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Notes archaeological, industrial and sociological on the Western Dénés : With an ethnographical sketch… Morice, A. G. (Adrien Gabriel), 1859-1938 1893

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Array          TRANSACTIONS
SESSION 1892-93.
Read 4th November, i8gj.
»'>sii^w#siifHM^«9^*Ti*>^fii»>iaiiUtti£ii^&i> i '*■
\ ' H892-U?
introduction  5
•Ethnological Sketch  8
The Name " De*ne*» Si   8
Distribution of the Dane's   io
Y "Main Characteristics of the .Dene" Race  17
Distribution of the Western Denes M  22
Preliminaries '.  32
Philological  32
"Works and Implements Unknown Among tlie Western Denes  35
."Stone Implements  39
.Industrial Stone Implements  43
Stone Weapons of War and of the Chase  53
Bone and Horn Implements -  66
'   1 raps and Snares ||  84
Fish Traps  84
Land Animal Traps  93
vSnares I I  9S
y Observances of the Hunter and Trapper  106
™ ooden Implements  111
Bark Implements ,  120
-tsculcnt and Medicinal Plants  127
Other Bark Implements  132
Copper and Iron Implements  136
Copper Implements i   J3^
Iron Implements   14°'
Skin Objects, and Twined and Textile Fabrics  145
Skin Objects  145
Objects of Mixed Material  »$0
Textile and Twined Fabrics | 156
Dress and Personal Adornment   162
Common Dress JL [   162
Ceremonial Costume ;   172
Habitations p  184
Monuments and Pictography .-   199
Carved Monuments .'.  199
Pictography  206
Index  213
Works quoted or referred to '. 219
Addenda et Corrigenda ." .•      221 IS92-93]
"Archaeological" is rather inappropriate in connection with the
present monograph, whose scope embraces nothing archaean or really
ancient. The prehistoric Den6s are the D<5nes of but yesterday. For,,
what are the one hundred years which have elapsed since the discovery
of their country compared with the twenty or more centuries which
separate us from the famous civilizations of ancient Egypt and Assyria?
Yet, to check possibly too sanguine expectations from such archaeologists
as may happen to read these lines, I hasten to declare that it is perhaps
more easy to present the lover of technological lore with graphic illustrations of the arts and industries which flourished among the subjects of
the Pharaohs and the Assyrian monarchs, than to thoroughly illustrate
from actual specimens the ensemble of the arms, working implements,,
household utensils and ceremonial paraphernalia, which should concur in
reconstructing the peculiar mode of life pursued by the primitive D6n£s.
The original Egyptians and Assyrians have left us, besides authentic
records of their own doings on imperishable material what promises to
prove well nigh unlimited stores of practical illustrations of their past
sociology in their tombs, their temples and other public monuments.
So that the antiquarian's task is greatly facilitated by the abundance of
the material at his command. Furthermore, where the hieroglyphic and
cuneiform chronicles fail to clear up difficulties of interpretation or to
enlighten him on the particular use of ancient implements, he has only
to delve into Herodotus and other historians for the desired light.
Not so, however, with regard to the prehistoric Den£s. £ As I have
elsewhere demonstrated,* that family of American aborigines, and more
especially the Carrier tribe to which prominence will be given in the
tollowing pages, is characterized by a wonderful power of imitation and
self-adaptation which prompted it, upon the advent of the whiles, to discard most of its native customs, indigenous weapons and working
implements. As a natural consequence, many: of the latter are now in
a fair way towards complete obliteration^/ Moreover, the nation's
'-»nans, I mean the old men who witnessed the manufacture and use
ome archaeological articles the duplicates of which have caused
peculations from more than one antiquarian, are fast disappearing from
« tht Carrier Sociology and Mythology  Indigenous or Exotic?"     Trans.   Roy.   Soc.
i— ■':, Action II. 1892. ».«**■( 1*13
[Vol. IV.
the scene of this world.    So that the sooner the Dene technology is
brought to light, the better it will be in the interest of science.
Indeed,  should  any  value   whatever  be  attached   to   the   present
monograph, I feel quite certain that it will be entirely on account of ita
opportuneness.   Undertaken twenty-five years ago, it could probably have!
been made more exhaustive.    After the lapse of an equal space of time,
•its usefulness as a contribution  to archaeological knowledge would be
problematical.^ I am at present the possessor oi" the only remaining
specimens of some objects illustrative of the past Carrier sociology, and
my familiarity with the language and original customs of the Indians to
•whose spiritual wants I minister, might not be enjoyed by a successor
among them until time and circumstances deprive its use of much of itsl
value. 3
These considerations, corroborated by the requests of scientists whose
•advice I have not the right to disregard, have emboldened mijto attempt
a description of such technological objects as can be illustrated from
•specimens in my possession or which are still in common use among the
Western Den£s7} The number of these, as will soon appear, is somewhat
limited, and therefore my task cannot be very arduous. I only regret
that my mineralogical shortcomings render an exact description of the
material used in the fabrication of stone implements in a few cases impossible. For the identification of such rocks as are adequately described,
I am under obligation to Dr. G. M. Dawson, Assistant Director of the
Geological Survey of Canada, Ottawa.
X As technology is the prime object of this monographTJthe industries of
tITe Western Denes will be mentioned in so far only as may be necessary
for the clear understanding of the nature and use of the objects therein
described. Which statement should not convey the idea that 1 intend to
make light of their claims to importance in an ethnological contribution.
With a little reflection, it will become apparent that all human industries
•need material aids or means to manifest themselves, and their results
must also take a concrete form. Now, these palpable data, be they the
products of human' ingenuity or the instruments employed in their
development, are per se technological items, and by reviewing the latter,
one cannot help treating of the former. Therefore I simply mean to
■say that the archaeological, rather than the industrial, plan will be
adopted in the following pages. I In other words, our divisions shall be
based, not on the industries of the Western Dtmes, but, as far as practical,
on the material of the weapons, tools, utensils, fishing devices and other
implements under consideration J
> ;S£;•*?*-£ *i ******i*e * *%* f **.**>**+'»yYz *■**>*>* * > •-»    vis :     * I$y2-0">1 K0TK8  ON   THE  WESTERN  DENES. 7
As for the third, oiTsociological scope of this paper, I think that our
title will be justified not only by numerous transient mentions of native
customs and practices, but more especially by extended descriptions of
the Aborigines' usages and superstitions in connection with fishing and
trapping, their domestic economy as regards diet and remedies, their
ceremonial dress, their habitations, etc.^However, for more systematic
information concerning the D«5n<5 sociology, the reader must be referred
to another paper published some years ago under the title of " The
Western Dends ; their Manners and Customs." *
\ Mythology may be regarded as a mirror wherein the psychological
ideas and the particular social institutions and mode of life of a people-
arc faithfully reflected!/ Therefore I have not deemed it inconsistent
with the nature of my subject to intersect the following pages, with a \~e\v
short legends or traditions, especially when these may prove a help-
towards the formation of a more correct idea of the objects hereafter
* Proceedings Can. Inst., vol. vii., p.  109, et seq.' SF-
[Vol. IV.
Ethnological Sketch.—The Name "D£ne\"
For the benefit of such of my readers as may not have seen my former
essays, I must repeat that by Denes I mean that large family of American Aborigines commonly known under thcnames of Tinn6, Tinneh,
Tenni (Bompas), Tenne (Kennicot) and Athapaskans. As I have already-
pointed out elsewhere^all of these appellations are inappropriate. For;
more reasons than one, they should, in my estimation, be discarded in
favour of " DeneV' Neither Tinne* nor Tinneh have any meaning in the
dialect of the many tribes into which that extensive stock is divided.
The ethnologists who are responsible for these nicknames gathered them,
from the desinence of several tribal names probably badly pronounced,
and certainly misspelt, by the earliest voyageurs or traders who ■made*'
mention of these Aborigines. The verbal suffix 'Tinne, or 'Tenne, is
evidently the term .they aimed at rendering. Now to the native ear the
difference between T and 'T is infinitely greater than is with us that
which exists between such letters as W and G, since these are commut-
able in the Aryan languages,* while the former are not in the Ddne*
dialects. Thus, in Carrier, ta means "lip," and 'ta "feather;" to means
"up," and 'to "nest;"- tis stands for "younger sister," and 'tis for
"coals;" tas is the root for "heavy," and 'tas signifies "backward;"
nzstaih is equivalent to " I dance," while 'nds'taih means " I ripen."
These contrasts could be multiplied almost ad infinitum.
Furthermore, 'Tinne, being a suffix, cannot stand without its verbal
support. Thie would-be noun is composed of the root of the verb
hwos'ten (or kivos'tin, etc., according to the dialect) which means " I
inhabit," and the personal plural particle ne (or ni). resulting in the
verbal noun hwo'icnne (or kwo'tinni, etc.) "inhabitants," which when
suffixed to a name of river is contracted into 'tenne. etc., as in Nas-\Loh-
'tenne, Tsij-YLoJi-tinni. Thus this pretended word corresponds in every
particular—save that in Dene it is a verbal not substantive, affix—to the
final -cnscs of Lugdunenses, Massilienses, Carthaginienses, Colossenses,
etc. Now who ever dreamt of denominating by that final the latin
speaking peoples ?    Who would, for instance, call Ens the French nation
* As is evident from the conversion of William into Gulielmus,  Guglielmo, Guillcrmo, Guil-
herme and Guillaume \  of War into Guerre and Guerra, etc. ; of Warrant into Garantir, etc. 18U2-93.]
because it designates as Parisi£/;.r the inhabitants of Paris ; as
hondonlens those of London, etc. ? Yet the identity of the two cases
is so evident that I need only translate the above, and say London-
hwo'tenne, Pali-hwo'tennc, to bring it home to the dullest intellect. As
with the -enses and the -ens of the Italic tongues, so it is with the 'tenne
of the Ddne* idioms; it never applies but to names of places or at least
of ethnographic divisions. Another point of similarity is that it varies
with the dialects, being 'tenne in Carrier, 'tinni in TsijKoh'tin, 'qenne
in Ts£'kdhne, etc.
Lastly the correct pronunciation of these word-endings requires a
lingual explosion which cannot be obtained except by those already initiated into the mysteries of the Dene phonetics. Hence the absurdity of
designating a whole nation by an accidental suffix, impossible of pronunciation to the great majority of the readers, which is no word of itself
and changes according to the dialect of some twenty or more different
Another name no less widely used to denominate the Dene stock, and
for which Gallatin is said to be responsible, is " Athapaskan." Now fancy
the propriety of calling the whole British, not merely English, race, say
Bristolians or Manchesterians! The Bureau of Ethnology of the Smith-
sonian Institution which has adopted this name in its official publications
Jias to confess that " it has been objected to by a number of missionaries—
students of various dialects of this family in the North-West—but," it is
added, " priority demanded that Gallatin's name should be retained." *
Methinks, however, that time cannot of itself convert a wrong into a
Rev. E. Petitot replaces either vocable by Den£-Dindjie, thereby
"uniting in one compound word the southermost tribe, the.Chippewayan
or D£n6, with the northermost, the Loucheux which calls itself DindjieV'f
This name, which is undoubtedly a vast improvement on any of the
above mentioned, and has the merit of containing two genuine Indian
words, correctly spelt, has perhaps the disadvantage of unwittingly contracting in the mind of the reader the area covered by the nation thereby
designated. The Chippewayans are not the most southerly branch of
the family not only on the North American continent, but even within
British America. The TsifKoh'tin and the Carriers inhabit a stretch of
land several degrees of latitude more to the south and are nevertheless -
territorially connected, without any intervening gap, with all the North-
* Bibliography of the Athapaskan Languages, by J.  C. Pilling, p. v. ; Washington, iS
+ Monographicdes Dfrii-D'mdjti, p. xix.; Paris, Leroux, 1S76.
92. 0
[Vol. IV.
ern Dene tribes. Therefore, on his own basis of word formation, the
abbe" Pctitot should call the whole race Toni-Dindjic,* not Dene-
But we should not overlook the numerous offshoots it has spread out
through the Western and Southern States of the American Union, and
whose term for " man," and consequently for themselves considered as
aborigines, is practically identical with " Dene7'f Why then should we
not call the whole stock Dene, after the native name of the most central—
takinfr into consideration the southern scattered tribes—and one of the
most populous branches thereof?^ We could perhaps find a precedent
for this in the names of such European peoples as the Italian, the
French and even the English, which came to be given the entire nation
after they had long represented one of the most important of its original,
tribes, the Itali, the Franks and the Angles or Angli.
Despite their minuteness, the foregoing remarks have been deemed
necessary since their substance, as embodied in a foot-note to a former
paper by the writer does not appear to have received the attention he
cannot help thinking it deserved at the hands of Ethnologists. Even the
few who have noticed it now seem to labour under the impression that
the Dene's are a branch of the Athapaskan family lately made known
to the scientific world !§ Such is the force of habit! Others suppose that
Tinne and Dene are the same word under two different dialectical fbrms.j-
Distribution of the D£n£s.
No other aboriginal stock in North America; perhaps not even
excepting the Algonquian, covers so great an extent of territory as the
JDene. The British Isles, France and Spain, Italy and any two or three
of the minor European commonwealths taken together would hardly
represent the area of the region occupied by that large family. And yet
it is no exaggeration to say that few American races are less known than
the Northern Den£s who, in point o( territory, constitute the main bulk
* 7>/// is the Tsi^oh'tin word for "man."
"tit should be remembered in this connection that in all the Dene" dialects the vowels have-
almost no linguistic importance whatever, the quintessence of the words being condensed in the-
initial consonants of each syllable.    Also, it may be worth noting here that T and D, P and B
G and K, etc., are commit table even within each separate dialect.
£ The aboriginal race of the Alaskan littoral is called Tlingit after the word it uses to say
"man."    Why should this not also be the case with the Dene family?
§ The Athapaskan Bibliography, passim, 1892.
li Language as a test of Mental Capacity, by II. Hale.    Transact, R. S. C, p. 81, 1S91.
t*iy>Mft>bV%#* NOTES   ON   THE   WESTERN   DENES,
Co( the whole nation.    West  of the Rocky Mountains, _thcy arc to be
1   f unci from '& 0 of latitude to the borders of the Eskimo tribes, while
on the east side of the same range they people the immense plains and
l  („■■<«, which extend from the Northern Saskatchewan down almost to
t'u   delta of the Mackenzie  River.     From West to East they roam,
urn'imputed masters of the soil, over the almost entire breadth of the
American Continent, though a narrow strip of sea shore country separates
Ihcir ancestral domain from the waters of the Pacific and those of the
Atlantic      With  that unimportant restriction, they  might be said  to
occupvthe immense stretch of land intervening between the two oceans!
In the words of Horatio Hale, this is, east of the Rocky Mountains
-a dreary region of rocks and marshes, of shallow lakes and treacherous
rivers, offering no attractions except such as the hunter finds in the
numerous fur-bearing animals which roam over it and afford the native
tribes a precarious subsistence. When this resource fails, they live on
lichens which they gather from the rocks."* West of the Rockjegahe,
country inhabited by them is rugged and heavily.timbered, dotted with
numerous deep lakes, and intersected by swift, torrential rivers. Their
staple food is venison and salmon, according to the geographical position
of their tribal grounds.
1 have already given, in a volume of the " Proceedings of the Canadian
Institute,"! the names and habitat of the northern tribes together with
their approximative population. Let me only remark that in that list
I classed the Beaver Indians as a separate tribe merely to conform to.
the long established custom of the traders and missionaries. But as in
America, Ethnography is based chiefly, if not entirely, on Philology, I must
explain that, from a philological standpoint, the Beavers (Tsdtennc in
Carrier) arc genuine Tse kehne. The idiomatic differences noticeable in
tin: speech of these two artificial divisions are not any more pronounced
than those which exist between the dialects of the Lower and the Upper
Cui-'crs. The reason the Beavers go by a distinctive name even among
their conveners is that, being citizens of the plains, they cannot writh
propriety be called Tse'kehne or "Inhabitants of the Rocks" viz. : the
iveky Mountains.
For the perfect completeness of our aboriginal census, we should add
to tnc ab ,ve the Sarcees, a band of Tse'kehne who, upon a difference
1   'a'-';;- »•> a test of Mental Capacity, p. 81 ; Transact. R. S. C. Vol. ix., Sec. II, 1891.
• *'c W-'erri Ikr.t-s, etc., Proc. Can. Inst. Vol. vu., p. 113. 12
[Vol. IV.
arising from a trivial offense,*' separated, not very long ago from the
main body of the Dene" nation and were adopted by the Blackfect, an
Al°"onquian tribe, among whom the)' have since lived, while keeping
their linguistic autonomy.    They do not number more than ioo souls.
An ethnologic problem which is not yet, and will perhaps never be
solved, is the question, How did it come to pass that large portions of
the Den£ nation detached themselves from the main stock and migrated
south ? When did this exodus occur? What was the route followed by
the adventurous bands? The man is probably yet unborn who will
satisfactorily answer these questions. It may be that the interested
tribes have some legends or traditions which might throw some light on
the subject; but I think this is hardly the case.f As far as the northern
D<5n£s are concerned, they do not even suspect the existence of any
kinsmen south of the TsijKoh'tins' territory. Two facts only seem pretty
safely established, namely : [the; separation of the southern from, the
northern tribes happened centuries ago ; and, moreover, the national
movement resulting in the division of the nation into two different
camps was from north to south. The first assertion is proven by the
fact that "when the Spaniards first met them [the Navajos] in 1541, they
were tillers of the soil, erected large granaries for their crops, irrigated
their fields by artificial water-courses or acequias, and lived in substantial
dwellings, partly underground."! In support of the second statement,
I need only refer to a tradition current among some western tribes
according to which "days were formerly exceedingly short; so short
indeed that sewing the edge of a muskrat skin was all that one woman
could do between sunrise and sunset." This unmistakably points to the
arctic regions as places of previous residence.
Unknown to themselves, important branches of the great Dene* tree
thrive thousands of miles away from the parental stem. As far as I can
ascertain from the latest and most reliable source § available, they are,
or were until recently :—
* According; to Mr. \Y. E. Trail!, an H. B. Co's officer who has parsed many years in close
proximity to the S»trcecs, this separation was caused by the following circumstances : A party of
Tse'kehne were target shooting when a dog happened to take on the arrow planted in the ground
as a target one of tliose liberties of which the canine gent is so fond. Thereupon the do0- was
shot by the possessor of the arrow, upon which that of the shooter was killed by the master of
the original offender. Then followed numerous reprisals which could only be stopped by the
voluntary departure of one band of related families which became the Sarcees.
tThe above had been written for some time, when I read  in  Dr.  Brinton's American  Race
that " the Navajos have no reminiscence of their ancestral home in the North."
J Brinton's American Race, p. 72, citing A. A. Bandelier " Indians of the Southwestern U.S."
§ 60th Annual Report Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 1S91. j
1. The Kwalhiokwas*, the Umkwas and the Totunies in Oregon.
The Report of the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, for 1891 (Vol. II.,
p $2\ gives 7S as the number of the Umkwa population in the Grande
Ronde Agency, with additional, though undetermined, numbers in the
Siletz Agency. According to the same authority, the Totunies on
Ro'ie River aggregate 47, while their congeners on the Siletz reserve
cannot be numbered owing to their intermarriages with alien tribes.
2. The bands respectively called Hoousolton, Miscolt, Hostler, Matil-
den, Kcntuck, Tishtangatang and Siaws in jCaJifoxmaf, but better known
under the collective name of Hupa, from that of their common reservation in the Hupa Valley.    They aggregate 492.
3. The Waihiki, likewise on the Pacifie (Gatschet), numbers unknown.
4. The Navajos, in Arizona, the most populous and flourishing of all
the Dene* tribes, since they number, according to the latest and most
accurate accounts, no less than 16,102 souls.*
5. The various tribes of Apaches of which the following is a list
showing their habitat and present population :—
(a) The Oklahoma Apaches, in Oklahoma Territory .... 325
(b) The Jicarilla Apaches, in Colorado  824
(c) The Mescalero Apaches, in New Mexico  531
(d) The White Mountain Apaches, in Arizona  130
(e) The Coyotero Apaches, in Arizona  423
(f) The San Carlos Apaches, in Arizona  831
(g) The Tento§ Apaches, in Arizona.  760
(k) The Apaches of Camp Apache, in Arizona 1,878
Contradictory statements and apparently misapprehension as to the names and present status
6-. the Southern Pacific Coast Denes render an exact classification of them difficult, 'thus Mr.
Uuratio Hale {Language as a Test of Mental Capacity, p. 85, 1S91) speaks of the Kwalhiokwas
a.* s*.:ll lingering in one of the Pacific States, while Dr. A. S. Gatschet, in his work on "The
Klamath Indians of Southern Oregon, Vol. I. p. 45," published one year earlier, states that they
have -h-appeared together with the Tlatskanai, another Dene tribe. The same ethnographer
mentions -Nide by side (op. cit.) with the 11 upas the Waihiki, reference to whom 1 find in no other
-u\»or. 1 he Totunies are called Totutunies by H. 11 ale (op. cit.), Tututenas by Dr. Brinton
it.), Tootoonas by Mr.   Morgan (both Ann.  Rep.), Tutatamy by P. de Lucy-Fossaricn
• '•'..«« KrOinpte henau stenographique dit Congres international des sciences el/inograp/iiques
■ ■ ..Kt:tdedephitologie ethnographiqvcpar M. P. de Lucy-Fossaricn, Paris, /SSr).
t Af vr Prof. O. Mason (The Ray Collection from ILupa Reservation, pp. 206, 207).
' Acc'-'ruing to Horatio Hale (Language as a Test, &C, p. 90), that tribe was erroneously
-v-t to number in 18S9 as many as 21,000 members.
- »• . -e are not all pure Denes, many being mixed with the neighboring tribes, or even alto-
•" iaens as to the race to which they belong. ni'ti ■■573-j>H Jj|jjjj>.>
[Vol. IV.
In Mexico, the number of Apaches is doubtful, since, according to
Dr. D. G. Brinton, "although the Mexican census of 1SS0 puts the
Mexican Apaches at 10,000, no such numbers can be located."* The
same author then goes on to state on the strength of information
emanatino- from Mr. Ilcnshaw, of the Smithsonian Institution, that "lhe
only Apache band now known to be in Mexico are the Janos or Janeros
in Chihuahua, made up of Lipans and Mescaleros.f
0. The Lipans, in New Mexico, who have dwindled  down  to forty
individuals     Their original home  appears  to  have  been on the Rio
It would not be pleasant to be represented as playing the role of the
carping critic. Yet even the fear of appearing to merit this uncompli- t
mentary epithet, cannot deter me from pointing out how utterly meagre
and unreliable are the data possessed, even at the present time, by the
best ethnographers relatively to the Dene stock. Despite the correct list
of the Northern tribes given by the writer in the last volume of the
"Proceedings Canadian Institute," I find that Dr. D. G. Brinton in his
recent book I The American Race," published at Washington two years
after the aforesaid classification had been printed in Toronto, omits no.
less than six Dene tribes of the great northern division. To show how
utterly mixed ethnography appears to be when it is a question of locating
the various Dene* tribes, and thereby to excuse the details into which I
find myself obliged to enter, I take the liberty of quoting the following
sentences from the above mentioned work :— J
"These [the Denes] extend interruptedly from the Arctic Sea to the,
borders of Durango, in Mexico, and from Hudson Bay to the Pacific. . .
The Loucheux have reached the mouth of the Mackenzie River, the
Kuchin are along the Yukon, the Kenai on the Ocean about the peninsula that bears their name, while the Nchaunies, Sekanies and Takullies
are among the mountains to the sbuth. The Sarcees lived about the
southern head waters of the Saskatcl
lewan.   $
Now, with all the deference due to such a veteran ethnographer as
Dr. Brinton, truth bids me state that:—First, It is almost absolutely certain that no branch of the Dene family is stationed on the Arctic Sea,
the whole coast of which is occupied by Eskimo tribes.    Second, There
' "The American Race," p. 69, Washington, 1S91.
+ Ibid.
t The Karankaioa Indians, etc., by A. S. Gatschet ; Cambridge, Mass., 1S91.
S Tne American Race, pp. 6S, 69.
t W«»J-i » 8»*i i'irii i 1S*M5M: ] $92-93.1 NOTES  ON  THE  WESTEUN   DESKS.
are no Denes on the Hudson Bay any more than on the Pacific.    The
former is peopled on the north by the Eskimos and on the south by
tribes of Al^onquian parentage, while several alien races cover the whole
northern coast of the latter, With, perhaps, a single insignificant exception' Third, The Loucheux and the Kuchin arc one and the same
tribe under different names, the first being that originally applied to it
by the French-Canadian voyageurs, while the second (which should read
Ku-tchin or Ku-t'qin, the last syllable being exploded with the tongue
and teeth) is more in honour among English-speaking ethnographers.
The latter vocable is the exact equivalent of the Carrier " hwo'ten ", the
Tsekehne "hwot'qen", the TsijKoh'tin " kwo'tin ", all of which, as we
have already seen, signify " Inhabitants." Fourth, The Kenai spoken
of by Dr. Brinton are probably the K'naia-Kho-tana of Dr. Powell and
both authors may be right in placing their habitat on the Pacific Ocean.
Yet it must be admitted that this would be more evident, were not Dr.
Brinton to transport it, ten pages further on, among the immense plains
claimed by the Blackfeet as their ancestral home.f 5th, The would-be
Nehaunees, Sekaunies and Takullies call themselves Nalrane, Tse'kdhne
and TaKeme respectively. 6th, The Sarcees noiv live about the southern
head waters of the Saskatchewan, but formerly lived some degrees further
north among the Beaver Indians with whom they are congenerous,
•even as a subdivision of the Tse'k£hne tribe.
Nothing but a desire of serving the interests of ethnological science
o o o
has prompted the above remarks. That I can prove all I advance will
not be doubted by those who are cognizant of the opportunities I enjoy
of ascertaining the real ethnologic status of the tribes by which I am
surrounded or of those which are so closely related by blood and language
with that among which I now live. The inaccuracies which they are
aimed at correcting must also be my excuse for venturing to present
below the list, as complete as I can make it, of all the Dene tribes. A
very few of the southern tribes may be unwittingly omitted; but I would
rather sin by omission than by exaggeration.    All the northern tribes
I his is the K^naia-Rho-tana who are now said to reach the coast on Cook's Inlet (Or.
Powell's " Indian Linguistic Families," 7th Ann. Rep. Bur. Ethnol.). Hut the fact that this
•earned ethnographer associates thereto the I Ahthena " of Copper River renders, the identification of that tribe somewhat doubtful, inasmuch as the "Ahtena," unless they are misnamed,
iteust be exogenous to the Dene stock, since that very name means in Dene " foreigners," and is
y-ed by our aborigines to designate all Indians of non-Dene stock. K'naia-Kho-tana, however,
£eems to have the right linguistic ring about it, and apparently refers to the "people of the river
K naia,   whatever this last noun may mean.
Their [the Blackfeet] bands include the Blood or Kenai and the Pieman Indians" p. 79.'
The \".V,r.~ ~ a i     i s
* nt i.aiica are mine. jr TRANSACTIONS   OF  THE  CANADIAN   INSTITUTE. [YOL. I\ .
are given without an exception, though I do not detail the ramifications
or subdivisions of the Louchcux, and therefore omit any mention of the
Ken3i or K'naia-Kho-tana. The figures represent the population of
each tribal division. In the case of the southern tribes they are compiled from the latest official accounts available. For the north-eastern
divisions they are those of Rev. E. Petitot corrected down to date by
Mr. Rod. Macfarlane, an H. 13. CoV officer who has passed over 40 years
of his life among the Indians he enumerates. I am myself responsible
for the figures representing the numbers of the north-western tribes.
Northern D£n£s.
Loucheux : Lower Mackenzie River and Alaska  4400
Hares: Mackenzie, Anderson and MacFarlane Rivers  600
Bad-People: Old Fort Halkett  200
Slaves : west of Grcatt Slave Lake and McKenzie River  1,000
Dog-Ribs : between Great Slave Lake and Great'Bear Lake.... ,1,000
Ycllow-Knives : north-cast of Great Slave Lake  500
Cariboo-Eaters : east of Lake Athabaska  1,200
Chippewayans : Lake Athabaska, etc.  3,000
Tse'kehnc : both sides of Rocky Mountains    500
Beavers : south side of Peace River  700
Sarcccs : east of Rocky Mountains, 510 lat. north and south . 100
Nah'ane: Stickeen River and east '     700
Carriers : Stuart's Lake, north and south    1,600
'J sijKoh'tin : Chilcotin River .. 460
Southern Dane's. /£ 7^
Umkwas, Totunies and (?) Kwalhiokwas : Oregon.'  150
Bupas : Hupa Valley, California  492
W'ailakis : Northern California.  (?) 130-
Navajos : Arizona I  16,102
Ap.tchcs: Oklahoma, Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona  5>/02
Lipans : New Mexico  40
Total of the Northern Tribes    15,960
Total of the Southern Tribes* ,..   22,616
Total of the whole nation-   38,576
Exclusive of the problematic Kwalhiokwas, the Umkwas of the Siletz Agency, the Mexican
wcftcs,  or any such hands H are not controlled,  even remotely, by the office of the U.'S..
Commissioner Indian Affairs. 181*2-93.] NOTES  OX  THE  WESTEKN"   DENES. *<
A tribe of Atnas, Adcnas, Atnahs or Ahthenas, whose habitat would-
be the extreme north-west of this continent, is occasionally mentioned in
ethnographic literature as belonging to the great Dene family. Pilling
rives it a place in his " Bibliography of the Athapaskan Languages.'5
There must be here a mistake cither of name or of identification.
" Atna," etc., is a Dene* word which means " foreigner, heterogener," and
is used to qualify all aboriginal races which are not Deme. Either then
the Atnas of the travellers and ethnographers are not Dene, or if they
belong to that race they must be misnamed.
Main Characteristics of the DfIne* Race.
If there is in the broad world a family of human beings which, though
a mere subdivision of a larger group of the genus homo, plainly demonstrates, through the diversity of its many branches, the fallibility as
ethnic criteria of all but one of the various sciences which go to make
up Ethnology, this is most certainly, the D<fhi£ family. Savants now-a-
days seem too prone to study man as they would a mere animal. Perhaps they overlook too easily the fact that he is a rational being. If
a part of the animal kingdom, he is there a king without peer; and to
judge him after the same standard as we do the brutes of creation should
be considered unscientific. We hear constantly of bodily measurements, of anthropometry and craniology. Now, without entering into
the technicalities of these sciences, let us apply their test, I do not say
to those portions of the Dene people which live thousands of miles apart,
but to a few coterminous tribes of that nation.
On the Western slope of the Rocky Mountains live side by side three
tribes, the Tse-'kehne, the Carriers and the Tsi[-Koh-'tin, which may
furnish us with convenient material to experiment upon.
The Tse'kelme are slender and bony, in stature rather below the
average, with a narrow forehead, hollow checks, prominent cheek bones,
small eyes deeply sunk in their orbit, the upper lip very thin, and the
lower somewhat protruding", the chin very small and the nose straight.
Go and inspect them, and perhaps out of every ten men, five who have
long been fathers will appear to you like mere children. I have never
seen but one fat person among them and none that was bald.
Now the Carriers are tall and stout without, as a rule, being too corpulent. The men, especially, average i"1, 66omiu in height. Their forehead
is much broader than that of the Tse'kChne, and less receding than is
usual with American aborigines. Their face is full, with a nose generally
aquiline and in every case better formed than that of their heterogeneous
neighbours; their lips are thicker and their chin  more prominent  than TKANSACTIONS  OF   THE  CANADIAN'   INSTITUTE.
[Vol. IV.
those of the Tse'kehne. Their eyes are also much larger and of a very
deep black. Baldness, though rare, is sometimes noticed among them,
while a few are literally obese. I am very much mistaken if two crania,
one of an individual of each of these tribes, would not be pronounced
by a craniologist as belonging to representatives of diametrically different
TheTsirKoh'tin, on *-he °^ier hand, are short in stature, broad faced
and broad shouldered, with prominent cheek bones, heavy jaws and a
nose which is not uncommonly thick and flattish. The)' may be said to
have some physical resemblance to the Chinese. This description
applies also to the Babines, who might be considered as a branch of the
The only points in common between the three tribes are the dark
eyes, the black, coarse and straight hair and the small hands and feet.
Large hands and feet, however, are occasionally met with among Carrier
men.* I do not speak of the complexion, because it varies even in the
same tribe according to the occupation and food of the natives. - A
hunter will never return from a tour of two or three months in the
woods without being considerably bronzed, while his fellow tribesman
who has remained at home, without being as white as a European, will
yet be fairer complexioned than most individuals of the Sahsh race of
the South. Even in the matter of beard, a notable difference is observable, inasmuch as full beards, dark and coarse, heavy with hardly any
shaving, are by no means rare among the Babine sub-tribe, while the rest
of the Western Denes are remarkable for the scarcity, or sometimes the
total absence, of facial hair.
--If we now consider the Dene nation from a psychological standpoint,
the contrast between its divers branches will be still more startling.
i he Northern Denes are generally pusillanimous, timid and cowardly.
Now, can this be said of the Apaches ? The Northern Denes are moreover lazy, without skill or any artistic disposition. Is it so with the
Navajos? Even among our Carriers, the proudest and most progressive
of all the Wes'ter;i tribes, hardly an)- summer passes off but some party
runs home panic stricken, and why ? They have heard, at some little
distance, some "men of the woods" evidently animated by murderous
designs, and have barely escaped with their lives. Thereupon great
commotion and tumult in the camp. Immediately everybody is charitably
warned not to venture alone in the forest, and after sunset every door is
in       .
*■ nave also seen several really fair-haired Carriers, a peculiarity which is so much the more
uiarkaule as ^ certainly can not be ascribed to blood mixture with persons of Caucasian descent. NOTES  ON  THE  WESTERN  DENES.
carefully locked against any possible intruder.    Compare these puerile
fears of the Carriers with the indomitable spirit, the warlike disposition
of the f terrible Apache."    Compare also theriKkuinarJtisi^^
the primitive industries of the same tribes with the products of the Navajo
ingenuity, their celebrated blankctsand exquisite silverwork espccially-
and tell me if in this case psychology is a safe criterion of ethnologic
A noteworthy quality of the Northern Denes, especially of such as
have remained untouched by modern civilization is their great honest)'.
Among the Tse"kehne, a trader will sometimes ,go on a trapping expedition leaving his store unlocked, without fear of any of its contents
going amiss. Meanwhile a native may call in his absence, help himself
to as much powder and shot or any other item as he may need; but he
will never fail to leave there an exact equivalent in furs. Now compare
this naive honesty with the moral code in vogue among the Apaches.
Read also what is said of the Lipans, another offshoot of the Dend stock:
they " live in the Santa Rosa mountains from which they stroll about
making inroads in the vicinity to steal horses and cattle."*.
With regard to mental attainments and force of character, I have
shown in a paper read before the Royal Society of Canada,f that all the
north-western tribes, Nalrane Carriers and Tsi[Koh'tin,- which have come
into contact with alien races have adopted the most prominent practices
and customs of the latter. Such is, to a great extent, the case even as
regards mythology. Nay more : they have gone as far as to borrow the
language of their neighbours in connection with their traditional songs
and ceremonies. On the other hand, many Tsi[Koh'tin and not a few
Babines speak Shushwap or Kitikson, while not one full blood individual
of the two latter stocks has acquired enough of the Dene" languages to
decently hold conversation through them. The Denes think it a mark of
enlightenment to imitate the alien races with which they have intercourse,
while these show the little esteem they profess for them by calling them
stick savages."
Now hear what a competent authority says of the Denes of North
California: " Aext after the Karoks, they are the finest race in all that
region, and they even excel them in their statecraft, and in the singular
influence, or perhaps brute force, which they exercise over the vicinal
tribes. They are the Romans of North California in their valour and in
their  far-reaching   dominions.     They are the French in the extended
*he Karaukwa Indians, by A. S. Gatschet, p. 41 ; 1891.
TAte the Carrier Sociology and Mythology Indigenous, etc?    Trans. R. S. C. Sec. II, 1S92. 20
[Vol. IV.
diffusion of their language. They hold in a state of semi-vassala^e most=
of the tribes around them, exacting from them annual tribute in the
shape of shell-money; and they compel all their tributaries to speak
Hupa in communication with them. Although most of these tributaries had their own tongues originally, so vigorously were they put to
school in the language of their masters, that most of their vocabularies
were sapped and reduced to bald categories of names."* 'jm
/ The Northern Denes, who are eminently gentle in disposition, have
generally shown a remarkable receptiveness. )And this explains how it
is that, with few exceptions, they are all to-day practical Christians, and
conform to the customs of the whites as much as their social status will
permit. In opposition to this, we find that the Navajos and the Apaches
still hold to their superstitious beliefs and ceremonies, and keep themselves aloof of any civilizing influence. This is so true that when, some
years ago, an effort was made by the U. S. Commissioner of Indian
Affairs to secure a tract of land close by the Cherokees* territory for the
location of the Navajos, the former who, as is well known, have made
great strides towards civilization, refused to entertain the proposition,
"asserting that the Navajos were not civilized Indians."f I have never
noticed any mention of real improvement in their midst since that time.:
As for the Hupas, their agent stated ten years ago that they "are not
to-day any more enlightened, advanced, progressive, industrious or better
off in any way than they were when the Reservation was established,
about twenty years ago."| That time has brought no change in their
dispositions is made clear by the following words of their agent in his
latest Report (1S91): "They all cling to their own customs and laws as
being far better than any others, and seem to look upon many of them
as sacred. . . . Many of the Indians seem to look upon the attenM
ance of their children [at school] as a favour to the teacher or the agent,
and expect some reward for it."§    In strong contrast to the indifference for
intellectual attainments manifested by the Hupas, let me refer the reader
to what I said in a former essay || of the craving for know ledge evidenced
by our Carriers, and the remarkable results it has produced even under
the most untoward circumstances.
* Contributions to North American Ethnology, vol. iii., p. J2.
■fThe Cherokee Nation of Indian-;, by Ch. C. Royce, Fifth Annual Report, Bureau of Ethnology, Washington, 1SS3-S4.
£ Indian Affairs Report, 1SS1, 6; apud O. E. Mason's The Ray Collection, p. 207.
§ Sixtieth Annual Report Commissioner Indian Affairs, 1S91, vol. I, p. 220.
U The Western Denes; Proc. Can. Inst., vol. vii., p. 165. *
;-£';.*.: 'i^is'n* 1 $92-93.]
A-a-n the folk-lore of the North-Western Denc> greatly differs from
that of their immediate Eastern neighbours and.congeners, while there is
no point of affinity between that of either divisions and the mythology
of the Navajos.
How is it then thatlribcs of aborigines occupying so widely separated
territories and so utterly dissimilar from a psychological, technological,
,ociolo-ical and mythological standpoint can be classed under one single
denomination as Denes? The answer is in every mouth : this is owing
to linguistic analogy. Language, therefore, is the trait-d union which
unites into one homogeneous body such apparently heterogeneous elements. Through it we are certain that the same blood flows in their
veins and that they are the children of a common father, whoever he
may have been. If any stronger argument can be adduced in support ol
the paramount importance of Philology as an ethnological criterion, I am
at a loss to discover what it can be.
Hence it will be seen that my initial remarks concerning that class of
modern scientists who lay so much stress on  the physical structure of
man to the detriment of his special characteristic as a distinct genus
thinking and speaking, were not unwarranted.    If even the ensemble of
the  peculiarities which differentiate him  into a rational, social being
cannot lawfully claim the first place in the ethnologist's estimation, a
fortiori this cannot be granted to those features which  he possesses in
common with non-human animals.    In the words of Horatio Hale, "the
grand characteristic which distinguishes man  from  all  mundane beings
is articulate speech.    It is language alone which entitles anthropology to
-its claim to be deemed a distinct department of science."*    One needs
not be a scientist to see the correctness of this view; and it is a long time
since Quintilian said:  "When  the Creator distinguished us from  the
animals it was especially by the gift of language. . . .    Reason is our
portion, and seems to associate us with  the immortals; but how weak
would reason be without the faculty to express our thoughts by words,
which faithfully interpret them 1    This the animals want, and  this  is
worth more than the intelligence of which; we must say, they are absolutely deprived." \
1 have not so far been fortunate enough to come across any vocabulary of a southern Dene dialect, and the only continuous Navajo texts I
have ever seen arc those of the I Mountain Chant" published by Dr. W. TRANSACTIONS   OF  THE  CANADIAN   INSTITUTE.
[Vol. IV
Matthews* Now, clothing these.texts with the orthography denotive of
the peculiarly exploding and sibilant sounds, which I think they must
receive to become correct renderings, I find side by side, with some terms
proper to the tribe or borrowed from adjacent stocks, no less than
seventy-two words which are easily recognizable here, at a distance of
perhaps 2,000 miles from the nearest Navajo. To form a just idea of
the proportion of genuine Dene" with local or foreign words, it should be
borne in mind that these texts are composed merely of a few words very
often repeated.
Distribution of the Western D£n£s.
Now that we have macle some acquaintance with the divisions and
main traits of the Dene nation in general, we may particularize and
furnish the reader with more precise ethnologic data concerning the tribes
whose technology and industries we are about to review. These we have
already named: they arethe TslpCoh'tin, The Carriers and the Tse'kehne.
As some savants have done me the honour of asking for more detailed
information on their ethnographic status than were contained in a former
paper on the same, I shall now proceed to give their tribal subdivisions
or septs, together with their aboriginal names, the habitat of the natives
thereby determined and, as far as practicable, their present population,
and the number of their villages. Wg
West of the Rockv Mountains we have from south to north:—
The Tsi/Ko/i'lin, who actually inhabit the Chilcotin valley and roam
over the bunch grass covered plateaus that skirt it on either side, from
the $o° to the 52° 30' of latitude north. Their territory is bordered in
the east by the Fraser River, and in the west by the Cascade Range of
mountains. yBut not unfrequently a few bands manage to cross over and
make inroads for hunting purposes into the territory of the Sishaj and
other coast tribes. Of course the latter resent these encroachments upon
their ancestral domains; but as hunting for peltries is not extensively
practised by them, the harm done by the poachers is not very great.
It is perhaps worth remarking in this connection that the "Linguistic
Map of British Columbia" prefixed to Dr. F. Boas' Report on the B. C.
tribes for iScpf is somewhat inaccurate in that it gives the TsijKoh'tin
quite a tract of land on the east side of the Fraser which, as a matter of
fact, is now and has been occupied from time immemorial by three
villages of Shushwap Indians, viz.: Soda-Creek, Sugar-Cane and Alkali-
* Fifth Ann. Rep. Bureau of Ethnology, 18S3-S4.
+ Sixth Report on the X. W. Tribes of Canada, London, 1S90,. $bt#s.]
1 ake Nay more, until recently the TsqKoh'tin did not even extend as
far as the Fraser. Some 25 years ago the bulk of the tribe inhabited
Na'kunt'jiin, a village on the lake of" that name (520 40' Iat. by
i->'° 5' long.) close by the Bilqulis' territory, whence they migrated
almost in a body to the more fertile lands they now occupy.*
From a sociological standpoint they might be divided into the quasi^
sedentary and the nomadic TsqKoh'tm. The former dwell on the north
hanks of the Tsi[Koh, called by the whites Chilcotin River. They are
divided into two groups, viz.: the T/Js-YLoh-tin (people of the Splint River)
with one village on that creek close by the Fraser, population about
75 ; and the T'/d-t/iert-Ko/t-'tiu (people of the river that trails through
the <*rass) who have two villages near the Chilcotin 35 and 45 miles
respectively west of the Fraser. Total population 190. An independent
band of some 35 individuals, an offshoot of the same sub-division, has
established itself near the Fraser facing Fort Alexander.
All of these Tsijlvoh'tin have abandoned their original semi-subterranean huts to dwell in log houses covered with mud according to the
fashion prevailing among the neighbouring whites. They also cultivate
wheat and other cereals, peas and potatoes with moderate success.
The nomadic TsqKoh'tin are called by the whites "Stone TsijKoh'tin'*
by allusion to their fovourite haunts, the rocky spUrs of the Lillooet
mountains and of the Cascade range where they live, largely on marmots.
They have no fixed abode and except during the winter, they are
constantly shifting from their southern to their northern borders, that is
from the aforesaid mountains to the Chilcotin River, where they generally
pass a few weeks of the fair season. I know of no more primitive
people throughout the whole of British Columbia.
Apart from the above regular subdivisions their still remain at
Nakuiu'[un, or in the proximity of that lake, a few straggling members
of the same tribe.
In his late paper on "the Shushwap people of British Columbia," Dr. G.
M. Dawson gives f after Mr. J. W. Mackay, Indian agent, an interesting
account of a hostile excursion of Tsi[Koh'tin warriors into the country of
ere native testimony regarded as an insufficient proof of this, philology might still furnish
n corroborative evidence of unquestionable character. Thus the most remarkable feature
'.nt territory of  the Tsi[Koh'tin tribe  is  its magnificent bunch grass (Agr: Syrian
e., the
'] npeus  I..).    Now they call  it   (Enna-t'ld,  or "grass of the foreigners,:
hs particular species of grass is not met with north of the valley and borcter
of the Chilcotin Rive
on the Shushwap people of B. C. ; Transact. R. S. C. Sec. II, I 24, 1891.
w m ■24
[Vol. if
, the Shushwap. On the authority of ffj
were pushed back by superior numb
where, by their prowess, they comp.'.'c
and  make  a treaty of peace from w!
.?1 These strangers, who are said t6 have
are thus the earliest inhabitants of the
account has been obtained." * Sever
Mr. Mackay, as remnants of the or*^
undoubtedly TsiiKoh'tin, and make
Shushwap are partly of Dene parental
Immediately north of the Tsi[Kor.':i;
the most important in numbers, most '
^the north-western Dene tribes.. They
latitude and are coterminous with the
Crees and TseVkehne on the east. The
the Rocky Mountains as far as 53"
from their heterogeneous neighbours
immediate contact with the Ts£'kehn<
The Carriers are semi-sedentary In
regularly organized" villages "from \Vn11
search of the fish and fur-bearim
south to north, their tribe
l   enK^^-:.
I. The qthau'tenne (a contract
Fraser River).. They now have
contiguous to the old Fort Alexam
of the H. B. Co's. posts in British
originally several hundreds: the^
Whiskey and loose morals owin
responsible for this result. They
in the south and the 1
that fifteen individuals
att narrative, the would-be invader
*rs into the Semilkamccn vaUei
d their pursuers to come to ternr
iich intermarriages soon resulted
come frofn the Chilcotin country
Sernnkamcen valley of whom anj
, out of thirteen words given bj
nal language of the invaders, an
Li  certain  that the Semilkameec
i we find the Carriers_or Takhepu
widespread and progressive of all
extend as far north as the 560 0
coast tribes on the west and th(
Coast Range on the one side'and
lat. on the other, separate there
North of the 530, they are in
ians. They have fixed homes in
l they periodically scatter away in
als on which they subsist.    From
" ^tha-koh-'tenne, people of the
>ne village, Stella (the Cape]
merly one of the most important
>£a7 now abandoned. They were
now almost extinct as a sept
he vicinity of the whites are
-terminous with the Shush war.
imediate west.     I do not think
I     Lildt.   —V-   ),
r Naz).     They are likewise
actually more   than  9c
inhabit two villages Oucsnel
;cially the former, as playec
wlv but surely working out the
A. Mackenzie to reach the Pacifv 1892-93.]
ultimate destruction of the Nazku'tennc.    Both villages inhabited by
•them are on the Fraser River.
i. Due west of the Black-Water village and ascending the river of that
name to its source, wc meet with a third subdivision of the Carriers, the
Xit-tea-tenne (probably corrupted from Nu-tcah-toine, people down
a(,ainst the island). These people dwell in four small villages, Trout
Lake, qus'ko.^,* Pe-['ka-tct5k,-| and q'ka-tco.J The latter is composed
of a. mixed population of-Dene and Belqula descent whose first white
visitor was the writer, ten years ago.     1 Jie Nu-cha-'tenne formerly had
several other villages (Tsitsi, qrak, etc.), the sites of which arc still di
ccrnible  through  small  clearings  in   the  forest..    Their  present total
number may be a little over 135.
4. Immediately north of the Black-Water village, at the confluence of
the NutcaKoh with the Fraser"River, we have one village, Fort George or
zjtcitli,§ the population" of which forms one separate sept, the Tano-
'tenne (people a little to the north). It numbers actually 130 persons.
The Fort George Indians have on the east side of the Fraser very large
and productive hunting grounds as far as, and comprising, the Rocky
and Caribou mountains and spurs thereof. A village of the same sept,
Tcinlak at the junction of the Na'kralKoh or Stuart's La,ke River with
the NuchaKoh had formerly a flourishing population which was, not very
long ago, practically annihilated in one night by the TsijKoh'tin.
5. Two villages on Fraser Lake furnish us with our fifth tubal sub-
-division of the Carriers.    Their population goes under the common name
of Xatlo'tenue (contracted from Naileh-hwdtennc or people of Natlch. )
About 135 persons form the population of their two villages Natleh and
Stella,** one at each end of the lake.
The aggregate of the  above enumerated ^eptsl constitutes what  I
generally  designate  under
collective   name  of   Lower   Carriers.
I hough slight linguistic peculiarities give to each of them a real individuality, yet the dialect of all
contains very important cnaracceristics com
jepts or subtribes which remain to review.
won to the whole aggregate which differentiate it from that of any of the
• ««n
[us,    the name of a carp-hk
i;i-a r,cK
t" Wherewith one catches f,t."
'"li-Wg-fattening." »»
* i>e junction.
"iMi.c., the salmon) comes back again."
"The Cat*.
Under the name of Upper Carriers I include :—
6. The Na-'kra-ztli-'lennc or people
[Vol. Hi
They inl
tffi*   Stuart's   Lake
villages, Xa'kraz tli and Pinlcef on the southern enfl
and on the middle of St
arc oi  an  inc v^arners n
lney numoer iou souis, ano uicy
rrcatcst strides towards
7. .lmincaiatciy to tne nortn-west, on tne same iaKe ana its triDuianes^
Lake   Tremblay, That'iah, i and Connollv, a second subdivision of the
Up:       Carriers, the  seventh of the  whole  tribe, occupies four smal
villages, two only of which arc regularly organized with a chief and tn
usual native officers.   These are Tha-tce,    and Sas-thut§ respectively all
the confluence of Thatce river on Stuart's Lake and near Fort Connolly
of   that  name.     The  others  are  'Koztce ** formerly an
ilityon Thatce river and Yo-xu-tce ft at the north-western
on  th
important loc
extremity of Stuart's Lake.    The original home of all these bands wa
the end of that lake, as is manifest trom their commi
J las- ten
not over go:
Doicom   or  ei
of the
Their total
line or ten years ago, Drs. Tolmie and Dawson published
conjointly a valuable ethnological map of this province, t*.which does not
tally in e\\ . respect with my description of the northern limits of the
Carriers' territory. The line f demarcation between the Carriers and the
Tse'kehnes'hunting ground; ses, on thai map, through the middle of
The ' h lake, giving the lati i large strip of land which I grant to the
form S-.' I must explain thai ' e authors of that map thereby point to the
de jure or original territory of the Carriers, while I sketch above the
de facto or actual limits thereof. By right Bear's or Connolly lake and
adjacent count i belong to the Tse'kehne tribe ; but, as a matter of factr
the  village which  is situated  close to the  H. B. Co's. fort is now the
The Dene Lan
" Trans. Can. Ii
the water," the equivalent of the French "Fontl^u Lac"   The real uati
/-»      Cf £.__. /-
con fl      ce in the lake) of th
ence of the *A>= river.
>nflucnce of the river Ymuztli, (the outlet of Ygko lake).
3 to "Comparative Vocabularies of the Indian tribes of B. C.; Montreal, iSSfc §92-93:]
rendezvous of representatives of three different tribes, namely : the
Tsekehne who periodically congregate there for trading purposes and
have no permanent residence; the Carriers, a band of whom now
inhabit the village and hunt in the vicinity of the lake with the consent
of the former; and the gtnas or Kitiksons from the Skeena river who
arc considered as mere intruders and as such live there only on sufferance.
Both the Na'kraztli'tenne and the T'laz'tenne receive from the Babines
the name of 'Kutane.
The following subdivisions might be designated under the collective
fiame of Babines, since in language they are practically one, and the
custom of wearing labrets which gave its distinctive name to one of them
was common to both.    They are :—
8. The Nitu'tinni (in Upper Carrier Nato'lemie) or Babines who
inhabit the northern half of Babine lake in three villages and number
actually some 310 souls.
9 The Hzvotsu'tinni (in Upper Carrier Htvotsdtenne) or people of the
river Hwotsutson.* They are called Akwilget, " well dressed," by the
Kiliktons, their immediate neighbours of Tsimpsian parentage, and after
them by the whites. They inhabit two villages, Ts£-tcah,f Key9R-
hwotqst,^: and two smaller places now organizing, Tsef-'ka^-Kwoh,§ and
Moricetown on the HwotsotsonKwoh or Buckley river and what is
known in the country as the telegraph trail. All of these localities are
within the northernmost extremity of these Indians' hunting grounds
which extend from Francais Lake up to the Skeena River. Several
members of that sept are allied by blood with their alien neighbours, the
Kitiksons.    They number about 300.
The language of these different branches of the Carrier tribe, while
remaining essentially the same, undergoes however marked variations-
corresponding to its ethnographical subdivisions. Upon that ground I
have even sometimes asked myself whether distinct individuality as a
tribe should not be granted to the Babines whose linguistic or even
psychological peculiarities are so glaring that they cannot escape
detection even by the most careless observer. Much of their dialect
would indeed be "greek" to an qthau'ten visitor.
It is also but right to warn the reader that the three main divisions
of the tribe into Lower Carriers, Upper Carriers and Babines, although
* Almost equivalent to "Spider."
f Down against the Rock.
;01d Village,
f River of the axe edge. 28
[Vol. IV.
founded on language and geographical distribution, are not recognized
by the Carriers themselves, who know of no other than the above
enumerated minor subdivisions.
The TshT^otoin and Carriers have a well organized society composed
of the hereditary " noblemen " who own the land, and the common
people who hunt with and for them. They formerly had no local head-
chiefs. Moreover, irrespective of the ethnographic divisions based on
language and habitat, they are divided into several gentes the members
of which believe themselves bound by ties of the strictest relationship.
They were originally exogamous, and throughout the entire Carrier tribe
matriarchate or mother-right is the law governing succession to titles
and  property.
, Among the TV'-'&^-^^orJlP.eople-on-the-Rocks" a simpler and more
primitive sociaHorganization obtains. That tribe, through necessity a?
~much?lis~T7om natural inclination, is entirely nomadic. As salmon is
unknown throughout their territory, these aborigines have to be almost
constantly on ihc move after the moose, cariboo and other large animals
on "whose flesh they mainly subsist. Father-right is their nationa'
'fundamental law, and the whole tribe is composed of bands slightl)
•differing in language, and with no regular chiefs. In fact, their society
such as it is, might almost be termed a perfect anarchy, were it not tha:
the advice of the oldest or most influential of each band is generalh
followed as far at least as regards hunting, travelling and camping.
Though each band has traditional hunting grounds "the limits of thes«
are but vaguely defined, which is not the case with those of the Carried
Furthermore, several  members of one band  will  not unfrequently b
found hunting unmolested on the land of a
Therefore no ver*
strict boundaries can be assigned to the following tribal subdivisions
which comprise all the Tse'kehne population within the political bordeij
of British Columbia :—
1. The Yu-isu-fqenne, or "people down over there" {i.e., in th;
direction of an expanse of water) are the band which from Jttrn
immemorial bartered out to the Carriers the axes and other primith]
implements of which due mention shall be made further on. They ai
so called bwthe rest of the tribe by allusion to their commercial relation
with the Carriers of Stuart's Lake. Their hunting grounds lie froi
Salmon Rivefc* to MacLeod's Lake and thence to the Fraser, by $3° 3<
2. The  Tse-\kc'/t-ne-as, or " little-people-on-the-rocks" roam over tl
* There are so many Salmon rivers in the north of British Columbia that it may be necessa
to explain that the one here mentioned empties itself into the Fraser a little above Fort Geors
HIM* .*«-. :jJss i«a*»«.-.>w3>:J NOTES ON* THE WES 1 1KN DENES.
1 $92-93.]
land which extends between the latter lake and the summit of the Rocky
Mountains. They are often to be found hunting on the western slope of
that range. &%*£
3. The To-ta-t'qenne (" people-a-little-down-thc-river") inhabit the
eastern slope.and adjacent plains of the Rocky Mountains within British
4."The Tsa-fqenne (who call themselves Tsa-Ituh) or Beaver-people,
roam over the large prairies contiguous to the Peace River, on the south
side of that stream and east of the Rockies.
5. The Tst-ta-utqenne (the people against the Rocks) as hinted by
their name, have their habitat chiefly at the base of the Rock)- Mountains
on the north side of the Peace River.
6. This is perhaps the proper place to mention the Sarcees* who have
been adopted by the Blackfeet Confederation, and actually live east of
the Rocky Mountains by about 510 lat. north. •;
7. To the north of all the above sub-divisions, from the 560 to the north,
we find the Sas-chflt-qenne or "people of the Black Bear" whose trading
post was until last year Fort Connolly on the lake of that name.
8. Another .band called Otzdn-ne (people between or intermediary)
claims the land which intervenes between the territory of the Saschut-
'qenne and that of the Tselohne on the west side of the Rocky
9. Those Tstf-lo/i-ne (people of the end of the Rocks) live immediate!)'
north of the latter and their chief trading post is now B. L. O. (Bear-Lake-
Outpost) on the Finlay River by 570 of latitude north. Their name is
due to the fact that their habitat is an immense plain which is said to
intersect the whole of the Rocky Mountains which are popularly believed
not to extend any further.
The aggregate population of all these bands does not exceed 1,300.
The Tse'kthne are known to the Carriers under the name of 'ftat-tenxe
or I people of the beaver-dams," while the latter are responsible for the
distinctive name of the Carriers—Arepie,  "packers."    The nickname.
Ta-Kc/-ne by which this tribe sometimes calls itself f is of recent origin
*t has no meaning in its language to which' it is exotic, and  I  cannot
Their aboriginal name as a sept is unknown to me.    A century ago they had 35 tents with
population of 120.    (History of Manitoba, p. 85).
t Indeed they even call thus all the races of Indians by opposition to the whites. 30
[Vol. IV.
imagine whence it originated.    It is the would-be Tacit Hies or Takullies
of the ethnographers.*
The foregoing information will be found recapitulated in the following
list showing the tribal subdivisions from south to north of the Tsilkoh'tin
the Carriers and the Tse'kehne.
Tsilkoh'tin Tribe.
Stone Tst'/Ko/t'tin ; immediately south of Chilcotin River.
TpsKo/ilin ; ten miles north of the mouth of Chilcotin River.
T'pt/teflKoh'iin ; north bank of Chilcotin River, 45 miles from its mouth.
Independent septs ; Fort Alexander and Nakuntl'un.
Carrier Tribe.
yt/iau'tenue ; Fort Alexander.
Nazkutenne ; Quesnelle and mouth of Black Water River.
Nutca'tenne ; on Black Water and throughout its basin.
Tandtcnne ; Fort George.
Natldtenne I Fraser Lake. ;*££
Ndkraztli'tenne ; Stuart's Lake.
T'jaz'tenne ; upper end of Stuart's Lake and tributaries.
Babine Subtribe.
Nctiiiinni ; Babine Lake.
Hwotsu'tinni; Buckley River and Francais Lake.
Tstf'KisriNE Tribe.
Yutsufqeuue ; from Salmon River to McLeod's Lake.
Tse'kchneaz; from McLeod's Lakes to the Rocky Mountains.
Totafqenne I immediately east of Rocky Mountains.
Tsafqenne (the Beavers); south side of Peace River.
Tse'taufqenne ; base of Rocky Mountains close by preceding.
*The number of different orthographical readings of the names of the north-western Dene
tribes is truly wonderful. Thus the Carriers (TaKe/nc, the " Porteurs" of the French Canadians)
are called. Tahhali and Tahcully by Anderson, Tekcili, by Dawson and Takully, Tacully,
Takulli by others. The Tse'kehne are ThS-kka-ne tdLPetitot, Jhekenneh to Kennicott, and
Sicany, Siccani, or Sikani to others. I am ashamed to own that I have myself countenanced in
former papers the wrong reading u Sekanais " of my predecessors here.
w,-:v—~?~—*r* 1892-93.]
Sarcees; immediately east of Rocky Mountains, 51° tat., north.
Sasckfttqenne ; Connolly Lake and north.   West side Rocky Mountains.
Otz?nnc; north of preceding, same side of mountains.
TsUohne ; north of preceding, same side of mountains.
To the above I should add the Nah'ane * whose hunting grounds
lie to the north of those of the Tsd'k^hne. But I am not familiar enough
with their tribal divisions to state them with, any degree of certainty, nor
<k> I sufficiently possess their technology to speak authoritatively of it.
It may however be broadly stated that from an archaeological standpoint
the Western Nah'ane may be classed as Carriers, while the Eastern
Nah'ane are to all practical purposes regular Ts£'k£hne.
* The so-called Nehawni of Pilling, the Na"ane of Petitot, the NaMwney of Kenmcott, the
.Nckavjiuy of Ross and the Nahawnies of others. TRANSACTIONS  OF THE  CANADIAN   INSTITUTE.
[Vol. IV
Preliminaries—Phi lological.
.. ^  Philology is not without bearing on Archaeology.    More than
iUu * fanner will prove a great help towards elucidating such problems
*:r l ""   l'; i.itivc age or history of the human products whose aggregate
\u * iLv\\'- Uic raison d? etre of the latter.    Thus the necessaries of native
1 "'' ■'-   objects which are the most indispensable to savage man and
" ; 'Wvpcarance as technological items must therefore have been the
. >&i-. >0 as a ru|ej expressed in Dene" by monosyllabic roots as thuy
\v.'tn, fire ; p, fish; tsa, beaver; 'kra, arrow; pi/, snare; kuh,
'^r<* v'-v-    Other objects or implements of more complex nature or less
•*M;Mrt,or the use of which supposes higher steps in the industrial
17 ' • v  rendered  by polysyllabic words.    In  the language of the
"■ i^l^liore_43rimitive._an object, philologically also the simpler its
' "i^loments of complicated^trucTurT^oFoT recent introduction
£■;       *•="- ' hi aborigines have almost invariably names of similarly composite
"•^siderations have led me to give, either in the text or through
J'"c aboriginal name of each item of native technology men-
J*ve present monograph.    As we shall presently see, some of
>> admit of no literal translation ; but when such translation is
sh&ll accompany the Indian word.    Unless otherwise noted,
'> will be in the Carrier dialect.
"^ader may the more easily recognize the category to which
^'.ymologically belong, and thereby judge of the place the
-v ■   represent occupy  in the Dene technology, I deem it not
■•; produce here the following paragraphs, from a former paper
•.  languages.
;vl in their material structure and etymology, the Dene
''•: divided into four classes. These are the primary roots
Twmosyllabic as in Chinese. Such are ya, sky ; tJifl, waterj.
... bUielT^Bear-; etc. Theyare essentially nominative: they
• .": nor describe the object they designate; they merely
■i from another. I consider them as the remnants of the
•k language, inasmuch as they are to be found with little or 1S92-93.]
no alteration in all the dialects of the family, whatever may be the distance intervening between the aborigines who speak them.*"
No etymology or other explanation than that of the text will be given
of words belonging to this category, because they admit of none. Thus
the context will indicate for instance that R*/ is a war club, that we is a
kind of fish trap, etc., without any attempt being made at explaining the
origin of either word, or at giving a more literal sense of them than that
furnished by the translation, which would be impossible. They have no
derivation, but on the contrary may serve as the compounding elements of
other words of secondary import.
"The.second category comprises roots of simple import which are
genuine unsynthetical substantives though polysyllabic, generally dissyllabic, in form. To this category belong words as t?ne, man ; fstkhe,
woman; pp/Jr?n, lake; etc. They possess, to a limited extent, the
properties of the monosyllabic roots, being likewise merely determinative
and oftentimes varying but little with the change of dialect."*f-
Here it may be added that even in these nouns there is generally one
syllable which is more important and contains, as it were, the quintessence
of the word. Thus it is with the ne of tane; the t'sb of t'sekh^,
thep?n of panrtn. In composite words, such syllables only are retained.
So the Carriers will more commonly say ne-dran murderer, than tdne-zran,
while in such compounds as ji-t'se, she-dog, and pdn-tco, big lake, the
weak or secondary syllable has also disappeared.
. "The third class contains composite nouns formed, as a rule, by compounding, though sometimes by agglutinating, monosyllabic or dissyllabic roots. Such are ne-na-pa-ra (literally : man-eyes-edge-hair) eye
lashes ; tzpe-te, wild sheep horns ; mai-rtf, vegetable oil instead of viai-ke',
literally, fruit-oil. These nouns being mere compounds of roots belonging to the two former categories have the same degree of relative
lmmutableness with regard to the various dialects as the radicals which
enter into their composition.''^
In like manner, implements designated by names of this category
niay be of as ancient origin as those denominated by words of the first.
1 hus, tsa-m-pij, beaver snare, contains two ideas of simple import—
and demanded
bv tl
ic following
the medial m being merely
A   That words of this class ma)' not be confounded with terms of the
preceding, their compounding roots will be separated by a hyphen.
*he Dene Languages, etc.    Transact Can. Inst. vol. 1, 1889-90, p. 181.
\ p. 182 ITL'TE.
[Vol. IV.
The fourth and last class is made up of verbal nouns which, as their
name indicates, are nothing else than verbs in the impersonal or personal
moods employed to qualify objects of secondary import with the help
sometimes of a radical noun, sometimes of a pronoun, and always of a
prepositive particle prefixed to, or incorporated in, the verbal substantive.
Of this description are the words pe-yofi^rqil (lit. with-earth-one cleaves),
plough; u-'kwzt-s9zta (lit. it-on-one sits), seat; /teu-pa-ypR (lit. work-
for-house) work-shop."*
Very few of the objects or implements designated by words of that
class can be regarded as of really ancient origin.
As for the orthography followed in the present monograph for rendering aboriginal words, it is as follows :—
The vowels have the continental sounds. When accentuated, they
undergo the same phonetic changes as French letters do when affected
hy similar accents. Thus d, t, 6, have the same sound as in French;
e and u as in Italian ; / is sounded as the e of " mets ", k as that of the
English " ten ", while 9 corresponds to the so-called French e muet in
such words as je, te, le.     W is always a consonant.
Subject to the following remarks, the consonants have also the continental sounds. H is strongly aspirated; n represents a nasal n followed
by a common or sounding n\ / is a lingualo-sibilant which is obtained by
the emission of a hissing sound on both sides of the tongue curved, upwards previous to its striking the lingual letter; r is the result of
uvular vibrations, and when immediately following a guttural (g, k, kh,
*k, or K) it is almost impreceptible to the ear; K, and R, are respectively
& and r pronounced with a very guttural inflection ; q nearly resembles ty,
both letters being*Simultaneously sounded; c represents the English double
-consonant sh. The apostrophe (') prefixed to k, t, q, adds to the regular
pronunciation of those letters the exploding sound peculiar to most
Indian languages.    J is intermediate between s and c.
Th, kh, are equivalent to t + h and k-f-h and are produced by a
single emission of voice. T's and t'[ are " exploded" and their exact
value cannot be realized otherwise than by hearing them pronounced by
a competent person.
The hiatus is represented by a period in the upper part of the line (*).
* J bid., ibid. 1
Works and Implements unknown among the Western Dane's.
Before attempting to detail what our aborigines have or had of
archreological ware, it may not be amiss to enumerate what they do not
have and apparently never had.
Throughout the whole extent of their territory, no mounds, enclosures,
fortifications of a permanent character or any earthen works suggesting
human agency are to be found, nor is their existence, past or present,
even as much as suspected by any Carrier, Tse'kehne or Tsilkoh'tin. In
the same manner, pottery, clay implements, perforated stones, mortars,
ceremonial gorgets, gouges, stone sledges and articles of shell either plain,
carved or engraved, have to this day remained unknown among them.
They did formerly, and do still occasionally, use stone pestles. But for the
mortars common among natives of most heterogeneous stocks, they
substitute a dressed skin spread on the ground whereon they pound dried
salmon, salmon vertebras, bones, etc.
Such sweeping assertions may astonish those readers who have already
been Dr. D. G. Brinton that among the Dtmes "utensils
were of wood, horn or stone, though the Takully women manufactured
a coarse pottery and also spun and wove yarn from the hair of the
mountain goat."* This statement is quite a surprise to me, inasmuch as
I supposed it was a fact well known to Americanists that no pottery of
any description existed among such north-western stocks of aborigines
as the D6n6, the Tsimpsian, the Haida, the Kwakwintl, the Tlinget and
the Eskimo.   As for the spinning of the hair of the mountain goat Dr.
IT o ©
Brinton probably confounds the Carriers (his Takully) with the Pacific
Coast tribes which did and occasionally do make good blankets out of
that material.*(-
I have also mentioned the mortars among articles unknown to the
original Dends. Therefore I must call attention to a statement of A.
Xiblack in his valuable monograph on "The Coast Indians of Southern
Alaska" wherein he says: I These [mortars] were by some people
supposed to indicate that in early days these Indians ground maize as
did and do the hunting Indians of the interior."!    The italics arc mine.
The American Race, p. 71.
.TA gentleman speakin^ de vi:
jp or
r/ states that
•horn) anc
is spun from the wool of the mountain goat
is woven into excellent blankets which are
(not the mountain si
coloured and ornamented."    (Notes by iMr. J. C. Callbreath in G. M. Dawson's
Indian tribes of the Yukon District "
• 1.
Thapliwt division of the Nal
*Tn« Coast Ii
etc.,  reprint, p.  6).
But t!
11s s
Notes on the
..1;..-   «~   »K
tatement applies to the
l'auc, not the Can
:r tribe.
bans, etc., in Ann.
Rep. of the U. S. National Museum, p. 2Sx;  1890. 36
[Vol. IV
These words, coming from an author who is generally so well informed,
are at best perplexing. To whom does he allude in this reference to the
maize growing huntsmen of the interior? Most people will answer that
it must be to the Ddn£ Indians who, in the latitude within which the
subjects of his sketch are stationed, people the American Continent
practically in its whole breadth. Of course, he cannot thereby refer to
the Iroquois and the Hurons whose habitat is close to the Atlantic, not
the Pacific coast. Now it is so well known that the Defies were but
recently innocent of the least attempt at cultivation that I cannot regard-
this extraordinary assertion as anything else than a slip of the pen.
A natural apathy, lack of artistic ambition or want of skill'caused the
Western Denes to beTpractical, rather than cesthetic craftsmen. Where
extra exertion was not absolutely necessary, it was very seldom bestowed
upon any kind of work. Therefore most of the implements which we
shall examine in the following chapters are exceedingly simple arid
sometimes even rude in appearance. For instance, the Dene\ knowing by
experience that a stone lashed, while in its natural state, to his fishing-
net was doing as good service as the most elaborate sinker, never
fashion it into any of the artistic shapes given similar
I many other famsUie/s of Aborigines. For this reason carved
y grooved sinkers are also to be classed among the indus-
nts unknown to the Western Den£s.
attempted t<
implements 1
or even men
trial implem
A fact which will perhaps elicit incredulous comment is that not only
our Aborigines'/earliest acquaintance with tobacco, native or Nicotian,
dates only from 1792 for the Tse'kehne and 1793 for the Carriers, but
even the very act of smoking was unknown to them prior to those dates.
As a consequence, pipes of any material or form  are an adventitious
**w$f ■Ms
3JCS3.S in.,m^
item amongst them. AFig. I represents the earliest known model of pipes
of Dene manufacture. It consists of a stone bowl with, a serrated base
wherein a wooden stem has been inserted.    Bowl and stenxare connected 1802-93.]
b)- means of a chain of dcntalium shells alternating with coloured glass
.beads. A pipe strikingly similar in form, but minus the string of shells
and bcadi^was also in use among the Shushwap Indians, the southern
neighbours of the Western Denes, as appears from a sketch in Dawson's
" Notes on the Shushwap People o( British Columbia."*
Against the above assertion as to the absence of smoking pipes among
the primitive Dem£s, it might be contended that the Tsi[Koh'tin, who
were more venturesome than the two other tribes,  must have known
through the Coast and Shushwap Indians, the species of wild tobacco
which is said to have been cultivated by the natives of Queen Charlotte
Islands, or gathered in  its wild state by   the  Shushwap.j-    But to any
person who is aware of the irresistible attraction all races of Aborigines
feel towards the use of the soothing weed, whether genuine or counterfeit this hypothesis will appear altogether .gratuitous.    Albeit the tribal
intercourse between  the  Tsilkoh'tin and   the  Carriers was formerly a
rather rare occurrence and not always of the most friendly description,
had smoking been in vogue among the former, the latter could not well
have failed to notice in their neighbours a practice which is claimed to
have appeared so strange to them at the time of their first meeting with
the whites.    Now both the Tse'kehne and the Carriers are positive that
it was unknown   to  their  ancestors  previous  to  their encounter with
M?-tsi-ra-n?l/ou % or Sir Alex. McKenzie; and they still recount, with
no lack of amusing details, first their stupefaction at beholding smoke
issuing from men's mouths, and then their scorn for tobacco when they
ascertained that it was not edible. §
* Transact, R. S. C. p. 12, fig. 3; 1S91. *
+ Vide: "On the Haida Indians of Queen Charlotte Islands," by G. M. Dawson, p. 114b,
115b, Montreal, 18S0 ; " Notes on the Shushwap People of B.C.," by G. M. Dawson, Trans.
R.S.C. Sect. II., p. 23, 1891 ; "Descriptive Notes on Certain Implements," etc., by Al. Mackenzie, Trans. R.S.C, Sect. II., p. 55. 1891 j "The Coast Indians of Southern Alaska," etc.,
by A. P. Niblack, p. 333, 1890.
+ In Tse'kehne : "his hair is plentiful," perhaps by allusion to the wig or queue worn by Sir
Alex. Mackenzie.
§The derivation of the word ste'ka, by which the Carriers designate tobacco, has long
puzzled me. It must be either a borrowed word or a word formed by agglutination, as the name
of the horse (yezik-ji, "elk-dog" or domestic elk). Now 1 have studied that word in the
vocabulary of over twenty tribes, all contiguous, mediately or immediately, without being able
to discover anything like an homonymous equivalent. On the other hand, the two parts of which
it is composed, 9(e and 'ka, are genuine Carrier particles which, taken separately, are not without meaning, but to which no rational signification can be ascribed when joined together. Yet
the names of all new objects in the Dene languages are either borrowed from^fhriugu dialects, or
more generally formed by compounding, that is by the juxtaposition of two or more names of
objects already known.    Thus, in Tsipxoh'tifl the name of the tobacco is ts.y-yu, which means
smoke-medicine."    Altogether, the Carrier (and Tse'kehne) word designating that imported
plant has the appearance of an old root of the second category, which is to me inexplicable.
Pipe Fig. 2 is of recent manufacture, and bears testimony to the
Tsi'lKoh'tin's faculty of imitation. It has been wrought out of an impure
steatite or soap stone. Its stem is a wooden tube connected with the
base of the bowl by a double string or chain of black beads. The stem
of such pipes is more generally lengthened through the insertion of a
perforated brass cartridge shell between the base and the mouthpiece.
»g. 2.
Specimens of pipes identical in form, and sometimes in material,
though many are of serpentine, are also found among the Tse'kehne.
But now-a-days the poorest Carrier scorns them as utterly unsuited to
his present state of civilization. 1892-93.]
Stone Implements.
Some scientists seem to have an innate fondness for the mysterious and
the insolvable. Upon the slightest pretext they delight in creating difficulties or propounding problems. They long for novelties and must soar
above the concepts of such weak-minded mortals as are naive enough to
pay any attention to the " Hebrew myths " of the creation of man and his
comparatively recent appearance on the scene of this world. Whereas in
modern times we have no authentically recorded instance of mound
building by American Aborigines,* and because some of those artificial
works are of considerable magnitude, they jump to the conclusion .that
the so-called mound-builders must have been a very ancient race, more
advanced in civilization than the Indians of our days and altogether
different from them.f In like manner, because 411 Europe, and in some
parts of America stone implements have been discovered which are of a
particularly rude pattern, they infer that these remains being found in
river beds or, in Europe, imbedded in geological strata supposed to have
been formed at a very remote epoch prove the existence, not only of
prehistoric, but even of pre-Adamite man/' Sjudents who prefer to rely
on the authority of such an unerring guide as the Bible to following 7
modern savants through their ever shifting, if not conflicting, theories,
cannot but remark, I fancy, that, in the same way as the latest researches
tend to confirm the opinion of those unprejudiced antiquarians who from
the beginning doubted the great antiquity of the American mounds and
the extraneous nationality of their builders,! even so it must ultimately
* As will appear from note X tne Cherokees did erect mounds, though unobserved by the whites,
■within the present century.
T" So strong in fact is the hold which this theory . . . has taken of the minds of both
American and European archaeologists, that it not only biases their conclusions but also moulds
and modifies their nomenclature, and is thrust into their speculations and even into their descriptions as though no longer a simple theory, but a conceded fact." Burial Mounds of the Northern
Section of the U. S. by Prof.  Cyrus Thomas E Fifth Ann. Rep. Bur. Ethnol. p. So.
J Evidence corroborative of this assumption would fill many pages. Scientists in every way
qualified to speak on this subject and to whom nobody can refuse a hearing have clearly shoTrvn
the futility of the theory which ascribes the erection of the mounds to non-Indian races. Prof.
Cyrus Thomas, than whom I think there is no more reliable authority on the subject, lays dovrn
as one of the conclusions derived from the mound explorations under the auspices of the Smith"
sonian Institution that "nothing trustworthy has been discovered to justify the theory that the
mound builders belonged to a highly civilized race, or that they were a people who had attained a 40
[Vol.  IV.
prove to be the case with regard to the fabulous age ascribed to what are
called palaeolithic implements. By the end of the last century Voltaire and
his school were wont to adduce the pretended enormous antiquity of the
Egyptian monuments as an irrefutable evidence of the inaccuracy of the
Mosaical chronology. Time went on, and the days came when Cham-
pollion and Sir. H. Rawlinson deciphered the Egyptian and Assyrian
inscriptions. Their)the very same works which fifty years before were
instanced as an excuse for the encyclopedists' sneers at the Scriptures
were converted into the best extrinsical proof of the accuracy of the
Mosaical account.
I am not an archaeologist, much less a geologist.   Yet, upon entering into
a question in connection wherewith so many strange and, to me, evidently
higher culture status than the Indians. It is true that works and papers on American Archaeology
are full of statements to the contrary which are generally based on the theory that the mound-
builders belonged to a race of much higher culture than the Indians. Yet, when the facts on
which this opinion is based are examined with sober scientific care, the splendid fabric which has
been built upon them by that great workman, imagination, fades from sight. . . The links
discovered directly connecting the Indians and the mound-builders are so numerous and so well
established that there should be no longer any hesitancy in accepting the theory that the two are
one and the same people. . . The testimony of the mounds is very decidedly against the
theory that the mound-builders were Mayas or Mexicans" Work in Mound Exploration of the
Bur. Ethnol., Washington, /S87, p. 11-13. To corroborate by actual facts my position on this
question, I glean from the same paper the following extracts :—"In another Wisconsin mound
was found lying at the bottom on the original surface of the ground, near the center, a
genuine, regularly-formed gunflint. In another Tennessee mound some 6 feet high and which
showed no signs of disturbance, an old fashioned horn handled case-knife was discovered near the
bottom. . . From a group in Northern Mississippi in the locality formerly occupied by the
Chickasaw were obtained a silver plate with the Spanish coat of arms stamped upon it, and the
iron portions of a saddle. At the bottom of a North Carolina mound, part of an iron blade
and an iron awl were discovered in the hands of the principal personage buried therein. . .
At the bottom of an undisturbed Pennsylvania mound, accompanying the original interment
. . . was a joint of a large cane wrapped in pieces of thin and evenly wrought silver foil,
smoothly cut in fancy figures." Ibid. p. 9 and 10. I have underlined the names of the states
mentioned to show that mound-building in post-Columbian times was by no means local or
exceptional. To the above should be added the still more significant fact that in a small undisturbed mound in east Tennessee a stone with letters of the Cherokee alphabet rudely carved
upon it was lately discovered by a party of American explorators. 7he problem of the Ohio
Mounds, p. 37, note 1. Dr. D. G. Brinton in his latest work, The American Race, p. SjrSS,
admits that " there is, to say the least, a strong probability that they [the modern Muskokis] are
the descendants of the constructors of those ancient works" [namely, the mounds in their
vicinity]. Over and above the authorities already quoted, here is how Dr. J. W. Powell, the
learned head of the Bureau of Ethnology, Smithsonian Institution, ends a review of an important paper by Mr. H II. Holmes:—"This eliminates one more source of error cherished by
lovers of the mysterious to establish and exalt a supposed race of Mound-Builders." Third
Ann. Rep. Bureau of Ethnology, p. lxiii. ; Washington, 18S4. Nobody will deny that that
gentleman, owing to his official position, enjoys opportunities of judging of the merits ordemerit>
of a cause of which few indeed can boast. Lastly, it must be added that unlimited evidence goes
to prove that in almost every case the modern Indians occupy the exact territory where tbeii
forefathers lived when they first came in contact with the whites. ., r ' 05
t iiiii j 't i iij-t jj ».';,«£ i; ->>w>_j»s j 189^-93.]
Cjiisc theories have been builtH feel the necessity as a Christian and an
observer of my own surroundings to put on record my utter disbelief in
anv proposition which may run counter to the natural deductions from
the Book of Gencsis^j True, even Christian anthropologists arc far from
agreed as to the probable age of man, since such a learned orientalist as
the Abbe Vigouroux suggests* and Father Them inclines to believe +
that creation dates from over 8000 years as against the 6000 which it
was customary to reckon as the maximum distance which separates us
from Adam. Yet methinks that there are limits beyond which modern
interpretation of the sacred text cannot safely go. I suppose that no
person who has any regard for the authority of the Bible—I am tempted
to add, and for sober, common sense*—will believe in the hundreds of
thousands of years attributed by some to palaeolithic stone implements
and consequently to man. To show that there are valid reasons to
doubt the correctness of such chronological computations, let me adduce
here a few facts derived from the very source to which they are wont to
point in confirmation of their extravagant theories, I mean Geology.
The great antiquity attributed in Europe to stone implements is based
generally on the age of the geological strata wherein they are found.
For the sake of briefness, let us choose those the formation of which is
the most easily accounted for, say the alluvial strata. Pieces of pottery
found at a depth of thirty-nine feet in the mud of the Nile delta were
pronounced by antiquarians of repute to be 13,000 years old. Such
authorities as Sir John Lubbock and Sir Charles Lyell asserted in various
papers that those Egyptian relics must date back from 12,000 to 60,000
years. Now, Sir R. Stephenson found at a greater depth in the de2ta,
near Damictta, a brick bearing on its surface the stamp of Mohammed
AH ! § The discoverer of the pieces of pottery " rated the growth of the
mud deposit in a given spot at only three and a half inches in a century ;
* Ij:s JJvres Saints, etc., Vol. III., p. 238.
+ Christian Anthropology, p. 245, New York, 1892.
tror my own justification and to illustrate the vagaries of some modern scientists, let me
:M the fact that from the supposed vestiges of man discovered in the strata of tlie tertiary
period, some geologists assign a date of at least 300,000 years before the beginning of the historic
epoch. Xow a clever Italian writer who has made an arithmetical computation of the number of
en who must have been existing on the earth at the time commonly assigned to the creation, of
■Via in according to that hypothesis, finds that this number cannot be expressed without 434
n^'ires. Suppose the habitable part of the earth extended in a series of stories each one roster
I with men in the ratio of 10 to each square meter as far up as 400 times the
uu of tfte moon's orbit and the limits of the earth's orbit will be reached and yet the nun;
• these men will be represented only by the figure 2 followed by 26 ciphers.
S Christian Anthrop
pology, p. 267, New York, ?So2. 42
[Vol. IV
but a description of the same spot by a Mohammedan writer only six
centuries ago shows that the mud is deposited at the rate of over eighteen inches in a hundred years."*
An English resident in India recounts that the foundation of a house
he had himself built was carried away and strewed along the bottom of
a river at a depth of thirty or forty feet below the level of the country.
" Since then the river has passed on," he says, " and a new village now
stands on the spot where my bungalow stood, but forty feet above the
ruins ; and any one who chooses to dig on the spot may find my re-
liquid there, and  form what theory he likes as to their antiquity or my
age-"t III it
Again, antiquarians of a geological turn of mind should remember, it
seems, that in most cases the agents which now produce alluvial deposits
were formerly many times more powerful and that therefore strata containing archaeological relics were formed at a proportionately greater
rate. Take, for instance, the valley of the Somme in France. No region
has probably become so famous in the Annals of Archaeology. The
Somme is to-day a modest river with very quiet waters. Now, according to M. de Mercey, who has made a careful study' of its history, its
waters at the* Roman epoch were fifty times more abundant than in our
days.* Moreover, it is a well established'fact that the sea at that time
must have extended to Amiens, since below a marine deposit nine feet
thick coins have been found, the most recent of which bears the effigy of
a prince who died A.D. 267.^ In the neighbourhood of Lille, a medal of
Marcus Aurelius was found at. a depth of twenty-five feet under a triple
bed of reddish clay, muddy slime and peat mixed with sand, f >
Thus Geology refutes itself the theories of the partizans of the great
age of the primitive stone implements, theories which they claim to base I
on geological grounds.    Let us now see what History has to say on the
same subject.
The contention of the majority of antiquarians is that the stone a,3e
long antedated the historic period.    In opposition to this, O. Fraas states y
that "arrows with sharp flint heads, and  especially stone axes, stone
chisels and stone hammers are found among the Germans, even down to
the time of the Franks.    .    .    .    According to Herodotus, Ethiopians
* Southnll, Recent Origin of Man, p. 474.
TQuarteily Journal of the Geological Society, p. 327, Aug. 1S63.
* Bulletin de la Socie'te Geologique, iSjC-JJ, p. 347*
§ Christian Anthropology, p. 260, New York, 1S92.     I
\jMate'riaux pour Vhisloire de rhomme, p. 136, 1S7S. NOTES ON  THE WESTERN  llENJiS.,
accompanied the army of Xerxes, who were so savage that they possessed
only weapons of stone and bone    .   .    .    ; they had long bows made of
the ribs of palm leaves and reed arrows with pebble points ; their javelins
were pointed with the horns of gazelles." *    Five hundred years later,
Tacitus says of the Fenni: " They have no (iron) weapons.    Their only
^means of attack are arrows to which, having no iron, they give a bone
/point."*)*     Caesar tells us in his De Bello Gallico J that the Gauls, while
f besieging Alesia (52 B.C.), made use of stones and pebbles.    An epic
! poem of the fifth century describes two warriors battling with stone
axes.§    St. Ouen, bishop of Rouen in the seventh century, speaks of flint
hatchets in his "Life of St. Eligius." As far down as 1066, projectiles of
stone were in use in Europe according to William of Poitiers.' It even
appears that more than a century later the Scots of Wallace made use of
stone arms, [j
History records many other similiar examples. I am well aware that
the advocates of the great antiquity of man and human implements base
their views on divers other reasons. But I think that all of these can
be as easily disposed-of,—ll§^-§iii
Industrial Implements.
t- The facts above recited are necessary to establish the really modern
origin of many stone implements which some regard as absurdly ancient
and therefore if, in the course of the present monograph and more
particularly of this Chapter, Den6 implements or weapons are occasionally
assimilated to objects, even palaeolithic, of the same description found in
the alluvial strata of Europe, my comparisons, instead of appearing
preposterous, should be construed as additional evidence' of the relatively
recent origin of the European "finds." ) For, I cannot help thinking that
some spear heads, for instance, which were in use here but one hundred
years ago are identical in form and finish with weapons of the Solutrian
period of the unpolished stone age. As for the industrial implements,.
and especially the axes of the prehistoric Denes, though they might not
perhaps be classed with strict propriety among palaeolithic implements,.
I think they could not properly be styled neolithic, since they were
mostly unpolished, except at the cutting edge.
* Die alien ffihlcnbewoh
ner, p. 30.
A Apud Christian Anthropology, p. 320.
£ Book VII., 81.
§ Amph'C, Histoire litleraire.
I! Christian Anthropology, passim.
"flifl 44
[Vol. IV.
Thus in fig. 3 we have a celt of a dark coloured, very close-grained rock
which shows absolutely no sign of polish except at the cutting edge
and, if I am to credit the Indian from whom it was obtained and who
used it for some time as a skin scraper,'even this faintly polished edge
was wanting when the instrument was found on the surface of the
ground. It would seem that these rude, unpolished axes were, at least
among the Carriers, much more common than those entirely or even
partially polished.
o*?>v      ^ffr-'fib '
Pi "S^ V.tVjfttA W '
mm 1
% size.
Fig. 4.    yz size.
Fig. 4 hardly exhibits any trace of improvement on that primitive
pattern. Indeed the specimen it represents has even cost the maker a
smaller amount of exertion, since one of its flat surfaces is merely the
original surface of a blackish siliceous stone in its natural water-worn
state, while the reverse is evidently the result of the splitting of the
pebble out of which the implement has been made. Were it not for the
unmistakable attempt at obtaining by friction a finer edge than is usual
in scrapers, one would almost suppose that it has been designed for
dressing skins rather than cutting wood.
The specimen illustrated by fig. 5, though unpolished except at its
broadest end, is more axe-like in shape. It is of a shaly rock externally
rusty-looking, but internally of a reddish gray transversely striated with
fine parallel lines.
The implement represented by fig. 6 again differs both in form and
material from all the preceding specimens of stone axes. It mi^ht be
described as gouge-shaped, were itnot that no concavity corresponds to
the convex exterior. No attempt at diminishing by friction the bulging
surface of the stone has been made; its main asperilies only have been Here (fig. 7) we witness a sort of transition between what might perhaps
be called the medio-palaeolithic and the neolithic types, in that this adze-
blade has been treated to a partial polish elsewhere than at its edge.
if *. >V^v\y.
fi i< %■*/£>■:- ' ••.'■-V
firs \ ' w^'J:
It is of a fine-grained volcanic rock which has been rendered rather hard
by pressure subsequent to its original cooling.    It is disproportionately
thick and fully Sh< inches lorn
A 46
[Vol. IV.
AH these differences in type and material are suggestive of what
appears to be a well established fact, namely that the Western Denes
had no fixed standard in view when engaged in the manufacture of their
adze-blades. Any stone of sufficient hardness and consistency was
probably picked up, and after a rough blocking off, was given as sharp
an edge as the material was susceptible of acquiring by means of the
least possible exertion. No attention whatever seems to have been
paid to the details and no regard manifested for the elegance of the
This remark applies to adze-blades of genuine Dene origin. But the
Carriers, especially the more prominent members of the tribe, possessed
much finer axes of which fig. 8 is a fair example. This is a thoroughly
polished stone axe. In shape and material it is typical of all the
polished implements of that class. They are, as a rule, of a greenish
gray rock identified by Dr. G. M. Dawson as fine felspathic slate
or falsite. . Although they were extensively used among the Western
D£nes, it would hardly be consistent with truth to credit the latter with
their manufacture. Indeed I am rather inclined to believe—and this is
borne out by the declarations of living aborigines—that, in so far at
least as the Carrier tribe is concerned, most ofjhenijw_ejeiJnipoited,from
among the.jQeighbouring tribes. The Carriers of the old stock were
exceedingly poor workmen, and their old men are unanimous in
asserting that their best axes were bartered from the Tse'kehne and
the sea-coast Indians. It is therefore quite possible that the implement
above figured had an extraneous origin.
Fig. 9.
All these various types of axes were hafted to a handle generally of
,?.* i.-.i 'i/mii,,,,;.-.^!*.-!, ..-..:, »»., . , 1892-93.]
black thorn,* Primus spinosa, as is shown through fig. 9. The adzes thus
•obtained never had a cutting edge fine or hard enough to serve,crosswise
against wood, and the axeman's strokes had always to be directed
It must be noted also that, among the Carriers, such instruments were
possessed by the notables and a few wealthy heads of families only.
The common people had recourse to fire to cut their provision of wood.
After having freed the main roots of a tree of the earth adhering thereto
by means of slight excavations underneath, they would light there a
.small fire with vegetable matter with the result that the tree would
inevitably topple over at'the latest on the morrow thereafter. Then the
.smaller limbs were trimmed off either with a hard stick, with a stone club
if any was at hand, or, among the Babines, with a bone or horn implement
specially fashioned for the purpose. Smaller trees were next crossed
over the trunk at the proper intervals to give the desired length to the
pieces of wood, after which a fire was started at each point of intersection
And maintained by the children or the women until both'the larger and
the smaller trunks were burnt asunder.
If too bulky to easily burn in the fire-place, the wood was then split
with the help of wedges and a roughly formed wooden maul. Except
among the TsijKoh'tin, the stone hammers and sledges so common
among the coast Indians were unknown. For peculiarly heavy work
such as sinking down the stakes on the solidity of which deoends the
firmness of the salmon weirs, they sometimes did, and even now do, use
such elongated stones as bear the greatest resemblance to their /izvofs?z
or wooden maul; but these are never pecked or fashioned into regular
I 1
* ,
• m
Fie. 10.
The Carriers' wedges* were either of hard wood, of the part of the
* In Carrier kv/?s-lco, " big t!
TThe axe is called tse/ in TsijKoh'tin, tse/ in Tse'kehne and tsi/ in Uabine ; whilst, curiously
■enough, the Carriers now call it, and seem to have done so as long as any old man can remen
Jse-tsi'i, or stone-axe.    Nevertheless, the Dene name of this primitive implement is evidently tse/
or /si/, a primary root.
t Yi/, pr. root.  1892-93.]
the same time a pestle and a hammer.* But the mode of using it was
identical in both cases; the contact between the matter pounded or
hammered was only at the bottom of the larger end, the hand grasping
the instrument in the middle. I have witnessed old men working with
such stone hammers among the Skwahomish*f* with whom the TsijKoh'tin
have occasional intercourse..
All races of American Aborigines are proverbially improvident, and
our Western D«5nds cannot be said to form an exception to the rule. Yet
these very implements, when used as pounders or pestles, testify to the
fact that the Carriers at least had at times a thought for the morrow.
In times of plenty, they pounded therewith dried salmon previously well
grilled by the fireside, and kept the mash in a tea/ya/, one of their bark
vessels which shall be described further on. When this had been
sprinkled over with salmon oil, the vessel was hermetically closed and
the whole laid aside for use when, owing to the failure of the fishing
season or any other cause, the natives were hard pressed by famine.
Under similarly strained circumstances, salmon bones, or indeed the bones
of any animal, were, and arc, also likewise treated, and made to obviate
similar needs.
*5W H
'-*>vl P$m?Ji
' :-.V-r- i
■■'i',«V '■■'**-':?,it.-'i\'^'i':V
V /
Fijr.   16.
Here(figs. 14 and 15) are slickstones or stone scrapers,! which serve in the
process of tanning hides.  As may be seen, they are of a very primitive pat-
Pe-?ft'/?z, "wherewith ore pounds or hammers," a verbal noun.
f The Sk'qO'mic of Dr. F>oas.
XPe-rttzih "wherewith one scrapes" in Carrier; tse-tqel, "stone-broad" in Tse'kehne. 50
[Vol. IV.
tern, and neither of the two evidences any regard for elegance. And yet
they are fair representatives of their class, even of those which are still in
use among the modern Carriers. They generally consist of flat halves of
oblong pebbles one end of which has been slightly trimmed by chipping
with a hard stone. The object of such implements being to soften by
repeated pressure the hide which has already been stripped of its hair and
adherent blood and fat, these scrapers receive no polish whatever. This
is why I rather hesitate in classing among the skin scrapers the
instrument represented by fig. 16, which is a *'find," and was not. like
those above figured] in actual use among the natives when handed to me.
It is of a very fine grained black volcanic rock polished at the broadest
end a, and as it is drawn natural size, it is, if any, the smallest skin
scraper I have ever seen.
"tra^yr****-^" vtT*i it"*/' "*^*zj
Fig. 17.
Most of these tools have received very little artificial treatment in their
manufacture. In fact, they are almost invariably made as follows : any-
flat pebble which is likely to split as desired and thus yield easily suit-
1    -     \\ t^.^.-J6'
Fie. 18.
able material for the intended scraper is secured up between two stones
on the ground and then split asunder by vigorously throwing a large
stone on its upper end.    The half which best answers the purpose, in 189 M>3.]
view is then trimmed  to the  proper shape by chipping off any too
prominent asperities, or blunting the edges, should these prove too sharp.
The scraper is finally hafted, as shown herewith, by inserting it in the
cleft end of any stick at hand over which a rope or buck line is securely
lashed. This hafting is but temporary, as the stone part only of the
implement is usually kept among the family chattels.
To the unthinking reader unmindful of the straits to which man may
be reduced in the absence of the proper material apd while too hard
pressed by more urgent nee/js to.lookL.for it, the above (Fig. 18) might
not De more than a useless piece of quartzite. But an experienced
archaeologist will not fail to detect therein unmistakable signs of human
handiwork, and its fine, if somewhat serrated edge will at.once suggest
that it did formerly duty as a cutting tool. It is a salmon knife, which
served first to rip the fish open, and then to cut longitudinal furrows
through its flesh previous to exposing it to the action of the air.
The large flaking noticeable near its blunt end is not accidental, but
served as a grip for the thumb, while the index and medius fingers rested
respectively on the back or thick side and on the reverse surface of the
*§Svv_; Vi&LvViX^',&x!s£S! 50
Fig. 19-
FUr. 20.
Figs. 19  and   20  represent  stone  knives* of different  pattern and
use.    They are skinning knives and their material is augite-porphyrite.
J o o sr      t    J
'The Carrier word for "knife" is the same as that for " iron," viz., pzthih in Upper Carrier
tv * a/;
es in Lower Carrier. »*S  OF  THE  CANADIAN   INSTITUTE. [VOL. J V.
Both are drawn natural size and their cutting edge is at the fore-end.
Knive fig. 19 was used without handle, but fig. 20 was hafted to a short
stick as is manifest from the
identity of these insti
Fig. 21.
t&'ii-lM? ,' ' Nil
22, represents
a picecc of broken object the original use of which
is likewise problematic. It is of a variety of green marble variegated
with yellow and rusty red. The broadest end has been thinned'to a dull
edge and, except where it shows signs of accidental breakage, it has
received an exceedingly fine polish. Indeed, though it has been found
here, at Stuart's Lake, I believe it far too skillfully finished to be of
Dene" manufacture.    It must have been imported from the Coast.    But
•HHiniTimjuriTTTnTnuiiiii 1892-93.]
what renders this relic particularly remarkable is the presence of the
very fine grooves noticeable on each of its three unthinncd edges, two
only of which appear in the cut above, the third being on the reverse
of the implement. This peculiarity, while rendering the identification of
the find more difficult, suggests a similarity of form though certainly not
of use, with an implement formerly common among the Carriers under
the name of dzih, " it grinds through." It consisted of two stone tablets
carefully polished at least on one side so as to permit of their being
closely joined together. In the middle of their polished surfaces was a
* groove obtained probably by pecking, not friction, which when both
tablets were superposed formed a cylindrical hole through which gambling sticks, arrow shafts, etc., were repeatedly passed and thereby given
an exquisite finish. None of these implements is now extant. They
were the equivalent of the wooden wrenches used by the Hupas under
similar circumstances.
Weapons of War and of the Chase.
Prominent among these were, of course the arrow,*' and its correlative
the bow.*f* 0^1
The arrow heads { of the Western Denes Were either of j>tonc, of bone
or horn, or of wood. The form, no less than the material, of the stone
arrow points greatly differed. In fig. 23 will be found specimens repres-
entative of the 'most common patterns. Many of them are quite
diminutive in proportions, and would seem to partake more of the nature
_ of playthings than of that of the deadly weapons they undoubtedly were.
As regards shape, those marked a and b may be described as the typical
arrow-points of the Western Denes. In common with specimen c, whose
main peculiarity is the absence of one of the usual side notches, they are
of a blackish resonant rock which I long mistook for a variety of flint,
but which Dr. G. M. Dawson declares to be a very fine grained augite-
porphyrite.    The Carriers call this stone pis, and  it  is one of the   i6_
\    varieties of rocks known to their vocabulary.   They used it in the making
k of the largest number of their missile weapons, arrows, spears, etc.    It is
but right to remark here that the point a is so much  larger than most
genuine Dene arrow heads, that some Indians claim it was a bow, not an
arrow point.    Of the bow points further mention will soon be made.
*,R'ta, prim. root.
^3/ltii.    Singularly en
it*h the Carriers have a collective name for bow and arrow taken to
gether.    This is 'A
!:  H
ill I
[Vol. IV.
A less common and more valued material, called n?fre in Carrier, is
the obsidian of which the arrow-point marked d is formed. Such points
are generally very small. £ represents the most beautiful of all the arrow
heads in my possession.' It has been ingeniously chipped of a hard
crystalline rock identified by Dr. Dawson as smoky quartz.   Its form and
t "-> A
5* W
^m imwtm
I f • rJSM
&ffllt\$'i l&&r
*—J 'o5?"
Fig. 23.
finish display evidences of exceptionally good workmanship, too good in
fact to be Den6 ; and I cannot help supposii
ng that it must be some rcl
left among the Carriers by some coast warrior after one of those many
conflicts recorded in the traditions of the old men. Other points, such
as those labelled f, h, are of a species of translucent vitreous rock which
probably does not essentially differ from that of specimen e.
That marked // is remarkable for the absence of both notches. It is
long, narrow, and so thick that but for its intentionally thinned edges it
might be taken fou a drill point. A few arrow heads as that marked g
are of chalcedony, tsc"-lkrai (stone-whitish). They are as a rule of a
rather rude description.
All the above are drawn full size. Specimens d and /*, when seen
otherwise than on paper, appear very small and tiny indeed. Yet it
would be erroneous to suppose them to be mere anomalies or exceptions.
Judging from the number of Dent; arrow
in my collection, such
^diminutive implements form at least one quarter of all the arrowheads
now extant. 1S92-93.]
Lastly, a few points are of a black, very hard and fine-grained stone,
differing from the material of all the arrow heads already described.
Such is that marked j. It is the only one of that description which I
have ever seen. It is blunt-tipped, and with hardly any edge or sign of
flaking. It has the exact' appearance of an implement very much the
worse for wear.
There are to-day no well-authenticated Western Dene arrow-heads of
bone or ivory in existence. Their tip was not pointed like that of the
stone weapons. They were mere beaver teeth in their natural state
secured to a shaft. Some of these were also of the root part of the cariboo's antlers, and both bone and horn arrow-tips were considered
exceptionally effective.
Fig. 24.
g. *>■
In Figs. 24 and 25 1 have tried to illustrate the modes of connecting
the stone points with the shaft, as formerly practised by our aborigines-
Sometimes the shaft was simply cleft o* en to receive the point (Fig. 24),
and sometimes it was slit at the end as in Fig. 25. In either case, point
and shank were firmly fastened together with sinew and pitch. The fore-
shafts used along with the arrows of some American races were unknown
The shaft * of the Western Dene" arrows was invariably of seasoned
amelanchier (A. ahiifolia) wood. As partially visible in Fig. 25, delicate
grooves, onc'on each opposite side, ran through the shank of the weapon
and were intended to facilitate the detection of the game when it had
been only wounded.    The blood issuing from  the wound, by flowing'
[Vol. IV.
freely through these grooves, droppedjon the snow or bare ground in a
less-scattered condition, thus aiding the hunter in tracking the animal
ere it was finally dispatched. n
?- •/*l
■ /
Fig. 26.
Fig. 26 gives a fair idea of a Carrier arrow ready for use. As may be
seen, the feathering is triple. The tips only of the feather quills are fastened to the shaft. Sinew and pitch were restored to in order to secure
the part of the quills adhering to the shaft end, while sinew alone generally
sufficed to fasten the larger or root end of the feathers.
A variety of arrow* which, was entirely of amelanchier wood without stone or bone point or shaft grooves did service in connection with
target practice or one of the games which shall be described further on.
(Chap. vi.«B^T_* ______  **'*'*
The Tse°k6hne, who to this day live almost entirely on the spoils of
the chase, formerly far excelled the Carriers in the manufacture and
use of hunting weapons. Some of these, which were indeed in actual
use among the Carriers, were nevertheless of undisputed ,Ts£'k£hne
origin. Such were the " cut arrow," the triple headed arrow and the
• blunt arrow.
■>. Ji... v^iV" .-*';
Fig. 27.
The "'cut-arrow " ^kra-tcdn-kiv*i, lit. " arrow-stick-cut off") was so called
on account of its peculiar shape (fig." 27). Its point was made of a
cariboo horn and " was awl-like in form. Its broader extremity was
hollowed out to receive a wooden shaft which served to dart it off from the
bow as a common arrow, with this difference however that, when in
motion, the horn point detached itself from the shaft. This projectile
was deadly, and intended only for use against- a human enemy or for
killing large game."t
To shoot smaller game they had recourse either to the triple headed
th, verb, noun, moaning as far as it can be translated: "it shoots in as far'as tli
+ Thc Western Denes, etc.    Proc. Can. Inst., Vol. vn., p. 140. 1802-93."]
arrow shown in fig. 2$, or to t
consisted of three flat pieces
versely at their broadest exi
•their smaller end and sides bj
even against large animals, ai
entirely fallen into disuse.
uien blunt arrow (fig. 29). The former*
une, or more generally horn, cut trans-
ity and fastened to the shaft through
ong sinew threads. It did good service
:s not more than 40 years since it has
» *s**.n. aaurt"
• The latterf has been drawn fr
who, in common with the nicf
■finds this simple and primtt'h
grouse, rabbits, etc.
Even such an apparently i
arrow while shooting has been ;
material for ethnic divisions. '.
methods in vogue among Amsr
(1) Primary.—The notch of
the straightened thumb and th?.
finger. It is practised by chlh
raras, Utes, Micmacs, etc.
(2) Secondary.—The notch s
ened thumb and  bent fore-fir
third  fingers  are brought to
Practised by the Zunis, Ottawa
(3) Tertiary.—In this releas*
nearly straight with its tip si
fingers, pressing or pulling on
and secondary release, active 2:
ing it back.    It is practised
boins,    Comanches,    Crows,
(4) Mediterranean.—The str
second and third fingers, the t
with the terminal joints of t;
lightly held between the first a
inactive.    Practised  by natior
a specimen obtained from a Tse-'kehne
ty of his fellow huntsmen, to this day
looking projectile   invaluable  against
j-nificant act as that of releasing the
tryzed so as to yield modern scientists
fessor Morse thus classes the different
n, European or Asiatic archers :—
t arrow is grasped between the end of
rst and second joints of the bent fore-
3 generally, and by the Ainos, Deme-
*he arrow is grasped with the straight-
r; while the ends of the second and
tr on the string to assist in drawing.
te forefinger, instead of being bent, is
rell as the tips of the second and third
e string, the thumb, as in the primary
listing in pinching the arrow and pull-
Sioux, Arapahos, Cheyennes, Assini-
lackfeet,    Navajos,     Siamese,    Great
s drawn back with the tips of the first,
of the fingers clinging to the string
ngers slightly flexed. The arrow is
ccond fingers, the thumb straight and
ound the Mediterranean, by modern
TaViioJs, second, root
t Thn., prim. root.
ill 1
| Vol. IV
archers, Flemish (using first and second   fingers only),  Eskimos, Little
(5) Mongolian.—In this release the string is drawn by the flexed
thumb bent over the string, the end of the forefinger assisting in holding
the thumb in position. The thumb is protected by a guard of some
kind. It is practised by Manchus, Chinese, Coreans, Japanese, Turks
and Persians.*
Our Carriers followed the first or primary method of arrow release,
while the Tse'kehne conformed to the fourth or Mediterranean.    I am
not acquainted with  that in  vogue among the prehistoric TsijKoh'tin.
The above details are given to show to what advantage even the slight-'
**> t~> o
est differences in the performance of an  act common to all primitive
peoples can be turned by the acute observer and reflecting scientist.
Although the scope of this paper, to be consistent with its heading,..
should be restricted to stone implements, I feel that I cannot well separate bows from arrows in my treatment of the weapons of the chase.    As';
far as my information goes, three varieties of bows, exclusive of cross-;
bows, obtained among the Western Dtmes.    Of these two were proper to
the Tse'kehne,and the third to the Carriers and probably the Tsi'Koh'tin
as well.
Fig. 30.
The regular hunting or war bow of the Tse'kehne was of mountain
maple {Acer glad runt, Tow.) and five feet and a half or more in length.
The edges, both inner and outer, were smoothenecfover so as to permit
of strips of unplaited sinew being twisted around to ensure therefor the
necessary strength.    These pieces of sinew were fastened on with a glue
^obtained from the sturgeon sound, which also did service for all kinds of
. gluing purposes among each of the three tribes, while still in their prehistoric period.    The central  part of the bow, which was so thick as to
appear almost rectangular, was finally covered with a tissue of differently-
tinged rjorcupine quills.
Great care was taken to obtain a bow-string impermeable to snow and
rain. With this object in view, delicate threads of sinew were twisted
together and afterwards rubbed over with sturgeon glue. This first
string was then gradually strengthened by additional sinew threads
twisted round  the first and  main cord, each overlaying of sinew being
*See Anthropology in 1SS6. by C, T. Mason, p. 53S.
.-,.,-. «.-. :■■„ inmniia, m.,. „,,. 189*2-1)3.]
thoroughly saturated with glue.' Finally when the string had attained a
sufficient thickness for efficient service, it was repeatedly rubbed over
with the gum of the black pine {Abies balsamca).
A less elaborate bow (Fig. 31) is still to this very day in use among
the Tse'kcnnc in connection with the blunt arrow already mentioned.' It
is of seasoned willow (Sali.r longifolia), and being devoid of any sinew
backing or other strengthening device, its edges are more angular "than
those of Fig. ""jo. Its string consists merely of a double line of cariboo
skin slightly twisted together.    The specimen figured above measures
four feet ten inches.
.    Fig.'32. I
V The Carrier bow was never much more than four feet in length, and
the wooden part of it was invariably juniper (/. occidentalis). Instead
of being twisted around as in the Tse'kenne bow, the shreds of sinew
were glued on the back after the fashion of the Eskimo bow, with this
difference, however, that in the Carrier weapon the sinew was not plaited.
When a layer of thin sinew strips, had been fastened lengthwise on the
entire back of the bow, it was allowed to dry, after which others were
successively added until the desired strength had been obtained. A.
process analogous to that whereby the Tse'kehne bow-string was made.
.Was followed in cording the string of the Carrier bow.
It is hardly necessary to remark that both of the aforesaid war and'
hunting bows disappeared almost simultaneously with the establishment
of the North-West Company's posts throughout Western Dene territory.
However, it may be said that as late as 60 years ago fire-arms were still
desiderata among the poorest class of Aborigines.-
Here is a Tse'kehne crossbow* of modern manufacture. It does duty
against small game or for target practice, and is also used by children as a
plaything. Although the old men assure me that they have always seen
such weapons among their fellow huntsmen, I cannot believe that crossbows were known to the original Tse'kehne. It is much more probable
that they have been derived from the band of Iroquois established in
close proximity to the territory of the Beaver Indians.    My purpose in
2 Oi
* TVkfs t, "that which darts utf," in Tse'kehne. .60
[Vol. IV.
mentioning them here is to show that the faculty of self appropriation
and adaptiveness which more particularly characterizes the Carrier mind,
!!>■ 3*^*^B^w
Fig. 33. 1
is, to some extent, shared in even by the Tse'kehne tribe which to this
■day has little reason to boast of its material progress. {
A detail which it may also be worth noting is the mode of holding the
bow while shooting. The Carriers, who almost invariably knelt while
shooting, held it in a horizontal position, while the Tse'kelme used it
perpendicularly, one end of the weapon resting on the ground.
To return to stone implements.    Besides the arms already described
the Western Ddnes had recourse, when on the offensive, to five other
varieties of weapons; the spear»_the daj**g_eri the war club, the temple-
lancet or skull-cracker, and what might he termed the counterpart of the./*/
modern bayonet.
This latter arm was called ?/thi'-la-dtu'ai* which may be freely
translated " fixed at the end of the bow." Its name explains its nature.
It was brought into requisition by the warrior or the hunter when too
clcsely pressed by the enemy to shoot, and was used as a spear. Such
points were of identical material with that of arrow-heads at b and c, fig.
23, and were chipped to the shape of figs. 34 and 35. The latter point
is rather ruder in appearance than the average bow-points.    Indeed from
*Lit. '• bow-end-appended to ; " plural,    slthi-la-diula, a verbal noun
[Vol. IV.
The spear heads* in nowise differed from the bow-points,save perhaps
that they were generally larger in proportions and narrower at the ba-^c.
Herewith arc shown representative specimens. Fig. 37 is, by exception,
of felspathic slate. Its shape and make would suggest to the archaeologist
a comparison with the laurel leaf points of the so-called Solutrian epoch.
It is drawn full size. One of its surfaces shows hardly any trace of
flaking and almost perfectly flat.
In fig. 38 we have a* type of a very different description. It lacks the
exquisite finish of the preceding and is double-pointed, so that the base
is not easily distinguished from the tip.   As may be seen from the outlines .of its side, its shape is far from elegant.
mm te|ii|
to a pole five or six feet long
lg the arrow heads with their 1892-93.]
To all appearances, the stone daggers* of the prehistoric Denes were
•distinguished from their spears by two peculiarities: the shortness of the
handle and the greater dimensions of the blade. I would call the
attention of antiquarians to the size, shape and finish of the above
illustrated dagger blade (fig. 39). Although evidently broken off at
the tip end, it is still fully S}4 inches in length and 3 inches in width.
Yet it is not more than 3& of an inch in its greatest, thickness. It has
been chipped off to an almost perfectly flat surface, the flakes being as in
the Solutrian implements remarkably large and shaving-like. Nevertheless this exquisite relic of prehistoric workmanship has been found,.hot in
the cavern of Solutre, but scarcely two hundred yards from where these
lines are written. I may add that it was found on the surface of the
groundf and is of exactly the same material as the great majority of
D£n£ arrow heads.
The Dene* dagger was carried about hanging from the belt through a
a leather thong, as is now done with its modern substitute, the steel
■-" i
* Stecyal, second cat.
TThe foregoing had been written for some time when T came across the following passage of
Mr. D. Boyle's Archaeological Report for 1S91 (p. 10) which 1 had overlooked in the haste of the
"first reading: " While many specimens (especially flaked one-;) found in different parts of the
province, may be classed as palreoliths, they have, up to the present time always been found
associated in such a way with neoliths that it is impossible to designate them as po'aioliths with
any degree of certainty. Leaf-shaped "flints" have been picked up that are quite as rudely
formed as any from the deepest^stalagmite deposits of Europe, but never in situations to suggest
•that they are other than rough-hewn tools or weapons, which, as such had a pun>o->e in the
•economy of people who are capable of producing better things. Until we fin J specimens of this
kind, as Dr. Abbot found them in the Trenton gravels, or in some situations isolated from all
•others, or distinct as, to material or coating from specimens of a superior quality in the .^ame
neighbourhood, we shall not be warranted in making any distinction relative to time of possible
production." It is gratifying to hear of would-be paloeoliths being found even in Eastern Canada
•alongside with neoliths, for this coincidence appears to me a confirmation of the opinion that, in
_^Lnrterica at least, these divergences of type are suggestive less of distinct e:o:"s than of unequal
jrjdll in the craftsmen, or possibly ethnic difference in the race, that::..' . :d them. I am
persuaded tint had Sir. A. Mackenzie examined with the care of an anticpsnan the arms of the
Western Denes whom he met one hundred years ago, he would have found l»;:h styles co-existing
anion? them.
/   ' <
/  1892-93.] '
long, stone lancet and handle forming^ when connected, a scythe-like
implement, the warrior—or indeed assassin, as the case may have been—
struck therewith his victim on the temple, oftentimes thus causing instant
Before bringing to a close this chapter devoted to stone implements, it
may not be amiss to say a word concerning the art of stone chipping as
practised by the prehistoric Denes. I remember having read in a publication emanating from a learned society, an elaborate dissertation on
this subject wherein the author took great pains to elucidate difficulties
which to me appeared to be mainly of his own making. It may be that
the rules of the craft varied with the localities and the material employed ; but here, among the Western Denes, there was no great mystery
about the operation.
The material chosen in preference to fashion arrow or spear heads with
was loose, broken pieces of the rock such as were found on the surface.
Of course these were confined to a few localities only, wherein were
situated sorts of quarries which were very jealously guarded against any
person, even of the same tribe, whose right to a share in their contents
was not fully established. A violation of this traditional law was often
considered a casus belli between the co-clansmen of the trespasser and
those of the proprietors of the quarry. iff
The first operation consisted in roughly blocking off with a hard stone
the pieces of the flint, the removal of which was  necessary to obtain
a vague resemblance to the intended
weapon. Then grasping the flint length-
wise with the closed fingers of the left
hand (fig. 44), the arrow-smith carefully
pressed off the flakes with an elongated
stone held in his right hand, until the
desired form and finish were obtained.
A piece of buckskin served as a pad
to protect the hand against the asperities of the point. .
/; I owe these details to an old chief who has been an eye-witness to the
operation^ I should add  that in not a few cases a moose__nioIaj;Jooth.
replaced the long chipping stone.    I know also of a very few points the
sharp edges of which have been polished off by friction.
Fig. 44.
|S M-,
II '
/ [Vol. IV.
BoNk and Horn Implements.
Several bone or horn objects formerly in use among the Western
DeWs have already been mentioned in connection with stone implements
of congenerous nature. As they were mostly weapons or working tools
which have long been replaced by iron or steel substitutes, few of them
could be illustrated from existing specimens. Such as will
be found described in the present chapter are, however,
still largely used by the natives, even of the Carrier
They are, with few exceptions, industrial implements.
Among those which serve in connection with hunting or
trapping, one of the most conspicuous is the tsa-yu-thej
(beaver-medjejne-recipient, or castoreum bottle). As will
be seen further on, this same vessel is of birch bark
among the Carriers. But the Tse'kehne, who are essentially huntsmen and whose country abounds in large game^
make it out of a cariboo horn, ancKacTorn (?) it with' such"
primitive designs as may be noticed  in fi
Fig. 45-
the trapper keeps the castoreum which he dilutes either
on the steel trap, or in the mud contiguous thereto, in order
to decoy the beaver into Its ultimate capture.
Of course this mode of trapping is practicable only during the spring
or summer months. In the w'inter, beaver is sought after with nets set
in holes cut in the ice a short distance from the rodent's habitation and
store. I have elsewhere given an account of this winter trapping which
will, perhaps, bear reproduction here, § Once they have found his [the
beaver's} lodge, an indispensable preliminary to secure his capture is to
discover the exact location of his path or trail under ice. It appears
that he follows well marked routes when swimming from, or returning to
his winter quarters. These our Denes easily find out by sounding the
ice in different direction^ with cariboo horns. Their well exercised ears
readily discover by a peculiar resonance of the ice where the rodent's
usual patli lies. So, at a given point, they cut a hole wherein the)' set
their babiche beaver net,"* taking care to plant at a short distance a
VHie Western DeneW etc., Proc. Can. Inst. vol. vii., p. 131. 1S92-93.]
•stick the upper end of which is provided with little bells—the counterpart of the beaver nails and pebbles which did duty in prehistoric years.
To this upright stick the side ropes of the net are attached in such a
way as to be ready for use when the game is to be ensnared. " Then
the hunter (should I not say fisher?) proceeds to demolish the beaver's
lodge, in order to drive him off. Should the game" not be found there
the same operation is repeated at his adjoining provision store. When
the undulations of the water tell of his presence therein, he is frightened away to where the net is set. ■ Supposing that the beaver is swifter
than his hunter and reaches the net before the latter, the efforts he will
make to extricate himself therefrom will agitate the small bells before
mentioned, and the hunter will immediately make for the hole and draw
Jiim out before he has time to cut himself clear of the net/'*
0     ©O
Fig. 46.
Fig. 46 represents the mas, a bone device indispensable to the efficiency
•of the beaver net. It is attached to the end of the net which is laid out
at the opening in the ice wherein it floats on the water. The side strings
•of the net are passed through the centre hole of the bone piece (mas)
and thence connected with the little bells at the top of the outstanding
.stick, so that by pulling them up, the farthest end of the net, which is
under ice, will be drawn back to where the mas is secured, and thereby
the game will be bagged, as it were, and speedily killed on the ice.
These bone pieces affect divers forms, several of which are symbolical.
Thus the mas shown above, is intended to represent a beaver. It will
he remarked that the design is highly conventionalized. Yet, even a
child (of Dene parentage, of course) will recognize at once its significance-
Barbed harpoons f such as those shown in the accompanying figures
are resorted to when the Dene is out beaver hunting—not trapping or
snaring,—that is in such cases as when the beaver is met with free of any
trap Or net. Until a short time ago those beaver harpoons were made
of cariboo horn ; but to-day implements of identical shape wrought out
of  steel files or pieces of   iron  have almost  entirely superseded  the
T3~to-t's?n,  "lip or barb-bone.
JjK 63
[Vol. IV
original horn weapon.    To-day, as formerly, they are securely fastened
to a handle three or four feet long, wherewith they are launched at the
"-"••^-'^-^r* - _,:--^"^-»-
Fig. 47.    % size.
game much as would be done with a regular lance. The shaft is
intended to secure greater impetus and efficiency to the weapon. The
specimen illustrated by fig. 47 is a find, and is therefore more ancient
'    =S5S^" S^SS^=-_r" '(^"^QC-^^S^TSrtSCxy-.
Fig. 48.    yi size.
than that shown in fig. 48 which is quite modern. A comparison
between these implements and those of similar intent in use among
widely different races of Indians all over North America cannot fail to
elicit the remark that the same needs create the same means. *
In the act-of dressing hides several bone or horn implements are still
used among the Western Denes. These are the fat-scraper, the hair-
scraper, the bone-awl, and the skin-scraper.
Fig 49.
The first-j* is made of a split cariboo horn (fig. 49) and, as its name
indicates, it serves to scrape off the fat adhering to the fresh skin. This
fat is received in the concave part of the implement and thence transferred to a bark vessel close by. In the form above delineated, it is more
of a Tse'kdhne than of a Carrier tool, and 'as such it does service more
particularly in the treatment of marmot {Arctomys monax and caligaius)
and wild goat {Aplcy:erus montanus) skins.
The Carrier equivalent 'therefor generally consists of the socket end
of the shoulder blade of the cariboo, left almost   in its natural state.
* See Ann. Rep. Canad. Inst. iSSS, p. 5S, figs. 100, 101.
f Pe-tha-?tzo,  I wherewith the flesh-side is scraped " (of a liquid  or fat substance):   fourt
category of nouns.
§Mm ' :mm8mt * . as
[Vol. IV
The object in view while spreading the skin in its wooden frame is to
icmovc its "mack " or inner cuticle. This is accomplished by means of
bone scrapers,"- which arc everywhere essentially the same, but whose
form or even material varies according to the tribe by which they are used.
I \
I •''
I   !
A. .*/'"— *!1 'VVr*.-*'
*'ig.  53-    Yi size.
Thus the TsijKoh'tin scraper (Fig. 53) is of bear bone and wedge-like
in form.    The skin wrapping shown in the cut is quite often wanting.
Fig- 54-
}£ size.
The Carrier scraper (Fig. 54) is of cariboo bone and shaped somewhat
like a chisel. Its main peculiarity consists in the teeth cut in its edge to
prevent its slipping too easily over the skin and' ensure better gripping
power. Identical implements are at times found as relics of extinct
races in many parts of the northern American continent, and I still
remember how the perplexity as to their probable destination evidenced through the lines of an antiquarian, who some years ago was
describing one of them, brought home to me the advantages enjoyed,
even from an archaeological standpoint, by persons actually passing their
life among the aborigines.
}"r->V---v--i. •=
Fig. 55-
\i size.
Among the Tse'kehne the .skin scrapers arc of cariboo horn, thinned
and reduced to the form of that delineated in fig. 55. A piece of buckskin wrapped around the end held in the hand facilitates the handling of
thai rather awkward implement. The serrated ed^ze of the Carrier
scraper is also reproduced by the Tse'kehne. Or indeed it is quite as
likely that the Carriers have learned this peculiarity from the Tse'kehne,
who in their turn have borrowed it from the Crees and other Algonquian
*3tha-nkwot, "it scrapes (by pecking) the flesh side." *•***•• •-
tribes of the East, all of which observe it in making their skins crapers,
while the TsijKoh'tin, who are the most distantly situated from,them,
seem to be ignorant of it.
All of these scrapers also do service in the process of skinning animals
as means of separating the hide from the flesh.
If we now pass from bone implements connected with hunting to such
as  are  laid   under  contribution   as4 means  of   furthering  the   fishing
industry, we may note in the first place the ta-kre't* or fish harpoon (fig.
\ «***£,
5 ,.. rffii'■SW
Fig. 56
\i size.
56). The cut renders a detailed description of it unnecessary. The only
wooden parts are the shaft and the socket, round which is wound the
skin line which fastens the two side-hooks of the harpoon, while it secures
in its proper place the middle prong. The hook pieces are fastened with
sinew. An archaeologist fond of comparisons cannot fail to notice the
resemblance of this weapon to its Eskimo equivalent such as illustrated
in fig. 453 of Dr. F. Boas' " The Central Eskimo, "f The ta-kret serves
to dart a large species of white-fleshed salmon (Oncorrynclius chouicha,
Walbaum), called kes by the Carriers and qes by the TsijKoh'tin. Nowadays these implements are mostly of iron or steel ; but their shape has
remained unaltered.
»Vv /•^T-'^-*^'.—ir^'yy.y    -
F'g. 57-   t size-
The TsijKoh'tin spear salmon with a harpoon of a totally different pattern (fig. 57). It is double darted, and so made that upon fastening in
the flesh of the fish, both darts detach themselves from the forked shaft* to
1 " Lip-dart,'' by allusion to its mouth-like appearance.
"tSixth Ann. Rep. Bureau of Ethnology, 1SS4-85.
|\S| jv.
which they are secured by means of a plated raw-hide line. The whole
•detachable points of this implement were originally of mountain sheep
horn ; but in modern specimens the tip is generally of iron and occasionally of copper, the barbs only being of horn.
Both the Carrier and the TsijKoh'tin harpoons are hafted to shafts
sometimes as much as 12 or 15 feet long, so as to render them serviceable
from the top of rocks or precij^itous river' banks emerging from the
rapids where that species of fish is wont to congregate.
Implements of that size are designed exclusively for Salmon fishing.
For smaller fish, besides the nets, which will be described in their proper
.place, the£ have recourse to a bone or steel harpoon of analogous
model with that of fig. 56, but reduced in dimensions and. hafted to^a
short handle. If in the winter time, bait is used as a means of attracting
the fish. Having cut in the ice a hole of sufficient diameter to observe
the movements of the trout underneath, the Carrier drops and gently
oscillates in the water bone imitations of Coregone fry (fig. 58), hanging
through a sinew line from a wood or bone piece held in the left hand. Upon
biting the bait, the fish is speedily speared with the above mentioned
Here (fig. 59) we have a" fishing implement which, though of a rather
primitive style, yet requires but little explanation. The lancet or pin-like
part of the hook* only is of bone, while the shank is of wood. This
implement is drawn natural size. In remote localities, durin£? hunting
exjxxlitions away in the woods, it is found to this day very serviceable.
A fishing device less modern in appearance is shown in fig. 60. It is
called by the Carriers thc-sateil a word which cannot be better translated
than by "lying on the bottom," though the actual equivalent of that phrase
would be theK-Psthan.    A very small fish is used as bait and fastened in
* Q?s * prim, root. 1S02-93.]
this wise to the implement; the whole of the bone pin including the sinew
line to which it is attached is passed through the anal part of the fish
Fiir. 60.
F»g- 59- 1
and then one-half of it is inserted lengthwise through the body of the
fish commencing from the point of initial insertion of the sinew line to
the head, after which the whole is dropped in the water and held as in
the case of the bone coregone bait. The larger fish, generally the Ioche
•or turbot {Lota maculosa) which is very voracious, overlooks the other
half of the implement left bare, and by gulping down the small fish
gives warning to the fisherman, who instantly pulls up the whole, thereby
sinking the bone pin in the gills of the large fish which is thus easily
secured. \
As a rule, the small end bones of the loon's wings, or occasionally
■even young beaver ribs, are the material chosen to make the two last
mentioned implements. The same probably served also to fabricate the
needles of the prehistoric Denes. But none of them is now extant, and
this may be a mere conjecture.
Before proceeding further, a word about the species of fishes more
•extensively sought after by the-Carriers and the TsijKoh'tin may not be
•out of place. They are of course very numerous, but king among them
all is the salmon, and of the five species which are now known to ascend
their rivers, the suck-eye (Oncor/tynchus nerka, Walbaum) or tha-llo* is
by far the most important either on account of its economic value or of
the prodigious numbers of its   annual   run.    Next  in   abundance  and
6 71
[Vol..  IV.
importance as an article of diet is the large white flesh salmon or hes
which has already been mentioned. These two species are common t<>
most of the streams within Carrier, Babine and TsijKoh'tin territorjl
though the latter avoids not a few minor tributaries of the large rivers.
One is particular to Babine lake and outlet—it is the hump-back salmon*'
{O. gorbitscha, XValb.) It is not of much value. The two other specie-,
thestlS-f and fa-t^R + in Carrier are quite plentiful in such streams as
discharge their waters through the Skeena river; but according to local
observations they make their appearance in Stuart's Lake and immediate
outlet only when the next run of the tha-llo is to be extraordinarily large.
As far as I can judge the the'stle is the 0. keta of Walbaum, such as
described by Jordan and Gilbert; § but I can find no specific name for
the ta-tzoR, whose native name is an exact translation of the scientific
word for all the Pacific Salmons: oy^^, hook ; for/.0^, snout; Carrier:
ta, snout (and lip); tz£m hook.
To the above should be added the kcsdl\ or land-locked salmon
{O. Kennerlyi), which is much appreciated by the native palate and
captured mainly with the help of fish traps or 'kuntzai. It is however
inferior in point of economic importance to the great Jake trout [Salveli-
nu's namaycush, Walb.) called/// by the Indians and which is extensively
sought after either during the autumn months or the cold season. In
the former case it is quite frequently dried and cured as the red salmon
or thai o. The other trouts to be found in Dene lakes or rivers are the
common trout {Sal/no purpuratus, Pallas) and the bull trout {Salvelinus
tuati/ia, Walb.) There are also two species of whitefish, the Corcgonus
clupeiformis (Mitch.) and the Coregonus quadrilateralis of Richardson,
which in some localities are caught in such large quantities that main'
thousands are usually kept frozen for use during the winter.
The above are, of course, the best fish available here. But as the child
of the forest has not always the choice of his diet, he must more often,
than once content himself with such carps or carpiodes, such suckers
or catastomidae as may chance to venture too near his drag-net. These
seldom fail him. Their name is legion, and I will not be so rash as to
attempt a nomenclature of them.
* St?in'oil, a word which to a Den6 ear appears quite foreign.
1* A noun of the second category.
X % Lip (and snout)-hook."
§ Synopsis of the Fishes'of North America by I). S.Jordan and Ch. H. Gilbert, Washington,
Almost equivalent to "small kes " or white flesh salmon. NOTES  ON  Till'.  WESTERN   DENES.
I did not mention the sturgeon (Accipcnser transmontanus, Richardson), because, although it 4s a welcome visitor to out lakes, its visits are
too rare and far between to entitle it to serious consideration in this
connection.    It is caught in large meshed nets.*
To join the two extremes, I will add to the sturgeon, the largest of
our fresh water fishes, the thc/m.d?,^ a very small fish which I think is not
known to Ichthyology. It frequents; a few little lakes only, and is
taken with scoop-nets during the few mild days which usually interrupt
the severity of out winters. The quantity of that fish brought home-
after one single afternoon's absence from the village is sometimes really
enormous. I
To be complete I should have noticed among bone implements serving
fishing or trapping purposes, the ate, J or ice-breaker. This- is, however,
a mere pointed cariboo horn, which tends to disappear as.a working tool,
being gradually replaced by a piece of iron or steel, whenever this can
be obtained. |
There is a horn wedge which, even at the present day, serves to split
the slender rods of which are made the 'kuntzai or fish baskets, which
shall be described in the chapter devoted to wood implements. As in
most implements requiring hard material, cariboo horn is chosen to
make these wedges.
Fig. 62.    X size.
1 : above figure requires no explanation.    A glance at the horn ladl
*The Carrier name of the sturgeon is fe-ti\\  "big-fish."
f A root of the second category, the first syllable of which refers to the lake bottoms from
which these fishes seem to suddenly emerge.
Zjjtc means "horn," and is used to designate even steel ice-breakers. The ancient name for
them is tzoulzi/ in Carrier which is evidently identical with the present tzoroutzi/ of the
T>i[Koh'tin. *
[Vol. VI.
and spoon therein represented will show that our Western Dene's' handwork is of a very poor grade indeed compared with that of the elaborately carved Haida, Tsimsian or Tlingit spoons.    The only attempt at
Fig. 63-   X s5ze-
design or ornamentation of any kind appears in the Tse'kehne spoon'or
ladle (fig. 63). Genuine Carrier utensils of this class, which are either of
wood or of horn, are even plainer than those above illustrated. Evidently our Den£s have no eye for the beautiful.' In all cases of horn
spoons the material is mountain sheep horn.
The manufacture of such household implements necessitates the possession of no extraordinary amount of skill. After the horn has been
split in two equal halves, a spherical, smooth-surfaced stone is heated,
and to expand the too contracted sides of the horn they are applied
thereon and gently pressed out, a layer of pitch having previously been
spread over the stone so as to give consistency to the material of the
spoon and prevent its artificially distended parts from returning, when
cooled, to their original shape. The finishing touches are then given
witli the carving knife.
Keeping within the same class of industrial bone implements, we come
on the bark peelers * and the cambium scrapers.-f- -Both of these are
in great demand every recurring spring for the purpose of extracting foi
food thecambium layer of the shrub pine {Pinus contorta). Their name
sufficiently describes their use. Below is the Carrier type of both
peeler and scraper, which, it should be remarked, are oftentimes mucl'
larger than those after which fig. 64 has been drawn. In fig. 6*; we have
a double-edged scraper, which, though known among and sometimes used
by the Carriers, is more frequently seen among the Tse'kChnc. The
various stvles of these useful implements are all of cariboo horn.   The
* Enifq)/, " it penetrates by tearing," a verbal'tioun.
+ Eltzo, I tliat which scrapes," verb. noun. 1892-93.1 NOTES ON THE WESTERN DENES. 77
shavings-like cambium thereby obtained is much relished by the natives,
Fig, 64.    % size.
who even collect it at times for the purpose of drying and keeping for
use during the winter months.
If from the indispensable or useful we pass to   the agreeable, tl
gambling sticks  formerly used among our aborigines   may claim 01
attention.    Here, again, we find the elegantly-carved gambling sticks
the West Coast tribes replaced by simple polished pieces of lynx <
other animal's bones without any particular design, and with the mere
addition to one of the pair of the sinew wrapping necessary to determine
K 5 Js^r 'S^J^J^^^
the winning stick. The Babine specimens
(fig. 66) are rather large and must prove
awkward in the hand of the gambler.   But
they have the reputation of being preventive of dishonesty, if distinctions, between-
the honest and the dishonest can be established in connection with such a pastime as
gambling. Such of these trinkets as are
hollow have generally both ends shut with
..minute pebbles and'gravel which produce
a gcntl   rattling sound in the hand of the native, much to his own satisfaction.
"g:.L.-^.!.'VJ..j[^j .»,,umj«....
Kic. 66.     54 s
wood, and contain -.minute nel
I iwm<
[Vol. VI.
Fig. 67 represents the Tsi[Koh'tin and fig. 68 the Tse'kehne equivalent
of the Babine gambling sticks.    It will be seen from the latter that the
o <*>
Tse'kehne, who are the most primitive and uncultured of the three tribes
whose technology is under review, are again the only people who in this
connection, as with regard to their spoons, have made the merest attempt
at bone carving. * i m
lii 1 ■ I
Fig. 67.
Fig. 63.    %, size.
The game played with these bone pieces is, I think, too well known to
demand a description.    The jerking movements and passes of hands of
the party operating therewith, as well as the drum beating and the singing of the spectators or partners, are practised among most of the Indian
races, especially of the Pacific Coast, which have occupied the attention
of American ethnologists.    The Abbe  Pctitot says in one of his latest
publications* that this game is adventitious among the Eastern Deries
who have borrowed .it from the Crees.    This remark is no less apposite
with regard  to their kinsmen west of the Rocky Mountains.    Although
no other chance game possesses to-day so many charms for the frivolous
Western Denes, the old men assure me that it.was formerly unknown
among their fellow countrymen.    That their testimony is based on fact,
the very name of that game would seem to indicate, since it is a mere
verb in  the  impersonal  mood: not*s?'a, %one keeps  in  the hand while
moving," and is therefore of the fourth category of Dene nouns.    The
word for ''gambling sticks," such as used in connection with nat'so'a, is
ii3*ta, which, is the same verb under the potential form and means | that
which   can   be  held   in   the  hand."     Any  of   the  surrounding  races,
Tsimpsian, Salishan or Algonquin, may be held responsible for its introduction among: the Western   Denes, for they are all exceedingly fond
of it.
IBI' *  •
The original counterpart of the modern not'so*a was the atlili^ which
*I think it is in his book En route pour la "lifer Glaciate, Paris, iSSS.
*TMay be translated by "Gambling" in a general sense. lMi2-l»3.]
in times past was passionately played by the Carriers, but is now
altogether forgotten except by a few elder men. It necessitated the use
of a quantity of finely-polished boncsticks, perhaps four or five inches
long, of which a correct idea may be gathered from fig. 336, illustrating
Niblack's "The Indians of-Southern Alaska."* These bones were
•called altc, a root word of the. second category, implying much greater
antiquity than that of the no'ta
Speaking of atlih, a tradition which has some bearing thereon comes
up for a share in the reader's consideration. If of no interest to the
archaeologist, it will serve a sociological purpose and may have the
advantage of furnishing us with a peiuture de mceurs, as the French have
it.    Here it is. f
" A young man was so fond of playing atlih that, after he had lost
every part of his wearing apparel, he went so far as to gamble away his
very wife and children. Disgusted at his conduct, his fellow villagers
turned away from him and migrated tp another spot of the forest, taking
along all their belongings, and carefully extinguishing the fire of every
lodge so that he might perish.   .
" Now this happened in winter time. Reduced to this sad fate, and in
a state of complete nakedness, the young man searched every fireplace
in the hope of finding some bits of burning cinders, but to no purpose.
He then took the dry grass on which his fellow villagers had been resting
every night and roughly weaved it into some sort of a garment to cover
his nakedness.
" Ye,t without fire or food he could not live. So he went off in despair
without snow-shoes, expecting death in the midst'of his wanderings.
"After journeying some time, as he was half frozen anel dying of
hunger, he suddenly caught sight in the top of the tall spruces of a
glimmer as that of a far-off fire. Groping his way thither, he soon
perceived sparks flying out of two columns of smoke- and cautiously
approaching he came upon a large lodge covered with branches of
conifers. He peeped through a chink and saw nobody but an old man
sitting by one of two lanje fires burning in the lodge.
o J o o C*>
"Immediately the old man cried out: 'Come in, my son-in-law!' The
young man was much astonished, inasmuch as he could see nobody
outside but himself.   'Come m, my son-in-law; what are you doing out
* Uep. U. S. Museum, rSSS, j>late Ixiii.
tit must be remarked that in the version the most in vogue among the Carriers, the beginning
of this legend is very different from that adopted here after Julian gletsa-niya (he walks ahead)
of tha place, Stuart's Lake. - aj»«»v»»«',»,Hi»»>j|l,yi»»l»»»»>»»»>
[Vol. AT.
1    ft
in the cold?' came again from the lodge. Whereupon the gambler
ascertained that it was himself who was thus aeldressed. Therefore he
timidly entered, and, following his host's suggestion, he set to warm himself by one of the fires.
"The old man was called Nd-ydTk-hwolluz* because, being no other
than Vihta,*j- he nightly carries his house about in the course of his
travellings. *Arou seem very miserable, my son-in-law; take this up,' he
said to his guest while putting mantlewise on the young man's shoulders
a robe of sewn marmot skins. He next handed him a pair of tanned
skin mocassins and ornamented leggings of the same material. He then
called out: ' My daughter, roast by the.fireside something to eat for your
husband—he must be hungry.' Hearing which, the gambler, who had.
thought himself alone with No-yoR-hwolluz, was much surprised to see a
beautiful virgin \ emerge from one of the corner provision and goods
stores § and proceed to prepare a repast for him.
"Meanwhile, the old man was digging a hole in the ashes, whence he
brought out a whole black bear cooked under the fire with skin and hair
on. Pressing with his fingers the brim of the hole made by the arrow, he
took the bear up to his guest's lips, saying : \ Suck out the grease, my son-
in-law.' The latter was so exhausted by fatigue that he could drink
but a little of the warm liquid, which caused his host to exclaim : * How
small-bellied my son-in-law is!' Then the old man went to the second
fireplace, likewise dug out therefrom a whole bear and made his guest
drink in the same way with the same result accompanied by a similar
remark.       S-0&
"After they had eaten, NoyoRhwolluz showed the gambler to his
resting place and cautioned him not to go out during the night. As for
himself, he was soon noticed to leave the lodge that and every other
night; and, as he came back in the morning, he invariably seemed to be
quite heated and looked as one who has travelled a very great distance.
"The gambler lived there happily with his new wife for some months.
But his former, passion soon revived. As spring came back, he would
take some alte in an absent-minded way and set out to play therewith
all alone.     Which seeing,  his  father-in-law said to him  : ' If you feci
* Lit. "he-carries (as with a sIeigh)-a-house." The final hwolluz is proper to the dialect of the
Lower Carriers, though the tale is narrated by an Upper Carrier, which circumstance would seem
to indicate that the legend is not; as so many others, borrowed from a Tsimpsian tribe.
"t Ursa major.
t Sa('-?sta, " She sits apart."
§ See the Chapter on the Dene habitations. 1892-93.1 NOTES  ON   THE  WESTERN   D&NES. 81
lonesome here, my son-in-law, return for a while to your own folks and
gamble with them.' Then handing him a set of alte and four totquh*
he added: 'When you have won all that is worth winning, throw your
totquh up over the roof of the house, and come back immediately.
Also remember not to speak to your former wife.' * *
"The gambler then made his departure, and was soon again among
the people who had abandoneel him. He was now a handsome and well-
dressed young man, and soon finding partners for his game he stripped
them of all their belongings, after which he threw his totquh over the
roof of the lodge. He also met his former wife as she was coming from
drawing water, and, though she entreated him to take her back to wife
again, he hardened his heart and did not know her.f
"Yet, instead of returning immediately after he had thrown his totquh
over the roof, as he had been directed to do, his passion for atlih betrayed
him into playing again, when he lost all he had won. He was thus
reduced to his first state of wretched nakedness. He then thought of
NoyoRhwolluz, of his new wife and his new home, and attempted to
return to them, but he could never find them."
..        A   third  chance game   was proper to   the women  and  was
ffff   played with button-like pieces of bone.    It was based on the
same principle as dice, and, in common with atlih, it has long
fallen into disuse.    Its name is atiyeh.
The three bone implements which remain to be described have
likewise disappeared from among the  Carriers   to whom  they
were proper.    Thus fig. 6g shows a telui or ceremonial whistle,
which could not at present be identified by one-twentieth of the
living Carrier population.   It is made of the larger wing bone of
the swan, notched near, and  slit at, one end exactly as shown
W      in the above  figure and   without the insertion of any mouthpiece..    On  gieat ceremonial occasions, the notable or native
Fig. 69.   nobleman, who  was privileged to accompany his dance therewith, kept it constantly in his mouth unsupported by the hand,
and from  time to time extracted  therefrom   loud,  shrill   notes,  which
added not a little to the liveliness of the scene.
The object represented by fig. 70 differs but little from the preceding,
the material being identical and the form almost so. But its use and
destination   are   widely different.     It   is   a   t'sdn-kuz  or   "bone-tube"
I 1
111 I
A lonjr throwing rod which serves to play another «amc.    It will be figured and explained
further on.
+ In the biblical sense of Coruovil. ■ t
[Vol. IV
through which Carrier and Babine girls attaining the age of puberty had
to drink under pain, it was said, of contracting dreadful throat disc;
.should  they attempt to quench their thirst by helping themselves im-
Fur. 70.
mediately from the water vessel as was done by common folks. This
trinket was constantly carried about, hanging from the sinew and down
necklace usually encircling the neck of such pubescent maidens, also as a
specific against malign influences.
Fig. 71.
Closely connected therewith was the double-pronged comb shown in
fig. 71. It was worn in the hair and likewise connected with the
medicinal, (?) necklace through, a long, loosely-hanging string adorned
with beads, or, in primordial times, dentalium shells or other small articles
of native ornament.    Its use was not restricted to pubescent girls, but
x o >
this comb or lsi-lts3t,* as it was called, was also common to young men
attaining maturity. It should perhaps be remarked that in this latter
case the instrument was of wood, not of bone. "Comb" is rather a
misnomer when applied to such an object which served merely to scratch
one's head with, as immediate contact between the fingers and the head
was then reputed productive of fatal diseases.
Apropos of diseases it may be mentioned that bleeding as a surgical
•operation was, and still is, frequently resorted to by our Western Denes.
So far as my information goes, there was in pristine times no surgical
instrument such as an equivalent of our lancet employed  in this con-
lead-scratches" verb. noun. IS92-93.]
ncction. It would seem that the operation was formerly performed either
with a bone needle or awl, or more commonly with a sharp-edged stone
arrow head.
Fig. 72 illustrates the change brought in the native huntsman's economy
by modern civilization. It is a little piece of bone carved to the shape
of a fantastic being, half animal (viz. coyote), half fish, on the back of
which little/excrescences have been left, the object of which is to hold as
many metallic caps for use with a shot gun. This little trinket is
fastened to the string of the powder-horn or to that of the shot pouch.
It is more commonly cut out of a piece of thick leather without any
attempt at design.
8'- 84
[Vol. IV
• *
■'.- /
Traps a^h^-S^ta-r^s. /
fish traps.
Judgecfby their staple food, the Carriers and the Tsi'Kohtin are maritime or coast tribes, since they mostly rely upd>n the annual run _ of
salmon for their sustenance during the whole year. But, owing to the
topography of their country and their peculiar environments, their mode
of securing their supply of the fish materially dmers from that adopted
by the coast Indians. Nay more, even among themselves the process
varies according to the localities and the nature of the fish stream. It
may be broadly stated thar-ajMeasJ^jsev'en different devices are resorted
to, which I shall presently endeavour to explain. f-
In the first place one should not forget that the salmon almost exclusively referred to in the present paragraph, that on which the two
tribes named above mainly subsist, is the so-called Fraser River salmon
{Oucorhynchus nerka, Walbaum). It is exceedingly gregarious in habits
and usually plentiful. As will soon be seen, these two peculiarities are
taken occasion of by the natives to facilitate its capture.
Where it is practicable the Kamstkadals' method of salmon-fishing is
followed. This consists in staking across the river in its whole width
and leaving for the fish only narrow passages ending in long, funnel-
shaped baskets from which escape is impossible. Owing to the importance of this industry, some detailed explanation of the whole process
will not be out of place.
At intervals of forty or fifty feet heavy posts are driven as solidly as
possible in the bed of the stream from shore to shore, and on these will
depend the strength of the whole structure. As an additional guarantee
against the aqtion of the current, as many props or braces are sunk
slanting down stream and secured against the upright posts close to the
water line. In this and all similar cases the fastening material consists
of willow, high cranberry bush or spruce sapling wattle. Finally, heavy
poles, as long as can be found, are laid transversely on the forks formed
by the intersection of the piles with their props, and the result constitutes what may be called the skeleton of the weir. The intervals between the upright posts arc afterwards filled in by poles driven down in
the bed of the river, and as these are placed on the upstream side of the \l
NOTES on the western denes.
long railing already mentioned, no artificial fastening therewith is required.
The weir is then ready to receive the fishing apparatus, which consists of
the hurdles,* the bottle-like baskets nazneotj- and the narrow terminal
baskets, Kps*
The hurdles are made of different sizes, according to the place they
are to occupy. They are simply barkless spruce switches, held slightly
apart by a few transversal sticks laid against, not entwined with, the
trellis work, and there secured by being wattled with wattup or spruce
root. The larger number of these hurdles serve to line the upstream
side of the weir, thereby closing every possible issue through it, while
with the rest are constructed corral-like enclosures guarding the mouth
of the baskets, as shown in the accompanying diagram (fig. 73).    The
Fig. 73-
entrance to these corrals, and therefore to the trap, is at a, and is generally half a foot wide. A stand for parts of the barrier or weir. The
salmon upon stealing in finds its way up blocked at b, and by a sidewise
evolution comes in sight of the long conduit prepared for it in the shape
of the nazrwot or main basket c, together with .the narrow terminal
cylinders d. With a view of liberating itself from the hurdle enclosure,
it swims down as far as the terminal cylinders, which, being too narrow
to permit of its turning back, thus determine its- capture. Others
following will soon pack even the broader end of the nazrwot to such an
extent that oftentimes no moving room is left.     The dotted outlines in
* Icy-sf/u, a contraction of tc?n-sC/it,   " .-tick-twined."
+ A contraction of iianfz/~zv?(, " cylindrical at the mouth (and long in body)."
J Prim. root.    Means any long, slender and smooth-surfaced appendage, as a handle, astern.
So named because it is considered as the handle of the funnel-like basket or naz/~s?t. SG
[Vol. IV.
i I
the above diagram represent the end of each basket which, it is useless
to add, is left opened so as to afford a free passage for the fish. Such
traps are generally constructed in pairs as is shown above.
Instead of shutting with trellis work the furthest end of the last Kos
"j or narrow cylinder, some add thereto a
large rectangular box-like reservoir provided with a'conical conduit or entrance
(fig. 74) tapering into the box so as to preclude the possibility of the fish escaping
once it has entered and found the liberty of movements it lacked while in
the narrow baskets. Therein the salmon crowd in such numbers that they
soon get packed as sardines in a box and finally squeeze themselves to
This trap is efficient at night only, and when the large terminal basket just mentioned is wanting, the nazrwot has to
be watched lest the fish remaining at its mouth eventually
make good their escape. At least two Indians go every
morning and lift up with wooden hooks (fig. 75) such
parts of the trap as cannot easily be reached by the hand
and carefully empty its contents into their canoe.' The Kos-
are but temporarily connected, being detachable at will
Two or three, or in extreme cases as many as four, are
ordinarily added   to  the   nazrwot.
The nazrwot measures at least 15 feet in length and as
much as 6 or 8 feet in its greatest width.*!* while its narrow
end is not more than  6 inches  wide.    Uniform .with  the
latter is the Kos, which is of variable length, 10 feet being
probably the minimum and 16 the maximum.
Clear pieces of Douglas fir (Pinus murrayana) are the material cho.scn
p^Y>.      in the preparation of these fish traps and of all  those which
remain to describe.    Once a suitable fir trunk has been split
into portable sizes the wood is allowed to remain a few days
in the water, after which it is converted with the help of the
bone wedge (fig. 75 bis) into long and very slender rods which
are then shaved smooth with the knife and assigned to th' ir
respective places in the structure.    The encircling pieces are
Fig. 75-
of spruce {Abies nigra) and are wattled to the longitudi
Fi». 75 bis. rods with the usual wattup or spruce root.
* These reservoirs are called yula-sKai,^. contraction of yulal-JsKai, "it (recipient) lie
+ This, of course, varies with the depth of the stream. . «!■)., mmtnf*!**
1^92-93 ]
The nazrwot and its correlative, the Kos, are exclusively designed for
the capture of the salmon. A second fishing device, less restricted in its
use, is the 'kun-teai* It works on the same principle as theyutasKaior
terminal fish-box. it is a large cylindrical basket about 15 feet long and
at least four in diameter. Its bottom end is made of sticks radiating
from the centre, while its entrance is provided with the tapering conduit
or "heart," as it is called by the natives, which we have already noticed
in iheyutasKai. Only in this case it is much longer, since the apex or
inside end of the truncated cone-like aperture reaches almost to the
middle of the whole basket. To make the safe keeping of the fish doubly
sure, the converging sticks of this inner conduit are made to project inside
beyond the small hoop to which they are fastened. These pin-like stick-
ends easily dissuade the fish from trying to escape.
The 'kiintzai was formerly used in connection with beaver trapping,
and to-day it does duty in several localities against the musk-rat. In
such a case the lattice work is made of sticks so broad as to' resemble
laths more than rods, while the interstices between its component paits
are so small that they leave no room for the rodent's snout should it
attempt to gnaw off pieces of it. As an additional measure of safety for
the trap, stones are also scattered on its bottom, upon which the game is
said to direct its attention in the hope of effecting its escape. When
used as a trapping implement these baskets are laid in the bed of sluggish
rivers or creeks previously jammed with branches and boughs of coniferous trees.
But what we are presently concerned with is fish trapping. 'The
'kuntzai are used here (Stuart's Lake) in conjunction with the nazrwot.
They, are likewise deposited in the bed of the stream, but with their
mouth or entrance end in inverse positions relatively to the direction of
the current. I think that no words of mine can better explain their use
and respective positions titan the accompanying diagram showing both
nazrwot and 'kuntzai weirs with their hurdle corrals and baskets. A is
the 'kuntzai weir which is semicircular and extends to the middle of the
stream only. For this reason, though it is built on the same principle of
piles and braces as that of the nazrwot, the necessary strength is more
easily obtained. Its shape precludes the possibility of being latticed as
the former, yet every issue is carefully stuffed with spruce boughs B
and Calone are regular hurdles similar to those forming the corrals of
the main or up stream barrier. D represents a partial trellis left open at
the proper intervals to receive the mouth of the 'kuntzai c, which arc laid
Apparently a contraction of fkun-tstuii, "fish-ova ate lying down," which etymology is hard
to explain, -mice those fishing implements have (nozo at hast) no relation to fidi ova.
M& ■
, a 83
[Vol. VI.
down in parallel order to the number sometimes of ten or twelve.
Immediately facing the row of basket entrances a large beam F, hewn
on the upper side only, partly floats on the water and is partly
supported on the forks of piles driven in the bed of the river.
i' $
•'        '-      .->
c    a
0<r    r
a     f
«=»       «■
t=»ir      *
«=>      e
Orf      t
Fig. 76. 'I;::
S6 much for the apparatus. Now as to its working. The fish, which
is constantly following its way up stream finding any further progress
impeded by the staking across the river G, remains there almost stationary during the day feeling shy of the nazrwot traps prepared for its
capture at night. So it frequently happens that within the space intervening between the complete and the partial weirs large numbers of the
fish have congregated ere the sun sets. Therefore natives, manning as
many canoes as are available, drive it by dint of noise and by well
directed strokes in trie water, first into the corral A, D, F, and then to the
cylindrical baskets wherewith it is secured. Then, at a given signal, one
man from each canoe jumps on the beam F, and lifts up the entrance end
of the baskets as a precaution against the possible egress of a few fish,
while his partner returns by canoe to the opposite end of the trap to
empty it of its contents. A lid or door a there prepared on the top side
of the trap facilitates that operation.. The lifting lip of the 'kuntzai at
the entrance extremity  is the work of but a moment, inasmuch a*s it NOTKS ON THE WESTERN PENES.
chiefly results from the dropping in the water of the large stone b, which
keeps it sunk to the proper depth.
Both the nazrwot and the 'kiintzai are serviceable in such places only
as the outlet of lakes or shallow streams where the current is slow
enough to permit of the erection of the necessary weir. Where this is
impossible, a third and even more ingenious device—since once it is
placed in position, it does all the work of itself—is resorted to. Lattice
work projecting a few feet only from the shore is erected in the water,
connected wherewith is laid on the bottom a tobogan-like basket with an
opening near its curved end. The fish passes through this into an uncovered canal-like conduit leading into a large latticed reservoir where it
is caught. The apparatus becomes more intelligible by a glance at fig.
76 wherein we have a sectional view of the whole.   -The lines marked
Fig. 76.
a, and b show respectively the bottom and the 'surface of the water.
The upper part of the entrance basket c is flat and serves at the same
time as a bed for the canal d which is formed by* the addition of two long
hurdles e on either side of the main or lower basket top. • The salmon
having entered at c soon finds its way upstream blocked at f, where the
basket is rather narrow. But, as its instinct is decidedly against the
wisdom of a backward course, as soon as it becomes aware of the free
passage prepared at^*, therein it runs and thence to the trap h laid out
for its capture, /stands for one of the stakes which hold up the trap or
reservoir while they secure the whole structure against the action of the
This fish-trap is called ps, and it does also good service against the
X. K* J">
.land-locked salmon and other minor fish, such as trout, ling, etc., in such
streams as are favored with a strong current.
Where the river is of a more sluggish character, a fourth device, called
iuet is resorted to. Though differently constructed, it works on the same
principle as the preceding. Its us(
weir or staking across the entin
requires the building of a regular
several sucl
re width of the stream, anc
traps^are laid out, side by side, pretty much as is done with the nazrwot
m II
i j
[Vol. 1 V
The diagram fig. yj gives a longitudinal section of this fishing contrivance, which, after the details furnished above, hardly needs a word of
explanation. It suffices to follow the smaller arrows of the figure to
understand the movements and account for the capture of the fish. Let
me simply add that all the component parts of this trap are originally
distinct and separate. They are merely kept in their proper place by
means of willow bark wattlings.*
Fig. 77-
Less complicated than any of the preceding fish-traps is the thc'-sYLai
(laid down on the bottom), which is also of latticed work and whose
general appearance cannot be better described than by comparing it to a
coffin (fig. 78). Its catching device consists of a sort of trap-door
attached on the inside to the top of one end and slanting down until it
almost touches the bottom of the box-like apparatus. This door is so
arranged that it slightly yields up to pressure from the fish and shuts
down on it once it has entered. The thes-Kai is used in shallow streams
'-^jmBI^SBk'   Fig> 78'    IK'-' ir
A sixth method of salmon fishing which is likewise practicable in a feu
localities only'is that wherewith a tz-sKai,^ or pot hanger basket has t<
be employed. "In some places where the stream contracts to ai
insignificant width and, in escaping from its rocky embankment, produce
a fall deep enough to temporarily impede the salmon's course upwards
* In the accompanying diagrams, the smaller or inner arrows show the course
the larger ones point to the direction of the current.
"V A contraction.for lo-?, " it (a recipient) stands up."
of the
Willi 1892-93.]
the Carriers simply bridge the fall over and with bark ropes suspend
ther.efroma sort of lattice, seven or eight feet wide, the lower extremity
u of   which is  curved   up like  a   pot   hanger
\ (flS- 79)- When the fish attempts to jump
over the fall, he strikes the latticed barrier
and drops back into the basket-like bottom."*
Lastly, where none of the above described
modes of capturing the salmon are available,
the Carrier or TsijKoh'tin has still a seventh
expedient, more inconvenient and less profitable it is true, left at his disposal. This is
fishing with the bag-net (fig. 152). Unless
the run of salmon be exceptionally large,
this method is rather tedious, and either dire
necessity or the passion of .a sportsman only
can be adduced as an excuse for this kind of
fishing, inasmuch as it is impracticable except
Fig. 79-
at night.    I still, remember coming up some
ten years ago, the mighty Fraser then swollen
up to the brim by the July freshets. As we were making very poor
time painfully poling up stream, I had resolved to orofit by a beautiful moonlight to compensate by night boating what we necessarily lost
on account of the slowness of our progress during \£he day. As we
neared the Indian village we were making for, we frequently sighted
from a distance human forms standing motionless on every available
rocky promontory projecting into the river. Upon approaching them,.
we would perceive that they were intently gazing on one spot in the
water, and when questioned as to their success, their almost invariable
answer would be: Sukrak! thallo /iuIpr / " Not a bit; there is no-
salmon. 1"    They were bag-net fishing.
Where  the   natural   rocky  projections  are  "not pronounced  enough
wharf-like scaffoldings are erected for the convenience of the fishermen
Some such are to be seen on the HwotsotsonKwah which evidence no-
mean engineering capabilities.
In describing the Dene fishing contrivances, I have occasionally used,
the foot measure as the best, because the most common, means of determining their dimensions. Useless to say that this is not the recognized
standard of length measure among; the natives. Befoi
further, it may not be irrelevant to enumerate their variot
e   proceeding
is  measures.
&4: f !
is JC
The Western Denes, p. i. 92
11 lip-
,i j
They are :—
1. Honud-thisni* the fathom, measured from end to end of the arms
2. Ne-tayo,\ the half-fathom ; from the middle of the chest to the tip
of the fingers. f
3. Ne-fsu-kst, % the smaller half-fathom ; from the breast to the
extremity of the hand.
4. Ne-kran'kdz, \ the yard ; from the shoulder to the end of the fingers.
5. JVe-fsilla,§ the cubit; extremity of the hand to the elbow.
6. Ne-lla-tc3'n-k3R** the hand-length ; the hand up to the wrist.
7. Tiltz3W,\\ is the width of the fourfing ers slightly stretched out. It
is a net-mesh measure. , \^
"8.  U-'ktvo-sthan,^. the finger-width.    It is obtained by laying on the
object measured as many fingers pressed together as may be necessary.
% is the smallest D6ne measure, and is resorted to in connection with.
pieces of tobacco, of bread, of costly cloth, etc.
The largest and most commonly employed is the first named, horwo-
thisni, which serves to measure houses, fish-traps, nets, logs, etc.
Another measure of length of a more complex nature is obtained by
pressing one hand over the breast and reckoning from the tip of the
other hand to the elbow of the folded arm. It is therefore equivalent to
three-quarters of a fathom.
To preserve their salmon the Carriers and TsijKoh'tin have recourse to
the well known method of drying^^After the head has been cut off, theyI
open and clea-n the fish, after which they expose it for one day or two to
the rays of the sun. The spine and vertebrae are then extracted, together
with the flesh adhering thereto, which is destined for the dogs' larder or
used as bait when trapping. The fish is next furrowed inside with a
sharp knife as a precaution against putrefaction, and, two wooden
splinters having been driven through the flesh so as to keep its inside
constantly opened, it is dried beneath rough sheds by the action of the
sun and air aided by the fire and smoke underneath.
As for the heads, which are considered by many as the morceau delicat
of the salmon, they are cut open and smoked or their oil is extracted in
this wise: After long willow twigs have been spitted through them, thev
* Lit. " along it it is embraced ;" verb. noun.    § " Man-elbow end." *
t " Man-chest."
t "Man-breast-on."
li "Man-arms-half."
;tick (wrist)-after.
•ft'* It straddles," fourth category of noun'..
tt " Il-over-it (long obj.) lies,'' a verb.\l r.oun. 1892-93.]
1 '
are deposited in the water on the sandy shore of the lake or stream till
they reach an advanced stage of decay. The stench they then exhale
is simply asphyxiating. But not so with the natives, it would seem,
since they do not recoil from collecting them and, after having slightly
exposed them to the action of the sun as a means of evaporating the
water they have absorbed, they submit them to a thorough boiling in
large bark vessels and gather their oil in bags made of salmon skin.
This they greatly relish, and have recourse to whenever tl\ey wish to
enhance the natural succulency of their service berries and! other fruit.
To a civilized palate it is simply an abomination.^ ...
While the fauna of Northern British Columbia could be more varied,
it is nevertheless abundant enough to relieve the more pressing needs of
the Indian tribes stationed within its borders. With oree single exception all the larger mammals on whose meat the prehistoric Denes
subsisted are still to be found there. By this exception I refer to the
elk {Cervus canadensis, Erxl.) which the Carriers assert to have been
indigenous • to their present territory, but which has long disappeared
from among them. Philologically speaking its successor is the horse,
which both Carriers and TsiTKoh'tin call a domestic elk (yezilt, elk, ji dog
or domestic animal), while the Tse'kehne see in the noble animal nothing
but a "big dog" ji-tco. From an economic standpoint however, it is
now replaced by the moose (Alee americanus, Jardine) and the cariboo
(Rangifer caribou, Linn.)* The 4ecr (Cariacus virginiamts leitcunts)
which is unknown to the Tse'kehne and rare among the Carriers is
exceedingly plentiful among the TsijKoh'tin. But Providence has given
the former two valuable mammals which are practically wanting, among
the latter, I mean the mountain sheep (Ovis montand, Cov.) and the
mountain goat f Copra americana, Rich.) whose native names are tope and
?spai "respectively. Other animals which are sought more for their meat
than their fur are the hoary marmot (Arclomys caligatus), the ground-hog
(A. monax, Linn.) and last but not least the .hare (Lepus americanus).
The porcupine (Erethizou dorsatus epixanthus) was formerly hunted
for the sake of its quills which, were greatly prized as an article of
Most of the other mammals hunted by our Denes arc valued chiefly
for their fur, though the meat of almost all is appreciated as an addition
*Thc moose is called ton', and the caribou, hwotzih, by the Carriers.
tThe marmot   is called t?lin-, the grounp hog, 'kani; the  hare, h?R and the   porcupine,
111.: '
Mi :i 94
[Vol. IV
11 '
to their provision store. Prominent among them is of course the beaver
(Castor fiber, Linn.), which is called tsa by all the Western Dene tribes]
Its small congener, the musk rat {Fiber zibelhicus, Linn.), is the beaver of
the children and the poor, to whom it is known as the tse.'hi'/. However
a much more precious game even than the beaver is the black bear
(Ursus americanus, Pallas), called las by both the Tse'kehne and the
TsijKoh'tin and sos by the Carriers. Our Western Ddnds, who usually
prove so cowardly against a human enemy, are so courageous when
matched with almost any wild beast, that among them he would not be
considered a man who would be afraid of a bear. Personal encoun-i
ters wherein bruin comes out second best are by no mean's a rare
occurrence here, and not a few Carriers still bear the marks of the bear's
teeth and claws. Even the grizzly {U. horribilis) is no terror to them. I
have here at my side an Indian who has killed one with a revolver, while
I am well acquainted with another, a most reliable man, who by his fearlessness and sangfroid put to flight a bear of that species with which he
had been sitting face to face for perhaps a quarter of an hour without
receiving as much as a scratch from the monster, and without having
used the shotgun which he had not had time to load. The main point
in such awkward circumstances is not to betray the least fear and to look
one's adversary right in the eyes. Show any degree of hesitation and
you are lost. Although no two species of the grizzly bear are known to
science, it might be, however, that the shyas, the bear of which I am
speaking, is but a variety of Ursus horribilis, inasmuch as the Indians
pretend to know another and much more formidable one which they call
tsa-rana or " he busies himself with the beaver," by allusion to its favorite
occupation, beaver hunting. This animal they fear, and so far they profess never to have killed any adult of the species, but to have occasionally
seen a few. It is, they say, much larger than the shyas or common
grizzly ; its heel is proportionately narrower &nd the fore end of its paw
much broader. It is worthless as an economic item, as it emits a most
offensive smell.
The other fur bearing animals sought after by the Western Denes arc
the marten (Mustela martes, Rich.), the fisherfMustela canadensis, Linn.),
which the Carriers call a "big marten," tcounih-tco, the otter (Lutra
canadensis, Turton), the jvolverine. (Gulo lustus, Linn.), the lynx (Felis
canadensis, Rich.), the Jox (Vulpes vulgaris), the wolf (Cam's lupus
occidental is), the coyote (Can is latrans), and the two small carnivores,
the ermine (Pittorius^vulgaris, Linn.), and the mink (P. vison, BrissoftX
In addition to washi, its regular name, the lynx, whose ancestors are
believed to have had intercourse with women, is often half jocosely
called sihittf, " my first cousin " by the Carriers.    As to the different IS92-93.]
Varieties of foxes and wolves, they are recognized and differentiated by
adjectives, not distinct names, in the native tongues, as they are founded
merely on colour, not, as with the dog, on anatomical peculiarities. It is a well known fact among our aborigines that, for instance,
red, cross and black foxes are found in one and the same litter, so that it
•seems naturalists should not see more difference between a red and a
black fox than they do between a gray and a white bull-dog.*
When not chased or killed by chance as happens in the course of one's
travellings, the above named fur bearing animals are procured either with
A A "A l&flX *
^J^    *$?fv
Fie*. 80.
traps or snares.    At least three varieties of the former contrivances, all
of genuine Dene origin, are still in general use, and a fourth, the bear
*It should be mentioned here that aboriginal usage prevent-; the hunter from killing for himself any of the largest animals, especially such as are chased for their meat. Alter his game has
been brought down, he will invariably give it to one of his companions, or if he happens to have
none, he will cache it up against wolverines or any carnivorous animals and return to the village.
Then ho will say to any one whom he chooses to favour with his spoils : " In such and such a
spot in the forest I have shot a cariboo for you. Go and fetch it." To act otherwise would be
equivalent to courting the scorn of every hunter of any standing in one's place.
'*■*'—■ it I.
[Vol. 3 V
trap, though now a thing of the past, is still remembered by old men.
Its main or fall part consisted of trunks of small trees united into a sort
of lattice work by means of muskeg pine saplings interlaced through
them. -To ensure additional efficiency for the structure, large stones were
laid over it, heaps of which are still to be seen in several places, generally
close by the banks of salmon streams, £.1 can find no native in a position
to satisfactorily explain the mechanism of this trap/TAll I can
that it was very effective, not only against black bears, but even against
t  '
4 fl  *
~Jij*2k¥?-■•'''' " —--S4s^~iL     \.S     —ZU-
r-r*r*=> - **£•. \rV^*?**  £*S"*\
Fig. Si.
To secure martens and other small land game, the Carriers never use
but the trap shown in fig. So, which is very simple in construction. It is
merely compose"cTof a fall stick a, one end of which is thrust in the
ground in an obltcue direction, and which springs down on the transversal-
or ground stick b. through the falling off of the pole c, resting upright on
the bait stick d. To prevent the game from getting at the bait other wise
than through the trap, a rectangular enclosure is erected with small
pickets generally against, or close to, the bole of a spruce or pine tree.
Should the fall stick not exactly correspond in position with that l>*ing
on the ground, the marten might snrvive the springing of the trap and 1892.93.)
eventually effect its escape. To guard against such an accident,-two
stakes e are driven in the ground on each side of the falling apparatus..
The use and working of the weight pole f need no explanation.
Much more complicated, as may be seen from fig. Si, is the action of
the lynx trap. The device causing the capture, if not the death, of the
game, is identical with that of the preceding, save that two weight poles
instead of one are used. But the principle of the apparatus'itself is
altogether different, and might be pointed out as an evidence of no mean
ingenuity. Although I have faithfully outlined in dots the working of
the trap while in the act of springing, some further explanation of it
may be necessary.
The general principle governing its action is the balance principle.
The fall stick being pressed down by the weight sticks, thereby forces up
the furthest end of the lever a, which is balanced on the post b, acting
as fulcrum.    As an immediate consequence, the string button c (fig 82}
I\       is started up and at once  arrested  in its flight by the
H'j^ horizontal sticks d engaged between the button and the
*x*i£>\*-7 PerPendicu!ar pole e. The reason of the springing of
the trap is now easy to understand. The lynx, or fox,
upon trying to get at the bait laid on the ground a little
distance off within a picket enclosure, is bound to tread
on the trip stick e which is thereby disengaged from the
Fig. 82. pressure of * the   button, which  immediately whirls up
yielding to the action of the weight poles on the lever, as shown in the
dotted outlines. Both the post and the perpendicular pole e arc stuck
in the ground, and the latter, as well as the weight sticks, are set up
through the branches of the tree under which the trap is prepared.
'***5%*?>vi^:>C"i v  ,      - V    6 r       /f ^       * - ,_ /
y 1.- y.
Fig. 83.
A somewhat different setting of the same trap is obtained by en gag
the trip stick above, instead of beloij, the middle of the button piece.
this case no bait is provided for the game, but the trip stick is thorou
ly rubbed over with castoreum, by licking which the animal springs
» '        J o i fc>
the lever, whereby the fall stick slips down on the base.
11 9S
[Vol. JV.
. A modification of this trap is occasionally used by ajew to capture
the beaver. But as the Crees are credited with its invention, no further
mention of it is necessary.
Fig- 83 represents a kind of trap differing in every particular from the
three already described. It is proper to the Tse'kehne and docs service
against marmots. As shown in the. cut, it is usually set in front of the
animal's den, and its action or working apparatus has some resemblance
to the common figure four trap. Its trip stick a is laid across the entrance
of the marmot's den and is disposed so as to form a right angle with the
left side of the spring stick b. Of course this is concealed from view with
dry grass, leaves, moss or any other available vegetable material. In
order to give even a clearer idea of the mechanism of the trap, its com-
Fig'. Si
•*•—E»~W~irr -—""*"fc*tw.
Fig. S4.
Let it suffice ot
piece b, the small
ponent parts will be found separately drawn in fig. 84
add that, while the fall stick is looped to the springin
end of the latter is at the same time notched in the trip stick a and connected with the post c through the double string d, which presses in the
extremity of both trip and spring pieces.
These traps are not hastily constructed on the spur of the momen;
with any chance material taken at random from the immediate vicinity
of the spot where they are set. They require some little care in their
preparation, and they are therefore made at home, and carried about
with their different parts tied together as shown in fig. 85.
Whilst we are occupied with the divers contrivances invented by native
ingenuity to capture land animals, it may be well to give some idea of
the Western Denes' methods of snaring the same. To such as may be
tempted to call in question the appositencss of such minute details, I
would beg to point out that the aborigines, whose technology we are*
studying, are pre-eminently huntsmen no less than fishermen ; and to
call complete a review of their industrial implements, which does not 1892-93.]
embrace their various fishing and hunting contrivances, would be cquiva-
tent to supposing well constituted a body lacking nerve or bone. Besides
gfving us some idea of their proficiency as craftsmen, they enable us
to witness, as it were, the workings of their, mind as applied to their
means of providing for the necessaries of life. So that those very details
which may appear unimportant to the superficial reader, add in the
estimation of the scientist, a psychological interest to a study which is
primarily technological. What has already been said of the Western
Dends* fish or animal traps has leJ us to the conclusion that, if those
aborigines are wanting in the appreciation of the beautiful, they are by
no means devoid of the faculty of judging and selecting that which is
best suited to the attainment of their ends. A review of their snaring
■devices cannot fail to confirm this impression.
At least eight different methods of snare setting, generally varying
according to the nature of the game, obtain among the single Carrier
tribe.    I leave it to the following figures to explain the details, and shall
O       o x *
content myself with noting en passant that which they cannot tell.
I-      '   -1:   . Ml?   . 1        'JIUJ
Fitr. 86,
Figs. 86 and S? represent bear-snares * whereby the game is either
■choked down on the ground (fig. S6) or flung up in the air (fig. 87). The
action of the former is exceedingly simple, though it cannot fail to prove
o   • x        ' ^*> 4
very effective.    Of course it is clear that the bear upon getting engaged '
+ I o t*> o    o
in the noose, which  is in all cases held in the proper position   through
* The root for snare in general is pi/, and this word is suffixed to the name of the game for
which each snare is intended. Euphony demands that it be prec/.*ded by an /// ; therefore bear-
snare is 'sis-vipi/; lynx-snare, voashi-mpi/, etc., in Carriei.
H fill
It 100
[Vol. IV
small strings lashed to the bushes near by, will, to free himself therefrom,
pull forward or backward. Either movement must result in the fall of
the post a and thereby of the beam b.
Fig. S7.
As to the second mode of setting the bear-snare, it may be necessary
to explain that as soon as the game is noosed up by the falling of the
crossed poles, he will naturally, in his efforts to disentangle himself,
struggle for a support for his paws so as to annul the action of the noose.
This is provided for hi.n in the shape of the wooden piece noticeable
under the small end of the lever. But as the role.of the hunter is not
one of mercy, he has taken care, prior to setting his snare, to bore through
that piece of wood a hole large enough to ensure its slipping down with
the contraction of the noose. So that by pressing down on it, the animal
only hastens its own death. The manner of lashing the lever or balancing
pole to the post is shown in Fig. SS. It is reputed the safest and is
adopted with regard to all other snares requiring a similar appliance.
The setting of the cariboo snare cannot be simpler. As shown
herewith, it merely consists in a noose attached to a stout stake (fig. So)
with which the game scampers away, and becoming engaged among
fallen or standing trees chokes himself to death.
Until a few years ago, the Tsc"kehnc were wont to use these snares
extensively and with no mean results.    As many a    forty or fifty were Fig. 90.
Fig. 89.
In figs. 90 and 91 we have snares very differently set, though they are
intended for the same kind of game, viz.: the lynx. The working of
the apparatus is in the first model identical with that of the cariboo snare.
The little stick planted in the ground is destined to no other purpose
than that of holding the noose in position with the help of the two side
Fig. 91 though more complicated in appearance is no less easy of
"understanding. It is composed of two levers balanced on their posts,
the end of the main or snare pole being engaged under that of the
other, which is prevented from yielding to the weight of its larger end
by the temporary stick a set thereunder. The struggling of the lynx
when caught in the noose will cause this to drop off on the ground.  1892 93.]
slightest movement on the part of the noosed animal.    This connection
between the transversal and the horizontal sticks I have tried to illustrate
fait i
by rig. 93 ; but I think that its working requires to be seen to be fully
understood.    This snare does also good service against marmots.
/ Fig. 94-
Fig* 94 represents a mode of snare setting usual in connection with
the latter game only. It needs no explanation, sincc'the lever of fig. 92
is simply replaced here by a bent down switch.
Lastly fig. 95 gives us an idea of the rabbit snare as it is commonly rc»r
set by our Carriers. The method is identical with the preceding, save
that a switch forming a semi-circle is substituted for the stake to
which the movable cross-piece is temporarily fastened. Of course this
necessitates a change in the position of the latter which in this case is
laid horizontally over the apex of the hoop. ,
The strings of the cariboo and  bear snares are made of moose or
cariboo skin strands, generally four in number.    As a protection against
moisture or any other deteriorating agent, they are in most cases wrapped
.with thin strips of willow bark.     Hempen twine such as is for sale at
any H. B. Co. fort nowadays serves against any species of minor game.
Before leaving this subject, it may not be amiss to mention that even
waterfowl were formerly sought after by means of snaring devices.
Ducks and grebes were then the coveted game. The snares consisted in
^a noose cord of vegetable fibre attached to a stick firmly driven in the
bottom of the piece of water, more generally in such shallow places as
the fowl ordinarily frequent when feeding.
Waterfowl of any larger species such as geese and swans, especially
the latter, are said to have been secured in olden times, by an ingenious
stratagem which cannot be better described than by relating the following fragment of the Carriers' national legend wherein the famous hero
*ijstas plays such a wonderful role.
" In the course of his travellings, gstas came upon a family consisting
of the father, two sons and a daughter. One day, the old man,sent his
sons to try their chances at catching swans in his hereditary fishing-
place. The young men, who had already heard of gstas' wonderful
deeds, said to him : * Cousin, we always lose our time in our attempts at
catching swans. Our father wants some to make for himself a headdress and a breast blanket* for the winter. People say that you
generally succeed in any enterprise you undertake. Come then, arid
help us.'    Tfstas readily consented, and went out with them.
" When they had reached the family fishing grounds, they perceived
eight swans lazily gliding on the water. I Have not you taken a rope
along with you?' asked gstas. Upon which they pointed to a long rope
which had been left there for future use in a similar emergency.
'- Presently Tfstas donned a head-dress made of the head and neck of
a swan, and, taking the rope with him, swam slowly towards the swans
imitating in ever)* point their movements.    Then he deftly tied the feet_
* Sec the chapter on Dress and Personal adornment.
^>.i.ui,iig,; 1892-93.]
of five of them to his long rope without as much as awakening their
suspicions, and swam back to the stake driven in the bed of the river to
which he secured the end of his rope. Being now sure of his game, he
took off his head-dress when the swans' perceiving their mistake took to
their wings, but were soon arrested in their flight by the retaining rope
and stake.    They were then taken by the wily stranger.
" The young men who had on previous occasions tried the same trick
without avail, were delighted at the success of their guest, so much the
more that nobody before him had been able to get by this method more
than four swans at one time. They therefore invited him on another
day to give them a further proof of his ability, and even to outdo himself
if that was possible. Much flattered at their encomiums, g;stas this
time tied the legs of no less than eight swans. But as he was swimming
back to attach the rope to the stake, he unwittingly lifted off his headdress, upon which all the fowl flew off taking up with them 3;stas who
was thus carried very far away into the countries beyond the horizon."
The story then proceeds to relate how, new Vulcan, having let go the
rope, he fell down upon a rock wherein he sank and was buried alive.
Whether this or any analogous mode of securing waterfowl was really
practised by the prehistoric Carriers cannot, of course, be now positively
stated. Strange as it appears, some such stratagem may have been
resorted to, since we read that in China waterfowl are caught by wading
in the water up to the neck with one's head hidden in a gourd
and then seizing the bird's legs to finally draw it down in the water with-
out ever revealing one's personality.'54' Be that as it may, the modern
Carriers know it only by tradition. They now prefer to build small
circular huts of coniferous boughs or even walls or cairns of stone in the
favorite haunts of the fowl behind which they hide and by imitating
their Call, prevail upon them to approach within shooting range when
they are easily dispatched.
I have enumerated the fishes and land animals trapped or otherwise
hunted by our Western Denes, and described the various devices made
use of to secure them. I leave it to the following list of the names of
the lunar months in two dialects to furnish the reader with some hints as
to the time when they are generally sought after.
*See Six Legendes Amerieaincs identipes h T histoire de Moise, etc., par le R.  P. Pet Hot,
Missions de la Congregation O.M.I., Paris, 1877, p. 741.
[Vol. IV
Names of the Twelve Lunar Months.
In Carrier.
Sa-tco, the big moon.
Tcoz-sol* ; ;ffi
Cin-uza, moon of the spring.
Tdkus-uza, moon of the carp.
Taflr-uza, moon of the summer.
Kt'sdl-uza, moon of the land-locked    Sas-inza, moon of the black beai
In Tse^kfjine.
Infsih-sa, moon of the wind.
Yastose-sa,    moon   of   the   snowstorms.
AJita-tnza,   moon  of   the   golden
Ratqtl-tnza, moon of the wild goose
Thallo-za, moon of the red salmon
Pii-uza, moon of the bull-trout.
•joh-uza, moon of the white-fish.
Panron  not*soKei, "during its half   5^^ Uttle
one navigates."*}*
Sa-tco-din'ai,   "next   to   the   big
Mdndh-tCL(-tho'oje, moon when the)* |
take to the water.
Hd'ke-ta, " the buffalo ruts."
7jtsiz-£nza, moulting moon.
Sa-tci, great moon.
•zfka't, "the  fat  (of the   anii
Md-thou-thdn-tsotle, " what freezes is
covered with bare ice."
The first of these months corresponds nearly to January.
The size of the page prevents me from giving side by side with the
above the names of the TsijKoh'tin months. Their main peculiarities-
may be thus resumed : March is the " moon when one comes out of the
subterranean huts" ; April is the moon of the sucker; July, that of the
Kes, or white-fleshed salmon ; August, that of the red-fleshed salmon ;
November is called "this month we all enter the subterranean huts,"
and December is the moon of the ice. It will thus be seen that different
^social habits and occupations have left their impress even on the names'
of the rrToh'ths such as recognized by the three Dene tribes under studw
Observances of the Hunter and the Trapper.
Prior to their embracing Christianity, the Western Denes had recourse
to various other means of ensuring success while encased in huntin°*
Several superstitious practices were observed, the neglect of which was
*Thc root Tc?z is now meaningless.    The finals s*l and teo mean '•small** and   "big" respectively.
+ 1. e.    Lake Stuart is opened to navigation during the half of this month. •
X I.e.    The gosling?. NOTES  ON   THE  WESTERN   DENES.
regarded as entailing unavoidable failure. Most of these were based on
their regard for continence and their excessive repugnance for, and dread
of, menstruating women.
As soon as a Carrier had made up his mind to try his chances at bear-
snaring, he separated a thoro for a full month previous to the setting of
his snares. During all that time, he could not drink from the same
vessel as his wife, but had to use a special birch bark drinking cup. The
second half of the penitential month was employed in preparing his
snares. The omission of these observances was believed to cause the
escape of the game after it had been snared. To further allure it
into the snares he was making, the hunter used to eat the root of a
species of heracleum {tscl'ep in Carrier) of which the black bear is said to
be especially fond. Sometimes he would chew and squirt it up with
water exclaiming at the same time : Nyustluh I may I snare you I
Once a bear, or indeed any animal, had been secured, it was never
allowed to pass a night'in its entirety, but must have some limb, hind or
fore paws, cut off, as a mea'ns of pacifying its fellows irritated by its
Speaking of the meat of snared animals, I cannot help remarking that
young women having their menses could not eat of their head, heart or
hind part without exposing themselves to a premature death through a
kind of rabies which was sure to attack them in after years. This infirmity led them to keep tearing off the flesh of their arms with their teeth.
If perchance they were favpred with a lucid moment, they improved it
by making their confession to the shaman. " When young, I ate of th
head, etc., of an animal u they would say. Thereupon the medicine ma
would suck from the body of the patient what was represented as th
tabooed morsel unlawfully swallowed, and forsooth the woman was
cured !
The heart'even of water-fowls was forbidden to similarly circumstanced
young women, who had also to abstain from cutting up the grebes which,
among the Carriers, are caught each spring in such large numbers. These
fowl are full of blood, and their being manipulated by such persons
would communicate to the lattier either haemorrhage or unnaturally prolonged menses.
If in the woods with his wife, the hunter would also prefer to see her
tear herself up in the bush and thorns, to let her pass in the narrow trail
wherein he may have deposited his snares preparatory to setting them.
Should she as much as step over without touching them, her mate would
•certainly consider any further attempt at capturing game as futile and
useless. 108
[Vor. .IV.
The skulls of the bears whose flesh has been eaten up are even to-day
invariably stuck up a stick or the broken branch of a tree. But the
aborigines fair to give any reason for this practice.
If the Carrier was to use traps instead of snares, the observances preparatory to setting them varied somewhat. When martens were the
intended game, the period of abstinence from sexual intercourse was
shortened to ten days or thereabouts, during which the trapper slept by
the fireside pressing down a little stick* over his neck. This, of course,
could not fail to cause the fall-stick of his traps to drop on the neck of
the coveted game ! The chewing and squirting up of the heracleum root
were observed in this as in the former case. The deprecatory formula
was merely changed into Nyilskuh ! may I entrap you 1
When successful, the trapper had to be very careful that no dog touches
his prey, which, to avert such a misfortune, he had to hang up a peg in
the lodge as soon as this was practicable. Contact with a dog would
certainly indispose the game's fellow martens against the traps of the
hunter responsible for such a slight.
No superstitious practice appears to have been followed as a preparation to beaver hunting, save that to ensure a larger catch, one-half of each
trap was daubed with red ochre. But nobody who does not care to condemn himself to useless efforts at securing any further supply of the game
must be unguarded enough to swallow the little patella bone of the
beaver. In like manner, if after having captured a beaver, a Carrier has
the carelessness to let one of his dogs get at that bone, he may as well
resign himself to return home empty handed. During the whole beaver-
trapping season, his first capture will infallibly be his last.
Lynx not only was not eaten by the women, but even when once
snared, it  could  not  be brought   in   the  lodge  through the doorway.
j o o **» •
Women as well as men daily enter through that passage, and the former
must have no intercourse, however indirect, with the feline. So it was
introduced by men into the lodge through the smoke hole in the roof.
It was touched by men on!)*, its flesh boiled by men and eaten by men.
The reason of the aversion of the women for the lynx will appear from
the following legend :—
"A young couple of Indians was living in the woods. One morning,
as the husband was absent chasing large animals, a stranger of surprising
beauty and apparently endowed with superhuman powers came upon the
young woman. " Follow me: you shall be my wife," he said to her.
But as she was very much attached to her husband, she strove hard
hearken to him.   Yet such were the stranger's charms and hidden powers 1892-93.]
that her mind was as if paralyzed in his presence. As she pretended that
she had no provisions for the journey, he told her that the distance was
short, and that he had plenty in his own place. Whereupon he seized
her and she had to follow him. Now the stranger was no other than the
lynx. She managed however to snatch from her lodge in leaving a
grouse {Dendragapus franklinii, Dougl.) which her husband had shot a
while before. As she walked behind her seducer, she would pluck a few
of the grouse's feathers and down and drop them along thereby marking
her trail on the ground. By the time that she reached her new home, the
bird was entirely stripped of its feathers and down. ]
" The lynx's lodge was full of pieces of the fat of cariboo and moose
hanging up to dry.*  Before dark, he went out to do a little hunting a
short distance off. f
"Meanwhile the young woman's lawful husband who had.experienced
no difficulty in tracking her, thanks to the fallen feathers and the
trampled herbage—for it was summer time—came upon her as she was
sitting lonely in the lynx's lodge. She at once told him the story of her
abduction by the stranger. At the same time she insisted that the latter
was uncommonly powerful, and cautioned her husband against using
violence in this case. " We had better try and take him by stratagem,
for both of us together are nothing to him," she said.
" She had barely uttered these words, when the lynx came home after
a successful hunt. The woman went out to him and said presenting the
new comer: " Husband, here is your brother-in-law, for he is indeed my
own younger brother." Upon which the lynx asked: "Have I then a
brother-in-law ?"—" Yes indeed, and a very good one," answered the
woman. Then her own lawful'husband told the lynx how very pleased
he was to see his sister married to so good a hunter and thereby delivered
from her first husband who had been living with her against the wishes of
all her relations. To confirm the sincerity of his declarations, he presented- the lynx with his own quiver full of arrows, keeping only his bow
for himself. " I will hereafter see you more than once," he added '* and
each time I shall make you similar presents."
"The lynx was so pleased that he insisted upon preparing himself his
guest's supper.
" Now prior to his return home, the young woman had related to her
* * * ^*>
real husband how the lynx had asked her whether she was haviii"" her
menses. Lest she may have been tempted to prove unfaithful, she had
answered affirmatively, though that was not the case. Hearing this, the
lynx had manifested a great dread of her and left her untouched.    They no
[Vol. IV.
had then, her husband and herself, agreed as to the plan to follow to
effect her deliverance.
"Therefore, after they had eaten to their content, she purposely
attempted to play with the lynx, while her husband, who was lying on
the opposite side of the fireplace, feigned sleep. But each time that she
tried to touch the lynx she was sharply rebuked: * S krauthaho ilk res*
you will throw a spell over my arms,' he would say. Yet she would not
desist in her endeavors to keep him awake so as to render his sleep more
profound once he would fall asleep.
" At length after he had been a while soundly sleeping, she motioned
her husband with a stick that now was the time to act. Therefore he
cautiously seized his bow which was double pointed, as one end of it was
provided with a long horn dart while the other had a stone spear head.
With all his might, he sank the horn dart into the lynx's breast, while
his wife chopped off his head with a stone adze she had kept concealed
in her bosom.
" After he had transpierced him with the horn dart, he and his wife
turned him over and he repeated the same operation on his back with
the stone spear head of his bow. They did not leave him till he had
been reduced to a shapeless mass of bone and flesh.
'* Ever since, our women have been afraid of the lynx, for he is indeed
a ravisnei.
In the estimation of the Carriers of the generations gone by, fishing
O « ■J- * o
•was not fraught with the same perils as hunting, and therefore few, if
.any, superstitious precautions accompanied it. Indeed the only vain
observance~"wEich can be mentioned in this connection was that which
forbade women having' their monthly flow to cut or carve salmon,
inasmuch as this was reputed to seriously endanger the health and
especially enfeeble for life the arms of the transgressor.
When no shaman was at hand to consult about the quantity of the
salmon coming up, either the elements or some peculiarities in the
vegetable kingdom afforded them a means of prognosticating the nature
of the fortl
icoming run o
f fish
Thus a continually rumblinj
thunder or
the early fall ofthfe service-berries portended to them an abundant
harvest. I would not affirm that these ideas have no longer any hold
on the mind of a few modern Carriers. Those persons who are an fait
with the popular notions current among the lower classes of the Old
World will, I think, hesitate before tasking my Indians with uncommon
Thahoilkre's is hard to translate in English,
unclean state will incapacitate hira for the chase.
The lynx means that her touch while in her 1892-93.]
Wooden Implements.
I may mention as having some relation to one of the objects of the preceding Chapter, namely fishing, the// ivot'soz* and the tqllo/.^   The formei
Fig. 96.
is the wooden maul which serves to drive home the piles of the salmon
weirs used by the Carriers. It is bottle-shaped, and of the hardest wood
obtainable, generally birch {Bitula papyraced).
Fig. 97-
The latter is the wooden float attached to their nets.    Here we cannot
fail to remark that the Western D6n6s had in this connection an opportunity of exhibiting at least a minimum of artistic taste, and, as in most
cases, did not improve it.    The cut (fig. 97) shows the working of the'
float when in actual use.
Such entirely wooden implements as are unconnected with either
fishing' or hunting are relatively few and unimportant. Therefore we
need not tarry long in their descriotion. Commencing with those which
serve recreative purposes, we may refer in the first place to the totquh
(fig. 98) of which mention has already been' made in the course of a
Fie. oS.
* Second category of nouns.
*t A verbal noun almost equivalent to "it floats up." 11:
[Vol. IV
native legend. It is a rod five or six feet long which is thrown through
the air so as to fall as far as possible from the initial point of launching,
the distance reached determining the measure of success attained. This
game was formerly much in vogue among the Carriers. It is now,
- w*-ct£i-*^ic**.*,:
* Fig.   99.
A great rival is nozoz, which is played with sticks of almost the same
shape, (fig. 99) though much stouter near their fore-end. As [they do
duty on the frozen surface of the snow, the finest polish possible is
aimed at in their preparation. These sticks vary in length from three to
six or seven feet, according to the strength, possessed or assumed, of the
player. The Carriers are to-day passionately fond of this game, which
is played, as a rule, by adverse bands, the stake going over to the party
which first attains the fixed number of points.
Fig.  100. ,'fK
Td'ko' is another pastime which is somewhat childish in character. In
most cases it is played by the fireside in the camp lodge during the long
winter evenings. Its necessary accompaniments are a blunt-headed stick
(fig. \od) and two small, thin and springy boards firmly driven in the
ground, one close by each player. The two opposite parties sit facing
each other and throw the to'ko* against the little board on the other side,
upon hitting which it rebounds to the knees of the successful player, who
is then entitled to recommence and continue as long as luck favors him."
Failing to get at fhe mark, the to'ko* is handed to the other partner. The
number of points obtained indicates the winner. The old men profess
to be ignorant of that game, which is probably adventitious among our
While we are treating of the games in connection wherewith success
depends on the skill of the performer, not on mere hazard as with not'so'a,
atlih and atiyeh, we may mention 'kei-la-pos ("encircling willow") or
arrow target shooting, though the implement required for its performance*' ISO 2-9 3.]
and from which the name of the game is derived would, considered in
itself, be classed among the objects which shall form the subject matter
of our next chapter.
Bw vr j"d5
Fig. ioi.
This is a sort of open work disk or wheel made principally of willow
bark strings, though the frame of the hoop is composed of three or four
switches very closely fitting each other and kept in position by a strong
lacing of strips of bark. Radiating from the axis, or heart as it is called,
are four cords of similar material stretched so as to form a cross (fig. ioi).
As this was formerly the great national game of the Carriers, I may
be pardoned for giving its rules somewhat in Tull.
A team of five or six men was matched against another of presumed
equal force, and after each player had been provided with a given number
of pointless arrows, the disk was set wheeling away by one team to the
cry of tlip I tlcp I This was the signal for the other to shoot at it while
it was in motion. Should they fail to hit it, it was returned rolling to
the first team so as to give them an equal chance of making at it with
their arrows. As soon as the disk had been shot, the real competitive
game commenced. The arrows which had hit it, two, three or more,
became the stake for the rival team to win over. For this purpose the
disk was hung up a short stick planted in the ground near the team who
had succeeded in sending home the arrows, and it was aimed at succcs-
sivcly by each member of the opposite party. Should any one be lucky
enough to shoot it with his first arrow, the stake played for became his
irrevocable property. When the target was hit, but on a subsequent
attempt of the marksman, the stake was thereby won over, subject to its
being redeemed by any member of the opposing team performing the
same feat.     In this case the game became a draw; the wheel w
as set
rolling anew, and the nature of the stake was determined as in the first
[Vol. IV.
I have never seen 'keilapos played by others than children and young
men. But in times past it had a sort of national importance, inasmuch as
teams from distant villages were wont to assemble in certain localities
more favorable to its performance in good style. Indeed, until a few
years ago the sporting field of some was literally dotted with small
cavities resulting from the fall of the arrows.
Fig. 102 represents the device doing duty among the TsijKoh'tin as a
spindle. Prior to the introduction of European textile
fabrics, its uses were doubtless of a much wider description than to-day. As a matter of fact, I have never
seen it in actual use except to spin or twist the rabbit
skin lines entering into the manufacture of blankets.
The discoidal attachment is wanting in the implement
such as known among the Carriers.
Fijr. 102.
There can be imagined no simpler or more primitive
method of lighting fire than that originally obtaining
among the Western Den£s. Instead of the somewhat
elaborate fire-drill in use amongst the northernmost congenerous tribes,
such as the Loucheux and the Hares, our aborigines' apparatus was
reduced to a short stick, generally of resinous scrub pine (P. contorta) set
revolving on touchwood by immediate contact with the hands as is
practised by the Wataweita of eastern equatorial Africa.*
Shall I speak of the Western Denes' canoes ? They certainly possess
no peculiarity to render them worthy of an)* mention, unless it be their
very rudeness of form and finish. Of course I do not here refer to the
birch bark canoes, which among the Carriers and the TsijKoh'tin, have
gone out of use since the last fifty years or so. Of these I have seen but
very few examples, and they were not  representatives of their: class.
Fig. 103.
West of the Rocky Mountains, the present Dene canoe is dug out of balsam pojDlar trees {Populus balsauiifera), and cither because the material
will not admit of a similar treatment, or because our Indians have not yet
learned the method of expanding the sides by the action of fire underneath,as is done by the Coast Tribes with regard to their cedar canoes,
they are left almost as narrow at the centre as the tree was while in its
* See  "Fire making apparatus in the U.S. Museum," by Walter Hough, p. 553.
[Vol. IV
docs frequent service as a mere pe-yos-hahzcozo* or snow shovel, as
it is also used to clear of snow the doorway of habitations and space
adjacent thereto. It should be remarked, however, that the prehistoric
•ahtcos, was much ruder in form and finish than that herewith illustrated.
The feu lb of this fern is eaten while fresh and baked a Vetouffc'e in this
wise: "The natives dig out a hole about three feet in diameter in the
ground, pave its bottom with heated stones over which they strew.chips
of alder {Aluus rubra) bark, and then fill it up with the roots. The
whole is then covered with earth and the roots will be ready for the table
ten or twelve hours later, that is when entirely cooled down."-}*
As far as I can ascertain, no such esculent root as *ah grows^ in the
.TsijKoh'tin's country. gt.But its absence is more than compensated by the
presence there of two very useful tubers, dsrofih and siinti, which resemble
respectively diminutive oblong and spheroidal  potatoes. •  When these
•;»i r^"\"*fck
iV iP*!(>" ! •    i■■'•".' . r*j4H
,    , I    I l!i-i.i"\t
a ARM*iV u
i iHMri!      ti
Fig. 105.
ijr. 106.
have reached maturity, they are dug out with the T-shaped tool shown
in fig. 105. As may be seen, there is nothing complicated in the nature
of this implement, since it is nothing else than a birch branch cut off
with its shoot. To ensure greater toughness to the material, its point is
generally treated to a slight calcination. Immense numbers of the
root are annually gathered. They are either boiled as potatoes or
smoked in the house. For the latter purpose a sinew or buckskin line is
passed through each of them, and while thus forming strings of vegetable
beads, they are hung up near the chimney or the fire hole. The smoking
process is rather long, and at its close, the tubers are eaten without any
further preparation. I have also seen this method practised among the
TsijKoh'tin with regard to the smallest of their potatoes.
From the culinary peculiarities of the TsijKoh'tin we may pass to their
faculty of imitation  and   adaptiveness  as  evidenced   by the herewith
* Lit. " wherewith-snow-is shaved off."
•tThc Western Denes, p. 135.
/ 1892-93.)
figured toilet article which had been made and was used by one of them
immediately before it was handed to me. If this comb stamps them as
good imitators, it mast be confessed that it entitles them to no particular
claim to be ranked as artists. An examination of the cut will reveal the
■extreme simplicity of the process of fabrication of this article. A set of
small holes have first been drilled with the hole-borer (fig. 130), after
which the portions of the wood whose veins had thus been cut asunder
have been extracted with the knife leaving out what becomes the tines
or prongs of the comb."***
The original comb of the Western Den£s was remarkable for the length
of its prongs rendered necessary by their peculiar way of wearing the
hair prior to their first encounter with European civilization.
In all probability, it was made in about the same style as the
above Carrier comb (fig. 107) which is not a toilet article, but
served the purpose o£ ritual observances. To secure success
in liis trapping or snaring operations, the Carrier had, besides
lying down by the fireside, dreaming, etc., to make use of this
three-pronged comb, which consists in the juxtaposition of as
1 many wooden pins bound together with sinew lines.
Fig. 107.
Yt size.
That our Western Denes are indeed a self appropriating
race is further evidenced by the tcdn'i or wooden cuirass which
the Carrier warriors used to don as a protection against the
tows. This was composed, as a rule, of dried rods of Amelan-
chier alnifolia (or Canadensis) disposed in parallel order and held together
by means of cariboo skin lines interlaced through the middle and near
both edges. It was identical with the wooden armotir formerly in use
among the coast tribes from which it was undoubtedly borrowed. I have
never seen any; but fig. 53> plate xv. in Niblack's "The Coast Indians
of Southern Alaska " f will give some idea of its general appearance.
Composed of the same material was the 'kei-Ua-thon^ or shield, which
was oval in form as the Roman clypcus. The mode of manufacture only
differed somewhat, as the branches or twigs of amelanchier were very
closely interwoven.    No specimen is now available for illustration.
Another wooden implement which, though I have seen in actual use,
I cannot figure herewith for the lack of a specimen to draw  from, is
*The Carrier name of the comb is tsi-lt.u, " the head is curried," a verbal noun.
i Ann. Rep. U. S. Nationat Museum, iSSS.
tUt.  "willow (or birch)-the hand-hold" ; 3rd categ. of nouns.
I 118
[Vol..  IV,
mm I
the tcon-osfju (sticks-interwoven) of the Babines. Its name indicates
its mode of fabrication, but leaves us in the dark as to its shape or
destination. Imagine a rough arm chair without legs and made of stout,
split sticks of willow (Salix longifolia) or other wood secured by skin
strings, and you have a perfect idea of its form. As for its use, it may
be properly pointed out by a simple reference to the plate xx illustrating
Ancient Mexican Carriers, in Cyrus Thomas' paper on the Manuscrit
Troano.* The Dacking devices seem to be identical in both cases, while
the modes of handling the implement appear to have been different.
Our Western Den£ women—useless to remark that among primitive^
peoples heavy work alwaysJalIs_to_the_lot of ..the. woman—pack firom the
forehead with a skin line broadening in the middle, and, if the load is
unusually weighty, the ends of this line are made to pass around the
chest so as to render, the burden more manageable. Among the
Hwotso'tin, a fraction of the Babine sub-tribe, I have seen a woman thus
packing, apparently with the greatest ease, her invalid husband, a man
of more than average size and weight.
I shall purposely avoid speaking of the board boxes likewise used as
carrying mediums by some of our Carriers, because they are imported
from the coast, not indigenous to the Western Den^s.
These other objects which, as sociological items, are also due to the
influence of the maritime tribes, but had become naturalized among, and
were made by, the Carriers, were the nfyrivos, the hano'taihfr and the
t'sak. The first two are respectively the ceremonial rattle and mask,
none of which can now be illustrated from existing specimens. These ^
were almost the only objects of art of genuine D£n£ manufacture to
which I can point, and yet I do not think I unduly depreciate my
Indians' artistic capabilities by adding that they were rather below than
above the average of similar aboriginal carvings. The masks were used
only by mimics accompanying by grotesque gestures and jerking of the
head the dance of a privileged few. But the rattles served a double
purpose: they did service in connection with a notable's dance, being then
held in the hand by the dancing personage himself, and also as an
accompaniment to the incantations of the ni/g^n,* or shaman. Both
implements are, even at the present day, so common among North
Pacific Coast tribes that no description of either is needed, by readers
ever so little ait fait with American aboriginal paraphernalia     It may
* Contributions to North American Ethnology, vol. v., p. 20.
•  "that (round obj.) which is taken off;" the verb ha-ues'fiih in the potential mo
"J:Lit.  "he makes people sing."   Not to forget that among most aho.rigimil races, song "&ftd
magic are convertible terms.
ran 1892-93.]
suffice to refer less informed readers to the plates or figures illustrating
Niblack's "The Coast Indians of Southern Alaska";* G. M. Dawson's
"Notes on the Haida;fM W. H. Dall's " Masks and Labrets,}" etc.
Fig. ioS illustrates an implement which, for the lack of another term
we must call a rattle, though in shape, use and native name § it
widely differs from the above mentioned ceremonial rattle. It
is campanulate in form and is composed of a rounded piece of
wood, hollowed out in its larger or bottom end and split asunder
as far up as that part of it which serves as a handle. It was
used by the participants in that aboriginal ceremony, the tht(ty-
solnvss, (J which I have described in a former paper.**    By slap-
m w V'lnS against one another, its two halves produced a very sharp
rattling sound which could be heard at a great distance.
fji, j This is perhaps the proper place to mention another piece of
D6n6 carving, the gentile totem, toad, grouse, beaver, etc, which
Fig-. 108. on great festival occasions was exhibited as a means of attracting
/6 size, offerings, apparently to the said totem image, which were in
reality presents, voluntary or due, to the givers of the feast. Of course
no specimens of these carvings now exist among the natives.
^ The fsak, the third borrowed sociological item mentioned above, was
a canoe or trough-shaped vessel, sometimes elaborately carved to the
arms of its possessor, I mean the totem animal of the notable to whom
it belonged, and wherein food was served to the invited guests. This
large vessel was brought into requisition on the occasion of extraordinary
festivals only. Identical specimens are shown in plate xxxviii. of
Niblack's book.
Another kind of wooden utensil called t'sai or dish, which was oftentimes inlaid with haliotis shells as an attempt at ornamentation, is also
known to have been possessed by a few Carrier families. But 1 greatly
suspect that the vessel, no less than its ornaments, had been bartered
from among the coast Indians during the fairs which .were periodically
held on the borders of the Kitiksons' territory.
This brings us to the consideration of the Western Denes' household
*Rep. U.S. Museum, iSSS.
+ Report on the Queen Charlotte Islands.    Ann. Rep. Geol. Surv. Canada, 1878-79.
X Third Ann. Rep. Bureau Ethnolj Washington, 18S4.
%tfad9,ta',  "from which there comes a slapping "sound."
II "One runs out."
"The Western Denes, etc., Pro. Can. Inst. Vol. VII, 18SS So, p. 154.
ft'A 120
[Vol. IV.
Bark Implements.
ally tl
to tl
Id b
ever ex
In no branch of aboriginal industry is the Western D($n6s* and especi-
Carriers' inferiority as workmen more apparent than with regard
household  utensils.    Most certainly no more primitive ware
e imagined, both  as regards material and  workmanship.    It has
been pointed out that no pottery or clay objects of any description  J
isted   among them.    With  reference   to   the Carriers and the c
ne, the list of unknown technological items must be extended so
nprise even the twined basket-work vessels so common among ,
ority of American indigenous races.    These are replaced among
resaid   tribes by  corresponding vessels made  of  either   birch
papyracea) or spruce (Abies  nigra)  bark.     Only the  coarser
of vessels, thoes the object of which is but temporary, are made
atter material, the remainder, those which are properly household
, being invariably of birch^bark-—---
as to cor
the maj
the   afo
f the
Si*      - ...        cJliR- '. -.1
. VA.T
—     /'\B       ;'*-fl
•—    f/ Lijr,      .<&
Fie. no.
Fig. ioq.
The most popular vessels among the Carriers are- the two herewith
illustrated. Both are of a single piece of birch bark, and this must in-
understood of all birch on spruce bark utensils. The shape and
the material previous to seu*m~g"~a**e~representcd in figs. 111 and
ii2.    In the former figure, besides these, the seams and stitches will be
>e 1892-93.]
found faithfully delineated. The curved bold lines in the cut indicate
the places of cutting preparatory to folding up the bark, and the dotted
outlines stand for what becomes the outside edge corresponding to, and
#o >X>
•O0O4O I
• «.A
I I '
*k #ii   ■•
% i
l .
•i i
! I.*
/.y \x>] vv.      I
j t»sU«*    \ vx><i»»o V,a,-;£*»"
J'ooo    I       «»*ea"       l        ins-'
' I  1 '     -I
n=£U sAfKueoax. r ccsacs. .-)e»-~ c*K
Fig. in.
sewed with, the tapering piece of bark noticeable in the lower part of the
finished vessel. Such portions of the material as are comprised between
the bold and the dotted lines—a, b, c, d—are cut off once the adjacent
,, V  I
■ i". AYACft
Ficr. H2.
*£&?"•;:,       £§?£ ;.V- ■'">.^-ift ■'
~rr***** -»«=
•^""•^v^**-^* "    vfi*~i~s«   ***:jr***' (*■ j, li*'. !   »\ ' **     '\   **>■"--"■
Fig. 113.
parts have been sewed.    To give the necessary consistency to the rim, a
rod is made to encircle it on the inside.    Furthermore, to still add to the
9 11
0 0
solidity of the vessel and ensure greater neatness of appearance, wattup,,
or split spruce root, is made to pass through the bark and wrapped very
tightly around the rod and rim. In order to avoid striking successively
the same grain of the bark with the awl, the holes are pierced each re-,
ceding backward tiil four or five have been stitched in, after which the
first of a new series is made closer to the brim.- To break the monotony
of the wattup wrapping, small pieces of tcon-na-fgo/* or bird cherry
(Piunits pensylvanica, Linn.) bark are inserted, generally in the middle*
of each of the four sides of the vessel, enough of their shining surface
being left uncovered to be easily visible.
.The largest of the bark vessels above illustrated is called a tca/ya/. It.
has, as a rule, a capacity of from three or four to ten gallons. As regards
the uses to which it is put, they are manifold. While the women are
gathering berries, it serves to bring home the fruit which has been
immediately collected in the smaller or the/ vessel (fig. 110). In the lodge
the tca/ya/ is also the recipient of clothes, the sewing implements of the
women, the family heirlooms, the trinkets of the children, etc. Moreover, it serves frequently to cache up close by the houses any household
chattels which it is thought expedient to protect against mice. When
thus employed it is suspended, carefully covered with birch bark, from
the lower limb of a branchy evergreen.
Some tcajyaT, while remaining identical in form, materially differ in their
style of cutting and sewing.    Of these fig. 113 affords a fair example.
None of the bark vessels of the Carriers is provided with a lid.
The second vessel, the the/, "receptacle," (figs, no, 112) somewhat
resembles the first in form and hardly differs in make, save of course, the
altered cutting of the bark. But while all the tcaiyaj are very deep and
as nearly quadrilateral in shape as the material will allow, the orifice of
the the[ is oval and the vessel is proportionately more shallow. Moreover, all such specimens as exhibit a pretension"to elegance have the
middle of their length rims somewhat elliptical. Inserted between the
bark and the encircling rod on both narrow sides are two buckskin
thongs forming loops to which is attached the neat yarn string—generally
adorned, with multicoloured yarn tufts—which serves to suspend the
vessel from the neck. The the* is carried on the breast, while the tcajyaj;
is packed, sometimes two at a time, on the back and the occiput. Sometimes, as is the case with the more stylish patterns, the cherry bark ornaments are replaced by dyed horse hair arranged so as to produce
geometrical designs.
Stick which one tears around," by allusion to the mode of treating its bark. 1302-93.]
The the* is above all a_bejry_basket, b*ut it docs also frequent service
as a drinking cup. Its size is subject" to great variations, as it may contain from one pint to two gallons. Both tcaryai and the[ are to be seen
in every Carrier household, and the latter especially is used so extensively
that there is hardly any girl, however so poor, who does not possess her
berry basket.
|Fig. 114.
■3 «&J J*-OOflpMS >"'
4-SW-i^S-AtC-*: -*i Joa-iOtM. »t *J>
The vessel delineated in fig. 114 differs from the preceding in every
particular except material and the setting of its rim. It is shallow, and
almost rectangular in form, and the seams, instead of tapering from the
corners to the centre of the ends as in the above .described, remain
confined to the corners. Fig. 115 will make it clear that its manufacture
offers no serious difficult)7. Here again the dotted outlines point to
those portions of the bark which are cut off after the vessel has been
sewed. As its main destination is to hold liquid, though but for a short
time, whether this be water, grease, or berry juice, it is made perfectly
water tight. Its native name is t'sai, a Dene root, which means tray,
dish, or plate. The t'sai greatly vary in size, though they average a.
capacity of five gallons.
V* ''*\&?/3»*V~^**"*if'''^t*l'*.* i* J* *"}"* '!-itli r-r: r.*.: C £J"0.*f - /- -      *V j 'J
Fie. 116.
Very much resembling this vessel is the t'/os-l'sai or fish tray [fig. 116),.
which however differs not-a little as regards both make and finish. It is
without a single .oeam, the corners of the bark being merely folded up,
miiitnm 1
and the switch which encircles its rim is laid on the outside, instead of
the inside, surface of the bark edges. This also lacks the thorough
wattup wrapping of the rim, for which is substituted a spiral lacing of a
coarser kind of spruce root. To prevent the thin birch bark from yielding
too much to the pressure of the rim switch, a double lining consisting of
two narrow strips of bark is applied against the vessel's edge both on the
inside and on the outside.
It should be added that a few fish trays are also made with seams
exactly as the common dish or tray (fig. 114).
The length of this vessel is generally double its width, which, in
extreme cases, may reach as much as one foot and a half. It does
service principally in connection with the daily net-fishing. The' net,
which has been left to dry* during the day, is at dusk prepared for use at
home, the floats and sinkers being there attached in their proper places.
The whole is then carefully folded and deposited in this tray, after which
the fisherman—or rather fisherwoman, since net fishing invariably
devolves on the woman—proceeds to the spot in the lake chosen to set
it. When it is withdrawn in the morning, two such vessels may generally
be seen in the canoe, one destined to hold the fish, the other reserved for
the net, which is folded therein as soon as drawn out of the water.
*ffif3'    —■•-   -iuT,   a-fis"(VH
Fig. • 117.
t\tiv-'.->'• ■■";.i.:-  -" --"• wV.^Eilt'il^JjJfH
r    \ ^^*f»B»'*";fa>n!!l^Bi((-fMfc=?Si'.
1 \ k;*^ -?,3.v*
Fig.  11S
No vessels of European or American manufacture have so far replaced   n
any of the above described utensils.    This is not the case with figs. 117
and 118, lor which tin or copper vessels have long been substituted.
The former, however, was still to be seen in actual use some ten or fifteon
years ago.    It was intended to keep water in ; hence its Carrier name 1892-93.1 NOTES ON  THE  WESTERN  DENES. l2o
thil-thcj, "water-receptacle." This circumstance accounts also for its
peculiar form—I mean the contraction of its upper part in faint imitation
of the neck of a jar. Of course this vessel was made water-tight, the
wattup used as thread being, after sewing, carefully pressed in with the
finger previously coated with the balsam of the spruce {Abies balsamea).
The latter is the original Carrier kettle or boiler * which is now alto-
gether antiquated. It is seamless ; the bark of which it is made has simply
been folded up at its four corners and is so retained by means of a few
stitches and of an encircling rod on the outside of the rim. Therein
were boiled the roots, fish or meat of the family repast, and the aborigines
are still loud in their praise of its excellence as a* rapid boiler. Naturally
enough, the frailty of its material required that care be taken lest it come
in immediate contact with the flames. These primitive kettles were not
only serviceable, but even much more durable than might be expected.
In fact, their only part Which was at all liable to get burnt was the
wooden rim hoop, which had to be renewed from time to time.
On grand occasions, such as the famous j potlaches" or ceremonial
banquets -j* so much in vogue among almost all the British Columbian
tribes, large square boxes imported from the sea coast, were called into
requisition. When filled with water and meat or fish, heated stones were
repeatedly cast in until their contents were boiled.
The contrivance illustrated by fig. 119 consists of two parts, both of
which are of spruce bark.    Its object cannot well be understood without
some details on one of the Carriers' most important industries, berry
collecting and preserving. ifefl
Conspicuous among the various species of wild fruit which yearly ripens
in profusion throughout their territory is the service berry (Amelanchier
alnifolia). So important is it in their estimation that they generally call
it merely the fruit, mai. At the end of every summer, the women gather
immense quantities of it, first in their thej and then in their tcajyaj
wherein it is brought home. When not eaten fresh, seasoned, as a rule,
with bear grease or salmon oil, the berries are kept for future use under
the form of large, thin cakes resembling plugs of tobacco.     They are
C*%    * O     X o -
then prepared by a process which, if primitive, is not the less complicated
As soon as the desired quantity of the fruit has been secured, the
Carriers build on the ground, in a sandy spot, if possible,  the below
* Nusai, sec. root.     The name of the modern kettle is use
*r Ilomvnita, "the going near'
a verbal nonn, which confirms what I hav
e wn
Iter* else
where, namel
the Western Denes.
sty that such "feasts, no less than several other practices, are of recent origin among
aiummmmr 12G
[Vol. IV
delineated boiler and tray. They commence by digging a shallow
excavation in the sand into which they lay one end of a rough bark tray,
thereby obtaining, an oblique inclination for the whole vessel, the lower
end of which is alone folded up. Inside the upper half of the tray, a
boiler of corresponding width and made of a large piece of spruce bark
is erected and secured in position by three sticks driven in the ground on
the outside of both boiler and tray. This boiler has no other bottom
than that of the tray wherein it stands upright and wherewith it forms an
obtuse angle. As a consequence of this last circumstance an aperture is
left between the bottom of the tray and the lower edge of the front side
of the boiler, that facing the projecting part of the shallow vessel. A few
twigs are there deposited which will act as a strainer with regard to the
escaping juice of the berries. Once the boiler has been filled up with the
fruit, heated stones are cast in which have the double effect of pressing
down and boiling its contents. The juice escaping in the outer part of
the tray is transferred when necessary to another vessel.   The berries in the
te£-<-.*X*"v&&S?53w^ot?'   '
——-is    ^o-\j^£?^v ,^*^l^•'•'•~•^^-<*^*^^^'''?'*':v v.'»- ^^^L,,^r,^:^^*i^^^'^\^K^s^:: t r
Fig.  119. \
boiler having considerably sunk down and the stones beginning to cool,
a new supply of both is thrown on top of the mash, which operation is
repeated as long as the size of the boiler will allow. After all the juice
has thus been extracted, the residue of the berries is thoroughly kneaded,
after which it is spread out in thin layers on willow hurdles previously
covered with heraeleum leaves, and then exposed to the action of the
sun and air. By frequently sprinkling the mash with the juice of the
berries and letting it dry until it attains the proper degree of consistency,
tmiuiMi 1892-93.]
at finally coagulates into cakes of uniform thickness which are then
stored away for future use. When properly prepared, these will keep for
years and if sprinkled over with a little sugar, they are of tempting
.succulcncy even to others than Indians.
Esculent and Medicinai  Plants.
.Before proceeding further in our description of native utensils, it may
not be irrelevant to complete our knowledge of the means of subsistence
•of the Western Dene's by a brief nomenclature of the other esculent
berries, roots or plants they, use as food, as well as of the chief medicinal
herbs which they have, or had formerly, recourse to in case of bodily
•ailment. Their flora, such'as represented in their vocabulary, is somewhat limited, inasmuch as, with very few exceptions, only such plants as
have a place in their domestic economy are deemed worthy of a name.
•Question, for instance, a Tsipcoh'tin about the. native name of a beautiful
flower which may strike your fancy, and if it is not that of an edible or
medicinai plant, he will look at you wondering if your mind is not
getting unbalanced and ask you scornfully : '* Do you think that we eat
such a thing, that we should have a name for it ? " A great many berries
they do eat, and therefore honour with a distinctive name These, added
to those already mentioned in the course of the present monograph, are:
The small, low-growing blue berry (Vaccinium viyrtillus) which is
•common in dry, stony places, such, generally, as are wooded with the
scrub pine. These are gathered in the autumn and either eaten fresh,
when they are very succulent, or dried and kept until needed for use. In
this latter case, they are first boiled in a common tin kettle, then thor-
•oughly kneaded, and spread) without extracting the juice, over small
trellis, much as is done with the mash of the service berries. Their Carrier name is yon-tho-mai' or ground berries.
A larger species of blue berries {V. myrtiloides) is also much sought
•after and treated, as a rule, as the small ground blue berries. Such is
also the case with the swamp cranberry {Oxicoccus palustris) which,
though rather scarce here, is none the less appreciated by the natives.
'The Carrier name of the former is ya/tsol, a secondary root; that of the
latter zya'-ko-mai', or marsh berry, a noun of the third category.
T3tge is a large, dark-colored berry, {Empetrum nigrum) somewhat
acid and very juicy. When not eaten fresh, or seasoned with bear
grease, whole basketsful of it arc deposited in long; trough-like vessels of
spruce bark, tucked up at both ends so as to form provisional receptacles
"therefor.    After they have undergone the usual kneading process, heated 1:
[Vol. IV.
stones are thrown over the mash until it has boiled long enough to prevent its deteriorating with age, after which cakes are obtained by drying
on hurdles, as practised with regard to the service berry.
A species of high bush cranberry ( Viburnum paneiflorunt), in spite of
its pungency, is also much appreciated by the native palate. It comes to
perfect maturity late in September, and is generally eaten with bear
grease. But when it ripens early enough, and when the service berries
are not kept in dried cakes it is mixed with them to render them more
digestible. The service berry, when eaten alone, is rather heavy on the
stomach, and the addition of the cranberries is intended to correct this
drawback.    The Carriers call the high bush cranberry tsa/tse.
The soap berry (Shepperdia canadensis), which is so unpalatable to a
white man, is not the least esteemed of esculent berries among the
Western D£nds. It is either eaten raw or dried for future use. In both
cases, it requires some preparation to become edible. After it has been
mashed in a tin or bark vessel and sprinkled with a little sugar to soften
down its bitter taste, it is vigorously stirred with the hand until it
springs up into a beautiful rosy foam—whence its name—which is highly
appreciated, especially on a hot summer day. If not needed at the
time the berries are collected, their mash is put in a spruce bark vessel
and boiled by means of heated stones until nothing remains but the
roasted residue of the fruit. This is now given the form of the usual
plug-like cakes by spreading and drying on hurdles and finally stowed
away. When these are required for consumption, they are put in a
kettle, dissolved in a little water, and stirred with the hand as in the case
of the fresh berries and with similar results.
Two other species of single berried fruit called respectively tcitcestelcc'*
and nontza are generally eaten fresh. As far as I can guess, they
belong to the genus Viburnum. The first, which grows only on.
mountainous soil, is black and resembles the service berry, but the
natives claim that it is unknown to the whites. The second is a blue,
berry ripening on very tall bushes.
Xor should we omit in our nomenclature even the berry of the.
kinnikinik {Arctostapltylos uva-ursi), which is prepared for eating
by roasting in a frying pan and mixed with salmon oil or the grease
of any animal.    Its native name is ionih in all the western dialects.
The natives also relish any species of edible—and sometimes to us.
non-edible—berries, such as the raspberry {Rubus slrigosns), the straw-
name, though used among the Carriers, is of undoubted Tse'kehne orig'u 1892-93.]
berry {Fragaria canadensis), the black currant (Ribes nigrum), which the
Carriers call " toad berry," etc. But none of these has the economic
importance of those above enumerated.
Besides these and the bulbous roots 'ah, sthiti and psroilh which have
been mentioned elsewhere, the Western Dtmds find in their immediate
vicinity several indigenous plants to diversify their daily menu of fish or
meat. Chief among these may be quoted the red lily {Lilium Colum-
bianuw), the bulb of which is used as an article of food by most
British Columbian and other American, or even Asiatic tribes. It is
cooked by boiling pretty much as is done with potatoes. The natives
harvest it almost as soon as it has sprouted out, a short time after the
•entire disappearance of snow. The Carrier.and TsijKoh'tin name is
tsa-tcon or *"*beaver-stick." .
Another plant of a different botanical famify whose root is likewise
much appreciated as an article of food is the sos or sweet flag {Acorns
Calamus). This root is eaten without any other preparation than
cleaning and washing in cold water.
The wild onion (Allicum cernuum) is also eaten, root and leaves,,
either raw or slightly roasted in the ashes. The Carriers call it t'/o-tso'n,
" stinking grass." So is the root of the dog-tooth violet {Erythronium
giganteum), which is reputed excellent by the natives. Its Carrier
name is tcilkhe-rez, a compound word which is unfit for translation.
In the cow-parsnip (Heracleum lanalum), and a variety of the same
ikraz, in Carrier) it is the inner part of the growing stalks which is
preferred. It is often used while fresh and unprepared save by the
stripping of its fibrous envelope. But if fire is at hand, a Carrier will
generally treat it to a slight roasting through the flames previously to
peeling off the stalk. The H. lanalum is the kits of the Western
D£n£s, a primary root, indicative of its importance in the estimation of
the natives. -.
The marrow of the willow herb {Epilobium august ifolium) is also
much esteemed, as is manifest from the nature of- its Carrier name, Kas-
It is eaten before the plant reaches maturity.
Nor do the Carriers disdain the leaves of the Oregon grape (Bcrbcris
aquifolium), which are simmered in a little water until no liquid remains.
This plant, however, was formerly more sought after than is done by
the modern Carriers, who call it o'tau-tcis, " simmered-leaf,"
Another article of food, cheap because very common, but not the
least prized by the aborigines is the hair-like lichen (Alectoria jubata)>
m 130
which grows hanging from most coniferous trees, especially the Douglas
pine—hence its Carrier name toh-ra, "above-hair." The natives submit
it. after gathering, to a thorough washing, till it loses its outer colouring
matter. They next mix it with dough as one would do with raisins, and
bake the whole. The lichen has then on the cake the same effect as
would a copious application of yeast powder on a loaf of bread. The
Carriers assure me that, thus prepared, it is very sweet and -savory.
Prior to the introduction of flour, they cooked it with grease.
Although the shaman's influence was great and his services frequently
resorted to among the prehistoric Western Dent^s, especially the Carriers,
natural remedies such as provided by the vegetable kingdom were by no
means despised by them. Nay more, their medical flora was rather
-extensive, and it may be said to their credit, that several of nature's
most valuable secrets were no mysteries to them. Among the herbs or
vegetable growths esteemed among them for their medicinal properties, I
may mention the following :—
Tatlis (Poljporus officinalis), a fungoid growth from the Douglas pine.
It was ground down into a fine powder and taken internally in a little
water as a panacea against biliousness. According to the dose, it was a
purgative or an emetic. It was very effective ; so effective indeed as to
be really dangerous. For that reason it has been altogether discarded
in favour of milder laxatives such as the bark of the elder (Sambucus
racemosus), which is pounded while fresh and taken in cold water.
The young shoots of two species of spruce Abies nigra and A.
balsamca, were, and are still frequently, used as a febrifuge or against
any kind of complaint resulting in cutaneous inflammation or eruptions-
The shoots are thoroughly boiled and the decoction drank while warm.
A decoction of the boughs of the juniper bush (funiperus occidentalis)
is also considered effective against such maladies as fever or measles.
In cases of such cutaneous eruptions as particularly affect young
children, the diseased part is thoroughly smeared with the mash of the
swamp cranberry (Oxicoccus palustris), and it is claimed that beneficial
results never fail tto follow within an astonishingly short space of time.
The root of the aspen (Populus tremuloides) thoroughly chewed and
applied on cuts and bruises, is very extensively resorted to as a sure
means of stopping bleeding. Excellent and well authenticated results
have more' than once attested its efficacy. In urgent cases, the bark of
the tree is used instead of the root.
The root of two other plants rji-loz-reh* a liliaceous plant, and the
* Lit. "Doji-
heraclcum, though of slower action, is nevertheless reputed effective
against hemorrhage from cuts. It is mashed fine, and a poultice of it is
applied on the wound.
Infusions of the bark or leaves of the raspberry bush {Rubits strigosus)
served as an emmenagogue, while the same parts—or more often still
the wood with the bark—of the Viburnum opulus, a species of high cranberry, and of the bird cherry {Primus pcnsylvankd), similarly treated,
yielded a fairly good remedy against blood spitting.
They had also several tonics or astringents, among which figured : the
wild cherry {Primus virginiand), cold infusions of the inner bark of
which were taken as a stimulant; the yarrow {Achillea millefolium) and
the American sarsaparilla {Aralia nudicaulis), decoctions of which are
still quite valued; the spearmint {Mentha viridis), which was used as a
toruc against many ills, and last, not least, the Labrador tea {Ledum
pdlustre), which, added to its medicinal properties, was often put to the
same uses as to-day the tea of commerce.
I In cases of swellings and non-running sores the Carriers use fomenta-
tions of the red willow {Cornus stolonifera) bark. For running sores and
ulcers of any description they profess to have an excellent salve in the
decoction of the bark of the osier-willow (Salix longifolia) and of the
aspen mixed in equal quantities. The mixture forms a milky liquor
wherewith the ulcers are first bathed and then rubbed over with the
hand, thus causing the extraction of the humors.
: Two species of horse tails, Equisetum hyemale and E. pratense, are
valued as powerful helps against retention of urine. Decoctions of the
herbs are drank freely until the desired effect is obtained. Th*** leaves of
the uva-ursi are also used as diuretics, but their properties may have
become known among the natives through their intercourse with the
One of the most effective of the native remedies is the Jtivollak {Artemisia frigidaT) a sage-like plant which is used against local pains and
nervous shooting. The leaves are laid over the heated stones of the
sudatory, while the patient sits in a reclining position over the steam
emanating from them. In extreme cases the leaves are applied while
fresh directly to the ailing part of the body, but such are their caustic
properties that they cannot be borne more than a few moments.
When no other remedy is available, the stalks of the black currant
{Ribes rubrum) are cut in small pieces, boiled for some time and the
decoction taken as a cough medicine.
To- alleviate violent pains, they formerly had recourse to the bulb of
ana 132
[Vol. IV
the hemlock (Couium macttlatum) which they roasted over the ashes,
and, after crushing with the hand, they applied to the ailing spot. But
owing to the poisonous nature of this root, they now refrain from using
it for any purpose.
Of special value to the women as a help after parturition was the
hwu/ro/, a plant commonly known, I think, under the name of Devil's
bush (Fatsia horrida). The bark was ixiashed while fresh and taken
internally with a few drops of water by women just delivered of a child,
but whose after-birth had not been, or could not otherwise be, expelled.
It did also frequent service as a purgative for persons of both sexes.
Even such delicate diseases as sore-eyes had in the Carriers' estimation
a valued antidote in the vegetable kingdom. This consisted in a
mixture of the root of the soap berry bush and of the wild rose (Rosa
blanda) tree. After they had been stripped of their outside bark, the
cambium like layer next to the wood was carefully scraped off, mixed
with a few drops of clean water and delicately crushed with a flint or a
knife till a sort of ointment was formed which was then applied to the
eyes. Though sore eyes are by no means rare among the Western
D<m6s, no application of this sedative ever fell under my observation.
A few other plants or herbs are also used, the medical properties of
which have been revealed to the natives by the H. B. Co. people or, later
on, by the missionaries. But all those above enumerated are strictly
aboriginal medicines.
Other Bark.Implements.
We now revert to the bark implements. Two models of bark utensils
differing slightly in form and much in use from those illustrated in the
first part of this chapter are, or were, common among the Carriers.
One is the trough-shaped vessel already mentioned as serving to bail
in the fruits of the high cranberry.      It is of spruce bark, of rude and
O + x ^
temporary make, and resembles the t'/os-t'sai or fish-basket in every
particular save that it is deeper. Though it occasionally serves as a
boiler with regard to edible berries, it is more often used to cook for
their oil the heads of salmon or other large fish.
The last vessel of Carrier make
which remains to describe is, now a
thing of the past.    It   was  of birch
O x
bark,   flattish   and   rectangular, and
'•v?jti-RVrnflVlll"4»in u.-i!^;->   '•MuT
had  but  one narrow side (fig.  120]
Its brim was, as usual, str
by the apposition of a willow switch
running along its three sides.    It served as a bathing tub for the infants 1892-93.]
and, owing to its chief peculiarity, it had to be kept in a slanting position
while in use.
The Carrier women originally carried their babes in regular cradles
made of birch bark curved up at the narrow end as the basket-iray of
our last illustration, save that this part was sewed, not merely stitched
in one place as was the case with fig. 120. The bottom of the cradle
was prolonged at the broad or open end to serve as a support for the
head of the infant. Starting from both sides a hoop of willow half encircled at the proper distance the head of the child, and was intended
to allow sufficient breathing room when it was deemed desirable to cover
it The necessary lacings were passed through a band of buckskin
bordering the cradle on the outside.
With the advent of the whites-these primitive cradles disappeared, to
be replaced by the systematic swaddling clothes disposed as in fig. 121,
which still obtain among the Carriers. Now, as in olden times, the
lacing is done with one string passed through bands of cariboo skin
■ornamented according to the fancy of the mother. This string is so
arranged that by pulling both ends the swaddling envelope is drawn up
over the feet of the babe. Progressive mothers—and they form the
majority—nowadays substitute for this tightening device strips of cariboo
string buttoned at either end over each side of the swaddling clothes.
i    W^mmfm  4—
|s"> ■ft-FttVCT'- Vi
mm-  ''■>.M
m II
«— — *»»"■ j   *    > r*\.. *
Fig. 121.
■*Lr r
The TsijKoh'tin have preserved to thi*
baskets or cradles, of which fig. 122 will
made of the twigs of a species of willow, and their
day their tradition
give a fair  idea,
bottom is 131
if    11 '
[Vol. IV.
strengthened by the addition of a board. The framework when completed is thoroughly concealed beneath a closely-fitting covering of deer
hide sewed on the sides of the basket. As in the original Carrier cradle,
breathing room is afforded by means of an osier hoop from which
toys or playthings, beaver teeth or nails, etc., hang in sight of the child.
One peculiarity which I think is proper to the TsiiKoh'tin baby baskets
is the bark conduit which may be noticed in our illustration and whose
end is to preserve the infant against moisture, and also to reduce to a
minimum the trouble consequent upon bringing up such small children.
As the styles of baby cradles differ according to the tribe, even so it is
with the mode of carrying them. A Carrier mother carries her child
hanging perpendicularly on her back by a strap running across her
shoulders and breast, while the TsijKoh'tin women carry their baby
horizontally on their back, and suspended in its cradle by a tump line
passed athwart their forehead. In this they simply conform to the
custom of their southeastern neighbours, the "Shushwap.
The Tse'kenne vessels do not materially differ from those of the
Carriers, and their mode of treating and carrying the Tse'kehne babies
tallies also with that of the latter. But the household vessels of the TsjjKoh'tin have no point
of resemblance with any of those I have thus
far described. No bark vessels are seen among
them, as they replace bark by regular basket-
. work. 1.regret my inability to present the reader
with an accurate description of their root weaving process. Vet, if memory serves me right, I
think that they coil, not twine, the root according
to the method illustrated by Prof. O. T. Mason
in the Smithsonian Report for 1884* and elsewhere. However, all the household utensils I
have seen among the TsiiKoh'tin are broad-
mouthed and wallet-like, none of them tapering
up as some of the specimens quoted by the
learned professor.
Their water vessel, the form of which I remember well, is similar to that illustrated on page 18 of
Dr. G. M. Dawson's  | Notes on the Shushwap
people of B. C," *f* save perhaps   that   it   is not
quite so narrow at the bottom.    Many of them are elaborately orna-
mMmMm  Im
Fig. 123.
* Ann. Ren.
« j'art U., p. 294, plate V.
*tTrans. Roy. Soc, Canada, Sect. II., 1S91,
—•■■■ 1892-9-1]
merited with geometrical or animal  designs.    They are generally  of
about seven or eight gallons capacity.
A second vessel {f/asgaz in TsijKoh'tin) much smaller and pan-shaped,,
does duty as a washing dish and receptacle for cooked food principally
the starch)' bulbs suntt and Psroilh. .
A third is elliptical and of about the same diameter across its breadth-
It is used as a washing-tub wherein the babies are  made to stand
naked to be washed every evening by their mothers.
Before we close this chapter, we should not forget to mention the
birch bark Isa-yu-the/ or castoreum bottle (fig. 123) such as it is used
among the Carriers. The object of that implement has already been
X In the chapter on Bone Implements.
I   •
- ,■ 136
[Vol. IV
Copper and Iron Implements.
Rev. E. PetitoVarguing in favor of the contemporaneity in the same
part of America of the bronze and the iron ages with the palaeolithic and
the neolithic epochs, has the following to say:—
"Avant l'arrivee des Europeans dans la vallee du Mac-Kenzie, les
Couteaux-Jaunes et les Flancs-de-Chien connaissaient l'usage du cuivre
natif qu'ils trouverent sur.Ies bords de la riviere Copper-mine. Us s'en
fabriquaient des couteaux, d'ou leur est venu leur nom. lis faisaient en
meme temps usage de la pierre polie. Done nous avons ici contemporaneity de la pierre polie et du bronze. De leur cote, les Peaux-de-Li&vre,
qui ignoraient le cuivre et qui ne se dounaient pas la peine de polir leurs
instruments de pierre, avaient decouvert le long du Mac-Kenzie, a
1'embouchure de la riviere L'e'-ola-la-delin, du ferologiste, et ils en fabriquaient des aiguillettes et des alines de quatre pouces de long qu'ils
troquaient avec les Thekkan£ et autres tribus mdridionales des Montagues Rocheuses contre des peaux d'elan a raison de dix pour une
alene. *
It is likely that most archaeologists will refuse to concede that the use
of copper knives by a savage people entitles the makers to be regarded
as having reached that stage of industrial advancement commonly called
the bronze age. The use of copper is in this case too limited they will
probably say. <;This reason, plausible as it certainly appears at first, is
after reflection rather more -specious than convincing. For was not this
the case even in the old world ? Were not stone weapons largely used
there contemporaneously with copper or iron implements? No, answers
the antiquarian; each epoch or age was very distinct and strictly
consecutive. •
T     4. *
Let us see.
In Italy, C. Geikie found early uncoined money {ces rude) along with
polished stone weapons; and a number of flint knives have been obtained
from Etruscan graves.    Indeed a piece of coined copper money mark in ****'
O * *   *   * • -o
* Rapport succinct stir ta Geologie 'des valines de f Athabaskaw—Mackenzie et de t Anderson ;
Paris, A. Ileimuyer, 1S75.
imiii 1892-93.]
a still later period has been found in an Etruscan tomb alongside with a
stone knife. At Bibracte, the most important town of the /Edui in
ancient Gaul, scientific exploration has brought to light work on metal
and coins mingled with flint arrow heads, polished stone axes and a
flint knife. Similar discoveries have been made in many places throughout France.* In ancient Egypt, stone and metal implements were also
used contemporaneously.f In the centre and south of modern Africa,
the negroes, according to Lenormant " have never known bronze, and
work hardly any copper. Instead of this, they manufacture iron wares
in large quantities and for this purpose make use of a process which was
not communicated to them from the outside. Hence they themselves
discovered the method of manufacturing iron, and when they gave up
the use of stone implements, they passed to the manufacture of this
metal."!     | f|§ ■ !       ^^^j,'   .  |, \   •
These few instances chosen among many others will, I hope, suffice
to prove that the sharp and almost instantaneous change from one age
to another and the strictly successive order generally believed to have
been followed in these transitions are, in many cases, more fancied than
real. Metal objects were apparently the property of the leaders and the
higher classes generally while the lower classes must have contented
themselves with the stone equivalents, just as in the Middle Ages only
the knights wore steel armour.
That copper and iron were to be found among the Carriers long before
x  l o o 	
these aborigines even suspected the existence of the whites there can be
no doubt. But the use of these metals was, of course, restricted to a
few fancy objects or working tools. Moreover, in so far at least as that
tribe is concerned, neither copper nor iron was indigenous and the former
rnetal only was wrought by its members. Concerning its introduction
among the Carriers, I take the liberty of reproducing here a short native
legend which I have already quoted elsewhere. §
" In times not very remote, all the Indians (themselves among the
rest) congregated at a certain point of the sea coast, around a tower-like
•copper mountain emerging from the midst of the water. Their object was
to decide which tribe should become the possessor thereof. When all
had united in shouting, the mountain began gradually to totter, and the
Haidahs who are blessed \\
big heads and  sti
voices cause
ed it
*Sec '•Christian Anthropology," New Vork, 1S92, p, 324.
t" Die Anfiinge der CuKur," vol. I. p. 57.
I "The Western Dent's," Proc. Canadian Institute, 18SS-89.
10 m:
to fall on their side. ' Thus it was,' they add, 'that those Indians secured
the copper mountain, and we have ever since been obliged to have
recourse to them for what we require of that metal to make bracelets for
our wives and daughters.'"
The reference to this wonderful towering mountain of copper, fantastic
as it may appear, might perhaps be explained by the existence of the
monumental Pillar Rock on the shore of Graham Island, a sketch of
which will be found in G. "M. Dawson's Report on the Queen Charlotte
Islands.*1' Even in prehistoric times, some Carriers had evidently visited
the Pacific Coast, as may be inferred from a few of their legends where-'
in some peculiarities proper to that region arc introduced with a tolerable"
amount of accuracy. On the other hand, as most of their copper was
imported from the coast, it was but natural that, according to the custom
of primitive peoples of assigning a fabulous origin to extraordinary
objects, they should associate in their narrative the wonderful pillar-rock
with the no less wonderful yellow metal. f
I might point here to the adventures of a mythic Carrier, a sort of
wandering Jew, who underwent many a stirring experience on the Pacific
Coast while in quest of a stolen wife, and who is the first personage
mentioned as possessing copper. The fact that the possibly historical
data hidden amidst the details of that legend are interwoven with many
miraculous circumstances, would lead us to suppose that the knowledge
of that metal among the Western Denes dates back from a rather remote epoch.
Be this as it  may, I have never met.with more than  five kinds;of"
copper objects of genuine  Carrier, or TsipCoh'tin manufacture.    These
Fig.  124.
Fig.  125.
are the hair tweezers, the bracelets, the finger rings, the harpoon tips and
the dog collars.  'The hair tweezergj*  were originally of cariboo horn.
They then consisted of two thin pieces of horn given the required shape
by means of heating, and tied together at one end with sinew threads
(fig. 124). The copper tweezers were of one piece and affected the form
represented in fig.  12$.    The object of both was to remove any super-
* Montreal, 1SS0; plate ii.
% Vi?i-anta,  " grebe-hill," a noun of the third category.
IHWM 1SU2-93.]
fluous facial hair. ■"Superfluous " should be understood here as synonymous with "any" hair growing on the lips, the chin or the cheeks, since
the Western Denes kept themselves Jbcardlcss. The prehistoric
Tse'kehne, if they are to be judged by their immediate successors, the
eldest among the modern Tse'kehne, indulged in the possession of a
queer looking partial moustache, which was obtained by leaving untouched the hair growing on the upper lip below, and exactly corresponding in width with the septum, while on both sides the lip was otherwise free of hair. The tweezers were worn on the breast, hanging from
the neck. They are still to be seen among the TsijKoh'tin and the
The Carrier na-ithan * or metallic bracelets (fig.  126) were of an ex-
grjmrxrrrn-^ ceedingly simple pattern.        ^ -
X    As the hair tweezers, they
^a were originally of cariboo
Jf horn ; but as commercial
relations became more extended, copper was soon
preferred in their manufacture. In t later
times pewter was even adopted and beaten to
the desired shape out of the spoons of commerce. I speak in the past time, because among
the Carriers especially, such trinkets are now
practically unknown.
When bartered from the Coast Indians, the
copper was generally in sticks or slender bars,
which were then wrought by hammering by th<
Carriers.    T
: men wrougiu  uy iiuimncuiig uy  me . pli/tocs
n-\ u -•       1        I 1*       i   &fa    V  ^Ki!) M V
1 hese bars remain almost unaltered  \SW   |av/l1wJ  \)f?
to give consistency to the collars of £&SkSJtt\->\U ^$L%S$
harnesses, 7    When not ornamented,        ****   " \M        **
:■ 127.
wnen usee
their  dog
these harnesses arc probably similar to those in
use 'among  the eastern   Indians, and  as  such
would hardly deserve any mention.   But the Carriers1 fondness of parade
has long prompted them to add to the original pieces the blanket and
collar ornaments which I have thought worth the while to show in fig.
127.    Of course these two additions are detachable paraphernalia, which
are not generally used, except when reaching or leaving a village.    The
frame of the upper pa
ts is 01 copper
*Lit. "it (of a heavy material) is around."
"t yi-l'/u/, dog-ropes, 3rd cat. nouns.
•iit 1 'Uo
[Vol. IV.
^icr. 128 can be adduced as a further evidence of that power of imita-
s tion which I have more than once quoted as one of the
characteristics of the tribes under study, especially the
Carriers.    Finger-rings,* it is hardly necessary to say,
-}$ were unknown among the primitive Dends ; but they
% 3
7     no sooner became aware of their existence among the
2*7       whites than they set upon fabricating them with whatever material at their command.    One of the results
was the ring sketched above which has, been found
here, Fort Saint James.
Whether hematite was known to the Western D£nes prior to their
contact with European civilization cannot well be ascertained at the
present time. It would seem highly probable that it was among all the
tribes but the Carrier, which to-day has no other word for " iron " or iron
ore than that used for I knife." Even among the Tse'kehne, who call a
knife ptfs anc' iron tsa-tsoile (beaver-dung), it is very doubtful if they ever
subjected hematite to any treatment calculated to reduce it to the shape
of a working tool. Yet I -think I am warranted in asserting that iron
implements have been known and used even among the Carriers for at
least two centuries, that is one hundred years before they had heard of
the whites. The memory of the appearance of the first iron axe at this
place (Stuart's Lake Mission) has been kept vivid to this day by the
descendants of its original possessor. Their narrative, when shorn of a
few excrescences, I believe to be historically true, inasmuch as names of
persons and of localities, together with minute particulars connected
therewith, are freely mentioned. Their veracity is made still more
apparent by the genuine and unbroken genealogy of the present chief of
this village up to the first possessor of the marvellous implement. A full
account of the deeds of the various personages introduced in the
chronicle might prove not uninteresting even to the general reader.    For
o x o o
the present I shall content myself with its initial chapter.    The chief of
Stuart's Lake will be our narrator.
"The first man (z/- Carrier) who ever possessed an iron axe was my
grandfather {i.e. one of my ancestors). His name was Na'kwol, and,
owing to his rank as one of the most influential notables, but more particularly on account of the great age he attained, he has remained famous
among us. He was so old when he died that his hair had turned yellow,
after having long been snow-white.    He was a most irascible man and
La-thift3, "passed round the finger." 1892-93.]
therefore much feared. What his age was when he got the iron axe I
cannot say. He must have been a grown-up man and full-fledged
M nobleman," since tradition tells us that upon receiving it, he convoked a
large crowd of Indians of clans differing from his to a grand ccremonia
banquet. Now this can be done only by a toneza* or nobleman. On
that occasion, the iron adze-blade was suspended from a rafter over the
heads of the invited guests so that they might have an opportunity of
contemplating it at ease. The implement was considered excccdinglv
precious. It had come from some unknown place in the direction of
Tse'tcah.* It was thereafter taken great care of, and its possession was
the means of considerably enhancing my grandfather's prestige among
his fellow Carriers.
<l Yet it was lost one day under the following circumstances. Some
men of Na'kwsl's family were in the woods cutting spruce branches to
cover up the doorway of the winter lodge they were erecting, when the
skin line which fastened it to its handle as an adze getting loosened, the
blade suddenly dashed off and fell among the branches already cut. By
searching among these, the implement must have dropped down in the
snow, for it could never be found by natural means that winter."
The story then proceeds relate how it was subsequently found
through the incantations of a medicine man who was richly paid for his
trouble, and concludes thus: "This happened a very long time ago, long
before my forefathers had heard of the whites."
That this is a fact is shown by a few words attributed to Na'kwol
which, though still intelligible, are nevertheless quite archaic, and also
by the following genealogy of Na'kwol's posterity.
I. Na'kzvol must have lived at least two or three scores of years after
the acquisition of the iron axe, when he died and was succeeded in a
genealogical point of view by
2. Tcitcanit. his youngest son, who had two wives and being of a iealoi
disposition, was secretly drowned by them when in declining years.
3. Tcitcanit was succeeded as tdncza' or nobleman by a maternal
nephew named Tsaleku/ye. This personage killed a man with an iron
pointed lance, and was himself killed when he was getting much advanced
in years.
* Near the Skeena river.    See the map accompanying my paper, "Are the Carrier Sociology
and Mythology Indigenous," etc.?   Trans. U. S. C. Sec. II., 1892. 142
ado war and slaughtered hosts of
nve years ago, ovei
one hundred
4. His successor was Kivah, who
Lower Carriers.    By a second "wife h<
5. Atsu/, a second son, who died
years old, since he remembered the arrival of Sir Al. Mackenzie's party
in the country.    He left three generations of descendants.
Reference has been made to a prehistoric iron pointed spear. Tradition
rT~~*\ furthermore records the killing, in ante-European times, of
T£5f a cariboo with an iron or steel knife or dagger. This
happened on this lake, some 15 miles from here. Below,
the reader will also find figured a steel dagger which came
into the possession of the Carriers some no or 120 years
ago—their country was discovered in 1793. It was instrumental in killing several men and was originally much
larger. The handle was also of a different description, the
knife being one of a class of steel daggers called in the
dialect of the Babines f/ak-nanistsor, or " rounded at the
end" (of the handle). It probably resembled the instrument represented by fig. 108 e of Niblack's "The Indians
of Southern Alaska."*
The presence of steel implements, even so early and
so far away in the interior of British Columbia, is not
calculated to disconcert the archaeologist, considering the
o 1 ^*>
frequent intercourse the inland tribes had from time immemorial with the Coast Indians. Both Cook and Dixon ascribe the
introduction of such tools among the Coast tribes to the Russians whose
first recorded expedition on the Northern Pacific Ocean dates from 1740.
But Na'kwol's iron axe cannot evidently be attributed to the influence
of the Russians, since it had apparently reached this place long before
1.1. Behring's expedition was fitted out. Coast Indians must naturally
have been slow in parting with such valuable implements. Moreover it
should not be forgotten that not more than fifteen years before the
advent of the whites among the Carriers, iron tools were still so rare
g the Coast tribes' that in 1779 a Captain Gray master ol
one of
the Boston trading vessels, is reported to have got at Nootka, on Van-
couvcr Island, two-hundred otter skins worth about $8,000 for an old
iron chisel \\
* Ann. Report, National Museum, iSSS.
t Christmas No. of the-Victoria "Colonist," 1S91.
no* the steel implements distinctly DenC in manufacture and
actually in use among the Carriers, are the hole-borer or drill
the" moose skin scraper and the crooked knife or spoke-
shave. •    •
The first is made with a nail or any available piece of iron
securely lashed on the side of a stick or fastened in" a slit
at its extremity. Occasional holes are obtained by rubbing
the drill between the hands while strenuously pressing down
the implement. But when a set of fine holes, such as those
Fig- 13°   of the snow-shoes, is desired, the Carriers have recourse, in
lit   ■;
addition  to the borer, to a small bow and a hard  piece of wood which
they manage as shown in fig. 131.
Fig- 132.    #size.
The name of the tool shown in fig. 132, inrwo/* or moose skin scraper,
•explains its raison detre. It has been patiently ground down to its
present shape from an old file.
Second category of nouns. :t: i
[Vol. IVv
• Identical material and mode of manufacture have likewise resulted in
the accompanying spokeshave or ?ras, the "drawknifc." It is of the
greatest usefulness to the modern Indian, so much so that there is not a
house among the Carriers wherein it is not to be seen. They employ it
to finish the inside of their canoes, to shave off the rods used in the
construction of their fish-traps, to fashion the side and transversal sticks
r^*H^T"**r,..r?*p?.iir >.i», _ .i^T^^ "a
133-   % size.
:ir snow-shoes, and to do almost any kind of manual work in con-
n wherewith a white man would use a draw-knife or even a common
t knife.   The lower grade of oras is made of the blade of a table
The handle of the specimen above illustrated is of cariboo bone,
id to the blade first by copper wire and then by rawhide lin
ped around.    The whole tool is of native manufacture.
es 18021)3.]
Skin Objects and Twined and Textile Fabrics.
skin objects.
Under this head we will consider any native items wherein dressed or
undressed skin enters as the chief component part.
Passing references to the treatment of hides have already appeared in
the course of the descriptions of the implements used by the Western
De*n£s to free them of hair, fat or blood. It now merely remains with
me to add that after the skin in preparation has been rubbed over with
the brains of the animal, it is allowed to pass a whole night steeping in
cold water. It is then subjected to several rinsings in hot wate£, alternating with thorough scrapings, until, being quite dry, soft and pliable,.
it is given the form of a bag and placed over the smoke of decayed wood
or other vegetable matter. Once it has been thus smoked on both sides,,
it is ready for use.
Vrt- ■'■.•■" *''•'.•   v*^-    '•^**^'%^^"^^^^^^•*-^^-:^
F«g. 134-
Among the ^si{Koh'tin  skin dressing is practically confined to the
hide of the deer, while among the Tse'kehne moose and cariboo skins 116
[Vol. IV.
only are tanned for use. Moose is rare within the Carriers' territory,
and still more so is the deer. Therefore, "with that tribe, mocassins,
mittens and gloves, bags, etc., are almost exclusively of cariboo skin.
We will here pass over skin articles, which belong to the native accoutrement or wearing apparel, as these shall be treated of in the next chapter.
Confining ourselves to household or non-personal obj'ects, we .may
mention no less than seven varieties of leather bags or pouches in use
among the primitive Carriers. Pig. 134 represents the household bag or
ezt/ai. This is generally the property of women and serves to contain
the family chattels, but more particularly such as are proper to the
women, clothes, pieces of tanned skins, working tools, articles of ornamentation, etc. This bag needs no description ; the cut cannot but give
an exact idea of its form. The bead work in some is much more elaborate than in the specimen herewith figured. Before the introduction of
glass beads, dyed porcupine quills served to ornament this and all other
kinds of skin receptacle. The cover piece of this ezt/ai is also, I am
told, a modern innovation. This bag is never used as a packing contrivance.
A variety of the same, but much reduced in dimensions, was formerly
the regular badge of widowhood among Carrier women, so much so that
the custom which required its use has given the Carriers their distinctive
name". Among them cremation was the national mode of disposing of
the dead. As a rule, on the morning following the funeral ceremony, the
relatives of the deceased, accompanied by his widow, were wont to pick
up from among the ashes of the pyre the few remaining charred bones
which, if too large for the purpose in view, they did not scruple to
reduce by breaking to the desired size, These were then handed to the
widow to daily pack till her liberation from the bondage consequent on
her new condition. This gruesome task devolved on her for the space of
at least two or three years, and m extreme cases was prolonged to a
period of some five years. Upon the final giving away of property
which was the signal for the cessation of mourning, these bones were
deposited with the satchet containing them in a box laid on the top of a
funeral column near the village.
Some of these satchets were still in existence a few years ago. Their
cover, instead of fitting over the whole bag as in the household ezt/ai,
reached only half way down. Its sides were also sewn with those of the
satchet itself, so as to preclude the possibility of its contents being accidentally thrown out. Of course, a string was attached to the satchet
and passed across the neck or or breast of the packer.    A lining of birch 1SU2-93.]
bark also gave the receptacle a certain degree of consistency, and served
moreover as an additional protection for the bones.
The regular packing wallet* herewith figured is still very generally
used for carrying provisions during long journeys and might be termed
the native buffet. It is of two different materials ; its main parts are of
undressed moose hide with the hair out, while its sides, top and bottom
are of tanned caribo ■ skin. The skin of the upper part of the legs of
the animal is chosen in preference and sewn together, as may appear
from a glance at the illustration below. The packing band is also of
untanned moose skin. On either side of the bag, ears of tanned skin are
pierced each with two holes, the'lower one of which is intended to
receive the strap when the walllet is not full. The broad or middle part
•of this line passes athwart the forehead of the packer, and, after sliding
through one of the holes at either side of the bag, its loose ends are
drawn forward and tied over the breast, so that the position of the burden
can be changed at Avill.
Fig- 135-
Iu'k6z, sec. root MS
[Vol. TV.
Not uncommonly these wallets or knap-sacks are made entirely of
dried salmon skins sejAmto^c^hen Once the flesh of the fish has reached
the proper degree of stiffness, it is carefully torn off and one of the skins
is shredded into fine filaments which serve as thread.
The /u'kez generally does duty in connection with heavy burdens,
which means for anybody an fait with native sociology that it is the
appanage of the women. The men have also a packing bag of their
own intended as a receptacle of such light burdens as are incident to short
trips, and which shall be described  further on.
The fourth variety of leather bags is the dog-bag, which is so much
.   ^w-^ like a common saddle-bag that  I refrain  from
figuring it here. No harnessing device is connected with it, it is simply lashed on the sides of
the canine with a separate line.  -
Fig- l3& als° represents a double-bag; but.
this is proper to the huntsman. In one end of it
he keeps his provision of powder, and in the
other that of shot or balls. Both halves of the
bag are shut by tying around the strings attached
immediately below the common or middle open-
■FiP 136, ing.     Out of this ammunition pouch the hunts
man fills up as often as necessary his powder horn, and his ornamented
shot pouch I hich are parts of his accoutrement.
u'Va it'A llllM «11 m
Here we have a Kzuou-zoz or fire-bag. Its use has ceased with the
introduction of matches, and its name is now given to a small pouch of
different pattern, though somewhat similar in intent. The former served
to carry about or keep at home the tinders and parched hay originally 1892-93.]
required to start a fire with the fire drill or more recently with the fire
steel. Its elliptical form was probably intended
as a help in guarding its contents against rain or
moisture. As an additional measure of precaution, the pouch was generally carried under the
arm pit suspended from the neck.
Its modern substitute is of common cloth in
the form of a flour sack and with two strings
so arranged at its mouth that the pouch can be
shut by drawing them apart. Matches and
tobacco with a pocket knife are generally the
only things kept in this Kwonzoz.
/ ik** ***-»**:ufc3tfvrc
Fis. 138.
Fig. 138 represents a needle and thread pouch.
Although originally of tanned skin  it  is now
almost exclusively of black or blue cloth trimmed with ribbons or coloured tape.
To complete our list of skin obj'ects of Dene* manufacture, we should
add to the above the pe-sta (wherein one sits), a sort of cuirass in use in
prehistoric times especially among the Carriers. It had the form of a
sleeveless tunic falling to the knees, so that it protected the whole
body, since those aborigines generally shot kneeling. Its material
was moose skin which, when sewn according to the proper pattern,
was soaked in water, then repeatedly rubbed on the sandy shores
of a stream or lake and dried with the sand and small pebbles adhering
thereto, after which it was thoroughly coated with .sturgeon glue. Being
again subj'ected before drying to another rubbing over sand, it received
a new coating of glue, and after this process had been repeated three or
four times, it formed an armour perfectly arrow proof*
* In his Appendice rehtif aux amies de pierre des Indieus arctiques published in 1875, tn£
Abbe E. Petitot, speaking of the Denes of the Mackenzie Basin, says that "ces Indiens
arctiques pretendent qu'ils n' out pas toujours habite sur le sol 011 nous les avous trouves, man
qu'ils ont vecu, a. une e'poque fort e'loignee, dans une patrie plus belle que la presente. . . »
Dans cette terre . . . bien tour dans l'occident, un peuple puissant opprimait les Loucheux
et les Peaux-de-lievre. *Ce peuple se rasait la tete, portait de faux cheveux et se coiffait de
casques. . . . Ses guerriers se couvraicnt la poitrine d* une tunique de peau d' elan revetue
d'une foule de petits cailloux coagulesen maniere d' ecailles (etiirasse); ce qui les rendait comme
invulnerables a leurs traits. . . . A cette epoque les DJne'-Dindjies faisaient, disaient-ils,
usage de lances, qu' ils m' ont depeintes coinme des couteaux .fixes par une ligature au bout d'
une perche; d'epieux, sorte de conies ninnies d' un crochet et egalenient prntnanchees j d'
arbaletes ; de dagues, et enfin de boucliers." '1 hen the learned missionary adds that " aucune de
ees amies offensives et defensives. . . . if a suivi les De'ne-Dindjies en Aweri,/ne." The
italics are mine, and it is hardly necessary to remark that the line thus pointed out would never
ve been written had its author been
ncquainted with
al Carrier sociology./    For, as Ill if
.[Vol. IV
As may be seen by figs. 139 and 140, the Dene drums, though possessing minor characteristics of their own, do not essentially differ from
the tambourines in universal use among the North American Indians.
In every case we have merely a dressed skin—which is here of cariboo—
stretched ove a narrow hoop. The Carrier drum (fig. 139) not only had
no bottom strings, but its makers even dispensed with any cord as a
means of holding the instrument. The same piece* of skin in which
almost consisted the whole drum was cut on the reverse or back side
into four strips tapering to the centre into regular strings which were
knotted as shown above, b, and which served as a means of grasping the
/< i'ir.'V-'        -\ I -       »   v*A\»4
A'//v'Vr    '• * • L  -
t.< .,. .sr-- .   •        «r.
r I
Fig.  139 a.
The Tse'kehne drum (fig. 140) though apparently a very simple piece
of workmanship, evidences much greater ingenuity on the part of its
contrivers. Not only does it possess the bottom strings designed to
enhance its sonorousness, but these very strings are so disposed that they
help not a little in using the instrument. After passing beneath the
frame of the drum they are drawn up over it under the encircling skin,
and again introduced through the middle of the hooo from which they
protrude inside in the shape of a loop through which the thumb is passed
a matter of fact, all the arms and defensive weapons above enumerated had their counterparts on
this side of the Rockies but a short time ago. In that "skin tunic covered with small coagulated
pebbles," we recognize, of course, the pe-'sta just described ; the lances regarded by Petitot, after
his informants, as so very ancient were the s.?Rt/t?s spoken of on page 62 ; the epieux or spears
are not materially different : Petitot describes them as "hafted hooks" and it so happens that
the Carrier name of these weapons means "hook-sticks." The cross-bows we have likewise
seen in use among the Tse'kehne, while the daggers and the shields were no less common among
the Carricis. Nay more, even the "false hair," or \vi«js were in vogue here as late as thirty.,
years ago.    These will be found described in our Chapter on Dress and Personal Adornment. 1S92
with a double object in view: that of helping in holding the instrument
and of tightenin°' or loosening the bottom strings at will and thus
regulating the sound of the drum.
M 1,
j •
. ■
" 1»
**•'" V
tv v-1
... •
i. «.• n
j Fig. 140.
That portion of the Carrier—and possibly the whole of the TsijKoh'tin
—tribes which is adjacent to the Bilqula Indians formerly used squape
drums. But this circumstance should be regarded merely as a further
evidence of the Western DeneV innate power of imitation. The drums
are called ihoflrole in Carrier.
Any stick at hand, padded or otherwise, served to beat the drum.
It seems almost incredible that in a country, where for at least five full
months every year snow covers the ground, snow-shoes should have been
practically^unknown until a comparatively recent date. Yet, if we are,
to credit the natives, this was formerly the case with the Carriers, the
most populous, and, actually, the most progressive of the four Western
Dend tribes. The Tse'kehne used snow-shoes from time immemo
but we are told that not more than 100 years ago, only the most
prominent among the Carriers possessed that indispensable adjunct to
winter travelling. Therefore with that tribe winter hunting was formerly
well nigh impossible. The natives still relate how their ancestors painfully trudged on trunks of trees chopped down so as to form a continuous
line or trail over the snow whenever necessity constrained them I
wander any little distance from their winter quarters. I fully expect
that their story will task the credulity of my readers, and I give it only for
what it may be worth. I am simply repeating here what I have been
told many a time.
Be this as it may, the Carriers are to-day as well provided with winter
walking implements as they profess to have been originally destitute of
'. a*", i? j 153
[Vol. IV
them. Apart from the snow walking stick, they now have no less than
four very distinct varieties of snow-shoes ('aih) each of which is known
under a different name. These are the khe-la-pas, the /ot'/u, the ~aih-za
and the sos-khi.
Fig. 141.
The khe'-la-pas^' was the first model of snow-shoes known to our
aborigines. It is still used in cases of urgency, when better or more
fashionable snow-shoes cannot conveniently be made or, under all circumstances, by poor or unskilled people. Nevertheless this form is now
obsolete, and is generally laughed at by the possessors of more elegant
implements. The ground stick of this snow-shoe is of one piece from
fore-end to tail, and the whole is left flat, as is the case, I think, with
most of the snow-shoes in use in .Eastern Canada. Fig. 141 represents
a khe-la-pas.
The finer netting or filling of every Carrier snow-shoe is of delicate
cariboo skin lines, and the coarse or middle one is of moose rawhide
line. As these implements are said to be adventitious here, I will refrain
from going into the details of the netting process which our Indians are
not likely to have materially altered since the introduction among them
of these winter commodities. Suffice it to say that a whole independent
filling in is made out of a continuous string. The ground or side sticks
are generally made of.young saplings of black spruce or of Douglas
pine (P. murrayltna)I but those of mountain maple (Acerglabrum) or
of mountain ash (Pyrus Americana) are more esteemed, though heavier.
In all cases the cross-sticks are, as a rule, either of willow or of birch.
In fig. 142 we have the most recent type of Carrier snow-shoe. It
will be seen at a glance that it is not inelegant.. It is the /of/u'or
<c stitched together " by allusion to the peculiar form of its head.    To
Mocassin (or r7/<?7Wtfr<-)-end-roundcd ;" by allusion to its form. 1802-93.]
facilitate walking, this is curved up and so retained by means of two or
three lines twisted in one solid cord. To add to the gracefulness of the
fore-end and prevent it from shrinking in, an additional bar is inserted
some distance therefrom, and the resulting tension is also corrected by a
transversal cord  binding fast the extremities of the two sticks.    The
ground netting passes under both bar and cord. The name of this
variety of snow-shoes indicates that the side sticks were originally united
at both ends by means of stitches of skin lines ; but to-day small nails
or screws are more commonly used. Little tufts of coloured yarn
issufng from each side of the frame arc intended to add to the elegance
of the implement. Such ornaments at the hind part of the snow-shoes
distinguish the women's from the men's snow-shoes.
Fig. 142.
The artificial bending of the side sticks is obtained by two different
methods. In the first case, such parts of the wood as are to be w*orked
upon, are carefully wrapped with strips of willow bark and thoroughly
heated by close applicati< 1 to the fire. They are next gradually pressed
up with the hand or by forcing against the ground, when their ends are
solidly tied so as to prevent the wood from returning to its original
shape. However, this is more commonly steamed or rather "cooked" in
boiling water, such parts of the sticks as cannot be introduced in the
Icettle or boiler being operated on by pouring thereon spoonfuls of hot
water until they have become sufficiently pliable.
A third model of snow-shoes quite as common, if not more so, is the
*aih-za ("snow-shoe only," or ordinary snow-shoe). In this, as in the
preceding, two sticks are employed to form the frame, but instead of
terminating in a sharp front end, their fore-ends are thinned and joined
together with a strong lashing of rawhide lines thereby forming a rounded
« o o Jo
instead of an angular head.     In other words, this snow-shoe is a long
khe-la-pas made out of two side sticks and curved up in front as the
pt'iu.     Therefore the additional  cross-stick and string noticed in the
latter are wanting in this unpretentious style of snow-shoe.
11 154
[Vol. IV.
The Tse'kehne snow-shoes are remarkable for the number of their
cross-sticks. They generally have six of them, three in front, and three
back of the middle or coarse netting. They thus gain in solidity what
they lose in lightness.*
&*\r^J ^FSr i^S&iJ
Fig.  143. , f^fi
The last variety of Carrier snow-shoes is herewith figured.    Its form
Cs will  no   doubt  explain   its native  nanle, sds-khey
"black bear foot." It is proper to little children
before they are sufficiently grown up to use the
common snow-shoes. Not unfrequently, women,
especially those who are poorly circumstanced or
unprepared for a heavy fall of snow, will be seen
wearing similar, though of course much larger,
snow-shoes. Naturally the frame of such primitive,
implements is composed of only one stick whose
ends are rudely lashed together. Instead of having
the cross-stick notched in as in the above figure, it
is more generally forced in a shallow hole mortised
at either side of the frame.
As these implements are essentially temporary,,
they are often of a rude description. Such is not
•the case with the pf/u and the 'aih-za. Not only
are the wooden parts of these carefully shaved and
scraped over, but they are generally daubed with
red ochre, and in not a few cases covered with a coat of red or blue
Fig.  144.
* The reason of this is their great length which is intended to deaden the creaking of the-
frozen snow caused by the short snow-shoe, and thereby not to betray the approach of the-
Here we have the winter walking-stick * already alluded to. It
renders to the hand of the traveller over snow fields the same service
as .the snow-shoe does his feet, since its circular appendage (fig. 144)
-Vf* '-•.'::-• jF>«£j
K&zsiFVT? ^    VS. /, iVvATHil^^^^^^/^f**}
w  !>
I Fig. 145.
prevents the stick from sinking too much in deep snow. It has
moreover another very valuable advantage which I have tried to illustrate
through fig. 145. The hand of the hunter, warm and trembling from the
excitement of the chase, if passed through the leather loop which often
i g-  !
Fig. 147.
accompanies the upper part of the staff, can thereby be steadied and
find a reliable support for   the  barrel of his gun while in the act   of
walking-stick rounded " by allusion to the circular appendage. 156
[Vol. IV
firing.    Despite these undoubted advantages, this walking-stick tends to
become obsolete in several localities.
But one-implement now remains on our list of undescribed wood-and-
skin items. This is the ice-scoop or /upas of which an idea may be
gathered from fig. 146. It is brought into requisition to scoop out of
the hole one is making in the ice the broken, pieces driven in with the
3te* or ice-breaker. The frame is usually of mountain maple. Fig. 147
will explain the connection between the strings and the frame.
We now come to the twined and textile fabrics of the Western D6n£s.
The latter are very few ; indeed the weaving industry might almost be
described as null among those tribes, since the rabbit skin blankets were
originally the only genuine textile fabric manufactured among either the
Carriers, the Tse'kehne or the TsiiKoh'tin.
The weaving of these could hardly be more primitive. The first step
is of course to spin, or rather to twist on the naked thigh, the strips of
the rabbit skins. These are previously steeped in water to facilitate the
cutting and spinning operations. Each skin is made to yield one single
bancl, and each band is knotted end to end so as to form a continuous
A frame or loom is first erected with poles of the proper dimensions
and secured either by planting the two side pieces in the ground, or, more
commonly, by leaning them against each wall of any corner in the house.
Over the two cloth-beams, the skin cord is wound so as to form the
warp. As for the woof, a separate strip is knotted in its middle part to
the last left hand thread of the warp in such a way that two threads
result which are then twisted together, then entwined with the next warp
thread, again twisted together, again entwined with the next perpendicular
thread, and so on until the last thread of the warp is reached, when the
operation is resumed from the right to the left. Each successive woof
thread is added immediately under the preceding one so that the weaving,
if weaving there be, is always in a downward direction. Whenever the
v   ■ web becomes  too  low for the convenience of the
-**?'^3^^J^^^^    weaver, web and warp are made to revolve on the
loom beams up to the suitable height.    The web is
*&■ then  .momentarily   steadied  by means of   a   string
attached on cither side to the perpendicular  poles of the loom.     No
batten or any similar device is used.    Fig. 148 will give some idea of the
whole process.    The cut a represents a cross-section of the web. 1892-93.]
The TsijKoh'tin and Carrier women now weave fairly good belts or
girths out of the yarn they get at their trading posts. But this is a new
industry among them and we need not tarry in its description. Suffice
it to say that they use wooden healds as those of the Zuni Indians.
Indeed, I think that the whole method of girth weaving is practically
identical with these two heterogeneous stocks. ;
'lg. Ul
The TsijKoh'tin women also weave or plait mats commonly used to
spread on the floor or ground instead of a table cloth, the menu of the
family repast round which each person squats while partaking thereof.
The material is a sort of rush or juncaceous plant, the exact species of
which I could not determine. Matting is an unknown industry among
the Carriers and the Tsd'kehne. 15S
[Vol. IV
With regard to the mode of netting, the drag-nets of the Western
Denes are of two kinds : one is intended for service against any species
of fish, with the exception of the sturgeon, and the other is of use to
capture the latter fish exclusively.    Fig. 149 will explain the manner of
■ Hili *^ IBB :
Fig. 149. Fig. 150.
knotting the sturgeon net, while all the other kinds of netting, whether
drag, scoop, or dip-nets, or even, the packing bags which shall soon be
described, are knotted, as shown in fig. 150.
No mesh-stick is used while the Carrier is working at the smaller
varieties of nets. It is replaced by the middle finger of the left hand.
In this case, the netting-needle also consists merely in a narrow piece of
board scalloped at either end to receive the twine which is wound around.
But when at work upon large-meshed nets, our aborigines have recourse
to the picture frame-like wooden implement herewith figured.    This is
^l^M^Pti.-'jr / I
carved out of one piece and serves as a mesh-stick. It has replaced the
original wooden horse-shoe made of a bent twig. In this case a regular
netting shuttle is also resorted to. As this is in every particular identical
villi that common among white fishermen, it is but natural to infer that
it is here a borrowed article.  nets of our aborigines were originally of the fibre o! either*the
nettle {Urtica Lyatlii), the willow {Sati./longifolin) bark, or a species of 1892-93.]
wild hemp called /twono/ a in Carrier. The plants were carefully dried
in the house, crushed with the hands, and their fibres extracted by
pulling up with the right from the left hand, pressing the stalks down
on the ground. The shreds were then spun by twisting on the thigh.
Naturally this was the work of the women. Nowadays fine Holland
twine is used instead. ''
Though the skin of the beaver is occasionally used to make beaver-nets
.—as is the case when the animal is found so decomposed that its fur has
lost its value—yet such nets are generally of cariboo skin cut "in fine
strips called "babiche" in the parlance of such Indians as parade an
acquaintance with the dialect of the H. B. Co's. employees. J
Such is also the material of the t'/u/-on'kez'-* or packing bag of fig. 154.
This is to the men what the moose skin wallet (fig. 135) is to the'women.
It serves to carry to short distances light burdens such as a lunch, peltries
to the trading post, provisions for an unimportant journey, etc. ■ It is also
very commonly used as a game-bag. The above figure represents the
t'jupon'kez' such as is still made among the Ts£'kenne, and as it was
originally among the Carriers. But of late years the latter, having
learned from their missionaries to have a greater regard for the physical
weakness of the gentler sex and to do themselves at least a part of the
packing, use it for heavier burdens than -those for which it was originally
intended. This has rendered the rounded cord through which it is
carried uncomfortable. It is now replaced by a regular leather thong,.
which also runs round the rim of the bag. f
p M
*T/u/ means "rope," and the desinence of the compound word'kez, which implies ''direction,.
tendency" towards a place, is common to all packing devices.
[Vol. IV.
Dress and Personal Adornment.
It would be difficult at the present time to reconstruct in all its details
the national dress of the prehistoric Western Denes, if indeed there ever
existed any national or uniform costume for each and all of the
different tribes and sub-tribes under study. Sir A. Mackenzie, in his
account of the voyage of discovery he made in 1793 through part of
their territory, might perhaps enlighten on this subject the reader who
can have access to his narrative* Not enjoying this advantage, I must
content myself with what I hav'e learnt from daily intercourse with the
most reliable among the older Carriers.
Speaking of the dress of the Eastern Denes, the Rev. E. Petitot has
the following to say :—
" Outre la blouse de peau blanche a queues decorees de franges et de
breloqucs metalliques, qui fut le costume primitif des D£n£-Dindji6 et
que portent encore les Loucheux, ceux-ci, ainsi que les Peaux-de-Lievre
y joignent un pantalon de meme matiere et aussi richement orne, qui est
cousu avcc la chaussure. 11 est porte par les femmes comme par les
hommes. Les tribus plus meVidionales remplacent le pantalon par les
cuissards ou mitasses que des jarretieres retiennent aux jambes, et par un
pagne oblong d'une etoffe quelconque.
"La robe des femmes est tres courtc et ornee' d'une profusion de
franges, de houppes de laine, de vcrroteries et de breloques sonores- v
La chaussure generate est le mocassin, ou Soulier de peau molle qui
emprisonne et dessine le pied comme un gant le fait de la main. Durant
l'hiver le renne, le castor et le lievre arctique sont mis a contribution pour
fournir a 1'habitant du desert des vetements aussi chauds que legcrs et
That the dress of the Western Denes considerably differed from that
of their  Eastern   congeners  such  as  above  described  is  beyond   the
o j
possibility of a doubt.    And no wonder.    Being of an imitative turn of
Voyages from Montreal, on the river St. Lawrence, through the continent of North America,
to the Frozen and Pacific oceans ; in the years 17S9 and 1793, etc., London, 1S01.
t Monographic des Dene-Dlndjie, P> xxiv; Paris, 1S76.  TRANSACTIONS   OF THE  CANADIAN   INSTITUTE.
All the Western D6n6s wear mittens^which are made of the same
material as their mocassins. Even during the fair season, they will
never do any kind of manual work without having them on. They are
suspended to a cord of plaited yarn passing behind the neck and over
the shoulders, so that, even when they are not in actual use, there is very
little risk of losing them. The wrist-band is invariably ornamented with
stripes of blue and red cloth, together with colored ribbons, according to
the fancy of the wearer.
Gloves are now used, but were unknown in prehistoric times.
Instead of the hood common among their kinsmen of the Mackenzie-
Basin, the Carriers formerly wore a dainty cap^of marmot skin made in
this wise:—A band, some three inches broad, was cut from the skin with
the hair on and secured at either end so as to form a crown-like headdress. Over this was sewed-a circular piece of similar material leaving
out a brim of the same width as that of the band. This projecting part
of the skin was then slit into a fringe which rested gracefully on the
original head-band."
This description applies to the summer cap." The winter head-gear
consisted of a hemispherical bowl of woven rabbit skin strips without
fringes. • Both summer and winter, men and women wore the same style
of cap.
The summer dress of the- women did not n*ia^rially differ from that
of the mem" The tunic was simply longer and oftentimes ornamented
round the shoulders and back with a row of pendent cariboo and beaver
claws or teeth. For the sake of convenience a girdle also secured the
folds of that robe over the waist. They wore, and among the Carriers
continue to wear. leggingsJike the men.
During the cold season both sexes, but more especially the women on
account of the outdoor work to which they were subjected, added to the
foregoing a sort of small blanket of undressed skin of any small fur-
bearing animal which covered their breast from the neck to the waist.
This pectoral blanket was attached with strings behind the neck and
also secured by the quter girdle round the waist. We have already seen
that in olden times a swan's skin sometimes served an identical purpose.
The body was further protected against the inclemency of the season
by means of a large cloak of lynx skins sewed together and worn with
the hair outside. The more conservative half of the TsijKoh'tin tribe have
retained to this day the use of this fur cloak. But it is worn among
them with the hair next to the body, and the material is, as with t\ie
poorer Carriers, marmot instead of lynx skins.    The TsijKoh'tin women li?92-93.J
transform it into a sort of gown by t\ring it round the waist with a girdle
of leather, from which hang beaver nails or teeth, old thimbles or shells
of exploded brass cartridges which produce during their walk a jingiino*
sound much appreciated by the native ear.
Winter and summer, the members of the three tribes under consideration wrap their feet with square pieces of blanket, khc'-thol* which are
to them the counterpart of our stockings.
With the advent of the whites the dress of the Western Denes
gradually changed, until it became, what it is now, practically that of the
H. B. Co.'s people, with the few additions necessitated by the nature
of the former's avocation. However, skin coats identical with that
illustrated through fig. 145 are still occasionally met with, especially
among the Ts6'k£hne and Babine tribes.
The foregoing remarks, as I believe, will give a fair idea of the
aboriginal costume such as it obtained among the Western D6n£s, with-
out reference to rank or age. But, when treating of the natives' wearing
apparel, one should not forget that even their psychological ideas afc not
Without influence on its nature. We should remember that most dreaded
•creature, the pubescent girl. She was considered acnong the Carriers so
much of an itre d part, that she must constantly wear some badge to
remind people of her terrible infirmity, and thereby guard them against
the baleful influences which she was believed to possess. This consisted
in "a sort of head-dress combining in itself the purposes of a veil, a
bonnet and a mantlet. It was made of tanned skin, its forepart was
shaped like a long fringe, completely hiding from view the face and
X O O     ' X J O
breasts ; then it formed on the head a close fitting cap or bonnet, and
finally fell in a broad band almost to the heels. This head-dress was
made and publicly placed on her head by a paternal aunt, who received
at once some present from the girl's father. When, three or four years
later, the period sequestration ceased, only this same aunt had the right
to take off her niece's ceremonial head-dress."*f
The latter sentence applies to the daughter of untitled parents. In
case the maiden was of noble birth, the first anniversary of her entering
* "Foot-plat form." The native names of the different parts of the wearing apparel are herewith civen, as they may afford a clue, when considered from an etymolo'dcal standpoint, lo the
relative degree of importance or antiquity of the articles thereby denominated. I lead-gear of
any description, fsfj?; coat-or tunic, tzut; breech-piece, tsan ; girdle, se'; cloak (and blanket},
ts?t; leggings, khc-tsih (wherein-the-foot-is-passcd); mocassin, khc-strwH, or in composition khi
(synonymous with "foot"); pectoral blanket, pstsiehuz (that—being a soft stuff—which covers),
a verbal noun.
+ The Western Dane's; Proc. Can. Inst., 1SSS-S9, p. 162. 1G6
[Vol. IT.
upon her maturity witnessed the imposition, with befitting ceremonies
and the usual banquet, of a sort of diadem such as herewith figured.
The  ground  part of this was  a band  of
tanned skin which was fringed from about
Mi^MlliUllH !    \\   '/Ta      one inch and a half above the bottom up
^m^^H^WA     \W//j ■ _ . .
to the'top.    Each strand of that fringe was.
passed through a dentalium shell and then
sewed up at the top to an encircling strip
of skin.     As this crown was lower on the back than in front, shells of
different lengths were chosen according to the place they were to occupy,.
A lining of skin, with, or without the  fur on, was then added, and the
lower corners of the ends stitched together, as shown in the cut.    Upoa
crowning the maiden .with this shell diadem, the paternal aunt became
heir to the discarded bonnet with fringe and mantlet.
r m-
Both diadem and bonnet were articles of every day wear, and genuine:
ceremonial head-dresses.
Not only pubescent girls, but even such boys as were reaching the-
same stage of life had their fingers, wrists and legs encircled with rings.
or bracelets made of sinew entwined with down. Neglecting these precautions would have exposed the careless party to premature infirmities
and incapacitated the young man for the fatiguing exercise of the chase.
The Western Denes of the old stock, and especially the Carriers and
the Babines, were not wanting in articles of personal adornment. Among
head ornaments, they had the ear-pendants, the nose ring or crescent,,
the ni-Ko-din'a, the hair pendant, and, among the Babines, the labret.
"Two very distinct varieties of ear-pendants* obtained among the
Carriers. The first consisted in a bunch of four buckskin strings passed,
through pairs of dentalium shells and hanging from the- ear, as shown
in fig. 156. As soon as glass beads became known, some were inserted
between each of the two shells suspended from each hole in the ear. A
small beaver claw furthermore prevented the pendent shells and bead,
from slipping off. Several Indians still bear the marks of this now
antiquated pendant.
A different kind, which was still in honour but a few years ago, .but
is now likewise obsolete, is the haliotis pendant (fig. 157). The specimen
from which I have drawn fig. 157 was in actual use when obtained for
my collection. Pendants of this material probably affected various forms.
y ct  1  fear  that no other specimen  could  now- be found  among our
Tzok-uvl,    2nd. cat. 1S92-93.J
aborigines. Considering that fine shreds of sinew were formerly, as they
are to-day, common in" every native household, it would appear, judging
by the coarse line of buck skin appended to this "jewel" that very little
regard was entertained in olden times for the sensibility of the human
Fig. 157-
The dentalium pendant was proper to men, while the latter or haliotis
ornament belonged to the fair sex. With insignificant exceptions, neither
the men nor the women now wear any ear pendant or ring, except
among the Babines, whose toueza' or noblemen have adopted the silver
ear-ring,* proper to persons of similar rank among their alien neighbours,
the Kitiksons.
As among, the majority of savage or barbarous peoples, in contradistinction with civilized nations, the Western Dene's were formerly fond
of perforating their septum to introduce therein what they considered
wondrous ornaments. These might be divided into three different
categories: the crescent, the discoidal or cruciform pendant and the
silver ring.*f*
The two first ornaments are figured above, and were of haliotis shell.
The crescent was, of course, inserted to the middle through the hole I
•See Niblack's The Indians of the Northwest Coast, plate vi. fig. 13.
+ A11 the nose-pendants are called ui-spas, tu, a contraction of nih, "nostrils;" spas, the root
"-like." 16S
[Vol. VI.
the septum, the cusps hanging down. Others were contracted enough to
permit of being worn ring fashion with the cusps grasping the septum as
those of the ancient Peruvians.* I have seen Babine women wearing
through the septum a silver crescent of identical size with that figured
above. .
■ | i Fig. 158. Fig. 159.
I The circular nose-pendant (fig. 159) was placed in position by pressing
Jhe fore part of the septum  through  the  cusps formed by the deep
indentations carved out in the shell until the septum hole was reached.
The proximity of the points or cusps then prevented its falling off.
I As for the third variety of nose ornaments, it consisted in a silver ring
[which was more than once of ridiculously generous proportions. Indeed,
[if I am to credit my informants, this was, among the Babines, of such a
[size that one could easily eat through it.    I have never seen any.
I All the above nose ornaments were used indifferently by men or by
I women. A fourth, which it was the privilege of the women of rank to
•-wear was the ni-Ko-dtwa, or "passed through the septum."    Fig. 160 will
. /tl        * It       vil
Js\illtllrli'.'*•■• '•' \'M
•Jl'W- *! • 1 ' >V VV'J'l.*:•    •■• n 'H • •  . 'A
: ^)j>m     :^ ^^m
^s&   '»*&> kldf
Fig. 160.
explain its form, without doing justice to the material of which it was
composed.     Two pairs of dentalium shells, the small end of the one
*See "A  Study of the Textile Art,"  by W. H. Holmes, vi. Ann. Rep. Bur. EtRnol.,
NYashington, iSSS, I 237, fig. 343. 1S92-93.]
inserted in the large end of the other, were kept springing out, as it
were from the septum by means of a sinew thread running from end to
end of the shells and through the perforated nasal partition. The extremities of the " ornament" were adorned by a small tuft of the red
down of the head of the wood-pecker (Ceophleus pilcatus). This orna.-
nient was rarely exhibited outside of ceremonial gatherings.
It can already be inferred from the foregoing that the Western Denes
prized as much the dentalium (D. Indianorum) shells as their kinsmen
who now inhabit the Hupa valley, in California. That the esteem of the
-former for the red scalp of the wood-pecker is not confined to them may
be gathered from a perusal of Prof. O. T. Mason's " The Ray Collection
from Hupa Reservation."*
I; If
VK^n.'^'- <*-.y
Fig.  161.
Lastly, with a view to enhance their natural attractiveness bj
of extrinsical ornaments, the young men and young women a
on either side of their hair, a little above the ears, bunches of
decorated with dyed porcupine quills and beaver claws f 01
recently, holding glass beads of various colours sometimes en
copper buttons, as is the case with fig. 161.    Until a few years as
.1111 \L
o. tlv.
+ Nimpa-s'
'la, "they he on the face-edg^," a verbal noun.
II no
[VOI-  VI.
were to be seen occasionally Nin a  few remote places.     As all other
articles of native adornment, they have now completely disappeared.
In the course of his paper "On the Masks, Labrets," etc., W. H. Dall
gives the following definition of the labret. "The labret, among American
aborigines, is well known to be a plug, stud, or variously-shaped button,
made from various materials, which is inserted at or about the age of
puberty through a hole or holes pierced in the thinner portions of the
face about the mouth. Usually after the first operation has been performed, and the original slender pin inserted, the latter is replaced from
time to time by a larger one, and the perforation thus mechanically
stretched, and in course of time permanently enlarged."* As regards
the nature, mode and time of insertion, these words are in every way
applicable to the labrets*)- of the Babine sub-tribe. When these had
reached the maximum size which they were to retain for life, they were a
flat button, oval in circumference, at least one and a quarter inch long by
three-quarters inch wide, of a hard wood, commonly mountain maple
(Acer glabrum). The insertion of the tentative bone pin was the
occasion of special rejoicing and feasting. The women only were entitled
to this piece of ornamentation, and, as a rule, the higher the rank of the
wearer the larger the labret was to be.
So much for the head ornaments. Other pieces of aboriginal jewelry
of every-day wear were the tsi-ne/ihan, the tsi-vezdilya and, in later years,
the na-/than and the la-tcon. With the exception of the last, which is a
compound noun of the third category, all these words are verbal nouns
descriptive of the trinket thereby differentiated.
The two first mentioned were the Ddn6 necklaces. The tsine/than-
was obtained by boiling and splitting off a thin band of a cariboo horn,
which was given, while still pliable, the desired form. As an attempt
at ornamentation, geometrical designs were scratched with the stone
knife, over which a pinch of diluted red ochre was rubbed with the hand.
The colouring matter passed over the smooth surface of the horn, but
remained in the light furrowings which were thus brought into greater
prominence. This primitive method is still common among the Western
Dcn£s.    Charcoal, instead of vermilion, is sometimes used.
The tsinezdilya,\ was a necklace of dentalium shells which was
liable to affect different forms, as the shells were threaded in such a way-
as to fall over the neck or to encircle it lengthwise.    A similar necklace>
* Third Ann. Rep. Bureau of Ethnology, iSS.j , p. 76.
*i " JYi-ta-1 ke*zt wan (i.e. human)-lip-over."
J "That (a composite obiect) which is put around the head," i.e. the neck. *&$*! **<*M*-*M
but larger and worn resting over the shoulders and breast, was a bado-e
of the possession of shamanistic powers on the part of the wearer.
The tsine/than was of so primitive material that its adoption as a
means of personal adornment must have been rather early. Though the
material of the tsinezdilya was an imported article, this necklace could,
according to the following Carrier narrative, boast of an at least as great
antiquity, unless we assign a recent origin to the actual plumage of the
" Once upon a time, there was an old man who was blind. He had a
wife who used to help him in this way to keep alive: whenever she
sighted game, she would hand him his arrow to moisten the stone point
thereof with his saliva—for this old man was possessed of magic powers.
Then pointing the arrow in the direction of the game, she would let him
release it himself, which he usually did with good effect. One day,.both
came upon a very fat cariboo—"Moisten the arrow-head with your saliva,"
said the woman to her husband, which after he had done, he shot dead
the animal. But his wife, who coveted the fat of the cariboo and was
tired of living with a blind old man, pushed him aside, thereby throwing
him to the ground, saying: "That old fellow,f what a bad shot he is!"
—' But I think I have killed it/ insisted the old man. Yet as he was
blind, he could not get the game, and while searching for it, he strayed a
long distance from his wife who now abandoned him.
1 As soon as the old  man  was out of sight, she set to cut up the
O 1 XT
animal, helping herself at the same time to large fried slices of its meat..
What she did not eat on the spot she cut into thin pieces and hung out
to dry.
" Meanwhile the old man was bewailing his fate. In the course of his
aimless wanderings he had reached the shore of a lake, when a loon,
hearing his cries swam towards him as his kins are wont to do even now
whenever they hear anybody talking in the forest.—"What ails you"?'
he said to the man.—* Poor wretch that I am, my wife has left me, and
I am blind/ answered the latter.—j I will cure you/ said the loon; 'come:
over to me and hide your eyes in the down of the back of my neck. The
old man did as he was bid, and both the loon and himself plunged irii
the water. When they reappeared on the surface, they found themselves,
at the opposite end of the lake—' Now can you see'? quivered the loon-
ook at yonder mountain/ he added.    The old man complied with the:
request and answered : * I see a little, as if through a mist.    Repeat the
This tale is also cm rent among the 'iVi[i'oh'tin.
T J^netui- q.d.    The desinence of this word is expressive of Spite and scorn.
[Vol. IV.
operation/ Again did the loon dive with him, emerging this time at the
original point of departure. 'Now can you see'? asked the loon.—'I
now sec very well/ replied the old man wading ashore. Then to show
his gratitude to his benefactor he presented him with his own dentalium
shell necklace, and taking some more dentalium shells from his quiver,
he threw them* at him.
'j " Ever since, the loon wears a white necklace, and the shells which hit
him also produced the white spots we now see on his wings."f"
I   Now "that we are satisfied as to the great antiquity of the dentalium
;necklace, we will  leave the old   man   of the story to settle with his
unfaithful spouse, and  return to the description of the other articles of
^adornmentobtaining-among the Western Den£s.
The na-/than\ is the horri or metal wristlet which has already been
described and figured (see fig. 126).
As for the la-tcon || it is of modern origin,
and is an imitation of the ruffles of the
whites. As such, it is worn in winter time
as' a protection against cold. But many
Carrier or Tse'kehne girls nowadays wear a
variety of it merely as an ornamental
addition to their costume. To that class
belongs the la-tcon herewith figured.    It is
o o
. of glass beads of several colours mounted
on sinew threads.    The rosette in front is
made of narrow ribbons and a common mother-of-pearl button.
Fie. 162.
Ceremonial   Costume.
It has already been hinted that the ceremonial costume of the Carriers,
was very elaborate. When one keeps in mind their proximity to the
coast Indians who are so fond of parade and display, this statement cannot surprise. What would rather astonish those who have read a former
paper by the writer wherein the wonderful faculty of imitation
characteristic of the Carriers is chiefly brought into relief is the fact that
though the sociological peculiarities which gave rise to this costume were
evidently borrowed, yet the latter was, in the main, original. It was
proper to the toneza' and  the  fsekhuza' or  noble   men and   women.
* "Threw them" and " presented them " are rendered by the same word in Dene.
+ The loon of this story is the Urinatorpaei/icus of the naturalists.
% "That (being of a naturally long material) which is around."
BLit. "hands-stick." same word as that for "wrist."   ,   1S92-93.1
The cap is formed of two rows of dentalium shells attached to a strip of
cariboo skin otherwise secured to the above mentioned netting. A
narrow band of leather separates the two rows and serves to retain in
juxtaposition the shells whose threads are also passed through it at the
proper intervals. The train is of human hair and measures three feet in
length. Each strand is formed of about a dozen hairs twisted into a
two-ply cord. About one foot from the bottom, bunches of perhaps
fifty hairs in their natural condition are added to the end of each strand
by means of finely shredded sinew. Moreover, on the outside of the
upper part of the train, and forming continuation with the two rows of
•dentalia of the cap are bunches of four shells of the same description
from the united small ends of which hang flaps of artificially curled
human hair which add not a little to the general effect of the whole.
Altogether, this wig must have produced a striking effect.
The second (fig. 164) is of less complicated design, but of perhaps
more costly material. The front horn-like appendage is replaced by fine
strips of ermine skin, and the head-covering .part is likewise of dentalium
shells, of which there are three rows. These are gathered in bunches of
three, which are tied at the small end over heavy three-ply cords of
human hair terminating on the outside in flaps of curled hair, as in the
•previous case. The train is composed of fine three-ply strands of human
hair adorned, every three inches or so, with two dentalium shells in
-successive order. To retain these at the proper intervals, little pieces of
wood are inserted between the shell and the strand, or the latter is
wrapped over with sinew thread. This train is not so abundant in
strands, nor quite so long as that of the preceding wig.
These wigs were used in festal dances during which they were decked
with swan's down which, owing to the movements of the dancer, produced
white undulating clouds intended to add to the picturesqucness of the
The\' were held in such high estimation, that no consideration what-
ever could have induced their owner to part with them. The reason of
this will be readily understood when it is known that they formed an
integral part of the hereditary title of the nobleman. This is so true
that they shared with him the traditional name which they were intended
to honour. Thus wig, fig. 163, is called Kahul after its last possessor, who
■had himself inherited this name from a long line of ancestors. There-
fore parting with them was equivalent to forfeiting one's rank and title.
They were handed down from generation to generation, and this explains
the air of antiquity and quasi dilapidated condition of those in my
possession. / W
Fig. 164,  178
[Vol. IV.
Yfig. 166) wearing a headdress so much resembling the 'tast'ju that I
could not resist the temptation of reproducing it here with the author's
permission. This illustration being copied from a contemporaneous
monument, offers a very suggestive base of comparison with the ceremonial paraphernalia of our aborigines. Though the crown therein
jepresented must have been of some precious metal, it would seem that
the feathers or 'ta which have given its name to its American counterpart occupy an even more prominent place therein than in the D£ne
"-tast'm. gjf
The next important piece of the nobleman's ceremonial costume was
the yo-stotho/* or dentalium breast-plate (fig. 167).    It had the form of a
Fig. 167.    \ size.
Tounded crescent, and this particularity, no less than the costliness of the
material, was no doubt intended to indicate the dignity of the wearer. The
fitness of the dentalium as a means of ornamentation receives through
this breast-plate its best illustration. These shells, as is well known, are
larger at one end than at the other, and moreover are also slightly
arched. The former peculiarity causes of itself the curve of the two
broader rows of dentalia, while the latter likewise renders those of the
middle and of -the rim well adapted to the shape of the plate. The
whole is of course mounted on a ground of dressed cariboo skin. Its
two cusp-like extremities were clasped or knotted with rawhide strings
•behind the neck.
This article of personal adornment was valued at four dressed moose
h, if estimated at their present price,
skins 01
forty beaver skins, whic
would represent the sum of $200.
• 11
Disposed downwards and in parallel order," a verb. noun. 1S1»*2 93.] notes on the western denes. 179
Such was also the commercial valuation of the Kaz. This is the
ceremonial robe which I have elsewhere compared to the ntehil of the
Jewish high piiest. It was originally of tanned cariboo skin, but the
specimen in my possession (fig. 16S) is of an old-fashioned printed stuF.
Vet the tact of its main fringe being ornamented with porcupine quills
and here and there with hoofs of yearling cariboo is evidence of respectable antiquity, considering the progressive tendency of the race to which
belonged its maker. Exclusive of the lower fringe it measures 2 feet iyz
inches in length, and in its narrowest breadth it is 3 feet 4j4 inches.
The upper fringe is of red [yarn, while that at the edge of the garment
TO- •••<•'••• ' '•'^?Zr?t*.< - • V *A."A* •' ■ ■ .1 • *.',*i i: 't/Mf™-*£? • .NSL    '.vfl
l' 1-.m*$s•■■ -r^S^ ■'■•'■,?:•<?■• ■J7/;\\'CNS,;1i.>feM»''*V' K'VJs
fc'i. v vVx^s .K*^iM^^v-.v:V.sV--y?'n»' •• $--.•: • #3
Fig.  168.
•fivf'A -^"SK'^i* •".■"•A
^*¥%*:*Xv'/^A'" •'•">':*•:••
B*"iv.'. v '////'if> -■■ ' * •••" ■ •
1       I     H
3       ■*.       •
(fig. 169) is composed as follows:—Firstly, small rounds of red cloth
sewn on the printed calico, then two fillets respectively blue and red
running along the edge.    A narrow strip of tanned  skin is then sewed
*-' < 5 v_*» A.
on, from which hangs the fringe proper. The upper part of the strands
js wrapped with yellow or green porcupine quills, below which they are
left naked until they are connected together at hanging intervals by a
slender cord of sinew thread. After an equal length left uncovered, each
strand is passed through a dentalium shell, ending in a sewing thimble or
a cariboo hoof scalloped at the edge.
The lapels or side extensions at the top of the Raz are intended t
button  or  attach   it  behind   with  strings ;   for  though   the   garment
resembled a robe while in actual use, it was put on and worn as an apron
from the waist down.    Needless to add that the metallic ornaments of
[Vol. IV.
the lower fringe were well calculated to impress the bystanders by the
jiil^ling sound they yielded with the importance of the dancer.
The noblewomen wore no Raz, but substituted therefor the cincturelike piece of apparel shown in fig. 170. Though it resembles a girdle, it
was considered a breech-cloth.    Of course, being merely ornamental, it
it was almost entirely of
was worn over the dress.    It will be se
dentalium shells without any leather lini
M,f3iifi«Piffliiift^ I
• P^muuwitii^**
ml MU^
Fig. 170.
mUftl i I In il if ml Uu 1,
ml mill 1      is
..'-' Fig.  171.
As a complement to his costume, the tsneza* had his ceremonial'
Ystvonzos or fire-bag and ornamented quiver. I have never seen any
specimen of the latter; but from what we know of the other pieces of
festal attire, we may well imagine it glowing as the rest with the
ubiquitous dentalium shells and fringes The fire-bag shown above (fig.
171) is mainly of cariboo skin with glass beads stitched on the edges and
red and blue trimmings. It belonged to the original possessor of the
Raz already described and is therefore contemporaneous therewith. This
old man died five or six years ago at the age of 105 years or thereabouts.
The mocassins and leggings were also similarly ornamented on festival
occasions. Truly,tthe Carrier I nobleman," standing in the midst of an
admiring assemblage, crowned with the we
resplendent in the glory of his moon-lik<
folds of his sonorously fringed robe, with 1
Jo '
the left'and his jewelled quiver on the rigi
foot with snow white shells, must have be<
head-dress of his ancestors,.
breast-plate, clothed in the
shining fire-bag hanging on
and bedecked from head to
a sight worth beholding.
This is perhaps the proper place to me
dress which,though ceremonial in intent,
:ion another variety of heatl-
as not the appanage of titled 189M13.]
personages. I mean the shyas-kei{gr\Y.z\y-bca.v-c\ti\vs). Its name denotes
the nature of its material. These claws arc secured to a band of cariboo
.skin by means of sinew threads passed in a hole bored through their root
part. A double row of dentalium shells two lengths between each claw,
runs through their upper or slender half, ensuring by means of the sinew
thread on which they are mounted solidity for the crown and unity for its
component parts.
Mm /       iJ^
'I /
5 til
The grizzly bear is the lion of our mountains, and those who presume
to wear its.spoils thereby lay claim either to supernatural power or to
uncommon courage. Such are the medicine men or shamans and a few
untitled hunters too proud of their deeds and supposed prowess not to
parade them on every available occasion. Such then were the natural
possessors of this curious head-dress. I must add that the shamans did
not confine their extravagance to the wearing of this crown : the spoils.
generally the head, of any other wild beast, the wolf, the coyote {cams la-
trans) the black bear, etc., were also laid under contribution to help
to impress the bystanders with the awfulness of the powers they were
supposed to' be endowed with. But this was only while fin the act of
practising their occult art. 7
One peculiarity of the preceding cut cannot fail to strike the reader.
It is the mode of wearing the hair therein illustrated. This style was
common among the Carriers. When at home, or anywhere when in
repose, they had it plaited in a queue resting on the back* but when
travelling the}* found it more convenient to tie it up in a knot behind the
neck.    Both men and  women—except when widowed or in mourning 182
[Vol. IV
f. . 1 ^=
from some other cause—wore it full length and parted in the middle.
Clipping the- hair was a token of extreme grief or the badge of forced
Small tattoo marks will also be observed in the above figure, and not
without reason.     For   tattooing  was. formerly
. very prevalent among the Western Denes.    This
\     was  not, as  among   the   neighbouring  hctero-'
gencous tribes, confined to the chest or the arms
and legs, but it extended in every case to the
face as well.    Various designs were thus indelibly
stamped i but the face tattooing, consisted more
generally of lines, single or  parallel, radiating
from the mouth corners, on the chin, the checks,
i^^^^^f^^^^^h the forehead and occasionally, the temples.    Fig.
£> "^ 173 represents an extreme case.    Two women of
1   H . this' place—Stuarts   Lake—are   thus  tattooed.
Face tattooing had nothing to do with the totem crest, .personal or
gentile, of the bearer. c;-^|
When figures were attempted, they consisted of crosses, fishes, birds, fern
root diggers, etc., .in conventional outlines, all of which will be delineated
when I come to treat of the Dene* pictography.
The breast was also tattooed, but not so commonly as among the
Coast tribes. The figures marked thereon had generally a totemic
significance. A much coveted tattoo was the symbol of the grizzly bear
(fig. 195) the marking of which cost many a ceremonial banquet and
entitled the person thus honoured to exceptional regard.
The forearms, inwardly and outwardly, were more often the seat of
tattoo marks. When there situated, these referred as a rule to a personal
totemic animal revealed in dream, and the bearing of whose symbol was-
supposed to create a reciprocal sympathy and a sort of kinship between
the totem and the tattooed individual. Sometimes these marks on the
arms and legs were intended as a specific against premature weakness of
these limbs. In this case, they simply consisted of one or two transversal
lines on the forearms or immediately above the ankles which were
tattooed on the young man by a pubescent girl. These had about the
same significance as the sinew and down wristlets of which mention has-
already been made.
Tattooing was performed, as among other American tribes, by-
puncturing the skin with fine bone (or later steel) needles, and by passing,
underneath a sinew thread coated with crushed charcoal or soot. 1892-93.]
The  face was also   cither  painted   with   broad   lines   of red   ochre
alternating with black, or the checks only were made to receive a coatino-
o * «&
of rouge. Personal taste and fancy were the only rules followed. Youno*
persons were also fond of trimming their eye-brows to a diminutive width
after which they blackened them with charcoal. UN I
[Vol. IV
It-has already been stated that of the three tribes under consideration
two, the Carrier and the Tsi[Koh'tin, were semi-sedentary, while the
other, the Tse'kehne, was entirely nomadic. Consequent upon this
different social status was, of course, the nature and style of the
habitations proper to each. Thus the Carriers, whose social system was
very elaborate and whose staple food was salmon, had formerly no less
than five distinct kinds of dwellings, the ceremonial lodge, the summer
lodge, the fishing lodge, the winter lodge, and, among the southern half
\ of the tribe, the subterranean hut.
■A In common with the coast tribes whose social organization they had
largely copied, the Carriers had formerly, as well as now, regular villages
which they inhabited but part of the year.    But while the former chose
' the winter months to enjoy the sweets of home life, the latter were never
to be seen in their permanent dwellings except during the fair season.
This may easily be accounted for when we remember the differences of
climate. . The coast owes to its proximity to the ocean the comparatively
mild, if damp, weather it constantly enjoys, while east of the coast range
of mountains, the winters are usually very severe. Now, as among the
inland tribes, nobody, however wealth)*, sleeps in more than one blanket,
a large fire is kept in the lodge day and night, and so the amount of dry
woo.(La3^ulable in one place is soon exhausted. Since they are possessed
of carrying conveniences unknown in olden times, this necessity of shifting
one's abode from place to place is not so much felt. But formerly with
their limited facilities for felling trees and bringing the wood home, they
had to change every year their- winter quarters.
The permanent village was thus inhabited only during the fair season,
that is from the first week in May, when the grebes arrive, until'the
second week of September, after the family supply of salmon has been
secured. The villages are generally situated at the confluence of rivers,
or on the northern banks of lakes, so as to have the benefit of the sun's
rays from
lie opposite ski
In any case, the location is cl
losen m such
spots as seem to promise the greatest fishing facilities. They were
formerly composed of the ceremonial and the common summer lod^e^
As thescjiliffcr in plan and material from those illustrated or described
by writers on the coast Indians, I feel justified in giving herewith plans
and explicative details of both. li?92-93.] NOTES  ON  THE  WESTERN   DENES. 185
And first as to the ceremonial lodge {n'g. 174). It is so called from its
'•being the scat of ail large native gatherings, such as festival banquets,
•distributions, dances, etc.     It serves at the same time as the dwelling
/       /TV*.    -
Fig. 174.
house of the nobleman to whom it belongs and of such co-gentile
families as it can contain.. Its erection was the occasion of great
festivities and necessitated the accumulation by the future proprietor of
*. 1
. o
Fig. 176.
Fig- !75-
large quantities of eatables and dressed skins.    Following step by step
the progress of its building, which was diversified, as on the coast, by
intervals  of merry-making! and   feasting, we  will  proceed  to  a  brief
«s2*2 18G
[Vol. IV.
description of the lodge, the ground plan and front end of which will be
found in figs. 17$ and 176.
The main timbers of the building consist of the posts a and the beams
b, placed so as to form a parallelogram. The former are of spruce of as
large dimensions as can be found. After they have been cut to the
required length, they are hauled on skids to the place of construction.
Let me say here that as these posts—four in number—are the mainstay
of the house, they are regarded by the natives with feelings akin to
reverence which are furthermore excused by the circumstance of the
totem animal of the proprietor being generally carved in relief not far
from their upper end k. For this reason, the place of honour is at their
base and, in ceremonial gatherings, the noblemen were invariably seated
against them, surrounded by their co-gentile suite.
After the logs had been stripped of their bark, they were rendered as
smooth-surfaced as possible by means of repeated scrapings. When
standing in position, their longitudinal half was made to jut out of the
plank wall. Not uncommonly, they were also painted with red ochre,
when a mash of carp roe served as oil and was smeared over the posts
so as to prepare a sticking surface for the colouring matter. As a precaution against too early decay, the butt end of each was wrapped
around with birch bark prior to its being covered up with earth.
The head of these four posts or pillars is hollowed to receive two large
cylindrical beams or plates, b, which are cut a little longer than the length
of the future lodge, so as to let their ends project in front. Four
secondary posts of smaller size, c, are next erected on the outside of the
parallelogram at equal "distance from the first and form the corners of
the house. They likewise support on hollowed ends two smaller plates,
f over which the eaves of the roof are—to rest. The ends of two transversal beams of moderate dimensions,^*, the object of which is to further
solidify the structure and especially the gable walls, are then laid in a
j x * o \
notch cut out on these minor plates.     The foregoing pieces constitute
the frame of the building.
Once they are in place, the erection of the roof is proceeded with
As this is even to-day constructed on the same principle as formerly, it
deserves special mention. The rafters, //, are secured together at the top
of the roof by means of 'kou or wattle of high cranberry bush (Viburnum
pauciflorum) passed through holes pierced in the proper places. Over
these are tied with willow bark, at intervals of one or two feet purlines
which are then covered with spruce bark. This is secured in place
principally by means of additional rafters laid over it and pressed down 1892-93.]
by a long beam to which their lower extremities are attached (sec fig.
174). As a further guarantee of solidity, slender poles are finally inserted
between the bark roofing and the outside rafters. Of course an aperture
is left open in the top of the roof for the smoke to escape.
There now remain the walls to construct. They consist of hewn slabs
of spruce which were formerly shaved on the outside as smooth as the
working tools then available permitted. The lower end of these rude
planks was introduced in a channelling prepared therefor in the large
beams, d, lying on the ground, while their.upper end was engaged between
additional poles running under the eaves or along each side of the
Large lodges had generally two entrances, one at each gable end of
the building. Their lintel was formed by the transversal, beams, f and
they were shut by regular board doors as is practised to-day. However,
I have seen a ceremonial lodge whose doorways were simply cut in the
end walls some distance above the ground, and were elliptical, as marked
in outline in fig. 176. Such lodges were called horwd-ltaz-ydR, or "house
with cuts through."
There never were any windows in the old style lodges. Full
ventilation was K^p3vever established through the doors, the smoke hole-
and the numerous wall chinks consequent on the sinking in of the:
The fire-place was in the centre of the building, and fire was made
immediately on the floorless ground. Only two or three stones served
as andirons for the wood to lie upon. The family meat or fish was, and.
is still, commonly either roasted by means of a wooden spit passed
therein and stuck in the ground near the fire, or boiled in a kettle
supported over the flames through a long stick likewise driven in the
ground at a distance from the fire.
No shutter was used in connection with the smoke-hole as is done
among the Haida, nor was the floor covered with any boards.
The  sleeping  places  only were  strewn   with   spruce   branches
es  ana.
undressed skins, over which everyone stretched himself in his blanket
wiih most of his clothes on. All had their feet next to the fireplace,,
instead of each married person having them at the head of his or her
partner, as is common among the Blackfeet,* and the Eskimo.f
Legal, Les Indiens dans les plaincs de P Amerique du Nord, Peliles Annates O.M.J., Paris,
.i After Rod. MacFarlane, Esq., who has passe
(1 several years ainon"- those aboriciin 188 TRANSACTIONS  OF  THE  CANADIAN  INSTITUTE. [VOL. IV..
There was in the lodge no partition whatever.
Sometimes related families found themselves too numerous to dwell
all under one roof. Rather than cohabit with people of a different gens,
they would then build for themselves the smaller summer lodge (fig. 177).
Ouite a number of these old fashioned buildings are still extant. They
differ considerably from the large ceremonial lodge: instead of four inyos-
tc9n or principal upright posts, they have only two, one in the middle of
each gable end.    To facilitate the semi-circular hollowing of their upper
:lf   C
Fig. 177.
ends, these are previously thinned on each opposite side into a tapering
edge (fig. 177 £). Four inyos-sol or secondary uprights, c, stand in the
corners of the lodge. As the walls are to be superimposed poles, minor
posts or stakes, d, are planted in the ground in pairs on each side of the
wall whenever this is necessary to prevent the latter from tumbling down.
After the posts of the walls have been inserted between the two opposite
posts they are furthermore secured thereto, three or four together, by
means of willow bark ropes. Such unimportant habitations have
indifferently one or two entrances, generally without any door. Their
apex is formed as in the preceding case by the transversal piece, e, which
rests on each end of the eaves-plate. When two doorways exist, one will
be on the right, the other on the left, of the main upright post in the
O ■ * X O X
middle.      ,
The roof is in every respect similar to that of the ceremonial lodge.
Speaking of the latter, I failed to mention that the eaves project a
considerable distance from the walls.
A few ceremonial lodges were also built on the same plan as the minor
dwelling houses. Their material was identical, save that instead of poles
hewn planks formed the walls. In that case the totem crest was carved
out of the protruding end of the top plate (fig. 188).    A few even had 1892-93.]
only one doc
r.    The place of honour was then just opposite the door as
the B
Another variety of Carrier dwelling which is inhabited only d urine
thal-lo-ilrdn% or the salmon season, is the fishing lodge. In general
appearance it resembles the summer dwelling lodge just described, but
.is, if possible, more rudely constructed. Its ground plan is identical
but it wants the gable end walls above the transversal beams. The large
openings consequent thereupon leave free access to the wind and air
and thus accelerate the drying of the fish which are suspended on cross
poles resting transversely • on the top sticks of the side walls. By
exception, a few of these lodges have the apex of their front adorned
with the carved totem crest of the proprietor. It may be remarked that
these fishing lodges are not mere sheds for the exclusive destination of
smoking and curing fish : they serve also as dwellings for the fishermen
during the whole space of time that they are used.
We now come to the winter lodge of the Carriers. We have already
seen that, at least among the upper Carriers, new winter quarters were
chosen every year in such spots of the forest as pron. """ed to yield the
best supply of firewood. These habitations were therefore of a merely
temporary nature. Yet they were carefully built, the greatest attention
being always paid to the comforts of those about to winter therein.
They were original in construction, and deserve a full description.
On these parallel plates split poles of spruce or cotton wood were made
to recline in a slanting position so as to form a roof without walls, the
split side resting immediately on the beams. To ensure additional
solidity, the lower end of each stick was slightly driven in the ground, or
covered up with earth. The middle ones were purposely shorter, so as
to form a smoke hole in the top. A covering of spruce bark was then
added, each piece of which was steadied by means of independent sticks
resting thereon. |
There now remained the gable ends. As with the other styles of native
buildings, a thapa-so'a or transversal beam {c of fig. 179) was laid on the
side plate, b. Slender posts or stakes were next planted on the same
plan \n an upright position to fill in the end of the lodge the
front. Fascines of spruce boughs or saplings were moreover laid against
this wall on the outside, and all possible interstices were carefully chinked
up by forcing in shoots of conifers.
The front end was more complicated. As comfort and warmth were
the chief aims of the builders, the structure had but one entrance. This
was obtained by introducing immediately under the apex of the gable
down to the transversal plate a broad slab of spruce securely wedged
between the wall posts or stakes driven in the ground. The aperture left
free underneath constituted the doorway. - This was shut by an independent board just a shade narrower, so as to move easily. It was
suspended by means of a .--tout rope, and£o go in or come out you need
only push it ahead of you ; its own weight would cause it to return to its
original perpendicular ^-^ion, and thus only a minimum of cold air
would steal in the bull i "r.:j. As a further precaution against the inclemency of the season, ::. -- front end of the lodge was provided with
a semi-circular door-yard with an additional door. This sort of native
atrium resulted from a r: jrr.ler of heavy poles or posts being made to
rest at their small end ■::: the gable wall, while their lower extremity
described a half circle or. the ground. The whole was then covered with
brush. The outer door.vv.* vas shut with some worthless skin with the
hair on, while the grc-r.d within the enclosure was strewn over with
small branches of Conifers, generally spruce. This enclosure, besides
contributing to render the hut warmer, served also as a kennel for the
dogs and as a bathroom fvr the old men. Its native name was pon-tsi/
(a word of the third cate y.ry of nouns).
In the ground plan, ||| :*"':', the space between the uprights and the
corners of the lodge is g,. :\osely partitioned off. It forms what was
known as the 'ki\nt'/at isziz? 2 or corner store, the sides of which consisted  mainly of rough'./ ht"'ri boards set up to the height of three or 1892-93.]
four feet. Therein the family impedimenta were stowed away, and the
number of such depositories generally corresponded to that bf the
cohabiting families.
A totally different style of winter dwellings obtained among the
TsiiKoh'tin and, through them, among the Lower Carriers. This was
the t/izKs'u or semi-subterranean hut. It had been borrowed from the
two tribes' neighbours in the south and southeast, the Shushwap. Dr. F-
Boas has already given * the plan and description of one which is
probably of a representative character, while more lately Dr. G. M.
Dawson has furnished us*j* with an example of a different style observed
by himself among the Shushwap. None of these however tallies in point
of construction with the t/izKou of the Lower Carriers such as it existed
among them some forty years ago. From information gathered from an
^ye-witness, I am enabled to give the following account of those constructed at Fraser Lake and Stony-Creek.
Fie*, i So.
'//AV If/
Fig. ii>i.
After an excavation some three feet deep and about 20 feet in diameter
had been made, the butt ends of four large beams were made to rest a
* Sixth Report on the X.W. Tribes of Canada, figs. 20 and 21, Leeds Meeting 1J.A.A.S. 1S90.
+ Notes on the Shushwap People of JJ.C.; Tra
R.S.C. Sect. II.
1, 1S91. 192
|V0L. IV.
little distance from the brim, on the original surface of the ground, while
the beams converged with their small ends raised five feet or thereabouts
to a ^point above the excavation, which was to become the door and
smoke hole of the hut. These timbers were held up by means of /our
short pieces of wood, the end corners of which were wedged or locked in
those of the larger beams, as shown in fig. 1S0. The aerial square orifice
resulting from this combination was the doorway of the building. No-
other timbers were added to this frame-work, save that to further
solidify the structure, two, or in larger huts, three, stout posts, c, forming a
right angle with the main beams were planted in the floor with their
upper ends notched in the beams, over which split poles were laid
horizontally up to the top or rather the door.* This roof was then
covered with earth. An Indian ladder—that is, a log notched at the
proper stepping intervals—was the means of communication with the
These huts were very comfortable, and but little fire was needed to-
keep them warm. From the TsiiKoh'tin names of the months we learn
that they were occupied from October-November, but how long cannot
be ascertained from that source. If we are to judge from a'myth current
among the same tribe, it would seem that these subterranean dwellings
were, in olden times, spring as well as winter homes, since they are
mentioned therein as being inhabited as long as the root digging season
The habitations of the Tse'kehne, whether in winter or in summer,'are
built after the eastern or conical model. Four long poles with forking
extremities are set up one against another, the lower ends of which form
on the ground a square on the dimensions of which will depend the size
of the lodge. A score or so of other poles are then set up in a circle.
the top of each-resting on the point of intersection of the first four. In
winter, small fascines of spruce are laid horizontally all around the lower
perimeter of this frame, so as to leave as few points of access as possible
for the cold air from underneath the outer covering, which is then wrapped
around the cone resulting from the converging poles. This covering
consists of dressed moose skins sewn together, and its perpendicular
edges correspond,to the entrance of the lodge. They are either buttoned,
or clasped together from four or five feet above the ground up to the top.
On one side of the opening thereby produced is sewn a smaller skin,
which form the door. Two sticks attached transversely thereto on the
inside give it the requisite consistency, while the upper one, which slightly
projects beyond the edge of the skin door, serves as a latch, its projectmg^
in the accompanying cuts, minor Jogs were however added to the main timbers, so-
as to facilitate the roofing of the hut. 1892-93.]
end being, when necessary, fastened with a string to the adjoining part
of the lodge covering. The smoke escapes through the interstices
between the converging poles left uncovered  at the top.     To guard
O 0        X X s.»
against snow, rain or adverse winds, an additional piece of skin is sewn
on the outside from the apex of the conical covering down to some
distance, while its free side is secured to a long pole planted in the ground
close by. This appendage is utilized as a shutter wherewith tlie top
opening of the lodge is partially or entirely covered, as the state of the
weather may suggest.
The summer lodge of the Tsd'kehne has sometimes two entrances, and
in this case  the  outward   covering  generally consists   simply of two
blankets or skins stretched over the frame poles, one between each door>
The upper half of the cone is thus left uncovered,
Summer and winter, the fire is started right in the centre and, instead
of the wooden tripod used among the Blackfeet to suspend their kettles,*
the Tse'kehne prefer a stick reaching horizontally at the proper distance
above the fire to two opposite poles of the frame to which it is fastened.
Carriers, TsijKoh'tin and Tse'kehne, nowadays more generally use,
during their summer travellings, either cotton tents, or shelters composed
of three or four sticks thrust slantingly in the ground, over which a sheet
of cotton or canvas is spread. The latter style of shelter was probably
the only one known among them prior to the introduction of European
textile fabrics, save that, of course, a moose skin replaced the canvas or
cotton sheet.
Of course the child of the forest, when in his primitive state, can boast
the possession of no artificial means of reckoning time or measuring; long
distances. But Dame Nature provides him with a seldom failing standard
measure in the shape of the sun, the course of which is familiar to him,
no matter how far he may have swerved from beaten paths. Long distances
are determined by the number of camps, and shorter ones by the position
of the sun in the heave
The sun serves also as his watch by davtime,.
and its bearings are easily taken in by the native mind.   After it has 1
his pine-clad  mountains to illuminate unknown worlds, the aborigine
again looks up above to ascertain how long he will be deprived of its
*■* J. O x
beneficent rays. The Great Bear then becomes to him the hands of a
God given clock, and the distance it has travelled around its axis, the
polar star, over the dial which we call the heavens, is very seldom, if ever,
misreckoned. The Western Denes are familiar with a few constellations
which are, as among us, called after mythic personages;  but none is-
'Rev. E. Legal, loco eita
no. 194
[Vol. IV
so widely known as Yihta, the Great Bear. We have already seen'the
role it plays in the story of the Gambler; I must be pardoned for
reproducing here another legend wherein it is to be recognized under a
different garb, but playing a no less important part. As will soon appear,
if fable it is, sociologically speaking, it is a fable with a moral.
? There was a young man who was impatiently awating the return
of daylight to set out. on a hunting expedition. Again and again he
would look up at Yihta, and in his impatience he exclaimed : * That old
Yihta,* how slowly he walks!' Very soon after having uttered these
words, he left for the chase.
*' He had not gone far before he became aware by the barking of his
•dogs that they had scented game. After what appeared to him as a run
of but a few moments, he overtook his dogs, and lo 1 sitting on a log
was a man of beautiful countenance, carefully painted in red stripes over
the cheeks, and holding a walking stick in his hands. He had a malicious
.smile on his face, so that the young man felt abashed in his presence
and afraid to approach him. ! Come on,' said the stranger who was no
other than Yihta, 'come on, young man. So you laugh at me and say
that I walk too slow ? Now learn that to reach me you have travelled
a very long distance, since to help you I have contracted the surface of
the earth. Go back then to your home, and take this staff to aid you on
your long journey. Whenever you want food, hold it perpendicularly
on the ground, then drop it and observe the direction in which it falls :
© ' x
if it falls in the direction of the northern wind, do not go that way, for
there famine is awaiting you. If it falls towards the setting sun or
towards the rising sun, go either way and you will find bears to kill, both
male and female. Do likewise when you feel uncertain as to the direction
of your house; and when you get home, hang the staff up in the
branches of a tree. Above all, beware lest a woman having her menses
catch sight of it.'
"At these words, the young man took the walking stick without how-
ever giving much credence to the stranger, for he believed his home was
but a short distance from where he stood. Yet these words were literally
fulfilled, and during his long peregrinations, amidst incessant fatigues
and ever recurring privations, the young man owed his life to his careful
t>    ST ' J O
observance of the stranger's directions. Many were the years he
travelled, and  he seemed  to get a glimpse of his lodge several days
* O O X O ¥
before he really reached it.     When he finally got home, he was an old*
man with hair white as snow, and his lodge was crumbling down through
age and decay."
* Nt?n Yi/ila'qyll   Expressive of scorn. 1892-93.]
From this short Carrier myth, the sociologist will learn that:—Firstly,
the observation of the Great Bear as a means of reckoning time was a
national custom among Carriers. Secondly, the heavenly bodies were
regarded as quasi divine powers which it is wrong to speak lightly of, a
deduction which might easily be proven to be legitimate by other points
of Carrier psychology. Thirdly, to look handsome, a Carrier of the old
stock must paint his face. Fourthly, the Carriers had a correct idea of
-the immensity of the universe. Fifthly, the injunction not to travel in
a northern direction might perhaps be interpreted as a reminiscence of
the tribe's migrations southwards. Sixthly, a woman having her menses
is legally impure, and must be deprived even of the sight of any object
endowed with magic powers. Lastly, more than one of those writers
who are so fond of parallelisms between American mythologies and the
Biblical narrative will no doubt be tempted to compare the beneficial,
fpod-giving and road-finding staff of the young traveller with the
marvellous miracle working wand of Moses which, during similarly lifelong peregrinations, opened the way and found water where none was to
be seen. ' This suggestion, however, is given for what ft may be worth,
and I must leave it to others to decide whether it is not too far fetched.*
Now that we have extracted morals enough from our fable, we revert
to the description of the few items which still claim our attention.
If my information is reliable, there were formerly no fortified villages
among the Western Den£s. One should not however infer from this that
there was no warring among them ; on the contrary, I think I am
warranted in stating that atonement by compensation for losses of life,
even involuntary or accidental, was much less practised here than oh the
Coast. But hostilities were seldom of so general a character as to involve
whole villages, though some such cases are recorded in the traditions of
the tribes. More commonly they were restricted to two different gentes,
and their cause may have been the killing of a man openly or, as was
supposed, through the black art of the shamans. In the latter case, the
dying person usually revealed the name of the magician to whom he
attributed his death, and nobody dreamt of questioning the truth of his
would-be revelation. Naturally, more than once personal grievances
must have been thus avenged. The cognate families of the real or
fancied murderer would then expect reprisals at the hands of the co-
gentile families of the deceased, and they would erect, generally in
secluded spots of the forest, what was called poR-pa-yoR or 1 a house for
The TsiiKoh'tin possess a different tradition, the principle hero of which works innumerable
marvels with the help of a magic wand which they call V^R, a word not employed to designate
any other kind of wand or staff. 19f>
[Vol. IV
the war." This primitive fort consisted of a log-house as solid as possible
under the circumstances, with a strong log roofing, over which a square
breastwork of small diameter was built with the same material. If not
taken by surprise, the besieged shot at their assailants through loop-holes
pierced in this rude stronghold, the existence of which was concealed by
fascines of coniferous branches piled on the roof up to the top of its
walls. Similar portholes were also cut in the walls of the house itself
for service in case of a sudden attack. As a further protection against
such a contingency, an addition with a second door was always made to
the front end of the house. Frequently a building similar in appearance,
but really of no strength whatever, was erected in close proximity so as
to deceive the enemy and give time during an attack on the wrong work
to the besieged to prepare for the defence. The only Dene* "fort" I
have ever seen was constructed just as described, but wanted the roof
! ,;:?!
•    ,1
An indispensable adjunct to the native dwelling house is the tsa-tcori*
or provision store. There is stowed aWay the dried salmon, which is the
daily bread of both Carrier, and TsipCoh'tin. But while both tribes
practically live on the same diet, their store houses very materially differ
in construction. Fig. 182 is the Carrier
tsa-tcoh which, as may be seen, is an
aerial building. The distinctive characteristics of all these provision stores are
faithfully reproduced in the cut; but
their minor details nowadays vary not a
little. • I have chosen for illustration
that which approaches nearer to the
traditional type. It consists of two
parallel frames planted upright in the
ground, the component parts of which;
are furnished in the middle with transversal beams upon which rests the
floor of the tsa-tcon proper. With the exception of the front end, the
whole is made of heavy pdles superposed one upon another or laid in
close juxtaposition, as the case may be, and fastened to the frame of the
building by means of 'kon or high cranberry bush wattle. The front end
is entirely of boards. All the wall poles being laid with their larger ends
in the same direction, a slight inclination results at the top, which constitutes the roof of the building. This is furthermore covered with,
spruce bark.
Wi, 1S2.
Literally :  "beaver-stick."    I can see no reason for this etymology. 1S92-93/)
The tsa-tcon of the TsijKoh'tin are not so elaborate, since they are
nothing else than small and very rude, though
solid, log huts built right on the ground (fin
183) and, as a rule, quite a distance from the
regular village, while their Carrier counterparts are generally very close to the habitations.
-The Tse'kenne have nothing to do with salmon, and consequently
the need of provision stores is not so urgent among them. Yet when
they happen to be blessed with an abundance of dried meat and wish
to preserve it for future use they erect sorts of scaffoldings immediately
against the trunk of a tall tree which are to them the equivalent of the
•Carrier tsa-tcon. These consist of two long, heavy sticks crossed and
firmly bound to the trunk of the tree at their point of intersection, while
their ends are secured to some stout overhanging branch by means of
strong ropes. Rough boards or split sticks are then laid across this frame
which form a floor over which the meat or any other eatable is deposited,
-carefully wrapped over with skins or spruce bark. Even the bear cannot
get at those caches without previously demolishing their floor, which is
practically impossible.
The careful observer who would take a fancy to travelling along our
•chief salmon streams could not fail to notice, in some spots immediately
over the banks, numerous excavations or pits which betray an artificial
■origin. These are all that remain to-day of the salmon cellars of the
prehistoric Carriers. Aerial stores were then as now the regular family
larders ; but not unfrequently the natives of the old stock preferred to
cache down their fish in temporary cellars which had the advantage of
keeping it fresher than the common store-house.    A matter of taste as
x O
regards the salmon itself, this caching down in the ground became a
necessity relatively to its roe, which was buried, wrapped in spruce bark,
until it had reached an advanced stage of putrefaction, when it was
relished by the native palate as the ne plus ultra of delicacy.
The last item more or less connected with aboriginal habitations is the
sweat-house or sweating-booth.* According to Dr. G. M. Dawson, this
usually consists, among the Shushwap, " 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,
* Tsi'&l,  "stone-hot," a word of the third category,
\y 19S
and upon these, after carefully closing the apertures, the occupant porsu
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 in the cold water."* One single point—rand that a very
unimportant one—differentiates the sudatories of the Carriers from those
of the Shushwap: I mean the covering, which among the former is of
spruce bark. Here, as further south, these sweat-houses are invariably to
be found near a stream or lake; but the reason of this is merely that our
Indians never dwell away from the water, for I have never heard of a
Carrier taking a cold bath immediately after his steam bath. It may
also be worth mentioning that, more often than otherwise, steam-bathing
was originally practised for quite other than sanitary motives. It was
quite commonly prompted by a desire on the part of the "patient" to
ensure success during a forthcoming hunting or trapping tour, or to atone
through this penitential act, for any transgression, wilful or involuntary,
against the traditional laws and customs of the tribe.
♦Notes on the Shushwap People of British Columbia; Trans. R.S.C. Sect. II., 1891, P. 9. 1892-93. J
Monuments and Pictography.
A search for " monuments" among such a primitive people as the
Ddnd cannot be but unproductive of satisfactory results. Indeed,
throughout the whole territory of both the TsiiKoh'tin and the Tse'kehne,.
work  is  now  extant  which   could, with any degi
' Jo
appropriateness, be classed under that head. Even such as may now be
seen among the Carriers are—barring funeral monuments—exceedingly
scarce. All of them may be reduced to two distinct categories : wooden,
carved monuments, and painted or drawn monuments. Hence the two
divisions of this chapter: carved monuments and pictography.
Carved Monuments.
Genuine carved monuments are to-day very few, and seem to have
always been so among the Carriers. Indeed so scarce are they that every
one of those now extant will easily be illustrated herewith. I shall pass
over the totemic columns of the Hwotso'ten which are still in a good state-
of preservation, for the reason that their carving and erection were the work
of their exogenous neighbours, the Kitikson, whose nearer village stands
hardly three miles off. Those monuments are merely witnesses to the
influence exercised by outsiders over a very unartistic race, and the
custom of erecting them had not been adopted by the main bulk of the*
Carrier tribe. This cannot be said of the famous commemorative
mortuary columns so common all over the North Pacific Coast, and
which had been appropriated as far inland as the boundaries of the
Ts£'k£hne territory. All of these have long disappeared, with tl
exception of the two herewith represented, which I sketched ten years
ago at "Trak, a village site among the Nutca'tenne, the population of which
is now extinct. These columns are a further corroborative evidence of
my  thesis, viz.,  that   the  Dene  race  has no   eye   for  the  beautifiU.
Compared with those of the Coast Indians, they stand in the relation of
an undeveloped embryo to the matured being. As is well known among.
Americanists, such works served as depositories for the few remaining
charred bones of the deceased, and were erected in close proximity to the
village. The two specimens figured below are rather plainer than the
average mortuary column of the Carriers
informants,  the totem  crest of the deceased was gencrallv I ^ifltal!!!!!*
midst of the graves of Tsa-yu-ne, one of the native gentes, the chief
totem of which is the beaver. It was, of course, erected in pre-Christian
times.    Such is also the case with regard to the grave shown in fig. 1.86, Fig. 186.
f -fig. 185.
I In fig. 187 the totem crest of the old days has been replaced
Christian symbol which now appears over all the native Dene*
These monuments affect a multitude of forms and designs, thoi
ya.M-—*v*' -^--   n^^//A\
ifcr,- ,-r
:. ) V   ^ivx.'iiHP?
PF Ui/}'t^'f,////Wr4\-   f    -l&zQ*^-^* Hill
Fig. 187.
far the greatest number of them resemble, in a general way, tha
with illustrated.    It is over a late grave, and is painted in several
See the map affixed to my paper; Are the Carrier Sociology and Mythology ind
etc.?   Trans. R.S.C. Sect. II., 1S92.
14 *>no
[Vol. i
colours, the severity of the black and white of the rubrics being
repugnant to the native taste which sees in such works no monuments.
of grief or sorrow, but rather affectionate tributes to the memory of the
dead which it behooves one to make as showy as possible. This explains
why some of them are so absurdly large, sometimes graves, even of
children, being covered with ""monuments" affecting the shape, and
almost the dimensions, of rectangular cart-sheds.
' o
To the above let us add the wooden totem crest ornamenting two
native houses and we will have the sum total of all the carvings now to
be seen throughout the whole territory of the TsiiKoh'tin, the Carriers
and the Tse'kehne.    Of these sculptures, the first only (fig. i88j can.
^f^-*c*sH?i*^ M*3
I        i ijiiit'    i _     ii        ik-1*4.
Wf!.njB *
Fig. 188.
boast a few scores of years. It represents a raven standing over the
head of some marine animal—possibly the orca. The reason of this incongruous coupling may probably be seen in the fact that the inhabitants
of the place wherein the totems are to be found are of mixed parentage.,
as they have considerably intermarried with their western neighbours, the
Bilqula. The last carving (fig. 1S9) is quite modern. The owl thereby
represented has been carved out of a balsam poplar tree {Populus
balsamifcrd) and adorns the front gable end of a fishing shanty at the
J J 0 o J
outlet of Lake Stuart.
References to the totems and gentcs of the Western DtSntSs have been
• frequent in the course of this monograph, and, especially in view of what,
remains to be said in the latter part of .this chapter, some more detailed,
information concerning them may be found acceptable. 1892-93.]
F. G. Frazer, the principal authority on Totcmism, says : " Considered
in relation to men, totems are of at least three kinds: (i) The clan
totem, common to a whole clan, and passing by inheritance from generation to generation ; (2) the sex totem . . . ; (3) the individual totem,
belonging to a single individual and not passing to his descendants."*-
S; •«*5\
• r 'H\yy^-1 ■&•*>■ K?-^^-^:
Fig. 189.
Of the sex totem I know practically nothing, as it does not obtain
amo lg our Indians; but to these three varieties of totem I can add a
fourth, which I shall call the honorific totem, and of which a full explanation will be found further on. The individual or personal totem is
well known as being some material object or being, most generally some
animal, ordinarily revealed in dreams to a person who is bound thereafter
to look upon it as sacred and to be especially revered and protected..
In return for this reverence on the part of the person, the totem is
believed to particularly help and powerfully protect its human relath"0,
as the individual is supposed to be. As for the clan totem, any reader
of Americana is too familiar with it to be in need of any definition or
explanation. One totem generally—though not always—corresponds to
one clan or gens, so that the former and the latter are very often in equal
numbers. Fourgentcs obtain among the Carriers, of all which I herewith
submit the native names, together with those of their respective totems..
The Grouse.
The Beaver.
The Toad.
The Grizzly Bear.*f
Totemi^m, Edinburgh, 1SS7, p. 1.
"•Judging from fig. iSS, it would seem that the crow or raven is regarded as the totem of some-
Clan among the Lower Ca
It is not known here in that capacity 2(H
[Vol, IV.
With the exceptio
words are untranslat
heterogeneous tribes
r Tsa-yu, which means " Beaver-medicine," those
2 and are probably imported from among the
n which the whole system is undoubtedly derived.
The first gens, "jt'sar.'.'jc-yu, is by all odds the most powerful among the
Carriers, while the tv> last named are considered as having a sort of
affinity which entitle* ::ie members of each to mutual consideration and"
protection. The na;-: of the latter, Tom'ten-yu in Babine, is changed
to Yjivon-pa-hwo'tcniu * among the Carriers proper.
In great native festivals, the totem of the celebrating clan was carved
and exposed at the cbor of the lodge so that every exogentile incomer
may have an opport'j" 'iy of presenting it with anything of value which
he may intepd for the givers of the feast with the tacit, but well-known,
understanding that It re subsequently paid for by a donation of at least
equal worth. Even the public naming of one's gentile totem by a
member of a differer.: clan demanded the gift of a blanket, a piece of
dressed skin, or any .*_:ticle of wearing apparel, so that the crest may not
remain ignored and the whole gens thereby dishonoured.
An important sociological peculiarity which I have nowhere else noted
claims attention in !>:s connection. The clan totem is called notsi in
Carrier. But beside tM notsi there existed here another kind of totem
which I have m med "the "honorific totem." It was personal and did not
pass to one's descendants, though it differed from that revealed in dreams-
Its native name was shon-'koh, a compound word which may be freely-
translated by "rite."   It was voluntarily assumed with an accompaniment
I by any titled or untitled individual who wished
standing.     It entitled the owner to special con-
O x
j latter could on that account lay claim to the
ag grounds nor to the exalted rank which was the
* noblemen " or toneza\ In a word, those honorific
; of middle class, the bourgeoisie of the Carriers.
1 varied, and, with the exception of one, they
*uch a way that those proper to one could not be
of another.    Here are those now remembered by
of befitting cere mom
to advance in social
sideration, though t.
possession of no hun-
strict property of the
totems created a s:
They were many a
followed the clan in
assumed by a memb;
the natives :—    •
To the ""jt'somoc-y
Weasel, the Wind, I
of Stones," and the
Of those pertainir
belonged the Owl, the Moose, the Full Moon, the
■ Crane, the Wolf, the I Darding Knife," the " Rain
rook Trout.
the Tsayu or Beaver gens, only the Mountain
Goat is now rememr:red.
" Inhabitants of the
\ 1892-93.]
The Yosilyu had the Sturgeon, the Arrow, the Porcupine, the
Wolverine, the Red-headed Woodpecker, the Cattle and the Tdlt*s&, a
kind of fabulous animal resembling a gigantic toad, with large, bulging
My informants know of only the Goose as belonging to the Tom'tenyu
Another honorific   totem  or crest  was  called   Sonna/,  a   word   of
extraneous origin.    The exact nature of this cannot now be defined, as   «
the mimicking accompanying its exhibition is but vaguely remembered.
AH that is known for certain is that it was very highly appreciated and,
as a rule, it was the appanage of the notables exclusively.    For here I
.must remark that even the notables or noblemen were not debarred from j
■assuming one or more of the different  honour crests proper to their?
;gens. |
Lu/em is another word of forigin origin which designated the Bear asi
an honorific totem.*    It could be assumed by anybody, irrespective of
clannish differences. ~ |
The connection of the individual with his crest appeared more
especially during ceremonial dances, when the former, attired, if possible,
with the spoils of the latter, was wont to personate it in the gaze of an
admiring assemblage. On all such occasions, man and totem were also
called by the same name. The adoption of any such "rite" or crest, was
usually accompanied by initiatory ceremonies or observances corresponding to the nature of the crest, followed in all cases by a distribution of
clothes to all present. Thus whenever anybody resolved upon getting
received as Lu|em or Bear, he would, regardless of the season, divest himself of all his wearing apparel and don a bear skin, whereupon he would
dash into the woods there to remain for the space of three or four days
and nights in deference to the wonts of his intended totem, animal.
Every night a party of his fellow-villagers would sally out in search of
the missing "bear." To their loud calls: Yi! Kolu/em!f he would
.answer by angry growls in imitation of the bear. The searching party
making for the spot where he had been heard, would find by a second
.call followed by a similar answer that he had dexterously shifted to some
opposite quarter in the forest. As a rule, he could not be found, but had
to come back of himself when he was speedily apprehended and con-
.ducted to the ceremonial lodge, where he would commence his first bear-
* The Dene word for Black Bear is s?s or sas according to the dialect.
T NYords of Tsimpsian parentage meaning apparently : Come on, Bear !    The nature of thost
words plainly denotes the origin of the whole institution. 206
[Vol. IV.
dance in conjunction with all the other totem-people, each of whom
would then personate his own particular totem. Finally would take
place the potlatch of the newly initiated "bear," who would not forget to
present his captor with at least a whole dressed skin.
The initiation to the "Darding-Knife" was quite a theatrical performance. A lance was prepared which had a very sharp point so arranged
that the slightest pressure on its tip would cause the steel to gradually
sink into the shaft. In the sight of the multitude crowding the lodge,
this lance was pressed on the bare chest of the candidate and apparently
sunk in his body to the shaft, when he would tumble down simulating
death. At the same time a quantity of blood—previously kept in the
mouth—would issue from the would-be corpse, making it quite clear to
the uninitiated gazers on that the terrible knife had had its effect, when
lo! upon one of the actors striking up one of the chants specially made
for the circumstance and richly paid for, the candidate would gradually
rise up a new man, the particular protege o{ the " Darding Knife."
" All the known graphic systems originate in a picture-writing as rude
as that of the American Indian or of the South African Bushman. All
have advanced from the picture to the conventionalized hieroglyphic
representing an idea or a word ; while from the hieroglyph has sprung
the   syllabary  represented   by  rougher   sketches  of   the   monumental
J J x jo
emblems, and requiring a smaller number of necessary symbols. Finally
among the more civilized of ancient races the alphabet was gradually introduced as a simplification of the syllabary which reduced the necessary
emblems to about a fifth of their previous number."* Gauged after this
criterion, the Western Dane's may be said to have been in a state of
transition between the first and the second stage of graphic culture;
or perhaps, it would be as correct to say that they were already in;
the second while retaining lingering reminiscences of the first. Their
petroglyphs were in a large measure pictures with some admixture of
conventionalized forms; but their usual means of communication whilej
travelling and their tatto'o marks had, to a great extent, become the
mere sha.dows of the original pictographs.
Of their rock inscriptions I cannot find any better specimen than that'
reproduced in fig. 190. Its most conspicuous character represents a
grizzly bear, the tracks of which may be seen some distance behind..
The waving lines at the bottom stand for water, wherefrom a sturgeon.
•From an article in the "Edinburgh Review," reproduced in Little's Living Age, Aug. 23,
1890, p. 451. 1892-93.]
is seen emerging. The natives are not agreed as to the meaning of the
large spider-like figure to the left, but the probability is that it is intended
to represent Yihta, the Great Bear. Immediately above is a toad in a
somewhat conventionalized shape, while' below, and to the left, are two
figures of birds, the lower one of which is a grouse. The other signs are
the emblems of fishes, figures of men or symbols of objects which cannot
now be identified. There is no ensemble or unity in the whole. It is
only an aggregate of pictures or signs painted in red ochre by different
individual and at different times.    Most of. them are very old.  ;:
Fig. 190.
The various objects represented are personal totems, and the object in
view in depicting them on rocks will be better understood by a reference
to the locality of the inscription reproduced above. It is to be seen
about half way between this place, Stuart's Lake or Na'kraztli and
Pintce, the nearest village by water. By painting in such a conspicuous
place the totem which had been .the object of his dream, the Pintce
Indian meant to protect himself against any inhabitant of Na'kraztli, as
the intimate connection between himself and his totem could not fail, he
believed, to reveal by an infallible presentiment the coming of any person
who had passed along the rock adorned with the image of his totem.
X o o
Thus it will be seen that clairvoyance had adepts even in such an out of
the way place as Stuart's Lake.
Fig. 191 is, of cours
lere picture.    The oval circle wherein the cari
boo stands is intended to repr
:sent a mountain.
A shield is instincLively
called to mind by fig. 192 ; but the natives are positive that this is a
false impression, as the inner circle stands for a den within or upon a
mountain.     The four figures between  the two circles are the known
?.' flai
iy 208
[Vol. IV
emblems of the beaver; but the meaning of the whole figure is not very
clear. Such is the case with fig. 193, wherein some say we have a crane,
while others profess to see therein some large species of beetle.
« 11 \
Fig. 191. Fig. 192. Fig.. 193.
So far we have dealt with signs or pictures such as seen in stone
inscriptions only. But it is chiefly through the tattoo markings or the
signs occasionally executed in charcoal while travelling that the Carriers
have shown their departure from the earliest or pictorial stage of the
graphic art. Even within such classes of totemic representations the
gradual alteration from the pictorial or life-like forms to the mere con-
ventional outlines'is easily discerned.    I need adduce no better illustration
Fig. 194.
of this than the three styles of representing the beaver shown in fig. 194.
A is the original pictorial form, and is adopted whenever the beaver is
tattooed on the breast; b is a middle, altered form, with a strong tendency
to simplification, and is used in connection with face tattooing, whilst c is
the conventionalized form of the same, and is the common mode of
representing the beaver in those rude, ephemeral drawings in the woods,
though it is occasionally found even in ancient rock inscriptions.
I have already stated that tattooing on the breast was rare among the
Western Dent5s. This is so true that 1 know of no other totemic marks
there situated than the few exhibited herewith. We have just seen that
a stands for the beaver, b represents a toad, c and d 2ere the fore and hind
paws of the grizzly bear, while e is the figure of the moon. 1892-93.]
Fig. 195..
thus:—-a is the emblem of the otter; b that of any fish; c that of a bird;
d is a beaver; e is the silhouette sign of a stick in the water; f that of a
Fig. 196.
mountain ; g is a fern root digger; h is the symbol of the marten: i that
of the'lizard, and J, that of the cariboo.
Fig- l97 presents us with the graphic signs used  as means oi  communication between different hunting parties.     They alone  might b< :210
[Vol. IV.
Ill *i
pointed to as the elements of native " writing." The two last are taken
from rock inscriptions. They are now unintelligible 'to the Carriers.
Here is the meaning of the others :—a, bird ; b, lizard ; c, beaver; d,
bear; e, lynx ; f, cariboo ; g, marten ; h, canoe ; i, woman ; j, man ; k,
These are generally drawn in charcoal on trees or, by exception, on
istones, and as such it must be confessed that they afford but a very
restricted medium of expression to the native mind. . It has therefore to
•call into requisition any other material means which may be at hand,
-and it must be said that the use made of them is sometimes wonderful.
I was lately travelling in the forest at a time when the yearly reappearance of the salmon was eagerly looked for. At a certain spot not
very far from a stream we came upon one of those aboriginal drawings
made by an old man who had no knowledge of the syllabic signs now
used to write the D£n£ languages. The drawing represented a man with
a woman, a horse with a burden, the emblem of a bear with three marks
underneath, and a cariboo. Above the whole and hanging from a broken
branch were four pieces of young bark cut out in the conventional form
of the fish. Now the message was instantly read by my companions,
-and it ran thus: " Such a one (whom they named)* has passed here with
his wife, and a good load of furs, after having killed three bears and one
rcariboo; and furthermore he captured four salmon two days ago. He is
now gone in the direction that we follow ourselves." This date could
evidently not have been told had the Indian marked with charcoal the
.sign of the salmon.     He was so well aware of this and was so much
intent upon fixing the time of the first appearance of the fish that he
had had recourse to the pieces of bark, the relative degree of freshness
of which he knew could easily be determined by the experienced eye of
his fellow Carrier.
This leads me to detail the various non-graphic means of communication
between the different bands of huntsmen. Does the traveller intend to
mark his passage in the forest? He cuts a switch or rod and plants it
in his trail pointing to the direction he is following. Is he in distress,
•and does he beg for succour at the hands of those who he knows shall
pass by the* same trail ? Forthwith he breaks or bends the top of as
many shrubs as possible all along his path. No native party will profess
ignorance of his meaning nor, as a rule, leave unheeded his appeal.
Other significant combinations will be found sketched in our last figure.
"Thus b, a stick broken by the middle, means : "we are going to camp a
* They identified him by the very circumstance that he travelled with a horse, as he was the*
•only one likely to pass then- who possessed such an animal. 1892-93.]
short distance off. You need not be in a hurry". C has the opposite
meaning: "we are going to camp a long distance from here ; hurry up!"
By disposing the stick as shown in d, the natives are understood to say:
*we have turned back awhile, but finally gone on." E is intended to
represent a piece of burnt rag hanging from a bent down rod; it is the
signal of famine and an appeal for help, the direction of the stick always
Fig. 198.
pointing to the trail of the distressed party. If, instead of parched rags,
an abundance of cariboo or moose hair is to be seen on the stick, the
reading must be just the reverse. It is then a notification that the party
has killed plenty of cariboo or of moose, and, at the same time, an invitation to go and help dispose of them. F is a small bunch of dry
grass wherein a small rod has been driven as an indication that a member
of the band has been shot. Lastly, when a short stick is found hanging
across the trail, as shown in g, everybody will understand that a person
in the preceding party has come to his death from natural causes.
s 1892-93.]
N. B.—When the same subiect i- t^atedins
Ages (the prehistoric) not strictly su%s*sive,
m- i
Ahtena, not Dene, 15.
Alluvial strata, their age exaggerated. V?*
Animals hunted by the  Western De'nS 93—
large ones never killed for oneself, £5.
Antiquity of archaeological objects -cogger-
.      ated, 39.
Anthropology, ah uncertain criterion of ethnological differences, 17.
Apaches,.their habitat, subdivisions aniipopulation, 13.
Archaeological remains, their age exaggerated,
41. .
, Archaeology   of   the Egyptians and ~i\<- Assyrians easy to fully describe, 5.
Armour, wooden, 117—skin, 149.
Arrow-heads,   53—bone, 55—how collected
with the shaft, 55.
Arrows, 56—their varieties, 56—how re'P^ed,
Arrow-shafts, 55.
Aspen, its root used against bleeding, 13"*.
Astringents, native,  131.
""^Athapaskan, inappropriate as a generic n£**&j 9-
Aiiye'h, a Carrier game, 81.
\Atlik, a Carrier game,
Atnas, Adonas, etc., not Dene, 17.
'       Atrium of winter lodges,  190.
Awls, bone, 69.
Axes,   of   unpolished   stone,  43 — pr- \.ially
polished, 44—polished,  46—how u«s^ 47
—of iron,  146.
Babies, how carried, 134.
Babines, their physical peculiarities 18—
habitat, 27—subdivisions, 27—then* gambling sticks, 78.
Bad-People, a Dene' tribe, its habits and
population, 16.
Bag-net fishing, 91;
Bags, their varieties,  146.
Bait of bone, 72.
Bandelicr on the early Navajos, 12.
Bark peelers, 76—bottles,  135.
Bark vessels, 120.
jveral consecutive pages, only:!; Bi¥. u &lven-
Bear, what part of it not &&&, i-:]—*™™ ^
skull is treated, ioS—as a *U*%=J -c'>
Bear traps, 95—snares, 99.
Beard, not rare among the "fife;^ ?S—how
trimmed among the Tsekc-^ie, I }'■>'
Beaver, what part of it not e.*c;\  "'.-•
Beaver Indians, a branch of the "pe'kehne,
■ II—their habitat, -9.
Beaver snaring, 66—nets, thrtr  TT'Ofking, 07
—trapping, 87.
Belts, weaving of, 157*'
Berries, how treated, 127.
Berry baskets, 122—boilers, 120.
Bible, its authority undiminished Vi ^choeo-
logical discoveries, 40.
Black-feet, their usual position: v,hlk ?l<*Pm&.
187.       '
Bleeding, how practised, 82.
Blue berries, how prepared, Lrj.
Blunt arrows, 57-
Boas' map incorrect in one parrfcutar'! .■  •
Boilers,  125.
Bone baits, 72.
Bone   implements   in   use   atrong   >;->toncal
nations, 43.
Bones of animals, how eaten, 49.
Bones of the dead, how treatei at!.-_-:«' crema*
tion, 146.
Bottles, for the castoreum, 66, 335-.
Bow-points, 60.
Bows, of the Tse'kehne, 5S- of the  &«-ricrs»
59—how held while shooting, 60
Bowstrings, how made, 5§.
Boyle on palreoliths, 6$.
Bracelets, 139, 172.
Breast-blankets,  164.
Breast-plates, ceremonial, 167.
Breech-cloth, ceremonial, 1S0.
Brinton on the distribution of the 1 ^n*-s» '4
—on the   Kenai, 15—on Dece  [.y-"-o>ogy,
Bronze age, contemporaneous with ^-",—     ° '
Bulbous root diggers, II5.
•«Bfesf c.   n
Callbreath on the Tahl-tan India* s 35S
Cambium scrapers, j6.  214
[Vol. IV.
;1 •
Canoes, 114.
Cap-holders, Z^.
Caps of the Carriers, the, 164.
Cariboo-eaters, their habitat and population, 16.
Cariboo skins, how treated, 68.
Cariboo snares,  100.
Carrier  Indians,   (the),   progressive,  5—their
"population,   16—physical characteristics,   17
—timid,   18—habitat,   24—subdivisions, 24
•—sociologically considered, 28—their bows,
sociologically con
tow-points, 00—ineir   Done scra-
-their utensils,   120—how they
\ -oer and
o       d    . ^.._—, _~    ..  ~_ —
59—their bow-points, 60—their  bone sera
pers,     70 !
carry their babies,  134—using copr.
:       l   '       -intact with the whites,  137
iron belore contact with the whites, 137—
their drums, 150—formerly practically unacquainted with snow-shoes, 151—their weaving method, 156—their ordinary head-dress,
164—their ceremonial costume, 172—their
houses, 184—their store-houses, 196—their
mortuary columns, 199—their graphic sys-
L_tem, 206.
Carvings,  199.
Castoreum bottles, 66, 135.
Categories of Dene nouns, 32.
iCeremonial dress "of the Carriers original, 172.
Chaldean  head-dress  compared   with that of
the Carrier noblewomen, 177.
Charcoal, as a means of ornamentation, 170.
Cherokees, mound-builders,  39.
Chickasaw, mound-builders, 40.
Chippewayans, not the southernmost  of  the
9—their    habitat   and popu-
Dene   triww,
lation,  16.
\ Chipping, how done, ■
Clans of the Carriers,
Cloaks,  164.
"   Clubs, war, 64.
Columns, mortuary,  199.
Combs,  117.
Confession to the shaman,  107
Continence, regard for,  107.
Copper, in use in prehistoric th
kenzie valley, 136 —ir
•. 1 *
les in the Mac-
kenzie valley, 130 —in  use contemporaneously with  stone  implements,  137—in use
ftmAn/Y    trie*     nrpnictnrif*     f   nrrlAre       T 1 *7 r^/^ii'-
among the  prehisto
procured  formerly,    137
ancient,   138
Carriers,  137—how
—its use  probably
Copper tower, the,   137.
Cow-parsnip, how eaten,  129.
Cradles,  133.
Cranberry, swamp and  highbush, eaten, 127.
Craniometry, an uncertain criterion of ethnologic certitude,  17.
Crescents in the septum,  167.
Crossbows,  59.
Cuirass, of wool,   117—of skin,  149.
" Cut arrows," 56.
Cuticle (inner) of skins, how removed, 70.
Daggers, of stone, 63—of steel in pre-Euro-
pean times,  142.
Dall on labrets,  170.
"Darding Knife," the, 206.
Dene (the), progressive, 5—their name, 8—
the nature of their territory, II—divided
long ago in two camps, 12—their distribution, 13—misconception as to their ethnographical status, 14 — classification and
population of all the tribes, 16—points-
of physical similarities, lS—psychologically
differing among themselves, lS—philolog-
ically homogeneous, 21.
Dene Dindjie, improper as a collective name, 9.
Dentalium, its fitness as an article of ornamentation,  178. '
Dentalium nose-ornaments, 168.
Devil's bush, its medical properties, 132.
Dip-nets, 159.    .
Dishes, 119.
Diuretics, native, 131.
Dog collars,  139.
Dog-Ribs, a Den£ tribe, its habitat and population, 16—knew copper before contact with
•   the whites, 136.
Dress of the Western Denes, 162—of pubescent girls, 165.
Drills, 143.
Drinking tubes, 82.
Drums, 150.
Dug-outs, formerly unknown,  115.
Dyes, 173.
Ear pendants, 166.
Eastern Denes:  knew of copper before contact with the whites,  136—their dress,  162,
Elk, now disappeared from among the Carriers,
Emmenagogue, native,  131.
STs, a fish-trap, 89.
gsronk, how cooked,   n6.
gstas and the swans,  104.
Ethiopians, using stone and bone weapons, 42.
srzi/i, 5
Fat scrapers, 68.
Feathering of the arrows, how made,  56.
Febrifuge, native,  130.
Fenni, (the), using bone arrows, 43.
Fern root, how cooked,   116.
Fern root diggers,  115.
Finger rings,  140. 1892-93.]
Fire, primitive mode of starting a, 114.
Fire-bags, common, 14S—ceremonial, I So.
Fire-place, where situated, 1S7.
Fire-wood, how procured by the poorer classes,
Fishes, species of, 73-
Fish-hooks, 72«
Fishing,   71—with   bait, 72—with traps, 84.
—with bag nets, 91.
Fish traps, 84.
Fish trays,  123.
Flaking, how done, 65.
Floats, in.
Folk-lore, differs according to the tribe, 21.
Forts, 195.
Foxes, different varieties in the same litter, 95.
Fox snares, 102.
Fraas on ancient weapons, 42.
Frazer on the varieties of totems, 203.
'■'        ; ';S|T     Q-- Ifl      'W$
G and W commutable in the Aryan languages,
Gambler and the Great Bear, the, 79.
GaHibling-sticks, 77.
Gam : sought after by the Western Denes,  93.
Gam s of the Western Denes: tisPss-a, 78—
atlih,   78—atiyih,   %\~tztquh, ill—fr'ko', .
112—nPzaz, 112—'keilapas, 112.
Gentes, their number, 203.
Geology against  the great  age  attributed to
archaeological remains, 42.
Gorgets, unknown, 35.
I Gouges, unknown. 35.
\Graphic systems, their origin, 206—that of the
Carriers, 208.
Graves, monuments on, 200.
Great Bear and the Gambler, the, 79.
Great Bear and the Hunter, the, 194—deductions from that legend, 195.
Grizzly Bear, are there two varieties of it ? 94.
ir, sometimes  fair among the Carriers,  18
—mode of wearing it, 181.
Hair scrapers, bone 69—steel,  143.
Hair tweezers,  138.
Hale on the country of the Eastern Dene's,   II.
Hammers, stone, 47.
Hares, a   Dene tribe;  its habitat and popu-
I     lation,   16.
"Wlead-dress of the Carriers, 164—of the pubescent girl, 165—of the same when of "noble
parentage, 166—of the noblemen, 173—of
the  noblewomen, 177—the same compared
with that of the Chaldean  Kings, 177—of
the shamans, 1S1.
Head-scratchers, 82.
Heart of animals, not eaten, and by whom,.
Hemlock, its medical properties, 132.
Hemorrhage, how stopped, 131.    '
Hides, how dressed, 49, 69, 145.
History against the great age attributed to-
archaeological remains, 42.
Hole-borers,  143. \
Horse-tails, their medical properties,  131.
Houses, see Lodges. 4
Hupa, their habitat and numbers/13, 16—their
influence over neighbouring tubes, 19—
their conservatism, 20.
Hurdles for the salmon weirs, 85.
Huts, subterranean,  191.
I. f
Ice-breakers, 75. • i
Ice-scoops, 150. 1
Indians, mound builders, 40.
Industries, why and how treated of, 6.
Iron, in use among the. negroes of Africa, 137'
—in use among the pre-historic Carriers, 140.
Iron,  axes,  when first  introduced, 140—how
iron tools were prized on the Coast,  142.
Juniper, its wood used to make bows with, 59-
—its boughs used as a febrifuge,  130.'
"RT ?'
Kekule houses,  190.
'JOu, 85, 186, 196.
Kenai, their ethnographical status, 15.
JT?s, their use, 87. |-
Kettles, prehistoric bark,  125. ■
Kinnikinik, its berry eaten,  128.
JCixaia-kho-tana, their ethnographical   status,.
^Knap-sacks of the Carriers, 148.
Knives, salmon, 51—shinning, 51—carving or
working, 52.
'Kftntzai, their make and working,  87.
Kutchin, identical with Loucheux,  15.
Labrets,  170.
Ladles, 75—how made,  ,6.
Lances, known to prehistoric Carriers,  149.
Land-locked salmon, how captured, 74-
jLanguagc, the chief characteristic of man, 21.-
—of the Carrier subdivisions a little different,
& 11 >»
Length measures, 92.
Lenormant on iron in Africa, 137.
Lichen, how eaten,  130.
Xily, its bulb eaten, 129.
Lipans, habitat and present population, 14, 16
—a dishonest tribe,  19.
Lodges, ceremonial, 185—common, 188—fishing, 189—winter, 189-—of the Tse'kehne,
-^ Looms of the Carriers, the,  156.
Loon and the Old Man, the,  171.
Loucheux, identical with Kutchin, 15—their
habitat and population, 16—their dress, 162.
Lubbock (Sir John), mistaken as to the age of
archaeological finds, 41.
TLuiem, or Bear totem, how assumed, 205.
Lyell (Sir Charles), mistaken as to the age of
archaeological finds, 41.
Lynx, feared by the women, 108.
Lynx and the Woman, the, 108.
Lynx traps, 97—-snares; 101.
Maize, not grown by the Dene, 36.
Man, his age absurdly exaggerated, 41.
Marmot skins, how treated, 68.
Marmot traps, 98—snares, 103.
Mas, 67.
Masks, 118.
Material of the arrow and spear heads, 53—
zeal      [y guarded, 65.
Mats of the TsiiKoh'tin, the, 157.
Maul, wooden, ill.
• "  Means of communication while travelling, 210.
Measures of length, 92.
Medicinal herbs, 130.
Menses, observances relative to the, 107.
\   Mesh-sticks, 15S.
• Middle class of the Carriers, 204.'
Mittens, 164.
Mocassins,  their material, 163—not used  in
rainy weather, 163.
Months, their native names, 106.
Monuments, rare, 199.
Moose skin scrapers, 143.
Morice on the varieties of Dene nouns, 32—
on the " cut-arrows," 56—on beaver snaring, 66—on fern root cooking, 116—on the
introduction of copper among the Carriers,
iyj—on the head-dress of pubescent girls,
Morse on arrow release, 57.
Mortars, unknown, 35.
/   Mortuary columns, 199.
(    Mosaical chronology, its accuracy not weakened
by modern discoveries, 40.
Mounds unknown among Dene, 35—the work
of Indians, 40.
Muskokis, probably mound-builders, 40.
Muskrat trapping, 87.
Mythology,   why occasionally referred  to  in
-the monograph, 7.
Nah'ane, different spellings of their name, 31.
Na'kwsl's descendants, 141.
Navajos, long established in the south of the
United States, 12—their habitat, 13—still old
fashioned, 20—philologically congenerous
with the Northern Denes, 22.
Nazrwot, a fish trap, 85.
Necklaces, 170.
Needle pouches, 149.
Nets, their material, 159—beaver, 67.
Nsf&'a. a eame, 78. <   £-*v)
*J  "•* &"",V-J
Netting, I $8.
N^yi^hwolluz and the Gambler, 79.
jVfizaz, a game, H2.
Niblack on maize growing Indians, 35.
Nivjdtn'ai, 168.
Northern Dene, timid and not industrious, 18
—of assimilative dispositions, 19.
Nose-pendants, 167.
Nose-rings, 168.
Nouns, the four categories of Dene, 32.
Observances of the hunters and women, 106,
Ochre (red) as a means of ornamentation, 170.
Old man and the Loon, the, 171.
Oregon grape, how eaten, 129.
Orthography   of  Indian   words,   34—of  the
'names of Indian tribes, mixed, 30.
Osier-willow, its medical properties, 131.
Packing, how done, 118.
Packing bags, of the women, 147—of the men,
Packing chairs, 118.
Paddles, how used, 115.
Palceoliths, their age exaggerated, 40—found
along with neoliths, 63.
Peelers, j6.
Pendant,, 166.
Pestles, stone, 48.
Petitot on the name " Dcne'-Dindjie," 9—on
copper and iron among Eastern Denes, 136
-—on prehistoric weapons, 149—on the dress**
of the Eastern Denes, 162.
Petroglyphs, 206. i*»*?*««f«»fjT?
IS92-93.] *
Philology, its importance as an ethnographical
criterion, 21—its bearing on archaeology, 32»
Pictographs, 206.
Pilling on the word " Athapaskan," 9.
Pipes, stone, 36.
Plan of the monograph, 6.
Plants, those the economic value of which
is not appreciated unnamed, 127—which are
eaten by the Western Denes? 12S.'
Potlatch, of comparatively recent origin, 125.
Pottery, unknown among the Western Denes,
Powder pouches, 14S.
Powers on the Hupa, 20.
Prehistoric ages not strictly successive, 137*
Prognostications common among the Carriers,
Pubescent girls, their dress, 165—their drinking tubes, 81—their head scratchers, 82—
their peculiar observances, I07.
Purgatives, native, 130.
Quintilian on Language, 21.
Rabbit snares, 103—skins, how utilized, 156,
Rattles, 118.
Red willow, used as wattle, 84—its medical
properties, 131.
Rings, 140, 166.
Robe, ceremonial, 179.
Rock inscriptions, 206.
Rose, its medical properties, 132.
Salmon, species of, 73—how caught, 84—how
cured, 92—how kept, 49, 196.
Salmon fishing, 84.
Salmon oil, how obtained, 92.
Salmon pits or cellars, 197.
Salmon roe, how prepared, 197.
Salmon weirs, 85.
.Sarcees, how they separated from the Beavers,
II—their present habitat, 15—their population one hundred years ago, 29.
Satchels, 146.
Scaffoldings, on the banks of rivers,. 91—0f
the Tse'kehne, 197.
Scoops, 156.
Scrapers, stone, 49—how made, 5°*~b°ne»
for the fat, 6S—horn, for the same, 7°—
hair, 69—cambium, 76.
native, 131.
Semilkaineen  Indians partly descended  from
the TsiiKoh'tin, 24.
Service-berry, how preserved, 125.
Shamans, their head gear, 181,
shields, 117.
Shushwap Indians, their former relations with
the TsijKoh'tin, 23.
Signalling in the woods, 210.
Sinkers, rude and uncarved, 36.
Skin tanning, 49, 69, 145.
Skull-crackers, stone, 64.
Slaves, their habitat and numbers, 16.
Sleeping place in the lodge, 1S7.
Slickstones, 49.
Smoking, originally unknown, 36.
Snares,   bear,   99—cariboo,   100—fox,  102—
marmot,   103—rabbit, 103—waterfowl,   104
—how prepared, 107.
(Snaring devices, their details useful, 99.
SSnow-shoes,   formerly   practically    unknown
among the Carriers, 151—earliest model, 152
—modern types, 152—how made, 153—of
the children, 154.
Snow shovels, 116.
Snow walking sticks, 155.
Soap-berry, how prepared for eating, 128.
Solutrian-like implements, 63.
Sore eyes, native remedy against, 132.
Southern Denes, long separated from the
Northern DeiuS, 12—confused ideas as to
their ethnographical divisions, 13.
Spear-heads, 62.
Spindles, 114.
Spokeshaves, 144.
Spoons, 76.
Spruce, its shoots used as febrifuge, 130.
Spruce root-weaving, 134!
Steel daggers in prehistoric times, 142.
Stockings, native counterpart of, 165. *
Stone  implements,  in   use  among historical
nations, 42—contemporaneous with copper
implements, 137.
Store-houses, 196.
Strings,  of the bows, how ma
snares, how made, 104.
Sturgeon, how caught, 75.
Stlnti, how cooked, 116,
Superstitious observances of the hunters and
the women, 106, 165.
4 Swaddling clothes of the Carrier babes, 133.
Sweat-houses, 197.
Sweet-flag, how eaten, 129.
Tacitus on the arms of the Fenni, 43.
Takhepie, wrong readings of their name, 30.
Tanning, how done, 49, 69, 145.
:, 58—of the
1 _vi*« 4 *.-?■* *« «4 TRANSACTIONS   OF   THE   CANADIAN   INSTITUTE
—shooting, 113.
[Vol. IV.
Tattooing, 182.
Tattoo marks,' 208.
Tea/j'a/, a-bark vessel, 122.
^TVko', a Carrier game, 112.
7?sKai, a fishing device, 90.
in Indians, weavers of mountain
wool, 35. j
Tktf/rufk, how caught, 159.
TkJsKai, a fishing device, 90.
Thhsateil, a fishing implement, 72.
Thomas on mounds, 39.
Throwing-rods or tstquk, in.
Time, means of reckoning, 106.
Tinne,  Tinneh,  inappropriate   as
name, 8.
Tlingit, why so named, 10.
Tobacco, originally unknown, 36.
SfcjTolmie & Dawson's  map, differing from  the
actual limits of the Carriers' territory, 26.
Tommy-sticks, 64.
Totems, carved on house posts, 186, 199—their
different kinds, 203—how honored, 204—
honorific, 204—how. assumed, 205—painted
on rocks, 207—tattooed on the person, 208.
Totunies, the contradictory readings of their
name, 13. {
Trapping devices, their details useful to the
ethnologist, 98.
Traps, fish, 84—bear, 94—small animal, 96—
lynx, 97—marmot, 98—how prepared, 108.
Travelling, formerly difficult in winter, 151,
Travelling marks or signals, 210.
lrays, bark, 123.
Trough-like vessel,, 119".
Tse'kehne, population, 16—physical characteristics, 17—honest, 19—sociologically considered, 2S—subdivisions, 2S—bows, 58
—bone scrapers, 7°—spoons, j6—gambling sticks, 78—how they hunted cariboo
in  olden  times,  100—their  names  of   the
. months, 106—their utensils, 120—how they
trim their beard, 139—their drums, 150 —
their snow shoes, 154—their lodges, 192—
their provision stores, 197.
TsijKoh'tin, population 16—physical characteristics, iS—habitat and subdivisions, 22—■
sociologically considered, 2S—bone scrapers, 70—fish harpoons, 7i—gambling-sticks,
78—cradles, 133—how they carry their
babies, 134—their vessels, 134—their drums,
151—their method of weaving, 156—their
dress, 164—their store-houses, 197.
•^Tunics, of the Carriers, 163.
Tweezers, 138.
u.   '
Umkwa Indians, their habitat, 16.
Unknown technological objects, 35.
Utensils, of primitive material,  120—description and mode of fabrication, 121.
:0&j.    '"■   ,  v.
Villages, 184.
Vowels, unimportant in Dene, 10.
Wailaki Indians, their habitat, 16.
Walking sticks, for the winter, 155.'
War, how started, 195.
Wash-tubs, bark, 132.
Waterfowl, how caught formerly, 104—now
105—in China, 105.
Water vessels, 124.
Wattle, 84, 186, 196.
We, a fish-trap, 89.
Weasel, what use made of its skin,fi 77.
Weaving, 156—of the spruce roots, 134.
Wedges, stone, 47—bone, 75.
Weirs, how constructed, 84.
Western Denes, the nature of their territory,.
11—misconception as to their ethnographical status, 14—classification of the, 30—
not maize growing, 36—unzesthetic, 36—
brave against wild animals, 94—their dress,
Whistles, ceremonial, Si.
Widow satchels, 146.
Wigs, ceremonial, 173.
Wild goat skins, how treated, 68.
Willow-herb, how eaten, 129.
Windows, none in ancient lodges, 187.
Winter dress, 164.
Winter travelling, difficult, 151.
Woman and the Lynx, the, 10S.
Women, their dress not much differing from
that of .the men, 164.
Wood-peckers, what use made of their feathers,
a Dene tribe
knives, a Dene tribe ; its habitat and
population,. 16—acquainted with copper in
prehitoric times, 130.
Yuta-snai, a fish trap, S6. *s'.ttt***m*tt
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Burial Mounds of the Northern Section of the U. S.; Fifth Annual Report Bureau of
Ethnology, Washington, 18S7.
Work in Mound Exploration of the Bureau of Ethnology, Washington, 18S7.
The Problem of the Ohio Mounds, Washington, 18S9.
VlGOUROUX, F.—Les Livres Saints venge's, Vol. III.
Dictionnaire de la Bible ; Letouzey et Anc ; Paris (still in .course of publication).
And a few others with which I am not personally acquainted. 1892-93.]
# Page 25—After paragraph 4 add the following as an additional subdivision :—Hwozahne, two
"Tillages, namely, Stony Creek (Sai'ksz), population 8S, and Laketown or Nupkre, population
65, both of which are situated a little south of Fraser Lake.
-After " Fort George " insert:—Hwozahne, south of Fraser Lake
Page 35—Strike out " the Eskimo " and add:—to which might almost be added the Eskimo,
were it not that J. Murdoch (Ethnological Results of the Point Barrow Expedition, Ninth Ann.
Rep. Bur. Ethnology, Washington, 1892) slates ■ that he obtained from a Point Barrow tribe
three fragments of a sort of pottery, the material of which " was said to be earth (nu'na) bear's
blood and feathers, and appears to have been baked " (p. 91).
& HI • JN§ 4% "1
^ jit i^fM? Mi
of m
^-IP PIff
u* ;-v  r.     fc>. ji n
\Kv \. v\Kr.*i'Si
\ \ \VlSnv*,-I
W\ P'i'rffS
Fig. 199.
Page 118—Dele the whole paragraph beginning "These other objects" and substitute :—
Three other objects, which as sociological items were also due to the influence of the maritime
tribes, but had become naturalized among, and were made by, the Carriers, were the nf/rzvss or
medicine-rattle, the hanftaih, or ceremonial mask, and the Csak, or long, festival dish. '1 hose
were almost the only objects of art of genuine Den6 manufacture to which I can point, and yet I
do not think I unduly depreciate my Indians' artistic capabilities by adding that they were rather
below than above the average of similar aboriginal carvings. The appositeness of this remark
will become evident by a comparison of fig. 199, wherein we have a representative Carrier,
medicine-rattle, with illustrations of similar implements so frequently met with in modern essays
on the Northwest Coast Indians. As may be seen by the cut b, the Dene rattle is made of two
hollowed halves bearing some resemblance to wooden dippers. Its material is birch, and its only
ornamentation is in paint, not carving. The figure explains the mode of connection of the two
parts of the rattle.
1 990
[Vol. IV
The masks*were used only by mimics accompanying by grotesque gestures and jerkings of the
head the dance of a privileged few; but the rattles served a double purpose : they did service in
connection with a notable's dance, being then held in the hand by the dancing personage himself,
and also as an accompaniment to the incantations of the toyon or shaman. No ceremonial masks
of genuinely Dene make are now available for illustration : but such objects are, even at the
present day, so common among the natives of the Pacific Coast that they hardly need any description.' It may suffice to refer the reader unacquainted with North American aboriginal paraphernalia to the plates or figures illustrating.    .    .    .
Page 181—After " their occult art" insert:—Let me add that some of these head-dresses,
while retaining the name of eyas-krei, were composed of beaver-teeth, sometimes daubed with
red ochre. One such specimen recently came into my possession which lacks the double row of
dentalium shells usual with crowns made of real bear's claws. ' . I
1 S$2-9o.]
SESSION  1S92-93.
.First Meeting, 5th November, 1S92, the President in the chair.
Letters were read from the American Society of Civil Engineers and
from the United States Weather Bureau..
Donations and Exchanges since last meeting, 1552.
The following were elected members: — Miss Marcella Wilkes,
W. H. Marcon, Dr. Oronhyatekha, R. IT. Bowes, W. Morrison.
The following" gentlemen were, on the recommendation of Council,
elected corresponding members for three years:—R. G. Haliburton,
Q.C., F.R.G.S., Dr. T. W. Beemer, Rev. A. G. Morice, O.M.I.
The following motions were passed :—
Moved hy J. C.   Hamilton, seconded by Prof. Macallum :—
"That this Institute recognizes with very sincere regret the great loss it
has sustained since its last session in the death of four of its honoured
members:—His Honour Sir Alexander Campbell, K.C M.G., Sir
Daniel Wilson, LL.D., D. A. O'Sullivan, LL.D., Q.C, and Nelson G.
Bigelow, M.A., LL.D., Q.C, M.P.P., and that a minute of this resolution
be entered in the Transactions of the Institute."
Moved by Dr. Kennedy, seconded by Alan Macdougall:—
" We, the members of the Canadian Institute, ask to be permitted to
add our tribute of respectful regret and sorrow on the loss sustained by
our province in the death of Sir Daniel Wilson. For over thirty-eight
years a member of the Institute, he took a deep interest in its progress,
enriching its Transactions by numerous contributions of his talented pen.
Elected President in 1859, he for many years afterwards remained a
constant and warm friend till in 1884, as a tribute to his interest in our
work and a respectful recognition of his labours in Literature, Archaeology,
and Ethnology, he was elected an honorary member, the highest distinction the Institute could confer upon him. The Institute at this its first
meeting after his death records its appreciation of the services rendered
by Sir Daniel Wilson, mourns for the loss it has sustained, and conveys
to his family its respectful expression of sympathy in their great and
deep affliction."
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