z e d ties. ent  authority  and e x p l i c i t r i g h t s and du-  Swanton's d e f i n i t i o n i s an i n t e r e s t i n g example of. how a d i f f e r -  s e l e c t i o n of d e f i n i n g  c r i t e r i a might a f f e c t one's a n a l y s i s  of N o r t h -  19  w e s t Coast s p e c i a l i s t s . By h i s . d e f i n i t i o n the K w a k i u t l " c h i e f ' s shaman" might perhaps be c l a s s e d as a p r i e s t and removed from a comparison w i t h those who  a r e elsewhere c a l l e d shamans. L o w i e , i n h i s book P r i m i t i v e R e l i g i o n (1960)', w r i t t e n i n 1924,  gives l i t t l e help with a d e f i n i t i o n .  He mentions vaguely, t h a t a sha-  man was one who a c q u i r e d a s p i r i t u a l communication  (1960:14), and  that  shamanism i n v o l v e d " d i r e c t i n t e r c o u r s e w i t h the s p i r i t w o r l d " (1960: 15).  Many have f e l t t h a t t h i s d e f i n i t i o n i s too broad t o be u s e f u l .  I t does n o t d i s t i n g u i s h between a m o n a s t i c m y s t i c , a m e d i e v a l European w i t c h or even a 2 0 t h C e n t u r y W e s t e r n  evangelist.  R a d i n , i n h i s book P r i m i t i v e R e l i g i o n ( o r i g i n a l p u b l i c a t i o n , 1937), never a c t u a l l y p r o v i d e d a c o n c i s e . d e f i n i t i o n of shaman but desc r i b e d them a t l e n g t h and c o n t r a s t e d them w i t h p r i e s t s .  He noted t h e i r  common a s s o c i a t i o n w i t h h u n t i n g • s o c i e t i e s and r e g a r d e d them as p r o d u c t s of a h u n t i n g economy and s o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n .  By i m p l i c a t i o n he d e f i n e d  shamans i n p s y c h o l o g i c a l terms: Throughout the w o r l d of p r i m i t i v e man some form of e m o t i o n a l i n s t a b i l i t y and w e l l - m a r k e d s e n s i t i v i t y has always been p r e d i c t e d as the e s s e n t i a l t r a i t of the m e d i c i n e man and shaman (1957:106). The shaman was thus l a b e l l e d and s e t a p a r t by the n a t u r e of h i s p s y c h i c c o n s t i t u t i o n and by the i n s i s t e n c e • o f the normal man t h a t he, the'shaman was p e c u l i a r (1957:108). The b a s i c q u a l i f i c a t i o n f o r the shaman and m e d i c i n e man i n the more s i m p l y o r g a n i z e d groups l i k e the Eskimo and the A r u n t a i s t h a t he b e l o n g t o the n e w c o t i c - e p i l e p t o i d type (1957: 132).  20  By d e f i n i n g the shaman i n these terms R a d i n was  creating certain d i f f i -  c u l t i e s for himself.  c o n d i t i o n as the d e f i n -  By i n s i s t i n g on a p s y c h i c  i t i v e c r i t e r i o n he d i f f e r e n t i a t e d between i n d i v i d u a l s who g i c a l terms.would p r o b a b l y be c l a s s e d as one.  A g a i n , the  in sociolo'psychic  c o n d i t i o n ' of i n d i v i d u a l s as a d e t e r m i n a n t of s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n s or processes i s a d i f f i c u l t v a r i a b l e for p s y c h o l o g i c a l l y untrained p o l o g i s t s t o work w i t h .  anthro-  .'Psychic  c o n d i t i o n ' ' m a y be an i m p o r t a n t d e f i n -  i t i o n a l v a r i a b l e , w i t h f o r m a l and  s t r u c t u r a l i m p l i c a t i o n s , but i t l e a d s  t o the c o n t r o v e r s i a l problem of the d e f i n i t i o n of normal. Norbeck, who  has w r i t t e n more r e c e n t l y on c o m p a r a t i v e r e l i g i o n  i n R e l i g i o n i n P r i m i t i v e Society  (1961), w r i t e s :  'Shaman' i s d e r i v e d from the n a t i v e term f o r r e l i g i o u s spec i a l i s t s among the S i b e r i a n t r i b e s . Many e t h n o l o g i s t s r e s t r i c t t h i s term to i n d i v i d u a l s who a c q u i r e s u p e r n a t u r a l power by i n s p i r a t i o n : . t h a t i s by v i s i o n , r e v e l a t i o n , or o t h e r d i r e c t p e r s o n a l e x p e r i e n c e (1961:103) . I am u n c l e a r as t o whether he means t h a t ethnographers r e s t r i c t  the  term t o s p e c i a l i s t s who  simply  "individuals".  acquire, v i s i o n a r y supernatural  power or  I f he means the l a t t e r , the d e f i n i t i o n does not d i s -  t i n g u i s h between those i n N o r t h A m e r i c a n who s p i r i t powers and  the s p e c i a l i s t s who  acquired  acquired  personal guardian  powers of p u b l i c impor-  tance. E l i a d e , i n h i s monumental Shamanism A r c h a i c stasy wrote:  "shamanism = t e c h n i q u e of e c s t a s y "  meant t h a t shamans were those who ary experience.  The  Techniques of  (1964:4).  By  Ec-  t h i s he  s p e c i a l i z e d i n the c o n t r o l of v i s i o n -  shaman d i f f e r e d from o t h e r s w i t h g u a r d i a n  spirit  21  powers i n t h a t he c o u l d induce v i s i o n a r y e x p e r i e n c e a t w i l l .  Shamanism  was the a s s o c i a t e d body of b e l i e f and p r a c t i s e c e n t e r i n g around the shaman.  I n t h i s sense shamanism was p r e - e m i n e n t l y a S i b e r i a n pheno-  menon a l t h o u g h s h a m a n i s t i c elements of b e l i e f and p r a c t i s e c o u l d be found i n many o t h e r p a r t s of the w o r l d .  As E l i a d e h i m s e l f observed,  he was concerned w i t h a r e l i g i o u s phenomenon and thus l i m i t e d h i s d e f i n i t i o n of shamanism t o a s p e c i f i c type of r e l i g i o u s e x p e r i e n c e .  He  was n o t i n t e r e s t e d i n d e f i n i n g a type of s o c i a l c e r e m o n i a l or r e l i g i o u s i n s t i t u t i o n , t h e r e f o r e d i d n o t c o n s i d e r phenomena which, from a s o c i o l o g i c a l v i e w p o i n t c o u l d be c o n s i d e r e d the e q u i v a l e n t of S i b e r i a n shamanism.  A l t h o u g h h i s d e f i n i t i o n has a number of s o c i o l o g i c a l  t i o n s , by the f a c t t h a t Northwest Coast ethnographers  implica-  (among o t h e r s )  have f e l t compelled t o extend t h e term t o i n c l u d e s p i r i t e x p e r t s who d i d n o t r e g u l a r l y induce trances., i t i s a p p a r e n t l y n o t a l t o g e t h e r h e l p ful. A number of B r i t i s h s o c i a l a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s have a l s o attempted t o d e f i n e shamans as d i s t i n c t from o t h e r r e l i g i o u s s p e c i a l i s t s .  "Nadel  i n , "A Study of Shamanism i n the Nuba M o u n t a i n s " , wrote t h a t shamanism, " r e s t s on the b e l i e f t h a t s p i r i t s may possess human b e i n g s , and on the p r a c t i s e of e s t a b l i s h i n g communication  w i t h the s u p e r n a t u r a l through  human b e i n g s so p o s s e s s e d " (1965:465), and d e s c r i b e d the shaman as one who, " i s a p a s s i v e medium when p o s s e s s e d ; b u t through h i s a b i l i t y t o i n d u c e p o s s e s s i o n he i s a l s o a master of these s u p e r n a t u r a l powers"  22  (1965:465).  By t h i s d e f i n i t i o n , N a d e l drew a t t e n t i o n t o the p u b l i c  n a t u r e of the shaman's s e r v i c e s and t o i t s s o c i o l o g i c a l  significance  as a means of community ' i n t e r a c t i o n ' w i t h the s p i r i t w o r l d .  Of' a l l  the d e f i n i t i o n s g i v e n so f a r N a d e l ' s corresponds.most c o m p l e t e l y the a c t i v i t i e s Coast.  to  which have been d e s c r i b e d as shamanism on the N o r t h w e s t  I n c o n t r a s t to Radin i t provides s o c i o l o g i c a l c r i t e r i a which  can be r e a d i l y observed by a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s and c o r r e l a t e d w i t h o t h e r s o c i a l phenomena; i n c o n t r a s t t o Lowie i t l i m i t s a n a l y s i s t o d u a l s who  indivi-  p e r f o r m a p u b l i c s e r v i c e by p r o v i d i n g a means f o r community"  ' i n t e r a c t i o n ' w i t h the s p i r i t w o r l d ; and i n c o n t r a s t t o Norbeek i t d i s t i n g u i s h e s between i n d i v i d u a l s who from those whose powers may  r e c e i v e • p e r s o n a l and p r i v a t e powers  be. used i n the s e r v i c e of o t h e r s .  How-  e v e r , by i n s i s t i n g t h a t s h a m a n i s t i c c o n t a c t i n v o l v e d p o s s e s s i o n by s p i r i t , he d i s m i s s e s a number of s p i r i t s p e c i a l i s t s who knowledge of s p i r i t s  and consequent a b i l i t y  derived their  to manipulate  w i t h o u t c o n t i n u e d c o n t a c t w i t h the s p i r i t i t s e l f .  the  s p i r i t powers  F o r example, i n some  i n s t a n c e s a t l e a s t , i t would seem t h a t a K w a k i u t l shaman a c q u i r e d from an i n i t i a l encounter  the subsequent knowledge of t e c h n i q u e s t o d i r e c t  power, w i t h o u t the n e c e s s i t y of c o n t i n u e d a s s i s t a n c e from the s p i r i t , and,.Drucker s t a t e s e m p h a t i c a l l y o f t h e , Nootka t h a t shamans were never (  possessed  by t h e i r s p i r i t s  nition, Balikci,  (1951:205).  On the b a s i s of Nadel's d e f i -  d e s c r i b i n g N e t s i l i k Eskimo s p i r i t s p e c i a l i s t s , d i s -  t i n g u i s h e d between shamans, " c h a r a c t e r i z e d by the s p i r i t p o s s e s s i o n t r a n c e " and t h r e e types of " p a r a - s h a m a n i s t i c  t e c h n i q u e s " employed by  23  i n d i v i d u a l s who c o u l d c o n t r o l s p i r i t s b u t were n o t p o s s e s s e d by them (1963:382).  Perhaps t h i s d i s t i n c t i o n i s j u s t i f i a b l e i n the N e t s i l i k  example s i n c e the shamans, " a n g a t k o k " , a r e s o c i a l l y more r e s p e c t e d , p o w e r f u l and i n f l u e n t i a l than p r a c t i t i o n e r s o f ' t h e o t h e r t e c h n i q u e s . The same b a s i s f o r a d i s t i n c t i o n cannot, w i t h c e r t a i n t y , be made f o r the K w a k i u t l s i n c e i t i s n o t c l e a r t h a t the most p o w e r f u l s p e c i a l i s t s , those who had c o n f r o n t e d the s p i r i t and. c o u l d " s e e " t h e i r  spirits,  were any more 'possessed' d u r i n g performances than l e s s e r shamans.  The  d e f i n i t i o n s r e g a r d e d so f a r have c e n t r e d themselves l a r g e l y around the performance of p a r t i c u l a r t y p e s of r e l i g i o u s s p e c i a l i s t s :  the seance.  Perhaps shamans s h o u l d be d e f i n e d i n temi s of t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p or f u n c t i o n s t o the group, or i n terms o f t h e i r f u n c t i o n s or p o s i t i o n r e l a t i v e t o o t h e r r e l i g i o u s s p e c i a l i s t s w i t h i n the s t r u c t u r e .  I n these  terms, the K w a k i u t l shaman would be one who had "gone t h r o u g h " e v e r y t h i n g and c o n f r o n t e d the s p i r i t , n o t n e c e s s a r i l y because of h i s experience, or of h i s performances b u t because of o t h e r c r i t e r i a such as r e s p e c t , or p o l i t i c a l power^ or i n f l u e n c e . F i r t h has suggested t h a t the term 'shaman' s h o u l d be l i m i t e d to S i b e r i a .  He w r i t e s :  S p i r i t p o s s e s s i o n i s a form of t r a n c e i n w h i c h b e h a v i o u r act i o n s of a p e r s o n a r e i n t e r p r e t e d as e v i d e n c e of a c o n t r o l of h i s b e h a v i o u r by a . s p i r i t n o r m a l l y e x t e r n a l t o him. S p i r i t mediumship i s n o r m a l l y a form of p o s s e s s i o n i n w h i c h t h e p e r s o n i s , c o n c e i v e d as s e r v i n g as an i n t e r m e d i a r y between s p i r i t s and men. The a c c e n t here i s on communication; the a c t i o n s and words of the medium must be t r a n s l a t a b l e , which d i f f e r e n t i a t e s them from mere s p i r i t p o s s e s s i o n or madness. Shamanism i s a term I p r e f e r t o use i n the l i m i t e d N o r t h A s i a n sense, o f a master of s p i r i t s (1959:141).  24  B e a t t i e i m p l i e s a w i l l i n g n e s s t o extend t h i s when he w r i t e s :  "And when  the medium i s n o t o n l y a v e h i c l e f o r s p i r i t s , b u t i s b e l i e v e d ,  like  P r o s p e r o i n the Tempest, t o be a b l e t o command them, we have shamanism" (1964:229).  A number of o t h e r a n t h r o p o l o g i s t s d e s c r i b i n g n o n - A s i a t i c .  s o c i e t i e s have tended t o f o l l o w F i r t h ' s . d e f i n i t i o n of t h e shaman as mast e r of s p i r i t s ( e . g . H.S. M o r r i s , 1967:189-216), s e l f , the term has spread beyond  so t h a t , d e s p i t e him-  the l i m i t s he proposed.  F i r t h meant  the d e f i n i t i o n i n a narrow sense, f o l l o w i n g S i b e r i a n shamanism, i n w h i c h t h e shaman was master by v i r t u e of h i s c o n t r o l and d i r e c t i o n of spirits.  As i s e v i d e n t from t h e e x a m i n a t i o n of Northwest Coast phenomena  the concept of master can a l l o w a . c o n s i d e r a b l e degree of i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . I n my o p i n i o n a s o c i o l o g i c a l d e f i n i t i o n of shaman as master of s p i r i t s would v i e w t h e shaman as master r e l a t i v e t o o t h e r s p e c i a l i s t s i n t h e society.  Implicit i n all  the d e f i n i t i o n s d i s c u s s e d so f a r , i s the i d e a  t h a t shamans a r e acknowledged v a b l e from s p i r i t s .  a u t h o r i t i e s on s p i r i t s o r the powers d e r i -  They d i f f e r f r o m ^ s o r c e r e r s ( a l t h o u g h they man a l s o  be s o r c e r e r s ) by t h e i r p u b l i c a c c e p t a n c e , and from m a g i c i a n s or from p r i e s t s by t h e d i r e c t n a t u r e of t h e i r c o n t r o l of power.  I n t h i s broad  sense, t h e n , i t seems adequate t o d e f i n e the shaman as a master of s p i r i t s . As i n d i c a t e d i n the f i r s t s e c t i o n of t h i s c h a p t e r , t h e term 'shaman' has been used by N o r t h w e s t Coast ethnographers t o d e s i g n a t e a s e r i e s of s p e c i a l i s t s who performed a number of q u i t e d i f f e r e n t  functions.  We here d e f i n e the term i n a s t a n d a r d sense b e c a u s e . i t i s e x p e d i e n t , r e a l i s i n g t h a t i t may g l o s s d i s t i n c t i o n s or impose r e g u l a r i t i e s w h i c h ,  25  i n the l i g h t of f u t u r e r e s e a r c h may prove i r r e l e v a n t , m i s l e a d i n g or false. F i n a l l y , a. b r i e f n o t e s h o u l d be made c o n c e r n i n g the term 'chief  as used i n the f o l l o w i n g c h a p t e r s .  The term i s a c o n v e n i e n t  shorthand used t o r e f e r t o those i n d i v i d u a l s who were i n some sense f o r m a l or i n f o r m a l l e a d e r s w i t h i n t h e i r communities.  The  functions  and c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of t h e s e i n d i v i d u a l s v a r i e d w i d e l y from group t o group.  To i n d i c a t e something of t h e s e d i f f e r e n c e s a d e s c r i p t i o n of  r o l e s and n a t i v e terms i s p r e s e n t e d i n . t h e appendix.  26  CHAPTER I I SHAMANISM AMONG THE  The  COAST SALISH OF THE  two main sources  FRASER VALLEY  c o n s u l t e d f o r the f o l l o w i n g were D u f f ' s  The Upper S t a l o I n d i a n s (1952) and J e n n e s s ' The F a i t h of a Coast S a l i s h I n d i a n (1955).  S u t t l e s ' K a t z i e Ethnographic  Notes (1955),  and  " A f f i n a l t i e s , s u b s i s t e n c e and p r e s t i g e among the Coast S a l i s h " , and B a r n e t t ' s The  (1960),  Coast S a l i s h of B r i t i s h Columbia (1955), were a l s o  c o n s u l t e d f o r c o n f i r m a t i o n and  for additional information.  The  works  by D u f f , Jenness and S u t t l e s p e r t a i n d i r e c t l y t o the S a l i s h of the Lower Fraser Valley. I s l a n d and who  B a r n e t t ' s r e p o r t p e r t a i n s t o those S a l i s h of Vancouver  the B.C.  mainland bordering Georgia  S t r a i t , i n c l u d i n g groups  were c u l t u r a l l y v e r y s i m i l a r t o the S t a l o and K a t z i e of the F r a s e r  Valley.  The  r e p o r t by D u f f i s a complete e t h n o g r a p h i c  monograph, which  i n a d d i t i o n t o some u s e f u l i n f o r m a t i o n about shamanism and  s p i r i t danc-  i n g , g i v e s as complete a r e p o r t as p o s s i b l e of t r a d i t i o n a l s o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n , l a n d r i g h t s and p r o p e r t y ownership, economic o r g a n i z a t i o n , and  so f o r t h .  By the time D u f f c o l l e c t e d h i s i n f o r m a t i o n , however,  most of the t r a d i t i o n a l ways had d i s a p p e a r e d  and  i t i s l i k e l y t h a t many  of the d e t a i l s had been f o r g o t t e n by i n f o r m a n t s . . J e n n e s s i n t e r v i e w e d his informant,  a h i g h l y respected  the o l d man was.';.about 75. J  man's p h i l o s o p h y  when  He n o t e s t h a t undoubtedly much of the o l d  and f a i t h was  some c a s e s , the i d e a s expressed p e o p l e (1955:47).  and w i d e l y known shaman, i n 1936  a s y n t h e s i s of o l d and new  i d e a s and  were not those of other Coast S a l i s h  I n c o n j u n c t i o n w i t h other s o u r c e s , however, b o t h  in  27  these accounts y i e l d a f a i r l y comprehensive knowledge of t r a d i t i o n a l s h a m a n i s t i c b e l i e f s and  practises.  L i k e o t h e r groups i n the a r e a , the F r a s e r V a l l e y S a l i s h l i e v e d i n an undetermined number of s u p e r n a t u r a l e n t i t i e s . n e a r l y a l l , phenomena possessed tentially  c o u l d a f f e c t man  be-  A l l , or  v i t a l i t y and s p e c i a l powers which po-  f o r good or i l l .  I n a d d i t i o n t o the  super-  n a t u r a l f o r c e which animated the r o c k s , p l a n t s , a n i m a l s , and o t h e r phenomena of the n a t u r a l w o r l d , they r e c o g n i z e d a h o s t of o t h e r s u p e r n a t u r a l e n t i t i e s , such as g h o s t s , a v a r i e g a t e d assortment  of s p i r i t c r e a t u r e s  i n h a b i t i n g the n a t u r a l w o r l d c a l l e d " s l a l a k u m s " , and p o s s i b l y a supreme 1 d e i t y or c r e a t o r . S u p e r n a t u r a l e n t i t i e s were of i n t e r e s t c h i e f l y f o r the power they c o u l d givenmen. Every l i v i n g c r e a t u r e i n man's neighbourhood emanates i t s power, which t r a v e l s about.and f r e q u e n t l y a t t a c h e s i t s e l f t o the v i t a l i t y of a human b e i n g . The power of an i n d i v i d u a l w o l f , f o r example, may e n t e r a man, making him a good h u n t e r ; the man g a i n s , and the w o l f i t s e l f l o s e s n o t h i n g . Each c r e a t u r e has i t s s p e c i a l power t h a t i t can bestow ( J e n n e s s , 1955: 37). S u t t l e s , w r i t i n g of one group, notes t h a t the term f o r power, "swiam", "seems t o mean s i m p l y spiritual  ' s t r e n g t h ' or ' a b i l i t y '  sense" ( S u t t l e s , 1952:6).  i n a p h y s i c a l as w e l l as  I t c o u l d i n c l u d e the p e r s o n a l com-  petence of an i n d i v i d u a l a t some a c t i v i t y , or the a b i l i t y d e r i v e d from a s p i r i t to cure, f o r e t e l l  the f u t u r e , a c q u i r e w e a l t h , and  A p a r t from a few f o r t u n a t e i n d i v i d u a l s who  so f o r t h .  were born w i t h the  ability  to  see ghosts or f o r e t e l l . t h e f u t u r e ( c a l l e d "seuwa"), most p e o p l e , i f  1.  D u f f i s not sure whether t h i s l a s t was a p o s t - c o n t a c t i n n o v a t i o n , but tends t o t h i n k t h a t i t was,while Jenness r e p o r t s h i s i n f o r m a n t as c e r t a i n t h a t i t was a p r e - c o n t a c t b e l i e f .  28  they wished t o a c h i e v e r e c o g n i t i o n or d i s t i n c t i o n i n some a c t i v i t y , to r e l y on a c q u i r i n g a d d i t i o n a l powers from s u p e r n a t u r a l b e i n g s .  Bene-  f i t s from s u p e r n a t u r a l beings c o u l d be a c h i e v e d  through the use  c o m p u l s i v e r i t u a l , through v i s i o n a r y e x p e r i e n c e  or other l e s s d i r e c t  a s s o c i a t i o n w i t h s p i r i t u a l e n t i t i e s , and  had  of  through p r a y e r .  Compulsive r i t u a l , " s i w i l " , or what Duff c a l l s " s p e l l s " , c o u l d be used f o r a m u l t i t u d e of purposes, i n c l u d i n g h u n t i n g and gambling, c a u s i n g an i n d i v i d u a l t o become o v e r p o w e r i n g l y another, war.  Men  fighing,  attractiveJto  even c u r i n g or c a u s i n g s i c k n e s s , or i n f l i c t i n g bad  luck i n  c o u l d become e x c e l l e n t h u n t e r s , f i s h e r s , gamblers, and  f o r t h , i f they had knowledge of p o w e r f u l  spells.  The  so  causative prin-  V  c i p l e u n d e r l y i n g these s p e l l s i s not q u i t e c l e a r but i t would seem t h a t s p e l l s , when a p p r o p r i a t e l y d i r e c t e d , had power over the  spirit-  ual  causing  elements of men,  animals  or o t h e r s u p e r n a t u r a l e n t i t i e s ,  them t o behave i n the d e s i r e d way. i o n a r y e x p e r i e n c e was  necessary.  " S i w i l " were i n h e r i t e d and no  vis-  T h e i r e f f e c t i v e use, however, r e -  q u i r e d s t r i c t r i t u a l p u r i f i c a t i o n and  l e g i t i m a c y of purpose.  Some  i n d i v i d u a l s , c a l l e d " r i t u a l i s t s " by D u f f and " p r i e s t s " by J e n n e s s , became known as s p e c i a l i s t s i n the knowledge and use of r i t u a l niques.  tech-  They c o u l d be asked t o e x o r c i s e g h o s t s , r e s t o r e an i n d i v i d u a l ' s  v i t a l i t y or remove the consequences of p o l l u t i o n by washing away imp u r i t y through r i t u a l and  prayer.  But perhaps of more c o n c e r n than the power d e r i v e d from r i t u a l , was  the power d e r i v e d from s p i r i t s , p a r t i c u l a r l y the power which r e -  V  29  v e a l e d i t s e l f i n the s p e c i a l song and dance o b t a i n e d . sooner or l a t e r a c q u i r e d the d a n c i n g power and g u a r d i a n s p i r i t or " s u l i a " .  A l m o s t everyone  s p e c i a l song g i v e n by a  As J e n n e s s e x p l a i n s :  From the w o r l d around him...a man r e c e i v e d 'power' t h a t a i d e d him a t i n t e r v a l s i n h i s y e a r l y round, and t h a t o f t e n w e l l e d up i n s i d e him d u r i n g the w i n t e r months, i m p e l l i n g him t o b u r s t i n t o song and dance (1955:41). O f t e n an i n d i v i d u a l o b t a i n e d such power from a g u a r d i a n s p i r i t • knowing, and had  t o be helped by e x p e r i e n c e d  power and g i v e i t e x p r e s s i o n .  without  dancers t o r e a l i z e h i s  Even i f the i n d i v i d u a l had not a c q u i r e d  t h i s power i t c o u l d be induced by e x p e r i e n c e d d a n c e r s whose powers were e s p e c i a l l y s t r o n g .  Although  the S a l i s h term, " s u l i a " ,  referring  to the s p i r i t , i m p l i e d v i s i o n a r y e x p e r i e n c e , d a n c i n g power a c q u i r e d from a guardian  s p i r i t might or might not i n v o l v e v i s i o n a r y c o n t a c t w i t h the  spirit: Through the power breathed i n them by o l d dancers r a t h e r than through i n d i v i d u a l dreams and v i s i o n s , d i d the m a j o r i t y of thejpeople a c q u i r e t h e i r g u a r d i a n s p i r i t s . But...when these o l d dancers s e i z e d a youth and rendered him unconscious w i t h t h e i r b r e a t h , g i v i n g him whichever of t h e i r own g u a r d i a n s p i r i t s they chose t o c o n f e r , h i s v i t a l i t y never t r a v e l l e d f a r away....So f a r from r e a c h i n g the t r u e home of a s p i r i t and t h e r e l e a r n i n g i t s song, he heard no more than the 'echo' of t h a t song here w i t h i n the r e a l m of human b e i n g s . Conseq u e n t l y the power (swiam) t h a t he r e c e i v e d was.very s l i g h t ( J e n n e s s , 1955:46). In and  s h o r t , a l t h o u g h almost everyone a c q u i r e d s p i r i t powers, the  nature  s t r e n g t h of t h i s power v a r i e d i n p r o p o r t i o n to the d i r e c t n e s s of  c o n t a c t and the i n t e n s i t y of the m a n / s p i r i t ' r e l a t i o n s h i p ' . :  The  inten-  s i t y of ' r e l a t i o n s h i p ' and consequent powers seem t o have depended a g r e a t d e a l on the l e n g t h and d i f f i c u l t y  of t r a i n i n g undergone, w i t h i t s  30  r e s u l t i n g s t a t e of r i t u a l p u r i t y arid p e r s o n a l s p i r i t u a l s t r e n g t h . On t h i s b a s i s , t h e r e were two main types of g u a r d i a n s p i r i t  relation-  s h i p ; one whereby an i n d i v i d u a l , i n c l o s e r e l a t i o n s h i p t o h i s s p i r i t , a c h i e v e d the power t o a c c o m p l i s h e x t r a o r d i n a r y f e a t s such as c u r i n g , and one whereby an i n d i v i d u a l r e c e i v e d from h i s s p i r i t a song and danci n g power.  T h i s second was by f a r the most common.  had the a b i l i t y or the i n c l i n a t i o n t o undertake prolonged as c u r i n g .  V e r y few people  the grave dangers and  h a r d s h i p r e q u i r e d by t r a i n i n g f o r e x t r a o r d i n a r y powers such The a b i l i t y t o p e r f o r m a _ s p i r i t song and dance was concep-  t u a l l y d i s t i n c t , f o r the F r a s e r V a l l e y S a l i s h , from the e x e r c i s e of o t h e r types of s p i r i t power, a l t h o u g h the same s p i r i t c o u l d g i v e e i t h e r type of power t o d i f f e r e n t i n d i v i d u a l s .  I n d i v i d u a l s w i t h other  of s p i r i t power a l s o had t h e i r s p i r i t songs. did  types  A shaman, f o r example,  n o t use h i s shaman songs a t s p i r i t dances. Shamans were those who had a c q u i r e d s p i r i t power t o cure  ness through a s p i r i t quest.  sick-  T h e o r e t i c a l l y anyone c o u l d become a sha-  man i f he or she were w i l l i n g t o undertake  the n e c e s s a r y  training.  Duff  reports: To my i n f o r m a n t s , a c o n v e r s a t i o n on t r a i n i n g f o r s u p e r n a t u r a l power, was a c o n v e r s a t i o n on shamans. A few w a r r i o r s , hunt e r s , and gamblers t r a i n e d f o r a s p e c i f i c power, but these were regarded as e x c e p t i o n s (1950:98). There i s the s t r o n g s u g g e s t i o n t h a t the s u c c e s s f u l n o v i c e c o u l d ask f o r , or would be g r a n t e d , whatever power he sought. n i q u e s were s u f f i c i e n t t o secure everyday  And s i n c e r i t u a l  s o c i a l and economic  tech-  concerns,  the power t o c u r e , w i t h i t s p o t e n t i a l s i g n i f i c a n c e f o r everyone i n the  31  community, was presumably t h e one most l i k e l y t o b r i n g d i s t i n c t i o n , and  so, most sought a f t e r . Most commonly, a t l e a s t f o r men, t r a i n i n g f o r s p i r i t power  began i n e a r l y c h i l d h o o d , b e f o r e t h e dangers of s e x u a l i m p u r i t y brought on by p u b e r t y .  I f t h e r e was a r e l a t i v e j w h o was a shaman he was l i k e l y  to i n s t r u c t t h e y o u n g s t e r ,  i f n o t , an e x p e r i e n c e d  shaman might be h i r e d .  A t about t w e l v e t h e youth s t a r t e d g o i n g i n t o t h e woods a l o n e . H i s p e r i o d s of i s o l a t i o n became p r o g r e s s i v e l y l o n g e r and he wandered f u r t h e r and f u r t h e r i n t o the more remote areas.'. He f a s t e d , bathed i n c o l d streams, purged h i m s e l f , m a i n t a i n e d  c o n t i n e n c e and avoided  con-  t a c t w i t h women, and sang and danced t o t h e p o i n t o f - e x h a u s t i o n , t r y i n g always t o t h i n k of t h e power he wanted. his  own e x p e r i e n c e (1955:65-67).  Jenness'  informant described  When he was t h r e e y e a r s o l d , h i s  mother, who was h e r s e l f a shaman, encouraged him t o bathe and scrub h i m s e l f , and imbued him w i t h a sense o f b e i n g d i f f e r e n t from o t h e r dren.  When he reached  about e i g h t y e a r s o l d she e n l i s t e d t h e a i d of  her t h r e e o l d e s t and b e s t - i n f o r m e d r i t u a l knowledge.  chil-  r e l a t i v e s t o t e a c h him h i s t o r y and  A t about t e n , a g a i n a t h i s mother's i n s i s t e n c e , he  s t a r t e d t o go o u t by h i m s e l f i n t h e woods, and, f o r t h e next f o u r wint e r s he c o n t i n u e d , s t a y i n g out f o r l o n g e r and l o n g e r p e r i o d s and subj e c t i n g h i m s e l f t o g r e a t e r and g r e a t e r h a r d s h i p .  F i n a l l y , he was suc-  c e s s f u l and a c q u i r e d t h e power t o remove s i c k n e s s w i t h h i s hands.  One  of D u f f ' s i n f o r m a n t s c l a i m e d t h a t t h e t r a i n e e was u s u a l l y t w e n t y - f i v e to t h i r t y b e f o r e he e x p e r i e n c e d a n y t h i n g , some were over f o r t y , and o t h e r s never a c h i e v e d  success.  32  Shamanistic  power c o u l d o c c a s i o n a l l y come from, "a quest l a t -  er i n l i f e through i l l n e s s , or by i n h e r i t a n c e " ( D u f f , 1950:99).  This  l a s t d i d not a p p a r e n t l y i m p l y i n h e r i t a n c e of a s p i r i t but i n h e r i t a n c e of power.  A man  c o u l d t r a n s f e r power t o h i s son but the son would  have t o t r a i n f o r i t and t h e r ' s" ( D u f f , 1950:100).  still  the power "would not be as s t r o n g as the f a I n d i v i d u a l s were b e l i e v e d more l i k e l y t o get  power j u s t a f t e r the d e a t h of a spouse because, "When your w i f e d i e s , p a r t of y o u . d i e s You  w i t h her, and you are d i f f e r e n t from what you were....  are more p o w e r f u l According  a t t h a t t i m e " ( D u f f , 1950:95).  to Jenness' informant,  t r a i n i n g had  the e f f e c t of  weakening the bonds which u n i t e d the i n d i v i d u a l ' s v i t a l i t y and mind t o the body, so t h a t they c o u l d " t r a v e l " g r e a t e r d i s t a n c e t o beyond the v e i l of the everyday w o r l d (1955:65).  "penetrate  t o the m y s t i c r e a l m of the unseen"  T h i s would seem t o l i n k w i t h D u f f ' s r e p o r t t h a t one  l i k e l y t o r e c e i v e power a t the d e a t h of a spouse.  was  C l e a r l y , the a c q u i -  s i t i o n of power depended upon something of a r e a l or s y m b o l i c  social  d e a t h ( i s o l a t i o n from everyday a c t i v i t i e s by a r e t r e a t t o the woods, or the d e a t h of one's s t a t u s as w i f e or husband).  I n d i v i d u a l s so i s o -  l a t e d were once removed from the o r d i n a r y , commonplace a f f a i r s of day  living.  The  was  an i m p o r t a n t  Duff's informant  every-  b r e a k i n g or r e j e c t i o n of s e x u a l t i e s , f o r example, symbolic  removal from the human w o r l d .  The  comment of  a l s o i m p l i e s t h a t the i n d i v i d u a l ' s s t r e n g t h of  per-  s o n a l power was  i n some measure r e s p o n s i b l e f o r the degree of  spirit  power a c h i e v e d .  T r a i n i n g enhanced the i n d i v i d u a l ' s p e r s o n a l  vitality  33  or s u p e r n a t u r a l f o r c e .  L o s s of v i t a l i t y ,  l o s s of power ( J e n n e s s ,  1955:36).  through age f o r example, meant  Perhaps we-may i n f e r t h a t s h a m a n i s t i c two-fold process.  The i n i t i a t e  initiation  i n c r e a s e d h i s own p e r s o n a l  involved a vitality  w h i l e he reduced t h e bonds which u n i t e d v i t a l i t y and mind t o t h e body so t h a t i t c o u l d t r a v e l .  Increase  p r o g r e s s i v e removal o f t h e s p i r i t u a l  i n p e r s o n a l s p i r i t f o r c e and t h e from t h e p h y s i c a l was  i n r i t u a l , p h y s i c a l , and s o c i a l . t e r m s by t r a i n i n g .  expressed  T r a i n i n g was be-  l i e v e d to increase v i t a l i t y , w h i l e , i n a very e m p i r i c a l f a s h i o n , i t emphasized a r e j e c t i o n o f t h e normal p h y s i c a l and s o c i a l n e c e s s i t i e s , ( s u c h as f o o d , warmth, s h e l t e r , a f f i n a l  ties),  of o r d i n a r y human l i f e .  Duff w r i t e s : By v i r t u e of t h e i r s p e c i a l powers, shamans were v e r y l i k e l y to become i m p o r t a n t and r e s p e c t e d members of s o c i e t y , b u t they d i d n o t form a c l a s s or s o c i e t y a p a r t . T h e i r a b i l i t i e s to cause o r cure d i s e a s e , t o a c t as i n t e r m e d i a r i e s between men and g h o s t s , t o t e l l what was happening i n d i s t a n t p l a c e s and what was t o happen i n t h e f u t u r e , and t o help o u t i n wars brought them h i g h r e s p e c t as w e l l as more t a n g i b l e w e a l t h (1950:102). Thus they had a f a i r l y broad range of a b i l i t i e s  and d u t i e s .  B u t they  were n o t t h e s o l e s p e c i a l i s t s i n d e a l i n g s w i t h t h e s u p e r n a t u r a l . A l though, when regarded  as a whole they seem almost u n c h a l l e n g e d  author-  i t i e s o f t h e s p i r i t w o r l d , i n d i v i d u a l l y , perhaps, they d i d n o t always emerge so c l e a r l y as t h e s p i r i t u a l ity.  Firstly,  cialists  l e a d e r s o r spokesmen o f t h e commun-  d i f f e r e n t shamans had d i f f e r e n t powers.  Some were spe-  i n s p e c i f i c c o n d i t i o n s o r c o u l d o n l y cure i n a c e r t a i n way.  Some were more p o w e r f u l  than othersjand u n d o u b t e d l y , e v a l u a t i o n of sha-  34 mans w i t h r e s p e c t t o one a n o t h e r v a r i e d a c c o r d i n g t o the of d i f f e r e n t groups.  Secondly, r i t u a l techniques  affiliations  were b e l i e v e d e f f e c -  t i v e f o r a l l manner of t h i n g s , sometimes even c u r i n g ( D u f f , 1950:115). A r i t u a l i s t , then, who  knew the s p e c i f i c s p e l l n e c e s s a r y ,  moned i n s t e a d of a shaman. ("seuwa") was  What D u f f c a l l s the  might be sum-  "fortune-teller"  another k i n d of s p e c i a l i s t born w i t h the power t o  "see  g h o s t s , t o f i n d l o s t a r t i c l e s , t o see f a r - o f f events ( f a r - s i g h t e d n e s s ) , and  to foresee f u t u r e events"  ( D u f f , 1950:114).  "Seuwa" were f r e q u e n t l y  c o n s i d e r e d more e f f i c i e n t than shamans f o r m e d i a t i n g w i t h g h o s t s and might be c a l l e d , i n s t e a d of a shaman, t o p r e s i d e over the f e a s t f o r the g h o s t s h e l d f o u r days a f t e r a death. in a l l ritual affairs.  F o r example, the F i r s t Salmon Ceremony was  ducted by a c h i e f , the o l d e s t man who  N e i t h e r were shamans l e a d e r s  caught the f i r s t f i s h .  of the community, or the  Nevertheless,  and  ability.  w e a l t h y and  of  f o r t h e i r knowledge  They were u s u a l l y s u c c e s s f u l f i s h e r m e n  a l l y obtained  fisherman  shamans, more than any  these o t h e r s p e c i a l i s t s , were f e a r e d and r e s p e c t e d  con-  and  hunters,  usu-  s e v e r a l w i n t e r dance s p i r i t songs,and were l i k e l y t o be  so more l i k e l y t o have h i g h . s t a t u s .  l e n c e i n these f i e l d s was  considered  f a m i l i a r i t y with s p i r i t matters" p l e of s t a t u r e , d e f e r r e d - t o and  Their "general e x c e l -  t o be l a r g e l y a r e s u l t of  ( D u f f , 1950:102).  their  They becane peo-  treated with respect, courtesy  and  c i r c u m s p e c t i o n f o r f e a r of the p o s s i b l e consequences should they have cause t o f e e l  offence.  U n f o r t u n a t e l y Duff between shamans and  says v e r y l i t t l e about the r e l a t i o n s h i p  the community (as opposed t o ' s o c i e t y ' ) but i t i s  35  my  i m p r e s s i o n t h a t shamans were t o some e x t e n t a l i g n e d w i t h s p e c i f i c  v i l l a g e communities and t h a t they were thought l i k e l y t o use t h e i r wers i n the i n t e r e s t s of t h e i r own t o o t h e r groups.  Duff  po-  community, sometimes i n o p p o s i t i o n  writes:  A shaman from S a r d i s , whose s u l i a was the s i x q i ( d o u b l e headed s n a k e ) , had t h i s carved on h i s totem-pole (housep o s t ^ ) ) and 'put h i s power i n i t ' . Any enemy r a i d i n g p a r t i e s who saw i t got s i c k . " I guess he d o c t o r e d h i s own p e o p l e so they d i d n ' t get s i c k " (1950:101). When d i s c u s s i n g shamans, D u f f ' s i n f o r m a n t s o f t e n s t a t e d where the p a r t i c u l a r shaman was i d e n t i a l grouping.  from, thereby a l i g n i n g him w i t h a community, or r e s One  i n f e r e n c e which emerges from the d a t a i s t h a t  shamans, e s p e c i a l l y p o w e r f u l , ones, tended t o become w i d e l y known publ i c figures.  J e n n e s s ' i n f o r m a n t was known throughout  l a n d and Vancouver I s l a n d .  the Lower Main-  D u f f ' s i n f o r m a n t s c o u l d g i v e examples of  shamans from q u i t e d i s t a n t communities.  F o r example, E.L.  from Omahil  mentions a shaman from S a r d i s , a K i l g a r d shaman, one from Hope, and C u l t u s L a k e shaman b e s i d e s • t h o s e whom he knew i n h i s own One  a  community.  i s impressed by the i n t e r e s t t h a t shamans seemed t o a r o u s e , j u d g -  i n g a t l e a s t by the number of s t o r i e s D u f f was t h e i r w e a l t h of d e t a i l , i n comparison cialists.  able to c o l l e c t ,  and  w i t h s t o r i e s concerning other  spe  I n e f f e c t shamans appear t o have stood as p u b l i c f i g u r e s i n  much the same way  as ' c h i e f s ' or "siem"; a t once a l i g n e d w i t h a commun-  i t y but of w i d e r r e p u t a t i o n .  "Siem", or s o - c a l l e d c h i e f s , were men  who  came t o be u n o f f i c i a l and i n f o r m a l l e a d e r s i n community m a t t e r s by  vir-  tue of t h e i r a b i l i t y , wisdom and g e n e r o s i t y .  abil  By t h e i r success and  36  to win respect they became focal figures of interest.  Similarly, sha-  mans , by their success and the respect commanded by their powers-came to receive broad, but informal, public influence. Theories of disease and curing practises seem to have followed Northwest coast patterns with the.difference that, like the.position of shaman i t s e l f , curing patterns showed much more informality than found elsewhere on the Coast.  Disease could be caused by soul loss or object  intrusion and curing was accomplished by retrieving the soul and blowing i t into the victim's head, by sucking ;out the intrusive object, or blowing out the ailment.  There is only one specific mention, by the  informants who give examples, that the cures were public or involved any formal ceremonialism. puts a basket on his head.  One informant states: . "The doctor comes, He has. a bunch singing and drumming while  he goes and gets (the soul)" (Duff, 1950:112). In spiritual terms the shaman was intermediary between the human and supernatural worlds.  His training and initiation differen-  tiated him from others in at least two respects:  f i r s t l y , through  training he achieved a ritual purity and spiritual force such that in an encounter with the supernatural he could maintain a balance of power; secondly, through training and initiation he experienced symbolic death and was both once removed from the ordinary and commonplace affairs of everyday l i f e , particularly human intercourse and sexuality, and once nearer the spirit world. In more broadly religious terms, the division between shaman and others appeared less.  He was one of several specialists who could  37  command s u p e r n a t u r a l .power, w h i l e as shaman, he d i f f e r e d from o t h e r s p i r i t dancers o n l y i n s o f a r as he was than u s u a l .  likely  t o get more s p i r i t  S a l i s h r e l i g i o u s i n v o l v e m e n t was  largely  songs  individualistic  and e g a l i t a r i a n , almost everyone p a r t i c i p a t i n g on e q u a l terms i n the major r e l i g i o u s ceremonies.  To quote D u f f :  S p i r i t s i n g i n g . d u r i n g the w i n t e r d a n c i n g season was the most prominent and s a t i s f y i n g phase of S t a l o r e l i g i o u s and c e r e monial l i f e . The s p i r i t s o n g w a s the type of i n d i v i d u a l guard i a n s p i r i t power which most p e o p l e r e c e i v e d a t some time i n t h e i r l i v e s . . . . A song c o u l d u s u a l l y be expected t o come uns o l i c i t e d t o anyone i n t e r e s t e d i n becoming a dancer. I f one d i d n ' t come unsought, t h e r e was a way i n which one c o u l d be i n s t i l l e d i n t o a p r o s p e c t i v e new dancer ( D u f f , 1950:103). :  Shamans p a r t i c i p a t e d i n these dances, not as shamans, but as dancers,  spirit  s i n g i n g s p i r i t songs d i s t i n c t from t h e i r shaman songs,  r e l i g i o u s a c t i v i t y can be regarded  Salish  as p r i m a r i l y concerned w i t h a c h i e v i n g  a d i v e r s i t y of economic, s o c i a l and  ceremonial  c a p a c i t y of men  shaman had a monopoly of access  by themselves.  The  a r e l a t i v e l y l i m i t e d number of these ends.  ends deemed beyond the  He d i f f e r e d from other  to men  w i t h s p i r i t power, however, by the f a c t t h a t h i s powers c o u l d be used i n the s e r v i c e of o t h e r s .  H i s v i s i o n a r y s p i r i t powers were a p u b l i c  resource. I n s e c u l a r terms the p o s i t i o n of shaman was  important.  seems t o have been c l e a r l y d i s t i n g u i s h e d from t h a t of other I n p u r e l y s t r u c t u r a l terms the shaman was  development of a shaman ( i n i t i a t i o n t h a t . t h e y were n o r m a l l y  and  specialists.  f o c u s of a number of  v a i l i n g p r i n c i p l e s , w h i l e the s e l e c t i v e p r e s s u r e s  It  counter-  i n s t r u m e n t a l i n the  t r a i n i n g ) seem t o have i n s u r e d  i n d i v i d u a l s of above average a b i l i t y .  The  sha-  38  man was b o t h a member of a community, i n some.part r e s p o n s i b l e f o r i t s spiritual  w e l f a r e and p h y s i c a l h e a l t h , and a s p e c i a l i s t i n a w i d e r sense,  f r o m whom p e o p l e c o u l d , and d i d , r e q u e s t h e l p .  He was l i k e other  men  (owning s p i r i t songs and s u b j e c t t o s u b s i s t e n c e r e q u i r e m e n t s ) but s e t apart-from for  them by r i g o r o u s r i t u a l , r e q u i r e m e n t s .  his ability  to c u r e . capable  t o cause s i c k n e s s or d e a t h , and r e s p e c t e d  From the v i e w p o i n t  f o r h i s power  of p e r s o n a l i t y , shamans were u n u s u a l l y  hunters, f i s h e r s , s p i r i t dancers,  u s u a l l y wealthy.  He was b o t h f e a r e d  and so f o r t h .  They were  The key f a c t o r d i s t i n g u i s h i n g the p o s i t i o n of shaman  from o t h e r s p e c i a l i s t s i s s i g n a l l e d by the importance of t r a i n i n g . S a l i s h themselves regarded  t r a i n i n g as the c r i t i c a l f a c t o r .  t i o n a l cases i t was p o s s i b l e t o o b t a i n power w i t h o u t ing  I n excep-  the l e n g t h y  train-  b u t t r a i n i n g was t h e . i d e a l . N e i t h e r those who i n h e r i t e d s p e l l s  nor those born w i t h i n h e r e n t powers needed t o undergo t r a i n i n g . dancers could r e c e i v e v i s i o n a r y i n i t i a t i o n b u t - d i d not r e c e i v e power u n l e s s they had undergone l e n g t h y t r a i n i n g . and  The  symbolic  spirit  I n both p r a c t i c a l  terms, t r a i n i n g . a n d s u c c e s s f u l i n i t i a t i o n  of u n u s u a l a b i l i t y ,  Spirit  selected  those  s t r e n g t h and p e r s i s t a n c e and s e t them o f f from t h e  o r d i n a r y and mundane, and from the p o l l u t e d .  Shamans were e v i d e n c e of  man's dependence on the s p i r i t w o r l d and of the e x c e l l e n c e which c o u l d come from harmony w i t h the s p i r i t  world.  39  CHAPTER - I I I NOOTKA. SHAMANI SM  D r u c k e r ' s The N o r t h e r n and C e n t r a l Nootkan T r i b e s ( 1 9 5 1 ) , was the major e t h n o g r a p h i c source c o n s u l t e d f o r the f o l l o w i n g  section.  S a p i r ' s "The L i f e of a Nootka I n d i a n " ( 1 9 2 1 ) , and S a p i r and Swadesh's Nootka T e x t s (1939) and N a t i v e A c c o u n t s were a l s o c o n s u l t e d .  of Nootka Ethnography  D r u c k e r ' s r e p o r t i s comprehensive  (1955),  and d e t a i l e d .  F r e q u e n t l y i t has g i v e n d e t a i l e d i n f o r m a t i o n n o t a v a i l a b l e f o r o t h e r p a r t s o f the Coast.  A p o i n t t o note i s t h a t Drucker and S a p i r and  Swadesh appear t o g i v e d i f f e r e n t emphasis t o t h e T s a y i k r i t u a l , a group c u r i n g and s h a m a n i s t i c i n i t i a t i o n ceremony.  S a p i r and Swadesh g i v e a  d e t a i l e d account o f t h i s r i t u a l a set an i t e m of e t h n o g r a p h i c d e t a i l i n . t h e i r l i n g u i s t i c r e p o r t N o o t k a T e x t s (1939:107).  Drucker mentions the  r i t u a l b u t d i d n o t r e g a r d i t as ever h a v i n g been of g r e a t  importance  among most of t h e n o r t h e r n and, c e n t r a l Nootkan p e o p l e s , a t t r i b u t i n g i t s importance among t h e g r o u p s . s t u d i e d by S a p i r t o t h e f a c t t h a t they were a d j a c e n t t o S a l i s h s p e a k i n g p e o p l e s and r e l a t i v e l y i s o l a t e d o t h e r Nootkan groups (1951:216).  from  Drucker was i n t e r e s t e d i n p r e s e n t i n g  a g e n e r a l e t h n o g r a p h i c d e s c r i p t i o n and i t i s p o s s i b l e t h a t , i n t h e i n t e r e s t s of c l a r i t y , he m i n i m i z e d some of the d i f f e r e n c e s between groups. L i k e o t h e r Northwest  Coast groups, the Nootka b e l i e v e d i n a  h o s t of a n i m a l and s p i r i t s u p e r n a t u r a l b e i n g s endowed w i t h v a r y i n g d i f f e r e n t extra-human c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s which c o u l d harm men or be u t i l i z e d by them f o r s o c i a l and economic ends.  The v a r i o u s a n i m a l and s p i r i t  40  b e i n g s of Nootka t e r r i t o r y p r o v i d e d most c r i t i c a l s o c i a l and .economic resources:, f o o d , s u p e r n a t u r a l power t o p e r f o r m extrahuman ceremonial p r i v i l e g e s .  f e a t s , and  Most i m p o r t a n t f o r man's p h y s i c a l w e l l - b e i n g  were the Salmon and H e r r i n g p e o p l e , who, p r o v i d e d they were t r e a t e d w i t h p r o p e r c a r e and r e s p e c t , would r e t u r n y e a r a f t e r y e a r t o v i s i t the  coast i n t h e i r f i s h  form and a l l o w themselves t o be caught.  r e l s and minks sometimes p r o v i d e d s h a m a n i s t i c power. c o u l d g i v e power t o a t t a i n w e a l t h . men  esteem.  Killer  Squir-  whales  Whales, by t h e i r c a p t u r e , brought  ,A r a c e of s p i r i t , b e i n g s c a l l e d '"'ya a i " c o u l d b r i n g w e a l t h  power, s h a m a n i s t i c power,ceremonial p r e r o g a t i v e s , or a number of o t h e r benefits.  I t i s d i f f i c u l t t o know whether  the p h y s i c a l w e l l - b e i n g w h i c h  came t o men when the salmon and h e r r i n g a l l o w e d themselves t o be caught, or  the p r e s t i g e which came t o the w h a l e r , can be thought of as a t t a i n -  ments wrought from s u p e r n a t u r a l s i n the same way as powers such as the power t o h e a l , hunt, or grow w e a l t h y were, but perhaps the p o s s i b i l i t y i s n o t too f a r - f e t c h e d .  I n each c a s e , an a n i m a l or s p i r i t e n t i t y  was  approached or t r e a t e d i n p r e s c r i b e d ways i n the b e l i e f t h a t i t had the power t o g r a n t or f r u s t r a t e the d e s i r e d  end.  As D r u c k e r o b s e r v e s , b e l i e f s i n the a t t r i b u t e s of p a r t i c u l a r k i n d s of s u p e r n a t u r a l b e i n g s were g e n e r a l l y c o n s i s t e n t w i t h Nootka knowledge o f , and f a m i l i a r i t y w i t h , d i f f e r e n t p a r t s of t h e i r  environment.  He w r i t e s t h a t : The woods and mountains were thought t o be p o p u l a t e d by v a s t numbers of dangerous and horrendous s u p e r n t a r u a l b e i n g s w h i l e the sea c o n t a i n e d fewer and l e s s m a l i g n a n t s p i r i t s . (1951:151).  41  A l t h o u g h almost a l l s u p e r n a t u r a l beings were viewed as e i t h e r p o t e n t i a l l y dangerous (even t h e salmon, i f i m p r o p e r l y t r e a t e d c o u l d become v e n g e f u l and s t e a l human s o u l s ) , or p o s i t i v e l y m a l e v o l e n t , by t h e use of s p e c i f i c t e c h n i q u e s they c o u l d be a v o i d e d when n e c e s s a r y , and were c a p a b l e of b e i n g m a n i p u l a t e d .  The N o o t k a themselves c o n s i d e r e d  r i t u a l - . a s i n d i s p e n s a b l e i n t h e i r economic p u r s u i t s as the manufacture and maintenance p f t o o l s and weapons(Drucker, 1951:15, 163). We might almost term t h e i r economic r i t u a l knowledge p a r t of t h e i r  technology,  so c l o s e l y and c o n s i s t e n t l y were they l i n k e d . A major p o r t i o n o f Nootkan r e l i g i o n . . . c o n s i s t e d of a s e r i e s of t e c h n i q u e s f o r m a n i p u l a t i n g s u p e r n a t u r a l power t o one's own e n d s . . . . P e r f o r m i n g t h e r i t e s p r o p e r l y was as i m p o r t a n t as l a y i n g a good sound harpoon l i n e . . . . A man performed h i s r i t e s , o f t e n arduous and p a i n f u l , w i t h s t o l i d . d e t e r m i n a t i o n ; he approached s i t u a t i o n s - of a c t u a l c o n t a c t w i t h s p i r i t s n o t w i t h awe or e c s t a s y b u t w i t h p h y s i c a l f e a r t h a t he g r i m l y overcame, b o l s t e r e d by the knowledge t h a t i f he performed h i s r i t u a l a c t s p r o p e r l y he would r e c e i v e no harm, b u t r a t h e r sure success ( D r u c k e r , 1951:163). M a n i p u l a t i v e t e c h n i q u e s c o u l d i n v o l v e p r o p i t i a t i o n , t e c h n i q u e s of comp u l s i v e magic, or s p i r i t c o n t a c t .  H u n t i n g or f i s h i n g o f a l l i m p o r t a n t  a n i m a l s i n N o o t k a economy i n v o l v e d r i t u a l , e i t h e r p r o p i t i a t o r y or comp u l s i v e , a t some s t a g e .  P r o p i t i a t o r y t e c h n i q u e s were used  f o r . t h e salmon and h e r r i n g and f o r whales. the F i r s t of  primarily  The former were honored a t  Salmon and F i r s t H e r r i n g ceremonies  and a t a l l times t h e bones  these c r e a t u r e s were p r e s e r v e d and r e t u r n e d t o t h e water so t h a t ,  when r e i n c a r n a t e d , they would have no r e a s o n n o t t o r e t u r n a g a i n . i l a r l y , a f t e r k i l l i n g or b e a c h i n g a dead whale,  the a n i m a l was  Sim-  honored  42  by a s m a l l ceremony b e f o r e d i v i d i n g the c a r c a s s . were of fundamental importance t o the Nootka.  Compulsive  rituals  As D r u c k e r d e f i n e s them  these were: ...magical a c t s whose - c o r r e c t performance brought about the d e s i r e d r e s u l t i n a c a u s e - e f f e c t r e a c t i o n . I n c l u d e d were the f u r m u l a i c p r a y e r s ; the a p p l i c a t i o n of 'medicines' (au y i ) . . . ; use of human c o r p s e s and bones; the s e t t i n g up of dummy f i g u r e s i m i t a t i n g ' t h e d e s i r e d a c t , as i n the s h r i n e s ; and the p r o c e d u r e s of b l a c k magic (1951:164). Compulsive r i t e s were p r i v a t e p r o p e r t y .  They, were a l l supposed t o have  been d e r i v e d from s u p e r n a t u r a l e n c o u n t e r s i n which the s u p e r n a t u r a l b e i n g gave i n s t r u c t i o n s by w h i c h anyone who f o l l o w e d the c o r r e c t p r o cedure c o u l d e x p e c t s u c c e s s . guarded h e r e d i t a r y s e c r e t s .  Knowledge of s p e c i f i c r i t e s were c l o s e l y W h i l e i t would seem, from D r u c k e r ' s exam-  p l e s , t h a t o r d i n a r y i n d i v i d u a l s most commonly owned r i t e s t h a t were of p r i v a t e b e n e f i t ( o r of l i m i t e d and i n d i r e c t b e n e f i t t o o t h e r s ) , ' c h i e f s ' ("ha'wil") were o f t e n e x t r e m e l y i m p o r t a n t owners of r i t u a l  knowledge.  Most, i f n o t a l l c h i e f s , c o u l d p e r f o r m a r i t e t o b r i n g the h e r r i n g , say, or t o a t t r a c t dead whales t o shore.  Knowledge of such p u b l i c l y b e n e f i -  c i a l r i t u a l was an i m p o r t a n t prop t o c h i e f l y a u t h o r i t y .  I n t h i s con-  n e c t i o n c h i e f s o f t e n had, what D r u c k e r c a l l s , " s h r i n e s " , where the r i t u a l i s t p r e p a r e d h i s . ' m e d i c i n e s ' and performed h i s r i t e s . These were made and used t o " b r i n g " a v a r i e t y of p r o d u c t s of economic i m p o r t a n c e ; o f t e n the same s h r i n e and i t s r i t u a l served t o b r i n g heavy runs of salmon, h e r r i n g , and t o cause dead whales t o d r i f t a s h o r e . Most f r e q u e n t l y the c h i e f who owned the t e r r i t o r y where t h e s e commodities were o b t a i n e d was expected t o see t o i t t h a t the s u p p l y d i d n o t f a i l by c a r r y i n g out h i s r i t u a l s m e t i c u l o u s l y (1951:171).  43  On these o c c a s i o n s  c h i e f s performed a. p r i v a t e h e r e d i t a r y p r e r o g a t i v e  in public capacity. A t e c h n i q u e , b o t h p r o p i t i a t o r y and c o m p u l s i v e i n c h a r a c t e r , was  ritual purification.  c l e a r l y expressed  D r u c k e r r e p o r t s t h a t the u n d e r l y i n g c o n c e p t ,  by the N o o t k a  was:  . . . t h a t the odors of warm, sweaty humanity were repugnant t o the s p i r i t s . By b a t h i n g i n c o l d water t i l l the body was c h i l l e d , however, and s c r u b b i n g away grime and sweat w i t h p l e a s a n t - s m e l l i n g or m a g i c a l l y p o t e n t p l a n t s one c o u l d app r o a c h the s p i r i t s , w i t h o u t t h e i r b e i n g aware of h i s presence (1951:166). R i t u a l p u r i f i c a t i o n was  e s s e n t i a l f o r a l l contact with  beings:  c o n t a c t when t h i s was  i t facilitated  or reduced the dangers when u n d e s i r a b l e . p o w e r f u l b e i n g c o u l d be f a t a l pure.  Besides  supernatural  d e s i r a b l e , as i n h u n t i n g ,  Contact w i t h a m a l e v o l e n t  u n l e s s the i n d i v i d u a l was  enhancing the i n d i v i d u a l ' s appeal  or  sufficiently  to supernatural  beings,  r i t u a l p u r i f i c a t i o n a l s o seems t o have i n c r e a s e d the i n d i v i d u a l ' s own s u p e r n a t u r a l power.  I n d i v i d u a l s were commonly s a i d t o bathe f o r power.  P r o p i t i a t o r y r i t u a l , compulsive r i t u a l and r i t u a l  purification  were the means by which most p e o p l e ensured t h e i r everyday ends. I n a d d i t i o n , the s p e c i a l r i t u a l knowledge of c h i e f s f u r t h e r helped to ensure economic s e c u r i t y f o r the community.  V e r y few people attempted  or even d e s i r e d v i s i o n a r y c o n t a c t w i t h s u p e r n a t u r a l Spirit  beings.  c o n t a c t c o u l d be sought f o r the purposes of a c q u i r i n g  c e r e m o n i a l p r e r o g a t i v e s , s h a m a n i s t i c powers, or m i s c e l l a n e o u s  powers  44  such as "good l u c k " power, power f o r a t t r a c t i n g w e a l t h , h u n t i n g power, and  so f o r t h .  ceremonial  H i g h r a n k i n g p e o p l e and c h i e f s were most l i k e l y t o seek  p r e r o g a t i v e s or powers o f some economic importance. S u c c e s s f u l v i s i o n a r y c o n t a c t depended on t h e i n d i v i d u a l ' s  a b i l i t y t o overcome t h e s u p e r n a t u r a l b e i n g .  Thus, a l t h o u g h  theoretical-  l y c o n t a c t c o u l d come u n s o l i c i t e d , i t was more l i k e l y t o have been sought, s i n c e success al's  i n overcoming the b e i n g depended.on t h e i n d i v i d u -  r i t u a l p u r i t y and h i s a b i l i t y  to withstand  t i o n s l o n g enough t o shout a r i t u a l c r y .  the s u p e r n a t u r a l emana-  Commonly, the i n d i v i d u a l  pared h i m s e l f by r i g o r o u s r i t u a l b a t h i n g , k e e p i n g ing  c o n t i n e n c e , and s i n g -  songs and p r a y e r s f o r s u p e r n a t u r a l a i d g i v e n t o him by e l d e r kinsmen  as h e r e d i t a r y f a m i l y s e c r e t s .  The encounter w i t h a s p i r i t "was tremen-  d o u s l y charged w i t h danger" (1951:187). his  pre-  Should  the i n d i v i d u a l n o t make  r i t u a l c r y , should he remove h i s eye from the s p i r i t , or n o t be i n  the p r o p e r s t a t e - o f r i t u a l c l e a n l i n e s s , he and n o t the s p i r i t would be vanquished.  The b e s t p r e p a r e d might manage t o g i v e the r i t u a l c r y , and  whatever accompaniment was r e q u i r e d , w h i l e o t h e r s might r e c o v e r the s p i r i t s  after  had gone, t o make t h e i r s p i r i t c r y over any remains.  At  the sound of the c r y the s p i r i t was supposed t o " t u r n t o foam" or d i s a p p e a r , l e a v i n g some m a t e r i a l token of the e n c o u n t e r . be p r e s e r v e d  at a l l costs.  T h i s token had t o  As Drucker e x p l a i n s :  The token -- a r a t t l e , a b i t of dyed cedar b a r k , a bundle of m e d i c i n a l l e a v e s , a p a i n t e d p e b b l e , or whatever i t might be -- had t o be p r e s e r v e d . . . . A l l the power of t h e s p i r i t somehow r e s i d e d i n t h i s f e t i s h -- should i t be l o s t , t h e f i n d e r l o s t c o n t r o l of t h e s p i r i t , and c o n s e q u e n t l y h i s s h a m a n i s t i c power (1951:187).  45  Thus f a r v i s i o n a r y i n i t i a t i o n was f o r any o t h e r seeker of s p i r i t power. f i c u l t and dangerous f o r those who w e a l t h power than f o r those who f e r e d from those who  the same f o r shamans as  S p i r i t c o n t a c t was  no l e s s d i f -  sought c e r e m o n i a l p r e r o g a t i v e s or  sought s h a m a n i s t i c power.  Shamans d i f -  a c q u i r e d o t h e r types of power i n t h a t t h e i r  t i o n s h i p w i t h the s p i r i t b e i n g was  rela-  ongoing, c o n t i n u o u s and i n t e n s e .  Sometime a f t e r h i s s p i r i t e n c o u n t e r , the p r o s p e c t i v e shaman was  helped  i n e s t a b l i s h i n g c o n t r o l over the s p i r i t by a power " f i x i n g " ceremony. I t was  t h i s ceremony which p u b l i c l y e s t a b l i s h e d the i n i t i a t e ' s  of becoming a shaman and i t was  at t h i s point that shamanistic  intention initia-  t i o n o v e r t l y d e p a r t e d from o r d i n a r y i n i t i a t i o n s ( s i n c e the r i t u a l c r y of s h a m a n i s t i c n o v i c e s was d i s t i n c t i v e i t may  have been i n s t r u m e n t a l  i n d e t e r m i n i n g the type of power r e c e i v e d ) . An e x p e r i e n c e d shaman, p r e f e r a b l y one who  was  h i s power r i g h t " .  a kinsman or t r u s t e d neighbour,was c a l l e d t o " s e t He made s c r a p i n g motions over the n o v i c e ' s body,  " g a t h e r i n g the power t o g e t h e r " ( D r u c k e r , 1951:188).  W i t h c o n t r o l over  the s p i r i t e s t a b l i s h e d , the n o v i c e began a p e r i o d of t r a i n i n g ,  lasting  from s e v e r a l months t o 3 or 4 y e a r s , under the ' i n s t r u c t i o n ' of h i s spirit.  A l l the t e c h n i q u e s of h e a l i n g , the songs used, the k i n d of  f a c e p a i n t , r a t t l e , ornaments, d a n c i n g , were t a u g h t the n o v i c e by h i s h e l p e r so t h a t , a l t h o u g h s h a m a n i s t i c t e c h n i q u e s were g e n e r a l l y s i m i l a r , each shaman had h i s own p a r t i c u l a r v a r i a t i o n s . was  i n s t r u c t e d by h i s s p i r i t t h a t i t was  By the time the n o v i c e  time f o r him t o s t a r t p r a c t i -  46  s i n g "everyone knew about him". one's r e a d i n e s s was  The  u s u a l p r o c e d u r e f o r announcing  t o g i v e a f e a s t o r , more commonly, ask one's c h i e f  to g i v e a f e a s t , where the announcement c o u l d be made and 1  h i s shaman's  name made.public. W h i l e not h e r e d i t a r y , shamanism tended t o run i n f a m i l i e s , D r u c k e r d e s c r i b e s the e x p e r i e n c e informants' maternal  of one  informant  as an example.  grandmother, p a t e r n a l g r a n d f a t h e r  t e r were a l l noted shamans.  As a c h i l d her m a t e r n a l  and e l d e r  t o c u r e , how  t o f i n d and  taught  c e s s f u l c o n f r o n t a t i o n w i t h the s p i r i t r e q u i r e d c o n s i d e r a b l e  shamanistic how  techniques  her  take out the d i s e a s e o b j e c t s , as w e l l as  what t o do when she encountered s h a m a n i s t i c power" (1951:189).  m e n t a l , and e m o t i o n a l  sis-  grandmother per-  suaded her t o take p a r t i n r i t u a l b a t h i n g e x p e d i t i o n s and "how  The  preparation.  Suc-  ritual,  W h i l e most.people might l e a r n  from c u r i n g ceremonies, the p r e c i s e d e t a i l s of  t o a c q u i r e p a r t i c u l a r s p i r i t s and m a n i p u l a t e them remained f a m i l y  secrets.  Because the Nootka c o n s i s t e n t l y p l a c e d such s t r e s s on  the  c o m p u l s i v e power of words and a c t i o n s i n c o n t r o l l i n g s p i r i t s , i t i s l i k e l y t h a t o n l y those w i t h e s o t e r i c knowledge would f e e l c o n f i d e n t t o seek or c l a i m a v i s i o n a r y e n c o u n t e r . i n s t r u c t i o n by another shaman was terms, i t was 1.  not n e c e s s a r y  sufficiently  Thus a l t h o u g h  for i n i t i a t i o n  formal  i n Nootka  l i k e l y t o have been the most u s u a l p r o c e d u r e .  S a p i r r e p o r t s another k i n d of s h a m a n i s t i c i n i t i a t i o n found among the South and C e n t r a l Nootkan t r i b e s (1939:107; 1921:355). See page 49.  47  Once e s t a b l i s h e d , shamans c o n t i n u e d t o seek s p i r i t  encounters  and i n c r e a s e t h e i r power,since d i f f e r e n t s p i r i t s gave power t o h e a l d i f f e r e n t k i n d s of d i s e a s e s . several helpers.  Over a l i f e t i m e most shamans a c q u i r e d  The most p o w e r f u l and famous shamans were those who  c o u l d c u r e the most i n t r a c t a b l e d i s e a s e s . I n terms of r i g h t s and p r i v i l e g e s , shamans were n o t much d i f f e r e n t i a t e d from o t h e r s .  U n l i k e the H a i d a , T l i n g i t and T s i m s h i a n sha-  mans, Nootka shamans were n o t d i s t i n g u i s h e d from o t h e r s i n everyday l i f e by d r e s s , h a i r s t y l e . o r any o t h e r i t e m of appearance,  and they  were n o t d i f f e r e n t i a t e d from o t h e r s a t d e a t h .  The b u r i a l of a shaman  was t h e same as t h a t of any o t h e r i n d i v i d u a l .  D e s p i t e the p o p u l a r  c o n c e p t i o n of shamans as b e i n g w e a l t h y and s u c c e s s f u l , as Drucker p o i n t s o u t , i n p r a c t i s e no shaman, as shaman, c o u l d ever hope t o r i v a l a c h i e f by g i v i n g a pot l a t c h (1951:182-3).  Drucker c o n c l u d e s t h a t the r e s p e c t  and p r e s t i g e o f f e r e d them was t h e major motive f o r becoming a shaman: D i s c u s s i o n of shamanism w i t h i n f o r m a n t s l e a v e s ore.with a sharp i m p r e s s i o n . o f the r e s p e c t t h e people had f o r shamans, and t h e i n t e r e s t i n the c u r i n g performances... .And a shaman was n e a r l y always t r e a t e d , i t would seem, w i t h t h e d e f e r e n c e due t o one who has another w o r l d peopled by p o t e n t fearsome beings at h i s very f i n g e r t i p s . . . p e r h a p s , o c c a s i o n a l l y c o l ored by the f e a r t h a t t h e shaman s. powers might n o t be f o r good o n l y (1951:183). 1  I t i s p o s s i b l e t h a t t h i s p o p u l a r c o n c e p t i o n of shamans as s u c c e s s f u l was l i n k e d t o t h e degree of p r e s t i g e g r a n t e d them. U n l i k e t h e T s i m s h i a n shamans, f o r example, who performed public  s e r v i c e s by o f f i c i a t i n g a t ceremonies, f o r e s e e i n g the f u t u r e , f o i -  48  l o w i n g the movements of game and  so f o r t h , i n a d d i t i o n t o t h e i r c u r i n g ,  N o o t k a shamans seem o n l y t o have been c u r e r s . were r e c o g n i z e d .  S e v e r a l causes of d i s e a s e  I t c o u l d be caused by the i n t r u s i o n of v a r i o u s  dif-  f e r e n t k i n d s of d i s e a s e o b j e c t s , " s e n t " by human or s u p e r n a t u r a l a g g r e s s o r s or by e v i l shamans; by p o s s e s s i o n by a s p i r i t , u s u a l l y f a t a l ; by s o u l l o s s . shaman was  When a p e r s o n f e l l i l l  called in.  s t a t u s of the f a m i l y .  and  other means had  failed,  or a  The p a r t i c u l a r shaman depended on the w e a l t h  I f the i n d i v i d u a l belonged t o a w e a l t h y f a m i l y ,  some famous shaman might-be c a l l e d i n from a neighbouring v i l l a g e . w i s e the c l o s e s t kinsman or the n e a r e s t cure was at night.  shaman a v a i l a b l e was  p u b l i c , everyone i n the community a t t e n d i n g , and The  c l o s e k i n , who  and  called.  The  usually held  shaman assembled h i s a s s i s t a n t s , u s u a l l y male and h e l p e d him by. drumming and  Other-  female  s i n g i n g h i s s p i r i t songs.  The  shaman began by c a l l i n g upon h i s . s p i r i t h e l p e r s t o d i v i n e the cause. As he s a n g . h i s  spirit  songs:  H i s power i n c r e a s e d and he came i n c l o s e r c o n t a c t w i t h the s p i r i t w o r l d . The space about him came t o be peopledzwi'th s p i r i t s , who sang w i t h him and t o l d him what t o do....Along . w i t h the power to see h i s s u p e r n a t u r a l h e l p e r s , the shaman c o u l d see o t h e r t h i n g s i n v i s i b l e t o common eyes as h i s power became s t r o n g e r . Some would f e e l and.press the p a t i e n t ' s body w i t h t h e i r hands as they sang, t o l o c a t e the p l a c e i n w h i c h the s i c k n e s s was c o n c e n t r a t e d , but the .more p o w e r f u l ' d o c t o r s ' . . . c o u l d 'see' i n t o the body of the s i c k p e r s o n . . . . I n t h i s way he was a b l e t o d i a g n o s e the p a r t i c u l a r d i s e a s e f r o m w h i c h t h e , p a t i e n t s u f f e r e d (1951:205). rj!  A t no time were shamanspossessed by t h e i r s p i r i t s . c l o s e and d i r e c t e d them, but remained s u b o r d i n a t e  The  spirits  came  t o the shaman's w i l l .  49  Once the s p i r i t s had drawn c l o s e and  the shaman had been a b l e t o make a  d i a g n o s i s of the p a t i e n t ' s c o n d i t i o n s he stopped and w a i t e d f o r the o f fer  of payment t o be made.  The  s p i r i t , r a t h e r than the shaman was  posed t o d e c i d e , on the a p p r o p r i a t e payment.  The  sup-  u s u a l payment r a n from  4 t o 10 d o l l a r s , sometimes more i f the p a t i e n t was. of h i g h rank.  Once  the s p i r i t , or s p i r i t s , were s a t i s f i e d w i t h the o f f e r , i f i t was  within  his  power the shaman proceeded w i t h the c u r e .  I f the cause was  an i n -  t r u s i v e o b j e c t the shaman would t r y s u c k i n g or removing i t w i t h motions.? of the hands.  I f the cause was  s o u l l o s s the shaman went a f t e r i t , v > i n t o  the sea i f the salmon were b e l i e v e d r e s p o n s i b l e . no more than a few cures a y e a r .  The  Most shamans performed  r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of shamans seems  t o have been l a r g e l y l i m i t e d t o d i a g n o s i n g and c u r i n g d i s e a s e . sease was  If di-  a t t r i b u t e d t o s o r c e r y or o b j e c t i n t r u s i o n the i n d i v i d u a l r e s -  p o n s i b l e was  u s u a l l y "whoever had r e c e n t l y q u a r r e l e d w i t h t h e . v i c t i m  or the v i c t i m ' s p a r e n t s  ( i n the case of a c h i l d ) or who  otherwise  had  most r e a s o n t o d e s i r e the person's d e a t h " (1951:215). S a p i r and Swadesh ( S a p i r and Swadesh, 1939:107; S a p i r , 355)  1921:  r e p o r t e d another k i n d of c u r i n g ceremony, "the T s a y i k , a d o c t o r i n g  r i t u a l " , a t which c e r t a i n i n d i v i d u a l s c o u l d a l s o become i n i t i a t e d shamans.  The  as  i n f o r m a t i o n i s not c l e a r but i t would appear t h a t sometimes,  i n the case of p e r s i s t e n t s i c k n e s s , i t was  decided  to hold  the'Tsayik  ceremony and i n v i t a t i o n s were sent out t o T s a y i k members ( t h o s e , I who  had been i n i t i a t e d a t such a ceremony).  c u r i n g , those who  S e v e r a l days b e f o r e  infer,  the  were t o be i n i t i a t e d were s e i z e d and f o r 10 days, dur-  50  ing  which time members sang t h e i r songs and performed a c u r i n g  the  n o v i c e s underwent i n i t i a t i o n .  ritual,  D r u c k e r mentions the ceremony but  r e p o r t s t h a t " t h e N o r t h e r n t r i b e s knew.of i t but say t h e y never had it"  (1951:216).  He was a b l e t o c o l l e c t o n l y fragmentary d a t a .  Among  the  N o r t h e r n Nootka a t any r a t e , i t does not seem t o have been a v e r y  pronounced means.of c u r i n g or a c q u i r i n g s h a m a n i s t i c powers. A b r i e f mention s h o u l d perhaps be made of c e r e m o n i a l i s m genera l l y i n Nootka s o c i e t y .  As among o t h e r Northwest Coast groups, c e r e -  m o n i a l p r i v i l e g e s were h i g h l y esteemed among.the Nootka.  They were  u s u a l l y h e r e d i t a r y , supposed t o have been d e r i v e d i n the p a s t from some supernatural source.  Two main t y p e s . o f c e r e m o n i a l p r i v i l e g e were  those a b l e t o be performed a t p o t l a t c h e s and those a s s o c i a t e d w i t h what D r u c k e r c a l l s the "Shamans' Dance", and what o t h e r s have c a l l e d the'Wolf r i t u a l " ( S a p i r , 1921:363).  He p r e f e r s t o c a l l i t Shamans' Dance a f t e r  i t s n a t i v e name and because, "as the n a t i v e name s u g g e s t s , numerous f e a t u r e s of the c e r e m o n i a l r e f e r t o the l o c a l s h a m a n i s t i c p a t t e r n " (1951: .386).  The Shamans' Dance or Wolf r i t u a l was somewhat analogous t o the  S e c r e t S o c i e t y dances of the K w a k i u t l e x c e p t t h a t i t was more c l o s e l y associated with lineages. Each c h i e f , as r e p r e s e n t a t i v e of h i s l i n e a g e , i n h e r i t e d spec i a l songs, dances, d i s p l a y r i g h t s , and o t h e r performances t o be used i n the r i t u a l , and sometimes these r i g h t s o v e r l a p p e d , t h a t i s , two or more c h i e f s would each own a d i f f e r e n t p r o cedure f o r a c c o m p l i s h i n g the same r e s u l t . . . . B r i e f l y , the c e r e m o n i a l can be c h a r a c t e r i z e d as a d r a m a t i c performance i n which the e n t i r e l o c a l populace p a r t i c i p a t e d (Drucker,1951:387).  51  Shamans,,as such, were no more c l o s e l y i n v o l v e d than anyone e l s e .  They ^ p a r t i c i p a t e d  w i t h these c e r e m o n i a l s  a t such c e r e m o n i a l s on the same  terms as anyone e l s e of the same rank and, l i k e everyone e l s e , might or might n o t a c q u i r e s p e c i f i c p r i v i l e g e s a c c o r d i n g t o i n h e r i t a n c e or  the favour of c h i e f s . Nootka s o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n  kinship  and rank.  rested  on the twin p r i n c i p l e s of  I d e a l l y , , rank was a system of r e l a t i v e l y f i x e d pos-  i t i o n s w i t h a t t e n d a n t r i g h t s , p r i v i l e g e s and d u t i e s , viduals spring  were r e c r u i t e d of the e l d e s t  positions,  on the b a s i s  i n t o which  of p r i m o g e n i t u r e .  The e l d e s t  successively  more d i s t a n t o f f s p r i n g from the d i r e c t l i n e of l e s s e r rank p o s i t i o n s .  For  example, the foremost c h i e f of the Moachat owned, among other  and  off-  o f f s p r i n g were e n t i t l e d t o the foremost rank  d e s c e n t b e i n g e n t i t l e d to s u c c e s s i v e l y  "the  indi-  things,  water a l o n g the outer c o a s t . . . t h e southeast t i p of Nootka I s l a n d a d j a c e n t waters, and i n l a n d  t o the watershed of N u c h a t l i t z  (Drucker, 1951:248), w h i l e the c h i e f s of more j u n i o r Moachat owned l e s s e x t e n s i v e s t r e t c h e s  of t e r r i t o r y , and s t i l l  lineages  l e s s e r people  owned v a r i o u s minor r i g h t s .such as the r i g h t t o p l a c e a t r a p t a i n r i v e r or the r i g h t t o l i v e ing said t h i s ,  inlet"  on a c e r -  i n one c o r n e r of the c h i e f ' s house.  Hav-  i t i s n e c e s s a r y t o modify the statement somewhat. A l -  though i t i s p o s s i b l e  t o r e g a r d rank as a system of p o s i t i o n s  dent of the i n d i v i d u a l s who held  indepen-  them, a t l e a s t i n h i s t o r i c times when  d e p o p u l a t i o n reduced the number of people a v a i l a b l e  to f i l l  them, p a r -  t i c u l a r p o s i t i o n s , w i t h t h e i r bundles of r i g h t s and p r i v i l e g e s ,  could  52  be m o d i f i e d .  The  incumbent of a p a r t i c u l a r p o s i t i o n might f a l l  t o added p r e r o g a t i v e s  or he might be superceeded by o t h e r s who  ted s e v e r a l s e t s of p r i v i l e g e s .  Thus 'Tom', a r e s p e c t a b l e  means a r i s t o c r a t i c N o o t k a I n d i a n d e s c r i b e d 367),  was  able to create  l a t c h i n g and  displaying.a  was  and  reciprocal obligations  the  the b a s i c s o c i a l u n i t s of  1  The  t a r y t i t l e t o t e r r i t o r i a l r i g h t s and  t i o n s t o the c h i e f or h i s k i n . p l e x of r e c i p r o c a l r i g h t s and By-virtue  respect,  and  society  principal social,  l i n e a g e ' - l o c a l group, comprised  of a c o r e of kinsmen r e l a t e d to the c h i e f ("ha'wil") who  number of t r a n s i e n t f o l l o w e r s who  with  s i d e , a l t h o u g h they  of i n t e r a c t i o n .  p o l i t i c a l u n i t was  claims.  pot-  connections.  rank s t r u c t u r e d  s t r o n g l y determined patterns  economic and  by  351-  reckoned b i l a t e r a l l y , w i t h a . p a t r i l i n e a l b i a s .  have tended t o s t r e s s p a t e r n a l and  (1921:232-41,  in.total.  r e l a t i v e s on b o t h the mother's and. the f a t h e r ' s  Kinship  no  s e r i e s of p r i v i l e g e s w h i c h , i n p r e h i s t o r i c  I n d i v i d u a l s m a i n t a i n e d k i n s h i p l i n k s and  may  inheri-  but by  a--position of h i g h r a n k f o r h i m s e l f  t i m e s , he might not have i n h e r i t e d Kinship  by S a p i r  heir  owned h e r e d i -  other p r i v i l e g e s , plus a v a r i a b l e  c l a i m e d more d i s t a n t k i n s h i p  T h i s group was  h e l d t o g e t h e r by a com-  o b l i g a t i o n s based on r a n k and  of h i s r a n k , the c h i e f was  connec-  kinship  e n t i t l e d to the  "help",  l o y a l t y of h i s f o l l o w e r s ; by v i r t u e of k i n c o n n e c t i o n s they  i n t u r n were e n t i t l e d to p r o t e c t i o n and a u t h o r i t y , of r a n k was  s e c u r i t y from the c h i e f .  based on the c o n t r o l of r e s o u r c e s :  The  53  The r e a l fountainhead of c h i e f l y power i s clear. Whatever authority a chief had derived i n f i n a l analysis from the various rights he had inherited. The head chiefs, the 'real chiefs', were those who held the most, the lower chiefs, those who owned less, and commoners were-: simply people who possessed none at a l l (Drucker, 1951:247). " A l l the t e r r i t o r y , except for remote inland areas, was regarded as the property of certain c h i e f s " (Drucker, 1951:248).  Rights to names,  ceremonial prerogatives, houses etc., a l l belonged to various chiefs. Chiefs thus controlled the d i s t r i b u t i o n of a l l major resources.  Any-  one of a chief's group might u t i l i z e his various economic resources under the condit ion that they expressed public acknowledgement of the chief's r i g h t of ownership by giving tribute, or, as the Nootka expressed i t , giving "help". most l i m i t l e s s .  The authority of chiefs at f i r s t seems a l -  They directed group a c t i v i t i e s , had the f i n a l voice i n  matters of group p o l i c y , and held potlatches and controlled the display of ceremonial preorgatives. However, a c r i t i c a l check to c h i e f l y power was provided by kinship ties and residence patterns,. Individuals maintained their kinship connections over a very broad range of t e r r i t o r y and, by c a l l i n g upon their kinship t i e s , d i r e c t or remote, to various chiefs, they could be sure of acceptance into at l e a s t several d i f f e r ent groups.  Residence patterns were f l e x i b l e .  Although men might tend  to prefer p a t r i l o c a l residence, a couple could decide to l i v e with either the wife's or the husband's r e l a t i v e s , close or distant, either on the mother's or the father's side.  There was,  therefore,• for most  p r a c t i c a l purposes, no r e s t r i c t i o n on residence and, wherever they might  54  d e c i d e t o go, by c a l l i n g on k i n s h i p t i e s a f a m i l y c o u l d be a s s u r e d o f some economic and s o c i a l s e c u r i t y . the  I n d i v i d u a l s tended t o remain w i t h  household o f a j p a r t i c u l a r c h i e f i f they had some p r i v i l e g e t o keep  them t h e r e , f o r example i f they e x p e c t e d t o i n h e r i t a p o s i t i o n or i f they had been g i v e n some p a r t i c u l a r r i g h t by t h e c h i e f , b u t o t h e r w i s e , many c o u l d , and d i d , change h o u s e h o l d s . From a c h i e f ' s p o i n t of v i e w , t h i s m i g r a t o r y r e s i d e n c e h a b i t was f a r from advantageous. A l l h i s i n h e r i t e d r i g h t s would b e o f l i t t l e use t o him i f he c o u l d n o t muster enough manpower t o e x p l o i t them...so he was i n e v e r y way dependent on h i s t e n a n t s . E v e r y c h i e f r e c o g n i z e d t h i s ; i t was t a u g h t him from c h i l d h o o d . H i s problem was, t h e r e f o r e , t o a t t r a c t l o w e r - r a n k - p e o p l e t o h i s house, and t o b i n d them t o h i m as much as p o s s i b l e ( D r u c k e r , 1951:279-80). :  One way he c o u l d hope t o encourage p e o p l e t o remain was by a p p e a r i n g to c o n t r o l r i t u a l t e c h n i q u e s w h i c h ensured adequate s u b s i s t e n c e and w e a l t h f o r t h e generous d i s t r i b u t i o n of p r o p e r t y a t p o t l a t c h e s .  Ritual  was deemed t o be a v i t a l l y , e f f e c t i v e means o f e n s u r i n g economic and s o c i a l ends.  S a p i r ' s i n f o r m a n t , '.Tom', b e l i e v e d t h a t i t was h i s main-  tenance o f taboos and r i t u a l and l o n g l i f e  (1921:351).  t e c h n i q u e s w h i c h had ensured h i s success  Compulsive r i t u a l  more e f f e c t i v e t h a n s p i r i t c o n t a c t .  As S a p i r  t e c h n i q u e s he deemed even explains:  Such e x t r a o r d i n a r y o c c u r r e n c e s as t h e s e a r e c l e a r l y i n t h e n a t u r e of a c c i d e n t s ; they cannot be r e l i e d upon f o r t h e necess a r y a i d i n t h e s u c c e s s f u l p r o s e c u t i o n of l i f e ' s , work. The s t a n d a r d and on t h e whole t h e most u s e f u l means, o f s e c u r i n g t h i s n e c e s s a r y a i d i s by t h e performance o f s e c r e t r i t u a l s (1921:353). By ~jperforming  l e n g t h y and e l a b o r a t e r i t u a l s a t s h r i n e s c h i e f s a t once  s i g n i f i e d t h e i r ownership r i g h t s t o t e r r i t o r y and gave e v i d e n c e of t h e i r i n t e n t i o n t o secure a l l the success p o s s i b l e .  55  The these aspects  p a t t e r n of shamanism, i t seems t o me, of s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e and  was  consistent with  religious beliefs.  In particu-  l a r the p o s i t i o n of shaman.in s o c i o - r e l i g i o u s terms.was, I t h i n k , i n l a r g e p a r t determined by the p o s i t i o n , of l i n e a g e heads, who mense c o n t r o l of r e s o u r c e s r u l e s had and  b u t , who,  because.of f l e x i b l e  had  im-  residence  t o enhance t h e i r a u t h o r i t y w i t h c l a i m s t o r i t u a l knowledge  supernatural prerogatives.  Drucker e x p l a i n s :  A l m o s t a l l of the shamans whose l i v e s and m i r a c l e s were r e counted tOi-.-,;me were of low r a n k ; commoners,, or the younger sons of c h i e f s . . . . T h i s does not mean t h a t c h i e f s d i d n o t s e a r c h f o r s p i r i t . p o w e r or t h a t they never had s u p e r n a t u r a l e x p e r i e n c e l i k e t h e i r l e s s e r k i n . What happened was t h a t a c h i e f who encountered a s p i r i t i n the woods r e c e i v e d songs and dances f o r a d i s p l a y p r i v i l e g e , . o r a r i t u a l f o r i n c r e a s i n g the salmon r u n , or a m e d i c i n e f o r h u n t i n g whales. Power t o cure the s i c k f e l l t o those persons of l e s s importance who had time f o r i t (1951:181). S i n c e shamans commonly performed o n l y a few cures a y e a r , the  exer-  c i s e of t h e i r powers d i d not make g r e a t i n r o a d s i n t h e i r time.  I  suspect  t h a t more p e r t i n e n t was  the f a c t t h a t c u r i n g was  an  w h i c h d i d not l e n d i t s e l f t o o s t e n t a t i o u s p u b l i c d i s p l a y s .  ability Since  sick-  ness i s a c o n d i t i o n w h i c h does not w a i t f o r a c c u m u l a t i o n of w e a l t h l e n g t h y preparations, a c u r i n g ceremony, even i f p u b l i c and never had  and  dramatic,  the same p o t e n t i a l f o r i m p r e s s i v e p u b l i c d i s p l a y as a c e r e -  monial prerogative given at a p o t l a t c h .  S e c o n d l y , c u r i n g was  a ser-  v i c e performed on b e h a l f of a p r i v a t e • i n d i v i d u a l ; i t r o u s e d . p r i v a t e i n d e b t e d n e s s r a t h e r than community i n d e b t e d n e s s .  Or a t l e a s t , i f i t  roused more the widespread g r a t i t u d e . . o f f a m i l y , l i n e a g e or v i l l a g e , i t did  sotindirectly.  A s i g n i f i c a n t p o i n t t o note i s t h a t among the Nootka  56  s h a m a n i s t i c powers were d e f i n e d as the power t o cure ( o r powers s t r i c t l y r e l a t e d t o c u r i n g or c a u s i n g s i c k n e s s ) . U n l i k e the B e l l a Gobla  or  T s i m s h i a n , f o r example, powers t o g i v e a m i r a c u l o u s , d i s p l a y , were not considered shamanistic.  I n o t h e r words, by the Nootka d e f i n i t i o n of  shamans, the a r e a f o r d r a m a t i c e x p r e s s i o n by shamans was  restricted  to o c c a s i o n s which d i d not a l l o w i m p r e s s i v e f o r m a l p u b l i c d i s p l a y s and so shamans and c h i e f s d i d not compete f o r p u b l i c a t t e n t i o n .  A g a i n , as •  c u r e r s , shamans d i d not t h r e a t e n t o compete w i t h c h i e f s i n s e c u r i n g f o r mal community  indebtedness.  I t i s perhaps u s e f u l t o attempt a b r i e f comparison of some a s p e c t s - o f N o o t k a and T s i m s h i a n  shamanism s i n c e Nootka and  s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e show some obvious ferences.  Tsimshian  s u p e r f i c i a l p a r a l l e l s and some d i f -  Among.both, the l i n e a g e - l o c a l group was  u n i t under the d i r e c t i o n of a l i n e a g e head who  a cohesive  corporate  s t r i c t l y controlled  a l l o c a t i o n of economic and c e r e m o n i a l r e s o u r c e s .  the  Rank d i f f e r e n c e s ,  p a r t i c u l a r l y between l i n e a g e heads and o t h e r s , were s t r o n g l y marked. In  both cases,- l i n e a g e heads were f r e q u e n t l y masters of s u p e r n a t u r a l con-  t r o l ; the T s i m s h i a n c h i e f s c o n t r o l l e d s p i r i t s , ual  techniques.  the N o o t k a c o n t r o l l e d  rit-  Some obvious d i f f e r e n c e s i n c l u d e the d i f f e r e n c e s i n  r e s i d e n c e p a t t e r n s and c r i t e r i a  f o r group membership and d i f f e r e n c e s  i n r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f s and p r a c t i s e s .  Among the T s i m s h i a n ,  residence  p a t t e r n s and group membership depended:oi m a t r i l i n e a l a f f i l i a t i o n . d i v i d u a l s were members of t h e i r m a t r i l i n e a l group and r e s i d e n c e primarily avunculocal:  Inwas  a c o u p l e moved t o the house of the husband's  57  maternal uncle.  Membership i n the matrilineage e n t i t l e d an individual  to the use of lineage t e r r i t o r i a l resources but conversely, rights to resource use were r e s t r i c t e d outside the matrilineage.  In short, b i -  l a t e r a l kinship among the Nootka allowed.much greater i n d i v i d u a l mobili t y and more variable group membership.  Correspondingly, chiefs per-  haps had a less stable following and less stable control of human resources.  Differences i n r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f s and practise include the  much greater  stress among the Nootka, on the use of compulsive magic,  p a r t i c u l a r l y for the supernatural control of subsistence production and wealth, and among.the Tsimshian, the greater emphasis on personal guardian s p i r i t power, p a r t i c u l a r l y on the supernatural protection of l i n eage members, by the s p i r i t s associated with chiefs. s t r i k i n g differences  One of the most  i n shamanism was the r e s t r i c t e d sphere of influence  of Nootka shamans, compared with Tsimshian shamans who o f f i c i a t e d  at  the F i r s t Salmon Ceremony, could determine the movements of animals and f i s h , control the weather, and so f o r t h .  I would suggest that this strik-  ing, difference i n this sphere of influence of shamans is related to respective differences  i n the p o s i t i o n s . o f chiefs.  .In both groups main-  tenance* of rank and prestige by chiefs. depended.a great deal on their a b i l i t y to validate their claims by the d i s t r i b u t i o n of wealth at potlatches.  The accumulation of wealth, therefore, was a matter of great  concern for chiefs and factors which could enhance the a b i l i t y to accumulate wealth or which could reduce the uncertainties attached to wealth accumulation were of strategic i n t e r e s t .  Two important  factors  58  i n t h e a c c u m u l a t i o n of w e a l t h were the-management of n a t u r a l r e s o u r c e s and the c o n t r o l of manpower, the second of these perhaps b e i n g most c r i t i c a l s i n c e , w i t h o u t : t h e c o o p e r a t i o n of f o l l o w e r s few men c o u l d ever hope t o accumulate  s u f f i c i e n t w e a l t h by themselves.  c h i e f s were a s s u r e d of a s t a b l e l a b o u r p o o l .  Tsimshian  Nootka c h i e f s were n o t .  They c o u l d attempt t o a t t r a c t a s t a b l e l a b o u r p o o l i n d i r e c t l y by app e a r i n g t o c o n t r o l s u p e r n a t u r a l t e c h n i q u e s which would ensure and w e a l t h w i t h i t s r e f l e c t e d g l o r y f o r everyone.  success  I n both examples  the a u t h o r i t y of shamans was r e s t r i c t e d t o areas of concern which d i d n o t t h r e a t e n t h e b a s i s of c h i e f l y a u t h o r i t y .  This i s probably true  even i n terms of t h e w e a l t h shamans were p o p u l a r l y supposed t o acquire.  Drucker suggests t h a t i n f a c t , because c u r e s were i n f r e q u e n t  and because .payment was n o t s u b s t a n t i a l , shamans, as such, c o u l d n o t have accumulated much w e a l t h .  Even s u p p o s i n g t h a t they d i d , u n l e s s  they c o u l d a c q u i r e rank p r e r o g a t i v e s by i n h e r i t a n c e , they c o u l d not hope t o i n c r e a s e t h e i r r a n k p o s i t i o n  substantially.  59  CHAPTER IV SOUTHERN KWAKIUTL,SHAMANISM  Data f o r t h i s p r e s e n t a t i o n was  d e r i v e d p r i m a r i l y from Boas'  The R e l i g i o n of the K w a k i u t l I n d i a n s (1930), and K w a k i u t l Ethnography (1966), e d i t e d by H. Codere, because they were the most d e t a i l e d sources I c o u l d f i n d , w i t h a w e a l t h of case examples. 1965), S p r a d l e y  (1963), and C.S.  Ford  more g e n e r a l i n f o r m a t i o n they g i v e . somewhat confused  and d i f f i c u l t .  D r u c k e r (1955,  (1968) were c o n s u l t e d f o r the I have found the Boas m a t e r i a l  P a r t l y t h i s i s due,  I t h i n k , t o the  f a c t t h a t Boas r e l i e d f o r so much of h i s i n f o r m a t i o n on George Hunt. Hunt was  a f f e c t e d by the changes g o i n g on w i t h i n K w a k i u t l s o c i e t y a t  the time,.by h i s own  p o s i t i o n i n K w a k i u t l s o c i e t y , and by h i s s p e c i a l  p e r s o n a l and p r o f e s s i o n a l r e l a t i o n s h i p , w i t h Boas.  W i t h the s c e p t i c i s m  of w h i t e s , the p r o s e l i t i z i n g of m i s s i o n a r i e s , the d e v a s t a t i n g a t t a c k s of d i s e a s e s such as smallpox?,, changes l i k e l y t o have o c c u r r e d a t t i t u d e s toward shamans.  s y p h i l i s and  t u b e r c u l o s i s , one  i n K w a k i u t l s o c i e t y was  of. the  a change i n  I n a d d i t i o n , the unprecedented o p p o r t u n i t i e s  f o r t r a v e l , p l u s the combining of fragments of d i f f e r e n t groups, a l l o w e d the chance t o d i s c o v e r t h a t shamans i n other a r e a s , c l a i m i n g the same powers and  s p i r i t u a l a u t h o r i t y used d i f f e r e n t t e c h n i q u e s  t i a l l y the same ends:  f o r essen-  p u t a t i v e cause and e f f e c t r e l a t i o n s h i p s c o u l d  t h e r e f o r e be s e r i o u s l y q u e s t i o n e d :  George Hunt, more than most,  s u b j e c t e d t o these f o r c e s f o r change.  He was  i n repeated  was  contact with  60  w h i t e s , p a r t i c u l a r l y w i t h those of an o b j e c t i v e s c h o l a s t i c t r a d i t i o n , and he t r a v e l l e d e x t e n s i v e l y , b o t h among the K w a k i u t l and p a r t s of the c o n t i n e n t .  I n the course  t o other  of h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h Boas,  he spent many hours i n p e r s o n a l c o n t a c t and many y e a r s i n e x a c t i n g c o r respondence, c o l l e c t i n g i n f o r m a t i o n and answering and c o n f i r m i n g a s e r i e s of s e a r c h i n g q u e s t i o n s .  I t must s u r e l y have a f f e c t e d h i s a t -  t i t u d e s and v a l u e s q u i t e p r o f o u n d l y . did  That these a t t i t u d e s and  change i s i n d i c a t e d by Boas h i m s e l f , who  values  wrote:  S t i l l another d i f f i c u l t y i n o b t a i n i n g . t r u t h f u l statements i s based on the r e l a t i o n s h i p . b e t w e e n I n d i a n and w h i t e . The I n d i a n l i k e s t o appear r a t i o n a l and knows t h a t s h a m a n i s t i c p r a c t i s e s are d i s b e l i e v e d by w h i t e s . So he i s l i a b l e t o assume a c r i t i c a l a t t i t u d e , the more so the c l o s e r h i s cont a c t s w i t h the w h i t e s . . . . T h i s accounts f o r the c r i t i c a l a t t i t u d e e x h i b i t e d i n my p r i n c i p a l i n f o r m a n t ' s a c c o u n t , " I d e s i r e d t o l e a r n the ways of the shaman" (Boas 1930:1), i n which he takes the p o s i t i o n t h a t h i s o n l y o b j e c t was t o d i s c o v e r the f r a u d s perpet r a t e d by the shamans. A t o t h e r t i m e s , when i n a more communicative mood, h i s b e l i e f i n h i s own e x p e r i e n c e s stands out v e r y c l e a r l y (1966:121). F o r these reasons I t h i n k t h a t Hunt's a t t i t u d e s towards shamans were uncommonly c r i t i c a l and suspect  t h a t w h i t e c o n t a c t may  unrepresentative.  have a f f e c t e d Hunt's d e f i n i t i o n of  f r a u d ; t h a t h i s d e f i n i t i o n of f r a u d was al Kwakiutl.  I n the 1925  shaman" (approx.  For example, I  opposed t o t h a t of  tradition-  a c c o u n t , " I d e s i r e d t o l e a r n the ways of  30 y e a r s a f t e r h i s i n i t i a l encounter w i t h B o a s ) ,  the we  are t o l d t h a t Hunt, as a shaman, t o t a l l y d i s c r e d i t e d another shaman. But i f we examine the t e x t we  f i n d t h i s i s so not because the people  61  d i s c o v e r t h a t the seemingly m i r a c u l o u s  power of the shaman's cedar  b a r k r i n g t o h a n g : v e r t i c a l l y from a p o s t i s due t o a w e l l - h i d d e n n a i l ( t h i s was o n l y r e v e a l e d t o Hunt s e c r e t l y ) but because Hunt demons t r a t e s h i s mastery of s i c k n e s s much more d r a m a t i c a l l y by a p p e a r i n g  to  a c t u a l l y e x t r a c t , b e f o r e everyone, a bloody, w r i g g l i n g "worm" and c u r ing  the p a t i e n t whom the other had f a i l e d t o c u r e .  I t seems t o me t h a t  Hunt d e f i n e d the shaman a f r a u d because h i s ' m i r a c u l o u s '  performances  were staged whereas the community d e f i n e d him a f r a u d because h i s c l a i m s of mastery had been p u b l i c l y exposed as i n f e r i o r t o Hunt's. K w a k i u t l i d e a s about the n a t u r e of the u n i v e r s e , . o f man and the other c r e a t u e s  i n h a b i t i n g i t , and of t h e i r r e l a t i o n s t o each o t h e r ,  were b r o a d l y s i m i l a r i n e s s e n t i a l s t o those of o t h e r Northwest c o a s t groups w i t h the d i f f e r e n c e t h a t a s p e c i a l e l a b o r a t i o n of the concept of s u p e r n a t u r a l power p r o v i d e d completely elsewhere.  the b a s i s f o r a dichotomy which almost  s t r u c t u r e d r e l i g i o u s l i f e and r i t i a f c t o an e x t e n t n o t found C r e a t u r e s , o b j e c t s , and seasons i n which s u p e r n a t u r a l f o r c e  predominated were c l e a r l y d i f f e r e n t i a t e d from those w i t h o u t power.  The  K w a k i u t l a s c r i p t i o n of power t o some e n t i t i e s and n o t t o o t h e r s i s not unique.  What i s d i f f e r e n t i s the e l a b o r a t i o n of d i v i s i o n s drawn  on the b a s i s of power. divisions.  A sacred  Religious l i f e  l a r g e l y c e n t r e d around  these  season was d i s t i n g u i s h e d from a s e c u l a r ; those  i n f u s e d w i t h s u p e r n a t u r a l power ( t h e i n i t i a t e s and p e r f o r m e r s i n w i n t e r dances and shamans) were d i s t i n g u i s h e d from the u n i n i t i a t e d and, i n the ,sacred season, conformed t o an e n t i r e l y d i f f e r e n t s t r u c t u r e of s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s ; sacred p r e r o g a t i v e s were d i s t i n g u i s h e d from s e c u l a r .  62  Although perhaps t h e o r e t i c a l l y almost any number of s p i r i t e n t i t i e s might a f f e c t man, i n practise only a limited number of s p i r i t patrons commonly entered into the guardian s p i r i t relationship.  The  vast majority of winter dancers received their powers and prerogatives :  from the two s p i r i t s , Warrior-rof-the-World and Cannibal-at-the-NorthEnd-of-the-World,  and from one or two others.  The s p i r i t s of shamans  were only s l i g h t l y more varied. Supernatural e n t i t i e s were primarily important to men for their bestowal of the power to perform particular winter dances and for their bestowal of shamanistic powers.  They were also important but  of much less concern insofar as they affected man's physical well-being his health, prosperity and technical mastery of the environment. As with other Northwest coast groups men could seek to manipulate the supernatural by p r o p i t i a t i o n and persuasion, by magical techniques deemed automatically e f f e c t i v e , and by visionary contact with the s p i r i t .  S p i r i t s could be f l a t t e r e d , cajoled or appealed to.  They were known to tolerate the r i t u a l l y pure but were l i k e l y to k i l l the impure.  They avoided menstrual blood and other impure substances  but could be approached after r i t u a l p u r i f i c a t i o n .  Boas (1930), re-  corded a r i c h c o l l e c t i o n of .prayers:*, prayers of supplication, of praise, and of thanks, prayers by hunters or fishermen to animals or f i s h , prayers to berries, to the elements, for success i n a p a r t i c u l a r endeavourfor  health, for protection, and so on.  P r o p i t i a t i o n or  63  p e r s u a s i o n , i n f a c t , seem t o have been the most u s u a l methods f o r a t t e m p t i n g t o ensure everyday o b j e c t i v e s by s u p e r n a t u r a l m a n i p u l a t i o n . The F i r s t Salmon Ceremony was performed  t o honor the salmon and ensure  t h a t they would c o n t i n u e t o come i n abundance.  Ritual  purification,  i n v o l v i n g i s o l a t i o n , p u r g i n g , f a s t i n g , b a t h i n g , avoidance o f contamin a t i n g substances and so f o r t h , was p r a c t i s e d t o make o n e s e l f p l e a s i n g t o the s u p e r n a t u r a l . I t was n e c e s s a r y b e f o r e any approach t o the supe r n a t u r a l c o u l d be attempted. Compulsive r i t u a l was a p p a r e n t l y l e s s i m p o r t a n t i n everyday l i f e than i t was among t h e Nootka and even the S a l i s h .  There were  a p p a r e n t l y no s p e c i a l i s t s s i m i l a r t o the S a l i s h r i t u a l i s t who c o u l d r e c i t e a f o r m u l a b e l i e v e d t o be a u t o m a t i c a l l y e f f e c t i v e f o r some spec i f ic.objective.  Herbs and c o m b i n a t i o n s of p l a n t substances were used  t o c u r e c e r t a i n a i l m e n t s b u t t h e r e does n o t seem t o have been t h e same e x t e n s i v e use of 'medicines' f o r e n s u r i n g a l l manner of everyday o b j e c t i v e s t h a t t h e r e was, f o r example, among the T l i n g i t and the H a i d a . A l t h o u g h m e d i c i n e s or c o m p u l s i v e r i t u a l may n o t have been used much t o ensure everyday o b j e c t i v e s , t h e i r a n t i - s o c i a l use was f e a r e d .  Sor-  c e r y , i n v o l v i n g t h e s p e c i a l t r e a t m e n t o f p e r s o n a l e f f e c t s o f the i n t e n ded v i c t i m , was a p p a r e n t l y o f t e n s u s p e c t e d .  Charlie Nowell, a Kwakiutl  I n d i a n who r e c o u n t e d h i s a u t o b i o g r a p h y i n 1940, remembered s e v e r a l i n c i d e n t s o f suspected s o r c e r y ( F o r d , 1 9 6 8 : 9 5 - 9 7 ,  9 8 ) , and b e l i e v e d him-  s e l f t o have been bewitched by a woman who wanted him t o marry her ( F o r d , 1968:145-147).  Ideas c o n c e r n i n g the compulsive.power  of words, a c t i o n s ,  64  or  o b j e c t s , to manipulate  the s u p e r n a t u r a l were c e r t a i n l y p r e s e n t among  the K w a k i u t l b u t they were n o t used e x t e n s i v e l y f o r the f u l f i l m e n t of everyday  objectives. In  terms of s p i r i t c o n t a c t t h e r e were two types o f ' d i r e c t '  a s s o c i a t i o n w i t h the s u p e r n a t u r a l ; s h a m a n i s t i c , and t h a t gained i n i t i a t i o n as a w i n t e r dancer.  through  I n r e l i g i o u s terms the s e v e r a l w i n t e r  dance s o c i e t i e s comprised  a l l those i n d i v i d u a l s who were i n s p i r e d by  a specific;.patron s p i r i t .  The Hamatsa d a n c e r s , f o r i n s t a n c e , were  supposed t o have been i n s p i r e d by t h e s p i r i t G a n n i b a l - a t - t h e - N o r t h End-of-the-World,  the w a r r i o r dancers by W a r r i o r - o f - t h e - W o r l d .  In  t h e o r y these p a t r o n s p i r i t s were supposed t o possess the e l i g i b l e initiates  and c a r r y them o f f u n t i l , by the e f f o r t s . o f  experienced  members o f the s o c i e t y , they were brought back and g r a d u a l l y r e t u r n e d to a normal s t a t e .  Boas w r i t e s :  S p i r i t u a l - b e i n g s c a p t u r e and i n i t i a t e men and women of the t r i b e and the o b j e c t of the c e r e m o n i a l i s t o r e c a p t u r e those t a k e n away and imbued w i t h the q u a l i t i e s of t h e i r c a p t o r s and t o r e s t o r e them t o a s e c u l a r c o n d i t i o n (1966:173). I n p r a c t i s e , the i n i t i a t e d i s a p p e a r e d from p u b l i c view f o r s e v e r a l days, u s u a l l y t o the secul'sion of some i n n e r room, where he or she was songs,  taught  (composed by an e x p e r i e n c e d song maker), and the r i g h t s and p r e -  r o g a t i v e s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the p a r t i c u l a r s o c i e t y he or she was t o j o i n . A t a.predetermined  time i n i t i a t e s  then appeared b e f o r e the p u b l i c , ap-  p a r e n t l y i n a s t a t e of s u p e r n a t u r a l l y i n s p i r e d f r e n z y , where they were g r a d u a l l y calmed by the songs, c r i e s and a c t i o n s . o f o t h e r d a n c e r s .  65  I n i t i a t i o n i n t o a s o c i e t y ( t h e r i g h t t o be s e i z e d by a p a r t i c u l a r s p i rit)  depended upon i n h e r i t a n c e or a c q u i s i t i o n of the r i g h t through mar-  r i a g e , or murder-or enslavement of the o r i g i n a l owner. supposed t o have d e v o l v e d from some m y t h i c a l a n c e s t o r Thus the i n i t i a t i o n p r o c e s s was i c a l e x p e r i e n c e -was The staged. sponsors.  The  right  was  (Boas, 1895:418).  a re-enactment of. what the i n i t i a l myth-  supposed t o have been.  w i n t e r dance i n i t i a t i o n s were e x t e n s i v e l y planned  Prospective  i n i t i a t e s were schooled  I t i s easy t o o v e r l o o k  ter  ceremonial i n favour  mic  implications.  w e l l i n advance by  and their  the r e l i g i o u s s i g n i f i c a n c e of the win-  of i t s d r a m a t i c ,  t h e a t r i c a l , s o c i a l and  However, the nearness of the s u p e r n a t u r a l  econo-  powers  was  a theme c o n s t a n t l y impressed on a l l members of the community d u r i n g the w i n t e r c e r e m o n i a l season and  i n i t i a t i o n was  found s i g n i f i c a n c e f o r w i n t e r dance i n i t i a t e s .  l i k e l y t o have had  pro-  I t i s quite possible  t h a t d u r i n g t h e i r s e v e r a l days of s e c l u s i o n , w i t h the h e i g h t e n e d f e a r s and  expectations  of t h e i r p u b l i c d i s p l a y t o come, i n i t i a t e s may  f e l t v i s i o n a r y or n e a r - v i s i o n a r y  experience.  Whether or not w i n t e r dance n o v i c e s perience  t h e i r i n i t a t i o n was  underwent v i s i o n a r y ex-  based on an h e r e d i t a r y a s s o c i a t i o n and  i t i n v o l v e d t h e i r r e s t o r a t i o n t o a normal s t a t e . tion,, was what was  have  not n e c e s s a r i l y h e r e d i t a r y and  Shamanistic  initia-  i t i n v o l v e d r e c o g n i t i o n of  i n some sense a permanent ( o r a t l e a s t i n d e f i n i t e ) b r e a c h from  the community.  W h i l e the w i n t e r dance n o v i c e was  calm by o t h e r s of the community, the shaman had  h e l p e d to a s t a t e of  t o come t o terms w i t h  66  the s p i r i t largely by h i s own personal e f f o r t .  That shamans and  winter dancers,were thought i n some sense s i m i l a r i s suggested by the fact that among the Southern Kwakiutl "the participants are c a l l e d shamans (paxala)" and among the B e l l a B e l l a "both the shamans and the winter ceremonial are c a l l e d 'tslequa'" (1966:172). ever, "a shaman.retained  How-  his shaman's name at a l l seasons of the year  where winter' dancers, retained theirs only for the ceremonial season. 1  In many respects;the d i s t i n c t i o n between shamans and others was vague.-They were associated with the power to cure but not a l l shamans could "cure..  Shamanistic i n i t i a t i o n was distinguished from  that of a winter ;dancer but upon what basis i s not clear.  It is  hot clear that one'might d i f f e r e n t i a t e shamans from others on the basis of .their esoteric knowledge of the supernatural; winter dancers were also supposed to have had direct visionary experience. S i m i l a r l y , not a l l shamans could clearly have been c a l l e d master of s p i r i t s , as the experience on one woman, who man,  defined herself a sha-  indicates: Now for four' nights the Magic-of-the-Ground of the Magicof-the—Earth came singing....Now I had become a shaman. I never saw him as the r e a l shamans say, when they say that they see the one who makes them shamans, and I do not cure the sick, f o r I was only helped by the Magicof-the-Ground of the Magic-of-the-Earth (Boas, 1930:53).  Since those who  could not cure were s t i l l associated with the a b i l i t y  to diagnose sickness or, at the minimum, to direct the operations which would allow some supernatural agent to cure the sickness, we  67  can only suggest that shamans were those who were recognized as having acquired the supernatural power to a i d the sick.  The c r i t i c a l  difference between the shaman and the winter dancer, i s that the f o r mer acquired power which could be directed i n the service of others. I have found i t d i f f i c u l t to come to a clear understanding of what shamanistic i n i t i a t i o n involved.  Although Boas himself  points out that there was an important difference between the i d e a l and the p r a c t i c a l aspects of i n i t i a t i o n , and indicates how Hunt's 1925 account, "I desired to learn the ways of the shaman", contradicts h i s 1897 and 1900 accounts, he himself makes no clear d i s t i n c t i o n between the i d e a l and the p r a c t i c a l i n the other examples he offers.  In 1897 and 1900 Hunt apparently described h i s experiences  as i f they had been e n t i r e l y visionary while i n h i s 1925 account he does not mention a visionary encounter at a l l and claims that he became a shaman at the i n v i t a t i o n of others.  I t seems clear that  most, i f not a l l , novice shamans were i n i t i a t e d with the encouragement, or active support, of other shamans i n the community; that they learned from other shamans a large body of dramatic techniques to impress patient and audience, that they r e l i e d on s p e c i a l informers for information concerning the health and well-being of members i n the community and that the shamansof an area cooperated and exchanged information among themselves.  In fact, I am struck by the s i m i l a r i t -  ies between the association of shamans within a community and the winter dance secret s o c i e t i e s .  Underlying the staged techniques of  68  both w i n t e r dance and s h a m a n i s t i c performances was t h a t the performers  d e r i v e d t h e i r a b i l i t y by  the p r i n c i p l e  the grace of  super-  natural aid. A c c o r d i n g to c o n v e n t i o n a l , s t a n d a r d i z e d accounts istic or  i n i t i a t i o n , , the p r o s p e c t i v e , n o v i c e shaman f e l l  she induced d e b i l i t i a t i o n through  t i o n of one  s o r t o r another,  "H h h!", He was of  happened to  s i g n a l l i n g h i s v i s i o n a r y c o n t a c t to members of the community.  then d r e s s e d i n c l e a n c l o t h i n g and p l a c e d i n the  isolation  a newly b u i l t , p u r i f i e d hut a t a d i s t a n c e from the community.  the s p i r i t ) ,  supposed to be  the e x p e r i e n c e d  mans of the community were s e n t to l o o k a f t e r him. the hut s i n g i n g t h e i r songs. own  U s u a l l y the new  newly a c q u i r e d song, and  the house (presumably  They  sha-  circled  shaman answered w i t h  the e s t a b l i s h e d shamans r e t u r n e d  w i t h t h i s i n f o r m a t i o n to the community to d i r e c t  was  and  The n o v i c e began to u t t e r the shaman's c r y o f  becoming b e t t e r a c q u a i n t e d w i t h  of  he  fall  i n the form o f a man  A f t e r f o u r days ( d u r i n g which time the n o v i c e was  his  Either  A supernatural being, killer-whale,  w o l f , b l a c k bear or what have you, appeared gave i n s t r u c t i o n s .  sick.  f a s t i n g , p u r g i n g and d e p r i v a -  or an i n d i v i d u a l who  s i c k l a t e r became i n i t i a t e d .  of shaman-  the p u r i f i c a t i o n  the communal house o f which the new  a member), i n p r e p a r a t i o n f o r the new  shaman  shaman's appearance.  At  dark people assembled i n the house, a l l h a v i n g washed to p u r i f y them-r s e l v e s , and  the new  shaman was  heard s i n g i n g .  People beat time  and  69  a f t e r b e a t i n g time t h r e e times s a c r e d song, mentioning  The powers o f the new  round  those assembled  was  expected  asked  andpoint  out the s i c k . The  I f someone was  f a t h e r o f the new  go  sick  shaman  f o r the names o f any p r e v i o u s shamans i n h i s f a m i l y and g i v e n to the n o v i c e .  gave a f e a s t i n payment to those who  was  initiated  shaman were d i s p l a y e d by h a v i n g him  to'perform a cure.  one of these was  (Boas,  He sang h i s  the i d e n t i t y o f the s p i r i t which  him.  he was  the n o v i c e e n t e r e d .  Four days l a t e r the f a t h e r had w i t n e s s e d  the  initiation  1966:133-4). Boas notes t h a t the i n i t i a t i o n o f the shaman  analogous  ceremonial  i n a l l details  (Boas,  to t h a t o f p a r t i c i p a n t s i n the w i n t e r  1966:135). A l t h o u g h the new shaman was g i v e n a  name t h a t c o i n c i d e d w i t h the name of a former shaman i n h i s f a m i l y ( i f he happened to have one), o s t e n s i b l y he was name by  the s p i r i t h e l p e r .  It is interesting  ports- t h a t a f t e r they had w i t n e s s e d h i s f i r s t and h i s f i r s t  among the F o r t Rupert  g r a n t e d the use o f  this  to note t h a t Hunt r e cure among the Koskimo  t r i b e s , he gave away one  hundred  and two hundred d o l l a r s r e s p e c t i v e l y , t h a t they might know h i s name as a shaman, Q a s e l i d (Boas,  1930:18, 30).  Many of the examples g i v e n by i n f o r m a n t s o f t h e i r own  exper-  i e n c e emphasized the v i s i o n a r y e x p e r i e n c e w i t h o u t any s u g g e s t i o n o f s t a g i n g o r h e l p from o t h e r shamans, although c l o s e r examination one  to s u s p e c t t h a t s t a g i n g was  practised.  Clearly,  leads  then, i n a d d i -  t i o n to f o r m a l p u b l i c announcement and acceptance, s h a m a n i s t i c i n i t i a t i o n , a t l e a s t i n i d e a l terms,  required visionary i n i t i a t i o n .  It  70  suggests that the association of  the shaman with the s p i r i t world  was of some symbolic importance whether or not i n d i v i d u a l shamans actually f e l t visionary experience. In 1900 Hunt gave an account of h i s i n i t i a t i o n s i m i l a r to other idealized accounts of visionary experience (Boas, 1966:122). For several years he had been subject to f a i n t i n g f i t s and sometimes found himself naked i n a graveyard.  He told his father-in-law about  these experiences, and they deduced that "the supernatural powers were certainly trying to get" him. whale who  One day he dreamt of a k i l l e r  came to him and told him that the next day he would per-  form his f i r s t cure.  The k i l l e r whale instructed him on how to  make the cure and warned him to keep certain r i t u a l r e s t r i c t i o n s . The next day he proceeded with the cure, apparently i n a highly emotional and disturbed state of mind: When I t r i e d to enter the house I f e l t as though something was pushing me out again. It was i n my mind that I needed red cedar bark, and the boy's grandfather gave me a head ring, neck ring, w r i s t l e t s , and anklets and covered the rings with eagle down....As soon as the down touched me I f e l t as though I had been h i t over the head. Later on the people told me that at this moment I had run back into the woods. I did not know what was happening. Soon I came back singing my sacred song, and as soon as I entered the house I came back to«my senses....(Boas, 1966:122). Thereafter he completed  the cure.  Subsequently his s p i r i t helper  advised him on further cures. In the 1925 account he makes no mention of the visionary experience at a l l , although at one point we can construe that the  71  training schedule imposed on him by the shamans would certainly have encouraged such experience.  B r i e f l y , he reports that he was  taken  to a secret house i n the woods "which (was) not known to a l l the uni n i t i a t e d men,, the secret ways of the shamans'"(Boas, 1930:6), where a l l the Seymour Inlet shamans were gathered.  He was shown "the  fainting,. the trembling of the body, always at night; the singing of two sacred songs for healing the sick; the singing of two sacred songs for trying to catch the soul of the sick one who dead" (Boas, 1930:7).  He was  i s nearly  taught when someone walks behind a  shaman "the shaman at once f a l l s on his back and trembles with his body.  Then he bites the edge of his tongue and he sucks out the blood  and pretends to vomit" (Boas, 1930:8). senior shaman, "Now  He was  told by Fool, the  f r i e n d , you w i l l l i e down,among the graves every  night, always so that they may believe that you are a shaman" (Ibid.). And i t i s evident by this remark how important i s the appearance of s p i r i t contact.  Hunt r e c a l l s :  I went to the graves and I sat down and was waiting f o r those to wake up who belong to the Kwakiutl. As soon as I saw one man walking along I arose so that he should see me. Then I started and went home. Now that man talked about seeing me among the graves (Boas, 1930:11). In the e a r l i e r account he had spoken of waking up i n the graveyard as i f unconscious of how he arrived there and he had reported that i t was these incidents that had convinced his father-in-law that the supernatural powers were certainly trying to get him.  He makes no mention  72  of h i s f a t h e r - i n - l a w ' s p r e d i c t i o n s h e r e , however, b u t goes on to r e p o r t h i s f i r s t cure w i t h o u t s u g g e s t i n g t h a t he e x p e r i e n c e d a v i s i o n a r y e n c o u n t e r b e f o r e , i n which he was ted  i n how  to p r o c e e d .  the  "dreamers" o r i n f o r m e r s .  forewarned o f the c u r e and  instruc-  I n t h i s 1925 account he a l s o t e l l s us about The dreamer:  . . . l i s t e n s a l l the time f o r the s a y i n g s o f the s i c k p e o p l e ... and a l l t h i s i s found out by the dreamers and they go to t e l l a l l t h i s to the shamans of t h e i r numaym. F o r t h i s r e a s o n I c a l l the dreamer the eyes o f the shamans, f o r as soon as he f i n d s out e v e r y t h i n g about the s i c k n e s s of a s i c k man, he a t once c a l l s s e c r e t l y a l l the shamans to go i n t o the woods. As soon as a l l the shamans a r e s e a t e d on the ground the dreamer speaks (Boas, 1930:9). From the v a r i o u s accounts i t seems c l e a r to me t h a t p r o mising individuals  (however p e r c e i v e d ) were n o t e d by the e s t a b l i s h e d  shamans o f the community. d i r e c t l y and encouraged  Subsequently some may  have been approached  to become shamans w h i l e o t h e r s , a t some p r e -  c i p i t a t i n g event such as i l l n e s s o r a c c i d e n t , may  have been c o n v i n c e d  by a shaman's d i a g n o s i s t h a t they were a c q u i r i n g s p i r i t  assistance.  Shamans... i n cases of s i c k n e s s sometimes s p e c i f i c a l l y d i a g n o s e d t h a t the  p a t i e n t was  "made s i c k by the s u p e r n a t u r a l power w h i c h has e n t e r e d  his  body" ( B o a s 1 9 6 6 : 1 3 2 ) ,  and i n most o f the a c c o u n t s r e p o r t e d , the  shaman d i r e c t e d the p r o c e e d i n g s o f b u i l d i n g a s e c l u s i o n hut and so forth.  I t seems c l e a r t h a t whatever t h e i r e x p e r i e n c e i n v i s i o n a r y  terms n o v i c e s commonly r e q u i r e d f o r t h e i r p u b l i c acceptance the approval,  c o o p e r a t i o n and i n s t r u c t i o n of o t h e r shamans i n the community.  I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g t h a t a t l e a s t two shamans of r e p u t e , George Hunt and  73  F o o l , c l a i m t o have been s k e p t i c a l and openly h o s t i l e toward shamans b e f o r e they themselves became shamans (Boas, 1930:5 and 1930:41, respectively).  The q u e s t i o n  o c c u r s t o me whether shamans sought t o  co-opt t h e i r most v o c a l and i n t e l l i g e n t  opposition.  Hunt n o t e d : The k i l l e r - w h a l e i s t h e shaman-maker o f t h e shamans...of the numaym S i s e n l e o f t h e Nakwaxdax....Magic-of-the-Woods i s the shaman-maker o f t h e shamans o f c h i e f Owner-of-ThrowingAway ( P r o p e r t y ) . . . o f t h e numaym C h i e f ' s g r o u p . . . . W a r r i o r o f - t h e - W o r l d i s • t h e shaman-maker o f the shamans o f c h i e f P o t l a t c h . . . o f t h e numaym Great-ones ....(Boas, 1930:10). T h i s seems t o i n d i c a t e c l e a r l y t h a t a l l t h e shamans o f a "numaym" were i n i t i a t e d by t h e same s p i r i t , i . e . t h a t s h a m a n i s t i c s p i r i t s were associated with  "numayms".  "Numaym" was t h e K w a k i u t l  term f o r t h e  ' l i n e a g e ' - l o c a l group, a group comprised o f f o l l o w e r s , u s u a l l y p e o p l e who c l a i m e d k i n s h i p t i e s to t h e l e a d e r who i n h e r i t e d h i s p o s i t i o n . Perhaps t e n t a t i v e l y we can c o n c l u d e t h a t t h e shamans p f a l i n e a g e were u n i t e d by t h e f a c t o f acknowledging the same s p i r i t h e l p e r  and c h i e f .  I have been u n a b l e to a s c e r t a i n whether t h e "shaman-maker" was t h e same as t h e c r e s t a n i m a l o r n o t . Sickness, to a c q u i r e  spontaneous o r i n d u c e d , was t h e most common way  ( o r c l a i m t o have a c q u i r e d ) v i s i o n a r y e x p e r i e n c e and t h e  a c q u i s i t i o n o f s h a m a n i s t i c power. The  B u t power c o u l d a l s o be t r a n s m i t t e d .  g r e a t shaman, F o o l , t r a n s f e r r e d h i s powers to h i s s o n when he was  too o l d to p r a c t i s e h i m s e l f .  Boas a l s o r e c o r d s an example o f an i n d i -  v i d u a l who c l a i m e d t o have a c q u i r e d power by k i l l i n g a being  (1966:131).  supernatural  74  In most o f the s t a n d a r d i z e d accounts have r e c e i v e d a song, a name, and i n s t r u c t i o n s But c u r i o u s l y , a p a r t from ongoing  the i n i t i a l  informants from  the s p i r i t h e l p e r .  i n s t r u c t i o n s we hear  l i t t l e of  'communication' and ' i n t e r a c t i o n ' . w i t h the s p i r i t .  shamans, f o r example, c o n t i n u e d t o r e c e i v e n i g h t l y v i s i t s months a f t e r i n i t i a t i o n and m a i n t a i n e d rit.)  c l a i m to  (Nootka f o r many  r e g u l a r ' c o n t a c t . w i t h the s p i 1  From the K w a k i u t l d a t a i t seems t h a t the shaman's  w i t h the s p i r i t was not the primary p r e o c c u p a t i o n .  relationship  One woman r e c o u n t s :  F o r t e n months I d i d n o t l i v e i n my house, f o r f e a r o f c o n t a m i n a t i o n , and I was.continent d u r i n g t h i s time....1 had t o wear r i n g s o f r e d cedar bark, s l e e p on a bed o f heml o c k branches, and p r o t e c t a l l my b e l o n g i n g s a g a i n s t d e f i l e ment. When I obeyed a l l ' t h e s e i n s t r u c t i o n s , the woman appeared t o me....Four times she appeared to me and i n c r e a s e d my powers . . . . L a t e r on my f a t h e r made me marry a g a i n , and then I l o s t my s h a m a n i s t i c powers (Boas, 1966:130). From t h i s account  i t would appear t h a t the s p i r i t was not  a c o n s t a n t guide and i n s t r u c t o r .  I t c o n f e r r e d p e r s o n a l power and a  s e t o f i n s t r u c t i o n s on r i t u a l a i d s to m a i n t a i n these powers which i t was then up to the shaman to p r e s e r v e .  T h i s might e x p l a i n those  cases i n which an i n d i v i d u a l c l a i m e d to have power by v i r t u e o f k i l l ing  the s u p e r n a t u r a l , a n d  those cases i n which power was t r a n s m i t t e d :  the i n d i v i d u a l concerned  i n each case a c q u i r e d p e r s o n a l s u p e r n a t u r a l  power.  Shamans were thus, to v a r y i n g degrees, masters o f power r a -  t h e r than masters of s p i r i t s . their a b i l i t y  They d i f f e r e d from r i t u a l i s t s  i n that  d e r i v e d from an i n t e r n a l , p e r s o n a l c o n d i t i o n r a t h e r  than the use o f automatic  formulas.  I am by no means s u g g e s t i n g t h e r e  75  was no s p i r i t guidance among Kwakiutl shamans, rather, that shamans did not perform their services by direct . s p i r i t a i d .  Their tech-  niques of operation d i f f e r e d from those of Haida or Tsimshian shamans ; being less concerned with symbolic a c t i v i t i e s aimed at summoning and directing s p i r i t beings or enacting journies to the underworld, than with controlling and manipulating supernatural force. Ritual prescriptions clearly emphasized the shaman's aloofness from ordinary people.  Apart from the usual period of continence  (varying from several months to many years), shamans were not allowed to laugh or to sing love songs. relative.  One shaman who  (Boas, 1966:137).  They could not wail the death of a  disobeyed this l a s t injunction suffered f i t s  Death-could be the penalty f o r breaking one of  these prescriptions , voluntarily or i n v o l u n t a r i l y . 1  novice who was  i n the process of i n i t i a t i o n was  The death of one  attributed to the  fact that menstrual blood had been placed under the seclusion hut by an enemy (Boas, 1966:128).  The-maintenance:* of these various r e s t r i c -  tions must have imposed considerable constraints on others of the community.  For example, the injunction against laughing must also have  had a sobering e f f e c t on those near a shaman at any s o c i a l gathering. Unless the data i s lacking for other Northwest coast societ i e s , Kwakiutl shamans would seem to be unique i n the extent of their corporate action.  According to Hunt, the Seymour Inlet shamans; nine  i n a l l including two women, met secretly i n a house i n the woods, to discuss their a f f a i r s and to discover from the "dreamers" about the  76  health of those i n the community.  It was  Hunt the techniques of shamanism and who  these shamans who  showed  helped him to t r a i n .  He  reports a similar arrangement for the Koskimo (Boas, 1930:20-22). After he had shamed the four great shamans of the Koskimo i n a cure, they induced him to come to their secret meeting place, a cave. Boas reports that there were several classes of shamans, those who  had "gone through" everything, meaning'those who  claimed to  have "seen" the s p i r i t i n direct confrontation, and could both cure and cause disease, those who those who  healed but could not throw disease, and  had "been cured by the supernatural power that appeared to  them, but who  have not received the g i f t of healing" (1966:120).  great shamans, the ones who  The  had "gone'through" everything and could  throw sickness, were respected and feared for their powers.  Such  shamans were associated with lineage chiefs and were expected to provide protection for their chief. those of the highest ranks. throw disease were l i k e l y while the shamans who  They were called upon to cure  Shamans who  could cure but could not  to be called upon by those of lower rank,  could not cure but could diagnose  disease'might  be c a l l e d upon for diagnosis (perhaps before deciding which of more powerful shamans to c a l l i n ) , or they might aid in^curing by praying for the curing shaman or by directing operations for cure by a supernatural being, and subsequent The a b i l i t y  initiation.  to cause or cure disease (including the  counter-  action of sorcery and disease thrown by other shamans), and the asso-  77  dated  abilities  o f b e i n g a b l e to f o r e c a s t s i c k n e s s o r death, were  the most important powers a t t r i b u t e d to shamans.  They were not ex-  pected to ensure economic ends by d e t e r m i n i n g the movements of a n i mals o r f i s h ,  f o r example.  I f they were expected  to c o n t r o l the  weather i t was a t l e a s t not an important enough f u n c t i o n to have r e ceived note.  They d i d n o t , as shamans, have any s p e c i f i c r o l e to  p l a y i n the w i n t e r dance ceremonials although they c o u l d be c a l l e d upon to r e v i v e a s i c k o r i n j u r e d p e r f o r m e r . concerned w i t h c u r i n g .  They were  predominantly  They were a p p a r e n t l y not c l a i r v o y a n t i n the  sense of b e i n g a b l e to f o r e c a s t epidemics or d i s c o v e r the whereabouts of l o s t o b j e c t s o r p e r s o n s . of f o r e t e l l i n g  Boas mentions a s e e r who had the g i f t  the f u t u r e but a f f i r m s  that he was n o t a shaman (1966:  147) . S i c k n e s s was normally a t t r i b u t e d to o b j e c t i n t r u s i o n o r to soul loss  ( o c c a s i o n a l l y , as one example of i n i t i a t i o n i n d i c a t e s , i t  would be a t t r i b u t e d to i n t r u s i o n o r p o s s e s s i o n by a s u p e r n a t u r a l agent).  C u r i n g ceremonies,  a t l e a s t f o r people of w e a l t h , were r e -  latively  elaborate a f f a i r s ,  r i c h i n dramatic e f f e c t .  From the e v i -  dence c o l l e c t e d by Hunt, much of the procedure was c o n s c i o u s i m p o s i t i o n on the p a r t of shamans to impress mastery public.  o f t h e i r power  audience and p a t i e n t w i t h the  (Boas, 1930:7, 8, 10, 31-33).  Cures were  A l l o l d people were p r e s e n t w h i l e young men and women o r  others who might have i n c u r r e d  the i m p u r i t y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h s e x u a l  or m e n s t r u a l f l u i d s , were n o t a l l o w e d .  S i n g e r s and b e a t e r s were  78  p r e s e n t to a i d the shaman.  The shaman e n t e r e d , i m p r e s s i v e l y d r e s s e d  i n h i s s a c r e d p a r a p h e r n a l i a and c a r r y i n g h i s r a t t l e .  Shamans o f  dif-  f e r e n t areas had t h e i r common s t o c k of techniques and i n a d d i t i o n each shaman had h i s own  slightly  different style, incorporating a  w e a l t h o f d e t a i l e d symbolic r i t u a l . i n g techniques were s i m i l a r . to a t t r a c t  Otherwise, i n bare o u t l i n e c u r -  For soul loss  the shaman  endeavoured  the s o u l onto h i s p u r i f i c a t i o n r i n g o f hemlock branches  s i n g i n g a s a c r e d song.  Of the many s o u l s which were a t t r a c t e d by  by this  song he then s i n g l e d out the s o u l of the p a t i e n t and shook o f f the o t h e r s , and then c a r e f u l l y r e t u r n e d the s o u l to the p a t i e n t . j e c t i n t r u s i o n the shaman t r i e d s u c k i n g out the o b j e c t .  For ob-  I f the t r o u -  b l e was  caused by an i n f u s i o n o f "green m a t t e r " he massaged the body,  working  the "green m a t t e r " "toward the rectum so t h a t i t c o u l d be  pelled.  ex-  The Seymour I n l e t shamans impressed o n l o o k e r s by a p p e a r i n g  to suck out a bloody worm from the i n f e c t e d a r e a , which wasr i n r e a l i t y ^ his  p i e c e of e a g l e down r o l l e d up and b l o o d i e d when the shaman b i t  tongue o r sucked h i s gums.  Some o f these c u r i n g ceremonies  be, i n a v e r y r e a l sense, as much d i s p l a y performances c e r e m o n i a l dances.  could  as the w i n t e r  F o r example, Hunt d e s c r i b e s the c u r i n g  display  of A i x a g i d a l a g i l i s , o r F o r t Rupert, "the g r e a t shaman o f the numaym of Those-Having-a-Name of the Great K w a k i u t l " (1930:24-28). alagilis  Aixagid-  i n v i t e d a l l the f o u r K w a k i u t l t r i b e s , w i t h t h e i r women and  c h i l d r e n , i n t o h i s house to w i t n e s s h i s mastery.  He  came i n w i t h h i s  79  rattle, his head ring and neck ring of cedar bark and addressed the audience to the effect that in his dream he had been told by his s p i r i t helper to hold the performance. and called "I am very hungry".  Finally he circled the room  His interpreter indicated that this  was an invitation to anyone sick to present themself and he would cure them without charge.  One did so and he started the cure. He  appeared to suck out a white substance which he claimed was the sickness, and then he pretended to show how strong the sickness was by wiping i t on his cedar bark ring,, hanging the ring .(attached by a well-hidden nail) to a smooth post and claiming that the sickness was biting the post.  Finally he pretendedto swallow the sickness.  Thereafter he proceeded with a second cure with the same impressive showmanship.  (Subsequently he tried to cure a woman who claimed he  was not effective.  Hunt then tried and the woman claimed to have  been cured by his different technique of 'extracting' a bloody 'worm', thus shaming Aixagidalagilis.) It is difficult to determine the expense of a curing ceremony. With respect to paying the shaman Boas records: For four years after their i n i t i a t i o n , shamans are not a l lowed to accept payment for their services. They are not supposed to set a price for their services but to accept what is given to them. This is contradicted by the i n c i dents in stories in which the shaman refuses to proceed with the cure until he is promised the coveted supernatural gift (1966:137). He also reports that for a cure of moderate difficulty the shaman "may receive a payment of about ten blankets i f the patient is of noble  80  b i r t h " (1966:144).  The "dreamers" apparently  received "one  quarter  of the amount paid  the shaman" (1966:124), and we might expect that  any.other helpers, singers, announcers, and so f o r t h , would also receive material recognition of their service. t l e information about payment for his own that, a f t e r his inaugural-'cure he was  Hunt gives very  services but he t e l l s  litus  given the neck ring of a can-  n i b a l dancer and the name Qaselid (Boas, 1930:  13).  After another  cure among the Koskimo, the patient's father gave a feast at which were present  the " s i x chiefs of the various numaym of the Koskimo"  (1930:19).  We might expect that the higher the rank of the patient  the more costly and elaborate the cure and the more prestigious the shaman. It i s worth notihgx that the shaman himself could not have gained much by his profession i n material terms. expenses, cures were apparently  Apart from his  not very frequent.  own  One shaman, for  example, practised for four years and cured twelve people (1966:132). The s t r u c t u r a l aspects of Kwakiutl shamanism can be  discussed  from many points of view but, from the data presented, i t i s i n t e r e s t f  ing  to examine the i n t e r r e l a t i o n of the shaman as member of a lineage  and the shaman as member of a secret society.  Shamanism was  affected by these two aspects of Kwakiutl society. deal of time i t i s d i f f i c u l t  clearly  Without a great  (and I hope unnecessary) to go into a  detailed description of the winter ceremonial secret s o c i e t i e s .  Drucker  81  claims that there were three; what he c a l l s the Shaman Society (no connection with the regular shamans I have been discussing), the society termed Those-who-descended-from-the-Heavens, and the DogEater society (1965:162).  Boas writing of the Southern Kwakiutl  claims: The dancers (or societies) are arranged i n two p r i n c i p l e groups, whose names among the Kwakiutl proper are the seals and the quequtsa. The former embrace a number of dancers and societies of dancers — the hamatsa, hamshamtses, kinqalala, n o n t s i s t a l a l , qoeqoaselal, qominoqa, nane, nulmal (In McFeat's Indians of the North P a c i f i c Coast, 1966:182). Since the members of these various smaller groups believed  themselves  to have been i n i t i a t e d by the same s p i r i t patron and shared secrets i n common, and since we are dealing with the Southern Kwakiutl i t seems appropriate to follow Boas.  In b r i e f , these societies centred  around the maintenance and transmission of shared r i t u a l knowledge and ceremonial prerogatives: was  the object of the s o c i e t i e s , i n theory,  to insure the i n i t i a t i o n of novices and uphold society  traditions.  The i n i t i a t i o n of novices has already been B r i e f l y discussed. society was  Each  ranked with respect to the others (the Hamatsa society being  foremost), and was  treated according to precedence, at feasts, f o r ex-  ample.  Each society had i t s own i n s i g n i a , songs, dances, names and  masks.  Each had i t s secrets of costume and t h e a t r i c a l techniques.  Each had d i f f e r e n t roles i n the performance  of the ceremonies;  role of members of one society, f o r example, was  the  to attempt to entice  82  the C a n n i b a l dancer by h o l d i n g a corpse out to him. ties,  Different  t h e r e f o r e , were i n t e r d e p e n d e n t i n the performance  ceremonials  ( a p p a r e n t l y why  Drucker  p a r t i c u l a r sequence o f ceremonies  of the w i n t e r  regards the performance  as one s o c i e t y ) .  of  this  Ceremonials  q u i r e d the p a r t i c i p a t i o n of a wide range o f dancers, o f f i c e r s other p a r t i c i p a n t s .  socie-  re-  and  S e c r e t s o c i e t y membership c r o s s - c u t k i n ( l i n e a g e )  and even community t i e s , as w i t h the f o u r t r i b e s o f K w a k i u t l a t F o r t Rupert.  Membership was  i n h e r i t e d and s i n c e each l i n e a g e would have  only a few p o s i t i o n s to d i s t r i b u t e among i t s members, people o f  differ-  ent l i n e a g e s were u n i t e d by t h e i r shared membership i n a s o c i e t y . I t can be seen from t h i s b r i e f  d e s c r i p t i o n t h a t i n many r e s -  p e c t s the shamans o f an a r e a (e.g. the Seymour I n l e t shamans or the Koskimo shamans) c o n s t i t u t e d what might be c a l l e d . a s e c r e t They c o n t r o l l e d the t e c h n i c a l t r a i n i n g o f n o v i c e s and not always, every d e t a i l  society.  commonly, i f  d i r e c t e d t h e i r i n i t i a t i o n , an i n i t i a t i o n analogous  in  to t h a t o f the w i n t e r c e r e m o n i a l s e c r e t s o c i e t i e s .  They  m a i n t a i n e d a s e c r e t body o f knowledge r e g a r d i n g techniques o f p e r formance, and kept a s e c r e t meeting cussed and exchanged i n f o r m a t i o n . ceremonies,  to ensure  They cooperated i n p u b l i c  dis-  curing  t h a t the u n i n i t i a t e d c o n t i n u e d to remain i g n o r -  ant of t h e i r s t a g e d t e c h n i q u e s . t h a t i t was  p l a c e where they planned and  Boas w r i t e s o f the Koskimo shamans  r e p u t e d they were o r g a n i z e d i n t o two  members o f these s o c i e t i e s  s o c i e t i e s , and  "decide among themselves  who  that  i s to cure  each p a r t i c u l a r p a t i e n t and t h a t they d i v i d e the payments among them-  83  selves" (1966:145).  The Koskimo were apparently extreme i n the ex-  tent of their corporate action but other groups also showed these tendencies.  Perhaps a c r i t i c a l question i s , did they have a shared  sense of group i d e n t i t y , and, were they regarded by outsiders as groups?  I t i s impossible to be dogmatic but at least i n post contact  times when, with travel the awareness of d i f f e r e n t techniques must have spread, the shamans who practised the same techniques (e.g. the 'extraction' of a bloody 'worm' among the Seymour Inlet people) must have been distinguished from those who practised alternative techniques and must have so distinguished themselves.  Hunt talks of the Koskimo  shamans and of the "shamans of the Denaxdax arid of the Awailala" who used the sigri'of the cross during their cures and prayed to the sun (Boas, 1930:53).  An item which may or,may not detract from the view  of shamanistic associations as secret societies i s that r i v a l r y between shamans was by no means unknown. of many contests of shamans who  Boas writes:  "I have heard  t r i e d each other with their power,  but I have never seen any" (1966:145),  and Hunt reports:, " A l l the  four shamans of the Nakwaxdax have secret helpers, each one man... for they always try to overcome one another, healing the sick or playing against one another" (Boas, 1930:272).  I t i s possible that shaman  r i v a l r y could be related to lineage a f f i l i a t i o n .  As nearly as I can  make out the four senior shamans of the Nakwaxdax were of d i f f e r e n t lineages.  84  Among the Southern Kwakiutl the tribe was groups who  comprised of those  inhabited the same winter v i l l a g e and thereby acted on many  occasions, as i n war or r i t u a l , as units.  The people of Seymour Inlet  constituted a tribe and their r i t u a l interdependence i s reflected i n the association of their shamans.  The named groups within these win-  ter v i l l a g e s Boas c a l l e d numayms, here termed lineages.  Lineagess  were the basic s o c i a l , p o l i t i c a l and economic units of society.  A  lineage retained i t s own t e r r i t o r y and other material property plus i t s own stock of names, crests and ranked positions which were i n h e r i ted b y . s p e c i f i c members.  Although membership i n a lineage was obtained  through both the mother and the father, accession to a name or a p o s i tion depended largely on p a t r i l i n e a l a f f i l i a t i o n and primogeniture. Each lineage-: had i t s own  t r a d i t i o n of founding ancestors and ances-  t r a l associations with supernatural beings from which derived the hereditary crests and ceremonial prerogatives. Each lineage also had i t s stock of winter ceremonial secret society positions and, on the evidence of Hunt, the shamans of a lineage shared the same "shaman-maker".  Shamans, p a r t i c u l a r l y the senior shamans were said to  belong to the chief of the lineage —  "the chief owns the shaman"  (Boas, 1966:146). F u l l shamans, who have the power of curing and of throwing disease, have a d e f i n i t e position i n the p o l i t i c a l organization of the t r i b e . . Each shaman i s subordinate to the chief of his numayma....The chief i s present at the meeting of shamans and advises them what.to do....  85  The c h i e f ' s shaman p r o t e c t s h i s master by throwing d i s e a s e i n t o h i s enemy, w h i l e the shaman o f h i s a d v e r s a r y ' s c h i e f t r i e s to c o u n t e r a c t the a t t a c k (Boasj 1966:145-46). A pointy  t o note i s t h a t ' i t was F o o l , shaman of c h i e f T r y i n g - t o - I n v i t e  o f the S i s e n l e who t r a n s m i t t e d h i s powers to h i s s o n .  The p o s i t i o n  o f c h i e f ' s shaman, t h e r e f o r e , c o u l d have been, o r tended t o be,hereditary . I f seen i n the l i g h t o f l i n e a g e a f f i l i a t i o n , the d i s g r a c e and shame o f the shaman A l x a g i d a l a g i l i s becomes more d r a m a t i c .  He  was a shaman o f one o f the l i n e a g e s o f the F o r t Rupert t r i b e s ( a l l of w h i c h were i n v i t e d t o h i s ceremony) and undoubtedly h i s s u c c e s s o r f a i l u r e would have r e f l e c t e d on the p r e s t i g e o f h i s l i n e a g e . To summarize, shamanism was c l o s e l y t i e d to the l i n e a g e structure.  Shamans were not o n l y u n i t e d by i n i t i a t i o n from a common  "shaman-maker" b u t they owed a l l e g i a n c e t o t h e i r l i n e a g e , the most s e n i o r among them a c t u a l l y b e i n g most p o w e r f u l  counted c h i e f ' s shaman.  S i n c e the  shaman was supposed to be a l i g n e d w i t h the c h i e f o f  h i s l i n e a g e , shamanism tended t o uphold t h e p o l i t i c a l s t a t u s quo. We would a l s o e x p e c t t h a t i t was the duty o f the s e n i o r shaman o f a l i n e a g e t o u p h o l d the p r e s t i g e o f the l i n e a g e i n s h a m a n i s t i c tions. ities  I n a d d i t i o n , shamanism as an i n s t i t u t i o n shows s t r o n g t o the o r g a n i z a t i o n o f the w i n t e r c e r e m o n i a l  competisimilar-  secret societies.  As n o t e d by Boas, the two s e t s o f i n i t i a t i o n were almost analogous i n every d e t a i l .  I n c o n t r a s t to o t h e r Northwest groups, K w a k i u t l sha-  mans appear to be unique i n the e x t e n t o f t h e i r c o r p o r a t e  action.  86  Shamans of an a r e a ( g e n e r a l l y  coterminous w i t h a t r i b e ) ,  despite i n -  t e r n a l d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n due to l i n e a g e a f f i l i a t i o n , s h a r e d a body o f s e c r e t knowledge, m a i n t a i n e d some, perhaps t o t a l ,  c o n t r o l of  recruit-  ment of members, and s h a r e d p r o f e s s i o n a l t e c h n i q u e s of c u r i n g w h i c h d i f f e r e n t i a t e d them from the shamans of o t h e r a r e a s .  The i d e o l o g i c a l  framework o f shamanism seems c o n s i s t e n t w i t h K w a k i u t l n o t i o n s o f  the  s u p e r n a t u r a l i n g e n e r a l and w i t h the way t h e s e i d e a s were u s e d .  Sha-  mans d e r i v e d ' p o w e r s '  r a t h e r than ongoing s p i r i t a s s i t a n c e from t h e i r  s p i r i t h e l p e r s j u s t as l i n e a g e s r e c e i v e d c r e s t s and p r i v i l e g e s and w i n t e r c e r e m o n i a l s e c r e t s o c i e t i e s a c q u i r e d d a n c i n g powers.  87  CHAPTER V BELLA COOLA SHAMANISM M c l l w r a i t h ' s The B e l l a Coola I n d i a n s  (1948) p r o v i d e d  main source of i n f o r m a t i o n f o r the f o l l o w i n g a n a l y s i s .  Mcllwraith  o b t a i n e d h i s i n f o r m a t i o n i n 1923 when many o f the t r a d i t i o n a l l i e f s and a c t i v i t i e s were s t i l l p r a c t i s e d a l t h o u g h  the  be-  r a d i c a l changes,  brought about by decreases i n p o p u l a t i o n and i n c r e a s e s i n t r a d e t r a v e l and so f o r t h , had a l r e a d y o c c u r r e d .  Mcllwraith himself  and was  adopted i n t o the t r a d i t i o n a l k i n s h i p s t r u c t u r e and came to l e a r n something of the language.  His i n f o r m a t i o n concerning  b e l i e f s and p r a c t i s e s i s p a r t i c u l a r l y r i c h .  religious  Information  concerning  economic a c t i v i t i e s i s much l e s s d e t a i l e d and h i s d e s c r i p t i o n o f s o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n i s somewhat d i f f i c u l t to u n d e r s t a n d . The B e l l a Coola d i f f e r e d from o t h e r groups most o b v i o u s l y by the i m p o r t a n c e they a c c o r d e d t h e i r supreme b e i n g Alquntam. o t h e r groups (who,  Unlike  i f they b e l i e v e d i n a supreme b e i n g a t a l l r e g a r - .  ded him as a somewhat vague and d i s t a n t f i g u r e ) , they b e l i e v e d t h a t Alquntam was  i n t i m a t e l y concerned w i t h the a f f a i r s of men,  f u l though he i s he c o n t i n u e s  to take an i n t e r e s t i n the doings o f  mankind whom he c r e a t e d " (1948:38). b e l i e v e d to d e c i d e who dancer. to  Alquntam and h i s a d v i s e r s were  would be b o r n , who  The s o u l s o f a l l who  the home of Alquntam.  "Power-  d i e , who  become a w i n t e r  d i e d were b e l i e v e d to r e t u r n e v e n t u a l l y  Alquntam was  c a l l e d by d i f f e r e n t names, de-  88  pending on t h e c i r c u m s t a n c e s , them:  and i t i s i n t e r e s t i n g t o note some o f  the word Alquntam i t s e l f was s a i d t o d e r i v e from "ixquntam",  meaning "foreman" o r c h i e f ; another was "The S t o r y Man", c r e a t o r o f myths; a n o t h e r ,  " S m a i a l o t l a " , meant "From Whom Come and t o WhomBBe-  l o n g a l l Myths".  Most o f these names emphasized t h e dependence o f men  on t h e f i n a l a u t h o r i t y o f t r a d i t i o n e s t a b l i s h e d by a c r e a t o r i n a g o l den p a s t . Although  i d e a s about the s u p e r n a t u r a l c o l o u r e d everyday  a c t i v i t y i n innumerable ways, a dominant concern o f s u p e r n a t u r a l b e l i e f s r e l a t e d t o a p r e o c c u p a t i o n w i t h a n c e s t r a l r i g h t s and p r i v i l e g e s . M c l l w r a i t h d e s c r i b e d what he c a l l e d an " a n c e s t r a l f a m i l y " , the memb e r s o f w h i c h b e l i e v e d themselves t o be t h e d i r e c t descendants o f some m y t h i c a l a n c e s t o r .  "A man's most t r e a s u r e d p o s s e s s i o n s  are the  name b r o u g h t down from above by h i s a n c e s t o r i n the b e g i n n i n g o f t i m e , t h e knowledge o f t h e form t a k e n by t h a t a n c e s t o r , and i n f o r m a t i o n about t h e p l a c e where he l a n d e d "  (1948:36).  An i n d i v i d u a l ' s eco-  nomic and s o c i a l s t a t u s and s e c u r i t y depended on h i s h e r e d i t a r y c l a i m s to  t h e l a n d s , r e s o u r c e s , names and c e r e m o n i a l p r e r o g a t i v e s a s s o c i a t e d  w i t h p a r t i c u l a r descent recounted  groups.  R e a l o r supposed events o f the p a s t ,  and k e p t f r e s h in^memory by myths were t h e l e g i t i m a t i o n o f  a l l s i g n i f i c a n t contemporary r e l a t i o n s h i p s .  Alquntam c r e a t e d men, as  he c r e a t e d e v e r y t h i n g , and s e n t them down t o s p e c i f i c l o c a t i o n s , t o w h i c h t h e i r descendants had c l a i m through of myths.  t h e ownership and r e c o u n t i n g  B e l i e f i n Alquntam and the f o u n d i n g a n c e s t o r s  thus  legitimized  89  and a f f i r m e d the c o r r e c t n e s s o f the p r e s e n t .  The supreme a u t h o r i t y  o f the myths d e r i v e d from the supreme power .of Alquntam, c r e a t o r o f myths as of a l l t h i n g s .  Ideas and t h e o r i e s about the  were c o l o u r e d by the sacredness  o f the p a s t .  supernatural  The m y t h i c a l a n c e s t o r s  were b e l i e v e d t o have been i n much c l o s e r c o n t a c t w i t h Alquntam and the w o r l d of s u p e r n a t u r a l b e i n g s . • Much .of t h e i r contemporary knowl e d g e , they b e l i e v e d , was  a r e s u l t o f the e x p e r i e n c e s  of t h e i r  an-  cestors. A n c i e n t s t o r i e s d e s c r i b i n g the a c t i o n s o f s t r a n g e c r e a t u r e s and c o n v e r s a t i o n s between man and a n i m a l s a r e a c c e p t e d as t r u t h f u l a c c o u n t s , so t h a t i t seems obvious to the B e l l a C o o l a t h a t h i s a n c e s t o r s were more p o w e r f u l than he i s t o day. He a c c e p t s t h e . . . h y p o t h e s i s t h a t mankind has s a d l y degenerated from the g o l d e n age. N e v e r t h e l e s s , he assumes t h a t the b e i n g s have not a l t e r e d and c o n s e q u e n t l y hopes to e n c o u n t e r them on every o c c a s i o n (1948:513). The B e l l a C o o l a p e r c e i v e d s u p e r n a t u r a l i n t e r v e n t i o n i n many a s p e c t s of everyday l i f e w h i l e they c o n s t a n t l y hoped to guide  these  a f f a i r s by m a n i p u l a t i o n o f the s u p e r n a t u r a l i n a number o f ways. Thus, f o r example, w h i l e Alquntam might d e c i d e w h i c h i n d i v i d u a l s w e r e ' to become w i n t e r dancers i n the f o l l o w i n g y e a r , a s u p p l i c a n t might t r y to a f f e c t the d e c i s i o n through p r a y e r .  Attempts to  manipulate  the s u p e r n a t u r a l i n v o l v e d , v a r i o u s means o f p r o p i t i a t i o n — the o f f e r i n g o f e a g l e down, p u r i f i c a t i o n — visionary  compulsive  prayers,  magic, and  contact. Techniques o f p r o p i t i a t i o n were c o n s t a n t l y used.  were r e g u l a r l y addressed  Prayers  to Alquantam f o r almost any a c t i v i t y .  Ghosts  90  were p r o p i t i a t e d by throwing  crumbs onto a f i r e a f t e r a meal.  v i d u a l s who' took the p r o p e r p r e c a u t i o n s  t o make themselves  Indi-  acceptable  t o the s u p e r n a t u r a l c o u l d come to the many p a r t s o f B e l l a Coola  ter-  r i t o r y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h l o c a l i z e d s u p e r n a t u r a l b e i n g s , i n the hope o f a c h i e v i n g s p e c i f i c b e l i e f i t s , such as h e a l t h o r courage. R i t u a l p u r i f i c a t i o n had b o t h compulsory and p r o p i t i a t o r y effects.  I t was b e l i e v e d t h a t i f i n d i v i d u a l s a b s t a i n e d from s e x u a l  i n t e r c o u r s e f o r s e v e r a l days and then had i n t e r c o u r s e t h e i r s u p e r n a t u r a l power to r e s i s t o r overcome s p i r i t e n t i t i e s would be i n c r e a s e d . The l o n g e r the p e r i o d o f c o n t i n e n c e  the g r e a t e r the power.  c a t i o n was an e s s e n t i a l p r e l i m i n a r y b e f o r e any i m p o r t a n t  Purifi-  undertaking.  A p a r t from r i t u a l p u r i f i c a t i o n t h e r e were o t h e r more p u r e l y compulsive r i t u a l s which might be used t o overcome s u p e r n a t u r a l o r p r o t e c t o n e s e l f from them. (sweat, m e n s t r u a l  C e r t a i n o b j e c t s steeped  beings  in.human e x u v i a  b l o o d and so f o r t h ) , were repugnant t o s u p e r n a t u r a l  c r e a t u r e s and c o u l d be used t o ward them o f f .  Charms d e r i v e d from  a s u p e r n a t u r a l e n c o u n t e r c o u l d be used f o r any number o f d i v e r s e ends. A m a t e r i a l token was o b t a i n e d , "from a s u p e r n a t u r a l b e i n g , u s u a l l y a p o r t i o n of i t s s l a i n body" (1948:524). X K i l l i n g a s u p e r n a t u r a l  creature  so t h a t i t s body c o u l d be made i n t o a charm d i d not endow the i n d i v i d u a l w i t h s p i r i t u a l power as d i d a v i s i o n a r y e n c o u n t e r w i t h a s u p e r n a t u r a l b e i n g . ) A f t e r c a r e f u l p r e p a r a t i o n the token c o u l d be used as b a i t to c a t c h f i s h , a t t r a c t animals  o r even a t t r a c t w e a l t h .  I t could  be g i v e n away, s o l d , i n h e r i t e d , d i v i d e d i n t o p i e c e s and so f o r t h  91  w i t h o u t l o s i n g i t s e f f e c t s , so l o n g as the u s e r was c a r e f u l t o o b s e r v e r i t u a l chastity.  Most f a m i l i e s had t h e i r own j e a l o u s l y guarded know-  l e d g e r e g a r d i n g how b e s t t o a c q u i r e these s u p e r n a t u r a l charms b u t the members o f those t h a t d i d n o t c o u l d buy one from some o t h e r . makes no d i r e c t mention o f r i t u a l i s t s b u t about  Mcllwraith  'medicines' he w r i t e s  t h a t knowledge was handed down as the p r o p e r t y o f a n c e s t r a l f a m i l i e s . A cure w h i c h p r o v e d e f f e c t i v e when performed by t h e r i g h t p e r s o n was n o t adopted by o t h e r s because  "only a person w i t h the i n h e r i t e d  to a c e r t a i n c u r e can p e r f o r m i t s u c c e s s f u l l y " (1948:699). d u a l s known to have the i n h e r i t e d r i g h t and a b i l i t y  right  Indivi-  t o cure a spe-  c i f i c c o n d i t i o n might be c a l l e d i n by the members o f a f a m i l y w i t h o u t such a r i g h t , b u t these o c c a s i o n s would be s p o r a d i c .  Thus i t seems  t h a t a l l the n o n - i n s p i r a t i o n a l means o f m a n i p u l a t i n g the s u p e r n a t u r a l were i n the c o n t r o l o f f a m i l i e s r a t h e r than i n d i v i d u a l s and t h a t f o r the most p a r t f a m i l i e s would depend on t h e i r own m a g i c a l r e s o u r c e s r a t h e r than o t h e r s . A word s h o u l d be s a i d o f t h e " k u s i u t " o r w i n t e r d a n c e r s . They were b e l i e v e d t o have e s p e c i a l l y c l o s e c o n t a c t w i t h t h e s p i r i t w o r l d d u r i n g t h e w i n t e r d a n c i n g season.  A l t h o u g h t h e s p i r i t s were  supposed  t o come c l o s e and i n s p i r e them to dance, they never  appeared  t o dancers  actually  (1948%vbl.€2:2, 6 ) .  Most men sought t o a c h i e v e the b e n e f i t s a t t a i n a b l e  from  s u p e r n a t u r a l b e i n g s by i n d i r e c t means through p e r s u a s i o n o r compulsion.  A n o t h e r way t o o b t a i n u n u s u a l o r extrahuman powers was by  92  visionary a s s o c i a t i o n with a supernatural being.  I n v a r i a b l y , the  power o b t a i n e d by v i s i o n a r y . a s s o c i a t i o n was s h a m a n i s t i c power. M c l l w r a i t h d i s t i n g u i s h e d two types o f s p i r i t power: aid  "supernatural  g r a n t e d to the u n f o r t u n a t e " , termed " i x l o k w a l a d j u t " and shaman-  i s t i c power. tionally  " A i d g r a n t e d to the u n f o r t u n a t e " was c o n s i d e r e d excep-  r a r e , a l t h o u g h common i n the p a s t when men were i n g r e a t e r  harmony w i t h t h e s p i r i t w o r l d .  The s u p e r n a t u r a l appeared i n a moment  o f d i s t r e s s and t h e n c e f o r t h g r a n t e d the i n d i v i d u a l some p a r t i c u l a r power ( e . g . power to g a i n w e a l t h , o r f o r s u c c e s s f u l h u n t i n g ) .  The  r e a s o n f o r a s s i s t a n c e was commonly a t t r i b u t e d t o the s p i r i t u a l  strength  o r r i t u a l p u r i t y o f the i n d i v i d u a l concerned.  Power o b t a i n e d i n  t h i s way, l i k e s h a m a n i s t i c power, c o u l d n o t be i n h e r i t e d . s h a m a n i s t i c power,, i t was o f use o n l y t o the i n d i v i d u a l .  Unlike Shamans  were d i s t i n g u i s h e d from those who r e c e i v e d s u p e r n a t u r a l a i d as unf o r t u n a t e s by the f a c t t h a t t h e i r powers c o u l d be used i n the s e r v i c e of others. The B e l l a C o o l a b e l i e v e d i n two types o f s h a m a n i s t i c power, d i s t i n g u i s h e d a p p a r e n t l y by t h e i r s u p e r n a t u r a l s o u r c e .  An i n d i v i d u a l  who o b t a i n e d power from a " l i v i n g " s u p e r n a t u r a l b e i n g was termed " a l u k w a l a " , w h i l e one who o b t a i n e d power from a ghost was termed "askankots".  Mcllwraith calls  "shaman o f t h e dead". mysterious  the f i r s t a shaman, and the second a  He d e f i n e d a shaman as "a p e r s o n endowed w i t h  a b i l i t y and w o n d e r f u l knowledge, due t o p e r s o n a l c o n t a c t  w i t h s u p e r n a t u r a l b e i n g s " (1948:547).  Apparently this applied equally  93  to "shamans of the dead", who most i d e n t i c a l " (1948:577). were not o f themselves  have, " a b i l i t i e s  and p r e r o g a t i v e s a l -  Apparently, a b i l i t y  defining characteristics,  to cure o r  training,  s i n c e , of those  termed " a l u k w a l a " and " a s k a n k o t s , some c o u l d cure and some c o u l d 0  n o t , some o b t a i n e d t h e i r powers unsought and o t h e r s spent y e a r s on a quest.  Potentially  anyone c o u l d become a shaman a l t h o u g h the men-  s t r u a l r e s t r i c t i o n s of younger women tended to p r e c l u d e them. V i s i o n a r y e x p e r i e n c e was  the i d e a l .  posed to have had v i s i o n a r y e x p e r i e n c e .  The shaman was  sup-  P u b l i c r e c o g n i t i o n of a  shaman depended on the c l a i m to v i s i o n a r y e x p e r i e n c e and a demonstrat i o n of u n u s u a l , , ' m i r a c u l o u s ' power. V i s i o n a r y e x p e r i e n c e and power, from " l i v i n g " s p i r i t o r a g h o s t , c o u l d be sought o r unsought.  A v i s i o n quest u s u a l l y began i n  c h i l d h o o d and o f t e n took many y e a r s b e f o r e s u c c e s s , i f , i n f a c t , s u c cess came a t a l l . As w i t h o t h e r Northwest  Coast groups, the quest  demanded c o n t i n e n c e and avoidance of women, l o n g p e r i o d s o f i s o l a t i o n , b a t h i n g and p u r g i n g w i t h e m e t i c s . be encouraged  An i n d i v i d u a l was more l i k e l y  to  and guided i f a r e l a t i v e o r a n c e s t o r had been shaman  b e f o r e him, so f o r t h i s r e a s o n , shamanism tended to run i n f a m i l i e s . F o r the most p a r t quests were r a r e .  Because o f the dangers i n v o l v e d  i n b e i n g a shaman few p e o p l e were w i l l i n g to seek power a l t h o u g h i f a s p i r i t came unsought they would have to a c c e p t i t . F o r t h i s r e a s o n , much more common t h a n the l o n g , d i f f i c u l t and sometimes cessful  quest was v i s i o n a r y e x p e r i e n c e d u r i n g s i c k n e s s .  unsuc-  From M c l l w r a i t h ' s  94  examples, v i s i o n a r y e x p e r i e n c e seems to have been more l i k e l y f o r those who tism.  s u f f e r e d v e r y s e v e r e o r p r o l o n g e d s i c k n e s s such as rheuma-  I n e i t h e r c a s e , quest or s i c k n e s s , the s p i r i t u a l s t r e n g t h and  r i t u a l p u r i t y o f the i n i t i a t e h i m s e l f seems to have been e s s e n t i a l for  r e c e i v i n g power.  M c l l w r a i t h mentions t h a t "...a shaman a c t u a l l y  has power w i t h i n h i m s e l f , and t h i s i s so s t r o n g t h a t i t may s o u r c e o f danger to o t h e r s " (1948:523).  be a  T h e ' p r e p a r a t i o n and  initia-  t i o n o f shamans i n v o l v e d i s o l a t i o n and s y m b o l i c death. V i s i o n a r y e x p e r i e n c e was b e i n g appeared,  f a i r l y stereotyped.  A supernatural  sang one o r more songs, gave the i n i t i a t e a name  and then v a n i s h e d .  D i f f e r e n t shamans c o u l d have the same s p i r i t bene-  f a c t o r a l t h o u g h they might r e c e i v e d i f f e r e n t powers.  F o r example,  the s p i r i t b e i n g T l i t c a p l i l a n a , a s s o c i a t e d w i t h c u r i n g s i c k n e s s , was a common s p i r i t b e n e f a c t o r b u t c o u l d g i v e o t h e r powers b e s i d e s c u r i n g . V i s i o n a r y e x p e r i e n c e a l o n e d i d not make the i n d i v i d u a l a shaman.  Having a c h i e v e d s p i r i t c o n t a c t , the i n d i v i d u a l might d e c i d e  to w a i t , s a y i n g n o t h i n g , i n the hope of a t t a i n i n g f u r t h e r powers.  In  f a c t , some a p p a r e n t l y w a i t e d u n t i l they had r e c e i v e d t h r e e o r f o u r . Some a c t u a l l y p r a c t i s e d c u r i n g p r i v a t e l y w i t h o u t b e i n g p u b l i c l y p r o c l a i m e d as shamans. i s one who  Mcllwraith writes:  "To  the B e l l a C o o l a a shaman  had had such an e x p e r i e n c e and has p u b l i c l y p r o c l a i m e d i t ,  whether o r not he can cure the s i c k " (1948:553). d e c l a r a t i o n the i n i t i a t e  To make a p u b l i c  c a l l e d t o g e t h e r some s i n g e r s and  them the words and tunes o f the songs he had l e a r n e d and  taught validated  95  his  s h a m a n i s t i c name w i t h a d i s t r i b u t i o n o f g i f t s .  H i s subsequent  r e p u t a t i o n a s . a shaman r e s t e d on the i m p r e s s i v e n e s s o f h i s c u r i n g performances o r s h a m a n i s t i c d i s p l a y s o f m i r a c u l o u s powers. D i f f e r e n t shamans had d i f f e r e n t powers and, t h e r e f o r e , somewhat d i f f e r e n t r i g h t s and o b l i g a t i o n s .  However, w h i l e t h e r i g h t s  and o b l i g a t i o n s o f d i f f e r e n t k i n d s o f shamans may have v a r i e d a c c o r d ing  to t h e i r powers, t h e r e were some w h i c h h e l d g e n e r a l l y f o r a l l  shamans and t h e r e were some w h i c h even i f o n l y r e l e v a n t f o r a few i n d i v i d u a l shamans, were i m p o r t a n t a t t r i b u t e s o f the s t e r e o t y p e .  It  s h o u l d be n o t e d h e r e t h a t M c l l w r a i t h does not i n d i c a t e which r i g h t s and o b l i g a t i o n s a p p l i e d t o o n l y those who had p u b l i c l y d e c l a r e d thems e l v e s shamans and which r e f e r r e d to those who had had v i s i o n a r y exp e r i e n c e b u t were not a c c e p t e d as shamans. As a l r e a d y mentioned, shamans, by v i r t u e o f t h e i r e s o t e r i c knowledge, were c o n s i d e r e d p a r t i c u l a r l y s u i t e d to i n t e r c e d e w i t h the supernatural.  Thus b e f o r e any major u n d e r t a k i n g an i n d i v i d u a l might  ask a shaman to seek s u p e r n a t u r a l a i d .  Shamans d i d n o t have compul-  s i v e powers over s p i r i t e n t i t i e s i n g e n e r a l b u t they had b e t t e r than u s u a l p e r s u a s i v e powers and might perhaps even be asked f o r h e l p i n h u n t i n g o r f i s h i n g and o t h e r s u b s i s t e n c e a c t i v i t i e s .  Only shamans  ( p a r t i c u l a r l y shamans o f the dead who had r e c e i v e d power from g h o s t s ) , c o u l d see i n t o t h e l a n d o f ghosts o r understand ghosts.  t h e language o f the  I f ghosts were s u s p e c t e d o f c a u s i n g t r o u b l e a shaman would  be asked t o d i s c o v e r t h e cause o f resentment.  Shamans were the o n l y  96  human agents who could cure the sick.  Even i f one shaman t r i e d and  f a i l e d i t could be expected that others might succeed or, i f beyond the a b i l i t i e s of the most powerful, that a shaman could most successf u l l y hope to secure the a i d of the supernatural being most noted for taking p i t y on the s i c k .  Only shamans could restore l o s t souls.  No mention of payment was made but i t was understood that i f the cure was successful the shaman would be rewarded.  The shaman put  on his shaman clothing and went to the patient's house with a group of singers and interested on-lookers, who helped by drumming and singing throughout the ceremony. The sickness was believed to exist i n the form of a material object and the aim throughout was to bring the object to the surface.  Methods could involve.one or a combination  of techniques, including the attempt to ease the sickness out by massaging with the hands, blowing water over the patient, o f f e r i n g prayers and s a c r i f i c e , or, occasionally, sucking the affected area. Shamans could also cause death, both consciously and accidently. Because of h i s own s p i r i t u a l force a shaman was p o t e n t i a l l y dangerous to others and a susceptible i n d i v i d u a l who approached too closely might f a l l sick or die just as i f he had seen a ghost or some such supernatural e n t i t y .  Shamans could cause death i n t e n t i o n a l l y by pro-  j e c t i n g an i n t r u s i v e object into the intended victim. be asked by the society of winter dancers  A shaman might  ( v i l l a g e members who pos-  sessed the right to dance i n the winter dance season), to k i l l one of their members who had misbehaved.  In turn, shamans were susceptible  97  to those unclean materials (e.g. menstrual blood) which could be used to overcome the supernatural and had to avoid a l l p o s s i b i l i t y of contact with them.  An important prerogative of shamans was  of a d i s t i n c t i v e c o l l a r .  the wearing  This s i g n a l i z e d their status and warned  others of their r i t u a l condition and served to set them apart from others.  Mcllwraith writes that a shaman does not mix with others; he  "considers himself to be removed from the ranks of ordinary mortals and refers to the being from whom he has received his power as 'comrade "' (1948:559), thus emphasizing his s p i r i t u a l s u p e r i o r i t y and harmony with the s p i r i t world.  By p u b l i c l y proclaiming visionary exper-  ience and v a l i d a t i n g a shamanistic name through property  distribution,  an i n d i v i d u a l earned the right to give displays of s k i l l much i n the same way  as a winter kusiut dancer, by v a l i d a t i n g the claim to an  hereditary p r i v i l e g e , earned the right to perform a p a r t i c u l a r dance. The l a t t e r was otherwise  an hereditary. p r i v i l e g e while the former was  their prerogatives were s i m i l a r .  no.t, but  A shaman's performance  amounted to the display of a 'miraculous' power supposed to have been given by his guardian s p i r i t .  Mcllwraith observed: . "...usually those  that cannot cure can perform some other feat, conjuring s k i l l s and so forth...to the Bella Coola there i s no s o c i a l difference between a shaman who  can cure with the aid of a basin, and one who  power" (1948:564).  Shamanistic  lacks this  displays were i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c .  The  shaman sent out i n v i t a t i o n s and made certain that singers were prepared.  He stood alone i n the centre of the room, and sang and danced  98  and then performed  a t r i c k " t o impress'!the u n i n i t i a t e d " ,  d i s t r i b u t i n g food and g i f t s t h e i r attendance.  thereafter  to those p r e s e n t , i n a p p r e c i a t i o n f o r  The t r i c k s were o f t e n v e r y e l a b o r a t e , i n v o l v i n g  s i d e r a b l e i n g e n u i t y and dramatic t e c h n i q u e s .  con-  However, r e a d i n g some  of the examples, they seem no more dramatic and c l e v e r than some o f the d i s p l a y s performed by k u s i u t dancers, except t h a t they were i n d i v i d u a l and i d i o s y n c r a t i c r a t h e r than h e r e d i t a r y and U n l i k e the w i n t e r dancers, who activities  traditional.  acknowledged a m a r s h a l l to c o o r d i n a t e  and a c t e d as a group, whatever c o o p e r a t i o n t h e r e  been between shamans was  u n s y s t e m a t i c and i n f o r m a l .  can conclude t h a t the people who  may  have  While M c l l w r a i t h  owned k u s i u t p r e r o g a t i v e s formed  a  s o c i e t y he makes no such c l a i m f o r shamans. Descent was  one of the most important p r i n c i p l e s  i n g B e l l a Coola s o c i e t y .  The b a s i c s o c i a l u n i t beyond the n u c l e a r  f a m i l y , what M c l l w r a i t h c a l l e d an " a n c e s t r a l f a m i l y " , was group,  structur-  the members o f which b e l i e v e d themselves.to be  a descent  descended,  through e i t h e r mother or f a t h e r , from a common, founding a n c e s t o r . R i g h t s to r e s o u r c e a r e a s , names, c e r e m o n i a l p r e r o g a t i v e s , and innumerable other p r i v i l e g e s groups  depended on-claims  to membership o f these  (an i n d i v i d u a l c o u l d c l a i m membership i n up to e i g h t g r o u p s ) ,  as demonstrated  by d e s c e n t .  There was  a tendency  to endogamy w i t h i n  c l u s t e r s o f these groups so t h a t p r i v i l e g e s i n h e r i t e d by s u c c e s s i v e h e i r s would be r e t u r n e d e v e n t u a l l y • t o the o r i g i n a l group. to M c l l w r a i t h "the fundamental  concept o f the p o t l a t c h  According  (was)  the i n -  99  v i t i n g o f guests from abroad t o w i t n e s s r i t e s i n c o n n e c t i o n w i t h an a n c e s t r a l myth...." (1948:184).  Membership i n the K u s i u t s o c i e t y o f  w i n t e r dancers depended on a " d u l y v a l i d a t e d a n c e s t r a l p r e r o g a t i v e to p e r f o r m one o f the many k u s i u t dances" (1948 v o l . 2:2).  I t has  a l r e a d y been s u g g e s t e d how r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f s were c o n s i s t e n t w i t h t h i s c o n c e r n w i t h d e s c e n t and i t i s w o r t h a t t e m p t i n g t o examine shamanism as r e l a t i n g t o d e s c e n t . A c o n n e c t i o n which i m m e d i a t e l y suggests i t s e l f i s the importance o f shamans f o r communicating w i t h g h o s t s .  So f a r as I can  d i s c o v e r , the B e l l a C o o l a were unique i n h a v i n g a s p e c i f i c term f o r shamans who a c q u i r e d t h e i r power from g h o s t s .  A l t h o u g h ghosts were  a c o n c e r n t o almost a l l Northwest Coast groups the B e l l a C o o l a seem to have emphasized  t h e i r s i g n i f i c a n c e r a t h e r more than most groups.  Ghosts were r e g u l a r l y p r o p i t i a t e d by t h r o w i n g the crumbs i n t o the f i r e a f t e r a meal so t h a t they would n o t be hungry.  They c o u l d  cause s i c k n e s s o r death i f i n d i v i d u a l s f o r g o t t o f e e d them o r n e g l e c t e d them i n some o t h e r way.  Only shamans c o u l d u n d e r s t a n d  the language o f ghosts and they c o u l d a l s o p e e r down i n t o the l a n d o f ghosts to f i n d out what was happening  there.  They p r o v i d e d a  l i n k between the l i v i n g and t h e i r a n c e s t o r s , a means whereby the dead c o u l d communicate t h e i r w i s h e s and needs to descendants. Shamans were i n t e r m e d i a r i e s between two w o r l d s .  In Bella  C o o l a terms, the n e c e s s i t y o f d i r e c t v i s i o n a r y c o n t a c t would have been the r e a s o n why s h a m a n i s t i c power c o u l d n o t be i n h e r i t e d .  Mcllwraith  100  explains:  " S i n c e the power o f a shaman i s o b t a i n e d by a p e r s o n a l  p e r i e n c e and l a c k s b o t h form and s u b s t a n c e , and d i s a p p e a r s  a t the owner's d e a t h "  perhaps a n o t h e r reason.  (1948:575).  transmitted  However t h e r e  and t r a n s m i t t e d by myth, were perhaps  than the a u t h o r i t y of shamans.The B e l l a Coola  b e l i e v e d that ancestors  The-evidence, as they p e r c e i v e d i t ,  other i n t e r p r e t a t i o n .  clocould  could allow  no  I n h e r i t a n c e of powers would have been i n c o n -  s i s t e n t w i t h the e v i d e n c e : shamans would have had  firmly  and shamans o f the p a s t had m a i n t a i n e d  s e r t i e s w i t h the s u p e r n a t u r a l than contemporary i n d i v i d u a l s ever a c h i e v e .  was  For each f a m i l y the a u t h o r i t y o f the know-  l e d g e d e r i v e d by the a n c e s t o r s more i m p o r t a n t  i t cannot be  ex-  w i t h i n h e r i t a n c e o f powers contemporary  the same powers as t h e i r p r e d e c e s s o r s . -  And,  on a n o t h e r l e v e l , had shamans been a b l e to c l a i m h e r e d i t a r y powers, t h e i r a u t h o r i t y may as t h e r e was  have c o n f l i c t e d w i t h t h a t ' o f the myths.  So  no h e r e d i t a r y c o n n e c t i o n between contemporary and  t r a l shamans, a n c e s t o r s  long ances-  r a t h e r than shamans remained the supreme a u t h -  o r i t y r e g a r d i n g the s u p e r n a t u r a l and p r o v i d e d the model o f harmonious r e l a t i o n s w i t h the s u p e r n a t u r a l . A p o i n t t o note r e g a r d i n g shamanism i n r e l a t i o n to h e r e d i t a r y p r i n c i p l e s i s t h a t shamanism was  one of the o n l y means, i f not  the s o l e means o f a c q u i r i n g the r i g h t to g i v e c e r e m o n i a l w h i c h was  not h e r e d i t a r y .  A l l other ceremonial  displays  p e r f o r m a n c e s , such as  those g i v e n a t p o t l a t c h e s o r the k u s i u t dances r e q u i r e d an h e r e d i t a r y  101  right.  Thus shamanism p r o v i d e d a means f o r c e r e m o n i a l e x p r e s s i o n  f o r those who had no h e r e d i t a r y c e r e m o n i a l r i g h t s .  I t also repre-  s e n t e d a v e r y r e a l b e n e f i t , as g r e a t o r g r e a t e r than t h e m a t e r i a l g a i n f o r c u r e s , f o r shamans who c o u l d n o t cure o r f o r shamans who had no o t h e r c e r e m o n i a l p r e r o g a t i v e s as  individuals.  102  CHAPTER VI COAST TSIMSHIAN SHAMANISM  Boas.' Tsimshian Mythology (1916) and Garfield^s The Tsimshian Indians and Their Arts were the sources c h i e f l y consulted for the following section.  Boas' report i s r i c h and detailed but  i t does not leave.one with a p a r t i c u l a r l y clear picture of the s o c i a l system and the r e l a t i o n of myth, s t o r i e s and religious b e l i e f s to s o c i a l behaviour.  G a r f i e l d perhaps gives a more concise account of  s o c i a l organization but she leaves many questions unanswered.  I  confess to remaining somewhat confused on a number of issues, p a r t i cularly the r e l a t i o n between b e l i e f and behaviour, the importance of secret society prerogatives r e l a t i v e to other display p r i v i l e g e s , and the functions and characteristics of those chiefs who  possessed  "throwing" power. Over and above the s p i r i t u a l i t y or 'beingness' of a l l phenomena, certain s p e c i f i c phenomena ( s p i r i t s , objects, creatures, part i c u l a r plants and natural phenomena), were believed to have s p e c i a l powers.  These s p e c i a l e n t i t i e s j called "nexnox",-we may  natural beings.  term super-  Supernatural beings behaved i n certain ways and had  p a r t i c u l a r attributes which made them of s p e c i f i c interest to  men.  They could endow men with extra-human powers or highly prized crests and ceremonial prerogatives, or they could harm men by bringing death or misfortune.  Since they conformed to certain:laws and p r i n c i p l e s ,  by knowing and using these laws men  could hope to influence super-  natural beings to a t t a i n their own ends or to avoid harm.  103'  S u p e r n a t u r a l b e i n g s were r e c o g n i s e d t o conform the same m o t i v a t i n g f o r c e s as human b e i n g s .  t o many o f  They c o u l d be o f f e n d e d ,  shamed o r i n s u l t e d , g r a t i f i e d , f l a t t e r e d o r amused, o r moved t o p i t y o r compassion.  I n myth they m a r r i e d , had c h i l d r e n , conformed t o t h e  r u l e s o f rank and gave p o t l a t c h e s . M e n s t r u a l b l o o d and v a r i o u s o t h e r substances were repugnant  t o them..  Lack o f r e s p e c t and c o u r t e s y  c o u l d anger them, w h i l e they were l i k e l y t o be p l e a s e d by those who made themselves substances;  r i t u a l l y c l e a n by e l i m i n a t i n g a l l t a i n t o f p o l l u t i n g  S e c o n d l y , " I n t h e same way as s u p e r n a t u r a l b e i n g s (had)  powers n o t p o s s e s s e d by human b e i n g s , so human b e i n g s , and t h i n g s b e l o n g i n g t o men (had) powers n o t p o s s e s s e d by s u p e r n a t u r a l p e o p l e " (Boas, 1916:453). The p r i m a r y means by which men hoped t o i n f l u e n c e s u p e r n a t u r a l b e i n g s were p r o p i t i a t i o n i n c l u d i n g p r a y e r s , p u r i f i c a t i o n and s a c r i f i c e , and by s p i r i t c o n t a c t .  M e d i c i n e s o r o t h e r means o f com-  p u l s i v e magic do n o t seem t o have been as i m p o r t a n t as they were among the H a i d a and T l i n g i t , f o r example. o f them by ethnographers  o r myths.  L i t t l e mention i s made,  P r o p i t i a t o r y r i t e s were performed  f o r salmon and o l a c h e n a t t h e F i r s t Salmon Ceremony and F i r s t 01achen Ceremony t o ensure t h a t they would come i n abundance and t h a t they would r e t u r n every y e a r .  A h o s t o f taboos were m a i n t a i n e d f o r  the h u n t i n g o f v a r i o u s animals and f o r some time d u r i n g t h e f i r s t salmon r u n s .  P r a y e r s were addressed t o s u p e r n a t u r a l b e i n g s .  Sac-  r i f i c e s were a l s o o f f e r e d t o p l e a s e and p l a c a t e s u p e r n a t u r a l b e i n g s ,  104  including food, tobacco, bird's down and red ochre. nique f o r engaging supernatural aid was  A powerful tech-  ritual purification.  ters, i f they wished to ensure success "counted the days":  Hunthey  spent four days of continence, fasting, bathing and purging, before s e t t i n g out.  Before war or other c r i t i c a l events and before prepar-  ation f o r any ceremonial occasion people were supposed to purify themselves.  I am uncertain whether rigorous p u r i f i c a t i o n was  sup-  posed tosmake the i n d i v i d u a l more a t t r a c t i v e to supernatural beings or whether i t was  thought to be compulsive i n i t s effects!? or whether  i t strengthened the i n d i v i d u a l enabling him to compel supernatural beings.  Boas remarks that, " I f a s p e c i a l object i s to be attained,  they believe that by a r i g i d fasting they can compel the deity to grant i t " (1916:545). cation was  However i t was believed to work, r i t u a l  purifi-  certainly thought to be a very successful way of acquiring  supernatural assistance. Children were encouraged  from early years  to purify themselves regularly by bathing and rubbing the body with various plants, so that•they would "grow up w e l l " . themselves before any important undertaking.  Adults p u r i f i e d  And p u r i f i c a t i o n was  extremely important prerequisite for any prospective s p i r i t  an  encounter.  There were many forms of s p i r i t contact among the Tsimshian and i t i s d i f f i c u l t to unravel the various factors associated with them.  The Tsimshian had both ceremonial s p i r i t relations and  dualized guardian s p i r i t associations:  indivi-  i n other words, types of  supernatural association which were l i k e those of Kwakiutl and types  .105  which were l i k e those of the inland Athabaskan people where the guardian s p i r i t relationship was non-hereditary and unique for each i n d i vidual . The ceremonial s p i r i t relationships were those i n which i n dividuals acquired the r i g h t , by l i n e a l descent from an ancestor who encountered the s p i r i t , or by descent from a predecessor who acquired the right i n some other way (e.g. marriage), or by themselves  acquiring  the right through marriage or force, to continue the association with a particular s p i r i t .  The association was signalized by the perfor-  mance and display of p a r t i c u l a r powers, crests, or ceremonial prerogat i v e s , ( i . e . p a r t i c u l a r types of association were indicated by p a r t i cular types of display p r i v i l e g e ) .  The several types of display i n c l u -  ded the impersonation of the s p i r i t , performances  i n which the i n d i v i -  dual appeared to be possessed by the s p i r i t , and performances the  i n d i v i d u a l summoned h i s s p i r i t s .  i n which  I am unclear as to whether  the performances which involved the impersonation of the s p i r i t were supposed to s i g n a l s p i r i t contact (as opposed to s i g n a l l i n g an association with the s p i r i t ) .  G a r f i e l d has'this to say:  The p r i n c i p a l elaboration on this basic guardian s p i r i t quest pattern developed by the tribes of the northern part of the Northwest coast area, was i n the dramatization of the experience, i t s i d e n t i f i c a t i o n with a lineage, and the use as crests of things the ancestors had heard and seen. The complex of ideas and things became the property of descendants who did not'have to go through a supernatural experience again i n order to benefit, but needed only to reenact i t by impersonation of the o r i g i n a l participants (1950: 42) .  106  She seems to suggest by this that impersonation of the being did not involve i n i t i a t i o n or s p i r i t contact but was rather the  re-enactment  of a standing association between the s p i r i t s and the descendants of the p a r t i c u l a r ancestor who  encountered the s p i r i t .  But l a t e r she  implies that the right to impersonate the s p i r i t did, i n some fashion, require more intimate association with the s p i r i t : The Coast Tsimshian and Nisqa i n i t i a t e d .very young children into the protective custody of the supernaturals. The throwing dance constituted such an i n i t i a t i o n . Each of the i n v i t e d chiefs who performed this dance sang his song, called upon his power, and indicated i t s name. Such a name symbolized the guardian s p i r i t acquired by his ancestors and i t was used i n this fashion only when the s p i r i t was called ....When the power appeared to the chief, he caught i t and threw i t into the children....After the ceremony, they were ready for secret society i n i t i a t i o n or to take part i n dramatizations of legends (1950:44). The ambiguities which arise from these two paragraphs are legion.  Did  or did not those q u a l i f i e d to perform s p i r i t impersonations and other displays undergo s p i r i t i n i t i a t i o n ?  Was  the 'power' of the chief dis-  t i n c t from the 'power' projected into initiates,, or were, i n i t i a t e s subsequently considered to have s p i r i t power obtained from the same s p i r i t as the chief?  Was  the chief performing a personal prerogative  or was he performing a duty of o f f i c e , on behalf of the lineage? Again, G a r f i e l d does not make clear whether a l l - t h e members of a lineage were i n i t i a t e d , and whether a l l the members of a lineage, or a l l descendants of.the ancestor who  encountered the supernatural, had  a right:to perform, or whether only the senior members i n the d i r e c t m a t r i l i n e a l l i n e had the r i g h t .  Duff maintains that this "throwing  107  dance",was a personal prerogative of certain chiefs and was a d i f f e r ent complex from the one i n which the c h i l d impersonates an inherited ''nexnox'' or supernatural being. 1  At these times the chief threw power,  as power, into the c h i l d and there- :was subsequently ;  no connection be1  tween the c h i l d and the s p i r i t helper of the chief. those q u a l i f i e d to perform impersonations  According to him,  or other displays did not  have to undergo i n i t i a t i o n by a chief. Boas writes: When a young man advanced i n s o c i a l standing, the time would come for him to acquire supernatural helpers. These were also hereditary.in the various exogamic groups, and belonged to certain families, not to the group as a whole (1916:513). With regard to the q u a l i f i c a t i o n necessary for performances, I suspect that, i n terms of the lineage, a d i s t i n c t i o n has to be made between performances which impersonated the s p i r i t and those i n which the performer was supposed to be possessed by the s p i r i t . mer,  The for-  I suspect, were performed to represent the lineage as a whole,  and the l a t t e r by p a r t i c u l a r individuals i n their own r i g h t , who ac-• quired the right through inheritance, marriage,  or some other means;  Secret society performances were of this second type.  G a r f i e l d des-  cribes the secret society i n i t i a t i o n s thus: Novices were coached in.every step of i n i t i a t i o n , from the preliminary bathing, fasting and p u r i f i c a t i o n to the f i n a l removal of s p i r i t influence....The appropriate presiding s p i r i t was called by the songs and symbolized by the dances of the members of the society. The s p i r i t which was i n 1.  This information was acquired i n a personal communication with Duff.  108  the society dancers seized the novice and he vanished to the accompaniment of whistles....The state which overcame him corresponded to the v i s i o n or hallucinatory experience of a s o l i t a r y guardian s p i r i t seeker. Society members then enticed the novice, through his s p i r i t , to return to the house where they captured him....When his ecstasy or frenzy had been brought under control, he danced for his s p i r i t power....Each i n i t i a t e received an i n d i v i d u a l dance, .song, name and symbol from the tutelary (1950:45). According to G a r f i e l d , membership i n the Dog-Eater and Dancer societies "was open to any Tsimshian who had the wealth necessary'for the i n i t i a t o r y ceremony" (Ibid.), but, "Cannibal, Fire-Thrower  and Destroyer  dances were acquired as personal, hereditary prerogatives" (Ibid.). As Boas indicates, besides s p i r i t associations s i g n i f i e d by secret society dances, there were other hereditary s p i r i t relationships acquired by'individuals.  He gives a l i s t of various chiefs and the sac-  red names which they acquired, s i g n i f y i n g their associations with various supernatural helpers.  For example, Legex, most senior chief  of a l l the Eagles, had the sacred names Txagaksem*laxha,Hanatana, . and Gagulikagax.  "Every i n d i v i d u a l had to acquire every supernatural  helper through an i n i t i a t i o n .  With the a c q u i s i t i o n of the helper,  the i n d i v i d u a l was supposed to have attained also certain powers, which could be 'thrown' upon or into other people" (Boas, 1916:514). Thus Legex had the power to i n i t i a t e young people and even children by c a l l i n g upon his supernatural helper, Txagaksem laxha, and "throwing" power into the children.  Boas reports h i s Tsimshian  informant:  Then the people would c a l l for Txagaksem laxha, the supernatural helper of Legex, to i n i t i a t e several of the young people. His helper was used 'only for youths of high rank (1916:514).  109  The s u p e r n a t u r a l  power o f c h i e f s t o i n i t i a t e  o t h e r s was a  r e l a t i v e l y i m p o r t a n t a s p e c t o f T s i m s h i a n c e r e m o n i a l and r e l i g i o u s l i f e . According  t o D u f f , such c h i e f s were known by a s p e c i a l term 'naxnagam f  h a l a i t " , as opposed to shamans who w e r e " s w e n s k h a l a i t " . masters o f s p i r i t s  C h i e f s were  as much as shamans i n t h a t they c o n t r o l l e d a number,  of s p i r i t s who i n v e s t e d ^powers*P o f p u b l i c i m p o r t a n c e . To summarise, the T s i m s h i a n r e c o g n i z e d  a class of s p i r i t as-  s o c i a t i o n s h i p s which were f o r m a l i z e d , t r a n s m i s s i b l e , and e x c l u s i v e i n the sense t h a t they were c o n f i n e d b a s i s of s p e c i f i c c r i t e r i a ship) .  Accession  to c e r t a i n c l a s s e s o f p e o p l e on the  (e.g. wealth,  i n h e r i t a n c e , l i n e a g e member-  to s p i r i t r e l a t i o n s h i p s o f t h i s k i n d r e q u i r e d p u b l i c ,  d r a m a t i z e d i n i t i a t i o n and t h e d i s t r i b u t i o n o f p r o p e r t y w h i c h marked a l l formal e x h i b i t i o n s of entry to a p a r t i c u l a r s t a t u s .  A number o f  these s p i r i t r e l a t i o n s h i p s were s p e c i f i c a l l y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h affiliation.  lineage  I n i t i a t i o n commonly•marked the l i n e a g e a f f i l i a t i o n and/or  rank o f the i n d i v i d u a l s i n v o l v e d .  Most m a n i f e s t b e n e f i t s  from such a s s o c i a t i o n s was the a b i l i t y  derived  to d i s p l a y c e r e m o n i a l p r e r o -  gatives . B e s i d e s those s p i r i t r e l a t i o n s h i p s , u s u a l l y h e r e d i t a r y , w h i c h c o n f e r r e d powers o f a c e r e m o n i a l n a t u r e , i n i n d i v i d u a l guardian s p i r i t s .  the T s i m s h i a n a l s o b e l i e v e d  I t was b e l i e v e d t h a t f o r almost any  a c t i v i t y , g r e a t e r s u c c e s s c o u l d be a c h i e v e d by a c q u i r i n g power from visionary confrontation with a s p i r i t .  By e n t e r i n g a g u a r d i a n s p i r i t  r e l a t i o n s h i p , i n d i v i d u a l s c o u l d a c q u i r e t h e power to become g r e a t " h u n -  110  ters, to f i s h , to gain wealth, or to gamble, to weave blankets or to b u i l d canoes, and so on.  Guardian s p i r i t powers apparently s u b s t i t u -  ted for the compulsive magic techniques which were not a marked feature of Tsimshian society. cure.  Shamans were those who  acquired the power to  They d i f f e r e d from others i n that their supernatural helpers  were thought to be both more dangerous and more powerful.than usual, haying the power both to cure sickness and to "send" sickness into another person.  Both the power to cure and to "send" sickness appear  to have been linked together, unlike the Kwakiutl, who between shamans who  distinguished  could cure and send sickness and shamans who  could  only cure (Boas, 1966:120). Shamans^ l i k e the chiefs who  had several s p i r i t helpers  could throw power, were controllers of s p i r i t s .  According  and  to Professor  Duff, the term for shaman, "swensk h a l a i t " , meant "supernatural blowing", i n reference to his a b i l i t y to cure by blowing sickness away. "Naxnagam h a l a i t " , r e f e r r i n g to chiefs, may  be translated l i t e r a l l y  as ' s p i r i t supernatural performance', meaning, I think, master or colleague-of s p i r i t s which bestow rights to supernatural performances. The Tsimshian,  themselves, then,  seemed to have defined the shaman  on.the basis of his power to cure.  Like the i n d i v i d u a l  guardian  s p i r i t powers, and i n contrast to the ceremonial I n t i a t i o n s , shamani s t i c i n t i a t i o n was  commonly, i f not always, s o l i t a r y .  of shamanistic power could be sought or unsought. viduals who  Acquisition  Myths t e l l of i n d i -  actively sought supernatural encounters and of others  had their powers bestowed on them.  who  Sought or unsought, the visionary  Ill  experience .necessary f o r i n i t i a t i o n entailed considerable hardship and s u f f e r i n g .  Visionary experience l e f t i n i t i a t e s physically and  emotionally exhausted.  As evidence of the heightened emotional state  the novice generally suffered, "vomiting of blood (was) a sign that a •  f  person (had) attained supernatural power" (Boas, 1916:474).  Upon re-  covery, the novice generally publicized the event by describing h i s visionary experience to assembled shamans, k i n and co-residents, singing the s p e c i a l songs given by his helper, and f i n a l l y , by completing a cure. Mayne. concluded that shamanistic novices were: ...for the most part, those who have themselves been v i s i t e d by some-serious sickness, and have recovered; or else have been,, at some time i n their l i v e s , exposed to great p e r i l , but have escaped uninjured...for i t i s believed that, during the period of unconsciousness, supernatural power and s k i l l were vouchsafed them; and also, by their recovering, i t i s concluded that they have successfully resisted the e f f o r t s of bad medicine, or the e v i l workings of some malevolent being (Mayne, 1862:289-95, as c i t e d by Boas, 1916:560). G a r f i e l d and Boas each c i t e accounts by separate informants of i n i t i a t o r y experience. 2 River novice.  G a r f i e l d records the account of a Nass  As a young man he wished to become a good hunter and,  finding that the good hunters he knew were invariably shamans, he decided to become a shaman.- He asked a Nass River shaman for guidance in training.  The Nass River shaman-agreed and advised him to seek a  B e l l a B e l l a chief who could give him dancing powers.  He did so and the  B e l l a B e l l a chief further advised him to see two other men f o r more dancing powers. 2.  He then returned to the Nass shaman who sent him to  As i t was reported to her by William Beynon of Port Simpson..  112  a shaman who  specialized i n making symbols of supernatural power f o r  other shamans.  This shaman made him the knife he wanted and showed  him the techniques of operating i t so that i t would appear when he . put i t i n his mouth that blood gushed out. Nass River and that spring became i l l .  He then returned to the  The Nass River shaman knew  by this that he was now possessed by the supernatural and instructed him to summon a l l the shamans'who had helped him.  He now became a  shaman and gave his performance, showing his symbol of. supernatural power (Garfield, 1950:47).  This account i s i n t e r e s t i n g f o r the way  i t indicates the extent to which shamans knew of each other and cooperated with each other and for the way  i n which i t suggests that  prospective shamans depended on the aid and teaching of other shamans. It indicates that while there was  a large element of. f a i t h involved  and apparently genuine v i s i o n a r y experience, Tsimshian shamans also used t h e a t r i c a l techniques analogous formers.  to those used by ceremonial per-  It also suggests that although there was  co-operation and  exchange between shamans, there was no necessary close association between shamans i n terms of t r i b a l or clan a f f i l i a t i o n . Boas records the experience of Chief Mountain, also a Nass shaman.  As a youth',  The supernatural beings were pursuing him a l l the time. One'day a b e a u t i f u l g i r l appeared to him, and he fainted. She taught him her song, which enabled him to make the o l a chen come'in spring....One night she took him through a f i f e , and a f t e r that he was able to handle f i r e with impun-. i t y . . . . L a t e r on he saw four other supernatural beings.... They taught him to foresee sickness....When he was c a l l e d  113  to cure disease, the four'supernatural men appeared to him and helped him....His helpers pointed out witches to him and enabled him to see ghosts (Boas, 1916:563). According to Chief Mountain "only a man whose father was a shaman could becomea shaman" (1916:562).  Apparently Chief Mountain's  exper-  ience was an example of an unsought v i s i o n i n the sense that the supernatural encounter was sudden.  But he could not have been unprepared,  i f , , a s a youth, "the supernatural beings were pursuing him a l l the time".  The account again suggests a considerable period of training  and learning, presumably  at the d i r e c t i o n of h i s father.  Although we might assume by these two accounts that shamans commonly underwent considerable training and teaching under the direction of other shamans, according to G a r f i e l d "A Tsimshian who desired to become a shaman could carry out h i s own. training and quest" (1950: 47).  The evidence seems to indicate that shamanistic i n i t i a t i o n among  the Tsimshian combined elements s i m i l a r to those c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the Kwakiutl and those t y p i c a l of the i n t e r i o r Athabaskan people.  In  myth, and according to G a r f i e l d , prospective shamans could seek shama n i s t i c power and i n i t i a t i o n alone. tion from an experienced shaman.  In practise, most acquired direc-  S i m i l a r i t i e s to Kwakiutl i n i t i a t i o n  arecthe frequency of. i l l n e s s as the p r e c i p i t a t i n g factor i n visionary experience, the presence of shamans at. the public announcement of the novice's new status, the use of t h e a t r i c a l techniques f o r curing cere-^monies and the importance of formal .technical t r a i n i n g .  Similarities  to Athabaskan i n i t i a t i o n are the degree of individualism and i n f o r ^  114  mality present.  Novices  of the same l i n e a g e a p p a r e n t l y  d i d not r e c e i v e  t h e i r powers from a' common-lineage "shaman-maker", t h e i r p r a c t i s e apparently  c o u l d be q u i t e i d i o s y n c r a t i c , and  e r a b l e independence of c h o i c e . i n t h e i r s e l e c t i o n of A shaman normally gave d i f f e r e n t powers. ., The  techniques  they had  of  consid-  instructor.  a c q u i r e d s e v e r a l h e l p e r s , each of which r e l a t i o n s h i p between a shaman and h i s  super-  n a t u r a l h e l p e r s appears ambivalent. .. On. the one hand the shaman  was  supposed to be a b l e to send h i s h e l p e r s  search  for  l o s t s o u l s , and  ever n e c e s s a r y .  On  to k i l l  h i s enemies, o r  to call...upon h i s h e l p e r s f o r a i d and a d v i s e whenthe o t h e r .hand, he might d i e i f he disobeyed  orders of h i s h e l p e r s o r i f . h i s h e l p e r s were a t t a c k e d and The myth c a l l e d "The  The hero a c q u i r e d a number  s u p e r n a t u r a l h e l p e r s w i t h d i f f e r e n t k i n d s of power.  were G r i z z l y Bear, T h u n d e r b i r d , End, ,:Guttlefish and  defeated.  Deluge".(Boas, 1916:346), r e v e a l s something of  the shaman's r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h h i s h e l p e r s . of  the  helpers  a m y t h i c a l monster named Mouth-at-Each-  Lightning-with-Hail.  When enemies t r i e d to k i l l him  His  He became a famous shaman.  he:  . . i s e n t h i s s u p e r n a t u r a l h e l p e r s Mouth-at-Each-End and Cutt l e f i s h who k i l l e d those who t r i e d to murder t h e i r master; or, i f a shaman came through the water, Mouth-at-Each-End and C u t t l e f i s h would go i n t o the water and d e s t r o y him; o r , i f a shaman w i t h h i s s u p e r n a t u r a l h e l p e r s came o v e r l a n d , the G r i z z l y Bear would f i g h t him and d e s t r o y him; o r i f a supe r n a t u r a l power came up f l y i n g through the a i r ; Thunderbird and L i g h t n i n g - w i t h - H a i l would d e s t r o y him (Boas, 1916:348). At l a s t all  two  shamans; .with the power Blood,  h i s s u p e r n a t u r a l powers so t h a t he was  a-shaman, s u r v i v e d and  "sent f o r t h h i s own  a t t a c k e d him killed.  and  destroyed  His b r o t h e r , a l s o  supernatural helpers,  Blood  115  and Martens, who k i l l e d the two shamans...." (Ibid.).  The brother took  over Mouth-at-Each-End, Grizzly Bear and so forth and "conquered a l l the supernatural powers around."  The myth i l l u s t r a t e s the considerable  danger shamans were supposed .to face and the dependence of shamans on their s p i r i t aides, and i t . s t a t e s unambiguously that the shaman "conquered" s p i r i t s and that he directed them to do h i s w i l l . In addition to the a b i l i t y to diagnose and cure sickness, depending on the nature of their s p i r i t helpers, shamans acquired other kinds of power.  Chief Mountain, f o r example, could make olachen come  i n spring, f o r e t e l l sickness, detect witches, see ghosts and handle fire.  Others could discover the whereabouts of l o s t people, or predict  the movements of animals or f i s h . There i s not much s p e c i f i c information about the customary rights, p r i v i l e g e s , obligations and l i a b i l i t i e s entailed by becoming a shaman.  Since shamans could send disease they were feared, and since  they were masters of s p i r i t s they, were respected. to be very successful men.  They often appeared  Boas mentions, with t a n t a l i z i n g brevity,  that "The shaman wears stone and bone ammulets, and does not cut h i s hair.  His appearance i s the same as that of the T l i n g i t shaman" (1916:  563).  At death shamans were not, l i k e other people, cremated, and the  bodies of shamans were buried.in caves or i n the woods.  These very  b r i e f descriptions indicate that shamans were aloof from society. status and r i t u a l condition.were  Their  s i g n i f i e d by dress and by the long  h a i r and their p r i v i l e g e d p o s i t i o n with respect to the supernatural was marked by the general success which they  achieved.  realm  116  In terms of services, the duties of a shaman were both private, on behalf of individuals, and public, on behalf of the community at large.  Among the most important of public duties was o f f i c i a t i n g at  important ceremonies, such as the F i r s t Salmon and Olachen ceremonies. On such occasions, the shamans of a community, i n cooperation, performed the r i t u a l s associated with the removal and cleaning of the f i r s t f i s h and ensured that the requisite taboos were kept by a l l .  Shamans  also performed community services when they attempted to predict or control the movement or appearance of animals, f i s h or plants for communal hunting, f i s h i n g or gathering.  One of the myths recounts a case  where, when there are many sudden deaths i n a community "the shamans may go to make war on the Ghosts i n order to recover the souls of the deceased" (Boas, 1916:475).  I t seems quite clear that shamans were i n  fact c a l l e d upon by the community at large to perform certain services for  the entire community.  In contrast to their private services, they  do not appear to have been paid d i r e c t l y f o r their services, although Mayne asserts, "A canoe's crew w i l l often give a t h i r d of their f i r s t haul to the ' f i s h - p r i e s t ' to p r o p i t i a t e him and ensure good luck for the  rest of the season" (Mayne, 1862:259, as cited by Boas, 1916:562). When a person f e l l sick, a near r e l a t i v e offered property,  apparently to any shaman who  cared to attempt a cure.  There i s l i t t l e  information about the relationship of patient to shaman i n kinship or t r i b a l terms.  For a curing ceremony (Boas, 1916:558), which generally  lasted several days, or perhaps even weeks, the p r i n c i p a l shaman f i r s t  117  prepared himself by rigorous p u r i f i c a t i o n .  He then assembled a l l his  colleagues, sometimes as many as 10 to 18, to help him.  He wore f u l l  dress, including red-ochre on the face, eagle down on the head, and a crown of g r i z z l y bear claws, and with eagle t a i l i n the l e f t hand and r a t t l e i n the right hand he started the cure. ernatural helpers.  He c a l l e d upon his sup-  His companions beat time and repeated the c a l l s .  He then sang his supernatural songs.  A f t e r a while he rested and t o l d  the surrounding audience his visionary diagnosis of the patient's cond i t i o n and the cause of sickness. on the disease. or sorcery. his  Subsequent curing action depended  Disease might be due to soul loss, object i n t r u s i o n  For soul loss the shaman performing  the cure called upon  colleagues and they moved out to the graveyard where he then t r i e d  to catch the soul.  When they returned the shaman put "the soul of the  patient i n his own head to give i t strength" and returned i t to the patient four days l a t e r (Boas1916:563).  If sickness were due to  object i n t r u s i o n the shaman t r i e d to suck i t out or incise the area. P a r t i c u l a r shamans had their own p a r t i c u l a r dramatic techniques for cure.  In myths there are numerous references to dramatic s p e c i a l ef-  fects.  Boards for beating time appeared to run i n by themselves and  lay  themselves down on each side of the f i r e .  drums beat themselves.  Weasel batons and skin  These may be mythological wonders or they  may  represent the t h e a t r i c a l t r i c k s and sleight-of-hand employed by part i c u l a r shamans to enhance the impressiveness  of their cures.  118  I t would seem t h a t c u r i n g ceremonies must have been, a t l e a s t f o r p e o p l e of h i g h r a n k , c o s t l y . completed a s u c c e s s f u l c u r e but was he f a i l e d .  The  shaman was  p a i d i f he  supposed to r e t u r n e v e r y t h i n g i f  Ceremonies were l o n g and  e l a b o r a t e , i n v o l v i n g the a i d of  sometimes as many as 18 o t h e r shamans as w e l l as s i n g e r s and officials.  other  I f a p r e s t i g i o u s shaman had been c a l l e d i n from o u t s i d e  the community, messengers would have been s e n t f o r him and would have to be p a i d .  We. can perhaps i n f e r t h a t c u r i n g ceremonies were expen-  s i v e from the f a c t t h a t shamans were r e l i e d upon a f t e r o t h e r means, such as h e r b a l m e d i c i n e s , had  failed.  A l t h o u g h shamans may  c a l l e d i n to t r e a t anyone s i c k enough, one  have been  of the myths observes  shaman i s c a l l e d i n to t r e a t the s i c k c h i e f s and p r i n c e s "  "A  (Boas,  1916:475). From a s t r u c t u r a l v i e w p o i n t  i t i s i n t e r e s t i n g to examine  shamanism i n r e l a t i o n to the l i n e a g e and  t r i b a l s t r u c t u r e s of s o c i e t y  and  t o compare the p o s i t i o n o f shamans w i t h t h a t of l i n e a g e c h i e f s ,  who  were a l s o s p i r i t m a s t e r s , and w i t h o t h e r p e o p l e who  s p i r i t power but were not shamans. seems to s u g g e s t t h a t s h a m a n i s t i c  From t h i s v i e w p o i n t ,  had  guardian  the e v i d e n c e  o r g a n i z a t i o n tended to c o r r e s p o n d  to the i n c r e a s e d emphasis among the T s i m s h i a n on t r i b e and c r o s s - t r i b . a s s o c i a t i o n s as opposed to the l i n e a g e - l o c a l group. A  ' t r i b e ' comprised a number of ranked l i n e a g e s , u s u a l l y of  two o r more c l a n s , who  s h a r e d ownership o f a common w i n t e r  s i t e , and owned c e r t a i n p r o p e r t y  i n c l u d i n g the house of the  village 'tribal  119  chief', a man acknowledged as prime community leader by the members of a l l lineages.  I use the term 'tribe' i n this instance, i n agree-  ment with Drucker and i n contrast to others who prefer the term  'vil-  lage' because I suspect i t may have some s i g n i f i c a n c e . Tribe here, i n contrast to v i l l a g e , has a p o l i t i c a l implication i n that, i n contrast to many v i l l a g e communities i n other areas,lineages were not completely  autonomous but acknowledged a t r i b a l leader and paid  tri-  bute to him. I wish to oppose tribe to lineage as a p o l i t i c a l grouping,  although the links between the neighbouring  were probably  lineages of a clan  an important factor i n furthering c r o s s - t r i b a l associa-  tions . Evidence tends to suggest that shamans, as such, were not commonly linked to matrilineages.  In theory, at least, shamans were  supposed to receive their powers i n a s o l i t a r y encounter with the s p i r i t , a f t e r a period of rigorous p u r i f i c a t i o n and training;, which  s  involved long periods of i s o l a t i o n or only the company of a few close companions.  According  to G a r f i e l d :  It was more usual for young men to attach themselves to shamans who were paid to teach them. Usually, the young man's maternal uncle, less often h i s father, paid the pedagogue. Older shamans also took their own sons, nephews, or nieces as assistants and supervised their t r a i n i n g (1950:47). This indicates that there was no necessary o b l i g a t i o n to apply to m a t r i l i n e a l k i n f o r teaching.  She also states that, "A novice could  receive aides from a supernatural who had assisted an ancestor or from any of the numerous mythical creatures who revealed themselves  120  to human beings" (1950:46).  She does not mention whether the ances-  tor was on the mother's side but even supposing that only m a t r i l i n e a l ancestors were meant, the novice might be i n i t i a t e d by any number of other s p i r i t s not associated with the matrilineage.  From what Gar-  f i e l d says, then, i t would not appear that shamans r e l i e d on matril i n e a l k i n or s p i r i t s for training and i n i t i a t i o n any more than one might expect from the fact that i n i n d i v i d u a l terms m a t r i l i n e a l associations were stressed more than paternal connections.  The example  she gives of a Nass shaman indicates that novices applied to shamans for d i r e c t i o n i n training on other than kinship c r i t e r i a . "the foremost shaman on Nass River" to help him.  He asks  His teacher then  sends him to a B e l l a B e l l a shaman, the B e l l a B e l l a being famous for their shamanistic powers.  He i s then sent to two other shamans, i n  d i f f e r e n t communities, for dancing powers and to a fourth shaman i n another community, "who  specialized i n making symbols of the super-  natural for other shamans" (1950147).  Boas' informant, Chief Moun-  t a i n , stated categorically that "only a man whose father was man  can become a shaman" (1916:562).  a sha-  Although this c o n f l i c t s with  Garfield's information, i t does suggest that shamanistic i n i t i a t i o n was not linked to the lineage but, on the contrary perhaps, opposed to i t ! The shaman's p o s i t i o n with respect to the lineage may  per-  haps be better understood'if we review some of the differences mentioned previously between chiefs ( naxnagam h a l a i t ) , and shamans fl  1,1  121  (''swensk h a l a i t " ) . acquired several. theirs,  Both shamans and c h i e f s  c o u l d d i r e c t • s p i r i t s , and  But whereas shamans d i d not n e c e s s a r i l y  inherit  the s p i r i t h e l p e r s a c q u i r e d by c h i e f s were t r a d i t i o n a l ,  ditary associates.  I suggest  here-  t h a t d i f f e r e n c e s i n the names o f s p i r i t s  a s s o c i a t e d w i t h c h i e f s and those a s s o c i a t e d w i t h shamans express a d i f f e r e n c e i n type o f s p i r i t the s p i r i t .  and type o f community r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h  I n the myth Boas c a l l s  "The Deluge" we l e a r n o f a shaman  who had the h e l p e r s G r i z z l y / B e a r , T h u n d e r b i r d , C u t t l e f i s h , Mouth-atEach-End, and L i g h t n i n g - w i t h - H a i l .  Two shamans w i t h the power Blood  a t t a c k and d e s t r o y him and i n t u r n a r e d e s t r o y e d by the b r o t h e r o f the f i r s t who had the powers Martens and B l o o d .  The f a c t t h a t the  b r o t h e r and the enemy shamans both had c o n t e s t i n g h e l p e r s which they c a l l e d Blood  ( t h e Blood power o f the b r o t h e r was i n s t r u m e n t a l i n des-  t r o y i n g the Blood power o f the two shamans) suggests of shamans were not thought  t o be n e c e s s a r i l y  t h a t the s p i r i t s  the s p i r i t s o f p a r t i -  c u l a r animals o r monsters b u t t h a t they had c h a r a c t e r i s t i c ties  proper-  f o r which they were g i v e n d e s c r i p t i v e o r symbolic names.  One  o f the s u p e r n a t u r a l h e l p e r s o f the b r o t h e r was n o t c a l l e d Marten, but Martens,  and the b e i n g L i g h t n i n g - w i t h - H a i l presumably had powers  which suggested seem to me,  the p r o p e r t i e s o f l i g h t i n g and o f h a i l .  a t l e a s t f o r t h i s myth, m e t a p h o r i c a l .  These names  In c o n t r a s t , the  names o f the s p i r i t s o f l i n e a g e c h i e f s were more l i k e  t i t l e s ; modes  of address o r d e s i g n a t i o n as opposed to modes o f a l l u s i o n .  They were  more f o r m a l i z e d and suggest a more f o r m a l i z e d r e l a t i o n s h i p between the c h i e f w i t h h i s people and the s p i r i t .  The i d e n t i t y o f a shaman's  122  s p i r i t can only be inferred by the general public from the a l l u s i o n provided by the metaphorical name, whereas the identity of a chief's s p i r i t i s known.  Lineage chiefs used their powers primarily to en-  sure that members of the lineage acquired supernatural protection. According to G a r f i e l d : Lineage prerogatives also included guardian s p i r i t powers revealed to the ancestors. A l l these property rights were under the supervision and administration of the male head of the lineage (1950:23). . The exercise of supernatural prerogatives acquired by chiefs, then',, ' was predominantly  within the lineage, and expressed lineage member-  ship and r i g h t s .  The exercise of shamanistic prerogatives was much  more independent of lineage contexts.  In curing, for example, on the  basis of myths, Boas observes: A renowned shaman i s c a l l e d by people i n need of his services. Three messengers are sent to fetch him. When his fame spreads a l l over the country, he i s t r a v e l l i n g about a l l the time with his attendants, and people assemble to witness his practices....When a person i s very i l l , the shamans of a l l the tribes are c a l l e d i n to cure him (1916:476). Again, the r i t u a l prescriptions which regulated a shaman's r e l a t i o n ships with others applied equally to everyone.  In short, shamans d i f -  fered from lineage chiefs by the fact that the derivation and exercise of .their powers was,  or could be, independent of lineage a f f i l i a t i o n .  Shamans d i f f e r e d from others with personal non-hereditary guardian s p i r i t powers not simply by the nature, strength and of  ability  their helpers but by the public significance of their power and by  123  the symbolic significance of their r i t u a l status. l i n g or weaving a b i l i t y of ordinary individuals may personal esteem or wealth but was a public resource.  The hunting, gambhave brought  not p a r t i c u l a r l y to be regarded as  The shaman's a b i l i t y to cure,  was.  It does not seem unfair to suggest that shamanistic organization was  consistent with the Tsimshian emphasis on t r i b e and  t r i b a l associations.- Among the Tsimshian, the t r i b e was important as a unit of concerted action than i t was other Northwest Coast t r i b e s . power of the t r i b a l chief.  cross-  much more  among any of the  G a r f i e l d i n p a r t i c u l a r emphasizes the  The Tsimshian t r i b a l chief was  apparently  not simply the head of the highest ranking lineage i n a town but authority over other lineage heads who  owed him  tribute.  had  By his  control of greater resources and by increased a b i l i t y to give patronage the t r i b a l chief apparently authority.  also had some power to enforce his  Drucker observes:  The difference between these tribes and the so-called tribes of the T l i n g i t i s that the l o c a l i z e d segments of the clans, that i s , the lineages, were more firmly integrated. While each lineage had i t s own chief and owned certain properties, the lineages of each t r i b e were ranked r e l a t i v e to each other, and the chief of the highest-ranking lineage was the recognized chief of the t r i b e . It appears that the tribe as a whole held certain properties, including the winter v i l l a g e s i t e . In recent times, at l e a s t , each tribe acting as a unit has b u i l t the house of i t s chief, . and considers the structure t r i b a l property....The t r i b e as a whole usually participated i n both ceremonials and warfare i n former days (1955:118). In this l i g h t the fact that shamans performed duties for the community as a whole, for example,- conducting the F i r s t Salmon Ceremony  124  and ensuring that everyone maintained the taboos at this time, seems perhaps s i g n i f i c a n t . Northwest Coast was  As f a r as I can determine, nowhere else on the this a regular procedure.  Regarding c r o s s - t r i b a l contacts, the fact that shamans could, and were, asked to cure members of other tribes i s consistent with the tendency among the Coast Tsimshian tribes to maintain associations. M a t r i l i n e a l links between lineages of a clan i n d i f f e r e n t tribes lages) were instrumental in' this regard.  (vil-  The tribes of the Skeena  River moved annually to the olachen f i s h i n g grounds on the Nass R i ver where they b u i l t up regular associations with host tribes and met other tribes also i n the area.  Again, as Drucker observes:  The nine tribes who wintered along Metlakatla pass seem to have been approaching a s t i l l more complex type of p o l i t i c a l organization....The tribes"moved their winter v i l l a g e s there,and formed a loose sort of confederacy, although the i n d i v i d u a l tribes never quite gave up their o l d autonomy (1955:118). In summary, i t i s d i f f i c u l t  to be dogmatic but the evidence  seems to suggest that there were two main types of s p i r i t association among the Tsimshian, those that were primarily ceremonial i n s i g n i f i cance and largely associated with lineage rights and prerogatives, and those which were of pragmatic s i g n i f i c a n c e .  Each of these types  seem linked to different p r i n c i p l e s of s o c i a l organization.  125  CHAPTER VII HAIDA SHAMANISM  A major source of data for the following was J.R. Swanton's Haida Texts and Myths (1905b) and the myths and stories reported i n his  Contributions to the Ethnology of the Haida (1905a).  As already  stated, I have tended .to select from the myths and stories that i n formation which agrees with, what has been found for other Northwest Coast groups, or which i s d i r e c t l y corroborated by Swanton or Murdock.  The myths and stories are an extremely r i c h source of informa-  tion although i t i s d i f f i c u l t to determine from them what was the typical. gives.  Swanton i s very b r i e f i n the ethnographic descriptions he Murdock i s equally b r i e f .  In addition, Murdock was chiefly  concerned with the theoretical implications of the data he collected, p a r t i c u l a r l y as i t related to s o c i a l organization. He was very l i t t l e interested i n shamanism or other religious b e l i e f s and practises and i s very perfunctory at these points.  In the following section, there-  fore, I have t r i e d to indicate when conclusions have been derived from myths and stories and when they have been given by Murdock or Swanton. According to Haida s p i r i t - t h e o r y , every animal was, or might be, the embodiment of a being who, at his own pleasure, could appear i n the human form....As animals, they might be hunted, or given as food to men by another animal who was a supernatural being; as supernatural beings themselves, they might entertain men i n their towns, i n termarry with them, help or harm them (Swanton, 1905a:16). In addition to animal and f i s h s p i r i t beings, an indeterminate number of other s p i r i t personalities were believed to populate the land,  126  sky, and ocean.  So frequently were supernatural e n t i t i e s i d e n t i f i e d  with areas, of concern to the Haida, that they mirror the p r e v a i l i n g preoccupations of l i v i n g :  the dangers or d i f f i c u l t i e s of subsistence  a c t i v i t i e s , the fear, of disease, the desire for wealth, or reknown and esteem at some s p e c i a l talent.  There were beings associated with s i g -  n i f i c a n t geographical l o c a l i t i e s , f o r example, the Creek Women who l i v e d at the head o f each creek; beings more broadly associated with the cosmic realms of a i r , sea and land, c o n t r o l l i n g some aspect of these environments;  and yet others associated with p a r t i c u l a r talents,  events, q u a l i t i e s , or a c t i v i t i e s of concern, such as Master Carpenter, Property Woman, Pestilence, S p i r i t of Strength, and so f o r t h . The welfare of men was deemed inextricably dependent on the behaviour of these beings.  They could harm or benefit man.  t r o l l e d the extra-social forces which guaranteed p a r t i c u l a r l y i n economic pursuits.  They con-  fortune or misfortune,  The Ocean People (the Herring  people, Salmon people, Halibut people, K i l l e r Whale people, e t c . ) , were for this reason especially important to the Haida: As custodians of the p r i n c i p a l food-supplies, especially as the dispensers of whales, these Ocean-People were, of a l l supernatural beings, the most constantly on.the thoughts df the Haida, and the oftenest called upon and s a c r i f i c e d to (Swanton, 1905a:17). In many respects a l l these s p i r i t e n t i t i e s (animals and f i s h , ghosts, mythic beings) were s i m i l a r to men.  In other'respects they  d i f f e r e d , being subject to certain laws and patterns of behaviour which did not apply to men. Like men, supernatural beings were a l l either  127  Ravens or E a g l e s .  They l i v e d i n towns, m a r r i e d , produced c h i l d r e n ,  and p o t l a t c h e d .  They c o u l d be p l e a s e d or p l a c a t e d by the o f f e r i n g  of o i l ,  or f l i c k e r f e a t h e r s .  tobacco,  by u r i n e , m e n s t r u a l  A l t e r n a t i v e l y they were r e p e l l e d  blood or anything a s s o c i a t e d w i t h these.  as s u p e r n a t u r a l b e i n g s were i n v i s i b l e to "ordinary men,  Just  a t l e a s t some  human elements were i n v i s i b l e to o r d i n a r y s u p e r n a t u r a l b e i n g s . example, they c o u l d not d e t e c t i n t r u s i o n by man-made o b j e c t s . s h o r t , a l t h o u g h men  s u s c e p t i b l e to f l a t t e r y o r f o r c e .  a man  shoots  were  Numerous H a i d a myths i n d i c a t e t h i s  o f power between men  one s t o r y r e l a t e s how and  In  c o u l d be h e l p e d o r harmed by s u p e r n a t u r a l s and were  c o n s t a n t l y dependent upon t h e i r good w i l l , s u p e r n a t u r a l b e i n g s  r e l a t i v e balance  For  and s u p e r n a t u r a l s .  F o r example,  a s u p e r n a t u r a l b e i n g f u l l o f arrows  then r e f u s e s a cure u n t i l the b e i n g p r o m i s e s h i s daughter i n mar-  r i a g e (Swanton,.1905b:179).  S e v e r a l stories recount how  a human h e r o ,  b a t h i n g f o r s t r e n g t h , meets the S p i r i t of S t r e n g t h and masters (Swanton, 1905b:190,210).  A g a i n , human r e c o g n i t i o n was  s u p e r n a t u r a l s so t h a t much o f t h e i r c o n t a c t w i t h men  him  important  was  to  motivated  by  a desire for recognition. There were t h r e e p r i n c i p a l t e c h n i q u e s  of m a n i p u l a t i n g  the  s u p e r n a t u r a l ; p e r s u a s i v e or p r o p i t i a t o r y r i t u a l , c o m p u l s i v e magic and s p i r i t contact.  P r o p i t i a t i o n i n v o l v e d p r i m a r i l y , the o f f e r i n g of  m a t e r i a l s deemed p l e a s i n g to the s u p e r n a t u r a l s . the mediums o f t r a n s m i s s i o n . crumbs i n t o the f i r e .  :  F i r e and w a t e r were  Ghosts were o f f e r e d f o o d by  Tobacco was  sprinkling  commonly taken b e f o r e a shaman's  128  ceremony t o enhance communication w i t h t h e s p i r i t w o r l d . A>-man might hope t o calm the s e a by d i p p i n g f l i c k e r ter.  f e a t h e r s o r o i l onto the wa-  As a l r e a d y mentioned, t h e Ocean-People were "the o f t e n e s t c a l l e d  upon and s a c r i f i c e d t o " .  B a t h i n g f o r power was a t e c h n i q u e  i n v o l v e d b o t h p r o p i t i a t o r y and c o m p u l s i v e a s p e c t s .  which  Swanton w r i t e s  t h a t whether one was s u c c e s s f u l o r n o t i n a v i s i o n quest one " c o u l d i n c r e a s e power and success by r i t u a l a b s t i n e n c e " i n c r e a s i n g one's g e n e r a l a b i l i t y t h e r e were 'medicines', fully  (1905a:40).  Besides  by r i t u a l b a t h i n g and c o n t i n e n c e  as Swanton c a l l e d them,.which c o u l d be s u c c e s s -  used f o r a m u l t i t u d e o f p u r p o s e s .  They i n v o l v e d t h e r i t u a l  pre-  p a r a t i o n and a p p l i c a t i o n o f i n g r e d i e n t s l a r g e l y s y m b o l i c i n t h e i r  sig-  nificance. for  There were m e d i c i n e s f o r c u r i n g s i c k n e s s , f o r h u n t i n g ,  gambling, f o r k i l l i n g a n * enemy, o r f o r s o r c e r y .  Medicines f o r  the m o s t ' p a r t r e q u i r e d a p p l i c a t i o n t o something, u s u a l l y t o p e o p l e o r to man-made o b j e c t s , b u t t h e H a i d a a l s o had songs, o r perhaps s p e l l s , w h i c h seem t o have i n v o l v e d a c o m p u l s i v e p r i n c i p l e .  One myth t e l l s o f  a man blown about i n h i s canoe by t h e w i n d who r e p e a t s a s p e c i a l song, "a song supposed t o have power i n calming s t o r m s " (Swanton, 1905b:25). F i n a l l y , supernatural beings visionary contact.  c o u l d be i n f l u e n c e d through  Swanton g i v e s l i t t l e i n f o r m a t i o n about t h e gener-  a l i t y o f s p i r i t c o n t a c t among t h e H a i d a . ;  Ther.myths and s t o r i e s s u g g e s t  t h a t a t l e a s t t h e o r e t i c a l l y s p i r i t c o n t a c t was p o s s i b l e f o r o r d i n a r y men b u t t h a t g u a r d i a n s p i r i t r e l a t i o n s h i p s , i n w h i c h an i n d i v i d u a l maintains  a r e c u r r e n t and l a s t i n g a s s o c i a t i o n w i t h a s p i r i t , were  129  uncommon.  Several stories t e l l of men who  trained f o r strength and  subsequently mastered the S p i r i t of Strength; innumerable stories of  tell  encounters with supernaturals, journeys to the homes of supernat-  urals , marriage  to supernaturals and so f o r t h .  However, i t seems s i g -  n i f i c a n t that Swanton does not! s p e c i f i c a l l y mention a s p i r i t quest i n any other connection than shaman. Tsimshian that s p i r i t power, was  Although G a r f i e l d could say of the  considered e s s e n t i a l for every free  i n d i v i d u a l (1950:39), I suspect this was Haida.  certainly not true of the  Perhaps medicines and r i t u a l p u r i f i c a t i o n were considered  s u f f i c i e n t l y e f f e c t i v e for most everyday  requirements.  Swanton described the Haida shaman as: One who had power from some supernatural being who "possessed" him, or chose him as the medium through which to make his existence f e l t i n the world of men. When the s p i r i t was present the shaman's own identity was p r a c t i c a l l y abolished. For the time he was the supernatural being himself (1905a: 38) . According to both Swanton and Murdock, the p o s i t i o n of shaman was normally inherited by a man's maternal nephew or a woman's daughter (Swanton 1905a:38; Murdock, 1934:258).  Of the several ne-  phews normally e l i g i b l e , the one most suitable, (presumably showing most interest or promising signs), was  chosen and "to him the older  shaman teaches his secrets and transmits his paraphernalia" (Murdock, 1934:258). his  Before the old shaman died, "he revealed his s p i r i t s to  successor, who  might s t a r t with a comparatively feeble s p i r i t and  acquire stronger and stronger ones" (Swanton, 1905a:38).  Evidently  s p i r i t s were not automatically inherited; a novice had to be introduced  130  to the s p i r i t . shaman.  Swanton described the ceremonies after the death of a  At death, the nephew of a shaman was susceptible to supers.  natural influence and l i k e l y to receive power. If the shaman .had a nephew the l a t t e r ran around on top of the house shaking a r a t t l e , and c a l l i n g on the shaman's supernatural power. Then the "power" was apt to come through him f o r a short time. He became temporarily a shaman. Sometimes he remained one; and at any rate, the supernatu r a l power was most apt to come through the nephew of the dead shaman than through anyone else (Swanton, 1905a:53). Thus, while the p o s i t i o n of shaman could be termed hereditary i n that i t was normally reserved f o r individuals of a s p e c i f i c kinship category, the role of shaman was achieved.  The term 'hereditary' i s  perhaps misleading because i t ignores theCfact that the novice had to qualify f o r the p o s i t i o n or he became one who had been merely a temporary shaman.  Although the p o s i t i o n of shaman normally passed to nephew  from maternal uncle, Murdock makes the i n t e r e s t i n g observation that "some of the most powerful medicine-men do not i n h e r i t their p o s i t i o n " (1934:258) . At this point i t may be of i n t e r e s t to examine some of the myths and stories as these relate to the process of i n i t i a t i o n .  The  story of B i g - T a i l , which Swanton considered "one of the most important for an understanding of shamanism among the Haida" (1908:303), begins: Mouse- Woman adopted him. Presently, after she had l i v e d at Skidegate f o r a while, supernatural powers began to try him. After some time he began to be a shaman. By and by he-became a r e a l shaman (1905b:296). 1  131  A f t e r fasting and drinking sea-water for some nights, "the supernatural power came'through him".  The s p i r i t , speaking through Big-  T a i l , asked the community, to guess h i s i d e n t i t y : Then he asked them for his name. "What kind of supernatural being am I?" he said. Then they guessed at his name. By and by an old man said: "Great shaman, you are SupernaturalBeing-at-Whose-Voice-Ravens-Sit-on-the-Sea." Then he jumped up and ran around the f i r e four times. And he named hims e l f as follows: "I am he grandson. I am he" (1905b:296). Subsequently, Big-Tail's reputation as a shaman was established. The story of the shaman, Gandox's father, i s supposed to be factual.  Swanton writes that Gandox's father was,  "well known to  a l l Skidegate Haida, and many other stories are told regarding his predictions" (1905b:314).  I t begins:  Gandox's father was making a canoe inland from one end of Seagrass Town. One evening, when he came home, -he dropped dead on the sand at the end of the town. Then they ran to him, and carried him over to his house. Qoldaiyek spoke through him f i r s t . . . . H e did not t e l l h i s name. Instead he turned about around the house. After they had taken him i n and come to know that i t was Qoldaiyek, they began to sing a song for him. A f t e r they had carried him around the f i r e four times he began turning around (1905:311). Another story t e l l s how a woman became a shaman: Some women went across Naden Harbour to get cedar-bark. While there the youngest came to a tree on which there was a great deal of gum, which she collected and chewed. Then she became a shaman, and heir companions found her l y i n g insensible. They took her to the town where a shaman's costume was put on her, and she began to act....When she sang the crab's song, great multitudes of crabs came round (1905a:224). These stories suggest that visionary experience was necessary for becoming a shaman.  They also suggest public knowledge of th  132  spirit's  identity was important.  I t would seem that the occasion at  which a shaman became publicly acknowledged was after an announcement of the s p i r i t ' s  identity and a display of s p i r i t possession v a l i d a t i n g  the shaman's position as s p i r i t mediator, whether, as with Gandox's father, this was during the i n i t i a l traumatic encounter, or whether i t was sometime after the individual's i n i t i a l encounter, as with BigTail.  The shaman's p o s i t i o n as s p i r i t mediator f o r the community i s  suggested by the fact that i n a l l stories the shaman was mentioned as belonging to some p a r t i c u l a r community. The idea of a s p i r i t quest does not seem c l e a r l y  emphasized  by these examples, but-mention of the woman chewing gum, and of BigT a i l fasting and drinking sea-water for some nights suggests that visionary•experience was sought by at least some, and that strength and purity were deemed c r i t i c a l l y important.  ritual  One story  mentions that two brothers, at the town of Skedans fasted f o r many years to become'shamans before one of them, breaking a taboo by going with a woman, died (1905b:294).  Swanton noted that before a s p i r i t  entered a man had to be "clean". abstain from food a long time"  "To become  clean , a man had to  (1958:64).  Most of our understanding of the shaman's relationship with his s p i r i t and the s p i r i t world must be inferred from myths and stories.  Although the shaman served as a means of communication between  human and s p i r i t worlds, he was not a passive instrument of the s p i - • r i t , however much at times this may appear to have been the case. At  133  performances he appeared r i t ; i t was  to be altogether the instrument of the s p i -  the s p i r i t acting and talking, apparently, not the shaman.  The s p i r i t Qoldaiyek, speaking through Gandox's father "turned around the house" and Saqaiyul "walked about entirely.on the ends of his toes".  In the story of He-who-got-supernatural-power-from-his-little-  finger (1905b:247), l i t t l e or no condemnation or r e s p o n s i b i l i t y attached to Many-Ledges who  was  t r i e d to k i l l his son-in-law because h i s  mind was made h o s t i l e by h o s t i l e s p i r i t s .  However, i f we can accept  the stories describing visionary encounters as accounts of what i s believed to happen or believed possible, the shaman emerges as a f a r from passive vocal instrument.  Let us return to B i g - T a i l , the story  Swanton regards as so revealing of Haida b e l i e f s . s p i r i t helper where to look for whales. who  then directs the hunters.  B i g - T a i l asks his  The s p i r i t shows B i g - T a i l ,  They find the whales are not where  B i g - T a i l believed he had seen them and that therefore he had been tricked by the s p i r i t . Then he became angry, because he (the s p i r i t ) kept fooling him. Now he put tobacco into his mouth. After i t he put i n calcined s h e l l s . Then he went down to the house of Supernatural-being-at-whose-voice-ravehs-sit-on-the-sea (1905b:296) . • He confronts the s p i r i t and the two bargain.  The s p i r i t offers Big-  T a i l a number of different powers and B i g - T a i l rejects them. the s p i r i t gets angry and threatens to destroy B i g - T a i l who  Then replies  by threatening him with the shame of being laughed at by human beings. F i n a l l y , B i g — T a i l i s given the power he wants.  134  The story of B i g - T a i l clearly suggests that the power of the shaman (his s p i r i t u a l force, r i t u a l p u r i t y , or whatever the factor)  i s of c r i t i c a l importance.  This strength of personality or  s p i r i t u a l force determined the degree of control a shaman could exert over his s p i r i t and thereby his degree of power (a factor of the extent and directions i n which he could induce the s p i r i t to help him.) Lack of personal s p i r i t force would explain why those who were believed to be possessed by malevolent accountable.  s p i r i t s were not always held  In other words, an e s s e n t i a l q u a l i f i c a t i o n for being a  shaman as opposed to being a sorcerer was the retention of control over the s p i r i t . The i n d i v i d u a l could increase his power by inducing or ex-, tending further visionary experience.  Several stories describe i n c i -  dents i n which the shaman makes a s p e c i a l journey supernatural and returns with increased power. concerned shamans who had l o s t their powers.  to the realm of the  Some of these stories  For example, one (Swan-  ton, 1905a:241-2), t e l l s of a man who, "performed for some time; but at l a s t his powers l e f t him, and a l l his people also l e f t him '. 1  He  put out i n a canoe and putting his arm around a stone, sank himself into the sea.  When he returned, his powers as a shaman were renewed  and increased. In r i t u a l and s o c i a l terms, as elsewhere on the Coast, the . shaman was aloof from ordinary men. Murdock reported that the shaman "distinguishes himself from his fellows...by abstaining from seaweed  135  and whale b l u b b e r and by never combing, washing or c u t t i n g h i s h a i r l e s t . . . h e l o s e h i s power" (1934:257).  For c e r e m o n i a l  occasions,  ap-  p a r e n t l y a t the i n s t r u c t i o n s of the s p i r i t , most shamans a l s o . w o r e a d d i t i o n a l r i t u a l p a r a p h e r n a l i a such as a p r o n , . r a t t l e , f e a t h e r s o r a dancing h a t , and drum.  Shamans w e r e ^ v u l n e r a b l e  elements t h a t r e p u l s e d s p i r i t s .  to the p o l l u t i n g  Even more than o t h e r men  they were  s u s c e p t i b l e to m e n s t r u a l b l o o d , and o t h e r p o l l u t i n g s u b s t a n c e s , t h a t t h e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p s w i t h o t h e r s were always shaped by prescriptions.  Not o n l y was  everyday l i f e , he was  so  ritual  the shaman d i f f e r e n t i a t e d from o t h e r s i n  buried differently.  Normal people were c r e -  mated and the ashes were p l a c e d w i t h the remains o f o t h e r c l o s e k i n . The shaman's body was  p l a c e d , uncrem'ated, i n a s m a l l , s l i g h t l y  b u r i a l h u t , i s o l a t e d from o t h e r s , u s u a l l y out on a h e a d l a n d . e v e r , i n o t h e r r e s p e c t s the l i f e of a shaman was t e d from o t h e r s .  not much d i f f e r e n t i a -  s u b j e c t t o the same k i n s h i p and s t a t u s r i g h t s and d u t i e s as  a c q u i r e d w e a l t h o f shamans; o n l y those who own  How—,  He hunted and f i s h e d f o r h i s l i v e l i h o o d and  i n d i v i d u a l s of s i m i l a r rank and k i n p o s i t i o n s .  elevated  was  other  Despite s t o r i e s  of.the  were h i g h - r a n k i n g i n t h e i r  r i g h t c o u l d ever hope to a c q u i r e the w e a l t h needed f o r a p o t l a t c h . The-range o f p o s s i b l e powers, m a l e v o l e n t  t r i b u t e d to shamans was  quite diverse.  at-  C e r t a i n l y , the powers r e g u l a r l y  a t t r i b u t e d to them extended beyond c u r i n g .  According  o f B i g - T a i l and Gandox's f a t h e r , an i m p o r t a n t to t r a v e l i n the s u p e r n a t u r a l w o r l d .  and b e n e v o l e n t ,  ability  to the s t o r i e s o f shamans  was  Shamans c o u l d cause s i c k n e s s ,  136  and i n s t o r i e s , , some were'suspected o f p r o l o n g i n g o r i n c r e a s i n g t h e s i c k n e s s o f those they were c a l l e d i n to cure f o r the purpose o f a c q u i r i n g more p r e s t i g e and p r o p e r t y ( e . g . Swanton, 1905a:242, 247; 1905b:179, 238).  One s t o r y t e l l s o f a shaman who  o t h e r s as a s o u r c e o f income (Swanton,  r e g u l a r l y bewitched  1905a:247).  I f he cured them  he got p a i d f o r h i s s e r v i c e s and i f they d i e d he o f f i c i a t e d as t a k e r s i n c e shamans f r e q u e n t l y a c t e d i n t h i s c a p a c i t y . s t o r i e s . i l l u s t r a t e how  a shaman's p e r s o n a l a b i l i t i e s may  under-  Several bring wealth  and s u c c e s s , because they have h u n t i n g power o r s u p e r n a t u r a l f i s h i n g b a i t , and the l i k e .  Most o f the s t o r i e s seem to r e f l e c t o r to f o s t e r  the image t h a t shamans were a b l e and s u c c e s s f u l i n d i v i d u a l s and  that  t h i s s u c c e s s c o u l d sometimes be a t the expense o f o t h e r s i n the community.  They were e v i d e n c e of the s u c c e s s w h i c h d e r i v e d from a s s o c -  i a t i o n w i t h the s u p e r n a t u r a l and, as prime examples,  r e i n f o r c e d be-  l i e f s i n the s u p e r n a t u r a l as s o u r c e b o t h o f s u s t e n a n c e and  danger.  An i m p o r t a n t p a r t o f the shaman's r o l e was what we,  as  o u t s i d e r s , might c a l l d i s p l a y p e r f o r m a n c e s , i n t h a t they were d r a m a t i c enactments  o f c o n t a c t w i t h the s p i r i t .  There seems to have been two  k i n d s , those i n which the shaman behaved i n . a s p e c t a c u l a r o r u n u s u a l f a s h i o n , . a p p a r e n t l y p o s s e s s e d by the s p i r i t ; and t h e o c c a s i o n s when the shaman e n t e r e d a t r a n c e and appeared  to make the s p i r i t u a l j o u r - ,  ney t o the r e a l m o f the s u p e r n a t u r a l . The s t o r y o f Gandox's f a t h e r seems to g i v e examples o f b o t h these a c t i v i t i e s . how  different-spirits  The d e s c r i p t i o n o f  (the shaman) behaved when they each p o s s e s s e d  Gandox's f a t h e r (one "began t u r n i n g round", another "walked about  en-  137  t i r e l y on the ends of his toes"), suggests that these occasions must have been primarily display performances of the f i r s t kind.  Then, the  s t o r y - t e l l e r recounts an occasion when Gandox!s father publicly entered a trance and experienced a v i s i o n : Afterward Saqaiyul again spoke through him. And, after the dancing had gone on a while longer, he wanted to s l e e p . . . . When they agreed they made a s a i l house for him i n the corner; And just at evening he went i n and lay down. Next day...he awoke. After that they again came i n dancing. When they stopped dancing he had me s i t near him. Then he began to t e l l me quietly (what had happened) (Swanton, 1905b: 313) . Both these types of behaviour appear remarkably s i m i l a r to the class i c s p i r i t possession behaviour and s p i r i t journeys of Siberian and Eskimo shamans and, so far as I can determine, they were not repeated elsewhere on the Coast.  Elsewhere on the Coast shamanistic  displays  seem to have been more s t y l i z e d , more of a consciously a r t i c u l a t e d dramatic performance. S p i r i t s also gave proof of t h e i r existence by their aid i n economic pursuits.  Of the s p i r i t Lagua we are told that -he "made  the water smooth for some time. cod" (Swanton, 1905b:305).  A l l that time they fished for black  Lagua directed his human medium to go  fishing with the other men and he then located the i r o n wreck of an old ship, which they brought home for trade with other Haida groups. The shaman Cloud Watcher had the son of the chief of salmon speak through him and "then the salmon came l i k e a strong wind" (Swanton, 1905b:308).  The people of F i n Town were near starvation when a shaman  138  performed several days and then brought up a whole whale, thus preserving them from starvation (Swanton, 1905a:224).  I f we can assume  that  the.kinds of duties shamans'fulfil i n myths and stories are the same as  those they perform i n everyday l i f e ,  that the r e a l or expected ac-  t i v i t i e s of shamans provides the material f o r s t o r i e s , an> important part of the shaman's function was to ensure economic ends.  I think  they r e f l e c t at least the i d e a l that great shamans could help to ensure economic ends and provided insurance against famine. Shamans were also supposed to be able to reveal the whereabouts of l o s t objects or people (Swanton, 1905a:253), divine cause, or explain the mysterious. by k i l l e r whales:  One story describes a man who was surrounded  "When they got home the shamans•did not say any-  thing good about him..  They said he had better not go anywhere on the  ocean f o r four years" (Swanton,,1905b:88). Djun describes divination.  The story of the shaman  The town chief's son was sick and numerous  shamans were c a l l e d in,without success.  One, Djun, who was able to  detect the cause of sickness, warned that the beak of her r a t t l e would be missed and the one upon whom i t was found would be the one causing sickness. the  "Then they began to whisper that Aqanaqes was the author of  trouble" (Swanton, 1905a:248).  After this i n d i r e c t accusation Djun  was urged by her uncles to k i l l Aqanaqes but she did nothing u n t i l "her powers told her i t was time...", when she f i n a l l y confronted and defeated him.  Shamans accompanied every war party.  They were supposed  to k i l l the souls of the enemy and divine the most auspicious time f o r attack.  139  Shamans were c a l l e d i n to cure only when other means (medicines, or p u r i f i c a t i o n ) had f a i l e d . the shaman was 42).  At the time he was  given presents to secure his good w i l l  (Swanton, 1905a:  He and the patient's relatives fasted and swallowed emetics for  four days.  For the ceremony the shaman then dressed himself i n his  s p e c i a l clothing. The shaman had an assistant who songs.  sang his s p i r i t  Kinsmen and interested neighbours looked on and helped with the  singing and drumming. of sickness.  If he was  The shaman then attempted to divine the cause able to see i t he waited u n t i l he had been  offered enough property before he cured the patient. have been profoundly impressive. ill  asked to come  The patient was  (other methods'having f a i l e d ) .  Ceremonies must  normally  seriously  Preparations for the occasion had  required four days fasting and p u r i f i c a t i o n by both shaman and the patient's k i n . present.  A l l the symbols of contact with the supernatural were  Uncertainty about the cause of i l l n e s s and perhaps about  the i n t e g r i t y of the shaman might also be present and perhaps tension as to suspected cause, i f sorcery was imply that sorcery was that the shaman was ordinary treatment  the most commonly expected  I t was  Murdock seems to cause when he writes  called "only when a patient does not respond to and sorcery i s suspected"  i t i s d i f f i c u l t to estimate how curing.  suspected.  dominant was  (1936:259).  Unfortunately,  the theme of sorcery i n  certainly important among the T l i n g i t , where shamans,  by the apparently unchallenged  authority of their accusations, were  s t r a t e g i c figures i n f a c t i o n a l struggles.  Among the Haida, despite  140  Murdock's s t a t e m e n t , s o r c e r y was n o t the o n l y cause o f d i s e a s e .  The  s t o r y o f Gandox's f a t h e r a t t r i b u t e s s i c k n e s s i n one case, t o s o u l l o s s (Swanton,,1905b:311).  I n another s t o r y the shaman a s c r i b e d the  s i c k n e s s n o t t o one i n d i v i d u a l i n p a r t i c u l a r b u t t o the g e n e r a l n a t u r e o f most p e o p l e i n t h e town (Swanton, 1905b:242).  evil  Can we say  t h a t the c u r i n g f u n c t i o n s o f shamans went beyond p r o v i d i n g m e d i c a l and e m o t i o n a l s u p p o r t i n a moment o f c r i s i s political  alignments?  than c o n c l u s i v e .  to expressing  or manipulating  I t h i n k t h a t the e v i d e n c e i s s u g g e s t i v e  rather  I f t e n s i o n s were p r e s e n t a shaman might have e x p r e s s e d .  these b u t perhaps t h e very  f a c t t h a t t h e ethnographers do n o t appear  to have been o v e r l y i m p r e s s e d by t h e i n c i d e n c e o f s o r c e r y  accusations  o r by e v i d e n c e o f f e a r o f s o r c e r e r s o r o f b e i n g  accused o f s o r c e r y ,  may i n d i c a t e - t h a t s o r c e r y f e a r s and a c c u s a t i o n s  were n o t i n f a c t very  prominent. Bearing  i n mind what we have a l r e a d y i n f e r r e d about the sha-  man's p o s i t i o n i n r e l a t i o n t o o t h e r s o f t h e community and s o c i e t y , we may now attempt t o e x p l o r e  this relationship further.  Haida s o c i e t y was o r g a n i z e d ies  of m a t r i l i n e a l . d i v i s i o n s .  p r i m a r i l y on the b a s i s o f a s e r -  M a t r i l i n e a l a f f i l i a t i o n i n large part  determined t h e r i g h t s and d u t i e s o f i n d i v i d u a l s and p r o v i d e d i z a t i o n a l framework f o r c o r p o r a t e  groups.  an organ-  A l l H a i d a belonged t o one  of two exogamous m o i e t i e s , the Ravens and, the iEagles.  Besides  limiting  the c h o i c e o f m a r r i a g e p a r t n e r and p r o v i d i n g i n d i v i d u a l s w i t h t h e r i g h t to c e r t a i n c r e s t s , moiety a f f i l i a t i o n a f f e c t e d t h e c e r e m o n i a l l i f e o f individuals.  A t every l i f e c r i s i s  ceremony, the i n d i v i d u a l r e l i e d on  141  members of the opposite moiety for the performance of p a r t i c u l a r c r i t i c a l functions.  M a t r i l i n e a l a f f i l i a t i o n determined lineage member-  ship^and provided  the basis for r e s i d e n t i a l units.  the basic economic, p o l i t i c a l and s o c i a l unit.  The lineage  was  As Drucker explains:  There were two great moieties among the Haida, the 'Ravens' and the 'Eagles', each with i t s set of crests and o r i g i n traditions..;.Each moiety consisted of a large number of named, l o c a l i z e d segments, sometimes i n c o r r e c t l y referred to as clans. Each segment was a lineage, which held t i t l e to i t s lands of economic importance, occupied a separate v i l l a g e consisting of one or more houses, had i t s own chiefs and lesser chiefs. Each lineage waged war or made peace, staged ceremonials, and tended to i t s various a f f a i r s i n dependently of any other (1955:112). Each Haida v i l l a g e had a chief, who held that p o s i t i o n by virtue of being the highest-ranking member of the lineage, . and one or more'house chiefs..;.Each v i l l a g e was economic a l l y independent, owning i t s own v i l l a g e s i t e , salmon streams, cod and halibut grounds, berrying and hunting t r a c t s , and of course the camping s i t e s that went with them (1955:113). The shaman was  both part of this system and aloof from i t .  s h a l l see, his p o s i t i o n was  As  we  the focus of a number of self-balancing  principles. Apart from the fact that they most usually inherited their positions, there i s l i t t l e s p e c i f i c information about the kinds of people who  became shamans.  Men  few women were great shamans.  and women could be shamans although Some of the greatest shamans did not  i n h e r i t their powers (Murdoek, 1936:258). suspect  In terms of rank, we  that shamans often tended to be medium or lower rank.  ton referred to a Haida carving which depicted a shaman who  may Swan-  "belonged  142  to t h e Gweandas, a low b r a n c h of the G i t i n s - o f - P e b b l e - T o w n " - (1905a: 138).  The s t o r y of the shaman, Djun, t e l l s us t h a t the o p p o s i n g  shaman, Aqanaqes, "abused h e r , s a y i n g t h a t she had no p a r e n t s ; t h a t he had been b r o u g h t up l i k e a n o b l e , b u t she l i k e a s l a v e . . . " (1905a: 248).  Gandox's f a t h e r was a canoe maker, n o r m a l l y a p o s i t i o n o f r e s -  p e c t a b l e , b u t n o t e l e v a t e d , s t a t u s . . A number of s t o r i e s , perhaps by c o n v e n t i o n o r perhaps r e f l e c t i n g a s o c i a l r e a l i t y , i n d i c a t e those who become shamans a r e sometimes s o c i a l i s o l a t e s . orphan.  that  Djun was  an  H e - w h o - g o t - s u p e r n a t u r a l - p o w e r - f r o m - h i s - l i t t i e - f i n g e r was  poor and l i v e d w i t h h i s grandmother a t the end of town.  Closely  r e l a t e d t o t h e q u e s t i o n of who, became shamans-is the q u e s t i o n , why d i d they become shamans.  Presumably, f o r those who  inherited  their  p o s i t i o n , f a m i l y e x p e c t a t i o n s and encouragement would be the d e c i s i v e factor.  O t h e r w i s e , the myths and s t o r i e s s u g g e s t t h a t f o r some, de-  p r i v a t i o n may have been a f a c t o r s p u r r i n g them to v i s i o n a r y  experience.  There were some poor and unpopular ( e . g . Swanton, 1905b:58,  1905b:247),  and some provoked by-shame o r l o s s o f esteem (Swanton, 246).  1905a:241,242,  I n s h o r t , shamanism was u s u a l l y i n h e r i t e d b u t some o f the  g r e a t e s t shamans d i d n o t i n h e r i t t h e i r powers; those who became s h a mans were u s u a l l y o f r e s p e c t a b l e i f not e l e v a t e d r a n k b u t some were o f low r a n k ; and a t l e a s t some o f those who became shamans had been d e p r i v e d o f some element o f normal s o c i a l l i f e , perhaps k i n s h i p esteem, o r s o c i a l s e c u r i t y .  ties,  143  The shaman's strong i d e n t i f i c a t i o n with community and kinsmen (Haida r e s i d e n t i a l units were lineage v i l l a g e s ) i s r e f l e c t e d by his functions, particularly.those with economic implications. was  War  a lineage r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and when shamans accompanied war par-  ties they acted on behalf of the lineage vice.  as a whole as a public ser-  When Lagua brought i n the i r o n shipwreck (Swanton, 1905b:306),  Those-born-at-Saki traded i t to groups who came by.  The community  seems to have acknowledged i t s o b l i g a t i o n to Lagua for providing black cod for we are told:  "Every time they came i n from f i s h i n g those who  handled the lines gave him two black cod. t i t y " (Ibid.).  His wife had a great quan-  'Stories invariably i d e n t i f y the shaman with some com-  munity or lineage.  For example, Gandox's father and Cloud Watcher  came from Seagrass Town.  Many of the stories suggest r e a l interde-  pendence between shaman and community. unconscious, "they ran to him,  When Gandox's father dropped  and carried him over to his house".  However, a number of s t o r i e s also indicate fear of shamans and susp i c i o n that they could work at the expense of others.  Most, i f not  a l l of the stories which express suspicion or h o s t i l i t y toward the shaman appear to refer to shamans who.isfe have come i n from outside the community.  I t i s possible that i f shamans were closely i d e n t i f i e d  with lineages.(and  the evidence strongly suggests t h i s ) , and relations  between lineages were h o s t i l e or distant (and they often were), because of their dangerous powers shamans not related to one by close ties of kinship might well have been viewed with suspicion.-  144  Shamans were aloof from ordinary men ness^was symbolized  by b u r i a l but i t was  and women.  This aloof-  also constantly emphasized by  the shaman's appearance and by the r i t u a l r e s t r i c t i o n s and avoidances . entailed.  The shaman's r i t u a l state, apart from his power, could be  a danger to the community; he could prove'fatal to anyone polluted who  approached him and conversely he himself was susceptible. The supernatural realm i t s e l f was  opposed to the human.  Many s t o r i e s play on the reversed a b i l i t i e s of human and supernatural. Human heroes can see the humanly caused i n j u r i e s to supernaturals which are i n v i s i b l e ' to supernatural beings  themselves.  Supernatural  beings  give themselves away when, as i s their habit, they beach their canoes bow  first.  One story i n p a r t i c u l a r expresses  ernatural shamans may  the way  human and sup-  depend for their cures on the opposing attributes  of the human and supernatural realms (Swanton, 1905a:223). hero attacks a supernatural being who him.  The human  cannot discover what i s a i l i n g  He c a l l s i n many supernatural shamans to cure him but none are  successful.  At l a s t a p a r t i c u l a r l y powerful shaman arrives and  covers the cause.  dis-  He makes a bargain with the human shaman saying  that i f the human desists he, the supernatural shaman w i l l speak through him.  They also agree that each of them w i l l cause sickness  so that people and supernaturals respectively w i l l come to be and they w i l l grow r i c h i n their respective worlds.  cured  They set up an  a l l i a n c e to help each other, being able to discern what neither ordinary supernatural beings nor humans could perceive, because, by shamanistic powers they each could operate i n both worlds.  their  145  The supernatural realm was source of both sustenance and danger in the established way, and.of change, and therefore, disorder or new order;  Several shamans introduced change within the traditional  context by claiming the authority of their s p i r i t .  Both Lagua and Gan-  dox's father reinterpreted the new in terms of the old, Lagua when he interpreted salvage rights of the shipwreck in terms of hunting rights to the carcass of a whale, and Gandox's father when he advised the people to modify their house design on the authority of a s p i r i t helper which he claimed was a white man's s p i r i t . The very basis of. the shaman's position depended on a transcendance of the human order and identification with a system at some moments the reverse of the human and at other moments (particularly with regard to its dimensions of time and space) altogether different from the human, while being at the same.time dependent on the human world.  I think a l l the oppositions inherent, or at least some-  times present, in the shaman's position are consistent with this dual alignment with the. opposing forces of human and supernatural, order and disorder, fortune and misfortune.  Logically consistent with the  view that the extent of the shamans ability depends on his alignment' with the forces of the supernatural realm is the view that his powers are likely to .be further increased, for better or worse, the more attenuated his ties are with the human world. tal of a l l human ties was kinship.  And the most fundamen-  I suggest that that is why some  of the greatest shamans never inherited their powers and why shamans  146  from o t h e r communities tended to be f e a r e d o r s u s p e c t e d .  I t may be  t h a t t h e f a c t t h a t shamans were o f t e n low-rank i n d i v i d u a l s meant that t h e i r innovations  c o u l d be adopted o r r e j e c t e d , depending on  p r e v a i l i n g a t t i t u d e s ,without  t h r e a t to the s t a b i l i t y  o f a system  based on rank.- I t i s tempting t o suggest t h a t , t h e r e were two k i n d s of shamans among the Haida;. o r d i n a r y shamans, who seldom r e c e i v e more than a mention by the myths and s t o r i e s , and ' g r e a t ' shamans such as B i g - T a i l , Gandox's f a t h e r and Lagua, who f u n c t i o n e d . a s  the c h i e f  i n n o v a t o r s , i n t e g r a t i n g o l d and new i d e a s and p r o v i d i n g a b a s i s f o r new modes o f adjustment.  I t would be i n t e r e s t i n g i f we were then  a b l e to draw c o r r e l a t i o n s between these ' g r e a t ' shamans and those shamans who d i d not i n h e r i t t h e i r powers and shamans whose t i e s w i t h the s o c i a l o r d e r were reduced.  Unfortunately  t h i s i s not p o s s i b l e .  A l l we can say i s t h a t i n the s t o r i e s the shamans most o f t e n mentioned are heroes and t h a t i n t h e s t o r i e s shamans who have been d e p r i v e d , p o o r , i s o l a t e d , , orphaned, shamed, h u m i l i a t e d have a l s o been mentioned; c o n v e n t i o n a l shamans•and c o n v e n t i o n a l modes o f i n i t i a t i o n , o r what have you, a r e seldom mentioned.  training  147  CHAPTER V I I I TLINGIT SHAMANISM The major s o u r c e s f o r the f o l l o w i n g were Swanton's S o c i a l C o n d i t i o n , B e l i e f s and L i n g u i s t i c R e l a t i o n s h i p , o f t h e T l i n g i t I n d i a n s (1908), Krause's T h e T l i n g i t I n d i a n s (1956 E n g l i s h t r a n s l a t i o n o f t h e o r i g i n a l 1885 p u b l i c a t i o n ) , and de.Laguna's " T l i n g i t i d e a s about t h e i n d i v i d u a l " (1954:172-191).  I n a d d i t i o n t o the l a r g e time  differen-  t i a l between these t h r e e p u b l i c a t i o n s , from the p o i n t o f view o f shamanism each had a d i f f e r e n t focus and so my i n f o r m a t i o n i s somewhat patchy and i n c o m p l e t e . ferent areas.  I n a d d i t i o n , they worked i n w i d e l y  dif-  Krause v i s i t e d a c o n s i d e r a b l e extense o f t e r r i t o r y  b u t most o f h i s e x p e r i e n c e concerned n o r t h e r n p a r t o f the a r e a .  the groups near C h i l k a t , i n t h e  De Laguna o b t a i n e d most o f h e r e x p e r i e n c e  from Angoon, a v i l l a g e n o t f a r from S i t k a , i n t h e C e n t r a l p o r t i o n o f the a r e a .  I t i s n o t c l e a r where Swanton o b t a i n e d most o f h i s d a t a ,  but a f t e r h i s e x p e r i e n c e w i t h t h e H a i d a , i t i s l i k e l y t h a t some cons i d e r a b l e p a r t of h i s i n f o r m a t i o n p e r t a i n e d to the southern  Tlingit.  Because t h e r e i s n o t ' s u f f i c i e n t i n f o r m a t i o n c o n c e r n i n g any one s p e c i f i c group o r a r e a , a t t h e r i s k o f i g n o r i n g r e a l d i f f e r e n c e s , I am f o r c e d t o r e g a r d any i n f o r m a t i o n about'one group as a p p l y i n g , t o a g r e a t e r o r l e s s e r degree,to contradictions.  o t h e r groups u n l e s s t h e r e a r e obvious  148  I n f o r m a t i o n on the i d e o l o g i c a l system  i s meagre but  as t h e r e i s confirms t h a t i n broad appearance T l i n g i t i d e a s the f o r c e s o f the u n i v e r s e , about  the n a t u r e of man  about'the n a t u r e o f man's r e l a t i o n s h i p environment, Briefly, forces,  are s i m i l a r to those o f o t h e r Northwest Coast  t h a t man  and  balanced r e l a t i o n s h i p c e r t a i n ways, and ling  the s p i r i t  human ^.ends. p l a n t s , had power.  about  and s p i r i t s ,  to t h i s p h y s i c a l and  they b e l i e v e d t h a t the universeewas  such  pervaded  by  and  spiritual groups.  spiritual  these s p i r i t u a l f o r c e s s t o o d i n a more o r  less  to each o t h e r , each dependent on the o t h e r i n  t h a t s p e c i f i c techniques were e f f e c t i v e i n c o n t r o l -  elements  o f the environment  f o r the f u l f i l m e n t of  A l l l i v i n g c r e a t u r e s , a n i m a l s , f i s h , men,  and  perhaps  t h e i r s p i r i t u a l element a n d , p o t e n t i a l l y , s u p e r n a t u r a l  There i s l i t t l e mention i n any o f the sources o f such m y t h i c a l  beings as P r o p e r t y Woman, P e s t i l e n c e , Master  C a r p e n t e r , and so  forth,  as among the Haida. S p i r i t beings were p e r s o n i f i e d . spirits  and h i g h r a n k i n g and low r a n k i n g s p i r i t s .  gered, p l e a s e d , d e c e i v e d and c a j o l e d . by and  There were Raven and Wolf  the use o f s p e c i f i c substances, ritual  And  They c o u l d be  they c o u l d be  an-  manipulated  (such .as m e n s t r u a l b l o o d and  urine),  formulas. The s t o c k techniques by which men  attempted  to  manipulate  the s u p e r n a t u r a l can b e . c l a s s e d as p r o p i t i a t o r y o r p e r s u a s i v e , m a g i c a l , and v i s i o n a r y , although the d i s t i n c t i o n between p r o p i t i a t o r y and magic a l i s not always c l e a r .  R i t u a l p u r i t y was  a necessary c o n d i t i o n f o r  149  those who w i s h e d s p e c i a l success i n h u n t i n g , f o r those who sought s h a m a n i s t i c power, o r f o r any o t h e r s who w i s h e d o f the s u p e r n a t u r a l .  the p a r t i c u l a r f a v o u r  A p a r t from r i t u a l p u r i f i c a t i o n , Swanton and de  Laguna make no mention o f p r a y e r s , s a c r i f i c e o r o t h e r p r o p i t i a t o r y r i t e s and Drucker mentions t h a t t h e F i r s t Salmon Ceremony,  elsewhere  a p r o p i t i a t o r y ceremony o f some s i g n i f i c a n c e , was much l e s s to t h e T l i n g i t (1955:156).  A l l mention t h e importance  important  o f medicines  (substances s y m b o l i c a l l y combined w i t h r i t u a l c a r e ) , charms, and o t h e r m a g i c a l means o f a compulsive n a t u r e .  De Laguna t e l l s us t h a t  many o f the d e s i r a b l e t r a i t s as w e l l as s u c c e s s c o u l d be s e c u r e d through m e d i c i n e s , a m u l e t s , and m a g i c a l " e x e r c i s e s " : By o b s e r v i n g a t t h e times t h e p r o p e r p u r i f i c a t i o n s and abs t e n t i o n s ( b a t h i n g , p u r g i n g , f a s t i n g , t h i r s t i n g , avoidance o f c e r t a i n , f o o d s , c h a s t i t y , r e f r a i n i n g from speech o r work o r o t h e r a c t i v i t i e s , avoidance o f c o n t a c t w i t h the c o n t a m i n a t i n g , e t c . ) . . . . S i m i l a r m a g i c a l means a r e a l s o r e l i e d upon, t o s e c u r e h e a l t h and l o n g e v i t y f o r o n e s e l f and one's r e l a t i v e s , t o ward o f f w i t c h c r a f t and o t h e r s o u r c e s o f e v i l , o r t o i n f l u e n c e such phenomena as the weather. I n a d d i t i o n , d i s a s t e r s o f v a r i o u s k i n d s can be a v o i d e d by o b s e r v i n g t h e p r o p e r taboos (1954:174). Swanton s p e c i f i e s t h a t t h e r e was m e d i c i n e  f o r h u n t i n g , f i s h i n g and so  f o r t h , medicine  t h a t made one'win,  f o r k i l l i n g men, m e d i c i n e  1  f o r c u r i n g s i c k n e s s , f o r w e a l t h , f o r i n d u c i n g another's l e s s o t h e r o b j e c t i v e s (1908:445).  medicine  l o v e and end-  S o r c e r y i n v o l v e d o b t a i n i n g something  o f t h e i n t e n d e d v i c t i m and s u b j e c t i n g t h i s to t h e same t r e a t m e n t as i t was i n t e n d e d t h e v i c t i m s h o u l d s u f f e r . suggest  S i n c e none o f the e t h n o g r a p h i e s  t h a t t h e g u a r d i a n s p i r i t r e l a t i o n s h i p was common, and none s u g -  gest the e x t e n s i v e p r a c t i s e o f p r o p i t i a t o r y r i t e s , i t i s p o s s i b l e that  150  use of these medicines provided the majority of T l i n g i t with s u f f i c i e n t means for manipulation of supernatural resources. S p i r i t contact was ernatural.  the t h i r d means of-manipulating the sup-  Apparently, s p i r i t - d e r i v e d power was not the monopoly of  shamans because de Laguna writes:  "Whereas the f u l l shaman i d e a l l y  cuts eight tongues and thus obtains eight helpers, other men, we bel i e v e , „may obtain lesser power'from a single tongue" (1954:181).  None  of the ethnographies suggest that .the v i s i o n quest was a general pract i s e , however, and shamans emerge as by f a r the most  knowledgeable  i n dealings with the s p i r i t world. De Laguna-suggests  the way i n which shamans were d i f f e r e n -  tiated from others when she writes that i d e a l l y they cut eight tongues. The cutting of the animal's tongue seems to have been the ultimate symbol of control.  And eight, as she indicates i n her paper, symbolize  r i t u a l completeness  (1954:176).  By acquiring^eight tongues the shaman  established his thorough acquaintance with the supernatural world and a u n i f i e d competence i n the exercise of supernatural power.  Swanton  considered that, "taking the people of the north P a c i f i c coast as a whole, shamanism reached i t s climax among the T l i n g i t .  At a l l events,  their shamans were more powerful and i n f l u e n t i a l and more dreaded than those among the Haida" (1908:464). 1 i n juxtaposition to "witchcraft",  He saw T l i n g i t shamanism almost emphasizing the very strong r e l a t i o n  ship between these two characteristics of T l i n g i t society. 1.  Thus,  See the note concerning the use of the terms 'witchcraft' and 'sorcery' i n Chapter.I, p.  151  although he made no such equation among the Haida he writes: It i s quite natural to f i n d , along with the prominence of shamanism, a widespread b e l i e f i n witchcraft; In fact this notion had so taken possession of the Tlingit-mind that natural sickness or death was barely believed i n (1908:469). From a l l accounts, f u l l recognition and acceptance as a shaman  seems to have depended upon visionary experience plus the inheritance  of knowledge, powers, and paraphernalia  from a maternal uncle (Swanton,,  1908:466; Knapp and, Childe, 1896:138), or father. inheritance by a son was  (Swanton claims  that  possible i f no suitable m a t r i l i n e a l k i n were  available; Krause claims inheritance by a son or grandson.;)  Since,  i d e a l l y , a f u l l shaman controlled eight s p i r i t s , the process of i n i t i a tion involved a series of visionary i n i t i a t i o n s , followed  eventually  by a public i n i t i a t i o n d i r e c t l y a f t e r the death of the old shaman. sionary experience was,  for the most part, sought.  included the usual p u r i f i c a t i o n s and abstentions  Vi-  R i t u a l preparation  and, according  to  Krause, i s o l a t i o n i n mountains or forests for a period of a week up to several months: The shorter or longer period i n the wilderness depends on the appearance of the s p i r i t . When h e ' f i n a l l y meets the s p i r i t he can count himself lucky i f he gets a land otter ....The land otter goes d i r e c t l y to the would-be shaman who ... k i l l s him (1956:195). I confess myself to f e e l i n g a l i t t l e confused by this description. Is the land otter or other animal a corporeal r e a l i t y ? was  the v i s i o n experienced?  after the v i s i o n which was was  the one considered  At what point  I i n f e r that t h e . f i r s t animal to appear of the same species as the visionary animal  to be the manifestation of the s p i r i t and  the  152  one  from which the n o v i c e t r i e d  to e x t r a c t the tongue.  I f the no-  v i c e ' s quest was u n s u c c e s s f u l ( i n terms o f v i s i o n a r y e x p e r i e n c e ) he c o u l d spend the n i g h t by the grave o f a shaman (Krause, handle  the s k u l l of a dead shaman (de Laguna,  1956:195), o r  1954:176). T h i s seems  to i n d i c a t e t h a t n o v i c e s had c e r t a i n c l e a r e x p e c t a t i o n s about  vision-,  ary e x p e r i e n c e and t h a t once the v i s i o n was e x p e r i e n c e d the r e s t was assured. The next major step i n becoming a p r a c t i s e d shaman came a t the death o f the o l d shaman.  Krause's  vivid  d e s c r i p t i o n o f one i n i t i a -  t i o n he w i t n e s s e d p e r s o n a l l y i s worth d i r e c t q u o t a t i o n : A l l the a d u l t s o f the Raven c l a n f a s t e d f o r f o u r days, the c h i l d r e n o n l y two days, w h i l e the new shaman f a s t e d e i g h t days....The whole t r i b e was assembled i n the house o f the dead shaman and i n the evenings c e r e m o n i a l dances were executed i n the l i g h t o f the b l a z i n g f i r e , accompanied l o u d l y on the drum. The p a r t i c i p a n t s , men and boys, s t o o d around the f i r e . . . . I n the background, and a l o n g the l e f t w a l l from the entrance s q u a t t e d the women w i t h the s m a l l c h i l d r e n , w h i l e the r e s t o f the space was crowded w i t h s p e c t a t o r s . . . . Two o l d shamans, r e c o g n i z e d by t h e i r l o n g , unkempt h a i r and f a n t a s t i c headgear were a l s o p r e s e n t . . . [ T h e r e was s i n g i n g , drumming and stamping the f l o o r . A t the f o u r t h song:] During the w i l d e s t p a r t , a young Indian...plunged forward suddenly almost through the f i r e toward the wooden drum and f e l l to the ground u n c o n s c i o u s . . . . F o r a time he remained a p p a r e n t l y unconscious, w h i l e , t h e song c o n t i n u e d as though n o t h i n g had happened. When he gained c o n s c i o u s n e s s he withdrew i n t o the rows o f s p e c t a t o r s and soon t h e r e a f t e r the ceremony ended (1956:202; my b r a c k e t s ) . Public i n i t i a t i o n , with a lineage.  then, c l e a r l y expressed  the shaman's  identification  The group, presumably l i n e a g e " p a r t i c i p a n t s " , was f u l l y  i n v o l v e d i n the ceremony, summoning  (by the s i n g i n g , drumming, and dancing)  the s p i r i t s o f the dead shaman to come to h i s s u c c e s s o r , w h i l e " s p e c t a -  153  tors", presumably members of other lineages i n the community, witnessed the event. There i s a strong suggestion  that the s p i r i t s passed on to  successive shamans were associated with lineages or clans.  Swanton  mentions that the s p i r i t s that came to Raven shamans were d i s t i n c t from those that came- to Wolf shamans. clan that i t was names".  Further, he recounts of  one  so high ranking that their " s p i r i t s had very high  The' greatest of these s p i r i t s , named Unseeable, f i r s t presen-  ted i t s e l f to an old clan shaman, named Big-Killer-Whale', many years ago: Subsequently shamans i n this family acted l i k e Big-Killer-. Whale, and Unseeable was always the f i r s t s p i r i t which they-saw. The shaman had to be very clean when Unseeable was' going to come' to him, nor would Unseeable allow any f i l t h y person i n the house (Swanton, 1908:466). This example also seems to indicate that the rank of the s p i r i t  was  related to the rank of the clan, or at l e a s t , that high ranking  clans  claimed  that their s p i r i t s were of high rank. In short, T l i n g i t shamanistic  highly formalized, clearly expressing The p o s i t i o n of shaman was  i n i t i a t i o n s seem, to have been  group structures and group status.  c l e a r l y an hereditary lineage o f f i c e .  The relationship between a shaman and his s p i r i t helpers may  be termed compulsive;•it  seems to have been based on mutual force.  The shaman d i f f e r e d from those who,  when possessed, became the i n s t r u -  ment of s p i r i t s , by the fact that he controlled them.  In turn, the  shaman, i f mastered by other s p i r i t s or i f he l o s t control of his  own,  154  might die.  He summoned his helpers by putting on a s p e c i a l mask for  each one, and by drumming,' singing and using a r a t t l e .  (I would as-  sume that this use of masks to summon the s p i r i t would be one why  inheritance of paraphernalia would be deemed c r i t i c a l . )  reason He main-  tained his control by maintaining r i t u a l p r e s c r i p t i o n s . Krause comments that, " i f he does not maintain a proper rapport with these they may  k i l l him"  spirits,  (1956:196), and de Laguna comments, "something of  his power resides i n his long h a i r . . . . I f his h a i r i s shorn he w i l l die because he has l o s t his powers" (1954:176). with such contaminating  Presumably, contact  substances as menstrual blood would be equally  fatal. The shaman's powers derived from his control over the move-ment and a b i l i t i e s of s p i r i t s .  I t was  not the shaman himself who  saw  the cause of sickness, divined the right time for a r a i d , or determined the movements of animals, but the s p i r i t ; the s p i r i t could direct the shaman by allowing him to perceive phenomena through i t s own  eyes.  The  shaman could command his helper on journeys or he could cause i t to animate an image.  Because the shaman's a b i l i t i e s were determined by  those of his s p i r i t helpers, the extent and degree of powers depended on the number of s p i r i t s he was the s p i r i t .  I t was  able to master and on the 'rank' of  noted that at least some of the shaman's s p i r i t s  were acquired from his predecessor  and that i n this way,certain  spi-  r i t s tended to be associated with certain clans and that there was possible tendency for the most powerful s p i r i t s  a  to be associated with  155  certain clans.  Several questions  a r i s e from t h i s .  that i n i t i a t i o n  u s u a l l y i n v o l v e d , as a s y m b o l i c  c u t t i n g the tongue of the a n i m a l , how of the s p i r i t s  of h i s p r e d e c e s s o r ?  F o r example, g i v e n  i n d i c a t i o n of c o n t r o l ,  d i d the n o v i c e i n d i c a t e mastery  Perhaps ' i n h e r i t a n c e ' was  possible  by the v e r y . f a c t t h a t . t h e shaman passed on the "tongues" of the as w e l l as o t h e r p a r a p h e r n a l i a .  Again,  l a n d o t t e r s were b e l i e v e d to  be the most p o w e r f u l  s p i r i t helpers.  powerful  s p i r i t s were they a s s o c i a t e d w i t h h i g h  shamanistic  spirits  I f l a n d o t t e r s were the most ranking  l i n e a g e s o r a c q u i r e d o n l y by the h i g h e s t r a n k i n g shamans?  There i s  l i t t l e o r no i n f o r m a t i o n t h a t would answer such q u e s t i o n s .  It is  perhaps p o s s i b l e , however, t h a t a shaman from a low r a n k i n g c l a n c o u l d i n c r e a s e h i s r e p u t a t i o n by a c q u i r i n g the tongue of a l a n d o t t e r . Thus the correspondence between s t r e n g t h of s p i r i t and  rank of  would not be as c l o s e as T l i n g i t themselves might c l a i m . land o t t e r s p i r i t s The  A g a i n , were  'inherited'?  three-way r e l a t i o n s h i p between a shaman, h i s p r i n c i p a l  s p i r i t h e l p e r and  the c l a n i s e x p r e s s e d by the arrangements made f o r  the shaman's death (as d i s t i n c t from i n i t i a t i o n death).  lineage  of a new  shaman a f t e r  Swanton r e p o r t s :  When the shaman was i n h i s l a s t s i c k n e s s h i s s p i r i t would come to him and s a y , "You w i l l d i e so many days from now". And when he was d y i n g i t s a i d , "My m a s t e r , you must be t a k e n to such and such a p l a c e to be l e f t t h e r e ( f o r b u r i a l ) " . Then i t would t e l l h i s c l a n what t o do and where to l i v e . The shaman's body was a c c o r d i n g l y c a r r i e d to the p o i n t i n d i c a t e d and l e f t t h e r e w i t h o u t h a v i n g been burned (1908:466).  156  A s i d e from the f u n c t i o n s o r s e r v i c e s p e r f o r m e d , t h e r e were a number o f a t t e n d a n t  r i g h t s , p r i v i l e g e s , d u t i e s and hazards i n v o l v e d  i n b e i n g a shaman.. Some of these have a l r e a d y been mentioned. man,  upon r i s k o f d e a t h , had  to p r e s e r v e h i s h a i r l o n g .  As  A  sha-  illustra-  t e d by Krause's d e s c r i p t i o n of an i n i t i a t i o n ceremony, shamans s t o o d out from the m a j o r i t y "by gear".  t h e i r l o n g , unkempt h a i r and f a n t a s t i c head-  B u r i a l p r a c t i s e s l i k e w i s e symbolized  from o r d i n a r y men.  the shaman's a l o o f n e s s  Whereas the o r d i n a r y i n d i v i d u a l was  death and h i s remains p l a c e d i n a grave box and b u r i a l ground, the shaman was was  not cremated.  cremated a t  deposited i n a s p e c i a l  F o r f o u r n i g h t s the body  k e p t i n the shaman's house o r a c l a n house, d u r i n g w h i c h time a l l  the i n h a b i t a n t s o f the househad t o f a s t .  Then the body was  placed  complete i n a l i t t l e grave house t o t a l l y i s o l a t e d from b u r i a l grounds o r o t h e r houses (Krause was  1956:194).  the r i g h t to g i v e c e r e m o n i a l  appearance and  An i m p o r t a n t p r i v i l e g e o f shamans  d i s p l a y s of powers w h i c h , i n t h e i r  time of p r e s e n t a t i o n resemble the p r i v i l e g e d w i n t e r  s e c r e t s o c i e t y dances f u r t h e r s o u t h .  Krause r e p o r t s :  The g r e a t s h a m a n i s t i c performances a r e g i v e n o n l y i n the w i n t e r d u r i n g a new o r f u l l moon. The shamans c a l l c e r e m o n i a l l y upon t h e i r s p i r i t s so t h a t they may b r i n g l u c k and ward o f f i l l n e s s f o r the v i l l a g e , f o r the shaman him-^ s e l f , and f o r h i s r e l a t i v e s d u r i n g the coming y e a r (1956:198). Before  the performance the " r e l a t i v e s " h e l p e d  p u r i f y i n g themselves.  the shaman by f a s t i n g  and  A t sunset a l l went i n t o the shaman's house,  s i n g i n g and b e a t i n g drums.  A f t e r p u t t i n g on a l l h i s p a r a p h e r n a l i a ,  carved bone s p i k e s , f a c e mask o r h a t , . r a t t l e , drums, d a n c i n g  leggings,  15 7  and s k i r t , a n e c k l a c e  of bones (Krause,1956:194), the shaman s t a r t e d  moving around the f i r e :  "Suddenly he stands s t i l l ,  l o o k s a t the upper  s i d e of the drum and screams l o u d l y . . . s i n c e the s p i r i t w h i c h has  entered  him i s about to speak" (1956:198).  dis-  p l a y the guests are s e r v e d  A f t e r the c o n c l u s i o n o f t h i s  tobacco and  food u n t i l dawn, j u s t as i f  they were guests a t a f e a s t or p b t l a t c h b e i n g rewarded f o r w i t n e s s i n g the d i s p l a y of some s o c i a l p r e r o g a t i v e . A p a r t fromiuthe and  tremendous r e s p e c t and f e a r a c c o r d e d shamans  the n e c e s s a r y r i t u a l a v o i d a n c e s and  them and by  c i r c u m s c r i p t i o n s e n t a i l e d by  those around them, .the everyday l i f e of shamans was  not  v e r y d i f f e r e n t from t h a t of o t h e r men.  They were i n v o l v e d as much  as anyone e l s e i n the u s u a l s u b s i s t e n c e  activities,  were p a r t of  the  rank and k i n s h i p s t r u c t u r e w i t h the same r i g h t s and o b l i g a t i o n s i n t h e s e spheres as o t h e r i n d i v i d u a l s of approximate rank. The I n one  s e r v i c e s performed by shamans were v a r i e d and  r e s p e c t , the w i n t e r s h a m a n i s t i c  of a p r i v i l e g e .  extensive.  d i s p l a y s were the v a l i d a t i o n  I n a n o t h e r , q u i t e a p a r t from i n v o k i n g good f o r t u n e  and w a r d i n g o f f s i c k n e s s , they p r o v i d e d  drama and e n t e r t a i n m e n t .  i s perhaps i n t e r e s t i n g to s p e c u l a t e how  much the s h a m a n i s t i c  It  perfor-  mances took the p l a c e of w i n t e r s p i r i t dances or s e c r e t s o c i e t y dances as d r a m a t i z a t i o n s  of r e l i g i o u s b e l i e f s .  I t i s perhaps a l s o w o r t h won-  d e r i n g , s i n c e shamans were a s s o c i a t e d w i t h lineages., whether these d i s p l a y s may i n d i c a t e s how  have, e x p r e s s e d group i d e n t i t y .  C. M c C l e l l a n  the f o r m a l i t i e s of the p o t l a t c h and  (1954:75-96)  feasts c l e a r l y expressed  158  the basic s o c i a l units of T l i n g i t society, moiety, clan, lineage and house-group.  We might also expect, then, to find that these units  were again expressed by the shaman's display. of groups might be predicted simply  Some d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n  from Krause's comment that before  the occasion h i s " r e l a t i v e s " p a r t i c i p a t e d by fasting and purifying themselves, and from the fact that i f there was an audience there would have been d i f f e r e n t i a t i o n between lineage and non-lineage members. Shamans were certainly closely aligned with lineages i n times of war (a lineage, on most occasions, was the unit of warfare, since the lineages of a town were by no means obliged, or even l i k e l y , to combine and co-operate).  A shaman accompanied every war party.  The shaman  fasted p r i o r to the planned attack and " a l l of h i s s p i r i t s watched u n t i l at l a s t he said, 'We s h a l l see a canoe to-day', or, 'We s h a l l k i l l someone to-day'.  After that he began to eat" (1908:450).  In  economic terms, shamans could help to reduce uncertainty or encourage success.  They could induce good weather and a t t r a c t large f i s h runs.  However, none of the reports indicate that these economic-functions were p a r t i c u l a r l y important.  I t seems that, i n contrast to the Haida,  the shaman's economic functions were not extensive or were not viewed with such c r i t i c a l concern. Except possibly f o r the displays of s p i r i t power, from what I can i n f e r , curing ceremonies, with their sorcery accusations  or fear  of sorcery accusations, were the occasions which most dramatically expressed the shaman's power and which had the broadest s o c i a l i m p l i cations .  159  Shamans were c a l l e d i n when m e d i c i n e s had  failed.  The  cause  of s i c k n e s s , . a t l e a s t f o r t h a t s e r i o u s enough to r e q u i r e a shaman, was commonly a t t r i b u t e d to s o r c e r y :  so commonly, i n f a c t , t h a t s e v e r a l  w r i t e r s go so f a r as to c l a i m i t was  the o n l y cause.  c l a i m e d t h a t a l l s i c k n e s s and death was  a t t r i b u t e d to ' w i t c h c r a f t '  (here c o n s i d e r e d synonymous w i t h s o r c e r y ) . "witches...are  Krause comments t h a t  supposed t o be the cause of i l l n e s s "  ton t h a t , " S i c k n e s s was  tim,  (1956:283), Swan-,  u s u a l l y a t t r i b u t e d to w i t c h c r a f t " (1908:464).  S o r c e r y i n c l u d e d the a t t a c k by an e v i l shaman who r i t s i n t o inanimate  Jones (1914:125)  could p r o j e c t s p i -  o b j e c t s and send them to a t t a c k . t h e i n t e n d e d  o r i t c o u l d r e f e r to the use o f s p e c i a l l e a r n e d techniques  i n v o l v e d o b t a i n i n g something, i n t i m a t e l y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the v i c t i m and s u b j e c t i n g i t to the treatment  vicwhich  intended  i n t e n d e d f o r the v i c t i m .  S i n c e t h e r e were m e d i c i n e s w h i c h c o u l d q u i t e l e g i t i m a t e l y be used f o r k i l l i n g those d e f i n e d as enemies, s o r c e r y was m e d i c i n e s to k i l l men  and  t h e r e f o r e i t s r e c o g n i t i o n was  upon whose d e f i n i t i o n o f ' a n t i - s o c i a l ' was feud as e x p r e s s i o n s  the a n t i - s o c i a l use  accepted.  of  dependent  S i n c e war  or  of h o s t i l i t y were p e r f e c t l y l e g i t i m a t e between  l i n e a g e s , as were the  'power' f i g h t s between shamans o f h o s t i l e towns,  i t must have o c c u r r e d w i t h i n o r between groups t h a t c o u l d not  easily  admit open h o s t i l i t y , p o s s i b l y between the members o f a l i n e a g e o r the c o - r e s i d e n t s o f a town. I t may  be t h a t , i n f a c t , shamans were c a l l e d i n a f t e r s u s p i -  c i o n s o f s o r c e r y had  d e v e l o p e d , hence the u n a n i m i t y  among ethnographers  160  t h a t s o r c e r y was t h e common e x p l a n a t i o n o f i l l n e s s o f f e r e d by shamans. I say t h i s because de Laguna mentions t h a t t h e T l i n g i t had " r u b b i n g " d o c t o r s , i n d i v i d u a l s ( u s u a l l y women as opposed t o shamans who were u s u a l l y men), who, l i k e shamans, " c o u l d cure by manual m a n i p u l a t i o n o f t h e p a t i e n t ' s body" (1954:177). Swanton e x p l a i n s s i m p l y  that:  The f r i e n d o f a p e r s o n who was i l l would go t o a shaman ...the shaman went t o t h e s i c k p e r s o n and performed o v e r him. Then he t o l d who had b e w i t c h e d h i m (1908:469). Knapp and C h i l d e d e s c r i b e a method o f d i v i n a t i o n i n w h i c h t h e shaman: . . . f i l l s h i s h a t w i t h w a t e r and c a l l s t h r e e w i t n e s s e s t o see t h e r e f l e c t i o n o f the w i t c h ' s f a c e . E i t h e r they are" the shaman's a c c o m p l i c e s o r v e r y much a f r a i d o f him, and r a r e l y f a i l t o s u p p o r t h i s statements (1896:134). Krause e x p l a i n s a t g r e a t e r l e n g t h t h a t t h e s i c k p e r s o n sends a messenger t o t h e shaman who i s supposed t o c a l l through t h e door f o u r times:  "The shaman a l l o w s these words t o be r e p e a t e d  four  times  w h i l e he t r i e s t o r e c o g n i s e i n t h e v o i c e o f t h e messenger t h e v o i c e o f t h e one who has b e w i t c h e d t h e p a t i e n t " (1956:200).  Next day he  performs and then "he goes t o t h e r e l a t i v e o f t h e p a t i e n t and accuses him o f w i t c h c r a f t . . . . " .  Krause's comments seem c l e a r l y t o i n d i c a t e  t h a t t h e shaman was approached on those o c c a s i o n s when s u s p i c i o n s had a l r e a d y been roused.  I t a l s o seems to i n d i c a t e t h a t a c c u s a t i o n s were  w i t h i n t h e l i n e a g e , those accused b e i n g kinsmen ( " r e l a t i v e s " ) o f t h e alleged victim.  I t f u r t h e r i n d i c a t e s w i t h great d i r e c t n e s s that the  shaman r e l i e d , f o r h i s d i v i n a t i o n o f t h e v i c t i m , on what he c o u l d  161  determine of p e o p l e ' s o p i n i o n s .  The  shaman, a t l e a s t to some e x t e n t ,  e x p r e s s e d h o s t i l i t y o f f a c t i o n s w i t h i n the group, p o s s i b l y w i t h i n the l i n e a g e group. The  c u r i n g ceremony., then, i n v o l v e d an attempt to r e s t o r e  the p a t i e n t and an attempt to f i x the agent of blame.  Curing  tech-  niques were much l i k e those found elsewhere on the Northwest Coast. The  ceremony was  p u b l i c , s p e c t a t o r s and k i n becoming i n v o l v e d  therefore partners  to the r e s p o n s i b i l i t y of c u r i n g and  The shaman c u r e d by b l o w i n g  d i v i n i n g cause.  away- the s i c k n e s s o r s u c k i n g out  i n t r u s i v e o b j e c t , massaging o r r u b b i n g  the a f f e c t e d a r e a o r  o v e r the a f f l i c t e d p a r t s w i t h r i t u a l o b j e c t s  and  the passing  (amulets?) supposed to  have power. Actual accusations  of s o r c e r e r s were a p p a r e n t l y  S o r c e r e r s were u n i v e r s a l l y d e t e c t e d one  not uncommon.  through dreams o r by shamans, no  e v e r h a v i n g h e a r d of a s o r c e r e r caught c a s t i n g a s p e l l  1934:154).  (Oberg,  This a g a i n s u g g e s t s t h a t the a c c u s a t i o n o f s o r c e r y  an e x p r e s s i o n of c o n f l i c t and h o s t i l i t y w h i c h c o u l d not be more openly (and s i n c e h o s t i l i t y  w i t h i n the l i n e a g e o r  expressed  c o u l d be e x p r e s s e d more openly  tween l i n e a g e s and l a r g e r s o c i a l u n i t s we may  was  be-  expect i t to have been  sub-lineage).  A number of s p e c i f i c i n s t a n c e s are r e p o r t e d .  Jones (1914:  157-8) r e p o r t s t h a t "a young g i r l . . . a f t e r s e v e r e t o r t u r e was  compelled  t o admit t h a t she had made w i t c h - m e d i c i n e "  and he a l s o mentions a  who  shamans t r i e d i n the w i n t e r  was  accused.  Krause r e p o r t s t h a t "two  boy  162  o f 1881-1882 t o arouse t h e p e o p l e t o a w i t c h h u n t " (1956:204).  He  a l s o h e a r d o f two g i r l s who, i n 1878, were t o r t u r e d and two C h i l k a t women i n 1882 who "themselves seemed t o be c o n v i n c e d " o f t h e i r own g u i l t (1956:203) . A l l t h e s e examples people —  concern l e s s s o c i a l l y  eminent  a boy, g i r l s , and two women (the T l i n g i t a r e a m a t r i l i n e a l  s o c i e t y b u t a d m i n i s t r a t i v e power was n e v e r t h e l e s s i n t h e hands o f men).  And i n t a e s t i n g l y enough Jones remarks t h a t , "The one s e t t l e d  on as t h e w i t c h was g e n e r a l l y some u n i m p o r t a n t member o f t h e community, an uncanny l o o k i n g c r e a t u r e , a s l a v e o r someone who had t h e i l l o f t h e d o c t o r o r t h e r e l a t i v e s o f t h e p a t i e n t " (1914:156). notes:  will  Krause  " I n t h e i n s t a n c e s b r o u g h t t o o u r a t t e n t i o n t h e accused were  always women" (1956:203).  There may be a c o n n e c t i o n h e r e between  m a t r i l i n y and t h e a c c u s a t i o n o f women. When were s o r c e r e r s accused and who ( a s i d e from t h e shaman) accused them?  A p a r t from the vague s t a t e m e n t t h a t s o r c e r y was s u s p e c -  t e d i f t h e i l l n e s s was o f a l i n g e r i n g n a t u r e o r , i f i t d i d n o t respond to o t h e r t r e a t m e n t , we g e t a t e n t a t i v e i d e a o f o t h e r reasons why p e o p l e might s u s p e c t s o r c e r y , f r o m Oberg.  He w r i t e s :  I f by some chance a man o f v e r y h i g h rank was caught s t e a l i n g , he was s a i d t o be b e w i t c h e d . Then a s h a m a n i s t i c p e r formance was h e l d o v e r him t o d i s c o v e r t h e s o r c e r e r who had f o r c e d him to s t e a l i n order to i n j u r e h i s s o c i a l p o s i t i o n (1934:149). He a l s o mentions t h a t i n d i v i d u a l s c o u l d pay shamans t o a c cuse o t h e r s o f s o r c e r y :  " R i v a l s were o f t e n e x t e r m i n a t e d by p a y i n g  the shaman t o name them as s o r c e r e r s " ( I b i d . : 1 5 5 ) .  S i n c e i t would be  163  those of high rank and great wealth who  could best afford to pay for  a shaman's service, we might expect that i n this respect shamans functioned to preserve ..the p o l i t i c a l status quo.  An argument that might  be raised at this point i s that for most of the Northwest Coast f u l l shamans were, for the main part, called i n to cure the r i c h and high status rather than the commoners. support this hypothesis one way  There i s very l i t t l e evidence to  or another but i n the few  instances  where the status of the patient i s mentioned, he i s invariably a chief's son or some such.  I have not come across any information discussing  the cost of a curing ceremony to the host  (Drucker mentions that sha-  mans themselves receive far less than they are popularly believed to) but i t i s d i f f i c u l t for me  to believe that the host would not d i s -  tribute food at least to those spectators who It was for  witnessed the  cure.  the common custom on the Northwest coast to show appreciation  any service rendered, no matter how  ceremonies I would suspect  small, and i n most curing  that song leader, drummers, singers  any others participants would a l l receive something.  and  As the customs  concerning  homicide, revenge, andwar, indicate, a high status i n d i - ,  vidual was  much more of a loss to the l o c a l group than a commoner.  In cases of revenge only an i n d i v i d u a l of equal status to the s l a i n was  considered  adequate.compensation.  Therefore,  i t i s possible that,,  with l i m i t e d resources, expensive curing ceremonies might have been reserved for those of highest status within the lineage while those of lesser standing r e l i e d on medicines.  Yet another reason why  shamans  164  might have been c a l l e d more f r e q u e n t l y f o r those o f h i g h rank i s t h a t people, o f h i g h rank, by t h e i r v e r y prominence mi.ght.be deemed more l i a b l e to a t t a c k from j e a l o u s r i v a l s . have been a f a c t o r among the  T h i s i s more than l i k e l y  to  Tlingit.  The i m p r e s s i o n emerges t h a t i n g e n e r a l the ' f l o w ' o f s o r cery a c c u s a t i o n s r a n from h i g h rank to low rank, p a r t i c u l a r l y i f the p r e s t i g e o r esteem o f the h i g h s t a t u s i n d i v i d u a l had been t h r e a t e n e d . Indeed i t i s d i f f i c u l t to imagine  that accusations of sorcery d i r e c t e d  from low to h i g h rank would be taken s e r i o u s l y .  A c c u s a t i o n s between  i n d i v i d u a l s o f e q u a l rank would have been i m p o s s i b l e , s i n c e as we argued, s o r c e r y was,  o r l i k e l y t o have been, an e x p r e s s i o n o f  w i t h i n a l i n e a g e , and members of a l i n e a g e were ranked  have  conflict  individually.  Perhaps g r i e v a n c e s by those o f low rank a g a i n s t h i g h rank kinsmen c o u l d be e x p r e s s e d i n d i r e c t l y i n o t h e r ways by r e f u s i n g to  fulfil  the v a r i o u s c o u r t e s i e s and s i g n s o f r e s p e c t n o r m a l l y due those o f . h i g h rank.  A p o i n t to note of r e a l s i g n i f i c a n c e i n t h i s r e s p e c t , I  t h i n k , i s t h a t t h e T l i n g i t system o f rank was  not s t a b l e .  o f rank were of consuming concern to the T l i n g i t .  Questions  Maintenance of  rank depended on g i v i n g p o t l a t c h e s , however, p r o p e r t y r i g h t s were such t h a t an i n d i v i d u a l o f h i g h rank c o u l d not be s u r e o f r e s o u r c e s and e l i m i n a t i n g c o m p e t i t i o n .  controlling  Thus Krause w r i t e s :  Even the rank of c h i e f i s t i e d up.with the p o s s e s s i o n o f w e a l t h , l a r g e l y the ownership o f s l a v e s . . ; . T h e power of c h i e f i s very l i m i t e d and the d i r e c t i o n w h i c h i t takes depends on the p e r s o n a l i t y o f ' the i n d i v i d u a l . . Only i n coo p e r a t i v e u n d e r t a k i n g s and i n c o u n c i l i s he a l e a d e r ; i n e v e r y t h i n g e l s e every f a m i l y head i s e n t i r e l y f r e e to do a n y t h i n g w h i c h i s not c o u n t e r to custom and w h i c h does not i n t e r f e r e w i t h the r i g h t s o f o t h e r s (1956:77).  165  And M c C l e l l a n e x p l a i n s : A l t h o u g h the r a m i f i c a t i o n s o f rank a r e many, the system i s not so r i g i d b u t t h a t those o f s t r o n g c h a r a c t e r o r s p e c i a l t a l e n t s may m a n i p u l a t e i t to t h e i r advantage.... T h i s works b o t h ways, f o r an i n h e r i t e d h i g h p o s i t i o n can e q u a l l y w e l l be l o s t (1954:93). The system o f e t i q u e t t e and concepts o f honour and shame a s s o c i a t e d w i t h rank were e x t r e m e l y e l a b o u r a t e . Any s u g g e s t i o n o f shame, an a c c i d e n t , i n s u l t , p h y s i c a l b l e m i s h , had to b e ' e l i m i n a t e d by the i n d i v i d u a l concerned." Thus q u e s t i o n s of rank were always ones o f g r e a t s e n s i t i v i t y b u t they may have been p a r t i c u l a r l y so i n h i s t o r i c times when the a b o l i t i o n o f s l a v e r y would have reduced the a b i l i t y o f w e a l t h y men  to d i s p l a y t h e i r w e a l t h and to m a i n t a i n t h e i r w e a l t h  (assuming  t h a t s l a v e s performed the d u a l f u n c t i o n o f i n c r e a s i n g a n c i n d i v i d u a l ' s w e a l t h and g i v i n g e v i d e n c e o f w e a l t h ) .  Thus the r e l a t i v e l y h i g h  i n c i d e n c e of s o r c e r y a c c u s a t i o n s i n h i s t o r i c times may have been a r e f l e c t i o n o f i n c r e a s e d a m b i g u i t y r e g a r d i n g rank.  Ambiguity  about  rank may have i n c r e a s e d the t h r e a t to those i n h i g h rank p o s i t i o n s  and  i n d u c e d them to seek r e i n f o r c e m e n t o f t h e i r p r e s t i g e by i n d i r e c t means r a t h e r than openly admit the p o s s i b i l i t y of a m b i g u i t y by d i r e c t e n forcement. An i m p o r t a n t r e f l e c t i o n o f the power of shamans was  the  r e a c t i o n to a c c u s a t i o n s of s o r c e r y on the p a r t o f the accused, h i s o r h e r kinsmen^ judgement was  and the community.  Jones w r i t e s t h a t the shaman's .  u n d i s p u t e d even by the accused's r e l a t i v e s .  Punishment  was, i n f a c t , u s u a l l y i n i t i a t e d by near r e l a t i v e s o f the s o r c e r e r , and i f the s o r c e r e r , escaped punishment he o r she was  totally  ostracised  166  (Jones,1914:156-7). did  Knapp and Childe report that those accused often  not deny the accusation "either because they were so completely  under his control that when denounced by him they doubted their innocence, or because they foresaw the uselessness 133).  own  of denial" (1896:  Krause agrees with Jones that the r e l a t i v e s of the sorcerer  were supposed to k i l l him or her.  The authority of the shaman's deci-  sion, then, by a l l accounts was well nigh t o t a l .  However, we might  remember that the authority of the shaman would have been more severely tested i f the accused were of high status.  None of the ethnographers  describe instances where " r e l a t i v e s " of the accused refuse to accept the v a l i d i t y of the accusation.  We might speculate, however, that l i n -  eage f i s s i o n could have arisen as the r e s u l t of p o l a r i z a t i o n of support over sorcery  accusations.  S u p e r f i c i a l l y , at least, T l i n g i t s o c i a l organization was ilar  to that of the Haida and Tsimshian.  sim-  The s o c i a l units were again  derived from a series of m a t r i l i n e a l d i v i s i o n s .  The society was  divi-  ded into two exogamous moieties, the Ravens and Wolves, each with their own  crests.  Each moiety contained  a number of ranked clans, the mem-  bers of which shared a series of crests and believed themselves to be related through descent from a common ancestor. one or more ranked, l o c a l i z e d lineages.  Each clan  contained  The lineages of a clan were  p o l i t i c a l l y and s o c i a l l y autonomous, having their own  lands, house  names, crests and so f o r t h , and were i n e f f e c t l i t t l e d i f f e r e n t from the Haida lineages.  However, unlike the Haida where, with lineage  1 6  v i l l a g e s , k i n and residence  residence  u n i t s were one  and  the s a m e , T l i n g i t  major  u n i t s were towns and house-groups, the house-group b e i n g  the b a s i c s o c i a l and lineages  ?  economic u n i t .  A town comprised one  from one o r more c l a n s of each m o i e t y .  o r more  L i n e a g e s , as a r u l e ,  c o i n c i d e d w i t h house—groups, but o c c a s i o n a l l y a l i n e a g e became too l a r g e and,  b e f o r e f i s s i o n , t h e r e might be  two  o r more house groups o r  s u b - l i n e a g e s of a l i n e a g e w i t h i n the same town.  Drucker w r i t e s :  T l i n g i t s o c i o - p o l i t i c a l o r g a n i z a t i o n was q u i t e l i k e t h a t of the H a i d a . The most i m p o r t a n t d i f f e r e n c e was t h a t the T l i n g i t house group, i n cases where a l i n e a g e was of cons i d e r a b l e s i z e and had a number of houses each o c c u p i e d by a s u b - l i h e a g e , was somewhat more i m p o r t a n t than the comp a r a b l e u n i t among the H a i d a (1955:116). The  T l i n g i t r e s i d e n t i a l u n i t s , towns, thus d i f f e r e d from the H a i d a  from the T s i m s h i a n towns.  Among the H a i d a a s i n g l e p r i n c i p l e , l i n e a g e  a f f i l i a t i o n , u n i f i e d r e s i d e n t s , and i z a t i o n and  and  among the T s i m s h i a n , t r i b a l o r g a n -  l o y a l t y to a s i n g l e t r i b a l c h i e f u n i f i e d r e s i d e n t s .  Nei-  t h e r t r i b a l nor l i n e a g e a f f i l i a t i o n u n i f i e d the members of a T l i n g i t town.  The  groups may, and  d i f f e r e n c e s i n s h a m a n i s t i c p r a c t i s e s between the i n some p a r t , be e x p l a i n e d by  these r e s i d e n c e  three  differences  the c o n c o m i t a n t d i f f e r e n c e s i n concepts of r a n k , p r o p e r t y  s h i p , and power.  owner-  Thus, i f the l a c k o f u n i f y i n g p r i n c i p l e s such as  l i n e a g e membership and  t r i b a l a f f i l i a t i o n s e r v e d to a c c e n t u a t e rank  d i f f e r e n c e s and house-group i d e n t i f i c a t i o n w i t h i n the community, t h i s may  e x p l a i n the e l a b o r a t e p u b l i c i n i t i a t i o n of shamans among the  w h i c h s t r e s s e d the shaman's a l i g n m e n t w i t h h i s house-group, and e x p l a i n the apparent a s s o c i a t i o n between shamanism, s o r c e r y rank.  Tlingit i t may  fears,  and  168  The vagueness of my information aside, the p o s i t i o n of shaman reflected T l i n g i t s o c i a l structure i n a number of ways. the  As elsewhere,  shaman was mediator between men and s p i r i t s and was both aloof  from the l i f e and i n s t i t u t i o n s of men and dependent upon them.  It is  worth examining these twin themes of separation and i d e n t i f i c a t i o n i n more d e t a i l since they seem to suggest something about the s o c i a l structure i n general. As we have seen, the shaman was i n some way s p i r i t mediator i n each of the s o c i e t i e s we have examined, but i n each case the areas of separation and i d e n t i f i c a t i o n have tended to be s l i g h t l y d i f f e r e n t ; i n many cases the/ differences are consistent with differences i n the s o c i a l organization of each group. Separation from and i d e n t i f i c a t i o n with men  (and the con-,  verse with s p i r i t s ) are expressed by i n i t i a t i o n , death, and b u r i a l , as well as by the r i t u a l prescriptions of everyday l i f e .  Acceptance as a  f u l l shaman required both visionary i n i t i a t i o n by a s p i r i t , and the public succession to the powers and paraphernalia of a maternal uncle i n the presence of the lineage and other (non-liheage) members of the wider community.  The f i r s t , necessarily required training or r i t u a l  removal from the human.  R i t u a l preparation was, e s s e n t i a l l y , a con-  s i s t e n t and progressive separation from the human: of  the elimination  a l l body f l u i d s through bathing and purging; the rejection of a l l .  elements normally v i t a l for the maintenance of human l i f e i . e .  food,  water, sleep, shelter, speech, work; and , with sexual continence and avoidance of a l l possible contact with menstrual blood, abnegation  169  o f the fundamental c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of human as opposed to s p i r i t u a l life,  reproduction.,  This f i r s t  aspect  of s h a m a n i s t i c  emphasized s e p a r a t i o n from the human and itual. with  The  initiation,  i d e n t i f i c a t i o n with  second p a r t , as a l r e a d y d e s c r i b e d , r e q u i r e d  the l i n e a g e group.  Since  then,  the  spir-  identification  the p o s i t i o n o f shaman was  normally  h e r i t e d , i t r e q u i r e d the a f f i r m a t i o n of a b a s i c s o c i a l p r i n c i p l e ,  inkin-  s h i p , e s p e c i a l l y m a t r i l i n e a l k i n s h i p , and s i n c e , i t seems, the drumming and s i n g i n g of the group was pers  i n s t r u m e n t a l i n summoning the s p i r i t  of the o l d shaman, i t a f f i r m e d the r e c o g n i t i o n of a b a s i c  dependence between shaman,, community, and The w i t h man  and  themes of s e p a r a t i o n and  b u r i a l arrangements: world  identification, alternately a t death and  to Swanton, the s p i r i t h e l p e r was  the shaman's death and here,  to i n s t r u c t  then,  inter-  world.  the s u p e r n a t u r a l , are a g a i n expressed  As quoted, a c c o r d i n g foretell  spirit  hel-  the c l a n as  burial.  supposed to to s p e c i f i c  the community r e l i e d on the  spirit  f o r i n f o r m a t i o n and were the means by which the i n s t r u c t i o n s o f  the s p i r i t w o r l d were r e a l i z e d . t a i l according  to the  These arrangements  ' i n s t r u c t i o n s ' of d i f f e r e n t s p i r i t s  e r a l o u t l i n e s i m i l a r ) d i f f e r e d considerably (Although  I am  (different i n  u n c l e a r as  to the e x t e n t  from an o r d i n a r y  of the difference±  as to whether, i n c o n t r a s t to o r d i n a r y men,  but  i n genburial.  particularly  the shaman's body was  pared by members of the same r a t h e r than the o p p o s i t e moiety.) four nights  the body was  kept i n the house C i t would be  the shaman's l i n e a g e ) , the f i r s t  a n i g h t i n one  de-  preFor  the house of  c o r n e r of the house,  the  170  second i n a n o t h e r ,  the t h i r d i n a n o t h e r and the f o u r t h i n the  last  c o r n e r , d u r i n g w h i c h time a l l i n h a b i t a n t s of the house f a s t e d .  There-  after,  isolated  the body was  from any o t h e r s .  p l a c e d , uncremated, i n a s m a l l grave house  This c o n t r a s t e d w i t h o r d i n a r y men  and the ashes p l a c e d i n b u r i a l grounds. and i d e n t i f i c a t i o n were i n t e r w o v e n : w i t h those f o r o r d i n a r y men  who  were cremated  Thus the themes o f s e p a r a t i o n  b u r i a l arrangements c o n t r a s t e d  but t h e i r i n s t r u m e n t a t i o n r e q u i r e d the  co-  o p e r a t i o n of the human community. The  success  of the shaman's p o s i t i o n as medium c l e a r l y  on m a i r t a i n i n g a b a l a n c e and s u p e r n a t u r a l realms;  rested  o f s e p a r a t i o n and i d e n t i f i c a t i o n between human I f he became too i d e n t i f i e d w i t h the  w o r l d he would l o s e h i s human i d e n t i t y .  spirit  ( T h i s can be viewed i n two ways,  physically,  i d e n t i f i c a t i o n w i t h the s p i r i t w o r l d meant death i . e . a  transition  to a s p i r i t s t a t e , w h i l e s p i r i t u a l l y i t meant p o s s e s s i o n  by the s p i r i t . )  In s t r u c t u r a l  terms the a u t h o r i t y o f the shaman depen-  ded on a s s o c i a t i o n w i t h the s p i r i t w o r l d b u t t o t a l r e j e c t i o n  of  social  t i e s meant t h a t he would become f e a r e d as a s o r c e r e r . As w i t h the H a i d a , the p a r t i c u l a r  the s u p e r n a t u r a l r e a l m was  o r d e r of the human w o r l d .  opposed to  The shaman, then, was  iden-  t i f i e d w i t h the o r d e r o f the human w o r l d and the p o s s i b l e d i s o r d e r w h i c h c o u l d d e r i v e from the s u p e r n a t u r a l w o r l d : t i o n s w i t h a w o r l d of a n o t h e r o r d e r . — order or w i t h disorder.  He was  he was  the e x p e r t i n r e l a -  of coping w i t h r e v e r s a l of  thus equipped t o cope w i t h s o r c e r y .  I f , as I have t r i e d to show,,the s o r c e r e r was  someone who  was  thought  171  to have threatened the basic values of the society (by attacking within the matrilineage and by threatening the position of those i n high ranking position, i.e., by defying the basic principles, kinship and rank, which gave Tlingit society i t s shape and meaning) he or she must surely be regarded as epitomizing the reversal of order.  The extreme  horror evinced by people at the 'identification' of a witch would seem to bear this out. The shaman, who was master of the spirit world in terms of knowledge and of control, but who was also dependent on the human world by virtue of inheritance and initiation was the most qualified to oppose i t .  172  CHAPTER. I X A COMPARISON OF INITIATION PRACTISES  In  order to p e r c e i v e some of the d i f f e r e n c e s and t h e i r  impli-  c a t i o n s more c l e a r l y i t i s u s e f u l t o examine i n i t i a t i o n p r a c t i s e s . manistic i n i t i a t i o n ,  Sha-  the means by which ^ p a r t i c u l a r i n d i v i d u a l s came  to be p u b l i c l y accepted as shamans, r e f l e c t e d many of the p r i n c i p l e s w h i c h s t r u c t u r e d shamanism g e n e r a l l y . tiation  Some of the d i f f e r e n c e s i n i n i -  which o c c u r r e d between groups can be c l e a r l y r e l a t e d t o  ences i n s o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n and the f u n c t i o n s performed  by shamans.  S h a m a n i s t i c i n i t i a t i o n among the F r a s e r V a l l e y S a l i s h i n v a r i a b l y i n v o l v e d an arduous s p i r i t quest. ment of r i t u a l p u r i t y and s p i r i t u a l  differ-  almost  T r a i n i n g , the d e v e l o p -  s t r e n g t h through r i g o r o u s and p r o -  longed i s o l a t i o n and s e l f - d e n i a l , was  regarded as the c r i t i c a l  which d i s t i n g u i s h e d shamans from s p i r i t d a n c e r s .  factor  Both shamans and  s p i r i t dancers were l i k e l y t o e x p e r i e n c e v i s i o n a r y c o n t a c t w i t h a r i t , but o n l y p r o l o n g e d t r a i n i n g was  spi-  l i k e l y t o enable the i n d i v i d u a l  to a c h i e v e the c u r i n g powers of a shaman.  T r a i n i n g began u s u a l l y under  the encouragement of c l o s e k i n d u r i n g e a r l y c h i l d h o o d , b e f o r e the poss i b i l i t y of s e x u a l e x p e r i e n c e , and commonly c o n t i n u e d f o r many y e a r s b e f o r e a v i s i o n was  achieved.  I n d i v i d u a l s were regarded as p a r t i c u l a r l y  prone t o v i s i o n a r y e x p e r i e n c e d i r e c t l y a f t e r the d e a t h of a O c c a s i o n a l l y v i s i o n a r y e x p e r i e n c e c o u l d come a f t e r p r o l o n g e d The  s p i r i t appeared  spouse. illness.  t o the i n d i v i d u a l , taught him or her a song and  the  173  a b i l i t y t o c u r e i n a p a r t i c u l a r way. . Most shamans s u b s e q u e n t l y several years before beginning S a l i s h , Barnett  to p r a c t i s e .  waited  W r i t i n g of the G e o r g i a S t r a i t  s p e c i f i c a l l y noted t h a t a shaman d i d n o t r e v e a l h i s ac-  t i v i t i e s t o o t h e r s b u t t h a t these c o u l d be i n f e r r e d by h i s more i n t e n s i v e t r a i n i n g , h i s g r e a t e r i n t e r e s t i n the work of other by the f a c t t h a t he u s u a l l y sang i n h i s s l e e p .  shamans, and  "The b e g i n n i n g s were  e n t i r e l y i n f o r m a l ; t h e r e were no i n d u c t i o n ceremonies, no i n i t i a t i o n i n t o the p r o f e s s i o n , and no f o r m a l p u b l i c r e c o g n i t i o n " ( B a r n e t t , 1955: 149).  T r a i n i n g i n v o l v e d i s o l a t i o n of the i n d i v i d u a l from the o r d i n a r y  human.world.  I n the f o r e s t , on the s i c k bed, or i n mourning f o r a  spouse, i n d i v i d u a l s were removed from normal a c t i v i t i e s . p r o l o n g e d exposure, p u r g i n g  Bathing  and  and s e x u a l c o n t i n e n c e i n v o l v e d a r e j e c t i o n  of the elements and p r o c e s s e s which p e r m i t human l i f e and a c o r r e s p o n d i n g i d e n t i f i c a t i o n w i t h the s u p e r n a t u r a l . The i n f o r m a l i t y o f i n i t i a t i o n seems c o n s i s t e n t w i t h the i n f o r m a l i t y of Coast S a l i s h s o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n g e n e r a l l y . Duff,  According  to  the F r a s e r V a l l e y S a l i s h "measured s o c i a l r a n k i n temi s of r e s -  p e c t " (1952: 8 1 ) , r e s p e c t depending on a number of f a c t o r s , i n c l u d i n g personal  a b i l i t y , g e n e r o s i t y , age, wisdom, w e a l t h and b i r t h .  Potlatches  were h e l d t o v a l i d a t e a c l a i m t o h i g h s t a t u s , n o t t o v a l i d a t e i n h e r i t a n c e to a f i x e d , hereditary p o s i t i o n . cerning resource  Property  r i g h t s , a t l e a s t those con-  a r e a s , were a g a i n i n f o r m a l , s i n c e , e s s e n t i a l l y , anyone  who needed c o u l d g a i n a c c e s s t o them ( D u f f , 1952:77). tended f a m i l y t h e r e was no f o r m a l  O u t s i d e the ex-  l e a d e r s h i p , leaders being  those who  174  c o u l d command r e s p e c t .  I n f a c t , t h e r e seems a p a r a l l e l i n many r e s -  p e c t s between the "siem", or ' c h i e f , and his  the shaman.  r e p u t a t i o n by a g r a d u a l and e x t e n d i n g acceptance  The  "siem"  achieved  of h i s a b i l i t y  and  success w i t h o u t any f o r m a l announcement or assumption of l e a d e r s h i p . The  shaman a c h i e v e d a r e p u t a t i o n by the g r a d u a l r e c o g n i t i o n of h i s c u r -  ing  a b i l i t i e s and  r e s p e c t and  of h i s g e n e r a l s u c c e s s .  success  l a t i o n s h i p s through  And,  j u s t as the "siem ' a c h i e v e d 1  l a r g e l y by the, maintenance of harmonious human r e 'wisdom' and  ' g e n e r o s i t y ' , , the shaman was  regarded  as a c h i e v i n g success through harmonious r e l a t i o n s h i p s w i t h the natural.  super-  I t i s perhaps s i g n i f i c a n t i n t h i s r e g a r d t h a t the shaman  a p p a r e n t l y r e c e i v e d h i s powers as a g i f t from the s u p e r n a t u r a l r a t h e r than by f o r c e . A s p i r i t q u e s t - w i t h v i s i o n a r y e x p e r i e n c e was Nootka s h a m a n i s t i c i n i t i a t i o n  but i t was  t i n g u i s h i n g shamans from o t h e r s . prepared  themselves  not the c r i t i c a l f a c t o r d i s -  I n d i v i d u a l s w i s h i n g : t o become shamans  f o r months, sometimes y e a r s , i n advance by. p r a c -  t i s i n g s e c r e t , family-owned ening.  essential for  t e c h n i q u e s of r i t u a l p u r i f i c a t i o n and s t r e n g t h -  When they f i n a l l y c o n f r o n t e d the s p i r i t they overpowered i t by  a r i t u a l c r y , or were themselves  overpowered.  A t the r i s k of  subse-  q u e n t l y l o s i n g the s p i r i t and the power i t gave, they p r e s e r v e d m a t e r i a l remains l e f t by the s p i r i t as a token of the encounter. far, who  the n o v i c e shaman's e x p e r i e n c e was sought power.  Sometime a f t e r the encounter,  For t h i s r i t u a l another  Thus  analogous w i t h t h a t of o t h e r s a n o v i c e shaman under-  went a " f i x i n g " r i t u a l whereby h i s c o n t r o l over the s p i r i t was lished.  any  shaman was  estab-  c a l l e d i n , p r e f e r a b l y one  175  r e l a t e d to the n o v i c e ,  who  "made s c r a p i n g motions over h i s body, 'gath-  e r i n g the power t o g e t h e r ' "  ( D r u c k e r , 1951:188).  The  c o u l d be performed i m m e d i a t e l y or some c o n s i d e r a b l e the n o v i c e f e l t ready. apparently  " f i x i n g " ceremony time a f t e r , when  T h i s s t a b i l i z i n g of c o n t r o l over the s p i r i t  was  the f a c t o r d i s t i n g u i s h i n g shamans from o t h e r s s i n c e i t was  a p u b l i c i n d i c a t i o n of the i n d i v i d u a l ' s i n t e n t i o n to become a shaman. Following  the " f i x i n g " the n o v i c e underwent a l o n g p e r i o d of t r a i n i n g  under the  ' i n s t r u c t i o n ' of the s p i r i t , d u r i n g which time he sang  and  danced i n h i s s l e e p , moved out t o the f o r e s t or whatever e l s e the r i t i n s t r u c t e d , and  learned  the t e c h n i q u e s of c u r i n g .  spi-  F i n a l l y , when  the s p i r i t d e c i d e d , a f t e r a p e r i o d of from s e v e r a l months to many y e a r s , the n o v i c e asked h i s c h i e f t o g i v e a f e a s t a t which h i s shaman's name and  h i s r e a d i n e s s t o cure were p u b l i c l y announced. The  acquired  shaman emerges as master of s p i r i t s , s i n c e no one  the degree of c o n t r o l a f f o r d e d  by " f i x i n g " the power, but  d i d not have s o l e a c c e s s to s p i r i t power. i m p o r t a n t owners of s u p e r n a t u r a l and  power.  acceptance of c h i e f l y a u t h o r i t y , was  s t a t u s was  else he  C h i e f s , among o t h e r s , were The  shaman's dependence on  r e c o g n i z e d when h i s name and  made p u b l i c at a f e a s t g i v e n by the c h i e f .  The  importance  of f a m i l y t i e s i s r e c o g n i z e d b y t t h e f a c t t h a t i n i t i a t e s r e l i e d f o r a s u c c e s s f u l s p i r i t encounter on s e c r e t f a m i l y knowledge, w h i l e  broader  k i n s h i p t i e s are acknowledged by the f a c t t h a t f o r " f i x i n g " the power i t was was  c o n s i d e r e d s a f e s t (and  a c l o s e kinsman.  The  l e s s e x p e n s i v e ) i f the shaman c a l l e d i n  c o m p u l s i v e n a t u r e of the shaman's c o n t r o l of  176  his  s p i r i t i s c o n s i s t e n t w i t h the importance of c o m p u l s i v e m a g i c a l  niques generally  i n Nootka m a n i p u l a t i o n of the s u p e r n a t u r a l .  tech-  I n terms  of ' i n t e r a c t i o n ' w i t h s p i r i t s , then, Nootka shamans were acknowledged masters but i n terms of the p u b l i c e x e r c i s e f o r c e s , t h e i r a u t h o r i t y was of s u p e r n a t u r a l or s u b j e c t  of c o n t r o l of  supernatural  p a r a l l e l e d by t h a t of r i t u a l i s t s and  power such as c h i e f s and  t o the a u t h o r i t y of c h i e f s .  i t was  owners  t o some degree l i m i t e d  They d i f f e r e d from S a l i s h sha-  mans by the r e l a t i v e f o r m a l i t y of t h e i r achievement of s t a t u s ( t h i s being e x p l i c i t l y explicitly  announced t w i c e ) , and  subject  to c h i e f l y a u t h o r i t y .  f a c t , c o r r e s p o n d to d i f f e r e n c e s tion. fined.  by the f a c t t h a t they were more These d i f f e r e n c e s do,  i n S a l i s h and Nootka s o c i a l  Among the Nootka, r a n k and  p r o p e r t y ownership was  V a r i o u s c h i e f s , by t h e i r i n h e r i t a n c e  in  organiza-  rigidly  de-  of s p e c i f i c p o s i t i o n s  p r i v i l e g e s , . owned t i t l e to a l l r e s o u r c e a r e a s .  L i n e a g e members  and  who  used these areas d i d so a f t e r acknowledging the c h i e f ' s ownership ( D r u c k e r , 1951:251). e f f e c t i v e way,  By t h e i r c o n t r o l of r e s o u r c e s c h i e f s were, i n an  leaders  of the community.  D i f f e r e n t p o s i t i o n s of r a n k  were accompanied by d i f f e r e n t r i g h t s to c o n t r o l of r e s o u r c e s . p o s i t i o n s were p r e c i s e l y and  rigidly  ranked p o s i t i o n always r e q u i r e d  graded and  Ranked  the assumption of  any  a p u b l i c announcement of the r i g h t .  S h a m a n i s t i c i n i t i a t i o n c l e a r l y r e f l e c t s these f a c t o r s by i t s emphasis on p u b l i c announcement.  177  V i s i o n a r y experience initiation.  was the i d e a l i n K w a k i u t l  O s t e n s i b l y s i c k n e s s was the most u s u a l way of a c h i e v i n g  a v i s i o n a r y encounter,  the concept  of a quest b e i n g l e s s  Most commonly, the f u t u r e shaman f e l l ing  shamanistic  s i c k or induced  and s e l f - c a s t i g a t i o n , and was heard  thus i n d i c a t i n g s p i r i t i n t e r f e r e n c e .  s i c k n e s s by f a s t -  t o s i n g and make shaman c r i e s ,  The e s t a b l i s h e d shamans of the  community then proceeded to d i r e c t the a c t i v i t i e s successful i n i t i a t i o n .  emphasized.  which would  allow  When the encounter had been s u c c e s s f u l l y accom-  p l i s h e d and the n o v i c e had l e a r n e d the songs, name and other  instructions  g i v e n t o him by the s p i r i t , a f e a s t was h e l d a t which the new shaman was  i n t r o d u c e d , h i s name announced, and h i s powers evidenced  According anistic  t o Hunt, b e f o r e h i s p u b l i c i n i t i a t i o n  techniques  meeting p l a c e . his  by a cure.  he was taught  used by the shamans of h i s community i n a s e c r e t  By the f a c t t h a t a new shaman was supposed t o i l l u s t r a t e  power immediately  by p e r f o r m i n g  a cure i t would seem t h a t some p r e -  v i o u s t r a i n i n g and i n s t r u c t i o n must have been common.  Also  according  to Hunt, the shamans of each l i n e a g e ("numaym") were i n i t i a t e d same s p i r i t .  the sham-  Shamanistic  by the  power c o u l d a l s o be i n h e r i t e d from a powerful  shaman by a t r a n s f e r of power from f a t h e r t o son, a f t e r  appropriate  p r e p a r a t i o n s by the son-. The K w a k i u t l  approach t o the s u p e r n a t u r a l was somewhat d i f -  f e r e n t from t h a t of the Nootka. m a r i l y as the source  The s u p e r n a t u r a l was of concern  of h e r e d i t a r y ceremonial  privileges.  pri-  Hereditary  178  p r i v i l e g e s were a l s o of c o n c e r n t o the Nootka, but of e q u a l  importance  were the economic b e n e f i t s d e r i v a b l e from s u p e r n a t u r a l b e i n g s .  Among  the K w a k i u t l , the concept of a s o l i t a r y g u a r d i a n s p i r i t quest f o r nonh e r e d i a t y ' f r e e - f l o a t i n g ' power was of l i t t l e r e l e v a n c e and t e c h n i q u e s of compulsive magic were r a r e , p r a y e r or p r o p i t i a t i o n b e i n g the everyday means f o r s e e k i n g s u p e r n a t u r a l a i d .  This difference i n orientation  appears t o be r e f l e c t e d i n s h a m a n i s t i c i n i t i a t i o n :  t h e r e was l e s s  em-  p h a s i s on the c o n t r o l and c o m p u l s i o n of s p i r i t s f o r a d i v e r s i t y of ends K w a k i u t l shamans were concerned w i t h the s p e c i f i c end of c u r i n g , hence, p e r h a p s , the importance of s i c k n e s s r a t h e r than a quest as an i n i t i a tory experience. analogous  S h a m a n i s t i c i n i t i a t i o n was, as Boas p o i n t e d o u t ,  i n d e t a i l t o the i n i t i a t i o n of c e r e m o n i a l dancers  (1966:135),  and, as suggested by Hunt's e v i d e n c e (Boas, 1930:6), the concern w i t h c e r e m o n i a l i s m was r e f l e c t e d by t h e n o v i c e shaman's t r a i n i n g i n d r a m a t i c sleight-of-hand techniques f o r c u r i n g .  The a s u p e r v i s i o n of the no-  v i c e ' s t r a i n i n g and i n i t i a t i o n by o t h e r shamans i s remarkably to the ^ s u p e r v i s i o n o f w i n t e r dance i n i t i a t e s I f i n i t i a t i o n expressed the a f f i n i t y  similar  by e x p e r i e n c e d d a n c e r s . of s h a m a n i s t i c p r a c t i s e s  g e n e r a l l y t o K w a k i u t l c e r e m o n i a l i s m , they a l s o e x p r e s s e d the importance of  o t h e r s t r u c t u r a l p r i n c i p l e s , namely the p r i n c i p l e s of l i n e a g e organ-  i z a t i o n , r e s i d e n c e , and rank.  The importance of l i n e a g e a f f i l i a t i o n  would seem t o be expressed by the f a c t t h a t shamans of a l i n e a g e were initiated  by the same "shaman-maker" and were c a l l e d the shamans of the  c h i e f of the l i n e a g e .  R e s i d e n c e a f f i l i a t i o n was r e c o g n i s e d by the f a c t  179  that a l l the shamans of a community were involved i n the i n s t r u c t i o n and i n i t i a t i o n of the novice, while the importance of rank which was a system based on inheritance, seems to have been expressed by the fact that the sons of powerful shamans could i n h e r i t the power and position of the father.  The most powerful, shamans of a lineage were those de-  signated with the duty to protect the chief. B e l l a Coola shamanistic i n i t i a t i o n , l i k e that of the Nootka and Kwakiutl, expressed the importance of ceremonialism and public v a l i d a t i o n of status, but i t also r e f l e c t e d p r i n c i p l e s which were characteristically  B e l l a Coola.  Visionary experience, with or without the  a b i l i t y to cure was s u f f i c i e n t j u s t i f i c a t i o n tic  status.  for the claim to shamanis-  P o t e n t i a l l y i t could be sought by undertaking a long and  d i f f i c u l t quest, but more commonly i t occurred ted i l l n e s s .  after  severe or protrac-  In either case, a successful visionary encounter implied  great r i t u a l purity and s p i r i t u a l Individuals could  be i n i t i a t e d  strength on the part of the i n i t i a t e .  by living, s p i r i t s or by ghosts and were  designated by d i f f e r e n t terms accordingly.  Visionary experience i t s e l f  was not s u f f i c i e n t for public recognition as a shaman.  Individuals  could experience visionary contact and even exercise s p i r i t powers without being considered  shamans.  Public acceptance as a shaman came  after a public announcement of the individual's shaman name and songs and,  usually, a display of powers, validated by a d i s t r i b u t i o n of pro-  perty.  I n i t i a t i o n was non-hereditary and any display of power was  l i k e l y to be i d i o s y n c r a t i c , devised by the i n d i v i d u a l .  180  The  c r i t i c a l importance of a p u b l i c announcement of  v a l i d a t e d by a d i s t r i b u t i o n of p r o p e r t y was b e l i e f amongthe B e l l a C o o l a t h a t any quired p u b l i c witness.  The  status  consistent with a  general  s i g n i f i c a n t change of s t a t u s r e -  i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c n a t u r e of the n o v i c e ' s  t i a t i o n , and d i s p l a y of powers was  ini-  l i k e w i s e c o n s i s t e n t w i t h a system of  r a n k and  s t a t u s w h i c h , l i k e t h a t of the Coast S a l i s h of the F r a s e r V a l -  l e y , was  comparatively  r a n k was  not a system of p o s i t i o n s w i t h a t t e n d a n t r i g h t s and  flexible.  through which s u c c e s s i v e ded  As I i n f e r from M c l l w r a i t h (1948:378), prerogatives  i n d i v i d u a l s passed, but a system which depen-  on the r e l a t i v e accomplishments of d i f f e r e n t i n d i v i d u a l s a t p a r t i -  c u l a r moments of time.  H i g h s t a t u s , a l t h o u g h m a n i f e s t e d by the  order  of s e a t i n g arrangements a t a p o t l a t c h , depended on an i n d i v i d u a l ' s w e a l t h and  a b i l i t y to give l a r g e d i s p l a y s .  I n d i v i d u a l s could  increase  t h e i r p r e s t i g e , "make t h e i r name b r i g h t " , or they c o u l d l o s e p r e s t i g e . Leadership apparently  depended on i n d i v i d u a l a b i l i t y and  esteenr (1948:  380) . Coast T s i m s h i a n s h a m a n i s t i c  i n i t i a t i o n commonly i n v o l v e d  a  q u e s t , f o r m a l i n s t r u c t i o n , and v i s i o n a r y c o n t a c t , f o l l o w e d by a  formal  announcement.  there  was  The  considerable  d a t a i s n o t d e f i n i t e and  i t i s possible that  v a r i a t i o n between i n d i v i d u a l s but i t appears t h a t i n -  d i v i d u a l s normally  s o u g h t . s h a m a n i s t i c powers.  shaman s t a r t e d t r a i n i n g a t an e a r l y age  Commonly the  prospective  u s u a l l y under the guidance  and  i n s t r u c t i o n of an o l d e r shaman, p r e f e r a b l y but not n e c e s s a r i l y a r e l a t i v e , who  was  paid.  He p r a c t i s e d r i g o r o u s r i t u a l p u r i f i c a t i o n and  strengthen-  181  ing  through p u r g i n g , b a t h i n g , c o n t i n e n c e ,  and  so f o r t h .  ing  or s l e i g h t - o f - h a n d .  i s o l a t i o n i n the f o r e s t s ,  D u r i n g . t h i s time he might a l s o l e a r n t e c h n i q u e s V i s i o n a r y experience  s e r i o u s s i c k n e s s or c r i t i c a l danger.  of c u r -  i t s e l f o f t e n came a f t e r  The s p i r i t c o u l d be, b u t by no  means always was, one w h i c h had been a s s o c i a t e d w i t h an a n c e s t o r . Upon r e c o v e r y ,  the n o v i c e p u b l i c i z e d the event by d e s c r i b i n g the exper-  i e n c e and announcing t h e songs g i v e n by h i s s p i r i t t o assembled shamans, kin,  and c o - r e s i d e n t s .  S i c k n e s s , by i t s e l f c o u l d cause v i s i o n a r y ex-  p e r i e n c e b u t t h e r i t u a l t r a i n i n g o f a quest was much more recognized  than i t was among the K w a k i u t l .  d i f f e r e d from c e r e m o n i a l  initiation  i n i t i a t i o n by t h e f a c t t h a t i t was s o l i t a r y :  i t was n o t a group i n i t i a t i o n ceremonial  Shamanistic  explicitly  or induced  by group p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n a  event.  Tsimshian  shamanism was, as a l r e a d y i n d i c a t e d , d i s t i n c t from  l i n e a g e o r g a n i z a t i o n a n d . t h i s s e p a r a t i o n appears a t i n i t i a t i o n . n o v i c e d i d n o t n e c e s s a r i l y depend f o r h i s s h a m a n i s t i c  The  i n s t r u c t i o n on  m a t r i l i n e a l k i n , n e i t h e r was he p a r t i c u l a r l y l i k e l y t o encounter a l i n eage s p i r i t or a s p i r i t p r e v i o u s l y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h an a n c e s t o r ,  thus  i n s t r u c t i o n and v i s i o n a r y e x p e r i e n c e were e s s e n t i a l l y independent of lineage a f f i l i a t i o n .  His solitary i n i t i a t i o n  contrasted c l e a r l y with  the group i n i t i a t i o n s of l i n e a g e c e r e m o n i a l  performers.  was a v i t a l i n t e r e s t g e n e r a l l y i n T s i m s h i a n  s o c i e t y ( a s i t was e l s e -  where) , however, and was r e f l e c t e d i n the d r a m a t i c i s t i c techniques  and modes of e x p r e s s i o n .  Ceremonialism  c h a r a c t e r of shaman-  The c o n c e r n w i t h  ceremonial  182  modes of e x p r e s s i o n was r e f l e c t e d d u r i n g i n i t i a t i o n by the n o v i c e ' s i n s t r u c t i o n i n dancing,  s l e i g h t - o f - h a n d t e c h n i q u e s , and so f o r t h .  l e s s the d a t a i s m i s l e a d i n g , f o r m a l i n s t r u c t i o n i n d r a m a t i c was more i m p o r t a n t  among the T s i m s h i a n  Un-  techniques  and K w a k i u t l than i t was among  the S a l i s h and Nootka. Among the H a i d a s h a m a n i s t i c powers were n o r m a l l y i n h e r i t e d . Non-hereditary  a c q u i s i t i o n of powers was p o s s i b l e , but r a r e .  T h i s con-  t r a s t s w i t h the B e l l a C o o l a , S a l i s h and Nootka where s h a m a n i s t i c powers were n o t i n h e r i t a b l e , a l t h o u g h p o s s i b l y shamanism c o u l d l i e s i f techniques sidered important far,  'run' i n f a m i -  of t r a i n i n g , passed on as f a m i l y s e c r e t s , were conf o r ensuring success.  U n l i k e any of the groups so  the& H a i d a b e l i e v e d t h a t the shaman's s p i r i t a s s i s t a n t c o u l d be  inherited.  As I understand i t , the p r o s p e c t i v e shaman was u s u a l l y i n -  s t r u c t e d and guided  i n h i s v i s i o n a r y quest by a m a t e r n a l  uncle.  H i s or  her i n i t i a l v i s i o n a r y encounterv was l i k e l y t o be w i t h an i n s i g n i f i c a n t s p i r i t and s u b s e q u e n t l y  he or she was l i k e l y t o encounter p r o g r e s s i v e l y  stronger s p i r i t s .  C o n t a c t w i t h a s p i r i t was m a i n t a i n e d  w i t h o n l y one  s p i r i t a t a time.  U n l i k e the T l i n g i t , H a i d a shamans d i d n o t c o l l e c t a  number of s p i r i t s , w h i c h they c o u l d d i r e c t s i m u l t a n e o u s l y .  -Visionary  c o n t a c t a p p a r e n t l y i n v o l v e d elements of a quest s i n c e Swanton a f f i r m s t h a t s p i r i t s would o n l y possess "'one who was c l e a n ' . . . . T o become ' c l e a n ' , a man had t o a b s t a i n from food f o r a l o n g t i m e " (1958:64).  He a l s o r e -  cords an example of one i n d i v i d u a l who became a shaman d u r i n g a p e r i o d of s e r i o u s i l l n e s s .  The i n d i v i d u a l appeared so " c l e a n " t h a t the s p i r i t  183  was encouraged t o e n t e r  (Ibid.).  A t some p o i n t the n o v i c e was  t o i n h e r i t the s p i r i t h e l p e r and p a r a p h e r n a l i a  likely  of a m a t e r n a l -uncle, o r ,  presumably, some o t h e r m a t e r n a l r e l a t i v e s i n c e Swanton and Murdock b o t h agree t h a t the p o s i t i o n of shaman was n o r m a l l y  i n h e r i t e d by a man's  m a t e r n a l nephew or a woman's daughter (Swanton, 1905:38; Murdock, 1934: 258).  A t d e a t h , the nephew of a shaman was s u s c e p t i b l e t o s u p e r n a t u r a l  i n f l u e n c e and l i k e l y t o r e c e i v e , power.  From myths and s t o r i e s , an  i m p o r t a n t element i n the p r o c e s s of s h a m a n i s t i c  i n i t i a t i o n was the  p u b l i c i d e n t i f i c a t i o n o f the s p i r i t by the community.  As i m p l i e d by  myths and sfcbries an i n d i v i d u a l c o u l d a c h i e v e v i s i o n a r y e x p e r i e n c e and a c t l i k e a shaman b u t r e c o g n i t i o n as a " r e a l " shaman a w a i t e d p u b l i c i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of the s p i r i t and a d i s p l a y of power, e i t h e r through the comp l e t i o n of a s u c c e s s f u l c u r e or by showing u n u s u a l b e h a v i o u r .  Swanton  r e p o r t s somewhat e n i g m a t i c a l l y t h a t : Supernatural-One-upon-whom-it-thunders d i d n o t always d e a l f a i r l y by those he spoke through. Sometimes he persuaded the shaman t h a t he was r e c e i v i n g h i s power from some o t h e r source....When t h i s f a c t was d i s c o v e r e d , a shaman's r e p u t a t i o n was d e s t r o y e d (1958:64-65). We may wonder whether t h i s d e s t r u c t i o n of a shaman's r e p u t a t i o n was i n any way r e l a t e d t o the importance of h a v i n g the s p r i t i ' s  correct iden-  t i t y known t o the community. H a i d a communities were g e n e r a l l y c o t e r m i n o u s w i t h  lineages:'  a community would comprise a c o r e of m a t r i l i n e a l l y r e l a t e d men spouses or dependents.  plus  Thus community i n v o l v e m e n t w i t h a shaman's i n -  i t i a t i o n i m p l i e d lineage involvement.  However, p u b l i c r e c o g n i t i o n as  184  a shaman d i d n o t i n v o l v e a ceremony w h i c h e x p l i c i t l y  emphasized l i n e a g e  p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n the event as d i d the T l i n g i t ceremony.  The community  as a whole was concerned. W i t h o u t a more comprehensive knowledge of H a i d a s o c i a l organi z a t i o n , i t i s d i f f i c u l t t o r e l a t e f e a t u r e s of s h a m a n i s t i c  initiation  t o the o p e r a t i o n of g e n e r a l p r i n c i p l e s of s o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n . n o t e , however, t h a t compared w i t h T s i m s h i a n  We  may  and T l i n g i t shamanism, H a i -  da shamanism seems t o have emphasized m a t r i l i n e a l a f f i l i a t i o n more than the f o r m e r , w h i l e i n c o n t r a s t t o the T l i n g i t i t tended t o emphasize- the i n t e r d e p e n d e n c e of the shaman and community. a t the t r a i n i n g and i n i t i a t i o n  of a shaman.  These d i f f e r e n c e s emerged Much more t h a n a  Tsimshian  n o v i c e , p r o s p e c t i v e H a i d a shamans r e l i e d on the i n s t r u c t i o n and h e l p of m a t r i l i n e a l k i n , t o the e x t e n t of i n h e r i t i n g the p a r a p h e r n a l i a and s p i r i t h e l p e r of a m a t e r n a l  uncle.  The emphasis p l a c e d on community  i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of the s p i r i t and v a l i d a t i o n of s t a t u s by a t r a n c e or some other m a n i f e s t a t i o n of p o s s e s s i o n , was c o n s i s t e n t w i t h the g e n e r a l v i e w of the shaman as i n t e r m e d i a r y between community and s p i r i t  world.  As w i t h the H a i d a , T l i n g i t shamans n o r m a l l y  their  position.  Full  inherited  r e c o g n i t i o n and a c c e p t a n c e as a shaman i n v o l v e d a s e r -  i e s of v i s i o n a r y e n c o u n t e r s p l u s the i n h e r i t a n c e of powers and p a r a p h e r n a l i a from a m a t e r n a l of the u n c l e .  u n c l e a t a s p e c i a l ceremony f o l l o w i n g the d e a t h  The p r o s p e c t i v e - s h a m a n began t r a i n i n g f o r v i s i o n a r y ex-  p e r i e n c e by f a s t i n g , bathing," p u r g i n g h i m s e l f and spendirg i s o l a t i o n i n the mountains and f o r e s t s .  p e r i o d s of  Once he encountered the a n i m a l  185  m a n i f e s t a t i o n of the s p i r i t c o n f r o n t e d out and p r e s e r v e  i t s tongue.  I f he were u n s u c c e s s f u l  v i s i o n he c o u l d t r y h a n d l i n g  mastery of t h e - s p i r i t s .  I d e a l l y he had  to acquire  eight  A c q u i r i n g tongues seems t o have s i g n i f i e d  F u l l r e c o g n i t i o n and acceptance as a shaman  d i d not come u n t i l the n o v i c e had ceremony.  i n achieving a  the s k u l l of a dead shaman or spending  the n i g h t by the grave of a shaman. s p i r i t s , or e i g h t tongues.  i n the v i s i o n he t r i e d t o c u t  completed a s p e c i a l p u b l i c  initiation  A t the d e a t h of an o l d shaman p r e p a r a t i o n s were begun f o r the  i n i t i a t i o n of h i s h e i r .  F o r f o u r days, the body of the o l d shaman  was  k e p t i n s i d e the house (presumably the l i n e a g e house of w h i c h the shaman and  h i s h e i r were members), w h i l e a l l the o c c u p a n t s , i n c l u d i n g the  pective heir, fasted. house and  Then, the whole community was  the ceremony began.  t o r s " (Krause,  assembled i n the  " P a r t i c i p a n t s " , as opposed t o  "specta-  1956:202), presumably members of the shaman's l i n e a g e ,  began s i n g i n g , d a n c i n g and drumming, c a l l i n g upon the s p i r i t s of d e p a r t e d shaman. and  A t the h e i g h t of the a c t i v i t y the new  f e l l t o the ground u n c o n s c i o u s .  withdrew to a secluded w i t h , apparently,  area.  shaman appeared  F o u r days l a t e r the ceremony was  "a g r e a t r e l e a s e of t e n s i o n and  t o Swanton, some s h a m a n i s t i c  the  D u r i n g t h i s time the n o v i c e  was  predecessor.  s p i r i t s . w e r e s p e c i f i c a l l y asso-  c i a t e d w i t h l i n e a g e s arid were the f i r s t t o appear t o each new '.  repeated  e x c i t e m e n t on  supposed t o have a c q u i r e d a t l e a s t some of the s p i r i t s of h i s  the l i n e a g e (1908:466)'.  the  A f t e r r e g a i n i n g c o n s c i o u s n e s s he  p a r t of the p a r t i c i p a n t s " (1956:202).  According  pros-  shaman of  186  T l i n g i t shamanistic emphasis on m a t r i l i n e a l ties'.  i n t i a t i o n , then, expressed  considerable  L i n e a g e ( o r house) members were a c t i v e l y  i n v o l v e d i n summoning the s p i r i t s of the deceased shaman f o r the p u b l i c i n i t i a t i o n of the new. attendants  I t . would seem c l e a r t h a t , by the d i v i s i o n of  i n t o " p a r t i c i p a n t s " - a n d " s p e c t a t o r s " a t t h i s time shamans  were a l i g n e d w i t h a l i n e a g e or house group r a t h e r than w i t h the community as a whole. a l m o s t be regarded eage head.  The p o s i t i o n of shaman among the T l i n g i t can perhaps as a l i n e a g e o f f i c e , analogous to the o f f i c e - o f  lin-  I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g t o note i n t h i s r e s p e c t t h a t , Swanton r e -  marked t h a t , "Tlingit shamans were g e n e r a l l y of a h i g h e r s o c i a l r a n k than those among the H a i d a "  (1908:464).  H i g h r a n k i n g shamans would  p e a r c o n s i s t e n t w i t h the f a c t t h a t shamans f u n c t i o n e d as t o r s and p r e s e r v e r s of r a n k s t a b i l i t y .  We may  witch-detec-  wonder i f t h e r e i s a  p a r a l l e l here w i t h the g r e a t shamans of the K w a k i u t l who t o p r o t e c t l i n e a g e heads.  ap-  were supposed  K w a k i u t l g r e a t shamans, i t w i l l be remembered,  were a b l e t o t r a n s m i t t h e i r powers t o t h e i r sons, so t h a t the r o l e of 1  c h i e f ' s shaman tended t o be,, or c o u l d be, h e r e d i t a r y . S e v e r a l f e a t u r e s of s h a m a n i s t i c  i n i t i a t i o n r e f l e c t the emph-  s i s the T l i n g i t p l a c e d on the dead. -Pot-latches, f o r example, were h e l d i n honor of the dead.  D r u c k e r w r i t e s t h a t , "The  T l i n g i t viewed  the  p o t l a t c h as a c y c l e of r i t u a l s t o mourn the d e a t h of a c h i e f " (1955: 133). new  I n terms of shamanism, not o n l y was  shaman v e r y c l o s e l y t i e d t o the.death  the p u b l i c i n i t i a t i o n of a of the o l d , but  prospective  shamans c o u l d hope t o ensure a s u c c e s s f u l v i s i o n quest by h a n d l i n g s k u l l of a dead shaman or r e m a i n i n g  by a shaman's grave.  the  The c o n t i n u i t y  187  between dead and n o v i c e shamans i n the p r o c e s s o f becoming a f u l l s h a man seems t o p a r a l l e l the c o n t i n u i t y between dead and n o v i c e c h i e f s . Other f e a t u r e s o f T l i n g i t s h a m a n i s t i c  i n i t i a t i o n , such as t h e  emphasis on a c q u i r i n g a c o l l e c t i o n o f s p i r i t h e l p e r s , i n v i t e i n t e r e s t and s p e c u l a t i o n b u t , on t h e b a s i s o f t h i s e x a m i n a t i o n o f T l i n g i t  eth-  nography t h i s must w a i t . The p r e c e d i n g i t i a t i o n , i n order  s e c t i o n has t r i e d t o summarise the d a t a on i n -  t o i n d i c a t e more e x p l i c i t l y some o f the d i f f e r e n c e s  and s i m i l a r i t i e s between groups, and has a t t e m p t e d , where p o s s i b l e t o suggest c o r r e l a t i o n s w i t h o t h e r a s p e c t s o f s o c i e t y i n each c a s e , w h i c h may, a t l e a s t i n p a r t , e x p l a i n the d i f f e r e n c e s .  To i n d i c a t e some o f  the s i m i l a r i t i e s and d i f f e r e n c e s more g r a p h i c a l l y a c h a r t i s p r e s e n t e d . The  c h a r t i n d i c a t e s t h e p r e s e n c e o r absence o f s p e c i f i c phenomena and  t h e r e f o r e , because c r i t i c a l d i f f e r e n c e s o r s t r u c t u r a l s i m i l a r i t i e s are o f t e n r e l a t i v e r a t h e r than a b s o l u t e , i t f a i l s t o express some o f the more i n v o l v e d r e l a t i o n s h i p s and comparisons j u s t  1.  The c h a r t owes i n s p i r a t i o n • own.  . & ? * r «  discussed.  Drucker b u t the i n f o r m a t i o n i s my  188  Sa  Nk  +  +  compulsive r i t u a l t e c h niques h e r e d i t a r y f a m i l y secrets  +  +  presence o f r i t u a l specialists  +  +  +  +  compulsive r i t u a l niques common  Kw  BC  Ts  Ha  Tl  +  +  +  +  +  +  tech-  compulsive r i t u a l t e c h niques a v a i l a b l e to anyone  2 s p i r i t power a t t a i n a b l e by o r d i n a r y i n d i v i d u a l s  +  +  s p i r i t power i n h e r i t a b l e ceremonial dancing powers assoc. with s p i r i t contact c e r e m o n i a l dancing powers inheritable  +  + +  +  c e r e m o n i a l i n i t i a t i o n and p r o t e c t i o n by a l i n e a g e spirit shamanistic s p i r i t inheritable  +  +  +  +  helpers  s h a m a n i s t i c i n i t i a t i o n by a lineage-assoc. s p i r i t possible*  +  s h a m a n i s t i c power r e s t r i c t e d to c u r i n g o r c a u s i n g disease  +  +  +  +  +  S i n c e the concept of g u a r d i a n s p i r i t power i s vague, s p i r i t power, as used h e r e , i m p l i e s . t h o s e k i n d s o f power d e r i v e d through d i r e c t v i s i o n a r y c o n t a c t w i t h a s u p e r n a t u r a l b e i n g , which a r e not c o n s i d e r e d by n a t i v e speakers as c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y s h a m a n i s t i c , and which are not a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the performance o f c e r e m o n i a l d i s p l a y s .  189  Sa s h a m a n i s t i c t r a i n i n g accomp a n i e d by >>formal i n s t r u c tion  Nk  Kw  BC  Ts  Ha  Tl  -  +  -  +  +  +  +  ?  ?  +  +  +  +  +  s h a m a n i s t i c t r a i n i n g accomp a n i e d by i n f o r m a l o r no instruction  +*  +  . + . _ +  f o r m a l p u b l i c announcement necessary f o r r e c o g n i t i o n as a shaman  -  +  +  p u b l i c announcement i n v o l ves l i n e a g e p a r t i c i p a t i o n  -  -  + -  -  shaman d r e s s e d d i s t i n c t i v e l y i n everyday l i f e  -  -  ?  +  +  +  +  shaman uses a shaman's name s p e c i a l b u r i a l f o r shamans  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  +  190  CHAPTER X CONCLUSION  I t was s t a t e d i n the i n t r o d u c t i o n t h a t t h i s p r e s e n t a t i o n sought t o r e v i e w the d a t a on t r a d i t i o n a l Northwest Coast shamanism from a s t r u c tural perspective.  I t has operated on the assumption t h a t a p a r t i c u l a r  c u l t u r a l domain of a c t i v i t y , i n t h i s case t h a t s which has'- been termed ' s h a m a n i s t i c , w i l l v a r y from one c u l t u r e t o the next i n accordance w i t h 1  d i f f e r e n t p a t t e r n s of b e h a v i o u r and b e l i e f i n r e l a t e d spheres of c u l tural activity.  I n t h i s f i n a l c h a p t e r I s h a l l r e v i e w some of the c h a r -  a c t e r i s t i c s common t o shamans as i n d i v i d u a l s , some of the d i f f e r e n c e s and s i m i l a r i t i e s r e g a r d i n g the p o s i t i o n of shamans i n s o c i e t y , and some of the f e a t u r e s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the shaman's p o s i t i o n i n r e l a t i o n t o the s y m b o l i c o r d e r . The Shaman as I n d i v i d u a l The r a n k of shamans: There i s not much p r e c i s e i n f o r m a t i o n c o n c e r n i n g the i n i t i a l r a n k of those who became shamans.  So f a r as I am aware, few e t h n o g r a -  phers have s p e c i f i e d the average rank of shamans i n the communities they have d e a l t w i t h .  Such i n f o r m a t i o n as t h e r e i s seems t o suggest t h a t  when s h a m a n i s t i c powers were i n h e r i t e d , i n i t i a t e s tended t o be of h i g h er r a n k than those who d i d not i n h e r i t s h a m a n i s t i c powers.  Drucker ob-  served f o r the Nootka, who c o u l d not i n h e r i t s h a m a n i s t i c powers,  that;-  "almost a l l of the shamans whose l i v e s and m i r a c l e s were r e c o u n t e d t o  191  me were of low rank; commoners, or the younger sons of c h i e f s " (1951: 181)•  Among the S a l i s h of the Lower F r a s e r V a l l e y and  where v i s i o n a r y s h a m a n i s t i c  powers c o u l d not n o r m a l l y  the B e l l a C o o l a , be i n h e r i t e d ,  t h e o r e t i c a l l y anyone c o u l d become a shaman (Jenness, 1955:65; M c l l w r a i t h , 1948:547), perhaps even s l a v e s , s i n c e among the F r a s e r V a l l e y S a l i s h they a c q u i r e d s p i r i t d a n c i n g powers (Duff,. 1952:83; J e n n e s s , 41) which were q u i t e c l o s e l y r e l a t e d to s h a m a n i s t i c and s t o r i e s , t h e r e i s some s u g g e s t i o n some of those shamans who o f low rank.  The  powers.  1955: From myths  t h a t , among the H a i d a , a t l e a s t  d i d not i n h e r i t t h e i r powers were i n i t i a l l y  s t o r i e s , "Tc!aawunk!a" and  "He-who-got-supernatural-  p o w e r - f r o m - h i s - l i t t l e - f i n g e r " , mention t h a t the hero i n each case poor and  despised  (Swanton, 1905b:58, 247).  where i n h e r i t a n c e of s h a m a n i s t i c  powers was  Among the H a i d a and  was Tlingit,  u s u a l , Swanton r e p o r t s  that,  " o c c a s i o n a l l y a shaman u n i t e d the c i v i l w i t h the r e l i g i o u s power by b e i n g a town o r a house c h i e f a l s o " (1960:522). Mountain, apparently  i n h e r i t e d h i s shamanistic  t h a t o n l y a man  whose f a t h e r was  1930:270-277).  Perhaps we may  Boas' i n f o r m a n t , powers s i n c e he  claimed  a^shaman c o u l d become a shaman (Boas,  i n f e r t h a t throughout the Northwest Coast  shamanism was  a p o s s i b l e avenue to i n c r e a s e d p r e s t i g e f o r those of  rank.  a l s o i n f e r t h a t where i t was  We may  Chief  become a s s o c i a t e d w i t h p o s i t i o n s of h i g h e r  h e r e d i t a r y , i t tended to rank.  low  192  The  b e n e f i t s of becoming a shaman: According  t o D r u c k e r , the m a t e r i a l g a i n s a shaman was  likely  t o a c h i e v e were r e l a t i v e l y s l i g h t , p a r t i c u l a r l y when compared w i t h amount of w e a l t h r e q u i r e d f o r h o s t i n g a p o t l a t c h (1951:183).  This  would seem t o be more or l e s s t r u e f o r shamans i n other p a r t s of Northwest Coast. for  cures worth between 4 and  10 d o l l a r s (1951:204) and  Boas r e p o r t e d  that a Kwakiutl  ex-  200,  shaman might r e c e i v e  f o r c u r i n g a p a t i e n t of n o b l e b i r t h (1966:144).  the same time he r e p o r t s p r o p e r t y w o r t h the e q u i v a l e n t i n connection  estimates  exchange d u r i n g a p o t l a t c h as ^amounting t o  or 500 d o l l a r s .  about 10 b l a n k e t s  the  F o r the Nootka D r u c k e r g i v e s examples of payments  amples of p r o p e r t y 300  the  w i t h a p o t l a t c h (1966:92).  At  of 4,000 b l a n k e t s  I have beenuinable t o f i n d  sim-  i l a r f i g u r e s f o r other groups but i t would seem u n l i k e l y t h a t shamans elsewhere r e c e i v e d  s i g n i f i c a n t l y more.  A g a i n , i t seems d o u b t f u l , t h a t shamans as such c o u l d hope t o advance s u b s t a n t i a l l y i n r a n k , s i n c e , among most groups, r a n k was m a r i l y determined by b i r t h , and l a r g e l y on w e a l t h ,  Perhaps one  sufficient  to r a n k p r e r o g a t i v e s .  of the major b e n e f i t s of becoming a shaman  the advance i n s t a t u s i n v o l v e d . perhaps be r o u g h l y d e f i n e d  for  have depended  i t i s u n l i k e l y t h a t shamans ever a c h i e v e d  wealth to support claims  of p r e s t i g e .  even where r a n k may  was  S t a t u s j as d i s t i n c t from r a n k , c o u l d  as a p o s i t i o n m e r i t i n g a p a r t i c u l a r degree  By a l l a c c o u n t s , shamans i n v a r i a b l y r e c e i v e d keen  t h e i r powers, and  pri-  sometimes f e a r .  respect  They were a f o c u s of i n t e r e s t or  193  c o n c e r n t o those around them.  Drucker maintains  t h a t the d e s i r e f o r  p r e s t i g e and r e s p e c t , r a t h e r than m a t e r i a l g a i n , was the main m o t i v a t i o n of Nootka shamans (1951:183). As a l r e a d y mentioned, throughout the area t h e r e was a common s t e r e o t y p e t h a t shamans were w e a l t h y and s u c c e s s f u l i n d i v i d u a l s , a l though, as we have seen, the m a t e r i a l g a i n s from c u r i n g c o u l d n o t have been p a r t i c u l a r l y g r e a t and many shamans were n o t i n i t i a l l y w e a l t h y or of h i g h s t a t u s . As a r u l e , s t a t u s was c l o s e l y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h  (  wealth,  a l l f o r m a l changes o f s t a t u s b e i n g marked by a d i s t r i b u t i o n of p r o p e r t y . It  i s p o s s i b l e t h a t through c u r i n g shamans a c q u i r e d items o f w e a l t h  w h i c h c o u l d most e f f i c i e n t l y be converted came t o be regarded  into prestige, or, i f status  as synonymous w i t h w e a l t h ,  i t i s possible that i n -  f o r m a l i n c r e a s e s i n s t a t u s were c o n c e p t u a l i z e d i n terms o f w e a l t h . A p a r t from a r i s e i n p r e s t i g e shamans a l s o a c q u i r e d b e n e f i t s such as the o p p o r t u n i t y f o r a r t i s t i c or c e r e m o n i a l  personal  expression.  Throughout the Northwest Coast i n d i v i d u a l shamans had t h e i r own spec i f i c d e t a i l s i n c u r i n g techniques,  c l o t h i n g and p a r a p h e r n a l i a , p e r f o r -  mance, and so f o r t h , u s u a l l y a t t r i b u t e d t o t h e i n s t r u c t i o n s of the shaman's s p i r i t h e l p e r .  They may a l s o have d e r i v e d c o n s i d e r a b l e  satis-  f a c t i o n f o r the a t t e n t i o n they r e c e i v e d a t c u r i n g ceremonies and on other o c c a s i o n s .  Perhaps a p o i n t t o note i s t h a t among some groups  they were a f f o r d e d c o n s i d e r a b l e freedom from t h e r e s t r a i n t s o f convent i o n a l behaviour.  Among the N o o t k a , n o v i c e s , and perhaps e s t a b l i s h e d  shamans, were a l l o w e d  t o dance or s i n g a t a l l hours of t h e day or n i g h t  194  on the s u p p o s i t i o n t h a t they were a c t i n g on the i n s t r u c t i o n s of the spirit.  Among the H a i d a , shamans supposed t o be possessed by t h e i r  s p i r i t performed b i z a r r e u n c o n v e n t i o n a l a c t i v i t i e s or r e t r e a t e d solitary  into  isolation.  The Shaman and S o c i e t y  For it  some u n d e r s t a n d i n g of the shaman i n r e l a t i o n t o s o c i e t y  seems i m p o r t a n t t o examine something of the shaman's i n v o l v e m e n t  i n the s t r u c t u r e of a u t h o r i t y .  I t i s i m p o r t a n t here t o d i s t i n g u i s h be-  tween power and a u t h o r i t y ; the two a r e r e l a t e d b u t n o t synonymous. Beattie writes: I n a v e r y fundamental sense power i s human power, and human power i s the a b i l i t y t o produce i n t e n d e d e f f e c t s , t h a t i s , t o c a r r y out one's w i l l on o n e s e l f , on. o t h e r p e o p l e , or on things.... U n l i k e power, a u t h o r i t y i m p l i e s r i g h t : a robber may have the power t o r o b , but he has no a u t h o r i t y t o do so (1964: 141). On the Northwest Coast power d e r i v e d n o t so much from the t h r e a t of p h y s i c a l f o r c e as from the c o n t r o l , of s u p e r n a t u r a l , and  ceremonial resources.  closely associated.  economic, s o c i a l  F o r the most p a r t , power and a u t h o r i t y were  Much of the power of c h i e f s , f o r example, d e r i v e d  from t h e i r a u t h o r i t y , as s e n i o r kinsmen of a k i n s h i p u n i t and as h i g h ranking  i n d i v i d u a l s , to mobilize  the s u p p o r t and p r o d u c t i v i t y of lower  r a n k i n g kinsmen, or from the i n h e r i t e d r i g h t t o a l l o c a t e or w i t h h o l d the use of r e s o u r c e s ( t h e r i g h t s of c h i e f s t o a l l o c a t e or withholdiSre-  195  sources were l i m i t e d by t h e t r a d i t i o n a l r i g h t s of o t h e r s , of c o u r s e , but even so, c h i e f s o f t e n i n h e r i t e d a c o n s i d e r a b l e s t o c k of p r o p e r t y for personal disposal).  Shamans, as such, were p o w e r f u l  t o the e x t e n t  t h a t they c o n t r o l l e d s u p e r n a t u r a l r e s o u r c e s and were accorded  authority  i n s o f a r as they c o n t r o l l e d these r e s o u r c e s f o r ends which were p e r c e i v e d to be l e g i t i m a t e . I t would seem t h a t the shaman's sphere of a u t h o r i t y l e g i t i m i z e d power of shamans) v a r i e d a u t h o r i t y and powers of c h i e f s . very important  ( i . e . the  i n some p a r t a c c o r d i n g to. the  C o n t r o l of s u p e r n a t u r a l power was a  source of c i v i l power.  And, a l t h o u g h almost everyone  sought t o c o n t r o l s u p e r n a t u r a l power (by r i t u a l t e c h n i q u e s  or o t h e r  means), c h i e f s were e s p e c i a l l y concerned w i t h i t s c o n t r o l , p a r t i c u l a r l y w i t h types of c o n t r o l which were s i g n i f i c a n t i n r e i n f o r c i n g g a u t h o r i t y and c o n t r o l over people. established  Thus Nootka c h i e f s sought r i t u a l powers which  t h e i r r i g h t s over t e r r i t o r y and were l i k e l y t o a t t r a c t a  s t a b l e f o l l o w i n g , and they sought powers t o perform monial d i s p l a y s .  impressive cere-  K w a k i u t l c h i e f s a c q u i r e d s u p e r n a t u r a l power t o dance  i n the most p r e s t i g i o u s  secret society ceremonials.  Tsimshian  c h i e f s c o u l d a c q u i r e t h e a b i l i t y t o "blow" power i n t o o t h e r s .  and H a i d a F o r the  most p a r t the s u p e r n a t u r a l powers c o n t r o l l e d by c h i e f s tended t o be d i s t i n c t from t h a t c o n t r o l l e d by shamans.  T h i s must have been t r u e f o r  the T s i m s h i a n , Haida and T l i n g i t , I i n f e r , i f c e r t a i n i n d i v i d u a l s c o u l d be i d e n t i f i e d as both c h i e f and shaman.  That s h a m a n i s t i c power was d i s -  t i n c t from t h e s u p e r n a t u r a l power of c h i e f s i s c l e a r l y i n d i c a t e d by t h e  196  f a c t t h a t , so f a r as I can d e t e r m i n e , c h i e f s , i n c o n t r a s t t o shamans, were not f e a r e d as s o r c e r e r s .  I n s h o r t , the s u p e r n a t u r a l powers ac-  q u i r e d by c h i e f s tended t o be b e n i g n -- l e g i t i m i z e d powers which would reinforce chiefly authority. more ambiguous:  The  powers a t t r i b u t e d t o shamans were  they were b o t h l e g i t i m a t e and  illegitimate;  they  c o u l d cause b e n e f i t or harm; complement or .uphold the a u t h o r i t y and power of c h i e f s or oppose i t ; p r e s e r v e it. was  the s o c i a l order or  threaten  W i t h r e s p e c t t o shamans the d i v i s i o n between power and a u t h o r i t y distinct.  T h e i r a u t h o r i t y was  seldom concerned w i t h m a t t e r s of  d a i l y r o u t i n e or r e c u r r i n g i n t e r e s t such as s u b s i s t e n c e or a c t i v i t y , but was  ceremonial  more l i k e l y t o concern, moments of l i f e i n which un-  p r e d i c t a b l e or c a t a s t r o p h i c s u p e r n a t u r a l i n t e r v e n t i o n was F o r example, s i c k n e s s was  suspected.  a prime symptom of u n p r e d i c t a b l e and  t r o p h i c s u p e r n a t u r a l i n t e r v e n t i o n and  catas-  throughout the a r e a shamans were  curers. Shamans c o u l d b o t h t h r e a t e n c h i e f s or r e i n f o r c e t h e i r power and a u t h o r i t y .  They might i n d i r e c t l y t h r e a t e n the p r e s t i g e of c h i e f s  by t h e i r own w e a l t h be suspected  ( o r r e p u t a t i o n of w e a l t h ) and  s u c c e s s , or they might  of a t t a c k i n g the p e r s o n or p r e s t i g e of c h i e f s by  sorcery  ( f o r example, gross m i s b e h a v i o u r by a c h i e f , as w e l l as s i c k n e s s , might be a t t r i b u t e d t o the work of some m a l e v o l e n t  shaman).  On  the  other  hand, they c o u l d d i r e c t l y uphold the power of c h i e f s by w o r k i n g on  the  c h i e f ' s b e h a l f , w h i l e , by the f a c t t h a t c h i e f s c o u l d employ shamans t o wreak s u p e r n a t u r a l r e t r i b u t i o n , shamans removed c h i e f s from the s i b i l i t y of the a n t i - s o c i a l use of s u p e r n a t u r a l powers.  respon-  197  In  terms of the a u t h o r i t y s t r u c t u r e , t h e r e f o r e , shamans oc-  c u p i e d an anomalous p o s i t i o n .  They tended t o possess s t a t u s beyond  t h a t m e r i t e d by r a n k and power beyond t h a t accorded  their authority.  T h i s seems t o have been t r u e t o a g r e a t e r or l e s s e r degree throughout the a r e a .  However, t h e r e i s some d a t a t o suggest t h a t where the p o s i -  t i o n of a shaman tended t o become an o f f i c e , i n v o l v i n g s p e c i f i c r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the maintenance of the p o l i t i c a l t u r e , the shaman's p o t e n t i a l l y a n t i - s o c i a l power t o k i l l was be l e g i t i m i z e d f o r d i r e c t i n g a g a i n s t those who order. was  The  the  likely  to  social  of a K w a k i u t l c h i e f ' s shaman, f o r example,  l e g i t i m a t e t o the e x t e n t t h a t i t was  the c h i e f . who  power t o k i l l  threatened  struc-  d i r e c t e d a g a i n s t enemies of  The k i l l i n g powers of T s i m s h i a n , H a i d a and T l i n g i t shamans  accompanied the w a r r i o r s i n a war p a r t y were l e g i t i m i z e d f o r d i r e c -  t i o n a g a i n s t the enemy.  The  use and misuse of s u p e r n a t u r a l power: I t i s of some i n t e r e s t a t t h i s p o i n t t o r e g a r d some of Mary  Douglas In  hypotheses r e g a r d i n g the use and misuse of s u p e r n a t u r a l power.  1  her book P u r i t y and Danger she e x p l o r e s the i d e a s of order and  order.  dis-  I n the s e c t i o n "Powers and Dangers", she p a r t i c u l a r l y seeks  to examine the r e l a t i o n s h i p s between those who o r d e r and  the a u t h o r i t y s t r u c t u r e .  are a source of d i s -  She p o i n t s out:  Granted t h a t d i s o r d e r s p o i l s p a t t e r n ; i t a l s o p r o v i d e s the m a t e r i a l s f o r p a t t e r n . . . . T h a t i s why...we do not s i m p l y condemn d i s o r d e r . We r e c o g n i s e t h a t i t i s d e s t r u c t i v e t o e x i s t i n g p a t t e r n s ; a l s o t h a t i t has p o t e n t i a l i t y . I t s y m b o l i s e s b o t h danger and power (1966:94).  198  She c o n s i d e r s on b e h a l f  two p o l a r types of s p i r i t u a l power, the f i r s t ,  "exerted  of t h e s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e " , the second, d i s a p p r o v e d powers "sup-  posed t o be a danger t o s o c i e t y " (1966:99).  She s u g g e s t s t h a t :  Where the s o c i a l system e x p l i c i t l y r e c o g n i s e s p o s i t i o n s of a u t h o r i t y , those h o l d i n g such p o s i t i o n s a r e endowed w i t h exp l i c i t s p i r i t u a l power, c o n t r o l l e d , c o n s c i o u s , e x t e r n a l and approved powers t o b l e s s or c u r s e . Where the s o c i a l system r e q u i r e s p e o p l e t o h o l d d a n g e r o u s l y ambiguous r o l e s , these p e r s o n s a r e c r e d i t e d w i t h u n c o n t r o l l e d , u n c o n s c i o u s , dangerous, d i s a p p r o v e d p o w e r — such as w i t c h c r a f t and e v i l eye. I n o t h e r words, where the s o c i a l system i s w e l l - a r t i c u l a t e d , I l o o k f o r a r t i c u l a t e powers v e s t e d i n t h e p o i n t s of a u t h o r i t y ; where the s o c i a l system i s i l l - a r t i c u l a t e d , I l o o k f o r i n a r t i c u l a t e powers v e s t e d i n those who a r e a source of d i s order ( I b i d . ) . With respect to sorcery  she w r i t e s :  On t h e argument we h a v e . b e e n , f o l l o w i n g , s o r c e r y ought t o be used by those i n c o n t r o l of key p o s i t i o n s i n the s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e as i t i s a d e l i b e r a t e , c o n t r o l l e d form of s p i r i - . t u a l power. B u t i t i s n o t . S o r c e r y i s found i n t h e s t r u c t u r a l i n t e r s t i c e s where we have l o c a t e d w i t c h c r a f t , as w e l l as i n the s e a t s of a u t h o r i t y (1966:107). She s u g g e s t s that, s o r c e r y  i s l i k e l y t o be found i n s o c i e t i e s where  p o s i t i o n s of a u t h o r i t y , a l t h o u g h c l e a r l y r e c o g n i z e d , a r e open t o comp e t i t i o n , that "sorcery  b e l i e f s r e a l l y s e r v e as i n s t r u m e n t s f o r s e l f -  p r o m o t i o n " (1966:108).  Thus, i f I i n t e r p r e t her c o r r e c t l y , she i s sug-  g e s t i n g a c o r r e l a t i o n between s p i r i t u a l powers and a u t h o r i t y which may be r o u g h l y schematized t h u s : articulate, legitimized authority:  articulate, legitimized spiritual power  tenuous b u t l e g i t i m i z e d a u t h o r i t y :  l e g a l l y and m o r a l l y of s o r c e r y .  n e u t r a l powers  199  ' n e g a t i v e a u t h o r i t y ' ("dangerously ambiguous r o l e " ) : This extremely  i l l e g i t i m a t e power.  b r i e f summary of her r a t h e r d e t a i l e d e x p o s i -  t i o n serves t o provoke a number of c o n s i d e r a t i o n s w i t h r e s p e c t t o sham a n i s t i c and c h i e f l y authority;.and power on the N o r t h w e s t Coast.  Much  of the N o r t h w e s t Coast m a t e r i a l s e r v e s t o s u b s t a n t i a t e her hypotheses, p a r t i c u l a r l y her c o n t e n t i o n t h a t l e g i t i m a t e and s p e c i f i c  spiritual  powers w i l l be i n v e s t e d i n those who h o l d e x p l i c i t l y r e c o g n i z e d p o s i t i o n s of a u t h o r i t y .  I t i s more d i f f i c u l t t o r e c o n c i l e her views con-  c e r n i n g w i t c h c r a f t or s o r c e r y w i t h the p o s i t i o n of shaman. man, i n many r e s p e c t s , c o u l d be regarded "to hold dangerously  The  sha-  as one of those p e o p l e r e q u i r e d  ambiguous r o l e s " , whom she would expect t o be  c r e d i t e d w i t h " u n c o n t r o l l e d , unconscious,  dangerous, d i s a p p r o v e d  powers  -- such as w i t c h c r a f t and e v i i l e y e " . ' I n s t e a d , shamans were c r e d i t e d w i t h c o n t r o l l e d power and t h e p o t e n t i a l danger o f - t h i s power was accepted and t o some e x t e n t l e g i t i m i z e d .  Again, although  l i t t l e s p e c i f i c information concerning  there i s very  s o r c e r y f e a r s and a c c u s a t i o n s  on t h e Northwest C o a s t , such as t h e r e i s tends t o suggest t h a t when shamans were i n v o l v e d , i f t h e i r behaviour  was n o t s i m p l y a t t r i b u t e d t o  s p i t e , they were more l i k e l y t o be viewed as the i n t e r m e d i a r i e s i n a power s t r u g g l e , r e p r e s e n t i n g p a r t i c u l a r f a c t i o n s , r a t h e r than as p r i mary p a r t i c i p a n t s . S i n c e s u c c e s s i o n t o p o s i t i o n s of a u t h o r i t y was h e r e d i t a r y , shamans, as such, c o u l d not hope t o a c q u i r e a u t h o r i t y by the d e f e a t of an opponent. conformed f u l l y t o D o u g l a s  Thus shamans c l e a r l y do n o t appear t o have 1  views concerning witches  or s o r c e r e r s a l -  200  though they conformed yet  there  i s one  to some of the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of both.  f a c t o r to note which seems to support her  the d i s t r i b u t i o n of powers.  And  argument  Where the p o s i t i o n of shaman was  identified  as an o f f i c e , more or l e s s e x p l i c i t l y . t i e d  to the a u t h o r i t y  the p o t e n t i a l l y a n t i - s o c i a l powers to k i l l  came to be most c l e a r l y  legitimized the  i n s o f a r as they were d i r e c t e d a g a i n s t  social structure.  For  t h a t of an  intermediary,  we  t h a t the  can  say  the most p a r t ,  to the p r e v a i l i n g p o i n t s  ful,  of a u t h o r i t y .  disapproved.  But  threatened  I n a sense  a l i g n e d w i t h nor  opposed  he had  dual  be both b e n e f i c i a l and  perhaps we  was  institutionalized  In t h i s capacity  power - - p o w e r which c o u l d  approved and  those who  non-human.  shaman o c c u p i e d an e x p l i c i t , explicitly  structure,  shaman's a u t h o r i t y  a l i g n e d w i t h human and  " i n t e r s t i c i a l " position, neither  supernatural  the  can  harm-  suggest t h a t  sha-  mans c o u l d p o t e n t i a l l y occupy s e v e r a l p o s i t i o n s on the continuum tween a r t i c u l a t e , l e g i t i m a t e a u t h o r i t y  and  on  be-  'negative a u t h o r i t y ' .  Sha-  mans, occupying an o f f i c e more or l e s s a l i g n e d w i t h the p r e v a i l i n g point  of a u t h o r i t y , were a t t r i b u t e d w i t h l e g i t i m i z e d powers.  suspected or accused of  'sorcery'  f o r reasons of-*malice  have approached Douglas' w i t c h c r a f t end  may  or " u n c o n s c i o u s " .  n e u t r a l or a l o o f from the. seats dual  supernatural  powers.  The  And  perhaps  of the continuum, a t t r i b u t e d  w i t h "dangerous, d i s a p p r o v e d " powers even i f they were not "uncontrolled"  Shamans  as i n t e r m e d i a r i e s ,  of a u t h o r i t y  completely  relatively  they were a s s o c i a t e d  shaman accused or suspected of  with  sorcery  by v i r t u e of h i s involvement i n a f a c t i o n a l power s t r u g g l e . p e r h a p s  could  201  be viewed as s i m i l a r t o Douglas' s o r c e r e r , s i n c e , a l t h o u g h n o t a p r i mary agent, he was p a r t y t o a c o m p e t i t i o n f o r a u t h o r i t y .  From another  p o i n t of v i e w , however,, t h a t of the shaman's a l l i e s , he might perhaps be regarded as u s i n g l e g i t i m a t e power on b e h a l f of the p r e v a i l i n g social, order.  Mary D o u g l a s ' p o s t u l a t e d d i s t r i b u t i o n of s p i r i t u a l powers  cannot a l t o g e t h e r be s a t i s f a c t o r i l y a p p l i e d t o the Northwest Coast because i t proposes too r i g i d a dichotomy between e x p l i c i t ,  articulated  a u t h o r i t y and " d a n g e r o u s l y ambiguous r o l e s " and because i t too r i g i d l y i d e n t i f i e s a r t i c u l a t e l e g i t i m a t e powers and " u n c o n s c i o u s , u n c o n t r o l l e d " powers w i t h t h e s e two.  Her views of c o n t r o l l e d and u n c o n t r o l l e d or con-  s c i o u s and u n c o n s c i o u s do n o t appear t o have much r e l e v a n c e f o r the Northwest Coast a l t h o u g h they might i f we had more d a t a about soc a l l e d s o r c e r y b e l i e f s up and down the Coast.  She does not c o n s i d e r  the p o s s i b i l i t y of a l e g i t i m a t e , i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z e d " d a n g e r o u s l y ambiguous r o l e " .  As a s u g g e s t i o n , perhaps we can c r u d e l y s c h e m a t i z e a  d i s t r i b u t i o n of powers as found on the Northwest Coast t h u s : 1  articulate,  legitimized authority (chief):  l e g i t i m i z e d a u t h o r i t y ( c h i e f ' s shaman):  articulate, legitimate r i t u a l power  l e g i t i m a t e s p i r i t u a l power  n o n - a l i g n e d a u t h o r i t y (shaman as i n t e r m e d i a r y ) :  d u a l s p i r i t u a l power  ' n e g a t i v e a u t h o r i t y ' (shaman as m a l e v o l e n t s o r c e r e r ) : i l l e g i t i m a t e , approved power. 1.  spi-  dis-  I i n f e r t h a t by " a r t i c u l a t e " Douglas means powers or a u t h o r i t y w h i c h are c l e a r l y s p e c i f i e d and bounded and f i t t e d w i t h i n a s o c i a l system.  202 The  shaman as s p i r i t  intermediary.:  A t v a r i o u s times i t has been s t a t e d that- shamans were i n t e r mediaries was  between a human and  s p i r i t realm.  I n Chapter I the shaman  d e f i n e d i n terms of h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h s p i r i t s .  w i t h some o b s e r v a t i o n s  concerning  the shaman as s p i r i t  We  may  conclude  intermediary.  I n g e n e r a l o u t l i n e , the r e l i g i o u s p o s t u l a t e s of Northwest Coast groups were s i m i l a r .  A l l groups d i s t i n g u i s h e d between two  of e x i s t e n c e , what we might term s p i r i t u a l and p r i n c i p l e s g o v e r n i n g the o t h e r .  Men  could accomplish  power.  spiritual  The  laws  the one were, d i s t i n g u i s h e d from those i n s p i r i t what was  S u p e r n a t u r a l power p e r t a i n e d t o the former. phenomena had  and m a t e r i a l .  states  governing  i m p o s s i b l e i n body.  M o s t , i f not a l l m a t e r i a l  e x i s t e n c e , but not n e c e s s a r i l y s u p e r n a t u r a l  S u p e r n a t u r a l power c o u l d be possessed by the s p i r i t s  of  animals,  p l a n t s or v a r i o u s n a t u r a l phenomena, and by other s p i r i t e n t i t i e s such as human s o u l s , g h o s t s , and v a r i o u s monsters, d e i t i e s . o r disembodied spirits.  The  p a r t i c u l a r c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s a t t r i b u t e d to s p i r i t  entities,  and .the laws and p r i n c i p l e s p o s t u l a t e d t o govern t h e i r e x i s t e n c e  dif-  f e r e d somewhat from one group t o the n e x t but i n each c a s e , i t was knowledge of these c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s and  laws w h i c h a l l o w e d men  t o mani-  p u l a t e s p i r i t s w i t h t h e i r s u p e r n a t u r a l power, f o r the f u l f i l m e n t of human ends.  Compulsive r i t u a l t e c h n i q u e s ,  the p r i n c i p l e s t h a t the a c t i v i t y  of s p i r i t s  a c t i o n of c e r t a i n words, s p e l l s or  f o r example, operated  on  c o u l d be determined by  substances.  the  203  In  many r e s p e c t s s p i r i t s possessed c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s which were  l i k e those of l i v i n g men.  They c o u l d be appeased, c a j o l e d , angered o r  f l a t t e r e d , o r they might conform t o r u l e s o f rank.  But i n o t h e r r e s -  p e c t s they d i f f e r e d c o n s i d e r a b l y . Among the H a i d a , T s i m s h i a n and T l i n git  (and perhaps  o t h e r groups)  they were governed  by a d i f f e r e n t  time  s c a l e , a year i n t h e m a t e r i a l , human w o r l d c o r r e s p o n d i n g t o a day i n s p i r i t terms.  S u p e r n a t u r a l b e i n g s o f t e n landed a canoe bow f i r s t , i n  c o n t r a s t t o humans.  Men and s u p e r n a t u r a l b e i n g s were o r d i n a r i l y i n -  v i s i b l e t o each o t h e r .  Among the B e l l a C o o l a ghosts spoke a language  which was i n c o m p r e h e n s i b l e t o a l l men w i t h t h e e x c e p t i o n of those shamans who r e c e i v e d power from g h o s t s .  And,, of c o u r s e , s p i r i t  beings  d i f f e r e d from men i n the extra-human s u p e r n a t u r a l powers which possessed. of  they  I n some f a s h i o n d e a t h seems t o have been an i m p o r t a n t p o i n t  l i n k a g e between men and s p i r i t s ( a l t h o u g h I am u n c l e a r as t o the p r e -  cise relation).  C e r t a i n l y the i d e a of d e a t h seems i n h e r e n t i n shaman-  i s t i c training.  F o r o r d i n a r y men c o n t a c t w i t h a s p i r i t u s u a l l y meant  death.  Throughout t h e a r e a s h a m a n i s t i c i n i t i a t i o n i n v o l v e d s y m b o l i c  d e a t h through removal from normal s o c i a l l i f e by s i c k n e s s o r quest. Among t h e T l i n g i t (and many o t h e r groups) n o v i c e shamans c o u l d seek v i s i o n a r y e x p e r i e n c e by r e m a i n i n g near a grave s i t e or h a n d l i n g t h e s k u l l o f a dead p e r s o n .  Among the,Haida and T l i n g i t s u p e r n a t u r a l power  was most l i k e l y t o come t o the m a t e r n a l nephew of a shaman j u s t the l a t t e r " s d e a t h .  after  I t i s worth r e c a l l i n g , I t h i n k , the remark of a  S a l i s h i n f o r m a n t who e x p l a i n e d t h a t i n d i v i d u a l s were most l i k e l y t o  204  r e c e i v e s u p e r n a t u r a l power j u s t a f t e r the d e a t h o f a spouse because "When your w i f e d i e s , p a r t o f you d i e s w i t h her, and you a r e d i f f e r e n t f r o m what you were. .. .You are ^.more p o w e r f u l a t t h a t time" ( D u f f , 1950: 95).  The T r a i n i n g o f a Shaman  Shamanistic. t r a i n i n g and i n i t i a t i o n , w h i c h expressed  so much  of t h e shaman's r e l a t i o n t o t h e s u p e r n a t u r a l o r d e r a l s o expressed t h e c o n j u n c t i o n s and o p p o s i t i o n s o f human and s u p e r n a t u r a l , s i n c e i n many r e s p e c t s , the n o v i c e sought t o become more l i k e a s p i r i t b e i n g , i n d e pendent of h i s m a t e r i a l e x i s t e n c e . was remarkably  T r a i n i n g f o r v i s i o n a r y experience  s i m i l a r throughout t h e Coast.  I t usually started i n  e a r l y c h i l d h o o d b e f o r e the danger of exposure t o s e x u a l i n t e r c o u r s e . I t u s u a l l y i n v o l v e d f a s t i n g , p u r g i n g , i s o l a t i o n , b a t h i n g and the a v o i dance o f any c o n t a c t w i t h m e n s t r u a l  b l o o d or s e x u a l f l u i d s .  I n other  words i t i m p l i e d t h e r e j e c t i o n o f elements i n t i m a t e l y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h the c o n t i n u a n c e  o f human p h y s i c a l and s o c i a l l i f e . ,;De, Laguna r e p o r t s  of the T l i n g i t t h a t r i t u a l p u r i f i c a t i o n a l s o r e q u i r e d t h a t the i n d i v i d u a l r e f r a i n from speech, work or o t h e r s o c i a l a c t i v i t i e s .  T h i s regimen  i m p l i e d n o t s i m p l y a removal from human e l e m e n t s , b u t an i d e n t i f i c a t i o n w i t h the s p i r i t u a l .  M e n s t r u a l b l o o d , u r i n e , human sweat o r s e x u a l  i d s were repugnant t o s p i r i t s .  The i n d i v i d u a l prayed  flu-  and danced t o  e x h a u s t i o n and, as m e n t i o n e d , he would haunt g r a v e . s i t e s o r o t h e r dangerous or m y s t e r i o u s  p l a c e s known t o be f r e q u e n t e d by s p i r i t s .  Upon  205  v i s i o n a r y experience,  often a traumatic experience  for a mortal,  i n i t i a t e became i n f u s e d w i t h s u p e r n a t u r a l power and, was  in this  dangerous t o o t h e r s , j u s t as the s u p e r n a t u r a l b e i n g was  to others.  K w a k i u t l n o v i c e s were s e c l u d e d  Once the l i n k w i t h the s p i r i t b e i n g was been a c h i e v e d  the n o v i c e was  the  state, dangerous  in a specially purified  hut.  e s t a b l i s h e d and c o n t r o l had  a b l e t o r e t u r n t o the r e a l m of men  and  engage i n s o c i a l a c t i v i t i e s .  E s t a b l i s h e d shamans, l i k e o t h e r s , c o u l d  marry and  s u p e r n a t u r a l was  have c h i l d r e n .  and d i s o r d e r .  The  b o t h source  of  Powers, d e r i v e d from the s u p e r n a t u r a l such as the power  t o hunt w e l l , to cure or t o p e r f o r m c e r e m o n i a l t i n u a n c e of o r d e r .  d i s p l a y s helped  But s u p e r n a t u r a l f o r c e s c o u l d a l s o cause  famine and o t h e r m i s f o r t u n e s . shamans might cause e i t h e r .  By t h e i r a l i g n m e n t w i t h the  the condeath,  supernatural  T h e i r p o t e n t i a l t o cause harm c o u l d  reduced by e m p h a s i z i n g t h e i r dependence on the human o r d e r . i n i t i a t i o n of shamans seem t o have expressed  be  The p u b l i c  the shaman's t i e s t o the  human, as opposed to h i s v i s i o n a r y i n i t i a t i o n which expressed the s p i r i t u a l .  order  ties  to  Among the N o o t k a , the shaman's t i e s w i t h kinsmen and  w i t h h i s l i n e a g e head were a f f i r m e d .  F i r s t , d u r i n g the " f i x i n g " c e r e -  mony, when he was most v u l n e r a b l e t o a t t a c k from u n s c r u p u l o u s o l d e r shamans, he r e l i e d on k i n f o r s e c u r i n g a r e l i a b l e shaman ( i f t h e r e were no shamans who  were k i n a v a i l a b l e ) and  f o r p a y i n g f o r the ceremony.  L a t e r , a t the f o r m a l p u b l i c announcement t o the community and w o r l d l a r g e , he was  u s u a l l y dependent on h i s l i n e a g e head f o r h o s t i n g the  r e q u i s i t e f e a s t and making the announcement.  The p u b l i c i n i t i a t i o n ,  at  206  t h e n , a f f i r m e d s e v e r a l of t h e ' p r i n c i p l e s g o v e r n i n g Nootka s o c i e t y , i n c l u d i n g k i n s h i p , rank and mutual r e c i p r o c i t y of payment and c o u n t e r payment i n t h e announcement and f o r m a l r e c o g n i t i o n of a s t a t u s change. A g a i n , t h e K w a k i u t l shaman's i n i t i a t i o n invoked a complex of r e c i p r o cal relationships.  C o - i n i t i a t e s , shamans o f t h e same community and  those i n i t i a t e d by the same shaman-maker, d i r e c t e d t h e n o v i c e ' s t i o n and r e t u r n t o the community.  initia-  Community members, were i n v o l v e d i n  the p r e p a r a t i o n of a s e c l u s i o n h u t f o r t h e n o v i c e and, on the day of h i s r e t u r n , p r e p a r e d the house he was t o e n t e r and themselves went p u r i f i c a t i o n .  under-  The f a t h e r o f t h e n o v i c e was i n v o l v e d by g i v i n g a  f e a s t a f t e r the i n i t i a t i o n a t which the shaman's name was announced. Among the H a i d a , t h e community and l i n e a g e was i n v o l v e d i n h e l p i n g the n o v i c e t o r e c o v e r from h i s v i s i o n a r y trauma and i n h e l p i n g t o e s t a b l i s h the c o r r e c t i d e n t i t y o f the s p i r i t .  Among the T l i n g i t ,  lin-  eage members helped t o summon the s p i r i t s of t h e . d e p a r t e d shaman so t h a t they c o u l d e n t e r the new, w h i l e members o f t h e community a t l a r g e were on hand t o w i t n e s s t h e event.  I n each of these c a s e s , i t seems  r e a s o n a b l e t o suggest t h a t t h e p a r t i c u l a r r e l a t i o n s h i p s which a r e a f f i r m e d a r e those p e r c e i v e d t o c o n t r i b u t e s i g n i f i c a n t l y t o s o c i a l o r d e r . Among the N o o t k a , f o r example, where f l e x i b l e r e s i d e n c e p a t t e r n s c o u l d t o some e x t e n t c o u n t e r the c o h e s i v e f o r c e of k i n s h i p t i e s , l o y a l t y between c h i e f and f o l l o w e r s was an i m p o r t a n t e t h i c ; f o l l o w e r s " h e l p e d " t h e i r c h i e f who i n r e t u r n c a r e d f o r t h e i r f o l l o w e r s .  Among the K w a k i u t l ,  i n a d d i t i o n t o t i e s of k i n s h i p and r e s i d e n c e , the t i e s formed by mutual  207  initiation  by a p a r t i c u l a r s p i r i t , as among the s e c r e t s o c i e t i e s , were  a powerful  cohesive f o r c e .  The  shaman and  the symbolic  order:  I t i s i n t e r e s t i n g t o note t h a t themes of s e p a r a t i o n of  the  shaman from the human order of t h i n g s seem t o have been f a r more s i m i l a r i n the v a r i o u s c u l t u r a l groups than themes of  identification.  Themes of s e p a r a t i o n which i n c l u d e d s e x u a l a b s t i n e n c e , i s o l a t i o n  and  f a s t i n g r e c u r r e d c o n s t a n t l y , whereas a c t i o n s . o f i d e n t i f i c a t i o n w i t h  the  human f r e q u e n t l y emphasized p r i n c i p l e s of s o c i a l o r g a n i z a t i o n which d i f f e r e d i n each group. The  shaman can be regarded  as e x p r e s s i n g , i n r e a l or  terms, many of the group's c o n c e p t i o n s process  of i n i t i a t i o n  and  symbolic  of cosmic and human o r d e r .  The  the s t e r e o t y p e of shamans as s u c c e s s f u l p l u s  the c r e a t i v e and d e s t r u c t i v e powers a t t r i b u t e d t o them c o n f i r m e d  group  conceptions  about the n a t u r e of the s u p e r n a t u r a l and  on i t .  shaman a c h i e v e d h i s p o s i t i o n and powers by m a n i f e s t l y p u t -  The  of man's dependence  t i n g i n t o p r a c t i s e the t h e o r i e s w h i c h p o s t u l a t e d the s u p e r n a t u r a l source  of a l l major s o c i a l , economic and  initiation  ceremonial  benefits.  a f f i r m e d many of the p r i n c i p l e s o r g a n i z i n g s o c i a l  s h i p s , f o r example, k i n s h i p and r e s i d e n c e a f f i l i a t i o n or the p r i n c i p l e which r e q u i r e d t h a t any changes of s t a t u s should be  as  Public relationgeneral witnessed  and v a l i d a t e d by a p u b l i c announcement and d i s t r i b u t i o n of p r o p e r t y . The more i m p r e s s i v e c u r i n g ceremonies a s s o c i a t e d w i t h p a t i e n t s of h i g h  208  r a n k tended t o r e i n f o r c e a t t i t u d e s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h rank.  I n short,  shamans e x p r e s s e d group concerns and' group t h e o r i e s about how worked and how  t h i n g s should work.  things  209  APPENDIX GLOSSARY OF NATIVE TERMS 1.  N a t i v e Term  (Anglicized)  Gloss  Description  SALISH (J) (D)  s alya s alia  sulia  'guardian s p i r i t ' or 'vision'  -the e n t i t y t h a t bestowed power on an i n d i v i d u a l ; t h e term also referred t o the v i s i o n experience.  (J)  swiam  swiam  'power  -strength or a b i l i t y i n a p h y s i c a l as w e l l as s p i r i t u a l sense; a l l c r e a t u r e s had swiam and i n a d d i t i o n might r e c e i v e i t from o t h e r creatures.  (D)  Siwil  siwil  'prayer', 'spell', 'magical utterance'  - i n h e r i t e d r i t u a l knowledge f o r w h i c h no t r a i n i n g was r e q u i r e d although i t s e f f e c t i v e application required ritual purification. Useful for a great v a r i e t y of p u r p o s e s .  (J)  sieves  'priest', 'ritualist'  -a s p e c i a l i s t i n t h e knowledge and a p p l i c a t i o n of s i w i l . Different individuals had t h e i r own c o l l e c t i o n of s i w i l f o r s p e c i f i c purposes.  (J)  s i a' 'wa  (D)  se'uwa  'fortuneteller '  - i n d i v i d u a l born w i t h the i n n a t e a b i l i t y t o see i n t o t h e f u t u r e and t o converse w i t h ghosts.  1. 2.  ?  ?  seuwa  1  V e r s i o n s used i n t h e t e x t have been a n g l i c i z e d . The l e t t e r s i n b r a c k e t s s i g n i f i t y t h e i n i t i a l . o f t h e author whose notat i o n I have used: these a r e , (B)=Boas, (D)=Duff, (Dr)=Drucker, ( J ) = J e n n e s s , (K)=Krause, ( M ) = M c I l w r a i t h , (S)=Swanton.  210  N a t i v e Term ( J ) sx"ne' em (D) s x w s h m ?  . (Anglicized) sxwneem  Gloss  Description  'shaman , 'medicineman'  - i n d i v i d u a l s who have a c q u i r e d the power t o cure a f t e r a l e n g t h y p e r i o d of t r a i n i n g and a v i s i o n a r y enc o u n t e r w i t h the spirit.  1  (J)  xsw'sa'lkwl  'new s p i r i t dancer'  -one who has newly received dancing power from a guaird'ian spirit.  (J)  sc'dls\ am  'old s p i r i t dancer'  -an e x p e r i e n c e d s p i r i t dancer who i s able to project power i n t o new dancers.  (D)  sie'm  u  siem  'chief  -"Those who were most h i g h l y r e s p e c t e d , the h i g h born and the g r e a t and good self-made l e a d e r s " ( D u f f , 1952: 80).  tceha  'beings'  -a g e n e r a l i z e d term which r e f e r s t o a c a t e g o r y of c r e a t u r e s which may i n c l u d e ' ^ ' a i " , a part i c u l a r r a c e of supernatural beings, g h o s t s , and a l a r g e number of o t h e r r a c e s and i n d i v i d u a l s which possess s u p e r n a t u r a l power.  'shrines'  - l o c a l i z e d areas used by r i t u a l i s t s , where they p e r f o r m t h e i r r i t u a l techniques.  NOOTKA (Dr)  tctha  (D,r) tciyasam  211  N a t i v e Term  (Anglicized)  Gloss  Description  'ritualist  (Dr)  lo^wona  (Dr)  haW  hawil  1  - i n d i v i d u a l s , usuall y c h i e f s , who had i n h e r i t e d a. body of r i t u a l techniques f o r v a r i o u s purposes, f o r example, i n d u c i n g dead whales t o d r i f t ashore, or a t t r a c t i n g the salmon.  ' shaman'  - i n d i v i d u a l s who had a c q u i r e d the power t o cure a f t e r v i s i o n a r y e x p e r i e n c e and the e s t a b l i s h m e n t of cont r o l over the s p i r i t i n a s p e c i a l ceremony. The term a l s o r e f e r r e d to a community i n i t i a t i o n ceremony c a l l e d by D r u c k e r , "Shaman's Dance", and by o t h e r s , "Wolf R i t u a l " .  'chief'  -a f o r m a l t i t l e of address d e s i g n a t i n g l i n e a g e heads. -a d e s c r i p t i v e term r e f e r r i n g t o those who have no r a n k p r e rogatives.  (Dr)  KWAKIUTL (B)  na'walak-"  nawalak  supernatural being 1  -the term i s most o f ten used as an a d j e c t i v e to indicate beings or o b j e c t s endowed w i t h supernat u r a l power. I t f r e quently designates a q u a l i t y , much as Weste r n e r s use the word 'electric . 1  212  N a t i v e Term (B)  (Anglicized)  Gloss  Description  ordinary , ^profane  ba'xwEs  1  1  1  (B)  dd'xlslEs  -an i n d i v i d u a l born w i t h t h e power t o see i n t o t h e f u t u r e w i t h o u t having; t o undergo v i s i o n a r y experience.  seer  (B) -pEx'ila  paxala  1  initiated  (B)  pEx£ia  paxala  1  shaman  (B)  li'xsa  (B)  (B)  pa'xf.Er  xa'maga'me* <p'Vjame*  great s haman 1  1  'real shaman'  ' head chief  -a term i n d i c a t i n g the o p p o s i t e of nawalak. I t was used to r e f e r t o t h e summer season, t o u n i n i t i a t e d p e o p l e , and so f o r t h .  1  1  -the term was used to r e f e r t o t h o s e who had been i n i t i a t e d as w i n t e r danc e r s , during the w i n t e r dance season. -the term a l s o d e s i g nated i n d i v i d u a l s Boas c a l l s shamans, those who have a spec i a l name, song and power a s s o c i a t e d w i t h c u r i n g from a v i s i o n a r y encounter. -one who has a c q u i r e d the a b i l i t y b o t h t o c u r e and t o cause disease.  the s p i r i t w h i c h came to him o r her i n t h e v i s i o n a r y encounter. - s e n i o r member of a numaym, o r l i n e a g e , d i s t i n g u i s h e d from others of high rank who a r e r e f e r r e d t o as " l o w e r c h i e f s " o r "new c h i e f s " (Boas, 1966:51).  213  Description  (Anglicized)  Gloss  (M)  ixlokwaladjut  spirit power'  CM)  alukwala  N a t i v e Term BELLA. COOIA  - " a i d granted t o the unfortunate": pers o n a l power d e r i v e d from a s p i r i t i n a moment o f c r i s i s .  1  1  shaman  1  -one who a c q u i r e d power, e i t h e r t o cure or t o p e r f o r m a 'mira c u l o u s performance and t o mediate w i t h s p i r i t s , from a " l i v ing" s p i r i t . 1  askankots  (M)  (M)  snaxom  (M)  numitl  'shaman o f the dead'  -one who a c q u i r e d power, e s p e c i a l l y t h e power t o communicate w i t h g h o s t s , from a ghost. -one who a c q u i r e d prop h e t i c powers from Alquntam, t h e supreme s p i r i t being.  'chief  -a man who H a e c g i v e n a f o u r t h p o t l a t c h and i s accorded a p o s i t i o n of eminence.  supernatural  -the term i s used as a noun d e s i g n a t i n g anything mysterious. I t i m p l i e s t h e agent of s u p e r n a t u r a l energy and c o u l d r e f e r t o an individual's inherited s p i r i t associate.  TSIMSHIAN  (B) nexno'x  nexnox  1  (B)  halai't  halait  1  shaman'  -one who has a c q u i r e d the power t o cure a f ter a v i s i o n a r y spir i t encounter.  214  N a t i v e Term  (Anglicized) swensk h a l a i t  Gloss 1  Description  shaman'  naxnagam h a l a i t  (D)  - l i t e r a l l y translat e d , the phrase means ' s u p e r n a t u r a l blowi n g ' and r e f e r s t o the shaman's a b i l i t y t o c u r e by b l o w i n g . - l i t e r a l l y translat e d , the phrase means ' s p i r i t supernatural performance' and r e f e r s to the power of some c h i e f s to p r o j e c t power i n t o young p e o p l e p r i o r to i n i t i a t i o n .  (B)  sEm'l'g-ld  'chief*  - d e s i g n a t e s the head man of a l i n e a g e , who has the p r i v i l e g e of u s i n g c e r t a i n names and c r e s t s , and c e r tain limited p o l i t i cal andvsocial r i g h t s and d u t i e s .  (B)  sEmg-i^-a'd  'the r e a l people'  -a d e s c r i p t i v e term a p p l i e d to l i n e a g e heads and those of the h i g h e s t n o b i l i t y .  supernatural being'  -a d e s c r i p t i v e term which could r e f e r t o any number of c r e a t u r e s deemed t o be s u p e r n a t u r a l , f o r example, k i l l e r whales.  supernatural power -  T e x t r a o r d i n a r y or extra-human a b i l i t y .  HAIDA (S)  sga'na  (S)  s^.a/nawe  sgana  1  215  Native (S)  Term  sqa'ja  (Anglicized) sgaga  Gloss 1  shaman  Description -one i n t i m a t e l y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h supern a t u r a l b e i n g s and p o s s e s s e d of supern a t u r a l power.  1  'chief•  - s e n i o r member o f lineage k i n l i v i n g i n one l a r g e house.  'town c h i e f '  - s e n i o r member o r s e n i o r k i n group house.  TLINGIT (K) j e k  (K)  (K)  jek  ,'chl*  amkau  ' spirit , ! ghost' 1  1  a-niati  shaman'  -could r e f e r t o a shaman's s p i r i t a s .sistants besides other e n t i t i e s * -one who.has a c q u i r e d control.of eight s p i r i t h e l p e r s and inherited a position from a p r e d e c e s s o r , and t h e r e b y has t h e power t o c u r e s i c k ness and d e t e c t s o r cery. - " c h i e f , gentleman, Mr.," ( K r a u s e , 1956: 240).  216  BIBLIOGRAPHY  GENERAL REFERENCES  BALIKCI, A. 1963 S h a m a n i s t i c b e h a v i o u r among the N e t s i l i k Eskimos. J o u r n a l o f A n t h r o p o l o g y 19:380-395.  Southwestern  BARBEAU, R. 1958 Medicine-Men on the N o r t h P a c i f i c C o a s t . N a t i o n a l Museum of Canada B u l l e t i n No. 152.. Ottawa, Queen's P r i n t e r . BEATTIEj J . 1966  Other C u l t u r e s .  London, Cohen and West.  BENEDICT, R. 1923 The concept of the g u a r d i a n s p i r i t i n N o r t h A m e r i c a . i c a n A n t h r o p o l o g i s t 29. BURRIDGE, K. 1969 New Heaven New E a r t h . New Y o r k . CODERE, H. 1966  Amer-  F i g h t i n g W i t h P r o p e r t y . Monograph of the A m e r i c a n Ethnol o g i c a l S o c i e t y . S e a t t l e , U n i v e r s i t y of Washington P r e s s .  DOUGLAS, M. 1966  P u r i t y and Danger.  New Y o r k , P r a e g e r .  DRUCKER, P. 1963 I n d i a n s o f t h e N o r t h w e s t C o a s t . Garden C i t y , New Y o r k , The N a t u r a l H i s t o r y P r e s s . (1955 ed. New Y o r k , A m e r i c a n Museum o f N a t u r a l H i s t o r y . ) 1965 C u l t u r e s o f t h e N o r t h P a c i f i c C o a s t . San F r a n c i s c o , C h a n d l e r . ELIADE, M. 1964 FIRTH, R. 1959  Shamanism A r c h a i c Techniques of E c s t a s y . Trans.. W i l l a r d R. T r a s k . Pantheon Books. New Y o r k , B o l l i n g e n . P r o b l e m and assumption i n an a n t h r o p o l o g i c a l study of r e l i g i o n . J o u r n a l of the R o y a l A n t h r o p o l o g i c a l I n s t i t u t e 89 (2):129-148.  !b963  Elements o f S o c i a l O r g a n i z a t i o n . ed. London, W a t t s . )  B o s t o n , Beacon P r e s s .  (l 951  1969  I n t r o d u c t i o n , i n S p i r i t Mediumship and S o c i e t y i n A f r i c a , eds. J . B e a t t i e and J . M i d d l e t o n . London, A f r i c a n P u b l i s h i n g Corp.  f  217  FORD, C.S. 1968  Smoke From T h e i r F i r e s .  New ed. A r c h o n  Books.  HANDELMAN, D. 1967  The development  of a Washo shaman.  E t h n o l o g y 6:444-464.  LANE, B. 1953  A Comparative A n a l y t i c a l Study of some A s p e c t s of Northwest Coast R e l i g i o n . (Ph.D. d i s s e r t a t i o n ) , S e a t t l e , U n i v e r s i t y of Washington P r e s s .  LOWIE,.R. 1960  P r i m i t i v e R e l i g i o n . London, P e t e r Owen. (1924 ed. New Y o r k , B o n i j3djg£<$$right.) McFEAT,. T.F. 1966 I n d i a n s o f t h e N o r t h P a c i f i c Coastl; T o r o n t o , M c C l e l l a n d and S t e w a r t . MORRIS, H.S. 1967 Shamanism among t h e Oya Melanau. I n S o c i a l O r g a n i z a t i o n , ed. M. Freedman. London, F r a n k Cass. NADEL, S.F. 1961 A s t u d y o f shamanism i n t h e Nuba M o u n t a i n s , I n Reader i n Comparative R e l i g i o n ; eds., W.A. L e s s a and E.Z. Vogt. New Y o r k , Harper Row. NORBECK, E. 1961  Religion i n P r i m i t i v e Society.  New Y o r k , Harper.  RADIN, P. 1957  Primitive Religion.  New Y o r k ,  Dover.  (1937 ed. New Y o r k . )  SUTTLES, W. 1958 P r i v a t e knowledge, m o r a l i t y and s o c i a l c l a s s e s among the Coast S a l i s h . A m e r i c a n A n t h r o p o l o g i s t 60:497-507. 1960 A f f i n a l t i e s , s u b s i s t e n c e and p r e s t i g e among the Coast S a l i s h . American A n t h r o p o l o g i s t 62:296-305. BIBLIOGRAPHY -- ETHNOGRAPHIC SOURCES BELLA COOLA McILWRAITH, T.F. 1948 The B e l l a C o o l a I n d i a n s . Toronto P r e s s .  2 vols.  T o r o n t o , U n i v e r s i t y of  218  HAIDA DRUCKER, P. 1963 I n d i a n s o f the Northwest Coast. Garden C i t y , New Y o r k , The Natural History Press. (1955 ed. New Y o r k , A m e r i c a n Museum of N a t u r a l H i s t o r y ^ ) MURDOCK, G.P. 1934 . K i n s h i p and s o c i a l b e h a v i o u r among the H a i d a . A n t h r o p o l o g i s t n.s. 36:355-385.  American  1934  Our P r i m i t i v e C o n t e m p o r a r i e s , pp. 221-263. Millan.  New Y o r k , Mac-  1936  Rank and P o t l a t c h Among the H a i d a . Y a l e U n i v e r s i t y P u b l i c a t i o n s i n A n t h r o p o l o g y 13:1-20. New Haven, Y a l e U n i v e r s i t y Press.  SWANTON, J . 1905a C o n t r i b u t i o n s t o the E t h n o l o g y of the H a i d a . A m e r i c a n Museum o f N a t u r a l H i s t o r y . Memoirs, v o l . 8, p t . 1, pp. 1-300. New Y o r k . 1905b  H a i d a T e x t s and Myths. Bureau of A m e r i c a n E t h n o l o g y B u l l e t i n No. 29:1-448. Washington D . C , Government P r i n t i n g Office.  1908  H a i d a T e x t s . A m e r i c a n Museum of N a t u r a l H i s t o r y . v o l . 14, pp. 273-812.  1960  "Shamans and P r i e s t s " , I n Handbook of American I n d i a n s N o r t h of M e x i c o , ed. F.W. Hodge, New Y o r k , Pageant Books. (19071910 ed. Bureau of American E t h n o l o g y B u l l e t i n No. 30, 2 v o l s . Washington D.C., Government P r i n t i n g O f f i c e . )  Memoirs,  y  KWAKIUTL . BOAS, F. 1895  The Socia 1 O r g a n i z a t i o n and t h e S e c r e t S o c i e t i e s of t h e K w a k i u t l I n d i a n s . U.S. N a t i o n a l Museum. R e p o r t f o r t h e year e n d i n g June 30, 1895, pp. 311-738. Washington D . C , Government P r i n t i n g O f f i c e .  1930  The R e l i g i o n of the K w a k i u t l I n d i a n s . Columbia U n i v e r s i t y C o n t r i b u t i o n s t o A n t h r o p o l o g y , v o l . 10,- New Y o r k , Columbia University Press.  1966  K w a k i u t l Ethnography.! University Press.  ed. H e l e n Codere. C h i c a g o , C h i c a g o  219  DRUCKER, P. 1965 C u l t u r e s o f the N o r t h P a c i f i c C o a s t , pp. 161-167. F r a n c i s c o , Chandler.  San  NOOTKA DRUCKER, P. 1951 The N o r t h e r n and C e n t r a l Nootkan T r i b e s . Bureau of A m e r i can E t h n o l o g y B u l l e t i n No. 144. Washington D.C, Government P r i n t i n g O f f i c e . SAPIR, E. 1921  The l i f e o f a N o o t k a T n d i a n . 351-367.  Queen's Q u a r t e r l y 28:232-243,  SAPIR, E. and SWADESH,. M. 1939 Nootka T e x t s . P h i l a d e l p h i a . S p e c i a l P u b l i c a t i o n s f c o f t h e L i n g u i s t i c S o c i e t y of America. P h i l a d e l p h i a , U n i v e r s i t y of P e n n s y l v a n i a . 1955  N a t i v e A c c o u n t s of Nootka Ethnography. P u b l i c a t i o n o f the I n d i a n a U n i v e r s i t y R e s e a r c h Centre i n A n t h r o p o l o g y , F o l k l o r e , and L i n g u i s t i c s , No. 1, Bloomington. SALISH  BARNETT, H.G. 1955 The- Coast S a l i s h of B r i t i s h Columbia. of Oregon P r e s s .  Eugene, U n i v e r s i t y  DUFF, W. The Upper S t a l o I n d i a n s . A n t h r o p o l o g y i n B r i t i s h Columbia Memoir No. 1, B r i t i s h Columbia P r o v i n c i a l Museum. JENNESS, D. 1955 The F a i t h of a Coast S a l i s h I n d i a n . A n t h r o p o l o g y i n B r i t i s h Columbia Memoir No. 3, B r i t i s h Columbia P r o v i n c i a l Museum. SUTTLES, W. 1955 K a t z i e E t h n o g r a p h i c Notes. A n t h r o p o l o g y i n B r i t i s h Columb i a Memoir 2, B r i t i s h Columbia P r o v i n c i a l Museum. 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American  Anth-  SWANTON, J . 1908 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 R e l a t i o n of the T l i n g i t I n d i a n s . Bureau of American E t h n o l o g y R e p o r t No. 26, pp. 391-486. Washington D.C, Government P r i n t i n g Office. TSIMSHIAN BOAS, F. 1916  Tsimshian Mythology. Bureau of American E t h n o l o g y . A n t h r o p o l o g i c a l R e p o r t No. 31, pp. 29-979. Washington D.C, Government P r i n t i n g O f f i c e .  GARFIELD, V. 1951 The T s i m s h i a n I n d i a n s and t h e i r A r t 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 , No. 18.  

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