Open Collections

BC Historical Books

BC Historical Books

BC Historical Books

On the north-western tribes of Canada.--Ninth report of the committee, consisting of Dr. E. B. Tylor,… British Association for the Advancement of Science 1894

Item Metadata

Download

Media
bcbooks-1.0221873.pdf
Metadata
JSON: bcbooks-1.0221873.json
JSON-LD: bcbooks-1.0221873-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): bcbooks-1.0221873-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: bcbooks-1.0221873-rdf.json
Turtle: bcbooks-1.0221873-turtle.txt
N-Triples: bcbooks-1.0221873-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: bcbooks-1.0221873-source.json
Full Text
bcbooks-1.0221873-fulltext.txt
Citation
bcbooks-1.0221873.ris

Full Text

Array ON THE WORK  OF THE ANTHROPOMETRIC  LABORATORY.
45S
that is to say, were able to read Avith both eyes No. 6 type. Of the 96
males, 39 were 46 years of age and upwards. The vision of the females was
better, as 30 out of 55 tested, or 52-7 percent., had normal vision; but, on
the other hand, only 8 of the number tested were 46 years of age and upwards. In a large number of cases in both sexes, the vision in one eye was
more defective than in the other.
33. No cases of colour blindness were discovered in either males or
females.
♦ The following table gives the canon of proportion of the several parts
<s£ the body in relation to the stature, the latter being taken as 100. In
this collected form it will be found more convenient for comparison with
•i^ose of artists.
Cation of Proj^ortion of tlie Body.
Trunk, including head and neck, to the level of the Tuber
Isckia	
Lower limbs from the level of the Tube?- Isehia
Total
Upper limbs (acromion to end of medius finger)
Head vertex to chin .
tragus
„ ,,        mouth
Trunk and neck
Thigh "I Males
Leg and height of foot/ 47*7
Females
47
Upper arm")
Fore arm \
Hand J
43-2
Cubit.
Shoulder breadth
Hip breadth
Males
Females
52-3
53
47-7
47
100
100
432
—
12-4
13
7*5
7-9
9-9
10-5
• 39-9
40
22 2
22-4
25-5
24-6
1G-5
	
15 +
151
11-2
10-8
28-7
259
23-8
—
17-3
—
, \H^
On the North-Western Tribes of Canada.—Ninth Report of the
Committee, consisting of Dr. E. B. Tylor, Mr. Gr. H. Bloxam,
Dr. G. M. Dawson, Mr. B. G. Haliburton, and Mr. H. Hale.
| The Committee were appointed, as in former years, to investigate the
physical characters, languages, and industrial and social condition of
the North-Western Tribes of the Dominion of Canada.
In consideration of the difficulties and delays in completing their
work of Canadian exploration and editing its results the Committee have
been reappointed for this year, without a grant of money. They are
thus enabled to send in the following report, by Dr. Franz Boas, on the
■^Tribes of the Lower Eraser River,' in continuation of his previous communications. This, however, does not exhaust the anthropological information in course of being obtained and put in order by the Committee,
who hope to bring their investigations to a close during the present year,
land to report finally to the Meeting of the Association in 1895. 454
report—1894.
The Indian Tribes of the Lower Fraser Biver.    By Dr. Franz Boas.
In the Bixth report of the Committee I described the customs of the
Lku'figEn, the most southern group of the Coast Salish living on British
territory. The northern neighbours of the Lku'figEn, who will be described in the following pages, speak the K-auetcin (Cowichan) language.
This dialect of the Coast Salish is spoken on Vancouver Island from Saa-
nitch Inlet to Nonoos, on the islands north of Saanitch Peninsula and on
the Lower Fraser River as far as Tale. The language as spoken on Vancouver Island and on the mainland shows slight dialectic differences, the
most striking ones being the general substitution of I for n, and of a for a,
on Fraser River. I have given elsewhere some notes on the tribes of
Cowichan River and of Nanaimo which belong to this group.1 Therefore
I confine myself in the following pages to remarks on the tribes of t^
mainland, whom I studied in the summer of 1890.
The Cowichan of the mainland are divided into fourteen tribes, each
forming a village community. The inhabitants of each village are beloved
to be the descendants of one mythical personage.    I give here a lisli^Bf-;'
tribes, their villages, and the names of the mythical ancestors :—
Tribe.
1. QmE'ckoyim.
2. K-oa'antEl.
3. K-e'etse.
4. Ma'cQui.
5. LEk-'a'mEl.
(NEk-'&'mEn).
■ 6. Tc'ilEQue'uk-.
7. StsES'lis.
8. Sk'au'elitsk.
• 9. PEla'tlq.
10. Pa'pk'um.
11.
12.
13.
14.
Slyi'ta.
Ewa'wus.
Ts'akua'm.
QEla'tl.
Villages.
Ma'le, on North Arm of Fraser River.
Stcuwa'cEl,near South Arm of Fraser River.
Tce'tstlEs, at New Westminster.
Sslts'a's, at head of Pitt Lake, summer
village.
Cuwa'lEcEt, at lower end of Pitt Lake, winter village.
Ma'mak-ume, above Langley, on left bank.
Kokoae'uk-, on Sumass Lake.
La'qaul, summer village.
Skuya'm, winter village.
Ts'uwa'le, Qe'lES (on upper part of Chillu-
wak River).
StsEe'lis.
Sk'au'elitsk, Skua'tats.
Tca'tcoHil, Tce'iam.
Pa'pk'um.
SQuha'mEn (Agassiz).
SqE'ltEN (two miles above Hope).
CilEk'ua'tl (Yale), Cuwulse'lEm.
Asila'o.
Ancestor.
Pa'pk-EltEl (flag).
K-alE'tsEmEs
(badger).
Tsata'sEltEn.
Sk-Ele'yitl (beaver).
Ialspk-e'lEm
(sturgeon).
T'e'qulatca.
Ts'a'tsEtniltQ.
K-ulte'mEltQ.
Qa'latca.
Aiuwa'luQ (mountain:
goat).
Autlte'n.
Suwila'sia.
Qe'lqElEmas.
The tribes above Skuya'm are collectively called Te'it = those up river, j
The tribal traditions tell that Qals, the deity (see p. 463), met the ances-J
tors of all these tribes and transformed  them into certain  plants or
animals which generally abound near the site of the winter village.    For
instance, Male is well known for the great number of flags growing inl
the slough near the  village, mountain-goats are found not far froml
Pa'pk'um, and so forth.    In many cases the ancestor is said to have been
transformed into a rock of remarkable shape or size, which is found notl
far from the village.    Thus T'e'qulatca, Qa'latca, and Autlte'n are sttffl
shown.    I do not understand that the tribe itself claims any relationship
with these animals or plants, but nevertheless these ideas must be conM
1 American Anthropologist, 1889, p. 321; ' Zur Ethnologie von Britisch-Columbieni
Petermann's Mittheilwngen, 1887, No. 5 ; VerlwmMungen der Berliner Gesellsehaft fuM
Antlvropologie, Ethnologie v/nd> Urgeschichte, 18*U, p. 't!28.   ON THE NORTH-WESTERN TRIBES OF CANADA.
4
00
sidered as an interesting phase in the development of totemism. Some
of the more complicated institutions of this class may have originated from
similar concepts.
A few of the tribes have certain privileges not shared by the others.
This is particularly the case of the Sqoa'eqoe, the curious feathered head
with prominent eyes which I have described on a former occasion ('Proc.
U.S. National Museum,' 1888, p. 212), and which is the crest of certain
families among the Catloltq (Comox) and Nanaimo. This crest belongs
originally to several tribes of the mainland. The Sqoa'eqoe are believed
to be a supernatural people living in lakes. When a person succeeds in
bjpinging one of them to the surface of the water he and his descendants
acquire their protection and assume their figure as the crest of their
family. It belongs to the Sk^au'elitsk, Ewa'wus, and Ts'akua'm. The
Sk'au'elitsk tell that their ancestor, K'ulte'mEltQ, had two sons and two
daughters. The latter went fishing every morning. One day they caught
first each a trout. Later on they felt that they had caught something
heavy, and on hauling in the line saw the prominent eyes and the long
feathers of the Sqoa'eqoe. They called their father, who carried him
home, but soon the being disappeared and only his dress remained.
K'ulte'mEltQ's descendants married in the Stsee'lis, QmE'ckoyim, Snanai'-
muQ, Sk*oa'nic, K'auetcin, and Qatloltq tribes, and thus the use of the
Sqoa'eqoe was disseminated. The Ewa'wus tell that an orphan boy went
swimming and diving every day in order to get strong. One day he
made a fire near a lake and accidentally spat into the water. When he
dived he was almost drowned. At the bottom of the lake he found the
Sqoa'eqoe trying to heal a sick girl of their people whom the saliva had
hit and made sick. The boy washed her and she recovered at once.
Then they gave him the Sqoa'eqoe. The Ts'akua'm say that their
ancestor found the Sqoa'eqoe.
In the above list of tribes the Kui'kotlEm of Tcane'tcEn have been
omitted. They are descendants of slaves of TlpElk'e'lEn, chief of the
K'oa'antEl, who established a fishing station at the site of the Kui'kotlEm
village, and ordered part of his slaves to live at this place. Five generations ago, when wars were raging on this part of the coast, they became
free, and continue to occupy their old village. They are, however, not
considered as equals of the other tribes, and never owned any land. They
do not claim to be the descendants of a mythical ancestor. Their present
chief is named T'e'Utes.
The tribal traditions of these people are evidently founded on historical events. This becomes particularly clear in the cases of the
Stsee'lis and of the Tc'ilEQue'uk". The tradition of the former says that-.
Ts'a'tsEmiltQ, the ancestor of the tribe, was sent down to StsEg'lis from
heaven. One of his descendants built a fish weir on one of the tributaries
of Harrison River, and thus deprived another tribe on the upper reaches
of the river of its food supply. Kulk'E'mEHil, chief of this tribe (who
were descendants of the marten and of the mountain-goat), sent his sons
down the river to see why the salmon did not come as usual. They found
the weir and tried to destroy it, but were captured by Ts'a'tsEmiltQ's sons,
who invited the tribe to descend from the hills and to live in StsEe'lis.
, They followed the invitation, and ever since have lived with the StsEe'lis.
According to tradition the Tc'ilEQue'uk' spoke, until the beginning of
this century, the Nooksak language, which prevails farther to the south.
The tribal myth states expressly that the tribe was originally a mountain 456
REPORT-—1894.
tribe  living on the upper reaches of Cbilluwak River, and that they
migrated down the river.
Evidently historical traditions are preserved relatively faithfully by
these tribes. This is shown particularly clearly in the care which is taken
in preserving the pedigrees of chiefs. I obtained one of these embracing
eight generations. I reproduce here that part of the same which I have
been able to corroborate by repeated inquiries among different branches of
the family. The chief of a tribe always takes the name of the preceding
chiefs, sometimes that of the mythical ancestor, which accounts for the
recurrence of the same names. When a person has relatives in two
villages, be is known by two names. In each village he is called by a
name belonging to the village. Thus 'Captain George' is known as
Ts'a'tsEmiltQ in StsEe'lis, as Qa'wulEts in Sk'tsa's, north cf Harrison Lake.
Table II.
f $ Qa'wulEts marries Ckitlta't.
of Asila'o.
$ Qa'wulEts mar
ries  QEe'tsu-(
wot of Lku'n
gEn.
\
SEta'leya  marries TcEla'qu
wot of Sk'tsa's, daughter of \
K'a/uwa.
Gyl'EmEt marries Ts'Bla'qu-
wot, daughter of K'a'uwa of
Sk'tsa's, sister of the above.
Qe'lqslEmas marries SHala'-
p'eya of Sk'tsa's.
Ts'Etsa'mEt marries Ts'a'mE-
k-oat of Sk'tsa's.
I m K'Ela'wulEts   marries   QeI-
tsa'mat,    SEla'sauwot    of
LEk-'a'mEl,   daughter   of
QEltsa'm.
? CHe'itla (see Table I.).
? Skutsa'stElat    married    to
LEmls'matsEs, a QmE'ckuy-
ini.
, <J K'a'uwa   married   at   Port
Douglas.
$ Ts'e'k-taqsl marries Ts'a'itl
of Asila'o.
9 SHala'p'eya married to K'sta'-
laQEn of Lillooet.
? S'eyi'tla married toTsE'lpEltQ
of Cowichan.
These pedigrees are also of some interest, as they show the mode of
intermarriage among the tribes of these regions, and as they bring out
the extermination of whole families very clearly. It appears that the
mortality of children is the principal cause of diminution, much more so
than decrease in the number of children to each family.
It appears that the tribes of Harrison River intermarry with the
Lillooet tribes north of Harrison Lake. These tribes are organised essentially in the same way as those of Fraser River, each village community
claiming a common ancestor. Thus the ancestor Qa'wulEts of the Sk'tsa's
is said to have been a bear, who assumed the human form and built a
town; the PotE'mtEn claim to be the descendants of a stone hammer
and of chips which married two women.
I do not need to describe the houses of these tribes, as they are the
same as those of the Lku'figEn. Above Harrison River subterraneous
lodges like those of the Shushwap were sometimes used, although the
large wooden houses were more common. I was told that the chief of
Sk'tsa's, north of the upper end of Harrison Lake, owned a house with
painted front. A carved pole with the figure of a raven on top stood iu
front of the house. *mrrmT...lllL
BBO
ON THE  NORTHrWESTERX TRIBES  OF  CANADA.
457
The mode of life, fishing, use of canoe and implements do not differ
materially from those of the Lku'ngEn.
Customs referring to Marriage and Death.
The marriage customs are almost the same as those of the Lku'ngEn.
When a young man desires to marry a certain girl he informs his parents.
After having gained their consent he goes to the house of the girl's father
and sits down outside close to the door. At night he returns home. For
three days he continues to sit there silently. Then the girl's father,
knowing his intentions, invites many people and has mats and blankets
spread near the fire. He sends two old men to invite the young man,
who enters the house following this invitation. He is seated on a mat
and a pile of blankets is placed near him. His father, who kept a watchman near the house, is informed at once, when the young man is invited
to enter the house. He sends four blankets to the two old men who
invited his son. The girl's mother meanwhile prepares a large dish
filled with choice food, which her husband presents to the young man.
The latter eats a little and returns home. Then his father sends presents
of blankets and other valuables to the girl's father. This is continued
for three or four days, when the girl's father is asked if he is willing to
give the girl in marriage to the youth. The consent being given, the
groom's father asks all his relatives and followers to assemble on the
following morning in order to fetch the bride. They load their canoes
with food and blankets and start for the bride's house. Meanwhile her
house is cleaned, and after some time the canoe3 land, the blankets are
carried up to the house, and after the purchase of the girl has been
settled, the dishes filled with food are carried to the house. The fathers
exchange promises of kindly treatment of the couple, in the course of which
the groom's father states that he paid a high price for the girl, because
he wants to prevent a separation of the couple. Then the visitors return
to their canoes. After some time four old men lead the bride to the canoe,
holding her by her blanket. Among the tribes entitled to the privilege of
using the Sqoa'eqoe, one of these men wears the Sqoa'eqoe mask. He
follows the girl. Another one carries a rattle. They walk over mats or
blankets spread from the door to the landing-place. After they have
delivered the bride to the groom, they are paid two blankets each by the
groom's father. The latter distributes blankets repeatedly among the
bride's relatives, first in her house, later on before leaving, from the
canoe, an old man of his family delivering an oration meanwhile. Then
blankets are given to the chief of the bride's family, who distributes them.
Before the visitors leave, the bride's father presents blankets to the groom's
father, who distributes them among his people. When the party arrive
at the groom's house, his parents, uncles, and aunts receive the young
wife .with presents. After the marriage the two families feast each other
frequently.
Sometimes chiefs betroth their children in early youth. They bind
themselves by exchanging presents. In this case the ceremonies are
somewhat simpler. The parents guard their children with particular
care. When they are old enough to be married the youth assembles
many of his friends and sends word to his bride's parents, stating when
he intends to come. At the appointed time he lands and brings many
presents, food and blankets, to his bride's father, which the latter distri-
AY 458
REPORT—1894.
butes among his family. The bride's father presents one blanket and
some food to each of his visitors, who depart, taking the bride along. As
a rule, the latter follows her husband. When she gets old and sickly she
often returns to her own village, in order to be buried with her relatives.
Only when some of her children preceded her in death she is buried with
them. Although chiefs were in the habit of taking wives in other
villages, marriages among families of the same village were not forbidden.
The customs of the Lillooet tribes above Fort Douglas were different.
Girls when of age slept with their mothers. When a man intended to
marry a girl he crept stealthily up to her bed and tried to take hold of
her heel. The meaning of this action is said to be founded on the fact
that the heel of the woman is near her private parts when she squats, as
Indian women are in the habit of doing. She informs her father at once
that a certain man has taken hold of her heel, and he must marry her.
She follows the young man to his parents. As soon as they arrive, the
groom's mother fills many baskets with boiled food and sends them to
the bride's mother, while the male relatives of the youth carry blankets
and other presents to the girl's father. They are invited to sit down and
given a feast. The bride's father sends the groom bows and arrows and
shoes that he may be able to hunt for his wife. The groom's mother
gives her dentalia for her hair, earrings, and bracelets. After the young
man has killed a number of deer he carries them, helped by his friends,
to his wife, and asks her to take them to his father-in-law. She asks
several women to help her, and they take the meat to her father's house.
The young couple and the parents continue to exchange presents for
several years.
I have not learned anything of importance regarding customs referring to birth. The names are given by paternal and maternal relatives,
and each family and tribe has its own names. For this reason each person
has several names, and is called in each village differently : in his mother's
village by the name of the maternal relative after whom he is called; in
his father's village by the name of the paternal relative whose name he
has received.
The ancient burial customs were described to me as follows:—Each
family had its own burial-place, which consisted of a large box or a small
house built on piles. This building was erected by members of the
family only, and all those who helped to make it received ten blankets in
payment from the chief. All the members of a family were placed in
this box or house. The first one to die was placed in the north-east
(or north-west) corner, the face turned eastward, the body lying on its
left side. The next one was placed south of the first, and so on until
one row was filled. Then a new row was begun, and the dead ones were
all deposited in the same box until it was full. Persons who were very
fond of each other were often placed side by side. When the building
was full, the bones were taken out, put on new blankets, cleaned, and
placed in a new box. Evidently they were piled up in one corner, as
there was room for additional burials in the new box. After the bones
had been replaced three or four times, they were not taken out again, but
a new house was erected. Chiefs and common people were buried in
separate houses or boxes.
The burial ceremonies were as follows:—Immediately after a death
had occurred, the corpse was prepared for burial by an old man, who had
first to chew cedar leaves as a protection against the dangerous influences imiiiHUUlU
iiiinnmyiiiiiiiyiiiMBi
ON THE NORTH-WESTERN TRIBES  OF CANADA.
459
of contact with a corpse. He washed the body, painted it red, put on
the bracelets and other ornaments of the deceased, doubled it up, so that
the knees touched the chin, and wrapped it in blankets or mats. A
young man must not do this work, as he would die soon. When the
deceased had been a chief or a personage of importance, all the neighbouring tribes were invited to take part in the following ceremonies.
After they had assembled, the wife of the chief mourner gave each water
to wash his face. Then the guests were given a feast, and on the following day the corpse was placed in a canoe and removed to the burial-ground,
where it was deposited not far from the scaffold which served for the final
burial. The guests returned to the house, and were given again water to
wash their faces. For four days the body was left standing, that the
dead might be able to return in case he should resuscitate. Then, on
the fifth day, before sunrise, and before partaking of any food, the*
mourners and guests returned to the burial-ground. If the deceased
owned the Sqoa'eqoe, the latter was carried there by an old man, who
received payment for this service. Slaves, blankets, and other property of
the deceased were taken along. Four old men put the body into the
house. They must fast until late in the evening, when the chief mourner
gave a feast. The slaves were killed and placed on top of the burial-
house, where the blankets were also deposited. Other objects were tied
to branches of trees near the burial-ground. Only those objects which the
deceased valued most highly were placed in the house. It is stated that
the people were allowed to take away all those objects which .were
deposited near the box. In the evening of the same day the chief
mourner gave a feast, during which everything was burned that belonged
to the deceased. An old man threw the objects into the fire. The
guests were presented with blankets, and returned home. If the
deceased was a chief, his son fasted and bathed in ponds on the mountains,
until he believed that he had seen a spirit which gave him supernatural
powers. Then he began to collect property. When he had gathered a
large amount, he invited all the neighbouring tribes, and gave a feast
which lasted for four days. Then he selected two old men, who had to
tell the people that he was going to assume his father's name. The
young man, with his wife and children, stood on the scaffold in front of
their house, and while the woman and children were dancing there, the
old men delivered orations, and the young chief distributed blankets
among his guests, throwing the blankets down from the scaffold.
It does not appear that it is forbidden to mention the names of
deceased persons.
The burial customs of the Lillooet are somewhat different. I was-
told that the dead are placed * so that their backo never turn toward the*
sun.' They are laid on their left sides, the head westward, the face*
southward. Old men are hired to paint the face of the deceased, and
they deposit the body in a cave as described before. The weapons and
implements used by the deceased are buried near the grave, but his-
friends are said to be permitted to keep some of his implements, provided
the son consents.
Hunting and Fishing.
Man and all animals which are hunted are considered one great
family. The porcupine is called the eldest brother, and is considered the
strongest.    Next in rank is the beaver, third the ts'etspeh' (?), fourth
m 460
REPORT—1894.
V
the buffalo, fifth the mountain-goat, sixth the black bear, seventh the elk,
eighth the marten, ninth the eagle. The mink is one of the very last
among the brothers. Accordingly there are a number of restrictions and
regulations referring to hunting.
When a porcupine is killed, the hunter asks his elder brother's
pardon, and does not eat of the flesh until the ensuing day.
The mountain-goat hunter fasts and bathes for several nights. Then
early in the morning he paints his chin with red paint, and draws a red
line over his forehead down to the point of his nose. Two tail feathers
of the eagle are fastened to his hair. These ornaments are believed to
enable him to climb well.
The elk hunter adorns his hair with coal, red paint, and eagle-down.
His chin is painted red, and two red lines are drawn horizontally across
his face, one passing between nose and mouth, the other over his eyes.
Those who go to catch sturgeon bathe in a pond early in the morning.
They rub themselves with bundles of a plant called tsk'utlptie until they
bleed. Then they smear their bodies and faces with red paint, and strew
white eagle-down on their heads. Each winds a thread made of mountain-
goat wool around his head, and another one around his waist. A woven
blanket of mountain-goat wool is painted red, and put on. The fish is
caught in the following manner :■—Two canoes are allowed to drift down
river, a net being stretched between them. The oarsmen are seated on
the outer sides of the canoes only. The net is stretched between two
poles. As soon as a sturgeon is caught, the two canoes approach each
other, and the net is wound up by means of the poles. While this is
being done the ' sturgeon hunter' sings, and by means of his song pacifies
the struggling sturgeon, who allows himself to be killed. The fisherman
must distribute the sturgeon among the whole tribe, each person receiving
a portion according to his rank. I was told that the Tc'ilEQue'uk* do not
catch sturgeon. This is probably due to their recent immigration to the
Fraser River Delta.
The origin of the various designs of ornamentation used by hunters
is made clear by the following story, which was told to me by George
StsEe'lis, chief of that tribe. His grandfather, who was chief at Sk'tsa's,
accompanied another man on a bear hunt. After two days' search they
found the tracks of a black bear, and soon their dog scented the cave in
which the bear was asleep. They tried to stir him up by means of long
sticks. When he did not come they made a large fire at the entrance of
the cave in order to smoke him out. Still he did not come. Then the
hunters thought he was dead, and the companion of George's grandfather
crawled into the cave. At once the bear took hold of his head and
dragged him into the cave. The grandfather, on seeing this, fainted,
and remained in a swoon for three days. When he awoke, he saw his
companion coming out of the cave. He told him • ' When I was hauled
into the cave, the bear took off his bearskin blanket, and I saw that he
was a man. He bade me sit down, and told me : Henceforth, when you
go to hunt bears, paint the point of your arrow red, and draw a red line
along its shaft. Draw a line pf mica across your face from one temple to
the other across your eyes, and one line of mica over each cheek vertically
downward from the eyes!' When the hunters reached home they told
their experiences. Henceforth the people followed the instructions of the
bear-man, and'were successful when hunting bears.
j> i   The panther is not hunted by the StsEe'lis, because he is supposed to ON  THE NORTH-WESTERN TRIBES  OF  CANADA.
461
help the people when hunting deer. In reference to this belief, George
StsEe'lis told me that his grandfather and a man named A'm'amaltsen
went hunting in their canoes on Harrison Lake. Soon they saw a number
of deer crossing the lake. A'm'amaltsen went in pursuit, but George's
grandfather stopped on hearing a panther call him. He went ashore,
and immediately a panther jumped aboard and asked to be carried across
the lake. The man obeyed, and when he had almost reached the other
side, the panther jumped ashore, crying Hum! hum! He jumped up the
mountain, and soon a great number of deer came down the hills, which
the panther had sent. Ever since that time he has helped the StsEe'lis
in hunting deer.
These tales are interesting, particularly on account of their close
similarity to the traditions of the animal totems of America.
A great number of restrictions and regulations refer to the salmon.
These rules are similar to those observed among the other coast tribe?.
When the fishing season begins, and one of the fishermen catches the
first sockeye-salmon of the season, he carries it to the chief of his tribe,
who delivers it to his wife. She prays, saying to the salmon : ' Who has
sent you here to make us happy? We are thankful to your chief for
sending you.' Then she begins to cut it. She commences at the tail,
holding the latter with her foot, and cutting along the belly towards the
head. After having reached the middle of the fish she must rise, go to
the head, hold the latter with her foot, and make another cut from the
head along the belly towards the middle of the fish, thus completing the
whole cut. She is forbidden to turn the salmon. Then the fish is roasted
on a frame placed over the fire. After one side is done, it is turned over.
The skin and the bones must not be removed. Then the whole tribe is
invited. The plant pe'pek'oi and pewter grass are placed in a basket,
rubbed, and a decoction is made of these plants, which is used as a
medicine ' for cleansing the people.' The guests drink this decoction,
and then every member of the tribe receives and eats part of the fish.
Widows, widowers, women during their menses,' and youths must not eat
of the salmon. Even later on, when the fish are numerous, and these
ceremonies are dispensed with, they are not allowed to partake of fresh
salmon, but eat dried salmon only. The sockeye-salmon must always be
looked after carefully. The bones must be thrown into the river. It
is believed that then they will revive, and return to their chief in the west.
If not treated carefully, they will take revenge, and the careless fisherman
twill be unlucky.
Religion.
Man is believed to have four souls. The main soul is said to have
the shape of a mannikin, the others are the shadows of the first. In
disease either the lesser souls, or the main one, leave the body. Shamans
can easily return the shadows, but not the main soul. If the latter leaves
the body the sick one must die. After death the main soul goes to the sunset, where it remains. The shadows become ghosts (pdlehoi'tsa). They
revisit the places which the deceased frequented during lifetime, and
continue to do the same actions which he did when alive. Souls are
believed to be taken away by the rising sun, which thus produces disease.
They may be recovered by shamans. The belief of the identity of the
shadow and the lesser soul accounts also for the custom that nobody 462
REPORT—1894.
must let his shadow fall on a sick shaman, as the latter might take it,
and thus replace his own lost soul.
There are two classes of shamans: the witches (Si'owa, called Sco'wa
by the Lillooet) and the SQula'm. The difference between the two has
been described in the sixth report of the Committee in the account of
the beliefs of the Lku'ngEn. The witch can see the wandering soul, but
she cannot return it. The SQula'm acquires his art by fasting and ceremonial cleansing, which consists principally in bathing and vomiting.
This is continued until he has a revelation. In his incantations he uses
rattling anklets and bracelets around wrists and above elbows, which arc
made of deer hoofs and bird claws. When it is the object of his incantation to recover a lost soul, he covers himself with a large mat, and begins
to dance, stamping energetically, until he is believed to sink into the
ground as far as his belly. While the incantation continues, which may
be for one or even two days, the sick one must fast. Then the shaman
lies motionless while his soul goes in pursuit of that of the patient.
When it returns with the lost soul, the shaman begins to move again, and
shouts. His cries refer to imaginary incidents of his journey and to
dangers of the road. As soon as he begins to move, his wife places a
cup of water near him, which she heats by means of hot stones. Then
he rises, holding the soul in his clasped hands. He blows on it four
times and sprinkles it four times with the warm water. After having
warmed it by these means, he puts it on the sick person's head. Then it
enters the body through the frontal fontanelle. He presses on it four
times and rubs it down the body, which the soul fills entirely. The
shaman blows some water on the chest and back of the sick person, who
is then allowed to drink, and after some time to eat. The soul may
escape while the shaman is trying to put it into the body of the patient.
Then he must go once more in pursuit. Sometimes the shaman sees the
main soul breaking into several parts. The owner of the broken soul
must die.
The sun plays an important part in the beliefs of these tribes. It
has been stated that he carries away souls. He is also believed to send
dreams and to give the fasting youth revelations. After continued fasting in the solitude of the mountains, the sun revealed to him the supernatural power which was to be his helper. George StsEe'lis told me that
his grandfather was instructed by the sun to take a large piece of bone
and to carve the design of a mouth on it; this was to protect him in war.
When he was wounded the bone sucked the blood from his wounds and
vomited it, thus curing him. Once in a battle fought with the Lillooet
he was wounded in the abdomen. He escaped on the ice of the lake,
dragging his entrails. He replaced them and bandaged himself with
cedar-bark.    By the help of his bone implement he recovered.
The sun told warriors before the battle if they would be wounded.
After having received suchawarning they demanded to be buried, with their i
legs stretched out, as it was believed that the sun might restore them to|
life.   By continued fasting warriors acquired the faculty of jumping!
high and far, which enabled them to escape the missiles of their enemies..
This was considered essentially a supernatural power, and one warrior
was said to have jumped as far as' eighteen fathoms.    Warriors went I
naked and were forbidden to eat before or during an attack.    Their
bodies and faces were painted red, and black spots or stripes of various
designs were put on their faces.   They wore head ornaments of feathers.i ON THE NORTH-WESTERN TRIBES OF CANADA.
On the upper reaches of Fraser River the custom of cutting off the heads
of the slain did not prevail, but the victor took the head ornament of
his killed enemy. The mode of warfare was the same as everywhere on
the coast: unexpected attacks on the villages of the enemies just before
the dawn of the day.
Among other mythical personages I mention Qals, the great trans-x
former, who is often described as the principal deity. I have treated this
subject in another place.1 The country of the sockeye-salmon is in the
sunset. Their chief is a powerful being, and takes care that the rules
referring to the treatment of salmon are observed. The souls of the
killed salmon return to him and are revived.
The East Wind, Ca'tEts, lives in the sunrise; his brother, the West
Wind, in the sunset. The east wind and the west wind are their shadows
(or souls ?). When the east wind is blowing a long time, the Indians try
to appease it. Early in the morning they take sockeye fat and throw
it into the fire. Two pairs of heads of sockeye-salmon are painted red:
one pair is thrown into the fire, the other into the water.
TEluwa'mEt, the Milky Way, is the place where the two parts of the
sky meet.    It is the road of the dead.    Most of the constellations were
made by Qals, who transformed men and transferred them to the sky.
The Pleiades, for instance, were children whom Qals met when they were
' crying for their absent parents.
I heard only a few remarks referring to the dances of these tribes,
which appear to have been similar to those of the Lku'ngEn. The dancing
season was called by the Kwakiutl word Me'itla. It is a very curious
fact that the raven was believed to give the dancers or the members
of the secret societies their songs, as the raven, who plays an important
part in the mythologies of the northern tribes, does not seem to be considered a powerful being by the tribes of Fraser River, excepting in
this one connection. One group used to tear dogs. Another one
called the Sk-e'yip inflicted wounds upon themselves, drank the blood
streaming from these wounds, and after a short time reappeared sound
and well. When they were frightened by other dancers they vomited
blood. Another group was called the TEmEqa'n. Evidently these
dances were quite analogous to the festivals of the secret societies of this
> region.
I add a few current beliefs : The grass over which a widow or a
widower steps fades and withers. Before marrying again, the widow or
widower must undergo a ceremonial cleansing, as else the second husband
or wife would be subject to attacks of the ghost of the deceased.
If one takes a particle of decayed tissue from a corpse and puts it
into the mouth of a sleeping person, the latter will' dry up and die.'
Chiefs' children were carefully brought up. They were instructed in
all arts. They were enjoined not to steal, and always to speak the truth.
They were not allowed to eat until late in the evening, in order to make
them industrious. Toung men who returned from a successful hunting
expedition were required to distribute their game among the whole tribe.
Poor people did not train their children as carefully as chiefs and rich
people.
1 See the sixth report of the Committee; also Verh. der Get. fwr Anthropologic
I «w Berlin, 1891, p. 550. 

Cite

Citation Scheme:

        

Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics

Share

Embed

Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                        
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            src="{[{embed.src}]}"
                            data-item="{[{embed.item}]}"
                            data-collection="{[{embed.collection}]}"
                            data-metadata="{[{embed.showMetadata}]}"
                            data-width="{[{embed.width}]}"
                            async >
                            </script>
                            </div>
                        
                    
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:
http://iiif.library.ubc.ca/presentation/cdm.bcbooks.1-0221873/manifest

Comment

Related Items