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Notes on the Shuswap people of British Columbia Dawson, George Mercer, 1849-1901 1891

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By   GEORGE   M.- DAWSON,   LL.D.,   F.R.S.
Assistant Director, Geological Society of Canada.
  Section II, 1891.
C   3   ]
Trans. Eot. Soc. Canada.
I.—Notes on the Shuswajp People of British Columbia.
By G-eorge M. Dawson, LL.D., F.R.S., Assistant Director Geological Survey of Canada.
(Read May 27, 1891.
The notes and observations here presented .have been made at different times by
the writer, while engaged in geological work in the southern inland portion of British
Columbia, during the years 18f7, 1888, 1889 and'1890. The work in hand did not
'admit of any special or systematic study of the Indians, but almost constant association
with these people naturally afforded numerous opportunities of acquiring information
respecting them, and the circumstances were such as to favour especially the accumulation of local notes and the identification of places. The information thus gathered, is
here presented explicitly and for the most part without comment or attempt at explanation or correlation. The writer ventures to hope that this record of observations may be
accepted as a useful contribution to the knowledge of the ethnology of the region, and as
one which may be of service in future investigations, though in itself possessed of no high
scientific value.
It will be understood that these notes make no pretence to completeness, and that
while some matters are referred to at considerable length, other aspects of the life of the
people, upon which it has happened that nothing of apparent value was obtained, are
passed over in silence.
It must further be mentioned that Dr. Franz Boas, who has for some years been
engaged in the investigation of the ethnology of British Columbia, for the Committee of
the British Association for the Advancement of Science on the Northwestern Tribes of
Canada, has recently prepared a short report on the Shuswaps. This is embodied in the
sixth report of the Committee (pp. 80-95), lately printed, and some subjects fully dealt
with therein are here altogether omitted. Neither is any attempt here made to deal with
the language, in its several dialects. A vocabulary of the Sta'-tlum-ooh or Lillooet has
already been published in the " Composition Yocabularies of the Indian Tribes of British
Columbia " (1884), by the writer and the late Dr. Tolmie, while short vocabularies, with
some notes on the grammar, are given by Dr. Boas in the work above cited, and it is
understood that the same author is engaged in a further study of this and allied languages.
The latter part of the present paper consists of a list of place-names in the Shuswap
country. The positions of most of these places have been accurately identified on the
ground, while the names themselves have been obtained from Indians with local knowledge
and employed from time to time as guides or in other capacities. The maps at present in
existence are, however, so inexact in detail, that it is often difficult to clearly localize on
them the points to which the names apply. This difficulty will be removed for a certain
part of the region on the publication of the Kamloops sheet of the geological map, now in
the hands of the engraver.    The names of places occurring within the area of this map are
therefore separately catalogued, in such a way as to be easily identified on it. Places
beyond the limits of the map in question, are so described as to enable them to be recognized either on existing maps or on the ground.
The meanings given for the Indian names of places are such as I was able to obtain,
but may not in all cases be accurate. In many instances the Indians themselves do not
know what the names mean, and in others it was found difficult to understand the
explanations given by them.
I am indebted to Mr. J. W. Mackay, Indian agent at Eamloops, for several interesting
contributions, which will be found embodied in the following pages ; also for his courtesy
in replying to many questions which have occurred in the course of the preparation of
the matter for this paper.
The orthography here employed in rendering the native names, is identical with that
previously adopted by the writer'in his "Notes and Observations on the Kwakiool
People I (' Trans. Royal Soc. Can.,' vol. v) and in other papers.
The name Shuswap, the usual anglicised form of Shoo-wha'-pa-mooh,1 that of a tribal
division, is in this paper employed to designate all the Salish people of the southern
inland portion of British Columbia, bounded on the east by the Kootenuha, on the north
by the Tinneh, and westward by various tribes of the Lower Fraser and coast. It is
inconvenient to designate the people collectively as the Salish of British Columbia, as the
Salish affinities of several tribes on the side of the coast have now been clearly shown.
Tribal Subdivisions.
The name of the Shuswaps for themselves, or for Indians in general as distinguished
from other peoples, is Koo'-li-mooh, " the people," or, perhaps more strictly, " mankind."
They are divided into numerous village-communities, of which a number, though by no
means a complete list, is given on a later page. The existence of many small dependent
villages or hamlets with names of their own, renders it very difficult to make a satisfactory enumeration of the numerous septs. Superior to these, however, five principal divisions, depending on differences of dialect, and recognized as such by the natives themselves, exist among the people of Salish stock in British Columbia. These are given
below, together with some notes on the limits of each, which, however, are to be regarded
merely as in further explanation of the map upon which the boundaries are drawn.
These boundaries nearly correspond with those given by Dr. Boas on the map accompanying his report, but the scale of that map is too small and the geographical features too indeterminate to enable the sub-divisions to be shown with precision. On the earlier map
which accompanies the " Comparative Vocabularies of the Indian Tribes of British Columbia" no attempt was made to show the precise lines of division.
1. Shoo-wha'-pa~mooh (Su'-Q,uapmaQ,, Boas; Se-huapm-uh, Mackay.) These are the
Shuswaps proper, from whom the name here applied to the group of related tribes is
1 Sushwap, as written by Mr. Mackay, is, as he urges, no doubt nearer to the true pronunciation. Shushwap
as employed by Dr. Boas in the heading of his article above cited, is yet another variant. As, however, none of
these forms can lay claim to accuracy, and the name is here employed merely as a general designation, I do not
feel justified in adding to the confusion which already exists in the matter by changing the orthography long
established on the maps.
derived. The people of this tribe and speaking an identical' dialect, possess the largest
territory, which includes the Shuswap Lakes and Adams Lake, the valleys of the South
and North Thompson Rivers, and nominally extends northward to Quesnel Lake, though
so few Indians inhabit or hunt in that region that it is difficult there to fix the limit
exactly. The furthest northern point on the Fraser reached by the Shoo-wha'-pa-mooh,
is in the vicinity of Soda Creek; but to the south of the Chilcotin River their country
extends to the west of the Fraser, of which river they claim both sides as far down
as, and including, the village of Kwl-kwe-a-kwW (Bob's village), situated nine miles
below Big Bar Creek. They thus spread westward to the north of the Lillooets, and are
the only people of the Shuswap tribes whose boundary marches with that of the Tinneh.
The country about Clinton and the valley of Hat Creek is part of their territory, including
the village of Skwai'-luh, on Pavilion Creek. To the south they are bounded by the
Thompsons and Okanagans. They extend nearly to -Ashcroft, on the Thompson River,
but do not include the Stlahl village there, which is Thompson. Eastward, the boundary
runs thence nearly along the watershed between the Nicola and Thompson, but Trout
Lake, at the head of one branch of G-uichon Creek, is claimed by the Shoo-wha'-pa-mooh.
Grande Prairie belongs to the Okanagans, but all the lower part of the Salmon River, with
the Spallumsheen valley nearly as far south as the head of Okanagan Lake, is Shoo-wha'-
pa-mooh country.
A small isolated band of Shoo-wha'-pa-mooh is situated near the head of the Columbia River, in the midst of the Kootenaha country, as indicated on the map accompanying
the " Comparative Vocabularies." According to notes supplied by Mr. J. W. Mackay, this
band emigrated thither about forty years ago, from the North Thompson; following a
route which reaches the Columbia near the mouth of Canoe River. The emigrants
there made friends with some Stoney Indians who were in the habit of crossing the
.Rocky Mountains by the Howse Pass, for the purpose of taking salmon in the Columbia.
Supported by these allies, the Shoo-wha-pa-mooh colonists were able to hold their own
till the influx of the whites occurred and prevented further overt acts against them.
The Shoo-wha'-pa-mooh call the Tshilkotin Pis-he'-hun-um; the Thompsons, according
to Mr. Mackay, N-ku-tam-euh. Mr. Mackay states that N-ku is the numeral | one," tam-euh
or tam-uh means "land," the compound word thus signifying "one land," "one other
land," or the people of another land or country. The Okanagans apply the same name to
the Thompson Indians. The Shoo-wha'-pa-mooh name for the Okanagans is Soo-wdn'-a-
mooh (Su-a-nu-muh, Mackay). English and Canadian people are named sa-ma. The people
of the United States Sui-apm-uh.
2. Sta'-tlum-ooh (SUa'tlumQ,, Boas ; Stlat-limuh, Mackay.) These are the people usually
known as Lillooets. They inhabit a comparatively restricted territory which lies for the
most part to the west of the Fraser River, and, generally speaking, extends westward into
the rugged country of the Coast Ranges as far as the Indians carry their wanderings from
the side of the Fraser. The dialect spoken by these people differs very markedly from
those of the neighbouring Shuswap tribes. Their boundary on the side of the other
Shuswap tribes has already been indicated, except to the south, where they meet the
Thompson Indians. In this direction they extend along both sides of the Fraser nearly
to FosteT Bar of the maps, their lowest village here being that named Nes-l-kip, on the
west side of the river. To the west they claim Seton Lake, but, according to my informant, not Anderson or Lillooet Lakes of the maps.
 sasir ^nsm^
3. N-tla-ka-pe-mooh (Ntlakya'pamuQ,, Boas ; N-hla-kapm-uh, Mackay). These people are
generally referred to as the Thompson River Indians, or briefly as the " Thompsons."
They are bounded to the north by the Lillooets and Shoo-wha'-pa-mooh, as already indicated, while to the east their boundary marches with that of the Okanagans, where they
claim the country to the west and south of Nicola Lake, but not the borders of the lake
itself. They occupy the entire Similkameen valley nearly to the place named Keremeeos,
but exclusive of that locality, which belongs to the Okanagans. Westward they follow
the tributaries of the Similkameen to, or approximately to, the watershed between these
and the branches of the Coquihalla. They extend southward on the Fraser to Spuzzam,
and westward in the Coast Ranges as far as the sources of streams flowing to the Fraser.
The N-tla-ka-pe-mooh, according to Mr. Mackay, call the Okanagans Schit-hu-a-ut and
Schit-hu-a-ut-uh. The Indians of the Lower Fraser, who speak various dialects of the
Kawitshin language of the " Comparative Vocabularies," again according to the same
authority, name the N-tla-ka-pe-mooh Somena, or | inland hunters."
4. Oo-ka-na-kane (Okand'ken, Boas ; U-ka-nakane, Mackay). These people are generally known as Okanagans. They inhabit the country to the south and east of the Shoo-
wha'-pe-mooh and N-tla-ka-pe-mooh, including Okanagan Lake of the maps and its
vicinity. Their principal place or centre was in early days to the south of the international boundary, and this place, according to Mr. Mackay, is still known to them by the same
name as that by which they designate themselves. Their eastern boundary is somewhat
indefinite, as between Okanagan Lake and the Columbia valley there exists a large tract
of broken wooded country, which was employed only as a hunting-ground. The Kettle
River valley probably belonged to the Okanagans, but they seldom extended their excursions to the Columbia north of the international boundary. The Oo-ka-na-kane name for
whites generally is Pek-it-sa, from pek, " white."
5. The S-na-a-chikst, a sept or tribe of the Salish proper, claim the fishing and hunting grounds along the western leg of the Columbia River, including the Arrow Lakes
and the lower part of the Kootanie River from its mouth to the first fall, which was a
noted fishing place. They now, however, migrate to the north of the international
boundary only in the summer season, their centre and winter quarters being in Montana.
Their country thus forms a wedge between that of the Oo-ka-na-kane and Kootenuha.
The S-na-a-chikst being linguistically a subdivision of the Salish proper, of which the
name has been extended to cover a group of linguistically allied people, do not stand
quite in the same rank as the four larger divisions previously enumerated, and might
appropriately be designated simply the Salish. The country occupied by them is
included in that of the Oo-ka-na-kane on Dr. Boas' map. I have never met with these
people, and the facts above noted, together with the rendering of the name, are derived from
Mr. Mackay. The same gentleman states that the Pend d'Oreilles (Kullspselm, or " people
of the flat land ") and the Spokanes may equally be classed as branches of the Salish proper.
The Salish proper, as is well known, were originally designated the | Flat-heads," though
not in the habit of artificially deforming the cranium. When first discovered by the
Canadian voyageurs, slaves from tribes of the coast, where the head was usually deformed,
were found among them.
In concluding this general review of the tribal sub-divisions of the people here collectively named Shuswaps, it may be of interest to add the following list of names used
by several of these tribes and by other allied tribes for themselves as g the people " or
"mankind." (See p. 4.) This has been drawn up by Mr. J. W. Mackay, whose
orthography is retained :—
Tribes of Tale and
" The People."
" The People."
Lower Fraser.
This alone serves very clearly to show the fundamental identity in language throughout, and the Salish connections of some of the peoples of the coast.
Villages and Houses.
The construction of the winter dwellings of the Shuswaps, or Keekwilee-houses as they
are generally named in Chinook jargon, has been described in some detail by Dr. Boas in
his paper already cited, and need not therefore here be entered into. As, however, these
primitive and partly subterranean dwellings are now seldom seen, the plan and elevation
of the main framework of a particularly characteristic one met with in the Nicola valley,
differing somewhat from that illustrated by Dr. Boas, is here presented. The sketches
upon which these are based were made by myself and Mr. J. McEvoy in 1889. Upon the
main framework fascines of small sticks and brush are laid radially, and upon these the
outer covering of earth is then spread.   From the size of the hollows marking the former
Fig. 1.
positions of houses of this kind in certain parts of the country, their diameters in some
instances have been as much as twenty-five feet. The name of the winter house in Shoo-
wha'-pa-mooh is kais-is'-ti-kin, in N-tla-ka-pe-mooh si-is'-ti-kin.
The winter villages represented the permanent centres of the tribal subdivisions, to
which the people gathered during the cold months of each year. The sites of these villages are still easily recognized, where they have not been converted into ploughed fields
or removed altogether in consequence of gold mining operations. The localities have evidently in all cases been very carefully chosen, the essentials being a warm southern
exposure as much sheltered as possible from wind, particularly the cold down-river wind
of winter; a dry, sandy or gravelly soil, and convenient access to water. These winter
village sites are, moreover, found only in the lower and larger valleys, and particularly in
those of the Fraser and Thompson rivers and their main tributaries. Traces of single
houses of this kind, or scattered groups of two or three, are occasionally, though rarely,
found in some of the higher and smaller valleys, but nothing that might be named a village. The great paucity of the remains of residences of this kind in the Okanagan country
would seem to indicate that the corresponding division of the Shuswaps scarcely used the
Keekwilee-house, but further information on this point is desirable.
All the old village sites which were identified on the area of the Kamloops sheet of
the geological map (shortly to be issued) have been clearly marked on it. Outside the
area of this map, the following places were noted as important old village sites :—North
Thompson valley near mouth of Barriere River; north side of outlet Little Shuswap
Lake ; flats near the mouth of Adams River between Great and Little Shuswap Lakes ;
south-west side of outlet of Adams Lake ; low promontory where the present village
stands near the lower end of Adams Lake.
The actual villages of the Shuswaps, as might be anticipated, frequently coincide in
position with some of the old sites, but ordinary log-houses are now built.
Temporary summer residences at hunting or fishing places, are as a rule roughly constructed of poles, which are then covered with matting or roughly wattled with branches.
The size and forms of these are very varied and quite irregular. A semi-permanent dwelling or lodge of more definite plan is, however, still also occasionally met with. This is
also illustrated and described by Dr. Boas, but as a sketch made by Mr. McEvoy differs
slightly from his and is also more detailed, it is presented here. Where I have seen these
lodges they stand on the open ground without any excavation, and as they have been
found in occupation both in spring and autumn, they can scarcely be classed as distinctively winter lodges, though doubtless used also at this season. In the figure, the brush
work surrounding the nearer end of the lodge is omitted, but it will be understood that
Fig. 2.
the two semicircular ends of the lodge, sheltered bv brush, constitute the sleeping places,
while the scaffold above serves for drying provisions or for storing these and other things
out of reach of the dogs.
The sweat-houses or sweating booths of the Shuswaps are identical with those of the
Tinneh, Crees and other peoples. They consist usually of about a dozen thin willow
wands, planted in the ground at both ends. Half of them run at right angles to the other
half, and they are tied together at each intersection. Over these a blanket or skin is usually
spread, but I have also seen them covered with earth. A small heap of hot stones is piled
in the centre, and upon these, after carefully closing the apertures, the occupant pours
some water. The sweat-house is always situated on the banks of a stream or lake, so that
on issuing therefrom the bather may at once plunge into the cold water.
The permanent marks of old inhabited places met with throughout the Shuswap
country are of the following kinds :—
Sites of old Keekwilee-houses, in the form of hollows ten to thirty feet in diameter.
These hollows soon become widely saucer-shaped depressions, and they mark the positions
of old winter houses or winter villages. Old fish-caches.—These are found after the lapse
of some time as similar hollows, but deeper and narrower in proportion, being usually
from three to six feet wide only. As originally made they are cylindrical pits excavated
in dry ground and lined with bark. Dried salmon is then piled into them, and the whole
is covered with bark and earth. Such caches often occur about the sites of winter villages,
but are also frequently found at a distance from these and grouped around the actual fishing places. Root-baking places.—In baking various roots, more particularly those of the
lily (Lilium Columbianum), a spot is first cleared and a fire built upon it. When the surrounding soil has become sufficiently heated, the roots, enveloped in mats or green herbage, are laid upon the bed of the fire, and the whole is covered up by piling together the
earth from all sides upon the mass of roots. After the lapse of a sufficient time the roots
are dug out in a baked or steamed condition, and either at once eaten or dried for future
use. Such root-baking places are usually in the vicinity of root-gathering grounds, and
after some years appear as low cones from fifteen to twenty feet in diameter, with miniature craters in the middle. These might easily be mistaken by an imaginative antiquarian for old sacrificial sites, on account of the evident traces of fire which the stones
and earth show.
To the above it may be added that a little group of fire-scarred stones buried in moss
or other vegetation, and marking the site of an old sweat-house, is often found as an
enduring sign of the spot near which a hunting or fishing camp has been pitched many
years before.
One of the largest and most important sites of the old winter villages which has been
noted is that known as Hut-tsat-tsl, or " cold spring." This is situated on the north side
of the valley of Kelly Creek, about two miles below the lake. Just below the old village
site the stream plunges precipitately down to the Fraser River, its lower valley being nearly
impassable. If all the old Keekwilee-houses here indicated by hollows still visible were at
any time simultaneously inhabited, the population must have been numerous. It has been
long abandoned, and in and about the sites of the houses large trees of at least one hundred
years of age are growing. The present Indians say that the old people carried their dried
salmon up from the edge of the river to this winter village by way of the valley of the
small stream immediately north of Kelly Creek, which is still named Ni-hlip-tow'-us-tum,
or I going over stream," and on this route are two smaller groups of hollows representing
houses and showing similar signs of considerable antiquity.   The site of Hut-tsat-tsl was
Sec n, 1891.  2.
an ideal one for a winter residence, being well sheltered, having a southern exposure,
and being amply supplied with wood and water.   The neighbourhood must also have
been a good one for hunting deer.
Near all the permanent villages or winter village sites are burial places, and for purposes of burial sand-hills were generally chosen, probably because of the ease with which
graves might be dug in these. The burial places are often on prominent points of terraces
or on low hills overlooking the river, along the main valleys, such as those of the Fraser
and Thompson. Whether such prominent points were chosen on account of their position,
or in how far they were merely selected because of the convenient occurrence of sand-hills,
I do not know, but believe that both these circumstances may have co-operated. No burial
places were noticed, however, on the higher plateaux or in the mountains, near the places
to which the Indians resort for hunting, berry-picking or root-gathering, and it is probable
that the bodies of those who died in such places were always in old times, as they still
are, carried down to the lower and larger valleys for interment.
A small house-like or tent-like erection was generally made over a grave, and this
was furthermore usually surrounded by a fence or enclosure, while poles with flags or
streamers were also often set up at the grave. Some years ago, carved or painted figures,
generally representing men, were commonly to be found about the graves along the Fraser
and Thompson. The posts of the enclosure were also not infrequently rudely carved
and painted, while kettles and other articles of property were hung about the grave or in
its vicinity. Horses were in some cases killed, and the skins hung near the graves ; but
most of these objects have now disappeared, and crosses are very frequently substituted
for the old carvings.
The most interesting old burial place met with, is that on the point of land between
the Fraser and Thompson near Lytton. On this point is a low sand-hill which rests upon
a rocky substratum, and stands probably 100 feet above the rivers. It is about 150 yards
long and 50 or 60 yards in width, and has been employed throughout its extent for purposes of burial. Near the sand-hill there are traces of an old village site, but whether
this was occupied contemporaneously with the burials it is impossible to say. The strong
up-river winds have resulted in curtailing the limit of the sand-hill on its southern side and
extending it northward, and this process has probably been considerably accelerated during the past twenty or thirty years by the destruction of the natural vegetation by cattle
and horses. As a result of this, trough-like hollows are being worn out and hillocks of
blown sand formed in new places, and much of the old burying ground has thus now
been completely gutted. The sand-hill has evidently been used for purposes of burial
for a considerable period, the interments having the greatest appearance of age being those
at the southern end, while those at the opposite extremity have a comparatively modern
In l&W, when I first visited this place, large numbers of bones and of implements,
etc., were lying about, and the collections then made, including seven moderately perfect
skulls, are now in the museum of the G-eological Survey. It was estimated that at least
several hundred persons must have been buried here.    It seemed, from what could then
be seen, that many or most of the bodies had been buried in the usual upright sitting
posture, though others appeared certainly to have been bent into a sitting posture and
then laid on the side, and a few cases seemed to shew that the bones had been laid closely
together after the disappearance of the softer parts of the body. The implements and
objects found had evidently been placed immediately about the body in each case, and in
some instances numbers of flakes, scrapers, etc., were lying together in such a manner as
to show that they had been contained in a single package. Yellow and red ochre was
common in some of the graves, and in one instance the head had been thickly covered
with red ochre, which still adhered to the skull. The best and most shapely implements
found were those associated with bodies buried near the crest of the hill, and, generally
speaking, the older occupants were better provided in this respect than the most recent.
It seemed obvious in all cases, however, that the objects accorded to the dead were rather
intended to represent certain forms of property than to be of actual utility. Thus may
be explained the large proportion of flakes of arrow-stone to the number of arrows, and
the fact that many of the latter were crooked, or from their size and slender form more
ornamental than useful; also the occurrence of prettily coloured pebbles, crystals of quartz
and calcite and pieces of mica. Small rod-like pieces of black slate, not unlike though
somewhat thicker than ordinary slate-pencils, were moderately common.
Copper, in the form of small beaten sheets or plates, evidently used for purposes of
ornament, was the only metal certainly found in association with the interments, though
a drop-shaped piece of lead may have been so associated. No iron implements were
found. A small blue glass bead seemed to belong to one of the later graves. There was
thus little or no evidence of traffic with the whites at the time of the burials, and admitting that the objects above mentioned had been obtained in this way, it was conjectured
that the place had been abandoned as a burying ground shortly after the whites first
reached the West Coast, and that the older graves considerably antedated this period.
The Indians now resident at Lytton state that they have no knowledge of the people who
were buried at this place. It is, of course, impossible to affirm definitely that the people
buried here were the ancestors of those now living in the same region, as most at least of
the burials belong to a time which is practically prehistoric. It is highly probable,
however, that these interments are those of the N-tla-ka-pe-mooh of the last century.
Various small animals appear to have been buried with some of the bodies, and
amongst these the bones of a beaver and the jaw of some animal like a martin were distinguishable. These, with the occurrence of teeth of bears, perforated for suspension, and
the nature of the weapons, would appear to indicate that the people were rather hunters
than fishermen, though the presence of numerous adzes seems to suggest canoe-making
as an art practised. Shells of dentalium and perforated scollop shells (Pecten caurinus)
show that trade was carried on with the coast.
Of objects found in these graves besides those above referred to, the following may
be mentioned:—Adzes made of wapiti antler, precisely similar to those found in shell
heaps on Vancouver Island; jade adzes and chips and selvage pieces of jade cut from
adzes during their manufacture; antler points and pointed bone awls or bodkins; stone
skin-scrapers; borers of chert or arrow-stone, and notched edges of the same, probably for
scraping and shaping thongs; pestle-shaped hammers and one oval hammer of granite,
well shaped and with a deep median groove for attachment; straight pipes made of steat-
ite, shaped much like an ordinary cigar-holder and marked with patterns in incised lines.
Mr. J. W. Mackay has since also obtained from the same place a small pipe which differs
in shape from any heretofore seen by me in British Columbia. Of this, though not as
that of a characteristic form of pipe, a figure is given.   (Fig. 3.)
Fig. 3.
Another burial place which may be noted, is situated on the terraces above the
bridge which crosses the Fraser near Lillooet. This, like the last, is being bared by the
blowing away of the sandy soil. No very modern interments appear to have been made
here, but some with which rusted fragments of iron, apparently knives, are associated, are
probably not more than fifty years old. Numerous roughly made stone arrow-heads,
together with many flakes and chips, again occur here, in association with the bones.
Part of a straight steatite pipe, like those from the Lytton graves, was also found. With
other bodies considerable quantities of dentalium shells had been buried, probably in the
form of some ornaments the stringing thongs of which had disappeared. One skeleton
was accompanied by several hundred neatly made flat bone beads, somewhat irregular in
size and shape, and showing evidence of having been ground into form, apparently on
some rough stone. Bone awls or borers of various sizes were abundant. Two pieces of
fine-grained argentiferous galena were also found. These, if placed together by their flat
edges, form a pear-shaped thick disc, with rounded outer edges. Each part is bored for
suspension or attachment. Some at least of the bodies had been surrounded with bark,
or the graves may have been lined with bark before the bodies were placed in them.
Charcoal and ashes were in such association with the remains as to show that the bodies
had either been partially burnt or that fires had been built above them after shallow
burial—probably the latter, as none of the bones or objects buried with the bodies were
themselves observed to show signs of fire.
Customs, Arts, etc.
I am unable to give any detailed account of the burial customs of the Shuswap
people, but the following notes bearing on these were made in September, 18*77, when I
was camped near the mouth of the Coldwater, in the Nicola valley. A considerable
gathering of Indians from different parts of the country was then occurring at this place.
Two separate camps were formed, and when all had collected a sort of ceremonial reburial
of the dead was to occur. The preliminary ceremonies in progress appeared to consist of
dances, the women, dressed in their best, dancing, while the men sang, and men dancing
in imitation of animals, such as the rabbit and the coyote. Singing and drumming accompanied all the dances, and I was informed that there was eventually to be a " potlatch "
or distribution.of property, but was unable to ascertain the precise nature or order of the
proceedings. One man was seen to arrive with the bones of a brother wrapped in a cloth
and tied behind his saddle. The remains had in this case been brought from Vermilion
Forks, on the Similkameen, where the man died about a year before, and were thus being
returned to his own country, where the feast was in progress.
The Tshilkotin Indians, the nearest Tinneh tribe to the northward of the Shuswaps,
are said to have frequently, though not invariably, burnt the bodies of the dead on a pile
of logs, and when death occurred far from the home of the individual the ashes were
carefully collected and carried back for ultimate interment.
The dead were never under any circumstances burnt by the Shoo-wha'-pa-mooh, with
whom bodies were buried in a sitting posture, wrapped in deer skins. The notes already
given respecting the graves near Lillooet, go to show that if bodies were not burnt by the
Sta'-tlum-ooh, the building of a fire on the grave was at least occasionally a portion of the
mortuary rite.
The following notes respecting other customs of the Shuswaps are very incomplete,
but already most of the usages referred to have either disappeared or have become much
Mr. J. W. Mackay informs me that he has discovered that, in primitive times, in
the case of a man dying and leaving behind him a widow or widows, his brother next in
seniority took the widow to wife. The right of a man to the widow of his deceased
brother was considered as incontestable as that to his own wife or wives, and the women
had equally a claim to receive from him the duty of a husband, which if not accorded
rendered the man despicable in the eyes of his tribe, and absolved the widow or widows
from their duty to him.
The proper name of a man is changed from time to time during his life, the new
name assumed being that of some dead kinsman. No strict rule obtains now as to the
name taken, whatever may have been the usage formerly. Thus a man may at will adopt
the name of a dead elder brother, or that of his father if dead. No ceremonial feast
occurs on this occasion, but merely a gathering of the people at the instance of the chief,
when the new name is announced.
Young men on reaching manhood were accustomed to separate themselves and go
away alone into some solitary part of the country, where they would sometimes remain
for three or four months. They might hunt or trap, but must avoid contact with other
people and keep away from habitations. Occasionally a young man thus engaged would
clear a course in the woods or arrange bars for running or for jumping, and thus endeavour
to increase his strength and endurance. They also meditated and dreamed dreams till each
discovered his particular guardian spirit.
Young women, at the time of reaching maturity, and thereafter at recurrent periods,
are accustomed to wander forth alone after dark, for considerable distances, breaking
small branches from the trees as they go and scattering them about or suspending them
upon the limbs of other trees. Young fir-trees a few feet in height are thus often split
and torn apart for several feet, or the branches or growing tops tied in knots. This custom still prevails and the tokens of it may often be observed near Indian camps. No
explanation of its meaning can be offered.
I find, as the result of special enquiry on the subject, that all the Shuswaps formerly
had hereditary hunting grounds, each family having its own peculiar hunting place or
places. This custom is still preserved among the Indians of the Nicola region, and
formerly obtained among the Kamloops people also, though it is there now practically
An Indian who invites another to go hunting with him, gives to his friend the first
deer, if several are killed. If but one is killed it is divided, but the skin belongs to the
friend in any case. If a man is hunting beyond the border of the recognized territory of
his people, and one of the men holding claims to the region upon which he has thus trespassed hears him shoot, the owner of the locality heads for the place, and on arriving
there expects to be feasted on the game obtained by the hunter.
Various more or less obvious devices are resorted to for the purpose of conveying
information by signs. A rag of clothing, particularly a small piece or pieces of coloured
or other easily recognizable material from a woman's dress, left in a forked twig, indicates
that a person or party of persons has passed. If the stick stands upright, it means that
the hour was noon, if inclined it may either point to the direction of the sun at the time
or show the direction in which the person or party went. If it is desired to show both, a
larger stick points to the position of the sun, a smaller to that of the route followed. If
those for whose information the signs are left are likely to arrive after an interval of several days, a handful of fresh grass or a leafy branch may be left, from the condition of
which an estimate of the time which has elapsed can be formed. Such signs are usually
placed near the site of the camp-fire. Simple devices of this kind are, of coarse, by no
means peculiar to the Shuswaps.
I am unable to confirm Dr. Boas' statements respecting the use of a sign language.
(Op. supra cit. p. 8t.) Signs are employed as an adjunct to speech, but, so far as I have
observed, not more commonly or systematically than is usual with any other Indians.
The I potlatch " or donation feast, which is everywhere among the tribes of the littoral of British Columbia most important, does not seem to have occupied a prominent
place among the customs of the Shuswaps. Traces of it are nevertheless found in connection with feasts for the dead, marriage feasts, etc.
Very considerable changes have occurred among the Shuswaps since the introduction
of the horse among them. This, according to notes given on a later page, appears to hav^e
happened very early in the present century. The horse has now become the most valued
property of the natives, and the possession of many and good horses the most important
element of wealth and social prominence. Though the knowledge of horses is thus comparatively recent, it is often only after consideration and reflection that the present
Indians will admit that at a former time they were without horses.
In addition to the ordinary and always rough dug-out canoe, made from the cotton-
wood, and employed occasionally on certain lakes or for the crossing of rivers, the Shuswaps in the eastern part of their territory in British Columbia, made small and shapely
canoes from the bark of the western white pine (Pinus monticola). These may still occasionally be seen on Shuswap Lake and in the vicinity of the Columbia. The inner side of
the bark, stripped from the tree in one piece, becomes the outer side of the canoe, which is
fashioned with two sharp projecting spur-like ends, strengthened by wooden ribs and
thwarts internally; the whole is lashed and sewn With roots, and knot-holes and fis-
sures are stopped with resin.    The canoes thus made are very swift, and for their size,
when properly ballasted, remarkably seaworthy.   (Fig. 4.)
Fig. 4.
The salmon, in its various species, is one of the principal sources of food supply for
all the tribes living along the Fraser and Thompson and their tributaries. Dried salmon
forms a considerable part of the provision made for winter, and before attempts at agriculture were begun constituted the sole winter staple. The right to occupy certain
salmon-fishing places, with the annual visit to these of the more remote families and the
congregation of large numbers of Indians at specially favourable places, largely influenced
the life and customs of the Shuswaps. In the same way, the most important news which
could be conveyed from place to place, if not that of some warlike incursion, was that of
the arrival of the salmon or the success or otherwise of the fishery.
Besides the salmon ascending from the sea, a small land-locked salmon (Oncorhynchus
nerka var. Kennerlyi), common in the large lakes, is extensively taken in traps and weirs,
when ascending streams to spawn, in September. The lake-trout and brook-trout are
also made the objects of special fisheries in certain localities, and the white-fish is taken in
some lakes in which it abounds. Many methods of catching the salmon and other kinds
of fish are practised.
On the large and rapid rivers, including all that part of the Fraser which runs
through the country of the Shuswaps, with much of the Thompson, the salmon is usually
taken in a bag-net fixed to the end of a long pole.    (Fig. 5.)   This is manipulated by a
Fig. 5.
man who stands on a projecting stage above some favourable eddy or other suitable and
always well known spot, which is thus occupied every year at the appropriate season.
This is the same mode of fishing which is practised by the Indians who occupy the banks
of the Fraser below the Shuswap territory.    In tranquil reaches of the South Thompson
and in some other places, such as the entrances to various lakes, salmon and other fish are
speared by torchlight, the usual three-pointed and barbed fish-spear being employed,
On the smaller rivers and streams, weirs and traps of various kinds are in use. One
of the common forms, named Uil-miri by the Shoo-wha'-pa-mooh, is illustrated in the
accompanying sketch, (Fig. 6) which is from a photograph taken on the Nicola River in
1889. It is, of course, essential that a weir of this kind should run completely across the
river. In attempting to leap over the obstruction the salmon fall into the basket-like
arrangement on the upper side. The framework of the structure is lashed together with
bark, and the weir itself is formed of willow or other suitable sticks.
Fig. 6.
Another form of trap, noted on the Barriere River, consists of two weirs or fences,
each of which stretched completely across the stream. Both fences in this case sloped
back up stream. The lower one was formed of upright parallel sticks, duly supported,
and was provided with inlets below, consisting of converging sticks, which enabled the
salmon going up stream to push through, but prevented their return. The upper fence
or weir consisted of horizontal poles and withes closely wattled in and supported by
stakes. Between the two weirs the salmon remained till from time to time removed by
the owner with a fish-spear of the usual type.    (Fig. T.)
Fig. 7.
For catching trout in smaller streams, the Shuswaps also employ a cylindrical fish-
trap composed of split pine sticks (P. Murrayanu) lashed together, and having an entrance
at one end formed of convergent pointed sticks. One or more of these are fixed in a suitably constructed weir. This trap is identical with that employed by the Tinneh to the
north. It is named Pip'-uh by the Shoo-wha'-pa-mooh, and is generally employed in
catching trout which are running up to spawn.
Another simple but effective trap, used for fish when descending the small streams,
or running out of the smaller lakes, is shewn by the annexed diagram. (Fig. 8 ) The two
trough-shaped parts of which this consists are formed of willow sticks tied to bent cross-
pieces of the same or other suitable wood. The convergent down-stream end of the lower
trough, is simply arranged by tying together the leafy extremities of the branches of
which it is composed. The upper entrance to the trap is partly concealed by overhanging
leafy boughs. The owner sits at no great distance, so that the fish may be removed
whenever they enter the lower trough and before they have time to escape by leaping
or otherwise.   The Shoo-wha'-pa-mooh name of this trap is mooh'.   (Fig. 8.)
Fig. 8.
The Thompson Indians say that fire was originally obtained by them by friction, a
wooden drill being turned between the palms of the hands for this purpose. The point
of the drill was pressed against a second piece of wood, the dry root of the poplar being
used for this purpose. When it was desired to carry fire for some distance, dry cedar bark
was made up into rolls (described as being four or five feet long), which gradually
smouldered away, lasting for a long time. Where cedar-trees did not grow near the villages the bark was sought for in the neighbouring mountains.
Bows were formerly made chiefly of the wood of the juniper (Juniperus occidentalis),
named poontlp. They were also sometimes made of yew (Taxus brevifolia), named skin'-ik,
though this tree is scarcely to be found in the Shuswap country. It is reported, however,
to grow far up the North Thompson valley. The bow was often covered on its outer surface with the skin of a rattle-snake, which was glued on in the same manner which was
customary among some tribes of the G-reat Plains. Arrows were made of the wood of the
service-berry. Arrow-heads and spear-heads were made of various kinds of stone, always
chipped. The materials are mentioned later in connection with the tradition of the
origin of the arrow-stone proper.
There are within the country of the Shuswaps three notable and well-known localities from which red ochre for paint was derived. One of these, named Skwo'-kil-ow, is
situated on the east side of Adams Lake, five miles from the lower end of the lake.
Another, named Tsul'-a-men, or " red paint," is the remarkable red bluff from which the
Vermilion Forks of the Similkameen River is named, the name of the north branch, Tula-
meen, representing the Indian word just quoted. This bluff is about three miles above the
Forks.1 The third locality is on the Bonaparte, not far above the mouth of Hat Creek.
This has not been precisely identified nor was its name ascertained.
For description see ' Report of Progress Geol. Surv. Can. 1877-78,' p. 130 b.
Sec. II, 1891.   3.
The paint-producing locality on Adams Lake is still widely known among the Indians,
and is said to have been resorted to from time immemorial. There is here near the beach
a shallow cave, which has evidently been somewhat enlarged if not altogether formed by
digging for ochre. It is hollowed along the strike of some soft pyritous schists, kept damp
by springs, and in which the decomposition of the pyrites produces an abundance of yellow ochre. This is collected and burnt, when it assumes a bright red colour. A black
shining mineral was also used in old times to paint the face. This was either micaceous
iron or graphite, probably the former. My informant did not know whence it was
obtained, but several places from which either mineral could be got are now known.
In former times the bark of Pinus ponderosa was much in repute as fuel when the
Indians were upon warlike expeditions. A fire made of this bark goes out quickly and
does not afterwards smoulder, and it is difficult to tell by an inspection of the embers
how long ago the fire was made.
Baskets are made of the tough roots of the spruce cut into strips, with which the
split stems of grass are worked in by way of ornament. The latter are often dyed with
black or red colours. The commonest form is that shown in figure 9. It is usually carried
upon the back, by women, and is employed for many purposes.
Fig. 9.
In a paper on the occurrence of jade or nephrite in British Columbia and its employment by the natives,11 have referred to the fact that implements, chiefly adzes, of this
material are not only abundant on the littoral of the province, but are also found in connection with Indian graves, etc., along the lower portions of the Fraser and Thompson
Rivers within the territory of the inland Salish people. It was also noted that small
partly worked boulders of jade had been found on the Fraser and Thompson At a later
date I was enabled to announce the discovery of rolled pieces of jade in the gravels of
the Lewes, a tributary of the Yukon River,2 and in 1888 similar unworked fragments and
rounded boulders of jade were found by Dr. B. J. Harrington and myself, about the site of
the old Indian village at Lytton which is alluded to on a former page. A description of
these, with analyses, has been given by Dr. Harrington.3 It may now be considered as
certain, that the jade employed by the natives in the southern part of the interior of British
1 ' Canadian Record of Science,' 1887.
2 'Annual Report Geol. Surv. Can. 1887-88,' p. 38 b.
8 > Trans. Royal Soc. Can./ vol. viii, Sect. Ill, p. 61.
Columbia, was obtained by them in the form of rounded masses from the gravel banks
and bars of the Fraser and Thompson. Thence it was doubtless carried in trade as far at
least as the territory of the Shuswap people extended, though always most abundant in
the vicinity of the rivers of its origin. G-ood specimens of jade adzes have been found
at Little Shuswap Lake and at Kamloops.
In the paper above referred to, it was stated that the jade had been cut into flat pieces
and these subsequently trimmed by sawing with a thong or thin piece of wood in conjunction with sharp sand. Subsequent and more extended enquiry, however, shows that
the Indians employed for this purpose crystals of quartz, or fragments of such crystals.
This depends on the statements of living Indians, but is borne out by the occurrence of
such crystals with worn edges in association with cut fragments of jade at Lytton.
The pestle-shaped hammer so common along the coast, is found also all along the Fraser
and Thompson rivers within the country of the Shuswaps. A specimen of the same
form has been presented to the museum of the G-eological Survey by Mr. D. A. Stewart,
C.E., which was obtained on that part of the Kootanie River between the lake of the same
name and 1 he Columbia. This carries the pestle-shaped hammer to the extreme eastern
limit of the Shuswap people.
I am not aware that any specimens of the large stone mortars of the coast, have ever
been in the possession of the Shuswaps or have been found in their country.
The measures of length employed by the Shuswap Indians are as follows:—
Ko-poop, the fathom.    Extremities of the arms extended.
Kit-sl-talis, the half fathom.    Extremity of the arm to the breast.
Ma'-sukst, four fingers, i.e., the width across the knuckles when the hand grasps a
stick or other similar object.
En-ko-teh-skwaht, the foot-length.    Measured on the ground by placing the heel of one
foot to the toe of the other.
Skw-tows', the half foot.    Measured with closed hand, thumb extended, from the
knuckle of the fourth finger to the extremity of the thumb.
 ,- the span.    Measured with the hand pressed out, front downward, from the
end of the long finger to that of the thumb.    The hand is so placed that the
thumb and long finger are nearly in line.
Plants used as Food or for Other Purposes.
Several native roots still constitute notable items in the food of the Shuswaps, though
their importance in this respect has much decreased since flour and other farinaceous
foods have become common, and particularly since the cultivation of the potato has
become customary among the Indians. Roots are always dug and cooked or cured by the
women. In digging the roots a pointed stick about four feet in length, with a crutch-
shaped handle, is used.
The native root chiefly sought for and most largely employed is that of the lily (L.
Columbianum), named tdh-tshin in both Shoo-wha'-pa-mooh and N-tla-ka-pe-mooh. This
often weighs several ounces, and the places in which it abounds are well known and
regularly visited in the early summer or autumn. These localities are generally situated
at some height above the principal valleys, on the plateaux or mountains, where camps are
formed during the season of harvest. One of the most noted localities for this and other
roots is that named Botanie, and this is the special resort of the N-tla-ka-pe-mooh Indians.
This root, like most of the others, is cooked by baking in the ground.
The root of the Balsamorhiza (B. sagittata) is also eaten, being previously roasted or
baked in the ground for a period of two or three days. Signs of the old roasting-places
are common on hillsides where the plant abounds. The root itself is rather woody, but
even when fresh has a not unpleasant liquorice-like taste. It is named tsdt-tsilk' by the
Shoo-wha-pa-mooh, sin-ll-kun by the N-tla-ka-pe-mooh.
The cinquefoil {Potentilla anserina) affords an edible root, of which large quantities
are gathered in some places, in the autumn. Put-hll-i-hll, the name of Three-Lake valley,
is also that of this plant.
Early in July the wild onion (Allium cernuum), nearly ready to flower, is in condition
to be gathered, and some families, camping in favourable places for the purpose, engage
in this harvest. The women search the open woods and hillsides with crutch-like root-
digging sticks in hand, and as each bunch of roots is extracted deftly toss it over the
shoulder into a basket carried on the back. Returning to camp, the collections of the day
are roasted or steamed in the usual way. They are next dried, and finally made up very
neatly into bundles or chaplets and stored for future use. Thus treated the roots are
nearly black, and are said to be sweet-tasted.
The root of Peucedanum eurycarpum and probably those of other species of the same
genus are articles of food, while Mr. J. M. Macoun informs me that in June he found the
Indians digging the roots of Hydrophyllum capitatum at Botanie for the same purpose.
Another root eaten by the Shuswaps is that of the little Claytonia or spring beauty
(C. sessilifolia), which grows high on the mountains, and sprouts there along the retreating edge of the snow. The root of the dog-tooth violet (Erythronium giganteum), which
grows with the last mentioned, is also eaten.
In some places on that part of the Columbia which is included in the territory of the
Shuswaps, the camass (Camassia esculenta) is abundant, and forms an important article of
The following excellent description of the mode of cooking the camass in this district is given by Mr. J. M. Macoun. It will serve equally to explain the process of cooking
roots of other kinds :—
I The bulbs were collected by the Indians before the seed was fully matured, at which
time they consider them at their best. The party I speak of had between twenty and
twenty-five bushels of them at the lowest estimate. For two or three days before cooking
was begun, the women of the party were engaged in cutting and carrying to camp
branches of the alder and maple (Alnus rubra and Acer glabrum). Several bundles of the
broad leaves of Lysichitun Kamtschatcense (skunk-cabbage), and two or three of Alectoria
jubata), the black hair-like lichen that grows in profusion on Larix occidentalis, had been
brought with them.
I Everything being ready, the men of the party cut down a huge pine for no other
object, apparently, than to obtain its smaller branches, as no other portion of it was used.
A hole about ten feet square and two deep was then dug in a gravelly bank near the lake
shore, which was filled with broken pine branches. Upon these were piled several cords
of dry cedar and pine, and this was covered over with small boulders. The pile was then
lighted in several places, and left for some hours to take care of itself. When the Indians
returned to it the stones lay glowing among a mass of embers. The few unburnt pieces
of wood which remained near the edges were raked away, and the women with wooden
spades banked up the sides of the pile with sand, throwing enough of it over the stones
to fill up every little crevice through which a tongue of flame might be thrust up from
the coals that still burned beneath the stones. Then the whole was covered with the
maple and alder boughs to the depth of a foot or more after they had been well trampled
down. Over these were placed the wide leaves of the skunk-cabbage until every cranny
was closed. Sheets of tamarac-bark were then spread over the steaming green mass, and
upon these the bulbs were placed. About half of them were in bark baskets closed at
the mouth, and each holding about a bushel and a half. These were carried to the centre
of the pile. The lichen of which I have spoken was then laid over the unoccupied bark,
having been well washed first, and over it were strewn the bulbs that remained. The
whole was then covered with boughs and leaves as before and roofed with sheets of bark.
Upon this three or four inches of sand was thrown, and over all was heaped the material
for another fire, larger even than the first one. When this was lighted the sun was just
setting, and it continued to burn all night.
" The next morning our camp was moved away, and I was unable to see the results
of the day's labour. I was told, however, by one of the Indians who could speak a little
English, that their oven would be allowed a day in which to cool, and that when opened
the bulbs in the baskets would have ' dissolved to flour,' from which bread could be
made, while those mixed with the lichen would have united with it to form a solid substance resembling black plug tobacco in colour and consistency, which could be broken
up and kept sweet for a long time."1
The picking of each kind of berry is regulated by custom. For each recognized
berrying ground some experienced old woman takes charge and watches the ripening of
the fruit. Finally, when it is full time, word is sent to the other neighbouring Indians
and the harvest begins. The picking and drying of berries is, of course, women's work.
The service-berry (Amelanchier alnifolia) is the most important. It is often dried after
having been partly cooked, and in the form of black cakes is thus kept for winter use.
The mode of drying these berries is similar to that in use by the Tinneh tribes to the
north. A large species of blueberry (Vaccinium myrtilloides), named wl-nas. in Shoo-wha-
pa-mooh, tsoo-tsd-lup in N-tla-ka-pe-mooh, is also important. This generally grows pretty
high on the mountains, and to the well-known spots where it abounds excursions are
annually made at the appropriate season. The very small low-growing blueberry (V.
myrtillus), which abounds in some wooded places in the autumn, is also gathered in large
quantities. For collecting these berries a wooden scoop with a comb-like edge is employed,
the excessive labour otherwise necessary being thus obviated.
The wild currant (Ribes cereum), which grows well only on the dry slopes of the
lower and hotter valleys, is also esteemed, and the berry of Shepherdia Canadensis, which is
1 ' Garden and Forest,' July 16, 1890.
common only in high cool woods, is largely used, notwithstanding its bitter taste. No
edible berry is, in fact, altogether ignored, and few edible substances of any kind, though,
curiously enough, none of the Indians ever heard of anyone eating the mushroom, which
is often abundant.
Of the black or bull pine (P. Murrayana), the cambium layer is eaten when it is soft
and gelatinous, at the time the leaves are still growing. The thin bark is peeled off and
the cambium layer scraped from the surface of the wood. It is sometimes dried and
kept, the whole process being precisely the same with that practised by the Tinneh.
In the Shoo-wha'-pa-mooh dialect this tree is named ko-kwil-Tit', the cambium layer ste-o-
kwulk'. The cambium of Abies subalpina, ml-enlp', and that of the cottonwood (Populus
trichocarpa) is also sometimes eaten.
The sappy and still nearly white parts of the large leaf-stalks and stems of the Her-
acleum lanalum are eaten in the spring, before the plant acquires the acrid taste which it
has at maturity. This, again, is a favourite article of diet with the Tinneh, and when
taken at the right stage is not much inferior to celery. This plant is named ~B.O~3.-tulp by
the Shoo-wha'-pa-mooh, hd-ko by the N-tla-ka-pe-mooh.
When the cones of P'mus albicaulis are fully formed, toward the end of summer, but
before the scales expand and allow the nutlets to fall, the Indian women resort to the
mountains where these trees abound at heights between 5,000 and 6,000 feet, often camping for days there, and gathering and eating the nutlets. The trees are generally not
large, and those which have a load of cones are usually cut down in order to obtain the
cones. The cones may be simply roasted in the fire, when the scales are easily broken off
like those of an artichoke, and the nutlets may be eaten from the central core in the same
manner in which green corn is eaten. They have a not unpleasant taste, though with a
distinct suspicion of turpentine, and are nearly the size of small garden peas. When
the cones have been roasted the nutlets are also sometimes beaten out and dried, and
thereafter bruised together with berries and eaten. The tree is named is-tshl-kdlp, the
cones is-tshl-ka-km', and the nutlets is-tshl'-'kuh, in the Shoo-wha-pa-mooh language.
Nutlets from the cones of the yellow pine (Pinus ponderosa) and the Douglas fir (Pseu-
dotsuga Douglasii)—Ska-dtp in both Shoo-wha'-pa-mooh and N-tla-ka-pe-mooh—though
much smaller, are also eaten. In this instance the women take advantage of the squirrels
and mice as collectors and rob the stores laid away in hollow logs or stumps by these
The pith or inner part of the stalk of the Epilobium (E. spicatum) is eaten while still
young and sappy. This is also commonly employed as an auxiliary article of diet by the
Tinneh tribes in Northern British Columbia.. It is easily obtained free from the woody
part of the stalk by running the back of the thumb-nail along the broken stalk. The
Shoo-wha'-pa-mooh name of this plant is tse-ha-nulp , the N-tla-ka-pe-mooh isB.d-kdt.
The black hair-like lichen (Afectoria jubata), which grows abundantly on the higher
plateaux and mountains upon trees in thick woods, is eaten by the Shuswap people as by
the Tinneh to the north. It is called wl-luh by the Shoo-wha'-pa-mooh, and wl-uh by the *
N-tla-ka-pe-mooh. Having been collected by the women, it is first freed from twigs and
bark and washed in water. Then, surrounded by leaves, etc., it is placed in a hole in the
ground and a fire is made above it.    The roasting continues for a night, after which it
comes out as a flat black mass, which is eaten and said to taste very sweet. The lichen
may be gathered at any season.
The yellow lichen (Evernia vulpina), generally found in abundance on the trees at
elevations exceeding 3,000 feet above the sea in the southern interior of British Columbia,
was formerly used as a dye-stuff for hair, cloth, etc. It was boiled in water to extract the
colouring matter, and is named ta-kwul-a-muk'-oo by the Shoo-wha'-pa-mooh.
A black dye is said to be obtained from the root of a fern which grows in damp
places (either Asplenium felixfcemina or Aspidium munitum). Another black dye was produced by boiling together alder bark with roasted iron pyrites. A red dye is obtained
from the bark or twigs of the alder boiled in a wooden vessel or basket, also from the
stem of a plant which produces a yellow flower (species not recognized). Another red
dye consists of the juice of the seeding-head of Chmopodium capitatum.
The leaves of the syringa [Philadelphus Lewisii), which abounds in some parts of the
country of the Shuswaps, are said to have been formerly employed in lieu of soap in
washing clothing.
The poisonous plant best known to the Shuswaps as such, is the white helebore
(Verairum viride), which grows abundantly only at a considerable height in the mountains.
A native substitute for tobacco was in early times, before the arrival of white traders,
collected in some parts of the Shuswap country and much prized. It is almost certain
that this was the Nicotiana attenuata, which is still found occasionally, and "appears to be
native. It is not supposed that this plant was at any time cultivated by these Indians.
I was informed that the Sho-wha'-pa-mooh name of this native tobacco (also now applied
to the imported tobacco) is simin-min-hooh'-a-looh. The N-tla-ka-pe-mooh name of the
native tobacco was variously given to me as skuk-wai'-dl-uh and skwa-yel'-ow.
The ordinary custom of mixing the leaves of the bear-berry (Arctostaphylos Uva-ursi) or
bark of the red osier dog-wood (Cornus stolonifera) with tobacco in smoking, is also practised by the Shushwaps.
The principal fibre plant employed in the construction of nets, cord, thread, etc., was
the large Asclepias (A. speciosa), named in N-tla-ka-pe-mooh spep'-sum, from which the
name of Spatsum Station on the railway is derived. The common nettle of the country
(JJrtica Lyallii) was also doubtless used for similar purposes, as mentioned by Dr. Boas.
Historical Notes.
Respecting the origin of the Shuswap people or the quarter whence they arrived to
take possession of what is now their territory, I am unable to offer anything of definite
value. The circumstance that the chief work of their principal mythological hero,
Skil-dp', consisted in descending the Fraser to open a way for the salmon, may be supposed to embody the history of some early conflict with the people living along that river
for the possession of its valuable fisheries. This may be accounted a legitimate conjecture,
but is certainly at present nothing more.
It may further be noted, however, that the name given to the place where the Indian
reservation on the Thompson now is (forty-two miles up that stream), is susceptible of a
concordant explanation.   This name is Tsuk-tsuk-kwdlik', said to mean the " place of red
trees," and refers to the red colour of the bark of Pinus ponderosa. As this locality is about
the northern limit of the tree, which is abundant southward, it appears to be possible
that the place was originally reached and named by people coming from the north, and
therefore unfamiliar with the striking appearance of the pine in question.
As the study and comparison of what is known or may yet be learnt of the Shuswaps
may result in some more definite views on the subject of their origin, these remarks are,
however, merely thrown out as suggestions for enquiry and under all reserve.
Mr. J. W. Mackay, from different sources, has put together the following notes bearing on the early history of the Indians now inhabiting the Similkameen country. In
quoting these notes, which Mr. Mackay has kindly communicated to me, I retain his
orthography of the native names :—
A long time before the white man first came to the country, a company of warriors
from the neighbourhood of the Chilcotin River made their appearance in the Bonaparte
valley, apparently with the object of attacking the Indians who were there and of making
slaves of such as they could take alive.   This happened during the salmon-fishing season.
At that time it was customary for the Shuswaps who lived on the banks of the
Thompson between Kamloops and the mouth of the Bonaparte and in the Bonaparte valley, to take their winter stock of salmon from the Fraser River at the western base of the
Pavilion Mountain.
The warriors above mentioned had evidently calculated that most of the Shuswaps
would be absent from their winter quarters on the Bonaparte and Thompson valleys, and
would be encamped on the Fraser River during the salmon season, and that therefore
they might make an easy prey of the few Indians who might be remaining in these valleys. It happened that during the previous winter provisions had been more than ordinarily scarce, in consequence of which all the Shuswaps belonging to these localities had
removed to their salmon fisheries on the Fraser.
The strangers from Chilcotin were evidently ignorant of the geography of the country
into which they had penetrated, and as they saw no Shuswaps where they had expected
to find them, they continued their advance southward down the Bonaparte and Thompson
valleys till they reached a position opposite the mouth of the Nicola River. At this place
they were discovered by some scouts belonging to the N-tla-ka-pe-mooh tribe, who immediately descended to Nicoamen and Tl-kam-cheen (Lytton), where most of the members of
this tribe were assembled for the salmon fishery. They gave the alarming information
that a hostile company was advancing down the Thompson.
A strong force of the N-tla-ka-pe-mooh immediately set out to intercept the strangers,
and having soon ascertained their position and probable strength, established themselves
both in front and behind them. The intruders, after they discovered that they were thus
menaced by a force stronger than their own, took advantage of the night to cross the
Thompson and proceeded to ascend the Nicola valley. The N-tla-ka-pe-mooh followed
and harassed them, continuing to do so till the strangers were driven into the Similkameen valley, where they took a firm stand, and by their prowess, obliged their pursuers to
desist from molesting them. The strangers were mostly young men, who had their wives
with them, but only a few children, for in these primitive days the women accompanied
their husbands to war and were valuable auxiliaries. The neighbouring N-tla-ka-pe-mooh
and Salish of the Okanagan soon discovered that the stranger women were larger and
better looking than their own, and treaties for peace and intermarriages were made. The
language of the strangers fell gradually into disuse, and only a few words of it are now
remembered by the oldest Indians of the Similkameen, the N-tla-ka-pe-mooh and
Okanagan dialects being now used by these people indiscriminately. These strangers,
who are said to have come from the Chilcotin country, are thus the earliest inhabitants
of the Similkameen valley of whom any account has been obtained.
The traditions and legends of the British Columbia Indians would make it appear
that before the advent of the whites the different tribes of Indians were constantly at war
and endeavouring to enslave the weaker bands. The more northern races were the most
warlike and were continually dispossessing the less warlike southern tribes of their
fisheries and hunting grounds. It thus appears possible that the intruders may really
have been a Tinneh tribe which was driven south before the advance of the Tinneh now
inhabiting the Chilcotin region.
Mr. Mackay then gives the following list of words, collected a few at a time from
different sources, as representing all that can now be got of those of the old primitive
language of these immigrants. It will be observed that a considerable proportion of
the whole are the same with those obtained by myself from Joyaska, on the Nicola, so
much so that possibly some of these words were actually obtained by Mr. Mackay from
this old man. The story above narrated evidently applies equally to the older Indians of
both the Nicola and Similkameen. The matter being one of considerable interest, Mr.
Mackay's complete list is here given in his own orthography :—
Si-si-aney, ram of the mountain sheep
or bighorn.
T-pae or Ti-pae, ewe of the mountain
sheep or bighorn.
Ti-li-tsa-in, give me the spoon, or bring
me the spoon.
Tin-ih, bear-berry (Arctostaphylos).
Ska-kihih-kane, rush mat.
T-haeh, man.
1. Sa-pe.
2. Tun-ih.
3. Tlohl.
4. Na-hla-li-a.
5. E-na-hle.
Tsik-hi, woman.
Sass, bear.
Sa-pie, trout.
Ta-ta-ney, knife.
Sa-te-tsa-e, spoon made of mountain
sheep horn.
Tlohst-ho, snake.
N-shote, give it to me.
6. Hite-na-ke.
f. Ne-shote.
8. K-pae.
9. Sas.
An Indian named Joyaska, who lives in the Nicola valley, below the lake, and who
is probably over sixty years old, informed me (in 1888) that he, with seven other men and
some women and children belonging to them, were now the only remaining true natives
of the Nicola region. Most of the Indians now living in this region are, according to
him, comparatively new comers from the Similkameen and Thompson River countries,
who have settled in Nicola because of its good grazing lands and otherwise favourable
situation.   He further states that his people spoke a language different from that now
Sec. n, 1891.   4.
spoken in the country. His father spoke this language, but as he was but a little boy
when his father died, he remembered only a few words. He could not say whence his
people originally came, but after endeavouring to get him to think this out unsuccessfully,
I asked him if the old language was like that of the Tshilkotin (Tinneh) to'the north, and
he said it was the same. After much thought, he gave me the following words as belonging to the old language, and even of some of these he did not appear to be quite sure:—
Sus, grizzly bear.
Tse-a-hai', woman.
Nootl   or   tet-hutz,   man    (alternative
Klos-ho', rattlesnake.
Sis-yd-ne',   big   deer   of   old;   either
wapiti or caribou.
Tet-ta-d-ne, knife.
Ti-pl, mountain sheep.
Si-pai', lake trout.
Notl-ta-hat'-se, wild currant ?
Sit-e-tshi-i', spoon.
Pin-a-le-el-i-Uz', look out!  or take care.
Of these words, that for bear is identical with the Tshilkotin, and that for woman is
nearly identical with the word obtained by me with the same meaning from the Nakoon-
tloon sept of the same tribe.
The following interesting account of the first knowledge of the whites obtained by
the Northern Salish, and more particularly by the Shuswaps, is also due to Mr. J. W.
Mackay, who states that, in compiling it, he has endeavoured to bring together the different narratives of the event which he has heard. As in the previous case, I retain his
orthography unchanged:—
Pila-ka-mu-lah-uh was a Spokane chief connected, through his mother, with the Okanagans of Penticton (lower end of Okanagan Lake) and the Shuswaps proper of Spallum-
sheen (between the head of Okanagan Lake and G-reat Shuswap Lake). One of his wives,
the mother of N-kua-la, was a Similkameen woman of the Tinneh type, which is clearly
shown in the physique of her descendants to the. present day. In the father's time, the tribes
living west of the Rocky Mountains and near enough to the G-reat Plains to engage in the
hunting of the buffalo, were in the habit of crossing the mountains every summer for
this purpose. They banded together for mutual protection against the Blackfoot people
on these expeditions, the Spokane, Kulspelm and Kootanies generally forming a single
party, with which, however, the Nez Percees and Cour d'Alaines were sometimes united.
On one of their expeditions these Indians met a party of Canadian trappers or Coureurs
des bois at the eastern end of Hell's Grate Pass, near the site of the present town of
Helena (Montana). The western Indians fraternized with these men, who joined with
them in their hunt, and towards autumn, when the western Indians set out on their
return, they were accompanied by two of the white men named Finan Macdonald1 and
Lagac6. These two men were guests of the Colville chief, who took them to his winter
quarters at Kettle Falls, on the Columbia, at the north end of the Colville valley. Macdonald and Lagac6 espoused the two daughters of their host and afterwards had children
by them.
1 Macdonald is mentioned by Ross Cox as having been in the employment of the Northwest Company in charge
of a post among the Flatheads in 1812, so that the events here narrated must have occurred about the beginning
of the century.   See " The Columbia River," by Ross Cox, Vol. i, p. 172.
Late in the autumn Pila-ka-mu-la-uh went into winter quarters with his Similkameen wife at Penticton. He seems to have been a good raconteur, and from his vivid
descriptions of the white men, their sayings and doings, became a centre of attraction, and
was welcomed and feted wherever he went. The Shuswaps invited him to Spallum-
sheen, where it took him a month to narrate all he knew about the whites. He was next
invited to the Kuaut, Halkam and Halaut camps on Great Shuswap Lake, and, after spending a month at each of these places, he was further invited to Kamloops, where Tokane,
the chief, gave him a grand reception. As the spring was now advancing into summer,
and Pila-ka-mu-la-uh had not time to prepare for the summer buffalo hunt, he next
accepted Tokane's invitation to spend the summer season at the Shuswap fishery at the
foot of Pavilion Mountain, on the Fraser. He had there a new opportunity of relating
his wonderful stories about the whites.
At one of the feasts given on his behalf by his host, he met the Stlat-limuh (Lillooet)
chief of the Fountain band, who asked him to come to his camp at Fountain (Hah-ilp).
Many strangers from the Fraser below Lillooet and from the lakes behind Lillooet collected at this place to hear the tales he told of the extraordinary people he had seen; but
on one occasion, when he had nearly exhausted what he had to say, a chief from Seton
Lake arose and advised the people to pay no more attention to these stories. The chief
went on to declare that what they had heard must be false ; that there were no human
beings who had white skins, blue eyes, and light, short, curly hair, who covered themselves with woven material which kept them warm without encumbering their movements ; that there was no weapon with which birds could be killed in their flight; that
there were no shoes with which one could walk over cactus without being pricked, nor
any such thing as a metal tube by which animals could be killed at a distance equal to
the width of the Fraser; that no missile could be projected so fast that the eye could
not follow it, and that there was no weapon which made a noise like thunder and at the
same time produced a smoke like fire. He further denied that there was any animal on
which men could ride safely and be carried faster than the swiftest buffalo. He said, in
fine, that Pila-ka-mu-la-uh was a liar and should not be listened to by men and warriors.
This insult could only be avenged by the life of the offender, and Pila-ka-mu-la-uh,
enraged, reached for his bow and arrows; but his opponent was too quick for him, and
mortally wounded him with two arrows. His friends the Shuswaps bore him away to
their camp, where he died. Before his death he expressed a wish that his son, N-kua-
la, then a lad, should subsequently avenge his death, thus treacherously brought about.
At a later date the white traders established a post a Spokane, and formed outposts
therefrom in different directions. One of these, in charge of a Mr. Montigny, assisted by
a man named Pion, was placed on the peninsula between the two arms of Okanagan
Lake, near its head. Here Mr. Montigny made a very successful winter's trade, and left
with the returns in the spring, taking them to the coast. Before leaving he cached what
remained of his trading goods, and left the whole in charge of N-kua-la, who had now
grown to manhood and had become a chief of great importance among his people. On
Montigny's return in the following autumn he found the goods safe, and rewarded
N-kua-la for his fidelity by presenting him with ten guns, a suitable supply of ammunition, and some tobacco, pipes and vermilion.
During the winter N-kua-la trained the best men of his tribe in the use of the guns.
He had besides a horse which had been given to him by traders who had established
themselves at Walla-Walla. Thus provided, he met the Shuswap, Thompson and Similkameen tribes in council, and invited them to join him in an attack on the Stlat-lim-uh
(Lillooets) in revenge for his father's death. These tribes consenting to join him, they
together, about the middle of the salmon season, and while the Stlat-lim-uh were occupied
in fishing, fell upon them suddenly. Taken unawares, the Stlat-lim-uh were disconcerted by
the noise and deadly effect of the guns and the appearance of N-kua-la on horseback riding
from place to place and directing the attack. They fled, with little resistance, and over
three hundred of them were killed, while many women and children were taken prisoners.
On his return from this raid N-kua-la gave a great feast to his allies in the Nicola,
above the lake. To procure sufficient meat for this purpose, he drove a large herd of
wapiti (which were then abundant) into an enclosure or pound, where they were killed
with spears. The antlers of the animals killed at this time could, Mr. Mackay states, be
seen in two large, well-built heaps as late as the year 1863. He is also said to have driven
a herd of big-horn over a precipice near Stump Lake.
The assassination of Samuel Black, in charge of the Hudson's Bay Company's post at
Kamloops, by an Indian of that vicinity, was a much later event in the history of the
Shuswaps. This happened, according to Bancroft,1 in the winter of 1841-42. It is referred
to here in order to point to the circumstance that the occurrence has already become the
centre of mythical stories among the Shuswaps, a fact which throws some light on the
probable mode of origin of the various mythological and folk-lore stories of the people.
The Indian who killed Black is said to have been named Kwa'-mis-kum, and he is reported
to have escaped capture in various supernatural ways, till at length, being closely pursued, he drowned himself. Thus it is said that when he was camped near Tranquille
(Til-kwo-kwe'-ki-la) he was completely surrounded, but coming out from his tent, jumped
a prodigious distance over the heads of his pursuers, whose guns were unable to kill him.
The impression made by his feet where he alighted may still be seen, and so on.
The following myths are all those which I have been able to obtain in proximately
complete form. Several of them are already almost forgotten by the younger Indians, or,
if not forgotten, they cannot be induced to speak of them. The fundamental story of the
creation-hero in which the coyote figures is, of course, merely a variant of that common
among the Indians to the south of British Columbia, with some versions of which we are
already familiar. The most obvious points brought out in these stories of the Shuswaps
is the prominence of the number four and the constant recurrence of the idea of a metamorphosis of men and animals to rocks.
Like most or all of the Indian people, the Shuswaps have a culture or creation-hero
with supernatural attributes, but unlike TJs-tas of the Tinneh tribes, who had the likeness
of a man, the corresponding figure among the Shuswaps is a coyote or small wolf, named
Skil-dp'. This is a proper name and not the ordinary designation of the coyote, which in
this sense is called sin-a-hoo'-ha-loop.2
Bancroft's Works, vol. xxxii, p. 135.
? Both in the Shoo-wha'-pa-mooh dialect
In the remotest antiquity, the country was peopled by Indians, but they were poor,
because the salmon could not ascend the Fraser on account of a dam, which two old
hags or witches had made where Hell-G-ate Canon now .is. Skil-ap' told the people
that he would go down the river and break the dam, so that the salmon might come up.
He instructed them to watch for a great smoke which he would make to show them when
he had set out on his return. He then transformed himself into a smooth flat piece of
wood, well shaped, and floated down the river till he lodged against the dam at Hell-G-ate
Canon. Soon the women came to the dam to get salmon, and seeing the piece of wood
said, " We will make a plate of this." They took the wood and three times put salmon
upon it, but each time the fish disappeared, for Skil-ap' ate it. They then became suspicious
and threw the wood upon the fire, but no sooner had they' done so than it began to cry
like a child, and apparently turned into a man child, for they snatched it from the fire,
and having washed and dressed it, proceeded to care for it. By degrees the boy grew, and
the women always kept him tied up to prevent him from getting to the fire. But when
the women went away Skil-ap' used to feast on their salmon and other good things. At
length, when on one occasion the women were absent, he put a hard covering of some
kind on his head, so as to render himself invulnerable, and began to dig at and break
down the dam. When his object was only partly accomplished, however, the women
returned and assailed him with clubs, but were unable to hurt him. Thus he destroyed
the dam, and when he had done so the salmon began to go up, tumbling one over the
other, in great numbers. Then he followed the bank of the river, keeping abreast of the
vanguard of the salmon, and making a great smoke by setting fire to the woods as he
proceeded, so that the people knew that he was coming. Just below Savona (at the outlet of Kamloops Lake) he stopped to eat, and made there a dam or weir to catch some
salmon at a place where some high rocks may still be seen.
When Skil-ap' got as far up the Thompson as the mouth of the Clearwater, he found
the people making a salmon-dam, and told them he would complete it for them. There
to the present day are steep rocks on either side of the river, and above them is a large
pool or basin where he fished with his scoop-net, and which is a noted salmon fishing
place yet.    On the rocks may be seen the prints of his feet where he stood to fish.
Thus the salmon were enabled to ascend into all the rivers of the Shuswap country.
It appears that Skil-ap' is expected to return at some distant period when " the world
turns " and the good old days come back.
Skil-ap', it seems (of whose origin I was unable to learn anything definite,) had a
brother, the fox (Ho-dl-um), whom he killed in order to possess his wife. Having done
this he travelled off with the woman, singing 1 Cho-lo-se, cho-lo-se, I have killed my
brother and now I will kill all the people I meet." Soon he found some people and
killed them, taking two more women. With his three wives he still travelled on and on,
till at length the feet of the women became sore with walking. Then he rested two days,
but his two new wives were still unable to travel, so he killed them and went on his
way with the- woman he had taken from his brother; but at last even she became
footsore, and he killed her also. Still going on, but now alone, he came at length to a
place where some graves were, and saying to himself, " I will take one of these people
for a wife," he uncovered the body of a woman and lay down beside it to sleep. When
he awoke he went out hunting and killed a fawn, which he brought and threw down,
saying to the dead body, " Get up and cook, here is meat;" but there was no response,
and finding all his efforts to awake the dead useless, he struck the body, spoke contemptuously to it, and went on his way again, alone. Next he took to wife a short-tailed
mouse, and with her lived some time, till she bore him a son named Ska-tlalest. But one
day he found his new wife skinning a deer, and covered with blood in consequence. This
made him angry, and he abused her and said, " Why do you not go outside," when she
ran away and he was unable to find her again. It was after this event, according to my
informant, that he set out on his expedition to open the way for the ascent of the salmon
from the sea.
The end of Skil-ap' is thus related. When at one time he was travelling up the
south branch of the Thompson River, on the north bank, and had arrived at a place not
far below the outlet of Little Shuswap Lake, he met a terrible being who ate men and
appeared to be nothing but skin and bone. Skil-ap"s son was with him on this journey.
He told his son to sit down and wait, and advanced alone toward the cannibal, who was
preparing to kill him. " Wait a bit," said Skil-ap', " I also am an eater of men like yourself." The cannibal doubted this, but Skil-ap' proposed that in order to prove it both
should vomit. So they sat down opposite each other and shut their eyes. The cannibal
vomited first and produced the half of a man. Skil-ap' followed, but succeeded only in
producing a mat which he had swallowed; but using his magic power he quickly transformed this into a portion of a human being " Now open your eyes," he cried, but just
at this moment he and the cannibal and the boy, who was sitting at a little distance, were
turned to stone. Thus ended the career of Skil-ap', and the stones into which the trio
were changed may still be seen, two resting close together and the third, representing the
boy, at a little distance.
The following story relating to Skil-ap' is communicated by Mr. J. W. Mackay. It
is derived from the Indians of the vicinity of Ly tton, and while resembling some of those
obtained by myself, it differs in several points from these. I retain Mr. Mackay's spelling
of the proper names :—
Sin-ka-yap (Skil-ap') came to the world or ground or country before man. He was
like unto a man with wings, and made man and everything upon the earth. At one
time he saw a tree, and in the tree was a nest upon which was a beautiful bird. He
told N-kik-sam-tam, his son, to climb the tree and obtain the bird for him. N-kik-sam-tam
had two wives, and one of these Sin-ka-yap wanted. When N-kik-sam-tam began to
climb the tree, Sin-ka-yap caused it to grow higher, and therefore N-kik-sam-tam could
not reach the nest, but became tired and wished to return to the ground. Sin-ka-yap,
however, encouraged his son to go on and told him he would soon get to the bird, and
the son persevered, while the tree grew till at length it reached the sky. There N-kik-
sam-tam found himself in a strange country, where he met two old men whom he had
known on the earth before they died. He asked them how he could get back to the
earth, and they said that they would make a long rope and lower him down. This they
did, and also constructed a basket, which was fastened to the rope, hanging by four corners. They then told N-kik-sam-tam that in descending he would reach four different
regions or places. One, they said, will be wet; that is not the earth. One will be cold ;
that is not the earth.    One will be foggy ; that is not the earth.    But when you hear the
crows cawing you will be near the earth. You must then sway the basket, and we will
let you down gently. N-kik-sam-tam reached the earth thus at Tl-kam-cheen (Lytton),
and the stone upon which he descended may still be seen. A large number of people
were going from Lytton to Botanie at the time he came down. He joined the crowd and
went with them, following one of his wives who had been true to him, while the other
had abandoned him for his father. When they reached Botanie the woman turned round
and recognized him, and the two afterwards lived together
Though Sin-ka-yap is found described above as a man with wings, it is recognized
that he was also the coyote in some way.
Besides Skil-ap', there were at the same early time other supernatural beings or demigods who roamed the world, and of these the most important was named Kwil-l-elt'. It
may be that in the stories related of Kwii-I-elt' and Skil-ap' we find the mingling of
mythological ideas among the Shuswaps, derived from two different sources, and this is
a point deserving enquiry.
Kwil-i-elt' had no recognized father nor any other relative but his mother, and was the
offspring of the union of the woman, his mother, with a root which is eaten by the Indians
for food and is named ko-kwe'-la. His name is a synonym of the ordinary name of this
root and signifies " the straight." The root in question grows on the borders of rivers and
streams.1 When the son Kwil-I-elt' grew up, he became a great hunter and killed many
deer for his mother, who lived at Kwi-kooi', at the lower end of Adams Lake. He often
asked his mother who his father was, but she was ashamed of the union which had resulted
in his birth, and told him his father was dead. Now it happened that he passed by a root
of the k5-kwe'-la, and it made a peculiar sound. This he noticed three times, but could
not see what made the sound ; but a fourth time he spied the root, and it said 11 am your
father." This made him so much ashamed that he went back to the lodge and lay down
there three days without speaking a word. After this he rose up and went out hunting,
and when he had brought in a good store of meat, he bitterly reproached his mother, and
told her that he was about to go away and would never return to her. His mother then
told him of all the evil and malignant monsters which at that time lived in the country
further down the river, and he formed the resolve to extirpate them.
When Kwil-i-elt' left his birthplace in this wise, he travelled down the Thompson
River and then up the Fraser, coming at last to the place where his career ended in the
manner subsequently related. Most of his wonderful deeds were performed on that part
of the Thompson between the lower end of Kamloops Lake and Spence's Bridge. When
on his way, not far below Kamloops Lake, two brothers who were of the same old supernatural character as himself, spied him. These were named Kle-sa and Took-im-in-elst'.
They said, " We wi^ll have some fun with this traveller;" and as he was passing along
the edge of the river, by way of a joke, they kicked down a huge piece of the hillside
upon him. But when the great dust which arose cleared away there was Kwil-I-elt'
unhurt and walking along quite unconcerned. Four times the brothers repeated this
trick, but always with the same result, and the last time Kwil-i-elt' spoke, saying, " What
are you trying to do, you cannot injure me." Then the three held a conference together
and formed a pact, becoming as brothers and banding together for the purpose of making
The plant was not identified.
things right in the world and destroying the monsters which lived in it. It appears
also that Kwil-i-elt' met Skil-ap' when the latter was on his way to open a passage for the
salmon up the Fraser, and that Kwil-I-elt' with his two friends and Skil-ap' held a feast
together and arranged what routes they would respectively follow, after which Kwil-i-
elt', Kle-sa' and Took-im-in-elst' parted from Skil-ap', who never met them again.
Many stories are related of Kwil-i-elt' and his two friends, amongst which are the
A trial of strength was arranged, Kwi-i-elt' proposing that each should push his head
against a rock and see which could make the deepest impression. Kle-sa' and Took-im-
in-elst' tried first, and each managed to make a shallow impression, but Kwil-i-elt' followed and pressed his head in to the shoulders. This happened at a place near the mouth
of Hat Creek, and the name of this stream as now given is derived from this story, and from
the circumstance that the impressions made in the rock at this time are still shown by the
At another place there was an eagle monster which killed men. Kwil-i-elt' proposed
to attack it. He had concealed about him a stone weapon of some kind, and unknown to
his two friends had filled one side of his mouth with red paint, which he had brought
with him or obtained from the paint locality mentioned as existing on Adams Lake.
The other side of his mouth was filled with white earth. When he approached the eagle,
his friends watching, it swooped down on him, and seizing him by the head in its claws,
carried him up to a high rock, against which it endeavoured to dash him. Kwil-I-elt',
however, warded off the blow by means of his weapon, and at the same time spat out the
red paint on the rock. His friends said, " He is dead, see his blood." The eagle again
attempted to dash him on the rock, whereupon he spat out the white earth, and his friends
said, " See his brains." Then the eagle, also thinking him to be dead, carried him to its
nest where two eaglets were, but Kwil-i-elt' struck the eagle with his weapon and killed
it and told the eaglets, which could already fly, that they must take him down to his
friends, to the very place where he had left them. This they were obliged to do, one
supporting him under each arm. Then he pulled out their tail-feathers, saying, " Be you
only common eagles, able to harm no man," and let them go. I did not ascertain to what
place this story is affixed.
• At the outlet of Kamloops Lake there was an elk monster, which lived in the middle
of the river and killed and ate men. Kwil-i-elt' made a raft, while the others looked on
as before. This done he embarked and floated down the stream, when, before long, the
elk seized and swallowed him. His friends again thought they had seen the last of him,
but Kwil-i-elt' stabbed the elk in the heart with the weapon he carried, and then cut his
way out of its belly and came to shore, bringing the elk with him, and inviting his
friends to eat some of the meat. As to the elk, he reduced it to its present position, saying to it, " You will no longer kill men, they will in future always kill you."
Next the two friends of Kwil-i-elt' told him that there were two bad women or
witches, with supernatural powers, on the Thompson, about four miles further down that
river, who danced there upon a high rock, and that people passing by who stopped to
look at them were turned to stone. So Kwil-i-elt' went to the place, and after watching
the women dance for some time, changed them into two rocks, which are there to this
The badger was also in this early time a formidable monster, and had its lodge stored
with dead men, collected for food. Kwil-i-elt' caught the badger, and striking him on
the head said, " Hereafter you will be nothing but a common badger, able only to fight
with dogs when they attack you." He further brought to life again all the people whom
he found dead.
When Kwil-i-elt' and his two friends had travelled some way up the Fraser valley,
though I was unable to learn how far, they saw four women dancing together on a high
rock. These women were also witches, and Kwil-i-elt' proposed to deal with them as he had
the others, but his companions persuaded him to watch them dancing for a time, as
they were very fine-looking women. Kwil-i-elt' sat down for this purpose, but no sooner
had he done so than he was turned to stone, for the magic power of the women was
greater than his. Next his two friends were likewise changed to stone, and the three
rocks stand at the place yet.    Such was the end of Kwil-i-elt' and his friends.
It is probable that each subdivision of the Shuswap people attach these stories to different localities, or that some of them at least are assigned to varying localities. As
related above, the localities are those given by the Kamloops Indians. The Indians living
at Lytton appear to place the story of the attempt of Kle-sa and Took-im-in-esl' on Kwil-i-
elt"s life at the Big Slide, between Spence's Bridge and Nicoamen. At least a very similar story is told of this place, and the impression of a human form of gigantic size is
pointed out on the cliff on the opposite or west side of the Thompson, as that made at the
time when the slide came down. Another informant placed the site of this encounter
near the mouth of Hat Creek, on the Bonaparte.
On the trail which leads from Kamloops toward Trout Lake (Plp'-tsutl),where it runs
over the bare, grassy hills about a mile north of the crossing place of Peterson or Jacko
Creek, the scanty remnant of an old stump protrudes from among a few stones which are
piled about it. In passing this the Indians always throw some little offering upon it.
When I saw it in 1890, several matches had recently been laid on the stump, and a fragment of tobacco or shred of clothing is often placed there. The name of this place is
Ka-whoo'-sa (" crying "), and the Indians say that it nearly always rains when they pass,
as though the sky wept.    The story attaching to it is as follows :—
Long ago there was an old woman who was called, or represented in some way, a
grizzly bear, and who had neither husband nor children and was very lonely. For the
sake of companionship she procured some pitch and shaped from it the figure of a girl,
which became her daughter. She strictly enjoined the girl, however, that when she went
into the water to bathe she must not thereafter sit or lie in the sun to get warm. This
special order the girl obeyed on three occasions, but on a fourth, overcome with curiosity
and not understanding the reason of the injunction, she sat down on a stone in the sun,
and so before long melted with the heat and disappeared. Then the old woman made a
girl out of clay, and this time told her daughter that she might bathe and dry herself in
the sun if she pleased, but must on no account rub herself when in the water. Three
times, as before, the girl obeyed, but on the fourth disobeyed and rubbed herself away in
the water and was lost. So again the old woman was alone, but she bethought herself,
and next made a daughter out of a piece of wood, telling this one that she might bathe,
swim, bask in the sun or do what she pleased. Three times the girl bathed without incident, but on the fourth, as she sat on the bank of the river with her back partly turned
Sec. n, 1891.   5.
toward it, drying herself, she saw a fine large trout jump, and exclaimed, " I would like
well to have that fish for my husband." Twice again the trout jumped, and she repeated
her wish, but on the fourth occasion she felt something touch her back, and turning
round saw a fine young man standing beside her, who said, " You wished me for a husband ; now I am come to take you." She readily consented to go with him, so he took her
on his back and told her not to open her eyes till he gave her permission to do so. Then he
sprang into the river and dived toward the bottom, but half way down the girl opened
her eyes, when instantly she found herself on the bank again. This occurred three times,
but on the fourth trial she managed to keep her eyes closed till her lover ordered her to
open them. Then she found herself with her lover in a good country, something like
that which she had left, but not the same.
In this country the two lived for some time, and two children were born to them, a
boy and a girl. There were other people in this under-water country, however, and when
the children began to grow large they were taunted by being told that they had no grandmother, and came to their mother to ask her why this was. She told them that they had
a grandmother, but that she lived in the upper country. They might, if they pleased, go
up there, and if they did so would see an old woman digging roots on the hillside who
was their grandmother. They were not to speak to her, but might go to her house and
take there whatever they could find to eat. This pleased the children, who accordingly
thrice went up to the upper country, and each time having noted the old woman to be
hard at work on the hill, went to her house and helped themselves to food. The woman,
however, when she returned from her work, found that food had been taken and saw
the footprints of the childen, and said to herself that none but her daughter's children
would visit her house in that way. So she prepared some potent " medicine," and then
going to a stump on the hillside where she was accustomed to work, told the stump that
when the children appeared it must move and seem to be a woman digging. The woman
then concealed herself in the house, and when the children came the stump acted as she
had bidden. The children spied about, and the boy was satisfied that he saw the old
woman at work on the hill, but the girl was suspicious, so the boy went first alone to the
house, but soon he persuaded his sister to follow him. As soon as both were in the house
the woman threw the medicine upon the children. It fell all over the boy, but only a
part reached the girl, and so the former was changed to an ordinary human being, while
the girl became a little dog.
The woman kept the boy, whose name was Ta-kutl'-pie'-e-has'k, and the dog, and took
care of both, but the boy did not know that the dog was his sister, and the women never
told him this, but bade him on no account to beat or ill-use it. The boy soon began to
shoot with a bow and arrows, and one day was shooting the red-headed woodpeckers.
Three times he killed one of these birds, but each time the dog ran on before him and ate
the bird. Then he became angry, and when the same thing happened a fourth time he
struck the dog, beating it with an arrow. Then the dog spoke, saying, " Why do you
beat me, your own sister ? " and ran from him. The boy followed, but before he could
catch the dog it turned into a chickadee and flew away. Yery sad, the boy returned to
his grandmother and asked her why she had not told him that the dog was really his sister, but she said to him, " If I had told you perhaps you would be more sorrowful than
you now are."    She then went on to tell the boy, that if when shooting, his arrow should
happen to lodge in a tree or anywhere above his reach, however little, he must not climb
up to get it. Soon afterwards he three times lost arrows in this way, but a fourth time
his arrow stuck in a tree not far up, and he climbed on a branch to get it; but the arrow
continued to move further up, and he had to climb after it, and though he thought he had
not gone very far, he looked down after a time and found that he could not even see the
earth. So he went on climbing, the arrow still going before him, till at last he reached
another country above, which was very pleasant and in which many people were, and
there he remained.   Now the old stump first mentioned is the remnant of this very tree.
Yarious materials were employed by the Shuswaps for the manufacture of arrowheads and spear-heads, including jasper, quartz and cherty quartzite, but that most commonly used was a species of imperfectly vitreous obsidian or, strictly speaking, an augite-
porphyrite. This is particularly abundant in the Arrow-stone Hills and about the upper
part of Cache Creek. The origin of this pre-eminently important arrow-stone is thus
explained. Kwil-i-elt' and his friends, at one time in the course of their journey,
decided to go in quest of arrow-stone, which was then in possession of two old women
who lived somewhere near Cache Creek. Having found the old women, they told each
that the other misrepresented her in some way maliciously, until both became enraged
and began to fight. As they fought the arrow-stone fell from their clothes or persons in
great quantity. Finally they told the women that they had been deceiving them for the
purpose of obtaining the arrow-stone. The women then asked the associates why they
had not frankly told them what they wanted, and so saying produced boxes full of fine
pieces of arrow-stone, as well as of finished arrow-heads, and presented these to them.
The associates then scattered these over the country, where the arrow-stone has ever since
been abundant.
There is a story about the sun of which I failed to procure particulars, but which
appears to have some connection with the history of Skil-ap'. It is said that the coyote
was at one time placed in the sky for the sun or in charge of the sun, but that he called
out aloud whenever he saw an Indian stealing or misconducting himself below. This
was so inconvenient that he was deposed in some way. Some other being was then
placed in charge, but with him the sun was much too warm. Lastly a third custodian
was appointed, and since then all has gone well.
Once a mosquito, gorged with blood, flew far up where the thunder is. The thunder asked the mosquito where it got the blood, and the mosquito falsely replied that it
was sucked from the buds at the very top of the trees below. Hence the reason that the
thunder (lightning) strikes the tops of the trees.
Stories Attaching to Particular Localities.
The traditions and fables here included are not strictly separable from those above
given, as nearly all the mythological incidents are localized by each tribe, and in most
cases the places pointed out are different in each instance.
The following story relates to In-pa-dt'-kwa-ten, or Pavilion Lake, in Marble Canon, the
water of which has a peculiar blue tint. Yery long ago, the skunk was married to a
short-tailed mouse, and the eagle stole away the skunk's wife. The skunk, seeking the
culprits, came to the lake, and thought he saw them in the bottom, though in reality the
eagle and the mouse were sitting on a crag above the lake and the skunk saw only their
reflection in the water. The skunk, however, ejected his malodorous secretion into the
lake several times, till he had exhausted the supply, when looking up at last he was
chagrined to see the pair laughing at him for his pains. Ever since this time the lake
has had its present peculiar colour.
Plp'-tsutl or "Trout Lake," situated about fifteen miles south-south-west of Kamloops,
is said to have been a resort of the " water people," who are spoken of under the same
name as those of Adams Lake. It is also said that in this lake, when the Indians are
spearing fish by torchlight, they can see in the bottom a cleft, from which great numbers
of fish come out, but all are imperfect or half-fish wanting the tail end. Long ago the
old people used to catch these half-fish, but the water is so deep that they can never spear
them now. A similar story is told of the lake at the head of Edwards' Creek, a tributary
of the North Thompson, and here also are " water people." These, on fine, calm, warm
days have been seen to the number of two or more floating upon the surface asleep.
" Water people " are also said to have inhabited Stump Lake, south of Kamloops.
Nearly all the large lakes in British Columbia, whether in the regions inhabited by
the Shuswaps or Tinneh, are reported to contain or to have contained monsters of some
kind. Thus Adams Lake was inhabited by two " water people," a man and a women.
These are said to have been about twice the size of ordinary human beings, with human
heads, long hair and tails like fish, the description agreeing with that ordinarily given of
mermen or mermaids. Their particular abode was at the foot of a cliff on the east side of
the lake, about five miles from its lower end, where it is said a hole may be seen below
water which served them as a doorway. Indians were afraid to pass this point in canoes,
as when doing so the winds frequently arose in consequence of the malign power of
the " water people," and canoes were swamped and the occupants drowned. At last, so
the story runs, the Indians made a combined onslaught on these " water people," shooting
arrows at them from the lake and at the same time rolling stones into the upper aperture
of the cave or fissure which they inhabited, which it appears was somewhere on the hill
above. After this a very strong wind blew over the lake for four days, and then the
" water people " were seen taking their departure down Adams River, one going thence
in the direction of Kamloops, the other to some place in the vicinity of Copper Island, on
G-reat Shuswap Lake. These " water people " are known by the name of kul-a-moo-whot'-
kwa, with the above meaning.
I had previously (in 18*7*7) heard from the Indians that a monster or monsters of
some kind lived about Copper Island. Mr. J. McEvoy subsequently ascertained that
here also habits similar to those attributed to the " water people " of Adams Lake were
given to those of Copper Island. It is stated that they were here killed by three woodpeckers. The " water people " at first took refuge in a cave which opened below the
level of the lake. The first wood-pecker, the red-naped sap-sucker (Tsu-kwa'-kwl-ox) tried
to split the rock but failed. Next the flicker (Tsuk-tsu-kivasp) tried and failed. Then the
pileated wood-pecker (Tsuk-we-kain') struck the rock a great blow, when it split open
and all three joined in destroying the "water people."
The " water people " are also said to have haunted the vicinity of Battle Bluff, on
Kamloops Lake.    The Indian name of the bluff is Hoom-a-tat'-kwa.1   It was dangerous for
1 The same name is applied to Copper Island, previously mentioned, hut means merely
1 in the middle of the
canoes to pass because of the | water people," who in this instance are described as of
human shape, but hairy in the upper half, with fish-like tails below. It is also told of
this bluff that some hostile people once coming by land to attack the Kamloop Indians,
looking down over the front of the bluff as they passed, saw a woman or witch dancing
in a niche part way down the cliff. They sat down on the edge of the cliff to watch
the woman dance and were there turned to stones.
Little men called, as ascertained by Mr. McEvoy, Tsu-in-1-tem, are reported to exist in
several places. The most noted locality is Big-horn Mountain (La-te'-kwil-e-ken), situated-
twenty miles down Okanagan Lake, on the west side. They hunt with bows and arrows ;
and while represented as being only two feet high, yet they are able to caTry a deer
easily. In contrast to this, when a squirrel is killed they skin it and take only a part,
as the whole is to heavy for them.    The Indians are very much afraid of them.
The bluff rocky point which comes out on the north side of the South Thompson
River,nineteen miles above Kamloops, is named S'k-a-md-mlnk, or "big belly." It is said
to represent a woman with child who was turned to stone by Kwil-i-elt'. Paul's Peak,
near Kamloops, is similarly said to have been a man who was turned to stone by the same
old hero. The name of the man was Tk-kul-ti-kdlst. The smaller hill in front of the main
summit was a woman. The two prominences represent her breasts, and the name of the
hill is Skuk-a-dm, or " the breasts."
The Indians say that on the mountain named Tshin'-a-kin, or " shoulder-blade," with
notable, broad, bare surfaces of white limestone, on the east side of Adams Lake fourteen
miles from its lower end, they often see the footprints of a child when they hunt, but can
never follow these up so far as to ascertain what makes them.
The curious and prominent point on the plateau south of Bonaparte Lake named Sko-
whoatl (Skoatl on map) is the object of some superstitious veneration or dread. Indians
going to fish in the lakes near it blacken their faces to propitiate the local evil influence.
Its name simply means " the pointed" or " upstanding." It is further supposed that an
approach to this place is likely to produce rain and stormy weather. The same idea
attaches also to Yermilion Bluff, on the Tulameen River, already mentioned.
It is stated that somewhere in the high mountainous country not far from Za-kwas-ki,
there is to be found the perfect representation of a boat in stone, with three Indians sitting erect in it, also in stone. None of those I spoke to seemed to know exactly where
this was, but one man volunteered the suggestion that there must at some time have been
a great flood, after which the .boat stranded.
The west branch of the Barriere River is named Sas'-kum or " open mouth," from a
story which relates that a dog was there turned to stone, and may still be seen somewhere
with mouth open.
The Kamloops Indians affirm, that the very highest mountain they know is on the
north side of the valley at Tete Jaune Cache, about ten miles from the valley. This is
named Yuh-hai-has-kun, from the appearance of a spiral road running up it. No one has
ever been known to reach the top, though a former chief of Tsuk-tsuk-kwalk', on the North
Thompson, was near the top once when hunting goats. When he realized how high he
had climbed he became frightened and returned.
Pavilion Mountain was so named after a chief of considerable renown, whose authority was widely acknowledged.    He flourished about the time of the first gold excitement,
when the whites entered the country in large numbers.     His true name was Kwem-
tshahen, or " rainbow," and Sir Matthew Begbie is credited with having given him his
English name." Pavilion.
The Shuswaps, like all other tribes, practised " medicine " or sorcery for the cure of
disease. They had recognized medicine men named Tluh-kwe'-lih. These sang and danced
round the patient, and endeavoure d by sucking and manipulation to extract the cause of
the illness or suffering. At times they would produce some small object as being the
The custom of leaving little offerings of some kind at certain places, already mentioned, is not uncommon. There is, I was informed, a heap of stones on Whipsaw Creek,
not far below Powder Camp and on the route between the Similkameen and Hope, to
which everyone must " pay " something when passing, by putting a stone or twig upon
the cairn.
The Indians aver that unknown beings sometimes throw stones at them, particularly
at night, when stones may be noticed occasionally falling into the fire. A Kamloops
Indian, long since dead, once saw a white object following him by night. He drew back
from the trail and shot an arrow at it as it passed. In the morning he returned and found
his arrow buried in a human shoulder-blade.
It is believed that burning wood from a tree which has been struck by lightning
brings on cold weather. This appears to be based on the fact that cold follows a thunder
storm. Thus, in the spring, when Indians may be travelling over the snow on high
ground, splinters of such wood are thrown into the fire to reduce the temperature in order
that the crust may remain uninelted on the snow. A small splinter of such wood wrapped
up with the bullet in loading a gun greatly increases the deadly effect of the bullet.
Pamassia fimbriala is accounted good " medicine " for the deer-hunter. The plant is to
be worn in the hat or rubbed on it and on the soles of the feet, which makes it certain that
the deer will be seen and caught. The rattle of a rattle-snake worn in the hat is a preventive against headache.
With reference to a small lizard the Indians have a singular superstition, viz., that a
man seeing one of them is afterwards followed by it wherever he may go during the day,
till at length, when asleep during the following night, it finds him, and, entering his body
by the fundament, proceeds to eat out his heart, which naturally results before long in
his death.
The late Mr. Bennett of Spallumsheen told me, in 18*7*7, that the Indians employed by
him in making a ditch for purposes of irrigation, on coming into camp in the evening
would jump several times over the fire in order to lead the possibly pursing lizard to
enter the fire and be destroyed in attempting to cross. He also noticed that they carefully
tied up the legs of their trousers when retiring. If while at work during the day they
saw one of these little lizards, which appeared to be abundant in this locality, it would
be caught in a forked twig, the ends of which were then tied together with a wisp of
grass and the butt end of the twig afterwards planted in the soil.    Thus treated the lizard
soon  died and became a natural   mummy.
If  during
the   progress  of  the  work
anyone found and carelessly tossed aside one of these lizards, the Indians would throw
down their tools and search diligently till they found and secured it in the above manner.
This superstition must be well known and widespread among the Indians, for it was
afterwards related to me in identical form by a man of the Nicola River, who further
pointed out to me a small lake, singularly situated on the summit of a high ridge about
a mile and a half south of the mountain named Za-kwas'-ki, as a noted resort—possibly
the only place known to him—where this peculiar little animal was found. He described
it as being a few inches in length and nearly black. Za-kwas'-ki, to which other
stories attach, is south of Nicola River, at the source of the Nicoamen River.
The story of the existence of a kind of rattle-snake with a head at each end is common
among the Shuswaps, and several men I have met actually say they have themselves seen
such snakes. The name of this creature is wha-tloo'-sil-i-kin. To see such a snake is very
unlucky and portends the death of some near friend. Most of the accounts given refer to
the South Thompson valley, but the vicinity of Yernon, on Okanagan Lake, is also mentioned. It is interesting to compare this idea with the belief in the Sl-si-ootl or double-
headed snake, entertained by the Kwakiool of Vancouver Island.
The owl is a bird somewhat dreaded, and is said to haunt camps where some one is
dead, or in which are the relatives of some one who has died elsewhere, saying Too ! too!
A-sum'-tshak'-is, " he is a long time dead." This is evidently a fancy based on the
resemblance of the owl's note to the words in question.
The grizzly bear is said to have in old days been a much more formidable creature
than it is now, constantly attacking and killing Indians. This probably means merely
that the Indians are now better armed, and possibly implies also that the bears have
become aware of this circumstance.
Names of Stars and of the Months.
The Pleiades are called by the Shoo-wha'-pa-mooh hu-hd-oos, or " the bunch," and
also kul-kul-std-tim, or " people roasting." The last name is given from a story of their
origin, which relates that a number of women who were baking roots in a hole in the
ground, as is their fashion,- became changed into this group of stars.
The morning star is named chl-whl-looh-tdn, or "coming with the daylight," also
too-pk-d', or "one with hair standing out round his head."
The four stars which form the quadrilateral of the G-reat Bear are, singularly enough,
known to the Shuswaps as the bear stars, kum-a-koo-sas'-ka. The three following large
stars are three brothers in pursuit of the bear. The first hunter is brave and near the bear,
the second leads a dog (the small companion star), the third is afraid and hangs far back.
The stars of Orion's belt are named kut-a-kekt'-la, or " fishing."
The milky way is named chiw-l-wl-ow'-is, the road or path of the dead.
The aurora borealis is named ses-ti-am, which appears to mean " cold wind," but this
is uncertain.
The Sta'-tlum-ooh (Lillooets) call the Pleiades in-mox, meaning the " bunch" or
" cluster ;" the G-reat Bear me-hdtl', the name of the black bear.
The face of the moon is said to represent the figure of a man with a basket on his
back, and the name of this man is Whd'-la.
 P'is-kdpits', | spring."
Pls-whi-a-whoom, "grass month."
Pit-la-kdt'-lai-a-hin, 1 root-digging"
Pil-td-pdnsk', " strawberry month."
Kal'-kul-tum-ah, " berry month."
Pil-tum-hlik', " salmon month."
Pil-ta-klelahin', "month when the salmon get bad."
A month or moon is named md-hin by the Shoo-wha'-pa-mooh, and the names
obtained for the months in order are as follows, beginning about March. The meanings
assigned are not in all cases certainly correct, though the most explicit I was able to
obtain from my informant:—
Pil-tloo-aUtstin, " month when the deer
Pil-whatl-ootlin, | month in which they
return from hunting."
Pil-kwootl-a-min, " remaining at home
Pil-ta-te'-a-kum, " midwinter month."
[List of Two Hundred and Twenty Place-names in the Shuswap Country,
British Columbia.
(1.) Shuswap Names of Places on the Kamloops Sheet of the Geological Map of British Columbia
Name adopted, or description of place on the map.
Meaning given for Indian name.
A-kaz-ik Mountain	
As-k5m/ Mountain	
Botanie Lake, etc	
Deadman River	
Big Fish Lake	
Hi-ab/kwa Lake	
Hi-hium Lake	
Lac le Bois	
Stony Creek - =	
Small lake below Big Bar Lake	
Hill on west side Copper Creek
Old village site near Kelley Lake.. •
Campbell Creek	
Eighteen-mile Creek	
Mountain 4 miles north of Za-kwas/
In-ki-kuh/ Creek	
In-koi-ko Creek	
Pavilion Lake	
Red Creek	
In-tl-pam Creek	
In Marble Mountains. • • • >	
Bridge River	
Pass Lake -	
Upper part of Scottie Creek....
Edward Creek	
Loon Lake •	
Medicine Creek	
Kl-ow-a Mountain and Creek ..
Bonaparte River	
Shumway Lake	
Kuk-waus' or Bonaparte Lake.
Green Mountain	
The mountain.
Perpetual root-place ?
Circling or detour.
Big trout ?
Long lake.
Trout lake.
Diver lake.
Young fish lake.
Cold spring.
Sometimes dry.
Overhung Mountain.
Drift pile.
Gravelly river.
Spear-head lake ?
Green mountain.
(1.) Shuswap Names of Places on the Kamloops Sheet of the Geological Map of British Columbia.—Continued.
Indian Name.
Name adopted or description of place on the map.
Pis-kl-kl-al ,
Small stream joining Nicola above Skuh'-un.
Cairn Mountain	
Skull Hill	
La'-loo-wisin Creek	
Mamit Lake	
At forks of Bonaparte	
Guichon Creek, mouth .	
Eleven-mile Creek	
Chasm Creek	
Ridge Lake	
Botanie valley as a whole	
Nicoamen River.	
Small stream next above Kelley Creek	
Mountain 4 miles north-east of Za-kwas'-ki..
Pe-tloosh-kwo-hap' Mountain	
Pimainus Creek and Lakes	
Trout Lake •	
Porcupine Ridge	
Small lake near Ridge Lake	
Fly Creek	
Poison Hill »	
Ptl-tik-moos/ I Young Lake	
Puh-ha'-ha-nih    Ridge running west from Cairn Mountain
Pukaist    Pukaist Creek and village	
Pu-ko'-kila-hoom      Big Bar Lake	
Put-hil-i-hll '
Shoopem-hat'-kwa •.
Skem-a-kaim/ ,
Spa-aist ....••.
Three-lake valley	
Mouth of Jamieson Creek	
Lower part of Sandy Creek	
Allen Creek	
Fraser River near Leon Creek	
South Thompson - °	
North Thompson	
Traps Lake	
1J mile below Leon Creek	
Si-whe7 Creek	
Lower end of Seton Lake	
Ski'-hist Mountain 	
Face Lake • •	
Skoon-ko/ Creek	
Hills between Thompson, Bonaparte and Cache Ck.
Skull Creek	
Skoatl Point	
Skuh/-un Creek	
Mountain 3 miles north-north-east of Za-kwas'-ki.
Sandy Creek	
River Lake	
Gnawed Mountain	
Kelley Creek, lower part.	
Skwil-kwa'-kwil Mountain	
Spaist Mountain	
Glen Hart. ^	
Spa-tsin' Lake	
Meaning given for Indian Name.
Open or clear.
Skull hill.
White fish.
Projecting point.
Bearberry (Arctostaphylos).
Ridge lake.
Going over stream.
Porcupine place.
Chief-hare ?
Blue-bottle fly.
Poison weed ( Veratrum) place.
Deep, with shallow margin.
Potentilla anserina.
The portage.
It dries up.
The eddy.
Shuswaps' river.
Caribou place.
North river.
Looking up.
Pointed or upstanding.
Thunder hill.
Eaten to the bone.
Big hill.
The highest.
The lakes.
Burnt lake ?
Asclepias speciosa.
Sectn, 1891." 6.
(1.) Shuswap Names of Places on the Kamloops Sheet of the Geological Map of British Columbia—Continued.
Indian name.
Name adopted, or description of place on the map.
Meaning given for Indian name.
Spi-al-hw. •
Spilim-at'-le-la. ..
Spil-ma-moos .. • •
Spit'-poo-tlum ...
Sta-ai'-in or Ste-in
Swuz-uk-ain' ....
Tik-I-max' ;
Til-kwa-si-shoo ..
Titl'-whiloom ...
Tlirt-li-put-am/ ...
Toon-kwa • •	
Tshi-it'-lin-stum .
Tsho-ha-mous ...
Tsboo-whels' .....
Tuk-a-muken' ...
Eagle Hill ,	
Near mouth of Cache Creek	
Maiden Creek	
Clinton Creek	
Marble Canon	
Pass from Hat Creek to Jack's Creek	
Stein Creek	
Fraser River near Lillooet	
Upper part of Hat Creek valley	
Botanie Mountain 	
Tai-a-ka Lake	
Small stream 1 mile north of Fourteen-mile Creek.
Stump Lake	
Tranquille River	
Tranquille River, near mouth	
One of the Red Lakes	
Three-mile Creek , ,	
Macaulay Creek	
Eight-mile Creek	
Eating Lake	
Lakes in Highland valley	
Blue Ravine	
Summit of pass near Chi'-poo-in Mountain	
Mountain 3 miles north of Za-kwas'-ki	
Cayoosh Creek	
Name applied to Guichon Creek	
hoo-whels' Mountain	
Murray Creek	
Cache Creek, lower part	
Tsil-tsalt Ridge	
Tsin-tsoon'-ko Lake	
Lytton Mountains	
Texas Creek	
Tsotin Lake	
Forks of Tranquille River	
Reservation on North Thompson	
One of the Red Lakes	
At head of Criss Creek	
Tuk-too'-la-hum Lake	
Napier Lake ,
Za-kwas'-ki Mountain	
Black Hill Creek	
Brook at the flat.
Little flat.
Prairie flat.
Narrow valley which opens.
The defile.
Lillooet's river.
Opening out.
Point (river).
Name of a root.
Balsam-spruce ravine.
Goose lake.
Mountain brook.
Slightly saline.
Washed out.
A cache in the ground.
Many ravines.
Cracked rocks.
Island lake-
The stream.
Rattlesnake lake.
Red place (earth ?).
Red place (trees).
Red lake.
Bare ground.
Round prairie.
(2.) Shuswap'^Nambs of'Places*Beyond the Limits of the Kamloops Sheet.
Indian Name.
Na-as la-kwe'-tok ..
Puh-hai-as'-hyum •
Hum-ha'-mllh  ....
Sas'-kum      .
She-whun-i-men .. •
Shi-whots-i-matl ...
Name adopted, or description of place on the map.
Meaning given for Indian name.
South part of Lytton Mountains	
Stream from west 9 miles below Lytton	
Mountain 6 miles south-west of Lytton	
Biche River, Okanagan Lake.	
Bouleau River,      " "   	
Cedar Creek, " «   	
Stream north of Cedar Creek, Okanagan Lake....
Second stream north of Cedar Creek, "        "   	
Mountain between Prospect Creek and Nicola River
Mountain 3 miles south of Za-kwas'-ki	
Spioos River, tributary of Nicola	
Stoyoma Mountain, '87 map	
Cold water River	
Otter River, tributary of Tulameen	
Tulameen River.	
Little Shuswap Lake	
Mountain east side Adams Lake, 18 miles up	
Mtn. E. side N. Thompson, 11 m. above Reservation.
Highest mountain north of Great Shuswap Lake..
High ridge west of Great Shuswap Lake	
Scotch Creek, Shuswap Lake	
Tod Mountain, north-east from Kamloops	
Copper Island, Great Shuswap Lake	
Spallumsheen River (mouth of)	
Cinemousun, Great Shuswap Lake	
Schickmouse Narrows, Great Shuswap Lake	
Meadow on Louis Creek, foot of Tod Mountain....
Lake at head of Barriere River	
Valley between Louis Creek and Adams Lake....
West branch of Barriere River	
West side Adams Lake, 10 miles up	
West side Adams Lake, 15 miles up	
West side Adams Lake, 26 miles up	
Stream on east side Adams Lake, 32 miles up	
East side Adams Lake, 11 miles up	
Mountain east side Adams Lake, 14 miles up	
East side Adams Lake, 5 miles up	
Watson Creek, Fraser River	
Green Lake, Green Timber Plateau —
Mountain 6 miles south of Kl-ow'-a Mountain	
Mountain south side Salmon River.	
Lake on south branch Kwoiek Creek	
Lake on second south branch Kwoiek Creek	
Lake at head of Kwoiek Creek	
Lake on Kwoiek Creek 3 miles long	
Mountain at head of Kwoiek Creek	
Head North-east Arm, Great Shuswap Lake	
Head of Seymour Arm,     " " "    	
Queest Creek, " " "   	
Eagle Creek, " " "    	
Head of Spallumsheen Arm, "    	
Head of Salmon Arm, " ''    	
Head of Adams Lake	
Mountain 3 miles south-west of Za-kwas'-ki	
Lake south-west of Chaperon Lake   	
Sandy on one side.
The little.
Where they were caught.
Where they were killed.
Poison weed.
Twisted (in torsion).
Cold water.
Otter river.
Red paint.
Medicine ?
Highest mountain.
Rusty rock.
Something lying in the water.
Bare or bald ?
In the middle of lake.
Meadow flat.
Going round a point or bend.
In the middle.
Going round a point.
Open mouth.
Root place.
The shoulder blade.
Red (ravine) ?
Sudden melting of snow.
They go away.
Many Sheplierdia berries.
Many bark canoes.
(2.) Shuswap Names of Places Beyond the Limits of the Kamloops Sheet.—Continued.
Indian name.
Name adopted, or description of place on
Meaning given for Indian name.
Big trout lake.
Stream which flows into head of Chape
Lake ..
Full of ravines.
Big-horn mountain.
Deep Creek west side Okanagan Lake.
Eagle nest creek.
(3.) Shuswap Names of Inhabited Villages.
(a) Principal Villages on the Kamloops sheet.
Indian Name.
Name adopted, or description of place on the map.
Meaning given for Indian name.
Spa'-ha-min  .	
(6) A
Tshoo-loos' and Na-ai-ik
4 miles above Cache Creek	
I i mile above Pukaist Creek	
Spence's Bridge	
Opposite Lytton 	
Stein Creek	
Opposite Foster Bar	
Bridge River	
Fountain  • ■	
Pavilion Creek	
II miles above Kelley Creek	
Pass valley near Dead man River
Deadman River	
Skuh'-un Creek	
Mouth of Upper Nicola River....
Douglas Lake	
North Thompson	
Point between the rivers.
The point.
On the edge.
White earth.
Drying place.
Red place.
Few of the Principal Villages beyond the Limits of the Kamloops Sheet.
Near mouth of Spioos River	
Outlet of Adams Lake	
Head of Little Shuswap Lake	
Foot of Little Shuswap Lake	
Mouth of Guichon Creek  ....
6J miles north of Deep Creek, Okanagan Lake.
3 miles below Shuswap Lake	
Upper country.
 Trans. E.S. C, 1891.
Sec. II.    Plate VI.
To illustrate Dr. G. M. Dawson's Paper on the Shuswap People.


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