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Hubert Howe Bancroft
The Native Races of the Pacific States
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Volume One • Wild Tribes

Preface • 1,900 Words
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In pursuance of a general plan involving the production of a series of works on the western half of North America, I present this delineation of its aboriginal inhabitants as the first. To the immense territory bordering on the western ocean from Alaska to Darien, and including the whole of Mexico and Central America, I give arbitrarily, for want of a better, the name Pacific States. Stretching almost from pole to equator, and embracing within its limits nearly one tenth of the earth’s surface, this last Western Land offers to lovers of knowledge a new and enticing field; and, although hitherto its several parts have been held somewhat asunder by the force of circumstances, yet are its occupants drawn by nature into nearness of relationship, and will be brought yet nearer by advancing civilization; the common oceanic highway on the one side, and the great mountain ramparts on the other, both tending to this result. The characteristics of this vast domain, material and social, are comparatively unknown and are essentially peculiar. To its exotic civilization all the so-called older nations of the world have contributed of their energies; and this composite mass, leavened by its destiny, is now working out the new problem of its future. The modern history of this West antedates that of the East by over a century, and although there may be apparent heterogeneity in the subject thus territorially treated, there is an apparent tendency toward ultimate unity.

To some it may be of interest to know the nature and extent of my resources for writing so important a series of works. The books and manuscripts necessary for the task existed in no library in the world; hence, in 1859, I commenced collecting material relative to the Pacific States. After securing everything within my reach in America, I twice visited Europe, spending about two years in thorough researches in England and the chief cities of the Continent. Having exhausted every available source, I was obliged to content myself with lying in wait for opportunities. Not long afterward, and at a time when the prospect of materially adding to my collection seemed anything but hopeful, the Biblioteca Imperial de Méjico, of the unfortunate Maximilian, collected during a period of forty years by Don José María Andrade, litterateur and publisher of the city of Mexico, was thrown upon the European market and furnished me about three thousand additional volumes.

In 1869, having accumulated some sixteen thousand books, manuscripts, and pamphlets, besides maps and cumbersome files of Pacific Coast journals, I determined to go to work. But I soon found that, like Tantalus, while up to my neck in water, I was dying of thirst. The facts which I required were so copiously diluted with trash, that to follow different subjects through this trackless sea of erudition, in the exhaustive manner I had proposed, with but one life-time to devote to the work, was simply impracticable. In this emergency my friend, Mr Henry L. Oak, librarian of the collection, came to my relief. After many consultations, and not a few partial failures, a system of indexing the subject-matter of the whole library was devised, sufficiently general to be practicable, and sufficiently particular to direct me immediately to all my authorities on any given point. The system, on trial, stands the test, and the index when completed, as it already is for the twelve hundred authors quoted in this work, will more than double the practical value of the library.

Of the importance of the task undertaken, I need not say that I have formed the highest opinion. At present the few grains of wheat are so hidden by the mountain of chaff as to be of comparatively little benefit to searchers in the various branches of learning; and to sift and select from this mass, to extract from bulky tome and transient journal, from the archives of convent and mission, facts valuable to the scholar and interesting to the general reader; to arrange these facts in a natural order, and to present them in such a manner as to be of practical benefit to inquirers in the various branches of knowledge, is a work of no small import and responsibility. And though mine is the labor of the artisan rather than that of the artist, a forging of weapons for abler hands to wield, a producing of raw materials for skilled mechanics to weave and color at will; yet, in undertaking to bring to light from sources innumerable essential facts, which, from the very shortness of life if from no other cause, must otherwise be left out in the physical and social generalizations which occupy the ablest minds, I feel that I engage in no idle pastime.

A word as to the Nations of which this work is a description, and my method of treating the subject. Aboriginally, for a savage wilderness, there was here a dense population; particularly south of the thirtieth parallel, and along the border of the ocean north of that line. Before the advent of Europeans, this domain counted its aborigines by millions; ranked among its people every phase of primitive humanity, from the reptile-eating cave-dweller of the Great Basin, to the Aztec and Maya-Quiché civilization of the southern table-land,—a civilization, if we may credit Dr Draper, “that might have instructed Europe,” a culture wantonly crushed by Spain, who therein “destroyed races more civilized than herself.”

Differing among themselves in minor particulars only, and bearing a general resemblance to the nations of eastern and southern America; differing again, the whole, in character and cast of features from every other people of the world, we have here presented hundreds of nations and tongues, with thousands of beliefs and customs, wonderfully dissimilar for so segregated a humanity, yet wonderfully alike for the inhabitants of a land that comprises within its limits nearly every phase of climate on the globe. At the touch of European civilization, whether Latin or Teutonic, these nations vanished; and their unwritten history, reaching back for thousands of ages, ended. All this time they had been coming and going, nations swallowing up nations, annihilating and being annihilated, amidst human convulsions and struggling civilizations. Their strange destiny fulfilled, in an instant they disappear; and all we have of them, besides their material relics, is the glance caught in their hasty flight, which gives us a few customs and traditions, and a little mythological history.

To gather and arrange in systematic compact form all that is known of these people; to rescue some facts, perhaps, from oblivion, to bring others from inaccessible nooks, to render all available to science and to the general reader, is the object of this work. Necessarily some parts of it may be open to the charge of dryness; I have not been able to interlard my facts with interesting anecdotes for lack of space, and I have endeavored to avoid speculation, believing, as I do, the work of the collector and that of the theorizer to be distinct, and that he who attempts to establish some pet conjecture while imparting general information, can hardly be trusted for impartial statements. With respect to the territorial divisions of the first volume, which is confined to the Wild Tribes, and the necessity of giving descriptions of the same characteristics in each, there may be an appearance of repetition; but I trust this may be found more apparent than real. Although there are many similar customs, there are also many minor differences, and, as one of the chief difficulties of this volume was to keep it within reasonable limits, no delineation has been repeated where a necessity did not appear to exist. The second volume, which treats of the Civilized Nations, offers a more fascinating field, and with ample space and all existing authorities at hand, the fault is the writer’s if interest be not here combined with value. As regards Mythology, Languages, Antiquities, and Migrations, of which the three remaining volumes treat, it has been my aim to present clearly and concisely all knowledge extant on these subjects; and the work, as a whole, is intended to embody all facts that have been preserved concerning these people at the time of their almost simultaneous discovery and disappearance. It will be noticed that I have said little of the natives or their deeds since the coming of the Europeans; of their wars against invaders and among themselves; of repartimientos, presidios, missions, reservations, and other institutions for their conquest, conversion, protection, or oppression. My reason for this is that all these things, so far as they have any importance, belong to the modern history of the country and will receive due attention in a subsequent work.

In these five volumes, besides information acquired from sources not therein named, are condensed the researches of twelve hundred writers, a list of whose works, with the edition used, is given in this volume. I have endeavored to state fully and clearly in my text the substance of the matter, and in reaching my conclusions to use due discrimination as to the respective value of different authorities. In the notes I give liberal quotations, both corroborative of the text, and touching points on which authors differ, together with complete references to all authorities, including some of little value, on each point, for the use of readers or writers who may either be dissatisfied with my conclusions, or may wish to investigate any particular branch of the subject farther than my limits allow.

I have given full credit to each of the many authors from whom I have taken material, and if, in a few instances, a scarcity of authorities has compelled me to draw somewhat largely on the few who have treated particular points, I trust I shall be pardoned in view of the comprehensive nature of the work. Quotations are made in the languages in which they are written, and great pains has been taken to avoid mutilation of the author’s words. As the books quoted form part of my private library, I have been able, by comparison with the originals, to carefully verify all references after they were put in type; hence I may confidently hope that fewer errors have crept in than are usually found in works of such variety and extent.

The labor involved in the preparation of these volumes will be appreciated by few. That expended on the first volume alone, with all the material before me, is more than equivalent to the well-directed efforts of one person for ten years. In the work of selecting, sifting, and arranging my subject-matter, I have called in the aid of a large corps of assistants, and, while desiring to place on no one but myself any responsibility for the work, either in style or matter, I would render just acknowledgment for the services of all; especially to the following gentlemen, for the efficient manner in which, each in his special department, they have devoted their energies and abilities to the carrying out of my plan;—to Mr T. Arundel-Harcourt, in the researches on the manners and customs of the Civilized Nations; to Mr Walter M. Fisher, in the investigation of Mythology; to Mr Albert Goldschmidt, in the treatise on Language; and to Mr Henry L. Oak, in the subject of Antiquities and Aboriginal History.

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Chapter I • Ethnological Introduction • 12,400 Words

Facts and Theories—Hypotheses concerning Origin—Unity of Race—Diversity of Race—Spontaneous Generation—Origin of Animals and Plants—Primordial Centres of Population—Distribution of Plants and Animals—Adaptability of Species to Locality—Classification of Species—Ethnological Tests—Races of the Pacific—First Intercourse with Europeans.

Facts are the raw material of science. They are to philosophy and history, what cotton and iron are to cloth and steam-engines. Like the raw material of the manufacturer, they form the bases of innumerable fabrics, are woven into many theories finely spun or coarsely spun, which wear out with time, become unfashionable, or else prove to be indeed true and fit, and as such remain. This raw material of the scholar, like that of the manufacturer, is always a staple article; its substance never changes, its value never diminishes; whatever may be the condition of society, or howsoever advanced the mind, it is indispensable. Theories may be only for the day, but facts are for all time and for all science. When we remember that the sum of all knowledge is but the sum of ascertained facts, and that every new fact brought to light, preserved, and thrown into the general fund, is so much added to the world’s store of knowledge,—when we consider that, broad and far as our theories may reach, the realm of definite, tangible, ascertained truth is still of so little extent, the importance of every never-so-insignificant acquisition is manifest. Compare any fact with the fancies which have been prevalent concerning it, and consider, I will not say their relative brilliance, but their relative importance. Take electricity, how many explanations have been given of the lightning and the thunder, yet there is but one fact; the atmosphere, how many howling demons have directed the tempest, how many smiling deities moved in the soft breeze. For the one all-sufficient First Cause, how many myriads of gods have been set up; for every phenomenon how many causes have been invented; with every truth how many untruths have contended, with every fact how many fancies. The profound investigations of latter-day philosophers are nothing but simple and laborious inductions from ascertained facts, facts concerning attraction, polarity, chemical affinity and the like, for the explanation of which there are countless hypotheses, each hypothesis involving multitudes of speculations, all of which evaporate as the truth slowly crystallizes. Speculation is valuable to science only as it directs the mind into otherwise-undiscoverable paths; but when the truth is found, there is an end to speculation.

So much for facts in general; let us now look for a moment at the particular class of facts of which this work is a collection.

Tendency of Philosophic Inquiry

The tendency of philosophic inquiry is more and more toward the origin of things. In the earlier stages of intellectual impulse, the mind is almost wholly absorbed in ministering to the necessities of the present; next, the mysterious uncertainty of the after life provokes inquiry, and contemplations of an eternity of the future command attention; but not until knowledge is well advanced does it appear that there is likewise an eternity of the past worthy of careful scrutiny,—without which scrutiny, indeed, the eternity of the future must forever remain a sealed book. Standing as we do between these two eternities, our view limited to a narrow though gradually widening horizon, as nature unveils her mysteries to our inquiries, an infinity spreads out in either direction, an infinity of minuteness no less than an infinity of immensity; for hitherto, attempts to reach the ultimate of molecules, have proved as futile as attempts to reach the ultimate of masses. Now man, the noblest work of creation, the only reasoning creature, standing alone in the midst of this vast sea of undiscovered truth,—ultimate knowledge ever receding from his grasp, primal causes only thrown farther back as proximate problems are solved,—man, in the study of mankind, must follow his researches in both of these directions, backward as well as forward, must indeed derive his whole knowledge of what man is and will be from what he has been. Thus it is that the study of mankind in its minuteness assumes the grandest proportions. Viewed in this light there is not a feature of primitive humanity without significance; there is not a custom or characteristic of savage nations, however mean or revolting to us, from which important lessons may not be drawn. It is only from the study of barbarous and partially cultivated nations that we are able to comprehend man as a progressive being, and to recognize the successive stages through which our savage ancestors have passed on their way to civilization. With the natural philosopher, there is little thought as to the relative importance of the manifold works of creation. The tiny insect is no less an object of his patient scrutiny, than the wonderful and complex machinery of the cosmos. The lower races of men, in the study of humanity, he deems of as essential importance as the higher; our present higher races being but the lower types of generations yet to come.

Hence, if in the following pages, in the array of minute facts incident to the successive peoples of which we speak, some of them appear small and unworthy of notice, let it be remembered that in nature there is no such thing as insignificance; still less is there anything connected with man unworthy of our most careful study, or any peculiarity of savagism irrelevant to civilization.

Origin of Man

Different schools of naturalists maintain widely different opinions regarding the origin of mankind. Existing theories may be broadly divided into three categories; in the first two of which man is considered as a special creation, and in the third as a natural development from some lower type. The special-creation school is divided on the question of unity or diversity of race. The first party holds by the time-honored tradition, that all the nations of the earth are descended from a single human pair; the second affirms, that by one creative act were produced several special creations, each separate creation being the origin of a race, and each race primordially adapted to that part of the globe which it now inhabits. The third theory, that of the development school, denies that there ever were common centres of origin in organic creation; but claims that plants and animals generate spontaneously, and that man is but the modification of some preexisting animal form.

Hypotheses Concerning Origin

The first hypothesis, the doctrine of the monogenists, is ably supported by Latham, Prichard, and many other eminent ethnologists of Europe, and is the favorite opinion of orthodox thinkers throughout Christendom. The human race, they say, having sprung from a single pair, constitutes but one stock, though subject to various modifications. Anatomically, there is no difference between a Negro and a European. The color of the skin, the texture of the hair, the convolutions of the brain, and all other peculiarities, may be attributed to heat, moisture, and food. Man, though capable of subduing the world to himself, and of making his home under climates and circumstances the most diverse, is none the less a child of nature, acted upon and molded by those conditions which he attempts to govern. Climate, periodicities of nature, material surroundings, habits of thought and modes of life, acting through a long series of ages, exercise a powerful influence upon the human physical organization; and yet man is perfectly created for any sphere in which he may dwell; and is governed in his condition by choice rather than by coercion. Articulate language, which forms the great line of demarcation between the human and the brute creation, may be traced in its leading characteristics to one common source. The differences between the races of men are not specific differences. The greater part of the flora and fauna of America, those of the circumpolar regions excepted, are essentially dissimilar to those of the old world; while man in the new world, though bearing traces of high antiquity, is specifically identical with all the races of the earth. It is well known that the hybrids of plants and of animals do not possess the power of reproduction, while in the intermixture of the races of men no such sterility of progeny can be found; and therefore, as there are no human hybrids, there are no separate human races or species, but all are one family. Besides being consistent with sound reasoning, this theory can bring to its support the testimony of the sacred writings, and an internal evidence of a creation divine and spiritual, which is sanctioned by tradition, and confirmed by most philosophic minds. Man, unlike animals, is the direct offspring of the Creator, and as such he alone continues to derive his inheritance from a divine source. The Hebraic record, continue the monogenists, is the only authentic solution of the origin of all things; and its history is not only fully sustained by science, but it is upheld by the traditions of the most ancient barbarous nations, whose mythology strikingly resembles the Mosaic account of the creation, the deluge, and the distribution of peoples. The Semitic family alone were civilized from the beginning. A peculiar people, constantly upheld by special act of Providence from falling into paganism, they alone possessed a true knowledge of the mystery of creation. A universal necessity for some form of worship, a belief inherent in all mankind, in an omnipotent deity and a life beyond the grave, point to a common origin and prophesy a common destiny. This much for the monogenists.

The second hypothesis, that of the polygenists, holds that there was not one only, but several independent creations, each giving birth to the essential, unchangeable peculiarities of a separate race; thus constituting a diversity of species with primeval adaptation to their geographical distribution. Morton, Agassiz, Gliddon, and others in America, stand sponsors for this theory. The physiological differences of race, they say, which separate mankind into classes, do not result from climatic surroundings, but are inherited from original progenitors. They point to marked characteristics in various peoples which have remained unchanged for a period of four thousand years. In place of controverting divine revelation, they claim that Mosaic history is the history of a single race, and not the history of all mankind; that the record itself contains an implied existence of other races; and that the distribution of the various species or races of men, according to their relative organisms, was part of the creative act, and of no less importance than was the act of creation.

The third hypothesis, derived mainly from the writings of Lamarck, Darwin, and Huxley, is based upon the principle of evolution. All existing species are developments of some preëxisting form, which in like manner descended by true generation from a form still lower. Man, say they, bears no impress of a divine original that is not common to brutes; he is but an animal, more perfectly developed through natural and sexual selection. Commencing with the spontaneous generation of the lowest types of vegetable and animal life,—as the accumulation of mold upon food, the swarming of maggots in meat, the infusorial animalcules in water, the generation of insect life in decaying vegetable substances,—the birth of one form arising out of the decay of another, the slow and gradual unfolding from a lower to a higher sphere, acting through a long succession of ages, culminate in the grandeur of intellectual manhood. Thus much for this life, while the hope of a like continued progress is entertained for the life to come. While the tendency of variety in organic forms is to decrease, argue these latter-day naturalists, individuals increase in a proportion greater than the provisional means of support. A predominating species, under favorable circumstances, rapidly multiplies, crowding out and annihilating opposing species. There is therefore a constant struggle for existence in nature, in which the strongest, those best fitted to live and improve their species, prevail; while the deformed and ill-favored are destroyed. In courtship and sexual selection the war for precedence continues. Throughout nature the male is the wooer; he it is who is armed for fight, and provided with musical organs and ornamental appendages, with which to charm the fair one. The savage and the wild beast alike secure their mate over the mangled form of a vanquished rival. In this manner the more highly favored of either sex are mated, and natural selections made, by which, better ever producing better, the species in its constant variation is constantly improved. Many remarkable resemblances may be seen between man and the inferior animals. In embryonic development, in physical structure, in material composition and the function of organs, man and animals are strikingly alike. And, in the possession of that immaterial nature which more widely separates the human from the brute creation, the ‘reasonable soul’ of man is but an evolution from brute instincts. The difference in the mental faculties of man and animals is immense; but the high culture which belongs to man has been slowly developed, and there is plainly a wider separation between the mental power of the lowest zoöphyte and the highest ape, than between the most intellectual ape and the least intellectual man. Physically and mentally, the man-like ape and the ape-like man sustain to each other a near relationship; while between the mammal and the mollusk there exists the greatest possible dissimilarity. Articulate language, it is true, acting upon the brain, and in turn being acted upon to the improvement of both, belongs only to man; yet animals are not devoid of expedients for expressing feeling and emotion. It has been observed that no brute ever fashioned a tool for a special purpose; but some animals crack nuts with a stone, and an accidentally splintered flint naturally suggests itself as the first instrument of primeval man. The chief difficulty lies in the high state of moral and intellectual power which may be attained by man; yet this same progressive principle is likewise found in brutes. Nor need we blush for our origin. The nations now most civilized were once barbarians. Our ancestors were savages, who, with tangled hair, and glaring eyes, and blood-besmeared hands, devoured man and beast alike. Surely a respectable gorilla lineage stands no unfavorable comparison.

Between the first and the last of these three rallying points, a whole continent of debatable land is spread, stretching from the most conservative orthodoxy to the most scientific liberalism. Numberless arguments may be advanced to sustain any given position; and not unfrequently the same analogies are brought forward to prove propositions directly oppugnant. As has been observed, each school ranks among its followers the ablest men of science of the day. These men do not differ in minor particulars only, meeting in general upon one broad, common platform; on the contrary, they find themselves unable to agree as touching any one thing, except that man is, and that he is surrounded by those climatic influences best suited to his organization. Any one of these theories, if substantiated, is the death-blow of the others. The first denies any diversity of species in creation and all immutability of race; the second denies a unity of species and the possibility of change in race; the third denies all special acts of creation and, like the first, all immutability of race.

Plants and Animals

The question respecting the origin of animals and plants has likewise undergone a similar flux of beliefs, but with different result. Whatever the conclusions may be with regard to the origin of man, naturalists of the present day very generally agree, that there was no one universal centre of propagation for plants and animals; but that the same conditions of soil, moisture, heat, and geographical situation, always produce a similarity of species; or, what is equivalent, that there were many primary centres, each originating species, which spread out from these centres and covered the earth. This doctrine was held by early naturalists to be irreconcilable with the Scripture account of the creation, and was therefore denounced as heretical. Linnæus and his contemporaries drew up a pleasing picture, assigning the birth-place of all forms of life to one particular fertile spot, situated in a genial climate, and so diversified with lofty mountains and declivities, as to present all the various temperatures requisite for the sustenance of the different species of animal and vegetable life. The most exuberant types of flora and fauna are found within the tropical regions, decreasing in richness and profusion towards either pole; while man in his greatest perfection occupies the temperate zone, degenerating in harmony of features, in physical symmetry, and in intellectual vigor in either direction. Within this temperate zone is placed the hypothetical cradle of the human race, varying in locality according to religion and tradition. The Caucasians are referred for their origin to Mount Caucasus, the Mongolians to Mount Altai, and the Africans to Mount Atlas. Three primordial centres of population have been assigned to the three sons of Noah,—Arabia, the Semitic; India, the Japetic; and Egypt, the Hamitic centre. Thibet, and the mountains surrounding the Gobi desert, have been designated as the point from which a general distribution was made; while the sacred writings mention four rich and beautiful valleys, two of which are watered by the Tigris and Euphrates, as the birth-place of man. It was formerly believed that in the beginning, the primeval ocean covered the remaining portion of the globe, and that from this central spot the waters receded, thereby extending the limits of terrestrial life.

Admitting the unity of origin, conjecture points with apparent reason to the regions of Armenia and of Iran, in western Asia, as the cradle of the human race. Departing from this geographical centre, in the directions of the extremities of the continent, the race at first degenerated in proportion to distance. Civilization was for many ages confined within these central limits, until by slow degrees, paths were marked out to the eastward and to the westward, terminating the one upon the eastern coast of Asia, and the other upon the American shores of the Pacific.

Primordial Centers

Concerning the distribution of plants and animals, but one general opinion is now sustained with any degree of reason. The beautifully varied systems of vegetation with which the habitable earth is clothed, springing up in rich, spontaneous abundance; the botanical centres of corresponding latitudes producing resemblance in genera without identity of species; their inability to cross high mountains or wide seas, or to pass through inhospitable zones, or in any way to spread far from the original centre,—all show conclusively the impossibility that such a multitude of animal and vegetable tribes, with characters so diverse, could have derived their origin from the same locality, and disappearing entirely from their original birth-place, sprung forth in some remote part of the globe. Linnæus, and many others of his time, held that all telluric tribes, in common with mankind, sprang from a single pair, and descended from the stock which was preserved by Noah. Subsequently this opinion was modified, giving to each species an origin in some certain spot to which it was particularly adapted by nature; and it was supposed that from these primary centres, through secondary causes, there was a general diffusion throughout the surrounding regions.

A comparison of the entomology of the old world and the new, shows that the genera and species of insects are for the most part peculiar to the localities in which they are found. Birds and marine animals, although unrestricted in their movements, seldom wander far from specific centres. With regard to wild beasts, and the larger animals, insurmountable difficulties present themselves; so that we may infer that the systems of animal life are indigenous to the great zoölogical provinces where they are found.

On the other hand, the harmony which exists between the organism of man and the methods by which nature meets his requirements, tends conclusively to show that the world in its variety was made for man, and that man is made for any portion of the earth in which he may be found. Whencesoever he comes, or howsoever he reaches his dwelling-place, he always finds it prepared for him. On the icy banks of the Arctic Ocean, where mercury freezes and the ground never softens, the Eskimo, wrapped in furs, and burrowing in the earth, revels in grease and train-oil, sustains vitality by eating raw flesh and whale-fat; while the naked inter-tropical man luxuriates in life under a burning sun, where ether boils and reptiles shrivel upon the hot stone over which they attempt to crawl. The watery fruit and shading vegetation would be as useless to the one, as the heating food and animal clothing would be to the other.

The capability of man to endure all climates, his omnivorous habits, and his powers of locomotion, enable him to roam at will over the earth. He was endowed with intelligence wherewith to invent methods of migration and means of protection from unfavorable climatic influence, and with capabilities for existing in almost any part of the world; so that, in the economy of nature the necessity did not exist with regard to man for that diversity of creation which was deemed requisite in the case of plants and animals.

The classification of man into species or races, so as to be able to designate by his organization the family to which he belongs, as well as the question of his origin, has been the subject of great diversity of opinion from the fact that the various forms so graduate into each other, that it is impossible to determine which is species and which variety. Attempts have indeed been made at divisions of men into classes according to their primeval and permanent physiological structure, but what uniformity can be expected from such a classification among naturalists who cannot so much as agree what is primeval and what permanent?

The tests applied by ethnologists for distinguishing the race to which an individual belongs, are the color of the skin, the size and shape of the skull,—determined generally by the facial angle,—the texture of the hair, and the character of the features. The structure of language, also, has an important bearing upon the affinity of races; and is, with some ethnologists, the primary criterion in the classification of species. The facial angle is determined by a line drawn from the forehead to the front of the upper jaw, intersected by a horizontal line passing over the middle of the ear. The facial angle of a European is estimated at 85°, of a Negro at 75°, and of the ape at 60°. Representations of an adult Troglodyte measure 35°, and of a Satyr 30°. Some writers classify according to one or several of these tests, others consider them all in arriving at their conclusions.

Specific Classifications

Thus, Virey divides the human family into two parts: those with a facial angle of from eighty-five to ninety degrees,—embracing the Caucasian, Mongolian, and American; and those with a facial angle of from seventy-five to eighty-two degrees,—including the Malay, Negro, and Hottentot. Cuvier and Jaquinot make three classes, placing the Malay and American among the subdivisions of the Mongolian. Kant makes four divisions under four colors: white, black, copper, and olive. Linnæus also makes four: European, whitish; American, coppery; Asiatic, tawny; and African, black. Buffon makes five divisions and Blumenbach five. Blumenbach’s classification is based upon cranial admeasurements, complexion, and texture of the hair. His divisions are Caucasian or Aryan, Mongolian, Ethiopian, Malay, and American. Lesson makes six divisions according to colors: white, dusky, orange, yellow, red, and black. Bory de St Vincent arranges fifteen stocks under three classes which are differenced by hair: European straight hair, American straight hair, and crisped or curly hair. In like manner Prof. Zeune designates his divisions under three types of crania for the eastern hemisphere, and three for the western, namely, high skulls, broad skulls, and long skulls. Hunter classifies the human family under seven species; Agassiz makes eight; Pickering, eleven; Desmoulins, sixteen; and Crawford, sixty-three. Dr Latham, considered by many the chief exponent of the science of ethnology in England, classifies the different races under three primary divisions, namely: Mongolidæ, Atlantidæ, and Japetidæ. Prichard makes three principal types of cranial conformation, which he denominates respectively, the civilized races, the nomadic or wandering races, and the savage or hunting races. Agassiz designates the races of men according to the zoölogical provinces which they respectively occupy. Thus the Arctic realm is inhabited by Hyperboreans, the Asiatic by Mongols, the European by white men, the American by American Indians, the African by black races, and the East Indian, Australian and Polynesian by their respective peoples.

Now when we consider the wide differences between naturalists, not only as to what constitutes race and species,—if there be variety of species in the human family,—but also in the assignment of peoples and individuals to their respective categories under the direction of the given tests; when we see the human race classified under from one to sixty-three distinct species, according to individual opinions; and when we see that the several tests which govern classification are by no means satisfactory, and that those who have made this subject the study of their lives, cannot agree as touching the fundamental characteristics of such classification—we cannot but conclude, either that there are no absolute lines of separation between the various members of the human family, or that thus far the touchstone by which such separation is to be made remains undiscovered.

All Tests Fallacious

The color of the human skin, for example, is no certain guide in classification. Microscopists have ascertained that the normal colorations of the skin are not the results of organic differences in race; that complexions are not permanent physical characters, but are subject to change. Climate is a cause of physical differences, and frequently in a single tribe may be found shades of color extending through all the various transitions from black to white. In one people, part occupying a cold mountainous region, and part a heated lowland, a marked difference in color is always perceptible. Peculiarities in the texture of the hair are likewise no proof of race. The hair is more sensibly affected by the action of the climate than the skin. Every degree of color and crispation may be found in the European family alone; and even among the frizzled locks of negroes every gradation appears, from crisped to flowing hair. The growth of the beard may be cultivated or retarded according to the caprice of the individual; and in those tribes which are characterized by an absence or thinness of beard, may be found the practice, continued for ages, of carefully plucking out all traces of beard at the age of puberty. No physiological deformities have been discovered which prevent any people from cultivating a beard if such be their pleasure. The conformation of the cranium is often peculiar to habits of rearing the young, and may be modified by accidental or artificial causes. The most eminent scholars now hold the opinion that the size and shape of the skull has far less influence upon the intelligence of the individual than the quality and convolutions of the brain. The structure of language, especially when offered in evidence supplementary to that of physical science, is most important in establishing a relationship between races. But it should be borne in mind that languages are acquired, not inherited; that they are less permanent than living organisms; that they are constantly changing, merging into each other, one dialect dying out and another springing into existence; that in the migrations of nomadic tribes, or in the arrival of new nations, although languages may for a time preserve their severalty, they are at last obliged, from necessity, to yield to the assimilating influences which constantly surround them, and become merged into the dialects of neighboring clans. And on the other hand, a counter influence is exercised upon the absorbing dialect. The dialectic fusion of two communities results in the partial disappearance of both languages, so that a constant assimilation and dissimilation is going on. “The value of language,” says Latham, “has been overrated;” and Whitney affirms that “language is no infallible sign of race;” although both of these authors give to language the first place as a test of national affinities. Language is not a physiological characteristic, but an acquisition; and as such should be used with care in the classification of species.

Science, during the last half century, has unfolded many important secrets; has tamed impetuous elements, called forth power and life from the hidden recesses of the earth; has aroused the slumbering energies of both mental and material force, changed the currents of thought, emancipated the intellect from religious transcendentalism, and spread out to the broad light of open day a vast sea of truth. Old-time beliefs have had to give place. The débris of one exploded dogma is scarcely cleared away before we are startled with a request for the yielding up of another long and dearly cherished opinion. And in the attempt to read the book of humanity as it comes fresh from the impress of nature, to trace the history of the human race, by means of moral and physical characteristics, backward through all its intricate windings to its source, science has accomplished much; but the attempt to solve the great problem of human existence, by analogous comparisons of man with man, and man with animals, has so far been vain and futile in the extreme.

I would not be understood as attempting captiously to decry the noble efforts of learned men to solve the problems of nature. For who can tell what may or may not be found out by inquiry? Any classification, moreover, and any attempt at classification, is better than none; and in drawing attention to the uncertainty of the conclusions arrived at by science, I but reiterate the opinions of the most profound thinkers of the day. It is only shallow and flippant scientists, so called, who arbitrarily force deductions from mere postulates, and with one sweeping assertion strive to annihilate all history and tradition. They attempt dogmatically to set up a reign of intellect in opposition to that of the Author of intellect. Terms of vituperation and contempt with which a certain class of writers interlard their sophisms, as applied to those holding different opinions, are alike an offense against good taste and sound reasoning.

Notwithstanding all these failures to establish rules by which mankind may be divided into classes, there yet remains the stubborn fact that differences do exist, as palpable as the difference between daylight and darkness. These differences, however, are so played upon by change, that hitherto the scholar has been unable to transfix those elements which appear to him permanent and characteristic. For, as Draper remarks, “the permanence of organic forms is altogether dependent on the invariability of the material conditions under which they live. Any variation therein, no matter how insignificant it might be, would be forthwith followed by a corresponding variation in form. The present invariability of the world of organization is the direct consequence of the physical equilibrium, and so it will continue as long as the mean temperature, the annual supply of light, the composition of the air, the distribution of water, oceanic and atmospheric currents, and other such agencies, remain unaltered; but if any one of these, or of a hundred other incidents that might be mentioned, should suffer modification, in an instant the fanciful doctrine of the immutability of species would be brought to its true value.”

Origin of the Indians

The American Indians, their origin and consanguinity, have, from the days of Columbus to the present time proved no less a knotty question. Schoolmen and scientists count their theories by hundreds, each sustaining some pet conjecture, with a logical clearness equaled only by the facility with which he demolishes all the rest. One proves their origin by holy writ; another by the writings of ancient philosophers; another by the sage sayings of the Fathers. One discovers in them Phœnician merchants; another, the ten lost tribes of Israel. They are tracked with equal certainty from Scandinavia, from Ireland, from Iceland, from Greenland, across Bering Strait, across the northern Pacific, the southern Pacific, from the Polynesian Islands, from Australia, from Africa. Venturesome Carthaginians were thrown upon the eastern shore; Japanese junks on the western. The breezes that wafted hither America’s primogenitors are still blowing, and the ocean currents by which they came cease not yet to flow. The finely spun webs of logic by which these fancies are maintained would prove amusing, did not the profound earnestness of their respective advocates render them ridiculous. Acosta, who studied the subject for nine years in Peru, concludes that America was the Ophir of Solomon. Aristotle relates that the Carthaginians in a voyage were carried to an unknown island; whereupon Florian, Gomara, Oviedo, and others, are satisfied that the island was Española. “Who are these that fly as a cloud,” exclaims Esaias, “or as the doves to their windows?” Scholastic sages answer, Columbus is the columba or dove here prophesied. Alexo Vanegas shows that America was peopled by Carthaginians; Anahuac being but another name for Anak. Besides, both nations practiced picture-writing; both venerated fire and water, wore skins of animals, pierced the ears, ate dogs, drank to excess, telegraphed by means of fires on hills, wore all their finery on going to war, poisoned their arrows, beat drums and shouted in battle. Garcia found a man in Peru who had seen a rock with something very like Greek letters engraved upon it; six hundred years after the apotheosis of Hercules, Coleo made a long voyage; Homer knew of the ocean; the Athenians waged war with the inhabitants of Atlantis; hence the American Indians were Greeks. Lord Kingsborough proves conclusively that these same American Indians were Jews: because their “symbol of innocence” was in the one case a fawn and in the other a lamb; because of the law of Moses, “considered in reference to the custom of sacrificing children, which existed in Mexico and Peru;” because “the fears of tumults of the people, famine, pestilence, and warlike invasions, were exactly the same as those entertained by the Jews if they failed in the performance of any of their ritual observances;” because “the education of children commenced amongst the Mexicans, as with the Jews, at an exceedingly early age;” because “beating with a stick was a very common punishment amongst the Jews,” as well as among the Mexicans; because the priesthood of both nations “was hereditary in a certain family;” because both were inclined to pay great respect to lucky or unlucky omens, such as the screeching of the owl, the sneezing of a person in company,” etc., and because of a hundred other equally sound and relevant arguments. Analogous reasoning to this of Lord Kingsborough’s was that of the Merced Indians of California. Shortly after the discovery of the Yosemite Valley, tidings reached the settlers of Mariposa that certain chiefs had united with intent to drop down from their mountain stronghold and annihilate them. To show the Indians the uselessness of warring upon white men, these chieftains were invited to visit the city of San Francisco, where, from the number and superiority of the people that they would there behold, they should become intimidated, and thereafter maintain peace. But contrary to the most reasonable expectations, no sooner had the dusky delegates returned to their home than a council was called, and the assembled warriors were informed that they need have no fear of these strangers: “For,” said the envoys, “the people of the great city of San Francisco are of a different tribe from these white settlers of Mariposa. Their manners, their customs, their language, their dress, are all different. They wear black coats and high hats, and are not able to walk along the smoothest path without the aid of a stick.”

There are many advocates for an Asiatic origin, both among ancient and modern speculators. Favorable winds and currents, the short distance between islands, traditions, both Chinese and Indian, refer the peopling of America to that quarter. Similarity in color, features, religion, reckoning of time, absence of a heavy beard, and innumerable other comparisons, are drawn by enthusiastic advocates, to support a Mongolian origin. The same arguments, in whole or in part, are used to prove that America was peopled by Egyptians, by Ethiopians, by French, English, Trojans, Frisians, Scythians; and also that different parts were settled by different peoples. The test of language has been applied with equal facility and enthusiasm to Egyptian, Jew, Phœnician, Carthaginian, Spaniard, Chinese, Japanese, and in fact to nearly all the nations of the earth. A complete review of theories and opinions concerning the origin of the Indians, I propose to give in another place; not that intrinsically they are of much value, except as showing the different fancies of different men and times. Fancies, I say, for modern scholars, with the aid of all the new revelations of science, do not appear in their investigations to arrive one whit nearer an indubitable conclusion.

It was obvious to the Europeans when they first beheld the natives of America, that these were unlike the intellectual white-skinned race of Europe, the barbarous blacks of Africa, or any nation or people which they had hitherto encountered, yet were strikingly like each other. Into whatsoever part of the newly discovered lands they penetrated, they found a people seemingly one in color, physiognomy, customs, and in mental and social traits. Their vestiges of antiquity and their languages presented a coincidence which was generally observed by early travelers. Hence physical and psychological comparisons are advanced to prove ethnological resemblances among all the peoples of America, and that they meanwhile possess common peculiarities totally distinct from the nations of the old world. Morton and his confrères, the originators of the American homogeneity theory, even go so far as to claim for the American man an origin as indigenous as that of the fauna and flora. They classify all the tribes of America, excepting only the Eskimos who wandered over from Asia, as the American race, and divide it into the American family and the Toltecan family. Blumenbach classifies the Americans as a distinct species. The American Mongolidæ of Dr Latham are divided into Eskimos and American Indians. Dr Morton perceives the same characteristic lineaments in the face of the Fuegian and the Mexican, and in tribes inhabiting the Rocky Mountains, the Mississippi Valley, and Florida. The same osteological structure, swarthy color, straight hair, meagre beard, obliquely cornered eyes, prominent cheek bones, and thick lips are common to them all. Dr Latham describes his American Mongolidæ as exercising upon the world a material rather than a moral influence; giving them meanwhile a color, neither a true white nor a jet black; hair straight and black, rarely light, sometimes curly; eyes sometimes oblique; a broad, flat face and a retreating forehead. Dr Prichard considers the American race, psychologically, as neither superior nor inferior to other primitive races of the world. Bory de St Vincent classifies Americans into five species, including the Eskimos. The Mexicans he considers as cognate with the Malays. Humboldt characterizes the nations of America as one race, by their straight glossy hair, thin beard, swarthy complexion, and cranial formation. Schoolcraft makes four groups; the first extending across the northern end of the continent; the second, tribes living east of the Mississippi; the third, those between the Mississippi and the Rocky Mountains; and the fourth, those west of the Rocky Mountains. All these he subdivides into thirty-seven families; but so far as those on the Pacific Coast are concerned, he might as reasonably have made of them twice or half the number.

All writers agree in giving to the nations of America a remote antiquity; all admit that there exists a greater uniformity between them than is to be found in the old world; many deny that all are one race. There is undoubtedly a prevailing uniformity in those physical characteristics which govern classification; but this uniformity goes as far to prove one universal race throughout the world, as it does to prove a race peculiar to America. Traditions, ruins, moral and physical peculiarities, all denote for Americans a remote antiquity. The action of a climate peculiar to America, and of natural surroundings common to all the people of the continent, could not fail to produce in time a similarity of physiological structure.

Individuality of Race

The impression of a New World individuality of race was no doubt strengthened in the eyes of the Conquerors, and in the mind of the train of writers that followed, by the fact, that the newly discovered tribes were more like each other than were any other peoples they had ever before seen; and at the same time very much unlike any nation whatever of the old world. And so any really existing physical distinctions among the American stocks came to be overlooked or undervalued. Darwin, on the authority of Elphinstone, observes that in India, “although a newly arrived European cannot at first distinguish the various native races, yet they soon appear to him entirely dissimilar; and the Hindoo cannot at first perceive any difference between the several European nations.”

It has been observed by Prof. von Martius that the literary and architectural remains of the civilized tribes of America indicate a higher degree of intellectual elevation than is likely to be found in a nation emerging from barbarism. In their sacerdotal ordinances, privileged orders, regulated despotisms, codes of law, and forms of government are found clear indications of a relapse from civilization to barbarism. Chateaubriand, from the same premises, develops a directly opposite conclusion, and perceives in all this high antiquity and civilization only a praiseworthy evolution from primeval barbarism.

Thus arguments drawn from a comparison of parallel traits in the moral, social, or physical condition of man should be received with allowance, for man has much in common not only with man, but with animals. Variations in bodily structure and mental faculties are governed by general laws. The great variety of climate which characterizes America could not fail to produce various habits of life. The half-torpid Hyperborean, the fierce warrior-hunter of the vast interior forests, the sluggish, swarthy native of the tropics, and the intelligent Mexican of the table-land, slowly developing into civilization under the refining influences of arts and letters,—all these indicate variety in the unity of the American race; while the insulation of American nations, and the general characteristics incident to peculiar physical conditions could not fail to produce a unity in their variety.

Races of the Pacific

The races of the Pacific States embrace all the varieties of species known as American under any of the classifications mentioned. Thus, in the five divisions of Blumenbach, the Eskimos of the north would come under the fourth division, which embraces Malays and Polynesians, and which is distinguished by a high square skull, low forehead, short broad nose, and projecting jaws. To his fifth class, the American, which he subdivides into the American family and the Toltecan family, he gives a small skull with a high apex, flat on the occiput, high cheek bones, receding forehead, aquiline nose, large mouth, and tumid lips. Morton, although he makes twenty-two divisions in all, classifies Americans in the same manner. The Polar family he characterises as brown in color, short in stature, of thick, clumsy proportions, with a short neck, large head, flat face, small nose, and eyes disposed to obliquity. He perceives an identity of race among all the other stocks from Mount St Elias to Patagonia; though he designates the semi-civilized tribes of Mexico and Peru as the Toltecan family, and the savage nations as the Appalachian branch of the American family. Dr Prichard makes three divisions of the tribes bordering the Pacific between Mount St Elias and Cape St Lucas: the tribes from the borders of the Eskimos southward to Vancouver Island constitute the first division; the tribes of Oregon and Washington, the second; and the tribes of Upper and Lower California, the third. Pickering assigns the limits of the American, Malay, or Toltecan family to California and western Mexico. He is of the opinion that they crossed from southeastern Asia by way of the islands of the Pacific, and landed upon this continent south of San Francisco, there being no traces of them north of this point; while the Mongolians found their way from northeastern Asia across Bering Strait. The Californians, therefore, he calls Malays; and the inhabitants of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Washington, and Oregon, he classifies as Mongolians. Californians, in the eyes of this traveler, differ from their northern neighbors in complexion and physiognomy. The only physiological test that Mr Pickering was able to apply in order to distinguish the Polynesian in San Francisco from the native Californian, was that the hair of the former was wavy, while that of the latter was straight. Both have more hair than the Oregonian. The skin of the Malay of the Polynesian Islands, and that of the Californian are alike, soft and very dark. Three other analogous characteristics were discovered by Mr Pickering. Both have an open countenance, one wife, and no tomahawk! On the other hand, the Mongolian from Asia, and the Oregonian are of a lighter complexion, and exhibit the same general resemblances that are seen in the American and Asiatic Eskimos.

In general the Toltecan family may be described as of good stature, well proportioned, rather above medium size, of a light copper color; as having long black obliquely pointed eyes, regular white teeth, glossy black hair, thin beard, prominent cheek bones, thick lips, large aquiline nose, and retreating forehead. A gentle expression about the mouth is blended with severity and melancholy in the upper portion of the face. They are brave, cruel in war, sanguinary in religion, and revengeful. They are intelligent; possess minds well adapted to the pursuit of knowledge; and, at the time of the arrival of the Spaniards, were well advanced in history, architecture, mathematics, and astronomy. They constructed aqueducts, extracted metals, carved images in gold, silver, and copper; they could spin, weave, and dye; they could accurately cut precious stones; they cultivated corn and cotton; built large cities, constructing their buildings of stone and lime; made roads and erected stupendous tumuli.

Certain ethnological zones have been observed by some, stretching across the continent in various latitudes, broken somewhat by intersecting continental elevations, but following for the most part isothermal lines which, on coming from the east, bend northward as the softer air of the Pacific is entered. Thus the Eskimos nearly surround the pole. Next come the Tinneh, stretching across the continent from the east, somewhat irregularly, but their course marked generally by thermic lines, bending northward after crossing the Rocky Mountains, their southern boundary, touching the Pacific, about the fifty-fifth parallel. The Algonkin family border on the Tinneh, commencing at the mouth of the St Lawrence River, and extending westward to the Rocky Mountains. Natural causes alone prevent the extension of these belts round the entire earth. Indeed, both philologists and physiologists trace lines of affinity across the Pacific, from island to island, from one continent to the other; one line, as we have seen, crossing Bering Strait, another following the Aleutian Archipelago, and a third striking the coast south of San Francisco Bay.

Savage Humanity

It is common for those unaccustomed to look below the surface of things, to regard Indians as scarcely within the category of humanity. Especially is this the case when we, maddened by some treacherous outrage, some diabolic act of cruelty, hastily pronounce them incorrigibly wicked, inhumanly malignant, a nest of vipers, the extermination of which is a righteous act. All of which may be true; but, judged by this standard, has not every nation on earth incurred the death penalty? Human nature is in no wise changed by culture. The European is but a white-washed savage. Civilized venom is no less virulent than savage venom. It ill becomes the full grown man to scoff at the ineffectual attempts of the little child, and to attempt the cure of its faults by killing it. No more is it a mark of benevolent wisdom in those favored by a superior intelligence, with the written records of the past from which to draw experience and learn how best to shape their course for the future, to cry down the untaught man of the wilderness, deny him a place in this world or the next, denounce him as a scourge, an outlaw, and seize upon every light pretext to assist him off the stage from which his doom is so rapidly removing him. We view man in his primitive state from a wrong stand-point at the outset. In place of regarding savages as of one common humanity with ourselves, and the ancestors perhaps of peoples higher in the scale of being, and more intellectual than any the world has yet seen, we place them among the common enemies of mankind, and regard them more in the light of wild animals than of wild men.

And let not him who seeks a deeper insight into the mysteries of humanity despise beginnings, things crude and small. The difference between the cultured and the primitive man lies chiefly in the fact that one has a few centuries the start of the other in the race of progress. Before condemning the barbarian, let us first examine his code of ethics. Let us draw our light from his light, reason after his fashion; see in the sky, the earth, the sea, the same fantastic imagery that plays upon his fancy, and adapt our sense of right and wrong to his social surroundings. Just as human nature is able to appreciate divine nature only as divine nature accords with human nature; so the intuitions of lower orders of beings can be comprehended only by bringing into play our lower faculties. Nor can we any more clearly appreciate the conceptions of beings below us than of those above us. The thoughts, reasonings, and instincts of an animal or insect are as much a mystery to the human intellect as are the lofty contemplations of an archangel.

Pacification of Tierra Firme

Three hundred and thirty-six years were occupied in the discovery of the western border of North America. From the time when, in 1501, the adventurous notary of Triana, Rodrigo de Bastidas, approached the Isthmus of Darien, in search of gold and pearls, till the year 1837, when Messrs Dease and Simpson, by order of the Hudson’s Bay Company, completed the survey of the northern extremity, which bounds the Arctic Ocean, the intervening territory was discovered at intervals, and under widely different circumstances. During that time, under various immediate incentives, but with the broad principle of avarice underlying all, such parts of this territory as were conceived to be of sufficient value were seized, and the inhabitants made a prey to the rapacity of the invaders. Thus the purpose of the worthy notary Bastidas, the first Spaniard who visited the continent of North America, was pacific barter with the Indians; and his kind treatment was rewarded by a successful traffic. Next came Columbus, from the opposite direction, sailing southward along the coast of Honduras on his fourth voyage, in 1502. His was the nobler object of discovery. He was striving to get through or round this tierra firme which, standing between himself and his theory, persistently barred his progress westward. He had no time for barter, nor any inclination to plant settlements; he was looking for a strait or passage through or round these outer confines to the more opulent regions of India. But, unsuccessful in his laudable effort, he at length yielded to the clamorous cupidity of his crew. He permitted his brother, the Adelantado, to land and take possession of the country for the king of Spain, and, in the year following, to attempt a settlement at Veragua.

First Intercourse with Europeans

In 1506-8, Juan de Solis with Pinzon continued the search of Columbus, along the coast of Yucatan and Mexico, for a passage through to the southern ocean. The disastrous adventures of Alonzo de Ojeda, Diego de Nicuesa, and Juan de la Cosa, on the Isthmus of Darien, between the years 1507 and 1511, brought into more intimate contact the steel weapons of the chivalrous hidalgos with the naked bodies of the savages. Vasco Nuñez de Balboa, after a toilsome journey across the Isthmus in 1513, was rewarded by the first view of the Pacific Ocean, of which he took possession for the king of Spain on the twenty-fifth of September. The white sails of Córdova Grijalva, and Garay, descried by the natives of Yucatan and Mexico in 1517-19, were quickly followed by Cortés and his keen-scented band of adventurers, who, received by the unsuspecting natives as gods, would have been dismissed by them as fiends had not the invasion culminated in the conquest of Mexico. During the years 1522-24, Cortés made expeditions to Tehuantepec, Panuco, and Central America; Gil Gonzales and Cristobal de Olid invaded Nicaragua and Honduras. Nuño de Guzman in 1530, with a large force, took possession of the entire northern country from the city of Mexico to the northern boundary of Sinaloa; and Cabeza de Vaca crossed the continent from Texas to Sinaloa in the years 1528-36. Journeys to the north were made by Cortés, Ulloa, Coronado, Mendoza, and Cabrillo between the years 1536 and 1542. Hundreds of Roman Catholic missionaries, ready to lay down their lives in their earnest anxiety for the souls of the Indians, spread out into the wilderness in every direction. During the latter part of the sixteenth century had place,—the expedition of Francisco de Ibarra to Sinaloa in 1556, the campaign of Hernando de Bazan against the Indians of Sinaloa in 1570, the adventures of Oxenham in Darien in 1575, the voyage round the world of Sir Francis Drake, touching upon the Northwest Coast in 1579; the expedition of Antonio de Espejo to New Mexico in 1583; Francisco de Gali’s return from Macao to Mexico, by way of the Northwest Coast, in 1584; the voyage of Maldonado to the imaginary Straits of Anian in 1588; the expedition of Castaño de Sosa to New Mexico in 1590; the voyage of Juan de Fuca to the Straits of Anian in 1592; the wreck of the ‘San Agustin’ upon the Northwest Coast in 1595; the voyage of Sebastian Vizcaino towards California in 1596; the discoveries of Juan de Oñate in New Mexico in 1599, and many others. Intercourse with the natives was extended during the seventeenth century by the voyage of Sebastian Vizcaino from Mexico to California in 1602; by the expedition of Francisco de Ortega to Lower California in 1631; by the journey of Thomas Gage from Mexico to Guatemala in 1638; by the voyage round the world of William Dampier in 1679; by the reckless adventures of the Buccaneers from 1680 to 1690; by the expedition of Isidor de Otondo into Lower California in 1683; by the expedition of Father Kino to Sonora and Arizona in 1683; by the expeditions of Kino, Kappus, Mange, Bernal, Carrasco, Salvatierra, and others to Sonora and Arizona in 1694-9; and by the occupation of Lower California by the Jesuits, Salvatierra, Ugarte, Kino, and Piccolo, from 1697 to 1701. Voyages of circumnavigation were made by Dampier in 1703-4; by Rogers in 1708-11; by Shelvocke in 1719-22, and by Anson in 1740-4. Frondac made a voyage from China to California in 1709.

The first voyage through Bering Strait is supposed to have been made by Semun Deschneff and his companions in the year 1648, and purports to have explored the Asiatic coast from the river Kolyma to the south of the river Anadir, thus proving the separation of the continents of Asia and America. In 1711, a Russian Cossack, named Popoff, was sent from the fort on the Anadir river to subdue the rebellious Tschuktschi of Tschuktschi Noss, a point of land on the Asiatic coast near to the American continent. He there received from the natives the first intelligence of the proximity of the continent of America and the character of the inhabitants; an account of which will be given in another place. In 1741, Vitus Bering and Alexei Tschirikoff sailed in company, from Petropaulovski, for the opposite coast of America. They parted company during a storm, the latter reaching the coast in latitude fifty-six, and the former landing at Cape St Elias in latitude sixty degrees north. The earliest information concerning the Aleutian Islanders was obtained by the Russians in the year 1745, when Michael Nevodtsikoff sailed from the Kamtchatka river in pursuit of furs. A Russian commercial company, called the Promyschleniki, was formed, and other hunting and trading voyages followed. Lasareff visited six islands of the Andreanovski group in 1761; and the year following was made the discovery of the Alaskan Peninsula, supposed to be an island until after the survey of the coast by Captain Cook. Drusinin made a hunting expedition to Unalaska and the Fox Islands in 1763; and, during the same year, Stephen Glottoff visited the island of Kadiak. Korovin, Solovieff, Synd, Otseredin, Krenitzen, and other Russian fur-hunters spent the years 1762-5 among the Aleutian Islands, capturing sea-otters, seals, and foxes, and exchanging, with the natives, beads and iron utensils, for furs.

Occupation of California

A grand missionary movement, growing out of the religious rivalries of the two great orders of the Catholic Church, led to the original occupation of Upper California by Spaniards. The work of Christianizing Lower California was inaugurated by the Jesuits, under Fathers Salvatierra and Kino, in 1697. When the Jesuits were expelled from Mexico in 1767, their missions were turned over to the Franciscans. This so roused the zeal of the Dominicans that they immediately appealed to Spain, and in 1769 obtained an edict, giving them a due share in the missions of Lower California. The Franciscans, thinking it better to carry their efforts into new fields than to contend for predominance at home, generously offered to cede the whole of Lower California to the Dominicans, and themselves retire to the wild and distant regions of Upper California. This being agreed upon, two expeditions were organized to proceed northward simultaneously, one by water and the other by land. In January, 1769, the ship ‘San Carlos,’ commanded by Vicente Vila, was dispatched for San Diego, followed by the ‘San Antonio,’ under Juan Perez, and the ‘San José,’ which was unfortunately lost. The land expedition was separated into two divisions; the first under Rivera y Moncada departed from Mexico in March, and arrived at San Diego in May; the second under Gaspar de Portolá and Father Junípero Serra reached San Diego in July, 1769. Portolá with his companions immediately set out by land for the Bay of Monterey; but, unwittingly passing it by, they continued northward until barred in their progress by the magnificent Bay of San Francisco. Unable to find the harbor of Monterey, they returned to San Diego in January, 1770. In April, Portolá made a second and more successful attempt, and arrived at Monterey in May. Meanwhile Perez and Junípero Serra accomplished the voyage by sea, sailing in the ‘San Carlos.’ In 1772, Pedro Fages and Juan Crespi proceeded from Monterey to explore the Bay of San Francisco. They were followed by Rivera y Moncada in 1774, and Palou and Ezeta in 1775; and in 1776, Moraga founded the Mission of Dolores. In 1775, Bodega y Quadra voyaged up the Californian coast to the fifty-eighth parallel. In 1776, Dominguez and Escalante made an expedition from Santa Fé to Monterey. Menonville journeyed to Oajaca in New Spain in 1777. In 1778, Captain Cook, in his third voyage round the world, touched along the Coast from Cape Flattery to Norton Sound; and in 1779, Bodega y Quadra, Maurelle, and Arteaga voyaged up the western coast to Mount St Elias. During the years 1785-8, voyages of circumnavigation were made by Dixon and Portlock, and by La Pérouse, all touching upon the Northwest Coast.

French Canadian traders were the first to penetrate the northern interior west of Hudson Bay. Their most distant station was on the Saskatchewan River, two thousand miles from civilization, in the heart of an unknown wilderness inhabited by savage men and beasts. These coureurs des bois or wood-rangers, as they were called, were admirably adapted, by their disposition and superior address, to conciliate the Indians and form settlements among them. Unrestrained, however, by control, they committed excesses which the French government could check only by prohibiting, under penalty of death, any but its authorized agents from trading within its territories. British merchants at New York soon entered into competition with the fur princes of Montreal. But, in 1670, a more formidable opposition arose in the organization of the Hudson’s Bay Company, by Prince Rupert and other noblemen, under a charter of Charles II. which granted exclusive right to all the territory drained by rivers flowing into Hudson Bay. Notwithstanding constant feuds with the French merchants regarding territorial limits, the company prospered from the beginning, paying annual dividends of twenty-five and fifty per cent. after many times increasing the capital stock. In 1676, the Canadians formed the Compagnie du Nord, in order the more successfully to resist encroachment. Upon the loss of Canada by the French in 1762, hostilities thickened between the companies, and the traffic for a time fell off. In 1784, the famous Northwest Company was formed by Canadian merchants, and the management entrusted to the Frobisher brothers and Simon M’Tavish. The head-quarters of the company were at Montreal, but annual meetings were held, with lordly state, at Fort William, on the shore of Lake Superior. The company consisted of twenty-three partners, and employed over two thousand clerks and servants. It exercised an almost feudal sway over a wide savage domain, and maintained a formidable competition with the Hudson’s Bay Company, with which they were for two years in actual war. In 1813, they purchased, from the partners of John Jacob Astor, the settlement of Astoria on the Columbia River. In 1821, they united with the Hudson’s Bay Company; and the charter covering the entire region occupied by both was renewed by act of Parliament. In 1762, some merchants of New Orleans organized a company which was commissioned by D’Abadie, director-general of Louisiana, under the name of Pierre Ligueste Laclède, Antoine Maxan, and Company. Their first post occupied the spot upon which the city of St Louis is now situated; and, under the auspices of the brothers Chouteau, they penetrated northwestward beyond the Rocky Mountains. In 1808, the Missouri Fur Company was formed at St Louis, consisting of the Chouteaus and others; and an expedition under Major Henry was sent across the Rocky Mountains, which established the first post on the Columbia River. Between the years 1825 and 1830, the Rocky Mountain Fur Company of St Louis extended their operations over California and Oregon, but at a loss of the lives of nearly one half of their employés. John Jacob Astor embarked in the fur trade at New York in 1784, purchasing at that time in Montreal. In 1808, he obtained a charter for the American Fur Company, which was, in 1811, merged into the Southwest Company. In 1809, Mr Astor conceived the project of establishing a transcontinental line of posts. His purpose was to concentrate the fur trade of the United States, and establish uninterrupted communication between the Pacific and the Atlantic. He made proposals of association to the Northwest Company, which were not only rejected, but an attempt was made by that association to anticipate Mr Astor in his operations, by making a settlement at the mouth of the Columbia River. In 1810, the Pacific Fur Company was founded by Mr Astor, and an expedition dispatched overland by way of St Louis and the Missouri River. At the same time a vessel was sent round Cape Horn to the mouth of the Columbia; but, their adventure in that quarter proving unsuccessful, the company was dissolved, and the operations of Mr Astor were thereafter confined to the territory east of the Rocky Mountains.

The Great Northwest

Samuel Hearne, an officer of the Hudson’s Bay Company, was the first European to reach the Arctic Ocean through the interior of the continent. He descended Coppermine River to its mouth in the year 1771. The Upper Misinipi River was first visited by Joseph Frobisher in 1775. Three years later, one Peter Pond penetrated to within thirty miles of Athabasca Lake, and established a trading post at that point. Four canoe-loads of merchandise were exchanged by him for more fine furs than his canoes could carry. Other adventurous traders soon followed; but not long afterwards the inevitable broils which always attended the early intercourse of Europeans and Indians, rose to such a height that, but for the appearance of that terrible scourge, the small-pox, the traders would have been extirpated. The ravages of this dire disease continued to depopulate the country until 1782, when traders again appeared among the Knisteneaux and Tinneh. The most northern division of the Northwest Company was at that time the Athabascan Lake region, where Alexander Mackenzie was the managing partner. His winter residence was at Fort Chipewyan, on Athabasca Lake. The Indians who traded at his establishment informed him of the existence of a large river flowing to the westward from Slave Lake. Thinking thereby to reach the Pacific Ocean, Mr Mackenzie, in the year 1789, set out upon an expedition to the west; and, descending the noble stream which bears his name, found himself, contrary to his expectations, upon the shores of the Arctic Sea. In 1793, he made a journey to the Pacific, ascending Peace River, and reaching the coast in latitude about fifty-two. The first expedition organized by the British government for the purpose of surveying the northern coast, was sent out under Lieutenants Franklin and Parry in 1819. During the year following, Franklin descended Coppermine River, and subsequently, in 1825, he made a journey down the Mackenzie. In 1808, D. W. Harmon, a partner in the Northwest Company, crossed the Rocky Mountains, at about the fifty-sixth parallel, to Fraser and Stuart Lakes. The accounts of the natives given by these travelers and their companions are essentially the same, and later voyagers have failed to throw much additional light upon the subject. John Meares, in 1788, visited the Straits of Fuca, Nootka Sound, and Cook Inlet; and, during the same year, two ships, sent out by Boston merchants, under Robert Gray and John Kendrick, entered Nootka Sound. Estevan Martinez and Gonzalo Haro, sent from Mexico to look after the interest of Spain in these regions, explored Prince William Sound, and visited Kadiak. During the same year, the Russians established a trading post at Copper River. In 1789, Joseph Billings visited the Aleutian Islands, and the Boston vessels explored the Eastern coast of Queen Charlotte Island. In 1790, Salvador Fidalgo was sent by the Mexican government to Nootka; and Monaldo explored the Straits of Juan de Fuca. In 1791, four ships belonging to Boston merchants, two Spanish ships, one French and several Russian vessels touched upon the Northwest Coast. The Spanish vessels were under the command of Alejandro Malespina; Etienne Marchand was the commander of the French ship. The ‘Sutil y Mexicana’ entered Nootka Sound in 1792; and during the same year, Vancouver commenced his explorations along the coast above Cape Flattery. In 1803-4, Baron Von Humboldt was making his searching investigations in Mexico; while the captive New Englander, Jewett, was dancing attendance to Maquina, king of the Nootkas. Lewis and Clark traversed the continent in 1805. In 1806, a Mr Fraser set out from Canada, and crossed the Rocky Mountains near the headwaters of the river which bears his name. He descended Fraser River to the lake which he also called after himself. There he built a fort and opened trade with the natives. Kotzebue visited the coast in 1816; and the Russian expedition under Kramchenko, Wasilieff, and Etolin, in 1822. Captain Morrel explored the Californian coast from San Diego to San Francisco in 1825; Captains Beechey and Lütke, the Northwest Coast in 1826; and Sir Edward Belcher in 1837. J. K. Townsend made an excursion west of the Rocky Mountains in 1834. In 1837, Dease and Simpson made an open boat voyage from the Mackenzie River, westward to Point Barrow, the farthest point made by Beechey from the opposite direction, thus reaching the Ultima Thule of northwestern discovery. Sir George Simpson crossed the continent in 1841, Fremont in 1843, and Paul Kane in 1845. Kushevaroff visited the coast in 1838, Laplace in 1839, Commodore Wilkes in 1841, and Captain Kellett in 1849. Following the discovery of gold, the country was deluged by adventurers. In 1853-4, commenced the series of explorations for a Pacific railway. The necessities of the natives were examined, and remnants of disappearing nations were collected upon reservations under government agents. The interior of Alaska was first penetrated by the employés of the Russian-American Fur Company. Malakoff ascended the Yukon in 1838; and, in 1842, Derabin established a fort upon that river. In 1849, W. H. Hooper made a boat expedition from Kotzebue Sound to the Mackenzie River; and, in 1866, William H. Dall and Frederick Whymper ascended the Yukon.

I have here given a few only of the original sources whence my information is derived concerning the Indians. A multitude of minor voyages and travels have been performed during the past three and a half centuries, and accounts published by early residents among the natives, the bare enumeration of which I fear would prove wearisome to the reader. Enough, however, has been given to show the immediate causes which led to the discovery and occupation of the several parts of this western coast. The Spanish cavaliers craved from the Indians of the South their lands and their gold. The Spanish missionaries demanded from the Indians of Northern Mexico and California, faith. The French, English, Canadian, and American fur companies sought from the Indians of Oregon and New Caledonia, peltries. The Russians compelled the natives of the Aleutian Islands to hunt sea-animals. The filthy raw-flesh-eating Eskimos, having nothing wherewith to tempt the cupidity of the superior race, retain their primitive purity.

Cupidity and Zeal

We observe then three original incentives urging on civilized white men to overspread the domain of the Indian. The first was that thirst for gold, which characterized the fiery hidalgos from Spain in their conquests, and to obtain which no cruelty was too severe nor any sacrifice of human life too great; as though of all the gifts vouchsafed to man, material or divine, one only was worth possessing. The second, following closely in the footsteps of the first, and oftentimes constituting a part of it, was religious enthusiasm; a zealous interest in the souls of the natives and the form in which they worshiped. The third, which occupied the attention of other and more northern Europeans, grew out of a covetous desire for the wild man’s clothing; to secure to themselves the peltries of the great hyperborean regions of America. From the south of Europe the Spaniards landed in tropical North America, and exterminated the natives. From the north of Europe the French, English, and Russians crossed over to the northern part of America; and, with a kinder and more refined cruelty, no less effectually succeeded in sweeping them from the face of the earth by the introduction of the poisonous elements of a debased cultivation.

Fortunately for the Indians of the north, it was contrary to the interests of white people to kill them in order to obtain the skins of their animals; for, with a few trinkets, they could procure what otherwise would require long and severe labor to obtain. The policy, therefore, of the great fur-trading companies has been to cherish the Indians as their best hunters, to live at peace with them, to heal their ancient feuds, and to withhold from them intoxicating liquors. The condition of their women, who were considered by the natives as little better than beasts, has been changed by their inter-social relations with the servants of the trading companies; and their more barbarous practices discontinued. It was the almost universal custom of the employés of the Hudson’s Bay Company to unite to themselves native women; thus, by means of this relationship, the condition of the women has been raised, while the men manifest a kinder feeling towards the white race who thus in a measure become one with them.

The efforts of early missionaries to this region were not crowned with that success which attended the Spaniards in their spiritual warfare upon the southern nations, from the fact that no attention was paid to the temporal necessities of the natives. It has long since been demonstrated impossible to reach the heart of a savage through abstract ideas of morality and elevation of character. A religion, in order to find favor in his eyes, must first meet some of his material requirements. If it is good, it will clothe him better and feed him better, for this to him is the chiefest good in life. Intermixtures of civilized with savage peoples are sure to result in the total disappearance of refinement on the one side, or in the extinction of the barbaric race on the other. The downward path is always the easiest. Of all the millions of native Americans who have perished under the withering influences of European civilization, there is not a single instance on record, of a tribe or nation having been reclaimed, ecclesiastically or otherwise, by artifice and argument. Individual savages have been educated with a fair degree of success. But, with a degree of certainty far greater, no sooner is the white man freed from the social restraint of civilized companionship, than he immediately tends towards barbarism; and not infrequently becomes so fascinated with his new life as to prefer it to any other. Social development is inherent: superinduced culture is a failure. Left alone, the nations of America might have unfolded into as bright a civilization as that of Europe. They were already well advanced, and still rapidly advancing towards it, when they were so mercilessly stricken down. But for a stranger to re-create the heart or head of a red man, it were easier to change the color of his skin.

Chapter II • Hyperboreans • 50,600 Words
Native Races of the Pacific StatesHyperborean Group
Native Races of the Pacific States
Hyperborean Group

General Divisions—Hyperborean Nations—Aspects of Nature—Vegetation—Climate—Animals—The Eskimos—Their Country—Physical Characteristics—Dress—Dwellings—Food—Weapons—Boots—Sledges—Snow-Shoes—Government—Domestic Affairs—Amusements—Diseases—Burial—The Koniagas, their Physical and Social Condition—The Aleuts—The Thlinkeets—The Tinneh.

I shall attempt to describe the physical and mental characteristics of the Native Races of the Pacific States under seven distinctive groups; namely, I. Hyperboreans, being those nations whose territory lies north of the fifty-fifth parallel; II. Columbians, who dwell between the fifty-fifth and forty-second parallels, and whose lands to some extent are drained by the Columbia River and its tributaries; III. Californians, and the Inhabitants of the Great Basin; IV. New Mexicans, including the nations of the Colorado River and northern Mexico; V. Wild Tribes of Mexico; VI. Wild Tribes of Central America; VII. Civilized Nations of Mexico and Central America. It is my purpose, without any attempt at ethnological classification, or further comment concerning races and stocks, plainly to portray such customs and characteristics as were peculiar to each people at the time of its first intercourse with European strangers; leaving scientists to make their own deductions, and draw specific lines between linguistic and physiological families, as they may deem proper. I shall endeavor to picture these nations in their aboriginal condition, as seen by the first invaders, as described by those who beheld them in their savage grandeur, and before they were startled from their lair by the treacherous voice of civilized friendship. Now they are gone,—those dusky denizens of a thousand forests,—melted like hoar-frost before the rising sun of a superior intelligence; and it is only from the earliest records, from the narratives of eye witnesses, many of them rude unlettered men, trappers, sailors, and soldiers, that we are able to know them as they were. Some division of the work into parts, however arbitrary it may be, is indispensable. In dealing with Mythology, and in tracing the tortuous course of Language, boundaries will be dropped and beliefs and tongues will be followed wherever they lead; but in describing Manners and Customs, to avoid confusion, territorial divisions are necessary.

Groupings and Subdivisions

In the groupings which I have adopted, one cluster of nations follows another in geographical succession; the dividing line not being more distinct, perhaps, than that which distinguishes some national divisions, but sufficiently marked, in mental and physical peculiarities, to entitle each group to a separate consideration.

The only distinction of race made by naturalists, upon the continents of both North and South America, until a comparatively recent period, was by segregating the first of the above named groups from all other people of both continents, and calling one Mongolians and the other Americans. A more intimate acquaintance with the nations of the North proves conclusively that one of the boldest types of the American Indian proper, the Tinneh, lies within the territory of this first group, conterminous with the Mongolian Eskimos, and crowding them down to a narrow line along the shore of the Arctic Sea. The nations of the second group, although exhibiting multitudinous variations in minor traits, are essentially one people. Between the California Diggers of the third division and the New Mexican Towns-people of the fourth, there is more diversity; and a still greater difference between the savage and civilized nations of the Mexican table-land. Any classification or division of the subject which could be made would be open to criticism. I therefore adopt the most simple practical plan, one which will present the subject most clearly to the general reader, and leave it in the best shape for purposes of theorizing and generalization.

In the first or Hyperborean group, to which this chapter is devoted, are five subdivisions, as follows: The Eskimos, commonly called Western Eskimos, who skirt the shores of the Arctic Ocean from Mackenzie River to Kotzebue Sound; the Koniagas or Southern Eskimos, who, commencing at Kotzebue Sound, cross the Kaviak Peninsula, border on Bering Sea from Norton Sound southward, and stretch over the Alaskan[1]Of late, custom gives to the main land of Russian America, the name Alaska; to the peninsula, Aliaska; and to a large island of the Aleutian Archipelago, Unalashka. The word of which the present name Alaska is a corruption, is first encountered in the narrative of Betsevin, who, in 1761, wintered on the peninsula, supposing it to be an island. The author of Neue Nachrichten von denen neuentdekten Insuln, writes, page 53, ‘womit man nach der abgelegensten Insul Aläksu oder Alachschak über gieng.’ Again, at page 57, in giving a description of the animals on the supposed island he calls it ‘auf der Insul Aläsku.’ ‘This,’ says Coxe, Russian Discoveries, p. 72, ‘is probably the same island which is laid down in Krenitzin’s chart under the name of Alaxa.’ Unalaschka is given by the author of Neue Nachrichten, p. 74, in his narrative of the voyage of Drusinin, who hunted on that island in 1763. At page 115 he again mentions the ‘grosse Insul Aläksu.’ On page 125, in Glottoff’s log-book, 1764, is the entry: ‘Den 28sten May der Wind Ostsüdost; man kam an die Insul Alaska oder Aläksu.’ Still following the author of Neue Nachrichten, we have on page 166, in an account of the voyages of Otseredin and Popoff, who hunted upon the Aleutian Islands in 1769, mention of a report by the natives ‘that beyond Unimak is said to be a large land Aläschka, the extent of which the islanders do not know.’ On Cook’s Atlas, voyage 1778, the peninsula is called Alaska, and the island Oonalaska, La Pérouse, in his atlas, map No. 15, 1786, calls the peninsula Alaska, and the island Ounalaska. The Spaniards, in the Atlas para el Viage de las goletas Sutil y Mexicana, 1792, write Alasca for the peninsula, and for the island Unalaska. Sauer, in his account of Billings’ expedition, 1790, calls the main land Alaska, the peninsula Alyaska, and the island Oonalashka. Wrangell, in Baer’s Statistische und ethnographische Nachrichten, p. 123, writes for the peninsula Alaska and for the island Unalaschka. Holmberg, Ethnographische Skizzen, p. 78, calls the island Unalaschka and the peninsula Aljaska. Dall, Alaska, p. 529, says that the peninsula or main land was called by the natives Alayeksa, and the island Nagun-alayeksa, ‘or the land near Alayeksa.’ Thus we have, from which to choose, the orthography of the earliest voyagers to this coast—Russian, English, French, Spanish, German, and American. The simple word Alaksu, after undergoing many contortions, some authors writing it differently on different pages of the same book, has at length become Alaska, as applied to the main land; Aliaska for the peninsula, and Unalashka as the name of the island. As these names are all corruptions from some one original word, whatever that may be, I see no reason for giving the error three different forms. I therefore write Alaska for the mainland and peninsula and Unalaska for the island. Peninsula and Koniagan Islands to the mouth of the Atna or Copper River, extending back into the interior about one hundred and fifty miles; the Aleuts, or people of the Aleutian Archipelago; the Thlinkeets, who inhabit the coast and islands between the rivers Atna and Nass; and the Tinneh, or Athabascas, occupying the territory between the above described boundaries and Hudson Bay. Each of these families is divided into nations or tribes, distinguished one from another by slight dialectic or other differences, which tribal divisions will be given in treating of the several nations respectively.

Let us first cast a glance over this broad domain, and mark those aspects of nature which exercise so powerful an influence upon the destinies of mankind. Midway between Mount St Elias and the Arctic seaboard rise three mountain chains. One, the Rocky Mountain range, crossing from the Yukon to the Mackenzie River, deflects southward, and taking up its mighty line of march, throws a barrier between the east and the west, which extends throughout the entire length of the continent. Between the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific, interposes another called in Oregon the Cascade Range, and in California the Sierra Nevada; while from the same starting-point, the Alaskan range stretches out to the southwest along the Alaskan Peninsula, and breaks into fragments in the Aleutian Archipelago. Three noble streams, the Mackenzie, the Yukon, and the Kuskoquim, float the boats of the inland Hyperboreans and supply them with food; while from the heated waters of Japan comes a current of the sea, bathing the icy coasts with genial warmth, tempering the air, and imparting gladness to the oily watermen of the coast, to the northernmost limit of their lands. The northern border of this territory is treeless; the southern shore, absorbing more warmth and moisture from the Japan current, is fringed with dense forests; while the interior, interspersed with hills, and lakes, and woods, and grassy plains, during the short summer is clothed in luxuriant vegetation.

Notwithstanding the frowning aspect of nature, animal life in the Arctic regions is most abundant. The ocean swarms with every species of fish and sea-mammal; the land abounds in reindeer, moose, musk-oxen; in black, grizzly, and Arctic bears; in wolves, foxes, beavers, mink, ermine, martin, otters, raccoons, and water-fowl. Immense herds of buffalo roam over the bleak grassy plains of the eastern Tinneh, but seldom venture far to the west of the Rocky Mountains. Myriads of birds migrate to and fro between their breeding-places in the interior of Alaska, the open Arctic Sea, and the warmer latitudes of the south. From the Gulf of Mexico, from the islands of the Pacific, from the lakes of California, of Oregon, and of Washington they come, fluttering and feasting, to rear their young during the sparkling Arctic summer-day.

Man and Nature

The whole occupation of man throughout this region, is a struggle for life. So long as the organism is plentifully supplied with heat-producing food, all is well. Once let the internal fire go down, and all is ill. Unlike the inhabitants of equatorial latitudes, where, Eden-like, the sheltering tree drops food, and the little nourishment essential to life may be obtained by only stretching forth the hand and plucking it, the Hyperborean man must maintain a constant warfare with nature, or die. His daily food depends upon the success of his daily battle with beasts, birds, and fishes, which dispute with him possession of sea and land. Unfortunate in his search for game, or foiled in his attempt at capture, he must fast. The associate of beasts, governed by the same emergencies, preying upon animals as animals prey upon each other, the victim supplying all the necessities of the victor, occupying territory in common, both alike drawing supplies directly from the storehouse of nature,—primitive man derives his very quality from the brute with which he struggles. The idiosyncrasies of the animal fasten upon him, and that upon which he feeds becomes a part of him.

Thus, in a nation of hunters inhabiting a rigorous climate, we may look for wiry, keen-scented men, who in their war upon wild beasts put forth strength and endurance in order to overtake and capture the strong; cunning is opposed by superior cunning; a stealthy watchfulness governs every movement, while the intelligence of the man contends with the instincts of the brute. Fishermen, on the other hand, who obtain their food with comparatively little effort, are more sluggish in their natures and less noble in their development. In the icy regions of the north, the animal creation supplies man with food, clothing, and caloric; with all the requisites of an existence under circumstances apparently the most adverse to comfort; and when he digs his dwelling beneath the ground, or walls out the piercing winds with snow, his ultimate is attained.

The chief differences in tribes occupying the interior and the seaboard,—the elevated, treeless, grassy plains east of the Rocky Mountains, and the humid islands and shores of the great Northwest,—grow out of necessities arising from their methods of procuring food. Even causes so slight as the sheltering bend of a coast-line; the guarding of a shore by islands; the breaking of a seaboard by inlets and covering of the strand with sea-weed and polyps, requiring only the labor of gathering; or the presence of a bluff coast or windy promontory, whose occupants are obliged to put forth more vigorous action for sustenance—all govern man in his development. Turn now to the most northern division of our most northern group.

The Eskimos

The Eskimos, Esquimaux, or as they call themselves, Innuit, ‘the people,’ from inuk, ‘man,’[2]The name is said, by Charlevoix ‘to be derived from the language of the Abenaqui, a tribe of Algonquins in Canada, who border upon them and call them “Esquimantsic.”‘ ‘L’origine de leur nom n’est pas certain. Toutefois il y a bien de l’apparence qu’il vient du mot Abenaqui, esquimantsic qui veut dire “mangeur de viande cruë.”‘ See Prichard’s Physical History of Mankind, vol. v., pp. 367, 373. ‘French writers call them Eskimaux.’ ‘English authors, in adopting this term, have most generally written it “Esquimaux,” but Dr. Latham, and other recent ethnologists, write it “Eskimos,” after the Danish orthography.’ Richardson’s Polar Regions, p. 298. ‘Probably of Canadian origin, and the word, which in French orthography is written Esquimaux, was probably originally Ceux qui miaux (miaulent).’ Richardson’s Journal, vol. i., p. 340. ‘Said to be a corruption of Eskimantik, i. e. raw-fish-eaters, a nickname given them by their former neighbors, the Mohicans.’ Seemann’s Voyage of the Herald, vol. ii., p. 49. Eskimo is derived from a word indicating sorcerer or Shamán. ‘The northern Tinneh use the word Uskeemi.’ Dall’s Alaska, pp. 144, 531. ‘Their own national designation is “Keralit.”‘ Morton’s Crania Americana, p. 52. They ‘call themselves “Innuit,” which signifies “man.”‘ Armstrong’s Narrative, p. 191. occupy the Arctic seaboard from eastern Greenland along the entire continent of America, and across Bering[3]It is not without reluctance that I change a word from the commonly accepted orthography. Names of places, though originating in error, when once established, it is better to leave unchanged. Indian names, coming to us through Russian, German, French, or Spanish writers, should be presented in English by such letters as will best produce the original Indian pronunciation. European personal names, however, no matter how long, nor how commonly they may have been erroneously used, should be immediately corrected. Every man who can spell is supposed to be able to give the correct orthography of his own name, and his spelling should in every instance be followed, when it can be ascertained. Veit Bering, anglicè Vitus Behring, was of a Danish family, several members of which were well known in literature before his own time. In Danish writings, as well as among the biographies of Russian admirals, where may be found a fac-simile of his autograph, the name is spelled Bering. It is so given by Humboldt, and by the Dictionnaire de la Conversation. The author of the Neue Nachrichten von denen neuentdekten Insuln, one of the oldest printed works on Russian discoveries in America; as well as Müller, who was the companion of Bering for many years; and Buschmann,—all write Bering. Baer remarks: ‘Ich schreibe ferner Bering, obgleich es jetzt fast allgemein geworden ist, Behring zu schreiben, und auch die Engländer und Franzosen sich der letztern Schreibart bequemt haben. Bering war ein Däne und seine Familie war lange vor ihm in der Literatur-Geschichte bekannt. Sie hat ihren Namen auf die von mir angenommene Weise drucken lassen. Derselben Schreibart bediente sich auch der Historiograph Müller, der längere Zeit unter seinen Befehlen gedient hatte, und Pallas.’ Statistische und ethnographische Nachrichten, p. 328. There is no doubt that the famous navigator wrote his name Bering, and that the letter ‘h’ was subsequently inserted to give the Danish sound to the letter ‘e.’ To accomplish the same purpose, perhaps, Coxe, Langsdorff, Beechey, and others write Beering. Strait to the Asiatic shore. Formerly the inhabitants of our whole Hyperborean sea-coast, from the Mackenzie River to Queen Charlotte Island—the interior being entirely unknown—were denominated Eskimos, and were of supposed Asiatic origin.[4]‘Die Kadjacker im Gegentheil nähern sich mehr den Amerikanischen Stämmen und gleichen in ihrem Aeussern gar nicht den Eskimos oder den Asiatischen Völkern, wahrscheinlich haben sie durch die Vermischung mit den Stämmen Amerika’s ihre ursprüngliche Asiatische äussere Gestalt und Gesichtsbildung verloren und nur die Sprache beibehalten.’ Baer, Stat. u. Ethn. Nachr., p. 124. ‘Ils ressemblent beaucoup aux indigènes des îles Curiles, dépendantes du Japon.’ Laplace, Circumnavigation de l’Artémise, vol. vi., p. 45. The tribes of southern Alaska were then found to differ essentially from those of the northern coast. Under the name Eskimos, therefore, I include only the Western Eskimos of certain writers, whose southern boundary terminates at Kotzebue Sound.[5]‘The tribes crowded together on the shores of Beering’s Sea within a comparatively small extent of coast-line, exhibit a greater variety, both in personal appearance and dialect, than that which exists between the Western Eskimos and their distant countrymen in Labrador; and ethnologists have found some difficulty in classifying them properly.’ Richardson’s Jour., vol. i., p. 363.

Eskimo Land

Eskimo-land is thinly peopled, and but little is known of tribal divisions. At the Coppermine River, the Eskimos are called Naggeuktormutes, or deer-horns; at the eastern outlet of the Mackenzie, their tribal name is Kittegarute; between the Mackenzie River and Barter Reef, they go by the name of Kangmali Innuit; at Point Barrow they call themselves Nuwungmutes; while on the Nunatok River, in the vicinity of Kotzebue Sound, they are known as Nunatangmutes. Their villages, consisting of five or six families each,[6]For authorities, see Tribal Boundaries, at the end of this chapter. are scattered along the coast. A village site is usually selected upon some good landing-place, where there is sufficient depth of water to float a whale. Between tribes is left a spot of unoccupied or neutral ground, upon which small parties meet during the summer for purposes of trade.[7]Collinson, in London Geographical Society Journal, vol. xxv., p. 201.

The Eskimos are essentially a peculiar people. Their character and their condition, the one of necessity growing out of the other, are peculiar. First, it is claimed for them that they are the anomalous race of America—the only people of the new world clearly identical with any race of the old. Then they are the most littoral people in the world. The linear extent of their occupancy, all of it a narrow seaboard averaging scarcely one hundred miles in width, is estimated at not less than five thousand miles. Before them is a vast, unknown, icy ocean, upon which they scarcely dare venture beyond sight of land; behind them, hostile mountaineers ever ready to dispute encroachment. Their very mother-earth, upon whose cold bosom they have been borne, age after age through countless generations,[8]‘Im nordwestlichsten Theile von Amerika fand Franklin den Boden, Mitte August, schon in einer Tiefe von 16 Zoll gefroren. Richardson sah an einem östlicheren Punkte der Küste, in 71° 12´ Breite, die Eisschicht im Julius aufgethaut bis 3 Fuss unter der krautbedeckten Oberfläche.’ Humboldt, Kosmos, tom. iv., p. 47. is almost impenetrable, thawless ice. Their days and nights, and seasons and years, are not like those of other men. Six months of day succeed six months of night. Three months of sunless winter; three months of nightless summer; six months of glimmering twilight.

About the middle of October[9]Silliman’s Journal, vol. xvi., p. 130. Seemann’s Voy. Herald, vol. ii., p. 13. Armstrong’s Nar., p. 289. commences the long night of winter. The earth and sea put on an icy covering; beasts and birds depart for regions sheltered or more congenial; humanity huddles in subterraneous dens; all nature sinks into repose. The little heat left by the retreating sun soon radiates out into the deep blue realms of space; the temperature sinks rapidly to forty or fifty degrees below freezing; the air is hushed, the ocean calm, the sky cloudless. An awful, painful stillness pervades the dreary solitude. Not a sound is heard; the distant din of busy man, and the noiseless hum of the wilderness alike are wanting. Whispers become audible at a considerable distance, and an insupportable sense of loneliness oppresses the inexperienced visitor.[10]‘Characteristic of the Arctic regions.’ Silliman’s Jour., vol. xvi., p. 143. Occasionally the aurora borealis flashes out in prismatic coruscations, throwing a brilliant arch from east to west—now in variegated oscillations, graduating through all the various tints of blue, and green, and violet, and crimson; darting, flashing, or streaming in yellow columns, upwards, downwards; now blazing steadily, now in wavy undulations, sometimes up to the very zenith; momentarily lighting up in majestic grandeur the cheerless frozen scenery, but only to fall back with exhausted force, leaving a denser obscurity. Nature’s electric lantern, suspended for a time in the frosty vault of heaven;—munificent nature’s fire-works; with the polar owl, the polar bear, and the polar man, spectators.

In January, the brilliancy of the stars is dimmed perceptibly at noon; in February, a golden tint rests upon the horizon at the same hour; in March, the incipient dawn broadens; in April, the dozing Eskimo rubs his eyes and crawls forth; in May, the snow begins to melt, the impatient grass and flowers arrive as it departs.[11]At Kotzebue Sound, in July, Choris writes: ‘Le sol était émaillé de fleurs de couleurs variées, dans tous les endroits où la neige venait de fondre.’ Voyage Pittoresque, pt. ii., p. 8. In June, the summer has fairly come. Under the incessant rays of the never setting sun, the snow speedily disappears, the ice breaks up, the glacial earth softens for a depth of one, two, or three feet; circulation is restored to vegetation,[12]‘In der Einöde der Inseln von Neu-Sibirien finden grosse Heerden von Rennthieren und zahllose Lemminge noch hinlängliche Nahrung.’ Humboldt, Kosmos, vol. iv., p. 42. which, during winter, had been stopped,—if we may believe Sir John Richardson, even the largest trees freezing to the heart. Sea, and plain, and rolling steppe lay aside their seamless shroud of white, and a brilliant tint of emerald overspreads the landscape.[13]‘Thermometer rises as high as 61° Fahr. With a sun shining throughout the twenty-four hours the growth of plants is rapid in the extreme.’ Seemann’s Voy. Herald, vol. ii., p. 15. All Nature, with one resounding cry, leaps up and claps her hands for joy. Flocks of birds, lured from their winter homes, fill the air with their melody; myriads of wild fowls send forth their shrill cries; the moose and the reindeer flock down from the forests;[14]‘During the period of incubation of the aquatic birds, every hole and projecting crag on the sides of this rock is occupied by them. Its shores resound with the chorus of thousands of the feathery tribe.’ Beechey’s Voy., vol. i., p. 349. from the resonant sea comes the noise of spouting whales and barking seals; and this so lately dismal, cheerless region, blooms with an exhuberance of life equaled only by the shortness of its duration. And in token of a just appreciation of the Creator’s goodness, this animated medley—man, and beasts, and birds, and fishes—rises up, divides, falls to, and ends in eating or in being eaten.

Physical Characteristics

The physical characteristics of the Eskimos are: a fair complexion, the skin, when free from dirt and paint, being almost white;[15]‘Their complexion, if divested of its usual covering of dirt, can hardly be called dark.’ Seemann’s Voy. Herald, vol. ii., p. 51. ‘In comparison with other Americans, of a white complexion.’ McCulloh’s Aboriginal History of America, p. 20. ‘White Complexion, not Copper coloured.’ Dobbs’ Hudson’s Bay, p. 50. ‘Almost as white as Europeans.’ Kalm’s Travels, vol. ii., p. 263. ‘Not darker than that of a Portuguese.’ Lyon’s Journal, p. 224. ‘Scarcely a shade darker than a deep brunette.’ Parry’s 3rd Voyage, p. 493. ‘Their complexion is light.’ Dall’s Alaska, p. 381. ‘Eye-witnesses agree in their superior lightness of complexion over the Chinooks.’ Pickering’s Races of Man, U. S. Ex. Ex., vol. ix., p. 28. At Coppermine River they are ‘of a dirty copper color; some of the women, however, are more fair and ruddy.’ Hearne’s Travels, p. 166. ‘Considerably fairer than the Indian tribes.’ Simpson’s Nar., p. 110. At Cape Bathurst ‘The complexion is swarthy, chiefly, I think, from exposure and the accumulation of dirt.’ Armstrong’s Nar., p. 192. ‘Shew little of the copper-colour of the Red Indians.’ Richardson’s Pol. Reg., p. 303. ‘From exposure to weather they become dark after manhood.’ Richardson’s Nar., vol. i., p. 343. a medium stature, well proportioned, thick-set, muscular, robust, active,[16]‘Both sexes are well proportioned, stout, muscular, and active.’ Seemann’s Voy. Herald, vol. ii., p. 50. ‘A stout, well-looking people.’ Simpson’s Nar., pp. 110, 114. ‘Below the mean of the Caucasian race.’ Dr. Hayes, in Historic. Magazine, vol. i., p. 6. ‘They are thick set, have a decided tendency to obesity, and are seldom more than five feet in height.’ Figuier’s Human Race, p. 211. At Kotzebue Sound, ‘tallest man was five feet nine inches; tallest woman, five feet four inches.’ Beechey’s Voy., vol. i., p. 360. ‘Average height was five feet four and a half inches.’ At the mouth of the Mackenzie they are of ‘middle stature, strong and muscular.’ Armstrong’s Nar., pp. 149, 192. ‘Low, broad-set, not well made, nor strong.’ Hearne’s Trav., p. 166. ‘The men were in general stout.’ Franklin’s Nar., vol. i., p. 29. ‘Of a middle size, robust make, and healthy appearance.’ Kotzebue’s Voy., vol. i., p. 209. ‘Men vary in height from about five feet to five feet ten inches.’ Richardson’s Pol. Reg., p. 304. ‘Women were generally short.’ ‘Their figure inclines to squat.’ Hooper’s Tuski, p. 224. with small and beautifully shaped hands and feet;[17]‘Tous les individus qui appartiennent à la famille des Eskimaux, se distinguent par la petitesse de leurs pieds et de leurs mains, et la grosseur énorme de leurs têtes.’ De Pauw, Recherches Phil., tom. i., p. 262. ‘The hands and feet are delicately small and well formed.’ Richardson’s Pol. Reg., p. 304. ‘Small and beautifully made.’ Seemann’s Voy. Herald, vol. ii., p. 50. At Point Barrow, ‘their hands, notwithstanding the great amount of manual labour to which they are subject, were beautifully small and well-formed, a description equally applicable to their feet.’ Armstrong’s Nar., p. 101. a pyramidal head;[18]‘The head is of good size, rather flat superiorly, but very fully developed posteriorly, evidencing a preponderance of the animal passions; the forehead was, for the most part, low and receding; in a few it was somewhat vertical, but narrow.’ Armstrong’s Nar., p. 193. Their cranial characteristics ‘are the strongly developed coronary ridge, the obliquity of the zygoma, and its greater capacity compared with the Indian cranium. The former is essentially pyramidal, while the latter more nearly approaches a cubic shape.’ Dall’s Alaska, p. 376. ‘Greatest breadth of the face is just below the eyes, the forehead tapers upwards, ending narrowly, but not acutely, and in like manner the chin is a blunt cone.’ Richardson’s Pol. Reg., p. 302. Dr Gall, whose observations on the same skulls presented him for phrenological observation are published by M. Louis Choris, thus comments upon the head of a female Eskimo from Kotzebue Sound: ‘L’organe de l’instinct de la propagation se trouve extrêmement développé pour une tête de femme.’ He finds the musical and intellectual organs poorly developed; while vanity and love of children are well displayed. ‘En général,’ sagely concluded the doctor, ‘cette tête femme présentait une organization aussi heureuse que celle de la plupart des femmes d’Europe.’ Voy. Pitt., pt. ii., p. 16. a broad egg-shaped face; high rounded cheek-bones; flat nose; small oblique eyes; large mouth; teeth regular, but well worn;[19]‘Large fat round faces, high cheek bones, small hazel eyes, eyebrows slanting like the Chinese, and wide mouths.’ Beechey’s Voy., vol. i., p. 345. ‘Broad, flat faces, high cheekbones.’ Dr Hayes, in Hist. Mag., vol. i., p. 6. Their ‘teeth are regular, but, from the nature of their food, and from their practice of preparing hides by chewing, are worn down almost to the gums at an early age.’ Seemann’s Voy. Herald, vol. ii., p. 51. At Hudson Strait, broad, flat, pleasing face; small and generally sore eyes; given to bleeding at the nose. Franklin’s Nar., vol. i., p. 29. ‘Small eyes and very high cheek bones.’ Kotzebue’s Voy., vol. i., p. 209. ‘La face platte, la bouche ronde, le nez petit sans être écrasé, le blanc de l’oeil jaunâtre, l’iris noir et peu brillant.’ De Pauw, Recherches Phil., tom. i., p. 262. They have ‘small, wild-looking eyes, large and very foul teeth, the hair generally black, but sometimes fair, and always in extreme disorder.’ Brownell’s Ind. Races, p. 467. ‘As contrasted with the other native American races, their eyes are remarkable, being narrow and more or less oblique.’ Richardson’s Nar., vol. i., p. 343. Expression of face intelligent and good-natured. Both sexes have mostly round, flat faces, with Mongolian cast. Hooper’s Tuski, p. 223. coarse black hair, closely cut upon the crown, leaving a monk-like ring around the edge,[20]‘Allowed to hang down in a club to the shoulder.’ Richardson’s Pol. Reg., p. 305. Hair cut ‘close round the crown of the head, and thereby, leaving a bushy ring round the lower part of it.’ Beechey’s Voy., vol. i., p. 345. ‘Their hair is straight, black, and coarse.’ Seemann’s Voy. Herald, vol. ii., p. 51. A fierce expression characterized them on the Mackenzie River, which ‘was increased by the long disheveled hair flowing about their shoulders.’ Armstrong’s Nar., p. 149. At Kotzebue Sound ‘their hair was done up in large plaits on each side of the head.’ Beechey’s Voy., vol. i., p. 360. At Camden Bay, lofty top-knots; at Point Barrow, none. At Coppermine River the hair is worn short, unshaven on the crown, and bound with strips of deer-skin. Simpson’s Nar., pp. 121, 157. Some of the men have bare crowns, but the majority wear the hair flowing naturally. The women cut the hair short in front, level with the eyebrows. At Humphrey Point it is twisted with some false hair into two immense bows on the back of the head. Hooper’s Tuski, p. 225. ‘Their hair hangs down long, but is cut quite short on the crown of the head.’ Kotzebue’s Voy., vol. i., p. 210. Hair cut like ‘that of a Capuchin friar.’ Seemann’s Voy. Herald, vol. ii., p. 51. and a paucity of beard.[21]Crantz says the Greenlanders root it out. ‘The old men had a few gray hairs on their chins, but the young ones, though grown up, were beardless.’ Beechey’s Voy., vol. i., p. 332. ‘The possession of a beard is very rare, but a slight moustache is not infrequent.’ Seemann’s Voy. Herald, vol. ii., p. 51. ‘As the men grow old, they have more hair on the face than Red Indians.’ Richardson’s Nar., vol. i., p. 343. ‘Generally an absence of beard and whiskers.’ Armstrong’s Nar., p. 193. ‘Beard is universally wanting.’ Kotzebue’s Voy., vol. i., p. 252. ‘The young men have little beard, but some of the old ones have a tolerable shew of long gray hairs on the upper lip and chin.’ Richardson’s Pol. Reg., p. 303. ‘All have beards.’ Bell’s Geography, vol. v., p. 294. Kirby affirms that in Alaska ‘many of them have a profusion of whiskers and beard.’ Smithsonian Report, 1864, p. 416. The men frequently leave the hair in a natural state. The women of Icy Reef introduce false hair among their own, wearing the whole in two immense bows at the back of the head. At Point Barrow, they separate the hair into two parts or braids, saturating it with train-oil, and binding it into stiff bunches with strips of skin. Their lower extremities are short, so that in a sitting posture they look taller than when standing.

Improvements Upon Nature

Were these people satisfied with what nature has done for them, they would be passably good-looking. But with them as with all mankind, no matter how high the degree of intelligence and refinement attained, art must be applied to improve upon nature. The few finishing touches neglected by the Creator, man is ever ready to supply.

Arrived at the age of puberty, the great work of improvement begins. Up to this time the skin has been kept saturated in grease and filth, until the natural color is lost, and until the complexion is brought down to the Eskimo standard. Now pigments of various dye are applied, both painted outwardly and pricked into the skin; holes are cut in the face, and plugs or labrets inserted. These operations, however, attended with no little solemnity, are supposed to possess some significance other than that of mere ornament. Upon the occasion of piercing the lip, for instance, a religious feast is given.

On the northern coast the women paint the eyebrows and tattoo the chin; while the men only pierce the lower lip under one or both corners of the mouth, and insert in each aperture a double-headed sleeve-button or dumb-bell-shaped labret, of bone, ivory, shell, stone, glass, or wood. The incision when first made is about the size of a quill, but as the aspirant for improved beauty grows older, the size of the orifice is enlarged until it reaches a width of half or three quarters of an inch.[22]‘The lip is perforated for the labret as the boy approaches manhood, and is considered an important era in his life.’ Armstrong’s Nar., p. 194. ‘Some wore but one, others one on each side of the mouth.’ Hooper’s Tuski, p. 224. ‘Lip ornaments, with the males, appear to correspond with the tattooing of the chins of the females.’ Beechey’s Voy., vol. i., p. 384. In tattooing, the color is applied by drawing a thread under the skin, or pricking it in with a needle. Different tribes, and different ranks of the same tribe, have each their peculiar form of tattooing. The plebeian female of certain bands is permitted to adorn her chin with but one vertical line in the centre, and one parallel to it on either side, while the more fortunate noblesse mark two vertical lines from each corner of the mouth.[23]‘The women tattoo their faces in blue lines produced by making stitches with a fine needle and thread, smeared with lampblack.’ Richardson’s Pol. Reg., p. 305. Between Kotzebue Sound and Icy Cape, ‘all the women were tattooed upon the chin with three small lines.’ They blacken ‘the edges of the eyelids with plumbago, rubbed up with a little saliva upon a piece of slate.’ Beechey’s Voy., vol. i., p. 360. At Point Barrow, the women have on the chin ‘a vertical line about half an inch broad in the centre, extending from the lip, with a parallel but narrower one on either side of it, a little apart. Some had two vertical lines protruding from either angle of the mouth; which is a mark of their high position in the tribe.’ Armstrong’s Nar., pp. 101, 149. On Bering Isle, men as well as women tattoo. ‘Plusieurs hommes avaient le visage tatoué.’ Choris, Voy. Pitt., pt. ii., p. 5. A feminine cast of features, as is common with other branches of the Mongolian race, prevails in both sexes. Some travelers discover in the faces of the men a characteristic expression of ferociousness, and in those of the women, an extraordinary display of wantonness. A thick coating of filth and a strong odor of train-oil are inseparable from an Eskimo, and the fashion of labrets adds in no wise to his comeliness.[24]‘Give a particularly disgusting look when the bones are taken out, as the saliva continually runs over the chin.’ Kotzebue’s Voy., vol. i., p. 227. At Camden, labrets were made of large blue beads, glued to pieces of ivory. None worn at Coppermine River. Simpson’s Nar., pp. 119, 347. ‘Many of them also transfix the septum of the nose with a dentalium shell or ivory needle.’ Richardson’s Nar., vol. i., p. 355.

Eskimo Dress

For covering to the body, the Eskimos employ the skin of all the beasts and birds that come within their reach. Skins are prepared in the fur,[25]‘These natives almost universally use a very unpleasant liquid for cleansing purposes. They tan and soften the seal-skin used for boot-soles with it.’ Whymper’s Alaska, p. 161. ‘Females occasionally wash their hair and faces with their own urine, the odour of which is agreeable to both sexes, and they are well accustomed to it, as this liquor is kept in tubs in the porches of their huts for use in dressing the deer and seal skins.’ Richardson’s Pol. Reg., p. 304. ‘Show much skill in the preparation of whale, seal, and deer-skins.’ Richardson’s Nar., vol. i., p. 357. They have a great antipathy to water. ‘Occasionally they wash their bodies with a certain animal fluid, but even this process is seldom gone through.’ Seemann’s Voy. Herald, vol. ii., p. 62. and cut and sewed with neatness and skill. Even the intestines of seals and whales are used in the manufacture of water-proof overdresses.[26]‘During the summer, when on whaling or sealing excursions, a coat of the gut of the whale, and boots of seal or walrus hide, are used as water-proof coverings.’ Seemann’s Voy. Herald, vol. ii., p. 53. At Point Barrow they wear ‘Kamleikas or water-proof shirts, made of the entrails of seals.’ Simpson’s Nar., p. 156. Women wear close-fitting breeches of seal-skin. Hooper’s Tuski, p. 224. ‘They are on the whole as good as the best oil-skins in England.’ Beechey’s Voy., vol. i., p. 340. The costume for both sexes consists of long stockings or drawers, over which are breeches extending from the shoulders to below the knees; and a frock or jacket, somewhat shorter than the breeches with sleeves and hood. This garment is made whole, there being no openings except for the head and arms. The frock of the male is cut at the bottom nearly square, while that of the female reaches a little lower, and terminates before and behind in a point or scollop. The tail of some animal graces the hinder part of the male frock; the woman’s has a large hood, in which she carries her infant. Otherwise both sexes dress alike; and as, when stripped of their facial decorations, their physiognomies are alike, they are not unfrequently mistaken one for the other.[27]The dress of the two sexes is much alike, the outer shirt or jacket having a pointed skirt before and behind, those of the female being merely a little longer. ‘Pretty much the same for both sexes.’ Figuier’s Human Race, p. 214. They have boots of walrus or seal skin, mittens or gloves of deer-skin, and intestine water-proofs covering the entire body. Several kinds of fur frequently enter into the composition of one garment. Thus the body of the frock, generally of reindeer-skin, may be of bird, bear, seal, mink, or squirrel skin; while the hood may be of fox-skin, the lining of hare-skin, the fringe of wolverine-skin, and the gloves of fawn-skin.[28]‘They have besides this a jacket made of eider drakes’ skins sewed together, which, put on underneath their other dress, is a tolerable protection against a distant arrow, and is worn in times of hostility.’ Beechey’s Voy., vol. i., p. 340. Messrs Dease and Simpson found those of Point Barrow ‘well clothed in seal and reindeer skins.’ Lond. Geog. Soc., Jour., vol. viii., p. 221. ‘The finest dresses are made of the skins of unborn deer.’ Richardson’s Pol. Reg., p. 306. ‘The half-developed skin of a fawn that has never lived, obtained by driving the doe till her offspring is prematurely born.’ Whymper’s Alaska, p. 160. Eskimo women pay much regard to their toilet. Richardson’s Nar., vol. i., p. 355. Two suits are worn during the coldest weather; the inner one with the fur next the skin, the outer suit with the fur outward.[29]Their dress consists of two suits. Seemann’s Voy. Herald, vol. ii., p. 52. ‘Reindeer skin—the fur next the body.’ Armstrong’s Nar., p. 149. ‘Two women, dressed like men, looked frightfully with their tattooed faces.’ Kotzebue’s Voy., vol. i., p. 191. Seal-skin jackets, bear-skin trowsers, and white-fox skin caps, is the male costume at Hudson Strait. The female dress is the same, with the addition of a hood for carrying children. Franklin’s Nar., vol. i., p. 29. At Camden Bay, reindeer-skin jackets and water-proof boots. Simpson’s Nar., p. 119. At Coppermine River, ‘women’s boots which are not stiffened out with whalebone, and the tails of their jackets are not over one foot long.’ Hearne’s Travels, p. 166. Deer-skin, hair outside, ornamented with white fur. Kirby, in Smithsonian Rept., 1864, p. 416. The indoor dress of the eastern Eskimo is of reindeer-skin, with the fur inside. ‘When they go out, another entire suit with the fur outside is put over all, and a pair of watertight sealskin moccasins, with similar mittens for their hands.’ Silliman’s Journal, vol. xvi., p. 146. The frock at Coppermine River has a tail something like a dress-coat. Simpson’s Nar., p. 350. Thus, with their stomachs well filled with fat, and their backs covered with furs, they bid defiance to the severest Arctic winter.[30]‘Some of them are even half-naked, as a summer heat, even of 10° is insupportable to them.’ Kotzebue’s Voy., vol. i., p. 205.

Dwellings of the Eskimos

In architecture, the Eskimo is fully equal to the emergency; building, upon a soil which yields him little or no material, three classes of dwellings. Penetrating the frozen earth, or casting around him a frozen wall, he compels the very elements from which he seeks protection to protect him. For his yourt or winter residence he digs a hole of the required dimensions, to a depth of about six feet.[31]‘Down to the frozen subsoil.’ Richardson’s Pol. Reg., p. 310. ‘Some are wholly above ground, others have their roof scarcely raised above it.’ Beechey’s Voy., vol. ii., p. 301. Within this excavation he erects a frame, either of wood or whalebone, lashing his timbers with thongs instead of nailing them. This frame is carried upward to a distance of two or three feet above the ground,[32]‘Formed of stakes placed upright in the ground about six feet high, either circular or oval in form, from which others inclined so as to form a sloping roof.’ Armstrong’s Nar., p. 149. ‘Half underground, with the entrance more or less so.’ Dall’s Alaska, p. 13. ‘They are more than half underground,’ and are ‘about twenty feet square and eight feet deep.’ Seemann’s Voy. Herald, vol. ii., p. 57. when it is covered by a dome-shaped roof of poles or whale-ribs turfed and earthed over.[33]‘The whole building is covered with earth to the thickness of a foot or more, and in a few years it becomes overgrown with grass, looking from a short distance like a small tumulus.’ Richardson’s Pol. Reg., p. 310. In the centre of the roof is left a hole for the admission of light and the emission of smoke. In absence of fire, a translucent covering of whale-intestine confines the warmth of putrifying filth, and completes the Eskimo’s sense of comfort. To gain admittance to this snug retreat, without exposing the inmates to the storms without, another and a smaller hole is dug to the same depth, a short distance from the first. From one to the other, an underground passage-way is then opened, through which entrance is made on hands and knees. The occupants descend by means of a ladder, and over the entrance a shed is erected, to protect it from the snow.[34]A smaller drift-wood house is sometimes built with a side-door. ‘Light and air are admitted by a low door at one end.’ Richardson’s Nar., vol. i., p. 245. Within the entrance is hung a deer-skin door, and anterooms are arranged in which to deposit frozen outer garments before entering the heated room. Around the sides of the dwelling, sleeping-places are marked out; for bedsteads, boards are placed upon logs one or two feet in diameter, and covered with willow branches and skins. A little heap of stones in the centre of the room, under the smoke-hole, forms the fireplace. In the corners of the room are stone lamps, which answer all domestic purposes in the absence of fire-wood.[35]‘The fire in the centre is never lit merely for the sake of warmth, as the lamps are sufficient for that purpose.’ Seemann’s Voy. Herald, vol. ii., p. 58. ‘They have no fire-places; but a stone placed in the centre serves for a support to the lamp, by which the little cooking that is required is performed.’ Richardson’s Nar., vol. i., p. 348. In the better class of buildings, the sides and floor are boarded. Supplies are kept in a store house at a little distance from the dwelling, perched upon four posts, away from the reach of the dogs, and a frame is always erected on which to hang furs and fish. Several years are sometimes occupied in building a hut.[36]‘On trouva plusieurs huttes construites en bois, moitié dans la terre, moitié en dehors.’ Choris, Voy. Pitt., pt. ii., p. 6. At Beaufort Bay are wooden huts. Simpson’s Nar., p. 177. At Toker Point, ‘built of drift-wood and sods of turf or mud.’ Hooper’s Tuski, p. 343. At Cape Krusenstern the houses ‘appeared like little round hills, with fences of whale-bone.’ Kotzebue’s Voy., vol. i., p. 237. ‘They construct yourts or winter residences upon those parts of the shore which are adapted to their convenience, such as the mouths of rivers, the entrances of inlets, or jutting points of land, but always upon low ground.’ Beechey’s Voy., vol. ii., p. 300.

Mark how nature supplies this treeless coast with wood. The breaking-up of winter in the mountains of Alaska is indeed a breaking-up. The accumulated masses of ice and snow, when suddenly loosened by the incessant rays of the never-setting sun, bear away all before them. Down from the mountain-sides comes the avalanche, uprooting trees, swelling rivers, hurrying with its burden to the sea. There, casting itself into the warm ocean current, the ice soon disappears, and the driftwood which accompanied it is carried northward and thrown back upon the beach by the October winds. Thus huge forest-trees, taken up bodily, as it were, in the middle of a continent, and carried by the currents to the incredible distance, sometimes, of three thousand miles, are deposited all along the Arctic seaboard, laid at the very door of these people, a people whose store of this world’s benefits is none of the most abundant.[37]‘I was surprised at the vast quantity of driftwood accumulated on its shore, several acres being thickly covered with it, and many pieces at least sixty feet in length.’ Armstrong’s Nar., p. 104. True, wood is not an absolute necessity with them, as many of their houses in the coldest weather have no fire; only oil-lamps being used for cooking and heating. Whale-ribs supply the place of trees for house and boat timbers, and hides are commonly used for boards. Yet a bountiful supply of wood during their long, cold, dark winter comes in no wise amiss.[38]‘Eastern Esquimaux never seem to think of fire as a means of imparting warmth.’ Simpson’s Nar., p. 346. Their summer tents are made of seal or untanned deer skins with the hair outward, conical or bell-shaped, and without a smoke-hole as no fires are ever kindled within them. The wet or frozen earth is covered with a few coarse skins for a floor.[39]Their houses are ‘moveable tents, constructed of poles and skins.’ Brownell’s Ind. Races, p. 469. ‘Neither wind nor watertight.’ Beechey’s Voy., vol. i., p. 361. At Cape Smythe, Hooper saw seven Eskimo tents of seal skin. Tuski, p. 216. ‘We entered a small tent of morse-skins, made in the form of a canoe.’ Kotzebue’s Voy., vol. i., p. 226. At Coppermine River their tents in summer are of deer-skin with the hair on, and circular. Hearne’s Travels, p. 167. At St Lawrence Island, Kotzebue saw no settled dwellings, ‘only several small tents built of the ribs of whales, and covered with the skin of the morse.’ Voyage, vol. i., pp. 190-191.

Snow Houses

But the most unique system of architecture in America is improvised by the Eskimos during their seal-hunting expeditions upon the ice, when they occupy a veritable crystal palace fit for an Arctic fairy. On the frozen river or sea, a spot is chosen free from irregularities, and a circle of ten or fifteen feet in diameter drawn on the snow. The snow within the circle is then cut into slabs from three to four inches in thickness, their length being the depth of the snow, and these slabs are formed into a wall enclosing the circle and carried up in courses similar to those of brick or stone, terminating in a dome-shaped roof. A wedge-like slab keys the arch; and this principle in architecture may have first been known to the Assyrians, Egyptians, Chinese or Eskimos.[40]‘In parallelograms, and so adjusted as to form a rotunda, with an arched roof.’ Silliman’s Jour., vol. xvi., p. 146. Parry’s Voy., vol. v., p. 200. Franklin’s Nar., vol. ii., p. 44. Loose snow is then thrown into the crevices, which quickly congeals; an aperture is cut in the side for a door; and if the thin wall is not sufficiently translucent, a piece of ice is fitted into the side for a window. Seats, tables, couches, and even fireplaces are made with frozen snow, and covered with reindeer or seal skin. Out-houses connect with the main room, and frequently a number of dwellings are built contiguously, with a passage from one to another. These houses are comfortable and durable, resisting alike the wind and the thaw until late in the season. Care must be taken that the walls are not so thick as to make them too warm, and so cause a dripping from the interior. A square block of snow serves as a stand for the stone lamp which is their only fire.[41]‘These houses are durable, the wind has little effect on them, and they resist the thaw until the sun acquires very considerable power.’ Richardson’s Nar., vol. i., p. 350.

“The purity of the material,” says Sir John Franklin, who saw them build an edifice of this kind at Coppermine River, “of which the house was framed, the elegance of its construction, and the translucency of its walls, which transmitted a very pleasant light, gave it an appearance far superior to a marble building, and one might survey it with feelings somewhat akin to those produced by the contemplation of a Grecian temple, reared by Phidias; both are triumphs of art, inimitable in their kind.”[42]The snow houses are called by the natives igloo, and the underground huts yourts, or yurts, and their tents topeks. Winter residence, ‘iglut.’ Richardson’s Pol. Reg., p. 310. Beechey, describing the same kind of buildings, calls them ‘yourts.’ Voy., vol. i., p. 366. Tent of skins, tie-poo-eet; topak; toopek. Tent, too-pote. Ibid., vol. ii., p. 381. ‘Yourts.’ Seemann’s Voy. Herald, vol. ii., p. 59. Tent, topek. Dall says Richardson is wrong, and that igloo or iglu is the name of ice houses. Alaska, p. 532. House, iglo. Tent, tuppek. Richardson’s Jour., vol. ii., p. 378. Snow house, eegloo. Franklin’s Nar., vol. ii., p. 47.
(‘These houses are durable, the wind has little effect on them, and they resist the thaw until the sun acquires very considerable power.’ Richardson’s Nar., vol. i., p. 350.)

Eskimos, fortunately, have not a dainty palate. Everything which sustains life is food for them. Their substantials comprise the flesh of land and marine animals, fish and birds; venison, and whale and seal blubber being chief. Choice dishes, tempting to the appetite, Arctic epicurean dishes, Eskimo nectar and ambrosia, are daintily prepared, hospitably placed before strangers, and eaten and drunk with avidity. Among them are: a bowl of coagulated blood, mashed cranberries with rancid train-oil, whortleberries and walrus-blubber, alternate streaks of putrid black and white whale-fat; venison steeped in seal-oil, raw deer’s liver cut in small pieces and mixed with the warm half-digested contents of the animal’s stomach; bowls of live maggots, a draught of warm blood from a newly killed animal.[43]They are so fond of the warm blood of dying animals that they invented an instrument to secure it. See Beechey’s Voy., vol. i., p. 344. ‘Whale-blubber, their great delicacy, is sickening and dangerous to a European stomach.’ Kotzebue’s Voy., vol. i., p. 192. Fish are sometimes eaten alive. Meats are kept in seal-skin bags for over a year, decomposing meanwhile, but never becoming too rancid for our Eskimos. Their winter store of oil they secure in seal-skin bags, which are buried in the frozen ground. Charlevoix remarks that they are the only race known who prefer food raw. This, however, is not the case. They prefer their food cooked, but do not object to it raw or rotten. They are no lovers of salt.[44]Hearne says that the natives on the Arctic coast of British America are so disgustingly filthy that when they have bleeding at the nose they lick up their own blood. Travels, p. 161. ‘Salt always appeared an abomination.’ ‘They seldom cook their food, the frost apparently acting as a substitute for fire.’ Collinson, in Lond. Geog. Soc., Jour., vol. xxv., p. 201. At Kotzebue Sound they ‘seem to subsist entirely on the flesh of marine animals, which they, for the most part, eat raw.’ Kotzebue’s Voy., vol. i., p. 239.

Migrations for Food

In mid-winter, while the land is enveloped in darkness, the Eskimo dozes torpidly in his den. Early in September the musk-oxen and reindeer retreat southward, and the fish are confined beneath the frozen covering of the rivers. It is during the short summer, when food is abundant, that they who would not perish must lay up a supply for the winter. When spring opens, and the rivers are cleared of ice, the natives follow the fish, which at that time ascend the streams to spawn, and spear them at the falls and rapids that impede their progress. Small wooden fish are sometimes made and thrown into holes in the ice for a decoy; salmon are taken in a whalebone seine. At this season also reindeer are captured on their way to the coast, whither they resort in the spring to drop their young. Multitudes of geese, ducks, and swans visit the ocean during the same period to breed.[45]‘During the two summer months they hunt and live on swans, geese, and ducks.’ Richardson’s Nar., vol. i., p. 346.

August and September are the months for whales. When a whale is discovered rolling on the water, a boat starts out, and from the distance of a few feet a weapon is plunged into its blubbery carcass. The harpoons are so constructed that when this blow is given, the shaft becomes disengaged from the barbed ivory point. To this point a seal-skin buoy or bladder is attached by means of a cord. The blows are repeated; the buoys encumber the monster in diving or swimming, and the ingenious Eskimo is soon able to tow the carcass to the shore. A successful chase secures an abundance of food for the winter.[46]‘Secures winter feasts and abundance of oil for the lamps of a whole village, and there is great rejoicing.’ Richardson’s Pol. Reg., p. 313. ‘The capture of the seal and walrus is effected in the same manner. Salmon and other fish are caught in nets.’ Seemann’s Voy. Herald, vol. ii., p. 61. ‘Six small perforated ivory balls attached separately to cords of sinew three feet long.’ Dease & Simpson, in Lond. Geog. Soc., Jour., vol. viii., 222. Seals are caught during the winter, and considerable skill is required in taking them. Being a warm-blooded respiratory animal, they are obliged to have air, and in order to obtain it, while the surface of the water is undergoing the freezing process, they keep open a breathing-hole by constantly gnawing away the ice. They produce their young in March, and soon afterward the natives abandon their villages and set out on the ice in pursuit of them. Seals, like whales, are also killed with a harpoon to which is attached a bladder. The seal, when struck, may draw the float under water for a time, but is soon obliged to rise to the surface from exhaustion and for air, when he is again attacked and soon obliged to yield.

The Eskimos are no less ingenious in catching wild-fowl, which they accomplish by means of a sling or net made of woven sinews, with ivory balls attached. They also snare birds by means of whalebone nooses, round which fine gravel is scattered as a bait. They manœuvre reindeer to near the edge of a cliff, and, driving them into the sea, kill them from canoes. They also waylay them at the narrow passes, and capture them in great numbers. They construct large reindeer pounds, and set up two diverging rows of turf so as to represent men; the outer extremities of the line being sometimes two miles apart, and narrowing to a small enclosure. Into this trap the unsuspecting animals are driven, when they are easily speared.[47]Near Smith River, a low piece of ground, two miles broad at the beach, was found enclosed by double rows of turf set up to represent men, narrowing towards a lake, into which reindeer were driven and killed. Simpson’s Nar., p. 135.

BEAR-HUNTING.

To overcome the formidable polar bear the natives have two strategems. One is by imitating the seal, upon which the bear principally feeds, and thereby enticing it within gunshot. Another is by bending a piece of stiff whalebone, encasing it in a ball of blubber, and freezing the ball, which then holds firm the bent whalebone. Armed with these frozen blubber balls, the natives approach their victim, and, with a discharge of arrows, open the engagement. The bear, smarting with pain, turns upon his tormentors, who, taking to their heels, drop now and then a blubber ball. Bruin, as fond of food as of revenge, pauses for a moment, hastily swallows one, then another, and another. Soon a strange sensation is felt within. The thawing blubber, melted by the heat of the animal’s stomach, releases the pent-up whalebone, which, springing into place, plays havoc with the intestines, and brings the bear to a painful and ignominious end. To vegetables, the natives are rather indifferent; berries, acid sorrel leaves, and certain roots, are used as a relish. There is no native intoxicating liquor, but in eating they get gluttonously stupid.

Notwithstanding his long, frigid, biting winter, the Eskimo never suffers from the cold so long as he has an abundance of food. As we have seen, a whale or a moose supplies him with food, shelter, and raiment. With an internal fire, fed by his oily and animal food, glowing in his stomach, his blood at fever heat, he burrows comfortably in ice and snow and frozen ground, without necessity for wood or coal.[48]‘Ce qu’il y a encore de frappant dans la complexion de ces barbares, c’est l’extrême chaleur de leur estomac et de leur sang; ils échauffent tellement, par leur haleine ardente, les huttes où ils assemblent en hiver, que les Européans, s’y sentent étouffés, comme dans une étuve dont la chaleur est trop graduée: aussi ne font-ils jamais de feu dans leur habitation en aucune saison, et ils ignorent l’usage des cheminées, sous le climat le plus froid du globe.’ De Pauw, Recherches Phil., tom. i., p. 261. Nor are those passions which are supposed to develop most fully under a milder temperature, wanting in the half-frozen Hyperborean.[49]‘The voluptuousness and Polygamy of the North American Indians, under a temperature of almost perpetual winter, is far greater than that of the most sensual tropical nations.’ Martin’s British Colonies, vol. iii., p. 524. One of the chief difficulties of the Eskimo during the winter is to obtain water, and the women spend a large portion of their time in melting snow over oil-lamps. In the Arctic regions, eating snow is attended with serious consequences. Ice or snow, touched to the lips or tongue, blisters like caustic. Fire is obtained by striking sparks from iron pyrites with quartz. It is a singular fact that in the coldest climate inhabited by man, fire is less used than anywhere else in the world, equatorial regions perhaps excepted. Caloric for the body is supplied by food and supplemented by furs. Snow houses, from their nature, prohibit the use of fire; but cooking with the Eskimo is a luxury, not a necessity. He well understands how to utilize every part of the animals so essential to his existence. With their skins he clothes himself, makes houses, boats, and oil-bags; their flesh and fat he eats. He even devours the contents of the intestines, and with the skin makes water-proof clothing. Knives, arrow-points, house, boat, and sledge frames, fish-hooks, domestic utensils, ice-chisels, and in fact almost all their implements, are made from the horns and bones of the deer, whale, and seal. Bowstrings are made of the sinews of musk-oxen, and ropes of seal-skin.[50]‘The seal is perhaps their most useful animal, not merely furnishing oil and blubber, but the skin used for their canoes, thongs, nets, lassoes, and boot soles.’ Whymper’s Alaska, p. 161. The Eskimo’s arms are not very formidable. Backed by his ingenuity, they nevertheless prove sufficient for practical purposes; and while his neighbor possesses none better, all are on an equal footing in war. Their most powerful as well as most artistic weapon is the bow. It is made of beech or spruce, in three pieces curving in opposite directions and ingeniously bound by twisted sinews, so as to give the greatest possible strength. Richardson affirms that “in the hands of a native hunter it will propel an arrow with sufficient force to pierce the heart of a musk-ox, or break the leg of a reindeer.” Arrows, as well as spears, lances, and darts, are of white spruce, and pointed with bone, ivory, flint, and slate.[51]They have ‘two sorts of bows; arrows pointed with iron, flint, and bone, or blunt for birds; a dart with throwing-board for seals; a spear headed with iron or copper, the handle about six feet long; and formidable iron knives, equally adapted for throwing, cutting, or stabbing.’ Simpson’s Nar., p. 123. They ascended the Mackenzie in former times as far as the Ramparts, to obtain flinty slate for lance and arrow points. Richardson’s Jour., vol. i., p. 213. At St. Lawrence Island, they are armed with a knife two feet long. Kotzebue’s Voy., vol. i., pp. 193, 211. One weapon was ‘a walrus tooth fixed to the end of a wooden staff.’ Beechey’s Voy., vol. i., p. 343. East of the Mackenzie, copper enters largely into the composition of Eskimo utensils.[52]At the Coppermine River, arrows are pointed with slate or copper; hatchets also are made of a thick lump of copper. Hearne’s Travels, pp. 161-9. Before the introduction of iron by Europeans, stone hatchets were common.[53]‘The old ivory knives and flint axes are now superseded, the Russians having introduced the common European sheath-knife and hatchet. The board for throwing darts is in use, and is similar to that of the Polynesians.’ Seemann’s Voy. Herald, vol. ii., p. 53.

SLEDGES, SNOW-SHOES, AND BOATS.

The Hyperboreans surpass all American nations in their facilities for locomotion, both upon land and water. In their skin boats, the natives of the Alaskan seaboard from Point Barrow to Mount St Elias, made long voyages, crossing the strait and sea of Bering, and held commercial intercourse with the people of Asia. Sixty miles is an ordinary day’s journey for sledges, while Indians on snow-shoes have been known to run down and capture deer. Throughout this entire border, including the Aleutian Islands, boats are made wholly of the skins of seals or sea-lions, excepting the frame of wood or whale-ribs. In the interior, as well as on the coast immediately below Mount St Elias, skin boats disappear, and canoes or wooden boats are used.

Two kinds of skin boats are employed by the natives of the Alaskan coast, a large and a small one. The former is called by the natives oomiak, and by the Russians baidar. This is a large, flat-bottomed, open boat; the skeleton of wood or whale-ribs, fastened with seal-skin thongs or whale’s sinews, and covered with oiled seal or sea-lion skins, which are first sewed together and then stretched over the frame. The baidar is usually about thirty feet in length, six feet in extreme breadth, and three feet in depth. It is propelled by oars, and will carry fifteen or twenty persons, but its capacity is greatly increased by lashing inflated seal-skins to the outside. In storms at sea, two or three baidars are sometimes tied together.[54]The ‘baydare is a large open boat, quite flat, made of sea-lions’ skins,’ and is used also for a tent. At Lantscheff Island it was ‘a large and probably leathern boat, with black sails.’ Kotzebue’s Voy., vol. i., pp. 202, 216. ‘The kaiyaks are impelled by a double-bladed paddle, used with or without a central rest, and the umiaks with oars.’ Can ‘propel their kaiyaks at the rate of seven miles an hour.’ Richardson’s Jour., vol. i., pp. 238, 358. At Hudson Strait they have canoes of seal-skin, like those of Greenland. Franklin’s Nar., vol. i., p. 29. Not a drop of water can penetrate the opening into the canoe. Müller’s Voy., p. 46. The kyak is like an English wager-boat. They are ‘much stronger than their lightness would lead one to suppose.’ Hooper’s Tuski, pp. 226, 228. Oomiaks or family canoes of skin; float in six inches of water. Simpson’s Nar., p. 148. ‘With these boats they make long voyages, frequently visiting St. Lawrence Island.’ Dall’s Alaska, p. 380. ‘Frame work of wood—when this cannot be procured whalebone is substituted.’ Armstrong’s Nar., p. 98. Mackenzie saw boats put together with whalebone; ‘sewed in some parts, and tied in others.’ Voyages, p. 67. They also use a sail. ‘On découvrit au loin, dans la baie, un bateau qui allait à la voile; elle était en cuir.’ Choris, Voy. Pitt., pt. ii., p. 6. They ‘are the best means yet discovered by mankind to go from place to place.’ Langsdorff’s Voy., pt. ii., p. 43. ‘It is wonderful what long voyages they make in these slight boats.’ Campbell’s Voy., p. 114. ‘The skin, when soaked with water, is translucent; and a stranger placing his foot upon the flat yielding surface at the bottom of the boat fancies it a frail security.’ Beechey’s Voy., vol. i., p. 346. The small boat is called by the natives kyak, and by the Russians baidarka. It is constructed of the same material and in the same manner as the baidar, except that it is entirely covered with skins, top as well as bottom, save one hole left in the deck, which is filled by the navigator. After taking his seat, and thereby filling this hole, the occupant puts on a water-proof over-dress, the bottom of which is so secured round the rim of the hole that not a drop of water can penetrate it. This dress is provided with sleeves and a hood. It is securely fastened at the wrists and neck, and when the hood is drawn over the head, the boatman may bid defiance to the water. The baidarka is about sixteen feet in length, and two feet in width at the middle, tapering to a point at either end.[55]The ‘kajak is shaped like a weaver’s shuttle.’ Richardson’s Pol. Reg., p. 308. ‘The paddle is in the hands of an Eskimo, what the balancing pole is to a tight-rope dancer.’ Seemann’s Voy. Herald, vol. ii., p. 56. It is light and strong, and when skillfully handled is considered very safe. The native of Norton Sound will twirl his kyak completely over, turn an aquatic somersault, and by the aid of his double-bladed paddle come up safely on the other side, without even losing his seat. So highly were these boats esteemed by the Russians, that they were at once universally adopted by them in navigating these waters. They were unable to invent any improvement in either of them, although they made a baidarka with two and three seats, which they employed in addition to the one-seated kyak. The Kadiak baidarka is a little shorter and wider than the Aleutian.[56]‘The Koltshanen construct birch-bark canoes; but on the coast skin boats or baidars, like the Eskimo kaiyaks and umiaks, are employed.’ Richardson’s Jour., vol. i., p. 405. If by accident a hole should be made, it is stopped with a piece of the flesh of the sea-dog, or fat of the whale, which they always carry with them. Langsdorff’s Voy., pt. ii., p. 43. They strike ‘the water with a quick, regular motion, first on one side, and then on the other.’ Cook’s Third Voy., vol. ii., p. 516. ‘Wiegen nie über 30 Pfund, und haben ein dünnes mit Leder überzognes Gerippe.’ Neue Nachrichten, p. 152. ‘The Aleutians put to sea with them in all weathers.’ Kotzebue’s New Voy., vol. ii., p. 40. At the Shumagin Islands they ‘are generally about twelve feet in length, sharp at each end, and about twenty inches broad.’ Meares’ Voy., p. x. They are as transparent as oiled paper. At Unalaska they are so light that they can be carried in one hand. Sauer, Billings’ Ex., p. 157, 159.

Sleds, sledges, dogs, and Arctic land-boats play an important part in Eskimo economy. The Eskimo sled is framed of spruce, birch, or whalebone, strongly bound with thongs, and the runners shod with smooth strips of whale’s jaw-bone. This sled is heavy, and fit only for traveling over ice or frozen snow. Indian sleds of the interior are lighter, the runners being of thin flexible boards better adapted to the inequalities of the ground. Sledges, such as are used by the voyagers of Hudson Bay, are of totally different construction. Three boards, each about one foot in width and twelve feet in length, thinned, and curved into a semicircle at one end, are placed side by side and firmly lashed together with thongs. A leathern bag or blanket of the full size of the sled is provided, in which the load is placed and lashed down with strings.[57]‘They average twelve feet in length, two feet six inches in height, two feet broad, and have the fore part turned up in a gentle curve.’ ‘The floor resembles a grating without cross-bars, and is almost a foot from the level of the snow.’ Seemann’s Voy. Herald, vol. ii., p. 56. At Saritscheff Island ‘I particularly remarked two very neat sledges made of morse and whalebones.’ Kotzebue’s Voy., vol. i., p. 201. ‘To make the runners glide smoothly, a coating of ice is given to them.’ Richardson’s Pol. Reg., p. 309. At Norton Sound Captain Cook found sledges ten feet long and twenty inches in width. A rail-work on each side, and shod with bone; ‘neatly put together; some with wooden pins, but mostly with thongs or lashings of whale-bone.’ Third Voy., vol. ii., p. 442, 443. Mackenzie describes the sledges of British America, Voyages, pp. 67, 68. Sleds and sledges are drawn by dogs, and they will carry a load of from a quarter to half a ton, or about one hundred pounds to each dog. The dogs of Alaska are scarcely up to the average of Arctic canine nobility.[58]‘About the size of those of Newfoundland, with shorter legs.’ Dall’s Alaska, p. 25. ‘Neither plentiful nor of a good class.’ Whymper’s Alaska, p. 171. They are of various colors, hairy, short-legged, with large bushy tails curved over the back; they are wolfish, suspicious, yet powerful, sagacious, and docile, patiently performing an incredible amount of ill-requited labor. Dogs are harnessed to the sledge, sometimes by separate thongs at unequal distances, sometimes in pairs to a single line. They are guided by the voice accompanied by a whip, and to the best trained and most sagacious is given the longest tether, that he may act as leader. An eastern dog will carry on his back a weight of thirty pounds. The dogs of the northern coast are larger and stronger than those of the interior. Eskimo dogs are used in hunting reindeer and musk-oxen, as well as in drawing sledges.[59]The dog will hunt bear and reindeer, but is afraid of its near relative, the wolf. Brownell’s Ind. Races, p. 474. Those at Cape Prince of Wales appear to be of the same species as those used upon the Asiatic coast for drawing sledges.

Snow-shoes, or foot-sledges, are differently made according to the locality. In traveling over soft snow they are indispensable. They consist of an open light wooden frame, made of two smooth pieces of wood each about two inches wide and an inch thick; the inner part sometimes straight, and the outer curved out to about one foot in the widest part. They are from two to six feet in length, some oval and turned up in front, running to a point behind; others flat, and pointed at both ends, the space within the frame being filled with a network of twisted deer-sinews or fine seal-skin.[60]‘An average length is four and a half feet.’ Whymper’s Alaska, p. 183. ‘The Innuit snowshoe is small and nearly flat,’ ‘seldom over thirty inches long.’ ‘They are always rights and lefts.’ Ingalik larger; Kutchin same style; Hudson Bay, thirty inches in length. Dall’s Alaska, pp. 190, 191. ‘They are from two to three feet long, a foot broad, and slightly turned up in front.’ Seemann’s Voy. Herald, vol. ii., p. 60. The Hudson Bay snow-shoe is only two and a half feet in length. The Kutchin shoe is smaller than that of the Eskimo.

Property

The merchantable wealth of the Eskimos consists of peltries, such as wolf, deer, badger, polar-bear, otter, hare, musk-rat, Arctic-fox, and seal skins; red ochre, plumbago, and iron pyrites; oil, ivory, whalebone; in short, all parts of all species of beasts, birds, and fishes that they can secure and convert into an exchangeable shape.[61]‘Blue beads, cutlery, tobacco, and buttons, were the articles in request.’ Beechey’s Voy., vol. i., p. 352. At Hudson Strait they have a custom of licking with the tongue each article purchased, as a finish to the bargain. Franklin’s Nar., vol. i., 27. ‘Articles of Russian manufacture find their way from tribe to tribe along the American coast, eastward to Repulse Bay.’ Richardson’s Pol. Reg., p. 317. The articles they most covet are tobacco, iron, and beads. They are not particularly given to strong drink. On the shore of Bering Strait the natives have constant commercial intercourse with Asia. They cross easily in their boats, carefully eluding the vigilance of the fur company. They frequently meet at the Gwosdeff Islands, where the Tschuktschi bring tobacco, iron, tame-reindeer skins, and walrus-ivory; the Eskimos giving in exchange wolf and wolverine skins, wooden dishes, seal-skins and other peltries. The Eskimos of the American coast carry on quite an extensive trade with the Indians of the interior,[62]Are very anxious to barter arrows, seal-skin boots, and ivory ornaments for tobacco, beads, and particularly for iron. Hooper’s Tuski, p. 217. Some of their implements at Coppermine River are: stone kettles, wooden dishes, scoops and spoons made of buffalo or musk-ox horns. Hearne’s Travels, p. 168. At Point Barrow were ivory implements with carved figures of sea-animals, ivory dishes, and a ‘fine whalebone net.’ Also ‘knives and other implements, formed of native copper’ at Coppermine River. Simpson’s Nar., pp. 147, 156, 261. At Point Barrow they ‘have unquestionably an indirect trade with the Russians.’ Simpson’s Nar., 161. exchanging with them Asiatic merchandise for peltries. They are sharp at bargains, avaricious, totally devoid of conscience in their dealings; will sell their property thrice if possible, and, if caught, laugh it off as a joke. The rights of property are scrupulously respected among themselves, but to steal from strangers, which they practice on every occasion with considerable dexterity, is considered rather a mark of merit than otherwise. A successful thief, when a stranger is the victim, receives the applause of the entire tribe.[63]‘They are very expert traders, haggle obstinately, always consult together, and are infinitely happy when they fancy they have cheated anybody.’ Kotzebue’s Voy., vol. i., p. 211. ‘A thieving, cunning race.’ Armstrong’s Nar., p. 110. They respect each other’s property, ‘but they steal without scruple from strangers.’ Richardson’s Jour., vol. i., p. 352. Captain Kotzebue thus describes the manner of trading with the Russo-Indians of the south and of Asia.

“The stranger first comes, and lays some goods on the shore and then retires; the American then comes, looks at the things, puts as many things near them as he thinks proper to give, and then also goes away. Upon this the stranger approaches, and examines what is offered him; if he is satisfied with it, he takes the skins and leaves the goods instead; but if not, then he lets all the things lie, retires a second time, and expects an addition from the buyer.” If they cannot agree, each retires with his goods.

Social Economy

Their government, if it can be called a government, is patriarchal. Now and then some ancient or able man gains an ascendency in the tribe, and overawes his fellows. Some tribes even acknowledge an hereditary chief, but his authority is nominal. He can neither exact tribute, nor govern the movements of the people. His power seems to be exercised only in treating with other tribes. Slavery in any form is unknown among them. Caste has been mentioned in connection with tattooing, but, as a rule, social distinctions do not exist.[64]‘They have a chief (Nalegak) in name, but do not recognize his authority.’ Dr Hayes, in Hist. Mag., vol. i., p. 6. Government, ‘a combination of the monarchical and republican;’ ‘every one is on a perfect level with the rest.’ Seemann’s Voy. Herald, vol. ii., p. 59, 60. ‘Chiefs are respected principally as senior men.’ Franklin’s Nar., vol. ii., p. 41. At Kotzebue Sound, a robust young man was taken to be chief, as all his commands were punctually obeyed. Kotzebue’s Voy., vol. i., p. 235. Quarrels ‘are settled by boxing, the parties sitting down and striking blows alternately, until one of them gives in.’ Richardson’s Pol. Reg., p. 326. Every man governs his own family. Brownell’s Ind. Races, p. 475. They ‘have a strong respect for their territorial rights, and maintain them with firmness.’ Richardson’s Jour., vol. i., p. 351.

Amusements

The home of the Eskimo is a model of filth and freeness. Coyness is not one of their vices, nor is modesty ranked among their virtues. The latitude of innocency marks all their social relations; they refrain from doing in public nothing that they would do in private. Female chastity is little regarded. The Kutchins, it is said, are jealous, but treat their wives kindly; the New Caledonians are jealous, and treat them cruelly; but the philosophic Eskimos are neither jealous nor unkind. Indeed, so far are they from espionage or meanness in marital affairs, that it is the duty of the hospitable host to place at the disposal of his guest not only the house and its contents, but his wife also.[65]They are ‘horribly filthy in person and habits.’ Hooper’s Tuski, p. 224. ‘A husband will readily traffic with the virtue of a wife for purposes of gain.’ Armstrong’s Nar., p. 195. ‘More than once a wife was proffered by her husband.’ Richardson’s Jour., vol. i., p. 356. As against the above testimony, Seemann affirms: ‘After the marriage ceremony has been performed infidelity is rare.’ Voy. Herald, vol. ii., p. 66. ‘These people are in the habit of collecting certain fluids for the purposes of tanning; and that, judging from what took place in the tent, in the most open manner, in the presence of all the family.’ Beechey’s Voy., vol. i., p. 407. The lot of the women is but little better than slavery. All the work, except the nobler occupations of hunting, fishing, and fighting, falls to them. The lesson of female inferiority is at an early age instilled into the mind of youth. Nevertheless, the Eskimo mother is remarkably affectionate, and fulfills her low destiny with patient kindness. Polygamy is common; every man being entitled to as many wives as he can get and maintain. On the other hand, if women are scarce, the men as easily adapt themselves to circumstances, and two of them marry one woman. Marriages are celebrated as follows: after gaining the consent of the mother, the lover presents a suit of clothes to the lady, who arrays herself therein and thenceforth is his wife.[66]‘Two men sometimes marry the same woman.’ Seemann’s Voy. Herald, vol. ii., p. 66. ‘As soon as a girl is born, the young lad who wishes to have her for a wife goes to her father’s tent, and proffers himself. If accepted, a promise is given which is considered binding, and the girl is delivered to her betrothed husband at the proper age.’ Franklin’s Nar., vol. ii., p. 41. Women ‘carry their infants between their reindeer-skin jackets and their naked backs.’ Simpson’s Nar., p. 121. ‘All the drudgery falls upon the women; even the boys would transfer their loads to their sisters.’ Collinson, in Lond. Geog. Soc., Jour., vol. xxv., p. 201. Dancing, accompanied by singing and violent gesticulation, is their chief amusement. In all the nations of the north, every well-regulated village aspiring to any degree of respectability has its public or town house, which among the Eskimos is called the Casine or Kashim. It consists of one large subterranean room, better built than the common dwellings, and occupying a central position, where the people congregate on feast-days.[67]The ‘Kashim is generally built by the joint labour of the community.’ Richardson’s Pol. Reg., p. 311. This house is also used as a public work-shop, where are manufactured boats, sledges, and snow-shoes. A large portion of the winter is devoted to dancing. Feasting and visiting commence in November. On festive occasions, a dim light and a strong odor are thrown over the scene by means of blubber-lamps. The dancers, who are usually young men, strip themselves to the waist, or even appear in puris naturalibus, and go through numberless burlesque imitations of birds and beasts, their gestures being accompanied by tambourine and songs. Sometimes they are fantastically arrayed in seal or deer skin pantaloons, decked with dog or wolf tails behind, and wear feathers or a colored handkerchief on the head. The ancients, seated upon benches which encircle the room, smoke, and smile approbation. The women attend with fish and berries in large wooden bowls; and, upon the opening of the performance, they are at once relieved of their contributions by the actors, who elevate the provisions successively to the four cardinal points and once to the skies above, when all partake of the feast. Then comes another dance. A monotonous refrain, accompanied by the beating of an instrument made of seal-intestines stretched over a circular frame, brings upon the ground one boy after another, until about twenty form a circle. A series of pantomimes then commences, portraying love, jealousy, hatred, and friendship. During intervals in the exercises, presents are distributed to strangers. In their national dance, one girl after another comes in turn to the centre, while the others join hands and dance and sing, not unmusically, about her. The most extravagant motions win the greatest applause.[68]‘Their dance is of the rudest kind, and consists merely in violent motion of the arms and legs.’ Seemann’s Voy. Herald, vol. ii., p. 63. They make ‘the most comical motions with the whole body, without stirring from their place.’ Kotzebue’s Voy., vol. i., p. 192. Their song consisted of the words: ‘Hi, Yangah yangah; ha ha, yangah—with variety only in the inflection of voice.’ Hooper’s Tuski, p. 225. When heated by the dance, even the women were stripped to their breeches. Simpson’s Nar., p. 158. ‘An old man, all but naked, jumped into the ring, and was beginning some indecent gesticulations, when his appearance not meeting with our approbation he withdrew.’ Beechey’s Voy., vol. i., p. 396.

Among other customs of the Eskimo may be mentioned the following. Their salutations are made by rubbing noses together. No matter how oily the skin, nor how rank the odor, he who would avoid offense must submit his nose to the nose of his Hyperborean brother,[69]‘C’était la plus grande marque d’amitié qu’ils pouvaient nous donner.’ Choris, Voy. Pitt., pt. ii., p. 5. ‘They came up to me one after the other—each of them embraced me, rubbed his nose hard against mine, and ended his caresses by spitting in his hands and wiping them several times over my face.’ Kotzebue’s Voy., vol. i., pp. 192, 195. and his face to the caressing hand of his polar friend. To convey intimations of friendship at a distance, they extend their arms, and rub and pat their breast. Upon the approach of visitors they form a circle, and sit like Turks, smoking their pipes. Men, women, and children are inordinately fond of tobacco. They swallow the smoke and revel in a temporary elysium. They are called brave, simple, kind, intelligent, happy, hospitable, respectful to the aged. They are also called cruel, ungrateful, treacherous, cunning, dolorously complaining, miserable.[70]‘Their personal bravery is conspicuous, and they are the only nation on the North American Continent who oppose their enemies face to face in open fight.’ Richardson’s Jour., vol. i., p. 244. ‘Simple, kind people; very poor, very filthy, and to us looking exceedingly wretched.’ McClure’s Dis. N. W. Passage, in Lond. Geog. Soc., Jour., vol. xxiv., p. 242. ‘More bold and crafty than the Indians; but they use their women much better.’ Bell’s Geog., vol. v., p. 294. They are great mimics, and, in order to terrify strangers, they accustom themselves to the most extraordinary contortions of features and body. As a measure of intellectual capacity, it is claimed for them that they divide time into days, lunar months, seasons, and years; that they estimate accurately by the sun or stars the time of day or night; that they can count several hundred and draw maps. They also make rude drawings on bone, representing dances, deer-hunting, animals, and all the various pursuits followed by them from the cradle to the grave.

But few diseases are common to them, and a deformed person is scarcely ever seen. Cutaneous eruptions, resulting from their antipathy to water, and ophthalmia, arising from the smoke of their closed huts and the glare of sun-light upon snow and water, constitute their chief disorders.[71]‘Their diseases are few.’ Seemann’s Voy. Herald, vol. ii., p. 67. ‘Diseases are quite as prevalent among them as among civilized people.’ Dall’s Alaska, p. 195. ‘Ophthalmia was very general with them.’ Beechey’s Voy., vol. i., p. 345. ‘There is seldom any mortality except amongst the old people and very young children.’ Armstrong’s Nar., p. 197. For protection to their eyes in hunting and fishing, they make goggles by cutting a slit in a piece of soft wood, and adjusting it to the face.

The Eskimos do not, as a rule, bury their dead; but double the body up, and place it on the side in a plank box, which is elevated three or four feet from the ground, and supported by four posts. The grave-box is often covered with painted figures of birds, fishes, and animals. Sometimes it is wrapped in skins, placed upon an elevated frame, and covered with planks, or trunks of trees, so as to protect it from wild beasts. Upon the frame or in the grave-box are deposited the arms, clothing, and sometimes the domestic utensils of the deceased. Frequent mention is made by travelers of burial places where the bodies lie exposed, with their heads placed towards the north.[72]At Point Barrow, bodies were found in great numbers scattered over the ground in their ordinary seal-skin dress; a few covered with pieces of wood, the heads all turned north-east towards the extremity of the point. Simpson’s Nar., p. 155. ‘They lay their dead on the ground, with their heads all turned to the north.’ ‘The bodies lay exposed in the most horrible and disgusting manner.’ Dease and Simpson, in Lond. Geog. Soc., Jour., vol. viii., p. 221, 222. ‘Their position with regard to the points of the compass is not taken into consideration.’ Seemann’s Voy. Herald, vol. ii., p. 67. ‘There are many more graves than present inhabitants of the village, and the story is that the whole coast was once much more densely populated.’ Dall’s Alaska, p. 19. Hooper, on coming to a burial place not far from Point Barrow, ‘conjectured that the corpses had been buried in an upright position, with their heads at or above the surface.’ Tuski, p. 221.

The Koniagas

The Koniagas derive their name from the inhabitants of the island of Kadiak, who, when first discovered, called themselves Kanagist.[73]Kadiak ‘is a derivative, according to some authors, from the Russian Kadia, a large tub; more probably, however, it is a corruption of Kaniag, the ancient Innuit name.’ Dall’s Alaska, p. 532. Holmberg thinks that the word Kadiak arose from Kikchtak, which in the language of the Koniagas means a large island. ‘Der Name Kadjak ist offenbar eine Verdrehung von Kikchtak, welches Wort in der Sprache der Konjagen “grosse Insel” bedeutet und daher auch als Benennung der grössten Insel dieser Gruppe diente.’ Ethnographische Skizzen über die Völker des Russischen Amerika, p. 75. ‘A la division Koniagi appartient la partie la plus septentrionale de l’Alaska, et l’île de Kodiak, que les Russes appellent vulgairement Kichtak, quoique, dans la langue des naturels, le mot Kightak ne désigne en général qu’une île.’ Humboldt, Essai Pol., tom. i., p. 347. Coxe affirms that the natives ‘call themselves Kanagist.’ Russian Dis., p. 135. And Sauer says, ‘the natives call themselves Soo-oo-it.’ Billings’ Ex., p. 175. ‘Man verstand von ihnen, dass sie sich selbst Kanagist nennen.’ Neue Nachr., p. 114. They were confounded by early Russian writers with the Aleuts. English ethnologists sometimes call them Southern Eskimos. From Kadiak they extend along the coast in both directions; northward across the Alaskan Peninsula to Kotzebue Sound, and eastward to Prince William Sound. The Koniagan family is divided into nations as follows: the Koniagas proper, who inhabit the Koniagan Archipelago; the Chugatshes,[74]Tschugatsches, Tschugatsi or Tschgatzi. Latham, Native Races, p. 290, says the name is Athabascan, and signifies ‘men of the sea.’ who occupy the islands and shores of Prince William Sound; the Aglegmutes, of Bristol Bay; the Keyataigmutes, who live upon the river Nushagak and the coast as far as Cape Newenham; the Agulmutes, dwelling upon the coast between the Kuskoquim and Kishunak rivers; the Kuskoquigmutes,[75]Kuskoquigmutes, Kuskokwimen, Kuskokwigmjuten, Kusckockwagemuten, Kuschkukchwakmüten, or Kaskutchewak. occupying the banks of the river Kuskoquim; the Magemutes, in the neighborhood of Cape Romanzoff; the Kwichpagmutes, Kwichluagmutes, and Pashtoliks, on the Kwichpak, Kwickluak, and Pashtolik rivers; the Chnagmutes, near Pashtolik Bay; the Anlygmutes, of Golovnin Bay, and the Kaviaks and Malemutes, of Norton Sound.[76]The termination mute, mut, meut, muten, or mjuten, signifies people or village. It is added to the tribal name sometimes as a substantive as well as in an adjective sense. “All of these people,” says Baron von Wrangell, “speak one language and belong to one stock.”

The most populous district is the Kuskoquim Valley.[77]‘Herr Wassiljew schätzt ihre Zahl auf mindestens 7000 Seelen beiderlei Geschlechts und jeglichen Alters.’ Baer, Stat. u. Ethn., p. 127. The small islands in the vicinity of Kadiak were once well peopled; but as the Russians depopulated them, and hunters became scarce, the natives were not allowed to scatter, but were forced to congregate in towns.[78]‘Es waren wohl einst alle diese Inseln bewohnt.’ Holmberg, Ethn. Skiz., p. 76. Schelikoff, the first settler on Kadiak, reported, in that and contiguous isles, thirty thousand natives. Thirty years later, Saritsheff visited the island and found but three thousand. The Chugatshes not long since lived upon the island of Kadiak, but, in consequence of dissensions with their neighbors, they were obliged to emigrate and take up their residence on the main land. They derived their manners originally from the northern nations; but, after having been driven from their ancient possessions, they made raids upon southern nations, carried off their women, and, from the connections thus formed, underwent a marked change. They now resemble the southern rather than the northern tribes. The Kadiaks, Chugatshes, Kuskoquims, and adjacent tribes, according to their own traditions, came from the north, while the Unalaskas believe themselves to have originated in the west. The Kaviaks intermingle to a considerable extent with the Malemutes, and the two are often taken for one people; but their dialects are quite distinct.

Land of the Koniagas

The country of the Koniagas is a rugged wilderness, into many parts of which no white man has ever penetrated. Mountainous forests, glacial cañons, down which flow innumerable torrents, hills interspersed with lakes and marshy plains; ice-clad in winter, covered with luxuriant vegetation in summer. Some sheltered inlets absorb an undue proportion of oceanic warmth. Thus the name Aglegmutes signifies the inhabitants of a warm climate.

Travelers report chiefs among the Koniagas seven feet in height, but in general they are of medium stature.[79]The Malemutes are ‘a race of tall and stout people.’ Whymper’s Alaska, p. 159. ‘Die Kuskokwimer sind, mittlerer Statur, schlank, rüstig und oft mit grosser Stärke begabt.’ Baer, Stat. u. Ethn., p. 135. Dixon’s Voy., p. 186. ‘Bisweilen fallen sogar riesige Gestalten auf, wie ich z. B. einen Häuptling in der igatschen Bucht zu sehen Gelegenheit hatte, dessen Länge 6¾ Fuss betrug.’ Holmberg, Ethn. Skiz., p. 80. The chief at Prince William Sound was a man of low stature, ‘with a long beard, and seemed about sixty years of age.’ Portlock’s Voy., p. 237. A strong, raw-boned race. Meares’ Voy., p. 32. At Cook’s Inlet they seemed to be of the same nation as those of Pr. Wm. Sd., but entirely different from those at Nootka, in persons and language. Cook’s Third Voy., vol. ii., p. 400. They are of ‘middle size and well proportioned.’ Dixon’s Voy., p. 68. ‘They emigrated in recent times from the Island of Kadyak, and they claim, as their hereditary possessions, the coast lying between Bristol Bay and Beering’s Straits.’ Richardson’s Nar., vol. i., p. 364. ‘Die Tschugatschen sind Ankömmlinge von der Insel Kadjack, die während innerer Zwistigkeiten von dort vertrieben.’ Baer, Stat. u. Ethn., p. 116. Their complexion may be a shade darker than that of the Eskimos of the northern coast, but it is still very light.[80]Achkugmjuten, ‘Bewohner der warmen Gegend.’ Holmberg, Ethn. Skiz., p. 5. ‘Copper complexion.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 194. The Chugatshes are remarkable for their large heads, short necks, broad faces, and small eyes. Holmberg claims for the Koniagas a peculiar formation of the skull; the back, as he says, being not arched but flat. They pierce the septum of the nose and the under lip, and in the apertures wear ornaments of various materials; the most highly prized being of shell or of amber. It is said that at times amber is thrown up in large quantities by the ocean, on the south side of Kadiak, generally after a heavy earthquake, and that at such times it forms an important article of commerce with the natives. The more the female chin is riddled with holes, the greater the respectability. Two ornaments are usually worn, but by very aristocratic ladies as many as six.[81]‘They bore their under lip, where they hang fine bones of beasts and birds.’ Staehlin’s North. Arch., p. 33. ‘Setzen sich auch—Zähne von Vögeln oder Thierknochen in künstliche Oeffnungen der Unterlippe und unter der Nase ein.’ Neue Nachr., p. 113. Their favorite colors in face-painting are red and blue, though black and leaden colors are common.[82]The people of Kadiak, according to Langsdorff, are similar to those of Unalaska, the men being a little taller. They differ from the Fox Islanders. Voy., pt. ii., p. 62. ‘Die Insulaner waren hier von den Einwohnern, der vorhin entdeckten übrigen Fuchsinsuln, in Kleidung und Sprache ziemlich verschieden.’ Neue Nachr., p. 113. ‘Ils ressemblent beaucoup aux indigènes des îles Curiles, dépendantes du Japon.’ Laplace, Circumnav., vol. vi., p. 45. Young Kadiak wives secure the affectionate admiration of their husbands by tattooing the breast and adorning the face with black lines; while the Kuskoquim women sew into their chin two parallel blue lines. The hair is worn long by men as well as women. On state occasions, it is elaborately dressed; first saturated in train-oil, then powdered with red clay or oxide of iron, and finished off with a shower of white feathers. Both sexes wear beads wherever they can find a place for them, round the neck, wrists, and ankles, besides making a multitude of holes for them in the ears, nose, and chin. Into these holes they will also insert buttons, nails, or any European trinket which falls into their possession.[83]‘They wore strings of beads suspended from apertures in the lower lip.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 195. ‘Their ears are full of holes, from which hang pendants of bone or shell.’ Meares’ Voy., p. xxxii. ‘Elles portent des perles ordinairement en verre bleu, suspendues au-dessous du nez à un fil passé dans la cloison nasale.’ D’Orbigny, Voy., p. 573. ‘Upon the whole, I have nowhere seen savages who take more pains than these people do to ornament, or rather to disfigure their persons.’ At Prince William Sound they are so fond of ornament ‘that they stick any thing in their perforated lip; one man appearing with two of our iron nails projecting from it like prongs; and another endeavouring to put a large brass button into it.’ Cook’s Third Voy., vol. ii., p. 370. They slit the under lip, and have ornaments of glass beads and muscle-shells in nostrils and ears; tattoo chin and neck. Langsdorff’s Voy., vol. ii., p. 63. ‘Die Frauen machen Einschnitte in die Lippen. Der Nasenknorpel ist ebenfalls durchstochen.’ Baer, Stat. u. Ethn., p. 135.

Kadiak and Kuskoquim Dress

The aboriginal dress of a wealthy Kadiak was a bird-skin parka, or shirt, fringed at the top and bottom, with long wide sleeves out of which the wearer slipped his arms in an emergency. This garment was neatly sewed with bird-bone needles, and a hundred skins were sometimes used in the making of a single parka. It was worn with the feathers outside during the day, and inside during the night. Round the waist was fastened an embroidered girdle, and over all, in wet weather, was worn an intestine water-proof coat. The Kadiak breeches and stockings were of otter or other skins, and the boots, when any were worn, were of seal-neck leather, with whale-skin soles. The Russians in a measure prohibited the use of furs among the natives, compelling them to purchase woolen goods from the company, and deliver up all their peltries. The parkas and stockings of the Kuskoquims are of reindeer-skin, covered with embroidery, and trimmed with valuable furs. They also make stockings of swamp grass, and cloaks of sturgeon-skin. The Malemute and Kaviak dress is similar to that of the northern Eskimo.[84]The Kadiaks dress like the Aleuts, but their principal garment they call Konägen; Langsdorff’s Voy., pt. ii., p. 63. Like the Unalaskas, the neck being more exposed, fewer ornamentations. Sauer, Billings’ Voy., p. 177. ‘Consists wholly of the skins of animals and birds.’ Portlock’s Voy., p. 249. A coat peculiar to Norton Sound appeared ‘to be made of reeds sewed very closely together.’ Dixon’s Voy., p. 191. ‘Nähen ihre Parken (Winter-Kleider) aus Vögelhäuten und ihre Kamleien (Sommer-Kleider) aus den Gedärmen von Wallfischen und Robben.’ Baer, Stat. u. Ethn., p. 117. At Norton Sound ‘principally of deer-skins.’ Cook’s Third Voy., vol. ii., p. 484. ‘Ihre Kleider sind aus schwarzen und andern Fuchsbälgen, Biber, Vogelhäuten, auch jungen Rennthier and Jewraschkenfellen, alles mit Sehnen genäht.’ Neue Nachr., p. 113. ‘The dress of both sexes consists of parkas and camleykas, both of which nearly resemble in form a carter’s frock.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 194.

The Chugatshes, men, women, and children, dress alike in a close fur frock, or robe, reaching sometimes to the knees, but generally to the ankles. Their feet and legs are commonly bare, notwithstanding the high latitude in which they live; but they sometimes wear skin stockings and mittens. They make a truncated conic hat of straw or wood, in whimsical representation of the head of some fish or bird, and garnished with colors.[85]‘Una tunica entera de pieles que les abriga bastantemente.’ Bodega y Quadra, Nav., MS. p. 66. ‘By the use of such a girdle, it should seem that they sometimes go naked.’ Cook’s Third Voy., vol. ii., p. 437.

Dwellings and Food of the Koniagas

The Koniagas build two kinds of houses; one a large, winter village residence, called by the Russians barabara, and the other a summer hunting-hut, placed usually upon the banks of a stream whence they draw food. Their winter houses are very large, accommodating three or four families each. They are constructed by digging a square space of the required area to a depth of two feet, placing a post, four feet high above the surface of the ground, at every corner, and roofing the space over to constitute a main hall, where eating is done, filth deposited, and boats built. The sides are of planks, and the roof of boards, poles, or whale-ribs, thickly covered with grass. In the roof is a smoke-hole, and on the eastern side a door-hole about three feet square, through which entrance is made on hands and knees, and which is protected by a seal or other skin. Under the opening in the roof, a hole is dug for fire; and round the sides of the room, tomb-like excavations are made, or boards put up, for sleeping-places, where the occupant reposes on his back with his knees drawn up to the chin. Adjoining rooms are sometimes made, with low underground passages leading off from the main hall. The walls are adorned with implements of the chase and bags of winter food; the latter of which, being in every stage of decay, emits an odor most offensive to unhabituated nostrils. The ground is carpeted with straw. When the smoke-hole is covered by an intestine window, the dwellings of the Koniagas are exceedingly warm, and neither fire nor clothing is required.[86]‘Plastered over with mud, which gives it an appearance not very unlike a dung hill.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 214. Sea-dog skin closes the opening. Langsdorff’s Voy., pt. ii., p. 62. The Kuskoquims have ‘huttes qu’ils appellent barabores pour l’été.’ D’Orbigny, Voy., p. 574. ‘Mit Erde und Gras bedeckt, so dass man mit Recht die Wohnungen der Konjagen Erdhütten nennen kann.’ Holmberg, Ethn. Skiz., p. 97. ‘A door fronting the east.’ Sauer, Billings’ Voy., p. 175. At Norton Sound ‘they consist simply of a sloping roof, without any side-walls.’ Cook’s Third Voy., vol. ii., p. 484. Build temporary huts of sticks and bark. Portlock’s Voy., p. 253. The kashim, or public house of the Koniagas, is built like their dwellings, and is capable of accommodating three or four hundred people.[87]‘In dem Kashim versammelt sich die männliche Bevölkerung des ganzen Dorfes zur Berathschlagung über wichtige Angelegenheiten, über Krieg und Frieden, etc.’ Baer, Stat. u. Ethn., p. 129. Huts are built by earthing over sticks placed in roof-shape; also by erecting a frame of poles, and covering it with bark or skins.

The Koniagas will eat any digestible substance in nature except pork; from which fact Kingsborough might have proven incontestably a Jewish origin. I should rather give them swinish affinities, and see in this singularity a hesitancy to feed upon the only animal, except themselves, which eats with equal avidity bear’s excrements, carrion birds, maggoty fish, and rotten sea-animals.[88]‘Le poisson est la principale nourriture.’ D’Orbigny, Voy., p. 574. ‘Berries mixed with rancid whale oil.’ ‘The fat of the whale is the prime delicacy.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., pp. 178, 195. ‘Meistentheils nähren sie sich mit rohen und trocknen Fischen, die sie theils in der See mit knöchernen Angelhaken, theils in den Bächen mit Sacknetzen, die sie aus Sehnen flechten, einfangen.’ Neue Nachr., p. 114. They generally eat their food raw, but sometimes they boil it in water heated with hot stones. Meares’ Voy., p. xxxv. The method of catching wild geese, is to chase and knock them down immediately after they have shed their large wing-feathers; at which time they are not able to fly. Portlock’s Voy., p. 265. When a whale is taken, it is literally stripped of everything to the bare bones, and these also are used for building huts and boats.[89]‘Ich hatte auf der Insel Afognak Gelegenheit dem Zerschneiden eines Wallfisches zuzusehen und versichere, dass nach Verlauf von kaum 2 Stunden nur die blanken Knochen auf dem Ufer lagen.’ Holmberg, Ethn. Skiz., p. 91. These people can dispose of enormous quantities of food; or, if necessary, they can go a long time without eating.[90]The Kadiaks ‘pass their time in hunting, festivals, and abstinence. The first takes place in the summer; the second begins in the month of December, and continues as long as any provisions remain; and then follows the period of famine, which lasts till the re-appearance of fish in the rivers. During the period last mentioned, many have nothing but shell-fish to subsist on, and some die for want.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., pp. 209, 210. Before the introduction of intoxicating drinks by white men, they made a fermented liquor from the juice of raspberries and blueberries. Tobacco is in general use, but chewing and snuffing are more frequent than smoking. Salmon are very plentiful in the vicinity of Kadiak, and form one of the chief articles of diet. During their periodical ascension of the rivers, they are taken in great quantities by means of a pole pointed with bone or iron. Salmon are also taken in nets made of whale-sinews. Codfish are caught with a bone hook. Whales approach the coast of Kadiak in June, when the inhabitants pursue them in baidarkas. Their whale-lance is about six feet in length, and pointed with a stone upon which is engraved the owner’s mark. This point separates from the handle and is left in the whale’s flesh, so that when the body is thrown dead upon the beach, the whaler proves his property by his lance-point. Many superstitions are mentioned in connection with the whale-fishery. When a whaler dies, the body is cut into small pieces and distributed among his fellow-craftsmen, each of whom, after rubbing the point of his lance upon it, dries and preserves his piece as a sort of talisman. Or the body is placed in a distant cave, where, before setting out upon a chase, the whalers all congregate, take it out, carry it to a stream, immerse it and then drink of the water. During the season, whalers bear a charmed existence. No one may eat out of the same dish with them, nor even approach them. When the season is over, they hide their weapons in the mountains.

In May, the Koniagas set out in two-oared baidarkas for distant islands, in search of sea-otter. As success requires a smooth sea, they can hunt them only during the months of May and June, taking them in the manner following. Fifty or one hundred boats proceed slowly through the water, so closely together that it is impossible for an otter to escape between them. As soon as the animal is discovered, the signal is given, the area within which he must necessarily rise to the surface for air, is surrounded by a dozen boats, and when he appears upon the surface he is filled with arrows. Seals are hunted with spears ten or twelve feet in length, upon the end of which is fastened an inflated bladder, in order to float the animal when dead.

The Kuskokwigmutes and Malemutes

The Kuskokwigmutes are less nomadic than their neighbors; being housed in permanent settlements during the winter, although in summer they are obliged to scatter in various directions in quest of food. Every morning before break of day, during the hunting-season, a boy lights the oil-lamps in all the huts of the village, when the women rise and prepare the food. The men, excepting old men and boys, all sleep in the kashim, whither they retire at sunset. In the morning they are aroused by the appearance of the shamán, arrayed in his sacerdotal robes, and beating his sacred drum. After morning worship, the women carry breakfast to their husbands in the kashim. At day-break the men depart for their hunting or fishing, and when they return, immediately repair to the kashim, leaving the women to unload and take care of the products of the day’s work. During the hunting-season the men visit their wives only during the night, returning to the kashim before daylight.

The Malemutes leave their villages upon the coast regularly in February, and, with their families, resort to the mountains, where they follow the deer until snow melts, and then return to catch water-fowl and herring, and gather eggs upon the cliffs and promontories of the coast and islands. In July is their salmon feast. The fawns of reindeer are caught upon the hills by the women in August, either by chasing them down or by snaring them. Deer are stalked, noosed in snares, or driven into enclosures, where they are easily killed. At Kadiak, hunting begins in February, and in April they visit the smaller islands for sea-otter, seals, sea-lions, and eggs. Their whale and other fisheries commence in June and continue till October, at which time they abandon work and give themselves up to festivities. The seal is highly prized by them for its skin, blubber, and oil. One method of catching seals illustrates their ingenuity. Taking an air-tight seal-skin, they blow it up like a bladder, fasten to it a long line, and, concealing themselves behind the rocks, they throw their imitation seal among the live ones and draw it slowly to the shore. The others follow, and are speared or killed with bow and arrows. Blueberries and huckleberries are gathered in quantities and dried for winter use; they are eaten mixed with seal-oil. The Koniagas are also very fond of raw reindeer-fat. They hunt with guns, and snare grouse, marten, and hares. A small white fish is taken in great quantities from holes in the ice. They are so abundant and so easily caught that the natives break off the barbs from their fish-hooks in order to facilitate their operations.

The white polar bear does not wander south of the sixty-fifth parallel, and is only found near Bering Strait. Some were found on St Matthew Island, in Bering Sea, but were supposed to have been conveyed thither upon floating ice. The natives approach the grizzly bear with great caution. When a lair is discovered, the opening is measured, and a timber barricade constructed, with an aperture through which the bear may put his head. The Indians then quietly approach and secure their timbers against the opening of the den with stones, and throw a fire-brand into the den to arouse the animal, who thereupon puts his head out through the hole and meets with a reception which brings him to an untimely end.[91]‘Wild animals which they hunt, and especially wild sheep, the flesh of which is excellent.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 188. They eat the larger sort of fern-root baked, and a substance which seemed the inner bark of the pine. Cook’s Third Voy., vol. ii., p. 374. ‘Die Eingebornen essen diese Wurzeln (Lagat) roh und gekocht; aus der Wurzel, nachdem sie in Mehl verwandelt ist, bäckt man, mit einer geringen Beimischung von Weizenmehl, süssliche, dünne Kuchen.’ Sagoskin, Tagebuch, in Denkschr. d. russ. Geog. Gesell., p. 343.

War, Implements, and Government

In former times, the Koniagas went to war behind a huge wooden shield a foot thick and twelve feet in width. It was made of three thicknesses of larch-wood, bound together with willows, and with it they covered thirty or forty lancers.[92]‘Ihre hölzernen Schilde nennen sie Kujaki.’ Neue Nachr., p. 114. They poisoned their arrow and lance points with a preparation of aconite, by drying and pulverizing the root, mixing the powder with water, and, when it fermented, applying it to their weapons.[93]‘Selecting the roots of such plants as grow alone, these roots are dried and pounded, or grated.’ Sauer, Billings’ Ex., p. 178. They made arrow-points of copper, obtaining a supply from the Kenai of Copper River;[94]‘Die Pfeilspitzen sind aus Eisen oder Kupfer, ersteres erhalten sie von den Kenayern, letzteres von den Tutnen.’ Baer, Stat. u. Ethn., p. 118. ‘De pedernal en forma de arpon, cortado con tanta delicadeza como pudiera hacerlo el mas hábil lapidario.’ Bodega y Quadra, Nav., MS. p. 66. and the wood was as finely finished as if turned in a lathe.

The boats of the Koniagas are similar to those of the north, except that the bow and stem are not alike, the one turning up to a point and the other cut off square.[95]At Prince William Sound Cook found the canoes not of wood, as at Nootka. At Bristol Bay they were of skin, but broader. Third Voy., vol. ii., pp. 371, 437. ‘Die kadjakschen Baidarken unterscheiden sich in der Form ein wenig von denen der andern Bewohner der amerikanischen Küste, von denen der Aleuten aber namentlich darin, dass sie kürzer und breiter sind.’ Holmberg, Ethn. Skiz., p. 99. At Prince William Sound, ‘formada la canoa en esqueleto la forran por fuera con pieles de animales.’ Bodega y Quadra, Nav., MS. p. 65. ‘Qu’on se figure une nacelle de quatre mètres de long et de soixante centimètres de large tout au plus.’ Laplace, Circumnav., vol. vi., p. 48. ‘These canoes were covered with skins, the same as we had seen last season in Cook’s River. Dixon’s Voy., p. 147. ‘Safer at sea in bad weather than European boats.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 211. Needles made of birds’ bones, and thread from whale-sinews, in the hands of a Kadiak woman, produced work, “many specimens of which,” says Lisiansky, “would do credit to our best seamstresses.”[96]Their whale-sinew thread was as fine as silk. Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 207. They produced fire by revolving with a bow-string a hard dry stick upon a soft dry board, one end of the stick being held in a mouth-piece of bone or ivory. Their implements were few—a stone adze, a shell or flint knife, a polishing stone, and a handled tooth.[97]The only tool seen was a stone adze. Cook’s Third Voy., vol. ii., p. 373. Yet they excel in carving, and in working walrus-teeth and whalebone, the former being supplied them mostly by the Aglegmutes of the Alaskan Peninsula. The tools used in these manufactures were of stone, and the polishing tools of shell. Traces of the stone age are found in lamps, hammers and cutting instruments, wedges and hatchets. Carving is done by the men, while the women are no less skillful in sewing, basket-making, crocheting, and knitting. The women tan, and make clothing and boat-covers from skins and intestines.[98]‘Their sewing, plaiting of sinews, and small work on their little bags may be put in competition with the most delicate manufactures found in any part of the known world.’ Cook’s Third Voy., vol. ii., pp. 373, 374. ‘If we may judge by these figures, the inhabitants of Cadiack must have lost much of their skill in carving, their old productions of this kind being greatly superior.’ Lisiansky, p. 178. The Ingalik’s household furniture is made ‘von gebogenem Holz sehr zierlich gearbeitet und mittelst Erdfarben roth, grün und blau angestrichen. Zum Kochen der Speisen bedienen sie sich irdener, ausgebrannter Geschirre.’ Baer, Stat. u. Ethn., p. 121. The Agulmutes are skilled in the carving of wood and ivory; the Kuskoquims excel in wood and stone carving. They make in this manner domestic utensils and vases, with grotesque representations of men, animals, and birds, in relief.

Authority is exercised only by heads of households, but chiefs may, by superior ability, acquire much influence.[99]‘Tis most probable they are divided into clans or tribes.’ Dixon’s Voy., p. 67. ‘They have a King, whose name was Sheenoway.’ Meares’ Voy., p. xxvii. ‘They always keep together in families, and are under the direction of toyons or chiefs.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 151. Before they became broken up and demoralized by contact with civilization, there was a marked division of communities into castes; an hereditary nobility and commonalty. In the former was embodied all authority; but the rule of American chieftains is nowhere of a very arbitrary character. Slavery existed to a limited extent, the thralls being mostly women and children. Their male prisoners of war, they either killed immediately or reserved to torture for the edification and improvement of their children.[100]Female slaves are sold from one tribe to another. Sauer, Billings’ Voy., p. 175. Upon the arrival of the Russians, the slaves then held by the natives, thinking to better their condition, left their barbaric masters and placed themselves under the protection of the new comers. The Russians accepted the trust, and set them to work. The poor creatures, unable to perform the imposed tasks, succumbed; and, as their numbers were diminished by ill treatment, their places were supplied by such of the inhabitants as had been guilty of some misdemeanor; and singularly enough, misdemeanors happened to be about in proportion to the demand for slaves.[101]‘Zugleich verschwand auch ihre Benennung; man nannte sie ferner Kajuren, ein Wort aus Kamtschatka hieher übergesiedelt, welches Tagelöhner oder Arbeiter bedeutet.’ Holmberg, Ethn. Skiz., p. 79.

Morality of the Koniagas

The domestic manners of the Koniagas are of the lowest order. In filth they out-do, if possible, their neighbors of the north.[102]‘They will not go a step out of the way for the most necessary purposes of nature; and vessels are placed at their very doors for the reception of the urinous fluid, which are resorted to alike by both sexes.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 214. Thrown together in little bands under one roof, they have no idea of morality, and the marriage relation sits so loosely as hardly to excite jealousy in its abuse. Female chastity is deemed a thing of value only as men hold property in it. A young unmarried woman may live uncensured in the freest intercourse with the men; though, as soon as she belongs to one man, it is her duty to be true to him. Sodomy is common; the Kaviaks practice polygamy and incest; the Kadiaks cohabit promiscuously, brothers and sisters, parents and children.[103]‘Not only do brothers and sisters cohabit with each other, but even parents and children.’ Langsdorff’s Voy., pt. ii., p. 64. The Malemutes are content with one wife, but they have no marriage ceremony, and can put her away at pleasure. They prize boy babies, but frequently kill the girls, taking them out into the wilderness, stuffing grass into their mouth and abandoning them; yet children are highly esteemed, and the barren woman is a reproach among her people. Such persons even go so far as to make a doll or image of the offspring which they so greatly desire, and fondle it as if it were a real child.[104]‘Images dressed in different forms.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 178. ‘The most favoured of women is she who has the greatest number of children.’ Sauer, Billings’ Voy., p. 176. Two husbands are also allowed to one woman; one the chief or principal husband, and the other a deputy, who acts as husband and master of the house during the absence of the true lord; and who, upon the latter’s return, not only yields to him his place, but becomes in the meantime his servant.

But the most repugnant of all their practices is that of male concubinage. A Kadiak mother will select her handsomest and most promising boy, and dress and rear him as a girl, teaching him only domestic duties, keeping him at woman’s work, associating him only with women and girls, in order to render his effeminacy complete. Arriving at the age of ten or fifteen years, he is married to some wealthy man, who regards such a companion as a great acquisition. These male wives are called achnutschik or schopans.[105]‘Der Vater oder die Mutter bestimmen den Sohn schon in seiner frühsten Kindheit zum Achnutschik, wenn er ihnen mädchenhaft erscheint.’ Holmberg, Ethn. Skiz., p. 121. ‘Male concubines are much more frequent here than at Oonalashka.’ Langsdorff’s Voy., pt. ii., p. 64. They ‘are happy to see them taken by the chiefs, to gratify their unnatural desires. Such youths are dressed like women, and taught all their domestic duties.’ Sauer, Billings’ Ex., p. 176. ‘Ces peuples sont très adonnés aux plaisirs des sens et même à un vice infame.’ Choris, Voy. Pitt., pt. vii., p. 8. ‘Of all the customs of these islanders, the most disgusting is that of men, called schoopans, living with men, and supplying the place of women.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 199. This shameful custom applies to the Thlinkeets as well. ‘Quelques personnes de l’Equipage du Solide ont rapporté qu’il ne leur est pas possible de douter que les Tchinkîtânéens ne soient souillés de ce vice honteux que la Théogonie immorale des Grecs avoit divinisé.’ Marchand, Voy. aut. du Monde, tom. ii., p. 97.

KONIAGAN SWEAT-HOUSES.

A most cruel superstition is enforced upon maidens at the age of puberty; the victim being confined for six months in a hut built for the purpose, apart from the others, and so small that the poor inmate cannot straighten her back while upon her knees. During the six months following, she is allowed a room a little larger, but is still permitted no intercourse with any one. Daughters of principal men obtain the right of access to the kashim by undergoing a ceremonial yielding up of their virginity to the shamán.[106]‘Der Schamane hat seiner Obliegenheit gemäss oder aus besonderem Wohlwollen sie der Jungferschaft beraubt und sie wäre unwürdig vor der Versammlung zu erscheinen, wenn sie ihre erste Liebe irgend einem Anderen und nicht dem Schamanen gezollt hätte.’ Baer, Stat. u. Ethn., p. 133. Marriage ceremonies are few, and marriage engagements peculiar. The consent of the father of the intended bride being obtained, the aspirant for nuptial honors brings wood and builds a fire in the bath-room; after which, he and the father take a bath together. The relatives meanwhile congregate, a feast is held, presents are made, the bridegroom takes the name of the bride’s father, the couple are escorted to a heated vapor-bath and there left together. Although extremely filthy in their persons and habits, all Indians attach great importance to their sweat-baths. This peculiar institution extends through most of the nations of our territory, from Alaska to Mexico, with wonderful uniformity. Frequently one of the side subterranean apartments which open off from the main hall, is devoted to the purposes of a sweat-house. Into one of these caverns a Kadiak will enter stripped. Steam is generated by throwing water upon heated stones. After sweltering for a time in the confined and heated atmosphere, and while yet in a profuse perspiration, the bather rushes out and plunges into the nearest stream or into the sea, frequently having to break the ice before being able to finish his bath. Sometimes all the occupants of the house join in a bath. They then clear the floor of the main room from obstructions, and build a hot fire under the smoke-hole. When the fire is reduced to coals, a covering is placed over the smoke-hole, and the bathers proceed to wash themselves in a certain liquid, which is carefully saved for this and other cleansing purposes, and also for tanning. The alkali of the fluid combines with the grease upon their persons, and thus a lather is formed which removes dirt as effectually as soap would. They then wash in water, wrap themselves in deer-skins, and repose upon shelves until the lassitude occasioned by perspiration passes away.

Festivals of various kinds are held; as, when one village is desirous of extending hospitality to another village, or when an individual becomes ambitious of popularity, a feast is given. A ceremonial banquet takes place a year after the death of a relative; or an entertainment may be announced as a reparation for an injury done to one’s neighbor. At some of these feasts only men dance, and at others the women join. Upon these occasions, presents are exchanged, and the festivities sometimes continue for several days. The men appear upon the scene nearly or quite naked, with painted faces, and the hair fantastically decorated with feathers, dancing to the music of the tambourine, sometimes accompanied by sham fights and warlike songs. Their faces are marked or fantastically painted, and they hold a knife or lance in one hand and a rattle in the other. The women dance by simply hopping forward and backward upon their toes.[107]‘Their dances are proper tournaments.’ Sauer, Billings’ Ex., p. 176. They are much addicted to public dances, especially during winter. Whymper’s Alaska, p. 165. ‘Masks of the most hideous figures are worn.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 210. ‘Use a sort of rattle composed of a number of the beaks of the sea-parrot, strung upon a wooden cross,’—sounds like castanets. Langsdorff’s Voy., pt. ii., p. 64. ‘Die Tänzer erscheinen, eben so, mit Wurfspiessen oder Messern in den Händen, welche sie über dem Kopfe schwingen.’ Baer, Stat. u. Ethn., p. 118. A visitor, upon entering a dwelling, is presented with a cup of cold water; afterward, fish or flesh is set before him, and it is expected that he will leave nothing uneaten. The more he eats, the greater the honor to the host; and, if it be impossible to eat all that is given him, he must take away with him whatever remains. After eating, he is conducted to a hot bath and regaled with a drink of melted fat.

Sagoskin assisted at a ceremony which is celebrated annually about the first of January at all the villages on the coast. It is called the festival of the immersion of the bladders in the sea. More than a hundred bladders, taken only from animals which have been killed with arrows, and decorated with fantastic paintings, are hung upon a cord stretched horizontally along the wall of the kashim. Four birds carved from wood, a screech-owl with the head of a man, a sea-gull, and two partridges, are so disposed that they can be moved by strings artfully arranged; the owl flutters his wings and moves his head; the gull strikes the boards with his beak as if he were catching fish, and the partridges commence to peck each other. Lastly, a stake enveloped in straw is placed in the centre of the fire-place. Men and women dance before these effigies in honor of Jug-jak, the spirit of the sea. Every time the dancing ceases, one of the assistants lights some straw, burning it like incense before the birds and the bladders. The principal ceremony of the feast consists, as its name indicates, in the immersion of the bladders in the sea. It was impossible to discover the origin of this custom; the only answer given to questions was, that their ancestors had done so before them.

Superstitions of the Koniagas

The shamán, or medicine-man of the Koniagas, is the spiritual and temporal doctor of the tribe; wizard, sorcerer, priest, or physician, as necessity demands. In the execution of his offices, the shamán has several assistants, male and female, sages and disciples; the first in rank being called kaseks, whose duty it is to superintend festivals and teach the children to dance. When a person falls sick, some evil spirit is supposed to have taken possession of him, and it is the business of the shamán to exorcise that spirit, to combat and drive it out of the man. To this end, armed with a magic tambourine, he places himself near the patient and mutters his incantations. A female assistant accompanies him with groans and growls. Should this prove ineffectual, the shamán approaches the bed and throws himself upon the person of the sufferer; then, seizing the demon, he struggles with it, overpowers and casts it out, while the assistants cry, “He is gone! he is gone!” If the patient recovers, the physician is paid, otherwise he receives nothing.[108]‘Les sorciers et chamans jouissent d’une grande faveur dans cette région glacée de l’Amérique.’ D’Orbigny, Voy., p. 574. ‘Schamane und alte Weiber kennen verschiedene Heilmittel.’ Baer, Stat. u. Ethn., p. 135. ‘Next in rank to the shamans are the kaseks, or sages, whose office is to teach children the different dances, and superintend the public amusements and shows, of which they have the supreme control.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 208. Colds, consumption, rheumatism, itch, boils, ulcers, syphilis, are among their most common diseases. Blood-letting is commonly resorted to as a curative, and except in extreme cases the shamán is not called. The Koniagas bleed one another by piercing the arm with a needle, and then cutting away the flesh above the needle with a flint or copper instrument. Beaver’s oil is said to relieve their rheumatism.

“The Kadiak people,” says Lisiansky, “seem more attached to their dead than to their living.” In token of their grief, surviving friends cut the hair, blacken the face with soot, and the ancient custom was to remain in mourning for a year. No work may be done for twenty days, but after the fifth day the mourner may bathe. Immediately after death, the body is arrayed in its best apparel, or wrapped with moss in seal or sea-lion skins, and placed in the kashim, or left in the house in which the person died, where it remains for a time in state. The body, with the arms and implements of the deceased, is then buried. It was not unfrequent in former times to sacrifice a slave upon such an occasion. The grave is covered over with blocks of wood and large stones.[109]‘The dead body of a chief is embalmed with moss, and buried.’ Sauer, Billings’ Ex., p. 177. A mother, upon the death of a child, retires for a time from the camp; a husband or wife withdraws and joins another tribe.[110]‘In one of the small buildings, or kennels, as they may very properly be called, was a woman who had retired into it in consequence of the death of her son.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 184.

The character of the Koniagas may be drawn as peaceable, industrious, serviceable to Europeans, adapted to labor and commerce rather than to war and hunting. They are not more superstitious than civilized nations; and their immorality, though to a stranger most rank, is not to them of that socially criminal sort which loves darkness and brings down the avenger. In their own eyes, their abhorrent practices are as sinless as the ordinary, openly conducted avocations of any community are to the members thereof.

The Aleuts

The Aleuts are the inhabitants of the Aleutian Archipelago. The origin of the word is unknown;[111]‘The word Aleutian seems to be derived from the interrogative particle allix, which struck strangers in the language of that people.’ Kotzebue’s Voy., vol. iii., p. 312. The Unalaskas and ‘the people of Oomnak, call themselves Cowghalingen.’ ‘The natives of Alaska and all the adjacent islands they call Kagataiakung’n.’ Sauer, Billings’ Ex., p. 154. ‘The inhabitants of Unalashka are called Kogholaghi; those of Akutan, and further east to Unimak, Kighigusi; and those of Unimak and Alaxa, Kataghayekiki. They cannot tell whence these appellations are derived; and now begin to call themselves by the general name of Aleyut, given to them by the Russians, and borrowed from some of the Kurile Islands.’ Coxe’s Russ. Dis., p. 219. the original name being Kagataya Koung’ns, or ‘men of the east,’ indicating an American origin.[112]Yet, says D’Orbigny, Voyage, p. 577: ‘Si on interroge les Aléoutiens sur leur origine, ils disent que leurs ancêtres ont habité un grand pays vers l’ouest, et que de là ils sont avancés de proche en proche sur les îles désertes jusq’au continent américain.’ The nation consists of two tribes speaking different dialects; the Unalaskans, occupying the south-western portion of the Alaskan Peninsula, the Shumagin Islands, and the Fox Islands; and the Atkhas, inhabiting the Andreanovski, Rat, and Near Islands. Migrations and intermixtures with the Russians have, however, nearly obliterated original distinctions.

The earliest information concerning the Aleutian Islanders was obtained by Michael Nevodtsikoff, who sailed from Kamchatka in 1745. Other Russian voyagers immediately followed, attracted thither in search of sea-animal skins, which at that time were very plentiful.[113]Trapesnikoff took from an unknown island in 1753, 1920 sea-otter skins. Durneff returned to Kamchatka in 1754, with 3,000 skins. In 1752 one crew touched at Bering Island and took 1,222 Arctic foxes, and 2,500 sea-bears. Cholodiloff, in 1753, took from one island 1,600 otter-skins. Tolstych in one voyage took 1,780 sea-otter, 720 blue foxes, and 840 sea-bears. Coxe’s Russ. Dis., pp. 43, 44, 49, 51, 53. Tribute was levied upon the islanders by the Russians, and a system of cruelty commenced which soon reduced the natives from ten thousand to but little more than one thousand.

The Aleuts, to Langsdorff, “appear to be a sort of middle race between the mongrel Tartars and the North Americans.” John Ledyard, who visited Unalaska with Captain Cook, saw “two different kinds of people; the one we knew to be the aborigines of America, while we supposed the others to have come from the opposite coasts of Asia.”[114]Sparks, Life of Ledyard, p. 79. Their features are strongly marked, and those who saw them as they originally existed, were impressed with the intelligent and benevolent expression of their faces.[115]A great deal of character. Langsdorff’s Voy., pt. ii., p. 32. They have an abundance of lank hair, which they cut with flints—the men from the crown, and the women in front.[116]‘Rather low of stature, but plump and well shaped; with rather short necks; swarthy chubby faces; black eyes; small beards, and long, straight, black hair; which the men wear loose behind, and cut before, but the women tie up in a bunch.’ Cook’s Third Voy., vol. ii., p. 510. ‘Von Gesicht sind sie platt und weiss, von guter Statur, durchgängig mit schwarzen Haaren.’ Neue Nachr., p. 150. ‘Low in stature, broad in the visage.’ Campbell’s Voy., p. 112. Hair ‘strong and wiry;’ scanty beard, but thick on the upper lip. Sauer, Billings’ Ex., p. 154. Both sexes undergo the usual face-painting and ornamentations. They extend their nostrils by means of a bow-cylinder. The men wear a bone about the size of a quill in the nose, and the women insert pieces of bone in the under lip.[117]‘Les femmes aléoutes portaient aux mains et aux pieds des chapelets de pierres de couleur et préférablement d’ambre.’ D’Orbigny, Voy., p. 579. ‘None are so highly esteemed as a sort of long muscle, commonly called sea-teeth, the dentalium entalis of Linnæus.’ Langsdorff’s Voy., pt. ii., p. 40. ‘Women have the chin punctured in fine lines rayed from the centre of the lip and covering the whole chin.’ They wear bracelets of black seal-skin around the wrists and ankles, and go barefoot. Sauer, Billings’ Ex., p. 155. ‘Im Nasen-Knorpel und der Unterlippe machen beide Geschlechter Löcher und setzen Knochen ein, welches ihr liebster Schmuck ist. Sie stechen sich auch bunte Figuren im Gesicht aus.’ Neue Nachr., p. 169. ‘They bore the upper lip of the young children of both sexes, under the nostrils, where they hang several sorts of stones, and whitened fish-bones, or the bones of other animals.’ Staehlin’s North Arch., p. 37. Their legs are bowed, from spending so much of their time in boats; they frequently sitting in them fifteen or twenty hours at a time. Their figure is awkward and uncouth, yet robust, active, capable of carrying heavy burdens and undergoing great fatigue.[118]‘Leur conformation est robuste et leur permet de supporter des travaux et des fatigues de toute sorte.’ D’Orbigny, Voy., p. 577.

Aleutian Hat and Habitation

The hat of the Aleut is the most peculiar part of his dress. It consists of a helmet-shaped crown of wood or leather, with an exceedingly long brim in front, so as to protect the eyes from the sun’s reflection upon the water and snow. Upon the apex is a small carving, down the back part hang the beards of sea-lions, while carved strips of bone and paint ornament the whole. This hat also serves as a shield against arrows. The Fox Islanders have caps of bird-skin, on which are left the bright-colored feathers, wings, and tail.[119]At Shumagin Island, their caps were of sea-lion skins. Müller’s Voy., p. 46. On the front are one or two small images of bone. Cook’s Third Voy., vol. ii., p. 510. A wooden hat, ‘which in front comes out before the eyes like a sort of umbrella, and is rounded off behind.’ Langsdorff’s Voy., pt. ii., p. 38. ‘Einige haben gemeine Mützen von einem bunten Vogelfell, woran sie etwas von den Flügeln und dem Schwanz sitzen lassen;—sind vorn mit einem Brettchen wie ein Schirm versehn und mit Bärten von Seebären—geschmücket.’ Neue Nachr., pp. 151, 152. As a rule, the men adopt bird-skin clothing, and the women furs, the latter highly ornamented with beads and fringes.[120]On a feather garment, ‘a person is sometimes employed a whole year.’ ‘The women for the most part go bare-footed.’ Langsdorff’s Voy., pt. ii., pp. 36, 39. ‘Seams covered with thin slips of skin, very elegantly embroidered with white deer’s hair, goat’s hair, and the sinews of sea animals, dyed of different colours.’ Sauer, Billings’ Ex., p. 156. ‘Ihr Pelzkleid wird über den Kopf angezogen, und ist hinten und vorn ganz zu. Die Männer tragen es aus Vogelhäuten; die Weiber hingegen von Bibern und jungen Seebären.’ Neue Nachr., p. 152. ‘Boots and breeches in one piece.’ Campbell’s Voy., p. 113.

The habitations of the Fox Islanders are called Ullaa, and consist of immense holes from one to three hundred feet in length, and from twenty to thirty feet wide. They are covered with poles and earthed over, leaving several openings at the top through which descent is made by ladders. The interior is partitioned by stakes, and three hundred people sometimes occupy one of these places in common. They have no fire-place, since lamps hollowed from flat stones answer every purpose for cooking and light.[121]‘Round the sides and ends of the huts, the families (for several are lodged together) have their separate apartments, where they sleep, and sit at work; not upon benches, but in a kind of concave trench, which is dug all around the inside of the house, and covered with mats.’ Cook’s Third Voy., vol. ii., p. 512. ‘When they have stood for sometime, they become overgrown with grass, so that a village has the appearance of an European churchyard full of graves.’ Langsdorff’s Voy., p. 32. ‘In den Jurten wird niemals Feuer angelegt und doch ist es gemeiniglich sehr warm darinnen, so dass beide Geschlechter ganz nakkend sitzen.’ Neue Nachr., p. 150. A boat turned bottom upward is the summer house of the Aleut.[122]‘A bidarka or boat is turned up sideways, and at the distance of four or five feet, two sticks, one opposite to the head and the other to the stern, are driven into the ground, on the tops of which a cross stick is fastened. The oars are then laid along from the boat to the cross stick, and covered with seal skins, which are always at hand for the purpose.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 152.

Raw seal and sea-otter, whale and sea-lion blubber, fish, roots, and berries are staple articles of food among the Aleuts. To procure vegetable food is too much trouble. A dead, half-putrefied whale washed ashore is always the occasion of great rejoicing. From all parts the people congregate upon the shore, lay in their winter supplies, and stuff themselves until not a morsel remains. November is their best hunting-season. Whale-fishing is confined to certain families, and the spirit of the craft descends from father to son. Birds are caught in a net attached to the end of a pole; sea-otter are shot with arrows; spears, bone hooks, and nets are used in fishing.[123]‘Among the greatest delicacies of Oonalashka are the webbed feet of a seal, which are tied in a bladder, buried in the ground, and remain there till they are changed into a stinking jelly.’ Kotzebue’s Voy., vol. ii., p. 165. Almost everything is eaten raw. Cook’s Third Voy., vol. ii., p. 520. The sea-dog is caught with nets, killed when asleep, or enticed on shore by a false cap made to resemble a seal’s head. Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 205.After the advent of the Russians, the natives were not allowed to kill fur-animals without accounting to them therefor.[124]‘L’Aléoute peut tuer les phoques et les oiseaux, sans être obligé d’en rendre compte à la compagnie.’ Choris, Voy. Pitt., pt. vii., p. 4.

Their weapons are darts with single and double barbs, which they throw from boards; barbed, bone-pointed lances; spears, harpoons, and arrows, with bone or stone points. At their side is carried a sharp stone knife ten or twelve inches long, and for armor they wear a coat of plaited rushes, which covers the whole body.[125]‘Die Spitze selbst wird theils aus Obsidian oder Lavaglas, theils auch aus Trachyt verfertigt.’ Kittlitz, Reise, vol. i., p. 268. Spear-handles are feathered, the points of sharpened flint. Neue Nachr., p. 102, ‘Arrows are thrown from a narrow and pointed board, twenty inches long, which is held by the thumb and three fingers. They are thrown straight from the shoulder with astonishing velocity.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 205. ‘Les armes défensives consistaient en une cotte de joncs tressés qui leur couvrait tout le corps.’ D’Orbigny, Voy., p. 579. ‘No such thing as an offensive, or even defensive weapon was seen amongst the natives of Oonalashka.’ Probably they had been disarmed by the Russians. Cook’s Third Voy., vol. ii., p. 515. ‘Wherever any one has fixed his habitation, nobody else dares to hunt or fish.’ Staehlin’s Nor. Arch., p. 37. For birds they point their darts with three light bones, spread and barbed. Sauer, Billings’ Ex., p. 157. ‘Indeed, there is a neatness and perfection in most of their work, that shews they neither want ingenuity nor perseverance.’ Cook’s Third Voy., vol. ii., p. 514. An Aleut bear-trap consists of a board two feet square and two inches thick, planted with barbed spikes, placed in bruin’s path and covered with dust. The unsuspecting victim steps firmly upon the smooth surface offered, when his foot sinks into the dust. Maddened with pain, he puts forward another foot to assist in pulling the first away, when that too is caught. Soon all four of the feet are firmly spiked to the board; the beast rolls over on his back, and his career is soon brought to an end.

Customs of the Aleuts

Notwithstanding their peaceful character, the occupants of the several islands were almost constantly at war. Blood, the only atonement for offense, must be washed out by blood, and the line of vengeance becomes endless. At the time of discovery, the Unimak Islanders held the supremacy.

The fabrications of the Aleuts comprise household utensils of stone, bone, and wood; missiles of war and the chase; mats and baskets of grass and the roots of trees, neat and strong; bird-beak rattles, tambourines or drums, wooden hats and carved figures. From the wing-bone of the sea-gull, the women make their needles; from sinews, they make thread and cord.[126]They make ‘baskets called ishcats, in which the Aleutians keep all their valuables.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 181. ‘Thread they make of the sinews of the seal, and of all sizes, from the fineness of a hair to the strength of a moderate cord, both twisted and plaited.’ Sauer, Billings’ Ex., p. 157. Of the teeth of sea-dogs they carve little figures of men, fish, sea-otters, sea-dogs, sea-cows, birds, and other objects. Langsdorff’s Voy., pt. ii., p. 46. To obtain glue for mending or manufacturing purposes, they strike the nose until it bleeds.[127]‘Wollen sie etwas an ihren Pfeilen oder sonst eine Kleinigkeit leimen, so schlagen sie sich an die Nase und bestreichen es mit ihrem Blute.’ Neue Nachr., p. 173. To kindle a fire, they make use of sulphur, in which their volcanic islands abound, and the process is very curious. First they prepare some dry grass to catch the fire; then they take two pieces of quartz, and, holding them over the grass, rub them well with native sulphur. A few feathers are scattered over the grass to catch the particles of sulphur, and, when all is ready, holding the stones over the grass, they strike them together; a flash is produced by the concussion, the sulphur ignites, and the straw blazes up.[128]Sauer, Billings’ Ex., p. 159; Campbell’s Voy., p. 59.

The Aleuts have no marriage ceremony. Every man takes as many women to wife as he can support, or rather as he can get to support him. Presents are made to the relatives of the bride, and when she ceases to possess attractions or value in the eyes of her proprietor, she is sent back to her friends. Wives are exchanged by the men, and rich women are permitted to indulge in two husbands. Male concubinage obtains throughout the Aleutian Islands, but not to the same extent as among the Koniagas.[129]‘Comme les femmes coûtaient cher en présents de fiançailles, la plupart des Aléoutes n’en avaient qu’une ou deux.’ D’Orbigny, Voy., p. 579. Purchase as many girls for wives as they can support. Sauer, Billings’ Ex., p. 160. ‘Objects of unnatural affection.’ Id., p. 160. ‘Their beards are carefully plucked out as soon as they begin to appear, and their chins tattooed like those of the women.’ Langsdorff’s Voy., pt. ii., p. 48. ‘The Russians told us, that they never had any connections with their women, because they were not Christians. Our people were not so scrupulous; and some of them had reason to repent that the females of Oonalashka encouraged their addresses without any reserve; for their health suffered by a distemper that is not unknown here.’ Cook’s Third Voy., vol. ii., p. 521. Mothers plunge their crying babies under water in order to quiet them. This remedy performed in winter amid broken ice, is very effectual.[130]‘It often happens that a mother plunges her noisy child into water, even in winter, and keeps it there till it leaves off crying.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 202. ‘Schreyt das Kind, so trägt es die Mutter, es sey Winter oder Sommer nakkend nach der See, und hält es so lange im Wasser bis es still wird.’ Neue Nachr., p. 168.

Every island, and, in the larger islands, every village, has its toyon, or chief, who decides differences, is exempt from work, is allowed a servant to row his boat, but in other respects possesses no power. The office is elective.[131]‘Have their own chiefs in each island.’ Cook’s Third Voy., vol. ii., p. 510. ‘Generally is conferred on him who is the most remarkable for his personal qualities.’ Coxe’s Russ. Dis., p. 219.

The Aleuts are fond of dancing and given to hospitality. The stranger guest, as he approaches the village, is met by dancing men and dancing women, who conduct him to the house of the host, where food is given him. After supper, the dancing, now performed by naked men, continues until all are exhausted, when the hospitalities of the dwelling are placed at the disposal of the guest, and all retire.[132]Those of the inhabitants who have two wives give their guests one, or a slave. Neue Nachr., p. 171. ‘In the spring holidays, they wear masks, neatly carved and fancifully ornamented.’ Sauer, Billings’ Ex., p. 160. A religious festival used to be held in December, at which all the women of the village assembled by moonlight, and danced naked with masked faces, the men being excluded under penalty of death. The men and women of a village bathe together, in aboriginal innocency, unconscious of impropriety. They are fond of pantomimic performances; of representing in dances their myths and their legends; of acting out a chase, one assuming the part of hunter, another of a bird or beast trying to escape the snare, now succeeding, now failing—the piece ending in the transformation of a captive bird into a lovely woman, who falls exhausted into the arms of the hunter.

The dead are clothed and masked, and either placed in the cleft of a rock, or swung in a boat or cradle from a pole in the open air. They seem to guard the body as much as possible from contact with the ground.[133]‘On avait soin de le disposer de manière à ce qu’il ne touchât pas la terre.’ D’Orbigny, Voy., p. 579. ‘Embalm the bodies of the men with dried moss and grass.’ Sauer, Billings’ Ex., p. 161. Slaves sometimes slaughtered. Langsdorff’s Voy., pt. ii., p. 48. ‘Bury their dead on the summits of hills.’ Cook’s Third Voy., vol. ii., p. 521. ‘When a man dies in the hut belonging to his wife, she retires into a dark hole, where she remains forty days. The husband pays the same compliment to his favorite wife upon her death.’ Coxe’s Russ. Dis., p. 218. ‘Die Todten werden begraben, und man giebt dem Mann seinen Kahn, Pfeile und Kleider mit ins Grab.’ ‘Die Todten umwinden sie mit Riemen und hängen sie in einer Art hölzerner Wiege an einen auf zwey Gabelen ruhenden Querstock in der Luft auf.’ Neue Nachr., pp. 101, 154.

Character of the Aleuts

In their nature and disposition, these islanders are sluggish but strong. Their sluggishness gives to their character a gentleness and obsequiousness often remarked by travelers; while their inherent strength, when roused by brutal passions, drives them on to the greatest enormities. They are capable of enduring great fatigue, and, when roused to action by necessity, they will perform an incredible amount of work, suffering the severest cold or heat or hunger with the most stoical calmness. They are very quiet in their demeanor; sometimes sitting in companies within their dens, or on their house-tops gazing at the sea for hours, without speaking a word. It is said that formerly they were much more gay and cheerful, but that an acquaintance with civilization has been productive of the usual misfortune and misery.[134]‘Naturellement silencieux.’ D’Orbigny, Voy., p. 578. ‘Sie verrichten auch die Nothdurft und das Ehegeschäft ohne alle Scheu.’ Neue. Nachr., p. 150. ‘A stupid silence reigns among them.’ ‘I am persuaded that the simplicity of their character exceeds that of any other people.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., pp. 182, 183. ‘Kind-hearted and obliging, submissive and careful; but if roused to anger, they become rash and unthinking, even malevolent, and indifferent to all danger.’ Langsdorff’s Voy., pt. ii., p. 32. ‘To all appearance, they are the most peaceable, inoffensive people, I ever met with. And, as to honesty, they might serve as a pattern to the most civilized nation upon earth.’ Cook, vol. ii., p. 509.

It does not appear that the Russians were behind the Spaniards in their barbarous treatment of the natives.[135]‘To hunt was their task; to be drowned, or starved, or exhausted, was their reward.’ Simpson’s Jour., vol. ii., p. 229. ‘They are harmless, wretched slaves,’ whose race will soon be extinct. Kotzebue’s Voy., vol. iii., p. 315. The Russian hunters ‘used not unfrequently to place the men close together, and try through how many the ball of their rifle-barrelled musket would pass.’ Sauer, Billings’ Ex. App., p. 56. ‘Of a thousand men, who formerly lived in this spot, scarcely more than forty remained.’ Langsdorff’s Voy., pt. ii., p. 235. ‘La variole, la syphilis, voire même le choléra depuis quelques années, en emportent une effrayante quantité.’ Laplace, Circumnav., vol. ii., p. 51. Notwithstanding their interest lay in preserving life, and holding the natives in a state of serfdom as fishers and hunters, the poor people were soon swept away. Father Innocentius Veniaminoff, a Russian missionary who labored among the islanders long and faithfully, gives them the highest character for probity and propriety. Among other things, he affirms that during a residence of ten years in Unalaska, there did not occur a single fight among the natives. Proselytes were made by the Russians with the same facility as by the Spaniards. Tribute was levied by the Russians upon all the islanders, but, for three years after their conversion, neophytes were exempt; a cheap release from hateful servitude, thought the poor Aleut; and a polity which brought into the folds of the church pagan multitudes.

The Thlinkeets

The Thlinkeets, as they call themselves, or Kolosches, as they are designated by the Russians, inhabit the coast and islands from Mount St Elias to the river Nass. The name Thlinkeet signifies ‘man,’ or ‘human being.’ Kolosch,[136]Kaluga, Kaljush, Koljush, Kalusch, Kolush, Kolosch, Kolosh, Kolosches. Marchand calls them Tchinkîtâné. Voyage aut. du Monde, tom. ii., p. 3. or more properly Kaluga, is the Aleutian word for ‘dish,’ and was given to this people by Aleutian seal-hunters whom the Russians employed during their first occupation of the Island of the Sitkas. Perceiving a resemblance in the shape of the Thlinkeet lip-ornament, to the wooden vessels of their own country, they applied to this nation the name Kaluga, whence the Kolosches of the Russians.

Holmberg carries their boundaries down to the Columbia River; and Wrangell perceives a likeness, real or imaginary, to the Aztecs.[137]See Holmberg, Ethn. Skiz., pp. 15, 16. Indeed the differences between the Thlinkeets and the inhabitants of New Caledonia, Washington, and Oregon, are so slight that the whole might without impropriety be called one people. The Thlinkeets have, however, some peculiarities not found elsewhere; they are a nation distinct from the Tinneh upon their eastern border, and I therefore treat of them separately.

The three families of nations already considered, namely, the Eskimos, the Koniagas, and the Aleuts, are all designated by most writers as Eskimos. Some even include the Thlinkeets, notwithstanding their physical and philological differences, which, as well as their traditions, are as broadly marked as those of nations that these same ethnologists separate into distinct families. Nomadic nations, occupying lands by a precarious tenure, with ever-changing boundaries, engaged in perpetual hostilities with conterminous tribes that frequently annihilate or absorb an entire community, so graduate into one another that the dividing line is often with difficulty determined. Thus the Thlinkeets, now almost universally held to be North American Indians proper, and distinct from the Eskimos, possess, perhaps, as many affinities to their neighbors on the north, as to those upon the south and east. The conclusion is obvious. The native races of America, by their geographical position and the climatic influences which govern them, are of necessity to a certain degree similar; while a separation into isolated communities which are acted upon by local causes, results in national or tribal distinctions. Thus the human race in America, like the human race throughout the world, is uniform in its variety, and varied in its unity.

The Thlinkeet family, commencing at the north, comprises the Ugalenzes,[138]Ugalachmiuti, Ugaljachmjuten, Ugalyachmutzi, Ugalukmutes, Ugalenzi, Ugalenzen, Ugalenzes. on the shore of the continent between Mount St Elias and Copper River; the Yakutats, of Bering Bay; the Chilkats, at Lynn Canal; the Hoodnids, at Cross Sound; the Hoodsinoos, of Chatham Strait; and, following down the coast and islands, the Takoos, the Auks, the Kakas, the Sitkas,[139]They ‘call themselves G-tinkit, or S-chinkit, or also S-chitcha-chon, that is, inhabitants of Sitki or Sitcha.’ Langsdorff’s Voy., pt. ii., 128. the Stikines,[140]The orthographic varieties of this word are endless. Stickeen, Stekin, Stakhin, Stachin, Stikin, Stachine, Stikeen, Stikine, Stychine, are among those before me at the moment. and the Tungass. The Sitkas on Baranoff Island[141]At the end of this chapter, under Tribal Boundaries, the location of these tribes is given definitely. are the dominant tribe.

Descending from the north into more genial climes, the physical type changes, and the form assumes more graceful proportions. With the expansion of nature and a freer play of physical powers, the mind expands, native character becomes intensified, instinct keener, savage nature more savage, the nobler qualities become more noble; cruelty is more cruel, torture is elevated into an art, stoicism is cultivated,[142]A Thlinkeet boy, ‘when under the whip, continued his derision, without once exhibiting the slightest appearance of suffering.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 242. human sacrifice and human slavery begin, and the oppression and degradation of woman is systematized. “If an original American race is accepted,” says Holmberg, “the Thlinkeets must be classed with them.” They claim to have migrated from the interior of the continent, opposite Queen Charlotte Island.

The Ugalenzes spend their winters at a small bay east from Kadiak, and their summers near the mouth of Copper River, where they take fish in great quantities. Their country also abounds in beaver. The Chilkats make two annual trading excursions into the interior. The Tacully tribes, the Sicannis and Nehannes, with whom the Chilkats exchange European goods for furs, will allow no white man to ascend their streams.

Thlinkeet Peculiarities

Naturally, the Thlinkeets are a fine race; the men better formed than the boatmen of the north;[143]‘Leur corps est ramassé, mais assez bien proportionné.’ Marchand, Voy., tom. ii., p. 46. ‘Very fierce.’ Portlock’s Voy., p. 291. ‘Limbs straight and well shaped.’ Dixon’s Voy., p. 171. ‘Stolze gerade Haltung.’ Holmberg, Ethn. Skiz., p. 16. ‘Active and clever.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 237. ‘Bigote á manera de los Chinos.’ Perez, Nav., MS. p. 14. ‘Limbs ill-proportioned.’ Kotzebue’s New Voy., vol. ii., p. 49. ‘Très supérieurs en courage et en intelligence.’ La Pérouse, Voy., tom. iv., p. 54. the women modest, fair, and handsome;[144]The women ‘are pleasing and their carriage modest.’ Portlock’s Voy., p. 291. When washed, white and fresh. Dixon’s Voy., p. 171. ‘Dunkle Hautfarbe.’ Holmberg, Ethn. Skiz., p. 16. ‘Eran de color blanco y habia muchos con ojos azules.’ Perez, Nav., MS. p. 14. As fair as many Europeans. Langsdorff’s Voy., pt. ii., p. 112. ‘Muchos de ellos de un blanco regular.’ Bodega y Quadra, Nav., MS. p. 43. but the latter have gone far out of their way to spoil the handiwork of nature. Not content with daubing the head and body with filthy coloring mixtures; with adorning the neck with copper-wire collars, and the face with grotesque wooden masks; with scarring their limbs and breast with keen-edged instruments; with piercing the nose and ears, and filling the apertures with bones, shells, sticks, pieces of copper, nails, or attaching to them heavy pendants, which drag down the organs and pull the features out of place;[145]‘Leur chevelure, dure, épaisse, mêlée, couverte d’ocre, de duvet d’oiseaux et de toutes les ordures que la négligence et le temps y ont accumulées, contribue encore à rendre leur aspect hideux.’ Marchand, Voy., tom. ii., p. 46. ‘A more hideous set of beings, in the form of men and women, I had never before seen.’ Cleveland’s Voy., p. 91. The men painted ‘a black circle extending from the forehead to the mouth, and a red chin, which gave the face altogether the appearance of a mask.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 146. Pourraient même passer pour jolies, sans l’horrible habitude qu’elles ont adoptée.’ Laplace, Circumnav., tom. vi., p. 87. ‘That person seems to be reckoned the greatest beau amongst them, whose face is one entire piece of smut and grease.’ Dixon’s Voy., p. 68. ‘Ils se font des cicatrices sur les bras et sur la poitrine.’ La Pérouse, Voy., tom. ii., p. 223. ‘Um aus dem Gesichte diese fette Farbenmasse abzuwaschen, gebrauchen sie ihren eignen Urin, und dieser verursacht bei ihnen den widerlichen Geruch, der den sich ihm nahenden Fremdling fast zum Erbrechen bringt.’ Holmberg, Ethn. Skiz., p. 20. they appear to have taxed their inventive powers to the utmost, and with a success unsurpassed by any nation in the world, to produce a model of hideous beauty.

THLINKEET LIP-ORNAMENT.

This success is achieved in their wooden lip-ornament, the crowning glory of the Thlinkeet matron, described by a multitude of eye-witnesses; and the ceremony of its introduction may be not inappropriately termed, the baptism of the block. At the age of puberty,—some say during infancy or childhood,—in the under lip of all free-born female Thlinkeets,[146]Meares, Voyages, p. xxxi., states that at Prince William Sound, ‘the men have universally a slit in their under lip, between the projecting part of the lip and the chin, which is cut parallel with their mouths, and has the appearance of another mouth.’ Worn only by women. Dixon’s Voy., p. 172. a slit is made parallel with the mouth, and about half an inch below it.[147]‘About three tenths of an inch below the upper part of the under lip.’ Vancouver’s Voy., vol. ii., p. 280. ‘In the centre of the under-lip.’ Langsdorff’s Voy., pt. ii., p. 115. ‘Fendue au ras des gencives.’ La Pérouse, Voy., tom. ii., p. 224. ‘In the thick part near the mouth.’ Dixon’s Voy., p. 187. ‘When the first person having this incision was seen by one of the seamen, who called out, that the man had two mouths.’ Cook’s Third Voy., vol. ii., p. 369. ‘In their early infancy, a small incision is made in the center of the under lip, and a piece of brass or copper wire is placed in, and left in the wound. This corrodes the lacerated parts, and by consuming the flesh gradually increases the orifice, until it is sufficiently large to admit the wooden appendage.’ Vancouver’s Voy., vol. ii., p. 408. ‘Les femmes de Tchinkîtâné ont cru devoir ajouter à leur beauté naturelle, par l’emploi d’un ornement labial, aussi bizarre qu’incommode.’ Marchand, Voy., tom. ii., p. 48. If the incision is made during infancy, it is only a small hole, into which a needle of copper, a bone, or a stick is inserted, the size being increased as the child grows. If the baptism is deferred until the period when the maiden merges into womanhood, the operation is necessarily upon a larger scale, and consequently more painful.[148]‘Simply perforated, and a piece of copper wire introduced.’ Dixon’s Voy., p. 187. ‘Les jeunes filles n’ont qu’une aiguille dans la lèvre inférieure.’ La Pérouse, Voy., tom. ii., p. 226. ‘On y prépare les petites filles aussitôt qu’elles sont nées.’ Id., tom. iv., p. 54. ‘At first a thick wire.’ Langsdorff’s Voy., pt. ii., p. 115. When almost marriageable. Kotzebue’s New Voy., vol. ii., p. 51. ‘The children have them bored at about two years of age, when a piece of copper-wire is put through the hole; this they wear till the age of about thirteen or fourteen years, when it is taken out, and the wooden ornament introduced.’ Portlock’s Voy., p. 289. ‘Said to denote maturity.’ Whymper’s Alaska, p. 100. ‘Se percer la lèvre inférieure des l’enfance.’ ‘D’agrandir peu à peu cette ouverture au point de pouvoir jeune fille y introduire une coquille, et femme mariée une énorme tasse de bois.’ Laplace, Circumnav., tom. vi., p. 87. ‘Never takes place during their infancy.’ Dixon’s Voy., p. 187. ‘When the event takes place that implies womanhood.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 243. ‘Wenn zum ersten Mal beim Mädchen sich Spuren der Mannbarkeit zeigen, wird ihre Unterlippe durchstochen und in diese Oeffnung eine Knochenspitze, gegenwärtig doch häufiger ein Silberstift gelegt.’ Holmberg, Ethn. Skiz., p. 21. ‘Pues les pareció que solo lo tenian los casados.’ Perez, Nav., MS. p. 15. When the incision is made, a copper wire, or a piece of shell or wood, is introduced, which keeps the wound open and the aperture extended; and by enlarging the object and keeping up a continuous but painful strain, an artificial opening in the face is made of the required dimensions. On attaining the age of maturity, this wire or other incumbrance is removed and a block of wood inserted. This block is oval or elliptical in shape, concaved or hollowed dish-like on the sides, and grooved like the wheel of a pulley on the edge in order to keep it in place.[149]‘Concave on both sides.’ Vancouver’s Voy., vol. ii., p. 280. ‘So lange sie unverheirathet ist, trägt sie diesen; erhält sie aber einen Mann, so presst man einen grösseren Schmuck von Holz oder Knochen in die Oeffnung, welcher nach innen, d. h. zur Zahnseite etwas trogförmig ausgehöhlt ist.’ Holmberg, Ethn. Skiz., p. 21. ‘Une espèce d’écuelle de bois sans anses qui appuie contre les gencives.’ La Pérouse, Voy., tom. ii., p. 224. Pieces of shell resembling teeth. Meares’ Voy., p. xxxi. The dimensions of the block are from two to six inches in length, from one to four inches in width, and about half an inch thick round the edge, and highly polished.[150]‘As large as a large saucer.’ Portlock’s Voy., p. 289. ‘From one corner of the mouth to the other.’ Vancouver’s Voy., vol. ii., p. 280. ‘Frequently increased to three, or even four inches in length, and nearly as wide.’ Dixon’s Voy., p. 187. ‘A communément un demi-pouce d’épaisseur, deux de diamètre, et trois pouces de long.’ La Pérouse, Voy., tom. iv., p. 54. ‘At least seven inches in circumference.’ Meares’ Voy., p. xxxviii. ‘Mit den Jahren wird der Schmuck vergrössert, so dass er bei einem alten Weibe über 2 Zoll breit angetroffen wird.’ Holmberg, Ethn. Skiz., p. 21. From two to five inches long, and from one and a half to three inches broad. Ladies of distinction increase the size. ‘I have even seen ladies of very high rank with this ornament, full five inches long and three broad.’ Mr Dwolf affirms that he saw ‘an old woman, the wife of a chief, whose lip ornament was so large, that by a peculiar motion of her under-lip she could almost conceal her whole face with it.’ ‘Horrible in its appearance to us Europeans.’ Langsdorff’s Voy., pt. ii., p. 115. ‘Es una abertura como de media pulgada debaxo del labio inferior, que representa segunda boca, donde colocan una especie de roldana elíptica de pino, cuyo diámetro mayor es de dos pulgadas, quatro lineas, y el menor de una pulgada.’ Sutil y Mexicana, Viage, p. 126. Old age has little terror in the eyes of a Thlinkeet belle, for larger lip-blocks are introduced as years advance, and each enlargement adds to the lady’s social status, if not to her facial charms. When the block is withdrawn, the lip drops down upon the chin like a piece of leather, displaying the teeth, and presenting altogether a ghastly spectacle.[151]‘Une énorme tasse de bois, destinée à recevoir la salive qui s’en échappe constamment.’ Laplace, Circumnav., tom. vi., p. 87. ‘L’effet de cet ornement est de rabattre, par le poids de sa partie saillante la lèvre inférieure sur le menton, de développer les charmes d’une grande bouche béante, qui prend la forme de celle d’un four, et de mettre à découvert une rangée de dents jaunes et sales.’ Marchand, Voy., tom. ii., p. 49. ‘She is obliged to be constantly on the watch, lest it should fall out, which would cover her with confusion.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 244. ‘The weight of this trencher or ornament weighs the lip down so as to cover the whole of the chin, leaving all the lower teeth and gum quite naked.’ Portlock’s Voy., p. 289. ‘L’usage le plus révoltant qui existe peut-être sur la terre.’ La Pérouse, Voy., tom. ii., p. 226. ‘Always in proportion to a person’s wealth.’ ‘Distorts every feature in the lower part of the face.’ Dixon’s Voy., p. 68, 172. ‘In running the lip flaps up and down so as to knock sometimes against the chin and sometimes against the nose. Upon the continent the kaluga is worn still larger; and the female who can cover her whole face with her under-lip passes for the most perfect beauty,’ ‘The lips of the women held out like a trough, and always filled with saliva stained with tobacco-juice, of which they are immoderately fond, is the most abominably revolting part of the spectacle.’ Kotzebue’s New Voy., vol. ii., p. 52. ‘Dadurch entsteht eine im selbigen Maasse ausgedehnte Lippe, die höchst widerlich aussieht, um so mehr, da sich nun mehr der Mund nicht schliessen kann, sondern unaufhörlich einen braunen Tabaksspeichel von sich gibt.’ Holmberg, Ethn. Skiz., p. 21. ‘So distorts the face as to take from it almost the resemblance to the human; yet the privilege of wearing this ornament is not extended to the female slaves, who are prisoners taken in war.’ Cleveland’s Voy., p. 91. ‘Look as if they had large flat wooden spoons growing in the flesh.’ Langsdorff’s Voy., pt. ii., p. 115. ‘The sight is hideous. Our men used jocosely to say, this lower lip would make a good slab to lay their trousers on to be scrubbed.’ Dunn’s Oregon, p. 277. ‘On ne connaît point d’explication plausible de cette mutilation, qui, chez les Indiens, passe pour un signe de noblesse.’ Mofras, Explor., tom. ii., p. 336. This custom is evidently associated in their minds with womanly modesty, for when La Pérouse asked them to remove their block, some refused; those who complied manifesting the same embarrassment shown by a European woman who uncovers her bosom. The Yakutats alone of all the Thlinkeet nation have never adopted this fashion.

Dress of the Thlinkeets

Their dress, which is made from wolf, deer, bear, or other skin, extends from the shoulder to the knee, and consists of a mantle, or cape, with sleeves, which reaches down to the waist, and to which the women attach a skirt, or gown, and the men a belt and apron. A white blanket is made from the wool of the wild sheep, embroidered with figures, and fringed with furs, all of native work. This garment is most highly prized by the men. They wear it thrown over the shoulder so as to cover the whole body.

Vancouver thus describes the dress of a chief at Lynn Canal. His “external robe was a very fine large garment, that reached from his neck down to his heels, made of wool from the mountain sheep, neatly variegated with several colors, and edged and otherwise decorated with little tufts or frogs of woolen yarn, dyed of various colors. His head-dress was made of wood, much resembling in its shape a crown, adorned with bright copper and brass plates, from whence hung a number of tails or streamers, composed of wool and fur, wrought together, dyed of various colors, and each terminating in a whole ermine skin. The whole exhibited a magnificent appearance, and indicated a taste for dress and ornament that we had not supposed the natives of these regions to possess.”

The men make a wooden mask, which rests on a neckpiece, very ingeniously carved, and painted in colors, so as to represent the head of some bird or beast or mythological being. This was formerly worn in battle, probably, as La Pérouse suggests, in order to strike terror into the hearts of enemies, but is now used only on festive occasions.[152]‘Die Männertracht unterscheidet sich in Nichts von der Weiber; sie besteht nämlich aus einem bis zu den Knieen gehenden Hemde.’ Holmberg, Ethn. Skiz., p. 18. Some of their blankets ‘are so curiously worked on one side with the fur of the sea-otter, that they appear as if lined with it.’ ‘Some dress themselves in short pantaloons.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 238. ‘Las mugeres visten honestamente una especie de túnica interior de piel sobada.’ Sutil y Mexicana, Viage, p. cxvii. ‘Se vestian las mugeres tunicas de pieles ajustadas al cuerpo con brazaletes de cobre o hierro.’ Perez, Nav., MS. p. 15. ‘Usual clothing consists of a little apron.’ Kotzebue’s New Voy., vol. ii., p. 49. ‘Their feet are always bare.’ Langsdorff’s Voy., pt. ii., p. 114.

A small hat of roots and bark, woven in the shape of a truncated cone, ornamented with painted figures and pictures of animals, is worn by both sexes.[153]‘Usan sombreros de la corteza interior del pino en forma de cono truncado.’ Sutil y Mexicana, Viage, p. cxvii. Their wooden masks ‘are so thick, that a musket-ball, fired at a moderate distance, can hardly penetrate them.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 150. Ordinarily, however, the men wear nothing on the head; their thick hair, greased and covered with ochre and birds’ down, forming a sufficient covering. The hat is designed especially for rainy weather, as a protection to the elaborately dressed hair.[154]Pluck out their beard. Langsdorff’s Voy., pt. ii., p. 112. ‘Ils ont de la barbe, moins à la vérité que les Européens, mais assez cependant pour qu’il soit impossible d’en douter.’ La Pérouse, Voy., tom. ii., p. 229. ‘The women in general are hair-dressers for their husbands.’ Portlock’s Voy., p. 290. Besides their every-day dress, they have a fantastic costume for tribal holidays.

For their winter habitations, a little back from the ocean, the Thlinkeets build substantial houses of plank or logs, sometimes of sufficient strength to serve as a fortress. They are six or eight feet in height, the base in the form of a square or parallelogram, the roof of poles placed at an angle of forty-five degrees and covered with bark. The entrance is by a small side door. The fire, which is usually kept burning night and day, occupies the centre of the room; over it is a smoke-hole of unusual size, and round the sides of the room are apartments or dens which are used as store-houses, sweat-houses, and private family rooms. The main room is very public and very filthy.[155]‘Der Eingang, ziemlich hoch von der Erde, besteht aus einem kleinen runden Loche.’ Holmberg, Ethn. Skiz., p. 25. ‘Ils se construisent des maisons de bois ou de terre pour l’hiver.’ Laplace, Circumnav., vol. vi., p. 87. ‘The barabaras of the Sitcan people are of a square form, and spacious. The sides are of planks; and the roof resembles that of a Russian house.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 239. ‘Habitan estos Indios en chozas ó rancherías de tablas muy desabrigadas.’ Sutil y Mexicana, Viage, p. cxvi. At Sitka the roof ‘rests upon ten or twelve thick posts driven into the ground, and the sides of the house are composed of broad thick planks fastened to the same posts.’ Langsdorff’s Voy., pt. ii., p. 129. ‘Dans l’intérieur des terres, des habitations bien construites, spacieuses et commodes.’ Marchand, Voy., tom. ii., p. 74. ‘Shanties on a large scale.’ Whymper’s Alaska, p. 100. ‘Their huts are made of a few boards, which they take away with them when they go to their winter quarters. It is very surprising to see how well they will shape their boards with the shocking tools they employ; some of them being full 10 feet long, 2½ feet broad, and not more than an inch thick.’ Portlock’s Voy., p. 292. ‘High, large, and roomy, built of wood, with the hearth in the middle, and the sides divided into as many compartments as there are families living under the roof.’ Richardson’s Jour., vol. i., p. 410. ‘Lebt in Schoppen aus Balken gebaut, wo an den Seiten für jede Familie besondere Plätze abgetheilt sind, in der Mitte aber Feuer für alle zusammen angemacht wird. So pflegen gemeiniglich 2 bis 6 Familien eine einzige Scheune einzunehmen.’ Baer’s Ethn. u. Stat., p. 97. Summer huts are light portable buildings, thrown up during hunting excursions in the interior, or on the sea-beach in the fishing-season. A frame is made of stakes driven into the ground, supporting a roof, and the whole covered with bark, or with green or dry branches, and skins or bark over all. The door is closed by bark or a curtain of skins. Each hut is the rendezvous for a small colony, frequently covering twenty or thirty persons, all under the direction of one chief.[156]‘Vingt-cinq pieds de long sur quinze à vingt pieds de large.’ La Pérouse, Voy., tom. ii., p. 220. ‘Roof in the whole with the bark of trees.’ Kotzebue’s New Voy., vol. ii., p. 53. ‘Las casas en que estos habitan en las playas son de poca consideracion y ninguna subsistencia.’ Bodega y Quadra, Nav., MS. p. 49. ‘A few poles stuck in the ground, without order or regularity.’ Dixon’s Voy., p. 172. ‘Gebäude besteht aus langen, sorgfältig behauenen Brettern, die kartenhausartig über einander gestellt, an zahlreichen in die Erde gesteckten Stangen befestigt, recht eigentlich ein hölzernes Zelt bilden. Es hat die Form einer länglichen Barake mit zwei Giebeln.’ Kittlitz, Reise, vol. i., pp. 220, 221.

Food of the Thlinkeets

The food of the Thlinkeets is derived principally from the ocean, and consists of fish, mussels, sea-weeds, and in fact whatever is left upon the beach by the ebbing tide—which at Sitka rises and falls eighteen feet twice a day—or can be caught by artificial means. Holmberg says that all but the Yakutats hate whale as the Jews hate pork. Roots, grasses, berries, and snails are among their summer luxuries. They chew a certain plant as some chew tobacco, mixing with it lime to give it a stronger effect,[157]All kinds of fish; ‘such as salmon, mussels, and various other shell-fish, sea-otters, seals and porpoises; the blubber of the porpoise, they are remarkably fond of, and indeed the flesh of any animal that comes in their way.’ Portlock’s Voy., p. 290. ‘Vom Meere, an dessen Ufern sie sich stets ansiedeln, erhalten sie ihre hauptsächlichste Nahrung; einige Wurzeln, Gräser u. Beeren gehören nur zu den Leckerbissen des Sommers.’ Holmberg, Ethn. Skiz., p. 22. Cakes made of bark of spruce-fir, mixed with roots, berries, and train-oil. For salt they use sea-water. Never eat whale-fat. Langsdorff’s Voy., pt. ii., p. 131. At Sitka, summer food consists of berries, fresh fish, and flesh of amphibious animals. Winter food, of dried salmon, train-oil, and the spawn of fish, especially herrings. Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 239. ‘Sus alimentos se reducen á pescado cocido ó asado ya fresco ó ya seco, varias hierbas y raizes.’ Bodega y Quadra, Nav., MS. p. 50. They chew ‘a plant which appears to be a species of tobacco.’ Dixon’s Voy., p. 175. ‘Sont couverts de vermine; ils font une chasse assidue à ces animaux dévorans, mais pour les dévorer eux-mêmes.’ Marchand, Voy., tom. ii., p. 52. ‘Tägliche Nahrung der Einwohner—sind hauptsächtlich Fische, doch häufig auch Mollusken und Echinodermen.’ Kittlitz, Reise, vol. i., p. 222. and drink whale-oil as a European drinks beer. Preferring their food cooked, they put it in a tight wicker basket, pouring in water, and throwing in heated stones, until the food is boiled.[158]‘Le poisson frais ou fumé, les œufs séchés de poisson.’ Marchand, Voy., tom. ii., p. 62. ‘Is sometimes cooked upon red-hot stones, but more commonly eaten raw.’ Kotzebue’s New Voy., vol. ii., p. 53. ‘Not so expert in hunting as the Aleutians. Their principal mode is that of shooting the sea animals as they lie asleep.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 242. They boil their victuals in wooden vessels, by constantly putting red-hot stones into the water. Portlock’s Voy., p. 291. ‘Das Kochen geschieht jetzt in eisernen Kesseln, vor der Bekanntschaft mit den Russen aber wurden dazu aus Wurzeln geflochtene Körbe angewandt.’ Holmberg, Ethn. Skiz., p. 23. For winter, they dry large quantities of herring, roes, and the flesh of animals.

For catching fish, they stake the rivers, and also use a hook and line; one fisherman casting from his canoe ten or fifteen lines, with bladders for floats. For herring, they fasten to the end of a pole four or five pointed bones, and with this instrument strike into a shoal, spearing a fish on every point. They sometimes make the same instrument in the shape of a rake, and transfix the fish with the teeth. The Sitkas catch halibut with large, wooden, bone-pointed hooks.[159]To their fishing lines, bladders are fastened, ‘which float upon the surface of the water, so that one person can attend to fourteen or fifteen lines.’ Langsdorff’s Voy., pt. ii., p. 134. ‘Ils pêchent, comme nous, en barrant les rivières, ou à la ligne.’ La Pérouse, Voy., tom. ii., p. 232. ‘For taking the spawn, they use the branches of the pine-tree, to which it easily adheres, and on which it is afterwards dried. It is then put into baskets, or holes purposely dug in the ground, till wanted.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 239. ‘Su comun alimento es el salmon, y es ingenioso el método que tienen de pescarle.’ Sutil y Mexicana, Viage, p. cxvii. ‘Their lines are very strong, being made of the sinews or intestines of animals.’ Dixon’s Voy., p. 174. ‘Die Riesenbutte, die in Sitcha bisweilen ein Gewicht von 10 bis 12 Pud erreicht, wird aus der Tiefe mit grossen hölzernen Angeln, die mit Widerhaken aus Eisen oder Knochen versehen sind, herausgezogen. Die Angelschnur besteht aus an einander geknüpften Fucusstängeln.’ Holmberg, Ethn. Skiz., p. 32.

The arms of the Thlinkeets denote a more warlike people than any we have hitherto encountered. Bows and arrows; hatchets of flint, and of a hard green stone which cuts wood so smoothly that no marks of notches are left; great lances, six or eight varas in length, if Bodega y Quadra may be trusted, hardened in the fire or pointed with copper, or later with iron; a large, broad, double-ended dagger, or knife,—are their principal weapons. The knife is their chief implement and constant companion. The handle is nearer one end than the other, so that it has a long blade and a short blade, the latter being one quarter the length of the former. The handle is covered with leather, and a strap fastens it to the hand when fighting. Both blades have leathern sheaths, one of which is suspended from the neck by a strap.[160]‘Bows and arrows were formerly their only weapons; now, besides their muskets, they have daggers, and knives half a yard long.’ Kotzebue’s New Voy., vol. ii., p. 55. Their weapons were bows, arrows, and spears. Dixon’s Voy., p. 67. ‘Leur lances dont l’ancienne forme n’est pas connue, est à présent composée de deux pièces: de la hampe, longue de quinze ou dix-huit pieds, et du fer qui ne le cède en rien à celui de la hallebarde de parade dont étoit armé un Suisse de paroisse.’ Marchand, Voy., tom. ii., p. 68. Knives, some two feet long, shaped almost like a dagger, with a ridge in the middle. Worn in skin sheaths hung by a thong to the neck under their robe, probably used only as weapons. Cook’s Third Voy., vol. ii., p. 373. ‘Las armas ofensivas que generalmente usan son las flechas, lanzas de seis y ocho varas de largo con lenguetas de fierro.’ Bodega y Quadra, Nav., MS. p. 46. ‘The daggers used in battle are made to stab with either end, having three, four or five inches above the hand tapered to a sharp point; but the upper part of those used in the Sound and River is excurvated.’ Portlock’s Voy., p. 261. ‘Principally bows and arrows.’ Langsdorff’s Voy., pt. ii., p. 131. ‘Sus armas se reducen al arco, la flecha y el puñal que traen siempre consigo.’ Sutil y Mexicana, Viage, p. cxvii. ‘Comme nous examinions très attentivement tous ces poignards, ils nous firent signe qu’ils n’en faisaient usage que contre les ours et les autres bêtes des forêts.’ La Pérouse, Voy., tom. ii., p. 172. ‘Der Dolch ist sehr breit und hat zwei geschliffene Blätter auf jeder Seite des Griffes, das obere jedoch nur ein Viertel von der Länge des unteren.’ ‘Beide Blätter oder Klingen sind mit ledernen Scheiden versehen.’ Holmberg, Ethn. Skiz., p. 28.

The Thlinkeets in War

They also encase almost the entire body in a wooden and leathern armor. Their helmets have curiously carved vizors, with grotesque representations of beings natural or supernatural, which, when brilliantly or dismally painted, and presented with proper yells, and brandishings of their ever-glittering knives, are supposed to strike terror into the heart of their enemies. They make a breast-plate of wood, and an arrow-proof coat of thin flexible strips, bound with strings like a woman’s stays.[161]‘A kind of jacket, or coat of mail, made of thin laths, bound together with sinews, which makes it quite flexible, though so close as not to admit an arrow or dart.’ Cook’s Third Voy., vol. ii., p. 372. ‘Für den Krieg besitzen die Kaloschen auch von Holz gearbeitete Schutzwaffen: Brustharnische, Sturmhauben und seltsam geschnitzte Visire, mit grellen Farben bemalte Fratzengesichter darstellen.’ Kittlitz, Reise, vol. i., p. 216.

When a Thlinkeet arms for war, he paints his face and powders his hair a brilliant red. He then ornaments his head with white eagle-feathers, a token of stern, vindictive determination. During war they pitch their camp in strong positions, and place the women on guard. Trial by combat is frequently resorted to, not only to determine private disputes, but to settle quarrels between petty tribes. In the latter case, each side chooses a champion, the warriors place themselves in battle array, the combatants armed with their favorite weapon, the dagger, and well armored, step forth and engage in fight; while the people on either side engage in song and dance during the combat. Wrangell and Laplace assert that brave warriors killed in battle are devoured by the conquerors, in the belief that the bravery of the victim thereby enters into the nature of the partaker.[162]‘They never attack their enemies openly.’ Kotzebue’s New Voy., vol. ii., p. 55. ‘Les guerriers tués ou faits prisonniers à la guerre, passent également sous la dent de leurs vainqueurs qui, en dévorant une proie aussi distinguée, croient y puiser de nouvelles forces, une nouvelle énergie.’ Laplace, Circumnav., tom. vi., p. 155.

Coming from the north, the Thlinkeets are the first people of the coast who use wooden boats. They are made from a single trunk; the smaller ones about fifteen feet long, to carry from ten to twelve persons; and the larger ones, or war canoes, from fifty to seventy feet long; these will carry forty or fifty persons. They have from two and a half to three feet beam; are sharp fore and aft, and have the bow and stern raised, the former rather more than the latter. Being very light and well modeled, they can be handled with ease and celerity. Their paddles are about four feet in length, with crutch-like handles and wide, shovel-shaped blades. Boats as well as paddles are ornamented with painted figures, and the family coat-of-arms. Bodega y Quadra, in contradiction to all other authorities, describes these canoes as being built in three parts; with one hollowed piece, which forms the bottom and reaches well up the sides, and with two side planks. Having hollowed the trunk of a tree to the required depth, the Thlinkeet builders fill it with water, which they heat with hot stones to soften the wood, and in this state bend it to the desired shape. When they land, they draw their boats up on the beach, out of reach of the tide, and take great care in preserving them.[163]‘Bien hechas de una pieza con su falca sobre las bordas.’ Perez, Nav., MS., p. 17. ‘On n’est pas moins étonné de leur stabilité: malgré la légèreté et le peu de largeur de la coque, elles n’ont pas besoin d’être soutenues par des balanciers, et jamais on ne les accouple.’ Marchand, Voy., tom. ii., p. 72. ‘Las regulares canoas de que se sirven son de pino, y no tienen mas capacidad que la que basta para contener una familia, sin embargo que las hay sumamente grandes.’ Bodega y Quadra, Nav., MS. p. 48. ‘Rudely excavated and reduced to no particular shape, but each end has the resemblance of a butcher’s tray.’ Dixon’s Voy., p. 173. ‘Their canoes are much inferior to those of the lower coast, while their skin “baidarkes” (kyacks) are not equal to those of Norton Sound and the northern coast.’ Whymper’s Alaska, p. 101. At Cook’s Inlet, ‘their canoes are sheathed with the bark of trees.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 188. These canoes ‘were made from a solid tree, and many of them appeared to be from 50 to 70 feet in length, but very narrow, being no broader than the tree itself.’ Meares’ Voy., p. xxxviii. ‘Their boat was the body of a large pine tree, neatly excavated, and tapered away towards the ends, until they came to a point, and the fore-part somewhat higher than the after-part; indeed, the whole was finished in a neat and very exact manner.’ Portlock’s Voy., p. 259.

Industries of the Thlinkeets

The Thlinkeets manifest no less ingenuity in the manufacture of domestic and other implements than in their arms. Rope they make from sea-weed, water-tight baskets and mats from withes and grass; and pipes, bowls, and figures from a dark clay. They excel in the working of stone and copper, making necklaces, bracelets, and rings; they can also forge iron. They spin thread, use the needle, and make blankets from the white native wool. They exhibit considerable skill in carving and painting, ornamenting the fronts of their houses with heraldic symbols, and allegorical and historical figures; while in front of the principal dwellings, and on their canoes, are carved parts representing the human face, the heads of crows, eagles, sea-lions, and bears.[164]‘Ont fait beaucoup plus de progrès dans les arts que dans la morale.’ La Pérouse, Voy., tom. ii., p. 233. Thlinkeet women make baskets of bark of trees, and grass, that will hold water. Langsdorff’s Voy., pt. ii., p. 132. They have tolerable ideas of carving, most utensils having sculptures, representing some animal. Portlock’s Voy., p. 294. ‘Ces peintures, ces sculptures, telles qu’elles sont, on en voit sur tous leurs meubles.’ Marchand, Voy., tom. ii., p. 71. ‘De la vivacidad de su genio y del afecto al cambio se debe inferir son bastantemente laboriosos.’ Bodega y Quadra, Nav., MS. p. 48. ‘Tienen lana blanca cuya especie ignoraron.’ Perez, Nav., MS. p. 16. ‘Masks very ingeniously cut in wood, and painted with different colors.’ A rattle, ‘very well finished, both as to sculpture and painting.’ ‘One might suppose these productions the work of a people greatly advanced in civilization.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., pp. 150, 241. ‘Found some square patches of ground in a state of cultivation, producing a plant that appeared to be a species of tobacco.’ Vancouver’s Voy., vol. iii., p. 256. La Pérouse asserts that, except in agriculture, which was not entirely unknown to them, the Thlinkeets were farther advanced in industry than the South Sea Islanders.

Trade is carried on between Europeans and the interior Indians, in which no little skill is manifested. Every article which they purchase undergoes the closest scrutiny, and every slight defect, which they are sure to discover, sends down the price. In their commercial intercourse they exhibit the utmost decorum, and conduct their negotiations with the most becoming dignity. Nevertheless, for iron and beads they willingly part with anything in their possession, even their children. In the voyage of Bodega y Quadra, several young Thlinkeets thus became the property of the Spaniards, as the author piously remarks, for purposes of conversion. Sea-otter skins circulate in place of money.[165]‘The skins of the sea-otters form their principal wealth, and are a substitute for money.’ Kotzebue’s New Voy., vol. ii., p. 54. ‘In one place they discovered a considerable hoard of woolen cloth, and as much dried fish as would have loaded 150 bidarkas.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 160.

The office of chief is elective, and the extent of power wielded depends upon the ability of the ruler. In some this authority is nominal; others become great despots.[166]‘Le Gouvernement des Tchinkitânéens paroîtroit donc se rapprocher du Gouvernement patriarchal.’ Marchand, Voy., tom. ii., p. 83. ‘De su gobierno pensamos cuando mas, oiendo el modo de someterse á algunos viejos, seria oligárhico.’ Bodega y Quadra, Nav., MS. p. 50. ‘Though the toyons have power over their subjects, it is a very limited power, unless when an individual of extraordinary abilities starts up, who is sure to rule despotically.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 243. ‘Chaque famille semble vivre d’une manière isolée et avoir un régime particulier.’ La Pérouse, Voy., tom. iv., p. 61. ‘Ces Conseils composés des vieillards.’ Laplace, Circumnav., tom. vi., p. 155. Slavery was practiced to a considerable extent; and not only all prisoners of war were slaves, but a regular slave-trade was carried on with the south. When first known to the Russians, according to Holmberg, most of their slaves were Flatheads from Oregon. Slaves are not allowed to hold property or to marry, and when old and worthless they are killed. Kotzebue says that a rich man “purchases male and female slaves, who must labor and fish for him, and strengthen his force when he is engaged in warfare. The slaves are prisoners of war, and their descendants; the master’s power over them is unlimited, and he even puts them to death without scruple. When the master dies, two slaves are murdered on his grave that he may not want attendance in the other world; these are chosen long before the event occurs, but meet the destiny that awaits them very philosophically.” Simpson estimates the slaves to be one third of the entire population. Interior tribes enslave their prisoners of war, but, unlike the coast tribes, they have no hereditary slavery, nor systematic traffic in slaves.

Caste and Clanship

With the superior activity and intelligence of the Thlinkeets, social castes begin to appear. Besides an hereditary nobility, from which class all chiefs are chosen, the whole nation is separated into two great divisions or clans, one of which is called the Wolf, and the other the Raven. Upon their houses, boats, robes, shields, and wherever else they can find a place for it, they paint or carve their crest, an heraldic device of the beast or the bird designating the clan to which the owner belongs. The Raven trunk is again divided into sub-clans, called the Frog, the Goose, the Sea-Lion, the Owl, and the Salmon. The Wolf family comprises the Bear, Eagle, Dolphin, Shark, and Alca. In this clanship some singular social features present themselves. People are at once thrust widely apart, and yet drawn together. Tribes of the same clan may not war on each other, but at the same time members of the same clan may not marry with each other. Thus the young Wolf warrior must seek his mate among the Ravens, and, while celebrating his nuptials one day, he may be called upon the next to fight his father-in-law over some hereditary feud. Obviously this singular social fancy tends greatly to keep the various tribes of the nation at peace.[167]Tribes are distinguished by the color and character of their paint. Kotzebue’s New Voy., vol. ii., p. 51. They ‘are divided into tribes; the principal of which assume to themselves titles of distinction, from the names of the animals they prefer; as the tribe of the bear, of the eagle, etc. The tribe of the wolf are called Coquontans, and have many privileges over the other tribes.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., pp. 238, 242.

Although the Thlinkeet women impose upon themselves the most painful and rigorous social laws, there are few savage nations in which the sex have greater influence or command greater respect. Whether it be the superiority of their intellects, their success in rendering their hideous charms available, or the cruel penances imposed upon womanhood, the truth is that not only old men, but old women, are respected. In fact, a remarkably old and ugly crone is accounted almost above nature—a sorceress. One cause of this is that they are much more modest and chaste than their northern sisters.[168]‘The women possess a predominant influence, and acknowledged superiority over the other sex.’ Meares’ Voy., p. 323. ‘Parmi eux les femmes jouissent d’une certaine considération.’ Laplace, Circumnav., tom. vi., p. 87. They treat their wives and children with much affection and tenderness, and the women keep the treasures. Portlock’s Voy., p. 290. The Kalush ‘finds his filthy countrywomen, with their lip-troughs, so charming, that they often awaken in him the most vehement passion.’ Kotzebue’s New Voy., vol. ii., p. 56. ‘It is certain that industry, reserve, modesty, and conjugal fidelity, are the general characteristics of the female sex among these people.’ Langsdorff’s Voy., pt. ii., p. 133. ‘Quoiqu’elles vivent sous la domination d’hommes très-féroces, je n’ai pas vu qu’elles en fussent traitées d’une manière aussi barbare que le prétendent la plupart des voyageurs.’ La Pérouse, Voy., tom. iv., p. 61. As a rule, a man has but one wife; more, however, being allowable. A chief of the Nass tribe is said to have had forty.

A young girl arrived at the age of maturity is deemed unclean; and everything she comes in contact with, or looks upon, even the clear sky or pure water, is thereby rendered unpropitious to man. She is therefore thrust from the society of her fellows, and confined in a dark den as a being unfit for the sun to shine upon. There she is kept sometimes for a whole year. Langsdorff suggests that it may be during this period of confinement that the foundation of her influence is laid; that in modest reserve, and meditation, her character is strengthened, and she comes forth cleansed in mind as well as body. This infamous ordeal, coming at a most critical period, and in connection with the baptism of the block, cannot fail to exert a powerful influence upon her character.

It is a singular idea that they have of uncleanness. During all this time, according to Holmberg, only the girl’s mother approaches her, and that only to place food within her reach. There she lies, wallowing in her filth, scarcely able to move. It is almost incredible that human beings can bring themselves so to distort nature. To this singular custom, as well as to that of the block, female slaves do not conform. After the girl’s immurement is over, if her parents are wealthy, her old clothing is destroyed, she is washed and dressed anew, and a grand feast given in honor of the occasion.[169]‘Weddings are celebrated merely by a feast, given to the relatives of the bride.’ Kotzebue’s New Voy., vol. ii., p. 57. The natural sufferings of mothers during confinement are also aggravated by custom. At this time they too are considered unclean, and must withdraw into the forest or fields, away from all others, and take care of themselves and their offspring. After the birth of a child, the mother is locked up in a shed for ten days.

A marriage ceremony consists in the assembling of friends and distribution of presents. A newly married pair must fast for two days thereafter, in order to insure domestic felicity. After the expiration of that time they are permitted to partake of a little food, when a second two days’ fast is added, after which they are allowed to come together for the first time; but the mysteries of wedlock are not fully unfolded to them until four weeks after marriage.

Very little is said by travelers regarding the bath-houses of the Thlinkeets, but I do not infer that they used them less than their neighbors. In fact, notwithstanding their filth, purgations and purifications are commenced at an early age. As soon as an infant is born, and before it has tasted food, whatever is in the stomach must be squeezed out. Mothers nurse their children from one to two and a half years. When the child is able to leave its cradle, it is bathed in the ocean every day without regard to season, and this custom is kept up by both sexes through life. Those that survive the first year of filth, and the succeeding years of applied ice water and exposure, are very justly held to be well toughened.

The Thlinkeet child is frequently given two names, one from the father’s side and one from the mother’s; and when a son becomes more famous than his father, the latter drops his own name, and is known only as the father of his son. Their habits of life are regular. In summer, at early dawn they put out to sea in their boats, or seek for food upon the beach, returning before noon for their first meal. A second one is taken just before night. The work is not unequally divided between the sexes, and the division is based upon the economical principles of civilized communities. The men rarely conclude a bargain without consulting their wives.

Marchand draws a revolting picture of their treatment of infants. The little bodies are so excoriated by fermented filth, and so scarred by their cradle, that they carry the marks to the grave. No wonder that when they grow up they are insensible to pain. Nor are the mothers especially given to personal cleanliness and decorum.[170]‘Ils ne s’écartent jamais de deux pas pour aucun besoin; ils ne cherchent dans ces occasions ni l’ombre ni le mystère; ils continuent la conversation qu’ils ont commencée, comme s’ils n’avaient pas un instant à perdre; et lorsque c’est pendant le repas, ils reprennent leur place, dont ils n’ont jamais été éloignés d’une toise.’ La Pérouse, Voy., tom. ii., p. 221.

Music, as well as the arts, is cultivated by the Thlinkeets, and, if we may believe Marchand, ranks with them as a social institution. “At fixed times,” he says, “evening and morning, they sing in chorus, every one takes part in the concert, and from the pensive air which they assume while singing, one would imagine that the song has some deep interest for them.” The men do the dancing, while the women, who are rather given to fatness and flaccidity, accompany them with song and tambourine.[171]‘Ont un goût décidé pour le chant.’ Marchand, Voy., tom. ii., p. 75. ‘The women sit upon the ground at a distance of some paces from the dancers, and sing a not inharmonious melody, which supplies the place of music.’ Langsdorff’s Voy., pt. ii., p. 114. ‘They dance and sing continually.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 240. Besides the tambourine, Captain Belcher saw a castanet and ‘a new musical instrument, composed of three hoops, with a cross in the centre, the circumference being closely strung with the beaks of the Alca arctica.’ Voy., vol. i., p. 103.

Their principal gambling game is played with thirty small sticks, of various colors, and called by divers names, as the crab, the whale, and the duck. The player shuffles together all the sticks, then counting out seven, he hides them under a bunch of moss, keeping the remainder covered at the same time. The game is to guess in which pile is the whale, and the crab, and the duck. During the progress of the game, they present a perfect picture of melancholic stoicism.[172]They lose at this game all their possessions, and even their wives and children, who then become the property of the winner.’ Kotzebue’s New Voy., vol. ii., p. 62. ‘Ce jeu les rend tristes et sérieux.’ La Pérouse, Voy., tom. ii., p. 235.

The Thlinkeets burn their dead. An exception is made when the deceased is a shamán or a slave; the body of the former is preserved, after having been wrapped in furs, in a large wooden sarcophagus; and the latter is thrown out into the ocean or anywhere, like a beast. The ashes of the burned Thlinkeet are carefully collected in a box covered with hieroglyphic figures, and placed upon four posts. The head of a warrior killed in battle is cut off before the body is burned, and placed in a box supported by two poles over the box that holds his ashes.[173]Upon one tomb, ‘formaba una figura grande y horrorosa que tenia entre sus garras una caxa.’ Sutil y Mexicana, Viage, p. cxviii. ‘The box is frequently decorated with two or three rows of small shells.’ Dixon’s Voy., p. 176. ‘The dead are burned, and their ashes preserved in small wooden boxes, in buildings appropriated to that purpose.’ Kotzebue’s New Voy., vol. ii., p. 57. ‘Nos voyageurs rencontrèrent aussi un morai qui leur prouva que ces Indiens étaient dans l’usage de brûler les morts et d’en conserver la tête.’ La Pérouse, Voy., tom. ii., p. 205. ‘On the death of a toyon, or other distinguished person, one of his slaves is deprived of life, and burned with him.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 241. Some tribes preserve the bodies of those who die during the winter, until forced to get rid of them by the warmer weather of spring. Their grandest feasts are for the dead. Besides the funeral ceremony, which is the occasion of a festival, they hold an annual ‘elevation of the dead,’ at which times they erect monuments to the memory of their departed.

The shamáns possess some knowledge of the medicinal properties of herbs, but the healing of the body does not constitute so important a part of their vocation as do their dealings with supernatural powers.

Thlinkeet Character

To sum up the character of the Thlinkeets, they may be called bold, brave, shrewd, intelligent, industrious, lovers of art and music, respectful to women and the aged; yet extremely cruel, scalping and maiming their prisoners out of pure wantonness, thievish, lying, and inveterate gamblers. In short they possess most of the virtues and vices incident to savagism.

The Tinneh

The Tinneh, the fifth and last division of our Hyperborean group, occupy the ‘Great Lone Land,’ between Hudson Bay and the conterminous nations already described; a land greater than the whole of the United States, and more ‘lone,’ excepting absolute deserts, than any part of America. White men there are scarcely any; wild men and wild beasts there are few; few dense forests, and little vegetation, although the grassy savannahs sustain droves of deer, buffalo, and other animals. The Tinneh are, next to the Eskimos, the most northern people of the continent. They inhabit the unexplored regions of Central Alaska, and thence extend eastward, their area widening towards the south to the shores of Hudson Bay. Within their domain, from the north-west to the south-east, may be drawn a straight line measuring over four thousand miles in length.

The Tinneh,[174]Called by Gallatin, in Am. Antiq. Soc. Transact., vol. ii., p. 17, Athapasca, the name ‘first given to the central part of the country they inhabit.’ Sir John Richardson, Jour., vol. ii., p. 1, calls them ‘Tinnè, or ‘Dtinnè, Athabascans or Chepewyans.’ ‘They style themselves generally Dinneh men, or Indians.’ Franklin’s Nar., vol. i., p. 241. may be divided into four great families of nations; namely, the Chepewyans, or Athabascas, living between Hudson Bay and the Rocky Mountains; the Tacullies, or Carriers, of New Caledonia or North-western British America; the Kutchins, occupying both banks of the upper Yukon and its tributaries, from near its mouth to the Mackenzie River; and the Kenai, inhabiting the interior from the lower Yukon to Copper River.

The Chepewyan family is composed of the Northern Indians, so called by the fur-hunters at Fort Churchill as lying along the shores of Hudson Bay, directly to their north; the Copper Indians, on Coppermine River; the Horn Mountain and Beaver Indians, farther to the west; the Strong-bows, Dog-ribs, Hares, Red-knives, Sheep, Sarsis, Brush-wood, Nagailer, and Rocky-Mountain Indians, of the Mackenzie River and Rocky Mountains.[175]Richardson’s Jour., vol. ii., pp. 1-33.

The Tacully[176]‘Les Indiens de la côte ou de la Nouvelle Calédonie, les Tokalis, les Chargeurs (Carriers) les Schouchouaps, les Atnas, appartiennent tous à la nation des Chipeouaïans dont la langue est en usage dans le nord du Continent jusqu’à la baie d’Hudson et à la Mer Polaire.’ Mofras, Explor., tom. ii., p. 337. nation is divided into a multitude of petty tribes, to which different travelers give different names according to fancy. Among them the most important are the Talkotins and Chilkotins, Nateotetains and Sicannis, of the upper branches of Fraser River and vicinity. It is sufficient for our purpose, however, to treat them as one nation.

The Kutchins,[177]Are ‘known under the names of Loucheux, Digothi, and Kutshin.’ Latham’s Nat. Races, p. 292. ‘They are called Deguthee Dinees, or the Quarrellers.’ Mackenzie’s Voy., p. 51. ‘On Peel’s River they name themselves Kutchin, the final n being nasal and faintly pronounced.’ Richardson’s Jour., vol. i., p. 378. They are also called Tykothee-dinneh, Loucheux or Quarrellers. Franklin’s Nar., vol. ii., p. 83. ‘The Loucheux proper is spoken by the Indians of Peel’s River. All the tribes inhabiting the valley of the Youkon understand one another.’ Hardisty, in Smithsonian Rept., 1866, p. 311. a large and powerful nation, are composed of the following tribes. Commencing at the Mackenzie River, near its mouth, and extending westward across the mountains to and down the Yukon; the Loucheux or Quarrellers, of the Mackenzie River; the Vanta Kutchin, Natche Kutchin, and Yukuth Kutchin, of Porcupine River and neighborhood; the Tutchone Kutchin, Han Kutchin, Kutcha Kutchin, Gens de Bouleau, Gens de Milieu, Tenan Kutchin, Nuclukayettes, and Newicarguts, of the Yukon River. Their strip of territory is from one hundred to one hundred and fifty miles in width, lying immediately south of the Eskimos, and extending westward from the Mackenzie River about eight hundred miles.[178]Gallatin, in Am. Antiq. Soc. Transact., vol. ii., p. 17, erroneously ruled the Loucheux out of his Athabasca nation. ‘Im äussersten Nordosten hat uns Gallatin aufmerksam gemacht auf das Volk der Loucheux, Zänker-Indianer oder Digothi: an der Mündung des Mackenzie-Flusses, nach Einigen zu dessen beiden Seiten (westliche und östliche): dessen Sprache er nach den Reisenden für fremd den athapaskischen hielt: worüber sich die neuen Nachrichten noch widersprechen.’ Buschmann, Spuren der Aztek. Sprache, p. 713. Franklin, Nar., vol. ii., p. 83, allies the Loucheux to the Eskimos.

The Kenai[179]Tnai, ‘man;’ Tnaina Ttynai, Thnaina, Kinai, Kenai, Kenaize. nation includes the Ingaliks, of the Lower Yukon; the Koltchanes, of the Kuskoquim River; and to the south-eastward, the Kenais, of the Kenai Peninsula, and the Atnas, of Copper River.[180]See notes on Boundaries at the end of this chapter.

Thus we see that the Tinneh are essentially an inland people, barred out from the frozen ocean by a thin strip of Eskimo land, and barely touching the Pacific at Cook Inlet. Philologists, however, find dialectic resemblances, imaginary or real, between them and the Umpquas[181]Besides the ‘Umkwa,’ being outlying members of the Athabaskan stock,’ there are the ‘Navahoe, the Jecorilla, the Panalero, along with the Apatsh of New Mexico, California, and Sonora. To these add the Hoopah of California, which is also Athabaskan.’ Latham’s Comp. Phil., p. 393. and Apaches.[182]William W. Turner was the first to assert positively that the Apaches spoke a language which belongs to the Athabascan family. Buschmann, Spuren der Aztek. Sprache, p. 316.

The Chepewyans

The name Chepewyan signifies ‘pointed coat,’ and derives its origin from the parka, coat, or outer garment, so universally common throughout this region. It is made of several skins differently dressed and ornamented in different localities, but always cut with the skirt pointed before and behind. The Chepewyans believe that their ancestors migrated from the east, and therefore those of them who are born nearest their eastern boundary, are held in the greatest estimation. The Dog-ribs alone refer their origin to the west.

The Chepewyans are physically characterized by a long full face,[183]Face ‘oval.’ Franklin’s Nar., vol. ii., p. 180. ‘Broad faces, projecting cheek-bones, and wide nostrils.’ Id., vol. i., p. 242. Foreheads low, chin long. Martin’s Brit. Col., vol. iii., p. 524. An exact compound between the Usquemows and Western Indians. Barrow’s Geog. Hudson Bay, p. 33. tall slim figure;[184]Generally more than medium size. Hearne’s Trav., p. 305. ‘Well proportioned, and about the middle size.’ Martin’s Brit. Col., vol. iii., p. 524. ‘Long-bodied, with short, stout limbs.’ Ross, in Smithsonian Rept., 1866, p. 304. in complexion they are darker than coast tribes,[185]‘Dingy copper.’ Martin’s Brit. Col., vol. iii., p. 526. ‘Swarthy.’ Mackenzie’s Voy., p. cxix. Dingy brown, copper cast. Hearne’s Trav., p. 305. ‘Very fresh and red.’ Franklin’s Nar., vol. ii., p. 180. ‘Dirty yellowish ochre tinge.’ Ross, in Smithsonian Rept., 1866, p. 304. and have small piercing black eyes,[186]‘Small, fine eyes and teeth.’ Franklin’s Nar., vol. i., 242. flowing hair,[187]‘Hair lank, but not always of a dingy black. Men in general extract their beard, though some of them are seen to prefer a bushy, black beard, to a smooth chin.’ Mackenzie’s Voy., p. cxix. Beard in the aged ‘between two and three inches long, and perfectly white.’ Franklin’s Nar., vol. ii., p. 180. ‘Black, strait, and coarse.’ Martin’s Brit. Col., vol. iii., p. 524. ‘Neither sex have any hair under their armpits, and very little on any other part of the body, particularly the women; but on the place where Nature plants the hair, I never knew them attempt to eradicate it.’ Hearne’s Trav., p. 306. and tattooed cheeks and forehead.[188]Tattooing appears to be universal among the Kutchins. Kirby, in Smithsonian Rept., 1864, p. 419. The Chepewyans tattooed ‘by entering an awl or needle under the skin, and, on drawing it out again, immediately rubbing powdered charcoal into the wound.’ Hearne’s Trav., p. 306. ‘Both sexes have blue or black bars, or from one to four straight lines on their cheeks or forehead, to distinguish the tribe to which they belong.’ Mackenzie’s Voy., p. cxx. Altogether they are pronounced an inferior race.[189]Women ‘destitute of real beauty.’ Hearne’s Trav., p. 89. ‘Very inferior aspect.’ Richardson’s Jour., vol. ii., p. 8. Women nasty. Mackenzie’s Voy., p. 126. ‘Positively hideous.’ Ross, in Smithsonian Rept., 1866, p. 304. Into the composition of their garments enter beaver, moose, and deer-skin, dressed with and without the hair, sewed with sinews and ornamented with claws, horns, teeth, and feathers.[190]A Deer-Horn Mountaineer’s dress ‘consisted of a shirt, or jacket with a hood, wide breeches, reaching only to the knee, and tight leggins sewed to the shoes, all of deer’s skins.’ Franklin’s Nar., vol. ii., p. 180. The cap consists of the skin of a deer’s head. Mackenzie’s Voy., p. cxxii.

The Northern Indians

The Northern Indian man is master of his household.[191]As witness this speech of a noble chief: ‘Women were made for labor; one of them can carry, or haul, as much as two men can do. They also pitch our tents, make and mend our clothing, keep us warm at night; and, in fact, there is no such thing as traveling any considerable distance, in this country without their assistance.’ Hearne’s Trav., p. 55. He marries without ceremony, and divorces his wife at his pleasure.[192]An Indian desiring another one’s wife, fights with her husband, principally by pulling hair. If victorious, he pays a number of skins to the husband. Hooper’s Tuski, p. 303. A man of forty buys or fights for a spouse of twelve,[193]‘Continence in an unmarried female is scarcely considered a virtue.’ ‘Their dispositions are not amatory.’ ‘I have heard among them of two sons keeping their mother as a common wife, of another wedded to his daughter, and of several married to their sisters. Ross, in Smithsonian Rept., 1866, p. 310. Women carry their children on the back next the skin, and suckle them until another is born. They do not suspend their ordinary occupations for child-birth. Mackenzie’s Voy., p. cxxii. ‘A temporary interchange of wives is not uncommon; and the offer of their persons is considered as a necessary part of the hospitality due to strangers.’ Id., p. xcvi. Women are ‘rather the slaves than the companions of the men.’ Bell’s Geog., vol. v., p. 293. and when tired of her whips her and sends her away. Girls on arriving at the age of womanhood must retire from the village and live for a time apart.[194]They are harsh towards their wives, except when enceinte. They are accused of abandoning the aged and sick, but only one case came to his knowledge. Franklin’s Nar., vol. i., pp. 250, 251. The Chepewyans inhabit huts of brush and portable skin tents. They derive their origin from a dog. At one time they were so strongly imbued with respect for their canine ancestry that they entirely ceased to employ dogs in drawing their sledges, greatly to the hardship of the women upon whom this laborious task fell.

Their food consists mostly of fish and reindeer, the latter being easily taken in snares. Much of their land is barren, but with sufficient vegetation to support numerous herds of reindeer, and fish abound in their lakes and streams. Their hunting grounds are held by clans, and descend by inheritance from one generation to another, which has a salutary effect upon the preservation of game. Indian law requires the successful hunter to share the spoils of the chase with all present. When game is abundant, their tent-fires never die, but are surrounded during all hours of the day and night by young and old cooking their food.[195]Beeatee, prepared from deer only, ‘is a kind of haggis, made with the blood, a good quantity of fat shred small, some of the tenderest of the flesh, together with the heart and lungs cut, or more commonly cut into small shivers; all of which is put into the stomach, and roasted.’ Hearne’s Trav., p. 144. ‘Not remarkable for their activity as hunters, owing to the ease with which they snare deer and spear fish.’ Mackenzie’s Voy., p. cxxiii. The Deer-Horn Mountaineers ‘repair to the sea in spring and kill seals; as the season advances, they hunt deer and musk oxen at some distance from the coast. They approach the deer either by crawling, or by leading these animals by ranges of turf towards the spot where the archer can conceal himself.’ Do not use nets, but the hook and line. Franklin’s Nar., vol. ii., p. 181. ‘Nets made of lines of twisted willow-bark, or thin strips of deer-hide.’ Richardson’s Jour., vol. ii., p. 25. Curdled blood, a favorite dish. Simpson’s Nar., p. 324.

Superabundance of food, merchandise, or anything which they wish to preserve without the trouble of carrying it about with them while on hunting or foraging expeditions, is cached, as they term it; from the French,cacher, to conceal. Canadian fur-hunters often resorted to this artifice, but the practice was common among the natives before the advent of Europeans. A sudden necessity often arises in Indian countries for the traveler to relieve himself from burdens. This is done by digging a hole in the earth and depositing the load therein, so artfully covering it as to escape detection by the wily savages. Goods may be cached in a cave, or in the branches of a tree, or in the hollow of a log. The camp-fire is frequently built over the spot where stores have been deposited, in order that the disturbance of the surface may not be detected.

Their weapons[196]The weapons of the Chepewyans are bows and arrows; stone and bone axes and knives. Harmon’s Jour., p. 183. The bows of the Deer-Horns ‘are formed of three pieces of fir, the centre piece alone bent, the other two lying in the same straight line with the bowstring; the pieces are neatly tied together with sinew. Franklin’s Nar., vol. ii., p. 180. In preparing for an attack, each Coppermine Indian paints his shield with figures of Sun, Moon, or some animal or imaginary beings, each portraying whatever character he most relies upon. Hearne’s Trav., p. 148. In some parts hunting grounds descend by inheritance, and the right of property is rigidly enforced. Simpson’s Nar., p. 75. and their utensils[197]‘Their cooking utensils are made of pot-stone, and they form very neat dishes of fir.’ Franklin’s Nar., vol. ii., p. 181. Make fishing-lines and nets of green deer-thongs. Mackenzie’s Voy., p. cxxvi. are of the most primitive kind—stone and bone being used in place of metal.

Their dances, which are always performed in the night, are not original, but are borrowed from the Southern and Dog-rib Indians. They consist in raising the feet alternately in quick succession, as high as possible without moving the body, to the sound of a drum or rattle.[198]‘They are great mimics.’ Richardson’s Jour., vol. ii., p. 13. Men dance naked; women dressed. A crowd stand in a straight line, and shuffle from right to left without moving the feet from the ground. Hearne’s Trav., p. 335. ‘The men occasionally howl in imitation of some animal.’ Mackenzie’s Voy., p. 35.

They never bury their dead, but leave the bodies where they fall, to be devoured by the birds and beasts of prey.[199]‘They manifest no common respect to the memory of their departed friends, by a long period of mourning, cutting off their hair, and never making use of the property of the deceased.’ Mackenzie’s Voy., p. cxxviii. The death of leading men is attributed to conjuring. They never bury the dead, but leave them, where they die, for wild beasts to devour. Hearne’s Trav., p. 341. The Chepewyans bury their dead. When mourning for relatives they gash their bodies with knives. Richardson’s Jour., vol. ii., pp. 21, 22. Their religion consists chiefly in songs and speeches to these birds and beasts and to imaginary beings, for assistance in performing cures of the sick.[200]‘The Northern Indians seldom attain a great age, though they have few diseases.’ Martin’s Brit. Col., vol. iii., p. 525. For inward complaints, the doctors blow zealously into the rectum, or adjacent parts. Hearne’s Trav., p. 189. The conjurer shuts himself up for days with the patient, without food, and sings over him. Franklin’s Nar., vol. ii., p. 41. Medicine-men or conjurers are at the same time doctors. Hooper’s Tuski, pp. 317, 318. ‘The Kutchins practice blood-letting ad libitum.’ Jones, Smithsonian Rept., 1866, p. 325. ‘Their principal maladies are rheumatic pains, the flux, and consumption.’ Mackenzie’s Voy., p. cxxiv. Old age is treated with disrespect and neglect, one half of both sexes dying before their time for want of care. The Northern Indians are frequently at war with the Eskimos and Southern Indians, for whom they at all times entertain the most inveterate hatred. The Copper Indians, bordering on the southern boundary of the Eskimos at the Coppermine River, were originally the occupants of the territory south of Great Slave Lake.

The Dog-ribs, or Slavés as they are called by neighboring nations, are indolent, fond of amusement, but mild and hospitable. They are so debased, as savages, that the men do the laborious work, while the women employ themselves in household affairs and ornamental needlework. Young married men have been known to exhibit specimens of their wives’ needle-work with pride. From their further advancement in civilization, and the tradition which they hold of having migrated from the westward, were it not that their language differs from that of contiguous tribes only in accent, they might naturally be considered of different origin. Bands of Dog-ribs meeting after a long absence greet each other with a dance, which frequently continues for two or three days. First clearing a spot of ground, they take an arrow in the right hand and a bow in the left, and turning their backs each band to the other, they approach dancing, and when close together they feign to perceive each other’s presence for the first time; the bow and arrow are instantly transferred from one hand to the other, in token of their non-intention to use them against friends. They are very improvident, and frequently are driven to cannibalism and suicide.[201]According to the report of the Dog-ribs, the Mountain Indians are cannibals, casting lots for victims in time of scarcity. Simpson’s Nar., p. 188. ‘Instances of suicide, by hanging, frequently occur among the women.’ Harmon’s Jour., p. 198. During times of starvation, which occur quite frequently, the Slavé Indians eat their families. Hooper’s Tuski, p. 303. ‘These people take their names, in the first instance, from their dogs. A young man is the father of a certain dog, but when he is married, and has a son, he styles himself the father of the boy. The women have a habit of reproving the dogs very tenderly when they observe them fighting. “Are you not ashamed,” say they, “to quarrel with your little brother?”‘ Franklin’s Nar., vol. ii., pp. 85, 86. ‘Whether circumcision be practiced among them, I cannot pretend to say, but the appearance of it was general among those whom I saw.’ Mackenzie’s Voy., p. 36. Dog-rib Indians, sometimes also called Slavés, ‘a name properly meaning ‘strangers.’ Gallatin, in Am. Arch. Soc. Trans., vol. ii., p. 19.

HARES, DOG-RIBS, AND TACULLIES.

The Hare Indians, who speak a dialect of the Tinneh scarcely to be distinguished from that of the Dog-ribs, are looked upon by their neighbors as great conjurers. The Hare and Sheep Indians look upon their women as inferior beings. From childhood they are inured to every description of drudgery, and though not treated with special cruelty, they are placed at the lowest point in the scale of humanity. The characteristic stoicism of the red race is not manifested by these tribes. Socialism is practiced to a considerable extent. The hunter is allowed only the tongue and ribs of the animal he kills, the remainder being divided among the members of the tribe.

The Hares and Dog-ribs do not cut the finger-nails of female children until four years of age, in order that they may not prove lazy; the infant is not allowed food until four days after birth, in order to accustom it to fasting in the next world.

The Sheep Indians are reported as being cannibals. The Red-knives formerly hunted reindeer and musk-oxen at the northern end of Great Bear Lake, but they were finally driven eastward by the Dog-ribs. Laws and government are unknown to the Chepewyans.[202]‘Order is maintained in the tribe solely by public opinion.’ Richardson’s Jour., vol. ii., p. 26. The chiefs are now totally without power. Franklin’s Nar., vol. i., p. 247. ‘They are influenced, more or less, by certain principles which conduce to their general benefit.’ Mackenzie’s Voy., p. cxxv.

The Tacullies, Or Carriers

The Tacullies, or, as they were denominated by the fur-traders, ‘Carriers,’ are the chief tribe of New Caledonia, or North-western British America. They call themselves Tacullies, or ‘men who go upon water,’ as their travels from one village to another are mostly accomplished in canoes. This, with their sobriquet of ‘Carriers,’ clearly indicates their ruling habitudes. The men are more finely formed than the women, the latter being short, thick, and disproportionately large in their lower limbs. In their persons they are slovenly; in their dispositions, lively and contented. As they are able to procure food[203]‘Many consider a broth, made by means of the dung of the cariboo and the hare, to be a dainty dish.’ Harmon’s Jour., p. 324. They ‘are lazy, dirty, and sensual,’ and extremely uncivilized. ‘Their habits and persons are equally disgusting.’ Domenech’s Deserts, vol. ii., p. 62. ‘They are a tall, well formed, good-looking race.’ Nicolay’s Ogn. Ter., p. 154. ‘An utter contempt of cleanliness prevailed on all hands, and it was revolting to witness their voracious endeavors to surpass each other in the gluttonous contest.’ Ind. Life, p. 156. with but little labor, they are naturally indolent, but appear to be able and willing to work when occasion requires it. Their relations with white people have been for the most part amicable; they are seldom quarrelsome, though not lacking bravery. The people are called after the name of the village in which they dwell. Their primitive costume consists of hare, musk-rat, badger, and beaver skins, sometimes cut into strips an inch broad, and woven or interlaced. The nose is perforated by both sexes, the men suspending therefrom a brass, copper, or shell ornament, the women a wooden one, tipped with a bead at either end.[204]The women ‘run a wooden pin through their noses.’ Harmon’s Jour., p. 287. At their burial ceremonies they smear the face ‘with a composition of fish-oil and charcoal.’ When conjuring, the chief and his companions ‘wore a kind of coronet formed of the inverted claws of the grizzly bear.’ Ind. Life, pp. 127, 158. Their avarice lies in the direction of hiaqua shells, which find their way up from the sea-coast through other tribes. In 1810, these beads were the circulating medium of the country, and twenty of them would buy a good beaver-skin. Their paint is made of vermilion obtained from the traders, or of a pulverized red stone mixed with grease. They are greatly addicted to gambling, and do not appear at all dejected by ill fortune, spending days and nights in the winter season at their games, frequently gambling away every rag of clothing and every trinket in their possession. They also stake parts of a garment or other article, and if losers, cut off a piece of coat-sleeve or a foot of gun-barrel. Native cooking vessels are made of bark, or of the roots or fibres of trees, woven so as to hold water, in which are placed heated stones for the purpose of cooking food.[205]The Tacullies have ‘wooden dishes, and other vessels of the rind of the birch and pine trees.’ ‘Have also other vessels made of small roots or fibres of the cedar or pine tree, closely laced together, which serve them as buckets to put water in.’ Harmon’s Jour., p. 292. Polygamy is practiced, but not generally. The Tacullies are fond of their wives, performing the most of the household drudgery in order to relieve them, and consequently they are very jealous of them. But to their unmarried daughters, strange as it may seem, they allow every liberty without censure or shame. The reason which they give for this strange custom is, that the purity of their wives is thereby better preserved.[206]‘In the summer season both sexes bathe often; and this is the only time, when the married people wash themselves.’ The Tacullies are very fond and very jealous of their wives, ‘but to their daughters, they allow every liberty, for the purpose, as they say, of keeping the young men from intercourse with the married women.’ Harmon’s Jour., pp. 289, 292, 293. A father, whose daughter had dishonored him, killed her and himself. Ind. Life, 184.

During a portion of every year the Tacullies dwell in villages, conveniently situated for catching and drying salmon. In April they visit the lakes and take small fish; and after these fail, they return to their villages and subsist upon the fish they have dried, and upon herbs and berries. From August to October, salmon are plentiful again. Beaver are caught in nets made from strips of cariboo-skins, and also in cypress and steel traps. They are also sometimes shot with guns or with bows and arrows. Smaller game they take in various kinds of traps.

The civil polity of the Tacullies is of a very primitive character. Any person may become a miuty or chief who will occasionally provide a village feast. A malefactor may find protection from the avenger in the dwelling of a chief, so long as he is permitted to remain there, or even afterwards if he has upon his back any one of the chief’s garments. Disputes are usually adjusted by some old man of the tribe. The boundaries of the territories belonging to the different villages are designated by mountains, rivers, or other natural objects, and the rights of towns, as well as of individuals, are most generally respected; but broils are constantly occasioned by murders, abduction of women, and other causes, between these separate societies.[207]‘The people of every village have a certain extent of country, which they consider their own, and in which they may hunt and fish; but they may not transcend these bounds, without purchasing the privilege of those who claim the land. Mountains and rivers serve them as boundaries.’ Harmon’s Jour., p. 298.

When seriously ill, the Carriers deem it an indispensable condition to their recovery that every secret crime should be confessed to the magician. Murder, of any but a member of the same village, is not considered a heinous offense. They at first believed reading and writing to be the exercise of magic art. The Carriers know little of medicinal herbs. Their priest or magician is also the doctor, but before commencing his operations in the sick room, he must receive a fee, which, if his efforts prove unsuccessful, he is obliged to restore. The curative process consists in singing a melancholy strain over the invalid, in which all around join. This mitigates pain, and often restores health. Their winter tenements are frequently made by opening a spot of earth to the depth of two feet, across which a ridge-pole is placed, supported at either end by posts; poles are then laid from the sides of the excavation to the ridge-pole and covered with hay. A hole is left in the top for purposes of entrance and exit, and also in order to allow the escape of smoke.[208]Mackenzie, Voy., p. 238, found on Fraser River, about latitude 55°, a deserted house, 30 by 20, with three doors, 3 by 3½ feet; three fire-places, and beds on either side; behind the beds was a narrow space, like a manger, somewhat elevated, for keeping fish. ‘Their houses are well formed of logs of small trees, buttressed up internally, frequently above seventy feet long and fifteen high, but, unlike those of the coast, the roof is of bark; their winter habitations are smaller, and often covered over with grass and earth; some even dwell in excavations of the ground, which have only an aperture at the top, and serves alike for door and chimney.’ Nicolay’s Ogn. Ter., p. 154.

Slavery is common with them; all who can afford it keeping slaves. They use them as beasts of burden, and treat them most inhumanly. The country of the Sicannis in the Rocky Mountains is sterile, yielding the occupants a scanty supply of food and clothing. They are nevertheless devotedly attached to their bleak land, and will fight for their rude homes with the most patriotic ardor.

Nehannes and Talkotins

The Nehannes usually pass the summer in the vicinity of the sea-coast, and scour the interior during the winter for furs, which they obtain from inland tribes by barter or plunder, and dispose of to the European traders. It is not a little remarkable that this warlike and turbulent horde was at one time governed by a woman. Fame gives her a fair complexion, with regular features, and great intelligence. Her influence over her fiery people, it is said, was perfect; while her warriors, the terror and scourge of the surrounding country, quailed before her eye. Her word was law, and was obeyed with marvelous alacrity. Through her influence the condition of the women of her tribe was greatly raised.

Great ceremonies, cruelty, and superstition attend burning the dead, which custom obtains throughout this region,[209]‘Quelques peuplades du nord, telles que les Sikanis, enterrent leurs morts.’ Mofras, Explor., tom. ii., p. 339. ‘The Sicaunies bury, while the Tacullies, burn their dead.’ Harmon’s Jour., p. 196. They ‘and the Chimmesyans on the coast, and other tribes speaking their language, burn the dead.’ Lord’s Nat., vol. ii., p. 236. See also Dunn’s Oregon, pp. 79, 80; Ind. Life, pp. 128, 136; Domenech’s Deserts, vol. ii., pp. 362, 363. and, as usual in savagism, woman is the sufferer. When the father of a household dies, the entire family, or, if a chief, the tribe, are summoned to present themselves.[210]They fire guns as a warning to their friends not to invade their sorrow. Mackenzie’s Voy., p. 139. Time must be given to those most distant to reach the village before the ceremony begins.[211]‘In the winter season, the Carriers often keep their dead in their huts during five or six months, before they will allow them to be burned.’ Harmon’s Jour., p. 249. The Talkotin wife, when all is ready, is compelled to ascend the funeral pile, throw herself upon her husband’s body and there remain until nearly suffocated, when she is permitted to descend. Still she must keep her place near the burning corpse, keep it in a proper position, tend the fire, and if through pain or faintness she fails in the performance of her duties, she is held up and pressed forward by others; her cries meanwhile are drowned in wild songs, accompanied by the beating of drums.[212]‘She must frequently put her hands through the flames and lay them upon his bosom, to show her continued devotion.’ Parker’s Explor. Tour, p. 239. They have a custom of mourning over the grave of the dead; their expressions of grief are generally exceedingly vociferous. Ind. Life, pp. 185, 186.

When the funeral pile of a Tacully is fired, the wives of the deceased, if there are more than one, are placed at the head and foot of the body. Their duty there is to publicly demonstrate their affection for the departed; which they do by resting their head upon the dead bosom, by striking in frenzied love the body, nursing and battling the fire meanwhile. And there they remain until the hair is burned from their head, until, suffocated and almost senseless, they stagger off to a little distance; then recovering, attack the corpse with new vigor, striking it first with one hand and then with the other, until the form of the beloved is reduced to ashes. Finally these ashes are gathered up, placed in sacks, and distributed one sack to each wife, whose duty it is to carry upon her person the remains of the departed for the space of two years. During this period of mourning the women are clothed in rags, kept in a kind of slavery, and not allowed to marry. Not unfrequently these poor creatures avoid their term of servitude by suicide. At the expiration of the time, a feast is given them, and they are again free. Structures are erected as repositories for the ashes of their dead,[213]‘On the end of a pole stuck in front of the lodge.’ Lord’s Nat., vol. ii., p. 237. in which the bag or box containing the remains is placed. These grave-houses are of split boards about one inch in thickness, six feet high, and decorated with painted representations of various heavenly and earthly objects.

The Indians of the Rocky Mountains burn with the deceased all his effects, and even those of his nearest relatives, so that it not unfrequently happens that a family is reduced to absolute starvation in the dead of winter, when it is impossible to procure food. The motive assigned to this custom is, that there may be nothing left to bring the dead to remembrance.

A singular custom prevails among the Nateotetain women, which is to cut off one joint of a finger upon the death of a near relative. In consequence of this practice some old women may be seen with two joints off every finger on both hands. The men bear their sorrows more stoically, being content in such cases with shaving the head and cutting their flesh with flints.[214]Women cut off a joint of one of their fingers. Men only cut off their hair close to their heads, but also frequently cut and scratch their faces and arms. Harmon’s Jour., p. 182. With some sharp instrument they ‘force back the flesh beyond the first joint, which they immediately amputate.’ Mackenzie’s Voy., p. 148.

Kutchin Characteristics

The Kutchins are the flower of the Tinneh family. They are very numerous, numbering about twenty-two tribes. They are a more noble and manly people than either the Eskimos upon the north or the contiguous Tinneh tribes upon their own southern boundary. The finest specimens dwell on the Yukon River. The women tattoo the chin with a black pigment, and the men draw a black stripe down the forehead and nose, frequently crossing the forehead and cheeks with red lines, and streaking the chin alternately with red and black. Their features are more regular than those of their neighbors, more expressive of boldness, frankness, and candor; their foreheads higher, and their complexions lighter. The Tenan Kutchin of the Tananah River, one of the largest tribes of the Yukon Valley, are somewhat wilder and more ferocious in their appearance. The boys are precocious, and the girls marry at fifteen.[215]‘The men are completely destitute of beard, and both men and women, are intensely ugly.’ Jones, in Smithsonian Rept., 1866, p. 320. ‘They reminded me of the ideal North American Indian I had read of but never seen.’ Whymper’s Alaska, p. 239. Distinguished from all other tribes for the frankness and candor of their demeanor, and bold countenances. Simpson’s Nar., p. 100. ‘Males are of the average hight of Europeans, and well-formed, with regular features, high foreheads, and lighter complexions than those of the other red Indians. The women resemble the men.’ Richardson’s Jour., vol. i., p. 379. The Kutchins of Peel River, as observed by Mr Isbister, “are an athletic and fine-looking race; considerable above the average stature, most of them being upwards of six feet in height and remarkably well proportioned.”

Their clothing is made from the skins of reindeer, dressed with the hair on; their coat cut after the fashion of the Eskimos, with skirts peaked before and behind, and elaborately trimmed with beads and dyed porcupine-quills. The Kutchins, in common with the Eskimos, are distinguished by a similarity in the costume of the sexes. Men and women wear the same description of breeches. Some of the men have a long flap attached to their deer-skin shirts, shaped like a beaver’s tail, and reaching nearly to the ground.[216]‘Tunic or shirt reaching to the knees, and very much ornamented with beads, and Hyaqua shells from the Columbia.’ Kirby, in Smithsonian Rept., 1864, p. 418. The Tenan Kutchins are ‘gay with painted faces, feathers in their long hair, patches of red clay at the back of their head.’ Whymper’s Alaska, p. 239. Jackets like the Eskimos. Richardson’s Jour., vol. i., p. 221. ‘Both sexes wear breeches.’ Simpson’s Nar., p. 103. Of the coat, Mr Whymper says: “If the reader will imagine a man dressed in two swallow-tailed coats, one of them worn as usual, the other covering his stomach and buttoned behind, he will get some idea of this garment.” Across the shoulders and breast they wear a broad band of beads, with narrower bands round the forehead and ankles, and along the seams of their leggins. They are great traders; beads are their wealth, used in the place of money, and the rich among them literally load themselves with necklaces and strings of various patterns.[217]‘The Kutch-a-Kutchin, are essentially traders.’ Kirby, in Smithsonian Rept., 1864, p. 418. Appear to care more for useful than ornamental articles. Whymper’s Alaska, p. 213. ‘Dentalium and arenicola shells are transmitted from the west coast in traffic, and are greatly valued.’ Richardson’s Jour., vol. i., p. 391. The nose and ears are adorned with shells.[218]Some wear ‘wampum (a kind of long, hollow shell) through the septum of the nose.’ Hooper’s Tuski, p. 270. They pierce the nose and insert shells, which are obtained from the Eskimos at a high price. Franklin’s Nar., vol. ii., p. 84. The hair is worn in a long cue, ornamented with feathers, and bound with strings of beads and shells at the head, with flowing ends, and so saturated with grease and birds’ down as to swell it sometimes to the thickness of the neck. They pay considerable attention to personal cleanliness. The Kutchins construct both permanent underground dwellings and the temporary summer-hut or tent.[219]The Loucheux live in huts ‘formed of green branches. In winter their dwellings are partly under ground. The spoils of the moose and reindeer furnish them with meat, clothing, and tents.’ Simpson’s Nar., pp. 103, 191. The Co-Yukon winter dwellings are made under ground, and roofed over with earth, having a hole for the smoke to escape by, in the same manner as those of the Malemutes and Ingaliks. Whymper’s Alaska, pp. 175, 205. Their movable huts are constructed of deer-skin, ‘dressed with the hair on, and sewed together, forming two large rolls, which are stretched over a frame of bent poles,’ with a side door and smoke-hole at the top. Jones, in Smithsonian Rept., 1866, p. 321.

Food of the Kutchins

On the Yukon, the greatest scarcity of food is in the spring. The winter’s stores are exhausted, and the bright rays of the sun upon the melting snow almost blind the eyes of the deer-hunter. The most plentiful supply of game is in August, September, and October, after which the forming of ice on the rivers prevents fishing until December, when the winter traps are set. The reindeer are in good condition in August, and geese are plentiful. Salmon ascend the river in June, and are taken in great quantities until about the first of September; fish are dried or smoked without salt, for winter use. Fur-hunting begins in October; and in December, trade opens with the Eskimos, with whom furs are exchanged for oil and seal-skins.

The Kutchin of the Yukon are unacquainted with nets, but catch their fish by means of weirs or stakes planted across rivers and narrow lakes, having openings for wicker baskets, by which they intercept the fish. They hunt reindeer in the mountains and take moose-deer in snares.[220]The Loucheux are ‘great gormandizers, and will devour solid fat, or even drink grease, to surfeiting.’ Hooper’s Tuski, p. 271. ‘The bears are not often eaten in summer, as their flesh is not good at that time.’ Jones, in Smithsonian Rept., 1866, p. 321. Some of their reindeer-pounds are over one hundred years old and are hereditary in the family. Richardson’s Jour., vol. i., p. 394. ‘The mode of fishing through the ice practiced by the Russians is much in vogue with them.’ Whymper’s Alaska, p. 211.

Both Kutchins and Eskimos are very jealous regarding their boundaries; but the incessant warfare which is maintained between the littoral and interior people of the northern coast near the Mackenzie river, is not maintained by the north-western tribes. One of either people, however, if found hunting out of his own territory, is very liable to be shot. Some Kutchin tribes permit the Eskimos to take the meat of the game which they kill, provided they leave the skin at the nearest village.[221]The Kutchins ‘have no knowledge of scalping.’ ‘When a man kills his enemy, he cuts all his joints.’ Jones, in Smithsonian Rept., 1866, 327. The Loucheux of Peel River and the Eskimos are constantly at war. Hooper’s Tuski, p. 273.

The Kutchins of the Yukon River manufacture cups and pots from clay, and ornament them with crosses, dots, and lines; moulding them by hand after various patterns, first drying them in the sun and then baking them. The Eskimo lamp is also sometimes made of clay. The Tinneh make paint of pulverized colored stones or of earth, mixed with glue. The glue is made from buffalo feet and applied by a moose-hair brush.

In the manufacture of their boats the Kutchins of the Yukon use bark as a substitute for the seal-skins of the coast. They first make a light frame of willow or birch, from eight to sixteen feet in length. Then with fine spruce-fir roots they sew together strips of birch bark, cover the frame, and calk the seams with spruce gum. They are propelled by single paddles or poles. Those of the Mackenzie River are after the same pattern.[222]‘At Peace River the bark is taken off the tree the whole length of the intended canoe, which is commonly about eighteen feet, and is sewed with watupe at both ends.’ Mackenzie’s Voy., p. 207. When the Kutchins discover a leak, ‘they go ashore, light a small fire, warm the gum, of which they always carry a supply, turn the canoe bottom upward, and rub the healing balm in a semi-fluid state into the seam until it is again water-tight.’ Whymper’s Alaska, p. 225. The Tacullies ‘make canoes which are clumsily wrought, of the aspin tree, as well as of the bark of the spruce fir.’ Harmon’s Jour., p. 291. Rafts are employed on the Mackenzie. Simpson’s Nar., p. 185. ‘In shape the Northern Indian canoe bears some resemblance to a weaver’s shuttle; covered over with birch bark.’ Hearne’s Jour., pp. 97, 98. ‘Kanots aus Birkenrinde, auf denen sie die Flüsse u. Seen befahren.’ Baer, Stat. u. Ethn., p. 112. The Kutchin canoe ‘is flat-bottomed, is about nine feet long and one broad, and the sides nearly straight up and down like a wall.’ Jones, in Smithsonian Rept., 1866, p. 323.

In absence of law, murder and all other crimes are compounded for.[223]As for instance for a life, the fine is forty beaver-skins, and may be paid in guns at twenty skins each; blankets, equal to ten skins each; powder, one skin a measure; bullets, eighteen for a skin; worsted belts, two skins each. Hooper’s Tuski, p. 272. ‘For theft, little or no punishment is inflicted; for adultery, the woman only is punished’—sometimes by beating, sometimes by death. Jones, in Smithsonian Rept., 1866, p. 325. A man to be well married must be either rich or strong. A good hunter, who can accumulate beads, and a good wrestler, who can win brides by force, may have from two to five wives. The women perform all domestic duties, and eat after the husband is satisfied, but the men paddle the boats, and have even been known to carry their wives ashore so that they might not wet their feet. The women carry their infants in a sort of bark saddle, fastened to their back; they bandage their feet in order to keep them small.[224]Kutchin ‘female chastity is prized, but is nearly unknown.’ Jones, in Smithsonian Rept., 1866, p. 325. Loucheux mothers had originally a custom of casting away their female children, but now it is only done by the Mountain Indians, Simpson’s Nar., p. 187. The Kutchin ‘women are much fewer in number and live a much shorter time than the men.’ Kirby, in Smithsonian Rept., 1864, p. 418. The old people ‘are not ill-used, but simply neglected.’ Whymper’s Alaska, p. 229. The children are carried in small chairs made of birch bark. Id., p. 232. ‘In a seat of birch bark.’ Richardson’s Jour., vol. i., p. 384. Kutchin amusements are wrestling, leaping, dancing, and singing. They are great talkers, and etiquette forbids any interruption to the narrative of a new comer.[225]The Loucheux dances ‘abound in extravagant gestures, and demand violent exertion.’ Simpson’s Nar., p. 100. See Hardisty, in Smithsonian Rept., 1866, p. 313. ‘Singing is much practiced, but it is, though varied, of a very hum-drum nature.’ Hooper’s Tuski, p. 318. ‘At the festivals held on the meeting of friendly tribes, leaping and wrestling are practised.’ Richardson’s Jour., vol. i., p. 395.

The Tenan Kutchin

The Tenan Kutchin, ‘people of the mountains,’ inhabiting the country south of Fort Yukon which is drained by the river Tananah, are a wild, ungovernable horde, their territory never yet having been invaded by white people. The river upon which they dwell is supposed to take its rise near the upper Yukon. They allow no women in their deer-hunting expeditions. They smear their leggins and hair with red ochre and grease. The men part their hair in the middle and separate it into locks, which, when properly dressed, look like rolls of red mud about the size of a finger; one bunch of locks is secured in a mass which falls down the neck, by a band of dentalium shells, and two smaller rolls hang down either side of the face. After being soaked in grease and tied, the head is powdered with finely cut swan’s down, which adheres to the greasy hair. The women wear few ornaments, perform more than the ordinary amount of drudgery, and are treated more like dogs than human beings. Chastity is scarcely known among them. The Kutcha Kutchin, ‘people of the lowland,’ are cleaner and better mannered.

The Kutchins have a singular system of totems. The whole nation is divided into three castes, called respectively Chitcheah, Tengratsey, and Natsahi, each occupying a distinct territory. Two persons of the same caste are not allowed to marry; but a man of one caste must marry a woman of another. The mother gives caste to the children, so that as the fathers die off the caste of the country constantly changes. This system operates strongly against war between tribes; as in war, it is caste against caste, and not tribe against tribe. As the father is never of the same caste as the son, who receives caste from his mother, there can never be intertribal war without ranging fathers and sons against each other. When a child is named, the father drops his former name and substitutes that of the child, so that the father receives his name from the child, and not the child from the father.

They have scarcely any government; their chiefs are elected on account of wealth or ability, and their authority is very limited.[226]‘Irrespective of tribe, they are divided into three classes, termed respectively, Chit-sa, Nate-sa, and Tanges-at-sa, faintly representing the aristocracy, the middle classes, and the poorer orders of civilized nations, the former being the most wealthy and the latter the poorest.’ Kirby, in Smithsonian Rept., 1864, p. 418. Their custom is to burn the dead, and enclose the ashes in a box placed upon posts; some tribes enclose the body in an elevated box without burning.[227]On Peel River ‘they bury their dead on stages.’ On the Yukon they burn and suspend the ashes in bags from the top of a painted pole. Kirby, in Smithsonian Rept., 1864, p. 419. They of the Yukon ‘do not inter the dead, but put them in oblong boxes, raised on posts.’ Whymper’s Alaska, pp. 207, 211.

The Kenai

The Kenai are a fine, manly race, in which Baer distinguishes characteristics decidedly American, and clearly distinct from the Asiatic Eskimos. One of the most powerful Kenai tribes is the Unakatanas, who dwell upon the Koyukuk River, and plant their villages along the banks of the lower Yukon for a distance of one hundred and fifty miles. They are bold and ferocious, dominative even to the giving of fashion in dress.

That part of the Yukon which runs through their territory abounds with moose, which during the summer frequent the water in order to avoid the mosquitos, and as the animals are clumsy swimmers, the Indians easily capture them. Their women occupy a very inferior position, being obliged to do more drudgery and embellish their dress with fewer ornaments than those of the upper tribes. The men wear a heavy fringe of beads or shells upon their dress, equal sometimes to two hundred marten-skins in value.

At Nuklukahyet, where the Tananah River joins the Yukon, is a neutral trading-ground to which all the surrounding tribes resort in the spring for traffic. Skins are their moneyed currency, the beaver-skin being the standard; one ‘made’ beaver-skin represents two marten-skins.

The Ingaliks inhabiting the Yukon near its mouth call themselves Kaeyah Khatana. Their dialect is totally distinct from the Malemutes, their neighbors on the west, but shows an affinity with that of the Unakatanas to their east. Tobacco they both smoke and snuff. The smoke they swallow; snuff is drawn into the nostrils through a wooden tube. They manufacture snuff from leaf tobacco by means of a wooden mortar and pestle, and carry bone or wooden snuff-boxes. They are described by travelers as a timid, sensitive people, and remarkably honest. Ingalik women are delivered kneeling, and without pain, being seldom detained from their household duties for more than an hour. The infant is washed, greased, and fed, and is seldom weaned under two or three years. The women live longer than the men; some of them reaching sixty, while the men rarely attain more than forty-five years.

The Koltschanes, whose name in the dialect of the Kenai signifies ‘guest,’ and in that of the Atnas of Copper River, ‘stranger,’ have been charged with great cruelty, and even cannibalism, but without special foundation. Wrangell believes the Koltschanes, Atnas, and Kolosches to be one people.

The Kenai, of the Kenaian peninsula, upon recovery from dangerous illness, give a feast to those who expressed sympathy during the affliction. If a bounteous provision is made upon these occasions, a chieftainship may be obtained thereby; and although the power thus acquired does not descend to one’s heir, he may be conditionally recognized as chief. Injuries are avenged by the nearest relative, but if a murder is committed by a member of another clan, all the allied families rise to avenge the wrong. When a person dies, the whole community assemble and mourn. The nearest kinsman, arrayed in his best apparel, with blackened face, his nose and head decked with eagle’s feathers, leads the ceremony. All sit round a fire and howl, while the master of the lamentation recounts the notable deeds of the departed, amidst the ringing of bells, and violent stampings, and contortions of his body. The clothing is then distributed to the relatives, the body is burned, the bones collected and interred, and at the expiration of a year a feast is held to the memory of the deceased, after which it is not lawful for a relative to mention his name.

The lover, if his suit is accepted, must perform a year’s service for his bride. The wooing is in this wise: early some morning he enters the abode of the fair one’s father, and without speaking a word proceeds to bring water, prepare food, and to heat the bath-room. In reply to the question why he performs these services, he answers that he desires the daughter for a wife. At the expiration of the year, without further ceremony, he takes her home, with a gift; but if she is not well treated by her husband, she may return to her father, and take with her the dowry. The wealthy may have several wives, but the property of each wife is distinct. They are nomadic in their inclinations and traverse the interior to a considerable distance in pursuit of game.

The Atnas are a small tribe inhabiting the Atna or Copper River. They understand the art of working copper, and have commercial relations with surrounding tribes. In the spring, before the breaking up of ice upon the lakes and rivers, they hunt reindeer, driving them into angle-shaped wicker-work corrals, where they are killed. In the autumn another general hunt takes place, when deer are driven into lakes, and pursued and killed in boats. Their food and clothing depend entirely upon their success in these forays, as they are unable to obtain fish in sufficient quantities for their sustenance; and when unsuccessful in the chase, whole families die of starvation. Those who can afford it, keep slaves, buying them from the Koltschanes. They burn their dead, then carefully collect the ashes in a new reindeer-skin, enclose the skin in a box, and place the box on posts or in a tree. Every year they celebrate a feast in commemoration of their dead. Baer asserts that the Atnas divide the year into fifteen months, which are designated only by their numbers; ten of them belong to autumn and winter, and five to spring and summer.

Tinneh Character

The Tinneh character, if we may accept the assertions of various travelers, visiting different parts under widely different circumstances, presents a multitude of phases. Thus it is said of the Chepewyans by Mackenzie, that they are “sober, timorous, and vagrant, with a selfish disposition which has sometimes created suspicions of their integrity. They are also of a quarrelous disposition, and are continually making complaints which they express by a constant repetition of the word edmy, ‘it is hard,’ in a whiny and plaintive tone of voice. So indolent that numbers perish every year from famine. Suicide is not uncommon among them.” Hearne asserts that they are morose and covetous; that they have no gratitude; are great beggars; are insolent, if any respect is shown them; that they cheat on all opportunities; yet they are mild, rarely get drunk; and “never proceed to violence beyond bad language;” that they steal on every opportunity from the whites, but very rarely from each other; and although regarding all property, including wives, as belonging to the strongest, yet they only wrestle, and rarely murder. Of the same people Sir John Franklin says, that they are naturally indolent, selfish, and great beggars. “I never saw men,” he writes, “who either received or bestowed a gift with such bad grace.” The Dog-ribs are “of a mild, hospitable, but rather indolent disposition,” fond of dancing and singing. According to the same traveler the Copper Indians are superior, in personal character, to any other Chepewyans. “Their delicate and humane attentions to us,” he remarks, “in a period of great distress, are indelibly engraven on our memories.” Simpson says that it is a general rule among the traders not to believe the first story of an Indian. Although sometimes bearing suffering with fortitude, the least sickness makes them say, “I am going to die,” and the improvidence of the Indian character is greatly aggravated by the custom of destroying all the property of deceased relatives. Sir John Richardson accuses the Hare Indians of timidity, standing in great fear of the Eskimos, and being always in want of food. They are practical socialists, ‘great liars,’ but ‘strictly honest.’ Hospitality is not a virtue with them. According to Richardson, neither the Eskimos, Dog-ribs, nor Hare Indians, feel the least shame in being detected in falsehood, and invariably practice it if they think that they can thereby gain any of their petty ends. Even in their familiar intercourse with each other, the Indians seldom tell the truth in the first instance, and if they succeed in exciting admiration or astonishment, their invention runs on without check. From the manner of the speaker, rather than by his words, is his truth or falsehood inferred, and often a very long interrogation is necessary to elicit the real fact. The comfort, and not unfrequently even the lives of parties of the timid Hare Indians are sacrificed by this miserable propensity. The Hare and Dog-rib women are certainly at the bottom of the scale of humanity in North America. Ross thinks that they are “tolerably honest; not bloodthirsty, nor cruel;” “confirmed liars, far from being chaste.”

According to Harmon, one of the earliest and most observing travelers among them, the Tacullies “are a quiet, inoffensive people,” and “perhaps the most honest on the face of the earth.” They “are unusually talkative,” and “take great delight in singing or humming or whistling a dull air.” “Murder is not considered as a crime of great magnitude.” He considers the Sicannis the bravest of the Tacully tribes.

But the Kutchins bear off the palm for honesty. Says Whymper: “Finding the loads too great for our dogs, we raised an erection of poles, and deposited some bags thereon. I may here say, once for all, that our men often left goods, consisting of tea, flour, molasses, bacon, and all kinds of miscellaneous articles, scattered in this way over the country, and that they remained untouched by the Indians, who frequently traveled past them.” Simpson testifies of the Loucheux that “a bloody intent with them lurks not under a smile.” Murray reports the Kutchins treacherous; Richardson did not find them so. Jones declares that “they differ entirely from the Tinneh tribes of the Mackenzie, being generous, honest, hospitable, proud, high-spirited, and quick to revenge an injury.”

Tribal Boundaries

Accurately to draw partition lines between primitive nations is impossible. Migrating with the seasons, constantly at war, driving and being driven far past the limits of hereditary boundaries, extirpating and being extirpated, overwhelming, intermingling; like a human sea, swelling and surging in its wild struggle with the winds of fate, they come and go, here to-day, yonder to-morrow. A traveler passing over the country finds it inhabited by certain tribes; another coming after finds all changed. One writer gives certain names to certain nations; another changes the name, or gives to the nation a totally different locality. An approximation, however, can be made sufficiently correct for practical purposes; and to arrive at this, I will give at the end of each chapter all the authorities at my command; that from the statements of all, whether conflicting or otherwise, the truth may be very nearly arrived at. All nations, north of the fifty-fifth parallel, as before mentioned, I call Hyperboreans.

To the Eskimos, I give the Arctic sea-board from the Coppermine River to Kotzebue Sound. Late travelers make a distinction between the Malemutes and Kaveaks of Norton Sound and the Eskimos. Whymper calls the former ‘a race of tall and stout people, but in other respect, much resembling the Esquimaux.’ Alaska, p. 159. Sir John Richardson, in his Journal, vol. i., p. 341, places them on the ‘western coast, by Cook’s Sound and Tchugatz Bay, nearly to Mount St. Elias;’ but in his Polar Regions, p. 299, he terminates them at Kotzebue Sound. Early writers give them the widest scope. ‘Die südlichsten sind in Amerika, auf der Küste Labrador, wo nach Charlevoix dieser Völkerstamm den Namen Esquimaux bey den in der Nähe wohnenden Abenaki führte, und auch an der benachbarten Ostseite von Neu-Fundland, ferner westlich noch unter der Halbinsel Alaska.’ Vater, Mithridates, vol. iii., pt. iii., p. 425. Dr Latham, in his Varieties of Man, treats the inhabitants of the Aleutian Islands as Eskimos, and in Native Races of the Russian Empire, p. 289, he gives them ‘the whole of the coast of the Arctic Ocean, and the coast from Behring Strait to Cook Inlet.’ Prichard, Researches, vol. v., p. 371, requires more complete evidence before he can conclude that the Aleuts are not Eskimos. Being entirely unacquainted with the great Kutchin family in the Yukon Valley, he makes the Carriers of New Caledonia conterminous with the Eskimos. The boundary lines between the Eskimos and the interior Indian tribes ‘are generally formed by the summit of the watershed between the small rivers which empty into the sea and those which fall into the Yukon.’ Dall’s Alaska, p. 144. Malte-Brun, Précis de la Géographie, vol. v., p. 317, goes to the other extreme. ‘Les Esquimaux,’ he declares, ‘habitent depuis le golfe Welcome jusqu’au fleuve Mackenzie, et probablement jusqu’au détroit de Bering; ils s’étendent au sud jusqu’au lac de l’Esclave.’ Ludewig, Aboriginal Languages, p. 69, divides them into ‘Eskimo proper, on the shores of Labrador, and the Western Eskimos.’ Gallatin sweepingly asserts that ‘they are the sole native inhabitants of the shores of all the seas, bays, inlets, and islands of America, north of the sixtieth degree of north latitude.’ Am. Antiq. Soc. Transact., vol. ii., p. 9. The Western Eskimos, says Beechey, ‘inhabit the north-west coast of America, from 60° 34´ N. to 71° 24´ N.’ Voy., vol. ii., p. 299. ‘Along the entire coast of America.’ Armstrong’s Nar., p. 191.

Eskimos and Koniagas

The tribal subdivisions of the Eskimos are as follows:—At Coppermine River they are known by the name of Naggeuktoomutes, ‘deer-horns.’ At the eastern outlet of the Mackenzie they are called Kittear. Between the Mackenzie River and Barter Reef they call themselves Kangmali-Innuin. The tribal name at Point Barrow is Nuwangmeun. ‘The Nuna-tangmë-un inhabit the country traversed by the Nunatok, a river which falls into Kotzebue Sound.’ Richardson’s Pol. Reg., p. 300. From Cape Lisburn to Icy Cape the tribal appellation is Kitegues. ‘Deutsche Karten zeigen uns noch im Nord-west-Ende des russischen Nordamerika’s, in dieser so anders gewandten Küstenlinie, nördlich vom Kotzebue-Sund: im westlichen Theile des Küstenlandes, dass sie West-Georgien nennen, vom Cap Lisburn bis über das Eiscap; hinlaufend das Volk der Kiteguen.’ Buschmann, Spuren der Aztek. Sprache, p. 713. ‘The tribes appear to be separated from each other by a neutral ground, across which small parties venture in the summer for barter.’ The Tuski, Tschuktschi, or Tchutski, of the easternmost point of Asia, have also been referred to the opposite coast of America for their habitation. The Tschuktchi ‘occupy the north-western coast of Russian Asia, and the opposite shores of north-western America.’ Ludewig, Ab. Lang., p. 191.

The Koniagan nation occupies the shores of Bering Sea, from Kotzebue Sound to the Island of Kadiak, including a part of the Alaskan Peninsula, and the Koniagan and Chugatschen Islands. The Koniagas proper inhabit Kadiak, and the contiguous islands. Buschmann, Spuren der Aztek. Sprache, p. 676. ‘The Konægi are inhabitants of the Isle of Kodiak.’ Prichard’s Researches, vol. v., p. 371. ‘Die eigentlichen Konjagen oder Bewohner der Insel Kadjak.’ Holmberg, Ethn. Skiz., p. 4. ‘Zu den letztern rechnet man die Aleuten von Kadjack, deren Sprache von allen Küstenbewohnern von der Tschugatschen-Bay, bis an die Berings-Strasse und selbst weiter noch die herrschende ist.’ Baer, Stat. u. Ethn., p. 58. ‘From Iliamna Lake to the 159th degree of west longitude.’ Dall’s Alaska, p. 401. ‘La côte qui s’étend depuis le golfe Kamischezkaja jusqu’au Nouveau-Cornouaille, est habitée par cinq peuplades qui forment autant de grandes divisions territoriales dans les colonies de la Russie Américaine. Leurs noms sont: Koniagi, Kenayzi, Tschugatschi, Ugalachmiuti et Koliugi.’ Humboldt, Pol., tom. i., p. 347.

The Chugatsches inhabit the islands and shores of Prince William Sound. ‘Die Tchugatschen bewohnen die grössten Inseln der Bai Tschugatsk, wie Zukli, Chtagaluk u. a. und ziehen sich an der Südküste der Halbinsel Kenai nach Westen bis zur Einfahrt in den Kenaischen Meerbusen.’ Holmberg, Ethn. Skiz., p. 4. ‘Die Tschugatschen sind Ankömmlinge von der Insel Kadjack, die während innerer Zwistigkeiten von dort vertrieben, sich zu ihren jetzigen Wohnsitzen an den Ufern von Prince William’s Sound und gegen Westen bis zum Eingange von Cook’s Inlet hingewendet haben.’ Baer, Stat. u. Ethn., p. 116. ‘Les Tschugatschi occupent le pays qui s’étend depuis l’extrémité septentrionale de l’entrée de Cook jusqu’à l’est de la baie du prince Guillaume (golfe Tschugatskaja.)’ Humboldt, Pol., tom. i., p. 348. According to Latham, Native Races, p. 290, they are the most southern members of the family. The Tschugazzi ‘live between the Ugalyachmutzi and the Kenaizi.’ Prichard’s Researches, vol. v., p. 371. ‘Occupy the shores and islands of Chugach Gulf, and the southwest coasts of the peninsula of Kenai.’ Dall’s Alaska, p. 401. Tschugatschi, ‘Prince William Sound, and Cook’s Inlet.’ Ludewig, Ab. Lang., p. 191. Tchugatchih, ‘claim as their hereditary possessions the coast lying between Bristol Bay and Beering’s Straits.’ Richardson’s Jour., vol. i., p. 364.

The Aglegmutes occupy the shores of Bristol Bay from the river Nushagak along the western coast of the Alaskan Peninsula, to latitude 56°. ‘Die Aglegmjuten, von der Mündung des Flusses Nuschagakh bis zum 57° oder 56° an der Westküste der Halbinsel Aljaska; haben also die Ufer der Bristol-Bai inne.’ Holmberg, Ethn. Skiz., p. 4. Dall calls them Oglemutes, and says that they inhabit ‘the north coast of Aliaska from the 159th degree of west longitude to the head of Bristol Bay, and along the north shore of that Bay to Point Etolin.’ Alaska, p. 405. Die Agolegmüten, an den Ausmündungen der Flüsse Nuschagack und Nackneck, ungefähr 500 an der Zahl.’ Baer, Stat. u. Ethn., p. 121.

The Kijataigmutes dwell upon the banks of the river Nushagak and along the coast westward to Cape Newenham. ‘Die Kijataigmjuten wohnen an den Ufern des Flusses Nuschagakh, sowie seines Nebenflusses Iligajakh.’ Holmberg, Ethn. Skiz., p. 5. Dall says that they call themselves Nushergagmut, and ‘inhabit the coast near the mouth of the Nushergak River, and westward to Cape Newenham.’ Alaska, p. 405. ‘Die Kijaten oder Kijataigmüten an den Flüssen Nuschagack und Ilgajack.’ Baer, Stat. u. Ethn., p. 121. ‘Am Fl. Nuschagak.’ Buschmann, Spuren der Aztek. Sprache, p. 760.

The Agulmutes inhabit the coast between the rivers Kuskoquim and Kishunak. ‘Die Aguljmjuten haben sowohl den Küstenstrich als das Innere des Landes zwischen den Mündungen des Kuskokwim und des Kishunakh inne.’ Holmberg, Ethn. Skiz., p. 5. ‘This tribe extends from near Cape Avinoff nearly to Cape Romanzoff.’ Dall’s Alaska, p. 406. ‘Den Agulmüten, am Flusse Kwichlüwack.’ Baer, Stat. u. Ethn., p. 122. ‘An der Kwickpak-Münd.’ Buschmann, Spuren der Aztek. Sprache, p. 719.

The Kuskoquigmutes occupy the banks of Kuskoquim River and Bay. ‘Die Kuskokwigmjuten bewohnen die Ufer des Flusses Kuskokwim von seiner Mündung bis zur Ansiedelung Kwygyschpainagmjut in der Nähe der Odinotschka Kalmakow.’ Holmberg, Ethn. Skiz., p. 5. The Kuskwogmuts ‘inhabit both shores of Kuskoquim Bay, and some little distance up that river.’ Dall’s Alaska, p. 405. ‘Die Kuskokwimer an dem Flusse Kuskokwim und andern kleinen Zuflüssen desselben und an den Ufern der südlich von diesem Flusse gelegenen Seen.’ Baer, Stat. u. Ethn., p. 122. ‘Between the rivers Nushagak, Ilgajak, Chulitna, and Kuskokwina, on the sea-shore.’ Ludewig, Ab. Lang., p. 98.

The Magemutes live between the rivers Kishunak and Kipunaiak. ‘Die Magmjuten oder Magagmjuten, zwischen den Flüssen Kiskunakh und Kipunajakh.’ Holmberg, Ethn. Skiz., p. 5. ‘These inhabit the vicinity of Cape Romanzoff and reach nearly to the Yukon-mouth.’ Dall’s Alaska, p. 407. ‘Magimuten, am Flusse Kyschunack.’ Baer, Stat. u. Ethn., p. 122. ‘Im S des Norton Busens.’ Buschmann, Spuren der Aztek. Sprache, p. 766.

The Kwichpagmutes, or inhabitants of the large river, dwell upon the Kwichpak River, from the coast range to the Uallik. ‘Die Kwichpagmjuten, haben ihre Ansiedelungen am Kwickpakh vom Küstengebirge an bis zum Nebenflusse Uallik.’ Holmberg, Ethn. Skiz., p. 5. ‘Kuwichpackmüten, am Flusse Kuwichpack.’ Baer, Stat. u. Ethn., p. 122. ‘Tlagga Silla, or little dogs, nearer to the mouth of the Yukon, and probably conterminous with the Eskimo Kwichpak-meut.’ Latham’s Nat. Races, p. 293. On Whymper’s map are the Primoski, near the delta of the Yukon.

The Kwichluagmutes dwell upon the banks of the Kwichluak or Crooked River, an arm of the Kwichpak. ‘Die Kwichljuagmjuten an den Ufern eines Mündungsarmes des Kwichpakh, der Kwichljuakh.’ Holmberg, Ethn. Skiz., p. 5. ‘Inhabit the Kwikhpak Slough.’ Dall’s Alaska, p. 407.

The Pashtoliks dwell upon the river Pashtolik. ‘Die Paschtoligmjuten, an den Ufern des Pastolflusses.’ Holmberg, Ethn. Skiz., p. 6. ‘Paschtoligmüten, am Flusse Paschtol.’ Baer, Stat. u. Ethn., p. 122. Whymper places them immediately north of the delta of the Yukon.

The Chnagmutes occupy the coast and islands south of the Unalaklik River to Pashtolik Bay. ‘Die Tschnagmjuten, an den Ufern der Meerbusen Pastol und Schachtolik zwischen den Flüssen Pastol an Unalaklik.’ Holmberg, Ethn. Skiz., p. 6. ‘Den Tschnagmüten, gegen Norden von den Paschtuligmüten und gegen Westen bis zum Kap Rodney.’ Baer, Stat. u. Ethn., p. 122. ‘Am. sdl. Norton-Busen.’ Buschmann, Spuren der Aztek. Sprache, p. 805.

The Anlygmutes inhabit the shores of Golovnin Bay and the southern coast of the Kaviak peninsula. ‘Die Anlygmjuten, an den Ufern der Bai Golownin nördlich vom Nortonsunde.’ Holmberg, Ethn. Skiz., p. 6. ‘Anlygmüten, an der Golowninschen Bai.’ Baer, Stat. u. Ethn., p. 122. ‘Ndl. vom Norton-Sund.’ Buschmann, Spuren der Aztek. Sprache, p. 722.

The Kaviaks inhabit the western portion of the Kaviak peninsula. ‘Adjacent to Port Clarence and Behring Strait.’ Whymper’s Alaska, p. 167. ‘Between Kotzebue and Norton Sounds.’ Dall’s Alaska, p. 137.

The Malemutes inhabit the coast at the mouth of the Unalaklik River, and northward along the shores of Norton Sound across the neck of the Kaviak Peninsula at Kotzebue Sound. ‘Die Maleigmjuten bewohnen die Küste des Nortonsundes vom Flusse Unalaklik an und gehen durch das Innere des Landes hinauf bis zum Kotzebuesunde.’ Holmberg, Ethn. Skiz., p. 6. ‘From Norton Sound and Bay north of Shaktolik, and the neck of the Kaviak Peninsula to Selawik Lake.’ Dall’s Alaska, p. 407. ‘Den Malimüten, nahe an den Ufern des Golfes Schaktulack oder Schaktol.’ Baer, Stat. u. Ethn., p. 122. The Malemutes ‘extend from the island of St. Michael to Golovin Sound.’ Whymper’s Alaska, p. 167. ‘Ndl. am Norton-Busen bis zum Kotzebue Sund.’ Buschmann, Spuren der Aztek. Sprache, p. 766.

The Aleuts

The Aleuts inhabit the islands of the Aleutian archipelago, and part of the peninsula of Alaska and the Island of Kadiak. They are divided into the Atkahs, who inhabit the western islands, and the Unalaskans or eastern division. The tribal divisions inhabiting the various islands are as follows; namely, on the Alaskan peninsula, three tribes to which the Russians have given names—Morshewskoje, Bjeljkowskoje, and Pawlowskoje; on the island of Unga, the Ugnasiks; on the island of Unimak, the Sesaguks; the Tigaldas on Tigalda Island; the Avatanaks on Avatanak Island; on the Island of Akun, three tribes, which the Russians call Arteljnowskoje, Rjätscheschnoje, and Seredkinskoje; the Akutans on the Akutan Island; the Unalgas on the Unalga Island; the Sidanaks on Spirkin Island; on the island of Unalashka, the Ililluluk, the Nguyuk, and seven tribes called by the Russians Natykinskoje, Pestnjakow-swoje, Wesselowskoje, Makuschinskoja, Koschhiginskoje, Tuscon-skoje, and Kalechinskoje; and on the island of Umnak the Tuliks. Latham, Nat. Races, p. 291, assigns them to the Aleutian Isles. ‘Die Unalaschkaer oder Fuchs-Aleuten bewohnen die Gruppe der Fuchsinseln, den südwestlichen Theil der Halbinsel Aljaska, und die Inselgruppe Schumaginsk. Die Atchaer oder Andrejanowschen Aleuten bewohnen die Andrejanowschen, die Ratten, und die Nahen-Inseln der Aleuten-Kette.’ Holmberg, Ethn. Skiz., pp. 7, 8. Inhabit ‘the islands between Alyaska and Kamschatka.’ Ludewig, Ab. Lang., p. 4.

The Thlinkeets

The Thlinkeets, or Kolosches, occupy the islands and shores between Copper River and the river Nass. ‘Die eigentlichen Thlinkithen (Bewohner des Archipels von den Parallelen des Flusses Nass bis zum St. Elias-berge).’ Holmberg, Ethn. Skiz., p. 4. ‘The Kalosh Indians seen at Sitka inhabit the coast between the Stekine and Chilcat Rivers.’ Whymper’s Alaska, p. 100. ‘Kaloches et Kiganis. Côtes et îles de l’Amérique Russe.’ Mofras, Explor., tom. ii., p. 335. The ‘Koloshians live upon the islands and coast from the latitude 50° 40´ to the mouth of the Atna or Copper River.’ Ind. Aff. Rept., 1869, p. 562. ‘From about 60° to 45° N. Lat., reaching therefore across the Russian frontier as far as the Columbia River.’ Müller’s Chips, vol. i., p. 334. ‘At Sitka Bay and Norfolk Sound.’ Ludewig, Ab. Lang., p. 96. ‘Between Jacootat or Behring’s Bay, to the 57th degree of north latitude.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 242. ‘Die Völker eines grossen Theils der Nordwest-Küste von America.’ Vater, Mithridates, vol. iii., pt. iii., p. 218. ‘Les Koliugi habitent le pays montueux du Nouveau-Norfolk, et la partie septentrionale du Nouveau-Cornouaille.’ Humboldt, Pol., tom. i., p. 349.

The Ugalenzes or Ugalukmutes, the northernmost Thlinkeet tribe, inhabit the coast from both banks of the mouth of Copper River, nearly to Mount St Elias. ‘About Mount Elias.’ Latham’s Nat. Races, p. 292. Adjacent to Behring Bay. Prichard’s Researches, vol. v., p. 370. ‘Die Ugalenzen, die im Winter eine Bucht des Festlandes, der kleinen Insel Kajak gegenüber, bewohnen, zum Sommer aber ihre Wohnungsplätze an dem rechten Ufer des Kupferflusses bei dessen Mündung aufschlagen.’ Holmberg, Ethn. Skiz., p. 4. ‘Das Vorgebirge St. Elias, kann als die Gränzscheide der Wohnsitze der See-Koloschen gegen Nordwest angesehen werden.’ Baer, Stat. u. Ethn., p. 96. ‘Les Ugalachmiuti s’étendent depuis le golfe du Prince Guillaume, jusqu’à la baie de Jakutat.’ Humboldt, Pol., tom. i., p. 348. ‘Ugalenzen oder Ugaljachmjuten. An der russ. Küste ndwstl. vom St. Elias Berg.’ Buschmann, Spuren der Aztek. Sprache, p. 807. ‘West of Cape St. Elias and near the island of Kadjak.’ Ludewig, Ab. Lang., p. 194.

The Yakutats ‘occupy the coast from Mount Fairweather to Mount St. Elias.’ Dall’s Alaska, p. 428. At ‘Behring Bay.’ Ind. Aff. Rept., 1869, p. 575.

The Chilkat come next, and live on Lynn Canal and the Chilkat River. ‘At Chilkaht Inlet.’ ‘At the head of Chatham Straits.’ Ind. Aff. Rept., 1869, pp. 535, 575. ‘Am Lynn’s-Canal, in russ. Nordamerika.’ Buschmann, Spuren der Aztek. Sprache, p. 736. ‘On Lynn’s Canal.’ Schoolcraft’s Archives, vol. v., p. 489. A little to the northward of the Stakine-Koan. Dunn’s Oregon, p. 288.

The Hoonids inhabit the eastern banks of Cross Sound. ‘For a distance of sixty miles.’ ‘At Cross Sound reside the Whinegas.’ ‘The Hunnas or Hooneaks, who are scattered along the main land from Lynn Canal to Cape Spencer.’ Ind. Aff. Rept., 1869, pp. 535, 562, 575. The Huna Cow tribe is situated on Cross Sound. Schoolcraft’s Archives, vol. v., p. 489.

The Hoodsinoos ‘live near the head of Chatham Strait.’ ‘On Admiralty Island.’ ‘Rat tribes on Kyro and Kespriano Islands.’ Ind. Aff. Rept., 1869, pp. 335, 562, 575. ‘Hootsinoo at Hoodsinoo or Hood Bay.’ Schoolcraft’s Archives, vol. v., p. 489. ‘Hoodsunhoo at Hood Bay.’ Gallatin, in Am. Antiq. Soc. Transact., vol. ii., p. 302. ‘Hoodsunhoo at Hood Bay.’ ‘Eclikimo in Chatham’s Strait.’ Ludewig, Ab. Lang., p. 175.

The Takoos dwell ‘at the head of Takoo Inlet on the Takoo River. The Sundowns and Takos who live on the mainland from Port Houghton to the Tako River.’ Ind. Aff. Rept., 1869, pp. 536, 562. Tako and Samdan, Tako River. Schoolcraft’s Arch., vol. v., p. 489.

The Auks Indians are at the mouth of the Takoo River and on Admiralty Island. ‘North of entrance Tako River.’ Schoolcraft’s Arch., p. 489. ‘The Ark and Kake on Prince Frederick’s Sound.’ Am. Antiq. Soc. Transact., vol. ii., p. 302.

The Kakas inhabit the shores of Frederick Sound and Kuprianoff Island. ‘The Kakus, or Kakes, who live on Kuprinoff Island, having their principal settlement near the northwestern side.’ Ind. Aff. Rept., 1869, p. 562. ‘The Ark and Kake on Prince Frederick’s Sound.’ Am. Antiq. Soc. Transact., vol. ii., p. 302.

The Sitkas occupy Baranoff Island. ‘They are divided into tribes or clans, of which one is called Coquontans.’ Buschmann, Pima Spr. u. d. Spr. der Koloschen, p. 377. ‘The tribe of the Wolf are called Coquontans.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 242. ‘The Sitka-Koan,’ or the people of Sitka. ‘This includes the inhabitants of Sitka Bay, near New Archangel, and the neighboring islands.’ Dall’s Alaska, p. 412. Simpson calls the people of Sitka ‘Sitkaguouays.’ Overland Jour., vol. i., p. 226. ‘The Sitkas or Indians on Baronoff Island.’ Ind. Aff. Rept., 1869, pp. 535, 562.

The Stikeen Indians inhabit the country drained by the Stikeen River. ‘Do not penetrate far into the interior.’ Dall’s Alaska, p. 411. The Stikein tribe ‘live at the top of Clarence’s Straits, which run upwards of a hundred miles inland.’ Dunn’s Oregon, p. 288. ‘At Stephens Passage.’ ‘The Stikeens who live on the Stackine River and the islands near its mouth.’ Ind. Aff. Rept., 1869, p. 562. ‘Stikeen Indians, Stikeen River, Sicknaahutty, Taeeteetan, Kaaskquatee, Kookatee, Naaneeaaghee, Talquatee, Kicksatee, Kaadgettee.’ Schoolcraft’s Arch., vol. v., p. 489. The Secatquonays occupy the main land about the mouths of the Stikeen River, and also the neighboring islands. Simpson’s Overland Jour., vol. i., p. 210.

The Tungass, ‘live on Tongas Island, and on the north side of Portland Channel.’ Ind. Aff. Rept., 1869, p. 562. Southern entrance Clarence Strait. Schoolcraft’s Arch., vol. v., p. 489. The Tongarses or Tun Ghaase ‘are a small tribe, inhabiting the S.E. corner of Prince of Wales’s Archipelago.’ Scouler, in Lond. Geog. Soc., Jour., vol. xi., p. 218. ‘Tungass, an der sdlst. russ. Küste.’ Buschmann, Spuren der Aztek. Sprache, p. 806. ‘Tunghase Indians of the south-eastern part of Prince of Wales’s Archipelago.’ Ludewig, Ab. Lang., p. 192. Tongas Indians, lat. 54° 46´ N. and long. 130° 35´ W. Dall’s Alaska, p. 251.

The Tinneh

The Tinneh occupy the vast interior north of the fifty-fifth parallel, and west from Hudson Bay, approaching the Arctic and Pacific Coasts to within from fifty to one hundred and fifty miles: at Prince William Sound, they even touch the seashore. Mackenzie, Voy., p. cxvii., gives boundaries upon the basis of which Gallatin, Am. Antiq. Soc. Transact., vol. ii., p. 9, draws a line from the Mississippi to within one hundred miles of the Pacific at 52° 30´, and allots them the northern interior to Eskimos lands. ‘Extend across the continent.’ Richardson’s Jour., vol. ii., p. 2. ‘Von der nördlichen Hudsonsbai aus fast die ganze Breite des Continents durchläuft—im Norden und Nordwesten den 65ten Grad u. beinahe die Gestade des Polarmeers erreicht.’ Buschmann, Athapask. Sprachst., p. 313. The Athabascan area touches Hudson’s Bay on the one side, the Pacific on the other.’ Latham’s Comp. Phil., p. 388. ‘Occupies the whole of the northern limits of North America, together with the Eskimos.’ Ludewig, Ab. Lang., p. 14.

The Chipewyans, or Athabascas proper, Mackenzie, Voy., p. cxvi., places between N. latitude 60° and 65°, and W. longitude 100° and 110°. ‘Between the Athabasca and Great Slave Lakes and Churchill River.’ Franklin’s Nar., vol. i., p. 241. ‘Frequent the Elk and Slave Rivers, and the country westward to Hay River.’ Richardson’s Jour., vol. ii., p. 5. The Northern Indians occupy the territory immediately north of Fort Churchill, on the Western shore of Hudson Bay. ‘From the fifty-ninth to the sixty-eighth degree of North latitude, and from East to West is upward of five hundred miles wide.’ Hearne’s Jour., p. 326; Martin’s Brit. Col., vol. iii., p. 524.

The Copper Indians occupy the territory on both sides of the Coppermine River south of the Eskimo lands, which border on the ocean at the mouth of the river. They are called by the Athabascas Tantsawhot-Dinneh. Franklin’s Nar., vol. ii., 76; Gallatin, in Am. Antiq. Soc. Transact., vol. ii., p. 19.

The Horn Mountain Indians ‘inhabit the country betwixt Great Bear Lake and the west end of Great Slave Lake.’ Franklin’s Nar., vol. ii., p. 82.

The Beaver Indians ‘inhabit the lower part of Peace River.’ Harmon’s Jour., p. 309. On Mackenzie’s map they are situated between Slave and Martin Lakes. ‘Between the Peace River and the West branch of the Mackenzie.’ Richardson’s Jour., vol. ii., p. 6. Edchawtawhoot-dinneh, Strong-bow, Beaver or Thick-wood Indians, who frequent the Rivière aux Liards, or south branch of the Mackenzie River, Franklin’s Nar., vol. ii., p. 85.

The Thlingcha-dinneh, or Dog-ribs, ‘inhabit the country to the westward of the Copper Indians, as far as Mackenzie’s River.’ Franklin’s Nar., vol. ii., p. 80. Gallatin, in Am. Antiq. Soc. Transact., vol. ii., p. 19. ‘East from Martin Lake to the Coppermine River.’ Richardson’s Jour., vol. ii., p. 3. ‘At Fort Confidence, north of Great Bear Lake.’ Simpson’s Nar., p. 200. ‘Between Martin’s Lake and the Coppermine River.’ Ludewig, Ab. Lang., p. 66.

The Kawcho-dinneh, or Hare Indians, are ‘immediately to the northward of the Dog-ribs on the north side of Bear Lake River.’ Franklin’s Nar., vol. ii., p. 83. They ‘inhabit the banks of the Mackenzie, from Slave Lake downwards.’ Richardson’s Jour., vol. ii., p. 3. Between Bear Lake and Fort Good Hope, Simpson’s Nar., p. 98. On Mackenzie River, below Great Slave Lake, extending towards the Great Bear Lake. Gallatin, in Am. Antiq. Soc. Transact., vol. ii., p. 19.

‘To the eastward of the Dog-ribs are the Red-knives, named by their southern neighbors, the Tantsaut-’dtinnè (Birch-rind people). They inhabit a stripe of country running northwards from Great Slave Lake, and in breadth from the Great Fish River to the Coppermine.’ Richardson’s Jour., vol. ii., p. 4.

The Ambawtawhoot Tinneh, or Sheep Indians, ‘inhabit the Rocky Mountains near the sources of the Dawhoot-dinneh River which flows into Mackenzie’s.’ Franklin’s Nar., vol. ii., p. 84. Further down the Mackenzie, near the 65° parallel. Richardson’s Jour., vol. ii., p. 7.

The Sarsis, Circees, Ciriés, Sarsi, Sorsi, Sussees, Sursees, or Surcis, ‘live near the Rocky Mountains between the sources of the Athabasca and Saskatchewan Rivers; are said to be likewise of the Tinné stock.’ Richardson’s Jour., vol. ii., p. 6. ‘Near the sources of one of the branches of the Saskachawan.’ Gallatin, in Am. Antiq. Soc. Transact., vol. ii., p. 19.

The Tsillawdawhoot Tinneh, or Brush-wood Indians, inhabit the upper branches of the Rivière aux Liards. Franklin’s Nar., vol. ii., p. 87. On the River aux Liards (Poplar River), Gallatin, in Am. Antiq. Soc. Transact., vol. ii., p. 19.

The Nagailer, or Chin Indians, on Mackenzie’s map, latitude 52° 30´ longitude 122° to 125°, ‘inhabit the country about 52° 30´ N. L. to the southward of the Takalli, and thence extend south along Fraser’s River towards the Straits of Fuca.’ Prichard’s Researches, vol. v., p. 427.

The Slouacuss Tinneh on Mackenzie’s are next north-west from the Nagailer. Vater places them at 52° 4´. ‘Noch näher der Küste um den 52° 4´ wohnten die Slua-cuss-dinais d. i. Rothfisch-Männer.’ Vater, Mithridates, vol. iii., pt. iii., p. 421. On the upper part of Frazers River. Cox’s Adven., p. 323.

The Rocky Mountain Indians are a small tribe situated to the south-west of the Sheep Indians. Franklin’s Nar., vol. ii., p. 85. ‘On the Unjigah or Peace River.’ Gallatin, in Am. Antiq. Soc. Transact., vol. ii., p. 19. On the upper tributaries of Peace River. Mackenzie’s Voy., p. 163.

The Tacullies, or Carriers, inhabit New Caledonia from latitude 52° 30´ to latitude 56°. ‘A general name given to the native tribes of New-Caledonia.’ Morse’s Report, p. 371. ‘All the natives of the Upper Fraser are called by the Hudson Bay Company, and indeed generally, “Porteurs,” or Carriers.’ Mayne’s B. C., p. 298. ‘Tokalis, Le Nord de la Nouvelle Calédonie.’ Mofras, Explor., tom. ii., p. 335. ‘Northern part of New Caledonia.’ Pickering’s Races, in U. S. Ex. Ex., vol. ix., p. 33. ‘On the sources of Fraser’s River.’ Ludewig, Ab. Lang., p. 178. ‘Unter den Völkern des Tinné-Stammes, welche das Land westlich von den Rocky Mountains bewohnen, nehmen die Takuli (Wasservolk) oder Carriers den grössten Theil von Neu-Caledonien ein.’ Buschmann, Athapask. Sprachst., p. 152. ‘Greater part of New Caledonia.’ Richardson’s Jour., vol. ii., p. 31. ‘Latitude of Queen Charlotte’s Island.’ Prichard’s Researches, vol. v., p. 427. ‘From latitude 52° 30´, where it borders on the country of the Shoushaps, to latitude 56°, including Simpson’s River.’ Hale’s Ethnog., in U. S. Ex. Ex., vol. vi., p. 202. ‘South of the Sicannis and Straits Lake.’ Harmon’s Jour., p. 196. They ‘are divided into eleven clans, or minor tribes, whose names are—beginning at the south—as follows: the Tautin, or Talkotin; the Tsilkotin or Chilcotin; the Naskotin; the Thetliotin; the Tsatsnotin; the Nulaautin; the Ntshaautin; the Natliautin; the Nikozliautin; the Tatshiautin; and the Babine Indians.’ Hale’s Ethnog., in U. S. Ex. Ex., vol. vi., p. 202. ‘The principal tribes in the country north of the Columbia regions, are the Chilcotins and the Talcotins.’ Greenhow’s Hist. Ogn., p. 30. The Talcotins ‘occupy the territory above Fort Alexandria on Frazer River.’ Hazlitt’s B. C., p. 79. ‘Spend much of their time at Bellhoula, in the Bentinck Inlet.’ Mayne’s B. C., p. 299. The Calkobins ‘inhabit New Caledonia, west of the mountains.’ De Smet’s Letters and Sketches, p. 157. The Nateotetains inhabit the country lying directly west from Stuart Lake on either bank of the Nateotetain River. Harmon’s Jour., p. 218. The Naskootains lie along Frazer River from Frazer Lake. Id., p. 245.

The Sicannis dwell in the Rocky Mountains between the Beaver Indians on the east, and the Tacullies and Atnas on the west and south. Id., p. 190. They live east of the Tacullies in the Rocky Mountain. Hale’s Ethnog., in U. S. Ex. Ex., vol. vi., p. 202. ‘On the Rocky Mountains near the Rapid Indians and West of them.’ Morse’s Report, p. 371.

The Kutchins are a large nation, extending from the Mackenzie River westward along the Yukon Valley to near the mouth of the river, with the Eskimos on one side and the Koltshanes on the other. Buschmann, Spuren der Aztek. Sprache, p. 713, places them on the sixty-fifth parallel of latitude, and from 130° to 150° of longitude west from Greenwich. ‘Das Volk wohnt am Flusse Yukon oder Kwichpak und über ihm; es dehnt sich nach Richardson’s Karte auf dem 65ten Parallelkreise aus vom 130-150° W. L. v. Gr., und gehört daher zur Hälfte dem britischen und zur Hälfte dem russischen Nordamerika an.’ They are located ‘immediately to the northward of the Hare Indians on both banks of Mackenzie’s River.’ Franklin’s Nar., vol. ii., p. 83. Gallatin, Am. Antiq. Soc. Transact., vol. ii., p. 83, places their northern boundary in latitude 67° 27´. To the west of the Mackenzie the Loucheux interpose between the Esquimaux ‘and the Tinné, and spread westward until they come into the neighborhood of the coast tribes of Beering’s Sea.’ Richardson’s Jour., vol. i., p. 377. ‘The Kutchin may be said to inhabit the territory extending from the Mackenzie, at the mouth of Peel’s River, lat. 68°, long. 134°, to Norton’s sound, living principally upon the banks of the Youcon and Porcupine Rivers, though several of the tribes are situated far inland, many days’ journey from either river.’ Jones, in Smithsonian Rept., 1866, p. 320. ‘They commence somewhere about the 65th degree of north latitude, and stretch westward from the Mackenzie to Behring’s straits.’ ‘They are divided into many petty tribes, each having its own chief, as the Tatlit-Kutchin (Peel River Indians), Ta-Kuth-Kutchin (Lapiene’s House Indians), Kutch-a-Kutchin (Youcan Indians), Touchon-ta-Kutchin (Wooded-country Indians), and many others.’ Kirby, in Smithsonian Rept., 1864, pp. 417, 418.

The Degothi-Kutchin, or Loucheux, Quarrellers, inhabit the west bank of the Mackenzie between the Hare Indians and Eskimos. The Loucheux are on the Mackenzie between the Arctic circle and the sea. Simpson’s Nar., p. 103.

The Vanta-Kutchin occupy ‘the banks of the Porcupine, and the country to the north of it.’ ‘Vanta-kutshi (people of the lakes), I only find that they belong to the Porcupine River.’ Latham’s Nat. Races, p. 294. They ‘inhabit the territory north of the head-waters of the Porcupine, somewhat below Lapierre’s House.’ Dall’s Alaska, p. 430.

The Natche-Kutchin, or Gens de Large, dwell to the ‘north of the Porcupine River.’ ‘These extend on the north bank to the mouth of the Porcupine.’ Dall’s Alaska, pp. 109, 430.

‘Neyetse-Kutshi, (people of the open country), I only find that they belong to the Porcupine river.’ Latham’s Nat. Races, p. 294. Whymper’s map calls them Rat Indians.

‘The Na-tsik-Kut-chin inhabit the high ridge of land between the Yukon and the Arctic Sea.’ Hardisty, in Dall’s Alaska, p. 197.

The Kukuth-Kutchin ‘occupy the country south of the head-waters of the Porcupine.’ Dall’s Alaska, p. 430.

The Tutchone Kutchin, Gens de Foux, or crow people, dwell upon both sides of the Yukon about Fort Selkirk, above the Han Kutchin. Id., pp. 109, 429.

‘Tathzey-Kutshi, or people of the ramparts, the Gens du Fou of the French Canadians, are spread from the upper parts of the Peel and Porcupine Rivers, within the British territory, to the river of the Mountain-men, in the Russian. The upper Yukon is therefore their occupancy. They fall into four bands: a, the Tratsè-kutshi, or people of the fork of the river; b, the Kutsha-kutshi; c, the Zèkà-thaka (Ziunka-kutshi), people on this side, (or middle people); and, d, the Tanna-kutshi, or people of the bluffs.’ Latham’s Nat. Races, p. 293.

The Han-Kutchin, An-Kutchin Gens de Bois, or wood people, inhabit the Yukon above Porcupine River. Whymper’s Alaska, p. 254. They are found on the Yukon next below the Crows, and above Fort Yukon. Dall’s Alaska, p. 109. ‘Han-Kutchi residing at the sources of the Yukon.’ Richardson’s Jour., vol. i., p. 396.

‘The Artez-Kutshi, or the tough (hard) people. The sixty-second parallel cuts through their country; so that they lie between the head-waters of the Yukon and the Pacific.’ Latham’s Nat. Races, p. 293. See also Richardson’s Jour., vol. i., p. 397.

The Kutcha-Kutchins, or Kot-à-Kutchin, ‘are found in the country near the junction of the Porcupine and the Yukon.’ Dall’s Alaska, p. 431.

The Tenan-Kutchin, or Tananahs, Gens de Buttes, or people of the mountains, occupy an unexplored domain south-west of Fort Yukon. Their country is drained by the Tananah River. Dall’s Alaska, p. 108. They are placed on Whymper’s map about twenty miles south of the Yukon, in longitude 151° west from Greenwich. On Whymper’s map are placed: the Birch Indians, or Gens de Bouleau on the south bank of the Yukon at its junction with Porcupine River; the Gens de Milieu, on the north bank of the Yukon, in longitude 150°; the Nuclukayettes on both banks in longitude 152°; and the Newicarguts, on the south bank between longitude 153° and 155°.

The Kenais occupy the peninsula of Kenai and the surrounding country. Ind. Aff. Rept., 1869, p. 562. ‘An den Ufern und den Umgebungen von Cook’s Inlet und um die Seen Iliamna und Kisshick.’ Baer, Stat. u. Ethn., p. 103.

The Unakatana Yunakakhotanas, live ‘on the Yukon between Koyukuk and Nuklukahyet.’ Dall’s Alaska, p. 53.

‘Junakachotana, ein Stamm, welcher auf dem Flusse Jun-a-ka wohnt.’ Sagoskin, in Denkschr. der russ. geo. Gesell., p. 324. ‘Die Junnakachotana, am Flusse Jukchana oder Junna (so wird der obere Lauf des Kwichpakh genannt) zwischen den Nebenflüssen Nulato und Junnaka, so wie am untern Laufe des letztgenannten Flusses.’ Holmberg, Ethn. Skiz., p. 6.

‘Die Junnachotana bewohnen den obern Lauf des Jukchana oder Junna von der Mündung des Junnaka.’ Holmberg, Ethn. Skiz., p. 6.

‘Die Jugelnuten haben ihre Ansiedelungen am Kwichpakh, am Tschageljuk und an der Mündung des Innoka. Die Inkalichljuaten, am obern Laufe des Innoka. Die Thljegonchotana am Flusse Thljegon, der nach der Vereinigung mit dem Tatschegno den Innoka bildet.’ Holmberg, Ethn. Skiz., pp. 6, 7. ‘They extend virtually from the confluence of the Co-Yukuk River to Nuchukayette at the junction of the Tanana with the Yukon.’ ‘They also inhabit the banks of the Co-yukuk and other interior rivers.’ Whymper’s Alaska, p. 204.

The Ingaliks inhabit the Yukon from Nulato south to below the Anvic River. See Whymper’s Map. ‘The tribe extends from the edge of the wooded district near the sea to and across the Yukon below Nulato, on the Yukon and its affluents to the head of the delta, and across the portage to the Kuskoquim River and its branches.’ Dall’s Alaska, p. 28. ‘Die Inkiliken, am untern Laufe des Junna südlich von Nulato.’ Holmberg, Ethn. Skiz., p. 6. ‘An dem ganzen Ittege wohnt der Stamm der Inkiliken, welcher zu dem Volk der Ttynai gehört.’ Sagoskin, in Denkschr. der russ. geo. Gesell., p. 341. ‘An den Flüssen Kwichpack, Kuskokwim und anderen ihnen zuströmenden Flüssen.’ Baer, Stat. u. Ethn., p. 120. ‘The Ingaliks living on the north side of the Yukon between it and the Kaiyuh Mountains (known as Takaitsky to the Russians), bear the name of Kaiyuhkatana or “lowland people,” and the other branches of Ingaliks have similar names, while preserving their general tribal name.’ Dall’s Alaska, p. 53. On Whymper’s map they are called T’kitskes and are situated east of the Yukon in latitude 64° north.

The Koltschanes occupy the territory inland between the sources of the Kuskoquim and Copper Rivers. ‘They extend as far inland as the watershed between the Copper-river and the Yukon.’ Latham’s Nat. Races, p. 292. ‘Die Galzanen oder Koltschanen (d. h. Fremdlinge, in der Sprache der Athnaer) bewohnen das Innere des Landes zwischen den Quellflüssen des Kuskokwim bis zu den nördlichen Zuflüssen des Athna oder Kupferstromes.’ Holmberg, Ethn. Skiz., p. 7. ‘Diejenigen Stämme, welche die nördlichen und östlichen, dem Atna zuströmenden Flüsse und Flüsschen bewohnen, eben so die noch weiter, jenseits der Gebirge lebenden, werden von den Atnaern Koltschanen, d. h. Fremdlinge, genannt.’ Baer, Stat. u. Ethn., p. 101. ‘North of the river Atna.’ Ludewig, Ab. Lang., p. 96.

The Nehannes occupy the territory midway between Mount St. Elias and the Mackenzie River, from Fort Selkirk and the Stakine River. ‘According to Mr. Isbister, range the country between the Russian settlements on the Stikine River and the Rocky Mountains.’ Latham’s Nat. Races, p. 295. The Nohhannies live ‘upon the upper branches of the Rivière aux Liards.’ Franklin’s Nar., vol. ii., p. 87. They ‘inhabit the angle between that branch and the great bend of the trunk of the river, and are neighbours of the Beaver Indians.’ Richardson’s Jour., vol. ii., p. 6. The region which includes the Lewis, or Tahco, and Pelly Rivers, with the valley of the Chilkaht River, is occupied by tribes known to the Hudson Bay voyageurs as Nehannees. Those on the Pelly and Macmillan rivers call themselves Affats-tena. Some of them near Liard’s River call themselves Daho-tena or Acheto-tena, and others are called Sicannees by the voyageurs. Those near Francis Lake are known as Mauvais Monde, or Slavé Indians. About Fort Selkirk they have been called Gens des Foux.

The Kenai proper, or Kenai-tena, or Thnaina, inhabit the peninsula of Kenai, the shores of Cook Inlet, and thence westerly across the Chigmit Mountains, nearly to the Kuskoquim River. They ‘inhabit the country near Cook’s Inlet, and both shores of the Inlet as far south as Chugachik Bay.’ Dall’s Alaska, p. 430. ‘Die eigentlichen Thnaina bewohnen die Halbinsel Kenai und ziehen sich von da westlich über das Tschigmit-Gebirge zum Mantaschtano oder Tchalchukh, einem südlichen Nebenflusse des Kuskokwim.’ Holmberg, Ethn. Skiz., p. 7. ‘Dieses—an den Ufern und den Umgebungen von Cook’s Inlet und um die Seen Iliamna und Kisshick lebende Volk gehört zu dem selben Stamme wie die Galzanen oder Koltschanen, Atnaer, und Koloschen.’ Baer, Stat. u. Ethn., p. 103. ‘Les Kenayzi habitent la côte occidentale de l’entrée de Cook ou du golfe Kenayskaja.’ Humboldt, Pol., tom. i., p. 348. ‘The Indians of Cook’s Inlet and adjacent waters are called “Kanisky.” They are settled along the shore of the inlet and on the east shore of the peninsula.’ ‘East of Cook’s Inlet, in Prince William’s Sound, there are but few Indians, they are called “Nuchusk.”‘ Ind. Aff. Rept., 1869, p. 575.

The Atnas occupy the Atna or Copper River from near its mouth to near its source. ‘At the mouth of the Copper River.’ Latham’s Comp. Phil., vol. viii., p. 392. ‘Die Athnaer, am Athna oder Kupferflusse.’ Holmberg, Ethn. Skiz., p. 7. ‘On the upper part of the Atna or Copper River are a little-known tribe of the above name [viz., Ah-tena]. They have been called Atnaer and Kolshina by the Russians, and Yellow Knife or Nehaunee by the English.’ Dall’s Alaska, p. 429. ‘Diese kleine, jetzt ungefähr aus 60 Familien bestehende, Völkerschaft wohnt an den Ufern des Flusses Atna und nennt sich Atnaer.’ Baer, Stat. u. Ethn., p. 97.

Footnotes

[1] Of late, custom gives to the main land of Russian America, the name Alaska; to the peninsula, Aliaska; and to a large island of the Aleutian Archipelago, Unalashka. The word of which the present name Alaska is a corruption, is first encountered in the narrative of Betsevin, who, in 1761, wintered on the peninsula, supposing it to be an island. The author of Neue Nachrichten von denen neuentdekten Insuln, writes, page 53, ‘womit man nach der abgelegensten Insul Aläksu oder Alachschak über gieng.’ Again, at page 57, in giving a description of the animals on the supposed island he calls it ‘auf der Insul Aläsku.’ ‘This,’ says Coxe, Russian Discoveries, p. 72, ‘is probably the same island which is laid down in Krenitzin’s chart under the name of Alaxa.’ Unalaschka is given by the author of Neue Nachrichten, p. 74, in his narrative of the voyage of Drusinin, who hunted on that island in 1763. At page 115 he again mentions the ‘grosse Insul Aläksu.’ On page 125, in Glottoff’s log-book, 1764, is the entry: ‘Den 28sten May der Wind Ostsüdost; man kam an die Insul Alaska oder Aläksu.’ Still following the author of Neue Nachrichten, we have on page 166, in an account of the voyages of Otseredin and Popoff, who hunted upon the Aleutian Islands in 1769, mention of a report by the natives ‘that beyond Unimak is said to be a large land Aläschka, the extent of which the islanders do not know.’ On Cook’s Atlas, voyage 1778, the peninsula is called Alaska, and the island Oonalaska, La Pérouse, in his atlas, map No. 15, 1786, calls the peninsula Alaska, and the island Ounalaska. The Spaniards, in the Atlas para el Viage de las goletas Sutil y Mexicana, 1792, write Alasca for the peninsula, and for the island Unalaska. Sauer, in his account of Billings’ expedition, 1790, calls the main land Alaska, the peninsula Alyaska, and the island Oonalashka. Wrangell, in Baer’s Statistische und ethnographische Nachrichten, p. 123, writes for the peninsula Alaska and for the island Unalaschka. Holmberg, Ethnographische Skizzen, p. 78, calls the island Unalaschka and the peninsula Aljaska. Dall, Alaska, p. 529, says that the peninsula or main land was called by the natives Alayeksa, and the island Nagun-alayeksa, ‘or the land near Alayeksa.’ Thus we have, from which to choose, the orthography of the earliest voyagers to this coast—Russian, English, French, Spanish, German, and American. The simple word Alaksu, after undergoing many contortions, some authors writing it differently on different pages of the same book, has at length become Alaska, as applied to the main land; Aliaska for the peninsula, and Unalashka as the name of the island. As these names are all corruptions from some one original word, whatever that may be, I see no reason for giving the error three different forms. I therefore write Alaska for the mainland and peninsula and Unalaska for the island.

[2] The name is said, by Charlevoix ‘to be derived from the language of the Abenaqui, a tribe of Algonquins in Canada, who border upon them and call them “Esquimantsic.”‘ ‘L’origine de leur nom n’est pas certain. Toutefois il y a bien de l’apparence qu’il vient du mot Abenaqui, esquimantsic qui veut dire “mangeur de viande cruë.”‘ See Prichard’s Physical History of Mankind, vol. v., pp. 367, 373. ‘French writers call them Eskimaux.’ ‘English authors, in adopting this term, have most generally written it “Esquimaux,” but Dr. Latham, and other recent ethnologists, write it “Eskimos,” after the Danish orthography.’ Richardson’s Polar Regions, p. 298. ‘Probably of Canadian origin, and the word, which in French orthography is written Esquimaux, was probably originally Ceux qui miaux (miaulent).’ Richardson’s Journal, vol. i., p. 340. ‘Said to be a corruption of Eskimantik, i. e. raw-fish-eaters, a nickname given them by their former neighbors, the Mohicans.’ Seemann’s Voyage of the Herald, vol. ii., p. 49. Eskimo is derived from a word indicating sorcerer or Shamán. ‘The northern Tinneh use the word Uskeemi.’ Dall’s Alaska, pp. 144, 531. ‘Their own national designation is “Keralit.”‘ Morton’s Crania Americana, p. 52. They ‘call themselves “Innuit,” which signifies “man.”‘ Armstrong’s Narrative, p. 191.

[3] It is not without reluctance that I change a word from the commonly accepted orthography. Names of places, though originating in error, when once established, it is better to leave unchanged. Indian names, coming to us through Russian, German, French, or Spanish writers, should be presented in English by such letters as will best produce the original Indian pronunciation. European personal names, however, no matter how long, nor how commonly they may have been erroneously used, should be immediately corrected. Every man who can spell is supposed to be able to give the correct orthography of his own name, and his spelling should in every instance be followed, when it can be ascertained. Veit Bering, anglicè Vitus Behring, was of a Danish family, several members of which were well known in literature before his own time. In Danish writings, as well as among the biographies of Russian admirals, where may be found a fac-simile of his autograph, the name is spelled Bering. It is so given by Humboldt, and by the Dictionnaire de la Conversation. The author of the Neue Nachrichten von denen neuentdekten Insuln, one of the oldest printed works on Russian discoveries in America; as well as Müller, who was the companion of Bering for many years; and Buschmann,—all write Bering. Baer remarks: ‘Ich schreibe ferner Bering, obgleich es jetzt fast allgemein geworden ist, Behring zu schreiben, und auch die Engländer und Franzosen sich der letztern Schreibart bequemt haben. Bering war ein Däne und seine Familie war lange vor ihm in der Literatur-Geschichte bekannt. Sie hat ihren Namen auf die von mir angenommene Weise drucken lassen. Derselben Schreibart bediente sich auch der Historiograph Müller, der längere Zeit unter seinen Befehlen gedient hatte, und Pallas.’ Statistische und ethnographische Nachrichten, p. 328. There is no doubt that the famous navigator wrote his name Bering, and that the letter ‘h’ was subsequently inserted to give the Danish sound to the letter ‘e.’ To accomplish the same purpose, perhaps, Coxe, Langsdorff, Beechey, and others write Beering.

[4] ‘Die Kadjacker im Gegentheil nähern sich mehr den Amerikanischen Stämmen und gleichen in ihrem Aeussern gar nicht den Eskimos oder den Asiatischen Völkern, wahrscheinlich haben sie durch die Vermischung mit den Stämmen Amerika’s ihre ursprüngliche Asiatische äussere Gestalt und Gesichtsbildung verloren und nur die Sprache beibehalten.’ Baer, Stat. u. Ethn. Nachr., p. 124. ‘Ils ressemblent beaucoup aux indigènes des îles Curiles, dépendantes du Japon.’ Laplace, Circumnavigation de l’Artémise, vol. vi., p. 45.

[5] ‘The tribes crowded together on the shores of Beering’s Sea within a comparatively small extent of coast-line, exhibit a greater variety, both in personal appearance and dialect, than that which exists between the Western Eskimos and their distant countrymen in Labrador; and ethnologists have found some difficulty in classifying them properly.’ Richardson’s Jour., vol. i., p. 363.

[6] For authorities, see Tribal Boundaries, at the end of this chapter.

[7] Collinson, in London Geographical Society Journal, vol. xxv., p. 201.

[8] ‘Im nordwestlichsten Theile von Amerika fand Franklin den Boden, Mitte August, schon in einer Tiefe von 16 Zoll gefroren. Richardson sah an einem östlicheren Punkte der Küste, in 71° 12´ Breite, die Eisschicht im Julius aufgethaut bis 3 Fuss unter der krautbedeckten Oberfläche.’ Humboldt, Kosmos, tom. iv., p. 47.

[9] Silliman’s Journal, vol. xvi., p. 130. Seemann’s Voy. Herald, vol. ii., p. 13. Armstrong’s Nar., p. 289.

[10] ‘Characteristic of the Arctic regions.’ Silliman’s Jour., vol. xvi., p. 143.

[11] At Kotzebue Sound, in July, Choris writes: ‘Le sol était émaillé de fleurs de couleurs variées, dans tous les endroits où la neige venait de fondre.’ Voyage Pittoresque, pt. ii., p. 8.

[12] ‘In der Einöde der Inseln von Neu-Sibirien finden grosse Heerden von Rennthieren und zahllose Lemminge noch hinlängliche Nahrung.’ Humboldt, Kosmos, vol. iv., p. 42.

[13] ‘Thermometer rises as high as 61° Fahr. With a sun shining throughout the twenty-four hours the growth of plants is rapid in the extreme.’ Seemann’s Voy. Herald, vol. ii., p. 15.

[14] ‘During the period of incubation of the aquatic birds, every hole and projecting crag on the sides of this rock is occupied by them. Its shores resound with the chorus of thousands of the feathery tribe.’ Beechey’s Voy., vol. i., p. 349.

[15] ‘Their complexion, if divested of its usual covering of dirt, can hardly be called dark.’ Seemann’s Voy. Herald, vol. ii., p. 51. ‘In comparison with other Americans, of a white complexion.’ McCulloh’s Aboriginal History of America, p. 20. ‘White Complexion, not Copper coloured.’ Dobbs’ Hudson’s Bay, p. 50. ‘Almost as white as Europeans.’ Kalm’s Travels, vol. ii., p. 263. ‘Not darker than that of a Portuguese.’ Lyon’s Journal, p. 224. ‘Scarcely a shade darker than a deep brunette.’ Parry’s 3rd Voyage, p. 493. ‘Their complexion is light.’ Dall’s Alaska, p. 381. ‘Eye-witnesses agree in their superior lightness of complexion over the Chinooks.’ Pickering’s Races of Man, U. S. Ex. Ex., vol. ix., p. 28. At Coppermine River they are ‘of a dirty copper color; some of the women, however, are more fair and ruddy.’ Hearne’s Travels, p. 166. ‘Considerably fairer than the Indian tribes.’ Simpson’s Nar., p. 110. At Cape Bathurst ‘The complexion is swarthy, chiefly, I think, from exposure and the accumulation of dirt.’ Armstrong’s Nar., p. 192. ‘Shew little of the copper-colour of the Red Indians.’ Richardson’s Pol. Reg., p. 303. ‘From exposure to weather they become dark after manhood.’ Richardson’s Nar., vol. i., p. 343.

[16] ‘Both sexes are well proportioned, stout, muscular, and active.’ Seemann’s Voy. Herald, vol. ii., p. 50. ‘A stout, well-looking people.’ Simpson’s Nar., pp. 110, 114. ‘Below the mean of the Caucasian race.’ Dr. Hayes, in Historic. Magazine, vol. i., p. 6. ‘They are thick set, have a decided tendency to obesity, and are seldom more than five feet in height.’ Figuier’s Human Race, p. 211. At Kotzebue Sound, ‘tallest man was five feet nine inches; tallest woman, five feet four inches.’ Beechey’s Voy., vol. i., p. 360. ‘Average height was five feet four and a half inches.’ At the mouth of the Mackenzie they are of ‘middle stature, strong and muscular.’ Armstrong’s Nar., pp. 149, 192. ‘Low, broad-set, not well made, nor strong.’ Hearne’s Trav., p. 166. ‘The men were in general stout.’ Franklin’s Nar., vol. i., p. 29. ‘Of a middle size, robust make, and healthy appearance.’ Kotzebue’s Voy., vol. i., p. 209. ‘Men vary in height from about five feet to five feet ten inches.’ Richardson’s Pol. Reg., p. 304. ‘Women were generally short.’ ‘Their figure inclines to squat.’ Hooper’s Tuski, p. 224.

[17] ‘Tous les individus qui appartiennent à la famille des Eskimaux, se distinguent par la petitesse de leurs pieds et de leurs mains, et la grosseur énorme de leurs têtes.’ De Pauw, Recherches Phil., tom. i., p. 262. ‘The hands and feet are delicately small and well formed.’ Richardson’s Pol. Reg., p. 304. ‘Small and beautifully made.’ Seemann’s Voy. Herald, vol. ii., p. 50. At Point Barrow, ‘their hands, notwithstanding the great amount of manual labour to which they are subject, were beautifully small and well-formed, a description equally applicable to their feet.’ Armstrong’s Nar., p. 101.

[18] ‘The head is of good size, rather flat superiorly, but very fully developed posteriorly, evidencing a preponderance of the animal passions; the forehead was, for the most part, low and receding; in a few it was somewhat vertical, but narrow.’ Armstrong’s Nar., p. 193. Their cranial characteristics ‘are the strongly developed coronary ridge, the obliquity of the zygoma, and its greater capacity compared with the Indian cranium. The former is essentially pyramidal, while the latter more nearly approaches a cubic shape.’ Dall’s Alaska, p. 376. ‘Greatest breadth of the face is just below the eyes, the forehead tapers upwards, ending narrowly, but not acutely, and in like manner the chin is a blunt cone.’ Richardson’s Pol. Reg., p. 302. Dr Gall, whose observations on the same skulls presented him for phrenological observation are published by M. Louis Choris, thus comments upon the head of a female Eskimo from Kotzebue Sound: ‘L’organe de l’instinct de la propagation se trouve extrêmement développé pour une tête de femme.’ He finds the musical and intellectual organs poorly developed; while vanity and love of children are well displayed. ‘En général,’ sagely concluded the doctor, ‘cette tête femme présentait une organization aussi heureuse que celle de la plupart des femmes d’Europe.’ Voy. Pitt., pt. ii., p. 16.

[19] ‘Large fat round faces, high cheek bones, small hazel eyes, eyebrows slanting like the Chinese, and wide mouths.’ Beechey’s Voy., vol. i., p. 345. ‘Broad, flat faces, high cheekbones.’ Dr Hayes, in Hist. Mag., vol. i., p. 6. Their ‘teeth are regular, but, from the nature of their food, and from their practice of preparing hides by chewing, are worn down almost to the gums at an early age.’ Seemann’s Voy. Herald, vol. ii., p. 51. At Hudson Strait, broad, flat, pleasing face; small and generally sore eyes; given to bleeding at the nose. Franklin’s Nar., vol. i., p. 29. ‘Small eyes and very high cheek bones.’ Kotzebue’s Voy., vol. i., p. 209. ‘La face platte, la bouche ronde, le nez petit sans être écrasé, le blanc de l’oeil jaunâtre, l’iris noir et peu brillant.’ De Pauw, Recherches Phil., tom. i., p. 262. They have ‘small, wild-looking eyes, large and very foul teeth, the hair generally black, but sometimes fair, and always in extreme disorder.’ Brownell’s Ind. Races, p. 467. ‘As contrasted with the other native American races, their eyes are remarkable, being narrow and more or less oblique.’ Richardson’s Nar., vol. i., p. 343. Expression of face intelligent and good-natured. Both sexes have mostly round, flat faces, with Mongolian cast. Hooper’s Tuski, p. 223.

[20] ‘Allowed to hang down in a club to the shoulder.’ Richardson’s Pol. Reg., p. 305. Hair cut ‘close round the crown of the head, and thereby, leaving a bushy ring round the lower part of it.’ Beechey’s Voy., vol. i., p. 345. ‘Their hair is straight, black, and coarse.’ Seemann’s Voy. Herald, vol. ii., p. 51. A fierce expression characterized them on the Mackenzie River, which ‘was increased by the long disheveled hair flowing about their shoulders.’ Armstrong’s Nar., p. 149. At Kotzebue Sound ‘their hair was done up in large plaits on each side of the head.’ Beechey’s Voy., vol. i., p. 360. At Camden Bay, lofty top-knots; at Point Barrow, none. At Coppermine River the hair is worn short, unshaven on the crown, and bound with strips of deer-skin. Simpson’s Nar., pp. 121, 157. Some of the men have bare crowns, but the majority wear the hair flowing naturally. The women cut the hair short in front, level with the eyebrows. At Humphrey Point it is twisted with some false hair into two immense bows on the back of the head. Hooper’s Tuski, p. 225. ‘Their hair hangs down long, but is cut quite short on the crown of the head.’ Kotzebue’s Voy., vol. i., p. 210. Hair cut like ‘that of a Capuchin friar.’ Seemann’s Voy. Herald, vol. ii., p. 51.

[21] Crantz says the Greenlanders root it out. ‘The old men had a few gray hairs on their chins, but the young ones, though grown up, were beardless.’ Beechey’s Voy., vol. i., p. 332. ‘The possession of a beard is very rare, but a slight moustache is not infrequent.’ Seemann’s Voy. Herald, vol. ii., p. 51. ‘As the men grow old, they have more hair on the face than Red Indians.’ Richardson’s Nar., vol. i., p. 343. ‘Generally an absence of beard and whiskers.’ Armstrong’s Nar., p. 193. ‘Beard is universally wanting.’ Kotzebue’s Voy., vol. i., p. 252. ‘The young men have little beard, but some of the old ones have a tolerable shew of long gray hairs on the upper lip and chin.’ Richardson’s Pol. Reg., p. 303. ‘All have beards.’ Bell’s Geography, vol. v., p. 294. Kirby affirms that in Alaska ‘many of them have a profusion of whiskers and beard.’ Smithsonian Report, 1864, p. 416.

[22] ‘The lip is perforated for the labret as the boy approaches manhood, and is considered an important era in his life.’ Armstrong’s Nar., p. 194. ‘Some wore but one, others one on each side of the mouth.’ Hooper’s Tuski, p. 224. ‘Lip ornaments, with the males, appear to correspond with the tattooing of the chins of the females.’ Beechey’s Voy., vol. i., p. 384.

[23] ‘The women tattoo their faces in blue lines produced by making stitches with a fine needle and thread, smeared with lampblack.’ Richardson’s Pol. Reg., p. 305. Between Kotzebue Sound and Icy Cape, ‘all the women were tattooed upon the chin with three small lines.’ They blacken ‘the edges of the eyelids with plumbago, rubbed up with a little saliva upon a piece of slate.’ Beechey’s Voy., vol. i., p. 360. At Point Barrow, the women have on the chin ‘a vertical line about half an inch broad in the centre, extending from the lip, with a parallel but narrower one on either side of it, a little apart. Some had two vertical lines protruding from either angle of the mouth; which is a mark of their high position in the tribe.’ Armstrong’s Nar., pp. 101, 149. On Bering Isle, men as well as women tattoo. ‘Plusieurs hommes avaient le visage tatoué.’ Choris, Voy. Pitt., pt. ii., p. 5.

[24] ‘Give a particularly disgusting look when the bones are taken out, as the saliva continually runs over the chin.’ Kotzebue’s Voy., vol. i., p. 227. At Camden, labrets were made of large blue beads, glued to pieces of ivory. None worn at Coppermine River. Simpson’s Nar., pp. 119, 347. ‘Many of them also transfix the septum of the nose with a dentalium shell or ivory needle.’ Richardson’s Nar., vol. i., p. 355.

[25] ‘These natives almost universally use a very unpleasant liquid for cleansing purposes. They tan and soften the seal-skin used for boot-soles with it.’ Whymper’s Alaska, p. 161. ‘Females occasionally wash their hair and faces with their own urine, the odour of which is agreeable to both sexes, and they are well accustomed to it, as this liquor is kept in tubs in the porches of their huts for use in dressing the deer and seal skins.’ Richardson’s Pol. Reg., p. 304. ‘Show much skill in the preparation of whale, seal, and deer-skins.’ Richardson’s Nar., vol. i., p. 357. They have a great antipathy to water. ‘Occasionally they wash their bodies with a certain animal fluid, but even this process is seldom gone through.’ Seemann’s Voy. Herald, vol. ii., p. 62.

[26] ‘During the summer, when on whaling or sealing excursions, a coat of the gut of the whale, and boots of seal or walrus hide, are used as water-proof coverings.’ Seemann’s Voy. Herald, vol. ii., p. 53. At Point Barrow they wear ‘Kamleikas or water-proof shirts, made of the entrails of seals.’ Simpson’s Nar., p. 156. Women wear close-fitting breeches of seal-skin. Hooper’s Tuski, p. 224. ‘They are on the whole as good as the best oil-skins in England.’ Beechey’s Voy., vol. i., p. 340.

[27] The dress of the two sexes is much alike, the outer shirt or jacket having a pointed skirt before and behind, those of the female being merely a little longer. ‘Pretty much the same for both sexes.’ Figuier’s Human Race, p. 214.

[28] ‘They have besides this a jacket made of eider drakes’ skins sewed together, which, put on underneath their other dress, is a tolerable protection against a distant arrow, and is worn in times of hostility.’ Beechey’s Voy., vol. i., p. 340. Messrs Dease and Simpson found those of Point Barrow ‘well clothed in seal and reindeer skins.’ Lond. Geog. Soc., Jour., vol. viii., p. 221. ‘The finest dresses are made of the skins of unborn deer.’ Richardson’s Pol. Reg., p. 306. ‘The half-developed skin of a fawn that has never lived, obtained by driving the doe till her offspring is prematurely born.’ Whymper’s Alaska, p. 160. Eskimo women pay much regard to their toilet. Richardson’s Nar., vol. i., p. 355.

[29] Their dress consists of two suits. Seemann’s Voy. Herald, vol. ii., p. 52. ‘Reindeer skin—the fur next the body.’ Armstrong’s Nar., p. 149. ‘Two women, dressed like men, looked frightfully with their tattooed faces.’ Kotzebue’s Voy., vol. i., p. 191. Seal-skin jackets, bear-skin trowsers, and white-fox skin caps, is the male costume at Hudson Strait. The female dress is the same, with the addition of a hood for carrying children. Franklin’s Nar., vol. i., p. 29. At Camden Bay, reindeer-skin jackets and water-proof boots. Simpson’s Nar., p. 119. At Coppermine River, ‘women’s boots which are not stiffened out with whalebone, and the tails of their jackets are not over one foot long.’ Hearne’s Travels, p. 166. Deer-skin, hair outside, ornamented with white fur. Kirby, in Smithsonian Rept., 1864, p. 416. The indoor dress of the eastern Eskimo is of reindeer-skin, with the fur inside. ‘When they go out, another entire suit with the fur outside is put over all, and a pair of watertight sealskin moccasins, with similar mittens for their hands.’ Silliman’s Journal, vol. xvi., p. 146. The frock at Coppermine River has a tail something like a dress-coat. Simpson’s Nar., p. 350.

[30] ‘Some of them are even half-naked, as a summer heat, even of 10° is insupportable to them.’ Kotzebue’s Voy., vol. i., p. 205.

[31] ‘Down to the frozen subsoil.’ Richardson’s Pol. Reg., p. 310. ‘Some are wholly above ground, others have their roof scarcely raised above it.’ Beechey’s Voy., vol. ii., p. 301.

[32] ‘Formed of stakes placed upright in the ground about six feet high, either circular or oval in form, from which others inclined so as to form a sloping roof.’ Armstrong’s Nar., p. 149. ‘Half underground, with the entrance more or less so.’ Dall’s Alaska, p. 13. ‘They are more than half underground,’ and are ‘about twenty feet square and eight feet deep.’ Seemann’s Voy. Herald, vol. ii., p. 57.

[33] ‘The whole building is covered with earth to the thickness of a foot or more, and in a few years it becomes overgrown with grass, looking from a short distance like a small tumulus.’ Richardson’s Pol. Reg., p. 310.

[34] A smaller drift-wood house is sometimes built with a side-door. ‘Light and air are admitted by a low door at one end.’ Richardson’s Nar., vol. i., p. 245.

[35] ‘The fire in the centre is never lit merely for the sake of warmth, as the lamps are sufficient for that purpose.’ Seemann’s Voy. Herald, vol. ii., p. 58. ‘They have no fire-places; but a stone placed in the centre serves for a support to the lamp, by which the little cooking that is required is performed.’ Richardson’s Nar., vol. i., p. 348.

[36] ‘On trouva plusieurs huttes construites en bois, moitié dans la terre, moitié en dehors.’ Choris, Voy. Pitt., pt. ii., p. 6. At Beaufort Bay are wooden huts. Simpson’s Nar., p. 177. At Toker Point, ‘built of drift-wood and sods of turf or mud.’ Hooper’s Tuski, p. 343. At Cape Krusenstern the houses ‘appeared like little round hills, with fences of whale-bone.’ Kotzebue’s Voy., vol. i., p. 237. ‘They construct yourts or winter residences upon those parts of the shore which are adapted to their convenience, such as the mouths of rivers, the entrances of inlets, or jutting points of land, but always upon low ground.’ Beechey’s Voy., vol. ii., p. 300.

[37] ‘I was surprised at the vast quantity of driftwood accumulated on its shore, several acres being thickly covered with it, and many pieces at least sixty feet in length.’ Armstrong’s Nar., p. 104.

[38] ‘Eastern Esquimaux never seem to think of fire as a means of imparting warmth.’ Simpson’s Nar., p. 346.

[39] Their houses are ‘moveable tents, constructed of poles and skins.’ Brownell’s Ind. Races, p. 469. ‘Neither wind nor watertight.’ Beechey’s Voy., vol. i., p. 361. At Cape Smythe, Hooper saw seven Eskimo tents of seal skin. Tuski, p. 216. ‘We entered a small tent of morse-skins, made in the form of a canoe.’ Kotzebue’s Voy., vol. i., p. 226. At Coppermine River their tents in summer are of deer-skin with the hair on, and circular. Hearne’s Travels, p. 167. At St Lawrence Island, Kotzebue saw no settled dwellings, ‘only several small tents built of the ribs of whales, and covered with the skin of the morse.’ Voyage, vol. i., pp. 190-191.

[40] ‘In parallelograms, and so adjusted as to form a rotunda, with an arched roof.’ Silliman’s Jour., vol. xvi., p. 146. Parry’s Voy., vol. v., p. 200. Franklin’s Nar., vol. ii., p. 44.

[41] ‘These houses are durable, the wind has little effect on them, and they resist the thaw until the sun acquires very considerable power.’ Richardson’s Nar., vol. i., p. 350.

[42] The snow houses are called by the natives igloo, and the underground huts yourts, or yurts, and their tents topeks. Winter residence, ‘iglut.’ Richardson’s Pol. Reg., p. 310. Beechey, describing the same kind of buildings, calls them ‘yourts.’ Voy., vol. i., p. 366. Tent of skins, tie-poo-eet; topak; toopek. Tent, too-pote. Ibid., vol. ii., p. 381. ‘Yourts.’ Seemann’s Voy. Herald, vol. ii., p. 59. Tent, topek. Dall says Richardson is wrong, and that igloo or iglu is the name of ice houses. Alaska, p. 532. House, iglo. Tent, tuppek. Richardson’s Jour., vol. ii., p. 378. Snow house, eegloo. Franklin’s Nar., vol. ii., p. 47.

[43] They are so fond of the warm blood of dying animals that they invented an instrument to secure it. See Beechey’s Voy., vol. i., p. 344. ‘Whale-blubber, their great delicacy, is sickening and dangerous to a European stomach.’ Kotzebue’s Voy., vol. i., p. 192.

[44] Hearne says that the natives on the Arctic coast of British America are so disgustingly filthy that when they have bleeding at the nose they lick up their own blood. Travels, p. 161. ‘Salt always appeared an abomination.’ ‘They seldom cook their food, the frost apparently acting as a substitute for fire.’ Collinson, in Lond. Geog. Soc., Jour., vol. xxv., p. 201. At Kotzebue Sound they ‘seem to subsist entirely on the flesh of marine animals, which they, for the most part, eat raw.’ Kotzebue’s Voy., vol. i., p. 239.

[45] ‘During the two summer months they hunt and live on swans, geese, and ducks.’ Richardson’s Nar., vol. i., p. 346.

[46] ‘Secures winter feasts and abundance of oil for the lamps of a whole village, and there is great rejoicing.’ Richardson’s Pol. Reg., p. 313. ‘The capture of the seal and walrus is effected in the same manner. Salmon and other fish are caught in nets.’ Seemann’s Voy. Herald, vol. ii., p. 61. ‘Six small perforated ivory balls attached separately to cords of sinew three feet long.’ Dease & Simpson, in Lond. Geog. Soc., Jour., vol. viii., 222.

[47] Near Smith River, a low piece of ground, two miles broad at the beach, was found enclosed by double rows of turf set up to represent men, narrowing towards a lake, into which reindeer were driven and killed. Simpson’s Nar., p. 135.

[48] ‘Ce qu’il y a encore de frappant dans la complexion de ces barbares, c’est l’extrême chaleur de leur estomac et de leur sang; ils échauffent tellement, par leur haleine ardente, les huttes où ils assemblent en hiver, que les Européans, s’y sentent étouffés, comme dans une étuve dont la chaleur est trop graduée: aussi ne font-ils jamais de feu dans leur habitation en aucune saison, et ils ignorent l’usage des cheminées, sous le climat le plus froid du globe.’ De Pauw, Recherches Phil., tom. i., p. 261.

[49] ‘The voluptuousness and Polygamy of the North American Indians, under a temperature of almost perpetual winter, is far greater than that of the most sensual tropical nations.’ Martin’s British Colonies, vol. iii., p. 524.

[50] ‘The seal is perhaps their most useful animal, not merely furnishing oil and blubber, but the skin used for their canoes, thongs, nets, lassoes, and boot soles.’ Whymper’s Alaska, p. 161.

[51] They have ‘two sorts of bows; arrows pointed with iron, flint, and bone, or blunt for birds; a dart with throwing-board for seals; a spear headed with iron or copper, the handle about six feet long; and formidable iron knives, equally adapted for throwing, cutting, or stabbing.’ Simpson’s Nar., p. 123. They ascended the Mackenzie in former times as far as the Ramparts, to obtain flinty slate for lance and arrow points. Richardson’s Jour., vol. i., p. 213. At St. Lawrence Island, they are armed with a knife two feet long. Kotzebue’s Voy., vol. i., pp. 193, 211. One weapon was ‘a walrus tooth fixed to the end of a wooden staff.’ Beechey’s Voy., vol. i., p. 343.

[52] At the Coppermine River, arrows are pointed with slate or copper; hatchets also are made of a thick lump of copper. Hearne’s Travels, pp. 161-9.

[53] ‘The old ivory knives and flint axes are now superseded, the Russians having introduced the common European sheath-knife and hatchet. The board for throwing darts is in use, and is similar to that of the Polynesians.’ Seemann’s Voy. Herald, vol. ii., p. 53.

[54] The ‘baydare is a large open boat, quite flat, made of sea-lions’ skins,’ and is used also for a tent. At Lantscheff Island it was ‘a large and probably leathern boat, with black sails.’ Kotzebue’s Voy., vol. i., pp. 202, 216. ‘The kaiyaks are impelled by a double-bladed paddle, used with or without a central rest, and the umiaks with oars.’ Can ‘propel their kaiyaks at the rate of seven miles an hour.’ Richardson’s Jour., vol. i., pp. 238, 358. At Hudson Strait they have canoes of seal-skin, like those of Greenland. Franklin’s Nar., vol. i., p. 29. Not a drop of water can penetrate the opening into the canoe. Müller’s Voy., p. 46. The kyak is like an English wager-boat. They are ‘much stronger than their lightness would lead one to suppose.’ Hooper’s Tuski, pp. 226, 228. Oomiaks or family canoes of skin; float in six inches of water. Simpson’s Nar., p. 148. ‘With these boats they make long voyages, frequently visiting St. Lawrence Island.’ Dall’s Alaska, p. 380. ‘Frame work of wood—when this cannot be procured whalebone is substituted.’ Armstrong’s Nar., p. 98. Mackenzie saw boats put together with whalebone; ‘sewed in some parts, and tied in others.’ Voyages, p. 67. They also use a sail. ‘On découvrit au loin, dans la baie, un bateau qui allait à la voile; elle était en cuir.’ Choris, Voy. Pitt., pt. ii., p. 6. They ‘are the best means yet discovered by mankind to go from place to place.’ Langsdorff’s Voy., pt. ii., p. 43. ‘It is wonderful what long voyages they make in these slight boats.’ Campbell’s Voy., p. 114. ‘The skin, when soaked with water, is translucent; and a stranger placing his foot upon the flat yielding surface at the bottom of the boat fancies it a frail security.’ Beechey’s Voy., vol. i., p. 346.

[55] The ‘kajak is shaped like a weaver’s shuttle.’ Richardson’s Pol. Reg., p. 308. ‘The paddle is in the hands of an Eskimo, what the balancing pole is to a tight-rope dancer.’ Seemann’s Voy. Herald, vol. ii., p. 56.

[56] ‘The Koltshanen construct birch-bark canoes; but on the coast skin boats or baidars, like the Eskimo kaiyaks and umiaks, are employed.’ Richardson’s Jour., vol. i., p. 405. If by accident a hole should be made, it is stopped with a piece of the flesh of the sea-dog, or fat of the whale, which they always carry with them. Langsdorff’s Voy., pt. ii., p. 43. They strike ‘the water with a quick, regular motion, first on one side, and then on the other.’ Cook’s Third Voy., vol. ii., p. 516. ‘Wiegen nie über 30 Pfund, und haben ein dünnes mit Leder überzognes Gerippe.’ Neue Nachrichten, p. 152. ‘The Aleutians put to sea with them in all weathers.’ Kotzebue’s New Voy., vol. ii., p. 40. At the Shumagin Islands they ‘are generally about twelve feet in length, sharp at each end, and about twenty inches broad.’ Meares’ Voy., p. x. They are as transparent as oiled paper. At Unalaska they are so light that they can be carried in one hand. Sauer, Billings’ Ex., p. 157, 159.

[57] ‘They average twelve feet in length, two feet six inches in height, two feet broad, and have the fore part turned up in a gentle curve.’ ‘The floor resembles a grating without cross-bars, and is almost a foot from the level of the snow.’ Seemann’s Voy. Herald, vol. ii., p. 56. At Saritscheff Island ‘I particularly remarked two very neat sledges made of morse and whalebones.’ Kotzebue’s Voy., vol. i., p. 201. ‘To make the runners glide smoothly, a coating of ice is given to them.’ Richardson’s Pol. Reg., p. 309. At Norton Sound Captain Cook found sledges ten feet long and twenty inches in width. A rail-work on each side, and shod with bone; ‘neatly put together; some with wooden pins, but mostly with thongs or lashings of whale-bone.’ Third Voy., vol. ii., p. 442, 443. Mackenzie describes the sledges of British America, Voyages, pp. 67, 68.

[58] ‘About the size of those of Newfoundland, with shorter legs.’ Dall’s Alaska, p. 25. ‘Neither plentiful nor of a good class.’ Whymper’s Alaska, p. 171.

[59] The dog will hunt bear and reindeer, but is afraid of its near relative, the wolf. Brownell’s Ind. Races, p. 474.

[60] ‘An average length is four and a half feet.’ Whymper’s Alaska, p. 183. ‘The Innuit snowshoe is small and nearly flat,’ ‘seldom over thirty inches long.’ ‘They are always rights and lefts.’ Ingalik larger; Kutchin same style; Hudson Bay, thirty inches in length. Dall’s Alaska, pp. 190, 191. ‘They are from two to three feet long, a foot broad, and slightly turned up in front.’ Seemann’s Voy. Herald, vol. ii., p. 60.

[61] ‘Blue beads, cutlery, tobacco, and buttons, were the articles in request.’ Beechey’s Voy., vol. i., p. 352. At Hudson Strait they have a custom of licking with the tongue each article purchased, as a finish to the bargain. Franklin’s Nar., vol. i., 27. ‘Articles of Russian manufacture find their way from tribe to tribe along the American coast, eastward to Repulse Bay.’ Richardson’s Pol. Reg., p. 317.

[62] Are very anxious to barter arrows, seal-skin boots, and ivory ornaments for tobacco, beads, and particularly for iron. Hooper’s Tuski, p. 217. Some of their implements at Coppermine River are: stone kettles, wooden dishes, scoops and spoons made of buffalo or musk-ox horns. Hearne’s Travels, p. 168. At Point Barrow were ivory implements with carved figures of sea-animals, ivory dishes, and a ‘fine whalebone net.’ Also ‘knives and other implements, formed of native copper’ at Coppermine River. Simpson’s Nar., pp. 147, 156, 261. At Point Barrow they ‘have unquestionably an indirect trade with the Russians.’ Simpson’s Nar., 161.

[63] ‘They are very expert traders, haggle obstinately, always consult together, and are infinitely happy when they fancy they have cheated anybody.’ Kotzebue’s Voy., vol. i., p. 211. ‘A thieving, cunning race.’ Armstrong’s Nar., p. 110. They respect each other’s property, ‘but they steal without scruple from strangers.’ Richardson’s Jour., vol. i., p. 352.

[64] ‘They have a chief (Nalegak) in name, but do not recognize his authority.’ Dr Hayes, in Hist. Mag., vol. i., p. 6. Government, ‘a combination of the monarchical and republican;’ ‘every one is on a perfect level with the rest.’ Seemann’s Voy. Herald, vol. ii., p. 59, 60. ‘Chiefs are respected principally as senior men.’ Franklin’s Nar., vol. ii., p. 41. At Kotzebue Sound, a robust young man was taken to be chief, as all his commands were punctually obeyed. Kotzebue’s Voy., vol. i., p. 235. Quarrels ‘are settled by boxing, the parties sitting down and striking blows alternately, until one of them gives in.’ Richardson’s Pol. Reg., p. 326. Every man governs his own family. Brownell’s Ind. Races, p. 475. They ‘have a strong respect for their territorial rights, and maintain them with firmness.’ Richardson’s Jour., vol. i., p. 351.

[65] They are ‘horribly filthy in person and habits.’ Hooper’s Tuski, p. 224. ‘A husband will readily traffic with the virtue of a wife for purposes of gain.’ Armstrong’s Nar., p. 195. ‘More than once a wife was proffered by her husband.’ Richardson’s Jour., vol. i., p. 356. As against the above testimony, Seemann affirms: ‘After the marriage ceremony has been performed infidelity is rare.’ Voy. Herald, vol. ii., p. 66. ‘These people are in the habit of collecting certain fluids for the purposes of tanning; and that, judging from what took place in the tent, in the most open manner, in the presence of all the family.’ Beechey’s Voy., vol. i., p. 407.

[66] ‘Two men sometimes marry the same woman.’ Seemann’s Voy. Herald, vol. ii., p. 66. ‘As soon as a girl is born, the young lad who wishes to have her for a wife goes to her father’s tent, and proffers himself. If accepted, a promise is given which is considered binding, and the girl is delivered to her betrothed husband at the proper age.’ Franklin’s Nar., vol. ii., p. 41. Women ‘carry their infants between their reindeer-skin jackets and their naked backs.’ Simpson’s Nar., p. 121. ‘All the drudgery falls upon the women; even the boys would transfer their loads to their sisters.’ Collinson, in Lond. Geog. Soc., Jour., vol. xxv., p. 201.

[67] The ‘Kashim is generally built by the joint labour of the community.’ Richardson’s Pol. Reg., p. 311.

[68] ‘Their dance is of the rudest kind, and consists merely in violent motion of the arms and legs.’ Seemann’s Voy. Herald, vol. ii., p. 63. They make ‘the most comical motions with the whole body, without stirring from their place.’ Kotzebue’s Voy., vol. i., p. 192. Their song consisted of the words: ‘Hi, Yangah yangah; ha ha, yangah—with variety only in the inflection of voice.’ Hooper’s Tuski, p. 225. When heated by the dance, even the women were stripped to their breeches. Simpson’s Nar., p. 158. ‘An old man, all but naked, jumped into the ring, and was beginning some indecent gesticulations, when his appearance not meeting with our approbation he withdrew.’ Beechey’s Voy., vol. i., p. 396.

[69] ‘C’était la plus grande marque d’amitié qu’ils pouvaient nous donner.’ Choris, Voy. Pitt., pt. ii., p. 5. ‘They came up to me one after the other—each of them embraced me, rubbed his nose hard against mine, and ended his caresses by spitting in his hands and wiping them several times over my face.’ Kotzebue’s Voy., vol. i., pp. 192, 195.

[70] ‘Their personal bravery is conspicuous, and they are the only nation on the North American Continent who oppose their enemies face to face in open fight.’ Richardson’s Jour., vol. i., p. 244. ‘Simple, kind people; very poor, very filthy, and to us looking exceedingly wretched.’ McClure’s Dis. N. W. Passage, in Lond. Geog. Soc., Jour., vol. xxiv., p. 242. ‘More bold and crafty than the Indians; but they use their women much better.’ Bell’s Geog., vol. v., p. 294.

[71] ‘Their diseases are few.’ Seemann’s Voy. Herald, vol. ii., p. 67. ‘Diseases are quite as prevalent among them as among civilized people.’ Dall’s Alaska, p. 195. ‘Ophthalmia was very general with them.’ Beechey’s Voy., vol. i., p. 345. ‘There is seldom any mortality except amongst the old people and very young children.’ Armstrong’s Nar., p. 197.

[72] At Point Barrow, bodies were found in great numbers scattered over the ground in their ordinary seal-skin dress; a few covered with pieces of wood, the heads all turned north-east towards the extremity of the point. Simpson’s Nar., p. 155. ‘They lay their dead on the ground, with their heads all turned to the north.’ ‘The bodies lay exposed in the most horrible and disgusting manner.’ Dease and Simpson, in Lond. Geog. Soc., Jour., vol. viii., p. 221, 222. ‘Their position with regard to the points of the compass is not taken into consideration.’ Seemann’s Voy. Herald, vol. ii., p. 67. ‘There are many more graves than present inhabitants of the village, and the story is that the whole coast was once much more densely populated.’ Dall’s Alaska, p. 19. Hooper, on coming to a burial place not far from Point Barrow, ‘conjectured that the corpses had been buried in an upright position, with their heads at or above the surface.’ Tuski, p. 221.

[73] Kadiak ‘is a derivative, according to some authors, from the Russian Kadia, a large tub; more probably, however, it is a corruption of Kaniag, the ancient Innuit name.’ Dall’s Alaska, p. 532. Holmberg thinks that the word Kadiak arose from Kikchtak, which in the language of the Koniagas means a large island. ‘Der Name Kadjak ist offenbar eine Verdrehung von Kikchtak, welches Wort in der Sprache der Konjagen “grosse Insel” bedeutet und daher auch als Benennung der grössten Insel dieser Gruppe diente.’ Ethnographische Skizzen über die Völker des Russischen Amerika, p. 75. ‘A la division Koniagi appartient la partie la plus septentrionale de l’Alaska, et l’île de Kodiak, que les Russes appellent vulgairement Kichtak, quoique, dans la langue des naturels, le mot Kightak ne désigne en général qu’une île.’ Humboldt, Essai Pol., tom. i., p. 347. Coxe affirms that the natives ‘call themselves Kanagist.’ Russian Dis., p. 135. And Sauer says, ‘the natives call themselves Soo-oo-it.’ Billings’ Ex., p. 175. ‘Man verstand von ihnen, dass sie sich selbst Kanagist nennen.’ Neue Nachr., p. 114.

[74] Tschugatsches, Tschugatsi or Tschgatzi. Latham, Native Races, p. 290, says the name is Athabascan, and signifies ‘men of the sea.’

[75] Kuskoquigmutes, Kuskokwimen, Kuskokwigmjuten, Kusckockwagemuten, Kuschkukchwakmüten, or Kaskutchewak.

[76] The termination mute, mut, meut, muten, or mjuten, signifies people or village. It is added to the tribal name sometimes as a substantive as well as in an adjective sense.

[77] ‘Herr Wassiljew schätzt ihre Zahl auf mindestens 7000 Seelen beiderlei Geschlechts und jeglichen Alters.’ Baer, Stat. u. Ethn., p. 127.

[78] ‘Es waren wohl einst alle diese Inseln bewohnt.’ Holmberg, Ethn. Skiz., p. 76.

[79] The Malemutes are ‘a race of tall and stout people.’ Whymper’s Alaska, p. 159. ‘Die Kuskokwimer sind, mittlerer Statur, schlank, rüstig und oft mit grosser Stärke begabt.’ Baer, Stat. u. Ethn., p. 135. Dixon’s Voy., p. 186. ‘Bisweilen fallen sogar riesige Gestalten auf, wie ich z. B. einen Häuptling in der igatschen Bucht zu sehen Gelegenheit hatte, dessen Länge 6¾ Fuss betrug.’ Holmberg, Ethn. Skiz., p. 80. The chief at Prince William Sound was a man of low stature, ‘with a long beard, and seemed about sixty years of age.’ Portlock’s Voy., p. 237. A strong, raw-boned race. Meares’ Voy., p. 32. At Cook’s Inlet they seemed to be of the same nation as those of Pr. Wm. Sd., but entirely different from those at Nootka, in persons and language. Cook’s Third Voy., vol. ii., p. 400. They are of ‘middle size and well proportioned.’ Dixon’s Voy., p. 68. ‘They emigrated in recent times from the Island of Kadyak, and they claim, as their hereditary possessions, the coast lying between Bristol Bay and Beering’s Straits.’ Richardson’s Nar., vol. i., p. 364. ‘Die Tschugatschen sind Ankömmlinge von der Insel Kadjack, die während innerer Zwistigkeiten von dort vertrieben.’ Baer, Stat. u. Ethn., p. 116.

[80] Achkugmjuten, ‘Bewohner der warmen Gegend.’ Holmberg, Ethn. Skiz., p. 5. ‘Copper complexion.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 194.

[81] ‘They bore their under lip, where they hang fine bones of beasts and birds.’ Staehlin’s North. Arch., p. 33. ‘Setzen sich auch—Zähne von Vögeln oder Thierknochen in künstliche Oeffnungen der Unterlippe und unter der Nase ein.’ Neue Nachr., p. 113.

[82] The people of Kadiak, according to Langsdorff, are similar to those of Unalaska, the men being a little taller. They differ from the Fox Islanders. Voy., pt. ii., p. 62. ‘Die Insulaner waren hier von den Einwohnern, der vorhin entdeckten übrigen Fuchsinsuln, in Kleidung und Sprache ziemlich verschieden.’ Neue Nachr., p. 113. ‘Ils ressemblent beaucoup aux indigènes des îles Curiles, dépendantes du Japon.’ Laplace, Circumnav., vol. vi., p. 45.

[83] ‘They wore strings of beads suspended from apertures in the lower lip.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 195. ‘Their ears are full of holes, from which hang pendants of bone or shell.’ Meares’ Voy., p. xxxii. ‘Elles portent des perles ordinairement en verre bleu, suspendues au-dessous du nez à un fil passé dans la cloison nasale.’ D’Orbigny, Voy., p. 573. ‘Upon the whole, I have nowhere seen savages who take more pains than these people do to ornament, or rather to disfigure their persons.’ At Prince William Sound they are so fond of ornament ‘that they stick any thing in their perforated lip; one man appearing with two of our iron nails projecting from it like prongs; and another endeavouring to put a large brass button into it.’ Cook’s Third Voy., vol. ii., p. 370. They slit the under lip, and have ornaments of glass beads and muscle-shells in nostrils and ears; tattoo chin and neck. Langsdorff’s Voy., vol. ii., p. 63. ‘Die Frauen machen Einschnitte in die Lippen. Der Nasenknorpel ist ebenfalls durchstochen.’ Baer, Stat. u. Ethn., p. 135.

[84] The Kadiaks dress like the Aleuts, but their principal garment they call Konägen; Langsdorff’s Voy., pt. ii., p. 63. Like the Unalaskas, the neck being more exposed, fewer ornamentations. Sauer, Billings’ Voy., p. 177. ‘Consists wholly of the skins of animals and birds.’ Portlock’s Voy., p. 249. A coat peculiar to Norton Sound appeared ‘to be made of reeds sewed very closely together.’ Dixon’s Voy., p. 191. ‘Nähen ihre Parken (Winter-Kleider) aus Vögelhäuten und ihre Kamleien (Sommer-Kleider) aus den Gedärmen von Wallfischen und Robben.’ Baer, Stat. u. Ethn., p. 117. At Norton Sound ‘principally of deer-skins.’ Cook’s Third Voy., vol. ii., p. 484. ‘Ihre Kleider sind aus schwarzen und andern Fuchsbälgen, Biber, Vogelhäuten, auch jungen Rennthier and Jewraschkenfellen, alles mit Sehnen genäht.’ Neue Nachr., p. 113. ‘The dress of both sexes consists of parkas and camleykas, both of which nearly resemble in form a carter’s frock.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 194.

[85] ‘Una tunica entera de pieles que les abriga bastantemente.’ Bodega y Quadra, Nav., MS. p. 66. ‘By the use of such a girdle, it should seem that they sometimes go naked.’ Cook’s Third Voy., vol. ii., p. 437.

[86] ‘Plastered over with mud, which gives it an appearance not very unlike a dung hill.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 214. Sea-dog skin closes the opening. Langsdorff’s Voy., pt. ii., p. 62. The Kuskoquims have ‘huttes qu’ils appellent barabores pour l’été.’ D’Orbigny, Voy., p. 574. ‘Mit Erde und Gras bedeckt, so dass man mit Recht die Wohnungen der Konjagen Erdhütten nennen kann.’ Holmberg, Ethn. Skiz., p. 97. ‘A door fronting the east.’ Sauer, Billings’ Voy., p. 175. At Norton Sound ‘they consist simply of a sloping roof, without any side-walls.’ Cook’s Third Voy., vol. ii., p. 484. Build temporary huts of sticks and bark. Portlock’s Voy., p. 253.

[87] ‘In dem Kashim versammelt sich die männliche Bevölkerung des ganzen Dorfes zur Berathschlagung über wichtige Angelegenheiten, über Krieg und Frieden, etc.’ Baer, Stat. u. Ethn., p. 129.

[88] ‘Le poisson est la principale nourriture.’ D’Orbigny, Voy., p. 574. ‘Berries mixed with rancid whale oil.’ ‘The fat of the whale is the prime delicacy.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., pp. 178, 195. ‘Meistentheils nähren sie sich mit rohen und trocknen Fischen, die sie theils in der See mit knöchernen Angelhaken, theils in den Bächen mit Sacknetzen, die sie aus Sehnen flechten, einfangen.’ Neue Nachr., p. 114. They generally eat their food raw, but sometimes they boil it in water heated with hot stones. Meares’ Voy., p. xxxv. The method of catching wild geese, is to chase and knock them down immediately after they have shed their large wing-feathers; at which time they are not able to fly. Portlock’s Voy., p. 265.

[89] ‘Ich hatte auf der Insel Afognak Gelegenheit dem Zerschneiden eines Wallfisches zuzusehen und versichere, dass nach Verlauf von kaum 2 Stunden nur die blanken Knochen auf dem Ufer lagen.’ Holmberg, Ethn. Skiz., p. 91.

[90] The Kadiaks ‘pass their time in hunting, festivals, and abstinence. The first takes place in the summer; the second begins in the month of December, and continues as long as any provisions remain; and then follows the period of famine, which lasts till the re-appearance of fish in the rivers. During the period last mentioned, many have nothing but shell-fish to subsist on, and some die for want.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., pp. 209, 210.

[91] ‘Wild animals which they hunt, and especially wild sheep, the flesh of which is excellent.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 188. They eat the larger sort of fern-root baked, and a substance which seemed the inner bark of the pine. Cook’s Third Voy., vol. ii., p. 374. ‘Die Eingebornen essen diese Wurzeln (Lagat) roh und gekocht; aus der Wurzel, nachdem sie in Mehl verwandelt ist, bäckt man, mit einer geringen Beimischung von Weizenmehl, süssliche, dünne Kuchen.’ Sagoskin, Tagebuch, in Denkschr. d. russ. Geog. Gesell., p. 343.

[92] ‘Ihre hölzernen Schilde nennen sie Kujaki.’ Neue Nachr., p. 114.

[93] ‘Selecting the roots of such plants as grow alone, these roots are dried and pounded, or grated.’ Sauer, Billings’ Ex., p. 178.

[94] ‘Die Pfeilspitzen sind aus Eisen oder Kupfer, ersteres erhalten sie von den Kenayern, letzteres von den Tutnen.’ Baer, Stat. u. Ethn., p. 118. ‘De pedernal en forma de arpon, cortado con tanta delicadeza como pudiera hacerlo el mas hábil lapidario.’ Bodega y Quadra, Nav., MS. p. 66.

[95] At Prince William Sound Cook found the canoes not of wood, as at Nootka. At Bristol Bay they were of skin, but broader. Third Voy., vol. ii., pp. 371, 437. ‘Die kadjakschen Baidarken unterscheiden sich in der Form ein wenig von denen der andern Bewohner der amerikanischen Küste, von denen der Aleuten aber namentlich darin, dass sie kürzer und breiter sind.’ Holmberg, Ethn. Skiz., p. 99. At Prince William Sound, ‘formada la canoa en esqueleto la forran por fuera con pieles de animales.’ Bodega y Quadra, Nav., MS. p. 65. ‘Qu’on se figure une nacelle de quatre mètres de long et de soixante centimètres de large tout au plus.’ Laplace, Circumnav., vol. vi., p. 48. ‘These canoes were covered with skins, the same as we had seen last season in Cook’s River. Dixon’s Voy., p. 147. ‘Safer at sea in bad weather than European boats.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 211.

[96] Their whale-sinew thread was as fine as silk. Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 207.

[97] The only tool seen was a stone adze. Cook’s Third Voy., vol. ii., p. 373.

[98] ‘Their sewing, plaiting of sinews, and small work on their little bags may be put in competition with the most delicate manufactures found in any part of the known world.’ Cook’s Third Voy., vol. ii., pp. 373, 374. ‘If we may judge by these figures, the inhabitants of Cadiack must have lost much of their skill in carving, their old productions of this kind being greatly superior.’ Lisiansky, p. 178. The Ingalik’s household furniture is made ‘von gebogenem Holz sehr zierlich gearbeitet und mittelst Erdfarben roth, grün und blau angestrichen. Zum Kochen der Speisen bedienen sie sich irdener, ausgebrannter Geschirre.’ Baer, Stat. u. Ethn., p. 121.

[99] ‘Tis most probable they are divided into clans or tribes.’ Dixon’s Voy., p. 67. ‘They have a King, whose name was Sheenoway.’ Meares’ Voy., p. xxvii. ‘They always keep together in families, and are under the direction of toyons or chiefs.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 151.

[100] Female slaves are sold from one tribe to another. Sauer, Billings’ Voy., p. 175.

[101] ‘Zugleich verschwand auch ihre Benennung; man nannte sie ferner Kajuren, ein Wort aus Kamtschatka hieher übergesiedelt, welches Tagelöhner oder Arbeiter bedeutet.’ Holmberg, Ethn. Skiz., p. 79.

[102] ‘They will not go a step out of the way for the most necessary purposes of nature; and vessels are placed at their very doors for the reception of the urinous fluid, which are resorted to alike by both sexes.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 214.

[103] ‘Not only do brothers and sisters cohabit with each other, but even parents and children.’ Langsdorff’s Voy., pt. ii., p. 64.

[104] ‘Images dressed in different forms.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 178. ‘The most favoured of women is she who has the greatest number of children.’ Sauer, Billings’ Voy., p. 176.

[105] ‘Der Vater oder die Mutter bestimmen den Sohn schon in seiner frühsten Kindheit zum Achnutschik, wenn er ihnen mädchenhaft erscheint.’ Holmberg, Ethn. Skiz., p. 121. ‘Male concubines are much more frequent here than at Oonalashka.’ Langsdorff’s Voy., pt. ii., p. 64. They ‘are happy to see them taken by the chiefs, to gratify their unnatural desires. Such youths are dressed like women, and taught all their domestic duties.’ Sauer, Billings’ Ex., p. 176. ‘Ces peuples sont très adonnés aux plaisirs des sens et même à un vice infame.’ Choris, Voy. Pitt., pt. vii., p. 8. ‘Of all the customs of these islanders, the most disgusting is that of men, called schoopans, living with men, and supplying the place of women.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 199. This shameful custom applies to the Thlinkeets as well. ‘Quelques personnes de l’Equipage du Solide ont rapporté qu’il ne leur est pas possible de douter que les Tchinkîtânéens ne soient souillés de ce vice honteux que la Théogonie immorale des Grecs avoit divinisé.’ Marchand, Voy. aut. du Monde, tom. ii., p. 97.

[106] ‘Der Schamane hat seiner Obliegenheit gemäss oder aus besonderem Wohlwollen sie der Jungferschaft beraubt und sie wäre unwürdig vor der Versammlung zu erscheinen, wenn sie ihre erste Liebe irgend einem Anderen und nicht dem Schamanen gezollt hätte.’ Baer, Stat. u. Ethn., p. 133.

[107] ‘Their dances are proper tournaments.’ Sauer, Billings’ Ex., p. 176. They are much addicted to public dances, especially during winter. Whymper’s Alaska, p. 165. ‘Masks of the most hideous figures are worn.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 210. ‘Use a sort of rattle composed of a number of the beaks of the sea-parrot, strung upon a wooden cross,’—sounds like castanets. Langsdorff’s Voy., pt. ii., p. 64. ‘Die Tänzer erscheinen, eben so, mit Wurfspiessen oder Messern in den Händen, welche sie über dem Kopfe schwingen.’ Baer, Stat. u. Ethn., p. 118.

[108] ‘Les sorciers et chamans jouissent d’une grande faveur dans cette région glacée de l’Amérique.’ D’Orbigny, Voy., p. 574. ‘Schamane und alte Weiber kennen verschiedene Heilmittel.’ Baer, Stat. u. Ethn., p. 135. ‘Next in rank to the shamans are the kaseks, or sages, whose office is to teach children the different dances, and superintend the public amusements and shows, of which they have the supreme control.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 208.

[109] ‘The dead body of a chief is embalmed with moss, and buried.’ Sauer, Billings’ Ex., p. 177.

[110] ‘In one of the small buildings, or kennels, as they may very properly be called, was a woman who had retired into it in consequence of the death of her son.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 184.

[111] ‘The word Aleutian seems to be derived from the interrogative particle allix, which struck strangers in the language of that people.’ Kotzebue’s Voy., vol. iii., p. 312. The Unalaskas and ‘the people of Oomnak, call themselves Cowghalingen.’ ‘The natives of Alaska and all the adjacent islands they call Kagataiakung’n.’ Sauer, Billings’ Ex., p. 154. ‘The inhabitants of Unalashka are called Kogholaghi; those of Akutan, and further east to Unimak, Kighigusi; and those of Unimak and Alaxa, Kataghayekiki. They cannot tell whence these appellations are derived; and now begin to call themselves by the general name of Aleyut, given to them by the Russians, and borrowed from some of the Kurile Islands.’ Coxe’s Russ. Dis., p. 219.

[112] Yet, says D’Orbigny, Voyage, p. 577: ‘Si on interroge les Aléoutiens sur leur origine, ils disent que leurs ancêtres ont habité un grand pays vers l’ouest, et que de là ils sont avancés de proche en proche sur les îles désertes jusq’au continent américain.’

[113] Trapesnikoff took from an unknown island in 1753, 1920 sea-otter skins. Durneff returned to Kamchatka in 1754, with 3,000 skins. In 1752 one crew touched at Bering Island and took 1,222 Arctic foxes, and 2,500 sea-bears. Cholodiloff, in 1753, took from one island 1,600 otter-skins. Tolstych in one voyage took 1,780 sea-otter, 720 blue foxes, and 840 sea-bears. Coxe’s Russ. Dis., pp. 43, 44, 49, 51, 53.

[114] Sparks, Life of Ledyard, p. 79.

[115] A great deal of character. Langsdorff’s Voy., pt. ii., p. 32.

[116] ‘Rather low of stature, but plump and well shaped; with rather short necks; swarthy chubby faces; black eyes; small beards, and long, straight, black hair; which the men wear loose behind, and cut before, but the women tie up in a bunch.’ Cook’s Third Voy., vol. ii., p. 510. ‘Von Gesicht sind sie platt und weiss, von guter Statur, durchgängig mit schwarzen Haaren.’ Neue Nachr., p. 150. ‘Low in stature, broad in the visage.’ Campbell’s Voy., p. 112. Hair ‘strong and wiry;’ scanty beard, but thick on the upper lip. Sauer, Billings’ Ex., p. 154.

[117] ‘Les femmes aléoutes portaient aux mains et aux pieds des chapelets de pierres de couleur et préférablement d’ambre.’ D’Orbigny, Voy., p. 579. ‘None are so highly esteemed as a sort of long muscle, commonly called sea-teeth, the dentalium entalis of Linnæus.’ Langsdorff’s Voy., pt. ii., p. 40. ‘Women have the chin punctured in fine lines rayed from the centre of the lip and covering the whole chin.’ They wear bracelets of black seal-skin around the wrists and ankles, and go barefoot. Sauer, Billings’ Ex., p. 155. ‘Im Nasen-Knorpel und der Unterlippe machen beide Geschlechter Löcher und setzen Knochen ein, welches ihr liebster Schmuck ist. Sie stechen sich auch bunte Figuren im Gesicht aus.’ Neue Nachr., p. 169. ‘They bore the upper lip of the young children of both sexes, under the nostrils, where they hang several sorts of stones, and whitened fish-bones, or the bones of other animals.’ Staehlin’s North Arch., p. 37.

[118] ‘Leur conformation est robuste et leur permet de supporter des travaux et des fatigues de toute sorte.’ D’Orbigny, Voy., p. 577.

[119] At Shumagin Island, their caps were of sea-lion skins. Müller’s Voy., p. 46. On the front are one or two small images of bone. Cook’s Third Voy., vol. ii., p. 510. A wooden hat, ‘which in front comes out before the eyes like a sort of umbrella, and is rounded off behind.’ Langsdorff’s Voy., pt. ii., p. 38. ‘Einige haben gemeine Mützen von einem bunten Vogelfell, woran sie etwas von den Flügeln und dem Schwanz sitzen lassen;—sind vorn mit einem Brettchen wie ein Schirm versehn und mit Bärten von Seebären—geschmücket.’ Neue Nachr., pp. 151, 152.

[120] On a feather garment, ‘a person is sometimes employed a whole year.’ ‘The women for the most part go bare-footed.’ Langsdorff’s Voy., pt. ii., pp. 36, 39. ‘Seams covered with thin slips of skin, very elegantly embroidered with white deer’s hair, goat’s hair, and the sinews of sea animals, dyed of different colours.’ Sauer, Billings’ Ex., p. 156. ‘Ihr Pelzkleid wird über den Kopf angezogen, und ist hinten und vorn ganz zu. Die Männer tragen es aus Vogelhäuten; die Weiber hingegen von Bibern und jungen Seebären.’ Neue Nachr., p. 152. ‘Boots and breeches in one piece.’ Campbell’s Voy., p. 113.

[121] ‘Round the sides and ends of the huts, the families (for several are lodged together) have their separate apartments, where they sleep, and sit at work; not upon benches, but in a kind of concave trench, which is dug all around the inside of the house, and covered with mats.’ Cook’s Third Voy., vol. ii., p. 512. ‘When they have stood for sometime, they become overgrown with grass, so that a village has the appearance of an European churchyard full of graves.’ Langsdorff’s Voy., p. 32. ‘In den Jurten wird niemals Feuer angelegt und doch ist es gemeiniglich sehr warm darinnen, so dass beide Geschlechter ganz nakkend sitzen.’ Neue Nachr., p. 150.

[122] ‘A bidarka or boat is turned up sideways, and at the distance of four or five feet, two sticks, one opposite to the head and the other to the stern, are driven into the ground, on the tops of which a cross stick is fastened. The oars are then laid along from the boat to the cross stick, and covered with seal skins, which are always at hand for the purpose.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 152.

[123] ‘Among the greatest delicacies of Oonalashka are the webbed feet of a seal, which are tied in a bladder, buried in the ground, and remain there till they are changed into a stinking jelly.’ Kotzebue’s Voy., vol. ii., p. 165. Almost everything is eaten raw. Cook’s Third Voy., vol. ii., p. 520. The sea-dog is caught with nets, killed when asleep, or enticed on shore by a false cap made to resemble a seal’s head. Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 205.

[124] ‘L’Aléoute peut tuer les phoques et les oiseaux, sans être obligé d’en rendre compte à la compagnie.’ Choris, Voy. Pitt., pt. vii., p. 4.

[125] ‘Die Spitze selbst wird theils aus Obsidian oder Lavaglas, theils auch aus Trachyt verfertigt.’ Kittlitz, Reise, vol. i., p. 268. Spear-handles are feathered, the points of sharpened flint. Neue Nachr., p. 102, ‘Arrows are thrown from a narrow and pointed board, twenty inches long, which is held by the thumb and three fingers. They are thrown straight from the shoulder with astonishing velocity.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 205. ‘Les armes défensives consistaient en une cotte de joncs tressés qui leur couvrait tout le corps.’ D’Orbigny, Voy., p. 579. ‘No such thing as an offensive, or even defensive weapon was seen amongst the natives of Oonalashka.’ Probably they had been disarmed by the Russians. Cook’s Third Voy., vol. ii., p. 515. ‘Wherever any one has fixed his habitation, nobody else dares to hunt or fish.’ Staehlin’s Nor. Arch., p. 37. For birds they point their darts with three light bones, spread and barbed. Sauer, Billings’ Ex., p. 157. ‘Indeed, there is a neatness and perfection in most of their work, that shews they neither want ingenuity nor perseverance.’ Cook’s Third Voy., vol. ii., p. 514.

[126] They make ‘baskets called ishcats, in which the Aleutians keep all their valuables.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 181. ‘Thread they make of the sinews of the seal, and of all sizes, from the fineness of a hair to the strength of a moderate cord, both twisted and plaited.’ Sauer, Billings’ Ex., p. 157. Of the teeth of sea-dogs they carve little figures of men, fish, sea-otters, sea-dogs, sea-cows, birds, and other objects. Langsdorff’s Voy., pt. ii., p. 46.

[127] ‘Wollen sie etwas an ihren Pfeilen oder sonst eine Kleinigkeit leimen, so schlagen sie sich an die Nase und bestreichen es mit ihrem Blute.’ Neue Nachr., p. 173.

[128] Sauer, Billings’ Ex., p. 159; Campbell’s Voy., p. 59.

[129] ‘Comme les femmes coûtaient cher en présents de fiançailles, la plupart des Aléoutes n’en avaient qu’une ou deux.’ D’Orbigny, Voy., p. 579. Purchase as many girls for wives as they can support. Sauer, Billings’ Ex., p. 160. ‘Objects of unnatural affection.’ Id., p. 160. ‘Their beards are carefully plucked out as soon as they begin to appear, and their chins tattooed like those of the women.’ Langsdorff’s Voy., pt. ii., p. 48. ‘The Russians told us, that they never had any connections with their women, because they were not Christians. Our people were not so scrupulous; and some of them had reason to repent that the females of Oonalashka encouraged their addresses without any reserve; for their health suffered by a distemper that is not unknown here.’ Cook’s Third Voy., vol. ii., p. 521.

[130] ‘It often happens that a mother plunges her noisy child into water, even in winter, and keeps it there till it leaves off crying.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 202. ‘Schreyt das Kind, so trägt es die Mutter, es sey Winter oder Sommer nakkend nach der See, und hält es so lange im Wasser bis es still wird.’ Neue Nachr., p. 168.

[131] ‘Have their own chiefs in each island.’ Cook’s Third Voy., vol. ii., p. 510. ‘Generally is conferred on him who is the most remarkable for his personal qualities.’ Coxe’s Russ. Dis., p. 219.

[132] Those of the inhabitants who have two wives give their guests one, or a slave. Neue Nachr., p. 171. ‘In the spring holidays, they wear masks, neatly carved and fancifully ornamented.’ Sauer, Billings’ Ex., p. 160.

[133] ‘On avait soin de le disposer de manière à ce qu’il ne touchât pas la terre.’ D’Orbigny, Voy., p. 579. ‘Embalm the bodies of the men with dried moss and grass.’ Sauer, Billings’ Ex., p. 161. Slaves sometimes slaughtered. Langsdorff’s Voy., pt. ii., p. 48. ‘Bury their dead on the summits of hills.’ Cook’s Third Voy., vol. ii., p. 521. ‘When a man dies in the hut belonging to his wife, she retires into a dark hole, where she remains forty days. The husband pays the same compliment to his favorite wife upon her death.’ Coxe’s Russ. Dis., p. 218. ‘Die Todten werden begraben, und man giebt dem Mann seinen Kahn, Pfeile und Kleider mit ins Grab.’ ‘Die Todten umwinden sie mit Riemen und hängen sie in einer Art hölzerner Wiege an einen auf zwey Gabelen ruhenden Querstock in der Luft auf.’ Neue Nachr., pp. 101, 154.

[134] ‘Naturellement silencieux.’ D’Orbigny, Voy., p. 578. ‘Sie verrichten auch die Nothdurft und das Ehegeschäft ohne alle Scheu.’ Neue. Nachr., p. 150. ‘A stupid silence reigns among them.’ ‘I am persuaded that the simplicity of their character exceeds that of any other people.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., pp. 182, 183. ‘Kind-hearted and obliging, submissive and careful; but if roused to anger, they become rash and unthinking, even malevolent, and indifferent to all danger.’ Langsdorff’s Voy., pt. ii., p. 32. ‘To all appearance, they are the most peaceable, inoffensive people, I ever met with. And, as to honesty, they might serve as a pattern to the most civilized nation upon earth.’ Cook, vol. ii., p. 509.

[135] ‘To hunt was their task; to be drowned, or starved, or exhausted, was their reward.’ Simpson’s Jour., vol. ii., p. 229. ‘They are harmless, wretched slaves,’ whose race will soon be extinct. Kotzebue’s Voy., vol. iii., p. 315. The Russian hunters ‘used not unfrequently to place the men close together, and try through how many the ball of their rifle-barrelled musket would pass.’ Sauer, Billings’ Ex. App., p. 56. ‘Of a thousand men, who formerly lived in this spot, scarcely more than forty remained.’ Langsdorff’s Voy., pt. ii., p. 235. ‘La variole, la syphilis, voire même le choléra depuis quelques années, en emportent une effrayante quantité.’ Laplace, Circumnav., vol. ii., p. 51.

[136] Kaluga, Kaljush, Koljush, Kalusch, Kolush, Kolosch, Kolosh, Kolosches. Marchand calls them Tchinkîtâné. Voyage aut. du Monde, tom. ii., p. 3.

[137] See Holmberg, Ethn. Skiz., pp. 15, 16.

[138] Ugalachmiuti, Ugaljachmjuten, Ugalyachmutzi, Ugalukmutes, Ugalenzi, Ugalenzen, Ugalenzes.

[139] They ‘call themselves G-tinkit, or S-chinkit, or also S-chitcha-chon, that is, inhabitants of Sitki or Sitcha.’ Langsdorff’s Voy., pt. ii., 128.

[140] The orthographic varieties of this word are endless. Stickeen, Stekin, Stakhin, Stachin, Stikin, Stachine, Stikeen, Stikine, Stychine, are among those before me at the moment.

[141] At the end of this chapter, under Tribal Boundaries, the location of these tribes is given definitely.

[142] A Thlinkeet boy, ‘when under the whip, continued his derision, without once exhibiting the slightest appearance of suffering.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 242.

[143] ‘Leur corps est ramassé, mais assez bien proportionné.’ Marchand, Voy., tom. ii., p. 46. ‘Very fierce.’ Portlock’s Voy., p. 291. ‘Limbs straight and well shaped.’ Dixon’s Voy., p. 171. ‘Stolze gerade Haltung.’ Holmberg, Ethn. Skiz., p. 16. ‘Active and clever.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 237. ‘Bigote á manera de los Chinos.’ Perez, Nav., MS. p. 14. ‘Limbs ill-proportioned.’ Kotzebue’s New Voy., vol. ii., p. 49. ‘Très supérieurs en courage et en intelligence.’ La Pérouse, Voy., tom. iv., p. 54.

[144] The women ‘are pleasing and their carriage modest.’ Portlock’s Voy., p. 291. When washed, white and fresh. Dixon’s Voy., p. 171. ‘Dunkle Hautfarbe.’ Holmberg, Ethn. Skiz., p. 16. ‘Eran de color blanco y habia muchos con ojos azules.’ Perez, Nav., MS. p. 14. As fair as many Europeans. Langsdorff’s Voy., pt. ii., p. 112. ‘Muchos de ellos de un blanco regular.’ Bodega y Quadra, Nav., MS. p. 43.

[145] ‘Leur chevelure, dure, épaisse, mêlée, couverte d’ocre, de duvet d’oiseaux et de toutes les ordures que la négligence et le temps y ont accumulées, contribue encore à rendre leur aspect hideux.’ Marchand, Voy., tom. ii., p. 46. ‘A more hideous set of beings, in the form of men and women, I had never before seen.’ Cleveland’s Voy., p. 91. The men painted ‘a black circle extending from the forehead to the mouth, and a red chin, which gave the face altogether the appearance of a mask.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 146. Pourraient même passer pour jolies, sans l’horrible habitude qu’elles ont adoptée.’ Laplace, Circumnav., tom. vi., p. 87. ‘That person seems to be reckoned the greatest beau amongst them, whose face is one entire piece of smut and grease.’ Dixon’s Voy., p. 68. ‘Ils se font des cicatrices sur les bras et sur la poitrine.’ La Pérouse, Voy., tom. ii., p. 223. ‘Um aus dem Gesichte diese fette Farbenmasse abzuwaschen, gebrauchen sie ihren eignen Urin, und dieser verursacht bei ihnen den widerlichen Geruch, der den sich ihm nahenden Fremdling fast zum Erbrechen bringt.’ Holmberg, Ethn. Skiz., p. 20.

[146] Meares, Voyages, p. xxxi., states that at Prince William Sound, ‘the men have universally a slit in their under lip, between the projecting part of the lip and the chin, which is cut parallel with their mouths, and has the appearance of another mouth.’ Worn only by women. Dixon’s Voy., p. 172.

[147] ‘About three tenths of an inch below the upper part of the under lip.’ Vancouver’s Voy., vol. ii., p. 280. ‘In the centre of the under-lip.’ Langsdorff’s Voy., pt. ii., p. 115. ‘Fendue au ras des gencives.’ La Pérouse, Voy., tom. ii., p. 224. ‘In the thick part near the mouth.’ Dixon’s Voy., p. 187. ‘When the first person having this incision was seen by one of the seamen, who called out, that the man had two mouths.’ Cook’s Third Voy., vol. ii., p. 369. ‘In their early infancy, a small incision is made in the center of the under lip, and a piece of brass or copper wire is placed in, and left in the wound. This corrodes the lacerated parts, and by consuming the flesh gradually increases the orifice, until it is sufficiently large to admit the wooden appendage.’ Vancouver’s Voy., vol. ii., p. 408. ‘Les femmes de Tchinkîtâné ont cru devoir ajouter à leur beauté naturelle, par l’emploi d’un ornement labial, aussi bizarre qu’incommode.’ Marchand, Voy., tom. ii., p. 48.

[148] ‘Simply perforated, and a piece of copper wire introduced.’ Dixon’s Voy., p. 187. ‘Les jeunes filles n’ont qu’une aiguille dans la lèvre inférieure.’ La Pérouse, Voy., tom. ii., p. 226. ‘On y prépare les petites filles aussitôt qu’elles sont nées.’ Id., tom. iv., p. 54. ‘At first a thick wire.’ Langsdorff’s Voy., pt. ii., p. 115. When almost marriageable. Kotzebue’s New Voy., vol. ii., p. 51. ‘The children have them bored at about two years of age, when a piece of copper-wire is put through the hole; this they wear till the age of about thirteen or fourteen years, when it is taken out, and the wooden ornament introduced.’ Portlock’s Voy., p. 289. ‘Said to denote maturity.’ Whymper’s Alaska, p. 100. ‘Se percer la lèvre inférieure des l’enfance.’ ‘D’agrandir peu à peu cette ouverture au point de pouvoir jeune fille y introduire une coquille, et femme mariée une énorme tasse de bois.’ Laplace, Circumnav., tom. vi., p. 87. ‘Never takes place during their infancy.’ Dixon’s Voy., p. 187. ‘When the event takes place that implies womanhood.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 243. ‘Wenn zum ersten Mal beim Mädchen sich Spuren der Mannbarkeit zeigen, wird ihre Unterlippe durchstochen und in diese Oeffnung eine Knochenspitze, gegenwärtig doch häufiger ein Silberstift gelegt.’ Holmberg, Ethn. Skiz., p. 21. ‘Pues les pareció que solo lo tenian los casados.’ Perez, Nav., MS. p. 15.

[149] ‘Concave on both sides.’ Vancouver’s Voy., vol. ii., p. 280. ‘So lange sie unverheirathet ist, trägt sie diesen; erhält sie aber einen Mann, so presst man einen grösseren Schmuck von Holz oder Knochen in die Oeffnung, welcher nach innen, d. h. zur Zahnseite etwas trogförmig ausgehöhlt ist.’ Holmberg, Ethn. Skiz., p. 21. ‘Une espèce d’écuelle de bois sans anses qui appuie contre les gencives.’ La Pérouse, Voy., tom. ii., p. 224. Pieces of shell resembling teeth. Meares’ Voy., p. xxxi.

[150] ‘As large as a large saucer.’ Portlock’s Voy., p. 289. ‘From one corner of the mouth to the other.’ Vancouver’s Voy., vol. ii., p. 280. ‘Frequently increased to three, or even four inches in length, and nearly as wide.’ Dixon’s Voy., p. 187. ‘A communément un demi-pouce d’épaisseur, deux de diamètre, et trois pouces de long.’ La Pérouse, Voy., tom. iv., p. 54. ‘At least seven inches in circumference.’ Meares’ Voy., p. xxxviii. ‘Mit den Jahren wird der Schmuck vergrössert, so dass er bei einem alten Weibe über 2 Zoll breit angetroffen wird.’ Holmberg, Ethn. Skiz., p. 21. From two to five inches long, and from one and a half to three inches broad. Ladies of distinction increase the size. ‘I have even seen ladies of very high rank with this ornament, full five inches long and three broad.’ Mr Dwolf affirms that he saw ‘an old woman, the wife of a chief, whose lip ornament was so large, that by a peculiar motion of her under-lip she could almost conceal her whole face with it.’ ‘Horrible in its appearance to us Europeans.’ Langsdorff’s Voy., pt. ii., p. 115. ‘Es una abertura como de media pulgada debaxo del labio inferior, que representa segunda boca, donde colocan una especie de roldana elíptica de pino, cuyo diámetro mayor es de dos pulgadas, quatro lineas, y el menor de una pulgada.’ Sutil y Mexicana, Viage, p. 126.

[151] ‘Une énorme tasse de bois, destinée à recevoir la salive qui s’en échappe constamment.’ Laplace, Circumnav., tom. vi., p. 87. ‘L’effet de cet ornement est de rabattre, par le poids de sa partie saillante la lèvre inférieure sur le menton, de développer les charmes d’une grande bouche béante, qui prend la forme de celle d’un four, et de mettre à découvert une rangée de dents jaunes et sales.’ Marchand, Voy., tom. ii., p. 49. ‘She is obliged to be constantly on the watch, lest it should fall out, which would cover her with confusion.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 244. ‘The weight of this trencher or ornament weighs the lip down so as to cover the whole of the chin, leaving all the lower teeth and gum quite naked.’ Portlock’s Voy., p. 289. ‘L’usage le plus révoltant qui existe peut-être sur la terre.’ La Pérouse, Voy., tom. ii., p. 226. ‘Always in proportion to a person’s wealth.’ ‘Distorts every feature in the lower part of the face.’ Dixon’s Voy., p. 68, 172. ‘In running the lip flaps up and down so as to knock sometimes against the chin and sometimes against the nose. Upon the continent the kaluga is worn still larger; and the female who can cover her whole face with her under-lip passes for the most perfect beauty,’ ‘The lips of the women held out like a trough, and always filled with saliva stained with tobacco-juice, of which they are immoderately fond, is the most abominably revolting part of the spectacle.’ Kotzebue’s New Voy., vol. ii., p. 52. ‘Dadurch entsteht eine im selbigen Maasse ausgedehnte Lippe, die höchst widerlich aussieht, um so mehr, da sich nun mehr der Mund nicht schliessen kann, sondern unaufhörlich einen braunen Tabaksspeichel von sich gibt.’ Holmberg, Ethn. Skiz., p. 21. ‘So distorts the face as to take from it almost the resemblance to the human; yet the privilege of wearing this ornament is not extended to the female slaves, who are prisoners taken in war.’ Cleveland’s Voy., p. 91. ‘Look as if they had large flat wooden spoons growing in the flesh.’ Langsdorff’s Voy., pt. ii., p. 115. ‘The sight is hideous. Our men used jocosely to say, this lower lip would make a good slab to lay their trousers on to be scrubbed.’ Dunn’s Oregon, p. 277. ‘On ne connaît point d’explication plausible de cette mutilation, qui, chez les Indiens, passe pour un signe de noblesse.’ Mofras, Explor., tom. ii., p. 336.

[152] ‘Die Männertracht unterscheidet sich in Nichts von der Weiber; sie besteht nämlich aus einem bis zu den Knieen gehenden Hemde.’ Holmberg, Ethn. Skiz., p. 18. Some of their blankets ‘are so curiously worked on one side with the fur of the sea-otter, that they appear as if lined with it.’ ‘Some dress themselves in short pantaloons.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 238. ‘Las mugeres visten honestamente una especie de túnica interior de piel sobada.’ Sutil y Mexicana, Viage, p. cxvii. ‘Se vestian las mugeres tunicas de pieles ajustadas al cuerpo con brazaletes de cobre o hierro.’ Perez, Nav., MS. p. 15. ‘Usual clothing consists of a little apron.’ Kotzebue’s New Voy., vol. ii., p. 49. ‘Their feet are always bare.’ Langsdorff’s Voy., pt. ii., p. 114.

[153] ‘Usan sombreros de la corteza interior del pino en forma de cono truncado.’ Sutil y Mexicana, Viage, p. cxvii. Their wooden masks ‘are so thick, that a musket-ball, fired at a moderate distance, can hardly penetrate them.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 150.

[154] Pluck out their beard. Langsdorff’s Voy., pt. ii., p. 112. ‘Ils ont de la barbe, moins à la vérité que les Européens, mais assez cependant pour qu’il soit impossible d’en douter.’ La Pérouse, Voy., tom. ii., p. 229. ‘The women in general are hair-dressers for their husbands.’ Portlock’s Voy., p. 290.

[155] ‘Der Eingang, ziemlich hoch von der Erde, besteht aus einem kleinen runden Loche.’ Holmberg, Ethn. Skiz., p. 25. ‘Ils se construisent des maisons de bois ou de terre pour l’hiver.’ Laplace, Circumnav., vol. vi., p. 87. ‘The barabaras of the Sitcan people are of a square form, and spacious. The sides are of planks; and the roof resembles that of a Russian house.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 239. ‘Habitan estos Indios en chozas ó rancherías de tablas muy desabrigadas.’ Sutil y Mexicana, Viage, p. cxvi. At Sitka the roof ‘rests upon ten or twelve thick posts driven into the ground, and the sides of the house are composed of broad thick planks fastened to the same posts.’ Langsdorff’s Voy., pt. ii., p. 129. ‘Dans l’intérieur des terres, des habitations bien construites, spacieuses et commodes.’ Marchand, Voy., tom. ii., p. 74. ‘Shanties on a large scale.’ Whymper’s Alaska, p. 100. ‘Their huts are made of a few boards, which they take away with them when they go to their winter quarters. It is very surprising to see how well they will shape their boards with the shocking tools they employ; some of them being full 10 feet long, 2½ feet broad, and not more than an inch thick.’ Portlock’s Voy., p. 292. ‘High, large, and roomy, built of wood, with the hearth in the middle, and the sides divided into as many compartments as there are families living under the roof.’ Richardson’s Jour., vol. i., p. 410. ‘Lebt in Schoppen aus Balken gebaut, wo an den Seiten für jede Familie besondere Plätze abgetheilt sind, in der Mitte aber Feuer für alle zusammen angemacht wird. So pflegen gemeiniglich 2 bis 6 Familien eine einzige Scheune einzunehmen.’ Baer’s Ethn. u. Stat., p. 97.

[156] ‘Vingt-cinq pieds de long sur quinze à vingt pieds de large.’ La Pérouse, Voy., tom. ii., p. 220. ‘Roof in the whole with the bark of trees.’ Kotzebue’s New Voy., vol. ii., p. 53. ‘Las casas en que estos habitan en las playas son de poca consideracion y ninguna subsistencia.’ Bodega y Quadra, Nav., MS. p. 49. ‘A few poles stuck in the ground, without order or regularity.’ Dixon’s Voy., p. 172. ‘Gebäude besteht aus langen, sorgfältig behauenen Brettern, die kartenhausartig über einander gestellt, an zahlreichen in die Erde gesteckten Stangen befestigt, recht eigentlich ein hölzernes Zelt bilden. Es hat die Form einer länglichen Barake mit zwei Giebeln.’ Kittlitz, Reise, vol. i., pp. 220, 221.

[157] All kinds of fish; ‘such as salmon, mussels, and various other shell-fish, sea-otters, seals and porpoises; the blubber of the porpoise, they are remarkably fond of, and indeed the flesh of any animal that comes in their way.’ Portlock’s Voy., p. 290. ‘Vom Meere, an dessen Ufern sie sich stets ansiedeln, erhalten sie ihre hauptsächlichste Nahrung; einige Wurzeln, Gräser u. Beeren gehören nur zu den Leckerbissen des Sommers.’ Holmberg, Ethn. Skiz., p. 22. Cakes made of bark of spruce-fir, mixed with roots, berries, and train-oil. For salt they use sea-water. Never eat whale-fat. Langsdorff’s Voy., pt. ii., p. 131. At Sitka, summer food consists of berries, fresh fish, and flesh of amphibious animals. Winter food, of dried salmon, train-oil, and the spawn of fish, especially herrings. Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 239. ‘Sus alimentos se reducen á pescado cocido ó asado ya fresco ó ya seco, varias hierbas y raizes.’ Bodega y Quadra, Nav., MS. p. 50. They chew ‘a plant which appears to be a species of tobacco.’ Dixon’s Voy., p. 175. ‘Sont couverts de vermine; ils font une chasse assidue à ces animaux dévorans, mais pour les dévorer eux-mêmes.’ Marchand, Voy., tom. ii., p. 52. ‘Tägliche Nahrung der Einwohner—sind hauptsächtlich Fische, doch häufig auch Mollusken und Echinodermen.’ Kittlitz, Reise, vol. i., p. 222.

[158] ‘Le poisson frais ou fumé, les œufs séchés de poisson.’ Marchand, Voy., tom. ii., p. 62. ‘Is sometimes cooked upon red-hot stones, but more commonly eaten raw.’ Kotzebue’s New Voy., vol. ii., p. 53. ‘Not so expert in hunting as the Aleutians. Their principal mode is that of shooting the sea animals as they lie asleep.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 242. They boil their victuals in wooden vessels, by constantly putting red-hot stones into the water. Portlock’s Voy., p. 291. ‘Das Kochen geschieht jetzt in eisernen Kesseln, vor der Bekanntschaft mit den Russen aber wurden dazu aus Wurzeln geflochtene Körbe angewandt.’ Holmberg, Ethn. Skiz., p. 23.

[159] To their fishing lines, bladders are fastened, ‘which float upon the surface of the water, so that one person can attend to fourteen or fifteen lines.’ Langsdorff’s Voy., pt. ii., p. 134. ‘Ils pêchent, comme nous, en barrant les rivières, ou à la ligne.’ La Pérouse, Voy., tom. ii., p. 232. ‘For taking the spawn, they use the branches of the pine-tree, to which it easily adheres, and on which it is afterwards dried. It is then put into baskets, or holes purposely dug in the ground, till wanted.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 239. ‘Su comun alimento es el salmon, y es ingenioso el método que tienen de pescarle.’ Sutil y Mexicana, Viage, p. cxvii. ‘Their lines are very strong, being made of the sinews or intestines of animals.’ Dixon’s Voy., p. 174. ‘Die Riesenbutte, die in Sitcha bisweilen ein Gewicht von 10 bis 12 Pud erreicht, wird aus der Tiefe mit grossen hölzernen Angeln, die mit Widerhaken aus Eisen oder Knochen versehen sind, herausgezogen. Die Angelschnur besteht aus an einander geknüpften Fucusstängeln.’ Holmberg, Ethn. Skiz., p. 32.

[160] ‘Bows and arrows were formerly their only weapons; now, besides their muskets, they have daggers, and knives half a yard long.’ Kotzebue’s New Voy., vol. ii., p. 55. Their weapons were bows, arrows, and spears. Dixon’s Voy., p. 67. ‘Leur lances dont l’ancienne forme n’est pas connue, est à présent composée de deux pièces: de la hampe, longue de quinze ou dix-huit pieds, et du fer qui ne le cède en rien à celui de la hallebarde de parade dont étoit armé un Suisse de paroisse.’ Marchand, Voy., tom. ii., p. 68. Knives, some two feet long, shaped almost like a dagger, with a ridge in the middle. Worn in skin sheaths hung by a thong to the neck under their robe, probably used only as weapons. Cook’s Third Voy., vol. ii., p. 373. ‘Las armas ofensivas que generalmente usan son las flechas, lanzas de seis y ocho varas de largo con lenguetas de fierro.’ Bodega y Quadra, Nav., MS. p. 46. ‘The daggers used in battle are made to stab with either end, having three, four or five inches above the hand tapered to a sharp point; but the upper part of those used in the Sound and River is excurvated.’ Portlock’s Voy., p. 261. ‘Principally bows and arrows.’ Langsdorff’s Voy., pt. ii., p. 131. ‘Sus armas se reducen al arco, la flecha y el puñal que traen siempre consigo.’ Sutil y Mexicana, Viage, p. cxvii. ‘Comme nous examinions très attentivement tous ces poignards, ils nous firent signe qu’ils n’en faisaient usage que contre les ours et les autres bêtes des forêts.’ La Pérouse, Voy., tom. ii., p. 172. ‘Der Dolch ist sehr breit und hat zwei geschliffene Blätter auf jeder Seite des Griffes, das obere jedoch nur ein Viertel von der Länge des unteren.’ ‘Beide Blätter oder Klingen sind mit ledernen Scheiden versehen.’ Holmberg, Ethn. Skiz., p. 28.

[161] ‘A kind of jacket, or coat of mail, made of thin laths, bound together with sinews, which makes it quite flexible, though so close as not to admit an arrow or dart.’ Cook’s Third Voy., vol. ii., p. 372. ‘Für den Krieg besitzen die Kaloschen auch von Holz gearbeitete Schutzwaffen: Brustharnische, Sturmhauben und seltsam geschnitzte Visire, mit grellen Farben bemalte Fratzengesichter darstellen.’ Kittlitz, Reise, vol. i., p. 216.

[162] ‘They never attack their enemies openly.’ Kotzebue’s New Voy., vol. ii., p. 55. ‘Les guerriers tués ou faits prisonniers à la guerre, passent également sous la dent de leurs vainqueurs qui, en dévorant une proie aussi distinguée, croient y puiser de nouvelles forces, une nouvelle énergie.’ Laplace, Circumnav., tom. vi., p. 155.

[163] ‘Bien hechas de una pieza con su falca sobre las bordas.’ Perez, Nav., MS., p. 17. ‘On n’est pas moins étonné de leur stabilité: malgré la légèreté et le peu de largeur de la coque, elles n’ont pas besoin d’être soutenues par des balanciers, et jamais on ne les accouple.’ Marchand, Voy., tom. ii., p. 72. ‘Las regulares canoas de que se sirven son de pino, y no tienen mas capacidad que la que basta para contener una familia, sin embargo que las hay sumamente grandes.’ Bodega y Quadra, Nav., MS. p. 48. ‘Rudely excavated and reduced to no particular shape, but each end has the resemblance of a butcher’s tray.’ Dixon’s Voy., p. 173. ‘Their canoes are much inferior to those of the lower coast, while their skin “baidarkes” (kyacks) are not equal to those of Norton Sound and the northern coast.’ Whymper’s Alaska, p. 101. At Cook’s Inlet, ‘their canoes are sheathed with the bark of trees.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 188. These canoes ‘were made from a solid tree, and many of them appeared to be from 50 to 70 feet in length, but very narrow, being no broader than the tree itself.’ Meares’ Voy., p. xxxviii. ‘Their boat was the body of a large pine tree, neatly excavated, and tapered away towards the ends, until they came to a point, and the fore-part somewhat higher than the after-part; indeed, the whole was finished in a neat and very exact manner.’ Portlock’s Voy., p. 259.

[164] ‘Ont fait beaucoup plus de progrès dans les arts que dans la morale.’ La Pérouse, Voy., tom. ii., p. 233. Thlinkeet women make baskets of bark of trees, and grass, that will hold water. Langsdorff’s Voy., pt. ii., p. 132. They have tolerable ideas of carving, most utensils having sculptures, representing some animal. Portlock’s Voy., p. 294. ‘Ces peintures, ces sculptures, telles qu’elles sont, on en voit sur tous leurs meubles.’ Marchand, Voy., tom. ii., p. 71. ‘De la vivacidad de su genio y del afecto al cambio se debe inferir son bastantemente laboriosos.’ Bodega y Quadra, Nav., MS. p. 48. ‘Tienen lana blanca cuya especie ignoraron.’ Perez, Nav., MS. p. 16. ‘Masks very ingeniously cut in wood, and painted with different colors.’ A rattle, ‘very well finished, both as to sculpture and painting.’ ‘One might suppose these productions the work of a people greatly advanced in civilization.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., pp. 150, 241. ‘Found some square patches of ground in a state of cultivation, producing a plant that appeared to be a species of tobacco.’ Vancouver’s Voy., vol. iii., p. 256.

[165] ‘The skins of the sea-otters form their principal wealth, and are a substitute for money.’ Kotzebue’s New Voy., vol. ii., p. 54. ‘In one place they discovered a considerable hoard of woolen cloth, and as much dried fish as would have loaded 150 bidarkas.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 160.

[166] ‘Le Gouvernement des Tchinkitânéens paroîtroit donc se rapprocher du Gouvernement patriarchal.’ Marchand, Voy., tom. ii., p. 83. ‘De su gobierno pensamos cuando mas, oiendo el modo de someterse á algunos viejos, seria oligárhico.’ Bodega y Quadra, Nav., MS. p. 50. ‘Though the toyons have power over their subjects, it is a very limited power, unless when an individual of extraordinary abilities starts up, who is sure to rule despotically.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 243. ‘Chaque famille semble vivre d’une manière isolée et avoir un régime particulier.’ La Pérouse, Voy., tom. iv., p. 61. ‘Ces Conseils composés des vieillards.’ Laplace, Circumnav., tom. vi., p. 155.

[167] Tribes are distinguished by the color and character of their paint. Kotzebue’s New Voy., vol. ii., p. 51. They ‘are divided into tribes; the principal of which assume to themselves titles of distinction, from the names of the animals they prefer; as the tribe of the bear, of the eagle, etc. The tribe of the wolf are called Coquontans, and have many privileges over the other tribes.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., pp. 238, 242.

[168] ‘The women possess a predominant influence, and acknowledged superiority over the other sex.’ Meares’ Voy., p. 323. ‘Parmi eux les femmes jouissent d’une certaine considération.’ Laplace, Circumnav., tom. vi., p. 87. They treat their wives and children with much affection and tenderness, and the women keep the treasures. Portlock’s Voy., p. 290. The Kalush ‘finds his filthy countrywomen, with their lip-troughs, so charming, that they often awaken in him the most vehement passion.’ Kotzebue’s New Voy., vol. ii., p. 56. ‘It is certain that industry, reserve, modesty, and conjugal fidelity, are the general characteristics of the female sex among these people.’ Langsdorff’s Voy., pt. ii., p. 133. ‘Quoiqu’elles vivent sous la domination d’hommes très-féroces, je n’ai pas vu qu’elles en fussent traitées d’une manière aussi barbare que le prétendent la plupart des voyageurs.’ La Pérouse, Voy., tom. iv., p. 61.

[169] ‘Weddings are celebrated merely by a feast, given to the relatives of the bride.’ Kotzebue’s New Voy., vol. ii., p. 57.

[170] ‘Ils ne s’écartent jamais de deux pas pour aucun besoin; ils ne cherchent dans ces occasions ni l’ombre ni le mystère; ils continuent la conversation qu’ils ont commencée, comme s’ils n’avaient pas un instant à perdre; et lorsque c’est pendant le repas, ils reprennent leur place, dont ils n’ont jamais été éloignés d’une toise.’ La Pérouse, Voy., tom. ii., p. 221.

[171] ‘Ont un goût décidé pour le chant.’ Marchand, Voy., tom. ii., p. 75. ‘The women sit upon the ground at a distance of some paces from the dancers, and sing a not inharmonious melody, which supplies the place of music.’ Langsdorff’s Voy., pt. ii., p. 114. ‘They dance and sing continually.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 240. Besides the tambourine, Captain Belcher saw a castanet and ‘a new musical instrument, composed of three hoops, with a cross in the centre, the circumference being closely strung with the beaks of the Alca arctica.’ Voy., vol. i., p. 103.

[172] They lose at this game all their possessions, and even their wives and children, who then become the property of the winner.’ Kotzebue’s New Voy., vol. ii., p. 62. ‘Ce jeu les rend tristes et sérieux.’ La Pérouse, Voy., tom. ii., p. 235.

[173] Upon one tomb, ‘formaba una figura grande y horrorosa que tenia entre sus garras una caxa.’ Sutil y Mexicana, Viage, p. cxviii. ‘The box is frequently decorated with two or three rows of small shells.’ Dixon’s Voy., p. 176. ‘The dead are burned, and their ashes preserved in small wooden boxes, in buildings appropriated to that purpose.’ Kotzebue’s New Voy., vol. ii., p. 57. ‘Nos voyageurs rencontrèrent aussi un morai qui leur prouva que ces Indiens étaient dans l’usage de brûler les morts et d’en conserver la tête.’ La Pérouse, Voy., tom. ii., p. 205. ‘On the death of a toyon, or other distinguished person, one of his slaves is deprived of life, and burned with him.’ Lisiansky’s Voy., p. 241.

[174] Called by Gallatin, in Am. Antiq. Soc. Transact., vol. ii., p. 17, Athapasca, the name ‘first given to the central part of the country they inhabit.’ Sir John Richardson, Jour., vol. ii., p. 1, calls them ‘Tinnè, or ‘Dtinnè, Athabascans or Chepewyans.’ ‘They style themselves generally Dinneh men, or Indians.’ Franklin’s Nar., vol. i., p. 241.

[175] Richardson’s Jour., vol. ii., pp. 1-33.

[176] ‘Les Indiens de la côte ou de la Nouvelle Calédonie, les Tokalis, les Chargeurs (Carriers) les Schouchouaps, les Atnas, appartiennent tous à la nation des Chipeouaïans dont la langue est en usage dans le nord du Continent jusqu’à la baie d’Hudson et à la Mer Polaire.’ Mofras, Explor., tom. ii., p. 337.

[177] Are ‘known under the names of Loucheux, Digothi, and Kutshin.’ Latham’s Nat. Races, p. 292. ‘They are called Deguthee Dinees, or the Quarrellers.’ Mackenzie’s Voy., p. 51. ‘On Peel’s River they name themselves Kutchin, the final n being nasal and faintly pronounced.’ Richardson’s Jour., vol. i., p. 378. They are also called Tykothee-dinneh, Loucheux or Quarrellers. Franklin’s Nar., vol. ii., p. 83. ‘The Loucheux proper is spoken by the Indians of Peel’s River. All the tribes inhabiting the valley of the Youkon understand one another.’ Hardisty, in Smithsonian Rept., 1866, p. 311.

[178] Gallatin, in Am. Antiq. Soc. Transact., vol. ii., p. 17, erroneously ruled the Loucheux out of his Athabasca nation. ‘Im äussersten Nordosten hat uns Gallatin aufmerksam gemacht auf das Volk der Loucheux, Zänker-Indianer oder Digothi: an der Mündung des Mackenzie-Flusses, nach Einigen zu dessen beiden Seiten (westliche und östliche): dessen Sprache er nach den Reisenden für fremd den athapaskischen hielt: worüber sich die neuen Nachrichten noch widersprechen.’ Buschmann, Spuren der Aztek. Sprache, p. 713. Franklin, Nar., vol. ii., p. 83, allies the Loucheux to the Eskimos.

[179] Tnai, ‘man;’ Tnaina Ttynai, Thnaina, Kinai, Kenai, Kenaize.

[180] See notes on Boundaries at the end of this chapter.

[181] Besides the ‘Umkwa,’ being outlying members of the Athabaskan stock,’ there are the ‘Navahoe, the Jecorilla, the Panalero, along with the Apatsh of New Mexico, California, and Sonora. To these add the Hoopah of California, which is also Athabaskan.’ Latham’s Comp. Phil., p. 393.

[182] William W. Turner was the first to assert positively that the Apaches spoke a language which belongs to the Athabascan family. Buschmann, Spuren der Aztek. Sprache, p. 316.

[183] Face ‘oval.’ Franklin’s Nar., vol. ii., p. 180. ‘Broad faces, projecting cheek-bones, and wide nostrils.’ Id., vol. i., p. 242. Foreheads low, chin long. Martin’s Brit. Col., vol. iii., p. 524. An exact compound between the Usquemows and Western Indians. Barrow’s Geog. Hudson Bay, p. 33.

[184] Generally more than medium size. Hearne’s Trav., p. 305. ‘Well proportioned, and about the middle size.’ Martin’s Brit. Col., vol. iii., p. 524. ‘Long-bodied, with short, stout limbs.’ Ross, in Smithsonian Rept., 1866, p. 304.

[185] ‘Dingy copper.’ Martin’s Brit. Col., vol. iii., p. 526. ‘Swarthy.’ Mackenzie’s Voy., p. cxix. Dingy brown, copper cast. Hearne’s Trav., p. 305. ‘Very fresh and red.’ Franklin’s Nar., vol. ii., p. 180. ‘Dirty yellowish ochre tinge.’ Ross, in Smithsonian Rept., 1866, p. 304.

[186] ‘Small, fine eyes and teeth.’ Franklin’s Nar., vol. i., 242.

[187] ‘Hair lank, but not always of a dingy black. Men in general extract their beard, though some of them are seen to prefer a bushy, black beard, to a smooth chin.’ Mackenzie’s Voy., p. cxix. Beard in the aged ‘between two and three inches long, and perfectly white.’ Franklin’s Nar., vol. ii., p. 180. ‘Black, strait, and coarse.’ Martin’s Brit. Col., vol. iii., p. 524. ‘Neither sex have any hair under their armpits, and very little on any other part of the body, particularly the women; but on the place where Nature plants the hair, I never knew them attempt to eradicate it.’ Hearne’s Trav., p. 306.

[188] Tattooing appears to be universal among the Kutchins. Kirby, in Smithsonian Rept., 1864, p. 419. The Chepewyans tattooed ‘by entering an awl or needle under the skin, and, on drawing it out again, immediately rubbing powdered charcoal into the wound.’ Hearne’s Trav., p. 306. ‘Both sexes have blue or black bars, or from one to four straight lines on their cheeks or forehead, to distinguish the tribe to which they belong.’ Mackenzie’s Voy., p. cxx.

[189] Women ‘destitute of real beauty.’ Hearne’s Trav., p. 89. ‘Very inferior aspect.’ Richardson’s Jour., vol. ii., p. 8. Women nasty. Mackenzie’s Voy., p. 126. ‘Positively hideous.’ Ross, in Smithsonian Rept., 1866, p. 304.

[190] A Deer-Horn Mountaineer’s dress ‘consisted of a shirt, or jacket with a hood, wide breeches, reaching only to the knee, and tight leggins sewed to the shoes, all of deer’s skins.’ Franklin’s Nar., vol. ii., p. 180. The cap consists of the skin of a deer’s head. Mackenzie’s Voy., p. cxxii.

[191] As witness this speech of a noble chief: ‘Women were made for labor; one of them can carry, or haul, as much as two men can do. They also pitch our tents, make and mend our clothing, keep us warm at night; and, in fact, there is no such thing as traveling any considerable distance, in this country without their assistance.’ Hearne’s Trav., p. 55.

[192] An Indian desiring another one’s wife, fights with her husband, principally by pulling hair. If victorious, he pays a number of skins to the husband. Hooper’s Tuski, p. 303.

[193] ‘Continence in an unmarried female is scarcely considered a virtue.’ ‘Their dispositions are not amatory.’ ‘I have heard among them of two sons keeping their mother as a common wife, of another wedded to his daughter, and of several married to their sisters. Ross, in Smithsonian Rept., 1866, p. 310. Women carry their children on the back next the skin, and suckle them until another is born. They do not suspend their ordinary occupations for child-birth. Mackenzie’s Voy., p. cxxii. ‘A temporary interchange of wives is not uncommon; and the offer of their persons is considered as a necessary part of the hospitality due to strangers.’ Id., p. xcvi. Women are ‘rather the slaves than the companions of the men.’ Bell’s Geog., vol. v., p. 293.

[194] They are harsh towards their wives, except when enceinte. They are accused of abandoning the aged and sick, but only one case came to his knowledge. Franklin’s Nar., vol. i., pp. 250, 251.

[195] Beeatee, prepared from deer only, ‘is a kind of haggis, made with the blood, a good quantity of fat shred small, some of the tenderest of the flesh, together with the heart and lungs cut, or more commonly cut into small shivers; all of which is put into the stomach, and roasted.’ Hearne’s Trav., p. 144. ‘Not remarkable for their activity as hunters, owing to the ease with which they snare deer and spear fish.’ Mackenzie’s Voy., p. cxxiii. The Deer-Horn Mountaineers ‘repair to the sea in spring and kill seals; as the season advances, they hunt deer and musk oxen at some distance from the coast. They approach the deer either by crawling, or by leading these animals by ranges of turf towards the spot where the archer can conceal himself.’ Do not use nets, but the hook and line. Franklin’s Nar., vol. ii., p. 181. ‘Nets made of lines of twisted willow-bark, or thin strips of deer-hide.’ Richardson’s Jour., vol. ii., p. 25. Curdled blood, a favorite dish. Simpson’s Nar., p. 324.

[196] The weapons of the Chepewyans are bows and arrows; stone and bone axes and knives. Harmon’s Jour., p. 183. The bows of the Deer-Horns ‘are formed of three pieces of fir, the centre piece alone bent, the other two lying in the same straight line with the bowstring; the pieces are neatly tied together with sinew. Franklin’s Nar., vol. ii., p. 180. In preparing for an attack, each Coppermine Indian paints his shield with figures of Sun, Moon, or some animal or imaginary beings, each portraying whatever character he most relies upon. Hearne’s Trav., p. 148. In some parts hunting grounds descend by inheritance, and the right of property is rigidly enforced. Simpson’s Nar., p. 75.

[197] ‘Their cooking utensils are made of pot-stone, and they form very neat dishes of fir.’ Franklin’s Nar., vol. ii., p. 181. Make fishing-lines and nets of green deer-thongs. Mackenzie’s Voy., p. cxxvi.

[198] ‘They are great mimics.’ Richardson’s Jour., vol. ii., p. 13. Men dance naked; women dressed. A crowd stand in a straight line, and shuffle from right to left without moving the feet from the ground. Hearne’s Trav., p. 335. ‘The men occasionally howl in imitation of some animal.’ Mackenzie’s Voy., p. 35.

[199] ‘They manifest no common respect to the memory of their departed friends, by a long period of mourning, cutting off their hair, and never making use of the property of the deceased.’ Mackenzie’s Voy., p. cxxviii. The death of leading men is attributed to conjuring. They never bury the dead, but leave them, where they die, for wild beasts to devour. Hearne’s Trav., p. 341. The Chepewyans bury their dead. When mourning for relatives they gash their bodies with knives. Richardson’s Jour., vol. ii., pp. 21, 22.

[200] ‘The Northern Indians seldom attain a great age, though they have few diseases.’ Martin’s Brit. Col., vol. iii., p. 525. For inward complaints, the doctors blow zealously into the rectum, or adjacent parts. Hearne’s Trav., p. 189. The conjurer shuts himself up for days with the patient, without food, and sings over him. Franklin’s Nar., vol. ii., p. 41. Medicine-men or conjurers are at the same time doctors. Hooper’s Tuski, pp. 317, 318. ‘The Kutchins practice blood-letting ad libitum.’ Jones, Smithsonian Rept., 1866, p. 325. ‘Their principal maladies are rheumatic pains, the flux, and consumption.’ Mackenzie’s Voy., p. cxxiv.

[201] According to the report of the Dog-ribs, the Mountain Indians are cannibals, casting lots for victims in time of scarcity. Simpson’s Nar., p. 188. ‘Instances of suicide, by hanging, frequently occur among the women.’ Harmon’s Jour., p. 198. During times of starvation, which occur quite frequently, the Slavé Indians eat their families. Hooper’s Tuski, p. 303. ‘These people take their names, in the first instance, from their dogs. A young man is the father of a certain dog, but when he is married, and has a son, he styles himself the father of the boy. The women have a habit of reproving the dogs very tenderly when they observe them fighting. “Are you not ashamed,” say they, “to quarrel with your little brother?”‘ Franklin’s Nar., vol. ii., pp. 85, 86. ‘Whether circumcision be practiced among them, I cannot pretend to say, but the appearance of it was general among those whom I saw.’ Mackenzie’s Voy., p. 36. Dog-rib Indians, sometimes also called Slavés, ‘a name properly meaning ‘strangers.’ Gallatin, in Am. Arch. Soc. Trans., vol. ii., p. 19.

[202] ‘Order is maintained in the tribe solely by public opinion.’ Richardson’s Jour., vol. ii., p. 26. The chiefs are now totally without power. Franklin’s Nar., vol. i., p. 247. ‘They are influenced, more or less, by certain principles which conduce to their general benefit.’ Mackenzie’s Voy., p. cxxv.

[203] ‘Many consider a broth, made by means of the dung of the cariboo and the hare, to be a dainty dish.’ Harmon’s Jour., p. 324. They ‘are lazy, dirty, and sensual,’ and extremely uncivilized. ‘Their habits and persons are equally disgusting.’ Domenech’s Deserts, vol. ii., p. 62. ‘They are a tall, well formed, good-looking race.’ Nicolay’s Ogn. Ter., p. 154. ‘An utter contempt of cleanliness prevailed on all hands, and it was revolting to witness their voracious endeavors to surpass each other in the gluttonous contest.’ Ind. Life, p. 156.

[204] The women ‘run a wooden pin through their noses.’ Harmon’s Jour., p. 287. At their burial ceremonies they smear the face ‘with a composition of fish-oil and charcoal.’ When conjuring, the chief and his companions ‘wore a kind of coronet formed of the inverted claws of the grizzly bear.’ Ind. Life, pp. 127, 158.

[205] The Tacullies have ‘wooden dishes, and other vessels of the rind of the birch and pine trees.’ ‘Have also other vessels made of small roots or fibres of the cedar or pine tree, closely laced together, which serve them as buckets to put water in.’ Harmon’s Jour., p. 292.

[206] ‘In the summer season both sexes bathe often; and this is the only time, when the married people wash themselves.’ The Tacullies are very fond and very jealous of their wives, ‘but to their daughters, they allow every liberty, for the purpose, as they say, of keeping the young men from intercourse with the married women.’ Harmon’s Jour., pp. 289, 292, 293. A father, whose daughter had dishonored him, killed her and himself. Ind. Life, 184.

[207] ‘The people of every village have a certain extent of country, which they consider their own, and in which they may hunt and fish; but they may not transcend these bounds, without purchasing the privilege of those who claim the land. Mountains and rivers serve them as boundaries.’ Harmon’s Jour., p. 298.

[208] Mackenzie, Voy., p. 238, found on Fraser River, about latitude 55°, a deserted house, 30 by 20, with three doors, 3 by 3½ feet; three fire-places, and beds on either side; behind the beds was a narrow space, like a manger, somewhat elevated, for keeping fish. ‘Their houses are well formed of logs of small trees, buttressed up internally, frequently above seventy feet long and fifteen high, but, unlike those of the coast, the roof is of bark; their winter habitations are smaller, and often covered over with grass and earth; some even dwell in excavations of the ground, which have only an aperture at the top, and serves alike for door and chimney.’ Nicolay’s Ogn. Ter., p. 154.

[209] ‘Quelques peuplades du nord, telles que les Sikanis, enterrent leurs morts.’ Mofras, Explor., tom. ii., p. 339. ‘The Sicaunies bury, while the Tacullies, burn their dead.’ Harmon’s Jour., p. 196. They ‘and the Chimmesyans on the coast, and other tribes speaking their language, burn the dead.’ Lord’s Nat., vol. ii., p. 236. See also Dunn’s Oregon, pp. 79, 80; Ind. Life, pp. 128, 136; Domenech’s Deserts, vol. ii., pp. 362, 363.

[210] They fire guns as a warning to their friends not to invade their sorrow. Mackenzie’s Voy., p. 139.

[211] ‘In the winter season, the Carriers often keep their dead in their huts during five or six months, before they will allow them to be burned.’ Harmon’s Jour., p. 249.

[212] ‘She must frequently put her hands through the flames and lay them upon his bosom, to show her continued devotion.’ Parker’s Explor. Tour, p. 239. They have a custom of mourning over the grave of the dead; their expressions of grief are generally exceedingly vociferous. Ind. Life, pp. 185, 186.

[213] ‘On the end of a pole stuck in front of the lodge.’ Lord’s Nat., vol. ii., p. 237.

[214] Women cut off a joint of one of their fingers. Men only cut off their hair close to their heads, but also frequently cut and scratch their faces and arms. Harmon’s Jour., p. 182. With some sharp instrument they ‘force back the flesh beyond the first joint, which they immediately amputate.’ Mackenzie’s Voy., p. 148.

[215] ‘The men are completely destitute of beard, and both men and women, are intensely ugly.’ Jones, in Smithsonian Rept., 1866, p. 320. ‘They reminded me of the ideal North American Indian I had read of but never seen.’ Whymper’s Alaska, p. 239. Distinguished from all other tribes for the frankness and candor of their demeanor, and bold countenances. Simpson’s Nar., p. 100. ‘Males are of the average hight of Europeans, and well-formed, with regular features, high foreheads, and lighter complexions than those of the other red Indians. The women resemble the men.’ Richardson’s Jour., vol. i., p. 379.

[216] ‘Tunic or shirt reaching to the knees, and very much ornamented with beads, and Hyaqua shells from the Columbia.’ Kirby, in Smithsonian Rept., 1864, p. 418. The Tenan Kutchins are ‘gay with painted faces, feathers in their long hair, patches of red clay at the back of their head.’ Whymper’s Alaska, p. 239. Jackets like the Eskimos. Richardson’s Jour., vol. i., p. 221. ‘Both sexes wear breeches.’ Simpson’s Nar., p. 103.

[217] ‘The Kutch-a-Kutchin, are essentially traders.’ Kirby, in Smithsonian Rept., 1864, p. 418. Appear to care more for useful than ornamental articles. Whymper’s Alaska, p. 213. ‘Dentalium and arenicola shells are transmitted from the west coast in traffic, and are greatly valued.’ Richardson’s Jour., vol. i., p. 391.

[218] Some wear ‘wampum (a kind of long, hollow shell) through the septum of the nose.’ Hooper’s Tuski, p. 270. They pierce the nose and insert shells, which are obtained from the Eskimos at a high price. Franklin’s Nar., vol. ii., p. 84.

[219] The Loucheux live in huts ‘formed of green branches. In winter their dwellings are partly under ground. The spoils of the moose and reindeer furnish them with meat, clothing, and tents.’ Simpson’s Nar., pp. 103, 191. The Co-Yukon winter dwellings are made under ground, and roofed over with earth, having a hole for the smoke to escape by, in the same manner as those of the Malemutes and Ingaliks. Whymper’s Alaska, pp. 175, 205. Their movable huts are constructed of deer-skin, ‘dressed with the hair on, and sewed together, forming two large rolls, which are stretched over a frame of bent poles,’ with a side door and smoke-hole at the top. Jones, in Smithsonian Rept., 1866, p. 321.

[220] The Loucheux are ‘great gormandizers, and will devour solid fat, or even drink grease, to surfeiting.’ Hooper’s Tuski, p. 271. ‘The bears are not often eaten in summer, as their flesh is not good at that time.’ Jones, in Smithsonian Rept., 1866, p. 321. Some of their reindeer-pounds are over one hundred years old and are hereditary in the family. Richardson’s Jour., vol. i., p. 394. ‘The mode of fishing through the ice practiced by the Russians is much in vogue with them.’ Whymper’s Alaska, p. 211.

[221] The Kutchins ‘have no knowledge of scalping.’ ‘When a man kills his enemy, he cuts all his joints.’ Jones, in Smithsonian Rept., 1866, 327. The Loucheux of Peel River and the Eskimos are constantly at war. Hooper’s Tuski, p. 273.

[222] ‘At Peace River the bark is taken off the tree the whole length of the intended canoe, which is commonly about eighteen feet, and is sewed with watupe at both ends.’ Mackenzie’s Voy., p. 207. When the Kutchins discover a leak, ‘they go ashore, light a small fire, warm the gum, of which they always carry a supply, turn the canoe bottom upward, and rub the healing balm in a semi-fluid state into the seam until it is again water-tight.’ Whymper’s Alaska, p. 225. The Tacullies ‘make canoes which are clumsily wrought, of the aspin tree, as well as of the bark of the spruce fir.’ Harmon’s Jour., p. 291. Rafts are employed on the Mackenzie. Simpson’s Nar., p. 185. ‘In shape the Northern Indian canoe bears some resemblance to a weaver’s shuttle; covered over with birch bark.’ Hearne’s Jour., pp. 97, 98. ‘Kanots aus Birkenrinde, auf denen sie die Flüsse u. Seen befahren.’ Baer, Stat. u. Ethn., p. 112. The Kutchin canoe ‘is flat-bottomed, is about nine feet long and one broad, and the sides nearly straight up and down like a wall.’ Jones, in Smithsonian Rept., 1866, p. 323.

[223] As for instance for a life, the fine is forty beaver-skins, and may be paid in guns at twenty skins each; blankets, equal to ten skins each; powder, one skin a measure; bullets, eighteen for a skin; worsted belts, two skins each. Hooper’s Tuski, p. 272. ‘For theft, little or no punishment is inflicted; for adultery, the woman only is punished’—sometimes by beating, sometimes by death. Jones, in Smithsonian Rept., 1866, p. 325.

[224] Kutchin ‘female chastity is prized, but is nearly unknown.’ Jones, in Smithsonian Rept., 1866, p. 325. Loucheux mothers had originally a custom of casting away their female children, but now it is only done by the Mountain Indians, Simpson’s Nar., p. 187. The Kutchin ‘women are much fewer in number and live a much shorter time than the men.’ Kirby, in Smithsonian Rept., 1864, p. 418. The old people ‘are not ill-used, but simply neglected.’ Whymper’s Alaska, p. 229. The children are carried in small chairs made of birch bark. Id., p. 232. ‘In a seat of birch bark.’ Richardson’s Jour., vol. i., p. 384.

[225] The Loucheux dances ‘abound in extravagant gestures, and demand violent exertion.’ Simpson’s Nar., p. 100. See Hardisty, in Smithsonian Rept., 1866, p. 313. ‘Singing is much practiced, but it is, though varied, of a very hum-drum nature.’ Hooper’s Tuski, p. 318. ‘At the festivals held on the meeting of friendly tribes, leaping and wrestling are practised.’ Richardson’s Jour., vol. i., p. 395.

[226] ‘Irrespective of tribe, they are divided into three classes, termed respectively, Chit-sa, Nate-sa, and Tanges-at-sa, faintly representing the aristocracy, the middle classes, and the poorer orders of civilized nations, the former being the most wealthy and the latter the poorest.’ Kirby, in Smithsonian Rept., 1864, p. 418.

[227] On Peel River ‘they bury their dead on stages.’ On the Yukon they burn and suspend the ashes in bags from the top of a painted pole. Kirby, in Smithsonian Rept., 1864, p. 419. They of the Yukon ‘do not inter the dead, but put them in oblong boxes, raised on posts.’ Whymper’s Alaska, pp. 207, 211.

Chapter III • Columbians • 84,700 Words
Native Races of the Pacific StatesColumbian Group
Native Races of the Pacific States
Columbian Group

Habitat of the Columbian Group—Physical Geography—Sources of Food-Supply—Influence of Food and Climate—Four extreme Classes—Haidahs—Their Home—Physical Peculiarities—Clothing—Shelter—Sustenance—Implements—Manufactures—Arts—Property—Laws—Slavery—Women—Customs—Medicine—Death—The Nootkas—The Sound Nations—The Chinooks—The Shushwaps—The Salish—The Sahaptins—Tribal Boundaries.

The term Columbians, or, as Scouler[228]The Nootka-Columbians comprehend ‘the tribes inhabiting Quadra and Vancouver’s Island, and the adjacent inlets of the mainland, down to the Columbia River, and perhaps as far S. as Umpqua River and the northern part of New California.’ Scouler, in Lond. Geog. Soc., Jour., vol. xi., p. 221. and others have called them, Nootka-Columbians, is, in the absence of a native word, sufficiently characteristic to distinguish the aboriginal nations of north-western America between the forty-third and fifty-fifth parallels, from those of the other great divisions of this work. The Columbia River, which suggests the name of this group, and Nootka Sound on the western shore of Vancouver Island, were originally the chief centres of European settlement on the North-west Coast; and at an early period these names were compounded to designate the natives of the Anglo-American possessions on the Pacific, which lay between the discoveries of the Russians on the north and those of the Spaniards on the south. As a simple name is always preferable to a complex one, and as no more pertinent name suggests itself than that of the great river which, with its tributaries, drains a large portion of this territory, I drop ‘Nootka’ and retain only the word ‘Columbian.’[229]Gilbert Malcolm Sproat, a close observer and clear writer, thinks ‘this word Nootkah—no word at all—together with an imaginary word, Columbian, denoting a supposed original North American race—is absurdly used to denote all the tribes which inhabit the Rocky Mountains and the western coast of North America, from California inclusively to the regions inhabited by the Esquimaux. In this great tract there are more tribes, differing totally in language and customs, than in any other portion of the American continent; and surely a better general name for them could be found than this meaningless and misapplied term Nootkah Columbian.’ Sproat’s Scenes, p. 315. Yet Mr Sproat suggests no other name. It is quite possible that Cook, Voy. to the Pacific, vol. ii., p. 288, misunderstood the native name of Nootka Sound. It is easy to criticise any name which might be adopted, and even if it were practicable or desirable to change all meaningless and misapplied geographical names, the same or greater objections might be raised against others, which necessity would require a writer to invent. These nations have also been broadly denominated Flatheads, from a custom practiced more or less by many of their tribes, of compressing the cranium during infancy;[230]Kane’s Wand., p. 173; Macfie’s Vanc. Isl., p. 441; Catlin’s N. Am. Ind., vol. ii., p. 108; the name being given to the people between the region of the Columbia and 53° 30´. although the only Indians in the whole area, tribally known as Flatheads, are those of the Salish family, who do not flatten the head at all.

Columbian Families

In describing the Columbian nations it is necessary, as in the other divisions, to subdivide the group; arbitrarily this may have been done in some instances, but as naturally as possible in all. Thus the people of Queen Charlotte Islands, and the adjacent coast for about a hundred miles inland, extending from 55° to 52° of north latitude, are called Haidahs from the predominant tribe of the islands. The occupants of Vancouver Island and the opposite main, with its labyrinth of inlets from 52° to 49°, I term Nootkas. The Sound Indians inhabit the region drained by streams flowing into Puget Sound, and the adjacent shores of the strait and ocean; the Chinooks occupy the banks of the Columbia from the Dalles to the sea, extending along the coast northward to Gray Harbor, and southward nearly to the Californian line. The interior of British Columbia, between the Cascade and Rocky Mountains, and south of the territory occupied by the Hyperborean Carriers, is peopled by the Shushwaps, the Kootenais, and the Okanagans. Between 49° and 47°, extending west from the Cascade to the Rocky Mountains, chiefly on the Columbia and Clarke Fork, is the Salish or Flathead family. The nations dwelling south of 47° and east of the Cascade range, on the Columbia, the lower Snake, and their tributary streams, may be called Sahaptins, from the name of the Nez Percé tribes.[231]The name Nez Percés, ‘pierced noses,’ is usually pronounced as if English, Nez Pér-ces. The great Shoshone family, extending south-east from the upper waters of the Columbia, and spreading out over nearly the whole of the Great Basin, although partially included in the Columbian limits, will be omitted in this, and included in the Californian Group, which follows. These divisions, as before stated, are geographic rather than ethnographic.[232]For particulars and authorities see Tribal Boundaries at end of this chapter. Many attempts have been made by practical ethnologists, to draw partition lines between these peoples according to race, all of which have proved signal failures, the best approximation to a scientific division being that of philologists, the results of whose researches are given in the third volume of this series; but neither the latter division, nor that into coast and inland tribes—in many respects the most natural and clearly defined of all[233]‘The Indian tribes of the North-western Coast may be divided into two groups, the Insular and the Inland, or those who inhabit the islands and adjacent shores of the mainland, and subsist almost entirely by fishing; and those who live in the interior and are partly hunters. This division is perhaps arbitrary, or at least imperfect, as there are several tribes whose affinities with either group are obscure.’ Scouler, in Lond. Geog. Soc., Jour., vol. xi., p. 217. See Stevens, in Pac. R. R. Rept., vol. i., pp. 147-8, and Mayne’s B. C., p. 242. ‘The best division is into coast and inland tribes.’ Lord’s Nat., vol. ii., p. 226.—is adapted to my present purpose. In treating of the Columbians, I shall first take up the coast families, going from north to south, and afterward follow the same order with those east of the mountains.

Home of the Columbians

No little partiality was displayed by the Great Spirit of the Columbians in the apportionment of their dwelling-place. The Cascade Mountains, running from north to south throughout their whole territory, make of it two distinct climatic divisions, both highly but unequally favored by nature. On the coast side—a strip which may be called one hundred and fifty miles wide and one thousand miles long—excessive cold is unknown, and the earth, warmed by Asiatic currents and watered by numerous mountain streams, is thickly wooded; noble forests are well stocked with game; a fertile soil yields a great variety of succulent roots and edible berries, which latter means of subsistence were lightly appreciated by the indolent inhabitants, by reason of the still more abundant and accessible food-supply afforded by the fish of ocean, channel, and stream. The sources of material for clothing were also bountiful far beyond the needs of the people.

Passing the Cascade barrier, the climate and the face of the country change. Here we have a succession of plains or table-lands, rarely degenerating into deserts, with a good supply of grass and roots; though generally without timber, except along the streams, until the heavily wooded western spurs of the Rocky Mountains are reached. The air having lost much of its moisture, affords but a scanty supply of rain, the warming and equalizing influence of the ocean stream is no longer felt, and the extremes of heat and cold are undergone according to latitude and season. Yet are the dwellers in this land blessed above many other aboriginal peoples, in that game is plenty, and roots and insects are at hand in case the season’s hunt prove unsuccessful.

Ethnologically, no well-defined line can be drawn to divide the people occupying these two widely different regions. Diverse as they certainly are in form, character, and customs, their environment, the climate, and their methods of seeking food may well be supposed to have made them so. Not only do the pursuit of game in the interior and the taking of fish on the coast, develop clearly marked general peculiarities of character and life in the two divisions, but the same causes produce grades more or less distinct in each division. West of the Cascade range, the highest position is held by the tribes who in their canoes pursue the whale upon the ocean, and in the effort to capture Leviathan become themselves great and daring as compared with the lowest order who live upon shell-fish and whatever nutritious substances may be cast by the tide upon the beach. Likewise in the interior, the extremes are found in the deer, bear, elk, and buffalo hunters, especially when horses are employed, and in the root and insect eaters of the plains. Between these four extreme classes may be traced many intermediate grades of physical and intellectual development, due to necessity and the abilities exercised in the pursuit of game.

The Columbians hitherto have been brought in much closer contact with the whites than the Hyperboreans, and the results of the association are known to all. The cruel treacheries and massacres by which nations have been thinned, and flickering remnants of once powerful tribes gathered on government reservations or reduced to a handful of beggars, dependent for a livelihood on charity, theft, or the wages of prostitution, form an unwritten chapter in the history of this region. That this process of duplicity was unnecessary as well as infamous, I shall not attempt to show, as the discussion of Indian policy forms no part of my present purpose. Whatever the cause, whether from an inhuman civilized policy, or the decrees of fate, it is evident that the Columbians, in common with all the aborigines of America, are doomed to extermination. Civilization and savagism will not coalesce, any more than light and darkness; and although it may be necessary that these things come, yet are those by whom they are unrighteously accomplished none the less culpable.

Once more let it be understood that the time of which this volume speaks, was when the respective peoples were first known to Europeans. It was when, throughout this region of the Columbia, nature’s wild magnificence was yet fresh; primeval forests unprofaned; lakes, and rivers, and rolling plains unswept; it was when countless villages dotted the luxuriant valleys; when from the warrior’s camp-fire the curling smoke never ceased to ascend, nor the sounds of song and dance to be heard; when bands of gaily dressed savages roamed over every hill-side; when humanity unrestrained vied with bird and beast in the exercise of liberty absolute. This is no history; alas! they have none; it is but a sun-picture, and to be taken correctly must be taken quickly. Nor need we pause to look back through the dark vista of unwritten history, and speculate, who and what they are, nor for how many thousands of years they have been coming and going, counting the winters, the moons, and the sleeps; chasing the wild game, basking in the sunshine, pursuing and being pursued, killing and being killed. All knowledge regarding them lies buried in an eternity of the past, as all knowledge of their successors remains folded in an eternity of the future. We came upon them unawares, unbidden, and while we gazed they melted away. The infectious air of civilization penetrated to the remotest corner of their solitudes. Their ignorant and credulous nature, unable to cope with the intellect of a superior race, absorbed only its vices, yielding up its own simplicity and nobleness for the white man’s diseases and death.

Haidah Nations

In the Haidah family I include the nations occupying the coast and islands from the southern extremity of Prince of Wales Archipelago to the Bentinck Arms in about 52°. Their territory is bounded on the north and east by the Thlinkeet and Carrier nations of the Hyperboreans, and on the south by the Nootka family of the Columbians. Its chief nations, whose boundaries however can rarely be fixed with precision, are the Massets, the Skiddegats, and the Cumshawas, of Queen Charlotte Islands; the Kaiganies, of Prince of Wales Archipelago; the Chimsyans, about Fort Simpson, and on Chatham Sound; the Nass and the Skeenas, on the rivers of the same names; the Sebassas, on Pitt Archipelago and the shores of Gardner Channel; and the Millbank Sound Indians, including the Hailtzas and the Bellacoolas, the most southern of this family. These nations, the orthography of whose names is far from uniform among different writers, are still farther subdivided into numerous indefinite tribes, as specified at the end of this chapter.

The Haidah territory, stretching on the mainland three hundred miles in length, and in width somewhat over one hundred miles from the sea to the lofty Chilkoten Plain, is traversed throughout its length by the northern extension of the Cascade Range. In places its spurs and broken foot-hills touch the shore, and the very heart of the range is penetrated by innumerable inlets and channels, into which pour short rapid streams from interior hill and plain. The country, though hilly, is fertile and covered by an abundant growth of large, straight pines, cedars, and other forest trees. The forest abounds with game, the waters with fish. The climate is less severe than in the middle United States; and notwithstanding the high latitude of their home, the Haidahs have received no small share of nature’s gifts. Little has been explored, however, beyond the actual coast, and information concerning this nation, coming from a few sources only, is less complete than in the case of the more southern Nootkas.

Physical Peculiarities of the Haidahs

Favorable natural conditions have produced in the Haidahs a tall, comely, and well-formed race, not inferior to any in North-western America;[234]‘By far the best looking, most intelligent and energetic people on the N. W. Coast.’ Scouler, in Lond. Geog. Soc., Jour., vol. xi., p. 218. Also ranked by Prichard as the finest specimens physically on the coast. Researches, vol. v., p. 433. The Nass people ‘were peculiarly comely, strong, and well grown.’ Simpson’s Overland Journ., vol. i., p. 207. ‘Would be handsome, or at least comely,’ were it not for the paint. ‘Some of the women have exceedingly handsome faces, and very symmetrical figures.’ ‘Impressed by the manly beauty and bodily proportions of my islanders.’ Poole’s Queen Charlotte Isl., pp. 310, 314. Mackenzie found the coast people ‘more corpulent and of better appearance than the inhabitants of the interior.’ Voy., pp. 322-3; see pp. 370-1. ‘The stature (at Burke’s Canal) … was much more stout and robust than that of the Indians further south. The prominence of their countenances and the regularity of their features, resembled the northern Europeans.’ Vancouver’s Voy., vol. ii., p. 262. A chief of ‘gigantic person, a stately air, a noble mien, a manly port, and all the characteristics of external dignity, with a symmetrical figure, and a perfect order of European contour.’ Dunn’s Oregon, pp. 279, 251, 283, 285. Mayne says, ‘their countenances are decidedly plainer’ than the southern Indians. B. C., p. 250. ‘A tall, well-formed people.’ Bendel’s Alex. Arch., p. 29. ‘No finer men … can be found on the American Continent.’ Sproat’s Scenes, p. 23. In 55°, ‘Son bien corpulentos.’ Crespi, in Doc. Hist. Mex., s. iv., vol. vi., p. 646. ‘The best looking Indians we had ever met.’ ‘Much taller, and in every way superior to the Puget Sound tribes. The women are stouter than the men, but not so good-looking.’ Reed’s Nar. the northern nations of the family being generally superior to the southern,[235]The Sebassas are ‘more active and enterprising than the Millbank tribes.’ Dunn’s Oregon, p. 273. The Haeeltzuk are ‘comparatively effeminate in their appearance.’ Scouler, in Lond. Geog. Soc., Jour., vol. xi., p. 223. The Kyganies ‘consider themselves more civilised than the other tribes, whom they regard with feelings of contempt.’ Id., p. 219. The Chimsyans ‘are much more active and cleanly than the tribes to the south.’ Id., p. 220. ‘I have, as a rule, remarked that the physical attributes of those tribes coming from the north, are superior to those of the dwellers in the south.’ Barrett-Lennard’s Trav., p. 40. and having physical if not linguistic affinities with their Thlinkeet neighbors, rather than with the Nootkas. Their faces are broad, with high cheek bones;[236]Mackenzie’s Voy., pp. 370-1, 322-3; Vancouver’s Voy., vol. ii., pp. 262, 320; Hale’s Ethnog., in U. S. Ex. Ex., vol. vi., p. 197. ‘Regular, and often fine features.’ Bendel’s Alex. Arch., p. 29. the eyes small, generally black, though brown and gray with a reddish tinge have been observed among them.[237]Mackenzie’s Voy., pp. 309-10, 322-3, 370-1; Lord’s Nat., vol. i., p. 229. ‘Opening of the eye long and narrow.’ Hale’s Ethnog., in U. S. Ex. Ex., vol. vi., p. 197. The few who have seen their faces free from paint pronounce their complexion light,[238]‘Had it not been for the filth, oil, and paint, with which, from their earliest infancy, they are besmeared from head to foot, there is great reason to believe that their colour would have differed but little from such of the labouring Europeans, as are constantly exposed to the inclemency and alterations of the weather.’ Vancouver’s Voy., vol. ii., p. 262. ‘Between the olive and the copper.’ Mackenzie’s Voy., pp. 370-1. ‘Their complexion, when they are washed free from paint, is as white as that of the people of the S. of Europe.’ Scouler, in Lond. Geog. Soc., Jour., vol. xi., p. 218. Skin ‘nearly as white as ours.’ Poole’s Q. Char. Isl., pp. 314-5. ‘Of a remarkable light color.’ Bendel’s Alex. Arch., p. 29. ‘Fairer in complexion than the Vancouverians.’ ‘Their young women’s skins are as clear and white as those of Englishwomen.’ Sproat’s Scenes, pp. 23-4. ‘Fair in complexion, sometimes with ruddy cheeks.’ Hale’s Ethnog., in U. S. Ex. Ex., vol. vi., p. 197. ‘De buen semblante, color blanco y bermejos.’ Crespi, in Doc. Hist. Mex., s. iv., vol. vi., p. 646. and instances of Albino characteristics are sometimes found.[239]Tolmie mentions several instances of the kind, and states that ‘amongst the Hydah or Queen Charlotte Island tribes, exist a family of coarse, red-haired, light-brown eyed, square-built people, short-sighted, and of fair complexion.’ Lord’s Nat., vol. ii., pp. 229-30. The hair is not uniformly coarse and black, but often soft in texture, and of varying shades of brown, worn by some of the tribes cut close to the head.[240]Mackenzie’s Voy., pp. 322-3, 371; Vancouver’s Voy., vol. ii., p. 370; Dunn’s Oregon, p. 283; Poole’s Q. Char. Isl., p. 315. The beard is usually plucked out with great care, but moustaches are raised sometimes as strong as those of Europeans;[241]Scouler, in Lond. Geog. Soc., Jour., vol. xi., p. 218; Poole’s Q. Char. Isl., p. 74. ‘What is very unusual among the aborigines of America, they have thick beards, which appear early in life.’ Hale’s Ethnog., in U. S. Ex. Ex., vol. vi., p. 197. indeed there seems to be little authority for the old belief that the North-western American Indians were destitute of hair except on the head.[242]‘After the age of puberty, their bodies, in their natural state, are covered in the same manner as those of the Europeans. The men, indeed, esteem a beard very unbecoming, and take great pains to get rid of it, nor is there any ever to be perceived on their faces, except when they grow old, and become inattentive to their appearance. Every crinous efflorescence on the other parts of the body is held unseemly by them, and both sexes employ much time in their extirpation. The Nawdowessies, and the remote nations, pluck them out with bent pieces of hard wood, formed into a kind of nippers; whilst those who have communication with Europeans procure from them wire, which they twist into a screw or worm; applying this to the part, they press the rings together, and with a sudden twitch draw out all the hairs that are inclosed between them.’ Carver’s Trav., p. 225. Dr Scouler, comparing Chimsyan skulls with those of the Chinooks, who are among the best known of the north-western nations, finds that in a natural state both have broad, high cheek-bones, with a receding forehead, but the Chimsyan skull, between the parietal and temporal bones, is broader than that of the Chinook, its vertex being remarkably flat.[243]Scouler, in Lond. Geog. Soc., Jour., vol. xi., p. 220. Swollen and deformed legs are common from constantly doubling them under the body while sitting in the canoe. The teeth are frequently worn down to the gums by eating sanded salmon.[244]Mackenzie’s Voy., pp. 370-1; Lord’s Nat., vol. ii., p. 226; Dunn’s Oregon, p. 287.

Haidah Dress and Ornament

The Haidahs have no methods of distortion peculiar to themselves, by which they seek to improve their fine physique; but the custom of flattening the head in infancy obtains in some of the southern nations of this family, as the Hailtzas and Bellacoolas,[245]Lord’s Nat., vol. ii., p. 232; Scouler, in Lond. Geog. Soc., Jour., vol. xi., pp. 218, 220, 223. ‘The most northern of these Flat-head tribes is the Hautzuk.’ Schoolcraft’s Arch., vol. ii., p. 325. and the Thlinkeet lip-piece, already sufficiently described, is in use throughout a larger part of the whole territory. It was observed by Simpson as far south as Millbank Sound, where it was highly useful as well as ornamental, affording a firm hold for the fair fingers of the sex in their drunken fights. These ornaments, made of either wood, bone, or metal, are worn particularly large in Queen Charlotte Islands, where they seem to be not a mark of rank, but to be worn in common by all the women.[246]Simpson’s Overland Journ., vol. i., pp. 204, 233. ‘This wooden ornament seems to be wore by all the sex indiscriminately, whereas at Norfolk Sound it is confined to those of superior rank.’ Dixon’s Voy., pp. 225, 208, with a cut. A piece of brass or copper is first put in, and ‘this corrodes the lacerated parts, and by consuming the flesh gradually increases the orifice.’ Vancouver’s Voy., vol. ii., pp. 279-80, 408. Scouler, in Lond. Geog. Soc., Jour., vol. xi., p. 218; Dunn’s Oregon, pp. 276, 279; Crespi, in Doc. Hist. Mex., s. iv., vol. vi., p. 651; Cornwallis’ New El Dorado, p. 106; Catlin’s N. Am. Ind., vol. ii., p. 113, with plate. Besides the regular lip-piece, ornaments, various in shape and material, of shell, bone, wood, or metal, are worn stuck in the lips, nose, and ears, apparently according to the caprice or taste of the wearer, the skin being sometimes, though more rarely, tattooed to correspond.[247]Mayne’s B. C., pp. 281-2; Poole’s Q. Char. Isl., pp. 75, 311; Barrett-Lennard’s Trav., pp. 45-6; Dunn’s Oregon, pp. 279, 285. Both for ornament and as a protection against the weather, the skin is covered with a thick coat of paint, a black polish being a full dress uniform. Figures of birds and beasts, and a coat of grease are added in preparation for a feast, with fine down of duck or goose—a stylish coat of tar and feathers—sprinkled over the body as an extra attraction.[248]Poole’s Q. Char. Isl., pp. 82, 106, 310, 322-3; Mayne’s B. C., pp. 282, 283; Dunn’s Oregon, p. 251. When the severity of the weather makes additional protection desirable, a blanket, formerly woven by themselves from dog’s hair, and stained in varied colors, but now mostly procured from Europeans, is thrown loosely over the shoulders. Chiefs, especially in times of feasting, wear richer robes of skins.[249]Mayne’s B. C., p. 282; Dunn’s Oregon, pp. 251, 276, 291; Parker’s Explor. Tour, p. 263; Poole’s Q. Char. Isl., p. 310. ‘The men habitually go naked, but when they go off on a journey they wear a blanket.’ Reed’s Nar. ‘Cuero de nutrias y lobo marino … sombreros de junco bien tejidos con la copa puntiaguda.’ Crespi, in Doc. Hist. Mex., s. iv., vol. vi., p. 646. The styles of dress and ornament adopted around the forts from contact with the whites need not be described. Among the more unusual articles that have been noticed by travelers are, “a large hat, resembling the top of a small parasol, made of the twisted fibres of the roots of trees, with an aperture in the inside, at the broader end” for the head, worn by a Sebassa chief; and at Millbank Sound, “masks set with seals’ whiskers and feathers, which expand like a fan,” with secret springs to open the mouth and eyes.[250]Dunn’s Oregon, pp. 253, 276-7; Catlin’s N. Am. Ind., vol. ii., p. 113. Mackenzie and Vancouver, who were among the earliest visitors to this region, found fringed robes of bark-fibre, ornamented with fur and colored threads. A circular mat, with an opening in the centre for the head, was worn as a protection from the rain; and war garments consisted of several thicknesses of the strongest hides procurable, sometimes strengthened by strips of wood on the inside.[251]At Salmon River, 52° 58´, ‘their dress consists of a single robe tied over the shoulders, falling down behind, to the heels, and before, a little below the knees, with a deep fringe round the bottom. It is generally made of the bark of the cedar tree, which they prepare as fine as hemp; though some of these garments are interwoven with strips of the sea-otter skin, which give them the appearance of a fur on one side. Others have stripes of red and yellow threads fancifully introduced towards the borders.’ Clothing is laid aside whenever convenient. ‘The women wear a close fringe hanging down before them about two feet in length, and half as wide. When they sit down they draw this between their thighs.’ Mackenzie’s Voy., pp. 322-3, 371; Vancouver’s Voy., vol. ii., pp. 280, 339.

Haidah Houses

The Haidahs use as temporary dwellings, in their frequent summer excursions for war and the hunt, simple lodges of poles, covered, among the poorer classes by cedar mats, and among the rich by skins. Their permanent villages are usually built in strong natural positions, guarded by precipices, sometimes on rocks detached from the main land, but connected with it by a narrow platform. Their town houses are built of light logs, or of thick split planks, usually of sufficient size to accommodate a large number of families. Poole mentions a house on Queen Charlotte Islands, which formed a cube of fifty feet, ten feet of its height being dug in the ground, and which accommodated seven hundred Indians. The buildings are often, however, raised above the ground on a platform supported by posts, sometimes carved into human or other figures. Some of these raised buildings seen by the earlier visitors were twenty-five or thirty feet from the ground, solidly and neatly constructed, an inclined log with notches serving as a ladder. These houses were found only in the southern part of the Haidah territory. The fronts were generally painted with figures of men and animals. There were no windows or chimney; the floors were spread with cedar mats, on which the occupants slept in a circle round a central fire, whose smoke in its exit took its choice between the hole which served as a door and the wall-cracks. On the south-eastern boundary of this territory, Mackenzie found in the villages large buildings of similar but more careful construction, and with more elaborately carved posts, but they were not dwellings, being used probably for religious purposes.[252]A house ‘erected on a platform, … raised and supported near thirty feet from the ground by perpendicular spars of a very large size; the whole occupying a space of about thirty-five by fifteen (yards), was covered in by a roof of boards lying nearly horizontal, and parallel to the platform; it seemed to be divided into three different houses, or rather apartments, each having a separate access formed by a long tree in an inclined position from the platform to the ground, with notches cut in it by way of steps, about a foot and a half asunder.’ Vancouver’s Voy., vol. ii., p. 274. See also pp. 137, 267-8, 272, 284. ‘Their summer and winter residences are built of split plank, similar to those of the Chenooks.’ Parker’s Explor. Tour, p. 263. ‘Ils habitent dans des loges de soixante pieds de long, construites avec des troncs de sapin et recouvertes d’écorces d’arbres.’ Mofras, Explor., tom. ii., p. 337. ‘Their houses are neatly constructed, standing in a row; having large images, cut out of wood, resembling idols. The dwellings have all painted fronts, showing imitations of men and animals. Attached to their houses most of them have large potatoe gardens.’ Dunn’s Oregon, pp. 293-4. See also, pp. 251-2, 273-4, 290; Lord’s Nat., vol. i., p. 89; vol. ii., pp. 253, 255, with cuts on p. 255 and frontispiece. ‘Near the house of the chief I observed several oblong squares, of about twenty feet by eight. They were made of thick cedar boards, which were joined with so much neatness, that I at first thought they were one piece. They were painted with hieroglyphics, and figures of different animals,’ probably for purposes of devotion, as was ‘a large building in the middle of the village…. The ground-plot was fifty feet by forty-five; each end is formed by four stout posts, fixed perpendicularly in the ground. The corner ones are plain, and support a beam of the whole length, having three intermediate props on each side, but of a larger size, and eight or nine feet in height. The two centre posts, at each end, are two and a half feet in diameter, and carved into human figures, supporting two ridge poles on their heads, twelve feet from the ground. The figures at the upper part of this square represent two persons, with their hands upon their knees, as if they supported the weight with pain and difficulty: the others opposite to them stand at their ease, with their hands resting on their hips…. Posts, poles, and figures, were painted red and black, but the sculpture of these people is superior to their painting.’ Mackenzie’s Voy., p. 331. See also pp. 307, 318, 328-30, 339, 345; Poole’s Q. Char. Isl., pp. 111, 113-4; Reed’s Nar.; Marchand, Voy., tom. ii., pp. 127-31.

Food of the Haidahs

Although game is plentiful, the Haidahs are not a race of hunters, but derive their food chiefly from the innumerable multitude of fish and sea animals, which, each variety in its season, fill the coast waters. Most of the coast tribes, and all who live inland, kill the deer and other animals, particularly since the introduction of firearms, but it is generally the skin and not the flesh that is sought. Some tribes about the Bentinck channels, at the time of Mackenzie’s visit, would not taste flesh except from the sea, from superstitious motives. Birds that burrow in the sand-banks are enticed out by the glare of torches, and knocked down in large numbers with clubs. They are roasted without plucking or cleaning, the entrails being left in to improve the flavor. Potatoes, and small quantities of carrots and other vegetables, are now cultivated throughout this territory, the crop being repeated until the soil is exhausted, when a new place is cleared. Wild parsnips are abundant on the banks of lakes and streams, and their tender tops, roasted, furnish a palatable food; berries and bulbs abound, and the inner tegument of some varieties of the pine and hemlock is dried in cakes and eaten with salmon-oil. The varieties of fish sent by nature to the deep inlets and streams for the Haidah’s food, are very numerous; their standard reliance for regular supplies being the salmon, herring, eulachon or candle-fish, round-fish, and halibut. Salmon are speared; dipped up in scoop-nets; entangled in drag-nets managed between two canoes and forced by poles to the bottom; intercepted in their pursuit of smaller fish by gill-nets with coarse meshes, made of cords of native hemp, stretched across the entrance of the smaller inlets; and are caught in large wicker baskets, placed at openings in weirs and embankments which are built across the rivers. The salmon fishery differs little in different parts of the Northwest. The candle-fish, so fat that in frying they melt almost completely into oil, and need only the insertion of a pith or bark wick to furnish an excellent lamp, are impaled on the sharp teeth of a rake, or comb. The handle of the rake is from six to eight feet long, and it is swept through the water by the Haidahs in their canoes by moonlight. Herring in immense numbers are taken in April by similar rakes, as well as by dip-nets, a large part of the whole take being used for oil. Seals are speared in the water or shot while on the rocks, and their flesh is esteemed a great delicacy. Clams, cockles, and shell-fish are captured by squaws, such an employment being beneath manly dignity. Fish, when caught, are delivered to the women, whose duty it is to prepare them for winter use by drying. No salt is used, but the fish are dried in the sun, or smoke-dried by being hung from the top of dwellings, then wrapped in bark, or packed in rude baskets or chests, and stowed on high scaffolds out of the reach of dogs and children. Salmon are opened, and the entrails, head, and back-bone removed before drying. During the process of drying, sand is blown over the fish, and the teeth of the eater are often worn down by it nearly even with the gums. The spawn of salmon and herring is greatly esteemed, and besides that obtained from the fish caught, much is collected on pine boughs, which are stuck in the mud until loaded with the eggs. This native caviare is dried for preservation, and is eaten prepared in various ways; pounded between two stones, and beaten with water into a creamy consistency; or boiled with sorrel and different berries, and moulded into cakes about twelve inches square and one inch thick by means of wooden frames. After a sufficient supply of solid food for the winter is secured, oil, the great heat-producing element of all northern tribes, is extracted from the additional catch, by boiling the fish in wooden vessels, and skimming the grease from the water or squeezing it from the refuse. The arms and breast of the women are the natural press in which the mass, wrapped in mats, is hugged; the hollow stalks of an abundant sea-weed furnish natural bottles in which the oil is preserved for use as a sauce, and into which nearly everything is dipped before eating. When the stock of food is secured, it is rarely infringed upon until the winter sets in, but then such is the Indian appetite—ten pounds of flour in the pancake-form at a meal being nothing for the stomach of a Haidah, according to Poole—that whole tribes frequently suffer from hunger before spring.[253]On food of the Haidahs and the methods of procuring it, see Lord’s Nat., vol. i., pp. 41, 152; Mackenzie’s Voy., pp. 306, 313-14, 319-21, 327, 333, 339, 369-70; Poole’s Q. Char. Isl., pp. 148, 284-5, 315-16; Vancouver’s Voy., vol. ii., p. 273; Dunn’s Oregon, pp. 251, 267, 274, 290-1; Mofras, Explor., tom. ii., p. 337; Pemberton’s Vancouver Island, p. 23; Parker’s Explor. Tour, p. 263; Reed’s Nar.

The Haidah weapons are spears from four to sixteen feet long, some with a movable head or barb, which comes off when the seal or whale is struck; bows and arrows; hatchets of bone, horn, or iron, with which their planks are made; and daggers. Both spears and arrows are frequently pointed with iron, which, whether it found its way across the continent from the Hudson-Bay settlements, down the coast from the Russians, or was obtained from wrecked vessels, was certainly used in British Columbia for various purposes before the coming of the whites. Bows are made of cedar, with sinew glued along one side. Poole states that before the introduction of fire-arms, the Queen Charlotte Islanders had no weapon but a club. Brave as the Haidah warrior is admitted to be, open fair fight is unknown to him, and in true Indian style he resorts to night attacks, superior numbers, and treachery, to defeat his foe. Cutting off the head as a trophy is practiced instead of scalping, but though unmercifully cruel to all sexes and ages in the heat of battle, prolonged torture of captives seems to be unknown. Treaties of peace are arranged by delegations from the hostile tribes, following set forms, and the ceremonies terminate with a many days’ feast.[254]Vancouver’s Voy., vol. ii., p. 339; Poole’s Q. Char. Isl., p. 316; Mackenzie’s Voy., p. 372-3. ‘Once I saw a party of Kaiganys of about two hundred men returning from war. The paddles of the warriors killed in the fight were lashed upright in their various seats, so that from a long distance the number of the fallen could be ascertained; and on each mast of the canoes—and some of them had three—was stuck the head of a slain foe.’ Bendel’s Alex. Arch., p. 30. Nets are made of native wild hemp and of cedar-bark fibre; hooks, of two pieces of wood or bone fastened together at an obtuse angle; boxes, troughs, and household dishes, of wood; ladles and spoons, of wood, horn, and bone. Candle-fish, with a wick of bark or pith, serve as lamps; drinking vessels and pipes are carved with great skill from stone. The Haidahs are noted for their skill in the construction of their various implements, particularly for sculptures in stone and ivory, in which they excel all the other tribes of Northern America.[255]The Kaiganies ‘are noted for the beauty and size of their cedar canoes, and their skill in carving. Most of the stone pipes, inlaid with fragments of Haliotis or pearl shells, so common in ethnological collections, are their handiwork. The slate quarry from which the stone is obtained is situated on Queen Charlotte’s Island.’ Dall’s Alaska, p. 411. The Chimsyans ‘make figures in stone dressed like Englishmen; plates and other utensils of civilization, ornamented pipe stems and heads, models of houses, stone flutes, adorned with well-carved figures of animals. Their imitative skill is as noticeable as their dexterity in carving.’ Sproat’s Scenes, p. 317. The supporting posts of their probable temples were carved into human figures, and all painted red and black, ‘but the sculpture of these people (52° 40´) is superior to their painting.’ Mackenzie’s Voy., pp. 330-1; see pp. 333-4. ‘One man (near Fort Simpson) known as the Arrowsmith of the north-east coast, had gone far beyond his compeers, having prepared very accurate charts of most parts of the adjacent shores.’ Simpson’s Overland Journ., vol. i., p. 207. ‘The Indians of the Northern Family are remarkable for their ingenuity and mechanical dexterity in the construction of their canoes, houses, and different warlike or fishing implements. They construct drinking-vessels, tobacco-pipes, &c., from a soft argillaceous stone, and these articles are remarkable for the symmetry of their form, and the exceedingly elaborate and intricate figures which are carved upon them. With respect to carving and a faculty for imitation, the Queen Charlotte’s Islanders are equal to the most ingenious of the Polynesian Tribes.’ Scouler, in Lond. Geog. Soc., Jour., vol. xi., p. 218. ‘Like the Chinese, they imitate literally anything that is given them to do; so that if you give them a cracked gun-stock to copy, and do not warn them, they will in their manufacture repeat the blemish. Many of their slate-carvings are very good indeed, and their designs most curious.’ Mayne’s B. C., p. 278. See also, Dunn’s Oregon, p. 293; Mofras, Explor., tom. ii., p. 337, and plate p. 387. The Skidagates ‘showed me beautifully wrought articles of their own design and make, and amongst them some flutes manufactured from an unctuous blue slate…. The two ends were inlaid with lead, giving the idea of a fine silver mounting. Two of the keys perfectly represented frogs in a sitting posture, the eyes being picked out with burnished lead…. It would have done credit to a European modeller.’ Poole’s Q. Char. Isl., p. 258. ‘Their talent for carving has made them famous far beyond their own country.’ Bendel’s Alex. Arch., p. 29. A square wooden box, holding one or two bushels, is made from three pieces, the sides being from one piece so mitred as to bend at the corners without breaking. ‘During their performance of this character of labor, (carving, etc.) their superstitions will not allow any spectator of the operator’s work.’ Reed’s Nar.; Ind. Life, p. 96. ‘Of a very fine and hard slate they make cups, plates, pipes, little images, and various ornaments, wrought with surprising elegance and taste.’ Hale’s Ethnog., in U. S. Ex. Ex., vol. vi., p. 197. ‘Ils peignent aussi avec le même goût.’ Rossi, Souvenirs, p. 298; Anderson, in Hist. Mag., vol. vii., pp. 74-5.

Haidah Manufactures

The cedar-fibre and wild hemp were prepared for use by the women by beating on the rocks; they were then spun with a rude distaff and spindle, and woven on a frame into the material for blankets, robes, and mats, or twisted by the men into strong and even cord, between the hand and thigh. Strips of otter-skin, bird-feathers, and other materials, were also woven into the blankets. Dogs of a peculiar breed, now nearly extinct, were shorn each year, furnishing a long white hair, which, mixed with fine hemp and cedar, made the best cloth. By dyeing the materials, regular colored patterns were produced, each tribe having had, it is said, a peculiar pattern by which its matting could be distinguished. Since the coming of Europeans, blankets of native manufacture have almost entirely disappeared. The Bellacoolas made very neat baskets, called zeilusqua, as well as hats and water-tight vessels, all of fine cedar-roots. Each chief about Fort Simpson kept an artisan, whose business it was to repair canoes, make masks, etc.[256]Mackenzie’s Voy., p. 338; Lord’s Nat., vol. i., p. 63; vol. ii., pp. 215-17, 254, 258; Dunn’s Oregon, pp. 251, 253, 291, 293. ‘They boil the cedar root until it becomes pliable to be worked by the hand and beaten with sticks, when they pick the fibres apart into threads. The warp is of a different material—sinew of the whale, or dried kelp-thread.’ Reed’s Nar. ‘Petatito de vara en cuadro bien vistoso, tejido de palma fina de dos colores blanco y negro que tejido en cuadritos.’ Crespi, in Doc. Hist. Mex., s. iv., vol. vi., pp. 647, 650-1.

The Haidah canoes are dug out of cedar logs, and are sometimes sixty feet long, six and a half wide, and four and a half deep, accommodating one hundred men. The prow and stern are raised, and often gracefully curved like a swan’s neck, with a monster’s head at the extremity. Boats of the better class have their exteriors carved and painted, with the gunwale inlaid in some cases with otter-teeth. Each canoe is made of a single log, except the raised extremities of the larger boats. They are impelled rapidly and safely over the often rough waters of the coast inlets, by shovel-shaped paddles, and when on shore, are piled up and covered with mats for protection against the rays of the sun. Since the coming of Europeans, sails have been added to the native boats, and other foreign features imitated.[257]Poole’s Q. Char. Isl., p. 269, and cuts on pp. 121, 291; Mackenzie’s Voy., p. 335; Simpson’s Overland Journ., vol. i., p. 204; Vancouver’s Voy., vol. ii., p. 303; Sutil y Mexicana, Viage, p. cxxv; Lord’s Nat., vol. i., p. 174; Reed’s Nar.; Catlin’s N. Am. Ind., vol. ii., p. 113, with plate. The Bellabellahs ‘promised to construct a steam-ship on the model of ours…. Some time after this rude steamer appeared. She was from 20 to 30 feet long, all in one piece—a large tree hollowed out—resembling the model of our steamer. She was black, with painted ports; decked over; and had paddles painted red, and Indians under cover, to turn them round. The steersman was not seen. She was floated triumphantly, and went at the rate of three miles an hour. They thought they had nearly come up to the point of external structure; but then the enginery baffled them; and this they thought they could imitate in time, by perseverance, and the helping illumination of the Great Spirit.’ Dunn’s Oregon, p. 272. See also, p. 291. ‘A canoe easily distanced the champion boat of the American Navy, belonging to the man-of-war Saranac.’ Bendel’s Alex. Arch., p. 29.

Trade and Government

Rank and power depend greatly upon wealth, which consists of implements, wives, and slaves. Admission to alliance with medicine-men, whose influence is greatest in the tribe, can only be gained by sacrifice of private property. Before the disappearance of sea-otters from the Haidah waters, the skins of that animal formed the chief element of their trade and wealth; now the potatoes cultivated in some parts, and the various manufactures of Queen Charlotte Islands, supply their slight necessities. There is great rivalry among the islanders in supplying the tribes on the main with potatoes, fleets of forty or fifty canoes engaging each year in the trade from Queen Charlotte Islands. Fort Simpson is the great commercial rendezvous of the surrounding nations, who assemble from all directions in September, to hold a fair, dispose of their goods, visit friends, fight enemies, feast, and dance. Thus continue trade and merry-making for several weeks. Large fleets of canoes from the north also visit Victoria each spring for trading purposes.[258]Scouler, in Lond. Geog. Soc., Jour., vol. xi., p. 219; Macfie’s B. C., pp. 429, 437, 458; Simpson’s Overland Journ., vol. i., p. 206; Lord’s Nat., vol. i., p. 174; Anderson, in Hist. Mag., vol. vii., p. 74; Dunn’s Oregon, pp. 279, 281-3, 292; Sutil y Mexicana, Viage, p. cxxv.

Very little can be said of the government of the Haidahs in distinction from that of the other nations of the Northwest Coast. Among nearly all of them rank is nominally hereditary, for the most part by the female line, but really depends to a great extent on wealth and ability in war. Females often possess the right of chieftainship. In early intercourse with whites the chief traded for the whole tribe, subject, however, to the approval of the several families, each of which seemed to form a kind of subordinate government by itself. In some parts the power of the chief seems absolute, and is wantonly exercised in the commission of the most cruel acts according to his pleasure. The extensive embankments and weirs found by Mackenzie, although their construction must have required the association of all the labor of the tribe, were completely under the chief’s control, and no one could fish without his permission. The people seemed all equal, but strangers must obey the natives or leave the village. Crimes have no punishment by law; murder is settled for with relatives of the victim, by death or by the payment of a large sum; and sometimes general or notorious offenders, especially medicine-men, are put to death by an agreement among leading men.[259]Mackenzie’s Voy., pp. 374-5; Tolmie and Anderson, in Lord’s Nat., vol. ii., pp. 240-2, 235; Macfie’s B. C., p. 429; Simpson’s Overland Journ., vol. i., p. 205; Dixon’s Voy., p. 227. ‘There exists among them a regular aristocracy.’ ‘The chiefs are always of unquestionable birth, and generally count among their ancestors men who were famous in battle and council.’ ‘The chief is regarded with all the reverence and respect which his rank, his birth, and his wealth can claim,’ but ‘his power is by no means unlimited.’ Bendel’s Alex. Arch., p. 30. Slavery is universal, and as the life of the slave is of no value to the owner except as property, they are treated with extreme cruelty. Slaves the northern tribes purchase, kidnap, or capture in war from their southern neighbors, who obtain them by like means from each other, the course of the slave traffic being generally from south to north, and from the coast inland.[260]Dunn’s Oregon, pp. 273-4, 283; Parker’s Explor. Tour, p. 263; Bendel’s Alex. Arch., p. 30; Kane’s Wand., p. 220.

Polygamy is everywhere practiced, and the number of wives is regulated only by wealth, girls being bought of parents at any price which may be agreed upon, and returned, and the price recovered, when after a proper trial they are not satisfactory. The transfer of the presents or price to the bride’s parents is among some tribes accompanied by slight ceremonies nowhere fully described. The marriage ceremonies at Millbank Sound are performed on a platform over the water, supported by canoes. While jealousy is not entirely unknown, chastity appears to be so, as women who can earn the greatest number of blankets win great admiration for themselves and high position for their husbands. Abortion and infanticide are not uncommon. Twin births are unusual, and the number of children is not large, although the age of bearing extends to forty or forty-six years. Women, except in the season of preparing the winter supply of fish, are occupied in household affairs and the care of children, for whom they are not without some affection, and whom they nurse often to the age of two or three years. Many families live together in one house, with droves of filthy dogs and children, all sleeping on mats round a central fire.[261]‘Polygamy is universal, regulated simply by the facilities for subsistence.’ Anderson, in Lord’s Nat., vol. ii., p. 235. See pp. 231-5, and vol. i., pp. 89-90. The women ‘cohabit almost promiscuously with their own tribe though rarely with other tribes.’ Poole, spending the night with a chief, was given the place of honor, under the same blanket with the chief’s daughter—and her father. Poole’s Q. Char. Isl., pp. 312-15, 115-16, 155. ‘The Indians are in general very jealous of their women.’ Dixon’s Voy., p. 225-6. ‘Tous les individus d’une famille couchent pêle-mêle sur le sol plancheyé de l’habitation.’ Marchand, Voy., tom. ii., p. 144. ‘Soon after I had retired … the chief paid me a visit to insist on my going to his bed-companion, and taking my place himself.’ Mackenzie’s Voy., p. 331. See pp. 300, 371-2. Parker’s Explor. Tour, p. 263. ‘On the weddingday they have a public feast, at which they dance and sing.’ Dunn’s Oregon, pp. 252-3, 289-90. ‘According to a custom of the Bellabollahs, the widow of the deceased is transferred to his brother’s harem.’ Simpson’s Overland Journ., vol. i., p. 203-4. ‘The temporary present of a wife is one of the greatest honours that can be shown there to a guest.’ Sproat’s Scenes, p. 95.

Haidah Gamblers

The Haidahs, like all Indians, are inveterate gamblers, the favorite game on Queen Charlotte Islands being odd and even, played with small round sticks, in which the game is won when one player has all the bunch of forty or fifty sticks originally belonging to his opponent. Farther south, and inland, some of the sticks are painted with red rings, and the player’s skill or luck consists in naming the number and marks of sticks previously wrapped by his antagonist in grass. All have become fond of whisky since the coming of whites, but seem to have had no intoxicating drink before. At their annual trading fairs, and on other occasions, they are fond of visiting and entertaining friends with ceremonious interchange of presents, a suitable return being expected for each gift. At these reception feasts, men and women are seated on benches along opposite walls; at wedding feasts both sexes dance and sing together. In dancing, the body, head, and arms are thrown into various attitudes to keep time with the music, very little use being made of the legs. On Queen Charlotte Islands the women dance at feasts, while the men in a circle beat time with sticks, the only instruments, except a kind of tambourine. For their dances they deck themselves in their best array, including plenty of birds’ down, which they delight to communicate to their partners in bowing, and which they also blow into the air at regular intervals, through a painted tube. Their songs are a simple and monotonous chant, with which they accompany most of their dances and ceremonies, though Mackenzie heard among them some soft, plaintive tones, not unlike church music. The chiefs in winter give a partly theatrical, partly religious entertainment, in which, after preparation behind a curtain, dressed in rich apparel and wearing masks, they appear on a stage and imitate different spirits for the instruction of the hearers, who meanwhile keep up their songs.[262]‘The Queen Charlotte Islanders surpass any people that I ever saw in passionate addiction’ to gambling. Poole’s Q. Char. Isl., p. 318-20. See pp. 186-87, 232-33. Mackenzie’s Voy., pp. 288, 311. The Sebassas are great gamblers, and ‘resemble the Chinooks in their games.’ Dunn’s Oregon, pp. 25-7, 252-9, 281-3, 293. ‘The Indian mode of dancing bears a strange resemblance to that in use among the Chinese.’ Poole’s Q. Char. Isl., p. 82. Lord’s Nat., vol. ii., p. 258; Parker’s Explor. Tour, p. 263; Ind. Life, p. 63.

After the salmon season, feasting and conjuring are in order. The chief, whose greatest authority is in his character of conjurer, or tzeetzaiak as he is termed in the Hailtzuk tongue, pretends at this time to live alone in the forest, fasting or eating grass, and while there is known as taamish. When he returns, clad in bear-robe, chaplet, and red-bark collar, the crowd flies at his approach, except a few brave spirits, who boldly present their naked arms, from which he bites and swallows large mouthfuls. This, skillfully done, adds to the reputation of both biter and bitten, and is perhaps all the foundation that exists for the report that these people are cannibals; although Mr Duncan, speaking of the Chimsyans in a locality not definitely fixed, testifies to the tearing to pieces and actual devouring of the body of a murdered slave by naked bands of cannibal medicine-men. Only certain parties of the initiated practice this barbarism, others confining their tearing ceremony to the bodies of dogs.[263]Scouler, in Lond. Geog. Soc., Jour., vol. xi., p. 223; Duncan, in Mayne’s B. C., pp. 285-8, and in Macfie’s Vanc. Isl., pp. 434-7; White’s Oregon, p. 246; Simpson’s Overland Journ., vol. i., p. 205; Hutchings’ Cal. Mag., Nov. 1860, pp. 222-8; Ind. Life, p. 68; Reed’s Nar.; Anderson, in Hist. Mag., vol. vii., p. 79.

MAGICIANS AND MEDICINE-MEN.

None of these horrible orgies are practiced by the Queen Charlotte Islanders. The performances of the Haidah magicians, so far as they may differ from those of the Nootkas have not been clearly described by travelers. The magicians of Chatham Sound keep infernal spirits shut up in a box away from the vulgar gaze, and possess great power by reason of the implicit belief on the part of the people, in their ability to charm away life. The doctor, however, is not beyond the reach of a kinsman’s revenge, and is sometimes murdered.[264]The Indians of Millbank Sound became exasperated against me, ‘and they gave me the name of “Schloapes,” i. e., “stingy:” and when near them, if I should spit, they would run and try to take up the spittle in something; for, according as they afterwards informed me, they intended to give it to their doctor or magician; and he would charm my life away.’ Dunn’s Oregon, pp. 246-7. See pp. 279-80; Poole’s Q. Char. Isl., pp. 320-1. With their ceremonies and superstitions there seems to be mixed very little religion, as all their many fears have reference to the present life. Certain owls and squirrels are regarded with reverence, and used as charms; salmon must not be cut across the grain, or the living fish will leave the river; the mysterious operations with astronomical and other European instruments about their rivers caused great fear that the fisheries would be ruined; fogs are conjured away without the slightest suspicion of the sun’s agency.[265]Lord’s Nat., vol. ii., pp. 32-4, 53-4; Dunn’s Oregon, pp. 367, 274-5. European navigators they welcome by paddling their boats several times round the ship, making long speeches, scattering birds’ down, and singing.[266]Vancouver’s Voy., vol. ii., pp. 385-9. Ordinary presents, like tobacco or trinkets, are gladly received, but a written testimonial is most highly prized by the Haidahs, who regard writing as a great and valuable mystery. They have absolutely no methods of recording events. Although living so constantly on the water, I find no mention of their skill in swimming, while Poole states expressly that they have no knowledge of that art.[267]Poole’s Q. Char. Isl., pp. 109-10, 116; Anderson, in Lord’s Nat., vol. ii., p. 242.

Very slight accounts are extant of the peculiar methods of curing diseases practiced by the Haidahs. Their chief reliance, as in the case of all Indian tribes, is on the incantations and conjurings of their sorcerers, who claim supernatural powers of seeing, hearing, and extracting disease, and are paid liberally when successful. Bark, herbs, and various decoctions are used in slight sickness, but in serious cases little reliance is placed on them. To the bites of the sorcerer-chiefs on the main, eagle-down is applied to stop the bleeding, after which a pine-gum plaster or sallal-bark is applied. On Queen Charlotte Islands, in a case of internal uneasiness, large quantities of sea-water are swallowed, shaken up, and ejected through the mouth for the purpose, as the natives say, of ‘washing themselves inside out.’[268]At about 52° 40´, between the Fraser River and the Pacific, Mackenzie observed the treatment of a man with a bad ulcer on his back. They blew on him and whistled, pressed their fingers on his stomach, put their fists into his mouth, and spouted water into his face. Then he was carried into the woods, laid down in a clear spot, and a fire was built against his back while the doctor scarified the ulcer with a blunt instrument. Voy., pp. 331-33; Dunn’s Oregon, pp. 258, 284; Poole’s Q. Char. Isl., pp. 316-18; Duncan, in Mayne’s B. C., 289-91; Reed’s Nar., in Olympia Wash. Stand., May 16, 1868.

Haidah Burials

Death is ascribed to the ill will and malign influence of an enemy, and one suspected of causing the death of a prominent individual, must make ready to die. As a rule, the bodies of the dead are burned, though exceptions are noted in nearly every part of the territory. In the disposal of the ashes and larger bones which remain unburned, there seems to be no fixed usage. Encased in boxes, baskets, or canoes, or wrapped in mats or bark, they are buried in or deposited on the ground, placed in a tree, on a platform, or hung from a pole. Articles of property are frequently deposited with the ashes, but not uniformly. Slaves’ bodies are simply thrown into the river or the sea. Mourning for the dead consists usually of cutting the hair and blackening anew the face and neck for several months. Among the Kaiganies, guests at the burning of the bodies are wont to lacerate themselves with knives and stones. A tribe visited by Mackenzie, kept their graves free from shrubbery, a woman clearing that of her husband each time she passed. The Nass Indians paddle a dead chief, gaily dressed, round the coast villages.[269]At Boca de Quadra, Vancouver found ‘a box about three feet square, and a foot and a half deep, in which were the remains of a human skeleton, which appeared from the confused situation of the bones, either to have been cut to pieces, or thrust with great violence into this small space.’ … ‘I was inclined to suppose that this mode of depositing their dead is practised only in respect to certain persons of their society.’ Voy., vol. ii., p. 351. At Cape Northumberland, in 54° 45´, ‘was a kind of vault formed partly by the natural cavity of the rocks, and partly by the rude artists of the country. It was lined with boards, and contained some fragments of warlike implements, lying near a square box covered with mats and very curiously corded down.’ Id., p. 370; Cornwallis’ New El Dorado, pp. 106-7. On Queen Charlotte Islands, ‘Ces monumens sont de deux espèces: les premiers et les plus simples ne sont composés que d’un seul pilier d’environ dix pieds d’élévation et d’un pied de diamètre, sur le sommet duquel sont fixées des planches formant un plateau; et dans quelques-uns ce plateau est supporté par deux piliers. Le corps, déposé sur cette plate-forme, est recouvert de mousse et de grosses pierres’ … ‘Les mausolées de la seconde espèce sont plus composés: quatre poteaux plantés en terre, et élevés de deux pieds seulement au-dessus du sol portent un sarcophage travaillé avec art, et hermétiquement clos.’ Marchand, Voy., tom. ii., pp. 135-6. ‘According to another account it appeared that they actually bury their dead; and when another of the family dies, the remains of the person who was last interred, are taken from the grave and burned.’ Mackenzie’s Voy., p. 308. See also pp. 374, 295-98; Simpson’s Overland Journ., vol. i., pp. 203-4; Dunn’s Oregon, pp. 272, 276, 280; Mayne’s B. C., pp. 272, 293; Lord’s Nat., vol. ii., p. 235; Macfie’s Vanc. Isl., pp. 440-41; Dall’s Alaska, p. 417.

The Haidahs, compared with other North American Indians, may be called an intelligent, honest, and brave race, although not slow under European treatment to become drunkards, gamblers, and thieves. Acts of unprovoked cruelty or treachery are rare; missionaries have been somewhat successful in the vicinity of Fort Simpson, finding in intoxicating liquors their chief obstacle.[270]On the coast, at 52° 12´, Vancouver found them ‘civil, good-humoured and friendly.’ At Cascade Canal, about 52° 24´, ‘in traffic they proved themselves to be keen traders, but acted with the strictest honesty;’ at Point Hopkins ‘they all behaved very civilly and honestly;’ while further north, at Observatory Inlet, ‘in their countenances was expressed a degree of savage ferocity infinitely surpassing any thing of the sort I had before observed,’ presents being scornfully rejected. Voy., vol. ii., pp. 281, 269, 303, 337. The Kitswinscolds on Skeena River ‘are represented as a very superior race, industrious, sober, cleanly, and peaceable.’ Ind. Aff. Rept., 1869, p. 533. The Chimsyans are fiercer and more uncivilized than the Indians of the South. Sproat’s Scenes, p. 317. ‘Finer and fiercer men than the Indians of the South.’ Mayne’s B. C., p. 250. ‘They appear to be of a friendly disposition, but they are subject to sudden gusts of passion, which are as quickly composed; and the transition is instantaneous, from violent irritation to the most tranquil demeanor. Of the many tribes … whom I have seen, these appear to be the most susceptible of civilization.’ Mackenzie’s Voy., p. 375, 322. At Stewart’s Lake the natives, whenever there is any advantage to be gained are just as readily tempted to betray each other as to deceive the colonists. Macfie’s Vanc. Isl., pp. 466-68, 458-59; Lord’s Nat., vol. i., p. 174. A Kygarnie chief being asked to go to America or England, refused to go where even chiefs were slaves—that is, had duties to perform—while he at home was served by slaves and wives. The Sebassas ‘are more active and enterprising than the Milbank tribes, but the greatest thieves and robbers on the coast.’ Dunn’s Oregon, p. 287, 273. ‘All these visitors of Fort Simpson are turbulent and fierce. Their broils, which are invariably attended with bloodshed, generally arise from the most trivial causes.’ Simpson’s Overland Journ., vol. i., p. 206. The Kygarnies ‘are very cleanly, fierce and daring.’ The islanders, ‘when they visit the mainland, they are bold and treacherous, and always ready for mischief.’ Scouler, in Lond. Geog. Soc., Jour., vol. xi., p. 219. The Kygarnies ‘are a very fierce, treacherous race, and have not been improved by the rum and fire-arms sold to them.’ Dall’s Alaska, p. 411. Queen Charlotte Islanders look upon white men as superior beings, but conceal the conviction. The Skidagates are the most intelligent race upon the islands. Wonderfully acute in reading character, yet clumsy in their own dissimulation…. ‘Not revengeful or blood-thirsty, except when smarting under injury or seeking to avert an imaginary wrong.’ … ‘I never met with a really brave man among them.’ The Acoltas have ‘given more trouble to the Colonial Government than any other along the coast.’ Poole’s Q. Char. Isl., pp. 83, 151-2, 185-6, 208, 214, 233, 235, 245, 257, 271-72, 289, 309, 320-21. ‘Of a cruel and treacherous disposition.’ Hale’s Ethnog., in U. S. Ex. Ex., vol. vi., p. 197. They will stand up and fight Englishmen with their fists. Sproat’s Scenes, p. 23. Intellectually superior to the Puget Sound tribes. Reed’s Nar. ‘Mansos y de buena indole.’ Crespi, in Doc. Hist. Mex., s. iv., vol. vi., p. 646. On Skeena River, ‘the worst I have seen in all my travels.’ Downie, in B. C. Papers, vol. iii., p. 73. ‘As rogues, where all are rogues,’ preëminence is awarded them. Anderson, in Hist. Mag., vol. vii., pp. 74-5.

The Nootkas

The Nootkas, the second division of the Columbian group, are immediately south of the Haidah country; occupying Vancouver Island, and the coast of the main land, between the fifty-second and the forty-ninth parallels. The word nootka is not found in any native dialect of the present day. Captain Cook, to whom we are indebted for the term, probably misunderstood the name given by the natives to the region of Nootka Sound.[271]‘On my arrival at this inlet, I had honoured it with the name of King George’s Sound; but I afterward found, that it is called Nootka by the natives.’ Cook’s Voy. to Pac., vol. ii., p. 288. ‘No Aht Indian of the present day ever heard of such a name as Nootkah, though most of them recognize the other words in Cook’s account of their language.’ Sproat’s Scenes, p. 315. Sproat conjectures that the name may have come from Noochee! Noochee! the Aht word for mountain. A large proportion of geographical names originate in like manner through accident. The first European settlement in this region was on the Sound, which thus became the central point of early English and Spanish intercourse with the Northwest Coast; but it was soon abandoned, and no mission or trading post has since taken its place, so that no tribes of this family have been less known in later times than those on the west coast of Vancouver Island. The chief tribes of the Nootka family, or those on whose tribal existence, if not on the orthography of their names authors to some extent agree, are as follows.[272]For full particulars see Tribal Boundaries at end of this chapter. The Nitinats, Clayoquots, and Nootkas, on the sounds of the same names along the west coast of Vancouver Island; the Quackolls and Newittees,[273]‘The Newatees, mentioned in many books, are not known on the west coast. Probably the Klah-oh-quahts are meant.’ Sproat’s Scenes, p. 314. in the north; the Cowichins, Ucletas, and Comux, on the east coast of Vancouver and on the opposite main; the Saukaulutuchs[274]There are no Indians in the interior. Fitzwilliam’s Evidence, in Hud. B. Co., Rept. Spec. Com., 1857, p. 115., in the interior of the island; the Clallums,[275]The same name is also applied to one of the Sound nations across the strait in Washington. Sokes, and Patcheena, on the south end; and the Kwantlums and Teets,[276]The Teets or Haitlins are called by the Tacullies, ‘Sa-Chinco‘ strangers. Anderson, in Hist. Mag., vol. vii., pp. 73-4. on the lower Fraser River. These tribes differ but little in physical peculiarities, or manners and customs, but by their numerous dialects they have been classed in nations. No comprehensive or satisfactory names have, however, been applied to them as national divisions.[277]Sproat’s division into nations, ‘almost as distinct as the nations of Europe’ is into the Quoquoulth (Quackoll) or Fort Rupert, in the north and north-east; the Kowitchan, or Thongeith, on the east and south; Aht on the west coast; and Komux, a distinct tribe also on the east of Vancouver. ‘These tribes of the Ahts are not confederated; and I have no other warrant for calling them a nation than the fact of their occupying adjacent territories, and having the same superstitions and language.’ Sproat’s Scenes, pp. 18-19, 311. Mayne makes by language four nations; the first including the Cowitchen in the harbor and valley of the same name north of Victoria, with the Nanaimo and Kwantlum Indians about the mouth of the Fraser River, and the Songhies; the second comprising the Comoux, Nanoose, Nimpkish, Quawguult, etc., on Vancouver, and the Squawmisht, Sechelt, Clahoose, Ucle-tah, Mama-lil-a-culla, etc., on the main, and islands, between Nanaimo and Fort Rupert; the third and fourth groups include the twenty-four west-coast tribes who speak two distinct languages, not named. Mayne’s Vanc. Isl., pp. 243-51. Grant’s division gives four languages on Vancouver, viz., the Quackoll, from Clayoquot Sound north to C. Scott, and thence S. to Johnson’s Strait; the Cowitchin, from Johnson’s Strait to Sanetch Arm; the Tsclallum, or Clellum, from Sanetch to Soke, and on the opposite American shore; and the Macaw, from Patcheena to Clayoquot Sound. ‘These four principal languages … are totally distinct from each other, both in sound, formation, and modes of expression.’ Grant, in Lond. Geog. Soc., Jour., vol. xxvii., p. 295. Scouler attempts no division into nations or languages. Lond. Geo. Soc., Jour., vol. xi., pp. 221, 224. Mofras singularly designates them as one nation of 20,000 souls, under the name of Ouakich. Mofras, Explor., tom. ii., p. 343. Recent investigations have shown a somewhat different relationship of these languages, which I shall give more particularly in a subsequent volume.

Between the Nootka family and its fish-eating neighbors on the north and south, the line of distinction is not clearly marked, but the contrast is greater with the interior hunting tribes on the east. Since their first intercourse with whites, the Nootkas have constantly decreased in numbers, and this not only in those parts where they have been brought into contact with traders and miners, but on the west coast, where they have retained in a measure their primitive state. The savage fades before the superior race, and immediate intercourse is not necessary to produce in native races those ‘baleful influences of civilization,’ which like a pestilence are wafted from afar, as on the wings of the wind.[278]See Sproat’s Scenes, pp. 272-86, on the ‘effects upon savages of intercourse with civilized men.’ ‘Hitherto, (1856) in Vancouver Island, the tribes who have principally been in intercourse with the white man, have found it for their interest to keep up that intercourse in amity for the purposes of trade, and the white adventurers have been so few in number, that they have not at all interfered with the ordinary pursuits of the natives.’ Grant, in Lond. Geog. Soc., Jour., vol. xxvii., p. 303.

Nootka Physique

The Nootkas are of less than medium height, smaller than the Haidahs, but rather strongly built; usually plump, but rarely corpulent;[279]‘Muy robustos y bien apersonados.’ ‘De mediana estatura, excepto los Xefes cuya corpulencia se hace notar.’ Sutil y Mexicana, Viage, pp. 55, 124. ‘The young princess was of low stature, very plump.’ Vancouver’s Voy., vol. i., p. 395. Macquilla, the chief was five feet eight inches, with square shoulders and muscular limbs; his son was five feet nine inches. Belcher’s Voy., vol. i., pp. 110-12. The seaboard tribes have ‘not much physical strength.’ Poole’s Q. Char. Isl., p. 73. ‘La gente dicen ser muy robusta.’ Perez, Rel. del Viage, MS., p. 20. ‘Leur taille est moyenne.’ Mofras, Explor., tom. ii., p. 343. ‘In general, robust and well proportioned.’ Meares’ Voy., p. 249. Under the common stature, pretty full and plump, but not muscular—never corpulent, old people lean—short neck and clumsy body; women nearly the same size as the men. Cook’s Voy. to Pac., vol. ii., pp. 301-3. ‘Of smaller stature than the Northern Tribes; they are usually fatter and more muscular.’ Scouler, inLond. Geog. Soc., Jour., vol. xi., p. 221. In the north, among the Clayoquots and Quackolls, men are often met of five feet ten inches and over; on the south coast the stature varies from five feet three inches to five feet six inches. Grant, in Lond. Geog. Soc., Jour., vol. xxvii., p. 297. ‘The men are in general from about five feet six to five feet eight inches in height; remarkably straight, of a good form, robust and strong.’ Only one dwarf was seen. Jewitt’s Nar., pp. 60-61. The Klah-oh-quahts are ‘as a tribe physically the finest. Individuals may be found in all the tribes who reach a height of five feet eleven inches, and a weight of 180 pounds, without much flesh on their bodies.’ Extreme average height: men, five feet six inches, women, five feet one-fourth inch. ‘Many of the men have well-shaped forms and limbs. None are corpulent.’ ‘The men generally have well-set, strong frames, and, if they had pluck and skill, could probably hold their own in a grapple with Englishmen of the same stature.’ Sproat’s Scenes, pp. 22-3. ‘Rather above the middle stature, copper-colored and of an athletic make.’ Spark’s Life of Ledyard, p. 71; Prichard’s Researches, vol. v., p. 442. ‘Spare muscular forms.’ Barrett-Lennard’s Trav., pp. 44; Gordon’s Hist. and Geog. Mem., pp. 14-22. their legs, like those of all the coast tribes, short, small, and frequently deformed, with large feet and ankles;[280]Limbs small, crooked, or ill-made; large feet; badly shaped, and projecting ankles from sitting so much on their hams and knees. Cook’s Voy. to Pac., vol. ii., pp. 301-3. ‘Their limbs, though stout and athletic, are crooked and ill-shaped.’ Meares’ Voy., p. 250. ‘Ils ont les membres inférieures légèrement arqués, les chevilles très-saillantes, et la pointe des pieds tournée en dedans, difformité qui provient de la manière dont ils sont assis dans leurs canots.’ Mofras, Explor., tom. ii., pp. 343-4. ‘Stunted, and move with a lazy waddling gait.’ Macfie’s Vanc. Isl., p. 428. ‘Skeleton shanks … not much physical strength … bow-legged—defects common to the seaboard tribes.’ Poole’s Q. Char. Isl., pp. 73-4. All the females of the Northwest Coast are very short-limbed. ‘Raro es el que no tiene muy salientes los tobillos y las puntas de los pies inclinadas hácia dentro … y una especie de entumecimiento que se advierte, particularmente en las mugeres.’ Sutil y Mexicana, Viage, pp. 124, 30, 62-3. They have great strength in the fingers. Sproat’s Scenes, p. 33. Women, short-limbed, and toe in. Id., p. 22; Mayne’s B. C., pp. 282-3. ‘The limbs of both sexes are ill-formed, and the toes turned inwards.’ ‘The legs of the women, especially those of the slaves, are often swollen as if oedematous, so that the leg appears of an uniform thickness from the ankle to the calf,’ from wearing a garter. Scouler, in Lond. Geog. Soc., Jour., vol. xi., p. 221. the face broad, round, and full, with the usual prominent cheek-bone, a low forehead, flat nose, wide nostrils, small black eyes, round thickish-lipped mouth, tolerably even well-set teeth; the whole forming a countenance rather dull and expressionless, but frequently pleasant.[281]The different Aht tribes vary in physiognomy somewhat—’faces of the Chinese and Spanish types may be seen.’ ‘The face of the Ahts is rather broad and flat; the mouth and lips of both men and women are large, though to this there are exceptions, and the cheekbones are broad but not high. The skull is fairly shaped, the eyes small and long, deep set, in colour a lustreless inexpressive black, or very dark hazel, none being blue, grey, or brown…. One occasionally sees an Indian with eyes distinctly Chinese. The nose … in some instances is remarkably well-shaped.’ ‘The teeth are regular, but stumpy, and are deficient in enamel at the points,’ perhaps from eating sanded salmon. Sproat’s Scenes, pp. 19, 27. ‘Their faces are large and full, their cheeks high and prominent, with small black eyes; their noses are broad and flat; their lips thick, and they have generally very fine teeth, and of the most brilliant whiteness.’ Meares’ Voy., pp. 249-50; Barrett-Lennard’s Trav., p. 44. ‘La fisonomia de estos (Nitinats) era differente de la de los habitantes de Nutka: tenian el cráneo de figura natural, los ojos chicos muy próximos, cargados los párpados.’ Many have a languid look, but few a stupid appearance. Sutil y Mexicana, Viage, pp. 28, 30, 62-3, 124. ‘Dull and inexpressive eye.’ ‘Unprepossessing and stupid countenances.’ Poole’s Q. Char. Isl., pp. 74, 80. The Wickinninish have ‘a much less open and pleasing expression of countenance’ than the Klaizzarts. The Newchemass ‘were the most savage looking and ugly men that I ever saw.’ ‘The shape of the face is oval; the features are tolerably regular, the lips being thin and the teeth very white and even: their eyes are black but rather small, and the nose pretty well formed, being neither flat nor very prominent.’ The women ‘are in general very well-looking, and some quite handsome.’ Jewitt’s Nar., pp. 76, 77, 61. ‘Features that would have attracted notice for their delicacy and beauty, in those parts of the world where the qualities of the human form are best understood.’ Meares’ Voy., p. 250. Face round and full, sometimes broad, with prominent cheek-bones … falling in between the temples, the nose flattening at the base, wide nostrils and a rounded point … forehead low; eyes small, black and languishing; mouth round, with large, round, thickish lips; teeth tolerably equal and well-set, but not very white. Remarkable sameness, a dull phlegmatic want of expression; no pretensions to beauty among the women. Cook’s Voy. to Pac., vol. ii., pp. 301-2. See portraits of Nootkas in Belcher’s Voy., vol. i., p. 108; Cook’s Atlas, pl. 38-9; Sutil y Mexicana, Viage, Atlas; Whymper’s Alaska, p. 75. ‘Long nose, high cheek bones, large ugly mouth, very long eyes, and foreheads villainously low.’ ‘The women of Vancouver Island have seldom or ever good features; they are almost invariably pug-nosed; they have however, frequently a pleasing expression, and there is no lack of intelligence in their dark hazel eyes.’ Grant, in Lond. Geog. Soc., Jour., vol. xxvii., pp. 297-8. ‘Though without any pretensions to beauty, could not be considered as disagreeable.’ Vancouver’s Voy., vol. i., p. 395. ‘Have the common facial characteristics of low foreheads, high cheek-bones, aquiline noses, and large mouths.’ ‘Among some of the tribes pretty women may be seen.’ Mayne’s B. C., p. 277. The Nootka complexion, so far as grease and paint have allowed travelers to observe it, is decidedly light, but apparently a shade darker than that of the Haidah family.[282]‘Her skin was clean, and being nearly white,’ etc. Vancouver’s Voy., vol. i., p. 395. ‘Reddish brown, like that of a dirty copper kettle.’ Some, when washed, have ‘almost a florid complexion.’ Grant, in Lond. Geog. Soc., Jour., vol. xxvii., pp. 297, 299. ‘Brown, somewhat inclining to a copper cast.’ The women are much whiter, ‘many of them not being darker than those in some of the Southern parts of Europe.’ The Newchemass are much darker than the other tribes. Jewitt’s Nar., pp. 61, 77. ‘Their complexion, though light, has more of a copper hue’ than that of the Haidahs. Scouler, in Lond. Geog. Soc., Jour., vol. xi., p. 221. ‘Skin white, with the clear complexion of Europe.’ Meares’ Voy., p. 250. The color hard to tell on account of the paint, but in a few cases ‘the whiteness of the skin appeared almost to equal that of Europeans; though rather of that pale effete cast … of our southern nations…. Their children … also equalled ours in whiteness.’ Cook’s Voy. to Pac., vol. ii., p. 303. ‘Their complexion is a dull brown,’ darker than the Haidahs. ‘Cook and Meares probably mentioned exceptional cases.’ Sproat’s Scenes, pp. 23-4. ‘Tan blancos como el mejor Español.’ Perez, Rel. del Viage, MS., p. 20. ‘Por lo que se puede inferir del (color) de los niños, parece menos obscuro que el de los Mexicanos,’ but judging by the chiefs’ daughters they are wholly white. Sutil y Mexicana,Viage, p. 125. ‘A dark, swarthy copper-coloured figure.’ Lord’s Nat., vol. i., p. 143. They ‘have lighter complexions than other aborigines of America.’ Greenhow’s Hist. Ogn., p. 116. ‘Sallow complexion, verging towards copper colour.’ Barrett-Lennard’s Trav., pp. 44-6. Copper-coloured. Spark’s Life of Ledyard, p. 71. The hair, worn long, is as a rule black or dark brown, coarse, and straight, though instances are not wanting where all these qualities are reversed.[283]‘The hair of the natives is never shaven from the head. It is black or dark brown, without gloss, coarse and lank, but not scanty, worn long…. Slaves wear their hair short. Now and then, but rarely, a light-haired native is seen. There is one woman in the Opechisat tribe at Alberni who had curly, or rather wavy, brown hair. Few grey-haired men can be noticed in any tribe. The men’s beards and whiskers are deficient, probably from the old alleged custom, now seldom practiced, of extirpating the hairs with small shells. Several of the Nootkah Sound natives (Moouchahts) have large moustaches and whiskers.’ Sproat’s Scenes, pp. 25-7. ‘El cabello es largo lacio y grueso, variando su color entre rubio, obscuro, castaño y negro. La barba sale á los mozos con la misma regularidad que á los de otros paises, y llega á ser en los ancianos tan poblada y larga como la de los Turcos; pero los jóvenes parecen imberbes porque se la arrancan con los dedos, ó mas comunmente con pinzas formadas de pequeñas conchas.’ Sutil y Mexicana, Viage, pp. 124-5, 57. ‘Hair of the head is in great abundance, very coarse, and strong; and without a single exception, black, straight and lank.’ No beards at all, or a small thin one on the chin, not from a natural defect, but from plucking. Old men often have beards. Eyebrows scanty and narrow. Cook’s Voy. to Pac., vol. ii., pp. 301-3. ‘Neither beard, whisker, nor moustache ever adorns the face of the redskin.’ Lord’s Nat., vol. i., p. 143; Jewitt’s Nar., pp. 61, 75, 77. Hair ‘invariably either black or dark brown.’ Grant, in Lond. Geog. Soc., Jour., vol. xxvii., p. 297; Meares’ Voy., p. 250; Mayne’s B. C., pp. 277-8; Macfie’s Vanc. Isl., p. 442; Spark’s Life of Ledyard, p. 71. The beard is carefully plucked out by the young men, and this operation, repeated for generations, has rendered the beard naturally thin. Old men often allow it to grow on the chin and upper lip.

Nootka Hair and Beard

To cut the hair short is to the Nootka a disgrace. Worn at full length, evened at the ends, and sometimes cut straight across the forehead, it is either allowed to hang loosely from under a band of cloth or fillet of bark, or is tied in a knot on the crown. On full-dress occasions the top-knot is secured with a green bough, and after being well saturated with whale-grease, the hair is powdered plentifully with white feathers, which are regarded as the crowning ornament for manly dignity in all these regions. Both sexes, but particularly the women, take great pains with the hair, carefully combing and plaiting their long tresses, fashioning tasteful head-dresses of bark-fibre, decked with beads and shells, attaching leaden weights to the braids to keep them straight. The bruised root of a certain plant is thought by the Ahts to promote the growth of the hair.[284]Cook’s Voy. to Pac., vol. ii., pp. 304-8; Sutil y Mexicana, Viage, pp. 126-7; Sproat’s Scenes, pp. 26-7; Meares’ Voy., p. 254; Macfie’s Vanc. Isl., p. 442; Jewitt’s Nar., pp. 21, 23, 62, 65, 77-8; Grant, in Lond. Geog. Soc., Jour., vol. xxvii., p. 297; Mayne’s B. C., pp. 277-8; Barrett-Lennard’s Trav., p. 44.

The custom of flattening the head is practiced by the Nootkas, in common with the Sound and Chinook families, but is not universal, nor is so much importance attached to it as elsewhere; although all seem to admire a flattened forehead as a sign of noble birth, even among tribes that do not make this deformity a sign of freedom. Among the Quatsinos and Quackolls of the north, the head, besides being flattened, is elongated into a conical sugar-loaf shape, pointed at the top. The flattening process begins immediately after birth, and is continued until the child can walk. It is effected by compressing the head with tight bandages, usually attached to the log cradle, the forehead being first fitted with a soft pad, a fold of soft bark, a mould of hard wood, or a flat stone. Observers generally agree that little or no harm is done to the brain by this infliction, the traces of which to a great extent disappear later in life. Many tribes, including the Aht nations, are said to have abandoned the custom since they have been brought into contact with the whites.[285]Mayne’s B. C., pp. 242, 277, with cut of a child with bandaged head, and of a girl with a sugar-loaf head, measuring eighteen inches from the eyes to the summit. Sproat’s Scenes, pp. 28-30; Grant, in Lond. Geog. Soc., Jour., vol. xxvii., p. 298; Scouler, in Lond. Geog. Soc., Jour., vol. xi., p. 222; Meares’ Voy., p. 249; Macfie’s Vanc. Isl., p. 441; Sutil y Mexicana, Viage, p. 124; Lord’s Nat., vol. i., p. 171; vol. ii., p. 103, cut of three skulls of flattened, conical, and natural form; Kane’s Wand., p. 241; Jewitt’s Nar., p. 76; Schoolcraft’s Arch., vol. ii., p. 325; Barrett-Lennard’s Trav., p. 45; Gordon’s Hist. and Geog. Mem., p. 115.

NOOTKA FACE-PAINTING.

The body is kept constantly anointed with a reddish clayey earth, mixed in train oil, and consequently little affected by their frequent baths. In war and mourning the whole body is blackened; on feast days the head, limbs, and body are painted in fantastic figures with various colors, apparently according to individual fancy, although the chiefs monopolize the fancy figures, the common people being restricted to plain colors. Solid grease is sometimes applied in a thick coating, and carved or moulded in alto-rilievo into ridges and figures afterwards decorated with red paint, while shining sand or grains of mica are sprinkled over grease and paint to impart a glittering appearance. The women are either less fond of paint than the men, or else are debarred by their lords from the free use of it; among the Ahts, at least of late, the women abandon ornamental paint after the age of twenty-five. In their dances, as in war, masks carved from cedar to represent an endless variety of monstrous faces, painted in bright colors, with mouth and eyes movable by strings, are attached to their heads, giving them a grotesquely ferocious aspect.[286]At Valdes Island, ‘the faces of some were made intirely white, some red, black, or lead colour.’ Vancouver’s Voy., vol. i., pp. 307, 341. At Nuñez Gaona Bay, ‘se pintan de encarnado y negro.’ Sutil y Mexicana, Viage, p. 30. At Nootka Sound, ‘Con esta grasa (de ballena) se untan todo el cuerpo, y despues se pintan con una especie de barniz compuesto de la misma grasa ó aceyte, y de almagre en términos que parece este su color natural.’ Chiefs only may paint in varied colors, plebeians being restricted to one.’ Id., pp. 125-7. ‘Many of the females painting their faces on all occasions, but the men only at set periods.’ Vermilion is obtained by barter. Black, their war and mourning color, is made by themselves. Macfie’s Vanc. Isl., p. 442. ‘Ces Indiens enduisent leur corps d’huile de baleine, et se peignent avec des ocres.’ Chiefs only may wear different colors, and figures of animals. Mofras, Explor., tom. ii., p. 344. ‘Rub their bodies constantly with a red paint, of a clayey or coarse ochry substance, mixed with oil…. Their faces are often stained with a black, a brighter red, or a white colour, by way of ornament…. They also strew the brown martial mica upon the paint, which makes it glitter.’ Cook’s Voy. to Pac., vol. ii., p. 305. ‘A line of vermilion extends from the centre of the forehead to the tip of the nose, and from this “trunk line” others radiate over and under the eyes and across the cheeks. Between these red lines white and blue streaks alternately fill the interstices. A similar pattern ornaments chest, arms, and back, the frescoing being artistically arranged to give apparent width to the chest.’ Lord’s Nat., vol. i., p. 143. ‘They paint the face in hideous designs of black and red (the only colours used), and the parting of the hair is also coloured red.’ Mayne’s B. C., p. 277. ‘At great feasts the faces of the women are painted red with vermilion or berry-juice, and the men’s faces are blackened with burnt wood. About the age of twenty-five the women cease to use paint…. Some of the young men streak their faces with red, but grown-up men seldom now use paint, unless on particular occasions…. The leader of a war expedition is distinguished by a streaked visage from his black-faced followers.’ Sproat’s Scenes, p. 27-8. The manner of painting is often a matter of whim. ‘The most usual method is to paint the eye-brows black, in form of a half moon, and the face red in small squares, with the arms and legs and part of the body red; sometimes one half of the face is painted red in squares, and the other black; at others, dotted with red spots, or red and black instead of squares, with a variety of other devices, such as painting one half of the face and body red, and the other black.’ Jewitt’s Nar., p. 64; Meares’ Voy., p. 252; Barrett-Lennard’s Trav., p. 46; Spark’s Life of Ledyard, p. 71. The nose and ears are regularly pierced in childhood, with from one to as many holes as the feature will hold, and from the punctures are suspended bones, shells, rings, beads, or in fact any ornament obtainable. The lip is sometimes, though more rarely, punctured. Bracelets and anklets of any available material are also commonly worn.[287]‘The habit of tattooing the legs and arms is common to all the women of Vancouver’s Island; the men do not adopt it.’ Grant, in Lond. Geog. Soc., Jour., vol. xxvii., p. 307. ‘No such practice as tattooing exists among these natives.’ Sproat’s Scenes, p. 27. ‘The ornament on which they appear to set the most value, is the nose-jewel, if such an appellation may be given to the wooden stick, which some of them employ for this purpose…. I have seen them projecting not less than eight or nine inches beyond the face on each side; this is made fast or secured in its place by little wedges on each side of it.’ Jewitt’s Nar., pp. 65-6, 75; Mofras, Explor., tom. ii., p. 344. Cook’s Voy. to Pac., vol. ii., pp. 304-8; Sutil y Mexicana, Viage, pp. 30, 126-7; Macfie’s Vanc. Isl., p. 442; Whymper’s Alaska, pp. 37, 74, with cut of mask. Mayne’s B. C., p. 268; Kane’s Wand., pp. 221-2, and illustration of a hair medicine-cap.

The aboriginal dress of the Nootkas is a square blanket, of a coarse yellow material resembling straw matting, made by the women from cypress bark, with a mixture of dog’s hair. This blanket had usually a border of fur; it sometimes had arm-holes, but was ordinarily thrown over the shoulders, and confined at the waist by a belt. Chiefs wore it painted in variegated colors or unpainted, but the common people wore a coarser material painted uniformly red. Women wore the garment longer and fastened under the chin, binding an additional strip of cloth closely about the middle, and showing much modesty about disclosing the person, while the men often went entirely naked. Besides the blanket, garments of many kinds of skin were in use, particularly by the chiefs on public days. In war, a heavy skin dress was worn as a protection against arrows. The Nootkas usually went bareheaded, but sometimes wore a conical hat plaited of rushes, bark, or flax. European blankets have replaced those of native manufacture, and many Indians about the settlements have adopted also the shirt and breeches.[288]‘Their cloaks, which are circular capes with a hole in the centre, edged with sea-otter skin, are constructed from the inner bark of the cypress. It turns the rain, is very soft and pliable,’ etc. Belcher’s Voy., vol. i., p. 112. The usual dress of the Newchemass ‘is a kootsuck made of wolf skin, with a number of the tails attached to it … hanging from the top to the bottom; though they sometimes wear a similar mantle of bark cloth, of a much coarser texture than that of Nootka.’ Jewitt’s Nar., pp. 77-8, 21-3, 56-8, 62-6. ‘Their common dress is a flaxen garment, or mantle, ornamented on the upper edge by a narrow strip of fur, and at the lower edge, by fringes or tassels. It passes under the left arm, and is tied over the right shoulder, by a string before, and one behind, near its middle…. Over this, which reaches below the knees, is worn a small cloak of the same substance, likewise fringed at the lower part…. Their head is covered with a cap, of the figure of a truncated cone, or like a flower-pot, made of fine matting, having the top frequently ornamented with a round or pointed knob, or bunch of leathern tassels.’ Cook’s Voy. to Pac., vol. ii., pp. 304-8, 270-1, 280. ‘The men’s dress is a blanket; the women’s a strip of cloth, or shift, and blanket. The old costume of the natives was the same as at present, but the material was different.’ Sproat’s Scenes, pp. 25, 315. ‘Their clothing generally consists of skins,’ but they have two other garments of bark or dog’s hair. ‘Their garments of all kinds are worn mantlewise, and the borders of them are fringed’ with wampum.Spark’s Life of Ledyard, pp. 71-2; Colyer, in Ind. Aff. Rept., 1869, p. 533; Sutil y Mexicana, Viage, pp. 30-1, 38, 56-7, 126-8; Meares’ Voy., pp. 251-4; Grant, in Lond. Geog. Soc., Jour., vol. xxvii., p. 297; Lord’s Nat., vol. i., pp. 143-4; Mofras, Explor., tom. ii., pp. 344-5; Whymper’s Alaska, p. 37; Greenhow’s Hist. Ogn., p. 116; Macfie’s Van. Isl., pp. 431, 443; Barrett-Lennard’s Trav., p. 46. See portraits in Cook’s Atlas, Belcher’s Voy., Sutil y Mexicana, Atlas, and Whymper’s Alaska.

Dwellings of the Nootkas

The Nootkas choose strong positions for their towns and encampments. At Desolation Sound, Vancouver found a village built on a detached rock with perpendicular sides, only accessible by planks resting on the branches of a tree, and protected on the sea side by a projecting platform resting on timbers fixed in the crevices of the precipice. The Nimkish tribe, according to Lord, build their homes on a table-land overhanging the sea, and reached by ascending a vertical cliff on a bark-rope ladder. Each tribe has several villages in favorable locations for fishing at different seasons. The houses, when more than one is needed for a tribe, are placed with regularity along streets; they vary in size according to the need or wealth of the occupants, and are held in common under the direction of the chief. They are constructed in the manner following. A row of large posts, from ten to fifteen feet high, often grotesquely carved, supports an immense ridge-pole, sometimes two and a half feet thick and one hundred feet long. Similar but smaller beams, on shorter posts, are placed on either side of the central row, distant from it fifteen, twenty, or twenty-five feet, according to the dimensions required. This frame is then covered with split cedar planks, about two inches thick, and from three to eight feet wide. The side planks are tied together with bark, and supported by slender posts in couples just far enough apart to receive the thickness of the plank. A house like this, forty by one hundred feet, accommodates many families, each of which has its allotted space, sometimes partitioned off like a double row of stalls, with a wide passage in the middle. In the centre of each stall is a circle of stones for a fire-place, and round the walls are raised couches covered with mats. In rainy weather, cracks in the roof and sides are covered with mats. No smoke or window holes are left, and when smoke becomes troublesome a roof-plank is removed. The entrance is at one end. These dwellings furnish, according to Nootka ideas, a comfortable shelter, except when a high wind threatens to unroof them, and then the occupants go out and sit on the roof to keep it in place. Frequently the outside is painted in grotesque figures of various colors. Only the frame is permanent; matting, planks, and all utensils are several times each year packed up and conveyed in canoes to another locality where a frame belonging to the tribe awaits covering. The odor arising from fish-entrails and other filth, which they take no pains to remove, appears to be inoffensive, but the Nootkas are often driven by mosquitos to sleep on a stage over the water.[289]On the east side of Vancouver was a village of thirty-four houses, arranged in regular streets. The house of the leader ‘was distinguished by three rafters of stout timber raised above the roof, according to the architecture of Nootka, though much inferior to those I had there seen, in point of size.’ Bed-rooms were separated, and more decency observed than at Nootka Sound. Vancouver’s Voy., vol. i., pp. 346-7, with a view of this village; also pp. 324-5, description of the village on Desolation Sound; p. 338, on Valdes Island; p. 326, view of village on Bute Canal; and vol. iii., pp. 310-11, a peculiarity not noticed by Cook—’immense pieces of timber which are raised, and horizontally placed on wooden pillars, about eighteen inches above the roof of the largest houses in that village; one of which pieces of timber was of a size sufficient to have made a lower mast for a third rate man of war.’ See Cook’s Voy. to Pac., vol. ii., pp. 281, 313-19, and Atlas, plate 40. A sort of a duplicate inside building, with shorter posts, furnishes on its roof a stage, where all kinds of property and supplies are stored. Sproat’s Scenes, pp. 37-43. ‘The planks or boards which they make use of for building their houses, and for other uses, they procure of different lengths, as occasion requires, by splitting them out, with hard wooden wedges from pine logs, and afterwards dubbing them down with their chizzels.’ Jewitt’s Nar., pp. 52-4. Grant states that the Nootka houses are palisade inclosures formed of stakes or young fir-trees, some twelve or thirteen feet high, driven into the ground close together, roofed in with slabs of fir or cedar. Lond. Geog. Soc., Jour., vol. xxvii., p. 299. The Teets have palisaded enclosures. Anderson, in Hist. Mag., vol. vii., p. 74. ‘The chief resides at the upper end, the proximity of his relatives to him being according to their degree of kindred.’ Macfie’s Vanc. Isl., pp. 443-4; Dunn’s Oregon, p. 243; Belcher’s Voy., vol. i., p. 112; Lord’s Nat., vol. i., pp. 158, 164-5, 167, 320-21; Seemann’s Voy. of Herald, vol. i., pp. 105-6. The carved pillars are not regarded by the natives as idols in any sense. Sutil y Mexicana, Viage, pp. 128-9, 102; Barrett-Lennard’s Trav., pp. 47, 73-4. Some houses eighty by two hundred feet. Colyer, in Ind. Aff. Rept., 1869, p. 533; Mayne’s B. C., p. 296; Gordon’s Hist. and Geog. Mem., pp. 120-1.

Food of the Nootkas

The Nootkas, like the Haidahs, live almost wholly on the products of the sea, and are naturally expert fishermen. Salmon, the great staple, are taken in August and September, from sea, inlet, and river, by nets, spears, pots or baskets, and even by hooks. Hooks consist of sharp barbed bones bound to straight pieces of hard wood; sea-wrack, maple-bark, and whale-sinew furnish lines, which in salmon-fishing are short and attached to the paddles. The salmon-spear is a forked pole, some fifteen feet long, the detachable head having prongs pointed with fish-bone or iron, and the fish in deep water is sometimes attracted within its reach by a wooden decoy, forced down by a long pole, and then detached and allowed to ascend rapidly to the surface. Spearing is carried on mostly by torch-light. A light-colored stone pavement is sometimes laid upon the bottom of the stream, which renders the fish visible in their passage over it. Nets are made of nettles or of wild flax, found along Fraser River. They are small in size, and used as dip-nets, or sunk between two canoes and lifted as the fish pass over. A pot or basket fifteen to twenty feet long, three to five feet in diameter at one end, and tapering to a point at the other, is made of pine splinters one or two inches apart, with twig-hoops; and placed, large end up stream, at the foot of a fall or at an opening in an embankment. The salmon are driven down the fall with poles, and entering the basket are taken out by a door in the small end. This basket is sometimes enclosed in another one, similar but of uniform diameter, and closed at one end. Fences of stakes across the river oblige the salmon to enter the open mouth in their passage up, and passing readily through an opening left in the point of the inner basket, they find themselves entrapped. In March, herring appear on the coast in great numbers, and in April and May they enter the inlets and streams, where they are taken with a dip-net, or more commonly by the fish-rake—a pole armed with many sharp bones or nails. Early in the season they can be taken only by torch-light. Halibut abound from March to June, and are caught with hooks and long lines, generally at some distance from shore. For all other fish, European hooks were early adopted, but the halibut, at least among the Ahts, must still be taken with the native hook. Many other varieties of fish, caught by similar methods, are used as food, but those named supply the bulk of the Nootka’s provision. In May or June, whales appear and are attacked in canoes by the chief, with the select few from each tribe who alone have the right to hunt this monarch of the sea. The head of their harpoon is made of two barbed bones and pointed with muscle-shell; it is fastened to a whale-sinew line of a few feet in length, and this short line to a very long bark rope, at one end of which are seal-skin air-bags and bladders, to keep it afloat. The point is also fastened to a shaft from ten to twenty-five feet in length, from which it is easily detached. With many of these buoys in tow the whale cannot dive, and becomes an easy prey. Whale-blubber and oil are great delicacies, the former being preferred half putrid, while the oil with that of smaller denizens of the sea preserved in bladders, is esteemed a delicious sauce, and eaten with almost everything. Sea-otters and seals are also speared, the former with a weapon more barbed and firmly attached to the handle, as they are fierce fighters; but when found asleep on the rocks, they are shot with arrows. Seals are often attracted within arrow-shot by natives disguised as seals in wooden masks.

Clams and other shell-fish, which are collected in great numbers by the women, are cooked, strung on cypress-bark cords, and hung in the houses to dry for winter use. Fish are preserved by drying only, the use of salt being unknown. Salmon, after losing their heads and tails, which are eaten in the fishing season, are split open and the back-bone taken out before drying; smaller fry are sometimes dried as they come from their element; but halibut and cod are cut up and receive a partial drying in the sun. The spawn of all fish, but particularly of salmon and herring, is carefully preserved by stowing it away in baskets, where it ferments. Bear, deer, and other land animals, as well as wild fowl, are sometimes taken for food, by means of rude traps, nets, and covers, successful only when game is abundant, for the Nootkas are but indifferent hunters. In the time of Jewitt, three peculiarities were observable in the Nootka use of animal food, particularly bear-meat. When a bear was killed, it was dressed in a bonnet, decked with fine down, and solemnly invited to eat in the chief’s presence, before being eaten; after partaking of bruin’s flesh, which was appreciated as a rarity, the Nootka could not taste fresh fish for two months; and while fish to be palatable must be putrid, meat when tainted was no longer fit for food. The Nootka cuisine furnished food in four styles; namely, boiled—the mode par excellence, applicable to every variety of food, and effected, as by the Haidahs, by hot stones in wooden vessels; steamed—of rarer use, applied mostly to heads, tails, and fins, by pouring water over them on a bed of hot stones, and covering the whole tightly with mats; roasted—rarely, in the case of some smaller fish and clams; and raw—fish-spawn and most other kinds of food, when conveniences for cooking were not at hand. Some varieties of sea-weed and lichens, as well as the camass, and other roots, were regularly laid up for winter, while berries, everywhere abundant, were eaten in great quantities in their season, and at least one variety preserved by pressing in bunches. In eating, they sit in groups of five or six, with their legs doubled under them round a large wooden tray, and dip out the food nearly always boiled to a brothy consistency, with their fingers or clam-shells, paying little or no attention to cleanliness. Chiefs and slaves have trays apart, and the principal meal, according to Cook, was about noon. Feasting is the favorite way of entertaining friends, so long as food is plentiful; and by a curious custom, of the portion allotted them, guests must carry away what they cannot eat. Water in aboriginal days was the only Nootka drink; it is also used now when whisky is not to be had.[290]‘Their heads and their garments swarm with vermin, which, … we used to see them pick off with great composure, and eat.’ Cook’s Voy. to Pac., vol. ii., p. 305. See also pp. 279-80, 318-24. ‘Their mode of living is very simple—their food consisting almost wholly of fish, or fish spawn fresh or dried, the blubber of the whale, seal, or sea-cow, muscles, clams, and berries of various kinds; all of which are eaten with a profusion of train oil.’ Jewitt’s Nar., pp. 58-60, 68-9, 86-8, 94-7, 103. Sproat’s Scenes, pp. 52-7, 61, 87, 144-9, 216-70. ‘The common business of fishing for ordinary sustenance is carried on by slaves, or the lower class of people;—While the more noble occupation of killing the whale and hunting the sea-otter, is followed by none but the chiefs and warriors.’ Meares’ Voy., p. 258. ‘They make use of the dried fucus giganteus, anointed with oil, for lines, in taking salmon and sea-otters.’ Belcher’s Voy., vol. i., pp. 112-13. Sutil y Mexicana, Viage, pp. 17, 26, 45-6, 59-60, 76, 129-30, 134-5; Grant, in Lond. Geog. Soc., Jour., vol. xxvii., pp. 299-300; Mayne’s B. C., pp. 252-7; Macfie’s Vanc. Isl., pp. 165-442; Simpson’s Overland Journ., vol. i., p. 239; Pemberton’s Vanc. Isl., pp. 28-32; Dunn’s Oregon, p. 243; Mofras, Explor., tom. ii., p. 338. The Sau-kau-lutuck tribe ‘are said to live on the edge of a lake, and subsist principally on deer and bear, and such fish as they can take in the lake.’ Lord’s Nat., vol. i., pp. 158-9; Barrett-Lennard’s Trav., pp. 48, 74-5, 76-7, 85-6, 90-1, 144-50, 197-8; vol. ii., p. 111; Cornwallis’ New El Dorado, p. 100; Forbes’ Vanc. Isl., pp. 54-5; Rattray’s Vanc. Isl., pp. 77-8, 82-3; Hud. Bay Co., Rept. Spec. Com., 1857, p. 114.

Nootka Battles and Boats

Lances and arrows, pointed with shell, slate, flint, or bone, and clubs and daggers of wood and bone, were the weapons with which they met their foes; but firearms and metallic daggers, and tomahawks, have long since displaced them, as they have to a less degree the original hunting and fishing implements.[291]Sutil y Mexicana, Viage, pp. 57, 63, 78; Jewitt’s Nar., pp. 78-81; Vancouver’s Voy., vol. i., p. 307; Macfie’s Vanc. Isl., p. 443; Cox’s Adven., vol. i., p. 100. ‘The native bow, like the canoe and paddle, is beautifully formed. It is generally made of yew or crab-apple wood, and is three and a half feet long, with about two inches at each end turned sharply backwards from the string. The string is a piece of dried seal-gut, deer-sinew, or twisted bark. The arrows are about thirty inches long, and are made of pine or cedar, tipped with six inches of serrated bone, or with two unbarbed bone or iron prongs. I have never seen an Aht arrow with a barbed head.’ Sproat’s Scenes, p. 82. ‘Having now to a great extent discarded the use of the traditional tomahawk and spear. Many of these weapons are, however, still preserved as heirlooms among them.’ Barrett-Lennard’s Trav., p. 42. ‘No bows and arrows.’ ‘Generally fight hand to hand, and not with missiles.’ Fitzwilliam’s Evidence, in Hud. Bay Co. Rept., 1857, p. 115. The Nootka tribes were always at war with each other, hereditary quarrels being handed down for generations. According to their idea, loss of life in battle can be forgotten only when an equal number of the hostile tribe are killed. Their military tactics consist of stratagem and surprise in attack, and watchfulness in defense. Before engaging in war, some weeks are spent in preparation, which consists mainly of abstinence from women, bathing, scrubbing the skin with briers till it bleeds, and finally painting the whole body jet-black. All prisoners not suitable for slaves are butchered or beheaded. In an attack the effort is always made to steal into the adversary’s camp at night and kill men enough to decide the victory before the alarm can be given. When they fail in this, the battle is seldom long continued, for actual hand-to-hand fighting is not to the Nootka taste. On the rare occasions when it is considered desirable to make overtures of peace, an ambassador is sent with an ornamented pipe, and with this emblem his person is safe. Smoking a pipe together by hostile chiefs also solemnizes a treaty.[292]The Ahts ‘do not take the scalp of the enemy, but cut off his head, by three dexterous movements of the knife … and the warrior who has taken most heads is most praised and feared.’ Sproat’s Scenes, pp. 186-202. ‘Scalp every one they kill.’ Macfie’s Vanc. Isl., p. 470, 443, 467. One of the Nootka princes assured the Spaniards that the bravest captains ate human flesh before engaging in battle. Sutil y Mexicana, Viage, p. 130. The Nittinahts consider the heads of enemies slain in battle as spolia opima. Whymper’s Alaska, pp. 54, 78; Jewitt’s Nar., pp. 120-1; Lord’s Nat., vol. i., pp. 155-6, 158, 166, 171, vol. ii., p. 251-3. Women keep watch during the night, and tell the exploits of their nation to keep awake. Meares’ Voy., p. 267. Vancouver’s Voy., vol. i., p. 396; Grant, in Lond. Geog. Soc., Jour., vol. xxvii., p. 296; Mayne’s B. C., p. 270; Barrett-Lennard’s Trav., pp. 41-2, 129-36.

Nootka boats are dug out each from a single pine-tree, and are made of all sizes from ten to fifty feet long, the largest accommodating forty or fifty men. Selecting a proper tree in the forest, the aboriginal Nootka fells it with a sort of chisel of flint or elk-horn, three by six inches, fastened in a wooden handle, and struck by a smooth stone mallet. Then the log is split with wooden wedges, and the better piece being selected, it is hollowed out with the aforesaid chisel, a mussel-shell adze, and a bird’s-bone gimlet worked between the two hands. Sometimes, but not always, fire is used as an assistant. The exterior is fashioned with the same tools. The boat is widest in the middle, tapers toward each end, and is strengthened by light cross-pieces extending from side to side, which, being inserted after the boat is soaked in hot water, modify and improve the original form. The bow is long and pointed, the stern square-cut or slightly rounded; both ends are raised higher than the middle by separate pieces of wood painted with figures of birds or beasts, the head on the bow and the tail on the stern. The inside is painted red; the outside, slightly burned, is rubbed smooth and black, and for the whale fishery is ornamented along the gunwales with a row of small shells or seal-teeth, but for purposes of war it is painted with figures in white. Paddles are neatly made of hard wood, about five and a half feet long with a leaf-shaped blade of two feet, sharp at the end, and used as a weapon in canoe-fighting. A cross-piece is sometimes added to the handle like the top of a crutch.[293]‘They have no seats…. The rowers generally sit on their hams, but sometimes they make use of a kind of small stool.’ Meares’ Voy., pp. 263-4. The larger canoes are used for sleeping and eating, being dry and more comfortable than the houses. Cook’s Voy. to Pac., vol. ii., pp. 319, 327, and Atlas, pl. 41. ‘The most skillful canoe-makers among the tribes are the Nitinahts and the Klah-oh-quahts. They make canoes for sale to other tribes.’ ‘The baling-dish of the canoes, is always of one shape—the shape of the gable-roof of a cottage.’ Sproat’s Scenes, pp. 85, 87-8; Mayne’s B. C., p. 283, and cut on title-page. Canoes not in use are hauled up on the beach in front of their villages. Grant, in Lond. Geog. Soc., Jour., vol. xxvii., p. 301. ‘They keep time to the stroke of the paddle with their songs.’ Jewitt’s Nar., pp. 69-71, 75; Sutil y Mexicana, Viage, pp. 39, 133; Lord’s Nat., vol. i., p. 144; Vancouver’s Voy., vol. i., p. 338. Their canoes ‘are believed to supply the pattern after which clipper ships are built.’ Macfie’s Vanc. Isl., pp. 484, 430. Barrett-Lennard’s Trav., p. 50. Colyer, in Ind. Aff. Rept., 1869, p. 533.

In addition to the implements already named are chests and boxes, buckets, cups and eating-troughs, all of wood, either dug out or pinned together; baskets of twigs and bags of matting; all neatly made, and many of the articles painted or carved, or ornamented with shell work. As among the Haidahs, the dried eulachon is often used as a lamp.[294]Cook’s Voy. to Pac., vol. ii., pp. 271, 308, 316, 326, 329-30. Sproat’s Scenes, pp. 86-9, 317; Sutil y Mexicana, Viage, p. 129; Lord’s Nat., vol. ii., pp. 257-8, which describes a painted and ornamented plate of native copper some one and a half by two and a half feet, kept with great care in a wooden case, also elaborately ornamented. It was the property of the tribe at Fort Rupert, and was highly prized, and only brought out on great occasions, though its use was not discovered. Macfie’s Vanc. Isl., p. 165. The matting and coarser kinds of cloth are made of rushes and of pine or cedar bark, which after being soaked is beaten on a plank with a grooved instrument of wood or bone until the fibres are separated. The threads are twisted into cords between the hand and thigh; these cords, hung to a horizontal beam and knotted with finer thread at regular intervals, form the cloth. Thread of the same bark is used with a sharpened twig for a needle. Intercourse with Europeans has modified their manufactures, and checked the development of their native ingenuity.[295]Woolen cloths of all degrees of fineness, made by hand and worked in figures, by a method not known. Cook’s Voy. to Pac., vol. ii., p. 325. Sutil y Mexicana, Viage, pp. 46, 136; Lord’s Nat., vol. ii., p. 254; Sproat’s Scenes, pp. 88-9; Jewitt’s Nar., p. 55; Macfie’s Vanc. Isl., pp. 442, 451, 483-5; Mofras, Explor., tom. ii., p. 344; Pemberton’s Vanc. Isl., p. 131; Cornwallis’ New El Dorado, pp. 99-100. ‘The implement used for weaving, (by the Teets) differed in no apparent respect from the rude loom of the days of the Pharaohs.’ Anderson, in Hist. Mag., vol. vii., p. 78.

Property of the Nootkas

Captain Cook found among the Ahts very “strict notions of their having a right to the exclusive property of everything that their country produces,” so that they claimed pay for even wood, water, and grass. The limits of tribal property are very clearly defined, but individuals rarely claim any property in land. Houses belong to the men who combine to build them. Private wealth consists of boats and implements for obtaining food, domestic utensils, slaves, and blankets, the latter being generally the standard by which wealth or price is computed. Food is not regarded as common property, yet any man may help himself to his neighbor’s store when needy. The accumulation of property beyond the necessities of life is considered desirable only for the purpose of distributing it in presents on great feast-days, and thereby acquiring a reputation for wealth and liberality; and as these feasts occur frequently, an unsuccessful man may often take a fresh start in the race. Instead of being given away, canoes and blankets are often destroyed, which proves that the motive in this disposal of property is not to favor friends, but merely to appear indifferent to wealth. It is certainly a most remarkable custom, and one that exerts a great influence on the whole people. Gifts play an important part in procuring a wife, and a division of property accompanies a divorce. To enter the ranks of the medicine-men or magicians, or to attain rank of any kind, property must be sacrificed; and a man who receives an insult or suffers any affliction must tear up the requisite quantity of blankets and shirts, if he would retain his honor.[296]Sproat’s Scenes, pp. 79-81, 89, 96, 111-13; Kane’s Wand., pp. 220-1; Macfie’s Vanc. Isl., pp. 429, 437; Cook’s Voy. to Pac., vol. ii., p. 284; Sutil y Mexicana, Viage, p. 147; Lord’s Nat., vol. i., pp. 165-6; Mayne’s B. C., 263-5. Trade in all their productions was carried on briskly between the different Nootka tribes before the coming of the whites. They manifest much shrewdness in their exchanges; even their system of presents is a species of trade, the full value of each gift being confidently expected in a return present on the next festive occasion. In their intertribal commerce, a band holding a strong position where trade by canoes between different parts may be stopped, do not fail to offer and enforce the acceptance of their services as middlemen, thereby greatly increasing market prices.[297]Jewitt’s Nar., pp. 78-80; Sproat’s Scenes, pp. 19, 55, 78-9, 92. Before the adoption of blankets as a currency, they used small shells from the coast bays for coin, and they are still used by some of the more remote tribes. Grant, in Lond. Geog. Soc., Jour., vol. xxvii., p. 307. ‘Their acuteness in barter is remarkable.’ Forbes’ Vanc. Isl., p. 25.

The system of numeration, sufficiently extensive for the largest numbers, is decimal, the numbers to ten having names which are in some instances compounds but not multiples of smaller numbers. The fingers are used to aid in counting. The year is divided into months with some reference to the moon, but chiefly by the fish-seasons, ripening of berries, migrations of birds, and other periodical events, for which the months are named, as: ‘when the herrings spawn,’ etc. The unit of measure is the span, the fingers representing its fractional parts.[298]The Ahts ‘divide the year into thirteen months, or rather moons, and begin with the one that pretty well answ