Open Collections

BC Historical Books

BC Historical Books

BC Historical Books

Fifth 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 1889

Item Metadata


JSON: bcbooks-1.0221931.json
JSON-LD: bcbooks-1.0221931-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): bcbooks-1.0221931-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: bcbooks-1.0221931-rdf.json
Turtle: bcbooks-1.0221931-turtle.txt
N-Triples: bcbooks-1.0221931-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: bcbooks-1.0221931-source.json
Full Text

Full Text

Array APPENDIX Fifth Report of the Committee, consisting of Dr. E. B. Tylor,
Dr. (x. M. Dawson, General Sir J. H. Lefroy, Dr. Daniel
Wilson, Mr. K. Gr. Haliburton, and Mr. G-eorge 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.
Remarks on North American Ethnology : Introductory to the Report on the
Indians of British Columbia.   By Hoeatio Hale.
The Province of British Columbia offers probably the best field of ethnological research now to be found in North America.    This distinction is
due to two circumstances, each of much importance.    The one is the fact
that the tribes of this Province have thus far suffered less displacement
and change from foreign influences than those of any other region.   They
still for the most part occupy their original seats, and they retain to a
large extent their primitive customs and beliefs.    The other circumstance,
and one of special scientific interest, is the great number of linguistic
■stocks, or families of languages, which are found in the Province.    There
■are, as will appear from the report and map, no less than eight of these
J stocks, being twice as many as now exist in the whole of Europe.
The importance of this fact will be appreciated if we bear in mind
■ that in America the linguistic stock is the universally accepted unit of
ethnological classification.' It is not that the physical distinctions which
have elsewhere been proposed as the basis of classifications are lacking on
this continent. On the contrary, they are markedly apparent. In colour
the difference is great between the fair-skinned Haidas and Tsimshians
of the northern coasts and islands, and the swarthy, almost black, natives
of Southern California. Even more notable is the difference between the
short, squat, broad-faced, and coarse-featured members of the coast tribes
of Oregon and British Columbia, and the tall, slender, oval-visaged
Indians of the interior. The striking differences of cranial measurement
are shown in Sir Daniel Wilson's work on 'Prehistoric Man.' Hair varying from coarse, straight, and black to fine, brown, and curly; eyes with
horizontal and eyes with oblique openings; noses in some tribes aquiline,
and in others depressed, show varieties as great as those of colour, stature,
and cranial outlines. These and other physical distinctions, however,
have not been accepted by any scientific inquirer in America of late
years as grounds of classification of the native tribes, for the simple \
reason that they are manifestly due to climatic or other local or casual
influences, and cannot be held to indicate any difference of race.
But the distinction of linguistic stocks is radical and profound. The
differences which it indicates extend far beyond language, and are
displayed in the whole nature and character of the speakers of each
language. This fact became apparent to me many years ago, in making
for the U.S. Government an ethnographical.survey of Oregon and of a
part of British Columbia.1 Its existence perplexed me at the time, as it
has since perplexed other investigators; and the question of the origin
of so many linguistic stocks, or languages radically and totally distinct,
found in so limited a district, has appeared to present a problem of the
highest scientific interest.2
In an address delivered before the American Association for the
Advancement of Science in 1886, and published in their volume of
' Proceedings ' for that year, I ventured to propose an explanation of the
origin, not only of these American languages, but of all stock languages;
whatsoever, except, of course, the primitive language (whatever it may
have been) which was spoken by the first community of the human
species. A succinct but clear outline of this theory was given by Pro.
fessor Sayce in his Presidential Address at the Manchester meeting in
1887. While pointing out what he considered the merits of the theory,
Mr. Sayce asked, very reasonably, for more evidence to sustain it than
had been able to include in my brief essay. This evidence I have endeavoured to give in a paper read last year before the Canadian Institute
of Toronto, and published in the ' Proceedings ' of that society for
With Professor Sayce's address in the hands of the members of the
Association, I need only say, briefly, that the theory supposes these isolated
idioms to have had their origin in the natural language-making faculty
of young children. Many instances of languages thus spontaneously
created by children were given; and in my Toronto paper evidence was
produced to show that the words and grammar of such languages might,
and probably would in many cases, be totally different from those of tb
parental speech. The fact was pointed out that in the first peopling o
every country, when, from various causes, families must often be scatter©
at very wide distances from one another, many cases must have occurre
1 ' In the long and narrow section of this continent, included between the Rocky'
Mountains and the Pacific, and extending from the country of the Eskimo on the
north to the Californian Peninsula on the south, there are found perhaps a greater
number of tribes.speaking distinct languages than; in any other territory of the same
size in the world. Not only do these tribes differ in their idioms, but also in personal
appearance, character, and usages.'—United, States Exploring Mcpedition wider
diaries Willies, vol. vii. 'Ethnography and Philology;' by Horatio Sale; 1846; p. 197.
2 ' It [the map] brings out in a most striking way the singular linguistic diversity
which obtains along the west line of this part of America—a fact for which it is
indeed difficult to offer a reasonable explanation, knowing as we do how essentially
maritime the coast tribes are in their habits, and how skilled and fearless they are in]
the management of their excellent canoes. The anomaly appears still greater whenj
we contrast the several clearly defined colonies of the coast with the wide sweep of
the languages of the interior of the Province, where from the generally rugged and
often densely wooded character of the country, and the turbulent nature of the
rivers, intercommunication must have been by comparison extremely difficult.'—Br
George M. Dawson: Preface to ' Comparative Vocabularies of the Indian Tribes of
JBritish Colwnbia; with a MdpiUvstrating Distribution ;' by Drt, Tohnie and l)aivso>i,
1884, p. 7.
where two or more young children of different sexes, left by the death of
I their parents to grow up secluded from all other society, were thus com-
.pelled to frame a language of their own, which would become the mother-
I tongue of a new linguistic stock. This result, it is clear, would only
i follow in those regions where, from the mildness of the climate and the
spontaneous fruitfulhess of the soil, young children would be able to find
subsistence for themselves through all seasons of the year.
It is evident that, along with their new language, these children and
their descendants would have to frame a new religion, a new social policy,
and, in general, new customs and arts, except so far as reminiscences of
the parental example and teachings might direct or modify the latter.
All these conclusions accord precisely with the results of ethnological
investigations in America.
It should, however, be borne in mind that, whether the theory which
I thus proposed is accepted or not, the fact will still remain that the
existence of a linguistic stock involves the absolute certainty that the
■ribe speaking such a form of language, differing entirely from all other
tongues, must have lived for a very long period wholly isolated from all
other communities ; otherwise this idiom would not have had time to be
formed and to become the speech of a tribe sufficiently numerous and
strong to maintain its independence. In this long isolation (however
it might arise) the tribe would necessarily acquire by continual intermarriage a peculiar mental character, common to the whole tribe, and
with it the modes of thought and the social institutions which are the
necessary outcome of such a character. Thus the linguistic stock, whatever its origin, must naturally and necessarily be, as has been said, the
■proper ethnological unit of classification.
The experience of the able philologists of the American Bureau of
■Ethnology entirely confirms these views.    Special attention, of course,
■has been given by them to the investigation of the stocks in North
.America.    Mr. J. C. Pilling, of the Bureau, the author of the valuable
i ,• series of bibliographies of American linguistic stocks now in course of
publication, informs me that the number of these stocks in North America
V north of Mexico), so far as at present determined, is fifty-eight—a greater
Aumber, perhaps, than can be found in the whole eastern hemisphere,
rpart from Central Africa.    Of this number no less than thirty-nine are
■comprised in the narrow strip of territory west of the Rocky Mountains,
which extends from Alaska to Lower California.    Why a great number
of stocks might naturally be looked for along this coast, with its mild and
equable climate, and its shores and valleys abounding in shell-fish, berries,
and edible roots, is fully explained in my essays already referred to.
From what has been said it follows that in our studies of communities
in the earliest stage, we must look, not for sameness, but for almost end-
J less diversity, alike in languages and in social organisations. Instead of
one ' primitive human horde ' we must think of some two or three hundred primitive societies, each beginning in a single household, and expanding gradually to a people distinct from every other, alike in speech,
in character, in mythology, in form of government, and in social usages.
The language may be monosyllabic, like the Khasi and the Othomi ; or
agglutinative in various methods, like the Mantshu, the Nahuatl, the
' ^Eskimo, and the Iroqnoian; or inflected, like the Semitic and the Sahaptin.
Its fonaamay be simple, as in the Maya and the Haida, or complex, as
in the Aryan, the Basque, the Algonkin, and the Tinneh.    The old theo-
^ >■>
jr '800
retical notion, that the more complex and inflected idioms have grown
out of the simpler agglutinative or monosyllabic forms, must be given up
as inconsistent with the results of modern researches.
In like manner, we find among primitive communities every form of
government and of social institutions—monarchy among the Mayas and
the Natchez, aristocracy among the Iroquois and the Kwakiutl, democracy among the Algonkins and the Shoshonees, descending almost to pure,
though perhaps peaceful, anarchy among the Tinneh, the Eskimo, and
various other families.   In some stocks we find patriarchal (or 'paternal')'
institutions, as among the Salish and the Algonkin; in others, matriarchal]
(or ' maternal'), as among the Iroquoian and the Haida.    In some the!
clan system exists; in others it is unknown.    In some exogamy prevails,]
in others endogamy.    In some, women are honoured and have great in-1
fluence and privileges; in others, they are despised and ill-treated.    In]
some, wives are obtained by capture, in others by courtship, in others by
the agreement of the parents.    All these various institutions and usages
exist among tribes in the same stage of culture, and all of them appear to
be equally primitive.    They are simply the forms in which each community, by force of the character of its people, tends to crystallise.
We frequently, however, find evidence, if not of internal development,]
at least of derivation. Institutions, creeds,, and customs are in many!
cases adopted by one stock from another. As there are now ' loan-words '
in all languages, so there are borrowed beliefs, borrowed laws, and bor-
rowed arts and usages. Then, also, there are many mixed communities,
in which, through the effect of conquest or of intermarriages, the physical]
traits, languages, and institutions of two or more stocks have becomej
variously combined and intermingled. In short, the study of human*
societies in the light of the classification by linguistic stocks is like the
study of material substances in the light of their classification by the
chemical elements. In each case we find an almost infinite variety oil
phenomena, some primitive and others secondary and composite, but alll
referable to a limited number of primary constituents: in chemistry, th(|
material elements ; in ethnology, the linguistic stocks. Such is the resul*
of the latest investigations, as pursued on the Western Continent, wher-
for the first time a great number of distinct communities, in the earlies
social stages, have been exposed to scientific observation, with all theS
organisation and workings as clearly discernible as those of bees in ai
glass hive.
The researches of Dr. Boas, while pursued, as will be apparent, with
out any bias of preconceived theory, will throw much valuable light on
the subjects now referred to, as well as on others of equal importance.
It should be added that some of the facts which he has gathered, par-l
ticularly in regard to the tenure of land among the tribes of British1
Columbia, have a great practical value. This is a point which deserves
special mention, as the Canadian Government is now sharing with tht-
Association the expense of these inquiries. Many of the most costly wars
which the Colonial Governments have had to wage with the aboriginal
tribes in America, New Zealand, and elsewhere have arisen, as is well
known, from misunderstandings growing out of the acquisition of land
from the natives. The great benefit which accrued to New Zealand, in
the improved relations between the natives and the colonists, from the
researches of Sir George Grey into the laws, usages, and traditions of the
Maori tribes, is a matter of history,     The state of affairs in British. SB! |u
[Columbia is in some respects remarkably similar to that which prevailed
[in New Zealand. If the inquiries which have been instituted by the
Association shall have the effect of averting a very possible conflict of
traces, their utility will be very great—one might almost say incalculable.
It may be well, therefore, to draw particular attention to some noteworthy
facts set forth in Dr. Boas's report.    We learn that the land occupied by
| certain tribes is held, not by the tribe, nor by individuals, but by the clan,
i or gens, which is consequently the only authority able to dispose of it;
I and, further, that when the land is sold the original owners are still considered by the' native law to retain ' the right of fishing, hunting, and
gathering berries in their old home.' It is easy to see how, when these
native laws and usages are not understood, collisions might at any time
arise, in which each party would naturally claim to be in the right. It
should, further, be borne in mind that as there are eight distinct stocks in
the Province there may possibly be as many distinct systems of land
tenure. At all events, it is certain that the tenure among the tribes in
which the clan system exists must differ in one important respect from
[that of the tribes in which it is unknown.
It is evj lent that, as Dr. Boas suggests, this branch of inquiry is one
which deserves to be carefully prosecuted, both for its scientific interest
and for the great practical benefit which may result from it.
Wyrst General Report on the Indians of British CoT/wmbia.
By Dr. Franz Boas.
Introductory Note.
The following report on the Indians of British Columbia embodies
|the general results of a reconnaissance made by the writer in the summer
- of 1888, under the auspices of the Committee of the British Association
appointed for the purpose of collecting information respecting the North-
Western Tribes of the Dominion of Canada, supplemented by observations
made by the author on a previous trip in the winter of 1886—87.    A
preliminary report was published in the Fourth Report of the Committee.
The present report contains the principal results of the author's investigations on the Tlingit,  Haida,   Tsimshian, and  Kutonaqa  (Kootanie).
His limited time and the preparations for a new journey to British
Columbia, undertaken under the auspices of the Committee, did not
permit him to  study exhaustively the  extensive  osteological material
collected on the previous journeys.    For the same reason the linguistic
material collected among the Nootka and Kwakiutl is kept back.  Besides
this it seemed desirable to await the publication of the grammar of the
latter language by the Rev. A. J. Hall in the 'Transactions of the Royal
Society of Canada' before publishing the linguistic notes on the same
stock, which are necessarily fragmentary when compared to a grammar
drawn up by a student who has lived many years among the Indians
1 speaking that language.    The chapters on social organisation, customs,
art, and knowledge are also necessarily incomplete.    The difficulty of
observing or even acquiring information on such points during a flying
visit of a fortnight—the maximum time spent among any single tribe—
is so overwhelming that no thorough report is possible, and it is almost
impossible   to   guard   against   serious   errors.     On   account   of  this
difficulty the author has paid great attention to the collection of reports
1889. 3 v 802
on historical events and of traditions.    In these the peculiar customs j
and character of a people always  appear very clearly,, and the facts |
mentioned in these tales form a valuable starting-point for the observation of customs which would else remain unnoticed.    Among tribes who
have partly yielded to the influence of the contact with whites they
afford a valuble clue to their former customs.  .
The chapter on ' Arts and Knowledge ' has not been treated fully, as j
the general character of North-West American art is well known, and, in
order to give a complete account of the conventionalism of .the works of
art of these tribes, an exhaustive study is necessary, which the writer has
been so far unable to undertake.
The author's researches do not include the Tinneh tribes, some of
which are comparatively well known. The Salish languages are merely
enumerated, as investigations on this interesting stock are being carried
on, and the material in its present shape would require an early revision.
The present report is supplemented by the following papers by the
'Zur Ethnologievon Britisch-Columbien.' Petermann's Mittheilungen, |
1887. No 5, with map.
' Mittheilungen iiber die Bilqula Indianer.' Original Mittheilungen
aus dem Museum fur Volkerkunde, Berlin, pp. 177-182, with two plates, i
' Die Sprache der Bilqula.'    Verh. anthrop. Ges. Berlin, 1886, pp. i
I Census and Reservations of the Kwakiutl.'    Bull. Am.lGreogr. So«v
Sept. 1887.
' On Certain Songs and Dances of the Kwakiutl.' Journ. Am. Folk-
Lore, 1888, pp. 49-64.
'Chinook Songs.'    Journ. Am. Folk-Lore, 1888, pp. 220-226.
' Die Tsimschian.'   Ztschr. fur Ethnologie, Berlin, 1888, pp. 231-247. \
' The Houses of the Kwakiutl Indians.'  Proc. U.S. National Museum,!
1888, pp. 197-213.
' Notes on the Snanaimuq.'    Am. Anthropologist, Washington, 1889, i
pp. 321-328.
' The Indians of British Columbia.' Trans. Roy. Soc. of Canada,
1888, Sec. II. pp. 47-57.
' Die Mythologie der nordwestamerikanischen Kustenstamme.' Globus,
Braunschweig, 1887-88.
The following alphabet has been used in the report:—
The vowels have their continental sounds, namely : a, as in father;
e, like a in mate; i, as in machine; o, as in note; u, as in rule.
In addition the following are used: a, o, as in German; d=aw in
law; E=e in flower (Lepsius's e).
Among the consonants the following additional letters  have been
g\ a very guttural g, similar to gr; k', a very guttural k, similar I
q, the  German ch in bach;   h, the German  ch in ich f Q,  be- j
to kr
tween  q  and H; c=sh  in  shore;   c, as th in thin; tl, an explosive
dl, a palatal I, pronounced with the back of the tongue (dorso-apical).
Character op the Country,
The north-west coast of America, from Juan de Fuca Strait to Cross
Sound in Alaska, is characterised by its fiords, sounds, and islands, which j
make it very favourable for navigation in canoes and other small craft. ON  THE NORTH-WESTERN TRIBES  OP  CANADA.
[Among the most important of these fiords is Portland  Inlet, in the
[extreme  north of the territory.    Near" its mouth Nass River empties
[itself, which is navigable for canoes for about 80 miles.    Between the
55th and 54th degrees of latitude the coast is comparatively open.   Here
I the Skeena River has its mouth.    Farther south we find an extremely
intricate network of fiords and channels, some of which penetrate far
\ into the interior.    Among these we may mention Gardner and Douglas
I Channels, Dean Inlet, and Bentinck Arm, and the straits and sounds
I separating Vancouver Island from the mainland.   This region has a very
> temperate climate, the heat of summer and the cold of winter being
moderated by the influence of the sea winds.    This influence, however,
does not extend far inland, and a few miles from the sea-coast low temperatures prevail in winter.    While intercourse all along the coast is
greatly facilitated by its character, it is almost impossible to penetrate
into the interior, the high peaks of the coast ranges rising abruptly
from the sea.   There are only a few passes by means of which intercourse
is possible.    The most important of these are on Skeena River, and on
Salmon and Bella Coola Rivers of Dean Inlet and Bentinck Arm.
As the precipitation all along the coast is very great, its lower parts
are covered, with dense forests, which furnish wood for building houses
and canoes. Among these, the pine, hemlock, and the red and yellow
cedar are the most prominent; while the hard wood of the maple is used
for implements of various kinds, principally for paddles. The woods
abound with numerous kinds of berries, which are eagerly sought for by
the Indians. They also make use of the kelp and seaweed with which
the sea abounds.
In the woods the deer, the elk, the cariboo, the black and the grizzly
bears, the wolf, and numerous other animals, are found. The mountain goat lives on the high mountain ranges. The beaver, the otter, and
the fur-seal furnish valuable skins. The Indians keep a great number
of dogs in their villages, which look almost exactly like the coyote. In
the northern villages they are much like the Eskimo dog.
Of prime importance to the natives is the abundance of fish and other
animals living in the sea. Seals, sea-lions, and whales are found in
considerable numbers, but the Indian depends almost entirely upon the
various species of salmon and the olachen (Thaleichthys pacificus, Gir.),
which are caught in enormous quantities in the rivers. Various species
of cod and halibut are caught throughout the year: herrings visit the
coast early in spring; in short, there is such an abundance of animal life
in the sea that the Indians live almost solely upon it. Besides fish, they
gather several kinds of shell-fish, sea-eggs, and cuttle-fish.
The interior of the Province is throughout mountainous, with the exception of a portion of the territory occupied by the Tinneh. The country
east of the coast ranges is comparatively dry, hot in summer and cold in
winter. The southern parts of this region are desolate, the rivers cutting
deep gorges through the valleys, which are filled with drift. Agriculture
can be carried on only by means of irrigation, but the country is well
adapted to stock-raising. Salmon ascend the rivers, and the lakes are
well stocked with fish, which forms the staple food of the tribes west of the
Selkirk Range. Between this range and the Rocky Mountains the wide
valley of the Cc ambia and Kootenay Rivers extends from the International Boundary to near the great bend of the Columbia. The Indians
of this valley have access to the great plains over a number of passes.
3 v 2
^^-a&sayj-^gaig^-jy 804
The country i3 inhabited by a great number of tribes belonging to
seven or eight linguistic stocks. Certain similarities of form and
phonetic elements between the Tlingit and Haida languages have given
rise to the opinion that farther researches may show them to be remote
branches of the same stock. This presumption might appear to be
strengthened by their divergence from all other stocks inhabiting the
territory. Nevertheless the dissimilarity of vocabularies and of grammatical elements is so great that the coincidences referred to cannot yet
be considered sufficient proof of their common origin, although the two
languages must be classed together in one group when compared with the
other languages of the North Pacific coast. Counting them for the
present as separate stocks, we distinguish the following families :—
1. Tlingit.—Inhabiting Southern Alaska.
2. Haida.—Inhabiting Queen Charlotte Islands and part of Prince of
Wales Archipelago.
3. Tsimshian.—Inhabiting Nass and Skeena Rivers and the adjacent
4. Kwakiutl.—Inhabiting the coast from Gardiner Channel to Cape
Mudge, with the sole exceptions of the country around Dean Inlet and
the west coast of Vancouver Island.
5. The Nootka.—Inhabiting the west coast of Vancouver Island.1
6. The Salish.—Inhabiting the coast and the eastern part of Vancouver Island south of Cape Mudge, the southern part of the interior as
far as the cr£st of the Selkirk Range and the northern parts of Washington, Idaho, and Montana.
7. The Kutonaqa.—Inhabiting the valley of the Upper Columbia
River, Kootenay Lake and River, and the adjoining parts of the United
The Tlingit, although not belonging properly to British Columbia,
have been included in this report, as they must be considered in a study
of the Haida and Tsimshian.
I do not enumerate the tribes composing the Tlingit ard Haida
peoples, as the former have been treated by Dr. A. Krause in his
excellent work, ' Die Tlinkit Indianer,' while I am not acquainted with
the subdivisions of the latter. Dr. G. M. Dawson in his ' Report on the
Queen Charlotte Islands' gives a list of villages. It seems that the
Haida divide their people into several groups, each group comprising a
number of villages. The Haida call themselves Qa'eda, i.e. people.
They are called by the Tlingit Dekyino', i.e. people of the sea. The
Tsimshian call them Haida, which is evidently derived from Qa'efla.
The following list of Tsimshian tribes was obtained by inquiries at
the mouth of Skeena River.
The language is spoken in two principal dialects, the Nasqa' and the-
Tsimshian proper.
I. Tribes speaking the Nasqa' dialect:
1. Nasqa', on Nass River.
2. Gyitksa'n, on the upper Skeena River=people of the Ksia'n.
1 New observations made in 1889 seem to indicate that there exists an affinity |
between the fourth and fifth groups. ON THE  NORTH-WESTERN  TRIBES  OF  CANADA.
II. Tribes speaking the Tsimshian proper:
1. Ts'Emsia'n, on the mouth of Skeena River=on the Ksia'n.
2. Gyits'umra'lon, below the canon of Skeena River=people on
the upper part of the river.
3. Gyits'ala'ser, at the canon of Skeena River=canon people.
4. Gyitqa'tla, on the islands off the mouth of Skeena River=
people of the sea.
5. Gyitg'a'ata, on the shores of Grenville Channel =peopie of the
poles, so called on account of their salmon weirs.
6. Gyidesdzo', north-west of Milbank Sound.
Some of these tribes are subdivided into septs, each of which inhabits
one village (see 'Ztschr. fur Ethnologie,' 1888, p. 232).
1 The Tsimshian are called by the Tlingit Ts'otsQE'n ; by the Heiltsuk*
Kwe'tsla; by the Bilqula, Elqi'miH ; while the Haida designate each
tribe by its proper name.
The whole people is divided into four clans: the raven, called Kan-
ha'da ; the eagle, called LaqsM'yek; the wolf, called Laqkyebo'; and the
bear, called GyispotuwE'da. Details on this subject will be found in the
chapter on social organisation,
4. The Kwakiutl.—So far as I am aware, the language is spoken in
three dialects, the people speaking them not being wholly unintelligible
to each other : the Qaisla', the Heiltsuk-, and the Kwakiutl proper. The
•Qaisla' is spoken north of Grenville Channel; the Heiltsuk' embraces the
tribes from Grenville Channel to Rivers Inlet; the Kwakiutl proper is
spoken from Rivers Inlet to the central part of Vancouver Island. I do
not enter into an enumeration of the many tribes of this group, one list
having been published by Dr. George M. Dawson in the ' Transactions of
the Royal Society of Canada,' 1887, another, accompanied by a detailed
map by the writer, in Petermann's ' Mittheilungen,' 1887.
The most northern tribe of this group, the Qaisla', are called Gyit'ama't
by the Tsimshian; the Gyimanoitq of Gardner Channel are called
Gyitlo'p by the same people. The Heiltsuk* proper are called Wutsta'
by the Tsimshian, Elk'l^/sumH by the Bilqula.
5. Nootka.—Regarding their tribal divisions I would refer to Sproat's
' Scenes and Studies of Savage Life.' The PE'ntlatc call the Nootka
Cole'itc, but as a rule this name is used for the tribes of Alberni Channel
only. The Qatlo'ltq call these tribes O'mene, the Sk^qo'mic call them^
Tc'Eca'atq. (Detailed information on the tribes of this stock will be
given in tile report for 1890.)
6. The Salish.—This important stock, which inhabits a large part of
British Columbia and the adjacent territories of the United States, is
represented by two groups of tribes on the coast of the province :—
A. The Bilqula of Dean Inlet and Bentinck Arm, comprising four
B. The Coast Salish.—I comprise in this group the numerous dialects
■of the Salish stock that are spoken on the coasts of the Gulf of Georgia
and of Puget Sound.    The difference between these tribes and those of
| the interior, in regard to their mode of life and language, is so marked
that we may be allowed to class them in one large group. H. Hale and
A. Gallatin first pointed out their affinities to the Salish proper.   A num.
Pber of tribes of Puget Sound are included under the name of Niskwalli
(more properly, Nsk'oa'li), but it seems to me that the subdivisions of the 806
REPORT 1889.
latter are not perfectly known. The Niskwalli would properly form one-
of the larger divisions of the Coast Salish. The latter is spoken in the
following dialects in British Columbia:—
1. Catlo'ltq, in Discovery Passage, Valdes Island, Bute and Malas-
pina Inlets.    The Qatlo'ltq are called Ko'moks by the Le'kwiltok*.
2. Si'ciatl, in Jervis Inlet. Called Si'catl by the Snanaimuq, Ni'ciatl
by the gatlo'ltq.
3. P-E'ntlatc, from Comox to Qualekum.
4. Sk-qo'mic, on Howe Sound and Burrard Inlet. Called Sk'qoa'mic-
by the gatlo'ltq.
5. K'au'itcin, from Nonoos Bay to Sanitch Inlet, and on Fraser River
as far as Spuzzum.
6. Lku'ngEn, on the south-eastern part of Vancouver Island. Called
Lku'mEn by the K'au'itcin.
Similar to their language is the Tla'lEm of the south coast of Juan de
Fuca Strait; the S'a'mic, which is spoken east of San Juan Island; the-
Semia'mo of Semiamo Bay, and the Qtlumi (Lummi).
C. Ntlakya'pamuQ, from Spuzzum to Ashcroft.
D. Stla'thumH, on Douglas and Lilloet Lakes.
E. SQua'pamuQ, from Kamloops and Sh'ushwap Lakes to  Quesnelle..
Called Tlitk'atEwu'mtlat by the Kutona'qa (= without shirts
and trousers).
P. Okina'k'en, on Okanagan and Arrow Lakes.    Called TcitQua'ut by
the Ntlakya'pamuQ; Kank''utla'atlam (= flatheads) by the Kutona'qa.
7. The Kutona'qa (Kootenay), inhabiting the valley of the Kootenay
and Columbia Rivers. The language is spoken in two slightly differing-
dialects, the upper and lower Kootenay.
I. Upper Kootenay, on the Columbia Lakes and upper Kootenay
(1) Aqkisk'anu'kEnik, = tribes of the (Columbia) lakes.
(2) Aqk'a'mnik, at Fort Steele.
(3) Aqk'anequ'nik (= river Indians), Tobacco Plains.
(4) Aqkrye'nik, Lake Pend d'Oreille.
II. Lower Kootenay.
Aquqtla'tlqo, Aquqenu'kqo ; Kootenay Lake.
The Kutona'qa call the Blackfeet Saha'ntla = bad Indians ; the Creer
Gutskiau'm = liars ; the Sioux, Katsk'agi'tlsak = charcoal legs.
The census returns of the Indian Department give the following numbers for the various peoples. The Tlingit are not included in this list, as
they do not live in British territory.
Haida, Kaigani excepted (estimated)
Tsimshian (estimated)
Bilqula and Heiltsuk- (estimated)
Nootka        .....
Kwakiutl and Lekwiltok"   .
Coast Salish        ....
Ntlakyapamuq, Stla'tliumH, and SQua'
Okina'k-e    .....
1,020   1,004
These figures show that the census is approximate only.    The inland ON  THE  NORTH-WESTERN  TRIBES  OF  CANADA.
tribes appear to be decreasing in numbers, while the coast tribes appear
to be almost stationary. The above list gives a total of about 27,900.
To these must be added 1,500 Tinneh and 8,522 'bands not visited,'
whoever these may be.
The Indians of the interior have almost entirely given up their ancient
customs. They are mostly Roman Catholics, but there are a few Protestants. Of course a considerable amount of paganism is still lurking
under the Christianism of these natives. They are good stock-raisers, and
endeavour to irrigate their lands; but it seems that the majority are poor.
The lower Kutona'qa still adhere, to a great extent, to their ancient customs. They are principally fishermen. All the Salish tribes catch a
considerable amount of fish, while the upper Kutona'qa were originally
The coast Indians are well off up to this day.    While the efforts of
missionaries among the Haida have so far not been very successful, the
Tsimshian proper have become Christianised.    They have given up all
their old customs except those referring to their social organisation.   The
gentes are still acknowledged, and the laws referring to the mutual snp-
I port among members of one gens and to the work to be done by the
I father's gens at certain occasions (see p. 837) are still in force.    The final
giving up of customs seems to be done by the council, not by the individuals.    The Heiltsuk* have been Protestants for  many years, while
I the Bilqula  are   still  uninfluenced by contact with missionaries.    The
I same is true, to a large extent, among the Kwakiutl, only a few individuals
of the Nimkic tribe adhering to the Episcopalian Church.    The Coast
Salish belong in part to the Roman Catholic Church ; but notwithstanding
their  allegations  paganism still  prevails  to  a  great  extent.    In the
report  of ' the Department of Indian Affairs almost all  of them  are
enumerated as Roman Catholics, even the pagan tribes of Comox, Victoria,
and  Nanaimo,  where  their  old  customs are still rigidly  adhered  to.
Among  the   Nootka the   Roman   Catholics  have   gained  considerable
In my preliminary report I have dwelt upon the present state of these
Indians, the causes of their discontent, and'the incapacity of white
settlers to understand the peculiar culture of the Indian. The establishment of industrial schools, which is now taken up energetically, is a
great step forward, and will help the Indians to reach independence and
j to retain or regain self-esteem, one of the foundations of progress. T will
j not repeat the statements made and the views expressed last year. It is
to be hoped that by a considerate land policy, by the encouragement of
industries rather than of agriculture, and by an attempt to develop existing
institutions instead of destroying them the Indians will in course of time
become useful men and good citizens.
Physical Character.
The physical characteristics of the coast tribes are very uniform. This
is undoubtedly due to the frequent intermarriages between the various
tribes, which have had also a distinct effect upon the various languages,
some of which have borrowed great numbers of words from the languages
spoken by neighbouring tribes. I shall refer to this fact later on.
The habitus of the northern tribes of this region is similar to that of
East Asiatic tribes—a fact which was observed by R. Virchow,  who
m 808
fixamined a number of Bilqula who visited Berlin in the winter of
1885-86. This similarity is very marked among the Tlingit, Haida,
Tsimshian, Kwakiutl and Bilqula, to a less extent among the Nootka, while
the Coast Salish and the Salish of the interior show a different type. As
the Bilqula speak a language belonging to the Salish family, it must be
assumed that they acquired their distinct physical character through
intermixture with the neighbouring tribes.
Many tribes of this region are in the habit of deforming the heads of
their children. I noticed three different methods of deformation. The
tribes of the northern part of Vancouver Island use circular bandages
by means of which the occiput acquires an extraordinary length. Excessively deformed heads of this kind are found on the northern part of
the west coast of Vancouver Island among the K'oski'mo. Farther south
a strong pressure is exerted upon the occiput, a bandage is laid around
the head immediately behind the coronal suture, and a soft cushion is
used for pressing down the forehead. The Flatheads proper compress
forehead and occiput by means of boards or hard cushions. It seems
that the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian never practised the custom of
head-flattening. It is unfortunate that no observations on the Tsimshian
of the upper Skeena River exist. Those at the mouth of the river have
frequently intermarried with the Tlingit, Haida, and Heiltsuk*.
Among the Tlingit, Haida, Tsimshian and Heiltsuk' the custom prevails of perforating the lower lips of the females. In these perforations,
which are enlarged with increasing age, labrets are worn, which are in
some instances as long as 40mm. and as wide as 20mm. The men of all
the coast tribes have the septum perforated, the operation being performed in early childhood. Earrings are worn either in a series of perforations of the helix .or in the lobe of the ear.
Chiefs' daughters, among the Tsimshian, have the incisors ground
down to the gums by chewing a pebble of jade, the row of teeth thus
assuming an arched form.
Among the Nootka scars may frequently be seen running at regular
intervals from the shoulder down the breast to the belly, and in the same
way down the legs and arms. Tattooings are found on arms, breast, back,
legs, and feet among the Haida; on arms and feet among the Tsimshian,
Kwakiutl, and Bilqula; on breast and arms among the Nootka ; on the
jaw among the Coast Salish women. -
Members of tribes practising the Hamats'a ceremonies (see p. 851)
show remarkable scars produced by biting. At certain festivals it is the
duty of the Hamats'a to bite a piece of flesh out of the arms, leg, or
breast of a man.
The women of the Kwakiutl tribes wear very tight anklets, which
prevent free circulation between feet and legs. These anklets leave
lasting impressions.
Before describing the general features of these tribes I give a table of
measurements. Unfortunately I was not in possession of a glissiere, and
therefore no great weight is attributed to the" measures, which ought to
be made with that instrument. A T-square, to which a movable arm was
attached, was used as a substitute. The seven individuals, all male, were
measured in the jail at Victoria, kind permission having been given by
Major Grant. I did not consider it advisable to make anthropometrical
measurements in the villages of the natives, *as I feared to rouse their
distrust, and had nowhere time to become well acquainted with them.   It ON  THE  NORTH-WESTERN  TRIBES  OF  CANADA.
lis almost impossible to use profitably a very short time for both anthro-
pometrical and ethnological collections.
The following" individuals were measured:—
1. Getgalga'o  (Samuel), 25 years old;  raven gens;
native of Coal Harbour.
2. Johnny Dixie, circ-   50 years old; native of Skide-
3. Johnny, circ. 32 years old; native of Port Simpson.
4. William Seba'sa, circ. 28 years old;  raven gens ;
native of Meqtlakqatla.
5. Peter Vann, Kesuwa'tk, circ. 25 years old; wolf gens;
native of Meqtlakqatla.
Kwakiutl:    6. Nalakyu
tsa, circ. 50 y
ears old; native of Port B
Nootka :        7. "Wispu, <
lire. 25 years; Nitinath.
a a
Johnny Dixie from
circa 50 years
Johnny, 32 years,
Fort Simpson
00     r>
-03 ,2
<R "S «>■
a) 0$ u \
CO  O<oj j
Q  03 >-> 1
S *°
> S3
Peter "Vann, Kesuwa'tk
25 years
0 3
a 0
p 10
a a
os 2
03  ^
"os 5
Wispu from Nitinath,
circa 25 years
I. I
Maximum length
• 201
Maximum width
Height of ear   ....
Chin to hair      ....
Chin to root of nose .
' 126
Root of nose to mouth
Width of face between zyg. arch.
„                „ angles of jaw
„     of sup. max. bone
Distance of edges of orbits
„        inner corners of eyes
„         outer corners of eyes
Chin to tragus ....
Tragus to root of nose
Nose, height     ....
„    width      ....
Mouth, length  ....
Ear, height       ....
Horizontal circumference.
Vertical circumference from ear
to ear
II. I,
Length-width index.
I   77-6
Height of ear index .       .       .
Facial index     ....
Nasal index      ....
1   65-5
68-3 810
_io m
KD  5
3 a!
ie fro
0)  o
Jj  of
09 "c8 2
a o
(3 oa
Si 9
>7 P
4)    r-* 3
\MM   CD
from Cc
a o
2 ii10
CO    3
III. Body.
Total height     ....
Distance between fi nger-tips, the
amis extended horizontally
Height of chin ....
„        top of sternum.
„        shoulder (right)
„        elbow (right)   .
„        wrist....
„        second finger    .
„        nipples
„        navel
„        crista ilii .
„        symphysis.
„        perinasum .
„        ant. sup. iliac spine .
„        trochanter
„        patella
—   '
„        malleolus internus   .
„        seventh vertebra
„        vertex in sitting
— ■
Width between iliac spines
„            iliac crests
„             trochanters
Circumference of chest
„               waist
thigh    .
„               calf of leg
Length of thumb
,,         second finger    .
Width of hand at fingers .
Length of foot ....
It appears from these tables that the size of these Indians varies considerably ; including measurements of nine Bilqula, made by B>. Virchow
(see I Verh. G-es. f. Anthr., Bthn. n. Urg.' 1886, p. 215), the average height
is 1,655 mm., the extremes being 1,743 mm. and 1,542 mm. I am under
the impression that, as regards size, the Coast Salish are much smaller
than the other tribes. The distance between the tips of the finger, the
arms being extended, is in all cases greater than the total height. The-
skin is very light, resembling that of Europeans. Only No. 6 of the
above table has a somewhat reddish hue. This, however, is due to the-
fact that he is the only one among the individuals measured who does
not wear trousers and shirt, but still adheres to the ancient custom of
wearing a blanket.    In most cases the hair is black, smooth, coarse, and ON THE NORTH-.WESTERN  TRIBES  OF  UL    DA.
It seems that the heads of the
brachycephalic than those of the
decide how far that is due to arti-
abundant. In a few cases it has a brownish tinge. In alTNtribes there
are a few individuals who have slightly wavy hair. In the vii\lage of
Sa'menos, in Cowitchin Valley, I observed wavy or even V 'v fbair
comparatively frequently. It is worth remarking that the Indian^ have
a tradition referring to this fact, which shows that this peculiarity has
obtained for several generations. The eyebrows are thick, and remarkably wide on the outer side. This peculiarity may also be observed in
the carvings of these tribes. The eyebrows are carefully trimmed. The
beard is sparse, but it must be remembered that the hair is generally
pulled out as it appears, particularly on the cheeks, while the moustache
and the chin-tuft are allowed to grow. The iris is dark brown. Virchow
first pointed out the frequent occurrence of the plica interna. I found it
to occur very generally, particularly among the Haida and Tsimshian.
The face is wide, the cheek-bones prominent, the index chamse-
prosopic, averaging (including Virchow's measures) 83'1. The nose is
narrow, the root narrow and depressed. The ridge of the nose is frequently depressed, particularly among the Haida and Tsimshian; while
among the Nootka, Kwakiutl, and Salish I observed very generally
straight or slightly hooked noses,
southern tribes are decidedly more
northern tribes ; but it is difficult to
ficial deformation.
From the limited material at my disposal, I do not venture to describe
any physical features as characteristic of one tribe or the other. The-
frequent intermarriages between the various tribes make it probable that
none of them shows peculiar somatological characteristics which do not
occur also among the neighbouring-tribes. Notwithstanding this fact, it
is quite possible to distinguish individuals belonging to various tribes,
but this is principally due to the variety of artificial deformations. The
Kwakiutl have a remarkably deep sinus in the hair at its anterior margin.
Their heads are very long and wide, particularly when compared with
the width of the face.
I am unable in the present report to give a full description of the
crania and skeletons I collected; the latter belong principally to tribes of
the Salish stock. I have only a single Tsimshian cranium, which, however, is of some interest. Plates X. to XV. are orthogonal tracings of four
Tsimshian crania. Nos. XI. to XIII. are from the Morton Collection in
the Museum of the Academy of Natural Sciences at Philadelphia. The
measurements of this series of crania are given in the table on the following page.
Notes.—No. X, was a syphilitic individual. Marks of the disease are
seen particularly around the bregma and on the right parietal bone.
The cranium is asymmetrical, more particularly the occiput. The sagittal
suture in its hind part is depressed, while slight indications of a ridge
may be seen in the part immediately behind the bregma. The face is
narrow as compared to the other specimens. The grooves of the lachrymal
duct are comparatively small. The most peculiar feature of the present
skull is its dental and alveolar prognathism of the upper row of teeth,
which project considerably over the lower one.
Nos. XI., XII., and XIII.- show very marked sagittal ridges. There is
no indication of premature/synostosis, and I conclude that this must be
considered a characteristic feature of.these skulls. No. XII. has a flattened
occiput, but without any compensatory flattening of the forehead.    This 312
shows that ^ne flattening is not intentional, but merely the result of the
hardness of the cradle board on which the child was kept. The occi-
■nifoal spine and protuberance of No. XII. are very strongly developed, but.
they are very marked in all the crania. The vertical plate of the ethmoid
bone and the nasal process of the maxillary bones are in Nos. XI. and
XII. much distorted.
No. 85.
No. 213.
No. 214.
No. 987.
Youth, about
18 years of age
1. Horizontal length
2. Maximum length.
3.          „         width .
4. Minimum width of forehead
5. Total height....
6. Height of ear       ...
7. Length of basis    .
8. Width of basis     .
9. Length of pars basilaris
10. Max. width of For. Magn.   .
■ 28
11. Max. length of For. Magn. .
. 38
12. Horizontal circumference
13. Sagittal circumference
14. Vertical circumference.
15. Width of face
16. Width between zygm. arches
17. Height of upper face   .
69 >
18. Height of nose
19. Max. width of nose
20. Width of orbit     .
21. Height of orbit    .
22. Length of palate .
23. Width of palate at  second
24. Width of palate at posterior
25. Length of face
26. Angle of profile    .
Length—width   ....
1        76-7
1        76-7
Length—height ....
I do not intend, in the present report, to treat of the deformed crania of
the southern tribes. Suffice it to say that three methods of deformation
are practised in British Columbia: (i) the conical one, which results in the
long heads of the Kwakiutl, and which is also used by the Qatloltq; (ii) the
flattening by means of cushions and bandages, resulting in asymmetrical
hyperbrachycephalic heads; and (iii) flattening by means of boards. It
may be of interest to show the effect of these methods upon the length and
width of the crania. The second group comprises only crania flattened
by means of cushions. I add a short column of crania with little or no
1 Height of face, 116. ON  THE  NORTH-WESTERN  TRIBES  OF  CANADA.
1. Comox
2. Sanitch
3. Songish
171 •
Average   .
. 175
The following are measurements of a few Songish crania in the possession of Dr. Milne, of Victoria, British Columbia.
Songish Crania.
1. Horizontal length     ....
2. Maximum length
3. Intertuberal length .
4. Maximum width
5. Minimum width of forehead
6. Total height
7. Height of bregma    .
8. Height of ear   .
9. Height from ear to vertex
10. Length of basis
IQa. Width of basis
11. Length of pars basilaris   .
12. Max. width of foramen magnum ■   .
13. Max. length of foramen magnum
14. Horizontal circumference
15. Sagittal circumference
16. Vertical circumference
17. Width of face .
18. Width between zygom. arch   .
19. Height of face .
20. Height of upper part of face   .
21. Height of nose
22. Max. width of nose .
23. Max. width of orbit .
24. Horizontal width of orbit
25. Maximum height of orbit
26. Vertical height of orbit   .
37 •
27. Length of palate
28. Width of palate at second molar
29. Width of palate at posterior end
30. Length of face	
|        102
1 Vertex 25 mm. behind bregma.
124 Sut. nas. front, to bregma, 222 Lambda, 248 interparietal sut. S14
Finally, I give a series of measurements of seven crania from Lytton,
probably of the Ntlakyapamuq, collected a number of years ago by
Dr. dr. M. Dawson, who kindly had the measurements made at my request.
Skulls from Lytton B. C. in the Museum of the Geological and Natural
History Survey of Canada.
Senses and Mental Charactebs.
It is only with a considerable degree of diffidence that I venture to
•express an opinion on the senses, mental capacity, and character of the
natives of British Columbia. Observations made in the course of a few
•days hardly entitle an observer to judge of the mental faculties or of the
virtues and vices of a people. The only tribes with whom I came into
^closer contact are the Tlatlasik"oala of Hope Island and the Catloltq
of Comox, among both of whom I lived for a few weeks in 1886.
The Indians of the whole coast are able-bodied and muscular, the
upper limbs being very generally better developed than the lower ones,
as the constant use of the paddle strengthens arms and chest. They
have a keen sight, but in old age become frequently blear-eyed, presumably an effect of the smoke which always fills the houses. I have not
made any experiments regarding their acuteness of sight, hearing,, and
smell. Their mental capacity is undoubtedly a high one. The state of
their culture is ample proof of this. I have expressed my opinion regarding the possibility of educating them at another place.
The best material for judging their character is contained in their
•stories, in which appears what is considered good and what bad, what
commendable and what objectionable, what beautiful and what otherwise.
Regarding the last point, whiteness of skin and slenderness of limbs is
considered one of the principal beauties of men and women. Another
beauty of the latter is long, black hair. In some tales red hair is described as a peculiar beauty of women. Red paint on the face, tight-
fitting bracelets and anklets of copper, nose- and ear-ornaments of
variegated haliotis shells, and hair strewn with easrle- downs add to the
natural charms. The fact that in honour of the arrival of friends the
house is swept and strewn with sand, and that the people bathe at such
occasions, shows that cleanliness is appreciated. The current expression
is that the house is so cleaned that no bad smell remains to offend thV
guest. For the same reason the Indian takes repeated baths before
praying, c that he may be of agreeable smell to the Deity/
The Indian is grave and self-composed in all his actions. This is
shown by the fact that playing is not only considered undignified, but
actually as bad. In the Tsimshian language the term for \ to play l
means to talk to no purpose : and doing anything i to no purpose ' is contemptible to the Indian.
He is rash in his anger, but does not easily lose control over his
actions. He sits down or lies down sullenly for days without partaking
of food, and when he rises his first thought is, not how to take revenge,
but to show that he is superior to his adversary. A. great pride and
vanity, combined with the most susceptible jealousy, characterise all
actions of the Indian. He watches that he may receive his proper share
of honour at festivals; he cannot endure to be ridiculed for even the
slightest mistake ; he carefully guards all his actions, and looks for due
honour to be paid to him by friends, strangers, and subordinates. This
peculiarity appears most clearly in great festivals, which are themselves
an outcome of the vanity of the natives, and of their love of displaying
their power and wealth. To be strong, and able to sustain the pangs of
hunger, is evidently considered worthy of praise by the Indian; but foremost of all is wealth.
It is considered the duty of every man to have pity upon the poor
and hungry. Women are honoured for their chastity and for being true
to their husbands; children, for taking care of their parents ; men, for
skill and daring in hunting, and for bravery in war.
Closely connected with their vanity is their inclination to flatter the
stranger or friend, but particularly anyone who is expected to be of
service to the Indian. Vanity and servility are the most unamiable
traits of his character. Wit and humour are little appreciated, although
they are not wanting. The character of the Indian, on the whole, is
sombre, and he is not given to gentle emotions. Even his festivals have
this character, as he retains his dignity throughout.
Pood—Hunting and Pishing—Clothing—Implements.
It is not the object of this report to give a fall description of the
various kinds of food and of the methods of hunting and fishing. It
seems, however, desirable to mention the most important points in
connection with this subject.
The principal part of the food of the natives is derived from the sea.
It seems that whales are pursued only exceptionally, though the West
Vancouver tribes are great whalers. Sea-lions and seals are harpooned,
the barbed harpoon-point being either attached to, a bladder or tied to
the stem of the boat. The harpoon lines are made of cedar-bark and
"sinews. The meat of these sea-animals is eaten, while their intestines are
used for the manufacture of bowstrings and bags. The bristles of the sea-
lion are used by the TsimsHan and the neighbouring tribes for adorning
dancing ornaments. Codfish and halibut are caught by means of hooks.
These are attached to fish-lines made of cedar-twigs, or, what is more
/ 816
Mg. 1.
frequently used, of kelp. The hook, the form of which is well known,
is provided with a sinker, while the upper part is kept afloat by a bladder
or by a piece of wood. The hooks rfre set, and after a while taken up.
Cuttle-fish is extensively used for bait. The fish are either roasted near
or over the fire, or boiled in baskets or wooden kettles by means of red-
hot stones. Those intended for use in winter are split in strips and dried
in the sun, or on frames that are placed over the fire. I did not observe
such frames among the tribes south of the Snanaimuq. The most important fish, however, is the salmon, which is caught in weirs when
ascending the rivers, in fish-traps, or by mea,ns of nets dragged between
two boats. Later in the season salmon are harpooned. For fishing in
deep water a very long double-pointed harpoon is used. Herring and
olachen are caught by means of a long rake. The latter are tried in
canoes filled with water, which is heated by means of red-hot stones.
The oil is kept in bottles made of dried and cleaned kelp. In winter
dried halibut dipped in oil is one of the principal dishes of the tribes
living on the outer coast. Fish, when caught, are carried in open-work
wooden baskets. Clams and mussels are collected in a similar kind of
basket. They are eaten roasted, or dried for winter use. Cuttle-fish are
caught by means of long sticks ; sea-eggs, in nets which are fastened to
a round frame. Fish-roe, particularly that of herrings, is collected in
great quantities, dried, and eaten with oil.
Sea-grass is cut in pieces and dried so as to form square cakes, which
are also eaten with oil, as are all kinds of dried berries and roots. The
Kwakiutl and their neighbours keep their provisions in large
boxes. These are bent out of thin planks of cedar. At those
places where the edges of the box are to be, a triangular strip
is cut out of the plank, which is thus reduced in thickness.
Then it is bent so that the sides of the triangle touch each
After three edges have been made, the sides of the fourth are sewed
together.    The bottom is either sewed or nailed to the box.    The lid
either overlaps the sides of the box (fitting on it as the
cover on a pill-box) or moves on a kind of hinges.    In
the latter case it has always the following form.
The Coast Salish keep their stock of provisions on
a loft, with which every house is provided.
In winter deer are hunted. Formerly bows and arrows were used
for this purpose, but they have now been replaced by guns. The bow
was made of yew-wood. The arrows had stone, bone, and iron points.
The bow was held horizontally, the shaft of the arrow resting between
the first and second fingers of the left hand, that grasps the rounded
central part of the bow, while the arrow is held between the thumb and
the side of the first finger. Deer are also captured by being driven into
large nets made of cedar-bark, deer-sinews, or nettles. Elk are hunted
in the same way. For smaller animals traps are used. Birds are shot
with arrows provided with a thick wooden plug instead of a point.
Deer-skins are worked into leather and used for various purposes,
principally for ropes, and formerly for clothing. The natives of this
region go barelegged. The principal part of their clothing is the blanket.
This is made of tanned skins, or more frequently woven of mountain-
sheep wool, dog's hair, or of a mixture of both. The thread is spun on
the bare leg, and by means of a stone spindle.   The blanket is woven on a
ilsolid frame. Another kind of blanket is woven of soft cedar-bark, the
[warp being tied across the weft. They are trimmed with fur. At the
present time woollen blankets are extensively used. Men wear a shirt
under the latter, while women wear a petticoat in addition. Before the
introduction of woollen blankets, women used to wear an apron made of
cedar-bark and a belt made of the same material. The head is covered
with a water-tight hat made of roots. In rainy weather and in the canoe
a water-tight cape or a poncho, both made of cedar-bark, is used.
The women dress their hair in two plaits, while the men wear it comparatively short. The latter keep it back from the face by means of a
strap of fur or cloth. Ear and nose ornaments are extensively used.
[They are made of bone and hahotis-shell.
Besides the baskets mentioned above, a variety of others are used,
'j some made of dried seaweed, for keeping sewing-utensils; others made of
I cedar-bark, for storing away blankets. Still others are used for carrying
the travelling outfit. They have two straps attached to them, one
passing over the brow, the other over the breast, of the carrier. Watertight baskets made of roots are used for cooking purposes and for holding
water. Mats made of cedar-bark, of reed, and of rushes are used to a
great extent, for covering the walls of the house, for bedding, for packing,
for travelling in canoes, &c.
In olden times work in wood was extensively done by means of stone
implements.    Of these, only stone hammers are still used.    They are
either carved stones, flat on one side, and having a notch in the middle,
attached to a handle by means of a leather strap, or they are similar in *
shape to a pestle.    Trees were felled with stone axes, and split by means
of wooden or horn wedges.    The latter are still extensively used.    In
order to prevent the wooden wedge from splitting, a cedar-bark rope is
firmly tied around its top.    Boards are split out of trees by means of
these wedges.    They were planed with adzes, a considerable number of
which were made of jade that was evidently found in the basin of Fraser
and Lewis Rivers.   Carvings were made with stone knives.   Stone mortars
j and pestles were used? for mashing berries and bark, the latter for mix-
1 ing with tobacco.    Paint-pots of stone, with two or more excavations,
i were extensively used.    Pipes were made of slate or wood.
Canoes_are principally made of cedar-wood. After the tree has been
felled, about one-third, of TEs^HBicknesiris removed by means of wedges,
the outer side worked according to the proposed dimensions of the boat,
and then the tree is hollowed by means of axes, fire, and adzes. When
the sides of the canoe have almost reached the desired thickness, it is
filled with water, which is heated by means of red-hot stones. Thus the
wood becomes pliable, and is gradually shaped. Jn large canoes the
gunwale is made higher by fastening a board to it. The northern tribes
use the so-called ' Tsimshian canoe,' which has a high prow and a high
stegnT^ The use the ' Chjnook canoe,' which has a smaller
prow, and the.stern oiLsvhich is-^traighitjip and down, ""ffiome other
types ofooats are used for the purposes of war and fishing, 41kejx)at is3
propellecTand itjaered-by means of-paddles. In hunting there is a steersman in the .stern of the canoe, while the harponeer stands in the stem.
It seems that sails have beenjnsed only since the advent of the whites.
iThey are sometimes made of mats of cedar-bark. Most of the large boats
jhaye names-of- their own. For fishing on rivers very narrow canoes are
!used, which differ somewhat in shape among the various tribes.
1889. 3 g
5^t 818
j/ The Salish of the interior and the Lower Kootenay also live to a great 1
extent upon fish. They use dug-out canoes, in which they navigate the|
(lakes and rapid rivers. Fish, are caught by means of hooks, but principally
in bagnets. Deer, elk, mountain goat, big-horn sheep, and bears are hunted
extensively. At the present time these tribes raise considerable numbers
of horses, which are used in hunting and travelling. The upper Kootenay
are principally hunters. They used to cross the mountains and hunt
buffalo on the plains. The Salish dress in the blanket, in the same way
as the coast tribes do; while the clothing of the Kootenay resembles that
worn by the Indians of the plains. They wear moccasins, leggings,
breeches, and a buckskin jacket, trimmed with metal and leather fringes,
Men and women wear braids wound with brass spirals and trimmed with
The art of pottery is unknown in British Columbia, and in the eastern
parts of the province little carving in wood is done. Large baskets serve
for cooking purposes. Stone hammers and pestles and mortars are still
used throughout the Province.
I cannot give a satisfactory account of the arts and industries of the
tribes of the interior, as these have been supplanted by the use of European manufactures, and old implements are scarce and difficult to obtain.
The coast tribes live in large wooden houses. The plan of the house of
the northern tribes differs somewhat from that of the Coast Salish, although
the mode of construction is the same. The framework of the house consists of heavy posts, which support long beams. The walls and the roof
are constructed of heavy planks. Those forming the walls rest upon strong
ropes of cedar-bark connecting two poles, one of which stands inside the
wall, while the other is outside. The boards overlap each other in order
, to prevent the rain from penetrating the house. The boards forming the
roof are arranged like Chinese tiles. The rain flows off on the lower
boards, as through a gutter.
The house of the northern tribes is square. It faces the sea. A
platform of about two feet high and four feet wide runs all around it {
inside. It has a gable roof, which is supported by one or two beams
resting on two pairs of heavy posts which stand in the centre of the front
and of the rear of the house. The door is between the pair of posts
standing near the front of the house. Three "or four steps lead up to the
door, which is on the platform. Very large houses have two or three platforms, and thus attain, to some extent, the shape of an amphitheatre.
The houses are generally occupied by four families, each living in one
corner. Small sheds are built on the platforms, all along the walls of the I
houses. They serve for bedrooms. Each family has its own fireplace,
near which the enormous family settee, capable of holding the whole
family, stands. Some of the houses of the Heiltsuk* and Bilqula are built)
on posts, the floor being about eight feet above the ground. In these
'houses the fireplaces are made of earth and of stones. The Tsimshian,
Haida, and Tlingit make a hole in the centre of the roof for a smoke-
escape, while the Kwakiutl merely push aside one or two boards of the roof.
The houses of the Coast Salish and ISTootka are very long, being
occupied by a great many families, each of whom owns one section. The
roofs are highest in the rear part of the house, and slope downward
i< ON  THE
towards the front.    T m running along the walls of
the houses ; bat while ne Kwakiutl it is made of earth,
here it is carefully boil oil along the rear wall of the house,
which is somewhat higher than the opposite, runs a loft, which is about
five feet wide. It is used as a storeroom. There are no sheds serving
for bedrooms, but the beds are arranged on the platforms.1
The houses here described are found in stationary villages. In
travelling small sheds made of bark, of wood, or of branches are used.
The Salish of the interior used to live in subterranean houses, access
to which was obtained from above. These were used in winter, and afforded
a good shelter from the severe cold.    In summer tents were used.
The Kootenay live in large lodges, the framework of which consists of
converging poles. They used to be covered with buffalo hides, but now
canvas is mostly used.
Social Organisation.
J. G. Frazer, in his comprehensive review of totemism
totem as ' a class of material objects which a savage regard
tious respect, believing that there exists between aims'-
ber of the class an intimate and altogether spec"
tinguished from a fetish, a totem is never an if
always a class of objects.'    Accepting this defied/
the peculiar kind of totemism as observed in T
the Kootenay and Salish of the interior I di7
of the existence of totems.
The Tlingit, Haida, Tsimshian, and
The first of these have two phratries—
the  Tsimshian have   four totems—rav
Heiltsuk' three—raven,  eagle,  and 7
totems in the proper sense of this +
They are not found among th"
same linguistic stock to w*"
four peoples mentioned ab'
These phratries or clans
that the natives do nr
The Tlingit, for inst
clearly and plainly
wolf, a raven as a
member of its cla
to the wolves, 'T
withstandine* tr
far as I am awt
las frequently
^g-arding the t
n<pve invariabl"
ptain ancestor <
of these legen
farther south.
Salish, who 1
1 See 'The
Museum, 188£ 820
m.    The following are
their totems, I shall give abs
from the Tsimshian.
^— The Bear Gens.—An Indian went ±*~. josA hunting.    When he
had reached a remote mountain range he met a. black bear, who took
Hm to his home, taught him how to catch salmon and how to build boats.
Two years the man stayed with the bear ; then he returned to his village
All people were afraid of him, for he looked just like a bear.    One man
however, caught him and took him  home.    He could not speak, and,
could not eat anything but raw food.    Then they rubbed him with magic £
herbs, and he was retransformed into the shape of a man.    Thenceforthf"
when he was in want, he went into the woods, and his friend the bear
helped him.    In winter, when the rivers were frozen, he caught plenty o:
salmon.    He built a house, and painted the bear on the front of it.    His
sister made a dancing-blanket, the design of which represented a beajr. 1
Therefore the descendants of his sister use the bear for their crest.
The Whale Gens.—TsErEmsa'aks went out fishing.    After he had been—
~"°p! days without having caught a single fish, he cast anchor at the
™ hill. His anchor fell upon the house of the whale, who drew
•ottom of the sea.   Two years he remained with the wha^e,
is dance, and gave him the ornaments of his house.
eturned he was grown all over with seaweed.    The
ed at the bottom of the sea had seemed to him two
ere two years.    He built a house, and painted
He also used the mask and the blanket of
^ince that time the descendants of his sisters
mg to the Raven Gens of the Tsimshian:
lant of a man who had been taken to the
' a'aks.    He was a great chief, and once
'■•"> a great feast, which was to be cele-
™ of the whole coast came, using
^\ej were so numerous that the
red Yaqagwono'osk's house.
~-r flowed into the house. £
to  enter  was   Kuw&'k/
dangerous   points   and
IntEpwe'n, Ktlkuo'l,
angerous monsters E
ind the  platform \
qtl.    He wore a
d to give him an
lg'atlso'ks    &5^,'
eryone what k -.
resent promisL -i
,       r puil
•eturn remove-Mi
he used them. fc
their heraldicC
lo not belonet^
3 descendantaj
[described—that is, his nephews and nieces, and their descendants in the
female line—use the emblems he obtained in consequence of his adventure.
This accounts for the diversity of emblems and the variety of their grouping
on the carvings, paintings, and tattooings of the Indians. In these cases
the whole group would therefore more properly be styled phratry than
gens. The raven and wolf (eagle) groups of the Tlingit and Haida are
pre-eminently phratries. Each gens, which forms a subdivision of the
phratries, derives its origin from one of these mythical ancestors who
| had an encounter with one of the animals of the phratry.
The following is a partial list of the totems of each of the two phratries
I of the Tlingit:—
I. Raven: Raven, frog, goose, sea-lion, owl, salmon, beaver, codfish
(weq), skate.
II. Wolf (eagle): Wolf, bear, eagle, Belphinus orca, shark, auk, gull,
sparrow-hawk (g'ano'k), thunder-bird.
Among this and all other tribes of the coast the crest of a group includes those animals which serve as the food of the animal from which the
group takes its name.
As an example I enumerate the gentes of the Stikin tribe of the
Tlingit, the only one with members of whom I came into closer contact.
I give also the chief emblems of each gens :—
I. Wolf: Nanaa'ri or siknaq'a'de, bear (corresponds to the Kagonta'u
of other Tlingit tribes).
Qoke'de, Belphinus orca.
II. Raven: Kasq'ague'de, raven.
Kyiks'a'de, frog.
Katc'a'de, raven.
Tir hit tan (=&ar& house gens), beaver.
Detlk'oe'de (=people of the point), raven.
Kagan hit tan (==sun house gens), raven.
Qetlk'oan, beaver.
Among these the gens Nanaa'ri has six houses, the people of each
forming a sub-gens:—
1. Hara'c hit tan, porch house gens.
2. Tos hit tan, shark house gens.
3. K-'etgo hit tan,
4. Quts hit tan, bear house gens.
The names of the remaining two houses I did not learn.
The proper names of members of the various gentes are derived from
their respective totems, each gens having its peculiar names. The connection between name and totem is sometimes not very clear, but it
always exists. Here are a few examples taken from gentes of the
Stikin tribe:—
Nanaa'ri names:
Male: Tl'uck'E', ugly (danger face), referring to the bear.
G'aqe', crying man (referring to the howling wolf).
Sektutlqetl, scared of his voice (to wit, the wolf's).
Ank'aqu'ts, bear in snow. REPORT—1889.
Female : Qutc gya's, standing bear.
He'lEng djat, thunder-woman.
Kun djat, whale-woman.
Qok'e'de names:
Cak'a'ts, head-stick (reference doubtful).
G6uq naru', slave's dead body (reference doubtful).
Betlk'oede names:
Yetl rEde', little raven.
Tle'neqk, one alone (the raven on the beach).
Hiqtc tle'n, great frog.
Yetl k*u djat, raven's wife.
The social organisation of the Haida is very much like that of the
Tlingit. They have also two phratries, raven and eagle. Their totems
are also similar to those of the Tlingit, but they are differently arranged.
The most important difference is that the raven is an emblem of the eagle
I. Eagle phratry (Gyitena'):  Eagle,   raven,   frog,   beaver,   shark,
moon, duck, codfish (l'a'ma), waski (fabulous
whale with five dorsal fins), whale, owl.
II. Raven phratry (K'oa'la): Wolf,   bear,   Belphinus   orca,   skate,
mountain-goat, sea-lion, tsVmaos (a sea-monster), moon, sun, rainbow, thunder-bird.
From some indications I conclude that the division of emblems between the two phratries is not the same among the Kaigani and the
tribes of Queen Charlotte Islands, but the subject requires further study.
The phratries of the Haida are divided into gentes in the same way
as those of the Tlingit. They also take their names, in the majority of
cases, from their houses. The people of Skidegate village (Tlk-agitl), for
instance, are divided into the following gentes :—
I. Eagle phratry : !Na yu/ans qa'etqa, large house people.
Na s'a'yas qa'etqa, old house people.
Dj'aaqulg'it 'ena'i,
Gyitingits 'ats,
II. Raven phratry: ISTaeku'n k'eraua'i, those born in rTaeku'n.
Djaaqui'sk-uatl'adagai (extinct).
Tlqaiu la'nas,
Kastak-e'raua'i, those born in Skidegate Street.
The following gentes are said to exist in one of the Kaigani villages.
I did not learn the gentes of the eagle phratry.
I. Ts'atl la'nas, eagle.
II. Yak' la'nas=middle town.    Raven.
Yatl nas :had'a'i Graven house people.
k-'at nas :had'a'i=shark house people,
gutgune'st nas :had'a'i=owl house people.
:h of the Kaigani dialect stands for q of the other dialects,
by a slight intonation.
qo'utc nas :had'a'i=bear house people,
na k-'al nas :had'a'i=empty house people,
t'a'ro nas :bad'a'i=copper house people,
kun nas :had'a'i=whale house people.
g'Egihe't nas :had'a'i=land-otter house people.
k''et nas :had'a'i=sea-lion house people.
:hot nas :had'a'i=box house people,
k'ok' nas :had'a'i=snow-owl house people.
From the first of these lists it will be seen that two of these gentes are
called from the locality which they formerly inhabited. Wemiaminow and
Krause noted a few Tlingit gentes which were also named from the places
at which their houses stood, and one name of this kind is found on the
preceding list on p. 824. The majority of gentes are called from the
names and emblems of their houses. If a new house is built by the chief
of the gens it receives the name of the old one, the place of which it
takes. These facts show that the houses must be considered communal
houses of the gentes. The members of the gens are connected by ties
of consanguinity, not by an imaginary relationship through the totem.
The latter exists only inside the phratry. It must be borne in mind that
the emblems of the gens are onl/y emblems commemorative of certain
events, that they do not indicate any relationship between man and
emblem. This becomes particularly clear in the case of the Haida
phratries, where the raven is the emblem of the eagle phratry and is not
used by the raven phratry. Gentes of great numerical strength are subdivided.    The houses of each gens always stand grouped together.
The single gentes do not possess the whole series of emblems pertaining to the phratry. Among the Skidegate gentes enumerated above, the
one called Na s'a'yas has the following emblems: raven, shark, eagle,
frog. Their chief has, in addition to these, the fabulous five-finned whale
wask' and the fish Va'ma (codfish ?). Before giving a festival the child of
the eagle gens must use no other emblem but the eagle.
Any Haida who has the raven among his emblems, when marrying
a Tlingit, is considered a member of the raven phratry, and vice versa, the
emblems always deciding to which phratry an individual is to be
The social organisation of the Tsimshian is somewhat different from
that of the preceding group of peoples. They have four gentes: the
raven, called K'anha'da ; the eagle, Laqski'yek (=on the eagle) ; the
wolf, Laqkyebo' (=on the wolf) ; and the bear, GyispotuwE'da. The
following is a partial list of their emblems.
1. Kanha'da: Raven, codfish, starfish.
2. Laqski'yek : Eagle, halibut, beaver, whale.
3. Laqkyebo': Wolf, crane, grizzly bear.
4. GyispotuwE'da:   Belphinus   orca,   sun.
grouse, tsEm'aks (a sea-monster).
moon,   stars,   rainbow,
The Tsimshian are divided into three classes: common people, middle-
class people, and chiefs. Common people are those who have not been
initiated into a secret society (v. p. 848) \ by the initiation they become
middle-class people; bui they can never become chiefs, who form a
distinct class. Each geny has its own proper names, which are different
for chiefs and middle-class people.    It seems that, as a rule, the names REPORT 1889.
are common to all tribes, with the exception of a few chiefs' names,
which will be noted later-on. These names are different, according to
the gens to which the father belongs, and have always a reference to the
father's crest.    Here are a few instances :—
K'anha'da names.
1. A K'anha'da woman marries a Laqski'yek man.
Middle-class names:—
Male : Neesyula'ops=grandfather carrying stones.
Female: Laqtlpo'n=on a whale.
Chiefs' names:—
Male : Neeswoksena'tlk=grandfather of the not-breathing one.
Female: Ndse'edsd'a'loks=grandmother of?
Ndse'ets le'itlks=watching's grandmother.
Lld'amloqda'u=(eagle) sitting on the ice.
2. A Kahha'da woman marries a GyispotuwE'da man.
Name of female : NEb6'ht=making noise to each other (killers).
Names of male : Wud'ada'u=large icebergs (floating at Kuwa'k).
Wiha' = great wind.
Laqski'yek names.
1. A Laqski'yek woman marries a K'anha'da man.
Male : Wonlo'otk (raven) =having no nest.
2. A Laqski'yek woman marries a Laqkyebo' man.
Female : DEmdema'ksk=wishing to be white.
3. A Laqski'yek woman marries a Gyi'spotuwE'da man.
Names of females : Wib6'=great noise (of killers).
Wine'eq=great fin (of killer).
Names of males : Qpi'yelek=half-hairy sea-monster  (abbreviated
from Qpi litl hag'ulo'oq).
Hats'Eksne'eq=.dreadful fin (of killer).
Laqkyebo? names.
1. A Laqkyebo woman marries a Laqski'yek man.
Chiefs daughter's name : Saraitqag'a'i=eagle having one colour of
wings. •
GyispotuwE'da names.
1. A GyispotuwE'da woman marries a K'anha'da man.
Female: Ba'yuk (raven)=flying in front of the house early in the
morning; abbreviated from Seo'pgyiba'yuk. The eldest daughter is
always given this name.
In each village the houses of members o each gens are grouped
together.    The phratries of the Haida correspond to the  Tsimshian ON  THE  NORTH-WESTERN  TRIBES  OF  CANADA.
in the maternal stage, and
There are three of them :—
starfish,  sun, g'og'ama'tse
raven liberated it).    Their
gentes in such a way that raven and eagle on one side, wolf and bear on
the other, are amalgamated.
The Heiltsuk' of Milbank Sound are also
are divided into clans having animal totems.
1. K'oiHtenoq (=raven people), raven,
(box in which the sun was kept before the
house is painted all black.
2. Wik'oak'Htenoq (=eagle people). Thunder-bird (Kani'sltsua), an
enormous dancing-hat.
3. Ha'lq'aiHtenoq (=killer people). Belphinus orca, K'omo'k'oa.
A huge mouth is painted on the house-front, the posts are killers, two
fish named MElHani'gun are painted at both sides of the door. Sea-
lions (which are considered the dog of Komo'k'oa) are the crossbeams.
The most southern tribe which belongs to this group are the
Awiky'e'noq of Rivers Inlet. Further south, and among the Bilqula,
patriarchate prevails. The social organisation of these tribes differs
fundamentally from that of the northern group. We do not find a single
clan that has, properly speaking, an animal for its totem ; neither do the
clans take their names from their crest, nor are there phratries. It seems
as though the members of each gens were really kindred. The ' first' of
each gens is said to have been sent by the deity, or to have risen from
the depth of the ocean or the earth to a certain place which became his
I shall give abstracts of a few of these legends, which will explain the
character of the clans of the Kwakiutl.
Se'likiUkila and Lbtlemak'
-He'likilikila descended from heaven in
the shape of a bird carrying a neck-ring of red cedar-bark.1 He built a
house and made a large fire. Then a woman called Lotlemak'a rose
from under the earth. He spoke to her: 'You shall stay with me and
be my sister.' Thenceforth they lived in opposite corners of the house.
The Kwats'e'nok' had heard of He'likilikila's neck-ring, and made a
futile attempt to steal it. When one of them entered the house where
He'likilikila was sleeping, he was stricken with madness. He'likilikila,
however, cured him, gave him the ring, and the Kwats'e'nok' returned
home. Since that day they dance the Tsetsa'ek'a, in which rings of red
cedar-bark are used.
Le'laqa.—Two eagles and their young descended from heaven and
alighted at Qu'mqate (Cape Scott). They took off their eagle-skins and
became men. The father's name was Na'laqotau; that of the mother
Ank'a'layuk'oa; and the young was called Le'laqa. One day the latter
pursued a seal, which, when far away from the coast, was transformed
into a cuttle-fish, and drowned Le'laqa. After a while he awoke to new
life, and flew to heaven in the shape of an eagle. Then he returned to
his parents, who had mourned for him, for they believed him to be dead.
They saw an eagle descending from heaven. In his talons he carried a
little box, in which he had many whistles imitating the voice of the
eagle. He wore the double mask Naqnakyak'umtl and a neck-ring of
red cedar bark.    He became the ancestor of the gens NEe'ntsa.
SE'ntlae.— SE'ntlae, the sun, descended in the shape of a bird from
heaven, assumed the shape of a man, and built a house in Yik''a'men.
Then he wandered to Ko'moks, visited the Tlau'itsis, the NEmk'ic, and
1 It conveys the secrets of the winter dance (see p. 851). 826
Na'k'oartok', and finally reached Tliksi'uae (=the plain at the mouth of
the river, where clover-root is found), in the country of the Kwakiutl,
where he settled at K'aioq. He took a wife among each tribe whom he
visited, and his family has the name Sisintle. He resolved to stay in
Tliksi'uae, and took a Kwakiutl woman for his wife. They had a son,
whom they called Tsqtsqa'lis. On each side of the door of their house
they painted a large sun. The posts are men, each carrying a sun.
They are called Lela'qt'otpes, and were Ss'ntlae's slaves. The crossbars
resting upon the posts also represent men, while the beams are sea-lions.
The steps leading to the house-door are three men called Tle'nonis.
During the winter dances the Sisintle use the mask of the sun,.
Tle'selak'umtl; in the dance Ya'wiqa, that of the dog Ku'loqsa (=the
sun shining red through the clouds), who descended with SE'ntlae from
heaven. Their heraldic column is called SEntle'qem. It represents a
series of copper plates, on the top of which a man called Laqt'otpes
(singular of Lela'qt'otpes=he who gives presents to strangers only) is
standing.    Above all is the mask of the sun emitting rays.
1 Of special importance is the connection of the ancestors of these
gentes with Ka'nikilak' (meaning doubtful), the son of the deity.
He is the ancestor of a gens of the Nak'o'mkilisila, who, upon the
strength of this legend, claim a superiority to all others. This point
seems of sufficient importance to be given in greater detail. I was told
that in the far west there lived a chief called Ha'nitsum (the possessor
of arrows), who had a daughter called AiHtsuma'letlilok' (with many
earrings of haliotis shells). Ka'nikilak' went into his boat Kok'6'malis,
and after long wandering he reached Ha'nitsum's house. He married
the latter's daughter, and took her home to Koa'ne (near Cape Scott).
They had a son, who received the name of Ha'neus. He lived to be a
great chief.
K'anikilak' wandered all over the world. In his wanderings he
encountered the ancestors of all gentes of the various Kwakiutl tribes,
made friends with them, and filled the rivers of their countries with
salmon. I give an example of this kind of tradition. K'anikilak' met
Nomas, the ancestor of the Tlauitsis. He was the first to make fish-lines
of kelp to catch halibut; therefore the Tlauitsis were the first tribe to
use these. K'anikilak* made friends with Nomas, and filled the rivers of
his country with salmon. He met O'meatL, who was sitting on an
island. When the latter saw K'anikilak' approaching, he pointed his
first finger towards him, which perforated K'anikilak''s head. Then the
latter perforated Omeatl's head in the same way. Now they knew that
they were equally strong, and parted.
In some cases it is very difficult to decide whether a group of men
deriving their origin from one of these ancestors is really a gens or a tribe,
particularly in those cases in which the tribal name agrees with that of
the ancestor of one of the gentes; for instance, Ma'malelek'ala (collective of Malelek'ala), or We'wek'ae (collective of We'k'ae). A considerable number of tribal names and the majority of names of gentes are
simply the collective form of the name of the ancestor. Others are taken
frorn. the regions inhabited by the tribe.
It appears that a tribe of the Kwakiutl must be defined as a series of
gentes, whose ancestors first made their appearance in a certain weHA^
defined region.    Thus the ancestors of the Nak'o'mkilisila gentes appeared
on or near Cape Scott; those of the Tlatlasik'oala on or near Hope Island, ON THE NORTH-WESTERN TRIBES  OF CANADA.
jf the Kwakiutl in Hardy Bay. No other connection between the several
gentes seems to exist. We shall see later on that the Coast Salish have
the same organisation, with the exception that the gentes are named on a
different principle. The latter, however, have only very slight indications
of crests, while the crests play an exceedingly important part in the life-
of the Kwakiutl.
In order to make clear the organisation of these tribes, I will enumerate the divisions and gentes of one group of tribes.
The following four tribes which inhabit the north-eastern part of
Vancouver Island form one group I enumerate the tribes, subdivisions,
and gentes of this group according to their rank.
1. Kwa'kiutl, called by the Bilqula and Coast Salish, Kwako'otl; Fort
Subdivisions: 1. Kue'tEla, so called by the tribes north of Vancouver Island.
Gentes: 1, Maa'mtakyila.   2, Kwokwa'kum.   3,
Gye'qsEm.   4, La'alaqsEnt'aio.   5, Si'sintlae.
2. K''6'moyue     (=rich    people).     War   name :
Kue'qa (=murderers).
Gentes: 1, Kwokwa'kum.    2, Ha'anatlino.    3,
Yaai'Hak'Eme (=crab).    4, Haailakyawe or-
La'gse.    5, Gyi'gyilk'am.
3. Walaskwakiutl=the great Kwakiutl.
Gentes: 1, Ts'Ents'EnHk'aio.    2, Gye'qsEm.  3,.
Wa'ulipoe.   4, K''6mkyutis (=the rich ride).
2. Mamalelek'a'la.    East of Alert Bay.
Gentes i   1, TE'mtEmtlEts.     2,   We'omask'am.    3,  Wa'las.
4, Ma'malelek'am.
3. NE'mkic, K'a'matsin Lake and Nimkish River.
Gentes: 1, Tsetsetloa'lak'amae.   2, TlatEl'a'min<.  3, Gyi'gyit-
k'am.    4, Si'sintlae.    5, Ne'nelky'enoq.
4. Tlauitsis, Cracroft and Turner Islands.
Gentes :   1, Si'sintlae.    2, NunEmasEk'alis.
It remains to describe briefly their crests.    Every
tales in which the reason for their using these crests is explained.    I
shall confine myself in this place to a list of crests of the tribes of
Fort Rupert.
1. Maa'mtakyila : Carvings : Thunder-bird, crane, grizzly bear, raven,.
sun.    Mask: Ma'takyila, sun.
2. Kwokwa'kum: Ancestor, Tla'k'oaki'la. Posts: Grizzly bear on top
of crane, thunder-bird, crane, sun.
3. Gye'qsEm: Crane on top of a man's head.
4. La'alaqsEnt'aio : Belphinus orca with man's body.
5. SE'ntlae: Sun.
6. Haailikyawe: Large head-ring with raven head attached to it.
Heraldic columns: Tsono'k'oa, grizzly bear, thunder-bird; Si'siutl,
crane, raven.
7. Kwokwa'kum. Ancestor, No'lis. Dancing utensil: Bear with
beaver tail.    Post: Sea-lion.    Heraldic column: Pole, man on top of it.
8. Ha'anatlino. Mask: Man, on top of whom moon and eagle. Posts £
Bear, thunder-bird. *est-
3, Tletlk'et.   4,
gens has certain 828
9. TsEnHk''aio. Post: TsEnHk''aio (a species of eagle). Beams: Sea-
lion. Post: Ts'E'nHk-'ai6. Heraldic column : A little man with a thick
10. Gye'qsEm. Heraldic column : Long pole, the base of which rests
on a man, on top of which stands a crane, its beak turned downward,
and a double-headed snake (Sisiutl).
This very fragmentary list shows that each gens uses certain carvings
for certain purposes. The details of the carvings of their houses are
prescribed by the legendary description of the house of the ancestor, and
so are their masks and their heraldic columns. I would call attention to
the important fact that the dancing implements and the dances themselves
belong to the crest of the tribe, or, more properly speaking, to the customs
and carvings to which the gens is entitled.
The distinction of what constitutes a gens and what a tribe is still
more difficult among the Coast Salish. Their legends are very much like
those of the Kwakiutl. They tell of fabulous ancestors who descended
from heaven and built houses. From these a certain group of families,
who always inhabit one village, derive their origin. They call themselves from the place at which their village stands, or which they claim
as their original home. Whenever they leave their home, they take
the name of their old village to the new place, although the name is
generally a geographical one, taken from certain peculiarities of the
locality. For instance, the name Tsime'nes means ' where the landing
is close by the house,' an epithet that was well adapted to their former
village at the mouth of Cowitchin River, but not to their new home at
'Chimenes. Many such instances might be enumerated. Some of these
gentes have certain prerogatives and certain carvings, but these are of
very little importance when compared to those of the Kwakiutl, among
whom they exert a ruling influence over their whole life. The Snanai-
muq, for instance, have the following gentes: Te'wEtqEn, Ye'cEqEn,
K'oltsi'owotl, Qsa'loqul, Anue'nes. Among these only the first and the
second are allowed to use masks, which have the shape of beavers, ducks,
or salmon.    Each gens has its own proper names.
I have so far stated only in a very general way that the northern
tribes have a maternal, the southern a paternal organisation. It remains
to give some more details on this important subject. One of the main
facts is, that the phratries, viz. gentes of the Tlingit, Haida, Tsimshian,
and Heiltsuk', are exogamous, not only among each tribe, but throughout
the whole region. A member of the eagle gens of the Heiltsuk', for instance, cannot marry a member of the eagle phratry of the Tlingit.
Those gentes are considered identical which have the same crest. I do
not know whether any such law prevails in the case of marriages between
the Kwakiutl and Heiltsuk', which, however, seem to be of very rare
occurrence. Neither was I able to arrive at a fully satisfactory conclusion regarding the question whether marriages inside a gens of the
Kwakiutl are absolutely prohibited, but I believe that such is the case.
This difficulty arises from the fact that the Kwakiutl considers
himself as belonging half to his mother's, half to his father's gens, while
he uses the crest of his wife. I do not know of a single instance of a
Kwakiutl marrying a member of his own gens. The Salish gentes, for
instance those of the Sk'qo^sic,, are not exogamous, but I am not quite
positive whether this is true>,   all cases.
I do not intend in the ,>sesunt chapter to discuss the customs refer- THE NORTH-WESTERN  TRIBES OF CANADA.
82 9
arriage, and death, all of which have reference to the
jion of these tribes, and which help to gain a better under-
.nis organisation.    It will be sufficient to mention a few facts-
om these customs which have special reference to the questions
g. discussion.
The members of a gens are obliged to assist each other on every
.ccasion, but particularly when heavy payments are to be made to other
gentes. Instances of this kind will be found later on in the description
of the proceedings at the occasion of the building of new houses and at
burials. It is a very remarkable fact that the gens of the male line has
to do certain' services at such opportunities which are not paid by the
individual but by the gens. Thus a gens is not permitted to touch the
body of one of its members; the burial is to be arranged by the gens to
which the deceased's father belongs. This solidarity of the gens is principally found among the northern tribes, which are in the maternal stage.
Among the same tribes mothers' sisters are considered and called
mothers, fathers' brothers, fathers, while there exist separate terms for
mothers' brothers and fathers' sisters.
It is a noteworthy fact that the Heiltsuk' and the Kwakiutl, who speak
dialects of the same language, differ fundamentally in regard to their
social organisation. I am inclined to believe that the matriarchate
of the Heiltsuk' is due to the influence of the Tsimshian, with whom
they have frequently intermarried, and upon whom the Heiltsuk' have.
had a considerable influence. But the marriage ceremonies of then
Kwakiutl seem to show that originally matriarchate prevailed also
among them. The husband always assumes, a short time after
marriage, his father-in-law's name and crest, and thus becomes a
member of his wife's clan. From him this crest descends upon his
children; the daughters retain it, but his sons, on marrying, lose it,
adopting that of their wives. Thus the descent of the crest is practically
in the female line, every unmarried man having his mother's crest; but
still we cannot call this state matriarchate proper, as the father
is the head of the family, as he gives up his own crest for that of his
wife. This law is carried so far that a chief who has no daughters
marries one of his sons to another chief's son, the latter thus acquiring
his crest. By this means the extinction of gentes is prevented. It seems,
however, that the father's gens is not entirely given up, for the natives
-/frequently use carvings of both gentes promiscuously, but certain parts-
of the father's gens, to which I shall refer presently, are excluded from
this use. The following.instance, which came under my personal observation, will show the customs of the Kwakiutl regarding this point,
K'omena'kula, chief of the gens Gyi'gyilk'am, of the tribe Tlatlasik'oala,
has the heraldic column of that gens, and the double-headed snake for
ijsjs crest. In dances he uses the latter, but chiefly the attributes of the
/raven gens. His mother belonged to the gens NunEmasEk'alis, of the
Tlau'itsis; hence he wears the mask of that gens. He had an only
daughter, who, with her husband, lived with him. She died, and her
husband is the present owner of the heraldic column of the gens. The
son of this daughter, at present a boy seven years of age,- is the future
tlhief of the gens.
hig Among the Salish there is no trace of matriarchal institutions.    The
becW belongs to the father's gens, the eldest son inheriting his rank and
COnfin' . ffjfifa ^OL
> to m   m ^- L.-,her is «iW,
Wl 830
Closely connected with the gentes of the Kwakiutt
societies, each of which has certain characteristic dancx
They are  obtained by marriage in the same way in wn.
is obtained.    There is,  however,  one  restriction to the   ac
the right to become a member of the secret society.    The pei.
is to acquire it must be declared worthy by  the  tribe  assembled
council.    Not until this is done is the man allowed to marry the g;v
from whose father the right of being initiated is to be acquired.    This i..
even true regarding the 'medicine men.'    The emblems of these secret
societies are rings of red cedar-bark, of various designs.    The connection
of the gentes and these institutions may be seen from the legend 'Heli-
kilikila and Lotlemak'a,' which was told on p. 825.x
Although a few of the tribes inhabiting the country adjoining that of
the Kwakiutl have secret societies of the same character among them
they are in no way connected with the gens. This fact, as well as the
difference in the character of the legends of the gentes, proves that the
social organisation of these groups of tribes is of entirely different
origin. The southern groups derive their origin from a fabulous ancestor who is either himself the totem or to whose adventures the
totem refers. The first is the case in the gens Si'sintlae, which derives its^
originfrom the sun,Ts'E'nts'EnHk''aio of the Walaskwakintl, which derives
its origin from the eagle, and others. In the majority of cases the crest
refers to adventures of the ancestor. In the northern groups we observe
a, pure animal totem, but the animal is not considered the ancestor of
the gens bearing its name. The crest always refers to adventures of one
■of the ancestors.
Government and Law.
The people of this country are divided into three classes: common
people, middle class, and chiefs. While the last form a group by themselves, the members of the class forming the highest nobility, children of
middle-class people are born common people, and remain so until they
become members of a secret society, or give a great feast and take a name.
All along the coast the giving away of presents is considered a means
of attaining social distinction. The chief has numerous prerogatives,
although his'influence upon the members of the tribe is comparatively
small. I am best acquainted with his claims among the Tsimshian, but
it seems probable that these institutions are much alike among the
various peoples. He has to carry out the decisions of the council; mora
particularly, he has to declare peace and war. His opinion must be asked
by the tribe in all important events. He decides when the winter village
is to be left, when the fishing begins, &c. The first fish, the first berriesJ
&c. are given to him. It is his duty to begin all dances. He mustb^
invited to all festivities, and when the first whistles are blown in winte
indicating the beginning of the dancing season, he receives a certain
tribute. People of low rank must not step up directly to a chief, whose
seat is in the rear of the house, but must approach him going along th<
walls of the house.
all Tsimshian chiefs is the one of til
His name is invariably LEgi'eq.    He is consider.
1 See the author's paper on ' The use of masks on the North-West Coa
America,' in Internationales Archivfilr Ethnographie, 1888. afer-
The highest in rank among
Gyispaqla'ots tribe. ON   THE  NORTH-WESTERN TRIBES  OF  CANADA.
the noblest, because a number of secret societies are only permitted to/his
family and tribe. This is accounted for by the fact that these secret
societies were acquired by marriage from the Gyit'ama't. Tradition says—
—and it is undoubtedly correct—that a woman of the Gyispaqla'ots/tribe
eloped with a Gyit'ama't chief, to whose gens these dances belonged./After
her return the woman was given the name G''amdema'qtl (= only in
eloping ascending mountain). The name LEgi'eq is a Gyit'amait name.
It is a privilege of the Gyispaqlaots to trade with the Gyitksa'n; and they
kept up this privilege successfully even against the Hudson Bay/Company
until the latter purchased it from them in 1886. The Gyit'Erida chiefs
are relatives of those of the Gyispaqla'ots. They share their privileges,
and bear the same names, the one LEgi'eq excepted.
The Gyitqa'tla are considered higher in rank than any other of the
tribes of the Tsimshian proper. They have the same secret societies
which the Gyispaqla'ots and Git'Enda' have. They acquired them through
intermarriage from the Gyitlo'p and Heiltsuk'. Only quite recently the
Haida acquired them from the Gyitqa'tla.
The Gyits'umra'lon are not of Tsimshian origin. Six generations (that
is, about 150 years) ago a number of Tongas (Tlingit), men and women,
emigrated from Alaska in consequence of continued wars, and settled on
the brook of Gyits'umra'lon. They married a number of Tsimshian womer
and men, among whom the names Rataqa'q and Astoe'ne are mentioned
For a considerable time they continued to speak Tlingit, but finally were
assimilated by the Tsimshian. Their descendants are still called Gunho'ot
It is becoming to a chief to be proud and to leave his memory to his
descendants. Therefore the LEgi'eq, who ruled 150 years ago (the sixth
back), had his figure painted on a vertical precipice on Nass River. A
series of coppers is standing under his figure. Since that time the place
is called WulgyilEgstqald'amptk (where self on written).
Seven generations ago Neswiba'sk (grandfather great wind), a chief
at Meqtlak'qa'tla, had his figure carved on a rock on an island near
Meqtlak'qa'tla. He lay down, had his outline marked, and the carving
completed in a single night.
The Gyitg'a'ata of Grenville Channel are subjects of the chief of the
Gyitwulgya'ts. They have to pay a tribute of fish, oil, berries, and skim
every year.    The Gyitla'op are subjects of the chief of the Gyitqa'tla.
When a chief dies the chieftaincy devolves upon his younger brother,
then upon his nephew, and, if there is none, upon his niece. Only, if a
chief's family dies out the head man of his crest can become chief. This
is the only case in which a middle-class man can advance to the rank of
a chief. The chief's property, as well as that of others, is inherited first
by the nephews; if there are none, then by the deceased's mother or aunt.
A woman's property is inherited by her children.
There are very few common people, for whoever can afford it lets his
child enter a secret society immediately after birth, by proxy. The child
thus becomes a middle-class man. The more feasts are given by him tin
higher becomes his rank, but no member of the middle class can evei
become a member of the chief class. The chief's daughter on reaching
maturity must grind down her teeth by chewing a pebble of jade (see p.
808).   So far as I know, this is the only deformation of the body which is
confined to one class only.        /^
When a. familv is liable to *
" xx" father is
~0 fljjrm  hr^.
to   fl«V"+,   OTI'
!L- -830
• *a-
of his daughters, who then receives a name belonging to his crest. On
this occasion a great festival is given. A man cannot adopt more than
one child at a time.
The council is composed of middle-class men. Nobody who has not
taken a name, or who is not a member of a secret society, is allowed to
take part in it. The mother's brother represents his nephews. A woman
is only admitted if she is the head of a family.
The council decides all important questions concerning the tribe, and
is the court which judges criminals. Those who are found guilty of sorcery are tied up and placed at the edge of low water, and are left there
to be drowned. According to legends, such people were frequently left
alone in the winter village to starve to death. If a man does not observe
the prescribed rules during dances he is tied and brought before the
council. If nobody speaks in his favour he is killed, else he is punished
by being made a slave, or by heavy payments. All crimes can be atoned
for by sufficient payments. If such are not made it is the duty of the
nearest relatives to take revenge.
The coast tribes have always been great traders, and they had a certain currency. Dentalia, skins, and slaves were standards of value. For
less valuable property marmot-skins sewed together served as currency.
The Tsimshian used to exchange olachen oil and carvings of mountain-
Toat horn for canoes. The Chitlk'at sold their beautiful blankets; the
Heiltsuk*, canoes; while the southern tribes furnished principally slaves.
The latter were in every respect the property of their masters, who
were allowed to kill them, to sell them, or to give them their liberty.
Children of slaves were also slaves.
Strangers are always received kindly and with much ceremony.
Among the tribes who still adhere to their old customs they are offered
the host's daughter while they remain.
So far as I am aware, the institutions of the Haida, Tlingit, and Heiltsuk' are much the same as those described here. I did not learn any
details,' as I did not visit these tribes in- their homes.
The following observations hold good for the Kwakiutl and Coast
Salish, as well as for the northern group of tribes. Polygamy is not
of rare occurrence, although generally each man has only one wife. The
first wife is of higher rank than those married at a later date. Women
must not take part in the councils and feasts, except when they are heads
of families (or, among the Kwakiutl, chiefs daughters) ; but the husband
takes home from the feast a dish of all the various kinds of food that
were served.    The dish must be returned the same night.
The principal work of the women is gathering berries and clams,
drying fish, and preparing the meals. They weave mats, blankets, and
hats. The men, on the other hand, hunt and fish, they fetch fuel—if
large logs are wanted—and build houses and canoes. They also make the
carvings and paintings.
The property of the whole gens is vested in the chief, who considers
the salmon rivers, berry patches, and coast strips, in which the gens has
the sole right, as his property. Houses belong to the man who erected
the framework. They are always inhabited by members of one gens.
Canoes, fishing-gear, &c. are personal property. Women own boxes,
dishes, and other household goods.
The Kwakiutl.—As among these tribes paternal institutions take the ON  THE  NORTH-WESTERN  TRIBES   OF   CANADA.
to the northern group of tribes. If such is possible, the rank of each
man is here still more exactly fixed than among their neighbours. The
rank is determined by the gens to which a man belongs, by the feasts he
has given, and by the secret societies to which he belongs. In the list
of gentes on page 827 I have enumerated the Kwakiutl gentes according
to their social standing. In great festivals celebrated for the purpose of
acquiring rank by giving away property, the noblest guests sit in the
rear part of the house, nearest the fire, and the lower in rank the farther
back they sit. When only one row is formed those lowest in rank sit
nearest the door.
The affairs of the whole tribe are discussed in council, in which only
men participate. Before the opening of the discussion four songs are
sung and four courses are served. Then the public affairs are discussed
in long and elaborate speeches, delivered principally by the chiefs. In
time of peace there is no chief who has acknowledged authority over the
whole tribe, but each gens has its own chief. A certain superiority of
social standing is acknowledged in those who have given a great donation
feast.    In times of war a war chief is elected.
The chief represents his gens, and carries out the decision of the
council. Except on delivering speeches, he does not speak to people of
low rank, but converses with them through messengers.
Xf a single person is offended, the gentes of both his father and mother
are obliged to come to his help. Thus the long war between the Coast
Salish and Lekwiltok originated. Formerly these wars were of so
frequent occurrence that the villages all along the coast were protected
by stockades.
The institutions of the Coast Salish and of the Kwakiutl are pretty
much the same, except that the former have a pure patriarchate, and the
child inherits his father's rank and property.
Among the Sk'qo'mic, for instance, the chieftaincy devolves upon the
chief's son. If there is only a daughter his grandson is the successor.
If there are no children a new chief is elected from among his gens. If
the successor is a young boy a representative is. elected who acts as chief
nmtil the boy is grown up and has assumed a name. If a man dies his
wife inherits all the property and keeps it until her children are grown
(up.    After the death of the husband she gives a potlatch to his memory.
Among all the tribes heretofore described each gens owns a certain
[district and certain fishing privileges. Among the Tlingit, Haida, and
Tsimshian each gens in each village has its own fishing-ground; its
mountains and valleys, on which it has the sole right of hunting and
picking berries; its rivers in which to fish salmon, and its house-sites.
For this reason the houses of one gens are always grouped together. I
do not know of any tradition which accounts for this fact, or of any other
[foundation of their claim. The Kwakiutl, who have the same distribution of land among the various gentes, account for this fact by saying
that the ancestor of each gens descended from heaven to the particular
region now owned by his descendants. Later on K'anikilak', the son of
the- deity (see p. 826), in his wanderings encountered these ancestors,
and gave them the couTriry they inhabited as their property, filling at
\he same time their rij pa with salmon. The Coast Salish derive their
Claims to certain tracts vf land in the same way from the fact that the
Incestor of each gens c^ime down to a certain place, or that he settled
jhere after the great flool.    The right of a gens to the place where it
1889. 3h
111 834
originated cannot be destroyed. It may acquire by war or by other I
events territory originally belonging to foreign tribes, and leave its home j
to be taken up by others; the right of fishing, hunting, and gathering]
berries in their old home is rigidly maintained. A careful study shows■
that nowhere the tribe as a body politic owns a district, but that each
gens has its proper hunting and fishing grounds, upon which neither
members of other tribes nor of other gentes must intrude except by
special permission. It would be an interesting and important object of).
study to inquire into the territorial rights of each gens, for such a study '
would undoubtedly throw much light upon the ancient history of these'
peoples. These rigid laws in regard to the holding of land by the gentes.
are very important in the past history of the Indians of British Columbia,r"
and are of prime importance in their present relations to the whiteL
One of the most complicated and interesting institutions of these \
tribes is the so-called potlatch—the  custom of paying debts   and of ]
acquiring distinction  by means of giving a  great  feast and making
presents  to all  guests.     It is somewhat  difficult  to  understand the
meaning of the potlatch.    I should compare its most simple form to our ji
custom of  invitation or making presents  and the obligations arising
from the   offering, not  from  the acceptance, of such invitations and
presents.    Indeed, the system is almost exactly analogous, with the sole
exception that the Indian is more anxious to outdo the first giver than
the civilised European, who, however, has the same tendency, and that j
what is custom with us is law to the Indian.    Thus by continued pot-
latches each man becomes necessarily the debtor of the other.   According
to Indian ideas any moral or material harm done to a man can be made
good by an adequate potlatch.    Thus if a man was ridiculed by another \
he gives away a number of blankets to his friends, and thus regains his
former standing.    I remember, for instance, that the grandson of a chief
in Hope Island by unskilful management of his little canoe was upset
near the beach and had to wade ashore.    The grandfather felt ashamed
on account of the boy's accident, and gave away blankets to take away
the occasion of remarks on this subject    In the same way a man whd
feels injured by another will destroy a certain amount of property ; then
his adversary is compelled to do the same, else a stain of dishonour
would rest upon him.    This custom may be compared to a case when a
member of civilised society gives away to no good purpose a considerable)
amount of money ostentatiously in order to show his superiority over a'
detested neighbour.   I adduce these comparisons to show that the custom]
is not so difficult to understand, and is founded on psychical causes as!
active in our civilised society as among the barbarous natives of British
Columbia.    A remarkable feature of the potlatch is the custom of giving
feasts going beyond the host's means.    The procedure at such occasions
is also exactly regulated.   The foundation of this custom is the solidarity
of the individual and the gens, or even the tribe, to which he belongs.
If an individual gains social distinction his gens participates in it.    If he
loses in respect the stain rests also on the gens.    Therefore the gens
contributes to the payments to be made at a" festival.    If the feast isf
given to foreign tribes the whole tribe contrib'  tes to these payments;
The method   by which   this is done has beer,  well set forth by Dr[
G. M. Dawson (' Trans. Roy. Soc. Can.' 1887, page 80).    The man whc
intends to give the potlatch first borrows as many blankets as he needt ON THE NORTH-WESTERN  TRIBES  OF  CANADA.
from both his friends and from those whom he is going to invito to the
feast. Everyone lends him as many as he can afford, i.e. according to
his rank. At the feast these are given away, each man receiving the
more the higher his rank is. All those who have received anything at
the potlatch have to repay the double amount at a later day, and this is
used to repay those who lent blankets. At each such feast the man who
gives it acquires a new and more honourable name.
Among the Snanaimuq I observed the following customs : The chief's
son adopts, some time after his father's death, the latter's name. For this
purpose he invites all the neighbouring tribes to a potlatch. The Snanaimuq have a permanent scaffold erected in front of their houses, on
which the chief stands during the potlatch, assisted by two slaves, who
distribute the presents he gives away among his guests, who stand and sit
in the street. As it is necessary to give a great festival at the assumption
of the chief's name, the new chief continues sometimes for years and years
to accumulate wealth for the purpose of celebrating this event. At the
festival his father's name is given him by four chiefs of foreign tribes.
I will give here some details on the wars of this tribe. The warriors
were thoroughly trained. They were not allowed to eat while on the warpath. Before setting out on such an expedition they painted their faces
red. When near the village they intended to attack, the party divided
one half hid in the woods behind the village, while the others watched
in their canoes. When the latter gave a sign both parties attacked the
village. When successful, the men were killed, the women and children
carried off as slaves. The heads of the slain were cut off, taken home, and
planted on poles in front of the houses.
It may be of interest to hear the history of one of these wars that
raged for many years about the middle of this century as told by a chief
of the Snanaimuq. K'oa'Elitc, a chief of the Si'ciatl, had a daughter, who
was the wife of a chief of the Snanaimuq. Once upon a time the former
tribe was attacked by the Le'kwiltok', and many men had been killed.
Then Koa'Elitc sent to the chief of the Snanaimuq and called upon him
for help. They- set out jointly and met the Le'kwiltok' at Qu'sam
•(Salmon River). In the ensuing struggle the Si'ciatl and Snanaimuq
were victorious, but many of their warriors were killed. They brought
home many heads of their enemies. The friends of the Snanaimuq, however, were sad when they heard of the death of so many of their friends,
and they resolved to take revenge. They all, the Pena'leqats, T'a'tEkE,
Yeqo'laos, Qela'ltq, CEk'Eme'n, Snono'os, Snanaimuq, and Si'ciatl,
gathered and made war upon the Le'kwiltok". Another battle was fought
at Qu'sam, in which the Le'kwiltok' were utterly defeated, and in which
many slaves were captured. Now the Le'kwiltok' called upon their
northern neighbours for help. They were greatly reduced in numbers ;
of the Tlaa'luis only three were left. Then these tribes went south to
take revenge, and in a number of battles fought with the southern tribes,
who had meanwhile been joined by the tribes of Puget Sound. While the
war was thus raging with alternating success, part of the tribes on Vancouver Island had removed to the upper part of Cowitchin River, others
to Nanaimo River, still others to the mainland. Posts were continually
maintained to keep the tribes informed of movements of the Le'kwiltok*
and their allies. Once they had unexpectedly made an expedition southward before the tribes were able to gather. They had gone past Fraser
River to Puget Sound and had massacred the tribes of that region.
3 h 2 836
Meanwhile those assembled on Cowitchin River had sent word to the tribes
of Fraser River and summoned them to come to the island. They told them
to pass through Cowitchin Gap and to look on the shallow beach on the
north side of that channel for a signal. They obeyed. Meanwhile all the
tribes on the island had assembled and determined to await the return of
the Le'kwiltok' in Maple Bay. To indicate this they erected a pole,
sprinkled with the blood of a blue jay, at the beach in Cowitchin Gap, and
made it point towards Maple Bay. Thus they all assembled. Early one
morning they heard the Le'kwiltok* coming. They sang songs of victory.
Unexpectedly they were attacked. Almost all of them were slaughtered,
their canoes sunk, and women and children enslaved. A few reached the
shore, but were starved near Comox. This was the last great battle of the
war. The narrator's father made peace with the northern tribes. He
was the first to settle again on Gabriola Island. He emancipated his
slaves. When peace was made the chiefs made their peoples intermarry.
I have no observations to offer on the government or laws of the
Kutona'qa, except that usually the chief is succeeded by his son. If the
latter is not considered worthy the new chief is elected from among his
Customs regarding Birth, Marriage, and Death.
Krause gives the following reports of the customs of the Tlingit observed
at the birth of a child. He says that, according to Kemiaminow, the women
are assisted by midwives. After the child is born the young mother has
to remain for ten days in a small hut, which is erected for this purpose,
and in which the child was born. The new-born infant is washed with
cold fresh water and kept in a cradle filled with moss. It is not given
the breast until all the contents of its stomach (which are considered
the cause of disease) are removed by vomiting, which is promoted by
pressing the stomach. A month after birth the mother is said to leave
her hut for the first time; then she washes her child and puts on new
clothing. For five days after birth the mother does not partake of any
food, but drinks a little lukewarm water.
Among the Tsimshian I observed the following customs : A woman
who is with child is not allowed to eat tails of salmon, as else the confinement would be hard. She must rise early in the morning and leave the
house before any of the other inhabitants leave it. Before the child is
born the father must stay outside his house, and must wear ragged clothing. After the child is born he must abstain from eating any fat food,
particularly porcupine, seal, and whale. The mother is confined in a
small house or in a separate room.
Numerous ceremonies must be observed when girls reach maturity.
When about thirteen or fourteen years old they begin to practise fasting,
eating in the afternoon only, as a very severe fasting is prescribed at the
time when they reach maturity. It is believed that if they had any food
in their stomachs at this time they would have bad luck in all future.
They must remain alone and unseen in their room or in a porch for ten
days, and abstain from food and drink. For four days they are not even
allowed a drop of water. For a fortaight the girl is not permitted to chew
her own food. If she desires to have two or three boys when married,
two or three men chew her food for her ; in tUe other case, two or three I ON  THE  NORTH-WESTERN   TRIBES  OF  CANADA.
women. At the end of this fasting they are covered with mats and held
over a fire. It is believed that by this ceremony her children are made to
be healthy; if it were omitted they would die, even if they grow up to be
a few years old. The girl is not allowed to look at fresh salmon and
olachen for a whole year, and has to abstain from eating it. Her head is
always covered with a small mat, and she must not look at men. She
must not lie down, but always sit, propped up between boxes and mats.
Her mother's clan give a great feast and many presents to her father's
clan. At this feast her ears are perforated, and she is given ear-ornaments. When a chief's daughter- reaches maturity she is given a jade
pebble, which she must bite until her teeth are completely worn down in
the middle. When the festival was held slaves were often given away or
I will mention in this place that women when drinking for the first
time after marriage must turn their cup four times in the same direction
in which the sun is moving, and drink very little only. The perforation
of the ears is repeated at later occasions, and every time a new hole is
made a new festival is celebrated.
After a death has occurred, the relatives of the deceased have their
hair cut short and their faces blackened. They cover their heads with
ragged and soiled mats, and go four times around the body singing
mourning songs. They must speak but little, confining themselves to
answering questions, as it is believed that they would else become
chatterboxes. Until the body is buried they must fast, eating only a very
little at night. Women of the gentes to which the deceased did not
belong act as wailers, and are paid for their work, the whole gens of the
deceased contributing to the payment. In wailing the women must
keep their eyes closed. The gens to which the deceased person's father
belongs must bury him. The body lies in state for a number of days.
It is washed immediately after death, placed upright and painted with
the crest of the gens of the dead person. His dancing ornaments and
weapons are placed by his side. Then the body is put into a box which
is tied up with lines made of elk-skins. These are furnished by the gens
of the deceased, and kept as a payment by the other gens. The bodies,
except those of shamans, are burnt. The box is placed on the funeral
pile, the lines of elk-skin are taken off and kept by the father's gens. A
hole is cut into the bottom of the box and the pile is lighted. Before all
is burnt the heart is taken out of the body and buried. It is believed
that if it were burnt, all relations of the deceased would die. The father's
gens, besides receiving the lines, is paid with marmot-skins and blankets.
The nearest relations mourn for a whole year. Some time after the
burial a memorial post is erected and a memorial festival celebrated. If
many members of one family die in quick succession, the survivors lay
their fourth fingers on the edge of the box in which the corpse is deposited
and cut off the first joint ' to cut off the deaths ' (gyidig*'ots). The
bodies of shamans are buried in caves or in the woods. These customs
are common to the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian.
Bilqula.—Among the Bilqula I noted the following customs: They
have professional midwives to assist the woman, who is delivered in a
small house built for this purpose. The child is washed in warm water.
The mother must remain for ten days in h ?r room.    Father and mother
[are not allowed to go near the river for
take offence.
a year, else the salmon would
m 838
Girls when reaching maturity must stay in their bedroom, where they
have a fireplace of their own. They are not" allowed to descend to the
floor, and do not sit by the fire of the family. After a while they may
leave their room, but only through a hole cut in the floor (the houses-
standing on piles), through which they must also enter. They are
allowed to pick berries, but for a whole year they must not come near
the river or the sea. They must not drink more than is absolutely
necessary. They must not eat salmon of the season, else they would
lose their senses, or their mouths would be transformed into long beaks.
They must not eat snow, which is much liked by the Indians, nor must
they chew gum.
Kwakiutl.—There are the same restrictions regarding the place in
which women are confined and regarding the food of girls reaching
maturity. The marriage customs are of peculiar interest on account of
the transition from maternal to paternal institutions that may be observed
here. If a young man wishes to marry a girl, he must send messengers
to the girl's father and ask his permission. If the father accepts the
suitor, he may demand fifty or more blankets, according to his rank, to
be paid at once. He demands double that number to be paid after three
months. After this second payment has been made, the young man is
allowed to live with his wife in his father-in-law's house. When he goes
to live there the young man gives a feast to the whole tribe, without
giving away any blankets, and receives from his father-in-law fifty blankets
or more. At the same time his father-in-law states when he intends to
refund the rest. During the feast, in which the young wife takes part,
she tells her father that her husband wishes to have his carvings and
dances. Her father is obliged to give them to him, and promises to do so
at a future occasion. After three months more the young man pays his
father-in-law 100 blankets to gain permission to take his wife to his
own home. The blankets which he has given to his father-in-law are
repaid by the latter with interest. At the appointed time the woman's
father gives a great feast to the whole tribe. He steps forward carrying
his copper, the emblem of richness and power, and hands it to his son-in-
law, thus giving him his name, carvings, and dances. Tlje young man
has to give blankets to every guest attending the feast; the nobler the
guest is, the more blankets he receives.
The dowry of the bride consists of bracelets made of beaver-toes and
copper; so-called ' button-blankets,' copper-plates, and the gyi'serstal.
The last is a heavy board shaped like one of the lids of Indian boxes.
Its front is set with sea-otter teeth. It is said to represent the human
lower jaw, and I was told that it indicates the right of the husband to
command his wife to speak or to be silent as he may desire.
The bride receives her boxes and other household goods from her
parents. After the marriage she makes presents of dishes, spoons, trays,
and similar objects to the whole tribe in behalf of her husband, in order to
show his liberality. If the woman should intend to separate from her
husband, and to return to her parents, her father must repay twofold all
he has received from his son-in-law. If there should be a child, he has
to repay him threefold. This third part becomes the property of the
child. Frequently this is. only a sham divorce, entered into to give an
opportunity to the father-in-law to show his liberality and wealth. As
soon as he has paid the husband, the latter repurchases his wife.    I was ON  THE  NORTH-WESTERN  TRIBES  OF  CANAD4..
Fig. 3.
told that the -gyi'serstdl is not used by the Le'kwiltok'.    It is certainly not
known to the Coast Salish.
Among the Tlatlasik'oala and Awiky'e'nok' the gens of the young man
go out to meet his bride. They connect four boats by long boards and perform a dance on this platform. The dance is called la'tiaU by
the Tlatlasik'oala. Among the Awiky'e'nok another dance is performed, in which a woman has the chief part. She carries a
carved piece of wood about a foot and a half long, of the shape
shown by the figure, and set with haliotis shells. Besides her,
four masked dancers take part in the dance. They are called
Winoque'lak', Yaiaua'lak'ame, Aiquma'lakila, and Yaiawino'akisla.
Unfortunately I was unable to understand the meaning of their
dead are put into boxes and buried either in a separate burial \
ground or deposited in the higher branches of trees. The tribes living at
the northern end of Vancouver Island have separate burial grounds for
ehiefs and^for common or middle-class people. The box containing the
body is placed in a small house similar to those of the Tlingit and Haida.
The house is covered with blankets,, and strips of blanket are fastened to
poles erected near the grave or to lines drawn from one tree to the other.
Memorial columns, showing the crest of the tribe, are erected near the
graves. Large spoons are placed alongside the houses, and are filled with
food when the body is buried. At the same time food is burnt on the
beach. If the body is hung up in a tree, the lower branches are carefully
removed to make it inaccessible. Sometimes chiefs are buried in canoes.
The Koskimo frequently bury their dead in a cave. The graveyards
are generally situated on small islands or grounds near the village, and
are one of the most remarkable sights on the coast, on account of the
great display of colours and carvings.
The regulations referring to the mourning period are very severe.
In case of the death of husband or wife, the survivor has to observe the
following rules: For four day s after the death the survivor must sit
motionless, the knees drawn up toward the chin. On the third day all
the inhabitants of the village, including children, must take a bath. On
the fourth day some water is heated in a wooden kettle, and the widow
or widower drips it upon his head. When he becomes tired of sitting
motionless, and must move, he thinks of his enemy, stretches his legs
slowly four times, and draws them up again. Then his enemy must die.
During the following sixteen days he must remain on the same spot, but
he may stretch out his legs. He is not allowed, however, to move his
hands. Nobody must speak to him, and whosoever disobeys this command
will be punished by the death of one of his relatives. Every fourth day
he takes a bath. He is fed twice a day by an old woman at the time of
low water, with salmon caught in the preceding year, and given to him
in the dishes and spoons of the deceased. While sitting so his mind is
wandering to and fro. He sees his house and his friends as though far,
far away. If in his visions he sees a man near by, the latter is sure to
die at no distant day; if he sees him very far away, he will continue to
I live long. After the sixteen days have passed, he may lie down, but not
\ stretch out. He takes a bath every eighth day. At the end of the first
month he takes off his clothing, and dresses the stump of a tree with it.
After another month has passed he may sit in a corner of the house, but
for four months he must not mingle with others.    He must not use the 840
REPORT 1889.
house-door, but a separate door is cut for his use. Before he leaves the
house for th« first time he must three times approach the door and return,
then he may leave the house. After ten months his hair is cut short,
and after si year the mourning is at an end. At present the Indians
abstain, during the mourning, from the use of European implements.
Food- is burned for the dead on the beach, sometimes in great quantities, wuich is intended to serve for their food. The mourners wail every
morning on the beach, facing the grave. The women scratch their faces
with/their nails, and cut them with knives and shells.
After the chief's death a great feast is celebrated, in which the son
adopts his father's name. At first mourning songs are sung, in which
sjtones are used instead of sticks for beating time. Then the whistle
Ts'e'koityala is heard, which ends their mourning and restores happiness
to their minds. After a while the chief's son enters, carrying his copper
plate, and, assuming his father's name, becomes the new chief.
Coast Salish.
I am best acquainted with the customs of the Snanaimuq, which are
probably almost identical with those of the other tribes of this group, the
Catlo'ltq excepted, whose customs are more alike to those of the Kwakiutl
than to those of the other Coast Salish.
It is the custom of the Snanaimuq that, if a woman is to be
delivered, all the women are invited to come, and to rub cedar-bark,
which is used for washing and bedding the babe. Two women, the
wives of chiefs, wash the' new-born babe. All those who do any work on
behalf of the mother or child are paid with pieces of a mountain-goat
blanket. The mother must not eat anything but dried salmon, and is
not allowed to go down to the river. The children are not named until
they are several years old. Then all the gentes of the tribe are invited,
and at the ensuing festival the child receives the name of his grandfather
or that of another old member of the gens. Names once given are not
changed, except when that of a chief is assumed by his son.
The man who wants to marry a girl goes into the house of her
parents, and sits down, without speaking a word, close by the door.
There he sits four days, without eating any food. For three days the
girl's parents abuse him in every way, but on the fourth day they feign
to be moved by his perseverance, and the girl's mother gives him a mat
to sit on. In the evening of the fourth day the girl's parents call on the
chief of the gens, and request his wife to invite the young man to sit
down near the fire. Then he knows that the parents will give their
consent to the marriage. A meal is cooked ; some food is served to the
young man, and some is sent to his parents in order to advise them of
the consent of the girl's family. The latter; on receiving the food, accept;
it, and turn at once to cooking a meal. They fill the empty dishes in
which the food was sent, and return them to the girl's parents. Then j
both families give jointly a great feast. The young man's parents load
their boat with mountain-goat blankets and other valuable presents, and
leave the landing-place of their house and land at that of the bride's
house. They are accompanied by the members of their gens. Meanwhile the bride's gens has assembled in her house. The chiefs of the
groom's gens deliver the presents to the bride's parents, making a long
and elaborate speech.    In return, the bride's parents present these chiefs
with a few blankets, which are handed to them by the c.
gens.    Then the groom's gens is invited to partake in a
After these ceremonies are ended, the young man and his gen
the boat, and stay for a few hours on the water.    Meanwhile tL
intrusted to the care of the highest chief of her gens, who take,
the hand, carrying a rattle elaborately carved, of mountain-goat h
the other.    Besides this, he carries a mat for the bride to sit on.
the highest chief of the other gens takes her from the hands ot
former, and leads her into the boat.    The presents given by the pare
of the young man are restored, later on, in the same proportion by ti.
bride's parents.
While these formal ceremonies are always observed when both parties
are of high rank, in other cases, if both parents are of the same rank, the
marriage is sometimes celebrated only by a feast and by a payment of
the value of about forty blankets to the bride's parents by those of the
groom.    These are also restored later on.
If the families are of different social standing, the whole gens of those
parents who are of higher rank may go to the young couple and recover
the husband or wife, as the case may be. This is considered a divorce.
Or the chiefs of the offended gens summon a council, and the case is
settled by a payment of blankets.
The following funeral customs are practised by the Snanaimuq. The
face of the deceased is painted with red and black paint. The corpse is
put in a box, which is placed on four posts about five feet above the
ground. In rare instances only the boxes are fastened in the tops of
trees, which are made inaccessible by cutting off the lower branches.
Members of a gens are placed near each other, near relatives sometimes
in a small house, in which the boxes are enclosed. A chief's body is put
in a carved box, and the front posts supporting his coffin are carved.
His mask is placed between these posts. The graves of great warriors
are marked by a statue representing a warrior with a war-club. There is
nothing to distinguish a shaman's grave from that of an ordinary man.
The mourners must move very slowly. They are not allowed to come
near the water and eat the heads of salmon. They must cook and eat
alone, and not £<jb the fire and the dishes which other people use. Every
morning they go down to the beach and wail for the dead. After the
death of a young child, the parents cut off their hair, but there is no
other ceremony.
After the death of husband or wife, the survivor must paint his legs
and his blanket red. For three or four days he must not eat anything.
Then three men or women give him some food, and henceforth he is
allowed to eat. Twice every day he must take a bath, in which he or
she is assisted by two men or women. At the end of the mourning
period the red blanket is given to an old man, who deposits it in the
At the death of the chief the whole tribe mourns. Four days after
the death occurred the whole tribe assembles, and all take a bath, which
concludes the mourning.
4Kufonaqa.—I have not obtained any information regarding customs
earring to birth.
h*When  a girl reaches maturity she must inform  her mother  and
wadmother, who lead her to a lonely place, or the woods, and provide
1 weai-ih. food for about twenty days.    When this food is at an end, she
sound I REPORT—1889.
^ht to the village for more.    If anybody should happen to
nereabouts,  she has to  resort to  another  secluded   place.
me has to shift her hiding-place four times.    She must abstain
an kinds of food in order to preserve her teeth.    She must not
j made of shavings from deer or elk skin, as else her skin would
3 an unclean complexion.    She must not eat bones with marrow,
, or kidney.    An unmarried woman must eat neither breast nor
erloin of any animal.    If she should eat tenderloin of both sides
the animal, it is believed she would give birth to twins.    Neither
ust she eat meat lying around the obturator foramen of the pelvic bone,
jlse an enemy's arrow would hit her husband in that part.
When a young man wishes to marry a girl, he has to make a certain
payment to his parents-in-law. It seems there is no further ceremony
connected with ths marriage. After marriage the woman's parents give
some presents to the young couple. The first child is often sacrificed to
the sun, to secure health and happiness to the whole family. An old
' brave' is requested to give a boy his name, to make him a good warrior.
Children must not eat blood and marrow, else they will become weak.
The dead are buried in an outstretched position. The head was
probably always directed eastwards. They kill the deceased's horse and
hang his property to a tree under which his grave is. The body is given
its best clothing. The mourners cut off their hair, which is buried with
the body. When a warrior dies, they paint his face red, and bury him
between trees which are peeled and then painted red.'
Before the body is buried, they prophesy future events from the
position of his hands. These are placed over the breast of the body, the
left nearer the chin than the right. Then the body is covered with a
skin, which after a few minutes is removed. If the hands have not
changed their position, it indicates that no more deaths will occur in the
same season. If they are partly closed, the number of closed fingers
indicates the number of deaths. If the point of the thumb very nearly
touches the point of the first finger, it indicates that these deaths will
take place very soon. If both hands are firmly closed, they open the
fingers one by one, and if they find beads (torn from the clothing ?) in
the hands, they believe that they will have good fortun^ If they find
dried meat in the hand, it indicates that they will have plenty of food.
If both hands are closed so firmly that they cannot be opened, it indicates
that the tribe will be strong and healthy and free from disease. These
experiments are repeated several times.
While a few men bury the body, the mourners remain in the lodge
motionless. When those who have buried the body return, they take a
thornbush, dip it into a kettle of water, and sprinkle the doors of all lodges.
Then the bush is broken to pieces, thrown into a kettle of water, which
is drunk by the mourners.    Thi3 ends the mourning ceremonies.
After the death of a woman,-her children must wear until the following spring rings cut out of skin around the wrists, lower and upper
arms, and around the legs. It is believed that else their bones wWd
become weak. ,
Religions. ) Meaf!
... ts of thJ
Tlingit.—While the shamanistic practices and customs are very m,„ a i0n/|
alike among the various peoples of the North Pacific coast, their igge cnieij
about future life and the great deities deserve a separate description ON  THE   NORTH-WESTERN TRIBES  OF  CANADA.
Tlingit believe that the soul, after death, lives in a country similar to
ours. Those who have died a violent death go to heaven, to a country
I ruled by Tahit; those who die by sickness, (also women dying in childbed) go to a country beyond'the borders of the earth, but on the same
level. It is. said that the dead from both countries join during the
daytime. I believe that this idea, which is also held by the Haida,
must be ascribed to Eskimo influence. The ideas of the Tlingit
ing future life are best described in the following tales, which are told as
adventures of shamans who lived about 150 or 200 years ago :
A shaman had been sick for many years. When he felt that he could
not recover, and death was approaching, he asked his mother to take good
care of his dog. He died. The corpse was wrapped in furs, and on the
fourth day he was buried in the graveyard of the shamans, near the
beach. Every day his mother went to the little house in which his body
was deposited, bewailing his death, and burning food for him. One day
the dog, who had accompanied her, began to bark, and would not be
quieted. Suddenly she heard something moving in the grave, and a
sound as though somebody was awaking from a long sleep. She fled,
terrified, and told the people what she had heard. They went to the
grave, opened it, and found that the dead had returned to life. They
carried him home, and gave him some food. But he felt weak, and it
■ was not until he had slept long and soundly that he began to speak.-
' Mother,' he said, ' why did not you give me to eat when I asked you ?
Did not you hear me? I said, "I am hungry," and nudged you. I
wanted to touch your right side, but I was unable to do so. I was
compelled by a magic force to stand at your left side. You did not reply,
but merely touched your side, saying, " That is a bad omen." When
saw you eating, I asked you to let me take part in- your meal, but you
did not answer, and without your permission I was not able to partake
of any food. You said, " The fire crackles, and you threw some of your
meal into it."
' When I was dead I did not feel any pain. I sat by my body, and
saw how you prepared it for burial, and how you painted my face with
our crest. I heard you, 0 mother, mourning at my grave. I told you
that I was not dead, but you did not hear me. After four days I felt as
though ther^was no day and no night. I saw you carrying away my
body, and fW^brnpelled to accompany it, although I wished to stay in
our house. I asked every one of you to give me some food, but you
threw it into the fire, and then I felt satisfied. At last I thought, " I
believe I am dead, for nobody hears me, and the burnt food satisfies me,"'
and I resolved to go into the land of the souls. Soon I arrived at a fork
in the road. A much-trod den road led one way, while the other seemed
to have been seldom used. I followed the former. I longed to die, and
went on and on, hoping to reach the country of the deceased. At last I
arrived at a steep rock, the end of the world. At the foot of the rock a
river flowed sluggishly. On the other side I saw a village, and recognised many of its inhabitants. I saw my grandmother and my uncle
who have long been dead, and many children whom I had once tried to
cure. But many of those I saw I did not know. I cried, " Oh, come,
have pity upon me ! Take me over to you ! " But they continued to
wander about as though they did not hear me. I was overcome by
weariness, and lay down. The hard rock was my pillow. I slept
soundly, and when I awoke I did not know how long I had slept.    I 844
stretched my limbs and yawned. Then the people in the village cried,
| Somebody is coming ! Let us go and take him across the river! " A
boat came to where I stood, and took me to the village. Everyone
greeted me kindly. I was going to tell them of this life, but they raised
their hands and motioned me to be silent, saying, " Don't speak of these
matters; they do not belong to us." They gave me salmon and berries
to eat, but everything had a burnt taste, although it looked like good
food; therefore I did not touch it. They gave me water, but when I
was about to drink it I found that it looked green and had a bitter taste.
They told me that the river which I had crossed was formed of the tears
shed by the women over the dead; therefore you must not cry until your
dead friend has crossed the river.
' I thought, " I came here to die, but the spirits lead a miserable life.
I will rather endure the pains my mother inflicts upon me than stay
here.' The spirits asked me to stay, but I was not moved by their
entreaties, and left. As soon as I turned round the river had disappeared,
and I found myself on a path that was seldom trodden by man. I went
on and on, and saw many hands growing out of the ground, and moving
towards me, as though they were asking something. Far away I saw a
great fire, and close behind it a sword swinging around. When I
followed the narrow path I saw many eyes, which were all fixed upon
me. But I did not mind them, for I wanted to die, and I went on and
on. The fire was still at a distance. At last I reached it, and then I
thought, "What shall I do ? My mother does not hear me. I hate the
life of the spirits. I will die a violent death, and go to Tahi't." I put
my head into the fire, right where the sword was swinging round. Then
all of a sudden I felt cold. I heard my dog barking and my mother
crying. I stretched my limbs, peeped through the walls of my little
grave, and saw you, 0 mother, running away. I called my dog; he
came to see me, and then you arrived and found me alive. Many would
like to return from the country of the spirits, but they dread the hands,
the eyes, and the fire ; therefore the path is almost obliterated.'
A similar story tells of a man's visit to the upper country, which is
ruled by Tahi't:
A man named Ky'itl'a'c, who lived about seven generations ago, killed
himself. When he died he saw a ladder descending from heaven, and
he ascended it. At the head of the ladder he met an old watchman, who
was all black, and had curly hair (? ?). He asked, ' What do you want
here ? ' When Ky'itl'a'c told him that he had killed himself, the watchman allowed him to pass. Soon he discovered a large house, and saw a
kettle standing in front of it. In the house he saw Tahi't, who beckoned
him to come in. He called two of his people (who are called Kyewak'a'6)
and ordered them to show Ky'itl'a'c the whole country. They led him to
the Milky Way, and to a lake in which two white geese were swimming.
They gave him a small stone and asked him to try and hit the geese
with it. He complied with their request, and as soon as he had hit the
geese they began to sing. This made him laugh, for their singing felt
as though somebody tickled him. Then his companions asked him, ' Do
you wish to see Tahi't's daughters ?' When he expressed his desire
they opened the cloud door, and he saw two bashful young girls beyond
the clouds. When he looked down upon the earth he saw the tops of
the trees looking like so many pins. But he wished to return to the
earth.    He pulled his blanket over his head and flung himself down. ON  THE NORTH-WESTERN TRIBES OF  CANADA.
He arrived at the earth unhurt, and found himself at the foot of some
trees. Soon he discovered a small house, the door of which was covered
| with mats. He peeped into it, and heard a child crying that had just
been born. He himself was the child, and when he came to be grown
up he told the people of Tahi't. They had heard about him before, but
only then they learnt everything about the upper world. Ky'itl'a'c told
that those whose heads had been cut off had their eyes between their
shoulders in the upper world.
Another man, named Gyinaskila'c, did not believe in Tahi't. He said
to the people, ' Kill me! If I really go to Tahi't, I shall throw down
fuel from heaven.' He was killed, and after a short time four pieces of
wood fell down from heaven. Then the people knew that Ky'itl'a'c's report was true.
In the second of these tales, reference is made to the Tlingit idea of
transmigration of souls. Former authors state that man is born
anew four times, and that the soul is then annihilated. I did not hear of
any such restriction, but it may be that some notion of this kind obtains.
The souls of animals also descend to the next generation, but there is no
transmigration of souls between man and animal, or between animals of
different kinds. There is particularly no transmigration of souls between
man and his crest.
It is said that ' our world is sharp as a knife.' Although there is a
mythical side to the idea, it seems to be said principally in a moral aspect.
The saying continues, ' We must take care that we do not deviate from
the straight course, for else we would fall off and die.' My informant
explained this, saying, ' Once a boy did not believe that our world is sharp.
He danced about and behaved foolishly. Then he ran a splinter of'wood
into his foot and died. Now he knew that our world is as sharp as a
I have not heard that Yetl, the great hero of their myths, is worshipped,
but they believe that he will return. It is, however, not stated what he
will do on his return, whether he will continue his adventures or benefit
mankind. It must be borne in mind that Yetl, in all his exploits, by
which he benefited man, did so against his will and intent.
The Tlingit pray to the sun to give them food and fair weather, but
it does not seem that he occupies in any way a prominent place among
their deities. They also pray and offer to the mountains and to the
thunder, to the killer {Belphinus orca) and to the seals. Their religion
is a nature worship. When praying they blow up eagle-down as an
offering, and give to every being what they think it likes best. The
mountains are asked for fair wind. When they hear a peal of thunder,
they shake themselves and jump high up, crying, ' Take all my sickness
from me!'
The killer is believed to upset canoes and take the crew with him.
Him and the seal they ask for food. They believe in fabulous seal-men.
When one of these is seen, they pour a bucket of fresh water into the
I have not discovered any belief distinguishing the religion of the
Haida from that of the Tlingit.
Tsimshian.—While the religion of the Tlingit and Haida seems to be
a nature worship, founded on the general idea of the animation of natural
objects, no object obtaining a prominent place, that of the Tsimshian is
a pure worship of Heaven (Leqa').    Heaven is the great deity who has a
^ 846
number of  mediators  called NEqno'q.    Any natural object can be a
NEqno'q, but the most important ones are sun and moon, spirits appearing in the shape of lightning strokes and animals.    NEqno'q designates
anything mysterious.    It is the supernatural will of the deity, as well as
the whistle which is used in the dances and is kept a profound secret, and
a mere sleight-of-hand.    In one myth the master of the moon, the pestilence (Hai'atliloq), appears as a powerful deity.    I suspect that this last!
idea is due to Kwakiutl influence.    Heaven rules the destinies of mankind; I
Heaven taught man to distinguish between good and bad, and gave the!
religious laws and institutions.    Heaven is gratified by the mere exist-1
ence of man.    He is worshipped by offerings and prayer, the smoke rising!
from fires being especially agreeable to him.    Murderers, adulterers, and!
those who behave foolishly, talking to no purpose, and making noise at V
night, are especially hateful to him.    He loves those who take pity upon }
the poor, who do not try to become rich by selling at high prices what
others want.    His messengers, particularly sun and moon, must be treated
with respect.    Men make themselves agreeable to the deity by cleanliness.
Therefore, they must bathe and wash their whole bodies before praying.
For the same reason they take a vomitive when they wish to please the
deity well.    They fast and abstain from touching their wives if they
desire their prayers to be successful.    They offer everything that is considered valuable—eagle-down, red paint, red cedar bark, good elk-skin
lines, &c.    The offering is burnt.
The Tsimshian do not always pray to Heaven directly, but far more
frequently to his mediators. Thus they pray in a general way to the
NEqno'q : ' NEqno'q, NEqno'q ! SEmd'yits, SEmd'yits ! ramrd! d~&n I ay en
tiE'n qspdya'nEksEn tlE'rEnt! NEqno'q ! ramrd'dEh! ' that is, ' NEqno'q,
NEqno'q! Chief, chief! Have pity upon us ! Else there will be nobody
to make smoke under you! NEqno'q ! Have pity upon us !' Or praying
for fair weather: ' NEqno'q, NEqno'q ! SEmd'yits, SEmd'yits ! ramrd/d&n !
tgyine'e wal tlErE'nt nESEgya'tEnt. Man sa'ikya si'Ent ada ma d'o ds'ant! '
' NEqno'q, NEqno'q ! Chief, chief ! Have pity upon us ! Look down and
see what those whom you made are doing! Pull up thy foot and sweep off
thy face !' ('Pull up thy foot '=stop the rain ; ' sweep off thy face '=
take away the clouds.) The following is a prayer for calm weather:
' Lo'sEgya na ksEna'tlgEnt! SEmd'yit dErwwul gya'ksEt! ' ' Hold in thy
breath, Chief! that it be calm ! ' Before eating they burn food ; having
done so they pray: ' Wa SEmd'yits dsm ga'bEnguaa qpiga' ga'bEnmee.
Tawd'l mandEgua'a, tawa'l mandEgua'a tlgsrane'E. Gyi'EriEm !' ' Here ! ,
Chief! Here is for you to eat, part of our food. It is all that is left !
us ! It is all that is left us! Now feed us !' In the same way the
woman in the legend prays: " Wa wa wa gyi'EftEm hadsena's !' ' Now,
now, now feed us ! fortunate one!' (name of a bird, a NEqno'q).
The dead go to a place similar to that of the living.    Our summer is i
their winter,  our winter their summer.     They  have everything—fish
venison, and skins—in abundance.
If a special object is to be attained, they believe they can compel the
deity to grant it by a rigid fasting. For seven days they have to abstain
from food and from seeing their wives. During these days they have to
lie in bed motionless. After seven days they may rise, wash themselves,
comb the right side of their head, and paint the right side of their face.
Then they might look at their wives. A less rigid form of fasting extends over four days only.    To make the ceremony very successful, their ON  THE  NORTH-WESTERN TRIBES  OF  CANADA.
wives must join them.    If the wife should not be true to the husband the
effect of the fasting is destroyed.
The following beliefs and customs are connected with their religious
ideas and ceremonies :—Twins are believed to control the weather; therefore they pray to wind and rain: 'Calm down, breath of the twins.'
Whatever twins wish for is fulfilled. Therefore they are feared, as
they can harm the man whom they hate. They can call the olachen and
salmon, and are therefore called Sewiha'n=making plentiful.
The olachen is called halsma'tk, the Saviour.    Certain ceremonies are
prescribed when the first fish are  caught.    "They are roasted  on  an
instrument of elderberry-wood, of the form shown in the accompanying
sketch.    A handle is tied to the central rod, which is about three
feet long.   A short crosspiece is fastened to the rod about one foot
from its end, and twigs are fastened to its outer ends, being tied
to the central rod near its upper end.    The man who roasts the
fish on this instrument must wear his travelling attire : mittens,
cape, &c.    While it is roasted they pray for plenty of fish, and
ask that they might come to their fishing ground.    When the
fish is turned round, all cry, lawa! !    The fire must not be blown
up.    In eating the fish they must not cool it by blowing, nor
break a single bone.    Everything must be kept neat and clean.
The rakes for catching-the fish must be hidden in the house.
The fish must not be left outside, but stored in boxes.'    The first fish that
they give as a present to their neighbours must be covered with a new
mat.    When the fish become more plentiful, they are doubled up, and
roasted on the point of a stick.    After that they are treated without any
further ceremonies.
Kwakiutl.—The Kwakiutl worship the sun, who is called Kants'o'ump
(our father), A'ta (the one above), Kanski'yi (our brother), K'ansno'la
(our elder brother), or Amiae'qet (the one to whom we must be grateful). They pray to him and they give him offerings. His son is
K'anikilak' (with outspread wings), who descended from heaven and
wandered all over the world, giving man his social institutions, customs,
and arts. They pray to him also. After death the souls go to a country
like ours, and continue to be what they have been on earth. The ghoste
may reappear ; to see them brings sickness and death.
The Kwakiutl have a belief regarding twins similar to that of the
Tsimshian. They consider twins transformed salmon, and, as children
of salmon, they are guarded against going near the water, as it is
believed they would be re-transformed into salmon. While children
they are able to summon any wind by motions of their hands, and can
make fair or bad weather. They have the power of curing diseases, and
use for this purpose a rattle called k''oa'qaten, which has the shape of a
flat box about three feet long by two feet wide. Their mother-marks
are considered scars of wounds which they received when they were
struck by a harpoon while still having the shape of salmon.
The Coast Salish.—The Coast Salish worship the sun and the great
wanderer.    The Catlo'ltq call the latter Kumsno'otl (our elder brother),
I a word which has been borrowed from the Kwakiutl.    They pray to
I him Ai kuacqdto'motl, Kumsno'otl, kums e'tltsn !  (O Kumsno'otl, give us
to eat!)    The Snanaimuq must not partake of any food until the sun is
j well up in the sky.    The Sk'qo'mic seem to consider the great wanderer,
I whom they call Qa'is, the great deity.    He is also called Qa'aqa and
l£SO£7. 848
Slaa'lEk'am.    All these tribes believe that the touch or the seeing of
ghosts brings sickness and death.
The Kutona'qa have a distinct sun-worship. They pray and sacrifice
to the sun. Before beginning their council they put tobacco into a pipe
and offer it three times to the sun, holding up the pipe-stem to it. This
ceremony is called wusithoatlak'd'ne (=making the sun smoke). Then the
pipe is turned round three times horizontally, a smoke being thus offered
to the four points of the compass.    They make hoops of twigs, and
everyone ties to his a part of what
indicates that horses are wished for
he desires to have.    A horse's hair ,
The hoop is hung to a tree as an
offering to the sun. Before war expeditions, and to ward off disaster,
they celebrate a great festival, in which the first joint of a finger is cut
off as an offering to the sun. It is then hung to a tree. They also
pierce their flesh on arms and breast with awls, cut off the piece they
have thus lifted and offer it to the sun. The first-born child is sacrificed to him. The mother prays, \ I am with child. When it is born I
shall offer it to you. Have pity upon us.' Thus they expected to secure
health and good fortune for their families. These customs evidently
correspond to the similar customs of the Blackfeet, although my informant maintained that the so-called sun-dance was never held by the
Kutonaqa. In winter a large dancing (' medicine') lodge is built for
dancing and praying purposes. Then • they pray for snow in order to
easily obtain game.
The dead go to the sun. One of the important features of their
religion is the belief that all the dead will return at a future time. This
event is expected to take place at Lake Pend Oreille. Therefore all
Kutonaqa tribes used to assemble there from time to time to await the
dead. On their journey they danced every night around a fire, going in
the direction of the sun. Only those who were at war with any tribe
or family danced the opposite way. The festival at the lake, which lasted
many days, and consisted principally of dances, was celebrated only at
rare intervals.
Shamanism and Secret Societies.
In the preceding account of the religious ideas of the Indians of
British Columbia I have not mentioned shamanism, which forms a most
important part of their religions, and which is closely connected with all
their customs. All nature is animated, and the spirit of any being
can become the genius of a man, who thus acquires supernatural
powers. These spirits are called Yek by the Tlingit: they are the
NEqno'q of the Tsimshian. It is a remarkable fact that this acquiring
of supernatural powers is designated by the Tsimshian, Bilqula, and
Nutka by a Kwakiutl word (Tlok'oala), which in these instances, however, is restricted to the highest degrees of supernatural power. This
proves that the ideas of the Kwakiutl exercised a great influence over
those of the neighbouring peoples, and for this reason I shall begin with
a description of shamanism among the Kwakiutl.
The secrets of shamanism are confided to a number of secret societies,
which are closely connected with the clans of the tribes.    Thus the art
of the ' medicine man' (of the shaman proper) is derived from Haiali-I
kyawe, the ancestor of the gens of that name.    The secrets of others
are   obtained   by  initiation.     I   failed   to   reach  a  fttUy  satisfactory) ON THE NORTH-WESTERN TRIBES  OF CANADA.
■understanding of this subject, which offers oue of the most interesting
but at the same time most difficult problems of North-West American
j ethnology. The crest of a clan and the insignia of the secret societies
are acquired in the same way. They are obtained by marriage. H a
man wants to obtain a certain carving, or the membership of a secret
society, he must marry the daughter of a man who is in possession of this
carving or who is a member of the secret society; but this can be done
only by consent of the whole tribe, who must declare the candidate
I worthy of becoming a member of this society or of acquiring that crest.
Notwithstanding this fact, the man who is thus entitled to become a
member of the secret society must be initiated.
The insignia of all these societies are made of the bark of cedar,
carefully prepared, and dyed red by means of maple bark. It may
be said that the secrets are vested in these ornaments of red cedar barfe,
and wherever these ornaments are found on the north-west coast secret
societies occur. I do not hesitate to say that this custom must have
originated among the Kwakiutl, as it is principally developed among
them, and as the other tribes whenever they have such societies designate
them with Kwakiutl names. Historical traditions are in accord with
this view.
I will not attempt in this place to describe all the secret societies and
their insignia, my knowledge of them being still deficient, and an amply
illustrated article having appeared in the ' Internationales Archiv fur
Ethnologie.' I shall describe, however, the general character of these
societies and some of the most important among them.
The secret societies are allowed to meet and to perform their dances
and ceremonies only m winter. The time of the year when they meet is
called by most tribes Tsa'ek*a, or Tsetsa'ek'a (=the secrets). The following facts were observed among the Kwakiutl. During the Tsa'ek'a season
the whole tribe is divided into a number of groups which form secret
societies. Among the Kwakiutl I observed some groups, the principal
of which is called .the Me'emqoat (=the seals). It embraces the secret
societies, principally the Ha'mats'a and the Nutlematl. Besides these the
masks of the crane, Ha'maa, grizzly bear, and several others belong to
this group.    Among the other groups I mention the following:
2. K'o'k'oski'mo, who are formed by the old men.
3. Maa'mq'enok ( = the killers, Belph. orca), the young men.
4. Mo'smos (=the dams), the married women.
5. Ka'k'ao (=the partridges), the unmarried girls.
6. He'melk- (=those who eat continually), the old chiefs.
7. Keki'qalak' (=the crows), the children.
Every one of these groups has its separate feasts, in which no member
of another group is allowed to take part; but before beginning their feast
they must send a dish of food to the Ha'mats'a.    At the beginning of
the feast the chief of the group—for instance, of the Ka'k'ao—will say,
' The partridges always have something nice to eat,' and then all peep
| like partridges.    All these groups try to offend the Me'emqoat, and every
i,one of these is offended by a particular action or object.    The grizzly
nlbear mask must not be shown any red colour, his preference being black.
gfPhe Nutlematl and crane do not like to hear a nose mentioned, as theirs
"]are very long.    Sometimes the former try to induce men to mention
their noses, and then they brn and smash whatever they can lay their
1889. 31
ik 850
hands on ; e.g. a Nutlematl blackens his nose; then the people will say r
' Oh, your head is black ;' but if anybody should happen to say, ' What
is the matter with your nose ? ' the Nutlmatl would take offence. Some-I
'times they cut off the prows of canoes because of their resemblance to
noses.    The Nutlematl must be as filthy as possible.
Sometimes a chief will give a feast to which all these groups aretn
invited.    Then nobody is allowed to eat before the Ha'mats'a has eaten,
and if he should decline to accept the food offered him, the feast must b
not take place.    After he has once bitten men he is not allowed to take
part in feasts.
The chief's wife must make a brief speech before the meal is served.
She has to say, ' I thank you for coming.    Be merry and eat and drink.'
If she should make a mistake, deviating from the formula, she has to\<
give another feast. \
From these brief notes it will be seen that the winter festivals, besides
their religious character, are events of social interest in which merrymaking and feasting form a prominent feature. The same has been
observed among numerous American tribes.
Among the secret societies forming the group of the Me'emqoat the
Ha'mats'a is by far the most important. The Ha'mats'a is initiated by
one of three spirits : Baqbaknalanosi'uae, Baqbakua'latle, Ha'maa or the
human-headed crane. The ceremonies of initiation are as follows: In
winter the inhabitants of the village assemble every night and sing four
songs, accompanying the dance of the novice, who is accompanied by ten
companions called Sa'latlila, who carry rattles. When the dance is at
an end they leave the house where the festival is celebrated, always surrounding the novice ; they go all around the village, visiting every house.
All of a sudden the novice disappears, and his companions say that he
has flown away. Then his voice is heard in the woods, and everybody
knows that he is now with the spirits. There he stays from one to five
months, and the people believe that during this time he wanders all over
the world. At the end of this term his voice is again heard in the woods.
Birds are heard whistling on all sides of the village, and then the Indians
prepare to meet the new Ha'mats'a. The sound of the birds' voices is
produced by means of whistles, which are blown by the new Ha'mats'a
and by those who were initiated at former occasions, but they are kept a
profound secret from all those who are not initiated.
The father of the young Ha'mats'a invites the inhabitants of the village
to a feast.    The guests sit down in the rear of the house, everyone carrying
a stick for beating time.    Two watchmen, each carrying a rattle in shape
of a skull, stand on each side of the door, and are occasionally relieved.
A chief stands in the centre of the house, two messengers attending him.
These he despatches to the women of the gens of which the new Ha'mats'a
is a member, and they are ordered to dance.    The interval until the
women are dressed up and make their appearance is filled with railleries
between the messengers.    As soon' as the watchmen see a woman coming)
they begin swinging their rattles, and then the guests begin singing and j
beating time with their sticks.    The woman enters the house, and, turning
to the right, goes around the fire until she arrives in the rear part of thei
house.    Then the guests stop singing and beating time until the dance:
begins.    In dancing the woman first faces the singers; then she turns to!
the left, to the fire, and to the right, and, finally, faces the singers againJ
She leaves the house by going along the left side of the fire.    When the] THE   NORTH-WESTERN  TRIBES
? feast is almost at an end, a terrible noise is heard on the roof of the
house, where the new Ha'mats'a is dancing and whistling. Sometimes
the throws the boards forming the roof aside and thrusts his arms into
the house. Then he disappears again, and his whistles are heard in the
His father requests the men to assemble early in the morning, and
they set out to meet the young Ha'mats'a in the woods. They take a
long rope made of cedar bark, and, having arrived at an open place in the
porest, lay it on the ground in form of a square. They then sit down
inside the square, all along the rope, which represents the platform of
the house, and sing four new songs composed for the purpose. The twO
first ones are in a quick binary measure, the third is in a five-part
I measure, and the last has a' slow movement.    One man dances in the
' centre of the square. Meanwhile the mother of the new Ha'mats'a invites
the women and the old men to a feast, which is celebrated in the house.
All the men are painted black ■ the women red. The latter wear button-
blankets, head-rings of cedar bark dyed red, and their hair is strewn with
eagkvdown. The men who are in the forest wear head-rings and necklets
of hemlock branches. While they are singing and dancing the new
Ha'mats'a makes his appearance. He looks pale and haggard, and his
hair falls out readily. He wears three neck-rings, a head-ring, and
arm-rings made of hemlock branches, but no shirt and no blanket. He
is immediately surrounded by his companions, and the men return to the
village singing the new songs. When the women hear them approaching
they come out of the house and expect them on the street, dancing.
They wish to please the new Ha'mats'a, for whosoever excites his anger
is at once attacked by him. He seizes his arm and bites a small piece of
flesh out of it. It is said that in fact this is done with a sharp, bent
knife, but I doubt whether this is true. At the end of the Tsa'ek*a season
the Ha'mats'a must compensate every single person whom he has bitten
ffith a blanket or two. In the evening the people assemble in the house
of the Ha'mats'a's father for singing, and dancing. If anything should
displease the Ha'mats'a, he rushes out of the house and soon returns
I carrying a corpse. His companions continue to surround him in all his
movements. He enters the house and, turning to the right, goes around
I the fire until he arrives in the rear of the house. As soon as the old
Ha'mats'a see the corpse they make a rush at it, and fight with each
other for the flesh. They break the skull and devour the brains, and
smash the bones to get at the marrow. The companions cut large slices
from the body, and put them into the mouth of the young Ha'mats'a,
who bolts them. At the end of this ceremony the father of the young
Ha'mats'a presents everyone with bracelets of copper.
The new Ha'mats'a dances four nights—twice with rings of hemlock
branches, twice with rings of dyed cedar bark. Strips of cedar bark are
tied into the hair, which is covered with eagle-down. His face is painted
black; he wears three neck-rings of cedar bark, arranged in a peculiar
way, and each of a separate design. Strips of cedar bark are tied around
his wrists and ankles. He dances in a squatting position, his arms
extended to one side, as though he were carrying a corpse. His hands are
trembling continually. First he extends his arms to the left; then he
jumps to the right, at the same time moving his arms to the right. His
eyes are staring, his lips protruding voluptuously.
The Indians are said to prepare the corpses by laying them into the
3 i 2
^ 852 report—1889.
sea and covering them with stones. The Catlo'ltq, who also practise thej
Ha'mats'a dances, make artificial corpses by sewing dried halibut to the I
bones of a skeleton and covering its skull with a scalp.
The new Ha'mats'a is not allowed to have intercourse with anybody, {
but must stay for a whole year in his rooms. He must not work until
the end of the following dancing season. The Ha'mats'a must use a
kettle, spoon, and dish of his own for four months after the dancing!
season is at an end; then these are thrown away and he is allowed to eai j
with the other people. During the time of the winter dance a pole, called!
hd'mspiq, is erected in the house where the Ha'mats?a lives. It is covered
with red cedar bark, and made so that it can turn round.
Another secret society is called Ma'mak*'a (from mak'qa',, to throw).
The initiation is exactly like that of the Ha'mats'a. The man or woman
who is to become Ma/mak''a disappears in the woods and stays for several
months with Ma'mak''a, the genius of this group, who gives him a magic
staff and a small mask. The staff is made of a wooden tube and a stick
that fits into it, the whole being covered with cloth. In dancing the
Ma'mak*'a carries this staff between the palms of his hands, which he holds
pressed against each other, moving his arms up and down like a swimmer. Then he opens his hands, separating the palms, and his staff is seen
to grow and to decrease in size. When the time has come for the new
Ma'mak*'a to return from the woods, the inhabitants of the village go in
search of him. They sit down in a square formed by a rope, and sing four
new songs. Then the new Ma'mak*'a appears, adorned with hemlock
branches. While the Ha'mats'a is given ten companions, the Mamak''a
has none. The same night he dances for the first time. If he does not
like one of the songs, he shakes his staff, and immediately the spectators
cover their heads with their blankets. Then he whirls his staff, which
strikes one of the spectators, who at once begins to bleed profusely. Then
Ma'mak''a is reconciled by a new song, and he pulls out his staff from the
stricken man's body. He must pay the latter two blankets for this performance, which, of course, is agreed upon beforehand.
This may suffice as a description of the secret societies.. The dance of
Ma'mak*'a shows the idea of the natives regarding the
sickness. It is the universal notion of an object having entered the body
of the sick man ; by its removal he is restored to health. The Ma'mak*'a
and the ordinary medicine man have the power of finding such objects!
and of removing them by means of sucking or pulling them out with
carved instruments, by the help of the noise of rattles and incantations.
Among the objects thrown into the body to cause sickness, quartz is considered one of the most dangerous. Sickness is also produced by the
soul leaving the body. The shaman is able to find it and to restore it.
Besides the Ma'mak''a, the descendants of Haialikyawe and those initiated
in his mysteries are considered the most powerful medicine men. Magid
power can also be acquired by a visit to the fabulous mountain Ts'ilky-
umpae, the feather mountain, on which the magic eagle-down and the!
quartz which enables the possessor to fly are found.
The Tsimshian have four secret societies, which have evidently been
borrowed from the Kwakiutl—the Olala or Wihalait, Nofatlem,j
Me'itla, and SEmhalait. The words Olala, No'ntlem (=mad), and Meitla
have been borrowed from the Kwakiutl. Wihalait means the great dance
SEmhalait, the ordinary dance. The Olala corresponds to the Ha'nats'ai
of the Kwakiutl; the No'ntlem to the Nutlmatl.   The Olala is (or father
was) a prerogative of the Gyitqa'tla and Gyispaqla'ots, who obtained
them by intermarriage with the northern Kwakiutl tribes. There exists
a tradition among the Tsimshian referring to the fabulous origin of these
j societies by the initiation of a man; but it is evident that this legend has
.been invented in analogy to others of a similar character. Historical
Itraditions, and the fact that the Olala is confined to the southern Tsim-
fshian tribes, prove that they are of foreign origin.
A man who is not a member of a secret society is a ' common man.'
|He becomes a middle-class man after the first initiation, and attains
higher rank by repeated initiations. The novice disappears in the same way
as among the Kwakiutl. It is supposed that he goes to heaven. During
the dancing season a feast is given, and while the women are dancing
'the novice is suddenly said to have disappeared. If he is a child he
stays away four days; youths remain absent six days, and grown-up
persons several months. Chiefs are supposed to stay in heaven during
the fall and the entire winter. When this period has elapsed they
suddenly reappear on the beach, carried by an artificially-made monster
belonging to their crest. Then all the members of the secret society to
which the novice is to belong gather and walk down in grand procession
to the beach to fetch the child. At this time the child's parents bring
presents, particularly elk-skins, strung upon a rope as Jong as the procession, to be given at a subsequent feast. The people surround the
novice and lead him into every house in order to show that he has
returned. Then he is taken to the house of his parents and a bunch of
cedar bark is fastened over the door, to show that the place is tabooed, and
nobody is allowed to enter. The chief sings while it is being fastened.
In the afternoon the sacred house is prepared for the dance. A section
in the rear of the house is divided off by means of curtains ; it is to serve
as a stage, on which the dancers and the novice appear. When all is
ready, messengers, carrying large carved batons, are sent round to invite
the members of the society, the chief first. The women sit down in one
row, nicely dressed up in button-blankets, and their faces painted red.
The chief wears the Amhalait—a carving rising from the forehead, set
with sea-lion barbs, and with a long drapery of ermine-skins—the others,
I the cedar-bark rings of the society. Then the women begin to dance.
After a while a prominent man rises to deliver a speech. He says : ' All
I of you know that our novice went up to heaven. There he made a mistake, and has been returned. Now you will see him.' Then he begins the
song, the curtain is drawn, and masked dancers are seen surrounding the
novice, and representing the spirits he has encountered in heaven. At the
same time eagle-down is blown into the air. The novice has a pair of
clappers between his fingers, and for every new initiation he receives an
additional clapper. After the dance is over, the presents which were
strung on the rope are distributed among the members of the secret
The novice has a beautifully-painted room set apart for bis use.    He
has to remain naked during the dancing season.    He must not look into
the fire, must abstain from food and drink, and is only allowed to moisten
his lips occasionally.    He has to w&u* his-head-ring continually.    After
jhe ceremonies   are   all  gone  throvgh,  the  festival  of  ' clothing  the
ovice' is celebrated.    He sits in his room quietly singing while the
eople assemble in  the house.    His tsong is heard to grow louder and
uder, am"    ^last he makes his appearance.    He has put off his ring of
wim*" 854
cedar bark. Then the people try to throw a bear-skin over him, which ■
they succeed in doing only after a severe struggle. At this feast all'
societies take part, each sitting grouped together. The common people5!
stand at the door.    This ends the initiation ceremonies.
The festival of ' clothing' is also celebrated by the Kwakiutl, when
it seems to indicate the end of the trance of the novice.
The initiation is repeatedly celebrated, the rank of the person being
the higher the more frequently he has gone through the ceremonies. But
nobody, chiefs excepted, can be a member of more than one secret society
It seems that the SEmhalait are considered a preparatory step for the
initiation into other societies, so that every person must have been
SEmhalait before he can become Meitla, Nontlem, or Olala. A Meitla,
however, can never become Nontlem or Olala. Those who passed twice
through the SEmhalait ceremony are called Ts'e'ik. The Meitla have a
red head-ring and red eagle-downs, the Nontlem a neck-ring plaited of
white and red cedar bark, the Olala a similar but far larger one. The
members of the societies receive a head-ring for each time they pass
through these ceremonies. These are fastened one on top of the other.
The Nontlem destroy everything, carry firebrands, and tear live dogs to
pieces, which they devour. They correspond exactly to the Nutlmatl and
Nontsistatl of the Kwakiutl.
The secret societies have no connection whatever with the gentes.
Generally the father determines to what society each child is to belong,
and has them initiated by proxy, so that they may belong to the middlel
class from childhood.
The Haida borrowed these customs from the Tsimshian, and some-j
times perform the Meitla and Olala dances; but the Tsimshian maintain
that they have no right to do so. Their dance, corresponding to the]
SEmhalait of the Tsimshian, is that of the shaman, the Sk'aga, the initiation being identical with that of the Tsimshian SEmhalait. The Sk'aga
has a number of head-rings, one on top of the other, corresponding to]
the number of ceremonies he went through...
The shamans proper of the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian are initiated
by a spirit after long fasting. Those of the Tlingit and Haida acquire]
their knowledge of the mysteries of shamanism by tearing out the tonguei
of an otter, an eagle, and several other animals. In doing so they musl
use a bundle of twigs strung together with spruce roots for catching thd
blood that flows from the animal's tongue. Those twigs which have hoi
come into contact with the blood are taken out. Sometimes a piece oi
the whole of the tongue is wrapped in those bundles, and, in cases o|
great emergency, worn by the shaman round the neck to endow hinj
with great power over spirits (see ' Journal Anier. Folk-Lore,' i. p. 218)|
ore, i. p.
The dignity seems to be hereditary. They wear long hair, which musl
never be touched with the hands, and is therefore extremely filthy and
matted. They wear a necklace set with bone ornaments, a long curve!
piece of bone in the septum of the nose, a bird's head on the breast, |
rattle, and a carved staff. Their art consists in extracting the sickness q
in finding and restoring the soul of the sick person. In trying to find i
three or four shamans sing and re£tle over the sick person until the]
declare to have found the whereabouts of his soul, which is supposed t
be in possession of the salmon o- olachen, or in that of the decease]
shaman.    Then they go to the place where it is supposed to be and
singing and incantations obtain possession of it and enclosre it
hollc *m
•carved bone. Then mountain-goat tallow, red paint, eagle-down, and
other valuable objects are burnt, and the soul held over the fire. The
I bone is then laid upon the sick man's head, the shaman saying, ' Here is
your soul. Now you will be better and eat again.' Sometimes the soul
is supposed to be held by a shaman, who is paid for returning it.
A supposed sorcerer is tied up and starved until a confession is made,
when he is driven into the sea to expel the evil spirit. Should he is-efuse
to confess he is either starved to death or placed on shore at the limit of
low tide, and, being bound, is drowned when the water rises. Sorceryc is
practised principally by means of parts of the body of the person \to
whom the sorcerer wishes to do harm. If it is believed that a man dieol
in consequence of being bewitched, the Tsimshian take the heart from the
body and put a red-hot stone into it. They wish at the same time that
the enemy should die. If the heart burst their wish is expected to be
fulfilled; if not, it is a sign that their suspicions were unfounded.
The shamans of the Coast Salish go into the woods in order to be
initiated. They swim in ponds and wash their bodies with cedar branches,
and thus prepare themselves to meet the spirits and the fabulous double-
headed snake who give them their supernatural powers. They cause sickness by making bits of quartz and wood fly into the body of their adversary, and heal the sick by removing these objects. To show their power
they perform dances in certain festivals in which they pretend to cut
their bodies with knives; the blood is seen to flow frOm the wounds;
but when thev move their hands over them no trace of the cuts is to be
seen. At the burial, food is burnt for the dead on the beach. On this
occasion the shaman throws presents for the dead into the fire on behalf
of the mourners. He then affirms that he sees the deceased person's
spirit, who speaks to him. In the winter dances each shaman wears the
.painting or the mask of the spirit who initiated him.
The shamans of the Kutona'qa are also initiated in the woods after
long fasting. They cure sick people, and prophesy the result of hunting
and war parties. If this is to be done, the shaman ties a rope around his
waist and goes into the medicine-lodge, where he is covered with an elk-
skin. After a short while he appears, his thumbs firmly tied together by
a knot which is very difficult to open. He re-enters the lodge, and after
a short time reappears, his thumbs being untied. After he has been tied
a second time he is put into a blanket, which is firmly tied together like a
bag. The line which is tied around his waist, and to which his thumbs
are fastened, may be seen protruding from the place where the blanket is
tied together. Before he is tied up, a piece of bone is placed between his
toes. Then the men pull at the protruding end of the rope, which gives
way; the blanket is removed and the shaman is seen to lie under it. This
performance is called k''eqnEmna'm (= somebody cut in two). The
shaman remains silent, and re-enters the lodge, in which rattles made of
pieces of bone are heard. Suddenly something is heard falling down.
Three times this noise is repeated, and then singing is heard in the lodge-
It is supposed that the shaman has invoked souls of certain people whom
he wished to see, and that their arrival produced the noise. From these
he obtains the information and instructions which he later on communi- •
cates to the people.
\ 856
I. Tlingit.
/Obtained from, Mrs. Viae, Victoria, a native of the Stik'ln tribe.
, Vowels:       a,   e,   E,   i,   o,   u.
f. Consmants :        d, t;   gy, ky;   g, k, k';    g; k-;   w, r, q, Q ;
h, H, y;   n;    s, c ;    dz, ts; dj, tc;    dl, tl.
/ The labials are absent. The difference between surds and sonants is very slight.
TL find in my Msts a great number of cases in which for the same sound both surds
and sonants are used promiscueusly. The difference is so slight that I am inclined
to think the language has only surd-sonants, which we apperceive by the means of
our surds and sonants, and that they are for this reason considered two sounds. The
r is a very deep guttural, the mouth assuming at the same time the position for pronouncing w, the Lips only being a little further apart. The uvula vibrates very little,
and thus it happens that the sound is very much like m. In many cases, particularly when preceding u, it is very difficult to distinguish both sounds. There seems
to be a dz and dj, the sonants corresponding to ts and tc; but as in all instances I
was just as much inclined to write the latter, I have mostly applied the latter form.
The hiatus is very frequent, and occurs after all consonants. No combinations of
consonants occur in the beginning of the word, except dl and tl, followed by a gut-
ttucal, and perhaps s followed by the same. All letters can be initial and terminal
sounds.   I found the following terminal combinations of consonants:
Sonants occur very rarely at the end of words, but this may be accounted for by j
the indefinite character of these sounds.    Combinations of consonants are very rare.
I do not attempt to give a list, as it is in many instances doubtful whether the word
is really a single word or a compound.
The Tlingit language has no grammatical sex and no separate forms for singular
and plural.   As Wemiaminov states that there is a plural, I have made frequent:
attempts to find it, but my search has been in vain, and I agree with Krause, who- \
states that there is no separate form for the plural.    In two or three instances I j
found the terminal vowel of nouns repeated, the word expressing at the same time a
pko-al; but I have reason to believe that this repetition has merely euphonic reasons,,
as it is also found in other cases, and as the plural of the same word has frequently
the same form as -the singular: tloo and tlo, noses.     Wemiaminov mentions the
plural t'elr, stones (singular t'e~), but I find in my collection deq te, two stones.   If
it is necessary or desirable to state expressly that the plural is meant h-toq, a number
of—, is placed after the noun.     It seems to me probable that this is the jplural referred to by Wemiaminov and spelled—khth.   I have not found any indication of
the existence of cases, not even of the instrumentalis mentioned by Wemiaminov.
Compound nouns are of very frequent occurrence, the components being placed
side by side:
ca qa'nm, hair = head hair.
k-'os t'a&tl, ankle=leg knuckle.
sWsa a'se, mast=sail tree.
ts'ak set, necklace = bone necklace.
ka toril', titmouse = man heart.
Dekyl no, name of an island = far from
the coast, rock.
too s'a'te, thief = steal master.
guts re to'tli, Gallinago Wilsoni = cloud
place bird.
Local adverbs enter frequently into compound words of this kind:
dz'eh' da het, pipe = smoke around box. ga/n, da da g&'gS, woodpecker = tree-out-
W uq ri/re'% whistle = into blowinstru- side pick.
ment. h'iri fe'h^e, icicle = above ioe.
an h'a n&gu. Arnica cordrfolia=town h'anyiqk'uate', aurora = fire-like weather-
on medicine. colour.
diq hara Mdje't,   horse=back upon kin de teune't, Anas boschas = moving
sit. straight up.
The names of colours are compound words :
h'an yi'qate, red = fire-like colour. tied yiqate, white=snow-like colour.
hetl ha'tle yiqate, yellow ~ dog dung colour.
The adjective follows the substantive to which it belongs, except when it has a.
verbal meaning:
tcatl qdh, dried halibut. aqa dare't, oar=long paddle.
mat ourd', half fathom. tlah' rldze, reed = wide grass.
9&tl gWtshS, young dog. hit tlen, large house.
Wfoen the .adjective stands for our adjective with the verbum substantivum, it
generally .precedes the substantive:
a tlen hit, that is a large house.
Cardinal Numbers.
1, tleh-'.
2, deq.
3, natsh'.
4, ddk-'o'n.
5, hedjin.
6, tie dwcu'.
7, daqa durcu'.
8, natsha durcu'.
9, gd'cuk.
10, djinhat.
11, djinhat h'a tleh'1.
20, tie h'a.
30, natsh' djinha't.
40, dak'' o'n djinha't.
50, hedjin djinha't.
60, tie dwcu' djinha't.
70, daqa durcu' djinha't.
80, natsha durcu' djinha't.
90, gd'cuk' djinha't.
100, hedjin h'a.
200, djinha't h'a.
300, natsh djinha't ha.
400, dah'' o'n djinha't h'a.
Four is evidently the second two, five a derivative from djin, hand, while the
numbers from 6 to 8 are the other one, two, three. Ten seems to mean both hands ;
20 is one man; 100, five men; while the numbers from 30 to 90 mean three, four,,
five, &e. tens.
In counting: men the followins: numerals are used:
1 man tie nsq h'a.
2 men dsq nsq h'a.
3 men natshye nsq h'a.
4 men dak'Une' nsq h'a.
5 men hedjine' nsq h'a.
6 men tie durcu' nnq h'a.
The same numerals may be used in counting dogs.
Ordinal Numbers.
The following  ordinal numbers  differ to some extent from those given   by
Wemiaminov, and appear in parts doubtful:
cuhal, the first.
i'ta, the second.
taraide'a), the third.
anira(de'a), the fourth.
So far as I was able to discover, the cardinal numbers are generally used in place
of the ordinal numbers.
tlaqh'ara(de'a), the fifth.
tie dwr~c,v/ra(d&a), the sixth.
daqa durcura(de'd), the seventh.
natsha dureura(de'a), the eighth. 858
REPORT 1889.
Numeral Adverbs.
These are formed by adding the suffix -dahe'n to the cardinal numbers.
tledahe'n, once. natsh' dahe'n, three times.
daqdahe'n, twice. dah-'on dahe'n, four times.
Distributive Numbers.
The cardinal numbers are at the same time distributives. I collected the following
tie h'a nsq and tie nsq, one to each. natshye nsq, three to each.
■dsq nsq, two to each.
It will be observed that in this instance that form of numeral is used which
denotes a number of men. It is probable that when other substantives are referred
to the other numerals take their place.
Personal Pronoun.
There are two forms of the personal pronoun, which may be designated the
ordinary and the selective forms. The difference of these forms will best be made
clear by giving examples: To the question, Who is there ? I answer, qat (I), which is
the ordinary form; while to the question, Who among all of you will help me ? I
answer, qatc (I).
Besides these we find two forms of the personal pronoun which are used in the
inflexion of the verb: one in inflecting the transitive, the other in inflecting the intransitive verb, the latter being at the same time the object of the transitive
pronoun.   This makes it probable that the intransitive verb is really impersonal.
Singular, 1st person
2nd     „
„         3rd     „
Plural,     1st      „
2nd     „
3rd     „
has (a)
The transitive and intransitive forms must not be considered prefixes, as they are
not inseparable from the verb.
Demonstrative Pronoun.
Krause and Wemiaminov give the demonstrative pronouns: yatat, this ; and yutat,
that. Krause states that the adjective form is ya and yu. I have no example of
this kind in my list. There exists a demonstrative word a, which is very extensively
a to, something inside.
a tlen hit, that large house.
aq ari ags ? is that mine ?
hit a tlen a, that is a large house.
The following are evidently derivatives from the same demonstrative stem :
aq ari aua, that is mine. hit g'E'tsgo asia', that is a small house.
i hiti asia, that is your house.
Note.—The demonstrative roe is found twice in my collection :
mote qat wu si neq, that man saved me.
we atqa' qat si nek', that food me makes sick.
_ Note.—The personal and possessive pronouns, third person, are sometimes used
with the termination -tit, denoting that the person is at a distance, and thus receive
a demonstrative meaning1:
tdtlt ari aua, it is his, or that man's.
hastlt, they (at a distance). ON  THE  NORTH-WESTERN  TRIBES  OF  CANADA.
Possessive Pronoun.
The possessive pronoun has two forms, which are derived from the personal pronoun. The following form is most frequently found; it precedes the noun to which
at belongs:
Singular, 1st person, aq.
„      2nd     „       I.
,,       3rd      „      to.
Plural, 1st person, ha.
„    2nd     „      ri.
„     3rd      ,,      hasto.
While in this form the noun is not altered, in the following it takes the
suffix -ri:
Singular, 1st person, aq—ri.
„       2nd      §       I—ri.
„       3rd      „      to—ri.
Plural, 1st person, ha—ri.
„ 2nd „ ri—ri.
„    3rd      ,,      hasto—ri.
I am not able to give any rule as to the use of these forms. The substantive
possessive pronoun is formed by the demonstrative a and the second possessive form:
■aq a ri, mine ( = my that).
Note.—The suffix -ri is sometimes contracted with the terminal sound of the
aq hiti, my house; instead of aq hit—ri,.
In discussing the pronoun we stated that there are two forms, one for the transitive, the other for the intransitive verb, the latter being identical with the objective
case of the transitive pronoun. This makes it probable that the intransitive verb
may be impersonal, a theory which is the more probable on account of the remarkable
particles used with these verbs. In Tlingit all verbs are transitive which express an
activity, even in cases in which we do not use an object; all verbs expressing a state
are intransitive, and for this reason our passive is rendered in the same way. Following is a list of transitive and intransitive verbs in the first person singular:
Intransitive Verbs.
qat te nehf, I am sick.
qat rs ta uwa ha', I am sleepy.
qat wu di que'tl, I am tired.
qat ran uwa lw!, I am hungry.
qat tli tsen, I am strong.
qat wu neq, I recover from sickness,
I am saved.
qat hawa/ws'tl, I break down.
In another group of such verbs the pronoun is placed after the stem.
Tlingit qat, I am a Tlingit. ica'n qat, I am poor.
anha'o qat, I am rich. gacu qat,
I desire.
Transitive Verbs.
at qa qa, I eat (it).
qa aqtc, I hear.
qa djwn, I dream.
qa tl'eq, I dance.
qa el, I sing.
qa ten, I see.
qa ta, I sleep.
h''an qa gad, I am angry.
yuq'a qa tsn, I speak.
at qa sae', I cook.
qa tana', I drink.
qa tl'ih', I open my eyes.
at qa cd'uh, I laugh.
qa ce goh, I know to	
qa got, I walk.
qa t'iqt, I pound.
qa tsn, I carry.
The verb, more especially the intransitive verb, appears frequently combined with
certain particles, the meaning and origin of which I cannot explain. Former students
of the Tlingit language failed to separate these particles from the words with which
they are connected. Therefore the greater number of words of Wemiaminov's, as
well as of other, lists are really compounds. I give first an alphabetic list of these
particles. In those cases in which they may be omitted I have placed them in
■de de qat ran uwa ha,l am growing hungry.
de wu di que'tl, I am growing tired.
\_de\ ra- he na e'n, it is growing to be daylight. 860
de [de"] h8 wa a', it is dayhght.
[deJ rl se-te'nags ? did you see them ?
de h'uhqoaten, I shall leave.
de qat ri se'ne'q, you have saved me !
de qa gode'n, I have gone.
ga'eudS qa god, I wish to go.
de rsn at qoa qa, I have eaten.
de aq tana', I have drunk.
hu hu wat, tall. hu datl, heavy.
hu watl, small. hu tla, stout, j
hu seems'to imply a reference to personal appearance.
hu, weather, out-of-doors :
hu sia't, it is cold. hu ti tl'eh, it is wet.
hu re ta, it is warm. hu tU guts, it is cloudy.
hu wa quh, it is dry.
huga'ts, horizon, probably belongs to this group.
h'anyiqhwvate', aurora; fire like out-of-doors colour.
ra, rs I rs nek', you are sick. rs h'e, good.
ha rs ne'gun, we were sick. rs su', a short time ago.
qat rs ta uwa ha, I am sleepy.      rs dstl, heavy.
Lb is .doubtful whether the following are derived from the same root:
at i ra qa, you have eaten. W ra aqtc, we know.
na na tie, far
ttdtl hye qat wu na tlitcen> I am growing weak.
de ra he na en, it is growing to be daylight.
hin ra rs na ten, the water begins to be warm.
hin.rana s'Et, the water begins to be cold.
aq (1) la (2) na (3) na'neh' (4), if (4) my (1) father (2) should die (3).
hu na te'nneh', if he should leave.
From these examples it would seem that na designates the commencement of a
certain state.
qat wu ti que'tl, I am tired. wu ti tl'eh, it is wet.
. yiq otuq ti nek, I feel sick (yiq = like).
a ka wa, qats, clear sky. wa quh, dry.
wa se hu datl? is it heavy 1 araJia wa dan, it is snowing.
he wa a, it is daylight.
wu nek, he (absent) is sick.
tletl qat wu nek', I am not sick.
tletl qat wucks', I am bad.
tletl wu dstl, light (not heavy)
tletl wu tli tse', easy.
tletl wu q csgdk, I cannot-
qat wu nek, I am growing sick.
resu' rvu nek, I just got sick.
qat wu tlitse'n, I am growing
qat wu neq, I recover from sickness, I am saved.
qat wu ti que'tl, I am tired.
wu tli qun, thin.
wu na, dead.
dag wu stamen, it was raining.
has wu to sete'n, we see them.
tlegitl qat wu nek? Am I Jiot
gutl qat wu nek, may be I am
I wu tli tsengs ? are you strong ?
In thergreat majority of cases in which wu is used the state (or action ?) expressed
by the i?erb is still incomplete, not yet or not longer existing, or existing at a distance.
Thus it would appear that the particle wu denotes the ' not actually being.' It seems
doubtful whether the wu of the last example can be classed with the rest. It is
remarkable i&at this particle appears very frequently combined with others, especially
so with ti and tli.
ye q sine, I have done it
ye qat hu tla', I am stout.
ohn ye s'ak ku wat, John is tall (John is bone-long).
e qat s'ak hu watl, I am small (I am bone-short). ON  THE  NORTH-WESTERN  TRIBES  OF  CANADA.
aha ye qad, I put it on top of	
rs ke yd ka, he is a good man.
tU tsen ye ka, he is a strong man.
It may be that this is a verbv/m substantwum; at least it seems possible to class all
the examples given here in such a way.
til til an, good-natured. tli tser difficult.
tU tsen, strong. eh'aq til nek, I pretend to be sick.
hu tfy guts, cloudy. oh'aq qa tllqa, I pretend to cut.
til nnis, strong (rope). til tPa, later on.
wu tli qun thin.
To these particles might be added one which frequently, although not regularly,
precedes the future tense, and in some instances also the past.
hye hye qat huh ra nek, I shall be sick.
tletl hye qat wu na tli tsen, I am growing weak.
tlegitl hye qat kuk wu nek', am I not going to be sick ?
tletl hye qat wu neh'to, I have not been sick.
tlegitl hye neh'tcen ? have you not been sick ?
The following I found only in one single instance:
dag sete'n, it is raining. dag wu stanen, it was raining.
a wu dag gane'n, the sun was shining.
Tenses. •
Wemiaminov states that there are six tenses: present, imperfect, perfect, plus-
quamperfect, future, futurum exactum.    My collections contain only the present,
past (imperfect), and. future tenses, which I give here in paradigmatic form:
nek1, sick.
Present Tense
Singular, 1st person
qat r;E nek'
i qat (ts) ne'gun
(kye) qat k-ug* te nek'
I ts nek'SB
I (ts) ne'gunssE
(kye) I k-ug- ts nek'
„         3rd
rs nek'
(ts) ne'gun
(kye) k-ug- is nek*
Plural,"     1st
ha is nek'
ha (te) ne'gun
(kye) ha k-ug- is nek'
„        2nd
ri te nek'
ri (te~) ne'gun
(kye) ri k-ug- ra nek'
„        3rd
has te nek'
has (te) ne'gun
kye has k-ug- r.E nek'
In inflecting the transitive verb, the pronoun is placed immediately before the
verb. In many instances the verb has an indefinite object, at, which is placed before
the subject: at qa qa, I eat (it) ; at qa el, I sing (it); at qa sae', I cook (it). In
compound verbs which consist of a stem denoting the action or state, and attributes
limiting the action as to manner, place, or time, the subject is placed between these
two parts, and thus an apparent infixion originates :
sk'a (1) qa (2) da (3) ts'eh (4), I smoke = mouth (1) I (2) around (3) smoke (4).
ha (1) qa (2) tlqEktl (3), I rub with pestle = upon (1) I (2) rule (3).
to (1) qa (2) uq (3), I (2) blow (3) into (1).
The following forms must be explained in the same way, although I am not able
to translate the elements of these words. The place of the pronoun is indicated by
a dash:
h'ant—wa nuh, angry (h'an, angry).
ye—sine, to do (si, to make).
yuq'd—tEfi,, to speak.
a—tl'eq, to dance.
As a rule, the object is placed before the subject, but when the object is a pronoun and has a separate objective form the sequence may be reversed. Has, the
third person plural of the personal pronoun, always precedes the object; therefore
it seems probable that it is an attribute to the pronoun, limiting it to the plural.   It
h'an—rod, cross (h'an, angry).
su—s'et'e'n, to think of—.
a—djnn, to dream. 862
also precedes the first part of compound verbs : has to uq, they blow into.   FollowirT
is a paradigmatic table of the transitive verb in the present tense:
sete'n, to see.
Subject, Singular
1st Person
2nd Person
3rd Person
Singular, 1st person
2nd    „
3rd     „
Plural       1st     „
2nd    „
3rd     „
1 qa sete'n
qoa sete'n
n qa sete'n
has qoa sete'n
qat ri sete'
n sete'n
ha ri sete'n
has i3 sete'n
qat wu sete'n
I wu sete'n
ac wu sete'n
ha wu sete'n
ri wu sete'n
hotc wu sete'n
Subject, Plural
1st Person
2nd Person
3rd Person
Singular, 1st person
2nd    „
3rd     „
Plural,     1st     „
„          2nd    „
3rd     3,
I wu tu sete'n
wu tu sete'n
ri wu tu sete'n
has wu tu sete'n
qat riri sete'n
riri sete'n
ha riri sete'n
has riri sete'n
has qat wu sete'n
has I wu sete'n
has ac wu sete'n
has ha wu sete'n
has ri wu sete'n
When the object is a substantive it precedes the subject:
hin qa tana', I drink water. hln a tana', he drinks water.
Note.—In a great number of cases the first person singular of the transitive verb is
qoa instead of qa. I am not quite certain how this form originates, but it seems to-
be a contraction of qa wu or of qa wa. It would seem that the third'person-^subiect
as well as object—takes this particle, and this would explain the qoa in qoa sete'n
he sees him. In certain cases it is evidently contracted from qa ra, as in the perfect. I am, however, far from being able to explain the rules regulating the use of
qoa and qa.
at qoa qa, I have eaten (from at qara
qoa sete'n, I see him.
qoa sete'nen, I have seen it once.
qoa a'qen, I have heard it once, occasionally.
I Sotat hu qoa a'qen, I have heard of
your father (somebody spoke of
de hugm qoa god, I am going to go.
at hug' qoa qa, I shall eat.
na til re de k'ug- qoa ten, I
far away.
h'ant qoa nuk, I am angry.
at qa qa, I am eating.
qa tS'nen, I have seen it frequently.
qa tllte'n, I look at it.
qa a'qtoen, I have heard it often, I
know it.
I d'etat qa a'qtoen,   I have heard of
your father (he is widely known).
qat hug' qa god, I (emphatically) am
going to go. .
am going
The character of the past^-gwn,-g'en, or -en, according to the terminal sound of
erfJct corresponds to both our imperfect and
I qa sete'n-en, I saw you just now.
(de) qa god-e'n, I went.
qoa a'q-en, I heard it (once, occasionally).
qa a'qtc-en, I have heard it (frequently).
I ane' qoa sete'n-en, I have seen your country (once). ON  THE  NORTH-WESTERN  TRIBES  OF CANADA.
l one qa ten'-en, I have seen your country (often).
hin qa tana'-g'en, I was drinking (water).
or a ha/ma dan-e'n a'se, it has been snowing.
dag wu stCffn-en, it has been raining.
0, wu dag gan-e'n, the sun was shining.
Besides this, I found the following perfect forms:
ate ye qa sine', I have done it.
(de ran) at qoa qa, I have eaten.
(de) qa tana', I have drunk.
To eat, perfect.
Singular, 1st person, at qoa qa.
„ 2nd     ,,     at Ira qa.
,, 3rd      „     at wu ra qa.
Plural, 1st person, at wu to ra qa.
„      2nd    „      at irl ra qa.
„     3rd    „      has at wu ra qa.
It seems that this form agrees with Wemiaminov's perfect tense.   It must be
\ stated that in many instances the imperfect characteristic is dropped, and that thus-
a form originates which is identical with the present tense.   The inflexion of aqtcy
to know, is of interest regarding this point.
Singular, 1st person, qa aqtc. Plural, 1st person, to ra aqto.
„ 2nd     „     I ra aqtc. „     2nd     „      irl ra aqtc.
„        3rd      „     a ra aqtc. „     3rd     „       has a ra aqto.
This shows that the verb is evidently the perfect, I have heard, and ra appears to»
be the particle expressing a completed action (see p. 860).
The future tense is characterised by hug', which is placed between the object and
the subject.
at hug- qa tana', I am going to drink.
(qat) hug' qa gdd, I shall go.
hug' qoa aq, I shall hear it.
are hug' ra dan, it is going to snow.
re a hug' dag gan, the sun is going to
ye hug' qoa sine', I shall do it.
(de) hug' qoa god, I shall go.
hug- qoa ten, I shall leave.
dag hug- seta'n, it is going to rain.
To eat, future.
Singular, 1st person, at hug' qa qa'
„ 2nd-     „     at hag' I qa (j?e).
„        3rd      „     at hug- qa (gs).
Plural, 1st person, at hug' to qa (gs).
„ 2nd „ at hug' rl qa (gs).
„      3rd     „     has at hug' a qa.
I shall see.
(re) I h'qoa sete'n.
(re) h'qa setefn.
(re) ri h'qoa sete'n.
(re) has h'qoa sete'n.
To see, future.
You will see. [
(re) qat hag' rl sete'n.
(re) h' rl sete'n.
(re) ha h' rl sete'n.
(re) has hag' rl sete'n.
It seems that hug- is sometimes abbreviated, and in other instances asssumes the
form hag'. The initial re is not necessary for forming the plural. Kye (see p. 861)
is very frequently used in connection with future forms.
The interrogative is formed by the particle ags, which is attached to the verb, but
in case the latter is accompanied by an adverb it follows the latter.
Intransitive Verb.
To be)sick, present.
Singular, 1st person, qat ra nek' ags ?       Plural, 1st person, ha ra nek agE ?
I ra nSh' ags ?
ra nth ags ?
rl ra nek ags ?
has ra nek
ags, $64
qat ne'gun ags ? was I sick? &c.
(hye) qat kug- ra nek ags ? am I going to be sick ?
Transitive Verb.
qat rl sete'n ags ? do you see me 1
rl sete'n ags(s) 1 do you see him 1
ha ri sete'n ags 1 do you see us 1
has ri sete'n agsl do you see them 1
(de) qat rl setene'n ags ? did you see me 1
de rl setene'n ags ? or rl setene'n agss ? did you see Mm ?
ha rl setene'n ags ? did you see us 1
Here are a few instances in which agj& follows the adverb :
serS'nk ags rl ha kug- rl sSte'n ? will you see us to-moETOW 1
tstgs' ags rl sete'n ? did you see him yesterday ?
Also:    aq hitl ags' rs h'E' ? is my house all right ?
In interrogative sentences ags stands for our verbvmi suostantioum {see p. 69).
aq ari ags ? is that mine ? aq hiti ags ? is that my house 1
In order to emphasise the question, it may be repeated in the beginning of the
ags aq hiti ags ? is that my house ?
After an interrogative pronoun the interrogative particle is not used :
tase I djv/nen ? what did you dream ?
I found two-forms of imperative; one formed by the suffix -ds, the other by ha:
at qadE1 ! eat 1 cends' T get up !
at Irl qads'! eat! (plural)
ha sete'n I look here I
a haq sete'n ! let him look 1
qat ha sete'n I look at me !
ha sete'n ! look at him.!
ha ha sete'n ! look at us !
has ha sete'n ! look at them !
qat a haq sete'n ! let him look at me !
rl ha tu flite'n I let us look at you !
a de ha sia'q t listen now 1
at ha to qa I let us eat!
ye ha sine' / do it!
ha sneq ! save him!
qat ha sneq ! save me 1
Both forms are in some instances combined:
at ha gads' 1 let him eat 1 at ha t gads' 1 let us eat!
The following forms are doubtful:
suqs'efs'n ! think of it! hatetlk'e'n ! look here !
The conditional has the suffix -nek'. It will be seen from the following examples
that the verbs frequently take the particle na in this mood. This agrees well with
our supposition that the latter denotes the commencement of a state.
dag setanneh'; tletl ha de hug- wa gdd, if it rains', I shall not com e.
aq dag gomnek'', ha dSktcg-wa god, if the sun shines, I shall come.
gs neh'nek', tletl a kug- atle'q, if he is sick, I shall not dance.
qat gs neh'neh', if I am sick, ....
qat ran hanSh', if I am hungry, ....
Igasete'nneh', if I see you, ....
tl I qoa sete'hneh', if I do not see you, ....
tV qoa sete'nneh', if I do not see him, ....
to'Etls'k i qa te'neh', everytime I see you, .... t
The following are constructed with na:
aq lo na na'neh', tletl a kug' atleq, if my father dies, I shall not dance.
hunate'nneh', aq toru kye hug- wu nek, if he leaves, my mind will be sick.
hv/nlte'nnek', if you should leave.
tl Q) aq(2) lo(3) wwuna (4),runbnkatleqe'n (5), if (4) my (2) father (3)
were not (1) dead (4), I should dance (5).
The negative is formed by tletl, not.   The negative has always the particle wu.
tletl qat wu nek, I am not sick.
tletl qat wu negun, I have not been sick.
In the interrogative negative the interrogative particle follows the negative, and
oth are contracted into tlegitl:
tlegitl qat wu nek ? am I not sick ?
tlegitl kye qat kug' wu nek ? am I not going to be sick ?
Imperative Negative.
tletl at i qah ! don't eat! tletl at rl qah ! don't eat! (plural)
tletl at to qah ! let us not eat!
Undoubtedly there exist a considerable number of derivatives in Tlingit.   It
seems probable that the majority of these derivatives are formed by means of particles,
I shall first give a few examples of the use of these particles, and the change they
effect in the meaning of the verb :
rs nek, he (present) is sick. rE dstl, heavy.
'mu nek, he (absent) is sick ; he is growing sick, tletl wu dEtl, not heavy.
t(te'E)ck'a qa til nek, I pretend to be sick. M dMl, heavy (referring to man).
fcth'a qa til qa, I pretend to eat.
The following seem to be derivatives in the proper meaning of that term :
se- ten, to look; sete'n, to see.
aq, to hear; sea'q, to listen.
til- ten, to see; qa tllte'n, I look at it.
-to aq, to hear; aqtc, to know.
neh, sick ; nek'tc, to be sick a long time.
There are some sentences that seem to indicate the existence of a dubitative
formed by means of the interrogative particle :
I gutl (1) Ts'otsQs'n (2) ags (3) woe' (4), may be (1, 3) you (4) are a Tsimshian (2) ;
But the same may be expressed simply with gutl:
gutl (1) Ts'dtsQE'n (2) woe' (3), may be (1) you (3) are a Tsimshian (2).
gutl (1) qat (2) wunek (3), may be (1) I (2) am sick (3).
The passive seems to be formed by means of the particle wu and the stem:
qat wu neq, I am saved; but this appears doubtful, as the active form, slne'q,
to save, may be compound and mean : to make saved.
Note.—A circumscriptive inflexion of the verb is very frequent.   It is formed
by using the word (my, your, his) ' mind' instead of the pronoun:
aq toru rs k's', I am glad = my mind is good.
aq toru sigd at qa, I wish to eat = my mind desires to eat.
Verbum Substantivum.
It was mentioned above that the particle ye may have the meaning of the verbum.
substantivum.   Undoubtedly the demonstrative a is frequently used in this way :
hit a tlena, that is a large house. * hiti asia, that is your house.
The independent pronoun stands also for the pronoun and verbum substanticum:
qat, it is I. Tlingit woe', you are a Tlingit.
1889. 3 K 866
The Adverb.
The adverb stands mostly at the beginning of the sentence :
y&ridst has ri sSte'n, you see them now.
rssu' qat mv. nek, I just got sick.
tstgs' ags' ri setS'n ? did you see him yesterday ?
tUts'e aq &'ne hug' ri sete'n, later on you will see my country.
In a few cases it stands at the end of the sentence:
qat (1) hanickideq (2) site' (3), I am (1) very (3) poor (2).
Formation op Words.
It was mentioned above that compound words are very frequent, and I believe!
that all words can be reduced to monosyllabic stems. In many cases it is evident
that the word is a compound, although we are not able to determine the meaning of
the elements. Excepting the particles referred to above (p. 860), it seems that the
composing elements may occur independently as well as forming part of other words.
For instance, rid'ti, place for something, occurs both independently and as a constituent
•of many words:
t'ek'a ria'U, mortar=pestle place. h'oa'tl ria'U, bed=feather place.
From the same stem are derived the following:
ya'k'rsre't. canoe place.
kaqs'guare't, mortar = pestle place.
touqsare't, whistle = place into which one blows.
gutsre(t), heaven = cloud place.
g~an ete', fire place.
tl'enete', beach=sand place.
are compounds of tle(tl), being merely a
tletl wu tlitsen, weak.
Many adjective
tletl wu c&'e, bad, and tl'wu cFe, ugly
tletl wu dstl, light.
of  their
tlkatch, lame.
tlhdtl'aqt, deaf (aq, to hear).
Probably also:
hu mail, short (see hu mat, long).
thooten, blind (ten, to see).
I give finally a collection of sentences:
hahea qa tana' I give me to drink !
a hu qa tli qetl, I am afraid.
aqaga haqcem't, I paint my face.
aq eh' ie'rete gun, I am and remain thin.
at qa qa rlt aq toru te, I want to eat.
at qa ag« 7 toru slgo' ? do you wish to eat ?
aq toru slgo' at qa, I wish to eat.
aq toru ma sigo' at qoa qa, rit, I wish to eat.
tletl aq toru wa wu sigo' qat mu niek', I do not like to be sick.
g&cu de qat wu ne'qek, I should like to be well.
gacu (wos1) rl gSd (yua1), I wish you would go.
gdou de qa god, I wish to go.
gacu' tlingit h'a qa aqto, I wish I understood the Tlingit.
qa csgok randats'te, I can swim.
tletl wu qa osgdk randats'te, I cannot swim.
tletl a de at qoa qa rtrS, I cannot eat.
todtl kyewu qa sl'yQ,', I haul in halibut (halibut line I haul in)
hlthtS re qoa god, I go to the houses.
Mthtd re and gdd, he goes to the houses.
tletl I tla tl'sh q8k I don't make it wet I
rs tli thy'h I don't make it wet 1
eta's) oh'a qa til nek', I pretend to be sick.
/}h'a qa Hi qa, I pretend to eat.
TVBtSQs'ng^c qa tUe'q, I pretend to be a Tsimshian. ON  THE NORTH-WESTERN  TRIBES  OF  CANADA.
Ts'otSQs'n ags wu, he tletl tlaqdsekd', maybe he is a Tsimshian, but
I do not know.
tli-tl ta qoakB qat nek, I fear I am sick (I am not sure I am sick).
gutl hotc ye aw a sine, maybe he has done it.
ioe atqa qat si nek', that food makes me sick.
qat hasniq I kite' anag'a't hd yeh I save me, 0 rainbow 1
wdto qat mu sSne'q I It is he who saved me !
ara ha wa dan, it is snowing.
ara ha wa danen a'se, it has been snowing.
ara hug' wa dan, it is going to snow.
tletl qat ca oqawu I no hair is on my head.
aq h'ds tak rs nek, my foot is sore.
■su q' s'ets'n, I think of him.
I su q s'ets'n, I think of you.
■wHetS'n at to ta qa, we eat together.
tfltlks'tl, stop crying 1
mute kihs't has ta hen, they sit opposite each other.
John es kiks't qoa', John is opposite to me.
wutoe'n dnka de kaq to d't, we go together to the town.
wutoe'n dnka de shuqha a't, they go together to the town.
csda hate ye anaq sine ! let him do it!
hln qa re hug' qoa te ! I am going to put you into the water.
hln qa I rs' qoa te, I put your face into the water (I baptise you).
It will be seen from these remarks and examples how much remains to be done
■in this language. It is evident that the grammatical structure cannot be understood
until the words have been more closely studied and we know the meaning of their
■components and of the particles which are so important in the inflexion of the verb.
From what we know, it appears that the particles and pronouns are placed between
"the components of words. I do not think there is a real infixion. The independence
■which the components retain is one of the most remarkable features of this language.
II.  Haida.
•Obtained from Wiha, a native of Skidegate (Tlha gyitl), and Mrs. Franklin, a half-
blood Indian, living in Victoria.
(&), e,
d, t;
m, n,
E, i, o, u.
gy, ky;
g k*;
c, dj,
•, k, k ;
n;    w;    s, (dz), ts j
There is only one labial, m, which does not occur as an initial sound except in a
"few words which are borrowed from the Tsimshian.   The m is not the pure English
-on, but closely related to n, from which it is distinguished with great difficulty, the
Hips being not perfectly closed.    The difference between surds and sonants is still
feslighter than in Tlingit, it being in most cases impossible to determine whether a
•sound is the one or the other.  I believe a thorough study of the language would show
that it would be proper to use only one letterfor the dentals and one for the gutturals, the
slight variations of which cause in our ear the sensation of surds and sonants.   The r
is very guttural, but has mote of a trill than in Tlingit.   Therefore it is easily distinguished from the w.   The hiatus is very frequent, and occurs after all consonants.
In the beginning of words I found the following combinations of consonants: I, dl, tl,
■followed by a guttural, and t, n, followed by g (one instance); s followed by any consonant, except s, dz, ts, c, dj, tc.   Regarding the latter, it must be stated that s frequently does not belong to the stem; t is followed by h.    I found the following com
binations of consonants terminating words:
All letters can be initial and terminal sounds.
I binafcions of consonants are very rare.
(Regarding m see above.)   Com-
3 x 2 868
The Haida language has no grammatical sex, and no separate forms for singular
and plural. When it is necessary or desirable to state expressly that the plural is
meant, skdl (a group of) is added when human beings are referred to; hoa'n in all
other cases.    The latter may also be applied to human beings.
dja'ata skdl, women. ts'sn hoa'n, beavers.
etl skdlga, it is we. h'et hoa'n, trees.
etl gyitina skdl yus'nga, we belong to the eagle gens.      na hoan, houses.
qa'etqa skdl.yua'n, many people; but also— qa'etqa hoan yu'an, many
I have not found any indication of cases. Compound nouns are as frequent as
they are in the Tlingit language, and they are composed in the same way, the com
ponents being placed side by side:
gy'atl d'ams'l, ankle = leg knuckle.
gy'atl gya, dancing leggings = leg ornament.
tlkyan hd'itla, wood dish.
Tlha gyitl, stone beach, name of Skidegate village.
h'dtlta 1/rd'era, thief = steal master.
sqa'na da'tzsTL, hat with carving of Delphinus orca.
The following examples consist of three components:
g'at h'al gya'atk, deer-skin blanket.
qe'tlsn g'aeuda'o, pipe = mouth smoke box.
sld'gul ha'tse h'edd', carved spoon—spoon head figure.
ga ta td'n, table = it eat instrument.
Local adverbs are frequently placed between the components of the word, which
always retain their independence : m u'nse g-ata' = wing top white (name of a bird).
The names of several colours are evidently composed words : go tlratl, blue ; gam-
tlratl, yellow; aqa tlratl, many-coloured.
The adjective is placed'after the substantive to which it belongs:
g-al ya'kd, midnight = night half. la'na yu'an, large town.
adl dzi'nda, oar = long paddle. ian tlratl, black cloud.
la'na gs'tsd, small town. ta'nga g-'a'ga, salt = dry ocean.
The adjective is rarely used alone; if it has no noun to which it belongs, gyinaT
something, is added:
gyina yada, something white.
gyina dd'ranga, something bad.
gyina ha'Ira, something different, another.
Cardinal Numbers.
1, sqim, sqa'sgo, sqod'nssn.
2, stln.
3, dlhu'nutl.
, 4, sta'nsEn".
5, tletl.
6, dlhund'utl.
7, dzi'gura.
8, sta'nsEnra.
9, tloils-fi sqoa'nssn.
10, tla'atl.
11, tla'atl woge', or sqooZ'nssn.
20, lag'Usqaa'negd.
30, tla'le dlhu'nutl.,
40, tla'le sta'nsEii.
50, tla'le tie'etl.
60, tla'le dlhund'utl.
70, tla'le dzi'gura.
80, tla'le sta'nssnra.
90, tla'le tla'lsn sqod'nssTigd.
100, la'gua tla'atl.
200, la'gua stln.
300, la'gua dlhu'nutl.
900, la'gua tWlsti, sqou'nssngd,
1,000, la'gua tla'le tla'atle. OH THE HORTII-WESTERN  TRIBES  OF CANADA.
Evidently four is second two, six the second three, eight the second four, and five
land ten are also derived from the same stem, perhaps (s)tl, hand.   The formation of
fourcorresponds to that of the same number in Tlingit (see p. 857).   I found no
double forms of numerals, except for one: sqod'nssn is the word generally used;
Isqa'sgd is used in counting divisions of time:
to,'da sqa'sgo, one year.
g'al sqa'sgo, one night.
ssn sqa'sgo, one day, also all day long.
In counting objects classifying words are used very extensively:
na thSi stln, two (sleep) houses.
the'iddn gma sqod'nsEn, one (flat) bed.
the'iddn tlg'a sqod'nsEii, one (frame) bed. "
hd'itla ha stim, two (open) dishes.
tlS ha stin, two (open) canoes.
tld gi stin, two (?) canoes.
tlk-a g'&'is sqod'nssn, one (round) stone.
h'ei stin, steamboat, two (ship) steamboats.
tlhe'it sta sqod'nssn, one (?) bow.
h'et ska sqod'nssn, one (long) tree.
gat titd'n tig a sqod-'nssfi, one (with legs) table.
No such classifying words are used in counting animals and divisions of time.   I
aim unable to account for the following double form :
e'tlsnga stin ~\
Menstat stvStJ
two men.
Ordinal Numbers.
The following ordinal numbers seem to me very doubtful:
dehuna'ot, the first. Id-tlald'nd, the fourth.
detld'a, the second.
idwago'st, the third.
la/rod gdstld'na, the fifth.
So far as I was able to discover, the cardinal numbers are generally used in place
of ordinal numbers.
Numeral Adverbs."
The numeral   adverbs are formed by adding the "suffix -gen to the cardinal
sqod'nssngsn, once. stl'figsn, twice.
Distributive Numbers.
These are also expressed by the cardinal numbers.   For ' one' the form squn is
squn qattla'n tla esta g'O'gane, I give one to each.
stin qattla'n tla esta g'o'gune, I give two to each.
Personal Pronoun.
There are two forms of the personal pronoun exactly alike in character to those
found in Tlingit: the former denoting simply the person, the second denoting that
the person is one among many. In Haida the latter is used for inflecting the transi-
iive verb, the former for inflecting the intransitive verb. The objective case of the
pronoun is the same as the intransitive pronoun. This would make it probable that
-.the intransitive verb is indeed impersonal, if it were not for the fact that the same
form is used for the ordinary pronoun. 870
REPORT 1889.
Personal Pronoun.
Singular, 1st person
tla, tl
2nd      „
„        3rd      „
la, 1
Plural,     1st person
2nd     „
3rd      „
Note 1.—The a at the end of the ordinary and selective forms is the same a
which is affixed'to all words when used independently, and also in other cases where
it seems to stand merely for reasons of euphony.
Note 2.—The a at the end of tla and la, when the subject of transitive verbsa
seems to be frequently dropped, or at least to be pronounced very indistinctly.
Demonstrative Pronoun.
There are a number of words which take the place of demonstrative pronouns,,
which, however, seem to be compounds. I have not referred to the use of an article,
as it seems to be really the demonstrative pronoun. It is n or nsn. Here are a few
n dj'd'ata, a woman. nsn g'd'qa, a baby.
n sqa'g'a, a shaman. nsn sqoa'nsE%, one man.
nsn e'tlenga, a man.
The last example is suggestive of the origin of this article, which, however, is very
seldom used.
This article, combined with ets, then forms the demonstrative which is most frequently used: nets, to which the terminal a is frequently added: ne'tsa. To this a
prefix a, of unknown origin, is frequently added: ane'tsa. These three forms mean.
* this'; wa (denoting distance) prefixed makes them ' that.'
a/nets ndrau e'tsi, this is his house, it is this man's house.
wanets ndrau e'tsi, this is his house, it is that man's house.
We also find nsn, with and without the prefix a, used in this sense :
a nsfi dj'd'atas nd'rau e'tsi, it is this woman's house.
I find besides this the plural form stlda and astlda, and tsha'e for * these,' whichi
I am unable to explain.
Note.—The prefix a occurs also in temporal adverbs and with the personal pronoun, third person:
a-tlsta, some time ago. a-uwid't, now.
a-la e'tsisgua da hin ? do you see him ? a-dd'rgatl, yesterday.
Note.—The use of wa as denoting distance will best be seen from the following-
examples :
wa tlo'qen, all (distant).
wa t'sl skdl, many people (distant).
wa la e'tsisgua da hm ? do you see him there ?
wa ndra tlgai e'tsisgua da hin ? do you see my land there ?
gylsto wa e'tssH ? who is that ?
watcguagyina e'tsisgua da hiH? do you see anything there?
wa nil ets tla hi'nga, I see a house there.
Possessive Pronoun.
The possessive pronoun has various forms, the use of which is very difficult to-
understand. As the material which I have collected is not sufficient for a satisfactory
explanation of the use of this pronoun, I must confine myself to giving examples off
the various forms, illustrating their use. ON  THE  NORTH-WESTERN  TRIBES  OF CANADA.
The simplest form of the possessive pronoun is identical with the objective form
of the personal pronoun. It precedes the substantive, to which is added the suffix
Singular, 1st person, de—ra. Plural, 1st person, etl—ra.
„      2nd     „      d"sfi—ra. „    2nd     „      dalsn—ra.
„      3rd      ,,      I—ra. „     3rd      „      I—ra.
de hun—ra, my father.
In certain compound words the elements are not simply placed side by side, but
the possessive form is used, corresponding to our genitive. This, however, seems to
be the case only when the object is really possessed:
la'na d'ora, chief=town mother. djd'ata qd'tra, the woman's father.
The full form of the possessive pronoun in indicative sentences is :
Singular, 1st person, gyagsn—gai Plural, 1st person, etl gyd'ra—gai
„       2nd     „     dsn gyd'ra—gai „     2nd     „      dalsn gyd'ra—gai
„       3rd     „     I gyd'ra—gai „     3rd     „      I gyd'ra—gai
Examples :
hua'e gya'gs?i ndgai da hi'ng'asga, later on you will see my house.
gya'gsn nd'gai, it is my house.
den gyd'ra nd'gaigua ets ? is that your house ?
gsm gya'gen e'tsranga, it is not mine.
The same form with the terminal vowel 5 is used for the substantive possessive
gya'gend, mine. etl gyd'rad, ours.
dEfi, gyd'rad, yours. dals'fl gyd'rad, yours.
I gyd'rad, his. la gyd'rad, theirs.
The second form of the possessive pronoun is the following:
Singular, 1st person, nd'ra—gai Plural, 1st person, e'tldA'a—gai
„       2nd     „     dsnra—gai „     2nd     „     dalsnra—gai
„       3rd     „     Id'ra—gai „     3rd     „      Idra—gai
Note.—In one instance I found for the second person singular: tlnra—gai.
In some instances this second form and the first are used indiscriminately :
kua'e gya'gen ndgai da hi'ng-asga ) ^     Qn        wfll see       houge
hua'e nara ndga/i da hvng-asga     \ J J
In other cases the first form must not be used, but I did not succeed in discovering
the rule.   The second form serves also as a substantive possessive pronoun:
nd'ragua, is it mine ?
nd'ragua la da hiii, do you see mine ?
tlgaigua nara da hin, do you see my land ?
la ra tla Id'ra ista ! give his to him !
ha la I de gi nd'ra ista ! give me mine I
ddrgatl ndra nd'gai da hi'ng'asga, to-morrow you will see my house.
gylnu nd'ra d'lai e'tsEn ? where is my paddle ?
Note.—The suffix -gai is sometimes contracted with the substantive to which.
it is affixed:
tVmai for tldgai, canoe. tlgai for tlgogai, country.
qatai for qatgai, father.
In addressing a person only the suffix -gai is used:
hufftgai I my father ! dd'gai ! my younger brother !
In a few instances I found the suffix -rao used for expressing the relation of
possession. It is evidently of the same origin as the second part of gyd'rad (see
gylstd nd'rad e'tss%, whose house is that ?
d'nets nd'rad e'tsi, it is his house.
wasting, hunrao e'tsi, that is their father.
'IUUU1 872
REPORT 1889.
Note.—I found a peculiar possessive form in a few sentences, which, it would
seem, is used where object and subject are the same person :
k'alan tl tlnga, I wash my skin.
' qdngan la tlnga, he washes his face.
tlgan ha tl i'sg'asga, I shall go to my country.
tlga/h" tl hing-asga, I shall see my country.
In discussing the pronoun we stated that there are two forms, one for the transitive, the other for the intransitive verb, the latter being identical with the objective
case of the transitive pronoun. This makes it probable that the intransitive verb
may be impersonal. The division of transitive and intransitive verbs is, of course,
peculiar to the language, but it will be found very much like that observed in Tlingit.
Following is a list of intransitive and transitive verbs in the first person singular :
Intransitive Verbs.
de qd'etqaga, I am a Haida.
de gyltind'ga, I belong to the eagle gens.
dS st'e'gd, I am sick.
de Id'ga, I am well.
ds Igilga, I recover from sickness.
de ngaistlsn, I recover from sickness.
dS h'oS'ta, I am hungry.
dS h'd'ddga, I am thirsty.
de stdtlga, I like.
dS u'nsStga, I know to—
dS ran(?% I have.
dS h'aSskidd'gai I forget.
Transitive Verbs.
tla shagS'tlga, I cry.
tla Bia'tlga, I dance.
tla ud'ga, I eat with somebody.
tla S'sta, I give.
tla hd'ga, I go.
tla dd'raga, I have.
tla^guds'n, I hear.
tla tS'aqan, I kill.
tla hd'ga, I laugh.
tla qutlga, I drink.
tla ga toga, I eat (it).
tla g'd'tlraga, I make.
tl hinga, I see.
tla h'd'ga (tla thd'ga ?), I sleep.
tla skunguds'?igsn, I smell.
tla k'S'ilkulga, I talk.
tla gu'dsn (see dSgu'dsnra), I think.
tl tlnga, I wash.
I found four tenses : the present, imperfect, perfect, and future; and five moods:
the indicative, interrogative, negative, imperative, and infinitive. I have no examples
of the conjunctive and conditional which make their use sufficiently clear. I shall
■first give the tenses of the intransitive verb in a paradigmatic form :
st'e, sick.
Present tense
Singular, 1st person
„        2nd   „
3rd   „
Plural    1st    „
2nd   „
3rd   „
de st'S'ga
dEn st'I'gagBn
1 st'e'ga
etl st'e'ga
dalE'n st'e'gagEn
1 st'e'roga.
de st'e'gan
dEn st'e'gagan
1 st'e'gan
etl st'e'gan
dalEfi st'e'gagan
1 st'e'rogan
de st'e'gane
dEn st'e'gane
1 st'e'gane
etl st'e'gane
dalsfi st'e'gane
1 st'ero'gane
d§ st'e'rasga
dun st'e'rasga and
1 st'e'rasga
etl st'e'rasga
dal Kfi st'e'rasga and
1 st'eg-uasga
. In inflecting the transitive verb the pronoun is placed immediately before the
verb. In some instances the verb has an indefinite object, ga, exactly corresponding
to the same indefinite object in Tlingit (see p. 861). It is placed between the subject
and the verb : tla ga ta, I eat it. As a rule, the object is placed before the subject,
"but .when the object is a pronoun and has a separate objective form (1st, 2nd, person
singular, 1st person plural) the sequence may be reversed. Following is a paradigmatic table of the transitive verb in the present tense:
I I found the following dDubtful future : 1 st'erafi k-aca'raga, lie is going to be siok. ON  THE NORTH-WESTERN  TRIBES  OF  CANADA.                      873
k'in, to see.
Indicative j Present Tense.
Subject, Singular
1st person
2nd person
3rd person
n, 1st person
2nd     „
3rd      „
1st      „
2nd     „
3rd      „
dEn tl k'inga
\ 1 tla k'inga   j
j tla 1 k'inga   \
dalEn tl k-inga
la tl k'inroga
de da k-i'nga
la da k-i'nga
etl da k-i'nga
la da k-i'nrOga
de la k-inga
dEn la k-i'nga
etl la k-i'nga
dalE'n la k-i'nga
Subject, Plural
1st person
2nd person                    3rd person
Singular, 1st person
2nd     „
„         3rd     „
Plural,     1st      „
2nd     „
3rd     „
d'alEn dEn. k-i'nga
1e dsh k-i'nga
dalEfi dEn k-i'nga
1e dEn k-i'nrOga
de dalEn k-i'nga       de la k-i'nrOga
— dEn la k-i'nroga
la dalsn k-i'nga                      —
etl dalEn k-i'nga       etl la k-i'nroga
— dalEn la k'i'nroga
la dalEh k-i'nroga     .           —
Note.—It seems that in the first person plural the transitive pronoun d'als'n is
contracted. It is remarkable that the characteristic suffix of the third person plural
-rd is also used when the object is in the third person plural. When the object is a
substantive it is placed before the subject :
tcl'nd tl td'ga, I eat salmon.
It will be seen that the suffixes of the transitive verb are the same as those of the
intransitive, with the sole exception of the second persons, where the termination -gsn
is missing.   This, however, is also frequently the case in intransitive, verbs.
Note.—While in the great majority, of cases the verb is inflected, as indicated
above, I found a considerable number of instances in which the terminal -ga was
missing; for instance, tla gata' and tla gata'ga, I eat; tla guds'n, I hear.    In other
■cases I found the terminal syllable -gsri instead of -ga; but I was not able to detect
•any rule regarding their use.
tla gatd'ng S'ssn tla gata', I eat and eat again.
tla guds'ngsn, I hear.
tla skungudE'ngEn. I smell.
tla, kingsn, I see it (something inanimate).
Note.—There are a few instances in which the pronoun, second person singuiar,w
=seems to be tin or tlan :
da tin hi/hga, I see you.
tdn tla tlaflra ta ! eat your salmon !
tlMra nd'gai, your house.
Note.—Sometimes the syllable gyl is added to the first person without changing
the meaning:
gyl de stdtl yua'ngang, I should like much.
dEfi hea'ngaA gylds guds'nga, I wish to see you.
gyl de h'ae'skidd'ganS ! I forgot!
hal de gyl sqd'wai i'sta I give me a knife !
It may be that it is an interjection similar to • oh 1' (Latin utinam.')
The interrogative is expressed by the particle gua, which is placed after the subject,
object, or adverb, as the case may be. 874
REPORT 1889.
Intransitive Verb.
Present Tense.
Singular, 1st person, dS guast'S? Plural, 1st person, Stlguast'S?
„       2nd     „      dsfi gua stSgds ?        „     2nd     „      dals'n gua st'S'gdsT
„      3rd      „      la gua ste'gds ? „     3rd     „      la gua st'S'rOd'os ?
de gua ste'ga ? and dS' gua st'egd'odja? was I sick 1
Transitive Verb.
dS gua da hin ? do you see me 1 etl gua hill ? do you see us ?
la gua da hi% ? do you see him 1        la gua da hinrd ? do you see them ?
da gua da hiM ? do you see it ?
In the interrogative the subject frequently precedes the object:
dd gua qa dd'ra ? have you got a dog ?
When there is an adverb accompanying the verb the former takes the interrogative particle:
dd'rgatlgua dsn stSgo'ddja ? were you sick yesterday ?
a la e'tsisgua da hin ? do you see them there ?
It may also be attached to both object and adverb:
tlgaigua nd'ra da hin ? do you see my land ?
watcgua gyina S'tsisgua da hin ? do you see anything there (at a distance) ?
Sentences beginning with interrogative words do not take this particle, and have=
instead of the verbal suffix -ga, gsn:
gyl'sto stS'gsn ? who is sick ?
gyl'std e'tssn ? who is there ?
gyVstd nd'rao e'tssfi ? whose house is that ?
go'su da td'gsfi, ? what are you eating?
gd'su wa e'tssfi ? what is that ?
gd'gusg'and da k'd'gsn ? why do you laugh ?
g'd'tlentld'd gsm dS da hingsfi d'odja ? why did not you see me ?
hasu'figu dsn he'tsn? how are you ?
dsft -gyd'ra nd'gai gua ets ? is that your house %
dsn gyd'ra Id'nagai gua Sts Tlhd'gilta ? is Tlk-agilt your town ?
The second person singular is formed by the separable particle tla, which is affixed
either to the verb or to its object, or precedes the verb.   In the plural the suffix -ri>
is added to the stem of the verb :
Singular, 2nd person : ta tla ! eat ! and
sqdls'n tla ! sing!
hd'it tla ! go !
Plural, 2nd person : td'rd tla ! eat!        and
qdtlrd tla ! drink !
In transitive verbs which have an object tla is always placed after the object:
de tla hiSi! look at me ! la tla hvil /look at him 1
d'gsn tla hin ! look at yourself t
Plural, 1st person: d'd'lsn ga td s'a/n ! let us eat!
A periphrastic form is frequently used:
hala!ga ta! come ! eat !
ga tla ta I eat (it) !
tla g'd'tlga ! make it 1
dzin, da tla ! make it longer
ga tla td'rd.
hala ! ds e'tlwa ! come 1 help me I
hala ! gandl ds qotl da ! come ! make me drink water ! (let me drink I) |
hala I d'alsn qotl s'afi! come 1 let us drink !
The following forms seem to indicate that there is still another method of forming
the imperative:
nd'ra i'sta ! give me mine I qotl ta ! drink ! ON  THE NORTH-WESTERN TRIBES  OF  CANADA.
I found two infinitives, one ending in -(g)ai, the other in -g-an.
gsm tl k'ag'ai dzvn/ra'nga, I laugh almost (I am not far from laughing).
de g'wnra g'dtul&'i gd'ustld tl nidtltlnd'ga, if  my father were not dead,
I should dance.
ds% hed'ngai gye de statl yua'ngsn, I should like much to see you.
sqala'-ng'an de u'nset yu'anga, I understand well to sing.
rd'aitltag'an lu'nsSda, he knows to fight.
Note.—I give the following conditional sentences without an attempt at explana--
l (1) ste'gss (2) rd'gand (3) gsm (4) tl (5) hdith-a'nga (6), if (3) he (l)is
sick (2), I (5) not (4) shall go (6).
dS (1) hu'nra (2) gsm (3) g'otutl (4) gsn gyan (5) ma'tlrasga (6), if (5)
my (1) father (2) not (3) dead (4), I shall dance (6).
dS (1) hu'nra (2) gdtutl (3) gyan (4) gsm *(5) tl (6) siatlrd'nsga (7), if
(4) my (1) father (2) dead (3), I (6) shall not (5) dance (7).
I (1) st'e'ge (2) gd'ustld (3) la'ra (4) tl (5) hd'itsglga (6), if not (3) he
(1) were sick (2), I (5) should go (6) to him (4).
I (1) st'e'gS (2) gd'ustld (3) ds'ng'st (4) Idra (5) tl (6) hd'itlna'ga (7), if
not (3) he (1) were sick (2), I (6) should go (7) with you (4) to him (5).
dS (1) hn'wra (2) g'otulai (3) gd'ustld (4) tl (5) uiatltlnd'gd (6), if not (4)
my (1) father (2) dead (3), I (5) should dance (6).
The negative is formed by gsm, not, while the suffix -ran is added to the stem of"
the verb:
gEm dS st'S'rcmga, I am not sick.
gsm la tl hinranrdga, I do not see them.
gsm na Ss tl hinranga, I do not see a house there.
In the interrogative-negative the interrogative particle is attached to the negation j:
the suffix of the verb is -ran.
gEm gua I st'S'ran ? is he not sick ?
gEm gua wa na ets da hifi/ran ? don't you see that house there ?
Here is a negative imperative :
gsm td'ranga ! don't eat !
-gei, repeatedly:
ds ste-gS'iga, I am repeatedly sick.
-gl(gs7i), he is in the habit of:
I k'a-gl'gEnga, he laughs always.
I rd'Hitlta-gl'gsnga, he is in the habit of fighting.
tla gatagl'ga, I eat always.
-gil (gsfi) gitlsfi, it is beginning, growing to be :
dS ste'-gitlsnga, I am getting worse.
SEn-gitlEnga, dawn, it becomes daylight.
skudga-gi'lgsn, it is high water.
g'disgd-gi'lga,^, is growing round.
tatsSgi'lga, the wind is increasing in strength.
gyin, to cjrase:
gyina (1) tl (2) td'gen (3) dS (4) gyin, (5) st'e'ga (6), I (2)  ate (3) some-
thing (1) (that) makes (5) me (4) sick (6).
—ere are several derivatives the meaning of which I do not know:
1 tl ta-nd'ga, I eat.
ag'dlqua, it begins to be night.
hed'nga, to see (from hin).
\ REPORT—1889.
Verbum Substantivum.
Sts, there, and its derivations frequently stand for the verbum substantivum, as
will be seen from the following examples. In such cases a terminal -d is generally
•added to the subject:
tlhd'-d S'tsi, it is a rock, these are rocks.
g'at-d S'tsi, it is a deer.
tld-d e'tsi, it is I.
da gua Sts ? is that you ?
gya'gsn tlwai-d S'tsi, it is my canoe.
Qd'Sdes tlgd'ra-d' S'tsi, it is the country of the Haida.
wd'nets nd'rau-o S'tsi, it is his house.
la gyd'ra-o e'tsrdga, it is theirs.
gEm gya'gEn S'tsranga, it is not mine.
gsm gya'gsn nd'gai S'tsranga, it is not my house.
The Adverb.
It seems that adverbs are placed either at the beginning or at the end of a sen-
dd'rgatl dS da hmgena, I saw you yesterday.
k'od'S Id'ra tlgai ta hingasan, you will see my land later on.
da gudB'ng'assfl k'od'S, you will hear it later on.
tla I hea'ngen sqod'nts'Eng'En; I saw him once.
ddrgatl Issn etl da hinrasga, you will see us again to-morrow.
d'alE'n d'sEn gudE'nga/ne, we have heard it again.
Note.—In a number of instances I found the verbal affixes -ga and -gsn not
-attached to the verb, but to the adverb, so that the latter would appear to be the in- j
fleeted verb, if it were not for the fact that the pronoun precedes the verb. All I
"the examples I collected refer to the adverb yu'an, much, very.
sqdla'ng'an ds u'nsSd yu'snga, I know well to sing.
etl gyitina skdl yu'snga, we belong to the eagle gens.
dS ran na hoan yu'snga, I have many houses.
dsn hed'ngaige ds statl yu'sngsn, I should like much to see you.
It was mentioned above that compound words occur very frequently, and it seems!
probable that by far the greater number of words are compounds of monosyllabic!
rstems. In many cases I am unable to ascertain the meaning of the elements of words,!
-although the fact that they are compounds cannot be doubted.
sta ha ran, plant of foot (perhaps : foot inside above).
si ha ran, palm of hand. ho'yS ha ran, sky above.
huld ha ran, knee pan. na ha ran, roof = house above.
Hi (1) k'dl (2) da'ngd (3), wrist [(arm (1) joint (2) ? (3)].
gy'atl (1) hoi (2) da'ngd (3), knee joint [(leg (1) joint (2}? (3)].
h'dts g-a'ngo, post supporting roof.
hI ta g'a'ngo, rattle (hi probably arm).
gyd'ran, to stand,
rdHitlta, to fight.
qod'tlta, to boil.
hd'raii, to walk.
h'o'tlta, to steal.
The word hd'tse, head, appears in compounds generally in the form h
has he'tsi, head hair.
has ku'tsS, head bone, skuhrmi
The words denoting the activity of senses are evidently derived from the
of the respective organs: Also:
guAs'n'? to hear.
hi%, ti see (I was frequently doubtful
whe'aher to write hin or gift, but preferred the former, as I found it more
frefluently the more adequate spelling-
th f^qitV).
&#&, nose. sku'n^dsn,^ to smell.
gudsfi, mind. gudsn, to think.
In the word * to smell' we find an initial *, which seems to occur rather o^ten-
There are some indications that it is interchangeable with tl.
shdtl and tlhdtl, black.
has's'ntssn and hatls'ntssn, brain.
sqSt and qet, fire.
Finally I give a collection of sentences illustrating various peculiarities of th&
nsn h'sl g'add'a, he is a white man.
ds% tl hingsn nsn h'sl g'd'das, I see you are a white man.
tla nsn dd'raga, I have one.
dS ran na hoan yu'snga, I have many houses.
(dtpran) na thSi stln tl dd'raga, I have two houses.
wa tsl shdlga, there are many people.
tlgan ha tl i'sg'asga, I shall go to my country.
dS at gua, da i'sqas ? do you go with me 1
squn qauls'n leistla g'd'gane, I give one to jach.
I shot gyidd'ga, his shoulder is tattooed.
dsngua gin qd'etran ? what is your peof e 1
tld'o tl g'dtlra'ganS, I have made it mys  f.
dS guds'ngan ste yu'an, I am downcast 3= my heart is very sick.
dsn gua gyuqe'l ? have you a perforata >n of your ear ?
tl gulden stld dS st'S'ga, I think I am sick.
de nahtl hdtltd'Sa'gane, somebody hf« stolen mine (this form seems to
serve for the passive). c,
da g'dtlran agsn stsda, you make yourself sick.
lia'ldSgi sqd'wai ista ! give me a kni e !
haldigi nd'ra sqd'wai digi i'sta ! give me my knife !
hala dS'itha hd'it! come along with me 1
gyi'sto tlrutlrd'ean ? who made that ?
gdt'sl skdl yu'an, there are many people.
Obtained from a native of Meqtlak-qa'tla,« Matthias'; a native of Ft. Simpson,
Mrs. Lawson; and from Mrs. Morrison, a half-blood Tsimshian from Meqtlak-qa'tla,.
the interpreter of the Bishop of Caledonia.
a, a,   e,   E,   i,   o,   u.
b, p; w; m; gy, ky; g, k; g-
ds, ts ; s; 1, tl; y.
A is never pure, but pronounced between a and a. Long vowels are by many
individuals still further lengthened by repeated intonation; for instance, io't and
id'ot, man; ts'en smais'e'en, to enter. I have preferred to retain the repeated vowels,,
except where I was sure that the repetition is only an individual peculiarity. The
distinction of surds and sonants is clear, but terminal surds are throughout transformed into sonants whenever a vowel follows. Ds and ts, however, when followed
by an hiatus, are very much alike.    S is not the English s, but has a slight touch of
1 The following forms are remarkable:
dEn gua gyu qS'l ? don't you hear 1
dsn" gua kunqS'l ? don't you smell it ?
da gua gyuds'n?
dd gua skunguds'ngs^ ? mmm
*sh, the point of the tongue not quite touching the teeth. L is pronounced, the tip
of the tongue/touching the upper teeth, the back being pressed against the palate.
iVis similar to dm, the nose being almost closed.
-All souiids occur as initial squnds.   I found the following combinations of
consonants beginning words:
ks; ksp, ksk, 1.   q
qt; qtk
qts; qtsky
qs; qsk, qst
The following consonants occur as terminal sounds:
p, m, ky, k, k-, r, q, t, n, s,
Terminal combinations of consonants are :
1, tl
ft-; ntk-
pt                     ps                ■  qtl
k-t; lk-t          ms                  ntl
tk; ntk, 1ft
tq; ltq
qt                     ks; Iks, tlks   tstl
sk; ksk, nsk, tsk
st; lkst, mst    k-s
nt                     qs; pqs
tlk; mtlk
It                      ns
tit                    Is
Nouns and verbs form the plural ii the same way.   Therefore I shall treat this
subject before discussing the parts of s" leech separately.
There is a great variety of plural it .ms; I observed the following classes:
1. Singular and plural have the same form:
bear, ol. day, ca.
cat, to'us (Chinook). year, k'&tL -
deer, wan. fathom, g-a'it.
seal, rE'la. blanket, guc.
cedar, g-Ela'r. to hear, nEqsno'.
arrow, hauwa'l. to see, ne.
It seems that all quadrupeds, the dog excepted, belong to this class; also divisions of time and measures.
2. The plural is<formed by repetition of the whole word :
dog, has—hasha's. good, am—ama'm.
to carve, gyetlk—gyetlgyetlk.
to cut, g-'ots—g-'asg-'ots.
to make, ds'ap—ds'apds'ap.
to strike, d'o'oc—d'Bcdooc.
foot, si—si si.
stone, la\p—lEplaVp.
tree, k-an—k-ank-an.
water, aks—aksa'ks.
flat, tqa—t'aqtqa.
It would probably be more proper to join this class to the n&xt:
3. The plural is formed by reduplication.
branch, ane'ic—anane'ic. to finish, g-a'ode—g'aga'Ode.
.ghost, ba/laq—bilbS/laq.
hat, k-a'it—k-ak-a'it.
soar, tle'eky—tletle'eky.
spruce, sE'mEn—sEmsE'mEn
inside, ds'Sr—ds'Eds'S,'r.
sick, sl'epk—sipsl'epk.
to know, wula'—wulwula'.
to look, ne'etsk—nekne'etsk.
to miss, gua'adEc—gutgua'adEc.
to pursue, loya'ek—lollya'ek.
to speak, a'lgiaq—ala'lgiaq.
to give, gyEna'm—gyEngEna'm. 4. The plura1 is formed by diaeresis :
to hang, yaq—ya'iaq. to leave the house, kssr—ks&q.
5. The plural is formed by the prefix lu (li) :
hungry, k'te—luk'te.
to be afraid, bac—lEbac.
to drink, aks—laa'ks.
6. The plural is formed by the prefix ha:
canoe, qsaVo—k-aqsaVo.
Jace, ts'al—k-ats'Elts'a'l.
tired, cOna'tl—k-acOna'tl.
7. The plural is formed by the prefix hu:
house, walp—huwa'lp.
8. Singular and plural are derived from the same stem partly by epenthesis ; but
no rule of formation is evident.
company, na'tatl—natatltatl (this may round, tlkwia'tlk—tlkwi'yitlyatlk.
be a distributive). to call, ho'otk—hukho'otk.
man, io'ot—io'ota. to scream, aya'wa—ayaluwa'da.
raven, k-aq—ka'rat. to watch, loma'kca—lohaya'kca.
woman, hana'aq—hana'naq. to fall down, k aina—le'ina.
9. Singular and plural are derived from different stems :
child, tlkuaVmElk*—k'apEtgErE'tlk.
large, wl—wu'd'a.
separate, lEks—hagul.
to come from, waft'—amia'an.
to cry, wiha'ut ( = large say)—b&k.
to die, ds'ak'—dEr.
to eat, ya'wiqk—tqaVoqk.
to enter, ts'e'en—lamts'aq.
to kill, ds'ak'—yets.
to lie (recline), nak—latlk.
to run, ba—otl.
to sit, d'a—wan.
to stand, ha'yetk—niaqsk.
to take, ga—doqtga.
It seems that in compound words only one part of the word takes the plural
island, lsks d'a=separate sitting—lEks huwa'n.
river, g''aW aks=ascending water—g-'ala'akaks.
stranger, lEksgyat = separate people—hagulEgyat.
town, k-'alts'a'p—k- 'alts'apts'a'p.
glad, 10 amak-a'ot = in good heart—lo ama'mk-ak-a'ot.
There is no grammatical gender, and apparently no oblique case.   Possessive
relation is either expressed by simply co-ordinating nouns or by the particle Em :
t/ie chief's (1) house (2), walp (2) SEm'd'yit (1).
the raven's (1) master (2), mia'n (2) k-aq (1).
a white man's (1) canoe (2), qsa'e (2) Em k-'amksl'oa (1).
the door (1) of the house (2), lEks&Vq (1) Em wa'lbEt (2).
As will be seen, the nominative always precedes the genitive.    In a few cases I
found we prefixed to the possessed .object or to the part:
the man's (1) canoe (2), nE qs&'e (2) io'ota (1).
the dog's (1) tail (2),'aE ts'O'bE (2) has (1).
When the possessor is a person is given, the possessed object takes a
terminal s:
George's (1) canoe (2), qs&Ves Dords (see p. 91).
All other relations are expressed by prepositions, which take a terminal s when
referring to a nomenproprium (see p. 887). 880
When the object spoken of belongs to the past, that is, if it has perisned, or has been,
destroyed or lost, the noun is used in the past tense, which is formed by the suffix
the dead man, iO'odEE = tlie man that was.
the broken canoe, qs^'dEE=i7ie canoe that was.
When the object belongs to the future, the noun is used in the future tense, which,
is formed by the prefix dT&m:
the future husband, dEm naks.
tJte canoe that will be made, dEm qs&'E.
This prefix is the same as the characteristic of the future of the verb.
In continuous speech presence and absence are also distinguished, the former being|
expressed by the suffix -t, the latter by -ga.
The adjective precedes the noun, and is generally joined to it by Em:
young man, sop'as Em io'ot.
married man, naks Em io'ot.
old man, wud'a'gyat Em io'ot ( = great person man).
bad man, hada'q Em io'ot.
good man, am Em io'ot.
In some instances a stands instead of Em:
good man, am a io'ot.
bad- man, hada'q a io'ot, is obsolete.
Certain adjectives immediately precede the noun:
large, wi: wl walp, a large house.
wud'a nuwalp, large houses,
very, important, sEmral.
A number of adjectives are abbreviated in forming compounds :
very, sEmral, abbreviated, sEm: sEmhala'it, the important dance.
good for nothing, k-amstE, abbreviated, k-am: k'amwalp, a miserable house.
The abbreviations cannot be used at pleasure.
K-amstE walp and k*am walp, miserable house, are equally correct; but,.while we-
have atlgE sEma'm, not very nice, ssma'm would not be correct; it must be SEmral
am, very nice.
Note.—The meaning differs sometimes, according to whether Em is used or
omitted; for instance :
wiha'u, to cry; from wi, great, and hau, to say.
But: wi Em hau, to scold.
I give only a few examples of comparatives:
John is taller than George, k'a wile'eks dE John tEst Dsords.
John is smaller than George, k'a tso'oske John tEst Dsords.
that is the heaviest, p'a'lEk-s gua'a=that is heavy.
The Tsimshian has seven sets of cardinpi numbers, which are used for various;
classes of objects that are counted. The firit set is used in counting when there is-
no definite object referred to ; the second class is used for counting flat objects and
animals; the third for counting round objects and divisions of time ; the fourth for
counting men ; the fifth for counting long objects, the numerals being composed with
ham, tree ; the sixth for counting canoes; and the seventh for measures. The last J
seem to be composed with ano'n, hand. ON THE NORTH-WESTERN TRIBES OF CANADA.
Long Objects
t Bpq&'t
g\ 'aD
k'pal tE k'al
k'pal tE t'Epqad
a'l      —
I t'Epqada'leyitk
1    200
)   300
k'pal t v. kcEnEca'l
kyBda'l tE kcEnEcal
:    —
.    800
tqaluqta'JEgyitk tE kcE
It. will be seen at once that this system is quinary-vigesimal. It seems doubtful
whether tqalpq, four, is derived from the same root as t'Spqd't, two. In five we find the
word for ' hand,' ano'n, in compounds on (?). Six and seven are evidently the second
one and- two. In twenty we find the word gyat, man. The hundreds are identical
with the numerals used in counting men, and here the quinary-vigesimal system is
most evident.
Ordinal Numbers.
The first has two forms, one for animate, the other for inanimate objects. The
following ordinal numbers are formed by means of naanhid', ' the next to,' and the
preceding cardinal numeral, except in the case of the second, when the ; next to the
first' is used. The terminal t which is here attached to the cardinal numbers is probably nothing else than the terminal euphonic t spoken of above.
The first :
The second :
naanhia' ksk-^'oq
naanhia' kstso'q
The third:
Flat Objects
Round Objects
Long Objects
naanhia' t'Ep-
naanhia' t'Ep-
naanhia' t'Ep-
once, g'E'rEl.
twice, go'upEl.
three times, gutle'
Numeral Adverbs.
fow times, tqalpq.
five times, ketone.
It will be seen that they are identical with the forms used for enumerating round
The distributive numerals are formed by wie^Ze, followed by the cardinal numeral,
for instance, one (round) to each: mEtlE g'E'rEl.
1889. 3 L 882
Personal Pronoun.
I (present), (n)—i
thou (mE),—En
he, she (present),—Et
 . (absent),—Etga, Ega
me, ga 1
thee, gna(n)
him, her (present),
I (absent),—6
I, ns'riO
thou, nE'rEn
he, she(present),ne'^iTSb
 (absent), ne'etga
me, nE'rEm
you, nE'rESEm
they(present),&Ei)ne'Ed.TSt them(present), —
 (absent), dEp ne'etga    (absent), — — (absent), Etga, Ega
The independent pronoun, the third person excepted, is formed from the
nsr—, the origin of which is unknown to me.
us, gEm
(to) you, gu&'sEm
you, —EnsEm
they (present),—Et
 (absent), Etga,
Possessive Pronoun.
The independent form of the possessive pronoun is identical with the nominative
of the personal pronoun: mine, ns'riO, &c.
The dependent possessive pronoun is affixed to the noun to which it belongs.
There are distinct forms for the object being present or absent, and three tenses,
past, present, and future. There is no difference between the possessive form of the
noun and the intransitive verb, and it seems to the writer that according to the
logical form of the Tsimshian language both must be considered identical. For this
reason it seems possible that the form nsrid (I and mine) is formed from the verbum,
substantivum ne and the pronominal suffix. The temporal prefixes and the
forms for presence and absence are also identical with those of the verb. The third
person plural is omittedj being identical with the singular. Further remarks on these
suffixes will be found on p. 884.
1st person singular
present, sin gular
absent,      ,,
plural .
Demonstrative Pronoun.
Presence and absence may best be treated under this heading, as they correspond
to a certain extent to our ' this ' and • that.' Absence is designated by the suffixes
•ga and -da(a), presence by -t. I do not know whether there is any difference
between the two forms of absence. In continuous speech presence andabsence are
always expressed by -ga and -t.
Besides these suffixes, we find the particles (or pronouns) -asga=being absent,
-a=being present, frequently used. The suffix -ga is used instead of the imperfect
tense, the absence indicating, at the same time, that the action or event belonged
to the past. The suffix is always attached to the word the presence or absence of
which is to be stated :
nsgud'ts Dsordst, the (present) George's father.
nsgud'ts Dsordsdaa, the (absent) George's father.
The demonstrative pronouns are formed by means of the same suffixes:
this, gue/Et and gua'a. that, gua'sga.
In sentences our demonstrative pronoun is frequently expressed by the corresponding verbal form:
this man is good, am iO'odEt. that man is good, am at io'odEtga. ON  THE NORTH-'WESTERN TRIRES  OP  CANADA.
Demonstrative adverbs are : here, gue'E; there, ya'gua.
the book here, saVwuus gue'e.
Jt seems that these suffixes are also attached to words :
your children here, tlguEne'E.
Some prepositions have separate forms for presence and absence :
at, to, present—da. at, to, absent—ga, gasga.
The Intransitive Verb.
Present tense.'
—Bt (Et)
—stga, Ega
1st person:
2nd     „
3rd     ,,      present:
3rd     „      absent:
(msssm) —snsEm.
(dEp)—Etga, Ega.
The prefixes placed in parentheses are not always used, but seem to serve merely
for the purpose of giving greater clearness or emphasis to the sentence.
The imperfect tense is formed by the prefix ue—, the future by dEm—. It seems
that in the imperfect the personal prefixes are almost always used. They are contracted with the temporal character.
Imperfect tense
Future tense
1st person
2nd   „
3rd   „
3rd    „
nap—Et, or nE—Et
nap—Ega, or nE—Ega
dEm (n)—6
dEm (ms)—En
dEm (dEp)—Em
dEm (mESEm)—EnsEm
dEm (dEp)—Bt
dEm (dEp)—Ega
The perfect is formed by tla preceding the present tense, the pbasquamperfectum
and futurum exactum by the characteristic particles of these tenses preceding the
he has been sick, tla sl'epgEt. lie had been sick, na tla sl'epgEt.
he will have been sick, dEm tla sl'epgEt.
1st person
2nd     „
3rd     „
1st person singular, atlgs
2nd     „ „       atigs—sn.
3rd     „ „       atlgE—Et.
S. 1st person plural, atlgs—sm.
Note.—Nouns and adjectives with the verbum substantivum are inflected in the
«ame way as the verbum,intransitivum. If the noun is accompanied by an adjective,
the former is inflected:
I am a Tsimshian, Ts'EmsianO'.
you are Tsimshian, Ts'Emsia'nsEm.
lam  I good woman, ama' hana'rano.
are you a Tsimshian ? Ts'EmsianEne' ?
The third person is frequently expressed by adding the demonsti-ative pronoun:
they are Tsimshian, Ts'smsian dEp gua'sga.
3 i 2 884
Verbum Transitivum.
1st Person
3rd Person,
3rd Person,
1st Person
2nd Persorf
^ (1st person, present
S 11st      „      absent
g,j2nd     „
a    3rd     „    present
i» (.3rd     „      absent
ij fist      „
S I 2nd     „
3 13rd     „    present
P* (3rd     „      absent
mESEm— e
mESEm—Em r
It will be seen that the object generally appears as the suffix of the verb. This;
makes the inflexion very much like that of the possessive pronoun, and it
must probably be understood in the same way as the possessive pronoun; for
instance, I see you = I your seeing. In accordance with this fact—that the object
appears as the suffix of the verb—is the other: that when the object is in the plural
the verb has the plural form, while it has the singular form when the subject is in the-
plural: I know you, nwulwula'sEm; you know me, mESEm wula'yO.
The tenses are formed in the same way as those of the intransitive verb.
Singular                                          Plural
2nd Person
3rd Person
2nd Person
3rd Person
1st person singular
2nd     „
3rd      „
1st       „     plural
2nd     „   .
In the interrogative there is no distinction of presence and absence.
1st Person
2nd Person
3rd Person
1st Person
2nd Person
1st person, singular
2nd     „         „
3rd      „         „
1st      „     plural
2nd     „
I have not reached a satisfactory understanding of the formation of the imperative. The following examples show that the indicative is frequently used for expressing an order:
Singular : eat! ya'wiqgEn !  = thou art eating !       Plural: eat! ya'wiqsEm !
drink !. a'ksEn !    =t?iou art drinking.' drink ! laa'ksESEm I
sit down ! d'an !   = thou sitst down I sit down ! wa'usEn, I dam
In other cases I found the infinitive (stem) of the verb used as in imperative
sit donm ! d'a ! warm the water! se gya'muk aks !
come in ! ts'e'en !
Another imperative is formed with the suffix -tl:
eat it! gaptl! look at him ! ne'etl!
take it from me ! de watktl i£ ga'i!
The imperative first person plural is formed in various ways :
let us si-t down ! k-altse wa'nEm !
let us look at him ! so'ntse dEp ne'est!
„ „       „    wa'tse dEp ne'est 1
.  let us go up the river branch ! gyila' ts'a'tlegua 1
The imperative negative is formed with gyila'dse ! do not!
Note 1.—It will be noted that in the negative and interrogative the first person
singular ends in S, while in the indicative it ends in d. In the former case the person
is evidently considered absent.
Note 2.—The first person singular has frequently, instead of -d, the suffix -wid. In
transitive verbs -wnd is used when there is no definite object; for instance, I strike
it, td'ushenut; but: I strike my breast, td'uso hd'yeyd. In the case of intransitive
verbs I am unable to give any rule. The use of -em or -d depends upon the adverb
accompanying the verb. It may be that whenever the state expressed by the verb is
defined -d is used.
I am sick, si'epgEnO.
I am tired, sona'tlEno.
I am hungry, k'te'Eno.
I am asleep, qst£'qEno.
Note 3.—When the word terminates with a vowel, y is inserted between the end
of the stem and -d of the first person singular. The same is done in the'case of the
first person of the possessive pronoun :
I know, wula'yo. I use it, ha'yutr my mother, na'yo.
Frequently a k is found inserted.   I am not able to explain its use.
It seems that the present participle is formed by reduplication:
to speak, e'lgyaq. speaking, EE'lgyaq.
to sew, tloopk. sewing, tltlo'opk.
to eat, ya'wiqk-. eating, heya'wiqk*.
The past participle is formed by the suffix -dS (see passive).
to sleep, qst&q. having slept, qstaUde.
to walk, ia. having walked, ia'de.
to say, hau. having said, ha'ude.
The verbal substantive is formed by dM'n, and might be more properly classified
as a relative sentence :
the maker, na dEi'n ts'a'pdEt = who is he who made it ?
I do not know whether there is any difference between this form, referring to a
special case, and the general verbal substantive, but it seems to be used also in a
general sense :
na dEi'n ts'a'pa qsd'E, who is the maker of the canoe 1
1 am always sick, tla'wola sl'epgo.
I am again tired, tlagyik sona'tlo.
I am always hungry, tla'wola k'te'yo.
Iwant to sleep, hasa'ran dEm qst&'qo.
It seems that the passive is somewhat irregular.   It terminates generally in -k,
joined to the stem by s or t.
to tell, matl. told, matlk.
to strike, t'ous. struck, t'o'usk. 886
to use, M.
to see, ne.
to burn, malq.
to pay, qtkil.
to pull, sa'ik.
to send, ha'yets.
to hurt, sg-a'yigs.
to malie, ts'ap.
to prepare, guldem k-a'wun.
to know, wula'.
to smoothen, tlE'lEp.
There are a number of other forms
to kill, ts'ak.
to liate, lsba'lEqs.
to do, wal.
to say, hau.
used, h&'yek.
seen, ne'esk.
burnt, malg-'esk.
paid, qtkak.
pulled, sa'isk.
sent, ha'yetsk.
hurt, sg-a'yiksk.
made, ts'apsk.
prepared, guldem k-a'wuntk.
known, wula7itk.
smoothened, tlebi'esk.
killed, ts'aksa.
hated, lEba'lEqde.
done, wa'lde.
said, ha'ude.
From these passive forms a present, past, future, &c. are formed in the same wa.
as from the stem.
1. Causative, formed by —Ere and r'an:
I cause him to make, ts'a'p'Enut.
to cause to drink,  aksEn
to cause to stop = to hinder, gyila'En.
I hinder you to drink, gyila'EnO a'ksEn.
I cause Jiim to eat, yawir'anot.
it causes him to do, r'anwa'ldet.
2. Inchoative, formed by reduplication :
I get sick, sisi'epgEnO. I get hungry, kuk'te'EnO.
I get tired, sesonatlEno.
3. Imitative, formed by sis- and by reduplication combined:
1feign .to be sick, sissisl'epkEnO. I feign to be hungry, siskuk'te'EgEno.
I feign to-be tired, sissisOna'tlgEno.       I feign to sleep, sisqaqsta'qsEno.
4. Usitative, expressing something habitual, also anything serious, a necessity,,
formed by r'ap:
I am sick a long while, r'ap sI'epkEno.
lam in the habit of eating, r'ap ya'wiqgEno.
I must sleep, r'ap qsta'qEnO.
I am repeatedly (always) hungry, r'ap tla'wola k'te'yo.
Frequentative, formed by huk :
he comes repeatedly, huk k-a'EdEksEt.
he is repeatedly sick, huk sl'epgEt.
Quotative, formed by ha, which is derived from amshad, hearsay :
it is said that he is coming, k-a'EdEksk-a.
Dubitative, formed by sEEn, following the personal suffix :   •
maybe he is sick, sie'pgEsEEn.
maybe you see me, mEne'etsesEEn.
The first person singular bas in this derivative always the absent form in -e.
JReflexive.—Although the reflexive is not a real derivative, I may add here that it
is formed by lEp gyi'lEks = self back ; for instance :
I strike myself, lEp gyi'lEks t'o'uskEno.
Note.—There are a number of interrogative forms in tl which I cannot explain:
is that mine ? nEriotl (na) wa'lde ?
is that his ? gua'sgatl (na) wa'lde ?
will lie not come? a'yentl dEM k-&'EdEksdE ? ON  THE  NORTH-WESTERN  TRIRES  OF  CANADA.
don't you see him ? a'yentl msne'etsdE 1
who said it? natl ha'udE ? (probably= whose saying ?)
where is he wlio made it ? (he absent), ndatl na dEi'n ts'a'pdEda ?
„ „ (he present), nda na dEi'n ts'a'pdEda ?
when did he arrive? ndatl da batsgEdEda ?
when. will-lie arrive 1 ndatl dsm da batsgEdEda ?
when did you arrive ? nda da batsgEn ?
when will you arrive ? nda dEm da batsgEn ?
„ „ tsEdEnda dEm da batsgEn?
whose house is it ? natl walbE gua'a 1
I add a few sentences that will be found of interest from a syntactic point of
I shall cause you not to come, atlgEn dEm k'a'EdEksEnt.
maybe lie is not coming, a'yensEntl dsm k-a'EdEkst.
do you hear that lie is not coming ? nEqno'yentl dEm wa k-a'EdEksdE ?
I hear he is sick, nEqEno'yO sie'pgEtgE.
he says he (another man) is sick, ma'tldEdE si'epgEdst.
I hope it will be good weather, nEsEntl amtl laqa'.
I hope he is not sick, nEsEntl wa si'epgEdE.-
I wish to drink, sa'rau dEm a'ksO.
I order him to come, guna'yO dEm k-a'EdEksEt = I order his future coming.
I see you are eating, ne'etsO wul ya'niqk-En=I see where you eat.
it is mine, ne'et ns'rio.
it is George, nene'es Dsords.
I might fall down, k-a'inane gye'En.
. you might fall down, k-a'inaEn gye'En.
if I fall, I shall Ivurt myself, tsEda sak-a'inae, dEm sg-a'iksgEnO. .
if I had fallen, I should lw/ve hwrt myself, ame'en teE sak-a'inae nan dEn
1 give the knife to you, gyena'mo hatlEbi'etsgEda guan.
Note.—Every word referring to a person, more especially to a nomen proprium,
takes the suffix -s:
George's canoe, qsa'Es Dsords.
George and John, Dsords dis Dson (in other cases: ditl).
It may be well to call attention to a few of the formative elements and to the
manner of composing words. One of the most remarkable features of the Tsimshian
vocabulary is the indiscriminate use of words for nouns and verbs but still more that
of words as prepositions and verbs.   Among these we note :
math, from and to come.
ga, at and to take.
ksdq, out and to leave the house.
da, with, at and to elope, to take with.
ts'E'lsm, into and to put into.
We may say in a general way that the prepositions serve at the same time as
verbs expressing a motion or location corresponding to the preposition.
Among formative elements of words we note the following:
am, used for :       amhald'it, headdress=used in dance.
ml, large: wlhdlds, many; wud'sgyat, old = great people.
wlhdut, to cry.
wd, without: wdnld'otlk, without nest (a name).
wdksend'tlk, without breath (a name).
woh'd'uts, without labret = girl.
%-, place of, only occurring in geographical names :
Zaq(l)-k(2)-tlgua(B)-rald'ms(4:) = on (1) where (2) little (3) haws
(4) ; an island near Fort Simpson.
JCEns(l)-k(2)-qd'le(3)=-pla.ce (1) where (2) scalps (3).
•MIIU' 888
MEqtla(l)-k(2)-qd'tla(3) = narrow channel (1) where (2) sea (3).
Zaq(l)-k(2)-ldn(3) = on (1) where (2) (Gyit)lan (3); village of the
Fsue-, place of:
ZsnE(l)-h(2)-qd'lS(3) =place (1) where (2) scalps (3).
KEnE(l)-hamd'd(2)= place of (1) trade (2).
(hum-, place of, Gyitksan dialect.)
lispE-, place where something is frequently done :
KspB(\)-hame'elsq(2) = where always (1) good for nothing say (2)
= playground.
KspE(l)-d'd(2)=where one always (1) sits (2).
EspE(\)sdnt(2) = where always (1) in summer (2).
ham-, miserable, good for nothing, from hamtse:
hamS'eleq = good for nothing to speak=to play.
han-, instrument:
hamwd'i, rowlock = rowing instrument.
hantld'opes, thimble = sewing instrument.
g-, to eat, to receive:
qpSiano, to smoke = to eat smoke.
qgyat, man-eater.
qana'S, bread-eater.
qldan'o'n, to receive payment for burial (Id, into; an'o'n, hand).
g—ka, misfortune happening:
qhasl'epka, having sickness.
wulaqtldotk, when a landslide went down.
gpl-, half, in part, from qplye':
qplmd'k, partially white.
ha-, instrument (cf. ha, to use) :
haaks, cup, spoon = drinking instrument.
haa'lagyaq^ windpipe = speaking instrument.
hayd'wiqh, fork = eating instrument.
had'd'osk, broom = sweeping instrument.
ha-, causative:
hasl'epk, causing sickness.
halemd'tk, causing salvation, saviour (Olachen).
ts'sm-, in:
ts'sm aks,=in water, a sea monster.
ts'sm ts'aq = in nose, nostril.
ts'sm En'o'n = in hand, palm of hand.
-tsS-, future: ,
tsSdft'nda, when 1 (future)
tsSgyetse'ip, to-morrow.
se-, to make:
se wuld'isk=to make relative, to adopt.
ss wuld'=to make know, to teach.
mul-, where something is done (only once, not habitually) :
wul (1) gyileks (2) tqal (3) d'amtk (4) = where (1) self (2) on (3-jj
written (4) ; a place on Nass River.
nds-, place where something is kept:
ndssu'ga, sugar-bowl.
:-*i' ; I add translations of a few names :
Geographical names:
JLaq (1) -k (2)-spaqtl (3), Aberdeen = on (1) where (2) catch salmon (3).
■Gyat (1) laq (2)^(3) tsd'olts (4) = People on eat canoe-boards = people of village
where they steal canoe-boards (ktsd'oks).
Gyat (1) Ksia'n (2)=people (1) of the Ksian (2) (Skeena).
JKzian, probably from aks mian=the main river.
Ts'Emsid'n = on the Ksian.
Names of persons:
.Na (1) gun (2) aks (3), what (1) mistaken for (2) water (3).
Tsag-a (1) dl (2) la'o (3), across the water (1) also (2) staying (3).
.Tssrsn (1) sd'gyisk (2), ashore (1) pulling (2).
kTs'Ensld'ek, the one left alone.
Ts'sba'sa, either overcast sky = close eye sky, or fastened talon (of eagle).
Wlha', great wind.
.Nebat, making noise to each other.
.Ndse'ets le'itlks, grandmother of watching.
.NSs wlba'sk, grandfather great storm.
Hats'sqsnS'eq, dreadful fire.
Dsm di mdksk, going to be white.
es yuld'qps, grandfather carrying stones.
In d'am laq td'd, sitting on ice.
Seo'pgyibd'yuk, flying in front of town early in morning.
.Saraithah'd'i, eagle having one coloured wing.
Qpl'yelsk, contracted from qpl'litl hag'uld'oq=partly hairy sea-monster.
. Hohqsdn ram Neqnoq = unbeliever in Neqnoq.
I cannot satisfactorily explain the formation of the last five names.
IV. Kutona'qa.
Vowels: a, e, E, i, o, u; au.
Consonants : —p; m, w; d, t; n; g, k; g', k-; — q, h; s, ts; — tl;
Initial and terminal combinations of consonants are very scarce.    Among my
• collection of words only a few initial, and no terminal combinations are found.   The
former are : kt, sk, sk; st, tsg; tsp, tlk, tin. As all words are undoubtedly compounds,
numerous combinations occur in words, one consonant being the terminal sound of
■one part of the word, the other the initial sound of the subsequent part.
Singular and plural have no separate forms. There are no cases. The genitive
is frequently expressed by the possessive pronoun, k'atlaqd'atsin aqktld'mis, the
horse's head.
In such cases in which we use the indefinite article the suffix -ndm, designating
somebody's or some, is attached to the noun.
aqh'und'ndm, a tooth, somebody's tooth.
aqgitld'ndm, a house.
aqk'atluma'ndm, a mouth.
A great number of nouns have the prefix aq- or begin with compounds of this
prefix and certain others. I am unable to explain the meaning of this_prefix, which
does not form an integral part of the word, being dropped in certain syntactic forms.
aqgitla, the house (stem : tla).
iniha gitla, it is my house.
son tland'imene, there is a house.
aqkinmi'tuk, river:
sdn mitu'kenS, there is a river.
*W" 890
The adjective precedes the noun,
Personal Pronoun.
I, kdmim. we, kamina'tla
thou, ni'nkd.
he, ninkd'is.
you, ninka'nisgvtl.
they, ninhsfisis.
Possessive Pronoun.
my, ka—. our, ka—na'tla.
thy, —nis. your, —ni'sgltl.
his, —is. their, —isis.
The independent form of the possessive pronoun is identical with the persona^
lul'mim, it is mine.
• Cardinals.
1, o'kwS. 9, g-aiki'tdwd.
2, ds. 10, S'tdmd.
3, g'a'tlsa. 20, ai'wd.
4, qd'tsa. 30, g'atlsa'ndwd.
5, iS'hhd. 100, gyituwo'ndwd.
6, nmi'sa, 200, as tlstuwufnowo.
7, nsta'tld. 300, g-atlsa tlst'uwd'nowo.
8, duqd'tsa. 1,000, gyi'towd tlitwvd'nowd.
In some cases I found the prefix ga- added to the numerals one and two :
g'd'kwS aqktsemd'kinik, one man.
g'd'kme ni'tlgd, one dollar.
g'd'kme a'qtlat, one fathom.
g'd'kmS natd'nik, one month.
gia'se natd'nik, two months.
The following is remarkable :
d'snS qa'atltsin, two dogs.
the first, o'smet.
once, dkhena*.
the first time
the second, as
the third, g'a'tlsa; &c
Numeral Adverbs.
twice, a'sh'atl. three times, g'a'tlsah'atl.
o'pak. the second time, ask-'astl; &c.
one-half, as tlsEkosE'ka.
one-third, g-a'tlsa tlsEkosE'ka.
The Intransitive Verb.
Present tense
Imperfect tense
Future tense
1st pers. sing.
2nd   „
3rd    „
1st     „     plur.
2nd   „
3rd    „        „
ku —natla(ane)
ma- ku—n atla(ane)
ku-tsqatl—r. a 11 a(an 0) |
gin-tsqatl—nl'gitl(ne) J
(I)-tsqatl—nena'mene -3t3-<^I
The intransitive verb may also be inflected by means of an auxiliary verb i, as-
Present tense Imperfect tense Future tense
1st pers. sing.        kuine—ne ma-kuine—ne ku-tsqatl-ine'ne—ne.
&c.   &c.   &c.
• The attributive verb is formed in the same way, or by means of the auxiliary verb i :
For instance: kusd'nS, or kuimS sdnS, I am bad.
The noun does not take the verbal suffixes and prefixes, but is used with the:
auxiliary verb :
gin ine Kutona'qa, you are a Kootonay.
h'a'pe inS Kutona'qa, they are all Kootonay.
ine kagitla, it is my house.
2nd person singular: —en; for instance : I'ken, eat! g-'d'men(S), sleep !
2nd      „     plural:     —etl; „ I'ketl, eat I
' The interrogative particle is han or naqhan, which, however, is not used when it
is self-evident that a question is meant:
naqhan gin-g''o'menS 1 and gin g-'d'menS 1 are you asleep ?
naqhan gin ine Kutona'qa 1 and gin inS Kutona'qa ? are you a Kootonay ?
han inS ka'min 1 is it mine ?
han inS dqgitld'is 1 is that his house 1
After an interrogative pronoun the particle is omitted:
g-atla kl'S 1 who is that 1
The negative is formed by the prefix h'a, which follows the pronominal prefix :
ku-h'a-santlqd'onS, I am not sick ( = bad body).
The iterative is formed by tla, which follows the pronominal prefix :
ku-tla-santlqd'one, I am again sick.
The optative is formed by a compound particle, composed of the particles designating future and past.   It is, therefore, a futurum exactum.
tsqs-ma kui'kenS, I should like to drink.
The future is also used to express a desiderative.
hu-tsqatl-i'kenS, I shall drink, and I want to drink.
Quotative and Responsive.
If the verb is said in answer to a question, or in repetition of a sentence heard
rom another speaker, the prefix slu is used.
shifmatlenketlatld'nd, somebody said it is snowing.
ku-slu-wa'qS, I am coming (said in reply to a question).
slu-i'kenS, they say that he eats. ^
Transitive Verb.
Indicative, Present Tense.
1st Person
2nd Person
3rd Person
1st Person
2nd Person
1st person singular
2nd    „
3rd    „           „
1st     „      plural
2nd    „           „
3rd    „           „
gin—agi'tlne |
gin— nauwa'sei
The third persons plural and singular are identical.
For instance, from nu-hd, to conquer:
hunuhdni'sens, I conquer thee.
kunnuhdnkd'is, I conquer him.
nuhond'pene, he conquers me.
nuhoni'senS, he conquers thee.
damuhdnauwd'senS, we conquer thee ; &c.
ku hantla'tltitl, I am struck.
George nu-ho-a'tlne, George has been beaten.
ku-hd-atl, I am beaten.
I have not succeeded in analysing many words, but a number of prefixes ai
suffixes have resulted from my comparisons. Among the words of the vocabula
I collected, 164 begin with the prefix aq above referred to. Besides this I found
number of other prefixes.
gia-, animal:
gia'kqd, fish.
giah'anu'koat, eagle.
gia'h'stla, duck.
giamu'kqd, mountain-goat.
nu-, another prefix of animal names :
nuhtsa'htle, humming-bird.
.  nuhtlu'hoSn, loon.
nutlaketli'tlik; hawk.
Here may also belong:
gia-nu'hqd, mountain-goat.
gia-nuqtlu'mena, rabbit.
gu-, separable prefix.   Meaning unknown.
gianuqtlu'mena, rabbit.
giantli'kqd, ground hog.
giau'ats, fool hen.
nutlqamiu'at, snail.
nutld'hat, the white tail deer.
nutltd'kup, antelope.
giamtlikqd, ground hog.
gu-wi'tlka, large.
gu-atla'skin, to break off.
•ka-, opening of :
gu-wanakand'ndm, war.
gu-watldkuhu'hut, rain.
aqk'asatld'gak, opening of nose=nostril.
aqk'atle'ma, opening of oesophagus = mouth.
aqkatlaqdu'sit, opening of house = door.
-hak-, central part, dividing line:
aqhd'nehak, notch of arrow.
aqkinhaksa'tla, septum. ON  THE  NORTH-WESTERN  TRIRES  OF  CANADA.
-gak suffix occurring in names of many parts of body :
aqk'a-satld'gak, nostril.
aqguwi'tsgdk, breast.
aqgS'igak, foot.
. aqho'igak, wrist.
aqg'oatg''atliga'k, eyebrow.
-wok, tree:
katld'wdk, thorn.
shomo'wok, sarvis (?) berry bush.
aqhund'w'dk, willow.
-tlqd, body:
son, bad.
soke, good.
■ k'a, broad.
-mdtl, instrument:
ylmakl'umotl, brush.
itli'nmdtl, instrument.
Itsakd'mdtl, net = dipping instrument.
gdmt}dkendk'd'mdtl, sling.
-kin, to do something with hand or foot:
yl'makin, to paint.
aqtss'kin, to crush with foot.
yu'tsikin, to stand on top of something.
g'asni'nkin, to break.
-qan, to do something with teeth:
gug'a'sqan, to bite off a piece.
-qd, to do something by hammering :
(g')a'ktsqd, to pound.
aqg'WtUgak, forehead.
aqgu'ngak, beak.
akqa'sgak, breastbone.
aqgo'ugak, neck,
aqgdguptld'mgdk, nape.
aqkithnd'kwdk, cherry tree.
aqhuwd'tlwdk, birch.
sd'ntlqo, sick.
sd'ketlqd, well.
k'a'tlqd, stout.
g'ak'tsqd'mdtl, pestle.
itluhtsd'mdtl, sewing machine.
anankd'motl, broom.
guatla'skin, to break off.
hd'wutskin, to hold in hand.
itkin, to make something with the
atlkin, to carry in hand.
g'asni'nqam, to break by biting.
g-asitlu'qd, to break to pieces with
guatla'sqb, to break off with hammer,  g'aktse'thnakqd, to pound.
mik, vibrate:
atlashd'mik, a cut. aqhayi'nmik, a war.
I [A comparative vocabulary of- all the languages of British Columbia, including-
the principal dialects, will be given in a future report.]
plate X,    Fig. 1,
Fie- 2
Plate XI.,   Fig. 1.
Fig. 2.
Plate XII., Fig. 1.
Fig. 2.
BlateXin., Fig. 1.
Fig. 2.
% ateXIV., Fig. 1.
„ Fig. 2.
Bate XV., Fig. 1.
Fig. 2.
Tsimshian, male, circ. 55   years   [col.   Boas,  No.  85].   Norma
Tsimshian, cire. 50 years.  [Morton collection in the Museum of the
Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, No. 213.] Norma
Tsimshian.    [ Morton collection in the Museum of the Academy
of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, No. 214.]  Norma frontalis..
Tsimshian, aire. 18 years. [Morton collection in the Museum of the
Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia, No. 987.] Norma-
Norma lateralis.
Norma lateralis.
Norma lateralis.
Same as Plate XI., Fig. 2. Norma lateralis.
Norma vertioalis.
Norma vertioalis.
Norma verticaUs.
Norma vertioalis.
Same as Plate X., Fig. 1.
Same as Plate X., Fig. 2.
Same as Plate XL, Fig. 1.
Same as Plate X., Fig. 1.
Same as Plate X., Fig. 2.
Same as .Plate XI., Fig. 1.
Same as Plate XI., Fig. 2. Plate X.—Tsimshian, I., II.
Fig. 1.—Half natural size.    $
Fig. 2.—Half natural size-    Fig. 1.—Half natural size.   £
Fig. 2.—Half natural size.  


Citation Scheme:


Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics



Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            async >
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:


Related Items