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Third report of the committee, consisting of Dr. E. B. Tylor, Dr. G. M. Dawson, General Sir J. H. Lefroy,… British Association for the Advancement of Science 1887

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Array ON  ' ANTHROPOLOGICAL  NOTES  AND  QUERIES.
173
Institute would be willing to undertake the task and to proceed with the
work during the ensuing winter.
The Committee have not required to draw any of the money placed at
its disposal last year by the Association, as its work has hitherto been
entirely that of making preliminary arrangements.
The Committee ask to be reappointed, and, as during the course of
next year money will be required for printing and publishing, they request
that the sum of 50L be placed at their disposal for that purpose. The sum
asked for is the same as was contributed by the Association towards the
publication of the first edition in 1874.
*V
Third Report of the Gorrvmidtee, consisting of Dr. E. B. Tylor,
Dr. G. M. Dawson, General Sir J. H. Lefroy, Dr. Daniel
Wilson, Mr. K. Gr. Haliburton, and Mr. George W. Bloxam
(Secretary), appointed for the purpose of investigating and
publishing reports on the physical characters, languages, and
industrial and social condition of the North-western Tribes of
the Dominion of Canada.
The following j Circular of Inquiry' has been drawn up by the Committee for distribution amongst those most likely to be able to supply
.information:—
At the meeting of the British Association at Montreal in 1884 the
fubject of Canadian anthropology came frequently under public and
'private discussion. The opinion was strongly expressed that an effort
shonld be made to record as perfectly as possible the characteristics and
condition of the native tribes of the Dominion before their racial peculiarities become less distinguishable through intermarriage and dispersion,
and before contact with civilised men has further obliterated the remains
of their original arts, customs, and beliefs.
Two considerations especially forced themselves on the attention of
anthropologists at Montreal: first, that the construction of the Canadian
Pacific Railroad, traversing an enormous stretch of little known country
on both sides of the Rocky Mountains, has given ready access to a number
of native tribes whose languages and mode of life offer a field of inquiry
as yet but imperfectly worked; secondly, that in the United States, where
the anthropology of the indigenous tribes has for years past been treated
as a subject of national importance, not only have the scientific societies
been actively engaged in research into the past and present condition of
the native populations, but the Bureau of Ethnology, presided over by
the Hon. J. W. Powell (present at the Montreal meeting), is constituted
as a Government department, sending out qualified agents to reside among
the western tribes for purposes of philological and anthropological study.
Through these public and private explorations a complete body of information is being collected and published, while most extensive series of
specimens illustrative of native arts and habits are preserved I| the
museums of the United States, especially in the National Museum at
■Washington. If these large undertakings be compared with what has
hitherto been done in Canada, it has to be admitted that the Dominion 174 report—1887.
Government, while they have taken some encouraging steps, as by the installation of an anthropological collection in the museum at Ottawa, have
shown no disposition to make the study of the native populations a branch
of the public service. Anthropologists have thus two courses before them
in Canada—namely, to press this task upon the Government and to carry
it forward themselves. Now it is obvious that agitation for public endowment will not of itself suffice, as involving delay during which the material
to be collected would be disappearing more rapidly than ever. If, however, a determined attempt were at once made by anthropologists, resulting in some measure of success, public opinion might probably move in
the same direction, and a larger scheme might, before long, receive not
only the support of Canadians interested in the science of man, but the
material help of the Dominion Government.
On these  and other considerations the General Committee of  the
British Association appointed Dr. E. B. Tylor, Dr. G. M. Dawson, General
Sir J. H. Lefroy, Dr. Daniel Wilson, Mr. Horatio Hale, Mr. R. G. Hali-
burton, and Mr. George W. Bloxam (Secretary) to be a committee for
the purpose  of investigating and publishing reports on the  physical
characters, languages, industrial and social condition of the north-western
tribes of the Dominion of Canada, with a grant of oOZ.    This committee
the next year sent in a ' PreHminary Report on the Blackfoot Tribes,'
drawn up by Mr. Hale.    Their action in other districts was, however,
much delayed by the difficulty of making plans by cor^spondence, and
the committee were reappointed at Birmingham in 1886, in the hope that
during the ensuing year Mr. Hale might be able personally to visit some
of the tribes.
It has now been arranged to collect information, as far as possible, over
the vast region between Lake Huron and the Pacific, the materials thus
obtained being edited and presented in successive repoi'ts, as they shall
be from time to time received, by Mr. Hale, whose experience and skill
in such research are certified to by his volume embodying the ethnography of the Exploring Expedition under Captain Wilkes and by his
subsequent publications relating to Canada. As a means of obtaining
data, the present memorandum has been drawn up for circulation among
Government officers in contact with the native tribes, medical practitioners, missionaries, colonists, and travellers likely to possess or obtain
trustworthy information. The results gained from the answers will be
incorporated with those of a personal survey to be made in some of the
most promising districts by the Rev. E. P. Wilson, who has been named
on the recommendation of Mr. Hale, and will act under his directions.
Suggestions foe Investigation.
Physical Characters.—Tables of anthropological measurements &c.
from Canada being-extremely deficient, sphedules drawn up by medical
men and other qualified anatomists and naturalists will be highly acceptable. The following headings comprise the chief points on which information is needed in this department: stature, girth, proportions of trunk
and limbs, cranial indices, facial angle, &c, brain capacity, peculiar bodily
forms and features, special attitudes and movements, muscular force &e
colour of skin, eyes, and hair according to Broca's colour-tables form and
growth of hair, skin odour. Statistics are required as to age of maturity and
decline, periods of reproduction and lactation, longevity.   Especial import ON  THE  NORTH-WESTERN TRIBES  OP  CANADA.
175
ance attaches to the examination of mixed races, especially crosses of North
American Indian with European and African, the resemblances and differences between the offspring and the parent stocks, the number of generations
during which inherited race-characteristics are distinguishable, and the
tendency to revert to one or other of the ancestral types. Both as to
native tribes and cross-breeds pathological observations are of value, as
to power of bearing climate, liability to or freedom from particular
diseases, tendency to abnormalities, such as albinoism &c, and the hereditary nature of abnormal peculiarities. Medical men have also better
opportunities than others of observing artificial deformations practised by
native "tribes, especially by compression of the skull in infancy. Pacific
North America has been one of the regions of the world most remarkable
for this practice among the Platheads (thence so named) and various other
peoples; so that it may still be possible to gain further information on two
points not yet cleared up, viz^-fifst, whether brain-power in after-life is
really unaffected by such monstrous flattening or tapering of the infant
skull; and second, whether the motive of such distortion has been to
exaggerate the natural forms of particular admired tribes, or, if not,
what other causes have led to such ideas of beauty.
To those concerned in these inquiries it may be mentioned that the
j Notes and Queries on Anthropology' issued by the British Association
contains a series of Broca's colour-tables, together with descriptions of
the approved modes of bodily measurement &C1
Senses and Mental Characters.—With the bodily characters of the
Canadian tribes may advantageously be combined observations as to their
powers of perception and ratiocination. The acuteness of sight, hearing,
and smell, for which the wilder races of man are justly famed, may be
easily tested, these being capabilities which rude hunters display readily
and with pride, so that they may even serve as an easy introduction to
other measurements and inquiries which savages cannot see the reason of,
and reluctantly submit to. The observer's attention may be especially
directed to settling the still open question, how far these sense-differences
are racial at all, and how far due to the training of a hunter's life from
infancy. As to mental capacity, among the means of convenient trial are
to ascertain facility in counting, in drawing and recognising pictures and
maps, and in acquiring foreign languages. Evidence is much needed to
confirm or disprove the view commonly held that children of coloured
races (Indian, negro, &c), while intelligent and apt to learn up to
adolescence, are then arrested in mental development, and fall behind the
whites. Few points in anthropology are more practically important than
this, which bears on the whole question of education and government of
the indigenes of America, living as they do^ide by side with a larger
and more powerful population of European origin. No amount of pains
would be wasted in ascertaining how far mental differences between races
may be due to physical differences in brain-structure, how far the less
advanced races are lower in mind-power by reason of lower education and
circumstances, and how far the falling-off at maturity in their offspring
brought up with whites (if it actually takes place) may be due to social
causes, especially the disheartening sense of inferiority.
Language.—Introductory to the investigation of language proper are
1 This work is now out of print, and a new edition is being prepared by a Committee of the British Association, appointed in 1886. 176 eeport—1887.
certain inquiries into natural direct means of expressing emotions and
thoughts. Preliminary to these are conditions of face and body which
are symptoms of emotion, such as blushing, trembling, sneering, pouting,
frowning, laughter, and smiles ; there being still doubtful points as to how
far all races agree in these symptoms, it is desirable to notice them carefully. They lead on to intentional gestures made to express ideas, as
when an Indian will smile or tremble in order to convey the idea of
pleasure or fear either in himself or some one else, and such imitations
again lead on to the pretences of all kinds of actions, as fighting, eating,
&c, to indicate such real actions, or the objects connected with them, as
when the imitation of the movement of riding signifies a hors,er or the
pretence of smoking signifies a pipe. The best collections of gesture-
lansruasre have been made among the wild hunters of the American
prairies (see accounts in Tylor's 'Early History of Mankind, and the
special treatise of Mallery, ' Sign-language among the North American
Indians '). There is still a considerable use of gesture-language within
the Dominion of Canada as a means of intercourse between native tribes
ignorant of one another's language, and any observer who will learn
to master this interesting mode of communication, as used in the wild
districts of the Rocky Mountains, and will record the precise signs
and their order, may contribute important evidence to the study of
thought and language. The observer must take care that he fully understands the signs he sees, which through familiar nse are often reduced to
the slightest indication; for instance, a Sioux will indicate old age by
holding out his closed right hand, knuckles upward—a gesture which a
European would not understand till it was more fully shown to him that
the sign refers to the attitude of an old man leaning on a staff. The
sequence of the gesture-signs is as important as the signs themselves, and
there is no better way of contributing: to this subject than to get a skilled
sign-interpreter to tell in gestures one of his stories of travelling, hunt-.
ing, or fighting, and carefully to write down the description of these
signs in order with their interpretations.
Coming now to the philological record of native languages, it must be
noticed that small vocabularies &c, drawn up by travellers, are useful as
materials in more thorough work, but that the treatment of a language is
not complete till it has been reduced to a regular grammar and dictionary.
As to several Canadian languages this has been done, especially by the
learned missionaries Fathers Barraga, Lacombe, Cuoq, and Petitot, who
have published excellent works on the Ojibway, Cree, Iroquois, and Athapascan (Denedinjie) languages respectively; while Howse's Grammar is
a standard AlgonMn authority, and it is hoped that the knowledge of
Mr. McLean and others of the Blackfoot language may be embodied in
a special work. On the other hand, the study of languages west of
the Rocky Mountains is in a most imperfect state. Nothing proves
this better than the volume of ' Comparative Vocabularies of the Indian
Tribes of British Columbia,' by W Fraser Tolmie and George M.
Dawson, published by the Geological and Natural History Survey of
Canada. These vocabularies of the Thlinkit, Tshimsian, Haida, Kwakiool,
Kawitshin, Aht, Tshinook, and other languages are important contributions
to philology, well worth the pains and cost of collecting and printing; but
the mere fact that it was desirable to publish these vocabularies of a few
pages shows the absence of the full grammars and dictionaries which ought
to be found.    This want is felt even in districts where there are white m
—
ON  THE  NORTH-WESTERN TRIBES  OF  CANADA.
177
missionaries using the native languages, and native teachers acquainted
with English, so that the necessary philological material actually exists,
and only the labour of writing it down is required to preserve it from
destruction. A general effort, if now made, would save the record of
several dialects on the point of disappearance. It is suggested by the
Committee that inquiry should be made for lists of words &c. hitherto
unpublished; that the terms and phrases possessed by interpreters should
be taken down ; that sentences and narratives should be copied with the
utmost care as to pronunciation and accent, and translated word by
word.
Particular attention is asked to two points in the examination of these
languages. Care is required to separate from the general mass of words
such as have a direct natural origin, such as interjections expressing
emotion, and words imitatingnatural sounds, as, for instance, the names
of birds and beastg, deriyedT^om their notes or cries. It is desirable in
such words to notice how close the spoken word comes to- the sound
imitated, for resemblances which are obvious from the lips of the native
speaker are apt to be less recognisable when reduced to writing. It is
also of interest to notice the significance of names of places and persons,
which often contain interesting traces of the past history of families and
tribes.
An ethnographic map, based on language, and showing as nearly as
possible the precise areas occupied by the various tribes speaking distinct
idioms, is a desideratum, and, if properly completed, will be an acquisition of the greatest value. Several partial maps have been published,
mostly of the region west of the Rocky Mountains. Among these may
be specially mentioned two maps by Mr. W. H. Dall, given in the first
volume of the ' Contributions to North American Ethnology,' published
by the United States Government—one of which relates to the tribes of
Alaska and the adjoining region, and the other to the tribes of Washington Territory and the country immediately north of it. These are connected through British Columbia by the excellent map which accompanies the Comparative Vocabularies of Drs. Tolmie and Dawson. A
small map, by Dr. Franz Boas, in ' Science' for March 25, 1887, with
the accompanying report, adds some useful particulars concerning the
coast tribes of that province. With the additions which different observers can supply for the various portions of the country, a complete
tribal and language map of the whole Domfflion might soon be constructed. In forming such a map, it is desirable that the various linguistic 'stocks,' or families of languages, completely distinct in grammar
and vocabulary, should be distinguished by different colours. East of
the mountains the number of these stocks is small, but west of them it is
remarkably large. Besides showing the distinct stocks, the map should
also show the several allied languages which compose each stock. Thus,
of the widespread Algonkin family, there are in the territories west of
Lake Superior at least three languages, the Ojibway, the Cree, and the
Blackfoot, all materially differing from one another. If, in the proposed
map, the Algonkin portion should be coloured yellow, the subdivisions in
which these separate languages are spoken might be marked off by
boundary lines (perhaps dotted lines) ofpuuother colour, say blue or red.
It would be proper to give the areas occupied by the different tribes
as they stood before the displacements caused by the whites. Following
the example set by Gallatin in his Synopsis, it will be well to select
1887. n 178 REPORT—1887.
different dates for different portions of the map. The middle of the last
century might be taken for Ontario, Quebec, and the Eastern Provinces,
and the middle of the present century for the rest of the Dominion. If
each observer is careful to give the tribal and linguistic boundaries in
his own district, as he can learn them from the best informed natives and
from other sources, the separate contributions can be combined into a
general map by the editor of the report.
Arts and Knowledge.—The published information as to the weapons
and implements, elothing, houses, and boats, and the rest of the numerous
appliances of native life on both sides of the Rocky Mountains is not so
deficient as the knowledge respecting other matters already mentioned ;
and their intellectual state, as shown in such arts as the reckoning of
time, the treatment of wounds, &c, is also to some extent known from
books of travel. Still every observant traveller finds something in savage
arts which has escaped former visitors, and there are a number of points
on which further inquiry is particularly invited. Though the practical use
of stone implements has almost or altogether ceased, there are still old
people who can show their ways of making them, and inquiry may probably show that stone arrow-heads, hatchets, &c.,®re still tonsured as
sacred objects, as is the case among tribes in California, who carry in
their ceremonial dances knives chipped out of flint and mounted in handles
—relics of the Stone Age among their fathers. Notwithstanding the
general introduction of iron and steel tools by the whites, it is possible that
something may still be learnt as to the former use of native copper and of
meteoric iron (or iron supposed to be meteoric). With regard to native
weapons, the spliced Tatar bow being usual in this part of America (having
probably come over from Asia), it is desirable to examine further the
modes of making and using it, the forms of arrows, &c. Any game-traps
on the bow principle, if apparently of native origin, are worth describing,
as possibly bearing on the early history of the bow. The art of cooking
by water heated by dropping in red-hot stones having been characteristic
of the western region, any traces of this should be noticed, while the
native vessels carved out of wood or closely woven of fir root &c. are
still interesting. The native mode of twisting or spinning thread or yarn,
and the manufacture of a kind of cloth, not woven but tied across like
that of New Zealand, require fuller description. Especial attention is
required to the ornamental patterns of the region, which are of notable
peculiarity and cleverness. To a considerable extent a study of them on
hats and blankets, coats and pipes, &c, shows, in the first "place actual
representation of such natural objects as men or birds, or parts of them
which have gradually lost their strictness and passed into mere ornamental
designs ; but the whole of this subject, so interesting to students of art
requires far closer examination than it has yet received, and especially
needs the comparison of large series of native ornamented work.
Music and Amusements.— The ceremonial dances, especially those in
which the performers wear masks and represent particular animals or
characters, deserve careful description, from the information to be gained
from them as to the mythology and religion embodied in them. The
chants accompanying the dances should be written down with musical
accuracy—a task requiring considerable skill, though the accompaniments
of rattle and hollowed wooden drum are of the gfimplest. Several of th
games played among the Indians before the coming of the Europeans are
of interest from their apparent connection with those of the Old Wo Id ON  THE  NORTH-WESTERN  TRIBES  OF  CANADA.
179
This is the case with the ball-play, now known by the French name ' la
crosse,' which belonged to the European game familiar to the French
colonists. It is worthwhile to ascertain in any distri©fewhere it is played
what form of bat was used, what were the rules, and whether villages or
clans were usually matched against each other. The bowl-game, in which
lots such as buttons or peach-stones blackened on one side are thrown
up, has its analogues in Asia ; the rules of counting and scoring belonging to any district should be carefully set down. It is in fact more difficult than at first sight appears to describe the rules of a game so as to
enable a novice to play it. Among other noticeable games are that of
guessing in which hand or heap a small object is hidden, and the spear-
and-ring game of throwing at a rolling object.
Constitution of Society.—Highly valuable information as to systems of
marriage and descent, with the accompanying schemes of kinship, and
rules for succession of offieesand property, has in time past been obtained
in Canada. Thus in 1724 Lafitau ('Moeurs des Sauvages Ameriquains,'
vol. i. p. 552) described among the Iroquois the remarkable system of
relationship in which mothers' sisters are considered as mothers, and
fathers' brothers as fathers, while the children of all these 'consider themselves as brothers and sisters. This is the plan of kinship since shown by
Mr. L. H. Morgan to exist over a large part of the globe, and named by
him the ' classificatory system.' J. Long also in 1791 gave from Canada
the first European mention of the Algonkin totem (more properly otem),
which has become the accepted term for the animal or plant name of a
clan of real or assumed kindred who may not intermarry; for example,
the Wolf, Bear, and Turtle clans of the Mohawks. These historical
details are mentioned in order to point out that the lines of inquiry thus
opened in Canada are far from being worked out. The great Algonkin
family affords a remarkable example of a group of tribes related together
in language and race and divided by totems, but with this difference,
that among the Delawares the totem passed on the mother's side, while
among the Ojibways it is inherited on the father's side. Some Blackfeet,
again, though by language allied to the same family, are not known to have
totems at all. To ascertain whether this state of things has come about
by some tribes having retained till now an ancient system of maternal
totems, which among other tribes passed into paternal and among others
disappeared, or whether there is some other explanation, is an inquiry
which might throw much light on the early history of society, as bearing
on the ancient periods when female descent prevailed among the nations
of the Old World. It is likely that much more careful investigation of the
laws and customs, past and present, of these tribes would add to the scanty
information now available. On the Pacific side of the Rocky Mountains,
where the totem system and female descent are strongly represented, such
information is even scantier ; yet careful inquiry made before the passing
away of the present generation, who are the last depositories of such
traditional knowledge, would be sure to disclose valuable evidence. How
large a field for anthropological work here lies open may be shown by a
single fact. Among the characteristics of tribes, such as the Haidas of
Queen Charlotte's Island, has been the habit of setting up the so-called
' totem posts,' which in fact show conspicuously among their carved and
painted figures the totems of families concern&l, such as the bear, whale,
frog, &c. Such posts, which are remarkable as works of barbaric art,
are often photographed, and Judge James G. Swan, of Port Townsend, 180 REPORT—1887.
has published, in vol. xxi. of the ' Smithsonian Contributions,' an interesting study of them, as relating to episodes of native mythology, in which
the animal-ancestors represented are principal figures. Mor^investiga-
tion is required to work out this instructive subject, and with the help of
the older natives will doubtless well repay the not inconsiderable trouble
it will cost.
Among the special points to be looked to in the condiffon of the
Canadian tribes both at present and previously to civilised influence may
be noticed the modes of marriage recognised—whether the husband enters
the wife's family or clan, or vice versd; what prohifped degrees and other
restrictions on marriage exi|||; what is the division into families, clans,
and tribes; and how far do totems or animal names answer this purpose;
what are the regulaf|ais as to position of first or chief wife, household
life, separation or divorce; how relationship is traced in the fenSie and
•male lines; rules of succession to chiefship and inherffejance of property.
It is desirable to draw up tables of firms of relationship and affinity
in the native language according to the usual schedules, or by setting
down  the relationships  which  a man  and  a   woman   may have   for
three generations, upward and downward.    In doing this it is  desirable to  avoid the  ambiguous  use  of  English  terms,   such  as  cousin,
uncle, and aunt, under which a number of different kinds of relationship are confused, even brother and sister being used inexactly to express
whole brother and paternal  or maternal half-brother,   &c.     In fact,
the published schedules of kinship are imperfect in this respect.    It
is desirable to interpret each term into its strict meaning, expressed by
father and mother, son and daughter, husband and wife; for instance,
father's father's daughter, mother's   son's wife, &c.     TMs scheme of
relati^^Kro will often be found to constitute a classificatory system, as
mentioned above, and in respect of which it will be necessary to obsei've
the use of the term of relationship rather than the personal name as a
form of address, and the distinction between elder and younger brothers,
sisters, and other' kinsfolk.     Customs of avoiding certain relatives, as
where the husband affects not to recognise his wife's parents, are of
interest as social regulations.
Government and Law.—When it is noticed how the system of chief-
ship, councils, &c, among the Iroquois, on being carefully examined by
visitors who understood their language, proved to be most systematic and
elaborate, it becomes likely thatSie scanty details available as to groups
of West Canadian tribes might be vastly increased. Such old accounts
as Hearne has left us of the Tinneh or Athapascans (whom he calls
Northern Indians), and Carver of the Sioux, are admirable so far as they
go ; but in reading them it is disappointing to think how much more the
writers might have learnt had they thought it worth the trouble or that any
readers would care to know ib. Even now, though old custom has so
much broken down, present and past details of savage political life may
be gained among the western tribes on both sides of the Rocky
Mountains. *
The prominent points are the distinction between the temporary war-
chief and the more permanent peace-chief; the mode of succession or
election to these and lower offices; the nature of the councils of old me
and warriors; personal rights of men and women of different classes •
the rules of war and peace; the treatment of captives and slaves • th '
family jurisdiction, with especial reference to the power possessed by the
e ON  THE  NORTH-WESTERN  TRIBES  OP  CANADA.
181
%B*1
father or head of the household and others ; the law of vengeance and its
restrictions ; the tribal jurisdiction in matters, especially criminal, concerning the community; the holding of land and other property by the tribe
or family; personal property, and the rules of its distribution and
inheritance ; the law of hospitality. The observer will in such inquiries
frequently come into contact with forms of primitive communism, not
only as to food, but as to articles of use or wealth, such as guns and
blankets, which are of great interest, as is the custom of obtaining social
rank by a man's distributing his accumulated property in presents. All
these matters, and far more, are, as a matter of course, known with legal
accuracy to every grown-up Indian in any tribe which is living by native
rule and custom. In the rapid breaking-up of native society it remains
for the anthropologist at least to note the details down before they are
forgotten.
Religion and Magic—?J?he difficulty of getting at native ideas on these
matters is far greater than in the rules of public life just spoken of. On
the one hand the Indians are ashamed to avow belief in notions despised
by the white man, while on the other this belief is still so real that they
fear the vengeance of the spirits and the arts of their sorcerers. It is
found a successful manner of reaching the theological stratum in the
savage mind not to ask uncalled-for questions, but to see religious rites
actually performed, and then to ascertain what they mean. The funeral
ceremonies afford such opportunities ; for instance, the burning of the
dead man with his property among Rocky Mountain tribes, and the practice
of cutting off a finger-joint as a mourning rite, as compared with the actual
sacrifice of slaves for the deceased, as well as the destruction of his goods
among the Pacific tribes. Here a whole series of questions is opened up—
whether the dead man is considered as still existing as a ghost and coming
to the living in dreams, of what use it can be to him to kill slaves or to cut
off finger-joints, why his goods should be burnt, and so on. In various
parts of America it has long been known that funeral rites were connected
with the belief that not only men but animals and inanimate objects,
such as axes and kettles, had surviving shadows or spirits, the latter
belief being worked out most logically, and applied to funeral sacrifices,
by the Algonkins of the Great Lakes. It is probable that some similar
train of reasoning underlies the funeral ceremonies of the Rocky Mountain and Columbian tribes, but the necessary inquiries have not been
made to ascertain this. More is known of the native ideas as to» the
abode of the spirits of the departed, which is closely connected with the
theory of souls. There is also fairly good information as to the prevalence in this region of the doctrine, only just dying out in the civilised
world, of diseases being caused by possession by devils, that is, by the
intrusion of spirits into the patient's body, who convulse his limbs, speak
wildly by his voice, and otherwise produce his morbid symptoms. Books
of travel often describe the proceedings of the sorcerer in exorcising these
disease-demons ; and what is wanted here is only more explicit information
as to the nature of such spirits as conceived in the Indian mind. Even
more deficient is information as to how far the ghosts of deceased relatives are regarded as powerful spirits and propitiated in a kind of ancestor-
worship, and the world at large is regarded as pervaded by spirits whose
favour is to be secured by ceremonies, such as sacred dances, and by
sacrifices. The images so common on the Pacific side are well known as
to their material' forms, but anthropologists have not the information 182 report—1887.
required as to whether they are receptacles for spirits or deities, or merely
symbolical representations. The veneration for certain animals, and
prohibition to kill and eat them, partly has to do with direct animal-
worship, but is mixed up in a most perplexing way with respect for the
totem or tribe-animal. In fact, many travellers, as, for instance, Long the
interpreter, already mentioned, have confused the totem-animal with the
medicine-animal, which latter is revealed to the hunter in a dream, and
the skin or other part of which is afterwards carried about by him as a
means of gaining luck and escaping misfortune. Above these lesser
spiritual beings greater deities are recognised by most tribes, whether
they are visible nature-deities, such as Sun and Moon, Heaven and Earth,
or more ideal beings, such as the First Ancestor, or Great Spirit, There
is still great scope for improving and adding to the information
already on record as to the religious systems of the tribes of the
Dominion, and hardly any better mode is available than the collection
of legends.
Mythology.—As is well known, most Indian tribes have a set of
traditional stories in which are related the creation of the world, the
origin of mankind, the discovery of fire, some great catastrophe, especially
a great flood, and an infinity of other episodes. Such, for instance, are
the legends of Quawteaht, taken down by Sproat among the Ahts, and
the Haida stories of the Raven published by Dawson. These stories,
written down in the native languages and translated by a skilled interpreter,
form valuable anthropological material. It is true that they are tiresome
and, to the civilised mind, silly; but they are specimens of native language
and thought, containing incidentally the best of information as to native
religion, law, and custom, and the very collecting of them gives
opportunities of asking questions which draw from the Indian storyteller, in the most natural way, ideas and beliefs which no inquisitorial
cross-questioning would induce him to disclose.
In studying the religion and mythology.of the various tribes, and
also their social constitution, their arts, their amusements, and their
mental and moral traits, it is important to observe not only how far
these characteristics differ in different tribes, but whether they vary
decidedly from one linguistic stock to another. Some observers have
been led to form the opinion that the people of each linguistic family
had originally their own mythology, differing from all others. Thus the
deities of the Algonkins are said to be in general strikingly different
from those of the Dakotas. Tet this original unlikeness, it is found, has
been in part disguised by the habit of borrowing tenets, legends, and
ceremonies from one another. This is a question of much interest. It
is desirable to ascertain any facts which will show whether this original
difference did or did not exist, and how far the custom of borrowing
religious rites, civil institutions, useful arts, .fashions of dress, ornaments
and pastimes extends. Thus the noted religious ceremony called the
' sun-dance ' prevails among the western Ojibways, Crees, and Dakotas
but is unknown among the eastern tribes of the Algonkin and Dakota
stocks. It would seem, therefore, to be probably a rite borrowed by
them from some other tribe in the vicinity of those western tribes. The
Kootanies of British Columbia, immediately west of these tribes are
said, on good authority, to have practised this rite before their recent
conversion by the Roman Catholic missionaries. iHit is found on
inquiry, to have prevailed universally among the Kootanies from time ON THE NORTH-WESTERN TRIBES  OF CANADA.
183
immemorial, the presumption would seem to be that this tribe was the
source from which the others borrowed it. Careful Inquiry among the
natives will frequently elicit information on such points. Thus the
Iroquois have many dances which they affirm to be peculiar to their own
people. They have also a war-dance which differs in its movemeri4i$.
entirely from the former. This dance they declare that they borrowed
from the Dakotas, and the statement is confirmed by the name which
they give it—the Wasase, or Osage dance.
Apart from the mythological legends, the genuine historical traditions
of the different tribes should be gathered with care. In obtaining these
it must be borne in mind that, commonly, only a few Indians in each
tribe are well informed on this subject. These l^flians are dually chiefs
or councillors or ' medicine men,' who are known for their intelligence,
and who are regarded by their tribesmen as-the record-keepers of the
community. They are welL3ri||fwn in this capacity, and should always
be consulted. Ordjs&ay Indians are frequently found to know as||ittle
about their tribal history as aipuntaught English farm labourer or French
peasant commonly knows of the history of his own country. This fact
will account for the mistake made by some travellers who have reported
that the Indians have no historical traditions of any value. More careful
inquiry has shown that the Iroquois, the Delawares, the Creeks, and
other tribes had distinct traditions, going back for several cen^ries.
These are often preserved in chants, of which the successive portions or
staves are sometimes recalled to mind by mnemonic aids, as among the
Delawares (or Lenape) by painted sticks, and among the Iroquois by
strings of wampum. The Creeks%nd the Dakotas kept their records by
means of rude piotographs painted on buffalo skins. Such records
should be sought with care, and the chants should be taken down, if
possible, in the original, with literal translations and all the explanations
which the natives can give. Colonel Mallery's memoir on l Pictographs
of the North American Indians,' in the Fourth Annual Report of the
United States Bureau of Ethnology, and Dr. Brinton's volume on ' The
Lenape and their Legends,' might be referred to as aids in this inquiry.
It would be very desirable that the music of these chants should be taken
down by a competent musician.
Conclusion.—In this brief series of suggestions some published works
relating to the Canadian Indians have happened to be mentioned, but
many more have been left unnamed. These, however, are not left unnoticed, but every available publi cation is now consulted for anthropological
purposes, and those who collect information in reply to the present
circular may feel assured that all evidence contributed by them will be
duly recognised in the study of savage and barbaric culture, which
furnishes data so important for the understanding of the higher civilised
life.
The Rev. E. F. Wilson has furnished the Committee with the following report of his proceedings :—
Report on the Blachfoot Tribes.     Drawn up by the Rev. "Edward F. Wilson,
and supplementary to that furnished in 1885 by Mr. Horatio Hale.
Before proceeding with my report I would like just to say, by way of
explanation, that I have been working nineteen years among the Oji^way
Indians of Ontario as a missionary, have two institutions for Indian 184 report—1887.
children at Sault Ste. Marie, and during the last three summers (since
the C. P. Railway-was opened) have been visiting the Cree, Saulteaux,
Sioux, and other tribes in Manitoba and the North-West,|p the hope of
inducing those Indians to send some of their children to our institution.
Last summer six Sioux boys and six Ojibway boys from the north-west
came to us, and this summer I have succeeded in bringing down two
young Blackfeet from their prairie home at the foot of the Rockies. We
have in our homes at present 52 Indian boys and 27 Indian girls. Mr.
Hale, hearing of my projected visit to the Blackfeet Indians, asked me to
act in his place in furnishing the following report; and, as I am quite
unused to this sort of undertaking, I hope that any blunders I may make
in my style of writing or in the putting together of the material which
came into my hands will kindly be overlooked. I think I may vouch
for it that whatever I have offered in the following pages is the result
either of what I have seen with my own eyes or have gained from the lips
of reliable Indians or from missionaries living on the spot.
The Blackfoot Indians, as Mr. Hale mentioned in his report of 1885,
consist of three tribes, united in one confederacy, speaking the same
language, and numbering in all about 6,000 souls. The common name by
which they call themselves is Sokitapi, the prairie people. Siksikaw,
Blackfeet, is a title given to the northern tribe by those living in the
south (i.e. the Bloods and Peigans) on account of the black earth, which
soils their feet; where the Bloods and Peigans live (50 miles or so to the
south) the land is gravelly or sandy, so that their feet are not made black.
The Bloods call themselves Kainaw (meaning unknown). The Peigans
call themselves Pekafiu (meaning unknown). By the white people they
are all called, in a careless way, Blackfeet.
Whence they Came.
Chief Crowfoot (Sapomakseka), the head chief of the whole confederacy,
#ith whom I had a long and interesting interview, was very positive in
asserting that his people for generations past had always lived in the same
part of the country that they now inhabit. He entirely scouted the idea
that they had come from the East, even though I cautiously omitted any
reference to the theory that the Crees had driven them. ' I know,' he
said, ' the character of the soil in all parts of this country. The soil of
Manitoba I know is black, but that proves nothing, for this soil where we
are now Hying is black also, and hence our friends to the south call us
Blackfeet: our true name is " Sokitapi," the prairie people.' In answer
to further inquiries, Chief Crowfoot said that there were no people west
of the Rockies in any way related to them. His people crossed the
mountains sometimes to trade with the British Columbia Indians but
their language was quite different, and they were entire strangers to them.
He informed me, however, that there were a people a long way to the
south in the United States who were related to them, and spoke the same
language as they did. One of his wives, he said, came from that tribe.
The woman was present in the teepee, and he pointed her out and ordered
her to tell me what she knew. I questioned and cross-questioned the
woman closely, the Rev. J. W. Sims, who has been four years amono- the
Blackfeet, and is well acquainted with their language, interpreting for
me. The information I drew from the old woman appeared to me most
interesting. She said it was a journey of about thirty days' distance and ON THE NORTH-WESTERN  TRIBES  OF  CANADA.
185
by putting together certain names which she mentioned and the character
of the country as she described it, we found that the tribe to which she
alluded lived in New Mexico or Arizona, and were in close contiguity to
the domains of the curious Moqui Indians, who build their houses on the
cliff tops. The name of the tribe she said was ' Nitsipoie,' and they were
near to a people called Moqui-itapi (the Moqui people). It may possibly
be from this quarter that the Blackfeet derive their worship of the sun.
While travelling among them I saw very few people, whether men or
women, who had not suffered the loss of one or more fingers (some as
many as four) cut off at the first joint, the severed member having been
offered to the sun. The second chief under Crowfoot is named Natusi-
apiw (old sun), and these people during my short visit (six days) did me
the honour of adopting me into their nation and giving me the name
Natusi-asamiu, which means j the/Sun looks upon him.'
I thought it might-fujtiier help to decide whence these Blackfeet
originally came if I asked what other hostile tribes they had fought with.
These are the names of the tribes:—The Kostenai, or River Indians ; the
Flatheads ; the Kouminetapi, or Blue Indians; the Matuydkawai, or
grasshouse Indians; the Aksemini Awaksetcikin, or gum getters (said to
rub gum on the bottom of their feet instead of wearing moccasins) ; the
Apaksinamai, or flat bows; the Pitseksinaitapi, or Snake Indians; the
Pietapi, or strangers; the Atokipiskaw, or long earring Indians; the
Istsitokitapi, or people in the centre; the Awaksaawiyo, or gum eaters.
All these they say either live or used to live in and about the Rocky
Mountains. Their enemies have also been the Sioux, Crows, Crees, and
Nez Perces.
The fact that these people neither build boats nor canoes, nor eat fish,
seems to me another proof that they have not come from the Lake region
to the east.
Some oe their Traditions.
Chief 'Big Plume,' another minor chief in the Blackfoot camp, gave
me the following information. I have put it down word for word as it
was interpreted to me:—
How Horses originated.—A long time ago there were no horses. There j
were only dogs. They used only stone for their arrows. They were
fighting with people in the Rocky Mountains. Those people were Snake
Indians. They took a Blackfoot woman away south. There were a great
number of people down there, and they tied the woman's feet, and tied
her hands behind her, and a cord round her waist, and picketed her to a
stake near the big salt water. And they cried across the lake, ' See,
here is your wife!' Then they all retreated and left' her. These big lake
people did not see her at all; but the waters rose and covered her ; and
when the waters abated, there was no woman there, but there were lots
of horses. The Snake Indians caught these horses, and that is how horses
began.
The Creation.—It had been long time night. Napi the Ancient said,
' Let it be day,' and it became day. Napi made the sun, and told it to
travel from east to West. Every night it sinks into the earth, and it
comes out of the earth again the next morpng. Napi is very old every
winter, but he becomes young every spring. He has travelled all along
the Rocky Mountains, and there are various marks on the mountains
which remain as relics of bis presence.   Napi said, ' We will be two mm
186 report—1887.
people.' He took out the lower rib from his right side, and he said, ' It
shall be a woman,' and he let it go, and he looked on it, and he saw a
woman. He then took a rib from the left side, and said, 'Let it be a boy,
and it was a boy. Napi also made a number of men with earth. •NaP1
and the men went one way, the woman went another way. Apt the
woman made women of earth in the same way as Napi had made men.
At Morley, opposite the Rev. John Macdougall's house, a,nd down the
river, said Big Plume, there is a little stream ; they call it the men's
kraal or enclosure; on one side of the stream is a cut bank and big stones;
this was the men's boundary, beyond which they were not to pass. They
used to hunt buffalo, and drive them over the cut bank; they had plenty
of meat; they had no need to follow the buffaloes ; .they hid themselves
behind the big stones and uttered a low cry; this guided the buffalo to the
cut bank, and when they were over the bank they shot them with their
stone arrows and ate the meat.
One day Napi went out on a long journey. He got as far as High
River. There he saw lots of women together, with the woman made from
his rib, who a§ted as their chief. There were no men and no boys there.
There were a great number of teepees. Napi was alone. He told the
women, \ I have come from the men.' The woman chief said to him, ' Go
home; bring all your men; stand them all on the top of this stone ridge ;
our women shall then go up one by one, and each take a man for a
husband.' When they were all up there, the chief woman went up first
and laid hold on Napi to take him, but Napi drew back; the chief won^ra
had put on an old and torn blanket, and had rubbed all the paint off her
face, and had no ornaments on her. Napi did not like her appearance,
and so he rejected her addresses. He did not know that she was the
chief woman. She then went back to the women, and, pointing to Napi,
said, ' Don't any of you take him.' She then dressed herself in her best,
and painted her face, and put on her ornaments, and went and chose
another man. All the women did the same. Thus all the men had wives,
and Napi was left standing alone. The chief woman then cried aloud,
I Let him stand there alone like a pine tree.' Napi then began breaking
away the stony ridge with his heel, till there was only very little of it
left. The woman then shouted, ' Be a pine tree.' And the pine tree
stands there now alongside the big stones, and they still call it the
women's kraal. Napi's flesh is in the pine tree, but his spirit still
wanders through the earth.
The boy made from Napi's left rib fell sick. The woman took a stone
and threw it in the water, and she said, ' If the stone swims the boy will
live,' but the stone sank and. the boy died; and so all people die now. If
the stone had floated, all people would have lived.
First Appearance of the White Man.—The Sai-u (Sioux?) were the first
to see the white men. The Crees first brought the news to the Blackfeet.
That was the first time they saw axes and knives and tobacco. The Crees
said they heard guns firing. The white men were shooting buffaloes with
guns. The white men took them to their teepees, and showed them their
g^g* and knives. The white men came from the far east. They call
white men ' Napi-akun,' but cannot tell whether this has any'reference to
Napi the Ancient.
Fclipse of the Sun.—They say that the sun dies, and that it indicates
that some great chief has either just died or is Mst going to die.
How their Arts originated.—Napi gave them the first specimens of ON THE NORTH-WESTERN  TRIBES  OP  CANADA.
187
every article they use, and they make the copies. They never try to
make new things, unless instructed to do so in a dream. Nevertheless,
they make no difficulty about using things made by white people.
Religion.
These people, notwithstanding that missionaries of the Roman
Catholic Church, the Church of England, and the Methodist Communions have been working among them for. several years past, are still,
nearly all of them, with scarcely an exception, heathen. They seem to be
more than any other north-western tribe opposed to adopting either the
customs or religion of the white man. Their own system of religion has
been already well explained by Mr. Hale, but I may perhaps add a few
additional items of interest which I have gathered. The following is from
the lips of j Big Plume Pspi
' Young men go up on to a hill, and cry and pray for some animal or
bird to come to them. Before starting out they wash themselves all
over and put off all their clothing and ornaments except a blanket. For
five or six days they neither eat nor drink, and they become thin. They
take a pipe with them and tinder and flint, and a native weed or bark for
smoking (not matches or tobacco). When the pipe is filled they point
the stem to the sun and say, " Pity me, that some animal or bird may
come to me ! " Then they address the trees, the grass, the water, and the
stones in the same manner. If anyone crosses their path while so
engaged, they call aloud to them to warn them off, saying, " I am hying
alone. Do not come near ! " While in this state they dream, and whatever animal or bird they see in their dream becomes their medicine or
guardian through life. They are told also in a dream what description
of herbs or roots to gather as their medicine, and this they collect and
put carefully into a small bag to keep as a charm. They also kill the
animal that they dreamed of, and keep its skin as a charm. No one
knows what is the medicine they have gathered; it is kept a profound
secret. The little bag is kept in the tent, and no one may touch -fpfrut
the owner. Other Indians would be afraid to meddle with it. There is
no particular age for young men to engage in the above rites. They start
away in the evening—only in summer. Some go of their own accord,
others are bid to do so by their fathers or elder brothers. If they do not
go, any sickness that comes upon them will certainly be fatal, or if shot
by an enemy they will certainly die.'
I asked ' Big Plume ' what did he think became of the soul after death ?
He replied that the souls of all Blackfeet Indians go to the sandhills north
of the cypress hills (this would be to the east of the Blackfeet country).
What proof had he of that ? I asked. ' At a distance,' said the chief, 'we
can see them hunting buffalo, and we can hear them talking and praying
and inviting one another to their feasts. In the summer we often go
there, and we see the trails of the spirits and the places where they have
been camping. I have been there myself, and have seen them and heard
them beating their drums. We can see them in the distance, but when
we get near to them they vanish. I cannot say whether or not they see
the Great Spirit. I believe they will live for ever. All the Blackfeet
believe this ; also the Sarcees, Stonies, Atsinas, and Crees. The Crees
after death will go to the sandhills farther north. There will still be
fighting between the Crees and the Blackfeet in the spiritual world.   Dogs 188 report—1887.
and horses go to the sandhills too ; also the spirits of the dead buffaloes.
We hand these traditions down to onr children. We point out to our
children various places where Napi slept, or walked, or hunted, and thus
our children's minds become impressed.'
From inquiries I have made I am able to corroborate all that Mr.
Hale has said in regard to the sun-dance and the amputation of their
fingers and offering them as a sacrifice to the sun. Both these customs,
on account of the cruelties accompanying them, are now discountenanced
by the Canadian Government, and are likely before long to fall into disuse.
Government &c.
The head chief of the Blackfeet is Sapomakseka (Crowfoot). Under
him are ' Old Sun,' chief of the Northern Blackfeet; ' Red Crow,' chief
of the Bloods; ' North Axe,' chief of the Peigans. Over the southern
Blackfeet, Crowfoot is himself the chief. There are also three or four sub-
chiefs belonging to each tribe. The position is not hereditary, but, it
would seem, is assumed by the man who possesses the most talent, tact,
and power in the tribe. At present the chiefs are paid a small annual
pittance by Government, 51. to each principal chief, and SI. each to the
minor chiefs. The power of a chief is not defined ; he is in fact a czar,
possessing an absolute control over his camp. He has a number of young_
men employed as soldiers to execute his commands. Iff§he order'igpjgiven
to move camp or to come to a sun-dance and any disobey, the soldiers go
round and violently strip the covering from the teepee, tear it to pieces,
scatter the contents to the winds, and sometimes kill the dogs.
Tomahawks are not much used by the Blackfeet Indians. Their
weapons are a bow and arrows, a war club, a scalping-knife, and, for
defence, a circular skin shield ornamented with feathers. Many of them
have also guns or rifles. They will not fight openly, and are regarded by
other tribes as cowardly. Their tactics are to avoid the enemies' missiles
by jumping from side to side, and they have a hole in the shield tlHrough
which they look and try to deceive the enemy by putting the shield to one
side of their persons, as a mark to aim alp instead of in front. They
always scalp their foes when fallen.
I cannot discover that there are any clans or gentes existing among
these people, but they have various orders connected with their dances, and
those who belong to the order have to imitate the bird or animal whose
name they have adopted as thei^botem. Young unmarried men wear a
badge of beadwork and hair on each shoulder to show that they are
available for marriage.
Food.
The principal and almost only food of these people was formerly
buffalo meat. A man would eat on an average about eight lbs. a day
White people who have lived on it say that there is something very appetising about buffalo meat, and that it is no hardship to eat it alone without
bread or vegetables. It is very different, they say, to eating beef. The
Blackfeet Indians have never grown any corn, and never knew what bread
was until the white man came among them. When in camp it was
usually their practice to boil the meat, but when out on a hunting expedition, without any cooking utensils, they would put the flesh on spite,
before a large fire and roast it.    It used to be a common practice to make ON  THE NORTH-WESTERN  TRIBES  OF  CANADA.
189
youths who had not yet been on the warpath hold the meat while roasting, so as to harden them to endure suffering. The Indians never used
salt before the white man came, but are now very fond of it. They seem
to like strong-tasting food, and sometimes make a mixture of strong black
tea, tobacco, and ' pain-killer,' which they drink with great relish. The
Blackfeet seldom, if ever, eat fish; I am told that they regard it as
unclean. They preserve berries by drying them in the sun. Principal
among these are the Saskatoon berry and the choke cherry. The latter
they pound up when newly picked, and spread it on sheets of parchment
to dry; then they powder it up and put it in skin bags. It is called by
white people ' choke cherry pemmican,' and is said to be very palatable.
These people, in common with other nomad Indians, usually eat two meals
a day—breakfast and supper. The latter, however, is often prolonged to
an indefinite period after a successful day's hunt. When they get up in
the morning the Urst thing they do is to wash. The Blackfeet Indians
are very particular abouTT~this, even in the depth of winter. For soap
they use ashes from the fire, and they usually rinse out their mouths
thoroughly with water. It is a common practice to take a deep draught
of cold water on first awakening in the morning. Directly after breakfast the usual thing is either to move camp or to start on a hunting
expedition. The little fetish, or charm, shaped out of stone like some
animal or bird, and wrapped round with roots, herbs, clay, and beads', is
placed on end the night before, and in whichever direction it has fallen
that is the direction in which to look for the buffalo. The hunt occupies
the day, and in the evening, when work is over, they will eat a heavy
and long-continued meal. For the above information I am indebted
principally to the Rev. John Macdougall, of the Methodist Missionary
Society, who has for many years past been labouring among these and
neighbouring tribes of Indians. Now that the buffaloes are all gone, these,
people would be forced to starve were it not for the Government rations
which they receive. Each individual receives one pound of good beef and
half a pound of flour per diem. The buffalo disappeared in 1879-80. Before
that time they might be counted by thousands. Their sudden disappearance has never yet been satisfactorily accounted for. None now
remain in Canada, and only very few are to be found in the United
States.
Medicine.
I had no opportunity of talking to the Blackfeet Indians themselves
about this, and had I done so they would probably have been unwilling
to reveal their secrets. I however gathered from Mr. Macdougall the
names of some of their most frequently used medicines. (1) Minweg
(Cree), a vegetable; little short sticks; a swong, pleasant aromatic,
flavour, like celery; used for headache, catarrh; also for smoking.
(2) Bear root! tastes like liquorice; used for colic. (3) Rat food; a
flag root, with a sharp, pungent taste ; they grind it up and drink it like
hot tea; used for various diseases. Bleeding is done with a piece of
sharp flint fastened into a stick like a veterinary surgeon's fleam. They
bind the arm till the vein is swollen, put the edge of the flint on the vein,
and strike it with a stick. Cupping is done by sowifying the part with
a flint or pricking it with needles and then drawing the blood to the
surface by sucking through a horn. Amputation of a limb is never
resorted to, but they will patch up a bad wound, and often succeed in
effecting a cure where an English surgeon would have amputated.  These 190 REPORT—1887.
things are not done by the professional j medicine men,' but by any man
or woman in the camp who is clever enough. The ' medicine men ' resort
only to witchcraft in attempting their cures.
Dwellings, Occupations, &c.
While sitting in ' Old Sun's' teepee I mentally took its dimensions
and noted down its contents. It was about sixteen feet in diameter on
the floor and about eighteen feet high in the centre, formed by fifteen
poles, their feet on the line of the circle and their upper ends meeting in
a bunch at the top, the framework covered over with white tent canvas,
yellowed and browned with the smoke. In the centre was a circlet of
smooth stones, two and a half feet in diameter, forming the fireplace, and
over the fire was a tin pot, suspended by three sticks—gipsy fashion.
Overhead hung some pieces of dried beef on a string. The interior of
the teepee, unlike those of the Crees and Sioux, was divided into four
partitions by sloping back-resters, called ' stopistakiska,' and made of
wickerwork ; their basis, about twenty inches wide, rested on the ground,
and their tops, which tapered to three or four inches in breadth, were
secured to the sloping poles which supported the tei| about four feet from
the ground. The teepee also had its sides lined with quilts and blankets
to a height of four feet from the ground, which gave it a warm, comfortable appearance. Back in the angle made by the sloping sides of the
tent were packed away all the valuables which the family possessed-—
blankets, packsaddles, guns, &c.—and on the front of these pactions,
towards the fire, a neat finish was made to each couch by a clean-shaved
pole lying on the ground. The teepee had no floor, only the grass of the
prairie, but the couches between the partitions were carpeted with skins
and blankets. All the feather ornaments, headj§i,esses, shields, buckskin
dresses, &c, were neatly folded up and packed away in skin cases made
to contain them. There was an air of Matness and cleanliness about the
whole arrangement. < Old Sun ' exhibited to us some of his valuables.
There was a circular shield, twenty inches if| diameter, made of skin
stretched over a wooden frame and ornamented with red cloth and crimson-dyed feathers.    On the face of the shield was a rude picture of a
buffalo and some marks like this   Ty     which we were told represented
the buffalo trail. We were also shown a skin helmet, mounted at the top
with a buffalo horn studded with brass nails. The helmet was one mass
of weasel tails, hanging in every direction, and the point of the horn
which pointed backwards and downwards, had a tuft of crimson feathers'
There was also a very elaborate headgear for a horse to wear when going
to battle. One part of it covered the head like a mask, holes being left
for the eyes, and was fitted with a pair of horns ; the other part was a
sort of banner, to be suspended to the lower jaw ; both parts were profusely
decorated with red, yellow, and blue feathers. We were told that such a
headdress as this was, in Indian estimation, worth a couple of ponies
These Blackfeet seem to live in teepees such as I have described in the
summer, but in the winter Sis now their custom to dwell in little 1
huts plastered over with mud, which they have learnt to construct   m
imitation, it is thought, of the lumberer's shanty.    It seems to me h'
ever, after seeing models of the Moqui and Pueblo Indians' houses'at°the
Smithsonian Institute, that it is quite as likely that they had this   t 1 ON  THE NORTH-WESTERN  TRIBES OF CANADA.
191
of dwelling previous to the coming of the white man. I enclose a sketch
of both the exterior and interior of one of these mud huts. The sides are
made of logs, plastered over with mud; the roof is almost flat, made of
poles, covered first with prairie grass and then earth. There is always a
fireplace, not built into the wall, but standing a little way from it. It is
just a long, mud, rudely constructed chimney, reaching from a foot above
the roof down to the ground inside the hut, a little widened at the base,
and an arched opening in front for the fire. Sometimes the hut has a
little square hole for a window, but more often the only aperture is the
doorway. The floor is partly covered with poles, flattened on the upper
surface. A few sticks stuck into or between the logs serve for pegs. The
occupants of two or three teepees usually unite for the winter, and occupy
one mud hut between them.    The hut would not be more than twelve by
eighteen feet in size.
ClojxingTand Ornaments.
A man's dress consists of a breech cloth ; a pair of leggings made of
coloured blanket or cloth, with a fringe of long loose strips down the outer
side of each leg; a pair of buckskin moccasins ornamented with beads ;
and over his shoulders a white, scarlet, or parti-coloured blanket. This
is his whole dress. He wears no hat. His blanket is wrapped round his
shoulders, or up around his head, or slipped down to his waist—according
to the temperature of the weather or the whim of the moment. His neck
is encircled by several necklaces, made of twisted brass wire, large bright-
coloured beads, bones of a deer's tail, the small bones of a deer's foot, or
the claws of a bear. He has earrings, made of brass, wire, beads, or
shell (brought from the Pacific coast). Generally he wears a coil or so of
brazen rings on his fingers. Sometimes bis wrists or arms are tattooed,
but not often. Usually his face is painted either with crimson or ochre.
He does not wear feathers in the ™ad as a general thing. These are kept
rather for special occasions. His hair is allowed to grow long and is
plaited ; usually a plait on each side of the face, hanging vertically, and
one or two more plaits at the back; the hair is sometimes twisted into a
knot at the point known as the scalp-lock. A man has the greatest objection to his hair being cut short; he wears it, it would seem, in defiance
of his enemies, and boasts that none shall cut it off while he is alive.
The dress of the woman resembles that of her European sister, but is very
roughly constructed and shorter in the skirt. She has no under garments,
but wears leggings like the men and a blanket over her dress. Her neck,
arms, fingers, and ears are profusely ornamented with brass, bead, and
bone rings. Little children under four years of age sometimes have
nothing on but a little apology for a shirt, reaching barely to the waist,
but their little arms and necks are loaded with ornaments and charms.
There is never any indecent exposure on the part of either sex. They are
always particularly careful about this. The women, however, make no
attempt to hide their breasts when suckling their infants.
The Blackfeet women do not use board cradles for their babes like the
Ojibways. Board cradles are seldom seen west of Lake Superior. The
Blackfeet babes are wrapped up warmly and laced into a bag, which the
mother carries on her back.
A chief's dress sometimes has marked on it a record of his exploits.
Chief Crowfoot bade us count the black lines on his buckskin rope—they
amounted to 143—and he said that he had been in 143 fights. 192 report—1887.
Manufactures.
The Blackfeet have the name-of being a lazy people, and, beyond
making the ornaments which adorn their persons and the saddles for
their ponies, they certainly do not seem to do much in the way of manufacture. They make no boats or canoes, no baskets, no articles of metal.
The most that they attempt to do in this line is to fashion a few rude
wooden bowls and platters, and horn spoons, and plaited ropes.
Marriage.
The Blackfeet are polygamous, some of the men having as many as
ten wives. Iprls mature early, and become wives as early as at twelve
years of age, and are sometimes mothers at fourteen. The families average
five or six children. The women are strong, and undergo but little inconvenience in bringing their children jittto the world. Mr. Macdougall has
known a woman when travelling to go aside from the trail, and in little
more than an hour to be on her pony again with an infant in her arms.
There is no marriage ceremony; so many ponies or other presents are
given by the intending husband to the parents of the bride, and then he
takes her away.
Games and Amusements.
The Blackfeet have no regular ball game. They sometimes engage in
feats of strength, wrestling, and foot-racing, but their chief amusements
are horse-racing and gambling. For the latter of these they emplfflr dice
of their own construction—little cubes of wood, with signs instead of
numbers marked upon them—these they shake together in a wooden dish.
Holding some small article in the hand under a blanket, and rapiafiw
passing it from one hand to another, leaving the second party to guess in
which hand it is left, is another method. They have also a little wheel
made of metal, covered over with cloth, three or four inches in diameter,
whicl&|lhey roll towards two arrows stuck in the ground, and see towards
which it will fall the nearest. There is always heavy betting on a horse
race; each chooses his favourite, and then they begin throwing down in
a heap the articles they wish to stake—blankets, guns, lines (representing
ponies), tents, &c. Those who win take the whole heap, and divide it
among themselves; even their wives are sometimes gambled away in ffi||§
manner.
Burial of the Dead.
The Blackfeet never bury their dead below the surface of the soil •
they think it a horrible practice to expose the body to the worms and
vermin that live in the ground. They either deposit the bodies on a hilltop or place them in a tree. Perhaps, being sun-worshippers, their idea is
that the sun should still shine upon them after they are dead. When the
body is placed in a tree it is wrapped in blankets and put up on a rudely
constructed platform. When deposited on a hill-top or cliff a rough
kind of box is made, three times the size of a coffin, and into it are put
besides the body, all that belonged to the dead person—blankets saddle'
gun, kettles, and everything; it is then nailed down, dragged by a pony
on a travoie to the appointed spot, and there deposited. Sometimes a few
logs are piled round it to keep off the dogs and wild animals, but often ON  THE  NORTH-WESTERN  TRIBES  OE  CANADA.
193
npthing is to be seen but the rudely made box and some kind of a flag
flying above it.    When a chief dies his favourite pony is brought and
killed at the door of his tent; his body is then laid out in his own teepee,
often in a sitting position, and all his possessions are spread around him •
the edges of the tent are wedged down and secured with stones, then the
teepee is closed and left.    This is called a ' death teepee.'    Travellers
sometimes come across a solitary teepee with no signs of life around it,
and on looking in are horrified to see a decomposing corpse.    There is
great grief when a person dies.  The people weep and howl over the dead
bodies of their friends.    It is usual also for the friends to throw their
l blankets and other valuables into the coffin before it is closed.   A mother
I has been known to wrap her last remaining blanket around her dead infant,
\even in the middle of winter.    Mr. Tims told me of a father walking
several miles barefoot through the-snow to bury his little child, having
riven his moccasins to the dead infant.    The graves of the dead are
tsited by the living; the people often come and hold a feast with the
©parted spirits, setting aside portions of food for them.    The Blackfeet
/eem to have no dread of ghosts or spirits, and do not mind handling
/lead bodies.    It is not an unusual thing for a ' death teepee' even to be
fcifled by those bent on plunder.
Physical Development.
I
j     I picked out, as nearly as I could, an average Blackfoot Indian—his
'name was Boy Chief, aged 44 or 45—and measured him from head to foot,
the result being as follows:—
1. Height from
o
B. I
4-
11.
5.
7.
12
8.
vertically)
ground to vertex
„ meatus auditorius
„ chin .
„ top of sternum
„ elbow (bent)
„ umbilicus
„ fork .
„ tip of finger (hangin
„ knee-cap joint  .
16. Circumference of chest at armpit .
„ „ mammae
18. „ at haunches .
26. Span—outstretched arms
27. „       thumb to middle finger
28. Length of thumb	
„        foot       	
13. Height— sitting on the ground
30. Head—greatest circumference (over glabella)
41.      1       length of face, root of nose to chin
32. „       arc meatus audit, over head to chin
31. „ „   root of nose to inion
33. „      , „   over glabella
The hair of the Indians is black, straight, somewhat fine, and abundant
in quantity ; it grows to about 3 feet in length, and is put up in large
plaits, one on each side of the face, and generally one or more at the
back. There is no hair on the face; if any grows it is very little. The
few stray hairs that appear are plucked out with small iron tweezers. The
colour of the skin, not exposed to the air, is No. 21 (two other persons
agreed with me on this point), and of the eye, No. 1 towards the centre,
and No. 16 towards edge of iris.
1887. o
ft. in.
• 5 8f
• 5 2|
• 4 ll|
• 4 7§
• 3 4f
iy)
2 7§
9  93
"     ^8
1 74
2 Hi
9.    Ql
2 8|
5 11
0 H
0 24
0 lof
2 10
1 10±
0 44
1 2i
1 2
1 o* 194
REPORT—1887.
Intellectual Capacity.
As no children of this tribe have, as yet, been induced to remain even
for a few consecutive weeks at school, it is impossible to report at present
on this head. I have, however, succeeded in inducing two boys to return
with me to our Shingwauk Home (1,500 miles distant from their reserve),
and it will be very interesting to see in the course of a year what progress
they make, in comparison with boys from other tribes. The Blackfeet
have all the appearance of being an intelligent people; and I saw two
boys at the mission who were evidently beginning to understand intelligently the use of the letters of the alphabet, for they had several times suggested to Mr. Tims alterations in his mode of spelling Blackfoot words ;
one of them, I found, had in his possession a list of Blackfoot and English
words, evidently trying to teach himself the English language. Like all j
other Indian tribes, they learn very quickly to write a good hand, and
many of the children show a taste for drawing.
The Language.
I entirely endorse Mr. Hale's view that the Blackfeet language is a
branch of the AlgonMrf^toch, having a near affinity to that spoken by the
Ojibways and Crees ; the grammatical construction is almost precisely the
same, anfl a good many of the words are similar. The Sioux language,
spoken by some 2,000 Indians in the North-West Territory, is an entirely
distinct language, both in structure and vocabulary, but the other languages south of the Saskatchewan Valley, viz. Cree, Blackfoot, Saulteaux,
and Ojibway, are clearly all of one common stock. Following are a few
words in the three principal tongues which bear some resemblance to one
another:—
Ojibway
Cree .
Blackfoot
Man
inini
iyiniw
nin'nau
woman
ikwe
iskwew
akew
name
-^^Mlkasowin
ijihikasowin
inikasim
my daughter
nidanis
nitanis
nitana
wood or
tree
mitik
mistik
mistis
I
nistoa, -ni
niya, -ni
nin, -ni
thou
kistoa, -ki
kiya, -ki
kin, -ki
yes
A
A
A
my leg
nikad
niskat
nokatsi
kettle '
akik
askik
iska
But it is in the grammatical construction of the three languages that the
resemblance is the most marked.  I shall notice eleven points in order :—
1. The distinction between animate and inanimate plurals.
In Ojibway animate nouns make their plurals in g, ig, og; inanimate in an, im.
In Cree „ „ ok, ak „ a
In Blackfoot „ „ ax, ix, ox;   „       in esto, isto.
In a^jthree languages an animate noun must be followed by an animate
verb, and^ice versa.
2. In all three languages a distinction is observed between the first
person plural exclusive and the first person plural inclusive.    Thus :—
Ojibway Cree Blackfoot '
Our house (excl.)     niwigiwaminan        niwaskahiganinan nokoanan
„        (incl.)    kiwigiwaminan        kiwaskahiganinau kokoanan ON THE NORTH-WESTERN  TRIBES OF CANADA.
195
3. Distinct endings to express the second third person and the third third
person in a sentence.—This rule is peculiar to Ojibway and Cree, but I
could not ascertain whether or not the Blackfeet observe the same
distinction.
4. The adjective is placed before the noun in these three languages. In
some other Indian languages, e.g. Sioux, it follows the noun.
5. All adjectives (with the exception of adjectival particles used only
as prefixes) can be transformed, with but very little alteration, into impersonal verbs ; thus (Blackfoot) agsi, good ; agsiu, it is good. This is
similar to Ojibway and Cree.
6. Personal and possesswe pronouns.—The first and second persons,
singular and plural, as shown in Mr. Hale's report, have the same first
syllable and nearly the 'same plural endings in all three languages, viz.
Id, thou, "thy.
Plurai endihgs-
-nan, we, our; wa, waw, you,
m, I, my
your.
7. The objective case of the pronoun is in all three languages embodied
in the verb.    Thus :—
Ojibway
Cree
Blackfoot
[ love thee
kisagiin
kisakihitin
Ml^omimo
bhou lovest me
kisagi
kisakihin
Mtakomimok
thou lovest us
kisagiimin
MsaMhinan
kitakomimoMpinan
he loves us.
msagngonan
nisakihikonan
nitakomimokinau
8. The simplest form (and often the root) of the verb is the singular
imperative.    Thus:—
Ojibway Cree Blackfoot
Sleep thou niban nipa okat
give it to him mij miy kukit
9. The negative is double, as in the French language:—Ojibway,
Jcawin. .. si; Blackfoot, mat.. . at or ats. In Cree they have only the simple
word namdmya or noma before the verb. Thus: I do not love him.
Ojibway, kawm nisagiasi; Cree, namdwiya nisakihew; Blackfoot,
ni-mat-takomimau-ats.
10. There is a distinct form for the negative imperative. Ojibway,
kego . .. ken; Cree, ekawiya or eka; Blackfoot, mini or pini. Thusp Do not
give it. Ojibway, kego mina ken; Cree, ekawiya miy; Blackfoot, mini
kukit.
11. An interrogative particle is used in all three languages. Ojibway,
ina ; Cree, tci; Blackfoot, kat ... pa. Thus : Are you happy ? Ojibway,
kiwawvjendam ina ? Cree, kimiyawatam tci ? Blackfoot, kikateagsitakipa ?
There may very likely be other analogies between these three
languages, but the above are as many as I have had time to inquire
into.
There are two sounds in the language which are difficult of pronunciation, and students are undecided as to how best to write them.
(a) There is a sound between kr and hs. I suggest writing it kc,
thus : nikcista, my mother.
(b) There is a sound between ch and ts. I suggest writing this to,
thus: tcema ?   Where ?
In the following vocabulary the letters and sounds are pronounced as
follows: a as in father, a as in bat, e as in they, i as in pique, £ as in
pick, o as in note, u as oo in cool, ai as in aisjp, au as ow in cow,, iu as ew
in few, j as z in azure, g like ch in the Grecian.
o 2 196
REPORT 1887.
Vocabulary of Blackfoot words.
man'
woman
boy
girl
infant
my father
my mother
my husband
my wife
my son
my daughter
my elder brother
my younger brother
my elder sister
my younger sister
Indian
people
head
hair
face
forehead
ear
eye
nose
mouth
tongue
teeth
beard
neck •
arm
hand
fingers
thumb
nails
body
chest
belly
female breast
leg
foot
toes
bone
heart
blood
town
chief
warrior
my friend
house
skin lodge
kettle
bow
arrow
axe
knife
boat
moccasins
pipe
tobacco
sky
sun
ninnau
ak6w
sag'komapi
akekoan
s'itsiman
nin'na
nikcista
no'ma
notokeman
nok6-a
nitan'na
nirls
niskan
nin'sta
nitakim
niitci-taplwa
matapiwa
m&tokan
mok6iekinsin
most oksis
monlis
mogt6Ms
moSpspi
m6ksiSi;}:
mah'Si
matsini
mogpekists
imoydwasin
mdkokin
mots'Itnln
motels
mokitsiix
omakokitsis
owot'anokitsix
mostom
moklMn
m6koan
tin'nikis
mo'katsi
mbapisak
mokitsiix
ogkln
moskitsipap
aapan
akapioyis
nin'nau
sobyiepitsi
nipia
napioyis
moyis
iska
nama
apsi
koksaki
Ist6an
akiosatsis
'atsikists
akwiniman
pista'kan i
namotak
natusi
moon
star
day
night
morning
evening
spring
summer
autumn
winter
wind
thunder
lightning
rain
snow
fire
water
ice
earth
sea
river
lake
valley
prairie
mountain
island
stone
salt
iron
forest
tree
wood
leaf
bark
grass
pine
flesh
dog
buffalo
bear
wolf
fox
deer
elk
beaver
rabbit
horse
fly
snake
bird
egg
feather
goose
duck
fish
name
white
black
red
blue
kokumikesnm (night-
light
kakatosi
kc'istikui
kokuyi .
kciskanatani
o'takuyi
motuye
nepuye
mokuye
stuye
sopuyi
kcistcikum
aipopum
so'taiyi
kun'skwii
istel
ogk€
kokutuyi
kcakum
istciksipokogk6
niyetagtai
omaksikimi
istelkum
sau-k6
netum'mo
mini
'okotoki
istciksipoko
mikskim
as'oaskwi
mistcis
mistcis
suy6pokist
otokis
matuyis
pagtogki
Skeisako^
imita
enlwa
kiaiyo
aplsi
otatuye
'owatuye
ponoka
kcistagki
'atcista
ponokamita
sosksisi
pitseksina
piksi
OW&W
mam'in
'apspini
sa-cii
mam'ml
nimikasini
ksiksinam
siksinam
maksinam
kumuninatsi ON  THE NORTH-WESTERN TRIBES  OF CANADA.
197
yellow
green
big
small
strong
old
young, new
good
bad
dead
alive
cold
this
that
all
many
who .
far off
near
here
there
to-day
yesterday
to-morrow
yes
no
one
two
three
four
five
six
seven
eight
otokuinam
otskuinam
omakimi
enakimi
skunitapi
napi
mani
agsi
pakappi
eniu
sakiaitapi
sttiye
'amu
'omak
konai
tikaiim
taka -
pi6tsi
ast6tsim
anum
omim
anok kcistcikui
matan'ni
apinakwis
a
sa
nitukskam
natokam
nibkiskam
' nisoyim
nisitci
n'awyi
ikitsikam
naniso
nine
ten
eleven
twelve
twenty
thirty
ninety
one hundred
one thousand
he eats
I eat
he drinks
I drink .
he runs
he dances
he sings
he sleeps
he speaks
. he sees
he sees him
he kills him
he loves him
he sits
sit down
he stands
he goes
I go
go
he comes
come
he walks
he works
he steals
plkso
kepo
kepo nitcik6puto
kepo natcik6puto
natcippo
niippo
plksippo
keplppo
omaksi-kepippo
au-yi-u
nit-au-yi
aisimiu
nltaisimi
aukskasiu
aiaipiu
ninikiu
ai-6kau
eptiyiu
'asapiu
nanuyeVaie
Initsiu-ai-e
akomimiu-ai-e
itaupiu
'apiit
itaipuyiu
itappo
nitai-itappo
tapp6t
puksipu
puksiput
awawakau
apot&kiu
aikomosiu
Notes by Mr. H. Hale on the Report of the Rev. F. F. Wilson.
Mr. Wilson having submitted to me his valuable report, I add a few
notes, comprising some facts which have come to my knowledge since my
report of 1885 was prepared.
In that report I suggested that the non-Algonkin element of the
Blackfoot language, as well as their peculiar religious ceremony, the ' sun-
dance ' (which is not found among the eastern Algonkins), might have
been derived from some tribe west of the Rocky Mountains. The natives
of that region who are nearest to the Blackfeet are the Kootenais, a people
in some respects of noteworthy and superior character.
Father De Smet, in his 'Indian Sketches,' describes them as 'the
best disposed of all the mountain Indians.' They are highly esteemed
among the traders for their good qualities, and particularly for their
scrupulous honesty. With this people the Blackfeet have had close
relations, in peace and war, from time immemorial. My intelligent correspondent, Sir. J. W. Schultz, an educated gentleman, who has resided
for several years among or near the American Blackfeet, and has written
much about their usages and traditions, informs me that the Kootenais,
before their recent conversion by the Roman Catholic missionaries, practised the sun-dance. This he had learnt from Indian's of that tribe.
He adds : ' In old times, however, the Kootenais lived as much on this
side of the mountains as they did on the other.' This accords with other
information which I have received to the same effect.    As the Blackfeet 198
REPORT—1887.
now occupy the country which the Kootenais formerly possessed, on the
east side of the mountains, it is clear that the Blackfeet must have expelled the Kootenais from that country, and very probably have conquered and absorbed some portion of the tribe. It is to this quarter,
therefore, that we should naturally look for the strange element in the
Blackfoot language. We find, accordingly, that the word for 'sun,'
which in the Blackfoot language is totally different from the corresponding word in all other Algonkin tongues, bears an evident resemblance
to the Kootenai name of that luminary. In Blackfoot the word is natos
or natusi; in Kootenai it is natanik. The words differ merely in their
terminations. There can hardly be a doubt that, when the Blackfeet
borrowed from their former neighbours their most peculiar and remarkable religious ceremony, they borrowed also the name of the sun-deity to
whose worship it was devoted.
Two of the legends given by Mr. Wilson deserve notice in this connection. He was informed that the Snake Indians first had horses, and
that these came out of the ' big salt water ' which has tides. This event
is combined with another—that of the carrying away of a Blackfoot
woman to the south bv 'the snakes.' The snakes are the Shoshonees.
This widespread people, whose bands wandered over a vast region, from
California to Texas, were in former days among the most inveterate
enemies of the Blackfeet. To the tradition related by Mr. Wilson some
facts may be added from the statements of Mr. Schultz. He mentions
that horses were first known to the Blackfeet about the beginning' of the
present century, and that ' they were stolen from the south.' Putting all
these circumstances together, we are warranted in concluding that the
Blackfeet first obtained horses by capturing them from the Shoshonees
in a war which was kept in memory not only by this event, but also by
the fact that a Blackfoot woman was made prisoner and carried off by
the enemy. Prom the prisoners whom they made in turn the Blackfeet
learnt that the strange animals which they had taken came from the
great salt water. Horses were probably first known to the Shoshonees in
California, where they were introduced by the Spaniards in the latter part
of the last century. The Shoshonees would learn from the Spaniards
that the horses had come originally across the ocean. This information
passing from tribe to tribe over the confcent reached the Blackfeet in
the shape of the myth which Mr. Wilson has obtained. What is chiefly
to be noted is that this myth, which by its form might be thousands of
years old, has yet unquestionably originated within less than a century.
This modern shaping of the Blackfoot mythological stories is also
apparent in the account of the making of the first woman and man from
the ribs of Napi. This portion of the creation myth, which does not
appear in the version furnished to me by Father Lacombe, is evidently a
novel feature, derived very recently from the missionary teachings.
We are now prepared to find an event of not very ancient history
involved, as may reasonably be conjectured, in the remarkable tradition
obtained by Mr. Wilson concerning the women who lived by themselves
in a district adjoining the land of the Blackfeet, and who finally took
husbands from among the latter. This story holds apparently an important place among the Blackfoot legends. A correspondent, who has paid
much attention to such subjects—Mr. George Bird Grinnell, Ph.D., of
New Tork (editor of ' Forest and Stream ')—sends it to me as he learnt
it from his Blackfoot (Peigan) guide during a hunting tour in the Far ON THE NORTH-WESTERN  TRIBES  OF  CANADA.
199
West two years ago. In this form the story does not appear to have
anything directly to do with the creation. It becomes one of the many
tales in which the ' Old Man' (Napi) is represented as playing the fool,
and as tricked by other powers or by mortals. In reference to his name,
which Mr. Wilson and others write Napi, and Father Lacombe Napiw,
and which Mr. Grinnell renders ' Old Man,' it may be mentioned that
Napi is an adjective, signifying ' old.' Used as a name, it might be rendered 'The Old One'  (in French
je  Vieux; in German, Der Alte).
a name, and signifying, properly,
The following is the legend as told to Mr. Grinnell:—
form, used also as
Napiw is a verbal
' He who is old.'
' As Old Man was going along he came to a big lodge, which was the
woman's home. He went in. The women said to him, " Do you think
that you have men for husbands for us ? " He said, "Who is chief
here ? " A woman replied7~<<That woman behind is chief." He said to
the chief woman, " To-morrow let those women come to the valley. A
Peigan will be there, finely dressed, with leggings trimmed with weasel-
skin; very handsome is his wearing apparel." The chief woman replied,
" Let the others wait. I am first chief woman ; I will be the first to take
a husband." Now Old Man wanted very much to have the chief woman
for his wife, although she did not look nicely. She had been making
dried meat, and her hands and arms and clothing were covered with
blood and grease. The next day the chief woman came to the valley,
and there she found many men. In the midst of them was Old Man,
splendidly dressed, with weasel-skin leggings. As soon as she saw him
the chief woman recognised Old Man ; so she let them all go, and went
back to the women. To them she said, " Tou can take any of these men
except the finely dressed man who stands in the middle. Do not take
him, for he is mine." Then she put on her best apparel, and went to the
valley. The women went to look for husbands. Old Man [who wished
to be chosen by the chief woman] stayed far behind [so that he should not
be taken by any of the others]. All the women chose husbands, and took
all the men to their lodges. One man was still left unchosen—it was Old
Man. The chief woman said, " Old Man thought I was a fool. Now we
will make a buffalo piskan [enclosure], and I will change him into a pine
log, and we will use him for a part of the fence. So Old Man is the fool,
and not the woman." '
As we know the legend of the origin of horses had a recent historical
foundation, so we may also conclude that this story of the women and
their choice of husbands, coupled with the rejection of Napi, had its
origin in some actual occurrence of perhaps no very remote date. We
know, from other noted traditions—such as the ' Rape of the Sabines '
and the capture of wives for the children of Benjamin—how such marriages by wholesale, as they might be styled, are likely to take place. If
there ever was a camp of Indian women with whom no men were found,
we may be tolerably sure that they were the survivors of a war in which
all the fighting men of their tribe had been slain. The band of Kootenais,
who formerly dwelt east of the Rocky Mountains, was certainly not dislodged by their Blackfeet enemies without a desperate war, in which,- as
a natural and almost inevitable result, the men would be killed—perhaps
in a fight at a distance from their homes—and the women, who were left
at home, would be afterwards made prisoners, and would become the
wives of the conquerors. Such events are of common occurrence in Indian
history.    The liberty given to the captive women, when once received as 200
REPORT—1887.
members of the Blackfoot nation, of choosing their own husbands would
be entirely in accordance with Indian sentiments and habits. That these
women should despise and reject Napi, the peculiar and rather ridiculous
divinity of the Algonkins, and should introduce the worship of their own
glorious sun-god, is intelligible enough. Thus we can see how a tradition
as improbable on its face as the coming of horses out of the salt water
may represent an actual event which has deeply affected the language,
religion, and character of the Blackfoot nation. A similar occurrence,
described in Midler's 'Grnndriss der Sprachwissenschaft,'had a still more
remarkable consequence. The Caribs (Galibis) of the South American
mainland, having conquered the Arowaks, who inhabited the neighbouring islands, put the men to death and took the women for wives. The
women, with true Indian independence, retained their own language
among themselves, and taught it, as well as the language of their husbands, to their children. The result was that two languages were subsequently spoken in the tribe—the Galibi among the men, and the Arowak
(mixed, however, with some Carib elements) among the women. If the
conquest had taken place a few generations earlier the two languages
would doubtless have been by this time fused into one—a Carib speech,
with many Arowak elements—and the origin of the mixed race would
have become a story of the Carib mythology.
I may venture to add that Mr. Wilson's carefulness in preserving these
native stories—however trivial they might at first seem—precisely as they
were received by him deserves particular acknowledgment.
The Committee ask for reappointment, with a renewal of the grant.
Second Report of the Committee, consisting of Dr. G-arson, Mr.
Pengelly, Mr. F. W. Rudler, and Mr. G. W. Bloxam (Secretary),
appointed for the purpose of investigating the Prehistoric Race
i/n the Greek Islands.
The Committee have to report that they have again had the benefit of Mr.
and Mrs. Bent's valuable assistance in carrying on investigations during
the past year. The results of explorations must always be uncertain
from the fact that when an exploration is begun, however promising it
may seem to be, it is impossible to tell whether expectations will be
realised regarding it. This year, however, the explorations which
Mr. Bent undertook for the Committee have proved to be successful, as
they have resulted in the discovery of an ancient temple, which proved
to be of Apollo, containing no less than thirteen ancient inscriptions
which have been successfully photographed by Mrs. Bent. The structure
and plan of the temple have been thoroughly explored, and a marble
statue, unfortunately wanting the head, but nevertheless of considerable
value, has been found. Several of the tombs adjoining the temple have
been explored, and massive and elaborate sarcophagi of considerable
interest found in them, which illustrate the customs and art of the
inhabitants of these islands in ancient times.
The field selected for exploration has been an extremely interesting
one, and the work which has been done has thrown much light on the
ancient marble commerce of Thasos,

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